39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”
Are there people that you believe are sinner’s that are unworthy of companionship?
People that do disgusting deeds?
People that hold abhorrent views?
God can forgive them all through Jesus.
Sin as Monetary Debt
41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
In the spring of 2017, my family and I purchased two heirloom tomato plants at the local farmer’s market. All of the plants grew like milked weeds until we started noticing that many of the plants had bites taken out of the fruit. A little bugger of critter was swiping our chow!
One of our fine neighbors must have noticed the problem as well, because we noticed a couple of poisoned mice in the coming weeks. One in our yard and one on a sidewalk in our neighborhood.
Time passed along and in the spring of 2018 we noticed a tomato plant sprouting up in our yard. It grew mighty close to an underground termite poison, so we were wary of eating the fruit. However, save the seeds? We will.
Well, I am just an aspiring farmer and have no idea how to save seeds. So, I did what any of y’all would do and duckduckgo’d it. I found this article and have been following it (sort of) closely:
It is already late November, but tomatoes were still growing on our plant, so I collected about 15 of them and chopped them in half, like the article recommended. However, I missed the part about scooping the seeds out, so I had to do that several days later – probably just made it more gross as there was mold and stankiness to deal with. Another deviation from the article was that I waited for 6 days before I removed the seeds and cleaned them and started drying them. I was a little worried at first, because my wife noticed the seeds were hairy! Uh-oh, did they start to germinate? I leveraged duckduckgo again and found this article that says this is how the seeds should look – relief! Article: Another helpful article on saving seeds
Here is a picture of the seeds currently. I will update this article after the seeds are planted.
Why save seeds?
Not too long ago, almost everyone saved seeds. From the graphs on this page, you can see that almost all people used to be involved in agriculture: Decline in agricultural employmentClearly, much of this is due to advances in machinery and technology. But what about the lost knowledge of individuals that no longer can provide their own food? This is a loss of individuals to be independent and thus a loss of certain freedoms.
Additionally, I will leave you with this passage from an alarming article about the reduction in diversity of food sources:
In the last hundred years we have experienced a massive loss of varietal diversity, something that can easily be seen in supermarket grocery stores. In 1903 there were 288 varieties of beet available, by 1983 there were 17 [RAFI USA] and the average supermarket consumer is likely to be aware of only one or two. There are many reasons for this, but the take away for this article is that diversity is good and we are losing it.
Unlike almost all other tech companies that farm out users personal data for profit, Brave has found a way to be available for free, while still protecting the privacy of its users and allowing advertisers to get their products in front of customers. This is amazing, the best of all worlds!
I have been using the Brave browser for about 10 months on iPhone and Mac. For about four years before, I had used Safari and Chrome. Before that, I used Internet Explorer and Firefox.
At this point, I am able to use Brave almost exclusively with only two real drawbacks that affect me:
not being able to select it as the default browser on the iPhone
the syncing feature is not yet implemented between the Mac and iPhone
The BAT token is the vehicle by which all of the magic occurs. BAT tokens are a currency that can be passed around between blog readers, Youtube channel subscribers, advertisers, and publishers. The BAT token has been trading between 10 cents and 1 USD for the past year, but this value is so far just in speculation. The real price discovery will happen with the usage of the browser and its advertising platform.
BAT Token Promotion:
Brave has been running a promotion to help onboard users. Brave has been giving BAT tokens to users of the Brave browsers. These promotional tokens are deposited into the wallet within the browser and are available for tipping websites or automatic contributions to websites of Brave Verified Publishers.
This website is a Brave verified publisher. At this point in the development of the Brave platform, if you are using the Brave browser and have enabled automatic contributions to your favorite websites, your Brave browser may contribute to farawaystars.com in proportion to the time you have spent on this website. If you are using the most up to date browser, you can click the BAT icon in the URL bar and tip farwaystars.com.
Although the ways publishers can be compensated is limited currently; in time, the Brave ecosystem may look something like this:
I do not remember learning much about the men spoke of in 1 Chronicles 11:10-47 in Sunday School when I was growing up. But I sure wish I would have!
God provided wonderfully powerful men to David to make him king. It is interesting to me that these warriors are spoken of as heroes and highly regarded. Their deeds are certainly celebrated.
22 Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who [k]had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. 23 And he killed an Egyptian, a man of great height, [l]five cubits tall. In the Egyptian’s hand there was a spear like a weaver’s beam; and he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. 24 These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and won a name among three mighty men. 25 Indeed he was more honored than the thirty, but he did not attain to the first three. And David appointed him over his guard.
What sort of grand plan does God have that has not been revealed to us?
Every day is full of wonder and beauty; yet for everything and every event that produces joy, there is a counter. For instance: the beauty of the mountains vs. the ugliness of a landfill; the touching kindness of volunteers and altruists vs. the cruelty of dictators and criminals; the ecstasy achieved in athletics vs. the devastation of disease.
In Psalm 10, the psalmist focuses on the evil that men do and asks why God does not intervene. Not only that, the psalmist notes that evil men appear to be experiencing victory at the expense of the poor.
The NKJV study bible contains a comment on Psalm 10:1, the first line: “Why do you stand afar off, O Lord”. The note states that “these are classic words of lament or morning”. Indeed, this is a classic question.
Why does God allow such suffering as we see in the world?
How does it make you feel to know that in your ‘user data’ that a company stores likely takes many gigabytes? check yours here
What is your reaction to the knowledge that each of your personal emails with a certain company has been inspected, analyzed, and preserved in order to better create a profile of your personality and to document the changes in your priorities and interests over time?
Do you approve of the fact that the same company presents modified search results to you based on the profile it has crafted for you?
Does a person that wants privacy from strangers have something to hide?
Is it ok for a company to cooperate with a tyrannical government in silencing and oppressing its citizens?
Perhaps it is due to just how good capable Google’s software is that has brought me to this point. A fairly recent update to the email service reveals options for quick replies to emails that are creepily context aware. The thought of every email that I write being read, analyzed, understood, and saved forever really popped to the forefront of my thoughts when I saw that feature. The uneasiness that feature gave me combined with news of Project Dragonfly directs me to find an alternative for email, calendars, alternate phone numbers, and many more services that Google provided so well.
As luck would have it, a suitable and awesome competitor presented itself for email: Protonmail.
“ProtonMail uses Zero-Access Encryption, which means it is technically impossible for us to decrypt user messages. Zero-Access Encryption applies to all messages in your mailbox, even messages which did not come from other ProtonMail users.” This ensures the emails are not read by bots and then analyzed for ways to manipulate you into buying goods and services. Because of this, there is a charge to store anything over 500MB of data in your emails, Protonmail’s product is not you.
Protonmail also has a neat feature that allows you to use your own domain name for your email address and it works very much like Google Apps does.
You will need your own domain name to do this. This tutorial uses SiteGround.
Purchase your domain name if you don’t already have one.
When the auction ends (5 days), you can enter your domain at myetherwallet.com under the ENS tab to see if you won. If you did, you can ‘finalize’ the domain.
Finalizing the domain includes setting the resolver for your name and setting the address to which your name will resolve (I selected an address that I can receive payments at). All of this is laid out in step-by-step directions at myetherewallet.com.
Now, I can receive payments at farawaystars.eth.
The domain name can also resolve to a contract address. This will be . a topic in a later post.
Go to start.ledgerwallet.com and follow the instructions there to prepare the hardware wallet.
Initializing the Ledger Nano S:
I am not going to give detailed instructions on how to get the device up and running as they are available at start.ledgerwallet.com and may change with future updates. The current instructions are easy to follow and included installing the Ledger Live app, initializing your Ledger Nano S by creating a pin and saving your recovery seed (very important!). After that, you need to install apps to the Ledger Nano S and then add accounts to your device before adding your crypto accounts.
Operating the Ledger Nano S:
The Ledger Nano S has only two buttons, and it has menus to navigate. This is accomplished by using the left button as a ‘up’ or ‘left’ button, the right button as an ‘down’ or ‘right’ button and both buttons simultaneously as an ‘enter’ or ‘continue’ command.
Sending crypto to your Ledger Nano S:
Using the Ledger Live app that you have installed to your computer, you can select one of your accounts on the lower left corner of the app. Once the account is selected, ‘Send’ and ‘Receive’ buttons are visible. Selecting the ‘Receive’ button will give you the address at which the Ledger Nano S can receive funds for that account. The address shown can be copied and pasted into the app you are sending crypto from (or given to a friend so that they can send crypto to you).
Of course, one of the cool things that blockchain allows you to do is to view the immutable ledger that records all transactions. Here is my first transaction on the Ledger Nano S:
Like many cryptocurrency enthusiasts, I have seen this posted on Reddit and other internet hangouts many times. There are a few reasons to have your coins on an exchange:
Ease of acquiring
Ease of trading
Less effort to setup and maintain a wallet
However, storing coins on an exchange is in conflict with one of the great advantages of cryptocurrencies:
Counter party risk
Bitcoin has not been hacked, but exchanges seem to be routinely hacked. Storing coins on an exchange exposes the owner of the coins to the same risks of the traditional banking system (i.e. getting locked out of your account, having your funds frozen ,etc.). Where as properly protected coins can be protected from these things.Bad players – storing coins on an exchange equals trusting that the exchanges owners and employees will not steal your coins.
After considering this, as a newbie to crypto, I downloaded the Jaxx wallet and the Bread (now BRD) wallet and stored my crypto on my phone. Maybe many people do this, it certainly is convenient.
Storing crypto on a phone has some advantages:
Purchasing goods and services at local vendors is convenient with a phone wallet, it is always with you.
The phone wallets are very easy to use and all the ones that I have used are available free of charge.
BUT….phones are connected to the internet nearly 24/7 and are therefore able to be attacked 24/7. This is a significant disadvantage and risk as you start to acquire more crypto.
This risk associated with phone wallets creates an opportunity for manufacturers of secure hardware devices that are not connected to the internet. This is why I checked out the Ledger Nano S.
Coinbase is a large cryptocurrency service and exchange in the US that has more than 13 million users as of 11/17. It was founded in 2011 and is very popular and easy to use.
Coinbase practices full anti-money laundering and know your customer compliance. This results in some rather intrusive information being requested from the would be cryptocurrency buyer. If you become a Coinbase customer, be prepared to to submit to your computer’s camera taking a photo/video of you and your legal identification document. It is even more intrusive than opening a bank account in the US.
Despite following all these regulations and precautions that put all customer’s private information in a centralized database that increases risk to all customers from bad actors, Coinbase found itself in a battle with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS, despite not having clear rules on how to handle cryptocurrencies, was , nevertheless, concerned that some of Coinbase’s customers may not be paying enough taxes.
Therefore, the IRS, acting in rogue fashion issued a ‘John Doe’ summons. That is, a summons in which the IRS named no particular suspect and no particular crime – just a suspicion that someone, somewhere has interacted with Coinbase’ services in an illegal way. Now, I am no lawyer, but this seems to be a clear violation of the 4th amendment to the United States constitution:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
This is appears to be just another instance that proves to me that the US Constitution is no longer the supreme law of the land.
Coinbase did put up a fight, and I believe did the best they could to protect their customers.
Just be aware that the IRS, although not clear about how people should file earnings on cryptocurrencies does expect these earnings to be filed.
To become a Coinbase customer, sign up with the link below (this is an affiliate link).
143 million U.S. customers are vulnerable to having their identity and money stolen and credit rating ruined because they have given this information and these funds to a trusted third party. Equifax surley tried to protect this data, but it is just a very large honeypot that is tempting to cyber criminals.
If each customer was responsible for their own funds, the hacker would not receive nearly as large of a reward for each hack. Alternatively, it would require much more work to hack all 143 million people individually. This is the safety in the decentralization that Bitcoin provides.
The DNC hack shows that even some of the most powerful organizations in the world are vulnerable to being breached.
Bitcoin works differently than the digital dollars we mostly use now. With Bitcoin, each individual holds onto their own money – similar to cash. Also, the coins are cryptographically secured and cannot be tampered with. Bitcoin can be transferred person to person without the need for a bank or credit card company.
One thing to note about this is that storing bitcoin on an exchange removes these advantages and makes the bitcoin just as vulnerable as Target and Equifax are.
The U.S. government is now over 20 trillion dollars in debt. Here is a detailed article on the relationship between sovereign debt and inflation:
Bitcoin addresses some of the shortcomings in the financial system that we use currently. As it becomes more widely known and used, Bitcoin enthusiasts believe it may not just complement, but replace the current system.