‘TWAS THE NIGHT AFTER WEEK 1 (AND ALL THROUGH THE SWAMP)

‘TWAS  THE  NIGHT  AFTER  WEEK  1    (AND  ALL  THROUGH  THE  SWAMP)

James J. S. Johnson, Esq.

drain-the-swamp-blackrepublicanblog-imagecredit

“Drain the Swamp !”   (image credit: Black Republican Blog)

‘Twas the night after Week 1
And all through the Swamp,
Not a leftist was purring
With power or pomp.

Liberals with hangovers
Wallowed from binging,
While fake-news reporters
From facts were a-cringing.

With Week 1 concluded
Many slept snug in their beds,
While memories of Trump’s actions
Danced in their heads.

Could all this be true?
How wrong were those polls!
WikiLeaks! Twitter!
Now Trump’s scoring goals!

With media frenzy
There arose such a clatter!
It drove the Left crazy
That, now, all lives matter.

 

(INAUGURATION FRIDAY, in the afternoon)

To halt Bummer-care burdens
Trump moved like a flash
The E.O. issued Friday(1)
Aimed at saving our cash.

Then Priebus’ Friday memo(2)
Stirred buzzing like bees,
Shutting down reg-making
By a reg-making freeze.

 

(MONDAY, January 23rd)

Trump’s memo on Monday(3)
Helped babies unborn,
Restoring a policy
That aborters have scorned.

Also on Monday
A memo was made(4) —
Trashing T.P.P.
To safeguard our trade

So new U.S. trade deals
Must be “one-to-one”,
Helping our workers
Or that deal we’ll shun.

And again, on that same Monday,
A third memo came, in due course,(5)
A hiring freeze is now imposed,
Except to add military force.

 

(TUESDAY, January 24th)

Trump’s E.O. Tuesday(6)
Prioritized goals:
Bridges and airports
Highways with potholes.

Our electric grids
And airport repair,
Pipeline and ports
Must get improved care.

So EPA delays
Should not force us behind;
Go, expedite projects!
Make the process streamlined!

With Tuesday’s actions
So lively and quick,
I knew in a moment
Swamp rats felt a kick!

One memo on Tuesday(7)
Favors business at home,
Streamlining permits
So factories won’t roam.

Our job loss crisis
We must now address;
Factory permitting
We must now assess.

That memo on Tuesday
Aims at this whole mess,
To streamline permits
So regs can cost less.

The goal of Trump’s memo
Is easy to guess:
To promote more goods
“Made in the U.S.”

Also on Tuesday
Came more memos, three(8)  —
On pipeline constructions
To get more energy.

More rapid than eagles
Trump’s memos, they came;
Yet not just talk, action!
(Not like excuses lame.)

“Now, Keystone!” “Now, Dakota!”
“Now, U.S.-produced steel!”
“Expedite a re-app!”
“Rein in those regs! Heel!”

Ninety percent done –
NAPL must be loosed;
While pipelines at home
Use steel there produced.

 

(WEDNESDAY, January 25th)

E.O.s on Wednesday
Made U.S. foes chafe;
Both of those E.O.s
Aimed at making us safe.

Boundaries matter
Like lines in the sand;
One E.O. on Wednesday(9)
Concerns the Rio Grande.

“Go, secure the border!”
“Go, construct the wall!”
“Shoo, drug traffickers!”
“Dash away, all!”

So human trafficking
And life-breaking drugs,
Terrorist networks
And all kinds of thugs . . . .

Must be excluded
Repelled from our nation;
Please, build the wall, now!
Without hesitation!

Some immmigrants aren’t safe
Bearing disease and infection;
With border security
Each must pass inspection.

So that E.O.’s purpose
Is just, and it’s clear:
We need a real border
To guard our nation dear.

Also on Wednesday
Another E.O. came,(10)
Clarifying the law:
This is no “P.C.” game.

Getting federal funds
May make cities merry,
But that party’s over
For each “sanctuary”.

Flaunting the laws
To rebels seems funny;
We’ll see who laughs last
When Trumps stops their money!

 

(THURSDAY, January 26th)

On Trump’s first Thursday
We learned he does care,
About learning in schools,
About how students fare.

And so, to emphasize
More choices in schools,
Trump praised market options
As our best learning tools.

So, public or private
Parents can now select,
Or home school-based learning
If families so elect.

Thus school choice Trump favors
Says Trump’s proclamation(11)  —
Let NEA compete
To its own consternation!

 

(FRIDAY, January 27th)

Trump’s first week in office
Closed with expectations;
Using Friday’s E.O.(12)
Trump secured immigrations.

Some shrink from real vetting
As killers come to serve ISIS;
So what controls are needed
To fix our refugee crisis?

Acting as refugees
In slip many fakes;
Thanks to Friday’s E.O.
Trump slammed on the brakes!

Leftists hate “extreme vetting”;
Terrorists hate it too –
But what good is gatekeeping
If anyone comes through?

 

(SATURDAY NIGHT,  LOOKING BACK ON WEEK 1)

What a week it has been:
How fast, yet how fair!
Trump’s eyes, how they twinkled!
(And, yes, that’s his real hair.)

There’s been more, of course,
Such as cabinet picks,
What of voter fraud?
There’s so much to fix!

Meetings and phone calls:
Mexico and U.K.,
Russia and Israel
So much on each day!

As the cabinet grows
And the White House staff,
The naysayers whine
(But I sit back and laugh!)

Reporters fume on
Bile and disputin’ –
Stunned by the election
Which they blame on Putin!

Yet a wink of Trump’s eye
As he turns up his thumb,
Soon gave me to know
God’s blessing has come!

But I heard Trump exclaim
As the hour grew late,
“This is just my first week
To make America great!”

 

(May God bless you, your family, and your team, President Trump!)

 

References to Executive Actions (during Week 1 of President Trump’s official term of service)

[1] EXECUTIVE ORDER “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [‘Obamacare’] Pending Repeal” (1-20-AD2017).

[2] MEMORANDUM “for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies”, issued by Reince Priebus, Assistant to the President & Chief of Staff (1-20-AD2017).

[3] PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM “Regarding the Mexico City Policy” (1-23-AD2017).

[4] PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM “Regarding Withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement” (1-23-AD2017).

[5] PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM “Regarding the Hiring Freeze” (1-23-AD2017).

[6] EXECUTIVE ORDER “Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects”  (1-24-AD2017).

[7] PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM “Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing” (1-24-AD2017).

[8] PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM “Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline” (1-24-AD2017); PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM “Regarding Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline” (1-24-AD2017); PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM “Regarding Construction of American Pipelines” (1-24-AD2017).

[9] EXECUTIVE ORDER “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” (1-25-AD2017).

[10] EXECUTIVE ORDER “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” (1-25-AD2017).

[11] “National School Choice Week 2017 Proclamation” (1-26-AD2017).

[12] EXECUTIVE ORDER “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” (1-27-ASD2017).

Political Cartoon credit (from Black Republican Blog): http://blackrepublican.blogspot.com/2016/12/donald-trump-drain-swamp.html


 

COMMENTARY:  This poem is intended to encourage Christians to pray for our God-ordained authorities in government, including but not limited to President & Mrs. Trump, and all others who are part of the Trump team (whether seen by the public or not) who are working to “make America great again”.  See 1st Timothy 2:1-3 (“I exhort, therefore, that … supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men, for kings, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior”).  See also Romans 13:1-8, plus Nehemiah  chapters 1-6 (basis of Dr. Robert Jeffress’ pre-inauguration exhortation to the incoming President and Vice-President and their wives, 1-20-AD2017).

For an earlier poem about President Donald J. Trump (and God’s providence), in limerick format, see “God’s Providential Judgments Reveal His Will (and Sometimes His Mercy, Too)”,  posted at  https://rockdoveblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/gods-providential-judgments-reveal-his-will-and-sometimes-his-mercy-too/ 

><> JJSJ

James J. S. Johnson, Esq.
profjjsj@aol.com
attorney in Texas & Colorado (and several federal courts)
January 28th AD2017

OF US TWO, ONE LIKES TO SHOP AT ESTATE SALES

OF  US  TWO,  ONE  LIKES  TO  SHOP  AT  ESTATE  SALES

James J. S. Johnson

going-shopping-livestock-show-analogyHow quickly my energy fails

When ‘pressed to go to estate sales,

So “we” shop near and far

(While I sit in the car)

Guess I’m not much for estate sales.

COMMENTARY:    See 1st Peter 3:7 (“likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [each one of you his own wife] according to knowledge …”).   Going to estate sales, or garage sales, or shopping malls, or warehouse sales, etc., etc., is not my idea of having fun — but my wife often enjoys that kind of shopping.  Sometimes I am “needed” to carry heavy purchases to the car.  (On the other hand, I have some habits that my wife tolerates, despite her reduced level of enthusiasm for those habits.)  But part of knowing my wife, and dwelling with her, involves going to estate sales (sometimes), etc. — even so, I routinely take a book to read, plus paper and pen, just in case I think up a limerick (like this one), or I just take a nap.

Does Psalm 58:3 Teach that Babies are “Estranged from the Womb”?

Does Psalm 58:3 Teach that Babies are “Estranged from the Womb”?

James J. S. Johnson, JD, ThD

baby-in-the-womb

The wicked are estranged [zōrû] from the womb; they go astray [ta‘û] as soon as they be born, speaking [dōbrî] lies.  (Psalm 58:3)

Among other Scriptures that deal with original sin (i.e., the sin nature that we inherit automatically from Adam, our ultimate forefather), there is Psalm 58:3. Yet those who disagree with the notion of inherited sin find ways to dodge what is (otherwise) obvious in Scripture.

Here is one example, “Does Psalm 58:3 Support the Doctrine of Original Sin?”, by Jason Hoag, who begins his critique by quoting a modern English translation of that Old Testament verse:

Psalm 58:3 (ESV)   The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.

When we are interpreting scripture, we first need to recognize what type of literature we are looking at. The Psalms are a book of poetry and they need to be viewed differently than a book of history, law or prophecy. Poetry is a style of writing that says a lot with very few words. In doing this poetry often uses figurative language to make a point. With this in mind, let’s evaluate Psalm 58:3.

Is Psalm 58:3 figurative, or is it to be taken literally? This verse is clearly figurative and is meant to be taken that way. For us to take this verse literally we would have to assume that babies come out of the womb talking. Clearly this is not the case. Babies do not speak lies as soon as they are born because as everyone knows, babies are not born talking. [emphasis added]

[Quoting Jason Hoag, “Does Psalm 58:3 Support the Doctrine of Original Sin?”, at https://journeytochampel.wordpress.com/tag/psalm-583/ .]

REBUTTAL:  Jason Hoag fails to appreciate that the verbs involved (in Psalm 58:3, which is numbered as Psalm 58:4 in the Hebrew Bible) are Hebrew verbs, so a detailed analysis of the verse should not ignore whatever precise information is built into the words and phrases of the Hebrew text (of that verse).

To clarify what verbs we are here analyzing, Psalm 58:3 is quoted below, again, this time from the King James Bible translation, with insertions to show the specific Hebrew verbs involved. (Immediately after that, the Hebrew text (of that verse ) is reprinted, to show the overall context of Psalm 58:3.)

The wicked are estranged [zōrû] from the womb; they go astray [ta‘û] as soon as they be born [no Hebrew verb here – it’s literally written as “from belly”], speaking [dōbrî] lies.

זֹ֣רוּ           QAL perfect 3rd person masculine plural [root verb: zûr]
רְשָׁעִ֣ים     adjective masculine plural (quasi-noun substantive use)
מֵרָ֑חֶם       preposition + masculine singular noun
תָּע֥וּ           QAL perfect 3rd person common plural [root verb: tâ‘âh]
מִ֝בֶּ֗טֶן         preposition + feminine singular noun
דֹּבְרֵ֥י          QAL active participle/masculine plural construct [root: dâbar]
כָזָֽב            masculine singular noun

In other words, the actions portrayed by the verbs (in Psalm 58:3, which is numbered as 58:4 in the Hebrew Bible) denote 2 actions that are described as completed, plus one action that is continuing.

Let us consider those philological details – and what those details show that the verse is teaching, theologically.

It is noteworthy that Jason Hoag assumes that the phrase “from birth” means that the baby is speaking on his or her date of “birth”, if taken literally – so Hoag (recognizing that babies don’t speak intelligible language on their birthday) concludes that the verse must be “figurative” – and thus Hoag dismisses any literal approach to that verse’s meaning.

In fact, Hoag apparently never checked a Young’s Analytical Concordance (much less the Hebrew text) to see where the English phrase “as soon as they be born” came from – actually it’s a “dynamic equivalence” translation (which occurs rarely in KJV) for a compound word meaning “from belly” (or “from womb”).

So the continuing action of “speaking [of] lies” was not a change of habit that occurred sometime after birth, when a supposedly “sin-free” baby chose — sometime after birth (perhaps as a toddler) to avoid telling the truth, as he or she made the (supposedly) radical decision to speak a lie. Rather, the idea here is that the baby’s predisposition to be deceitful, when doing so appears to further a selfish desire, is built-in — even from BEFORE BIRTH.  (Obviously that selfish predisposition must be expressed later, in order for us to see it in action.)

In fact, other Scriptures indicate that babies who are sinful-from-the-start is not a category limited to those who grow up to be “wicked” as “wicked” is defined by worldly norms; rather, it is everyone who is natural born as a descendant of Adam, as is clarified by Psalm 51 (which chronicles David’s agony about his own sins that manifested his own sinful-from-the-start nature, as well as Romans chapter 3, where Paul pronounced the tragic reality that “all” are sinners, as is exhibited by sin-manifesting attitude and action.

Consider how the first Hebrew verb in this verse [zōrû] is a perfect verb, denoting action that is complete. Likewise, the second Hebrew verb [ta‘û] is a perfect verb, denoting action that is complete. What exactly does that mean?

The phrase “The wicked are estranged [zōrû] from the womb” refers to the fact that “from the womb” the wicked alienated themselves from God – the spiritual alienation is not a continuing process, it’s a completed reality — even inside the womb.  Likewise, the phrase “they go astray [ta‘û] from birth” refers to the fact that “from the [mother’s] belly” the wicked are have erred, i.e., separated from God.  Again, it’s not a continuing process of separation, it’s a completed reality — even inside the mother’s belly.  (Alienation?  Sounds a lot like Ephesians 2:1.)

This does not fit well with the notion of “no original sin” because only inherited sin can explain how an unborn child can be alienated from God, in light of Romans 9:11, which says:

For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil — that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth. (Romans 9:11)

Also, because Sepher Tehillim (the book of Psalms) is Hebrew poetry, its meaning must ALWAYS take into account that meaning is conveyed by parallelism in meaning (not paralleled in sound, as in English poetry).

Thus, to understand Psalm 58:3b it is needful to understand Psalm 58:3a, plus it is needful to understand how both of them parallel one another (in meaning).

In this case, the parallelism (in meaning) is a form of synonymous parallelism – because both “halves” of the parallelism are saying pretty close to the same thing.

Here, the baby’s completed estrangement “in the womb” is the same thing as the baby’s completed separation “in the belly” — and Romans 9:11 informs us that unborn babies cannot individually commit right or wrong inside the womb.

Accordingly, whatever estrangement the unborn baby has, from God, inside the womb, cannot be caused by the baby’s personal wrongdoing – it must be (somehow) inherited from Adam. As Romans chapter 5 (and 1st Corinthians chapter 15) inform us, the original sin of Adam is imputed – and thus applied – unto all of Adam’s natural descendants (and that obviously excludes Christ Himself, since He was supernaturally conceived apart from the normal procreation process (Isaiah 7:14).

Yet, thankfully, those same Scriptures — Romans chapter 5 and 1st Corinthians chapter 15 – wonderfully promise us that those who trust Christ for redemption have Christ’s own righteousness (and many other aspects of the salvation He provides to those who believe in Him), which is the remedy for the problematic sin nature that we inherited from our first forefather, Adam.

So, the application of Adam’s original sin, unto us his descendants, occurred completely (and automatically) in the womb, where we were created as individuals (see Psalm 102:18), long before we could commit any wrongdoing of our own – yet the application of Christ’s redemption-provided righteousness can also be applied, at the individual level, unto “whosoever believeth” in the Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be praise forever!

><> JJSJ

romans9-11-nasv

photo credit:  Babies Daily News

(https://babiesdailynews.com/2016/05/18/5-things-your-baby-would-learn-in-the-womb/ )

SKEPTICS’ SCOFFING: DISHONEST ‘DOUBTS’ AND DEADEND DESTINIES

Atheist advertising campaign launched

“The fool has said in his heart ‘There is no God’.”  (Psalm 14:1)

[example of scoffing fool:  atheist Richard Dawkins, photo by The Spectator]

SKEPTICS’  SCOFFING:   DISHONEST ‘DOUBTS’ AND  DEADEND  DESTINIES

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Skeptics, with the “smarts” of a soph,

Read the Bible, only to scoff;

As they try to find “error”,

they haven’t a prayer,

So their lives, when they die, God writes off.

COMMENTARY:  See Jude’s Epistle, especially Jude 1:13 & Daniel 12:2b.

(This limerick is a sequel to “Dawkins’ Doom is as Harsh as Dawkins’ Atheism”, posted at https://rockdoveblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/19/dawkins-doom-is-as-harsh-as-dawkins-atheism/  — obviously, this applies to all who scoff at the Holy Bible, not just atheists like Richard Dawkins. — see Psalm 1:1 & 1:4-6.)

ON SEEING A PICNIC TABLE-PERCHING ROADRUNNER, FOLLOWED BY EATING BROILED ARCTIC CHAR

ON  SEEING  A  PICNIC  TABLE-PERCHING  ROADRUNNER,  FOLLOWED  BY  EATING  BROILED  ARCTIC  CHAR

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

roadrunner-on-table

To see God’s doings, we’re able,

Like a roadrunner perched on a table,

Or, to eat fish from afar,

Like Icelandic char —

God is good – truly, that is no fable!

arcticchar-on-plate

COMMENTARY: Acts 14:17 reminds us that food itself is a proof of God’s kind providence.  [See “Our Daily Bread:  How Food Proves God’s Providence”, posted at http://www.icr.org/article/our-daily-bread-how-food-proves-gods/ ].  Likewise, the beauty of a wild bird – even a neighborhood roadrunner – illustrates God’s creative genius and bioengineering handiwork.  The beauty of such lively birds also exhibits the variety of winged wildlife that God has given unto mankind, to enjoy observing (Genesis 2:19).


Photo credit (roadrunner on table): Stan’s WINGING IT (Backyard Blast)

Photo credit (arctic char):  Acme Markets / AcmeMarkets.com

DAWKINS’ DOOM IS AS HARSH AS DAWKINS’ ATHEISM

Atheist advertising campaign launched

The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’.” PSALM 14:1.  [example of fool:  atheist Richard Dawkins, photo by The Spectator]

DAWKINS’  DOOM  IS  AS  HARSH  AS  DAWKINS’  ATHEISM    (a lamentation for a self-damned fool named Richard Dawkins,  and that’s not cussing)

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Though his history, in time, is brief

Proved guilty, he’ll be, as a thief;

Hawkins’ folly exposed,

“Science” career closed

Blasphemies, at death, end in grief.

COMMENTARY:  See Psalm 14:1 & 1st Timothy 6:20.  (See also Romans chapter 1.) This limerick was composed on Father’s Day (June 18th AD2006).  However, please do not suspect that my father was an atheist — he was not (and he is not).  Actually, I was pondering my forefathers (and foremothers) as I reviewed parts of Dr. Bill Cooper’s monumental genealogical/demographic research in his book AFTER THE FLOOD, and afterward I reviewed the introduction that Dr. Bill gave to his edition of PALEY’S WATCHMAKER, which soundly refutes (in advance) the science-fiction-spouting irrationality of Richard Dawkins’ evolutionary atheism, which inane irrationality, incidentally, is strikingly similar to the sanity-abandoning “‘science’ falsely so-called” of atheist Stephen Hawking.

TEACHING AS AN ONLINE PROFESSOR

cooper-lairdbill-with-jjsj-ad2006-thames

Dr. Bill Cooper (ICR-SOBA online professor)  &  JJSJ

TEACHING  AS  AN  ONLINE  PROFESSOR

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

   For me, teaching college is quite fine,

But commuting? — (I don’t want to whine),

Yet driving to school

Means traffic and fuel;

That’s why I like teaching online!

All teaching’s a gift of God’s grace,

Yet there’s something to say for a “place“;

As God-assigned teachers

We’re space-and-time creatures,

So it’s good, too, to teach face-to-face.

COMMENTARY:  Regarding the unique value of face-to-face communication, see 2nd John 1:12.  Since AD1991, by God’s grace, I have taught at Bible-grounded studies in Christian colleges in Texas (LeTourneau University, Dallas Christian College, Concordia University Texas at Fort Worth, and ICR-SOBA), plus occasional mentor-teaching for ECCS (in Arkansas), and some guest-lecturing elsewhere (e.g., Southern Methodist University, Dallas Theological Seminary, Tyndale Theological Seminary, Montgomery College at Rockville).  In all of those schools I have taught face-to-face, in traditional classrooms (and, in the case of certain ecology courses, augmented by field studies), yet in the past dozen years most of my teaching has been online (or a mix of online with some face-to-face teaching).  Of course, teaching aboard cruise ships (which I have happily done, on 9 different cruise ships, since AD1998) can only be accomplished aboard ship!  Honoring God in all such teaching opportunities (whether online or face-to-face) is quite doable, if one has “eyes to see”.  Also, His Scripture-based guidance and enabling providences, in all such truth-teaching opportunities, should be appreciated with gratitude, accountability, diligent attention to accuracy and relevance, and dependence upon Him.  The logistical advantages to online teaching are obvious — how else could I teach graduate students in Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Australia, as I have in recent years?  Even so, there are some real advantages to face-to-face teaching, not the least of which is sharing food and coffee with students in conjunction with on-campus class meetings.

cheesetray-SwedishCusineNight-SOBA.AD2011-02-22.JPG

ICR-SOBA  night  college  (mid-evening  refreshments):   Jarlsberg  cheese,   fruit,  &  crackers   (by  Sherry)