Sunset from space
Last night a young woman by the name of Rachel (I will be kind and exclude the last name) emailed me on Facebook and originally had viewed my photo and profile on the Are You Interested? application. She used very suggestive language in a bid to make fool of me, but I simply informed her that I had no interest in that nonsense and we actually ended up finishing the conservation on a semi-serious note.
Theologically, I showed Rachel Christian love instead of counter-attacking her with anger.
Rachel meant to make a fool of me and failed, but in the past scammers through Christian Cafe and especially Meet Christians.com have tried to scam me. There are dating websites where a young woman (also sometimes a man pretending to be gay, but I have not been contacted thankfully!) from Eastern Europe or Africa pretends to be interested romantically in a man and with the use of scripted letters tries to entice him to pay for her to fly over to his country. Once the money is sent she keeps it and is a no show, leaving that man alone and with less cash.
The scripted letters were clear evidence of scamming for me immediately. As well, the reply letters would not deal with my return letters in any major detail.
One woman told me she 'loved me' after three to four letters.
Below is one site that exposes the scammers:
The following is a summary of some of the suspected scammers who have emailed me.
In 2006, someone by the name Tufaina, formerly Rita Bush, both from a Gold Insurance email header, eventually apologized for her dishonesty, after she had sent me pictures of models that were not her, and so I removed her email addresses and the pictures she used from my blog. She stated:
Okay, sorry and thank you.Christianity is forgiveness. Previously from Gold Insurance=Tufaina=Rita Bush +Why all this sinful act of a christian brother,who told you am a scammer and why you put my picture in your web site and claimed that im scammer? please remove it and walk in the Lord. tufaina
Months earlier in 2005, she had emailed me using a different alias and with a photo of a different model. She had forgotten that she had contacted me previously! She had claimed to be a former Mrs. Miami and stated:
Jesus is God.How are u?pls this is my office account,kindly contact me with my personal.
She called herself Rita Bush and sent me through email magazine cut out photos of a blonde, who was obviously not the same person as the brunette, who Tufaina claimed to be in 2006.
She emailed the following in 2006 after I exposed her:
You hurt me and disgrace my personality,my friend saw my picture and told me about this,please for God sake take this out.What is my sins for you?do i take money from you or cheat you?you are the one that gave me your email address when we chat .Im not interesting in this again and pease take this out.Im a missionary and servant of God.
Tufaina you have not cheated me out of money, because I have not sent you any. You have been dishonest with pictures of obviously two different women.
You gave this to me in christian site and my heart is pumping blood for you act,please take this out for Christ sake.I never knew you are like this.You sent you pictures to me but if i do like you will you like it?God is seeing we all.
The following email was from Yana, who is in my estimation a Russian scammer. Yana, and I never had meaningful dialogue, and she did not deal directly with my letters, instead relying on a script.
hi My love.I did not receive your letter. I very strongly worry. Whether all at you is good. You were not ill. I suffer for you. I ask you calm of me, write to me the letter. Now it so is necessary for me your letter. I strongly love you also I wait from you for the letter. Always yours Yana.
She calls me Mark by mistake.
mark.Today on April, 1 day of jokes and laughter.Today I would like to congratulate you on this holiday.Tell and you mark this holiday at you in the country and as you do it to me it would be very interesting to know.I hope to hear more detailed story about it in the following letter.At us in Russia this day people play people, joke and have fun.I would would like that also you this day did not despond and would be pleased lives that in it has not taken place. I too would like to cry and much because of what problems. But I not such was necessary to smile and be pleased always lives that I successfully do. I know that 1 minute of laughter will replace one glass of sour cream, and you knew it tell to me.So be dared if you do not drink sour cream:)I wait from you for the letter and a good joke.Have remarkable day.Always yours Yana.
This was from sweet ol' Nadya, we have had no deep dialogue whatsoever, and she does not use my name.
I have offended you why you do not write me I wait for the answer. So your letters are interesting to me and suddenly they are not present I has thought that you have found another it so? If there is no that write to me at least two words or tell even hi! Nadya.
Hello Nadya, I hope all is well. However, having received many letters from Eastern European women, I must say your letter reads like scammer script. So if you are not a scammer, please tell me specifically why I am so interesting. I post scammers on my website. Good luck.
Am I going to let scammers from Christian Cafe and Meet Christians, and a jokester from Facebook keep me from dialoguing with women on-line? No. I will likely never make more than a casual friend on-line and meeting a Ms. Right is a long shot. But, being on-line also allows me to promote my blogs and so it is worth the hassles to me.
I want to promote my theology blogs and interacting with strangers on-line is an aspect of that promotion.
Bully for Bugs 1953
The Wild Chase 1965: The Road Runner vs. Speedy Gonzales
It is amazing how after spell checking that Blogger can mess up words in my final pasted copy such as occurred and occult!
I wrote an article on this same subject back over two years ago on this blog, but the very funny You Tube video has been pulled.
In my view, even in the New Testament era when Christ, certain disciples and Apostles healed people as part of their ministry, healing appeared to happen at certain times in order to demonstrate the power of God's future fulfilled Kingdom.
Let us remember that we can conclude reasonably for every person that was healed many more were not.
A problem I have with Hinn, Popoff, Angley and alike is that they seem to assume that if one has enough faith, God shall heal through their ministry, or provide a supernatural sign of sort. I believe that God can heal today, but more often than not people are suffering for a purpose other than showing God's divine healing. Healing is something everyone in Christ can look forward to at the resurrection, and I would be very willing to accept divine healing now, but my faith is not as important in the matter as God's sovereign will.
With the Hinn videos, I seriously doubt the nature of what is taking place as being from the Holy Spirit. Much of the shenanigans could be faked by Hinn and his employees. As far as the crowd/public is concerned, at the charismatic church I attended part-time in Manchester, England from 99-01, I did see some of these types of manifestations, including the shaking. Can I categorically state it was not the Holy Spirit? No. But I suggest that the monthly Sunday evening service that took place for young adults was an opportunity to whoop them up and build psychological expectations of supernatural manifestations and sure enough in some persons it occurred.
I reason Hinn and company use psychological tactics.
I believe the leadership at my church was very SINCERE in their seeking of the blessings of the Holy Spirit for the church. I need to make that clear.
I do not see a clear and relevant teaching the Holy Spirit is giving persons by having them lose control publicly in this fashion. I do know from some reading and listening on-line that like manifestations occur in the occult as well...something to ponder on. I do not claim to be an expert on the occult.
Writing articles such as this has had satire and theology placed on two lists of atheist blogs previously!
However, I am no atheist, but there is no replacement, including supernatural manifestations, for prayer, fellowship and study in the Christian life.
A supposed laughing guru. Can similar techniques be used to whoop up a 'Christian' crowd? I witnessed 'holy laughter' in London, England.
Mom, thanks for emailing me these pictures.
A tornado and lightening.
The Party (1968)
The Party is a classic comedy, and the clips are quite funny.
Romans 8:28-31 (New American Standard Bible)
28And we know that [a]God causes (A)all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are (B)called according to His purpose.
29For those whom He (C)foreknew, He also (D)predestined to become (E)conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the (F)firstborn among many brethren;
30and these whom He (G)predestined, He also (H)called; and these whom He called, He also (I)justified; and these whom He justified, He also (J)glorified.
31(K)What then shall we say to these things? (L)If God is for us, who is against us?
I am assuming that the good that God works in my life will include my successful PhD thesis, once it is reviewed by an external examiner and I defend it in person.
That is, when my University can find someone...
As for career options as a professor, these are some (not all) of my geographical options as an English speaker:
The Good: I could stay in British Columbia and the Lower Mainland and likely live in this condominium for several years. Chucky and Bobby Buff live fairly close by and seemingly have no serious intentions of moving away anytime soon. My Mom is decently healthy and should not need more serious medical care for her disabilities for a few years.
The Bad: The Lower Mainland is pretty secular. One of the reasons I am not working on a PhD in Theology through a local institution is that there was not a PhD offered in this entire province when I was looking for a program. In fact there was not one offered in all of Western Canada! Now, fairly recently the Vancouver School of Theology offers a Wales, Lampeter PhD, and yes Wales, Lampeter is the University I have signed with. I am not affiliated with the Vancouver School although the affiliation they have with Wales, Lampeter allows me to use their library for free.
I may find it difficult to find a local University or college willing to hire a moderately conservative Christian theologian.
The Lower Mainland is also a very expensive place to live.
The Satirical: Will the last successful truly conservative politician in the Lower Mainland please turn out the lights.
Will there be conservative churches in the Lower Mainland in thirty years? Will I be doing communion and church in my basement? Will there be a court case over the next few decades where a Biblical Christian church and/or organization is condemned by the Provincial or Federal court for not holding to 'Christian' standards, that is, radical liberal church Christian standards.
I am not sure that Canada is much different than British Columbia, although Ontario and Quebec have much higher populations than does BC. The Prairie Provinces may offer me some work opportunities.
Ever year I buy this Football Annual which deals with the English Premier League, UEFA and FIFA.
The Good: I have British citizenship. I would very much like to live in the United Kingdom in the context of seeing more English Premiership football, and I would like to spend time with my friends there.
The Bad: As with BC, and much of Canada it may be difficult to find a place for a moderately conservative theologian to teach theology. Generally, the institutions are quite liberal in the UK. Like the Lower Mainland it is also a quite expensive place to live.
The Satirical: Some of the people there are very nice, but while I was there in Manchester I was bottled, and burgled twice. The NHS provides free health care but they messed up on both my nasal reconstruction and orthodontic work after I was bottled. The GP decided he would 'save me time and money' and so he attempted to straighten my broken nose twice by hand without anesthetic! Blood went all over my pants. 'I'm so sorry he stated'. When the surgeon here in the Lower Mainland (also from the UK) examined my nose he stated the British GP had made it much worse. He noted that 'my nose was almost at my ears'. My crowns had to be completely redone here as my gums were inflamed from the work that had been done in the UK. The crowns were too close to my gums.
After I was assaulted in Manchester, I went to a shop to buy a weapon for self-defence. I eventually bought one of those elongated sticks, which eventually broke back here in BC...cheap! The shop owner initially offered me a samurai sword. Perhaps I should go back there and see what he has to offer, if I move back to the UK!
As my good friend Robin, also from the UK, and now in Florida, has stated, it is difficult to get ahead financially in the UK.
The Good: I do not consider the United States a Christian nation, although it is traditionally Christianized. It is seemingly becoming more secular. There are probably more opportunities for employment as a moderately conservative theology professor there than anywhere else in the world.
The Bad: Unlike with Canada and the UK, I would not have citizenship.
The Satirical: Well Major League Soccer is not exactly major league soccer, is it? The sales job is present in the title of the league.
The Good: I have never been to the Southern Hemisphere and I have heard and read good things about both Australia and New Zealand.
The Bad: Are there many Christian Universities and colleges in these countries that would hire and moderately conservative Christian theologian? I would be a foreigner as I would be in the USA.
The Satirical: Hmm, I suppose these countries may be a little bit like the UK, but with a lot more sun, and a lot less rain, especially in Australia. I bet they do not have as many thugs there as the UK. What do you think, Russell? Sunburn could be a real issue.
If anyone via Blogger, Facebook, or just the web in general has any positive suggestions please leave a comment or send me an email.
And of course comments as usual are appreciated!
Good news, an idea:
I think that working in religious publishing is an option I will consider as well.
Talk about misfortune...
MINDEN, Nev. - Clint Malarchuk, the former NHL goalie best known for having his jugular vein slashed by a skate in a 1989 game with Buffalo, is recovering after accidentally shooting himself in the chin with a rifle.
Malarchuk's wife Christy told sheriff's deputies that the .22-calibre rifle discharged after her husband placed the butt on the ground between his legs. He had been shooting rabbits.
The 47-year-old former player, now a goalie coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets, was flown by helicopter to a Reno hospital for treatment Tuesday.
"Our concern is with Clint and his well-being," the Blue Jackets said in a statement Thursday. "We are optimistic that he will have a full recovery very soon."
Heiligenblut, Austria (photo from trekearth.com)
I am Canadian and do not vote in American elections. Therefore, I do not support either major political party. Even with all his faults, I have to admit Bill Clinton is both likable and intelligent. I am not an economist, but I tend to favour free market approaches with government regulation in order to monitor and to some extent regulate, but not control, the economy.
I can agree with Clinton that much of the current economic crisis relates to homeownership and people taking and receiving loans that they should not have taken and received.
Some of Bill Clinton's thoughts on financial issues from January:
OAKLAND - Homeowners teetering on the edge of foreclosure need immediate help - federal dollars funneled through local relief efforts - before a long-term fix to the mortgage crisis can be hammered out, former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday...
These years have seen "a deliberate attempt to give people more mortgages on more attractive terms because we weren't achieving economic growth any other way," the two-term former president told a hand-picked group of community leaders, homeowners and campaign supporters Wednesday...
"This happened because everyone assumed the only stable part of our economy was home ownership," he said. But even veteran economists didn't seem to see interest rates would rise "if we kept borrowing money like a drunken sailor as a country." What has happened is "a systematic failing of the American economy and the way the mortgage market works," with homeowners - many of whom never missed a monthly payment until those payments suddenly ballooned out of control - taking the hit.
With the net cost to society for every foreclosure hovering somewhere around $250,000 - what with homeowners' losses, neighbors' lowered property values and other costs - "the dumbest thing we can do here is nothing The most expensive way to handle this problem is to let the foreclosures occur."
"We need to stop the bleeding here," he said.
My take on this is philosophical and theological, and not primarily economical.
I have been a student for several years and have accumulated student loan debt and credit card debt related to my academic studies. I would like to earn my PhD and become a professor and get out of debt. I hate being in debt, but with sleep apnea I have not been able to work full-time and work on full-time academic degrees simultaneously. I also have been working 20-30 hours a week at academic theological blogging in order to have recent teaching experience on my curriculum vitae/resume. This can be done on my own time, at strange hours, from home.
I would one day like to have a fairly large house with a large backyard. I would like to have a new car. However, with my present debt and the fact I have been a student for a long time, perhaps I will not be able to own a large house for a time. Perhaps because of debt I will have to live with less, until I can afford more. I may have to settle for renting an apartment or purchasing a small apartment, that is nice, but not my ideal.
It is likely that millions of people in the Western World are, to be blunt, just too materialistic. Perhaps they put too much emphasis on maximizing credit in order to purchase the most expensive home and car, among other things, possible. Financial problems could largely be avoided if persons would live within their means and have a manageable monthly mortgage payment, and a manageable car payment, or perhaps simply hold on to an older car that works fine for a longer period of time.
Philosophically, as a person in debt, I do not think that maximizing credit in order to maximize material possessions is worth it. It is risky and can lead to the type of foreclosure and economic problems we are currently experiencing in the Western World, notably the USA and UK.
A better and wiser approach is to live within one's means, and to live in a way that allows room for error, illness and disaster. If this means a smaller home, and older car, so be it. The peace of financial stability is worth it in my opinion.
Proverbs 22: 7
American King James Version
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
American Standard Version
The rich ruleth over the poor; And the borrower is servant to the lender.
The Christian should pray that greed not be a major factor in financial decisions. I fully believe in bettering oneself, and that includes finacially, but debt should be manageable.
Clinton on Letterman