We live in an amazing time. One can pick up a device and within seconds connect with someone living half way around the world via text, images or sound. Back in the last half of the last century of the second millennium, the more typical scenario was for someone to send a letter which would arrive in a few days or weeks, unless sent to a really backwards area and then it might take months or never show up. My in-laws sent a telegram before leaving the US to go on the mission field. Arriving at the airport they found no one waiting for them. The telegram arrived days after they did. Telephone service was “iffy” at best clear up to the final decade of the century. When our youngest son was born we called my wife’s parents to let them know. To do so we had to go to a neighbor’s house and borrow their phone. We tried three times and never heard a word from my in-laws. But we DID get the bill. About $10 US equivalent PER CALL – that never went through. So today when we can use VOIP (voice over internet protocol) to chat with friends and family “in real time”, we are truly blessed. Using WhatsApp has been a real boost to keeping in touch with my siblings. Email is checked multiple times a day.
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A while back some friends of mine were discussing the origins of an old saying, “The Good Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise”. The question was asked, “Does anyone know if the reference is to a creek (little river, stream, bayou-ette) overflowing its banks, or to the Creek tribe going off the reservation?” It turns out that some folks claim that this goes back to the Creek War of 1813-1814. But those speculating on such origins probably never lived in the backwoods. Unless someone makes the effort to look through historical documents until they come across some ancient writing in which the words are written (I suspect that some variation of this theme may be found on Cuneiform tablets in some ancient city) we may never know for sure. But I heavily suspect that the phrase is ancient indeed, arising long before 1813 and the uprising of the Red Stick Creeks.
There it was, a gruesome, troubling image, appearing in various places on Facebook. The image is troubling, but the reality behind it is even more so. And there is a need to make people think. So I downloaded it, opened it in GIMP, added a black frame and the title. Because “choice” is but a word. It can be whitewashed and used anyway the people choose to use it. But linked to an image, an image that shows the consequences of people making the wrong choice, perhaps it will give someone, somewhere, a reason to choose life. Already this picture has impacted people. One acquaintance threatened to “unfriend” me over it (and the fact that I’m vocal in my beliefs, something that makes fence riders uncomfortable). Yes, the image is disturbing, but what SHOULD disturb us is the fact that thousands more such children are destroyed each day. This image is repeated, in even worse forms, time after time after time. And we call ourselves “civilized”.
There remain about 5 months ’til US elections 2016 and folks are full of doom and gloom. The gun boards are rife with talk about “What ‘battle carbine’ should I get?”, “What magazines for my ‘battle carbine’ should I get?”, “Who has the best price on bulk ammo?”, “What are you going to do if “Hitlery” gets in?”, etc. There’s a lot of speculation about what the future holds and “The End Of The World As We Know It” (otherwise known as TEOTWAWKI) is “just around the corner”. We haven’t seen this much agitation since, well, the past two presidential elections.
Now, I’m no more in favor of “Hitlery’s” policies than the doom and gloom crowd, nor am I a “Trumper”. This election cycle the words of Charles Spurgeon ring truer than ever. “Of two evils, choose neither.” Yet there are folks howling that one or the other of the above mentioned candidates will certainly sink the sunken ship of the American states.
One of the frequent questions folks ask us is “What religion are you?” This is a good and valid question, especially considering that we live in a country that is nearly 90% Roman Catholic. Well, they are about 51% ACTIVE Roman Catholic but the rest mostly consider themselves “Catholic”. So when they ask I often tell them “I’m Apostolic Catholic, Biblical but non Roman.” That’s always good for a “Huh?” or “What do you mean?”
Well, “Catholic” means “universal”. I’m catholic in my faith in that I hold the universal Christian faith in God the Father, Jesus the Christ the Son, the Holy Spirit as my seal of redemption and the Bible as the Word of God. Apostolic? Well, we believe what the Apostles taught and we seek to live and practice as they did, as we find recorded in the Bible. So, why not Roman? Because Christ’s church was founded in Jerusalem, not Rome. Also, the Roman church diverged greatly from the teachings of Jesus the Christ and His Apostles over the centuries. So it’s simple, “Apostolic Biblical Catholic – non Roman”. A simple concept, but a great way to describe our desire to return to the teachings of Jesus and His Apostles.
Things haven’t changed that much in the past couple of thousand years. Today we have the cinema and T.V. instead of the coliseum, and Christians are still being thrown to the lions (albeit figuratively) in the name of “entertainment”. What has changed is that so many Christians seek out such “entertainment” today, whereas I can not imagine a Christian having gone to the coliseum to be “entertained” those many years ago.
8 Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. 9 Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
If one were to tally up the hours spent watching television vs the hours spent in Bible reading, study and prayer – what would that comparison show? What is the source of our thought patterns? Is not what we dwell on that which we hold most dear? And is not that which we think about that which we do? And does not that which we do reflect on who we truly are? Can you imagine what would happen if the Christians stopped drinking the insipid swill that passes for “entertainment” and began to drink deep of the living water instead? What if instead of laughing at inane “comedy” rife with innuendo and dripping with all but that which is good and healthy we were to seek the face of He Who made us and look for that which He made beautiful and funny and good? Would not the world be a better place if Christians would stand up and say, “That is NOT funny, it is sad, humiliating, degrading and asinine.” We have stood by for too long and allowed a putrid, decaying society stain us with its twisted notions of what is good and right
We must DO something! was the cry following the senseless slaughter of innocent people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on October 1, 2015 and immediately following the rampage of a muslim couple in San Bernardino on December 2, 2015, and again following the murder of homosexuals at a nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016. And I agree. Now WHAT that “something” is, well to say the least, there’s a huge difference between the outlook of this author and that of the current occupant of the White House. Shortly after these horrible events, the current occupant of the Oval Office went on TV to once more call for “More Gun Control!”. As many have observed, every time there is a senseless shooting, they seek to take away the property and freedom of those who DID NOT DO IT.
This is indeed a “Hot Topic” these days. If you think about it a bit, just by the very name it is obvious that these folks are criminals. If you do something “illegal” you are breaking the law. You may not LIKE the law. You may think the law is unfair. But the minute you disobey the law you are, by definition, a lawbreaker, a criminal.
Now, there’s a scourge across our land and that is the huge number of folks who have entered our nation contrary to the laws of our nation. Or they have come in according to the law – and overstayed their welcome. That is, they’ve come in as students or tourists or whatever – and then stayed as lawn care, cleaning, farming or other workers. There are folks practicing medicine or dentistry to certain degrees in various parts, catering to other folks who are also up in the US illegally – without benefit of a medical or dental liscence. And sooner or later someone’s going to be hurt and what recourse will they have?
“Fly over country” they call it, “they” being the denizens of the urban blights on the east and west coasts of the US of A. They look down their noses at those who live there, not having a clue that if it were not for the “hayseeds”, “hicks” and “rednecks”, they would die of starvation in short order. As Hank Williams Jr. so succinctly puts it,
I can plow a field all day long, I can catch catfish from dusk till dawn. We make our own whiskey and our own smoke too, ain’t too many things these ole boys can’t do. We grow good ole tomatoes and homemade wine and a country boy can survive, Country folks can survive!
We came from the West Virginia coalmines, and the Rocky Mountains and the and the western skies. We can skin a buck; we can run a trot line and a country boy can survive, Country folks can survive!!
Hoplophobia – An unreasoning fear of instruments (weapons). Hoplophobia is a term that was coined, if I recall correctly, by the late Jeff Cooper. It is an excellent term and describes well those who fear instruments more than the hands that wield them. The very heart and soul of the anti-weapon movement revolves around the idea that individuals are not responsible for their actions, rather it is the object that spurs the criminal to commit the act of violence. Simply put, this is idiocy. It does not take into account the millions upon millions of owners of weapons who do NOT commit crimes of violence. Such an attitude is akin to looking upon all men as potential rapists – because, after all, they’re equipped to do so. Or considering all women to be potential prostitutes – because, after all, they are equipped to exercise that activity. And that’s not to mention the slap in the face of the billions of honest poor upon the planet when we are told that high rates of criminality are due to poverty. What about the billions of poor who do NOT commit crimes? Or the rich who commit crimes? What is THEIR excuse if it is poverty that causes crime?