The Feast of Stephen

An excellent piece. Good perspective.

The Shepherd's Staff

rembrandt_steniging_stefanus_grtThe Stoning of St. Stephen, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

For most of my life December 26th has simply been “the day after Christmas.” One of the downsides to being raised Southern Baptist is our collective ignorance of the Christian calendar and its telling of the salvation story through the annual rhythms and changes of the seasons. Many, if not most (by a wide margin), of my Baptist brethren have no idea that there are annual observances beyond Christmas and Easter, and we are the poorer for it. While I don’t anticipate donning seasonal regalia or doggedly following a liturgical calendar, I do find myself increasingly mindful of the rich, deep heritage of worship and remembrance we have as believers. Case in point, December 26th.

I am fascinated by the fact that the church calendar places the feast of Stephen, the first Christian martyr (See the story in Acts 7), on the…

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A Toxic Turn

A Simple Assertion : A Bad Response

Reading a Facebook post from one of my multitude of virtual “Friends” that made a statement of how ‘they’ react when someone makes one of our many multitude of politically correct pop-culture statements. It read something like this:

When someone mentions Left-handed midget tossing at the local bar is a crime against the environment, I want to blow chunks.

The Given context is midgets get paid and LOVE IT. So of course the comments spawn a thread of people giving thumbs up, affirming “Oh yeahs”, etc. And then “that person” shows up – and everything changes. Who is THAT person? Toxic-Tabitha, or Toxic-Tommy.
Toxic Tommy has a heart that sees an injustice and because they have a cousin who is a midget and feels their pain. Tommy states “My cousin would be offended and hurt to be considered as a tossing object.” Then everybody shifts gear to explaining and ultimately defending the original post as light-hearted to Toxic-Tommy, or that Tommy misunderstands, etc. Tommy doesn’t care and doesn’t listen. No grace. No letting things pass by him.
King Solomon tells us this in the Proverbs 19:11

11 Good sense makes one slow to anger,and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

This slices a couple directions:

  • People say boneheaded things at times; relationships are more important than being right in small matters
  • but also we take things wrong. Reacting poorly only makes us look poor.

Our Toxic Culture

Our culture has become much like this. There are clear, simple, and long-standing beliefs, institutions, policies, systems, etc. They are under attack by a group of Toxic-Tabithas and Toxic-Tommys, and they have a Toxic-Television/Internet/media that amplifies the worst of the Toxics, and it is having a deleterious affect our country, our society, and our culture.
“Reason”, as a noun, is leaving our cultural mindset and rationale. Emotion and immediate gratification own the day. Terms like racist, misogynist, xxxxx-phobic or worse can be attached to someone #Toxic-ally if it is true or not and the actual conversation gets twisted to analyze and defend against senselessness. I call this #Toxic. And this is happening more and more

Institutions under Assault

Certain examples of this come to mind:

There is no reason or understanding. Just pure emotional reaction. Ultimately it is selfishness, driven by a desire to oppress. In this case the “protected class” groups is imposing that they be served justice or service based on their selfish view.

A defiant person before the cops could (and should) just respect the orders given our folks in blue and things would go more smoothly. Instead a protest breaks out, cities are burned, police are blames. Result: The Rule of Law for our society as a whole is diminished.
The Gay couples “seeking” service but denied could simply go up the street to a baker/florist who will attend to their needs. Who’d want a cake from someone who didn’t want to serve them from the get-go? My conscience would make each bit taste terrible. By making a point, individual freedome and rights are diminished for society as a whole – but we know they were “egging” for a fight.

Tried and True way of doing business is under assault

Now the elections are over, some spoiled children (who number in the hundreds of thousands) are throwing tantrums:

– Bussed in by George Soros(Hillary and the DNC) Protestors march against the eletion – breaking shop windows as they march along

– The Jill Stein Recount Debacle supported and probably pushed by Hillary Clinton (where trump actually GAINED more votes)

– They Blame the Russians for hacking and throwing the Election – with no proof mind you (oh, but the CIA says they have fingerprints, but can’t share it with anyont – too top secret.)

– They (the Toxic-Tabs/Toms) scream Hillary won the Popular Vote, that Trump (like him or not) should not be voted

  • The Toxics Threatened Electors
  • The Toxics are screaming we eliminate the Electoral College

– Michael Moore is planning a Million Person March to disrupt the Inauguration next month (Click Here)

– Kshama Sawant a Seattle Socialist also plans to disrupt the inauguration (click here.)

This all comes down to selfishness. The Toxics wanted a different outcome, they didn’t get it, so now they are willing to throw a tantrum and destroy or disrupt as many institutions, standards, processes and systems that are in place to get their way. Hollywood is all in as purveyors in Toxins:
I am under no illusion they will succeed. But these notions being trumpeted about – if not challenged in the court of ideas – can be very harmful. Eliminating the Electoral college (a system designed to promote state rights in our Republic), crossing the line to harass Electoral College Electors, mindlessly blaming a foreign country for throwing an election – despite the clear weaknesses of the candidate who lost, are all ideas when said loudly and consistently enough will creep into the psyche’s of the people and make us as a country open to this type of change (see the Socialist City Counselwoman – thats exactly what she, and frankly Hillary and Obama want – new systems that will bring socialism more swiftly.)
This will be a conversation to be had. Make sure you have it. If not to change the mind of the person you are speaking to, then at least to drop the thoughts in the minds, ears and hearts of the listeners in earshot of your conversation. If the education stops, Toxicity will sound reasonable.

Democrats/Liberals are Sore Losers

Seriously, this mess with the 2016 Election is getting over-the-top, Jump-the-shark ridiculous.
The post-election tantrum has sent things over the top, adding this “Russian” hacking story from the Obama Whitehouse has tattooed “Bad Loser” on the democrats and liberal compadres.  What this all points to is Hillary nor her comrade’s accept the election results, and are willing to dip into their bag of dirty tricks to subvert the will of the people. Liberals are sore-losers.
After Trump’s election night win, lets recount events:
  1. George Soros hires protestors and sends them into Oregon and California and others places:
  2. Barak Obama goes over-seas and just bad-mouths Trump
  3. Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party calls for recounts in three states:  Election Results in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
  4. Democrat Intimidation of Electoral College electors
  5. The White House creates Fake news, water carried by the “Main Stream Media” that The Russians influenced the elections in US to get Hillary Elected
    • Reince Priebus tells on obstinate/deaf Chuck Todd NBC Meet the Press : The RNC Servers did not get hacked.  All Main Stream Media pounded a narrative over the weekend of this “hacking” as the White House maneuvered to invalidate the election results.
      • ” This is the tried-and-true media way of delegitimizing, destroying, impugning, discrediting Republicans for as long as we have all been alive.  This is fake news, just like the video at Benghazi was responsible for what happened there.  Look how that took hold. The guy that did the video’s in jail.  This is how fake news happens.  The Washington Post and the New York Times are the biggest perpetrators of fake news in this country today, and they (music) now.” 

They don’t accept defeat at all. If they win, don’t you dare say anything about their chosen. Policy, personal or otherwise.  That out of bounds.  If they are criticized for bad behavior after losing (as now) they mindless toss out adjectives like “Racist, bigot, homophobe” just to shut down conversation.

It is no wonder, with leadership examples like they have these days, that liberals are sore-losers.

I love this tweet and comment from @realDonaldTrump on Monday.  Fits perfectly in a multitude of angles with the thoughts in this blog.  (The Screenshot itself is a link to John Podesta, Hillary’s Campaign manager, involved with a Russian interest, working on their behalf.) Which makes them hypocrites. Hypocritical Sore-losers.

Some ‘Amens’ on preaching

Adding my ‘Amen’ to this as well …

Tim Chester

I want to add my ‘Amen’ to these points taken from a Jared Wilson post outlining 21 thoughts on preaching

11. A steady diet of “how-to” sermons doesn’t make Christianity more accessible or relevant to people; it actually, over time, burdens them and makes them feel constantly on spiritual probation.

12. It takes some people all the faith they’ve got that week to get through the church doors on Sunday morning. Why would we want to offer them anything but good news and the comfort of Christ?

19. Personal illustrations should mainly serve in the area of confession or self-deprecation. Always holding up yourself as a good example is a fantastic way to preach yourself instead of Christ crucified.

21. Passion, brother, passion. Give us your theology, yes. Don’t short-shrift us on the text. Don’t confuse yelling for preaching. That’s not what I’m saying. Give us your rhetoric and your logic sure, but give it…

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Missionary died thinking he was a failure; 84 years later thriving churches found hidden in the jungle

A blogger I follow, Ta Ethne, posted a link to this blog.
Amazing to see God work in spite of our Myopic vision.
Jesus is an awesome God. He doesn’t need man to complete his purposes. He just chooses to use us to his amazing ends, to the Glory of the Father.

ta ethne

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