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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

The exact phrase “forgive and forget” is not in the Bible, though the message to forgive others is found repeatedly.

Matthew 6:14 (KJV) – For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Ephesians 4:32 (KJV) – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Hebrews 12:14-15 (AMP) – [A warming that not forgiving contaminate or defile us] 14 Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord. 15 Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace, in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it.

A Word Poor Language:


Hebrew is a “word-poor” language (having about 4,000 words, vs. 100,000 or more in English. Often the Hebrew words that we (English speaker) translate into English have a broader meaning than our translation gives them. This fuller meaning is often steeped in hundreds if not thousands of years of culture (in this case Hebrew culture). It’s not the translators’ fault; they choose the best word in our language that they think relays the message, but the full meaning may not always come across.

Two such Hebrew words and concepts are “remember” and “forget.” To us, they have specific meanings that may not have been the same as the early Chruch. Many Christians of Jewish origin still had extensive knowledge of Hebrew history and culture.

Who else had this knowledge and background? The Apostles (including Paul) who when writing their gospels and epistles wrote from this point of view. Yes, sometimes they knew were writing to Christians of Gentile origins; but there is no separating the gospel from the Hebrew heritage.

In English, the word “remember” is a description of a purely mental function. We are pulling something from our store of experiences, our memories. “Forgetting” is the failure to do so.

Remember:


The Hebrew word for “remember” most often used in the Old Testament was “zakhar.” And while one use is about recalling information; it also has a broader meaning relating to action related to a promise or covenant. The Bible often speaks of God “remembering” covenants, and promises; and often describes His actions because of them. This form of remembrance is a very Hebrew concept, concentrating on action, not a mental state.

Genesis 8:1 – (KJV) But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided. (Action: God caused the wind to pass, and water to subside.)

Genesis 19:29 (KJV) – And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt. (Action: God delivers Lot for Abraham’s sake.)

Genesis 30:22 (KJV) – And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. (Action: God helped Rachel to conceive.)

Do we think God was doing his own thing and suddenly brought these things to memory? He’s all knowing after all. The Bible is reminding us again and again when it says God “remembers” that God is true to his promises. He acts. And we are to do the same.

In the same sense, when the Bible speaks of not remembering something, I think it is more a reference to not taking action; in essence, forgiving (not literally forgetting).

Forget:


Looking at “forget” in the Hebrew custom. The two Hebrew words used in the Old Testament are usually “shakach” and “nashah.” These words have a broader meaning; that English does, to some extent, embody. Specifically, the words often refer to consciously ignoring, forsaking or disregarding an obligation or covenant.

The fact that God made a covenant with the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was not going to exit their collective memory. But they might (and did) decide to ignore it and return to their base human nature.

Deuteronomy 4:23 (KJV) – Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee.

Nor was God going to forget His covenant with the Jews. But He might withhold the blessings associated with it when the Jews utterly fail to acknowledge Him.

Jeremiah 23:39 (KJV) – Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:

David, in a time of turmoil, prayed to God…

Psalms 13:1 (KJV) – How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?

David does not think God is unaware of him and his circumstances. Instead, he is praying for God to show him favor, relieve his despair, and act on his behalf. David feels abandoned by God and seeks a reconnection with Him.

Conclusion:


God promised with his new covenant…

Hebrews 8:12 (NKJV) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

I think when the Bible says that God will not remember; it’s not saying that our omnipotent God will cease to know something. The idea alone is a bit of a paradox. Hebrew culture concerning the concepts of remembering and forgetting may give us some insight into what He does for us and what He wants us to do for each other.

Forget? The human mind doesn’t work like that. We cannot choose to remove the memory of wrongs against us. But we can CHOOSE not to dwell it. We can want to not seek revenge or punishment or payment or even an apology. And we have to do that every time the memory returns.

It should be clear that God does not remove his memories of our activities from his consciousness. I think God not remembering our sins is a reference to his choice of action or in this case, the lack thereof. God chooses not to punish us for them. He decides to forgive.

And we are to do the same as His Son did for us.

We are debtors who realize we can never repay what we owe. Then in an instant, in a word, the one we owe wipes the slate clean. How much gratitude (love) would we have for Him? Then, how should we treat those who owe us but a few coins, or those guilty of an unkind glace, or a disparaging word?

“To err is human, to forgive divine.” — Alexander Pope from An Essay on Criticism

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Politics has spilled over into the normally pristine nature of… international soccer. Feeling slighted (by President Trump and by extension the U.S.), Mexicans across their country (Mexico) are ready to tune in to today’s big game between the Mexico and the U.S. for a World Cup qualifying contest.

“Soccer-crazed Mexicans tune in for every big game, crowding bars, restaurants and any other place with a television. But Sunday’s match will be exceptional…” — LATimes.com

“President Trump has offended us, he is threatening us with his wall. If Mexico beats the United States, Mexicans will celebrate like never before.” – Mario López, 38, who sells sports clothes from a stand in Mexico City.

Also on the LATimes you can read about the 83-year US/Mexico soccer rivalry. Who knew?

Meanwhile, in the U.S. the rivalry is more subdued. Subdued to the point that no quotes are available by anyone who gives a $#@%! This is soccer we’re talking about!

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There are a few political axioms that I hold to be true. I have repeated them verbatim (and in general) in my writings for years. They include…

“A moderate is someone who pauses in the middle of the road… before turning left.” — TexasLynn

“The Democrats are taking this nation straight to hell at a dead run. Every now and then we elect enough Republicans to slow us down to a trot.” — TexasLynn

“The Republican Party has proven that it will NEVER be part of the solution to this nation’s problems.” — TexasLynn

All three of these (and especially the last two) have proven themselves out over the past few months.

A particular case in point… This week the GOP will again not do anything on health care. After wailing and gnashing their teeth for seven years concerning Obamacare, after passing a repeal SEVEN times (when Obama was President), today they will do NOTHING.

This might confuse the political novice who might ask… “Why don’t they just pass the same bill of repeal they passed seven times before”. The answer is they can’t (or won’t… take your pick).

This might confuse the political novice who might ask… “Why not?” The answer is they don’t have the votes.

This might further confuse the political novice again, who might ask… “But they passed it before?” The answer to that is yes, but that was when they knew that the vote meant nothing, that was when they knew it would be vetoed. The GOP (mostly the moderates) was willing to stand on conservative principle when conservative principles were guaranteed not to be applied.

That was the proverbial pause in the middle of the road… with their blinkers bright and shiny, flashing on the right side for all to see. Today, where the road meets the rubber (as they always do)… they turned left.

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I’ve always read (and loved) the comics; and still do. And as a political junkie, I’ve really enjoyed the comics that dealt with social and political events of the day. Some truly classic comics have always followed that model (Lil Abner, Doonesbury, Bloom County).

Lil Abner was mostly before my time. Doonesbury just veered left and then fell off the cliff… which would be OK, but it lost pretty well all humor in the process.

Bloom County (one of my favorites) morphed into Outland and then went into that good night… until author/artist Berkeley Breathed brought it back a little over a year ago. It’s been pretty good; BUT recently Breathed brought back some of that social commentary magic; taking a current social event, twisting it (to fit his characters) and really saying something about our society.

The following are links to the strips that have really taken me back to the good ole’ days of bloom county. (I want insult your intelligence by spelling out the obvious… though I will comment generally on the strips.)

1) What are they gonna do?: http://www.gocomics.com/bloom-county/2017/04/18
[TL Note: Note that Breathed has to identify the “phone” for millennials… :)]

2) What damned decision: http://www.gocomics.com/bloom-county/2017/04/19
[TL Note: Here we have social commentary or consumerism ($400 Jeans and fashion accessorizing) and fascist corporate security.]

3) Nuthin calms a crisis: http://www.gocomics.com/bloom-county/2017/04/20
[TL Note: Buttocks are comic comedy gold. Not that this would be a problem here… but it’s been refreshing to see the stuff Breathed will post when not stymied by the corporate comic editors.]

4) CEO Wisdom: http://www.gocomics.com/bloom-county/2017/04/21
[TL Note: This is classic 1% and stooge cluelessness]

5) What really shocking: http://www.gocomics.com/bloom-county/2017/04/27
[TL Note: The pepper spray/mace and pantyhose are a nice touch. The corporate bully boys surely would have balked on the latter.]

6) We’re all horrified pose: http://www.gocomics.com/bloom-county/2017/04/28
[TL Note: Steve’s (the lawyer) pose makes this whole series. :)]

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Again… every now and then I see something… almost a message from God that says, “I know you sometimes have doubts, but you are on the right side of this battle; and here is proof. Keep fighting for what is right.”

This video is one of those moments. (see below)

Bill Nye is a leftist hack, who uses “science” as a club to push his religion (secular leftism). Recently (on Earth Day, 2017) he was insulted when CNN actually had a real scientist on air to debate him on climate change. Admittedly, surprise was in order, but indignation?

Then a few days ago, he misquoted the Constitution implying that it provided for massive federal spending and who knows what else…

“Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution says the government shall ‘promote the progress of science and useful arts’, so if you’re a politician looking to derail the progress of science, I think you’re not doing your job.” — Bill Nye

[Note: Article I Section 8 is the Copyright Clause, which establishes a legal framework to protect intellectual property rights. Only a moron or liar would attempt such an interpretation. Granted, this is not beyond the hacks on the SCOTUS who believe in a living Constitution.]

But all this (the idiocy, the hypocrisy) is just normal every-day Bill Nye and the left. Not the line-crossing affirming revelation that I speak of. That came from the following musical performance recently presented to us by Bill Nye on his new show (Bill Nye Saves the World) (a Netflix Production).

(Warning: This really isn’t for the squeamish… you can’t unsee this… )

Yep… Bill just decided to apply his “science” cudgel to anything-goes-sexuality (“It’s evolution, aint nothin’ new” after all). The hubris and depravity on display is astounding! This is the road to hell the left is taking us down at a dead run.

I owe Bill Nye a nod for this affirmation… I’m not perfect; but if I’m NOT walking the same road as you (and the ilk on display here), I’m at least doing something right.

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I often touted the term “appearance over substance” in my writing; attributing this character flaw to the left. By this I mean the left values appearance above and beyond reality. As long as things appear as they want them to appear, substance (reality) can go to hell.

The left has many reasons to value and push “appearance over substance”.

  • Cover up some blunder (Benghazi caused by video, Hillary losing because of Russians)
  • Not having to deal with an inconvenient truth (Syrian Chemical Weapons, Global Warming Data)
  • Pushing a policy that requires obfuscation (Obamacare)
  • Pretending something was accomplished (Iran Deal, Syrian Chemical Weapons Destruction)

    While the right is far from the ideology of substance, they do value substance over appearance more often than not; whereas appearance is a defining characteristic of the left. Granted, the right might be more prone to this failing if they had the great enabler the left does… the Main Stream Media. It hard to push appearance when the MSM calls bullshit all the time (even when it’s not)… it’s easy when given a free ticket.

    The reason I bring this up is every now and then we are witness to events where someone has to clean up a mess created by the left when they have pushed appearance over substance (reality). This happened recently when Trump launched missiles on Syrian targets that had just used chemical weapons against civilians.

    Now, I’m simply looking at the why Trump felt the need to do this. Not whether or not I agree with the decision; not whether or not it was the right decision, and not whether or not Trump is a hypocrite based on earlier statements concerning Syrian intervention…

    Why Trump felt the need to respond in such a manner is totally valid; dead civilians (about 80), especially dead children, at the order of Bashar al-Assad via chemical weapons. Unless you’re just absolutely intellectually bankrupt, these are the facts. And unless you’re completely heartless, you have to admit those facts warrant consideration.

    But back to the appearance over substance.

    In 2012, President Barack Obama “drew a red line” on Syrian use of chemical weapons, and then did nothing when that line was crossed. That was a problem for Obama, but nothing appearance over substance couldn’t fix. The Obama administration went to work diplomatically. In a deal with the Russians, and with oversight of the United Nations, Syria identified 1300 tons of chemical weapons. These were destroyed and the left crowed about this great success.

    2014, “We got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out” of Syria — Former Secretary of State John Kerry
    2016, January “All chemical weapons declared by the Syrian Arab Republic.” have been disposed of. — Veolia (the firm contracted to carry out the process)
    2017, January “We were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile.” — Former national security adviser Susan Rice (NPR)

    Get the picture, Obama (and his administration) was so ingenious, that he accomplished diplomatically what he and others failed to do militarily. The only problem was the reality (substance)… Obama didn’t accomplish anything militarily, and he didn’t accomplish anything diplomatically. BUT he was able to give the appearance of accomplishment and that is all he (and the left) thought was needed.

    Now, the argument could be made that Obama (and team) “thought” that they had actually accomplished the removal of chemical weapons from Syria, but I don’t think they are that stupid. For Obama’s “diplomacy” to work 1) The Russians had to do what they promised 2) The Syrians had to do what they promised and 3) The United Nations had to be competent in verification. See where I’m going with this? NOBODY is that stupid! Which gets back to the original premise… the goal was never substance (the removal of all chemical weapons) but rather the appearance (of that goal). And for the past several years, as far as the left was concerned… Mission Accomplished.

    But NOW, substance has decided to bite us on the ass. Early in the Trump Presidency Bashar al-Assad has again decided to use chemical weapons (that he 100% “voluntarily and verifiably” doesn’t have) on civilians. Trump, faced with the facts (substance), must now make decisions on how to clean up a mess that appeared not to exist for many years now.

    Obama’s choice to embrace appearance years ago recently cost a few dozen people in Syria their lives when the (substance) bill came due; no so much in the grand scheme of the cluster-#$@% that is the Middle East. As sad and enraging as this should be… the cost of this choice will pale by a factor of 1000s if/when the bill covering the substance of the Iran Nuclear deal ever comes due.

    The wages of embracing deceit over truth is always disastrous and sometimes deadly. There are many such legacy messes left to posterity by Obama and his ilk. We will continue to pay the price, until and unless someone… anyone… applies a little substance.

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  • There is a lot of talk about the “nuclear option” concerning the Gorsuch nomination to the Supreme Court. There are a lot of facets to this whole mess. Among them is the left being (again) total hypocrites on the matter… The karma in all of this brought on by the likes of Harry Reed… Forcing the nuclear option being about the dumbest thing the Dems could do… Questioning if the GOP has the cojones to push that button…

    But… I’d like to blog on the idea of the filibuster itself. To the point, I like the filibuster… or at least the classic idea of the filibuster. The classic obstructionist (not always a bad word) tactic of a lone Senator (or at least a minority of them) opposing the bad legislation (or nominees) of the majority. Toeing the line by refusing to close debate on the issue (or nominee). Debate, being the key word. Picture the classic scene in “Mr Smith Goes to Washington” with Jimmy Stewart speaking on the Senate floor until he collapses from exhaustion.

    The problem is… that’s not the filibuster anymore. The filibuster was neutered (I think back in the 70s) so that there’s not skin in the game, no pain to the process. Now all you have to do is say the magic word (filibuster) and everything stops and everybody scuttles off to their nice cozy lives. If you really think about it, the neutering of the filibuster (so that there is actually no physical pain, or exhaustion, or even inconvenience) is a good metaphor for the neutering of our society in general.

    I don’t know why I’m mentioning this. There’s no way the honorable, classic filibuster will ever see the light of day again. So… instead… I think it best that we put the poor decrepit (neutered) filibuster out of its misery. Just end it already.

    The Republicans should not only call the Dem’s bluff… but call it in spades. They should not wait for the Dems to filibuster Gorsuch… but rather push the button right NOW. Change the rules of the Senate before the vote; ending the filibuster once and for all. Not only that, end it for everything; not just for judges, and cabinet position, but for legislation, for EVERYTHING. Fifty-one votes… done…

    Once the filibuster is no more, the GOP should move forward with making hay while they can; meaning moving their legislative agenda forward while they have the majority. Obama and the Dems sure as $#@% showed no hesitation in doing this when they held the House, Senate, and Oval Office. Unlike Obama, I would encourage the GOP to constantly offer an olive branch (compromise) to ANY on the other side of the aisle (legitimately) willing to deal in good faith. Failing that (the likely outcome in today’s environment) quickly move on, shaking the dust from your feet (paraphrased by someone famous in Matthew 10:14).

    And finally, I would advise the GOP to learn the lesson that Harry Reid and the left never saw coming. The shoe will eventually be on the other foot… and likely sooner than you think. (Thus the hay making now and as fast as you can.)

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