Who Bought the Paintings?

To be sure, there are likely a few ways to determine who bought the paintings that were painted by Joe’s son. It could be a long tedious task. After all, Joe isn’t so much a good public servant, but he does know how to cover his sins.

You find out who initially laid the money down at the auction. Then, regardless of who does what with the so-called art works, there is likely a stack or two or three of money, may gold, maybe bit coin coming from others: the real sources of the bribes. These might be, but not limited to the communists, the Chicoms, the going green outfits and particularly those who build electric cars.

On the other hand, we could just ask Joe. He knows. It just is; he’s not going to say. However, it’s still simple. Just look at who is receiving the checks. I mean that is sort-of the object of the bribe. Also, you notice how quickly the crude oil spigots were shut down and the border was open. Do you suppose the cartels had something to do with the so-called purchase of the so-called art.

As the aside for today: I wonder just how many of those grand works are being displayed on a wall in some millionaire’s home and how many have found their way to the local garbage heap. Can you imagine some pennyless bum pulling out a half million painting… then learning it’s not worth a cup of capuchino. Then to, I suppose some could have been gifted the fabulous works of art. I mean it isn’t everyone who can claim they have a painting worth 500 grand hanging on their living room wall.

The Tragedy of Bribes

I wish I could remember Bible verses some do but even when I practice repeatedly, my memory fails me. At any rate, after reading the Bible a number of times, I still don’t remember much of it. Hence, when it came to mind that I came across several passages concerning bribery, I did a web search on bribery. Quickly, 27 verses popped up, which is more than I remembered.

As to why I did the search, it just is that I have noted a few, well, my first thought was to say ingenious ways to accomplish bribery. However, it’s just simple methods to bypass the law and appearances.

In the past the government officials wrote worthless books and the bribe was in the form of book sales. Then, the worthless books get stacked in some big warehouse and no one ever reads them.

Biden has essentially used the same method but for two twists. First, his son does all the selling. Second, it’s ridiculous paintings instead of books. Whoever purchased those paintings paid the bribes and Joe did their wishes, all of them. I’m sure they got all they paid for. I’m also sure the FOCs will do all they can to keep the public from finding out the source of the bribery.

Now, as for the verses. You can look them up yourself. That way you’re less likely to doubt what I say. Just Google Bible verses with bribe.

The one verse that seems especially apropos was prov. 29:4. Joe is sure doing what he can to destroy the USA. Regardless, Joe ought to read the verses. That way he’ll have a good idea of what is in his future… and those who take part in the corruption.

A Little Story

I have a little story.  Very few have heard it.  I hope you’ll take a minute or two to read it.  By the way, I guess I should tell you, it’s fiction.  As an author, my stories are almost all fiction.

It is an interesting fact that fiction stories can sometimes illustrate things even better than true stories.  Jesus frequently used stories we call parables.  He was expert at it.  Sorry.  I am not one bit as good at stories as He is.  I’m not even very good at writing.  I’m sure most have figured that out by now.

Nonetheless, I’m writing this story because I do believe it needs to be told.  It needs to be told over and over until all have heard it, or something similar.

It seems a number of decades ago; a man was stranded on a desert island, sort-of like “Robinson Caruso.”  Only my story isn’t as good.  I’m no Daniel Defoe.  On the other hand, it will not take as long to read.

I’m not going to explain how the man was stranded.  I don’t know.  It matters not anyway.

What really matters is what he did after he was stranded.  The first thing he managed to do was to chop down one many trees on the island.  It had some kind of fruit on it which provided him food.

Then, he chopped the tree into two halves.  With one half, he built a fire as it was it beginning to cool.

The other half of the log, he carved into an idol.  The night was long and he simply had so little to do in the dark.  He certainly didn’t want o go wondering off in the night where some dangerous animals might attack him.

So now, from the same tree, he had both warmth and a god.

He sat the god up and saw how nice it looked.  So he began praying to the large piece of wood.  He asked the wood to save him from his predicament.  He fell asleep while praying.

In the morning, the fire was just embers and the idol remained.  It said nothing.  It saw nothing and it did nothing.  As would stand to reason, it just sat there like… well, like a big piece of wood.

Some might say the man was stupid.  On the other hand, some would say my story is stupid.  There is simply no way a person can express how ludicrous it is to expect a piece of wood to do anything but sit there.  Well, if the tide came up high enough, it just might float away.  That might be the best end of this little story.

Those of you that are Bible readers might have figured out that I borrowed parts of the story, I mean besides the Caruso thing.  I would suggest that you read the passage in the Bible, Isaiah 44:9 to 20.  If you don’t want to; or if you don’t have the time, let me quote one chapter from it, verse 10:

Who but a fool would make his own god – an idol cannot help him one bit.

It seems so casual to the most obvious observer that a living gods cannot be made from wood, or gold, or silver, or bronze.  My question is, why do men keep trying?

I have heard a number of preachers say that we don’t see anything in the Bible about idols until after the flood.  Personally, I remember the mention of idols while Jacob is running from his deceptive father-in-law.

Of course, idols might have existed before the flood, but, for a few reasons I suspect not.

As an aside, I might mention, the first two commandments deal with idols.  The first says that we are not to have any other gods before God.  The second, that we should not make idols and that we are not to worship them.

If worshiping idols is so stupid, why is it that people do it?  Just what prompted God to include the first two commandments?  I mean, men are reasonably intelligent beings.  Why should any of us be so dumb that we think we can form things with our hands that can hear us and do things for us?  Why is it that people think that the sun, moon and stars can do one single thing for us?

They cannot hear or see.  They certainly have no empathy or sympathy for us…or any emotion.  In the case of our little story, if the stranded man must rely on the idol to be rescued, he’s going to have to wait a long time.  He would be better off using the thing as a floating device and try for another nearby island.

Yet we find that mankind has worshiped idols on every continent but Antarctica. (Maybe there too.  Maybe before the flood.)  And, oh yes.  Some have worshiped volcanoes, tides and the earth itself.  Indeed, the modern green earth movement is a form of earth worship—mother earth, really?

In order to really understand this desire for men to worship idols, we really need to go back to when Cain’s offering was not accepted by God and why it was rejected.  This gave me problems for a long time, until I really understood it.  Cain was not satisfied with the religion God set up.  He had requirements for the offering and Cain decided to ignore it.  You see, he wanted to start his own religion.

From that day until now and it will continue on, man has never settled for the way God set things up.  Throughout known history, men have been trying to set up their own religion, which, of course, did not include the one true God.

As I have said before, manmade religions have an advantage.  Man gets to set up all the rules.  Naturally, in the past, many of these rules were for the benefit of those making the rules, like multiple wives.  This can easily take me off on dozens of rabbit trails.  However, in this case, it is the concept I want to center on.  I mean all the rabbit trails are different and yet they’re all the same.

Unlike proper worshiping of God, men following manmade religions end in one thing, death, eternally and forever.  I believe the redundancy serves the purpose to drive the point home.

Now let’s change the story a little.  Let’s pretend he is stranded on the island for a year or so.  Someone comes along in a ship or yacht and finds him.  He’s saved, right?  Wrong.  He does something else that’s really dumb.

The island is surrounded with really hungry sharks and the man wants to swim the first ten miles.  That way he can brag that he helped with his salvation.

I don’t think the man will make it ten miles.  I don’t think he will make it one mile.  Besides, he will slow the vessel, which will have to wait for the would-be survivor.

Of course, no one would do something so stupid.  Yet, every day people do something far worse.  They try to help Jesus Christ with their salvation.  They like the idea of swimming the first 10 miles (or add their good works toward their salvation) and as such, they destroy all chances of their salvation.  It demonstrates a lack in faith that Jesus ability and desire to do it all.  Faith alone is the only thing that Jesus will accept.  Everything else is as filthy rags.  Do you really want to offer God filthy rags?  That’s dumb

My hint to one and all, don’t try to help Jesus.  He can do it without your help.  You can’t and He will not accept anything you have to offer.  God only accepts the blood sacrifice of Jesus’ blood for your salvation.  If you try to add to it, you will nullify it.  More than that, why should you even try?  It is far more ridiculous than our stranded man relying on that chunk of dead wood to save him.

Jesus Alone Saves

There is a church on a corner, which has a sign that clearly says, “Jesus alone saves.” I’m told that, from time to time, the preacher of the church gets a phone call complaining about the sign. I suspect maybe one or two of the complaints were a little threatening.

I really don’t get a kick out of the complaints but it does illustrate a point. There is no person on earth who gets more angry at such a sign as them that need it. Such a sign causes no harm, no damage. Yet, many atheist fear the signs as if they will hunt them down and instantly convert them, regardless.

The thought is, of course, ludicrous. God does not force salvation on anyone. He does provide us with the information, the opportunity and a little encouragement from time to time but he never forces anyone to accept salivation.

The question comes to mind, just why is the devout atheist afraid of 3 words to the point that it drives them to such hate? Just why is it that it drives a man to complain and even threaten.

Actually, it goes further than that. It can cause strife between brothers or sisters. Should a son say a word to his father, the father might banish the son from his presence. It’s not something that might happen. It occurs, possibly, daily.

We who try to help our fellow humans are in danger of, figuratively losing that part of us that thinks simply for trying keep a man from something worse than physical death.

You doubt me? Here’s one for you. Sometime when you’re at an office Christmas party, try mentioning something about the birth of Christ and why He died for us. Must I explain, it is His birth we are celebrating. On the other hand, could it be the birth is an excuse to drink and get drunk?

For my aside today, maybe I can take this opportunity to remind one and all of the 1st amendment. That sign is on church property and the church has every right to put it there, at least for now. Just as we can change TV channels, no one is required to read the sign, though it would likely be a better world if people would read it and head it. As I mentioned, the atheists are the ones who need that little piece of truth the most.

Infinity Boggles the Mind

Even as a youngster, before anyone brought up the subject of infinity, I had thoughts on the subject. Consider, if we go to the edge of space, where there is a sign, “Space ends here,” just what is it that we find on the other side of the edge? Is there a barrier? If so, what is it that is on the other side of the barrier?

Then, in the eleventh grade, I took geometry. This is where I leaned the definitions of a line and a ray. The ray has an origin (where it begins) and it extends out into infinity. That is to say, it has but one end. The other so-called end does not exist. Now the line is twice as bad, or so to speak, twice as long. It has a starting point somewhere out in infinity, passes through our locale, and then goes out into infinity the other way.

Tell me how that makes sense. We as humans quickly learn that everything has a beginning and an end. If a line is infinitely long, it doesn’t begin, nor end does it end. If we measure a ray in feet, or light-years, it has an infinite number of both. Figure that out. And, by the way, it only stands to reason that a line has twice as many of both feet and light-years.

However, if we double infinity, what is the product of the multiplication. (2 X Infinity = four times the confusion)

As I say, it bogles the mind. We simply cannot understand it. This side of our mortality, we never will, though there have been two or three who have tried in to explain it. I really do wish I could comprehend it. I wish I could begin to come to terms with it.

Such is the consideration of the question of the origin of God. If He did have a beginning, what was before him. I have come to the conclusion; He is as a line. He has no origin. He always was and he will always be. I cannot comprehend it. I will not try to understand it. Maybe, when we are face-to-face, He will explain it to me. I’m not sure. I might not be able to understand it then. (I hope so. It really bothers me.)

On the other hand, I am as the ray. I have an origin, a time and place where I began. I will continue to infinity, however long that is. At my physical death, it will just be a transition.

Perhaps, where we go wrong is that time and distance only exist with man. I don’t know. I am absolutely afraid to speculate beyond that. However, if we are going to live forever, time will mean little or nothing to us. I mean, after one day ends and the next begins, I will have no less days to live than before.

No matter what infinity is, I am sure I would much rather spend it with God then in the place called hell. The worst place about hell is that there is no end, no hope. In truth, it is as the ray. For those who go there, it will have a beginning, but not end. If one day should end, those who will go to hell will have another day just as the previous.

In the case of Biden, if he does not accept Jesus as his savior, it is going to be particularly bad for him. He has caused the deaths of thousands. Obama has caused the deaths of millions. Of all those still alive, they have particularly strong reasons to seek salvation. Just going to Church will not help them. Just being Catholic will not save them. As with all others, they must admit their sins. That is the first step in salvation. They must admit that they cannot do anything to save themselves. They simply don’t have the power. Finally, they must put their faith in Jesus Christ as their only savior. Anything less, and they will find out the meaning of eternity.

The Ads Between the Advertisements

Many years ago, they stopped permitting cigarette commercials on TV.  Considering my beliefs on tobacco products, I was pleased with the decision, though it did bother me that those who benefited the most were the lawyers.

However, it begged the question, “Who or what will replace all the commercial revenue that tobacco provided for TV and radio.  Unless you were around in the day as I was, you likely don’t realize the large percentage of ads from that one industry.

However, it’s not my point here to write about the ads, but rather the ads between the ads.  On the TV, and movies as well, tobacco paid a bundle to shoe people smoking.  In some case, they even made sure to expose the logo to the camera.  It is all part of the subtle or disguised ads.

It is the Kellogg’s box or Folder’s exposed to the camera in hopes to increase the sales for the cereal or coffee.

It is the increase in tobacco sales as the result of characters in the show smoking.  It is the increase in drinking as a result in the characters in the show making it appear to be the norm for everyone.  I mean, why not drink.  Everyone does it.

The tobacco contribution did not stop with the outright ads though.  If you look at the old TV and radio shows, you will note that many of the characters smoked in their scenes.  Guess what?  Ads between the ads are still there.  In the old movies and show, the characters still smoke to this day.

Well, the cigarette suggestive ads are no longer on new TV or movies, but many other ads are now subtly placed between the advertisements, where most don’t pay a lot of attention.

Some might wonder, “Does it work?”

I don’t know.  They might.  If they don’t work, some really big corporations are futility spending fortunes.  Hence, I have to assume that all those outfits really believe it works.  I suspect they spent an enormous amount of change in the research alone.

Initially, the ads from the casinos replaced at least some of tobacco money.  When gambling was made legal in Tunica County, it was impossible to listen to ten minutes of Memphis radio or TV without hearing one of the ads.  It seemed that if we went to the Hollywood Casino, we could all become famous actors.  Little was mentioned of the fact that we might lose our shirts and perhaps a bit more.

It seemed once the old water barrier started to leak, it wasn’t long before gambling started all over the country.  A couple of casinos were built here.  A couple more were built there.  I would now guess that there are few people in this country much more than a hundred miles away from someone willing and waiting to take all our/your money from us.

I don’t know.  They just might have oversaturated.  I don’t hear so many ads these days.  On the other hand, they just might have more customers than they want.  (I don’t think you’ll believe that one.)

Nonetheless, have you ever seen a recent movie or TV show where gamblers lose?  The object of the subtle ad is to convince you that you can gamble and win.  Not only that, you’ll have oodles of fun while you’re breaking the casino.  NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.  Remember the movie “The Rain Man.”

Consider the alcohol industry.  Do you think they ignore the effects of the ads between the ads?  I suspect the advertising departments in those outfits are very busy getting alcohol to fit in everywhere they can make it fit.  This is true even though it amounts to putting the proverbial square in the round hole.  Even those, so-called family oriented channels and shows have characters drinking at every scene possible.  Some will actually buy the subterfuge, hook, line and sinker.  Maybe I live a sheltered life, but, as near as I can tell, people simply don’t drink that much.

I suspect that the alcohol industry has done far more damage to our society than the tobacco industry could imagine.  Smoking might damage the lungs but alcohol deprives the brain of oxygen.  It doesn’t do the liver any good either.  Yet, for some reason, we destroy the tobacco farmer while we encourage the little old wine makers.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t like tobacco.  My father and two of my brothers smoked.  I saw the damage it did to them.  I will not defend the cigarette.  However, not too many people killed other people as the result of smoking as drinking does.  How many people abused their wives and children while in an altered state from smoking; it doesn’t happen.  The abuse of alcohol is far worse than smoking and it always will be.

It’s not just me saying that.  The experts say that alcohol causes more damage to our society than any other drug.  Maybe we should at least stop the ads between the advertisements on TV.  Let’s not present it to our children as a good or normal way of life.

I also find it odd that clergy have become the guilty party in so many who-done-its these days.  I do not suggest that there aren’t bad men who claim to teach of good things, but Hollywood intentionally distorts it.  They clearly don’t like Christians or Christianity.

Moreover, it should not be a surprise to anyone who has read their Bible.  Jesus has warned us of such people.  He said to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.  Some of those wolves find their way behind pulpits and teach error.  It’s horrible.  It’s terrible.  But let’s not imply that all preachers are bad.

On the other hand, they like to promote the concept that homosexuality is both common and normal.  I know this is going to draw a bunch of criticism.  Fine.  I can live with that.  However, it is more than coincidence that there are homosexual agents in both TV shows NCIS New Orleans and NCIS Hawaii.  It does make me suspect that CBS does have an agenda.  Cold Case also had its sprinkling of homosexual based plots.  They are all intentional ads in between the advertisements regardless of right or wrong.

If you do want to know if it is right or wrong, don’t consult the shows.  Don’t even ask me.  I did not make the rules and I can’t change them.  Neither can any of you.  You might want to ask the one Who did make the rules.  Then again, you might not want His reply.  You might choose to do as Adam did and run from Him.

By the way, on a lighter note, I wish I could get the free advertising for my books that Sean Hannity and all the others on FOX News receive whilst they are supposedly talking about news or comment.  I likely would still be a long way from a best seller, but I would at least have a chance.

That’s advertising between the advertisements too. Not only that, but I also bet they don’t pay a dime for it either.

Taxes, Churches and the US Government

From my youth, I found nothing wrong with tax exempt status for churches. Indeed, I was among the majority thinking it was a good idea.

Over the years, I’ve gradually changed my mind. By providing tax exempt status, Uncle Sam can control the actions & activities of the churches. Right now, they claim they cannot maintain their tax exempt status and take part in politics.

There are at least three problems with this. First, the scope of the definition of politics keeps enlarging. Most certainly this will continue, eventually envading the very foundations of Christianity. Already, it has started and it will only get worse.

Secondly, in many cases, the IRS intentionally go after churches and church oriented organizations (such as Christian schools) they don’t like. All the while, they ignore organizations they do like. [Incidentally, this is blatantly unconstitutional. The government may not prosecute one organization and let another do the same thing. ]

Third, it is an indirect method of providing funding of a political group while blocking another. It’s not just illegal; it’s blatantly wrong…encouraging churches to sin in the sight of God.

To my way of thinking, a preacher in a church should not have any restrictions on what is said behind the pulpit. It is indeed fundamental to the First Amendment. The exempt status is simply an end around run at that Amendment and the Constitution, itself.

Likely, the best way around the exception is for the churches to simply don’t claim exempt status. This would make it difficult for them to complete with other churches. On the other hand, it would free the preachers to do that which they should do anyway. Perhaps, it will give Christians from other churches some much needed guidance as well.

Regardless, I wonder. Would the church that speaks out really lose that many members? Would the members they lose be that much of a loss.

Mostly, it is time we send a message. God is not subject to the dems. Those who subject themselves to God, serve the LORD rather than man. In my way of thinking, that would be a good thing…for the Christians, for the churches and for the USA. However, I think that the dems wouldn’t like it so much.

The Problem With Ignorance

As I look around, I concluded that there are about 6 or 7 reasons that people never accept the gift of salvation. Pride has to be right up there. In truth, there are 2 or 3 ways that pride can figure into it.

Another frequent reason is the “I don’t wanna give up the wine, women and wild life,” idea. Of course, eventually, they all do. They have no choice.

Then there’s the useless idea. “God would never want someone so horrible as me.” The truth is that none of us is worthy. If God only accepted good people, heaven would be completely empty of people.

And then there are the procrastinators like me. There are many reasons to put off being saved. I know. I used many of them. By the way, I still put things off. I am inherently lazy and very good at inventing excuses.

Still, the biggest reason people don’t accept Jesus Christ as their savior is is ignorance. Indeed, in a way ignorance is behind all the reasons in some way.

Nonetheless, what I’d like to address here is the direct ignorance. Some have never heard about Jesus. Many have put there faith in false gods and false religions.

When I say this, many think I am just referring to those outside the USA. The truth is that there millions in this country who don’t know the plan of salvation.

Strange as it might seem, many go to a church regularly. Some never miss a Sunday and yet they will never see The Kingdom of God.

Now hold on folks. This might really surprise you. Many of clergy are ignorant of the plan of salvation. They might have a doctorate in theology. They might even know the Bible backwards and forward and still not be born into the Kingdom of God.

Worse yet, some of these people ignorantly spread lies. Oddly, this is sometimes because of of pride and ignorance.

Certainly, we should be careful of preachers full of themselves. But also we should verify clergy before following them. We should also verify what they teach. If it is in error, find another.

If he says you can go to heaven by being good, he is teaching error. If he says we can only earn God’s love by following The Ten Commandments, he is teaching error. If he says you must tithe to go to heaven, he is wrong. If he says you must belong to his church or you will spend eternity in hell, he is either lying or hasn’t a clue.

Salvation is a gift; gifts are not earned. Those who are ignorant think they can earn the greatest gift ever. Thinking you can earn your salvation is more than ignorant. It pure pride.