Demon Possessed Man Healed

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Three stories one event.

Matthew 8:28–34 (NIV)

Jesus Restores Two
Demon-Possessed Men

8:28–34pp—Mk
5:1–17; Lk 8:26–37

28 When he arrived at the other side
in the region of the Gadarenes, two
demon-possessed men
coming from the tombs met him. They were so
violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want
with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before
the appointed time?”

30 Some distance from them a large
herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you
drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and
the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the
water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town
and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed
men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when
they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

Mark 5:1–20 (NIV)

Jesus Restores a
Demon-Possessed Man

5:1–17pp—Mt
8:28–34; Lk 8:26–37

5:18–20pp—Lk 8:38,39

5 They went across the lake to the
region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the
tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one
could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had
often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the
irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night
and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself
with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance,
he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at
the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High
God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to
him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,”
he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again
and again not to send them out of the area.

11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on
the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us
among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them
permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd,
about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and
were drowned.

14 Those tending the pigs ran off and
reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see
what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the
man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed
and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had
seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told
about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead
with Jesus to leave their region.

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat,
the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus
did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own
people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had
mercy on you.”
20 So the man went away and began to
tell in the Decapolis  how much Jesus had done for him. And all the
people were amazed.

Luke 8:26–39 (NIV)

Jesus Restores a
Demon-Possessed Man

8:26–37pp—Mt
8:28–34

8:26–39pp—Mk 5:1–20

26 They sailed to the region of the
Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When
Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For
a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived
in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at
his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus,
Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For
Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it
had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard,
he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary
places.

30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied,
because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged
Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

32 A large herd of pigs was feeding
there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs,
and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of
the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into
the lake and was drowned.

34 When those tending the pigs saw
what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and
countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had
happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons
had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they
were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the
demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of
the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were
overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

38 The man from whom the demons had
gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”
So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

 

. . . You of little faith . . .

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Jesus uses these three words 13 times in 6 verses (NIV)

you of little faith

Matthew 14:22–31 (NIV)

Jesus Walks on the Water

14:22–33pp—Mk 6:45–51; Jn 6:16–21
14:34–36pp—Mk 6:53–56

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

My Thoughts:

The first thought which comes to mind, I believe is what so many others say.  When Peter took his attention away from Christ, he began to sink.  Moreover, so much of that is true.  I would guess that most of us, when we feel we are struggling most, if we look back we had a gradual reduced role of Christ in our lives.

A second thought which hits me, one that Christ had even spoke of, is isn’t it amazing how the disciples had Christ right with them, in the boat and more, but still had troubling getting past all the limitations of trust we either are seemingly born with or learn as we grow into adults.

There is so much to gather from the Bible, but sometimes I really like to bring it down to its simplest form.  We can try to be a “Christian” all the time or simpler, we can always work on putting our faith in him, focusing on him and letting the outcomes take care of themselves.  Remember the number one commandment or greatest:

Matthew 22:37–38 (NIV)

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

If we can just practice these – I truly believe we cannot worry about the rest.

Amen

 

The Real Numbers Of “Police Brutality”


The Real Numbers Of “Police Brutality” in America That You Need To See

Posted by: Kyle S. Reyes|February 18, 2019 |CategoriesFeaturedMust ReadsNews

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Everyone from the Hollywood elite to NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem… from the mainstream media to teachers at schools across the country… seem to want to declare that police are racists.

They’ll tell you there’s a disproportionate number of “unarmed black men” being killed by the cops.

That police brutality is out of control.

Except… the numbers once again absolutely destroy that argument.

  • According to 2019 data, there are 328, 240, 469 people here in the United States.
  • According to stats from com, there are 670,279 full time police officers here in the United States out of a total of 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers (data from National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund).
  • There are approximately 2.1 police officers per thousand people.
  • Police officers are less than .21 % of population.
  • Officers come into contact with 17% of the population annually.

That means 55,800,880 contacts

  • Which, at the time of the last report, led to 26,000 excessive force complaints against officers.
  • That’s 0.047% of contacts.
  • Only 8% of those complaints were sustained.
  • That’s 2,080 out of 53,380,000 contacts, or .0039%


A good friend of mine who is a Chief of Police put that into perspective:

   LET Unity – It’s being called the “Netflix” of the Emergency Responder and Veteran Community

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  • You are seven times more likely to be murdered …
  • 15 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident …
  • 42 times more likely to be raped …

… than to have a police officer use excessive force on you.

But we’re just warming up.  Let’s look at 2018 police shootings.

Of the 998 total Police Deadly Use of Force, here is the breakdown by Race & Age:

Race 

  • White –456 (45.69%)
  • Black –229 (22.95%)
  • Hispanic –165 (16.5%)
  • Other –41 (4.1%)
  • Unknown –107 (10.72%)

Age 

  • Under 18 – 15
  • 18 to 29 – 286
  • 30 to 44 – 379
  • Over 45 – 253
  • Unknown – 65


According to 2016 FBI data, black men commit murder 572.8% more than white men.  Rapes are committed at a level of 146.1% greater, robbery at 617.9% greater, aggravated assault at 203.3% greater and violent crime in total at 263.6% greater.

Now let’s look at 2018 Police Deadly Use of Force data.

In 2018 there were a total of 998 Police Deadly Use of Force incidents. Of these incidents, 95.3% of suspects were armed:

  • Gun – 555
  • Knife – 185
  • Replica weapon – 33
  • Vehicle – 38
  • Other – 105
  • Unknown – 35
  • Unarmed – 47

Of the 47 (4.7%) that were “unarmed”:

  • White – 23
  • Black – 18
  • Hispanic – 6


Note: In almost half of the cases (22) where the suspect was unarmed, non-lethal force was attempted & failed prior to the use of deadly Force.

Listen I’m not suggesting racism doesn’t exist in law enforcement.  It exists everywhere – that’s the sad truth of it.

And yes, black people in the United States are more likely to be victims of violent confrontations with police officers (per capita) than their white counterparts.
But let’s dive deeper into why this is.

Statistically, minorities come to police attention far more than their population would suggest.

  • Black Americans make up about 13% of the population.
  • But according to the FBI, they account for about 50% of murders, and about 38% of all violent crime overall.

Chicago gives us some great examples.  And let’s not forget the insanely strict gun laws there, by the way.  For example, during the first eight months of 2016 (the most recent period for which the numbers are available), 2,818 people were shot — only 12 by police. (That’s one-half of 1 percent).

In cities with large black populations, homicide rates have skyrocketed during that same period:

  • In Washington D.C., homicides are up 54%. In Cleveland, up 90%. Overall, homicide is up 17%.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice says that Black people make up 15% of the population in the 75 largest counties in the United States, yet account for 62% of all robberies, 57% of murders, 45% of all assaults.

So what’s going on here?  Are we confusing the color of one’s skin with poverty or inequality? It’s a fair argument. Black people tend to be greater offenders, statistically speaking, because they tend to be more disadvantaged, living in poorer urban areas with less access to public services.

Then of course there’s the argument about the “violent subculture theory.” This is the idea that some black communities have developed cultural values that are more tolerant of crime and violence.

I want to leave you with a few recent studies.

First, a 2016 study by Roland G. Fryer Jr., who is an economics professor at Harvard. He found that no racial bias could be detected in police shootings, in either the raw data or when accounting for controls.  He also found racial bias was detected in lesser use of police force, but not deadly encounters.  His recommendation?

“Black Lives Matter should seek solutions within their own communities rather than changing the behaviors of police and other external forces.”

Second, there were 6,095 black homicide deaths in 2014 according to FBI Data — the most recent year for which such data are available — compared with 5,397 homicide deaths for whites and Hispanics combined. Almost all of those black homicide victims had black killers.

Finally, police officers — of all races — are also disproportionately endangered by black assailants. Over the past decade, according to FBI data, 40% of cop killers have been black. Officers are killed by blacks at a rate 2.5 times higher than the rate at which blacks are killed by police.

Seems to me like the real problem here is socioeconomic disparities along with a public perception issue thanks to biased reporting.  And let’s not forget the huge role that social media plays in disseminating false narratives and creating emotional, knee-jerk reactions.

Finally, I’d like to leave you with some stats from the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.

  • There are more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States, which is the highest figure ever. About 12 percent of those are female.
  • According to the preliminary FBI’s Uniform Crime Report from January to June 2016-2017, an estimated 442,824 Violent Crimes occurred nationwide, a decrease of 8%.
  • Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1791, there have been over 21,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, there are 21,541 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
  • A total of 1,511 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 58 hours or 151 per year. There were 129 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2017.
  • There have been 58,627 assaults against law enforcement officers in 2016, resulting in 16,677
  • The 1920s were the deadliest decade in law enforcement history, when a total of 2,480 officers died, or an average of almost 248 each year. The deadliest year in law enforcement history was 1930, when 310 officers were killed. That figure dropped dramatically in the 1990s, to an average of 162 per year.
  • The deadliest day in law enforcement history was September 11, 2001, when 72officers were killed while responding to the terrorist attacks on America.
  • New York City has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 833  Texas has lost 1,731officers, more than any other state. The state with the fewest deaths is Vermont, with 23.
  • There are 1,135 federal officers listed on the Memorial, as well as 707 correctional officers and 41 military law enforcement officers.
  • There are 328 female officers listed on the Memorial; nine female officers were killed in 2017.
  • During the past ten years, more incidents that resulted in felonious fatalities occurred on Friday than any other day of the week. The fewest number of felonious incidents occurred on Tuesday.

It’s important to have very real conversations about racism in America and accountability among those who hold the thin blue line.  Let’s just make sure we’re basing those conversations on facts and not feelings.

I have empathy – I just don’t agree

I have empathy – I just don’t agree

 

 

In today’s world, it seems as though we must agree in order to be heard! After the George Floyd death, a movement to “defund the police” has risen. Many who support this movement seem to feel as though anyone that simply does not agree is against them, their cause and has no empathy for George or those who have been mistreated by the police.

 
 

This simply seems like an unfair perspective. This perspective does not give those who do share in the desire for there to be less /no existence police brutality the opportunity to say so or have a discussion on other ways to accomplish this goal.

 
 

 
 

I have empathy, but just because I do not agree with YOUR idea, vision or perspective does not automatically make me an enemy of yours. Cannot I say, I do not think it’s a good idea to defund the police and have you say, why or what are your feelings on the matter? Without first being attacked as a racist, a person who believes in things I do not.

 
 

Here is another, not so extreme example. The movement of raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour came. Now, I am all for making more money, however; I was not in agreement. I based my non-agreement, but very understanding perspective on the cause and effects on the economy. It is not because I do not want “you” to make $15.00 an hour. Now, I am all for helping those who want to make a better living wage to find those paying jobs!

 
 

Back to George Floyd. Regardless of the persons sex, race or ethnicity, the police should not treat people they have in custody badly, I am not sold on the idea that defunding the police would be the best way to accomplish this goal.

 
 

I am, however, open to talking about it and sharing ideas of how we can implement processes which will minimize this behavior even more. Just because I did not jump on your band wagon, does not mean I am not empathetic to your cause nor the victims of this type of behavior, I’d like to think about it more, study it a bit more and start talking about it before I jump of any bridges. Isn’t that fair? Can we again, begin to understand that most of us do wants best for us, our families, our co-workers for America, but just because we don’t agree with your desires of how to accomplish this, does not mean we are against the desired results. God Bless

 
 

 
 

 

 

    

Are we goners . . .?

I write this because I am wondering if other Christian’s are concerned about our future? The democrat party had to vote at their convention to include God and in the last election they had the popular vote. Yes, Trump won, but which group is spreading quicker than the other. How much more of the other group has to spread to even overtake the electorate college?

Christian values are more embedded in the republican platform than the democrats, as stated, the democrats had to vote God into their platform at the last minute. To me, it’s no longer a if, it is a when the democrat party is able to take over not just the presidency, but all the branches of government.

The republican’s carry more of the fundamental morals, value, and beliefs than the democrats, when the republicans are suppressed into submission, Christian’s will be also. Are you not feeling the tremors of earthquakes? As a Christian, what, how are you going to deal with the democrats being in power, suppressing God’s power for their own. The morals, values and beliefs will be of the democrat part and they will get to decide on how to enforce them. Will it not be even worse than today, where they say it is ok to protest during the pandemic, but not to congregate for a political rally?

A small sample, I understand, but I could call many others, but I do not think I have to because you already know them. But, it seems as though we need to consider what will happen in 4 years if the democrats take over the government, what will we do, how will we survive as Christians. Will we head to the mountains, will be dig shelters in our backyards?

Will we turn against one another? We are doing that is small doses right now. We have Pastor’s and Preacher’s defining what is biblical, Christian behavior, preaching, lyrics are today. They are saying they are protecting us from false teachings; however, I am not sure if this is the process we should be following. We also have groups of people belittling the version of the Bible we read. A huge debate over the King James VS all the others.

If you read this, I hope you will comment about your thoughts of where we are in the 7th day. What will you do, how will you respond, should we be talking more? How will we identify the real Jesus Christ?

We Should be Talking about this more . . . I feel.

Matthew 16:1–4 (NIV)

The Demand for a Sign

16:1–12pp—Mk 8:11–21

16 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 
A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.

 

Matthew 24 (NIV)

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times

24:1–51pp—Mk 13:1–37; Lk 21:5–36

24 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’  spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

” ‘the sun will be darkened,

and the moon will not give its light;

the stars will fall from the sky,

and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 

30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The Day and Hour Unknown

24:37–39pp—Lk 17:26,27
24:45–51pp—Lk 12:42–46

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

 

Mark 13:1–14:2 (NIV)

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times

13:1–37pp—Mt 24:1–51; Lk 21:5–36

13 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”

“Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

“You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’  standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter, 19 because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again.

20 “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. 21 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.

24 “But in those days, following that distress,

” ‘the sun will be darkened,

and the moon will not give its light;

25 the stars will fall from the sky,

and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 

26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The Day and Hour Unknown

32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ “

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

14:1–11pp—Mt 26:2–16
14:1,2,10,11pp—Lk 22:1–6
14:3–8Ref—Jn 12:1–8

14 Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.”

 

 

True Colors

True Colors
Monday, May 11, 2020
1:09 PM

Was there ever a time that white was white, yellow was yellow, green was green, and blue was blue? Colors were there colors. I have heard about a color, but I have never seen it, I am sure you have heard of it too, but as me, never seen it on a color chart. This color is “A White Lie”. A white lie consisted of mostly truth, but maybe a tad exaggeration, a tad off the truth, but its goal was to minimize the punishment of the act.

The other day at work, I had a difference of opinion of what was green and what was yellow. We wear those bright florescent colored vests to make sure our customers see us when we are out in the area of the cars for whatever task we are performing. I called them green, two others of my co-workers called them yellow. It is odd to me how one color can be viewed as two different. How is that possible, each person, assuming our eyes are working correctly, can view one item and see two totally different colors?

In our current world where truth seems to be more of the popular opinion rather than a fact, how do we find truth. We all agree there is a white lie, but is it truth? I guess it depends on how strict we are on the definition of truth.

What brought me to this writing is one of hope. I was wondering if those I seem to at the opposite side of the political spectrum, if we could pick something and agree it was truth or a lie. For example, could we find one thing Trump said, what we would both agree was a truth, and maybe one thing Trump said was a lie and both agree on both. Then do the same with Biden, Hillary, or Obama. Could each of us see the same color?

When I thought this through, the color chart hit me. I remember seeing a color chart with 100 colors of white alone. Most of them, I personally could not tell the difference between most of them. And when I have two co-workers and myself, not agreeing about a single color as well. So, how do we agree which one is the white, in order for us to define the others, we have to agree on which one is white, yet there are so many variances of white.

Like in math, there is a relevance for truth, there seems to be an agreement of how numbers work. There sometimes is not an agreement in application and what they mean, but each still agrees on 1+1=2. In the perspective of color, we can also use the relevance of numbers to define the color whether we agree with the perspective. Even then, we have to agree with the chemist, the chemical make-up of what is white. It is so complex, because what is truth becomes a matter of opinion and sometimes not even that, it is how we perceive it. For example, the difference between me and my co-worker’s opinion of the color of the safety vest; green or yellow?

Is truth/lie based on how it hits your emotional system or how badly it effects your nervous system? Is it based on popular opinion?

But truth can be determined; it is either proven or unproved. We have seen this in the court system. Evidence is brought forward, and the “truth” is revealed. Yet is it? As the truth is revealed, a group of people, make an estimate on whether the evidence was true enough to produce a verdict of guilty or innocence.

In the movie the “Training Day” a classic line which is so real today was said: “It’s not what you know, it’ what you can prove.”

I believe the reason I like sports, math and science more so than others, the reason why, is when you get to the end, it seems we are not dealing with someone opinion we are dealing with truths. If we do a math problem and we get it wrong, we can track back through the math and find out where it is, where the lack of truth was done.

Back to my original thought, can my friends on the other side of the political aisle and I find an element of what the truth is or what is a lie. So much of what is in the political speak is bent, it is bent into the view “It could be viewed as this way” even though I believe we know it was not meant that way. An accident becomes intentional, a misspeak becomes racist, a truth becomes a lie, all because it does not fit into our personal beliefs. And we cannot find the strength within ourselves to admit when the truth was spoken on the other side of the aisle or a lie was done on ours. Again, what I like about sports. When entering the arena, one can say whatever you want, but in the end, the truth of your ability speaks the truth, one cannot claim foul, one can I guess, but the score speaks the truth..

Regardless of where we are on the political arena, I pray we all in the end do share one truth. This truth is Jesus Christ came and died for our sins, was resurrected on the third day and promised us an eternity in heaven by: 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. . .”
Matthew 22:37 (ESV)

My final thought. Thinking about what truth is or what it is not, where would we be without God, without the One Truth? God Bless!

The Conflict


Friday, May 8, 2020
2:31 PM

I wrote a bit on this previously, but I guess I feel compelled to write again, thus if you read the previous post and this is repetitive, it is because I feel I did not say all I felt in the first one or the frustration again has bubbled up and I feel the need to relieve some of the pressure.

In the matter, no one is really wrong, it is just I do not agree with one side of the argument as I do the other.

Let us start with the woman who made her way to fame by announcing she is going to defy the National and State order not to open her business. She was loud in her quest; she was on several radio talk shows as well as the local TV news. Thus, EVERYONE, I am sure including the Governor and even the President of the United States heard of her quest.

She said, and I am paraphrasing, she had to open because she had no other way to provide income for her family. She also felt the responsibility to open because folks that rent out spaces in her solon were also facing the same issue, inability to provide funds to feed their family.

The conflict is in the moral principal, based on what she expressed as her reason for defying the law, should she be allowed? From a personal perspective, it seemed that she was doing what she needed to do, most of us would agree. No different that a person who steal food in order to feed themselves and/or their family. In both cases, the law was broken. However, again, here is the moral conflict. Should someone be able to break the law, regardless of motivation, and not be punished for it. Is that the principal of the law? If you have a good enough reason to break the law, a convincing enough story, should they be able to break the law?

Let us look at this salon’s owner’s options. If her need were ONLY to feed herself, her parents and help her “employees” do the same, was her only option to break the law? I do not know, but to me, there is a possibility she did not exhaust all the local foodbanks, possible loans, and other options for a potentially starving family. I am not sure if she reached out to others in the same boat to learn what they were doing and how they were dealing with it. Did she call other hair salon owners similar to her and see what they were doing. Did they get the PPE loans and SBA loans the government had released recently for those in financial trouble?

Because her business was forced to close because of the COVID-19 virus pandemic and because people are now starting to feel the government is using this pandemic as an excuse to exercise control over the public and their behaviors, this protest is being revered as courageous by a great many, including most talk show hosts, media and even the Governor of the state she lives in. Well, I do not know if the Governor supports that decision, but he did not support the actions of his officials took when she continued to defy the order to remain closed.

She was taken to court and unfortunately lectured by the judge with a request to state she was wrong and selfish for her actions. If she would do this, he would let her go, without it, she would be fined $7,000.00 and 7 days in jail. Regardless of how we feel about the law, the ruling, I believe we have to agree there is a law and she broke it. The wind of opinion and the supreme court have flamed the outrage overruled the decision of the lower court judge and she was let out the next day.

To me, the seemingly trending feeling is how unempathetic our government is. They cannot believe this lady, who defied the law – blatantly, was arrested and put into prison. Now, the foundation of many people’s feelings stem, it seems, is that the close down is no longer necessary, it was not necessary and that we are being lied to by the government in order to use the “danger” to keep us in our houses so the government can take more control of our lives.

But the public does not make policy via empathy. The law was created to be equally distributed to everyone. The courts, however, have the ability to what degree the law should be applied.

The situation reminds me of a story I read in a College English class. It was a story of a car driving out in the flat lands where one could see miles in every direction. As the car is speeding down the road, a stop sign appears. The moral dilemma, should the car stop because those are the rules, or should the car drive through it because the purpose of the stop sign is to minimize danger of drivers driving in all 4 directions, but to the driver, there is no danger the stop sign was designed to prevent, for the driver could see in every direction for miles and there is no threat.

Let us for argument sake, the driver decides not to stop, but there is a traffic officer observing and pulls over the driver, gives them a ticket. When the driver goes to court, the judge asks the driver to understand the rules of the stop sign were not put there for here interpretation, but were for everyone driving regardless of their perception of danger or purpose. Let us add even more to the story, what if the driver had a pregnant wife and was on the verge of delivering and the driver was speeding to the hospital.

Back to the salon owner. What is deeply troubling about her efforts, was if she simply waited one more week, the state was implementing and opening up business strategy which included salon owners and barbers and other similar businesses.

The fallout of defying the law and allowing it is a problem to the rest of us. If we say ok here, then how do we enforce it in another situation, how does the law apply it.

Although I agree and understand both sides of the situation, what I do not understand is the defiance on the count people feel the government is coming after our individual rights. Yes, people point out to some, and I say some, because it is not a majority by a closeness where the government has overstepped boundaries. But this is not an ordeal what was invented by the government, it has not been in place for years, even a half of year, not even a 1/4 of a year, but a couple of months. The reason was because a virus was released in the United States and was infecting and killing people at an alarming rate. To slow this virus down on infecting people, the government implemented the stay-at-home order. So, in my ending of hopefully my last post on this. You see, I do not understand the trend to defy, we have not been in this lane of constraint for no reason and not for exceedingly long. Finally, our president, who created the greatest economy in some time, wants us to resume asap to being an open and free economy, so I don’t see how others can conclude the government is wanting to take away our rights, when our president is not in the audience of those who do. God Bless!!

Virus Or Politics or Human Rights?

 

So, this virus from China suddenly comes to American and explodes. From February 2020 – May 2020, the virus has infected over a million just in the United States. In these few short months, it has been the cause of more than 50,000 deaths. In a bad year, the flu causes around the same number of deaths, but that is in a 12-month period and with the flu shot. So, if we multiply this out, we get 50,000 in 3-month x 4 quarters and get 200,000 deaths. Significantly more than the flu.

This virus has done something that, I guess invokes the natural response of us humans because we are a diverse set of human being. Let me start my story, my perspective:

When the virus first hit, I have to admit it was very scary. From a location in China, within a few months is scattered itself across the world. To me that is amazing how this is possible and shows how fast a virus spread. It whipped through the united states threatening us virtually in almost every city.

What is even more spectacular is the following: We, the public, have chosen to view the rules some of our state and local officials as authoritarian, communistic, down right against our constitutional rights. In some cases, a Governor of a state limited what you could buy in a Walmart. Some state and local officials seemed to focus more on one religious group than another. The Government seems to have closed down some businesses in the effort to reduce social interaction. For example, they closed venues such as concerts, sporting events and restaurants, but left places like Walmart alone. Which does make sense, people still need to eat and shop.

The threat, it has not yet diminished, but to many American’s, we have gotten through the peak of the threat and feel comfortable that we have not gotten it, such as we should not have to self-quarantine any more.

They have taken the opposite perspective on the politicians now, they have become the politicians, they are now claiming that “we have a right to return to work. . ., it is our constitutional right to do so”

So, in this fog of a virus, of which no one knows what to expect, we only know what has happened. Our experts are guessing, and guessing is all they have. We have a polarization between the government and the people. The government is saying “Stay home – we don’t think it is that safe yet.” The people are saying, your threat was false, the danger is less and guess what, we need to provide for our family. And the more the people do not feel the threat, it seems the more they are thinking is it a governmental invasion of their will.

It is not out of reach that some governmental officials are trying to take advantage of the pandemic to advance their agenda. When a Bill in congress to send money to business and workers to offer some relief because of the stay at home order, the Bill was packed with items that had no relationship to what the purpose of the Bill was. However, they knew how important it was for the President to get this Bill passed, so they added things they knew he could not eliminate for if he did, it would jeopardize the Bill getting passed and of course, it then would become a political bomb. Each side blaming the other.

As we have gotten used to the Pandemic, our fear of it has gotten less and our feat of being able to pay our bill and put food on the table has grown. It seems as though, if the virus has not touched our front door, then we have become embolden to denounce it.

Everyone, except experts, seem to have now questioned the danger, the need, the results of the pandemic. Everyone has a bold opinion; everyone seems to have become an expert, and many are now questioning the validity of the statistics. The one thing which I do no hear from those who are seemingly to want to boldly go back to work, is their willingness to take responsibility for those they might infect and the results from that infection. I have heard “I am not afraid”. I am not afraid either, but it is being infected and possibly infecting those that I love, those that I respect.

Let me give you a personal example: About 20 years ago, my mom was dying of advanced COPD. My dad worked in another city and stayed there during the week. My sister and our families were close to where my parents’ house was. So, we took turns going by and keeping my mom company. One day, I had a little bit of a cold and I went by anyway, I did not want to miss my mom. When I got there, she asked about the cold and then let me know, that she was very suspectable to infection and a cold could actually kill her – even faster. Because of that experience, I have not seen my kids during this pandemic. They live with their grandparents currently. My dad is 80 and has had some issues and his wife is 73+. Even though I want to see my kids and visit with my dad, I cannot justify it is worth taking the risk of infecting my dad. If he became sick because of me or not, if it happened after I visited, the guilt and doubt would always be there. So, my question to everyone that feels their rights are being trampled on. Whose rights are you trampling on by deciding it is your right to go back to an environment that could possibly put you at an even higher possibility of getting infected?

Regardless , we are at a pinnacle of danger. The virus has not gone away. And if we start acting like it has, then there is a huge possibility we are the wind the flames and ember back into a forest fire.

I understand both sides, however, I am not feeling threatened by the government. The reason I do not is because I have not been confined in the way that others feel they have. To me, I see how, like in the Bill in congress, advantages were taken. But in all, it seems like we are in a construction zone period. I feel as though it is too early to be calling conspiracy. The danger has not yet fully passed. My hope is whatever we do, we do not flame the ember.

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Trial Run . . .

In the book of Revelation, there are verses about “man” having to have the number 666 on his hand:

Revelation 9:13–15 (NIV)

13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.

Revelation 13:16-17 NIV
It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, [17] so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Revelation 13:18 NIV
This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

I have always wondered how this would be implemented. How would we be coursed into doing such a thing? As I walked through Walmart today, I had an epiphany. I am not sure it is right, but it seemed to make sense.

I was in Wal-Mart just to get my “normal” groceries, nothing more, but because of the run on the stores, my few options I normally have no issue getting were even fewer. I first went to get some Aleve. I thought, should be normal, but almost all of it was sold out, I had to buy a more expensive bottle than I would have liked. I went to the bean isle, none were left of the category I usually purchase. I was lucky and got a bag of chicken meat. So, I went to get tortillas, nope, virtually none left. I was surprised to see some water still on the shelves, but only because I believe Wal-Mart has made it one item only purchase.

All of this leads me to wonder. In the case of an actual emergency, how would all of us survive, if only some of us bought all the food and water? I have been to food banks before. They try and make it fair that one family does not come in and try and get more than any other family. You have to bring in ID, a piece of mail that has your name on it and your address within the last 30 days or something similar.

At the grocery store, we cannot do that. How do we know if you have gotten your allotment of food and/or water? How do we know you are approved to get food and or water, even for that matter, medicine, and doctor treatment.

It also made it very clear to me how in the Bible it states how disease and famine will punish a percentage of the human population. We have seen a test case of this, for the most part, non-lethal virus. Think about if this was a one exposure you die type of virus? It Does not care about your age or your health, you get exposed, you die. Think of how easy it would be to spread!

Roam through the pictures I took at Walmart today at around 11:30 AM. The one of the beer, I found to be funny/ironic, but it’s pallets were still full. Maybe if we drank a little more beer, we would have less anxiety and take this in a more methodical way.

If I do have a fear, it is more of: If we react this way to a mild-to-moderate threat, how will we react when a severe threat to humanity threatens us? Will we stomp over people to get into and out of the store, will we lose our humanity. My thinking is for the rational, do your shopping gradually, build up your supply, so when a moment comes like this one, you are already – ready.

God Bless!!

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Stop – Insert God!

I am sitting her at Starbucks trying to draw a diagram of how I would like my restaurant layout to look.  I happened clicked on YouTube and started listening to a commentary on Grace Vanderwaal’s Windex “Lucy” commercial.  As I saw the baby its first steps, then grow up into an adult, it made me realize how many moments I have missed with my kids.

It also made me realize, that you don’t get a second chance  really to be a parent to the gifts of God that were given to you.  This made me realize, I will never be able to be there for my kids in those moments, I missed them, someone else felt they should be there for me.  It made me angry and hurt, and lonely and resentful.

 

As I was processing these feelings, a young lady came over and sat down next to me.  I took off my headphones and she said: “When I saw you, I felt God was telling me to come over and talk with you.  He wants you to know, he had not forgotten you, he understands and has a gregarious plan for you, and most importantly, he loves you.”

It was perfect timing, it washed away, like in the Windex “commercial” I was watching all those feelings and replaced them with gratitude for my God, for the things that I have had in my life and gave me a boost in my spirit that maybe I just really needed.

Thank you God, you are always perfect!