Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do you really want...

...these folks running your health care?

Repeat after me: "Government is never the answer."

Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. - Ronald Reagan

Update: Typical government solution, just keep throwing cash at a problem. A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money. Real money? Where do our esteemed lawmakers think that it comes from?

Jimmy Carter Quits (Again)

Jimmy Carter states that he is severing ties with the Southern Baptist Convention due to rampant sexism.

Excuse me, but didn't he already do this in 2000?

Would somebody please lock the door behind him this time? Maybe he can find a new spiritual home with the LDS.

Buh bye.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Antipsalm 23

David Powlison writes an Antipsalm 23:

I'm on my own.
No one looks out for me or protects me.
I experience a continual sense of need. Nothing's quite right.
I'm always restless. I'm easily frustrated and often disappointed.
It's a jungle — I feel overwhelmed. It's a desert — I'm thirsty.
My soul feels broken, twisted, and stuck. I can't fix myself.
I stumble down some dark paths.
Still, I insist: I want to do what I want, when I want, how I want.
But life's confusing. Why don't things ever really work out?
I'm haunted by emptiness and futility — shadows of death.
I fear the big hurt and final loss.
Death is waiting for me at the end of every road,
but I'd rather not think about that.
I spend my life protecting myself. Bad things can happen.
I find no lasting comfort.
I'm alone ... facing everything that could hurt me.
Are my friends really friends?
Other people use me for their own ends.
I can't really trust anyone. No one has my back.
No one is really for me — except me.
And I'm so much all about ME, sometimes it's sickening.
I belong to no one except myself.
My cup is never quite full enough. I'm left empty.
Disappointment follows me all the days of my life.
Will I just be obliterated into nothingness?
Will I be alone forever, homeless, free-falling into void?
Sartre said, "Hell is other people."
I have to add, "Hell is also myself."
It's a living death,
and then I die.

It is sad that this characterizes the viewpoint of so many when God offers:

A Psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD

(Psalm 23, ESV)

Hey you, Federal Criminal. That's right, you!

"Every year, thousands of upstanding, responsible Americans run afoul of some incomprehensible federal law or regulation and end up serving time in federal prison."

There has been an explosion in the number of federal crimes added to the books the past couple of years. Many of these are felonies, and will get you hard time in a federal prison as well as strip away your rights to vote and possess firearms. Pretty soon we might see more laws against "hate crimes" that could be used to criminalize the public reading of portions of the Bible.

Don't think that persecution is coming? Better think again.

(I won't get on my soapbox (much) at this point, But what were "conservatives" thinking when they proposed infringements upon our freedoms in the name of stopping terrorism or waging war on drugs. Don't they know that governments can't be trusted, which is the whole reason why the Founding Fathers limited government and codified the protection of civil liberties in the first place?)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pray for our Persecuted Brothers and Sisters

This sad news story today from Fox News:

North Korea Publicly Executes Christian Woman for Distributing Bible.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:31-39 (ESV)

Ri Hyon Ok is now more than a conqueror. Pray for her family and fellow believers in North Korea as they face tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger and sword.

(You may also want to see my previous post about the dangers of attempting escape from North Korea.)

If it was the Qur'an...

...there would be wide-spread, world-wide rioting. Not to mention the outcry denunciation of this exhibit as a "hate crime".

Art Show Encourages People to Deface the Bible.

It appears that we are to now be tolerant of everything except the Truth.

(And, that sound coming from Scotland? That is John Knox spinning in his grave.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Henry McCarty...

...AKA Billy the Kid.

There have been few other characters in New Mexico history who have evoked as much mystery and intrigue. Two years ago my wife and I were fortunate to attend a special exhibition of historic artifacts, artwork, and pop culture memorabilia related to "the Kid" at the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History.

Now the New Mexico Tourism Department unveils a new website containing lots of neat information, including information about the photograph that led many to believe that Bilyl was left handed for many years. They did a very good job, make sure to check it out.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20, 1969

Has it really been 40 years since a teenage boy huddled with his family around the B&W TV in El Paso, Texas? The Boston Globe has an excellent pictorial commemorating Apollo 11.

Here is a list of little known facts about the Apollo 11 mission, including the fact that Buzz Aldrin participated in a personal communion service:

It was interesting for me to think: the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements. (Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, who also had another first.)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Yearning to be Free

We take our freedom for granted while there are millions who live under despotic regimes. Probably the worst dictatorship in the world is North Korea. Many risk imprisonment, torture, and even death to escape this "workers' paradise".

This PBS documentary is well worth an hour of your time:

(If in Facebook or via RSS, go to the original post. For HD, click on"Full Screen".)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Do you think...

...that the ACLU will file suit to stop this egregious violation of rights?

(if viewing on Facebook or via RSS, view the original post to see the video.)

Nah, I didn't think so either.

I wonder how many folks will plant a cheap gun on the property of an unsuspecting neighbor in order to collect $1,000.00? For them this might be the "best program in the country".

Isn't it just wonderful...

...that John Holdren is President Obama's "Science Czar"?

In 1969, writing with Paul R. Ehrlich, Holdren claimed that, "if the population control measures are not initiated immediately, and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come."[9] In 1973 Holdren encouraged a decline in fertility to well below replacement in the United States, because "210 million now is too many and 280 million in 2040 is likely to be much too many"[10]. Currently, the U.S. population is 306,892,000[11]. In 1977 he co-authored (with Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich) Ecoscience[12], which discussed the possible role of a "planetary regime" in enforcing population control. Also discussed was the possibility of adding a sterilant to drinking water; "Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control. Indeed, this would pose some very difficult political, legal, and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems. No such sterilant exists today, nor does one appear to be under development. To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements: it must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets, or livestock.".

This is scary stuff.

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” - Luke 21:25-28, ESV

There aren't many left

I received an email today telling me that Darrell "Shifty" Powers of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division passed away on June 17th of this year at age 86.

This is from the email:

An American Hero

Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry. If you've seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them. I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn't know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the "Screaming Eagle", the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat. Making conversation, I asked him if he'd been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the 101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served, and how many jumps he made. Quietly and humbly, he said "Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so, and was in until sometime in 1945 . . . " at which point my heart skipped.

At that point, again, very humbly, he said "I made the 5 training jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you know where Normandy is?" At this point my heart stopped. I told him yes, I know exactly where Normandy was, and I know what D-Day was. At that point he said "I also made a second jump into Holland, into Arnhem." I was standing with a genuine war hero

. . . . and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of D-Day.

I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France, and he said "Yes. And it's real sad because these days so few of the guys are left, and those that are, lots of them can't make the trip." My heart was in my throat and I didn't know what to say. I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in Coach, while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I'd take his in coach. He said "No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still some who remember what we did and still care is enough to make an old man very happy." His eyes were filling up as he said it. And mine are brimming up now as I write this.

Shifty died on June 17 after fighting cancer.

There was no parade.

No big event in Staples Center.

No wall to wall back to back 24x7 news coverage.

No weeping fans on television.

Let's give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet way.

Coming soon to a neighborhood near you...

Remember the anarchist riots in France in the Fall of 2005? Did you think then that it could never happen here? Don't kid yourself.

If I had a tinfoil hat mentality I would almost believe that much of what is happening in our government today is specifically designed to lead to the level of disaffection and unrest witnessed in France. Whether or not it is intentional, many of the Obama administration's actions are putting us on the same road.

In an attempt to "know your enemy", I have recently obtained an electronic copy of the English translation of The Coming Insurrection, written by an anonymous group of French anarchists who are calling for a violent uprising against all structures. It is a chilling read, and I may have more comments later. For now, the following excerpt was interesting:

The West is a civilization that has survived all the prophecies of its collapse with a singular stratagem. Just as the bourgeoisie had to deny itself as a class in order to permit the bourgeoisification of society as a whole, from the worker to the baron; just as capital had to sacrifice itself as a wage relation in order to impose itself as a social relation – becoming cultural capital and health capital in addition to finance capital; just as Christianity had to sacrifice itself as a religion in order to survive as an affective structure – as a vague injunction to humility, compassion, and weakness; so the West has sacrificed itself as a particular civilization in order to impose itself as a universal culture. The operation can be summarized like this: an entity in its death throws sacrifices itself as a content in order to survive as a form. -pg. 60, The Coming Insurrection, by "The Invisible Committee"

As far as the writers of this tome are concerned, Christianity is on the ash heap, and only functions as an "affective structure" without power or substance. Unfortunately, this is 100% true of much of Western European "Christianity", and also describes much of American "Christianity" from main-line churches to evangelical circuses.

Have we sacrificed Christianity as a religion in order to survive as an affective structure? It would be difficult to argue against this point based upon an examination of the sorry state of the visible church.

Yet, we know that the true Church, the Body of Christ, transcends worldly structures: I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18b, ESV). While this is true, it might be that we will be called upon to testify for Christ in the midst of great turmoil: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake (Matthew 24:9, ESV). Remember: But the one who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13, ESV) and:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Romans 8:31-39, ESV)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

More Pennies

From the same folks who demonstrated budget cuts using pennies, here is another visual concerning unemployment:

We would be better off doing nothing at all...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Amazing Bravery

This is an incredible story of bravery.

Video here (warning graphic and some rough language).

This is a reminder that we need to pray everyday for those who defend freedom.

“I don’t think there has been a day in the last year and a half that I haven’t thought about them, that I haven’t prayed for them. They saved my life,” said Moss, 24, whose slender 135-pound frame belies the hearty young man who went to war 55 pounds heavier.

“I knew it was love of country and brothers in arms. I hope God watches over them if they get deployed.”

- American Hero, Spc. Channing Moss

Happy 500th Birthday, John Calvin

John Calvin
July 10, 1509 - May 27, 1564

Without the gospel

All of us are useless and empty;
Without the gospel
We are not Christians;
Without the gospel
All wealth is poverty,
Wisdom is foolishness before God,
Strength is weakness,
All human justice is condemned of God,
But by the knowledge of the gospel,
We are made children of God,
Brothers of Jesus Christ,
Fellow citizens of the saints,
Citizens of the kingdom of heaven,
Heirs of God with Jesus Christ,
By whom the poor become rich,
the weak powerful,
the fools wise,
the sinners justified,
the desolate comforted,
the doubting certain,
the slaves set free.
It is the power of God
For the salvation of all believers
And the key to the knowledge of God
Which opens the door of the kingdom of heaven
To unbelievers lying in their sins.

Happy are all those
Who hear and keep it.
For by that they show
That they are children of God.
Miserable are those
Who wish neither to hear nor follow it:
For they are children of the devil.

Taken from John Calvin's preface to Pierre Robert's French translation of the New Testament (1535), as recorded in The Piety of John Calvin: A Collection of His Spiritual Prose, Poems, and Hymns (page 206), translated by Ford Lewis Battles (1915-1979)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Two days, two funerals

Today, thousands will gather and millions will watch as celebrities glorify Micheal Jackson.

"As long as we remember him, he will always be there to comfort us." - 'Pastor' Lucious W. Smith of the Friendship Baptist Church in Pasadena.

"Michael made us love each other. Michael taught us to stand with each other" - 'Rev.' Al Sharpton.

Tomorrow, hundreds will gather to glorify God.

"My body has betrayed me and I have no control. When I am lying in bed, I can do none of the things that I mistakenly think give me value or purpose. I can’t take care of my kids. I can’t make a meal for my husband. I can’t work to make money. Clinging to Him is all I can do. He is my comfort. He is my strength. He is the one who can heal me. He is my hope that things will be better. He is the one who will bring good from my suffering. It’s not bravery. It’s desperation. And it’s exactly where I should be. Clinging.

Sometimes when I think about Jesus coming back, I imagine I am suddenly 7 years old running towards him and throwing my arms around his waist. As he reaches down to embrace me, I hear him say, “Well done, daughter. Welcome home.”

And so I cling." - Rachel Barkey, September 19, 2004

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I Dare You... laugh at this guy.

A brave guy: As for a bright red T-shirt he also was wearing, Boyd said he wasn't overly worried about drawing fire that day. "The enemy already knew where I was," Boyd said. "If they want to shoot at me, then that's less fire they put on the guys that are pinned down, so that's fine with me."

I don't think his buddies really cared what he was wearing, he was in the fight with them.

His boxers will be displayed in the 1st Infantry Division museum at Fort Riley, Kansas. I am sure that they will be drawing attention for years to come.

I am glad that he is now at home, and I hope that all of you will join me in thanking him for his service.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Maybe she just wants to be a Mom

At the time of this writing, Google shows 9,621 news items about Sarah Palin for the past hour. I also heard about an hour's worth of TV news coverage of her resignation. All of the talking heads and pundits seem to be trying to figure out what she is up to. Will this help/hurt her in a Presidential run in 2012? In 2016? Has she committed political suicide? Will she spend the next two years writing a book/boning up on foreign affairs/raising money/ building support/etc? Was she run out of office by the criticism/family attacks/ethics complaints/etc? Is there some deep dark secret or scandal that she is trying to keep from coming to light? I actually heard one joke that possibly she had recently been to Argentina (!?!)

Maybe, just maybe, she is resigning so that she can be Mom. Maybe she recognizes that the most important task she will ever have is to invest herself in the lives of her children. Maybe she really does have her priorities straight.

If so, then she has my renewed respect.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Premium Bibles Giveaway

Logos Bible Software is giving away 72 premium Bibles from some of the best publishers over the next six months. They even give you five different ways to enter each and every month.

That is $11,500.00 worth of Bibles.