On August 15, 2019 an alleged website malfunction at the office of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office has revealed that the District Attorney (without waiting for his grand jury to indict), has rushed to file criminal charges against Mr. Joseph Gibson. The District Attorney claims that Mr. Gibson committed the crime of “riot” (ORS 166.015), which requires proof of “tumultuous and violent conduct” by Mr. Gibson. There are multiple videos of the events at Cider Riot, and not one of them shows Mr. Gibson engaging in violent conduct.
Mr. Gibson was repeatedly pepper-sprayed and spat upon by violent members of Antifa, none of whom have been arrested or charged for their conduct on May 1st. It is not as though the government is ignorant of the identity of the Antifa combatants; even now, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission refuses to release an investigative report about Cider Riot that Mr. Gibson requested long ago, which should identify other combatants.
These charges represent a total failure of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office to distinguish between violent conduct and the exercise of First Amendment rights. Worse still, by arresting only one side of the alleged “riot,” the District Attorney of Multnomah County is by all appearances acting as a special prosecutor for Antifa. Continue reading
Portland Head Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Once the site of American soldiers on watch for British troops, the headland at Cape Elizabeth, Maine got a more permanent lookout when George Washington requested a lighthouse be built for the spot. First lit in 1791 (with the keepers’ house we see here added exactly 100 years later in 1891), Portland Head is the oldest lighthouse in Maine, a state packed with them.
Essential for maritime safety, the lighthouse was also a strategic military defense for Portland Harbor as recently as World War II. Portland Head Light was fully automated in 1989 and its keepers’ house is now a maritime museum.
Point Pinos Lighthouse in Monterey, California
Point Pinos Lighthouse was built and lit in 1855 to help guide ships along the rocky coastline. The original lens is still sitting in the lighthouse to this day. When the lighthouse began it used whale oil to keep the light lit.
Living well is the best revenge was always on the back page of a regional newspaper in Marin County, in the San Francisco Bay Area 50 years ago. A nice reminder that always made me smile. While “revenge” is not necessarily a goal it could be restated as “living well is the best revenge against aging and unhappiness.” The Blue Zones represent not only the healthiest areas on Earth, but also the happiest places. Social scientists have been studying almost 100 countries for happiness levels since the early 1980s. Health and happiness go hand in hand. Let’s face it, it’s harder to be happy when you’re unhealthy.
But what can you do to “get happier” and “healthier”? People often ask this when they want a simpler lifestyle or more happiness in their lives. You can do this, but it means lifestyle changes, attitudinal changes. Studies of the happiest places on Earth have shown lots of consistencies. And surprisingly the areas where the rich live are not the happiest areas! Continue reading
The word “estate” conjures images of great wealth, which may be one of the reasons so many people don’t develop estate plans – after all, they’re not rich, so why make the effort? In reality, though, if you have a family, you can probably benefit from estate planning, whatever your asset level. And you may well find that a comprehensive estate plan can help you answer some questions you may find unsettling – or even worrisome.
Here are a few of these questions:
• What will happen to my children? With luck, you (and your co-parent, if you have one) will be alive and well at least until your children reach the age of majority (either 18 or 21, depending on where you live). Nonetheless, you don’t want to take any chances, so, as part of your estate plans, you may want to name a guardian to take care of your children if you are not around. You also might want to name a conservator – sometimes called a “guardian of the estate” – to manage any assets your minor children might inherit. Continue reading
The privilege of personal choice is a gift to humans from Creator God. The natural world operates within boundaries that God designed. A rose cannot decide to produce apples; the moon cannot choose to be like a star. Humans have the benefit of choice, and it comes with consequence – positive or negative.
When the first humans were in the Garden of Eden, they made a poor choice by believing the lie of counterfeit god, Satan. Life on Planet Earth was changed in that all humans would struggle with the desire to choose less than best life opportunities. History reveals the constant effort of Satan luring people into hurtful choices while Creator God offers hope and power to make good ones. Choice followed by consequence is the story of human history that continues to be written today.
In most situations, it is not difficult to determine the consequence of our choice. If we made a poor one, we can understand the hurt that resulted. A good choice most likely will bring a desirable response. There is a troubling area between these two options that is often described with a question: “Why do good things happen to people who make poor choices and bad things come to people who make good ones?” Continue reading
Josh Harris of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” has quite publicly and unreservedly renounced his faith. “I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus,” he writes on Instagram. “The popular phrase for this is ‘deconstruction,’ the biblical phrase is ‘falling away.’ By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.” (Emphasis added.)
This naturally raises questions in the mind of every sincere Christian observer. Was he ever a true Christian? If he was, how could he so flatly repudiate his faith? And where does all this leave him with regard to his eternal destiny?
There will be those reading this who are firmly in the “once-saved, always-saved” camp, which believes it is impossible to forfeit one’s salvation. Someone may look like a genuine believer for a long time, but if he ever falls away, it will simply demonstrate he was never a Christian to begin with.
I grew up with this view, and believed it until I finished my training in the biblical languages at Dallas Theological Seminary, which paradoxically still stands firmly in the always-saved camp. I still have many friends, including pastors, who believe the always-saved view, and I have no interest in starting a quarrel with them or anyone else. I respect them, and my disagreement with them on this issue is not personal but biblical. Continue reading
If you love Jesus, he’s going to divide your family.
He said it would happen, and his words have proven heartbreakingly true.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matthew 10:34-35).
Quite simply, Jesus is saying that he is the dividing line in every family. Those who are unreservedly dedicated to following him are on one side, those who reject his offer of salvation and the call to take up his cross are on the other. There is a chasm between them that can grow by the day until it becomes impossible to cross. Continue reading
I met an amoeba today,
I stopped and I asked it to play.
It said “Beat it you rube,
“I am ‘midst Rubic’s Cube,
“And I’m only one square away.”
Annoyed by amoeba’s affront,
My retort would be equally blunt.
I said “I refuse, bud,
“To be treated like mud
“By a green, unicellular runt.”
Now, I know that amoeba aren’t shy,
So I gazed into its nuclei.
It said “Mind your tongue, chump,
“Someday you’ll get your lumps,
“For soon, I’ll be able to fly.”
Well, I knew that this blob had me beat;
Against wings, what good would be feet?
So heed my bewares,
Alone, or in pairs,
Do not an amoeba mistreat.
“Laughter is better than complaining.” – paraphrasing a paraphrase of “Anger is better than laughter,” which in the King James Version is “Sorrow is better than laughter” (last week’s column) SOMETHING LOST IN THE TRANSLATION?
Not to repeat myself, but the English words anger and sorrow meant the same thing in pre-KJV times. The root word for anguish, angst, and angina was the root now used for “anger.” Rage wasn’t involved until the 1300s. Some say that “Sorrow is better than laughter” is one of their favorite scriptures.
While it’s true that sorrow and trials can do some good things for us sometimes, the God of the children of Israel is a comforting God, a laughing God (Psalm 2 and others).
Not to change the subject, but we now know why Bob Mueller didn’t want to testify. He asked nicely to be excused, but the geniuses – the “progressives” – insisted! We now know that “Mueller” is almost as old as I am. I’m so old that I’ve hit that age when you walk into a room and wonder why you’re there, even if it’s the bathroom. Maybe you stare inside the fridge and remember you were looking for the microwave. Continue reading
First it was a football quarterback, then it was a woman’s soccer star, and now it’s a fencer. And others in-between. These are American athletes protesting the National Anthem.
TIME magazine (8/11/19) notes that a 26-year-old male fencer representing Team USA at the Pan Am Games decried America because of “the multiple shortcomings of the country I hold so dear to my heart. Racism, Gun Control, mistreatment of immigrants.” And so on and so forth.
I like the hymn “America the Beautiful,” which includes the prayer that God would mend our every flaw. Certainly, there are many flaws to be mended. But I have a feeling that nothing would ever satisfy those who protest our National Anthem.
As a student of American history, I believe God did something special in the creation of this nation. It began with the Pilgrims who came here “for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith” (Mayflower Compact, 1620) and continued through the Puritans who came in order to create “a city on a hill” (Rev. John Winthrop, founder of Boston, 1630). Continue reading