The people ran to Him.

The people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.” Mark 9:15.

Charles Spurgeon:

How great the difference between Moses and Jesus! When the prophet of Horeb had been forty days upon the mountain, he underwent a kind of transfiguration, so that his countenance shone with exceeding brightness, and he put a veil over his face, for the people could not endure to look upon his glory. Not so our Savior. He had been transfigured with a greater glory than that of Moses, and yet, it is not written that the people were blinded by the blaze of his countenance, but rather they were amazed, and running to him they saluted him. The glory of the law repels, but the greater glory of Jesus attracts. Though Jesus is holy and just, yet blended with his purity there is so much of truth and grace, that sinners run to him amazed at his goodness, fascinated by his love; they salute him, become his disciples, and take him to be their Lord and Master. Reader, it may be that just now you are blinded by the dazzling brightness of the law of God. You feel its claims on your conscience, but you cannot keep it in your life. Not that you find fault with the law, on the contrary, it commands your profoundest esteem, still you are in nowise drawn by it to God; you are rather hardened in heart, and are verging towards desperation. Ah, poor heart! turn thine eye from Moses, with all his repelling splendor, and look to Jesus, resplendent with milder glories. Behold his flowing wounds and thorn-crowned head! He is the Son of God, and therein he is greater than Moses, but he is the Lord of love, and therein more tender than the lawgiver. He bore the wrath of God, and in his death revealed more of God’s justice than Sinai on a blaze, but that justice is now vindicated, and henceforth it is the guardian of believers in Jesus. Look, sinner, to the bleeding Savior, and as thou feel the attraction of his love, fly to his arms, and thou shalt be saved.”

As Paul said, he would not have known sin if not for the law. Do we have to be hardened in heart by our inability to keep the law, to do right, to choose the “narrow” way rather than the “broad path”?

And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. – Luke 13:23-24.12.

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. – Matthew 7:12-14.

Most simply, the easy way in the beginning is really the hard way in the end. The easy way out, the shirking of duties and responsibilities, is the way of self loathing and excuses. If only human beings would admit when they have erred, or have run away, or find the right thing too difficult, the narrow gate to be too hard or unpleasant, they could move on and either accept themselves for who they really are, or strive to be better, but no. They must create the narrative that justifies self, and casts blame on circumstances, or others. Or, they could throw themselves on the mercy of our all loving savior. That’s the only real solution.

Our billionaire president should put his own money where his mouth has led him.

Go one, go all…

President Trump is wealthy, insufferably arrogant, rude, crude and tattooed—I don’t know about the last one, but it does make a nifty rhyme. Aren’t hair plugs sort of a tattoo? Well, no matter, as usual I have digressed, regressed, transgressed—not really the last two, but once again I yielded to the rhyming impulse. Remember all the outrage over the famous tweet regarding the squad where the prez strongly implied they should go back where they came from (which only literally applied to Omar) and apply their infinite store of wisdom to correcting ills wherever they land, then come back here and show us how it’s done? That tweet contained the germ of a really great idea. What if it were possible to apply the concept of the gun buyback program to an immigrant buyback program?

It would not take that much money, and has been offered to German immigrants already. Here’s the offer: Any immigrant in the United States who hates their adoptive country—the USA—and complains about racism, bigotry, lack of opportunity, hatred, violence, or any other supposedly uniquely American problem, can get a “grubstake” (Old West term for subsistence allowance) to go back where they came from. Since President Trump has so much money, and suggested the idea-well, sort of-he could offer the initial funds. How much should he offer? The fairest way is to base the buyback on the per capita difference between annual income in the United States and the immigrant’s country of origin. The greater the gap, the greater the offer/stipend/bribe/grubstake. Omar is the perfect candidate, because the offer would be huge, Somalia being failed in every way, not the least because Omar’s own family was among the ruling elite (also known as dictators, tyrants, warlords, thieves).

The offer also needs to be voluntary, and those desiring the moolah need to apply forthe program. It’s always best to test an idea before launching it. Who should be test cases? Omar definitely; Tlaib could become a permanent guest of her grandmother in the Palestinian authority territory; AOC, being Puerto Rican, could choose any Spanish speaking country south of our border, though Venezuela would get my vote; and Pressley any African country at all. You might make the point that the latter three are US born, but let’s not quibble, nor be stingy. They don’t like it here, but being politicians have no objection to being bribed, and have all kinds of great ideas that could benefit these new adoptive homelands. A reasonable counter argument is “these politicians have too much power to give it up, regardless of how much they hate America.” Just imagine how much more power they could have in Somalia, Gaza, Venezuela and Sudan, being superstars who voluntarily lived their ideals by rejecting the disgusting, racist, sexist, homophobic, islamophobic, hypocritical, consumption crazy, wealth inequality, tyrannical United States. None of them are going to get re-elected anyway, considering that the most visible and vocal among them, Ally Occasional Cortex, AOC, has only one registered donor to her campaign in her entire district, the lowest ever for a politician.

But it doesn’t matter whether they accept Trump’s generous offer or not. What matters is all the other proud America-haters who think building their reputations on adoptive nation hate is evidence of their integrity. The real trouble with my plan is this: You will have a lot of trouble actually finding any immigrants or refugees who hate America, even after living here, even after being chased around by ICE, even after hiding out in sanctuary cities. That is especially true of citizen immigrants, who are not worried about being deported, who can freely criticize, but seem sadly lacking in their desire to do so. That’s why I have a backup plan. If an immigrant is happy here, loves being American, sings Proud To Be An American while waving the Stars and Stripes—like at their naturalization ceremonies, where they are told, “you are now as much an American as someone who was born here” (and where else do they get THAT treatment?)—or simply lives their life in quiet gratitude for being here, I want them to stay! I think that’s pretty much most of them. The ones I propose for the backup plan are celebrity, media and college profs, especially those who have already loudly proclaimed their desire, and even intention, to emigrate.

Offering money to them to follow through on their threats, or offering money to the countries they want to move to as a kind of foreign aid, is even more effective at weakening our enemies than military action. I hear Tehran and Pyongyang are beautiful this time of the year. The fly in the ointment is that virtually all the celebrities who threatened to move will insist on being no more than a single flight away from Hollywood. The A-list (A for Anal): Alec Baldwin, Bryan Cranston, Barbra Streisand, Robert DeNiro, Miley Cyrus (please please do), Amy Schumer. Civil rights activist Al Sharpton told a reporter earlier this year that he’s “reserving my ticket out of here if [Trump] wins.” Lena Dunham told Andy Cohen at the Matrix Awards that “I know a lot of people have been threatening to do this, but I really will. I know a lovely place in Vancouver.” Not very brave Lena, it’s a nonstop flight to Hollywood. As for Samuel L. Jackson, “I’m moving my black ass to South Africa,” the movie star quipped to Jimmy Kimmel, if Trump wins. Attaboy Sammy, that’s courage of your convictions. Could you mansplain to me, though, why you then took the ultra-patriotic role of Col. Nick Fury in the Captain America movies? That guy makes Trump look like a pacifist! Let’s also include the entire newsroom of the NY Times, since their “1610 Project” paints the USA as cesspool of racism and theft of black labor. May they all be repatriated (or just simply patriated, though that’s probably not a word) to a more free and hospitable land! (Wherever that is!).

What say you America? Complainer buyback program, yea or nay?