15 Feb 2021

New Zealand is geologically unstable. The most stable place to build is on the slops of volcanoes you hope are extinct. Do not build on alluvial soils, they luquify in an earthquake. We have odd instututions, and one of the new ones is that there are alerts that go off if there is a tsunami coming, though everyone knows that it an earthquake is long or strong, get to high ground immediately.

There are many reasons I always live on hills, and that is one of them.

However, last night, the Tsnami alarm went off. In sequence. On Kea’s phone, the work phone, and my personal phone. Yes, I have a personal phone so I can leave the work phone in a drawer. They got louder and louder. The dogs panicked.

The message was that Auckland is at COVID level 3. I don’t live in Auckland. We can expect in NZ that we will not be spared. We have made evil good. And now we will be required to wear masks.

Masks show our loyalty to the lie, and masks make it easier for us to lie. There are places for masks and shields: an orthopedic operating theatre where you are drilling out bone is one. I am aware that there are studies of skill decline with the length of time people wear protective gear.

But these false boundaries are a political statement. You show your allegiance to the state as the font of all truth. I’d rather trust God.

Exodus 19:7-25

7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. 9 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you for ever.”

When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, 10 the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all round, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people; and they washed their garments. 15 And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”

16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

21 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the Lord to look and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near to the Lord consecrate themselves, lest the Lord break out against them.” 23 And Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits round the mountain and consecrate it.’” 24 And the Lord said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, lest he break out against them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

If the law came with glory and trumpet and smoke and glory greater than any man could bear, to the point that there was a boundary placed around the mountain for people’s safetly, how much greater is the word of Christ?

How much greater is our salvation?

We know about boundaries here. We have mountains erupt suddenly. We close ski fields and tracks and roads and railways because of the risk of lahaars. But how much more important is our salvation?

Hebrews 2:1-4

2 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

To see your salvation, you have to continually pay attention to creation and not he digital experiences promoted by the spirit of this age. Roosh has dumped his smart phone: in NZ the geography means that there are spots with zero transmission. Our son was discussing with us what we should get if and when the mobile wheelbarrow — a 18 year old Subaru with 250 km on the clock — dies. He had reception occasionally, as he discussed the Korean alternatives. We may downgrade.

We are played games with the kids the night before. No phones.

And we much prefer worshiping with others.

For we find God in nature and communion with others and in prayer and the word. We don’t find God in our toys. Instead, your toys can betray you in this time of smart homes, and you can be sucked into a set of false friends, mandatory likes, and find you have lost a sense of the glory of God.

You will have traded gold for fake tinsel. There is a reason we should not be like them.

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11 months ago

A couple of different comments:

  • If you have a smart phone, is location turned on? DO you disable microphone, data, contacts, camera access for those apps that don’t need it?
  • Do you turn your Wifi off on your phone when not using it? Some stores track your location in the store and what you look at by the signal of your phone looking for a network. I would assume that some or all of this data is shared between companies and that they can tell which stores you visit. Note that this doesn’t require an app or any action on your part.
  • The tech companies aren’t supposed to have access to cell phone tower data… if you live in a rural area, like I do, cell phone tower location data is very coarse – when your phone only picks up 1 tower miles away, your possible location is an area measured in square miles. When an app requires I turn on location, I won’t use it near home.
  • There are many spots with no reception; I have 2 on my property. Even big cities have them. This causes fits for equipment that requires reception, and will more in the future – for example, some Toyota Prius models require data reception to start. You can drive to a place with no reception, but can’t start the car once you are there! There is discussion of requiring self driving cars to have reception at all times; those suggesting it don’t realize how many holes there are in reception…