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 If you type in 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 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.