Sunday, February 29, 2004

SARTE IT OUT II. Lots of preachers quote Soren Kierkegaard, whom some call a Christian Existentialist. Jesus might not find Kierkegaard's definition of Christianity palatible. Kierkegaard said "I must find a truth that is ture for me." Jesus said "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Jesus did not accept the idea of individualized truth, of subjective truth. Truth is what he says it is.
Here are the notes for as far as got on Isaiah 43 this morning. So, Keith, remember this is not a substitute for coming to class.


43:1 (Fear Not)

As is the pattern in the book, after God’s strong rebuke in chapter 42, he returns with encouragement in chapter 43. He tells them several things about himself:
1. He created them;
2. He formed them;
3. he redeemed them;
4. he entered into a relationship with them (called them by name); and
5. He possesses them (“you are mine”).

The Israelites would have interpreted this to refer to them, as they certainly knew God created them, that God made them into a nation, that he redeemed them from slavery in Egypt, and that he often called them his possession or his chosen ones.

But maybe he also spoke to the greater Israel, the body of all believers. Paul said in Romans 9:8 “…it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.” He created us, he formed us into the church, he redeemed us from sin and death, he entered into a relationship with us as his children, and we are his special possession. The church is the bride of Christ. 1 Peter 2:9 says we are his chosen people, a people belonging to God. Just as the Israelites could take comfort in knowing these things about our Heavenly Father, so can we.

43:2 (God With Us)

God promises to be with us in difficulties. He uses the examples hear of water and fire. You have to wonder if the 3 Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace quoted this passage and claimed the promise that they would not be burned or scorched. They claimed that promise in Daniel 3:17 when they said “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.” Verse 27 says that they came out of the fire with no smell of fire on them and not even their hair was singed.

Our Heavenly Father is with us in every trial. He is with us in illness, in unemployment, in divorce, in betrayal, in loneliness, in financial hardship, in failure, in persecution, and in death. Romans 8:35-39 tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

43:3-4 (Because I Am)

Sometimes when Joy would get tired of the girls questioning her decisions, she would say “because I’m the mother, that’s why”. That statement of position and authority was supposed to settle the issue. Here the question is, why will God be with us through trials? The first answer, he says, is because “I am”. He invokes his name and says he is the Lord our God. The first reason God does things is often because He is God and he wants to reveal that and receive glory for it. The second reason is that He made Israel special by choosing it over all other nations, even giving their land to Israel, or allowing Israel to triumph over them in conflicts. Deuteronomy 7:6 says that The Lord your God has chosen you out of the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. Why did he choose Israel? Because he did. Deuteronomy 7:7-8 says The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because te Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers…” Why did he choose us to be saved? Because of anything we did? No. He made these choices in his sovereignty for his reasons, mostly I think to display his glory, but not because of any merit on our part.

In fact, sometimes I suspect that God chose us because we were the least likely to amount to anything and he would be greatly glorified if he accomplished anything at all through us. 1 Corinthians 1:27 says But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
This was on my mind since the subject of free will came up a lot in church today. First, it came up in Sunday School, with a member saying we all have the right to choose salvation. Then, the pastor preached a great evangelistic sermon, but did for a while talk about all of us choosing God or not. I think a lot of the belief of Southern Baptists about free will come not from the Bible, but as a hangover from Existential philosophy by which our teachers and professors were influenced. Many of us did not, and do not, know what it is, but it infected our instruction, and thus our thinking.

SARTE IT OUT. I was a bit disappointed that I did not get far enough into the Sunday School lesson to talk about Existentialism, as I know you were. So, here is a quote from Brian C. Anderson's book review of The Absolute Intellectual, a book about Jean-Paul Sarte: Man’s freedom of will — another central theme of the early Sartre — is what makes such creative acts possible. Drawing on German and French philosophical sources — Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Henri Bergson, among others — Sartre explained that human beings, unlike, say, oak trees and snakes, choose their own future, even when, trapped in “bad faith,” they pretend they do not. Man has no nature that predetermines what he will eventually become; his existence precedes his essence, as the Sartrean formulation puts it.
HE'S OUT!! Aristide is out as Haiti's leader and the Marines are in. Is there a script available on the Internet or from Literary Guild you can order about how to act like you aren't going to run like a cat on fire when the opposition closes in? They all do this. It goes like this. Today's news story is, the opposition in Banana Republic A has started an insurrection. The country's leader, Petty Despot, says the government is in control of the country and the rebels will be squashed like the huge cockroaches in the embassy. Next story: Rebels have surrounded the capital city and Rebel Leader says they will kill all government lackeys and their families and put Petty Despot's head on a spike. But only after a fair (-ly short) trial. Petty Despot, interviewed from behind closed doors where he was shaking out his shorts, said he will remain in power and calls on the international community for support.

Third story - Petty Despot was last seen running at full speed for the helicopter with a suitcase full of cash. Rebel Leader promises elections in the next millenia and calls on the international community for support. (He also asks reporters if they happened to see a blue suitcase sitting around).

Last Story - Rebel Leader changes name to Petty Despot. Calls on International Community for support. Former Petty Despot now living in France with the rest of them, where they can be see lunching at the Ex Petty Despot club.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

IF ONLY IT WERE TRUE. The Guardian reports that Iranian state radio claims that we have captured Osama bin Laden. The Iranians claim the President is holding him until the elections. The more likely scenario is that Iran's oppressive regime is looking for diversion from the turmoil in their country. Think of it as their "Monica Missles". This is not enough to save them, however, with moderate politicians resigning, large protests, and world wide scrutiny. They ultimately will face the same dilemma as the Soviet Union. Either they must allow freedom and democracy, or crack down hard on all dissent. I expect the latter initially.

Friday, February 27, 2004

IT'S A GOOD THING. The judge has dismissed the securities fraud charge against Martha Stewart. One down, four to go. This cuts her maximum prison exposure in half. (If she went to jail, do you think the warden would make her his personal cook?) You also have to wonder, does the dismissal of the worst charge weaken the remainder?
NO JEWS ALLOWED. Saudi Arabia is embarrassed by the fact that their website for tourism specifically banned "Jewish People" from obtaining visas to visit the country. Gosh, who knew they were rascist? Of course, we all know the life expectancy of a Jewish tourist in Saudi Arabia would be shorter than John Kerry holds to a political position, but it is telling that they expressed their Anti-Semitism clearly.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

ANOTHER HOWARD'S END. Howard Stern is finally suffering repercussions for his offensive radio shows. If you have ever heard Stern on the air, you know what I mean. Clear Channel has suspended his program. Here is their statement through CEO John Hogan:

"Clear Channel Radio has suspended the broadcast of Viacom’s Howard Stern show, consistent with its Responsible Broadcasting Initiative announced earlier today. After assessing the content of yesterday’s Howard Stern show, Clear Channel worked with local market managers to take swift and decisive action.

“Clear Channel drew a line in the sand today with regard to protecting our listeners from indecent content and Howard Stern’s show blew right through it It was vulgar, offensive, and insulting, not just to women and African Americans but to anyone with a sense of common decency. We will not air Howard Stern on Clear Channel stations until we are assured that his show will conform to acceptable standards of responsible broadcasting,”

The FCC is finally taking their job seriously. The agency has handed out major fines for indecency and is investigating the Janet Jackson debacle. Clear Channel suffered a $755,000 fine for the show of another shock jock.

Interestingly, John Hogan, the CEO, is taking responsibility for the actions of the other DJ. Rather than ducking the issue, he accepted responsibility and apologized. Here is what he said: "As a broadcaster, as the CEO and as the father of a 9-year-old girl, I'm ashamed to be associated in any way with those words. They're tasteless, they're vulgar, they should not, do not and will not represent what our radio stations are all about," he said. "We were wrong to air that material," Hogan said. "I accept responsibility for our mistake and my company will live with the consequences of its actions."

I applaud Hogan for stepping up and for the decision to clean up his airways. I would like for my girls to be able to listen to the radio also, and without having to worry about what they will hear.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN. The Little Woman and I went down to Texas A & M to see the College Daughter perform with the concert band. It was a lot of fun. It is always good to see my daughter. She is such a good kid and lots of fun to be with. An added bonus was to take her and two friends to lunch. We had a great visit. Plus, I always assume new people have not heard my old jokes. BONUS!

Traveling down I-35 did bring these observations. First, Texas highways are junky. When you drive through Mississippi, all you see if big, beautiful pine trees. When you drive through Texas, you see automobile salvage yards full of junk cars. In addition, you see abandoned, decaying buildings, abandoned farm equipment, and just assorted, well, garbage. It is as if everyone in Texas had too much stuff and dumped it next to I-35. Why does it have to be right there where we can see it?

Second, people in the country do not paint their buildings. They just sit there until they rot, then they sit there longer until they fall down. Traveling Texas Highway 6 is a study in the rate of decomposition of “out buildings”. Are these the same people that own the junk car yards?

Third, only the government would put out signs on the highway that warn you of men working, and that fines are double, when you cannot see anyone working anywhere.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004


BUSH: Eight years ago, Congress passed and President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage for purposes of federal law as the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.

The act passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 342-67 and the Senate by a vote of 85-14.

Those congressional votes, and the passage of similar defense-of- marriage laws in 38 states, express an overwhelming consensus in our country for protecting the institution of marriage.

In recent months, however, some activist judges and local officials have made an aggressive attempt to redefine marriage.

In Massachusetts, four judges on the highest court have indicated they will order the issuance of marriage licenses to applicants of the same gender in May of this year.

In San Francisco, city officials have issued thousands of marriage licenses to people of the same gender, contrary to the California Family Code. That code, which clearly defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, was approved overwhelmingly by the voters of California.

A county in New Mexico has also issued marriage licenses to applicants of the same gender.

And unless action is taken, we can expect more arbitrary court decisions, more litigation, more defiance of the law by local officials, all of which adds to uncertainty.

After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization. Their actions have created confusion on an issue that requires clarity.

On a matter of such importance, the voice of the people must be heard. Activist courts have left the people with one recourse. If we're to prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever, our nation must enact a constitutional amendment to protect marriage in America. Decisive and democratic action is needed because attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country.

The Constitution says that "full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts and records and judicial proceedings of every other state."

Those who want to change the meaning of marriage will claim that this provision requires all states and cities to recognize same-sex marriages performed anywhere in America.

Congress attempted to address this problem in the Defense of Marriage Act by declaring that no state must accept another state's definition of marriage. My administration will vigorously defend this act of Congress.

Yet there is no assurance that the Defense of Marriage Act will not itself be struck down by activist courts. In that event, every state would be forced to recognize any relationship that judges in Boston or officials in San Francisco choose to call a marriage.

Furthermore, even if the Defense of Marriage Act is upheld, the law does not protect marriage within any state or city.

For all these reasons, the defense of marriage requires a constitutional amendment.

An amendment to the Constitution is never to be undertaken lightly. The amendment process has addressed many serious matters of national concern, and the preservation of marriage rises to this level of national importance.

The union of a man and woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. Ages of experience have taught humanity that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society.

Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all.

Today, I call upon the Congress to promptly pass and to send to the states for ratification an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and woman as husband and wife.

The amendment should fully protect marriage, while leaving the state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage.

America's a free society which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens. This commitment of freedom, however, does not require the redefinition of one of our most basic social institutions.

Our government should respect every person and protect the institution of marriage. There is no contradiction between these responsibilities.

We should also conduct this difficult debate in a matter worthy of our country, without bitterness or anger.

In all that lies ahead, let us match strong convictions with kindness and good will and decency.

Thank you very much.
DISPENSATIONALISTS ARE STANDING ON TIP TOE. In the aftermath of the devasting earthquate in Iran, an earthquake in Morocco has claimed over 200 lives.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Flip flops. You would think John Kerry was from Arkansas from the number of flip flops he has. He voted against the first Iraq war and now says he was for it. He voted for the second Iraq war but now says he is against it. Would you please just take a position and hold it? It's easier to teach a mutt to stay than to get Kerry to hold on to his positions on issues.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

YES WE ARE STILL IN ISAIAH!!!! Here are today's Sunday School lesson notes.


42:14-17 (Coming In Judgment)

God tells them he has been silent for a long time (NKJV says “held my piece”). He has restrained himself. Since God cannot tolerate sin, he wants to act in regard to it. Yet, in mercy and forbearance, he has held back from judgment. This sometimes causes Believers to despair that God will act. This occurs in our personal lives when we ask him to deliver us and he does not do so right away. It also occurs in reference to his second coming. I heard a preacher on the radio sometime ago saying “Jesus is coming soon, the Bible says Jesus is coming soon!” and I said to myself, “yeah, but he said that 2000 years ago.”

But what do we know about his deliverance and his coming again? Regarding his second coming, Peter said in 2 Peter 3:9 that “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” Nahum 1:3 says the Lord is slow to anger and great in power. The Lord tarries, not to torture us, but patiently waiting for people to come to him for salvation. So we must be patient too, waiting for him.

When we wait for him to deliver us from trials or temptations, we must have faith that he will act at the right time, and that he knows when that time is, better than we. 2 Peter 2:9 says the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation or trial. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.” (NASB) Hebrews 2:18 says “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”

So we have trials along the way to cope with. Often we will ask God to deliver us or help us through it. He will. He may not, however, do it the way we expect or the way we want. Our goal often is not to suffer, or to end it quick. God may have other goals. Since He is sovereign, he gets to pursue his goals. His goal may be to make you more holy, either by removing something from your personality, like pride, or to add something, like the dreaded patience.

His goal might be to give you understanding or sympathy toward others who will suffer in the same way. His goal may be to make you available to someone else, or to lead you to a specific place or person.

This means there will be change in your life. If nothing ever changes in your life, chances are God is not working in your life and you should be concerned. Look, for example, at the changes in Abraham’s life. He lived in a big city and was well off. He lived near his dad and his brother. God told him to leave all this and go to another land to become a great nation.

Moses had been a simple shepherd for 40 years. He tended the flock of his father in law on the far side of the desert, raising a family, living with his father in law and his family, minding his own business. God sent him the one place he did not want to go, Egypt, and charged him with tending a large human flock.

Change may bring pain. Saul became Paul the missionary. He was beaten, stoned, jailed, run out of town, slandered, robbed, shipwrecked, and killed. In those experiences, he became the greatest missionary ever and author of a big part of the New Testament.

So, sometimes we are impatient for God to act, and sometimes we are impatient for him to quit acting and causing us to change or to suffer.

Well, God says here in Isaiah that he has been holding back, but now he will act and act forcibly. He will cry out, then exert his power. It says he will lay waste the mountains. That may not mean he will literally level the mountains, but that he will come in power and judgment. Nahum 1, for example, speaks of the clouds becoming dust, God drying out the sea, and the hills dissolving.

Verse 16 says again that he will deal with the blind, bringing understanding to those who are spiritually blind. I think he is specifically referring to the Gentiles, who did not have the light of God. Ephesians 5:8 refers to us as formerly darkness, but now we are light in the Lord.

He also says again that those who worship idols will be put to shame.

When will this happen? It does not say. It refers first to the deliverance of the Israelites from captivity, but may also reflect final coming for us.

42:18-20 (God’s Blind People)

God here refers to Israel as being blind and deaf. Although they have seen him work wonders and have sent prophets to them, they have ignored them all. They have paid no attention.

This is the equivalent to our being apathetic toward the Bible, not reading or understanding it. Some also ignore preachers who set out God’s word for us to understand.

1 Corinthians 4:4-6 says “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, made his light sine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

42:21 (Great and Glorious)

God was pleased to make his law great and glorious. It was an expression of his righteousness. It was and is great. Almost all law has been based on God’s law. We still see today many of the principles of the law given through Moses in our law. Even for the nonbeliever, living according to the Law of God will bring a good life, because its principles are good. For the believer, it is the standard of righteousness, not for salvation, but for a Godly life.

Psalm 1 tells us that the blessed man delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on it day and night. Psalm 19:7 tells us the law of the Lord is perfect\blameless, it restores the soul, gives wisdom, rejoices the heart, and enlightens the eyes. Some would say not to worry about the law, that it brings you down, or limits you. But the Bible says the law is glorious for it is God’s righteous standard. Jesus said, in Luke 16:17 that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than one stroke of a letter of the law.

42:22 (Consequences of Disobedience)

Just as living in accordance with God’s law brings success, living in opposition to it brings failure. As a result of Israel’s lack of seeing and hearing, they became plundered. God gave them his glorious law as a gift and a great blessing. But when they ignored it, they ended up broken, defeated, and even exiled.

Even today, people reap the consequences of sin, which is disobedience of God’s law. They may enjoy sin for a while, but they reap what they sow. They may even flaunt their rejection of God, but, eventually, they will suffer for it. We have a world full of sexually transmitted diseases to prove it, along with abandoned and abused children, battered wives, people suffering from the break up of their families, addicts to all kinds of substances, and victims of all kinds of crimes. All of those are avoided by obedience to God’s law.

Galatians 6:7-8 puts it this way: Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

So, will homosexual marriage cause any harm to this country? Of course it will, because it violates God’s righteous standard. I don’t care if you can put a statistic on it or not, the Bible shows us clearly that violations of God’s law bring misery and suffering.

42:23-25 (Judgment For Sin in God’s People)

These verses make clear that God surrendered Israel to its enemies. It did not just fall on hard times. God punished them. Israel sinned against God. God punished Israel, but Israel still did not recognize it.

I am afraid that is the path America will take, as people refuse to acknowledge that God is in anything that happens. You may not be able to change the direction America takes, although some are trying, but you can change the direction you and your family take. Be sensitive to the leading of the Lord and the work of the Lord around you. Examine your life in the light of God’s law. I’m not saying to be legalistic or to neglect grace. But, seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and God will provide for you.

Friday, February 20, 2004


"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them.
That is our bottom line." - President Clinton, Feb 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear.
We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq'sweapons of mass destruction program." - President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraq is a long way from [the USA], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state willuse nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." - Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." - Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security
Adviser, Feb 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent
with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including,
if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." - Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct 9, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of
mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region
and hehas made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."- Rep.
Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) Dec 16, 1998

"Hussein has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of
mass destruction and palaces for his cronies." - Madeline Albright,
Clinton Secretary of State, Nov 10, 1999

"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has invigorated his
weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and
nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In
addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the
cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will
threaten the United States and our allies." - Letter to President Bush,
Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, December 5, 2001

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant
and athreat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destructionand the means of delivering them."- Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI)
Sept. 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and
chemical weapons throughout his country."- Al Gore, Sept 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven
impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long
as Saddam is in power." - Al Gore, Sept 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA) Sept 27, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We
are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical
and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..." - Sen.Robert Byrd (D, WV) Oct 3, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-if necessary-to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA) Oct 9, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV) Oct 10,2002

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11
years,every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm
and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do" - Henry Waxman (D, CA) Oct 10, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports
showthat Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and
biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear
program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists,
including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked,
Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY) Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence
that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a
developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass
destruction." -Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL) Dec 8, 2002

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a
brutal,murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents
a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to hiscontinued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real...." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA) Jan 23, 2003
TIME FOR RECESS. Howard Bashman is reporting that the President will use a recess appointment to put Bill Pryor on the federal appeals bench, trying to force the issue of the stalled appointment process in Congress.
TEXAS LAW. If you are a Texan (as I am) and interested in law (as I am), you should visit a blog I just found, the Texas Law Blog. Guess what it is about.
HAITI NEWS. The U. S. has advised the 20,000 Americans in Haiti to leave as the insurrection grows. Most of the rebellion is to drive out Aristide. You might remember that they ran him off before, but he was restored to power through military intervention by President Clinton. It was a unilateral action and people were killed, but no one protested. I guess that is because they called in Jimmy Carter. That always makes it ok. I guess Jimmy and Bill are 0 for 2 if you look at Haiti and North Korea and they deals they made.

While you are thanking God you do not live in Haiti, where living standards are lower than anywhere in the world except the sub Sahara, pray for Terry Snow. He is a missionary from Grandbury, Texas, our neighbor to the south. Most of the 20,000 Americans in Haiti are missionaries. It seems the only Americans willing to go there were sent by either God or the U.S. government.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

WINDY CITY. The wind is blowing so hard my 9th floor windows are rattling. I can see across the street and the west facing Tandy Center windows are flexing somuch they seem to shimmer. It makes the reflections look like a movie whose projector is running poorly.
"Pain is the precursor to change". This statement was made by Mel Gibson in his interview with Diane Sawyer. Gibson was speaking at his spiritual turn, as he read the Gospels in response to the desperation of his life.

The Bible puts it this way: God disciplines those he loves.

The writer of Hebrews quoted Proverbs to begin his discussion of this topic. “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines everyone he accepts as a son. Hebrews 12:5-6.

When we are having a hard time, the Bible tells us to avoid both extremes. Do not make light of it. Some Christians feel they have to shrug off difficulties or refuse to acknowledge them. That is not honest. When it is hard, it is hard. Admit it.

Sometimes we go through terrible and painful things. I recently sat with a friend over coffee as he spoke of going through a divorce. It hurt. The pain was real, the tears were wet. We do not have to ignore that.

On the other hand, we cannot lose heart. Think of what Job suffered. He lost his family and his fortune, but God still expected his devotion.

Pain is the precursor to change, for we look to God with the least distraction in times of pain. Verse 10 says that God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. I do not know why God chooses pain to chisel away our imperfections. Often I do not even see imperfections in someone who is suffering. But God is at work, making us more holy.

This passage goes on to say discipline produces a harvest of righteousness and peace. That is a worthy goal. No one has more peace that the believer who has been through the fire with God and come out on the other side changed. He is willing to let God work in his life in whatever way God chooses. He sees the righteous fruit. Knowing that God is on his throne makes all right with the world.
A true patriot must be a religious man. Abigail Adams.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004


After his death, Osama bin Laden tried to enter heaven, but he was greeted at the gate by George Washington, who pummeled him across the face and yelled at him, "How dare you try to destroy the nation I helped conceive!"

Patrick Henry approached and punched Osama in the nose and shouted,"You wanted to end our liberties but you failed."

James Madison entered, kicked Osama in the groin and said,"This is why I allowed our government to provide for the common defense!"

Thomas Jefferson came in and proceeded to beat Osama many times with a long cane and said, "It was evil men like you that provided me the inspiration to pen the Declaration of Independence!".

These beatings and thrashings continued as John Rudolph, James Monroe and 66 other early Americans came in and unleashed their anger on the Muslim terrorist leader.

As Osama lay bleeding and writhing in unbearable pain an Angel appeared. Bin Laden wept in pain and said to the Angel, "This is not what you promised me."

The Angel replied, "I told you there would be 72 Virginians waiting for you in heaven. What did you think I said?"
GREAT THINGS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD OF LAW, PART II. A police officer was fired for lying to his supervisors. He sued for wrongful discharge. The police department has an "Honesty Directive". The directive required officers to be truthful and forthright at all times. That is certainly something the public likes from its police officers. The officer claimed, first of all, that the word "forthright" was too vague. He also claimed that he had a constitutional right to lie. The Third Circuit showed great common sense. The court found that "forthright" was not too vague and there is no constitutional value in lies.

I know some people feel they have the right to try any approach to win. But seriously folks. Is that what you really want to advocate for our society? If everyone has a constitutional right to lie, the justice system fails. If policemen may lie with impunity, we are all in jeopardy. This police department and this city is better off without this guy.
GREAT THINGS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD OF LAW, PART I. A federal court recently held that a seven and one half year delay between verdict and sentencing was not unreasonable. I guess it is mind over matter. If you don't mind; it don't matter.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

HERE ARE THE NOTES ON ISAIAH 42. Remember, however, there is no guarantee that I will say all this or that this is all I will say.

42:1 (The Servant)

God announces his servant. The NIV loses a bit of the announcement feeling as it says simply “here is”. The NKJV and the NASB say “Behold” and the NKJV adds an exclamation point. So this is the beginning of an important announcement and God says to pay attention to it. This is what John the Baptist did in John 1:29 when he drew attention to Jesus. The NIV says “Look” and the others again say “behold”.

This servant is Jesus, the Messiah. Matthew 12:15-21 tells us this. Many Jewish commentators wrote that it referred to the Messiah. We are bound by Matthew’s commentary.

There are four of these Servant Passages in Isaiah: 42:1-9; 49:1-7; 50:4-11; 52:13-53.

Why is Jesus a servant? He was the servant of the Father in accomplishing his will toward humanity. Jesus as a boy, when his parents found him at the Temple, said in Luke 2:49 “Why did you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (NKJV)

John shows this the most clearly in his gospel through the words of Jesus himself.
5:16-My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too am working.
5:43-I have come in my Father’s name…
6:57-the Living Father sent me
7:16-My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me
7:29-I am from him and he sent me
8:16-I stand with the Father who sent me
8:28-I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me
8:29-The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.
8:42-I have not come on my own; but he sent me
10:18-this command I received from my Father.
12:44-When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.
12:49-For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.
13:20-whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.
14:10-it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work
14:31-the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has command me.
15:10-I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
16:28-I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving he world and going back to the Father.

Hebrews 2:17 tells us that he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God.

Hebrews 5:4-6 tells us that Jesus did not take the honor of become a high priest upon himself, but that God appointed him as a priest in the order of Melchizedek.

And, of course, in my favorite passage, Philippians 2:6-9, Paul tells us that Jesus took on the very nature of a servant.

Verse 1 also tells us 5 things about Christ as a servant, that God chose or elected him, he upholds, God delights in him, puts his Spirit in him, and uses him to bring justice to the nations, or Gentiles.

The Father chose the son to bring about redemption. Remember the picture in Revelation 13:8 of Jesus as the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Israel was the human servant that did not accomplish the mission of revealing the glory of God to the world. Jesus will now accomplish the task as the God\man.

The Father delights in the Son, according to this verse. At Jesus’ baptism, the Father said he was well pleased with the Son. See Luke 3:22. He repeated these words on the mountain when Jesus was transfigured. This is recorded by Peter, who was there, in 2 Peter 1:17-18. Paul calls Jesus the one the Father loves in Ephesians 1:6.

God also said he put his Spirit into Jesus. This was manifested at Jesus’ baptism, recorded in Luke 3:22, when heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. Jesus said he was in the Father and the Father was in him.

Jesus would bring justice to the Gentiles. This is in the sense of proclaiming the gospel to the Gentiles. Jesus preached to the Samaritans and some Gentiles himself, then commanded the Apostles to do it.

(42:2) (The Quiet Man)

Some say this means Jesus would not come to quarrel or to argue (Gill). Some that he would not come in fanfare (Calvin).

(42:3) (The Gentle Savior)

There are two pictures here of people with problems and how Jesus will deal with them. First is the bruised reed. These are the weak, whether in physical strength, or the poor as in economic strength, or the emotionally fragile. Jesus will not break them. He will not deal roughly with those who are fragile, but will minister to them.

Second is the smoldering wick, those whose flame is about to go out. They struggle with belief, or are about to give up on themselves and life. Jesus will not snuff them out, remove what hope or strength they have left.

Last week we looked at Matthew12:28 where Jesus called those who are weary and burdened and promised them rest. He called himself gentle and humble. Before he fed the five thousand, he looked at the large crowd and had compassion on them and healed their sick (Matthew 14:14).

42:4 (The Unstoppable Savior)

Christ will not until he establishes justice on earth. He will not be defeated or will not be discouraged to give up. How will that happen? Micah 5 talks of the ruler who will come out of Bethlehem, whose greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. See Micah 5:4-5. Zechariah 9:10 says that His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

It started with Jesus’ coming the first time. In Luke 4:43, Jesus said he preach the good news of the kingdom of God because that was why he was sent. Then the Apostles were to spread the message of the kingdom over all the earth. Jesus said in Matthew 24:14 that this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. So, the church will grow, expanding the kingdom over all the earth, then the Lord will return. Zechariah 14:9 says that The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.

You could say this is a postmillennial verse. Jesus foretold a gradual increase of the kingdom of God on Earth until it was large and permeated the whole earth. Matthew captured this concept in recording two parables of Jesus in chapter 13. The parable of the mustard seed in 13:31 says that the small mustard seed will grow so large that it will become the largest tree in the garden. The parable of the yeast in 13:33 shows that Christianity will invade and permeate humanity as yeast will a dough.

In Kazakhstan, the church has grown from 10 believers to 10,000 believers in 10 years. In South Korea, Christianity has grown until it claims one third of the population (over 12 million people) and one church in Seoul has 500,000 members. Christianity is growing so fast in China, it could become the largest Christian nation by 2050. It is estimated that there are 70 million Chinese Christians in house churches. About 25,000 people per day are added to the church.

The church in Brazil is growing. 40 churches per day spring up around Rio De Janerio. 46% of Africans identify themselves as believers. Over 23% of Nigerians are now Christians, about 26 million people. In Uganda, 75% of people proclaim to be Christians.
42:5 (God Describes Himself)

God describes himself as:
1. The Creator of the heavens, as in Isaiah 40:22;
2. the Creator of earth and the plants that grow on it;
3. The giver and sustainer of life for us.

42:6-7 (The Calling of Christ)

God called Christ to his ministry and work. Just as Christ told us he came to do the Father’s work and speak the Father’s word, here the Father tells us he called Christ to his work. So we have the testimony of both of them that it is true.

The Father called the Son in righteousness. The Father is completely righteous. Psalm 11:7 says “For the Lord is righteous, he love justice; upright men will see his face.” Psalm 145:17 says “The Lord is righteous in all his ways….” Jesus, in John 17:25 called the Father “Righteous Father”. Righteousness is a character trait of God.

The Son also is righteous. 1 John 2:1 calls him the Righteous One who speaks to the Father in our defense.

In contrast, we are not righteous in our natural state. Romans 3:10 says there is no one righteous, not even one. We cannot work ourselves into righteousness, either. Romans 3:20 says that no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law. So, how can we become righteous? Romans 5:19 says that just as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man (Christ) the many will be made righteous. 1 Peter 3:18 says that “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”

We obtain that righteousness when the Holy Spirit convicts our hearts of sin and righteousness. See John 16:7-11.

This is the message of the gospel. In Romans 1:16, Paul said: I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.

I have one more thought on righteousness for you. Since God is, by nature, righteous, we must conform ourselves to his standard to become righteous. Since we are not by nature righteous, any attempt by us to define righteousness apart from God’s standard, or to diminish the importance of righteousness if wrong and dangerous. For example, look at Romans 10:1-4. The Israelites sought to re-define righteousness on their own terms and, as a result, were cut off from the kingdom of God. When you try to re-define the God of the Bible to suit your preferences, your failures, or your lack of belief and acceptance of God, you are in the same jeopardy.

The Father said to the Son that he would take hold of his hand and keep him, meaning that he would protect him until the time came to surrender him. This is why you read about Jesus disappearing through crowds and avoiding arrest by the Pharisees and Sadducees until the appropriate time.

Christ was to become a covenant for the people. This covenant, or agreement, exists among the Father, the Son, and the Believers. That Father commissioned the Son to come to earth, live a sinless life, and die a substitutionary death. The Father agreed to give the Son people who would believe in him, and to give the Son authority to give eternal live to those believers eternal life. The Father also promised to raise him to life and restore him to glory. The Son has agreed that, if we believe on him, he will give us this eternal life. We see this spelled out in the prayer of Jesus contained in John 17:1-5.

Jesus also would be a light for the Gentiles. No longer would God deal primarily with the Israelites. Instead, he would reach some from all races and form them into this new people, the church. Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

When the Church, the body of Christ, spreads the gospel, it becomes part of the fulfillment of this verse. Paul applied it to himself and Barnabas in Acts 13:44-48.

Verse 7 tells us that Jesus will also bring understanding and release from bondage. He would not only cure physical blindness, as he did on many occasions, but he would cure spiritual blindness. The Gentiles had lived in blindness for a long time, worshipping idols and Pagan deities. Romans 1:21 speaks of us and our ancestors this way: for although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Only Jesus brings the light of understanding to the heart of sinful men and women.

42:8-9 (God’s Declaration Of Himself)

God declares himself here, giving his name and some truths about himself. He gives his name, YHWH, the Tetragramaton, rendered in most bibles as LORD in all caps. The Jews considered this name sacred and would not normally say it. We came up with the word “Jehovah” for it.

Then God tells us a wonderful thing about himself. You should underline this in red in your bible. He said “I will not give my glory to another.” God does not share his glory with men, women, or idols. When you seek glory for what God has done, you run counter to this truth and you do so at your peril. For an example, see Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:28-37.

God is also the only one who knows the past and the future. He proclaims the future because he knows it. He knew Israel would return from captivity because he ordained it. He knew Christ would come because he ordained it. He knows Christ will come again and gather us to him, for he ordained it.

42:10-13 (Praise The Lord)

Isaiah gives the command to sing and praise God. No one is exempt. We should sing, shout, give glory, and proclaim his praise. We have a new song because God has brought salvation to us in Christ. God is mighty and will triumph over all. [Sing the doxology]


42:1 (The Servant)

John 1:29 Matthew 12:15-21 Isaiah: 42:1-9; 49:1-7; 50:4-11; 52:13-53 Luke 2:49

(42:2) (The Quiet Man)

(42:3) (The Gentle Savior)

Matthew12:28 Matthew 14:14

42:4 (The Unstoppable Savior)

Micah 5:4-5; Zechariah 9:10; Luke 4:43; Zechariah 14:9;
Matthew 24:14; Matthew 13:31, 33

42:5 (God Describes Himself)

Isaiah 40:22;

42:6-7 (The Calling of Christ)

Psalm 11:7; Psalm 145:17; John 17:25; 1 John 2:1; Romans 3:10; Romans 3:20;
Romans 5:19; 1 Peter 3:18; John 16:7-11; Romans 1:16; John 17:1-5; John 8:12; Acts 13:44-48; Romans 1:21

42:8-9 (God’s Declaration Of Himself)

Daniel 4:28-37

42:10-13 (Praise The Lord)

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

GENERAL CLARK SURRENDERS. From Clinton stalking horse to Kerry cannon fodder to surrender. Clark is leaving the race. The problem with this winnowing process is the reduction in material for bloggers. Despite his early success, his failure to have a firm opinion on any issue and his switch of parties killed him. Rats.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

LUUUUCEEEEE!!! Roger Friedman of FoxNews wrote a story about the Grammy weekend parties. He mentioned Melanie Griffin and Antonio Banderas performing and said "think Lucy and Ricky, with Botox."
MISSING IN ACTION. If you think politics is rough in America, think what it must be like in Russia. The opponent to president Vladimir Putin disappeared for several days. He has evidently turned up in the Ukraine. It has to be bad if you must hide out during a public campaign. But look at Putin's picture when he is staring into the camera and decide if you want to oppose him.

Monday, February 09, 2004

GAIETY IN THE BUCKEYE STATE. Ohio has passed a bill outlawing same sex unions. Does this mean the Teamsters will have to let in women?
A BAD RAP. As if rap "music" wasn't skanky enough, Al Qaeda now has a rap urging Muslims (that would be the religion of peace in political terms) to kill Crusaders (that would be us in Arabic) and laughing about the 9-11 attack. Please God let me be Dictator For The Day and show me where the red button is.
The Mavs lost, but could not resist fouling a guy with a tenth of a second left. Aargh.
THE NEW TRILTERAL COMMISSION. England has evidently decided to kiss and make up with the French and the Germans. They want to form a combined force to go around protecting Europe and separating warring factions in countries less civilized, or at least less powerful. The initial problem is money. They began with the idea for 60,000 soldiers, but they cannot afford it.

The French have volunteered to do the surrendering. That is, except in cases of unarmed teenagers trying to take over small African nations. The Germans, well, what can they do? Do they even have an army any more? They rely on NATO for protection. Maybe they could sell the British banned weapons and let them go fight.
Anna Nicole Smith is on Larry King Live talking about her dramatic weight loss. The secret? She takes pills. The American answer to anything. Now she is only taking 2 pills per day to maintain. She said the pills keep her from getting hungry. She was having a hard time remembering what she ate today.

The funny thing is, she said the only side effect is having a lot of energy and she does not like it. She would rather sleep late and lie in bed (she said lay, but whatever).

Why am I watching ANS on Larry King? I'm waiting for the Baby to call me to come get her from choir practice and the Mavericks are playing embarassingly. I just saw 7-6 Sean Bradley get his shot blocked by a guy a foot shorter than him. He is so bad, the Mormons should disown him.

The Little Woman is up at the hospital with her mother. The M-I-L has a condition she does not take care of, and is on her second trip to the emergency room with it in the last several months.

By the way, don't tell anyone I told you, but the Little Woman has the Big 5-0 on March 1.
BACK TO THAT HAITI THING. The only good thing about Haiti is that YOU CAN BLAME IT ON THE FRENCH! Although Christopher Columbs discovered island, they gave it to the French in 1697. The French, utilizing their eternally close ties to Africa, imported zillions of slaves that became the population there.

Independence came in 1804, so this anarchy is really just their Bicentenial celebration. In case you wanted to go, I regret to inform you that the Department of Tourism is closed until further notice.

Here is a reason not to go: the median age there is 17.9 years! No wonder they are in trouble. In a nation smaller than Maryland, they have more than 250,000 people with AIDS. Half the population practices voodoo. Half the population can read. No word on whether it is the same half.

Well, actually, there is one other good thing about Haiti. You can also blame it on Jimmy Carter.

I wonder if he's French?
HE WAS ALWAYS THE QUIET ONE. An investigation has ensued after a man in his 70s called to say that his brother, also in his 70s, had died. Police arrive to find the body decomposing. Estimates of time of death are, oh, 18 months ago!
The presidential election is not the only race going on. There is the marriage race. Joan Collins is trying to catch Elizabeth "who's left" Taylor. Collins, 70, married her 5th husband, who is 37, and is closing in on Liz. Collins said the secret to success in marriage is being on the same wave length. I wonder how she knows? Or is it just the only alternative left?
Haiti appears to be in the throws of a coup, although it apparently took several days before people noticed it was worse that usual there. The opposition has taken nine towns. 40 people have died. It is almost as bad as gang activity in Los Angeles.

To prove their political points, the most notable activity has been looting television sets from stores.

The government states that it will take back the towns. No one is sure why. Also, they need a plan. The last one did not work too well, as they used the police, several of whom were shot or hung and their bodies mutilated. Sources say it is even worse that Mardi Gras.

This is another place we should just fence off and wait until someone calls and says that civilization has been established. But, they would probably have to call us collect.
Stop in the name of Love. Diana Ross is going to jail. She has received a sentence of 2 days in jail for driving under the influence and I don't mean of love. It is pretty minor, but it is the first time I have seen a celebrity go to jail for dwi or dui. It could mean her star has dimmed to the level that she is treated like ordinary people. Chances are, before the 2 days are up, she'll be singing "Inside Out".
Remember when Al was in the White House? You may not remember much, because he spent a lot of time on the phone in illegal fund raising, but his president was involved with Iraq a lot. What did the Bill and Al show think about Saddam and Iraq? Take it from CNN at the time.

The president said Iraq's refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors presented a threat to the entire world.

"Saddam (Hussein) must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons," Clinton said.

"Earlier today I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. " Clinton said.

"Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors," said Clinton.

Clinton also stated that, while other countries also had weapons of mass destruction, Hussein is in a different category because he has used such weapons against his own people and against his neighbors.

In the words of the song, how could it be wrong when it feels so right?
Listening to Al Gore foam at the mouth comparing Bush to Nixon and Iraq to Vietnam, I feel constrained to remind Junior that the Vietnam War was largely a Democrat war. The major escalation and prosecution of the war was by a liberal democrat, one Lyndon Johnson. Johnson did not run for reelection partly because he did not want to face the criticism over the war. Remember the big protest at the political convention? That was at the Democratic Convention. Those pictures of cops beating hippies? They were protecting liberal democrats, Al. Somebody get his guy a shot. I'm afraid he has rabies.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Here is an interesting question for you. Does the Mel Gibson movie violate the 2nd Commandment? In the NKJV, it goes like this: You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.

Certainly film is not a carved image, but it is an image, and an image of God in this instance. I do not know if anyone will worship the image of Christ in the movie, but I do not think I could rule it out. Regardless, there is a prohibition of making an image. God intended Israel to have an "imageless" worship, according to the Geneva Bible.

Isaiah 40:18 says To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?

Deuteronomy 4:15-16 says Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, lest you act corruptly and make for ourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male of female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth.

Baptists through the years have criticized Roman Catholics for their statues and images. Most Baptist churches have one or two themselves. Notable is the picture of the golden blonde Jesus facing slightly left. Also famous in the painting of Jesus knocking on the door to remind of the most abused passage in the Bible.

There is also a popular stained glass window of Jesus carrying the lost sheep, and some of him simply looking out with arms outstretched as if to say did you not read the Old Testament?

Well, I am not sure. Tell me what you think. You can e-mail me at

No pictures please.
A kind of creepy thing happened today in church. A man gave a plug for the Mel Gibson film. (It is still really hard for me to say "Passion" in church). He had been to a special screening and the pastor aske him to plug it.

While he plugged, he cited the Rick Warren book, as "Chapter 30 of the Purpose Driven Life says..." I know ole Rick is really popular right now, but I prefer a quote from the Bible, thank you very much.

It really reminded me of a speech I went to in the psychology department at college. The speaker was a disciple of B. F. Skinner. He held a copy of "Beyond Walden Pond" in his hand like a New Testament. I managed a peek at the book, and large sections were underlined or highlighted just like a Bible student would do. I thought it telling.

I am probably overreacting, but it the popularity of TPDL makes me a bit nervous. I am all for it spurring people on to discipleship and evangelism. Hopefully it will not become a cult.

What would a Rick Warren cult look like? Would we all have to wear flowery shirts and no socks? I hate not wearing socks. It makes my feet sweat and my shoes stick to the bottom of my fee. Eventually the whole thing smells like the Dallas Mavericks locker room after blowing a large lead and losing the game.

Even those guys who wore black Nikes and killed themselves to get to the space ship wore socks.

That is also one good thing about that Nation of Islam bunch. They dress really nice. They wear suits and bowties and starched shirts. Only now they are shilling for Michael Jackson. I sure it is all very sweet and charming. They do not seem to have much in common. He dresses like he has a Sargeant Pepper complex. Maybe he thinks he is Billy Shears.

Anyway, Brandon tells me he goes to a Purpose Driven Church in New York. Do they wear socks there since it is cold?

Friday, February 06, 2004

The annual pilrimage to Mecca is going on now, with Muslims making the mandatory march to Mecca. This has been an even more spectacular year than most. This year, during the annual stone the devil rock throw, 244 people were killed in only 27 minutes. This makes the war with Iraq pale doesn't it?

Part of the frenzy may have come because someone wrote "USA" on one of the pillars and the crowd surged forward to throw stones at it, making the USA not only Saudi Arabia's biggest ally, but the greatest satan. Thanks guys!

I think we should pull out and let the Saud family go it alone. We could have a betting pool I don't think they'd last 2 years.

We are the only hated ones. Europe appears to be warming up for round 2. At a recent soccer game against Israel, the peaceable Belgium fans shouted "death to Jews" and "Jews to the gas chamber".

It's too bad those Belgians don't go to Mecca.
Have you ever read the Preamble to the Constitution of the State of Texas? It says "Humbly invoking the blessings of Almighty God, the people of the State of Texas, do ordain and establish this Constitution."
A 19 year old convicted felon walked onto a plane at LAX with no ticket and hid in the bathroom. National Security problems aside, this story will really aggravate traveling Americans. How can it be that a normal person can hardly get on a plane, and a 19 year old felon in sunglasses can just walk on without a ticket?

On one of our last trips to the airport, security pulled out our 75 year old friend, searched her luggage, and questioned her for 15 minutes over her knitting needles. This produced one of the world's funniest stories. My wife will dine out for years on the strength of it. Other than the fact that the woman could talk you to death, who would she be a threat to?

America is becoming a place where it is easier to beat the system than to obey it.

Monday, February 02, 2004

DEMOCRATS ARE BAD FOR THE ECONOMY! It is not fair for the Democratic candidates to complain about a loss of jobs in the economy when they are laying off staff members! Under Democratic principles, should not the candidates eschew their own funds to keep their staffs at full employment?