An Ashley Madison Conundrum

Is that Forbidden Fruit Really Worth it?

I was reading a story on ZDNet about an Ashley Madison ex-customer who, via hacked information, was being blackmailed to pay up to cover up extramarital activities.  (Remember the Story when Ashley Madison Extra-marital affair WebSite was hacked in 2015?)

In Ashley

 

The story is lengthy, which I won’t recount here, but it sets up its anonymously named ‘Tom’ as a victim of a wife who didn’t want to be intimate, and having an affair partner who wanted more than just sex.  He was safe until it was hacked.  Now the hackers are reaching out to him via email threatening to send a revealing letter to his home address.

The story lifts up how awesome and less tense his marriage was once he had an outlet for sex. “It was really helpful” so says this piece.

Culture

I’ve noted in recent days (accelerating since 2010 I would say) the decline in any moral or civil values in our culture. It’s not about “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”That has been substituted with “Do unto others as I selfishly desire, and when caught or called out, excuse myself and blame ‘them’ for being judgemental. I’m okay!”

So we dive headlong into what is obviously destructive behavior, thinking one of a number of erroneous things like

  • Everyone Else is doing it
  • I have a valid *reason* for doing this: ___________ (plug in your excuse)

Between those two, ESPECIALLY they last one, we cover all of our selfish desires no matter how damaging. And then we get caught. Suddenly that last excuse becomes a weapon by which we use to either sheild ourselves or to hurl at someone else in attack. And we start Damage Control. The house of cards starts to fall down all around us and
we realize those excuses are flimsy. Some will actually wisely succumb to the inevitable. Other will fight what they deem a righteous war (defending their lapse) but only wind up winning a Pyrrhic Victory. They Win a battle, but wind up losing the war. It’s kinda like the difference between being right, and dead-right.

Consequences

As a man, I can empathize (from the flesh) with this Tom fellow. I think most of us could. But as a Christian and adult understanding the consequences of my actions, I can only shake my head and think he “Shoulda known better”. The Ashley Madison Logo of a lady’s face  holding up a “Shoosh” finger in front of ruby red lips should’ve easily translated into the Jolly Roger Skull and Crossbones Flag. Abandon hope all ye who enter. I think the Easter Mystic idea of Karma fits here.
Some people get away with bad behavior and it looks glamorous. But what about those who get caught? Yeah, we don’t read too much about those narratives. We are deceived today about consequences. The fact this guy Tom was even getting pressured from the person he was fooliing around with wanting more was unforseen danger. Today we ignore what happens if the whole thing just comes crashing down.
The guy Tom only has a wife – who would be crushed. I am not excusing her lack of enthusiasm for being with her husband. (I could argue she allowed the soil to harden that created this condition, so Tom is not alone being at fault – he just took the consequential action by which his small family is threatened). What if there were kids? Relationships get torn and innocents get caught in the middle. Messy Messy Messy.
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If it screams forbidden fruit, are you ready to pay the cost? Are you even paying attention to the cost?

Some godly wisdom

Here are some things from God’s word to consider, especially when it comes to acting on “Forbidden Fruit”. And if you are a reader who maybe is suffering consequences as a result of bad decisions, please read to the end. There is a passage specifially for you – one of hope and restoration.

  • “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
    ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:7-8, 10‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/gal.6.7-8,10.esv
  • “”You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:27-28‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/mat.5.27-28.esv
  • “Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.”
    ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭22:11-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/rev.22.11-14.esv

Hope and Restoration

I am not going to candy coat it. Sin is destructive. All the way back to the first rebellion in the garden of Eden. Jesus Christ died to pay the price for that sin. All he asks is you repent of your sin and ask forgiveness of him, and then follow him diligently. And here is his promise:

“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/1jn.1.6-7.esv

We can be cleansed of that sin. Maybe not the consequences, but he will separate it from as far as is East is from the West. Only then is there hope of restoration (over time.)

UPDATED 6/20 – Bachelor in Paradise: “It’s not my fault”

Sex in the modern age

So there was some alleged “Bachelor in Paradise” sexual misconduct that shut down production.

Now a gal has stepped forward, Corrinne Olympios, saying she is a victim and she hired a lawyer.

UPDATE 6/16/2017 – I Made the point in the original post the guy in this matter will be demonized, and according to this yahoo story, this has started: DeMario Jackson says he lost his job amid scandal.
 
UPDATE 6/20/2017 – And now it was proven no misconduct occurred: Bachelor will resume filming; no sexual assault occurred … but seriously, DeMario’s life has been sent in a tailspin. He is young and I hope he recovers well.
——————————————
 
I watched a silly TMZ Gossip clip on YouTube about the incident which effectively summarized the event (anonymously labled) and followed up that the cameras were rolling and the gal appeared totally engaged despite her claim otherwise.
 
Corrinne is attempting to play the victimized innocent girl card. And there are social internet comments already coming out trying to play the race card.
 

I dont really care about the ins and outs of the event or the participants. But what we have here is somebody who put herself in a compromising situation and she wants to blame everybody else except herself. The problem of the situation is exacerbated with we sprinkle in the schizophrenia of our culture’s “values”:

  • We should be free to have sex with whomever we choose
  • You cannot have sex with someone who doesn’t consent
  • If someone is too incapacitated to conset, you cannot proceed
 

So here is a gal riding dirty on a guy getting him all pumped up to rock it.According to reports (Fake news is a real thing mind you), she appears totally in control and aware of the events

After the fact she claims she was blacked out, unaware of events

Bluntly, the guy in this matter is getting the raw end of the deal. If she agressive towards him, she has no resonable expectation for him to back down.
 
Now, having said that, there is an overriding law that is being buried by the increasing display of depravity in our culture, which is God’s Law. “Oh No!” you may say, here is the Holy Roller. And maybe so. But I guarantee one thing. If they (even just “she”) were careful to guard themselves in any way, this would not have occurred and this show could’ve gone on, selling commercials, getting ratings, and everyone walking out as if it were happily ever-after (or at least the way things ought to be.)
 
God tells us fidelity is His character and he expects us to abide according to that. That fidelity is to be to the (future/present) Marriage Bed. Most of us have failed in that way, but let us acknowledge that fidelity for both parties would’ve averted this situation.
 

Hewbrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

 
God also reminds us to avoid getting drunk (for you nitpickers out there I didn’t say God commands us to avoid drinking a glass of wine or beer) for it leads to debauchery (as in this case.) And that alone condemns this Corrinne as not being a victim but a willing participant. She got drunk willingly. She was acting on her own volitions (lack of inhibitions.) Don’t put this off on the poor guy.

Ephesians 5:17-18 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

Seriously, this gal has no standing. Our culture may rally to her defense, and this poor young man (black, white, hispanic, asian – doesn’t matter) will get the butt-end of a public bat because he is a guy who got drunk, and messed around with an aggressive drunk gal. And now she’s whining.
 
In God’s court of Law they are both guilty and need to repent. Thankfully, God came and died on a cross for our sins, then rising from the dead he conquered death. If we repent (turn away from ) our sins and turn towards God, in faith, he will wash our sins away and give us the victory over death that Jesus won. And we will be counted innocent in his eyes. Even this situation can be cleaned by God’s healing hands.
 
Lastly, do not listen to the court of deceivers in our culture. Go to the truth. It will set you free. And watching this stuff transpire will give you a headache wondering why people do such depraved stupid things. I send you to Genesis 3 and the Fall of Man for that answer.

A Prayer for Alexis

To whomever will be a prayer warrior: I follow this site called Quora (Quora.com)
There was an answer to a question:

What is the most psychologically damaging thing you can say to a child?

The question has sparked over 100 answers to date (June 10, 2017), but there was one particular answer that drew my attention, one from an Alexis in Australia.

I am the adult daughter of a teenage rape victim.

She was 15 years old when it happened, and he left her for dead. This was in 1988, she didn’t have the emotional capacity to comprehend that trauma …

Would you pray for Alexis?

Pray that God would lead the right influences into her life and show her she has worth in God’s eyes?  Pray also God breaks her heart for her own sin so she can truly experience:

  • The true love of Jesus – total forgiveness, complete acceptance at the cross.
  • The ability to forgive her mom’s neglect and abuse (Through Christ’s power)
  • Forgiveness of her own problems that must be weighing her down.

Satan is a crafty accuser. He will remind us of how unworthy we are every waking minute to keep us from approaching God’s throne of Grace and Mercy.  His time is short and he knows he cannot do anything to God himself, so he is left to trashing God’s creation – and he’s doing a mighty fine job of it (within God’s sovereign limits.)

(James) The prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective as they are working. God is at work around our Globe. Please send up a prayer that God would rescue this soul that has seen way worse than anything I’ve experienced in this lifetime.

Self-Esteem and Pride: Problem of our Age

Reading this entry from John MacArthur on GTY.org (Grace To You) blogs: The Humility of Love.  Self-Esteem bolsters Pride (the archetype sin of the Universe — see verses quoted below.)

God will oppose the proud, but yet it has entered into the church and become part of its fabric.  John MacArthur addresses this.

Speaking of Lucifer:

17 Your heart was proud because of your beauty;

you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.

I cast you to the ground;

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eze 28:17). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  • The above quote comes from an Old Testament passage providing insight into the fall of Satan

 

“God Opposes the Proud”

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Pe 5:5). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  • The Greek word definition is as follows:
    • 530 ἀντιτάσσομαι (antitassomai), ἀντιτάσσω (antitassō): vb.; ≡ Str 498—LN 39.1 be hostile toward, oppose, resist, rebel (Ac 18:6; Ro 13:2; Jas 4:6; 5:6; 1Pe 5:5+)
      Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  • The word picture given once in a message I heard was that of a warrior with his Sword Drawn back, eyes slitted and intently focused on the target ready to strike.

 

Pride Leads to Destruction

 

18 Pride goes before destruction,

and a haughty spirit before a fall.

19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor

than to divide the spoil with the proud.

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Pr 16:18–19). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

 

  • Psalms giving wisdom to the outcome of pride: destruction and a fall.

 

Whoever will be greatest in God’s Kingdom will be a servant of all

11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 23:11–12). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  • Jesus here describing to his disciples who is the greatest in God’s economy

 

 

 

 

And the Lightening Strikes … 199 Miles Long

So I came across an intriguing article browsing web news sites today: “Record 199-mile-long Lightening Bolt” linking to the following article:

I asked the natural question: how can anyone determine the length of a lightening bolt?   I found this paper by Martin A. Uman, Southern University Florida: “How Long and How Wide is the Lightening Channel?”

So the two things they use determine lightening length are 1) photography and 2) Radar.

Through photography, when a lightening bolt is captured,  the length two known points is measured. Sounds basic but flawed.

Radar sends out let romantic pulses that travel at 186,000 miles per SECOND! When a bolt goes out and radar happens to catch it, those pulses bounce off the lightening channel back to the radar making measurement possible.

According to the article, The longest lightening according to the article was 199 miles in 2007 happening in Oklahoma.  The longest lasting lightening strike recorded was 7.74 seconds in France.

Now I know. And so do you. 😜👍

O’Reilly Factor Review – Context

 

Context Post

Occasionally I may want to respond to, or repeat/resonate something I heard on the O’Reilly Factor – a show I’ve been catching somewhat regularly lately.  These are the ground rules for my comments – put into one place so I don’t have to repeat them.
  • I am neither an apologist nor detractor of Bill O’Reilly on the Fox News Channel.   He is generally reasonable in discourse. He is occasionally strongly animated in debate, but generally (laughably) directed at Kirsten Powers, a contributor who once upon a time served in Clinton Administration.  (She also gets rather torqued at him through a pursed lip. Makes it fun to watch.)  This doesn’t always make him right, nor always wrong by my estimation.  I like the term “fair”.  He has a world view and “his” show reflects it.That said, there are times I like to write him and express an opposite view to his own.  But I don’t want to just do that here. I would also add support to anything I find agreeable.

15″ Macbook Pro: The Exterminator

I have come to appreciate the Macbook pro as a very good development platform.  16GB RAM, 512GB, Core i7 with a Retina Display all encased in a sturdy aluminum body.

Very fast. Very sleek. Very capable.

So I was sitting on the my couch with the family, and I looked down on my pang leg, having wearing jeans at that time. There slowly crawled an Arizona bark scorpion across my knee. I have lived in Arizona for the past 5 years and had never once encountered a scorpion here.  Ever.  Imagine my surprise when I had one giving me a person greeting, and I didn’t even know he was coming for the visit.  The thread in the image below gives a sense of the scene.

IMG_3580
Scorpion on my knee – demo

Its tail was not raised, but legitimately my panic was.  Thinking fast, all I had was my MacBook Pro in hand.  Not wanting to create a situation for the scorpion the strike, I immediately took the MacBook pro and repeatedly – and stiffly – smashed that scorpion between with the aluminum body against my knee.  Four times.

I did have a split second flash through my thoughts : no moving parts (except the CPU fan.)  SMASH SMASH SMASH SMASH.  $2500 dollars of bleeding edge equipment striking hard against my knee-bone.  It was either my knee getting a venomous shot, or the MBP taking some shots.  I chose the Mac.

Brushing off that nasty creature it flew fast and furiously to the laminate floor just past a place rug where I was sitting.  I was not messing.  #GitErDone #KillTheBug.

My wife was taken aback watching me.  She thought I was having a seizure or Evil Spirit possession of some sort, unaware of the knee-cap visitor.  That was a look on her face to remember.

After all things calmed, I pulled open the aluminum lid, and resumed what I was doing before.

MacBook Por: Scorpion Exterminator.

Facebook induced Gratitude (Please Read my Friends)

Today, February 25th, is my birthday.  And as always with everyone who posts their birth date in the social network, I was listed in the “Events” highlights as one of those in my friend’s timelines.  I got my number of people wishing me a Happy Happy B-Day.  And out of some sense of duty every year, I personally acknowledge each one with both a LIKE and Comment.  (At least I try)

All of the Facebook Cliche’s about Facebook friends not being truly deep etc. can ring true right about now.  There are just-acquaintances out there.  I didn’t really hear from them.

Each person who wished me well, I would love to sit and reconnect over a meal, a backyard BBQ or potluck at my home.  In one person’s case I straight up told it as I saw: I would love to reconnect over a fattening Indian dinner eating lots of Naan 🙂 !

  • There were people from Elementary school, one who’s mom used to watch me and my sister after school until my own mother could come pick us up after her work.
  • There is someone from a youth soccer team I was on and we were able to connect.
  • There are the friends from High School, and even some acquaintances, whom I like to chat with on social media and see where they’ve gone in life.
  • Then there are my friends from my old churches in both Northern and Southern Cal  ( I do not call it “Cali” – you bunch of foreigners listening to LL Cool J  – its NorCal or SoCal … aint no such thing as “Cali”)
  • There are the people with whom I’ve worked over the years — allllll they way back to the 90’s when I was still in my 20’s (DOH!), the new Century and even this decade of the 2010’s!
  • Connecting with Family both in California (NorCal and SoCal) and in Minnesota, and some long distance family (by Marriage) in the Carolinas.  And I cannot forget Nevada!  Here’s to you Fisher’s who ventured into that waste-land. 😛
  • Last but not least there were the relationships I have in the land I live now, who dropped a little social networking post.

As I responded to each post, I was reminded of that person, the times we had together in whichever environment, how my life is touched in both big and small ways by them, and how I would love to see each and every one of them again – no matter how far away.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the people I’ve known in my life.  It’s been a great journey.

Right about now this sounds like some liberal, tree hugging, Promise Keeper’s post – and that’s probably about right.  For this very moment I’m okay with that, and I want to express in this very small way, how much each note, and each person behind it, has meant to me in my life.

God gave me a gift of relationship.  I value each and every one.  And he expects us too.  Relationships are the only things we take to eternity with us.  The rest of it falls apart and burns down here.  In this area I thrive and rejoice.

Love to all of you