Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Matt Lauer Interviews Bill O'Reilly--Then Fired From Fox--With A Straight Face


OH BROTHER, is this interview ever interesting and ironic. Here's the unvarnished latest on the Matt Lauer sexual improprieties and allegations.

Had heard rumors over the last few years of his possible affair with a co-worker. But then it all disappeared, until now. I confess, I haven't watched the Today Show in at least two decades and maybe three. Just don't watch daytime TV.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Pastor John Piper Answers: Did Public Controversy Over 'The Nashville Statement' Hurt the Cause?


Part of Piper's Audio Transcript follows:

We now get over 1,200 emails a month from listeners. Thank you — please keep them coming in. And of course we got a few emails relating to the Nashville Statement, which was a public document you signed, Pastor John, on human sexuality. But we actually only got ten emails about the statement in total, and most of those emails were sympathetic. By far, the most articulate pushback came from a listener named Amy in this email. “Hello, Pastor John, thank you for this podcast! I’m sure you’re aware of the criticisms surrounding the Nashville Statement, released back in August from outside the church but also from within the evangelical world, too. It created quite a stir. I know of faithful, orthodox, reformed church planters and pastors working in larger metropolitan contexts who find this statement unhelpful, even as the document contains affirmations and denials that are completely true, biblical, and agreeable to them. It seems to be a matter of two related questions: (1) Is hot-topic orthodoxy, announced and affirmed in the wide-open public realm, appropriate in a ‘casting pearls before swine’ kind of way? and (2) Is it helpful or harmful for outreach to draw public lines in the sand over ideology, which, at worst, is seen as politically motivated by the world, or is at least something that adds a new wall of separation between the Christians in a local church from the liberal, unbelieving neighbors they are trying to reach within a neighborhood, first through relationship building? I hope this makes sense. Do either questions concern you?”

Maybe just a response to each of her two questions. I hear two questions in the second, so maybe three things to respond to even though there is so much more that could be said. I’ll just mention that at the end maybe. She’s asked her two questions; I’ll try to be faithful to those two questions rather than talking about things that I would like to talk about as well. There are so many criticisms and so many things that need to be said.

Preach Pearls

Yes, the questions do concern me because all questions that relate to serious dissensions among brothers and sisters concern me. First, I don’t think Jesus’s statement in Matthew 7:6 — “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you” — was intended by Jesus to limit the public preaching of the whole counsel of God. Think with me about that for just a minute.....

Read or listen to the whole answer.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Fabulous Weather For Hiking and Being Outdoors

SURE THE DAYS ARE SHORT AND GETTING SHORTER FOR ABOUT ANOTHER MONTH.  But the daylight we do have right now is simply glorious. It's too good to pass up and stay inside.   We had a wonderful day yesterday on our mountain property.  And a good time was had by all.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Tremendous Gratitude on Thanksgiving

WHETHER IT'S TURKEY AND DRESSING or my all time favorite of wild quail sauteed in butter with wild rice and  sides of oyster dressing, tomato aspic, fresh asparagus and baked fruit,  whether you gather with a cast of thousands, only a few or even at a cafeteria,  it's a wonderful day to be grateful for our multitudinous blessings truly too numerous to count.

My ultimate gratitude is to Almighty God who has provided every bit of this.  My secondary gratitude goes to family and friends near and far.  This year, my daughter is happily near, but my son and his family are now living in Paris, France.  I am grateful that they wanted to fly me over for this most American holiday but I had to demur for now until the holidays are past and the days start getting longer. 

Meanwhile, my daughter is making her fabulous homemade mayonnaise with other things and a ham and turkey are being prepared at this moment by others.  This year,  I am doing non-starchy vegetables like roasted french green beans, grilled radicchio with roma tomatoes. I love seductive color on the plate.

I much prefer the day of Thanksgiving to Christmas---which has simply gotten grossly out of hand.  The older I get, the more gratitude I seem to have----for everything.

I also try to eat and drink differently now.  For decades I would eat far too much food, far too many starchy and surgery dishes, then feel catatonic and exhausted afterwards--- often needing to nap for several hours.  Today,  I've learned how to eat and drink for maximum, sustained energy  so I don't get that food and sugar hangover like I used to. Thank you, Mark's Daily Apple.

Need to stay fit and energized to take a group with our loggers up on our mountain property outside McMinnville.  We've finally almost finished a road to the top after so much rain over the past three years. The town mayor and historian are going with us and it promises to be a beautiful and warm day. 

Thank you so much for coming by here.  I pray that each and every visitor is blessed beyond all measure by God who gives us hope in this world and the next!  God bless America!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017

One of the Bible's First Sexual Scandals---Abram, Sarai and Pharaoh In Genesis 12

HERE IN Genesis 12, we have the story of Abram, a married man chosen of God to one day be the father of a vast and great nation of God's people, succumb to fear and order his beautiful wife Sarai---then in her 70s---to pretend she's not really his wife but merely his sister when they enter the land of Egypt. Abram was trying to protect himself from being murdered by Pharaoh's men whom he feared would take Sarai for a wife and kill him if the Egyptians knew 'The Abrams' were married.

Did Pharaoh take Sarai and sleep with her?  Did Pharaoh expose himself against her will?  Did Sarai acquiesce in order to obey her real husband?  It's highly likely that all of this did happen.

In return, Pharaoh paid Abram in livestock for the company and companionship of his 'sister.' That is until God stepped in and interrupted this little ungodly peccadillo by punishing Pharaoh. Finally, it dawned on the head of Egypt that something was amiss and he returned Sarai to her rightful husband and ordered them to leave that land....but wait!  There's more sexual scandal with Sarai coming next Sunday with far reaching consequences.

Here Moses writes of this early Biblical scandal with Pharaoh in Genesis 12:

NOW THERE WAS A FAMINE in the land of Caanan. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

17 But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife.
18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Turkeys at Montgomery Bell S.P.

THERE WERE ABOUT 25 TURKEYS IN THE ROAD WHEN I CAME UPON THEM. As I got out of the car to photograph them with my phone, they ever so quietly and quickly scattered into small little gaggles....or little flocks.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Roy Moore Needs to Go...And Other Assorted Misfits Like Sen. Bob Corker and Carrie Underwood

NO QUESTION ABOUT IT,  JUDGE ROY MOORE NEEDS TO GO.  NOW.  How many more women who were assaulted and sexually pressured as teenagers by thirty-something Moore need to come forward?  I can't bear to hear anymore.  Truly. Case closed.  This man needs to disappear and find another calling , somewhere far, far out of the spotlight.

And while I'm at it,  Senator Bob Corker has completely fallen from grace here in Tennessee.  He's played the arrogant, narcissist swamp card once too many.  Time to go back to Chattanooga where he was a  successful mayor for a while.

Finally,  Carrie Underwood was completely out of her league (and being used) when she wagged her finger at our president during the CMA awards recently.  So puerile and inappropriate.  She's lost my good will and admiration.  Too many outfits, too much success and too little gray matter for me.

Factors in My Blogging Less

IT'S BEEN ALMOST 18 MONTHS SINCE I MOVED OUT OF NASHVILLE and into a good friend's guest quarters outside White Bluff, Tennessee. We are great friends and housemates. In addition, we are in a totally on the up-and-up relationship. It's great fun most of the time, economical and safe for living in the country. I never, ever want to move back into the city, and fortunately, to this point, am very welcome in the quarters I inhabit ( though we all know, living with other humanoids is often stressful.) I own a lot in a development nearby that I could build on. Nothing interests me less.

But here's the thing:  I have to listen to WSM am really loud from the time my housemate wakes up until I leave---flee---the house.  No amount of closed doors between us muffles the sounds completely.  Early morning is when I pray, used to think and blog.  At this point,  I often feel mentally frazzled,  before the sun comes up.  Some people love background noise and music all the time, others, like me,  love the sound of silence.  I don't understand the need for so much noise.  Silent, is where  creativity and gratefulness emerge for me.

The other thing is that my smart phone is taking the place of my computer which often lies fallow in the midst of early morning country music.  I now do quick Internet  surveys of my favorite sites on my phone.  I sometimes drop a quick comment from my phone, then flee the house to the gym, grocery store or  post office.

All this adds up to a loss of ability and interest in writing, thinking and blogging.  I don't like it---it's definitely a new and different chapter in my life, for better or   worse---as I weigh the pros and cons of living in community, albeit it louder community, as the days and months of winter move on.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday: Hebrews 11, Faith and Desiring A Better Country

HEBREWS 11:1-16 English Standard Version (ESV) 

1 NOW FAITH IS the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

 English Standard Version (ESV)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Luke's Acts of the Apostles, An Overview

SNL Hits Its Lowest Point Ever Last Night

I AND WE ALMOST NEVER WATCH SNL ANYMORE, though occasionally we turn on the first 5 minutes before switching to  Blue Bloods reruns. It continues to be an unfunny, liberal sledge hammer with Alec Baldwin being as unattractive as anyone I see in entertainment. Last night we did turn on the first few minutes SNL opening monologue after the UT football game. As we watched, I was overcome with incredulity as we watched the unfunny liberal hack Larry David open with a concentration skit about trying to pick up women he might ogle there but having a hard time with opening pick-up lines. It went downhill from there.

Unbelievable.   Astounding poor taste.  Unfunny.  SNL has gone so low as to almost not deserve any comment. I'm glad Drudge has put  the outrage the program spawned last night up this morning.  SNL should apologize profusely.

Truly appalling.

I'll be back with a Sunday post soon.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Space City Weather Congratulates the Astros 5-1 Victory After 51 Inches of Rain With Harvey

Posted by Eric Berger at 6:48 AM

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE HOUSTON ASTROS, the 2017 World Series Champions. This was the team the city of Houston needed after Hurricane Harvey to help lift us up. And what was particularly poignant to me was the final score on Wednesday night, 5 to 1. Hurricane Harvey dropped 51 inches. It’s almost as if this victory was meant to be.

And on top of that, Carlos Correa proposed to his shocked girlfriend! Adorable!!