Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Authors in my library

This "Author cloud" is from the 27 books that I have entered at 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 "" 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

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

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