20 October 2007

New Links

Wanted to call attention to two new links over on the sidebar under 'other types but good'.

To quote someone who sent me the link, to Sully USMC

(this) is a website owned and operated by an 88-year-old 3-war Marine who is currently learning web design. He was Chesty Puller’s Adjutant in Korea, after having been filed-promoted from Gunnery Sgt. to 1st Lt. in 1947, (snip) and serving as Chesty Puller’s adjutant. He hosts a lot of writers. The journal of a trip to Vietnam in 1998 is there, along with a lot of really good writers.

The other is called CAP Marine (CAP standing for Combined Action Program, a VietNam War effort). The author and I have internet contact and post on places like ldot. He's a good guy. The description is
explains our program. It is owned and operated by (someone), who was on radio watch one night in the huge Marine Corps base of Phu Bai when I was on the other end of the radio at the nasty end of an ambush.

There is a whole lot more to both of these sites than I have shown here, go there and learn somethings you did not know before.

Today's Immigration post October 20

You don't often do better than Michelle Malkin, you almost never do nearly as well. So, when all else fails, send traffic her way. She's got a new update on the matter of immigration overall, not just illegal immigration, but the issue as a whole with some historical perspective that goes back to the Congress in 1790. Go read it all, with the links. You'll come away knowing more than before.

Today's Reading October 20

Good morning (late morning, agreed, but it is still before noon so it's morning) to you. And may your weekend be everything that you hoped for.
This morning we turn our attention to Jeremiah chapters 3 and 4. Jeremiah is not always easy reading, there is a whole of ''repent! judgment is at hand!'' And they didn't. We generally don't either. The history of the Jews, the history of the people of he Lord, is one of disobedience, rebellion, judgment, disaster, and eventual redemption. As even they will tell you. The history of Christians is no better, and we have less excuse. So it continues over and over, despite some very graphic warnings. This is a long section, really needs to be read entirely. The Lord compares His relationship to His people as being similar to a marriage covenant that the other party has violated.

4:14 O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?
15 For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim.
16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.
17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD.
18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.
19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
20 Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.
21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.
27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black; because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
29 The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.
30 And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.
31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.

Read it all and then reflect upon the world in which we live - we are no better and I greatly fear that the result will be the same.
This evening's reading comes from 2nd Thessalonians, chapter 3, completing this letter.
Chapter 3
1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

19 October 2007

Today's Reading October 19

Happy Friday.
Yesterday was an interesting day.

  • a few weeks ago, two of our three cats got out. I found one, cold and dead, evidently deliberately poisoned. It had been our daughter's favorite. The other one vanished. It was my wife's favorite. So about a month ago, we adopted one from the shelter. Tuesday afternoon it got out, and didn't come back. Dear Wife spent Wednesday, her one day a week off work, calling for it and moping. Late yesterday the afternoon it crawled out of the crawl space under our modest dwelling, so All Is Better Now.
  • In the morning I had contact with a person I had once worked with. When push came to shove a few years ago, I ''left to pursue other business interests'' and he remained. Until yesterday. Now he's looking for a job. And I discovered that of the others responsible for my departure, at least one other was unceremoniously fired and one has been massively demoted. I should not grin at all of this, and I will see if I can assist those who were unkind to me. But what goes around .... Several years ago, I had met with the President of the operating company and VP of Operations, and gave them my analysis and recommendations of a course of action to respond to changes in our customer base, corporate structure, and overall market. It became evident that, while I had told them what they needed to hear, it wasn't what they wanted to hear. I left within the year afterwards, being told that my viewpoint was unwelcome and wrong. Virtually everything I'd predicted has come to pass, and now it is too late to adopt my suggestions. A lot of people have been hurt and others will be yet. But the 'company song' was sung the way they wanted, and the guilty escaped with a very nice golden parachute. Oh well. Neither of the two that I met with that day who ignored my recommendations and analyses remain.
  • I was called in the afternoon twice, once by a headhunter who wants to talk with me in the morning about a big-time process manager job - a very nice position though not in an area I want to live in. The other call was from an HR type in a town that I DO want to live in, we have a phone conference this afternoon.
All in all a very interesting day.
This morning's Old Testament reading begins the book of Jeremiah, with chapters 1 and 2.
Jeremiah was not an accident of nature, any more than you or I. The Lord had him in mind before he was born, just as He did for us. So,
Chapter 1
1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:
2 To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.
4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.
12 Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.
13 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north.
14 Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.

This afternoon's New Testament reading is 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2.

Chapter 2
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

17 October 2007

Today's Reading October 18

Good Thursday morning to you.
This morning we look at the final two chapters of the book of Isaiah, chapters 65 and 66
This is strong. Isaiah must have been a remarkable person. I look forward to meeting him.

Chapter 65
1 I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
Rom 10:20
2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
Rom 10:21
3 A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;
4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
6 Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom,
7 Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.
8 Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all.
9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.
11 But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.
12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.
13 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:
14 Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.
there are consequences.

This evening we begin 2nd Thessalonians with chapter 1. It's short.

Chapter 1
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today's Reading October 17

Short shrift today, sorry
This morning's reading is Isaiah chapters 62, 63, and 64

Chapter 64
1 Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,
2 As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!
3 When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.
4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
1 Cor 2:9
5 Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved.
6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
9 Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.
10 Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste.
12 Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things, O LORD? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore?

This afternoon's reading is 1st Thessalonians chapter 5, completing 1st Thessalonians
Chapter 5
1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

15 October 2007

Today's Reading October 16

Good morning to all.
This morning we turn our attention to the book of Isaiah, chapters 59, 60, and 61. Have you realized yet why this book is so frequently quoted in the New Testament? The Lord used him mightily.
There is so much here that I have great difficulty pulling out only a little bit to emphasize for the day. This, from chapter 59:

Chapter 59
1 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
5 They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.
6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
Rom 3:15,16 Prov 1:16
8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
Rom 3:17,18

That's a great warning, to those who are careless to spill innocent blood. I class abortionists, and those who support them, enable them, make excuses for them, fund them, under the same rubric. They will have a lot to answer for.

Or this, from chapter 60:
Chapter 60
1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
Eph 5:14
2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

you may recognize that.
But I like this one, and evidently Jesus did as well. Hmm. Wonder if He had anything to do with it being written down in the first place. You think, maybe?
Chapter 61
1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Luke 4:18
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Luke 4:19
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
now go read all of it.

This evening's reading passage is 1st Thessalonians Chapter 4.
As is the case in many of his letters, Paul is mixing good theology with good advice that flows out of that theology in the area of 'How Now Shall We Live?' (there's a book by that name, incidentally). And so, he tells us - not like the heathens, but holy. And then he gets into the why, one of the great statements of our faith in all of the Bible. Short, but very powerful. It has been a great comfort to me in many a dark day.
Chapter 4
1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Deut 30:4 Matt 24:31
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

And that is the hope and sure knowledge that we have. That this life, this world, is not all that there is, that there is life beyond the grave, that the Lord has His eyes on us through it all, and that there will be joy beyond today's sorrows. When all is dim and dark, when hope seems gone and there is no more joy, or light, or happiness, take heart. God is in control, and we will see Him soon. I love Job's words, '' I know that my Redeemer liveth''. And He does.

Illegal Aliens October 15

I haven't been keeping up on this like I should - there are so many such things that one gets tired.
Let's try this one on for today. Story out of the Phoenix area Illegal Immigrant Picked Up For Shooting Cop. Oh, and by the way, he's been deported before.
Hang him. Hang him by the neck until he is dead, and let the corpse hang there for the carrion birds to enjoy. And do it publicly. And do it soon.
He didn't learn once. He could have, and should have been shot the first time as a non-uniformed invader. He should not have been taken alive. And he should not spend a period of time getting 3 hots and a cot courtesy of the American taxpayer. Hang him.
And send out two bills. One to the lousy bums who operated the government of Mexico.
And one to the lousy bums in the US government who refuse, REFUSE, to do their sworn duty to this nation. You know their names.

Today's Reading October 15

Good Monday morning. Perhaps this will be a good week.
This morning's Old Testament reading is from Isaiah, chapters 56, 57, and 58
There's a lot here, I won't get it all this trip. But pay particular attention to a few places

Chapter 56
1 Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.
4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
Matt 21:13 Mark 11:17 Luke 19:46

and following
And then
Chapter 57
1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.
2 He shall enter into peace
: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.
3 But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore.
4 Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood.
5 Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks?
6 Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?
7 Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice.
8 Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another than me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it.
9 And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell.
10 Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved.
11 And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? have not I held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not?
12 I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.
13 When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain;
14 And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.
15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.

pay attention to that first verse. Sometimes we don't understand why the Lord has done something. Perhaps He did it in order to spare us from something worse.

This evening's New Testament reading is 1st Thessalonians, chapter 3
Chapter 3
1 Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:
7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Does it ever strike you how much time Paul, in prison, spent daily praying for those to whom he had preached the Gospel, to those whose lives he had been involved? He never forgot them and addressed many by name.

14 October 2007

Politics, and ''Strict Constructionism''

I've been engaged in some Internet wrangles here and there on the issues of the upcoming Presidential election. Generally, these wrangles get to be a whole lot like the old flame wars of Usenet, generating much more heat than light, and are of little benefit to any one or any cause.
Yet once in a while I get drawn in. probably foolishly.
One of the issues that's banging around here and there deals with the stands that various candidates might take. Some of those stands are principled stands, some of them are ''politico-speak'', meaning they sound like a strong stance for a principle but, when examined, are mostly fluff, or they don't mean what you think they mean.
One of these terms is ''strict constructionist''. Some of the Republican candidates, notably Rudy Giuliani, proclaim the intention to appoint ''strict constructionist'' judges should they be elected.
So, I wrote,

'.. we need to define ''strict constructionist''. A true-to-the-Constitution judge would recognize that the Court is supposed to be a passive referee, NOT the ''Lawgiver'' to the nation. And would recognize that 80-85% of federal activities are unconstitutional. Would immediately overturn Roe as wrongly decided, to heck with the pernicious bowing to stare decisis. Would keep the federal courts at ALL levels out of issues that properly belong to the States, or the Executive and Legislative branches. Would return to the proper, weak role, in other words.
Now, pause for breath. Does anyone really believe that's what he means?? Or does he mean ''we'll bow to existing bad decisions and attitudes, but promise to not get much worse very fast''?? 'Strict constructionist' seems to be politico-speak, sounds impressive but means little. I want Originalists. I don't trust Rudy to do that. Do you?

There was a posting on a great web site, the Evangelical Outpost, this week that got into just this issue. He was responding to a post and responded the link is here.

And this illuminates part of the problem Politicians use politico-speak because they perceive that by fogging some issues, that potential supporters will read the terms to mean what they hope they mean. The 'strict constructionist' phrase is a great example.
If you were to read the Constitution, and the debates and discussion that surrounded its creation and ratification, you would not find any support for the monstrosity that now squats astride our nation that is titled The Courts. None. The courts were envisioned as relatively passive referees. More a court of Common Pleas, with a few levels of Appeals courts. Not by any means the Court of St. James, not the creator of law, not the real Lawgivers. The weakest branch of government, in fact and in intent.
Fast forward about 225 years and what do we see? We see that national elections are now contentious in new ways, as the fight gets to be about who will be empowered to appoint and to confirm appointees to the Courts. As if our civil order had morphed into this: all our elections are simply to set in office a further level of Electors, who in turn appoint the real power in the land. Read the Constitution again. Find support for such a thing. Take your time. You'll be a while, because it's not there, has never been there, and such a thing was never contemplated.
And that is why the issue of ''strict constructionism'' gets to be an issue. Because we don't have good agreement about what the term really means. And it's important. It's important for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that it's about useless to attempt useful conversations when we don't have common understanding of the meaning of the words being employed. And because sometimes meanings are left vague in order to prevent that very clarity of meaning.
All of that being said, let me propose a term, and then describe its meaning.
Let me propose the term ''foundational'' and the phrase ''foundational judge''
As for the description, let's try these phrases:
  • a foundational understanding of the Constitution and of Constitutional Law is one that John Jay would agree with
  • a foundational understanding of the Constitution and of Constitutional Law is one that both the Federalists and the anti-Federalists would have been in general agreement with
  • a foundational understanding of the Constitution and of Constitutional Law is one that recognized the uniqueness of America, her history, culture, institutions, and laws, and rejects any and all attempts to modify this understanding through appeals to the laws, history, culture, and such of foreign nations. It also rejects such appeals to international law as superseding the US Constitution and US laws.
  • a foundational understanding of the Constitution and of Constitutional Law is one that recognizes the limitations of the Courts, and recognizes that the basis of US law is the Constitution, the federal statutes, and that findings of a court in a particular matter do not outweigh the actions of the other two branches of government acting in concert.
  • a foundational understanding of the Constitution and of Constitutional Law is one that defers to original intent, it does not presume to reinterpret the Constitution to be more ''relevant'', recognizing that this is the exclusive province of the Legislative Branch.
  • a foundational understanding of the Constitution and of Constitutional Law is one that rejects utterly the foreign notion of 'Common Law' as superior or even equal to statute, that rejects the notion that the ruling of a court is in any way to be construed as law binding on any other parties other than those in a particular case.
  • a foundational understanding of the Constitution and of Constitutional Law is one that promotes humility of sitting judges, and expects that their tenure on the bench should be limited, not a lifetime position.
Others may take issue with any or all of these, propose additions, or propose an alternate phraseology. They are welcome to do so. Invited in fact: I am a poor-but-honest engineer and amateur Bible teacher, not a jurist nor a philosopher. And certainly not the wisest person who ever lived. Yet it is clear to me that the current situation is insupportable.
Roe v. Wade, Kelo, and some others are just terrible and travesties, certainly not advertisements for the wisdom or legitimacy of the Courts. Unless and until they are both overturned, and safeguards put in place to prevent future egregious assaults upon the nation, the country is not safe.
As I have said elsewhere, the American Revolution was fought at great cost in large measure to remove us from the unaccountable rule of kings, princes, dukes, barons, and the like. We most assuredly did not do so, and then convene a Constitutional Convention in order to substitute instead the rule of judges at any level. Pretending otherwise is a lie, and pretending that the current state of events is proper and intended is a lie as well. We need to pitch it out.

Today's Reading October 14

Happy Sunday
This morning's Old Testament passage is Isaiah chapter 53,54, and 55. We're now into some things, more of the looking-forward to the coming of Jeus the Christ. Notice how often Isaiah is quoted in the New Testament, just out of this one section! Isaiah saw Him coming, and was glad, even though he would not be here to be part of it.

Chapter 53
1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
John 12:38 Rom 10:16
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Mt 8:17
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
1 Pet 2:24
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
1 Pet 2:25
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Acts 8:32
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
Acts 8:33
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
1 Pet 2:22
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Mark 15:28 Luke 22:37
That is one of the great passages in the entire Old Testament. That should not surprise us - the Bible, the whole Bible, is really pointing to Jesus. One might think the Lord had designed it that way.
But don't overlook chapter 55 either. Good words there as well, some that you might recognize.
Chapter 55
1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
Acts 13:34
4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.
5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Don't overlook verse 6 here, it's very important

This evening's New Testament passage is 1st Thessalonians chapter 2.
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.
18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
20 For ye are our glory and joy.