THE SONG OF DEBORAH

President Trump echoes Deborah of old; the two leaders are of the same spirit. Deborah, like Trump, has been chastised by some for not demonstrating humility. Judges 4, in prose relates Deborah’s victory against King Jabin of Canaan, the captain of whose army was Sisera; Deborah sings the triumphant song in vivid poetry in chapter 5.

Trump arises out of the business world to MAGA and Deborah arises from under the Palm Tree from where she judges disputes among the people to Make Israel Great. She uses the language of winning, winning and more winning and pursuing and avenging the enemies of Israel.

“Never Trumpers” accuse the President of not demonstrating a Christ-like spirit towards his political enemies. Trump does not perceive the fake media and Democrats as his personal enemies but the enemies of America and the enemies of the people.

Deborah rejoices in the bloody death of Sisera by the hand of the woman, Jael, driving a nail into his temple with a hammer. Deborah even mocks Sisera’s worried mother, who is concerned over his late return from battle. The prophetess concludes, “So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord!” Deborah’s obedience bought forty years of peace for Israel.

Trump is bolder and more courageous than Barak, who would not attack the enemy without Deborah agreeing to accompany him. Trump has his own prophetess, Paula White, revealing the will of God. He also has Kelly-Anne Conway and previously Sarah Huckabee Sanders to drive the nail into the temple of the media, The New York Times and the Washington Post, brought down Nixon but will not bring down Trump. Pence is Trump’s Barak.

“Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.”—Judges 5:12.

The spirit of Deborah must awake in America, especially in the churches, and in the pastors and the song-writers. None in our generation have composed anything comparable to “A Mighty Fortress is our God” by Martin Luther or that of another woman, Julia Ward Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Awaken poets and minstrels and give us song of praise and triumphant, which will lead us into battle against our enemies. It is time for the governors and the people to willingly offer themselves unto the God of Israel. Israel is the Church! She must march into the raging battle for the soul of our country by confronting the enemies of God.

SHOULD WE STONE THE ASTROS?

Shall we settle this Astro sign stealing once and for all by having a public stoning of the Astro team at Minute Maid Park?

The religious leaders asked Jesus what should be done with the woman caught in adultery, “Now the law says she should be stoned. What do you say?”

Jesus answered, “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone.” They walked away from the eldest to the youngest.

Sign stealing has been going on since the inception of the game of baseball. It has become a part of the game. There is plenty of evidence showing that multiple teams (if not all) are guilty of using binoculars, telescopes, buzzer, etc. for generations. Who is without “sin” in this matter? There has been way too much stone throwing at the Astros some even advocating disannulling their championship in 2017 and life-time bans of players. Let’s have enough sense to walk away from this matter.

The Pharisees asked Jesus the stoning question not because they cared about the woman or were particularly concerned about the sin of adultery; their motive was to embarrass Jesus and put him on the spot. I wonder how many of those who condemn the Astros really care that much about what is best for the game in general? They are basically sore losers. There are usually those who say after a loss, “We were robbed!” Sometimes that may be the case; however, the phrase sounds more like sour grapes.

Commissioner Manfred’s punishment of perhaps ruining the baseball careers of at least five men is too severe. Especially, for something that has not carried virtually any sanctions before.. As for the draft, maybe it is time do abolish that experiment, which was borrowed from the NFL and NBA.

Let’s go back to the way the game was played up until the mid-fifties. Sign stealing and attempts to confound those stealing the signs add to the intrigue of the game. I doubt if all sign stealing became legal it would significantly add to the batting average of baseball players. As Ralph Branca said, “Bobby Thompson still had to hit the ball!,” which is no easy task.

Finally, Jesus said to the adulterous woman, “Go and sin no more.” I say, “Play Ball!” Let the players figure out how to keep sign stealing under control like days of old with the brush back pitch, hard slides and good old brawls.

THE SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD

There has been a considerable amount of evidence for years that the Giants were stealing signs in the 1951 pennant race with a telescope and buzzer system in center field, including the playoff championship game against the Dodgers, when Bobby Thompson hit, “the shot heard around the world.”

Thompson always insisted that he had no foreknowledge of Ralph Branca’s pitch. Branca was privately skeptical of Thomson’s denials but made no public comment at the time.

Later Branca told The New York Times, “I didn’t want to diminish a legendary moment in baseball. And even if Bobby knew what was coming, he had to hit it…. Knowing the pitch doesn’t always help.”

Too bad that pitcher Mike Fiers, who was with the Astros in 2017, did not have the same attitude for his former teammates, which Branca had for an opposing player’s achievements.

Bobby Thompson and Ralph Branca became fast friends after they retired from baseball. I doubt that Fiers will ever have any good friends among the Astors or other players for that matter. He never should have gone to the press in his whistleblowing vendetta. If he was so concerned, why did he not go to the Commissioner at the time? I doubt if this guy will be around baseball much longer.

Branca rightly put the game first, not his own personal loss. Too bad the Commissioner of baseball and the teams who lost to the Dodgers could not have the same priorities, which were still virtually common place at the mid-20th Century.

TRUMP IS BEOWULF FIGHTING AGAINST GRENDEL

“Beowulf” is a heroic epic poem written by an unknown author in Old English, around 1000 AD. It is one of the seminal works of English literature. It tells the story of the hero, Beowulf, and his battles against the monster Grendel and Grendel’s mother.

The poem begins with a history of the Danish kings, starting with Shild and leading up to the reign of the current king Hrothgar, Shild’s great-grandson. Hrothgar is well loved and a great warrior. He builds a lavish hall, called Herot, to house his vast army, and when the hall is finished the Danish soldiers gather under its roof to celebrate.

However, provoked by the singing and partying of Hrothgar’s followers, Grendel, a monster in human form who lives at the bottom of a nearby swamp, appears at the hall late one night and kills thirty of the warriors in their sleep. For the next twelve years the fear of Grendel‘s potential fury casts a shadow over the lives of the Danes.

Beowulf, prince of the Geats, hears about Hrothgar’s troubles, and gathers fourteen of his bravest warriors, and sets sail from his home in southern Sweden. The Geats are greeted by the members of Hrothgar’s court, and Beowulf boasts to the king of his previous successes as a warrior, particularly his victories in fighting sea monsters. Hrothgar welcomes the arrival of the Geats, hoping that Beowulf will live up to his reputation.

That night, Grendel appears at Herot, and Beowulf, true to his word, wrestles the monster bare-handed. He tears off the monster’s arm at the shoulder, but Grendel escapes, only to die soon afterward at the bottom of the snake-infested swamp where he and his mother live.

The Danish warriors, who had fled the hall in fear, return singing songs in praise of Beowulf‘s triumph and performing heroic stories in Beowulf‘s honor. Hrothgar rewards Beowulf with a great store of treasures and, after another banquet, the warriors of both the Geats and the Danes retire for the night.

Unknown to the warriors, however, Grendel‘s mother is plotting revenge for her son’s death. She arrives at the hall when all the warriors are sleeping and carries off Esher, Hrothgar’s chief adviser.

Beowulf, rising to the occasion, offers to dive to the bottom of the lake, find the monster’s dwelling place, and destroy her. He and his men follow the monster’s tracks to the cliff overlooking the lake where Grendel‘s mother lives, where they see Esher’s bloody head floating on the surface of the lake.

During the ensuing battle, Grendel‘s mother carries Beowulf down to her underwater home, but Beowulf finally kills the monster with a magical sword that he finds on the wall of her home. He also finds Grendel‘s dead body, cuts off his head, and returns to dry land. The Great and Danish warriors, waiting expectantly, celebrate as Beowulf has now purged Denmark of the race of evil monsters, who were descendants of the Biblical Cain.

Beowulf”is part of the tradition of epic poetry which functions as a kind of history, blending past, present, and future in a unique,all-encompassing way. It is not just a simple tale about a man who kills monsters, but rather a large-scale vision and recapitulation of the history of mankind.

There have always been monsters for heroic, good and brave men to fight. Today the battle is President Trump against the monsters in deep state (the swamp} represented by the likes of Brennen, Comey, Clapper, the Democrat party and the fake media. Their father, Obama and their mother, Hillary, are waiting to get revenge against The Donald for mortally wounding the monsters in the 2016 election and the Trump promise keeping presidency.

Grendel is the deep state or swamp which Trump (Beowulf) is draining. The always plotting Democrats won’t let go of Russian collusion. Therefore, Trump bear-handed will tear off Grendel’s tenacious arm at the shoulder and slay Grendel’s mother with the magical Sword of the Spirit.

Watch! The best is yet to come.

See you Later, Jack

I am sorry to hear of the passing of Jack Van Impe; he was a prominent figure on Christian TV for decades with his wife Rexella. Those two could put on quite a dramatic show.

Personally, I don’t agree with Van Impe’s premillennial, pretribulation eschatological views; nor was I particularly impressed with his manner of quoting and applying the Bible to current events published in the press. But I admired his memorization of the Bible and the fact that their was no scandal concerning his ministry and he was faithful to Rexella.

Hal Linsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” was published and a best seller about the time I was converted in 1972. Many were reached and converted by this book, which I suppose appealed primarily to men’s fears. I think the Linsey and Van Impe had similar views of the “end times.”

Their ministries demonstrate to me that one doesn’t have to have everything right doctrinally and theologically to reach souls. Van Impe and Linsey were consistent in their overall understanding of prophesy, As for detailed application of the Scriptures to current events, maybe not so much.

It takes all kinds to reach the lost.

THE FACE WITH A NAME

Houston is known as the world capital of space exploration, of the international energy industry, and of petroleum exploration.

Houston is the only major American city that doesn’t have land-use zoning laws. That means anything can be built anywhere, taxidermy shops next to Italian restaurants next to hospitals next to gun shops or next to schools.

The song “Going Back to Houston” with the memorable lyrics: “Well it’s lonesome in this old town/ Everybody is putting me down/ I’m a face without a name/ Just walking in the rain,” was made famous by Dean Martin.

The city is named for Sam Houston, the first president of the Republic of Texas. He was nick-named “the Raven” by the Cherokee tribe with whom he lived for three years and went on to become governor of Tennessee, president of Texas (twice), member of the Texas House of Representatives, U.S. senator from the state of Texas and governor of Texas. Sam Houston is bigger than life in Texas.

Houston’s best known and most influential citizen today is a preacher, Pastor Joel Osteen. Today his name is more associated with Houston than even the late President George H.W. Bush, who resided in the city. Joel Osteen, though small in stature, has become larger than life in character and power with God and men.

Joel has the ear of Houston city officials and prominent businessmen and other notable citizens more than anyone else. He is friends with President Trump. I like that a Christian minister is placed in such a position of supremacy.

Is there anywhere else other than Houston that a man could have a vision for turning a basketball arena into the largest church in the world which seats 16,700 people and over 50,000 come through the church each week?

Houston is under the Big Sky of Texas and few, if any pastors, have ever had such large implemented vision as Joel Osteen. Joel is a man that puts his faith into action, as he teaches other to do by living up to their full potential by trusting in Jesus.

Back in the 80’s the governor of Oklahoma said, “Wherever I go; wherever I travel and meat dignitaries, the first thing everyone always asks me is, “’What about Oral Roberts.’” Brother Roberts was a man with a vision, who had the “Minas Touch.”

Joel is the son, who extended and excelled his father’s vision. Yesterday, when Joel mentioned this in his sermon; he was brought to tears.

Like him or not, Joel Osteen has largely become the face of Christendom to our generation over the last score of years. I say, Christendom, because of Joel’s world-wide impact through the media and his best-selling books.

Come to Lakewood Church and meet, Pastor Joel, the face with a name in Houston. He gives everyone the opportunity to meet him in his reception line. You have a friend in Houston. You need not be lonesome there are thousands who will love you. Come and let the latter rain of the Holy Spirit fall on you.

Play Ball

Pressure is being put upon the Astros players to apologize for “cheating.” The owner of the Astros is evidently promoting this apology thing. I can’t imagine that Astros fans care.

The White Sox signed an ex 1967 Astro pitcher this winter; he is the first one to apologize. Makes me wonder how much of a competitor he is. If the players apologize, I suppose many of them will do so with their fingers crossed behind their back.

MLB should have let the fans decide from the beginning on how serious this “cheating” was to the integrity of the game by allowing fans to cast their vote by buying tickets or not.

Unfortunately, the media fans the flames of this sort of thing. I strongly suspect that virtually all or at least most of the teams have some sort of electronic system of sign stealing, that they have used in recent years.

No one I have been reading has picked up on is the obligation of the other team to watch for sign stealing and constantly be changing signs. Likely, more successful teams with smart coaches and managers are doing this, thus neutralizing the sign stealing or even making it counterproductive.

The “scandal” might end up doing the Astros good; now they have more to prove, that they can win W.S. without using the electronic devices.

What is the answer?

In April we will hear the magical words: “PLAY BALL!” After the game, let the media report on the performance of the individual players and the teams.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FELLOW HOOSIERS

On the 11th day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixteen Indiana became the 16th State of our Union.

The Preamble Indiana Constitution of 1816:

“We the Representatives of the people of the Territory of Indiana, in Convention met, at Corydon, on Monday the tenth day of June in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States, the fortieth, having the right of admission into the General Government, as a member of the union, consistent with the constitution of the United States, the ordinance of Congress of one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven, and the law of Congress, entitle “An act to enable the people of the Indiana Territory to form a Constitution and State Government, and for the admission of such state into the union, on an equal footing with the original States” in order to establish Justice, promote the welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity; do ordain and establish the following constitution or form of Government, and do mutually agree with each other to form ourselves into a free and Independent state, by the name of the State of Indiana.

The preamble to the current constitution (1851 version is even clearer in its reference to Almighty God, demonstrating the Christian roots of our nation state:

“TO THE END, that justice be established, public order maintained, and liberty perpetuated; WE, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to ALMIGHTY GOD for the free exercise of the right to choose our own form of government, do ordain this Constitution.”

I WAS WRONG

Sister Pat and I went to see, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” which is an uplifting character sketch of Mr. Fred Rogers. The show is based about a feature article published by Esquire magazine, when Mr. Rogers was still alive and on the air. He died at 74 years old of stomach cancer.

The theme of the film deals with the necessity of readiness to forgive and reveals how to deal with anger and other bad “feelings.”

I must confess that if this film is an accurate portrayal of Mr. Rogers, I was wrong about the man. I always considered him too nice and overly gentle and not masculine enough, even though I never watched an episode. Many times, I saw the opening scene of Mr. Rogers coming through the door and changing into his cardigan sweater and sneakers. Then I would turn off the program.

This is a “feel good” show but much more. Fred Rogers had the ability to deal with the issues and crises of life in a simple, yet profound and practical manner by showing us how to overcome bad feelings and not letting such feelings ruin our lives or the lives of others.

Don’t miss this movie. It is a good one to see with your family, no bad language and no sex. Finally, who could ever find fault in the acting of Tom Hanks? Hollywood, when it wants to, can do some really good things. This film is among the best of such genre.

STOLEN BANNER RECOVERED

Three weeks ago I had my banner stolen at Georgia College. Recently, I received an email from Reid who had recovered my banner and mailed it unto me postage pd., enclosed was a check for $250. Below is a email I received today from Reid in response to my thank you note:

“Bro. Jed,

I am glad the package found you safely. Yes, you are correct; it was at GC that I first became acquainted with your ministry. I first heard you preach in 2014 as a freshman there and to be quite honest, I wasn’t really sure what to make of it at the time. I was raised by wonderful parents in a Christian household, but had never encountered anything quite like when you came to campus. Nevertheless, it made quite an impact and stuck with me. In the years since, I have grown in my faith and relationship with God and have come to understand and appreciate what you do.

As for the banner, I am sorry that I was unable to recover the poles as well; the banner itself was all that I was made aware of. My brother is currently a senior at Georgia College and although I graduated in 2018, I go back from time to time to visit him. While visiting one weekend, I heard one of his friends mention that her roommate had taken a sign from you. Not only had they taken the sign, but the roommate was displaying it as some kind of sick trophy in their living room. The friend was upset by this, but lacked the courage to stand up to her roommate. I told my brother’s friend that I was a “friend of Jed’s” and that I would gladly return it if she could get it for me. With my brother’s encouragement, she went and retrieved the sign. She told me that she felt much better because the sign was going to its rightful owner.

Feel free to share the story (testimony, really!) in any form with anyone you see fit. I know it was God’s doing from start to finish, and I am thankful that He allowed me to be a part of it.

Reid”