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Bible ourhomewithgodcomThe three-year Lectionary that many Catholics and Protestants hear in public worship gives us a great variety of Holy Scripture.

Yet, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

My series Forbidden Bible Verses — ones the Lectionary editors and their clergy omit — examines the passages we do not hear in church. These missing verses are also Essential Bible Verses, ones we should study with care and attention. Often, we find that they carry difficult messages and warnings.

Today’s reading is from the English Standard Version with commentary by Matthew Henry and John MacArthur.

Acts 10:30-33

30 And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour,[a] and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”

———————————————————————————————–

Last week’s post pointed out how important it was for Peter to follow the divine vision he was given and go with Cornelius’s men — Gentiles — to the Roman centurion’s home in Caesarea. This was the fulfilment of God’s plan to open the Church to Gentiles. Christ was no longer exclusively for the Jews and those who maintained those traditions (Samaritans).

We left off last week where Peter, accompanied by Jewish converts from Joppa, arrived with Cornelius’s men in Caesarea. Peter asked Cornelius why he was summoned.

Cornelius related the vision he received (verses 30-32). I wrote about that vision a few weeks ago. The only wording difference is an updated version from Cornelius: ‘your prayer has been heard’ (verse 31).

He said that because now Peter was in front of him. Recall that when the angel appeared to Cornelius, he said (Acts 10:4): ‘Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God’.

Matthew Henry offers insight as to how and where Cornelius might have prayed at home that afternoon (emphases mine below):

He was at the ninth hour praying in his house, not in the synagogue, but at home. I will that men pray wherever they dwell. His praying in his house intimates that it was not a secret prayer in his closet, but in a more public room of his house, with his family about him; and perhaps after prayer he retired, and had this vision. Observe, At the ninth hour of the day, three of the clock in the afternoon, most people were travelling or trading, working in the fields, visiting their friends, taking their pleasure, or taking a nap after dinner; yet then Cornelius was at his devotions, which shows how much he made religion his business; and then it was that he had this message from heaven. Those that would hear comfortably from God must be much in speaking to him.

Henry also has this to say about the angel’s appearance:

He describes the messenger that brought him this message from heaven: There stood a man before me in bright clothing, as Christ’s was when he was transfigured, and that of the two angels who appeared at Christ’s resurrection (Luke 24:4), and at his ascension (Acts 1:10), showing their relation to the world of light. [3.] He repeats the message that was sent to him (Acts 10:31,32), just as we had it, Acts 10:4-6.

As for Cornelius saying that his prayer was heard:

We are not told what his prayer was; but if this message was an answer to it, and it should seem it was, we may suppose that finding the deficiency of natural light, and that it left him at a loss how to obtain the pardon of his sin and the favour of God, he prayed that God would make some further discoveries of himself and of the way of salvation to him. “Well,” saith the angel, “send for Peter, and he shall give thee such a discovery.”

Cornelius went on to acknowledge his appreciation of Peter’s presence in his house and said that all there gathered in the presence of God awaited the Apostle’s words as the Lord commanded (verse 33). That demonstrates Cornelius’s faith and belief. The others around him would have been family members and trusted friends.

Henry has a beautiful analysis of the centurion’s words:

Observe, [1.] Their religious attendance upon the word: “We are all here present before God; we are here in a religious manner, are here as worshippers” (they thus compose themselves into a serious solemn frame of spirit): “therefore, because thou art come to us by such a warrant, on such an errand, because we have such a price in our hand as we never had before and perhaps may never have again, we are ready now at this time of worship, here in this place of worship” (though it was in a private house): “we are present, paresmen–we are at the business, and are ready to come at a call.” If we would have God’s special presence at an ordinance, we must be there with a special presence, an ordinance presence: Here I am. “We are all present, all that were invited; we, and all that belong to us; we, and all that is within us.” The whole of the man must be present; not the body here, and the heart, with the fool’s eyes, in the ends of the earth. But that which makes it indeed a religious attendance is, We are present before God. In holy ordinances we present ourselves unto the Lord, and we must be as before him, as those that see his eye upon us.

He then breaks down Cornelius’s request of Peter to speak as the Lord commanded:

Observe, First, Peter was there to preach all things that were commanded him of God; for, as he had an ample commission to preach the gospel, so he had full instructions what to preach. Secondly, They were ready to hear, not whatever he pleased to say, but what he was commanded of God to say. The truths of Christ were not communicated to the apostles to be published or stifled as they thought fit, but entrusted with them to be published to the world. “We are ready to hear all, to come at the beginning of the service and stay to the end, and be attentive all the while, else how can we hear all? We are desirous to hear all that thou art commissioned to preach, though it be ever so displeasing to flesh and blood, and ever so contrary to our former notions or present secular interests. We are ready to hear all, and therefore let nothing be kept back that is profitable for us.”

What a moment that must have been for everyone there.

John MacArthur has this take on salvation, submission and Peter’s reaction to what Cornelius said:

A man’s salvation is no accident. God orders the whole sequence, but men’s submissive will must move in. Where do you see the submission of Cornelius? In the word immediately. His will was ready. There are the first two things in salvation. Sovereign call and submissive will. Submissive will. You know what I love about that verse 33? He says, “We’re here present to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.” Cornelius says, “Peter, give us the whole shot. We want it all.” Boy, have you ever had an audience like that? Man, what evangelism. I mean he’s so used to fighting it in Jerusalem. Can you imagine all those open hearts. It must’ve taken him for a moment.

What do we see then this morning? We see how God works in salvation on the one hand, but demands submission in the will of a man.

And that theme of a submissive will to the sovereign call is one that runs through the entire set of New Testament letters, whether from Peter, Paul or John.

Peter spoke. This next reading is in the Lectionary at Epiphany (verses 34-38) and, more fully, at Easter, when all of the following is read. Peter’s message remained consistent with what he preached immediately after receiving the Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost (Acts 2), although he tailored it for a Gentile audience by omitting the Old Testament prophecies in detail:

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

The account of Cornelius and his household concludes next week.

Next time — Acts 10:44-48

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An 11-year-old boy had his dream fulfilled at the White House on Friday, September 15, 2017.

Shortly before his birthday, Frank wrote to President Donald Trump:

The lad’s penmanship needs work. Another thing is the crossed out signature. Why couldn’t his mother or father print out a fresh copy of the letter for him to sign? But those are small quibbles about a heart-warming story.

On Wednesday, September 13, press secretary Sarah Sanders announced that Frank would be visiting the White House:

I’d like to announce that Frank from Falls Church, Virginia, whose letter I read last month offering his services to mow the White House lawn, will be here on Friday. He’ll work with the grounds-keeping crew here at the White House and will help cut the grass in the Rose Garden.

The President is committed to keeping the American Dream alive for kids like Frank, and we’re all looking forward to having him here.

This was the scene last Friday:

Lefties went crazy, accusing the White House of using child labour. On Sanders’s tweet thread, one person said that Frank’s mowing the lawn was much better than what another little boy was doing. (How true. I pray that little boy is safe. I cannot imagine a parent consenting to that.)

Someone on The_Donald started a thread with this title:

Liberals think 11-year-olds are too young to volunteer to mow a lawn, but are mature enough to undergo sex-change treatment.

Yes! That said, I do wish people would stop calling lefties ‘liberals’. It legitimises them. If anything, they are the most illiberal people alive.

The_Donald’s thread has amusing mock CNN and PBS headlines for the story. Those posting to the thread recalled mowing the lawn as children. So do I. There were also enterprising pre-teens who would shovel people’s drives after a snowstorm for a small fee. That’s all changed. I understand from several Americans that boys haven’t done that for years.

Here are a few of the comments.

This one:

My cousin used to mow lawns for extra cash in high school.. then after high school he was like, “school is for losers” and just mowed lawns full time.. he now runs a lawn care business that employs dozens of people and he’s 25. wew.

The reply:

Friends[‘] kid did same thing, began at 10, hired his first crew at 14 – was worth a million before he was 21.

And this one:

If the same kid wanted to get pumped full of sex hormones, that’s progressive. But apparently he’s too young to choose to operate a push mower? I don’t get it.

The reply:

You “don’t get it” because you have a fully functioning brain… 🙂

In case you think I’m being hard on the Left, recall that Obama invited Clock Boy to the White House in 2015. The New York Times reported:

Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Texas boy who became a cause célèbre after he was detained and handcuffed for taking a homemade clock to school, visited the White House on Monday for its second astronomy night.

After Ahmed’s detention on Sept. 14, President Obama invited him to bring his clock to the White House. “Cool clock, Ahmed,” Mr. Obama said on Twitter, adding: “We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.”

As the Daily Wire explains, Clock Boy is somewhat dubious. After going to the White House, he and his family moved to Qatar. Then they returned to Texas. In May 2017, CBS News reported:

A federal judge has dismissed a discrimination lawsuit brought by the family a Muslim student who was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school that officials believed to be a bomb, saying the student’s attorneys failed to prove he was treated differently based on his race or religion.

Now he’s back in Qatar in secondary school. But, I digress.

Frank is a very different character. In fact, he wants to be a Navy SEAL when he grows up.

For now, though, he just wants to do his work well. In fact, he was concentrating so hard on mowing the Rose Garden lawn that he did not even notice President Trump approach him:

Frank’s nickname is FX (Francis Xavier?). Here’s the White House video. Frank’s father accompanied him:

The Daily Mail has a charming summary of Frank and his day:

The_Donald has another thread about Frank, sorry, FX. I particularly enjoyed the following exchange (and have substituted A and B for the posters’ names):

A: Loved watching this kid today. Lines weren’t perfect. That lawn mower weighs more than he does…then the freaking PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES walks up to him and he is like “sorry, got a job to do sir” and just keeps mowing.

Some presidents would have been annoyed to be ignored like that. Trump was beaming with pride. It’s that kind of work ethic that he absolutely loves. Which is why he’d rather rub shoulders with construction workers and cab drivers and bricklayers than the putzes he usually has to deal with to keep his brand afloat in the past.

I’m telling you, he was just admiring this kid for his focus on the job. This is a good kid. He may never be rich or famous or any of those things, but he will always have a job because he is willing to work and commit to the work.

It’s Americans like this that built this country. Not the snobs that run it.

B: Best internship ever!

Although if Trump had pulled a $100 from his wallet, given it to him, and ruffled Frank’s hair, it would have been totally awesome.

A: Frank would have given it back I think. Kid is on a mission.

After Frank helped make lawns great again …

… he got a great reward …

… and was the subject of at least one news show that night:

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Sarah Sanders’s father, came up with a great suggestion:

Along with millions of Americans, I wish Frank ‘FX’ Giaccio a lifetime of happiness and success. His parents are doing a great job of raising an all-American boy. I wish the world had more people like them.

What a month of disasters: Hurricane Harvey, Mexico earthquake (8.1), Hurricane Irma, Mexico earthquake (7.1) and now Hurricane Maria.

Maria hit St Croix and Puerto Rico on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, one day after the second earthquake took place.

Summary

Bob Henson of Weather Underground posted ‘Maria Slams St. Croix, Rips Across Puerto Rico’ early Wednesday morning.

Maria hit St Croix in the early morning hours (emphases mine below):

Maria raked the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix (population 50,000) with its outer eyewall on the strong (right front) side of the eye, between about 1 – 3 am EDT Wednesday morning, but the island missed seeing the Category 5 winds of the inner eyewall, which remained just offshore to the south. The highest winds officially observed on the island were at Cotton Valley RAWS, located on the east end of St. Croix: sustained at 99 mph, gusting to 136 mph, at 2:13 am EDT. A WeatherFlow station at Sandy Point, on the island’s southwest tip, observed sustained winds of 100-104 mph, gusting to 137 mph. Even stronger winds likely occurred somewhere across the island’s west end, but we don’t know how strong, since the wind measuring equipment at the St. Croix airport and the Lime Tree Bay Buoy failed.

According to the Quicklook page at NOAA’s Tides and Currents, Christiansted Harbor on the north side of St. Croix observed a storm surge of two feet. The pressure at a personal weather station on the southwest tip of St. Croix fell to 954 mb at 1:48 am, when the eye made its closest pass to the island.

Maria roared on to Puerto Rico, arriving a few hours later:

Ferocious Hurricane Maria made landfall around 6:15 am EDT Wednesday near Yabucoa in far southeast Puerto Rico as a top-end Category 4 storm, with peak sustained winds estimated at 155 mph

Maria did not hit Puerto Rico as a Category 5 hurricane, thanks to an eyewall replacement cycle (ERC) that began on Tuesday night. The storm’s “pinhole” eye, less than 10 miles wide, was supplemented by an outer eyewall that contracted around the smaller one. The process helped lead to the slight weakening of Maria’s top winds, but it also likely broadened its core of winds topping 100 mph.

Dr Jeff Masters provided an update, ‘Maria Back Over Water After Devastating Hit to Puerto Rico’. Excerpts follow:

After making landfall in southeast Puerto Rico near 6:15 am Wednesday as a top-end Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, Hurricane Maria finished a devastating pummeling of the island near 1:30 pm, when its eye emerged over the ocean off the northwest coast. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft found that Maria’s 70-mile traverse of Puerto Rico had knocked the top winds of the storm down to 110 mph by 5 pm Wednesday, making it a high-end Category 2 hurricane. Satellite images show the hurricane is still well-organized, though, and the Hurricane Hunters found that Maria’s pressure was falling again late Wednesday afternoon: 957 mb at 5 pm, compared to a 961 mb reading at 2 pm. Maria will continue to bring dangerous torrential rains and powerful winds to Puerto Rico and the eastern Dominican Republic into Thursday.

Maria brought extreme rainfall amounts to large portions of Puerto Rico that caused record or near-record flash flooding. Numerous stations in Puerto Rico recorded rainfall amounts in excess of ten inches. Rainfall amounts in excess of 47 inches in 24 hours were recorded at three stations on the southwest side of El Yunque, the high mountainous area in the northeast corner of Puerto Rico; these are so extreme as to be unbelievable, and the gauges may have been impacted by flash flooding, or by a calibration problem at extreme precipitaion rates …

The storm’s powerful winds caused catastrophic damage to the island’s power grid, knocking out power to 100% of Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents. In the Virgin Islands, there was also heavy damage on St. Croix, and serious flooding has been reported on St. Thomas …

Maria stayed over Puerto Rico for several hours:

After making landfall in southeast Puerto Rico near 6:15 am Wednesday as a top-end Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, Hurricane Maria finished a devastating pummeling of the island near 1:30 pm, when its eye emerged over the ocean off the northwest coast. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft found that Maria’s 70-mile traverse of Puerto Rico had knocked the top winds of the storm down to 110 mph by 5 pm Wednesday, making it a high-end Category 2 hurricane. Satellite images show the hurricane is still well-organized, though, and the Hurricane Hunters found that Maria’s pressure was falling again late Wednesday afternoon: 957 mb at 5 pm, compared to a 961 mb reading at 2 pm. Maria will continue to bring dangerous torrential rains and powerful winds to Puerto Rico and the eastern Dominican Republic into Thursday.

Maria previously ravaged other Caribbean islands. A picture caption at the top of Masters’s article reads:

Damage on the Lesser Antilles island of Dominica, after Hurricane Maria hit as a Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds. Maria killed at least 7 people on Dominica, and 2 on neighboring Guadeloupe. Image from a video by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

Zero Hedge has a good article, with part of the title being a quote, ‘We’ve Never Seen Anything Like This’ (emphasis in the original below):

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosello indicated this was life-changing:

We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history.

Earlier, on Dominica and Guadeloupe (emphases mine):

“It is devastating, indeed, mind boggling,” Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica’s prime minister, said in a statement. The eastern Caribbean nation with a population of 75,000 has “lost all what money can buy and replace,” he said. Skerrit said he was rescued after the roof of his house was torn off by the storm.

At least six people have died on the island of Dominica, according to a spokeswoman for the government in London. “Damage is extensive throughout the island,” she said, “and people are walking the streets in a delirious state of mind.” With all lines of communication down, the government was relying on amateur radio, or ham radio, operators for updates, according to Bloomberg. In addition, at least two have been confirmed dead on the island of Guadeloupe.

Tell me there isn’t some sort of message in all this destruction.

Those of us living far away should pay attention and mend our ways, because this wrath is directed at all of mankind. I rarely write about storms, but the past few weeks have been phenomenal.

Maria in the record books

Henson reported that Maria is the record books:

Maria was the second strongest hurricane ever recorded to hit Puerto Rico, behind only the 1928 San Felipe Segundo hurricane, which killed 328 people on the island and caused catastrophic damage. Puerto Rico’s main island has also been hit by two other Category 4 hurricanes, the 1932 San Ciprian Hurricane, and the 1899 San Ciriaco Hurricane.

  • In terms of top sustained wind, Maria is the fifth strongest hurricane on record to hit the U.S. behind only the four Cat 5s to hit the country (Hurricane Andrew of 1992 in South Florida, Hurricane Camille of 1969 in Mississippi, the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys, and the 1928 hurricane in Puerto Rico.)
  • In terms of lowest atmospheric pressure at landfall, Maria (917 mb) ranks third in U.S. records behind only the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane and Camille.
  • Maria’s landfall at Category 4 strength gives the U.S. a record three Category 4+ landfalls this year (Maria, Harvey, and Irma). The previous record was two such landfalls, set in 1992 (Cat 5 Andrew in Florida, and Cat 4 Iniki in Hawaii.)

Masters’s article added:

Maria is almost assured to be the most expensive hurricane in Puerto Rico history, and may challenge Hurricane Hugo (1989) and Irma (2 weeks ago) as the most expensive hurricane on record for the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This was how the 1928 San Felipe Segundo hurricane was reported by a Nebraska newspaper. Note ‘God’s Fury!’ above the map:

The hurricane wreaked havoc — tornadoes and severe rain — from South Dakota eastward to New York.

For anyone wondering, Puerto Rico was spelled that way in those days. The United States did not use ‘ue’ until 1948.

Financially devastating

The cost of clean-up, restoration and rebuilding of parts of Texas, Florida, the Caribbean — and Mexico — will be massive, crippling in some cases.

The Zero Hedge article said:

Maria could cause $30 billion in damage to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, according to Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler for Enki Research. The island, which filed for bankruptcy in May after years of economic decline while a series of defaults, has been effectively shut out of capital markets, which could slow the recovery process, Bloomberg reports. Its aging government-owned electric utility operates under court protection from creditors and its emergency fund stood at about $32 million before Irma knocked out electricity access for hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans.

Although President Donald Trump has been busy at the UN for the past two days, he has been keeping a close eye on developments:

Below, he says that what has happened in Puerto Rico is ‘very, very sad’ and that Maria has made it a very different island:

The mayor of San Juan agrees:

The Trump administration will get relief work started as soon as practicable. He will also be visiting the island, probably the first president to do so after a disaster:

Images of Maria and Puerto Rico

Near the end of this moving GIF, Maria’s eye looks just like the hurricane symbol. Now I understand why the symbol has that shape:

The wild gyration, Stu Ostro says, is unusual.

There was also low pressure in a new location:

This short video shows Maria as she moved through parts of Puerto Rico:

Much of the island has been hit by flooding, which continues — said to be ‘catastrophic’ on Thursday:

Maria is still a strong hurricane:

In fact:

And:

This is a photo of the ocean:

Power is out for everyone in Puerto Rico:

Power will be out for some time:

Wow:

The man interviewed below said that he has lived through hurricanes before, but nothing like Maria. He said that his friends felt the same way:

A curfew is in effect for the entire island for the next few days:

El Nuevo Dia has news on the devastation.

The forecast

Something out of this world is going on here, because:

On Thursday:

This is a possible path:

Here is a timeline:

In closing

(I think ‘chela’ above was meant to be ‘heal’.)

Incredibly, on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, Mexico was shattered by a second horrible earthquake in less than two weeks.

Earthquakes occur all the time. Most are small and go unnoticed. However, Mexico has suffered badly this month.

The first quake occurred on Thursday, September 8, and measured 8.2 on the Richter scale. Ninety people died, mostly in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Tabasco. Several hundred homes were severely damaged or destroyed.

September 8 was the day when Irma was classified as a Category 5 hurricane storming through the Caribbean.

The New York Times reported (emphases mine):

Over all, the earthquake — the most powerful to hit the country in a century — killed at least 61 people in Mexico, all of them in the southern part of the country that was closer to the quake’s epicenter off the Pacific Coast.

The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 8.2 and struck shortly before midnight on Thursday, was felt by tens of millions of people in Mexico and in Guatemala, where at least one person died as well.

Also:

In Mexico City, the capital, which still bears the physical and psychological scars of a devastating earthquake in 1985 that killed as many as 10,000 people, alarms sounding over loudspeakers spurred residents to flee into the streets in their pajamas.

The city seemed to convulse in terrifying waves, making street lamps and the Angel of Independence monument, the capital’s signature landmark, sway like a metronome’s pendulum.

But this time, the megalopolis emerged largely unscathed, with minor structural damage and only two of its nearly nine million people reporting injuries, neither serious, officials said.

Mexico City’s residents no doubt breathed a collective sigh of relief.

However, they felt a deadly earthquake on Tuesday, which, ominously, was:

the 32nd anniversary of the tremor that killed thousands and came just two hours after earthquake drills were held across Mexico to mark the date.

Talk about a come-to-Jesus moment.

Today, the Telegraph reported that at least 217 people have died in the earthquake, which measured 7.1:

The death toll was slightly reduced, after it climbed throughout the night as rescue workers continued digging through rubble, with 21 children at a collapsed primary school among those killed

The epicentre was Atencingo in Puebla state, around 75 miles south-east of Mexico City, and struck at a depth of 32 miles, according to the US Geological Survey, at 1.14pm local time

President Enrique Pena Nieto urged people to stay in their homes if it was safe to do so and keep the streets free of congestion to allow emergency vehicles to pass.

Much of Mexico City is built on former lake bed, and the soil can amplify the effects of earthquakes centred hundreds of miles away.

The power is still out in many areas. Families are desperately trying to contact loved ones.

What follows is a selection of terrifying videos from Tuesday. I was surprised to see the number of passersby on the street watching to see what would happen. I realise that some buildings were evacuated, but a number of other people are just walking around amidst power lines lying in the street.

This video gets scary at the 5:08 point:

Here is another compilation:

This office building collapses in seconds:

This was the first tweet I saw:

No, it certainly was not:

This one shows a building swaying and a window or two popping out onto the street:

Look at the dust from the collapsing buildings:

Detail of all-enveloping dust:

This entire building — block of flats? — collapsed:

This was the scene on the 38th floor of one building:

It will take some time to get certain roads fixed:

Good grief:

The airport has been damaged:

This is a great animal rescue video:

Animals can sense an earthquake before people do. However, research shows that this is only seconds, rather than days, beforehand.

Earthquake watcher Dutchsinse is accurate in his predictions. I don’t follow him but saw him mentioned elsewhere. He saw this earthquake coming and warned about it. He thinks a volcano could erupt next:

Dutch explains that Mexico was ‘quiet’. Then, a few weeks ago, pressure started changing in Guatemala, travelling northward — the opposite direction seen in pressure movement — to Mexico. Now, Dutch thinks this movement will continue — possibly to southern California or eastward into the Caribbean.

He thinks something could happen on a 6.1 scale. The first Mexican earthquake was 8.1 or 8.2 (sources vary). This second one was 7.1. So, the next will be one point down on the scale.

This brings me to Wired‘s ‘Can Hurricanes Trigger Earthquakes?’ It seems so, but not in the same year. So far, research has shown a lag time of two years. There needs to be deforestation in order for that to occur and likely to be on a Caribbean island. Haiti has had the most research done. Many more studies would need to be conducted.

Here is a map of the area that Tuesday’s earthquake affected. It’s a large area, extending beyond Mexico City.

Dutchsinse warns his viewers living in a sensitive area in this part of the world to ‘be prepared’ and ‘have a plan’ for 11 days’ time.

I agree.

Whilst prepping, for those who haven’t already done so: get right with God.

The recent weather and tectonic movement have been so dramatic and unusual that I will repeat that this is a divine message. Who controls our planet? God, our Creator.

In the meantime, prayers for Mexico and condolences to the families who lost loved ones over the past two weeks.

Please note: this post deals with a sensitive subject.

On Monday, September 18, 2017, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) gave a press conference to discuss the Democrats’ plan to work with President Donald J Trump on amnesty for illegal aliens.

She no doubt thought it would go well, but she did not plan for an angry mob of people without US citizenship to shout her down. She is visibly shaking in the video below. I almost felt sorry for her:

This is Pelosi’s hoped-for voting bloc. Actually, some non-citizens vote already and did so in last year’s general election:

But I digress.

Back to Pelosi’s press conference. The optics are bad.

Here is another view:

Breitbart reported that the group of protesters, the Immigration Liberation Movement, employed classic radical techniques used during the Occupy protests in 2011:

The group shouted down Rep. Pelosi, who struggled to maintain control of the meeting, and unfurled a large banner calling for all illegal aliens to be legalized.

Others held up signs, including: “Fight 4 All 11 Million,” referring to the estimated total of all illegal aliens in the U.S.

Pelosi regained her composure afterwards, but one cannot help but wonder what she was thinking:

Breitbart explains the purpose of the press conference in more detail:

Earlier, Pelosi had spoken at the podium with community leaders and fellow members of Congress from the Bay Area in support of her legislative push for a bill that would legalize the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

President Donald Trump canceled DACA earlier this month, but left Congress a six-month window in which to find a legislative solution for the roughly 800,000 DACA beneficiaries. Pelosi said that she wanted the “DREAM Act,” a long-dormant Democratic Party bill that goes much further than DACA, “to be the basis of how we go forward.”

“We’re not giving up our fight to protect America’s dreamers,” she said.

However, she could not speak over the protests. “It’s clear you don’t want any answers,” she said.

Obama created DACA by executive order. That was wrong. It should have been a bill created in Congress that went through the usual legislative process. This is why Trump got rid of it.

Obama was a genius (in all the wrong ways), because this is a political hot potato. He was great at creating chaos.

The Free Beacon reported on Pelosi’s press conference:

Pelosi and Democrats have held the position that Dreamers should be legalized because only their parents are guilty of illegally immigrating to the United States. The protesters did not agree with such an approach.

“Congresswoman Pelosi, you called this press conference in our name to defend the so-called ‘Dream Act,'” they chanted. “But you’ve already traded in our parents in our name.”

They also attacked Pelosi for reaching out to make deals with Trump.

“Last week you announced that you had agreed with President Trump, and I quote you, ‘to work out a passage of border security,'” they chanted.

The article says that the radicals are even upset with Obama, claiming that, during his time in office, nearly three million illegals were deported.

Trump voters, hoping for better border and immigration security, are more upset than ever. Trending heavily on Twitter are #NoDACA and #NoAmnesty:

However, this could be part of a master plan from the American president. A Breitbart reader offers this candid analysis:

Actually, it is a stroke of genius on Trump’s part. If he does not get the wall, there will be no deal. And all of the illegals will turn on the Dems and blame them. Then, the Dems will finally admit that the DACA are caca and throw them under the bus while they look for a way to get new voters. So Trump has put the Dems in the hot spot, & they will get the blame for conceding the wall in order to let the DACA’s stay on work permits. Except the Dems will never allow the wall to be built. They have “compromised” in the past, but the wall has never been built because they lie through their teeth. So, since the Dems cannot compromise, the DACA’s deport as soon as their permits expire, & we get the wall. Along with a huge host of other goodies. Like less immigration & H series visas. Grab the popcorn, it is going to get good!

Information about DACA

Until a few days ago, I was under the mistaken impression that those enrolled in DACA — Dreamers — are children.

The Daily Caller says this is exactly what the media want people to believe (emphases mine below):

CNN and MSNBC are repeating the false claim that DACA recipients are “children” or “kids,” while actually most are adults.

While DACA recipients were illegally brought to the United States by their parents when they were children, the minimum age to apply for the program is 15 years old. In fact, the majority of the applicants were over the age of 20 based on 2014 data from the US government. Some have estimated that the average age of dreamers is 25 or 26 years old–hardly children.

The Daily Wire tells us more about Obama’s brilliance — calling off any serious screening for DACA applicants:

With all the hype surrounding President Trump’s decision to end DACA, it’s important to remember a 2013 report from Judicial Watch revealing that under Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS), background checks were scrapped for those applying to be covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Documents from 2012 obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show that memos were circulated about circumventing extensive background checks for those applying for DACA protection. For instance, memos from September 14 ordered the National Benefits Center (NBC) to provide “lean and lite” background checks to DACA applicants without a specified end date to stop the practice. Another email thread showed that DACA applicants couldn’t be denied protection if they were unable to produce some form of identification.

But there is more:

DACA also opened the door for family members of illegals protected under DACA to receive amnesty, as a directive allowed for “immediate relatives” of DACA illegals to receive protection for deportation. Therein lies the problem with DACA and efforts to provide legalization and citizenship to so-called Dreamers: it’s the first step toward broader amnesty.

The article concludes:

A country cannot adequately protect its citizens and uphold its sovereignty if it doesn’t know who is entering the country; by conducting only “light and lean” background checks and not requiring identification in applying for DACA, then extending protection to immediate family members of illegals protected by DACA, it’s very easy for people with criminal records to get through. Especially since so many of the DACA Dreamers aren’t actually children.

Trump cancelled DACA on September 5. New applications are no longer accepted.

Dreamers have to renew their paperwork for permits to remain in the United States. A permit is valid for two years. Anyone in the programme whose permit expires between now and March 5, 2018 must apply for a new permit before October 5, 2017.

After March 5, deportation efforts are likely to focus on criminals and not law-abiding Dreamers.

On September 5, The Daily Wire reported:

Trump is already promising not to implement immigration law in six months. That means this whole strategy is designed as a bluff to get Congress to legitimize DACA, and throw in funding for the wall as a sop to Trump’s immigration hawk base. In fact, as Politico is reporting, White House sources are saying Trump might leave DACA in place in six months if Congress doesn’t act.

The article concluded:

The odd thing about Trump’s policy here is that he had a far easier one available, as Byron York of The Washington Examiner points out: he could have simply pulled the Obama strategy on same-sex marriage by waiting for attorney generals to sue over DACA, then refuse to defend DACA. That would have avoided this brinksmanship while ending up with the same policy. Then Trump could bargain in good faith with Congress over DACA if he wanted to, without any bluff at all; even Democrats would see that DACA wasn’t long for the world and be forced to the negotiations table.

Lawsuits are being filed, including this one:

Why people are upset

DACA forces taxpayers to foot the bill for Dreamers and their families:

On the other hand:

Then there is the perspective from this legal immigrant — a Marine — who came to the US from Italy when he was two years old. He says — rightly — that every immigrant should follow the lawful process to enter the United States:

Amnesty has not worked in the past. Ronald Reagan gave amnesty at one point during his tenure in a bargain with the Democrats. The Democrats did not fulfil their part of the deal regarding workplace enforcement and border security. Bush II also gave an amnesty. Now here we are with DACA.

On September 8, Breitbart reported that the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was working out possible deals with Democrats earlier this year, as an Illinois senator explained:

Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democratic Senator, spilled the beans in an interview with Reuters, where he described how he worked with  Jared Kushner and liberal Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham to promote the DACA amnesty in April and July …

Kushner also arranged phone calls between Durbin and then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who now serves as Trump’s chief of staff.

On September 6, Trump took questions from the media about his meetings with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer (D-NY):

Q Mr. President, what do you say to those who say there are mixed signals coming from the White House over DACA?

THE PRESIDENT: No mixed signal at all. Congress, I really believe, wants to take care of this situation. I really believe it — even very conservative members of Congress. I’ve seen it firsthand. If they don’t, we’re going to see what we’re going to do.

But I will tell you, I really believe Congress wants to take care of it. We discussed that also today, and Chuck and Nancy would like to see something happen, and so do I. And I said if we can get something to happen, we’re going to sign it and we’re going to make a lot of happy people.

Q Do you want a pathway to citizenship for those DACA recipients?

THE PRESIDENT: That’s going to be discussed later, but we want to talk about legal right now. We haven’t discussed that.

Q What did you mean when you said you wanted to revisit the issue in six months?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re going to see what happens. I want to see what happens in Congress. I have a feeling that’s not going to be necessary. I think they’re going to make a deal. I think Congress really wants to do this.

Q And what would you like to see, Mr. President, in legislation?

THE PRESIDENT: I’d like to see something where we have good border security, and we have a great DACA transaction where everybody is happy and now they don’t have to worry about it anymore because, obviously, as you know, before, it was not a legal deal. It was a deal that wouldn’t have held up and didn’t hold up. And even President Obama when he did it, when he signed it, he said this is obviously not something that’s — he called it short-term.

I’d like to see a permanent deal, and I think it’s going to happen. I think we’re going to have great support from both sides of Congress, and I really believe that Congress is going to work very hard on the DACA agreement and come up with something.

In the early part of the 20th century, immigration was also a hot topic. In fact, immigration slowed to a trickle between 1921 and 1965, when, under Lyndon B Johnson, it resumed in earnest with the amended Immigration and Nationality Act.

All the belligerent immigration demands being made now in the United States would not be tolerated in other countries — especially south of the border.

I wonder what Nancy Pelosi is thinking today.

Sunday, September 17, 2017 was Constitution Day in the United States.

Some states and universities are holding special events this week to celebrate and educate Americans on the finest written work in the world other than the Bible.

I had not heard of Constitution Day until I saw someone tweet about it on a conservative site, but it has been around since 1911, starting in Iowa. Before 2004, it was also known as Citizenship Day.

It is disappointing to see that the late Senator Robert Byrd, a former KKK higher-up and Hillary Clinton hero, was responsible for this great celebration of freedom. Even broken clocks are right twice a day:

The law establishing the present holiday was created in 2004 with the passage of an amendment by Senator Robert Byrd to the Omnibus spending bill of 2004.[3] Before this law was enacted, the holiday was known as “Citizenship Day”. In addition to renaming the holiday “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” the act mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions, and all federal agencies, provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day.[4] In May 2005, the United States Department of Education announced the enactment of this law and that it would apply to any school receiving federal funds of any kind.[2]

It is celebrated by those on the Left:

As well as the Right:

Events are being held around the country, including Mississippi, Illinois and North Carolina.

Educating America’s youth about the Constitution is required by law:

The Constitution was carefully put together over several months. There were quarrels, but, through the grace of God, America’s Founding Fathers arrived at a work of genius:

This is what the Founding Fathers devised for the new Great Republic:

These are some of the best-known Amendments:

Upholding the Constitution relies on the support of the American populace:

Yet, over the past few decades, many Americans have become distracted by bread and circuses:

The Daily Signal, referenced by the Heritage Foundation, points out:

our textbook description of American government conceals the reality of the administrative state. Most of the rules that govern our behavior are made by administrative agencies, not by Congress. Administrative agencies also investigate, prosecute, and enforce violations of these rules …

For several years, Congress has taken a closer look at reforming this administrative state that has grown up around the Constitution and threatens its core principles. But thus far, very little has been completed.

The path back to constitutional government will be long and difficult from this Constitution Day, but many good ideas have been offered for bringing our administrative behemoth back into the constitutional framework.

It is the responsibility of Congress to rein in the administrative state and begin the slow, arduous task of rebuilding constitutional government.

This man is correct:

This student understands:

However, too few care.

In many quarters, ‘patriot’ has become a dirty word:

Some think the Constitution is sexist or racist, however, nothing could be further from the truth. This short video is excellent at explaining what various amendments actually say:

It is vital that the US Constitution be upheld in all three branches of government — executive, legislative and judicial:

For more information on the US Constitution and Constitution Day, see #ConstitutionDay, Presidential Trivia and the National Archives.

Earlier this year, the British mothers’ site Mumsnet and grandmother’s site Gransnet each took a survey of grandparents’ attitudes towards babies’ names.

Mumsnet‘s and Gransnet‘s results are now in. The two groups worked together on the surveys.

Generally speaking, 81% (Gransnet) to 85% (Mumsnet) of grandparents have no problem with their grandchildren’s names.

However, Gransnet says that, for the small majority that do:

44% of grandparents said that the disagreement was with their daughter, 22% with their son, 17% with their daughter-in-law and only 6% with their son-in-law. In order to avoid using the hated name, 17% said they avoid mentioning the child’s name when talking to other people about them, another 17% admit to using the child’s name begrudgingly and 6% said they avoid saying the name at all. 39%, however, have found that they’ve come to terms with the name now that they’ve got used to it.

Mumsnet says that grandmothers are more likely to object to names than grandfathers:

Forty-four percent of parents said the complaints came from their own mother and 42% said they came from their mother-in-law. Only 14% said their dad objected and the figure was the same for objections from father-in-laws.

That should be fathers-in-law.

Anyway, on September 13, The Telegraph had an article about the survey and included a list of popular baby names over the past 100 years, which makes for interesting reading.

I don’t know what the situation is in the US, but British names have changed over the past 20 years (emphases mine):

Among the reasons given for such grand parental distaste is that – like Muireann – the name is too hard to pronounce. This does not explain, however, why names loathed by grandparents include Charlotte, Jack, Sally and Finn, my own son’s name. (His grandparents love it, by the way. Or at least, they claim to.)

Other objections raised by grandparents include the name being too odd, too “made-up” or too old-fashioned; annoyance that their suggested name hadn’t been used; and annoyance that a family name hadn’t been used. For some, the name is just too ugly. Aurora, Elijah and Tabitha were cited among the offensive choices.

With regard to Tabitha, one wonders why people don’t use Dorcas instead.

Jack and Finn sound like nicknames. Yet, Jack is perfectly acceptable as a name on its own, apparently:

Derived from Jackin (earlier Jankin), a medieval diminutive of JOHN. It is often regarded as an independent name. During the Middle Ages it was very common, and it became a slang word meaning “man”. It was frequently used in fairy tales and nursery rhymes, such as ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, ‘Little Jack Horner’, and ‘Jack Sprat’.

Anyone naming their baby daughter Sally should put the full name on the birth certificate. Sally is a diminutive of Sarah.

The boys’ names from 1944 through to 1984 included (among others) John, James, Matthew, Michael, Richard and Robert.

Girls’ names between 1944 and 1974 were straightforward: Ann, Barbara, Jean, Mary, Sarah and Susan, to name but a few.

These are the most popular names for boys and girls as of 2015. I omitted the few conventional ones:

Oliver, ​J​ack, Harry, George, Jacob, Charlie, Noah, William, Oscar​

Amelia, ​Olivia​, Emily​​, Isla​​, Ava​​, Ella​​, Isabella​​, Mia​, Poppy​​

Charlie? Charles, surely. Harry is short for Henry. Parents, please take note.

Poppy? Hmm.

What a parent thinks is cute is something the child will have to endure for a lifetime. Perhaps the solution is a more conventional middle name that can be used if necessary.

Bible evangewomanblogspotcomThe three-year Lectionary that many Catholics and Protestants hear in public worship gives us a great variety of Holy Scripture.

Yet, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

My series Forbidden Bible Verses — ones the Lectionary editors and their clergy omit — examines the passages we do not hear in church. These missing verses are also Essential Bible Verses, ones we should study with care and attention. Often, we find that they carry difficult messages and warnings.

Today’s reading is from the English Standard Version with commentary by Matthew Henry and John MacArthur.

Acts 10:24-29

24 And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.” 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. 28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.”

—————————————————————————————————

Last week’s entry was about Peter pondering the vision he was given about all foods being clean when Cornelius’s men arrived to take him to Caesarea. Peter, a guest in Simon the tanner’s house in Joppa, provided the men with hospitality before setting off with them the next day.

I wrote last week that it was interesting that men from Joppa, converts, accompanied Peter and the Gentiles — Cornelius’s emissaries — on the journey (verse 23).

There is much significance behind that. Jews were not allowed to mix with Gentiles other than in the street or in commerce. Therefore, not only was it a big deal that Peter invited the Gentiles into Simon’s house for refreshment and sleep, but this commingling in travel would also further the mixing of the two groups.

Peter’s vision was now making sense to him, and he followed its instruction.

Both Matthew Henry and John MacArthur point out that this division between Jew and Gentile was never part of Mosaic law.

Henry tells us more and adds that there was similar animosity on the part of Gentiles (emphases mine):

It was not made so by the law of God, but by the decree of their wise men, which they looked upon to be no less binding. They did not forbid them to converse or traffic with Gentiles in the street or shop, or upon the exchange, but to eat with them. Even in Joseph’s time, the Egyptians and Hebrews could not eat together, Genesis 43:32. The three children would not defile themselves with the king’s meat, Daniel 1:8. They might not come into the house of a Gentile, for they looked upon it to be ceremonially polluted. Thus scornfully did the Jews look upon the Gentiles, who were not behindhand with them in contempt, as appears by many passages in the Latin poets.

We see this in verse 28, when Peter refers to his vision and rightly extends it from food to people, in this case, the Gentiles. Peter used the term ‘unlawful’.

MacArthur explains ‘unlawful’ and discusses ‘anathema’:

Notice the term unlawful. “You know that it is an unlawful thing.” Athematas, it means taboo. The Old Testament ceremonial law, of course, didn’t say that, but the rabbis added that. In fact, the rabbis said that defilement by going into a Gentile home was a seven-day defilement. Now the only seven-day defilement were contact…was contact with a dead body, but the Jews believed that the Gentiles put their aborted children down the drains. That when a Gentile woman had an abortion, she put the…the dead fetus down the drain, and so any contact with a Gentile home was contact with a defilement of a dead body. Therefore, that was a seven-day defilement; and because of the seriousness of such a defilement, Jews would not enter Gentile homes.

As for the the converts accompanying Peter and the Gentiles from Joppa to Caesarea, Henry said it was common. St Luke, the author of Acts, did not say whether Peter invited them or whether they invited themselves, however, everyone had good intentions:

Either Peter desired their company, that they might be witnesses of his proceeding cautiously with reference to the Gentiles, and of the good ground on which he went, and therefore he invited them (Acts 11:12), or they offered their service to attend him, and desired they might have the honour and happiness of being his fellow travellers. This was one way in which the primitive Christians very much showed their respect to their ministers: they accompanied them in their journeys, to keep them in countenance, to be their guard, and, as there was occasion, to minister to them; with a further prospect not only of doing them service, but of being edified by their converse.

Acts 11:12 says that six men from Joppa went. Whatever the circumstances were surrounding their decision to go, MacArthur says this was highly significant for the development of the Church. MacArthur thinks that Peter probably invited the men. We see God’s grace at work in giving them good and holy desires:

In fact, they became the key to the unifying of Jew and Gentile. You say, “What are you saying that for?” Just to say this. God not only led Peter through the direct voice of that… of the vision, through the very direct communication medium, but God led Peter through Peter’s own desires and Peter’s own ideas. God didn’t say, “Peter, take along six guys.” No, He didn’t do that at all. You say “Well, Peter just wanted to take ’em along?” Yeah, but where do you think he got that desire? God gave it to him, because God knew it was crucial to have them there.

Now, believe me, people, this is a great introduction as to how God works in the life of a believer. You and I don’t hear voices anymore. If we do, you come to see me. We don’t hear voices, and we don’t see visions, and God doesn’t do great, you know, skywriting…and give us all certain visions like in the old days. But how does God lead? He leads through our desires, and here we see exactly that. And mark it, people, it was just as important to have those guys there as it was for Peter to see that vision; but one of those came by God’s direct media. The other came by His indirect media, which is as He works in our hearts by His Holy Spirit to bring what He wants to do

It was critical that those Jewish Christians go, but there wasn’t any command. That’s how God works in us today. We…we don’t have the first half anymore. We just have that part. Philippians 2:13, “For it is God…I like this…who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Don’t you like that? God is working in me to will and to do of His good pleasure

And I think that’s how He works if you’re the right vessel. Now, if your desires are all clogged up with your own self-desires, you got problems filtering it out.

Verse 24 describes the men arriving in Caesarea ‘the following day’. Most probably, everyone was on foot, including the Gentiles. We will see next week that verse 30 says Cornelius talked about having his vision four days before. He sent his men to Joppa to fetch Peter immediately afterwards. From this we can deduce that it was a two-day trip each way. Henry says:

It seems, it was above a day’s journey, nearly two, from Joppa to Cesarea; for it was the day after they set out that they entered into Cesarea (Acts 10:24), and the afternoon of that day, Acts 10:30. It is probable that they travelled on foot; the apostles generally did so.

Note also in verse 24 that Cornelius had gathered his relatives and close friends with him. He knew something spiritually life-changing was going to happen. Henry emphasises Cornelius’s generosity in wanting to share this special time with others whom he loved and trusted:

Note, We should not covet to eat our spiritual morsels alone, Job 31:17. It ought to be both given and taken as a piece of kindness and respect to our kindred and friends to invite them to join with us in religious exercises, to go with us to hear a sermon. What Cornelius ought to do he thought his kinsmen and friends ought to do too; and therefore let them come and hear it at the first hand, that it may be no surprise to them to see him change upon it.

Whether Cornelius was overly excited or completely overcome by Peter’s presence, we do not know. However, his instinct was to fall down before Peter and worship him (verse 25).

Peter immediately lifted Cornelius up and disabused him of such a notion (verse 26): ‘Stand up; I, too, am a man’.

Given Peter’s humility, then, it is amazing that the Catholic Church came up with the idea of considering him as the first pope and that he was to have successors. MacArthur goes into all of that, citing a German book on Catholic doctrine, and concludes:

But Peter wants no worship. It is wrong to worship Peter. He is no pope. He is nothing to be worshiped. He is a man. Get up off your feet. Quit kissing his toe. He’s a man…He disallowed it at the very start, and no Christian is ever to be worshipped. No saint…at all. In Acts 14:14, they started to worship Paul and Barnabas…They were all calling ’em Jupiter and Mercury and thinking they were gods, and Paul says in verse 15, “What are you doing? We are men of like passions with you. Get up. What’s all this nonsense?”

You wanna hear what Isaiah said? Isaiah 42:8, he said this, “I am the Lord. That is My name, and My glory will I not give to another.” Did you hear that? “I am the Lord. That is My name. I am the Lord. That is My name. I will not give My glory to another.”…There’s only one in the Bible who ever accepted worship. You know who that was? God. There’s only one in the New Testament who ever accepted worship. Who is that? Jesus Christ. Then who is He? God. Peter didn’t want the worship of anybody.

Peter, post-vision, willingly entered Cornelius’s house. The former observant Jew goes into a Gentile’s house. This is highly significant.

There he sees many people (verse 27) and tells them of his vision that he is not to consider anyone unclean (verse 28).

Peter added that he came willingly, ‘without objection’, and asked why he was summoned (verse 29).

Note Peter’s discernment. He asked why he should be there. He did not work on assumptions or suppositions.

The story continues next week, but the three recent posts below explain how the first Pentecost transformed Peter from being foolish and rashly spoken into a true spiritual leader and fisher of men:

John MacArthur on St Peter

John MacArthur on Peter’s leadership qualities

More from John MacArthur on Peter’s leadership journey

Next time — Acts 10:30-33

Hillary Clinton’s new book, What Happened, is one of those tomes that will appeal only to her fans.

I heard Boston’s Howie Carr discussing it this week on his radio show. He said she blames everyone but herself for her loss. He also suspects it was probably ghost-written.

Carr picked up heavily on her paternalistic accusations of male Trump supporters forcing women — daughters, employees, etc. — to vote for the Donald. Howie said he did not tell his daughters how to vote. They had already made up their minds to vote for Trump. He added that he did not tell his sidekick Grace Curley how to vote, either, which she duly confirmed. However, Grace did say that Howie put the frighteners on one of her female friends in the run-up to election day, predicting all sorts of terrible things with a Hillary victory.

Rob Crilly reviewed the book in The Telegraph on September 13. Excerpts follow (emphases mine below):

What happened, it turns out, was not that Mrs Clinton was a flawed candidate with an uninspiring campaign, but that she was the victim of a world that wasn’t ready for her. And fake news, Rupert Murdoch, Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange, the New York Times and above all James Comey, the then FBI director, were “what happened”.

Mr Comey, you remember, was in charge of probing the homebrew email server that Mrs Clinton had used as Secretary of State. Just 11 days before the election, he announced he was reopening the investigation ensuring a slew of negative headlines at a crucial moment. “Even if Comey caused just 0.6 percent of Election Day voters to change their votes, and even if that swing only occurred in the Rust Belt, it would have been enough to shift the Electoral College from me to Trump,” writes Mrs Clinton.

We’ll never know the impact but I’m happy to imagine the intervention would have caused a 0 percent shift if she and her media team had got out ahead of the controversy, instead of going into a defensive crouch for months beforehand and avoiding legitimate questions.

It all smacks of the entitled status that so turned off voters. Throughout the book are reminders of the Clintons’ world: the hobnobbing in the Hamptons and the billionaire friends from the dotcom world.

Just so.

That is a big reason why a lot of Democrats turned to Trump.

Which reminds me:

And let’s not forget:

The Telegraph has resumed allowing comments on some of their articles. Greatly appreciated. The one dated 13 Sep 2017 1:03PM is excellent:

Bill and Hillary signed up as a double act years ago to fleece the world and hoover up whatever power, influence and money they could obtain together.

So Bill’s infidelities were just grist to the mill as long as the devious money making schemes from Whitewater to the Clinton Foundation continued to provide the lifestyle and influence which they felt was justly due to them AND they stayed together.

The only surprising aspect is that they both thought they could go on pulling the same strings and stunts for ever and the public would continue to be mesmerised by their ‘charm’ and political know how.

As they now know all good things must come to an end.

Exactly. Why it took so many decades for Americans to see that still mystifies me. And those who saw it during the 2008 election campaign — when she rolled over for Obama in order to get a place in his cabinet — dumped the Clintons for good. More realised how awful she was during the subsequent eight years.

This dissatisfaction with the Democrats is one of the reasons the US has had a significant increase in independent voters during the past few election cycles.

On the Trump side of the equation, the bright sparks at The_Donald are banding together to buy Trump’s Great Again (formerly Crippled America) in order to topple Hillary from the No. 1 spot on Amazon. Trump’s book was 16th on Tuesday, September 12 but No. 1 in the Movers and Shakers category.

One of The_Donald’s commenters is going to send a copy of Great Again to Hillary at the Hillary for America address in New York.

The Daily Caller picked up on this:

Their article provides the excerpt:

“It was like quicksand: the more you struggle, the deeper you sink. At times, I thought I must be going crazy. Other times I was sure it was the world that had gone nuts,” Clinton wrote. “Sometimes I snapped at my staff. I was tempted to make voodoo dolls of certain members of the press and Congress and stick them full of pins. Mostly, I was furious at myself.

And that was where the fury should have stayed. There should not have been a book, either, because Hillary has enough money.

And, in closing, to show how greedy she is, she is actually charging people to attend her book signings. Who does that? High-profile authors, it seems.

As if that weren’t bad enough, she’s charging in Canada as well.

On August 31, Fox News reported:

For $2,375.95 (or $3,000 in Canadian dollars), Clinton fans in Toronto can obtain a “VIP platinum ticket” for her Sept. 28 talk. That ticket includes two front-row seats, a photo with Clinton backstage and a signed book.

For the same price, VIP tickets are also available during Clinton’s upcoming appearances in Montreal and Vancouver.

The steep ticket prices have not gone unnoticed in the publishing industry.

“It is standard for high profile authors to do book tours that sell tickets to events, but Clinton’s tour takes it to a new level of greed,” an industry source told Fox News.

I hope we get an update in a few months’ time. It would be marvellous to discover that few people attended.

Watching children with their parents in southern France fascinates me.

Even toddlers there are well behaved.

Families walk along the beach together late at night, and it’s a beautiful sight to behold.

The children are also good in restaurants. They eat an amazing variety of seafood and know how to use their utensils properly.

So I was fascinated to read an article in The Telegraph, ‘No kids allowed: is Britain becoming an anti-child society?’

Excerpts follow:

Eileen Potter, owner of Treacle’s Tea Shop in Winchmore Hill, north London, recently found herself in hot water when she banned pre-schoolers, to the fury of many parents. In response, she explained: ‘We can not continually afford to replace crockery. We are not a family establishment’ …

Italy is famed for being especially family-friendly, but Marco Magliozzi of Rome fish restaurant, La Fraschetta del Pesce, imposed the same restriction. ‘Children throw olive oil on the floor, they send the salt cellar flying across the room and, above all, they hate fish,’ he complained.

Well, I have not seen that in the south of France.

Part of the problem perhaps is letting children rule the roost at home. Another is not eating at the kitchen or dining room table every night. I can remember pretty far back and recall eating with my parents at table from the time I was three. I had my dad’s children’s cutlery set so I could eat properly. No special meals. I ate what my parents ate. Mom did have to cut my pork chops up for a while, but other than that I never had a problem.

However, there is another difficulty here with children since the smoking bans came in force across much of Europe. Every adult establishment now seems to be child-friendly. Pubs and continental cafés are no longer for adults.

The Telegraph points this out:

Several of my London friends (in their 40s and 50s, with no kids) complain that their long-held ritual of a quiet, lazy weekend pub lunch is now impossible.

‘Every decent pub in my neighbourhood is full of children running wild, and that’s if you can get through the door, which is invariably barricaded by buggies,’ says one who wants to remain anonymous. She now eats out only in the evening: ‘But even at 8pm or 9pm, there are often loads of children. Is nowhere sacred?’

Another seethed her way through a recent restaurant outing: ‘There was a toddler on his scooter, whizzing around the dining room, weaving between the tables, tripping up the staff. His parents ignored him and carried on drinking their wine.’

Those ladies would be fine in Cannes, where, somehow, even in the most cramped restaurant, no one notices buggies since they are always thoughtfully placed. Children also look forward to the restaurant experience there. It seems to make them feel more grown up.

The solution is for parents to bring up their children from infancy to be as quiet and calm as possible so as not to be a nuisance to others.

Unfortunately, most parents think of their children as entertaining little darlings when many certainly are not.

The Telegraph gave several examples of places in Britain and Italy that are going child-free. It is regrettable that well-behaved children will have to wait several years before they can enjoy such places themselves, but indulgent parents have only themselves to blame for this inevitable outcome.

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