Who Will Stand?

We are lost in an unfamiliar town. We are–all–looking for familiar reference points. But in our search for home, we are only getting more lost.

The world where we grew up is long gone. The world we felt we had mastered as adults is past. The world we recognized as changing quickly–but still secure–is quickly vanishing. The world you depended on just last year, obliterated by a furious need for quixotic social micromanagement, gone.

The culture of the left is imploding. Hollywood, no longer content with lecturing the Man and its audience, has turned its newfound strident sanctimony inward and is cannibalizing itself.

And the sanctimony will not be satisfied until every molecule of what we called culture–sports, entertainment, social media–is policed, weighed, and certainly found wanting. According to whose scale no one really knows.

Many commenters left and right have observed that progressive culture is eating itself as well. Upholding unexamined faith in a hundred contradictory premises is exhausting. The political left is splitting into increasingly smaller and increasingly self-important factions. Substitute tribes for families, congregations, and communities–and you get war.

Washington culture is sick and highly contagious. The political right is ineffectual because it is complicit.

Some on the right may cheer the downfall of the culture of the left. But let’s think about this for just a minute. What will replace it?

If it is true that our progressive elites are going down, if we are about to enter a new paradigm…what will that be? If it is true that the chickens have come home to roost, that the world that the change agents worked for is unsustainable, that the practically-atheist context is about to collapse under its own weight of illogic and to vanish in its thin moral vapor…

Are we who watched and shook our heads and abstained, we who prayed and criticized from the margins, we who talked good games about the world we would prefer…are we prepared to come into the vacuum and be what we were meant to be?

We gratefully accepted those margins because that little space gave us cover. It’s much easier to feel righteous when you can shake your heads at the unrighteous from the CCM-approved safe space.

Are we, the faithful, ready to take dominion over the earth, not in any political or socially-engineered sense, but as living representatives of the Creator? The people whom He has redeemed and called His own, the people who are called by His name, the people who He has commanded to represent who He is to an uncomprehending world—we have a calling. And it may be that, instead of hiding our lights under bushels in our contemporary Christian ghetto, we will soon have an opportunity to refresh the culture with His presence.

Are we ready?

 

 

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Three Shows This Year

MaddyTree Books

Swarthmore Art Market  *  November 11
Sat 9:30-1:30  *  Park Ave, Swarthmore, PA

This is a new outdoor art market just in time for early holiday shopping. Swarthmore is a lovely college town with a thriving arts presence.

A Bit of the Arts Holiday Art Sale * Nov 24 – Nov 25  *  Friday 4 -8 pm * Saturday 10 – 4 Lansdowne, PA

http://www.lansdownesfuture.org/fineartsshow/

This is a great community holiday market with a warm atmosphere. I’ve attended for years and this is my second year as a vendor.

Holiday Craft Market: Fresh and Local  *  December 8, 9, 10   

 https://www.mainlineart.org/events/event/handcrafted-holidays-craft-market/  

December 8 – December 10
Main Line Art Center
Haverford, Pennsylvania

I am happy to have been included in this fine craft market!

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Saying Goodbye to a Home

It turns out I’m nostalgic and sentimental about places. Today I said goodbye to my house–the house I was born into, the house I lived in until my marriage, then returned to, to raise my family for nine more years. After that we moved halfway down the block.

I have had free access to my old house all my life. The last few years I was there nearly every day.

Today I went in very early in the morning, walked through its empty rooms and took pictures. You see an old house much in need of cosmetic repair but I see many, many memories. One empty corner is where my play kitchen was in the TV room. Another is the attic closet where my boys played spaceship. And so on. There really are a million memories.

I have never lived more than a mile or two from this house. Can’t believe I’m saying goodbye to it. Now I will be able to see the new family take ownership and make their memories. That doesn’t feel good yet but I hope that it will.

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Contempt

Please explain to me again about the moral superiority of atheism. No need for objective morality, a Moral Lawgiver, a True God. Tell me how when people are finally free of superstition we will have a society of reason, justice, and sanity.

Here is atheism’s favorite populizer’s compassionate and reasoned response to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, while the horror is fresh, while the victims are still being identified.

Richard Dawkins‏
Verified account
@RichardDawkins

Durn tootin’, great shootin’. Cool dude sertin’ he’s 2nd Mendment rahts. Hell yeah!
Every country has its psychopaths. In US they have guns

All he has to offer his fellow human beings at this tragic moment is contempt.

SHOCKER: Almost half of all abortions performed worldwide are unsafe, reveals WHO

Almost half of all abortions performed worldwide are unsafe, reveals WHO

Really, almost half? So more than half of the babies survive?…No, really? Who ever heard of an unsafe abortion?

A procedure performed at a facility with minimal clinical safety requirements, possibly by someone who is not an M.D., the purpose of which is to suddenly halt a healthy pregnancy by extracting the fetus, which may include inserting cutting instruments through the cervix into the uterus and dismembering the fetus, or transforming the nurturing fluid in which the fetus thrives into a hostile burning solution then vacuuming the contents of the uterus…can be unsafe?

Concise and correct response to headline: All abortions are by definition “unsafe”. Every single one results in a killed child. Abortion does not exactly sound safe for the women either.

Let’s take a look at this piece. First, the article is written not from an objective perspective but promotes one side of an entrenched debate. Bias is all over it. Witness the “Mexico City Policy” renamed the” Global Gag Rule”. “Experts say the proposed cuts, together with the reimposition of the restrictive Mexico City policy (also known as the Global Gag rule) which forbids US federal funds to any organisation that counsels women on abortion, can only make things worse.” What kind of “experts,” and could you find a less informative adjective than “worse”?

Second, how are statistics on illegal abortions validated? I am dubious of the legitimacy of numbers given on procedures which are designed to be hidden because of illegality or societal disapproval. Official records are maintained? So those numbers (which are helpful to said bias) are suspect.

Look at the bar chart. Looks like North America is Abortion Heaven, doesn’t it?  That doesn’t square with the apocalyptic hysteria from Planned Parenthood.

The article unwittingly hints at one of the actual problems for women in less developed countries: lack of “well developed health infrastructures”.

“They say women may die as a result of more serious complications because of the dangerous methods used to bring about an abortion – and their health services may then not have the skills or resources to treat them.”

I’m going to surmise that any  procedure performed at a facility lacking basic clinical safeguards, medically qualified clinicians, or well developed health infrastructures is much less safe than any procedure performed in first-world facilities. Abortion is selectively highlighted, and they literally don’t care about the other items.

Where are the billionaire celebrity philanthropists and childless world politicians when Africa needs basic medical infrastructure? Their generosity is conditional and laser-focused: kill more babies and we’ll give you the means (to kill more babies). Helping you with basic medical care doesn’t make me sexy enough.

Other internal contradictions: abortion by pill is unsafe, then it’s safe. “…and of them 17.1 million were unsafe because the woman was taking pills alone” but “Safe abortion is a very safe procedure…It isn’t even necessary that it has to be a procedure. Now you can use tablets.”

And here, according to my research, is an urban myth, an outright lie: “There was no evidence that the Gag rule resulted in a decrease in the incidence of abortion,” she said. A couple of studies in sub-Saharan Africa had suggested it led to an increase as a result of the shrinking of contraception provision by NGOs.”

In reality, under the Mexico City Policy, organizations may still give contraceptives, post-abortive care, prenatal care, and even advise and refer abortions where it is legal, and under several circumstances such a rape. Some organizations, such a International Planned Parenthood choose to leave rather than have restrictions imposed upon them, leaving women without care. Here is a comprehensive assessment:

http://empiresandmangers.blogspot.com/2017/01/ngos-abortion-and-federal-money-truth.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EmpiresAndMangers+%28Empires+and+Mangers%29

Let’s keep hope for a world where most people care about the health of everyone, both mothers and children.

 

 

 

X – 9/22/17

“Maybe rock and roll never dies but it sure gets old…” Jon Foreman

Concertgoers my age have had to acknowledge some uncomfortable perspective shifts. The young people you remember come out on stage and they’re freaking old people. Then I think: “Oh yeah, me too.”

But it seems rock and roll does age well. We saw X last night and this is a band comfortable with its age. The fact that they’ve had all the decades to become an even more awesome band is the important part. These are first-rate musicians and this is a great band!

Billy Zoom wearing my grandfather’s glasses, pleasant grin all night, hardly moving he’s so cool. His fingers fly but he’s not breaking a sweat. Occasionally he licks his pick, sticks it to the middle of his forehead and steps up to the sax to play a bit, grinning for pictures between riffs.

More experiment and jazz than I expect. The country-rockabilly influences. The vibraphone just lovely. All wrapped up in solid rock.

To my aging concert mates I say: let’s all age well and make the most of all the music.

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