Saturday, December 26, 2009

'Twas the Night of Christmas

‘Twas not the night before Christmas, ‘twas the night of Christmas. After spending the day with us, the kids and grandkids were ready to embark on their short trip back to their respective homes. Says my son to his sister, "Can I start your car and warm it up for you, Sis? Oh yes..that would be sooo nice of you. Here are the keys!"

Now, my daughter has a 2005 Ford Escape Minivan. Do you know about all the safety features this vehicle has? Why, you can’t even unlock the door without having the remote sensor’s special code punched in. The doors cannot be opened even with an extra key. You must have the remote sensor to get in. So, I ask you...what happens when the battery in the remote sensor runs down? Well you just take your extra key and unlock the door, right? Wrong! Remember I said you must have the remote sensor. Oh, yeah..that’s right. But..a low battery on the remote is another story for another time. Still, you must have the remote in hand to get into the car.

So..off goes my son to do this wonderful mission of mercy for his sister and he starts her car so that she and her daughter will be comfy cozy on their trip back home. One major problem...after he starts the car he closes the door. "Yeah..duh".. as my granddaughter would say..what’s wrong with that? Remember also I said you must have the remote sensor to get into the car. Where do you suppose that little dude was? On the key chain? That’s right! Ah...the wonderful Ford Escape safety feature kicks in and instantly upon closing the door...all the doors lock. What? All the doors lock? Yes, that what I said...all the doors lock. Wait a minute. How are you supposed to warm up your car before embarking on a short trip on a cold winter’s night? Roll down the window, first? Seems self-defeating for the purpose, doesn’t it?

So..here’s the scenario. We have a Ford Escape sitting in the driveway..running. You cannot get into it. Even with an extra key..you cannot get into it. The engine is running..what do we do? Did I mention... it’s running? Here’s an additional problem. Not only is it Christmas night...in addition there’s seven inches of snow on the ground. The snowplow went through our neighborhood about five hours earlier and it’s still snowing. Now what? Well...lets just call a locksmith on Christmas night with seven inches of snow on the ground. OK...good idea. While the daughter does that I get the old trusty "slim jim" out and start playing between the window and the door attempting to catch the latch and pull it up. After about 15 futile minutes of this I decide to get on the Internet for help. Big help...quit using the "slim jim"...won’t work on a Ford Escape. Another safety feature! "Have you found a locksmith yet, daughter dear?"... I yell out. "No one is answering", she yells back. Can’t imagine that, on Christmas night with seven inches of snow on the ground. "Keep trying"...the engine is running.", I shout back.

Finally...a connection, an answer, and the locksmith is only fifteen minutes away. He places a small air bag between the door and the door post, and after a few pumps of the little air squeeze ball...it forces the door open just enough for a coat hanger to reach inside..press on the automatic window opener and "voila"..it’s open!!! Ninety-five dollars and well worth it. A Christmas to remember....2009.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Overshadowed



And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit willl come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the Holy Child shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)

Have you ever stopped to ponder this verse.. especially the word "overshadow" as it applies to the virgin birth. What is the need for this "overshadowing"? Why did the Spirit of God use this word? Why did Mary need to be overshadowed?

This year we read completely through the Bible..cover to cover. I remember it was in Exodus that all of the detailed instructions for the tabermacle and the ark of the covenant and all the other Holy objects associated with it were given to the Israelites. How elaborate were these instructions to keep the Holy Ark of the Testimony from the contamination of the world. Coverings upon coverings and a final covering of blue linen. Even those who had the responsibility of moving and ministering with it were to have special clothes and coverings. And this Ark was only the representation of God’s presence with the children of God...and the instructions were for how it was to be set apart even into the Holy of Holies as separated from sinful man by a thick veil, unto the Lord.

Then.. finally when the fulness of time had come..we see the story in Luke, not of the representation or the type,..but now it is time for the real thing, the substance to come into the presence of sinful men. It is Immanuel..it is God with us. It is the Lord of Glory coming as a baby, overshadowed in Mary’s womb from her worldly contamination and sinfulness wrapped in the protective coverings of the Holy Spirit overshadowing her. Then later she wraps the child in swaddling clothes or clothes that would restrain one from freedom of movement indicating His humanity and self-limitation. How typical this is of the Lord of Glory who came into the world unstained by it and who made Himself of no repute, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, humbling Himself in the likeness of a man and obedient even unto the death of the cross for the believers salvation.

The Apostle John sums it up for us: "What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life...and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us...what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." (1 Jo 1:1-3)

Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth peace, goodwill toward men. Merry Christmas 2009.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Fox in the Chicken Coop


Check it out HERE. (click cartoon to enlarge)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pullin' the Wool


(click cartoon to enlarge)

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Convenient Truth



It just seems to be an irony for Al Gore to apply the above quote to those who would question the science behind global warming, especially in light of the latest emails hacked from E. Anglia CRU. Doesn’t he have much to gain, financially? It seems like the pot is disparaging the kettle.

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Gen 8:22)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Unorthodox



In case you haven’t heard about this..go here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Marred Vessel

From the devotional, "Beside Still Waters", by Dr. Hughes Day, this one made an immediate impression upon my heart this morning. Don’t misunderstand...I have no immediate sickness, nor any extraordinary suffering, nor any inordinate sorrow. Perhaps someone does:

The vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. (Jer 18:4)

When the road is long, the days are dark, and storms threaten to overcome our souls, we are prone to cry, "Lord, why? Why this sickness? Why this suffering? Why this sorrow?"

How often we pray that the beauty of the Master be formed in us and yet we forget that God often maketh it from ashes. We pray for the fruit of the Spirit but we cry out against the Husbandman’s pruning. Our hearts desire a steadfast faith that will shine as gold, but we dread the purging of the dross! We long to be made in the Potter’s image yet we resist when He would mold us and make us after His will. We do not desire to be broken or pressed against the Potter’s wheel.

But sickness and sorrow and suffering are the instruments the Potter frequently uses, and He makes most beautiful vessels with these tools. The most precious gold is that which passes through the refiners’s fire. The fruits of the Spirit form abundantly when the Husbandman prunes with His knives.

Take courage. Your part in these trials is to draw close to Christ and trust Him. Joy comes in the morning. The trial of faith does not always last. Though the waters are deep, yet the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow. Strive not against His expressed will. Hinder not the Holy Spirit. He will yet fill your life with the beauty of Jesus and make you fit for the Master’s use.

(Hughes W. Day, MD., originator and founding director of the world’s first Intensive Coronary Care Unit, at Bethany Medical Center, 1962 in Kansas City, KS.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Payback

One of my favorite illustrations came back to haunt me the other day. Let me first give the illustration and then I’ll show how it was used to poke a little fun at ol' Dad.

I have been rather proud of the fact that, as near as we can determine, the Rev. John Witherspoon, Presbyterian Pastor and signer of the Declaration of Independence, is a 1st cousin, 7 times removed, of my wife.

Here’s the illustration:
One incident in the life of Dr. John Witherspoon (a signer of the Declaration of Independence and president of what later became Princeton University) may offer some insight into the matter of God’s providence and care. A neighbor of Dr. Witherspoon burst into his study one day and excitedly said, "You must join me in giving thanks to God for his providence in saving my life. As I was driving, the horse ran away and the buggy was smashed to pieces on the rocks, but I escaped unharmed." The college president replied, "Why, I can tell you a far more remarkable providence than that. I have driven over that road hundreds of times. My horse never ran away, my buggy never was smashed, I was never hurt. God’s providence has been for me even more remarkable than it has been for you."

Now, my daughter, who is very much prone to excitement, much like Dr. Witherspoon’s neighbor, is always telling me about how the grace of God has been worked out in her life in various ways or in the life of someone she dearly loves. She truly loves to share these wonderful stories with me of God’s marvelous grace. Now here lately, each time she tells me one of these tragic stories and how God’s grace and providence has been manifested in the midst of great tribulation, I have facetiously adapted the Witherspoon story above and told her that the tradgedy described never happened to me...so that God’s grace was manifested even more in my non-event.

Now here’s how my facetiousness came back to bite me. For the last month my entire family, my son and his wife and three children, my daughter and her child, and my wife have all either had the H1N1 flu bug or some seasonal variant. Whichever it was, each had their own story of just how cruel this little bug treated them. I was rather proud, even to the point of boasting, that this little bugger completely by-passed me. Yes, that is until about a week or so ago. I awoke in the middle of the night feeling rather weakly and went to the other end of our house for a cold drink of water. While there, a sudden fever came over me and in the space of about 30 seconds my temperature must have gone up five degrees. I broke out in a cold sweat and attempted to return to the bedroom. On the way, I lost consciousness and fell on the hardwood floor where I awoke in a pool of blood near my head. I had, evidently, first collapsed to my knees and then fell forward and hit my head above my right eye causng a sizeable cut. After getting my wife’s attention we treated and bandaged the cut and from there I went through the usual and customary effects of this very nasty flu bug.

The next day I was describing to my daughter how the grace and providence of God during my collapse had spared me of what could have easily been two lost front teeth..or even a broken nose or something worse had I fallen just slightly differently than I had. She said to me, "Dad, I’ve got an even more remarkable story about the grace and providence of God.....that’s never happened to me." All I could say was, "Touché"

Friday, November 6, 2009

Turning Worm ??

Definition: From an ancient proverb, "the worm will turn when trodden upon", meaning the meekest among us will fight back when provoked. It can also mean a change of fortune.Turning Worm 1

Monday, November 2, 2009

Time Changes Things..or Vice Versa



"Light from a star that exploded 13 billion years ago has been detected, becoming the most distant object in the universe ever observed. The light from the distant explosion, called a gamma-ray burst, first reached Earth on April 23 and was detected by NASA's Swift satellite. Gamma-ray bursts are thought to be associated with the formation of star-sized black holes as massive stars collapse." (FOX)

How do "young earthers" explain stories like this?

We know two things: God’s Word clearly indicates 24 hour periods for the explanation of creation in Genesis. What is the point of instituting the Sabbath Day in Exodus 20?: "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God:.....For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth....and rested the seventh day". Are we to rest for long ages of time before the sabbath day is finished? What about genealogies in the New Testament that go back to Adam? The use of the word day in Exodus is exactly the same as in Genesis (yom). Six times in Genesis it is stated, "...and the evening and the morning were the (1-6th) day." Surely if God intended for us to understand it to be great periods of time, He could have expressed this thought in words that would make it clear. It seems it was very easy for the Holy Spirit to direct the writer of Genesis in verse 38:12 "And in the process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died..." This clearly states an extended process of time; not a 24 hour period. Therefore, as far as the process of time is concerned from the vantage point of earth-time.., creation occurred in 6-24 hour periods.

The second thing we know is that we know very little about "time". All of us understand that "time" was created when the universe was created. And we know that time is relative to space and matter. We also know that time is relative to gravity and mass. For instance a clock poised atop the Himalayas ticks at a different rate than clocks at sea level. This is a confirmed fact. Scientists call this phenomenon, "gravitational time dilation". Einstein wrote, "the rate of a clock is accordingly slower the greater the mass...in it’s neighborhood". (The Meaning of Relativity, pg 92) All matters of time relate only to the physical universe. God is outside of time. He is the creator of time. He is timeless.

Dr. D. Russell Humphreys has written a marvelous thought-provoking booklet entitled, "Starlight and Time" in which he attempts to show the relativity of time in God’s early creation. Both "billions" of years for distant galaxies and twenty-four hour earthly creation periods can co-exist, he says, depending on your location. Our location has always been earth-bound. Therefore the Bible speaks to us in terms of the natural rotation of the Earth’s axis and its movement around the Sun. To condense this booklet into a few sentences may be a difficult task, nevertheless I will attempt it. By the way, the mathematical equations stated in the booklet that are involved in this theory are well beyond my feeble understanding, and many equations are given. I would suggest you invest the $8.00 or so and buy a copy. One thing that both random chance ‘big-bang" theorists and God directed "creation" proponents would agree on is that during the formation of our universe science was much different than we know it today. Has the speed of light ever been different than it is today? Perhaps! What happens to time and light when the space in which it is contained is expanded or stretched? We are told in the Psalms that God stretched out the heaven like a curtain. If the universe is "bounded", i.e., has a limit or an edge and the universe has expanded or been stretched equally from the center in all directions during the creation period what we have is a "black hole" in reverse. Humphreys calls it a "white hole". No matter which direction we point our telescopes there appears to be as much matter in all directions, which would indicate that we are at the center point or near center point of the universe. Would God create the universe with the Earth at its center? There is no proof either for or against this idea. The universe appears to be 15-20 billion light years no matter which way we point our instruments. Is this because space is curved and we can only see to the horizon? Good question! Admittedly, it is conjecture, just as much as it is that we are not at the center.

During the process of creation, i.e., the 6-24 hour periods, EST (Earth Standard Time) God stretched out the heavens in all directions: "Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain" Ps 104:2; "He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion." Jer 10:12...and there are many many other verses indicating a stretching out of interstellar space. "As a consequence gravitational time dilation caused clocks (and all physical processes) both inside and outside the event horizon (the border of the white hole) to tick at vastly different rates from one another in different places" (Starlight and Time, pg 79). What is an event horizon? "In general relativity, an event horizon is a boundary in spacetime, most often an area surrounding a black hole, (in our case..a white hole ) beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. Light emitted from beyond the horizon can never reach the observer, and any object that approaches the horizon from the observer's side appears to slow down and never quite pass through the horizon, with its image becoming more and more redshifted as time elapses. " (Wikipedia) In the black hole everything is packed so densely that even light cannot get out. As more and more matter falls into a black hole the event horizon beyond which light cannot escape expands. The gravitational effect is so great that even light cannot escape.

In a "white hole" all the matter is escaping outward rather than inward as in a black hole and the event horizon eventually shrinks and disappears. As the matter escapes, the event horizon becomes smaller and smaller until it eventually disappears to zero. In our "white hole" scenario, as the event horizon approaches toward the earth, time, compared to the outer edges of the expansion, is slowing to a crawl. "The shrinking event horizon reaches earth early on the morning of the fourth day. During this ordinary day as measured on earth, billions of years worth of physical processes take take place in the distant cosmos." (ibid, pg 37) If an observer could look outwards into distant space during the creation process he would see clocks whirring at phenomenal speeds while his own would be ticking along at a normal pace. In short, the booklet attempts to show that 24 hours on earth is possible while at the outer reaches of the universe plenty of time (billions of years) is available for the light to reach the observer on Earth. "God stops the expansion before the evening of the sixth day. Therefore, Adam and Eve gazing up for the first time into the new night sky can now see the Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy and all the other splendors in the heavens that declare the glory of God." (ibid pg 38)

Now here is my caveat. I am certainly not prepared to defend the proposals made by Humphreys in his book. The sole intent and purpose for this particular blog is that you may know that there are highly trained intelligent physicists that are thinking and writing about the possibilities of our origins based upon an understanding of God’s Word. We assume that God’s Word is just that and that it has meaning and purpose and that it conveys to us the truths as God would have us understand. After all, He (our Triune God) was the only one there when these creative processes were begun. God asked of Job, "Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its dwelling place, that you may take it to its boundary and that you may discern the paths to its home?" (Job 38:19-20) Our desire is to understand truth as God understands it. A noble goal!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Quote of the Week

When I recently visited the doctor , I noticed Christian music being played on the PA system. After the doctor finally came in to the little waiting room, I asked him about his church affiliation. He mentioned a local church about which I had heard and I said , "Oh yes..they hold to the Reformed Faith, correct"? He replied, " We don’t know much about doctrine..we just all love Jesus!" Which brings me to the quote of the week:

"The only universal that unites everyone in any mainline denomination is that they all, on some level, love Jesus. As J. Gresham Machen noted in 1923, it may not even be the same Jesus, but they all love him, whoever he may be to you."

Heidelblog

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stuffed Pork

KC fans may think it was just another Washington "Bailout"...or more Washington Pork..but in reality it's just a "W". Sorry, with the Chiefs I can't say just another "W" since it's their first of the '09 season. Next week the Chiefs may get struck by "lightning"...so meanwhile we will relish the barbequed pork!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Out Foxed




(click cartoon to enlarge)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Three Sheets in the Wind





Now when I was younger I knew very well what was being said when one talked about being "three sheets in the wind". It was not conveying anything positive. For one to be "three sheets in the wind" one would be as out of control as an inebriated sailor. Well, just recently I have experienced what "sheets" are and where the term came from.

For the last two days, we have shared the company of some old friends who love to sail. My wife and I were invited to spend the day with them sailing Lake Stockton in S.W. Missouri. Ed and Pat have a sailboat similar to the ones pictured. Lake Stockton has been rated as one of the top ten lakes for sailing in the U.S. and Ed gave us a delightful and, thankfully, uneventful, peaceful four hour sail down and around the North Island and back to the State Park Marina. (approximately 11 miles as a drunken crow flys or a "tacking" boat travels; about 8 miles in a straight line) Pat did the bulk of the sailing while Ed and I controlled the "sheets". The weather was perfect and the wind was cooperative.

I had always supposed that the term "three sheets in the wind" had something to do with the sails. I was wrong. Ed informed me that the term actually refers to the ropes or lines that hold the corners of the sails so that the wind is able to be harnessed. Without the rope to hold the corners, the sail will simply flutter helplessly in the wind and the boat will be out of any control, thus the term "three sheets in the wind". "The sheets were as vital in the days of three-masted square-rigged sea-going ships as they are today, since they trim the sail to the wind. If they run loose, the sail flutters about in the wind and the ship wallows off its course out of control." (Worldwide Words) Early sailors must have noticed the relationship between an inebriated sailor and an out of control sailing vessel.

Since we are now into the New Testament in our journey through the Bible, I feel I can more closely relate to the stories that involve Christ and the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, and for that matter all of the nautical terms throughout the Bible seem to have come alive now, thanks to Ed and Pat. "What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him." (Matthew 8:27) And the OT, "your tackle hangs slack, it cannot hold the base of its mast firmly, nor spread out the sail. (Isa 33:23) "He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired port." (Ps 107:30) John Ortberg has written a book entitled, "If You Want to Walk on Water..You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat". Those in leadership positions hail this as a wonderful new concept and a cure for "couch potatoship" in the laity. That may be true, but after our little trip down Stockton Lake, I have no desire to "walk on the water". I like it in the boat! I think our job is IN THE BOAT. (the boat being the situation or place where God has planted us) Arthur Fallon wrote, "It took more faith to stay in the boat than to walk on the sea. For years I had been waiting for God to perform the spectacular...when living miracles were all around me. My daily prayer now is, "Lord Jesus, help me stay in the boat and let me accept Thy promises...because Thou art the Christ." With Arthur Fallon, I give a hearty, Amen! Keep the "sheets" taut!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Modern Family


(click cartoon to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Town Hall


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Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's a Marathon

St Paul compares the phenomena of sports competition with the Christian life. "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain." (1Co 9:24) And again, "...and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.." (Heb 12:1) And we are, of course, admonished to "...earnestly contend for the faith.." (Jude :3) Contend?..Yes..that is, compete, fight, battle, contest, dispute....all these... synonyms for contending for the faith.

Should we not be going to battle against heterodox ideologies as opportunity arises? "Thy Kingdom come..." involves our activity. One of the most interesting and telling verses that I’ve read in my journey through the Bible this year is the verse in II Samuel 11:1. The NASB reads this way: "Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab....etc, etc." As I recall my wife and I both chuckled when we first read this verse. The spring...when kings go out to battle. Imagine that! This seemed to be an annual ritual. First battle, then defeat or victory... and then do it again next spring. The NBA..National Battling Association begins in April..each year. But this particular spring...King David stayed at Jerusalem..and sat this one out. What happened while his forces in the field were battling the enemies of Israel’s God? David fell into the deepest sin of his life. Not only committing adultery, but also fully complicit in the murder of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah. The entire sad tale may be read in the 11th chapter and is summed up by the writer thusly: "..the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord." (vs 27)

Therefore, it seems to me that we are most productive, whether in secular work, or contending for the faith, when we are in the heat of a battle. I have a friend who owns a grocery store and each year he must schedule vacations for all his employees. He once had a request from a particular employee for a continual 3-week vacation. He facetiously told the employee, "if we can do without you for 3-weeks..we don’t need you!" So it is in living out the faith that has been once delivered to us. There are no vacations, no time off, no breaks, no let up. In my denomination our Lord has provided ample opportunity to defend the orthodox doctrines of the Reformed Faith. As Christians we are, all our lives, being equipped, or perfected..for what?..for the work of the ministry. " and he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:.." (Eph 4:11-12) Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, we are in the ministry, a race as Paul calls it. "So..let us get in shape, get off the cheeseburgers and things that hinder our effectiveness and run our race with cheerful endurance as a marathon with an eye toward the finish line." (my paraphrase of Heb 12:1)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Bible

Sometimes I feel that I have been drawn closer to my earthly father now even more than when he was with us. How? Through the books that he read. I have told you before about "A Box of Old Books". Well...I’ve run across another. Sometimes you read something that you must immediately share. Such is the case with the following verbatim quote from a recently discovered book in the box:

From Leander S. Keyser, "A System of Christian Evidence", 1924 Third Edition Revised. And..lest you jump to the wrong conclusions regarding the word "evidence" in the title let me preface with Keyser’s own quote, "Human reason cannot give the final word of assurance in matters of religion. Experience proves this; for, however expert the Christian apologist may be, he cannot convert men by reason;...the Holy Spirit must give the assurance of truth, pardon and salvation": (below...are his thoughts on The Bible)

The Bible a Special Divine Revelation

1. The Probability of a Special Divine Revelation.
If there is a personal God, the probability that He would reveal Himself in a personal way is very great. He has, indeed, revealed Himself more or less clearly in nature and reason; but surely He would scarcely think a general, impersonal revelation sufficient for His rational creatures. This would be particularly true if they should fall into sin and danger. Why would He not go to their rescue? An earthly parent would. Moreover, should not every one be glad to believe that God has come to man’s help in a clear, definite, loving way, just as the Bible reveals? One would think that all persons would welcome such a revelation and rejoice in it as good news indeed.

2. The Possibility of a Special Divine Revelation.
A being who could not reveal Himself above the natural order of His creation would be a very limited being, and therefore could not be God. If this great universe is in the hands of a helpless God, we are of all creatures most hopeless and miserable. Who can or will believe that this cosmos is built on such irrational principles?

3. The Need of a Special Divine Revelation.
The status of the heathen world proves this need. They have had the light of nature and reason to guide them through all the centuries. Has the result been satisfactory? Is there even an unbeliever who would care to exchange our civilization for theirs, or, if he had to make a choice, who would prefer their religions to the Christian religion? Perhaps God has left them to their own ways without special revelation partly to prove to the world that such a revelation is necessary.

So far as regards the philosophers, observe the vagueness and uncertainty of their teaching and speculations; their inability to solve the very problems that are most vital to human welfare—the problems of sin, of pardon, salvation, immortality, etc. Plato speculated about sin, but could come to no definite conclusion; he did not know whether the gods could forgive sin, and even if they could, whether they ought. He also expressed the hope that some time a special divine revealtion would be vouchsafed to mankind because of the great uncertainty of human reason. Moreover, no two philosophers agree; in fact most of them undermine one another’s speculations......The status of heathen religions and the lack of consensus among philosophers certainly demonstrate the need of a special divulgence from God.

4. Why God made a Book
Books are the best method of preserving the truth in its integrity and transmitting it from generation to generation. Memory and tradition are very untrustworthy. Therefore God acted with the greatest wisdom and also in the normal way, giving His revelation to men in book form. In no other way, so far as we can see, could He have imparted to mankind an infallible norm that would be available for everybody, and that would continue intact throughout the ages, and from which all people could procure the same standard of faith and practice. Subjective experience would be too obscure and variable unless it were directed by a higher and more certain authority. A universal standard must be an objective one; therefore a book.

Keyser concludes this section with these words: If we reject the Bible we must admit that we know little or nothing about God, creation, man’s origin, design and destiny, the cause and raison d’etre of sin and suffering, and of a way of salvation. The door of the future is shut down against us, and we beat against it in vain. A well-known non-Christian scientist declared not long ago that the origin of man is wrapped in complete obscurity. Then, if we know nothing of man’s origin, we know nothing of his purpose and his destiny. Thus without the Bible the universe is indeed a "riddle," as the materialist Haeckel has called it. All is gloom, uncertainty, nihilism.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Busy Bee


Recently I discovered a colony of bees that were just a little too busy around my front entrance. These are not the usual kind of bees that you would see nesting underneath the house-siding or in a tree. These bees were what you call "ground bees". Please note that I refer to these critters in the past tense. Through an Internet search I discovered that there really are such creatures as "ground bees". They prefer the dry soil up near the foundation where a normal rain cannot reach, protected mostly by eaves. How to get rid of these little pests became the project of the week on my "honey do" list. We have grandkids that come frequently through this area and I’ve heard that bees are attracted to "sweet things"..which my grandkids are...most of the time.

I discovered that the best method for verminating was to boil a big pot of water, grab an old window screen or screen mesh, toss over the entrance hole and then immediately pour the boiling water over the mesh into the hole. The mesh blocks their escape....and you know what the boiling water does. I might add, once you have poured out all the boiling water...then run like the wind...back into the safety of the house! Now here’s the real trick. This must be done in the dark while these critters are sleeping, like at 10:00 PM. It's really dark at 10pm! After checking the area this morning, I can proudly say.."mission accomplished". Now if President Obama was chastised for swatting a fly during an interview what should I expect if a wild-eyed "greenie" reads about this wholesale slaughter perpetrated last evening. I guess I could be in "hot water".

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Does God Love Anyone?

Do not presume upon the love of God. "...and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (Jo 3:36b) "You have wearied the Lord with your words; how so?.. you say; by saying..God loves you just the way you are and has a wonderful plan for your life." (my paraphrase of Malachi 2:17) Watch this 9 minute video. It may change the way you think about things.



Monday, August 17, 2009

Omarosa...Seminary..???

It’s true! Can you believe it? Omarosa is attending seminary at United Theological Seminary. Did any psychic predict this turn of events? I’m sorry...but after watching her on The Apprentice, the thought expressed below in the cartoon came immediately to mind. As Larry the Cable Guy would say.."Lord forgive me and bless the Pygmies in New Guinea!" Read the story HERE.

(click to cartoon to enlarge)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ACLU Gone Wild

Christian Educators in Santa Rosa County Fight Back Against the ACLU
July 02, 2009 2:24 PM
Read it HERE.


(click cartoon to enlarge)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

2009 Predictions (Mid-Year)


I predict that the Kansas City Chiefs will win the coveted Lombardi Trophy on February 7, 2010. Now, I could be wrong on this prediction. I do not claim prophetic, psychic or supernatural gifts for foretelling the future. But I do have wonderful hindsight and could be classified as an accurate Monday morning quarterback. Check with me on Monday morning February 8th, 2010 when I will probably be having "crow" for breakfast. Not exactly the "breakfast of champions".

There are some prophets and prophecies that CAN be Monday morning quarterbacked. These prophets predicted events 500-1000 years and beyond, before their ultimate fulfillment and unlike a temporal Lombardi Trophy these prophets predicted events with eternal ramifications; I’m talking about the gospel message.

So if you’ve never heard the "gospel message" before let me give you the predictions of the Biblical Prophets from over 2500 years ago:

Predicted by The Psalmist, a Savior crucified, rejected and scorned: "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me." (Ps 22) Prophecy fulfilled in the 1st Century AD at Calvary.

Isaiah predicted His resurrection: "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities." (Isa 53:10) Prophecy fulfilled at Calvary and 3 days after Calvary.

Isaiah predicted His purpose: "thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth." (Isa 49:6) Prophecy is yet being fulfilled in the entire world.

Isaiah predicted His message: "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory." (Isa 45:22-25) Prophecy is being fulfilled in every scripture-driven church every Sunday.

I will simply add this. "Look..... NOW is the acceptable time, NOW is the day of salvation. Christ died for sinners. Repent (turn from your naturalistic worldview) and believe the gospel."

(If you’ve read this entry to this point perhaps the Holy Spirit of God may have brought you here. I have received numerous hits on my entry "2009 Predictions" from "google" enquirers looking for answers concerning the future. I pray that your future may be eternally secure by trusting in Christ Jesus.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Promises Fulfilled

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (II Chronicles 7:14)

I lost count of the number of well meaning e-mails and articles I’ve received over the years encouraging me to pray for our country based upon the teaching found in II Chronicles 7:14. Now, I know that we are encouraged to pray for those in authority over us and to pray without ceasing, and to pray that righteousness prevail and to pray about all things...however, those well meaning Christians are using the wrong scripture to emphasize this type of prayer. Am I "pickin’ nits" again? Perhaps! The II Chronicles passage was written to a specific group known as God’s people in contradistinction to other nations in the world and those people had a LAND, a promised land. Time and again this verse was played out in the life of Israel. They forsook the Lord, calamity occurred, they cried to the Lord and God raised up a deliverer and healed their land; promises fulfilled. (Judges 2:13,18; 3:7,9,12,15, etc, etc)

If II Chronicles is to be spiritually applied today by the Christian believer, the first thing I want to know is where is our land that God promised to heal? Bear in mind we have believers, i.e., brothers in Christ, all over the world. Do we have a common land on this planet that we can seek His face to heal? Of course, the answer is, NO! Israel was the only people that had been called the "people of God", i.e., "my people", AND had a LAND. Can the Israeli of today pray and expect a healing of their land as described in the II Chronicles passage? The answer is also, NO! Why? Because God’s Kingdom has been enlarged and expanded from the approximate 56,700 square miles encompassed by the "promised land" of the OT to the entire world of today, and ultimately to the "new Jerusalem and the new heavens and the new earth". "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15) The present State of Israel occupies only approximately 8300 square miles of that original turf anyway...and before long it may be less. Through what nation is God now working, if not Israel? The answer, "the Israel of God" (Gal 6:16) Of whom does the Israel of God consist? Amazingly enough it consists of Jews......and Dutch and Irish and Germans and Croatians and Slovenians and Arabs and Chinese and Japanese and Americans, among many others. The Israel of God consists of "every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Rev 5:9); also described as a "wild olive tree" which has been grafted into that original olive tree and partakers with them of the rich root of that original (paraphrase of Rom 11:24); Peter calls it, "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation.." (I Pet 2:9a)

Should we then not pray for our nation, no matter where our nation is? Of course, we should not only pray for our nation but we should also work outwardly the salvation that has been worked inwardly in us and to promote in every possible way that His Kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Just remember though, this isn’t the promised land. We, like Abraham of old, are seeking a city that hath foundations whose builder and maker is God. (Heb 11:10) Meantime, the wheat and the tares are going to grow together. (Matt 13:24-30) Ours is to be the seasoning salt and the illuminating light set on a high hill in a darkened land. We are in the world, but not of it. He just may heal our land, wherever it is, but it won’t be because He promised that to us in II Chronicles 7:14.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Invisible One


Clarence Edward Macartney (1879-1957) was a Presbyterian pastor and author. He was a contemporary of J. Gresham Machen and was equally involved as Machen in the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy in the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America in the early part of last century. I have his book, "Macartney’s Illustrations" which was purchased by my father in 1945. This is a book of selected sermon vignettes and illustrations that were used by Macartney during his ministry...all compiled into 421 pages revealing his pastoral experience, his wide range of reading, and his own imagination.

Thumbing through the book I ran across the following which I think is particularly timely even though originally written in the midst of the II World War:

"God must be in this terrible chapter of the world’s history through which we are passing today. Otherwise one would have to exclude God from a great part of history. In his powerful description of the battle and battlefield of Sedan, where the German army conquered the French in 1870, Victor Hugo says, "In the midst of the terrible plain, I saw thee, O thou Invisible One." The Invisible One is always present. The history of the world is the judgement of the world, and as a great history maker, Cromwell, put it, "What are all our histories but God throwing down and trampling under foot whatsover He hath not planted?"

Help us to see the hand of The Invisible One as did Elisha with his young student:
"And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." (II King 6:16,17)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Takin' the Plunge

Silver Dollar City with 3 Grandkids (2 nights): $500.00 +
Eat at Lamberts in Ozark, Mo (w/"throwed rolls"): $50.00
Gas to Branson, Mo. (round trip) $45.00
Souvenirs from Silver Dollar City: $50.00
Photo of two Grandkids "flushed" down the American Plunge ride:
"PRICELESS" (click photo to enlarge)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Chavez's Cartoon Quip

I’m not making this up. Hugo Chavez is known for his flamboyant speaking style. He made a playful comment, according to the Reuters News Service, on June 2, 2009. I have incorporated his comment "verbatim" in my latest cartoon. I’m hoping Hugo is wrong about this, but he may be on to something. Read the story HERE.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Reaping



Update:
I posted this little collage of names figuring that everyone would get it. Perhaps some explanation may be in order. What I am trying to convey is the idea that falling into sin or even diving headlong into sin knows of no political, ideological, or evangelical exemptions. The names listed in this collage are all fairly familiar names. Most of these folks are or were our "leaders" of some sort or another. Many, many more familiar and unfamiliar names could be posted here. However, "gotcha" is not the proper response of any political party, or ideological or religious group. It is certainly sad when our leaders fall in this manner, but it IS comforting to know that as a nation we all still seem to know this behavior is unacceptable.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fair & Balanced


"I’ve got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration!" says President Obama. I suspect that "fair and balanced", when all others are swooning, means.."attacking".

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Imprecatory Prayer

In the news recently we heard about a SBC pastor who was actually using the "imprecatory" Psalms to pray for the demise of President Obama and many others whom he specified by name. Quoting from Americans United, "The Rev. Wiley Drake is on the warpath again — and this time, he has really gone too far...... Before appearing on Alan Colmes’ radio show June 2, Drake had issued a statement that his imprecatory prayers for the death of slain Kansan Dr. George Tiller had been answered. He said that he "absolutely" believed that God wanted Dr. Tiller dead." To AU’s (no friend of Christ) credit they did make this statement: "But it’s important to note that while Drake’s statements are scary and outrageous, not all Southern Baptists agree with him." Not all?... I would venture a guess that 99.9% do not agree with Drake.

Here are some examples of imprecatory prayer in the Psalms:
Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the grave. (Ps 55:15)
O God, break the teeth in their mouths. (Ps58:6)
May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous. (Ps 69:28)
May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. (Ps 109:9)

The question of the day: How are Christians to pray the imprecatory prayers of the Psalms? And even...should we pray the imprecatory Psalms? Like the disciples of the first century we ask, “Lord teach us to pray”. We do have some direct instruction from our Lord regarding our enemies and the enemies of God. He says, “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” (Luke 6:28) And..Paul.. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (I Tim 2:1-2) Based on these two verses alone, as Christians, we are permitted to pray for our enemies, to bless them, and to seek their conversion. This would certainly eliminate any personal prayer for particular or specific vengeance. So how do we pray for the defeat of our enemies?

Our Lord gives us the answer in what we call the Lord’s Prayer. It says..”Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven”. If we are truly praying for the Kingdom of God to come, and His will to be done, this entails the sure destruction of all those that would come against God and His Kingdom, including Satan and any of his followers. However, we have no clue about who may be personally and permanently committed to the Kingdom of Darkness. Therefore, we can only pray for their conversion and let God work out any vengeance. Had he been there, Rev Drake may have prayed for the demise of St Paul at one point in his life. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Rom 12:19b) Rev Wiley Drake is wrong...as 99.9% of Southern Baptists know!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gone Fishin'

My son sent me these pictures taken during a recent fishing trip at Lake Fork in Texas. He estimated these two bass at around 8 lbs. and 4 lbs. Not too bad! He won the "autotropaeum" for his efforts. (that means he gave himself a trophy)







(click photos to enlarge)

Now, I’m not sure he’s quite ready for the kind of fishing displayed in this video. These fellas don’t look like they’re about to throw these catfish back into the pond.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Longsuffering

We recently completed the Book of Job on our journey of reading through the Bible in 2009. In James reference is made to the "patience of Job". Two Greek words are used throughout the New Testament for two different concepts most generally translated "patience". The one we are all most familiar with is "hupomoneo" which Strong translates as "cheerful endurance, constancy, continuance, waiting. Isaiah 40:31 in the Septuagint uses the same Greek word for "they that WAIT upon the Lord..shall renew their strength..." In my particular case this would be the ability to cheerfully sit at a stop-light for 2 minutes without maligning the electronic controls. Remember, during his afflictions, when Job said, "I wish I had never been born"? (Job 3:3) The cheerful or hopeful attitude of patience in Job was influenced by his circumstances. "...pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance". (Rom 5:3b)

The other Greek word is "makrothumia", which Strong translates as "longanimity, forebearance, fortitude, and longsuffering. Recently, my wife and I were the "prayer persons of the week" at the Church we attend. A lady sitting next to me leaned over and asked how she could pray for us. By this I assumed she meant to ask if there was anything in particular or specifically that she could pray about for us. After a few moments of contemplation I handed her a note requesting she pray for us as Paul did for the Colossians in Chap 1 verses 10&11, "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness." That is continual "spiritual maturity"!

The word makrothumia (longsuffering) is most often used as an attribute of God. Therefore, it is not surprising that it would also be listed as a fruit of the Spirit. Theologians would call this one of the "communicable" attributes of God. Certain attributes of God cannot be shared, such as His "aseity", His "self-existence" or His "infintitude". Other attributes are shared such as love, mercy, grace, and longsuffering. L. Berkhof defines longsuffering: "It is that aspect of the goodness or love of God in virtue of which He bears with the froward (stubborn) and evil in spite of their long continued disobedience". In 2009 Paul’s question is still applicable, "..despiseth thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" (Rom 2:4)

Before I retired, I worked for a major banking firm. Occasionally we would come accross a term in loan documents known as "forebearance". Forbearance in the banking business means "the act of declining, for a period of time, to enforce the legal right to require payment of a debt". God’s forebearance or longsuffering with us resulted not in an extended period to repay, but in the full payment and satisfaction of the debt through faith and repentance. It was Augustine that prayed, "command what you will, and grant what you command". Isn’t that exactly the way God deals with us? God commands, "thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thine heart..", which we cannot do unless God grants to us a new heart. What God commands, God grants. ) "A new heart also will I give you..’ Ez 36:26 "For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast". It is a God-given faith that produces works in the grantee. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Eph 2:10)

Paul tells us how makrothumia is worked outwardly when he says that it is part of the love without which all else is meaningless: "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (I Cor 13:4-7) As patience (hupomoneo) relates to things and circumstances, longsuffering (makrothumia) exhorts us to cherish and show love to God and to one another, endlessly.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dueling Cartoons II

On Friday the KC Star cartoonist depicted former VP Dick Cheney sitting in a "make-up" room prior to a TV appearance as "A fossil that represents an early stage of human development..." A link to the cartoon may be found HERE. I suspect that this may be a temporary link...so I’ve given you a description of the cartoon with which mine is "dueling".


(click to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We Still Have to Deal with Potholes


I don't necessarily agree with the claims of this video and suspect that there is some blatant hype going on here; nevertheless, if nothing else, this video should make one realize that the only "real" meaning in life is found in our relationship with God, and then in our relationships with others.

Jesus said: "And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." (John 17:26)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Burqa’d

Ann Coulter’s column this week, among other things, talks about the liberal media bias that seems to be rampant since Obama’s election. All "main stream media" (msm) anchors and anchorettes seem to just tow the liberal line...no questions asked, per Ann . It begs for a "Coulter" quote and a DVAN cartoon:

"But what is crying out for an explanation is why every bubble-head TV news anchorette from a nice, churchgoing red state ends up adopting the political views of Karl Marx. From Katie Couric on CBS to Norah O'Donnell on MSNBC, the whole stable of TV anchorettes weirdly have the exact same politics as their liberal masters. It's the ideological burqa women are required to wear to work in the mainstream media. As with a conventional burqa, it enforces conformity and severely restricts the vision. The only way to protect yourself is to do the liberal male's bidding, as the bubble-head anchorettes do, or stand on the rock of Christianity." (Ann Coulter ..read it all)

(click image to enlarge)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dueling Banjos Cartoons

Have you ever opened the morning newspaper and looked at the editorial cartoon and just wanted to throw a brick at the paper? (no, that’s what you do to the TV when MSNBC is on) What?... burn the paper? Soak it in water?... Cancel your subscription...? Maybe in the past...but now it’s the "Dueling Cartoons"! Here in the KC area we have a liberal newspaper...and, guess what,....that’s right... a liberal opinion cartoonist. Imagine that! In the past I would write a letter to the editor to voice my opposition to the cartoon subject matter.....but to no avail. Given the number of letters...I suppose my conservative opinion might just get lost in the shuffle whether by intent or not. So...the solution...create the "Dueling-Cartoon" .

Now, I know I don’t have the readership of the local newspaper, nor the artistic talent of my local cartoonist..but I do have "some" readership and "some" talent and this venture allows me to vent my inner anger/frustration in more positive ways and to continue to help support the local economy by NOT cancelling my subscription. My first attempt at this venting process is posted below and is based on the Friday morning, May 8th editorial cartoon which can be viewed here. So now, you may have at least two opinions.
(If you’re not familiar with the Perez Hilton incident..you can brush up here.)

(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

This blog is a follow-up on my earlier "...Without Excuse". I am linking to James White’s reflections of his recent debate with atheist Dan Barker at the University of Illinois. This debate took place on April 30th 2009. Dr. White is a seasoned debater on a full range of Christian subjects. Note carefully Mr. White’s purpose in all of his debates: "I am committed to the idea that debates are meant to glorify God through the proclamation of His truth. I am seeking to edify the saints, and evangelize the lost..."

Be sure to watch the video, (it’s only 3min, 20sec) for it highlights Psalm 139:14 "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." I am still amazed that anyone could look at all the marvelous creations of God and conclude that it all came together by chance.

Hat Tip: Hip & Thigh

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Psy-"Kicks"


I discovered a newspaper clipping from the Jan 3rd, 1978 National Inquirer tucked away in an old photo album. (my wife must have bought this thing) The clipping is the entire two page Predictions for 1978 by the top 10 psychics in the country. How they are judged to be the top 10 is not explained, but based on some of the predictions they must have been chosen on a scale representing the most outrageous predictions.

Here are some that are not so outrageous, but might have been predicted by any sweat hog in Mr. Kotter’s 1978 under-achiever class. Vinnie Barbarino or Arnold Horshack could have done as well:

Elizabeth Taylor will divorce. (duh...her 7th divorce didn’t happen until 1982, from John Warner)
Earthquake in Iran in July (Iran has an earthquake every couple years since 1947..safe bet), Columbia in August, and Hawaii in September. (none happened, although Iran had one in September ’78..close don’t count in Psychic Prognostications)
Researchers will develop a pill to prevent baldness (it wasn’t predicted that it would work; I think they’re still developing pills) (Velcro was first marketed in ’78 and could help in holding a good wig in place)

Outrageous Predictions:
A thought-mobile will be introduced by GM that will be controlled by the driver’s thought waves. (that may be why they are in trouble today...too much R&D money on this thing)
Elizabeth Taylor will enter politics, become an ambassador and settle the Israeli/Arab conflict. (has the Israeli/Arab conflict been going on that long? What’s that..about 30 years..plus or minus 3000?)
Henry Kissinger will be called back into service to settle the Mid-East conflict. (You’d think between Henry and Liz something ought to get fixed)
Kristy McNichol star of "Family" will make a hit record and become a singing star. (This Psychic got Kristy mixed up with Miley Cyrus...and 30 years too soon.)
Jacqueline Bisset star of "The Deep" will become America’s No.1 sex symbol. (that actually did happen ...but Alas, evidently I was the only one who knew!)
Japanese scientists will develop..a cheap adapter that would enable one to pick-up TV broadcasts from around the world. (I think that would be called a "computer"...but it’s not so cheap,..in my opinion, and didn’t come close to happening in 1978.)
Elvis Presley’s body will be kidnapped and held for $1,000,000.00 ransom. (didn’t happen..but no one predicted that Charlie Chaplin’s remains would be stolen in March ‘78 and held for 600,000 Swiss Franc reward. Culprits were caught and body returned.)
Muhammad Ali will suffer a heart attack in the ring and retire. (no one predicted Leon Spinks would be the one that would take Ali’s title..in 15 rounds Feb 15th. Ali didn’t retire and won back the title in a September rematch)

On our journey through the Bible this year we found quite a story. It is in 2 Chronicles Chapter 18. Wicked King Ahab of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) sought an alliance with good King Jehoshaphat of the Southern Kingdom (Judah). Jehoshaphat acquiesced and agreed to join in battle against the Syrians to recover a city that had been lost. King Ahab gathered 400 of the leading "psychics" of his day to inquire if he’d be successful in this endeavor. After 400 "yes-men" said "go...get ‘em, Tiger", Jehoshaphat sensed an un-holy harmonious unanimity and asked if there were any others that might have a "Word...from the Lord". Ahab reluctantly said "yes...there is one other, but I don’t like him because he never has anything good to say about me". So..they sent for Micaiah, the Prophet. The "gofer" attempted to vet Micaiah's message by telling him about the 400 psychics and how they, in one voice, agreed that the Kings should do this battle and Micaiah would do well to say the same thing. Micaiah said, "..what my God says that will I speak."

Here’s what Micaiah told King Ahab: "The Lord seeks your demise by way of these 400 lying "psychics". Believe them...go to battle... and be defeated and killed." The short version.."he did, he went and he was"! Before he left for battle, King Ahab threw Micaiah in jail until he returned safely. Ahab didn’t come back safely. A soldier fired a random arrow into the air, it fell to earth...the Lord knew where. It struck King Ahab in a small-unprotected area of his armor...the sliver of space between the breastplate and scales of armor...and he bled to death. The Chronicler does not tell of the vindication of Micaiah. The story..leaves him in jail for telling the truth of the matter.

What a lesson this is for today’s Pastors and Teachers..and, for that matter, all of us. "What the Lord says...that will I speak"....no matter the consequences.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Elephant in the Room

The Reformed Pastor blogged about this on April 20th. Hat Tip to him for this entry:

The following is from the Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — A task force has begun looking into the conduct of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) in its dealings with Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations that have left the PC(USA) for the EPC.
The task force was named by the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical Relations (GACER) in response to an overture to the 218th PC(USA) General Assembly (2008) that was referred to the GACER. The overture requested that the assembly "investigate the actions and conduct of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church …"

This little tid-bit of news just screams out "CARTOON"...Hello??....can’t y'all see the Elephant in the room? Folks are not being "wooed out" by the EPC...they're being "run out" by the PCUSA. So...here it is!

(click image to enlarge)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Deeds

Our Associate Pastor recently referred to our denomination as “self-destructing”. He says, “I belong to and have poured my best energies into a denomination which is self-destructing, and there is no sense of security that it will hold together long enough to get to retirement years. “ Some of our other Christian brothers would not be so kind since they deem the PCUSA as already in a state of “apostasy”.

I recently read two articles in The Layman that prompted the drawing below. They tend to highlight the self-destruction that is taking place. One actually makes mention of “middle age” practices of the PCUSA hierarchy. The pictorial below is based upon that era. The other article demonstrates how the practices are played out in the real life of a local PCUSA congregation and seem to be a result of the “Louisville Papers”. The Louisville Papers have been described as "calling for the use of draconian measures when claiming local church property". I have linked to all articles. They seem to corroborate the theme of the drawing posted below. It's all about "Deeds".
(click image to enlarge)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Decisions


(click image to enlarge)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mr. Goodwrench

(click image to enlarge)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Such a Worm...


I can remember, as a child singing that great old hymn, “At the Cross” by Isaac Watts and I can recall vividly the first stanza of that song: “Alas and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head, For such a worm as I?” And then as I grew older, the last line of that song began to change. Changed to something like-- “such a sinner as I”..or “such a one as I”, or “for sinners such as I”. The hymn was originally entitled, “Alas and Did My Savior Bleed?” and did not contain the chorus from which the new title arose, ”At the Cross”. The chorus was later added by R.E. Hudson and ends with the line, ”and now I am happy all the time”. You old-timers, like myself, can fill in the first part of that chorus by memory, youngsters..can “google”.

Now, I think the last line of the chorus is indicative of what happened to the last line of the first stanza. How can a person who is “happy” all the time see himself as a “worm”? “Sinner” or “such a one as I” is much less humbling than to be thought of as a “worm”. There is a true and real contrast between being happy all the time and worminess, struggle, holy discontent, and remembering our sinful roots. I think if Isaac Watts were around today..he would discard completely the chorus that was added to his poem or song, or at a minimum add it to a more appropriate song. The original does seem to be out of place in this age of self-esteem. Worms? No way,..I’m OK and you’re OK. Most today, I think, would want to keep the chorus, repeat it eight times and throw away the stanzas altogether. Way too much “theological” info there!

We are now into I Kings reading through the Bible in 2009. So far we have been introduced to a multitude of godly characters...as well as some very unsavory ones. In looking back over some of my biblical heroes I just might ask the question...”did they see themselves, as the chorus states, happy all the time”? How about David, the one who was characterized by God Himself, as one “after God’s own heart”. Happy all the time? Hardly! I don’t think you can find an OT character with more “problems, issues and concerns”. He knew his sinful roots...and could say, “He brought me up out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay..” (Ps 40:2) “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me" and “my sin is ever before me” (Ps 51:3,5) I think David and many other OT heroes would acknowledge the last line of Isaac Watts’ song..that Christ did indeed devote that sacred head, ”for such a worm as I”.

Now, it is true we are to acknowledge the past, as David certainly did, but also we are to realize that there is a glorious future as well. Balance, as in most things, is key. Paul could acknowledge his roots as “chief of sinners”, and even rehearse some of those continuing sins, but he could also say..”Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 7:24-25) Christian qualities, I believe, are enhanced by an acknowledgement of our unworthiness. Truly, it is, and must be, by grace that we are saved and not of ourselves.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Blog

One year today. March 31, 2008 I created my very first blog entry. It is amazing to me that I still get "google" hits off this first blog from folks searching for the lyrics to the song, "The Love of God". Now that I’ve included the title of the song here..it will probably double my traffic. That’s a good thing! Perhaps a birthday present, huh?

BD

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Recycled Cartoon

I didn’t really realize that in addition to plastics, aluminum cans, newspapers, etc cartoons may also be recycled. Especially so, when one is a member of the PCUSA denomination. We appear to be extremely litigious here of late. I used this cartoon last year here...and after reading March’s The Layman..all I needed do was change the captions and recycle. It appears that I should probably keep this cartoon handy because the future looks promising for attorneys in the PCUSA. (click to enlarge)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Without Excuse....

What has really puzzled me for some time is that there are actually some who refer to themselves as "atheists". And I wonder, is there really any such thing as an "atheist"? I've heard there are no atheists in foxholes and there are no atheists in the hereafter. Here is the Dictionary.com defintition: "An atheist is one who denies the existence of a deity or of divine beings". Now, bear in mind, as Christians we believe, that an atheist is created in the image of God..just as is the believer. In other words we all..atheist or believer..bear the marks of the One who has created us, e.g., with faculties of rationality, affections, a sense of morality, spirituality, etc. Paul says, "that which is known about God is evident within them.." (Rom 1:19) Dictionary.com also has a definition for us concerning God: "the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe".

As a Christian, of course, I come with a Christian point of view..simply because I DO believe in the Christian God. And..I probably cannot be totally objective about this subject, at least in the mind of an atheist, because I presuppose God..and I presuppose the Christian God...so therefore I will use what I consider to be His Holy..and Truthful Word. Again, the question: Is there any such thing as an "atheist"? And if so, upon what is his understanding based?

What would a universe based upon chance, without a creator and ruler, look like? Do you suppose it would be orderly or chaotic? I’ve visited my granddaughter’s playroom recently. It is normally in a chaotic state, ...toys, games and yo-yo’s (TG&Y) in a random state. I wasn’t disappointed. If I were to see it in an orderly state I would have to conclude that someone intervened in the normal course of events...mother or daughter. It is not normally in an orderly condition. Would a universe, without a creator and ruler, be in a orderly or a chaotic state? Surely the atheist would have to agree with the Christian believer that it would be in a chaotic state, random and unorganized. But..what do we actually observe about the universe? Chaos or order? Dependable laws and rules or ever changing and undependable physical laws? Magnificent and wonderfully made creations..or chaotic abstractions. Even our logic and reasoning are the results of an ordered, ruled, purposeful universe that has been brought into existence by One that must have the qualities of logic, reason, order and purpose. This is not "rocket science"! The atheist must muster logic and reasoning to make his anti-God statement. Ultimately, he must be omniscient (an attribute of God) to KNOW..there is no God.

So therefore, St Paul is able to say in the book of Romans Chapter 1, verse 20 without any hesitation, "they are without excuse". It is interesting, to me, that the word "excuse" can be literally translated "without an apologetic". An "apologetic" is the basis for a statement. To propose an "apologetic" one must use.."reason, logic, purpose and order" which are not the attributes of a chaotic, unpurposeful or random, godless state. One might even say.."how dare you use the things of God (purpose, logic, reason) to disprove the God of reason, purpose and logic"? "Get your own apologetic!"..God might say to them. However, here is what He does say to them (to quote from my presupposed book of authority): "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead..so they are without excuse."

And... amazingly God graciously pleads with him(us), "Come now, and let us reason together...though your sins be as scarlet..they shall be white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool". (Isa 1:18) And I would simply add this.."repent, and believe the Gospel". (Mark 1:15) Christ died for sinners!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Got The Blues, Pt 2

I was digging around in my Word doc file recently and came upon a document that I had copied from some unknown website back in n'aught 3. Since we are on the subject of the "blues" it is quite fitting that I follow-up the last entry with this little tid-bit of info on what really constitutes the "blues" and those that may or may not have a case of it. If I knew the author of this little gem I would most assuredly give him/her full credit. (I will take some editing credit)

Most Blues songs begin with: "Woke up this morning..." (which is a good Blues way to begin a day)"

I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin a Blues song, unless you stick something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."

The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes - sort of: "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town." Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town."Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and she weigh 500 pound."

The Blues is not about choice.You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch...ain't no way out.

Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos, SAABs, Mercedes, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the Blues lifestyle. (and not for exercise) So does fixin' to die.

Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, adulthood means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or anywhere in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Memphis, and N’awlins are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the Blues in anyplace that don't get rain.

A man with male pattern baldness ain't the Blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is.

Breaking your leg 'cause you were skiing is not the Blues.

Breaking your leg 'cause an alligator be chomping on it is.

You can't have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

Good places for the Blues
a. highway
b. jailhouse
c. empty bed
d. bottom of a whiskey glass

Bad places for the Blues
a. Nordstrom's
b. Gallery openings
c. Ivy League institutions
d. Golf courses

No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be an old person, and you slept in it.

Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if:
a. you're older than dirt
b. you're blind
c. you shot a man in Memphis
d. you can't be satisfied
No, if:
a. you have all your teeth
b. you were once blind but now can see
c. the man in Memphis lived
d. you have a 401K or trust fund, unless it’s in the toilet!

Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the Blues. Sonny Liston or John Bobbitt could have. Ugly people also got a leg up on the Blues.

If you ask for water and you're darlin' gives you white wine vinegar, it's the blues.Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
a. cheap wine (Thunderbird, or 2 buck Chuck for example)
b. whiskey or bourbon
c. muddy water
d. black coffee

The following are NOT Blues beverages:
a. Perrier
b. Chardonnay
c. Snapple
d. Slim Fast

If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse, and dying lonely on a broken-down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or while getting liposuction.

Some Blues names for women:
a. Sadie
b. Big Mama
c. Bessie
d. Fat River Dumpling
e. Stella

Some Blues names for men:
a. Joe
b. Willie
c. Little or Big Willie
d. Sam Cooke

Persons with names like Michelle, Jessica, Biff, Buffy, Debbie, and Heather can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

Blues Name Starter Kit:
a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.) combined with,
b. name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi, etc.) combined with
c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)
For example: Blind Lime Jefferson, Pegleg Lemon Johnson, Fat Banana Washington or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc. (Well, maybe not "Kiwi.")

I don't care how tragic your life is: if you own a computer, you cannot sing the blues, unless it’s crashed searching out info on Bill Doggett..or Fat Banana Washington.