Paul’s Lost Letter to the Roman Citizens

Peace and Grace in the name of Jesus Christ and in honor of Caesar.

I, Paul, Apostle, citizen of Heaven and Rome, praise God for you each day and the blessings we enjoy as citizens of the Great Empire.

I urge you, brethren, to spread the good news of Jesus as you go about spreading the good news of the Greek culture. You have such a great advantage of many over our brothers and sisters who are only citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom.  We must serve the Lord with everything we have, using every blessing to please Him.

Jesus Christ, our Savior, has blessed us so that we will not have to suffer the crucifixion as He did and as some of our brethren do.  But this is only the greatest of rights we have as citizens of the greatest military, economic, and cultural empire that God has seen fit to establish.

As you know, we must get the Flavians out of Rome.  They have continued their policy of pagan idolatry, lasciviousness, debauchery, and greed.  Those who don’t have the privilege and rights of citizenship in the empire have their hands tied so it is up to us to make a change.  While they are praying and taking care of the poor, we will be working to get our dear brother Erastus into the Senate as soon as possible.  Only then can we effect the change in this Empire that the Father wants.

Thanks be to God for the family of Zealots I converted in Jericho.  The love the Lord and are keeping their knives sharp.

The Lord has also blessed us with a wonderful offering that can be used to bribe various officials into looking the other way as we practice our faith.  The drachmas were collected for the poor, starving brethren in Jerusalem, but we know that this is truly God’s Will and supersedes mere physical needs.  Please be in prayer for those in Jerusalem.

Greet Mittius Romneus and the brethren.  I hope to see you all soon so that we may have a special assembly to sing hymns to Caesar and Fly the Eagle Banner together.

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Sinatra and the Decline of US Civilization

I am not a huge Sinatra fan but for 99 cents I will definitely buy a 22-song Greatest Hits compilations of one of the greatest.  As I enjoyed the music I noticed a few shocking things.  I was kinda surprised by some lyrics and content.  This was the 50s and 60s, right?  Maybe the Golden Age wasn’t so innocent and pure….

“Luck be a Lady” has some innuendo that doesn’t require a dirty mind to catch

So, is your favorite town Chicago or New York, Frank??  Make up your mind.  I mean, this is the type of post-modern, wishy-washy, no absolutes thinking we have come to expect from the current generation.  But in the 50s?

“Bewitched” is obviously about the occult.  I hear that if you play it in reverse, you hear, “Happy Birthday, Mr. Crowley.”

Hedonism runs through many hits:

  • “The Good Life “
  • “Drinking Again”
  • “Strangers in the Night”
  • “exotic booze” mentioned in “Come fly with me.”
  • More drinking in “The Best is Yet to Come”

“Call Me Irresponsible” Really?  “Unreliable, Undependable”?  If the Greatest Generation had been any of these we would be speaking German right now!

“Nothing but the Best” preaches materialism.

And “My Way”  An ode to selfishness, ego, individualism.

The Parable of the Band-Aid

So, my son was upset and scared about his band-aid that was half off.  He scraped his knee at camp a few days ago and the band-aid was falling off, the wound was looking good.  It was time to come off.  I offered to help, but he screamed and fled in tears while flailing.

(Side note: with his sister, I told her that Nutella would get her band-aid off easily.  She fell for it.  I put Nutella on a cotton ball, which allowed me to get close enough to her band-aid to rip it quickly.  She had the funniest stunned look on her face-knowing that she had been duped.  But no tears.  No pain.  It was over and she was fine.)

But the boy was freaking out.  Did I mention this was in public?  At the community pool?  Yeah, I had the eyes of Westfield’s moms watching and listening to everything.  Probably wondering what I was doing to my boy that upset him and caused him to say, “I don’t want toooo!” as tears fell. As he pushed away from me and sobbed.

I told him to get out of the pool until he pulled it off.  I had a knot in my stomach.  Sure, some was selfishly from embarrassment.  But some was also out of feeling bad for my boy.  He was SO scared of the pain he expected and I knew that it would be over in an instant.  I tried to reason with him.  I told him he had the power to end the suffering (maybe I didn’t use those words).

“You can do it!”

“The pain will be gone in a few seconds.”

“You are wasting precious pool time.”

It didn’t help.  He wanted to go home.  I didn’t want to punish his sister by leaving early so we waiting awhile before leaving.

Sigh.  Parenting is hard.  I could have easily used force or trickery to get it off, but felt it was important for him to do it.

I have things in my life that I should do, but keep putting off.  I procrastinate.

I expect the worst.  I don’t want to deal with the brief and minor pain.  I get worked up.

I avoid confrontation.

I know God looks down at us often and thinks, “If he would only make that decision now, things would get better.”

“If she would just do it and get it over with, the tears and drama could end.”

I can’t fathom how frustrating it must be for God.

What are you putting off?

You probably need to bite the bullet and just do something.

Maybe it’s asking for forgiveness and apologizing.

Maybe it’s asking for help.

Maybe it’s confessing sin.

DO IT!

GET IT OVER WITH!  It won’t be as bad as you think, and even if it is, doing the right thing is often hard.

Why So Negative?

Why drudge up the past? Why point out the sins of our forefathers?  No one is perfect.

Well, first of all, as seen by the recent pulling of David Barton’s book, there is some confusion about American history.

It’s easy for God-Haters and America-Idolizers to have an agenda and say things that aren’t the whole Truth.

I don’t want my kids to have blind allegiance to America any more than I want them to have blind faith in Christ.

There should be some good reasons.  Knowledge is Power.  Knowing is half the battle.  Even discovering things that don’t sit well with what I believe.

Did the colonists do any good? Sure. Were they Satanic and pure evil.  NO!

What should they have done? What would you or I have done in their situation?

This is what they could have done:

“As Christians the English settlers should have gone beyond merely dealing fairly with the Indians.  From the very beginning, they could have come to America with the thought of being a blessing to the Indians.”

“…the blessings I am talking about are practical blessings that would have made the Indians want to be friends with the white man.  To illustrate, William Bradford mentions in “Plymouth Plantation” that the local Indians could grow much more corn once the English supplied them with metal hoes in exchange for furs.”

“Imagine the goodwill the English would have created if they had come to America with stockpiles of metal hoes, copper kettles, and tinderboxes to give to the Indians–rather than stockpiles of weapons.” (p. 26-27)

(the main “blessing” they offered the Indians was military alliances.  The tribes who aligned with the settles didn’t fare better than the others in the long run)

“Instead of forming alliances with specific tribes to help them defeat their enemies, the Christian settlers should have taught the Indian tribes to love and bless their enemies.  They should have taught them to exchange their instruments of war for instruments of peace.  But, of course, it’s hard to teach someone else to obey commandments of Jesus when you aren’t practicing them yourself.” (p. 29)

More quotes from Bercot before I get to the the ugliness of slavery.  It made me sick reading about it so maybe I will spare you.

And, now Bercot reveals himself to be a naive peacenik.  Obviously, not a very good American.  Maybe we shouldn’t trust what he writes.