Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Environment from the bottom up

I read this article and it reminds me of the fundamental difference between those who think all problems can be solved from the top down, and those who think problems are best solved from the bottom up. I am of the latter camp, and so view this as a good thing. The whole let's shake down the "rich" countries makes no sense. I believe the issues of our environment can best be solved through the private sector, and by this I do not mean a government throwing lots of money at their favorite company. What I mean is the private sector on its own making the changes necessary for a clean environment. Apple has done it, so has Google and Microsoft.

My point is that I believe problems of any sort, including environmental ones, can best be solved through volentary means. I recycle, buy Dr. Bronner's Soap and work to use less energy from Xcel. None of these things happen because I am forced to do them, indeed I would resent it if they were. They come from my love for the environment, and my desire that I and others will be able to enjoy it into the future. I hope that others see the importance of volentary action, whether it be in regards to the environment, or charity, or eatting habits.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Some thoughts on Liberalism

I had a conversation on line earlier this week with a Liberal who requested I stop the hatemongering on my Facebook page. Although I will post what I consider humorous jabs at my political opponents I have not to the best of my knowledge posted downright hateful items. I have yet to respond to a Liberal's argument with you are stupid and fat as a whale, a response a conservative friend of mine got on a White House FB post. Nevertheless I thought it might be helpful to post here why I disagree with Liberalism, and why I respond the way I do to it.


My basic concern, in politics, religion, and life is truth. Fundamental, absolute truth. If you do not agree that there is such a thing, then I doubt we can have a reasonable conversation about anything other then the mundane. BTW that Apple gift card of yours? Yeah I'll take that without asking. Think that's wrong? Then you might reconsider your thoughts on absolute truth.

The Constitution

since I have this belief in absolute truth I subsequently think laws mean what they say. You subsequently cannot in my mind read into a law what you want it to say. I believe a reading of the constitution's 10th amendment clearly gives the non specific powers listed above to the states or people. One might think this absurd, that we should have an all-powerful government. Fine, change the constitution, or tear it up, but don't try and claim that the powers you want to grant to the federal government can be found in it when they are not.


I remember the immense disappointment I felt when Bush chucked the free market under the bus in late 2008. I actually got a Libertarian Party membership because I was so disappointed. Having said that it disappoints me even more when I see friends who would rant to no end about the evil George Bush, cry to the hills and to the limit of my ears endurance about how he was taking over the world and was a warmonger. Yet when Obama does something similar, or worse, there is not a peep from these same friends. Where is the outrage? Where is the desire to protect basic civil rights? This points out the flaw, both on the right and left, that if my guy does it then it's okay. The trouble with Liberals is that they seem to genuinely believe that I should listen to them rant about Bush, and take it as granted that their guy will take care of me. Forgive me, but where is the debate?

Obama Insurance plans/scandals

This brings me to another point. When Bush had scandals, or Ronald Reagan for that matter, Liberals were all over it like white on rice. Yet when there are scandals in the Obama era I hear that we don't know all the facts yet. That we need to respect the office of President. Although I can agree with the latter this respect does not in my mind force us to grant him a free pass until he is out of office, indeed the importance of his position makes it all the more important to hold his feet to the fire. As for the former point is the fact that such things as NSA, IRS, Benghazi, etc. etc. not concerning even with the facts we know thus far?

Emotional Arguments

When one disagrees with the President on a social or economic policy he is called a racist. When one disagrees with an entitlement mentality and wants to cut social programs then he is called cruel and lacking in compassion. When one opposes abortion based on the concept that it is murder he is called a hater of women. These arguments far from putting forward a positive vision for the future, merely rests on emotionalism. Although I can understand the pull of these arguments, they do not address the issue at hand, nor in fact are they true. The unwillingness of Liberals to look at facts, to have a reasoned and rational argument, and to deal with reality rather then wishes is the primary reason I might be Libertarian at times, but never ever Liberal. Liberals want to tax the rich, claiming that it will solve our debt problem, but if one looks at the numbers it doesn't come close to doing this. What is the response to this statement? You're obviously in for big business, why can't you care about the little guy?

Liberal Math

This emotionalism ties into what I call Liberal Math. This is math that says 2 + 2= 3.9992 once the niceness factor is added in. I fundamentally disagree with this, as 2 + 2= 4, and that is that. The problem of Liberal Math crops up again and again. In budgets and in programs both foreign and domestic. Saying everyone should have a house of their own and that it is a right doesn't make houses any less expensive. Claiming that everyone should be kind to each other doesn't make it so. Wishing for results, and fudging the numbers to match your inner reality doesn't change the real facts of life.


Tolerance means dealing with each other, it does not mean agreeing with each other. I am more then happy to discuss political disagreements with anyone, but just because I deal with my political opponents does not mean I subsequently have to somehow put forward that I really agree with them in the end. This seems to be a mistaken impression of some who call for this trait in others. I hear it particularly from Liberals when I have a valid point on their fantasy. Oh you might be right but you are a creep because you should be tolerant of others. Really? I call that tolerance bull.

Fundamental Values

I believe that rights are negative not positive. That means that as opposed to having a right to something I believe you have the right from something. This fundamental view on rights puts me at odds with big government fans of any party. I don't think the poor have a right to housing, or food, or clothing. I don't believe that people have the right to keep a job, or live a certain lifestyle, or be treated in a certain way. I do believe they have the right to be free from fraud and protection from force. I believe America was founded on these latter principles, and that they are what makes our country the greatest nation on earth ever. I do not think we subsequently ignore the black marks in our history, but neither does it mean we do not recognize all the many blessings of our country or when we have done right. Utopia will never exist on this earth through the means of man, which is why I think the checks and balances found in the constitution and in our manner of government are so important. If we were all angels then no government would be necessary. As it is we are not, and anyone promising universal peace, or health, or caring from others is selling something.


I believe in freedom, and it seems to be Liberals wish to take this away, all for the common good of course. Why can't we have that soda or burger? Because it will make you fat and drive up healthcare costs. Why can't I talk about my religious beliefs as a basis for my political views? Because you might offend the Muslims, or those without religion. Why must I be forced to recycle instead of doing so voluntarily? Because we have to save the planet and this is how we're going to do it. I long for Hayek and Von Mesis. They don't promise a utopia on earth, but that comforts me greatly.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fit as a Fox

For those who don't know I am sometimes called a fox. This is no doubt due to my silver tongue. In an attempt to keep me on the ball as it were with my physical health goals I have determined to start blogging about my work outs over the course of a week. This will include generally what I have done and what I have eatten good or bad. Although the past eight months or so have been great with my overall progress on being fit as a fox, the last month has been problematic with an ankle injury. I am hopping back onto the treadmill regularly, and have started weight lifting. We will see how I progress.

For this week 11-11/11-16 I made it on the treadmill three times. The first two were at 3.5 mph 5% incline for 35 mins, and 3.0 mph at 2% incline for 10 mins. Today was 3.5 mph at 5% incline for 40 mins, and 3.0 mph at 2% for 10 mins.

I lifted weights twice this week, doing three sets of 15 with 10 pound weights. These included military presses, butterflies, bench presses, and curls.

I did planks twice, 2 for 30 seconds each, and 4 for 30 seconds. I hope to improve on this as time goes by.

I appreciate the support in this area of my life, as I believe being fit is an important part of having a healthy active lifestyle.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Zombies and Virgins

Wanted to wish everyone a happy holloween. The fact of the matter is that the zombie apocalypse is already upon us, as the Liberals in our midst can atest. Let us all flee to Costco to survive.

Also found this edifying so thought I'd share.

Five Foolish Virgins

Matthew 25:1–13 “When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps” (vv. 3–4).

Dr. John MacArthur rightly points out that the story of the faithful and wise servant in Matthew 24:45–51 tells us to be ready in case Jesus comes sooner than we have anticipated (The MacArthur Bible Commentary, p. 1,174). The faithless servant boldly sins, believing he can put off changing his ways because he thinks his master will be long in coming (Matt. 24:48–51). A wise servant, however, does not delay his duties since he does not know when his master will return, and he refuses to be caught unawares. He does not put off loving service to his master because today might be his last chance to do what is right.

On the other hand, Dr. MacArthur says the parable in Matthew 25:1–13 exhorts us to be ready if Christ delays longer than we expect (p. 1,174). The story is based on a Near Eastern wedding, a scenario familiar to His original audience. After nuptials at the bride’s home, a welcoming party escorts the newly-married couple to the bridegroom’s house for the lengthy reception. The attendants guide these evening processions with their “lamps” (Matt. 25:3–4), which are likely torches made of olive oil-doused cloths mounted on sticks. Wise members of the bridal party carry extra oil in case their torches need to be relit.

In Jesus’ parable, the bridegroom for whom the ten virgins are waiting is the Savior Himself (v. 1). Jesus is here implicitly claiming to be God incarnate; the Old Testament often pictures the Creator as a groom and His people as His bride (Isa. 54:4–8; Hos. 2:14–20). The bridegroom’s arrival is clearly taking longer than expected, for all ten ladies fall asleep (Matt. 25:2–5). This reveals that although we cannot know the exact time of His return, the fact that Jesus has tarried 2,000 years and counting is not unexpected.

The foolish virgins are unprepared for the bridegroom (vv. 8–13). They did not count the cost of being in the processional and did not ready themselves for its delay. Like many others, the foolish girls have not understood the price of discipleship; sacrifice and forethought are required to stand in the day of trial and to be assured that one’s faith is real (Eph. 6:10–20; 2 Tim. 3:16–17; 1 John 5:13). Only the spiritually prepared — the wise virgins — will enter the kingdom.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

We cannot trust in the spiritual readiness of others. Being ready to enter the kingdom at our Lord’s return or, should He tarry, to remain faithful when our rescue seems long in coming is something that we are responsible for as individuals. We must see that our lamps are being fed — that we are continually growing in the love of God and service to others. Otherwise our oil will run out and we will be revealed as foolish and faithless.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Matthew 24

From Bible Gateway. Great thoughts on Matthew 24.

Dr. R.C. Sproul and other scholars propose a third way of interpreting Matthew 24:1–35, which argues that “the substance of the Olivet Discourse was fulfilled in AD 70” (The Last Days According to Jesus, p. 158). Our studies to come will advocate this approach. The main advantage of this view is that it takes seriously the time-frame references found in the Olivet Discourse. It also focuses on the context of the discourse — our Lord’s prediction of the fall of the temple (Matt. 24:2) — providing a coherent answer to the question as to when these things will take place (v. 3), that is, when Jerusalem and its temple will be destroyed.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

This approach to the Olivet Discourse does not deny Christ’s future coming in glory “to judge the living and the dead,” as the creeds say. Those who advocate this view just argue that most of Matthew 24 is not directly applicable to this event. But many other passages affirm the second coming of Christ to usher in the new heavens and earth, and Christians must affirm that there is a day of judgment for the world (I Thess. 1:9–10). Are you longing for His return?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

When Hope Fades

Found the below edifying from Bible Gateway.


We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20

The hope of most female refugees from North Korea fades away shortly after arriving in China. Most do not want to flee to South Korea, because then they lose all contact with their family, and they are not in the position to support them anymore. And if they go to another place in China, it is only a matter of time before they are caught by either the police or human traffickers. And who knows what happens to them then?

So, is all hope lost? “No, there is hope,” says co-worker Kun-so. She picks up a Bible. “And that hope is written in this Book. For in it are profound promises. There is a heaven. Jesus loves you. All tears will be wiped away. No more death, no more pain. The Bible can even be the key to a better life now.

“But we have to bring the hard, difficult, biblical messages to the surface. The Bible says that you have to bless those who persecute you. It means you have to love the husband that abuses you. I have seen improvement when a North Korean woman was able to love instead of hate. And I direct the women to how God feels about them, how precious they are in His eyes, about what Jesus Christ did for them on Calvary. Thanks to His sacrifice there is hope. I can point the women to the day that will come eventually. The day that our Lord will wipe away every tear from their eyes, the day that death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

“After a while, we try to teach the women to forgive their Chinese husbands for their abuse. We tell them Jesus commands us to love our husbands. I know this is not easy to do. But we have seen that some women found the strength to do loving things for their husbands, and as a result slowly the husband started to change.”

Moon lost her child through a forced abortion, only days before her due date. Moon still lives with the Chinese family responsible for killing her child. But she also came into contact with a female co-worker. The worker took care of Moon as best as she could. She befriended her, prayed with her and explained about God and His love for her.

“I will be forever grateful,” shares Moon. “Thanks to you, I came into contact with God. As I learn more and more about Him through your Bible studies, I am grateful that this wonderful Being loves me. China and North Korea have not changed. I am still a person with no rights, and there is always the threat that the police will find me and send me back to North Korea.

“My situation is terrible, humanly speaking. But I feel like I am living in a whole new world, just because I know God. And I know my baby is with Him.”

When hope fades, faith emerges.

RESPONSE: Today I will place my hope in the Lord and trust Him to change the situations around me.

PRAYER: Pray for North Korean refugees—especially women—who suffer severely often losing hope. Pray that they will indeed find hope in the Lord.

Standing Strong Through The Storm

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Quick update and Beware

I found the below extremely edifying, so thought I'd share. Also this week will mark my one year involvement with Kiva. Today is also Infant loss awareness day. Please join me in praying for those who lost a loved one at an early age.

Beware of Apostasy Deuteronomy 13 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams…says, ‘Let us go after other gods’…you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams” (vv. 1–3).

Advanced technology has brought many benefits in the form of easier travel and communications. It is now relatively easy for those of us in the West to go anywhere in the world. Thus we can easily keep ourselves up to date on world events and what is going on in the lives of our friends and family who live far away. Yet there has been a downside to this progress. Television lets us see what is happening in other countries, but it also lets false teaching from Mormons, New Age gurus, and the health-and-wealth gospel into our homes. The Internet allows us to do research with greater ease and speed, but it exposes us to misinformation as well. In our day, aberrant teaching is far too accessible to people across the globe.

Erroneous teaching has been a problem for the covenant community from almost the very beginning. We read in today’s passage the warning Moses gave the people of Israel about false prophets just before the nation entered the land of Canaan. Even if the person who claims to speak for God is able to do great signs, Moses says, the people are not to follow the “prophet” if he wants to worship other gods (Deut. 13:1–3). The priority of sound teaching is a principle that we find throughout Scripture. As fallen human beings we are normally inclined to follow the gifted and charismatic teacher. The Lord, however, places a priority on the truth, not the abilities of the instructor. People might do great things, but they are never to be followed into the service of a different god. In fact, even if an angel himself were to preach another gospel, we must never follow it (Gal. 1:8–9). A teacher whose message consistently fails to line up with the essential doctrines of the Word of God must be rejected.

False teaching is dangerous to the Lord’s people because it can lead people into apostasy. An apostate is one who has committed the deadly sin of professing faith in the one, true creator God and then later denying His profession. The problem of apostasy was so bad in ancient Israel that the Lord eventually brought the curse of exile upon the nation. Let us beware of error lest we too succumb and suffer the same fate (Rev. 2:12–17).

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Of course, we realize that anyone who abandons Christ did not ever have saving faith to begin with (1 John 2:19). Nevertheless, this truth should not make us complacent; rather, it should encourage us to demonstrate the reality of our faith and pursue earnestly the truths of God that we may “inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:11–12). Take time today to pray for your soul, asking the Lord to keep you in the truth and preserve your faith until the end.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Doctrine Divides

Again from Bible Gateway.

Doctrine Divides

Jeremiah 6:1–15 “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace” (v. 14).

Throughout history men have appeared who would become famous for seeking peace at any price. Perhaps the greatest twentieth-century example of such a figure is the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain who in 1938 proclaimed that he had achieved “peace in our time” with Adolf Hitler even as he was preparing to unleash his blitzkrieg on Europe. Chamberlain’s aversion to hostility was so great that Hitler played him for a fool.

Conflict is something that most people, when given the opportunity, try to avoid. Peace is so desirable that significant differences between individuals and groups are often ignored, and unity is sought under the lowest common denominator. When peace is sought under these auspices, it can be easy to ignore the importance of truth altogether. The modern heirs of nineteenth-century Christian liberalism reveal such tendencies. In the drive to live peaceably with other professing believers and even other non-Christian religions, liberalism has tended to redefine Christianity as “the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man,” or some other innocuous definition. Ironically, liberals tend to tolerate any kind of belief system unless it happens to represent orthodox, biblical faith.

We cannot, however, judge mainline Protestantism without recognizing that these problems are increasingly evident within evangelicalism. Even though many different denominations were born out of the Protestant Reformation, evangelicals have traditionally confessed the inerrancy of Scripture and the doctrine of justification by faith alone whether they were Lutherans, Baptists, Anglicans, Presbyterians, and so on. Today, unfortunately, the desire for unity means that such essential doctrines are often diminished so that Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox can all get along. Professing evangelicals no longer necessarily believe that justification by faith alone is an essential doctrine — even though without it there is no Gospel (Gal. 1:6–9; 2:15–16).

If Christian unity is to mean anything, it must be a unity of faith grounded in the truth. To sacrifice conviction for “peace” is to have no conviction at all.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Christians have often divided over matters not essential to Christian orthodoxy and lobbed charges of heresy at one another. Such actions have created a distaste for theology in the minds of many people, and there is now a tendency to downplay any essential differences within the visible church because of all the vitriol shown over the less important points of doctrine. Let us be passionate for the truth, but let us not divide unless Christian orthodoxy is at stake.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Twisting the Truth

A great follow up on unity from Bible Gateway.

Twisting the Truth

Acts 20:7–35 “Fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them” (vv. 29–30).

Historically speaking, divergent viewpoints have existed within the church since the days of the apostles. Christians have always had to live in community with other believers who do not agree with them on every single point, and they have had to do so in a way that keeps “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). As an example of this, Paul in Romans 14 clearly intends to bring civility to Christians who are arguing over matters of diet and calendar.

No matter the particular issue, all disagreements occur only because one or more parties in the disagreement are at least partially in error. Both you and I can be wrong when we differ over something, but we cannot both be totally right. Not every error is a legitimate cause for division, and differences must be tolerated whenever they do not undermine Christian faith. Paul in Romans 14 makes this point, telling certain Christians not to judge other Christians who abstain from meat (mostly Jews still concerned with purity laws) even though no food is unclean in itself (v. 14). As long as the consciences of “the weak” did not bind the consciences of “the strong,” their view of food was tolerable.

Other errors deny those very beliefs that set Christians apart from all other people, that is, they deny those truths without which the Christian faith is impossible. Denials of the Trinity, the virgin birth, and other such matters are errors that we refer to as heresies. To preserve the purity of its testimony to the one, true God, the church has historically stood against heresy, calling councils and writing creeds to define the boundaries of orthodoxy.

Traditionally, heretics have been unwilling to admit that they do not affirm Christianity as it has been handed down throughout the ages. This problem was compounded beginning in the nineteenth century when heretics were increasingly able to stay in their churches without being disciplined for their aberrant views. Many unbelievers today are leaders in some Protestant denominations, which have suffered a mass exodus of members. The complicity of many church bodies in looking the other way when soul-damning lies are taught has forced many to flee these churches lest they be devoured by the wolves.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Paul in Romans 14 urged the toleration of those who in error felt it was wrong to eat what they thought was unclean. If this is so, should we not also tolerate those who disagree with us over issues such as the method of baptism or the millennial reign of Christ, especially when it is impossible to determine with absolute certainty which views are less faithful to Scripture than others? Are nonessential truths something over which you break fellowship?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Prayer Requests

Some prayer requests from VOM which I wanted to share.

"Prayer is the pulse of life; by it the doctor can tell what is the condition of the heart. The sin of prayerlessness is a proof for the ordinary Christian or minister that the life of God in the soul is in deadly sickness and weakness." - Andrew Murray

"praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" - Ephesians 6:18

VOM-USA Prayer Update for August 2, 2013 On Thu. Aug 01 2013 at 03:11 PM Moderator wrote: India--New Amendment Could Increase Consequences for Christian Evangelism Source: VOM Sources

2 Corinthians 2:14-17

A proposed amendment to the "Freedom of Religion" law in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh poses a threat to potential converts to Christianity. The amendment stipulates a mandatory one-month advance notice to the district magistrate by both a prospective convert and the minister who wishes preside over a conversion ceremony. It also provides more stringent punishment (a three- to four-year prison term) and heftier fines for non-compliance. The district magistrate and any investigating police officer are charged with ensuring that no conversion happens by force or allurement, mandates that would allow them to impede true conversions. Christians are concerned this amendment grants too much power to local authorities, who are likely to intimidate those of a minority religion and hinder genuine conversions. It will also encourage the harassment of Christian pastors and anyone seeking to convert.[/quote]

Vietnam--Recent Convert Tortured and Imprisoned Source: VOM Sources

2 Corinthians 4:8-11

A new Christian, "Bao," is being pressured by village authorities to recant his faith, a VOM worker reports. After Bao and his family converted to Christianity four months ago, authorities told Bao he could not live in the village and that he could not use or purchase any products like food, clothing or candles from the village as long as he continued in his beliefs. They repeated their threat three times. After Bao was baptized, on July 16, his brother beat him and had him arrested. Bao was jailed for two days and was beaten and shocked in his eye with electric wires. Police fined Bao $250, which had to be paid before he could be released. His wife was unable to go and find someone to loan them the money because she is blind. Instead, Bao was released on the condition that he return in two days with the full payment. VOM is providing Bao with money to pay the fine. Please pray for the provision and protection of Bao and his family.[/quote]

Iran--Guards Harass Christian Prisoners Sources: VOM Sources, Mohabat News

2 Timothy 1:11-12

Prison guards raided the cells of Christian prisoners in Iran recently, damaging facilities and stealing personal belongings. On July 18, 150 prison guards raided a ward in Evin prison in Tehran, pulled prisoners from their cells and began searching. During the search, guards broke and stole prisoners' belongings. They also damaged facilities in the cells, including cooling systems and electrical wiring. Some of the Christian prisoners in the ward are serving sentences of eight years for their religious activity. Shortly afterward, guards raided the cell of Christian prisoner Behnam Irani, who is being held in Karaj, Iran, and treated him similarly. He has been in prison since March 2010.[/quote]

Bangladesh--VOM Project

Pray for those involved in a project teaching discipleship and vocational training in the trade of tailoring to persecuted Christians so that they can be self-supporting.[/quote]

The Church is One

Got this from Bible Gateway and wanted to share. Think it shows the way the movement in Anglicanism for orthodoxy is not only needed but justified.

The Church Is One

John 17 “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one” (v. 11b).

Our study of Matthew 18 now complete, we have seen how the church is to exhibit pastoral concern, guard the church’s holiness, and readmit to communion all those who, though they have broken fellowship, turn from their sins and seek restoration. Before returning to Matthew’s gospel, however, we need to look at the nature of the church in order to understand why discipline and forgiveness are needed to preserve the purity of the church. Dr. R.C. Sproul will guide our study through this subject with his teaching series The Bride of Christ.

John 17, which records the longest prayer in the New Testament, provides some of the most important teaching on the church. As we can see in this chapter, Jesus is concerned with the unity of His people, praying for His disciples and all those who come after them to be one in purpose and mission even as He and His Father are one (vv. 11b, 22–23). It is therefore regrettable that the church of Jesus Christ in our day evidences little visible unity. In the United States alone, there are hundreds of different Protestant denominations, including dozens of varieties each of Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans, and so on.

Faced with this scandalous reality, there has been a tendency in the twentieth century and now, in the twenty-first century, to try and correct this problem. As a result of the ecumenical movement, many new denominations have formed through the mergers of old ones, and there has been a push for believers to affirm what unites them over and against what divides them. This is laudable when those professing unity agree on the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith, but such is not often the case. Many times those seeking “unity” are those who are most eager to jettison any real adherence to the confessional standards of the church. Such unity is merely visible, and cracks begin to show when Bible-believers in the church begin to rightly protest the excesses of the liberal wings of their denominations.

If unity is to mean anything, Jesus also affirms in John 17, it must be a unity grounded in the truth (vv. 17–19). Unity is meaningless when church members do not confess the same Lord and Savior.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Consider today the importance of true Christian unity, one that is a unity of faith and not only an organizational unity. What type of unity is your particular church concerned to promote? What type of unity is your passion? Take time today to pray for your particular church and denomination that they would seek to be one with other Christians, but not at the expense of the faith once given to the saints. Do what you can to promote such unity with other believers.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Peacemakers

Got this from Bible Gateway and wanted to share. Great thoughts.


Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9

With the possession of a meek spirit, we are equipped to step into the midst of conflict and be ambassadors “waging peace” that passes all understanding. The richness of the New Testament word “peace” describes a condition of perfect and complete positive well-being. It also describes right relationships—intimate fellowship and goodwill between human beings. Peace comes not from avoiding issues but from facing them, making peace even when the way is through trouble.

Blessed are those peacemakers who produce right relationships in every sphere of life, for they are doing a God-like work.

Such actions may involve laying down one’s life, like Jesus did, in order to reconcile men with God and break down barriers among men (Galatians 3:26-29). Are we willing to pay the price so that others might find peace with God? Are we willing to insist that all should hear the Gospel and believe? In some conflict areas of the world, Christians call this “waging peace.”

Our brothers and sisters in Israel and the West Bank—where “peace” is sought but very evasive—remind us that Jesus’ high moral teaching is that we should not resist evil with evil (Matthew 5:39). Jesus is calling His followers not to respond in kind to the acts of injustice and dehumanization directed against them, but rather to respond with transforming initiatives. This unique perspective that He teaches contrasts with the “fight or flight” responses so deeply conditioned in human beings.

Dr. Salim Munayer is a wonderful example of such a peacemaker. The organization he founded takes groups of Christian Palestinians and Israelis on trips to the desert where they must work together in a situation that breaks down barriers and promotes trust relationships. Brother Andrew comments that this ministry doesn’t “just talk about the problem between Palestinians and Jews. It brings the two sides together and provides the means for them to reconcile.”

“Waging peace” involves: promoting love not hate; fostering unity among brethren; being a witness of a higher kingdom; and following the non-violence example of Jesus.

RESPONSE: Today I will be proactive and “wage peace” in my sphere of influence.

PRAYER: Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. May I counter hatred with love and injury with forgiveness today.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Prayer Requests

Please join me in praying for the below requests.

"Prayer is the pulse of life; by it the doctor can tell what is the condition of the heart. The sin of prayerlessness is a proof for the ordinary Christian or minister that the life of God in the soul is in deadly sickness and weakness." - Andrew Murray

"praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" - Ephesians 6:18

VOM-USA Prayer Update for July 12, 2013 On Thu. Jul 11 2013 at 02:53 PM Moderator wrote: Uganda--Tortured Girl Returns to School Source: VOM Sources Psalm 138:2

Susan Ithungu, a teenager who was tortured by her father because of her Christian faith, began a new school term this past month with VOM's help. Susan suffered permanent damage to her legs as a result of being kept in a tiny room for three months by her father. After multiple surgeries and a year in the hospital, she is now able to walk with crutches. A VOM contact recently accompanied Susan as she returned to school for a new term. Though she's 15, Susan will be studying at the fourth-grade level; she is far behind because of the torture and subsequent medical treatment. An older Christian woman and a pastor are taking care of Susan. Despite the challenges she faces, Susan moved her things into the school with a broad smile. "Thank you for your love, care, and help for me," she wrote in a letter to her supporters. "I am happy to have friends that God has sent to help me." Pray for Susan's success in school, for her health and that her faith will remain strong.[/quote]

Egypt--Christians Hopeful After Change in Country's Leadership Source: VOM Sources

Proverbs 15:16 Egyptian Christians are elated that President Mohammed Morsi, who was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, was forced out on July 3, 2013, according to our contacts in Egypt. Millions of Egyptians, both Christian and Muslim, took to the streets from June 30 to July 3, urging President Morsi to step down. "At 8:30 p.m., while we were waiting in the streets shouting against Dr. Morsi, the army leaders made the decision that Dr. Morsi was not the president anymore," our contact wrote. "We were crying and laughing, greeting each other in the street, kissing and hugging each other." Before the protests, several Christians received letters warning them not to join the protests. Christians hope the new leadership will stop the outpouring of violence that has been directed toward them by radical Muslims in the past year. Please continue to pray for Egypt.[/quote]

Iran--Pastor Released Under Gag Ordered Sources: VOM Sources, Mohabat News 3 John 1:4

Pastor Robert Asseriyan, a leader of the Central Assemblies of God (AOG) church in Tehran, was released from prison on July 2 after spending 43 days in jail. It appears that Pastor Asseriyan has been released on bail, but authorities have warned him and his family not to discuss his release or his upcoming trial. Their silence is a condition of his release. Pastor Asseriyan was arrested on May 21 during a prayer meeting at the church. Before arresting Pastor Asseriyan, authorities raided his home, where they confiscated a computer and several books. They closed the church the day after his arrest. Continue to pray for Pastor Asseriyan and the AOG church as they struggle to remain one of the few churches in Iran providing Farsi-language services.[/quote]

Jordan--VOM Project Pray for an indigenous evangelism and discipleship network supported by VOM. The workers target unreached areas of Jordan where there have been several attacks on Christians in recent years, including killings.[/quote]

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Eye Cycle Fund Raiser

I will be there with bells on and a rose in my teeth, will you join me?

Join Eyecycle Colorado for an exciting evening of wine tasting, silent auction, music, food and fun at the Briarwood Inn on Thursday evening, August 1st from 5:00-9:00.

Auction tables will open at 6:00-7:30. In the meantime enjoy the famous Briarwood Inn Spanish wines, Cheese and Tapas, under the stars in the Colorado foothills. The live music will entertain you as you sip wine or enjoy the cash bar, and bid on Primal Wear kits, Peyton Manning signed jersey, VIP tickets to the USA Pro Challenge, jewelry, wine and outdoor gear etc. Proceeds directly support Eyecycle Colorado which is the only cycling group for our visually impaired and blind cycling community. We match sighted captains with blind stokers on tandems to enjoy the cycling experience.

Come and join the fun!

buy tickets for $40 Here.

The Word of Life

I found the below from Standing Strong Through the Storm at Bible Gateway to be most moving, so thought I'd share.

THE WORD OF GOD IS LIFE “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8

Amir, a young Algerian man, was temporarily staying in an apartment of a friend while recovering from depression. His friend had moved out leaving only a few items behind, but unbeknownst to him, he had left behind his most prized possession, God’s Word!

“While I was cleaning the apartment, I found a New Testament,” Amir says. “This New Testament changed my life. I found the Lord Jesus Christ by reading the book.” In the following months leading into years, he kept reading the Bible. Slowly, his depression lifted and the recovery and healing began to transform his life.

Amir continues, “One day I was watching Christian satellite TV and I saw the phone number of another Christian in Algeria. I immediately contacted that person and soon afterwards we met, which was great. This brother in Christ brought me into contact with a small group of believers, which I am attending regularly now. Praise to God for His healing and mercy. And thanks to the one who forgot his New Testament in the apartment.”

Meanwhile, Brother Gideon is in prison in Eritrea with a group of other believers because of their faith. He says, “The government representatives came up with a new idea to ask us to stop our faith and sign an agreement that we will not read the Bible. We will not pray and not have a meeting of more than two people. If we comply with that, we will sign and they will release us from the prison. But I told them I will not. Because of the Holy Spirit’s assurance in me I was ready to face anything…I said ‘No, Christ is my life. As Paul said in the book of Ephesians that for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’

“They beat every part of my body…until I almost died. I was thinking of Jesus. What an honor for me to share his affiliation. I remember I said to myself inside, ‘Lord, please forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing to me, but I give you my soul to rest in your hand.’

“They took us to the prison again. After three months we had a Bible smuggled in without their knowledge. We tore the pages out of different Bible books and we distributed those to different cells.

“We chose four believers to take responsibility to do distribution of the parts of the Bible. I was one of those four chosen believers and it was my responsibility to coordinate all these things. Because there is no paper in the prison cells, I was using toilet paper to write verses of the Bible and send them to others. When the government agents searched our cell, they found all those verses I sent to the sisters. They asked ‘Who sent those papers, those verses?’ When they found it was me, they put me under severe torture for months. There was no part of my body without pain.

“One of the persecutors asked me a question. ‘Why you are paying so big a price? Why don’t you renounce your faith and live a peaceful life?’ I replied, ‘To me, the Word of God is life!”

RESPONSE: Today I will honor and prize God’s Word and build my life upon its everlasting promises.

PRAYER: Pray for those in prisons around the world who pay a huge price for loving God’s Word.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Prayer Requests

Sharing the below prayer requests from VOM. Please join me in prayer.

weekly prayer updates

"Prayer is the pulse of life; by it the doctor can tell what is the condition of the heart. The sin of prayerlessness is a proof for the ordinary Christian or minister that the life of God in the soul is in deadly sickness and weakness." - Andrew Murray

"praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" - Ephesians 6:18

VOM-USA Prayer Update for July 5, 2013 On Wed. Jul 03 2013 at 01:51 PM Moderator wrote: Laos--Elderly Couple Evicted from Home Source: VOM Sources

Philemon 4:19

Two Christian converts have been evicted from their home for seeking prayers for physical healing, a VOM worker reports. On Jan. 10, 2013, Mr. Sakien and his wife, Dong, went to a church in Intee village, Attapeu province, looking for physical healing. Their son and daughter-in-law had told them that they had experienced healing from prayer. Shortly after seeking healing at the church, the couple embraced the Christian faith. Then, on Jan. 23, the village chief issued an eviction order and stated that the couple would be denied residency in the village because of their conversion to Christianity. Sakien and Dong were told to "find a different place where Christians can live." Sakien is very ill, and the couple is currently taking shelter in an unfinished church building in Intee village.[/quote]

Honduras--Widespread Violence Affects Pastors Sources: Fuerza Latina Cristiana, VOM Sources

1 Corinthians 15:53-55

Eight pastors have been murdered in Honduras in 2013 alone. In the most recent attack, on Wednesday, June 19, Pastor Eduardo Mejia was stabbed to death. Pastor Mejia led a church called "God Is Love." The other seven pastors killed over the first half of this year have all died from gunshot wounds. An estimated 600,000 illegal weapons circulate in Honduras, and most are owned by criminals. Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world, at about 85 per every 100,000 people, according to data released by human rights organizations. None of the cases involving the murdered pastors has been solved.[/quote]

Syria--Christians Hopeful amid Civil War Source: VOM Sources

Acts 2:21

Christians in Syria remain hopeful despite increasingly difficult circumstances, a VOM contact reports. Syrians still face continual threats from snipers and mortars; from June 8 to June 10, dozens of mortars fell around the building where our VOM contact lives. He said many people are begging, searching in the rubbish and looking for a place to stay and that the value of the Syrian pound continues to drop. But he said Christians still have hope. Our contact's church still holds Bible studies, youth meetings, prayer meetings, medical clinics and church services on Sunday. The church, which VOM helps to support, also distributes packages of food, such as rice, pasta and lentils, as well as hygiene products, such as toothpaste and soap. Please pray that the church will be a house of prayer and a center for peace amid the chaos and that many more Syrians will come to Christ. Also pray for stability in the region.[/quote]

Cuba--VOM Project

Pray for the recipients of 2 million tracts and 20,000 Bibles that will be purchased and distributed in Cuba.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Environment | Fair Trade USA

  I recently made a loan on Kiva to a farmer growing Fair Trade coffee. Below is one of the reasons I enjoy Fair Trade products. Environment | Fair Trade USA

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tour de Cure

For those interested in my Tour de Cure efforts you can click here for more information and to make a donation.

My thanks to all who have donated. Every dollar makes a difference, and I appreciate very much the opportunity to make a difference for those living with diabetes through this event. I couldn't do it without you. Stay focused on my Facebook and Twitter feeds for updates and additional information.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Obama Rated 5th Best US President Ever

Obama rated 5th best US President ever

Of the total of 44 US Presidents: Obama rated 5th best president ever. I was just reading a Democratic publicity release that said, "...after a little more than 4 years, Obama has been rated the 5th best president ever."

The details according to White House Publicists..: * Reagan, Lincoln, and 8 others tied for first, * 15 presidents tied for second, * 17 other presidents tied for third, * Jimmy Carter came in 4th, and

* Obama came in fifth

Friday, May 17, 2013


Found the below devotional from Bible Gateway most edifying, so thought I'd share.


For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools… Romans 1:21-22

Satan has led many quasi-religious groups to unite around a mixture of religious teachings and then brand honest Christian believers as bigots for clinging to salvation in Christ alone. An outgrowth of the postmodern era in which we live is that many people no longer believe in absolute truth. A natural extension of this lack of absolutes is the widely held view that there is good in every religion and all roads lead to heaven. Individuals can then pick and choose the elements they wish from whatever faith and mix them all together. This is true syncretism. Chuck Colson refers to its impact on our faith as “salad-bar Christianity!”

Satan is delighted when people believe and expound on his lies. He does not want anyone to know the truth and come to a personal relationship with Jesus who is the truth, the way and the life (John14:6). Jesus is the only way.

One man reportedly traveled the world to find one name for God that would be universal and bring all people together. Instantly the word love came to his mind. He later wrote, “Give God the universal name of Love and we will create a golden cord to tie together the truths of all the religions of the world.” But love is not God’s name. It is His nature. And God expressed it most fully when He sent His Son to die for our sins (John 3:16). Only when we accept Christ’s sacrifice for us will we know the love of the one true God that can bind people together.

few years ago, an inter-faith group of 10,000 people met at the Vatican in Rome. The group included the Pope, the Dalai Lama and Muslim Imam W. D. Mohammed. An outspoken Hindu woman was quoted as saying, “It was refreshing to note that the idea that all religions have universal truths, and are merely different paths to the same goal was accepted as a given from the outset by all delegates without a single dissenting voice.”

The same delegates also endorsed a general condemnation of “aggressive” proselytizing. This is the prevailing thinking of our day and age. Satan will do all he can to cause this thinking to even invade the church and individual Christian thinking and action.

The end result of syncretism in free societies will be anti-conversion laws and a prohibition of Christian witnessing. The euphemism for this law will probably be called “religious freedom.”

RESPONSE: Today I will guard carefully against the deceptions of Satan leading to syncretism.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to fix my eyes on You and Your Word today so that I will not stumble.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Glory To Shame

Found the below most moving, so thought I would share.

"O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?" Psalm 4:2

An instructive writer has made a mournful list of the honours which the blinded people of Israel awarded to their long expected King.

1. They gave him a procession of honour, in which Roman legionaries, Jewish priests, men and women, took a part, he himself bearing his cross. This is the triumph which the world awards to him who comes to overthrow man's direst foes. Derisive shouts are his only acclamations, and cruel taunts his only paeans of praise.

2. They presented him with the wine of honour. Instead of a golden cup of generous wine they offered him the criminal's stupefying death-draught, which he refused because he would preserve an uninjured taste wherewith to taste of death; and afterwards when he cried, "I thirst," they gave him vinegar mixed with gall, thrust to his mouth upon a sponge. Oh! wretched, detestable inhospitality to the King's Son.

3. He was provided with a guard of honour, who showed their esteem of him by gambling over his garments, which they had seized as their booty. Such was the body-guard of the adored of heaven; a quaternion of brutal gamblers.

4. A throne of honour was found for him upon the bloody tree; no easier place of rest would rebel men yield to their liege Lord. The cross was, in fact, the full expression of the world's feeling towards him; "There," they seemed to say, "thou Son of God, this is the manner in which God himself should be treated, could we reach him."

5. The title of honour was nominally "King of the Jews," but that the blinded nation distinctly repudiated, and really called him "King of thieves," by preferring Barabbas, and by placing Jesus in the place of highest shame between two thieves. His glory was thus in all things turned into shame by the sons of men, but it shall yet gladden the eyes of saints and angels, world without end.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Cost of Discipleship

Found the below an excellent summary, so thought I'd share.

The Cost of Discipleship

Matthew 8:18–22 “Another of the disciples said to him, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead’” (vv. 21–22).

A great crowd gathers about Christ as His acclaim spreads in Capernaum, and He prepares to cross the sea of Galilee (Matt. 8:18). We are not certain why He makes this move, but many interpreters believe Jesus is seeking rest. After all, He is found asleep in the episode following today’s passage (v. 24).

Seeing that our Savior is about to depart, a scribe trained in the law of Moses expresses His desire to follow Jesus wherever He goes (v. 19). Christ does not turn this would-be disciple away, but He explains to this scholar the cost of discipleship. Following Jesus, the scribe learns, might even entail the loss of a permanent home (v. 20). The Redeemer’s people must accept that they are strangers and exiles in this present world (Heb. 11:13–16). In Christ we will one day rule over all (2 Tim. 2:12a), but the Christian life, as the church father Tertullian says, is a call to follow the Lord’s pattern: “He walked in humility and obscurity. He had no definite home. …He is unadorned as to dress. He exercised no right of power even over his own followers. …Though conscious of his own kingdom, he shrank back from being made a king” (On Idolatry, 18.4–5).

Like Jesus, we must be willing to tell people that there is a cost to following the Savior. We do not help the non-believer if we teach or imply that Jesus can be folded into the fabric of our lives without the world hating us (Matt. 24:9).

Even family duties take second place when Jesus calls. After speaking to the scribe, another man says he is willing to follow Christ if he can first go bury His father. Yet Jesus allows no hesitation (8:21—22). This is a difficult saying, since Scripture tells us to honor our parents (Ex. 20:12), but it is likely that our Lord’s reply to the dead man’s son is a universal principle, not a universal application. Jesus alone deserves our supreme devotion, but the ways in which this principle is applied may vary. John Calvin comments, “Children should discharge their duty to their parents in such a manner that, whenever God calls them to another employment, they should lay this aside, and assign the first place to the command of God. Whatever duties we owe to men must give way, when God enjoins upon us what is immediately due to himself.”

Coram deo: Living before the face of God John Chrysostom comments on today’s passage that Jesus would not have us “think lightly of the honor due to parents.” His words only signify “that nothing ought to be to us more urgent than the affairs of the kingdom of heaven” (Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, 27.3). It can be hard to know how to honor one’s parents and follow Jesus, but let us remember that His will alone deserves our undivided submission.

Friday, March 29, 2013

On suffering

I have been going through dark times of late, and found comfort in the below, so thought I'd share.

"Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered." Hebrews 5:8

We are told that the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering, therefore we who are sinful, and who are far from being perfect, must not wonder if we are called to pass through suffering too. Shall the head be crowned with thorns, and shall the other members of the body be rocked upon the dainty lap of ease? Must Christ pass through seas of his own blood to win the crown, and are we to walk to heaven dryshod in silver slippers? No, our Master's experience teaches us that suffering is necessary, and the true-born child of God must not, would not, escape it if he might.

But there is one very comforting thought in the fact of Christ's "being made perfect through suffering"--it is, that he can have complete sympathy with us. "He is not an high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities." In this sympathy of Christ we find a sustaining power. One of the early martyrs said, "I can bear it all, for Jesus suffered, and he suffers in me now; he sympathizes with me, and this makes me strong." Believer, lay hold of this thought in all times of agony. Let the thought of Jesus strengthen you as you follow in his steps. Find a sweet support in his sympathy; and remember that, to suffer is an honourable thing--to suffer for Christ is glory. The apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to do this. Just so far as the Lord shall give us grace to suffer for Christ, to suffer with Christ, just so far does he honour us. The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions. The regalia of the kings whom God hath anointed are their troubles, their sorrows, and their griefs. Let us not, therefore, shun being honoured. Let us not turn aside from being exalted. Griefs exalt us, and troubles lift us up. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him."

Monday, March 4, 2013

Remembering Andrew Breitbart

Thought I would share the below remembrance. RIP.

"The right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon ... has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right." --James Madison

Inspiration Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

Editor's Note: Friday marked the one-year anniversary of Andrew Breitbart's death. He never feared to ask the tough questions and seek the accountability in politics that so few "journalists" today pursue. May his legacy be remembered and inspire others to defend Liberty.

"Andrew Breitbart's quest for the truth served as an inspiration to people around the globe. It had a profound impact on both of us as well. Andrew not only served as fellow warrior in the trenches of journalism, but he also made an impact on our lives and both of the organizations where we work. ... [W]e are excited to announce the Franklin Center and Heritage Foundation will once again sponsor this year's Breitbart Awards. In the months following Andrew's death last year, Franklin and Heritage teamed up for a summit on the future of media. ... Today, as we mourn the loss of Andrew and pay tribute to his accomplishments, we're calling on you help ensure his legacy lives. Please take a moment to visit to nominate someone whose efforts advance the spirit of Andrew Breitbart's work. We're accepting nominations for individuals who are driven by an indomitable pursuit for truth and accountability, and whose work has broken meaningful ground in advancing those causes on behalf of the public good. ... As you think about who best to nominate, consider these questions: Who has the courage and honesty to tell the real stories that matter to people's lives? When the legacy media fails to do its job, who among the army of bloggers stands out when holding the institutions of power accountable? Who is the citizen activist who uses information to dig up the truth and serve as a watchdog in your community? Andrew was incredibly kind, devoted to his family and work, and most importantly, enthusiastic about life. He cherished freedom and liberty. And his work had a profound impact on American politics, media and culture. Help us keep his legacy alive." --Heritage Foundation's Rob Bluey and Erik Telford

Friday, February 15, 2013


TGIF! Thought the below would give a good laugh to everyone to start off the weekend. Enjoy!'s that magical time of year again when the Darwin Awards are bestowed, honoring the least evolved among us. Here is the glorious winner:

1. When his 38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.

And now, the honorable mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved.

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.

5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register , which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer... $15. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?]

7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape...

8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."

9.. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 5 A.M., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast... The man, frustrated, walked away. [*A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER]

10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street by sucking on a hose, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline, but he plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

In the interest of bettering mankind, please share these with friends and family...unless of course one of these individuals by chance is a distant relative or long lost friend. In that case, be glad they are distant and hope they remain lost. *** Remember...They walk among us, they can reproduce...And, they vote…

Monday, February 11, 2013

Google Car as Savior?

I read this article today on driverless cars. Although I too have hope for the driverless car, I found the tone of the woman quoted in the article as highly disappointing. If someone is delaying their life because they can’t drive I would suggest they are missing out. There are some who are in a situation where public transit isn’t available, and thus must rely on family, friends, or a cab to get around. The important thing is not whether there is public transit available, but whether people have the attitude to go forth and conquer as much as possible in their situation. I think what troubled me most was the idea that this attitude wasn’t present in the people being talked about, and until the driverless car comes about they have a reason to have this lack. Give me a long white cane and a means of getting to where I’m going, and if it’s important enough to me I am there despite the extra troubles of getting there.

I eagerly await robotic cars, and look forward to cruising down main street, but in the interim I will live my life as fully as possible.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Cowboy Named Bud

I found this amusing and all to true.

A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in Montana when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust.

The driver, a young man in a Brioni® suit, Gucci® shoes, RayBan® sunglasses and YSL® tie, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?"

Bud looks at the man, who obviously is a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, "Sure, why not?"

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell® notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3® cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop® and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany ...

Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot® that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL® database through an ODBC connected Excel® spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry® and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet® printer, turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves."

"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says Bud.

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then Bud says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?"

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"

"You're a Congressman for the U.S. Government", says Bud.

"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"

"No guessing required." answered the cowboy. "You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't know a thing about how working people make a living - or about cows, for that matter. This is a herd of sheep.

Now give me back my dog.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Can't Take My Drones Off of You

A friend turned me onto this article on drone strikes. Although I have a very healthy Libertarian streek in my conservativism, one doesn't have to be the next coming of Ayn Rand to be concerned about the President targeting Americans. Thought I would share.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Interpreting the Bible

Wanted to share the below as I think it is an excellent summation of how to interpret the Bible.

Interpreting the Bible

Any written document must be interpreted if it is to be understood. The United States of America has nine highly skilled individuals whose daily task is to interpret the Constitution. They compose the Supreme Court of the land. To interpret the Bible is a far more solemn task than to interpret the U.S. Constitution. It requires great care and diligence.

The Bible itself is its own Supreme Court. The chief rule of biblical interpretation is "sacred Scripture is its own interpreter." This principle means that the Bible is to be interpreted by the Bible. What is obscure in one part of Scripture may be made clear in another. To interpret Scripture by Scripture means that we must not set one passage of Scripture against another passage. Each text must be understood not only in light of its immediate context but also in light of the context of the whole of Scripture.

In addition, properly understood, the only legitimate and valid method of interpreting the Bible is the method of literal interpretation. Yet there is much confusion about the idea of literal interpretation. Literal interpretation, strictly speaking, means that we are to interpret the Bible as it is written. A noun is treated as a noun and a verb as a verb. It means that all the forms that are used in the writing of the Bible are to be interpreted according to the normal rules governing those forms. Poetry is to be treated as poetry. Historical accounts are to be treated as history. Parables as parables, hyperbole as hyperbole, and so on.

In this regard, the Bible is to be interpreted according to the rules that govern the interpretation of any book. In some ways the Bible is unlike any other book ever written. However, in terms of its interpretation, it is to be treated as any other book.

The Bible is not to be interpreted according to our own desires and prejudices. We must seek to understand what it actually says and guard against forcing our own views upon it. It is the sport of heretics to seek support from Scripture for false doctrines that have no basis in the text. Satan himself quoted Scripture in an illegitimate way in an effort to seduce Christ to sin (Matthew 4:1-11).

The basic message of the Bible is simple enough and clear enough for a child to understand. Yet the meat of Scripture requires careful attention and study to understand it properly. Some matters treated by the Bible are so complex and profound that they keep the finest scholars perennially engaged in an effort to sort them out.

There are a few principles of interpretation that are basic for all sound study of the Bible. They include the following: (1) Narratives should be interpreted in light of "teaching" passages. For example, the story of Abraham offering Isaac on Mount Moriah might suggest that God didn't know that Abraham had true faith. But the didactic portions of Scripture make it clear that God is omniscient. (2) The implicit must always be interpreted in light of the explicit; never the other way around. That is, if a particular text seems to imply something, we should not accept the implication as correct if it goes against something explicitly stated elsewhere in Scripture. (3) The laws of logic govern biblical interpretation. If, for example, we know that all cats have tails, we cannot then deduce that some cats do not have tails. If it is true that some cats do not have tails, then it cannot also be true that all cats have tails. This is not a matter merely of technical laws of inference; it is a matter of common sense. Yet the vast majority of erroneous interpretations of the Bible are caused by illegitimate deductions from the Scripture.

The Bible is its own interpreter. We must interpret the Bible literally—as it is written. The Bible is to be interpreted like any other book. Obscure parts of the Bible are to be interpreted by the clearer parts. The implicit is to be interpreted in light of the explicit. The rules of logic govern what can reasonably be drawn or deduced from Scripture.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Canon

Found the below thoughts on scripture from R.C. Sproul to be most interesting and thus thought I’d share.

The Canon of Scripture

We usually think of the Bible as one large book. In reality, it is a small library of sixty-six individual books. Together these books comprise what we call the canon of sacred Scripture. The term canon is derived from a Greek word that means "measuring rod," "standard," or "norm." Historically, the Bible has been the authoritative rule for faith and practice in the church.

With respect to the books included in the New Testament, there is complete agreement between Roman Catholics and Protestants. However, there is strong disagreement between the two groups concerning what should be included in the Old Testament. Roman Catholics consider the books of the Apocrypha as canonical, whereas historic Protestantism does not. (The books of the Apocrypha were written after the Old Testament was completed and before the New Testament was begun.) The debate concerning the Apocrypha focuses on the broader issue of what was considered canonical by the Jewish community. There is strong evidence that the Apocrypha was not included in the Palestinian canon of the Jews. On the other hand, it seems that Jews living in Egypt may have included the Apocrypha (in its Greek translation) in their Alexandrian canon. Recent evidence has surfaced, however, which casts some doubt upon that.

Some critics of the Bible argue that the church didn't have a Bible as such until almost the beginning of the fifth century. But this is a distortion of the whole process of canonical development. The church met in council on several occasions in the early centuries to settle disputes about which books properly belong in the Canon. The first formal canon of the New Testament was created by the heretic Marcion who produced his own expurgated version of the Bible. To combat this heretic, the church found it necessary to declare the exact content of the New Testament.

Although the vast majority of books that are now included in the New Testament clearly functioned with canonical authority from the time they were written, there were a few books whose inclusion in the New Testament canon was disputed. These included Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation.

There were also several books vying for canonical status that were not included. The overwhelming majority of these were spurious works written by second-century Gnostic heretics. These books were never given serious consideration. (This point is missed by critics who allege that over two thousand contenders yielded a list of twenty-seven. Then they ask, "What are the odds that the correct twenty-seven were selected?") In fact, only two or three books that were not included ever had real consideration. These were 1 Clement, The Shepherd of Hermas, and The Didache. These books were not included in the canon of Scripture because they were not written by apostles, and the writers themselves acknowledged that their authority was subordinate to the apostles.

Some Christians are bothered by the fact that there was a historical selection process at all. They are nagged by the question, how do we know that the New Testament canon includes the proper books? Traditional Roman Catholic theology answers this question by appealing to the infallibility of the church. The church is then viewed as "creating" the Canon, thereby having authority equal to Scripture itself. Classical Protestantism denies both that the church is infallible and that the church "created" the Canon. The difference between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism may be summarized as follows:

Roman Catholic view: The Canon is an infallible collection of infallible books.

Classical Protestant view: The Canon is a fallible collection of infallible books.

Liberal Critical view: The Canon is a fallible collection of fallible books.

Though Protestants believe that God gave special providential care to insure that the proper books be included, He did not thereby render the church itself infallible. Protestants also remind Roman Catholics that the church did not "create" the Canon. The church recognized, acknowledged, received, and submitted to the canon of Scripture. The term the church used in Council was recipimus, "We receive."

By what criteria were books evaluated? The so-called marks of canonicity included the following:

They must have apostolic authorship or endorsement. They must be received as authoritative by the early church. They must be in harmony with the books about which there is no doubt. Though at one stage in his life Martin Luther questioned the canonicity of James, he later changed his mind. There is no serious reason to be the least bit doubtful that the books presently included in the New Testament canon are the proper ones.

The term canon is derived from Greek, and it means "norm" or "standard." Canon is used to describe the authoritative list of books that the church acknowledged as sacred Scripture and thus the "rule" for faith and practice. In addition to the sixty-six books of the Bible accepted by Protestants, Roman Catholics also accept the Apocrypha as authoritative Scripture. To combat heresy, the church found it necessary to declare which books had been recognized as authoritative.

There were a few books in the Canon that were a matter of dispute (Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation) and some books that were considered for inclusion that were not admitted to the Canon, including 1 Clement, The Shepherd of Hermas, and The Didache. The church did not create the Canon but merely recognized the books that bore the marks of canonicity and were therefore authoritative within the church.

The marks of canonicity included: (1) apostolic authorship or endorsement, (2) being recognized as authoritative within the early church, and (3) being in harmony with the books that were undoubtedly part of the Canon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Daddy Longlegs

A friend sent this to me, and I just had to share.

A father watched his young daughter playing in the garden. • He smiled as he reflected on how sweet and pure his little girl was. • Tears formed in his eyes as he thought about her seeing the wonders of nature through such innocent eyes. • Suddenly she just stopped and stared at the ground. • He went over to her to see what work of God had captured her attention.

He noticed she was looking at two spiders mating. • 'Daddy, what are those two spiders doing?' she asked. • 'They're mating,' her father replied. • 'What do you call the spider on top?' she asked. • A Daddy Longlegs,' her father answered. • 'So, the other one is a Mommy Longlegs?' the little girl asked.

• As his heart soared with the joy of such a cute and innocent question he replied, 'No dear. Both of them are Daddy Longlegs.'

• 'The little girl, looking a little puzzled, thought for a moment, then lifted her foot and stomped them flat. • 'Well", she said, "that may be OK in California , but we're not having any of that shit in Texas."

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christian Book List

Over the course of my Christian walk I have had the opportunity to read a large number of books, some classics and some modern offerings, which have impacted my walk. I thought I would provide a list of the ones I have found most helpful, as several of my friends have recently converted to Christ. I pray they and all those who read the below will come to know Him more fully. Many of the titles can be found here.

All of the works of the authors listed below are edifying. I have listed the primary work that has effected me; however, all of the works by C.S. Lewis or John Bunyan for example are worth reading.

1. Mere Christianity -C.S. Lewis

2. The Imitation of Christ -Thomas à Kempis

3. The Pilgrim's Progress -John Bunyan

4. Confessions -St. Augustine

5. The Institutes of the Christian Religion -John Calvin

6. Foxe's Book of Martyrs -John Foxe

7. The Practice of the Presence of God -Brother Lawrence

8. The Athanasian Creed

9. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God -Jonathan Edwards

10. The Cross of Christ -John Stott

11. Knowing Scripture -R.C. Sproul

12. The Book of Common Prayer 1928 Edition

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Classic

This is a classic.

A Tourist walked into a Chinese curio shop in San Francisco . While looking around at the exotic merchandise, he noticed a very lifelike, life-sized, bronze statue of a rat. It had no price tag, but was so incredibly striking the tourist decided he must have it. He took it to the old shop owner and asked, "How much for the bronze rat ?"

"Ahhh, you have chosen wisely! It is $12 for the rat and $100 for the story," said the wise old Chinaman.

The tourist quickly pulled out twelve dollars. "I'll just take the rat, you can keep the story".

As he walked down the street carrying his bronze rat, the tourist noticed that a few real rats had crawled out of the alleys and sewers and had begun following him down the street. This was a bit disconcerting so he began walking faster.

A couple blocks later he looked behind him and saw to his horror the herd of rats behind him had grown to hundreds, and they began squealing. Sweating now, the tourist began to trot toward San Francisco Bay . Again, after a couple blocks, he looked around only to discover that the rats now numbered in the MILLIONS, and were squealing and coming toward him faster and faster.

Terrified, he ran to the edge of the Bay and threw the bronze rat as far as he could into the Bay.

Amazingly, the millions of rats all jumped into the Bay after the bronze rat and were all drowned. The man walked back to the curio shop in Chinatown .

"Ahhh," said the owner, "You come back for story ?"

"No sir," said the man, "I came back to see if you have a bronze Democrat."