Where Will You Land?

Happy Easter To All

For Christians, Easter is a time of joyful celebration. However many folks, especially unbelievers, can’t understand how anyone would joyfully celebrate the death of someone they say they love. We believe, therefore we celebrate!

As committed followers of Jesus Christ we believe with all our heart, mind, soul and strength:

  • We believe in one God (the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), the Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures . . . without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (of sins – Hebrews 9:22). On the third day, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into Heaven where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Mediator.
  • We believe the Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior, indwelling our hearts. He gives us new life, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth, and seals us for the day of redemption.
  • We believe from birth we were estranged from God and condemned by our inherited sinfulness from Adam and Eve and our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8 – NLT). God credits His righteousness to those who put their faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justifies them in His sight. Only such as are born of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life.
  • We believe Jesus Christ will come again to the earth personally, visibly, and bodily—to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.
  • We believe the Holy Bible is the infallible (cannot err) Word of God.

We believe, therefore we celebrate!

If Jesus had not shed His blood and died, our sins would not have been forgiven in God’s eyes. More importantly, if God the Father had not raised Jesus from the dead then His death, and the forgiveness of our sins, would have been a meaningless sacrifice!

The resurrection power of Jesus defeating death itself insured that all who believe in Him, His death, burial, and resurrection, would also be resurrected to eternal life in a perfectly new heaven and new earth. This is VERY GOOD NEWS to all who believe in Him!

I found a great illustration that I hope will give readers a perfect picture of what life can and will be like with, and without, a relationship with Jesus Christ.

A thrill-seeker named Luke Aikins accomplished something most folks wouldn’t even dream of doing. Luke made a 25,000 foot jump from an airplane. A lot of folks might do that but very few would do it with NO parachute!

Check out his amazing free-fall video HERE!

So, how does Luke’s free-fall into the safety net relate to a relationship with Jesus? I’m glad you asked!

Because of our inherited sinfulness from Adam and Eve, we are all born sinners and separated from a relationship with the God who created us. From birth we are all literally free-falling through life and heading straight to the pits of Hell once we take our last breath. We don’t have a safety net to break that fall, to save us. That is the power of sin, and that makes Satan very happy!

However, for those who repent (have a change of heart and mind away from a sinful past) and believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, Jesus instantly becomes our safety net. He is the only One, the only safety net, who can save us from eternal destruction, living a life in the pits of Hell forever! Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is  ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name under Heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12 – NIV)

My hope and prayer for all who do not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the only safety net that can save sinners from eternal damnation, is that you will take time right now and ask Jesus to come into your life and acknowledge Him as your personal Lord and Savior.

As believers all around the world celebrate Easter giving thanks for the life, death, burial, and resurrection of the only One who can save us, may you too join us as we celebrate our new life with Jesus. For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

I’ll close by introducing you to my favorite Christian praise band, We The Kingdom, who sing an AWESOME and very appropriate song that fits perfectly with all I’ve shared with you. GOD SO LOVED.

If you liked what you just heard from WTK, you’ll love the first song they released, HOLY WATER.

HE IS RISEN! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

A Palm Sunday Lesson

It’s Time To Refocus!

What can we learn from the historical account of the first Palm Sunday celebration found in the Holy Bible that took place over 2000 years ago?

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the entire world upside down and instilled various degrees of fear in most everyone. Additionally, it didn’t help that there were all kinds of mandates and commands that seemed to conflict with each other in many instances. It seemed like we never knew who or what to believe or trust!

Next, here in the U.S.A., we had a controversial presidential election that tarnished the trust in our electoral process for tens of millions of voters .

Through all of this turmoil going on, and like the Hebrews living during Jesus’ time on earth, I think it’s fair to say that conservatives, and especially Christians all around the world, are feeling a great deal of mistrust and persecution these days as well.

If we aren’t careful, like the Hebrews in Jerusalem over 2000 years ago, our natural tendency will be to look and hope for someone to come on the scene and save us from all our trials and tribulations.


The Triumphal Entry Of Jesus

When He (Jesus) had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ” So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. (Luke 19:28-35)

The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” (John 12:12,13)


The ancient Hebrews, instructed by the prophets, had clear notions of the Messiah (God’s Anointed One who would be their King and Savior); but these notions became gradually depraved, so that when Jesus appeared in Judea, the Jews entertained a false conception of the Messiah, expecting a temporal monarch and conqueror, a King who would remove the Roman yoke on the world once and for all. Hence they were appalled at the outward appearance, the humility, and seeming weakness of our Savior.

They were looking for a natural common sense solution and totally missed the fact that God had sent a supernatural eternal solution to  those who would believe and put their trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.

May we too, who have a tendency to put our faith in what imperfect men and women can do to save us from our problems and persecutions, remember to keep our focus on and put our faith in the only One who can save us and offer us eternal life. To God be the glory!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Time For Some Humor!

With all the stress and anxiety many have experienced this past year, I thought it might be time for a little humor.

So the story goes, a child was asked to write a book report on the entire Bible. I’m not sure I’m buying  that story, however, either way it is clever.

I also have to admit that this biblical story below is a lot more humorous if you already know the “real” biblical story.

Enjoy!


Through the eyes of a child:

The Children’s Bible in a Nutshell

In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, ‘The Lord thy God is one, but I think He must be a lot older than that.

Anyway, God said, ‘Give me a light!’ and someone did. Then God made the world.

He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren’t embarrassed because mirrors hadn’t been invented yet.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden. Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn’t have cars.

Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.

Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.

One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.

After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of  Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh’s people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.

God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don’t lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor’s stuff.

Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses’ best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.

After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn’t sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don’t have to worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New. He was born in  Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, “Close the door! Were you born in a barn?” It would be nice to say, “As a matter of fact, I was.”)

During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Democrats.

Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.

Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount.

But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn’t stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.


Although we can laugh at much of this child’s account of the Bible, whoever wrote it got the most important point of the Bible very right!

Jesus did die on a cross. The blood He shed on that cross was required by God the Father so that all who believe that Jesus died, was buried, and was raised from the dead would have their sins forgiven and receive eternal life instead of eternal death.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3: 16-18)

This is where the humor ends! The truth is a serious decision is required if eternal life matters to you, your family, and your friends.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

“Cancel Culture” Done The Right Way!

You Now Have The Power To Skip The Unacceptable In Movies And TV!

By now most everyone has heard of “Cancel Culture”, and sadly, some have personally experienced the reality of being cancelled simply for speaking or posting an opposing point of view.

From the censorship of books online and in bookstores, to Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, and others closing accounts on individuals whose content they don’t agree with, to the main stream media doing the same and worse by either ignoring news-worthy stories, or flat out not telling the truth!

It’s not only a distortion of our constitutional rights but it’s flat out criminal to deny any American their right to freedom of speech! When the so-called “Fact Checkers” decide to play God, a BIG red line has been crossed.

My daughter and her husband introduced my wife and I to a new outlet for viewing quality TV and movies on our terms without trampling on the freedom of speech of others.

Below is the story of some brothers from Idaho who are doing “Cancel Culture” the right way, without attempting to deny others their right to the freedom of speech or harming those they disagree with.

Here is their story in a message to their followers:


Friends of VidAngel,

Shortly after the founding of America, John Quincy Adams truthfully quipped, “Whoever tells the best story wins.”

In the early 1900s, a small group of filmmakers, frustrated at the oppressive restrictions imposed by the then movie cartel, fled West and started making movies in Hollywood, California. They were sued and pushed out of the mainstream movie business.

The creators voted with their feet and left New Jersey for California.

They then made a hundred years of movies that helped the world navigate the great depression, two world wars, the civil rights movement, and more. Hollywood not only captured our hearts and imaginations, it shaped how we saw ourselves and what we consider right and wrong. It has become the #1 export of the world’s largest economy. We are grateful for much of what those pioneers created.

Most people don’t even know the movie business ever resided in New Jersey because Hollywood won in telling the best story. They locked down production, distribution, and copyright so you had to come through their door to reach the audience. But the best story to the Hollywood elite and best story to normal people, in their homes, slowly drifted apart.

One hundred years later, a family of Idaho farm boys protested what Hollywood has become by making a video about the decline of values in content published by Hollywood and launching a new service, VidAngel.

Those like us thought to solve the problem with a bandaid: skipping the offensive Hollywood bits in our homes. As a community, we used CleanFlicks and a dozen other companies who were sued out of existence.

We brothers started VidAngel to solve the problem for streaming, believing we could attract an audience who wanted better stories for their homes. We tried every way we could conceive to pay Hollywood: Chromecast, YouTube, Google Play, DVDs, Streaming, and DVR.

We were shut down, pulled, rejected, sued, treated like pirates, and even opposed in bankruptcy. What was our crime in trying to figure out how to pay Hollywood while giving the individual homes the ability to skip stuff they found offensive?

When we lost the lawsuit in Los Angeles, we even tried to pay off the entire judgment with interest. “Not so fast,” said the studios. They didn’t want to be paid. They wanted control.

The studios know, like Adams, that: “Whoever tells the best story wins.” And they want complete control of how their story is told.

Faced with continuing the legal battle to the supreme court or settling with the studios, we recently held a vote with the 8,000 homes who invested in VidAngel, and in a landslide we investors decided it’s time to tell a better story.

We are done trying to make money for studios who abhor that we’re doing it. Those who mock us for doing it. Those who sue us for doing it. Talk about a lose-lose proposition.

Instead, we, meaning you and I, are going to tell the best story. And as we do, we win.

Case in point, since the launch of The Chosen last November, season 1 has over 8 million app downloads in more than 180 countries and 50 languages. With 55 million views and counting, it’s a phenomenal success and by season seven, we believe we’ll reach over a billion people with its message.

For its audience (19,000 of whom funded season one), The Chosen is the best story. There are many more best stories to be told for countless communities who are underserved by the Hollywood elite.

We believe these principles, which we’ve followed to make The Chosen, will continue to produce the best stories for their audiences over time:

  1. Audiences choose the best story. The crowd will pick winners more often than the elites in Hollywood. The audience is far more important than the executive producer. If the crowd funds the story, it should be made.
  2. You should interact with the creators. When the creators have a direct connection with the audience, they will tell the best stories for their audience.
  3. Feedback loops > Rules based systems. MPAA ratings and Disney mandated standards are yesterday’s system of accountability. Data from skips (applied by individual homes) give the creators the information they need to make the best stories.

We know, like Adams, that “Whoever tells the best story wins.”

A little imagination went a long way for Roy and Walt’s little company, Disney Brothers (later Disney). How far can it go for over 8,000 homes backing a few farm boys from Idaho and the creators of the future?

Be part of a story that matters:

  1. Back stories you want made by investing.
  2. Support creators you want to see more from by paying it forward.

And may the best stories win!

Sincerely,

Neal and Jeffrey Harmon, VidAngel Co-founders


Just a side note: If you are looking for a life-changing movie you can watch with your children and/or grandchildren without the fear of hearing inappropriate language, or viewing inappropriate scenes, I highly recommend The Chosen.

The best filming and acting I’ve witnessed in a long, long time, and in my humble opinion, still the greatest story ever told!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

AMERICA . . . WAKE UP!

America Needs More Concerned Citizens With The Courage To Boldly Speak Up In Defense Of Our Judeo-Christian Values!

The heartfelt message below was sent to me by one of my high school classmates who is very concerned about the direction America is heading under the Biden/Harris administration, and I was given permission to share it.

I would also like to unashamedly acknowledge that we are both Christians. We are imperfect sinners just like everyone else living in this broken imperfect sinful world.

I say this upfront because as you read the message, and information I’ve inserted below, it would be absolutely wrong to conclude it is a message spewing hate at a specific people group, namely the LBGTQ community, including the elected officials who have just voted to pass a bill in the House of Representatives named H.R.5, the “Equality Act”.

As Christians we are taught and commanded to hate sin of any kind, just as Jesus did, but not to hate the sinner because we all fall short of God’s perfect standards and are in desperate need of a Savior. Jesus also commanded us to “love our neighbors as ourselves” and that’s exactly what we endeavor to do every day in spite of our differences.


This is CRITICAL information for every parent and citizen of the United States to know. I hope that you will read this, or listen to the message, which you can do by scrolling down the page to the video link.

The message is from Dutch Sheets, a pastor in South Carolina. If you believe in religious rights and freedoms as defined in the FIRST AMENDMENT of our Constitution, I hope you will be moved to call your Senators and send this message on to others.

This is a very critical time in our nation. The text and video are about the “Equality Act” that the extreme left is trying to pass. In fact, it has already passed the House of Representatives and will now go to the Senate. This bill, if passed into law, will alter all of our lives, and more importantly, the lives of our children and grandchildren for years to come. It is NOT about being “kinder” and “more tolerant”. The agenda they are trying to push is about dramatic change that continues to erode our constitutionally protected religious rights as well as our freedom of speech.

Again, this is not being pushed by moderate Democrats, although many of them will most likely “go along” if we don’t speak up because of the pressure mounting on them by the extremists in their party.

The reality is this is a new Democratic Party led by the extreme left who are not really just “liberals” anymore. They want to override all that this country stands for and the values our constitution was founded upon. The reality, whether we want to believe it or not, is that we are on our way to all of the “isms” we have heard mentioned and that dominate countries that we would consider adversaries.

Please read and think about what this is going to mean to our families, our children, and our grandchildren as they grow up. This will be a much different place to live, and will cause even more CONTROLS to be placed on our lives, and our freedoms.

If you disagree with me, I still urge you to read/view the link below and follow up with more investigation. Our faith-based rights to stand on biblical principles will no longer be held up in our churches, schools, or in our courts.

Jesus loves all people, but that does not mean He loves every action and every ‘belief’ or ‘feeling’ we may want to grab hold of. When someone was wrong Jesus did not hesitate to point that out, even to the most religious, the Pharisees, who were eroding the biblical teachings with their own set of commandments. That is exactly what some in our government are trying to do right now by pushing very immoral behavior on all of us as a moral “right”. It is NOT!

I have certainly learned, through my own mistakes, the necessity of building my belief system on the Word of God, NOT the word of man. Men are fallible, God’s Word is infallible (incapable of error), and many would lead us in directions for the sake of their own greed, power, and agendas.

These days we have to search for TRUTH because it is certainly not broadcast on the venues that are most accepted. This is pretty evident as we watch the attempts to crush and eliminate voices expressing their first amendment rights with a different point of view.

Again, I hope you will take the time to read or listen to this message or turn to the additional sites that are mentioned (Intercessors for America and FRC Action) for more information.  Then, if you are so moved, please pass this information on as a concerned parent and citizen.  If you disagree, I welcome discussion.

Please read and/or listen to Pastor Sheets’ message HERE.


Additionally, John Stonestreet, who writes on BreakPoint for the Colson Center, gave a concise and breathtaking overview of H.R.5:

“To be clear, you should only care about the Equality Act if you are a Christian, or a person of faith, or a woman, or own a business, or run a non-profit, or go to school, or teach at a school, or if you are a medical or mental-health professional, or (especially) if you are a female athlete, or under the age of 18, or ever use a public restroom. That’s not an exaggeration. In fact, here is the exact wording from the Equality Act:

‘An individual shall not be denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.’

This applies to . . .

‘any establishment that provides a good, service, or program, including a store, shopping center, online retailer or service provider, salon, bank, gas station, food bank, service or care center, shelter, travel agency or funeral parlor, or establishment that provides health care,accounting or legal services,” along with any organization that receives any federal funding.’

As Ryan Anderson of the Ethics and Public Policy Center described in an op ed this week:

‘Medical doctors, secular and religious, whose expert judgment is that sex-reassignment procedures are misguided would now run afoul of our civil-rights laws. If you perform a mastectomy in the case of breast cancer, you will have to perform one on the teenage girl identifying as a boy. All in the name of equality.’

Shelters for battered women would be forced to admit biological males. Prisons would not be able to protect female inmates from predatory males who claim to be females. Biological males will be given the opportunities, scholarships, and championships of female athletes.

It’s not clear that women’s sports would survive. More religious adoption and foster-care agencies would be forced to compromise their convictions about marriage and the family or shut down. School bathrooms and locker rooms would be open to both sexes.

In addition to these effects, the Equality Act would bring with it three broad, sweeping changes. First, specific conscience protections of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which have long been legal priorities, would be circumvented in cases deemed discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Effectively, conscience rights considered religiously-based would be tossed aside.

Second, anyone who affirms the biological reality of the sexes would be, in law, relegated to the same status as the racists whose oppression of African Americans made the 1964 Civil Rights Act necessary.

Finally, The Equality Act would have a dramatic impact on education, public or private. According to a new coalition called Promise to America’s Children, a coalition I’m proud to be a part of, the Equality Act greases the skids for even more graphic curricula “about sex, abortion, and politicized ideas about sexual orientation and gender identity ideology . . .” Not only that, but as federal legislation, this would affect every state, not just progressive ones, “overriding efforts by concerned parents and community members at the local level.”

It’s not over, however. The Equality Act still faces significant obstacles in the Senate. Here are three things you can do:

  • Contact your Representatives and your Senators and let them know to oppose the Equality Act.
  • Share widely the resources and articles on the Equality Act found at BreakPoint.org.
  • Go to promisetoamericaschildren.org and sign the statement committing to prioritize children’s rights over adult happiness and share the resources found there with your pastor, church, and community.”

I totally agree that we need more conservatives, and especially Christians, speaking with the boldness and courage to push back against those who roam around like roaring lions seeking to devour and destroy all that is good and righteous in God’s eyes. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8,9). “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

I also believe every church that stands on the Word of God should pray Pastor Sheets’ prayer corporately during every worship service until H.R.5 is defeated. Then, continue to pray unceasingly for the leadership of our nation, and for God’s grace and mercy on this great nation He has so richly blessed since its founding.

May all who view the Word of God (the Holy Bible) as absolute infallible Truth continue to stand strong in our Lord remembering to “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21) so one day, like the Apostle Paul, all Christians can say “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

God’s perfect will be done through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, AMEN!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

PARENTS . . . WAKE UP!

We Are In A War For The Minds Of Our Children!

Whether you are conservative, liberal, or somewhere in between, when the final answer to 2+2 doesn’t equal 4 anymore, something has seriously gone wrong somewhere!

The information below, which I can’t take credit for writing, gives us a sneak preview into the new math curriculum the state of Oregon is rolling out which, truth be known, isn’t really about racism and white supremacy at all.

This is a convenient, indefensible, and covert smoke screen for the continued indoctrination of our children in many of our public schools blatantly working to rewrite history every way possible (the 1619 Project, etc.) and to control the minds of our youth with an undeniable communist agenda!

Coming To A School Near You?


The state of Oregon is encouraging teachers to take a course called “Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction” in which teachers are encouraged to “come up with at least two answers” that might solve a math problem.

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PlanetMoron

Making math explicitly racist, one student at a time:

Oregon warns math is racist, promotes program for teachers to dismantle its “white supremacy”

Oregon’s Department of Education sent out an online pamphlet last week advertising a new course designed for teachers entitled, “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction,” with a section focused on removing racism from math.

https://disrn.com/news/oregon-promotes-a-pathway-to-equitable-math-instruction-pamphlet-with-section-on-dismantling-racism-in-math

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This “micro-course” is being promoted to Oregon middle-school teachers as a way to “dismantle racism in mathematics instruction,” and “the toxic characteristics of white supremacy,” which may sound awful, and it is, and I’ll get to that in great detail in a moment, but there’s something else going on here that is getting lost in the hot takes and insta-outrage you typically see.

If you dig down into the course (it is available), you find something really interesting:

But for the first unit, or “Stride” as they put it, it’s not particularly objectionable.

There are five Strides in all. The latter four, “Stride 2: Fostering Deep Understanding,” “Stride 3: Creating Conditions to Thrive,” “Stride 4: Connecting Critical Intersections,” and “Stride 5: Sustaining Equitable Practice,” are, with the exception of the last one, pretty run-of-the-mill explanations of various teaching strategies as applied to the instruction of mathematics.

In Stride 2, the words “race,” “racism,” “ethnic,” “ethnicity,” and “supremacy” don’t appear once, it’s just basic learning strategies.

In Stride 3, the word “race,” appears three times, “racism,” none, “ethnic,” twice, “ethnicity” twice, and “supremacy,” none.

The discussion of race and ethnicity are pretty vanilla notions that people’s sense of belonging can be a product of their group identity that can be defined by, among other things, race and ethnicity. While I don’t like group identities, particularly defined by immutable characteristics, it’s pretty benign by today’s standards. The other mentions of race and ethnicity appear in this quote:

“The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program defines educational equity as every student having access to full and equal opportunity to succeed in life. To achieve this outcome, all students deserve access to the right resources, academic rigor, and rich opportunities to develop their agency and identity, all of which are essential to prepare for college and career—irrespective of their race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, tribal status, language, nationality/immigration status, disability, family background, or family income.” —Aspen Institute

Well, that’s pretty refreshing. Yes, to all of that.

In Stride 4, the word “race,” appears 0 times, “racism” twice, “ethnic” 0, “ethnicity” once, and “supremacy” once.

This unit dips its toe into wokism, but the references to “racism” (including “systemic racism,” “ethnicity,” and “supremacy,”) are confined to a couple of paragraphs in a discussion about people for whom English is not a native language.

In Stride 5, “Race” appears 10 times, mostly as self-assessments and bibliographical references, “racism” or “racist” 23 times, including “antiracist” 17 times, “ethnic” and its various derivatives just four times, mostly in a bibliography, and “white supremacy” 3 times, twice in the bibliography.

This Stride definitely ramps up the wokeness factor, and its references to Covid suggest it was written, or at least edited, in the past year or so.

It is also one of the more painful Strides to read purely for the language. They all make prodigious use of educator jargon, but this one really takes it up a notch with “positionality,” “intellective,” “dialogical,” and others.

To review, Strides 2 through 4 were fairly anodyne, mostly a recitation of basic teaching tools. And while Stride 5, which was written more recently, gets into “antiracist” thinking, it doesn’t quite dial up the insanity, not compared to Stride 1.

However, all five strides do have some pictures of individuals in them, and not a single one is a white male. One might be a white female, but it’s not clear.

As we’ve been seeing lately, when it comes to “anti-racism,” no whites need apply.

I get it was done to blacks and others in the past. That was wrong, but it’s always wrong to exclude people because of their immutable characteristics, and it’s still wrong. Calling it out is not racist. Doing it is racist.

On to Stride 1. This is the real problem, not just for the content, but for what it foretells. I’m guessing this was written much more recently. There’s an arms race going on, a race to see who can be the most woke, and Stride 1 was likely added to up the ante.

And I don’t think the competition is even close to being over, although it is hard to imagine it getting much more insane than this.

(I’m probably going to regret saying that.)

The word “racist” appears 151 times, “racism” 98 times, “ethnic,” only twice, “ethnicity” not at all, and “white supremacy” 47 times.

Buckle up.

The framework for deconstructing racism in mathematics offers essential characteristics of antiracist math educators and critical approaches to dismantling white supremacy in math classrooms by visibilizing the toxic characteristics of white supremacy culture (Jones and Okun 2001; dismantling Racism 2016) with respect to math.

Visibilizing,” in case you didn’t know (and why would you?) is:

To make visible something that was previously intangible or invisible to the naked eye.

In other words:

Let’s make stuff up!

Real racism is clear, it’s obvious, it’s identifiable. As a society we have rightly denounced it and decided to make its practice illegal in most public spheres, and so there are extensive laws on the books, various legal remedies available, and entire governmental departments and agencies dedicated to rooting out and prosecuting those kind of abuses.

But you can’t make a buck off that so instead we need to go after super-secret racism that is both intangible and invisible, the better to conjure up racism out of thin air and accuse anyone who suggests that maybe we should hesitate to believe in magical thinking of being racists.

Visibilize it!

Incidentally, I’ve read the “Jones and Okun, 2001” paper they cite and have written about it before. Its the one that racializes “individuality” and “objectivity” as symbols of white supremacy.

While we’re talking about objectivity, permit me to skip ahead a bit in the document. This is something a purportedly thinking human being wrote:

The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so. Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict

I guess we have to stop believing that mathematics is at its core probably one of the few things that truly is objective.

Don’t like it? As the document notes up front:

Administrators should examine programs and policies and how white supremacy impacts student outcomes (e.g., tracking, course selection, intervention rosters). In addition, they can hold teachers accountable for completing the activities in this workbook.

When persuasion doesn’t work, there’s always threats!

You’ll be happy to know we haven’t yet gotten to the really crazy parts.

We see white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom can show up when:

I’ll pick out the worst offenders. Keep in mind, this is how they believe “white supremacy” shows up in the mathematics classroom:

The focus is on getting the “right” answer.

White supremacy can show up when the focus is on getting the “right” answer.

I wonder if Elon Musk hires white supremacists for his engineering department.

Expectations are not met.

I would like the people designing the bridges I drive over to meet expectations. At a minimum.

Students are required to show their work.

Maybe the teacher can visibilize it.

Grading practices are focused on lack of knowledge.

And so on like that.

In order to embody antiracist math education, teachers must engage in critical praxis that interrogates the ways in which they perpetuate white supremacy culture in their own classrooms, and develop a plan toward antiracist math education to address issues of equity for Black, Latinx, and multilingual students.

Let’s stop and consider this for a moment.

In order to embody antiracist math education, teachers should not expect Black, Latinx, and multilingual students to get the “right” answer, meet expectations, show their work, or demonstrate they are not lacking the knowledge they were expected to understand.

To be an antiracist math educator, you must adopt the underlying philosophy of a KKK clansman.

They believe that in order to “design a culturally sustaining math space” you should:

• Use culturally relevant, antiracist pedagogy, practices, and curriculum.

• Cultivate mathematical identity so that everyone can see themselves as mathematicians.

Adapt homework policies to fit the needs of students of color.

• Recognize and name the mathematical successes of students of color, and teach them to recognize successes in themselves and others.

Intentionally integrate physical movement in math classes.

There are two problems with this.

First, while there are some good suggestions, there’s no need to racialize them. A couple of the other “Strides” have similar suggestions to accommodate the different ways people learn, but by assuming certain attributes are held because of a person’s race is racist. Explicitly so.

Second, WHAT?!

“Integrate physical movement in math classes?” Because white people don’t move? Because black people do, or must, or what?

Again, drop that into a KKK pamphlet, “black students can’t sit still,” and you’d be right at home.

Oh, and yes, this is training for middle-school math teachers. Oregon officials want their teachers doing this. They want them to teach their kids like this.

There is plenty of good advice, general advice that has nothing, or should have nothing, to do with race, like this one:

• Use mistakes as opportunities for learning.

Of course, that’s pretty standard.

And then they follow that up with this:

• Recognize mistakes as miscommunicated knowledge.

Why is this part of a list of “Characteristics of Antiracist Math Educators?” It’s as if they are suggesting that you’re some kind of China Doll if you’re not white.

It may be racist, but at least it’s condescending.

And then there’s this favorite:

White supremacy culture shows up in math classrooms when…

 

The focus is on getting the “right” answer. Instead…

The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so. Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict. Choose problems that have complex, competing, or multiple answers.

 

• Verbal Example: Come up with at least two answers that might solve this problem.

Again, I would prefer to drive over the bridge where there was only one right answer regarding its load bearing maximums.

Of course, this brings us back to the silly 2+2=5 “controversy.”

Often when people say that, they are referring to practical problems of design, say, “how many lanes should a particular bridge have?” While the ultimate design of the bridge is eventually settled using math, there are more subjective judgments that precede that such as expected traffic, the impact on nearby neighborhoods and the like.

But at the end of the day, when it’s a math problem, there’s one right answer.

Regardless of that argument, it is and always will be racist to assume that because you have African heritage, you should somehow have some genetic predisposition to the “Yoruba of Nigeria who used base 20,” or if you are an indigenous person of South America the fact that “the Mayans conceptualized the number 0 before the first recording of it” will resonate with you in particular.

Those things are interesting, they are interesting to me and I am not of African or Mayan ancestry.

If it’s interesting and useful to non-whites, it’s interesting or useful to everyone.

Further, it is not only racist but condescending to assume that non-whites will have extra difficulty learning traditional Western European mathematical concepts and methods of instruction. Of course they don’t, otherwise we wouldn’t be asked to celebrate their accomplishments (and we should, the movie “Hidden Figures” as one example, is highly recommended).

We should also not forget that “traditional” mathematics as practiced in the United States by all races built the aerospace industry, landed a man on the moon, created nuclear power and the bomb that ended WWII.

Those are human accomplishments, human achievements, and should be celebrated by all humans.

And I’m the crazy one. Well, crazy and racist.


SAD, SAD, SAD, AND VERY DANGEROUS TO THE MENTAL HEALTH OF OUR CHILDREN!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Decide For Yourself

The Truth Please!

If you ask anyone in the news media today, and most liberals in general, “Was the 2020 Presidential election stolen from Donald Trump through widespread voter fraud?”, the answer you’ll get is a resounding NO! They believe no factual evidence exists to back up any voter fraud claims. Consequently, we also now know that anyone who does make claims of voter fraud, or anyone who attempts to defend Trump, is attacked by the “Cancel Culture” and have had their Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts terminated. Some have even had their products removed from large retail stores. To date, at least one popular conservative TV commentator has also had his program terminated. So much for our constitutional right of free speech!

However, the results of a recent Quinnipiac poll begs for another question to be asked, “Why do 77%  of Republican voters still think the election was stolen due to widespread voter fraud?” That equates to approximately 60,000,000 Americans!

Do those 60,000,000 Americans know something everyone else doesn’t, are they just a bunch of conspiracy nuts, or are most liberals, along with the main street media, concealing or suppressing information they don’t want their followers to ever know exists?

There seems to be a great deal of credible evidence circulating that virtually no one in the news media is talking about! I have provided two links below for your viewing and reading pleasure. No matter your political ideology, you owe it to yourself to consider the validity of the evidence presented.

I have kept this post very brief on purpose since the first link includes two videos which in total will take about two hours and fifteen minutes to view. That may sound way too long to hold your interest, however, if you are keeping an open mind on where the “truth” may lie, you seriously owe it to yourself to take the time and view them. Then, share them with everyone you know if it makes any sense to you.

The second link is a report that basically supports much of the information in the video.

Was the 2020 Presidential election stolen from Donald Trump? Decide For Yourself.

Read the report supporting much of the video HERE.


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Have You Heard The Latest?

Just When You Think You’ve Heard It All!

I have posted the article below just in case  you missed it.


BLM’S Brand of Peace Deserves No Prize!

Dr. Katherine Kuhlman is a police and clinical psychologist based in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has spent her career helping law enforcement and other first responders throughout their careers, including debriefings following officer-involved shootings, suicides, and mass casualty incidents. She is a national speaker on officer wellness and trauma. Dr. Kuhlman an expert in the field of behavioral threat assessment and targeted violence. She serves as an Executive Board Member for the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence.

the nobel prize
(Dreamstime)

 By Dr. Katherine Kuhlman, Monday, February 01, 2021 

The collective damage of BLM’s actions in 2020, in fact, is the opposite of peace.

Their actions have done more to divide the country, rather than unify or bring about harmony.

There is nothing peaceful about cities burning, over 700 police officers being injured during riots, weeks of mandatory curfews causing millions of dollars in loss of revenue, vandalism and looting that caused billions of dollars in property damage, and the defacement and tearing down of historical monuments.

Many lived in fear, resulting in an increase in firearm purchases and applications for weapons permits, and ammunition shortages. Remember footage of diners trying to enjoy a nice meal being confronted and spit on when they refused to hold up their fists in solidarity with BLM? While BLM was quick to say that their protests were “mostly peaceful,” their failure to admonish those that became violent served as validation.

How could an organization that supported and encouraged this behavior, which resulted in widespread fear, even be considered for the honor of a Nobel Peace Prize?

Even more, this nomination is a slap in the face to the millions of frontline workers who put their lives on the line to support the country and care for the sick during a global pandemic. This is especially a knife-to-the-chest for law enforcement and their families. Officers had no choice but to continue to work and put their own lives in harm’s way throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, posing a risk to their family members.

Adding to that, they then had to manage violence and aggression day-in and day-out while working riots. Imagine the poise and self-control necessary to stand ground and not react when being hurled with insults, threats and objects. Imagine being outnumbered by protesters and rioters, having your vehicle set on fire and watching your brothers and sisters sustain horrific injuries.

Imagine the spouses and children, waiting at home or watching the news, not sure if they will get a call to head to the hospital. Imagine children, whose schoolmates are referring to their parents as murderers.

Imagine being an officer of color, being crucified by old friends or family members for your life’s calling.

They were vilified by politicians and the media. Yet, they continued to go to work, uphold their oath, and serve and protect everyone, even those who hate them and wish harm upon them.

It’s no surprise then, that there have been a record number of retirements and resignations in some departments, a steady increase in officer suicides over the years, and difficulty with recruitment.

BLM’s actions have found their way to divide, rather than unify, relations between communities and their law enforcement agencies.

While we can all agree that the notion that Black lives matter is true, it is difficult to fathom how Black Lives Matter, the movement, could be worthy of the distinction of a Nobel Peace Prize. Many of their actions, rather, have been hostile and warring, resulting in damage, injury, and divisiveness.

Instead, a more deserving group would be peace officers, most of which put their emotions and biases aside to do the right thing — protect citizens and encourage peace. Isn’t this precisely what the Nobel Peace Prize is for?


I couldn’t agree more with Dr. Katherine Kuhlman. 99.99% of our peace officers and military personnel are definitely far more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than any other person or group I can think of these days!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Keeping Our Eyes On The Ultimate Prize!

Short & Sweet

Our daughter sent us the encouraging words below from a brief on-point message her pastor wrote on January 21st.

Although he was speaking to remind Christians of who we are, and whose we are, there is much wisdom for believers and unbelievers alike to take away from his message.

For believers in Jesus Christ’s virgin birth, death and resurrection, his words below should bring a great sense of peace and joy to our hearts, minds, and souls.

To unbelievers, my prayer is that as you read the words below, God’s Holy Spirit will nudge your hearts and minds to want to know more about how to receive His free gift of eternal life through a personal relationship with His Son.


Yesterday’s presidential inauguration brought at least the possibility of a new chapter for America, though deep divisions remain. But for followers of Jesus, it was also a reminder that whichever party is in control of government, we have a better Leader, a more stable Kingdom, a greater future.

That’s what Colossians 1:12-14 means when it says, “Give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son, in which we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

The three words that form the backbone of that passage remind us that a relationship with Jesus isn’t just a personal experience but also a dual citizenship in America and the Kingdom of God:

  • We’ve been QUALIFIED … To share in the inheritance of the saints
  • We’ve been DELIVERED… From the domain of darkness
  • We’ve been TRANSFERRED… to the Kingdom of the Son

Being a citizen of this great nation is a blessing. But being a citizen of the Kingdom, well, that’s a blessing of an altogether different order.

Following Jesus doesn’t mean sticking your head in the sand, withdrawing from public life and waiting for the Lord to come back to fix everything. Elections matter and the consequences that flow from them make a real difference in people’s lives.

But if faith means anything, it means we put more trust in God than in politics. It also means that we believe in God’s final authority over all earthly governments and one day every one of us…Republican, Democrat, and everyone in between, will give an account to Him.


All I can say is, THANK YOU JESUS, AMEN!!!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

What’s In Store For America Now?

Dick Morris is the former presidential advisor to Bill Clinton and a political strategist.

As you read his article below, please keep in mind that Dick Morris is not a conservative sympathizer, he is a liberal Democrat. He just happens to speak the truth when he sees it.


The Democratic Reign of Terror Has Begun

By Dick Morris Thursday, 14 January 2021

democrats and the removal of the confederate flag (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Like Maximilien Robespierre, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are taking no prisoners.

A new Democratic reign of terror is upon us, endangering our free speech, free press, political playing field, and personal liberty.

Watch your back.

The Democrats are using the outrageous and unsupportable Capitol riot the same way that the Reichstag Fire of 1933 was used — as a pretext for an authoritarian crackdown in Germany.

The re-impeachment of President Trump and the banning of his emails, tweets, texts and Facebook posts are merely the first examples of a growing authoritarianism.

But the threat of punitive actions and censorship in this new reign of terror hangs over us all.

  • Will we be banned from using the communication tools of modern technology? Will Twitter, Amazon, and other tech giants determine what messages and what content can be sent out?
  • Will books we would like to read be dropped by their publishers because of the author’s lawful constitutional activities?
  • Will our favorite cable TV news stations have to face organized boycotts by their advertisers or be banned by cable systems if they criticize the election of the government?
  • Will the left use “lawfare” to sue frivolously for defamation, bankrupting their opponents with legal fees to defend their right of free speech
  • Will the Democrats equate our political speech in even mentioning vote fraud issues and election irregularities with sedition, subjecting us to fines or imprisonment just for challenging the election of 2020?

That is the new premise of the coming Democratic reign of terror: That political statements charging that the election of 2020 was stolen or riddled with fraud are, by themselves, inciting violence by Trump supporters.

This approach harks back to efforts to suppress opposition to the World War I draft, the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by John Adams in 1798, and the 1954 law criminalizing membership in the American Communist Party (Communist Control Act of 1954).

All three laws tried to criminalize political speech and activities as seditious. They were all equally offensive to our Bill of Rights.

The Democratic reign of terror first targeted our President and is now trickling down to every citizen and organization that opposes the Democratic left.

We see it as the left attempts to frame the remarks of Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., — and those of President Trump and his supporters — as incendiary, false, and designed to cause a riot, thereby allowing them to criminalize it.

But bear in mind:

  • Trump never advocated entering, much less taking over, the Capitol building and always explicitly opposed violence.
  • The charge that he “incited” the riots only refers to his peaceful exercise of free speech, denouncing the election of 2020 as the result of fraud and saying that it was “stolen.” Whether you agree with his statement or not, that is the essence of free speech that is protected by the First Amendment.
  • Impeachment has been a vengeful kick while the President is down. A purely symbolic act, removal from office is a logistical impossibility within the time remaining until inauguration day. Although the Speaker and her minions claim that President Trump is so dangerous to the country that he must be removed immediately, they speak of sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate in months with a trial to follow!

The reign of terror rolls on.

The publishing firm of Simon & Schuster abruptly decided to drop Sen. Hawley’s new book, “The Tyranny of Big Tech.”

The publisher said, “We take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.”

Note that Simon & Schuster published anti-Trump bestsellers by Bob Woodward, Mary Trump, and John Bolton.

What was Hawley’s role in the rioting?

After protesters surrounded his home, banging on the door and threatening his wife and newborn daughter, he said: “Violence is not how you achieve change, violence is not how you achieve something better.”

And the terror may soon call former Trump staffers to the journalistic guillotine.

Randall Lane, Forbes’ chief content officer, announced that Forbes Media itself was “holding those who lied for Trump accountable.”

Lane mentioned five top Trump aides as examples of “the people paid by the People to inform the People.”

His hit list includes former White House press secretaries Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Stephanie Grisham, current spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, and senior counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway.

Lane beseeches us not to “let the chronic liars cash in on their dishonesty.”

Alluding to book deals by previous White House spokesmen, he said “Trump’s liars don’t merit that same golden parachute. Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie.” (Note: the Forbes family no longer owns Forbes the media company).

Hari Sevugan, former senior spokesman for the Barack Obama presidential campaign, announced “We just launched the Trump Accountability Project to make sure anyone who took a paycheck to help Trump undermine America is held responsible for what they did.” (Ibid.)

And Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s former media consultant said that “At @ProjectLincoln we are constructing a database of Trump officials & staff that will detail their roles in the Trump administration & track where they are now.”

He added that “they will be held accountable & not allowed to pretend they were not involved.”

The Serbian war criminals hunted down by The Hague never received such scrutiny.

The Daily Mail reports that JP Morgan , Citibank, Marriott, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and the parent company of Commerce Bank have all said “they too are suspending donations to the group dubbed ‘the treason caucus’ by critics.” (The Treason Caucus apparently includes Republican Senators who voted not to certify the Electoral College votes.)

And, comically, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., called for Senators Cruz and Hawley to be added to the no-fly list.

The Daily Mail also reports that U.S. digital payments company Stripe is to also stop processing payments for Trump’s campaign website following the riot.” (Ibid Daily Mail)

For the president, the reign of terror has meant impeachment and seeing his e-mails, tweets, posts and texts banned from Twitter, Facebook, and Google.

When will it begin? It just did.

Now we ask where will it end?


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters, I hope and pray!