Daybook

Why is Easter so important to the Church? Simply put, if Jesus had not risen on the third day, he would have just become another long-forgotten person cruelly executed by the Roman empire. But…he rose from the dead never to die again, and to defeat death so that we can live with him for all eternity. And how can we be so sure? Because of the eye witness accounts of the apostles and hundreds of others who saw the resurrected Jesus. They were so convinced that many went on to martyrs deaths for the sake of Christ – sure in the knowledge that they too would be resurrected with Christ. Christ is risen, he is risen indeed!

Neville Jopson (Elder), Grace Bible Church.

Christ is risen. Alleluia. Praise the Lord.
The highlight of our Christian world is Jesus rising from the tomb. This act of God changes everything. Dejection, betrayal, denial, desertion: the disciples were lost and shattered. The one they adored and followed was crucified and publicly ridiculed. But, Jesus rose from the tomb. Everything changes.

Easter is our celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. It is understood as the defeat of the two worst fears of humanity: death and sin. Jesus defeated death once and for all. Death where is your sting? Where is your victory? Death will not bring fear and dread to our lives anymore. In Jesus, and through Jesus, we have life in full – in this world and in the world to come. Praise and thanks to God.

Sin, which has bound and suppressed humanity since the beginning of creation, you too have lost your grip. You will not terrorise and dominate anymore. God has defeated sin through Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. Jesus is the lamb of God, sacrificed on the cross for the sin of humanity. Jesus redeemed us from sin and brought us into a new relationship with God.

Sin, we know you are there, still trying to hurt and influence lives, but you are powerless, for our Lord Jesus reigns supreme forever.

Jesus Christ is risen. Alleluia. Praise God. Christians, get up and share this glorious news with all who will listen. This is the good news of salvation. It cannot be silenced.

Fakaofo Kaio
Moderator Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand

Lectionary April 21 2019

It’s Sunday: the end of holy week. The day we recall that Christ rose from the dead. So we went to a local church where we are staying, and were reminded that Christ had triumphed over all: the best sermon was the kids’ talk which went through the resurrection in detail. At home, we watched the online service from Arise (hint: use the facebook link) until the dogs decided that they would dig up things, and we had to do repairs.

Such is life.

But know this: Christ rose. There were witnesses. And it matters.


34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and caused him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Acts 10:34-43, ESV.

19 If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

1 Corinthians 15:19-26

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.

Bleak Daybook.

I was waiting for my querolous papist brother to comment on the fire at Notre Dame. Mundabor is trenchant, and he does not disappoint. The visual signs of degeneration led to horror, to Frenchman singing hymns to the Virgin in the streets. But the rot was there. Our enemy deliberately set it.

However, to me the fire had a different meaning, one that has been resonating for almost two days now: this fire truly epitomizes the burning of Catholicism in France – where attacks on churches become more frequent – and elsewhere. In a way, it is as if Heaven had decided to send us a very visual warning: this is what will happen to your churches in only one or two generations, unless you react now.
The time is running out, and this generation might be the last one free from an extremely bloody civil war, or from the destiny deserved by cowards: dhimmitude. It might be two, or three generations instead of one, but you get my drift.
Meanwhile, a Country who has elected as his President a man clearly sexually attracted, at some level or other, to his mother, keeps neglecting not only its Catholic heritage, but the threat to its own liberties that is taking shape more and more clearly as years go by. A threat that will, likely, never explode in some coup d’ etat of sort, but rather boil the French democracy very slowly, like a frog. Those who love and understand history can clearly see a movement spanning several generations and lethal for both Western Civilisation and its matrix, Christianity. Those who don’t love or understand history will keep lulling themselves in their dream of pacific coexistence of incompatible systems of values, preparing the bloodbath that is, at some point, going to be the only alternative to surrender.
Forget Notre Dame. Catholicism itself is burning. Not by accident, but by design.

Mundabor.

As Israel Folau fights to keep his job (Australia clearly neither has, or ignores, the equivelant of Section 14 of the NZ Bill of RIghts) Adam Piggot makes some trenchant comments.

There is no freedom of religion if you can get fired from your job and hounded out of your profession simply for espousing your religious views, but at least they stopped short of feeding him to the lions.

Adam Piggot, Pushing RUbber downhill.

Adam again, when asked about nations, sums up my position fairly well. As a Kiwi who spends a fair amount of time in Oz, I can confidently say to that Aussie that I’m not Australian.

We are indeed in opposition to God, and I will publish an article tomorrow with an excellent and depressing example of this. But to clarify, nations are not bound by common worship. After spending two years living in Uganda I can confidently declare that I have nothing in common with Ugandans nor their culture. And yet the vast majority of them are Christians. Can I then move to Uganda and declare myself Ugandan? Of course not, no more than a Ugandan can move to Australia and declare himself to be of my patronage. Which is why the bastardized concept of hyphenated nationalities was created; our imaginary Ugandan friend would have to be a Ugandan-Australian. Which is like declaring yourself to be a woman-man, a concept not unknown in this traumatic age.
I write to expose the lies and to seek the truth, a dangerous business at the best of times as nobody appreciates a truth teller and I do not possess a court jester costume.

Adam Piggot, Pushing RUbber downhill.

I cannot say this enough. When we reject God, he won’t be mocked. Even the Greeks, pagans, corrupt, and venal, knew that whom the gods would destroy they would first make mad. I can only advise what Vox Day noted today. Seek Excellence. This world does not.

Daybook

It appears that the Skeptics are at it again. The high church of Atheism reports, correctly, that that transhuman project is as doomed as cryogenics. But they have no understanding of the spiritual.


Of persistent attempts to freeze human bodies for potential later long-term reanimation, Dr Shermer said “I’m not recommending it – it doesn’t work”.
A currently more popular view was that of “mind-uploaders”, who believed all of a person’s vital data, including memories and perhaps genetic information, could eventually be “uploaded to the cloud” and stored forever.
Dr Shermer said the “really scary large” amount of information required was impossible to be gathered and stored.
Other limitations also meant the unique features of each person could not be captured in this way.
He took a more practical view of immortality, and favoured living well for a good lifespan.
“Don’t worry about 500 years, just get to 100 with a healthy life,” he said.
During a vibrant question and answer session, he took issue with reported sightings of ghosts in English castles, and said “they never go to 7-Eleven” convenience stores.
Old buildings tended to creak and move about a great deal, and imperfections in older generations of video cameras tended to generate some ghost-like images at times, he said.
Dr Shermer founded The Skeptics Society, and is editor-in-chief of its magazine Skeptic.

John Gibb, Otago Daily Times.

Chris Trotter talks about the professional and managerial class (PMC — a good term) trying to tax the tradesmen. The comments suggest that he is hitting a raw nerve: and as a reformed person with credentials I see the stench of secular puritans. Tradesmen do it hard in NZ. The credentials get salaries.


The impressively credentialled members of the PMC, large numbers of whom are employed by the state, turn up for work every day and are paid every fortnight. All the necessary deductions for tax and ACC have been taken care of by their employer. If they’re teachers, nurses, social-workers, or just plain, common-or-garden civil servants, there’s a very high probability they’ll be members of a union. Regular pay-rises and improved working conditions are expected – and delivered.


Life for the small business owner is very different. In addition to plying their trade and/or providing their service, they are saddled with a great many other responsibilities. They have to take care of their own tax payments – as well as the tax payments of any staff they may employ. Then there’s Kiwisaver and ACC payments to sort out. They must conform to the provisions of OSH legislation and deal with the infernal complexities of the RMA. For many, being able to pay their bills depends upon other people paying theirs – and getting some debtors to cough-up can be a nightmare.


So, Guyon is right. Not all income is made the same. Which is why not all income is taxed the same.


Which leaves the PMC with a problem. They are only too aware of the need for increased government spending on health, housing, education and the environment. After all, so many of their jobs are about providing these public goods. On the other hand, they have a lifestyle to maintain; overseas trips to pay for; kids to finance into university and home ownership. Yes, their salaries may be large – but they’re fully extended. They are not keen on paying higher income tax. Not keen at all.


It might not be so bad if all these tradies; these restaurateurs; these independent contractors were caring and responsible citizens. But dammit! What’s with all these monster SUVs? Haven’t they heard of global warming? And the things they say! Honestly, it borders on hate speech. Sexists, racists, homophobes: the whole kit and kaboodle. To call them “deplorables” would be to seriously understate the problem. And then they get to retire with a cool million bucks – tax-free.


No bloody way!

CHRIS Trotter, Bowalley Road.

Not just in NZ. The same idiocy is occuring among the woke everywhere, and everyhere they are ruining everything. There needs to be a party for the workers and tradesmen. it used to be Labour or the Democrats. But that is not radical enough. Instead, image matters more than substance, and the parties ar run by people who make the three stooges look lie Nobel Laureates.

No, these three are artisanal Democrats, designed to appeal only to a select few elitists on college campuses or living in big blue cities on the coasts (By the way, be sure to welcome your new illegal alien arrivals thanks to the Trump administration – remember, these undocumented workers will make your cities stronger, better places n’ stuff!). They are bespoke leftists, perfectly curated to achieve Peak Wokeness.

They are the wave of the future, or at least of the 12 years we have left before the world ends in a climactic climate change catastrophe because selfish monsters like you won’t give up your Jeep Cherokees and Big Macs.
Now, most of the zillion Dems running for the chance to get shellacked by Trump in two years are not particularly bright, but they do have some level of animal cunning and they have got to see that the stupidity that gets the goatee gang slapping their paws in Brooklyn is going to play poorly in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and the parts of Minnesota that aren’t Mogadishu. But the candidates have a problem, because they don’t dare go against the real party leadership. Cross one of them and you’ll draw down the shrill, up-talking wrath of Rep. Shemp or Congresswoman Curley.

Kurt Schlicthler

The woke will destroy: from Disney, where they ruined Star Wars and Marvel moies, to politics, to the academic fields. They need to be avoided, shunned, and not encouraged. For the people do vote: with their money, attention and ballots. May that suffice.

There are other alternatives, and they are too bloody to contemplate.

Daily Lectionary.

It is Sunday, and so the text today is longer, and I am adding the collect. The lectionary remains the revised common lectionary, which is different from the Anglican one, and the texts there differ.

THE COLLECT
Almighty and everlasting God, in your tender love for us you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon himself our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and come to share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Redeemer Anglican, Annapolis.


When you read the gospels in sequence you realise that Christ knew what he was walking towards. He predicted to his disciples what the rulers would do. He knew that his work of redemption was going to ruin his reputation, damn him, and he would be physically tortured before a painful and slow execution.

Yet he walked to Jerusalem. Despite wanting this cup to pass from him.


The Lord [a]God has given Me the tongue of disciples,
That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
The Lord God has opened My ear;
And I was not disobedient
Nor did I turn back.
I gave My back to those who strike Me,
And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;
I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
For the Lord God helps Me,
Therefore, I am not disgraced;
Therefore, I have set My face like flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.
He who vindicates Me is near;
Who will contend with Me?
Let us stand up to each other;
Who has a case against Me?
Let him draw near to Me.
Behold, the Lord God helps Me;
Who is he who condemns Me?
Behold, they will all wear out like a garment;
The moth will eat them.


28 After He had said these things, He was going on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
29 When He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the [a]mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its [b]owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 They brought it to Jesus, and they threw their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As He was going, they were spreading their coats on the road. 37 As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God [c]joyfully with a loud voice for all the [d]miracles which they had seen, 38 shouting:
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees [e]in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” 40 But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”

Isaiah 50:4-9; Luke 19:28-40 NASB.

If you do not fall to your knees in gratitude to Christ, who did make his face like flint and walked to what he knew would be his death to redeem and undo the evil that we all have done, knowingly or unknowingly, then I pity you.

For at the end all will see the glory of God. And those who did reject God will be cast out. But in this life, they are made stupid.

Sermon Study.

I take fairly extensive notes most Sundays when the sermon is on. The trouble is that if you just look at the sermon, and then don’t go back and analyze it, you are selling yourself short. You should search the scriptures to see if what the preacher said was true.

I attend a Bapticostal church. They have guest speakers, from a tradition where both husband and wife are pastors. The sermon was given by Alex Sweeney, from Melbourne and Nashville.

The sermon text was Philippians 4. I’ve put my comments in [square brackets].

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is [c]near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all [d]comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Phillipians 4:4-7.

From my notes:

Satan works through fear and anxiety. We are not to be driven that way. We are not to just say “have more faith”.

Satan comes with thoughts of fear, but God says we are not to have a Spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7 — NASB says a spirit of timidity or cowardliness) but…

Instead we are not to be anxious about anything: bills, sickness, estranged relationships, children who have fallen away from the Lord, but in everything with prayer, supplication and thanksgiving… you cannot be thankful and anxious at the same time.

Give thanks to God then pray and petition, instead of desperation and fear. and then the peace of God will be with you regardless of the storm you find yourself in and you will not fear because God’s peace will transcend your understanding.

But, instead of being different and having this peace, we are just as fearful and anxious as the world. So what to do?

CRY OUT

[Alex says men fear crying. — and I’d say she’s wrong. We don’t fear crying. We are more likely to be wrathful, and in this time we fear the cops being called if we say what we think — and we suppress our emotions — again, in my experience, that is a way to survive in a workplace where a lack of positivity can get you sacked. ]

But we have a heavenly father who wants us to talk about how we feel. The saints of God cried to God. So should we. There will be days that you can only intercede with your tears. Our tears are known to God and recorded, for he sees the heart and the motivation that leads us to weep

And we should weep with those who weep.

APPEAL TO HIS NATURE

Pray first. Don’t whine to your friends, or blog, or use socail media. Make your first reaction to pray. Appeal to the nature of God. Do not let the enemy distract you from this.

Most people are ignorant of God, and fall for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6 — [note that the second half of the verse says that if pastors and priests do not teach the truth, then God will leave them]). Do not believe the lies of this world [and the lies they tell about God.]

When we look at things from God’s position, the lies of this world become clear. God pardons our inquities, saves our lives from the pit, heals our diseases, and crowns us with love and compassion (Psalm 103:2 -8).

REMEMBER

Recall what God has done. Do not recall the bad you have done — the things that God has blotted out of his book, and we need not remember. The world would remind us of these things.

Recall instead the testimonies of people of faith. The words of those written in the Bible. The faithful witness of our brothers. If God did it for them, he can do it for us.

Write down the daily things that he has done for us, for he is good: the quiet blessings. Remember that even the seasons and cycles of day and night are a covenant that was made, and God is faithful in this.

ENLARGE

The more you focus on an issue the bigger it becomes. The more I focus on Christ the less it matters… are we making our circumstances greater than God? Is not God much greater than our context and circumstances? We should not focus on experience and feelings.

We should not focus on ourselves and on how we have been defeated. Such people betray this in their speech — they are negative [black pill] in their conversation.

SING.

Singing is a positive choice to praise God. It is when you sing despite how you are feeling, in depression, anxiety, adversity, fear. This saying to God that you trust him despite what is happening to you (Isaiah 44:1) . It is the sacrifice of praise. it can only be given here: in this life. In the next life we will not suffer depression, anxiety or fear. Our tears will be wiped away.

People are watching your witness, not in times of prosperity, but in times of trial.

Do not waste the time we have to choose to worship. We are not to sit in fear and shame and cowardice. We are the children of God. And it is him whom we should praise.

Sermon notes, (Alex Sweeney)

Lectionary 13 April 2019

One of the very clear things in this fallen time is that if you preach the word of God without fear or favour it is highly likely that your employer will be frightened. I was encouraged to take down a blog last year, and go anonymous. For a season I did not blog the lectionary daily. I now think twice about what I say. For the narrative has costs. About 40% of the population are on the police intelligence list for various reasons.

It appears that Israel Folau is going to lose his job playing rugby because he’s taking the bible seriously. In the UK, liking his posts is getting Rugby players into trouble. The celebrities of NZ are falling in line to criticize Folau. It is as if we have blasphemy laws against the narrative of this age.

Folau is correct on this; without Christ we will all go to hell. If we preach Christ, those who have chosen otherwise will oppose you. Christ suffers, and those whom he calls will share in his suffering. Even our brother Milo, who married his boyfriend, because he had the temerity to defend Catholic teaching, has been deplatformed, bankrupted, and is fighting his way back.

There is nothing new here.


9 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.
10 For my life is spent with sorrow
And my years with sighing;
My strength has failed because of my iniquity,
And my [a]body has wasted away.
11 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach,
Especially to my neighbors,
And an object of dread to my acquaintances;
Those who see me in the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
13 For I have heard the [b]slander of many,
Terror is on every side;
While they took counsel together against me,
They schemed to take away my life.
14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
16 Make Your face to shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your lovingkindness.

Psalm 31:9-16, NASB.

It is our role to be a reproach. By doing good to our neighbours, we are confronting their hatred. By speaking truth, we expose their lies. The spirit of this age wants us silent, fearful, cowed, and submissive so they can smear us with this evil as if we are doormats on a farm.

But in Christ we are saved, and by the Father we are held. Let the celebrities joke and mock. Their knee will bow eventually. But far better sooner than later.

Daybook: Loose lips sink ships.

We have a security problem in the West. No, it is not Trump. Nor whoever Q is. Or the deep state. It is coalition parties who get their candidates from shallow talent pools. It is not Julian Assange or Bradley Manning. Who do not understand that at times you do things for good reasons you cannot disclose. Via Whaleoil, this screenshot says it all.

My son sent me the first meme of the picture nasa has released about seeing an event horizon. Morphing into the firefox logo.

He said that the meme appeared within a couple of hour of the image being tweeted by nasa. Speaking of fun, I enjoy, with all the advertisements in lent for bunnies (but none dare name the season or mention Christ) this godzilla image.

Two Poems.

Some Satire for Thursday. Shot:

A Happy Vicar I Might Have Been

A happy vicar I might have been
Two hundred years ago
To preach upon eternal doom
And watch my walnuts grow;


But born, alas, in an evil time,
I missed that pleasant haven,
For the hair has grown on my upper lip
And the clergy are all clean-shaven.


And later still the times were good,
We were so easy to please,
We rocked our troubled thoughts to sleep
On the bosoms of the trees.


All ignorant we dared to own
The joys we now dissemble;
The greenfinch on the apple bough
Could make my enemies tremble.


But girl’s bellies and apricots,
Roach in a shaded stream,
Horses, ducks in flight at dawn,
All these are a dream.


It is forbidden to dream again;
We maim our joys or hide them:
Horses are made of chromium steel
And little fat men shall ride them.


I am the worm who never turned,
The eunuch without a harem;
Between the priest and the commissar
I walk like Eugene Aram;


And the commissar is telling my fortune
While the radio plays,
But the priest has promised an Austin Seven,
For Duggie always pays.


I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls,
And woke to find it true;
I wasn’t born for an age like this;
Was Smith? Was Jones? Were you

George Orwell. Submitted to Adelphi magazine, later appeared in ‘Why I Write’. 1935

Chaser. We now have to be cruder, for progressivism makes men stupid, and they cannot see truth, or comprehend subtlety. I am not linking to this: it comes from social media, but it is cited correctly.

WE ARE THE VERY MODEL OF A MODERN UNIVERSITY

We are the very model of a modern university,
Demoting education and devoted to diversity
Indigenous ethnicity and gender multiplicity
And when we get offended how we generate publicity!


We’re cuddly Marxist-Leninists and Islamist apologists
And Helen Clarxist feminists and animist ecologists;
We have the NZUSA to help the LGBTQ
And when you’re brown and being put down we’ll stop the white man beating you!


And of your right to speak your mind we’re infinitely tolerant
Unless you’re white or on the right or male or Jew or Protestant
Our studies fortify the fifth (that’s almost every) columnist
And how we love the Catholics now the Pontiff is a communist!


By our denomination we’re the true identitarians
And number in our congregation many Treatifarians;
We peer review our mates’ research and doctor methodology
As members of the Leftist Church of Climate Scientology!


We’re all about identity: not what you know, but who you are;
If you’ve the right parentity it’s going to take you very far;
As our preferred minority you’ve got an opportunity
As from the need that you succeed you’re guaranteed immunity!


Reforming to be sure that we’re performing in Humanities
We’ve gender studies, ethnic studies, studies in profanities;
We’ve got the most discriminating funders that we have to please
Or soon we may not be in full possession of our faculties!


We educate the teachers of your children how to lie to them:
“The Treaty is a partnership!” whenever they reply to them;
We have to keep pretending cos the tribes are quite fanatical
And I’m expecting tenure and I’m due for my sabbatical!


(A tribal-sovereign partnership is manifestly risible;
That treaty had no principles unless in ink invisible
And neither did the doctor who concocted the untenable:
He was the very model of a bad Attorney-General!)


Defending all the rights of those who demonstrate obedience,
Abusing the respected and excusing every deviance
We vilify conservatives and glorify perversity:
We are the very model of a modern university!

John Ansell (with nod to W S Gilbert).Published in the Martinborough Star, March 2019.