Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What's Growing in Your Garden?

Posted at Da Tech Guy Blog, in which I expound on an observation made at Ace's place by the illustrious Monty.

P.S.: Guard your heart.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

God Does What He Wants

Does God make exceptions to His rules for humankind? Whether He does or not is the overarching theme of a friendly contention for the faith--also known as argument--that I've been having with several Christian men in regard to women being pastors of churches.

First let's cite the relevant passages:

34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

--1 Corinthians 14:34 (KJV)

Clearly, the apostle Paul did not want women to be leaders in churches or to even speak--or so it appears. But what are we to make of the following verse?

35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

The words 'woman' and 'wife' are the same in the Hebrew language of the Old Testament and the Greek of the New Testament. One has to know the context of the verse and chapter to know which one the writer means. Which one is Paul referring to?

Here's a clue. Paul tells the Corinthian men to tell the women to ask their husbands questions at home if they want to learn anything about the church. So who will the women who are not married ask? Who will widows go to in order to learn about being saved? What about the unmarried daughters?

Or could it be that Paul was referring only to the wives of the men in the Corinthian church?

And if Paul wanted no women to be deacons, what are we to make of these words written by him?

1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: 
2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.
--Romans 16:1-2 (KJV)

The NIV translation renders it this way:

1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae.

2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.

So was Phoebe a deacon or merely a church helper, a servant? And notice that she is to receive help, not give it.

According to Strong's concordance, the Greek word used in the relevant passage is number 1249. Here's the definition:
servant, minister, a person who renders help to others, in some contexts with an implication of lower status; also transliterated as "deacon," a trusted officer of helps and service in the local church

(Emphasis mine.)

Paul uses the 1249 version translated as 'deacons' or servant in Philipians 1:1, 1Timothy 3:8 and 1Timothy 3:12. That word in the Greek is diakonos. But there is another word which is translated as deacon or servant that Paul uses to describe deacons, even his servant Timothy, and it's almost the same word: diakoneo. So what's the difference?

Was Phoebe "just" a servant or was she a leader to boot? What if Paul made an exception to his rule about suffering women to speak in the church? Could he do that? Was he allowed by his master, The Lord Jesus the Christ to do that?

Let's see by concentrating on what we know to be true and by inferring from that.

Paul was a servant of our Lord Jesus the Christ who was God in the flesh. Did God make exceptions to His prescriptions for His servants? Let's check it out.

In Exodus 13, God says that the eldest child (male) is the anointed one--the heir of a given family. This concept is called primogeniture.

But was Isaac Abraham's eldest? No. Ishmael was.

Was Jacob/Israel Isaac's eldest? No. Esau was.

Was Judah Jacob's eldest? No. Reuben was. (1 Chron. 5:1)

Was David Jesse's eldest? No.

Were either Solomon or Nathan David's eldest? No. David had many other older sons.

And was Jesus the Christ's earthly line from the eldest male child of David? No. He was descended from David's youngest, Nathan.

Let's see if God made exceptions to some of His other rules.

In Deuteronomy 7:1-3, God told the Israelites not to marry the Gentiles in the area.

But what of Rahab the harlot--an Ammonite and David's great grandmother--and of Ruth the Moabitess, David's grandmother who, by the way, is the only Gentile who has a book in the Old Testament named after her?

God does what He wants to do when necessary--and when He wants to demonstrate a principle to humankind (c.f. the marriage of Ruth and Boaz which can be analogized with the relationship between Christ and His Gentile bride: the Church). And because He gave human beings free will, sometimes the human beings who are anointed by Him will fail Him. When that happens, God moves to Plan B--and God always has a Plan B.

With respect to female pastors, I think that most women are not suited to for that role. Most of us are too emotional--the way God made us. And even those of us who are not too emotional to be pastors have higher, God-prescribed callings: to be wives and mothers.

But there are a very few women who are able to keep their emotions in check and who don't have the responsibilities involving their husbands and their children. I think that God sometimes calls those very few to lead.

Here's how you know who they are:

1. They are not beset by the previously-mentioned higher responsibilities, and,
2. Their subject matter is the Word of God and topics related and that only.

That last requirement is a must for male pastors as well, of course.

For the most part, Paul was right about women, in his time, in modern times, and in every time period in between. But Paul wasn't God and the former most certainly knew his limitations. God can do what He wants with whom He wants—this is inherent of the concept of sovereignty. It's up to each follower of Jesus the Christ to see what God's will is and that will can only be determined by talking (prayer) and, most importantly, listening (reading the Bible). Mix that with a huge dose of humility.

Here's a revelation, one that is not so original: God is not a legalist; He is the Law.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Re-Post: Never Follow a Lunatic

Originally posted at Da Tech Guy Blog on January 7, 2014. Yes, I'm quite busy today.

Over at American Thinker, Rick Moran comments upon the latest acts of devotion in the bromance between former NBA player/infamous weirdo Dennis Rodman and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. This time, Rodman has enlisted other former NBA players to join him for an All-sort-of-Star game in a place chock full of prison and labor camps; a place where electricity and food are reserved for the nomenklatura, or whatever the Korean-language designation is for the elite of the Hermit Kingdom.
Hall of Fame basketball player Dennis Rodman didn't much like the questions about his "basketball diplomacy" with North Korea coming from CNN host Chris Cuomo. So the former Detroit Pistons "bad boy" lit up the screen with a screaming tirade directed at Cuomo who only wanted to know if Rodman would bring up the case of American Kenneth Bae held for more than a year by the North Koreans for his missionary work.
From Mediate:
Let us know why this man is being held?’ If you can help them, will you take the opportunity?” Cuomo asked.
“The one thing about politics, Kenneth Bae did one thing. If you understand — if you understand what Kenneth Bae did,” Rodman said with a pause, then added “Do you understand what he did? In this country?”
“What did he do?” Cuomo said. “You tell me.”
“You tell me,” Rodman shouted. “You tell me. Why is he held captive?”
“They haven’t released any charges,” Cuomo said. “They haven’t released any reason.”
“I would love to speak on this,” Rodman said, again waving Smith off.
“Go ahead,” Cuomo urged.
Instead, Rodman went off on Cuomo for the remainder of the interview, screaming at him to recognize the sacrifice being made by his fellow players.
The video is available at both links.

Here's the thing: why would anyone expect a guy with demonstrable mental issues to care about political prisoners or tyrannies? And like all too many professional athletes--like the other sheep he's leading--he cares only about being kowtowed to--since retirement, not much of that anymore for any of these guys. Enter the basketball fan, Kim Jong Un.

So now, in Rodman's warped mind, Kim is his friend and anyone who has angered his friend is an enemy and must be wrong, morality be damned. It's gangster logic and lunatic reasoning, the two not necessarily being mutually exclusive.

Rick says that Rodman's mental stability is questionable. No it isn't. He's nuts and has been for a long time.

Rodman's first team was the Detroit Pistons, whose coach, the late Chuck Daly, was a surrogate father to him. Rumor has it that Coach Daly would make sure that his All-Star defense-man took his medication. But after Daly retired and Rodman was traded, the latter seemed to come off the spool and, if the rumors about the medication are true, there remained no one to keep him accountable in that area. In the years following came the tattoos, the piercings, the dyed hair, the off-the-wall behavior...and the wedding dress. (Warning: have eye bleach handy, though he looks strangely...pretty. Strangely, being the operative word.)

So we have a former athlete with a suspected personality disorder leading several other former athletes of equal political ignorance and arrogance to a charity benefit in North Korea--probably the worst country to ever be caught in either accidentally or on purpose. One wonders if these scarily uninformed and uncaring men are being lulled into becoming prisoners themselves. Wouldn't that be a great propaganda coup for the ever more unhinged Kim Jong Un? Or maybe they are being groomed for something even more sinister...

They are pretty hungry over there.




GoFundMe: Arlen's Harem
GoFundMe: The Kenya Project

Friday, January 10, 2014

Blog Roll Friday Morning Reading--January 10, 2014

Liberty: the great dividing line (Neo-neocon)
LGBT is the new Black Power (Digital Publius)
The Muslim Suicide Convert (Sultan Knish)
Fisking Stiehm’s Bigotry at US News (The Anchoress)
Embed Wish List (Laughing Wolf)
Christie vs Obama Compare & Contrast (Da Tech Guy)
13,000 illegals applying for Maryland driver’s licenses (Jeff Quinton)
The Shame of Slut-shaming Shaming (Sarah Hoyt)

By the way, if you have a blog and you want to be on the blog roll, don't be shy. Say so!

UPDATE: One more.

Beware the left-wing-funded “Main Street” Republicans (Michelle Malkin)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Re-Post: Rapist Logic

Originally posted at Da Tech Guy Blog on December 31, 2013.

On Christmas Eve, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered a photo of himself, his wife Ann, and their gazillion grandchildren.
In response to the photo, an MSNBC panel, conducted by the infamous Melissa Harris-Perry, proceeded to mock one of the grandchildren, young Kieran Romney, who is adopted and black.
"One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same,” panelist Pia Glenn offered as a caption for the photo, which the Romneys tweeted on Christmas Eve. (Lyrics of the original Sesame Street song are, “One of these things just doesn’t belong.”)
“And that little baby, front and center, would be the one,” Glenn said.
Comedian Dean Obeidallah joked that the baby is a token.
“It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party and the RNC, where they have the whole convention and they find the one black person.”
Of course, these people were excoriated, and why not? Good grief, it's like reading the banter of elementary school children! And the panelists show themselves to be what they claim to denounce: those who would isolate a child who is externally different from most of his family members--than most of his countrymen.

After taking a well-deserved Internet pummeling, Harris-Perry--who is half white and half black herself--put forth an apology.
Now, she is taking an Internet beating for that, but that's just gratuitous.

But there's something even more disturbing than the behavior of Harris-Perry and company. That something is the logic implicit CNN's Dr. Marc Lamont Hill's commentary on this incident. From Right Scoop:

Dr. Hill:
Some would say maybe that it’s an exploitative picture that they're exploiting the kid by hauling out this black person …
Embedded in this seemingly ridiculous notion is a frightening idea: that Kieran Romney's race was bound to be mocked and that his grandparents, knowing that he is different, set him up for ridicule by publicly acknowledging him as their grandchild.

The notion of "some," that the Romneys are exploiting the child by including him in a family photo and by sharing it, is merely a foundation--a fabricated pretext to shift the blame from the MSNBC panel to the Romneys for the actions of the former.

The Romneys should have never post the photo; or they should have never included the child in such a photo. But because they did, the Romneys deserved what they got from the MSNBC panel...according to Dr. Hill's logic.

"You deserve to be assaulted because you tempted us by wearing that short skirt/being out too late at night/leaving your meat uncovered. Wear a burka."

"You and your grandson deserve what you got. He got mocked because you showed him to us. Don't try to exploit him again by include him in pictures with your white grandchildren and we won't be tempted to mock him or you."

Right?

Right. The buck-passing never stops with these people.

(h/t The Other McCain)



Monday Morning Reading--January 6, 2014

Were the sacrifices in Iraq in vain?
Kaepernick goes sleeveless
Facebook News Feed History of the World: World War I to World War II
Girl Scouts Suggest Abortion Activist Wendy Davis for “Woman of the Year”
Romney: Apology accepted, but …
Detroit Police Chief Voices Support for Concealed Carry
Another summer in Antarctica
The Right as ‘The Other’
The Eve of Distraction
Jail survey: 7 in 10 felons register as Democrats

Saturday, January 4, 2014

It's a Trap--Reboot

I will be to intermittently featuring old posts from my political blog, baldilocks, and from my Christian blog, Turn not to the Right Hand nor to the Left. As I said in the last post,  the old baldilocks site is still available to the public, but TNTTRHNTTL is not; I only have it on my hard drive.

Before, I thought it was best to separate my Christian faith walk into another blog site, but I have changed my mind. The fact that Jesus is my Lord and my Savior is integral in my offline life, and so it shall be online.

The original version of this post was offered at TNTTRHNTTL on November 7, 2010. This version is edited yet again and has a couple of additional paragraphs. During the time in which I composed the old version, I was trying to free myself from a very toxic relationship and what follows below are concepts which I knew in my head to be true. However, it took a little while after that for these things to be cemented into my heart.

*****

Recently, a friend of mine mentioned the concept of being “caught up”--being “in love”—that which is defined as Eros, "passionate love in the narrow sphere of sexual desire and longing."   Since that conversation, I have been thinking about how we sometimes call ourselves being “in love” with another and how such relationships almost always fail when one or both parties fall out of "love."

Much of what we call being “in love” is, in reality, delusional selfishness if the other two types of love--agape and phileo--are not shared between the two parties.  Minus friendship and, most importantly, minus the desire for growth in the Holy Spirit for one’s beloved, Eros is mere fantasy and when that fantasy fades in the face of reality and you find that you really don’t like the other person and you really don’t care whether that person lives or dies—or whether that person will have to experience the Second Death, the relationship ends.

It seems to me that when a relationship is based solely on Eros, two people aren’t really having a relationship with each other.  On the contrary, each individual is having a relationship with himself or herself.  At first, neither person wants to see the “beloved” with characteristics apart from those which personal fantasy projects; and we certainly know the definition of projection: “the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects.”  He is relating to his fantasies—most likely sexual—and projecting them onto her.  She is relating to her fantasies—most likely emotional and/or status-related—and projecting them onto him.  Initially, neither person sees the other as a separate individual with needs and wants of their own.  One might as well masturbate.

Inevitably, fantasy gives way to reality and the “beloved” turns out to be a real person who is different than our fantasy man/woman.  And when fantasy has been disabused, it can sometimes get ugly.  As I said to my friend, when we discover that the person is different than our fantasies—when we discover that the other person is a real person rather than our self-created phantom--we often get angry at that person for not being what our fantasy is or we keep trying to make that person into our fantasy.  Both are losing propositions.

The Bible calls this “vain imagination” and it is necessary to my point to give the definition of the adjective ‘vain:’ “having no real value : idle, worthless .”  Additionally, the pertinent definition of the noun ‘vanity’ is useful:  “inflated pride in oneself or one's appearance : conceit.”  (Emphasis mine.)

It always seems to come back to pride, doesn’t it?

I once heard someone liken an intimate relation between a man and woman--read: marriage--to a properly baked cake with icing. The relationship is the cake with proper ingredients--spiritual love and a fully-formed friendship--and sex is the icing.

An insufficiently baked cake will taste awful and will melt the icing. And icing with no cake tastes sweet--at first. But after a short period of time, one becomes sick of it.

At any rate, this concept of being “in love” seem to be an inversion of one of Jesus Christ’s two greatest commandments: to love one’s neighbor as one loves oneself.  If you know that you have needs, wants and desires, you can be sure that others who you may claim to love have them as well—and you can be sure that many of those needs, wants and desires are different from your own.

Therefore, if you are using another person to gratify your own personal desires--physical or otherwise--regardless of his/her own and when your desires have been sated, you walk away, you are committing a grave sin, almost an act of hatred.  You are treating that person as an animal or a thing and not as a sentient being.  And the irony of this is, the person to whom you are doing the greatest harm is yourself—your own soul.  Repeatedly hurting others and being hurt in this manner builds up deafness to the Word of God and to the Holy Spirit contained in the hearing thereof—it produces fear rather than faith and we all know the origin of fear.

We see this pattern over and over again in so-called love relationships—using others to gratify oneself or to promote self in the eyes of other human beings.  People who are familiar with the biblical proscription of sex outside of marriage but don't want to follow it seem to think that God is trying to keep us from having fun.  But, personal experience and observation should tell us otherwise—that God prescribes this standard to keep us from hurting each other and hurting ourselves.

And, it seems to me, that the “fun” waiting to be had can be so much richer and fulfilling when one cherishes the person having that fun also—when one loves and likes the real person’s spirit and soul rather than relating to the phantom in one's own head.

I don’t, however, know that from personal experience—but I will.  :)

Old Blog

I just cancelled my Typepad account but my old blog is still available in microblog form under this URL.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fueled

Thank you, for the coffee, friends. Will be working all night!

Kaboom Again

If you didn't read Ace's instant classic back in September, he has reposted it. I just read it for the first time and...I wish I had enough talent to seamlessly mix that much humor and neuroses. Anyhow, go forth and read.

Still Coffee Blegging: Creamer? (UPDATED)

Mary got me a Starbucks gift card and David helped fund Arlen's Harem--the funding of which I won't see until Monday. So one thing is still needed to hold me over until next week: creamer/half-and-half/milk.

Sure, others have bigger fund-raisers; I have and will have bigger fund-raisers. But today, right now, I need the complement for my go-juice. That's it. That's all. Use Paypal.




Arlen's Harem: Third Excerpt

Located here...and I'm still jonesing for COFFEE!!!!




Morning Links plus COFFEE EMERGENCY--January 3, 2013 (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Still no coffee. ::: hands shaking, headaching :::

UPDATE: Unsweetened tea, Earl Grey, hot, just doesn't cut it.

ORIGINAL: Please use my Pay pal account to alleviate my state of semi-consciousness: coffee, creamer and Splenda. Digital coffee coupons welcome.





The Party of the Rich Flogs Income Inequality
Two Cheers for First World Problems
Knockout Game Reaches LA
Game Over
In Communist North Korea, dog eat you
GOP's War on its Base
Obamacare is American Socialism
Phil Robertson Rumored to be Moving Duck Dynasty to a Christian Channel
The Great Equalizers
Puerto Rico, the Greece of the Carribean

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Kenya Project: Updates and Links--January 2, 2014

I've added the information from my Kenya Project of five years ago to my Kenya Project: Who and What page. That project occurred when I took it upon myself to find out what the bases were for the country's civil conflict of that year. What a can of worms that was! (BTW, it was not some epic Islam versus Christianity battle the way some seemed to think. That's happening in other African countries, however--Nigeria, for example.) Anyway, go check it out. Suggestions are welcome.

And here are some links related to the current Kenya Project.

Historical facts about Somalia’s relationship with its Neighbours
Uhuru Assures Kenyans of Better Times Ahead
Three months after Westgate Mall siege
Mogadishu Blasts
AMISOM condemns attack
The complete, concise history of al-Shabaab, the group behind the Kenyan mall attack
Shabaab Militants Draw money from East Africa’s underworld (a pictorial)
Somali Militants Mixing Business and Terror

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Second Rule of Holes

From Wired.com:

A federal judge today upheld a President Barack Obama administration policy allowing authorities along the U.S. border to seize and search laptops, smartphones and other electronic devices for any reason. 
The decision (.pdf) by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman in New York comes as laptops, and now smartphones, have become virtual extensions of ourselves, housing everything from email to instant-message chats to our papers and effects. 
The American Civil Liberties Union brought the challenge nearly three years ago, claiming U.S. border officials should have reasonable suspicion to search gadgets along the border because of the data they store. But Judge Korman said the so-called “border exemption,” in which people can be searched for no reason at all along the border, continues to apply in the digital age. 
Alarmingly, the government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s actual border.

That the suit was brought on behalf of an American Muslim traveling from Canada by rail to his parents’ home in New York State, matters not. He's still an American and if it can be done to him, it can be done to the rest of us.

An illegal cavity search is more honest, if less subtle, and this is merely the flip side of that coin. Think I’m…ahem…stretching an analogy? Read the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution again:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
It seems that all levels of government have taken the First Rule of Holes and bent it over flipped it on its head. The New Rule of Holes goes something like this:
Any physical or electronic orifice you own belongs to us and we will keep digging in it/them until we find something or until we get tired. Now spread ‘em!
This will not end well. Happy 2014!

(Thanks to Instapundit)