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As we’ve progressed through the challenges brought to us by Covid 19, I’ve noticed a pattern. Perhaps you’ve seen it too: predictions that many things will no longer exist in our American (and to some degree global) culture even after this pandemic is gone.

I was curious as to how widespread this phenomenon is, so I did some research (read: Google searches) and learned that , as it turns out, many aspects of our culture are going the way of the Dodo and leaving our shared experience forever. Many wide and varied, and sometimes surprising things.

Would you like to see the list and the articles to back each vanishing item on it? I’ve broken it down into five groupings. I hope you find this helpful.

Just so you don’t find this too depressing, I’m ending it with a more cheerful grouping of items.

I think you’ll notice that in many cases the authors aren’t completely certain that these things are going away. But since the experts have done so well in predicting how things would go in these past four months, I think you can take all this to the bank.

The General List

What Might Be Gone Documentation
Globalization The Post-Coronavirus World May Be The End Of Globalization
The Communion Cup Will the Coronavirus Be the End of the Communion Cup?
The Middle Class The Coronavirus Pandemic Could Be The End Of The Middle Class
The Salad Bar Could COVID-19 be the end of the salad bar?
Auctions Will COVID-19 be the end of the auctioneer’s chant
The High Five Has the coronavirus ruined the high-five?
College The End of College as We Knew It?
The Grass Roots Football Game Football and coronavirus: ‘This could be the end of the grassroots game’
Overtourism Could Covid-19 be the end of overtourism?
Alt-Weeklies Coronavirus Could Be the End of Alt-Weeklies
Seal Slaughter This Could Be the End of Canada’s Bloody Seal Slaughter
Retail Fitting Rooms Coronavirus could be the end of retail fitting rooms
Paper Money Will coronavirus be the end of paper money?
Trump Two Reasons Coronavirus Will Be The End Of Trump
Bullfighting The Final Olé – why COVID-19 could be the end of bullfighting in Spain
Shopping Malls Will coronavirus be the end of the shopping mall as we know it?
Free Delivery Coronavirus will be the end of free delivery, research shows
Luxury Retail Will COVID-19 Be the End of Luxury Retail?
Buffets Will the Coronavirus be the End of Buffets in the Hudson Valley?
Handshakes ‘I Don’t Think We Should Ever Shake Hands Again.’ Dr. Fauci Says
The Global Citizen Will Covid-19 be the end of the global citizen?
International Travel Coronavirus might be the end of international travel as we know it
Neoliberal Era Coronavirus Spells the End of the Neoliberal Era
Your Favorite Arcade The Pandemic Could Be the End of Your Favorite Arcade.
Bon Jovi’s Tour Bon Jovi: ‘This could be the end of touring’ due to COVID-19
Democratic Capitalism Will the Coronavirus Crisis Be the End of Democratic Capitalism?
The Fashion Mag Will COVID-19 Be The End Of The Fashion Mag?
Your Marriage Why Covid-19 May Be the End of Your Marriage
The Restaurant Industry This should be the end of the restaurant industry as we know it

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Let’s try a mental experiment where instead of avoiding getting the Covid virus, you’re actually trying to contract it. Like, what if you’re told that you have a rich uncle that says (because he’s, you know, crazy) if someone in the family is clinically diagnosed with the Virus, he will give that person a million dollars. You know that if you catch it, you have less than a 1 in 20 chance of dying from it, so you decide to go for it. You now want to catch Covid 19.

But how?*

Well, first you stop washing your hands, and you start touching your face. Like all the time. Then you leave your home. Obviously without any mask. But then what?

You remember reading this article that states that it’s possible to catch the virus from a stranger even while taking a walk (or biking or jogging) out in the great out of doors. And you say triumphantly, “Aha!” and choose that method.

But … then the math starts to get you down. Let’s say you live in my state, Minnesota, which currently has 1242 confirmed cases. And it has a total of 5.6 million people. That means only one in 4500 people actually have the sickness. And about half of them (675) have recovered. And those who are still sick with it aren’t out jogging.

But (you think optimistically) we keep hearing (accurately) that there are many people out there who have it in their system and are contagious but aren’t showing symptoms. Maybe, you guess, there are as many as ten time as many contagious people, some of whom might be out for a walk right now!

That lowers the odds to about 1 in 450. You’re standing outside and you think – that guy that just walked by at the park (not one with a mask, obviously!) there’s really less than a 0.2 percent chance that he has it. This makes you downhearted. But you start to follow him anyway, still trying to be glass-half-full about it.

As you walk, you check back in with the article and see that you have to be within 5 meters of him (in his “slipstream”) to have any chance of catching it. And you can only be directly behind him, because ‘diagonally’ the opportunity to catch the sickness from him is measurably less.

So you estimate the distance of 4.5 meters (you’re more of an Imperial system guy yourself) and then try to get that close to him without making him nervous. It’s really quite close. He keeps looking back at you. Maybe he thinks your about to mug him. But you smile and he eventually does his best to ignore you.

So far so good. If he’s one of the 1 in 450 you’re on your way!

But then you check back in with the article and it says you will only catch it if you’re in his slipstream AND the person coughs or sneezes. And you remember – the fact that this guy is out here almost certainly means he’s not symptomatic. If he was, he probably wouldn’t be exercising.

But still, maybe he’ll cough or sneeze eventually, right? You wait. He doesn’t. You follow him for several minutes.  Did he just cough? No, he’s just chuckling at something from the podcast he’s listening to.

And then … finally … he does cough! Kind of. Slightly. But into the crook of his arm! The odds that he just created a “cloud of droplets” that you might be able to harvest from his slipstream comes close to approaching nill!

“It’s hopeless!” you decide as you stop and walk home deflated. I’m never going to get Covid like this!

You decide your only recourse is to go lick the shelves in your grocery store’s empty toilet paper aisle.


My point is, you can give yourself permission to go for a walk.

* I did my best to not make any major errors here, but the odds that there are none in this thought experiment also comes close to approaching null.

Jason DeRouchie, who has, for several years, been a Professor of the Old Testament at Bethlehem College and Seminary is moving, and as of this month, he’ll be on staff at Midwestern Seminary.


Also for the last several years, he’s been the primary teacher for one of the adult Sunday School classes at Bethlehem. And since the beginning of his tenure there, I’ve been collecting quotes from his teaching times.

So to commemorate his departure (we’re sad to see him go), I’m posting them here.

There were so many, that I had to split them into two posts. Here’s the second (and last) set. (Click here for the first set.)

Funny Quotes From Jason DeRouchie
(To the Joint Heirs Sunday School Class)
Part 2 – The Last 28

1. At one point God called him to lay on his side naked for forty days. I hope he doesn’t ever call me to do that.
2. Isaiah said, “Here I am, send me” and we stop there and ask, “Who wants to be a missionary?”
3. My students ask: How can I experience affection for God while I’m translating Hebrew. ‘There are emotions being felt, but they aren’t affection.’
4. The Minor Prophets are some of the least known figures in all of the scripture. Part of the reason is it’s not too thrilling reading: “You’re a sinner and judgment is coming.” Great!
5. Boaz says to Ruth “I’m an old man, and there’s these handsome sleek bobsled racers that you could go after.”
6. Amos was told to name his second daughter “No Compassion.” This doesn’t nurture a loving feeling of oneself. Who are you going out with this weekend? No Compassion!
7. Some people are called to ministry in Hawaii. They can’t really have a complete understanding of the Bible, can they? Christian hedonism could not have been birthed outside of Minneapolis.
8. [Regarding the woman in Proverbs 31] She did what was necessary for the benefit of the family, but she did not necessarily have ongoing concurrent business in real estate, farming, tanning and textiles.
9. I always get leery of Bible math.
10. There are no right answers, wrong answers; I’m going to try to guide you in the way you should go.
11. Don’t trust in horiots. Horiots? Horses and chariots.
12. Most of the time we get to the end of Kings and we say, “All right! Chronicles! Nine chapters of genealogies! So devotionally edifying!”
13. Please open your Bibles to Zephaniah, second book of the Minor Prophets. No, sorry, tenth book of the Minor Prophets. No, Ninth book. It’s in the Minor Prophets!
14. Look down at the footnote: Footnote 1. “The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain”. Great! That gives DeRouchie the idea that I can tell you what I think.
15. Let’s go to Deuteronomy 26. Everything goes back to Deuteronomy, doesn’t it?
16. Valentine’s Day rarely lands on a Sunday and when it does, it’s the only time I’m emboldened to print my handouts on pink paper. So, for the love of my wife I give you this.
17. But somebody asked ME the question, so I get to answer it.
18. Adam gets down to naming all the animals, but that doesn’t mean he has to distinguish between boxer and dalmatian.
19. I’ve got my calendar – I’ve figured out the whole schedule. Today, we can get through just verse one … and smile.
20. Look at that! Two verses! It’s only seven minutes ‘till! We’re flying!
21. Hopefully I’m here next year. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.
22. I don’t know if my wife heard me. This morning I was down in my study when I found this and was like “Whoo!” But I was so excited I found it and then … [to Teresa] Did you hear it? No, Okay. I was nervous because it was so quiet.
23. [At the end of class] Where is the attendance sheet? Ah yes, there it is. Half of you did not come today!
24. “Was it not you who cut Rahab into pieces and pierced the dragon?” That sounds good. That’s not very Anne of Green Gables. That’s more Lord of the Rings-ish.
25. Yesterday was a big day from my sons. They finally got their brother to say he’d vote for the Vikings. Because last week he so disappointed in the last play of the game.
26. Football is one of the gifts of God in our world.
27. I will remind you, my wife reminded me… that Derouchie can get to talking. So don’t be afraid to raise your hand and I will pause, if I am able, to call on you.
28. And finally this morning I found satisfaction in my interpretation of this passage, and God in his kindness, delayed this presentation until now.

Jason DeRouchie, who has, for several years, been a Professor of the Old Testament at Bethlehem College and Seminary is moving, and as of this month, he’ll be on staff at Midwestern Seminary.


Also for the last several years, he’s been the primary teacher for one of the adult Sunday School classes at Bethlehem. And since the beginning of his tenure there, I’ve been collecting quotes from his teaching times.

So to commemorate his departure (we’re sad to see him go), I’m posting them here.

There are actually so many, that I’ll be posting them in two different posts.

Funny Quotes From Jason DeRouchie
(To the Joint Heirs Sunday School Class)
Part 1 – The First 30

1. We just got our kids Bibles. It was hard for me to buy them Bibles without footnotes. But they had really cool covers and that’s what they wanted. But you should get Bibles with footnotes!
2. The judges weren’t doing their jobs, so God had to send in the Special Ops, called the prophets.
3. [Regarding Acts 3:18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets …] What does he mean by “all?” I think he means “all.”
4. [Regarding Isaiah’s son] It’s an interesting name: “Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz! Let’s go play kickball!”
5. Snakes! My wife hates snakes. She hates two things – tornados and snakes. And that has colored and created stories in our marriage. Specific stories.
6. [Regarding Isaiah 53:12] So when I got here I was scratching my head and all of a sudden, I saw that all the commentators were scratching their heads.
7. The Devil’s weapons – they might be squirt guns, but they look very real.
8. [When a colleague asked him to speak on missions from Creation to Consummation in 30 minutes] My daughter Ruthie said ‘Oh, Dad, he said thirty minutes, but you know he’s going to give you forty.” I texted this to him. He said, “Your daughter knows me too well. Yes, you have forty minutes.” I took 51.
9. Not that I have any experience with this at all, but the miracle of childbirth, which I witnessed three times…. Well, one of them I was a little out of it. One of us needed to deliver a baby, the other needed orange juice – my wife likes to bring this up – anyway, moving beyond that: Seeing this amazing endurance and then amazing joy.
10. I have students now that weren’t born when I got married.
11. The task for Biblical interpretation is not for wimps.
12. Before she moved out to go to college, our daughter Mary Jane was always the first person to get to the mailbox. By the time she got in the house, she was finished with thoroughgoing genre analysis.
13. [Regarding O.T. book titles] In almost all the old testament books, Yahweh is the main character in the book, but we can’t call every book Yahweh, Yahweh, Yahweh.
14. [Regarding 1 and 2 Samuel] Ultimately, I think it would have been better to call them “Dave”, First and Second Dave.
15. In 1993 I put a ring on my fiancé’s finger and left for 4 ½ months. Yes, I was a charmer.
16. [After a question] So what you can do is look in my book and find a footnote that I put in – that answers that question, which actually points you to an article I wrote.
17. [Regarding the phrase, ‘Love Me’] I’ve never said that. I’ve expressed thankfulness that she loves me. I’ve made the declaration that she loves me. But I’ve never looked at her and said, “Woman, love me!”
18. I don’t remember … X and Y … is X on the side or on the bottom. The bottom? Okay, thank you.
19. I tried to make copies for you, but it didn’t work, so I have some nice green paper for you.
20. God says, “Woe.” This isn’t “Whoah” like the Fonz. This is “Woe” like a curse.
21. Some of you were involved with helping my family. My Saturn had died, but now it’s resurrected.
22. They didn’t like Jeremiah, they preferred to kick him in the teeth and throw him in pits.
23. When I hear this about Jehoshaphat, I think, “Is he such a dork?”
24. I thought about bringing a picture of what I looked like seven years ago. Much less gray, that’s for certain.
25. Yesterday I pounded and sawed, building bunk beds and now my hands hurt because . . . I’m just used to typing.
26. I ask you to raise your hand if you have a question. Anyone who’s been in a class with me knows I can get on a roll. Harness me! Pull me back!
27. Me and Moses . . . I talk to him once in a while. “What were you saying here?”
28. And then that purity and blemishness … blemishlessness . . . lack of blemish. . .
29. Day 6 is cool not just because we are there but because the Moose is there. I love the Moose.
30. Now there are four oracles and I wanted to go through and discuss all of them, but then I remembered that you’re all supposed to go home this afternoon.

Click here to see the second set of quotes from Jason.


Five and a half years ago an incident occurred. Pastor Jason Meyer (the man who replaced John Piper as lead preaching pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church) told us about it (in two different sermons): he and Pastor John, on a missions trip, had faced down some eagles who were diving at them and others while they were eating lunch. So when he picked up a rock to throw at them, Pastor John told him he’d pay money if he actually hit one. I’m not going to tell you now the rest of the story, because I deemed that this story should have an ode or a ballad written about it, so this heroic story could be handed down through the generations into legend. This I have done.

Now Pastor Jason wasn’t very forthcoming with details about the incident (perhaps out of modesty?), so I had to fill in some of the particulars as best I could. He humbly made light of what had happened, telling it as a humorous anecdote, but I dare to suggest that it was more … dramatic. This poem uses the story telling technique and poetic style of Pastor Piper’s advent poems.

In his description of the event, Pastor Jason “speculated that the story could grow over time.” I can confirm: It has grown. But the way this poem presents the throw of the stone, the results of the stone’s throw, as well as the resolution of the wager, including what Pastor John wrote about this resolution (a poem within this poem, if you will), is really, actually, factually true.

I’m posting it today on the seven year anniversary of the day that Pastor Jason took over as lead pastor.

The Piper and The Meyer
A Legendary Epic Ballad by Scott Jamison

~~~ The Place of The Danger ~~~
Consider now this thrilling scene:
An outdoor café, valley green.
The luncheon had been pleasant, ‘till
They heard the screeches, harsh and shrill.

The men cried out, the children screamed,
The once bright sun no longer gleamed,
Blacked out by circling eagles high,
And here and there some dropping nigh,
Too close with threats of fearful death
From sharpened talons, flaming breath.*
Folks threw themselves, in great fear, flat,
For who could stand upright to that?

Yea, some fell down, but not The Two.
The Two stood tall, strong, brave and true.
They did what all good
heroes would.
The Piper and The Meyer stood.

They waved, they yelled defiant words
Exclaimed against the evil birds.
The thwarted eagles turned away,
Away from all their erstwhile prey.

“Now run!” The Two exclaimed to all,
“And if you can’t, then walk, or crawl.
To safety we must all now flee.
A home or store’s where we must be!”
(For there was still a strong concern
The dreaded raptors would return.
Reorganized they might come back
And, more determined, re-attack.)

And flee all did, from old to youth.
They knew The Two now spoke the truth.
They ran t’ward shelter, home and booth.
(Too bad that none there were named Ruth.)

And back they came, the eagles now,
Far sooner than they’d feared. So how
Could fleers hope to get away?
All hope was lost, as was the day.

But as the eagles, down, they went,
The Piper saw The Meyer bent
To pick up hard, round, solid rock,
Much like a shepherd for his flock.
The Piper saw The Meyer’s plan.
He smiled at his Succession Man
And inspiration to invoke
The Piper to The Meyer spoke:

~~~ The Words of The Piper ~~~
“Yea, hurl the stone, it is God’s will
(Both ‘perfect’ and ‘prescriptive’ will.)
I say again, it is God’s will
For you to use your throwing skill
To save the fleeing innocent,
(But still depraved – that’s what I meant
Of course they are not without sin.)”
(Thus context won the day again.)

(There was no time, the Piper knew
To more completely walk them through
The full Five Points* or to discuss
How God e’er works his will through us.)

(Or how through good deeds we don’t earn
Salvation, but let’s now return
To this dark tale of fear and dread.)
He, pointing to Lead Eagle, said,

“Yes, hurl the stone, and bring it down
For all our good and God’s renown.
A dollar I’ll pay if you do.
Nay, ten … times ten! So throw it true!
Don’t waste your … eagle! Here’s a chance
To highlight God’s preeminence.
And show this: God is sovereign o’er
These birds of prey who bring us war.
Desiring God’s good words – “Well done!”
Throw! Let the day for Him be won.”

Though sharp beaks might have pierced them through.
The Two stood tall, strong, brave and true.
They did what all good
pastors would.
The Piper and The Meyer stood.

~~~ The Acts of The Meyer ~~~

The Meyer gave a knowing nod.
He needed now no further prod.
And then he like young David stood,
Faced his Goliath, out for blood.
As always, his two eyes were shown,
Two ditches***, so he fell in none.
Intent on striking eagle’s bone
And knowing he was not alone,
For God is always on the throne,
And with The Piper near, not prone
The Meyer, with a mighty groan,
He raised up his Redemption Stone.

The stone, released. The stone, it flies!
And flies! It flies and flies and flies!
And lo, it did not take two tries!
Lead Eagle’s hit between the eyes!
It falls, to other eagles’ cries.

Though flesh wounds they both might accrue,
The Two stood tall, strong, brave and true.
They did what all good
shepherds would.
The Piper and The Meyer stood.

~~~ The Ends of The Matter ~~~
The other eagles flew away.
They knew that they had lost the day.
They knew the Lord was not with them.
They flew from Thrower, fell and grim.
They rue the day. The day, they rue.
Why did they test The Two so true?
And there were other stones, they knew,
So, each to his own home they flew.
Our mighty haven’t fallen yet,
So yes, the eagles feel regret.

Don’t doubt The Piper’s debt was paid.
It took a bit, but it was paid!
(Though for a time it was mislaid.)
He sent The Marshal in his stead
and, to The Meyer, paying, said,
(More accur’tely, The Piper wrote-
He put his thoughts down in a note.
He wrote this poem which I now quote:)
“Consider pledge or flying stone.
Consider vow or diving bird.
Let it be marked, let it be known:
John Piper keeps his every word.”****
(Were nobler couplets ever heard?)

What we have heard, so have we seen,
This outdoor café, valley green.
Far countries and near nations spanned
– Oh, let the reader understand –
The danger fields aren’t all unmanned.
They know this, th’eagles from that land:
With one sure voice and one sure hand
As God from the beginning planned,
And always at the Lord’s command,
The Piper and the Meyer stand.

* The author has determined that they weren’t literally fire-breathing eagles.
** of Calvinism
*** Pastor Meyer often uses a ‘two ditches’ metaphor in his sermons
**** “Payment Poem” writing credit: John Piper, Author

I’ve started posting a series of stories for parents to read to their children highlighting the love of God. Please go take a look.

And if you’d like to see my other Attempts at humor, please click here.

Photo from

… when giving advice.


Seven Additional Thoughts:

– I’m not a hundred percent serious about this. Maybe 75 percent?

– Any grid which generalizes everything down to four situation is going to have counter-exceptions. In this case, so many counter-exceptions.

– Anyone giving advice will have more success if the advice has been asked for. This is certainly the case here.

– Certainly the advice given doesn’t apply to all men or all women.

– Other words considered (in place of avert): discourage, prevent, deter, avoid. None are perfect.

– I am aware that some people don’t feel there is a need to avert lust. This grid would still be true.

– I am aware the some people don’t feel it’s a woman’s responsibility to avert lust. This grid would still be generally true.

– Obviously, giving advice is only one step.

Your Thoughts?

Last week, for Pastor John’s birthday, I put up this post over at the Fighter Verse Song Blog. Challies linked to it, and the video now has more than 2800 views.  Thanks, Tim!

I thought I’d link to the video here. You know, for completeness sake.

I’d also like to state that I find it cool that of all the random combinations of letters that could have been chosen for the link for this video about John Piper, youtube’s link-generating algorithm chose one that ended with “luvjoy”.

I just saw this online ad, and my first thought was, “well, I’d also like them to remove my amateur and recreational mold, were I to hire them.”

Professional Mold

Dads, here are …
14 Ways To Show Your Wife and Kids You’re the Most Important Person in the Family

1. Dominate mealtime discussion
They already know what happened to themselves today. They should be forced to hear how yours went. At length.

2. Expensive hobbies
… that don’t involve them. It shows them “Hey, I’ve got a life outside this family!”

3. Don’t be a part of meal cleanup.
You have better things to do.

4. Angry outbursts
They always succeed in quelling the whining you shouldn’t have to listen to.

5. Don’t let them in on decision-making about what your family does.
Your family isn’t a democracy.

6. Extensive me-time.
Disappear for hours.

7. Erratic behavior.
Too much predictability will make them complacent.

8. Don’t allow foods to be served that you don’t like.
You have a discerning pallet and those who disagree with you are lying to themselves.

9. Be very stingy with compliments or grace or mercy.
You don’t want them to get big heads, do you?

10. … And also gratefulness.
If you can’t take your family’s good behavior for granted, who can you?

11. Let them know every bad thing about your church.
Because you have a discerning pallet with spiritual stuff too. They need to know this, and anyway they shouldn’t get joy from what’s not perfect.

12. Use scripture to keep them in their place.
Remember: Context is overrated.

13. Never admit failure.
… moral or otherwise. Once they see vulnerability from you, you’ll never hear the end of it.

14. Treat your wife like your children.
There can only be one on top.

Obligatory Bible Passage: “Something something God wants bla bla bla men should rule the home something” – Somewhere in the third chapter of some place in the New Testament, probably – maybe in an epistle or therefore.


Did I miss any?

If by any chance you don’t think you’re the most important person, then by all means, don’t do any of these.

Also, some might be wondering how a Wife/Mom could show how she’s the most important. I’ll leave that for a lady to write. How would I know? But I suspect there might be some similar items.

I was listening yesterday to NPR (again!) and I heard a segment about the sobering subject of the Santa Fe shooting – and the Christian community’s response to this.

In the segment we heard some clips from the prayer vigil that was held on Wednesday night. I was interested to re-listen to it, because two of the Christians discussed God’s role in what had happened.

But as I was looking at the transcript from the segment, I noticed something interesting.

At 0:32 in the segment you can hear the worship band singing the chorus of the Chris Tomlin song “Amazing Grace – My Chains Are Gone” and at this point in the transcript it says:

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) My chains are going to be set free.

… which, you know, aren’t the actual lyrics from the song they were singing.

And despite the serious nature of the segment, this caused me to chuckle. Because I was wondering what the transcriber must have been thinking as he or she typed it in.

“Wow … That’s kind of an odd sentiment. Why would you want your chains to be free? I mean, don’t you want to be free yourself?”

And I would have to agree with the transcriber at this point.

NPR Chains3.jpg



Right now our family is memorizing Romans 13 and it’s a fairly short chapter (only 14 verses) and has several valuable sections, with Paul’s teaching about being subject to authority, and how we should owe only Love to each other and how love is the fulfillment of the law. The last verse is a nice wrap-up encouragement for all Christians –
[14] But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

But the verse right before that is more problematic, from the standpoint of teaching it to children –
[13] Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.

I read this, and I’m thinking, “Really Paul? Orgies? Was that necessary? I mean, it’s not very family friendly. Couldn’t you have left that one word out?”

But then I considered what he might have been thinking as he wrote it. Perhaps he was imagining how a hypothetical conversation between two guys might have gone if he’d left out the O-word:

“Hey, Freedman, can I get your opinion on this section from Romans as I’m thinking about how I should make choices in my personal behavior?”
“Sure, Morris, what do you want to know?”
“Well, it says here that we should not live in drunkenness, or in sexual immorality and sensuality, or in quarreling and jealousy.”
“Sure, that makes sense and is consistent with the rest of what Paul wrote. So what do you want to know?”
“Okay, given this, do you think it would be okay for me to go to orgies?”
“Well, I don’t see why not. It’s obviously not in the list. If Paul didn’t want to you to do that, he would have put ‘orgies’ on the list.
“That’s what I was thinking!”

So, okay, Paul. I see your point. But I think I’m going to change it to ‘parties’ for family memorization purposes.

If not who, then when? If not where, then why? — Questions to ask when pondering the question, “What question should we ask?”

How To Visualize Your Prediction of How The General Election Will Affect Our Country’s Future

[As the reader, please just stipulate for the sake of this post that I am excellent at creating visual graphics.]

In this essay I will be presenting of a visualization of what I think about the presidential election and how it will affect America. Also how Donald Trump is different. I’m asking you to consider whether or not you agree. I think it’s likely that you will, assuming you’re a normal, well-adjusted voter.

Here we go.

Like most people, I’m a bit disillusioned about the political process. Generally speaking, I don’t hold out a lot of hope that any president will make that big of a difference in the grand scheme of the course of the nation.

So, for example, as a voter who generally chooses Republicans on my ballots, I do so with the hope that the Republican will win and the expectation that if he does, things will get better. But, and this is important, not necessarily a lot better.

So as you might imagine, like most sane conservatives, I was looking forward to Ted Cruz (or, you know, Rubio, or Kashich) getting the GOP nomination, and then the presidency. And assuming this happened, this is how I had pictured that future, probabilistically speaking.


Looking at the picture you’ll see that I, like all humans, don’t know the future, and I can only make guesses. Perhaps Cruz would have been amazing and great strides of progress would have happened in the U.S. of A. Or perhaps he would have done poorly and things would have gotten worse. But I was laying odds that things would get better – probably slightly to moderately better.

But it looks like that isn’t going to happen now; Cruz is out of the picture and perhaps we’ll have Hillary Clinton as our next Commander In Chief. Here’s my guess as to how that might work out.


So you can see that I had similar uncertainty, but I was expecting things to get moderately, or at least minimally worse in our great land.

Nota bene, if you primarily vote Democrat, you could just switch the colors (blue to red and red to blue) and the names and they would be pretty close to what you think.*

I mean, right? Wouldn’t you agree? I’m guessing yes – looking into the next four years, the normal, slightly cynical voters picture something like these pictures. And not just for this election, but as they picture the country with every presidential candidate since they’ve been old enough to vote. Every four years.

But … Trump. What do we do with Trump? What do we think will happen with Trump as our president?
How about this?


Yes, the outlook is different. It’s not going to be a little better or a little worse. The results are going to be more extreme. Much more extreme. There are a couple issues that are important to me that I agree with him on (at least as he states it now) and if he stands by those long-held convictions**, things might be golden. But I fear it’s much more likely that earth shattering, ground shaking insanity might emanate from a Trump White House and spring forth from sea to shining sea. (Yes, if you’re wondering, I did choose the color by taking a pixel sample of his hair)

What will happen? In 2018, will we be looking back fondly at the days of legislative gridlock? Will small and midsized nations be attacking us out of principle? Will comedians stop making jokes because the situation is simply not funny anymore? Will Donald ‘build a wall’ around our country’s heart so thick that we can’t be hurt by anyone, even those who love us most, and make Megyn Kelly pay for it?***

The question – Who knows what our status will be after four years of Trump? And sir, the answer: No one – least of all Trump, I fear. Thus I visualize the odds going off the chart towards the bad. But like I say, I’m not God. I don’t know the future.

Time will tell, my friends. Only time will tell.

* And yes, I did just google, “What does ‘nota bene’ mean?”
** Scare italics.

[So regarding guessing your thoughts about these matters, how’d I do? Was I close?]



Headline from local paper this week: “Lyme disease on the uptick in Minnesota”.

I’m imagining the editor thinking, “See what I did there?”

Yep. We see it.

Yesterday my seven year old did what Donald Trump couldn’t: Say “2 Corinthians” correctly on his first try.

Nothing says, “My Love for you will soon fade away and leave messy dead organic material all over your counter,” like flowers.

For the past few months, our adult Sunday School class has been taught by Andy Naselli, who went through the book of 1 Corinthians. He led us in some very intriguing and helpful discussions about a wide range of topics sparked by this engaging epistle. He has the entire book memorized, and each Sunday he recited the passage that we were to discuss on that day. The emotion he put into Paul’s words made this part of each class a highlight.

Andy is thoughtful, caring and knowledgeable, and he’s also quite funny. I started writing down some of his more humorous statements.

Here are 28 of them, all completely taken out of context:

28 Funny Quotes from Andy Naselli

1. Microsoft Word doesn’t like Greek words. They’re all underlined in red.

2. [Describing what a diatribe is] You do both sides of a conversation. Like it’s kind of fun after an argument. You do this and come back and win it.

3. You guys are ESV Study Bible owners, probably. It’s the inspired study Bible.

4. [Regarding mocking Christianity] I’m sure it’s all over TV. Can any of you testify? Now be careful – don’t say “yes”.

5. I’m memorizing 1 Corinthians 13 and I’m saying over and over again “Love is not irritable” and then I have to spend time with my kids.

6. So Don, you’ll probably get this in Year 4. So don’t write all this down.

7. [Attempting to recite part of First Corinthians] Nevertheless … [to class] Right? … Yet? … Same thing.

8. I’m all about processed food.

9. I’ll answer my own question, it’ll be faster.

10. Tom is a hard core guitarist who likes drums, so he can be our stronger brother.

11. I’m not saying you should grow long hair. We’ll talk about that in chapter 11.

12. You might think your dog has a conscience. It doesn’t have a conscience.

13. Some people like to say, “Don’t go to fast food. Don’t go to fast food.” My response is, “What if it’s Chick-fil-A?” Gotcha. Because that’s Christian fast food.

14. [regarding the shortness of time] We’re on page five of eight. This is hopeless!

15. [While talking about the ‘Do not deprive one another’ section] Everyone’s afraid to talk right now.

16. This is the section I wrote my paper on [on head coverings]. This week I went back and read it. And you’re not going to see it, so don’t ask for it.

17. I wanted to show you my [wedding] vows. My vows have footnotes.

18. [When Andy found out his handout sheets were put together wrong – while reciting the “One body with many members” section] Someone’s head’s gonna roll. Just kidding! Just kidding! We don’t want that part of the body.

19. Did you say prophesy? No? I read your lips wrong. But you were thinking it, weren’t you?

20. If we’re late, and we are, it’s her fault.

21. Since you’re the longest standing member, I’ll give you the last word.

22. [at the end of a class] We’re done… But I’ll let one more [ask a question] because you have a sad face.

23. [After someone gave some advice to help with getting his computer working] Thanks, ‘reseat-your-cable’ guy.

24. [Regarding a controversial part of the Bible] We might think that, but is there any other text that might clarify? Let’s just read the next three lines and see what happens.

25. Do you know how big a question you just asked? I teach a whole course–four credits, and it’s basically that question.

26. [Regarding a portion of the last chapter of 1 Corinthians] If you think that was hard to follow, try memorizing it.

27. If this has any interest for you, there’s a book that I’d recommend that came out this month. I forgot the title but it has the word ‘trinity’ in it, somewhere, I think.

28. [After attempting to explain a confusing part of the text] I know that’s kind of lame. You try! [whispering] Really, I have know clue what this means. [Louder] Ready to move on? …. No, this isn’t of first importance, it’s of tenth importance.

By the way, if you’re interested in reading some Funny John Piper Quotes, here you go.

I thought you might be interested in an odd thing that is happening with this, the Responsible Puppet blog.

Last September, I posted a Tuesday Stand Alone Statement about not wearing sunglasses when you’re talking to someone. To be honest, it was an inconsequential post.

So I was surprised when it slowly became one of my more popular post. I didn’t get it.

I have since learned, thanks to a helpful commenter, that if you go to Google Images and search on ‘sunglasses’ the third image links back to that post. For who knows why?

In the last month, it’s gotten more than 860 hits.

And here’s what makes me feel guilty: I just grabbed that photo off the internet somewhere. I can’t find it. I’ve tried, because I’d like to update that post to link back to it.

For the record, I no longer do that. I’ve learned my lesson: Now I try to make sure photos link back to the source (often Wikipedia).

In any case, I’m letting you know. Maybe you could go to the google search and click on my link. If enough people do that – it could go to position 2!

Update: Okay in creating the image for this post, I’ve found the source, but it just brings you to an error page if you click on it. So maybe I feel a little less guilty.


I’d just like to note in passing that the word “comfortable” is one that almost all speakers …
1. Mispronounce (Comfterble vs. Comfortable)
2. Use incorrectly or non-literally.

When we say someone is comfortable, we don’t mean they are are able to be comforted, but they are already comforted.

The Internet’s Contravolution of a Popular Idiom

The idiom “Apples to Oranges” is a phrase I like because it is such a helpful and efficient way of saying (to most English speakers) a fairly complex idea. It expresses the idea that two things are different enough so that comparison between the two is somewhat ridiculous.

But what about a situation, in arguments or discussions, where “Apples and Oranges” doesn’t work to capture the situation adequately? What if (for example) the two items are significantly disparate and different that comparing them is significantly more wrong-minded than comparing Oranges and Apples? Both of them are fruit, after all. And they’re both round and … so forth.

What idiom do people use in such a situation? I’m glad you asked. For as I did a Google search, I learned that people have (many, many times in internet history) wanted to express this but they’ve done it in different ways.

Very different ways.

For example …

ApplesandOranges1A. Some writers use a creative way to say the items in question are okay to compare (and the compared items really are just apples):

[For the record – all of these lists include only real examples I found on the internet and I have kept the italics untouched. Also the spelling and punctuation]

— It’s not apples and oranges, its granny smith vs golden delicious.

— It’s not apples and oranges; it’s two different kinds of apples.

— … were not apples and oranges, but more like apples and half apples.

— it’s not apples and oranges. McIntosh and Granny Smith might be more apt.

— It’s not apples and oranges, it’s apples and exploding apples

— Success and failure, as far as hedge funds were concerned, were not apples and oranges, but perhaps, first-rate apples and second-rate apples.

ApplesandOranges2— It’s not apples and oranges, it’s 300 green apples vs 1 or 2 red ones.

— Like I’ve said, it’s not apples and oranges – it’s just a lot a little tiny apples – or applesauce – but it’s still apples.

— For in fact it’s not apples and oranges, it’s apples all the way down.

But most of them need a way to indicate comparison of the objects is more unwise than comparing Apples and Oranges. For example ….


B. Some of them choose foods that are more disparate than Apples and Oranges:

— That’s not apples and oranges. Its Apples and Lemons.

— It’s not apples and oranges…its more like apples and bacon

— It’s not apples and oranges, its apples and turnips

That’s not apples and oranges, that’s apples and Tang.

— But when heterogeneity becomes too large, you might end up combining not apples and oranges but apples and onions.

— Ironic it may be, but this is not Apples and Oranges, it’s Apples and Meat in some sort of funny way.

— Our personality contrast is not apples and oranges – it’s apples and three-month-old-leftover-tuna-casserole.

— When we look more closely at The Body’s Way, strength and flexibility are most definitely not apples and oranges, but rather … um … a delicious layered apple and orange parfait.

— That’s not apples and oranges, it’s apples and BBQ ribs or something.

(It’s the ‘or something’ that makes this my favorite of this group).


C. Others feel like comparing food to food is still too similar to compare to what’s happening in the debate at hand.

— Its not apples and oranges, its apples and cars.

— ‘It’s not apples and oranges; it’s apples and bricks

— It’s not apples and oranges its apples and jackhammers.

Thats not apples and oranges, thats apples and astroids in another solar system.

— WOW thats not apples and oranges thats apples and the the space shuttle!

That’s not apples and oranges. That’s apples and prostitutes.

— You can’t compare puppies to babies. That’s not apples and oranges, that’s apples and babies.

That’s not apples and oranges; that’s apples and decorative bars of soap.

That’s not apples and oranges. That’s apples and elephants, maybe even apples and

aircraft carriers.

— it’s not apples and oranges, it’s apples and friggin hand-grenades.

— That’s not apples and oranges. That’s apples and monkeys. Not even the same species*

— That’s not apples and oranges, its apples and flying space monkeys.

For brevity sake, I’ll just say that other items that writers thought were more different from apples than oranges include ..

(That’s not apples and oranges – that’s apples and ….)

Chartreuse, doorbells, row boats, panzer tanks, telephones, pear trees, porcupines, moon rocks, BMWs, Rocks, Sewing Machines, hex bolts, turtles, carburetors, screw-drivers, playing a piano, cement, ICBMs, ammo, rocket ships, light bulbs, tablecloths, orangutangs, and lugnuts.


D. But for some, comparing apples to any object was too coherent. They chose more esoteric paths:

— That’s not apples and oranges – that’s apples and playing a piano.

— It’s not apples and oranges. It’s apples and black holes.

… not apples and oranges but apples and ideas about apples.

— HTML version and CSS version are separate and unrelated things: not “apples and oranges” but “apples and green”.

— Stop. You’re comparing apples and unicorns. Not apples and oranges; oranges exist in reality.

— That’s not apples and oranges; it’s apples and non-Newtonian physics.

— It’s not apples and oranges: it’s apples and buses, where one party can’t begin to imagine buses.

That’s not apples and oranges, that’s institutionalized segregation/wage slavery and oranges.

— They are not apples and oranges. They are apples and the French Revolution.

E. I feel here I must include the set of those whose author didn’t want either apples or oranges in the second half of the phrase.

— That’s not apples and oranges; it’s cars and coconuts

— That’s not apples and oranges. It’s cupcakes and anvils.

— It’s not apples and oranges. It’s magnolias and six-shooters.

— It’s not apples and oranges — it’s covered wagons and starships

— Seriously though…it’s not apples and oranges. It’s like saying you can’t compare a sports car and communter car.

— … is comparing not apples and oranges, but bananas to lawn chairs.

— That’s not apples and oranges, its a spec of dust and the entire planet.

— It’s not apples and oranges, it’s watermelons and glockenspiels.

— it’s not apples and oranges. it’s a human body with a dog head. In proportion. In proportion!**

F. And then there are some that had appeared to have lost the path altogether. Like they started out in the right mindset with the apples and oranges idiom, but something went really wrong.

— Its not apples and oranges, its whether or not a country is being held to reparations.

— It’s not apples and oranges, its religous freedom.

That’s not apples and oranges, that’s chicken and egg. [This one kind of warps my brain a little bit]

— Its not apples and oranges, its common **** sense.

— Its not Apples and Oranges, Its truth and lies.

— Space and time were not apples and oranges, but mates—joined, homologous, inseparable.

G. And here are category-defying entries that I threw in, just for the fun of it.

— It’s not apples and oranges. it’s apples and carrots. the only things that are similar are batman, video game and arkham universe.

— This is a book about fruit, but not apples and oranges. The other fruit. This is a book about sex, but not just sex. Sex is never alone.

— Kanye interrupted an acceptance speech. Chris beat on his girlfriend. That’s not apples and oranges. That’s apples and domestic battery

— It’s not apples and oranges, it’s where Magic Hat stole the name of that beer. Period.

— It’s not apples and oranges. It’s more like bananas and sucking out the inside of an orange with a shop vac.

And finally, from a Superman Vs Goku discussion:

— It’s not apples and oranges. It’s applying a principle to a feat and then applying the same principle to other feats

In any case – I think it’s clear – humanity can get very random when it wants to.

* Yes, for the record, in case you weren’t aware of it – apples and monkey are a different species.

** Second ‘In proportion’ added.

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March 2023