President: “Candy Land is American”

Chess, a traditional game of logic, has been deemed a detriment by the President.

Chess, a traditional game of logic, has been deemed a detriment by the President.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has deemed a centuries-old game, chess, discriminatory and obsolete. His speech on Monday came in response to a Worldwide Chess Tournament held two weeks ago.

 

“I think that chess is discriminatory in more than one way. For instance: this idea of male dominance, the idea that the ‘king’, and not the president (which is a non-gender-specific term), is the most important is foolishness. If chess authorities won’t change this game, I’ll find a way.” the President said.

 

“This game purposefully leaves out toddlers and colorblind people,” President Obama added, “And that’s injustice. This is a hate crime.”

 

The President’s latest legislation has revealed his dislike of the game, and would make a negative view of the traditional game of logic the official opinion of the United States federal government.

 

“I don’t like this game because it gives schemers an advantage.” the President continued.

“We should be careful which attributes we reward, which is why Americans should not be playing this game for scheming logicians and male supremacists. Games like Candy Land and Snakes and Ladders reflect our national character.”

 

“Candy Land is just a beautiful game. Everybody’s equal and everybody can win, if we play the game right.” the President concluded.

The Good Old Days: why now is better anyway

Some things never change. Disease, starvation, drought, death, and war are as prevalent today as in the past. Friends and family members succomb to cancer, painful diseases, and tragic accidents; unfortunate souls in countries around the world die simply because they have nothing to eat or drink; widespread drought ruins farmers and their communities, causing nations to lose their ability to cope with the hunger, thirst, and disease that proliferate under such conditions. Add to these troubles the problem of war — meaning the absence of dearly loved fathers, brothers, and sons — and reality is well represented. For most of man’s existence on earth, threatening conflicts, needs, wants, and diseases have marred the beauty of our planet and the marvels of life itself.

But welcome to the 21st century. There are still diseases, hunger, and definitely wars — but the innovation and brilliance of individuals have diffused through the world via the free market, changing the way we deal with these problems. In fact, the problems themselves have changed.

 

Certain aspects of puzzles mankind has faced for millennia have been eliminated altogether. In the past, bright ideas would fade away, improving or impacting the lives of only a single village or city (and then, on a small scale). Better infrastructure and communication have changed to such a degree that an invention or idea can spread around the world in five minutes, meaning even better infrastructure, communication, and amenities.

The genius of men including Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison, and Albert Einstein would have been utilized to the fullest with the communication of our day (which these men pushed towards realization). People make use of tools the free market has provided to spread good news, great ideas, and budding inventions.

It's no problem to get in touch with a friend who has a cell phone--a technological advance that children in the 60s only imagined was possible in comic books and television shows.

It’s no problem to get in touch with a friend who has a cell phone–a technological advance that children in the 60s only imagined was possible in comic books and television shows.

First the advent of the telephone, then the cell phone, texting, and internet — bringing the likes of email, Skype, Facetime, Facebook, and online news sources — have changed the world and its people a million times over. If a friend is backpacking through the middle of nowhere, contact can be made through a “push of a button,” but even that has changed: touchscreens are even speedier.

 

If your kidneys, lungs, or heart stop functioning, you might can get a new one. Medical knowledge has blossomed, despite setbacks from government interference. 3-D printers are changing the field a tad more, with doctors and scientists experimenting with the likes of printed windpipes. Laser, screening, and nano technologies have likewise improved in leaps and bounds.

 

At a local grocery store, it is a simple task to locate products from Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. In the past, consumers were confined to local products and producers. Needless to say, fruits and vegetables do not last long without refrigeration or modern preservation methods: even in the past decade, agriculture has exploded with innovation and technology.

 

Now is the best time to be alive in the history of the world, as far as the potential and accomplishments of free markets go and the ease and length of life. We have plenty of clues that it will get better in the near future. The free market, and the free market alone, is responsible for the snowballing technological improvements that are enhancing lives and slowing the effects of disease. Government regulations are merely slowing the process and hampering the power of freedom, evidenced by the difference between 19th century America and and 19th century Russia. Laissez faire economics, although never attempted in entirety, have given the human race as many useful ideas and products as intrusive governments allow. The “good old days” are gone anyway, and they are of the sort which will hopefully not return; now the only course is, naturally, to fully embrace private space travel, digital communication, and the economic system of freedom that allowed for these advances.

 

But God

It’s really amazing how small things are so important. Take the title for instance. Normally, we don’t like hearing ‘buts’. They usually are used in arguments. They are used in whining. So we sometimes have an aversion to the little word that really, if it had any choice, would be mad about how it was being mistreated.

But (there it is again) there is a place for such a word. In fact, we use it quite often in writing. In this small word, we can see the fallenness of man and the mercy of God.

In 2 Samuel 11:1, David sent Joab to attack the Amorites and besiege Rabbah. “But David remained in Jerusalem.” You probably know what happened next. Lazy David, who should be leading his troops into battle, fell into temptation. “But David” caused pain for decades.

 

However, there’s a beautiful contrast. It’s not “but David” it’s “but God”,and instead of pain, it brings blessing. You were dead in your trespasses, “slanderers, gossips, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, disobedient to parents, inventors of evil” (Romans 1) “But God, being rich in mercy…made us alive together with Christ—by Grace you have been saved.”

 

Amazing Grace, How Sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost but now I’m found

Was blind but now I see

 

I guess but isn’t that bad after all.

The ‘illions

People who don't accept science's explanation for our existence are often called fools. But science has been changing for the past two hundred years. Smells like hypocrisy.

People who don’t accept science’s explanation for our existence are often called fools. But science has been changing for the past two hundred years. Smells like hypocrisy — and furthermore, a troublesome lie.

The scientific community never ceases to amaze me. They can spit out wonderful findings for science, and explore the mysteries of the human body in ways people only dream about. But things happen there that is more of a mystery to me than anything else: Mainly, their strong hold on evolution.

It amazes me that people can take the same facts, evidence, and findings, yet with different worldviews, can come up with completely different pictures. The bones are still bones. The fossils are still fossils. The chemicals are still chemicals. But still two different pictures.

They can’t both be right. So one must be wrong.

Creationists believe that the universe was created in six literal (not figurative) days. They believe that God is the one who created it. They believe that man fell and is doomed to never meet the standard set by holiness. But they believe that God has rescued mankind from its self-destructing ways and has brought them to himself in fellowship, soon to be realized when the world ends.

Evolutionists believe that random chance created the universe over m/b/tr/quadr-illions of years. They believe that life was an accident, we are victims of circumstance, and we will never have purpose. They believe that death is natural, while creationists believe that death was brought into the world through sin. (which evolutionists don’t believe in)

Like I said, they can’t both be right.

Evolution is crumbling. The numbers change like the wind, and the evidence sometimes has to be ‘cut to fit.’ People are feeling betrayed. “There is no sovereign chance, there is no sovereign God.” “Who says what is good? Laws are changeable.” “Man is the determiner of good and evil.” And man does a pretty bad job of it.

With the foundations (millions of years) crumbling, some sailors are abandoning ship. Some are coming to the truth. Honestly, they have no real choice.

They know they need truth.

“If you abide in my words, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

But how will they know, if they do not hear?

The Blame Game

obama

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has at last found the source of all America’s problems. As the former Illinois senator suspected, the nation’s mishaps and failings have absolutely nothing to do with his administration.

 

“There are evil people in this world, and there are despicable characters in politics. Constantly they are working for the detriment of the nation, and most of the time, I, just like you, discover these deeds in the newspaper or on television,” the President said in a speech.

 

“While obstructionists and wing-nuts are working to score political points, I’m working for the betterment of the United States. End of story. I am in no way responsible for what has happened in the past year,” President Obama continued.

 

He explained that every political and economic failing of the United States for the past three years has been the explicitly intentional doing of a black and tan Labrador pup named Rufus.

 

“It looks cute. But it scores plenty of political points,” said the President, “In no way can we accept it. We must realize that this monster is threatening our national identity thanks to its senseless actions that resulted in the fiscal cliff, sequester, and government shutdown.”

 

“And after all that, the dog ate my budget.” the President lamented.

 

The President mentioned that this “Lab’s failed experiment” is also responsible for the September 11, 2012 attacks on the American Embassy in Benghazi, the failings of Healthcare.gov, all mass shooting from 2011-2013, high youth unemployment rates, a sluggish economy, and national debts just north of $17 trillion.

 

President Obama concluded, “Every morning I read the newspaper, and every morning I see problems that are none of my doing. After a thorough investigation, we know that the creature responsible is a howling political hound who works for the GOP.”

Chosen Ones: Attempted Escape

Julietta took a blanket and wrapped it around her baby brother, Caro. Though the wind was not bad in the capital of her country, Agur, she was scared that the baby might need the extra warmth. She was running away.

Things were not going well in Agur. Long ago, when the country was founded, the king had made a promise to his creator that he and his family would serve Him forever. In love, the creator had given gifts to several people every generation. They were called the chosen. To some, wisdom was given; to others, power. There were as many gifts to be given as there were stars in the sky, but only those whom He chose to give.

But the gifts had a catch: if they were used to further your own pursuits instead of what He had commanded, the gift would become a curse. And that is what had happened to Nya, the chosen judge who was to use her powers to defend the borders. But her power poisoned her, and now there were rumors that she was going after the royal family, to destroy any claim to the throne.

These things whipped through Julietta’s troubled mind as she began her exodus. But before she left, she knew she must consult her friend Opal.

Opal was one of the special few selected to be given the gift of prophesy. She was only five years old, yet she possessed a wisdom beyond her years, and advice that Julietta craved. Opal didn’t look up when Julietta entered. She was lying on the ground, entranced by a small procession of ants marching across the floor.

“Opal? I don’t know what to do. Nya grows threatening, more threatening every day. If she tries something now, nobody will stop her. Nobody can stop her!”

Opal continued to stare at the ants. “It’s amazing how the ants simply march. March, march, march, across the floor, with seemingly no purpose. Gino was just here.” She prattled in her small, childish voice. “You should have asked him. It was hard for me to find him among the thousands of people in the city. But I found him, princess Nenya.”

Julietta put a hand over the young girl’s mouth before she said any more. Surprised, the child looked up from her ants and stared at the princess, a question in her eyes.

“I am going to run away, and use my middle name: Julietta. I believe that my baby brother is the one reason this evil girl has stayed away. I have to get him to safety.”

Opal’s eyes turned colorless, in that strange way that showed that she was thinking hard. “That is not a good plan. If your guess is true, then you need to escape, yes. But what about the others?”

Julietta turned pale.

“If the child is gone, then surely we will destroy the family. Go, now!” A icily cruel voice rang out, as the princess turned in shock. She expected to see an exulting warrior, with guards following. But it was only Opal, looking confused, and staring at her. “Is something wrong?”

Julietta tried to smile. “You did what you were supposed to, Opal. I have to go.” She turned briskly and ran out of the small cottage, then suddenly turned. Opal was counting ants again. Somehow, Julietta sensed that this was the last time she might see Opal. But she didn’t stop.

The girl hurried down, back to the house. She put on the thick dress of a castle servant and hid her little brother safely in his crib basket that the maid sometimes took him outside in. Then she took some food and tucked it into her apron.

She was just heading out of the nursery when she heard a yell. It was soon followed by a series of fierce shouts.  The secret police had come into the castle. With a heart gripped with fear, she ran. Caro was not be hurt in their flight.

The gate was the portal to freedom. But the angular snout of a gun barrel was thrust in her face. It forced her to a stop.

“What are you doing, maid?” A guard barked, glaring down at her. Suddenly, he saw the baby prince in his basket, and his eyes narrowed. “I see what you are doing. It isn’t going to happen.”

He grabbed the basket and walked off. But instantly Caro began to scream with all his voice.

“You scared him!” Julietta squeaked, trying to sound brave, yet offended. The guard tried to quiet the child, but he continued to howl. “Fine! Come with me.” Julietta’s hope slipped away with every step. There ahead of her was the cruel, forsaken judge, and her eyes showed no mercy.

NSA Takes Over Santa Claus’ Operation

WASHINGTON — Edward Snowden released a final bombshell revelation that proves what many American children had begun to suspect this holiday season: the National Security Agency has taken over Santa’s annual Christmas operation.

 

The takeover was approved in January of 2013, scheduled for a spring transition. Mr. Claus apparently protested, evidenced by emails between officials.

white house christmas tree

A website to submit letters to Santa failed miserably, due to the fact that most of the world’s 2.2 billion children do not have internet access and do not speak English. The dysfunctional website, costing millions of dollars, has yet to function correctly. The deadline for letters to Santa, meanwhile, is fast approaching and has been denied an extension.

 

Additionally, the previous North Pole address for Santa was changed to an unknown location in WashingtonD.C., apparently for surveillance purposes.

 

“It’s December 16th and Santa still hasn’t got my letter,” one seven-year old lamented, “Because Mom can’t find the address and when we sent it to the old one, all we got was a form letter from the President telling us that it changed.”

 

Snowden’s exposé also revealed illegal targeting of children with conservative parents in the gift application process, unfairly putting them on the “Naughty” list rather than the “Nice” list, despite their behavior.

 

President Obama explains that he heard about the NSA takeover in the news.

 

“I haven’t heard anything about this,” he said, “I sent my letter to the North Pole, and as far as I know, it arrived. I have not heard anything at all, except what I read in the newspaper, just like you did.”

 

Billions of dollars have been spent on the unsuccessful NSA operation, despite the fact that the charitable and extremely successful initiative previously owned by Mr. Claus functioned on a shoestring budget.

 

The time-warp capabilities that Mr. Claus utilized to deliver to houses around the globe —  at precisely midnight — was ditched altogether, and likewise the “old-fashioned” chimney entrance. Fighter jets and the postal service will in theory deliver the gifts, despite the vows of hostile governments to shoot the airplanes down. Experts and technocrats have deemed the United States Postal Service (USPS) incapable of the worldwide challenge.

 

Seven lawsuits challenging the takeover are already pending, and liberal and conservative policy analysts have declared the move unconstitutional.

 

“It’s too late to change anything this year. Only 2% of the gifts have been completed, and the NSA still isn’t sure if it can deliver the presents.” said one organization’s President, “And the worst part is that the United States has made the absolute most horrible diplomatic move it has ever made. Children around the world now hate us for what the NSA did.”

 

Despite the fact that USPS is not up to delivering millions of gifts, the privately owned United Parcel Service has taken up the offer and has already developed a basic time-warp strategy.

Squirrels Penalized for Eating Out of Bird Feeder

WASHINGTON — In a bipartisan measure the Senate and House both approved Monday, a nationwide problem of immense proportions was at last addressed. The move came after nearly two decades of lobbying and protests by organizations such as American Songbird Civil Liberties Union and Organization Against Tree Rats.

 

The legislation permanently bars squirrels from eating out of bird-designated feeders, and if homeowners and the caretakers of bird feeders wish to share their bounty with squirrels, the small mammals also known as “tree rats” will be required to submit a permit — signed by two witnesses and the owner of the feeder — or either make use of a separate squirrel feeder.

 

“It is an effort against careless thievery,” said Congressman Burr Feeder, “For years, Americans have had to deal with this issue themselves and we want to end this era of law enforcement deficiency.”

 

Tree rats such as this one will no longer escape United States law -- thus prompting official action rather than the harsh individual reactions so common under current policies.

Tree rats such as this one will no longer escape United States law — thus prompting official action rather than the harsh individual reactions so common under current policies.

Congressman Stewie Quirl, who voted against the comprehensive legislation, added, “It’s just peanuts. This is up to the states, and in my opinion, up to counties and towns, and it seems very discrimnatory against squirrels. Especially since there is no equivalent law for birds.”

 

PETA and other animal rights organizations also supported the soon-to-be law of the land in the wake of squirrel launchers and “excessive violence” resulting in millions of squirrel deaths annually.

 

“Shotguns, B-B guns, slingshots, cats, dogs, and knives … it is not right for these cute flea-bitten little critters to die,” said a senior PETA official, “Just because they’re somewhere where they aren’t supposed to be.”

 

President Obama has indicated that he supports the legislation, but most political pundits suggest that the legislation will be ineffective.

 

“I think we’ve already forgotten that squirrels can’t read or write,” said one legislative analyst, “But then again, that’s just because our segregated society won’t allow them in school. This is apparently only the first step of many in our governmental walk to a society of equality.”

 

The legislation’s main objective is to punish petty thievery by squirrels who continually swipe seeds and nuts from bird feeders around the nation.

 

“This is America,” said one ASCLU lobbyist, “We represent songbirds, but we also realize that squirrels need due process of law before they are killed by some crazy kid with a B-B gun, and they also need to have permits.”

 

Opponents are concerned that the costs of trials for squirrels will be excessive.

 

“Nevertheless, this legislation is revolutionary and I whole-heartedly support it,” said President Obama, “And by next week, you will no longer be bothered by squirrels eating out of your bird feeders.”

New Agency Ensures Quality Embroidery

WASHINGTON — A rare majority of lawmakers has established a new federal agency to ensure the quality of hand embroidery, a heretofore unregulated activity which has, in the past, been a significant political issue.

 

“Everybody can remember the moments when grandma or an aunt or even your mom gave you some hand-embroidered item done sloppily. This inferior gift or product is dangerous, detrimental to our national reputation, and perhaps even the reason for this sluggish economy worldwide,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

 

“It is imperative that we end this disgrace and ensure that consumers and gift recipients are awarded with something worthwhile. Embroidery can be deadly if not done properly, and embroidery-related deaths have jumped up 100% in the past year. The time to take action is now,” explained Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, an outspoken advocate of the legislation that created the new agency.

 

Quality hand embroidery will now be required by law.

Quality hand embroidery will now be required by law.

Widespread “inferiority” of the handcraft has bothered many embroidery aficionados and professionals, but opponents of the legislation cite a conflict of interest.

 

“If you own an embroidery business, sure you’ll want to regulate your competition: cheaper, more popular, and do-it-yourself embroidery crafts,” said Nee Dulle, founder of the Hand Embroiderers for Smaller Government. “Big bucks have been pouring in from around the country so our crafts will be smothered.”

 

Dulle is concerned that burdensome regulation by the new agency, the Embroidery Quality and Consumer Protection Agency (EQCPA) would deter embroiderers from picking up new skills or practicing their craft.

 

New EQCPA regulations require embroiderers to get official approval for their project. Inspectors will double-check to make sure that the project matches the approved description, and that “it is fit for consumers.”

 

“Think of us as the EPA of embroidery, perhaps more like the DOE of embroidery,” said the head of the agency, “We’re here to make sure that you have reliable and safe embroidery. As they say, we’re here to make sure that you don’t try embroidery at home. Needles, scissors, and pins are dangerous and that’s why permits should be required.”

 

The EQCPA has already flagged over seventy thousand violators of the new law, with more unlicensed embroiderers expected to turn up every day.

 

“It’s a new era for America, and new economy is going to emerge. I am so proud of the EQCPA for the work it has already done, and the work that it will do,” the agency’s leader concluded.

Tolkien and Lewis: Governments and Kings

Different types of government, different customs.

Different types of government, different customs.

As an avid reader, I am familiar with many kinds of imaginary governments. Monarchies, democracies, bureaucracies,But when I watched the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug yesterday, I found something the author had implied but never described painted into the screen:

A socialist state.

In Peter Jackson’s adaption of the book, Lake-town, or Esgaroth, is a town who was ruined long ago by a dragon. Barely escaping with their lives, the people elected a master to try to re-start trade to keep them alive. But he was a power-hungry man who took the best for himself while the people were starving.

Bard, a bargeman, archer, and the true ruler of the place; a widower with three young children; resisted this “sharing” which meant everyone (except the master and his cronies) went without. To keep his family alive he turned to smuggling and other ‘illegal’ practices, like owning a firearm and sheltering dwarves.

Granted, this is his adaption, not the book.

But soon the master realizes that the people are restless, and with good cause. In one scene, a crony of the master tells guards to dump a load of fish into the water that Bard was trying to smuggle in to the town for the people, because he didn’t have proper papers. When Bard stops him, he is branded a rebel leader and basically kept under house arrest: His house is watched, his children threatened, and he is eventually arrested.

Sound Familiar?

In the movie, Bard is a good man who wants to keep his children safe. But he can’t let his people suffer under this slavery. Maybe it is the inherited leadership that he has tried to hide that ultimately leads to his arrest.

“On what charge?” He angrily asks.

“Whatever one the master thinks best.” A Nazi snarls.

Oops. Did I say Nazi? Well, I’ll keep it there. Another example.

In C.S. Lewis’ book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, a different kind of master is introduced. As you might remember, Caspian, Lucy, Edmund, their cousin Eustace, and the mouse Reepicheep, were kidnapped in the lone islands. After Caspian was rescued, he asked what kind of man the governor was.

“All is done in the King’s name, but he would not be pleased to find a real, live king of Narnia coming in upon him…your Grace’s life would be in danger.” Later, he is called “a chicken hearted man…” fond of paper and procedure. Unfortunately we have a few of those in power now, men who don’t care about justice if they can stay in power. He can partially justify anything with his papers “Your majesty’s tender years hardly make it possible that you should understand the economic problem involved.I have statistics, I have graphs…have you no idea of progress, of development?”

“I have seen them both in an egg.” The King replies. “We call it ‘going bad’ in Narnia.”

Finally, we need to go to the model given of a good kingdom. To do that, I take you to one of the most heroic king figures in literature: Aragorn Elfstone, King of Gondor, found in The Return of the King, the third book of Tolkiens’ trilogy.

“In his time the city was made more fair than it had ever been, even in the days of its first glory…and after the ending of the third age of the world into the new age it preserved the memory and glory of the years that were gone.”

The role of a king has always been the proper and good one for fantasies. The idea of a great, good king who knows peace and riches and wisdom, who rules fairly and is loved by all. We love that kind of king, whether it is Caspian or Aragorn or King Laurence or Richard the Lionhearted. Maybe because we are waiting for the return of the true king, who has promised to return and take us to him.

We are waiting for The Return of the King.

 

To each, according to his ability

Talents are unique gifts.

Talents are unique gifts.

 

To each of us is given a special talent, something that makes them special. Some of these are more desired than others. But all are important.

Some people have the gift of music, and can produce and judge it very skillfully. Though this talent is good, it has an added burden: when you hear a poor voice or instrument, it’s hard not to go back there and silence the person who is disrupting your service. (A person with the gift of music must remember that we are commanded to make a ‘joyful noise’, no matter how it comes out.)

To others the gift of teaching is given. One can take classes to become a ‘teacher’ but a truly good instructor is born. As a teacher you must be kind and patient, yet also firm about the rules of the classroom. Sometimes that is hard to do, but people who master it are greatly valued.

A few are leaders, those who shine and step forward to lead those around them. This leadership can be used for good or evil. A true leader is one who would work the hardest, retreat last, make sure all of his followers are out of trouble. Though leadership is one of the hardest abilities, it is also the one most recognized.

And what about artists, writers, followers, disciples, evangelists? All of these are important too. Though he is seldom noticed, the servant is the most rewarded in the end. But a servant can be any of the above.

Each of these categories can be split up into more and more subcategories, but they have the same essence. Though each artist has his own style and medium, it would be foolishness to not call him an artist. Same with a writer. Just because she write novels doesn’t mean she isn’t a writer!

We are all members of one body, and these gifts have been given to each of us. Inside each gift there is an opportunity to use them for Christ. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks: “What is the chief end of man?” The answer is “TO GLORIFY GOD and enjoy him forever.”

That is why the gift were given. In a fantasy world I made up, super gifts were given, that were very obvious. But what happened? One of the people who received a gift chose not to glorify the giver, but instead believed that she had always had it. Full of pride and jealousy, she set up a reign of terror, and killed out the ‘chosen’ who were given gifts.

That’s chilling. I don’t mean to scare you, but Hitler was a shrewd leader. Many of the people from history that he hate and fear were geniuses, people who understood the times and exploited them for their own purposes.

So what can you do? Use your gifts to glorify God. And don’t forget the ‘enjoy him forever’ part, either. God gave us gifts out of his love for us. “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” (1 Cor. 12:12).

And remember, we are each given a portion of talent according to our ability. So don’t worry about it being too much.

P.S. That wicked tyrant I told you about? She was undone by her maker, who took back his gift and gave it to a more fit servant. Sort of sounds like the parable of the talents, doesn’t it? (Matt. 25:14-30).

 

All I want for Christmas

I sew every once in a while. I am fluent with the needle and the machine, I can work an embroidery machine and fix a tangled serger. My Grandma has 5-6 machines in her house, one of which works better than the others.

I bought my Christmas gifts early this year. In case my Mom or siblings are reading this I won’t say what they were, but I did spend quite a bit on all of them.

We have chickens. I raised them when  they were wee bitty chicks, and now they are being cared for by my brother. They give us eggs every day. Sometimes we have to give some away, we have so many.

Now why are these three seemingly unrelated topics together?

Because this year for Christmas I will give a pair of chickens and a sewing machine. This is not exactly the normal gift list. I can imagine getting chicks and a sewing machine for Christmas, but maybe I’m just weird.

But a rickshaw? That’s strange even for me.

Believe it or not, these strange gifts could be lifesavers for someone I don’t even know. In India, if a woman is widowed, her friends and family believe her to be cursed. They will easily let her and her children starve to death. But a sewing machine could give a widow a new source of income that could last for years. Many families struggle to stay fed, but a pair of chickens provides eggs, baby chicks, and eventually more chickens. And a rickshaw can provide a dalit (untouchable) man with a steady job that he is allowed to have by the intricate caste system.

These unconventional gifts are among a collection offered by the Organization Gospel For Asia, based in Dallas by an Indian pastor. For $11 dollars you could provide chickens or rabbits, and there is a lot more. These gifts are affordable and worth much more than toys.

This Saturday, we will be at Christmas in the Big Thicket, to have a fundraising booth to try to buy a rickshaw. It’s expensive, but we are hoping by selling treats and crafts, we might be able to raise enough. If you will be there, I’d like for you to stop by. And I have a beautiful video for you readers at http://www.gfa.org/gift/video/#/video/1851720040001/

I hope this video, and the ones around it, return you to the true purpose of Christmas: to point us to Christ and to prompt you to aid his children.

 

Invictus

night forestInvictus: W.E. Henly

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I came across this famous poem a few days ago. It was part of a literature assignment, and the moment I first read it I felt a chill go down my spine. This poem, written about survival, gives you the feeling of despair but pride from the person who wrote it. I can’t describe it.

Sinful pride is very deadly and scary. Stubborn rebellion is almost impossible to look at. But the author of this poem, took it even further.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

In the last verse, this man basically shakes his fist at God and tells him he doesn’t care what happens on Judgment Day, his comfort through all the sorrow he has endured is himself. He comforts himself in torment by saying that he served no master.

While actually serving a sinister master, who only wants his destruction.  This reminds me of the Revolutionary war flag that states “We serve no sovereign here” which is equally chilling.

The thing is, these people are lost, horrifically lost. They don’t know or understand what true freedom is.

This poem was the mantra of Nelson Mandela, who died just a few days ago. He had a horrific experience in his quest for equality, yet instead of turning to God, who could give him lasting hope, he had only one thing to hope for…himself.

How depressing. We know that we are weak and not in control. Many people suffer their way through life and have no hope for the future. That is why our mission, to bring true and lasting freedom to the captives, is so important

Washington Establishes New Embassy

 

greg abbotWASHINGTON – The United States has decided to reach out a diplomatic hand to the State of Texas, which officials claimed had “felt estranged” for quite some time.

 

After deciding to ignore 90% of federal laws and suing over another 6%, the Lone Star State is the problem child – or as another Congressman put it, the “wild child” – of the Union.

 

Washington diplomats are on a mission to restore a working relationship with Texas, which in recent years has been the United State’s third most significant trading partner.

 

“It’s almost as if their aim is to break away entirely. They’re almost autonomous now, and we’re still at a loss to figure out how they did it and did it without us noticing,” said Dexter Tex, who will be the ambassador to Austin.

 

“They have become an entirely different entity, it seems, after the President took office in 2009,” said one Louisiana resident.

 

The estrangement began in the 90s, during Clinton’s tenure, but slowly eased after the former Texas governor became the 43rd president. From 2009-2010, Texans began accumulating reasons to hate Washington as calls for more gun control, welfare spending, military cuts, and border security reductions emanated from the “increasingly leftist” headquarters of the United Nations and the United States.

 

Chief executive of the State of Texas, Rick Perry has made no comment on the implications of Washington’s latest diplomatic move.

 

“The reason that we are inching away is because the President puts his foot in his mouth every time he speaks. We can’t be associated with that, it’s way too embarrassing for such a state as this,” said one anonymous Texas representative.

 

The next move for the state is to back away from its obligations to the United States House of Representatives and Senate as it prepares to secede, rumors say. Washington’s late attempt at diplomacy is expected to provide too little, too late.

 

 

 

Babies Are Liberal Part 2

 

20121219 1300 Playmobil Christmas concert

“From now on, any dissenters will be placed in the tickle tube.” declared Emperor Whoopee, “And all math teachers who teach long division will scrub grout in my castle.”

 

The quote was typical of the fictional ruler of Whoopeetopia, a country of small figurines ruled by a two-inch Emperor.

 

As many children do, my brother, my sister, and I had dreamt up a peculiar world populated by these plastic people. The Emperor was a supreme dictator, oftentimes brutal – evidenced by his above comment about dissenters going to the tickle tube – but he also had a soft side. He built a Stuff-Mart on the table once. He sometimes imported soda and cake from other parts of the house. Every year, he allowed citizens to use their weapons during lovebug-hunting season.

 

Just like many modern dictators, he had amenities that none of his subjects could claim for their own: a bathroom, a trash can, a mailbox, a house, a convertible, and a bed. Hundreds of people lived in the small Whoopeetopian Empire, yet there were only four houses in the land. It was not due to his restricting the luxuries, but rather to a socialist economy that was so dysfunctional that nothing was available in the first place.

 

The little people would have lived a dismal existence due to the economic policies that Whoopee – who did whatever we told him to do – enacted throughout his reign.

 

Whoopeetopia was a creation solely of three young siblings, who had yet to understand a word of Marx. Yet the Empire that we designed was governed by a dictator, suffered through a strictly socialist economy and massive shortages, and with law enforcement and an army that resembled Nazi brown-shirts more than anything else.

 

Authoritarian and centralized, the governmental structure of the Empire was more stable than Washington (even toddlers and young children can come up with something more peaceful than that) but provided next to nothing as far as individual liberty goes.

 

Leftist adults choose what they do or do not support in nearly the same manner as we did. Welfare programs, environmental regulations, heavy taxes, and interventionist economic policies are catching to empty brains, it seems. Children and leftists think alike, as far as economics go.

 

Strangely enough, the socialist Empire collapsed. It is a shadow of its former self. Even in a fantasy land on the coffee table, socialism doesn’t work and has no potential for succeeding. Children and leftists both fail to realize this.

 

 

 

Scrooge’s Party

Conservatives aren't stingy.

Conservatives aren’t stingy.

Shakespearean rants labeling Republicans as heartless as Scrooge and as vicious as Nero usually indicate nothing but a severe conflict of interest when it comes to poverty solutions and federal aid. With nearly half of the United States population receiving some sort of government assistance, logic mandates that recipients side with the hand that feeds them. Half of the nation dismisses Republicans and their ideology as mere detriments, while the financially supporting half recognizes that the pain in their pockets is inflammation of entitlements programs. The detractors of “Scrooge’s Party” harbor nothing but personal grudges against conservatives; furthermore, the grudges evidenced in these complaints expose faulty reasoning, factual errors, and severe conflicts of interest.

 

Despite the fact that typical Republicans embrace an unfortunately moderate stance that in essence asserts that “I want to spend money, just not as much of it,” the right side of the aisle consistently promises to cut back on government spending and pay back Democrat-incurred debt; sometimes they even fulfill their lofty goals. Anyone who robs Peter to pay Paul can count on Paul’s vote, as the adage goes – yet Peter’s advocate can count on the victim’s vote. This is the political situation in most countries, but particularly the United States. While the left grows more entrenched in their welfare state and constantly grows their poverty-stricken constituency perpetuated by Democrat policy, the nation’s division increases. It creates an atmosphere that breeds comments like the one that asserts “Republicans, thy name is cruelty.” Democrats are Democrats because other Democrats promise to pay for Democrat votes, a system that true conservative policy cannot create and a system that leftist policy inevitably institutes, where those who cast blue ballots are rewarded with funds from the public purse through entitlement programs and benefits that only leftists support. Those who hold grudges against the advocates of cuts in welfare spending and government pork have nothing more than a conflict of interest stemming from either their possibly stunted prospects in the next election or the government funds that they receive.

 

Furthermore, Republicans are anything but cruel. The poorest of the poor aspire to wealth, but leftists are adamant that the rich should be punished with heavy taxes. Demonizing the rich and insulting the well-off is a counterproductive anti-poverty campaign: spreading the wealth accomplishes nothing except an equal sharing of misery. The opposite of poverty, which an anti-poverty campaign should be working to achieve, is success. Yet the Democrats have devised a system: a lose-lose situation where the unfortunates stuck at the bottom of the ladder have little incentive to progress. As mentioned before, the rich are not exploiting the poor. They are job creators. Punishing success is precisely the wrong precedent to set, which is why countries suffering with leftist governments are prone to exponentially growing welfare states and a shocking poverty rate. Nurturing economic development, protecting individual liberty through respecting property rights, and adhering to capitalism is a formula for success that “the masses” all benefit from but rarely recognize come election time. President Ronald Reagan demonstrated, albeit not nearly on the scale that he wished, the power of supply-side economics in reducing poverty. Conservative Republicans are far from cruel for refusing to support unsuccessful programs.

 

While Democrats claim that conservatives are heartless, Democrats are perhaps the meanest bunch in American politics. The hardworking taxpayer sometimes makes less than a welfare recipient, which is infinitely more heartless than refusing to fund programs that will not work. High taxes and burdensome regulations stifle success, only to support a welfare state – like a house of cards – that will require more taxes, more regulations, and despite the costs, still increase poverty and discourage success. The higher the card house goes, the more likely it is to collapse. When the left plays the emotionally-charged “cruelty” card, it must be remembered that capitalism and conservatism – as the author has noted in previous articles – is the worst and cruelest system (and accompanying ideology) of any except for all the rest. Spending another person’s money is easy, but it is a far cry from the success and generosity for which America was once famous.

 

Axe to the Roots

Some people might not like this post.

It’s based on a quote from Ray Comfort I heard recently He said something like “Politics shakes the branches, but the Gospel is an axe to the roots.”

In all honesty, he’s right. Though Politics is a great and noble effort, the words of 1 John remain true “They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:5-6, ESV)

Though we might have the best of intentions, politics is not the way to change the world. It never has been. Christians, though there have been great politicians, scholars, logicians, orators, etc., they never considered this their main calling.

So what is it?

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19-20, or the Great Commission, was one of Jesus’ last instructions to his disciples. People through the ages have been following this command first and using their talents to further it. But it should always be our first priority.

Maybe that’s why I don’t write about politics that much. I don’t claim to be the expert on politics, and I feel a little uncomfortable writing about it. The world is spinning on its axis faster than I can keep my balance on top. And Politics is good. We need good Christian men and women to rise up and make a stand.

But that is not necessarily always in politics. We also need plumbers, painters, lawyers, doctors. We need pastors, missionaries, welders and teachers. But what we truly need is for the people, common people, not just politicians, to make good choices and turn back to God.

(P.S. If You were in Sevierville TN two weeks from this date and remember the whole quote, readers, please press that little comment button on the bottom of the page.)

 

NASA Autocorrect Feature Opens New Dimension

earth from saturnSOMEWHERE RELATIVELY CLOSE TO SATURN – Due to a severe and likely fatal programming malfunction caused by an autocorrect feature on a government computer, the Cassini Spacecraft has created a hole in the fabric of space.

 

The hole is a first in recorded history. Officials worldwide are “not sure what to say, and completely confused.” Although it is unclear how the spacecraft actually created the hole, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) is doing its best to solve the problem.

 

“We think it leads into another dimension,” said one NASA scientist, “But we can’t be too sure. No matter where it leads, we just don’t want to go there. Our biggest challenge is to avoid this hole and get Cassini away from this region of the solar system.”

 

Meanwhile, programmers, physicists, leading scientists, and various computer gurus are attempting to isolate the error and correct it.

 

“Whatever we did, that was amazing,” one government worker added, “I had no idea how awesome we are and how much power I wield.”

 

“It’s just that if the same thing happens here on earth, it will not be pretty. The hole out there by Saturn is going to be hard to pinpoint if we ever send a manned mission that far,” explained well-known Astronaut Buzz Beeper, “I always knew that autocorrect in coding programs was a really bad idea.”

 

NASA scientists currently predict that if the problem is not resolved, half of the solar system will be absorbed either into a parallel universe or a separate dimension. Earth will be in the first 40% of planets, comets, and other objects to be gradually drawn into the hole.

 

“Nothing too bad should happen. After all, the sun and moon will be moving right along with us, assuming that we don’t correct the error. However, America should rest assured that we will act quickly and we will act smart. Just like Healthcare.gov, maybe this spacecraft has a few glitches. The government will take care of this problem just like it takes care of other problems.” The President said in an address to the nation.

 

Russia, China, India, and Iran still consider the space race in full effect, thus are refusing to cooperate or offer suggestions as to how to mend the dimension’s tear.

 

“We are interested in adding this feature to our own spacecraft now,” said an official Indian press release, “The Americans are no better than we are, and we will prove it.”

 

Email Meant for Biden Goes to President of France

 

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has outdone his own dismal foreign relations record after sending an email meant for Vice-President Joe Biden to the President of France, Francois Hollande.

 

The President's latest diplomatic bungle is likely the most damaging of his career.

 

After calling Hollande a “doofus,” the President told France’s leader “you’ve put your foot in your mouth one time too many.” Meanwhile, France has decided to withdraw from negotiation of the Transatlantic Free Trade Area agreement.

 

“Everybody here is embarrassed to even be seen with you,” the President said. “You are beginning to put Washington to shame just because when people think of our leaders, they think of our association to you. You’ve made yourself famous for stupidity. I wish I had never seen your ugly, smirking face.”

 

Hollande has publicized his intentions to cease all diplomatic relations with the United States and is considering stiff sanctions as well. France is contemplating a controversial United Nations move, either “calling for Obama’s resignation” or “leaving this American organization altogether.”

 

President Obama continued, “America is getting really tired of you. I think most of us are almost ready to have nothing to do with you, especially after today’s comment … sometimes I get so mad at you that I want to tell you to resign.”

 

Although his recent Syrian warmongering caused only a relatively small stir, the President’s latest email is now hailed as the “stupidest diplomatic move of the century” and has been nominated for a Nobel Strife Prize. The Neville Chamberlain Foundation is also expected to honor the President with the James E. Carter United States Foreign Relations Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autocorrect Starts World War III

 

Retaliatory nuclear blasts are coming from countries all over the world.

Retaliatory nuclear blasts are coming from countries all over the world.

ARLINGTON – A senior Pentagon official inadvertently began World War III after initiating an aggressive nuclear strike against Europe, Russia, and Southeast Asia due to an iPhone’s autocorrect feature.

 

“I was just typing a text to my wife telling her that I was feeling sick,” the former five-star general explained.

 

The Pentagon has already released a worldwide apology, which said “…it was a sincere misunderstanding due to extreme technical difficulties that could not be avoided.”

 

The official attempted to explain in a text that he was feeling ill: “Feeling sick & still leaving for France Moscow China n 2 hrs.”

 

Rather than to the official’s wife’s number, the text was immediately sent to Worldwide Instant Feature Destruct, a now disabled and declassified number given to only ten officials with the authority to call for a nuclear strike.

 

Apple autocorrect edited the text to read: “Calling strike level for France, Moscow, China in 2 hours.”

 

Although twenty-five countries are reacting with retaliatory blasts, China has backed down from the conflict.

 

Chinese President Xi Jingping said, “We were going to cast the American pigs into a pit of everlasting nuclear fire, but changed our minds. Autocorrect is of universal detriment and we sympathize.”

New Global Warming Legislation

 

Going to the beach won't be the same after President Obama's proposal is enforced worldwide.

Going to the beach won’t be the same after President Obama’s proposal is enforced worldwide.

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama made a speech today touting the truth behind climate change and the necessity of quick action in ending the global warming phenomenon.

 

Members of the media are reacting with surprising support to the President’s proposal for new global warming legislation.

 

“Seriously, folks, we all understand the concept. When more mass is placed into or on water, the water level rises. That’s why we are going to have global warming. But a way to counteract global warming is just as obvious,” President Obama said, “I promised to slow the rise of the oceans. So far, I’m good, but not that good. So I want to follow up on my promises. I have a simple five step plan to counteract coastal flooding.”

 

“The President’s five-step plan is more than ‘simple,’” one commentator noted, “It’s brilliant.”

 

“Killing all marine life and taking the dead fish and sea creatures on land would lower the level of the oceans,” the President said, “That’s my first step.”

 

The next phases of his proposed legislation would wipe out all sea plant life, remove billions of tons of sand from the ocean floor, retrieve all shipwrecks, and lastly, make all intercontinental marine travel illegal.

 

“Yup, we’ve all noticed it,” the President said, “When you get into the bathtub, the water level goes up. When you get out, it goes back down. What we’re trying to do is take everything out to make room for more water.”

 

The United Nations has seized onto the legislation and is whole-heartedly supporting the measure, hopefully to enforce the standards in other areas of the world as well.

 

 

 

President Declares Germ-Free Zone

bacteriaWASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has made a controversial and revolutionary move in the area of healthcare more than once. Earlier today the President signed, in a widely televised ceremony, a restrictive new law that creates a germ-free zone in the United States.

 

In early 2010, the U.S. Congress gave his trademark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act its stamp of approval. Today’s move is, unbelievably, more far-reaching and delves into even more unnoticeable areas of everyday life.

 

“In the wake of a virtual epidemic of infectious diseases, it is my duty to enact this legislation for the American people,” the President said in a press briefing, “It is imperative that we end disease, and the only way I can think to do that is to ban germs.”

 

“So far free markets have done a terrible job of ending disease. And you can see the terrible mess we are in right now, now cure for the common cold,” explained Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), “Making germs is the only obvious solution to barring bad germs from bothering us anymore.”

 

The move is “undoubtedly political,” said a Balderdash Foundation expert, “because first and foremost it will cheat out rightful beneficiaries of Obamacare subsidies and Medicaid recipients when they are miraculously healed when the law takes affect.”

 

The President added, “This legislation will heal the masses and cure the ill. Finally I will no longer have to worry about getting a cold from snotty-nosed kids or a disease from a person who didn’t wash their hands. I think this will have positive effects for every single person throughout the United States.”

 

However, opponents to the act maintain that “bad bacteria will not comply with these laws,” as Representative Dot Tore, a former general practitioner, protested. “Law-abiding bacteria will do what we ask,” she continued, “But don’t expect disease-causing bacteria to make an exit.”

 

“Law-abiding bacteria, necessary for human digestion and decomposition, will be stripped of their right to exist within the United States. Bad bacteria, meanwhile, will continue to infect Americans with disease. Law-abiding bacteria won’t be able to do a thing to stop it,” a policy analyst at the Lices Institute said.

 

The President’s new law is facing severe opposition, but if not nullified or declared unconstitutional, will take place on January 1st of 2014.

 

 

 

 

A Crown of Glory: The Life of Stephen

Galatians 6:7

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap.

I was skipping around my study Bible yesterday and I stumbled on a Greek word: stephanos. It means crown, or garland. When I think of crown I have the image in my mind of the one worn by Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings Movie: Thin, sort of simple, yet beautifully crafted. My mind wandered. Stephanos, Stephen.

Not much is known about Stephen. We know that his mother was a Hebrew and his father was a Greek. He was a Christian, a kind, caring man, full of wisdom and the spirit (Acts 6) and was chosen to be one of the first deacons. We also know that he spoke rather well.

What makes Stephen unforgettable is not the life that he lived but the death that he died. We know him as the first martyr to die for Christ’s name. He spoke to the leaders of the people of what they had done. He took them through the scriptures, he revealed their treason against the God they claimed to have worshipped.

Of course, when you have an angry mob, instinct tells you to say something nice and run off. But Stephen, whom must have seemed like a fool, did the opposite: he told them their sin. But he did not look like a fool, his face was that of an angel.

Stephen was martyred without a trial that day. He followed Christ’s footsteps, asking for forgiveness for his murderers.

Stephen’s seed grew. Christians were emboldened by this valiant man’s death, and one of the ones present became the greatest missionary of that time. He did what was required of him, but he didn’t stop there. He had proclaimed the gospel from the time he heard to the minute he died, a truly faithful servant.

We read in Revelation that the martyrs are given crowns of glory.  I wonder what they will be like. Probably like the rest of creation: beautifully glorious. Isn’t interesting that the first to wear the stepahanos was a man named after it.