On Ole Miss, Nashville, and ‘Perlious Falls’…

Verse of the Day:

Hasten, O God, to save me;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me
~ Psalm 70:1 ~

originalLord, help me – I don’t know if I can make it through another day like this…


So!  I’m just gonna leave this here…  you should read it.  And then you and me should find a way to just skip this generation being our future – just skip them and move on to the next… provided we do a better job with them.  If not, let’s just burn it all to the ground and maybe we don’t start over – not sure we deserve to.idjit
One of my friends heard the story and mused aloud, ‘I wonder if they know bananas grow in trees?’.  Frankly, I’m not sure I could answer that in the affirmative.  We’ve got a generation attending colleges who’s first (and apparently only) response is to not “feel welcome” or “safe” because someone threw a banana peel away and it got stuck in a tree…  They needed safe spaces for that.  They cancelled a large retreat because of it.  They cried (seriously?!)  over it.  Because the big bad world hurt their widdle feewings… somehow…  still not sure how that does it, but with the apparently micro-thin skin on the generation in college right now, I’m guessing a brisk breeze might hurt their feelings.   I just…   Screw feelings.
I can’t even right now.
People need to stop being idjits.


Next up, an organization called The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood(CBMW) held a conference and issued what was titled “The Nashville Statement”.  As the name of the group would indicate, this was a Christian organization that months ago planned to issue a statement re: the topic of Biblical Christianity and how it related to the sexual nature of man.  This shouldn’t be a story, but apparently the same beliefs that have been taught for over 2,000 years caught many by surprise; and they melted down…  Again.  The statement isn’t controversial by any means – it is Christian (and to some extent aligned with Jewish) doctrine.  It’s been taught and believed for a loooooong time.  It was a good statement.  It was a Biblically correct statement – which makes it a Christian statement: believe it or not, God’s will and law aren’t something common man gets to change just because we don’t like it.  And public figures that go out of their way to condemn it and talk about how tolerant their viewpoints are while saying the CBMW has no place and should be silenced need to go look ‘tolerance‘ up in the dictionary, and then ‘tolerate‘ (I included links just in case…).  Also, the Mayor of Nashville needs to check herself – the government doesn’t get to say who or what is representative of the “inclusive values of the city“: many of the residents of Nashville believe what was expressed in the Nashville Statement; you don’t have a monopoly on values, and if you’re going to be “inclusive” you’d better be ready to include them – if not, you really don’t understand the word or that the role of the government isn’t there to tell people what views and values are acceptable.
Why is it every single time a Christian or Christian organization professes a Christian belief so many people lose their ever-loving minds?!  Just…  Stop it already.  I and others may not always achieve living up to our professed values, but most of us are trying – and not hitting the mark all the time doesn’t mean the mark still isn’t there for us.
#GoodGrief


perilAnd finally!  I got a book on the recommendation of…  I can’t remember who from National Review a while back.  It’s a kid’s book and I got a copy for my nephew and a copy for myself, and we made a handshake agreement last night to read a chapter a week and discuss it.  It is, by far, the book I’m looking forward to reading the most right now.  The book is the first in a series about Will Wilder (I guess I’ll find out who that is soon), and is titled The Relic of Perilous Falls.  It is supposed to be an adventure series (think young Indiana Jones(?)) but with an emphasis on faith and the battle between Good and Evil as understood by Christians.  Hoping it will keep my nephew’s interest and mine.

On Things Learned from ‘Meditations’…

Verse of the Day

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance
~ James 1:2-3 ~

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So, I’m currently I just began reading (I tried the audio book thing for this a couple months back, and I really just can’t do it – I don’t know why, but I am completely unable to process books that way.  Other things, sure – books, not so much.  It’s weird.  And enough of that now.) Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and philosopher.  There’s a lot to like in it, and one of the things I noted was the very first part: he spends a portion of the book talking about what he learned, and to whom he attributed the teaching.  The following bit he attributes to one of his teachers, Claudius Maximus:

From Claudius Maximus, in all things to endeavour to have power
of myself, and in nothing to be carried about; to be cheerful and
courageous in all sudden chances and accidents, as in sicknesses: to
love mildness, and moderation, and gravity: and to do my business,
whatsoever it be, thoroughly, and without querulousness. Whatsoever
he said, all men believed him that as he spake, so he thought, and
whatsoever he did, that he did it with a good intent. His manner was,
never to wonder at anything; never to be in haste, and yet never
slow: nor to be perplexed, or dejected, or at any time unseemly, or
excessively to laugh: nor to be angry, or suspicious, but ever ready to
do good, and to forgive, and to speak truth; and all this, as one that
seemed rather of himself to have been straight and right, than ever to
have been rectified or redressed; neither was there any man that ever
thought himself undervalued by him, or that could find in his heart, to
think himself a better man than he. He would also be very pleasant and
gracious.

Just some really good things to learn for all of us: we can decide how we approach the world – do we approach every situation with cheerfulness or woe?  Do we live our lives in such a manner that people trust us?  Do we do our job in such a way that no one questions whether or not we did our best?  Do we do good and forgive?  All these are things we, as Christians, should be doing – it’s nice to see them echoed here in the classics as well; even from one who oversaw a government responsible for persecuting the early Christians – we’re all only human after all.

And that’s my thought for the morning…

Also, a few of my friends in Texas have been sharing this, so here’s a quick plug for the Texas Baptist Men.  They’re a group doing good work down in Texas right now, and we need to support those that are.  Don’t forget to find a way to contribute to the relief efforts in the Gulf region, and don’t forget to find ways to help out those in your own community!

Have an awesome Wednesday!

On ‘Strangers In A Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World’…

Verse of the Day

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
~ Romans 12:2 ~

I recently finished up this book (Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith In A Post-Christian World by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput), and I’ve got to say it was a pretty good read.  I try to keep a few things in my reading rotation at all times: the Bible, a history book, a work of fiction (science or otherwise), and a devotional/faith-based book – this one clearly falls into the latter.

I find a good deal of the writing and philosophy of the church can be attributed to the Catholic faith, and as such often find myself reading works by their members/leaders both contemporary and from the past (current book is by a Cardinal on the ‘Power of Silence’).

I’m going to ruin the ending of this book by, well…. this right here:

The Word of God testifies to the goodness of creation, the gift that is life, and the glory of the human person.  With this glory comes a duty.  We are born for the City of God.  The road home leads through the City of Man.  So we are strangers in a strange land, yes.
But what we do here makes all the difference.”

Drawing heavily on Augustine, archbishop Chaput does a pretty good job of tackling a complex issue in a simple enough way for most to understand: how do we, as Christians, live our lives in today’s super-screwed up world, and – more specifically – America.  He spends the first chapter of the book outlining his reasons for the book; the next chapter on a brief sweeping overview of American history, faith’s role in it, and more specifically the Catholic church’s/faith’s role; a handful of chapters are dedicated to how America got where it is today (where “‘Anything but Jesus’ could be the motto of the secular age.”); and the last few chapters deal with “our reasons for hope, and to how we can live as Christians, with joy, in a very different world”.

Reading the book and then later reading some critiques, it seems Abp. Chaput struck a nerve with many modern Christians; he writes at great length about morality, relationships, and the nature of humans’ sexuality as creatures of God: there’s a lot in there that doesn’t match with what the world we live in today believes, practices, and promotes, but we’ve had the luxury of living in a fairly Christian culture for many, many years – they had the same issues in Christ’s and the early church’s time as we do now (no, there truly is nothing new under the sun), there just seemed to be a lot more moral clarity on the part of the Body.

There was much in this book I appreciated: his belief that we are creatures of place, his consistency in doctrine, the introduction of other materials I could read (Letter to Diognetus, ‘Lord of the World‘, etc.), and – I’m not going to lie – this book made me think and convicted me a fewdoyoubelieveinthedevil different ways.  One of those is captured here in this strip (many who are familiar with Calvin & Hobbes know who their namesakes are) – I have for a good portion of my life fallen into Hobbes’ school of thought, and while it is easier to think that way – it’s not correct to think that way.  Another way is that in the past I haven’t focused much on my relationships with my brothers and sisters in Christ as much as I should have (if at all) – there’s always too much going on, other people to see, things to do, etc.  These are just two of the things this book made me ponder.

All this to say – I enjoyed this book, you may too.  If you have a chance, you can find it here or here or just ask to borrow it from me.

Here’s some of my favourite quotes from Abp. Chaput in no particular order:

  • What does God ask us to do in a seemingly post-Christian world?  The first thing he asks from us is to realize that the words “post-Christian” are a lie, so long as the fire of Christian faith, hope, and love lives in any of us.

  • We were made by God to receive love ourselves, and to show love to others – love anchored in the truth about the human person and the nature of human relationships.  That’s our purpose.  That’s why we were created.  We’re here to bear one another’s burdens, to sacrifice ourselves for the needs of others, and to live a witness of Christian love – in all our public actions, including every one of our social, economic, and political choices, but beginning with the conversion of our own heart.

  • …the tech revolution means more comforts for everyone.  It means easier communication, education, transportation, and work.  Technology equalizes opportunity in important ways.  Much of this is good.  But it also fuels a cult of efficiency, a fetish for tools, and a lopsided focus on the future.  It fosters boredom with the past.  It feeds self-interest.  It transfers huge wealth to a new, highly secular leadership class.  It punishes many workers in traditional industries.  It renders, or seems to render, the “supernatural” obsolete. And with its power to manipulate and propagandize, it reshapes our political life.

  • …we’re often worse than pagans. True pagans had a reverence for nature and the gods. Today we worship ourselves and our tools. That sin defaces the world.

  • Everyone’s grasp of truth rests to some degree on authority.  No one is really autonomous.  We can’t know everything on our own.  We need to trust others for guidance.  This is normal.  But who and what we trust matter greatly.  In American life, democracy and capitalism, despite their advantages, tend to erode the place of traditional authorities (families, religious faith, and other institutions), while putting new authorities (public opinion and market forces) in their stead.  And that has consequences.

  • Democracy tends to unmoor society from the idea of permanent truths.  Placing the law, which ideally reflects right and wrong, under the power of elections can seem to put truth itself on the ballot, because most people tend to equate the legal with the acceptable or good.  On the one hand, truth becomes relative and contingent on popular whim.  But on the other, it becomes radically privatized by the individual citizen.

  • The late distinguished sociologist Robert Nisbet, following Tocqueville, argued that when the forces of personal liberation are dominant in a culture, the result is not maximal liberty, but the absorption of liberty by government

  • The banking industry, corporate life, the mass media, religious ministries, athletics, law schools: Each has its scandals. In nearly every case the pattern is similar: Truth is adjusted or “interpreted,” ignored or justified away, to get seemingly urgent results. And deceit then spreads and takes root like a weed.

  • Aelred writes that true Christian friendship begins with two people who are drawn to some quality of holiness or virtue they see in each other. Since both persons love Jesus Christ and want to build their friendship on their love of Christ, Jesus is, in a real sense, the third person in their friendship.

  • In decoupling gender from biology and denying any given or “natural” meaning to male and female sexuality, gender ideology directly repudiates reality. People don’t need to be “religious” to notice that men and women are different. The evidence is obvious. And the only way to ignore it is through a kind of intellectual self-hypnosis.

  • The point of course is to be a great saint, to love greatly, rightly, and with passion, until we burn ourselves up in service to God and to others. Our wholeness, our integrity, depends on the health of our friendship with God. It was he who fashioned us from the dust. It was he who breathed his life into our bodies. So when we ignore God’s Word, we violate our own identity.


  • Patriotism, rightly understood, is part of a genuinely Christian life.  We’re creatures of place.  The soil under our feet matters.  Home matters.  Communities matter.  The sound and smell and taste of the world we know, and the beauty of it all, matter.  As G.K. Chesterton would say, there’s something cheap and unworthy – and inhuman – in a heart that had no roots, that feels no love of country.

     

On A Cup of Morning Joe And Other Things…

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One of my favourite memes…  EVER.

Verse of the Day:

No one calls for justice;
      no one pleads a case with integrity.
They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies;
     they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
~ Isaiah 54:9 ~

So the other day President Trump pardoned controversial figure Sheriff Joe Arpaio (SA); I would have shared my thoughts earlier, but I had a fantasy football draft to prepare for and attend – priorities people!

On the pardon itself
*shoulder shrug* Meh.
Everyone knew it was coming, and yet the media did what it does best: blew everything out of proportion and acted like the world was ending.  The coverage that night was ridiculous, and it continues to be.  As I’ve stated before: to me intellectual honesty and integrity are pretty key, and I’ll get into why this whole thing is stupid. on so many levels.

Regarding the President
He was going to Pardon SA from the beginning, and anyone who thought differently is living in a fantasy world – one that many of us may enjoy, please pass whatever it is you’re partaking in.  This was completely consistent with the President’s views that immigration law was poorly enforced by the last administration (it was), and that stricter enforcement was necessarily a good thing: this is not racist, this is not discriminatory – it is a policy preference for the laws of the land to mean something and be enforced accordingly.

Regarding Sheriff Arpaio
I can honestly say I don’t know much more about the man than what’s been in the news and what’s on Wikipedia – and I don’t care to; in the grand scheme of things – priorities, people!
But, what you can find about him is that almost since he was elected Sheriff in 1992 he has been a contentious figure; with many siding with him because of his hard-nosed stance towards criminals in jail and those here illegally, with many siding against him for many reasons mostly failing into the category of civil rights abuses (perceived and otherwise).
I’m not a big fan of that kind of thing; most of the time I (publicly) steer away from controversial fellows like that because it doesn’t foster good-will, harmony, and national unity (though I understand their necessity and usefulness from time-to-time) – something I think we need more of, and I’m a big fan of Vice-President Pence’s advice:

“If there’s a line you don’t want to cross, you don’t even walk up to it — you stop three feet in front of it.”

*advice maybe we should all take to heart – I know I should more often*
Now, maybe there were lines SA was okay approaching and/or viewed as worthy of crossing – that’s for him to say; the courts clearly disagreed with his interpretation of what law enforcement should be doing, and the legal process played out like it should have…  And a part of that is the President having the power to pardon if he deems proper; he did.  End of story.

Regarding the Right
Two parts here – there is the portion of the Right that seeks to be admired by the public and the media and can’t wait to be the first to condemn President Trump because it will score them political points, and there is the portion that can’t get enough of The Donald.
On the former, nothing new to see here: the decision may have been politically unpopular, and political animals will do political things – it’s what they do.
On the latter, it’s a victory lap that perhaps they should not be taking part in.  Your guy got pardoned, be thankful and move on: I know the left and the media aren’t going to let it go – don’t let them drag you into the muck.  Also, there is an incredible amount of posturing involving the moral equivalency of the previous administration, the ‘they did it first’ argumentation, etc. – I’ll get into that momentarily – don’t worry about it, but…  The President has the Constitutional Right to pardon and commute, if you had a problem when the last President did it – you should have problems now; have the integrity to be consistent in your application of political principles.  And another thing: none of this is conducive to promoting better community and unity, so let’s focus on that when and where we can.  All that to say…
What’s done is done, move on.

Regarding the Left / Media
Seriously?  You have problems with this pardon, but you had no problem with the previous administration deciding that our Constitutional form of government didn’t suit their needs desires so they were going to unilaterally change immigration policy?  You have problems with a law enforcement officer attempting to enforce the lawfully passed laws of the land in regard to immigration, but you have no problems with people who break those laws (even Justin Trudeau of Canada has a problem with people who do that – where’s the condemnation there? I mean, he is a racist, right?).  Where were you when the last President was commuting the sentence of a traitor and pardoning one who leaked national secrets?  If you didn’t say anything about Manning and/or Cartwright – shut your cakehole, you have no room to condemn – and this applies doubly to the media.  The coverage on this was bordering on apocalyptic and that is just embarrassing for the media and the left when they refuse to provide wall-to-wall coverage on these – it is an indictment of an ideology that has one thing, and one thing only in mind: the march of leftist policies no matter the cost.  Also, you have no problem calling for civility in discourse, but the second someone disagrees with you on immigration policy (or any policy for that matter really) you publicly denounce them as racists?  As fascists?  This doesn’t help your cause, it just makes reasonable people think you’re unreasonable, self-absorbed jackasses without a reasonable worldview or any rational context – I have friends that immediately called President Trump racist for pardoning SA and believing immigration laws should be enforced, and it made me cringe.  Get over yourselves already.  Believing that immigration should be regulated and the laws surrounding it should be enforced is not racist, it is not fascist, it is reasonable.  It is reasonable to disagree with the current law, but if you don’t like the law – change the law; if our elected officials choose not to change it – get new ones at the ballot box.  But until then, the law is the law is the law – and we are “a government of laws, and not of men” as John Adams once aptly pointed out.

I think that covers most everyone and everything – maybe I’ll think of something more later on.

But my conclusion is we all need to take a deep breath, re-evaluate how we’ve reacted to situations in the past and now, find a way to assess our opinions without attacking people who have different policy preferences, and then watch some football (or baseball) for the love of all that’s holy!  There are Husky and Duck fans to rip on for goodness sake.  😇

On A Troubling Double Standard…

Verse of the Day:

Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.  You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.
~ II Chronicles 6:14-15 ~

Today I wonder what the generation that gave birth to the greatest experiment mankind ever conceived would think of us and what we have become – I wonder what every preceding generation would think…  And I’m speaking in reference to the America we live in where a high school coach that kneels in prayer is fired and a player that prays is mocked, while a football player that kneels during the national anthem is deifiedimg_1298 (I’m not linking to anything because I couldn’t figure out which douchiest love-fest for this craptastic quarterback I should use, so I used his stats from the last two seasons) and a high school coach that encourages his entire team to do the same in honor of said player is cheered and celebrated.  To be honest, I know what the Father of our country would think about the former, he made it pretty clear:

“If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed in the Convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it, and if I could now conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny and every species of religious persecution.”
~ President George Washington ~

From a guy who supposedly found little solace in religion personally, he sure took religious practices in the public and private sphere awfully seriously.  Also, I’m pretty sure we know where he stood on those objects that were symbols of national unity – they were things he gave his entire adult life to after all.

I was pretty disheartened today when the most overturned Court of Appeals, the hallowed (sarcasm, Sheldon) 9th Circuit (though that part is heartening – they are so wrong so much of the time it would be comical if we didn’t have to live with their terrible decisions for any period of time) ruled that the Bremerton High School had rightfully fired him because he somehow forcefully proselytized by quietly praying by himself after the game (you’ve really got to read the opinion – it is so ridiculous you will be amazed!).  Give me a break.  We have to deal with schools that have transgender reveal parties for five-year olds that parents can’t excuse their children from and children in the first grade can get sent to the Principle’s office because they misgender someone… and that’s okay?  But a coach can’t pray by himself in public because… it’s wrong?  It’s forcing an ideology down someone’s throat?  It hurt your widdel feewings?  It will make you grow purple polka-dots on aquamarine skin?  Grow up.  I am so ready to give up on the general public and move to the wilderness right now… because I’m an outdoorsman (I’m not an outdoorsman).

The double standard here is so painfully obvious, and those that don’t acknowledge it are willfully ignorant/oblivious: many of the same people that are perfectly fine with this coach’s firing (or even openly appreciate it) celebrate Kaepernick’s open insult to one of the few symbols that should unify us as a people, and think somebody should be forced to hire him; at least Kap has a reason for not having a job – he sucks at football, that coach didn’t – he just exercised his First Amendment Rights and got fired for it.  How intellectually dishonest can we be as a society?  Do we even care?  Or is it really all just about pushing an illiberal agenda where there’s no room for the public embrace of the faith that has helped this Nation grow as much as it has?  I have a feeling I know the answer, it’s just so sad.

I pray that the Supreme Court has the good sense to do what needs to be done, and overturn the 9th AGAIN.; I pray that common sense returns to the people of this land; I pray we find a sense of morality grounded in our Creator’s wisdom again; and I pray for the people in the path of zombie hurricane Harvey.

In closing, here’s a link to some ways to help victims of Hurricane Harvey which has just made landfall in Texas.

I’ll catch you on the flip side…

On Leadership…

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Verse of the Day

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

~ Matthew 20:25-28 `

Today we had a work event where the head of our department (fairly new to our organization) wanted to take the time at our first all-around get-together to talk about his views on leadership and the principles he lives by.  He started out with a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry about leadership being inspiring people to long for something rather than assigning tasks, then he moved on to discussing the balance between control and trust and how it plays into empowerment.

With the topic of leadership coming up, it reminded me of this:

“I think leadership comes from integrity – that you do whatever you ask others to do. I think there are non-obvious ways to lead. Just by providing a good example as a parent, a friend, a neighbor makes it possible for other people to see better ways to do things. Leadership does not need to be a dramatic, fist in the air and trumpets blaring, activity.”
~ Scott Berkun ~

Sometimes I wonder if I’m being the kind of leader I need to be, or was meant to be. Sometimes it pays to take stock of our lives and ask the questions – are we leading? Are we doing what needs to be done and sharing in the work? Are we doing the non-obvious things as well as the obvious things? And where we lead – do people follow? Should they follow? Are we the family member, friend and neighbor we should be? And when we’ve asked the questions – do we like the answers? And even if we do like the answers – can we work on it and make them better?

Just my thought for the day…

On The Day That Was Yesterday When Stupid Seemed To Reign…

Verse of the Day:

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

~ Proverbs 19:21 ~

I’ve got a lot of plans…  I hope and pray they’re in alignment!


Now, On Other Things

Wow…  What a busy, stupid day yesterday.wha

ESPN cancels a reporter’s appearance at a game… because of his name?!  President Trump was… well, Donald Trump.  The media, pundits, and elected officials lost their minds (again).  The Bundy’s were acquitted.  And the Chicago Bears’ coaching staff still refuses to acknowledge that Mike Glennon probably isn’t the answer to anything other than “What QB got paid the most for showing almost nothing this year?”.

 

In “Ways People Couldn’t Be Stupider” today…  ESPN determined it was in everyone’s best interest to shuffle their announcer deck so that a young Asian-American announcer named Robert Lee wouldn’t have to announce a game at the University of Virginia on opening week.  Defending this move, they claimed they were merely trying to protect their staff from ridicule.  Well, they succeeded – kind of.  Instead of mean-spirited memes or other things (that naturally occur in sports anyways…  ALL THE TIME), they are victims of their own hubris, and are being excoriated by virtually everyone over this stupidest of moves.  Honestly, I didn’t think we could get this dumb as a society – clearly I was wrong.  Not only does it hurt ESPN in the now, it exacerbates the (correct) perception that ESPN is moving well beyond sports (the arena it should be focused on) and expanding ever more rapidly into advancing leftist political agendas; there’s a reason I don’t watch ESPN anymore, and this is just the most recent example.  #dontwatchESPNanymoreitsbadforyourbrainpan


Then…  Last night the President did what only Donald Trump can do: he was himself.  This was the Donald Trump that ate through 17 4 much more qualified candidates (and 13 other guys/gals) in the Republican primary and then surprisingly (not really) squelched Secretary Clinton’s presidential aspirations in the general.  It was the Trump that rallied people across the country and rallied them around #DrainTheSwamp, and his supporters couldn’t get enough of it.  And the left and the media and the entrenched apologists for a do-nothing Republican Congress couldn’t take it…  It was kind of beautiful to watch – any time a crowd embraces and chants the idea that “CNN Sucks” I become happy.  Any time pundits respond to this like it’s the first time they’ve seen Donald Trump be The Donald and try to question his capacities, etc. – I am amused and entertained.  The unhinging of the left, the media, and those Republicans who can’t bother to keep their campaign promises (that one vote short came about because a guy who ran hard against Obamacare to get re-elected cared more about sticking it to the President than about the American people imnsho) is something that should be on display for all to see.  And that group of people – guilty of the worst kind of insular group-think – who keep floating the idea of unilaterally undermining the proper election results by removing this President are worse than the Russians they claim did the same thing (wait, we haven’t heard about that in a while since they don’t have anything…  Kind of funny how the media, left, etc. move from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis in order to undermine this President).  All that rambling to say – this rally wasn’t as great as the President’s fans think it was, but it was nowhere near as bad as the media and others are trying to pan it to be – and it certainly wasn’t anything new.  People who expected Donald Trump to stop being Donald Trump because he was elected President need to disabuse themselves of that notion and at least try to understand the appeal of him to the everyman – something I gather they never will.


I kind of covered the melt-down of the left, etc. in response to yesterday’s rally above; suffice to say it was hilarious and epic in its disproportion.  Maybe if the media started doing its job instead of acting like they were an opposition party; maybe if pundits – I’ve got nothing here other than they should cease being scaremongers, acting as if every time the President opened his mouth the world was ending (Clapper was especially trite the other day), and calling anyone that supports the President a racist, homophobic, transphobic Confederate Nazi scum (or something to that effect).


The Bundy’s were acquitted… And how that happened I will never know.  While I agree that the Federal Government is increasingly expansive, and has usurped much power that should have never fallen into its hand, and is about as responsive as the British government was to the colonists back in the 18th century – there are laws, and by all accounts the Bundy’s broke them.

Look, we may agree with the plight of the Bundy’s and be sympathetic to their cause; that doesn’t mean what they did was right or legal.  I chalk this up to people being fed up with the government, but I find little solace in a jury deciding to acquit individuals who broke the law because they don’t like the law.  We have elections, and the power of redress in our States through initiative and petitions – that’s how you change laws you don’t like.  Super irritating to be on the side of law and order, only to have half your side abandon those principles when it doesn’t suit their wants.


And lastly – what is going on in Chicago?!  How have we not given Mitch the opportunity to take snaps with the first team yet?  John Fox refusing to even give the inkling it might be on the table leaves me flabbergasted, and it needs to stop!  Mike Glennon may be a great guy and an exceptional teammate; he’s not looking like the best quarterback on our roster and it’s time to see what else we’ve got before the season starts!  #FirstTeamRepsforMitch


 

On The World Being A Little Less Funny Now… (and more)

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances…”

On Sunday, August 20, 2017 the world became a less funny place.  One of its great humourists, Jerry Lewis, exited the stage one final time leaving behind a legacy he and his family can be proud of.

220px-Jerry_Lewis_-_1960s
“I’ve had great success being a total idiot.”

I can’t claim to know too much about the man himself, but from what I can gather he was a consummate professional – dedicated to his craft, and making himself the best he could be at it; he also seemed to have a heart for serving others as his life-long work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (maybe donate one more time in his honour) and his desire to help children in need; and he was funny.

Not Will Ferrell ‘I’ll cringe while I laugh at your jokes and wouldn’t think of letting my niece and nephew watch or listen to you’ funny.  Not profanity-laced, crude modern-day stand-up funny.  Just funny.  Good old-fashioned, innocent funny.

Some years back when my niece was born, I felt the need to go out and buy several DVD sets of things I didn’t want her and my nephew to miss out on; included in those are three of the greatest duos of all time imnsho – Abbott & Costello, Hope & Crosby, and – you guessed it probable – Lewis & Martin.  These were the groups I wanted to share because they’re some of my favourite entertainment memories; those winter nights when mom and dad would go to Hollywood Video and rent us movies, it would often be these guys.  And one of my favourites!  Scared Stiff

This here is my kind of funny.  And it’s the kind of funny I’m glad I can share with everyone.

And now there’s less of it in the world…  You will be missed, Mr. Lewis, but you have left a mark that remains.  Thank you for the memories.

Godspeed.


In other news, the President gave a speech last night outlining the new strategy moving forward in Afghanistan…  and it was surprisingly good.  When CNN has a hard time finding anything bad to say about it, and Senator Graham has nothing but praise for President Trump – hell has frozen over with the jihadists in it (I wish).

trump-afghanistan-speech-nicholas-kammafpgetty-images-640x480
“The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable,” Trump said. “We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake we made Iraq.”

I appreciate what the President had to say, and that he was man enough to admit that he has changed his mind (as did the last President) based on the advice given to him.  While the worst people have been able to say about the speech is that President Trump didn’t give enough specifics – that is something I’m more than okay with.  He didn’t say exactly what he’d be doing and how long we’d be doing it – it’s best not to telegraph that info so the enemy can just wait us out… like they did when President Obama set an arbitrary withdrawal date of 18 months.  Apparently unlike our last President, this one occasionally learns from history.  President Trump has also done infinitely better than President Obama in not playing armchair General, and disseminating authority and decision-making power to the people who are qualified to do it on the ground – and this sounds like more of the same; which has given us yuuuuuge gains in the battle against ISIS so fat this year.  I look forward to seeing what our men and women in the armed forces can accomplish with the gloves taken off and the Generals in charge.

 


Today’s Verse:

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

~ Proverbs 17:17


And Another Thing…

The home of the First and Second Battles of Bull Run – Manassas, VA – has had to cancel its Civil War Weekend for safety concerns.  This is getting stupid, people – and it just keeps adding to the reasons people are the worst: so just stop it.

Civil War re-enactments were one of my favourite things to go to when I was younger; I loved learning about the era and the people and the events that shaped and changed the course of our country.  Just stop already.


On that note – have an awesome Tuesday!

On Totality

From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the LORD is to be praised.

~ Psalm 113:3 ~

IMG_0027IMG_0029

So… maybe photography isn’t my thing…  and I only had an iPhone and eclipse glasses to work with.  Go to NASA if you want better pictures.  🙂

Either way – this was pretty awesome!  And I’m glad I got to see it!

It’s also pretty amazing how much light is still generated by our sun when almost completely covered; it seemed as though there was just a substantial cloud cover – that’s pretty impressive output…  Right?  I dunno really – that’s a science question, and while I’m a nerd there’d better be a “-fiction” right after the science part if I’m going to have any chance in getting it right.

I know it’s just an object passing in front of another object,

eclipse_science
https://xkcd.com/1877/

but I still find these things amazing – God created a pretty awesome world and universe for us to enjoy.  Not only that, it’s kind of fun to see how the world has viewed events like these over the past few thousand years – check out these observations through time.  Pretty fun stuff.

 

Anyways, have an awesome Monday!

Musing of the Day: 8-20-2017

It’s Sunday!  And as such, today’s musing will be on some of what I’m studying in my Bible.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselveswith compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

~ Colossians 3:12-17 ~

thankAnd I can’t add much to that, so on that note – I’m out…

Just kidding!  It’s my blog, I feel the need to write – duh.

So, on this verse I don’t think there’s one of us out there that doesn’t struggle with these things:  being compassionate to everyone?  That homeless guy on the corner just needs to go get a job.  Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’?  Holding doors open for people?  Smiling at the attendant at the gas station?  Taking time to listen to a child talk about their day even though you can’t understand them?  That’s so 90s, nobody has time for that.  Humility – not the fake kind?  Pshaw!  Gentleness?  We’re not a gentle society.  Patience?  In this microwave, fast-food, 24-hour everything world we live in?!  And forgiveness?  That has no place in this grievance-based world, so-and-so did me wrong!  I’ll forgive them when they say/prove they’re sorry.  I must have justice!  There is no mercy! (I actually heard that last one from a fellow Christian once and was in such shock I didn’t know how to respond…  I still don’t know.)

We’ve got a lot to work on captured in these short five verses: some we have to work on more than others, and each of us has a different set of strengths and weaknesses in the mix from above.

But, if we want the Peace of the Lord to rule in our lives and in our hearts, we’ve got to try to do it all.  Thankfully we’re not alone, and the Spirit should provide us with the strength we need to do it; and thankfully the Father will forgive us when we fail – but we need to try at the very least.

One of the first things we can do that should help us set the tone in our lives so we can have the Peace of the Lord is to be thankful.  Find something each and every day that you can be thankful for; on days we have difficulty doing so, or when the forces of darkness are sneaking in – it can be as simple as the fact your 6′ above ground instead of 6′ under, the fact we have a sun that provides us with warmth, etc.  Other days we’ll find more, but it starts with a mindset where we focus on things we’re grateful for.  There are even contemporary social studies that show gratitude makes people happier and healthier; so if even the broken world we live in gets it – we should embrace it even more.

There’s other things we need to do to achieve letting the Peace of the Lord rule our lives and hearts: by loving others, being kind, being humble (though in my case, this boat may have already sailed… 🙂 ), being gentle, showing patience, and forgiving others frequently; but I think showing gratitude is a pretty good way to start.

So stay thankful, my friends – and have an awesome week.