You might find the above difficult to read as it has no spaces or punctuation.  For those unawares, ancient Hebrew and Greek had no spaces between words.  Moreover, there were no lowercase letters.  It sort of makes one wonder how they managed to translate from the original Hebrew and Greek, which are the primary two original languages of the Bible.

To be sure, there are likely a few points of disagreements.  Yet, the ancient Greeks and Hebrews had very little difficulty reading their language.  However, to actually perform a translation, it is not easy and one must be very good at reading the languages to understand them.

Fortunately, during the middle ages, the languages were updated.  Also, someone painstakingly updated the manuscripts too.  Everything can still be read in Greek and Hebrew.  However, we have some help.  Spaces and punctuation have been added.

As a side note, punctuation is not that new, even in English.  It seems to me as if the period came about around 1400.  The comma was a little later.  I’m not sure when the rest came about, but it was something of an evolution in the language.  For years, arguments were held as to where the punctuation should be or even if it should be used at all.  I have read of an author that wrote an entire book that had no commas, just for spite.  Don’t know.  I wasn’t there.

In addition, spelling didn’t become standard until centuries after the period.  Even then, Webster, for spite changed the spelling of many English words just for spite against the English.  So, color no longer has a u in it.

At any rate, before I so rudely interrupted myself, I was saying this.  Any time we read the Bible, we would do good to remember that it is an interpretation.  In order to read the original manuscripts of the New Testament, you must read ancient Greek, no spaces, no punctuation and totally in upper case.  Hebrew would be more difficult.  There were no vowels.  (Good luck with that one.)

I’ve listened to a number of preachers, quite a few on TV.  While I am sure their knowledge is far greater than mine, I have heard a number say, “You need to remember that comma there.”  This even though, the comma did not originally exist.  That comma was put there by the translator, based on his knowledge of the original language and how it fits with the rest of the Bible.  Even the periods didn’t originally exist.  And those little chapter and verse numbers, they were added for convenience.  It makes it much easier for us to reference passages.  As opposed to saying, it saying “It says in the scriptures….”  We are able to say, in John 3:16, it says….”

I guess we shouldn’t really complain too much if we disagree with the translators.  They had a rough job.  And even today, they study the original manuscripts to make sure they got it right.

Even so, I suspect there are some places they might have gotten it literally right, but missed a little on the spirit.  As I’ve said before, “Thou shalt not kill.” should be Thou shalt not murder.”  Most scholars admit to that error, which has caused untold complications.

There are religions that preach that we should not kill even in self-defense or the defense of our family.  I find it difficult to believe that Jesus would teach us to stand by while children are being killed.

I have also pointed out the miss-interpretation of good news to gospel.  First, the term is abused and twisted.  Secondly, it’s not just good news.  It is the greatest news ever presented to man.  It is the plan of salvation and without it, men, even the best men are doomed to an eternity in hell.  The word has been trivialized and glossed over as if it has little or no importance.  I wish the word would be completely done away with.

Also, maybe some of the words in modern translations need to be updated.  I was saved at 13.  I was about 18 when I found out what edify means, even though I tried many times.  The words saint and sanctify should be updated too.  The truth about saints is that anyone who is born again is a saint.  It is not something for a church to place on someone special.  We like to say, “Sanctuary,” instead of a special place set aside to worship God.  Well, I guess that is wordy, but you get the idea.  Either change the wording or make sure the meaning is properly understood.

Certainly, salvation and being saved is one of those words thrown around when, well, not everyone understands it.  In some cases, people who call themselves Christians don’t really know what it means.  Yet, understanding it is just about primary to being saved.  To be sure, we need to know what we are being saved from, who is saving us and the privileges and responsibilities of being saved.

Let’s not disallow people from heaven simply because they don’t understand the terminology, as once did I.  I went to church for almost a year before I knew what it meant to be saved.  I may as well have been reading ancient Greek.

A Challenge for Joe

That’s right. Little me. Never held public office. Never been a reporter on any news media let alone such as The Pravda Times. In my little blog, I am issuing a chalenge. Most likely he will never hear it, let alone pay any attention to it.

However, numbers have power us little individuals don’t. Maybe, if others helped. Maybe if the right people hear and help. Just maybe someone who matters will hear my challenge and find it important and just, the challenge will be publicly and forcefully placed at the feet of Joe.

He needs to be asked why he has done nothing, said nothing, or has never even acknowledged the loss of 70,000 people a year to the drugs that he permits across the border. He needs to publicly answer the question, especially before those that have directly and indictly lost loved ones to drugs and the drug trade.

I have hope he will be challenged, but not much. It would appear there are few that care as much as me.

Not All Things Are Static

Contrary to the concepts and beliefs of some folks, the world is far from static.  If something is changed here, then it will result in changes there and maybe there too.

The dems believe they can increase revenue by increasing taxes.  The fact is, it can actually have the reverse effect.  After all, who is going to work harder if their extra pay will go to Uncle Sam?  I’ve heard, though it was not confirmed, that Elvis Presley limited the movies he did each year because he was tired of so much of his income going to taxes.  Don’t know if it is true, but it seems believable.  On the other hand, he might not have wanted to do any more movies.  Then again, he might have run out of plots or leading ladies.

The truth is that the dems are well aware that raising taxes does not always increase revenue.  It’s just in their blood.  They take the podium and, by their nature, they just insist it has to be done usually for the children.  One thing we do know, large amounts of taxation does stifle production, especially internally.

If you doubt this, consider what might happen if taxation were 100%.  It would totally bring the economy to a grinding halt.  Nothing would get done.  Farmers wouldn’t farm, bakers wouldn’t bake and it would be impossible to hale a taxi.

Now, I’m going to apply the static concept to something else, perhaps a little more touchy.  If I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times.  Even conservatives say that exceptions should be made for rape or incest.  I don’t like the idea.  I find killing any innocent child unthinkable.  But it’s worse.

As I said, the world is not static.  The woman wants an abortion, no problem.  She says my uncle raped me.  Or she says she was raped but she has no idea who it was or it was the man down the street that she doesn’t like.

Immediately, this causes at least two problems.  Innocent people become accused, perhaps convicted.  Moreover, police and court resources are used where there was no crime.

I have heard the argument against this idea.  No woman would ever do anything like that.  Hogwash.  Even today, men are falsely accused of sexual assault and rape.  This is without the additional incentive of a woman ridding herself of an unwanted burden.

It would divert needed resources away from real rapes and assaults.  Worse, it would weaken the case of women who have actually been raped.  The question in court would always come up, “Are you accusing this man because he raped you or because you want an abortion?”

To be sure, there are also legal problems.  Just when and who decides there was a rape?  Does the woman immediately get the abortion or does she have to wait until the case is proven in court.  If she has to wait, the baby just might be carried to term before the trial is over.

Finally, it can devastate the already weakened families.  Men, fathers, uncles or even brothers will have to guard themselves from ever being alone with a young lady.  Do we really want to expose our family life to such things?  Is this what we really want?

Such things might only happen one out of a thousand times.  If you were the relative, if you were the friend of the family, would you ever want to be charged with such a thing, even if you managed to prove your innocence?

The fact is, when you make such laws, they need to be thought completely through.

Is rape and incest bad?  Of course it is.  Personally, I feel men convicted of such things ought to be hung by their toes till dead.  Just my own personal opinion.  But not all fixes are good.  Sometimes, they are worse than the problem.

Home of the Brave

Most of us recognize the words. We hear them regularly, though some would prefer to hide in locker rooms. Some, figuratively, defiantly, put their fingers in their ears every time the words are sung.

On the other hand, there are those that would do all they can to effectively negate the words. They want to make sure none of us !!are!! brave.

If we protect ourselves, if we protect others, if we defy the greenies, be sure; we will pay. They will find things with which to prosecure us. Never mind if it’s right. Never mind if it is even legal.

In many situations, a mere threat is enough to cause most to take the fetal position and cower. Even should we successfully defend ourselves in court, they ruin our lives. Indeed, in some cases a simple accusation in the NY Times is all it takes. In a way, it’s worse than a court case. We never get a day in court. We never get a chance to confront and challenge the accusers or their evidence. That jury of public opinion can be very rough and frequently wrong.

So, if those in control – the government, the media, the social media etc, etc, and so forth – have their way, the US will not be the home of the brave. Nothing will be left but the disarmed cowards. The brave will be disarmed and behind bars.

Then the controllers walk in and take control. No one will be left to stop them. No one dare be brave enough. Even if there were, they’d have no weapons with which to fight. The guns will all be locked up while criminals will be roving the streets. None of us want a such a world but it is the one for which we are headed. And by the way, don’t dare stand in the way, that is unless you want to have your name printed in the Pravda Times.

Limited Time Only

You and I have heard it a million times. Well, maybe a time or two more. Perhaps a few times less. If you make your purchase in the next three days, you will get a really, really, good discount. And, by the way, you’ll also get this wonderful free gift.

Actually, the limited time offer is not new. Around 2 thousand years ago, Jesus died on the cross, rose from the grave and paid for our sins. In essence He arranged a one time offer for us all. For us, the period, time of option, lasts one lifetime. Never more. On rare occasions less. (Some of us may spend days, weeks & even months unconscious before dying.)

If you never accept the option, you’ll spend forever paying for your own sins. Incidentally, forever is another word for infinitely. Neither word truly expresses the concept fully.

On the other hand, those who accept the offer will have all their sins totally paid for in full. He or she will spend their eternity in Heaven in the presence of God. It is nothing they will have to pay a penny for. Indeed, any attempt to make payment for it will be fully rejected. If you attemp payment, even in part, the gift will be withheld and rightfully so. I mean Jesus did make payment in full. Why should He permit any of us to claim that we helped. It would be dishonest for us to make any such claim.

More importantly, none of us has the power. It is a power, it is an authority that He alone possesses. If we say we earned or partially earned our salvation, we are saying that we have that power. We don’t. Bad idea to presume we do.

It is simple, yet difficult. We must admit our sin before man and God. We must accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Finally, we must believe that He, and He alone, possesses the power to do as He promised. Then too, be sure, that Jesus will do as He promised. He always speaks truth. Also, He is never wrong.

Jesus has made a one time offer. Many of the advertisers make second, third and umpteenth offers. However, there is one aspect that all those offers share with the one made by Jesus. Death terminates all offers.

Food Deserts

I don’t know about where you live, but on the local news here, recently the news is carrying stories about “food deserts.” These are areas in Memphis where there is no food. No supermarkets exists in the desert. Those that want to shop for food must either go to a convenience store or go some distance to another part of the city.

I hope you won’t mind my borrowing a liberal term, but I suspect it is evolution. I suspect that the deserts just might be or have been high crime areas. Indeed, the areas without grocery stores are likely business deserts as well. I mean who wants to open a business in an unsafe area? It is not profitable. It is dangerous for employees, customers and vendors.

It does make me wander why they can find convenience stores. Well, they do charge more and they generally have less cash. Nonetheless, if they keep letting the criminals have their way, if they don’t start putting them behind those big walls, the convenience stores too, will disappear. They’ll fade away with all the past neighborhood markets

Evolution is not just survival of the fittest. Smartness, common sense and fiscal matters all figure into it too. It is likely why many come south of the stateline to do business, to eat, to go to school, and, in some cases, live. Northwest Mississippi is the fastest growing part of the state. My guess is that most of the new residents are from Memphis.

Just a shame that we have no way of filtering them. We have to let the libs settle here too. Notice I didn’t say dumb libs. That would be redundant. Hopefully, after a year or two, they will get smart. I mean, when we catch a criminal here, he goes to the hoosegow. Incidentally, no one here is calling for defunding of the police.

Some may find this strange but neither do we have food deserts. Oddly, you check the parking lots of the stores just south of the stateline, you will find many Shelby County car tags. Don’t mind that much. They are helping us pay for our law enforcement. They are helping us pay for our streets. Mostly, they are driving the value of my house up. Once or twice a week, I have an offer.

My guess is, not so many moving north. There won’t be until those “woke” people up there put the bad guys in jail and make it safe. Nothing brilliant about it. No need for a college degree. They have been doing it for centuries. Some are just stubborn. They insist on using the new unproven.

How Quickly They Fail

I was 5 the first time I saw a Sears store. It was also the first time I saw an escalator. Wow. Both were very impressive. The store was huge and it had moving stairs. I would have had a blast just riding the things up and down. I was totally impressed how the stairs all flattened and disappeared under floor.

I knew they had to go somewhere, but, to me it didn’t make any sense.

The store was in San Diego but I have seen many since. Not sure but I think it was in Chicago that the company built a huge building, which oddly, they called Sears Tower, I think.

When I first moved to Memphis, Sears had a big presence. Besides many large retail stores, they also had one of the biggest buildings in town. It’s a shame that it’s sat vacant for I don’t know how many years.

Sears is a small shell of what it was. I hate that. I did a lot of shopping there. My wife loved to do a lot of looking. We had a Sears credit card we used a lot.

However, one day the stores just started closing down. At first, it was one by one, then in bunches. I think there are but 2 or 3 retail stores in Memphis. They were on the brink of completely disappearing.

They weren’t alone in this. I’m not sure, but I can’t find a Woolworth’s anywhere. I think Montgomery Wards have pretty much disappeared from the landscape.

Let me explain. These used to be huge retailers. If there are any left, you must search for them.

Now we have Disney. They have parks all over the world. Everyone is convinced that they are here to stay.

If God desides, they will be no more than a memory in a decade. Givem the attitudes they have toward God, Jesus, the Christians and themselves, it would not surprise me. It would be a shame to destroy the man Disney’s memory like that. However, I would certainly understand it.

I’m not a prophet. Evev so, I am so tempted…. It does make me wonder what would replace it all. Would Disney World return to swamp or would someone turn it into housing projects? What would become of Disneyland and the surrounding hotels and restaurants? Just who would buy up Disney studios? Perhaps, for IRONY, a Christian company would buy them and make truly family friendly movies again, as Disney did. Perhaps he could make Christian oriented movies. One can hope.

Neutral Law Enforcement

During my thirties, my job took me to New York, just outside Syracuse. There’s a nice park there where I used to walk. It beat looking at the hotel room walls.

It was the right time of year and the evenings were almost always wonderful. There was a baseball diamond there and, of course, little leaguers playing baseball.

When I stopped and watched the game, they found out I was from Mississippi. They suddenly realized they found the perfect unbiased umpire. They immediately put me to work calling balls and strikes.

Apparently, they were impressed with my fairness, if not my accuracy. They kept calling me back and they never complained, not once. Now that, in itself, is something of which for me to brag.

The point is this, people love an honest neutral arbiter, whether it be an umpire, a judge in a courtroom, a prosecutor or even law enforcement officers. I guess that nowadays it’s too much for we Americans to expect. No more fair umpires in our government. No more fair observations from TV and radio reporters. There are no hopes of getting unbiased reporting from newspapers. Finally, and worst of all, the historians are twisting history. They say things happened I know didn’t happen. At my age, I actually remember stuff firsthand.

It makes me sad. However, I have hope. There is a righteous judge. All accounts will be settled. The most devious government officials will pay. I don’t need to do a thing. God’s judgment is true. God’s judgment is sure. No one will get away with anything. Those who don’t believe it are only deceiving themselves.

What amazes me is some actually think they know and understand it. Yet, definitely, they continue their march. I can’t think of anything more foolish.

Just What We Will Know

Beware, artificial intelligence is coming.

In one of my books, a woman is doing battle with the authorities.  She is convinced of something the police tell her is impossible.  Actually, I guess it is not a new plot.  However, as artificial intelligence becomes more intelligent, it also becomes more and more plausible, possible and likely.

Today, there are computers that can imitate our voices to the point we cannot recognize them from our own.  Images, even videos can be done very convincingly, to the point we will doubt our own memories.  We will be convinced that we were in places we’ve never been.

One day, you may receive a phone call that you will be convinced came from your son or daughter that is completely generated from 1s and 0s.  It is a good reason to tell your child to remember a word or two that can be used that only the two of you know.  Hopefully, you’ll never need it, but you might.

The computers will be able to convince us that people have done things they didn’t, uttered things that were never said, signed things we never signed.  We are entering a brave new world in which we must doubt that which we hear or see.  Unless we can hear or see that person who physically stands in front of us, the image just might be a lie, a deception, or a sham.

Indeed, you just might be put in the place of the woman in my book where you will know something, and no one will believe you.

Naturally, those most susceptible will be those with deep pockets.  The purpose of the ruse will be to deceive the rich out of their riches.  However, it will not stop there.  It will be used to make politicians appear to say or do things they never said or did.  It will make people holding positions in solid companies appear to flip their lids.  It might even be used to convince folks they were in places they weren’t and all will believe because they will see the evidence on the video.

Of course, that can also work the other way.  A murderer can use it to establish an alibi.  A congressman can use it to pretend a visit he never makes.  A horrible event never occurred.

I guess, to some degree, we are already there.  I mean how many know of the burning and looting a short season ago.  How many remember 9/11.  Go ahead.  Ask someone who was behind the destruction of the trade towers and the death of about 5,000 people whose only guilt was that they went to work that day.  Already, the media has done what they can to rewrite that history.

Given a little artificial intelligence and they will be able to convince anyone that anyone did anything.

Those Who Took The Oath

The investigation is done, it concludes that Trump did nothing wrong. That means those who took an oath to enforce the law, namely, the leaders in the FBI and other federal agencies were the ones who knowingly did great wrong.

It also verified that many of the dem congregational leadership intentionaly used their office to promote lies, of course, with the aid of the media and social media.

Now, now that it is all over, the only people that are suffering are those who did nothing wrong. Indeed, some have even spent time in prison wrongly. Certainly Joe and his friends had their part in it all.

They know that they have gotten away with it. However, be sure God will avenge.