Monthly Archives: April 2017

Market Analysis: Penny Stocks

This post is a continuation of my Market Analysis series, which began with my post Market Watch. Today I want to cover a topic which was brought up by Elspeth in a couple of comments. Here is the first:

I’m just done, done, done, with pretending that Christ cannot change people deep down and for real. Suppose Paul had been deemed of no earthly use to the Church because of his previous persecution of it.

Which is followed by this:

None of that changes my original assertion that people can and do have sincere changes of heart, and that any person’s decision to reject a certain group of people as mates is fine but let’s kill the “even real and true Christians are damaged beyond any kind of repair as potential mates”.

The issue here is whether some people are so “damaged” that there is no realistic hope of recovery, and thus, eventual marriageability. In the past the word “ruined” might have been used of such cases- as in, ruined for marriage.

First to define “damage” in this context.  A simple explanation would be strains or burdens on someone’s physical/mental/emotional well-being which impair his or her ability to have a successful/stable marriage. [If someone has thoughts on a better explanation please mention below.] I mention all of these because they can and do all affect one’s capacity to be a good spouse.

It is also worth mentioning that these factors- these burdens- are not necessarily the fault of the person in question. Some are- the products of sin, for example. But others might simply be the product of nature (think certain illnesses) or the willful actions of others (the trauma created by abuse, for example).

The way I see it, what we are talking about here is a spectrum of “damage.” Everyone has at least some damage- small things which would get in the way of their being a good husband or wife. However, there is a spread which takes place. Some people have relatively little damage (a few bad habits), and others have a huge amount of damage (think of some stories from the ‘sphere). Now, somewhere on this spectrum is a point where someone is too damaged to be considered marriageable. That is, they are too burdened, as they are at that time, to make a good spouse. [I suspect this point is not fixed- it is heavily influenced by culture and the overall environment- thoughts for another post.]

Now all of this needs to take into account that where people fall in this spectrum changes over time. Sometimes damage is “healed.” Sometimes it gets worse or new damage takes place. So the real question is whether some damage cannot “heal” or get better.

Well, having thought it over some, I think there are some people who are beyond simply “damaged.” These people are broken. I suspect most of my readers know people like this. People who have experienced terrible trauma and struggle with it daily. They are enduring burdens which go beyond the need for ordinary healing- they need out and out miracles. And not the everyday miracles we often overlook- I mean the the kind which are unmistakable.

Now, these miracles do happen. Perhaps my readers know of some instances, either with people they know or have heard of through the grapevine. But all the same, without such miracles those people would not have improved.  Thankfully they are not common. But they do exist.

At the same time, all of this has gotten me thinking about how exactly people “heal.” And how Christian transformations work. I know they work- I have seen them happen first hand. But I have been wondering about the process. Since Elspeth mentioned St. Paul, I think this seems appropriate to ponder:

I must boast; there is nothing to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. Though if I wish to boast, I shall not be a fool, for I shall be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

(2 Corinthians 12:1-10)

Part of me wonders if the transformation is not always about healing. That is, it isn’t about removing the harm or burden. Instead, it is about lending strength to the person in question such that they are able to carry on despite the burden. If so, this is important to understand because there is a marked difference in how they operate.

If the burden is gone, then it should hopefully not come back to haunt someone in the future. But if the burden remains and is covered by grace, then a lapse in faith by the person means that it comes out full force again.

Perhaps my readers have some thoughts on this they would like to share. I am curious to hear what you folks have to say.

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Filed under Alpha Widow, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Men, Moral Agency, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Market Place, Sexual Strategies, Sin, Women

Selected Sunday Scriptures- #130

Today is Thomas Sunday. So named because of the following passage from the Gospel of John:

24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26 Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

(John 20: 24-29)

Here is what St. John Chrysostom had to say about this particular passage:

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said, Except I shall see in His hands —I will not believe.

1. As to believe carelessly and in a random way, comes of an over-easy temper; so to be beyond measure curious and meddlesome, marks a most gross understanding. On this account Thomas is held to blame. For he believed not the Apostles when they said, We have seen the Lord; not so much mistrusting them, as deeming the thing to be impossible, that is to say, the resurrection from the dead. Since he says not, I do not believe you, but, Except I put my hand— I do not believe. But how was it, that when all were collected together, he alone was absent? Probably after the dispersion which had lately taken place, he had not returned even then. But do thou, when you see the unbelief of the disciple, consider the lovingkindness of the Lord, how for the sake of a single soul He showed Himself with His wounds, and comes in order to save even the one, though he was grosser than the rest; on which account indeed he sought proof from the grossest of the senses, and would not even trust his eyes. For he said not, Except I see, but, Except I handle, he says, lest what he saw might somehow be an apparition. Yet the disciples who told him these things, were at the time worthy of credit, and so was He that promised; yet, since he desired more, Christ did not deprive him even of this.

And why does He not appear to him straightway, instead of after eight days? John 20:26 In order that being in the mean time continually instructed by the disciples, and hearing the same thing, he might be inflamed to more eager desire, and be more ready to believe for the future. But whence knew he that His side had been opened? From having heard it from the disciples. How then did he believe partly, and partly not believe? Because this thing was very strange and wonderful. But observe, I pray you, the truthfulness of the disciples, how they hide no faults, either their own or others’, but record them with great veracity.

Jesus again presents himself to them, and waits not to be requested by Thomas, nor to hear any such thing, but before he had spoken, Himself prevented him, and fulfilled his desire; showing that even when he spoke those words to the disciples, He was present. For He used the same words, and in a manner conveying a sharp rebuke, and instruction for the future. For having said,

Reach hither your finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither your hand, and thrust it into My side; He added,

And be not faithless, but believing.

Do you see that his doubt proceeded from unbelief? But it was before he had received the Spirit; after that, it was no longer so, but, for the future, they were perfected.

And not in this way only did Jesus rebuke him, but also by what follows; for when he, being fully satisfied, breathed again, and cried aloud,

My Lord, and my God, He says,
Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.

For this is of faith, to receive things not seen; since, Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1 And here He pronounces blessed not the disciples only, but those also who after them should believe. Yet, says some one, the disciples saw and believed. Yes, but they sought nothing of the kind, but from the proof of the napkins, they straightway received the word concerning the Resurrection, and before they saw the body, exhibited all faith. When therefore any one in the present day say, I would that I had lived in those times, and had seen Christ working miracles, let them reflect, that, Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.

It is worth enquiring, how an incorruptible body showed the prints of the nails, and was tangible by a mortal hand. But be not thou disturbed; what took place was a matter of condescension. For that which was so subtle and light as to enter in when the doors were shut, was free from all density ; but this marvel was shown, that the Resurrection might be believed, and that men might know that it was the Crucified One Himself, and that another rose not in His stead. On this account He arose bearing the signs of the Cross, and on this account He eats. At least the Apostles everywhere made this a sign of the Resurrection, saying, We, who ate and drank with Him.Acts 10:41 As therefore when we see Him walking on the waves before the Crucifixion, we do not say, that that body is of a different nature, but of our own; so after the Resurrection, when we see Him with the prints of the nails, we will no more say, that he is therefore corruptible. For He exhibited these appearances on account of the disciple.

(Source)

I end the post with this passage from Ecclesiastes, along with some thoughts:

12 I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with. 14 I have seen everything that is done under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

15 What is crooked cannot be made straight,
    and what is lacking cannot be numbered.

16 I said to myself, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I applied my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

18 For in much wisdom is much vexation,
    and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

(Ecclesiastes 1: 12-18)

Reading this passage, the truth of it leapt off the page. There are plenty of times in my life when I wish I wasn’t nearly so smart as I am. I imagine that stupidity would make me much happier with my life. I would be blind to most of what was going on around me, and accordingly would be not nearly as troubled as I am. Anyone else ever have similar thoughts?

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Saturday Saints- #126

Tomorrow is Thomas Sunday, so named because of St. Thomas the Apostle. Thus, it seems fitting that he is the saint for today:

Thomas the Apostle (called Didymus which means “the twin” or Mar Thoma in Syriac) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, according to the New Testament. He is informally called doubting Thomas because he doubted Jesus’ resurrection when first told (in the Gospel of John account only), followed later by his confession of faith, “My Lord and my God”, on seeing Jesus’ wounded body.

Tradition claims he travelled outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, travelling as far as Tamilakam which are the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in present-day India. According to tradition, the Apostle reached Muziris, (modern-day North Paravur and Kodungalloor in the state of Kerala, India) in AD 52 and baptized several people, founding what today are known as Saint Thomas Christians or MarThoma Nazranis. After his death, the reputed relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle were enshrined as far as Mesopotamia in the 3rd century, and later moved to various places. In 1258, some of the relics were brought to Abruzzo in Ortona, Italy, where they have been held in the Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle. He is often regarded as the Patron Saint of India, and the name Thoma remains quite popular among Saint Thomas Christians of India.

Much, much more can be found at his wiki, located here.

thomas

 

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Christ is Risen!

Are there any who are devout lovers of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!

Are there any who are grateful servants?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

Are there any weary with fasting?
Let them now receive their wages!

If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their due reward;
If any have come after the third hour,
let him with gratitude join in the Feast!
And he that arrived after the sixth hour,
let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.
And if any delayed until the ninth hour,
let him not hesitate; but let him come too.
And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.
For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour,
as well as to him that toiled from the first.

To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows.
He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.
The deed He honors and the intention He commends.
Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!

First and last alike receive your reward;
rich and poor, rejoice together!
Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!
You that have kept the fast, and you that have not,
rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!

Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one.
Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith.
Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!

Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.

Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.

Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.
He destroyed Hell when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.

Isaiah foretold this when he said,
“You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.”
Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.

Hell took a body, and discovered God.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.

O death, where is thy sting?
O Hell, where is thy victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!

Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!

The Easter sermon of John Chrysostom (circa 400 AD)

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The Burden Of Iniquities

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Who has believed what we have heard?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
    he was bruised for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,
    and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him;
    he has put him to grief;
when he makes himself an offering for sin,
    he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand;
11     he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous;
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out his soul to death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

(Isaiah 53)

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Market Analysis: A Lack Of Confidence

My Market Analysis series continues. Today I want to examine, to some degree, a point I made in Market Watch:

Young men are much less interested in marriage than they were in the past. Having a few more years under my belt since I started blogging, I have seen this more and more. Younger men are just less interested in marriage. The why of this is worthy of a whole post of its own.

I have been thinking over this point for some time, because I knew something was going on, but wasn’t sure what. I am still not certain I have it nailed down, but I will try and address it all the same. [Perhaps this discussion will help fix that.]

While I was thinking this over, it appears that Seriously Please Drop It was on the same wavelength as me. His recent post, Our Fates Are Bound- And Some Good News covered much of what I intended to discuss. So I will quote a great deal from his post. I will start with his second point, because it ties directly to my original observation:

To put it another way: young men have generally ceased to believe what Concept 1 says it is very important that they believe: that they stand a reasonable chance of marrying well.  In response, they work less hard to be eligible husbands.

The standard conservative response has been: No problem, we’ll just lie to them.  Or yell at them.  And that actually worked for a surprisingly long time, but as Dalrock details, that train is running out of steam.

I believe that young men are much less inclined to marry these days in large part because they cannot marry well. Simple cost-benefit analysis, really. The stock isn’t worth the price, and so they won’t play the market, if you will.

Furthermore, I believe this is most pronounced among young men who are devout Christians. Now, among the general population there isn’t a marriage strike going on. [n fact a secular acquaintance of mine got married to his long time GF recently. So secular guys still are interested in marrying.] All the same, I think a drop off is happening. However, it is happening the most among the most devout men.

The reason for this? Well, I don’t think it is just one reason.  I suspect a couple are at play. Some possibilities:

  • Devout Christian men are much more “picky” when it comes to a mate. They are screening for a variety of personality and character traits that are in short supply. If they are convinced that such options aren’t available, they may just give up and opt out of the market.
  • Devout Christian men are presumably more likely to take marriage and marriage vows more seriously.  Looking around, they can see that few do. With that kind of observation comes a natural disinclination to take part in something they perceive as likely to end poorly.
  • Female behavior has become increasingly more egregious. Devout Christian men are the most likely to notice this, and to use this to come to a general determination that women simply aren’t worth it these days.

I am sure there are others, and I invite my readers to supply their own thoughts.

Taken together, all of these are indicators that young men are not confident with the market. They see volatility and watered stocks everywhere. In such circumstances, it makes sense to not want to play the market at all. Which brings us to the next point:

Concept 1:  Marriage requires pre-marital cooperation, and therefore intersexual societal trust

Good grooms and brides do not simply appear from the ether.  Eligibility requires work and self-denial from both sexes, for many years before marriage.

Much of the motivation for this work and self-denial comes from the carrot of marriage.  But for this to work, young people must believe that somewhere in the world, their opposite number is doing the same thing.

The Market relies on both men and women to act appropriately. If one sex misbehaves, then the whole market will start to fall apart. Cooperation is key. As a lawyer once explained to me: “the most basic underlying assumption of contract law is that everyone is operating under good faith. If you take away good faith, you don’t have a contract.” What we have right now is a system where at least one side is perceived as acting in bad faith (if not actually doing so in large part).

Dropit sort of sums everything up in this:

What we are hitting upon here is the importance of morale.  We could aptly describe current failures in the marriage market as a cyclical “Morale Crisis.”  We should start talking about this!

He uses the word morale, and it works. Morale is certainly low. However, I think the underlying basis for that low morale is a lack of confidence or trust in the market. People are convinced that the players in the market are not acting in good faith. Let’s examine in further detail this tidy little bit of wisdom:

“Why prepare for marriage? Guys will always be available”

leads to

“Why prepare for marriage?  There are no girls available”

leads to

“Why prepare for marriage?  There are no guys available.”

Examining it in detail, you can see where bad faith leads us towards. Point 1 is all about women acting in bad faith. The realization of this leads men to stop bothering becoming marriageable, because it is clear to them that women aren’t to be trusted. In turn this leads those women who don’t engage in Point 1 thinking to be convinced that men aren’t serious about marriage, and they in turn throw their hands in the air. It is a vicious cycle with no end-point but an utter lack of trust in the opposite sex and in the institution of marriage.

My attempt at a brief summation: Young men, especially devout Christian men, are not inclined towards marriage because they have come to believe they cannot trust their female counterparts. In turn many of the remaining decent women are also coming to believe they cannot trust the men, either. We cannot begin to fix the marriage market, especially among devout Christians, until we fix the trust issues that exist between men and women.

I am going to hold off on further commentary for the moment. In the meantime I hope my readers will chime in and offer their thoughts.

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Saturday Saints- #125

R is the letter for today. Thus, our saint is Saint Rimbert:

Saint Rimbert (or Rembert) (Flanders, 830 – 11 June 888 in Bremen) was archbishop of Bremen-Hamburg from 865 until his death.

A monk in Turholt (Torhout), he shared a missionary trip to Scandinavia with his friend Ansgar, whom he later succeeded as archbishop in Hamburg-Bremen in 865. He also wrote a biography about Ansgar; Vita Ansgari.

Rimbert was unable to successfully complete the mission work to Denmark and Sweden, begun under Ansgar. He obtained market, coinage and toll rights for the city of Bremen in 888 from Emperor Arnulf of Carinthia and thus considerable improved the financial state of the archbishopric. In 884 he personally led a Frisian army against the Vikings and, after the victorious Battle of Norditi was able to drive them permanently out of East Frisia.

Rimbert is revered as a saint particularly in Frisia. His feast day is 4 February. After Ansgar, epithetised the Apostle of the North, Rimbert is revered as the Second Apostle of the North, besides the missionary Sigfrid of Sweden. Lutherans likewise honor Johannes Bugenhagen.

(Source)

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