"You ain't no rebel at all unless you rebel against the Devil." - Bob Dylan

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Experience God—It’s Not Typical

So ask yourself: "How have I experienced God this week?" What does your
answer to that question look like? A deep answer? A shallow answer?
Groping for an answer? ;^) I ask myself: if I'm mostly experiencing my
own thoughts and feelings and struggles, where does God fit in and how
does he want to make himself real to me as I live my daily life?

Taking a few things out of Romans 5 this week - zeroing in on
experiencing God. Hopefully what He says there will give us all a few
good handles on walking through this next week with him, with Daddy.

Experience God—It’s Not Typical
Living Somewhere Above the Ordinary (part 5)

We have a close relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1 CPV

How to Begin Experiencing God Today

* Relax Around God

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we
have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for
us. Romans 5:1 NLT

* Throw Open the Door to God

We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he
has already thrown open his door to us. Romans 5:2 MSG

Through Him also we have our access by faith into this grace (state of
God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. Romans 5:2 Amp

The curtain [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was torn in two. And
Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, Father, into Your hands I
commit My spirit! And with these words, He expired. Luke 23:44-46 Amp

[Jesus] can feel it when we are weak and hurting. ...who has been
tempted in every way, just as we are. But he did not sin. So let us
boldly approach the throne of grace. Then we will receive mercy. We
will find grace to help us when we need it. Hebrews 4:15-16 NIrV

* Review the Final Chapter

We confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
Romans 5:2 NLT

Christ is your life. When he appears again, you also will appear with
him in heaven’s glory. Colossians 3:4 NIrV

* Let God Expose and Change My Heart

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know
that they are good for us—they help us learn to endure. And endurance
develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our
confident expectation of salvation. Romans 5:3-4 NLT

You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open
and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything
prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and
well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 MSG

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it
often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where
God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.
These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times,
the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than
meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But
the things we can’t see now will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into
his family—calling him “Father, dear Father.”
Romans 8:15 NLT

If God Died for You, You’re Not Ordinary

Been busy, so even though it's late I'll post the notes from a week ago.

Looking a bit at the Easter season still. Sort of more at the impact of
it in how we live now. Why Christ died for us and some of the basic
implications of that in our subsequent life. Mostly I'm hoping people
will be gripped with how unique it is that God chose to die for them
individually and personally. We say it all the time, but the reality of
it doesn't register very deeply most of the time.

If God Died for You, You’re Not Ordinary
Living Somewhere Above the Ordinary (part 4)

God sent Christ to be our sacrifice. Christ offered his life’s blood,
so that by faith in him we could come to God. Romans 3:25 CEV

So Why DID Jesus Die for Me?

* He Died for Me on Purpose

No one can take my life from me. I lay down my life voluntarily. For I
have the right to lay it down when I want to and also the power to take
it again. John 10:18 NLT

This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge;
and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him
to the cross. Acts 2:23 NIV

Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only
as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the
power of the Devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could
he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear
of dying. Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT

* He Died for Me to Pay My Ransom

For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve
others, and to give my life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 NLT

We have been set free because of what Christ has done. Through his
blood our sins have been forgiven... In Him we have deliverance and
salvation through His blood, the forgiveness of our offenses...
Ephesians 1:7 NIrV Amp

* He Died for Me to Make Me God’s Friend

You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and
actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. He has done
this through his death on the cross in his own human body. As a result,
he has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and
blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. Colossians
1:21-22 NLT

So How Does That Move Me Above the Ordinary?

* Respond from My Heart

This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a
time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to
clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship
with God... First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. 1
John 4:10,19 MSG

* Re-Aim at What’s Right

Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what
you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As
obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped
by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. 1 Peter
1:14-15 MSG

He personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross so we
can be dead to sin and live for what is right. You have been healed by
his wounds! 1 Peter 2:24 NLT

* Report the Message

God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. For God was in
Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s
sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to
tell others. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NLT

God showed how much he loved us
by having Christ die for us.
Romans 5:8 CEV

Friday, March 25, 2005

Resurrection—Not Just for Jesus Anymore

Easter Sunday already! What a country, where one of the big
celebrations of the year is Jesus rising from the dead!

How much do you think about you rising from the dead? How did that
affect what you did, thought, felt today? Sometimes I think my brain is
loose in outer space--somehow not connected with reality--when I
realize how unreal my own resurrection seems. But it's going to feel
real on that day! Wowsers! Just picture it...

Resurrection—Not Just for Jesus Anymore
Living Somewhere Above the Ordinary (part 3)

The rising of Christ from the dead is the very heart of our message.
1 Corinthians 15:12 Phillips

What’s the Real Power of Easter?

* Jesus Conquered Death for Me

Our Savior, Christ Jesus... has destroyed death... 2 Timothy 1:9-11 NIV

Make It Real for Me
[They] gave powerful witness to the resurrection. Acts 4:33 NLT

* Bet My Life on Jesus

I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will
live, even if he dies. And those who live and believe in me will never
Do you believe this? John 11:24-26 NIrV

He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised from
the dead to make us right with God. Romans 4:25 NLT

* Live Now Like I’ll Live Forever

I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised
him from the dead. Philippians 3:10 NLT

For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly
bodies that will never die. ...How we thank God, who gives us victory
over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for
you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 1
Corinthians 15:53, 57-58 NLT

Christ died for all so that those who live would not continue to live
for themselves. He died for them and was raised from death so that they
would live for Him. 2 Corinthians 5:15,17 NCV, NLT

* Expect to be Raised from the Dead

If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short
years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been
raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave
the cemeteries. 1 Corinthians 15:19-20 TM

But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And
we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take
these weak mortal bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies
like his own ... Philippians 3:20-21 NLT

Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose
again from the dead. For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for
his children. It is kept in heaven for you... 1 Peter 1:2-4 NLT

So if you’re serious about living
this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.
Colossians 3:1 MSG

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Conquering Death! It's been done!

Here's an interesting book review in light of Easter this week. The Scientific Conquest of Death.

In my view, the utopian vision of my immortalist friends is evidence of a deeply felt dissatisfaction with the frailty of our humanity and a passionate longing for something more satisfying than life as we know it. Moreover, many of the writers seem fearful of death, presumably because they view it as the final chapter of human experience. I share the former dissatisfaction, but not the latter fear.

I'll have to agree. Death's been conquered. There's no way to conquer it without conquering sin, and that's been done, too. Trying to eliminate death without dealing with our waywardness from God is just impossible. Like eliminating falling without eliminating gravity. Ain't ever going to work. Jesus removed the cause of death (sin) and the result of sin (death). It's a package and it's all wrapped up in Him. Trust Him to conquer death for you and you'll live forever.

Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners... and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:23-24 The Message

Going Further with God

Here is one further installment on Living Beyond the Ordinary. And you
have to admit living a resurrected life is NOT ordinary! ;^)

As we all know, the Lord wants us to go Further with Him than we are
presently. Faith in Him, His person and His word, is the fuel that
makes us go.

Way back in the 60s Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters (a bunch of
hippies for you who weren't there - ok, Jerry Garcia and Mountain Girl
were on the bus, too) had a bus they toured the country with and the
destination on the front of the bus was shown as "Further." That's our
destination, and God wants us to go there together. Further into
trusting Him in faith, further in labors of love, further in hope,
further in suffering with Him, further in sharing His life. The train
is a-goin' and all of us who are in Christ are on it.

May as well enjoy the ride! ;^)

Faith - Not Just for Beginners Anymore
Living Somewhere Above the Ordinary (part 2)

Anything is possible for someone who has faith! Mark 9:23 CEV

How Did I Hang on to God Today? (Or did I?)

Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who
brings into existence what didn't exist before. Romans 4:17 NLT

How I Can See God Involved in My Life

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live
not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said he
would do. Romans 4:18 MSG

* Listen and Follow What God Says

Then the Lord told Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your
father's house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will cause
you to become the father of a great nation...” Genesis 12:1-3 NLT

So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed him. Genesis 12:4 NLT

* Refresh My Hope Along the Way

Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord declared him righteous because of
his faith. Genesis 15:4 NLT

* Still Trust God When I Hit a Dead End

After all this, God tested Abraham. Genesis 22:1 MSG

* Expect God to Figure It Out

“You have not withheld even your beloved son from me.” Abraham named
the place “The Lord Will Provide.” This name has now become a proverb:
"On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided." Genesis 22:12-14

How I Can Exercise My Faith Today

* Hang on to God and His Words

He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who
gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they
were. Romans 4:17 NIV

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of
many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring
be.” Romans 4:18 NIV

I am counting on the Lord... I have put my hope in his word. Psalm
130:1 NLT

* Look at the Facts Clearly

Abraham didn’t weaken. Through faith he regarded the facts.. Romans
4:19 GWV

* Realize This Was Written for Me

The words “God accepted Abraham’s faith” were written not only for
Abraham. They were written also for us. We believe in the God who
raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. So God will accept our faith and
make us right with himself. Romans 4:23-24 NLT

Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so
that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might
have hope. Romans 15:4 NIV

According to your faith will it be done to you.
Matthew 9:29 NIV

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Experience the Joy of Acceptance

A bit late in posting this week's Sundae Notes, but hope this is acceptable for this week.

God's your friend. You're God's friend. Jesus calls you his friend.
Just think about it.

Experience the Joy of Acceptance
Living Somewhere Above the Ordinary (part 1)

I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it
didn’t work. I realized I could never earn God’s approval. Galatians
2:19 MSG, NLT

How to Move Beyond Ordinary

Key Thought: God Accepts Me as I Am

* Stop Hesitating in My Friendship with God

I have called you My friends... John 15:15 Amp

“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”
and he was called God’s friend. James 2:23 NIV

* Admit I Can’t Make God Love Me

What did our father Abraham discover about being right with God? If he
became acceptable to God because of what he did, then he would have
something to brag about. ...
The Scriptures say, “God accepted Abraham because Abraham had faith in
him.” Money paid to workers isn’t a gift. It is something they earn by
working. But you cannot make God accept you because of something you
do. God accepts sinners only because they have faith in him. Romans
4:1-5 NIrV, CEV

By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our
Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God. Romans 5:1 CEV

* Realize I Won’t Find Joy by Deserving It
King David spoke of this, describing the happiness of an undeserving
sinner who is declared to be righteous—people who are acceptable to
God, even though they don’t do anything to deserve these blessings—
“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are
put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose sin is no longer
counted against them by the Lord.” Romans 4:6-8 NLT, CEV

* Grab the Key to Life and Hold On!

So that’s why faith is the key! God’s promise is given to us as a free
gift. The promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be
guaranteed Romans 4:16 NLT, NIV

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in
him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were
taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 NIV

Anyone Can Receive a Gift
The free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 NLT

God gave Jesus to die for our sins, and he raised him to life, so that
we would be made acceptable to God. Romans 4:25 CEV

Anyone Can Receive a Guarantee
And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish
throughout the ages. And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand.
John 10:28 Amp

Jesus treated us much better than we deserve. He made us acceptable to
God and gave us the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:7 CEV

If God says something is acceptable, don’t say it isn’t.
Acts 10:15 NLT

Saturday, March 05, 2005


Last shot in the series on our armor. Without prayer we aren't going
anywhere, so it's the most vital.

Here are a couple of thoughts Candi Beemer wrote me:

"I think the best advice I would give a friend who wants to pray and learn to pray is to get with someone else who likes to pray. Having a prayer partner is a good thing!
You can set up a time and hold each other to it. You have to be real good about PRAYING and not just talking about what you want to pray about...

"I think there are many ways to go about praying ... And I think that different things work for different people at different times too. You just have to find out what works for you. AND DON'T GIVE UP JUST BECAUSE IT IS HARD AND YOU HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT WORKS......KEEP GOING.

"I have always just wanted to talk to God and I am always trying ways to do my ever changing life. I think praying has to be a constant! But how you go about it may be very different and changing as your life is changing."

So with that as a starting point let's

Land Some Powerful Prayer Punches
Let’s Get Ready to Rumble (part 8)

Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18 NIV

How to Make My Prayer Punches Count

Pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:5-6 NIV

Tune in to God's Will
This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10 NIV

We can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. 1 John 5:14-15 NLT

My Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. …Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:23-24 NIV

Talk to God About Lots of Stuff
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6 NLT

Try to Be Ready for an Answer
When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!”
“You’re out of your mind,” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.”
Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally went out and opened the door, they were amazed. Acts 12:14-16 NLT

Think Ahead
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Colossians 4:2 NLT

Take Pains to Stick With It
Morning, noon, and night I plead aloud in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. Psalm 55:16-17 NLT

Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for.
Keep on looking, and you will find.
Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7 NLT

But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns? Luke 18:7-8 NLT, MSG

I love the Lord because he hears and answers my prayers. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath! Psalm 116:1-2 NLT

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Psalm 27:8 NLT

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Hugh Hewitt quotes me on his blog!

Hugh Hewitt quotes me on his blog!

He quotes my email to the LA Times, though he doesn't name me. I copied it to him. Wow, I feel good that he thought I wrote it well enough to repeat. Of course, this doesn't make me famous, just anonymous. ;^)

To get the context you'd have to read what Hugh has on his site about a sick article the Times ran today putting a nice positive spin on North Korea's awful regime. Sort of like the paradise that was Saddam's Iraq, or the Soviet workers' paradise under kindly Uncle Joe.

Here's the note I wrote them:

Have you no compassion on the people of North Korea? What are you thinking printing lies that paper over the truth about North Korea's true situation in your article "North Korea Without the Rancor"? It's more like "North Korea without any truth or accuracy."

I thought you were supposed to be printing "news." I thought you were "reporters" of facts. If you print straight propaganda like this for an evil regime, that is unconscionable. Are you in favor of despotism and oppression? I doubt it, but you are supporting and encouraging it.

Please immediately apologize to all the Koreans, discipline those responsible for this awful article, and start living up to your responsibilities as journalists by printing the accurate facts instead.

Thank you.

Here's good analysis at Powerline and Vodkapundit's Propaganda on the Front Page. The latter references an excellent and [at least historically] related Walter Duranty's lies in the NY Times article on covering up Stalin's murders.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Braveheart Battle Scene

We're (hopefully) all dressed in armor by now, helmets on, shields up. So now it's time to grab our weapons, our sword, the only weapon listed here. Weapons are for attacking. And also for fighting off attacks.

Two quick notes:
1) we will be attacked and have to fight back with our sword, and
2) we are expected to attack.

So, the thought questions for today are
a) how have I been attacked recently and how effectively have I fought off those attacks? and
b) where have I effectively attacked the spiritual forces of wickedness in the last couple days?

Here's a related thought from Oswald Chambers:
'Arise from the dead...' Ephesians 5:14
"God does not give us overcoming life--He gives us life as we overcome. If we will take the initiative to overcome, we will find that we have the inspiration of God, because He immediately gives us the power of life."

Thanks for all your faithful labor and fighting!!

Chop Chop!
Let's Get Ready to Rumble (part 7)

Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17 NLT

How I Can Put God's Power to Use

Jesus replied, "Your problem is that you don't know the Scriptures, and you don't know the power of God." Mark 12:24 NLT

* Start With What Jesus Said

What I'm about to tell you is true. Heaven and earth will disappear before the smallest letter disappears from the Law. Matthew 5:18 NIrV

The Scripture cannot be broken. John 10:35 NIV

* Choose Jesus' Perspective

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT

And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 NIV

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NIV

* Do What God Shows Me

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22 NIV

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. Luke 21:45 NIV

* Think of It Like Food

Like babies that were just born, you should long for the pure milk of God's word. It will help you grow up as believers. 1 Peter 2:2 NIrV

* Attack With It

God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT

The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Matthew 4:3-4 NIV

You thrill to God's Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. Psalm 1:2 MSG

Friday, February 25, 2005

Old TIme Radio

Here's a big database of old time radio programs. Radio GOLDINdex looks like a pretty usedful site if you have an interest.

This work is an attempt to fill two specific gaps in radio knowledge. 1. It tries to be a compilation of network programs, plus significant local and regional broadcasts. 2. It’s a list of the people who were involved in putting these programs on the air. I define “people” as those who received air credits (or should have received air credits) which were usually heard at the end of the show.

Check out this interesting site with lots of old time radio shows for free download - Free Old Time Radio Shows. This is a list from thier home page:
Comedies: Abbott & Costello | Amos & Andy | A Date with Judy | Barrel of Fun | Benny Goodman | Bob Hope Show | Blondie | Evening with George Burns | Camel Comedy | More..

Dramas: Avenger | Defense Attorney | Charlie Chan | More..

Mysteries: Boris Karloff | Cloak and Dagger | Dark Venture | More..

Variety: Al Jolson Show | Alan Young Show, The | Arthur Godfrey and his talent scouts | Artie Shaw | Authors Playhouse | Big Bands | Eddie Arnold Show | Ernie Ford | More..

Westerns: Hopalong Cassidy| Death Valley Days | Gene Autry | Gunsmoke | More..

SciFi/Superheros: 2000 Plus | Batman | Buck Rogers | More..

Music: Big Bands | Benny Goodman | More..

Misc: Afloat with Henry Morgan | Archie Andrews | Les Miserables | Breakfast Club | Amazing Mister Malone | Complete Broadcast Day | Eddie Arnold Show | Educating Archie | More..

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

In Memory of Abraham Lincoln

Frederick Douglass on Abraham Lincoln. I found this both interesting and inspiring. Not to mention intriguing. If you read the whole thing, you get a sense of the times and the current thought. Here's a few parts especially worth reading:

Can any colored man, or any white man friendly to the freedom of all men, ever forget the night which followed the first day of January, 1863, when the world was to see if Abraham Lincoln would prove to be as good as his word? I shall never forget that memorable night, when in a distant city I waited and watched at a public meeting, with three thousand others not less anxious than myself, for the word of deliverance which we have heard read today. Nor shall I ever forget the outburst of joy and thanksgiving that rent the air when the lightning brought to us the emancipation proclamation. In that happy hour we forgot all delay...

it is hardly necessary to say that in his heart of hearts he loathed and hated slavery. The man who could say, "Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war shall soon pass away, yet if God wills it continue till all the wealth piled by two hundred years of bondage shall have been wasted, and each drop of blood drawn by the lash shall have been paid for by one drawn by the sword, the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether,"...

Few great public men have ever been the victims of fiercer denunciation than Abraham Lincoln was during his administration. He was often wounded in the house of his friends. Reproaches came thick and fast upon him from within and from without, and from opposite quarters. He was assailed by Abolitionists; he was assailed by slave-holders; he was assailed by the men who were for peace at any price; he was assailed by those who were for a more vigorous prosecution of the war; he was assailed for not making the war an abolition war; and he was bitterly assailed for making the war an abolition war.

Ran across this today via a link on someone's blog. Sorry, I don't remember where anymore. I'll link it if I do.
Oration in Memory of Abraham Lincoln by Frederick Douglass
April 14, 1876, Delivered at the Unveiling of The Freedmen’s Monument in Memory of Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Park, Washington, D.C.

Why Millions Say, Softly, God Bless America

Very interesting and insightful article by historian Paul Johnson. Here
Thanks to Roger L. Simon for pointing it out.
Paul Johnson's books are well worth reading! Clear, insightful, detailed, understandable.
Read the whole article. It's short. But here's the end of it.

Just as the appalling 20th century was the age of the totalitarian state, the Gulag and Auschwitz, so the 21st may come to be seen as the age of government "of the people, by the people, for the people." If so, the U.S., by its courage and persistence, will be able to take primary credit. It has certainly led from the front, and it has shown that it knows how to use its position as the world's sole superpower with judgment, honor and unselfishness.

I think Abraham Lincoln would be proud of what George W. Bush and the U.S. forces have done. After the freeing of the slaves, what more logical and benevolent step could there be than to free millions of Arabs from the slavery of terror? So I say, God Bless America. And I'm confident that countless millions throughout the world say so, too, even if they do not dare--yet--to say so aloud.

Update - Check this out from Walid Jumblatt:
"It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world. The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."

...Walid Jumblatt, the patriarch of the Druze Muslim community and, until recently, a man who accommodated Syria's occupation. But something snapped for Jumblatt last year, when the Syrians overruled the Lebanese constitution and forced the reelection of their front man in Lebanon, President Emile Lahoud. The old slogans about Arab nationalism turned to ashes in Jumblatt's mouth...
From David Ignatius' column in the Washington Post quoted over at national review

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Get Your Head Around THIS!

Here's something to get your head around. Or at least something we all
need a heads-up on. So don't bury your head in the sand, because it's
not all in your head--the devil really does want to hit you upside your
head. Get your head in the game because you've got to keep your head
above water. Wait... I think I'm getting ahead of myself!

Notes for this Sunday's message - part of a series on Ephesians 6, the armor.

Now THAT'S Using Your Head!
Let's Get Ready to Rumble (part 6)

Let us put on the hope of salvation like a helmet. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 NIrV

Put all of your hope in God's wonderful, undeserved favor that will come to you when Jesus Christ appears. 1 Peter 1:13 TNT

How Do I Get This Kind of Hope?

* Believe and Accept

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn! John 1:12-13 NLT

It is by his boundless mercy that God has given us the privilege of being born again. Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3 NLT

* Look at God's Promises

Whoever has God's Son has life... My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God's Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life 1 John 5:12-13 NLT, MSG

What Does It Protect Me From?

* Discouragement
* Defeat
* Delay

What Hope Empowers Me to Do

* Change My Character

Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready... 1 John 3:3 NIV, MSG

the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven Colossians 1:4-5 NIV

* Focus My Life

The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope. Colossians 1:5 MSG

* Be Tough and Bold

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul... It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God... Hebrews 6:19 NIV, MSG

... your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV

With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back... we speak very freely and openly and fearlessly. 2 Corinthians 3:12 MSG, Amp

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. Ephesians 1:18 NLT

Fun Backyard Bird Count

Peg and I are having fun with the Great Backyard Bird Count .
Never done it before, but it's pretty easy and fun. Just watch the birds in your yard for at least 15 to 30 min and keep track of the largest number of individuals of any species you see at one time. Then report it on their web site and see what everybody else is reporting. Pretty simple for me since as long as I'm working here at the computer I sit at my desk by the window looking out on a couple bird feeders a lot of the time. So keeping track of what I'm seeing isn't something I really need to add to my schedule.

Here's my list from yesterday over 4-5 hours. Usually we have a Carolina wren, but not yesterday. And often red-tailed hawks, herring and ring-billed gulls, and Canada geese sail by. And this morning already I spotted a brown creeper. Haven't seen one of those all year til today, I don't think. Peg had a flock of 30 house sparrows yesterday, which I was lucky enough to miss.

Number of Species: 16

Red-bellied Woodpecker - 2
Downy Woodpecker - 2
Hairy Woodpecker - 1
Blue Jay - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 1
Tufted Titmouse - 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 1
White-breasted Nuthatch - 2
Eastern Bluebird - 1
European Starling - 1
American Tree Sparrow - 1
Dark-eyed Junco - 5
Northern Cardinal - 1
House Finch - 2
American Goldfinch - 11
House Sparrow - 1

Friday, February 18, 2005

A great ad for a tasty treat! Posted by Hello

Spam and Waffles Supper

The greatest supper ever! At least that's what George Burns and Gracie Allen say. ;^) I forget where I found this, but read through the text in the ad posted above, it's classic.

"Supper ready? Pretty swell..."
"Spam 'n' waffles Ring the bell!"

I was inspired to post this by Karen's recipe for Spam Pie via the latest Carnival of the Recipes.
I'll have to admit I can't even remember the last time I had spam. Likely it's going on 40 years...

Update: Chris Biang says they used to make Spam somewhere in northwest Iowa. We'll have to track that down - I think I've got the scent of a hog confinement operation...

Faith, Prayer, and Promises in Painful Times

When I was a new believer in the 70s, I used to occasionally here the evangelist Lowell Lundstrom on the radio. I don't recall much, except that he was encouraging, and the address they kept repeating was "Sisseton, South Dakota. That's S-I-SS-E-TON. Sisseton, South Dakota." Must have been an effective way to say it. ;^)

Years later I discovered he and his family had gone through years of a very difficult time when his daughter, Lisa, chose a life of prostitution. They faithfully prayed for her, and struggled to believe God. After about 10 years she turned back to the Lord, and now leads the children's ministry in her dad's church in the Minneapolis, MN area.

He has a very encouraging note called Praying the Promises of God. Here's an excerpt. Read the whole thing.

Dear reader, if your feel like your faith has died, your heart is broken, and hope has vanished, there is a way you can recover.

Begin to pray the promises of God. Follow these three easy steps:

1. Discover what God has promised to do for you. Mark the scripture-you may want to memorize the verse.

2. Begin thanking God for His wonderful promises. Say, "God, you cannot lie. You have promised me that you will hear my prayers. Your holy Word says (then read or quote the scripture) that you will, "save, heal, deliver, etc., and I claim your promise on my behalf."

3. Offer praises of appreciation for the answer to your prayers. Allow the Holy Spirit to sweep into your soul and renew your heart, mind and spirit. The psalmist David said, "He restoreth my soul" (Psalm 23:3).

Soon your heart will begin to burn like the doubting disciples on the road to Emmaus. Remember feelings follow faith and faith follows fact.

The promises of God are facts that will remain forever and they will revive your faith and feelings.

The Bible says in Hebrews 4:14-16:

"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.


Remember, when you know what God has promised you-it will give you the boldness and faith to claim it.

Pray the promises of God!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Lenin's great great grandson lives!

Sommy writes

According to Dr Ed Cole (now deceased) while he was in Uzbekistan, he met Alexia, Lenin’s great great grandson, who is working as a pastor in the city of Tashkent.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Carolina Wren - beautiful! Posted by Hello

Friendly Carolina Wrens

Carolina Wrens have been very enjoyable and frequent visitors to our bird feeders this winter. What a treat to have the little guys and gals just outside the windows! A bright spot in the winter!
The nice picture is from critterlight.

Great Wall of Iapetus - Saturn's cool moon

for interesting pics and wacko commentary :

check here

More space wackiness: giant trees on Mars!
At least these have the interesting point of being promoted by Arthur C. Clarke.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Turkey Chases Cars in Iowa

You'd best read for yourself this news from my beloved home state of Iowa Car-chasing turkey run over

Black History Month

La Shawn Barber has an interesting post on Black History Month. She quotes Thomas Sowell and they both have interesting things to say about liberty and Western Civilization.

Ah, yes, Western civilization, from which sprang the idea of individual liberty and the freedom to redress government wrongs, broadly speaking. Some of America’s dead white men owned slaves, but other dead white men created a sweeping movement to abolish human bondage.

A related post of mine is on the British abolitionist and Christian Granville Sharp.

Also Powerline has a related and inspiring post for Lincoln's birthday. Read the whole speech they quote. It's great!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Ready for Either!

I don't have a real introduction to the notes this week. I'd just
like to give you some thoughts from Spurgeon I read this morning. I was
thinking about this verse in Psalms and was struck by the "Ready for
either" motto he refers to. I couldn't find a picture of it, but I'm
sure I've seen it before... probably in the front of some book I have
around here. Hope this isn't too much text to wade though. ;^)

Psalm 118:27
“Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.”

The word rendered “cords” carries with it the idea of wreaths and boughs, so that it was not a cord of hard, rough rope, but a decorated band; even as in our case, though we are bound to the altar of God, it is with the cords of love and the bands of a man, and not by a compulsion which destroys the freedom of the will.

The sacrifice which we would present in honour of the victories of our Lord Jesus Christ is the living sacrifice of our spirit, soul, and body. We bring ourselves to his altar, and desire to offer him all that we have and are. There remains a tendency in our nature to start aside from this; it is not fond of the sacrificial knife. In the warmth of our love we come willingly to the altar, but we need constraining power to keep us there in the entirety of our being throughout the whole of life.

Happily there is a cord which, twisted around the atonement, or, better still, around the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our only Altar, can hold us, and does hold us: “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then all died; and that he died for all, that they that live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” We are bound to the doctrine of atonement; we are bound to Christ himself, who is both altar and sacrifice; we desire to be more bound to him than ever, our soul finds her liberty in being tethered fast to the altar of the Lord.

The American Board of Missions has for its seal an ox, with an altar on one side and a plough on the other, and the motto “Ready for either,” - ready to live and labour, or ready to suffer and die. We would gladly spend ourselves for the Lord actively, or be spent by him passively, whichever may be his will; but since we know the rebellion of our corrupt nature we earnestly pray that we may be kept in this consecrated mind, and that we may never, under discouragements, or through the temptations of the world, be permitted to leave the altar, to which it is our intense desire to be for ever fastened.

Such consecration as this, and such desires for its perpetuity, well beseem that day of gladness which the Lord hath made so bright by the glorious triumph of his Son, our covenant head, our well-beloved.

Spurgeon's Treasury of David

Shields Up!

Shields Up!
Let’s Get Ready to Rumble (part 5)

notes for the Sunday message, Feb. 13, 2005

Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16 NIV

When Do I Need My Shield Up?

* When Life is A Mess

There isn’t any temptation that you have experienced which is unusual for humans. God, who faithfully keeps his promises, will not allow you to be tempted beyond your power to resist. 1 Corinthians 10:13 GWV

* When Life Is Going Great
People who think they are standing firmly should be careful that they don’t fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12 GWV

What Do I Get Hit With?

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers. Luke 22:31-32 NLT


...that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. 2 Corinthians 2:11 NIV

Eve was tricked by the snake’s clever lies. And I’m afraid that in the same way your minds will somehow be led down the wrong path. They will be led away from your true and pure love for Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3 NirV

How Can I Feed My Faith?

* Feed It My Memories
I will praise the Lord. I won't forget anything he does for me... don’t forget a single blessing! Psalm 103:2 NIrV, MSG

* Feed It the Stories of Others
It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt. He was not afraid of the king. Moses kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. Hebrews 11:27 NLT

* Feed It by Knowing and Experiencing God’s Promises
If faith doesn't cause us to do something, it's dead. James 2:17 NIrV

Your promises are so sweet to me. They are like honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103 NCV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT

Before you trust, you have to listen.
Romans 10:17 MSG

Thanks to North Coast Church for the good ideas I got from their site for this message.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Quality of Life!

Phil Hopersberger has written an inspiring article about Dick Woodward, pastor/founder of the Mini Bible College radio program, a survey of the Bible now translated into 15 languages.
Here's an excerpt:

Pastor Woodward, crippled by a spinal cord disease since 1982, is confined to his bed for 20 hours a day and moved only by the help of a hoist operated by his wife, Virginia. ...

But don't brand him disabled, handicapped or an invalid. This soldier is on active duty. "It just seems like the less I can do, the more the Lord does," Woodward confesses, awed by the divine equation that is his reality each day. "I can't move at all. And to see all this happen — it's just amazing! His ability seems to increase with my disability. It's truly a wonder, but my quality of life has never been better."

Even from his bed, where he's vulnerable to a single mosquito, this pastor with 40 years in the pulpit is more than ready to follow his Commander-in-Chief's order and accomplish everything He has for him to do. Armed with a voice-activated computer that allows him to work eight hours a day, Woodward is busy writing literature, booklets and commentaries to augment his broadcasts.

“To me, I'm just limited," Woodward explains with levity. "Some of the labels people use for my condition are amusing. Like 'invalid' means not valid. Or 'handicapped' means your cap in your hand sitting by the side of the road. 'Disabled' means without ability. You know, Olympic athletes have limits too — we call them records!"

Each daily, 13-minute Mini Bible College radio program radiates his Christ-like spirit, warmth, optimism and humor. Woodward's life is permeated by what he calls the "Four Spiritual Secrets"

1. I'm not, but He is. And I am in Him, and He is in me.
2. I can't, but He can. And I am in Him, and He is in me.
3. I don't want to, but He wants to. And I am in Him, and He is in me.
4. I didn't, but He did, because I was in Him and He was in me.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Eason Jordan and the Detroit News

I wrote the Detroit News on Saturday about their lack of coverage on the Eason Jordan mess. I appreciate the answer but it seems lame: a) the wireservices and the LA Times and Washington Post haven't covered it and b) internet sites are dangerous sources (the only site I specifically referenced was Hugh Hewitt.) I like the Detroit News and have subscribed for probably 2 decades. But this makes me want to call them the Detroit Lack of News.

Here's the correspondence:

Today (Feb 8) I received a nice response from Nan Seelman, the Detroit News national editor
[I won't reprint it in full until I receive her permission.] But she essentially said:

a)the wireservices and the LA Times and Washington Post haven't covered it and

b) "Legally and ethically, it is dangerous to use stories published by other sources, such as the Internet sites you mentioned." (the only site I specifically referenced was Hugh Hewitt.)

c) she promised to watch the wire services they use and consider publishing it if they get a story.

I'm glad she wrote back, but it's really not that encouraging as far as looking at the Detroit News as a reliable source of news.

So here's how I responded to her today:

Thank you very much for your response, Ms. Seelman. I appreciate you taking the time to write.

May I share your response to me with the writers who have reported on this story? And may I post it on my blog where I am summarizing our correspondence?

I find myself a bit disappointed in the Detroit News. If you only report what is on the AP, or in the LA Times, or in the Washington Post, I think you are giving us a bit of a skewed view on the news.

I also doubt that Hugh Hewitt or Michelle Malkin (who has a column that I often read in your newspaper) are dangerous sources for news and I doubt that they appreciate being characterized like that. Certainly, I expect the Detroit News to be able to make a few phone calls to people like Rep. Barney Frank (D. MA) or Sen. Christopher Dodd (D. CT) or CNN on a story with international implications like this one.

I am not in the news business, except as a consumer. But if I can find the story, I find it extremely surprising that the Detroit News is not aware of this story and its importance. Someone over there should be assigned to keep up on the news that's being reported freely on the internet - or very soon the newspaper will not be looked to as a reliable source of news.

I will watch the pages of the News with interest for full coverage of Eason Jordan's remarks, and hope that the reporting will meet high journalistic standards.

For your reference:

Thank you!

Jeff Moore

Here's the original email I sent to the Detroit News 3 days ago:

Subject:Why no reporting on Eason Jordan?
From:jeff moore
Date:Sat, 05 Feb 2005 08:12:25 -0500,,,,,
Dear Detroit News Editors:

Why haven't I seen even one story in the News on Eason Jordan's speech accusing the US military of targeting journalists in Iraq?

When there's news out there that I know about that you don't report, it makes me wonder what I don't know about that you aren't reporting either.

I enjoy the Detroit News, have subscribed much of my adult life, and read it almost daily. Please explain why you don't cover a major accusation by the international head of CNN against the US military. If Jordan was misunderstood, that's good. But certainly there's more substance to this story than a lot of things that are reported.

There are so many news outlets these days, that omissions like this are obvious to anyone who pays attention. You're only hurting your own reputation, certainly not protecting Eason Jordan's or whatever the explanation might be.

If by some chance you aren't familiar with the story, it's been well-reported by Hugh Hewitt at and a variety of other readily available internet sources which are read by hundreds of thousands.

Thank you.

Jeff Moore
Canton, Michigan

Friday, February 04, 2005

Happy Feet

One more week of getting dressed up for church. Uh, well I mean getting dressed up for real life!

"feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace"

It's been said an army travels on its stomach. So let's eat! ;^) But eventually we have to go somewhere, and if our feet aren't comfortable we're not going very far. And if they stink, no one's going very far with us.

There's a couple different meanings/applications that could be emphasized about this part of the armor. The NLT focuses on the peace. "For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared." The NIrV on the readiness to tell "Wear on your feet what will prepare you to tell the good news of peace." The CEV is similar "Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet." I'm going to just look at the desire to tell the gospel to others so they can experience peace with God. Though we could easily spend a 6 week series on this one little phrase and not empty it of content.

And since we're sort of on a boxing theme, remember what Muhammad Ali said, "Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee." --meaning good footwork is essential to success. So here's to good footwork!

Do You Have Happy Feet?
Let's Get Ready to Rumble (part 4)

Wear on your feet what will prepare you to tell the good news of peace. Ephesians 6:15 NIrV

Who Would I Like to See in Heaven?_____________________________

What Am I Doing to Help Them Get There?
Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt... Matthew 5:13 MSG

* Pray for Them

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God's mercy upon them, and give thanks. ...This is good and pleases God our Savior, for he wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NLT

Pray first that the Lord's message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. 2 Thessalonians 3:1 NLT

* Care about Them

Love others as well as you love yourself. Matthew 22:39 MSG

No matter what I say, what I believe, what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. 1 Corinthians 13:1,3 MSG

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son... John 3:16 MSG

* Talk to Them

He replied, "I know nothing about that one way or the other. But I know one thing for sure: I was blind ...I now see." John 9:25 MSG

I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. John 5:24 NLT

The free gift of God's grace makes all of us right with him. Christ Jesus paid the price to set us free. ...We firmly believe that people are made right with God because of their faith. They are not saved by obeying the law. Romans 3:24,28 NIrV

* Invite Them
The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother, Simon, and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means the Christ). Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. John 1:41-42 NLT

Jesus saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. Matthew 9:9-10 NIV

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! Romans 10:15 NLT

I Am Not Tom Wolfe

I've very much enjoyed the books I read by Tom Wolfe over the years, starting with Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. But I haven't read his latest book, I Am Charlotte Simmons, and I'm undecided if I want to. Peter Berkowitz in He Is Charlotte Simmons gives a very interesting review. Here's an intriguing paragraph from it.

The new sexual freedom and the relationships that developed to accommodate it have expanded choices about whom to be with, in what ways, and for how long; created opportunities for experiments in living; and, for women, on whom the burden of pregnancy unavoidably falls far more heavily, provided more equality. But what if men and women are different in ways that go beyond the structure of their sex organs, and so experience sexual relationships differently? And what if the exercise of the new freedom imparts lessons to both men and women about life, and develops habits of heart and mind, that interfere with the capacity to give oneself to and care for another, and so to build lasting, loving marriages? What if relationships teach how to withhold one’s heart, to embrace another with one eye always fixed on the exit, to make long-term plans only for oneself though part of a couple? And what if such lessons, habits, and teachings are more easily acquired than discarded?
Thanks to Powerline for pointing me to it.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

What a Day for Freedom!

WOW! It's just so inspiring to read this. I remember how good I felt when I was voting in Nov., just the fact of voting, irregardless of how the election was going to turn out. And it's amazing what these people feel and are going through. I've been reading about people locally here and it makes you go wow. What personal stories, what emotion they feel. It's a thrill to know it's happening for them! It sure feels like a historic day!

Here's from today's Detroit News, January 30, 2005 (I'm sure it's online, but I don't have the link.

Applause and tears remained frequent expressions of joy... Old men talked about the balloting, something they cannot quite believe they lived to see... "Saddam used to beat and assault us if we did not vote for him," said Karim, 70, of Dearborn. "I got four of my close relatives that were killed by Saddam. I am very happy today.... This is the first time I vote in my entire life in a free election."
And more, from yesterday or Friday, I think
In Southgate, Michigan:
"I have to tell you, despite all of the problems in Iraq, this is such a happy day - I really can not believe it," Haidar al-Basra, 43, of Canton, said today.
Al-Basra said he has 17 relatives who were killed since the early 1980s during Saddam's brutal reign.
"It might sound silly, you know, but I feel like rubbing my eyes and then opening them to see if we are still here voting," he said. "I moved to the United States in 1991, thank God. What a great country this is. Who else goes around the world making free elections?"
Detroit News

a 30 year old mother from Toledo, Sanaa Albaaj, holding the hands of her two young boys, told WZZM 13, "this is our future, this is Iraqi future so it's great, for our kids."
channel 13 in Grand Rapids, MI

And from the mudville gazette
In Fallujah:
Especially reviled is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian who leads an al-Qaeda-affiliated network in Iraq. In a new Internet posting yesterday, his group called polling sites "centers of atheism and vice" and warned that "you only have yourselves to blame" for harm on election day.

Muneer Salman, 39, a factory worker whose home burned down in the November battle, walked the streets yesterday in search of precious gasoline. As he walked, he cursed Zarqawi and said voting was a way to get even with the man who has a $25 million price on his head from the United States.

"Zarqawi isn't worth what I paid for my shoes," Salman said angrily. "Is it legal to kill people for participating in an election? What happened to our families and our homes isn't enough for him? I swear by God if a voting center is close to my house, I'll go."

And then in Baghdad
Lieutenant-Colonel Mowatassam Hachem al-Jebouri is determined to vote despite living in a guerrilla-infested district of Baghdad. He has devised a plan to do so.

The former Iraqi Air Force fighter pilot has identified ten like-minded families from his neighbourhood. The men of those households will set off for their local polling station early in the morning, hoping that the terrorists will be deterred by their numbers.

If they return unscathed, if they deem the streets and polling station safe, they will send their wives in the afternoon.

Colonel al-Jebouri, 41, the father of two young girls, refuses to be cowed by the insurgents and their threats to kill those who vote. Having suffered 18 months of fear and bloodshed, he insists on his right to participate in Iraq’s first free election in half a century. “This is a milestone which will lay the foundations for building a new future in Iraq,” ...

Brigadier-General Erv Lessel, the chief US military spokesman in Iraq, predicted a surge of violence tomorrow, with some officials saying that the insurgents would probably attack early “to create the image and perception that it’s unsafe to go out”.

But Colonel al-Jebouri was undaunted. He drew inspiration for his plan from a television advertisement produced by the Iraqi Government that shows an elderly man confronted by a group of masked and menacing youths in an alley.

The old man refused to retreat and is slowly joined by more and more fellow citizens until, as a group, they move forward and the thugs disperse.

The message is simple: together ordinary Iraqis are stronger than the extremists.

“We held a meeting. We decided to go all together, taking the idea from the advert,” the colonel said.

The ten men, Sunnis and Shias, went yesterday morning to check out the polling station in Ghazaliya, a violent area on the western highway towards Fallujah where gunmen sometimes set up checkpoints to intimidate the population.

Like the rest of the capital’s polling centres, it had become a veritable Fort Knox, with razor wire and concrete barriers blocking the roads to thwart suicide car bombers. Police frisked everyone going in.

The mere act of casting their ballots could cost this group their lives, but Colonel al-Jebouri says that fear is not an election issue. “Voting is just another risk in Iraq,” he said. “But this one is worth is taking.”

Friday, January 28, 2005

Clean Up the Dark Things in the Shadows

Here's the outline for the message on Sunday. We're doing a series called "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" - talking through the armor of God in Ephesians 6.

This week we're on to the breastplate of righteousness. I like the way
the NLT says it - "the body armor of God's righteousness." We're going
to get hit, it's just a matter of if we're protected. Slugged in the
gut, broken in the heart, the wind knocked out of us, sick to our
stomachs from fear or sadness. Something to look forward to anyway ;^)

But the good thing is we've already won! Listening to a song at the
moment "We shall rise on that resurrection morning! We shall meet Him
in the air. And be carried up to glory to our home so bright and fair."
Like how cool is that!?! Just keep that in focus and keep your body
armor on.

What’s in YOUR Closet?
Let’s Get Ready to Rumble (part 3)

Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. Ephesians 6:14 NLT

If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you. Luke 11:36 NLT

What Do I Need It For?

* I Need Protection from Self-Confidence

I’m not “good enough”

Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good. Galatians 2:16 MSG

* I Need Protection from Self-Condemnation
I’m not “not good enough”

Since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Romans 5:1 NLT

How Do I Put It On?

* Pull Out the Flashlight

The lamp of the Lord searches ...deep down inside. Proverbs 20:27 NIrV

His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Hebrews 4:12 MSG

They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed [addicted to denial and illusion... fearing a painful exposure MSG] ...But those who do what is right come to the light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants. John 3:20-21 NLT

* Be Honest About Where I’m At

If we freely admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us.... 1 John 1:9 Amp

* Think Right and Do Right

You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits. Let the Spirit change your way of thinking and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy. Ephesians 4:22-24 CEV

We must put on faith and love as a breastplate 1 Thessalonians 5:8 GWV

Let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. 1 John 3:18-22 MSG

* See How I Affect People Around Me

Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? Matthew 5:13 MSG

Stay alert ...There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire. Matthew 26:41 MSG

As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. 2 Peter 1:3 NLT

Time for some Spring Beauty!

Well, it's 9 below zero F. so it's time for some thoughts of spring! And time for another microscope picture. Here's the anthers from a spring beauty flower. Claytonia virginica They are out there under the snow, getting ready to go. Enjoy!

Spring Beauty anthers up close, 30x maybe Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Jesus and Errol Flynn

Some of my favorite Bob Dylan song lyrics. Quite possibly the only song ever to compare Jesus to Errol Flynn. I love the picture of the Lord coming into my life like Errol Flynn swinging on a rope onto the deck of a pirate ship. ;^)

This is from the song You Changed My Life which was released on The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3 : Rare And Unreleased, 1961-1991 It's a great song. One of my favorites.

My lord and my savior, my companion, my friend
Heart-fixer, mind-regulator, true to the end
My creator, my comforter, my cause for joy
What the world is set against but will never destroy.

But you changed my life
Came along in a time of strife
You came in like the wind, like Errol Flynn
You changed my life.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Having a distressful day?

Do not hide Your face from me when I have a distressful day. Ps 102:2 New Berkeley
Makes me smile, just the way it says that - "when I have a distressful day." Maybe it wouldn't if I was having a real stressful day, but today I get a smile. Maybe it sounds almost the way a kid might say it, a distressful day. "Joseph and the Big Bad Distressful Day."

At the moment, the tone of anguish isn't what stands out to me. Distress - bad stress. Mostly it's translated in the day of my trouble, or in the day of my distress. Strong's says the word means narrow, or a tight place (usually figuratively, that is, trouble).

So, maybe later today things will close in...

Wow! Here's a gorgeous site!

Desert Wildflower Watch
I'll have to be sure to stop by there frequently. Great pictures!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

While the Ages Roll On Posted by Hello

Encouraging music

I've been playing this one a lot lately. It's just plain nice to listen to and encouraging. Ralph Stanley - While the Ages Roll On

Gone Away With a Friend - that's one of my favorites. It gives me a good feeling to think of that written on my tombstone. Maybe I should write that into my will...

Writing Habit

La Shawn Barber has an interesting piece on making a living as a writer. Read it if you're a writer. She links to several other writers' web sites. I've read several of her opinion pieces and enjoyed them. I think it was via Hugh Hewitt that I ran into her.
Here's a bit:

I decided to quit and become a writer. With no job waiting in the wings. For six months I lived off savings and wrote every day. It was during this time my first op-ed and first magazine article were published and more importantly, I’d developed the writing habit.

...God is good all the time, and my cup overflows…

and from another entry:
If I’m looking for satisfaction in the mere act of writing or providing “commentary,” then it’s not enough. It will never be enough. Human desire is never satisfied. The eye will never be satisfied with seeing and the ear will never be filled with hearing. But if my purpose is also God’s, that is, to look at the world as he sees it, through spiritual eyes, I can focus on a transcendent truth that never changes as the generations pass away. All is vanity without God.

That's Entertainment!

I will not entertain evil.
Ps 101:4 New Berkeley Version

That says it interestingly. Entertain. Like let's have some people over and do some entertaining. Invite them in, give them what they need, make them comfortable and at home, relaxed. Don't be hospitable to what's not right. The hebrew word is know [yada]. The Berkeley version here seems to focus on intimacy, friendship, closeness, making-at-home. BBE puts it: I will not have an evil-doer for a friend.

So, the question:
Where and how am I entertaining anything evil?
Where am I being friendly with evil, and not wanting justice?
Where are the dark corners I want to keep dark?

Lovingkindness and justice

I will sing of lovingkindness and justice.
Ps 101:1 New Berkeley Version
Not too many thoughts - just sort of a feeling. Joy, happiness, warm contentment maybe - that the Lord dispenses His justice with lovingkindness. And so must I.

Ever wait and wait and wait for a problem to be resolved equitably? I tend to want to be severe, or revengeful. I would guess most of us do. In some situations God's lovingkindness to me is Him bringing justice to someone else, to some situation. Not allowing someone to continue in wrong, to continue hurting someone else, to continue to behave selfishly. God will deal with it fully - maybe not in my timeframe or for my reasons. But finally and thoroughly and completely, and in His own time, consistent with His own plans.

How kind that He brings justice. How kind that He rights wrongs. How kind that no one will in the end "get away" with something. Ever. My pride wants to point the finger. My more humble side a bit soberly realizes I'm not getting away with anything either. Justice will come to me. I will get straightened out, too. Whether I want to or not. So I may as well choose now to be on the side of truth and justice and right.

What an awful world if there were no justice. Sometimes I read a book, or see a movie, or hear of someone's life where that seems to be the case. The feeling is despair, or hopelessness. But reality is that there is ultimate victory of right over wrong.

I will sing of God's lovingkindness to me - in His bringing justice to situations I'm in that are unfair, in His loving correction of my own wrongs because he won't allow me to be unjust either. As long as I'm on the side of justice, and right, I've got nothing to fear in the ultimate sense. God will bring me justice inside and out.

That's worth singing about!

Johnny Carson the pro

Raymond Siller has a nice article on Johnny in WSJ's Opinion Journal.
He-e-e-e-re's the Johnny I Wrote For
But alas, no mention of his birthplace of Corning, Iowa. Here's an excerpt:

Probably his closest friend was Buddy Rich. In April 1987, the feisty drummer succumbed to a battle with cancer. The news reached Johnny an hour before taping. When I brought some material up to his office, he was red-eyed.

There was talk of canceling the show, but he decided to go on. He refused to disappoint the tourists. Carson got through the program like the pro that he was.

Bev wrote me from Corning:

To my dismay the town of Corning wasn't even mentioned on Dateline or any other NBC show. I did hear it on ABC though. Wes [their son] even commented on it to his buddies that Johnny Carson was from Corning and they didn't believe him.

Not the Sounds of Silence

Awesome! Listen to the sounds from Titan!
Sounds from Titan!

Get ready to listen to sounds from a billion miles away! The Planetary Society has teamed up with the European Space Agency and the Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument team to provide to the public the sounds recorded by the Huygens probe during its descent through Titan's atmosphere on January 14, 2005.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Dylanpoolers discuss going to church

Poll: How often do you go to church?
Sort of a worthless poll at Dylanpool, but interesting nonetheless. Even in the fact that the question would be asked there and so many would take the time to be polled. Nearly 30% of those who answered go to church at least once a month. And 46% never go. Of course it's an absolutely non-scientific poll. But still a bit interesting. Not unusual to talk about God or spiritual topics in the pool. "inthegarden" there is me, a big Dylan fan.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

There's Johnny!

Johnny Carson has passed away. He was born in Corning, Iowa, where I went to high school. I remember the house he was born in - over 40 years before I ever lived in Corning, though. But I can't find a picture of it at the moment.

Johnny Carson donated a playpark to the city a while back. It's located adjacent to the elementary school and reportedly "the kids love it."

The best place to shop in Corning is the McMahon Drug Store - so stop in for a cherry coke at their fountain when you're passing through southwest Iowa.

(Truth in advertising: my friends, John and Bev McMahon own the drugstore. But it's a great place to go! When John's parents ran it, we spent many hours after school drinking nickel cherry cokes and reading comic books there.)

No relation to Ed McMahon!!!

And no, the name Corning has nothing to do with corn. The town is named after Erastus Corning - I think the same family that Corning, NY is named after, but I'm not sure. Like Corning cookware.

This morning's encouragement

The King's energy is keenly set on justice.
Psalm 99:4 New Berkeley Version

Thought: If that's my desire, too, what I'm pursuing as best I know how - truth, honesty, fairness, justice, right - I can be confident the Lord is after it more than I am. Whatever ability I lack to create or enforce it, He has. Whatever blind spots I have that distort my understanding of justice, He will reveal.

My job: to trust in Him to bring it to pass, to pursue it as best I know how with love, compassion, patience, and humility, to let Him apply His justice to me more than anyone else.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Blogging Pastors

Here's a few I know of, plus a list by Mark Roberts

Noel Heikkinen
pastor at
Riverview Church in Holt, Michigan

Chris Biang - Rendezvous with Destiny,
pastor at
Glen Arbor Community Church in West Chicago, Illinois

William E. Brown
president of Cedarville University in Cedarville, OH

Friday, January 21, 2005

Neal Stephenson in Ypsilanti

Neal Stephenson went to high school with my younger brother, Randy, and his parents are good friends of my dad. And Neal is now a successful author. My dad even has an autographed copy of his first book! Well, I confess I've never gotten around to reading any of his books - even though my older brother really enjoys them and told me I ought to read him.

So I came across an interview with Neal and thought he said some interesting things. His new book, Quicksilver, sounds sort of interesting. Maybe I'll try it out. Plus he was next door in Ypsilanti, Michigan, when he gave the interview. Here's a quick quote from the interview,

The Source of the Modern World

What I found interesting on a political level was that the Cromwell types were pushing a bunch of ideas that struck people as nuts at the time, but that are bedrock principles of modern society -- things like free enterprise and separation of church and state and limited government that took years to actually achieve.

Many of the people called Puritans were small businessmen and independent traders. They had a real bent toward free enterprise, and they developed a real resentment of government and taxes -- as a result, they were free traders. It's like what we see with a lot of pro-business people today.

Update: January 23
I asked about reading Neal Stephenson over at Dylan Pool and got this helpful opinion from Poor_Howard:
He's brilliant. Start with Snow Crash -- I was hooked as soon as I got through the first few pages of that book -- and then read Cryptonomicon, which uses ideas as its maps.

I've just finished Quicksilver and have just started The Confusion with The System of the World already on the shelf waiting for its turn.

Stephenson puts William Gibson in the shade. He's the first science-fiction writer I've ever read, and I've read hundreds and hundreds of sci-fi novels, who can write not only imaginatively and descriptively and rivetingly, but also beautifully.

And this one from infidel
The only Stephenson ive read was Crytonomicon someone gave it to me with a pile Philip K Dick books i started and stopped a couple of times with Crytonomicon but when i got into it i thought it was brilliant full of great ideas, i agree with Poor Howard about putting William Gibson who i never liked in the shade i would put him up with Dick and J G Ballard, im looking forward to Quicksilver which i bought when i finished Crytonomicon but have not got round to yet.

And I see Instapundit has a mention of a William Gibson video this morning. I'm out of the loop on Gibson too...

Granville Sharp - Abolition and Grammar

I've long heard of Granville Sharp's rule in Greek grammar, but only just now realized he was very important in the English abolition movement, working together with William Wilberforce. Very interesting and encouraging!
Here's a good summary

In 1765 Sharp was living with his brother, a surgeon in Wapping, East London. One day Jonathan Strong, a black man, arrived at the house. Strong was a slave who had been so badly beaten by his master, David Lisle, that he was close to death. Sharp took Strong to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, where he had to spend four months recovering from his injuries. Strong told Sharp how Lisle, had brought him to England from Barbados. Lisle had apparently been dissatisfied with Strong's services and after beating him with his pistol, had thrown him onto the streets.

After Jonathan Strong had regained his health, David Lisle paid two men to recapture him. When Sharp heard the news he took Lisle to court claiming that as Strong was in England he was no longer a slave. However, it was not until 1768 that the courts ruled in Strong's favour. The case received national publicity and Sharp was able to use this in his campaign against slavery. He also took up the cases of other slaves such as Thomas Lewis and James Somersett, and convinced the courts that "as soon as any slave sets foot upon English territory, he becomes free."

Granville Sharp developed radical political opinions about other issues as well. He argued in favour of parliamentary reform and an increase in the low wages paid to farm labourers. Sharp also supported the American colonists against the British government and as a result, had to resign from the civil service in 1776.

In 1787 Sharp and his friend Thomas Clarkson decided to form the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Although Sharp and Clarkson were both Anglicans, nine out of the twelve members on the committee, were Quakers. Influential figures such as John Wesley and Josiah Wedgwood gave their support to the campaign. Later they persuaded William Wilberforce, the MP for Hull, to be their spokesman in the House of Commons.

Thomas Clarkson was given the responsibility of collecting information to support the abolition of the slave trade. This included interviewing 20,000 sailors and obtaining equipment used on the slave-ships such as iron handcuffs, leg-shackles, thumb screws, instruments for forcing open slave's jaws and branding irons. In 1787 he published his pamphlet, A Summary View of the Slave Trade and of the Probable Consequences of Its Abolition.

After the passing of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807 Sharp joined with Thomas Clarkson and Thomas Fowell Buxton to form the Society for the Mitigation and Gradual Abolition of Slavery. However, Granville Sharp was not to see the final abolition of slavery as he died on 6th July, 1813.

Granville Sharp's Rule

Titus 2:13 is correctly translated as "the blessed hope and the appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ," and 2 Peter 1:1, "our God and Savior, Jesus Christ."

A detailed discussion is found here.

Here's a shorter discussion..

Basically, Granville Sharp's rule states that when you have two nouns, which are not proper names (such as Cephas, or Paul, or Timothy), which are describing a person, and the two nouns are connected by the word "and," and the first noun has the article ("the") while the second does not, *both nouns are referring to the same person*. In our texts, this is demonstrated by the words "God" and "Savior" at Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1. "God" has the article, it is followed by the word for "and," and the word "Savior" does not have the article. Hence, both nouns are being applied to the same person, Jesus Christ.

e-Sword is fantastic free Bible study software!

If you study the Bible, then run and download e-Sword.

It's free and it's fantastic. Unless you already have some expensive software that you like, this is definitely worth a try. I've been using it for about 9 months and find it very very useful. Lots of the books on my shelves are in it and it's so much easier to look things up this way. A great timesaver and it is so nice to copy and paste things from Vines, or The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, or The Treasury of David, or Barnes Notes, or etc.

Try it out! It's Free and Easy!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Mike Resnick's autograph Posted by Hello

This is hilarious! Posted by Hello

This time they're NOT turning the other cheek!

I laugh every time I see this book cover - Ghandi as Rambo!

I tried to read it but never have gotten too far. And my copy is even autographed by the editor.

Quite a cast of warriors, Martin Luther King, Jesus, Jane Austen, Al Einstein, Julius Nyerere...


I do have one other book in this series, called Alternate Kennedys. From the back: "What if the Kennedy Brothers had grown up to be the hottest rock group in the world--and averted an assassination attempt on President Presley?"

What if, indeed! Maybe I should try to read that one sometime. The front cover has a picture of the Meet the Beatles album, with pics of the Kennedy brothers substituted and it says Meet the Kennedys. And on the front of the book "Ask not who the Kennedys are... Ask who they might have been."

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Mao's Little Red Book Posted by Hello

Mao's Defunct Little Red Book

Well, I gave a copy of Mao's Little Red Book to the library book donations yesterday. I debated a little, but couldn't really think of a good reason to crack it open. About all I really remember from reading it 25 years ago is a quote something like "All women should do farm labor." The application of things like that to real people created a huge amount of suffering.

So today the Claremont Institute has an article on Mao. Here's a couple interesting quotes:

Finally, Feigon never really wrestles with the consequences of the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution. To be sure, he provides the data for the Leap—at least thirty million dead, needlessly, owing to Mao's crackpot agricultural and industrial policies. Why isn't that alone enough to damn Mao? As for the Cultural Revolution, he mentions its many innocent victims, but seems to have no sense of the ruin and despair it brought to many Chinese (nor does he mention its cultural toll: the utter destruction of countless ancient monuments, art collections, books and manuscripts—and suicides of important intellectual and cultural figures).

Throughout the book, Feigon dances around the basic problem with Mao, which is that he embraced Communism, enforced it on China, and never let go. That was a crime at least as horrendous as anything Hitler or Stalin did, and they were pretty awful. Communism doesn't work (a Polish professor once memorably described it as "a system which bravely overcomes problems that would not exist under other systems") and people will not willingly vote for it. Indeed those who can, flee—as hundreds of thousands did to Hong Kong during Mao's service as Helmsman. So it must be imposed: violence and coercion are the foundation of the system. Without them it would not exist. "Consent" and "participation" are counterfeit. This was the case in Russia, and Yugoslavia, and Eastern Europe, and Korea, and Vietnam, and of course China, from the murders carried out in the often romanticized Yan'an days at the nearby Zaoyuan ["Date Palm Garden"] the personal residence and torture chamber of Mao's secret police Svengali, Kang Sheng, to the mayhem in the streets of Beijing in 1989, and beyond right into the present. Mao knew what a democracy was, as the 1945 interview demonstrates. But he was unwilling genuinely to break with "Stalinism" because to do so would have meant the end of his regime and possibly himself. (Though Feigon is correct to assert that in the Cultural Revolution Mao destroyed much of the party apparat, thus clearing the way for the changes that followed his death)...

Still, perhaps the fairest evaluation of Mao comes from his personal physician, Dr. Li Zhisui, who states that the Chairman wanted to do something good for China, but was so ignorant and untraveled (Moscow was the extent of his foreign visits) that he didn't have any idea of how to go about the task—and his attempts brought more than failure, they brought the worst catastrophes in all of Chinese history. As Dr Sun Yatsen observed, "action is easy, knowledge is difficult."

Furthermore, the post-Maoist China specialists have been among the best in the academic world at dealing with the utter collapse of Marxism and Communism, in whose warm hegemonic status they had long comfortably basked. For it is hard not to suspect that the whole phenomenon of deconstruction and post-modernism, with its attack on the idea of objective truth, is really an elaborate rear guard action to somehow reclaim something of Marxism by denying the possibility of any philosophy being actually correct. The irony of course is that Marxism was long second to none in its self-confidence, in its belief both in its empirical foundation and its philosophical arguments.