Friday, February 27, 2009

Balak and Balaam, Obama and Culp

About 3500 years ago (give or take a few) a man of the cloth was approached by a national leader to come to his headquarters and give a prayer of cursing over a huge band of people that had camped too near his kingdom. He was afraid that they may have in mind to do him some sort of what better way to nip the possiblity of a terrorist attack in the bud than to enlist a local clergyman to pray a prayer of cursing over these potential invaders that had camped a bit too near.

The problem is...he didn’t do a good job of vetting this preachers prayer. He said, "I brought you to curse these people and you have actually blessed them." (paraphrase of Num Chap 22-24)
Fast forward this video tape...3500 years into the future (give or take a few). It’s deja vu all over again. See this from Americans United:

"February 26, 2009
Earlier this week, Dan Gilgoff at
U.S. News reported that President Barack Obama has started a new tradition at some of his presidential events. On some occasions, at least, it seems Obama’s opening act will be a prayer vetted by the White House.

According to the U.S. News blog, White House staff contacted local clergy to open the two town hall meetings that Obama held to sell his economic stimulus package and another rally to unveil his mortgage bailout plan.

Gilgoff told the story of Ryan Culp of Elkhart, Ind., who turned down a request by Obama to deliver a prayer during the presidential campaign because he is a conservative Republican and, Culp said, "didn’t want to be perceived to be a supporter of a Democratic campaign." Culp was asked again now that Obama is in office and this time obliged.

The day before Culp was to give the prayer, he was required to call an aide at the White House and recite the prayer for approval. The aide told him the prayer was "beautiful."

A once-in-a-lifetime experience for Culp has become routine for President Obama: In a departure from previous presidents, his public rallies are opening with invocations that have been commissioned and vetted by the White House."

Now the big difference between then and now, in my humble opinion, is that the national leader of antiquity sincerely expected the clergy’s prayer to bring forth fruit. In our day and age, it seems it’s all for show..or in order to placate some contingent or group so as not to lose votes or popularity. That applies to both the national leader and the one who would allow his prayer to be vetted or edited.

(via The Reformed Pastor)

Friday, February 20, 2009


To me, it’s just as bad as what the "Mafia" used to do to legitimate business owners when they’d come by and sell insurance that would prevent the "Mafia". I was searching for a GM part for our auto..that has over 100,000 miles. Now we all know any vehicle with that kind of mileage...things just automatically quit working. Two of the three knobs that control fan, A/C, and defroster...just fell off onto the floorboard.

In an attempt to find a source via the internet to purchase..I clicked on the very first site that popped up on a "google search". This, evidently, was the wrong thing to do. This site immediately downloaded some sort of .exe program that would activate itself and attempt to go to a site that would...for a certain dollar amount..fix the problem that they had created. This program would activate at regular 5 minute intervals without fail. Is that extortion..or what? My Norton Anti-Virus program would not allow the opening of their web-page..however it did allow the .exe program to be deposited onto my hard drive in the first place.

After several failed attempts to locate this "worm" I downloaded two "malware" programs..Ad-Aware and Spybot. Both failed to find this little bugger. Spybot did inform me that my Windows Registry had been recently changed and asked if I’d like to fix. I chose the wrong option...I said yes..fix! I should have known better...but...! After this fix and attempting to re-start my would not "re-boot". My only option at this point was the "recovery" program that came with the computer. This option was chosen. I thought all would be well...and hopefully it will with time. This recovery program re-installs the Windows program as it was when it was purchased in 2005. So for the last few days I have been attempting to upgrade all programs that I have acquired in the last five years. Luckily..or should I say, "providentially" the computer stored most all of my acquired programs in a "back-up" file and the tedious process of reloading has been on-going for the last few days.

What is really odious is knowing first hand that there are actually "real-live people" out there in cyber-space writing these malicious programs and it is hard to tell how many, perhaps thousands, are going through the same tedious process of trying to restore...what these "locusts" have eaten.

As a Reformed student of the Word, I have been reminded of our fallen nature: "the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jer 17:9)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Palmerworm..or Something

I will be shut down for a period of time. I'm not quite sure how long...but this scripture is appropos: And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. Joel 2:25

Some worm has infected my computer and I am in the process of removing that creepy thing before it eats my entire hard drive.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Death and Taxes II

After my previous post, I received an e-mail from a friend who remarked that Biden's arms aren't long enough to wrap around all those Obama nominees that may have failed to pay their taxes. Continuing in that same is a cartoon from my favorite cartoonist, Jake Fuller. (used by to enlarge)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Revolutionary Principle

I was rummaging around in the bowels of our basement looking for something of which my memory has since failed. But, here is what I extracted from that dark dungeon-like space. I discovered a college text book on a Journalism course taken by my wife when she attended college in 1959-1960. It is entitled "Interpretative Reporting", Third Edition copywright 1957, and I immediately thought that this might just be a great book to help in composing a blog topic. I need all the help I can get!

On page 8 I read a very interesting heading entitled "Objectivity As The Answer". Now that rare commodity in news reporting should immediately grab one’s attention in this day and age. I will quote a brief paragraph after a short set-up.

Newbold Noyes Jr., national news editor of the Washington (DC) Evening Star received an honor medal for distinguished service in journalism in 1953 at the University of Missouri. His grandfather, Frank Noyes, was one who helped found the modern Associated Press in 1900. His acceptance remarks were published in the Editor and Publisher on May 9, 1953. He first explained how his grandfather had to overcome...the "personal approach" to reporting in that reporters were more concerned with "telling people off" than "telling people the truth" His grandfather’s solution was a thing considered in the 1900’s as a revolutionary principle: "Objectivity". Here now is what I consider a remarkable paragraph:

"The Associated Press realized at the start that it couldn’t possibly cater to the opinion whims of all the different publishers receiving its service. It set out to correct the situation by instituting the principle and practice of "objective" news coverage. Gradually, as time went by, this revolutionary principle became accepted as the Number 1 item in the creed of the responsible press all over the country. It wholly changed the face of the newspaper world, and it set the pattern for a full half-century of journalistic growth and progress." (emphasis and italics—mine)

Now.......wouldn’t you like to read that paragraph to today's newsmen and women or many of the other reporters that are supposed to be the watchdogs of those running our government.

(Used by permission of cartoonist Jake Fuller)
(click cartoon to enlarge)

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Lamp Unto My Feet

Along with our church, my wife and I are now engaged in the process of reading through the entire Bible from beginning to end during the 2009 year. I must admit that I have never done this before. I feel as though I have been an avid student of the Bible and have read much of the Bible, but I have found during this process there is much of the Word of God that I have missed using topical, thematic or many of the other methods of Bible study. Most of my adult theological life has been a pursuit of Systematic Theology, i.e., a study beginning with the doctrine of God, followed by the doctrine of Man, to the doctrine of Christ, the doctrine of Redemption and on through to the doctrine of Last things.

Now, this pursuit of reading the Bible through from cover to cover would come more under the heading of Biblical Theology, i.e., learning to read the Bible from it’s own narrative..or basically in story book fashion viewing the unfolding story of scripture as it occurred. I was exposed to expository teaching preaching by a godly Pastor for several years who began every sermon with the same prayer: "Open our eyes that we may behold wondrous things out of Thy law." (Psalm 119: 18) That is my continual prayer as this venture is begun.

At this date we have completed Genesis and Exodus and are now beginning the book of Leviticus. I have been overwhelmed by the number of "types and shadows" found in these first two books of the Bible. I suppose that had I not been an avid student of the Word many of these "types and shadows" would go unnoticed. I Corinthians 10:11 has a deeper meaning to me as I have begun this journey: "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." And of course, II Timothy 3: 16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." I have also found it extremely helpful at this point to read Hebrews Chapters 8 through 10 during or prior to the reading of the first five books of the Bible. These chapters explain many of the shadows and types that have been fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you would like to join in this Bible reading venture you may find a reading schedule in PDF form HERE You may notice when you print this out that you rest from your reading of scripture..every seventh day. A Matthew Henry on-line commentary is available HERE and The International Standard Bible Encylopedia is available HERE. Two wonderfully helpful tools. Discussing the portion of scripture read daily with a spouse or friend makes this task even more enjoyable. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119: 105)