Opposition to Jesus

August 4, 2018

The herdsmen ran away, and went to the city and reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they implored Him to leave their region.—Matt. 8:33–34

It’s startling to realize that some people do not respect Jesus as much as the demons do. But that was exactly the case for this city (probably ancient Gerasa). The populace wanted nothing to do with the Lord but actually begged Him to leave their area. Mark’s account of the incident gives us more clues to their attitudes: “the people came to see what it was that had happened. They came to Jesus and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind … and they became frightened” (Mark 5:14–15). As much as any hostility they may have had, they were simply scared.

As unregenerate sinners, the Gerasenes were no doubt bewildered and intimidated by Jesus. They saw His ability to control demons and animals and to restore crazed minds to sanity—and the result was complete opposition to Christ.

In sharp contrast to the attitude of the city people, one of the delivered men implored Jesus to let him go with Him (Mark 5:18). He manifested a great faith, love, and adoration for the Lord—so much so that he could not bear the thought of separation. But Jesus commanded him, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19). The man was to be an evangelist to his own people, testifying that despite their present opposition to Jesus, the Son of God did not want them to perish spiritually.

ASK YOURSELF
Are there people in your life whose rejection of and opposition to Christ are totally baffling to you—going against all logic and every example of God’s reality? How should you respond to such hardheadedness?[1]

MacArthur, J. Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 225). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

This post speaks for itself!

This portion describes a LOT of people and groups who oppose Biblical Christianity, as well as Jesus Himself!

As unregenerate sinners, the Gerasenes were no doubt bewildered and intimidated by Jesus. They saw His ability to control demons and animals and to restore crazed minds to sanity—and the result was complete opposition to Christ.

Hat Tip:  Truth 2 Freedom’s blog

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Has Someone You Love Had a Drastic, Unhealthy Personality Change?

July 29, 2018

 

Graphic:  passionate prayer dot org

Readers here may recall the estrangement story of Carey and Aurora that was posted several months ago.  Carey’s mom had requested to have the posts taken down.  She thought that there might be a chance at reconciliation.  So far, that has not happened.

It has been almost 8 months since that devastating estrangement from her son and daughter-in-law began.  That mom has gone through all the stages of grief.  Three months of crying almost every day and night.  Then, her grief was lifted when she showed up at their church and they rudely walked out of the church during the closing prayer time to avoid speaking with her.  Since then, she has been reading and  investigating what might have caused her son to have a 180 degree personality change that led him to completely abandon his family.

The son has also abandoned many of his friends (with whom he perceived as “siding with” his parents and sister).  Two of his three employees quit their jobs.  One said, “the last three months were not the same.”  That employee had spoken to Carey’s mom many months ago when she returned some items to her son’s office.  She purposely went there on a day when Carey usually isn’t working.  That employee admitted that Carey “wasn’t the same” and “was acting strangely.”  A few months later, Carey’s third employee also quit.

What is really sad is that Carey’s best man has also been rejected by him!  There is something really strange about all of this that probably goes beyond the original complaints given against the parents such as “unhealthy communication” and “crossing boundaries.”

Carey’s mom has suspected that there is cultish behavior behind it all.  However, Aurora and her parents consider themselves “devout Christians” (and appeared that way at first) so what kind of cult-like family members would encourage a newly married son-in-law to abandon his family, friends, and even his co-workers?

Cults are not always “so way out there.”   They can be very subtle; even non-recognizable as a cult at first.

However, they usually have one or more of the actions listed in the graphic below.

I recently recorded a People Magazine/ Investigation Discovery series on cults. [Note: Readers who are interested can view them at that link.]

So far, I have only had the opportunity to watch 2 of the episodes: Episode 5 – “The Army of God”, and Episode 6 – “The Nuwaubian Nation of Moors.”

Warning! Both are quite disturbing, especially that second one. The so-called “leader” got away with molesting children in that particular cult for over 7 years before a former member asked the FBI to investigate it! Truly awful!

Those types of cults are more recognizable (except to the victims) to outsiders.  They are more blatantly and  obviously wrong in their teachings.   In many cases, they can be seen as demonic.

However, there are cults that appear to be “good,” (at first), and are more subtle (at first) in their ways in order to hook people into them.

One of my favorite books to read and use as a reference in “So What’s The Difference” by Fritz Ridenour. I think that every Christian should read this book and have it on hand whenever questions come up regarding worldviews, faiths, religions, and cults and how they compare to Biblical Christianity.

I just happened to be re-reading chapter twelve “Nothing New Under the Sun” that exposes eleven more viewpoints that undermine, challenge or attack Biblical Christianity.

The section that describes “The International Churches of Christ (Formerly, The Boston Church of Christ)” (ICC Church) shares some details that possibly describe what Carey has gotten into through his marriage and the skewed beliefs that may have been taught to him.  Some details of the ICC Church (which has cult practices) could have been utilized by one or two persons in his life which could have possibly manipulated him to become estranged from family, former co-workers, and friends.

The chapter is too long to share everything, so I recommend getting the book! However, here are some important excerpts that reveal the typical manipulation techniques inherent in cults.

Briefly, the ICC Church is a relatively new, fast-growing and controversial church movement that has been accused by its numerous critics (many of the ex-members) of cultic practices, mind control and mental/emotional abuse. 83

As the church grew, the ICC church leader (Kip McKean) believed that all other churches were poisoned by traditions, compromised or apostate. Using an illogical interpretation of Revelation 2 and 3, he began teaching there should be only “one church in one city.” He also taught that churches not affiliated with the Boston church in each city were “not of God.” 89

Of course, biblical Christian ministries opposed McKean’s teachings. The ICC hired a church growth research firm which backfired on them because instead of showing the ICC to be a wholesome and healthy organization, the study revealed that the ICC was “producing in its members the very same pattern of unhealthy personality change” that had been observed in studies of other well-known manipulative cults, such as Hare Krishna and the Unification Church (the Moonies). 90

The study added that the data proved that a group dynamic operating in the ICC “influences members to change their personalities to conform to the group norm.” 91

Uh-oh!  That sounds exactly like what was done to Carey!

Of course, the church leader claims that the ICC was “making people over after the image of Jesus Christ.”  Mr. Yeakley’s (who did the study) reply to McKean was that Christ’s divine nature is reflected in individuals whose gifts differ, and their personality types should not change in such a way as to “become a copy of someone else.” 92

Was Carey convinced that he had to become similar to a copy of his wife, Aurora?

But there’s more very concerning issues!

New converts are not told to confess their sins directly to God, but also to their mentors who then pass the shocking and private details about their personal sins up the line to other officials in the church!  “A congregational ‘Sin List,’ if you will.” 104

Sounds more like a future blackmail list that could be used to prevent members from leaving.

Former members have reported that the typical experience for many converts is to be distanced from their old friends and even their families and drawn more and more into ICC church activities, ideas and priorities.

But there are even more lying, cult-like practices!

ICC members who tire of the constant pressure, badgering and demands to live up to ICC rules and regulations are told that, if they leave the church, they will go to hell. [HUGE LIE!]

Obviously, the ICC twists Scripture in such a way and harshly pressures members not to leave, that the victim recants the decision to leave out of guilt, fear and confusion. 105

Jesus taught His disciples to serve one another instead of “lording it over each other as the rulers of the Gentiles do” (see Matt. 20:25-28).

The Bible teaches the Christian to confess sins to God, who will cleanse and forgive (see 1 John 1:5-10).

The ICC’s skewed lessons on discipleship turns “salvation by grace through faith” into “salvation by faith plus works,” which directly contradicts Ephesians 2:8,9.

The system of one-over-one discipling and the control structures employed by Kip McKean are so fundamentally flawed and inherently corrupting that even good people with the best of intentions end up hurting others and being hurt themselves.” 113

Graphic:  Ex Church of Christ cult survivors

Carey’s mom thinks that his wife’s family practices some of the methods of the ICC church.  It doesn’t always happen in an established church environment.  Wrong-headed counseling by someone who may have just received a degree and may not be versed in the Berean way regarding discipleship, may tend to be the type to  “lord it over” someone who could be naïve or even deeply gullible.

Graphic:  hopcc dot com

H/T:  So What’s The Difference by Fritz Ridenour

*******

83  Randy Frame, “The Cost of Discipleship?”:  Despite Allegations of Abuse of Authority, the ICC Expands Rapidly,”  Christianity Today (September 1, 1997), pp. 64-66, 88; Charles Anzalone, “That New Time Religion,” Buffalo Magazine section of the Buffalo News (March 26, 1995)

89  MacKean, subsections “Introduction,”  “Restoration in Boston,”  “The Twentieth Century Church” and “The Movement of God” in “Revolutions.”  Also see Upside Down Magazine (April 1994)

90  Flabil, Yeakley, Jr, ed., The Discipling Dilemma (Nashville, TN:  Gospel Advocate Pub. Co., 1988), p. 37.

91  Yeakley, Dilemma, p. 37.  See also Cannon, “Bean Town.”

92  Ibid., subsection “The Movement of God.”

104  Rick Bauer, Toxic Christianity — The International Churches of Christ/Boston Movement Cult (Bowie, MD:  Freedom House Ministries, 1994). n.p.

105  Joanne Ruhland, “Effective Evangelism:  Witnessing to Disciples of the ICC, Christian Research Journal (Fall 1996), p. 43.

113  Bauer, Toxic Christianity, p. 18.

 

 

The Monsanto Hydra at work – H/T Partnering With Eagles

July 28, 2018

A blog entitled Partnering With Eagles has a great post up that shares warnings about the pesticide Roundup which has been used on crops in the U.S. for decades now.

Has anyone reading here noticed the hundreds of ads on T.V. for medications to help with digestive problems? I know many people who suffer from various problems; i.e. Lactose intolerance, IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Celiac disease – due to wheat gluten intolerance and many others. I am 63 years old and when I was young, I do not recall hearing, reading, or seeing such diseases and problems as I witness today! Why is that? I think that if you read the following information which I have copied here (thanks to Partnering With Eagles blog), you will become much more aware of what is going on regarding the  link between glyphosate and the digestive problems that many Americans suffer here in the U.S.!

~ Christine

*******

 

The Monsanto Hydra at work –

Since the early 90’s, Monsanto has usurped traditional, and long established methods farmers used for generations to improve yield, disease resistance, and flavor in crops.  They have the FDA in their back pocket, and have attained an ungodly grip on our food supply.   YOU VOTE WITH YOUR POCKETBOOK!

Their herbicide Roundup’s primary ingredient is glyphosate.

All you homeowners out there who have used this since the mid seventies for weed control TAKE NOTICE! Read this report from Natural News, then, again, I direct you to FOOD  INC )

Courtesy of NaturalNews.com

Monsanto attempts to discredit new study that proves YET AGAIN that glyphosate is dangerous even at low levels

(Natural News) An international team of experts has concluded, based on the results of a comprehensive new animal study, that glyphosate, the primary active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is highly toxic to humans – even at the very low doses that both Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claim are completely “safe.” Monsanto is trying to discredit the findings.

According to the research, exposure to relatively small doses of glyphosate directly interferes with normal sexual development. It also damages genes and disrupts the body’s delicate microbiome, which represents the community of beneficial bacteria that live inside the gut and help digest food, while also supporting a healthy and robust immune system.

Researchers administered to rats drinking water tainted with glyphosate at levels that the EPA has declared to be a “safe limit.” The team kept track of the rodents’ health from before their birth until their death – a well-designed format that allowed them to carefully study any potential adverse effects in a proper context.

After accounting for various outside factors that may have also influenced the rats’ health, the research team concluded that exposure to “safe” levels of glyphosate resulted in “significant and distinctive” changes to their internal bacterial compositions while still in the womb. The overall population of Lactobacillus in particular, a “friendly” bacteria, was significantly decreased in the rats as a result of glyphosate, while populations of “unfriendly” bacteria were observed to increase dramatically.

Interestingly enough, the glyphosate-exposed mothers did not appear to be affected in this way by the deadly chemical. But their offspring were, suggesting that the chemical poison inflicts harm in ways that are still poorly understood by science.

These findings, declared study co-author Dr. Daniele Mandrioli, a researcher at The Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy, are “quite remarkable” and “shouldn’t be happening” – at least if what Monsanto and America’s corrupt regulatory bodies insist is true about glyphosate.

Glyphosate further found to SHRINK reproductive organs

Also observed as part of the research were dramatic changes to the reproductive organs of the glyphosate-exposed rats. Not only did exposure to the chemical result in major irregularities in reproductive function, but the entire genital regions of the rats physically changed, in many cases, including reductions in the proximity between the rats’ anuses and genitals.

This is in addition to the serious disruption of sex hormones caused by glyphosate exposure – not to mention all the genotoxic changes that were observed in the form of genetic reprogramming of the rats’ normal genomes.

Not surprising is Monsanto’s denial of these findings. Scott Partridge, a Monsanto spokesman, reportedly told The Guardian that none of these discoveries are valid because the Ramazzini Institute is an “activist organization with an undisclosed agenda that exists as part of their crowdfunding efforts.”

In laymen’s terms, Partridge is basically claiming that because the Ramazzini Institute raises funding for its studies at the grassroots level that all of its research is automatically questionable at best. But this is akin to the pot calling the kettle black, seeing as how Monsanto’s entire legacy is based on fake science.

“Far from being an ‘activist organization,’ the Ramazzini Institute is devoted to evaluating and identifying carcinogenic risks and appraises the efficacy and safety of drug therapies and treatments to prevent the development of cancer,” explains NaturalHealth365.com.

“Monsanto’s ordinary strategy has been to try to discredit and disparage any institution that comes up with unflattering research – but this time, it wasn’t so easy.”

Be sure to check out PoisonPapers.org, where you’ll find a 20,000-page archive of damning evidence against Monsanto and the chemical industry at large, revealing how the public has been lied to for many decades about the safety of Roundup and many other common chemicals.

Sources for this article include:

NaturalHealth365.com

NaturalNews.com

PoisonPapers.org

RELATED – Seeds of Death

Hat Tip: Partnering With Eagles

The Salty Sailor and the Fireman

July 23, 2018

My wonderful son-in-law returned from a business trip in Slovenia this past Saturday.  He mentioned that so many people with whom he encountered (who found out that he is an American) really bashed and disparaged President Trump.  The likely reason was because CNN was the only “news” station they ever watched.

He is a Millennial progressive independent young man who didn’t vote for Trump, but even he sees the ridiculousness of the constant, viscious and berating attacks done towards this man by the fake news.

This morning, my husband received and shared the following email that was forwarded to him.  I thought it was excellent so I’m sharing it here at my blog.

~ Christine

 

The Salty Sailor and The Fireman

The views this mother has about Donald Trump are much like many others. Her characterization of Trump as the “Salty Sailor” or as The Fireman paint an excellent picture!!. She has written many great books about her son and family…This is a Comment from KAREN VAUGHN, Mother of Aaron Vaughn, Navy Seal.

Sometimes God uses the no-nonsense, salty sailor to get the job done. Appreciating what the man is doing doesn’t mean we worship the salty sailor or even desire to be like the salty sailor. It doesn’t even mean God admires the salty sailor. Maybe He just knows he’s necessary for such a time as this.

I believe with all my heart that God placed that salty sailor in the White House and gave this nation one more chance in November 2016. Donald Trump is what he is. He is still the man he was before the election. And without guilt, I very much admire what that salty sailor is accomplishing.

He’s not like me. That’s okay with me. I don’t want to be like him. I will never behave like him. I know we’ve NEVER had a man like him lead our nation. It’s crazy and a little mind blowing at times. But I can’t help admire the ability he has to act with his heart rather than a calculated, PC, think tank-screened, carefully edited script. I still believe that is WHY he became our President and WHY he’s been able to handle a landslide of adversity and STILL pass unprecedented amounts of good legislation for our country AND do great works for MANY other nations, including Israel.

I’m THRILLED with what he’s doing for my nation, for the cause of Christ (whether intentional or unintentional, doesn’t matter to me), and for the concept of rebuilding America and putting her FIRST. I will not be ashamed of my position because others don’t see him through the same lens.

Should it matter to me if a fireman drops an f-bomb while he’s pulling me from a burning building? Would I really care about what came out of his mouth in those moments? Heck no! I’d CARE about what he was DOING. He wasn’t sent there to save my soul and I’m not looking to him for spiritual guidance. All I’m thinking in those moments is, “Thank you, Jesus, for sending the fireman.”

I’ll post this article below again for those who still might not understand me. This man is crass. Okay. He’s not careful with what he says. Okay. You feel offended that he’s not a typical statesman. Okay. But he is rebuilding the nation my son died for… the nation I feared was on a fast track to becoming a hopeless cause.

Forgive me if I’m smiling.”

KAREN VAUGHN

 

Too Smart — Too Sophisticated to Believe in God?

July 11, 2018

 

Graphic:  Slide Share . net

The following post over at American Thinker starts off discussing the suicide of Anthony Bourdain, and shares a pertinent Bible verse.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) Bourdain was famous, and worth $16 million.

Kate Spade’s suicide happened shortly afterwards.  What would bring millionaires like this to such despair that they would take their own lives?

We found out that Robin Williams killed himself because of a disease he had and he didn’t want to be a burden to his family.

I’m no expert on why people commit suicide, but apparently there could be many reasons why people, unfortunately, follow through on it.

But this post isn’t only about that tragic state of affairs.  The next paragraph in Mr. Marcus’ post is the main reason I wanted to share it here.

Folks, we live is such an evil time that merely suggesting that people are better off with God in their lives is venomously attacked and branded fanatical religious hate speech. But I am going to go there anyway.

Have you noticed that oftentimes, evangelical Christians are being blamed on news programs for the election of Donald J. Trump?  Never mind those 30% (a diverse crowd, by the way) who had voted for Obama in the two previous presidential elections, but decided to vote for Trump over Clinton in 2016!

Below is the rest of Mr. Marcus’ essay.   His brilliant essay included many of the thoughts and conclusions that I have come to believe regarding the hatred being spewed here in America ever since the election of 2016.

 

Mr. Bourdain, and I suspect Ms. Spade, were leftists. Typically, leftists think themselves too smart -– too sophisticated to believe in God. Remember the closed-door fundraising event at which Obama demeaned fly-over-country voters for clinging to their guns and religion?

On the Christian-hating “View” TV show, Joy Behar called Vice President Pence “mentally ill” for saying he talks to Jesus. Historian David Barton documents how America was founded upon our Founders praying and receiving guidance from God.

In 1798, founding father John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.” Today, Christian politicians are branded “dangerous” by leftist-dominated mainstream media.

The Democrat party hijacked by leftists removed God from their platform. When Democrats voted God back into their platform the convention floor erupted with angry boos. Can you imagine a political party so wicked that they boo God?

Leftists laugh at Christians. Leftists erroneously believe man is the ultimate power, capable of regulating equal outcomes. They foolishly believe man can save or destroy the planet. Michael Crichton brilliantly articulates leftist folly in his novel Jurassic Park. Believing themselves to be wiser than God, leftists always fight to change God’s original intent regarding biology, marriage, and gender.

This scripture nails the leftist mindset. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:22) Folks, we witness their foolishness every day. They say that if a man awakes feeling like a woman that day, he should be legally permitted to use public women restrooms. They say that teachers addressing students as boys and girls is hateful and exclusive and must not be tolerated. They say four-year-olds must be introduced to homosexuality and taught “gay love is beautiful”.

For eight years Obama forced anti-God extreme liberal foolishness down the throats of mainstream commonsense thinking Americans. Thank God Trump is rolling back Obama’s war on Christianity, restoring our constitutional religious liberty.

Obama was the left’s dream president. He aggressively stripped the God of Christianity from our government. Obama chastised Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast. He relentlessly tried to bully the one-hundred-year-old Little Sisters of the Poor into funding abortion services, an anathema against their religious convictions. Obama enthusiastically honored homosexuals, Black Lives Matter, and Muslims with celebrations at the White House while turning away the National Day of Prayer. Obama was the most biblically-hostile president in U.S. history.

Disney’s movie, A Wrinkle in Time, starring Oprah Winfrey struggled at the box office. Perhaps the reason is leftist producers stripped Bible quotes, a reference to Jesus and historical Christian figures from the movie adaptation of the beloved children’s book.

While threatening to jail anyone disrespectful of Islam, leftists boldly display disdain for Christianity. They hate Jesus for saying, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

How dare Jesus declare himself the only way to heaven. Liberal media goddess Oprah has decreed that Jesus is not the only way to God. Oprah foolishly professes herself to be wise, too enlightened to believe Jesus Christ is the only path to God.

The gangster movie Scarface has a strong biblical message. Drug lord Tony Montana had everything he thought would bring him happiness; power, a mountain of cocaine, extreme wealth, and beautiful women at his command. And yet, Tony was miserable. All Tony’s stuff could not fill that spiritual void inside which produces peace, happiness, and a fulfilled life.

Sadly, Mr. Bourdain’s and Ms. Spade’s extreme wealth, power, and fame failed to produce inner peace and happiness. Both are unfortunate casualties of leftist mindsets, too smart and too sophisticated to humbly trust in the God of Christianity.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American

Hat tip: The American Thinker: Bourdain: Casualty of Leftist Mindset

Hat tip also to: Truth 2 Freedom’s blog where I first found the link to the article.

*******

Personal story.

A few days ago, I got into a conversation with someone with whom I have known for a long time.  She appeared to be conservative, and has claimed that she is a Christian.  Some tough situations within her family life had caused great pain and sorrow.  During our subsequent discussions, she rarely mentioned anything about her faith anymore.

I have been trying to avoid getting into left vs. right arguments with people who dislike President Trump.  However, in this case I realized that this particular woman did not know basic facts about the last election or the vitriol that followed and has been ratcheted up over the last 20 months.

She objected to Trump winning, despite the popular vote that Hillary ended up with on election day.  I explained to her why the Founders decided to utilize the Electoral College method when electing the president.  She truly did not understand it until I had explained it.

During our conversation, she indicated that she personally dislikes Trump.  I agreed that he isn’t the typical, smooth politician and that he has said some regrettable things.  However, despite his personal failings,  I shared several of the many accomplishments of his administration and she agreed that he is doing a good job of turning this nation around.

I mention this because of the above article written by Lloyd Marcus.  People, Mr. Marcus completely NAILED IT in regards to the void of proper discussions going on today.  Instead, it’s only hatred, meanness, derision, mocking, threatening, and dangerous vitriol that is constantly being spewed by radical leftists.  Many, apparently, cannot even fathom having a decent conversation with those on the right or those who support President Trump.

Obama was their “prized” president.  He espoused most of everything on the leftist side of the political spectrum that they believe in.  But, even when he didn’t like some of the policies that came about, they forgave him (or ignored the issue) because of their love and agreement of this man’s political ideology.  They had the mentality that Obama “could do nothing wrong” and the media of mass deception kept that image alive by oftentimes not reporting the truth.

Now, because President Trump is mostly the complete opposite of Obama, the leftists have, and continue to be, losing their collective minds.  The media and celebrity negative rancor dominates 95% of the news broadcasts; oftentimes completely ignoring all of the great accomplishments that President Trump has done for our nation, economy, and people.

It’s truly sad that so many people do not allow those with opposing views a voice on news programs.  They ignore the other side in their conversations.  More distressing, is that when they report, they can’t seem to do it without being hostile, nasty or even downright hate-filled and dangerous!

*Update* President Trump Announces His Supreme Court Nominee – Brett Kavanaugh

July 9, 2018

via *Update* President Trump Announces His Supreme Court Nominee – Brett Kavanaugh

 

My comment there:

From what I have heard about Brett Kavanaugh, he sounds like an excellent conservative choice for the next Justice for SCOTUS! Lovely family, too!

The leftists may scream their opposition to this nominee, so let them! They will never change. Considering any conservative is anathema to them. Well, tough!

I pray for God’s protection over him and his family. The confirmation process will likely have nasty moments because of the sore losers who still can’t get over HiLIARy losing the election. I pray that his wife and two beautiful daughters are shielded from the rancor and awful threats from those who would do them harm. Please protect them, Lord Jesus!

Rocket Man!

July 6, 2018

Graphic:  George Danby

When I read that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly brought a CD with the Elton John song “Rocket Man” to give as a gift to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his visit to the country I thought what a great sense of humor President Trump has!

Excerpt:

Last year, amid escalating rhetoric between the two countries, Trump repeatedly referred to Kim as “Rocket Man” and “Little Rocket Man.”

A diplomatic source in Washington cited by Chosun Ilbo explained that the “Rocket Man” CD was “the subject of discussion during Trump’s lunch with Kim” when they first met for a summit in Singapore last month.

According to the outlet, when Kim referenced Trump’s nickname, Trump asked him if he’s familiar with the song. Trump later asked Pompeo to bring a copy of the CD during his subsequent trip.

Here are the lyrics:

“Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long Long Time)”

She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour nine A.M.
And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then

I miss the earth so much, I miss my wife
It’s lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight

And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh, no, no, no.
I’m a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh, no, no, no.
I’m a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it’s cold as hell
And there’s no one there to raise them if you did

And all this science I don’t understand
It’s just my job five days a week
A rocket man, a rocket man

And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh, no, no, no.
I’m a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh, no, no, no.
I’m a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

And I think it’s gonna be a long long time…

*******
For some background and historical information about the song, see what is written at Wikipedia.

Excerpts:

The song was inspired by the short story “The Rocket Man” in The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, and echoes the theme of David Bowie’s 1969 song “Space Oddity” (both recordings were produced by Gus Dudgeon). But according to an account in Elizabeth Rosenthal’s book His Song: The Musical Journey of Elton John, the song was inspired by Taupin’s sighting of either a shooting star or a distant aeroplane.

The song describes a Mars-bound astronaut’s mixed feelings at leaving his family in order to do his job. Rosenthal’s account goes on to relate that the notion of astronauts no longer being perceived as heroes, but in fact as an “everyday occupation”, led Taupin to the song’s opening lines: “She packed my bags last night, pre-flight. Zero hour: 9 a.m. And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then.”

“Rocket Man” was ranked #242 in the 2004 list of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, though it dropped to #245 in the list’s 2010 revision.

Another song called “Rocket Man” (and also based on Bradbury’s short story “The Rocket Man”)[clarification needed] was released by the musical group Pearls Before Swine on their 1970 album The Use of Ashes. In an interview in Billboard magazine, Taupin acknowledged that the song, written by Tom Rapp, had been a direct inspiration for his own lyrics. Rosenthal’s account indicates that Rapp’s lyrics were inspired by the writings of noted science-fiction author Ray Bradbury. Due to some similarities in Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” some[who?] presume this song might also be an allusion to David Bowie’s character Major Tom. Bowie himself made the connection[citation needed] during live performances of “Space Oddity” in which he called out, “Oh, Rocket Man!”[2][citation needed]

I see a lot of symbolism here.  However, perhaps President Trump just gave the leader of North Korea the CD because they made a connection about it during the first time they met.

Instead of using rockets for the purpose of destruction, a rocket can be used to explore space.  With Trump’s creation of the Space Force, maybe he is showing Kim Jung Un the marvels of using science for good purposes.

Any of us can speculate about possible symbolism.  While reading a brief analysis about Ray Bradbury’s short story, “The Rocket Man,” I found this:

“The Rocket Man”

Astronauts are few in number, so they work whenever they wish and receive high pay. One such “Rocket Man” goes into space for three months at a time, returning to Earth only for three consecutive days to visit his wife and son, Doug. The story is told from the perspective of Doug, who also wants to become a Rocket Man. Doug learns of his father’s constant battle, yearning for the stars while at home and yearning for home while in space. The father has attempted to quit several times, because his long absences have nearly destroyed his relationship with his wife. Before leaving for his final three-month mission, the father makes Doug promise he will never follow in his father’s footsteps. The father takes off into space, vowing that the next trip will be the last, but dies when his rocket falls into the Sun. His wife and son avoid the Sun out of grief and become nocturnal.

Hmmm…the dad in the story makes his son promise that he will never follow in his father’s footsteps.  Though a bit different than the short story version, such a promise sounds like a good piece of advice for Kim Jung Un to follow.

Humor aside, I am praying for the denuclearization deal to become a reality.  We all need to pray for a good outcome that leads to peace.  What a great deal it will be if it leads to avoiding any threat from North Korea, the official end of the war with NK, and the reunification of South and North Korea.

 

Hat tips to all links.

The Essence of Repentance

July 5, 2018

…And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

REVELATION 22:17

It is inherent in the nature of man that his will must be free. Made in the image of God who is completely free, man must enjoy a measure of freedom. This enables him to select his companions for this world and the next; it enables him to yield his soul to whom he will, to give allegiance to God or the devil, to remain a sinner or become a saint.

Graphic:  Rachel Wojo

And God respects this freedom. God once saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. To find fault with the smallest thing God has made is to find fault with its Maker. It is a false humility that would lament that God wrought but imperfectly when He made man in His own image. Sin excepted, there is nothing in human nature to apologize for. This was confirmed forever when the Eternal Son became permanently incarnated in human flesh!

Graphic:  Just Being Brutally Honest blog

So highly does God regard His handiwork that He will not for any reason violate it. He will take nine steps toward us but He will not take the tenth. He will incline us to repent, but He cannot do our repenting for us. It is of the essence of repentance that it can only be done by the one who committed the act to be repented of.

God can wait on the sinning man, He can withhold judgment, He can exercise long-suffering to the point where He appears lax in His judicial administration—but He cannot force a man to repent. To do this would be to violate the man’s freedom and void the gift of God originally bestowed upon him. The believer knows he is free to choose—and with that knowledge he chooses forever the blessed will of God![1]

Graphic:  cc southbay


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Hat tip: Truth 2 Freedom: July 5 – God Never Violates Our Freedom of Choice.

Note from Christine:

Yesterday, we celebrated Independence Day. It is the day that 242 years ago, America became a free nation via the signing of The Declaration of Independence.

Ben Franklin wisely stated to a woman who asked, “What type of government have you given us?” Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Lately, we have seen many unhinged people on the far left political spectrum rant and rave against all that helps keep our nation free.  They use issues to further their desires for more socialist/communist ideas and forms of government.  Don’t they know history and the hard-fought battles against such evil, failed and dictatorship types of government?  I guess not.  Perhaps it isn’t being taught in public school education anymore.  It certainly appears to be lost on most of those who attend, or have attended liberal/leftist colleges and universities and staunchly agree with the aberrant, extremist leftist professors who push their ideology upon the students.

Ronald Reagan quote

“The ultimate determinant in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas — a trial of spiritual resolve: the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish, and the ideals to which we are dedicated.”

— Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) —

Yes.  We continue to go through “a test of wills and ideas.”  One’s choice does depend on the essence of repentance at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.  Ultimately, it is a spiritual struggle, as the last paragraph in the quoted topic above reveals:

[God] cannot force a man to repent. To do this would be to violate the man’s freedom and void the gift of God originally bestowed upon him. The believer knows he is free to choose—and with that knowledge he chooses forever the blessed will of God![1]

Hat tip: Truth 2 Freedom’s blog.

Freedom!

July 4, 2018

Hat tip:  Legal Insurrection blog.

 

Hat tip:  Daily Torch

Now, before anyone gets all huffy and puffy about that second political cartoon, the next one will help educate the protesters.

Hat tip:  Pastor Ward Clinton blog.

 

Hat tip:  The Jackson Press . org

Gain the Strength to Cope, and Experience Restoration

June 30, 2018

~ Daily life verse . com

Dear Readers,

At this blog, I try to share valid information that will help people to understand what is going on in the world today.  Most importantly, I (especially!) like to share the Good News of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of the world!

Back in the early years of blogging, I attended a Christian based seminar where the instructors (at BIOLA University – Bible Institute of Los Angeles) shared tips on how to run a blog, what to write about (mostly, from the Bible/Christian perspective), how to gain readers, etc.  It was “everything you would want to know” for running a Christian oriented blog.

During one class, I raised my hand to ask the professor his opinion of whether or not it was OK to share Bible/Christian based posts along with criticism about the secular worldviews that continue to try to challenge faith-based posts.  He stated that it might be best to choose between only pursuing Christian apologetics/worldviews vs. additionally discussing worldview criticism and exposing it.  In his opinion, it would be difficult to do both.  Apparently, he meant that it might be difficult to do both at the same blog and at the same time, successfully.

I understood why he believed that.  Years ago, I noticed that the different types of approaches yielded different results.  The sweet Scripture-based blog owners wrote about only the good things that expressed “the fruit of the Spirit” based on Galatians 5.

Galatians 5, however, also shares the reality of “longsuffering” and covers “the works of the flesh” and the evil it spreads. What’s more, those who practice such things (having not been re-born in Jesus Christ) “will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Serious topics to contemplate and express on a blog, aren’t they?

Today, it seems that satanic influence in the world and upon people has been ratcheted up; even more so ever since Donald Trump became president.  I truly believe that it’s because people are (knowingly, or unknowingly) being used by the enemy of our souls and his demons to carry out such evil.  Of course, it didn’t start after the election of 2016.  It’s been going on ever since sin entered into the world.  However, in my 63 years on this earth, I see that the corruption has grown exponentially.  It can be very disheartening, to say the least.

Galatians lists them all:

Gal 5:19
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[fn] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

Gal 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

Gal 5:21
envy, murders,[fn] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

~Christian statements . com

I prefaced this post with that information because the Bible is true, and Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life.”  No matter what happens in this fallen world, those facts will never change and those who have prayed and repented of their sins, asked Jesus Christ into their hearts as Lord and Savior, and have the Holy Spirit indwelling them can gain the strength to cope, and experience restoration despite all the grief and horror that is going on.

Please read John 16

The last verse is a favorite verse for me.

Jhn 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[fn] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

During the tough times when I become disheartened, that Bible verse brings me back to the purpose of Jesus’ life, death on the cross, and resurrection to life; and the promises that He made to all believers.  The pain and anguish of “Good Friday,” became the joy and peace that surpasses all understanding on Resurrection Day!

I had one of those disheartening moments this morning when I read about:

Hackers are selling babies’ personal data on the Dark Web.

Excerpt:

The personal information of babies is now available on the Dark Web.

Younger children — even newborns — now have a social security number, but they have obviously never made any purchases, which means they have a “perfect” credit history. Hackers sell the information these days with a complete “how to” for the buyer, explaining the steps to file fraudulent tax records or apply for a credit card without getting caught.

I’ve heard about the “Dark Web” before, but never wanted to pursue the information.  However, that link above is safe.  It’s from a Fox News tech site, written back in 2014, entitled, “Darknets: Murky recesses of the hidden web.”

Information like this makes me so sad and angry!  While we tend to enjoy all of the latest technology (and sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs etc.), knowing that such evil exists that is often hidden from the general public is very discouraging.  It’s bad now, so I worry how bad it can get during my sweet granddaughter’s lifetime?!  How will she be protected from identity theft and the filth online?

Months ago, I had a brief conversation with someone who has a relative in the CIA.  He stated that he would recommend never publishing a baby or child’s photo online.  Why?  Because they can take a photo and photo-shop it for very ugly reasons (porn etc.).

All I can do is pray for protection over members of my family and friends!  It is time to do more praying, than ever before!

Luk 11:1
Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

Luk 11:2
So He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Our Father in heaven,[fn]
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.[fn]
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

Luk 11:3

Give us day by day our daily bread.

Luk 11:4

And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”[fn]

Matthew adds:

Mat 6:13
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.[fn]

~ Our daily breadcrumbs . com


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The mindset in postmodernism is that objective truth does not exist. But in post-truth, the person believes that objective truth exists, but they subordinate truth to their preferences, or their comfort. In other words, one doesn’t care that truth exists or what the truth is if it doesn’t line up with one’s preferences. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" - George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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