Sunday, October 23, 2016

Revelation 14:14-20 -- The Time HAS Come

Reaping the Earth’s Harvest
Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”  So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

Reaping the Grapes of Wrath
Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.
Revelation 14:14-20

Pastor Danny Forshee.  Great Hills Baptist Church.  May 17, 2015:

The Time Has Come - Dr. Danny Forshee - May 17, 2015 from Great Hills Baptist Church on Vimeo.

  1. The Grain Harvest (vv. 14-16)
    -  Daniel 7:13-14
    - Joel 3:13
    - John 10:17-18
    - Philippians 2:7-8
  2. The Grape Harvest (vv. 17-20)
  • I am just so excited about the Lord's return.
  • When Jesus comes, it is going to be a day of reckoning.
  • You see the wrath of God poured out on sinful man.
  • We are past needing Judgement but God continues extending GRACE.
  • Whenever you come across a text like this you have two choices: Believe it or don't believe it.
  • The Jesus of the Gospels is the same Jesus as the Jesus of the apocalypse.
  • I know you don't want to hear it but, in Jesus' name, listen to me...either you repent or you go to hell and you will have no one to blame except yourself.
  • 70 to 80% of men in the Church watch pornography.
  • Either your sins will be paid by Jesus on the cross or by yourself in hell.
    • "I don't want to go to hell, I want to go to Jesus."
    • The person behind all of this is God.
    • "It's not that He's not speaking, it's that we're not listening...and we have only ourselves to blame."
    • "Just come, Lord Jesus, come."
      • "I hope that you know Him."
    • "God, please forgive us."
    • "God, come what us endure afflictions."
    • "Some of our people, Lord, need to get right with you."

    Saturday, October 22, 2016

    Patrick refuses to rubber stamp university hiring....

    "Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord."
    Colossians 3:20

    This is GREAT:

    Bottom Line: There's a lot of inside baseball and "capitol speak" in Patrick's letter, but the most important takeaway is that the Senate will no longer rubber stamp this category of university expenditures.

    Friday, October 21, 2016

    Jeremy Story's pro-Student, pro-Taxpayer, agenda for Austin Community College...

    "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
    1 Peter 5:8

    [Author's Note: We didn't record the specific sources Jeremy cited for his factual claims in our notes.  That being said, they all came from various governmental entities.  That being said, you can contact the campaign for more specific information here.]

    We finally had an opportunity to hear Jeremy Story speak last night.  He's running for the Austin Community College board of trustees, place 9.  He's running to promote better student outcomes and greater fiscal accountability for taxpayers.

    ACC ranks near the bottom of community college systems in Texas in terms of positive student outcomes.  Positive outcomes are defined as completion of an associates degree, transferring to a four year college, or obtaining a trade certification.  We were astonished to learn that only 4% of ACC students transfer to a four year school.

    Story wants to focus on core functions of students success.  He wants to increase the number of academic advisers to shepherd students through the bureaucracy, especially the first 15 hours.  Currently, there are 700 students for every adviser, so it shouldn't surprise us that there's a high dropout rate.  He also wants to increase the number of dual credit courses in local high schools.  He wants to streamline the online registration process, which we've heard described as a "nightmare" from various quarters over the years.  Finally, he wants to increase the focus on certification for skilled trades.  These are all things a community college should, by definition, be doing.

    On the pro-taxpayer side, Jeremy Story is the only candidate running for any ACC trustee position who supports a moratorium on tax hikes.  Considering the gigantic tax hike ACC passed last month, this is important.  Considering that ACC recently ran a $9 million surplus, there's plenty of money available as long as the organization focuses on core responsibilities.

    As an example of core responsibilities, he discussed a recent proposal to expand CapMetro service to the various campuses.  Whatever the merits of such an idea it is, at best, a long term solution.  To paraphrase Story: "It may or may not make sense to make it easier for a student in Austin to attend a class in Round Rock, but in the meantime why don't we make it possible for that same student to take that course online from their living room?!?"

    Also, he's a YCTer from the UT chapter; to put it mildly, that speaks well of him.

    Bottom Line: Anyone who gives the Austin Chronicle a conniption fit is off to a good start, but it was good to flesh out specifics.

    Thursday, October 20, 2016

    TPPF defends landowners from Feds with Guns....

    "If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed, and lets loose his animal, and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard."
    Exodus 22:5

    New developments in the Red River case:

    TPPF Defends Red River Landowners
    From Armed Searches

    AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) today filed a response to the Bureau of Land Managements motion to compel access to property owned by TPPF’s clients in Aderholt, et al. v. Bureau of Land Management, et. al. TPPF’s Center for the American Future represents individual property owners, the counties of Wichita, Clay, and Wilbarger, and the Clay County Sheriff in the lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) unconstitutional and arbitrary seizure of thousands of acres of private property along the Red River in Texas.

    To read the response to defendant’s motion to compel access to individual plaintiffs’ lands, please visit:

    “The Department of Justice and Bureau of Land Management’s demand to enter upon our Clients’ properties with armed federal law enforcement officers is outrageous,” said Robert Henneke, General Counsel and Director of the Center for the American Future at TPPF. “The individual landowners, like Ken Aderholt, simply want to be left alone and have their private property rights respected. Now, without any legitimate justification, the federal government insists that armed guards accompany federal surveyors onto our Clients’ properties. Our Clients have not broken the law, and BLM’s demand violates their Constitutional rights. On behalf of our Clients, the Center for the American Future has filed strong objections with the federal district court and will fiercely defend our Clients’ private property rights before the Court.”
    Read the whole thing here.

    Independent Businesses along "Corridors" wise up to Adler's Bond

    "Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
    But a just weight is His delight."
    Proverbs 11:1

    Take this story, multiply it at least 1000 times over (esp. on Burnet rd. and South Lamar), and you begin to gain a picture of the devastation this bond will cause if it passes:
    More Austin business owners are getting upset as they learn what effect passage of Proposition One will have on their livelihoods. Ashley Schor is the owner of "Bead-It", a jewelry supply store that's been on South Lamar near Oltorf. She says the corridor plans for Lamar would likely cut her income in half during construction. "It's going to change the landscape of this whole entire strip of businesses. So it will make Austin look like wall-to-wall condos."

    Schor has lived in Austin all her life and has been in business here for fifteen years. She says the corridor plans aligned with Proposition One mean her store and old oak trees on the land could be endangered, to make way for the city's preferred streetscapes. "And it will also destroy all these old houses that are just floating, barely hanging on by a thread. It will just knock us all out, one by one by one by one."

    Schor says she is considering repainting the outside of her store to protest Proposition One.
    Read the whole thing here.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2016

    Will Pool's spiteful NIMBYism derail new housing?!?

    "And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[a] There is no other commandment greater than these."
    Mark 12:31

    [Author's Note: Read the first linked Austin Monitor article here, and the second one here.]

    We first discussed the Grove three weeks ago; some new developments:
    ARG Bull Creek Ltd. is ratcheting up pressure on City Council members to approve the Grove at Shoal Creek, a massive planned unit development it hopes to build on a 75-acre lot at the corner of Bull Creek Road and 45th Street.

    In a letter addressed yesterday to Mayor Steve Adler and all 10 members of Council, Jeff Howard, an attorney for the developer, states that the company will abandon its plans for a planned unit development if Council adopts a number of changes to the project offered by Council Member Leslie Pool, the leading opponent of ARG’s proposed project.

    If ARG ditches the PUD application and instead pursues conventional zoning, the developer warns, the resulting project will be a group of expensive single-family homes rather than a mixed-use development that includes affordable housing, office space, retail and more parkland than would be required under conventional zoning.

    Among the many amendments Pool has proposed, the one the developers view as the most unworkable would reduce the number of daily vehicle trips the project is allowed to generate by 25 percent, from roughly 24,000 to roughly 18,000.

    That limit, argues Howard in the letter, would result in a nearly 50 percent reduction in office space, a 33 percent reduction in retail development and a 25 percent reduction in residential units.

    Pool and the Bull Creek Road Coalition, a neighborhood coalition that Pool used to lead and that opposes the current Grove proposal, have said they do not object to the amount of housing proposed for the site. Instead, they want less commercial space on the site.

    ARG has countered, however, that if it reduced vehicle trip counts only by reducing commercial space, the commercial development allowed would be too small to create the necessary “critical mass” of retail.
    In other words, rather than taking a meaningful step to address Austin's housing shortage, Pool wants to continue business as usual.

    Also, the notion that the opponents only object to the commercial space is nothing more than a disingenuous stall tactic.

    Then this happened:
    Mayor Steve Adler hopes to start the process of approving the Grove at Shoal Creek, a controversial planned unit development in Central Austin, at City Council’s next meeting on Thursday.

    At a Council work session on Tuesday, Adler explained to Council colleagues that he supports approving a draft plan of the PUD on “first reading” at their next meeting. He noted, however, that whatever is approved on the first reading (of the required three) will simply be a “placeholder” draft that he will be open to changing after further talks with city staff, neighborhood groups and the developers pushing the project.

    Adler suggested that the “placeholder” ordinance largely mirror the recommendation made by the Zoning and Platting Commission in July but incorporate some of the amendments proposed by Council Member Leslie Pool that would reduce the amount of retail and commercial space allowed on the now-vacant 75-acre field at the corner of Bull Creek Road and 45th Street.
    So...Pool's stalling has gotten us to a situation where Adler's office is trying to "broker a compromise."  Great.  That usually works out swimmingly.

    We honestly don't know what to say.  We have no idea what will happen.  We find ourselves tempted to use language inconsistent with a family friendly website, but will suffice to say that this is a textbook example of 'governance' under Austin's old guard.

    Bottom Line: We live in a city with a chronic housing shortage.  Someone wants to build LOTS of housing.  How is this even controversial?!?

    Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    Paxton helps TPPF protect local Austin taxpayers!!!

    "By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted,
    But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked."
    Proverbs 11:11

    This is great:

    Texas Attorney General Intervenes in TPPF & Goldwater Institute Lawsuit to Halt Taxpayer-Funded Union Employees Agreement

    AUSTIN – The Texas Attorney General today filed a plea in intervention in Pulliam, et. al. v. City of Austin, et. al., a lawsuit filed by the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) and Goldwater Institute challenging the City’s labor agreement with Austin Firefighters Association, Local 975. The lawsuit, filed last month, seeks  to halt the practice of “release time” also known as “association business leave,” and “union leave,” which assigns city employees to work for the union at taxpayer expense. The agreement violates the Texas Constitution “gift clause” provision that prohibits government from giving taxpayer funds to private entities without a public purpose.

                TPPF General Counsel and Director of the Center for the American Future Robert Henneke said, “The City of Austin’s illegal release time agreement with the firefighters’ union hurts all citizens. By choosing to fund private political activities, the City diverts these resources from public safety services for Austin residents. As this practice negatively impacts the public as a whole, Plaintiffs applaud the Attorney General to intervene in order to represent the interests of all Texans.”
    Read the whole thing here.