Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Conspiracy but No Theory

Was Democrat's Health Care Strategy Written in Federal Prison? "Creamer’s broader aim, as laid out in his book, is the “democratization of wealth” in America and “progressive control of governments around the world.” As he recently wrote on his blog at the Huffington Post: “If we succeed in winning health insurance reform we will have breached the gates of the status quo. We will demonstrate that fundamental change is possible. Into that breach will flow a wave of progressive change.”"

The Blueprint Penned from the Pen: Manufacture a Crisis, Manufacture Rage "This is about money and this is about power." "The problem is: it's all a lie."

Obama's political strategy for the take-over of health care was conceived and written by a criminal, Robert Creamer, while in prison. The strategy includes the manufacture of an imaginary crisis, and has as its explicit purpose to eventually control the world. His book includes an endorsement from Obama's top political advisor, David Axelrod. Every single detail of Creamer's communist strategy has been followed by the Obama administration. Creamer was in jail because he had been convicted of bank fraud and tax evasion. So, naturally, he's a perfect fit for the Obama administration. He's now an Obama advisor and may be the only ex-convict to ever attend a Presidential State Dinner.

Obama has embraced a design for deception, fraud, intimidation, and even violence in order to establish a communist health care system in the U.S., the express purpose for which is to force all citizens (of the entire world, eventually) to be dependent on government health care.

We typically scoff at conspiracy theories. It may be unfortunate that we are so eager to do so because, in this case, while it sounds like some bizarre, comic book world-domination conspiracy, it is far beyond theory. These facts are known. I only pray that American's will learn the truth in spite of the media's brazen complicity.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Beauty of the Bride

Some say the Church must appeal to the lost and make itself more attractive to 'the world' in order to draw people to attend worship services. They reason that the mission of the Church is evangelism, and the success of the Church must be measured by the rate of its growth, therefore all activities must be oriented toward growth; growth is defined by numbers, therefore the Church must direct all its efforts, including worship, toward attracting lost souls to the Church. Therefore, worship service must be made appealing to 'the world' with irreverent music and visual aids, coarse language, a loose grip on scripture and the mandates of God, flashing lights, or any number of other lures.

Those who reason this way are mistaken. To them, God says:
    "Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." ~2Corinthians 2:2-7

As the whore scorns the virgin, so 'the world' scorns the Church of God. Shall the virgin paint her face and expose her flesh for the sake of fellowship with the whore? Shall she debase herself, discarding her virtue as if it were refuse, for the sake of fellowship with the whore? What quality of fellowship will the virgin then have to offer to the whore? In order to 'save' the whore, shall the virgin become a whore?

No. Indeed not. Not all the lost will be saved. It is not for the Church to decide. Indeed the Body of Christ saves no one. Only Jesus saves. The virgin shall "Let light shine out of darkness" as a beacon of hope and a reflection of the glory of God. So also shall the Bride of Christ.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Galatians 6:1-5

I was so caught up in this passage, I felt compelled to share the thoughts racing around my head...

    "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load." ~Galatians 6:1-5

The first verse makes the point, and verses 2 through 5 elaborate. As to the first sentence, he who should "restore him gently" is "you who are spiritual". But does this mean all of "you" because you are spiritual or does it mean only those of "you" who are spiritual? Verse 2 expands the idea with direction that clearly applies to everyone. Obviously, it is not only important for those "who are spiritual" to fulfill the law of Christ! Therefore, it must be concluded that "who are spiritual" is used as a counterpoint and describes all of those who are not "caught in sin".

Of course, also worthy of note is that someone "caught in a sin" should be restored gently. This alone is worth considerable meditation. Certainly soft words alone are not at all gently restorative. We must be guided by following the recent verse 5:14, which refers to Leviticus 19:18, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

When hearing "But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted", I used to imagine a person entering a bar to find his friend who was indulging in alcohol only to find himself swilling beer. But the temptation referred to here is toward pride of being "you who are spiritual". For, "if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself wihtout comparing himself to somebody else". This is quite plain. But merely connecting verses 3 and 4 with the second part of verse 1 is revelatory for me. The temptation we face when gently restoring our brothers is less in being caught in the same sin, but more in being tangled in pride.

An apparent contradiction lies between verses 2 and 5. How can it be that we should "Carry each other's burdens" when "each one should carry his own load". Upon brief reflection, it must be recognized that while each should carry his own load, verse 1 makes clear it does not always happen. Sometimes, "someone is caught in a sin", not carrying his own load. We must always endeavor to carry our own load and, when necessary, fulfill the law of Christ to "love your neighbor as yourself" by carrying "each other's burdens".

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Against Civil Debate

When you and I seek to achieve the same goal, yet disagree about the best manner by which our shared goal might be obtained, then we are likely to benefit by sharing our points of view and seeking to learn from each other and to persuade each other. In addition, civil society survives only when we peacefully resolve such conflicts.

As another example, if I have concluded that, for your own good, your home must be burned to the ground with all your possessions and family inside, you might find it more difficult to civilly discuss the merits of my solution. Such a solution would be a violation of your rights and those of your family members. If I, nevertheless, consider burning down your house with your family inside to be a necessary part of making your life better, how much patience could you muster for civilly discussing the validity of such a proposal? Should it be considered rude or uncivil of you to object so vigorously as to preclude thoughtful debate? Of course not. In fact, if I were to then begin to implement my plan in spite of your objections, one should reasonably expect you to not only take exception, but also to raise your hand against my efforts in order to save your family and your property. And you would be right to do so.

Those persistent, disruptive, sign-carrying, slogan-yelling, camera-wielding citizens who attend town-hall meetings to peacefully object to the subjugation of American citizens to government dictates regarding health care have made themselves objects of ridicule and violence by standing strongly for liberty and against tyranny and corruption. They are American heroes and are to be applauded, celebrated, and revered!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I have always thought of incontinence as the inability to control one's bladder. This is the only manner in which I've heard the word used. But it has come to my attention through the King James Version of the Bible and subsequent research that the definition covers other realms of behavior as well.

1 Corinthians 7:5
    Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. ~KJV

    Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. ~NIV

The same word or words are translated "incontinency" and "lack of self-control".
The definitions I find for incontinent include:

    in⋅con⋅ti⋅nent  [in-kon-tn-uhnt]
    1. unable to restrain natural discharges or evacuations of urine or feces.
    2. unable to contain or retain (usually fol. by of): incontinent of temper.
    3. lacking in moderation or self-control, esp. of sexual desire.
    4. unceasing or unrestrained: an incontinent flow of talk.

And the following from a medical dictionary:

    Main Entry: in·con·ti·nence
    Function: noun
    1 : inability or failureto restrain sexual appetite
    2 : inability of the body to control the evacuative functions

Also very interesting are the related words that are given:

    Related Words for : incontinence
    incontinency, dissoluteness, self-gratification

Clearly, there is an aspect of incontinence that relates to sexual desire and the inability, or unwillingness, to control that desire.
Now, you have encountered puppies that urinate on themselves (or on you) because they get so excited. We could consider those puppies to be incontinent. Don't forget that they will also hump your leg with no provocation.

Given these things to consider, it seems entirely reasonable for us to conclude that temptations to lust or sloth or gluttony or any other activity of over-indulgent self-gratification are temptations to behave like pitiful little puppies who can't help peeing on ourselves.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Power of Jesus

Can you save your own life? Is there any potential circumstance in this world from which your abilities are insufficient for protecting yourself? Of course, there are. You and I are imperfect and less than expert at so many skills that might be relevant in a given situation wherein our lives might be in danger.

But, can you imagine a hypothetical individual who is supremely adept physically, athletically, intellectually, emotionally, and academically? What if there were someone who had all the knowledge and all the skills and all the physical abilities that are possible for any human being to have? Would he always be able to save his own life? Well.. the answer has to be "no". But, here's why. While such a person might successfully face every challenge the world can throw at him, there is still Jesus. Such an individual might land safely from a leap from an airplane without a parachute. He might be able to instantly calculate the speed and trajectory of a bullet and apply his strength and dexterity with perfect precision in order to avoid being touched by said bullet. He may "McGuyver" his way out of any number of technically challenging situations. Such a person would be capable of avoiding every danger there is in this world.

But such a person would still be a human being. That is, he would remain less than God. Not only so, but all of his skills, abilities, and mental faculties were given and are maintained by Jesus. It is only by the will of Jesus that such a person (as well as you and I) continues to exist. Jesus holds together this person's body parts, the cells, the molecules, the atoms, even the subatomic particles. Such a powerful and capable person would cease to exist at the merest thought of Jesus. At the slightest whim of Jesus, such a person would never have existed. There would be no written record or memory of him because there would be nothing to record or remember. All the history of his own life and the lives and events he impacted would be changed, not because of his departure, but because he never arrived! That is the truly awesome power of Jesus.

    Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. ~Matthew 28:18

    And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. ~Colossians 1:10-12

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Federal Agency Promotes Gender Confusion

The Environmental Protection Agency facility in Durham, North Carolina displayed this approximately 25 foot high banner and several much smaller signs in celebration of "Gay Pride" month in June 2009. It's interesting to note the tactic used by excluding the words "gay" and "homosexual" from the banner. However, the elements in the banner such as the flag, the verbiage of the poem "Equality", as well as the absence of specificity and the fact that the advertisements were displayed during "Gay Pride Month", all serve more than sufficiently to make clear the "pride" to which the title refers is pride in sexual perversion born of gender confusion.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Who watches the Watchmen?"

I did. I had read the comics years ago and anticipated the ridiculous plot resolution. Still, I was so very disappointed. I suppose that's because the movie touches on issues that I care about, like peace and liberty among others, yet responds to real challenges with only absurdities. In fact, it goes so far as to punctuate its absurd fantasies about human nature by mocking the best provision of peace and liberty that actually was offered and proven in the world during the time period of the film. (I'm trying to avoid spoilers in case you'd like to be disappointed, too.) THUMBS DOWN!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A "Defense of Marriage" Amendment is Gay

The proposal to add an amendment to the United States Constitution is driven by a desire to protect marriage because it is the foundation of society and necessary for its continued existence. Note that I am careful NOT to say marriage is merely the foundation of our society, as if marriage were an American institution. The life of all human society depends on husbands and wives committed to life-long union.

A Constitutional amendment defining marriage appropriately might not be the worst thing to ever happen. However, it would be a violation of the Conservative principles, particularly that of limited government, that have served to make the United States of America history's strongest most prosperous nation and to enable the U.S.A. to export desire for liberty, as well as its reality, around the world.

Conservatives, like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and others, rightly understood that people can only possess liberty when the government is restricted as our Constitution was designed to do. So-called 'Liberals' disagree. Communists, Atheists, Homosexuals, and others, have repeatedly applied methods to use the government, both in legal and illegal ways, to force tyrannical, unconstitutional policies onto our people.

I'm not at all comfortable with government at any level requiring me to be licensed in order to marry the woman of my dreams. When a marriage covenant is enacted between a man, a woman, and God, an oath has been taken. Two people are married. What has government to do with it? Who is some bureaucrat to tell me, my wife, and my God whether or not we are really married and our vow is legitimate?

It does occur to me that, in its appropriate role to protect us from each other when necessary, some level of government may need to know who is married in order to prevent and/or punish bigamy, for example. But, can you see that allowing marriage to be defined by government gives it too much power over our personal lives?

Because of its profound significance, defense of marriage is not only good, but also necessary! But, like flying planes into buildings full of innocent Muslim civilians in order to defeat Islamic Fascists, to propose a Constitutional amendment defining marriage is to adopt and condone the tactics of the tyrannical homosexual agenda.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

They Are Us!

I'm now prepared to speak more rationally about the killing of George Tiller and its indications. I do not, by any means, recant! I merely intend to elaborate. George Tiller's acts were not merely murder. No, indeed. He mutilated helpless babies. If there is no sympathy for Adolf Hitler or Jeffrey Dahmer or any serial child rapist, how then could there possibly be sympathy for such a horrible monster as George Tiller?

Regarding my thoughts and feelings about the killing of a human being who I find despicable because of his engagement in the butchery of infants, I am torn. How could I support the cold-blooded slaying of a man while he serves in his church on Sunday morning? I've imagined what it might be like to shoot a person. It makes me shiver. It seems so cold and hard-hearted and such a violent, brutal thing.

One must realize that so-called 'abortion' is a nearly identical act, different only in that it is more cold, more hard-hearted, more violent, and more brutal than gunning down a stranger in cold blood. Therefore, we must in fairness to the first question, also ask, how could I stand by with full awareness while such an act is committed? Wouldn't complacent inaction be just as worthy of guilt? But these are the only choices, are they not?

Some may argue that another choice is to lobby for the legal protection of those helpless babies so that the law would then prevent the atrocities committed by George Tiller and so many others like him. This is absolutely a worthwhile effort, but it just as certainly takes time. Any amount of time is more than unwanted babies can afford.

When the alternatives are either to kill a serial murderer in order to prevent him from continuing in the wholesale slaughter of defenseless babies or to stand by and do nothing as the body count of helpless, innocent victims daily grows, continuing to mushroom, ultimately approaching 60,000 babies, how could anyone with even a trace of human compassion be still?

While I'm not quite (perhaps I should say 'not yet') prepared to condone the 'extra-lawful' killing even of a murderer, I would say in defense of drastic action that the law is insufficient to protect us. That's right I said, "to protect US." Even in the U.S.A., where we profess to hold it self-evident that all people are created with equal value and equally endowed by God with certain rights that cannot be denied, our nation has sunk deeply into tyranny of the oppression of those whom our society determined were "not like us".

When our nation was founded, slavery was an accepted institution in most, if not all, of the world. But for the West at least, slavery was not merely economic tyranny, it was also racial tyranny, as demonstrated by the fact there were no White slaves. Our nation could only have condoned slavery and segregation by imagining that people of significantly different appearance and culture are "not like us" and, therefore, not equally endowed by God with rights that cannot be denied. I think it is now generally well understood that this proposition of our ancestors (and even our parents, in some cases) was false. I do believe that cultures can be of greater or lesser value and every person is different with there own strengths and weaknesses. Yet, each person has the same intrinsic value and undeniable rights.

It is a grave mistake for anyone, especially for we who acknowledge the undeniable right for everyone to live, to imagine that little babies are somehow "not like us" and therefore less deserving of respect for their most basic of rights. We must understand, however unlikely it may seem, that when the undeniable rights of any group of people can be universally and indiscriminately violated, then every other group is vulnerable to the same tyranny. But I don't mean to suggest that we should have only cynical motivation. I believe when we correctly and thoroughly comprehend that babies are, indeed, like us and have all the same irrefutable rights as we adults, we will be on fire for their defense, not merely because of the potential implications for our own rights, but also, I hope, because of our compassion for other human beings and our love for justice. They are us!

Some have said, "a fetus isn't fully human. You only think so because of your religion, and you can't impose your religious beliefs on everyone else". I would respond, "what religious beliefs?" First, let's not forget that our national identity is rooted in our acknowledgement of the fact that God has given the same undeniable rights to all human beings. This is a religious belief without which we would have no concept of individual liberty or any opposition to tyranny. If not for the Christian world view of our 'founding fathers', the U.S.A. would have been just another kingdom and would not have propagated hope for liberty and prosperity throughout the entire world. So let's be careful not to so easily object to religious beliefs. After all, should we reject the concepts of equal rights and free speech because the have their origin in religious conviction?

But does my conviction about the beginning of a human life have the Bible as its source? The Bible does very emphatically indicate that human life and its intrinsic value do begin before birth. But my conviction is driven more precisely by science.
  1. An unborn child at any and all stages of development is genetically human. That is a scientific fact!
  2. An unborn child at any and all stages of development is genetically unique. He is not mere 'tissue', part of the mother's body. That is a scientific fact!
  3. The life of an unborn child begins at conception. That is a scientific fact that any honest biologist will tell you!

For those concerned about the imposition of religious values on all of society by a fanatical few, some religions may demand that we reject science and the fact that life begins at conception, but you may rest assured that denial of these three scientific facts is NOT found in the Bible. But, as mentioned earlier, what the Bible does contain is the command to care about the rights of all people.

Considering these scientific facts, we must refuse to participate in the delusional discussion of 'abortion' as if that were the issue. Whether or not to abort a pregnancy is not the issue. I think we can agree that we have the same concern about 'abortion' that we have about embryonic stem-cell research. We cannot hope to address any issue appropriately if we cannot first correctly identify the issue. And no case can be made that justice is served by ending the life of an unborn child. Therefore, the real question must always be, "under what circumstances is it acceptable to murder a helpless, innocent child?"

"What gives you the right to tell a woman what to do with her body?" Nothing gives me the right, and I do not seek to obtain any right of the sort. I know you have heard this question. Such an accusatory question is known as a "Straw Man Argument". When experiencing difficulty arguing an opponent's points, one might attempt to deceptively misrepresent the opponent's points as something different and more easily defeated. It is a dishonest practice relying on trickery and driven by weakness. That is, when it is not merely being repeated by those who have no thoughts of their own.

But since the question is so common, I'd like to address it. First, should it be legal for a man to beat a woman to death with his bear hands? After all, he is doing as he chooses with his own body. What right do you have to support a law against such behavior when doing so would certainly be an attempt by you to tell that man what to do with his own body? Every law that exists is an attempt to control behavior. All behavior is acted out in some way or another with our bodies, whether one is robbing a bank, driving drunk, or anything else you can imagine. Because we all are endowed with the same rights, it is inevitable that our rights must be limited when they begin to infringe upon the rights of others. This is the only way to ensure equality of rights. So that man should be allowed to do with his own body what he will unless and until the exercise of his liberty hinders some else's free exercise of liberty.

This brings me right to the second part of my response to the question. What the woman does (or arranges to have done by someone else) to her own body is of no concern to me. The assertion that 'abortion' is the exercise of a woman's right to do what she likes with her own body is not only false, but also patently ridiculous. Does 'abortion' take the life from the woman's body? Is the woman's body painfully and horribly cut into pieces while she yet lives? Is the woman's brain sucked from her head by a needle jammed into the base of her skull? Considering the effects of 'abortion' on the baby's body, I find wailing and moaning about a woman's right to do what she likes with her own body profoundly offensive and entirely irrelevant.

George Tiller and his ilk are hired assassins. This may sound like inflammatory rhetoric, but the definition is perfectly accurate. Justice can be sought for what has been done, but atrocities cannot be undone by the death of this butcher and justice cannot be achieved by a vigilante killing. However, there is certainty that he would have killed as many more helpless, innocent babies as his lifespan or life plan would accommodate. All of those potential victims have been rescued from slaughter, if not absolutely, then at least from the prolific hands of this particular vicious and demented individual.

"Do you love me?"

As ever, Oswald Chambers profoundly cuts right to the heart of the matter. His June 19th entry of My Utmost for His Highest addresses an aspect of church life (and my life) that has troubled me for some time. I call it intellectualism because, no matter how inadvertently, it encourages "understanding" Jesus rather than knowing him. Intellectualism encourages a legalistic, if sincere, pursuit of righteousness rather than a devoted pursuit of Jesus. It focuses on doctrine instead of focusing on love.
    "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."
    ~1 Corinthians 13:2
Chambers' identification of the problem decades ago and his Holy Spirit inspired prescription give me hope. It's a great relief to know intellectualism is not a unique problem or even new to this age. I'm excited to know that God can free us from it as he has done to others.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What's Good for the Goose...

Praise the Lord! George Tiller, the baby killer is dead! Hallelujah! The vicious butcher is dead. The mass murder/serial killer, George Tiller, established a reputation for performing late term 'abortions' and for brutally murdering the babies of 10-14 year old rape victims without reporting the crime, which allowed the rapists to continue their assaults unimpeded. I've read that he was responsible for the deaths of over 60,000 infants.

In spite of these facts, some Christians have argued that he should not have been murdered as he was. Such a solution may be less than ideal, but it is undeniably a solution. Concerns about the potential negative impact of Tiller's murder on the public debate of the daily slaughter of thousands of babies is nothing short of craven cowardice. This is no time for mourning, but for jubilation! Any claim that the murder of a mass murderer is somehow unjust is the epitome of hypocrisy. Tiller finally had done to him what he had for so long done to so many others. Our government is supposed to protect us from horrors like George Tiller. Infanticide has not ended, but Tiller's reign of terror is at an end. Thank God!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Review: The Goode Family

Wednesday, May 27, "The Goode Family" debuted. The animated sitcom is powered by Mike Judge (along with two others whose names are new to me), creator of "Beavis & Butthead" and "King of the Hill". The Goode's are environmentalists who struggle to meet the PC demands of being responsible residents of the planet. For example, they actually ask themselves, "What would Al Gore do?"

Judge's previous work, this subject, and the previews gave me hope for a laugh. However, the first episode was a tremendous disappointment. While I did not expect the show to go so far as to embrace all of my values, I was looking forward to seeing some good-natured fun being poked at "greenies". The debut did have some fun by honestly pointing out the irrationality of some Liberal ideas, but also encouraged sympathy for environmentalists' sincerity. In stark contrast to such gentle treatment, the culmination of the episode's plot was a grotesque and flagrantly dishonest mockery of Christians and abstinence in the form of accusations of overt incestuous tendencies. I felt ambushed.

The Goode matriarch has said about Christian abstinence proponents, "They're not like us", making reference to their cross pendants and flag pins. After seeing Christian fathers and daughters participating in a mock wedding to celebrate abstinence (I know, it's weird and thoroughly divorced from reality), the Goode's daughter, who is struggling against the PC notion that everyone must have sex, says, "Mom was right, they're not like us". If those who assert themselves as higher than animals by exercising their uniquely human quality of self-control were the sexual perverts (and up were down and east were west) as The Goode Family would have viewers believe, then who would disagree?

But, "They", are only grossly misrepresented here. I'm careful not to judge a series by only its first episode, but so far, we have a giant, poisonous Politically Correct pill, lubricated with humor for easy swallowing.

It is interesting that a show about a 'green' family would attack God; there is no obvious opposition here. But perhaps, we see in this attack an acknowledgement, however inadvertent it may be, of the more subtle reality that environmentalism is indeed a religion. This introduction may also reveal that the show will not critique PC behavior as advertised, but rather support it just like nearly everything else from La La Land.

The Thrill of Victory

I had a 'big thrill' this morning. You don't have to know me well to know I am not much for cleaning house. I make no secret of it. But I do wash myself daily and have, for years now, been concerned about my dirty bathtub. I've tried many different cleansers, but have been unable to make any real progress against the gray stains in my tub. I would scrub and scrub and scrub, then step back and look, thinking, "Hmm. That might be a little lighter gray than before."

Recently, I've been more committed to finding a solution. I collected all the cleansers and lined them up on the bathroom counter, determined that I will vigorously apply each in turn until I find one that can do, at least, some damage to the dirt. It looks like a superhero fight from a comic book: Bam!, Pow!, Kaboom!.

I have developed the 'intermittent habit' of spraying one of the cleansers on the tub right after I get out of the shower. Returning to the shower this morning, I first ran some water and tried to scrub the tub with a rough sponge. To my slack-jawed amazement, the dirt began to move! Most of it came up! Only the 'ring' where the dirt was thickest remains for later attention. I don't know why it worked this time, but not before. The bottom of the tub is a big clean spot. While showering I frequently rubbed my big toe on the bottom of the tub just to hear the clean squeak!

That's right. This is a big thrill for me. I'm often amazed at the things that little children find amusing or amazing. But I'm no different in the simplicity of the sources of my amazement. I laugh as I say this, but it's so true: it's healthy to have goals, and there's no shame in rejoicing in success, no matter how insignificant it may be to others.

So, as easy as you have found it to be to clean your own tub, I'm sure you have not neglected the task for so long as I have. I now have hope. That's right. Even from this relatively trivial thing, I have hope and inspiration for completing, not only this one thing, but also other tasks that have seemed daunting to me. Am I pathetic? Certainly. We all are, though some of us are mercifully reminded more frequently than others. Surely, everyone has some kind of challenges at almost all times. If life is easy, as we would all like very much for it to be, then we are doing it wrong! What can be learned, gained, or created from an easy life? We should enjoy even struggles because through them, we are challenged to grow and to learn. And victory is so very sweet. Over what will you have victory?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It Goes Without Saying...

I enjoy puzzles and games. Obviously, such diversions are a commonplace part of our culture. I just solved a puzzle. Its solution is a quote from Erma Bombeck, a humorist whom many younger folks will not know. It's not important to know who she is. Her quote is this:

    It goes without saying that you should never have more children than you have car windows.

Now, I suppose that's kind of funny in an understated way. It seems harmless enough. But, I started thinking about what it means. First, the intention I believe is to imply that parents can have too many children. Second, and of more interest to me, is the implication that parents should control how many children they have. Mrs. Bombeck jokes that the first must go without saying (although she does say it). But, it must be obvious to her that the second also goes without saying. However, neither the idea that parents must exert control over the size of their families in order to avoid having too many children nor the idea that there is such thing as 'too many children' should go without saying. These are topics well worthy of discussion.

Whatever you may think about the size of families and the use of birth control is beside the point that I am making here. This quote exemplifies the ability of popular culture to influence its participants to a particular point of view with such gentle subtlety as to go completely unnoticed by an unsuspecting audience. Everyone, no matter what their beliefs, must be vigilant against such subtle persuasion. In order to avoid being misled, we must never allow anything to "go without saying".

Can you see this principle active in your own interaction with popular culture? Please share your examples. What have you been taught (rightly or wrongly) by our culture?

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Got Surf?

I have a dream...

..to surf in Hawaii. I know that sounds frivilous. But, here's the fact: I get choked up watching movies or videos about surfing.

I'm so moved, perhaps, by the idea of being in the center of such beauty and power, both attributable to God himself. It makes me think of being right in the palm of his hand.

    His splendor was like the sunrise;
    rays flashed from his hand,
    where his power was hidden.
    He stood, and shook the earth;
    he looked, and made the nations tremble.
    The ancient mountains crumbled
    and the age-old hills collapsed.
    His ways are eternal.
    You trampled the sea with your horses,
    churning the great waters.
    ~Habakkuk 3:4,6,15

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pandora's Music Box

I discovered a website called Pandora. They call it "A new kind of radio - stations that play only music you like". You name an artist or song you like, and then you can listen to a "station" consisting of songs determined to be similar. This determination is produced by a database called the Music Genome Project wherein each song is assigned various and sundry characteristics. No genre is excluded and no songs are too old. Having built several stations, I have to say it is very impressive. I'm able to listen to songs I know I like as well as discover some real gems. You can create multiple stations, customize your stations, research music, share what you find, and use other features I have not yet apprehended. I'ts an absolute blast and I highly recommend it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid

I'm sure every believer in America has heard Christians being accused of being hypocrites. Several years ago, I wondered if it might be true and dealt with this question honestly. It was easy then, because as a recent convert, I did not feel that the accusation applied to me. I was new at this and felt no responsibility for the reputation that may have been earned. In my conclusion, I was in agreement with my fellow believers: some professing Christians, who may or may not be the genuine article, are overly judgemental and angry. The rest of us also sometimes appear to be hypocritical because, in our imperfection, we can fail to live up to our ideals.

Now, as an adult more confident in my faith, I have very little concern for false accusations. But I find an interesting irony. I do not believe that Christians are generally hypocritical. We do not judge people for things of which we are guilty. In fact, good discipleship leads us away from judging people at all. In that sense we are not hypocritical. That is, not usually and certainly not intentionally. However, I do believe we Christians are most definitely hypocrites. But I use the term in an entirely different way from that used by those who hurl angry accusations at us because they groan under the pressure of their own sin.

I have become quite good at controlling my behavior, especially when not alone. While the reputation for being hypocrites as earlier described is largely false, Christians have earned a reputation for being uptight sticks-in-the-mud because, somewhere in the dark recesses of our hearts, we do know that we must protect ourselves from opportunities to be who we really are. Our impulses must be suppressed. This also improves as we grow in Christ, but it is also very easy to disguise. We spend so much thought, energy, and prayer in correcting our behavior, I fear we neglect our hearts. Again, I find in myself another way in which I may inadvertently try to achieve righteousness. Perhaps, not to earn heaven, but in order to please God and, unfortunately, probably also to please man. However, keeping quiet about feelings of anger, selfishness, pride, etc. does not result in less sin. Rather, it results in habits of hypocrisy and, perhaps, even pride. We become actors.

We really are hypocrites, not as a result of judging others for that of which we also are guilty, but because we hide the truth in our hearts behind a facade of righteous behavior. We wear masks which, by the way, God sees through. I would rejoice with my brothers and sisters if we could all be honest with each other, even to the point of expressing the selfishness, anger, and impatience we sometimes feel, just so that we could share in those struggles, overcome them together, and build each other up in love.

I'm not quite suggesting that we should say and do the things we truly desire to say and do. I do suggest that we truly desire to say and do the things we should say and do. I do not know the path to this end, but I do know that somewhere along the way, we must pass through a place where we are exposed in bright light and our weaknesses are revealed. We are all familiar with the concept of confession, but let us confess the truth for a change and leave none of our own stones unturned. Let us face the truth of our own sinfulness, which is found not in our sins, but in our very selves. Let us embrace not only our weakness, but also that of our brothers and sisters—not to revel in it, but to fully accept it.

Then, let us turn to Jesus who IS our righteousness. His righteousness for us did not stop at the cross. It is not limited to his intercession for us. He is also righteousness in us. We must not fear our feelings and hide them behind righteous acts. Rather, we must confess them and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

    You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. ~Matthew 5:20-21a

    But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~2 Corinthians 12:9-10

    What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! ~Romans 7:24

Hat tip: Collective Soul

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Beauty from Ashes

This may just make you hang your head. I hope it makes you lift your hands to "him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."

The Choice: A One Act Play

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Evan Sayet Hits Another Home Run

In his second speech at the Heritage Foundation on March 3, 2009, Evan Sayet insightfully explains why "Liberals" must support that which is wrong and evil over that which is right and good. Evan brilliantly details, with examples, why the Liberal claim to neutrality is actually evil and demonstrates their insidious hypocrisy.

However, Mr. Sayet never explains the motivation for the support of "diversity" , "multiculturalism", or relativism. Understanding such behavior would certainly be worthwhile. I propose that many relativists (who think of themselves as noble multiculturalists) simply believe what they have been taught and have a desire to be fair to everyone. I think of them as "Relativists by Default" because they know of no other perspective.

This, by the way, is the primary reason Liberals are very illiberal regarding the issue of school vouchers. At private schools, children will learn other perspectives that stand up to debate. And, as discussed in the video, the impossibility of a multiculturalist worldview to stand against reasoned thought is the motivation behind the Liberal move to reinstate the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which would essentially silence talk radio. Liberal talk radio shows fail because Liberal positions cannot withstand debate.

However, as I ponder Evan's observations and conclusions, I see that some Liberals are compelled to "level the playing field" regarding all issues of apparent disparity. I refer to these as Committed Relativists, and I believe these folks have something to hide. Perhaps one has embraced an obviously sinful lifestyle and strives to justify it by denying that anything is sinful. Perhaps another simply hates God. If anything can be said to be objectively good or evil, then there must be a higher authority to make such determinations. There must be a God. To deny the Truth of His existence, one must deny that anything is good, and by extention that anything is evil.

Evan's conclusions seem eerily conspiratorial. By habit, I am reluctant to accept such things. But we know Satan is at work behind many of the evils in the world. So, it should come as no surprise at all that human beings serve him, knowingly or not, in a similar manner.

Here's a nice article Evan wrote called "Bruce Springsteen: One-Hundred Percent Republican"

Evan's blog is called Sayet Right. Beware. Many of the comments are brutal.

Evan's first speech at the Heritage Foundation was on March 5, 2007. It's also brilliant. See it here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Depravity & Legalism

I think it's fair to say our depravity leads us to legalism in at least two ways. First (the one I normally think of), I want to know the rules so that I can dispense with knowing Jesus. You know, if I can just know what hoops to jump through, I can skip the relationship that is so much more emotionally and intellectually demanding than a mere list of "dos" and "don'ts".

But the second way that I see depravity leading to legalism is more insidious, I think, because it is more subtle and possibly more dangerous. Because we know that we are all depraved, we don't trust each other. You cannot know for certain whether I really feel remorse for sin. You cannot know if I have truly put my faith in Christ. So, in the first part, you might feel it necessary to make a determination about my standing before God by assessing my outward behavior. While I would not say such assessment has no purpose at all, I have seen Christians sincerely desiring righteousness in others and 'purity' in the church (that is, the absence of unbelievers) conscientiously judge another by what can be observed, as if his salvation depended on his own righteousness. I know you've seen it too.

In the second part, my ability to lie and my depraved inclination to it are the valid reasons for your mistrust. Aware that you cannot know my heart, I may believe that I am 'free' to lie with impunity. I may claim salvation that I do not have. Having salvation or not, I may claim remorse I do not feel. Thus, in addition to these sins, I may be complicit in the conspiracy of legalism in order to avoid its judgment.

And, perhaps, therein lies the most grievous irony. You and I can relate to these temptations to legalism because, I suppose, they are shared by us all. But the darkest part of the sin of legalism is its misdirection. While we must most certainly and sincerely fear God's judgment, legalism turns us away from the fear of God from whose wrath we can only be saved by faith in Jesus Christ. Legalism tempts us to fear instead the trifling and fickle judgment of man from which we attempt to escape by pretending to have no need for Jesus.

    Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. ~Matthew 10:28

Monday, February 16, 2009

Technology Renders Abortionist Fantasies Obsolete (revisited)

The Stem Cell Wars are Over

I'm reminded, once again, of one of my favorite quotes:

A little science estranges man from God. A lot of science brings him back. ~Francis Bacon