Tuesday, May 31, 2005

"There is something about a Republican that you can only stand for just so long. On the other hand, there is something about a Democrat that you can't stand for quite that long." -- Will Rogers
DEEP THROAT REVEALED. Apparently the best kept secret of modern American politics has been revealed. Mr. W. Mark Felt admits that he was “Deep Throat”, the anonymous source for Woodward and Bernstein during the Nixon Administration’s Watergate coverup.

At the time, Mr. Felt was the third highest official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During that time, and ever since, speculation has run wild on the identity of the informant. Felt was normally mentioned in the top 5 suspects.

President Nixon thought Mr. Felt was Deep Throat. He believed the FBI to be hostile to him. Felt also appears to have a motive to reveal the information, as he was not selected to be Director General.

Writer James Mann guessed it as far back as 1992, when he wrote an article for Atlantic Monthly naming Felt as the person most likely to be Deep Throat, based on Mann’s analysis of the information provided and who had access to it at the time.

So, what made Felt, now 91, reveal his identity? I do not know, but there are some possibilities. First, former White House Counsel John Dean has threatened to reveal what he knows about it soon. Second, Ronald Kessler, another former reporter for The Washington Post, has written a book, about to be released, that is supposed to name Felt also, although Felt denied to Kessler that he was Deep Throat. Third, tons of documents concerning the Nixon Administration were recently declassified and made available to the public.

Monday, May 30, 2005

THE SOUND OF SILENCE. I find it interesting that Muslims over the world protest an unsubstantiated claim that U.S. personnel mishandled the Koran, while Muslims are bombing the mosques of other Muslims with no outcry at all. In the latest, two suicide bombers attacked a mosque in southern Pakistan, killing three people plus the bombers. In addition, eighteen people were wounded at the Shi'ite Mandinatul Ilm mosque in Karachi. I'm not hearing or reading any outcry from Muslims over the world. Where are the riots, the condemnations by Mullahs, and the blazing rhetoric of Islamic media?

They are nowhere, because it is not the United States they can blame. Hopefully, the rest of the world will note the hypocrisy as well.
P. U. to the E. U. France has rejected the constitution of the European Union. Despite the fact that the French government has continually pushed the EU as the organization that rivals the United States, French voters soundly defeated the constitution. President Jacques Chirac immediately began firing his subordinates in a Nixonian shakeup designed to save face with the French people. In other words, he is saying maybe if I fire enough people the voters will think it was their fault not mine, even though I supported it.

The defeat in France is a major blow to the E.U., since France is a big player, at least politically. The value of the Euro began to sink after the vote.

More bad news will follow, as the Netherlands will vote Wednesday. Opposition is even stronger there than in France. Nearly 70 percent of voters turned out to vote, and about 55 percent of French voters opposed the constitution. The French government has long been out of step with its people, as parliament favored the constitution along with the executive branc. Polls showed a fear for jobs and generally being “fed up” with the status quo fueled the "no" vote.

By the way, just in case you want to compare the liberal model with the conservative model, France has a 10 percent unemployment rate.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. "We are wild and useless olive trees till we are grafted into Christ, who, by His living root, makes us fruit-bearing branches" John Calvin.

Friday, May 27, 2005

CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. The goal of the new life is that God's children exhibit melody and harmony in their conduct. What melody? The song of God's justice. What harmony? The harmony between God's righteousness and our obedience. Only if we walk in the beauty of god's law do we become sure of our adoption as children of the Father. John Calvin.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

UPDATE. In case you wondered, bloggin has been light because working has been heavy. Yesterday I worked from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., almost exclusively on physician contracts with the hospital. We had four contracts going for different medical groups. Each contract is about 40 pages long. At one point we were reviewing several at one time and three different people were making comments at the same time. I finally said, how is it you folks think I alone can write down the comments of 3 people on 3 contracts at 1 time? No one had an answer, so things calmed down a bit.

I got home about 9 p.m. The College Daughter was still there and we watched the Alias finale together. It was just like old times. We turned out all the lights and turned up the sound. It was a good episode with a "bang up" ending.

The Baby was also there, along with her red headed, absent minded girl friend. Unfortunately, Tall Boy was not in attendance. We have to continually remind Red Head of the rule: NO ONE TALKS DURING ALIAS!!! You may only talk during commercials, and then it should be about the show.

Tonight the Baby has a graduation party, thrown by our good friends the Shoemakers. The Baby invited friends and paired them up with coordinated costumes. She even told them all which character the would be and made them get costumes. Where did she get this bossiness?

The Baby also spoke at "Backstage", the youth gathering on Wednesday night at our church. I wanted to sneak in and hear her, but work kept me tied up too late.

College Daughter went back home today, but will be back Saturday. Yeah. Oh, and I have Monday off for Memorial Day. Double Yeah for me.

So, life continues at its frantic pace. I need grace to survive. Today I thought of the verse in Isaiah that says those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. That is my prayer ever day. Renew my strength.

Oh, and I also pray God will let me live long enough to pay the bills.
HERE COMES THE JUDGE - FINALLY. After 4 years of patient endurance, the Honorable Priscilla Owen has become a judge on the 5th circuit court of appeals. Judge Owen has been on the Texas Supreme Court. She has endured much criticism and obstructionism from Democrats who oppose the President and Christians in general. She is a Christian and has conducted herself as one throughout the process. Congratulations your honor. Hope you find a good church in New Orleans.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

SOVEREIGNTY VS. COOPERATION: The Theology of Charles Stanley. I listened to Charles Stanley this morning on the radio as I drove to work. He preached from Romans 8:28. I was shocked at what he said.

The verse says the following: And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB)

Mr. Stanley said God would work in all circumstances for our good as long as we react in the right way. He must have been using some amplified version, for the text has no such addition or qualification in any of my Bibles.

This passage presents God as firmly in control, as does the whole of Scripture, because God is sovereign over all things. The passage teaches that God does this work in the life of the Believer because he predestined them to become conformed to the image of Christ.

This is the problem with Arminian theology and the emphasis on the supposed free will of men and women. It is man, and woman, centered, so it reinterprets scripture from man’s view point rather than God’s. I think it is funny that I spent my childhood hearing that God was omnipotent, and my adulthood hearing that man is more powerful than God and God is here to serve man.

God has brought many a saint to his or her knees without cooperation. He has used suffering, deprivation, grief, loss, tragedy, pain, and blessings to do his work on Believers. He does this for their good, as the passage teaches. We, in fact, often pray that God will violate the will of someone we know. We ask God to change his or her heart because we know, left to their own devices, they will not obey God. That is the teaching of scripture. Paul cries out in Romans 7 that even he cannot escape the corrupting influence of the sin nature without the power of God.

It is time for Evangelicals to divorce themselves from the philosophical humanism that elevates man to equality with God. Psalm 103:19 says The Lord has established His throne in the heavens and His sovereignty rules over all. It does not say he rules only over those who cooperate with his rule. Isaiah also tells us that God will not share his glory with another. When you elevate man’s will to the level of God’s will, you are attempting to share his glory.

Stop it.

Friday, May 20, 2005

DEAD AND DRYING. The Dead Sea is drying up. The water level has dropped 80 feet or so and the surface area has declined by at least one third over the last 50 years. The water level now drops about 3 feet per year. The reason is that the Jordan River has gone dry.

There are several reasons the river is dry. First, much of it is diverted for drinking water. Second, industries capture the water and let it evaporate to harvest minerals from the water.

The Dead Sea is the saltiest large body of water in the world. The good news about that is that the water will eventually become supersaturated with salt and evaporation will stop. When this happens the surface of the Dead Sea will be one-third smaller and about 434 feet lower than today. But it will never completely dry up.

The other problem is sewage. At the northernmost source of water for the lower river, a drain pumps out 720,000 gallons of raw sewage every day. From there down to the Dead Sea, the Jordan River is basically a sewage canal.

Don't look for many baptisms. But, if everything continues as it is, we may all be able to cross over Jordan on foot.
ROYALS. Did you think royalty was dead? There are still many countries with constitutional monarchies, although many of them are "figure heads".

Here is a list:
Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua, Solomon Islands, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tuvalu, U.K., Samoa, Lesotho, Malaysia, Swaziland, Tonga, Bahrain, Belgium, Bhutan, Cambodia, Denmark, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Nepal, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and the Netherlands.

Can you image being king of Tonga? Talk about being a big fish in a small pond. Actually, the royal family there has something to be proud of. When missionaries came to the island, the king converted and established the "Free Church of Tonga".

I think being king of Antigua might be nice. You could build you castle on the beach. Then, when you said you got royally sunburned, you would be doubly accurate.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

STILL NOT SAFE. The Texas Legislature has not been able to get much done this session, especially regarding the school financing issue. They did manage to find time and consensus, though, to increase their own retirement benefits. To protect themselves from their constituents, they voted on an unrecorded voice vote. This is both cowardly and duplicitous. Since the vote was unanimous in the Senate, you might be able to figure out who voted for it anyway. I did not say they were smart, I said duplicitous.

Just to add insult to injury, the Senate reduced benefits for the Teacher Retirement System.

For comparison, a Senator with 25 years of service can collect a pension of almost $75,000 per year plus health insurance. One teacher with 25 years of service said he receives about $12,000, after paying for health insurance. Oh, and Senators work in Austin about 140 days per year.

No man's life or lands are safe while the Texas Legislature is in session.
FIRST THING, LET'S KILL ALL THE CHRISTIANS. The Associated Press reports that the American Civil Liberties Union (or Anti Christian Lawsuit Union) asked a federal judge to jail public school teachers and administrators for violating a court-imposed ban on school prayers.

The ACLU claims an elementary school teacher prayed in her fourth-grade class, encouraged students to bring their Bibles to school (Oh, the Horror!), and held Bible studies in the cafeteria.

In case you think I exaggerate the animosity of the the ACLU to Christianity, their officials told the court the school officials' violation of the prayer ban "must result in their removal from society."

I'm not sure if they mean imprisonment in the Gulag, exile to France, or execution.
CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. All the promises of God in the Old Testament are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. That is, when you have Christ, sooner or later you will have both Christ himself and all else that God promised through Christ. John Piper
HELL. Read David Heddle's excellent sermon on Hell here.
TODAY'S IRONY. With my finely tuned sense of irony, I note today that the hospital cafeteria is donating all proceeds to the American Heart Asssociation.

The menu is barbecue, with a choice of 2 meats or 4 meats.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. It is laid down as a firm foundation, that “known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world,” Acts 15:18. Every thing, then, that in any respect may be called his work, is known unto him from all eternity. John Owen, The Display of Arminianism.
TWO STEPPIN". 21st Century Reformation has a good post today on the problems caused by Arminian and Dispensational theologies that de-emphasize the life of sanctification.
BOAST IN THE LORD. I received this by email. "The next time you feel like GOD can't use you, just remember:

Noah was a drunk

Abraham was too old

Isaac was a daydreamer

Jacob was a liar

Leah was ugly

Joseph was abused

Moses had a stuttering problem

Gideon was afraid

Rahab was a prostitute

Jeremiah and Timothy were too young

Elijah was suicidal

Isaiah preached naked

Jonah ran from God

Naomi was a widow

Job went bankrupt

Peter denied Christ

Zaccheus was too small

Paul was too religious

Samson had long hair and was a womanizer

David had an affair and was a murderer

The Disciples fell asleep while praying

Martha worried about everything

Mary Magdalene was….well you know

The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once

Timothy had an ulcer

AND Lazarus was dead!

Now! No more excuses! God can use you. "

Yes, I know some liberties were taken. But it reminded me of 1 Corinthians 1:26 and following: Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the follish 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.

Rather than boast in ourselves, we glorify God. When people say we are insignificiant, we say yes, but God is significant. When people say the church is full of weak people, we say yes, but God is strong enough to glorify himself through these weak people. We boast in the Lord.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. Because the glory of the Lord, the Head, is bound up with the condition of the body, the disordered church can only dishonor its Lord. J. I. Packer
CULTURE WARS. James Orr said “It need not further be denied that between this view of the world involved in Christianity, and what is sometimes called 'the modern view of the world' there exists a deep and radical antagonism." Mr. Orr said this a long time ago, but it is still true.

The reason it is still true is that Christianity insists on maintaining that it is true permanently and universally. Jesus was not a postmodernist. He did not talk about “his truth” or “a truth”. He said he was THE TRUTH. He said he was the only way to the Father. He said he was the Alpha and Omega, meaning he is permanent and unchanging.

Culture changes while Christ remains the same. So the clash is on. As the culture changes, it accuses the Church of holding it back. That is an accurate charge. The church is conservative. It conserves the truth of Christ over the millennia until Christ comes back to prove the point.

Sometimes, however, parts of the Church want to accommodate the culture. Opposing abortion or homosexuality does not play well in the Big City. It is hard to resist the beauty contest. Even church people want to stand on the runway wearing the tiara and listening to the applause of the world. Listen closely and you can hear it.

Loyola College, a Catholic college, is planning to stand on the runway. Loyola invited Rudy Giuliani to speak at commencement. It even plans to give him an honorary degree. What a coup this is in terms of publicity and popularity! Giuliani is one of the most popular politicians in America. He is even Catholic. What could be better?

Well, it could be better if he was a Catholic that followed the principles of the church and Christianity in general. RG supports abortion on demand, for example. Oops. The Catholic Church is opposed to abortion. Most of conservative Christianity is opposed to abortion. So, why have a guy come speak to your graduates if he does not believe what you believe? You do it because he is popular and will make the school look good to the World. You will be cool and beautiful. Can you hear the applause yet?

Loyola's President says Giuliani is a "courageous figure, a man whose leadership and resolute response to the attacks of September 11 represents the ideal of citizenship and public service. The mayor's presence will no doubt be both inspirational and meaningful…”

That is an eloquent way to say “You’re trying to hold us back!”

And, if he is inspirational and meaningful, not to mention very popular, why should it matter if his theology is bad? It matters because we were not called to be popular. The head guy was not popular, remember? Jesus said they would persecute us because they persecuted him. We are called to be theological, however. Jesus said if we hold to this teaching, then are we his disciples.

The good news is, while the Church is standing at the end of the runway, waving from the wrist and smiling through teeth rubbed with Vaseline, waiting for the applause to begin, there is always a guy in the front row shouting: “That is not how we are supposed to do it! This isn’t right. It isn’t Biblical. Stop this insanity.”

Sometimes they are called prophets, sometimes trouble makers, sometimes both. They often end up in a pit, or a least not invited to the really great parties. Jeremiah said
“yet they have dug a pit for me.” They sure did not invite him to any parties.

This time it is Jack Ames, founder of the Defend Life. He is insisting that the college stick to its theological moorings in its choice of a speaker. Ames said "It is unconscionable for Loyola College -- a Catholic institution -- to host Rudy Giuliani given his outspoken support of abortion-on-demand, which stands in direct opposition to the infallible teachings of the Catholic Church and his own self-proclaimed faith."

Actually, the college should consider inviting Ames to speak. He is no slouch. He said "Loyola's rationale for inviting Giuliani is exactly why he should be disqualified. While recognizing the impact that 9/11 -- which took the lives of over 3,000 innocent Americans -- has had on these graduates, Loyola is failing to realize the unmistakable impact that legalized abortion has had on that entire generation."

Ames went on to say “every day, more than 3,500 babies are killed by surgical abortion, meaning a full one-third of this graduating class's generation has been eliminated because of those who support so-called choice."

Sometimes those who accuse you of holding them back are actually in the church, and not outside it, as here. They tell you not to sweat the small stuff (theology) as long as the approach “works”. Measuring the way it works usually involves the number in attendance or the amount of money raised.

Mr. Ames is not buying it.

God did not seem to buy it either. He told Jeremiah, “the days are coming when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh.” God wants his people to fight the culture war, not surrender and sit it out rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Otherwise, he may take corrective action.

Facts for this post came from an article by Susan Jones at CNSNews.com.
A QUESTION FOR ZONDERVAN PUBLISHING. If the TNIV is "gender accurate", does that mean the NIV is gender inaccurate?
FREE TO BE SICK. Dr. Raphael Levey, founder of the Global Medical Forum, says "A relatively small percentage of the population consumes the vast majority of the health-care budget for diseases that are very well known and by and large behavioral." That is, they're sick because of how they choose to live their lives, not because of environmental or genetic factors beyond their control. Continued Levey: "Even as far back as when I was in medical school" -- he enrolled at Harvard in 1955 -- "many articles demonstrated that 80% of the health-care budget was consumed by five behavioral issues."

Those five are smoking, drinking, eating, and stress, and not enough exercise.

That leads me to two conclusions. National (socialized) health care is even more preposterous than I thought, as it means you have to pay for other people's vices. Second, Free Will is not all it's cracked up to be.

Monday, May 16, 2005

CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. Not long after arose the millenarians, who limited the reign of Christ to a thousand years. Their fiction is too puerile to deserve refutation. John Calvin, Institutes, Book III; Chap. 25, Sec. 5.
CHURCH AND CULTURE. Douglas Wilson has an interesting post on the role of the church in the culture at Blog and Magog.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. Think you that the apostles would have started out from the little corner of Palestine to convert the Greco-Roman world to a new religion, if their vision had been confined to earth? Apart from the power and promise of God, the preaching of such a religion as Christianity, to such a population as that of paganism, is the sheerest Quixotism. It crosses all the inclinations and condemns all the pleasures of guilty man. The preaching of the gospel finds its justification, its wisdom, and its triumph, only in the attitude and relation which the infinite and almighty God sustains to it. It is His religion, and therefore it must ultimately become a universal religion. W. G.T. Shedd,

Friday, May 13, 2005

CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. Now if future events are foreknown to God, they cannot by any possibility take a turn contrary to His knowledge. If the course of future events is foreknown, history will follow that course as definitely as a locomotive follows the rails from New York to Chicago.

The Arminian doctrine, in rejecting foreordination, rejects the theistic basis for foreknowledge. Common sense tells us that no event can be foreknown unless by some means, either physical or mental, it has been predetermined. Our choice as to what determines the certainty of future events narrows down to two alternatives — the foreordination of the wise and merciful heavenly Father, or the working of blind, physical fate.

The Socinians and Unitarians, while not so evangelical as the Arminians, are at this point more consistent; for after rejecting the foreordination of God, they also deny that He can foreknow the acts of free agents. They hold that in the very nature of the case it cannot be known how the person will act until the time comes and the choice is made.

This view of course reduces the prophecies of Scripture to shrewd guesses at best, and destroys the historic Christian view of the Inspiration of the Scriptures. It is a view which has never been held by any recognized Christian church. Some of the Socinians and Unitarians have been bold enough and honest enough to acknowledge that the reason which led them to deny God's certain foreknowledge of the future acts of men, was, that if this be admitted it would be impossible to disprove the Calvinistic doctrine of Predestination.

Loraine Boettner, The Foreknowledge of God.
HOW TO DESTROY AMERICA. A friend recently sent me the following from a speech by Richard D. Lamm, the former governor of Colorado. I have not had time to research it to make sure it is genuine, but it is sufficiently thought provoking to post. The theme of the speech was "How To Destroy America?" Here is how, in 10 easy steps.

1. "Turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual.

"The historical scholar Seymour Lipset put it this way: 'The histories of bilingual and bi-cultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy.' Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided.

Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans."

2. "Invent 'multiculturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences. I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds."

3. "We could make the United States an 'Hispanic Quebec' without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: 'The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentrically and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.'"

4. "I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America reinforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities."

5. "I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school."

6. "Get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.' I would get all minorities to think their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population."

7. "Include dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other - that is, when they are not killing each other."

"A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games. A common enemy Persia threatened their liberty.. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to over come two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. "E. Pluribus Unum" -- >From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the 'pluribus' instead of the 'unum,' we can balkanize America as surely as Kosovo."

8. "Place all subjects off limits ~ make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' I would find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like 'racist' or 'xenophobe' halt discussion and debate."

9. "Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturist, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of 'Victimology,' I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them."

10. "Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis's book Mexifornia. His book is dangerous.. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel America deserves to be destroyed, don't read that book."

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. Paul knew how ready men are to depart or fall off from pure doctrine. For this reason he earnestly cautions Timothy not to turn aside from that form of teaching which he had received, and to regulate his manner of teaching by the rule which had been laid down; not that we ought to be very scrupulous about words, but because to misrepresent doctrine, even in the smallest degree, is exceedingly injurious. John Calvin, Commentary on 2 Timothy
ANOTHER NIXON. Edward Cox, the son-in-law of Richard Nixon, will run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Hillary Clinton. Cox married Tricia Nixon in the White House in 1971 and was pictured with her on the cover of Time Magazine. Many people my age watched it on television. Cox is a lawyer and worked in the Reagan administration.

BLONDE JOKE III. A police officer pulled a blonde over for driving erratically. She explained, "I was driving down the road,when all of a sudden a tree appeared right in the middle ofthe road. I swerved sharply to the right, but there wasanother tree. I turned to the left, and another treeappeared. No matter if I turned left or right, trees magically appeared in the road."Shaking his head the officer said, "Ma'am, that's your airfreshener."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. Why does God shape his children’s lives in a way that keeps them feeling weak and swamped? Why do believers constantly find thorns in their flesh and in their beds? Why does the God of sovereign love periodically plunge his beloved ones in to suffering and strain? Paul’s testimony tells us partly why. “We were under great pressure . . . this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God.” “We who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.” “For Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 1:8 f., 4:11, 12:10). Exactly!

What the world never understands and those who think that the good Christian feels strong and powerful and has life easy never understands is that only consciously weak souls ever lean hard enough on the Lord to stand steady or walk straight in his risen power. Weakness is the true path, the only healthy way. J. I. Packer, “The Way of the Weak Is the Only Healthy Way”, Eternity Magazine, November 1987.
BLONDE JOKE II: HILLARY IN THE NEWS. Senator Hillary Clinton normally likes to be in the news. She has risen to a prominent political position as the wife of a former president, senator, and presidential hopeful.

Now, however, she is in the news as the possible recipient of illegal campaign funds. Her former finance director, David Rosen, is on trial and facing a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. He is accused of filing false campaign finance statements.

The case centers on a “gala” thrown to raise money for Ms. Clinton’s campaign for the United States Senate. Mr. Rosen is accused of understating the cost of the event in order to increase the amount of funds available to the campaign. The case was investigated by the FBI. The issue came to light when Peter Paul plead guilty to securities fraud in March and told the FBI he gave money to Hillary Clinton that she did not report. He claimed to have spent $1.1 million, while Rosen reported $400,000. Paul, by the way, is a felon with 3 convictions. (Strange choice of donors, heh?) Paul claims now that Hillary Clinton defrauded him.

Paul said "One thing about Hillary, she was very attentive to the little details. I believe she is genuinely considerate in that way. The very next day [after the Hollywood fund-raiser], she sent me a thank-you note, partially handwritten, in which she said: 'Your ongoing support of my Senate candidacy is especially important to me, and I am grateful for your continued friendship.”

Senator Clinton will not be helped by a new book written by the man who organized the Hollywood gala. His name is Aaron Tonken, and he is in jail. His book is called "King of Cons: Exposing the Dirty, Rotten Secrets of the Washington Elite and Hollywood Celebrities". Sublety is not his forte.

Tonken organized the event and obtained the presence of some celebrity types, including Cher, Patti LaBelle, Sugar Ray, Toni Braxton, Melissa Etheridge, Michael Bolton, Paul Anka and Diana Ross. Entertainers like politicians. Politicians like entertainers. They have a lot in common. They both like publicity and money.

Tonken also bought gifts for the Clintons. He gave Bill a custom made humidor and a handmade gold watch. He gave Hillary a necklace that cost eight thousand dollars. However, Hillary did not like it and returned it.

Tonken is now a felon, also. He plead guilty year to mail fraud and wire fraud. He was sentenced to 63 months in prison with a whopping $3.79 million in restitution to the donors and event underwriters he cheated. Tonken claims much of the money he took was to buy expensive gifts for the attending celebrities, including chartered jets. Everything comes at a price.

When Tonken was caught, he implicated Rosen in the fraud. Tonken said "David Rosen, Hillary Clinton's director of finance, worked out of our offices and knew about every dime that was being spent. More than that, he participated in the spending."

Tonken said he specifically told Rosen about campaign fraud. He said he told Rosen about his idea to launder a big donation to make it appear as many donations from small donors. He wanted to ask a Democratic donor to donate $40 thousand, deposit the money in one of Tonken’s accounts, give the money out in smaller amounts to 20 or 30 people who would donate it to the campaign. Tonken said Rosen approved the scam.

Tonken further said the idea to minimize expense reporting was Rosen’s. The FBI affidavit in the case states: "The costs exceeded $1 million, but the required forms filed by New York Senate 2000 ... months after the event incorrectly disclosed that the cost of the event was only $523,000."

Tonken also implicated Hillary Clinton. He said he explained to her what he was doing and how he was doing it while he was alone with her during a campaign in Los Angeles. He said "I told her about virtually every penny I'd spent on her behalf. I let her know what I was doing and had done for each event of hers. I spoke about the money and what a pleasure and honor it was to spend it on her candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Once and for all, I wanted it clear in her mind who was the person really doing things for her."

Tonken maintains that he continued to commit fraud after the FBI contacted him and sought his cooperation. Knowing the investigation was being conducted, he said he continued to conduct charity events where fraud occurred.

Between the trial and the book, lots of light should shine on Ms. Clinton’s fund raising.
Another interesting thing will be to see how much the mainstream press reports. They have been active in pursuit of Tom Delay. Let’s see if they use the same vigor to pursue the current Hero of the Left.
BLONDE JOKE I. Paris Hilton on why Marilyn Monroe is her inspiration:

"I love Marilyn Monroe. I think she was the coolest blonde. I think like me she just didn't care what anyone thinks. She's happy. She's smiling. I don't know, I just always thought she was so beautiful and she just seemed, like, magical."

I think she missed the part about MM being depressed and committing suicide.

Monday, May 09, 2005

CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. Honoured Sir, how could it enter into your heart to choose a text to disprove the doctrine of election out of Romans 8, where this doctrine is so plainly asserted? George Whitefield's letter to John Wesley after Wesley's sermon against predestination.
FAKE EVOLUTION. You should read David Heddle's post about fake photographs used in textbooks to promote evolution. One thing evolutionists do not believe in is survival of the fittest ideas. Go to helives.blogspot.com

I would provide the link, but the icon for this has disappeared from the Blogger screen.

Friday, May 06, 2005

NOTES ON IRAQ I. Soldiers today found the bodies of 12 people who had been executed and buried in a garbage dump in Baghdad. This is why we went there, to stop this kind of thing. Humans treated as garbage. Our soldiers are fighting the good fight.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. "Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which he regenerates, sanctifies and saves sinners. It is perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility. It encourages the use of means in the highest degree." The Baptist Faith & Message 1925.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. In Adam's creation God put us, without any preceding merits on our part, in the state of original righteousness. After the fall, according to the same sovereign prerogative, He put us, as Adam's descendants, in the state of unrighteousness, imputing Adam's guilt to each personally. And in exactly the same manner He now justifies the ungodly, i.e., He places him, without any previous merit on his part, in the state of righteousness according to His own holy and inviolable prerogative. Abraham Kuyper, The Work of the Holy Spirit (1900).

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

ENTERING MINISTRY. Go here to read John Piper's article on 10 ways to know if God is calling you into full time service.
CALVINIST QUOTE OF THE DAY. Regeneration is absolutely necessary to qualify you to do any thing really good and acceptable to God. While you are not born again, your best works are but glittering sins; for though the matter of them is good, they are quite marred in the performance. Thomas Boston, "You Must Be Born Again".

Monday, May 02, 2005

PAGING. Working on the Short South Side of town, as the cops used to call it, provides many interesting observations. Today I drove by a store on Hemphill Street called Krystal's. It adverstised "Beer, Wine, and Pagers". I thought that an unlikely combination, but maybe they have to page you when your beer is ready.