Food for Thought and Some Good Advice, from Christian sociologist George Yancey

This loss of cultural power is critical as Christians consider how to prepare to operate politically in a post-Christian world. While the political position of Christians is not dire today (after all many of them helped to elect our current president), things are not going to get better. Christianophobic cultural messages will become more prominent which will eventually impact the ability of Christians to gain, or maintain, political power.
— Read on www.patheos.com/blogs/shatteringparadigms/2019/11/christian-politics-for-a-post-christian-society/

Save Your Fujitsu S1500M

The software for the Fujitsu S1500 scanners is 32 bit stuff and won’t work any longer with Catalina. But don’t throw your scanner away.

Instead get or update VueScan by Hamrick Software.

It works perfectly in either single sided or duplex mode.

I’m thankful for VueScan, which I’ve had for years to do better scanning with flatbed scanners. I’m thankful they saw fit to save our S1500 scanners from extinction.

I had set up a VM running Mojave in Parallels just so I could run that scanner. But I might as well keep the VM. You never know what other 32 bit apps I might run into.

What is it like to write a commentary? | Psephizo

From a personal point of view, the whole process was a remarkable spiritual experience. To spend such an extended time immersed so deeply in a text of Scripture was a wonderful experience, and a number of my writing weeks offered me a profound sense of being in the presence of God. I hope to repeat the experience in future commentary writing.
— Read on www.psephizo.com/biblical-studies/what-is-it-like-to-write-a-commentary/

Here is a wholly enjoyable read from Ian Paul on his writing of the rather new volume on Revelation in the IVP OT and NT commentary series.

Reading the Psalms

I’ve been reading through the Psalms. It is kind of a tedious task for me (and I’m not proud of it) because there is a lot of repetition and I’m really not a poetry guy. I want to be a poetry guy and I try, but it doesn’t come easily to me.

One of my main observations so far is that the world of the Psalms is way different from my world. The Psalms are full of intrigue. Usually the prayer is about someone who wants to kill the pray-er and asking God for protection and help.

I have asked God for help many times, but as far as I know, no one has ever been out to get me. I mean, I have had little work rivalries and even some church rivalries where there was a mutual distrust and maybe even some ill-wishing. But I don’t feel like I’ve ever been threatened with death and destruction, nor have I wanted that for another.

Nearly every Psalm has some of that.

Today I read Psalm 71 and something hit home, though.

Verse 9 (NRSV):

Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
do not forsake me when my strength is spent.

Again, I don’t see this so much as a personal attack on myself, but I see it all the time where, as a class, older folks are forsaken.

Not by God, of course. But by mostly everyone else except those who make their living caring for old people.

And I’m thinking of especially the church. Church these days is for the young and vigorous, those who have something to offer. We have no voice anymore.

Maybe it has always been that way. I hope I haven’t disrespected old people the way we are disrespected. I don’t know.

But I will say that the Psalmists prayer has been answered in my life. God has not cast me off, nor has he forsaken me. Thank you, Father.

How Modesto Became an American Dystopia | The American Conservative

Modesto’s 200,000-strong population is stable by numbers, but taxpaying residents are dying and departing, while the lumpen and tragic arrive. Many residents are profoundly angered by state and federal authorities’ willingness to warehouse these newcomers at their civic expense, but welfare bureaucracies are local extensions of Sacramento and Washington, D.C. From rough truckers to homeschooling moms, the white working class turns to Donald J. Trump for relief. Democratic officials court Latino voters and pro-immigrant interests.
— Read on www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-modesto-became-an-american-dystopia-california/

Loving Others

We Christians, walking in the Spirit, are to love God and love others. However, though we can love everyone, We, in general, and I, in particular, cannot tangibly meet all the needs in a loving way. And if it isn’t tangible, it’s just talk. Love is not a feeling of sympathy. Love, love is a verb.

There are people in our church who have deep, deep financial problems. Regardless of how they got where they are, they are in trouble. I would like to tangibly love them by helping them out of their trouble, but there are so many that I could barely begin. And if I did, I would very soon need the same kind of help.

And that’s just in the church and it’s just one kind of problem. They multiply; no, they are are a power curve, exponential in nature.

Each of us Christians has a different way to love and a different group to love tangibly. As far as I can tell, my calling is to love serving people in restaurants. That is why, for me, tipping is more important than tithing.

When I say to a group of church people that tipping is more important than tithing, they look at me rather strangely. Apparently they don’t question the concept of tithing in today’s context like I do. They follow the party line which is promulgated by the organization that benefits from treating tithing as sacrosanct for every Christian.

And I do tithe. Not from a sense of obligation or duty, but as a practical means of doing my part to support the ministries of the church, such as they are.

But I always, always tip well, even for less than stellar service.

How do you love people?