Perhaps the editor Andreas* refers to in this little story took the title “printer’s devil” a little to seriously during his training. Another example of guile and subterfuge at …
At the close of this year’s Easter, please enjoy this passage from Zechariah 12, prophesying Christ’s second coming. With so many in the world calling evil good and good evil, which has allowed the growth of the murderous terrorists, we need His return. Look for His return, and pray you are ready.
Zechariah 12:1-2, 9-11:
“A prophecy: The word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: ‘I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling . . . . On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo’.”
As Matthew Henry commented:
“It is a mourning grounded upon a sight of Christ: They shall look on me whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for him. Here, it is foretold that Christ should be pierced, and this scripture is quoted as that which was fulfilled when Christ’s side was pierced upon the cross; see John 19:37. He is spoken of as one whom we have pierced; it is spoken primarily of the Jews, who persecuted him to death (and we find that those who pierced him are distinguished from the other kindreds of the earth that shall wail because of him, Rev. 1:7); yet it is true of us all as sinners, we have pierced Christ, inasmuch as our sins were the cause of his death, for he was wounded for our transgressions, and they are the grief of his soul . . .”
Tragic Times of Persecution
I don’t go looking for evil acts, but my son brought to my attention a couple of attacks carried out by Muslims recently, that is, after the Brussels bombing. So I looked into them, and found some other things, too.
A Muslim shopkeeper, a Mr. Shah, was murdered for wishing Christians and his country well at Easter time. He was apparently a very kind and humanitarian man, who sought understanding and good relations between Muslims and Christians. He therefore was killed. I very much disagree, however, with someone who left a note saying “Mr Shah, [a] true Muslim, thank you, from a Christian brother.” Christians follow Jesus Christ, who was nonviolent, taught against violence, and died after having performed healing miracles and leading a sinless life (including never having had sexual relations).
Muhammad, in contrast, killed many and had his men kill many (including those who had surrendered to his army and others who simply criticized him, even a woman poet); apparently this isn’t taught in schools. He did not perform miracles and he was polygamous. Muhammad represents Islam and therefore it’s reasonable that adherents would look to its founder and leader as the prime example in carrying out the faith. That’s what Christians do (or are supposed to be doing), so a good Muslim would do what Muhammad did. (And getting back to the Christian who called Mr. Shah “brother,” I wonder how John or Paul would react to calling a person “brother” who denied the resurrection and deity of Jesus? Perhaps Mr. Shah was in fact saved [God knows], but Muslims do not believe in Jesus; it makes for a very huge difference between the faiths. Brothers and sisters in the New Testament are fellow believers in Jesus Christ.)
Besides not seeming to know what Muhammad was like, the Muslims who are kind and caring don’t seem to know what the Koran and its important commentaries seem to say either. It’s like the experience of the Boston Bombers. The mother tells her older son that he needs to stop being so worldly and get into his faith more. When he does, he sees what the Koran says and what Muhammad did, and acts accordingly. The mother realizes her son is right and becomes “radicalized” too. The Judeo-Christian scriptures aren’t corrupt as Muslims think–as Muhammad made out–but promote love for all humans and faith in the creator God, so anyone who comes along later with a different message is obviously not of God. How much more bad fruit needs to fall for people to realize this?
Germany: Muslim Rape Crisis Worsens (from Gatestone Institute)
Hello and happy Tuesday! I haven’t posted in a while (which isn’t terribly unusual, I know), and knowing full well that my mind has been elsewhere, I wanted to give a “why.” As I’ve posted about before, we moved from Southern California back to my home state of Michigan, and more specifically, to Port Huron. We decided on this location because of all the water (and we happily concur that the St. Clair area’s nick name of Blue Water is justified), because we could afford to buy a low-cost house, and because–on paper, at least–it looked like there were enough jobs to keep us going.
(We originally wanted to move to Grand Rapids, which is the only region in Michigan really recovered from the last “recession,” but couldn’t get help with buying a low-cost home at a distance . . . realtors have replaced the lowest place holder of the employed in my mind now, with lawyers bumped up one.)
While the job front turned out to be less rosy than we anticipated, I have enjoyed getting back into my older career choice involving historical resources. I used to work in cultural resources management–prehistory, then history–until consulting jobs became too far away from my family (as you might imagine, permanent employment in this field is rare and you have to be willing to move to wherever you can get it).
Now that we live in a place with obvious history and historic structures, my passion for investigating those things has been rekindled. And finding that the city is a very mixed bag of preservation and anit-preservation sentiment (the state is having an anti-preservation infection now, too), which is reflected in how much a regular person can find out about it here, I decided to make a web page about it, with the hope that others would like it and benefit from it and a group would form. I’ve spent a ton of my time getting up to speed on the history in Port Huron, catching up on preservation laws and such, and building the site: Port Huron Area History & Preservation Association.
The city, being one of the older and busier ones in historic Michigan, has quite a few grand old churches, too. And, I never ended up posting about something that we, as Christians, were excited to find here: nativity scenes out in public areas at Christmas time. How refreshing! There weren’t a huge number of them, but they did pop up, and one felt that you might hear a “Merry Christmas!” come your way and not just a “happy holidays.” I did run across an internet post somewhere by a lady who had lived here and moved to Tennessee, where there was even more openness and joy displayed over Christmas, not just “the holidays.” She was critical of Port Huron, but it is better here than where we used to live.
On a very different note, the US house of representatives voted 383-0 (!) in favor of calling what ISIS is doing to Christians in Iraq and Syria “genocide.” Other countries in the world that seem to be less sympathetic towards Christians have already declared that Christian genocide has been happening. Why is the US behind in doing so? Obama and his administration, that’s why. It’s strange how this administration can use the arguments of the persecutors to justify a “not genocide” stance when others know from either experience of research that the actions behind those arguments are covers for murderous intent, for the actual genocide going on. Read about it at House Votes to Declare ISIS’s Actions ‘Genocide’: What’s Next? , House Passes Resolution Calling ISIS’ Mass Slaughter of Christians a ‘Genocide’, and at other online news outlets.
“The facts are well documented in our nearly 300-page report on this matter, and we must remember that for the State Department to issue declaration of genocide, the standard required is merely probable cause, which any prosecutor could find on any of ISIS’s Facebook pages.” S. Smith, 03-15-16
I’m not going over all the background of the iphone controversy, except to say that Apple refuses to cooperate in the investigation of one of the mass murderers in the December 2, 2015 shooting in San Bernardino, California. 14 people were killed and 22 gravely injured. The radicalized Muslims, husband and wife Syed Rizwan Farook and Tahsfeen Malik, also planned to set a bomb off. Normally, investigators can get a search warrant to look at suspects’ phone records. This has been constitutional and normal practice, useful in a variety of ways, for criminal investigators.
Now, with ever more sophisticated hardware and software, criminals can hide their phone correspondence, and in the case of Apple iphones, they can permanently hide information from investigators that historically could not be hidden. It is constitutional in our country to investigate crimes in this way, yet Apple is holding our legal system–backed by the constitution–hostage.
And yet TV commentator after commentator is acting as if this is all something new and a questionable invasion of privacy. They say that the government is asking Apple to be a “lock pick” into someone’s private data, but since Apple made the lock in the first place (that is, a way for criminals to conceal information), this argument is silly and obnoxious. They say if Apple is forced to do this, other countries will be able to use it against innocent people, like political dissidents and journalists. Really? (Really??) There are ways around this, I’m pretty sure, but high-profit international companies wouldn’t want to go there (if you have a company that is strictly US based, can Iran make you do something?). Maybe I’m giving the likes of Apple too much “benefit of the doubt” by even thinking this claim is a real possibility. I’d like to hear from legal experts in this specific field, since I’m only hearing conjecture.
In any case, Apple has taken the power and not our investigators, as they’re trying to claim. Various people and organizations (Google, Twitter), now even Amazon (boycott Amazon?), are backing Apple. Why? It makes no sense. How paranoid does a person have to be that they’re worried that the FBI or whoever wants to take the time to listen to their phone? And, I for one don’t want my choices made for me by hugely powerful companies like Google and Facebook; based on their current censorship and other actions, they are worse than our own government investigators.♦
This brought to my mind the issue that blacks have brought up in claiming racism in the justice system. I agree with them on this one: why are all the white folks who take drugs free (think of all those Hollywood types, even), while so many blacks are behind bars due to drug sentences? So, are the whites simply worried that they’ll now be get caught buying cocaine? It’s kind-of a rhetorical question, but I don’t know where the paranoia is coming from. And I don’t get how Americans think it’s OK to protect the mass murderers in this case. Criminals, it so often seems, have more rights than their victims. And now that is more the truth than ever. The criminals must laugh themselves to sleep at night.
♦ These companies know how dumb Americans are, I’m guessing, since internet users constantly give them access to private things like email contacts, people in private circles (a Google+ thing), allow them to make posts FOR them at Twitter, Facebook, etc., and allow these companies to follow new people without their permission, etc. If you don’t think so, just try posting a comment at any number of online magazines/newspapers, etc., and read the conditions. Yet, these same Americans complain loudly about investigators trying to look at one phone of a confirmed mass murderer . . .
The new X-Files season, a short one that renews the series after being off the air for 14 years, is a very mixed bag. A very very mixed bag. Episode 5 is practically one long platitude, while episode 3 is brilliant (literally, my favorite TV episode ever made, out of all I can remember, anyway).
X-Files Season 10
I’m going to make this section short. X-Menesque mutants debut in episode 2, after in episode 1 Mulder talks of having the new revelation that men are using alien stuff to evolve humans and improve technology. While critics ate this stuff up as a critical reflection of modern American politics, I thought it disappointingly silly, since I was pretty sure Mulder had already thought this from watching the previous shows. It’s what I took away from the X-Files in the past, anyway, so it seemed cheap and confusing. Most of the new episodes are quite gory, too (that is, gorier than before).
That question, “Do Muslims worship the same God as Christians?” is not a new one, but has been in the Christian news (at least) recently over the controversial suspension of a black female professor at Wheaton College. I haven’t written specifically on this topic, though I touched upon it in Does DA: Inquisition’s Imshael have anything to do with Ishmael and Islam? In that article I point out how Islam rejects God’s plan for humanity, as provided by God in the Old Testament through Isaac, and openly celebrates this rejection through their holiday of Eid Al-Adha. How can it be claimed that Muslims worship the same God when they reject biblical scriptures and even God’s plan for humanity? As any bible student knows, God’s plan is interspersed throughout all of the Old and New Testaments, so to reject it and then claim you worship the same God makes no sense. Yet the Wheaton professor, besides showing solidarity with the repression of women (which is not biblical), claims that Muslims worship the same God as Christians.
“Amnesty International reports that Sweden has the highest number of rapes in Europe and the lowest conviction rate. According to Swedish Public Radio, in Stockholm alone, over 1,000 Swedish women reported that a Muslim immigrant raped them; 300 were under age 15.” “What the EU fails to acknowledge and each country is realizing is that Muslim immigrants have no intention of integrating. Eighty percent are on welfare, following Islamic teaching to take money from the non-Muslim “Kuffar.” Both Sharia4Belgium and Sharia4Holland advocate complete extinction of Jews.” As Christianity Exits Europe, ‘Criminal Muslims’ Fill Void with Rabid Violence (Dec 2014).
A chronology of the violence (including honor killings – or are those just “misunderstandings”?) and non-integration Muslim immigrant issues, via linked news articles.
The Garden Warfare 2 Beta is still on, and in this 5 minute video my son catches the end of a super long battle for the gnome–where he’s able to win it for his zombie team while being a . . . goat! The session was the longest he’s ever experienced playing Garden Warfare, and perhaps that’s a tribute to plants and zombies being more balanced in the newer plants vs zombies game. Here’s the video, but we also have a post that goes over the changes we see, and our impressions of them, from Garden Warfare to Garden Warfare 2. We hope you enjoy both!
The Garden Warfare 2 Beta, or more like a pre-release frenzy fest, is happening from January 14th to 18th, 2016. The game’s release is scheduled for February 23rd. I’ve written positively about the original Garden Warfare here, since it’s a “clean” fun game that Christians might enjoy. But what of Garden Warfare 2? Well, we’re playing it and these are some of our impressions; they are necessarily limited to the parts of the game included with the BETA, which are the multi-player mode and small amount of backyard play only.
A note on the categories below. Good, Neutral, and Sad/Questionable relate to changes to the new game from the original game. And, since there seem to be lots of changes, not all are written about here.
- Zombie changes. Not all zombie changes are good, in our opinions here. But there are good ones (the Yeti Chomper is sooo cute!). Captain Deadbeard is funny and has a parrot that he can use for distance attacks, just like the Cactus does with vegetle drones in the original Garden Warfare. The scientist has some fun and detailed variants, the mathematician and the zoologist. The zoologist, especially, is crazy-funny and detailed, with its porcupine gun, living Koala riding piggyback, and prairie dog coif. The scientist, according to my son, is now easier to use/control, too. Another new zombie is the Imp with his Z7 Mech, which together are a fun wink at Titanfall. The imp is a really fun addition to the zombie team.
Anyone can verbalize some much needed and tougher foreign policy ideas. And, other Republican candidates have. But for Trump to go on and on and on at the January 14th debate about the false issue of Cruz not being a naturally born citizen . . . he’s willing to promote false issues, look stupid, name call . . . and whatever to get ahead.
False, childish, and rude . . . Trump. We will suffer greatly from such a person as the head of our country. Obama has not handled foreign or domestic policy at all well, but Trump would be the opposite. He would cause problems just the same, only from a different direction. As Ben Carson asked at the debate, where has the attitude come from in this country where everyone is at everyone else’s throats? Why is there the rudeness, the wars, all against all? Trump represents this awful attitude, and the people in the pit are cheering him on.