Why were the Ten Commandments given to the Israelites?

God went to the Assyrians and said, “I have a list of 100 commandments I would like you to follow. “

“Okay, give us an example. “

“Thou shalt not kill “

“Sorry, but that would really cramp our style. Not interested. “

God went to the Phoenicians. “I have a list of 50 commandments I would like you to follow. “

“Like what? “

“Though shalt not commit adultery”

“Are you serious? No man would agree to that. “

Disheartened, God went to Moses. “I have one commandment I would your people to follow. “

“How much does it cost? “ Moses asked.

“Nothing, “ said God. “It’s free. “

“Okay, I’ll take ten.”


Buried Alive…

A man and a woman were found together in a grave after she was buried ALIVE with her dead husband. “The wife who made the ultimate sacrifice for a 3,000-year loving embrace.”

The woman was willingly entombed alive in order to accompany her husband to the next world, archeologists believe.

Autopsy experts say it would not be possible to place the woman’s body in such a loving position if she was already dead.

The experts say it is likely the woman chose to die and be buried with her husband. They believe she may have drunk poison as she climbed into the grave and embraced her recently dead partner.

The pair, from the prehistoric Vysotskaya – or Wysocko – Culture were found near Petrykiv village, south of the city of Ternopil in western Ukraine.

Professor Mykola Bandrivsky – who conducted a study of ‘loving couple burials’ – said: ‘It is a unique burial, a man and a woman lying there, hugging each other tightly.

‘Both faces were gazing at each other, their foreheads were touching.

‘The woman was lying on her back, with her right arm she was tenderly hugging the man, her wrist lying on his right shoulder.

‘The legs of the woman were bent at the knees – lying on the top of the men’s stretched legs.

‘Both the dead humans were clad in bronze decorations, and near the heads was placed some pottery items – a bowl, a jar and three bailers.’


From Frank

A friend of mine dated a girl once whose nickname was “bad sushi”. I never thought about it at the time but maybe she worked there?  Advice on this sermonette is that you should never eat bad sushi.


July 1

California raised the gas tax by $.03/gallon to pay for healthcare for illegal aliens. I guess they feel that it’s nice to pay for the less fortunate, who arrive in violation of the law in the US with a myriad of diseases and healthcare needs. The law and benefit do not apply to California residents or Americans who may be visiting California,  except to the extent that they buy gasoline and pay the tax.


Disarm the IRS Act?

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz has introduced legislation to prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from acquiring, by purchase or otherwise, any ammunition. It was recently revealed that the IRS purchased $725,000 worth of ammunition between March and June.

It’s troubling that in 2022 alone, the IRS has spent around $725,000 on ammunition.


Russian Salt Mines


My father used to say, “well I’m off to the salt mine” when he went to work. He wasn’t a miner…but the statement never evoked these photos of the inside of a Russian salt mine.

The photo (below) is of me crossing a salt lake in the California desert in the heat of summer in my Toyota FJ. It’s more in keeping with my vision of a “salt mine”.


Navigating the rocks and shoals between Virtue and Vice


  1. The local preacher, on a number of occasions, has referred to the dynamic tension of scripture. Trying to keep the right balance between verses SHOULD keep a person humble. It is my understanding that the Greek word used for humble was also used for a proud stallion that has reached the point where it is willing to learn.

    • Little children are often set forth as the example of one who can be taught, who readily forgives and loves.

      • I have to admit to being somewhat sleep deprived, as my current sleep pattern is a series of one to two hour naps during the daytime. I cannot remember now if the stallion reference was for the word humble or the word meek. Right now I’m leaning toward the latter. However, I would not be surprised if there is some overlap.
        We are told to ‘study to show yourself approved’ and yet we see some who study so they can show off how approved they are, while others study so they have more ammo to castigate others for not being approved enough. In neither of those cases does a humble awareness of our own need for God’s word show itself.

  2. And a minute later, thinking on it, Moses said, “I’ll make a deal with you…”
    “According to the Talmud, Deuteronomy 33:4 is to be interpreted to mean that Moses transmitted the Torah from God to the Israelites: “Moses commanded us the Torah as an inheritance for the community of Jacob”.[6]

    The Talmud notes that the Hebrew numerical value (gematria) of the word Torah is 611, and combining Moses’s 611 commandments with the first two of the Ten Commandments which were the only ones heard directly from God, adds up to 613.[7] The Talmud attributes the number 613 to Rabbi Simlai, but other classical sages who hold this view include Rabbi Simeon ben Azzai[8] and Rabbi Eleazar ben Yose the Galilean.[9] It is quoted in Midrash Shemot Rabbah 33:7, Bamidbar Rabbah 13:15–16; 18:21 and Talmud Yevamot 47b.

    Many Jewish philosophical and mystical works (e.g. by Baal HaTurim, the Maharal of Prague and leaders of Hasidic Judaism) find allusions and inspirational calculations relating to the number of commandments.

    The tzitzit (“knotted fringes”) of the tallit (“[prayer] shawl”) are connected to the 613 commandments by interpretation: principal Torah commentator Rashi bases the number of knots on a gematria: the word tzitzit (Hebrew: ציצת (Biblical), ציצית, in its Mishnaic spelling) has the value 600. Each tassel has eight threads (when doubled over) and five sets of knots, totalling 13. The sum of all numbers is 613. This reflects the concept that donning a garment with tzitzit reminds its wearer of all Torah commandments.[10]”

    • There are a lot of commandments in the Torah…some conflict if you have a contentious mind. Or you can parce them based on your own preferences but that seems to defeat the purpose.

      • God creates 10 and immediately man spends millennia trying to figure out work-arounds, proving exactly why God sent them.

        • We have Deuteronomy because Leviticus wasn’t enough. That the Savior quoted Deuteronomy to prove a point is interesting and important.

          • Yes, critical. Yet so many forget or outright deny what’s contained within their “in His image” DNA.

  3. The loving couple – I’m no fan of Abe Lincoln for a variety of reasons but he was supposed to have explained that the difference between “involvement” and “commitment” was best understood by examining the relationships in a ham and eggs breakfast. The chicken is involved, of course, but the pig…….the pig was committed to the process.

  4. The “virtue continuum” is not an XOR (exclusive OR where it’s one or the other but not both). Rather, sometimes it almost seems a circle where both “extremes” eventually meet.

    Examples of what I mean:
    1. Integrity: Often the most corrupt are also those who are most adept at splitting legal hairs. (Pick your favorite Congress creature.)
    2. Discernment: those with the most foolish notions are those quickest to judge and to condemn others. (Take your average blue-haired land whale. Or your adherent of sleazy tele-evangelists.)
    3. Humility: self-degradation through deviance is now called pride. (Y’all can figure that one out.)

  5. I forgot to mention in the sermonette that it is LSP’s birthday. You could shuffle over to his blog and give him warm regards or you can have more fun roasting him here. It”s up to you.

    • Not long ago, LSP started hanging out with this Arab woman and as I predicted, she threw him over like a sack of potatoes. She was the wrong woman for you, LSP. Her wrath knew no bounds. LSP ended up in the hospital, the victim of a violent assault. He doesn’t like to talk about it, but giving her an apple doesn’t seem to be what she wanted. Is it ever enough?

  6. Great stuff this morning LL…seems society is lacking in both gratitude (flipside being humility) and commitment. Can’t make decisions in a vacuum, and one must get outside themselves once in a while, or better, a lot. No one owes “you” a damn thing (as drilled into me by my father).

    You sure LSP knows it’s his b-day? We men tend to think of it as just another day, best started quiet with a cup of coffee on the porch overlooking the domain…with cake at the end, preferably without the ever-growing campfire candle set.

    • LSP’s mother, who I’ve met, and his sisters, who I’ve also met, won’t let him forget. And I suspect that his congregation knows, and then I’m outing him here on the blog…he knows.

      • Brats, burgers, and dogs, beans and coleslaw, followed by fruit salad and ice cream and cake. Not a bad b-day party with the congregation…proving they love his shepharding.

        • *shepherding…although maybe he challenges them well so “shepharding” may be more correct. What good is a pastor or priest if there is no challenge (a point MrsPaulM suggested I include for every service, later discovering some don’t like to be challenged)?

  7. What a good sermon and I especially enjoyed the “golden mean” infographic, nice. And what a sacrifice that woman made. Surely she had something to… help her on?

  8. The Virtue Continuum is thought provoking and I sent it out to a few others to contemplate.
    I can see some relationship to the Use of Force Continuum in that ones actions change according to the threat/circumstances and your location on the continuum. but I am a fan of sometimes “killing a fly with a sledge hammer to send a message to the other flies.”

    I found it interesting that way down on the list of the 613 commandments was that every soldier should carry a shovel.
    Digging seems to have been a secondary MOS since armies have existed.

    Re. Arabs:
    I had a Leopard Appy colt that I had the vet come out to cut.
    As the anesthesia was wearing off the colt tried to stand, faltered, and immediately lay back down.
    The vet commented that although the colt appeared to have Arab in his bloodline it was obvious that he did not.
    I asked why was that obvious?
    The vet said the colt was smarter than an Arab, because he had decided to lay down until the world stopped spinning before getting to his feet. Those Arabs sure are pretty, though.
    He did agree with me that women whose horses are their primary focus in life are a little nuts, also that blue-eyed paints are the redheads of the horse world.

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