THEY WERE SO SURE

Posted March 31, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Bad Times

Tags:

Disillusionment.

Pardon the doom and gloom, here;  it’s a dark, rainy, gray day today.  Perfect for this particular Saturday. 

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rainy shadows

 

They.    We.     Experiences in common.    Experiences that affect the universe.   Universal.    “Catholic.”     Such events are often recognized on the universal/catholic Calendar —  and today is “Holy Saturday,”  the day after the Crucifixion.

It’s not a throwaway day, just to mark time between  Good Friday and Easter.   It’s a time to mark the experiences we all have  . . . from  time to time.

rainydayfog

Disillusionment.     They were so sure, and then the disillusionment came.  As it does for all of us born into this world.

We were so sure about our parents.

Beginning when we are tiny  little children, we blindly follow our parents wherever they go, whatever they tell us.     We’re only three or four or five or maybe even six years old.   We’re so sure they know what to do.

And then we get old enough, observant enough, sensitive to the truth, we sense that  sometimes they’re lost,  the don’t know the right thing to do.    We see that our mom or our dad was really Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.      We wonder what that means and we feel  really  alone in that knowledge.

We were so sure about our home.

We were so sure that our homes were a refuge.  of peace and safety.   But when we get  a little older and we see that our parents  do some things   “wrong.”    And they told us never to  argue and fight with each other — and we see there is no unity, no togetherness in our family, and we feel so “un-together” with them,  so alone.

We were so sure of our friends.

We’re in Middle School and High School and we count on our friends to be our “family,” and to understand us, but our friends let us down sometimes, and we realize our friends are really in the middle of their own problems,  every man for himself, and we feel alone among our friends.

We were so sure when we got married.

Marriage promises so much, and we find it doesn’t solve problems, it just makes more problems  . . .  Two people – alone together.   Marriage isn’t the answer.  It’s just bigger, more serious, adult problems.

We try to be sure about our religion or philosophy or politics.

We look for great answers and meaning and purpose,  but all we find is hypocrisy.  Eventually.  And we see hypocrisy in us and we are separated from what we believed in.   Alone.

It is all the same disillusionment that was felt on that Saturday.

Twelve hours before the Crucifixion,   there was hope and assurance  that this man,  the Messiah,   who said he was the Son of God,  would fix things and make us happy and   strong!    They followed him gladly.

Then he was arrested, and convicted,  and executed among criminals.   And our friendship with him incriminated them.      It was a very dark Saturday.

rainy daywindow

 

All the world is disillusionment,  and we can join those first disciples as they stood about or sat and watched out the window  . . .   and prayed with shredded spirits for a Why.

Surely God wouldn’t leave them so alone.

Holy Saturday

 

They were so sure.

They didn’t know what was coming next . . . .

 

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THE DRESS CODE FOR HEAVEN

Posted March 30, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Holy Days, Lamb of God

Tags: , , ,

 

“Nothing impure will ever enter (Heaven).”

She was there, at His birth:

Mary and child

She was there, all the way until His death:

Mary at the cross

And in between,  she made Him a robe, without seams:

Mary sewing

She was present throughout his life, at Nazareth, during His teaching ministry,     then during his sacrificial work at the end.    Jesus wore that robe, that seamless garment,  so rich in symbols and meaning.

He wore it all the way to the Cross, where He didn’t need material garments anymore.

lots

But the soldiers who kept watch around the crucifieds that day thought it was a shame to tear up the seamless garment so each could  take their share of it;     so they  “cast lots,”  with dead men’s knuckle bones,  pierced with holes.

 “Dice,” today.     A gamble with fate.     A foreshadowing of  Pascal’s wager. 

And one of the soldiers won possession of that seamless garment.   He represents us,  all human beings; using our money for a soldier’s entertainment:  drinking,  gambling,   buying women  . . .

Well, maybe this list:    eating and drinking for pleasure,    going from one entertainment to another,   annoyed when something doesn’t please us;   finding friends that make us feel good about ourselves;    finding ways to distract ourselves from the serious issues of Life.

And all of us deep in familiar, enjoyable sinning.

The Robe

This is the kind of  a man who placed that Seamless Garment upon himself.

The famous movie called The Robe may be only a sentimental romantic notion,  but beyond that,  we see the undeniable supernatural qualities that so affected the Centurion.

The Seamless Garment  represents the holy covering of Christ,  just as an artist would represent His holiness by drawing a halo around His head.      The Divine qualities of God,  His Holiness, Goodness, Peace,  Sacrificial Love,  Everlasting Life . . . ,   represented in that Seamless Garment,  is meant to cover us with  Christ’s righteousness and justice and penetrate our Selves, without separation or seam, so that we can be made worthy candidates for heaven.

The soldier who won the garment is us.     The Holy Love of God which it brings is meant for us.

So, yes, there is a kind of Dress Code for entering heaven.   You are admitted   (to that everlasting Banquet)  if you wear the correct clothing,  which is that  Seamless Garment,  put on by that sinful soldier representing us and our possibilities,  and which makes us a completely new person,  fit for Heaven:

The book of the Apocalypse,  Revelation,    21:27     tells us about Heaven:  “Nothing impure (or unclean)  will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

We can be sure that is possible;  Jesus’ last words on His Cross were:

“It is consummated.” 

VISIT FROM THE HEAVENLY PALACE

Posted March 26, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Current Events, Humor

Tags:

“What goes up must come down.”

See that thin red line?

Tiangong-1_over-Michigan-today

I live right under that thin red line.

It’s also the projected path of the wreckage of the  Heavenly Palace  space station that will come raining down on us on  – April Fool’s Day!    But it’s not an April Fool’s joke.  April 1st is the midpoint of the landfall of this wreckage.

“Heavenly Palace” is Tiangong in Chinese.

Michigan probablility

Another view of the range of  possible crash sites, with the two yellow strips having the highest probability of receiving the “honors.”     Again,  I live under the northern yellow strip.

They say  that the probabilities of being hit are about the same as winning the big lottery.    They always say that.   Somebody always eventually wins those big lotteries too.

I’m not going to get hit.   But I will be looking up!

 

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I’m putting this under the Category:  Humor.      I think.

IT DIDN’T GO SO WELL BEFORE

Posted March 25, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Lessons from History, Transforming America

Tags: , , ,

(From the last posting):   Isaiah 3:4 –  “And I will give children to be their princes.”   

These words were  meant to be a warning to Israel, who had left the teachings of Moses;  and by analogy  it’s meant to be a warning to any society who turns its back on God.   That’s just the way it works.

“Young adults”  who are easily stroked and flattered are enlisted to put forth a “new agenda” for old, failed revolutionary marxist hopes even as the adults become weak,  immoral, confused, and degenerate.

headlines

Two headlines in the news today, one secular marxist,  the other religious marxist:

First is this  (paraphrased):   “The Barack-Hussein person in a speech in Japan ponders a million Young Barack Obamas.”     This is not new.  When this person was put in the office of our presidency  ten years ago, he announced the creation of a Million Man Force of young people to  implement his marxist agenda.   He boasted that it will be larger than and better funded than the American military.

Reminiscent of  . . .   dare I say it?  (  ———‘s  Youth.)

Second,  on the religious side,  the short-sighted arrogance of “young people” are being pumped up  and encouraged to defy any adults who get in their way.   Really!   The headlines read:    “Pope to young people:  Do Not Let Your Elders Silence Your Voices!”     

arm yuoth fest

A “catholic”  youth festival –  don’t be silenced!

 Yeah.   Do not let the older generation get in the way of your marxist-infused agenda.

Reminiscent of  . . .   dare I say it?  ( —–‘s Youth, who  were encouraged to defy their elders and spy on their parents.)

Do we dare contemplate the consequences of a manipulated Youth Movement?

Think:  Arm Bands.  As shocking as it seems,  I’ve been watching increasing numbers of  photos  showing armbands and fierce nazi scowls on these “youth.”

ARM BAND for Change

“Armbands for change”

There were instructions about how to construct an Arm Band –  on this photo someone has written over the picture to remind us of the danger of politicized  Youth Movements.

 

ARM bands didn't ened well

Of course, one of the first tasks of  all totalitarian societies is  Gun Confiscation.   The children recruited for this current Youth Movement could not explain to the cameras recently what kinds of restrictions,  what kinds of guns,  or even identify any of the different guns,   but they are given scripts and mottoes and a pulpit in front of cameras.

There were directions on what to say to the press:

ScriptedGunControlEverytown

Reminiscent of . .  .  dare I say it?    . .  .  of the Hitler Youth who were propagandized in German schools and encouraged to believe they were In Power.    As Walt Disney told us a few decades ago when this revolution was just beginning:  “YOU are the LEADERS of the TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY !!!!!!!”     (Mickey Mouse Club  echoes in my ears.)

But it took a couple generations to get us to where a very dangerous Youth Movement could actually arise.

“A million Young Barack Obamas” ??      Youth of the World told to not listen to the older generation??       Adult teachers and celebrities and politicians driving and financing political youth rallies — and punishing those students who do not want to participate?

There were “instructions” and there were “directions” and there is a Role Model:

Arm nazi salute hogg

Will there be gray shirts instead of brown shirts?

 

Revolutions build slowly, they wind up, and then without warning burst onto the stage of history.   They are never safe and mild.    Might makes right in a revolution and there are always those who want  to grab power away from a civilized society.

A godless culture cannot go on forever, it falls in many ways,  and  one of the  signs that a culture is failing is that the adults watch in perplexity as “young people”  are used to push forward a “new agenda”   by power-grabbers.

 

(God help us.    This is a supernatural issue.)

 

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The BLACK PANTHER and Leadership

Posted March 24, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Serve God, War Against America

Tags: , , , , ,

(Something for Americans to think about):    

Son and I  recently saw the Black Panther movie.   None of my friends, around my age, had even heard of this movie!!   I find that astounding.  The ads for it are everywhere,  and  the movie has been all over the ordinary news:   Will the Black Panther movie sell?  How much money will it make?  How much money did it make!     The top one or two Google Search is “Where is Wakanda and how can I get there?” ( ha ha ha ha)

Black Panther

I would have gone alone,  but I’m glad Son was with me because it turned out to be one of those good, good movies that you want to share the experience with someone else.  The movie was action-filled with a good plot and heroes you could admire and villains that you hope would be defeated – and it was beautifully made!

Ever read “Architectural Digest”?     It’s an interesting magazine to browse once in a while.   Stretch your mental horizons.

Black Panther Bldgs

Wakanda, where the Black Panther takes place, and particularly its chief city, was featured in a recent “Architectural Digest. ”     There are intriguing and functionally shaped tall buildings with evidences of extremely advanced technology, especially in communications, medicine,  and transportation.   (How long are we going to have to wait for them to develop a  mag-grav rail system?)

So, yes,  I’d encourage you to see the movie for many reasons, there are many visuals to enjoy and remember,   but the one thing that keeps coming back to me is not the visuals but the society and the system of  leadership exhibited by the King.   King T’Challa.

I’m going to praise him    (okay, I know he’s a fictional character)    and then contrast the leadership in the post-Christian Western World today.    King T’Challa is strong and healthy, and rather handsome like healthy people often are.    One can imagine his “natural” diet, free of manufactured (“processed”)  food . . . .  But he isn’t arrogant or self-conscious of his strength, “throwing his weight around,”  as they say.

He is willing and able to risk his life for his country, in ritual combat as well as in opposing the”bad guys.”    I’m sure he is not the strongest,  but he is the smartest fighter, and he fights to defend his people.

He is one hundred percent patriotic and supportive of his country, rejecting foreign influences in the governance of his country –  no globalism there!

He is smart, intelligent,  but that’s not enough.  (Many are born “intelligent.”)   He has used his intelligence to learn the things that a king must know to rule well.     He is mentally strong and focused and determined and self-disciplined enough to have earned many Ph.D.s –  economics,  sociology,   history, psychology, architecture  . . .  some other things.   Whatever.  The point is he has worked very hard to train himself for the good of the people he would some day rule.

Watching King T’Challa is like watching Good Leadership in action.     The kingdom is blessed.

Contrast that with a “kingdom” which is no longer blessed.   Though we think we are.

pilate    Many of us will hear the story this week  of the Passion, including the scene of Jesus standing before Pilate who says, “Don’t you realize I have the power of life or death over you?”     Jesus instructs Pilate where ruling authority comes from:   “You would have no authority unless my Father in Heaven gave it to you.”

So we can learn from that that our Creator cares about how we acknowledge Him, honor Him, and we are blessed by Him insofar as we cooperate with Him.     And if we don’t?

Isaiah, the great prophet of Israel,  described what happens to a nation which rejects God’s sovereignty over nations and their rulers.    God will take away good rulers from that nation.

And we’ll have trouble figuring out whom we should elect . . . .  because in place of good rulers,  God will punish us with people who are inadequate, unable to keep us safe or peaceful or prosperous.

Isaiah chapter 3:   For behold the sovereign  Lord of hosts shall take away from (Jerusalem) . . .  the valiant and the strong . . .  the strong man . . .    (No King T’Challa for the U.S.)     Valiant, brave,  not fearful of political criticism.    And the man of war  . . .  (able to fight for the country) . . . the judge (presuming a judge who administers justice, fairly and wisely)  . . .  the cunning man . . .  (those who have studied and understand the wisdom of God) . . .  and the prophet . . .   (God will take away those who speak out for the Good.  As some Catholic prophecies say:  “Those who should speak out will remain silent.”)

Further,   God will take away from that nation:   “the ancient . . . and the captain over fifty  . . .  (experienced and able leadership in all areas of society)  . . .  and the honorable in countenance  (need I describe the “celebrities” today who are so often set before our eyes, dishonorable and indecent )  . . .  the counselor (what counselor can you trust?   How many conflicting “counseling” voices we have today!)    . . .   the ancient  (these are our older people with life-wisdom and experience who are ready to give us guidance.    “Gray hair”  has always in human history been a sign of dignity and honor – until now.)

Here’s Isaiah 3:4,  (verse 4)   –   And I will give children to be their princes, and the effeminate shall rule over them    (Immature,  childish, selfish leaders,   and you know who  the “effeminate” are,  the 1.8% of our population who dictate social policy for all.)

And this last one:  Verse 5:   (Strife, Strife, Violence and Strife) —  And the people shall rush one upon another, and every man against his neighbor: the child shall make a tumult against the ancient, and the base against the honorable. 

We have a spirit of opposition,  division,  strife,  polemicism,  litigiousness, and rude personal behavior – everywhere!    it’s like an evil supernatural cloud has descended upon us.

The young people will make a “tumult”  against the adults.     Well, Exhibit A is happening this weekend, isn’t it!

And soon the church,  the universal Church which is supposed to lead the world in morals and grace and the knowledge of God — is going to TWICE this year “consult with the young people”  to find out what direction they’d like the Church to go!!!     Catholic young people will be encouraged to make their “tumult”  against their elders.

I’m afraid there are signs that God has already taken away “leadership” from this world’s present culture.

A leaderless people is like a herd of sheep without a shepherd . . .  or with a bad shepherd (dog).   Who can forget   the scene in Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd in which the sheep dog goes bad  . . .

dover

. . .  and leads the sheep this way and that way and finally drives the entire herd of sheep over the white cliffs  to their death in the sea below?

 

RANT FROM THE DISENFRANCHISED

Posted March 23, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Current Events, War Against America

Tags:

I’m sure I’m one of many, many millions of Americans aghast at what went on this week by our “elected”  officials.

tax stack

Just four – FOUR –  people, two from each political party,  met in secret  – SECRET – for a few days and decided what should go into the more than 3,200 pages of the “omnibus”  tax bill that was signed into “law”  today.

These four did not by any means  write all those pages, I don’t know who did,  but those Secret Four had a ay in what went into those pages.   The rest of the people we voted for,  435 in the House and 100 in the Senate    (we voted for them . . .why?)  —  all those 531   “lawmakers”  had NO SAY WHATSOEVER  in what went into today’s tax bill.

The tax bill means we not only continue to give money to our Rulers,  but we will now be giving even more money to them. *

And not only do our “representatives” not have a say in what our money will be spent on,  but we don’t either.

No one has read this new bill,  not even the president who (somehow)  agreed to sign it.   Something is very foul.      A few provisions of the bill have leaked out to us, the voters.   It is a very, very bad bill.   Everyone will have some reason to be dismayed.

Two egregious  provisions:     the CPB/PBS   will be getting a very large sum of  American money to continue to push their Radical leftist agenda into  American society.  They have a legal right to do so,  but we shouldn’t have to pay for it.  They make plenty of money through donations and fundraising.

And NO!   They are not providing a “public service”  –   they are a biased source of opinion and entertainment  that we should be able to choose.

The second egregious provision of this “omnibus tax”  bill  is a half a billion dollars going to Planned Parenthood to continue to facilitate the killing of most of the 3,000  or so of our littlest ones  –  each day!

And NO! –  they are not there to “provide healthcare to women.”

So something as important as paying taxes was given over to unknown authors, somewhat influenced by four “elected” people who met in secret and would not allow any other elected official in on the discussion, who then presented more than 3,200 pages to the rest of Congress that they were not able to read and who were then told to SIGN IT!  after which the president was told he could not read it and he’d better sign it!

Anything we can do about this?

Once we started a revolution because of No Taxation Without Representation!

for the record,  I don’t want a revolution like that.

 

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.*  In every study I’ve seen over the last few years,  Americans who work and pay taxes give 50% – 60%  of their money to taxes.  (Including all kinds of taxes, state, federal,  gas,  sales, etc.)       That why you hear about the  “tax free day”   coming somewhere in June.     You work until about the month of June paying the government,  and then you get to sort of keep the rest.

PAYING FOR YOUR OWN SHRINKAGE

Posted March 22, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Cultural Marxism, Current Events, Transforming America

Tags:

As  always, one of my favorite forms of humor is irony — but this ironic issue is decidedly not funny.

In this present-day world culture  we choose and we pay for many self-destructive activities.  (Is that a form of insanity – to disregard self-preservation?)

It was all over the news this week that Toys R Us has declared bankruptcy, after several years of bad economic decisions,   and they will be closing their stores in the US.

toys-r-us-closing-1

All their  store locations will be empty, and possibly, according to the latest,  taken up and occupied by Amazon.  No surprise there.

After all the business and financial analysis they put out for us,  a Toys R Us spokesman finally said the reason they are not taking in as much revenue as they would need to stay open is that they are losing customers.

Who are these customers?   Babies!   Small children!   Young schoolchildren!   (And the grandmas who shop for them!)

Why fewer babies and children?   Guess you can read it yourself:

The decrease of birthrates in countries where we operate could negatively affect our business. Most of our end-customers are newborns and children and, as a result, our revenue are dependent on the birthrates in countries where we operate. In recent years, many countries’ birthrates have dropped or stagnated as their population ages, and education and income levels increase. A continued and significant decline in the number of newborns and children in these countries could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.

Makes some sort of logical sense.

But then there’s this statement  (Note the trickery when they got caught):

Toys R Us formerly donated to Planned Parenthood, which commits more abortions than any other organization in the country. They were thus contributing to killing off their future customers, which means a loss of revenue in addition to life. In 2010, Life Decisions International removed  Toys R Us from a boycott list for supporting Planned Parenthood. However, according to a February 2017 entry from 2ndvote, Toys R Us matches donations to New York City and Minnesota chapters of Susan G. Komen, which gives grants to Planned Parenthood.

Oh, our customers don’t like our support for Planned Parenthood?  Okay.  We’ll “stop,”  And then we see they didn’t,  not really.

The International and Global Forces promoting human depopulation are just too strong.  Maybe it’s time to talk about my trip to the Georgia Guidestones, again.   They’re real;  but no  one dares talk about the reality of their message.

____________________________________

Both quotes taken from:

https:// www . liveaction.org / news / toys-r-us-low-birth-rates/

(remove spaces)

 

 

ASKING WHY

Posted March 21, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Apocalypse, Bad Times, Cultural Marxism, Current Events, Lessons from History, Transforming America

Tags: , ,

 

(A rambling, sprawling, catch-up visit with you all):

I sleep with my radio on, of course. 

radio cartoon

  I woke up today  to a radio news report that got me asking “Why?”    But first . . .

I always feel as though I have to “explain” myself when I’m  away from The Spruce Tunnel  for several days.   I don’t, I know.   But I’m making kind of a record — so I  will.

I wrote this SIX days ago!     (Quote:  me)  –

Well, another glitch, another breakdown!     I missed seeing today’s news because my computer monitor had begun strobing out at me in flashes and flutters, and then a few nights ago it blossomed into a lovely shade of light pink in its lower quadrant.

So, FYI,  if you use a monitor,   this is not a good sign, but a pretty good warning of its soon demise.    And today my monitor went BLACK.        (It was weird to have a black screen where I usually see lively colors and videos — and work to do — but it’s okay,  there is  a new monitor on its way, and I transferred an old, old monitor to this  somewhat newer main computer.)

Then Hubbie’s big red van broke down –  and though it’s old,  I’m  happy to maintain it for him now that he’s gone.    The parts didn’t come in  when the shop requested it, so I spent more than a week “in suspension,” so to speak,  waiting to have my household made whole again.

Both problems are taken care of as of last night –

monitor

 

This was not at all enough to keep me out of The Spruce Tunnel.    Instead it was  a series of “difficult”  news coming from my friends and family which affected me deeply and came coincidentally all within a two-week period.    No details here because none of my “friends and family”  should feel as though I can’t bear their . . .  troubles –  but the categories are:   a terminal illness;   a shocking “psychological lapse”;    a mortal danger;    a serious moral “lapse,”  which I suppose is actual “mortal” too, spiritually speaking;  news from someone which resurrected some deep conflicts;   oh . . .  some other things, and all during this time my “entertainment”  was watching all the seasons of a popular gut-wrenching dramatic (soap-opera) series offered by PBS ….

The reason for the umpteen hours of entertainment is this:

knitted more 370

After I got the pattern established I needed something easy to keep my eyes and attention on why I made progress on my sweater.    Usually I can read and study while I knit,  but not with this pattern!   And so I  overlayed all the recent real-life troubles with the near-to-life troubles of  a dying social system,  a dying moral world,   and the constant though natural  departures of   people from one another:

highclear

Highclere Castle

   —  the home of the present-day Lord Carnarvon,  whose ancestor was an enthusiastic Egyptologist who financed and took part in many expeditions to Egypt,   thus opening up the knowledge of ancient Egypt with all its wonders and glory to the rest of the world,  including the expedition that discovered  King Tut’s tomb.

This castle was the scene of the Jeeves and Wooster series, as well as the Downton Abbey series, which, as I’ve alluded to,  I saw for the second time these past days.  I was not enthusiastic the first time through, and I missed so much;  I “got it”  this time . . .

Taking too long to get to my radio news?    Well, the tragic collapse of a moral and well-ordered society  (along with its excesses) should acutely inform our emotions as well as our intellect, because an emotion is energy –  and it fuels motivation . . . .

(From the Good Teacher in The Spruce Tunnel:   acknowledge your emotions,  feel them;  you need not give in to them or even show them to others, and never inflict them on others;  but use their energy to  help come to terms with whatever difficulty,  real or imagined,  caused them.    Emotions can feed your very useful imagination, and you and your world can be a better place . . .  Intellect,  emotions,  imaginations are some of the necessary tools given to us by our Creator.)

So filled with all the “energy” of the past two weeks from all the sources,  I heard that the Austin, Texas,  “b.”  (perpetrator of the random explosions that put such fear into the population down there),  was tracked down, shot at, and exploded himself in his car at a motel . . .

Now that he’s dead,  investigators are going to work hard to find his motivation.  Here’s where I asked “Why?”

So we can understand him – and people like him?      So that . . .    “why?” – what will we do, what will we change?   Actually change?

So we can understand “society”  that made him do it?    “Why”   “What do we, as a society, have the will to change?     Because it takes a very strong collective will to get any changes done.

So we can  look for more laws to change or add to our nation?    (Better watch out whose strong “will” is behind change-making.)

So we can make new regulations against bullying victims into criminals?   Bullying is only a symptom of lawlessness  in our society and in our schools.

So we can educate our children better?       I was a teacher in this new education system when we made the changes that we were told were for the better.   My strong opinion on what changes should be made is this:

bulldozing the schools

There is no fixing of a system of education which abuses our children in their growth and development.     We must start again.

When we do find out what may have motivated this criminal activity in Texas,   then what?

The bewilderment and consequent lack of action should point to a cause.  Maybe we’d all have to take a second look,  “watch a second season,”  about our culture.

I think it’s not that we cling to  “our bibles and our guns”  as the Barack Hussein person stated it when he was frustrated that we didn’t go along with all his Progressive ideas.  It’s rather that we are comfortable, we don’t want “discomfort,”  and so we cling to the Status Quo.

Go ahead and find out that Texas man’s motivation.      That what we do – in this present culture.   We give ourselves the illusion of “doing something.”

But as far as the state of our culture goes,   (our society, our education, our politics),   when a train derails,  we must go back to the point of derailment, in order to find our way forward.

train de

Cultural destruction.

 

There is much to bear in this “modern”  world.

 

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THE BEAUTY ABOVE US

Posted March 13, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Current Events, Science Fun

Tags: , , ,

We can be so grateful that we have equipment today that can show us photos of the actual surface of the sun,  writhing with its brilliant surface plasma gases.

It’s a beauty, all of its own kind.

And the sun gives us beautiful, spectacular sunsets and sunrises that take our breath away sometimes.

The sun and the moon give us familiar sights of great Beauty.

Moon on Pond 370

(That’s the full moon over my pond in the middle of the night.)   No wonder I have insomnia some nights!

Rarely we can see beautiful unfamiliar light oddities:

Ice Pillars blue

These are ice pillars, an interplay of light and ice crystals in the air.

They come in many colors.

Ice Pillars yellow

Ice Pillars can even be seen in cities.

Ice Pillars

(I think this was somewhere in the Far East.)

Of course, leaving the world of spiritual beauty,  in the natural world the sun and moon mark out the seasons for us, and the sun controls our weather and our climate.   During certain periods of time the sun is very quiet, a “minimum” of sunspots.  That has led in the past to periods of very cold temperatures for many human generations.

Mini Ice Ages  and Ice Ages.

Here is the sun this month:

Blank sun

Absolutely no sunspots.   For the past couple of decades we’ve had long strings of days with no sunspots, and these periods of a blank sun have been increasing.    Astronomers know what this means:     Colder temperatures in the solar system,   including planet Earth.

So,  close your wallets!!!     There’s no need to give your money to  United Nations Climate Schemes!        As we all really know, carbon dioxide is “plant food”  and not a “pollutant.”

No need to pay ruinous carbon taxes!

No need to go tilting after windmills!

Our planet is full of abiotic gases and oil that apparently renew themselves and  will fill our energy needs with clean-energy technology!

I see even the venerable old Scientific American magazine is backing away  from then Climate Change story.     Good!  I used to like to read their articles!

Enjoy science!!!!!

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THIS OR THAT; EITHER/OR

Posted March 13, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Lessons from History, saint, Vikings

Tags: , ,

I need to do a “computer dump”  and post a lot of blogs and use up a lot of waiting photos.  My monitor is giving every sign of breaking down, and I’m afraid I’ll get caught with no monitor at all in the time between seeing black and getting a new one.   

I was perusing Scandinavian news again, and came across a report that more and more in Sweden (and elsewhere, I know for sure)  are reconstructing the ancient religions and reviving knowledge of the Old Gods.

If you ndon't believe

Yeah!    Looks like Viking warriors to me!    Before Christianity got to Scandinavia.     Only these are modern men worshiping that . . .  thing and the gods represented by that . . .  thing.     Presumably educated modern men.

(Well, no –  modern “education” is not education.  Modern “education” teaches you just enough to become strongly opinionated about various issues.    But that’s for anothoer post when I talk about bulldozers . . . .)   

But we’d expect men in this modern world to be educated.   And women:

if you don't

A Daughter of Freya.      (Of the Odin-Thor family of gods.)

There are some women in Scandinavia who take the Old Gods just as seriously as American women like to take their reconstructed and wholly imaginary version of the Druids and the Celtic gods.  Goddesses, actually.

Years ago  (years and years ago – before the Leftists began to dominate the universities and “reconstructed a wholly imaginary version of history” —  I remember a history professor who demonstrated – from historical records – that wherever there was a matriarchal society with goddesses,  there was extreme human cruelty and oppression, death and the early collapse of that society.

When goddesses are in charge,  it’s not all sweetness, with young maidens running around with . . .

Music Notes Line

      ” . . . .  with flowers in their hair . . .”   

GK Chesterton is one of the greatest observers of modern Western culture, and he writes with humor and wit.       One of his observations is that “When a man stops believing in God, he does not believe in Nothing,  he will believe in Anything.”    (see the men – and women – in the photo up there.)

Now, Chesterton was referring to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob –  revealed at last through Christ, the Son of God,  Creator.

(Traditional) Christians know and teach that the Creator created everything, all that is real and good and true.   If you reject that Creator,  then according to Chesterton,  you open yourself to any other story –  any other story that you yourself want to tell yourself, or any other reconstruction of wholly imaginary ancient errors.     Including “no gods at all” as some  Greeks and Romans tried.

On March 12th we celebrated the life of St.Gregory the Great.  By all accounts,  contemporary and modern,   he became  “the Great”  because he was Good.   In everything he did he manifested his lifelong subjection to the  Goodness of God.    So much was placed on his shoulders,  but he retained his dedication to the Good.

Again, he was Great because he was Good in his words and actions.

(Reminds me – as an aside_  of de Toqueville’s assessment of  America when it was new,   fifty or so  years old.  His observation was that “America is great because America is good.”     As a whole, in general,  her citizens were good people.)

Full circle back to the Old Gods of Northern Europe:  It is said that when Gregory was still a bishop,  he was walking through a marketplace and saw two young children,  a boy and a girl,  on sale.    He stopped to look at them because they were unusual in appearance,  very fair skin, light yellow hair, and blue eyes.   Like the stereotypical angelic beings.

We know the commonly told story:  “Of what race are they?”  “The children are Angles.”    “Oh, they look like angels!”

“Of what province are they?”   “From Deira”  (Which breaks down into de ira:  the anger of God)    Gregory’s playful response was:  “Then we must rescue them from the wrath of God.”

“And what is the name of their king?”   “He is called Ella.”     “It is well.    Alleluia must be sung to God in their land.”

And so was sent Augustine, a great missionary,  with other Christians to Angle-Land to teach the Angles to worship the Only True God, the True God.

Without Truth there are lies, and lies bring confusion and division and dissatisfaction and all the other things that make us ill in this modern world because most have been led away from God.

It’s either/or.    Lies can’t prevail when the Truth is known.

In our modern world,  the Big Lie was Liberty –  but we lost true freedom.       Now our cultures believe in Anything and Everything, and so far there is no St. Gregory the Great to send teachers to show us the Truth.

It’s not impossible to seek after the Truth and to learn,  but it is well-nigh impossible.

 

Viking w

You would need the determination and strong spirit of a Viking Warrior!!

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CRAzY MODERN “#&@%#*” !!!

Posted March 11, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Humor

Tags: ,

A little “sabbath day”  recreational Humor Break —  Just to keep a record in  The Spruce Tunnel of crazy encounters with the modern world

_____________________________________________

I have three favorite kinds of humor:  hyperbole,  absurdity, and irony.   When you get all three together, it’s just . . .  silly.

Red suv

A few days ago we had a sunny day, with a strong  bitter cold freezing cold wind.    And my car was stalled in a parking lot.  No electricals.  I had opened the car door with “electricals” –  the locks.    But that was the end —  a sudden unexpected end.

red goes crazy   S’okay.    I had remembered to bring my phone with me.    Now’s when you need a cell phone.    So I dialed the familiar number of my car dealership who had just serviced my cars a couple weeks ago.    Here’s my exchange with Chuckie the Evil Phone System:

 

Dialed number . . .

“There is an equipment failure.”

Yes, I know!   I’m sitting in a big piece of “equipment failure.”    Whose “equipment” are you referring to?       Dialed number  again . . .

“Equipment failure.  Please dial again.”

I refuse to believe the entire American cell phone system is having an equipment meltdown.     Dialed number  again . . .  

“This call cannot be completed as dialed.”

Why?  Did I make a mistake?      Dial . . .

“This number is out of service.”

No!  It isn’t!  I  just used this number a few weeks ago when they serviced my cars!  Dial . . .

“This is AT&T.  Would you like an operator to help you find an alternative business?”

No!   I want my nice familiar car dealership where they all know my cars and I trust them with Hubbie’s aging vehicle!    And besides,  AT&T  is not even my carrier!

Just in case I was wrong about that number (I’m not),  I thought I’d look up their number on the Internet –  thank you for mobile  Internet access.   Tapped in the business name, city, and state.

“Will you allow this site to have access to your Contacts?”

No!

Tapped in business name, city, and state Chose another site with my car dealer’s name.

“Will you allow this site to have access to your contacts?”

No!    Who are you?   You can’t know my personal business!     Tapped in business name, city, and state.  Chose another site with my car dealer’s name.

“Will you allow this site to have access to your contacts?”

No!     I’m really getting cold in this car – with no electricity and no heater!   Tapped in business name, city, and state.  Chose another site with my car dealer’s name.

This time I got  a number two cities to the west of me.   Chose that one.  Maybe they could transfer me.      But this time it was the local dealership I wanted.   So that problem eventually got taken care of.

Not the way tow trucks do business

My dealership does not offer towing service,  so they kindly gave me the number of the one nearby.   I could have walked to it!       The phone was back in working order now,  but the towing company said, yes, they could help me,  and it would take about an hour to get to me.

I’m sure they heard my frustration:  “An hour?!    I’m just around the corner from you!  I can walk over to you!”      Fortunately, Son’s number was on my phone’s Okay List, and he actually came before the tow truck did.  He jiggled something and I was able to drive myself to the dealership –  where, for anyone’s decent credit limit,  they will fix my car.  (That’s hyperbole.)

Google Lost

Last night I had to meet a friend and Son for a little concert –  a Barbershop Quarter concert featuring Cowboy music.       Made for people like me!

Cowboy quartet jittered

But I had never been to that particular high school auditorium.  Everybody Googles  driving directions.   I do,  but only when I’m in heavy traffic in unfamiliar territory and I suddenly realize I need it — which means. although I manage to stay in my lane,  I never really learned to Google well.

So I say (politely and clearly):  “Okay, Google,  Driving Directions.”

red d d half

No response.   But the screen changed slightly, so I gave it my desired address.   “820 Spring Street,  ***(town),   (****state). “

“I can’t help you.”

No “sorry.”    No “I didn’t get that,  please say your destination again.”    Just:  “I can’t help you.”

This time I try:  “Eight Twenty  Spring Street,  ***(town),   (****state). ”

“I can’t find 820 Spring Street,”  which is odd because it’s the address of a rather large high school!

I did “something” to the phone with my finger – but as I did so I noticed the map with my “desired address”  at the top.   It also showed a street map,  it said 5.5 miles to my destination,  and a route marked out with a GREEN line, not blue like in that picture,   and my location marked with a little GREEN circle.

In the fading daylight, in unfamiliar traffic,  I was supposed to keep track of a green circle moving along a green line.   Google had stopped talking to me after its initial verbal refusal, so no one was telling me when and where to turn.

The end.

I got to the concert.  It was really fun for all of us.  I’m home.    My insomnia kicked in last night so I’m going on one and a half hours of sleep today . . .  still going . . .  I expect some human “equipment failure of a personal kind,   anytime in the near future.

I can handle that.

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THE NIGHT OF THE 39 CROWNS

Posted March 10, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Christ the King, Four Last Things, Holy Days, Lessons from History, Modern Issues

Tags: , , , , , ,

(Story time):

I’ll try to do this story with a lot of pictures, but this happened before cameras . . .  and it’s only a side story to the main one,a story about one witness.

_______________________________________________________

“It was a dark and stormy night…”   Actually it was an eerie cold winter night, when the darkness is deep.   Like this:

NIGHT Pond 370

I woke up one night,  restless, and looked out my window at the snow and ice.  The night felt strange, and the “strange”  dark spots on my pond fed my imagination  that something was not “the same.”    Things can feel different in the middle of the night!

(They say, if only the Veil could be removed from our “eyes,”  we would be able to see the spiritual activity around us, the energy,  the forces,  the beings  and what they are doing, right now, to affect us.  When we partially perceive this spiritual world, it feels  eerie like something weird and other-worldly is nearby.)

40 spirits

On this night,  March 10,  “a little while ago,”  40 soldiers of the Roman army stood naked on the ice in the middle of a small lake.   Only a few torches lit the scene around a frosty little lake.   Strange enough!

What were those 40 men doing there?   After all,  they had been loyal soldiers of the Roman army.

40 const

(A necessary bit of history, especially for those of you who have been taught that the  Constantine,a pagan,  made Christianity the official religion of the Empire — which he didn’t;  and to make Christianity more acceptable,  he mingled pagan practices with what was left of the Christian  teachings,   thereby corrupting Christianity and causing  “The Great Apostasy”  (that actually never was).

 It didn’t happen.   (Constantine pretty much remained a pagan all his life,  being baptized as a heretic, not a  Christian,   just before he died.)   In fact,  shortly after that Edict of Constantine – which did happen – the other Ruler of the Empire more forcefully imposed his version of pagan religion onto vast areas under his rule.  

One needed to have a lot of courage to be a Christian (then —  and now, I  think too).

40 chr sold

These 40 soldiers in one of his armies in Asia Minor happened to be Christian, and after they had refused to honor the gods with a little pinch of incense on a little statue, they were arrested,  they were stripped naked in the cold winter air,  some accounts say flogged   —

40 for the whip

— and then forced to stand on the ice in the middle of the little lake until they froze to death.

At the edge of the lake was a steaming bathhouse,  promising warmth and safety to any of the soldiers who changed their mind and would renounce their faith in Christ.  If they were willing to publicly reject Christ  Jesus,  they could be comfortably warm and live on.

Many hundreds stood around to watch the execution:  fellow soldiers, families, and local village people.    It was a public execution, meant to instill fear of the government into  the people.

40 naked frieze

But in the darkness of night things got “eerie,”  as I said.    One man,  Aglaius,  was awake,  keeping guard over the prisoners, naked and bleeding,  huddled together on the ice in the middle of the lake.

As Aglaius watched.  he saw the first man falter, and break,  and run to the bathhouse.   Just as that man reached the doorway of then bathhouse, with its promise of relief,  he died.

40 naked

It was something to make you think.

And that’s when the night sky above Aglaius changed.  It revealed spiritual beings  holding 39 crowns, one for each of the soon-to-be martyrs.
And Aglaius was thinking.

40 crown and crown

What do these crowns mean?     The crown of the Christ these soldiers worship was made of thorns,  but the crowns the angels held were looked like shining golden crowns –  full of light and glory,  suitable for Heaven.

And why start out with 40 soldiers?     In the ancient world as well as in the biblical world, “40”  signifies  “Enough!”   Time enough or deeds enough  or  people enough to accomplish the intentions of God for that purpose.     It is completeness, a full testimony.

But now the angels brought only 39 crowns.

Aglaius  was deeply moved by the absence of one crown.    Whatever he had heard about Christ before,  whatever he had seen in Christian behavior and honor and love,  whatever he had learned about Christianity,  now worked inside of him touching his spirit, and he responded  to the spiritual aid that always comes down to us —
In a sudden, firm act of his will,   Aglaius bolted!    He ran toward the lake,.    Tearing off his clothes he proclaimed his faith in Jesus Christ and joined the martyrs.

Now Forty martyrs are crowned this day.

40 heaven giving crown

 

Not 39.  Not almost a strong testimony to Jesus Christ.     But the faith of these soldiers stand as a full, complete witness to the absolute Faith in Christ –  which saves.

_______________________________________________

St John in his Revelation saw martyrs arrayed  in a privileged position around the Throne of God.     They were doing two things:

They were “casting down”  their golden crowns before the feet of Jesus Who alone had made their home in Heaven possible.

40 casting

Martyrdom is not the only way to gain a Golden Crown,  but the way in this world is difficult and sometimes dangerous.     Today, all over the world,  it is often dangerous.

The second thing the martyrs around the Throne of God were doing was praying, begging, interceding:  How long, O Lord,  how long —   “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”  (in the Apocalypse, chapter 6, verse 10)

There are things you can do to bring honor to Christ.        There are things you can do, however, to diminish the honor of Christ.    Join the Christian soldiers on the icy lake – and pray for the gift of Final Preservation!

March 10th.   An important day of instruction and remembrance.

 

Many around the world still remember in churches and monasteries.

40 bulgaria

  Church of the 40  Holy Martyrs,  Bulgaria.

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TODAY – I’M NOT A WOMAN

Posted March 8, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Culture, Family, The necessity of Virtue, Transforming America

Tags: , ,

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Because of the latest ad campaign from Madison Avenue on  this beautiful island  —

HATTAN

—  I am reminded that I choose today to NOT be a “woman”!

At least not this kind!

wwww

I’m not celebrating the Leftist, Global Socialist, Agenda-Driven Exclusive International Women’s Day.

And neither are these women:

WW

 

And neither are the 22 MILLION women who were chopped to pieces,  swirled around by a vacuum extractor until they died,   or painfully burned to death by a strong saline solution  — before they got a chance to get out of the womb.  (Let’s deal in facts.) —

baby

 

But I do respectfully remind the international women to remember these,  their sisters.

They, and I, are not like you.

 

Some of us have a higher calling –  our homes!

hgher calling

 

Wife.  Mother.   Homemaker.   Helper.  Counselor.    Wise and Intelligent family manager.    Maker of refinement and beauty in the home.  

And religious anchor of the family:

relig anchor

Without family,  society cannot hold together.

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CONVERSATION STOPPER

Posted March 7, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Cultural Marxism, Current Events, Modern Issues

Tags:

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(A “demonstration”  of how to stop a conversation.  Pardon the pun.)  —

I stopped off at Son’s house Monday afternoon and evening, so I missed all the local excitement.    We made national news — again.   Local college “kids”  whom I like to call superannuated children,   tried to shut up  a visiting speaker . . . .

It’s Spring Break – they could have been having fun doing spring break things,  but it’s “in the air”  today, in our country:    if you don’t like someone’s opinion,  you get yourself all riled up and angry —

Pro 1

You get angry and shout things.

You get all worked up and pound something:

Pro 3 anger pound

In this case a poorly-made effigy of the speaker was being pounded.    Because, see, in real life,  if you don’t like what someone is telling you,  you get angry enough to want to pound him,   hurt him . . .  kill him.

What’s the difference?     Jesus explained there really is no difference in spilling out your anger on someone and wanting to hurt him with words,  or with your actions:    Murder begins in the heart –    “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’  But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment . . .  (under judgment for  murder).  (Sermon on the Mount)

You need your “brother”  to stop talking, to stop saying what he’s saying.   So often I’ve seen on television,  or I’ve read in comment boxes,  or I’ve seen in real life that people don’t like to hear what they’re hearing, and rather than this be the start of an exchange of ideas,   one side wants to close off any chance of discussion.

Pro 4 insult

Insults come next:    (And whosoever shall say to his brother  “Raca!”  shall be in danger of hellfire.     That is,  the insulter is condemned.  )

The protesters escalated  their actions to  name-calling,  blaspheming what the speaker holds dear,  or acting out the worst insults they could think of.  The fire in the photo above shows a burning American flag  (who are these protesters?)  — and to make it personal,  the young kid is lighting his cigarette by the fire of our burning flag.

I don’t know much about the speaker who was speaking to a very small group nearby.   I probably strongly disagree with his words.   The local entertainment-news media around here don’t like the speaker either;  every time they say his name they use a variety of negative adjectives.     When they talk about the protesters, I notice no adjectives are used.  They’re just “protesters.”     The noble little  dears.       Anti-fascists using fascist techniques.

So, no,  I don’t agree with the protesters either, but they are part of the growing incendiary confrontations our society is plagued with.

How do you stop a conversation?

Talking over someone,  shouting at someone while they talk,  throwing insults,  and  getting angry enough to want to pound someone, as these protesters did yesterday,   are all ways to STOP a conversation.    

Unfortunately,  pressure mounts when there are differences of opinion and no way to relax the natural tensions by means of discussion and civil discourse.

The last step, of course,  is to make your protest public!    Tell someone!   Make sure the cameras are there!    Make sure you have an audience!    The protesters made sure they made a public nuisance of themselves by stopping cars on the streets.

Pro 2 cars

On second thought,  I’m glad I missed all the excitement.

I wouldn’t have gotten through these people anyway.

I wouldn’t have gotten through to them either.

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END OF DISCOURSE?

Posted March 5, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Apocalypse, Modern Issues

 

(This issue is so important that even though there are no pictures to entertain you,  I hope you’ll read and consider it.  You may be part of the solution.) 

_____________________________________________

I’m not sure whether that title is hyperbole or not.    Maybe a little understandable pessimism on my part.   But I’m not the first one to ask that question.  I didn’t originate that question.  I’m  not the only one to have noticed this problem.

The problem is:   talking to each other in today’s climate of divisiveness.       Probably the most intelligent comment I’ve read recently was written by Susan Claire Potts, M.A., Ph.D., M.F.T.     See all those degrees?  She describes herself as a psychologist, trained in languages and literature as well as psychodynamic processes — and then she says that she and no one else needs all those degrees to notice that something is very wrong “with people’s minds”  as she says.

It’s quite a serious matter.    A Republic depends upon free and mutual discourse between people – without fear – to solve problems.   Our Church depends upon free and mutual discourse among people in order to reach deeper understandings.

Here is Dr. Potts’ analysis:

Nobody seems to think straight anymore. There is confusion everywhere. Everyone is affected. The disorder is not some esoteric psychopathology caused by the stresses of modern life. It is far more sinister. The Mystery of Iniquity*  has risen up, billowing like a toxic cloud, blotting out the Light. Minds are darkened. Preternatural forces are in play. People can’t seem to carry on a decent conversation anymore, much less a deep discussion. Not even Catholics. How can they? There are all kinds of Catholics now: Traditional. Conservative. Novus Ordo. Liberal. Progressive. Everybody has a label. It’s hard to find a regular Catholic anymore. People are sorted (and judged) by assumed orientation. No discussion is necessary or possible. Their identity will be known, their belief system understood before they say a word. There is no meeting of the minds, no shared principles. People are expected to formulate their own “truth,” forge their own path. To where? They don’t know. They have no destination point, no supernatural end goal. They’ve lost their way.

 

Cut off discourse, in the highest sense of that word,  and you cut off freedom of thought, the purpose of thought, and the End goal of man’s intellectual activity.

Man is simply an opinionated animal,  with no regard for objective reality:

Rather than “Update”  the last post with a correction, I’ll just say here that the example I used of an incident in a local church -as reported in the newspapers – was not based in accuracy.      I think.    From someone who was there, ” it didn’t happen that way”.   From someone else who was there – “it did happen that way.”    The man who shouted did or did not yell out for a long time.   He was or was not menacing.   The priest did or did not preach that day about political issues.     But he is known to have preached political issues in other sermons. . . .

I’ve often refrained from commenting on current issues, because the ‘news” will reverse itself and present new “facts”  a few days later, depending upon the biased opinion of the reporter.    So even when I get incensed about something I read,   perhaps it will turn out to be not true anyway.

But that’s the point, isn’t it.

We are supposed to get emotionally aroused.    We are supposed to create sides and  take sides.   We are supposed to “formulate our own truth,”  as Dr. Potts wrote.  We are in a time of identity politics and identity everything.

Ever since the Politics of Personal Destruction was introduced into Public Discourse in the 1990s and ever since factions found they could use existing institutions or authorities to shut down their opponents,  discussions . . .  based on objective facts . . .    ceased.  Even having an opinion is an act of divisiveness.

Again, both religion and politics depend upon a free exchange of information;  even a free expression of opinions.  

Who wins if those two free acts disappear?

How many lose when you ought not to speak freely because   objective facts are not part of the discussion?

How pointless and diminished everything is when emotions rule!

Will this End of Discourse be the end of discourse – forever?

What is the way out of our verbal dead end?

 

_________________________________________

 

.*    The Mystery of Iniquity (also called The Mystery of Lawlessness)   is a power or force of lawlessness that overwhelms human thinking and activity  with increasing power.      (II Thessalonians  2:7 –  For the mystery of iniquity is already at work: only he who now restrains it will restrain, until he be taken out of the way.)    So we’re not sure “who” is doing the restraining,  we’re not sure who the “he”  is that will be taken out of the way so that “all Hell breaks loose on earth”   —   but we do know that there is a power of iniquity working among us and against us humans.

And it’s affecting the way we think and talk to one another.

(I’ve read and considered many ideas for who  the Restrainer is and what will  happen and who will come when that Restrainer is removed, presumably in God’s good time by God’s good hand.       Some ideas make sense –  but in the spirit of open discourse,  I’m not ready to clamp my mind down on any one answer.   I just know for sure that something very bad will come of all this.)

And,   in the interest of avoiding “divisiveness,   I will not yet write the source of Dr. Potts’  comments.      Judge her words first.

POLITICIANS, PRIESTS, AND BILLY GRAHAM

Posted March 5, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Culture, Faith, Modern Issues

Tags: , , , , ,

It’s always dismaying to read (or write) about “the state of the Church” — and especially on a Sunday.

Since giving up many of the teachings, traditions, and now even doctrines of 2,000 year-old Christianity,  the Modernized Church has weakened, stumbled, fell, skinned its knees, dirtied its face, and is  limping along towards further trouble.

How far along has this process gone?   All the way, I’d say.    Recently, in a church near me,   a priest was acting like a politician and gave a sermon that instructed the people on gun control, border walls, and racism.    Whatever you think of these Hot Button Leftist Talking Points,   most people would instinctively know that this is not what sermons should be about,  nor is it the role of the priest to act as a politician.

Don’t Leftists believe in “separation of church and state”?    (That’s a mild jab from me, with a smile.)

Before I go back to What Happened Next in that church,   here is what the role of a priest traditionally is,  Church teaching from St. John Eudes:

The priest is an evangelist and an apostle whose
chief work is to preach publicly and privately,
by word and example, the Gospel of Jesus
Christ; to continue and perpetuate the functions
that the apostles were commissioned to perform
and to practise the virtues that they practised  
His duty is to make them worthy to possess in eternity
the very kingdom of the Sovereign Monarch of
the world.
In a word, the priest embodies a world of grace
and benediction for the entire Church, but
especially for that portion which God has called
him to govern and guide.

 

The words were printed in the Scottish newsletter*, so that’s why the spelling of some words is different. This portion is just a small part of the saint’s teaching about priests,  but it’s an example of how far from secular politics is the duty of any Roman Catholic priest.

The duty of a priest is the things of God.  However in the local church that I began to write about, the words of that priest were so emotionally incendiary (patterned after the reporting presented by our entertainment-news media:  arouse the people!!),  so arousing, that a man got up in the back of the church and shouted out  his disapproval to the priest and then left the building.

Now, according to reports,  the word “panicked”  was used at least three times.   The people in the church “panicked”  because of the shouts (of the man who had quickly left) and police were called, reports were made, etc., etc.

So –  divisive politics strikes close to home.    I wonder about that scene.    I wonder about our society that has produced people so easily “panicked,”  whatever that meant.   I wonder about the psychological soundness of people with weakened faith (maybe through no fault of their own – living in such a changed Modernized church) –

Opposed to this scene is the teaching of the Church:     For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  (II Timothy 1:7)       

As much as I’d like to comment on that verse,   it brings me to Billy Graham, whose biography I saw tonight in a documentary, which happened to be on TV after NASCAR!  (Happily for me.)

However many ways you can look at the man, Billy Graham had greatness and he was important to a wide variety of Americans.     His words changed lives.      As I listened to this documentary,  I was struck by how firmly he stuck to his message:

1.   Every man, deep down is longing for something; he has a hole to be filled:   “Everyone is born with a God-shaped hole in his heart.”   “The heart is restless until it rests in Thee.”  (St. Augustine)    Or listen  to Blaise Pascal about the abyss in our hearts:

What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”
– Blaise Pascal, Pensées VII(425)

2.   From there Billy Graham goes on to state that  not only do we all feel an emptiness,  but we also know, deep down, that we are sinners.

3.   God loved the world so much that He sent His Son to die for us, to “take away”  our sins, to give us new life, and to create a soul worthy of Heaven, sharing in his divine life.
Period.

4.    “If you want to have peace with God, come forward . . .”    in those big crusade auditoriums.     Don’t misunderstand me,  I’m being respectful.

With God (the Third Person of the Trinity) living in you,  you have  increasing faith, which leads to peace and spiritual health, strength, and a sound mind.

I think that factors in somehow to wondering about a “panicked”  congregation whose emotions were so stoked that a shout from the back of the room led to  fear for personal safety.

Fear does not come from God.   (Direct quote from Malachi Martin!)

But “Panic”  comes from the god Pan, according to the Greeks.   In other words,  from evil entities in enmity with God and man, all flourishing in a time of a weakened Church.

  _____________________________________________________

 

There are some priests who strive to resemble St. Eudes’  description as partially quoted above.    All is not lost.    The priest I see each week reminds us frequently that it’s his job to  help us live holy lives –   he’s rather young, he works hard at it, even to the detriment of his own health, as I’m observing.        Just thought he deserves some praise.

 ________________________________________________________

.*  CatholicTruthScotland

 

 

 

 

 

TO BABYLON – AND LIFE CUT SHORT

Posted March 3, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Lessons from History, Nature Speaks

Tags: , ,

Musings for a Sunday Eve.

Sometimes distractions are a good thing.

I have this tree, right outside the window in front of my study desk.  It’s kept its orange leaves and they shine brightly in the winter sun, they glow in the light of the full moon,  and in our  recent snowstorm —

Orange Tree in Snowfall 380

—   the orange was enough to show through the heavy snowfall.    All that in a soft, downward motion . . . .

I was trying to read a book, read it and learn from it,  but the huge snowflakes were so distracting.  I kept looking up at the torn-tissue size flakes that came down heavily, but not quite obscuring those orange leaves.

The book was “By The Waters of Babylon,”  and it’s about the very earliest seekers after the “real” city of Babylon – “if it even existed.”    References to Babylon were mainly from the Bible, and the materialists and naturalists and darwinists  of the 19th century had no “proof”  that would satisfy their new philosophies.

And I thought about that, in my daydreaming with that tree in front of me.   Established science is one of the most closed-minded endeavors of intellectual activity.     You know,  once a “consensus” of a few scientists is formed,  then it’s declared dogma.

But some were curious enough and were willing to risk the criticism of the “educated” ones of their day and the many obstacles to their hoped-for  success.   Although this is a current rendition of what Babylon could have looked like —

lay once a bautiful city

—  this very large and beautiful city in the 19th century now looked like this:

lay great cities become

It wasn’t going to be easy to find – “if it ever existed.”   Local people in the desert of what we now call Iraq had their own names for these lumps and bumps of sand.   No writings  guided their exploration;  cuneiform writing on stray pieces of pottery was thought to be just triangular decorations on potsherds.

For the young men of the 19th century who  explored the ancient cities,  there were no modern “facilities” out there to protect from the harsh climate;    no cure for the many common deadly diseases.  There was no equipment beyond pick-axes and shovels,  small wooden carts, canvas tents;  no motors or machines to help with the excavations and transportation of objects;

Archeology and its careful methods had not even been “invented” yet!

I daydreamed during that snowstorm about that too.   What hard, long discouraging and life-threatening work they endured!     So far from our American comfort zones!

bab scene

But I want to focus on the men themselves.  Young men.   Men of broad education in languages,  history,  religion,  philosophy, literature.  Men capable of working long hours each day.   And men of many, many talents.

Just two names, if you want to get started on a little discovery of this era:

Henry Austen Layard . . .

 

Layard

And  Claudius Rich:

Phillips, Thomas, 1770-1845; Claudius James Rich (1786/1787-1821)

Young men, really, and many others like them.      There are studies and speculations about why some young men achieve so much.  Among their common qualities are:

Focus and persistence of  effort.      Confidence in their abilities.     Strength or force of character.     Timing and luck.   Versatility in several fields.     Emotional stability.    And willingness to risk intellectual chastisement, to go against conventional wisdom.

The young men were accomplished and recognized in many fields,  they published books on  a variety of unrelated topics,   some were put in positions of authority in far-flung British colonial government —  how much hard work it took to get them to these accomplishments!

And as I was daydreaming, looking out at that orange tree in the snow,  I had time enough for the impact of their common and startling End:  nearly all died in their thirties!     Nearly all died young of disease or injury.

Their lives cut short.   What more could they have achieved if they had lived a bit longer?

Those poor, poor young highly accomplished, highly educated men.     Where are they now?

What would it have mattered  if they had achieved more?    (What would it matter if I achieve more for this world than the tiny bit I have?)     What was their life for?  What are our lives for?

It’s Sunday “Eve” now.      There’s a pretty pastel sunset outside, in place of the blue sky today.   (Again,  nature distracts me . . .  and points me to big thoughts.)

sunset to c

We are everlasting souls.   Our everlasting existence is not here on this planet, at least not as it exists now.        Sunday Eve;    and we’ll go to Mass tomorrow to worship the God who created it all,  before our lives are “cut off.”

I don’t really know any more than that.

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“THE MOUNTAINS ARE HIGH . . .”

Posted March 3, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Climate Change, Current Events, Persecution of Christians, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

(Well, after all that “thumb-blood” pouring out of me a few days ago,  I have  a ridiculously small mark on my thumb and I have no excuse not to get back to the keyboard.)

 

chi mts without

I read a headline today, offered by Breitbart News, that read:  “US Catholics More Worried About Climate Change Than Christian Persecution.”      My guess is that you don’t have to be a Catholic –  or have any religious practice at all –  in order to be indifferent to the suffering of our fellowman,  for whatever reason.     Lots of things to distract us.

But no human being has the right to make another human being suffer, except perhaps in the course of a just punishment,  but even then Christ commands us to be merciful.

The Twentieth Century  (of which we are still philosophically a part of) has seen the most widespread, severe, and horrific persecution of citizens by their governments than this world has ever experienced.  Deaths over a hundred million –  death by government decree.    We hope it’s over . . . .

But persecution continues.    (And grows for some.)

chin mountains

We don’t hear much of massive deaths, such as during the Cultural Revolution in China a few decades ago,  but, nevertheless,   there are ongoing government-decreed killings  of two kinds of people in China,  the born and the unborn.

The Church there is under severe and increasingly severe persecution.

Tucked away in the valleys, in distant places beyond administrative reach, here and there,   Catholics practice their faith in China,  quietly.

chi vallley

They are “patriotic,”  in the American sense of the word.  They are proud to be Chinese and they are glad to be Catholic.

They should be just like us, following the same Master,  come to teach us, His children.

chi and Jesus

 

They should be able to hear the same words in the Mass and in the Bible and to meditate upon those words, without fear or distraction.

chi Jesus and siciples

The Chinese have hearts and souls and minds and bodies like we do, and so ought we to have compassion for them when we hear of their persecution.   And it’s getting very much worse for them.

“US Catholics More Worried About Climate Change (stories) Than Christian Persecution”?

The Chinese Catholics are being persecuted right now on two fronts – from within and from without.  We can understand that a socialist, materialist dictatorship does not want competition and is deeply suspicious of loyalty to anything but themselves –  and devotion to God is seen as disloyalty to the government.

That’s why those Chinese Catholics are usually found in far away places, leading quiet lives,  wishing to not attract attention.       This has worked fairly well for a long time.  “The mountains are high, and the emperor is far away,” as the Chinese say.

chi shrine

Quiet devotion in isolated areas.

But there is a modernist and very arrogant,  heavy-handed,    lead-footed  (lead-booted?) unwise group of men in the Vatican today.    So far are these men from the prudent men of broad and liberal understanding of Catholics in past generations,  that I hesitate to say these Modernists even have a Catholic spirit.

These Modernists have stirred the political pot in China, pointing out that   HEY!   You’ve got Catholics in your country!!!!!    Let’s make a DEAL!!!!!       And so discussions concerning Catholic freedoms in a socialist country have been fired up needlessly.

Heated debates- all ‘graciously’ conducted in diplomatic meetings –  have led to government commands  to crack down on Catholics, to demolish churches and shrines, to restrict freedoms,  and most noticeably to insist that the government has priority over selecting Catholic local leadership.

Socialist leadership over Church matters?    There are a lot of  “Church” issues that must give way  to the government.  Catholics must bow to the government.    Kowtow,  I would say.

The stakes are high.   Loss of government-approved employment.  Loss of homes.   Separation from family.  False charges.  Imprisonment.   Execution.  And the worst of all  –  the  forced choice between “patriotism” or the compromise of one’s own beliefs.

So . . .  just so you know.

The Chinese are included in the Universal  Church, our  universe.   Our brothers and sisters.   Can we spare a prayer for them after we worry about Climate change stories?

_____________________

Thanks again to Breitbart for pointing this out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(MINI)-TRAUMA ON A WINTER’S NIGHT

Posted February 28, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Christian Love, Cooper, snow Photography, storms

Tags: , , , ,

“Music, a Meeting,  More Snow,  and a Reverse Lesson in Kindness)

(This posting will feel like  a disorganized mess because . . .  well, I feel like a mess right now.)

RECOVERY MODE:

So,  this is me, recovering tonight:

Knitting

Words actually say it better than this photo:   I’m having a quiet, relaxing evening in front of a soothing fire with a bright almost- full moon shining through the window behind me, and I’m so surprised to be able to begin my new knitting project – a thick, luscious white cabled sweater.

(“Every journey begins with a few stitches.”)

It’s a surprise because I have fairly badly injured my right thumb, slightly traumatizing, and I thought I couldn’t start my new knitting project,  but as it turns out,  because there are so many cables in it,  I’m not using the European style of knitting which would have put more pressure on my thumb.   So,  two fingers, not the thumb. . . .

I need the knitting, the fireplace, and the quiet right now.

I injured my thumb yesterday during a meeting in an office of our, uh,  professional advisor,  just a periodic meeting,  with Son by my side.  I couldn’t hide the bleeding which didn’t stop during that whole time, but I had to hide the shock my body felt and the growing pain.

“BE YE KIND”

You don’t give up any of your strength when you are kind to someone:

kind animals

 

It matters, it matters very much if you are kind to the people around you.     Thankfully,  I’ve been surrounded by kindness.   Our “advisor”  who kindly got up several times to give me wads of paper towels to soak up the blood (which I didn’t know what to do with – not thinking clearly).

And Son,  glancing at me once in a while in the office,  and then his kind attention and (distracting) conversation as we went out for a nice lunch afterwards;  and his helping with needed yard work which I couldn’t do, and patient conversation afterwards.

The kindness of these two men was not unnoticed, and I’m a bit embarrassed to say, but  it was very much needed.

And kindness today:

RECORDER

It was Recorder Practice today.    I didn’t think I could use my thumb.   It hurt.   I was unaccountably tired.  And I felt a little tense and shaky all over.   But I like my friend and I like playing recorder together with her.    So I went.     (“Music hath charms to soothe the “traumatized”  breast.”)    My friend kindly listened to my tales of woe and said we could stop when my thumb said to stop.

And look what was waiting for us after we played our music!

Table Whole 380

A beautiful table like this just doesn’t assemble itself.   My friend is an artist, with color and composition.   Those little  flowers grow on her property, and they’re called Snow Drops,  arranged beautifully.    They were so charming in the little crystal containers  that they actually soothed and cheered my body.

Table

When you do something like this for a friend,  that is an act of kindness.     It’s actually a command from our “Master.”

(Ephesians 4:32)   Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

The Snow Drops bring me to another whole set of considerations:

Not too long ago I woke up to this outside my window – an Ice Cage!

Icicle Cage 250

Long icicles had formed across my house.   It was the aftermath of lots and lots of snow –

Snow Banks 380   –   I had shoveled the snow up into four-foot banks.

Snow BENCH 370

Everything was deeply covered .

But then the ice on the pond turned “green” signaling a change in the weather.

sea green pond 370

We had a couple days of very warm rains, causing the creek back there to rise into a raging river,  a couple days of flooded roads and detours,  and now,  though it’s “Indian Spring”  or whatever this warm weather is called,   we have some snow predicted.

A measly three inches.    Can I get back on my skis again?

Grandson Cooper has four to eight feet of snow predicted this week.    He lives right on the shore of Donner Lake,  here:

Donner Lake

And up in the pass?   Donner Pass:

Donner

It will be a white-out again.

Lucky Cooper!    He’ll be able to ski!

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A SOLID ROCK TO STAND ON

Posted February 25, 2018 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Religious Freedom

Tags: , ,

 

A restful interlude. . . .

confetti

As the “confetti” of  the thoughts in my mind settle down  on this Sunday, I find myself “settling down” gently into a mode  of rest.

(It’s still here, solid  and true):

Ancient Mass Pages 390

 

This is a photograph from some side pages in our missal.  It’s the handwritten pages of a portion of the Mass – the very same Mass, the very same words,  the very same meaning it has always had. 

God doesn’t change.    The Son of God doesn’t change.    His Body, the Church, doesn’t change, not from the first century, not from the time of this manuscript 900 or more years ago,  and not today.

The script is very hard for me to read,  but I can read some of the Latin; I can verify that it’s the very same Latin prayers we said today in church.

It’s not “Traditional.”    It’s  Timeless.

No matter what happens in this world,  no matter what happens to me in this world,  no matter what happens to me,   the Truth in those words in the manuscript above will abide.

I can count on Him.

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