Tuesday, October 28, 2014
These seem especially fitting in this age from Proverbs 27:
(4) Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
(5) Open rebuke is better than secret love.
(6) Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
(9) Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.
(12) A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
(14) He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.
(17) Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
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Monday, October 27, 2014
Today I perused the statistics page for the Bride of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church web site and found that among the search engine queries this query had been presented: “what does ezekiel 18 30-32 mean to the church today”.
This piqued my interest so that I read again the sermon from the Feast of the Holy Trinity from 2011. Here are the links to the HTML, PDF, and MP3 files.
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It has been a number of months since I have invested the time and energy to post to this weblog site. I wonder how many people still know that this is the source of the term: blog, that it is a contraction of web-log. In conjunction with this I also have wondered how relevant blogging is today, as have many others who have grown weary of investing the time and energy to do it well. So I did a query and found: 2014: Are Blogs Still Relevant?
Perhaps this article is on point concerning this matter. I know that I personally still find well developed and composed blogs to be of interest and benefit to me, and because of this I still desire to offer articles for others as well. I was disappointed when one of the long time blogs that I visited was removed by the author this year. He posted some very valuable information over the years, but he had grown tired of making large investments of time and energy while often receiving very unkind responses, harsh arguments, and even attacks by some responders.
His was one of the best blogs of its kind that I have encountered. But he grew tired, which I certainly understand myself. I valued his efforts. I was also one who did debate and even argue with him concerning conflicting points. But I only argued with him because I valued the good that he shared and desired for clarity and absolute truth. I desired the unity and agreement that only exists on the other side of honest confrontation. As is declared in Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” So I miss his contributions.
My blog is not nearly as popular as his was. That may be a good thing. Nevertheless, a few have expressed appreciation for what I have offered. Today I resume, as much as I have energy to offer.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
A few minutes ago I received a phone call from myself. At least so said the caller ID. This is also what the phone company has on record. My name and my home phone number called me on my home phone.
It was one of the bogus "Credit Card Services" calls. Each time that this call comes, the recording says that it is the "final" call, pressing me to respond.
Having called the phone company, I was told that this is a new occurrence that is happening frequently in recent days. The phone company has no record of the real caller. Therefore I cannot report it, nor can they. Not that the government agencies would do anything anyway. Actually, they are likely the ones making the calls. Who knows?
The lady at the phone company suggested being registered on the National Do No Call Registry. I informed her that this has become useless. She said to sign up every year. She says that this is what she does.
She also warned that one should not answer calls such as this as it tells the caller that this is a valid number.
So now I have to be wary of phone calls from MYSELF.
So be on guard, you may be calling yourself today, too.
Hmm. The saying used to be that one is OK when talking to oneself so long as one does not answer oneself. I think this meant not to answer as though being another person than oneself. Regardless, now we have to beware of calling oneself and answering oneself.
By the way, these calls always use the same recording with the same woman's voice. This means that it is the same deceivers making these fraudulent calls. So how hard is it for the proper agencies to track them down?
Moreover, "Credit Card Services" is the same name as what many of the credit card companies now use for servicing their accounts by phone.
So who is really making these calls that we are told are untraceable?
Who is really being traced and by whom?
I'm tired. I'm tired of the abuses. Sadly, they are only getting worse each day.
Come Lord Jesus, come!
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Yesterday I checked at LewRockwell.com and saw a link for the article: The Food Lab: The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs.
At the end of the article is included this video and list of instructions:
Since it has been raining and keeping me from working outdoors, and since this was an exciting discovery, I had to give it a try. So I started small, with only 8 eggs. It worked wonderfully.
However, I had not noticed the list of instructions, having only viewed the video, so I thought that the baking soda was to be added to the boiling water. This worked just as well.
Also, I used a large bowl with tap water to cool the eggs rather than wasting ice cubes. I simply lifted the eggs from the hot water using a spoon and gently added them to the cool water. After a brief period of cooling, I gave it a try and it worked to my delight.
A word of caution should be noted, however. In steps 3 and 4 one should be careful not to make the openings too large as this weakens the integrity of the shell so that it shatters and peeling becomes necessary. But if the opening on the small end of the egg is just enough to allow blowing air into the egg and the opening in the larger end is just as wide as is easily peeled away after gently cracking the shell on that end, it works beautifully.
Ploop! Out slides the egg into the hand waiting to catch it.
Then a gentle rinse and any remaining shell fragments wash away down into the sink.
Only six eggs ... I couldn't wait and had two for brunch.
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Thursday, June 12, 2014
Today, upon my wife challenging the necessity of adding baking soda, I tried some without the baking soda.
It seems that she was right. The process seems to work very well using plain water both for the boiling of the eggs and for cooling them.
I suspect that letting them cool only enough not to burn my lips is a good procedure, as the eggs are more pliable when still warm, and easier to expel from the shells.
So I made a total of 18 today. Each one slid out beautifully without actually peeling them.
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In the article posted below, Decepticon Invasion, I share my feeling disturbed by the progression of invasive technology used in deceptive ways. Why should this disturb a man like myself?
I am helpless to defend myself and my wife from home invasion and theft by a computerized robotic calling system. I am unable to defend against the many forms of rape that are continually being foisted upon our society by big government, big corporations, big pseudo-churches, and the like. I am unable to protect myself and my wife from disrespectful, discourteous, and selfishly unsafe drivers on the road. At every turn I encounter the evidence that I really am not so strong as some may think or that I may wish to be.
This is why the True Church of the pure Gospel and Sacraments is absolutely indispensable for me. I cannot live without the holy catholic Church on earth, the communion of saints, the Church congregated by the calling of the Holy Spirit to the pure means of grace. These pure means of grace are my only source of peace in a world where peace is a byword used by those who promote war and murder and rape in the name of winning peace. The peace that the Lord provides is more powerful than the most terrifying enemy. Even the power of Death itself is swallowed up by the peace of God poured out to me through the means of God’s grace.
Yes, I must confess my own weakness and helplessness. No matter how hard I try to be strong, I fall short of even simple and easy goals. My patience falls short. My love is faltering. My faith is nonexistent. But the Lord’s patience is without limit. His love never fails. The Faith that He gives truly commands the mountains of my sin and failure and unfaithfulness to throw themselves into the sea of His forgiveness and mercy and grace.
If my own sin cannot attain victory over me on account of His grace poured out to me through His ordained means, what cause do I have to fear on account of the smallness of my own strength?
This is why for me and my house compromise of the pure doctrine of God’s grace in Christ is not considered to be in any way acceptable. How can we partake of a communion/church where such compromise is tolerated and even embraced? No, our confidence is the Lord. His Word, declared through His Scriptures, administered through His ordained means, this is our confidence, our everlasting and unfailing hope, our very life. When we turn from these, even momentarily we do indeed become fearful. But when in His grace the Lord calls us back again we do truly know and abide in the peace that surpasses all understanding and guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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Monday, June 09, 2014
Yesterday afternoon we received a phone call from a caller that was IDed as being from Atlanta, GA.
The caller asked for my wife by name, by her first name.
As is my custom, I asked who was calling.
The caller identified herself as Sandy, with a group name that I do not remember, and said that she was calling about the Pro-Life issue.
Her manner of speaking was unusual, not flowing with the normal flow that I expected. Having read of robotic phone calls, I asked whether she was a real person.
She chuckled and said that she was a real person, and added that she has a slight speech impediment that might make her sound unreal, but that she was a real person.
This I knew was unreal and asked, “What is your name?”
She responded, saying, “Uh, huh,” with a pause of a second or two and then, “Sandy.”
After this the matter was confirmed and I ended the call.
I called back the number displayed on the caller ID, and the ear piercing tone sounded with the recorded announcement: “The number you have reached is not in service. This is a recording.”
So, now we not only have computers programmed to call us and harass us, but these robotic callers also have been programmed to respond with lies to our inquiries. This has been occurring for some time, but now the lies are becoming more sophisticated.
I find this to be disturbing.
The phone company informed me that such is now possible using software that gives false phone numbers and ID’s. This way the callers bypass attempts at blocking unidentified callers so that this safeguard does not protect a person from such callers.
Technology. Uh huh. As is often the case, what is touted as wonderful and liberating is frequently invasive and problematic. Progress. Technology.
I miss the simplicity of times past. At least then the Decepticons were human and somewhat accountable. Or at least so we thought. More and more it is being revealed that deceivers have always hidden behind another form or a mask or a pseudo-identity. It has been so from the very first deception by the father of lies. I suppose it is foolish to imagine that anything under the sun has changed.
So what do we do? Be aware and on guard for ourselves and for others. Make the Decepticons known when it is possible. Stand ready to help and comfort those who suffer from the deception and theft and other harm. Proclaim the One who never lies, who is always faithful, who has provided the way through every trial and trouble even before we encounter them. Sing the hymns of pure doctrine and everlasting hope and peace and joy. Live in that hope and peace and joy. Partake of the pure and unadulterated means of His grace.
It is good to know that the Lord is real, and that His voice and Word and doctrine are consonant, and that He has come as He promised and has given Himself for us, even unto the death of the cross, and has risen from the dead and ascended again to His heavenly throne and has sent His Spirit at Pentecost, all as He has promised repeatedly and consistently of old. When He calls to us, it is always through the same means as He has ordained. His proclamation has not changed. His means continue unchanged.
With this before us, what does it matter if the Decepticons attempt their futile deceptive acts against us? Ultimately what do we lose? The kingdom is ours in Christ our Lord. We are more than conquerors though the one having loved us. We don’t even have to fight. We don’t even have to strive to win. The victory and the kingdom have been declared to be ours through the faith that also is given to us freely by the grace of God at work through His means. What is really left but to abide in the peace of God that surpasses all understanding and to sigh the great and peaceful sigh of Amen?
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Friday, May 23, 2014
I have received several e-mails like the one posted below from the ACLJ:
The ACLJ is petitioning Sudan concerning this matter. To join in signing their petition go to Be Heard Project.
Fox News reports on this at Sudanese Christian shackled while awaiting death sentence, husband says.
MailOnline also reports at EXCLUSIVE: The REAL reason pregnant mother was sentenced to death in Sudan? Jealous family got her charged to STEAL her successful business claims her American husband's legal team.
Below are some videos telling more about this situaton:
If speaking out against this flogging and death sentence seems appropriate and desirable, the ACLJ offers the very simple and easy opportunity to sign their petition on-line at Be Heard Project.
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Friday, April 18, 2014
This comedic captioned photograph from Indian Libertarians's Photos would be funny if it were not a true representation of the contrast between the views of these two men.
Both perspectives fall short of the truth, although the Dalai Lama’s does not fall nearly as short as the Obama’s. Yet even the much fuller view of the Dalai Lama still falls short of the truth. While the statements that he makes are true statements, they are not the truth. The truth includes more.
Here is another example from the Dalai Lama:
Some other sources, such as Goodreads, attribute this similarly stated to Frank Zappa, “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open.”
But to the statement itself, while it is a true statement, does it tell the truth? The quote attributed to the Dalai Lama is less restrictive, saying “The mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is open.” Yet if one examines even this statement it is found not to be the truth. In fact, it is not really even a true statement, but because it states a portion of the truth it sounds like a true statement.
The Zappa quote is completely false, for if a closed mind did not work, he would have no one to criticize for thinking with a closed mind.
The less restrictive statement attributed to the Dalai Lama speaks a portion of the truth, but not the truth.
A mind that is open can receive information and outside stimulation. However, an open mind is unable to focus and process the information that has been received. Focus requires a narrowing of one’s thinking. Processing of information requires closing one’s mind so as to begin analyzing what has been received. Furthermore, a mind that is open to all views or opinions is unable to perceive the difference between opinion and fact.
The Truth is not proportional. The truth is always whole. No part of the truth can stand apart from the whole. The truth is integral. If it is divided into separate parts it ceases to be the truth.
Even the analogy is not the truth. An open parachute does not work properly unless it is attached properly to the falling person or object. An open parachute does not work properly in a vacuum. An open parachute does not work for an object that is not falling. An open parachute does not function if it is upside down. An open parachute cannot be worn inside a cockpit or other close quarters, but must be carefully and meticulously folded so as to be worn and deployed at the appropriate time.
An open mind is not sufficiently focused to consider the facts but only applies vague or nebulous perceptions. While a healthy and well functioning mind opens to receive information, facts, questions, and even opinions, it also must close to the narrow evaluation process of assessing and acknowledging the truth revealed by these received data.
This fallacy carries into the major tenet of the Dalai Lama in the promotion of Religious Harmony. If one reads what he declares in this matter, actually hearing what he says, it becomes clear that harmony is not what he teaches. What he really espouses is dissolution and ultimate neutralization.
He says: “We must distinguish between belief and respect. Belief refers to total faith, which you must have in your own religion. At the same time you should have respect for all other religions.”
What does this really mean? It means choosing ignorance over knowledge. It means reducing one’s religion to mere ritual and sentiment and tradition.
He says: “If a harmonious relationship is established amongst societies and religious beliefs in today's multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural world, then it will surely set a very good example for others.”
What does this mean? He concludes: “Therefore, it is very important to live in harmony and analyse where the opinion of the other lies. The best way to do this is to engage in dialogue, dialogue and dialogue.”
The essence of this is to target and bomb the dissenting parties with ignorance. “Engage in dialogue, dialogue and dialogue” is a longhand version of saying “Agree to disagree.” If a person steps back so as to close one’s mind to focus on what is really being said, this means to agree to believe nothing and to count nothing whatsoever as important.
So for the Dalai Lama peace means to drive discord out of existence by means of bombing the dissidents with nothingness and emptiness. So where is the truth? Where is common understanding ever actually pursued? Is this anything but another deceptive tactic?
How does the Obama define obtaining peace? He says peace is obtained by bombing with drones. Of course control of the media, invading the privacy of citizens, and blatant deception and lies are also among his favorite tools.
Perhaps the two are closer in their views than one may first perceive.
Does it really matter? It matters to those who believe that the truth really matters.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014
A couple of weeks ago I went for my walk and was surprised by a very unusual display of friendliness. Something happened that I have not encountered in at least fifteen years. As I was walking, a police car approached on the same road, with two police officers: one was driving; the other, in the right front seat, seemed to be taking notes or examining something. As they drew near I looked at them and made eye contact and the one on the passenger side waved to me.
Wow! I have not encountered this in well over a decade!
In times past, I nearly always waved to the police. I counted the police officers as public servants, as my friends who devoted their lives to me and the rest of the community, serving to help keep us all safe. Twenty years ago I would not have thought it a wonderful surprise to have a police officer wave to me, especially not in response to my initial show of friendship and confidence. But that was many years ago.
Since then I have stopped waving. After about a decade of waving with no friendly response whatsoever from any of the officers to whom I waved, sometimes even encountering a scowl instead of the friendly smile and wave that I expected in return, I gave up waving.
In fact, I have actually become afraid of waving to them. Whereas I previously looked to the police with trust, I now fear them. I many times in the past ten years have called 911 to report people on the busy expressways who were in need of assistance. Since such busy expressways are not appropriate places for a person without flashing lights and the authority to redirect traffic to attempt such things, I have called for those properly equipped. But after a number of years of attempting to be of service as a good and caring citizen, I became aware that I was drawing attention to myself. I was making myself known to those who track such things.
An example is when a fellow had an extension ladder fall off his truck and block portions of the expressway. I wanted to stop and help clean it up, but knew that I would increase the danger by blocking the road with my vehicle and by adding another person to the scene. So I called 911. The response of the dispatcher made it clear that I was adding to the file that was being kept on me.
911 keeps track of every word. 911 asks for identification of the caller, and for the phone number, and many other bits of information that have nothing whatsoever to do with the incident. It makes me cringe even to think of the number of times that I am listed as a person who involves himself in things. Today this is a red flag. In times past such people were counted as good citizens.
The fear of red flags kept on me does not keep me from caring and from becoming involved in helping others. However, it does make me much more leery of the police and others who are keeping track of me.
So it was a delight when this police officer waved to me.
Yet it also left me wondering what this really means.
It is saddening to me to realize that our nation and society have become such that even an act of kindness or a show of friendliness, especially from someone working for the government, has come to be cause for suspicion. It makes me sad to know that my perspective has been thus affected. It makes me even more sad to acknowledge that such a change in perspective is largely justified.
Nevertheless, it is still a joy to report this instance of what at least I perceived as a kindly show of friendliness from one whom I have become conditioned not to expect to demonstrate such. It was a joy to see this police officer wave to me.
And yes, I did wave in return. I did so sheepishly and leerily, but also with a glimmer of hope.
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Happy New Year! Happy 2014!
It seems funny that flipping a page on a calendar should be counted as a holiday. I suppose that when people don’t recognize the holy, they have to find something mundane to celebrate. So we have New Years Day.
Certainly the observance of God’s grace to us in preserving us and carrying us through the past year into a new year is a cause for thanksgiving and rejoicing and celebrating. Certainly the changing of the calendar gives cause to pause in retrospect.
Thus people also commonly make New Years Resolutions. They examine their activities of the passing year and determine or resolve to do some things differently. They make resolutions and promises concerning their actions in the coming year. Some of these they actually mean. Some of these they actually strive to keep, at least for a week or two or three.
Soon, however, when we make resolutions to amend our lives we find ourselves unable to keep our promises. We find that we are unable to effect true change. We fall back into the same old errors again. Sometimes we manage to demonstrate these failings in different ways. Yet we still fall short of our good intentions.
Christians may fall into this trap even more so than others. I find it somewhat odd that in teaching people concerning Confession and Absolution that people are asked to promise this impossible task. In the Order of the Confessional Service on TLH pg. 46 ff., two formats are given, both of which call the person seeking absolution to state the intention or purpose of amending one’s sinful life by the assistance of the Holy Ghost. Surely this is the format of a resolution. The newer hymnals have similar statements.
Admittedly, seeing beyond this is difficult. Certainly the preaching against sin is necessary. Certainly the Law of God or Commandments are given to direct souls away from sin to the holiness of the Lord.
Yet in searching the Gospel accounts concerning the times that the Lord Jesus granted absolution to sinners, do we ever find Him calling for a resolution from the broken and contrite sinner? I cannot recall a single instance of the Lord Jesus calling for a person to resolve to do better before granting the blessed words of peace and comfort, “Your sins are forgiven you.” He does give the warning afterward that they are to go onward without adding to their sins. But He never evokes a resolution from anyone to whom He grants remission of their sins.
We do have an example, however, where He denies this making of resolutions as justifying. When He tells of the publican and the Pharisee, He says that the publican made no such resolution, but merely confessed his sinfulness and need for God’s mercy. This one, Jesus says, went home justified. The other man, the Pharisee, stated all of the ways that he had resolved to try to please God. The Pharisee listed his resolutions quite sincerely. Yet this one, Jesus says, did not go home justified.
What does this mean? What is the Lord Jesus teaching us with this example? He is teaching us that we should never look to our own works for our justification. He is teaching us that our resolutions, no matter how noble and no matter how sincere, will always fall short. In fact, our resolutions only lead us into more sins that we need to have remitted. If we make resolutions that we fail to keep, then not only have we sinned, but we also have failed to keep our word.
This is why the Lord has established for us His Church on earth. Within His Church He has ordained specific means through which He works to restore us to His Holy Communion. It is to these means of grace and remission and salvation and reconciliation and healing that He directs us to be turned. This is the repentance to which He calls us. He calls us to be turned from all of our own efforts, from all of our best intentions, from all of our resolutions, to receive the means through which His Word works all things for us. His Word and Sacraments are the means through which He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He works regeneration unto true faith through Baptism, as He washes us with His Word with the water. In this washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit He applies the blood of the Word/Lamb to us by which we are cleansed. In this connection we are joined into His everlasting Communion, wherein we partake of His body and blood given and shed for us, to renew us in His Communion as our sins are remitted and taken away. As we hear His call to be gathered into His name to receive these things, we bow the knee and confess our need for His mercy, which He graciously bestows to us as the words of absolution are spoken over us. Then we rise up to eat and drink at His Table of renewal and forgiveness, going forth in the confidence of the good conscience into which we have been restored.
God does not call us to resolve to be obedient or to amend our lives. He calls us to walk in the Life that is in Him in His Holy Communion. The obedience of faith is not a choice. It is the fullness of living in communion with God in His kingdom. Obedience flows from the faith that the Lord works in us. Obedience flows from the trust that is generated within us concerning all that the Lord declares. When we receive His absolution and partake of His Communion, we recognize His will as that which is desirable and good. We recognize the fullness of the good life to which we have been restored so that we begin to walk in this newness of life or renewed life.
This is the difference of living by faith and living by works. Living by faith is the life that flows from the ordained means of grace. Living by works is the struggle to resolve to do better than we can hope to do for ourselves. Through His Word and Sacraments, His means of grace to us, we receive God’s goodness into our very being so that we are sanctified to live in the grace that flows to us freely by His decree.
Surely this is better than making resolutions that we know that we cannot hope to keep. Surely the way of grace, mercy, and peace is far better and desirable.
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With the new year comes new outpouring of landscaping magazines and advertisements. One of the advertising and propaganda magazines that has found me and continues to bombard me is Total Landscape Care. It is basically a mechanism for advertising with a few articles interspersed between the advertisements. This bothers me much less now that they stopped trying to trick me into paying for this uninvited mailing.
With 2004 upon us, they have begun pushing advertisements for chemical sales for landscape and turf management. The magazine is available online, so I will post the links to the most recent publications that I received.
Of the two, the one that I find most disturbing is their 2014 Chemical Guide.
Clicking on the link will take you to their publication of page upon page of commercial pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. All of these are being sprayed daily on the lawns in our communities by the plethora of spray companies with their spray trucks rolling down the streets of every neighborhood.
Glancing through this publication may be an eye-opening experience for many who are not involved in agricultural and urban management vocations. There are very serious amounts of toxic chemicals being sprayed throughout the year.
I am an agriculturalist. I have been involved in agriculture and agricultural studies all of my life. I was in the Future Farmers of America for six years in Jr. and Sr. Highschool. I studied agriculture throughout those years. My undergraduate degree is Animal Science/Pre-veterinary medicine. Thus I have a deep appreciation for the agricultural vocations and sciences.
I understand that commercial chemicals sometimes are necessary and helpful. However, I also know that they are very dangerous, both in the short term as well as the long term.
In my daily work as an arborist, I work outdoors. I often smell these toxins in the air in the neighborhoods where I am working. Sometimes they actually make me feel dizzy or even faint. Sometimes they cause me to develop a headache. Very rarely I have felt nauseated.
These spray companies put little signs in the yards afterward warning people not to allow their pets and children onto the lawns for a period of time. The law limits them from spraying whenever wind conditions cause aerial drift of the chemicals being applied, but in places like Kansas, this would restrict their spray activities almost entirely. So the spraying goes on regardless of the weather and the drift.
The second of the TLC publications for the new year includes an article on “Debugging Grub Control.” Here is the magazine link, and here is the link to just the article, Debugging Grub Control.
It includes this photograph of one of the types of grubs that people believe that they need to control in their lawns.
These creatures certainly can be problematic. They can do great destruction both in people’s lawns and in agricultural settings.
The question that I am asking, is whether people are acting wisely in utilizing these powerful synthetic chemicals, especially in their lawns and landscapes. Would it not be wiser to consider landscape planning that utilizes grasses and plants that are known to be resistant to the concerns that are being treated with chemical applications?
One article that addresses this is Ask Mr. Smarty Plants. In the first paragraph of the answer given is this portion of advice:
Here in Wichita I met a fellow who applies organic means of insect, disease, and weed control. His prices are slightly higher, but comparable to the companies using commercial pesticides.
It seems to me that people would do well to consider what they are doing to their own families’ playgrounds, a.k.a., their lawns. The chemicals used within their homes also ought to be of concern to them. After all, what is used in the laundry resides in their clothing and linens, items worn day and night and in which they wrap themselves as they sleep. So-called air fresheners fill their homes with particulates that are constantly breathed and absorbed through the skin. Once a person begins taking an inventory of these items, the list often is found to be immense.
Is it a coincidence that people are experiencing more and more allergies and respiratory ailments? Is it a coincidence that people use more and more relief items from the drug store?
It seems worthy of consideration.
I am not advocating government intervention in these matters. Keep the government in its place, out of our lives as much as possible. Surely people are capable of evaluating these issues intelligently and responsibly so as to make healthy, wholesome, and responsible decisions for themselves and their families.
God has given us His beautiful creation for us to enjoy. Even with the curse of sin looming over us, He still blesses us with wonders beyond description. Many wonders have not yet even been discovered. Surely it makes sense to work in concord with God’s creation rather than against it. In our daily lives we take much for granted, or at least we should. This is actually what the Lord desires, that we should receive all things as His gifts that flow from His heart of grace. Thanksgiving begins with taking things for granted, i.e., things granted to us by our gracious heavenly Father. This is the way that is truly meet, right, and salutary. This is the way of healthy and happy living.
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013
“You Need to Stop Reading So Much!” This admonition was given to me by one of my customers and friends. He cautioned me against being too informed about the things that are being done in the government and the world. He said that I cannot do anything about them, as people are not paying attention. When I responded that this is the problem, he told me that I cannot change this and that I only cause myself trouble by reading so much.
As a Christian I do find his words to be accurate. I am deeply troubled on account of my concern for what ought to be, things that I cannot cause to be. After all, I cannot even make these things to be in my own daily life. Why should I imagine that I can make these things to be in the activities of the world.
As a Christian I continually face the paradoxical existence of both Saint and Sinner within my being. Thus, as a saint I desire the Lord’s righteousness. But as a sinner, I resist Him and His will and His ways and turn from trusting Him to seeking to do for Him what only He can do.
Yet as a saint, I do also have an inborn caring and concern for the welfare of all. Tyranny and terrorism and war and murder and abortion and child abuse and divorce and spouse abuse and GMOs and processed glutamates and processed aspartic acid and a host of other toxins added to foods and water as well as limitless evils in the world, these all concern me. I often want to speak out concerning these.
Yet how far can such efforts reach? Moreover, to what degree do such concerns fall to me?
The Lord does give directives in this regard. He directs each of us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and to trust that all other things He will see to as well.
Then He also directs each of us to fulfill the duties or responsibilities of our own vocations. Sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, pastors and teachers, farmers and ranchers, employers and employees, citizens and officials, we each have vocations that bind us to specific responsibilities that are easily perceived. Of these vocations, some are to be counted as foremost, with others being subordinated to these.
For example, fatherhood is above citizen or even pastor or government official. Mother is above teacher or employee or employer. Daughter is above student or student body president.
It seems that Christians frequently forget the proper order and turn things around. I certainly do. Sadly, I believe that my blog posts often are a reflection of this. My daily management of my time reflects this. How I serve my wife as her husband surely reflects this.
God has blessed me to be a husband. This is my primary vocation. I also am a son and a brother. I also am a son-in-law and brother-in-law. I also am a friend. I also am a pastor. I also am a businessman/arborist. Husband and head of house both bodily and spiritually is the highest earthly honor and responsibility that God has given me.
It is a great blessing and I will do well to remember this and treat it with the appropriate honor. Then the blessings attached to all things in my life will be received as the Lord has graciously ordained and godly contentment will rule my life. God grant this. Amen.
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Monday, December 16, 2013
In case this information has escaped notice, the IMF has declared that it wants governments, especially the USA’s, to begin taxing at a rate of 71%.
IMF Calls For US Income Taxes as High as 71 Percent
IMF Wants a 71 Percent Tax Rate
IMF is the initialism for the International Monetary Fund.
Hollywood took this and used it in the Mission Impossible TV series and then the Movie series. In this story line IMF stands for Impossible Mission Force, where the special mission team performs covert missions on behalf of the shadow rulers of the world. Their missions are impossible in nature and yet they heroically complete the missions, with the common folk never knowing.
Would the common folk accept this impossible imposition of taxation without the many years of covert activity of the IMF? Did the common folk elect the IMF to control the world's monetary instruments? Do the decisions of the IMF ever require approval from the common people?
What is the effect of such taxation? Even if this exorbitant tax rate is imposed only upon business owners and the so-called wealthy, does this not cause even more inflation of prices of common goods and services? If so, who then really bears the brunt of these taxes? Is it not the common laborer who already struggles to purchase goods and services at the already unaffordable prices?
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Friday, December 13, 2013
While it seems unlikely that the Councilwoman meant for this statement to reveal the actual mentality of the Council, sometimes things just come out from the heart without restraint.
Perhaps repeating the snippet five times was overdoing it a bit. However, it does demonstrate how annoying and disheartening it is to hear this from them ad nauseam. We hear this in their speeches, in their actions, and in the bills and taxes.
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In our latest bill from the City of Wichita for our water usage is this flyer: H2O-flyer-PDF
Here is the City of Wichita video presenting the deep compassion of this new program:
At 1:28 in this video the presenter says:
It is so important to me, especially after the last water bill raise.
In the opening portion of the video she says:
Over the last few years I have called to complain about the outrageous increases. With each increase was another excuse.
The last time that I called can you guess the answer that I was given?
I was told that the City is punishing us for using water.
This is UN Agenda 21 being implemented without actually acknowledging it.
Yes, this has been an ongoing problem. With one of the rate hikes we were told that it was because we had not used enough water.
Yes, the City claimed that it could not meet the Water Department’s budget because people had conserved too efficiently. So the City raised the rates to steal more money from us. If less water is used, so also less cost is demanded of the corporation called “The City of Wichita.” But they are seeking to make money, not merely to meet budgets.
Now they are spending money on a program and its propaganda, to urge citizens to give compassionately for the poor people whom the City Council has broken financially.
Surely we should be deeply moved by the compassionate approval of this program.
What fools we are. We have allowed them to raise our rates endlessly, with truly asinine excuses that change with the wind.
What has happened to all of the increased revenue? Where has it gone? Why do the City Council members not simply use these excess funds to help those whom they have broken?
Why do the people of Wichita continue to allow such frauds to hold office and to abuse the populace?
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Perhaps the more pertinent question is “Why do I continue to imagine that attempting to call people to be aware with the hope of action on their part is a worthwhile venture?”
Twice we voted down the building of an undersized arena in the downtown area. Twice they put it on the ballot and we said “NO!” Then they told us that they were building it anyway and that they would make us pay for it, putting on the ballot two choices as to how we would allow them to steal our money. Our sales tax rate was increased as a result.
They continue such abuses and they continue in office.
They raise our water usage rates because we don’t use enough water. They raise our rates because we use too much water. They raise our rates because the rates are too low. They raise our rates without justification several times. They raise our rates to help pay to pump river water into the aquifer. They raise our rates because they want to raise our rates.
Now they want us to raise our rates voluntarily!
The truly disheartening reality is that people will do it.
Even more disheartening is the realization that people will believe that this money will be used to help others.
How soon after this will the next non-voluntary water rate increase be implemented?
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Telemarketing is reaching new levels of invasive methods.
In a Time NewsFeed article, Meet the Robot Telemarketer Who Denies She’s A Robot is a report, with actual recordings, of conversations in phone calls, where a robotic telemarketing voice denies being a robot.
Be warned that the Soundcloud recordings place cookies on your computer. So if you listen, you will need to clear your browsers cookies.
I have prepared a transcript of Recording 68 for those who do not want to bother with the cookies:
This is very much like many overseas customer service encounters, where the so-called customer service representative uses a script from which he or she barely deviates whatsoever. But this is even more annoying and troubling.
The Time NewsFeed article states that their investigation of this included calling the company, Premier Health Plans Inc., and visiting the website. After speaking with several company employees, finally Martin was addressed. They reprort:
Martin also said he would inquire internally about whether Samantha West worked for the company, but would not be able to respond to the request Monday night. TIME will update the story with any additional information he provides.
They additionally report:
UPDATE: As of Dec. 11, one day after this story published, the phone number listed above was no longer answered by Samantha West. Rather, it diverted callers to a busy signal. Also the website, premierhealthagency.com, had been taken offline.
Sadly, the National Do Not Call Registry no longer seems to be enforced.
I have challenged many telemarketers regarding this law and many have not even heard of it.
The NSA and other government agencies are so prolific in their spying activities directed at US citizens, and the complications of the Affordable Care Act and the NDAA and the Patriot Act and the host of Presidential Executive orders quite effectively make any laws for the protection of the private citizens nothing more than showpieces.
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Thursday, December 12, 2013
Today my wife and I celebrate our survival of twenty-one years together as husband and wife.
Yesterday she was astonished to realize that she had forgotten our wedding anniversary until yesterday. She shared this with me and I was startled to realize that while I thought of it all last month and even most of last week, that it had disappeared from my thoughts that day as well.
Ouch! What a powerful reminder of our dysfunctional ways on account of our frailty as sinful humans!
On the other hand, it also serves as a powerful reminder of who has joined us as one and who it is that preserves us as one.
How I wish that I lived in full acknowledgment of the man and husband that the Lord has made me to be by His gracious decree. My life surely does not serve as a witness to His gracious gifts and promises. My faithfulness to my wife is sadly lacking. Thankfully, it is not my faithfulness that matters. Thankfully, she knows this, too.
As a concluding portion of our wedding worship service, I shared this promise and confession:
My dear bride, Stephanie,
Today I have made to you a very bold promise, to be to you a true and faithful husband. This promise I do not make in my own name, for I know that on the basis of my own name I am but a bum. But I also bear another Name, the Name of my Lord Christ, and in His Name I am a prince. And so, in the Name of my Lord Christ I will be to you your prince.
I have been true to my word. By my own name and efforts I have been a bum. I cannot even number the ways in which I have failed my bride as her husband. I certainly have not been faithful in forsaking all others besides the Lord. How many times have I put myself and my desires and my emotions above her? How many times have I selfishly enumerated her shortcomings? How many times have I counted as shortcomings her personal needs of body, heart, mind, and spirit?
Thanks be to God that she remembers the latter part of my promise. Thanks be to God that she counts me as a good and loving and faithful husband not because of what I say and do, but because of the Lord’s gracious decree.
And this is what she continually reminds me as what she counts as the reason for me being a blessing in her life. She reminds me that as her husband and also as her pastor I direct her the Lord and his grace, mercy, and peace. She does count me as a prince for His sake.
What a wonderfully refreshing reminder this serves us regarding Christ and His Church. What we observe Him doing for us is what He does for His beloved bride. In fact, what He does for us flows directly from what He does for His dear bride. This is what St. Paul blessedly proclaims in Ephesians 5:21-33.
The Lord’s goodness is displayed in everything, and especially in the one-flesh union of His Church that is reflected in our one-flesh union that we celebrate this day. Truly it is a happy and blessed anniversary!
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I wandered to a site that I rarely visit anymore and observed a video presentation entitled My Squishy Unity Jesus. In this presentation the Reverend Pastor Fisk in his usual less than reverent style speaks to the issue of the Twentieth Century Ecumenical Movement as it has progressed to the present day. He addresses the issue that the concept of unity has been redefined to mean the exact opposite of what the Scriptures teach that the unity of the Church is.
He makes valid points concerning the invalidity of this altered definition. He makes valid points concerning what unity really is and why it is necessary. He attempts to call those who profess to be Christian to embrace the unity that the Holy Spirit creates through the means of grace.
It continues to perplex me that men such as the Reverend Pastor Fisk make such a big deal out of something that they themselves do not truly believe. After all, if they truly believed the marks of the Church to be the administration of the pure means of grace and if they truly believed that unity in the doctrine and practice of these to be necessary for the existence of the true Church and for the salvific power of the Gospel to be effected, would they not actually practice in accord with this unity?
Yet they remain in a church body that teaches that true unity in doctrine and practice and mission do not exist within that church body. Even more amazingly, they pride themselves for embracing the notion that striving to achieve 85% unity is a noble goal that is achievable.
If unity in doctrine and practice concerning the pure Gospel and Sacraments is the definition of the true Church, as Fisk claims to believe, then what is he and his brethren really saying of their own church body?
Fisk continually says on his site that he believes and unconditionally subscribes with a quia subscription to the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as found in the Book of Concord. Of these Confessions or statements of belief and practice the Augsburg Confession is especially set forward. And this Confession states the definition of the Church in Article VII, saying of what the “Lutherans” teach:
It would be cause for rejoicing if this were truly what Christians believed, taught, confessed, AND practiced.
How many Churches does AC VII teach? ONE.
There are not many Churches but One Church.
This Church is holy, which means sacred or set apart by the Lord unto Himself to be perfect even as He is perfect. This perfection of the Church is not found as perfection of the individuals but in the perfection of the Lord. He gives His perfection through His means of grace. The perfect holiness of the Church is its unity of doctrine and practice, that is, in its unity as “the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered.”
How wonderful it would be if Pastor Fisk and his fellow pastors and the leaders of his church body actually believed this so as to abide by it. How wonderful it would be if they actually believed this so that they rejected the notion of 85% and actually embraced the unity in which the Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the true believers in Christ.
Sadly, this is not their way. It is heart-breaking to observe what they hold high in place of this unity. It is gut wrenching to observe the thing that matters most, as this video yet again displays at the very end:
This sentiment truly is the issue at hand. St. Paul addresses this concerning his former idolatry from which the Lord converted and saved him.
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (Philippians 3:1-7)
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. (Galatians 1:11-16)
While loyalty to Grandpa remains the defining nature of membership and participation in a church body, to whom are such devotees ultimately devoted? Whose word and way ultimately defines that church and the life and way of its members?
This is a very dangerous matter. It leads away from the true unity of the one true faith and the life that flows from that faith. It leads to the inevitable dysfunction that sin produces. If the church is Grandpa’s church, then it bears Grandpa’s image and suffers Grandpa’s imperfection and corruption.
This is not the Church confessed in the Augsburg Confession. AC VII confesses one holy Church that is united not by the traditions of men/grandpas, but united in the agreement concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and the right administration the Sacraments.
Grandpa is rotting in the grave awaiting the day of the resurrection and the judgment of mankind. That is where he should be left until the great day of the return of the Lord Jesus in His glory. Leave sinful Grandpa and draw near to the Lord of glory who comes to His Church wherever the means of grace are rightly administered. Wherever this is the way, the Church is truly united in the Lord’s holiness. No disunity remains in this Church. No dysfunction surfaces. For the unity of doctrine and practice rule this Church, as the Lord has promised.
Oh that this would be what is proclaimed in place of Grandpa and us and our church. Then all of our squishy ways would be replaced by the Rock solid foundation of the means through which God Himself solidifies His Church. His gifts are 100% pure and where they are administered in this purity the congregation is gathered into the absolute unity that belongs to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The ultimate earthly expression and confession of this is the Supper of His Holy Communion.
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013
In the previous post Dr. Russell Blaylock: Fluoride and Mercury, I shared a video presentation by Dr. Russell Blaylock on this subject. I also included a link to the article WHY I CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT WATER FLUORIDATION, in which the author cites seventy-three sources in his “References” footnotes. Seventy-three sources!
Yet in the comments to my post, an anonymous commentator calling himself “Christian” calls for references. In the right sidebar of my blog I also supply various links to other sites that provide a multitude of references on this matter as well as mercury poisoning and the vaccination fraud.
I cannot really say anything for certain about the motives of “Christian,” but his manner seems to give a strong indication. The fact that at his Blogger Profile he identifies himself as an atheist, leaves the reader wondering whether “Christian” is really his name or whether it may be a sarcastic attempt at mocking those who have truly been marked with this name. Certainly there are atheists who have come from families who named children as Christian, both as their given name as well as through the sacrament of Baptism. So only this person knows his motive. However, whenever a person hides behind comments given anonymously, not identifying oneself but hiding in the shadows, it limits the reader’s trust severely.
I previously refrained from responding, not desiring to engage in an argument. The facts stand. Arguing them with one who deliberately ignores what is presented is meaningless.
Dave Bachand expressed his frustration with “Christian” saying: “"Never argue with stupid people as they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience".”
However, since some readers could be dissuaded by the false arguments presented by this debater from giving serious consideration to the facts, I will make some responsive points.
Stupidity may not be the issue as much as being misled and misinformed by those who deliberately are promoting disinformation. In his original comment “Christian” said:
I think one of the most important things to realize is that flourine gas is different to flouride. Every chemist would tell you that flourine gas will kill you, but a flouride (a salt) is not always toxic.
Secondly, this Dr Blaylock is also an anti vaccer which goes against all science. Vaccines are safe and people that promote not vaccinating are killing children.
Both of these statements are false.
Regarding the first statement, one needs to consider that not all chemists are biochemists, and thus they approach chemistry from a different perspective. In fact, not all chemists pay much attention to issues of toxicity. But one also needs to understand the difference between toxic and lethal, which “Christian” demonstrates that he has completely ignored. Not all toxins are lethal at low doses. Moreover, virtually any substance can become toxic or even lethal at high enough levels.
Regarding specifically fluoride, one does not need a chemistry degree to know whether or not it is toxic. Just read the warning on any fluoride toothpaste carton. Or you could view these sources that I posted in Drink this!
I’ll post them again here for your ease of perusal.
Two items especially grab my attention:
This product may be fatal if inhaled or swallowed. Irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, and skin can result from contact with this product.
Keep away from food
Not toxic? Every chemist would tell you? Really?
These are the chemicals being added to municipal drinking water supplies. Are these warning labels hard to understand? Will every chemist really say that these are false labels and that fluoride is not toxic?
People have indeed been misinformed. But upon seeing these evidences to the contrary of what the propagandists for the globalist agenda have flooded the media, anyone who still insists that fluoride is not toxic and not a genuine concern when added to water, to toothpaste, and the many other places it is used, truly do fall into a category other than misinformed.
Regarding vaccines, “Christian” also gives one very feeble reference to the CDC. He says:
Even the CDC agrees that the minor Hg levels in vaccines are not harmful.
Perhaps this statement is merely more evidence of blind trust. But it really is also a matter of not thinking for oneself.
First of all, to accept what the globalist CDC says without further verification is dangerous. People need to remember who the CDC is and what their stated agenda is. Forced vaccination of the world’s populace is part of their stated agenda. Could that possibly be reason to question their evaluation of mercury in vaccines?
For anyone who wants an honest appraisal of this issue, I offer these links to Tips for Countering Vaccination Advocates and Influencing Others and Vaccines Uncensored.
While it seems to have been offered sarcastically, “Christian” gives this word of advice that is worthy of attention:
I also suggest that while you are staying away from vaccines, you stop eating any processed food and taking medicine.
Reading the labels on processed food from an informed perspective will certainly lead a person to agree with this advice about avoiding processed foods.
Also reading the labels on medication containers and the pages of warnings supplied by the pharmacist will lead a person to the same conclusion about medications. They should be avoided as much as is possible, for they are toxic and harmful. Sometimes such things are necessary, but should be avoided as much as is possible. A person becomes especially aware of this when one learns that in many cases there are better, more effective, and safer natural remedies than those that have so many listed side-effects.
Finally, if a person determines that ingesting fluoride and taking vaccines is desirable, then that person is free to pursue this. But it is not right or fair to impose this upon those who have seriously studied this issue and desire not to partake of these things. Moreover, it is wrong to force others to pay for these things against their will.
Read the studies. For crying out loud, READ the LABELS!
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