Phoenix, AZ: Victor Spades, a multibillionaire businessman, claims to have developed new destructive technology that will allow him to rule the earth. Calling himself the awful name, “The Ace,” Spades believes he is a real life supervillain who now has weapons that outclass any military’s by many orders of magnitude. Appearing on both social media and TV, The Ace proclaimed that he would destroy entire governments and take over the “whole world” with the power of his inventions. These new weapons have been confirmed to be effective.
The reality of a new overlord brought panic and consternation across the globe, but a certain subset of Christians, Calvinists, openly questioned Spades’ meaning of “world.” JD Johnson, a Reformed pastor, spoke out, “As you know, ‘world’ can mean anything, really. Many think it must mean every single person on the planet, but that’s just silly. The Ace definitely means he has a certain individuals in mind that are scattered around the nations, such that someone from every tribe and every tongue will be under his rule but not everyone. This makes more sense because otherwise Mr. Spades loses the freedom to choose a select few, which he of course would want for himself.”
The Little Mermaid is a Disney classic, and our family had it on VHS back in the day. The story contains one of Disney’s most endearing characters, Sebastian the Crab. He is well-known for his Jamaican accent as well as his catchy songs such as “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl.” However, when you listen to the latter one closely, it begins to sound… odd. And a little disturbing, because Sebastian is essentially encouraging Prince Eric to assume that this 16 year-old mute girl is just begging for him to go at her. He’s like the proverbial devil on the shoulder.
Here’s the song:
Now allow me to illustrate how Sebastian’s advice can look like (click to enlarge):
Perhaps it is best to not listen to talking crabs :).
HOUSTON, TX – Land of Silk and Money (LSM), a local church pastored by Jerry B. Pound, has added a new spiritual gift shop to their already existing store full of self-help books, motivational audio, prayer cloths, the pastor’s prayers in tongues, and pamphlets about seed-planting (no Bibles were reportedly seen). The church boasts 25,000 members and 269,000 square feet of land, but Pound says that many of those members have asked what spiritual gift they have. In order to help them out, he decided to add this spiritual gift shop that allowed anyone to purchase the spiritual gift of their choice, either for themselves or someone else.
“I got asked so many times about spiritual gifts, and I thought, ‘Hey, Jerry, isn’t this another example of planting seeds?'” said Pound, who flies back to his Florida beach house every week on his private jet. “If you can plant seeds and get the car of your choice, I don’t see why you can’t also get the spiritual gift that you want.”
Though spiritual gifts aren’t tangible, they are represented in the store by cards with text on them and envelopes for future giving that increases those gifts. The initial price of a spiritual gift varied based upon its importance, a level deemed by Pound and his staff. Here is a list of some of the gifts and their price tag:
LOS ANGELES, CA – Several parents of Asian descent at local churches were surveyed and interviewed in the Los Angeles area concerning the parenting of one of the highest profile parents that they know, God the Father. Surveys showed that 64% of them strongly disapproved, moderately disapproved, or slightly disapproved of the Father’s parenting skills and of how Jesus his Son turned out. An additional 13% did not necessarily disapprove but chose the option of “Kind condescension.”
“Look, Jesus was a nice guy, but his Father obviously never pushed him in school and to get good grades,” said Dae Jung Cho, ruling elder of Korean Presbyterian Church of Koreanness. “Now look at his Son, Jesus. He did not become a lawyer or a doctor. He didn’t even become an engineer or an accountant. He became a carpenter, a carpenter, like his step-dad… and that’s not even mentioning how shady that is.”
AUSTIN, TX: A local Christian college student has seemingly ended her longstanding relationship with Jesus to start dating a guy she finds attractive.
Miranda Cho, a junior at the University of Texas, has been part of a Christian fellowship for her entire time at school. During this time, she has received numerous requests from male peers to go out to coffee, to have lunch, and to generally be their girlfriend. In all cases, she has turned them down because she claimed that Jesus was her true love.
“Miranda would always say, ‘Sorry, but I’m dating Jesus, and there’s no room for another guy,'” says Ashley Lee, her friend. “That would often confuse Christian guys, but it would also make them like her more for being so spiritual.” Ashley then started to pout. “Frankly, I don’t understand why so many guys go for her.” When asked if she felt forgotten due to the attention her friend received, Ashley abruptly turned defensive and walked off.
The pastor of my church told a story in a sermon recently of a woman who dove headfirst into charismatic practices because she was dissatisfied with her own spiritual walk. She began to go to conference after conference detailing how to speak in tongues, heal, and interpret prophetic dreams. She apparently started to have pride over her purported gifts and to look down upon others who were not so enlightened, including her own husband. One of her practices was to keep a journal next to her bed such that when she had a dream, she could quickly write it down when she woke up in order to interpret what majestic message God was undoubtedly sending in her sleep.
My reaction was this: What’s wrong with having pride about this? Sounds like fun! I’ve always wanted to interpret my dreams, especially since I am pretty sure I am more special than any of you.
I had a dream last night. Allow me to describe it and then interpret it for you:
PARIS, TX–Daisy Michaelson, a 25 year old member of Elmcreek Baptist Church, has sought to boost her low self-esteem by disguising her attempts to receive affirmations that she is beautiful as intellectual discussions about modesty. Endlessly insecure, Daisy has figured out that a good way to brag about her looks and receive compliments is to ask questions about modesty, share horror stories of boys hitting on her, and innocently ask how she can avoid leading guys on.
“At church, we are taught not to boast, and we are also taught that physical beauty should not be emphasized because it is fleeting,” Daisy mused. “But I still want to hear that I’m cute because, deep down, I’m scared that I’m not. I’ve found that if I force discussions on modesty, I can get others to tell me that I’m gorgeous.”
Daisy’s conversations and social media posts confirm this strategy. Late last week, Daisy posted on Facebook:
A couple of people I know have started a blog where they tell stories about people they encounter. The website looks slick and they are both fine writers, and it is worth checking out. However, I jokingly said to one that I would not be a good contributor to such a project because I am… uh, different. She said she’d still like for me to write an article for the site, so allow me to demonstrate why this would be a bad idea and that they are better off without me ;). Behold, my experiences with these beings called “people.”
It’s been a while since I’ve drawn a stick figure cartoon… so here you go :). And a youtube video of the song lyrics as well.
Since we’re studying 1 Kings in our college group, I decided to read through it once again. Recently, I read the story where Ben-Hadad and Ahab exchange messages, and for some reason this time it struck me a bit differently. In this story, Ben-Hadad tells Ahab that all he has belongs to him, and Ahab responds politely (or perhaps cowardly) and agrees. However, then Ben-Hadad basically tells him, “I was serious, I’m sending people to take everything,” and Ahab denies him due to the advice of the elders. Ben-Hadad then responds: