Four for Thursday

We already knew about Hillary’s sale of uranium to Russia back when she was Secretary of State. But now we’re learning about the Obama administration’s cover-up and also that Robert Mueller, who is presumably investigating President Trump ’s collusion with Russia, was the actual delivery guy. The depths of the Obama/Hillary ring of corruption appears to be limitless. Also, what is Jeff Sessions and the DOJ going to do about any of this? Are we just going to have to watch liberal Democrats walk away from their crimes without any sort of prosecution like always? Or is Sessions finally going to put justice back in the Department of Justice?

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” Of course, Paul wrote this during the 1st century A.D. You might say humanity has changed since then. We’ve gotten smarter, right? Don’t fool yourself. The wise King Solomon wrote about 3,000 years ago, “There is nothing new under the sun.” That’s still applicable today. We haven’t thought of anything new. Man’s depravity is what it has always been. True, we have better technology now, but all that enables us to do is broadcast our foolishness much quicker and to more people. But it hasn’t made us any less depraved.

Ever since Harvey Weinstein’s long and prolific harassment of women became public knowledge just a couple of weeks ago, Hollywood has entertained us with a parade of accusers and accused. (You have to wonder if someone is eventually going to make a movie about all this.) These are the feminists, you know, women’s rights and all. These are the ones who pretend to be outraged over something Donald Trump said on tape several years ago. Well, Weinstein, and apparently many others, actually did those things. I do enjoy watching liberals eat their own. The only thing left now is to take down the “HOLLYWOOD” sign, since it has become a symbol of female oppression and objectification.

The NBA regular season began the evening before last, and I couldn’t care less. It has become as meaningless as the NFL. Fortunately, Adam Silver got a handle on any potential National Anthem protests before they got started. It was a smart move. But you’ve still got coaches spouting off their liberalism and LeBron James whining about racial oppression. In truth, I had already been losing interest in the NBA before now. With the emergence of a handful of “super teams,” there really isn’t any suspense left. The first two rounds of the playoffs are just a formality to sell more tickets and TV rights. David Fizdale’s comments a couple of months ago, where he called us Trump defenders “sick or just plain stupid” finally sent me over the edge. It’s not that I’m boycotting like the NFL. It’s that I just don’t care anymore. The NBA is no longer a worthwhile diversion, so I’m seeking other diversions. I’m a man of many and varied interests. I’ll find something.

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The power of the pattern (Matthew 6:9-13)

The Sermon on the Mount is the longest sermon preached by Christ that is recorded in the gospels. There are many spiritual truths contained in these chapters.

There’s not one person who has ever had a sizeable impact on the work of the kingdom here on earth who did not have an intimate prayer life.

What we know as the “Lord’s Prayer” is contained in this passage. It is the model prayer of how we should pray.

Unfortunately, this has become the “rosary prayer” for modern Christianity. We don’t have to use the exact words, but ought to instead follow the pattern of this prayer.

The greatest way to pray to God is to use the word of God. The more of the word of God we store in our heads the more we’ll be able to pray it back to God.

The Bible has a lot to say about God’s people “getting low” before God. Real prayers are only delivered when we humble ourselves before God.

We believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths, but it’s the pattern of the prayer that we are to use.

1. Position

God is the Father. We are His humble servants. We approach God with this in mind. We go to Him with our deepest longings and brokenness and in our greatest time of need.

God is the perfect Father. He is never unjust. He actually wants to hear from us. We are family, after all. How much more shall He give good things to those who ask?

Prayer is not about us, but about Him.

2. Place

Heaven is a real place. We are only granted access by grace and repentance. But we get the ear of heaven when we pray.

In the Father’s house are many mansions. It is a lofty place, a place of majestic character.

Sometimes God will have to remove things — even good things — from our lives that have become distractions.

We don’t need a pope or a priest. We have direct access to God the Father. Christ has already served as our mediator. If you don’t pray, then you forfeit that privilege. We are distracted by too many things here on earth.

3. Praise

Hallowed be thy name. When you pray, bring a whole lot of praise with you. It doesn’t matter how many trials you face in a day, you can still praise God for something.

Things could always be worse. Someone does have it worse. You aren’t dead yet. And God is still good. But we go into God’s presence and ask for stuff instead of praising Him for things we already have.

He deserves all of our praise and adoration. Sometimes it is good to just go before God and praise Him and not ask for anything (a “praise-fest”).

When you have praise on your tongue, it confuses the enemy.

4. Prophesy

We know because of Jesus that His real kingdom is coming. We will reign with Him. We ought to anticipate these things. We want to watch God fulfill prophecy.

The very next thing on God’s calendar is the snatching away of the bride of Christ.

5. Principle

The way things happen in heaven are the way things should happen here on earth. In heaven, people are praising and rejoicing. If the word of God is exalted there, it ought to be exalted here.

We are going to be enamored by the majesty of God. And when He starts something up there we ought to feel it down here.

6. Provision

If we didn’t have needs, we wouldn’t need to come into the presence of God. Everything we have is a provision from God.

It says give us our daily bread. So stop praying for what you might need 6 months from now and pray for what you need today. And you don’t need more, you just need a sufficient amount.

7. Pardon

We are supposed to forgive others as God forgives us. Sometimes our prayer lives are hindered because we are unwilling to forgive others who have wronged us. So let’s pray for the grace we need to forgive others. If we are unwilling to grant forgiveness, we won’t know how to receive it ourselves.

What others may have done to us pales in comparison to what we have done to Christ.

There’s always a choice to taking a way out of sinfulness if we would only take it. Sometimes we just don’t want it.

8. Purity

Walk with God and be holy. Be pure and God will bless our lives for it.

9. Power

Let Him who owns the church get credit for the church. He owns it all. It is His kingdom and His world.

There’s no way the church can operate only on the power of its pastor or its people. It’s His power and His glory, and so we give God the worship and praise He deserves.

Prayer honors God. Get out of the way and exalt Him first.

The anti-motivational message of taking a knee

Perhaps the saddest part of the ongoing National Anthem protests taking place primarily in the NFL is that professional athletes who engage in this behavior are willingly embracing victimhood and wasting their opportunity to be motivators. Here you have highly-paid athletes who have worked incredibly hard to become the best at what they do, and instead of passing along their work ethic to others to emulate, they are using the stage to promote victimhood and helplessness. Theirs is the most anti-motivational message you can deliver. Athletes in high school and even in grade school are emulating the take-a-knee athletes they see in pro sports, really not knowing what they are protesting. They just see their “role models” doing it, so it must be cool. What a terrible thing to do to your own brand. But that’s liberalism in a nutshell: anti-motivation.

Memories of basic training

Every so often, someone would fail a test or become a non-qualified swimmer — you have to be able to swim to be in the Navy — and you would get “ASMO’ed.” I’ve forgotten what the acronym stood for — the Navy has an entire language of acronyms — but it means you got set back a week and you had to join a company that was a week behind. We lost several recruits this way, and inherited several others. Those who didn’t do well on the inspections were called “bugs.” The companies that did really well were said to have gotten rid of all their bugs. Those companies that did poorly were known as “bug companies.” I never got “ASMO’ed,” but I did only score 28/40 on a test once, which was 70%, which was the minimum passing score. One more missed question and I would have gotten ASMO’ed. I cannot describe how incredibly embarrassing that would have been. (I also might not have gone to Naples, Italy for 2-1/2 years. I was in the right place at the right time in getting those orders.)

One day they bussed us to another part of the base to learn how to fight fires. It was one of the hottest days of basic training. They divided the company into groups, and each group got to demonstrate how to extinguish a particular class of fire. I remember they served us sack lunches inside, and I was so thirsty I bought 2 sodas at the soda machine and had no trouble finishing both in a short time. At any rate, right before it was my group’s turn fight our fire, the base raised a heat flag, which meant we had to suspend all outdoor activities, and so we never got to fight our fire.

That was also the day we got gassed. They put us all into a small cinder block building and gave us gas masks. Then they shut the door and filled the place with tear gas. Everything was fine until they made us remove the masks. Then they opened the door and let us out single file. But before they let you pass, you had to tell them your name, which is a challenge when you’re gasping for air.

The thing about tear gas, we all found out, is that it cleans out your sinuses, so we’d run away from the building with phlegm dangling from our noses. I’m not sure what the purpose of that was, except to teach us not to ever want to get tear gassed again.

The boondockers they gave us really did a number on my feet early on. I spent many evenings popping blisters, and it was painful to walk in those things for about the first 2 weeks. I bought 2 pairs of inserts — one pair for each shoe, but the pain and blisters continued. I guess I finally got acclimated to those awful boots, because the pain eventually did go away.

We spent the last few weeks practicing for Graduation Day, a big ceremony when everyone’s family was invited to Great Lakes. We went through an elaborate pass and review routine, complete with our dress uniforms and fake rifles. My mother, father, and brother made the trip, and so I got to spend the weekend with them off base.

As I wrote before, the summer of that year was unusually hot, and sometimes, after long hours outside, I’d get so thirsty I could hardly stand it. I guess most everyone did. There was only one scuttlebutt (water fountain) for the 80 of us. We weren’t about to stand in that long of a line, so most of us would congregate in the bathroom, turn the sinks on, cup our hands under the faucet, and quench our thirst the hard way. Sometimes I’d scoop so much water into my mouth it would feel like my stomach was about to burst, and yet I’d still be thirsty.

Every evening we’d send one of the recruits down to the mail room to collect the day’s letters, and he’d pass out everyone’s mail. It was the highlight of everyone’s day. Sometimes one of us would get a package, and he would have to wait until Sunday before he could retrieve it.

As hard as those 8-1/2 weeks were for me, being homesick and in an environment completely alien to anything I had ever before experienced, the day we finally departed was a bit sad. In an odd sort of way, I had become attached to that Godforsaken place, many of my fellow recruits, even our two company commanders. In the end, I was excited about moving on to my apprenticeship training at Chanute AFB, just down the road in Rantoul, IL. There I would enjoy a little more freedom, and would commence what would turn out to be a lifelong endeavor of studying meteorology. I remember riding a Greyhound bus out of the base that morning, through the gates, and into the free world for the first time in 2 months.

Words

viand (n.) — an item of food

bosky (adj.) — wooded; covered by trees or bushes

coney (n.) — a rabbit (British)

paternoster (n.) — the Lord’s Prayer, especially in Latin

bovine (adj.) — (of a person) slow-moving and dull-witted

lagniappe (n.) — something given as a bonus or extra gift

nexus (n.) — a connected group or series

tong (n.) — a Chinese association or secret society in the U.S., frequently associated with underworld criminal activity

warren (n.) — a network of interconnecting rabbit burrows

patronymic (adj.) — denoting or relating to a name derived from the name of a father or male ancestor

gourmand (n.) — a person who enjoys eating and often eats too much

fugacious (adj.) — tending to disappear; fleeting

portmanteau (n.) — a large trunk or suitcase, typically made of stiff leather and opening into two equal parts

perspicacity (n.) — the quality of having a ready insight into things; shrewdness

maelstrom (n.) — a powerful whirlpool in the sea or a river

pabulum (n.) — bland or insipid intellectual fare, entertainment, etc.; pap

halitosis (n.) — bad breath

bagatelle (n.) — a thing of little importance

losel (n.) — a worthless person

yclept (adj.) — by the name of

A dozen examples of liberal projection

When progressives accuse the right of waging a war on women, it is obviously projection. The real war on women is being waged by Hollywood leftists and Democrat politicians.

When progressives accuse capitalists of greed, it is obviously projection. Progressives wage entire political campaigns on their desire to take from one group and give to another. Their pet issues center around money. Plus, Bernie owns three houses.

When progressives accuse Republicans of not accepting election results, it is obviously projection. They did their best to steal the 2000 election from George W. Bush, and they have obsessed over non-existent Russian meddling in the 2016 election to the point that it’s a form of neurosis.

When progressives accuse conservatives of racism, it is obviously projection. The history of the Democrat Party is racism. And in 2017, try telling a progressive that all lives matter and see what kind of reaction you get.

When progressives accuse President Trump of Nazism, it is obviously projection. The tactics of today’s leftists very closely resemble the tactics of the Nazis (desire to disarm the public, censorship, media propaganda, physical intimidation at leftist college campuses, eugenics).

When progressives accuse Second Amendment advocates of supporting mass killings, it is obviously projection. Progressives support abortion with no restraints, endeavor to import jihadists under the guise of refugees from war-torn regions, and some even shoot Republicans and police officers for sport. Plus, the Clintons know a lot of people who are now dead.

When progressives accuse President Trump of trying to destroy the American healthcare system, it is obviously projection. They’ve already tried to do that with ObamaCare.

When progressives accuse President Trump of trying to take away rights, it is obviously projection. It is the left that is trying to overturn the Second Amendment.

Democrats and the #fakenews media tried so hard to turn Puerto Rico into Trump’s Katrina. But it was just projection. It has become apparent that the leftist San Juan mayor sabotaged relief efforts in her own city in an effort to undermine the Trump administration.

Progressives and some establishment Republicans warned that the stock market was going to crash after we elected Donald Trump. But it was just projection. They wanted the stock market to crash and American investors to suffer so they would blame Trump, but the stock market has soared and investors have enjoyed a bounty.

When progressives accuse the Trump White House of chaos and disarray, it is obviously projection. It is the Democrats and #fakenews media that are in disarray. In fact, they are proving Trump Derangement Syndrome to be a form of neurosis.

When progressives accuse the right of intolerance, it is obviously projection. A certain number of them believe violence is justifiable when faced with dissenting points of view.

Quote du jour

On Wednesday’s show, Rush Limbaugh offered the following explanation as to why so many Hollywood men are liberal, or at least give the appearance they are liberal:

How many of these guys in Hollywood actually are liberals? When the purpose of Hollywood is to get girls and then doing whatever you have to do and being whatever you have to be in order to get girls, if you think that you gotta be pro-choice and if you think you have to be supportive of every wacko feminist cause, and if that’s what it takes to succeed in Hollywood and to get girls, then that’s what you’ll do, whether you believe it or not. I think that explains a lot of it. I don’t know how much. It’s phoniness is the bottom line. But what it has led to is that the vast majority of the truly abusive anti-women behavior actually exists and takes place in liberalism, among people on the left who all have an immunity from it.

Link

A permanent state of racial agitation

I was born in 1969. My memory of current events only goes back to the mid 1970’s. I was in kindergarten or 1st grade when I became aware of some vague undercurrent of tension between whites and blacks. On the school bus, the blacks students still sat in the back, although by then it was voluntary. It was a habit. It wasn’t that long after MLK’s assassination, but, in retrospect, race relations had improved significantly since the upheaval that was the 1960’s.

Here we are more than 40 years later, and race relations in America are worse than they have every been since I can remember. It’s not because of white oppression or some sort of forced re-segregation. It’s strictly because of the left. Democrats and liberals have succeeded in keeping blacks and guilty-feeling white SJW’s in a permanent state of racial agitation. What they do is truly deplorable, but they get away with it because the politics of grievance is what keeps Democrats in power in many parts of the U.S.

No people have ever been as free, as wealthy, nor as blessed as Americans in the year 2017, and it irks me to listen to agitators like the reverends and our former community organizing president rip our nation to shreds. The irony of ironies is the sudden epidemic of professional athletes lecturing the rest of us on their “oppression.” Some of these athletes earn more in a single game than the average fan earns in an entire year, yet we are supposed to sympathize with their plight. There are plenty of Americans with far less means who nonetheless count their blessings and give thanks every day for the luxury of being an American. Those who live in permanent outrage over the false perception of racial oppression do not understand that human history is one of oppression, poverty, despots, dungeons, disease, famine and abject misery. You even see these conditions in many parts of the world today. But not in America. If you can’t be happy in America in 2017, it’s not America’s fault. You’re just a miserable human being.

The politics of grievance has 3 elements: a fake oppressed victim group (blacks, women, Muslims, etc.), a fake oppressor group (white conservative Christians), and a savior (the Democrat Party). The Democrats have mastered this. Never mind that the Democrat Party has traditionally been the greatest of all oppressors — their history consists of the KKK, lynchings, Jim Crow and “segregation forever” — yet they are credited as the fixers of wrongs.

The black community is plagued by myriad social troubles. The large majority of black murders are committed by other blacks. Fatherlessness is epidemic in the black community, and along with it comes poverty, lack of motivation, waste of talent, lawlessness, etc. Yet white conservatives are falsely held up as black oppressors. This used to be true. Back when Democrats ran the South, blacks had legitimate complaints. But as the South turned more Republican, segregation and oppression faded.

In reality, every single one of these aforementioned issues can be laid at the feet of the Democrat Party. You can blame fatherlessness and poverty on the left’s transfer-of-wealth welfare programs. Problems that are endemic to inner cities all across America occur in areas that are run by Democrats, and have been for decades. With Democrats, life never gets better, yet they consistently champion themselves as the ones to make life better.

What is the solution? Democrats never propose any. Oh, they’ll talk about reparations for slavery (which ended 152 years ago), or removing confederate statues. They’ll protest, stand in the road, shoot police officers, or take a knee during the National Anthem. But what happens when one of their demands is met? What next? In Memphis, for example, removing statues of dead Confederates is all the rage. So let’s say they succeed in moving the statues. Then what? When no one’s life gets better, what’s the next solution? Well, there isn’t one. And that’s the intent. The only intent is to keep blacks in a permanent state of outrage over slights that do not exist. This is how failed liberal politicies keep perpetuating. They don’t want a solution. A genuine solution would be the end of the Democrat Party. No, all they want is the outrage.

There was a man sent from God (John 1:6-8, Matthew 3:1-12)

John the Baptist is a very well-known but misunderstood figure in the Bible.

Shouldn’t we be believers that the world just can’t ignore?

John is the most evangelistic of all the gospel writers.

We are told from the outset that John the Baptist was a man sent from God. He came to prepare the way specifically for Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist was a witness just as we are witnesses today. We know he was sent from God because of the spiritual fruit he produced in his life.

When you repent you live a life that proves you have repented.

John the Baptist was a young man, no more than 31 years old. He lived in the wilderness doing some unbelievable things for the kingdom.

Until John the Baptist, the world had endured some 400 years without a word from God. When God didn’t speak, man simply made up things about God and presented it as doctrine.

In the Old Testament, God always had a prophet to call the nation of Israel to repentance. And then it stopped, so that for 400 years God was silent.

Religion had dominated the world and the people were so beaten down by rules and regulations that they were unable to recognize the truth. And then came John the Baptist just when the world needed him most.

Religion is fake and it is man-made and it will burn you to the ground. Legalism will break you one way or another.

John was called “the Baptist” simply because he was a baptizer of men.

Why did people show up in the wilderness to hear John the Baptist? It’s no more complicated than the fact that John was preaching the Bible. People will go anywhere if they know they will get spiritually fed when they get there.

Christ said John the Baptist was the greatest prophet who ever lived. John preached a message of repentance.

The gospel has been so watered down that a preacher who calls people to repentance draws ire and anger.

People sent from God tell the truth whether the people want to hear it or not. 

Sometimes pastors seem mean and stern, but don’t ever mistake passion for anger. Jesus Himself was a passionate preacher. And it’s okay to get angry about sin and get mad at the devil.

John the Baptist wore camel’s hair and leather when the religious leaders in that day wore colorful robes. He wore a beard when the Levites were clean-shaven. John the Baptist did not want to be confused with the religious leaders.

The most honest preacher is one who cannot be bought out. And most of the people John the Baptist angered were the religious leaders.

The Pharisees and Sadducees showed up to see John the Baptist preach and they hated him. They were there as fault-finders looking to criticize the things he was saying.

The most abrasive preacher was also the one whom Jesus chose.

You don’t have to be a jerk, but you also don’t have to water down your beliefs just to keep from angering others.

Even the religious leaders, who knew the Scriptures better than anyone, had to be called to repentance.

God isn’t interested in all the things we have done, but cares all about our relationships, especially our relationship with Him.

John the Baptist knew he was a “big shot,” but approached his ministry with great humility.

In the end, God will determine who’s fake and who’s real.

In Luke 7:28, Jesus said there was not a greater man born of a woman than John the Baptist.

What kept John’s head low to the ground was the understanding that his only role was to bear witness to a much greater Witness. He must increase and we must decrease.

The king ultimately called on John the Baptist to speak and learned very quickly that you don’t let a prophet preach for a pervert. John called him out on his sin.

In the end, John the Baptist was executed for preaching the truth. We don’t know the name of the executioner because it isn’t given. If you stand up for the truth of the gospel, no one will remember those who try to tear you down.