Roundup

A beautiful passage on assurance, as well as one of the 100+ passages about how Jesus is the only way to salvation.  This is extra-explicit because it notes how if you don’t have the Son, you don’t have life.  And it addresses eternal life, not just having a good life now (see v. 11).

1 John 5:12–13 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.

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The Bible doesn’t care if you like it or agree with it. It is written from beginning to end by the authority of God himself.

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Loudoun County Students Walk Out In Protest Of Sexual Assault Cover Up – Good for them! Now that is worth protesting.

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Joe Biden’s Phony Civility Schtick Was Always A Lie — Yep. He is much more of a malicious, defensive jerk than Trump, and for much longer, but the media has covered for him.

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John MacArthur Beats up Ed Litton Over Plagiarism Scandal: ‘Lazy, Incompetent and Unsanctified’ — I loved reading what MacArthur said about serial liar and plagiarist Ed Litton. I knew it would be pithy and accurate. I wish they had asked him about Litton’s enablers, as those wicked men are just as much of the problem.

Duncan: The intersection of pastoral integrity and a confidence in the Bible leads to expository preaching. But what we’re seeing now in a failure of pastoral integrity and a misfire in preaching is the issue of plagiarism. High-level pastors are being accused of plagiarism and using someone else’s sermons. The question is, John MacArthur, where are you getting your sermons from?

MacArthur: Well, that’s why you want to come to The Master’s Seminary because we’ll teach you how to get your own sermon.

Duncan: Talk about getting your own sermons, what did you think when you heard all that stuff about plagiarism by these pastors? Why does a pastor plagiarize, why does he use someone else’s sermon? Why does that happen? And how does it?

MacArthur: He’s lazy and incompetent.

Duncan: Well, besides that.

MacArthur: I’m gonna go third point, and unsanctified. I think you become a showman at that point. You’re an actor. You’re playing a part. You’re playing a role. And the one thing that expository preaching does, that is apart from the congregation, is it sanctifies the pastor. The relentless study of the Word of God is how God sanctifies and protects the pastor.

So when you’re just opening your iPad and reading somebody else’s sermon, you’ve never been exposed to the sanctifying work of the word, to say nothing about the fact that you’re playing a role and you’re an actor. You’re not a true messenger from the Lord.

I think for many men in ministry, there’s an unwillingness to be disciplined at that point. Because being an expositor is work, and it’s relentless work, because you got to keep doing it week after week after week after week. But it’s the most rewarding thing. There’s no honesty in a man who does that. There’s no honesty. That’s fraud, ministerial fraud.

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Rachel Held Evans Releases Heretical Book Posthumously from Hell — Hopefully, she converted while in a coma on her deathbed, but posthumous works like this don’t leave much hope. She made a living mocking God and his word. That’s the first I heard that her husband is agnostic. So even while she was previously posing as an uber-evangelical, she consciously became unequally yoked. What a surprise. Reminds me of false teacher Chuck “Jesus is not the only way but He sure is a bigot” Currie, who would boast how his wife was an atheist as if that was a credit to his resume.

Fittingly, her husband, who is an agnostic, brought in Jeff Chu, an openly gay family friend to finish the document. Chu cobbled together her notes, blog articles, speeches, tweets, and the rest of her body of work to form a cohesive document comprised of a series of essays explaining how one can trudge a path toward progressive Christianity and all the doubt that will entail, without the constraints of conservative evangelicals to cloud the way.

As such, the book brings us such gems as:

“I am not afraid to say that many in the church have been agents of death for many women, for queer and trans people, for people of color, for immigrants and refugees, for disabled people, for all manner of minority. Many in the church have not proclaimed good news. They have not declared hope and possibility, justice and welcome. . . . I affirm LGBTQ people because they are human beings, created in the image of God. I affirm their sexual orientations and gender identities because they reflect the diversity of God’s good creation.”

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This should convict the “Christian” Left 24×7, but they are too busy pushing heresies to take it seriously.  They are madly in love with the world, and they stay current on all the latest perversions.  Mocking God by pretending that you can change genders is their latest lie.  They are enemies of God. 

James 4:4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Roundup

Look at the unique tie between love and knowledge and discernment.  Love isn’t some unthinking emotional state.

Philippians 1:9–11 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

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Why do so many atheist historians think that 1 Corinthians 15 is reliable history? This is one of the simplest and best defenses of scripture. All the “Christian” Leftists and atheists who argue (wrongly) for late-dating of the Gospels and for authorship disputes can’t dispute 1 Corinthians 15. So many things fall into place when you understand this point. The physical resurrection and the early church’s belief in it was absolutely not a later invention.

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His quote is a good send-up of the atheist worldview. If we are truly just random molecules, then there would be nothing moral or immoral about creating or destroying anything. But our deepest intuitions tell us otherwise. Also, Romans 1.

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Wind, solar or nuclear: which is best for costs, electricity prices and the environment? More nukes! Lots more. That’s the obvious solution. It always has been, but we’ve let a couple Hollywood movies and some Leftist extremists keep us from helping billions of people around the world. Billions.

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‘Let’s Go Brandon Challenge’ Goes Viral On TikTok — This may replace the Streisand Effect, where the downplaying or obfuscation of something has the unintended consequence of increasing awareness of it. I’m thrilled to see people saying it who aren’t the typical Republican voter.

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China Removes NBA Game From Broadcast After Enes Kanter Speaks Out Against Govt. — Good for him! Too bad the rest of the league places profits over principles.

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Loudoun Superintendent Told Board Of Alleged Bathroom Assault In May — That’s the Left: Creepy, cowardly, perverts covering up sexual assaults to cover up for “trans” people. This alone should land all those freaks in jail.

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DC Police Say Department Gave ‘Abortion Ultimatum’ Upon Pregnancy — So sick, but so unsurprising. It never occurs to Leftists how evil it is to say, “Kill your child, or else . . . “

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look Satan.jpg

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This is an epic self-own. Yeah, and a lot of normal people are damaged having to pretend you are female when everyone can see that you are not. Check your chromosomes.

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Cancer 3

Note: I realize that with a journey like this people want different degrees of updates: none, acquaintance level, friend level, family level, and mom/wife level. So instead of multiple blog posts or email updates, I’ll just put some observations and updates here and anyone interested can check at their convenience. Be blessed, and thanks for all the encouragement and prayers!

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January 27, 2022 update: Just got scan results showing complete remission for now. Getting another scan in two months. This result increases the odds of longer-term remission from 40% to 80%. Very grateful to God, the medical team, and all those supporting and praying for us.

January 2, 2022 update: The t-cell process seems to have gone well. I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks over the holidays. For obvious reasons I don’t mention on social media when I won’t be at home. I’ll get scans over the next few months to see if it worked. If not, we’ll be looking at experimental treatments. Many thanks for all the prayers!

November 6, 2021 update: The first round of chemo helped shrink the tumors, so I have little pain now. Very grateful for that. Still having trouble eating and keeping my weight up, so hoping for relief soon. Another round of chemo this week.

I’ve had lots of time to read the word even more and to cycle through my Bible Memory verses more often. Being reminded of God’s countless and true promises has been encouraging.

It occurred to me that while the first three diagnoses were legitimate surprises, it won’t be a surprise if it comes back again. The first came out of nowhere, the second was a surprise because it came back much more quickly than expected and in a much more aggressive state, and the third came back much more quickly than expected as well. We figured with the extra stem cell transplant/high dose chemo regimen that it would have been in remission longer (we know one guy who has been in remission over 10 years after that treatment). But now we have a different perspective. You only get so many tries at killing this for good, and this cancer is particularly resilient and aggressive.

Here’s a video on the CAR T-cell therapy I’ll be doing in a bit. This isn’t chemo, it is a process that trains your T-cells to kill cancer. It is amazing how God designed all this.

We continue to be so grateful for all the prayers and support we get. It is overwhelming.

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October 22, 2021 update: Confirmed that it is a return of my non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Apparently, that is good, because if it was something else it probably would have been terminal. Starting chemo next week to hopefully shrink it a bit and keep it from growing and spreading. Ideally, that will reduce or eliminate the back pain and make it so I can eat regularly again. Then we will start the process to do a CAR T-cell procedure to hopefully eliminate it. Thanks for all the prayers and support. We appreciate it deeply.

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No updates, just a thought that when you go through this three times it does speed up the way you process it.

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It is back. I was hoping that Cancer 2 would be the final post like this, but here we are. We hope to get a biopsy and treatment plan in the next week or so. It was a bit surprising to have it come back so quickly. I went through extensive chemotherapy last summer that put it in remission and then went through an additional high-dose chemo/stem cell transplant ten months ago that was supposed to extend the remission. And my scan in June was clean. Yet here we are. The good news is that we caught this one early.

It is always a good day to be a Christian, but especially so at times like this. My faith isn’t based on God keeping me healthy and happy at all times, but on the evidence for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and by the power of his word transforming my heart and mind. So having cancer diagnoses hasn’t set my faith back at all. This is another plot twist in life that we must manage through. And there is nothing like a situation such as this to give you a laser focus on what’s important.

As before, we’d obviously like healing, and as permanently as possible, but we truly want to glorify God and have many opportunities to witness to his truth and love (and we already had the latter answered the day we got the official diagnosis).

We are so blessed with amazing and supportive family and friends. That is the most touching part of all of this.

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Side note: From the time I emailed my doctor about some minor symptoms to the time of getting the results from my scan was 72 hours, with various tests and such in-between. Take that, socialized medicine! (I would probably have died long ago in any other country.)

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I joked that I was just getting my weight, strength, and hair back from the last treatment, and now we are going to start again. I think it may turn out like this:

Me, to my hair: I’m going through chemo and you’ll fall out, but please try to grow back.

My hair: Done!

Me: I’m going through chemo again. Please try to grow back.

My hair: Uh, we’ll try, but it could be patchy for a while.

Me: OK, now I’m going through chemo for a third time. Please try to grow back.

My hair: LOL no.

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On our way to my first hospital stay last year we got behind a car with a message on the rear window in 6” high letters that said “F*** CANCER.” Except they spelled it out. I joked that if it was MD Anderson’s new slogan then it was a bold one.

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I posted this commentary and video less than two months ago to give others some tips and encouragement for navigating through cancer journeys. Did I say I’d had cancer twice? I meant three times. I think I need to watch it, then re-do it.

Cancer is a challenge for the patient and for caregivers. I’ve been through extensive treatments for two different cancers and have some things to share. I pray that this will help you navigate through challenging times, whether cancer-related or not, and that you will be encouraged. Don’t waste your cancer or any other challenge.

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We were blessed to have a week away from home for the first time in two years (other than hospital stays!), and we did a little dancing on the beach. The sand was a challenge. And I forgot to plan an ending. But it was a nice souvenir. I realized a week after this that the cancer was probably back. Thank God for tender mercies. You want to enjoy these gifts wherever you have them.

Have your favorite charities gone woke?

The demise of organizations like the Boy Scouts and others are murder/suicides. The Left tries to murder them, then the groups try to appease the Left by committing organizational suicide.

I don’t think we are currently giving to any groups that are remotely woke, but to be on the safe side I sent this to a couple of my contacts:

I’ve read about an alarming number of Christian (or formerly Christian) organizations that have gone “woke” / politically correct and abandoned the Gospel — Salvation Army, World Vision, CRU, and InterVarsity, to name a few. For example, starting in the 90’s we sponsored three World Vision children and had a good experience with it. Still, when WV started caving to cultural demands, we ended our donations once the last child graduated from the program.

Would you please let me know where your organization stands on these topics and what their plan is to stay strong regardless of political and cultural pressures?  There are so many places to donate, but we only give to those who are unapologetic in advancing the Gospel.

If more people send messages like this ahead of time these organizations might think twice about caving to the culture.

Never try to appease the Left! They will still hate you, but then they’ll know you are weak and won’t respect you, either. They’ll know they have you and will keep driving you into further lies. They are relentless, just like the men of Sodom who continued groping for the door even though God had blinded them.

Genesis 19:11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

Never use Lowe’s for installations

Why? Too many mistakes, poor accountability, overcharges, and atrocious customer service.

We’ve always been loyal Lowe’s customers, so our recent flooring experience was a huge disappointment on many levels.  I know that you pay a built-in premium when you use them for installations, as they are contracting to a third party to do the work.  But the value is supposed to be that Lowe’s verifies and stands behind their quality, and you have one point of contact.  The opposite happened on both counts.

The installers used some liquid on wood that floor that was nearly impossible to get off.  It was a greasy mess and everything left big track marks on it (shoes, vacuum cleaners, chairs, etc.).  Cleaning it was very difficult – multiple passes of scrubbing on hands and knees.  No one at Lowe’s apologized, no one had a sense of urgency, every Lowe’s group pointed fingers, and the corporate customer service manager (Josh) wouldn’t give me his direct number and wouldn’t take my call when I called on the 800 number he told me to use.  Pro tip: Don’t employ, let alone promote, customer service people who are ineffective, condescending, unresponsive, and have zero sense of urgency or desire to help their customers.

We spent over twenty hours on our hands and knees scrubbing the floor to make it usable.  The installers sent a crew to clean one of the rooms, but it took ten days to happen.  We had half our house turned upside down and had company coming, so we did the rest ourselves. Lowe’s never apologized or compensated us for this.

Lowe’s also engages in deceptive business practices with flooring installations (other companies may do this as well, so be sure to check).  If you have 1,000 sq. ft. to cover, I can see why you need materials for, say, 1,050 sq. ft., because there is the inevitable waste with cuts and corners.  But they also charge you for the installation costs for the higher figure.  They only install the lower amount of square footage (1,000) because that is all that exists, but they charge installation fees for the higher figure (1,050).  In our case, the worker over-measured, and I told him so right away (I don’t think he realized I had measured it myself). 

We had five extra boxes of wood at the end, about 80 sq. ft.  We kept two boxes for possible repairs, but Lowe’s originally refused to refund the installation costs on returning the other three boxes.  I pointed out that the wood was obviously never installed, so why should we pay for installation?  Many phone calls later, with lots of finger-pointing within Lowe’s, I thought I had finally won out, and the corporate people told the store to issue a credit.  However, even though a store employee called to say he was about to process the credit, he never did.  I followed up a week later and discovered this, along with the fact that someone had decided not to issue the credit.  Yet no one bothered to tell us. So they promised to give us a credit, then decided not to but didn’t tell us.

After multiple additional calls, I finally convinced them to refund what they owed me after lying to me twice. They agreed, so I went to the store and got the refund in cash. 

But why so much work to get back what I was obviously due?  

Other things

Multiple Lowe’s employees insisted that we need $500+ of underlayment to go under the flooring, but the installers and the manufacturer said we didn’t.  Luckily we resolved this before installing it, as it saved a lot of money. 

We were told they had the product in stock, but it turns out they didn’t, and delivery was delayed for two weeks.

The delivery you pay for is only to your driveway.  We had to bring in 72 boxes of wood ourselves and carry them upstairs. 

They had two product miss-pulls.  We had to make a trip to return the quarter round.  They also had a mix of different colored thresholds, but the installers mercifully used the right colors and returned the extra wrong-colored ones. 

Other than that . . .

That was a series of first-world problems, of course, but a good reminder to businesses that you can lose sales permanently if you jerk your customers around, and a good reminder to never use Lowe’s for any project work.

Good news: Google Maps just informed me that my Lowe’s review has been seen 500 times.