Friday, January 10, 2020

Ukrainian Flight 752


I wonder who was aboard that airliner that Iran wanted dead.
And was willing to cover the murder of one by murdering many.



Edit:
What if there was a guy with evidence or plans aboard they could not allow to escape. And the evidence got bulldozed because retrieval of personal effects might show that.

Bulldozing the debris field was also atrocious on the level of denying retrieval of personal effects (jewelry, phones, etc) to relatives.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Kicked Out of Iraq?

Okay.
Say we get asked to leave Iraq.
Iraq puts a lot of oil on the market.
Iran, not so much, due to the sanctions.
Will Iran take control of Iraq?

If Iraq becomes an Iranian subsidy, do the oil profits go to Iraq or Iran?
Has the Iraqi Parliament considered this?

If those revenues go to Iran, watch the sanctions get expanded to Iraq.
Not a smart move for those Iraqi Parliament members next election.

It would also affect global oil prices. Does that hurt America? Our allies?
Or would the Sauds increase production (my guess)?

I doubt Iran is going to be allowed to skirt sanctions by laundering money through Iraq.

So. Maybe Iraq goes full sovereign, rejects Iran (and us) and life goes on.
Iran stays constrained on a global scale.
Iraq may become an overt radical Islamic nation but isolated.
Maybe they go back to opposing Iran like they did under Saddam.

We can only hope.
I lied.
We can pray.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

All You Can Eat! Health Care


Image result for breakfast buffet

I worked with a guy a while back, and we went down south to a plant and the town had a farmers market in which was an All You Can Eat! restaurant.

Rocky was a tall thin guy and when he went to the buffet for the third time, I asked the waitress to tell him he had hit his limit.
That was all he could eat.
She did.
He had such a perplexed look on his face, and then he got it and turned to look at me and grinned.
It was perfect.

I wonder if our nation's obesity problem is aggravated by Golden Corral, The Sweden House and every Hampton Inn (and other hotels) in the country.

But I digress.

I just got back from vacation.
The hotels had  breakfast bars.
The Christmas meal was a buffet.
All I could eat.
Not almost all.
All.
I met the challenge.
I ate more than I would if I had ordered a la carte.
At least I cleaned my plate.
Others, not so much.
Plates of food and cups of drink abandoned on vacated tables.

Now imagine all these people getting free health care.
See the problem?

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Original Ebeneezer Scrooge

It is 2am Wednesday morning.
I cannot sleep.
My eyes are tired, but I have a burden.
I have to teach on Luke 16:1-13 tonight, and I've never been happy with any interpretation of it I have heard.
Until now.
I did a simple thing.
I asked God to explain it to me.

The Parable of the Unjust Steward  (NKJV)
1 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.
2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’
3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’
5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.
9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.
11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?
13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

If you are familiar with it, consider this.


Ebeneezer Scrooge was a wealthy sinner.
He was found lacking by God.
It was Jacob Morley who informed Scrooge of this in an interesting way.
Jacob was just the messenger, but the message was "Repent!".
Who else ultimately calls us to repentance but God?

Spoiler alert! There are plot reveals ahead!

What has Scrooge been doing wrong?
He's been squandering the resources God gave him to do good with by consuming them himself, even if that is only by hoarding them.
He has not been living life large, and using God's resources entrusted to him to help others.

The Spirits of Christmas bring him to conviction and a fear for his life and eternal soul.

In repentance, he let's go of all the ill will he has been harboring, the hurts he has been cherishing and clinging to.
He forgives his nephew of not heeding his advice.
He rewards the Cratchit family financially. If you think of it, he had harbored ill will towards Bob for misusing him, stealing from him by not working the holiday (if not other claims on his loyalty). He now forgives him, and more.
He is generous to his charwoman, someone he imagines (in his dreams, only?) would steal from him.

So, what has he done after being called to account by his Master?

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred [b]measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred [c]measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’

I tell you, the "Unjust Steward" is commended by his master for being shrewd. That is another word for "wise".
He used the resources of His master to resolve issues with his debtors, those who owed him.
It's true, he did it with his master's resources, but our Master fully intends for that!

The Master had "called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’"

How many master's give a shot across the bow like that when they suspect theft?

My Master does. He did. and He gave Scrooge that warning.

He gives all of us that warning.

Laying in bed, thinking about this, I realized that in the morning, I have some calls to make.
There are some debts I have not forgiven. And they are, and have been, chains around my neck.
I forged these chains. "I wear the chain I forged in life".

Well, no longer.



Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

Many years ago, in a foreign land, in the service of my country, I was alone and dying.
(It was not combat related.)
I cried out in my pain, "If there is a God out there, now is a fine time to introduce Yourself. Heal me, and I will find You and serve You."
He did. Instantly.
So I did. Over a longer period of time.
This psalm reminds me of when I kept my vow.
I was finally convinced that Jesus was Who He said He was.
I turned my life over to Him. Made Him boss.
"I took up the cup of salvation."
And I am thankful for it.

Psalm 116 New King James Version (NKJV)
Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death

1 I love the Lord, because He has heard
My voice and my supplications.

2 Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

3 The pains of death surrounded me,
And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me;
I found trouble and sorrow.
4 Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!”

5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Yes, our God is merciful.

6 The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.

7 Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

8 For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.

9 I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.

10 I believed, therefore I spoke,
“I am greatly afflicted.”

11 I said in my haste,
“All men are liars.”

12 What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me?

13 I will take up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the Lord.

14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His saints.

16 O Lord, truly I am Your servant;
I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant;
You have loosed my bonds.

17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And will call upon the name of the Lord.

18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people,

19 In the courts of the Lord’s house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!