Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Win a Calfskin ESV Study Bible

I really enjoy my hardcover ESV Study Bible, but would not turn my nose up at a calfskin version of the same. Boomer in the Pew is giving one away in honor of their first blog birthday. Check it out.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Wise Twelve Year Old

"A person's a person, no matter how small."

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Simple Math

Here is a rough breakdown on the final votes in the House and Senate on the "spendulous" bill that President Obama will sign into law today. Note that for our purposes "Democrat" includes that tiny fraction of "Independents" who caucus with them:

Votes for the Stimulus Bill:


Democrats 246 Republicans 0


Democrats 58 Republicans 3


Democrats 304 Republicans 3

Does anyone see a pattern? Not to say that the GOP is perfect, far from it. However, these numbers are staggering. Please file this away for 2010 (and beyond).

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Simple Question

I sent the following to my two US Senators and Congressman last week using their constituent web questionnaires:

"One simple question, requiring nothing more than a "yes" or "no" answer:

Did you read the entire stimulus bill prior to voting for it?'

I have yet to receive any response from any of them, not even a "received your request" email response.

Update 3/17/2009:

Finally, a response! However, as you can see, there is no answer to my question, just more rhetoric, and an invitation to subscribe to his newsletter

Dear Mr. Minor:

Thank you for contacting me regarding our Nation's economy. I appreciate the valuable suggestions and personal experiences constituents have shared with me.

Our economy continues to slow, and like many Americans, I'm concerned that our country is in a recession. This recession highlights the weaknesses in our economy and where we must invest so that we can recover and be stronger and more competitive. We must focus on the basics like infrastructure, research and development, high quality education, and cost-effective health care. The recovery will take time, but I believe we need a sustained, long-term commitment to our economic recovery plan. I believe we must provide the resources to address the challenges millions of American families, businesses, and communities face. The recently-enacted economic recovery package is a good start in making the right investments needed to stabilize the economic decline and shore up the building blocks of our economy.

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This legislation will create jobs, restore economic growth, and cut taxes for working families. Since the recession began in December 2007, the nation has lost more than 3.6 million jobs, with 50 percent of those losses occurring within the last three months. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create or save 22,000 jobs in New Mexico and provide unemployment insurance benefits to approximately 70,000 workers who have lost their jobs in this recession.

In order to compete in the 21st Century, we must also have a well-educated workforce, capable of adapting to an ever-changing economic environment. Investing in education now will ensure that the next generation of New Mexico's workers is ready and able to meet the challenge of global competition. This legislation provides $318.6 million through State Fiscal Stabilization Funds to local school districts and public colleges and universities in New Mexico. In addition, the economic recovery package includes additional funding for Pell Grants for the 52,000 recipients in New Mexico.

The current economic crisis has affected all New Mexicans, but none more so than the most vulnerable among us. This legislation will provide urgently needed funding to such programs as the Emergency Food Assistance Program, Head Start, and Senior Meal Programs. In addition, New Mexico will receive an estimated $8.6 million, benefiting an estimated 2,200 households in New Mexico for Homelessness Prevention activities, which include short- to medium-term rental assistance, housing relocation and stabilization assistance, and rapid re-housing assistance for those who have become homeless.

Additionally, I am including a copy of a fact sheet that outlines many of the estimated benefits to New Mexico included in this legislation. I would also urge you to visit my website at http://www.bingaman.senate.gov/ and the U.S. Department of the Treasury at http://www.ustreas.gov/ for additional information on this legislation.

I also understand the concerns many have about the role of the federal government in addressing these challenges. Years of insufficient oversight and poor regulation have unfairly skewed the rules of our financial system in favor of large corporations at the expense of American workers. While I think that it is appropriate to provide federal assistance to strengthen our economy, I also believe that it is essential that there is adequate transparency, oversight, and protections for the American taxpayer against fraud and abuse. I share the concerns expressed about executive bonuses, the unprecedented growth in compensation packages, and "golden parachutes" for CEO's of failed companies. I support imposing limits on compensation packages for executives and ensuring taxpayer assistance is not misused. I believe that Congress and the Administration have a responsibility to the citizens of this country to ensure that companies are held accountable for any unlawful behavior.

As always, I greatly appreciate the views of constituents and I encourage you to stay engaged. Please be assured that I will keep your comments in mind as I work to pass fiscally sound legislation and address the challenges millions of American face. Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to keep me informed of issues of importance to you and your community.

Subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter and periodic issue alerts:



United States Senator

Why don't I feel "warm & fuzzy"?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What is a Church?

Tony Payne, writing from "down under" for the Sola Panel, writes on the nature of the New Testament Church. His background (Anglican) and setting (Australia) may be different from mine, but I think that he hits a home run (or maybe he "hit for five") with this description of the nature of the New Testament church:

"...a group of Christian people (of any size), with a qualified elder or overseer (or more than one, appointed or elected, we care not how), meeting in the name and presence of Christ in any location, at any time of day, on any day of the week, with any frequency (so long as it was regular and often), at which time they spoke and heard God's word together (through Bible reading, preaching/teaching, prophetic encouragement, etc.), and responded in prayer and thanksgiving, with the result that God is glorified in Christ and the people edified."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Black History Month - Faith

Another post by Bro. Thabiti on the African American Church:

Pure Church: The Legacy of the African-American Church: Faith

New Movie

This looks like it is going to be good:

Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny

We need to be reminded of what it was like when it was morning in America.

The Economy

A couple of items on the economy:

A full-page ad from the Wall Street Journal led me to the Cato Institute website, watch the scroll:

And, this shocker from Bloomberg News:

$9.7 Trillion

In the meantime, the President and Congress rush head-long to spend money that doesn't exist, saddling our nation, and the generations to come, with mounting debt.

Friday, February 6, 2009

More on the Inaugural "Lip Synch"

Eric Felton, writing in the February 5th Wall Street Journal (That Synching Feeling), laments the tendency of pursuing the perfect in public performances:

Not only are we told that prerecording is "standard operating procedure," but we're supposed to believe that it is actually a virtue: The performers, you see, care too much about their art to risk presenting something substandard. But what is art without risks?

Are we to be insulated from risk in order to ensure "perfection" even if it results in a loss of integrity? It appears that it is not only musicians who are guilty of this crime, all around us we find an artificial propping up of mediocrity and failure. "You ran your business into the ground? Here, take this bailout"; "No, Timmy, we can't play that game, we wouldn't want some of the other children to have hurt feelings"; "Everyone makes mistakes, I am sure that God understands."

Unfortunately, there is always a final judgment. You might temporarily prop up a failing business, but at what cost down the road? ($1.1 trillion?!? I won't live long enough to see that debt retired!) You might avoid some hurt feelings now, but at what price later? You might think that somehow your idol god will turn a blind eye to your sin, but the Supreme Sovereign of the universe will one day sit in judgment over you.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. -Revelation 20:11-15 (ESV)

While we cannot "lip synch" our way past this judgment, there is one who has fully met the rigorous requirements of God's law on our behalf.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. - Romans 5:6-11 (ESV)

Have we been trying to fake it through life, afraid of imminent failure? Trust in the reality of His sacrifice rather than depending upon your own phony efforts.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sobering Words

Phil Johnson, over at Pyromaniacs, shares from his heart:

Pyromaniacs: Sempiternam Requiem

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 (ESV)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Black History Month - The Importance of the African American Church

Pure Church: Reflecting on the African-American Church During Black History Month

This is Brother Thabiti's first post on the importance of the church in African American life. I look forward to this series as he reminds us that all peoples are dependent upon the grace of God.