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Prophesy and Reality TV

Pity the poor TV producer of just a few years back. Put yourself in his place.

Imagine that you want to produce a TV show. First, you have to hire some actors. They’re all prima donnas and most suffer from high self-esteem. They’ll cost you an arm and a leg. Not to mention aggravation. As soon as you turn your back, they go on talk shows to promote their nutty religious views, or they say mean things about psychiatrists, whom we all know are the indispensable good guys in white hats today.

Then you must build a city. Or clear traffic in a real city, so as to stage your show. People get mad when they’re late for work because they had to detour because you closed their city because you wanted to film your TV show. They send you hate mail. But some of them don’t get mad. They come and appear in your show as extras……the folks just passing by, street traffic. But you must pay them as well, otherwise they gawk at the camera and wave ‘hi’ to Mom.

Of course, you can’t even get this far unless you have a story to film. You must hire writers. They aren’t cheap either. You will pay substantially for them to write scripts about psychos, perverts, misfits, oddballs, exhibitionists and dysfunctional people, which is all anyone wants to watch today.

These seemingly insurmountable problems would no doubt have derailed the entire television industry, but for a staggering discovery.

The audience of “30-somethings weaned on The Real World and Cops….doesn’t judge reality programs any differently than scripted drama.” (Rosenbaum)

To the TV producer, this statement is as profound as is the pledge of allegiance to the patriot or the Lord’s prayer to the devout person. It is the television equivalent of this verse:

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.   John 8:32

The elusive Rosenbaum, who is on the staff of the Carriertom Into-Wishen Research Institute, or will be as soon as we can track him down, single-handedly saved television!

Why write shows about psychos, perverts, misfits, oddballs, exhibitionists and dysfunctional people when you can just as easily, and for a fraction of the cost, go out and film real psychos, perverts, misfits, oddballs, exhibitionists and dysfunctional people! They don’t mind at all! They crave the attention. And the rest of us, who are mere wannabe psychos, perverts, misfits, oddballs, exhibitionists and dysfunctional people, love to watch their antics. We can’t get enough of it. Thus, the astounding success of reality TV!

………………………………..

Released 30 years ago, the movie Network was billed as outrageous satire. But each year brings it closer to dead-on reality.

The film begins with the anchorman for a floundering 4th network announcing the cancellation of the evening news due to poor ratings. Since he’s getting on in years and has no real prospects, he tells his viewers that he will blow his brains out on his final broadcast, and encourages them to watch.

Friends rally, concerned about his mental health. But the ratings inch up.

He persuades his network to let him broadcast one last time, so he can apologize for his bizarre behavior under stress, so he won’t be remembered as a loony. Alas, he really has gone nuts, and on his supposed-to-be final night he launches into an endless rant on how all life is B.S!

Ratings shoot through the stratosphere!

Some ambitious executives run the network. They rebuild the network around their new “mad prophet of the airwaves!” They surround him with likeminded nutcakes, who spin off into their own programs. They merge the news division with the entertainment division. (Sound familiar?) And when our hero’s ratings start to slip, they….well….I really shouldn’t give that away. But read it here if you must know.

Of course, rated R (mostly for language, which is substantial, the kind of stuff you hear at work or school), how can the film be a Sheepandgoats recommendation? It cannot be. But it is prophetic.

In 2000 the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. The movie depicted the concept of reality television a generation before it actually came into being.

………………………………......

Can’t understand this sayin going round says
Put more on with lessons and less on for morons   -   
D Loftus

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Neutral People and Pacifists

When nations start pounding the war drums, you’d better snap to. Even when they’re not pounding, but merely tuning them up, they don’t put up with much dissent. Thus there are peaceful countries (as countries go) such as South Korea in which young people are drafted into the military. Our people don’t go. So they routinely do jail time instead, since no exemption for conscience is granted.

From the preceding, a person might conclude that Jehovah’s Witnesses are pacifists. But we’re not. We are neutral.

If you were merely a pacifist, you might just do food service. Or Hummer repair. Or patch up wounded troops. Or mend uniforms. But if you’re neutral, you don’t do any of those things.

Neutral is a tougher sell to governments. Many can deal with pacifists. But not neutrality.

For too long a time my soul has tabernacled with the haters of peace. I stand for peace, but when I speak, they are for war.    Ps 120:6,7   

The neutrality stems from our view of God’s Kingdom. We take it seriously. We take it literally. It is the government that will, at long last, bring peace and restore earth to God’s original purpose. We endeavor to represent that kingdom.

We are therefore ambassadors substituting for Christ, as though God were making entreaty through us....2 Cor 5:20

If you were an ambassador from, say…. Krukordistan, you would live in Washington, or Ottawa, or London, or Paris. You would adapt to all laws and customs of your host country. You’d come to love the land in which you live, and its people. But...when it comes to the host’s politics, you wouldn't really take a position...nor would anyone expect you to. It is not your business...your business is to represent Krukordistan . Even if heavy issues develop and positions evolve for which, living in the host country, you may have some sympathy, still, it is not your job to take sides. Your lack of involvement is not because of callousness, or apathy, or lack of interest in fellowman...but it is simply not your place, representing Krukordistan, to take sides in the disputes of your host country.

That is our position regarding God’s Kingdom. It’s not entirely dissimilar to Abraham’s position:

By faith Abraham, when he was called….resided as an alien in the land of the promise as in a foreign land, and dwelt in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the very same promise. For he was awaiting the city having real foundations, the builder and maker of which [city] is God.   Heb 11:8-10

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Ask Your Doctor if Reading is Right for You!

People don’t read like they used to and that’s not good for the Democrat and Chronicle. They want to boost circulation, not cut it. So they fired the clods that had been handling their publicity and entrusted their entire advertising budget to the Carriertom Into-Wishen Research Institute. True, Carriertom has no experience in that sort of thing but, as Tom persuasively argued to the D&C, you have to start somewhere.

It was a wise move. The Institute realized right off that the trick was to make people read the paper. And who has more authority today than one’s own doctor?

 

Ask your doctor if daily newspaper reading is right for you.

Ccf07162006_00005_1 I always wanted to be an intellectual but I didn’t know much.

Ccf07162006_00008_1 I only knew a few really big words for conversation, like rhinoceros.
       "So, whatdya think of those Rochester Rhinoceroses?"

Cci00000_1

Whenever I agreed with something I would say yeppur!

I know what I want, and I don’t want to be dumb! So I asked my doctor if daily newspaper reading could help.

Ccf07162006_00003_1 And he said yes!

How about you? Why not ask your doctor if daily newspaper reading is right for you!


Daily newspaper reading is not for everyone. Blind or unconscious persons may experience impaired results. Editorials may cause busted guts due to anger or laughter. Pigheaded and pinheaded editorial writers may induce high blood pressure. Do not attempt to read while showering, sleeping, or water-skiing. Sourpusses should avoid comics. Do not attempt to follow all columnest advice, especially not that of Dr Ruth. In some cases, severe reactions can occur when you read that your mutual fund is going down the toilet. Ditto with the Buffalo Bills. (though you should be immune to that by now) Those over 110 years of age are at elevated risk of death within one year of reading a paper. Newspaper reading should not be used to avoid communication with one’s spouse or significant other. Unread newspapers should not be used to housebreak puppies. Speak with your linguist before beginning a reading program.

Daily newspaper reading is not for everyone. But maybe it’s right for you.
Ccf07162006_00006_1

Ya, know, I really am kinda stupid. What should I do?

 

 

      Ask your doctor if daily newspaper reading is right for you!

 

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Tom Irregardless and Me                No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Pop Goes to the Doctor...Sort of

Pop is 85 years old. He’s in perfect health.

He attributes that perfect health to the fact that he never goes to a doctor. Not since World War II. When we got him to agree to occasional physicals, it was a major victory. But he only did it so as to be on someone’s radar screen, in case he ever needs an insurance gatekeeper.

During those physicals, the doctor suggests this or that pill. Pop ignores it all.

Doctor: Actually, we don’t have any blood work on you.

Pop: That’s right, you don’t. Pills

…………………………

The Bible writer Luke was a doctor, whatever that meant back then.

“Luke the beloved physician sends you his greetings, and so does Demas.” - Col 4:11)

He writes, not unkindly, towards his own profession:      “And a woman, subject to a flow of blood for twelve years, who had not been able to get a cure from anyone, approached from behind and touched the fringe of his [Jesus’] outer garment, and instantly her flow of blood stopped.” - Luke 8:43-44

Yes, doctors had done their level best, but it hadn’t been enough. She hadn’t been able to get a cure from anyone.

But look what happens when the gospel writer Mark, not a doctor, relates the same event:

“Now there was a woman subject to a flow of blood twelve years, and she had been put to many pains by many physicians and had spent all her resources and had not been benefited but, rather, had got worse. [!]

a) put to many pains

b) spent all her resources

c) had not benefited; had gotten worse.

Mark and Pop would have gotten along well together.

 

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Tom Irregardless and Me              No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

What Makes a Great War Great?

The Great War began in 1914. Never had the whole world been at war at the same time. No doubt that’s why the word “great” was still available when they went to name the war. Afterwards, since there was a sequel, they rechristened it World War I.

The Spanish flu epidemic followed in 1918-19, right on the heels of the Great War. It originated in the United States and spread earth wide. It is the greatest, most intense, pestilence in history, before or since. It claimed more lives than did the war.

On the heels of the war came the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. When Stalin rose to power, in the 1920’s, he instituted a man-made famine, to tighten his control over the peasants. The famine claimed 10 million lives.

These, and similar, events have been connected with Jesus prophesy starting at Matt 24:3-7

While he was sitting upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately, saying: “Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things? And in answer Jesus said to them……..For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another.

Luke’s [another gospel writer, there were four] account of the same event reads: Then he went on to say to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another pestilences and food shortages…

All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress. - Matt 24:8 

Apparently, a time period is involved. It starts with a bang, and is followed by “pangs of distress.”

Question: Could 1914 have marked the beginning of the time period Jesus spoke of? If the greatest war in history, followed by the greatest plague in history, and massive food shortages as described does not fulfill this scripture, what does? Just what would it take?

The Greek word parousia is often translated return, as in what will be the sign of your return? But it should, more accurately, be translated presence - what will be the sign of your presence? When parousia occurs at Phil 2:12, every translator translates it as presence.

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence (Gr parousia) only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

Since a sign is needed for Christ’s presence, it is apparently invisible. He is not to be found tromping around on the earth, so that you need only open your eyes and see him, but he is empowered in the heavens.

Sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet. -  Ps 110:1

Nearly 40 years in advance, Jehovah’s Witnesses pointed to 1914 as a marked year. [How they were able to do that will be the subject of another post.]

The World, a leading New York newspaper, featured this headline in its August 30, 1914 magazine section: “End of All Kingdoms in 1914”

“The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy….For a quarter of a century past, through preachers and through press, the ‘International Bible Students [Jehovah’s Witnesses], best known as ‘Millennial Dawners,’ have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914. ‘Look out for 1914!’ has been the cry of the hundreds of traveling evangelists who, representing this strange creed, have gone up and down the country enunciating the doctrine that ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand.’”

………………………

Two other passages link Christ’s coming to power with chaos on earth.  Bracketed comments [ ] are my own.

And I saw, and, look! a white horse; and the one seated upon it had a bow; and a crown [Christ empowered in the heavens] was given him, and he went forth conquering and to complete his conquest……And another came forth, a fiery-colored horse; and to the one seated upon it there was granted to take peace away from the earth so that they should slaughter one another; and a great sword was given him…..And I saw, and, look! a black horse; and the one seated upon it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice as if in the midst of the four living creatures say: “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the olive oil and the wine.”….And I saw, and, look! a pale horse; and the one seated upon it had the name Death. And Hades was closely following him. And authority was given them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with a long sword and with food shortage and with deadly plague and by the wild beasts of the earth.
Revelation  6:2-8

And Revelation 12:9-12

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled but it did not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven. So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ [Christ comes to power in the heavens] , because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down….On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.

The common thread in all these passages is as follows: Christ comes to power invisibly in the heavens. [in 1914] He cleans house, just as a new Republican administration will toss out all the Democrats, hide though they might. (Or vice versa, not to liken either party to the Devil! Don’t even think it.) The Devil and his angels, now on earth, proceed to...um....raise hell. They know they’re time is short. So the establishment of God’s Kingdom in the heavens means, temporarily, horrible conditions on earth. How’s that for counterintuitive!

But it’s only temporary pangs of distress. (Matt 24:8) In time comes inauguration day, in which Kingdom government extends over the earth.

These are among the facts one may learn through a personal home Bible study.

………………………..

Civilization entered on a cruel and perhaps terminal illness in 1914 - Frank Peters, St Louis Post-Dispatch, January 27, 1980

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Tom Irregardless and Me             No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Weapons of Math Instruction

Whereas religious experts are a dime a dozen at the Whitepebble Religious Institute, there really is only one science and math authority: Tom Tombaugh. And even his credentials are modest: he claims to be a distant cousin of Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of disgraced wannabe planet Pluto. Nevertheless, he’s all we have, so if he doesn’t show, it really creates a void. Truth be known, Whitepebble keeps Tombaugh around to counterbalance Tom Sheepandgoats, Tom Weedandwheat, Tom Wheatandweeds, and Tom Fishandchips - religious nuts who otherwise drive him up a tree.

The Institute had a recent staff meeting and Tombaugh didn’t show. Of course, Whitepebble made a thorough search, only to find that he had been stopped at the border on his return trip from Krukordistan! A concurrent news headline told it all:

NEW YORK - A noted researcher for the prestigious Whitepebble Religious Institute was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator.
At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement.
He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction. "Al-gebra is a problem for us," Gonzales said.
"They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute values. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as ' unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country.

Ah, well. So much for our science division

[the news report is not my writing. I wish it were. My best efforts to trace it led here, but in stripped form, it has been around even longer.]

 

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Tom Irregardless and Me                    No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

The Helix and the Cross

I traded e-mails with someone who extols the scientific method. He favors evolution. I favor creation.

We both liked the result. Did I mind if he posted the exchange on his website? No, I did not; it’s two different views expressed clearly and with mutual respect. I positively like this fellow, and may post the exchange myself, someday when I am too lazy to think up anything new.

Take a look at his site, he said. Did I approve? Well….yes….but…

For the sake of art, he used a symbol to represent himself and one to represent me. He, the man of science, grabbed the double helix. But I got stuck with the cross!

Jehovah’s Witnesses are perhaps unique among faiths (even including non-Christian) in disputing that Jesus died on a cross.

When you read “cross” in the New Testament, it is translated from one of two Greek words: stauros or xylon. Find the meanings of those two words, and you have the meaning of “cross.”

Neither refers to an upright beam with crosspiece. Stauros later came to mean beam with a crosspiece, but in the apostles day, it meant an upright stake, or piling. Xylon means timber, beam, post, stake, even tree, what have you, but not cross. The King James Bible translates xylon as follows:

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.   Acts 5:30

Also, Jesus death is a fullfillment of prophesy, as is seen at Gal 3:13: (New Testament)

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

And where is it written? Deuteronomy 21:22,23: (Old testament, 1500+ years prior to Galations, long before there was any Roman empire)

And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

So, if you wanted to make the case that Jesus died on a cross, you wouldn't be able to do it from scripture.

If you rank all of our beliefs on a scale, this one won’t rank too high. It is a detail. There’s no sense in not getting it right, but it’s not an essential element of faith. Either way, Christ’s death accomplished what it accomplished.

But it is a little odd, isn’t it, this cross fetish?  Suppose, for instance, that Jesus was run over by a truck. Would devotees wear tiny Mack truck amulets around their necks?

So, will the science person change my symbol? I hope not. And I doubt it. What would he change it to? An upright  post would look ridiculous. Even more so my profile picture. And the tetragrammaton would be presumptuous. That, I don’t think, I would like at all.

The shape of the [two-beamed cross] had it origin in ancient Chaldea, and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) in that country and in adjacent lands, including Egypt. By the middle of the 3rd cent. A. D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical systems pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the cross of Christ. - An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (London, 1962), W. E. Vine, p. 256.

 

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Tom Irregardless and Me                 No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Belief over Bureaucracy

The race is on to see who can rebuild flattened Lebanon after the 5 week war. (assuming that war is really over) The international community hopes it will be the Lebanese government. The smart money, though, is on Hezbollah, the grass roots guerilla group that provoked the war in the first place.

Onlookers wish it were otherwise, but Hezbollah represents people with convictions, while the government represents……well…..coalitions and bureaucrats and politicians and (sometimes) scoundrels.

So far, it’s no contest. Changing hats, and flush with cash from neighboring Islamic nations, the recent guerillas now run backhoes and bulldozers. Was your home destroyed in the war? They rebuild it free of charge. This builds good will. Even those fed up with the group for its militancy are nonetheless happy to receive their aid….why would they not be? As for the international funds channeling through the Lebanese government, they are in transit, being appropriated,  just around the corner, perhaps being siphoned, what have you.

Haven’t we heard this same story lately, closer to home?

One year after hurricane Katrina, although $17 billion has been approved by Congress to rebuild homes, not one house has been rebuilt! (from that source - some rebuilding has taken place from private sources, flood insurance, and charitable organizations)

Typical are reports such as this one:

“In a state where 60,000 homes suffered severe damage, only around 30,000 households were eligible for the initial program, and now less than three dozen checks have gone out,” said Oxfam America’s Minor Sinclair, director of its US regional programs. “Very few families will have made any progress by Katrina’s first anniversary. People are stranded in gutted-out houses, overcrowded trailers, and slipping deeper into debt, with no real help in sight.” Oxfam blames lack of political will, bureaucratic bungling, and poor policy decisions.

If it didn’t involve real people, it would be laughable. But it does involve real people. “I think people have lost hope,” says one Biloxi resident highlighted here. “When people don’t have any hopes, they don’t have anything to drive them to work, to do something good. Hope is long gone.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses are to Hezbollah as Tony the Tiger is to the Tamil Tigers, but there are two similarities. Both groups have conviction, and they can both rebuild.

3200 homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses were damaged by Katrina. They’re all rebuilt now. (I am extrapolating, based on previous reports.)

Jehovah’s Witnesses are organized to build. Regional Building Committees, comprised of volunteer JWs, exist worldwide to construct Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls. When disaster strikes, these teams converge and form the core of relief efforts. Other Witnesses swell their ranks, putting their own businesses on hold or using vacation time. Materials are supplied either from donations made to the parent organization’s worldwide work, or made expressly for any particular disaster.

Really, then, as long as we have time favorable for it, let us work what is good toward all, but especially toward those who are related to [us] in the faith.....Gal 6:10

Belief will trump bureaucracy every time.

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Tom Irregardless and Me     No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Horses in Water

Ever since I was a kid, Durand Eastman beach has been closed. With much hoopla, the new administration vowed to open it. Opening day came and their first action was to close it. The bacteria count was too high.

Really, for 40 years you would never  had known the beach was closed. Come warm weather, swimmers flocked to it, almost as much as to the open beach two miles down the road. But every year, a child or two would drown, and the following chain of events invariably ensued:

First would come the tragic story of the drowning itself. A day or two later, somber "I told you so" scoldings from the newspaper, coupled with dismay that people still, even in the face of such tragedy, continue to play Russian Roulette with their very lives, swimming where there are no lifeguards! A few days later, some old codger or two would write in to say that he had swum at the beach for 50 years, same as his parents and grandparents. Furthermore, his children and grandchildren would also swim at the beach, and it was up to parents to watch their own kids, in which case tragedies would not happen.

These coots notwithstanding, city officials, as mentioned, coughed up the dough to hire lifeguards and build high chairs for them. They roped off an area, kicked out dogs, boats and floats, banned horseplay, splashing, chicken fights, snorkels and masks. Opening day finally came, after the bacteria had subsided,

While lifeguards badgered, cajoled, and nagged their charges, in the name of Safety, they were indulgent with those crazies, quite a few of them actually, who chose to swim outside the supervised area, leaving them unmolested for the time being. You don’t change 40 years of risk taking behavior in one day.

If it saves one life, it’s worth it, goes the slogan. But I will miss the literal horseplay.

They came from the stables across the street, clip-clopping straight into the water. You could tell straight off they weren’t people, because they didn’t dip their hooves in and take forever getting used to the water. No, they barreled right in, up to their shoulders, and frolicked around, having a good ol time. Of course, there were people with them, their handlers, and getting them in proved easier than getting them out. One horse got spooked at the mini-breakers hitting the shore, and he would not cross them. His handler tried and tried to coax him, but he would not do it. He might still be there, had he not finally sashayed around the wave, eying it warily all the time, oblivious that he was sidestepping through other breakers while making his escape.

They’re not all as smart as Mr. Ed, and from now on, they don’t swim at the open beach. Image

Tom Irregardless and Me   No Fake News But Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Understand the Bible in 24 Hours

At a certain airport, two elderly women stand against a corridor wall. They offer literature to passerby who approach them. At their feet is a sign: Understand the Bible in 24 Hours. Is that possible?

It depends. Do you mean 24 consecutive hours? In that case, probably not.  Picture a water cooler jug. It can hold a lot. But the neck is small; you have to pour the water in slowly. You can’t just throw a bucketful of water and expect much of it to go in.

But if you mean 24 separate hours, each one a few days apart, then the answer is yes. And, in fact, the two women offer a book specifically designed for such a program, a book entitled What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Take the chapters one at a time, prepare for them ahead of time, look up cited scriptures in advance, and the goal is attainable; you can acquire a working knowledge of the Bible in 24 hours.

You may feel it’s worth your time. The Bible answers vital questions which are answered no where else. For example:

Chapter 3: What is God’s Purpose for the Earth?
Chapter 6: Where are the Dead?
Chapter 8: What is God’s Kingdom?
Chapter 11: Why Does God Allow Suffering?

These are age-old questions, to which many have despaired of ever finding answers. In fact, some feel it unrealistic even to ask the questions. But the Bible does answer them. If you are not familiar with its answers, you ought to be. It’s easy enough to look into.

Finding such answers might strike you as too good to be true. So if the cost were outlandish, either in terms of money or time, you might balk. But that’s not the case with the program of home Bible study that Jehovah’s Witnesses offer. The monetary cost is zilch; this is a free program. You might donate a buck for the book so they can print another one, but that is only my suggestion, it’s not a requirement. The cost in time is modest: 24 hours, plus whatever prep time you think appropriate.

But I thought the Bible is hard to understand, one might object. How can I understand it in just 24 hours? Well, most ideas commonly taught by churches today are not found in the Bible. It is the attempt to read them in which causes trouble. For example: the notion that the earth is a mere testing ground, from which to launch people into an eternity of heaven or hell. It’s not taught in the Bible, but imagining that it is, people try to impose that idea on all they read, and the result is a mishmash. Approach the Bible without such preconceived ideas, and it becomes clear sailing.

What are these two women looking for in people? They’re not looking for the pigheaded kind, ones who already know everything; it's hard to discuss anything with that type person. But neither are they looking for gullible people.

Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica [where the disciples were run out of town], for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.   Acts: 17:11

They weren't fools back then....they were "noble-minded" in their search. But they "carefully examined" and weighed all that they learned.

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