Thought for the day. To vote or not to vote. The height of ignorance.

And he (Kish, a Benjamite) had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people. (1 Samuel 9:2)

The Israelites, after they entered the promised land were told by God not to have any rulers over them except God. But there must be order so they had judges. A few were good, among them Gideon and one woman, Deborah. The country had peace for forty years under their judgeship, but most of the judges were bad. It got so bad they cried out for a king. After a series of events which you can read about in 1 Samuel 8 thru 10 Saul, the tall one was chosen and appointed.

We still tend to elect tall Presidents. To be tall seem to have its advantages, and according to evolutionary thought women tend to be attracted to tall men. Men also respect  other tall men, since they are better at intimidating others. With a larger body comes a larger brain, and according to early evolutionary thought a larger brain means they are further along in evolutionary development than the rest of us.

Evolutionary thought tend to enhance prejudices. One early thought was that since a man’s brain on average is 40% larger than that of a woman, this must be a good reason why women should not be allowed to vote. We now know it to be true, a man’s brain is larger, but a woman’s brain cells are smaller, meaning that the cells communicate faster with each other. While we men take our time to get our threshing machines of brains in gear, a woman’s brain acts like a bolt of lightning, coming up with a plan of action before we even have defined the parameters. They have usually gotten good training dealing with active two or three year olds. An argument could therefore be made a woman would make a better president, having to deal with petulant people like Congress.

Lest this is a praise of women exclusively, they are not without their prejudices. The famous humanist Margaret Sanger, the inspiration to Planned Parenthood, idol of feminists and role model for Hillary Clinton once said:

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population….”

Choose carefully, look into each candidate’s positions on policy matters, check their character and convictions, then make your decision.

It is the civil duty for every citizen over the age of 18 to cast a vote.

Get involved, get informed!

Only let not height be your choice this year.

Thought for the day. Everlasting or eternal?

 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, King James version)

Holding up the John 3:16 sign behind homeplate on televised games used to be a time honored tradition, as American as apple pie. The picture above shows the 2012 world Series, game 4, last at bat for Detroit, and the John 3:16 sign was seen live by millions and replayed across the world. Lately, in a pregame, broadcast by ESPN on July 27, 2014,  Gino Emmerich arrived at Willie Mays Plaza carrying a sign broadcasting “John 3:16”.

While Emmerich was holding up his sign, a police officer grabbed him from behind by his shirt and neck and moved him out of the view of the camera. Once Emmerich was clear of the cameras, he was surrounded by four police officers and warned, “If you go over there and hold that sign again, we will arrest you and the sergeant will come over here and decide where we are going to take you.” Emmerich then left the plaza to avoid being arrested.

This is how far we have come. It is now offensive to proclaim God’s love in a public forum. How can the promise of everlasting love be offensive?

The New international Bible uses the word eternal instead of everlasting. Is there any difference, and why so?

It is my firm belief that the term everlasting is the correct translation. The universe, and we have a beginning, therefore we are not eternal but everlasting. From Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God” the Bible declared that God was there, pre-existing before the beginning.

From the book of Hebrews (13:20-21 KJV) states: Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Again NIV states the eternal covenant. Am I splitting hairs?

There is a very interesting verse in Revelation (13:8, KJV) telling of the time of the time of the great tribulation:  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. This verse tells that the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. Imagine that! Jesus Christ, the Lamb was slain before the universe was formed! The only way I can wrap myself around this thought is that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit pre-existed as one, yet three, and exist independent of time and space. 

This is true eternity: Only God exists both in and out of time and space, without beginning and without end. Everything else is less than eternal, but maybe everlasting, with a beginning but without an end.

 

Thought for the day. What does eternity mean?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3)

It is hard to explain. Has matter always existed? Take it one step further. Has time and space always existed? Is the universe infinite?

Albert Einstein once said: “Only two things ate infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former.”

He is also famous for his theories of relativity. The first, the theory of special relativity states that space and time are interwoven into a single continuum known as space-time, where time is relative. The general theory of relativity stares that massive objects cause a distortion in space-time.

So the question is: Does space and time exist apart from mass and light, or was there a beginning? Let me explain, or, better yet, let Einstein explain.

Shortly after his appointment at Princeton, Einstein was invited to a tea in his honor. At the event, the excited hostess introduced the great man and asked if he could perhaps, in a few words, explain to the guests the theory of relativity.

Not missing a beat, he rose to his feet and shared the story of a walk he had with a blind friend. It was a warm day, so at one point Einstein said to his friend, “I could really do with a glass of milk!”

His blind friend asked, “I know what a glass is, but what is milk?”, to which Einstein replied, “Why, milk is a white fluid.”

“I know what fluid is,” the blind man responded, “but what is white?”

“Oh, white is the color of  swan-downs.”

“Down, I know what that is, I sleep on a down pillow, but what is a swan?”

“A swan is a bird with a long, bent neck.”

“I know bird and neck, but what do you mean by bent?”

Einstein took his blind friend’s arm, straightened it, and said “There, now your arm is straight.” He then bent his friend’s arm at the elbow, and said, “And now, your arm is bent.”

To which his blind friend exclaimed, “Ah! Now I know what milk is!”

Einstein smiled and nodded at his audience, then he sat down.

And so it is. We know, according to the laws of Thermodynamics  the Universe cannot exist, since nothing can be created out of nothing (first law), that things go from bad to worse (second law), and that nothing can ever be perfect (third law).

But we exist, the whole universe exists, we see beauty and purpose everywhere. As we see how we are wonderfully made, it becomes obvious that this could not have happened by time plus chance plus nothing. There must be a creative force, but we can never grasp it since we are bound, both physically and in our thinking, in a time-space box.

Methinks the beginning of the Holy Bible gives the best explanation of how Creation happened, completely void of scientific jargon.

In those three verses God establishes His principles:

In the Beginning – There was a beginning.

God – God was before the beginning of time and space.

Created – God Created all in the beginning

The Heavens and the Earth. – Yes, indeed every matter.

The earth was without form – Not even the sphere was formed.

And void -No life yet.

And darkness was on the face of the deep – No stars were yet formed, only matter, even water.

And The Spirit of God hovered over the waters – The Holy Spirit – God’s Spirit was there at Creation forming everything.

And God Said – Here is introduced the Word that later became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus Christ was present and active during creation.

Let there be Light – And so, the creation of life could begin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thought for the day. The difference between “for Christ” and “in Christ.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    before you were born I set you apart;
    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” ( Jeremiah 1:5)

I woke up this morning with a chorus we sang in Church in the 70:s.

With eternity’s values in view, Lord,

With  eternity’s values in view.

May I do each day’s work for Jesus

With eternity’s values in view.

Then it hit me: Is this really right? It sounds so good, but is it right? The words from Jesus in Matthew 7: 21-23 rang in my ears:

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

In the case of the prophet Jeremiah God knew him before he was even conceived, but in the case of  the false disciple Jesus never knew him in spite of all the things he did for Jesus. Why the drastic difference? Does God pick winners and losers, or is there anything we can do to be assured to be on God’s side?

The answer may lie in one more quote, this one from the apostle Paul in Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

There we have it: God doesn’t want us to do things for Christ, God wants us – all of us as a living sacrifice. He wants us to die to self and be resurrected to new life in Christ. This is available to anybody – a new life in Christ. Then the Holy Spirit can lead us into God’s perfect will.

One more quote. Many can quote Ephesians 2:8-9, but the answer is really in verse 10: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

By the way, the word handiwork is in the Greek ποιημα (poiema) from which we get the word poem. We are God’s poem. I like that.

 

 

 

 

 

Thought for the day: Natural born citizen or Supernatural born citizen?

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, (Philippians 3:30)

Down here on Earth, good old United States of America we have four types of citizenship. Both me and my wife are immigrants and while we were yet resident aliens, our three children were born. We applied for citizenship, passed all tests, and as the immigration officer was ready to schedule our immigration ceremony he discovered we had moved 8 miles from Delaware to Pennsylvania, a different federal district, he sent our papers to Pennsylvania. Being federal agency they promptly lost our papers. We waited and waited and finally started the process anew. This time we managed to become naturalized citizens. Since we were resident aliens at the time of the birth, our children are native born citizens. Our oldest son married an immigrant, their firstborn is a native born citizen, the second child, born after she became a citizen, is a natural born citizen. Our daughter married an immigrant, and their firstborn child is a native born citizen. After her husband became a citizen they established residence abroad and their second child was born abroad. He is now a native citizen after moving back to the States. As to our third son, no problem. His children are natural born citizens.

After all this, who can now be president? It is clear that me and my wife cannot. Can our children become president? How about all of our grandchildren? What about the children where the father is unknown?

The constitution clearly states that that only a natural born citizen can become president of  the United states, and this is the only office that has that requirement.

Congress determined that John McCain was a natural born citizen, even though he was born in a hospital just outside the Panama Canal Zone. Congress never established the status of Barack Obama even though his father never even was a resident alien.

As Supreme court juctise Clarence Thomas put it: “We’re evading that one.”

The issue of who is a natural born citizen needs to be defined once and for all by the Supreme Court.

In the meantime I am eternally thankful I am a Supernatural born citizen.

 

 

 

 

 

Thought for the day: Rejoice always.

Rejoice always, (1 Thessalonians 5:16) 

It often is hard to rejoice.

As always I don’t have a choice

but to praise, pray and sing

to my Savior and King.

To Jesus I lift up my voice.

At my mature age I try to keep my brain active by making Limericks. There are many types of Limericks, and millions have been made and printed over the years, some straight forward as the one above, some with a twist. I try to stay with the clean ones.

In my childhood’s Sweden we started learning English in fifth grade. The first semester, since English has weird spelling we learned the basics in phonetic script, and right from the start we were introduced to finer English poetry, such as this Limerick:

There once was a lady from Riga

who rode with a smile on a tiger.

They came back from the ride

withe the lady inside

and the smile on the face on the tiger.

Since then I have always loved the format, a strict  rhyme scheme (AABBA), and a predominantly anapestic meter  88668, or in this case 99669.

But my real love has been for songs and music. I have a very hard time to memorize things, but if it is set to music I hear the melody inside me and it stays with me for life. Even now I sometimes wake up in the morning with a song in my heart, a song I heard maybe fifty years ago and have not heard since I emigrated from Sweden. Such is the power of music. The cadence in the song and the melody work together to bring to remembrance the emotions I felt as a young lad.

Coming to America I decided to join the Rochester oratorio society. We sang Handel’s Messiah. It meant nothing to me except fantastic music. But the next piece was Elijah, and at the performance, the great base William Warfield was Elijah. He didn’t just sing, he was Elijah!

We moved away from Rochester and I didn’t sing for five years. Things didn’t go so well moodwise, but circumstances led me to again sing Handel’s Messiah. This time it spoke to me and rekindled in me the joy I once had singing. So I joined a church choir, still unsaved, but they let me sing anyway.

Since I found new life in Christ I have found that whenever things go bad, as they often do, God brings back a melody in my heart, not always with words, but they usually come back to remembrance a little bit later.

Thank God for hymns and songs with melody and words that bring back to remembrance the greatness of God!

(Sometimes I wake up with songs I heard in my youth that has very little to do with God and His greatness, but that is another story).

 

 

 

Thought for the day: Thank God for pork chops and “frikadeller”.

 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:  You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell. (Acts 15:28-29

The other day we found a whole pork loin selling at $1.59 a pound at Wegmans. We picked it up and my wife made the most wonderful stuffed pork chops. The meat juice, when heavy cream, flour, water and some secret ingredients are added, makes the most wonderful gravy. we had our son and family over last Sunday, and the two year old grand daughter, small for her age as she is, ate almost a whole stuffed pork chop by herself, saying “I like it” over and over again.

Another food I love are Danish “frikadeller”. They are like Swedish meatballs, but bigger and made entirely from ground pork. Properly spiced they are just magnificently delicious. See the picture!

884223The principal agricultural export product from Denmark is pork in all of its forms. They have the last few years exported more and more to Russia, but a few months ago, after the collapse in oil prices, they suddenly stopped importing Danish pork. The pork mounds grew, filling up the slaughterhouses. What to do?

It is time to introduce pork in the political discussion.

Denmark has received their fair share of mid-eastern immigrants and refugees. They are now so many that they have started to demand they be served certifiably non-pork based food exclusively. Some communities responded by stopping to serve pork altogether in schools and municipal institutions so as not to hurt the feelings of Muslims. Such was the case in Randers, a seaport city in Northern Jutland, a town with a large slaughterhouse, processing pigs for export.

Monday a week ago the city council had enough. They voted (16 to 15) that pork products must be served at all meals in all schools and institutions. The Muslim children can still opt out of their ham and cheese sandwich, taking only cheese on their sandwich.

Yes there is pork in Danish politics. How about good old U.S.A.?

Iowa is holding its annual Pork Congress January 27-28, just before the Iowa caucus. Time for pork politics?

As for me and my house: Thank God for pork chops and “frikadeller”!

 

 

alpolitikerne har stemt ja til et forslag fra Dansk Folkeparti og Venstre om, at det skal være et krav hos alle kommunens institutioner, at svinekød skal være en del af madplanen.

Byrådsmedlem i Randers for Velfærdslisten Kasper Fuhr Christensen var et af de 15 byrådsmedlemmer, der stemte nej til forslaget.

Han kalder beslutningen »unødvendig«, fordi der ifølge ham ikke har været problemer på kommunens institutioner.

»Jeg synes, at det er fuldstændig absurd, når der nu ikke har været henvendelser fra utilfredse forældre. Det er et problem, som man har opfundet ud af den blå luft. Det er stor svineståhøj for ingenting,« siger han.

Forslaget om at servere svinekød for både de muslimske og ikke-muslimske børn blev stillet efter, at flere af kommunens institutioner havde valgt at ophøre med at servere svinekød for børnene.

DF’er i Randers: Frikadelleforslag er blevet misforstået

Et af de steder, hvor man havde valgt at tage hensyn til de muslimske børn ved i stedet at servere halalkød, var Børnehuset Jennumparken, som Jyllands-Posten beskrev sidste år.

Dengang sagde institutionens leder Bente Gråkjær, at det vigtigste ifølge hende ikke var, hvordan kødet blev slagtet, men derimod om børnenen fik en ordentlig kost.

»Der er jo efterhånden også mange etniske danskere, der ikke spiser svinekød. Hos os har vi mange vigtige udfordringer at arbejde med, og så skal maden ikke gøres til en konflikt. Det vigtige er, at børnene får god og nærende kost,« sagde hun.

Muligheden for at forbyde svinekød har institutionerne i Randers Kommune med mandagens beslutning ikke længere. Fremover skal institutionerne i stedet sikre, at »dansk madkultur skal være en del af de kommunale institutioner.«

Danske muslimer ønsker, at der bliver taget hensyn – men får et nej

Under byrådsmødet stillede medlem af Børn- og skoleudvalget, Mikael Firlings Mouritsen (S), ifølge Randers Amtsavis spørgsmålstegn ved, hvordan en forældrebestyrelse skal kunne forstå begrebet dansk madkultur

Manden bag forslaget, byrådsmedlem for Dansk Folkeparti Frank Nørgaard, understregede dog ifølge Ritzau, at forslaget ikke handlede om mistillid til institutionerne og forældrebestyrelserne.

»Vi vil bare sikre svinekød i vore institutioner til de, der ønsker det. Det handler ikke om generel mistillid til institutionernes bestyrelser. Men flere steder i landet forsøger man at luske igennem, at der ikke skal serveres svinekød i institutioner,« sagde Frank Nørgaard ifølge Randers Amtsavis.

En undersøgelse, som Wilke sidste efterår foretog for Jyllands-Posten, viste dengang, at 83,4 pct. af de danske muslimer mener, at der skal serveres halalslagtet kød i danske vuggestuer, børnehaver og skoler.

Omvendt svarede kun hver fjerde ikke-muslimske dansker, at institutionerne skal tage hensyn til de muslimske børns madvaner.