7.31.2019

How much "making money" is in Bible publishing

NWS

About all of the money in Bible publishing: Zondervan is the publisher of the NIV. Owned by Harper Collins ... owned by News Corp

Classmate Norma Pebbles





Facebook page

Comment: I'll have to look her up in the '67 yearbook. I'm sure I talked to her at the reunion (see image above) but at this juncture, I don't remember her. I searched for an obituary and could not find one

7.30.2019

How to Create a Word Cloud




Capture the text. Here the entire book of Philippians. Choose "Print". Cut and paste into Word



Remove extraneous text like headings


Use search and replace to remove all numbers


Using the Wizard, upload to WordClouds



Use the tool bar to customize

Note the word list

The final product

www.wordclouds.com

7.26.2019

Groothuis: Jesus for Muslims




Jesus for Muslims


Full Text:



Mohammad claimed to be the last and greatest prophet, having received a revelation from God, which became known as The Koran. He wanted to restore pure worship of one true God and be rid of all idols. Going against the Bible, he claimed that Jesus was a prophet, but not God Incarnate. All must submit to Allah in every area of life and have a strict pattern of obedience: (1) confess God and Mohammad as his prophet, (2) give a percentage of one’s income to the Mosque, (3) go on pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime, (4) pray five times a day, (5) observe the Ramadan fast every year.

Muslims hope that their good works will outweigh their bad works so that they may attain eternal paradise. If not, they go to hell forever. But no Muslim can be sure, unless they die in a jihad. Then paradise is assured. It is a place of earthly delights oriented toward male desires. But Allah is not there, since he is utterly transcendent. To associate anything with Allah, especially Jesus, is the unforgivable sin, according to Islam.




Jesus claimed to be a prophet, but more than a prophet. He was the revelation of God himself in the flesh, full of grace and truth. Jesus proclaimed, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” (John 14:9). Instead of denying crucial teachings in the Bible, Jesus fulfilled the biblical promise of the coming Messiah, who would rescue his people and establish a Kingdom that could not be shaken. Jesus taught that there was one true God and that he made the Father known to the world.

Instead of demanding that his followers be saved by adding up good works, Jesus offered himself as the only way to God and faith as in him the way of forgiveness and eternal life. He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). While Islam denies that Jesus died on the Cross (against all historical evidence), Jesus wascrucified in our place and for our sins. By turning away from our selfishness and toward him in faith, we receive what we could never earn through good works. We find new life to live each day in the power of Christ within us! Unlike the Islamic paradise, God’s final Kingdom is a place of fellowship with God himself. He will raise us up and fill us with the joy perfect love.




7.21.2019

Fay Vincent: “Man is but a reed ..."



A Good Life in My Dying Days - Despite my decaying body, I can still learn, teach and strive to live with dignity.


Excerpt:



We Irish hear about death at an early age, and the experience stays with us. As kids we learn to pray the Hail Mary, which ends with the beseeching request that we be remembered “now and at the hour of our death.” In my teens the prayer of Cardinal John Henry Newman was offered at each vespers service at my boarding school, closing with the line, “Then in his mercy may he grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last.” So when I was recently told that I likely have leukemia, my immediate reaction was, “So this is what it feels like to begin the process of dying.”

I understand that dying begins at birth, but I am 81 and fortunate to have been afforded longevity. I can have no regrets. My diagnosis means the game of life is turning serious and the late innings loom. Perhaps my leukemia will turn out to be the “good” type that is slow moving and not as virulent as some forms of blood cancer. Perhaps not.

My challenge is to seize what time I have left. I will try to be responsible to my wife, family and friends. I will try to avoid becoming the old man in the corner who requires constant attention and care. I cannot let the way my life comes to an end destroy the way I would like to be remembered. Dying is still a part of living, and the way one lives is vital, even in the dying light.

In a culture that so values bright teeth, glowing skin, trim bodies and flowing hairstyles, we elderly try to find ways to stay relevant. In fact, we can offer only the wisdom of experience. If I spend a few hours with the young, maybe I can share some lessons I learned at bitter cost. Maybe I can talk of my mistakes and awkward stumbles. Maybe I can assure the young that wisdom is the daughter of failure yet the mother of success. I remember the acrid tastes of failures, but I quickly forgot the whiff of a success.

As I try to live while confronting an incurable illness, I remember how much I enjoyed the youthful process of learning. Thus I now read and learn from every book possible. I remember one of Blaise Pascal’s “Pensรฉes,” in my own translation: “Man is but a reed, the weakest in nature. A puff of gas, a drop of water is sufficient to kill him. But the difference between him and what kills him is that he knows he is dying.”


Comment: Image source. I hope he is reading the right books!

7.18.2019

2002 Chevy S-10 repair




I was hit about 3 years ago in the church parking lot. Damage pushed the bumper in. Driver drove off ignorant of what they had done. I finally had the damage repaired this week. I bought this new 17 years ago this month

7.17.2019

Jason Riley on "The Race Card"



The Race Card Has Gone Bust - America has never been fairer or more integrated, yet politicians obsess over wiping out discrimination.

Excerpt:

Accusations of white racism are all the rage in Washington these days. If you oppose school busing, you’re a racist. If you want immigration laws enforced, you’re a racist. If you’re against slavery reparations or support adding a citizenship question to the census or criticize minority members of Congress, you’re a racist. ...

No reasonable person denies that racists still live among us or that racial discrimination can retard upward mobility. Still, evidence of racial bias in the past or the present is not proof that racism is responsible for current social disparities. After all, the pathologies we see in low-income black communities aren’t confined to those communities. As Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam wrote in 2017, “The white working-class family is today more fragile than the black family was at the time of the famous alarm-sounding 1965 ‘Report on the Negro Family’ by Daniel Patrick Moynihan.”

Liberals who insist that racial discrimination largely explains the black-white wealth gap are ignoring other plausible explanations. Black poverty and employment today, for example, seem to be more a function of family formation than of white racism. For more than 20 years, black married couples have had poverty rates in the single digits, and black married men have had a higher labor-force participation rate than white men who never married. According to The Wall Street Journal, last year the labor-force participation gap between blacks and whites virtually vanished, the first time that’s happened since 1972. Systemic racism may be “in the air we breathe,” but black unemployment rates are at generational lows.

“Family instability and fatherlessness collide with racial and economic disadvantage to create a negative feedback loop in black communities, hampering children’s potential and perpetuating racial inequality,” writes Kay Hymowitz in a recent City Journal essay. Citing new research by John Iceland, a demographer at Penn State University, she notes that “differences in family structure are the most significant variable in explaining the black-white affluence gap. In fact, its importance has grown over time relative to other explanations, including discrimination. Unable to pool earnings with a spouse, to take advantage of economies of scale, and to share child care, black single parents have a tougher time than their married counterparts building a nest egg.”

Government programs are no substitute for the development of human capital. If wealth-redistribution schemes lifted people out of poverty, we would have closed these gaps a long time ago. Liberal politicians and activists have little interest in addressing the ways in which black behavioral choices impact inequality. It’s easier to turn out voters and raise money by equating racial imbalances with racial bias and smearing political opponents who disagree.

Will it work in the end? It didn’t for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Telling people what you think they want to hear can be easier than telling the truth, but you also risk insulting them. And blaming bad outcomes among blacks on the malevolence of others is not only wrong but insulting to Americans of every race. This isn’t 1950. Attitudes have changed. Behaviors have changed. American neighborhoods and schools and marriages are more integrated. We elected a black president twice, and he won several of the nation’s whitest states both times. Racism has probably never been less significant in America, and blacks have never had more opportunities to seize. Liberals are pushing a narrative that many white voters don’t recognize and that many black voters know is false.


Comment: Image below from The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse. Bio on Jason Riley



7.13.2019

On the modern Judenhass

 
Caricature on the front page of ร‰douard Drumont's anti-Semitic magazine La Libre Parole (1893). Shown is a Jew, hands and feet full of money clinging to the globe. The caption is "Leur patrie" - her homeland . Source

The New Anti-Semitism: In Europe and the U.S., rising political forces on both the right and the left have revived old patterns that scapegoat Jews for society’s ills Excerpt:

When France’s Yellow Vests began to protest weekly last November, it was about President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to raise fuel taxes. Within a few months, it also started to be about the Jews.

Signs that labeled Mr. Macron as a “whore of the Jews” and a slave of the Rothschilds, a reference to the president’s past employment with the investment bank, became a fixture of the demonstrations. In February, several Yellow Vest protesters—since disavowed by the movement—assaulted the Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut on the doorstep of his Paris home, yelling, “You will die,” “Zionist turd” and “France is for us.”

“When there is a world-wide economic and social malaise, people look for scapegoats—and the Jews have always served as scapegoats,” said Francis Kalifat, the president of CRIF, the council uniting France’s Jewish institutions. “Anti-Semitism creates bridges between the far right and the far left: They have such a hatred in common that they come together.”

... “Latent anti-Semitism is being activated,” said David Feldman, director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism at Birkbeck, University of London. “Populist politics is not inherently anti-Semitic, conspiracy theories are not inherently anti-Semitic, but both very easily lend themselves to an anti-Semitic turn and easily become anti-Semitic.”

This change comes after an unusual, postwar golden age that Jewish communities enjoyed across Western Europe and the U.S. over the past several decades. After the horrors of the Holocaust, a commitment to minority rights, religious freedom, an inclusive vision of nationhood and a human-rights-based liberalism seemed to be the bedrock of political life in Western democracies. While anti-Semitic prejudice persisted in some areas, overt anti-Semitism seemed taboo. ...

Until the past few years, the biggest threat came from Islamists and disaffected Muslim youths, particularly in the troubled banlieues at the edges of French cities. France, home to Europe’s biggest Jewish community, has suffered a string of killings of Jews, including the deadly 2015 assault on a Paris kosher supermarket claimed by Islamic State. Anti-Jewish harassment remains commonplace in distressed neighborhoods where working-class Muslims and Jews live side by side.

“The Jews who lived in the banlieue have been leaving. Daily life has become impossible there,” said French Sen. Esther Benbassa, who represents many suburbs of Paris.

The West’s new wave of anti-Semitism, however, is increasingly coming from new quarters: from the nativist far right, with its fear of “the other” and dreams of racial purity, and from the extreme left, which often identifies Jews with the capitalist elites it seeks to destroy and glorifies Palestinian militants. ...

A critical difference between today’s anti-Semitism and its pre-World War II iterations is the existence of Israel—a prosperous democracy and an undeclared nuclear power that is nearing the historic threshold of being home to the majority of the world’s Jews. On one level, Israel represents a guarantee of security should things get dramatically worse—a “life insurance policy” for diaspora Jews, as Mr. Kalifat of CRIF puts it. Already, tens of thousands of French Jews have invested in property in Israel or acquired Israeli passports.

But on another level, Jews in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere are regularly blamed for Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians—a minority within one country being held accountable for the policy decisions of the government of another. Sometimes this dynamic can take on softer forms, such as when Jewish students on American college campuses—where the movement to boycott Israel is strong—face pressure to repudiate any connection to the Jewish state. Sometimes, it can become violent. During the 2014 Gaza war, some pro-Palestinian protesters in France—unable to attack Israeli interests—burned down several Jewish-owned businesses instead. “When you diabolize the state of Israel, you end up diabolizing the Jews,” Mr. Kalifat said.

... In the U.S. Democratic Party—which attracted 72% of the American Jewish vote in last year’s midterms—rising criticism of Israel’s policies has also sometimes spilled into anti-Semitic language. In February, Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” suggesting that money from a pro-Israel group helps dictate U.S. foreign policy; she apologized after condemnation by her fellow Democrats in Congress.
Can Ilhan Omar Overcome Her Prejudice?



Excerpt:

In my experience it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to unlearn hate without coming to terms with how you learned to hate. Most Americans are familiar with the classic Western flavors of anti-Semitism: the Christian, European, white-supremacist and Communist types. But little attention has been paid to the special case of Muslim anti-Semitism. That is a pity because today it is anti-Semitism’s most zealous, most potent and most underestimated form.

I never heard the term “anti-Semitism” until I moved to the Netherlands in my 20s. But I had firsthand familiarity with its Muslim variety. As a child in Somalia, I was a passive consumer of anti-Semitism. Things would break, conflicts would arise, shortages would occur—and adults would blame it all on the Jews.

When I was a little girl, my mom often lost her temper with my brother, with the grocer or with a neighbor. She would scream or curse under her breath “Yahud!” followed by a description of the hostility, ignominy or despicable behavior of the subject of her wrath. It wasn’t just my mother; grown-ups around me exclaimed “Yahud!” the way Americans use the F-word. I was made to understand that Jews—Yahud—were all bad. No one took any trouble to build a rational framework around the idea—hardly necessary, since there were no Jews around. But it set the necessary foundation for the next phase of my development.

At 15 I became an Islamist by joining the Muslim Brotherhood. I began attending religious and civil-society events, where I received an education in the depth and breadth of Jewish villainy. This was done in two ways.

The first was theological. We were taught that the Jews betrayed our prophet Muhammad. Through Quranic verses (such as 7:166, 2:65 and 5:60), we learned that Allah had eternally condemned them, that they were not human but descendants of pigs and monkeys, that we should aspire to kill them wherever we found them. We were taught to pray: “Dear God, please destroy the Jews, the Zionists, the state of Israel. Amen.”

We were taught that the Jews occupied the Holy Land of Palestine. We were shown pictures of mutilated bodies, dead children, wailing widows and weeping orphans. Standing over them in military uniform were Israeli soldiers with large guns. We were told their killing of Palestinians was wanton, unprovoked and an expression of their hatred for Muslims.

The theological and the political stories were woven together, as in the Hamas charter: “The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The Stones and trees will say, “O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill me.” ’ . . . There is no solution for the Palestine question except through Jihad.”

That combination of narratives is the essence of Muslim anti-Semitism. Mohammed Morsi, the longtime Muslim Brotherhood leader who died June 17 but was president of Egypt for a year beginning in 2012, urged in 2010: “We must never forget, brothers, to nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews”—two categories that tend to merge along with allegations of world domination.

European anti-Semitism is also a mixture. Medieval Christian antipathy toward “Christ killers” blended with radical critiques of capitalism in the 19th century and racial pseudoscience in the 20th. But before the Depression, anti-Semitic parties were not mass parties. Nor have they been since World War II. Muslim anti-Semitism has a broader base, and its propagators have had the time and resources to spread it widely.

To see how, begin at the top. Most men (and the odd woman) in power in Muslim-majority countries are autocrats. Even where there are elections, corrupt rulers play an intricate game to stay in power. Their signature move is the promise to “free” the Holy Land—that is, to eliminate the Jewish state. The rulers of Iran are explicit about this goal. Other Muslim leaders may pay lip service to the peace process and the two-state solution, but government anti-Semitism is frequently on display at the United Nations, where Israel is repeatedly compared to apartheid South Africa, accused of genocide and demonized as racist.

Media also play their part. There is very little freedom of expression in Muslim-majority countries, and state-owned media churn out anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda daily—as do even media groups that style themselves as critical of Muslim autocracies, such as Al Jazeera and Al-Manar.

Then there are the mosques, madrassas and other religious institutions. Schools in general, especially college campuses, have been an Islamist stronghold for generations in Muslim-majority countries. That matters because graduates go on to leadership positions in the professions, media, government and other institutions. ...

Perhaps—I do not know—this is what happened to Ms. Omar in the four years she spent in a refugee camp in Kenya as a child. Or perhaps she became acquainted with Islamist anti-Semitism in Minnesota, where her family settled when she was 12. In any case, her preoccupation with the Jews and Israel would otherwise be hard to explain.

Spreading anti-Semitism through all these channels is no trivial matter—and this brings us to the question of resources. “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” Ms. Omar tweeted in February, implying that American politicians support Israel only because of Jewish financial contributions. The irony is that the resources available to propagate Islamist ideologies, with their attendant anti-Semitism, vastly exceed what pro-Israel groups spend in the U.S. Since the early 1970s the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has spent vast sums to spread Wahhabi Islam abroad. Much of this funding is opaque, but estimates of the cumulative sum run as high as $100 billion.

Thousands of schools in Pakistan, funded with Saudi money, “teach a version of Islam that leads [to] anti-Western militancy,” according to Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy—and, one might add, to an anti-Semitic militancy.

In recent years the Saudi leadership has tried to turn away from supporting this type of religious radicalism. But increasingly Qatar seems to be taking over the Saudi role. In the U.S. alone, the Qatar Foundation has given $30.6 million over the past eight years to public schools, ostensibly for teaching Arabic and promoting cultural exchange.

For years, Qatar has hosted influential radical clerics such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi and provided them with a global microphone, and the country’s school textbooks have been criticized for anti-Semitism. They present Jews as treacherous and crafty but also weak, wretched and cowardly; Islam is described as inherently superior. “The Grade 11 text discusses at length the issue of how non-Muslims should be treated,” the Middle East Media Research Institute reports. “It warns students not to form relationships with unbelievers, and emphasizes the principle of loyalty to Muslims and disavowal of unbelievers.”

The allegation that Jewish or Zionist money controls Congress is nonsensical. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates that the Israeli government has spent $34 million on lobbying in Washington since 2017. The Saudis and Qataris spent a combined $51 million during the same period. If we include foreign nongovernmental organizations, the pro-Israel lobbying figure rises to $63 million—less than the $68 million spent lobbying for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In 2018 domestic American pro-Israeli lobbying—including but not limited to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac—totaled $5.1 million. No comparable figures are available for domestic pro-Islamist lobbying efforts. But as journalist Armin Rosen observes, Aipac’s 2018 total, at $3.5 million, was less than either the American Association of Airport Executives or the Association of American Railroads spent on lobbying. Aipac’s influence has more to do with the power of its arguments than the size of its wallet.

Now consider the demographics. Jews were a minority in Europe in the 1930s, but a substantial one, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. Today Jews are at a much greater disadvantage. For each Jew world-wide, there are 100 Muslims. In many European countries—including France, Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K.—the Muslim population far exceeds the Jewish population, and the gap is widening. American Jews still outnumber Muslims but won’t by 2050.

The problem of Muslim anti-Semitism is much bigger than Ilhan Omar. Condemning her, expelling her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, or defeating her in 2020 won’t make the problem go away.

Islamists have understood well how to couple Muslim anti-Semitism with the American left’s vague notion of “social justice.” They have succeeded in couching their agenda in the progressive framework of the oppressed versus the oppressor. Identity politics and victimhood culture also provide Islamists with the vocabulary to deflect their critics with accusations of “Islamophobia,” “white privilege” and “insensitivity.” A perfect illustration was the way Ms. Omar and her allies were able to turn a House resolution condemning her anti-Semitism into a garbled “intersectional” rant in which Muslims emerged as the most vulnerable minority in the league table of victimhood.
Comment: Sad to see this 'revival' of antisemitism! Judenhass means "Jew hatred"



7.09.2019

The hierarchy of prosperity

3 John 2

Excerpt:

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
Comment: Obviously the most important - of infinite value is ...


7.06.2019