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Why the Massacre in Las Vegas? Part II

    I think one reason for the massacre is because of the lack of fear of eternal punishment (see "Why the Massacre in Las Vegas?  Part I).
    I would contend that the second reason is because of a culture of death.  We live in an age where death is rampant.  Exhibit A is the abortion industry.  A woman becomes pregnant and the solution is to kill the unborn.  That is called infanticide.  Getting too old and can't take care of yourself?  Senicide takes care of that problem.
    Life has become cheap.  Whether it is shooter games, or violent movies.  I love James Bond films, but in The Spy Who Loved Me, he kills 31 people, and another 116  people are killed.  In the Quantum of Solace, he kills another 16.  Legolas kills 57 people in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  And Chicago saw in 2016: "762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents, and 4,331 shooting victims."  http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/01/us/chicago-murders-2016/index.html

Why the Massacre in Las Vegas? Part I

   Before I wrote, I wanted to do some thinking about the massacre. 
   I think one reason that the massacre occurred is because of the lack of fear of God.  If you think that this life is all that there is, then you live you life like there is no eternity.  Since God will not judge you and since there is no hell, then there are no eternal consequences for doing evil on this earth. 
    This is not brought up in the conversations.  The conversations are how do you prevent the murder?  By banning guns.  But banning guns does not change the heart.  If you are intent on murder, you can drive a car into a crowd.  Abouyaaquoub, a 22-year old Muslim killed 14 and injured 121 on the 17 Aug attack.  In Marseilles, 86 people were killed by a truck driving into a crowd, far more than the Las Vegas shooting.  Or you can blow up a car with explosives. 
     External means won't work.  You need to have a change of heart.  You need to think about the eternal future, about God as a judge. 
     If there is no future penalty, then there is no change in the heart.

Lord, we ask that we will become more aware of You in this world.

Unpredictability

You cannot predict the future.  Louis Severino is the Yankee's best pitcher this year.  He give up an average of one run every 3 innings.  Last night he gave up three runs and there was a runner on second and third base.  He lasted just one out.  Thus, he was 27 times as bad as normal. 
{Note:  a reader pointed out that his ERA was not 27 but 81.  Why?  He let in 3 runs and recorded one out.  If he allowed one run in one inning, his ERA is 9.  He let in three runs in one inning so his ERA is 27.  But he only recorded one out, so his ERA is really 81.  His ERA was 2.98 during the regular season.  My statement is true that he was 27 times worse, but I should have explained that his ERA was really 81.}
   Another Yankee is Didi Gregorious had a .125 record against the Minnesota pitcher, Santana.  But he hit a three run home run.

Man does not know and cannot know the future.

Best Colleges?

The Wall St. Journal just published their top 500 colleges in the U.S.  Interestingly, Master's University, a small Christian college that did not rank in the top 500, was ranked # 1 by the students for would they choose that college again.  The WSJ ranked Dordt College as number 1 in faculty-student engagement.  Dordt professors earned $38,000/year while Harvard earned $91,000. 

Persecuted Christians - VI

On 03 January 2017 Adel Suleiman slit the throat of Joseph Lam‘i, a Copt.  Why? Because Joseph sold alcohol.  Despite there being a video of the killing, he was never brought to trial.  Despite confessing to the murder, Adel Suleiman was never brought to trial.

Lord, we plead with thee that the killings will stop.

Persecuted Christians - V

Please pray for the Copts.  Copts are Egyptian Christians, and although, like the Christians in Indonesia, make up at least 10% of the population, they are facing constant persecution.  Many are denied work permits.  But worse, the Muslims are targeting them.  Remember the Palm Sunday bombing of the Coptic church in Tanta, where 27 people were killed and 78 wounded?  Despite having an excellent police force, the terrorists have not been found.  And that same day in Alexandria, another bomb went off in a Coptic church and 17 were killed and 48 wounded. 

Persecuted Christians - IV

Indonesia with the largest Muslim population of any country used to be described as a moderate Muslim country.  However, all of this is changing.  The former Jakarta governor, Ahok, was condemned for blaspheming the Koran on 09 May 17 and was sentenced to two years in prison. 
   This is one of many stories coming out of Indonesia.

Please pray that the Christians will be able to speak the truth in love and that they will not be persecuted.

Persecuted Christians - III

Are we still praying for the Chibok girls?  On 14 Apr 2014, the militant Islamic group, Boko Haram,  captured 276 Chibok girls, the majority of whom were Christians.  Fifty-seven girls escaped that same day.  Of the remaining 219 Christian girls, some were free last fall, and 82 were freed in May of this year.  However, 113 girls are still missing.  All of these girls have become "brides" and many were raped. 

Lord, we ask for their release.  Lord, hear our prayers

Persecuted Christians - II

Are you praying for the persecuted church?  They need our prayers.  In Iraq in 2003, there were 1.4 million Christians in Iraq.  Now there are fewer than 250,000 Christian left.  Many of the Christians used to live in Nineveh, Jonah's old stomping ground.  Mosul has been destroyed, but the Christians there have not been able to return and rebuild.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-help-iraqs-religious-minorities-1506034877 (22 Sep)

Please pray for the persecuted church.

Persecuted Christians - I

Andrew Brunson? 
He, a Presbyterian minister of the Izmir Resurrection Church, has been in prison since 07 October 2016.  Then in August, he was accused of colluding with an Islamic terrorist group.
Please pray that he will be released.
Please also pray for his wife Norine.


Labor Day - Type of Work (Part II)

What are some types of work that we see saints doing?  Jesus was a carpenter, Peter was a fisherman, Paul was a tent maker, Cornelius was a centurion (military officer), Simon was a tanner, David and Moses were shepherds, Amos a keeper of sycamore-fig trees, Boaz a wheat farmer, Ezra a priest (there is a clergyman), and Nehemiah a cup-bearer.  As you can see from the list, there were lots of different jobs.  One job is not more valuable than another.  All jobs are required.

Labor Day - Type of Work

Monday is Labor Day.  Is one type of labor better than another type of labor?  Certain labor is clearly not appropriate for Christians - unethical work or doing illegal labor, e.g., fencing stolen goods, or prostitution.  But is other labor, e.g., being a minister, better than being a plumber?
     Traditionally, (i.e., during the Middle Ages), all work was done by one of two categories ob people - either they were clergy (religious) or laity.  But that distinction is not in the Bible.  The Reformation changed that.  All work is valid work.

Lord, thank You for making all work valuable. 

Egyptian Legends - Part III

In the Egyptian legends, Osiris marries his sister, Isis, and their brother, Set, marries their sister, Nephthys.   Osiris sleeps with Nephythys, thinking that she is Isis.

Once again we see that these gods are really super-humans and certainly not all knowing.  How they can get confused?  It happened with Jacob when he slept with Leah, thinking she was Rachel, perhaps because he was intoxicated.  But can God be fooled?  A god yes, but the God, no.

Egyptian Legends - Part II

After Set is resurrected by his sister, he is killed again by Set, and this time he is hacked to pieces.  When he is put together by his sister again, he is missing his manhood, and then he is demoted to the underworld because he is not a complete person.

It is fascinating to see how the Egyptian gods get fooled, killed, and demoted.

Egyptian Legends - Part I

I teach Western Civilization and one of the classes I teach is on Egypt.  The Egyptian have a legend on Osiris, the god of fertility.  However, he is fooled by his brother Set, and hops into a jeweled box and the box then becomes his coffin.

Egyptian gods are anthropomorphic - i.e., gods with human characteristics.  How can a god not know that the box was going to be a trap?

Teacher's Pet

We went to see the 1958 film Teacher's Pet, starring Clark Gable and Dorris Day.  I was amazed at the differences.  We watched the entire film and there was not a single blasphemy or crude word.  A true comedy that we laughed and laughed at.  Clark Gable did not end up in bed with any woman before marriage.  After seeing what goes on today on TV and in films, it was a joy to see a good clean film.  This film is highly rated.

The Solar Eclipse - Part 2

Today at work we were having a discussion about solar eclipses.  One person mentioned that the solar eclipse happened when Jesus died on the cross and that is why it went black for three hours.
   There are two problems with that.  First, today was a new moon, but the Passover occurs during a full moon.  Second, Luke writes "It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon,"  Solar eclipses don't last three hours and cause darkness for that long.  The actual time that the sun is blotted out is minutes, not hours.
Rather, the darkness was a sign that God was displeased with Christ - even the sun failed.

Thank you Father for placing our sins on Jesus Christ.

The Solar Eclipse - Part 1

What is special about the solar eclipse?  It is a proof of God!
We live in an orderly world because we have a God of order, not disorder and chaos.  Many ancient religions believed in a god of chaos.  That is who the Devil is.  But our God reigns, and solar eclipses can be predicted.

Thank you God for being King.

The Gospel in Vermont III

Gospel means "Good News!!" and that was not being preached in the two churches we visited there.  The Gospel is that if you believe in Christ as your Savior, He will take away your sins.  But sin was avoided.  The necessity of believing in Christ was not brought out.

Please pray for Vermont.

The Gospel in Vermont II

The heresy of the new translation.
What is heresy?  Heresy is an adherence to a religious opinion contrary to church dogma.
"Hallowed be Thy name" became "Focus your light within us - make it useful."
In the first version, we have a plea for God's holiness.   The Heidelberg Catechism says that this plea means "Help us to truly know You, to honor, glorify, and praise You for all Your works and for all that shines forth from them: Your almighty power, wisdom, kindness, justice, mercy, and truth."
Note the emphasis is on God.  The new "prayer" shifts the emphasis to us.
Bah humbug on the new "prayer."

Please pray for Vermont.