Sunday, March 23, 2008

"Project 50"

I had a notion one day to plan a trip to each of the fifty state capitals. And to do it in five weeks. On paper in looked pretty good. I looked up pastors in churches of my denomination in or near each of the stopping points (my east coast jaunt would take in as many as three states in a day!), so I could get lodging. My "only" problem then would be upkeep on my car and time. I figured I could do it for $5000 or so - $100 per state!

But, of course, even that plan was ludicrous. Part of the plan was to come up with an objective. Just WHY would anyone wish to go to these places? What would I do when I got to the capital building. Well, what about just praying? A noble cause, for sure.

And so, that evolved into an email campaign to the fifty governors to ask if they would mind a telephone call "on one of the fifty days from Easter to Pentecost." Well, no takers on a phone call (so far), and only some have even sent a follow-up email. But I started the prayers tonight, "Easter" Sunday.

Check out the blog at

Monday, March 17, 2008

How 'Bout Them Dawgs!!

I do not follow basketball - not even church league here at home - but here is another blog about basketball in as many days!

From the sports page of the New York Times:

"The sixth-seeded Bulldogs, who won four league games all season, won four in four days and captured the Southeastern Conference tournament championship and an automatic berth in the N.C.A.A. tournament with a 66-57 victory over Arkansas."

With a losing season going in, the Dogs tenaciously held on through a literal storm to get a spot in the big show -- March Madness! At least one man - their coach, Dennis Felton - received a "new lease on life" as his dismal season had put his job in jeopardy.

I am NOT going to embarrass myself by posting my "picks" this year. And I do not hold out any hopes that my alma mater will upset the likes of Duke, North Carolina, or Boston College. But let this Georgia Boy vicariously bask in the glory of the moment!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Watch Out NCAA!

Faith and Basketball - an unlikely combination? Not to the scouts from the NCAA!

It seems that the National Christian Homeschool Basketball Championships have quietly worked up some interest in some of the most impressive Christian athletes out there! As this article in Sunday's New York Times points out, home-schooled students are not the slackers some would have you believe. Locally, here in Greenville, we have just finished our church league tournaments with some impressive games. Our teams did not bring home trophies, but the senior girls won nine of eleven regular season games! Some of our players were home-schooled.

Most of the players at the National Christian Homeschool Basketball Championships, though, had to field teams from OTHER home-schools because only 18 states - sadly South Carolina being one of them - will allow participation of home-schooled athletes in their programs. State Senator Mike Fair (from the upstate) is leading the fight for the home-schoolers.

I applaud the scouts who are looking for talent WHEREVER it may be -- even on the courts of a Christian College in Oklahoma City.

Friday, March 14, 2008

One Last Lecture

Eat up by cancer, but otherwise healthy, Dr. Randy Pausch spoke on "Achieving your childhood dreams." In this out-take from an hour message, as presented to an audience at Oprah Winfrey's show, will bring a tear to the eye - or at least a lump in your throat!

What would YOU say if you KNEW you would die soon?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Signs of the Time?

Check this out:

What's this world coming to? Well, Revelation 6:6 comes to mind:

"And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine."

A "penny" is a denarius, equal to a day's wage. The daily wage in Nigeria is about $2.00 a day (median per capita is $560). But that does not stop the local middle class from spending half a day's wage for a serving of bread in the morning:

“I must eat bread and tea in the morning. Otherwise, I can’t be happy,” Mr. Sule said as he sat on a bench at a roadside cafe a few weeks ago. For a breakfast that includes a small loaf, he pays about $1 a day, twice what the traditional eba would have cost him.

To save a few pennies, he decided to skip butter. The bread was the important thing.

“Even if the price goes up,” Mr. Sule said, “if I have the money, I’ll still buy it.”

Addicted to wheat bread! Who would have thought? Though the economy looks like it is headed into a recession, things are looking up for America's farmers. STILL the breadbasket of the world, our market is growing! Even those that had very little NEED for wheat bread (like in Nigeria) are demanding the product! They can't grow much themselves, so the price is increasing towards their daily wage.

Is the end near? How much time do we have left? Will Africa's population "self-destruct"? So many questions? So little time!

Or, will everything work itself out? Supply-side economics and all that! Time, as usual, will tell all. Just you wait!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Free Speech and "Eternity"

I was thinking of writing a blog on this mix-up in Cathedral City, California, but a blogger named Ben Witherington beat me to it! That is what I get for putting off reading my email until the weekend! Anyway, Ben has a lot to say, much of it quite humorous, so check out what he had to say about this at his blog.

Personally, I think the word "Eternity" is a little nebulous for a preacher of the gospel to use on the top of his building. To really get the message across, I would expect "Jesus Saves," especially from a Southern Baptist. Of course as Mr. Witherington shoes in a joke on his blog, the "Jesus Saves" message can be a bit of a cliche'. Then again, since this display in an out of the way place got so much attention, it might very well have been the BEST word to use!

All the more reason to pray for California, I suppose.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Line in the water?

The state of Georgia is dry. Not blessed with a lot of streams, rivers, and dammed up lakes, it has taken to begging water from it's neighbors like South Carolina. And now, a dispute as old as the state of Tennessee has presented a new attraction: water!

It seems that the smaller, more geographically blessed neighbor to the north has a river with plenty of mountain fresh water. The trouble is, it is JUST our of reach. Unlike the Savannah river to the east (which it shares with us in the fair state of South Carolina) and the Chattahoochee River to the west (which has its headwaters just south of the Atlanta airport) which it has to share with Alabama, the Tennessee River is not part of the official border. At least not on the maps.

But the law that the US government used to establish the Tennessee border specifically called for the 35th parallel to be the southern border. That line slices across a bend in the Tennessee River.

As this screen shot from Google Earth plainly shows, the tri-state corner is certainly in the Tennessee River. Clicking on it ought to give better detail.

So, what gives, Tennessee? Just because a few guys almost two hundred years ago put the corner post on land a mile south of here (who could blame them, really, especially in the winter!), it does not change the geography! The law could have designated the River as the boundary, but that would have given up a valuable water way to the "good ol' boys" established in Washington and Atlanta (or Milledgeville, or where-ever it was in those days).

Furthermore, if the boundary marker determines all points east, then Georgia should be about 140 square miles bigger. That's about the area of the city of Atlanta! Think of what developers could do with that! I grew up in Georgia back in the twentieth century [aka "the dark ages"], and my family lives there now [I'm the only foreigner], so I certainly will root for them to win this dispute. It will be giving up more than just water rights. But it will be good if the Supreme Court can come to a conclusion here pretty soon.

We will share some of our water. Tennessee can do as much.