The Guardian Program

Sheriff Grady Judd

What moms do when systems fail:

 . . . a US Marshall placed her [Angeli Rose Gomez] in handcuffs, stating that she was under arrest for intervening in an active investigation, according to the Journal.

It took almost an hour before Ramos was killed by a specialized US Border Patrol tactical team, authorities said. In that time, he gunned down 19 school children and two teachers.

Gomez recognized a few local Uvalde police officers and convinced them to tell the marshals to remove the cuffs.

Once freed, she distanced herself from the crowd, jumped the school fence, ran inside the school building and grabbed her two children. The three sprinted out of the school together, she said.

Texas school shooting: Cops handcuffed mom before she ran in to get her kids (nypost.com)

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The Cowardice of Uvalde Police Is Exactly What America Asked For – Revolver

Uvalde Shooter’s Dad Couldn’t See His Son Because of COVID Safety Procedures, Radical Changes Were Noticed Much Too Late (westernjournal.com)

Bizarre New Details Revealed About Texas Shooter — The Republic Brief

REVEALED: Uvalde school was part of AI program involving mass shootings – Populist Press ©2022

Terror strikes town of Uvalde, Texas, as local resident commits worst school shooting in state history – Rebel News

Elite Special Forces Border Agent shot and killed Salvador Ramos… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Uvalde Shooter Fired Gun For 12 Minutes Outside School Before Entering | ZeroHedge

Texas Public Safety Director: ‘Not Right Decision’ to Wait Outside Uvalde School While Shooter Rampaged – Valiant News

Teen Who Knew Uvalde Shooter Drops Bomb About Him — The Republic Brief

The Mass Shooting and Liberal Utopian Society – Gab News

Father of Uvalde Shooter: ‘I Don’t Want Them Calling Him a Monster… They Don’t Know Nothing’ (thegatewaypundit.com)

Map of Uvalde Shooting… Why did a teacher prop open a locked school door before the massacre… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Uvalde school was part of AI program involving mass shootings — The Republic Brief

In an “anything goes” and “the means justify the ends” culture, what is mental illness?

Chilling Video Emerges Of Uvalde Gunman Before Shooting — The Republic Brief

Biden Hears a WHO!

In the bizarre tale Biden Hears a WHO! the spectacular citizens of Freeville are forced to deal with the elephant in the room – WHO. In order to bring about “One Health”, WHO makes a pact with many nation states. WHO goaded them with “A pandemic’s a pandemic, no matter how small”. But the citizens of Freeville want nothing to do with WHO – “No, nothing at all”.

“To a WHO with a needle, everything looks like a pandemic” Freeville citizens say to themselves. They refuse to join the collective One Health World Order. They want to remain citizens of Freeville. So, they make as much noise as they can so that their voices can be heard. WHO creatures respond.

Biden, commander-in-chief jackass, listens only to WHO and ignores the cries of the citizens of Freeville. He said that he would kick the mayor of Freeville in the teeth if he didn’t join the collective. And the other animals who are in cahoots with WHO are furious that the citizens of Freeville do not want to join their collective. They protest. “Why should they remain free and their contagion affect us?”

Wild asses threaten to kick up a storm in Freeville. Donkeys say they will bray loudly in Freeville so as to drown out the voices of its citizens. And rhinos make it a point to needle them until they give in.

The mayor of Freeville, a rhino himself, is very, very afraid of what might happen. He wants to join the collective. But the citizens of Freeville with one loud shout say “NO!”

Now, I wish I could tell you that Biden Hears a WHO! ends well for the citizens of Freeville. Alas, the spectacular citizens of Freeville are forced into the “One Health” collective. They lose Freeville and their citizenship to WHO and say with all their might “A human right’s a human right, no matter how small”.

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An Australian Cartoonist lost his job with the cartoon

Who’s involved with WHO:

Global leaders unite in urgent call for international pandemic treaty (who.int)

Here’s a snarky article affirming a handing over of sovereignty to the WHO for “better coordination, unity and to end suffering” (and realistically, to end the freedom to suffer as one wishes):

The WHO To Discuss Global Pandemic Treaty At World Health Assembly May 22-28 (forbes.com)

“The global pandemic response had relatively little coordination, little unity . . .

In a commentary published in The Lancet on May 16, a team of authors, most of whom are from the U.K., wrote that “the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted profound weaknesses in the global governance of health; inadequate preparation, coordination, and accountability hampered the collective response of nations at each stage.” They asserted that “Changes to the global health architecture are necessary to mitigate the health and socioeconomic damage of the ongoing pandemic, and to prepare for the next major global threat to health.” They indicated that “success will require clear demarcations of responsibility with a parsimonious role for international institutions. Although a pandemic treaty or alternative new instrument or process cannot solve all that is wrong with global health, it can deliver targeted improvements if supported by effective and clear global governance.” (Emphasis mine)

The WHO’s Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly starts tomorrow and goes through to May 28th, 2022. You can watch LIVE at this link.

And here’s an eye-opening article:

On May 22nd, the World Health Assembly — which is the governing body of The World Health Organization — will meet in Switzerland to discuss next steps for its ‘pandemic treaty [and its] quest to use public health to expand The WHO’s power over sovereign states,’ Daniel Horowitz reports for TheBlaze.

How the WHO’s ‘pandemic treaty’ could CONTROL governments – Glenn Beck

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Stand for Health Freedom

The WHO is creating the public health equivalent of a “one world government” with both their IHR amendments and the pandemic treaty. Our membership in the WHO doesn’t give this globalist organization the right to violate our civil liberties, human rights, and medical freedom.

Join Stand for Health Freedom’s Co-founder, Dr. Joel Bohemier for a GreenMedInfo Special Report. His guests, SHF’s Executive Director, Leah Wilson and Policy Analyst, Valerie Borek will bring you the latest update and what you can do to take action.

Don’t miss out! Monday, May 23 @ 12:30PM EST

BeSovereign

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In the following links is a sample email that you can send to your representatives and a petition to sign:

Stop Vax Passports – Stop Vaccine Passports

Petition: STOP VACCINE PASSPORTS – Stop Vax Passports

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I waited in line at the grocery store this morning so could I pay $20 more for the same groceries I paid for just two months ago. A guy in the next line was wearing a tee shirt. On the back it said “Legalize Freedom”.

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Isn’t it rather odd that those who are so concerned about democracy dying are the same people who want everyone to renounce democracy for the tyranny of the WHO?

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Informed dissent:

Another Study Confirms Wearing Masks Increases COVID Infection (thegatewaypundit.com)

Understanding monkeypox so you don’t go bananas:

In my opinion, based on currently available information, Monkeypox is a virus and disease which is endemic in Africa, emerges sporadically after transmission into humans from animal hosts, and is typically spread by close human contact. It is readily controlled by classical public health measures. It does not have a high mortality rate. Unless there has been some genetic alteration, either through evolution or intentional genetic manipulation, it is not a significant biothreat, and has never been considered a high threat pathogen in the past. -Dr. Robert Malone

Monkey Pox – by Robert W Malone MD, MS (substack.com)

Monkey Pox outbreak traced back to Gay Pride island festival…

‘Sexual form of monkeypox’ blamed for global spread of virus (smh.com.au)

The Bidenista economy:

Breaking Report: Dow Jones Is Down 8 Consecutive Weeks – This Has Not Happened in 90 Years! (thegatewaypundit.com)

WHERE IS THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA? Gas Prices Reach Another New All-Time Record High at $4.593/Gallon — 11th Straight All-Time Record High in 11 Days (thegatewaypundit.com)

And then there’s Nicolle Wallace”

“The Typhoid Mary of Disinformation”: Nicolle Wallace. Nobody Spreads it More Relentlessly. (substack.com)

Unfair for the Common Man

A dictionary defines “workaround” as a strategy or technique used to circumvent a defect or other problem in a program or system. Applied to politics, workaround describes a solution to a problem that bypasses the normal or established process which is considered to be obstacle to a desired outcome.

Progressives, with their aversion to the normative and Western tradition, see the Constitution, Christianity and common sense as problems that require workaround solutions. So, a strategy of the-ends-justify-the-means is employed by Progressives to produce a desired outcome – “Change we can believe in”. 

These outcomes are often generalized and peddled with high-sounding platitudes: to save the planet, to ensure public health and public safety, to bring about social justice with diversity, equality, and inclusion.

The Left’s workaround solutions invariably involve forcing functions – a process or constraint that coerces a certain outcome. The Left’s outcome skews normal off course never to return.

The Obamacare individual mandate was justified using the Constitution’s commerce clause as workaround. The court decided that any decision to not to act related to commerce is an act and a person can be therefore required to do what the government says you must do. Wow.

The Left’s most in-your-face work around and forcing function: the stolen presidential election.

Joe Biden, once his junta took over the office of president, shut down oil and gas lease sales from the nation’s vast public lands and waters. The decision, based on computer models of climate cost estimates and not on reality and certainly not on the needs of Americans, ended America’s energy independence. And this after the economy was shut down with despotic COVID mandates.

Americans – everyday folk driving to work to feed their family, low-income families struggling to make ends meet, supply-line truckers requiring diesel fuel to deliver goods –  are now forced to pay for oil, gasoline and diesel fuel at record high prices. (Heh, heh. That will teach Americans to stop using fossil fuels!)

By comparison, Americans were energy independent, working and flourishing under the previous “Orange man bad” administration. Now, Americans of all color, gender and creed are suffering high inflation, food shortages, diesel shortages, price hikes, baby food shortages, the ignominy of the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, a southern border overrun by who knows what, and the stiff-armed indifference of a globalist agenda under an illegitimate president. Forced upon Americans is the inept Joe Biden intent on surrendering America to globalism by whatever means necessary including the Great Reset.

Work arounds have been used by the Progressives all along to produce the outcomes they so desire – sweeping, overly broad power for the actualization of their elitist utopian dreams.

A crisis provides the opportunity for workarounds. A crisis of late has Progressives plotting a way to keep their beloved workaround– the killing off of offspring at will – in place.

Fearing SCOTUS overturning a ruling of the unconstitutional declaration of Roe v Wade – that a woman has a Constitutional right to abortion – Democrats recently talked of packing the court. Not so recently, President Roosevelt, frustrated with the Supreme Court, talked about the same work around.

When Roosevelt-directed laws of the New Deal program had been struck down by unanimous and near-unanimous SCOTUS votes, he talked about adding justices to the court. That did not happen thankfully.

But Roosevelt did expand the size and scope of the U.S. government and its role in the economy. The expansion has continued and its Leviathan tentacles workaround to reach into our daily lives and even into our bodies.

In September 2021, the Biden regime directed the regulatory authority of the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to write a rule requiring employers with at least 100 workers to force employees to get vaccinated or produce weekly test results showing they are virus free.

OSHA fast-tracked and bypassed their rule making process using a type of peremptory decree called “emergency temporary standard”. The ETS is supposed to protect workers from a “grave danger” i.e., excuse of emergency to regulate first and explain later.

OSHA had never used this authority to mandate a vaccine of any kind. (And why did they not mandate highly effective protocols like Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin?)

January 2022, the Supreme Court blocked the enforcement of the sweeping Covid-vaccine mandate that would have impacted 84 million Americans. The majority concluded that Congress had not given OSHA such broad authority to enact a de facto vaccine mandate. While OSHA has the authority to regulate workplace safety, justices reasoned, in this case, it was attempting to use that authority to issue a sweeping rule to address a public-health issue in which the threat is not limited to the workplace.

In a previous Supreme court case, “a group of Alabama real estate agents asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to block a federal moratorium on evictions that was imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic . . .

The Alabama Association of Realtors urged the Supreme Court to intervene on an emergency basis and lift that stay order, telling the justices that “Congress never gave the CDC the staggering amount of power it now claims.”

The staying opinion stated “We expect Congress to speak clearly when authorizing an agency to exercise powers of vast economic and political significance.”

Congress, our supposed representatives in our constitutional republic, are handing over to agencies – the “administrative state” – overly broad powers.  (This is likely done by our reps so as to distance themselves from their henchman.) If our courts were to adopt a posture of utter deference to claims of emergency, they’d leave OSHA and the “administrative state” in a position to order around the nation by diktat. (See 2021-2022)

The latest work around is incredibly alarming and a call to action!

The latest work around is a threat to the sovereignty and sanctity of your body!

Congress, our court system, our nation’s sovereignty and our own health choices will be circumvented by the Globalist World Health Organization (WHO). Globalists – driven by the will to power to control everything and everyone like the machinations of an evil villain in a James Bond movie – want world domination. They will start with control of your body.

You see, the Globalist One World Order considers you to be their property to do with as it will to save the planet, to bring about world peace, and blah, blah, blah.

The Biden Regime is handing over our nation’s sovereignty as you read this post. Like all evil, it is happening in the shadows. You won’t hear about this in the subservient media.

The following is from the article #StopTheWHO: How You Can Take a Stand Against International Health Regulation Amendments

Key Issues to Understand

On January 18 2022, the United States Department of Health and Human Services proposed amendments to the IHR. These amendments give control over the declaration of a public health emergency in any member state to the WHO Director-General – even over the objection of the member state. The Director-General communicated the text of the proposed amendments on 20 January 2022, via a circular letter to State Parties.

The proposed IHR amendments also cede control to WHO “regional directors,” who are given the authority to declare a Public Health Emergency of Regional Concern (PHERC). Moreover, the proposed amendments allow the Director-General to ring an international alarm bell, by unilaterally issuing an “Intermediate Public Health Alert (IPHA).”

Properly understood, the proposed IHR amendments are directed towards establishing a globalist architecture of worldwide health surveillance, reporting, and management. Consistent with a top-down view of governance, the public will not have opportunities to provide input or criticism concerning the amendments. This, of course, is a direct violation of the basic tenets of democracy and can be compared to the separate new pandemic treaty. (Emphasis mine.)

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The Globalist/Collectivist Cabal want to control your health, your agency, freedom and your property! And the Biden regime is all in!

Please take seriously the severity of this existential threat to everything free people hold dear. Do everything in your power to pass this report on to others and to find ways to communicate with and to influence people to stop empowering WHO to take over our national sovereignty and freedom. -Dr. Breggin

>>>>Go to Breggin.com | Blog, read the entire article. Sign the petition! Tell your reps today that you oppose this!

Here is Dr. Breggin explaining what is going on right now:

Dr. Breggin: Biden Handing Over U.S. Sovereignty To WHO (rumble.com)

Do you understand? A public health emergency may be a virus or climate or gun ownership or your opinion. . . anything that Globalists conjure up. You thought the last 2+ years were bad under the “public health emergency” workaround diktats? Just imagine if the World Health Organization (which serves the interests of Globalists and the CCP) is given the authority to run our lives! Do you have any idea how people are treated in China? Communism is a workaround forcing function of humanity done not for the sake of the common man but for the sake of adherence to the few.

ACT NOW! Download and read the PDF.

#StopTheAmendments, #StopTheTreaty, and #StopTheWHO

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“When I say that evil has to do with killing, I do not mean to restrict myself to corporeal murder. Evil is that which kills spirit. There are various essential attributes of life — particularly human life — such as sentience, mobility, awareness, growth, autonomy, will. It is possible to kill or attempt to kill one of these attributes without actually destroying the body. Thus we may “break” a horse or even a child without harming a hair on its head.

Erich Fromm was acutely sensitive to this fact when he broadened the definition of necrophilia to include the desire of certain people to control others-to make them controllable, to foster their dependency, to discourage their capacity to think for themselves, to diminish their unpredectibility and originalty, to keep them in line. Distinguishing it from a “biophilic” person, one who appreciates and fosters the variety of life forms and the uniqueness of the individual, he demonstrated a “necrophilic character type,” whose aim it is to avoid the inconvenience of life by transforming others into obedient automatons, robbing them of their humanity.

Evil then, for the moment, is the force, residing either inside or outside of human beings, that seeks to kill life or liveliness. And goodness is its opposite. Goodness is that which promotes life and liveliness.”
― M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil

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Sen. Rick Scott Fires a Warning Shot: Biden Admin Is Giving Chinese and WHO National Sovereignty Over US Health Policy (thegatewaypundit.com)

IT’S COMING: Digital ID with facial recognition (substack.com)

BREAKING: April Inflation Rate Higher than Expected — 8.3% Actual vs. 8.1% Expected – Double Last Year’s Rate (thegatewaypundit.com)

Bidenomics: Gas Prices Reach ANOTHER All-Time High as Congress Votes to Send $40 Billion to Ukraine and Baby Formula Shortage Worsens (thegatewaypundit.com)

Bhakdi/Burkhardt pathology results show 93% of people who died after being vaccinated were killed by the vaccine (substack.com)

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Letter to the Menticided: A 12-Step Recovery Program (substack.com)

With #StopTheWHO: Action Steps!

#StopTheAmendments, #StopTheTreaty, and #StopTheWHO

All Things Held Together in Two Books

A college physics course experiment was an eye-opener. The purpose of the experiment was to measure the earth’s gravitational acceleration from an object in free fall. (See PDF below for an example). But that day in the physics lab the experiment took on greater significance. I found out that God has two books – scripture and science – and the books go hand in hand.

As I see it, scripture provides the origin and context for all understanding. From the ancient cosmology starting point In the beginning God created the heavens and earth to John the Elder introducing us to the incarnation of that cosmology – Jesus, the way, the truth and life.

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1–3) 

Science can explain the material world, the mechanisms of creation and the forces (gravity, tension, spring, etc.) at work on earth in sublime mathematical terms. In fact, four fundamental forces make it possible for humans (and scripture) to exist in the habitable zone called earth.

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I grew up in a Sola Scriptura universe. I attended Baptist and Bible churches for the first half of my life. I attended Moody Bible Institute after high school. These institutions posited the trinity of scripture, right living, and evangelism. These mattered most in that constrained cosmology. The material world seemed immaterial to those who preached and taught, except for tithing and the payment of room and board.

In that context, gospel songs seemed to promote a disdain for the physical world:

This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through,
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue;
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

This world is not my home? Hmmm. Why did God create the material heavens and earth? And why did God bother giving material creation order and function to fashion a temple where He could dwell with man, as described in Genesis 1 and 2? Why bother setting up a temple garden? Are we meant to look down on creation from some heavenly perch?

During those times of sermons and studies, I heard nothing about the material nature of things or of science. By its avoidance it implied, for me at least, that the material world was linked with “the natural man” and the world, the flesh, and the devil. As such, the material world needed to be done away with the parts of me that were sinful (Col. 3:5). There was also the highly popular but errant end-time teaching and best-selling books describing a rapture that would whisk believers away from corrupted earth.

But that day in the lab as I calculated the acceleration due to gravity, I understood that a force acted to keep me on the earth. I also realized that I had come across a companion book to scripture. Scripture says Jesus holds all things together (Col. 1:17). Science says that gravity is the force the holds everything in the universe together. That day I realized that the Lord was increasing the magnitude of my cosmology with a down-to-earth experiment.

Science offered me new insight into God the Creator. Matter matters to God. Holding things together matters to God. Jesus offering his body and blood as true food and drink in the material elements of bread and wine took on new meaning.

Why study the mechanical nature of things? Why study science? For several reasons: Everything in the natural world is a sign, a trace, an echo, an image and a sacrament of the triune God. The goodness of God is diffused into His good creation. As such, everything in creation has been given a profound relationality with a space to be and a sense of particularity so that it is encountered and not just used.

Why study the science of things? Because God made them to be studied. God made the unpredictability of quantum physics for us to puzzle over, to reflect on and then to uncover its mysteries, e.g., light as both particle and wave. The contemplative exercise is necessary for science. And, it what’s required for our theology of the mysterious three-in-one Trinity.

Why study the science of things? Because nothing is stamped on the bottom, “made by God.” That’s for us to find out. We were created to look into mysteries and to be scientists.

Of course, there are people who are terrified of looking at information that doesn’t align with what they have been told for so many years. When I told my mother that I accepted the thinking that the universe came into existence with the Big Bang some 13.7 billion years ago and the theory of evolutionary creationism, she told me “That’s heresy! I have no doubt that she prayed for my soul after that call. Mom is now with the Lord. Her concerns have been allayed.

I have read and been wowed by many science texts including books about genomics, quantum physics, astrophysics, and the periodic table. I’ve learned that God creates in particular and yet everything created is related. Electrons are relational to protons and neutrons. The periodic table reveals that relationality.

As I recorded data that remarkable day in the physics lab, I said “This is soooooo cool!” I felt an incredible sense of awe and wonder. I had found the relationality of scripture and science.

And he is ahead, prior to all else,

And in him all things hold together

The Letter of Paul to the Colossians 1: 17

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An approaching moving day and what it involves prompted this post. As with every previous move, I need to sort through things to see what stays behind and what goes forward. The same process of sorting out of what makes sense to keep applies to one’s reasoning and faith, to one’s understanding of science and scripture, and to achieving maturity.

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Denis Alexander

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Links:

The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion (cam.ac.uk)

BioLogos – God’s Word. God’s World. – BioLogos

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Episode_1839 – The Revolt Of America’s Moms A Mother’s Day Special”. Released: 2022.

Episode_1840 The Revolt Of America’s Moms A Mother’s Day Special Cont.”. Released: 2022.

Biden Times

Just the other day I received email from a local Democrat representative, one of our Build Back Betters:

Dear Friend,

Every day, I hear from constituents about the financial stress and anxiety they experience as a result of rising prices of necessities like groceries and gas. I understand the worry this creates. That is why I put together an update on how I’m fighting inflation with resources to help lower costs for you and your families.

But let’s be clear: Big oil needs to be held accountable for their role in the sky-high prices we are experiencing. Last year, the five largest oil companies made over $75 billion in profits, the highest increase in seven years. This gouging along with Russia’s unwarranted aggression in Ukraine has led to supply chain issues and higher prices for American families. That is why I introduced the Stop Price Gouging Tax and Rebate Act to hold big oil companies accountable while providing families a $100 monthly tax credit to offer immediate relief.  (Emphasis mine.)

From her website:

How is it that under Trump we didn’t have “rising prices of necessities like groceries and gas.” How is it that under Trump there was no energy crisis? And no Putin-Ukraine conflict? Do you think the 40-year high inflation has to do with the current Democrat regime policies and not with corporations and oil and gas companies, the Dems favorite scapegoats?

Yes, it is Biden’s Inflation: NOT Caused by the Ukraine Crisis (substack.com)

First, he declared open war on domestic American energy, from pipelines to drilling, prioritizing a radical eco agenda over dependable and affordable American domestic energy. Then, he and Chuck and Nancy embarked on a truly exorbitant borrowing and spending spree that sent interest rates and prices for nearly every conceivable physical asset soaring. Finally, he issued draconian and unscientific workplace vaccine mandates – many of which still remain in place – that prevented full staffing in key industries like trucking and logistics for supply lines. -Steve Cortes

Supposedly, the Stop Gas Price Gouging Tax and Rebate Act would lower energy costs for Americans with a tax rebate. Households will receive a monthly, advanced, and refundable tax credit that will be phased out for single filers earning more than $75,000 and joint filers earning more than $150,000 per year.

You see, Democrats create a problem, blame someone else (e.g., corporate greed) and then offer for us to keep our money (e.g., I’m fighting inflation with resources) as a panacea.

Greed? Price gouging? Pritzker signs bill doubling Illinois gas tax (illinoispolicy.org); Fact check: Pritzker’s gas tax delay doesn’t ‘lower prices’ | Madison – St. Clair Record (madisonrecord.com)

Not only have Joe Biden and the Democrats created horrible economic conditions with uncompromising Green energy policies, they are intent on harming people with uncompromising mandates and vaccines.  Whatever is good, Democrats do the opposite.

This Is Big: Naomi Wolf Confirms Big Pharma Was Adding Varying Amounts of Active Ingredient to Batches of COVID Vaccine (VIDEO) – Survival Magazine & News – Bushcraft Prepper Offgrid SHTF Blog & Conservative News

Batch codes and associated deaths, disabilities and illnesses for Covid 19 Vaccines

You won’t get reality from the effete and greedy corporate media – CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, NYT, WaPo, etc. No. Instead, you get their social-emotional learning narratives. Democrats, like the rep above, parrot media narratives.

I have questions that the media won’t delve into:

Why is the U. S. involved in a proxy war to uphold a corrupt socialist oligarchy and jeopardizing our national security and readiness?

Why is Joe Biden trying to escalate conflict?

Why is the Biden regime sending our tax dollars to Ukraine and involving the U.S. in this conflict?

Why “The $800 million (weapons) assistance program

Why is the Biden regime requesting $33 billion more taxpayer money?

Biden Announces Another $33 Billion in Economic Assistance to Ukraine — As US Economy Crumbles, Inflation Hits 40-Yr Highs, Gas Prices Skyrocket, GDP Declines (thegatewaypundit.com)

The U.S. is sending $33 billion in aid to Ukraine. Meanwhile, this is Los Angeles.

You can be sure that media coverage of the Ukraine-Russia conflict is a distraction. It is meant to have you look away at what is happening here at home – the invasion on our southern border (2 million+ in 2021 and soon, 2022 also) and the devastating Green economic policies that destroy life as we know it to save the planet, save face and pad bank accounts.

Why is the media focused on Ukraine’s border when our southern border is being overrun by all kinds of opportunistic moochers?

Why is the Biden regime promoting illegal immigration? Foreigners wanting a better situation than the one they fostered in their own country is not sufficient legal ground for their immigration to take place.

Why are NGOs like Catholic Charities aiding and abetting the takeover of our country?

Why? “Corporations and liberal non-profits are currently organizing a mass invasion of the United States, endangering our national security and the safety of our communities.” – Rep. Lance Gooden

Why are Obama/Biden and Democrats afraid of truth (i.e., losing control of the narrative that hides their evil ways), hence the creation of the “Disinformation Governance Board” akin to Orwell’s 1984 Ministry of Truth)?

What is the Biden crime family hiding? Nina Jankowicz formerly worked as an advisor to the Ukrainian government under a Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship.

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Don’t listen to the noise. Listen to the signal. Listen to adults who speak in adult reality terms.

We discuss the economy, Ukraine, Covid vaccine, and more w/ Dr. Naomi Wolf, Dave Brat, Dr. Peter Navarro
Naomi Wolf: The Untold Dangers Of The Covid Vaccine For Pregnant Women; Dave Brat/Peter Narro’s Analysis Of The Crashing American Economy

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Informed Dissent:

BREAKING REPORT… Naomi Wolf on War Room – FDA Failed to Mention Heart Damage to Teens When Approving Pfizer Vaccine (VIDEO) (thegatewaypundit.com)

Newly Released Pfizer Documents Reveal COVID Jab Dangers (mercola.com)

“I cannot say this enough times: Covid vaccine restrictions are ending not because the mRNA vaccines have succeeded but because they have failed.”

The Covid vaccine era is ending already – by Alex Berenson (substack.com)

Whoops! The TOGETHER Trial actually showed that ivermectin worked. (substack.com)

Revolver Exclusive Study: COVID-19 Lockdowns Over 10 Times More Deadly Than Pandemic Itself – Revolver

WOW! 30 YEARS AGO DR. ROBERT WILLNER ACCUSES ANTHONY FAUCI OF GENOCIDE (bitchute.com)

Tucker Carlson Tonight 04/11/22 (FULL SHOW) (bitchute.com)

Tennessee Makes Ivermectin Available Without Prescription – UncoverDC

Naomi Wolfe stunner… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

https://rumble.com/v12x3dd-dr.-wolf-covid-vaccines-and-pregnancy.html

Dr. Wolf: COVID Vaccines and Pregnancy

Headwind—Dr. Robert W. Malone (theepochtimes.com)

Democrats are evil:

Lawmakers reject amendment to prevent monitoring of unvaccinated (reclaimthenet.org)

Coerced Consent:

No Insurance Payments: The Next COVID Shot ‘Mandate’? (mercola.com)

Where DEI won’t go:

The Left loves ESG. The Left hates humans. Climate change is just another scheme to hate on humans. And, another litigious way to transfer money and control:

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink believes in “forcing behaviors.”
“Behaviors are going to have to change and this is one thing we are asking companies, you have to force behaviors and at Blackrock, we are forcing behaviors”

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-1 to advance a proposed rule requiring public companies to disclose climate risks. . .

The main intent of the rule is to make it easier for left-leaning asset managers like BlackRock, public pension funds and trial lawyers to bully companies. Public companies will be liable for climate disclosures the SEC deems inaccurate or incomplete.

Gary Gensler Stages a Climate Coup – WSJ (archive.ph)

Alternative Media:

Manifold Productions

It’s not only CNN personnel:

DOJ Accidentally Publishes Bombshell List of Elites Caught In Sex Cult — The Republic Brief

Homeschooling, not grooming:

Across the country, we’re in the midst of an unprecedented explosion in homeschooling and alternative education. The main triggers were Covid-19 shutdowns and masking policies. But parents were already frustrated and revolting — even in some of the most liberal cities — over radical social agendas and poor academic results. Today, we investigate the mass exodus from America’s public schools. Public Schools | Full Measure

The Solution To the GQ (Groomer Question) – Gab News

Senator Ron Johnson is a Truth Warrior and COVID hero (substack.com)

De-Programming Feminism: Feminist Propaganda in Disney Films Part 1, “The Little Mermaid” (substack.com)

Our Children, Our Grandchildren are under attack by the Democrat Left:

Kaiser Permanente Ad Says ‘Too Bad’ to Those Who Say Drag Queen Story Hour Is ‘Too Much’ | Newsbusters

Creepy: Biden Goes “Off Script” To Tell Teachers That Kids Are “Yours When You’re In The Classroom” – Summit News

Advice from the Disconnected:

More… Bloomberg News Offers Tips For Americans Struggling With Inflation: Let Your Pets Die (thegatewaypundit.com)

Let them eat grass:

“Meat prices have increased about 14% from February 2021 and will go up even more. Though your palate may not be used to it, tasty meat substitutes include vegetables (where prices are up a little over 4%, or lentils and beans, which are up about 9%). Plan to cut out the middle creature and consume plants directly. It’s a more efficient, healthier and cheaper way to get calories.”  Teresa Ghilarducci, the Schwartz Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research. 

No hock, Sherlock:

Inflation Stings Most for Those Earning Under $300,000 – Bloomberg

“Come to Me”

in the Christ shall all be made alive -1 Cor. 15: 22

Many years ago, an interim pastor at the church I was attending asked me to go with him to Pacific Garden Mission in downtown Chicago. This pastor was involved PGM’s Unshackled radio broadcasts. On this occasion, he and I ministered to those who came in off the street. I played a couple hymns on my trumpet. He gave a simple gospel message. Those attending received a hot meal after our brief service.

During my student days at Moody Bible Institute, I visited other Chicago rescue missions. I would play my trumpet and, with others in our group, give a brief witness to my faith in the Lord. Telling the forlorn and broken sitting before me that I was raised in a Christian home and received Jesus as my savior at eleven years old – I was coming from a place nowhere near where these folks had been.

But the gospel has a way of speaking into memories and of stirring folks to reflect on their life. Some wept upon hearing childhood accounts of home. From recollections, whether good or bad, the gospel points people in the direction of rescue from a life gone prodigal.

On each occasion, as I walked into the meeting room of the rescue mission, I encountered the smell of alcohol, urine and of unwashed bodies and clothes. My eyes met with a scene of loss – each figure a shell of their former self.

The homeless – alcoholics, the drug dependent, the bankrupt, the mentally ill, the despairing, the dis-owned by family and friends – sat scattered among the rows of chairs. Some folks were asleep sitting up. Some were laying across chairs asleep. Some were mumbling things unintelligible. And some sat up looking despondently at the floor. The body language: “I’m adrift, aching and alone.” The sign out front: “JESUS SAVES”.

*****

Are you having a real struggle? Come to me! Are you carrying a big load on your back? Come to me! – I’ll give you a rest! Jesus invites his listeners to put on his yoke and take lessons in humility from him. Arrogance is a heavy burden to carry and to defend (Matt 11: 28-30).

It’s the sick people who need the doctor, not the healthy ones. I came to call the bad people, not the good ones. Jesus responds to the grumbling legal experts when they see him eating with tax-collectors and sinners (Mk. 2: 17).

You see, the son of man came to seek and to save the lost. Jesus responds to the grumbling observers of the faith-based salvation of chief tax-collector Zacchaeus (Lk. 19: 1-10).

After all, God didn’t send the son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world could be saved by him. Jesus is reconfiguring the Pharisee Nicodemus’ notion of salvation (Jn. 3: 17). Jesus says that he will be lifted up just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert. This, Jesus explains, is how much God loved the world. And so, everyone who believes in him should not be lost but may share in the life of God’s new age.

****

The Gospel According to Mark chapter 4 records the rescue of a small fleet of fishing boats crossing the sea. A big windstorm came up and began filling the boats with water. Life and livelihood were in jeopardy. The fishermen were freaking out. Jesus, however, was sleeping soundly on a cushion in the stern in one of the boats. They woke him up.

Jesus got up, silenced the wind, and told the raucous sea “Shut Up!”. Things calmed down at once. The rescued, whose alarm at the tempest shifted to awe-struck terror of the rescuer, said to each other “Who is this? Even the wind and the sea do what he says!” Their crossing continued over to the land of the Gerasenes without further incident.

 Chapter 5 of Mark’s gospel account records three rescues. The narrative begins with Jesus and the small fleet of fishing boats arriving on the shore of the land of the Garasenes. They are suddenly confronted by a man with an unclean spirit. He emerged from a graveyard which is where he lived.

The man is wild. No one can physically restrain him, not even with shackles and chains. But the wild man’s attention is captured. He runs up to Jesus and falls down before him.

Jesus questions the man and hears that that man is possessed by a hoard of demons calling themselves “Legion”. The demons, knowing that Jesus will deal with them, want to be rescued in their own way. They beg Jesus to not send them out of the country. They want to be sent into a nearby herd of pigs. Jesus lets it happen and the pigs rush down into the sea and drown.

The herdsmen’s reaction, not unlike the fishermen’s reaction earlier, was of utter terror. They began telling everyone about what had happened. People came to Jesus. They saw the man who had once terrorized the countryside. He was seated, clothed and in his right mind. When eyewitnesses told the crowd what had happened to the man and to the pigs, the people were afraid. They begged Jesus to leave their district. The man who had been rescued, however, asked to go with Jesus. Jesus wouldn’t let him.

Go back home. Go to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you. Tell them how he had pity on you.

The rescued man goes out and tells what Jesus had done for him. Everyone is astonished.

The next two rescue accounts in Mark’s gospel account involves two people of different social and economic status: a named man – Jairus, a synagogue president – and an unnamed woman. Mark intertwines these accounts.

Jesus, having crossed back over the sea, is quickly surrounded by a large crowd on the seashore. Jairus arrives. When he sees Jesus, he falls down at his feet and begins pleading.

My daughter’s going to die! My daughter’s going to die! Please come – lay your hands on her – rescue her and let her live!

Jesus goes off with the man. And a large crowd follows pressing in in him. Enter the unnamed woman.

Mark tells us . . .

A woman who’d had internal bleeding for twelve years heard about Jesus. (She’d had a rough time at the hands of one doctor after another; she spent all she had on treatment and had gotten worse instead of better.) She came up in the crowd behind him and touched his clothes. “If I can just touch his clothes,” she said to herself,” I’ll be rescued.” At once her flow of blood dried up. She knew, in her body, that her illness is cured.

Jesus knew at once that power had flowed out of him. He asked who it was that touched him. The woman of low estate, trembling, made herself known to Jesus.

My daughter, your faith has rescued you. Go in peace. Be healed from your illness.

(I am reminded of another close encounter rescue: four men carried a paralytic on a stretcher, bringing him to see Jesus. The crowd was so thick around Jesus they couldn’t get near enough to ask for the man’s healing. So, they opened up the roof and lowered the stretcher with ropes. They placed the man right in front of Jesus. Jesus noticed their threads of faith and said to the paralytic Child, your sins are forgiven! (Mk. 2: 3-5))

As Jesus was speaking to the woman, some very sad people arrived from the synagogue president’s house.

Your daughter’s dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?

But that didn’t stop Jesus from rescuing the girl.

Don’t be afraid! Just believe!

Jesus said no to the crowd following him (Too much commotion already?) and went to the synagogue president’s house with only Peter, James and John. When they arrived, there was all kinds of weeping and wailing going on.

Why are you making such a fuss? Why all this weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s asleep.

Mark tells us that they laughed at him and then. . .

Jesus put them all out. Then he took the child’s father and mother, and his companions, and they went in to where the child was. He took hold of her hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Time to get up, little girl!” At once the girl got up and walked about. (She was twelve years old.) they were astonished out of their wits. Then he commanded them over and over not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.

****

The demoniac was cut off from himself and society because of what possessed him. Jesus ‘hog-ties’ the “Legion” and plunders the “strong man” domain (cf. Mk 3: 23-27). Jesus expels the unclean spirits and liberates the man from his living death. The image of God is restored. The man wants to go with Jesus but Jesus won’t let him. Jesus sends the unshackled man away so that people will see and hear from the rescued man himself: “Go to your people and tell what the Lord has done for you. Tell them how he had pity on you.”

The woman with the continual hemorrhaging was cut off from just about everything and all the time due to her ritual impurity (Lev. 15:25). She had exhausted her resources to find a cure. Then, by faith, she reached out and touched Jesus, God’s holy one. He rescues the woman from her living death – the constant loss of blood from her womb. She is restored to holiness, purity, and wholeness.

Death, the ultimate separation and defilement, tore the twelve-year old girl from her family. Because of her father’s pleading Jesus comes to her bedside, takes hold of her hand and restores the life that had flowed out of her. She is rescued, reconnected to her family, and is no longer a defilement.

(Note: It is interesting that in Mark’s account of the woman and the girl (5: 21-43), touching and being touched is mentioned six times. Ritual purity – maintaining holiness – was a daily and vital concern for a Jew. Physical contact would trigger any Jew who followed Scripture’s instructions regarding purity.

 Jesus didn’t ignore the ritual purity laws in the process of rescue. Instead, he neutralized the effect of the law by restoring the woman and child. By stopping the flow of blood and making her clean, Jesus ‘neutralized’ the ritual impurity of her touching him. By raising the girl to life, Jesus ‘neutralized’ the ritual impurity of touching the dead (Num. 5:1-4; 19:11-22; 31:19-24))

When Jesus announced “The time is fulfilled. God’s kingdom is arriving! Turn back and believe the good news (Mk. 1: 15) he began to show the world what the kingdom of God on earth means: God would reclaim creation – his temple – and rescue his image-bearing humans.

In these rescue accounts and so many others, Jesus is not asking about the salvation status of the individual. He is not asking them if they want to go to heaven when they die. He is not rescuing people to have them later sent off to become a disembodied spirit in some heavenly realm somewhere over the rainbow. No. Jesus wants those in his kingdom to do what he has done. Death is a short interlude. As with the twelve-year old girl, Jesus will take you by the hand, get you up and get you back at it. Death is not a retirement home.

The four gospels (and the epistles) tell us that Jesus interfaced with his creation – as heaven and earth – for its salvation. (Think of heaven as God’s space.) We read that the kingdom of God on earth, as Jesus taught and lived, is about rescue, rebirth, healing, faith and not fear, touching and being touched, making all things new, new creation, new wine skins, wholeness, sound minds, and about the Genesis to Revelation project – God dwelling with man (Rev. 21: 2-4).

The world’s salvation, epitomized in another Tower of Babel campaign – Build Back Better – is another take on rebuilding systems and institutions and on redesigning people and society to save the planet and to benefit the elites.

Much of today’s social justice activists work to force their salvation onto you. They want society to work in certain way. Hence, pseudo-moral campaigns like Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), and the coming social credit scoring.

As I see it, Jesus didn’t do social justice – changing systems and institutions to save people. Jesus has a human connection with people and so much so that he went to the cross for their salvation. You won’t see one politician going out of their way to sacrifice anything. And, what do social justice activists sacrifice?

Jesus spoke against the self-righteousness that’s behind much of today’s social justice activism. And, he didn’t coerce anyone to be rescued. He didn’t force salvation onto anyone. People came to him with their faith and open hands. He responded to their need.

The difference between the world’s salvation and Jesus Saves is the difference between putting yourself into the hands of a bureaucracy and some ism and putting yourself into the hands of the Infinite-personal God in Jesus.

*****

Same Road. New Vista.

What’s that you say? You’ve just arrived from Cyprus and you are new to the area? And, you’ve heard some incredible things? You want me to tell you all that’s happened? Come in for some water and …some bread.

Where should I begin, stranger? There is so much that has happened the last three days – the last three years, in fact! And long before now! Since you are a visitor from Cyprus, I will start with some necessary background so you will understand why my husband and I are so giddy.

My husband Cleopas and I – I am Mary – settled many years ago in this fertile valley below Jerusalem This area is known as Emmaus. We call this place Motza. Our village is about 30 stadia from our beloved Jerusalem.

As you have seen, it is a well-watered area with rich soil and an abundance of willow trees. During the Feast of Tabernacles celebration many come to our valley and gather willow branches. They take the willow branches and stand them up on the sides of the altar with their tops bowed over the altar.

Our valley has many springs watering it. Our people come down to one of Motza’s springs to get water for baking their matzo for the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

I’m sure you noticed the Roman Centurions stationed here. My husband says it is a strategic position for them as they can protect the ascent to Jerusalem on the road leading from Jaffa. And, it is strategic in the ways I know of. Cleopas has overheard some of them saying that they would like to retire here because of the many springs and because north of our village the valley widens offering them plenty of room for settlement and for growing food.

My husband and I are simple farmers. But life for us and our people has not been so simple. Many of us have long desired to be freed from the rule of those who do not worship the One true God. When the Babylonians overtook Jerusalem and carried our people away into exile it was the Isaiah the prophet who spoke for us …

O Lord our God,

other lords besides you have ruled over us

but we acknowledge your name alone.

Now, we are back in our land and still the pagans lord over us. So, we wondered: Would our God act again to bring us out of this exile as he took us out of Egypt? And, when will God resurrect Israel and restore her as a nation? When will the messiah, the Anointed One and Son of the Most High from the line of David, restore the house of David? When, when, when …when would God redeem his people and set up his everlasting kingdom on earth?

On many Sabbaths, as we gather in the synagogue, words from the Torah are read. And then the words of the prophets – the haftarah. We all felt the hopelessness and despair in the words of the prophet Ezekiel: “our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Our leader would then pray these words:

Vindicate me, my God,
    and plead my cause
    against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
    deceitful and wicked.
 You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?
 Send me your light and your faithful care,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
 Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.

Yes, there were times of renewing hope and rejoicing. This past fall my husband and I and pilgrims from Cyrpus and from faraway lands went up to Jerusalem for the feast of the tabernacle. We carried with us willow branches and olive branches to build to sukkah – our temporary booths. When we all gathered together, we shouted praises to God, sang the songs of Aliyah and waved our fragrant lulavs – our willow branches and palm fronds – before the Lord in a spirit of thankfulness.

After the feast, we walked home with the pilgrims on the Emmaus road, the same road that brought you here. Our hearts were burning with expectation as to what God would do. There was much animated discussion about the events of those seven days. And, it all centered on Jesus. You must know about him, don’t you? How can anyone not know?

That day as we walked along we talked about his feeding the five thousand by the shore of Galilee. We talked about our seeing him healing the blind and the lame. And, Lazarus had been raised from the dead! We marveled that demons were being cast out and at Jesus’ authority over them. And, his words! No one ever spoke like he did about the Moses and the prophets. We discussed how our religious authorities despised him and wanted to do away with him. This made us all fearful, as it would negatively affect our synagogues. Yet, they each said that many were believing in him as the one who was to come.

But Miriam told the group that that even his brothers did not believe in him. She learned this from a young doctor named Luke, whom she met at the feast. He told her that Jesus’ brothers wanted Jesus to show himself publicly so that he could become well-known. “Show yourself to the world!” they said to him. They wanted to put Jesus in a situation which would make him prove he is the Messiah. But Jesus told them “My time is not yet. The world can’t hate you, but it hates me, because I am giving evidence against it, showing that its works are evil”. He told them to go up to the feast. Miriam said that Jesus went up later in secret and now we know why. There was a considerable dispute in the crowds. Some said “He’s a good man and others “He’s deceiving the people!” There were those who hated him and wanted to do away with him.

Ruth told us about the twelve-year old Jesus. His family had gone up to Jerusalem for Passover. When they left to return to Galilee with a caravan of friends, they had traveled a day’s journey before realizing that Jesus wasn’t with the group. He had vanished! So, they went back up to Jerusalem and searched for him for three days. They couldn’t find him anywhere. When they finally did put their eyes on him, he was sitting with the teachers of the law. He was listening to them and asking questions. Those listening to him were amazed at his answers to their questions. But, Mary was neither amazed or happy. She scolded him for disappearing. “Child”, she said to him, “why have done this to your father and me? We have been frantically searching for you”. Jesus told his mother, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I would have to be getting involved with my father’s work?” They didn’t understand a word of what he was saying. Wasn’t his father a carpenter?

Oy, there is so much to tell. I will focus on the last few days and on what happened to Cleopas and me this afternoon. What happened the last few days in Jerusalem we learned from the Jesus’ disciples as Cleopas and I were in Jerusalem for Passover. I can tell you that it was a time of weeping and anguish.

As you may have heard, on the night of Passover Jesus was captured by the authorities – ours and Roman. Though he had done nothing wrong he was sentenced to death on a Roman cross. Our authorities pushed for this, shouting “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea and then released by Pilate to the angry crowd. Jesus was crucified like a common criminal. When we learned of this our hearts were broken, our hopes were dashed. “What good is a dead messiah we asked each other? We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.” God be praised! There is more to tell you!

We were in Jerusalem this morning. We heard many, many accounts and rumors of visions and of Jesus’ tomb being empty. The disciples were at a loss as what to make of it all. Peter had gone off to see for himself and confirmed that the tomb was indeed empty. But he was as perplexed as the rest of us. We waited for while longer to see what might come of it all and then we decided to head home. Now, this is the part I’ve been waiting to tell you… I can barely …

Cleopas and I headed home to our village. Along the way we discussed all that had happened that morning. We argued, too, about what it meant. As we walked a stranger approached us and began walking with us. He was not at all familiar to us but he must have overheard us. He started the conversation:

Rowan LeCompte and Irene Matz LeCompte, “Third Station of the Resurrection: The Walk to Emmaus” (detail), 1970. Mosaic, Resurrection Chapel, National Cathedral, Washington, DC. Photo: Victoria Emily Jones.

“You’re obviously having a very important discussion on your walk. What’s it all about?”

We stopped walking and turned to him. He must have seen that we were both downcast. Cleopas answered the stranger. “You must be the only person around Jerusalem who doesn’t know what’s been going on there the last few days.”

“What things?” he asked.

“To do with Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet. He acted with power and he spoke with power, before God and all the people. Our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. But we were hoping that he was going to redeem Israel!

And now, what with all this, it’s the third day since it happened. But some women from our group have astonished us. They went to his tomb very early this morning, and didn’t find his body. They came back saying they’d seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Some of the folk with us went off to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they didn’t see him.”

“You are so senseless! So slow in your hearts to believe all the things the prophets said to you! Don’t you see? This is what had to happen: the Messiah had to suffer, and then come into his glory!”

At this point, we were quite perplexed. Who is this stranger and why is taking this so personally? We were both taken aback by the zeal and authority with which the stranger spoke. We searched his face for answers to what we didn’t recognize in all of the Sabbath words. He began walking and we followed.

We listened to the stranger explain Moses and the prophets and all of Scripture in terms of the One who was to come and ransom Israel and bring her and the whole world out of exile. He told us …

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; Do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

As he spoke, it was like we were no longer walking down the Emmaus Road.  We were on top of a mountain. Our eyes were opened to a vista that went far beyond anything we had known. Everything we had been taught, everything we had heard and seen, began to take on new meaning. He went on to talk about a kingdom on earth and about new creation. His words astonished and exhilarated us. Wonder and joy flooded our hearts.

We reached the intersection to our village. We turned down our road. The stranger kept walking down the Emmaus road. We called after him urging him to stay with us. He kept walking. Cleopas finally ran up to him and pleaded with him to stay with us. “Sir”, he said, “the day is almost over. Stay with us.” The stranger agreed to come with us.

We invited him in and gave him a bowl of water and a towel to wash his hands and feet. We gave him water to drink. We sat down to a small meal. The stranger took the bread up into his hands and prayed, giving thanks for the meal. He then broke the bread and gave it to us. It was then …it was then …it was then that we were shocked beyond belief! Our jaws dropped and we looked at each other with wide open eyes. Cleopas and I saw that the stranger was Jesus, the resurrected Jesus! And, as soon as we saw him, he vanished from our sight! Poof!

We were speechless. The Anointed One and Son of the Most High was walking with us and talking with us and sitting down to eat with us! Everything we hoped for had come true in our sight, as Anna the prophetess foretold and Simeon prophesied! … Our eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people!

Now, our new friend, Cleopas and I have to return to Jerusalem to tell our brothers and sisters all that has happened this afternoon. We must break bread with them. Come with us and you will see him, too!

As we walked the 30 stadia back up to Jerusalem, Cleopas and I kept pinching each other. We walked and danced and walked and ran and clapped. We kept saying “Do you remember how our hearts were burning inside us, as he talked to us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?” Cleopas, in his booming voice and with a smile on his face, kept repeating “For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave” and the words our Sabbath leader prayed:

Why are you cast down, O my soul

And why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him.

We both shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

The Cypriot, not sure what to make of all this, watched us from a distance. There was an amused and perplexed look on his face.

Adapted from the Gospel according to Luke (2:41-50)

“Obedient even to death . . . yes, even the death of the cross”

 

 

“…I’m telling you the solemn truth: unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains all by itself. If it dies, though, it will produce lots of fruit…

…Now my heart is troubled,” Jesus went on. “What am I going to say? ‘Father, save me from this moment’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.”

 

 

Crucifixion Nikolai Ge

The Eyes Have It

At the cross. At the burial. At the empty tomb. Three wait-and-see days. Three women.

The gospel according to Mark begins with the ushering in of “the good news of Jesus the Messiah, God’s son” (Mk. 1:1). Composed of short narratives that could be easily visualized by those who heard its reading, Mark’s terse and unembellished gospel clears a straight path so that the reader can see and perceive Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises (Mk. 1:3).

For example, Mark uses literary bracketing (inclusio) to focus in on that fulfillment. Two accounts of blind men receiving their sight bracket Jesus telling his disciples (three times) that he will be rejected, handed over to the authorities, killed and then rise from the dead after three days.  (Beginning Bracket: Mark 8:22-26; End Bracket:  Mark.10:46-52.)

Because of their own unwillingness to really really look at Jesus (cf. Mk.8:25) the disciples do not perceive Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises through death and resurrection.

At a mission critical point in the gospel account -Mark chapter 8 – Jesus reproaches his disciples for their lack of understanding. We learn from the brutally honest account that those closest to Jesus, each with two good eyes and two good ears, still did not grasp that the Messiah had to be crucified and then rise again. We hear that in Peter’s repudiation of that mission (Mk. 8:32).

Peter is Mark’s principal eyewitness source of what Jesus said and did and of the disciple’s reactions. But after the end of Mark chapter 14, where Peter’s denial is recorded, Peter and the male disciples are nowhere to be seen or heard from.

Three women are introduced into the passion narrative (Mk 15). They are the source for Mark’s passion account. They are eyewitnesses of what occurred at the cross, at the burial and at the empty tomb.

Earlier in the text, Mark wrote of the blind gaining sight, of those with two good eyes not seeing and not perceiving what was taking place. Mark now places emphasis on seeing that would lead to perceiving and, hopefully, to belief. He records the seeing of the women seven times:

Henry Ossawa Tanner

At the cross. Some of the women observed from a distance. They included Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome. They had followed Jesus in Galilee, and had attended to his needs. There were several other women, too, who had come up with him to Jerusalem. (Mk. 15: 40-41).

(Note that Mark added that these women had also been with Jesus for most of his ministry. He is telling us that they had observed Jesus from his early ministry to the empty tomb. These women likely heard Jesus teach his disciples new things: about him being handed over to be killed and his rising from the dead after three days. (Mk. 8:31-32; 9:31-32; 10:32-45)

At the burial. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where he was buried. (Mk. 15:47)

At the empty tomb. After the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they could come and anoint Jesus …” who’s going to roll the stone away for us?”

Then, when they looked up, they observed that it had been rolled away. (It was extremely large.) (Mk. 16: 1-4)

So they went into the tomb, and there they saw a young man sitting on the right hand side. He was wearing white. They were totally astonished.

“Don’t be astonished,” he said to them. “You’re looking for Jesus of Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been raised! He isn’t here! Look – this is the place where they laid him.

“But go and tell his disciples – including Peter – that he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just like he told you.” (Mk. 16:5-7)

The earliest manuscripts of Mark’s gospel account end at 16: 8:

They [the three women] went out, and fled from the tomb. Trembling and panic had seized them. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

This is a curious ending for a gospel that begins with “the good news of Jesus the Messiah, God’s son”. Mark clearly wanted the readers to perceive Jesus as the Messiah, God’s son. He clearly wanted the reader to take in the crucifixion of the Messiah and his bodily resurrection. Why end good news with fear and trembling?

Mark’s gospel account may have had a longer ending. If the original manuscript was written on a scroll (likely), the edge of the scroll containing his ending may have deteriorated. This also happened to many dead sea scrolls.

Later copies of Mark contained appended text (Mk. 16: 9-20). This text may have been added by a scribe in the second century who was familiar with Luke’s gospel account. There are similarities. Mark’s promise of “the good news of Jesus the Messiah, God’s son” has been restored- fulfilled – with the added text. And so was Mark’s emphasis of those not perceiving what is taking place.

Mark’s narrative emphasis on hardness of heart leading to unbelief – rejecting what has been seen and heard by eyewitness accounts– is reinforced in the added text:

When Jesus was raised, early on the first day of the week, he appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went and told the people who had been with him, who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive, and that he had been seen by her, they didn’t believe it.

After this he appeared in a different guise to two of them as they were walking into the countryside. They came back and told the others, but they didn’t believe them.

Later Jesus appeared to the eleven themselves, as they were at table. He told them off for their hardness of heart, for not believing those who had seen him after he had been raised. (Mk. 16: 9-14)

At the cross. At the burial. At the empty tomb. Three wait-and-see days. Three women seeing seven times. Eleven hard-hearted disciples. And you? You still don’t get it? (cf. Mk.8:21)

All God’s promises, you see, find their yes in him: and that’s why we say the yes, the “Amen,” through him when we pray to God and give him glory (2 Cor. 1:20)

The eyes have it. Amen.

****

“Nowhere in early Christian literature do we find traditions attributed to the community as their source or transmitter, only as the recipient. Against the general form-critical image of the early Christian movement as anonymous collectivity, we must stress that the New Testament writings are full of prominent named individuals . . . Compared with the prominence of named individuals in the New Testament itself, form criticism represented a rather strange depersonalization of early Christianity that still exercised an unconscious influence on New Testament scholars.”[i]


[i] Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., Grand Rapids, MI), 2017), 297

Palm Sunday and the Problem of Evil

Just a few centuries before the first Palm Sunday, Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270 B.C.) promoted to his followers the notions of another ancient Greek philosopher, Demetrius (c. 460 – c. 370 B.C.). Demetrius’ had proposed the theory of Atomism to account for nature.

The theory in brief: the universe is a material system governed by the laws of matter. The fundamental elements of matter are atoms. Random, unguided ‘atoms’ smash into each other, thereby creating the world and life as we know it. Epicurus went on to tweak Demetrius’ theory by saying that atoms do not always go in straight lines but can “swerve, avoiding atomism’s inherent determinism and allowing for free will – just like the gods.

Per Epicurus, the gods were off somewhere happily doing their thing unconcerned about anything. They existed without needs, were invulnerable to any harm, and were generally living an enviable life, not anxious about anything. As such, they exemplified what Epicurus’s followers should seek to attain in their limited human nature.

For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by aponia, the absence of pain and fear, and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and bad, that death is the end of the body and the soul and should therefore not be feared, that the gods do not reward or punish humans, that the universe is infinite and eternal, and that events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space.The Epicurus Reader

Epicurus also taught that nothing should be believed except for that which was tested through direct observation and logical deduction – believed via the sensate and reason. Based on such thinking along with having the viewpoint that the gods were distant and uninvolved and therefore unrelated to ‘thinking’ and ‘sensing’ man’s life, man had to make do with the atoms he had been dealt. Don’t look to a personal God for help.

What was most important in Epicurus’ philosophy of nature was the overall conviction that our life on this earth comes with no strings attached; that there is no Maker whose puppets we are; that there is no script for us to follow and be constrained by; that it is up to us to discover the real constraints which our own nature imposes on us.The Epicurus Reader

As Epicurus evaluated the Greek and Roman gods of his time and man’s attempt to please and cajole the gods to obtain favors, it would make sense for him and his followers to deduce that “there is no Maker whose puppets we are”. And, for Epicurus to further reason the problem of evil paradox:

“The gods can either take away evil from the world and will not, or, being willing to do so cannot; or they neither can nor will, or lastly, they are able and willing. If they have the will to remove evil and cannot, then they are not omnipotent. If they can but will not, then they are not benevolent. If they are neither able nor willing, they are neither omnipotent nor benevolent. Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil, why does it exist?” ― Epicurus

 The Epicurean paradox was answered with another paradox: What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:4

In the fullness of time, including Epicurean times, the Lord of the universe put on human flesh – dust fashioned from the created elements including about 18% carbon – to deal with the problem of evil. There was nothing ambiguous or theoretical or abstract about the appearance of God’s own son Jesus. There was direct observation -seeing, hearing, and touching – by his followers.

Philosophers and atheists, before and after Epicurus, pronounced judgement on God for all the evil in the world.

The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven. – George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce

To address evil, Jesus announced the kingdom of God on earth. What was begun in Genesis – the ordering of material creation to build God’s temple on earth so that God would dwell with man – was reinstated by Jesus. This blueprint or worldview was on the books long before Epicurus arrived on the scene. And so is the record of God’s faithfulness. God, as revealed in Jesus, puts things to right.

Jesus entered space and time flesh and blood to pronounce judgement on evil. He did so without equivocation. Jesus did not succumb to pleasure seeking to avoid pain. He did not succumb to Satan’s temptations to find happiness. Evil unclean spirits were cast out. Hypocrites were denounced and death itself was overturned. Jesus suffered the full force of evil on the cross – an act of redemption from evil’s ransom.

The King of Glory wept over Jerusalem and his chosen people. The Israelites had so often rejected their reveal-to-the-world-the-one-true-God vocation. They had not been faithful stewards of God’s vineyard. Did Epicurus see no difference in their God and the Greek and Roman gods?

On that first Palm Sunday, just a few centuries after Epicurus taught that there was no personally involved God, the King of Glory, emptied of his glory, rides a donkey into Jerusalem to meet evil head on and to put the world right. The “Epicurean Paradox” would be addressed and soundly answered.

What will you do with the knowledge that the infinite-personal God, embodied in human form, speaks to the very human concerns behind Epicurean philosophy?