Election Day 2022

Well, here it is—Election Day 2022.  The much-vaunted midterms have arrived, and it looks like it’s going to be a pretty good day for Republicans.

I’ll admit, I’ve been tuned out from and burned out on politics of late, and while I’m optimistic about today’s results for Republicans, I’m a tad disillusioned with the state of electoral politics generally.  Will a “red wave” result in some meaningful reform this time around, or will GOP Establishment types wrangle the feisty upstarts and neutralize the MAGA Wing?

I’m not a “doomer” by any stretch—I sincerely hope for the latter, and I think it is the future of the Republican Party, if the GOP hopes to survive as a viable political party.  History, however, is not an encouraging indicator.

That said, a sweeping Republican victory is, by any measure, vastly preferable to a sweeping Democratic one.  At worst, I know a Republican House and Senate won’t screw things up further, and may make some marginal improvements; but a Democratic House and Senate, at worst, will double-down on the current insanity of lawlessness and moral relativism.

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Bible Study Update II

An eager commenter on my original “Bible Study” post prompted me to give a second brief update on my daily Bible reading (I wrote the first update back in July 2022).  Apparently, my humble daily regimen inspired the reader to establish a schedule of her own.  To that, all I can say is, “To God Be the Glory!”

That said, it’s satisfying to know that the words I scribble down on this self-indulgent blog do, indeed, reach people.  There are probably fewer things more pleasurable to a writer than to find that his words have made some impact on his readers, and the pleasure is enhanced when it’s a stranger.  We all understand that we influence those close to us, for good or for ill, because we can see the effects more clearly.  But the idea that a stranger might be reading our words is a small sign that we’re expanding beyond our immediate familial and social circles to wider audiences.  It feels good.

But I digress.  This post is about studying the Bible, not tooting my own saxophone; pride, after all, is a sin.

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TBT: Counting Blessings

In searching through some old blog posts recently, I stumbled upon one from April 2020 about being thankful for the blessings in our lives.  The day before I’d written what I thought at the time was a doom-and-gloom post, but reading it now, it wasn’t too bad.  I do seem to remember being in an exasperated mood when I wrote it, so that probably explains, in part, the sense of contrition I experienced after writing it.

Regardless, it yielded “Counting Blessings,” a post giving thanks for God’s many blessings in my life.  It’s rather serendipitous that I stumbled upon this post again the other day, because the theme of counting one’s blessings is one I’ve been contemplating quite a bit lately.

Life is going well enough for yours portly (I’d better not say that too loudly!).  Work is clipping along and I’m hustling big time with lessons.  I have a great (and godly) girlfriend, dog, and house, and a supportive family.  Things could be worse.

With that here is 29 April 2022’s “Counting Blessings“:

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Chapel Lesson: Listening

Now that The Age of The Virus is pretty much over, my school has resumed its normal schedule of weekly events, most of which were shuttered during those two, long, pointlessly fearful years.  Part of that schedule is Chapel on Thursday mornings.

Years ago, we had a regular chaplain, a crusty ex-Marine and Episcopal reverend whom I loved dearly (his widow gave me several of his shirts and a leather bag, which I still carry to this day).  After his passing, we went through a parade of youth pastors of various stripes and backgrounds, and briefly brought in a charismatic black man who shouted inspirationally at the students (and frequently showed up late, or not at all).

We now have a young Spanish teacher—a very sweet, unassuming fellow, who is probably six-and-a-half-feet tall—who will serve as our chaplain.  However, he’s a shy man—a gentle giant—and wasn’t quite ready to dive into Chapel this year.  As such, the administration asked me to deliver the first little lesson of the year.

It’s a responsibility I took seriously, but also willingly.  I prayed about what I should cover, and while flipping through a devotional from The Daily Encouraging Word, I found a good lesson from James 1:19 about listening.

It was a good, broad message that is applicable even for non-believers, and I thought it’d make a good, quick lesson for students, who often need to be reminded to listen closely and not to jump to conclusions (many adults—myself included!—need to be reminded of this lesson, too!).  The five tips are directly from the DEW devotional, but I added in some verses I’d been mulling over from Proverbs.

It was remarkable to me how the Holy Spirit placed these related verses in front of me as I was putting this little talk together.  I’ve been reading and rereading Proverbs, reading one chapter a day for each day of the month, and it’s really deepened my understanding of the wisdom contained therein.  It just so happened that there was a great passage from Proverbs 25 the morning I was to give the chapel lesson, so it fit in nicely.

To God Be the Glory!

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Idolatry

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

In this insufferable season of “pride,” when we’re apparently meant to celebrate narcissism and buggery, I’ve come across the YouTube channel of Becket Cook, a formerly gay man who surrendered to Christ and now fully rejects the personalistic cult at the center of the homosexual lifestyle.  My dad sent me his interview with Rosaria Butterfield, a former lesbian women’s studies professor who went from hating Christ to loving Him completely.  She’s now a pastor’s wife who homeschools her children (it looks like she has blue or purplish hair in the video, but I think that’s just the lighting):

Listening to Cook’s (no relation) videos over the past week has really been convicting for me, not because I’m gay (quite the opposite), but because they highlight something that permeates our culture today:  idolatry, specifically the idolatry of Self.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Supporting Friends Friday: Bette Cox on Heavenly Music

“God loves music. He invented it.”  Thus begins Bette Cox‘s wonderful piece—aptly titled “God loves music“—about music and its divine origins.

As a lover of music myself, I’ve long believed that the existence of music—that certain frequencies together create consonant harmonies and beautiful textures, that the mere manipulation of sound waves can become a transcendent whole greater than the sum of its physical parts—is proof positive that God Exists.  How could something so precise and so beautiful emerge from a chaotic Nothing?  Unless we’re including twentieth-century German Expressionism, it couldn’t.

Bette’s piece went up earlier this week on her blog Esther’s Petition, and it is a must-read.  She points out the ultimate purpose of music:  to glorify God, to worship Christ.  She also dives into the endless variety of music, and how a single song could keep a composer occupied for eternity.

The most poignant part of her piece, however, is a “mini-vision,” in which a throng of singers and instrumentalists of every stripe arrive to sing for an “audience of one: Jesus.”

Go read her post—and go make a joyful noise!

Slowing Down

For many years now I’ve received Dr. Don Wilton’s The Daily Encouraging Word, or “DEW,” in my inbox every morning.  It’s a wonderful little daily devotional with a bite-sized chunk of Biblical Truth attached.

I’m ashamed to admit that due to both my busy schedule and my own spiritual recalcitrance, I do not read DEW daily.  Indeed, I have a massive folder in my Hotmail account (yes, yes, go ahead and laugh) called “DEW” with over 1200 unread issues.  Gulp!

I do a bit better with Audre’s blog, Words on the Word.  Even there, though, I could do better.

That’s all to say that it’s serendipitous that this week, The Daily Encouraging Word is going through a series called “Try to Slow Down.”

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Lazy Sunday CLXIII: Friends, Part VI

In looking back at Lazy Sundays, I realized I had not done a compilation of Supporting Friends Friday posts since 7 November 2021.  What an oversight!

So, after six months, I decided to start going back through these posts.  It’ll give us all something positive to read on Lazy Sundays while Ponty and I exchange our worst movies of all time on Mondays.

With that, here are some classic Supporting Friend Fridays:

Here’s to good friends, good music, and good writing!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Supporting Friends Friday: Nicholas on NEO

I’m running into a bit of a problem here with Supporting Friends Friday—I’m running out of friends to support!  Fortunately, my friends are quite prolific creators, so I can always recycle some old ones, and I’m always encountering new bloggers.  That said, I’m having to get creative to keep this series going.

That’s probably not the most flattering introduction for this Friday’s feature, but I assure you, he’s a great writer, and worth your time.  I know him simply as Nicholas, and he is a semi-regular contributor to Nebraska Energy Observer, Neo‘s excellent, long-running blog.

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