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What president-elect has ever done a nationwide ‘thank you’ tour?

Donald Trump is the first.

This is something the taxpayer is not shelling out for.

He began on December 1 with a rally in Cincinnati (fast-forward to the 45- or 50-minute mark):

On December 6, he appeared in Fayetteville, NC:

On December 8, he gave an address in Des Moines, Iowa:

VP-elect Mike Pence is joining him at some of these rallies and is also doing a few of his own. Visit Trump’s Schedule page for upcoming events.

RSBN (Right Side Broadcast Network) will be covering all of these rallies just as they did during the campaign season. And, just like the campaign rallies, the crowds are the same in the Thank You Tour.

I think Trump misses doing rallies, exhausting as they must have been, especially near the end with two or three in one day. He enjoys being with regular Americans.

Contrast that with Hillary Clinton, who is going to throw a thank you party for her wealthiest donors. Forget the campaign workers:

In other Trump news, it really is time to ‘drain the swamp’:

And:

Trump is really enjoying having the military around him:

I’ll write about Gen Mattis in another post. He has been called a military monk: never married, no children — his profession is his vocation. He is also a military historian and is well read on countless battles going all the way back to the Ancient World.

I mention that now because two English friends of mine expressed horror at a general nicknamed ‘Mad Dog’ getting anywhere near the US Department of Defense. I told them they had nothing to worry about. He is a sensible man. He doesn’t even like the name ‘Mad Dog’, which came about as a compliment from his fellow Marines a long time ago. But I digress.

The Breitbart article tells us this is:

a move that has been described as “unprecedented” by some analysts.

Trump has already named retired Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis as his secretary of defense and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as White House National Security Adviser.

Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, a border security hawk and the U.S. military’s longest serving general, has emerged as the president-elect’s top contender for Secretary of Homeland Security.

Two other retired high-ranking military officer, Army Gen. David Petraeus and Navy Adm. Michael Rogers are also being considered for top posts within the Trump administration.

Gen. Petraeus could be the next Secretary of State and Adm. Rogers the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The Senate will have to confirm Gens. Mattis, Petraeus, and Kelly for their cabinet posts.

The Left are freaking out:

In the WaPo op/ed, [post-doctoral researcher Peter] White criticizes Trump for trying to place more than three high-ranking military officers within his cabinet, arguing that doing so would place the United States in the same category as dictator-led autocracies such as  Zimbabwe, adding that advanced democracies have no more than two military officers holding top positions in the executive branch.

The New York Times agrees. No surprise there:

Turning to the retired officers reflects Mr. Trump’s preference for having strong, even swaggering, men around him. But it worries national security experts and even other retired generals, who say that if Mr. Trump stacks critical jobs purely with warriors, it could lead to an undue emphasis on military force in American foreign policy.

Apparently, having a civilian in charge of defence is one of America’s oldest constitutional traditions. But Breitbart says:

When the U.S. Department of Defense replaced the War Department in 1947, Congress determined that the Secretary was to be appointed from “civilian life,” noting no military officer could hold the post until seven years after his or her service.

Right. So this came about after the Second World War, not 1787.

In any event, the president — a civilian — is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Mattis will require a waiver, because he has not been a civilian for seven years:

Congress has the prerogative to issue a waiver. It did just that under President Truman, who appointed five-star Army Gen. George C. Marshall to serve as Pentagon chief from 1950 to 1951.

Let’s wait and see what happens.

If it doesn’t work, he will change it quickly, just as he has done over the decades in the Trump Organization.

Photograph by Nadav Kander for TIMEThere is another big Trump news item this week. He is Time‘s Person of the Year.

Thank goodness. When I voted a few weeks ago in their poll, it took ages to get to the page with his name. It seemed to be at the end of a rather long list of candidates. Julian Assange was also top in people’s estimation, with the president-elect second.

Their cover story article is okay but hardly supportive. I would be interested in seeing the copy they wrote on Hillary, which they surely must have done weeks ago. This piece seems like a rush job.

As such, Trump fans won’t be thrilled, but low-info people might learn something. It covers the election campaign, features an interview with him and soundbites from chief of staff Reince Priebus and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.

Nadav Kander’s photographs are excellent, particularly those in black and white. The man should win an award for them. Priebus looks completely different as does Conway. Kander’s lighting and angle give his subjects depth and presence.

Time also explained why they chose Trump:

For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year.

Regardless of Time‘s perspective, I couldn’t help but think of all the NeverTrump people I know. What will they say now that his picture is everywhere? Some of these people will be receiving the magazine in their letter boxes. Others will see it at news-stands or at the supermarket.

Many people told me this year that I was wrong about Trump. ‘Trump can’t win,’ they told me time and time again, looking at me as if I were feeble-minded.

I’m glad my better half went to place a bet on Trump winning. We got 4-to-1 odds. We didn’t bet a lot, because with three or four weeks to go before the election, there was no certainty at all. The man at the betting shop had a quizzical expression when SpouseMouse placed the bet: ‘Really? Are you sure?’

To all the people who treated me as if I were senile, I hope they see this Time magazine cover so often within the next week that they never forget you can’t stump the Trump.

For those of us who are looking forward to Obama’s imminent departure from the White House, here is the countdown site. Let us pray he leaves on schedule.

On December 6, 2016, the Associated Press featured a puff piece on the hard work the Obama administration has been doing to fight ISIS. Their efforts have been:

relentless, sustainable and multilateral.

The US is:

“breaking the back” of IS.

That’s odd. Does anyone else remember when the great man said that ISIS is America’s ‘JV team’? That was in January 2014. (For my readers who aren’t American, the letters stand for ‘junior varsity’, a reference to high school and university sports teams.)

Two years later:

Putin explained it all in 2015:

Returning to the AP article, that same day, the White House issued this tweet:

Incredible.

What about Orlando last summer? What about San Bernardino in December 2015? What about the Boston Marathon attack? What about Fort Hood? Remember when Obama called that attack ‘workplace violence’?

Several other attacks also took place on American soil over the past eight years.

Reddit has a forum of all the present incumbent’s achievements: All of Obama’s Controversies.

Soon, the Obama family will be moving to a splendid house in the Washington DC neighbourhood of Kalorama. That day cannot come soon enough.

Note that one can never be far from the influence of the Clintons. The AOL article states:

The $5 million mansion is owned by Bill Clinton’s former Press Secretary Joe Lockhart and his wife, a magazine executive.

And, for anyone interested:

The Obamas will lease, but not purchase the house.

More to come on the Obama legacy in the new year.

For now, here’s a photo from St Louis taken in 2013:

https://i1.wp.com/i.imgur.com/tx3izNQ.jpg

 

Last week, I wrote about Jill Stein’s divisive petitions for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — states which Donald Trump won.

Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette tweeted the following information on December 6:

Many of us were surprised no one in authority in Michigan said this in the first place. Stein got approximately 1% of the vote in every state. She never had legal standing.

Anyway:

TRO — temporary restraining order.

And:

An ABC affiliate in Michigan, WLOX, has an excellent summary from the Associated Press of what happened in the Stein recount states, some of which is referred to below.

Wisconsin

As of December 5, 23 of 72 counties have finished their recount. In those counties, Trump gained 105 votes and Hillary Clinton lost 41 votes. Overall, Trump won by approximately 22,000 votes.

On Friday, December 9, a federal judge will hear a lawsuit filed last week by a Trump voter and two super PACs seeking to stop the recount.

Michigan

In addition to the tweets from AG Schuette, Trump won Michigan by approximately 10,700 votes.

This was the state’s third recount. The first two caused the delay in Michigan posting the election result for several days.

The Conservative Treehouse (CTH) discusses the difficulty of counting votes in Detroit:

If anyone thought a Michigan ballot recount was going to end up being a net positive for Hillary Clinton, they are intellectually disconnected from understanding the reality of how fraudulent the most democrat precincts are in Wayne County (Detroit) Michigan.

CTH cites an article from the Detroit News that states:

Michigan’s largest county voted overwhelmingly for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but officials couldn’t reconcile vote totals for 610 of 1,680 precincts during a countywide canvass of vote results late last month.

Most of those are in heavily Democratic Detroit, where the number of ballots in precinct poll books did not match those of voting machine printout reports in 59 percent of precincts, 392 of 662.

According to state law, precincts whose poll books don’t match with ballots can’t be recounted. If that happens, original election results stand. 

As to who pays for this utter waste of time and resources, although the Republican-majority Michigan legislature just approved a measure requiring candidates who won less than 5% of the vote to pay the cost of the recount, Democrats point out this measure came into play after Stein filed for the recount. They do not think she should have to pay for it. The cost would be in the millions of dollars. Stein has the money. She can pay and she should. That is why she was raising funds on Thanksgiving Day.

Pennsylvania

If Michigan’s recount is called off, it looks as if Pennsylvania’s would be, too.

So far, Trump’s lead there has shrunk by about 20,000 votes. He now leads Clinton by 44,000 votes. The margin is still enough to avoid a recount of the entire state. If such a recount had to proceed, it would probably not be finished in time for the Electoral College vote on December 19.

Pennsylvania law states that one must have concrete evidence that voting irregularity occurred. Stein merely stated that the state’s election system is ‘a national disgrace’. Well, anyone can say that. The recounts in certain counties went ahead, however, based on petitions from Pennsylvanians about their local districts.

The Billy Penn site reports that little changed in Philadelphia’s recount:

The great Philadelphia recount has ended, and Hillary Clinton got five more votes than she had in her previous total …

Donald Trump’s number stayed the same, as did the totals for Independent candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein after the City Commissioners Office recounted votes in 75 of Philadelphia’s more than 1600 voting divisions. The recount had been launched by 250-plus Philadelphia residents answering the call of Stein, who asked for three petitioners in each of Pennsylvania’s voting district to file recounts to assist in her attempts to get a statewide recount through a Commonwealth Court and then Federal Court lawsuit.

Stein’s camp had planned on using the district-level recounts as possible evidence for hacking or fraud. The recount turned up no instances of fraud or hacking here, City Commissioner Al Schmidt said, emphasizing the difficulty of hacking voting machines that aren’t connected to the internet …

The five extra votes for Clinton, he said, came from paper provisional or absentee ballots that were undetected by the optical scanner that counted votes in the days following the election. Schmidt said this can happen when people don’t mark their choices clearly on paper ballots or, ridiculous as it sounds, use a green highlighter instead of a pen or pencil …

On Monday, December 5, Stein announced in front of Trump Tower that she was going to file a federal lawsuit for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania. This will be heard on Friday, December 9. The Michigan decision might well have an impact on the result in the Pennsylvania hearing. However, if Stein wins the case, a statewide recount would begin.

Nevada

The Independent candidate Rocky De La Fuente, who finished in Nevada with under 1% of the vote, has paid $14,000 for a partial recount, mostly affecting Las Vegas’s 92 precincts. The other eight precincts are elsewhere in the state.

If the total recount shows a 1% discrepancy for De La Fuente or Clinton, a statewide recount goes ahead. The partial recount is expected to be complete by the end of the week.

————————————————————————————

I’ll provide a final update when it becomes available.

In 2008, many voters who did not cast a ballot for Barack Obama were disappointed but philosophical.

Life must go on, we figured.

We then hoped that a Republican would defeat him in 2012, but such was not the case. Again, we were disappointed but philosophical.

Now, finally, a Republican has won the election. Donald Trump’s voters are cautiously optimistic about the Electoral College vote despite the Jill Stein recounts and look forward to a safe inauguration in January.

Trump voters bear no ill will towards Hillary voters. We understand that some people are lifelong Democrats who still romanticise the party, recalling the days of FDR and Harry Truman. That’s okay.

However, Hillary’s voters are still apoplectic. The_Donald has a full list (language alert in comments) of the violence angry leftists have committed against people of all ages — including children — who like Trump. There were also leftists who didn’t physically or verbally lash out but lied about Trump supporters attacking them.

One of the incidents on the list concerns a news item published on December 1 in the Observer-Reporter in Washington County, Pennsylvania. A 27-year-old man brutally assaulted his 69-year-old neighbour in a block of flats. This took place just a few days before Thanksgiving (emphases mine):

Matthew Pugh, 27 … was arrested Wednesday on a warrant obtained by Donora police on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment.

Borough police were called to the apartment complex Nov. 20. Witnesses told police that Pugh and the woman, also a Donora Towers resident, were in the lobby when they got into a disagreement about politics, particularly the recent presidential election.

Pugh reportedly became enraged. He allegedly picked up a chair and hit the woman over the head, knocking her to the floor. The chair opened a gash on her head that bled severely, police said. The woman also suffered other injuries in the fall

The woman was taken to Monongahela Valley Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Police said Pugh was taken to the same hospital for an evaluation.

Pugh was arraigned before District Judge Larry Hopkins and placed in Washington County jail on $50,000 bond. He is scheduled for a Dec. 14 preliminary hearing before District Judge Mark Wilson.

An article by Dennis Prager for Townhall described the madness surrounding Thanksgiving celebrations. A number of Hillary voters decided to not participate with Trump-voting family members. This affected all generations and, yes, some parents disowned their Trump-supporting children.

This will probably recur at Christmas. I highly recommend everyone read Prager’s ’10 Reasons Left-Wingers Cut Trump Voters From Their Lives’. Excerpts follow:

… conservatives were not one whit less fearful of Clinton and the Democrats than Democrats were of Trump and Republicans.

Yet virtually no conservatives cut off contact with friends, let alone parents, who supported Clinton.

Exactly.

Here are 10 reasons left-wingers cut Trump voters from their lives.

1. Just like our universities shut out conservative ideas and speakers, more and more individuals on the left now shut out conservative friends and relatives as well as conservative ideas.

2. Many, if not most, leftists have been indoctrinated with leftism their entire lives …

There are far more conservatives who read articles, listen to and watch broadcasts of the left and have studied under left-wing teachers than there are people on the left who have read, listened to or watched anything of the right or taken classes with conservative instructors.

3. Most left-wing positions are emotion-based. That’s a major reason people who hold leftist views will sever relations with people they previously cared for or even loved. Their emotions (in this case, irrational fear and hatred) simply overwhelm them.

This is why I occasionally make the plea for less emotion, especially crying. It interferes with a rational thought process.

4. Since Karl Marx, leftists have loved ideas more than people. All Trump voters who have been cut off by children, in-laws and lifelong friends now know how true that is …

5. People on the right think that most people on the left are wrong; people on the left think that most people on the right are evil

That is a very important distinction: wrong versus evil. Wrong has to do with thoughts and beliefs. Evil implies dark immorality.

The next point elaborates on that notion further:

6. The left associates human decency not so much with personal integrity as with having correct — i.e. progressive — political positions. Therefore, if you don’t hold progressive positions, you lack decency. Ask your left-wing friends if they’d rather their high school son or daughter cheat on tests or support Trump.

That is an erroneous way of thinking — one that affects how leftists see others, including centrist or conservative family members.

There is more at the link.

Prager strongly encourages Hillary voters to make amends with those they have defriended and disowned.

I couldn’t agree more. Christmas is only a few weeks away. Advent is a time of preparation for Jesus’s earthly birth. John the Baptist exhorted his followers to repent and to exercise charity during this time. May we follow suit.

St NicholasMy post last year at this time discussed the life St Nicholas, legends associated with him and how the Dutch regard him.

St Nicholas’s feast day is December 6 and a French website, L’Internaute, had an excellent article about him. A summary follows.

St Nicholas became the patron saint of children thanks to the legends associated with him, which last year’s post explored. Most of them involved him rescuing young people: the poor man with three daughters, the three theological students or, as the French tell it, the three children who fell afoul of an evil butcher, and the boy from Myra kidnapped by pirates.

As the Dutch have Black Pete as a companion to Nicholas, the French have the Bogeyman (Père Fouettardfouetter means ‘to whip’). The French article says that in both cases, these two are alter-egos of the great bishop. There is the benevolent Nicholas who is kind to good children and the companion who punishes bad youngsters. Together, they mete out justice.

The French legend of Nicholas and the Bogeyman visiting homes on the night of December 5 into the morning of December 6 started in the Middle Ages. Nicholas would ask if the children had been good or bad during the year. A song even grew around this construct, the lyrics of which go like this (translation mine and, yes, the words rhyme in French). Here’s the first verse:

O great St Nicholas
Patron of schoolchildren
Bring me apples
In my little basket
I will always be good
Like a little picture
I will learn my lessons
To earn some sweets.

It’s not hard to see how Nicholas made the transition into Father Christmas, or, as the Dutch say, Sinterklaas, giving rise to the American Santa Claus who arrives at the time of the Christ Child.

Like the Dutch, the Belgians and a number of countries in Northern Europe, some French towns and cities hold local festivals on or near the time of St Nicholas Day. This is particularly true in the region of Lorraine in northeastern France.

The celebrations have extra meaning there, because in the late Middle Ages, an imposing German nobleman by the name of Hans von Trotha ruled over the area. He had a nasty reputation as a robber baron and a defiler of young girls. Over time, his evil reputation was extended to frighten children in the region to be good or ‘Hans Trapp’ or ‘Hans Trott’ would give them a good beating. The threats worked, as Hans in real life was a tall, robust man.

This year’s celebrations in eastern France are going ahead, despite the security threats. That said, authorities have forbidden firework displays because of the 2015 Paris attacks and the July 14 attack in Nice.

In closing, St Nicholas is also the patron saint of sailors (another legend), prisoners, lawyers, physiotherapists and single men.

Hand of God leedsacukThe Second Sunday in Advent is December 4, 2016.

Now is the time to find out more about Advent and also make sure your children can better appreciate this time of anticipation of and preparation for the Christ Child.

This post of mine has updated resources for Christians of all ages. My favourite for the children is the Road Trip film at the Paperless Christmas page (link in the post):

Advent resources for Catholics and Protestants

The following posts explore the themes of Advent and the pivotal presence of John the Baptist:

Advent reflections: John the Baptist and the Apocalypse

Advent: Make straight a highway

Advent: John the Baptist’s message of Good News — and repentance

Advent: Mary’s Magnificat and Zechariah’s prophecy in Luke 1

John the Baptist, charity and Advent

And finally, for those who enjoy history and traditions, there is this one:

Advent and Christmas in colonial America

Bible boy_reading_bibleThe 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.

Matthew 26:26-29

Institution of the Lord’s Supper

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

———————————————————————————————

Now we are in Thursday of our Lord’s final Passover Week, which corresponds to the Christian Holy Week.

Before discussing this transition from Passover to the Sacrament, we can be sure this feast took place on a Thursday. John MacArthur says (emphases mine):

at that time in the history of Israel, Passover was celebrated both on Thursday and on Friday because the customs in Galilee differed from the customs in Judea.  And so, the Lord on Thursday evening celebrates a Galilean Passover Day, and yet there is another Passover Day on Friday which means that Jesus can keep the Passover one day and die during the Passover as the Passover lamb the next day.  And God had arranged history and tradition and custom and circumstance to make that a reality.

Matthew’s account of the events of the Last Supper are briefer than Luke’s or John’s. We’ll look at Luke’s Gospel now. Incredibly, after this meal, the disciples got into another argument as to who was the greatest. Jesus once again brought them down to earth, telling them they were not to lord themselves over others. After all, He — the greatest of all — was serving them (Luke 22:24-27):

25 And he said to them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

John’s Gospel gives us the washing of the feet. For whatever reason, the Twelve neglected to wash their feet when they entered the room, a social norm as discussed in last week’s post. Jesus humbled Himself to do it. Remember that Peter objected, and, in His reply, Jesus said that not all were clean (John 13:3-11):

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,[a] but is completely clean. And you[b] are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

Returning to Matthew, at this point, Judas admitted that he had betrayed Jesus (Matthew 26:21-25):

21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

Matthew does not mention details of this moment, but John does. The Apostles asked Jesus who the betrayer was (John 13:26-30):

26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

Many will want to know if Judas stayed for the main feast of the Last Supper. MacArthur says that he did not:

Jesus got rid of him before they actually ate the meal because he should have no part, should he, in the Lord’s Table.  So, he was dismissed.  What a scene of preparation as Jesus has the final Passover.  After that, of course, verse 26 says, “And as they were eating.”  They went back to the meal, back to the Passover.

Now on to today’s passage in Matthew. Verse 26 gives us the blessing and words still used today in Catholic and mainline Protestant prayers of consecration and remembrance. Christ’s giving of His own body meant that His ultimate sacrifice would replace the Jewish mandate of Passover. Matthew Henry explains:

Christ is to us the Passover-sacrifice by which atonement is made (1 Corinthians 5:7) Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. This ordinance is to us the passover-supper, by which application is made, and commemoration celebrated, of a much greater deliverance than that of Israel out of Egypt. All the legal sacrifices of propitiation being summed up in the death of Christ, and so abolished, all the legal feasts of rejoicing were summed up in this sacrament, and so abolished.

The words of Jesus in verse 27 are equally included in the aforementioned prayers of consecration and remembrance. Jesus went on to say that His was the blood of the covenant — the New Covenant — poured out for many — meaning Gentiles, too — for the forgiveness of sins (verse 28). This was not a one-time exclusive offer to the Apostles, but an everlasting one for those they would minister to and to the countless generations after them, wherever they were — and are — in the world.

Below are excerpts of Henry’s analysis of the Sacrament, the new ordinance.

First, of the bread, the body of Christ:

We have here the institution of the great gospel ordinance of the Lord’s supper, which was received of the Lord. Observe,

I. The time when it was instituted–as they were eating. At the latter end of the passover-supper, before the table was drawn, because, as a feast upon a sacrifice, it was to come in the room of that ordinance …

II. The institution itself. A sacrament must be instituted it is no part of moral worship, nor is it dictated by natural light, but has both its being and significancy from the institution, from a divine institution it is his prerogative who established the covenant, to appoint the seals of it …

1. The body of Christ is signified and represented by bread he had said formerly (John 6:35), I am the bread of life, upon which metaphor this sacrament is built as the life of the body is supported by bread, which is therefore put for all bodily nourishment (Matthew 4:4,6:11), so the life of the soul is supported and maintained by Christ’s mediation.

(1.) He took bread, ton aptonthe loaf some loaf that lay ready to hand, fit for the purpose it was, probably, unleavened bread but, that circumstance not being taken notice of, we are not to bind ourselves to that, as some of the Greek churches do. His taking the bread was a solemn action, and was, probably, done in such a manner as to be observed by them that sat with him, that they might expect something more than ordinary to be done with it. Thus was the Lord Jesus set apart in the counsels of divine love for the working out of our redemption.

(2.) He blessed it set it apart for this use by prayer and thanksgiving. We do not find any set form of words used by him upon this occasion but what he said, no doubt, was accommodated to the business in hand, that new testament which by this ordinance was to be sealed and ratified. This was like God’s blessing the seventh day (Genesis 2:3), by which it was separated to God’s honour, and made to all that duly observe it, a blessed day: Christ could command the blessing, and we, in his name, are emboldened to beg the blessing.

(3.) He brake it which denotes, [1.] The breaking of Christ’s body for us, that it might be fitted for our use He was bruised for our iniquities, as bread-corn is bruised (Isaiah 28:28) though a bone of him was not broken (for all his breaking did not weaken him), yet his flesh was broken with breach upon breach, and his wounds were multiplied (Job 9:17,16:14), and that pained him … [2.] The breaking of Christ’s body to us, as the father of the family breaks the bread to the children. The breaking of Christ to us, is to facilitate the application every thing is made ready for us by the grants of God’s word and the operations of his grace.

(4.) He gave it to his disciples, as the Master of the family, and the Master of this feast it is not said, He gave it to the apostles, though they were so, and had been often called so before this, but to the disciples, because all the disciples of Christ have a right to this ordinance and those shall have the benefit of it who are his disciples indeed yet he gave it to them as he did the multiplied loaves, by them to be handed to all his other followers.

(5.) He said, Take, eat this is my body, Matthew 26:26. He here tells them,

[1.] What they should do with it Take, eat accept of Christ as he is offered to you, receive the atonement, approve of it, consent to it, come up to the terms on which the benefit of it is proposed to you submit to his grace and to his government.” Believing on Christ is expressed by receiving him (John 1:12), and feeding upon him, John 6:57,58. Meat looked upon, or the dish ever so well garnished, will not nourish us it must be fed upon: so must the doctrine of Christ.

[2.] What they should have with it This is my body, not outosthis bread, but toutothis eating and drinking. Believing carries all the efficacy of Christ’s death to our souls. This is my body, spiritually and sacramentally this signifies and represents my body. He employs sacramental language, like that, Exodus 12:11. It is the Lord’s passover … We partake of the sun, not by having the bulk and body of the sun put into our hands, but the beams of it darted down upon us so we partake of Christ by partaking of his grace, and the blessed fruits of the breaking of his body.

Of the cup, the Blood of Christ:

2. The blood of Christ is signified and represented by the wine to make it a complete feast, here is not only bread to strengthen, but wine to make glad the heart (Matthew 26:27,28) He took the cup, the grace-cup, which was set ready to be drank, after thanks returned, according to the custom of the Jews at the passover this Christ took, and made the sacramental-cup, and so altered the property. It was intended for a cup of blessing (so the Jews called it)

This cup he gave to the disciples,

(1.) With a command Drink ye all of it. Thus he welcomes his guests to his table, obliges them all to drink of his cup …

(2.) With an explication For this is my blood of the New Testament. Therefore drink it with appetite, delight, because it is so rich a cordial. Hitherto the blood of Christ had been represented by the blood of beasts, real blood: but, after it was actually shed, it was represented by the blood of grapes, metaphorical blood so wine is called in an Old-Testament prophecy of Christ, Genesis 49:10,11.

Now observe what Christ saith of his blood represented in the sacrament.

[1.] It is my blood of the New Testament … The covenant God is pleased to make with us, and all the benefits and privileges of it, are owing to the merits of Christ’s death.

[2.] It is shed[:] it was not shed till next day, but it was now upon the point of being shed, it is as good as done. “Before you come to repeat this ordinance yourselves, it will be shed.” He was now ready to be offered, and his blood to be poured out, as the blood of the sacrifices which made atonement.

[3.] It is shed for many. Christ came to confirm a covenant with many (Daniel 9:27), and the intent of his death agreed. The blood of the Old Testament was shed for a few: it confirmed a covenant, which (saith Moses) the Lord has made with you, Exodus 24:8. The atonement was made only for the children of Israel (Leviticus 16:34): but Jesus Christ is a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, 1 John 2:2.

[4.] It is shed for the remission of sins, that is, to purchase remission of sins for us. The redemption which we have through his blood, is the remission of sins, Ephesians 1:7. The new covenant which is procured and ratified by the blood of Christ, is a charter of pardon, an act of indemnity, in order to a reconciliation between God and man for sin was the only thing that made the quarrel, and without shedding of blood is no remission, Hebrews 9:22

Jesus concluded this institution of the New Covenant by saying that the next time they will share ‘this fruit of the vine’ will be in His Father’s kingdom (verse 29).

Therefore, although He ate with the disciples after the Resurrection (Acts 10:41), this was a significant feast in which He instituted a new ordinance — the Sacrament — for the New Covenant.

MacArthur explains verse 29 this way:

there’s a reaffirmation in verse 29 of His Kingdom promise.  I’ll do it with you in My Kingdom.  And I believe when Jesus comes, and we enter into His Kingdom, we’re going to do this with Him.  We’re going to celebrate this with Him.  We’re going to remember His sacrifice together and I’m not sure that we won’t do that forever and ever and ever and ever throughout all eternity in some marvelous way that He has designed, for it’s an unforgettable and glorious redemption, never, never to be ignored, always to be celebrated.

So, He says, do this, in effect, until I do it with you in My Father’s Kingdom.  But the emphasis is: I’m going to come back and drink it with you again.  All three gospels, by the way, state that the Lord said that.  This is a wonderful, wonderful thing that He assures us all that He’s coming to set up His glorious Kingdom.  And then, in verse 30 it says they sung a hymn.  Literally, the Greek says they hymned, they hymned.  What was that?  Well, they had already sung Psalm 113 and 14.  They probably sung another 15 maybe, 16.  Then, there was a fourth cup and then they might have sung 117, 118 and went to the Mount of Olives.  And so, the final Passover; and so, the institution of the Lord’s Supper. 

Receiving the Sacrament, Communion or the Supper — however we might refer to it in our respective churches — is the most powerful and greatest available means of grace Jesus Christ gave us through His one, sufficient oblation on the Cross.

Having asked forgiveness of our sins and reconciled with our neighbours as necessary, let us not hesitate to receive this divine nourishment for the soul on a regular basis with humility and thanksgiving.

Next time: Matthew 26:30-35

On Tuesday, November 29, Donald Trump took Mitt Romney and Chief of Staff (and GOP chairman) Reince Priebus to dinner.

They dined at Jean Georges (Vongerichten) in the Trump International at 1 Central Park West.

A word of explanation is in order for my overseas readers. Mitt was one of the top people in the NeverTrump movement. He was never on board with Trump’s candidacy and made it known publicly in no uncertain terms. Now that Trump is forming a cabinet, he has been meeting with Mitt. The Secretary of State position is rumoured, but Trump said he would also be meeting with other hopefuls.

Conservative blogs are exploding with ‘Never Mitt!’ but Trump enjoys his negotiations and bringing people together. Big Media won’t tell you that, but it’s true, and it’s one of the reasons why he won on November 8.

For those reasons, this dinner attracted more Big Media tweets and videos than one could reasonably expect. The times might be off on the tweets below (because I’m reproducing them), so I’ve put everything in chronological order from the time stamps I’m viewing. The original time stamps show up when you click on the tweet.

The three arrive for dinner. Everyone applauds (5:32 p.m.):

Several minutes later (5:47):

Then (5:54):

A short time later (6:10):

Here’s the Jean Georges menu. Three courses for $128. Each Caviar Creation has a $40 supplement.

What they ordered:

Big Media grab a video. Trump doesn’t look too happy:

Here’s an interesting photo collage (courtesy of The_Donald). Trump’s enjoying this on several levels.  Not so sure about Romney, but, then, he lost in his presidential bid in 2012, so he is unaccustomed to being filmed and photographed at dinner:

https://i.sli.mg/cWQtHt.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afterwards, Mitt spoke to the media (7:50 p.m.):

He did not answer any questions:

Conclusion:

I think Trump’s overriding message — in the nicest of ways — was, ‘It’s my party now.’ That partly explains Reince’s presence. Also, a third person is a witness to a conversation between two people, in this case, Trump and Mitt.

This is an exciting time for the Republican Party. Trump injected a lot of life and young blood into it through his voters. Reddit’s The_Donald — a youthful and enthusiastic, if somewhat salty, news site — is testament to this new unity among Americans of all ages, creeds and circumstances. Everyone is welcome there. What’s more, they’re always first with news and analysis. Most have no party affiliation, but they are 100% behind Donald Trump.

Onwards and upwards, Republicans! This is the first time in decades you’ve got the wind in your sails! Carpe diem!

The next four years will be fascinating!

On Monday, November 28, an Ohio State University (OSU) student drove a car into a group of students before exiting the vehicle and stabbing them, leaving 11 people injured.

Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, is a Somali refugee who fled to Pakistan with his family in 2007. They arrived in the United States as legal permanent residents in 2014.

Prior to attending OSU, the attacker attended Columbus State University. In August, he gave an interview to the OSU paper, The Lantern. He was quick to criticise OSU concerning prayer facilities and said he was scared.

It would be interesting to find out why he left Columbus State University.

Frankly, he should have asked about a prayer room before enrolling. I am certain that university officials would have gladly discussed the topic with him.

It is unclear why the attacker harboured such hate of the United States, which so generously took him and his kin in, giving them permanent residency. The Daily Mail reported on his Facebook post, made shortly before the attack:

Authorities are currently investigating the posts, allegedly made by Artan, which mention radical cleric Anwar Awlaki and accuse America of ‘interfering’ with other nations.

‘I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE,’ it stated. ‘I can’t take it anymore.

‘America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially Muslim Ummah (communities)… [if] you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks.’

He must have become radicalised. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

However, ISIS issued videos shortly before the attack encouraging Muslim radicals to employ Nice-style methods (July 14) — using a motor vehicle — and use knives, which was exactly what this guy did.

Gateway Pundit has the ISIS videos in question.

Luckily for all concerned, Officer Alan Horujko arrived very quickly. He fatally shot the attacker. The officer deserves a medal. Unfortunately, he will probably be in for a lot of abuse from social justice warriors and leftist pundits. Here’s documentary film maker Tariq Nasheed with Tucker Carlson on Fox News:

Horujko was checking out a chemical leak on campus at the time. Hmm. That’s curious, too, but the OSU spokesperson who discussed the attack with Tucker Carlson viewed them as unrelated incidents (first interview in the video):

The Conservative Treehouse (CTH) has an excellent post on records from Catholic Charities which indicate that they helped the attacker and his family settle into the United States (emphases in the original):

There are currently estimated to be more than 100,000 Somalian refugees living in the United States. (link)  […]  Between 2013 and 2015 alone, the United States accepted more than 25,000 Somalian refugees.  […]  The suspect, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, lived briefly in a temporary shelter in Dallas before settling in Ohio, according to Catholic Charities records, obtained by NBC

CTH rightly points out that these Christian humanitarian outreach efforts could be putting the United States in danger — and taxpayers are footing the bill for attacks on themselves.

This beggars belief (purple highlight mine):

The potential for Unvetted Islamic Refugees becoming ISIS terrorists was a hot-button issue within the 2016 Presidential race.  Candidate Donald Trump promised to halt the program; candidate Hillary Clinton and President Obama promised to increase the refugee influx.

In addition, various religious “humanitarian” organizations have been at the tip of the spear promoting refugee and illegal immigration status.  The business model for ‘Baptist Child and Family Services’ as well as ‘Catholic Charities’ are dependent on hundreds of millions from the taxpayers via immigration/refugee resettlement programs.

To give you an idea of the scope: so far in 2016 BCFS has been granted over two hundred million.  $201,069,016 to be precise.  The scope of awards given to Catholic Charities is even more jaw dropping (SEE HERE)

This is further evidence that Donald Trump is not scare-mongering or being discriminatory. He is absolutely correct in saying that there must be a ‘temporary’ halt to migration from certain countries until officials figure out what is going on.

He’s been proven right time and time again. San Bernardino in December 2015 was the first attack during the campaign. Then there was Orlando in June. Then the mall incident in Washington state in September. Now this one.

Here’s an idea: why not take in Christians from Muslim countries instead? No Western country is making them a priority. In fact, they’re almost prohibited from entering as refugees. Why is that?

Maybe Trump can stop the trend in 2017. Let’s hope that he does.

In the meantime, I pray the wounded make a full recovery.

Canisius College, named after Counter-Reformation leader St Peter Canisius, is located in Buffalo, New York. It is a Jesuit institution of higher learning, founded in 1870.

One of their professors is Dr René De la Pedraja, who has been teaching there since 1989. His speciality is Latin America. He lived in the region for 20 years, mostly in Colombia and Cuba.

On Monday, November 28, 2016, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson interviewed De la Pedraja for his views on Fidel Castro’s death. This is a must-see interview in which, among other things, the professor claims that Cuba under Fidel symbolised freedom.

He says that Castro cracked down on dissidents because they were doctors educated for free who wanted to move overseas to earn more money. Other than that, there was no political oppression. When Carlson pressed him about refugees fleeing any way they could manage, the professor said those people were bored with their wives and families, nothing more. What he says is so absurd, it has to be heard to be believed.

Carlson is a great interviewer, far from the usual Big Media type. He is not afraid to disagree with crackpots. According to people who watch his show regularly, he seeks out leftists and asks them all the questions sensible people would ask. He gives no quarter, but does it conversationally.

At the end of the interview about Castro, he had this exchange with the professor:

Carlson: Well, Cuba is a hellhole. That’s why nobody moves there.

Professor: I’d have to disagree with you.

Carlson: Well, you’re still here, so I doubt that.

On a similar note, here’s a great graphic:

https://i1.wp.com/cdn.acidcow.com/pics/20120605/extremely_funny_graphs_and_charts_08.jpg

 

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