191 Pentecost 15: His People Are Free
"You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance." ~ Psalm 32:7
His People Are Free
Do you see what I see? We are allowing the wicked to tell most of our stories. Our words, our tongues, our families and our futures are under assault by a million ideas and a thousand and one tales about what you should do and why you should worry and where you should go and how you should look and how sleep deprivation and anxiety and malnutrition and world hunger and ESG and WEF and USNSACIAFBIUSPSAMTrack and all the rest of it are a reason to: 1. Laugh 2. Eat more 3. Despair 4. And in that order again tomorrow. The fecal matter is on the rotary. Things are seventeen times worse than sideways. TEOTWash teach and feed is upon us and slogans won’t get us out. The day is great. Who can endure it? Telling the right stories, the Name of Jesus Christ surely shall. Out there, it’s a state religion. It’s an idolatry cult of math, paper, and pornography. It’s the end of the world as the Bible knows it. And you are more than a conqueror because you see through it all. You do not see all things in subjection to him, but you see him. You hear his voice. You know the Shepherd. The ghosts of media-time are programming mankind into malicious and scoffing lives of daydreampt terrors. But I shall not tromp consumptively into that gross night. Nor shall we. For the Kingdom is not of such as these. But one thing about that Kingdom: His people are free. The chain is broken, and we have escaped. Till angel cry and trumpet sound, The Mad Christian
In this edition of Mad Mondays:
Culture war losers
Privacy not included
Half and half..Life vs death
And we circle back to the week’s headlines…
Ready prayer one
19 year-old Coco Gauff dropped to her knees after winning her first tennis Grand Slam, the US Open this weekend. ESPN assumed she was “soaking it all in” after her win, but she was actually praying. Meanwhile, Coach Joe Kennedy whose right to pray on the field was secured by the Supreme Court has left his job after being reinstated. He cited several reasons for resigning but expressed doubt that the Supreme Court’s directions would be followed. Society can tolerate drag queens spectacle hour but public prayer is a bit much?
But we go on.. Did you catch the news about a young man who was arrested for reading the Bible aloud outside a “Pride” event? Or about the Ohio pro-life activist who tweeted that America's only hope is Jesus Christ and was told she had “gone too far” by a Republican congressman? It’s clear that whatever social status Christianity enjoyed in decades past, the church is now in negative territory, as we wrote a while back. In his analysis of shifting cultural attitudes towards morality, pastor and blogger Ryan Burge asks why liberals are winning the culture war? “I can only hazard a guess that culture plays a bigger role in the lives of most Americans than religion.”
In truth, it might just be that the chaff has been blown away, revealing the true yield. Maybe those who are swayed by every new idea in the white noise are just proving they have no root when the cultural cancellations are flowing. The glister of manmade religions makes ancient wisdom seem foolish to those whose minds are darkened. And forging your own culture in hostile territory? That seems unnecessary.
No matter. Jesus is building his church and we who are in him have the power to stand in evil days. Like Rev Fisk says, optimism is not optional! As we used to say around here, he is risen which means you are immortal right now. Makes us feel bad for our enemies.
Privacy not included
Intelligence agencies have disclosed they are spending at least $22m on "smart textiles.” Clothing made from such fabric could record audio, visual, and location data of the wearer and also people around them. The press release from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says such a textile could "assist personnel and first responders in dangerous, high-stress environments, such as crime scenes and arms control inspections without impeding their ability to swiftly and safely operate.” However, reporter Ben Klippenstein raises concerns about infringement on privacy and civil liberties which such technology inevitably brings. He joined the Federalist podcast to discuss his piece for The Intercept and how the US government is "hoovering up" DNA samples of US citizens.
Activision’s new Call of Duty will feature an AI moderator, programmed to monitor gamers’ voice chats. The aim is to “identify hate speech, discriminatory language, harassment, sexism, and bullying” as outlined in the game’s Code of Conduct and refer incidents to a human referee.
We all know of the trade-offs of owning smart watches, internet-connected doorbells and our phones – you get convenience or speed, companies get your data. But one review says it is actually car manufacturers who are the worst offenders for surreptitious data harvesting. In their research across 25 car manufacturers, Mozilla found that pretty much all of them collected and sold driver data.
No half measures
A jury in Washington D.C. has found five pro-lifers guilty of blocking access to an abortion "healthcare" facility. They face up to 11 years in prison. The post-Roe landscape is proving antagonistic towards those who want unborn lives to be protected in Democrat-run states. The New York Times stated clearly that in the same way that America could not remain "half slave, half free" as Lincoln observed, it cannot be part pro-life and part pro-abortion. It is clear on which side corporate media falls, so we will not wait for their support. Democrats may be unaware of their party's extreme stance on abortion, but we are not. So keep praying, speaking, working for the lives of the unborn and asking God for mercy on our nation.
But, here are some life-affirming stories to lift your Monday…
Famous person, Kourtney Kardashian-Barker has given thanks to doctors and to God for saving her unborn baby through "urgent fetal surgery.” (The Blaze)
An Italian man is being hailed as a hero after catching a toddler who fell from a fifth floor balcony. (Upworthy)
And..returning soldiers surprising their kids never gets old. (CNN)
Odds and Ends
Today marks 22 years since the worst terrorist attacks in American history. (NBC)
9/11 in photos. (ABC News)
The heartbreaking final calls of victims of Twin Towers attacks. (Fox)
Explaining the thoughtful design elements at the Pentagon memorial. (Pentagon Memorial)
The remains of two people killed in the attacks have been identified using "leading-edge DNA sequencing techniques". The remains of 1000 people are still unidentified. (AP)
The attack changed US politics indelibly. The Bush administration introduced the PATRIOT Act, "which expanded the government’s surveillance and investigative powers", the Department of Homeland Security was commissioned and the Transportation Security Administration was founded. (Gulf News)
During a town hall last week, New York City’s Mayor, Eric Adams, stated that illegal immigration will "destroy" NYC. With over 110,000 people bussed from the southern border to the city since last year, New York services are strained. Mayor Adams stopped short of blaming the Biden administration, but said the city is getting no support from D.C. "Never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to. I don’t see an ending to this," Adams said. (The Guardian, The Blaze)
Several hundred immigrants are being housed temporarily in Chicago's O'Hare airport. (News Nation)
Huge floodgates in Arizona were recently welded open in order to allow water to flow freely and to assist "migration of an endangered species of antelope." But the open gates have also allowed migrants to easily enter the US. (ZeroHedge)
The Biden administration is considering forcing migrant families to stay in Texas or other border states once they cross into the US. (LA Times)
Liberty Safe admitted to giving the FBI a code for a man's gun safe, allowing them to seize his firearms. The man, Nathan Hughes, was arrested at gunpoint and charged with a felony related to the events at the Capitol in Washington January 6th, 2021. Liberty Safe customers were upset to hear of the existence of a "mastercode" backdoor, threatening to give Liberty the "Bud Light" treatment. (The Federalist, Twitter)
On Friday, the Governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an emergency order suspending the right to carry firearms in public. The order affects Albuquerque and the surrounding county for at least 30 days. The move came after a spate of gun violence, including the fatal shooting of an 11 year-old boy. (AP)
Chinese scientists have grown "humanized" kidneys inside pigs and it’s about as ghoulish as it sounds. (The Guardian)
Japan has launched a small moon lander last week, representing "two groundbreaking missions in a single rocket." Japan is a space-faring nation but has yet to make a successful moon landing. (Japan Times)
Why do half of all moon missions end in failure? (Inverse)
Users of pornography site Only Fans spent $5.6bn in 2022. (Variety)
An AI-piloted drone has beaten the human world champion in a high-speed race. (ArsTechnica)
The math behind bezier curves. (Richard Ekwonye)
Could AI help us communicate with other species? (The New Yorker)
Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen says he's not worried about losing Oscar eligibility for his latest film. One reporter let him know that the 18th-century Nordic war story he is producing would not meet Hollywood’s racial diversity standards for casting. (The Blaze)
Hollywood's writers/actors strike has cost California's economy an estimated $5bn as the protest affects other industries. (Insider)
TL:DR Rotten Tomato's math stinks, so maybe read the reviews. Or the Psalms instead! (Vulture)
The exodus out of the pagan Burning Man festival really is something to behold. The road out was finally opened after 70, 000 concert goers were stranded due to torrential rain. (BBC)
What is the purpose of holes in buildings? (Misfit Architecture)
Several NFL players have used their musical talents to write songs for Madden 24 video game release. (ABC News)
Study finds classic Georgia accent is on the wane. (Phys)
Ukrainian officials have slammed Elon Musk for disrupting an attack on Russia's navy by cutting off Starlink access. Musk said he believed that such a strike could have triggered a "mini Pearl Harbor" which he didn't want to be part of. (CNBC)
Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky has accepted the resignation of his defense minister. Although not directly implicated in corruption scandals that have riddled Ukraine's military, Oleksii Reznikov “completely failed” to handle the "bad PR" within Ukraine. (The Guardian)
Cuban authorities claim they are attempting to thwart Russia trafficking its citizens and forcing them to fight for Russia. (WNG)
Stories from far away
A rescue operation to retrieve American cave climber Mark Dickey has been able to bring him half way back to the surface. Dickey was leading an expedition to map a Turkish cave system over 3000 feet deep when he became seriously ill. (NBC, Reuters)
The two-week trial of the organisers of Ottawa's Freedom Convoy has begun, with Tamara Lich and Chris Barber "accused of mischief, conspiracy to commit mischief, intimidation and obstructing police." (CBC)
The government of China has banned its employees from using iPhones as the country tries to be less reliant on foreign brands. (Tech Radar)
Pakistan has closed an important border crossing into Afghanistan. Officials in Pakistan report that 97% of the border fencing has been completed to stop cross-border attacks and smuggling. Pakistan has also accused the Afghan Taliban of providing sanctuaries to Pakistani militants who are living in Afghanistan. (AP)
Moroccan earthquake claims at least 2000. (BBC)
Mexico has decriminalized abortion at a federal level, meaning jurisdiction over the issue now rests with state governments. (AP)
India wants to change its name to Bharat. (Not the Bee)
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
🐦 Beautiful slo-mo footage of kingfisher diving
📷 And award-winning bird photography
🫒 The world's most counterfeited foods
🥚 The lost art of egg roasting
✏️ The hyperrealistic drawings that pop off the page
🍕 The Slices game
🫕 We haven't tried this ourselves but homemade mozzarella sounds awesome!
🎮 Common proverbs in video game speak
A Good Word: Links from the Show Notes
This week's Stop the White Noise was a bumper episode full of wise counsel for life in this fallen world. Here are some of the recommendations:
Books by Alfred Edersheim
The Electric State by Simon Stålenhag
Rev Fisk recommended just reading the Word instead of finding what other scholars say about it
Meridith advised wives to visit St Peter’s fatherly wisdom in 1 Peter 2 and 3. Also to read Psalm 45 and 112 while contemplating that suffering is a vehicle to being us closer to God.
Sweetness You May Have Missed
This Week Preached: Joseph – Part V: Going Through It
Podcast Release: BHoP#160 X+Y
Let us pray: Let us pray. O God, from whom all good proceeds, grant to us, Your humble servants, Your holy inspiration, that we may set our minds on the things that are right and, by Your merciful guiding, accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
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