Saturday, January 21, 2017

My Bible Can Beat Up Your Bible

   

     I was writing an essay for this blog, and while doing a little research in an attempt to keep from looking like a total moron, I ran into a controversy that I feel has to be addressed before I even try to share what it was I was writing.
     Bibles. I wonder how many different translations the average Christian owns. Personally, I find I'm becoming somewhat of a collector. It's incredibly easy these days. What, with the internet and phone apps that have a half dozen versions each and more coming out seemingly every month. I'm constantly running into a new translation that has a way of wording one verse or another that just strikes me in a way that makes that particular verse mean something to me when before, the verse was just another line on the way to a different point I thought the writer was trying to make.
Little did I know I was reading BLASPHEMOUS SCRIPTS FROM THE PIT OF HELL!
     Seriously, while doing a little Google search yesterday, I ran across a fist full of web pages explaining in detail, how the King James Version is the only God ordained, infallible English translation of God's Word. Looking back, I actually know some very sincere Christians who feel this way. My mother got saved while I was a teenager. She was one that told me more than once, that the way to judge a Bible's authenticity was to turn to 1 John 5, verses 7 & 8. I'll bet a lot of readers know where I'm going already. The King James (KJV) Bible says:
        7. For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.
    8. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one.

But, the New English Translation (NET) reads:
  1. For there are three that testify,
  2. the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three are in agreement.
You see the problem, I'm sure. The KJV spells out the Trinity right there in black and white while the NET denies the Trinity.
         I disagree. For those that are interested in the reasons why most of your later translations don't have the KJV version (is that redundant?), Google it. Or just check the footnotes of any good study Bible. The extra verbiage simply doesn't show up on any manuscript before the 16th century. For those that believe in the Trinity, there is plenty of evidence for the Trinity in other places in the NET and in the other modern translations. For those that don't believe in the Trinity, the best evidence they have is that the Roman Catholic Church is so enthralled with the concept, and of course anything the Roman Catholic Church teaches as fundamental doctrine is going to be suspect.
      As for me, I can see a lot of evidence all through the Bible. But...there's still that Roman Catholic thing. But, this essay isn't about the Trinity. It's about Bibles
      Ironically, my mother, the one who was so concerned about whether that verse was in there, got saved while reading a New Living Bible. Possibly the most maligned of all the translations. I can't even tell you which version I was reading when I got saved.
     I don't think it's that important what Bible you read, as long as you are reading a Bible.
Jeremiah 29:13 “When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul.” (NET – sorry) With that, I think I've reached my scripture per essay quota.
     The point is, the Word of God isn't so much something that you read. I've read Bible commentaries written by atheists. The Word of God is something that enters your heart. You read the Bible for that to happen, but let's be honest, there are flaws in every translation in every language.
I have a lot of fun studying the Bible, and the deeper you dig, the more fun it is. But when I start digging into the history of the translations and where they came from, nobody seems to agree on anything.
     You've got the Textus Receptus (and several versions of it), the Codex Vaticanus, the Sinaiticus, the Vulgate, Heysychian type, the Septuagint, and on and on and on, and I'm just scratching the surface. These are based on even older texts that also get argued over beyond my capacity for following along. Most of these don't even have real names. They are mostly catalog references.
I swear, if you follow these arguments too long, you'll have to stop and remind yourself of why you believe in the Bible in the first place. Some of these folks involved in these discussions aren't even believers. They just found a fun subject to argue about and in some instances I think they actually want to throw doubt into your mind.
     God's Word is more powerful than all that. I had a Mormon Missionary ask me, “Do you really think that all of God's Word can be contained in just the one Bible?” I found that to be a thrilling question. My answer was yes. Not only that, but the Bible is actually quite repetitive. It says the same thing over and over, and if you get into types and models (One story being a representation of a more central point), the repetitions seem almost endless.
     The idea is, God is going to get His point across. Man is going to screw up the telling of it, but if you are sincere in your search for God and His Will in your life, He will get it through to you if you only have one page of the Message Bible to read.
     On the other hand, if you're just looking to make a point for your own selfish purposes (kinda like me, most of the time), you could hear God's Voice itself speaking to you from a pillar of fire and still end up wandering in the desert until you die when you could have been living in a land flowing with milk and honey.





Thursday, January 5, 2017

Politics



I can't resist. I need to start with my favorite definition of Politics:
     Poli, meaning many 
....and
     tics: small, blood sucking insect.

     Now that that's out of the way, I can get to work on my point(s).

     Politics to me, has become a spectator sport. I said early last year that 2016 was going to be the most entertaining election in history, mainly because there didn't seem to be any candidates. All four finalists were cult figures. One of my definitions of a religious cult is that they all claim to have a monopoly on the truth and anything you say in opposition – ANYTHING – is heresy, if not out and out blasphemy. Their mind is closed to any argument, and they won't even listen to anyone who isn't completely on board with their dogma. In a secular sense, that is what we have in the followers of Trump, Clinton, Sanders, and to a somewhat lesser extent, Cruz. Since the Cruz supporters were not as mindlessly rabid, he had no chance, of course.
     Personally, I liked Cruz. I liked him for one reason: I saw a video of him calling Mitch McConnell a liar on the Senate floor. That turned me into a fan right there. Say anything else you want about Ted Cruz, but that was awesome.
     I liked Bernie Sanders, too. Granted, he was a full blown socialist, but at least he was honest about what he was. You've got to admire that. Rather than claim he's not a socialist, like all the other Democrats have been doing for a generation or better, he worked to sell socialism. This earned him the love and steadfast support of millennials who have been force-fed socialism in schools now for longer than I want to even think about. All his talk about free education really resonated with college students that were looking at years long debt after being forced to take – and pay for – classes like “Race, Class and Gender” as prerequisites. All these Liberal Arts degrees that were not going to help anybody get a productive job are easier to justify if they don't actually cost you anything. A friend of mine likened a Liberal Arts degree to peeing your pants in a black suit. You get a warm feeling, but nobody really notices. There were lots of other things that Sanders promised for free too, but that is the nature of socialism. Everyone is promised all their worldly desires for free, but they fail to do the math when discussing who's going to pay for it. They claim the evil rich will be forced to finally pay their share; but by who? The government? Apparently the idea is that the government will take all the money and distribute it the way they see fit.
     Folks, that's slavery. The government is run by men. (I should point out: Men is a generic term that includes men, women and all the other dozens of genders that the politically correct have invented. I am not politically correct, and I am not going to play that game. This is your only warning.) Who do you think they will decide the bulk of the money should go to? Hint: it's not the poor and needy. I could write several paragraphs about my dislike for Socialism, but let's move on.

     Next we have Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is a woman, and for a large percentage of her followers, that's all you need to know. “It's time this country had a woman for president!”
Maybe, maybe not. But for crying out loud, this woman has a ton of baggage. Her main claim to the throne was that it was “her turn”. She had paid all her liberal dues and since America had finally shed its systemic racism and elected its first black president, it was now time to have a woman “break the glass ceiling” and become America's first woman president. All of the media was on board, and America could finally be proud: the last wall of bigotry had finally been breached.
     Fear of being labeled a bigot is what had elevated an unknown, single term junior senator whom no one was allowed to do a background check on to the highest office in the land; why wouldn't fear of being labeled a sexist work to elect a woman who's government resume consisted of being married to one of only two presidents to have been impeached, serving one and a half terms in the senate, and then becoming the secretary of state for four years - Her performance of the latter being such that it could yet land her in prison?
     Opposing her in the general election was the man celebrated for years as the biggest ego in America. Donald Trump was also pretty honest about his position. He claimed that all of Washington had been bought, and it was about time America elected the man who was doing the buying. It is hard to believe this line of reasoning could actually work. But then he started speaking to the frustrations the majority of Americans have been dealing with.
     The government can make all the claims they want about the recovery of the economy, but those claims fall on deaf ears to the people living in that economy who can't find a job that will enable them to feed their family. All of the social issues that the White house espoused that catered to the smallest percentage of Americans at the expense of everybody else was not endearing the current president to anybody outside the biggest cities where those tiny percentages had congregated to form, if not a majority within those cities, at least a big enough percentage to influence the majority within.
     While Clinton promised to continue and even expand those policies, Trump promised to reverse them.
     The average American wasn't a bit interested in making history. They wanted to change course.
The press, which is centered in these cities, was so determined to get Clinton elected that they became shameless shills, convincing themselves while trying to convince everyone else that there was nothing that could stop the Hillary Train from rolling right on into the White House.

     So here we have Donald Trump, who has been in the public eye for decades. He had owned football teams and beauty pageants; written best sellers and hosted game shows. Everybody knows who – and what – Donald Trump is. He's egotistical, flamboyant, self promoting, bombastic, and filthy rich. He has no background whatsoever in government, and actually used that as a selling point. His slogan was “Make America Great Again”, and people ate it up. Go to any thread where politics are discussed and you will hear from his star-struck fans. He is going to fix everything – and right now. He was creating jobs just by running for president. Just imagine what he will do when he actually gets to the White House! You can't even talk to these people. Their answer to everything is “GO TRUMP!” Oh, if only my faith in Jesus Christ could be that strong. Not that blind, mind you. I don't believe in blind faith (though the band had some great musicians). But such iron-clad faith is impressive, if misplaced.
     The amazing thing was the way he was treated during the election. During the primaries, the other Republicans just dismissed him as a joke. They started to become a little unhinged when it became clear that he could actually win the Republican nomination. That's when the “Never Trump” movement started. He wasn't a real conservative, they said. He was unqualified, they said. He was the only candidate that couldn't beat Clinton, they said. He wouldn't play the game the way they thought it should be played. That was really the problem.
     Then he won the nomination. Suddenly he's Racist, Sexist, Ablest, Misogynistic, Homophobic, Xenophobic, Claustrophobic and hates little children.
     The press pounded away at how his campaign was in a shambles, his rallies were violent, he was down in the polls by double digits, he was growing a mustache and he was groping women with reckless abandon. Then when that wasn't enough, they went after his supporters. Clinton called them “deplorables”; Will Smith said America needed to be “cleansed of Trump supporters”. Hats started showing up saying “America was never great”. I already used “unhinged” to describe Republican's reaction to Trump. I can't come up with a term to fully describe the reaction of Democrats.
     Then he won the election, and that's when the fun really started. The public meltdowns all over the media. The hate crimes and faked hate crimes. The finger pointing. The efforts to derail the Electoral College vote. The sudden interest in “Fake News”.
     It's all so entertaining, amusing, frightening, sad, and frustrating all at the same time. You wonder how America could turn into such a demolition derby, and then you see what's happening to Europe and to the Middle East. Syria's become such a bloodbath, we actually had about two months where Israel wasn't the main story in the area. It seems the whole world is on fire.
     This creates a dilemma. Prayer and Bible study should be a major priority in the life of a Christian. Arguably, the highest priority. Particularly now, with everything going on. To any student of the Bible, it is hard to escape the belief that we are on the brink of the end of the world. If we are not right at the end, we are at least at a time where major changes are afoot, and a Christian needs to prepare for the upheaval that is upon us.
     But the more important it becomes, the harder it is to elevate those activities to the top of my priority list. Various things are going on in my life that are growing more intense and requiring my attention. I get up as early as I can to try to read and pray before all the things going on around me break into need of attention mode. But it is so hard to read the Bible first. As I was growing up, I believed that the end of the world would occur during my life time, and I always said I wanted a good seat to watch. Now that I feel like it may actually be happening, I can't resist getting on the Internet to catch the whole thing. I know I should be reading the Bible, but now I'm afraid I'm going to miss something, and like I said , it is so interesting to watch.




Saturday, December 31, 2016

It Was Only Raining When We Left the Farm

I keep wanting to write a book about my wedding day, or even my life in general. This is the title I always wanted to give it.
   On this date in 1984, I married Perry Ann Stewart.
   Why, you may ask, would anyone get married on New Year's Eve? Trust me, the reason is anything but romantic.
   In 1981, I married an Amish girl named Bertha that I'd met and fallen in love with four years earlier. I was romantic then. They say love is blind. My love was deaf, dumb (meaning stupid), blind and stubborn. The girl had no business getting married, and she knew it. But I would not take “no” for an answer. So, after four tumultuous years of arm twisting – Way past the time I should have caught on – she agreed to marry me. I don't want to spend a lot of time on my anniversary talking about a past relationship; so I'll just point out that on our second wedding anniversary, she told me if she had thirty five dollars to eat on, she would leave me, hitch hike to Portland Oregon and move in with a guy that she knew out there. I gave her thirty five dollars, and she was gone.

   I actually met Perry while I was married to Bertha. My cousin Tim worked at the same hospital where Perry's mother worked, so they were acquainted with each other. One night at a bar in Warrensburg, Perry had won a pool shooting contest with the prize being a pony keg. She had no idea where to go with the thing, so Tim suggested taking it to his cousin Bob's (that's me) house where there is always a poker game going on. So Perry, her cousin Pat and the keg all rode up to my house with Tim to the “Perpetual Poker Game”.
   Tim knocked on the door and when I answered, introduced me to his friends and told me about the keg, which Bertha promptly ran out and grabbed. She wasn't very big, but she was brought up on a farm.
   When I looked in Perry's eyes, it was like I knew her. Specifically, I could see us being together; that she would become very depressed, but that she would never leave. All of this scared me half to death. As did the thought that went through my mind that this woman would be the end of my marriage to Bertha.
   Through the entire evening, I would not pay any more attention to her than was required to function in a poker game. I wouldn't talk to her. I wouldn't even make eye contact. This confused the heck out of Perry. The dynamics in the room being the way they were, she didn't even realize that Bertha and I were married. She thought Bertha was my sister and couldn't figure out why I wouldn't interact with her. After all, she was the hottest thing on wheels – and she knew it. Besides being beautiful, she was built like a brick outhouse and was used to being the center of attention in any room where there were men. Yet, I spent more time talking to her cousin. Pat cracked everybody up. He looked like the stereotypical Lounge Lizard. He had the hiphuggers, the loud shirt unbuttoned far enough to see the medallion resting in a sea of chest hairs. A freshly coiffed perm. To everyone playing poker that night, he will always be referred to as “Mister Disco”.
    When they left, I worked very hard to calm myself down. I kept telling myself: “She's from Warrensburg and you live in Wellington.” “This was just a fluke meeting.” “You'll never see her again.” “Calm down!” I was really upset. As tortuous as my marriage was at the time, I didn't want to give up on it. I thought marriage meant forever. Besides, there's that whole stubborn romantic thing. I really needed to get a grip.
    I don't even know what date that was, but I'm thinking it was in the spring of 1983. Then, on July 5th, Bertha left.
    I worked for a small town butchery at the time and they tended to lay me off in the summer when things were real slow. So with nothing else to do, I moved out of the house in Wellington, put my stuff in storage, and just kind of wondered around looking for good fishing holes.
    My brother Carl had just come back from 12 years in Australia and was living with my mother outside of Centerview, so I dropped by to see him. While there my car broke down and I was stuck.
Carl had met this girl and was absolutely smitten by her and kept asking me for advice on how to win her affection. I kept trying to point out that my wife had left me just a couple of months before – what did he think I knew about women? But he kept on anyway.
    One day my cousin Tim stopped by and as we were talking, I mentioned Carl and this girl he wouldn't shut up about.
Tim asked: “Well, you know who it is don't you?”

No. I haven't met her”

Sure you have. Remember Mister Disco?”

  I thought: “OH NO! SHE FOUND ME!!!”

    Carl eventually arranged for me to meet this girl he wouldn't shut up about. As soon as our eyes met, the sparks started flying. I couldn't help messing with her. A sort of game developed between us to 
see how subtly one of us could mess with the other and still have them know they are being messed with. We didn't want to actually start anything because Carl had such a crush on her and we were both worried about his feelings getting hurt. But the results were inevitable. Resistance was futile. Things got started.
    In January of 1984, Perry told me she was pregnant. By this time I was working at the butchery in Wellington again, so on February 4th we moved into a house in Wellington.
    I wasn't thinking about getting married. I had lost all faith in the institution of marriage. After all, I'd done it once. Look where that had gotten me. I'd also lost all faith in romance, for the same reason. Why Perry wanted to be with me so bad was beyond me. I was as cold as ice. Of course I wanted to get laid, but that was a long way from being in love. I was determined not to get emotionally attached to anyone again. I told her over and over again: “This is purely physical.” I also remember telling her: “Look, this is my life. If you want to tag along, that's up to you. Try not to make too much noise.” I'm sure anyone reading this has to think I was a first class jerk (That's the polite term). I'm telling you, you don't know the half of it. But if she was going to have my baby, I was going to be there.
    On July 29th, Leo was born.
    During the course of 1984, the butchery I worked at went bankrupt and the men that owned it and I all went to work for R.B. Rice in Lee's Summit, Missouri. By that Christmas, I was laid off again, couldn't afford to stay in the house in Wellington, and Perry, Leo and I ended up outside of Knob Noster, Missouri living in a double wide trailer with Perry's mother, step-father and her two younger sisters.
    Now, for the touching story of how we got married:
    Two days after Christmas, for reasons I don't remember, we found ourselves on the square in Clinton, Missouri eating lunch at a restaurant across from the court house. During the course of conversation, it suddenly dawned on me that if we were to get married before the year ran out, I could write Perry and Leo off my taxes and even get an earned income credit.
    With not a moment to lose, I ran across the street to the court house and applied for a marriage license. As I filled out the paper work, I found out there was a three day waiting period from the time I filed the license to the time we could actually get married. This meant the soonest we could get married would be on the 30th. I started checking around to see where we could get the deed done and my former boss, Glen Nadler, managed to get the pastor at his church in Wellington to agree to do it on the 31st. All we had to do was pick up the license and get from Knob Noster to Wellington. This didn't seem like it was going to be a problem. It was only fifty miles North, and the weather wasn't bad – yet. It was cold and rainy, but for December 31st, I felt we were pretty fortunate.
    Perry, her older sister and I headed up there in a '72 Impala. Her Mother, step-father and her other sisters headed up in an old Dodge van.
    Right about the time we crossed I-70, the rain turned to snow. By the time we got to Wellington, it had turned into something of a blizzard.
    The wedding was informal and strange. My former bosses, Glen and Larry were there with their wives. Glen was actually the best man. His wife took lots of pictures and then lost them. I didn't get to see them for 28 years. I suddenly got a phone call from her about four years ago telling me that she had found them.
    We wanted to have music for the wedding, so Perry's little sister Nemy sang Bread's “If”; a beautiful love song that nobody knew how to play except me. I ended up playing the piano at my own wedding. The pastor bought us a cake, which was great. He laid out a little spread for us, so we had something of a reception. It may have been one of the strangest weddings he ever performed, but it was nice. My taxes were now taken care of and there was nothing left to do but find a New Year's Eve party to crash.
    Everybody else headed back to Knob Noster in the Van. Perry, Carol and I went looking for a party...in the snow.
    We first thought to check Stretch's house. He used to live across the street from me. I woke up one morning to yelling, cussing and gun fire coming from his place. Turns out he had become frustrated with his record player which he threw out into his back yard and emptied his pistol into it. He was a fun guy to party with. Unfortunately, he wasn't home. Then, when we left his porch, the car got stuck in the still falling snow where we parked it. I tried and tried to rock it out of there and ended up blowing out the differential. Now, we were in trouble.
    It seemed no one that I knew was home anywhere in that town. Carol, who was thrilled to see snow for the first time in her life (She's from Mississippi), was in tears because the shoes she had on were not meant for snow and her feet on the brink of frost bite. We eventually ended up back at the pastor's house, banging on the door because they had already gone to bed. We eventually roused them, and they were nice enough to put the three of us up for the night in the spare bedrooms that they had.
    That night, Perry discovered she was NOT pregnant again – if you know what I mean.
    So thirty two years ago today, on a very strange New Year's Eve, a woman who does not deserve what I have put her through, officially agreed to spend the rest of her life with a man that does not deserve the joys that she has brought to me.
...And the whole world parties with us. She never has to worry about me forgetting our anniversary.





Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I spent all year waiting for Christmas so I could write this essay.
I was going to write about all the things that are wrong with the celebration of Christmas. I was going to start with the very date that we celebrate Christmas on. I'm sure everyone who has done the slightest bit of research knows that Jesus Christ was not born on December 25th. Lately I've found it fascinating that the Bible gives the exact date that Noah left the Ark. It spells out in advance the exact date that Jesus entered into the Temple on the back of a donkey's colt. Of course it gives the date He was crucified and the date He was raised. (we don't actually celebrate those occurrences on the dates that the Bible gives, but that is an argument for another day.) Yet, the Bible does not tell us the day He was born. A piece of information I find conspicuous in its absence. I read an essay recently that makes a pretty good argument that He was born at the Feast of Tabernacles. I'm not going to try to make that argument, but it is pretty clear he wasn't born on the date Christians celebrate His birth.
The ways we celebrate Christmas started bothering me years ago. I'll admit right up front that it was the money involved that first started getting under my skin. I didn't want to come across like Ebeneezer Scrooge but I couldn't understand how the proper celebration of Christmas meant you were going to spend so much money that you either had to start laying away in August or you were going to be in debt until April. Or both. I could see the pressures this put people under; the pressure it was putting on me, and I decided that I wasn't going to participate anymore. I told everybody that I wasn't going to buy them anything for Christmas and for them to not buy anything for me either. That didn't work, by the way. My mother is going to buy me a present whether I like it or not. So is my son. I get cards from all over the place, and well I guess I can't just drop out of the whole thing. Like I said: I don't want to be a jerk. But the expense just bugs the Dickens out of me. I quit smoking because I didn't want to spend a dollar a pack on cigarettes. Now, they're over $5.00 a pack. I quit doing Christmas when the commercials you saw the most was for Norelco razors. Now, the commercials are all Lexus cars and diamonds. Are you kidding me?
Then there's the lights. I don't know why people feel compelled to triple their light bill for the month of December, but I must admit I really like seeing the all the lights. I'm just too cheap and lazy to put any up myself.
I don't like Christmas trees either. Putting them up used to be fun. Taking them back down never was. The real trees made the house smell nice, but you ended up with pine needles everywhere – not to mention the attendant fire hazard. Then I ran into Jeremiah, Chapter 10, and I now have Scriptural justification for not having a tree. I even became offended by Christmas trees, interpreting that chapter as forbidding them. I found out not everybody sees it that way. It seems there are a lot of things that people I look up to as Christians don't see the way I do.

However, this year I've suddenly become very aware of the importance of Christmas. It becomes clearer to me as I see all the forces so determined to eliminate it. It started with Xmas. I didn't think anything of it at first. It just seemed like an abbreviation. When people started screaming to “Put Christ back in Christmas” my first thought was that Christ never was really in Christmas. That goes back to my argument about the date and all the other problems I have with how we celebrate Christmas. I mean, don't even get me started on Santa Claus. What in the world does a fat dude flying around in a sleigh have to do with Jesus, for crying out loud?
Then they started with “Happy Holidays”. Still, I was not concerned. After all, the holiday season contains Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah...heck, there was a time when I considered the holiday season to run from Thanksgiving to the Super Bowl. Of course, that was before they started playing the Super Bowl in February. "Happy Holidays" to me sounded like encouragement to do what I thought was necessary to stay happy for two months of cold weather and reduced sunlight. Things that faith in Jesus have allowed me to see the error in and consequently to free myself from. That, too is a whole different discussion.
Now we have stores that refuse to have the word Christmas displayed anywhere, though they still expect you to spend an insane amount of money there in celebration of a Holiday that they won't name. We have schools forbidding Christmas from being uttered in their hallways, let alone being displayed anywhere on the property. Lawsuits are being filed to remove nativity scenes from parks and court houses, and now I've noticed Leftist groups doing everything they can to distort the nativity displays that remain. Disgusting things mostly that I won't even describe here. The War on Christmas can no longer be ignored.
So, given the current political environment where businesses are being targeted just because it is known that they are owned and operated by Christians, I figure that this constant and determined effort to eliminate Christmas serves, at least in my mind, as an endorsement of the importance of Christmas.
Someone said you can judge the character of a man by the strength and power of his enemies. In kind of a warped sense, I think that applies here.
My problems with the date notwithstanding, it seems to me now it's pretty important to have a day to not only remember that Jesus Christ was born, but to proclaim it far and wide as a testimony to the rest of the world. The nativity scenes, if nothing else, will hopefully cause people to wonder what it is all about; and if they wonder, they might ask. If they ask, they might learn. Once they learn they might decide to believe, and thus be saved. That's why He was born in the first place. Because God so loved the world, that He gave His only son, so that anyone who believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life.
Therefore,I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.
...I still don't have a tree. ...I still didn't buy you anything. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

So...

So...
Donald Trump says to "Make America Great again".
Millennials are saying "America was never great".

Why is that?

For the last 16 years (As long as most Millennials can remember) we've had: First, George W. Bush, then Barack Obama.
Bush's regime started out with an attack on New York's World Trade Center and Washington's Pentagon. Who really knows where that other plane was headed, but the damage was done. That was followed by multiple wars in the Middle East without any kind of real explanation, exit strategy, or any idea exactly what we were trying to accomplish. Never mind what the administration said, none of it was accepted by the press. Nor it seems, by most of the population.
Then we had the collapse of the real estate market, the banking crisis, a stock market crash, a recession and ... you get the idea. Not a great time for America.

Now we have Barack Obama who by all indications, hates America. He campaigned on a vow to "fundamentally change America", and for eight years now has been lecturing us, telling us constantly "That's not who we are".
He has saddled us with the "Affordable Health Care Act", which is proving to be anything but affordable and if something isn't done soon, it will bankrupt the entire economy. He has thrown race relations back fifty years, and now our country is divided by not just race, but also class, religion, age, North vs. South, coasts vs. mid-continent, Urban vs. Rural, and to say we are being divided by sex would not come near to expressing all the fault lines being created almost daily.
Not only are our borders not being defended, but he has literally invited all foreigners to invade, with the promise of government subsidies for all. And when that hasn't strained our cities, towns and resources enough, he took to flying them in himself with tax money taken by force from people that are not happy about their hard earned money being taken by force and being used by our own government to finance a foreign invasion, all the while being told we have no right to consider America to be a sovereign country.
He has also taken over the education of our children and are teaching them that Jesus was wrong, the Constitution is racist (and sexist) and should be discarded, that Christopher Columbus was a despotic slave trader, our founding fathers were all slave traders, the entire country was built by slaves, and America as a country has no right to the prosperity that we have.

No wonder they don't believe America was ever great.

I, on the other hand, know that it was great. You don't reach the level of prosperity that this country was at without being a great country. I know that black people struggled for decades after their emancipation because Lincoln, while exalted in most history books for freeing the slaves, didn't have any kind of plan as far as integrating the former slaves into the rest of America. This was actually not just a struggle for black people, but for the entire country. This country, by and large, was not planned. It grew in fits and starts as the character of the individuals that it belonged to was tried and tested. It was built by the dreams and aspirations of those individuals (white and black, Asian and Hispanic, Catholic and Protestant, Jew and Gentile) who were willing to dream, and risk and work to make those dreams come true.
Where did it go wrong?
Theories abound. Personally, I think it started coming apart when the government figured out it could bribe the people with their own money. Little by little, the constitution that was supposed to be the foundation of our government has been bent, folded and mutilated until now, the press is referring to our time as "Post Constitutional America".

Can Donald Trump make America great again?
I doubt it. I'd like to think he wants to, but I'm afraid the damage done is probably just too great. He's only one man, and if this election is any indication, he will be opposed at every turn by everybody in Washington; and by every press outlet. Not only in America, but apparently around the world. If he is honest about what he wants to do, the most he will be able to accomplish is to delay the inevitable.
But I will vote for him on Tuesday.
Why?
Because we only have two choices. Never mind all the talk about a third party, or forth party, or write-ins, or whatever. Whoever you vote for, you know that you are either going to get Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
You turn on the television, and you will hear that Donald Trump is a racist, misogynist, war-monger, tax cheat, philanderer, Islamophobe, homophobe, rapist, mocker of the disabled and an abuser of children.
Turn on the radio and you will hear that Hillary Clinton is a vicious, treasonous, murderous, lying, devil-worshiping, child sex slave trafficking, greedy, drunk, sick, lecherous old hag that wants to finish the job of destroying America that Barack Obama started.
Every word on both side could be right....or not.
BUT:
Donald Trump says he is determined to defend this country's borders and put a stop to the disastrous wave of foreigners illegally pouring into this country. If you don't think this is important, then you haven't really thought seriously about what the end result of this government-aided invasion will be. If you don't know, just ask a Native American. Drive out to North Dakota and you can witness, first hand how the invader's government still treats those who were here first.
Hillary Clinton has promised to double the rate at which un-vetted foreigners are being flown in, while continuing to ignore our southern border.
Donald Trump is also running on a pro-life campaign. I keep hearing that he used to be pro-choice and that he only changed his tune when he decided to run as a Republican. That's fine with me. The Republican platform is pro-life, so he's rather obligated to honor that position. If he doesn't, that's on him.
If I vote for Hillary Clinton, whom I have heard say that children in the womb (yes, she called them children) have no rights, than I am voting for a woman running on a platform that not only supports abortion on demand, but is actually working to export it to other countries. That would be on me.
So, vote your conscience.
I personally think this country is doomed either way, but I at least want to be able to live with myself.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

OK, So I'm Sexist

     Anybody that knows me probably already knows that I'm a sexist. I always have been. I know there are people that will tell you that just by virtue of being born male, of course I'm sexist. But it's much more than that. I don't remember ever thinking that girls had “cooties.” I always thought they were the most beautiful, fascinating creatures on earth.
If you check the account in Genesis, woman was the last creation of God. The cherry on top, as it were. God noticed that it wasn't good for man to be alone, so woman was literally God's gift to mankind.(...and I'm not just saying this because I know my wife will be reading it.)
I said all this because I want to talk about a phenomenon known as the Feminist Movement, that I am convinced hates women.
Women are different from men. That claim makes me sexist, but I am thoroughly qualified to make this statement. I have my own test case that I have studied for thirty odd years now. Women are built differently (I REALLY like that), they think differently, they react to things differently and different things matter to them. Yet, the feminists will have you believe that there is no difference between men and women other than stereotypes forced upon them by society. They've spent decades shaming and belittling women into thinking that they are supposed to be like men, while at the same time publicly denigrating men.
They've done such a good job that now women and men have been pitted against each other in a senseless competition that neither side is going to win. It is making everybody miserable with the constant insults and derogatory jokes and threatens to destroy civilization altogether. This whole battle of the sexes is keeping both men and women distracted from what they could be accomplishing together while worrying about whether a woman is “as good as a man.” As good how? Men, whether they want to admit it or not (and most men are more than happy to), do everything they do to in order to impress women. Why would a woman waste time worrying whether she's as good as a man while men are turning themselves inside out just trying to prove they're good enough for a woman?
Let me tell you something: Theoretically, a woman can do anything a man can do. I say theoretically because there is that whole size and weight issue. Let's face it, men are bigger. If you can find a six foot, three inch woman that weights 340 pounds, I'm sure she could play on the defensive line of an NFL team, but why on earth would she want to? The idea that she might is an example of how the feminist movement has distorted our thinking.
Long ago in an orchestrated, deliberate effort, the feminists started devaluing women and the role they were playing in society. Suddenly, homemaking was belittling. Women needed to be “liberated” from the demeaning role of running a household and nurturing children. Somehow, you couldn't be fulfilled unless you were out there with the men, digging ditches, chopping trees, hauling hay, getting carpel tunnel and wrecking your back, while leaving your children at home while someone else watched them grow.
Now they think women should have the RIGHT to fight on the front lines in a time of war. Right? Are you kidding me? Nobody wants the right to be shot at. Men go to war for two reasons: Either to fight for something they believe in (...and getting shot is not a right that anybody believes in), or because they feel they have no choice. Getting drafted would be an example of the latter, and now the feminists are fighting for the right of women to get drafted. Congratulations ladies, your advocates have now won you the right to be forced into battle and get shot.
But there's one thing that a woman can do that no man can possibly accomplish: Bringing new life into the world, and that is where the feminists focus their attack.
They came up with the phrase “pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen” as their slogan for men “dominating” women.
I got news for you: when my wife gets home the first thing she does is kick off her shoes. She hates shoes. She wants to be barefoot, and everybody wants to be in the kitchen. That's where the food is! ...and pregnant would mean that she was going to have a baby.
When did having a baby become terrible? When the feminists started selling the idea that it was another example of man's oppression of women. So now we have N.O.W., the National Organization of Women, whose main focus seems to be keeping women from having babies. Planned Parenthood is the same way. They claim to be about women's health, but they don't do mammograms, they don't have any gynecologists working there, they don't treat ANYTHING. All they are about is doing whatever necessary to keep women from having babies; even if that means killing the baby that is growing in her womb, and the feminists are the club that beats back any opposition.
They want to talk about exploitation of women, but if you take away the thing that makes a woman truly unique, you've just turned her into a sex object. It used to be if a man and a woman made love, there was responsibility there. Not anymore. There's no reason now for a woman to have any kind of class or dignity. It's “Wham, Bam, Thank you Ma'am” and if she was too stupid to take her pill that day, you can just force her to have an abortion and move on. Now that's exploitation. But they're managing to brainwash girls into thinking it's their right to do whatever they want with their bodies and that the thing growing inside is just a lump of tissues. Why don't they teach them to revere their bodies and not just let anybody do whatever they want with it without any inhibitions or sense of worth. The feminists are intent on destroying all the grace, beauty and distinction that goes with being a woman.
You want to talk about women's issues? What about the way women are treated by Islam? In countries ruled by Muslims, women can't even drive a car. They are not allowed to leave the house without a male relative and their head covered. If they do, they will be beaten ...or worse. Do you know what “the Rule of Thumb” is? It's part of Islamic law that says you can beat your wife with a stick as long as it isn't thicker than your thumb. If the feminists are so worried about the welfare of women, why can't I find a single word on any of their websites or Facebook pages about any of this.
Then there is “female circumcision.” If you don't know what it is, I'm not going to tell you. Just mentioning the word gets my blood pressure dangerously high. It has got to be about the most horrible thing you can do to another human being, and they are doing it to girls all over the world - America too – in the name of Islam. The whole idea is that in the sick and disgusting mind of a Muslim, women are not supposed to enjoy sex. They are just there to be used for the man's pleasure.
NOT ONE WORD from any of these organizations that claim to have women's best interests at heart. They are lying to you. They hate women!
Still don't believe me? We now have a situation where men are expected to be allowed in women's bathrooms, locker rooms and showers if they say they “identify” as being a woman. Target has announced that is their store's policy. As soon as Americans see this, the first thing that goes through their heads (assuming there is a brain in there) is that their wives and daughters are no longer safe. Any guy can now stroll into the women's shower at the local YWCA with impunity.
North Carolina decided already that this will not happen in their state. Incidents had already occurred where men had gone into the women's room to take pictures and videos of girls using the bathroom; holding their phones either over or under the door of the stall. One man was caught taking a video of a young woman in the shower at the gym. Another woman told of being in a rest room that didn't even have doors on the stalls (WTH?), and having a man just stand there and gaze at her while she was trying to go to the bathroom. North Carolina passed a law that says you will use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on your birth certificate. God help the moron that tries to take a picture of my wife in the ladies room. If he's lucky, I'll be close enough to hear the screaming before she kills him; and if he's really lucky the doctors will be able to remove the recording device from whichever orifice she stuffs it in. Then she'll run over and cry on my shoulder, because she is a delicate feminine flower.
A quick check of the N.O.W. web site shows that they are trying to pressure the NFL into moving this month's league meetings out of Charlotte unless the state rescinds the law that was written to protect girls and women from perverts and predators. They're more worried about gay rights than they are about women's rights, privacy, or safety. How's that for women's advocacy?
Men used to adore women. They would defer to any woman in the room. The cry “Women and children first!” meant that men would give their lives to protect the lives of the women and children in times of extreme danger. Men would give up their seat on a bus or train, tip their hat to honor any woman that crossed their path, stand when a woman walked into a room, open doors and carry any load that a woman - any woman – happened to be burdened with if they were near enough to help.
During the seventies, I remember specifically doing any of these things could get you cussed out for being a chauvinist. Today I hear that chivalry is dead. If it is, the feminists killed it.
I still open doors for women. I like to check for their reaction. I don't get cussed at anymore. They actually look kind of stunned. But I've noticed they like it.
Maybe, just maybe, real women are starting to want to be liberated from all this liberation.




Friday, April 22, 2016

I Am Offended!



Be patient, I haven't decided exactly what I am offended by yet. You can't rush these things. Being offended can be very lucrative if you do it right, but you have to pick your offense carefully.
Being a white, middle aged, Christian man, I don't have a lot to choose from. I guess I could do like Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who just decided she was black one day and started railing about “White Privilege.” I guess you can do that now; she became president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP.
It's also now possible to decide when I wake up in the morning which sex I want to be that day. I've always said I was a lesbian trapped in a man's body. I could put on a dress and try following a 12 year old girl into the ladies room and then sue her father after he beats the hell out of me. But that wouldn't be a case of me being offended. That would just be me getting the daylights beaten out of me for acting like a pervert. Besides, not only do I look horrible in a dress (never mind how I know this), I also have a serious aversion to pain.
I'm afraid I can't just decide I'm younger than my driver's license says. My back won't let me. It's also hard to get offended by people treating me like I'm old when that usually manifests itself as a 15% discount at hotels and restaurants.
It doesn't do any good to be offended as a Christian. Offending Christians has been a national past time in this country for as long as I can remember. Everything from a cross in a jar of urine being called art to the South Park pilot being a Christmas episode of Baby Jesus in a knock down-drag out with Santa Claus. OK, it was really funny. But it was also very offensive. I hate it when they do that.
I understand why people would make fun of Christians. After all, we believe in a book with dragons, unicorns (yes, they're in there but they're not pretty) and fish that can swallow a man whole and then spit him out alive three days later. Not to mention God being born as a man for the expressed purpose of being tortured and killed. ...and that's the good news. What I don't quite get is: if you put all of this craziness in a movie, people would flock to see it. It's true! Just look at how well The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston did at the Box office, and that was just one little snippet. But for some reason, nobody seems to want to read the Book, knowing full well that the movie never does the book justice.
There are reasons why people don't want to read the Bible. For openers, it's long. Really long. In fact, it's not even a book. It's a collection of 66 books written by 40 different authors. It's also a pretty tough read. If you start from the beginning (Genesis), you only get four chapters in before the genealogies start. I HATE those. Adam begot Seth, then Seth begot Enosh, then Enosh begot Cainan...and begot...and begot...and begot...and every time you think you're through with them, another bunch starts. I keep hearing about all these new translations people are coming up with like the gender-neutral Bible, etc. I wonder if anybody has come up with one that just does away with the genealogies. That would be a lot shorter Bible. That's probably what the Reader's Digest Condensed Bible does, though I worry about what else they might have left out. As it turns out though, there's actually some pretty cool stuff hidden in those genealogies, but you've really got to dig for them. It's just hard to fight through it.
Then, there's all that talk about how God expects us to live. The Ten Commandments (not the movie, we're talking about real commandments) and all that. That seems to offend everybody. They threw a judge in jail for refusing to remove a copy of them from the courthouse lawn. I guess the very sight of it was forcing people into therapy. Given its rules against lying and stealing, it must have been creating a hostile work environment for lawyers.
It's amazing to me that during the 70's I kept hearing, “you can't legislate morality.” Yet that is exactly what is being done now. But it is a completely different morality than what is in the Bible. In fact it's pretty much diametrically opposed to it.
The Bible says “you shall not lie with a man as with a woman (you know what it means). It is an abomination.” That's the Bible's morality. Today's legislated morality says if a man wants to sleep with another man, you have to cater to them or you will be run out of business.
The Bible says “you shall not kill.” Today's legislated morality says a woman has an absolute right to kill the child in her womb any time she wants and if you so much as try to talk her out of it, you could be arrested.
The Bible says, ”a woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are an abomination”. Today's legislated morality says that if a man want to dress up like a woman, you have to let him in the women's bathroom and locker room.
As I write this, I can already hear all the arguments about the Old Testament not applying today, and I have no right to judge whom someone wants to sleep with or what they want to wear.
Back up a minute! I never meant to imply that anyone should follow these Biblical principles if they don't want to. God knows I don't follow them even to the extent I feel like I should. (Forget about the dress already!) My point is that a morality IS being legislated. It's called “Political Correctness.”
You don't actually have to believe what I believe about the Bible to be a moral person. However, you would have to be politically incorrect. Political correctness was invented specifically to destroy every piece of decency and common sense in this country, and it's working.
This country has gone insane. How else can you explain all the hoopla over global warming while NASA says the global ice caps are actually larger than they were in 1979; Americans are starving all over this country while the government sends Billions of dollars to countries that hate America for “humanitarian aid”; our food is filled with chemicals I can't even pronounce; Americans who pay ZERO in federal income taxes scream and protest about others who are not paying “their fair share”; a presidential election featuring a woman being investigated by the FBI for more crimes than I can even enumerate, a professed socialist, a man everybody knows wasn't born in this country, and a Billionaire reality TV star who brags that while politicians have all been bought, he's the one that's been buying them. Then there's the homosexual community defending Islam when Islamic law says all homosexuals must be killed. I know the Old Testament says that, too (so their distaste for the Bible is understandable) but the Muslims are actually doing it.
So what can I possibly be offended by that isn't politically sanctioned? Make no mistake, I'm plenty offended. But in the current political climate, the things I'm offended by makes my being offended  offensive.  I'm beginning to think, politically speaking, the most offensive thing around is in fact, me. I'm afraid that would look pretty funny on a protest sign: STOP ME BEFORE I THINK AGAIN!
But in a country where the Federal government pays large farm subsidies to suburban families for the grass in their back yard, pays farmers 2 billion dollars NOT to farm their land, spent $350,000 last year sponsoring NASCAR driver David Gilliland and ran one of the internet's largest child pornography sites last year with 215,000 registered users and more than 23,000 explicit images and videos available so they could make 25 arrests, maybe I could get a government subsidy to picket my own front yard to try to force myself to stop thinking. If that sounds ridiculous to you, then it might just work.
Stay tuned...