This week’s musings

If you were at an Italian restaurant and had just finished a pasta dish and the waiter asked if you wanted more and you were already full, you would tell him, “basta pasta.” This literally means, “that’s enough pasta.”

My friend Bob had a stroke 7 months ago. He and his family are at a summer camp this week among kindred souls. He is in a wheelchair. Every day is a challenge. I don’t know what the future holds. But somehow they are carving out a “new normal.” We aren’t guaranteed any tomorrows.

Every once-in-a-while, when someone learns I’m a runner, they’ll say, “Well you be careful.” I don’t know how to answer this without being rude. I mean, be careful how? Don’t run out in traffic? Don’t step on a nail? Don’t forget to tie my shoes? Like I don’t know what I’m doing.

This children-separated-from-their-parents meme will go the way of all the other #fakenews memes and manufactured crises: on the ash heap of left wing hysteria. There are a thousand of them.

Any time liberals pretend to be outraged over something that involves children, just remind yourself that they also advocate the mass killing of the unborn, even right up to the moment of birth. Never forget that. Their moral outrage is always fake.

The apparent lack of outrage over Peter Fonda’s remark leads me to believe pedophilia is an accepted practice in Hollywood. But we’re supposed to believe the left cares about separating a child from his parents.

Unfortunately, we live in a world governed largely by emotion. And unfortunately, logic and reason cannot overcome emotion when it comes to discourse. All you can do is walk away from the emotional and don’t get caught up in it yourself.

Since the Democrats believe an immigration law that Congress passed ought not be enforced, what other laws do they think ought not be enforced? Can we also disregard all these “common sense” gun laws we have on the books?

Part of what makes the Trump presidency so awesome are the obstacles, roadblocks & challenges. It’s like The Donald is a permanent underdog and always doubted, undermined & counted out. Yet all he does is win.

The World Cup is being played in Russia. The U.S. failed to qualify for the World Cup. And we’re supposed to believe Trump colluded with Russia?

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Deep thoughts about ice cream

At Dairy Queen, they turn your blizzard upside-down, and if it falls out, they give it to you for free. But they don’t give you that blizzard because it’s splattered all over the counter. So they have to make you a second one. (This is all theoretical to me because every blizzard I’ve ever ordered has defied gravity and remained in the cup.) This is good for you, because you get a free blizzard. It’s bad for Dairy Queen, because they have to absorb the cost of two blizzards without recompense. So they have a vested interest in making sure that first blizzard stays put.

It seems to me like some high-calorie magic trick.

The King is coming (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

If you are saved by the grace of God then live like you are saved by the grace of God.

We are one day going to be gathered unto Him. Heaven is Heaven because of Jesus Christ.

Don’t be anxious about the coming of the Lord. At that time, someone had written the church at Thessaloniki and told them they had missed the coming of Christ. They believed the lie.

If it contradicts the truth of Scripture it can’t be right. Test the spirits to see if they are of God.

The purpose of the tribulation is not to judge the church but to gather the nation of Israel.

In the present, we are seeing all sorts of false doctrine being introduced into the church. The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.

The word “perdition” in verse 3 means “son of destruction.” If you are saved, then you will never be under the reign of the antichrist.

The devil cannot create; he only imitates. He can only mimic what God creates.

At the midpoint of the tribulation, the antichrist will declare himself not only the ruler of the world, but declare himself god. This is the abomination of desolation. He will so deceive people that they will worship him.

Pay attention to these teachings.

Sin is everywhere. The mystery of sin is greater now than ever before. Judgment may be delayed but judgment will come. Things are not going improve.

The church is actually preserving the culture. The Holy Spirit is restraining the flow of iniquity. When the Lord calls the church home, a tidal wave of iniquity will unleash.

The antichrist takes over as he is inhabited by the devil. Whereas believers are filled with the Holy Spirit, antichrist will be filled by Satan.

The devil does have power. Remember, the magicians were able to duplicate some of the miracles worked by Moses and Aaron.

If you do not receive the love of truth then you will perish. And what is the love of truth? The death, burial & resurrection of Christ.

Those who don’t believe the truth, God will delude them. The antichrist will have to be able to deceive people. Someone will have to answer the question of where all the believers went to. The lie will be outlandish and fantastic, and God will make them believe the lie. This is part of the judgment of God.

People who reject the gospel will believe a lie.

As the judgments intensify, the hearts of unbelievers will harden accordingly (just like Pharaoh).

The tribulation does not begin right when the rapture happens. The tribulation begins when antichrist signs an agreement with Israel.

God is going to laugh at the calamity of lost people. But we have laughed at Him for quite a long time. When God sits upon his holy throne, He will smile and laugh within Himself and vindicate Himself.

Taking stock near the first day of summer

It has felt like summer for over a month, but the summer solstice officially occurs two days hence. I enjoy the changing of the seasons. It reminds me of King Solomon’s acknowledgment in Ecclesiastes that there is a time and a season for this and that. So here’s what I’m up to during this slow-paced march toward summer, 2018.

Working: I have no long vacation planned. Other than a day off here and there for one thing or another, I’m working straight through the summer (and beyond). Even this autumn, I’m only planning on taking off for Memphis football when I’m scheduled to work those Saturday’s.

Traveling: See above. For the second straight summer, we aren’t traveling anywhere, other than the occasional drive to Memphis to see the 20-year-old, who is currently taking summer classes. We’ve been many places in the past, and we’ll do so again in the future, Lord willing, but right I’m enjoying being at home. I’m convinced that the grass is greenest right where I am and there’s no need to move off that perch just yet.

Running: 5K’s every other day. Summer running presents its own set of challenges, and it takes a lot of 5K’s to reach my goal of running at least 50 miles every month. I wish I could tolerate long runs in the heat, but it takes quite a bit of stamina just to run a 5K in this heat and humidity. So I’ll save the long runs for cooler weather.

Reading: Right now I’m juggling Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” (second reading), and Jan Swafford’s long biography of Ludwig Van Beethoven. Poor Beethoven. It’s still very early in the book. Beethoven is only 20, and already he’s been through the wringer. I have a sort of nostalgia for Europe the way it used to be, and not just because of my travels there. I appreciate Western culture like no other, and it pains me to watch parts of Europe self-destruct at the hands of globalists. So it has led to my current reading list.

Eating: I make an awesome pot of tomato-basil pasta. This year we are growing tomatoes at home in addition to home-grown basil, and it makes a difference when you grow your own ingredients.

Listening: Obviously Beethoven. I listen to his 6th symphony most days. It’s the finest piece of music ever written. I almost always listen to Rush when I’m running. Rush is the best running music ever. When I’m in the kitchen or in the car, it’s usually jazz.

Discouraged: My church is going through a hard time. But the preaching is better than ever. Also, my friend Bob and his family continue their trials. It has been nearly 7 months since he had a stroke. I don’t know how they get through each day, but they do. Somehow they are going to master this.

(Photo credit: me, Vienna, Austria in October, 1990)

Review of Hard Core Candy

A good friend of mine of many years has started a candy company with his wife. They make fudge of various flavors and this afternoon I had the opportunity to sample a batch.

My wife and I are connoisseurs of fudge and other such confections, and decided to give Hard Core Candy a shot, since we know the owners.

Let me just say this is wonderful fudge. I don’t know that I’ve had any finer. We ordered the Mystery Sample Pack, which contained the following flavors: fireball, peanut butter, original chocolate and buckeyes. In addition, we sampled the blackberry moonshine, which is one of their newer flavors.

Hands down, my wife’s favorite was the fireball. In fact, we’re foregoing the sample pack next time and just ordering the fireball.

Me? It’s a tossup between the peanut butter and blackberry moonshine. I have to confess that two ounces of the blackberry moonshine put me on a temporary high. But the peanut butter fudge is also highly recommended.

I can tell you also that the owners of Hard Core Candy don’t use cheap ingredients. My friend is always on the lookout for the finest flavors to make their fudge what it is.

The fudge is priced at $12 for 8 ounces. This includes sales tax and shipping. You won’t regret it.

Words

noddy (n.) — a silly or foolish person

tope (v.) — drink alcohol to excess, especially on a regular basis

duumvirate (n.) — a coalition of two people having joint authority or influence

paraheliotropic (adj.) — (of leaves) turning away from light; sun avoiding

ebullition (n.) — the action of bubbling or boiling

agglutinate (v.) — firmly stick or be stuck together to form a mass

inchoate (adj.) — just begun and not so fully formed or developed; rudimentary

senescence (n.) — the condition or process of deterioration with age

eructation (n.) — a belch

ruck (n.) — the mass of ordinary people or things

idiosyncratic (adj.) — peculiar or individual

hew (v.) — conform or adhere to

hokum (n.) — nonsense

estimable (adj.) — worthy of great respect

comme il faut (adj.) — correct behavior or etiquette

trousseau (n.) — the clothes, household linen, and other belongings collected by a bride for her marriage

bête noire (n.) — a person or thing that one particularly dislikes

simulacrum (n.) — an image or representation of someone or something

prevaricate (v.) — to deviate from the truth; equivocate

Mysterious (Ephesians 3:6-7)

Trust the Lord with your whole heart and lean not on your own understanding.

God always has a man who will stand up and speak out.

1. The Gospel levels the playing field for everyone. Jesus is the common denominator among us all. He is about radical life transformation. We serve a God who is so big that when we receive him on the inside He automatically manifests Himself on the outside.

We are saved by grace and not of ourselves. This is not something we figured out on our own. We come to Christ just as we are.

There is only one saving gospel: the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We do not serve a dead Jew in a Palestinian tomb.

It doesn’t matter who you are but who you trust.

Paul was made a minister by the grace and power of God. There are things God places on our hearts that could not have gotten there any other way. If He gives us a calling, He will make sure that we also desire that calling. There are many miserable believers because they do not understand this principle.

2. You were created with a calling. We were created to bring glory to God. Whatever we do we are to do for the glory of God. You will be miserable if you have a calling your are not submissive to and are submissive to something that is not your calling. There will always be a yearning in our heart if we do not submit to our calling.

Chances are we were born for more than what we are doing right now.

Whatever God has called us to, don’t ever step away from that calling. The devil wants to steal, kill and destroy the thing you were created for. Satan will only bother you if you become a threat to his darkness.

Don’t run from your spiritual calling. He blessed you with certain spiritual gifts for this purpose.

3. Natural talent means nothing without a supernatural touch. There are many talented people who do not care about Jesus. But God never called the talented; He called the anointed. Who cares what you can do if it’s not infused with the power of the Holy Spirit?

If we can accomplish amazing things with talent, imagine what we can do with God’s touch?

Friday musings

“In a democracy, we have always had to worry about the ignorance of the uneducated. Today we have to worry about the ignorance of people with college degrees.” — Thomas Sowell

Can you imagine being Barack Hussein Obama, waking up every day to learn that President Trump has dismantled another piece of your legacy or demonstrated your own ineffectiveness like he did meeting with Kim Jong Un?

“The highest wisdom and truth are like the purest liquid we may wish to imbibe. Can I receive that pure liquid into an impure vessel and judge of its purity? Only by the inner purification of myself can I retain in some degree of purity the liquid I receive.” — Leo Tolstoy

I drink diet A&W root beer because if I drank the leaded version I might actually end up inebriated.

“Yes, there remains much work to be done, but can even his harshest critics give @POTUS credit for a historic step? If not, then we will know the contempt toward @realDonaldTrump is stronger than hope for a better world.” — @GovMikeHuckabee

Trump’s haters are so consumed with hate that they’ll wish for failure no matter the consequences.

The American economy is hitting on so many cylinders we’ve actually had to add more cylinders.

Someday I’m going to drive straight to Gibson’s Donuts in Memphis, order 2 donuts & a carton of milk, sit down & eat, then drive straight back home. That’s 7 hours total if traffic behaves.

In the past, Robert De Niro made some fantastic movies. In the past.

One of my co-workers sometimes lets out a random sigh and asks rhetorically, “Where does the day go?” Since it sounds like he’s asking “Where’s the Dago?” I, being one-eighth Italian, always answer to it.

Quote du jour (Trump’s re-election)

Rush Limbaugh, on Tuesday, in the aftermath of the North Korea summit, predicted President Trump will be re-elected in 2020 if he wants it.

I’ll make a prediction right now, sitting here in the Golden EIB Microphone official broadcast chair on June 12th, 2018, I will predict not only that Donald Trump will win reelection if he runs, but one of the main reasons why will be the very much increased percentage of the African-American vote he’s going to get. There will be other reasons, of course, but that will be one of the noteworthy reasons that he’ll be reelected.

https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2018/06/12/why-president-trump-will-win-reelection-and-the-opposition-will-never-change/

Am I not free? (1 Corinthians 9)

Paul is defending himself against his haters. There are always going to haters. Paul even had to deal with them in the church at Corinth.

Apparently, Paul was being criticized for just about everything he did. He asks many rhetorical questions in this portion of his letter.

Paul was being questioned if it was acceptable for him to earn a living preaching the gospel. It is right for those who proclaim the gospel to get their living by the gospel.

We are free from the bondage of the law by grace, but it is important to keep that freedom in check by living according to the gospel. Where would a pastor go if he didn’t preach the gospel?

What is Paul’s reward? He more or less becomes all things to all people so that he might win some.

Paul compares preaching to the gospel to running a race. It requires self-control, discipline, training, etc., in order to win a race.

We must have a defense for what we do. There will always be those who question us.

If we didn’t have the gospel, we would have nothing.