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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wednesday Bible Study- This all sounds familiar...

So this week, we are in 1 Samuel's 3:16- and it is eerily like last week's entry from Ruth.  See for yourself:

From Ruth:

Rth 3:16  And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, Who are you, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her. 

And 1 Samuel:

1Sa 3:16  And Eli called Samuel and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. 

And thus, we are once again going to have to apply the Kalko rule to learn what is going on.  Just like last week, the outer ring first.

The story:  Eli is the priest who has judged the tribes of Israel the last forty years.  He's gotten old and fat, and his sons Hophni and Phinehas have taken over the business.  But if you remember our study on "the fat is the Lord's" on Leviticus 3:16, you recall that these two were termed "sons of Belial" because they had corrupted the priesthood, taking the best for themselves.  Now, it's not that Eli didn't chew them out over it....

1Sa 2:23  And he said to them, Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings by all the people. 
1Sa 2:24  No, my sons, for it is no good report that I hear. You make Jehovah's people to transgress. 
1Sa 2:25  If one man sins against another, the judge shall judge him. But if a man sins against Jehovah, who shall plead for him? But they did not listen to the voice of their father, because Jehovah desired to kill them. 

But just chewing them out wasn't going to be enough.  Not long after the "stern talking-to", Eli is visited by a prophet of God, and in addition to the very dark fate God had planned for them, this prophet slipped this in:

1Sa 2:29  Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering, which I have commanded in My house? Do you honor your sons above Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people? 

So you see, it wasn't just the boys being bad- Eli had been growing fat, literally and figuratively, off the offerings to God the boys had been skimming.  And that wouldn't be the end of Eli's shortcomings, as we'll see later on.

At this point, we bring in Samuel.  Samuel was the firstborn of a heretofore barren woman named Hannah, who promised to turn her firstborn to God should He so bless her.   So as soon as Samuel was weaned, he was given to Eli, that he might minister to God all his life.

The Ten Verses Before: So now Samuel was somewhere, depending on your timeline, between 8 and 12 years old.  And he begins to get a vision from God- but he doesn't understand what it is.  Why not?

1Sa 3:7  And Samuel did not yet know Jehovah, and the Word of Jehovah had not yet been revealed to him. 

To which I ask:  How is it that a boy who is to be trained in the service of God, by the priest of God, had been with him maybe as much as ten years and STILL didn't know God?  You get the point:  Whatever Eli had been in his past, he was now a "holy hanger-on" at best.  He's not bringing his own house to heel, he's not refraining from the fruit of their loot, and he's not training the next generation.

So God calls Samuel, and Samuel thinks it's Eli.  The preceding verses tell us it wasn't yet light enough to put out the lamps- so about the same time of morning when Ruth came home to Naomi last week- and Samuel wakes Eli and says, "you called me?" and Eli says no.  Then it happens again, and even a backslidden mockery of a priest like Eli knows what's going on.  So Eli says, go back to bed- and if you hear the call again, ask God what He wants.

And what God wanted was to tell Samuel just what the future held in store for the lazy glutton Eli:

1Sa 3:11  And Jehovah said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel at which both the ears of everyone who hears it shall tingle. 
1Sa 3:12  In that day I will confirm to Eli all that which I have spoken as to his house, beginning and making an end. 
1Sa 3:13  For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile and he did not restrain them. 
1Sa 3:14  And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering forever. 

Now, Eli had already been told that his sons would die on the same day as a sign to him; but now, because he hadn't made the first attempt to prevent that day, the curse on Eli's House was going to damage all of Israel.  The whole thing reminded me of the verse in Proverbs...

PRV 26:14 As a door turns on its hinges,
So does the lazy man on his bed.
15 The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl;
It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.

Eli was that lazy man.  When David had his sin with Uriah and Bathsheba exposed, and God told him their child would die, he pled to the Lord for the child's life, until the moment of death...

2 Sam 12:22 David said, “While the baby was still alive, I fasted, and I cried. I thought, ‘Who knows? Maybe the Lord will feel sorry for me and let the baby live.’ 23 But now that the baby is dead, why should I fast? I can’t bring him back to life. Someday I will go to him, but he cannot come back to me.”

Lesson- we should NEVER give up hope.  Eli, however, never BEGAN hope...

The Ten Verses After:  So a few more years go by, and the Lord is with Samuel in a powerful way.  But Israel is still led by Eli and the "sons of Belial"; and they thought the best way to beat the Philistines would be what one commentator ( and a tip of the hat to Bobby G for his link last week that I used here) called "Rabbit's foot theology".  They would go forth, with Hophni and Phinehas leading the Ark Of The Covenant at their head, and surely God- their lucky rabbit's foot- would lead them to victory.  And for a moment it looked like it would work...

1Sa 4:5  And it happened when the ark of the covenant of Jehovah came into camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again. 
1Sa 4:6  And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What is the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they saw that the ark of Jehovah had come into the camp. 
1Sa 4:7  And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God has come into the camp, And they said, Woe to us! For there has not been a thing like this before. 
1Sa 4:8  Woe to us! Who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods that struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. 

Rather ironic, that, just like when Abraham made Sarah claim to be his sister rather than his wife in Egypt, the pagans had more faith in God's ability to protect Israel than they did.  But the rub was, God was NOT with them.  You can't spend a life of nothing but sin and ignoring God and expect Him to pop up and save you when the chips were down.  The Israelites were slaughtered, the sons of Belial were slain, and the Ark was captured.

And the funny thing?  Nobody mourned Hophni or Phinehas.  When the messenger came to the fat, blind, 98-year old Eli and told him the bad news, he was okay with the loss, he was okay with the boys being dead.  BUT...

1Sa 4:18  And it happened when he (the messenger form the battle) spoke of the ark of God, he (Eli)  fell backward off the seat, by the side of the gate. And his neck broke, and he died, for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years. 

It was the loss of the Ark that killed Eli- for perhaps the first time, he realized he had presided over the abandoning of Israel by God.  And it wasn't just him, either...

1Sa 4:19  And his daughter-in-law, Phinehas' wife, was with child, ready to be delivered. And when she heard the report that the ark of God was taken, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed, for her pains came upon her. 
1Sa 4:20  And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said to her, Do not fear, for you have borne a son. But she did not answer, nor set her heart. 
1Sa 4:21  And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory has departed from Israel, because the ark of God had been taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 

The loss of the Ark- and what it TRULY meant- is what killed her, as well.  And her naming of the child tells us what was on her mind at the end, because Ichabod means, "No glory".

And now, the verse:  And just like last time, our verse is the hinge at the midpoint of the story.  Last time, it was Naomi wondering how the "test" had gone.  Would Ruth remain a woman without an identity- or would God provide her one through Boaz?  Here, though, we see the man Eli about to have his identity- and the identity of his family AND HIS PEOPLE as well- stripped from them.  Now remember, Naomi- who had every reason to give up, and in fact had been very close TO that- went on to encourage Ruth in the Lord.  And Eli?  Well, the contrast is chilling.  First, revisit Ruth:

Rth 3:18  And she said, Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will fall. For the man will not rest until he has finished the thing today. 

Which is a lot like the psalmist over and over urging us to wait for the Lord.  And now, Eli's story:

1Sa 3:17  And he said, What is the word which He has said to you? Please do not hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide a thing from me of all the words that He said to you. 
1Sa 3:18  And Samuel told him all the words, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is Jehovah; let Him do what seems good to Him. 

That wasn't Naomi urging Ruth to faith in God; that was Eli saying, "Whatever, dude."  He thought that no matter what he did- or didn't do- life would go on, and God would still be with Israel.  It was God's responsibility, not his.  Eli was the priest of God- he KNEW God might have mercy had the people repented, had the brothers been shut down, had they come to God- but Eli, the man who was supposed to take them TO God, the man whose very name means "lifted up", he didn't have the time, energy, or inclination to "lift his hand from the bowl."

And the results:  Through Naomi and her willingness to do what she could and wait on the Lord, grafted Ruth into the tree of salvation, from which Jesus himself was sprung.  And Eli, too apathetic to even care until the enormity of his failure sprung upon him too late- He saw his line die out.  For whatever happened to little Ichabod, it is not chronicled, outside of that his nephew Ahiah, son of Ichabod's older brother Ahitub, became High Priest in the days of Saul.  Ahiah, also named Ahimelech, was the priest murdered by Saul's henchman Doeg the Edomite, thus completing God's curse on the House of Eli.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Just because it's "Live" Science...


As I perused news stories last night, I found on LiveScience dot com a story on the purported End of the World that we were supposed to undergo yesterday.  Jeanna Bryner, the managing editor of this "prestigious website actually titled her story, "The End Of The World Is Today:  Here Is Why We're Still Here."  Now you would think that disproving yet another prognosticator of doom would be a fairly easy task- and yet, she manages to make herself look just about as bright as our fearless Groundhog of Armageddon.

She starts out:

Today is the day.

It's the beginning of the end, according to practiced doomsday diviner David Meade. On April 23, 2018, Meade says, the sun, the moon and Jupiter will line up in the constellation Virgo (in actuality, they will not be in that constellation) — an alignment that has biblical disaster written all over it.

So far so good, although one might question what the alignment of stars has to do with anything Biblical.  But she'll soon jump the tracks.  Before that though, she gives us a good laugh:

Sadly, perhaps for Meade, the planet Jupiter will appear not in Virgo but in the constellation Libra from Earth's perspective; the sun will appear to align with Aries, while the moon will lurk in the constellation Gemini today, according to The Sky Live.

For those of you uncelestially familiar, that means his "alignment" actually covers 58% of the zodiac.  Thus, I would have to say her statement, "Meade did a lot of numerical and cosmic gymnastics to come up with today's apocalypse ", is a to-say-the-least" moment.

So where does she go wrong?  Well, apparently she took GQ's recent advice on reading the Bible:

In the Bible, Revelation 12:1-2 speaks of a "woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head," who labors to give birth to a dictator who will ultimately bring about the world's end.

"...labors to give birth to a dictator who will ultimately bring about the world's end."  Just. Wow.

The Catholic Church will tell you that the woman is Mary, and the babe is Christ.  The Protestants will patiently explain that the woman is symbolic of Israel, her appearance the connection to Joseph's prophetic dream in Genesis 37.  Both will tell you that the dictator she mentions is actually the Dragon in the following verses who tries to KILL the babe.  So unless she gets her info from the Necronomicon, I think she failed to do the scientist's first duty- Do the research.

She tries, then, to put the onus back on Meade with this passage:

This celestial alignment is, according to Meade, just the beginning of the cosmic catastrophe. From there, a rogue planet called Planet X will supposedly pass by Earth in October and cause a planetwide mess (worldwide volcanic eruptions) that will culminate in the return of Jesus Christ — also based on the Book of Revelation.

There are a few problems with this part of the prediction. For one, Planet X, also called Nibiru, is fictional. And whereas scientists are looking for an Earth-size planet that they sometimes refer to as "Planet X" or "Planet Nine," this is a different world altogether from the one described by Meade and others.

Nibiru, in fact, is the baby of conspiracy theorist Nancy Lieder, who floated the idea in the 1990s. This rogue planet — a body that astronomers who stare at the skies, looking for actual alien worlds, would not miss — was the basis for the failed 2012 Maya apocalypse, among others.  

Of course, depending  on how you interpret several OTHER passages of Revelation, you can make a case for several "Nibiru-like-objects" getting past those same astronomers- much like the school-bus-sized asteroid that they nearly missed last week.  But that's not here nor there.  What does go in our story is, she couldn't bear to be the only Biblical illiterate in her article.  She goes for her coup-de-gras to Allen Kerkeslager, a professor of ancient and comparative religion at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia:

"The author of Revelation was wrong in his predictions, so neither this book nor any other ancient book is of much relevance for predicting the future," he told her.

So, tell me prof:  Any remotely intelligent Bible studier would say to you, "How could the 'author of Revelation' be wrong about predictions that AREN'T SUPPOSED TO HAVE HAPPENED YET?  Kerkeslager's statement is roughly the equivalent of telling someone picking the Yankees to win the 2018 World Series that they were wrong, despite the event still being 6 months away.

So how did he manage this?  Because, as I have often told you all- organized science is not trying to prove anything that doesn't start with the agenda.  And the agenda is, God doesn't exist.  Even if you have to make stuff up.

"How dare you? This is serious science!"

So here's the $10,000 question for the day- who is dumber- the guy of questionable sanity that ignores ONE verse of the Bible (Matt 24:36, "No one knows the day..."),  or two alleged intellectuals that try to trash-talk a book they've obviously never read?

BTW:  I have learned that Kerkeslager teaches a course on the letters of Paul.  After such a quote on Revelation, I bet he's a real gas (likely hydrogen sulfide).  In fact I looked at the comments on Rate My Professor, and I had not before seen the words "awful" and "sucks" so many times.  In fairness, there was one comment that said, "I am an atheist, and I was spellbound."  Well put, mon ami, well put.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Picture post

Okay, got quite a bit of film to review today, so Scrappy, get the lights and take the mike...

What?  I gotta narrate this thing?

Okay, fine.  The other morning, Daddy told Mommy he thought we got egged, whatever that means.  But what it was...

...some stupid goose laid eggs right by our front door, and some stupid humpty-back raccoon dug 'em up and ate 'em.  He had breakfast for 2 days.

Saturday, they left me by myself to go see Peanut's big brother Aaron play his first baseball game of the year.

Everybody gets to bat- he batted 11th out of 13.

Daddy said Peanut was more interested in running around than watching...

...and why not? Lookit the score!

Aaron got two walks in his 2 times up.  Daddy says his OPB is 1.000, which I guess is good...

There he is at first...

Daddy said they ended up with 3 runs... and Aaron had an RBI!

Here's ball three... 

...the set... the pitch...

OOPS!  Ball four inside, a bases-loaded walk!

Sunday we saw some ducks sleeping, and a bunch of deer!

And this afternoon, Daddy left me off the leash for a LONG time!

Sunday we saw one little Dutchman's Britches.  Today, there were a LOT!

And other little flowers, too!

I got to sniff around all the dens...

Daddy said, Wow, it's really starting to green up!

Then we heard some deer, but they were hid really good.  But Daddy found them...

Or at least the one's head and the other one's butt...

And after a few more flowers, we came home.  The end!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday message- from your mouth to His ear

I want to tell you a story today about how God can use you in any condition.  As with many of these stories, it starts at my machine at work- but also with a bit of history.

Those of you that don't know me well might not know that I have a bit of a temper.  It is something I have been making good progress against, but it has left me with a bit of a reputation- one that I don't like.  You become known more for the outbursts than for the control. 

And for those that don't know my routine, my morning at work begins with me listening to David Jeremiah, Alistair Begg, and Chuck Swindoll, followed by going down my prayer list, which I keep in a "Little fat book" that Laurie got me.  The whole process can take me to or past our first break, depending on how smooth the work is going.

So, the day in question was anything but going smoothly, work-wise.  But God teaches in these moments too, and today's lesson was going to be, "He hears everything you say to Him."

At one point after one of an ever-growing pile of things I needed to do "hot" was added, I turned back to the prayer list, praying, "Next up..."  I was immediately struck by my facetiousness, and noted that, while God has reached me humorously before, I wanted to be respectful in this venue.

Boy, was I gonna regret that...

Not long after, I was praying on the subject of things God wanted me to do- and how I wanted a "clear sign" of what it might be because "I didn't want to look like a dumba$$..."

Instantly, I knew how stupid that was.  In my heart I knew what I MEANT was, I don't want to make God look stupid by doing something I wasn't supposed to.  At least, I HOPED that was what I meant.

Boy, was I gonna regret THAT.

We reach the finale around 10:30.  As I was taking a fabric color off my table and preparing to switch racks for yet another "hot" item I was fighting my way towards, ANOTHER hot item- of course in the color I was taking down- came out.  Growling the whole way, I brought the fabric back up, assumed incorrectly that I hadn't moved it enough to knock it out of line, and soon had trashed the new hot item about halfway through.  That was the last straw- I cursed the machine, cursed the fabric, slammed my hand down on my desk, and shouted (which is normally okay since the machine is so loud and my partner uses another of the same machine), "Why does it ALWAYS have to be a test till I snap???"

My partner looks over from her machine.  "Are you okay?"  I nodded and grumbled something.

Trying to calm down (and cut the hot item correctly), I told God, "I can't finish this prayer list until I understand why it is always a test until I snap..."  I was totally frustrated with myself at this point.

Then God began, with Elijah, listing all the characters He had tested to the point of snapping.  And He told me, "You don't grow unless you go out as far as you can.  And every day, go a little farther."

Which calmed me down- and gave me opportunity.  I went over to my partner, and explained all this in abbreviated form so we weren't stopped working too long.  I told her God reminded me about what he did to Elijah, and she asked what it was He did.  So I gave her the 15-second version- the big victory, the defeat, the pity party, and how God refreshed him and told him to get back to work.  So I had turned something bad- EXCUSE me, God had- into a seed planting opportunity.

And then, as I went back to my machine, another thought hit me, and I went back to my partner.

"A few minutes back," I told her, "I had been praying about doing God's will, and I accidentally put it that I didn't want to do the wrong thing and look like a dumba$$.  But God showed me He can use even that- because I looked like a dumba$$, and it gave me a chance to tell you about Him!"

I don't know if the seed took.  Her response was basically she wasn't one to judge me as the Haney (her piece of crap version of my machine) prompted her to far more cursing than I do anymore.  But the thing was God gave the opportunity in the midst of my dumba$$ery- and he takes care of seed growth.

And as I went back at last to work, and the prayer list, I realized that I should never get upset at myself for using humor with God- He's a lot funnier than I am.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Time Machine co-ordinates VIXLIX48342061

Today we fly to April 20th, 1961- and a good deal more comfortably than Harold Graham, who today made the first test flight in this:

 attr. Dave McLear from Roxburgh, Scotland
This is the Bell Rocket Belt, which propelled one on superheated steam.  Today it propelled Harold 121 feet in a 21-second burst.

Now you have a comfy seat in the Musical Tardis, which is, of course, propelled by music!  Among the stories this week:  Two new M10 debuts- and not by any strangers; Lenny Welch, the in-between guy (?), stars in the 6D- though the victim is not himself; yet another children's favorite makes an appearance; and was the Iron Ceiling the BEST top three of all time? Plus, a runaway winner in the Panel vote! All this and Johnny Horton, too!  Ready to blast off?  Good!


First up, let's bring in Mr Johnny Horton!  How are ya, John?

Jes' fine, padner!  So what's up?

Well, I thought I might first point out that you were pretty much king in the early sixties, with 3 top 4 pop hits and 3 #1 country songs!  Darn impressive.

Aw, shucks, it's just all about findin' a good story ta tell, and tell it good.

I was surprised to find you had an early hit about Alaska, separate from the North To Alaska movie, called "When It's Springtime in Alaska (It's Forty Below)"!  Had you ever been to Alaska?

Naw, but the movie weren't there, either, so I figure it don' matter much.

True, true.  It's not like you're really here, either...

Wait, what're you gettin' at?

Nothing, John.  Now here's the list- 12 contestants from 31 stations.  Have at it!

Well, okay...First off, he have Mr Gene Daniels with A Hundred Pounds Of Clay.  Good tune.  It was at #5 on Cashbox- was this Country and western or pop?

Pop, John.

All righty.  Next, we have Jorgen Ingman- I think he's a foreigner- with Apache.  Say, that's instrumental that goes kinda like... (plays a few notes on his guitar)

Uh, yeah, I think so.

Then come them pretty Paris Sisters with Be My Boy.  It.. what's this here?

I couldn't find it on the charts of the week.  It peaked at #56 sometime in '61.

Ah.  So then comes Blue Moon by the Marcels.  That's that doo-woppy stuff.  It was at #1 this week, so it's probably pretty big.

Then comes, Hey, Look Me Over by Peter King.  It didn't do so well.  This here says that it peaked at #109 in March.

It's still a pretty famous tune.  You should look it up, I bet you all remember it.

Who you talkin' to?

The audience...

You think you see an audience out there, boy?

They're just as real as you, Johnny.

O...kay...  Linda Scott is next with I've Told Every Little Star at #11.

Ernie K-Doe's Mother In Law was at #3.  I bet that boy got slapped for that one!

The Edsels- why you'd wanna call yerself that, I dunno... they were at #21... SOMEtime during the year... with Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong.

Ah, here's a good one- Del Shannon's Runaway was at #2.

Then comes Roy Orbison with Running Scared at #16.

Okay, this says, "let Chris do this one..."

Yeah, this is one of those issues we get with early Cashbox- they combine all the versions of a song floating around that week to get an overall score.  The tune we have up is called Wheels, and the most popular version was by an outfit called the String-A-Longs.  However, the Panel station(s) voted instead for the other version, by Billy Vaughn.  Together, CB had them at #15.  In Britain, the String-A-Longs' version was at #20.  Which reminds me, a take on A Hundred Pounds Of Clay by Craig Douglas was #34 in its debut week, which means the only Panel Pick in the picked version on the Brit chart was Blue Moon at #12.  Okay, Johnny, take us home...

All righty, the last song is Brenda Lee at #14 with You Can Depend On Me.  Back to you, Chris-TOE-fer!

Thanks, Johnny!  So like I said at the top, this was a close race for about half a minute, and not for long thereafter.  But in the interests of giving you choices, the top three-  Blue Moon, Runaway, and Mother In Law are the choices- and the winner beats them both a combined 16-6!  Make your pick, and find out at the end of the day...


Debut #1 is from Sara Tudzin's illuminati hotties, from the upcoming lp Kiss Yr Frenemies- and it comes in at #7...


This week will likely be the end for the Iron Ceiling- which truly just about made me cry!  To get over it, I asked the question to myself, "Right now, the IC songs have a combined 188 chart points- has any set of three ever BEAT that? "  Well, in 138 weeks worth of M10, only 4 sets top that- and three of them featured Mo Kenny's Unglued and the Derevolutions' Something Good!  When combined with Dent May's Picture On A Screen, that set spent 3 weeks as the top three, and ended up with 202 chart points!  Second was the same duo with Alvvays's Your Type, which garnered 198 points, and fourth saw them team with Tom Petty's Walls (No. 3) for 189 points.  The only other set that beat the Iron Ceiling were the combo Quiet Corners by the Jayhawks/ Believe You're Mine by Nada Surf/ Madness by Lucius with 193.  Interesting that Lucius and Alvvays should be involved in this- considering what's going to happen in the M10 this week...


So a little bit ago, I called Lenny Welch " the in-between guy", and now I'll tell you why.  I found a curious thing about his hits other than the big smash Since I Fell For You.  He recorded a lot of covers- and they were many times the donut hole between two bigger versions.  For example:

In 1960, he squeezed his take on You Don't Know Me (#45) between Jerry Vale's #14 in 1956 and Ray Charles's #1 in 1962.

In 1964, he squeezed his Ebb Tide (#25) between the first big hit done by Frank Chackfields and his orchestra (#2) in 1953 and the Righteous Brothers' 1965 #5 hit.

In 1966, he bubbled under with Rags To Riches (#102) between Tony Bennet's 8-week #1 in 1953 and Elvis' #33 in 1971.

In 1973, he managed only a #25 on the AC chart with Since I Don't Have You- which the Skyliners took to #12 in 1959 and Don McLean reached #23 with in 1981.

And perhaps the oddest of the in-betweens, he charted Breaking Up is Hard To Do at #34 in 1970- between Neil Sedaka's up-tempo original (#1 in '62) and the Welch-like slow ballad remake (#8 in '75)!

And what, pray tell, does ANY of this have to do with the 6D song?  I'll tell you.

The first fame for songwriter Paul Gayten was with this tune, by his trio featuring a rather obscure young lady named Annie Laurie...

After that, he leaned towards writing and production, and discovered Clarence "Frogman" Henry- whom Rush Limbaugh introed to a generation of his followers by using Clarence's hit Ain't Got No Home for his "homeless updates" bumper music.  That was also Clarence's first hit, and the one where he did one verse "like a frog" and earned his nickname.  But it was his biggest hit- another Gayten production called (I Don't Know Why) But I Do- at #4 that was the highest charter without a Panel vote.


Our second debut, at #6, is a lady we met when she, kd lang, and Laura Viers combined for the #1 Honey And Smoke.  Form an upcoming lp called Hell On, this is Neko Case:

"I died and went to work"- favorite line of the year!


Stat pack:

I had only a crappy 14 I knew- but they were good ones! 

Big mover was Shep and the Limelites with Daddy's Home, a 55-notch rocket from 96 to 41!

The #61 in '61 belongs to hard luck Chuck Jackson and his I Don't Want To Cry.  I might have, though- the man wrote songs that became big hits for others, including Michael McDonald's I Keep Forgetting, and Ronnie Milsap's Any Day Now- but his own chart resume shows 2 top 40's and 15 tunes that stuck at #90 or below...  On the bright side, he did have some fame as a member of the Del-Vikings, so there is that...

Buzz Clifford had our #101 this week with a rather odd version of The Three Little Fishies, featuring Shep and the Limeliters!

And the UK #1 this week was Elvis with Wooden Heart.  This song, which never charted here, was only ever released as the flip of Blue Christmas. 


And the remaining M10:

The last stop for IC member Twenty Two by Sunflower Bean is likely this week's #10, down 4.

The two claim jumping debuts got Melody's Echo Chamber stuck at #9 with Breathe In Breathe Out.

Lemon Glow also falls 4 spots to #8- albeit, with a week more (9) under its belt than the other two, that puts it into a tie- ironically, with Something Good- for 11th all-time.

The Shacks hustle up 5 to #5 with My Name Is.

Roseanne Cash moves up a spot- and with those hellions coming, it might be the last I say that- to #4 with The Walking Wounded.

Mikaela Davis gives the IC one last week in the top three at #3 with Little Bird- which matches Keep It Warm for 7th all-time.

Alvvays has 7 M10 hits- but only one #1 so far.  Not My Baby has its sights set on changing that, moving up a spot into the #2 slot.

And the flip side of that story- the new number one belongs to an act that has now hit the top 4 of 5 attempts...

attr Peter Larson

... Lucius with Eventually!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Shame on you if you didn't get this week's winner!  Remember the tease...

 ...Plus, a runaway winner in the Panel vote...

So of course the winner, with 51.6% of the vote...

...Del Shannon and Runaway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next week, where were you in '62?  I was about two weeks away from a date with a doctor at the Parkview maternity room...

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday Bible Study: Let's Make A Deal

This week we are up to Ruth 3:16, and this time I am of the opinion we have to do this the "peel the onion" method.

Outer level:   The basics of the story.  Naomi, her hubby and two sons go to Moab during a famine.  Sons marry a pair of local girls, Ruth and Orpah.  Dad dies, then the sons die.  Naomi goes back to Israel, tells the girls to go back to their folks, because, "Am I going to bear you more sons, which you will wait for and marry?"  Orpah tearfully agrees; Ruth refuses swearing loyalty both to Naomi and her God.  They go to Israel, Naomi sorta sets her up with wealthy relative, they get married, have a kid, everyone lives happily ever after.

But it's not quite all that simple.  I think that Naomi was a lot more faithful to her God than hubby Elimelech or the boys.  Because abandoning home during the famine wasn't a real "trust God" thing to do; nor, truthfully, was letting the boys marry Moabite girls.  And SOMEONE had to have been faithful to God, else why would Ruth have been so committed:

Rth 1:16  And Ruth said, Do not entreat me to leave you, to turn back from following you. For where you go, I will go. And where you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 
Rth 1:17  Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May Jehovah do to me, and more so, if anything but death part you and me. 

Once again, study brought me to some interesting points of view- and also some ridiculous ones.  One of the interesting ones was that, once the menfolk passed, Naomi was now a woman "without an identity";  in a foreign land, no family to take her part, no kinsfolk at all.  Not surprisingly, she came back home; she came back with a new name, saying, "Call me Mara (bitter), for the Lord has dealt bitterly with me."  The tendency is to read this as her blaming God, but I don't think that was it;  she was just recognizing that God had let her be put into a hard place.  So now we have the stage set with a bitter heroine and a foreign daughter in law trying to find a way to survive.

Second level:  Here we invoke the Kalko Rule- 10 verses to either side of our target verse.  With a narrower focus, let's do an overview again.  Ruth has met the kinsman; Naomi makes a plan to get Ruth married off to the guy; a complication sets in, so the guy (Boaz is his name) also has to make a plan- a deal- to win the girl.  The deal is made, happily ever after.

But again, it just ain't that simple.

Naomi and Boaz know each other, sort of.  Bethlehem is a small town, and  we see in chapter two how familiar everyone is.  Ruth, relying on the Hebrew system of "welfare", goes to glean grain in Boaz's field.  Boaz asks his Foreman who she is, and he says, "Oh, that's the girl that came back with Naomi from Moab."  Boaz has already heard the tale of Ruth's loyalty, and begins his own little test.  He gives her a good meal, a bunch of grain to take home to "Mom", and tells her, "You just stick to my fields, and I'll see that you do okay."  Boaz is a bit older than her- perhaps Naomi's age- but he is interested.  We don't know for sure if it is attraction or sense of duty (since he knows Naomi and figures what her next move will be), but he wants to see if Ruth will want to be attached to him- or start dallying with one of the younger men of his hire.  How do we know all that?  Stay tuned.

So Ruth comes home and gives Naomi the details.  Naomi then commands her to do something that seems strange to us- but not so to them.  She has Ruth get all dolled up, go to Boaz's threshing floor, where she will observe him having a couple drinks and getting loose.  When he goes to his tent to sleep, she is to "go in and uncover his feet, and lie down. And he will tell you that which you are to do.  (3:4)"  

So what will Boaz do, is Naomi's question.  Will he just take advantage of her and send her on her way?  Will he treat her as beneath him, as he is a rich man, and she's a foreigner?  Or will he act with honor and set the Family Naomi up for life?  Naomi is testing Boaz, just as Boaz was testing Ruth.

Now here, we branch off to "bunny trail land".  And like I usually do, I consult what the Jewish teachers taught on the subject.  Without trying to libel anyone or be anti-Semitic, these "scholars" have to be some of the biggest horse's backsides I have ever encountered.  Their take on the situation is that Naomi is using Ruth's youthful beauty to seduce Boaz- and the way they phrased it was basically, "because that's what women do."  They actually compared the whole thing to Lot's daughters getting their old man drunk and seducing him way back in Genesis.  I am finding less useful and more amusing in consulting the scribes and scholars.

Another example of this connects to last week's lesson.  Remember me saying that they claimed Ruth was a granddaughter of the fatly deceased Eglon?  Well they not only include Orpah in this, but suggest that since she didn't go with Naomi, that her curse was she was the grandmother of Goliath the Philistine, just as Ruth was the great-grandmother of David!  Besides the timeline being too far-fetched as I explained last week, I have a feeling that there wasn't a lot of Moabite blood in the giants of the Philistines.  "You mean there was more than one giant?"  Sure.  So was Goliath's brother, and Goliath's son.  See 2 Samuel 21:

20 And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant.

Polydactyly is usually the sign of inbreeding.  A matchup between Orpah and the Giant's kin would make that extremely less likely.  Now I could be wrong on that- after all Moab itself was built from the incest between Lot and his daughter- but I believe it to be a good circumstantial case.

Leaving bunny trail land we go to the 10 verses after.  Boaz, being both honorable, and pleased that Ruth had passed his test and come to him instead of the young men (3:10), said he was willing to do his duty towards Ruth- BUT there was a wild card in the deck.  A not so rich guy named Tov (so say the "scholars") who was ahead of Boaz in the kinship game.  So now Boaz had to work his plan.  After assuring that Ruth made it home with no damage to her reputation, he called the townsmen together so he could ask Tov if he wanted to assert his right to redeem Elimelech's land.  Now, of course, Tov knew that Naomi "came with the deal"- ie she would have to be supported off the profits of the land- but that was okay with Tov, because she had already had her children, and wouldn't have to "raise up children in the name of his dead brother."  So he was going to say yes, I'll assert my rights.  But then Boaz played his ace- Ruth came with the land, and Tov WOULD have give her children for her dead husband.

Tov had one, and possibly two, problems with that.  The main one, which is sideways mentioned in the Bible, is that if he gave Ruth a baby, HIS kids would have to divide their inheritance with those children.  Thus, he made the excuse that he couldn't afford that, and let Boaz have the whole match.

But I have to wonder- as did the scholars- if it wasn't more of a "I'm not sleeping with that unwashed Moabite woman" that made him turn down the deal, and the inheritance was just a good excuse.  Either way, it being a small town, we can assume that Boaz was fairly confident of what Tov would choose, and was secure that he was going to win Ruth- IF she was going to choose him above the young men in his test.  So Ruth passed his test, he passed Naomi's, and the three cornered deal between Boaz, Naomi, and Tov when just the way he had planned.

One more bunny trail:  The scholars go to great lengths to point out that, while some paint this as a romantic story, Boaz was merely doing his duty and the story was one of proper action in society rather than love.  I disagree, and here's why.  If it was just duty, why would he have been worried about Ruth and the young men?  If it was just about doing the right thing, all he had to do was kick her out of the tent and say, "It is Tov's duty, not mine."  If it was about the land, all he would have been gaining was land he didn't really need (rich, remember) and a minimum of two more mouths to feed.  I think he was in love when he asked his foreman who she was.

And Ruth?  She stepped a bit beyond what Naomi told her to do.  Look at 3:9:

And he said to her: Who art thou ? And she answered: I am Ruth, thy handmaid: spread thy coverlet over thy servant, for thou art a near kinsman. 

The word translated "coverlet" has a special meaning to me.  During my recent fast and Bible Study, one of the passages God led me to- which I'm sure I will get to sharing when the Lord leads- was Psalms 61.  Look at v4:

  Let me make my home in your tent forever; let me hide under the shelter of your wings.

The same word translated coverlet in Ruth was translated wings here.  And if David was talking about God's love and protection there, then Ruth was talking more than duty here, IMHO.

Anyway, one more layer...

Core:  The verse itself.  Ruth gets home that morning from Boaz's tent...

 And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, Who are you, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her. 

The phrase "Who are you, my daughter?" is the subject of a great deal of controversy.  There are a number of ways to interpret the original:  my own Bible actually has, "Is that you, my daughter?", which would make a bit of sense if you thought it was still dark enough that she couldn't clearly see her- but why then, the commentators say, would Naomi call her "my daughter?"  Others say it comes out more like, "How did it go, my daughter?"  But again, I don't think this digs deep enough.

Remember way back in the outer layer, I mentioned that Naomi had become a "woman without an identity"?  Well, once in Israel, Naomi had her identity back- but now Ruth was the "nameless one" with no real kin in a foreign land.  Naomi wasn't the scheming gold-digger that the scholars wanted to paint- she was trying to give to Ruth for what Ruth had given to her.

Who was Ruth?  She might have been still a poor, rejected foreign girl without prospect or hope;
She might have been the "shameless whore" that Boaz took advantage of; OR, she might be the "future Mrs Boaz."  "Who are you, my daughter?"  What name did the night give to you?

That Naomi WAS planning in the way I'm describing, and was asking in the way I suggest, and was pleased with the answer she got, is confirmed in her reply to Ruth:

Rth 3:18  And she said, Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will fall. For the man will not rest until he has finished the thing today. 

For she knew Boaz had passed HER test.  And if you want a little more assurance, let me give you one more verse.  A verse I claimed as a promise when I was alone after my divorce.

Psalms 68:6 God causes the lonely to dwell in families. He leads prisoners into prosperity, but rebels live on parched land. 

And just like He kept that promise to Ruth and Naomi, He kept it to me- and will keep it to you should you ask.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

2018 A to Z mashup part 2

So I have declared it time for the second half of this year's A to Z blogging challenge mash-up, with the category being, "What I hate about social media".  If I didn't make you hate me with the first bunch, I still have a shot...

N- the Nazi card.  Nothing pisses me off more than people comparing ANYONE they don't agree with, for whatever reason, to the party that caused the deaths of 50 to 80 MILLION people.  Maybe you think rolling back a bad version of healthcare or agreeing to be CNN's poster child for gun control are crimes comparable to that.  Congratulations!  You are a moron.  I love ya and still pray for ya, but...

O- My favorite talking head just lost a sponsor?  A person of my favorite race got excluded/arrested/removed for doing something the shouldn't have?  OMG, let's BOYCOTT them!  If I had a penny for every place I am supposed to be boycotting, I'd have a lot of money and no place to spend it.  A good 90% of places we're all supposed to boycott I never use anyway.  And the other ten percent?  "Sorry you don't want me drinking your product, Pepsi, since I voted for Trump.  While you go right ahead with your tantrum, I'm tipping my glass back and going, 'Ahhh...'  "

P- Well lookie here, a post/tweet that has been Promoted.  Like I tweeted to Twitter once before, back when they took away the option to "dismiss" such a post:  If I can't just dismiss it, I'll BLOCK the sender.  Now that was some effective advertising, wot?

Q- Fill out this quiz with your personal info, and we'll tell you which of our massive choice of three possible replies you are.  So Jane F Petermyer, who's twice my age, half my weight, and lives on the far side of BFE from me, musta gave the exact same answer, since we both came up with Roy Rodgers' horse Trigger as the animal we are most like.

"Well, IMHO, Jane is my front end and you're the back!  Ha ha, just horsing around."

R- "Oh yes, I know a debate means that we respond to each others' questions intelligently, but that's too much work.  So I'll just ignore your question and REPEAT my own.  And if I'm really feeling it, I'll add that none of you (insert ethnic/political/religious type) EVER give me a straight answer to that question."  Except that if you ever used your brain for anything other than a stop-off point between ears, I GAVE you my answer- you just didn't like it.

S-  "I bet I won't get a single share..."  Not from me you won't, attention whore.  I don't know if this is the single stupidest post type on FB, but it's certainly top three.

T- Wow, seeing that meme/GIF/story is just as funny the TEN THOUSANDTH time I saw it as it was the first.   The one item on my list that I MIGHT have to plead guilty to.  Except my stuff is funny.

U- The Undertaker's delight- the famous celebrity who just died who either A) is still alive, or B) died ten years ago and the announcement is STILL making the rounds.  Chris's clue for today- type the name in Google, or God help you, Bing- search in news.  If you don't see the death come up, you might be on a time trip.

V- Arguing a point of faith by inundating me with a dozen misapplied Verses of the Bible.  I could name off a bunch of verses too, but I prefer to read one or two IN CONTEXT and get it right.  The Pope has made a living for 2,000 years by misapplying Matthew 16:18.  And he ain't any more correct now than he was then.

W- When you see a cardinal, you're getting a visit from a dead loved one.

"Do I look like "Aunt Joan" to YOU?"

Unless you are a Hindu and believe in avian reincarnation, a cardinal is just a cardinal.  Unless it's a St Louis Cardinal, in which case you are seeing a baseball player on a sucky team.

X- Find the X/odd number/hidden character in 10 seconds or less and share.

"I got it!  I got it!"

Y- the infamous YouTube video "suggested for you",  which 99.87 % of the time is the same one you watched last week.  Suggestion for YouTube- suggest me stuff I haven't watched.  And keep it on the sidebar, instead of interrupting what I'm trying to watch 6 times like Vevo.

And finally...

Z- Putting up a picture of some text in a teeny tiny picture, and FB gives you no way to ZOOM it in where you can read it.  Bet it was pretty amusing, too.

Well, that's it for this year!  See you next year, when the subject will be, "Underwear stains".  Or maybe, "Jobs for atheists in Heaven", I haven't decided.