Odds and Ends, #2

More bits and pieces that might be of use:

Well, it is another busy day in which I may not have time to pen a proper piece, so I will make use of this new format once again. The first one of these that I did seemed to get some good responses, so I will try it a second time. It is not as if I must have a new article posted on this site each day, but I do try nonetheless to have something new put up when and where possible.

Random thoughts

One of the big news items from the past week or so has been the loss of five lives in the Titan sub. It was a sad situation indeed. Just a bit of detail on this from one news report:

On the ocean floor where the search crews found parts of The Titan 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic on Thursday, there is immense pressure, absolute darkness and extremely cold temperatures. The Coast Guard said Thursday they did not know if they would be able to recover the five bodies.


The five passengers who were in the Titan submersible when it imploded on the mission were OceanGate’s CEO Stockton Rush, British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding, French maritime and Titanic expert Paul-Henry Nargeolet, one of the richest men in Pakistan Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood. 


They each paid $250,000 to take the voyage, which was promoted as an “extraordinary” expedition for travelers to become one of the few to “see the Titanic with your own eyes,” according to OceanGate’s archived itinerary of the mission. It was OceanGate’s third annual expedition to the Titanic, which struck an iceberg and sank in 1912, killing about 700 of the roughly 2,200 passengers and crew. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2023/06/23/titan-victims-extreme-adventure-tourism/70349095007/

One concern about all this is that there had been warnings given in the past about the safety of all this. Moreover, it is said the company CEO was not interested in having experienced, older white guys being involved. Says another report from a few days ago:

The OceanGate CEO who is trapped on a 22-foot submersible on an ill-fated voyage to see the Titanic wreck once explained how he didn’t hire “50-year-old white guys” with military experience to captain his vessels because they weren’t “inspirational.” Stockton Rush, 61, added that such expertise was unnecessary because “anybody can drive the sub” with a $30 video game controller. https://nypost.com/2023/06/21/why-stockton-rush-didnt-hire-50-year-old-white-guys-for-titanic-sub-tours/

Hmm, perhaps doing this in the interests of being woke and PC was a really bad way to proceed. But now these five are gone, and we must keep their families and friends in our prayers. One thing I did post online last night is worth sharing here:

Here are some truths we must come to terms with:
-We will all die.
-Some will die peacefully or quickly or in old age.
-Some will die painfully or over prolonged periods or while quite young.
-What matters is if we are ready for it.
-The five men who died in the mini-sub near the Titanic may not have expected their demise so soon.
-They will now face their Creator and Judge, as will all of us.
-Are you ready? Only those in Christ will be.

Scripture throughout offers us warnings about being ready, and not thinking we are invincible or can live forever. Even being a billionaire will not help you in that regard.


I suspect that as long as there are humans, and as long as there is the social media, I will forever have this problem: When I post something online, at least 95 times out of 100 I will offer a link to my quote in the first comment below my post. Every text has a context, and all short quotes deserve to be read in context. Yet it happens all the time: someone comes along, sees my post, then has a knee-jerk reaction. They do not bother to read the article, they do not care to ‘listen carefully first, then speak,’ but just go on the attack, picking a fight or causing a stink. But I suspect that had these folks actually bothered to read the article in question first, perhaps 75% of them would see they do NOT need to lash out, and I am not the heretic they thought I was. As for the other 25%? Oh well, some folks are just easily triggered pugilists!


Hmm, my fave online Bible site has been hassling me to disable my ad-blocker thingees and allow ads to be displayed. They claimed that the revenue from the ads allow them to keep doing what they do. So I did disable the blockers, and now I often get ads all the time, but some are rather sleazy ads that appear.

Imagine that: going to a Bible program to read the Word and seek after God and holiness, only to be bombarded with some decidedly ungodly and unholy ads – grrr! There must be a better way for Christian companies to operate. I did contact them about this – whether my complaint does any good remains to be seen.

Quotes of note

Some random quotes – old and new, Christian and non-Christian:

“It is only the fool who tries to get the heavens inside his head, and not unnaturally his head bursts. The wise man is content to get his head inside the heavens.” G. K. Chesterton

“Till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet.” Thomas Watson (c. 1620—1686)

“Your sin, Christian, is not bigger than the grace of God. The grace of God is infinitely bigger than your sin.” Owen Strachan

“If we face the real situation in the Church and in the world, and decide, despite that situation, to stand firmly for the gospel of Christ, we shall be very likely indeed to find ourselves engaged in controversy. But if we are going to avoid controversy, we might as well close our Bibles; for the New Testament is a controversial book practically from beginning to end. The New Testament writers and our Lord Himself presented truth in sharp contrast with error, and indeed that is the only way in which truth can be presented in any clear and ringing way. I do not know all the things that will happen when the great revival sweeps over the Church, the great revival for which we long. Certainly I do not know when that revival will come; its coming stands in the Spirit’s power. But about one thing that will happen when that blessing comes I think we can be fairly sure. When a great and true revival comes in the Church, the present miserable, feeble talk about avoidance of controversy on the part of the servants of Jesus Christ will all be swept away as with a mighty flood.” J. Gresham Machen

“Emotions neither prove nor disprove facts. There was a time when any rational adult understood this. But years of dumbed-down education and emphasis on how people ‘feel’ have left too many people unable to see through this media gimmick.” Thomas Sowell

“Absent a delicate balance–rights and duties, freedom and order–the social fabric begins to unravel. The rights explosion of the past three decades has taken us on a rapid descent to a culture without civility, decency, or even that degree of discipline necessary to maintain an advanced industrial civilization. Our cities are cesspools, our urban schools terrorist training camps, our legislatures brothels where rights are sold to the highest electoral bidder.” Don Feder, A Conservative Jew Looks at Pagan America

Bible passages of note

Here are a few things that stood out to me in my recent reading.

-It is always good to keep in mind who is ultimately the boss:

Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are your inheritance.
Psalm 82:8

-This might apply to believers today in terms of the culture wars and so on:

If my people would only listen to me,

if Israel would only follow my ways,

how quickly I would subdue their enemies

and turn my hand against their foes!

Psalm 81:13-14

-This is often my prayer of late:

Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:1-2

Short videos of note

-This is a terrific video from the Christian satire site The Babylon Bee – “Woke Parents Tour Christian College”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTRqZ-M0D_Y

-Ben Shapiro on transgenderism and children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IgzE1-dt3c

-Dissecting climate alarmism by Jordan Peterson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxl-XOsQIKI

-Rowan Atkinson on free speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUezfuy8Qpc

Devotional thoughts

It is not that suffering is good in itself. It is what it can produce in us if rightly received. Some 4-5 millennia of Jewish and Christian wisdom have said that when life is going swimmingly, we tend to forget God or take him a lot less seriously. But enter a bit of suffering (loss of job, loss of spouse, sickness, etc) and we tend to re-prioritise life – we start to see what really matters and what is really important. God tends to finally get the rightful place in our lives.

As the Psalmist put it: “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word” (Psalm 119:67). And again: “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” (Psalm 119:71). Of course we can respond wrongly to suffering. It can makes us bitter or better, depending on how we allow God to use it in our lives. It can be a stumbling block or a stepping stone, depending on our attitude toward it – and to God.

[1612 words]

6 Replies to “Odds and Ends, #2”

  1. Hi Bill,

    On those ads.

    How about contacting the Bible app/site to comment on the problem that they are “making money” from ads which contradict or contravene the Word that those ads finance?

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