On sports

Note: If you like spending time watching sports and it doesn’t interfere with your other priorities, good for you!  This isn’t about being Captain Buzzill here.  I’m just sharing where I’ve saved a lot of time and broken some bad habits.  

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I watch very few sporting events for the same reason I don’t gamble.  In absolute terms, the pain of losing $50 is much greater than the joy of winning $50.  Same thing with sports: The joy of my team winning after a 3-4 hour investment is much less than the irritation of them losing. Same thing for college sports.  Do I really want to let a mistake of some 20 year old on the playing field impact how much I enjoy my weekend?

And consider how in most leagues your team has a 1 in 30 chance of winning the championship.  Even if you are as fortunate as I’ve been as a Lakers / Steelers fan (yeah!), you will still have many more losing years than winning years.

It used to be that your team could win a championship, then you’d read about it for a week or so in Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News and that would be it.  Now you get many times the coverage of every lousy team every week than you used to get in a year.  You can waste much more time than before.

And it isn’t just that these athletes don’t care about you as a person (given that they don’t even know you), it is that they often have contempt for you and your views. At the risk of using a cliche, there is way, way too much information about athletes now.  The more I learn about what they think, the more I dislike them.  Magic Johnson shilling for Obamacare?  Kobe tweeting support for Jason Collins?  (Yeah, because Kobe is the go-to guy for sexual mores, right?)  The Steelers’ owner stumped extensively for Obama just because of his race?  Ugh.  And on and on.

So if you enjoy sports, that’s great.  It can be a great way to spend time with family and friends.  But I found one of the biggest savers of time and frustration ever by being very judicious about what I watch and read about.

Switching gears, how about sports participation?  I’m a huge fan of exercise and its many benefits.  We should all do at least a little exercise.  But hobbies like golf can become their own gods if we aren’t careful.  This was an excellent piece about putting golf in its place.  I’ve known people who golfed both days every weekend then lived with the guilt of drug-addicted kids (possibly unrelated, but . . .).  It is easy to pick on golf because I’ve only golfed twice, and those occasions were under duress (work outings).  As I’ve always said, other than being too time-consuming, expensive and frustrating, golf is the perfect sport.

But before you golf lovers hate on me, I concede that our idol-factory minds can make gods of any hobby.   The challenge is to keep whatever we do in perspective and do it for the right reasons.

So I encourage you to take a zero based budgeting approach with your sports time and see if it is in balance with what you want to accomplish in life.

Home schooling / flexible schooling

OK, it took some time for me to arrive at this position, but I am now a huge fan of flexible schooling.  We did it the last two years of youngest daughter’s high school and wish we would have started earlier.  Technically it is home schooling, but with the mix of online courses and Home School Association classes it is really more like flexible schooling.

A few benefits:

  • You get the kids out of the cesspools that many public schools have become
  • Incredible flexibility for study time, volunteer activities and extracurricular activities.
  • Very small class sizes — smaller than even private schools.
  • You don’t have the gang, drug, fighting and other activities that even good school districts have.
  • It is a bargain compared to private schools.
  • Opportunities to develop excellent time management skills.  College won’t be as big of a transition, as kids will be used to managing their time.
  • Dual credit high school classes that cover high school and college requirements are the ultimate bargain.  Our community college system is already 1/5 of what the state schools charge and if your child hasn’t graduated high school the cost is even less.  You’ll spend more on books than tuition.

You need to be very intentional about getting the education and the socializing down. We know of a couple home schooled kids who meet the stereotype of not being socialized well (though that may have had nothing to do with where they were schooled), but countless more who are phenomenally well adjusted . It is a running joke with home schooling about that. These kids are out and about doing all sorts of things.

I know that we pay 100% of our property taxes and 100% of the extra costs of home schooling, and many people do the same to send their kids to private schools. You can just scan the cost / student in many areas (over $10,000 per student to get the current results) and see that something has gone horribly wrong with how we administer education.

We could do so much more with flexibile schooling by utilizing best-of-the-best recorded lessons, computer training/testing and having teachers do more tutoring than trying to give one-size-fits-all lessons to over 20 kids at once.  It would save big $$$ and get better results.

Thou shall not commit adultery

Cross-posted at Stubborn Things as part of the Ten Commandments series

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The English Standard Version of the Bible uses whore 48 times to describe the worship of false gods.  For example:

Exodus 34:14-16 (ESV) 14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), 15 lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, 16 and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.

This illustration of rebellion against God makes simultaneously strong and unmistakable points: Worshiping other Gods is like sexual immorality and sexual immorality is like worshiping other Gods.  Both have devastating consequences and are the opposite of loving God and neighbor.

This verse summarizes Christ’s  standard well.  (I’m taking a little poetic license by using adultery synonymously with sexual immorality, but I think I’m on fairly solid ground with that.)

Ephesians 5:3 (NIV): But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

Not even a hint.  That’s unusually specific.  Yet I’ve had lifetime churchgoers ask if sex out of wedlock is really a sin.  Recent polls show that churchgoers who support “same-sex marriage” have the same views about sexual immorality (porn, fornication, adultery, etc.) as the general population.  The world is just fulfilling its job description as rebels against the one true God.  It is the broader  church that isn’t doing its job.

Our society has sunk so low that it is not an exaggeration to say that the commandment has been reversed to thou shall commit adultery.  The alleged moral superiority of having sex before marriage to ensure compatibility is a convenient lie.  This is exacerbated by churches that pretend that God agrees with those ideas.

And feminism has so dominated society that otherwise-conservative and accurate Bible-believing leaders treat feminism as a given.  They assume that it is acceptable to be miserly with sex instead of being generous.  The rules have been turned upside down.  Even Christian women use sex as a weapon before marriage to land men, then after marriage to control them.

Our unwillingness to do anything about porn guarantees that things will continue to slide.  Men indulge themselves with porn and do far too little to fight it and to protect their families.  Women rejoice over 50 Shades of Grey and we use tax funding for Planned Parenthood to encourage kids to read it while experimenting with the BDSM lifestyle.  People indulging in heterosexual sins reflexively give the LGBTQX lobby a pass so they can rationalize their own behavior.

Women have bought the lie that serial monogamy and “frivorce” aren’t adultery.  If you divorce without biblical grounds then remarry, you commit adultery.  Churches went soft on this and we are paying the price.

The forms of rebellion shift but they are very effective at causing death and destruction.  The evidence for the damage caused by sexual immorality is irrefutable, yet the proposed solutions are all about giving kids the implicit and explicit message that we expect them to have sex before marriage.  Consider:

  • The vast majority of murders – i.e., abortions – occur because of sexual immorality.
  • The vast majority of fatherlessness is due to sexual immorality. This wreaks havoc on kids and ultimately fills our prisons while creating countless victims.
  • Many painful, life-wrecking, generation-impacting divorces occur because of sexual immorality.
  • Nearly 100% of STDs are due to sexual immorality.

Satan is evil but not stupid.  He has been using sexual immorality to rebel against God for millennia.  Jesus said this to the church in Ephesus:

Revelation 2 6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

So Jesus has things He hates?  Who knew?  Apparently the Nicolaitan false teachers were seducing Christians with idolatry and sexual immorality — much like the theological Liberal churches today.

Revelation 2 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.

Given Jesus’ standards – and they are the only ones that ultimately matter — we have all sinned in this area.  By his grace we can still be adopted by God and completely forgiven if we repent and believe.  But if we really believe and if we really love God and neighbor we’ll fight this wave of sexual immorality inside and outside ourselves and inside and outside the church.

Not even a hint. 

If black lives matter to Sojourners, why are they pro-abortion?

Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis‘ Sojourners group is behaving as ghoulishly with the Ferguson case as they did with Trayvon Martin.  They’ll be milking his death for months.  Here’s their latest: #BlackLivesMatter: Gathering for Solidarity in Washington, D.C. – Brandon Hook | God’s Politics Blog | Sojourners.

Last night, Washington, D.C., residents young and old gathered in the Columbia Heights neighborhood to protest the shooting of Michael Brown, stand in solidarity with those on the front lines of continued protests in Ferguson, Mo., and let our governmant and law enforcement officials know that #BlackLivesMatter. The protest was organized by a Howard University student who hails from St. Louis and “needed to do something” given the reports she received from friends and family on the ground in Ferguson.

Yes, black lives matter.  Go ask all the families in Chicago — you know, they place with the extremely restrictive gun laws supported by Wallis et al.

Abortion rates in the black community are 3x that of whites. Taxpayer-funded abortions — which the Democrats want so badly that they almost lost Obamacare over, and that which their official platform calls for — would take that rate even higher.  If you want to save black lives, make abortion illegal.

If the situations were reversed and conservatives supported abortion in the same way and liberals opposed it, we’d be hearing nonstop about how racist and genocidal conservatives are.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers save more black lives in a day than Wallis & Co. will in their lifetimes.  

Roundup

ROUNDUP TIME

1 John 2  11 And this is the testimony, that God gave useternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Anti-Catholic or Pro-Gospel? — Answer: Pro-Gospel.  A great list of questions to ask.  By their own words, Catholics should consider Protestants as anathema.  As I am quick to graciously tell people, I’m not offended if they think I’m wrong.  I just want them to be fair and not get snippy because I think they are wrong.  Let’s look at our common source of truth, the Bible!

If anyone says that the Catholic doctrine of justification as set forth by the holy council in the present decree, derogates in some respect from the glory of God or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, and does not rather illustrate the truth of our faith and no less the glory of God and of Christ Jesus, let him be anathema. (Canon 33)

This is the heart of the issue, isn’t it? The Roman Catholic doctrine of justification, as laid out by the Council of Trent, and as systematized in the canons, does that very thing—it diminishes the glory of God and the merits of Jesus Christ. It adds to Christ’s work. To add anything to Christ’s work is to destroy it altogether.

As I read the canons of the Council of Trent I see a systematic explanation and thorough denial of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. I see that Rome understands what I believe and declares it anathema. Of course it is her right to do this, but let’s not miss some important implications: Whatever else Rome teaches, she will not teach that we are justified solely by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. If she teaches a gospel that adds to the work of Christ, she teaches a false gospel, doesn’t she? And if Francis is the head of the organization that states this as official doctrine, if he is her chief defender and propagator, I must judge him a false teacher. What else could I do?

Divorce Beltway Style — This is a fascinating and important article that should unite citizens on the Left and Right.  We all lose when these influence peddlers buy off both sides.  They are taking our money and sharing it.  Period.  Big Government inevitably leads to this.

“I see lobbying,” Tony Podesta has said, “as getting information in the hands of people who are making decisions so they can make more informed decisions.” Last week the information Tony Podesta was giving was the divorce complaint he had filed in D.C. Court against his wife Heather. The hands receiving that information belonged to a gossip columnist for the Washington Post, who made the “informed decision” to report on it. Later in the day Heather, who is also a lobbyist, informed the Post the text of her counter-suit. It published a follow-up.

The documents, which you can read below, did not become available to the rest of us until yesterday. They tell stories not only of a May-December romance gone sour, but of how obscene wealth can be amassed through rent-seeking and influence-peddling in Washington D.C., and of the hoary means by which the princelings of the capital and their consorts maintain and grow that wealth. They tell stories not only of an ugly divorce, but of the power of lobbying, of how one family maneuvered to the center of the nation’s dominant political party, of the transactional relationships, gargantuan self-regard, and empty posturing that insulates, asbestos-like, the D.C. bubble.

Citizens, Looters, and The Police – Why We Need The 2nd Amendment – The Ferguson fiasco should make even Democrats support the 2nd Amendment.

So that leaves the citizen where? In desperate need of a firearm. The police will either overact massively or they will just let the looters eat you. I’m still reminded of the old 8mm films I saw of the Rodney King Riots in LA. There was one island of LA that wasn’t featured in the film. That ran from Vermont and Pico to 3rd and Olympic. It was Korea Town and it wasn’t seriously looted because the people that lived there organized a citizen’s militia and defended their stores all night long.

When people tell you the 2nd Amendment is outdated, compare what happened in Korea Town during the LA Riots to what happened on La Brea. When people tell you the 2nd Amendment is for troglodytes, remind them that our President was too busy golfing to care that Ferguson, MO was on fire. When people tell you that the 2nd Amendment is for Red Neck Losers, remind them that the Missouri State Police ordered their officers to do nothing while looters attacked and destroyed people’s businesses. There are times when the only protection you have for your life, liberty and property is the weapon you can place in your hands.

 The Spasmodic Hercules — great advice.  This applies to career, education, parenting health & fitness and especially spiritual growth.

The spasmodic Hercules: this is how many of us behave. We behave as if one moment of great activity can overcome a thousand moments of inactivity, as if one moment of taking hold of opportunity will overcome all those moments wasted. The unglamorous habit of frequency is what makes up so much of life’s progress. Yet we are constantly tempted to put our hope in the brief and the glamorous.

PHOTO COLLECTION: ‘Peaceful Protesters’ Vandalize, Loot & Destroy #Ferguson Businesses — Let’s say you are opening a business and need to decide on a location.  Review the pictures at the link knowing that the vendors with damaged stores did nothing wrong but were looted and vandalized because people were mad about some other event.  Would that make you more or less likely to want to invest in that area?  Explain.

The Rick Perry Veto and Ferguson: Holding the Police State Accountable – The link is meaningful: Public employees who think they are above the law.  Aside from having three times the legal limit of alcohol while driving, she abused her power repeatedly to avoid accountability.  Then the Leftists doubled down to abuse power again and blame Perry!

She denied: “I wasn’t drunk.”

She threatened: “You all better do something quick ‘cause you all are gonna be in jail, not me.”

She dismissed: “That’s your alls’ problem, not mine.”

She resisted: “Yea I did [kick and pound on doors].

She demanded: “Get these cuffs off my arms.”

She questioned: “What is wrong with you people.”

She belittled: “Because some cop pulled me over.”

She blamed: “You’ve ruined my entire political career.”

But most importantly, she told them who she is, repeatedly: “I’m the district attorney, so you should listen to me.”

And who she believes she can’t possibly be: “Look at me, I’m restrained like a criminal.”

Lehmberg is not unfit to prosecute political corruption because she made the mistake of driving while intoxicated. She is unfit because she holds the belief that earned the Ferguson Police Department national scorn: She believes she is above the law.

What John Quincy Adams Said About Immigration Will Blow Your Mind — Wow.  Read it all.  I wish we would publish this to the world.

It was explicitly stated to you, and your report has taken just notice of the statement, that the government of the United States has never adopted any measure to encourage or invite emigrants from any part of Europe. It has never held out any incitements to induce the subjects of any other sovereign to abandon their own country, to become inhabitants of this. From motives of humanity it has occasionally furnished facilities to emigrants who, having arrived here with views of forming settlements, have specially needed such assistance to carry them into effect. Neither the general government of the union, nor those of the individual states, are ignorant or unobservant of the additional strength and wealth, which accrues to the nation, by the accession of a mass of healthy, industrious, and frugal laborers, nor are they in any manner insensible to the great benefits which this country has derived, and continues to derive, from the influx of such adoptive children from Germany.

But there is one principle which pervades all the institutions of this country, and which must always operate as an obstacle to the granting of favors to new comers. This is a land, not of privileges, but of equal rights. Privileges are granted by European sovereigns to particular classes of individuals, for purposes of general policy; but the general impression here is that privileges granted to one denomination of people, can very seldom be discriminated from erosions of the rights of others.

Emigrants from Germany, therefore, or from elsewhere, coming here, are not to expect favors from the governments. They are to expect, if they choose to become citizens, equal rights with those of the natives of the country. They are to expect, if affluent, to possess the means of making their property productive, with moderation, and with safety;—if indigent, but industrious, honest and frugal, the means of obtaining easy and comfortable subsistence for themselves and their families.

Immigrants ‘come to a life of independence, but to a life of labor…’

They come to a life of independence, but to a life of labor—and, if they cannot accommodate themselves to the character, moral, political, and physical, of this country, with all its compensating balances of good and evil, the Atlantic is always open to them, to return to the land of their nativity and their fathers.

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A Leftist false teacher I know linked to a “progressive Christian” site and added this gem:

“Not for people who are certain they already have all the answers.”

I sent him this private note (probably should have put it on the main FB page but didn’t want to embarrass him in front of his congregants).

Thanks, I think I’ll borrow that line when I link to posts by Bible-believing (read: authentic) Christians. By doing so I can pre-emptively dismiss the views of anyone who disagrees with me as being arrogant because they think they have “all the answers.” Pure passive-aggressive ad hominem gold!

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Really, don’t pay to have your grandchildren destroyed

Despite all the talk about women’s right to choose to have their unborn children killed, they often feel like they have no choice.  Many times they are being pressured by boyfriends (who will leave anyway 90% of the time*) and their parents (including parents who claim to be Christians).

Here’s an example I came across:

A lot of women don’t know. That’s so in my case, even through my daughter argued with me. She understood my motivation, but she was right and I was wrong!

Once they know, I totally agree. I’m a father who took his daughter to get an abortion; I had never considered anything about abortion; I just knew I wanted my daughter to have a chance at a good life and that I was already grieving for her.

The really horrible regret didn’t come for about 7 or 8 years, but when it did, I went reeling into a horrible depression realizing what I had done. As a Christian, I now know I’m forgiven, but I also have to carry what the consequences are . . . . one of which, I believe, is why my daughter still hates me.

No matter how bad things are, killing your children (or grandchildren) is not going to make things better.  There is a better way.  Start with your local Pregnancy Resource Center (aka Crisis Pregnancy Center).  They have lots of help to offer and all for free.

And if you did something you regret, please know that there is forgiveness, hope and healing in Jesus.  Abortion is not the unforgivable sin.  The blood of the cross covers it as well, but you must repent and believe.

*Let’s just say that guys who want to have their children killed aren’t the best marriage prospects anyway.

Jesus’ encouragement to churches standing up to false teachers

Note his first comments to the first of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation chapters 2 and 3:

1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.

But don’t get smug or arrogant.  There’s more.

4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

So don’t forget the love.

Then there’s this.  So Jesus has things He hates?  Who knew?*

6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

Apparently the Nicolaitans were seducing Christians with idolatry and sexual immorality — much like the theological Liberal churches today.

Revelation 2 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.

Jesus hated that and still does.

*Those who read all of the Bible.