Sunday, March 27, 2011

Alzheimer’s Disease: Now and Then?

My wife and I were discussing various matters of health and diet today and Alzheimer’s Disease was mentioned. With this was a disagreement concerning the proper pronunciation and spelling. So I was urged to get the dictionary.

My dictionary of choice was the one that I purchased when I began college. It is Webster’s Second Edition of the New World Dictionary. I purchased it in 1978, though it has a copyright of 1972.

Interestingly it has no listing for Alzheimer’s or Alzheimer’s disease. NO listing!

Today we are told that it is affecting a major portion of the population. It is making pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars.

The following video from the Alzheimer’s Association emphasizes the impact on society and the rate of increase of the disease.

Sadly, as is common, the lie is told that nothing can be done to prevent this disease that was so minuscule in the 1970's that it is not even included in the dictionary at that time. Are we really so stupid that we cannot figure out what has caused this to explode in our society? Can we not even make an educated guess?

Of course we can. The evidence is all around us. Some doctors are even bold enough to step forward and tell us the things that are causing this explosion of neurological disorders and diseases. But they are ignored or treated even worse.

There are things that we can do. If you are not aware of the need to know what is being added to your foodstuffs, this video should heighten your awareness.

At the end of the video it urges sending it to someone who needs to be made aware. Why? If, as they claim, there is nothing that can be done to prevent it, cure it, or slow it, what is the point?

Can you guess? To increase the flow of frightened people to clinics and doctors and hospitals and to increase the sale of drugs. Or can you name another reason? Well, of course there is the obvious reason of promoting the giving of more money to the organization.

Why, oh WHY, is there no mention of the food additives that have been shown to be linked to these diseases?

. . .

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kick Boxing & Martial Arts for Sport

How many movies in the last 40 years or so have featured some form of martial arts activities? How many of these have shown the martial arts as a form of discipline for children, teenagers, and adults? How many have shown the martial arts as a desirable and beneficial form of exercise and physical and mental and emotional and even spiritual health development?

Of these, how many have shown what I encountered today?

Today, in conversing with a gentleman regarding a limp that he displays, which I assumed was from a recent injury, he informed me that he had healed of that injury but was limping on account of a much more serious injury that he received 24 years ago. He said that in the cold and wet weather, like today’s weather, he limps due to the lingering pain of a broken neck.

He explained that he was once the state champion kick boxer. In one of the competitions he missed blocking a kick to the side of his head. The result was a broken neck and a long hospital stay. Additionally, he continues to suffer the long term affects of the injury.

It amazes me that the same movie producers who bombard us with propaganda against smoking tobacco, nevertheless promote the martial arts, not to mention also showing in many of their productions heros or other characters who smoke.

What amazes me even more is that knowing the fraud of the movie producers, I continue to help to make them wealthy and enable them to continue in their fraudulence by renting their movies. Who is really the bigger hypocrite? Does it matter? Hypocrisy destroys the practitioner. It has impact on others as well, but most especially is the hypocrite brought low by his hypocrisy.

My dollar for old movies and my three dollars for new releases really have little impact on society. Many hypocrites together, however, change the world for the worse. Each of us imagines that our hypocrisy is insignificant, but Adam’s hypocrisy killed the entire world. Those of us who continue in hypocrisy in any of the activities of our lives, do cause harm, first to ourselves, and then to those who are either influenced by our lies or are directly affected by their effects.

I wonder whether the man with whom I spoke today would have pursued a broken neck via kick boxing if hypocrites like myself had not helped to glorify this so-called sport. Hypocrisy in matters of the faith cause harm of even greater degree, of everlasting consequence. But it seems that in the matters of greatest consequence we seem to apply the least degree of concern.

That does seem odd, even tragic, doesn’t it?

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Translations or Versions

I often am deeply perturbed by the inaccuracies that I find in the various translations of the Bible. In the post below I share a deliberate mistranslation in the NRSV. The statement of Revelation 13:8 directs the reader to understand that apart from knowing the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world one cannot know of the book of Life that belongs to Him. The words of the text stand as a stark contrast and warning against those who worship the beast and are therefore cut off from the Lamb and His book of Life.

If a translation does not convey this as it stands written, what hope do those who read it have of hearing and learning the truth? Those translations that change what is written are not translations at all and the message that is conveyed in those is really not the intended message but a version of the message. The so-called translators have changed the message to make it their own version of the message.

I find myself inclined to cry out strongly against such things. What else can one do when concerned for the everlasting well being of fellow humans, knowing that the unadulterated good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is absolutely necessary for everlasting salvation, peace, hope, joy, forgiveness, and life?

Yet I also fear that crying out too loudly can leave people in doubt regarding whether or not it is truly possible even to know the truth. Thus I wish also to point to the standby translations that were translated without the intent of changing the message. This is one of the reasons that I have returned to using the King James translation. It is widely circulated throughout the world. It is overall a good translation. While it has some weaknesses, it does convey the message reliably. People can read it with confidence when they are regularly hearing preaching from a pastor who uses the original languages for his preparations and study. And it is in the public domain and can be quoted, printed, and distributed freely.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

From the Foundation of the Cosmos

In a recent conversation I referred to the wondrous message of Revelation 13:8. The other person pulled out a Bible and read it to me. I was aghast. I responded, “That is terrible! What translation is this?”

It was the New Revised Standard Version. The verse in the NRSV reads:

and all the inhabitants of the earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slaughtered.

The full NRSV can be found at Revelation 13:8 (NRSV).

The King James reads much more closely to the Greek:

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

It seems that many of the newer so-called translations likewise ignore the Greek and deliberately change what this verse from Holy Scripture teaches. The ESV likewise follows this anti-Christian translation, saying

and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

For a sampling of a few translations see Revelation 13:8 (multiple translaitons).

Why would translators deliberately change what this text says? It seems clear that they simply do not believe in the Lamb who is slain from the foundation of the cosmos. They do not believe in the Lamb who gave His body and blood to His disciples on the night of His betrayal, before His crucifixion. They do not believe in the Lamb to whom Nicodemus came, of whom John records:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. (John 3:10-13)

John was writing at a time when it was necessary to silence those who rejected the perfect union of the two natures of Christ. Some denied that Jesus the man was truly the Son of God. They refused to accept that Jesus was the Son of MAN who came from heaven. Notice that in this chastisement of Nicodemus that Jesus did not refer to Himself as the Son of God who came down from heaven, even though a few verses later He does refer to Himself as the Son whom God gave to the world. But here He calls the one who came down from heaven the Son of MAN. It seems that hardly anyone pays any attention to the fact that He not only refers to this Son of Man as having come down from heaven, but simultaneously still being IN heaven!

This is what is rejected by those who deny the efficacious nature of the Sacrament of the Altar and those who deliberately reinterpret Revelation 13:8 rather than translating it for how it stands written. They do not believe in the Jesus who is slain from the foundation of the cosmos, in whom Abraham trusted, and in whom Abraham lives.

When we understand what is taught in Revelation 13:8, our eyes and ears are opened to hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Then we understand St. Paul’s insistence in 1 Corinthians 2 that he judged to know nothing in his preaching and teaching save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. When we follow the dear apostle in expecting this to be the sole message of the Scriptures, the Scriptures begin to open to us, or perhaps we begin to open to the message of the Scriptures, as never before. Then we understand why Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

No longer a child

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (1 Corinthians 13:11)

Yesterday I had an experience that brought this passage to my mind. I cut a gash in my leg just above my knee. This gash is not far from one from my youth, when I was teenager. It is about the same size and severity. But when I was a child, this gash was debilitating. It kept me from participating in PE in Junior High School until it was healed. But yesterday, I examined it to see that it was a clean laceration that cut completely through the skin but did no serious damage to other tissue beneath the skin, walked to the truck, acquired my first aid supplies, applied some antibiotic ointment, a bandage, gauze and tape to hold the bandage in place and the wound closed, and finished the day’s work.

Truly a man thinks and acts differently than a child. Part of this comes from the responsibility of adulthood and manhood. A man dare not let the troubles of the world beat him down. He has responsibilities to fulfill. So he presses onward.

I tended the wound more thoroughly when I arrived home. My wife was aghast. This is why I did not tell her of the event when we spoke on the phone. She heard discouragement in my voice and commented on it, but since there was no reason to share the cause with her at that time I waited. I will be out on the job site a bit later again today.

St. Paul used this contrast to make a point regarding a person’s spiritual walk through this world. He used this contrast to demonstrate the difference between what we perceive now and what we will be shown when the Lord brings us to heaven. When we see and know the Triune God face to face, we will understand fully that the many gifts that He has bestowed in this world were insignificant contrasted to the restoration to His Holy Communion. Then all of the struggles and trials of living in this world of sin will fade, as will the many temporal gifts. But the Holy Trinity remains, as God gives Himself to us through His means of grace we receive the everlasting gifts of faith, hope, love, the gifts of the very presence and activity of the Trinity in our lives. When a Christian grows to understand this, spiritual maturity has been reached. No longer is the person impressed by this or that spiritual gift, and much less so with the worldly gifts. Now the person appreciates and relies upon the gift of God Himself, that which remains forevermore.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Peace Flag

One of my neighbors flies a flag that causes me heartache. It also seems to be quite a puzzling combination to go with what is posted on the gate to the back driveway. I took pictures of both from the street in front of the driveway.

First the flag.

Now several shots of the sign posted on the gate.

It leaves one wondering what exactly is meant by peace, if indeed peace is what is intended by the symbol on the flag, a symbol that usurps the place of the fifty stars that represent the fifty states that are united as a nation.

The so-called peace flag uses a symbol that has come to be counted by many as the “peace symbol,” which is actually a symbol that was designed to represent “Nuclear Disarmament”. So what is meant by those flying a flag with this symbol one cannot know with certainty, but it seems likely that some notion of “peace” is intended.

But with what is posted on my neighbor’s gate, it seems that this notion of peace may be fairly typical, where peace means what is expected that other people should do when mistreated or attacked or wronged.

In case the faded markings on the sign on the gate are difficult to read, the sign has a skull and crossbones and says:

(pirate protected)

Perhaps this really is not so far askew from what this flag really does mean.

Information regarding various peace symbols can be viewed here. It is quite an informative link, even including the Semaphore (flag) symbols from which the nuclear disarmament peace symbol was developed. Links for peace flags include: Peace Flags at Wikipedia, evolvefish Peace Flags, and Patriotic US Peace Flags. Interestingly, the so-called patriotic US peace flags work the fifty stars into the peace symbol so that the stars are rearranged rather than replaced.

What seems to be my neighbor’s definition of peace does seem to hold to the world’s general definition of peace. It seems that according to our sinful human nature peace means that if you are willing not to bother me too badly, I probably won’t kill you or do you other terrible intentional harm.

This is quite a different version of peace from that which is born in the regenerated spirit through Baptism. This is quite a different definition of peace from what the Prince of Peace, Jesus, came from heaven to establish. God’s peace brings true reconciliation between those who previously were enemies. God’s peace brings two enemies together and unites them as true brothers. But this comes through a change of heart and mind, a change of the very nature of men.

My investigation of my neighbor’s “peace flag” caused me to grow in my education. This is my preferred practice when offended by something that I do not understand. Before reacting strongly to what I do not understand, I like to investigate the thing and learn about it so as to understand it. Often I find that my feeling of offense was due to ignorance on my part. What is more, love covers over a multitude of sins (Proverbs 10:12 and 1 Peter 4:8). God’s love motivates seeking to understand others rather than reacting with judgment and condemnation. That is not always my first impulse, but God’s love is more powerful than my sinful nature. If I do not resist the Holy Spirit’s urging, I seek understanding. While my neighbor may not be a direct benefactor of this, I do grow in knowledge and understanding and in God’s peace that surpasses understanding.

In addition to what I recently learned regarding the peace symbol and the peace flag, I also learned that the United States of America actually does have an official peacetime flag. I was amazed to learn this, for all I had ever known was what is actually the military flag. The “Stars and Stripes” that is generally flown is actually the USA’s military flag.

Here is the Civil Flag of Peacetime:

More information regarding the various official flags of the United States of America can be viewed here.

I really should thank my neighbor for urging me by flying the peace flag to learn more about the flags of this nation. Moreover, I do understand the desire for peace. I myself hate war and all of the evils of war. Thus I share deeply my neighbor’s desire that peace should rule. However, I also wish that we all would show honor to one another by respecting the official flags that represent our republic and all that our nation was founded to be. Perhaps if this kind of love for neighbor and countryman prevailed, we might actually experience more of the peace that we claim to desire. Of course true peace has a source far greater than the feeble efforts at love that we are able to produce. Sadly few truly believe in Him and trust in Him. And so wars and rumors of war continue to rage among us.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Where have all the police gone?

My neighbor has been in need of a ride home from work of late. He works in a part of town that is not safe to be walking late at night and he is released from work at 11:15 pm. His work place is seven and a half miles away, and after a long day’s work, that is a long way to have to walk home through dangerous neighborhoods. So, late Friday night he and I were traveling homeward on South Seneca and we saw a myriad of flashing colored lights around Seneca Bowl.

As we drew nearer we had to slow down. Police cars were lined up all along the north block. They filled the west parking lot. Twelve police cars were lined up along Seneca. More police cars were packed into the south parking lot and the parking lots of the neighboring businesses. My best estimate is a count of over forty police cars. At least one helicopter continued flying overhead.

Why? Was this a hostage situation? Was this a dirty bomb threat by terrorists?

After driving home I tried to glean information from various news reporting agencies. Nothing showed up anywhere. Saturday’s newspaper showed nothing either. Surely such an enormous disturbance in the neighborhood warranted some form of public explanation!

Today I called the bowling alley and asked about the situation. I was informed that a couple of jerks started fighting and the police officer that is hired to maintain security radioed for back up. But his radio cut out and the dispatcher signaled that an officer was in distress.

Now I sympathize with those who serve as police officers that if an officer is in need of help that they all want to come to their brother’s aid. I understand that they all relate to the sense of need not to be left alone in such a situation. But the dispatcher knew that it was a simple situation of two jerks fighting. Is there any justification for 40 or more police cars cramming into such a small area for such little reason? Is there any justification for leaving the rest of the city unguarded?

What about the distress that they caused to the poor people of the neighborhood? What about those especially who live next to this block? I live five blocks from there and it troubled my spirit. Surely those who were closer must have felt troubled.

Moreover, this was a terrible waste of manpower and money.

I do not want to disparage the police and sheriff’s departments nor those who serve. Nevertheless, something is very askew in this matter. This is not right. It is actually a dangerous thing. This is a very serious lack of effective communication in matters that impact the community’s safety. How is such error possible? How can two belligerent and unruly jerks become cause for an enormous invasive force of armed agents of the government?

Was this a joke? What could the officers have been thinking to pile upon each other as they did? The parking lots were jammed full of police vehicles. It was nearly like the nutty pile up scenes in comedy movies where the silly police ram into each other, flipping and crashing and landing on each other while the bad guys race off unscathed. Perhaps this is why it went unreported in the media. How would the city of Wichita and Sedgwick County explain this without embarrassment? My neighbor was able to observe two handcuffed men sitting in the parking lot, but no other activity besides the horde of police vehicles, as we drove past. Two silly men and forty or more police vehicles with the accompanying officers. Wow. Such proficiency leaves one in awe. No wonder we keep hearing about the need to increase taxes to provide for a larger police budget.