Picking a lane on election and predestination

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Note: While I’m unapologetic about holding to Reformed theology, I’m not evangelical about it. I share the gospel without mentioning it, and gladly fellowship with authentic Christians who hold other views. However, I don’t appreciate the ignorance and arrogance of those who condemn those who believe Reformed theology.

Reconciling God’s sovereignty with man’s responsibility is important to think through for orthodox Christians – whether Reformed, Arminian, Molinist, or whatever you like to call yourself (i.e., anyone who agrees that God knew before creation began who would ultimately choose to repent and believe, and that open theism is false because God is omniscient and not learning as He goes). But I see too many people making the task unnecessarily difficult because they forget that our default destination is Hell. They unwittingly create a straw-man situation where God owes an opportunity for salvation to everyone. But then it wouldn’t be mercy and grace; it would be justice.

In other words, aside from Adam and Eve, who could have chosen otherwise but ultimately needed a Savior because of their choices, everyone else was initially destined for Hell. (For simplicity, I’m leaving out any miscarriage and age of accountability scenarios, however one fleshes those out).

So absent God’s mercy and grace, everyone would end up in Hell. People overcomplicate this to try to get God off the hook for eternal damnation. But it is they who put him on the hook. Everyone deserves to go there, but by God’s mercy and grace, He elects and predestines to save some. So humans are always the cause of them not being saved, not God.

I’ve yet to see someone with orthodox Christian beliefs come up with any alternative besides these reasons for why people end up in Hell:

  1. God didn’t elect them (Reformed)
  2. God couldn’t persuade them (Arminian or Molinism)
  3. God wouldn’t persuade them (Arminian or Molinism)

Even if you hold the view that God “looked down the corridor of time” and elected and predestined those who would choose him of their own “free will,” you are still left with those choices for the remainder.

Option 2 means that nothing God could have done would have convinced you to repent and believe.  It wouldn’t have mattered if He sovereignly put a stellar apologist next door to you and gave you lots of encounters with solid Christians (i.e., good experiences with Christianity and complete access to the facts and logic behind the faith). That sounds like Reformed theology to me, as it means that God created these people knowing that nothing would persuade them to believe. In his foreknowledge, He elected not to make them spiritually alive (a la John 3:8 “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”). They allegedly could choose him freely, but He was powerless to convince them.

Option 3 means that God could have persuaded them but elected not to. Again, that sounds Reformed to me.

I’ve heard of people trying to use Molinism (the concept of middle knowledge, where God knows every possible scenario that could have happened) to get around this, saying that God picked the universe where the most people would choose him. But that means that some would go to Hell in this universe but wouldn’t have in another universe, so God chose them to go to Hell. So they unwittingly end up with the same (false) scenario they are trying to explain away.

It is more biblical and logical to say that people have “free will” within their given nature. But as you can’t choose to fly like a bird because it isn’t in your nature, you can’t choose Jesus when it isn’t in your spiritually dead nature. But if God makes you spiritually alive (again, John 3:8) then you can and will choose Jesus because it is now in your nature to be able to do so.

If God didn’t choose to save some particular sinners destined for Hell, then it is because He couldn’t save them, or He wouldn’t save them.


Bonus thought: Why would Paul anticipate this argument if he was presenting anything but the Reformed view? Romans 9:19–20 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”

An overview of Thomas Sowell’s Discrimination and Disparities

Every Leftist, and especially the Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters, should read and understand Thomas Sowell’s Discrimination and Disparities.  Sowell wrote for Forbes magazine back in the ’90s, and it was always my favorite column.  He is still brilliant.  Here are some highlights, though the book has so much more that you’ll want to read it yourself.

Minimum wage increases hurt the employment rates of blacks more than whites.  Leftists don’t know that (bad), or they don’t care (really bad). 

It is less profitable to put stores in dangerous areas because of higher theft rates and lower sales volumes.  The higher prices are to compensate for those issues.  The poor aren’t being gouged, as those stores are still less profitable than those in safe areas.  But the law-abiding poor do suffer because of the lawbreakers.  The Leftist response, which is to attack and defund the police and refuse to prosecute crimes, only exacerbates the situation. 

Building laws designed to slow housing growth drive up real estate rates dramatically, hurting the poor the most.  It caused half of the black population to move out of San Fransisco. 

Groups generally self-segregate.  He gave many examples, but just one is how Jews from different parts of the world tended to not only settle in the same primary area but within that area would also settle within sub-groups based on their country of origin.  So it is no surprise that blacks would tend to self-segregate.  “Red-lining” is likely part of rational discrimination, where an area is a poor prospect for everything from loan repayments down to being able to deliver pizzas safely.

Blacks were often well integrated in the north and in cities like San Francisco until southern blacks moved there in large numbers.  They were demonstrably more violent and disliked even by the blacks already in those locations.

Geography plays a significant impact on levels of education and advancement.  Even when of the same race, mountain people groups always lag behind coastal groups because their access to information and commerce is limited.  That’s geography, not bigotry – although Leftists are certainly bigoted in how they refer to mountain peoples.

Politicians who risk nothing continue to pretend that moving people from poor neighborhoods to middle-class neighborhoods will magically change their plight.

A study of that program published in the Journal of Human Resources concluded: “We did not find evidence of improvements in reading scores, math scores, behavior or school problems, or school engagement, overall or for any age group.” Another study of the same program published in the American Journal of Sociology concluded that “there is no evidence that extra time spent in low-poverty integrated neighborhoods improves economic outcomes.”

It turns out that for many people living in poverty, it was their own bad decisions and lifestyles that got them there.  So force-fitting them in more affluent neighborhoods — with your tax dollars, of course — doesn’t change the worldview of those being imported, but it does harm those already living there.  And it isn’t just white people complaining:

According to the Chicago Tribune, the resistance of working-class and middle-class blacks “in some cases has been fierce.” Black homeowners have “protested, loudly” at public meetings that they “didn’t want ‘those people’ moving back into their rejuvenated neighborhood.” Often homeowners at public gatherings “would shout at officials that they’d worked hard to get where they were and that they didn’t want to live next door to people who would just tear up their homes. They called them ‘project people,’ ‘lowlifers’ and ‘freeloaders.’”

Leftists were wrong on eugenics in the late 1800s through the mid-1900s, and now they are wrong on discrimination.

American Progressives took the lead in promoting genetic determinism in the United States then, as they later took the lead in promoting the opposite presumption that disparities imply discrimination in the second half of the twentieth century.

In what seems like an endless “law of unintended consequences” reel, Leftists almost always make problems worse. Here’s another example, where they oppose criminal background checks.

. . . those particular employers who automatically did criminal background checks on all their employees tended to hire more young black males than did other employers.

One professor thought he was being discriminated against for being black when in his own words it had everything to do with how he was dressed.

Professor Wilson’s sarcasm and anger were directed at people whose reactions reflected a greater concern for their own personal safety than for his sensitivities. His account suggests that they were not racists, for merely by wearing a tie he avoided tensions on both sides, even though wearing a tie did not change his race.

Sowell had a keen insight into how free market economics helps blacks, because even racists will hire them and pay market wages if they need the manpower. This happened after the Civil War. Some whites would collectively try to limit black wages, but if your crops will rot if they aren’t picked then you might be inclined to violate that agreement and to pay blacks a higher wage.

While racists, by definition, prefer their own race to other races, individual racists—like other people—tend to prefer themselves most of all.

Housing restrictions, typically put in place by Leftists, are racism disguised as environmentalism.

The racial impact of these housing restrictions was more pronounced than many racially explicit restrictions. By 2005, the black population of San Francisco was reduced to less than half of what it had been in 1970, even though the population of the city as a whole was growing.43 In an even shorter span of time, between the 1990 and 2000 censuses, three other California counties—Los Angeles County, San Mateo County, and Alameda County—had their black populations decline by more than ten thousand people each, despite increases in the general population in each of these counties.

More “law of unintended consequences” at work. By trying to force businesses to hire unqualified workers they reduce the opportunities for qualified minorities to get jobs.

When a federal agency can so easily make charges of discrimination on behalf of workers from racial or ethnic minorities—charges that can be costly and time-consuming to defend against in the courts, or charges that can force costly settlements out of court—that reduces the value of hiring black or other minority workers, even when their job qualifications are equal to the job qualifications of other workers who present no such legal risk. Employers therefore have incentives to locate their businesses away from concentrations of minority populations, so that they will not be as legally vulnerable to costly charges of discrimination if their work force does not end up with the same demographic makeup as that of the surrounding population.

The Left assumes that any disparate outcomes must be because of racism.

What was equally implausible was that black-owned banks were discriminating against black applicants. But in fact black-owned banks turned down black applicants for home mortgage loans at a higher rate than did white-owned banks.

People across the political spectrum often assume that people in different wealth quintiles always stay there, but there is a surprising amount of movement between them.

A University of Michigan study that followed a given set of working Americans from 1975 to 1991 found that 95 percent of the people initially in the bottom 20 percent were no longer there at the end of that period. Moreover, 29 percent of those initially in the bottom quintile rose all the way to the top quintile, while only 5 percent still remained in the bottom 20 percent.

No, police aren’t racist against black speeders. Blacks, on average, speed more than whites.

Another violation of the law that can be tested and quantified, independently of the police, is driving in excess of highway speed limits. A study by independent researchers of nearly 40,000 drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike, using high-speed 1,636cameras and a radar gun, showed a higher proportion of black drivers than of white drivers who were speeding, especially at the higher speeds.

There are several key factors that impact whether you are likely to be poor, such as marriage.

For example, despite the high poverty rate among black Americans in general, the poverty rate among black married couples has been less than 10 percent every year since 1994. Do racists care whether someone black is married or unmarried? If not, then why do married blacks escape poverty so much more often than other blacks, if racism is the main reason for black poverty?

Reducing tax rates typically increases tax revenues paid by the rich, but Leftists ignore that or think it makes bad politics to agree with facts.

In 1920, when the highest tax rate on the highest incomes was 73 percent, people with incomes of $100,000 or more paid 30 percent of all income tax revenues. After the tax rate on the highest incomes was cut to 24 percent, people in that same income bracket paid 65 percent of all income tax revenues in 1929.76 Nevertheless, in the world of words, these were called “tax cuts for the rich”—and have remained so ever since, in utter disregard of empirical evidence as to the actual amount of tax revenues collected from high-income taxpayers at different tax rates. There were similar results from later tax rate reductions during the Kennedy, Reagan and George W. Bush administrations.

Leftists abuse words 24×7. We should never concede to saying “wealth redistribution,” because that implies that it was distributed arbitrarily to begin with, and not based on providing value to customers.

Although such verbal displays—insinuations as distinguished from arguments—may be in aid of a redistributionist agenda, neither income nor wealth can be redistributed when it was not distributed in the first place, but earned directly from those who valued whatever was sold.

The “acting white” backlash in many black communities that holds blacks back is seen in similar ways in poor white parts of England.

As Dr. Theodore Dalrymple described the situation among England’s white underclass: If you don’t mend your ways and join us, they were saying, we’ll beat you up. This was no idle threat: I often meet people in their twenties and thirties in my hospital practice who gave up at school under such duress and subsequently realize that they have missed an opportunity which, had it been taken, would have changed the whole course of their lives much for the better. And those who attend the few schools in the city that maintain very high academic standards risk a beating if they venture to where the poor white stupids live. In the last year I have treated two boys in the emergency room after such a beating, and two others who have taken overdoses for fear of receiving one at the hands of their neighbors.

Sadly, Leftists have convinced too many people that any differences in outcome are only because of malevolent racism.

When there are major disparities in outcomes among men who are all in the top one percent in IQ, and among siblings raised under the same roof, as well as discriminated-against minorities being more economically successful than those discriminating against them—as has happened in the Ottoman Empire, many Southeast Asian countries, and much of Eastern Europe, for example—the insistence on believing that human biases are the primary cause of disparities in outcomes ignores a vast range of evidence to the contrary.

This quote exposes a fundamental problem with Critical Race Theory.

But what can any society today hope to gain by having newborn babies in that society enter the world as heirs to prepackaged grievances against other babies born into that same society on the same day?

OK, that was a lot of quotes, but I could have done dozens more. Read the book or anything else by Sowell.

Ed Litton and his supporters are frauds (with updates)

And they are harming the body of Christ with their arrogance. Even a Leftist publication like Newsweek can see the hypocrisy.

As you’ve probably read, Litton was the presidential choice of the “woke” Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) crowd during their recent election. Shortly afterward, one video after another came out showing how blatantly Litton has plagiarized sermons of J.D. Greear – and not just sermons, but bad sermons. This plagiarism started as early as 2015. You’ll probably cringe as you watch them. He’s not just an actor, he’s a bad actor.

Litton has made one foolish statement after another. He claimed to be transparent – and his supporters lauded him as such – while his church took down 140 of his sermons from YouTube. That’s a peculiar type of transparency. And he and his church gave mealy-mouthed and conflicting explanations for the reasons. He tried to claim it was because his church was transferring files to a new server, but that is another insulting lie. They hid them on YouTube, not their own server! And his “apology” was that he was sorry if people were offended, which is a non-pology.

He claimed to have a team of eight people who help put together his sermons, yet the outlines of many of them followed Greear’s, down to the examples and “personal” stories. Litton lied about only copying the outlines, as some of the lines he uses were not in the outlines or manuscripts but were in the videos. And does it take that many people to plagiarize? Or was he throwing them under the bus to hide his sins? He is now claiming that he is mentoring this team on how to preach. But what he’s teaching them is that you don’t do your own sermons; you lift them from others and have other people do the work for you.

Litton also didn’t realize that his church’s website had a statement that misstated the Trinity. So this guy is too busy to know what his own website says and to prepare his own sermons, but he has plenty of time to be a pastor of a large church and the President of the SBC?

Seminary students lose points on papers even for improperly documenting footnotes, and they can get kicked out for plagiarism. Yet Litton’s supporters actually rationalize that any sermon speaking true things belongs to God and therefore is immune to plagiarism. He used an illustration of Jesus being a diamond and how you don’t credit the shovel and pick when you’ve found one. But Litton wasn’t taking the credit of the tools but of the other miners who labored to find the diamond. The entire line of thinking is absurd, and it is insulting that they’d expect anyone to believe it. Using their logic, you could copy any sermon word-for-word and it wouldn’t be a sin. And don’t get me started on pastors who buy sermons off the Internet. Greear took down a comment about something he previously bragged about, which is using a company called Docent to do “research” for his sermons. Litton was probably using Docent’s material without realizing it. Ironically, I’ll bet that Docent doesn’t want one pastor to pay them for research and then share it with other pastors.

A friend of mine had a pastor resign because of plagiarism, and it was far less extensive than Litton’s. Yet Litton’s church and denomination are covering for him. And watch the very end of this video to see Litton tell his congregation to ask him for wisdom “even if you have to steal it from somebody.” That’s pretty bold and cynical from a guy plagiarizing a sermon (watch the entire video to see how bad it was).

While downplaying homosexuality, they (Litton and Greear) claimed that the Bible “whispers” about sexual sin. Among countless other examples, tell that to Sodom and Gomorrah. And they pretended that the Bible is unclear about describing homosexual behavior just because of the type of transliteration used repeatedly when translating the Bible. And they foolishly claimed that homosexuality doesn’t send you to Hell because heterosexuality doesn’t send you to Heaven. In their desire to be clever and gloss over homosexuality, they used a lame and fallacious analogy.

Litton is not even good at preaching other people’s sermons. He was obviously chosen for his woke politics and not his skills. He even admitted how he had lied about his sermon preparation time. He is a disgrace and should be fired from both jobs, but I think the actions of his supporters are worse. Al Mohler, J.D. Greear, James Merritt (who actually encouraged plagiarism before speaking on holiness – talk about tone deaf!), Danny Akin, and others have permanently ruined their reputations by refusing to state the obvious. They insist that Litton is honest, humble, transparent, and full of integrity. Shame on all of those liars. They’ve actually claimed that Litton was just doing “theology in community,” which would be laughable if the subject weren’t as serious.

As false teachers count on you not reading the Bible, these woke leaders are assuming that people won’t watch the videos for themselves. Sadly, they are probably right. Mohler had been spectacularly clear in denouncing plagiarism in the past, but he’s been silent on Litton thus far. The only good thing about this is that the “woke” SBC crowd is highlighting how deceitful they are. It isn’t like Litton is the only one doing this, and they know it. Like their secular brethren, the end always justifies the means.

If the SBC can’t get rid of a serial plagiarizer and liar such as Litton, then real churches should withdraw.

2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Updates

Litton had the gall to tell a reporter that all the accusations are coming from unnamed sources. He is a serial, unrepentant liar. Epic comment from Justin Peters:

Unnamed sources? My name is Justin Peters. Let’s add to my name the names of Gabriel Hughes, Jeff Maples, Jordan Hall, Tom Buck, Tom Ascol, Josh Buice, Phil Johnson, and literally dozens upon dozens of others who have been talking about this (along with their names) for at least 2 weeks now. There, fixed it.


Here’s just one of many videos showing the copying. If you don’t cringe through this, you aren’t paying attention.

Justin Peters exposes false teachers and “hearing from God”

The “hearing from God” false teaching is rampant in evangelicalism and is very destructive. Consider how popular the book Jesus Calling is when it is pure blasphemy. Justin Peters does a great job of quickly exposing these awful teachers.

A popular passage they abuse is John 10:27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. But they can’t be bothered to read the passage in context. Consider the following:

  • John 10:6 clearly teaches that this “voice” is a figure of speech, but they can’t be bothered to read in context. John 10:6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
  • This passage is about salvation. We are saved after “hearing his voice,” but it isn’t audible.
  • The Jews literally heard his voice but didn’t respond. If only the false teachers would consider that! They were right there in front of the physical Jesus and hearing every word audibly, but still, they rejected him.
  • The sheep hear because of what the Father does, not because of their holiness, practice, or spiritual disciplines.

The video also has Matt Chandler’s bizarre shark/pirate story. That message went to his entire church plus thousand more who listen to his Podcasts. It makes Christians look foolish.

As Justin Peters says, if you want to hear from God, read the Bible. If you want to hear from him audibly, read it out loud. But these wolves are too busy doing Satan’s work and making you avoid scripture while inventing your own messages from God. The lack of discernment is sickening.

And yes, when the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, He gave them the Lord’s Prayer and said nothing about listening for a response from God. If prayer was a two-way street, that would have been a good time to tell us (or in any other of the 31,000+ verses).

God told me to tell these wolves that He isn’t talking to them outside the Bible.

Soft drinks are bad for your health and a waste of money, and the sellers are “woke” perverts

Never heard of Ronaldo, but good for him! Only use sodas as treats.  Have you ever seen the picture with sugar cubes stacked up next to various drinks?  It is alarming how much sugar you consume with them.  And even the sugar-free versions have downsides because of their chemicals and what they do to your body.  I hope this shames other athletes into refusing endorsement for soft drinks, fast food, etc.

Along the “eat a little less” line of thinking, I know someone who cut out sodas and quickly lost a lot of weight.  That was his only change.

Update: Feeling hypocritical now (but not too much), as I drank 40 oz. of Coke for breakfast the day after I posted this. I was getting a CT scan as part of my cancer follow-up (all clear, praise God!) and they make you drink a lot of something sugary before the scan. I picked cranberry grape juice, then changed my mind to Coke, forgetting how much you have to drink. I was wired.

Priscilla Shirer’s dangerous and false teaching

Priscilla Shirer is a famous Christian author, and far too many people (primarily women) buy her books and believe her nonsense. She equates the Bible with hand-me-down clothes and insists that God must give you something fresh and new. And even if you get it wrong, you should keep claiming to speak for God. You’d have to be biblically ignorant not to immediately dismiss her false teachings. She’s a clever wolf, actively teaching you to ignore the Bible and go with your own feelings of what God is supposedly telling you directly.  That won’t turn out well.

Years ago we were members of a generally solid Bible-believing Baptist church.  However, the women’s group studied one of Shirer’s books that claimed to teach you how to hear from God. That’s nonsensical on its face, of course, as if God isn’t speaking to you, there is nothing to hear, and if God is speaking to you, then you couldn’t miss it if you tried.  She turned the story of Samuel on its head, claiming that Samuel needed to learn how to hear from God.  Sadly, the pastors were reluctant to get involved and correct the women.

Shirer has made a career out of her false teaching.  Via Priscilla Shirer Attacks the Bible as ‘Hand-me-down Revelation’:

In the clip, she is saying that having a preacher teach the scripture is insufficient and not personalized enough, that it gets stale, old, and is a mark of immaturity to not seek more. In contrast, it is a sign of growth and wisdom to want more than that, and so seek some “revelation” that is new, fresh, and personalized just for you.

Speaking within the context of receiving clothing hand-me-downs, Shirer creates the analogy by recounting how one year as a young girl she was not excited to get hand-me-downs, because the clothes “had not been specifically chosen for me.”

“And I’ve been okay with hand-me-downs with secondhand clothes all of these years, but all of a sudden I want of my own stuff. I wanted something to come with my name on it that had specifically been chosen for me. There ought to come a time in your relationship with the Lord, when hand-me-down revelation just doesn’t do it for you anymore.

There ought to come a little bit of disconcerting, a little bit of maturity in your walk with God where you become a little bit unsettled to only be spoon-fed the Word of God from someone else to you.

Now, we thank God for our pastors and our teachers and our leaders that help us to rightly divide the word of truth *but* there ought to come a time in your life where you’ve decided, “You know what? I want fresh revelation with my name on it that has come straight from God’s Spirit for my life.”

As with most false teachers, Shirer doesn’t want you to read the Bible.  Why?  Because you might realize how anti-biblical her teachings are!  The more you read the Bible, the more you’ll realize how awful she is. 

Pray for discernment in the church and that people would read the Bible more.  And never trust Christian bookstores.

Here’s my lesson on decision making and the will of God and hearing from God.

A great summary of the Covid fiasco

Here is a thorough summary of what really happened, why Fauci should be in jail, and, as if you need more reasons, why you should never trust Democrats or the media. An enemy of our country designed this virus with some of our money, it has caused trillions of $ in losses and incalculable damage to people, and the villains tried to cover it up. And they almost succeeded. Will anyone learn from this?

Source: It’s Clear Now Anthony Fauci Isn’t A Fool, He’s A Villain

On Jan. 1, 2020, Fauci received a credible warning from a professor at the Scripps Research Institute, Kristian Anderson, that some of SARS-COV-2’s features “(potentially) look engineered” and that she and her colleagues “all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.”

Fauci later blasted the “lab origin theory” as completely uncredible, leading the entire media-industrial complex to deride theories of bio-engineering or even the idea the virus might have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. His assurance, despite now finding it safe to backtrack on saying he’s “not completely confident” of SARS-2’s natural origin, was doubtless a major factor in Facebook banning posts supporting the lab origin theory.

That’s just one among many lies he’s spun since SARS-COV-2 reached our shores. It was clear from almost the beginning that Fauci was not just a benevolent science bureaucrat “trying to figure it out,” not just a bumbling idiot, but someone willing to put the entire nation through a punishing social and medical experiment, to gaslight the public time and time again to keep it going, and then bask in the sycophancy of Democratic Party lawmakers and the media while millions suffered needlessly. That’s the sort of thing we expect from the villains of political thrillers, not well-intentioned public servants who are just trying to “follow the science.”

Students 100 years from now might be forgiven for thinking Fauci was an invented boogeyman. Deceit is a classic character trait of fictional antagonists, and Fauci is, as one popular (now Twitter-banned) lockdown skeptic put it, a “one-man highlight reel of mendacity.”

Time Management

Time management may seem like a more secular topic, but everything we have is a gift from God, and we should be good stewards of our treasures, talents, and time. 

I learned a long time ago that I inevitably forget some things if I don’t write them down.  So I have two simple rules I follow for any to-dos:

  1. Write them on a list.
  2. Look at the list daily.

That’s it. I’ve used an app called Todoist for years on my PC and my phone.  It lets me quickly add any to-dos to various categories.  It is easy to assign dates and make to-dos recurring if necessary.  I use it for work tasks, for lists of things I want to tell my supervisor, team, or individual employees, for birthdays and anniversaries, for house maintenance things, for various lists such as what to pack for different kinds of trips, and much more.  When in doubt, something goes in Todoist.  I highly encourage people to have a system like this.  Forgetting important things can be very costly in terms of your productivity and reputation, not to mention that it isn’t a great way of loving your neighbors. 

But my biggest time-savers are avoiding social media, computer games, and watching little if any TV.  I used to watch a lot more TV, especially sports, but when we had kids, I phased out of much of that without really thinking about it.  Then I realized that I didn’t get that much value out of what I was watching, and it was easier to cut back more. I’m too compulsive with computer games as well, so I avoid those.  If you can’t do things in moderation, cut them out completely.  I did that with Twitter.  I tried just taking a month off here and there to see if I could go back to it in a less compulsive way, but it never worked (OCD isn’t just a disorder, it’s a lifestyle).  So I deleted my account. Later I got rid of Facebook, partly due to the time-wasting and partly because I learned more about what they do and how they do it.  No regrets.

I also found that scaling back on news consumption saved time and reduced stress.  We live in an unprecedented time where we unwittingly feel that we are omniscient, in that we think we know everything that is going on in the world in real-time, and omnipotent, in that if we go rant on Twitter that we’ve done something about it.  And the repetition of analyzing the same stories can be pointless.  I like being informed on current events, but I’ve learned to limit my time with the news cycles.

I’m not pressing all those views on you, but I encourage you to do an inventory of where you spend your time and think carefully about it. 

If you aren’t reading the Bible and praying regularly, it is because you have decided not to.  You may think you don’t have enough time, but what you are saying is that everything you do – all day, every day – is more important than that, and that God designed the universe without giving you enough time to hear from him or talk to him.  So watching one hour of TV instead of two each night (or playing fewer computer games, or whatever) will free up an entire hour for something more meaningful and lasting.

And be creative with your time.  Most of us spend a lot of time in the car, so instead of listening to secular music all the time, try listening to the audio Bible (free downloads at Bible.is) or to Christian Podcasts.  Redeem your commute!

I took social media apps off my phone and then got off them altogether, because I wasted way too much time checking them.  Instead, I pick up my phone and do Bible verse memorization with my Bible Memory app.  It is a much better use of time.  I know that many Christians live in fear of offending others, but if you use social media, I encourage you to try to work in some Christian truths where you can.  Bible verses, links to sound articles defending the faith, etc., will signal to non-believers that you are a safe person to come to if they have questions about God. 

My wife jokes that I’m like the guy in the Cheaper By The Dozen movie, who automated everything he touched.  My approach is that if you do something regularly, figure out how to do it in the fewest possible steps.  For example, I try to learn every meaningful shortcut I can on any computer software.

Time is a precious gift from God.  Use it wisely. 

A simple tip when comforting others: Don’t try to be profound

2 Corinthians 1:3–5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

Christians are uniquely equipped to comfort others, and it is one of the great gifts you can give to your friends.

We can get tongue-tied when trying to comfort others, as we don’t know what to say or we may fear that we’ll say the wrong thing.  A friend asked me how to approach someone who had been diagnosed with cancer because he was worried about saying the wrong thing.  He asked me because he knew my cancer history.  My advice was to just be there and keep it simple.  More than that, I encouraged him not to feel like he had to say something profound.  That really resonated with him and took the pressure off.  He had felt like he had to say something that would make it all better. 

So here’s my simple advice for illnesses, deaths or other hardships: Don’t try to be profound and all-encompassing.  Just listen and love.  Ask how they are feeling.  Offer to do specific things for them There is a big difference between “Let me know if I can do anything” and “What specifically can I do to help you?” But don’t let your fear of saying the wrong thing keep you from reaching out.

Prayer Mate App

The Prayer Mate app is a key part of my daily devotional routine, which currently looks like this:

Morning

  1. Read a page from The Valley of Vision, a book of Puritan prayers.  These guys were intense and motivating.
  2. Go through my PrayerMate app.  I have it set up with various categories, such as adoration, confession, gratitude, family, church, evangelism, current requests, etc., so I get a mix of prayer topics each day. 
  3. Read a chapter of the Bible plus commentary notes.  I love the chronological Bible reading plan or a plan that rotates between genres (i.e., the Pentateuch, history, Psalms, Proverbs, Gospel, letters, etc.).  This gets me through the Bible every 1.5 – 2 years.  When I finish, I start afresh the next day. 
  4. Work through some memory verses on the Bible Memory app.  Some days I do more than others.  If I have downtime during the day I’ll go through verses then as well.

Evening

  1. Read another chapter of the Bible plus commentary notes.

I’m not good at “freestyle” praying. Having an app like this gives me the structure I need. It also reminds me to check in on people for whom I’ve been praying. You can easily add categories and individual prayer items. Best of all, it is free!

Universal Basic Income will be even more disastrous than the “stimulus” checks

The stimulus bills were horrific.  They gave billions to people who didn’t need it.  The rest wouldn’t have needed money if we would have just let them work instead of requiring the foolish lock-downs.  They led to huge staffing problems, as many companies couldn’t get people to work once they got their checks.  This will be many times worse with Universal Basic Income.  Once you start giving away money like this you can’t go back.  Each party will try to one-up the other in “generosity.”  It will destroy this nation at an even more rapid rate.
And the huge child credits will just lead to more out-of-wedlock births. We already have too many people thinking that fornication is a money-maker.  Why increase the incentives? More here — Taxpayer-guaranteed annual income for families will be a 2022 election issue

Leftism literally causes mental disorders

And I mean literally literally.

This has gone on for decades, with Leftists pushing abortion and insisting that it causes no guilt for women. But unless you are a psychopath, you can’t kill another human being – let alone your own child — without psychological consequences. People will try to repress the guilt, but there is a reason that great works of fiction such as Crime and Punishment, Macbeth and The Telltale Heart explore the theme of people trying to rationalize their sins yet failing to do so.

Then there is the “trans” craze, where Leftists actually encourage children to destroy their bodies and their fertility by undergoing radical medical treatments and surgeries. And in purely Satanic moves they block parents from getting their children counseling to overcome their delusions and they try to silence anyone who dares to state the obvious about this mental illness.

Then there is the impact of the climate change hoax, where the Leftists pretend that we can control the earth’s temperature with a virtual thermostat while ignoring that they have no plans to deal with China, India or Russia, who have no intention to derail their economics because the earth might be getting a little warmer.

Witness the congresswoman who is not only gullible and dense but an atrocious parent: ‘The Earth Is On Fire And We’re All Going To Die Soon’: Dem Rep Pleads With Thunberg For Advice For Her Panicked 9-Year-Old Daughter | The Daily Wire. Why didn’t the mother just tell her that it is a political power-grab and nothing to lose sleep over? She could point out how Bill Gates just bought a $43 million beach house and how countless “woke” celebrities buy beach properties as well. They obviously have no fear of rising oceans, and neither should the 9 year old. Oh, and why would you ask a slow-witted 18 yr. old puppet for parenting advice?

Finally, witness how CNN has been caught on video admitting that they deliberately increase fear in their audience for profit: Project Veritas: CNN Insider Admits They Hyped COVID Death Toll, It’s “Gangbusters For Ratings” | Video | RealClearPolitics. Got that? Those kind, loving Leftists are deliberately driving people into mental illness just to make a few more dollars. And yet they stereotype Conservatives as the greedy ones. I know otherwise smart and logical people who are still distancing and wearing masks even though vaccinated, and they concede that they don’t know when they’ll be able to live normally again. So many people suffered despair and crushing loneliness because of the superfluous lock-downs. But the Left didn’t care, because the elites didn’t miss a thing.

Liberalism is a mental disorder, and in its malevolence it literally causes mental disorders.

Update: Great timing — now there is this: Progressive white women report high levels of mental illness in 2020 Pew survey | WINTERY KNIGHT

Leftists do NOT care about children

They don’t care if you crush and dismember them before they are born. In fact, their #1 goal is ensuring that it is legal to do that to their first breath and that you be forced to pay to have others kill their children.

If they are born, they don’t care if the children have fathers in the home, even though that is devastating for families.

Once the children are born, the Leftists only care about unrestricted access to brainwash and pervert your children and to subvert your rights to parent them properly. And they want you to pay for the brainwashing.

The “trans” craze is the latest example. Deep down everyone knows you can’t change your sex and that even trying is just rebellion against God. The Leftist ghouls want to hurry up and destroy these children before they grow out of the social contagion phase. They won’t be there to comfort the children when they realize what horrible mistakes they’ve made.

We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.