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184 Pentecost 8: Optimism is Mandatory
"At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, because of Your righteous judgments." ~ Psalm 119:62
Optimism is Mandatory
“Things like this don’t happen to me.” -Gnostic Cynicism
The magnificent thing about election into salvation by the call of the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, the one True God, is that you don’t have a choice: optimism is mandatory.
The Church cannot lose.
The Truth cannot perish.
Even the “No,” is a “Yes!” in the powerful Name of Jesus Christ.
It is genuinely hard to believe. You will want to practice. A disciple with no discipline is fooling only himself. Actively remembering the reign of Jesus Christ as a habit throughout your day doesn’t “just happen.”
It happens by piling up small goals into big wins over time. It happens by formation and failed attempts. It happens by asking to begin with, “Lord Jesus, teach me how to pray!”
The first rule of learning how to pray to Jesus: optimism is mandatory. Even if your lot in this journey is assigned to captivity or the sword, then this too is glory. One must learn to remember: glory and pleasure are only the same thing at the end of the race.
Pleasure is optional. But not optimism. Optimism is mandatory.
We live and reign!
Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
The Mad Christian
🔴 Welcome to the next level! Mad Mondays will soon be joined by the Mad☧ Tank – additional content for you to chew over. So thanks for taking this journey with us and please excuse the mess as we set up our new place. If you have received this email in error, please let us know by replying to this email or unsubscribe at the top of the page. God’s peace! Frisby and the MM team.
In this edition of Mad Mondays:
Trans madness reaches new heights..or depths
Is 2024 a race to the bottom?
And some headlines we thought you’d like to read..
Telling on themselves
The single-minded unreality of the transgender cultists has shown once again that it has no regard for the lives of children. The only thing that matters is adult desires to overcome biology and try to become something they are not. Pro-reality activist, Colin Wright, tweeted about a new paper on trans-identified parents: "It's nearly impossible for gender ideology or queer theory to shock me anymore. But the paper this article is referring to revealed a new depth of derangement I hadn't yet fathomed."
The paper in question is written by "a group of transgender sociologists and enthusiasts, and healthcare activists, with not one medical degree among them." The authors argue that the hope of delivering a healthy baby is "problematic" because it conflicts with the desires of women who want to be men. The expectation that a healthy baby is a good thing reflects "historical and ongoing social practices for creating ‘ideal’ and normative bodies.” The authors argue that it "might be okay for trans-men to continue taking testosterone during pregnancy despite the known health risks to the fetus and effects on its normal development."
If the most dedicated trans activists think it is okay to risk the development of babies for the delusions of adults, how much more likely that they will think nothing of mutilating children for the same goal? Matt Walsh said last week that "the goal of trans-activists is out in the open... They want to satisfy the insane perversions of deranged adults no matter what happens to innocent children who have no say in it whatsoever." Walsh's comments were made in response to an interview with the U.S Assistant Secretary of Health, a man now known as Rachel Levine. Levine pushed back against the idea that children should just wait until they are 18 to decide whether they should undergo transgender procedures. "Puberty is hard, what if you're going through the wrong puberty?"
We are thankful for those who speak out. The abomination that is modern-day child sacrifice should be easy to condemn, but the lies are strong and the fear of being canceled is pervasive. Walsh is right though; the game is up. Such horror can only be peddled so long before it becomes obvious for what it is. Hopefully, this paper is another of those wake-up calls. As Walsh says, "The more [trans-activists] say, the more they lose."
Sen. Chuck Grassley has released an FBI memo which appears to show that President Joe Biden and his son Hunter were paid millions by the Ukrainian energy company Burisma for helping them make their legal problems disappear. Claims in the memo are unverified (which corporate media immediately pointed out), but the allegation is consistent with President Biden's own claim that while he was VP, he "…pressured Ukrainian authorities to fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma, by threatening to withhold aid to the country." Hunter Biden's business partner will face the House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman next week to answer questions about the First Son's financial dealings.
In a separate hearing, two IRS whistle-blowers have testified that federal agencies slow-walked investigations into Hunter Biden's murky financial dealings. Their testimony suggests that the obstruction by Federal agencies was to protect Joe Biden's presidential bid.
Meanwhile, former President, Donald Trump, has been hit with more bad news, announcing that he is facing a third indictment, this time related to January 6th. In addition, the hearing for the trial over storage of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago has been scheduled for May. Trump's team had asked for the date to be postponed until after 2024's presidential election.
In related news, a group of bipartisan politicians is hoping to create a third party “No Labels” presidential option.
It is a long way until November ‘24 but it will not hurt to be praying for America and its leadership.
Worldly wealth and eternal dwellings
Fast Company, a left-leaning business site published a curious article last week about Christians who invest according to Biblical principles. In a slightly quizzical (perhaps panicked?) tone, Talib Visram writes that "Biblically responsible investing", apparently known in the biz as BRI is like a "Christian version of ESG".
While Visram writes that a "few sects of Christianity still have comparatively progressive values", he seems to think "many have branched off into far more conservative ideology". Pretty sure you've got that backwards, sir. These troublesome upstarts blacklist companies which support abortion yet "they notably don’t screen out gun manufacturers or fossil fuel companies, both areas that are arguably incredibly harmful to people and the environment." More than abortion, you say?
So it is okay for some to put their money where their principles are, but not others? Visram may think investors should aim at building a paradise here on earth through the woke ideology of ESG, battling climate change, reducing the population and redistributing wealth. But Christians have their eyes on a higher prize – working for things that don't fade. It's great to do business with people who don't hate your way of life, but it's even better to know we where our treasure lies.
Odds and Ends
President Biden has met with his Israeli counterpart, Isaac Herzog in a sit-down conversation at the White House. The office of president is largely that of a ceremonial monarch, but Herzog has convinced President Biden to invite Prime Minister Netanyahu to meet with him, after "months-long snub". (New York Post, Guardian)
Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus has come under fire for calling Israel a "racist state" during a speech last week. (New York Post)
Law, policing and crime
The vice president of a Los Angeles police union has advised LAPD officers to move somewhere they will be respected and valued. (The Blaze)
Illinois has become the first U.S. state to eliminate cash bail. Critics of cash bail say the policy favors wealthy offenders; proponents say money upfront ensures defendants show for their day in court. (Daily Mail)
Kids in Baltimore made a "splash" when they squeezed through a fence to access a closed public pool. Politicians blamed each other for several pools being out-of-action for the summer. (Twitter, Fox Baltimore)
A Department of Defense memo obtained by journalist Jordan Schachtel shows that trans-identified personnel are allowed to skip physicals, can be held to lower standards of dress and are to be "considered “non-deployable” for up to 300 days while taking hormones for their “transition” period." (Dossier)
"For over 10 years, millions of emails associated with the US military have been getting sent to Mali, a West African country allied with Russia, due to a typo." (The Verge)
Climate and the natural world
A "menagerie of errors" lead to the troubling occurrence of exploding batteries on e-bikes. (LinkedIn)
With office building occupancy barely 50% of pre-pandemic levels, on start-up would like to see high-rises being used as vertical farms. (Modern Farmer)
Spain's climate minister recently got out of her limo to bicycle the last few yards to attend a climate conference for an apparent photo-op. Perhaps there was a bottleneck in the carpark? Elsewhere, U.S. "climate envoy" John Kerry was questioned about his use of private jets and insisted "We're not asking Americans not to fly!" We're used to climate crusaders saying one thing and doing another, so we don't expect that pointing out their hypocrisy will bring them down off their high horses. But it's harder for them to sell the idea of imminent climate disaster when they don't seem to take it seriously themselves. (Not the Bee, The Blaze)
Well, that didn't take long. Meet WormGPT, ChatGPT's evil twin. WormGPTwas built by an unknown hacker without any "ethical guardrails". WormGPT "is easy to use, meaning cybercriminals with limited experience could find success with it" but they will need to fork out $600 a year to access it. The Hustle says that chatbot is not the real concern, but "more a sign of the looming fights ahead as AI increasingly gets in the hands of bad actors." (The Hustle)
Seven large tech companies have signed up to develop A.I. “responsibly” at the behest of the White House. (Engadget)
Apple has been working on a large learning model for an "Apple GPT" for "some time". (Apple Insider)
Meta has announced it is making its large language model LLaMA2 open-source, offering it free for commercial and research use. The move is a joint project with Microsoft and is aimed at taking on OpenAI's wildly popular ChatGPT. (The Verge)
Reddit has deleted all conversations before 2023. Users may request a copy of their chats. Reddit has also taken control of a large subreddit account for its protest against its new API pricing. (Gizmodo, Engadget)
TikTok has released a beta-version of its music streaming service. (The Verge)
Two Indian news broadcasters are now using multilingual A.I. chatbots to read news. (South China Morning Post)
Economy, banks and markets
AT&T stock took a big hit after a report suggested the company's network contained thousands of miles of cable sheathed in lead. (Morningstar Investor)
A lawsuit against disgraced crypto mogul, Sam Bankman-Fried, claims he used misappropriated funds to pay for his legal defense team. (CNBC)
Tesla's directors have agreed to pay back hundreds of millions to settle a lawsuit claiming they overpaid themselves. (Yahoo)
Tesla's long-promised cyber truck has rolled off the production line, boosting the company's share price. (Yahoo)
Plans revealed for a $2bn Oklahoma theme park which walks visitors through America’s history. (Not the Bee)
Report: "Zombie trials "make up a quarter of clinical investigations.” One researcher writes, "I think journals should assume that all submitted papers are potentially flawed and editors should review individual patient data before publishing randomized controlled trials.” (Nature)
A biomedical start-up wants to transplant gene-edited pig hearts into human babies. One critic says, "The desire to do something to save these babies [with heart conditions] is obviously very strong for everyone who is involved. But we still need to be honest and transparent about what the risks are—and they are, to some extent, unknown." (Technology Review)
Marriage, sex and children
A bill recently passed by Michigan's House is causing concern for free speech advocates. Critics say the new "hate speech" bill "would make it a felony hate crime offense to cause someone to “feel terrorized, frightened, or threatened” with words". This is thought to include using wrong pronouns. Supporters say that "nowhere in the bill does it explicitly criminalize the use of incorrect pronouns. But the law is too vague for comfort and given that discrimination is already a crime, it is hard to see how it is necessary for anything apart from punishing particular worldviews. (Daily Signal, Click on Detroit)
A study concludes that "pronoun pins" would allow doctors to "signal gender inclusivity" (Futurity)
In a sea of insanity… Miss Italia has announced contestants must be real women to compete. (The National Desk)
The arts and sports
The unique challenges of translating The Brothers Karamazov (Literary Hub)
Like something out of a novel: 100 visitors were stranded for several hours at Agatha Christie's home after a storm brought a tree down across the access road. Thankfully, there was no mystery this time and "the stranded tourists kept themselves busy, drinking cups of tea in the houses’ tearoom and playing rounds of croquet on the lawn." (CNN)
Thespians in UK are striking in solidarity with their Hollywood counterparts. (Deadlines)
Stories from far away
According to reports, Morgan Stanley is pulling 200 tech experts out of China. China's new anti-espionage laws came into effect at the beginning of July, with Western businesses saying the country is becoming "inhospitable" to foreign investment. "Some things that companies used to consider to be basic, economic data, or production data, there is the interpretation that some of this could be considered [a threat to] national security." (Reuters, Time)
A 23-year-old American serviceman, Private 2nd Class Travis King, has fled to North Korea. PV2 King was detained and being sent home from South Korea for disorderly behavior when he escaped and crossed the border into NK. It is unclear whether he was intending to defect. (BBC)
Prominent British “Brexiteer” Nigel Farage has had his bank account closed after “after Coutts [bank] decided that his views “do not align with our values”. (Telegraph)
Didn't we do this last time? Selfie causes pile up at the Tour De France. (People)
Iran's "morality police" are once again enforcing the wearing of hijab. (Al Jazeera)
A man and his dog have been rescued after three months adrift in the Pacific Ocean. (NBC News)
Native Angolan giraffes have been reintroduced to their homeland. (The Guardian)
John Michael Jones Gets a Life is produced for Mad ⳩ Mondays by E. Darwin Hartshorn. Episodes can also be found on Tuesday, along with previous episodes, on Bunny Trail Junction at bunny-trail.com.
Quick Hits for the Eyebuds
🇨🇦 A trampoline in the trees
🦾 Metal can heal itself
⛔ Mapped: the world's speed limits (km/h)
⛑️ A catalog of drone rescues
🇯🇵 A catalog of Japanese toys, circa 1891 -1923
🇦🇺 A mysterious object washed up on an Australian beach
🧱 Manuals for 6000 Lego sets
🎀 Barbie girl: classical variations in 6 styles
✏️ A collection of antique pencil sharpeners in action
🏴 1982: Northampton double-decker bus racing
🏰 Unusual castles from around the world
🍬 Candy makers are bracing for a sugar shortage
Only Illuminati Need Apply:
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A Good Word: Links from the Show Notes
No specific recommendations were brought up in last week’s Stop the White Noise, but a reminder to get into the Word of God! If you haven’t become a Son of Solomon or a Daughter of Wisdom, then you can sign up here. Join the growing movement of Christians ordering their days around the Bible, praying the Psalms, and reading the Proverbs.
Promo of Friends
A number of folks were asking where to find the online store where the Fisk family are selling their art. Here's a link to the Studio31twentyfour Etsy store:
Sweetness You May Have Missed
This Week Preached: “Chase the Rainbow – E”
Let us pray: O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that, ever mindful of Your final judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with You in perfect joy hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
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