Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The End of 2010

When I started this back in August, I was hoping to be able to sit down, and put my thoughts down, and reflect on what's going on around me, and this crazy world that seems to be getting crazier.  My hat's off to those who can do this on a daily basis.  I don't think I'm too busy, as I can look around, and see areas of my life that I could improve.  I do know one thing, that I'm looking forward to 2011 as one more year we can erase before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  That I do know for sure.

Since my last post, like everyone else, we were busying readying ourselves for Christmas.  During that time, we spent some great time with our friends, but unfortunately, none with family.  My brother moved to Ft Myers a couple of months ago to a Salvation Army half-way house.  I've been writing him, and he spent Thanksgiving, and Christmas down there.  He is very depressed, and his writings are dark.  His children won't communicate with him, and he really is in the 'slough of despond' right now.  Fortunately, I did see a ray of sunshine in the last letter, and I'm hoping he'll slowly get his life together.  I've sent him some money so that he can get a bus pass, toiletries, a hair cut, and I'm trying to get him a cell phone, so if he can find a job, they can call him back.  He definitely needs prayer.

On my way into work yesterday, my fellow car pool rider Gary asked what my New Years resolution was going to be.  I told him that I don't do them, as I've never been able to keep them, so I stopped about 10 years ago.  I asked him if he had ever kept one, and he said only one, and that was he gave up smoking.  That was huge, so I guess there's hope.  Gary's a bohemian type character.  Not a believer, but we do talk, and debate at times.  He's getting ready to retire, and he already has another job lined up.  So I guess one resolution is witness to him, and hopefully place a seed of doubt in his current world view, so that he will consider the alternative, a life with Christ.

I am going to try to post more, and I hope to read some more.  I was only able to get about 6 books done this year, so I have to meet out my time more effectively.  This year, we're looking forward to the marriage of our older son Tim to our new daughter, Meghan.  I'm looking forward to that, and I'm going to put in for the time off today.  Grant will be graduating, and heading off to college in September, so Nancy, and I will be by ourselves.  He's probably going to USF, which is about a hour from here.  Hopefully he can get through 4 years and get employed.  I think I'll either be retired by then, or will definitely retire, as I'll be working for free, as my retirement will be equal to what I'm working.

God has been especially good to me.  I'm hoping that I can stay focused on that He loves me, in spite of my narcissistic tendencies, and remember the forgiveness He gave me, and the redeeming blood that paid for all this garbage I immerse myself into daily.

Come Lord Jesus

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself

Today, I was reading Oswald Chamber's "My Utmost for His Highest" devotion.  There was a couple of statements in there that hit me in the gut.  After being a Christian for almost 30 years, I'm amazed at how the Word of God still moves.  

In the first statement, "St. Augustine prayed, “O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.”"  I find myself doing this to the point of inventing little lies that "vindicate" me, or give me a "righteous excuse".  It is a lust, just as when you're on the internet, and a search brings up a picture of a woman that suddenly excites you.  That rush, is the same, only in one, afterwards, I feel ashamed, but the other, I continue on, as if nothing has happened; I'm feeling good because I THINK I pulled one over on God.

The second statement, "When we discern that other people are not growing spiritually and allow that discernment to turn to criticism, we block our fellowship with God. God never gives us discernment so that we may criticize, but that we may intercede."  I've always felt that God has given me discernment.  When my spirit is troubled, the red flags go up, and then going to God's Word, I can usually find out why my spirit was troubled.  Unfortunately, a lot of times, that's where I start heading into a train wreck really fast.  Instead of interceding in prayer for the situation, I start criticizing.  I become a lot of times self-righteous, and the lust of vindicating myself takes over until the sin that I'm actively involved in is consumated, and I take off merrily on my way, feeling good.

Father, forgive me.  I am a sinner, who is actively involved in sin.  I don't want to be judgmental, but I want to love.  Help me use the gift that you gave me to advance your kingdom, and help others come to salvation by sharing your Word, and your Love that was shown through the shed blood of our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ.

Amen, and Amen...

Random Stuff for 11/23/2010, thanks to Tim Challies.
  1. This was an interesting post about Facebook.  I got on Facebook last year, but after about a year on it, I got off.  I was finding myself on it too much, and I also found that it was becoming more like a soapbox so I could sound off, more than a place where I could interact with my friends...if they really were my friends?  This post by Tim Challies puts the time that people spend on Facebook into perspective.  It's a lot!  http://www.challies.com/technology/700-billion-minutes.
  2. From the Boston Globe's Big Picture, the 2010 National Geographic photo contest entries, http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/11/national_geographics_photograp.html.
  3. We need to remember that our persecutions are nothing like those that are being experienced by Christians who live in Muslim countries who practice Sharia Law, http://www.worldmag.com/articles/17288.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Finally, Something Good Coming Out of Washington

    I don't like to get into politics, but here's one good thing that President Obama did.  I wasn't really holding out much hope, but they looked at everything.  There are some sacred cows that are being looked at with home interest deductions, military budget deductions, $0.15 increase in gas taxes, and a three tier tax rate; when you're on the verge of bankruptcy, your advisor will tell you, you need to stop spending, and reduce your debt.  So, yes they did a decent job; there are some more items that need to be looked at, so let's keep looking, and I think we'll find more cuts.

    The facts are we need to stop.  Here's a great commercial that's being run that kind of says it all when you look at politicians that are trying to get reelected.  Here's what they're really saying.  It would be really funny if it wasn't happening before our eyes.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Atheist Ministers - Oxymoron, or Just a Job That Didn't Work Out?

    I never watch ABC News.  Diane Sawyer is boring; 90% of the time, it's easy to guess which way she's going to go.   When they mentioned the byline about ministers who don't believe in God, I remember Albert Mohler's blog, when he talked about Anglican priests who don't believe, and a female who said she was Muslim, and Christian, whatever that is?  So it's not like these guys were breaking new ground.  While I was watching it, I was struck by a couple of statements:

    1. One of them said, "I want to get out of the position that I'm in as quickly as I can because I try to be a person of integrity and character," Adam said. "With the economy the way it is, with my lack of marketable skills other than a seminary education, it has me in a tough spot."  So he's going to continue to lie to his parishioners?  If I was hiring someone, would I want to hire someone who lived a lie in their last job.  Instead of looking of what he was doing as a ministry, he looked at it as a job.  Now he's been swayed by writings of atheists.  He also goes on to say that his wife doesn't even know.  Unfortunately, I think there are other issues in play here.
    2. The other one said, "At first I feared if I lose my faith, I'm gonna become some terrible person," Adam said. "As I lost my faith ... I realized that really had no bearing on who I am and my character and my actions. I live no differently than I did when I was a fervent believer."  I'm surprised he didn't become a Muslim.  That's another works based religion.  I guess he doesn't understand it's not what you do, or who you are?  What happened to grace?  That's what we're saved by through faith, Ephesians 2:8.  Since he lost his faith, he made must have made the leap that he's not so bad after all.  What happened to the atoning blood of Jesus Christ?    Was he running around saying that because he was good, he was saved?  This is equivalent to putting a penny on the track, and derailing a train.  Unfortunately, this train has eternal consequences.
    Listening to them, I was repulsed at first, but after thinking about it, I really felt sorry for them.  I prayed for them hoping after watching themselves, they might shake their head, and say "What the heck did I say!"  There have been times when I questioned my belief, and I pray, and I read the Word.  I get with my Christian brothers, and ask for their prayers.  I remember reading "Pilgrim's Progess."  I was encouraged by Christian's road to the Celestial City.  Also, when I read believers like Dinesh DeSouza, Chuck Colson, Nancy Pearcy, and Phillip Johnson, they have helped me in some areas that I had questions about.  Reading blogs from other believers have helped also.  

    Wormwood has been hard at work with these guys.  Unfortunately, they are working in a job that from my point of view has eternal consequences if they don't present the Gospel correctly.  From their point of view, since they don't believe, they just feel like they're performing their job, to make these people just feel good

    They should read Titus 1:9, and 1 Timothy 3:6.

    I wonder how much of their congregation is complicit in this?  If the pastor doesn't believe any more, wouldn't that show up in their sermons?  I'm trying to get my arms around this, but this quote from the book shows sometimes how the congregation, and pastor work together to water down the gospel, and their soul.  This is how Wormwood worked; this is from "The Screwtape Letters" by C. S. Lewis, when Wormwood was trying to change the person he was assigned to to choose a church.  

    "The two churches nearest to him, I have looked up in the office. Both have certain claims. At the first of these the vicar is a man who has been so long engaged in watering down the faith to make it easier for a supposedly incredulous and hardheaded congregation that is now he who shocks his parishioners with his unbelief, not vice versa. He has undermined many a soul's Christianity." -- P.74

    Maybe they need to thinking about that...

    One Random Stuff for 11/10/2010:

    Chilean Miner Finishes New York Marathon from Jimmy Kimmel

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Random Stuff for 11/9/10

    Some random stuff for 11/9/2010:
    1. How Real is America's Christianity - From Albert Mohler's blog.  I guess, I'm one of those believers in the pew.
    2. David Crowder Band using Lite Brites to create this video that gives glory to the One Who has overcome, Jesus Christ.  It's also sad.
    3. A Flying Car!
    4. The tunnel people of Las Vegas: How 1,000 live in flooded labyrinth under Sin City's shimmering strip
    5. Life Meant Nothing to Me - Stacey Smith a woman sentenced to life for murder.  Her story is one I hear all the time in prison, but Praise God, he saves.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Kairos 59 at Zephyrhills Correctional

    I was privileged to spend the weekend with a bunch of Christian men sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with 42 inmates at Zephyrhills Correctional.  The Kairos weekend has number 59, as it was the 59th time that one of these 4 day weekends has been done there.  The weekends are done twice a year, so for almost 30 years men have heard the gospel during these weekends.

    After listening to the inmates, they have been requesting transfers to this prison.  The Spirit of God is moving, and Chaplain Clancy, who I have to say, I wouldn't mind going to see each week to listen to this man of God preach.  The music, and the message was strong, and there is a fire in the chapel, that I wish I'd see at my own church more.

    I guess that made the job there easier, but it was made easy due to the fact that most of the men submitted themselves to God to become his conduit to these men.  On Sunday morning, Chaplain Clancy had an altar call, and out of the 42 inmates, about 20 or more went up to receive the Lord.  It was an awesome time.

    Joe Romero, who I've worked a few of these weekends with did a great job getting out of the way, and letting God work with these men.  I wish I'd had a camera to show you.  It was unbelievable.

    I can't wait until number 60 coming up in April!

    Random Stuff:

    1. Facebook Shows Why You Might Get Dumped Before Christmas - I thought this was interesting data pull, showing how the time before Christmas a lot of people on Facebook are using the words "break up", or "broken up" about two weeks before Christmas.  Even Valentines Day is a bad time, http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20021536-71.html.
    2. Tim Challies writes a review on a book, written by Wesley Hill, a Christian who is gay, and is practicing a celibate lifestyle.  I don't like to use "gay Christian", but it appears to be a book that gives us an insight into the struggles of a Christian who is gay, http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/the-struggles-of-gay-christians.
    3. People Are Awesome

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Prayer for Today

    I found this prayer online.  It is from a book, "The Collects of Thomas Cranmer", and it says it all:
      Almighty and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve, pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy, forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid and giving unto us that which our prayer dare not presume to ask; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
    In a couple of days, I'll be going with 36 other men into Zephyrhills Correctional for 4 days to present the Gospel of Christ to inmates.  I find myself each time I go into these situations, feeling a little reluctant at first; during, and after the weekend however, I am once again amazed at the healing that God does for these men.  I think God does some healing, and work on the team members also.  

    The inmates are reluctant at first.  At first they come as it is a break in the monotony of prison life.  After hearing the Truth of the Gospel, the Love of Christ, and the Forgiveness of God, many accept it, and count Jesus as their Lord, and Saviour.  It is an exciting time!

    I am counting on this prayer for this weekend.  Praise God!

    Monday, October 18, 2010


    We had our last team meeting on Saturday, and it was beautiful.  There was singing, and praising God.  At the beginning of the meeting we found one of the brothers on the team, who has been suffering from vertigo, was having some issues. We gathered around him, and prayed that God would relieve him of his vertigo.  So yes, we prayed for healing.  We didn't see any healing, as E.C. continued to suffer from his affliction.  At the end of the day, I think he had to be driven home.  I kept wondering why he wasn't relieved.  What I saw was people coming around him, and serving him, and helping him.  God was showing the necessity of being a servant, and allowing others to serve.  He usually takes his medication, but it didn't work this day;  naturally, we did what we thought was the right thing to do, so we prayed for him, but the result was different than what we expected.

    Today in "My Utmost for His Highest", Oswald Chambers talks about prayer.  "Prayer doesn't equip us for the greater work, prayer is the greater work."  He goes on to say that we get it mixed up, and I have to agree.  We think that prayer prepares us the greater work, but prayer is the greater work.  I get it messed up a lot, but today, I prayed for E.C.  I won't know what happened until I see him again next week when we go into the prison.  I'm also praying for two inmates, Gregory Leaf, and Harry Dean.  I'm praying that God will prepare their hearts for a wonderful time in praise, and worship of our Lord.  I'm also praying for God to prepare my heart for the weekend; after the real work, prayer, is done, lives will be changed, and Satan will be sent packing.  “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest”, Matthew 9:38.

    Random Stuff for Monday 10/18/2010

    1. Extremist is a Theological Category - With all the stuff we see on TV now, and how it's become the source of lot of people's beliefs, here's a good write up on the new whipping boy for political pundits.  http://firstthings.com/blogs/evangel/2010/10/extremist-is-a-theological-category/
    2. This is an interesting piece in Christianity Today on William Wilberforce, who was behind the abolition of the slave trade in Britain in the early 1800's, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/october/19.46.html.
    3. Steve Martin, Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka Banjo  - some pretty good banjo picking!

    4. There is a video that has been on the web for over a week, showing a teacher explaining to her students that they need to be green; when a couple of the students don't want to participate, she presses a button, and blows them up.  There's blood, and guts all over the place.  It's pretty disgusting, so I'm not going to show it, but Michelle Malkin puts together a good piece called The Green War on Children in which she shows environmentalist for what they really are.  Remember, they've got it backwards because they worship the creation, rather than the Creator.  It's a dyslexic worldview, where children are viewed as just life-sucking parasites who inhabit this world.  So what's wrong with just pressing the button.

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    Context is Important

    I remember the first time I went to a Promise Keeper's event at the old Tampa Stadium, there were feminists outside holding up signs with that said something to the effect that Christian women are commanded to "submit to their husbands."  Being a new Christian, and at the time I was a liberal, and hence liberal in my theological thinking, I was struck by this; I also hadn't read the Bible.  I was thinking that this KJV translation would have surely been fixed by now; of course they are referring to verses written in Ephesians 5:22-6:9, and Colossians 3:18-4:1.  Later on though, I read it, and God helped me understand it, and later in my life I saw how it was and is the answer we need to be telling every family in the US on how it should be structured, it's amazing!

    As with everything in Bible, you have to read it in context.  I later learned that cafeteria Christianity, the kind used by liberal theologians who pick and choose what they quote from the Bible, and, who are described by Francis Schaeffer as nothing but secular humanists who use theological terms, is not what God wants.  So as I read the Bible, which I suggest everyone do; get yourself a good study Bible, may I suggest the ESV Study Bible, because if you believe that the Bible is God's inspired Word given to over 40 different authors, then God will open your eyes because it is Him speaking through the words, and if you will let Him, he will change your heart, for the better.

    Random Stuff for October 9, 2010:

    1. Can people be saved apart from hearing about Jesus?  This is a great response from a preacher in North Carolina, J. D. Greear on a sermon he gave on Romans 10:14-17.
    2. YUBA Theology is an interesting post given by Fred Sanders, a evangelical Protestant theologian, on Young, Unlearned, Busy, and Afflicted idea by another theologian, John Henry Newman's book, "A Grammar of Assent."  Interesting because it seems like times haven't changed as young people try to make their place in an unbelieving world, and have to work out their beliefs, in this case on the Trinity.
    3. Saw this quote yesterday from C. S. Lewis that I love, especially since I've been reading Nancy Pearcey's book, "Saving Leonardo", "No doubt those who really founded modern science were usually those whose love of truth exceeded their love of power," from his book, "The Abolition of Man."
    4. This is funny

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Men Loved Darkness Rather than Light

    I was reading Oswald Chamber's this morning from his devotion, "My Utmost for His Highest."  I was struck by a statement from John 3:19, where Jesus made this statement while speaking to Nicodemus.  Nicodemus was already confused by Jesus' statement about being born again, after telling him the Good News in John 3:16-18, basically His mission statement, He also told him in the next statement that man "loved the darkness rather than the light, because their works were evil."

    While at Disney's EPCOT this weekend I was at the Wine and Food Festival, that we've been going to for the last 4 or more years; the food, and drink were flowing.  It was crowded, and it was hot.  As the day went on, and after people had dropped probably more than $50 on an equivalent six-pack of beer, I couldn't help notice that we were probably leaving at the right time.  It was getting loud, you could see people were suffering the effects of drinking all day in hot Florida sun, and I knew that it was a good time for the family to be leaving.  I'm not saying that anything happened, because if it did, Disney has a way to push it behind the facades so that it's not noticed, but the door was opened, and evil was lurking around looking for an easy mark.  I could sense it.  Before I was a Christian, I would have been sitting on the curb with them, pounding down the drinks, oblivious to the evil that was lurking around looking for that moment to exploit; now that God's Spirit lives in me, it was telling me that this is a good time to go.  I'm also reminded that in a few weeks when I go into the prison to share God with inmates, that there was a missed opportunity here to share the Gospel.  That said, praise God, we did have a good time as it was one of the last times we'll get to spend as family, as Timmy's getting married in March, and when we do it again, there will be one less person in our room, but we will be blessed though with a beautiful daughter in-law with our son in the next room.

    There was one neat thing that I've seen the last two or three years; there is a plane high above sky writing that "God Loves Us."  I noticed that some looked up, and smiled; some looked up, and laughed.  I was smiling...

    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    Speaking the Truth in Love

    With all the divisiveness that is going on now in the political, and religious world we as Christians need to read a couple of verses from scripture. On both sides of the argument, it seems that all we hear is people screaming at each other. We as Christians need to sit back, and do more listening than talking, but at the same time, be like Paul, and Peter, and speak the truth in love, Eph 4:15-16, and 1 Pet 3:15-17.

    In Ephesians Paul is speaking to Ephesians, and is talking about not using the gospel to beat people over the head. Remember, we don't have to defend God; He's been doing a good job of that over the millennia. We are called to obey what Jesus told us in Matt 22:37-39. Present the truth in love, and leave it to the Holy Spirit to work in the person's life. In 1 Peter, Peter is saying that we need to be ready to give a defense of the gospel. That means reading the Bible, which should be done daily for the rest of our lives. We should also keep our life pure; I know that's not easy, but we are called to. If we pray, and continue to flee from sin, then we will slowly continue on. Remember, we are commanded to flee from sin. Then sometimes, we are going to laughed at, and ridiculed, but remember we are being sharpened by the Lord, and in order to be sharpened, some of that steel needs to be shaved off.

    These two verses are a couple of good reminders. Thank you Lord Jesus!!

    Random Stuff for Sunday 9/26/10:

    1. This is from Trevin Wax, some quotes translated from Victor Hugo's book by Julie Rose, "Les Misérables",  http://trevinwax.com/2010/09/25/les-miserables-quotes-to-ponder-3/.
    2. In my Kairos ministry I do, there are a lot of people who like Glenn Beck.  I listen to him, and he's very right in a lot of what he says, but he is a Mormon.  That is the one thing that troubles me.  There is a good post in the Gospel Coalition blog by Justin Taylor, where he talks about Beck's,  “syncretizing Mormon and Christian understanding in the service of a civil religion,”.  It's worth reading, http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/09/16/andree-seus-tragic-mistake-on-the-gospel-of-glenn-beck/.
    3. It's coming up soon for a political shakeup in Washington DC; we're all wondering what's going to happen.  Here's a good read, and turn around using the "driving the car into the ditch" metaphor, http://roadtothemiddleclass.blogspot.com/2010/09/they-just-dont-get-it.html.
    4. Speaking of telling the truth, here's an article by Albert Mohler on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on their acceptance of homosexuals as ministers.  The apt title of the blog entry, "What Would Luther Say? — A Church Apologizes for Church Discipline."
    5. Here's a city in Chino, CA. that decided it had enough of the PC talk, and their mayor had "In God We Trust" put up in the city council chambers, http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=1181510.
    Time to get ready for church.  Have a great day!

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Saving Leonardo

    I have been reading Nancy Pearcy's book "Saving Leonardo".  According to my Kindle, I'm about 30% through it, and I can't put it down.  If there were more free time in my life, I would probably have finished it by now.  Nancy is explaining what has happened to our society as secularization becomes more prevalent, and God, and religion are placed on the back burner; she gives a history of the secular/humanism movements, and how they have been instrumental in the downward spiral we're in right now.  I don't want to give it away, but it should be required reading for all Christians.

    She brings up another point, that I find difficult to do; we should be reading books by these secular authors.  We need to know how they think, and what they believe.  I remember reading the biography of Oswald Chambers, and he was criticized for doing the same, but like Nancy he says that we need to know what the secularists are thinking, so we can rebut them in their own language.

    The biggest problem I have is time.  With events going on at church, work, and other social activities, there isn't a lot of time to spend with my Kindle.  Before bed, and at lunchtime are the daily times that I've spent for reading.  Morning is time for reading my bible, devotions, and catching up on the news.  Occasionally, I get a chance to put something in this blog.

    So if you have time to read, pick up a copy of this book, "Saving Leonardo"; you won't be disappointed.

    Random Stuff for 9/23/10:

    1. Mecca Diaries - This is interesting, a video diary of man, his mother, and father as they go on a Hajj to Mecca.  He's not a Christian, but an interesting view, especially when he admits that he wasn't supposed to bring a video camera with him.

    2. World's Scariest Jobs - found this on Tim Challies' site, but it is scary.

    3. I don't ride a lot of cabs, but this is kind of scary, http://twitpic.com/2otzu6.
    4. Leonard Skinner died.  He was the gym teacher, who disliked long hair and rock music, who's name was taken and transformed into Lynrd Skynyrd.

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Random Stuff for 9/16/2010

    Random Stuff for 9/16/2010

    1. This was an interesting article by Marilynne Robinson, as she takes on bad science writers like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and others, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/septemberweb-only/47-11.0.html at Christianity Today.
    2. One of the bloggers I read a lot, Tim Challies on William Young's book "The Shack", http://www.challies.com/articles/the-shack-by-william-p-young.
    3. Nancy Pearcey's observation on the Cordoba mosque, and how secular values don't stand a chance, http://www.pearceyreport.com/archives/2010/09/secular_values.php.
    4. This is a stretch, http://www.theblazingcenter.com/2010/09/does-using-apple-products-make-you-a-better-christian.html, but then again, blue screens do make me sin.
    5. Book review, worst book ever?? http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/book-review-the-power.

    Saturday, September 11, 2010

    We Need to Remember

    Today is September 11 and everywhere people are remembering where they were on that day.  I was at work, and as the news kept coming in, I was updating our web site with news of what was going on in New York.  It was heart wrenching, and I was mentally, and physically wrecked by the end of the day.  In the  aftermath, it is easily to see what the real damage that was done.  We have failed to really understand who the enemy is, and they're taking advantage of it.  I watched a couple of online videos, I've added below, and as I watched the attack, the clean up, the hopes being dashed when loved ones didn't come home, brought tears to my eyes.  Watching the video as events unfolded, there was a lot of confusion.  I remember thinking before the second tower was hit, that it had to be a terrorist attack.  Radical Muslims had been trying for years to bring down the tower, and they finally succeeded.  There is one spot  a few minutes after the first jet hit, I heard this guy video taping from a roof of building that he hoped it wasn't terrorists.  No one there had a clue.  With the advent of inexpensive video cameras, we have a very good video diary of what happened.

    The terrorists achieved their mission, and the long term effects of what happened are still with us almost ten years later.  This so called religion, is of the devil.  Satan took a guy in Arabia, who was raised around Jews, Christians, Zorarastrians;  he took tenets of these religions, and came up with a religion that has done nothing but create mayhem since it started.  It is a works based religion, which calls for the death or subjugation of unbelievers; since Islam's inception, this religion has over 150 sects, but the two of the larger ones, the Sunnis and Shiites are behind most of the mayhem that goes on today.  They love to use Surah 9:5, "The Verse of the Sword" to incite jihad to bring infidels under subjugation where they're forced to pay a tax (jizya), or killed them.  The verse says, "When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful."

    North Africa, and the Holy Land, was predominantly Christian, but the area fell under Islam within 150 years after the death of Muhammed.  The Crusades, which jihadists cry about only came about after the church was destroyed in the Holy Land, and North Africa.  Yes it sought to reclaim the Holy Land, but after 1300 years, the predominant religion is Islam.  The history is long indeed, and there were atrocities on both sides, as there is any battle, but none of this would not have happened, unless Satan, in the guise of Islam, had not attacked, and take the land away.

    Moderate Islam is like the German Christian church was in Nazi Germany, when it bowed to the Nazi ideology.  Remember that Islam aligned itself to the Nazi's during World War II, because of the similar goals both had, which was to extinguish the Jews.  They seemingly close their eyes to the atrocities, or like the imam who wants to build the Islamic mosque at Ground zero claims that unbelievers, the United Stats was the cause of the attack, because the of the death of Muslims.  Somebody needs to remind him of the bloodshed that Muslims do to each other.  I amazed at their thought process, or lack of thought process.  In building an Islamic center a few blocks from Ground Zero, they don't seem to understand the wisdom of NOT doing something like that.  It doesn't seem to phase them, as they name the mosque Cordoba, where in Spain, Muslims built a mosque as reminder of their victory over the Spaniards.  Remember, Muslims occupied most of the Iberian peninsula for 500 plus years.  Moderate Islam does nothing to denounce the atrocities of this barbaric religion of the devil.

    My word to Muslims would be to remind them that Jesus, who is recognized as a prophet in Islam said in John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  Not by following the prophet Muhammad, but by following Jesus.  So for my secular friends who say there are many roads to heaven, and that Christianity, I would remind them that each of these Abrahamic religions have claims on who is saved, so there can't be more than one truth.  I would also remind them that Jesus' tomb is empty, and He did what He said He would do!  So there is exclusivity in the message of Jesus, and unfortunately because of Islam's identity problem, where they know they can't compete with a religion of mercy, and love, Islam was setup to not let Muslims to convert, because if they do, they are marked for death.  Satan is a wiley adversary, and with over 1,000,000,000 adherents to Islam, there is now setup a clash a civilizations prophesied in Revelation.

    If you have about a hour, watch the video below.  In the first video there is part between 12, and 15 minutes where you sense everything changed.  It is very graphic.  We need to remember that the religion of peace won't relent until the whole world is subjugated; we either accept Muhammed as the one true prophet, or we will be killed, or pay a jizya, or tax and be forced to who knows...wear a large "C" on our clothes to identify us as Christian.  That's not how I want to live, but Jesus said we would have troubles in this world, John 16:33.  Remember, Islam means "Submission".

    Here's another video that looks at trying to find the identity of a man who fell to his death.  The picture taken by AP photographer, Richard Drew ran in a few papers the next day to the horror of the readers who demanded that it be removed.  The video attempts to find the identity of this forgotten man, who was among hundreds who fell to their death to escape the heat, and smoke.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Random Stuff for Thursday 9/9/10

    Here are a few things that caught my eye today; a lot of them thanks to Phil Johnson...

    1. We were a couple of days away from the Koran burning event at a church up in Gainesville.  I'm glad he decided to change his mind, but after listening telling the world that he was not going to do it because the imam of the mosque had decided to move the Ground Zero Muslim center.  Hmm, I don't think so.  Anyway, it's amazing how this thing has taken off, and the spot light is on this person, who definitely needs to be prayed for in a way that he will think about the wisdom of doing this.  This is from the Smoking Gun, and another one titled "On Burning Religious Books" by Tony Reinke, with six points to consider on burning the books, using Acts 19:11-20 as a biblical reference.
    2. One more article on the Quran, "Original Quran-Burning Took Place in the Mid-Seventh Century".
    3. Rodney King, Police Beating Victim, to Marry Juror Who Awarded Him $3.8 Million.  This is just bizarre.
    4. I like this one, and Phil Johnson's tweet, "This article is deeply disturbing, but at least these Malthusian morons are taking their ilk out of the gene pool", from The Weekly Standard, "There Goes the Neighborhood".
    5. This was interesting

    6. You would think that our leaders in Washington in their desire to move more towards the socialist model, which is being rejected in Europe, and now El Presidente, Fidel Castor, says, big government doesn't work.  Really??

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    Hipster Faith

    Have you ever wondered when you see something twice in a day, that you need to take a closer look.  That happened today.  I was watching FOX's morning show this morning, and they were talking about "hipsters".  Obviously, since I am a child of the 60's, it caught my attention.  They had a comedian/contributor on their show.  His name, Steven Crowder wrote a column on, "The Trouble With Hipsters".  In it he basically described me to a tee about 35 years ago.  Fortunately, I outgrew it, and it remains a laughable moment in my life.  It's just another way for the left to foster a negative view of what God ultimately planned for us to be.  It's narcissistic, and just plain stupid.

    That said, when I got home from church today, I saw this month's copy of Christianity Today.  On the cover, there's a picture of Jesus with a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer's on, knocking on the door.  On the cover (below)

    Christianity Today Magazine, September 2010
    What happens when cool meets Christ, The Ironic World of Hipster Faith.  OK, you've got my attention, so I read the article.  I think the word irony works here.  Been there done that, would be another way of saying it. Brett McCracken who wrote the article, and I mentioned in a blog a few days ago; he also wrote a book, "Hipster Christianity", writes on the movement.  In it he describes the movement as something that "isn't a monolithic subculture that can be easily categorized, but it definitely has recognizable characteristics."  I think that there is something missed here, and it's all style.  I know as young man, I had to rebel.  I had to discover.  I had to find out myself, because as a child of the 60's, I was very cynical, and trusted no one, especially the church.  Amish children do the same thing, "rumspringa", where around 16 they go out, and discover the world, and decide if they want to have the believer's baptism, and become a part of the Amish church.  Most Amish children stay in the church, as I did, because I discovered what works.  Hipster Christianity is just another liberal theological movement.  Liberal theology is nothing by secularism with theological terms, but this is nothing but style.  What are your reading, what are you watching, and what are you listening to?  Unfortunately, the only thing that works is a belief in Jesus Christ.  After finding out what worked, I finally grew up.  Hopefully, hipster Christians will eventually will too...

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010


    Who is #35? I have a key ring with that number on it. All I know is that number will be coupled with an inmate I'm going to sponsor when we go into Zephyrhills Correctional in October. Does he realize that he is going to meet God this weekend? Does he know that he's being prayed for? Sometimes we go through life oblivious of what is going on around us, and we're unable to comprehend the love that some unknown person might be showing for us while they are on their knees praying to God for our salvation, our peace, our healing, or whatever God has put on their heart. God is good...

    That said, now that I've missed a few days from posting something, I'm reminded how hard it is to write everyday, so I have to lift off my hat to those who have the discipline to do this. Work has been busy, as we've been working non-stop for the last two and a half weeks to convert our website, and now that it's up, it has been non-stop in getting everyone at work used to it. It sounds like I'm complaining, but I'm grateful that every two weeks, my checking account gets a bump, and I can continue to contribute the economy, and get the opportunity to participate in this ministry, and hopefully be used by God to help #35. God is good...

    Random Stuff
    1. Blogger Tim Challies has a good article on what to do, and not do with Facebook for your ministry, http://www.challies.com/christian-living/how-and-how-not-to-use-facebook-for-ministry
    2. The Tea Party takes out another incumbent, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/31/murkowski-concedes-miller-alaska/
    3. I've seen some good things about this book, "40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible".  Everything I've read is good.  Might want to take a look at it.
    4. 6 Free Office Suites that Aren't Micro$oft, http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/6-free-office-suites-that-are-not-microsoft/

    Sunday, August 29, 2010

    Create in Me a New Heart

    After reading this morning, Spurgeon's morning devotion, it was about a man who was about to die, and the pastor asked him what he wanted said at his funeral. He responded with Psalm 51:1-2. After reading Psalm 51, I was moved. This was the psalm that David wrote after his affair with Bathsheba. When Nathan confronted David with his sin, and David realized in the short time of the affair, he had broken just about all the 10 Commandments, he fell on his knees, and said in verse four, "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment."  It is something that we don't see too much in today's moral relativistic society.  He took action by acknowledging that it was against God, he had sinned.  It wasn't his mother, father, his friends, his job, or the number of things we like to hang our blame on.  Thank God for his saving grace, and mercy.  So with that, I go back to Psalm 51:10, "Create in me a clean heart, O God,  and renew a right spirit within me", Amen.

    Saturday, August 28, 2010

    Kairos Meeting

    Today was the third Kairos team meeting as we all get together, and fellowship, pray, listen to talks, and get ready to bring the gospel into Zephyrhills Correctional on October 28 - 31.  This will be the 11th or 12th time that I've had the honor to go with these Godly men to bring the gospel to the inmates.  Over the 4 days, we will meet, and greet.  The men will listen, to 11 lay, and clergy speakers, and then discuss what the speaker said, and what they heard.  One of the men who wants to be on the team was an inmate during the weekend that I was the lay leader.  I remember him, and how he always came to the monthly reunions.  Now he wants to go back into the prison, and bring the gospel to them.  God is good!  Got to listen to a great meditation from Pastor Charles White from 1st Baptist Church of Lutz on God's parental love.  It's something if you've had children that you can relate to.

    I have to admit, that I wasn't that excited about going to the meeting, but God knew where He wanted me, and now I have to admit that it was a blessing.  We also found out that our retreat center we usually use at St Leo Abbey has had some problems, and we won't be able to stay there, so we're looking at a Mennonite retreat center just a few miles north of where we normally stay.  Once again, when we thought we were going to have troubles, God came through.  The journey continues.

    Interesting Stuff:

    1. Popular Mechanics debunks the Katrina myth, http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/natural-disasters/2315076.
    2. Phil Johnson, the 5 Historic Heresies

    3.   Heard this term "therapeutic deism" in Michael Horton's book, "Christless Christianity".  Now, it's "moralistic therapeutic deism", or watered down/secular version of Christianity.  An interesting article from CNN on our children, and their Christian beliefs.  Why Deuteronomy 6 is very important for parents to heed, http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/08/27/almost.christian/.
    4. Now that's a catch!!

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Christian Hosoi

    Reading a blog on Tim Challies site, he had this testimony by Christian Hosoi.  I had never heard of him, but obviously he was a great skateboarder who got caught up drugs, was arrested, and sent to prison.  This is a great testimony.

    Sounds a lot like me except I couldn't stand on a skateboard.  I love to see God work...

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Random Thoughts for Wednesday 8/25/10

    I saw this video on Randy Alcorn's site, EPM.org.  It was produced by Chik-Fil-A, and I thought afterwards, when my eyes were leaking, what an incredible video to show employees who have to deal with the public everyday.  Actually, I probably need to see it everyday.  It really makes you think about what others are going through when you interact with them during the day.  Like you, they're just trying to make through the day, except unlike them, I don't have anything to complain about, and I've been very fortunate.  I have to remember that I need to re-present Christ, instead of just dissing him.

    Also heard this yesterday while listening to Salem Network's afternoon talk show by Dennis Prager.  Dennis is probably one of the best talk show hosts on the radio.  You can go to his website, www.dennisprager.com to see what he's about.  I like to listen to him because he's probably right 99% of the time.  I'll also admit that we're on the same page politically.  He will talk to differing views on his radio show, but it never fails when you try to talk to liberals, they usually resort to emotional vitriol, and try to dismiss you as one of the below categories without debating the issue.  To paraphrase what he was discussing when he engages liberals in debate, he has an acrostic, SIXHRB to describe their style of debate, which is to label, and then dismiss their opponent instead of debating by telling you that you're just a Fill-in-the-Blank:

    S – Sexist
    I – Islamophobic
    X – Xenophobic
    H – Homophobic
    R – Racist
    B – Bigot

    Liberals are like children in their argument style.  They are extremely emotional.  They don’t deal with the issues, because most of them always use these tactics to deflect the argument to label their opponent and then categorically dismiss you.  Usually that's called a temper tantrum, and with kids they get their rear smacked, and sent to their room.  However, when these kids were young, they were probably patted on the head, while their parents said, "Oh, Jimmy's very high strung.", and then they just let him continue.

    To quote Ben Grimm, 'Nuff said!'

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    School Starts

    Ah, yes, it's The first day of school. The roads will be even more active, as thousands of people will attempt to place their children into their school seats via planes, trains, and automobiles.  Thank God, we all succeed each day! That said, today is kind of bittersweet, as my baby boy, oh year, young man is starting his senior year in high school.  It was 19 years ago, that our first one was sent off to school.  Nancy, and I were kind of scared, as we watched him get on the bus, and take off.  Now he's working on his Master of Divinity at Asbury, and he's starting a new job today teaching middle school math.

    The one starting his senior year, Grant, somehow over the summer turned into a young man.  It's incredible, that's all I can say.  Of course he wants us to purchase him a car, which we would probably do, except for the fact that 3 of his friends who have/had cars, all had accidents in the school parking lot, so we'll depend on the bus for awhile longer.

    I'm very proud of Grant, and thank God for his help in getting our family to this point.  I've made a lot of mistakes over the years, and have taken a lot of grace out of God's bank account, but then again, the repayment options are just to love him, which I will do continually.  That's what I call an "Easy Payment Plan".  Oh yeah, and that same grace has changed me over the years, as I have repented, and make the same mistakes less.

    Love you Grant, and thank you Lord Jesus...

    Interesting Stuff:

    1. This is a great post by Phil Johnson, "BioLogos takes their complaint against Al Mohler to Huffpo".
    2. As usual, Dr. Mohler's posts are spot-on, "Why Aren't 'Emerging Adults' Emerging as Adults"?
    3. Soul-Toons, the guy's pretty good!!

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    This guy Brett McCraken wrote a book, "Hipster Christianity: When Church, and Cool Collide".  Supposedly, it's upset a lot of the emergents.  Julie Clawson, posted, http://julieclawson.com/2010/08/20/hipsters-faith-and-truth/, and J. R. Daniel Kirk, (why do we need J. R.???) at http://www.jrdkirk.com/2010/08/15/the-perils-of-ignorant-critique/.  Seriously, why do we need to integrate the church, so that it's indistinguishable from the world?  Anyway, if you want to find out if you're a Hip Christian, take the quiz at http://www.hipsterchristianity.com/quiz.php.  I'm NOT!!

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    Let's get going

    I've always wanted to do a blog, so I figured, what the heck.  You might read it, and then again, you might not.  I did Facebook for awhile, but got tired of it.  I looked, and saw that I had all these friends, and realized that they really weren't my friends, but acquaintances.  Then, I found myself getting upset too much reading stuff, I probably didn't need to be reading.

    My day starts early, and I read the Bible, about 6 years ago, I started one of those read the Bible through in year plan, and I've kept it going.  I also read Oswald Chamber's "My Utmost for His Highest", and Charles Spurgeon's Morning Meditation.  I spend a few minutes perusing some of the blogs listed on the right, before I have to get ready for work.

    There might be somethings in this blog, that I've copied from bloggers like Tim Challies, and Trevin Wax, so I want to say thanks.

    Interesting Stuff:

    1. Malatya - is a documentary of three Christians who were murdered in Turkey inside a Christian publishing company by three teen-age Muslims.  The trailer is below:
    2. How to Become a Successful Religion - this is a little tongue in cheek, but then again there are companies out there doing it now with church growth.  How to Be a Successful Religion at Christianity Today.
    3. Are we as Christians in the United States really suffering, and are we really being persecuted?

      Ghassan from The Global Conversation on Vimeo.