"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

2021 World's Tallest Live Christmas Tree, Enid, OK



Between 30,00 and 40,000 people gathered in the downtown square of Enid, Oklahoma, last night, Friday, November 26, for the lighting ceremonies of the world's tallest living Christmas Tree. The CHRIST TREE, as it is called, is 144-feet tall. This year's Rockefeller Center's Tree is 77-feet tall. Come to Enid from now until January 6, 2021, to enjoy the downtown festivities. We'll be hosting four Christmas Eve services at the Christ Tree on Friday, December 24, 2021, at 2:00, 4:00, 6:00, and 8:00 pm. 


Thursday, November 25, 2021

Be My Thou Thanksgiving Vision: A Prayer for All

BE THOU MY THANKSGIVING VISION

The Bible says, “In everything give thanks,”
but this seems difficult if we are frank.
In our lives, there is so much tension,
for it to happen, “Lord, Be Thou My Vision.”

Luther cried “this world with devils filled,”
a truth that seems to take away our will
of accepting this “giving thanks” mission.
So we ask, “Lord, Be Thou My Vision.”

When darkness hides Your smiling face.
Pressing on requires "Amazing Grace."
We cannot see good with any precision,
So we pray, “Lord, Be Thou My Vision.”

Your power and love to us please show,
and grant that we'll be able to know,
if we make this “giving thanks” decision
we'll experience “Lord, Be Thou My Vision.”

So we choose to give You thanks today,
and join with family and friends to say,
“We all trust Your grace and provision.
You, O LORD, are our Thanksgiving vision.”

- Wade Burleson


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Chasa Boudin and San Francisco's Crime Wave

If you haven't seen the brazen crime wave video from November 22, 2021, of the extraordinary "smash and grab" heist at a high-end mall in San Francisco, you need to watch

It's sickening. 

When over 100 people coordinate with one another to rob a mall store in broad daylight, Americans who love their country must ask the question "How?" or "Why?" 

The answer is the same.

A Marxist named Chasa Boudin is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for San Franciso. Wikipedia does a great job cataloging the radicalism of San Francisco's District Attorney Chasa Boudin. 

Boudin was born in New York City to Jewish parents. His parents, Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, were Weather Underground members. When Boudin was 14 months old, both were arrested and convicted of murder for their role as getaway car drivers in the Brink's robbery of 1981 in Rockland County, New York. His mother was sentenced to 20 years to life and his father to 75 years to life for the felony murders of two police officers and a security guard.

After his parents were incarcerated, Boudin was raised in Chicago by adoptive parents Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, who, like his parents, had been members of the Weather Underground. Boudin reports that he did not learn to read until age 9. Kathy Boudin was released under parole supervision in 2003.

Boudin descends from a long left-wing lineage. His great-grand-uncle, Louis B. Boudin, was a Marxist theoretician and author of a two-volume history of the Supreme Court's influence on American government, and his grandfather Leonard Boudin was an attorney who represented controversial clients such as Fidel Castro and Paul Robeson. His uncle Michael Boudin is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and Michael Boudin's uncle Isidor Feinstein Stone was an independent journalist.

Boudin entered St Antony's College, Oxford, on a Rhodes Scholarship in 2003. At Oxford, he earned two master's degrees, one in forced migration and the other in public policy in Latin America. He earned his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 2011 and began work for the San Francisco Public Defender's Office as a post-doctoral fellow in 2012.

Before law school, Boudin traveled to Venezuela and served as a translator in the Venezuelan Presidential Palace during the administration of Hugo Chavez.

After law school, from 2011 to 2012, Boudin served as a law clerk to M. Margaret McKeown on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He was a 2012–2013 Liman Fellow at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, and in 2013 and 2014, he served as a clerk to Charles Breyer on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In 2015, Boudin began working full-time at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office as a deputy public defender. While there, he argued on behalf of the office's clients that California's bail system is unconstitutional, leading to the published case In re Kenneth Humphrey, in which the state's First District Court of Appeals held that judges must give consideration to a defendant's ability to pay before setting bail.

Boudin also serves on the board of the Civil Rights Corps, a national non-profit organization, and is on the board of Restore Justice, a non-profit based in California.

Boudin translated Understanding the Bolivarian Revolution: by Hugo Chávez  He works with Marta Harnecker, translating into English, Letters from Young Activists: Today's Young Rebels Speak Out, Boudin co-wrote The Venezuelan Revolution: 100 Questions – 100 Answers. His latest book, Gringo: A Coming of Age in Latin America, was released in April 2009 by Charles Scribner's Sons.

The District Attorney in San Francisco is a communist. The American voters put him in office. It is time for Americans to stand up to tyranny, Critical Race Theory, and any political theory contrary to American values.

The communists are taking over the United States of America. 

It's time real Americans said, "Enough!"

Monday, November 22, 2021

Let's Be Thankful that "This Is My Father's World"

The Niagara Escarpment
American Presbyterian pastor Maltbie Babcock (1858–1901) loved the outdoors. He had been a champion baseball pitcher and accomplished swimmer at Syracuse University before entering the ministry. Pastoring the Presbyterian Church in Lockport, New York, Maltbie took walks to the top of the Niagara Escarpment almost every morning. The scenic views of Lake Ontario were incredible. Each time he left the house, he would tell his wife “I am going out to see my Father’s world."

On one of these walks, Maltbie was moved to write down poetic words about "my Father's world" and what the “rocks and trees, skies and seas" could teach of God's glory.

But here is the rest of the story...
Maltbie Babcock 

The poetic lyrics of "This Is My Father's World" are the only published poetry of Maltbie Babcock. He died by suicide at age 41 in Naples, Italy, on a return trip from his visit to the Holy Land. Maltie had come down with Brucellosis, a virulent disease, acquired from infected milk or meat. The disease can cause a person to enter maniacal fever accompanied by extreme depression. It is believed this disease led to Maltbie's suicide.

Babcock’s wife had his poetry published soon after. Then in 1915 a close friend of his, Franklin L. Sheppard, adapted to Babcock’s words a traditional English melody that he remembered from his childhood, and a remarkable hymn was born.

After almost two years of death by disease in America as well as polarizing political debates that sometimes strain familial relationships, let's pause this Thanksgiving 2021 and remember the glorious truth that "This Is My Father's World."
 
This is my Father's world
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.

This is my Father's world
The birds their carols raise
The morning light, the lily white
Declare their maker's praise.

This is my Father's world
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world
Oh, let me never forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father's world
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King, let the heavens ring
God reigns, let the earth be glad.

This is my Father's world
He shines in all that's fair
In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass
He speaks to me everywhere.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Addictions and the Goal to Control God's Thoughts

Relationships can be complicated. We often don't analyze why we do what we do, think what we think, or feel what we feel. 

We're too focused on controlling what others are thinking or feeling to realize the desire to control what others think or feel masks internal insecurity within us. 

For example, when we say, "I don't want you to think that (fill in the blank)..." or "I don't want you to feel that (fill in the blank)..." then we have a misplaced relational goal.

The goal to control what other people think or feel is a tell-tale sign of an addictive personality. That misplaced goal to control is actually driven by our need to feel good about what others are thinking or feeling about us. Secure people let people freely think and feel.

A desire to control is as addictive as narcotics. The only difference is that a control addict can keep up appearances. But any misplaced relational goal can lead to outward addictive behavior when the goal to control collapses and comes crashing down. When others outright reject you, no matter your efforts to control what they think or feel about you,  your goal to control has failed. Masking the feeling of failure is the basis for addictive behaviors. 

So, let's talk about our relational goal in terms of the most important Person in our lives. What is your relational goal in terms of God? What is your purpose in terms of God?

Most Christians would respond by saying:
 "My purpose is to be pleasing to God." (e.g. "I just want Him to feel good about me.")
Then, when it comes to "how" one is pleasing to God, the answer is usually:  "By doing what He commands." I propose to you that any attempt to please God by your obedience to His standards is a wrong goal that can lead to addictive behaviors. You will fail. To seek to become pleasing to God by your actions is a misplaced purpose or goal. 

You already are pleasing to God through the Person and actions of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the end of your goal to be obedient to the Law to obtain God's pleasure, for it is written:
"For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes" (Romans 10:4). 
"But wait," you may say, "I read the Bible for myself and it says that God's acceptance, blessings, and favor are on those who obey His Law!" 
"If you obey the Lord your God: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your livestock, both the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out…. The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give you. The Lord will open for you his rich storehouse, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all your undertakings." (Deuteronomy 28:2-711–12)
"And listen to these three paragraphs from the Law":
"However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you: You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country. Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed. The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out. 
The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. The Lord will turn the rain of your countryinto dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.
The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. Your carcasses will be food for all the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away. The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. At midday you will grope about like a blind person in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you." (Detueronomy 28:15-29). 
"Wade Burleson, how can you read those two passages above and ever suggest to anyone that attempting to please God by a goal of obedience to Law is a misplaced goal or a meaningless purpose in life?"

Christ Is the End of the Law

"For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes" (Romans 10:4). 

The word translated "end" is the Greek word τέλος which was used by ancient Greek writers to mean goal or purpose. Most of the anti-Nicene Christian fathers (pre-3rd century AD) translated τέλος as "goal" or "purpose." 

What does it mean that "Christ is the goal or purpose of the Law"? 

Simply put:
"Jesus Christ is God's consummate goal and purpose for which God gave the Law."
The Law's purpose was not given for you to obey and to become "pleasing to God."

Nope.

 In fact, when God introduced the Law, all that did was make you a worse sinner by revealing even more of your sin.
"I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the Law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the Law had not said, 'You shall not covet'" (Romans 7:7). 
Any church, religious organization, or lifestyle that emphasizes obedience to Law to be pleasing to God has missed the Gospel. Christ is the purpose of the Law to everyone who believes.
If you go to a church that measures your love for God, they've missed the mark. Find a church that teaches God's love for you through the Person and work of Christ Jesus. 

The Law is about Jesus the Anointed One.


"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." (Galatians 3:24).
So if you wish to ever be free from addictions in this life, then get an understanding that you are pleasing to God by the performance and Person of Jesus the Anointed One (Messiah) on your behalf. 

Theologians call this imputed righteousness.

I call it living life feeling the pleasure of God independent of my performance.
"But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3:7-11). 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

The Potential Discovery of Lt. Col. Leon "Bob" Vance's Crashed Army Air Corp Air Ambulance

Lt. Col. Bob Vance, Army Air Corp

On July 26, 1944, a C54 Air Ambulance, tail #107470, disappeared enroute to the United States from England. Twenty-six people on board perished.  

Eighteen of the missing were wounded veterans, flying home on stretchers.  They were soldiers who had served the United States in the European War Theater. Flying with these injured veterans were a flight nurse, an Army Medic, and an Army Air Corp flight crew of six.

Somewhere between Iceland and Greenland, the C54 Air Ambulance crashed. Though search teams sought to recover the plane and bodies, the wreckage was never found, nor were the twenty-six bodies recovered. 

As we celebrate Veteran's Day, November 11, 2021, I can't think of a better way to honor our veterans than to tell the recent story (2021) of the potential discovery of that C54 Air Ambulance and the remains of its occupants. 

One of the 26 onboard that Air Ambulance was Lt. Col. Leon Robert "Bob" Vance from Enid, Oklahoma. Vance Air Force Base in Enid is named in his honor. The United States government would posthumously award Lt. Col. Vance the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Normandy Invasion, actions that led to the wounds which had placed him on that Air Ambulance to fly home to Enid, Oklahoma, after seven weeks in a veteran's hospital in London. 

The heroic story of how Lt. Col. Bob Vance earned the Medal of Honor is compelling. It is told via a holographic display in the exit lobby of the beautiful  Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France. I have been there many times and will summarize:

"On June 5, 1944, Army Air Corp commander Lt. Col. Vance commanded a bombardment group on a mission from southern England to Normandy, France, to soften the German beach defenses in preparation for the June 6, 1944, Normandy Invasion, codenamed Operation Overlord. 

Lt. Col. Bob Vance flew as co-pilot in the lead bomber, leaving England early on the morning of June 5, 1944, twenty-four hours before the infamous beach invasions of Normandy. Vance's B-24 bomber in which he flew was called the Missouri Sue. His mission was dangerous. The Germans expected an imminent invasion of France, but weren't sure where on the coastline, so German anti-flak, machine bunkers, and artillery were placed all along the Normandy coastline. 

Reaching his German beach-front target, Lt. Col. Vance ordered the bomb bay doors open and all the Missour Sue's bombs released, a command followed by all bombers following his lead. But the bombs in Vance's plane failed to release on the first run, so Lt. Col. Vance ordered a 360-degree turn for a second pass over the target, a very risky move since German anti-flak was zeroing in on the planes. 
Somewhere in the process of the second bomb run, anti-flak repeatedly hit the Missouri Sue,  wounding several members of the crew, and killing the pilot. Lt. Col. Vance was also severely wounded, his right foot nearly severed, and the melted steel pinned what was left below his ankle to the floor. He couldn't move. From a reclining position, Commander Bob  Vance took over flying the B-24 bomber back to England.  One 500 pound bomb which had not properly release hung precariously in the bomb bay doors as the plane sputtered toward England. 

As Lt. Col Vance passed over the Dover Cliffs of England, three of the four B-24 bomber's engines shut down. The fourth had to be manually shut down to prevent a stall. The damaged plane had showered gasoline all the way across the channel toward England. Vance, ordered his men to parachute to safety, and then he turned the plane back toward the channel during its forced descent  from 10,000 feet, not wanting the plane to crash on the English landscape with a bomb underneath, potentially injuring civilians.

Vance piloted the gliding plane back into the English channel where it crashed into the water. The force of the crash propelled Bob Vance from the plane and knocked him unconscious, his right foot now completely severed. Somehow Lt. Col. Vance managed to float to the surface where he was eventually rescued. The surviving ten men credited the actions of Bob Vance for their safe return to England."

Vance recuperated in London from his injuries for the next seven weeks. Unfortunately, Bob's career as a pilot was over. His right foot was gone. He wrote letters home describing to his wife and family the injuries he sustained, urging them not to worry, and that as soon as he was able, he would be on a medical flight home to Enid. His letters were initially filled with excitement and enthusiasm for Operation Overlord, and he expressed pride for what his bombing crew had done in preparation for the landing. 

His spirits lowered, however, when he left the hospital for the first time, hobbling on his crutches in the streets of London, and was met by a small boy who looked him over, saw his missing foot, and said, "Don't worry Yank, you won't miss it!" The emotional impact of realizing he would never fly again was enormous, and his depression increased when word came that his father, a longtime Enid High School football coach had been killed at the Enid Army Air Corp Traning Base where he served as a flight instructor. He died during a training accident.

The only thing that kept Bob Vance going during his recovery in London was the knowledge that he would soon see his wife, Georgette, and their two-year-old child, Sharon. Just before he left England, Vance discovered he'd been nominated for the Medal of Honor.

On Wednesday, July 26, 1944, Lt. Col. Bob Vance joined seventeen other wounded soldiers and boarded the Army Air Ambulance for their trip home to America. Georgette and Sharon anxiously anticipated their loved one's arrival. Sharon didn't understand much, but she could say, "Daddy's coming home!"

On Friday, July 28, 1944, Georgette Vance received a knock on her front door. An Army Air Corp officer and an Army chaplain from the nearby Enid Army Air Corp Training Base stood on her porch holding a telegram. They informed Georgette that her husband Bob was missing in action. Georgette collapsed in grief. Her two-year-old daughter Sharon tugged at her mother's dress, wanting to be held. 

Later that fall (1944), the United States government informed Georgette that her husband had been bestowed the Medal of Honor. She requested that the official ceremony be delayed until her daughter, Sharon, was old enough to comprehend what her father had done. Two years later, on October 11, 1946, Sharon Vance, Bob's soon-to-be four-year-old daughter officially received the Medal of Honor on behalf of the Vance family at an official military ceremony in Enid, Oklahoma. 

The Discovery


The location of the crash site, eastern ravine-filled and snow covered coast of Greenland

On November 1, 2021, at 10:25 am, I received an email from a man named Alan Hiett.
"Greetings, Wade. I have a ministry finding missing aircraft and bringing closure to families that hurt for years in wanting to know where their loved ones are. I recently found a debris field on the coast of Greenland that has the tail numbers of the missing C-54 that Colonel Leon Robert Vance was on with 25 other souls. I have images and coordinates. They have been presented to the Department of Defense (DPAA) for verification. I would be happy to share them with you and give you an update on the families I have been in contact with. My phone number is (202) ___ ___ . Thanks, Alan Hiatt."
As you might imagine, I was stunned. I immediately called Alan and since then have been in communication via email, text, and additional phone conversations. He has given me permission to post these photos from an isolated, unpopulated, mostly snow and ice-covered ravine-covered coastline of Greenland. He has a Senator from Maine involved with the DOD in an attempt to first verify, and then obtain the wreckage. 

The following is Alan's story in his own words. Some of the photos he sent me from the debris field on the coast of Greenland will be interspersed throughout his written narrative.
"My father was a United States Army Captain stationed in Neu-Ulm Germany. My mother, sister, and I joined him there in 1954. 

In August of 1956, my mother’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and her family suggested that she should return back to the United States. My mother, sister and I flew from Frankfurt Germany on a DC-4 military charter flight, similar to the military C-54 Air Ambulance that went missing on July 26, 1944. We flew from Frankfurt Germany to Meeks Field, Iceland, where the aircraft was refueled, just like Vance's plane. 

I remember the refueling stop well. It was approximately one o’clock in the morning and cold as we deplaned and waited for the refueling. After we departed Meeks Field we took off toward New York City. As the sun was coming up,   could see land on the starboard side of the aircraft. It was the southern tip of Greenland. We were following the same path that the the C-54 Army Air Ambulance followed a dozen years earlier.
The White Star on the fuselage of #107407

Flash forward to October 2020.  I am flying on Google Earth up the southern tip of Greenland and all I saw was white from the snow.  Why was I going back up this coastline of Greenland? I was looking for a missing Air Ambulance that disappeared July 26, 1944 with 26 souls on board that never had the chance to return home to their loved ones. They had served their country in the European War Theater and were wounded in the invasion of France. Eighteen stretcher cases. one flight nurse, an Army Medic, and a flight crew of six on their way home when they disappeared without a trace. 

 

The debris field of Army Air Corp Air Ambulance #107407

I have a ministry searching for missing aircraft to help families find closure in the loss of their loved ones. I first took this mission up as a hobby because of my joy in flying (my mother was a pilot) and all the war stories I heard from pilots in Japan where we lived when the Korean War broke out. My father was one of the first responders into Korea and was wounded immediately and returned to Japan for treatment of his wounds.  

Complete debris field map of Air Ambulance #107407, Greenland eastern coast

While recovering at our home in Osaka, Japan my father would invite other wounded men to our home for R&R with some f them being pilots that flew missions in Korea and fly back to Japan from their missions. I would sit at their feet ( I was six years old) in our living room and hear firsthand about their missions. That is where I found my love for flying and my deep appreciation for our men and women in uniform. Some of the army personnel that came to our home were also nurses. When I first started searching for missing aircraft I called it a hobby but, after speaking with several families about missing aircraft I found very deep grief in their souls for their missing loved ones, not knowing what happened to them or where their bodies were. That is when I change my mission to a ministry helping people find closure in their lives.

The way I found the debris field in Greenland was an act of God. Again flying over the coast of Greenland with Google Earth I saw a red spot appear on the screen that got my attention.  I focused down to the area and changed the Historical Tool to a non-snow view and started finding the debris of an aircraft. 
Possible life raft
The first identifying debris was the 5-point white star, the word ARMY, the numbers 470, the number 70 on a wing section and it went on from there. 
Numbers 470

I have since communicated with several families that had loved ones on the aircraft and I am blessed with knowing them. 

Now it is up to the powers of our Defense Department to respond to what I see and feel is God’s will to verify and if possible to RETURN AND RESTORE these precious souls to their families."
I will be in contact with Vance Air Force Base, U.S. Senator James Lankford, and the Department of Defense. I do not know what will be required for a mission to the east coast of Greenland to investigate the wreckage site, The coast is already covered with snow and ice for the winter. The next time it can be investigated is June/July 2022. 

It would be a dream to recover the wreckage and any remains of the service members by July 26, 2024, the 80th anniversary of the crash. 

As Alan Hiatt would say, "Lord willing." 

10.11.1946 - Sharon is pinned with her father's Medal of Honor

Monday, November 08, 2021

Camden Robert's Award-Winning National Essay on "What Is Needed to Fix the Electoral College?"

Camden Roberts, a young nineteen-year-old scholar, and resident of Enid, Oklahoma, won a scholarship by writing and winning  nation-wide essay contest on answering the question, "What Is Needed to Fix the Electoral College." 

Camden is a member of Emmanuel Enid and currently works for the Red River Insitute of History as their Director of Operations while attending college.  Camden first heard about the contest and potential scholarship while a senior in high school. His high school guidance counselor at Chisholm High School told him about it. According to Cambden:

"This essay contest stood out to me because I saw it in the election season of 2020, where all over the news I was seeing poll numbers and maps showing which candidate was doing better and where. I kept noticing a pattern of how a majority of blue states had a majority of red counties. I didn’t feel like this was right, that a few cities can decide for an entire state where the electoral votes would go, so I mulled over a plan on how I would address this issue while remaining as fair to everyone’s views as possible."

Cambden will be flown to Washington D.C. to be recognized in Congress for his award-winning essay and then he will spend the week serving as a special intern on Capitol Hill. 

Well done, Camden! We are proud of you!

Here is his essay:

______________________________________________________________________________________

The Electoral College was established in the U.S. Constitution as the election process for the President and Vice President. Support retaining the Electoral College, or propose and support another system to operate in its place.

The Electoral College is a system of electing a leader that is as unique as America itself. However, this does not mean that it is perfect. It has issues that need tending to. I believe that it, like many other aspects of American government, requires further work to become just and fair to all ideas and people.

One issue that I find with the electoral college is that it does not equally represent the voters in a given state. I’ll use the 2016 Presidential election as an example. In the state of Oklahoma, a known Republican stronghold, the Democratic candidate still received nearly one-third of the vote. A percentage that great shouldn’t simply be thrown away because it is not larger. Although the state only has seven electoral votes, one-third (rounded) of the electors would be Democratic in that instance. This occurs in many small-numbered electoral states each election, but the same instance happens in bigger states like California. Trump received one-third of the vote there, yet all 55 votes went to Clinton. That automatically silences an entire third of the state and nullifies their vote.

Another issue with the electoral college is that it tends to favor the popular vote. I do not believe “People vote, not land” for this simple reason; people from the same bit of land majorly vote the same. An agricultural, rural region is projected to vote Republican just as much as an industrialized, densely populated region is projected to vote Democratic. However, when a single Democratic city has the same population as several Republican states, there is not a fair expression of each. Our Founding fathers knew this, and built a government with many checks and balances to prevent it. As quoted by Benjamin Franklin, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what they are going to have for lunch.” As our population has grown and our nation and politics evolved, the electoral college should not be an exception to change. It is not a popularity contest, and therefore we should not allow it to become such.

To summarize, the electoral college is unfair for it favors a potentially dangerous popular vote while not potentially not providing a level playing field for opposing political ideologies.  I believe a system that takes some power away from the majority while respecting the trends of ideas in different areas is necessary. What I would implement would be an electing process consisting of two main parts. The first would be a standard popular vote, not too different from what is already n place, but the second part is where the change occurs. To keep the popular vote from ruling an entire state, or swaying a nation, the percentages of the popular vote would be averaged out with the percentage of counties in the state that voted for a particular candidate. Then the election process would include the power of the popular vote leveled with the geographical trends of ideas. Then the party elector selected for the electoral college would be chosen based on the averaged percentage of both the popular and geographical votes, not just the majority. To test this new plan, look to New York state in 2016. Clinton ed with nearly 60% of the popular vote, even though she won only 16 of 62 counties. In this new method of electing, a popular margin without a major geographical standing would not alone win an election. It would have flipped the state in 2016, taking away the majority that New York  City imposed on most of the state. Then the Republican and Democratic electors, correlating with their average percentage won, would be cast into the electoral college system.

In conclusion, this new method of electing a President would incorporate more aspects and include more safeguards to ensure a fair process. Everyone gets a voice, but a popular majority will not be able to win as easily. This allows a rural midwestern farming region to rest assured that they will not be overshadowed by a city with millions in the opposing political party. This will provide security to liberty of expression and justice of representation for all while holding true to the philosophies and hopes our Founding Fathers had for this country.


Friday, November 05, 2021

The Metaverse Is the Next Generation's Opium War

Facebook announced a name change for its company this week. Meta is its new name. 

You probably have little idea of the significance of the name change. I believe Meta has the capability of destroying the discipline, drive, and determination in future generations of Americans. 

Have you heard of the Greatest Generation? These were American men and women who sacrificed everything during World War II to protect our land, our liberty, and the American way of life. 

Meta could be the seedbed that destroys what the Greatest Generation obtained.  

Meta is a Greek word that means "higher," or "beyond," or "behind." It is carried over into English to refer to an alternate reality to something concrete. Meta (Facebook) is wanting to help you create an alternate life (e.g. "second life") through virtual reality that takes you "beyond" the real-life that you are living on earth. 

Meta is a drug. It is a form of escape. It is a game. 

But don't tell people involved in Meta that it is a game. It will anger them. Just like when you tell a person hooked on heroin that they're addicted. "What do you know? Nothing that feels this good and is as beautiful as what I have experienced can be bad for me." 

Oh, yes it can. 

Here's how Meta works. Meta (Facebook) will soon be opening storefronts around the world to sell you next-generation virtual reality glasses called Oculus. Slap those glasses on, integrate with the digital world, and soon, you will be living a Second Life, an alternate reality.

In this virtual world that exists in your mind, you will interact with other people who enter your Second Life by asking you (audibly through Oculus) if they can join you in your virtual house, your virtual business, your virtual lakefront home, your virtual gym, your virtual vacation, etc. You live the life that you want to live but can't live in the real universe.

That's right. 

It's the metauniverse. You are in control of parallel universes that you digitally create to escape the reality of the one real universe in which you live. You become your own god. You ignore the real God. You go beyond the real truth to create your own version of the truth. You go beyond reality to escape the harsh world in which you really live - and which the one true God can help you thrive, not just survive.

But why bother with the real world?

In the digital metauniverse of Mark Zuckerberg's Meta, people can hide behind an Avatar (a character) that they create in the metauniverse. The Avatar represents them in their alternate reality. 

Here's how it works.

You upload an image of your face (or someone else's face) after digitally manipulating it to remove those characteristics you don't like. 

In the metaverse, you can create muscles where you have none in the real universe. You can create a house that you "buy" in the metaverse with cryptocurrency (meaning, you own it digitally, and if someone sees it in your alternate digital life and they want it, they can "buy" it from you with cryptocurrency). Your meta house can be much nicer than the one you rent in the real universe. You can buy clothes and wear them in the metaverse, clothes that you "buy" with crypto coins to escape the reality of having to wear the inexpensive clothes that are wearing in the real universe because you can't afford anything nicer.

I find it interesting that the two biggest cryptocurrencies in the digital metauniverse are MANA (a Hebrew word that means "What is it?") and SANDBOX (SAND). A sandbox carries the idea of making any castle you desire, and wiping it clean if it doesn't meet your fancy. 

In your meta life, all that you know about others that you meet in virtual reality is what they appear to be, and all that they know about you is what you portray and appear to be in the metaverse. 

Meta is a drug. 

Many young people who are transitioning - young people who don't like being a boy in the real universe - create themselves as a girl in the metauniverse. Thus, they find a home for themselves in this second life and live — virtually — as who they really believe themselves to be. 

The people who enter the metaverse disconnect from reality. 

Have you ever watched a show like American Idol and listened to singing auditions where the singer thought they were fantastic and on the road to becoming the next American Idol? You knew in reality that the singer was off-key, possessed no musical talent, and was simply delusional. But when people are disconnected from reality and only focused on MetaMe (who I want to be, not who I am), then that disconnect leads to failure in every area of life. It takes self-awareness in the midst of reality for discipline, drive, and determination to kick in to improve one's reality. 

In the metauniverse, the reality is what the player imagines it to be. The alternate, imaginary life becomes an addiction. When addicted, you risk missing the responsibility and real-life rewards from the personal drive, determination, and discipline required to succeed - just like drug addicts - because you have been sucked into your alternate, imaginary reality.

The metaverse is the next generation's Opium War. 

During the 1840s, the empire of England sought to trade opium from India with the Chinese people.

The Qing Dynasty of China, the government rulers of China from AD 1644-1912, sought to prevent the Chinese from opium drug addiction. China declared war on England twice to stop the opium trade. These two wars are called the Opium Wars

England won. The profits made from addicting the Chinese people to opium were enormous for England. A nation's character is often crucified on capitalism's cross. 

Meta and Mark Zuckerberg wish to make money.

They will addict your children in order to do. The next time you see your child slap on a VR headset, find out if they are entering the metaverse. You have a responsibility as a parent to know. If you are an adult emersed in the metaverse, you are an addict and don't even know it. 

The Chinese Communist Party has banned the metaverse, cryptocurrency, and by law, has limited to three hours a week the time that Chinese children can play video games. 

Why are the communists taking such drastic steps to ban Meta? 

Chinese Special Forces
Because they know when they invade Taiwan and go to war with the West to rule the world by 2049,
soldiers from the West made out of Meta will cower on the beaches in the face of disciplined, determined, and driven soldiers from China and Russia. If you dare, watch the link comparing the tactics and recruiting videos of the Chinese, Russian, and the United States' governments seeking soldiers for their respective armed forces. I bet you can guess which nation is building its future on  Meta.

China and Russia will win the next Opium War unless Americans can restore an understanding of objective truth, live in the only Universe that God created, and break the drug addiction of virtual reality.

Where's the Greatest Generation when we need them? 

It's up to us to resurrect the principles that drove the Greatest Generation to defend our lives, our liberty, and the American way of life. Buckle up.  The next decade's fight to restore Western Civilization's former character is going to be existential for our American way of life. 

Monday, November 01, 2021

"Gabriel Is Coming" - Prayer and Satan's Resistance

The sovereignty of God is a cardinal doctrine of Scripture. God does, as A.W. Pink once wrote my grandfather, "as He pleases, only as He pleases, and always as He pleases." Nothing happens in this world but that God either promotes it, prohibits it, or permits it. 

However...

One must never let a theological construction override biblical instruction. Systematic theology is never better than biblical theology. Even if you don't understand what the LORD reveals in His word, don't sit around in the dark until you do. 

Flip the switch. 

Believe in the Word of God over the doctrines of men. 

For example, when it comes to prayer, those of us who believe in God's sovereignty have a tendency to trust God and His goodness, and as a result, avoid prayer and any petitions. "God will work it all out for good whether I pray or not," is the common misperception. 

The Bible is clear. Heaven moves when people pray. 

For example, Daniel prayed in Daniel 9 for his people (the nation of Israel). He pleaded for the LORD to forgive them for their rebellion. Heaven moved as Daniel prayed. The angel Gabriel came to Daniel and said:

"At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come..." (Daniel 9:23). 

When God's people pray, heaven begins to move. At the beginning of Daniel's prayer, a command (from heaven) was issued, and Gabriel came to Daniel with a response to his supplications. 

But in the very next chapter (Daniel 10), there is a different outcome. Daniel begins praying, and he prays for twenty-one straight days. During the time that he prays (and fasts) there is no answer from heaven. Gabriel does not appear on the first day, the second day, the third day, etc... Finally, on the twenty-first day, Gabriel appears to give heaven's response to Daniel's supplication. 

Remember, in the previous chapter, Gabriel is sent and appears "at the beginning of" Daniel's supplications. But here, in Daniel 10, it takes twenty-one days for Gabriel to appear. Why? What Gabriel says about his delay in responding to Daniel's prayers is revealing. 

"From the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days..." (Daniel 10:12-13)

The "prince of the kingdom of Persia" is not a man. It is a fallen angel - a demonic entity - that sought to hinder heaven from bringing Daniel an answer to his prayers, a refreshment to his soul, and Divine protection for his life. 

I believe in the sovereignty of God. 

But I also know that if I am in the middle of a deep conflict over losing something very precious, the enemy will fight against any comfort from heaven being brought my way.  Daniel felt deep agony over the end of God's covenant with Israel, and he cried out in his pain to the LORD, seeking relief. Hell fought the messenger from heaven for twenty-one days. 

Take heart. If you have been placed by God in a position of leadership, and your circumstances are such that you are beginning to feel as if there is no hope for the future, no stability in the present, and no confidence in God's deliverance in your past - and you are praying for mercy - take note of biblical theology. Understand that a delay in heaven's response may not be of God. It may be from your enemy. 

Or, to put it succinctly.

The more Kingdom impact you are having on the earth, the more Satanic assaults you'll be having in your prayer. 

Keep on praying. 

Keep on pleading. 

Keep on trusting. 

Gabriel is coming. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Pergamum - Satan's Throne - Government as God

"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” Mark Twain


We have a generation of blissful young Americans ignorant of history and theology. This is one of the reasons they wrongly believe that any opposition of older folks' to government mandates and the removal of personal liberties is purely political. 

Nothing is further from the truth. My principled opposition to the intrusion of government into individual and personal medical choices is based on my knowledge of ancient history and biblical theology. 

Pergamum Where Satan Lives

Jesus, a few years after His ascension, sent a message to His followers who lived in Pergamum (Pergamon, Turkey), a message recorded in the book of Revelation.
"I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in Me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witnesswho was put to death in your citywhere Satan lives." (Revelation 2:13). 

Jesus makes four statements in his message about the city of Pergamum and the Christians who lived there:

1. Satan had his throne in Pergamum during the first century A.D.
2. The Christians in Pergamum were faithful to Jesus Christ.
3. Antipas, a Christian living Pergamum, stayed faithful even when dying a martyr's death.
4. Satan lived in Pergamum during these difficult days.

Jesus' statements are not from a conspiracist; they come from the Creator of the world.  The only way you'll understand the impact of Jesus' words is to know the history of Pergamum, and thus, to understand the meaning of Satan's throne, who Antipas was, and why Antipas lost his life as a Christian martyr in Pergamum. 

The Throne of Satan

The throne of Satan in Pergamum was a literal throne that figuratively represented the seat of Satan's influence in the ancient world.

The throne of Satan, excavated in Pergamum in 1878 AD, now sits in the Pergamonmuseum in Berlin, Germany. 

This throne was the Temple of Zeus Soter (Savior) in Pergamum, and it was the center of Emperor worship during the days of Jesus.

What is Emperor worship?  

It is the belief that the state or the head of state (e.g., Emperor, King, President, Dictator, etc.) should be obeyed, revered, and even worshiped. 

At the Temple of Zeus Soter in Pergamum, the people express their allegiance to the Emperor, believing that the state was their source of prosperity, security, and safety. 

Ancient Pergamum and the Throne of Satan
Near the "throne of Satan" in Pergamum was the asclepeion or "the healing center" for the people. The peoples' worship of Asclepius, the god of medicine, was as crucial as their state worship.  Citizens flocked to Pergamum to express their obedience to the state and receive an opportunity to be healed of their diseases at the Asclepieia.

Here's how it worked.

After the sick and diseased visited the Temple of Zeus Soter and expressed their trust in the Emperor, they moved to the healing center to receive their treatment. 

Ritual purifications would be followed by offerings to Asclepius according to one's income.

The supplicant would then spend the night in the asclepeion. A particular type of non-venomous snake was often used in the Asclepius' healing rituals. These snakes— the Aesculapian snakes — slithered around freely on the floor in the dormitories while the sick and injured slept. 

Today, the Aesculapian snake is often represented in medical logos, including the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization

The people of Pergamum were not stupid. They had a massive library in the city, second only to the great library in Alexandria, Egypt. They were wealthy, educated, and at peace. The "throne of Satan" was where the people expressed their belief that their security, prosperity, and safety were due to the Emperor and the state. 

Photo of Satan's throne before removal to Berlin
There was a physician in Pergamum, however, who believed differently. His name was Antipas. He spread his belief that Jesus alone is the Savior of the world and that everyone's trust should be placed in Him for their security, prosperity, and safety. Antipas practiced medicine, but he believed one's trust should be in God, not the state or even the medical treatment at the Aesculapian. 

The cult of Aesculapians, who formed the members of the medical establishment, accused Antipas of disloyalty to Caesar. Upon being asked to deny Jesus and express his belief in the state's power to heal and protect the people, Antipas refused. The medical establishment condemned Antipas to death, believing him to be a danger to the state. 

State officials placed Antipas alive inside a hollow brass container shaped in the form of the bull. They filled the brass bull with water and set it over a blazing fire, boiling Antipas to death. 

The beliefs held by the Pergamum people have as much popularity today as they did in Jesus' day. Citizens depend on the state. The state demands obedience from citizens, especially in communist states like China or the Soviet Union. The founders of these collective states, Mao and Lenin respectively, were each elevated to godlike status by citizens, similar to the veneration of ancient emperors by the citizens of the Roman Empire

More and more Americans are expressing their trust in, and dependence upon, the government. In pseudo-intellectualism, American citizens ridicule the ancients for their belief in the "gods," but these same American citizens adhere to similar beliefs. Acquiescence to forced injections by government mandate is similar to the ancient worship of the Emperor and Asclepius. In our day, anyone who expressed a belief that the state or state health departments do not know best is persecuted. In some cases in the Chinese and Russian collectivist states, dissidents are treated like Antipas in Pergamum. 

In Marx and Satan, a short book by Richard Wurmbrand, the author shows how Lenin's Tomb expresses a denial of the existence of God and encourages faith in the state, just like at Pergamum. Wurmbrand writes: 

"Architect Stjusev, who built Lenin’s tomb, took the Pergamos altar as the project prototype. This was in 1924. It’s a known fact that Stjusev received all the needed information from Frederic Paulsen – an acknowledged authority in archaeology." (Richard Wurmbrand, Marx and Satan).

 

Lenin's Tomb in Red Square, Moscow, an intentional replica of the Throne of Satan, Pergamum. 

Billy Graham once called communism "The religion of the devil."

He's correct. The throne of Satan - or the seat of Satan - is figuratively any city, state, or country where citizens believe the government is the source of their security, safety, and prosperity.

My principled opposition to forced therapeutic shots for Covid-19 is based on the history of Pergamum, the faithful witness of Antipas, as he sought to remind people that only Jesus Christ is Savior and Protector of this world.

I'm not against medicine or vaccines, and any rational person who says I am is lying to advance their agenda.

I am against any medication that the government mandates all its citizens to take. I'm against it because I will never let the government become God in my life, and I will warn people of the dangers of allowing the government to believe they are God.

If you don't think a powerful state will one day put people to death for failure to comply with their mandates, you need to study history. As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Do as you please in making personal medical decisions. Take any shot or medicine that you desire for the benefit of yourself and your family. However, trust the faithful Savior and not the totalitarian state. Place your faith in the protection of God and not the provision of the government.

Please respect that some of us have a principled opposition to government-mandated forced injections because we know a great deal about Antipas and Pergamum.

Jesus has risen from the dead. He is Savior and Lord, the King of kings.

Lenin remains in his tomb. Satan's throne loses in the end. Never trust the state. Never give an inch. Do as you please, but respect those who resist the throne of Satan for the good of the world.