Saturday, December 30, 2006

"New Bagdad" or a new Babylon?


This week I saw a news streamer mentioning a "New Baghdad" proposed as the center for the government of Iraq. I have searched the web and have only found mention of the section of the city called Baghdad Al Jadidah ("New Baghdad"). However, I am sure that such a secured place, surrounded by moats and/or soldiers would suffice in the present distress. Plans for the city have been optimistic in the past, and certainly could be constructed.

However, I have long thought that the "solution" for the unrest in the "ancient" capital of what is now "Iraq" would be to move it to a much more ancient site: Babylon! In a recent article I found, this idea seems to have the backing of none other than the United Nations itself. The recent execution of Saddam Hussein brought back mention of what HE had attempted there. He had rebuilt some of the walls with new bricks bearing his own name. He had also built a palace there which is now used by the US military.

It would be an interesting fulfilment of ancient prophecy if such a construction did take place, though not on the present site. Jeremiah 51:62 seems to indicate that such ruins are permenant! However, the plan is still in the works with those that have little regard for the word of God. On the other hand, a "New Babylon" could easily be built NEAR the ancient site. It is in such a new city that a more secure capital could be constructed. If that happened, Baghdad could be abandoned or even destroyed. And THEN a literal "Babylon the Great" could arise as a "wonder of the modern world."

The symbolic "Babylon the Great," as I propose the USA is in these latter days, would seem to be the necessary power structure making the literal fulfilment a possibility.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A "King" that became President

On July 14, 1913, a King was born. His given name was Leslie Lynch. Named after his father L.L. King, Junior was his pride and joy. While Europe was at war, battles apparently raged in the King's realm as well. In fact, before America joined the war, little Leslie had a new father. The young "King" was soon being called Gerald, after his mother's new husband Mr. Gerald R. Ford.

Though his family called him "Gerald R. Ford, Jr." from 1916 on, it was "Leslie King" that played on the championship University of Michigan football teams in 1932 and 1933. His name was not officially changed until he was at Yale earning his law degree (in 1935). One wonders what happened to Mr. Leslie Lynch King, "Sr." Did he ever meet with his son after a divorce that was apparently so complete that his son did not even retain his name in the house? Mr. King died in 1941, just as the man then officially known as Gerald R. Ford, Jr., was beginning his carreer as lawyer in Grand Rapids, MI.


It was one district, around Flint, MI, elected Gerald Ford with comfortalble margins for over two decades. In that time, of course, Mr. Ford rose to prominence to be the House minority leader. He was an obvious choice when President Nixon wanted a honest man at his side. With Nixon's resignation, this choice made Mr. Ford a president of a land that had never voted for him!

Pres. Ford served well for two and a half years, and almost beat Jimmy Carter in 1976! He was probably one of the most respected presidents of the twentieth century! He has just surpassed Ronald Reagan (his primary opponent in 1976) as the longest living president. Our prayers are with his family as they mourn with America the passing of this historic man from Michigan.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Man, a legend, a "way of life"?

A greater than life figure in American life has fallen silent. The Godfather of Soul has breathed his last. It is no surprise to many that James Brown, 73, would have succombed to a heart attack. His lifestyle in the past 20 years or so has not been one of moderation. His drug use alone would take its toll on a much younger man.

However, his affect on African-American music is the point of this short blog. How can we not wonder what the wholesome gospel music of the 50's, as sung by Brown and his "idol" Little Richard, might have become if it had not been changed to the angry angst-filled music heard from boom boxes and iPods everywhere today. James Brown did to the "Negro Spirituals" what Elvis Pressley did to the Gospel music of the Tennessee hills back in the 50's. As Gospel morphed to "rock and roll" and then to "hard rock" and beyond, Jazz morphed to "funk" and on to "rap" and "hip-hop."

And as went the music, so went the youth. The discipline that was in the music of the first half of the twentieth century (reflecting the "rules" of music as did classical music) gave way to the "freedom" of rock and hip-hop. Undisciplined life, fed by an increasingly godless society, has brought America to the brink of destruction.

Perhaps I will listen to my copy of Handel's Messiah one more time before the year is out! Now THAT'S what I call MUSIC!

On the 2nd Day of Christmas



Your blogger friend gives to you:

The most recent picture of my grandson - Jett James Martin, age 8 months, 15 days.














I hope that you all had a great Christmas holiday. And now, back to work! :-)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Brownback takes a stand

I have not decided which of the presidential hopefuls to support in the 2008 primaries (coming in Feb. 2008, I believe), but I certainly think that Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas looks promising. In a recent editorial in the NY Times, the paper lambasted him for daring to block the nomination of Janet Neff. Why would he do such a thing?

Well, according to the Times, to be against gay marriage is showing "hateful views toward gay people." Sen. Brownback took note that the judge had not only "attended" a commitment ceremony for a woman, but gave a homily at said ceremony. The senator seemed to think that this showed that the judge may just be too biased to sit on a federal bench. He offered a compromise - to stop blocking the nomination if the good judge would recuse herself on any cases dealing with "gay marriage." And this, to the Times, is hateful.

This is the same editorial board that has supported the efforts of the Democrats for the last six years in blocking the nominations of pro-life judges based on their bias towards life and against abortion. For some reason I have missed the editorials that considered such actions as "hateful"!

I guess "hate" is in the mind of the writer.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Jesus vs. "public" schools

For the last 43 years public schools have been actively campaigned AGAINST Jesus. But it seems that the Lord warned these august institutions in the most certain terms that their modern mission is totally against HIM:

Matt. 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

That is pretty heavy stuff! These public "educators" that discipline children for giving religious Christmas cards had better think twice. The numbers of Christian children that are leaving the church is alarming. Imagine the answers the public school teachers that taught the folly of evolutionary science as THE science must give at the throne.

I tremble to think of what is to come for these "educators."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Role model?

Well it seems that ONE "role model" has decided to grant grace to another. "The Donald" has said "bless you child" to the face of the USA - the former Miss Kentucky, USA. The 5'5" blonde southern belle decided to live the good life of the Big Apple from the poshness of Trump Towers. The bar-hopping swinger (at the time underage) was developing a drinking problem, though in her own words "I wouldn't say that I'm alcoholic. I'd think that would be pushing the envelope."

Donald Trump is arguably the best known real estate tychoon in the world. In his numerous holdings and successful books and reality TV, he lives the "American dream." And so, he now is partnered with NBC to own the Miss USA franchise of the Miss Universe organization. And so, Miss Tara Conner went to him fully expecting his 'patented' "You're Fired!"

But "Venus" found grace in the eyes of "Zeus." Or whatever. The god of commercialism favored the goddess of hedonism to allow a continued role model to stand as an example of all that is "great" about America. Yeah, right!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Evolution or just good design?

It amazes me that the popular press seems to equate obvious design with "evolution." In the century following Darwin first published "Origin of Species" science made great strides in the fields of genetics. This was NOT in an attempt to prove the theory, but it provided a mechanism by assumed change toward complexity might take place. However, it seems a lot more logical to assume that the original gene pool was way more complex and thus produces variants that become less complex.

In a recent editorial at the New York Times the writer assumes that genetic mutation coincided with the need for lactose tolerance as mankind in different parts of the world began to domesticate cattle. Such an assumption is ludicrous. The choices people make cannot influence the course of "random" mutation! It is far more reasonable to interprelate that such tolerance for cow's milk was in the genes all along only to be "activated" when people began to consume the milk meant for bovine infants. Those that could not tolerate such milk undoubtably could not last as long in harsh conditions that required ingestion of easily stored cheeses, for instance, but that does not mean they could not a least live long enough to produce offspring.

Adaptation is NOT the same thing as evolution. Though changes are passed on in offspring, and those with beneficial traits tend to survive into child-bearing years, it does not follow that whole populations change this way. Lactose intolerant folk still exist, and it may be that MOST folk are actually intolerant but have competing enzymes that mask the inefficient use of these products. The only thing that happenned back in the days of Jabal (Gen. 4:20) was that animals were domesticated and thus people began to utilize them in inventive ways. Can you imagine the first time they tried to milk a cow! :-)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Who's afraid of Dr. Kennedy?


In an opinion piece in The State newspaper we read:

>>Dr. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries, founder of the Center For Reclaiming America For Christ, makes this scary statement: “Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors — in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.” <<

The reader or editor that penned this is "concerned" about the source of the curriculum that produced a "Bible as literature" course in a local public school. The writer, Holli S. Emore, quotes all the liberal watch groups that seek to "protect" children from religion. She goes on:

"Our Founding Fathers and mothers were clear in their intent to establish separation of church and state because they had seen the horrors of state religion and theocracy in Europe."

To "reclaim America" is NOT to establish the "horrors of state religion," but instead to free the masses of the grip of ungodliness. And please tell me what "theocracy" ever existed in Europe? The pilgrims fled to secular Holland to get away from a corrupt state church, for sure. But the only close to a "theocracy" that existed in Europe was for a short time in England under Oliver Cromwell and his successors (he for five years, others for about a year!) These years were not pleasant, and the problem was not in God, but with men.

And I just love the PC "founding mothers." The wives and daughters were great support, but hardly "founders" of this nation. The Pilgrims DID set out to establish a "theocracy," and many rallied behind the cry "no king but Jesus" as late as the Revolutionary war. Even the commercial endeavours in Virginia (predating th Pilgrims by over 15 years) had as one of their purposes the propogation of the Gospel. The Pilgrims HAD been sailing for Virginia but were blown off course.

As late as the 1950's godliness and reverence for God meant something in the US. Events and decisions since then have driven this great nation further and further from God. It is not suprising that the thought of "reclaiming America" for God scares the godless. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, the ancient proverb declares. Perhaps the liberals are becoming "wise." :-)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

When tradition overrules history

We went to see The Nativity Story Saturday evening after finding that a local production of a new "operetta" had sold out. The musical production of "Simeon," telling the story of the Christ child's dedication in Jerusalem, was actually the one thing that the movie missed 100% ! It is almost like the drama department at Bob Jones University KNEW this would be the case!

Let me start over. I had not seen reviews of the film ahead of time, and had not actually PLANNED on going to see it last evening. I suspected that the movie would follow tradition and put the birth in December (it did), but I did not expect it to change the timeline to the extent to make it match with the traditional manger scenes! But that is exactly what it did, to the expense of the historical record.

The producers had gone to great expense to research the first century era to get the dress and technology right, only to fall short when they touched on Biblical accuracy. They did an excellent job at portraying the personal inner feelings of Joseph, Mary, and even Herod. The caricatures of the "three wise men" were more of "comic relief" than anything else.

Apart from missing the clues to what I have already shown for a Autumn birthday, the accuracy of the movie fell apart when it came to the timing of the magi's visit. Even tradition has this to be in January, giving the holy family time to find more suitable shelter. The account in Luke, which most will admit is more strictly historical, mentions both the shepherds coming to the stable AND the dedication in nearby Jerusalem some eight days later.

The movie, though, in getting the magi to the stable, completely bypassed the dedicaton at the temple. The film has Herod's soldiers coming to Nazareth the very night of the birth, necessitating their fleeing just moments before the murderers arrive! Meanwhile, in the film, the "wisest" of the magi decides on his own that they would not go back to Herod. God is left out of the picture there, for it was "in a dream" that they, too, were warned by an angel.

The scenary, while not on location, was authenic. The costumes and customs were authenic. The people, even, were believable. But the STORY missed the mark.

But so do most of our Christmas carols (and even nativity hymns). This was a "touchy-feely" attempt to humanize the story. And that it did. But I think that more attention to the WHOLE story would have made a much more interesting experience.



I hope that I can get a video of "Simeon."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

If I were a politician ...

You Are Most Like George W. Bush

So what if you're not exactly popular? You still rule the free world.
And while you may be quite conservative now, you knew how to party back in the day!


The guy that put these together seems to have a more or less balanced approach. I tried to determine WHICH questions weighed the answer and the first THREE tries matched George W. Bush. The answers to the quiz are just ambiguous enough that I COULD honestly be "more like" just about anybody from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, I guess. However, I didn't find the right combination of "right" answers to make me "more like" Ronald Reagan. :-(

And speaking of Reagan, I am saddened to hear of the passing of one of his most effective appointments. Jean Kirkpatrick. She like Mr. Bolton, "hated" the UN to which she was appointed. But she got things done it a tense time in our history. As Reagan's spokesperson to the world community she was a great conservative (even as a Democrat). One wonders what world history would have been like if SHE had won the nomination instead of vice president Bush in 1988. Even she could have beaten Michael Dukakis!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Old hobbies and New

I found an interesting post while checking out my email today. I use "Legacy Family Tree" and in their email "Legacy News" I found out that Santa Claus has died! His family fondly remembers him though. :-)

Geneaology, though, is my "old hobby." Since I have gone as far as I can using free softwarer and websites, I thought maybe encyclopedia articles would be a good way to get my "gift of knowledge" dispensed to the world!

I spent the good part of the evening editting an article at "Wikipedia." The English language version is found at http://en.wikipedia.com. If you type in wikipedia.com the home page will come up from which you have to choose "English" to go to the proper "version." Any way, I chose to edit the page for "Dawson, Georgia," having found a celebrity who had been born there. Additionally, I added a section on local education since I and my siblings were educated in the area.

It went okay, though I inadvertantly used a "blacklisted" URL for one of the schools. A little googling found the official link, though. I found out that this predominantly black school (the only four year school in Albany, Ga.) was originally a BIBLE school established in 1903! Go to the "Dawson, Georgia" page at "Wikipedia" for all the details. :-)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Prayer Requests from VOM


This has been a hard week. However, I will pass along these prayer requests from Voice of the Martyrs. Christians are being persecuted from civilized Canada to developing world Ubekistan.

Read the prayer requests here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cats do the darnest things!

This evening, as with most of this week, I am rather tired. However, I did do some surfing of the blogs and in the course of things came upon Bestest Blog, a link exchange where I am one of over a thousand blogs (see sidebar for permanent link). Today's "Bestest" is Trisha's Musings, Bestest Blog for Dec. 7, 2006 (the guy is either on UT or is posting early!)

Trisha is a nurse and a mom, as is my wife. And she featured this video from youtube recently. Since we have a cat that is sometimes skidish, and sometimes sleeps quite close to the edge of the couch, I especially enjoyed this (I played it over at least three times!)



Cats are a hoot, huh? :-)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Transgender Nonsense

We have the technology ...

Back a generation ago a fictional government program was able to rebuild a man to be "better in every way." And now, with the science of biology advancing daily, the PC secularists are wanting to follow the path of least resistence.

Some children, it seems, show early "transgender" tendencies. Pre-school boys want to be girls, and vice versa. The solution seems obvious to me:

The writer of a recent NY Times article writes:

"The biological underpinnings of gender identity, much like sexual orientation, remain something of a mystery, though many researchers suspect it is linked with hormone exposure in the developing fetus."

So, why not develop tests to check those hormone levels to keep it from effecting the developing child? And meanwhile, figure out how to tweak those hormones just a bit to relieve the abnormal tendencies within the children.

At least one researcher has the right idea:

"But Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a psychologist and head of the gender-identity service at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, disagrees with the “free to be” approach with young children and cross-dressing in public. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Zucker has treated about 500 preadolescent gender-variant children. In his studies, 80 percent grow out of the behavior, but 15 percent to 20 percent continue to be distressed about their gender and may ultimately change their sex.

Dr. Zucker tries to “help these kids be more content in their biological gender” until they are older and can determine their sexual identity — accomplished, he said, by encouraging same-sex friendships and activities like board games that move beyond strict gender roles."

But those PC administrators in California don't see it that way. Nope, they want to play to the children's "self esteem."

"The Los Angeles Unified School District, for instance, requires that students be addressed with “a name and pronoun that corresponds to the gender identity.” It also asks schools to provide a locker room or changing area that corresponds to a student’s chosen gender."

It seems that the hormone treatment is not totally out of the question in FAVOR of the transgendered:

"One of the most controversial issues concerns the use of “blockers,” hormones used to delay the onset of puberty in cases where it could be psychologically devastating (for instance, a girl who identifies as a boy might slice her wrists when she gets her period). Some doctors disapprove of blockers, arguing that only at puberty does an individual fully appreciate their gender identity."

Yep, just make them STAY that way until they can "decide for themselves" if they are "normal."

It brings to mind the alternate interpretation of Prov. 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Taken as a WARNING, this means: "If you let a child determine what is right, that is the way he will act when he grows up."

Transgendered children, indeed!

Pray for the Assyrian Christians

In the confusion which is Iraq (largely ancient Babylon), there is a neglected group of persecuted people. Just this fall at least fifteen murders have been committed which have recieved very little coverage by the media.

This group is known as "Assyrian" Christians. Largely in northern Iraq, they practice an ancient form of Christianity that preserves the ancient Aramaic language spoken by Jesus and his disciples. They are not part of the fighting, but have come under attack since Pope Benedict has spoken up about the violence prevalent in Islam.

On Monday, December 4, a group of supporters will demonstrate at the White House. Learn about this at their News Release here. Pray for this demonstration. Persecution is not new, but our response to it in Washington may determine its course in "occupied" Iraq.

Let me know with comments if you are aware of developments here in the USA or abroad concerning this or other persecutions. Also, find out about persecution around the world by visiting persecution.org or Voice of the Martyrs (free membership registration). I actually meant to get to the latter when I created the first link, but the "dotorg" seems to be a worthy site as well. VOM is older an has the "dotcom" address for "persecution." I have not checked out International Christian Concern personally so anyone connected with them feel free to give me a review.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Authors in my library



This "Author cloud" is from the 27 books that I have entered at LibraryThing.com. The bigger the author the more readers they have in the 8 million or so books listed by members.

It is interesting to check and see how many people have the same books that I have. So far, I have found one listed that actually has 9 of the 27. Many folks have Lewis, Calvin, and Schaeffer. This particular member also has BOTH Rush Limbaugh books, too.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Election 2008

I clicked through to SurveyUSA from a political newsletter. The tagline asked which DEMOCRAT would be the strongest! The answer is John Edwards of NC! No other contender stands much of a chance against the leading candidates for the Republican side.

The nomination of John McCain is only slightly weaker than for Rudy Guilani. A race between John McCain and John Edwards would likely be down to the wire (the guy in the corner is the CEO of SurveyUSA):



272-266! Wow! In this race one state, any state, going to Edwards would either TIE (3 votes) or give him the win. This would be 2000 and 2004 all over again. (Clicking above will bring you to the home page of SurveyUSA.)


With the two New Yorkers, however, it is surprisingly Guiliani all the way!

However, consider these figures:

Two-way race: Guliani over Clinton (354-184), BUT:

14+8+11+13+9+7+9+32=94 [the total votes of the deep south (NC,TN,GA,AL,LA,and TX)]

354-94=260 [Ten votes short of the majority of 270 needed to win]

In what I had surmised would be a tight race between the New Yorkers, Guiliani is the clear favorite by the SurveyUSA polls. But if there is a solid third party candidate with the drawing power of, say, a modern day Teddy Roosevelt, the Senate might have to make the call! I can't see the deep south going for a moderate Republican like these polls show if there is another choice thrown in. Just for fun, I put myself in the picture as the "favorite son" of the South.




A realistic choice might be John McCain, but then I would have to change the colors to reflect AZ and NM (and given that choice SC probably WOULD go with Guiliani!) That would change the count to 184-92-262.

Well, the next two years will be interesting, that is for sure!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sharing My Library

Tonight I came upon a neat online service to allow one to "share" his library with the world. The site is "LibraryThing.com" where you can catalogue your library for free (up to 200 entries) or for a fee ($10 a year or $25 for lifetime priviledges) you can add unlimited volumes.

I started with C.S. Lewis, Toliken, and Calvin. I have a long way to go!

I will share my library with readers of this blog when I have added my full 200 free entries (or at least a good assortment). Much of my library is theological from my seminary days, but I have much that I have picked up in the past 30 years or so.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Is The State Newspaper biased?

I don't know how many readers I have in South Carolina, but this blog is a reaction against the accusations from an article by Lee Bandy of The State Newspaper. It is my understanding that a news article is supposed to TRY to be unbiased. Opinion should be reserved for the editorial pages, or at least one could hope that would be the case. The whole tenure of the article seems to be pro-McCain and even anti-Bush!

Eight years is a long time, but I do seem to remember that Senator McCain voiced quite some disdain for Conservative Christians BEFORE the "Christian Coalition" ever got involved with the campaign. I remember being quite unconfortable with BOTH Bush and McCain, voting instead for Alan Keyes, a true conservative that had very little chance of winning.

That being said, the article is found here. A pertinient quote states about the 2000 primary:


"So, the Bush operation here decided to play hardball. Some say dirty. There were tough ads all over radio and television. The Christian Coalition turned loose its army of soldiers to spread falsehoods about McCain and his family. Bush began each day with a new blast at his opponent. They tried to paint McCain into a liberal corner — liberal, at least, compared with Bush."

Well, at best McCain has proved to be a moderate. He is most certainly more "liberal" than President Bush. I would say that he is certainly more concervative than Rudy Juliani, while being to the left of Mitt Romney. It will be interesting to see the "spin" the media puts on the Fundamentalist-leaning upstate as it comes out in favor of a prominent Mormon politician. And a "yankee" to boot! :-)

I remember hearing Dr. Bob Jones III speak of sharing a seat with a Mormon on a political trip to Taiwan. He was in perfect agreement with the man's political views while definitely being against his theology. At least in that kind of situation there seems to be a "separation of church and state." It will not be a question of religion, but of conservativism. Who knows, perhaps the trials of a national campaign will drive a staunch Mormon into a fuller understanding of who Jesus Christ is.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Strange Encounter

Read Matthew 15:21-28

I know, I made you get out the Bible. But it could be worse, I might just make you read it in Greek! Well, anyway, I thought I might share with you what I got out of the passage this morning.

It really is a strange passage. Jesus seems to be acting quite unlike we'd expect from the Saviour of "the world." But then, Matthew 1:21 says that he came to save "his people" from their sins!

Jesus had left the crowds of Judea behind in hopes of some rest with his disciples. And what should happen but one of the local women finds him anyway! You'd think in a world without radio and telephones that the word wouldn't get out so fast, wouldn't you? But God has His ways.

This woman, like Rahab of Jerico, had heard of Yahweh's work through His Messiah among the Jews. And now, when she is in need of assistance, Jesus acts like He doesn't even hear her! She continues to cry out as the Lord and his disciples walk toward her town. And the disciples are not pleased.

So Jesus turns to the woman and "explains" that His mission is to Israel, and not to the pagans in adjoining nations. But she was desperate, turning His apparent ethnic slur around. She admits she IS a "canarias" but that children will feed dogs that are kept as pets!

She had passed the Master's test. Her faith was not in His miracles, but rather in His person. He was the Messiah. And as such He could accept a poor gentile if He so pleased. He was impressed with her "great faith" and fulfilled her desires long distance. Her daughter, who had been horribly influenced by demons, was freed of such bondage at Jesus' word.

One wonders what became of that woman and her daughter. But one thing's for sure: neither monther or daughter was ever the same afterword.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Dr. Erick Keroack - Has PP met its match?

The liberal elite is running scared! In the euphoria of the midterm election results, they hoped that the "thumpin'" wound have moderated the president. So he appoints a pro-life advocate to the Dept. of HHS!

An "unchastened" Bush appoints OB-GYN Dr. Eric Keroack as undersecretary that needs no confirmation who supports "traditional values" and this is how the media elite react:

The NY Times

... whose method of trying to dissuade women from having an abortion includes spreading the scary and medically inaccurate myth that having an abortion steeply increases the risk of breast cancer. The group also has a policy against dispensing contraception even to married women. It has stated on its Web site that the distribution of contraceptive drugs or devices is “demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness.”

... promoted the novel argument that sex with multiple partners alters brain chemistry in a way that makes it harder for women to form bonding relationships. One of the researchers cited by Dr. Keroack has called the claim “complete pseudoscience” unsupported by her findings.


The Washington Post

"Dr. Keroack, an obstetrician-gynecologist, is about to start work at the Department of Health and Human Services, overseeing federally funded family planning programs. To put it simply, the Bush administration's choice to direct the federal effort to make contraceptives available to low-income women works for a group that doesn't support using contraception. What comes next -- a science adviser who doesn't believe in evolution?"

----

It seems that at least in minor appointments Mr. Bush is appointing those with traditional values to stem the liberal tide. The arrogance of the liberal elite is what is really scary. They have been telling lies and half-truths for so long that they believe their own propoganda!

I have seen the evidence for breast cancer risks, for example, and I see real sustainable data that not only shows corelations but physical mechanisms for such risks. And to lambast an organization that seeks to uphold the dignity of women (though with politically incorrect reasons) seems to be a slippery ground, don't you think?

Though I am Protestant and not strictly in the camp of traditional Catholic teachings on contraceptives, I can see where an organizaiton like A Woman's Concern could take a stand against "dispensing contraceptives." In light of the declining fertility rates among the "developed" nations, it seems a little disingenuous to deride those that disuade contraception! That Dr. Keroack "works for" such a group as an advisor shouldn't disqualify him to work for a conservative government, should it?

And what would be wrong with a science advisor who doesn't believe in evolution? :-)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Here we are again, the one fully American Holliday (though other nations have similar celebrations). I hope you all had a fabulous day.

As hard as it is to believe, in moderation the traditional holiday meal is extremely healthy for you. The turkey meat is among the healthiest meats - especially the white meat. Along side that you have the iced tea and pumpkin pie for dessert. These among the fourteen most healthy foods available. Meanwhile, the cranberry sauce is from a high antioxidant berry. If you have sweet potatoes, as we did, then you are adding a dark yellow "vegetable" into the mix (not as good as pumpkin, but close).

I have documentation, two whole books of it, but it is late and I have to work on this "Black Friday." However, I really don't envy those working on Saturday -- the day we collect all the monies from those who shopped on Friday!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

When Camelot Fell


Today marks 43 years since President John F. Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas. There have been theories as to how it was done and even WHO was involved. But whatever the full truth, an era in America came to an end that day.

Camelot had not begun in January of 1961, but instead in the glory days of America's post war "golden age." After a horrendous and surreal ending to World War II, the general who had made it happen, Dwight D. Eisenhower, had been pushed into further service as president. Radio gave way to television and a technology war with our WW2 "allies" began a race into the heavens. Rock and Roll ruled the airwaves and the parlours as the "baby boomers" began to repopulate the western world. Prominent theologian Loraine Boetner could confidently write of post-millenialism in 1957, the same year that the Russians sent Sputnik into orbit!

In 1954 Congress added "under God" to the pledge of allegiance at the suggestion of President Eisenhower. The nation felt good, re-electing "Ike" overwhelmingly in 1956. Everything was looking good. The fifties ended and the short lived "golden age" began to show some tarnish.

A very close race in 1960 brought Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts into the Whitehouse. All seemed well, but the young politician had inherited two political hot potatoes from Eisenhower - Viet Nam and Cuba. The war in Viet Nam was not too hot, yet, though the Soviets and Chinese were playing it to their advantage. The Soviet involvement in Cuba, though, almost brought on World War III! Some say that attempts to depose Castro were tied to the assasination of Kennedy.

The same year that Kennedy was assasinated, though, the Supreme Court ruled that prayer in school was unconstitutional! In nine short years the movement to put God IN the pledge had evolved to a couunter-movement to remove God FROM the morning ritual of millions of school children nation-wide. Meanwhile, the stage was being set for a phenomenon in music that would transform the music of Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly into today's "rock." In the month that the president was killed, Ed Sullivan was persuaded to sign the Beatles to sing on his show. In February, 1964, "Beatlemania" came to America!

President Lyndon B. Johnson moved drastically away from Kennedy's fiscally conservative policies in his "war on poverty" and his "great society." The anti-war movement and the "free love" of the hippies marked the sixties as a cultural phenomenon of which we are now seeing the full effect as the nation is locked in a idelogical "civil war" after two 51-49 presidential races and a mid-term race that resulted in a split just about as close.

Perhaps the "golden days" were only polished brass, but they were glorious nonetheless. Let us not, therefore, look to them for our hope. Our hope is in the Master of that land of transparent gold - the New Jerusalem. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Jett Martin with housemate

Well, folks, I guess it is about time I showed off my grandson again.

Well, actually, his mother Meredith is showing him off in this video:

Posted By:Meredith

Get this video and more at MySpace.com


Now that's a patient cat. She doesn't live up to her name, given to her in her younger days, of "Imp Kitty."

Monday, November 20, 2006

Cute -- but ...

The following was posted with a slightly different intro in an email to a co-worker who put it on the bulleton board. It is going around - this copy is from a fellow blogger at pilgrimchristian.blogspot.com

It is obviously genuine as the "Cross Trails Church" shows up in most versions. Apparently, no one has stopped to correct the glaring error in the original post (on the wall at church).

Hillbilly Ten Commandments



People in Tennessee have trouble with all those "shalls" and "shall nots" in the Ten Commandments. Folks just aren't used to talking in those terms. So, some folks in middle Tennessee got together and translated the "King James" into "Jackson County" language: The Hillbilly's Ten Commandments (posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Gainesboro, TN.)

(1) Just one God.
(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa.
(3) No tellin' tales or gossipin'.
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meetin'
(5) Put nothin' before God.
(6) No foolin' around with another fellers gal
(7) No killin.'
(8) Watch yer mouth.
(9) Don't take what ain't yers.
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff.


"Extra credit" to the student that not only sees the error but fully corrects it. Clue: The "translations" can stand as they are. :-)


OK, no peeking. Scroll down for the answer.



















(1) Just one God.
(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa.[5]
(3) No tellin' tales or gossipin'.[9]
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meetin'
(5) Put nothin' before God.[2]
(6) No foolin' around with another fellers gal [7]
(7) No killin.'[6]
(8) Watch yer mouth.[3]
(9) Don't take what ain't yers.[8]
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff.

Them country folk musta been translatin' from mem'ry! They done went and scrambled th' order.

But their heart's in the right place. :-)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Day God showed Himself

In one remarkable day in the spring of of what we call AD 32 the Creator of the world revealed Himself to a hostile world. It had to be one of his worst days of ministry outside of "Passion week."

First, his cousin John the Baptist has just been executed for the "crime" of preaching against the public sin of the "king" of Judea. The provential ruler was a pawn of Rome and as such had no "real" claim to David's throne. However, he had succeeded in locking the prophet away. However, his "wife" of the time was an unlawful union with his brother's spouse! And SHE had manipulated the situation to literally "have his head on a platter."(Matthew 14:1-12)

When the news came to Jesus, he took a ship to a hide-away to grieve. But alas, his fame has spread so that he could not hide. People flocked to the wilderness to be healed, and to hear him teach. In spite of his grief, he compassionately healed the sick all day long. In this he was fulfilling his role as a prophet. No one suspected that he was any greater than John, thought the Baptizer had not been a healer. (Matt. 14:13-14)

But then, the humble carpenter from Nazareth revealed himself to be much more: He fed the crowd "out of nothing"! Five loaves and two dried fish was made to be enough food for as many as 12,000 hungry people. It is no wonder that the people wanted to make him their King! But Jesus was yet to show His full divinity. It could be argued that this same type of miracle had been accomplished by Elijah (1 Kings 17:8-16). (Matt.14:15-21)


After Jesus sent his disciples away in their fishing boat he successfully dismissed the satisfied crowd and got away to pray alone in the hills. But then a storm blew up that threatened the life of his disciples. So he went straight to them, not even letting miles of stormy sea stop him.

The time had come to show Who he truely was.

Suspending the laws of nature, he walked across the top of the waves as if they were pavement. It was a sight so unexpected that the disciples that they thought he was a ghost! And so, Jesus comforted them, saying "Be brave. I AM. Don't be afraid"

That's right, he said the equivalent of the divine name (Exodus 3:14). The Greek "ego eimi" is a translation of the Hebrew "AHWH" (ahweh: I am > Yahweh: He is). He left no question in the minds of the twelve. They proclaimed: "Truely, you are God's son." (Matt. 14:22-33)

The following year would prove to be a trying time for Jesus and his small band of disciples. But they at least knew that the Master was the best One with whom to spend it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Life's little miracles

O.K., providence is probably a better word. But this past trip to Philadelphia had cost me two days pay PLUS the cost of room and food. But we felt it was the "right thing to do."

So we left it in the Lord's hands and went.

Well, my wife had been expecting a performance bonus, but had not calculated it into our plans. It had not been a sure thing, and she had no way of knowing what it would be. It came through to be almost exactly to the dollar (before taxes) what the weekend had cost us!

Yehovah-Jireh! [Gen 22:14]

Monday, November 13, 2006

My name is Henry and I am an "addict"

Well, I guess I am addicted to blogging. Here it is a quarter to midnight and I am posting just so I can get something up today. It was after 11:00 pm last night when I got home from Phillie. I barely resisted firing up the computer to post something then. But I knew it would look bad -- you know, another sign of an addiction.

So now, you see what it can do to you! Watch out, don't spend all your waking hours on it. Just enjoy it. Don't do it alone, but don't seek to much out of it either. I find myself following links for far more time than it takes to put up a post. But sometimes you have to check out the other stuff just to get an idea for a blog. Maybe I will have a true idea tomorrow.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Valley Forge and Philadelphia too!

Well, today was the last full day of the conference. There was an interesting testimony in the morning, followed by another message by Paul Tripp. In the afternoon I went to a sesson dealing with physical changes that change one's mental and even spiritual condition. I also attended a session on the use of "story telling" in counseling. The thrust of the presentation was that each of us lives as a part of the bigger picture. It is up to the counselor to use this to connect with the counselee.

Since we started earlier today than we did on Friday, but we didn't have an evening session. Therefore, we had time to take the short drive into Phillie.

The problem was -- it was "rush" hour. Have you ever wondered why the period of time with the slowest traffic is called "rush" hour? Well, it did take us about an hour to get into town (about fifteen miles). And then, we had to wait about an hour to be seated at the restaurant. Of course it was not just ANY restaurant! This was my third year on the conference and my third time eating at Buca's - the food is good, but it is the atmosphere that is unbeatable!

On the way home we did a "driveby" sighting of historic Philadelphia. We saw Independence Hall and even spotted the liberty bell! Or at least someone in the van SAID she saw it. The drive out of town went a little faster, though our driver did take a wrong turn which put us going UNDER the main route out of town at least twice!

Next year's conference will be a week earlier - the first weekend in November. The subject will be on "Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest." The principle speaker will be Ed Welch. It should be interesting. Special rates are given for groups of more than ten. I highly recommend the conference AND the ministry. Just a reminder, this is the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation, a group affiliated with Westminster Theological Seminary.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Marriage, Culture, and Music

Today at the conference we heard from Paul David Tripp and from several good "workshops."

The morning meeting was entitled When Love gets messy. This had to do with relationships and sin. Forgiveness is the key.

In the afternoon we listened to three different speakers. We both listened to a message on marriage. I listened to one on culteral ("race") differences. The speaker was unexperienced but offered some good theory as to why the dominate culture has problems reaching he non-dominant ones.

This evening I listened to Mr. Tripp again, though my wife staid away. She was very tired and had even been suffering some "flu" symptoms last night. She had had a flu shot on Monday.

Any way, Mr. Tripp spoke on art and the gospel, accentuated by some art that is displayed at his wife's gallary in downtown Philadelphia. The featured music group provided related music as well. It was an interesting evening.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

On the Road

Well, it was a long trip, but we are set for a few days outside of historic Valley Forge. We are at a conference through Sunday learning from the best in Christian Counseling. The organization is CCEF - Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. It is getting late and we have a long day ahead of us tommorow, so this will be short. Check out the link and see what we will be learning in the next few days!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Who's watching the counters?

I was just looking at the election "returns" for the two closest state-wide races that I can ever remember. And one thing stood out as quite strange.

For Lt. Governor, the "unofficial" totals had Mr. Barber leading by over 16,000 votes. I was viewing the same site last night when it went from 92% to 98% and Mr. Bauer "held onto" a lead that even increased a little. With 100% reporting Mr. Bauer leads by 3,222 votes! Somewhere between early counts (which I did not see) and those I did see, Bauer must have picked up ALL the votes out there (absentee?).

The same thing happened in the State Supt. of Schools race. In the same "unofficial" totals Mr. Rex has an astounding 19,320 vote lead. When I checked a midnight, his lead was around 300. With 100% it stands at just 211. Out of just over 1,056,000 votes that is astounding! But here again over 19,000 votes come in for one candidate. But from where?

I am a Republican, but what went down here? And how long will we be in the recounts. And does anyone know if only a plurality is needed in the general election? Neither Mr. Rex nor Ms. Floyd got over 50% since there were four other candidates drawing about 6%.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Down to the wire

As I write this it is 11:50 pm. The polls have been closed for over four hours but certain problems hav kept some ballots from being counted. Therefore, some of the races are too close to call. It looks like it is going to be a runoff between Karen Floyd(R) and Jim Rex(D). With 98% reporting, there are just over 200 votes between them. It looks like a strong showing by Libertarian Tim Moultrie (2% - about 19,000 votes) has been a "spoiler" of sorts, though to be fair, "Independent" Tony Fayyazi is trailing Moultrie by only about 700 votes.

Meanwhile Lt. Governor Andre Bauer holds a mere 6000 vote lead out of almost a million cast so far. There are still about 2% of the precincts uncounted at this time. So anything is possible there. I voted for Bauer, who seems to be a genuinely nice guy. However, there is something about him that has always given me pause.

I will take this opportunity to congradulate Bob Ingis for the vote of confidence he received with 63% of the votes! I was there at the Bible study in which Bob was deciding whether to run back in 1992. He served well for six years, ran against SC legendary "Jr." senator Fritz Hollings in 1998 giving the old gentlemen quite a scare, and then won his old seat back in 2004 (following six years of service in the slot by now Jr. Senator Jim Demint). One Dr. John Cobin (L) ran a gallant campaign, but his attempt to cast Bob as a "liberal" failed miserably.

The Voice of the People

We live in a representative republic. Any other form of free government would be unworkable in a nation of 300,000,000 people. It is not the majority that rules, but selected number of reasonable persons that have sworn to represent their districts and/or states as they interpret the voice back home.

Locally, we seek state and local government that echoes what we would say and do in their place. Here we voting on all the state-wide offices (only the lt. governor looks to be in trouble) and, of course, our Rep. to the US House. All these look to be shoo ins for the Republican party. Our county council member seems safe (a Democrat), though I think the Republican challenger has good qualifications.

The "marriage ammendment" is big, as is a tax assessment cap. They're the ones with the yard signs. And then there is that pesky emminent domain proposal. I urge my local readers to consider carefully these ammendments. They are found at this site.

And finally, it really IS the economy.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

What is a "blog"?

My mentor at Second Presbyterian Church, Earl Russell, kidded me about this here "new fangled" communication. He is an old "Ham" himself, having logged countless hours on the shortwave radio. He said he knew that officially it is short for "web log," but offered an anagram instead.

Unfortunately, I have forgotten what he suggested. But, like him, I am just a young guy who has to deal with an old guy in the mirror every day! :-)

Anyway, what are some alternative derivations to produce our beloved "blog"?

Babbling Long On Gobbligoop?

Brain Long Over Grown?

Any suggestions?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

More on the Kingdom parables

I overstepped my "gift of knowledge"! :-(

I failed to look ahead in the text of Matthew 13 to see that Jesus indeed did offer another interpretation to the befuddled disciples. I can emphasise with the twelve after my posting what was admittedly a contrarian interpretation to the series of "seed" parables.

Jesus had given these parables in what appeared from the record to be "at the same sitting." Though thismay have been the case, it didn't mean they were connected strictly by the order they were presented. Jesus makes it plain that the seed in the second case was the believer and not the Word.

That leaves open to discussion as to whether the uninterpreted parables of the mustard seed and the leaven (both demonstrating growth from small beginnings) are to be taken as allegory or as simple illustrations of a singe point. It is a simple fact that the kingdom of God (church) did eventually grow to fill the whole earth. But that is the same point made by Isaiah and Micah when speaking of a mountain growing to fill the earth (Isa. 2:2-4; Mic. 4:1-3). They started with a larger article, but the picture is the same!

My point of the three seeds is still valid, I suppose, but I certainly cannot draw it from the "logic" of Jesus' first interpretation if His subsequent interpretation contradicts me!

I learned my lesson. It is unwise to take a passage out of context just for an interesting interpretation. Remember, we see farther today because we stand on the shoulders of the "giants" that went before us!

Friday, November 03, 2006

I wonder ...

I really don't have much to say, but it seems a shame to "waste" a day. And so, just a thought:

If you mixed "Red Bull" and a brown cow, what would be the result? A maroon calf? [By the way, the "brown cow" I was thinking of is a rootbeer float, not the alcoholic coffee drink that I seem to be finding in my google searches!]

Until tomorrow ... when I get back to serious stuff! :-)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Kingdom and the Word



In Matthew 13 we learn a lot about the Kingdom of God (Heaven). And the key to ALL the Kingdom parables is in Jesus' interpretation of the parable of the sower.

First, the field is the world of Mankind.
Then, the good seed is the Word of God.

The field is divided into four different soils - hardened, rocky, weedy, and prepared. Only the prepared soil represents true Christians.

But then, Jesus immediately gives three related parables that by all logic must adhere to the same interpretative guidelines. An enemy comes behind the farmer and sows seed into the good soil (Christians). This "seed" is a counterfeit gospel that nonetheless grows in Christian soil. Is this false Christians or just false doctrine accepted by Christians. It must be the latter, for the SOIL is the Christian, not the seed.

And lest we think that the soil can't accept false seed, yet another seed is sown. This time the farmer himself plants in the prepared soil to grow a different crop in his field. The prepared soil is hungry for different seed and the mustard seed grows quickly into a "tree" into which birds nest. These are the same "birds" that will feast on the unaccepted seed on the wayside. The pleasant shade also deprives some of the grain of life-giving sunlight. The fruit of the mustard plant are in pods that break open to produce MORE fast growing herb plants that, if not harvested, will grow up like kudzu! What seemed like a good idea turns out to be a disaster waiting to happen! By interpretation, this little mustard seed surely represents yet another type of false doctrine -- TRADITION! Not harmful in intself, the spicy seeds can overpower the truly nutrious main course.

And then, there is the harvested wheat -- now three measures of flour -- into which a "woman" places leaven. This has to be one like "that woman Jezebel" (Rev. 2:20) who offers outright lies as true doctrine. This is stuff right straight from Paganism. Over the years it has been Christianized ("sanitized"?) and called our own. But it has done nothing but to make our religion "look good" to those of the world -- just as a fresh baked loaf of bread looks far better than a flat brown piece of pan fried pita bread! And so, if it were possible, the unbelievers that have taken "to heart" some of the good seed would draw the true believers into their "brand" of Christianity.

And so, the Kingdom is the good soil into which three seeds are planted -- God's word, Satan's word, and Man's word. All of these grow together, vying for the heart of the believer. And even after the wheat is fruitful, it can be rendered less useful in the way it is presented. The "seed" planted deep, and early, makes it attractive but puffed up to look far more than it actually is. The useful, though plain, pan bread is left to do the lowly job of sopping up the leftover gravy!

But that gravy holds the nutrition found in the "juices" of the meat - the fat (flavor) and the salt (seasoning). Let us sop up the good stuff!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All Saints Day

Well, it seems that the "photo bank" at blogger has gone down. I cannot upload pictures right now. Yesterday I created a SC tag with the words "No Tag" but have not been able to download anything near. I hope it can get up and running soon.

Today is the day that the ancient church obeserved as token of respect to the martyrs of the faith. Apart from the list in Hebrews, we have no idea the hardship that these "saints" sufferred.

Meanwhile, in the 21st century, we find ourselves wondering whether we spend too much time on the computer. The short answer, for me, is yes. I seem obseessed with getting a post "every" day. I have only missed a couple of days, and I made up for them on weekends. But posting is not the only thing. I have to attend family affairs also.

And so, until text time, happy blogging

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Seen in the parking lot


Yesterday, action. Today profundity. Some people just have all the good ideas. Today I saw an auto with the vanity plate that stated "No Tag." It brougt to mind the teeshirts that one sees in the catalogue -- the ones with "Your Name Here" printed on it.

I used txt3pic.com to find a template that suited my state of mind. Many of the "Christian" trinkets need a printing press and perhaps the resolve to use the printing press.

I will try once again. Later.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Runaway Cart!


Today, in the course of my work, I witnessed the charmed adventure of a runaway shopping cart. I say "charmed" because it managed to come to rest without hitting anything or being hit itself.

We were cutting across the parking lot after servicing a Belk's department store (to the right of the pictured lot) and we spotted the cart on the move. Its momentum was increasing as we tried to get in position to possibly stop it. We watched in wonder as it left the parking lot and turned down the "exit" toward the main road. There is no way that I could have run that thing down! It crossed three lanes of traffic and turned back to block one lane. A gentlemen got out of his pickup truck and pushed the cart to the median where he turned it on its side. I can only wonder how long it will stay there.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ladybugs!


Today was a lovely day for the "longest day" of the year! The weather was pleasant and we had no one coming for Sunday lunch. So, we packed a lunch of chicken salad sandwiches and fruit salad, and a couple of Lipton brand green teas and headed to the Cherekee Foothills Scenic Highway (SC 11).

There is a nice "Wayside Park" that is privately owned and operated near a mountain creek that we had been to once by accident. It was further away than we thought, but it was worth the drive. The fall colors were not as vibrant as I had hoped, but they were impressive nontheless.

As we were leaving, I headed to the quaint "outhouse" that was provided. A rather well contructed unit, actually, with no electricity and no plumbing. I really wish we had brought the camera phone for this would be better with pictures!

Anyway, I almost went in search of a tree when what looked like a swarm of bees surrounded the structure. But nature called, and modesty prevailed. So I braved approaching the latrine. The swarm was of LADYBUGS!

Well actually, it was short of a swarm. I googled "ladybug swarm" and found that such are common this time of year. And some of them of "Biblical proportions." But it was unusual for me. I survived the "swarm."

My own "Word Cloud"


Thanks to Mel Duncan over at "River and Rhett" for finding this web tool. They also sell shirts with the same graphic on it.

I am pleased to find "God" and "Church" prominently displayed, though I would have hoped "political" would have stayed off. :-)

Well, I hope you guys in the USA turned your clocks back at 2:00 am. The "time police" are watching. Here's hoping we all get good use out of that "extra" hour.

Most Creative Booth



Well, I decided to participate in a different way this year. Our Reformation Day festival (in place of a "Halloween" celebration) fell on October 28 this year.

And so, I signed up to utilize our unused dart board (one of two, neither used) as a booth. After searching the internet for pictures of 16th century clothing, I opted to present the illusion of period dress and "go as" a 16th century innkeeper. With a long sleeve white shirt (collar turned inside) and braided leather belt I pulled it off. I tucked my pants legs into my socks to make them look like continuous leggings which came from under my shirt/tunic. I wore "matching" gray slippers to complete the illusion. Some pictures were taken, though I haven't got access to them yet. The above picture was taken at home with a cell phone camera.

I served pretzels and both rootBEER and gingerALE. But mostly I gave out candy to youngsters who successfully got three darts to stick. I gave them double and triple credit if they hit those circles. And a bullseye automatically scored a reward. There were a few bullseyes, but more misses than not, I'm afraid. In about two hours, there was not a lull in the action!

I was a hit! :-)

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Prepared Soil



In Matthew 13 Jesus delivers his most important parable: the parable of the sower. However, it is not the seed or the sower that makes a difference. It is the owner of the field. He is the one that has taken barren land to make a garden.

Once the field is chosen, a perspective farmer must perpare the soil in order to grow his crops. He finds the field and purchases it, and then He must break it, and even crush it. And then, he must rid it of life-draining weeds -- even to the extent of BURNING the soil to santitise it.

The farmer works hard. And the soil doesn't have it very easy! But in the end there is fruit everywhere!

Has God prepared YOUR soil for His seed?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"Spanish prisoner scam" > Sp..am

"Spam" has returned to snail mail. In an unusual twist, letters posted in Spain have been showing up all over the world since 2004. My wife got one offering lottery winnings of over $600,000!

As "THEY" say, "If it looks too good ..." Well, that amount of loot was supposedly our share of a European lottery which neither of us had ever entered!

According to the info I have read, the original "Spanish prisoner scam" was in 1911. However, the good news is that MOST of that stuff comes online, and therefore can easily be dispensed as useless bits.

What appears to be a Spanish stamp is in the corner of the envelope, but there is no return address. It should have been immediately obvious what whas going on. However, when my wife showed it to me I had no doubt it was a scam. Subsequent "googling" removed all doubts. The scam artists did not even change the exact figure of the amount won (be it dollars or euros). My wife was supposedly one of seventeen winners, but at least that many were posted on sites that exposed the scam.

The letter came with an application form that was to be faxed to the lottery headquarters. The form asked for every conceivable piece of information to assure the money was going to the right place. Yeah, right. This scam does not even mention the money they will eventually ask of you for processing before they can get money "transferred" to your account.

One only wonders how many people send info and/or money to these goons!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Little Frivolity



Well, I was going to get serious about politics and religion. But I got a link to txt2pic.com via either a spam program (which shouldn't get through) or one mighty bored nerd out there. Anyway, This bookcover was created at the link below.

Make thousands of free clipart images online without having to install any software (web based applications)! You can make banners, buttons, forum avatars, comic strips, logos, blog pics, safety signs, email sigs, personal flags, vanity license plates, warning labels, book covers, e-cards, celebrity deface, brand name parody/satire, controversial pix, etc. We supply the basic picture layout, you supply the funny text (famous quotes, slogans, jokes) to customize the captions! BUY as personalized gifts (fridge magnets, postcards, stickers).




I was going to comment on all the hysteria over the "threat" of evangelicalism in politics these days. I was in Barnes & Noble bookstore this evening and saw numerous books from liberal religionists railing against our "agenda." But, a little levity for now. I'll get into the "good stuff" later! :-)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Georgia's accidental wonder


Back when Georgia was being settled by the western expansion from the Carolinas, farmers learned the hard way that irrigation and crop rotation is a must. In the "back yard" of Providence Methodist Church their "clear cut" method, that farmed the land and then abandoned it, rather quicklyresulted in a disaster that could not be "undone" by the governments best engineers.

The best they could do was plant trees. FDR learned the hard way that just "ground cover" was not enough as he unwittingly unleashed kudzu on the south!


The result of the inaction of nineteenth century farmers is what is now called "Providence
Canyon State Park." Back before it was "discovered" my brothers and I actually played on the banks of some of the less steep cliffs! My wife took these pictures.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Hardest saying of Christ

This morning's sermon was from an excellent guest preacher, Terry Johnson, from Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, GA. His text was John 6:26-37. However, the thoughts I have tonight are from later in the chapter where Jesus elaborates on the simple "I am the bread of Life."

Verse 54 Jesus says: "Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will lift him up on the last day."

We can surely sympathise with the disciples who said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?" (6:60) And Jesus' remarks to this question didn't help much, for he began:

"Does this offend you?" (6:61) ... "the words I speak unto you are spirit and they are life," He continued.

But the "damage" had been done. We read in John 6:66 that "many of his disciples went away, and walked no more with Him."

But why would Jesus have used such inflamatory language at the height of His popularity? He surely knew that this would offend the observant Jews who would not dare even drink animal blood much less human blood. They were way too literal in their mind set to accept the "spiritual" meaning conveyed by the vivid picture of consuming one's Master!

This is exactly the reason He spoke in parables to start with. This is very evident in the synoptic gospels. Matthew states in 13:34 "All these things Jesus spoke unto the multitudes in parables." This "weeded out" the glory seekers while at the same time strengthening the true believers. This is one time Peter got it right: "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we believe that You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." (vv 68-69).

And so, this is one of three "6-6-6" verses in the Bible. Can anyone out there share the others with us? This is the only one that deals with a case of apostacy.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Of Grief and Guilt


Tonight, I took my wife to a free movie. Yep, we were told to bring an unbeliever back to the Christian Film Festival and I brought my wife. :-(

Well, this Film Festival Tour is the premier showing of this new movie starring John Schneider. It is not a "Hollywood" producton though it is definitely a professional film. It contains the gambit of emotions as old friends return to the hometown for the funeral of a childhood friend. The character played by John Schneider sees Christians facing conflict and resolution in a manner that is faith assuring.

The name of the film is "Hidden Secrets" and it features a judgmental Christian among other Christians with secret sins that have nearly detroyed their lives. The story is how these Christians face those sins and find forgiveness from God and from each other. The "hypocrite" sees her error and the unbeliever comes a long way toward salvation (last line of movie, unclear). The gospel is presented fairly clearly but not in a harsh or overbearing way (except by the "shrew").

The movie is rated PG-13, mostly on "thematic" grounds. There is no violence, or profanity, and no sexual situations. However, specific sins are mentioned and dealt with. Therefore, a PG-13 is definitely appropriate. I would give this four stars out of five.

My wife believes. Help MY unbelief.

That is, I am probably "taking advantage" of this ministry. It is supposed to reach out to unbelievers, but I am not sure it is an effective tool. In the end, it is the preaching of the WORD OF GOD, pure and simple, that effectually leads God's remnant into fellowship with their Savior. I am afraid, as is my wife, that the heart-felt appeals at the end of these films work cross purpose with the message of the true Gospel. An emotional revivalism abounds: Jesus saves, BUT. Jesus saves, now IF... What about: "Sinners, repent. Jesus saves, are you saved?"

The point, I guess, is that Salvation is a GIFT. As such it is NOT CONTINGENT on our actions, not even our response to an "invitation." Two questions: "Do you believe Jesus saved you?" and "Does your life show that you are saved." Heart and Hands, it's what you believe AND how you live.

Christian Films on tour

The Christian Film Festival is back in Greenville. My wife being away, I decided to take in a film or two Friday night. After picking up a "hot and ready" pizza -- a medium, and I ate the whole thing! -- I was able to get in two films (both produced by Rich Christiano) . the first one was the latest, and the other was their first.

It would have been better to have seen Time Changer first since it was less finished product. I found myself comparing it to the latest production, Unidentified, which I had seen first.

Apart from technical considerations though, I think Time Changer was a more daring endeavour since it starred two well-known actors in supporting roles (Gavin MacCleod and Jennifer O'Neal). It dared to comment on the state of society today and even the "Churchianity" practiced in America and elsewhere. The hapless time travelling professor seemed a little naive in his approach to the changes that a century had brought. I am not sure if it could be attributed to the presumed "ivory tower" experience of a professor in the Victorian age, or just to idealism on the part of the film makers.

In Unidentified, the story-line is far more believable, though it deals with the unbelievable. The investigation of UFO's by a skeptic and a nominal Christian brings out two unacknowledged aspects of the UFO phenomenom: human greed in taking advantage of the gullible, and the spiritual deception behind the numerous, and truly "unexplained," sitings every year. This polished production did not have any "big names" that I recognized, but I am not into films very much.

I was actually in a Christian film over twenty-five years ago. I appeared in two scenes very briefly as different characters. The film was Sheffey, based on The Saint in the Wilderness, and produced by Unusual Films, a ministry of Bob Jones University. As a first year grad student I had the chance to grow a beard for the period film! This film, though, will not show up in a theater near you. I would highly recommend it for your home library.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Time + sound = music

Tonight at the quarterly meeting of the Creation Study Group of Greenville, SC, our guest lecturer was less than "inspiring." After a lifetime as a music teacher he has become a lecturer on Creation science. As an artist he makes scale models of Noah's Ark (but alas, no such visual aids tonight). The local group wanted him to speak on the principles behind music in nature. He taught us about the pipe organ.

Afterwards, some of the questions did get a little interesting (or should I say, the answers). It was interesting that he had way more freedom to speak his mind in Russian schools than he does in American ones. Hmmm .....

When I got home I was just "blurfing" and came upon a link to scientists putting the seismic sounds and vibrations of volcanoes to notated scores. The results are fascinating. They used software to convert the data to to music.

The originator of this project, Dominico Vicinaza, produced THIS when he "mixed" the score on a symphosizer. Mt Eatna never sounded so good!


The raw data from any activity can be "sonified" and even mixed to give us "music." However, as this random activity on an internet server illustrates, the purposeful activity of nature is "more than random"!

If this IS possible with a "cheap MIDI interpreter," then I want the software. I wonder what sunspot activity would sound like. Or even the orbits of the planets!?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Just call me "# 158M" for short


In a hospital in northern California, in the wee hours of the morning resident number "158,934,552" was born in the USA on January 10, 1953.

That one was a white boy (me!). This week that figure was almost doubled when resident number 300,000,000 was born probably somewhere in California as well. Or so some say. Chances are that child was a boy as well. But he probably was not white.

It is hard to believe that I since I was born the population has DOUBLED! The net rate now is about one person every 11 seconds. When I took my first breath it was around one every 12 seconds. Just one second, but that is an increase of 9% statistically.

Any guesses as to when the NEXT 100 million mark will be met? And what of the 10 Billionth living inhabitant on the earth? I predict that the earth will be home to 10 billion people in about 2030. That means that, if the predictions of Armageddon are meant to be literal figures, this will be reduced to about 4,444,888,900 (reduced by a third twice over). The series of 4's in that number sparked memories of a conspiracy theory regarding square roots and the dreaded "666" with regards to a store convenience card I carry. And sure enough, this projected population is EXACTLY the square of 66670! "Spooky," huh? [The square of 66666 is 4,444,355,556; and of 66600, it's 4,435,560,000.]

That is, of course, if the 2000 year mark from the Ascension to the Return of Christ holds true. And that, my friends, is something none of us can know for sure until it happens!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Seal of Approval



Actually, I was not sure what to call this blog, but it has to do with a site I found via "Bestest Blog" this evening. Above is one of a few seals I generated at "says-it.com." I am trying to decide what to use for my "ego de lego" campaign. This seal displays the Hebrew for "Lord" (Adonai) rather than the more correct "LORD" (YHWH).




This one says it fairly well, since the phrase "Ego de lego" means "I, though, say." I like the laurel, as a symbol of the crown of life. The lamp is His word.












And this is an excellent reminder of our mission: To reach the lost in this world with the message of the grace of God in Christ! I replaced the laurel with wheat, for ovious reasons.




Of course, the "says-it.com" site would love to custom design seals for individuals and companies, in order to make money with their programming. However, with their limited library on line there are "countless" combinations for excellent seals to upload to websites!

Let me know when you post YOUR seal. :-)

The Power of food

I have recently eaten "free food" which was designed to facilitate fellowship. Behind that fellowship, though, was the pushing of programs which require money!

On Friday we ate at a friend's house along with three other people and the host couple. Not as many folk were there as were hoped, but the purpose of the evening seems to have been fulfilled. My wife and I are making arrangments to be paricipants in the featured conference in November.

Tonight was the opposite, but with similar results. We attended a banquet with a sumptious buffet type meal that included salmon and brocoli (two of the "superfoods"). And then there was the iced tea (another "superfood"). With the crowd of perhaps four hundred had gathered upon the plain to hear Him preach. The enemy was on the run.

And so, we plan to give of our time for the CCEF conference, and ultimately we will give a total over 200 dollars in the next two years to the building program at the Wilds. Meanwhile, the money changers have taken over much of the courtyard. If we don not heed the Word of God, then the counsel of the world will snatch us into its diabolical masterplan.

How far do I have to walk to burn off those two meals? :-)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Church of Sardis



We were treated today with to very sobering pictures of the church in the early twenty-first century. Dr. James McGoldrick is pulpit supply at Second Presbyterian Church (link opens sermon) in Greenville. He is professor of Church History at Greenville Presbyterian Seminary.

We heard of the church at Thyratira (the "Compromising Church") and the church at Sardis (the "Dead Church"). As bad as the theology at Thyratira was, the dead orthodoxy at Sardis was even worse! If my understanding of the churches is correct, then the long history of the Thyratiran church was played out in the around 1066 years between the last church counsel (AD 451) and the beginning of the Reformation (Oct. 31, 1517). With the Reformation attention turned to purity of doctrine. This presented the appearance of "life," but in reality of the breath of God was gone.

There is a danger among conservative, "traditionalist" churches like the one I am a member of to have all the right doctrine while the outreach beyond the historically significant walls is next to nil. We have to praye for Philadelphian fire that is seen in the evangelistic zeal that arose from the Westminster Confession (AD 1646) that spread the gospel to the ends of the earth in two short centuries. Unfortunately, as I see it, this flame burned out, giving way to the putrid Laodicean era (AD 1848 to AD 1914).

If I am right, we are in the endtimes, building up in a crescendo to a climax by mid century. If the cues in typology are correct, this "age" will be "as in the days of Noah" -- 120 years! We need individual congregations, and even denominations, to rekindle the Philadelphian spirit to survive the coming onslaught of the world. Even in the Sardinian and Laodicean churches, though, there were believers that had the life of God in them. It is those that breathe the air of heaven that will move the body on earth!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

As in the days of Noah

The second millennial "day" since creation was probably the worst time in history in which to live. In those days the "remnant" of God's people had been reduced to ONE person, and perhaps his family. But even then, "Noah found GRACE." That is, God favored him over everyone else. God's grace is not dependent upon what men might be or even what they are "on the inside."

And now we seem to be in a repeat of those evil DAYS. We are in or near the seventh "day" in which we can expect the "rest" to come. Recent senseless masacres in the USA show us that man will still "evil continuouslly." A unreached populace will always tend toward violence.

Christ is much too pure to have an impure "body." We need to emulate Him, seeking daily for His guidance.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Giving Back

Boy, was I tired on that night! Friday the thirteenth indeed! Here is what I meant to type:

Taking a look at my paycheck stub I discovered what seems to be an "over payment" of at least a day in my "vacation" selection. It lists "88 hours" for the time used. I looks like I may returning the money I was overpaid.

One would think that in a day of computers, ... incoherent (see below).

And so, I will go to bed now. I cannot see straight, my head is hurting and the ol' neck is not looking forward to the night either. Incoherent rambling (see below).

The original post:

"Taking a look at my paycheck stub I discovered what seems to be an "over payment" of at least a day in my "vacation" selecton. It leasts "88 hours" for the time used. I looks like I may returning the money I was overpaid.


"One would think that in a day of computers, one could chose the right days SOMETIME. But Jesus did not want to heal everyone - only those that came faithfully, even the tune!


"And so, I will go to bed now. I cannot see straight, my head is hurnig and the ol' neck is not looking forward to the night either. Just remember, "antichrist" was a movement in the 20th century, until human interests changed things."

I am not sure where the idea of Jesus not wanting to heal came from, much less the "tune"! And then, we ALL remember the "antichrist movement," right? :-)

It may be that Jesus DIDN'T want to heal the faithless. But then, He was "marching to the beat of a different drummer," so to speak (though I don't think you can discern a "tune" with a drum, huh?) It is such musings, I suppose, that stirred up that old "antichrist" movement! :-)