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Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas: “The Rightful King Has Landed”

During this season it is often said that the Christmas Story, the story of the birth of Jesus, is “the greatest story ever told.” I believe that the Christmas Story, the story of the birth of Jesus, is a beginning of the greatest story ever told.

We must never forget that at this time of year, we celebrate much more than a birthday. As the great Christian apologist C.S. Lewis put it, Christmas is the story of how “the rightful King has landed.” When Jesus stood before the Roman governor Pilate, just prior to going to His execution, Pilate asked Him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” After some discussion Pilate concluded to Jesus, “You are a king, then!” Jesus answered him, saying, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world…”

Of course, Jesus was not just any king; He was a king with a holy mission. He was a king who was born to die. “Amazing love, how can it be, that you my king would die for me.” Jesus was, and is, our Savior King. As author Charles Sell put it,

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.

The “good news of great joy” that no less than the angel of the Lord reported to the shepherds was that, “today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you…” The late-great Charles Schultz was right. The heart and soul of the Christmas story is, as Linus perfectly recited, “[B]ehold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

Of course, as did the CBS executives during Schultz’s time, those fearful of the true meaning of Christmas go to great lengths to hide the truth. Today children (and adults) are bombarded with deceptive (but alluring) messages about “Christmas Spirit” and how Christmas is about “spreading joy throughout the world” and “a time for warmth and brotherly love” (as a recent TV cartoon declared). Even Dickens’ iconic A Christmas Carol is bereft of the complete message of Christmas.

One author I encountered a few years ago foolishly described the “hidden meaning” of Christmas as a:

festival of the human heart. It is a time of year when all the universe conspires to raise the vibratory level of consciousness on earth to one of peace and love toward ourselves and one another. This season resonates to the sweet, childlike innocence that resides in all of us; A time when the heavenly forces inspire us to shift our focus away from fear and toward one of joy, and healing.

Of course, peace, brotherly love, and spreading joy are not bad things, but they are far from the “heart and soul” of Christmas. “Hark! The herald angels sing; glory to the newborn King!” So Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior King. This is the reason for the conflict and contention that we sometimes encounter at Christmas time. This is why so many fear a Nativity scene, a Christmas tree, or even a meek “Merry Christmas.”

Who wants to be confronted with the idea that maybe they are ignoring the most significant event in human history? Who wants to be reminded that perhaps Jesus Christ really was (and is) our Savior King? Of course, God sending His Son as a Savior implies that we need “saving.” The most quoted verse in the Bible, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Less well known, but just as important, is the very next verse. John 3:17 says, “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” This begs the question, “From what or whom do we need to be saved?”

In John chapter 8, Jesus says, “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” What does it mean to “die in your sins?” Romans chapter 6 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In other words, we need to be “saved” from the eternal consequences of our sin. There is eternal life with Jesus, and apart from Him, death and eternal separation from God.

This is why so many Christians are so celebratory at Christmas time. Yes, there are presents and parties and time off from work, but for Christians who truly understand what was done for them on that first Christmas day, nothing compares to the gift of eternal life through Jesus. Christmas is a celebration of God’s greatest gift meeting humanity’s most desperate need. Those who reject the need for salvation, or reject the miracle of Jesus, or reject their sin for what it really is, are “offended” by Christmas.

Such people don’t want to hear that Jesus came to die for their sins. They don’t want to hear of the many miracles that surround the birth of the Savior. They don’t want to hear that their greed, lust, or pride is sin. They want to go their own way; thus, they display perverse “Gay Pride Festivus Poles” or Satanic Baphomet statues (which was justly destroyed). And again, we’ve all been there. May God empower those of us who see Christmas for what it truly is, who see Jesus for who He really is, to spread His message of hope, love, peace, and salvation to all we encounter, all year-round. Merry Christmas!

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

Friday, December 8, 2023

Bidenflation Right Before Your Eyes: December 2023 Kroger Prices vs. December 2019 Kroger Prices

The economy is the single most concerning political issue for Americans. If you are honest and are simply paying decent attention to what is going on in America, you already know this. If you need a source other than your eyes and ears, there are multiple polling agencies, including Gallup and Pew, that reveal this to be the case.

More specifically, inflation is the most cited political issue by a plurality of Americans. Thanks to the foolish economic policies of the Biden administration, the price increases that have plagued the U.S. the past few years have hit most Americans quite hard. In other words, “Bidenomics” is best described as “Bidenflation.”

Of course, Joe Biden, his Democrat colleagues, and his nefarious media apologists are working overtime to attempt to gaslight as many Americans as possible when it comes to the U.S. economy. Biden and his ilk have gone so far as to claim that Americans’ concerns on inflation are due to “disinformation” spread via social media. As Joy Pullmann at The Federalist recently put it, “It’s not social media making inflation top of Americans’ minds, it’s every trip to every store.”

Like tens-of-millions of other Americans, my wife and I know this all too well. And like most Americans dismayed by inflation, the grocery store is where we are most frequently reminded of “Bidenflation.” With this in mind, I took it upon myself to do a bit of research.

We have a large Kroger grocery store very near our house and shop there often, usually multiple times a week. Using a current Kroger weekly ad and a Kroger weekly ad from early December of 2019, for multiple popular grocery store items, I compared prices. The results were telling.

I chose December because that is the current month, and I chose 2019 because this is just prior to the Covid economy and the Biden economy, when inflation really took off. Finding old Kroger weekly ads proved more difficult than I thought, so I went with what I found most quickly. Thus, I used the December 4-10, 2019 weekly ad from a Kroger in Russellville, Arkansas.

For accuracy, I used last week’s weekly ad (11/29-12/5) from Russellville, Arkansas. However, after a same-day (as my online research) visit to the Kroger near our home (in GA), I noticed that the current Russellville ad was nearly identical to our current weekly Kroger ad.

Due to the Kroger weekly being copyrighted (even though it is a free item), I cannot show images directly from each ad here. (Go to the links above for those.) Thus, to provide a visual for the grocery items described throughout the rest of this piece, I replicated the ads using photos that I took.

The table below contains items from several different ads within each Kroger weekly with accurate pricing information below each image. The left-hand column contains items from the 2019 Kroger weekly. The right-hand column contains items from the 2023 Kroger weekly or from inside a Kroger store. Each row of the table shows the exact same, or very similar, items.

2019 (Kroger)

2023 (Kroger)

Final Cost (With Card) When You Buy 4: 4/$10 (Coke or Pepsi)

Final Cost (With Card) When You Buy 4: 4/$12 (Coke or Pepsi)


Final Cost (With Card) When You Buy 4: 99₵ (Coke, Pepsi, or 7UP) Otherwise Price is $1.67

Final Cost (With Card) When You Buy 5: 5/$5 (Pepsi 2L, Gatorade 28oz,…) Otherwise Price is $2.99


Dr. Pepper, Select Varieties of 24-Pack, 12 fl oz Cans, $4.77 Each With Card and Digital Coupon (Without Coupon and With Card, $6.99 each.) 


Coca-Cola or Pepsi, Select Varieties of 24-Pack, 12 fl oz Cans, $7.99 Each With Card and Digital Coupon (Without Coupon and With Card, $13.99 each.)  


Final Cost 9.25-11.25 oz., Select Varieties, With Card:$1.88 (Without Card Cost: $2.88) 


Final Cost, 6-10.75oz., Select Varieties, When You Buy 4 With Card: $2.29 (Less Than 4 With Card Cost: Up to $5.49)


Boneless English Roast: $2.99/LB
With Card 


Boneless Beef Chuck Roast: $5.99/LB With Card


Boneless Ribeye Steaks: $9.99/LB
 With Card


Boneless Ribeye Steaks: $15.99/LB
With Card


Kroger Ground Turkey, 93% Lean,
16oz, $2.99 With Card


Kroger Ground Turkey, 93% Lean,
16oz, $4.99 With Card


Kellogg’s Large Size Cereal, 14.6 to 19.2 oz.,
Select Varieties, $2.49 Each
(Original Price: $3.49)


Kellogg’s Large Size Cereal, 7.8 to 18 oz., Select Varieties, $2.99 Each
(Original Price: $4.49 to $5.69) 

“With card” means that the customer contains a “Kroger card.” This is free and is obtained by merely applying for it. It must be scanned at the register to obtain the “with card” price.

These price comparisons are not perfect, but they’re close enough to reveal the real story when it comes to inflation in America. As “shrinkflation” (reduced product size in an attempt to hide even higher costs to the consumer) is also part of the story here, let me give row by row details from the table above and provide more information to what the ads above reveal.

  • Row 1 (Coke/Pepsi six-pack of bottles): The product size (16.9 fl oz) here has not changed, but the regular sale price is almost always at least 20% (as is shown) higher in 2023 than in 2019. The four six-packs for $12 deal shown (2023 column) is often four-for-$13 or four-for-$15. Four-for-$15 is a 50% increase from the 2019 price.

  • Row 2 (Pepsi two liter): The sale price here is virtually identical, but the two-liter Coke or Pepsi for $1 deal is very rare these days. Also, note the original prices. A two-liter Pepsi in 2019 cost $1.67. Today it costs $2.99. (The same is true for Coke.) This is a 79% increase.

  • Row 3 (24-pack of soda): Though the comparison here is between two different brands (Dr. Pepper vs. Coke/Pepsi), these prices were and are typical for name-brand 24-pack sodas. The $4.77 to $7.99 is a 67.5% increase. Also, again note the original price. The 2019 24-pack cost $6.99. The 2023 24-pack costs $13.99. This is a 100% increase!

  • Row 4 (Doritos): This type of product is where the “shrinkflation” is typical. Doritos and other chip brands have significantly reduced the size of their products, and the prices are still significantly higher. The increase in the “without card” cost is 90.6%.

  • Row 5 (English roast vs. Chuck roast): These two cuts of meat are very similar and thus are often priced the same. The 2019 to 2023 comparison shows the cost per-pound of this type of beef has essentially doubled. Again, this is a 100% increase! This steep level of inflation is common throughout the U.S. when it comes to the price of beef. The dramatic rise in the cost of beef is one of the most notable increases in the Bidenflation era.

  • Row 6 (boneless ribeye steaks): There was no ribeye steak ad in the 2023 Kroger weekly, so the 2023 information here is a current price from in the store. Again, we see a steep increase in the price of beef, from $9.99 a pound to $15.99 a pound. This is a 60% increase.

  • Row 7 (ground turkey): Again, there was not a ground turkey ad in the 2023 Kroger weekly, so the information in the 2023 column is from inside our Kroger store. The jump from $2.99 to $4.99 per pound is a 67% increase. Bidenflation has hit meat prices in general quite hard.

  • Row 8 (Kellogg’s breakfast cereals): Breakfast cereals are another product where “shrinkflation” is common. (Again, the information in the 2023 column is from inside our Kroger store.) So, though the sale price “with card” increase is “only” 20% ($2.49 to $2.99) and the original price increase—$3.49 to $4.49 (and up)—is at least a 28.7% increase, the actual price increase is larger due to less cereal in each 2023 box. The “large cereal size” in 2019 was from 14.6 to 19.2 oz. The comparable Frosted Flakes boxes today are 13.5 oz. The comparable 2023 Fruit Loop and Apple Jacks boxes are each only 10.1 oz. The current price (images not shown) for “large size” Kellogg’s Corn Pops (13.1 oz) and Apple Jacks (13.2 oz) is $5.79. Without taking into account the shrinkflation, this is a 65.9% increase.

Though this is just a handful of items—there are many more I could’ve mentioned—this small sample size is well representative of the large and widespread inflation throughout the U.S. food industry. Also, Kroger prices are well representative of American grocery stores in general. After Walmart and Costco, Kroger is the largest supermarket retail chain in the U.S.

In spite of the attempted spin by Biden and his apologists, Bidenflation is all too real, and it is devastating to millions of American families.  

Copyright 2023, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the 
The Miracle and Magnificence of America

"Derek Chauvin Did Not Murder George Floyd"

The above headline is from a recent piece by Glenn Loury (a black man) with John McWhorter (a black man). The column makes much use of the recent documentary film, The Fall of Minneapolis, and like the film, is well worth your time. The video below is a discussion between Mr. Loury and Mr. McWhorter on how "New Evidence on George Floyd's Death Changes Everything." In the words of Mr. McWhorter, "Once again, we've been lied to...Derek Chauvin didn't kill that man." 

Don't be scared by YouTube's foolish and deceitful declaration that "This video is age-restricted and only available on YouTube." There's nothing here but a discussion between two very smart men on what really happened to George Floyd and Derek Chauvin. The only thing that could be deemed controversial in the video is the use of one "f-bomb." YouTube doesn't want this video widely seen because they don't want the prevailing narrative surrounding the death of George Floyd--namely, that Floyd was murdered by a racist white cop--to change. 

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the 
The Miracle and Magnificence of America