Monday, December 28, 2009

John MacArthur reviews the preaching of Oral Roberts here.

Here is the money quote:

"Tragically, the Seed-Faith message usurped and utterly replaced whatever gospel content there ever may have been in Oral Roberts' preaching," MacArthur lamented. "The reason for that is obvious: the message of the cross – an atoning sacrifice for sins wrought through Jesus' sufferings – frankly doesn't mesh very well with the notion that God guarantees health, wealth, and prosperity to the righteous."

I remember when, as a young lawyer, I went to the home of an elderly couple to talk to them about their will. The husband was ill and dying. Their coffee table was stacked with paperback books from Oral Roberts about healing. They were sending money to him continuously and doing everything the books said to do. He desperately wanted to live.

He died weeks after we signed the will.

I wonder what his wife did with the books.

The citizens of both countries do not like the things their government is doing and are loudly protesting.

The governments of both countries are ignoring their citizens and doing what they want.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

O Holy Night, or abolitionist theme song?

This song is a standard for Christmas Eve church services and programs. It is an old Christmas standard, plus lends itself to dramatic presentation.

However, like many songs we sing, including some in our hymnals, the words we know to this song are not the original words.

The original text to this song, or “carol” if you prefer, was written in French as a poem in 1847 by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure. It was titled “Mi­nuit, chré­tiens, c’est l’heure so­len­nelle”. Here are the lyrics, translated into English.

Midnight, Christians, it's the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin

And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.

People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,

Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
It's for all of us that He is born,
That He suffers and dies.

People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!

These words are Biblical. (Although my Arminian brothers might squirm a bit.) They deal with incarnation, original sin, God’s wrath on sin removed by the Savior, humility before God, worship and celebration of salvation.

But, you say, I never heard these words! That is true, because someone changed them before you heard them.

That someone was John Sullivan Dwight, an American Transcendentalist , Unitarian and abolitionist.

A Unitarian does not believe in the deity of Christ. He believes Jesus was a prophet and good man, but not God or God’s son.

The Transcendentalists came out of Unitarianism, stressing the inner essence of man as capable of finding and celebrating truth and beauty and unity with all mankind. (It reminds me of my hippy friends in the ‘60s and ‘70s, all carrying around their paperback copies of Walden Pond.)

In short, Dwight was not a Christian, not a Trinitarian and not a believer in Jesus as savior in the orthodox sense. Therefore, he did not translate the lyrics, but changed them and adapted the thought to his philosophy.

Given Dwight’s religion and philosophy, you can see why he changed the reference from ending God’s wrath on original sin to “the soul felt its worth”. In other words, Jesus showed us our worth, rather than our need for salvation. This may be why this song is so popular today, it says Jesus came to raise my self esteem.

Much of the English lyrics are abolitionist. Though the original had a reference to slave and brother, it has greater emphasis in Dwight’s version.

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.

There is nothing about atonement, or turning away the wrath of God, but in universal brotherhood and the defeat of slavery. At least it does not tell me I should “fall in love with Jesus”.

"My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift." Father Tim Jones, Anglican priest.

"You shall not steal." Exodus 20:15

"You shall not steal." Leviticus 19:11

"And you shall not steal." Deuteronomy 5:19

"You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20

"Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." Ephesians 4:28

"But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler."
1 Peter 4:15

Any questions?

Rasmussen has a “Daily Presidential Tracking Poll”. It shows that the majority of Americans do not approve of the job the President is doing. In fact, almost half (46%) “strongly disapprove” of the President. Fifty-three percent (53%) of men strongly disapprove.

Only 25% of the nation's voters strongly approve of the way the President is performing. Thus, compared to the 46% strongly disapprove percentage, his “Presidential Approval Index” rating is -21.

A particularly bad sign for the President is that only 47% of Democrats strongly approve.

Since the majority of Americans do not want the healthcare plan sought by the President, it is no surprise that his negative rating increased since the Senate voted for cloture on the healthcare bill.

An 8-year-old boy was sent home from school and required to undergo psychological evaluation because he drew a stick-figure picture of Christ on the cross. Read the story here.

The man who was the basis for the movie Rain Man, Kim Peek, has died at age 58 of a heart attack. Although people say Rain Man is dead, note that the savant was not Rain Man. That was the name he called his brother Raymond.

Peek had been touring the world in recent years displaying his knowledge and mental abilities, which were truly astounding. He would take questions from an entire room full of people and answer them all, including baseball statistics and the names of cabinet members of former presidents. He read all the time and evidently remembered everything he read. No one really knows how much he knew because no one knew enough to test him. Further, no one really understood how his brain could retain so much.

As great as Peek's learning ability was, I think the real story is that of his father, Fran. Doctors told Fran his son was retarded, would never speak or walk, and advised putting him in an institution. Instead, his father devoted his life to loving and nurturing his unusual son. Even after his wife left him, he continued on. At 80 years of age, he toured the world with his son, taking care of him and all the arrangements. Even though Peek could memorize a telephone directory or count the number of tooth picks in a box, he could not dress or shave himself or otherwise function in the world.

Fran could have had a life devoted to himself, his career, and his pleasures. Instead, he sacrificed for his son. This son originally could not return even the smallest amount of affection, although he did later. So, to me, Kim Peek is an interesting man. Fran, however, is a man of heroic proportions. As the Bible says, greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends, or in this case, his son. So mark down Fran as one of the greatest lovers of all time.

One of the criticisms of democracy is that it allows the majority to oppress the minority. However, in America, the minority is oppressing the majority. A very small minority of a few hundred people on the government dole in Washington D.C. are forcing national healthcare on the majority of Americans who do not want it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Archeologists have discovered the ruins of a house in Nazareth dating from the time of Jesus. Fox News has a story on it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The facts in the previous post help explain why only 22% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing.

What is interesting is that Congress plunges ahead on the same course, despite knowing the people who elected them do not want them to pursue this course. This is both crass and arrogant. It is an attitude that says, I know I am here to serve you, but I know better than you what you should have. Or in the case of people who make any money, what you should not have.

My daddy used to say: insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome.

If the shoe fits...

14.5% of the Obama Administration's $787 billion stimulus package was spent by early autumn.

If the economy needed stimulation so badly, how could you distribute so little of the funds authorized by Congress? Can you imagine having to report that you used less than 20% of your effort to get your job done?

I can only think of two reasons the money was not spent as promised. First, the Administration was too inept to get it done and did not really know how or where to distribute the money.

Second, they knew the economy did not need that much money, but used the recession as a ruse to tax and spend, as the Democrats have wanted to do for a long time.

So, what is the answer: ineptitude or fraud?

Either way, things do not look good for this president and this congress. And, either way, the Administration should give the money back to the people. Just think how stimulating a huge tax refund would be, especially for someone who has just paid for a wedding.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


HERE. Live it up. You only have 5 billion years, give or take.

Monday, December 14, 2009

"I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, "You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself." My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will." Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Pride Surveys reports cigarette smoking is increasing among students ages 11 to 18. The 2009 Survey found that 30-day prevalence of cigarette smoking by students in grades 6-12 rose from 19.4% in 2008 to 19.8% in 2009. This group is composed of kids 13-18 years of age. In broad terms, this means 20% of teen agers are smoking at some rate.

Adults are smoking at about the same rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports cigarette smoking increased slightly for the first time in 15 years among adults. According to the CDC, the percentage of adults who were current cigarette smokers rose from 19.8% in 2007 to 20.6% in 2008 (National Health Interview Survey).

In a country under siege with health care costs, this statistic does not bode well. Cigarette smokers face numerous smoking related diseases. Those who start when they are 13 are almost certain to develop some of these diseases. In addition, those who suffer these diseases often cannot work and go on welfare. Smoking is not a vice whose effect is limited to the participant, the smoker. The rest of us pay dearly for the habit, in money, in time caring for family members with these diseases, and the effects of cigarette smoke on the non-smoker's health, including allergies and cancers caused by second hand smoke.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I received this email today:

You are a proud winner of £ 850,000.00.Please acknowledge the receipt of this mail with the details below to Mr Brian Adams Tell, EMAIL:
Full Names..
Contact Address..
Home Tel/Cell Number..

However, I have decided I have enough and in the spirit of Christmas, I will let anyone who reads this blog claim the prize.

Tell Brian Adams hi for me and may all your dreams come true. Except of course the one where you are being chased by zombies who want to eat you alive and you wake up right before they do in a cold sweat (you not the zombies, zombies don't sweat and neither does chuch norris) and your realize the zombie looks like your first grade teacher of whom you were deathly afraid and now you afraid to go back to sleep but of course this never happens to me.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Faxing As An Example of Time Travel

Since I have been trying to get attorneys to send me their lien reduction requests by email rather than fax, I appreciate this Dilbert cartoon.

I am trying to reduce our paper use and waste. In addition, it is more time efficient to do all the work on an account at the computer and not go to the fax machine.

What I have learned is that only half the attorneys I deal with know how to scan and document and send it by email. The other half is afraid to use email rather than paper.

Attorneys don't like change, unless it is in their income.

You can see pictures here. I wish it had happened here; it must have been beautiful. The cause is yet to be determined, but a failed missle launch by the Russians is postulated.

I have a call in to Tim LaHaye to see if he is still here. If not, I know what it was.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

In a 2008 Pew survey, 47% of evangelicals revealed their belief that other religions can lead to eternal life. It was 57% in 2002.

Jesus claimed exclusive access to eternal life. In John 14:6, he said "no one comes to the Father except through me". (NIV) That is perfectly clear with no room for debate. Did Jesus believe other relgions could lead to eternal life? No.

The famous verse of John 3:16 actually contains this same truth. God loved the world in this way: he sent his one and only son so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. God provided one way for salvation. He has one son who is that way. If you believe in him, you have eternal life. Verse 18 states it in the negative: whoever does not believe does not have eternal life but is condemned.

Since Jesus' claims, as set forth in the Bible, clearly are exclusive, what does this say about the 47% of evangelicals who believe otherwise?

Either they do not believe the Bible contains the words of Jesus, in which case they have othing to believe. Or, they do not believe Jesus told the truth, in which case he is not God's son and cannot be their savior. Or, and I think this one is the answer, 47% of evangelicals are not believers, are not Christians.

And this explains a lot of the problems in Evangelicalism.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Oh, here's an idea. The Salahis should host an event and feature Tiger Woods. They could swap stories. And think of the press they would draw!

They could call it the Liars Ball. They could invite all the famous liars and cheats of the last few years. After dinner, each one could come to the microphone and say their most famous lines. Tiger could say "take your name off your phone". Bill Clinton could say "I did not have sex with that woman". The audience would yell back "which woman?"

They could invite Eliot Spitzer. He might not be able to get his wife to accompany him, but you could invite Ashley Dupree as her substitute, a role she was familiar with.

They could invite all the people in the Obama administration who did not pay their taxes.

That might take all the available room, but if not, you could invite the global warming scientists that trashed data and hid information contrary to their position. Or you could just invite Al Gore, who made a big profit on it.

But, I guess Bernie Madoff will have to appear by phone call. He is otherwise occupied.

Mrs. Salahi has a Facebook page, billing herself as a celebrity and seeking fans.

Here is her entry about crasing the Whitehouse dinner:

I was honored to be invited to attend the First State Dinner hosted by President Obama & the First Lady to honor India.

Of course, we know now she was not honored and was not invited, caused some Secret Service Agents career problems and other security concerns. Yet, she is not smart enough to take this entry down. Or maybe she operates under the old premise that any publicity is good publicity.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


By now I am sure you have heard of the bold couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, who crashed a state dinner at the White House. This was not any old party, but a state dinner.

The Salahis evidently tried to wrangle an invitation, but could not. This is a double snub in social or political circles, by the way. They were not sufficiently important to be on the guest list. They tired to pull some strings and get invited, but failed.

This has created a maelstrom of accusation and recrimination. Clearly there was a security breach and other problems that have been and will be dealt with in the MSM.

It reminded me of a Bible story.

Luke records the story of Jesus going to dinner at the house of a Pharisee on the Sabbath. I guess this was the equivalent of the pastor being invited over for Sunday lunch. Jesus noticed that the guests picked the places of honor at the table. They wanted to look important.

If you have gone to any banquets, you have seen this happen. Everyone wants to sit at the executive table or as close to it as possible. People like to be important. If they cannot have that, they want to look important. In America, they two often are confused in people’s minds.

Jesus gave his take on all this. He said “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you “Friend, move up to a better place.”\’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” You can read this in Luke 14.

Now, at the end of the evening, the Salahis probably felt very successful. They posed for pictures with the President, the Vice-President and the White House Chief of Staff. I’ll bet they ordered copies.

But then, someone blew the whistle. They have been humiliated by having their presumption and falsehood exposed in the national media and in Congress. Talk about being told to take the least important seat. Now everyone knows they were not invited and could not get invited but were so desperate to attend that they lied their way in.

Maybe I should mail a pocket New Testament to them. It could have saved them a lot of embarrassment.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Jesus was dismissed from the jury pool! Read about it Here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The bad business of Planned Parenthood is explained at Inside Catholic. This non-profit corporate conglomerate made a profit of $85 million.

Shouldn't it be called Planned Childlessness?

Note the part about "medical abortions" at home. I guess their new slogan will be "Planned Parenthood: We'll Come to You and Kill Your Baby for you."
View from the space station. I'd love to say I took the picture for you on my last trip.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Chinese government is persecuting and harassing churches. Here is the story of one church.

Each month the Texas Bar Journal, the magazine for lawyers not bartenders, published a column called TECHGEAR. It features a lawyer and his or her favorite tech items and websites. This month featured Roslyn R. Tippet, a sole practitioner in Coppell. One of her favorites is: The Pioneer Woman. It is clearly oriented toward women, but she is a good writer and her story of meeting her husband is very good. Joanna, I think you will really like it. try it out.
Tim Challies interviews scientist Edgar Andrews.
There is an interesting article in Humanities about General Lew Wallace, the author of Ben-Hur.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fox News ran an interesting story on its website about the feud between the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and several RCC politicians over the issue of abortion in health care reform legislation. The story evidently originated with the Associated Press.

The spark for the latest skirmish is Bishop Thomas Tobin’s request that Rep. Patrick Kennedy (yes, of that Kennedy clan) not to receive Holy Communion because of he supports for abortion rights, which the RCC opposes.

The interesting part to me is that the story reveals in a microcosm the religious thinking of so many Americans.

Tobin is the orthodox believer in absolute truth. He believes in the historic RCC faith and the right of the church to discipline those who stray from it. He feels this is a vital moral issue that is directly impacted by the theology and belief of the RCC. One woman of a group of people interviewed to comment, agreed. She said "If you're going to be a Catholic, be a Catholic.”

However, the Postmodern theology was also represented. One man said "If they believe they're a true Catholic, who's to say that they're not?" In other words, I can believe what I want and call myself what I want and know can refute that, even the leaders of my church. This is my truth (or in this case, Patrick Kennedy’s truth) and it is as valid as yours despite the fact that you are a bishop. Kennedy has in fact said his disagreement with the church hierarchy does not make him any less of a Catholic. That is tantamount to saying the RCC cannot define the terms of its own faith or religion, which certainly is not the position of the RCC. Maybe Kennedy should become a Baptist.

Postmodernism has infected most denominations. Many in the SBC who profess to believe in “soul competency” really believe in the Postmodern concept of defining your own truth with there being no absolute truth to know.

One of the strongest elements in American Christianity is Pragmatism. That is, go with what works, whether or not it is theologically sound. This element was also well represented in the story. For example, Michael Sean Winters, who wrote "Left At The Altar: How the Democrats Lost the Catholics and How the Catholics Can Save the Democrats," was quoted as saying he opposes abortion, but bishops are not making “appropriate distinctions when penalizing people over abortion”. In simple terms, the Bishops should only penalize the really bad people, not the politicians (pause for snickering). He noted a difference between an abortion doctor and a politician who wants to legalize abortion. The better comparison here would be a politician who wants to tax people to pay for other people’s abortions as part of mandatory health care legislation. Abortion is already legal and the legality of it is not the issue in this current debate. But, the basis of his point is that you can support abortion as long as you do not perform the actual surgery without being culpable. That, of course, is nonsense. If politicians do not make abortion legal, abortion doctors cannot legally and profitably perform a million or so of them annually.

Nonetheless, you see his Pragmatism. His position is yes, abortion is wrong, but as long as I do not personally touch it, it should not hamper my ability to succeed in my job, which happens to be politics.

Another quoted Pragmatist was former Democratic New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. He is a Catholic. Yet, he supported abortion rights. He gave an interesting speech back in 1984 to the University of Notre Dame, a Catholic institution, and took a supremely Pragmatist view of the moral issue. He maintained that Catholic politicians should not be pressured by the RCC, their own church, to support work for anti-abortion laws. Why? Because, of the political consequences, namely, pro-abortion folks would not vote for Catholics because they know the politicians would live out their religious convictions and vote according to Catholic dogma. In other words, if you had to vote according you your professed faith, you might lose an election, and that is too much cost to pay for your beliefs. That, my friend, is Pragmatism. Belief must take the back seat if there are consequences.

Of course, you realize the problem here. These politicians are not true Catholics in the sense of belief. If you believe abortion is wrong, you believe life begins at conception and killing life is murder, you cannot support it even if it means you have to give up being a hog at the trough.

I am glad the RCC bishops are growing a spine, even if not complete. If faith means anything, it must be lived out in daily life no matter what your job. As James 2:26 says, faith without works is dead.

And you know where a dead gets you.
PSALM 24: Prelude to Worship

This Psalm deals with the Lord coming to his Tabernacle. It may have been written when David brought the ark to Jerusalem, or in later commemoration of it. It then deals with what kind of person may come into the Lord's presence and worship him and receive his blessing.

Verse 1 says the earth belongs to the LORD. He owns it. It is his. Every thing in the earth and every one who lives in it is his. They are his possession.

Why does he own it? Verse 2 tells us. It is because (or "for" in this verse) he made it. "Founded" and "established" are metaphors for beginning a city or building a building. The Bible often speaks of the foundations of the world. For example, Psalm 102:25 says "In the beginning, you laid the foundations of the earth and the heavens are the work of your hands." The writer of Hebrews quotes this verse in Hebrews 1:10. So, the "foundations" means the beginning, the time of creation.

God’s creation of the world is an important concept in Scripture. Genesis 1:1 begins the whole Bible with the statement that God made the heavens and the earth. It then proceeds to show us that God created all things on the earth and all of the things in the heavens. As we discussed before, "heavens" means the sky and space, not just "Heaven" where God dwells. The God we worship is the Creator.

So, the one who makes it owns it. Deuteronomy 10:14 says "Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth and all that is in it." In Job 41:11, God said "Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole of heaven is mine." Paul even uses this argument when he writes about election in Romans 9:20: "But, who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?"

The implication here is that, since God created us and therefore owns us, he is to be worshipped and he determines who may come to worship him.

Verses 3-6, then deal with the issue of who may come into God's presence and worship. David asked the question, who may ascend the hill of the Lord or who may stand in his holy place. He alludes to the tabernacle here. David brought the ark to Jerusalem and made a tent for it there on the hill. (2 Samuel 6). To go to the tabernacle, you had to ascend the hill of the Lord. To stand in the holy place, in the tabernacle, you had to be clean. He specifically addresses clean hands, a pure heart, and a soul not given to idol worship. You see a very similar approach here to Psalm 15, which asked who could dwell in the sanctuary.

"Hands", "head" and "heart" are often named in the Bible but are actually representative of other things. Here, "clean hands" does not refer to washing, but to actions that are right. If you steal something, you do not have clean hands. A "pure heart" does not mean one with no plaque in the arteries, but a person of pure motives. In Matthew 5:8, Jesus said "blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God". This means you come to truly worship, not to be respected or to look good or to socialize with your friends or to make business connections or to look for clients. Thus, the one who could come to the tabernacle was one who had not acted sinfully, one who was not coming out of improper motives. Also, one could not worship idols. God commanded that only he be worshipped.

We can see that the one who could come into God's presence in the tabernacle had to be holy. We know God is holy and cannot tolerate sin in his presence. (That is Isaiah's vision of Christ in Isaiah 6.) Verses 5-6 tell us this person will receive a blessing from God, worshipping God and being in God's presence.

Verses 7-10 are the herald's cry of the coming of the Lord's presence to the city of Jerusalem. This may have meant the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem by David. We know the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle according to Exodus 40:34. The gates to the city of Jerusalem are opened so the Lord may come in. He is referred to as the "king of glory". He is strong and mighty in battle. He has led Israel to victory over Egypt, over the Canaanites and all who oppose them. He is the Lord Almighty, the Lord of Hosts, who is sovereign over all the powers of the universe.

The covenant people, Israel here, have the great privilege of worship in the presence of the Lord Almighty. But they must be holy to come into his presence. Not every one in Israel qualified. This was acted out in the Old Testament by the sacrifices which cleansed of sin. Before the High Priest could come into the holy place, he had to be purified. The people all came offering sacrifices for sin.

Of course, by this time in our journey through the Old Testament, you know I am going to look for Christ in the passage. I did and I found him.

The New Testament tells us the world was made by Christ and for Christ. John 1:3 is well known for this: "All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made." Paul gives a great explanation of this in Colossians 1:16-17: "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether throne or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him." They were all created for him, to bring him glory. He took part in creation and it all belongs to him. All will bow before him one day for this reason. He is entitled to be worshipped.

Those who worship God receive the blessing of his presence. Where does Christ dwell today? He is with us when we gather as his body. Who gets to come into his presence? Does the sinner? No, just as in this Psalm, it is the one who is clean and the one who worships no other god. If we believe in Christ, we are clean. We are not clean because we have been perfect, but because he has cleaned us. Even more accurately, he has declared us clean and he has imputed his cleanness to us.

We believe in Jesus not only as savior, but as Lord, and as the only Lord. David said the worshipper could not lift up his soul to what is false. God commanded that there we have no other gods (Exodus 20:3). Jesus said loving God with all of our being is the greatest commandment. This principle has not changed from Old Testament to New Testament. We cannot worship the gods of self, money, success, power or pleasure. See what Paul tells Timothy about this in 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

Some believe this Psalm to apply to the ascension of Christ into heaven. For those who observe the liturgical calendar, such as Catholics and Anglicans, this Psalms often read on Ascension Day or Ascension Sunday. However, since it deals with those men and women who will come into his presence to worship him, I would apply it to his second coming. He will come as king and will be worshipped. Revelation 21 shows the holy city coming down out of heaven and says the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them and they will be his people. This is the blessing of his presence. The tabernacle and the temple are types of this presence of God with man, they foreshadow it.

This chapter goes on to say who will not be there, who is not clean. Revelation 21:8 says "But for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderer, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

Receive Christ and place your trust in him. Then you can sing with David and welcome the return of the King.

Friday, November 20, 2009

G.K. Chesterton, "I had always felt life first a story: and if there is a story there is a story-teller."

"The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein;
for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers."
Psalm 24

God made the earth. He made it and he owns it. He may do with it what he will. The same goes for those live on the earth. They are his and he has and claims the right to do with them as he will.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanks to Joanna at Grace in the Home, for voting my blog as “over the top”. Most people would say it is “out there”. Joanna is a very nice and very talented person. I am not sure what "over the top" means, but, since Joanna is very nice, I assume it is a good thing.

The price for the vote is to answer questions. I am terrible at this. I either lie because I want to look good, or give funny answers to entertain, or over think the questions and get seriously conflicted over the best answer and therefore do not answer at all. But I will, for once, try to be cooperative. Here are my answers.

* Where is your cell phone? Briefcase
» Your hair? short
» Your mother? In Wichita Falls
» Your father? dead
» Your favorite food? Whatever is in front of me at the time
» Your dream last night? none
» Your favorite drink? Coffee
» Your dream/goal? Write a book
» What room are you in? office
» Your hobby? Reading and discussing theology
» Your fear? Failure of any sort
» Where do you want to be in 6 years? Don’t know, don't care
» Where were you last night? Diet class, grocery store, & home
» Something that you aren’t? good
» Muffins? Banana nut if I ate muffins (which I do not)
» Wish list item? Trip to Breckinridge Colorado
» Where did you grow up? All over
» Last thing you did? Proof read Claire’s book review
» What are you wearing? Suit
» Your TV? Forensic shows
» Your pets? Wife’s “free” dog
» Friends? Generous, gracious, better than I deserve
» Your life? In yet another transition phase
» Your mood? restless
» Missing someone? Yes
» Vehicle? sedan
» Something you’re not wearing? My wedding ring (too big)
» Your favorite store? Gift shop in the glass factory in Louisville Ky
» Your favorite color? black
» When was the last time you laughed? At lunch
» Last time you cried? last Monday night at a prayer meeting
» Your best friend? Other than my wife? David Jacks.
» One place that you go to over and over? Starbucks
» One person who emails you regularly? David Jacks
» Favorite place to eat? Spiral Diner (not to be confused with Viral Diner)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Even the Washington Post has reservations about the cost of Obamacare. Today’s paper runs an editorial by Robert Samuelson that captures the problem succinctly.

Here is the home run:

"The disconnect between what President Obama says and what he's doing is so glaring that most people could not abide it. The president, his advisers and allies have no trouble. But reconciling blatantly contradictory objectives requires them to engage in willful self-deception, public dishonesty, or both."


The Little Woman and The Baby headed out for Mississippi this week end. The Baby’s in-laws had a wedding shower for her. I stayed home with the dog.

The Boys were in the house!

The Baby left on Thursday, anxious to spend some time with her Intended. The Little Woman left Saturday morning. We had a moment. She did not want to leave and I did not want her to. We spent 5 minutes in a “swaying hug” in the kitchen saying good-bye.

I know that, when everyone is gone, I will camp out with a book or in front of the television all day if I do not get going. So, I headed out to do errands. It takes so much time just to do a few and it makes me more tired than working out.

First, I met some guys at church for a walk around the neighborhood looking for mission projects. Then we had coffee and talked about it all for a while. I took clothes to the cleaners. Who knew I had so many shirts?

Then, it was off to Target. I bought a red microwave the TLW had her eye on. We gave the one in the kitchen to the Baby and her Intended for their apartment. I hope it fits. It is old and about the size of a Toyota Yaris, but not as sleek.

I found the microwave and they had several boxes of the red ones. I wrangled it into the shopping cart and made for checkout. The checker said “oh, you got the red one!” I explained it was for TLW. She thought I was sweet. So, I carted it to the car feeling like a really sweet guy. I hope TLW likes it. It heats my diet dinner just fine.

Next, I needed to take food to a friend who has had surgery. It was actually for his daughter, Adrian, who was at home studying. TLW had made a chicken pot pie, having gone to the trouble to ask Adrian what she liked. What a gal. She also made bread dough for me to finish. Guess what? Bread dough is really gooey, if that is a word. I was a little freaked out by how gooey it was and how much it stuck to my hands.

I put a bunch of flower on a board and dumped the dough on it. After rolling the dough around to get floured, I cut it into 3 pieces and rolled them until they were as long as the baking stone. Then, I braided the 3 into one. That is scriptural, no? A cord of three strands…

After baking, I had 2 really nice braided loaves. Now I felt not only sweet, but really domestic. Larry Thompson: sweet and domestic.

No, I am not furnishing towels for you to wipe the coffee off your monitor. Control yourself.

I took them over and had a visit with Adrian. I resisted saying “Yo, Adrian” when she came to the door.

As it turns out, Adrian can talk as much as I can, which is saying a lot (pardon the pun).

Then, it was off to pick up the Actress daughter who is appearing in Sweeney Todd. I took her to dinner at Pei Wei in Montgomery Plaza and we had a good time. We, of course, finished off at Starbucks, right there in the Plaza, also.

Finally, it was back home for Bible study, getting ready to teach Psalm 23 at Sunday School. Whew. Somewhere around midnight I nodded off.

Sunday was teaching. Then a great worship service with an emphasis on heaven. After church, I spent some time talking to Jeff and Jessica about Sweeney Todd, which they had seen the night before. They are both very literate about theater and music. It made me appreciate the talent of the Actress even more.

At home, I used my culinary skills to heat a diet dinner for one minute in the new, very red, microwave. Afteward, I sat down and patted the dog and fell fast asleep for about 3 hours! This is why I should not sit down when I am alone. I only woke up because it started raining.

I cleaned up the kitchen, did the laundry and picked up so it would not look like bachelor father when TLW came home.

Oh, and I put the seat down.
We don't have anything like this in Fort Worth.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I heard this today:

"A wise person learns from others' mistakes, but a foolish man says he must make his own."

and thought about how we make the same mistakes over and over in every generation.

Learn from the wisdom of the Bible. Learn from history. Learn from those older than you. They are not infallible, but they have been through it. When you have been through a situation, you have a perspective that one without experience cannot have.

Our politicians would be wise to heed this advice. Our church leaders should as well.

Well, all of us, then.

watch this rather chilling video from CNN of British Muslims (Arabs living in London) who demand that England become a Muslim state and turn Buckingham Palace into a mosque.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Tim Challies is sex blogging. And doing a good job of it. His wife is co-blogging. It is worth the read.

Monday, November 09, 2009


The U.S. House of Representatives passed a health care bill (everyone says "reform", but we'll see; I prefer Orwellian nightmare). It is charitably called the "Affordable Health Care for America Act of 2009 (H.R. 3962)".

The vote was very close, 220-215.

Only one Republican, Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana, voted for the bill.

39 Democrats voted against the bill.

Representative Chet Edwards of Waco, Texas, was one of those. He said, "Given the huge federal deficits facing our nation, I believe there is too much new spending in this bill … I also have concerns about a government-run 'public option' insurance company and question whether this bill goes far enough in actually reducing health care costs for working families and businesses."

The process also showed that Roman Catholics are more influential in congress than Southern Baptists. The RCC favors universal health care and opposes abortion being part of it. They prevailed in both areas. The original bill included money to subsidize abortions, but an amendment to prohibit it, with some exceptions, passed 240-194. Otherwise, the bill would likely have failed.

The House says its bill will cover 96 percent of the nation's eligible population. It will cost $1.2 trillion over 10 years. It includes the controversial public option and will require employers to provide coverage. Many business owners are unhappy about this. I provided health insurance to my employees when I had my own business, at least after I realized its importance. I believe employers should try to do that, as group plans are cheaper than individual plans. Very small employers may just not be able to afford it.

Hospitals have actively lobbied for the bill, because it means revenue to them. Treating the uninsured and non-paying public is a big drain on every hospital's resources. People without insurance generally never pay a penny on their bill.

However, hospitals are now worried that the rates will be based on Medicare rates, which are very low. States are worried that the expanded eligibility for Medicaid
(150 percent of the federal poverty level) at a time when states are struggling with severe budget shortfalls.

Republicans in the senate do not intend to roll over. They say they will start from scratch, not using the House bill as a starting point. Even some moderate Democratic senator think the House bill is unacceptable.

This may take a while. Senators have repeatedly said they would not deliver a bill by the end of the year despite urging from the president. No floor debate has even been put on the calendar.

All of those with opposition to the House bill will intensify lobbying in the Senate. Abortion advocates will surely be all over the Senate, seeking to make taxpayers pay for abortions even if they oppose abortion. Those who think the whole thing is too expensive will also be noisy.

Democracy is messy even when it tilts toward socialism.

Friday, November 06, 2009

"For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is—limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death—He had the honesty and the courage to take His own medicine… He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile."

Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos? (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1949), 4.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Democrats health care bill is now at 1,990 pages and growing. That is so typical it keeps the stereo type going. This will be so complicated and create so much bureuacracy it will make the European socialist governments look steam lined.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I'm Back

Last week, I went to visit the Seminary Daughter, who has blessed us with our first grand child, a beautiful daughter. We tried to help out, running errands, shopping, cooking meals and doing dishes. And, whenever possible, holding the baby. She is a cutie.

I have not thought much about blogging while this was going on. I thought a lot about my daughter and son-in-law and my grand daughter.

Then I came back and faced a mountain of work that piled up while I was gone. I wish the elves would do my work when I am away.

But, I am over the hump, now, and my mind is back into its normal restless gear, so I am sure blogging will resume.

But, it is nice to forget about politics and problems for a while. And what is more important than a new life coming into the world? I wonder if, when God created Adam and Eve, the angels peered at them with the same wonder with which we gazed at his sweet baby.

The world would likely be a better place if we all concentrated on the wonder of life and the miracle of children and the love of family, and less on money, power and fame.

May God grant you a week of joy in your relationships, whether family or friends.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What kind of person blows up a market full of women and children like the attack in Pakistan? It is evil. Whatever your cause or religion is, I want no part of it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I have a granddaughter! Sweet Stella Jane came into the world Saturday night. She has a Faux Hawk! There is lots of black hair, cute little face, long fingers and legs. She is very beautiful.

This, of course, means I am a grandfather. I don't feel old enough to be a grandfather, but I am happy to have a new baby in the family.

Don't tell my mom, but this makes her a great grandmother, so she really cannot get away with telling people she is 39 any longer. She has forbidden me to tell my age for years, but the grand child will otherwise be hard to explain.

It's funny how your identity changes over the years. First, I was Pete and Bernice's boy. Especially living in small towns, you hear this: "you're Pete's boy aren't you?" right before he calls your father or mother and tells them what you'd done.

When I take coffee up to the hospital to see Joy Bird, they say "hey, you're Joy's husband, aren't you?" Then she introduces me around as "my husband".

Then, I had kids. I became Michelle's dad, Lindsey's dad, Claire's dad.

When I'm at church, it's "this is my sunday school teacher".

Now, I'll be known as Stella's grand dad.

Obviously, the people around me define me. I exist in terms of who I am to them.

A philosopher once said "I think, therefore I am". I think I would say "I relate, therefore I am".

When I am alone, I have an identity crisis. Who am I? Who do I belong to?

Maybe then I belong to the dog. Do dogs talk to each other while they are sniffing their privates?

"Hey, this is my guy."

"Cool. Can I sniff him?"

Our dog prefers the Little Woman to me, actually. So, I think he tells them "this is the guy that takes mommy away from me" or "this is the guy that makes me get off the bed and get in my crate when he quits reading".

But at least I have an identity.

I have to go. Someone just said "tell your dad dinner is ready".

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

There are two tenets of atheism: One, there is no God. Two, I hate him."
--Douglas Wilson

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ann Althouse's pictures almost make me want to live in Madison, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I always thought of heart disease as a man's thing. Any time you see a heart attack on television, for instance, it is a man.

However, cardiovascular disease happens to be the leading cause of death in the United States. 500,000 people die from it every year. But here is the kicker: more women in the United States die of heart disease than of any other cause.

Myocardial infarction, one form of this, claims the majority of these deaths. In every year since 1984, MI has killed more women than men. The mortality rate for women following a heart attack is 8% in the first month. This is more than double the rate for men. Women who do survive myocardial infarction have high risk for repeated heart attacks.

Women are also more likely to have diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure (CHF), and hypertension prior to myocardial infarction (MI) than men.

So, ladies, don't neglect your heart in health care, assuming only the men die from heart disease.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I'm not the only one doing the math on Cash For Clunkers.

Irwin Stelzer, an economist at the Hudson Institute says that, at best "the reduction in gasoline consumption will cut our oil consumption by 0.2 percent per year, or less than a single day's gasoline use."

So, you could hardly justify the program based on reduced gas consumption, although that is exactly what the president did.

What about overall benefit, environmental improvements and the benefit to car buyers and companies? Take that and subract the overallcost of the program. Is it a postitive benefit for America or just a negative cost? (and did the President do any of this math?) Burton Abrams and George Parsons of the University of Delaware calculate a net cost of roughly $2,000 per vehicle. That means the program made the nation $1.4 billion poorer.

I do not really think the President did the math or even cared about the math. I think he wanted to look like he was doing something. And, the people who got the cars, and the people who want to redistribute wealth in this country, like it and will support him in it. I think the President wants to distribute wealth. Hillary Clinton did and said it. This guy is more careful and charming with his words, but maybe less truthful.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


It is hard to believe there were 550 amendments offered to the health care "reform" bill of Max Baucus. I think it shows a great lack of agreement on healthcare issues. However, the Senate Finance Committee says they considered them all.

The next step is for the Congressional Budget Office to "score" the bill's cost and estimate how many people it will cover. After that the Senate can vote on it.

The bill requires most Americans to have health insurance. There is a penalty for not having health insurance. An amendment was accepted that reduces the maximum penalty for a family to $800. The penalty will be phased in from 2014 to 2017. At least they did not require one of the family to agree to be killed.

The committee has also approved an amendment modifying the tax on high-cost insurance policies so that it only applies to policies with premiums more than $21,000. The threshold is $26,000 for health plans covering retirees or people in certain high-risk occupations.

All this coverage costs money,of course. Who pays? Well, taxpayers pay, of course. Those would be working people, many of whom are paying for their own health care coverage instead of buying cars in the cash for clunkers program and now also get to buy health insurance for said new car owners.

Old people will also pay (this administration clearly favors the young over the old). The bill reduces Medicare and Medicaid payments. This also impacts hospitals by $155 billion over 10 years. This is why hospitals are lobbying for many parts of the bill, by the way. It increases their revenues.

In addition, the bill imposes annual fees on insurers, drug companies and manufacturers of medical devices. Why? Because they can.

The American Hospital and Texas Hospital associations are part of the group lobbying for full coverage in order to increase their revenues. They are concerned that the legislation may not cover as many people as originally projected. The AHA reached an agreement with Senator Baucus and President Obama to support the legislation as long as it expanded coverage to 97 percent of the population. This is a revenue issue. The hospitals make a lot of money on Medicare and Medicaid that they need to offset the services for which they receive no payment. If Medicare and Medicaid are cut, the hospitals want expanded government coverage under the legislation to offset the loss and creat new revenue. If percentage of coverage is less, the AHA reckons it will not offset the $155 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Thus, your local hospitals will be lobbying for greater coverage. Greater coverage costs more money. More money means more taxes.

There is another bill in competitions with the one from Senate Finance. If the bill in Finance is approved by the committee, it must be "merged" with the competing legislation already passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

While all this money is being tossed around, or they are considering how much to toss around, please note that the government already does not have enough money to operate on. Congress has to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government going until the permanent financing bills are approved. This is somewhat like you filling out the papers for a new mortgage on a new home while realized you have to get a pay day loan to buy groceries for your family. Or, say, to get a loan to buy a new car to take advantage of a government gift when you cannot afford to get your old car fixes.

Monday, October 05, 2009


After said clunker program ended, so did the buying. General Motors' sales were down 36 percent in September compared with August. Ford was down 37 percent. Chrysler was down 33 percent. Clearly, the only motivation provided by the program was the chance at free money for a new car at the expense of fellow taxpayers like this one.

It's not that I'm bitter. Ok, yes it is that I'm bitter now that I found my car needs $3,000 in repairs to pass inspection and I helped by new cars for all those other people and none of them even said thank you or bought me dinner.

Obama as economic messiah is in fail status.

Weekly jobless claims have risen higher than expected. No one want to hire when they wonder if they will be taxed out of existence or forced to buy so much health care they cannot operate. Job creation fail.

Consumer loan delinquencies remain at record highs. Credit structure fail.

Manufacturing growth has slowed. Stimulus fail.

The major stock market indexes have fallen. Financial sector confidence fail.

The stimulus plan is not working as planned.
Mark Noll: "The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is no evangelical mind."

Friday, October 02, 2009

Good post by David Heddle on International Blasphemy Day. I couldn't say it better, so I am just linking to his post.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers runs out on November 30. I'm hoping they replace it with an $8,000 tax credit for working men in their 50s whose cars were made in the previous century and who have paid for 3 weddings and college educations for their daughters and new cars for their wives and now want to buy a 5 year old sports car.

Monday, September 28, 2009

thoughts on the stimulus plan

this is not a discussion of my wife's attempts to get me off the couch. it is about the plan to pump billions into the economy to stimulate it to grow again. think of it as economic fertilizer.

the plan is for the administration to pump $787 billion into the economy. so, you are thinking, why has not all that money resulted in a booming economy. well, first of all, although the administration, i.e., the president, said he would put this money into the economy quickly because we could not wait to do something, he has not done so. i know, you can't believe he would say one thing and do another.

however, do the math. the administration has spent only $151 billion of the $787 billion promised. That is about 19% of the amount promised.

the president promises to spend another $185 billion by the end of the year. that would bring the total to $336 billion. That is about 42%, still less than half.

if the recovery is so urgent, why is the president waiting to spend the money. many analysts, and your humble servant, predicted the end of the recession this fall. I said september, but it looks like it may take longer. since the recession has not ended, following the president's reasoning that investing tax dollars in the economy is the only way to save jobs and prevent a depression, is the president not negligent for failing to put the money in that congress has authorized? is he just not able to spend it?

the next, and biggest wave of spending is actually scheduled for next year. the governmetn will spend another $399 billion. why are we waiting for the biggest chunk of all to be spent next year? my guess is because the spending will be right before the mid term elections and will be used to buy votes for the democrats in the house.

finally, the president will postpone spending the final $134 billion until the end of 2011, happily just in time for the president's re-election campaing to begin. for a president that campaigned on hope and promise and ethics, he seems pretty calculating and self serving in this the biggest credit card in history.

meanwhile, 2.4 million people have lost their jobs since the stimulus promotion began. the national unemployment rate increased to 9.7%, almost one out of ten americans. this is a 26 year high, but expected to go higher. yet the president continue to hold on to the money he promised to spend and that the democrats maintain is necessary. the president's chief economic advisor, larry summers, says unemployment will " all forecasts, remain unacceptably high for years to come."
since the president took office, america has lost 3 million jobs, while the democrats maintained that we would gain 3-4 million jobs.

yet, it looks like democrats will hold the money and use it for their own political gain at the expense of working americans.

i still maintain that the best way to stimulate the economy is to cut taxes and send us all a check. we'll spend the money and that will stimulate the economy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Maybe the Government won't kill Grandma ala Soylent Green, but it will cut Grandma's benefits. Despite the President's claims to the contrary, the Congressional Budget Office says the current bill will cut payments to Medicare Advantage Plans by $100 billion over 10 years. That is significant money even for this free spending president.

A large percentage of medical care is required at present due to lifestyle issues, such as obesity, smoking and drug use. In a few years, a major factor will in the reduction of health care available to seniors will also be due to a lifestyle issue: voting for Barack Obama.

I couldn't say it any better than this, so I'll just quote it. John Stott is right, as usual.

Incentives are important in every sphere. Being rational
human beings, we need to know not only what we should be
doing, but why we should be doing it. And motivation for
mission is especially important, not least in our day in
which the comparative study of religions has led many to
deny finality and uniqueness to Jesus Christ and to reject
the very concept of evangelizing and converting people.
How then, in the face of growing opposition to it, can
Christians justify the continuance of world evangelization?

The commonest answer is to point to the Great Commission,
and indeed obedience to it provides a strong stimulus.
Compassion is higher than obedience, however, namely love
for people who do not know Jesus Christ, and who on that
account are alienated, disorientated, and indeed lost.

But the highest incentive of all is zeal or jealousy for the
glory of Jesus Christ. God has promoted him to the supreme
place of honour, in order that every knee and tongue should
acknowledge his lordship.

Whenever he is denied his rightful place in people's lives, therefore, we should feel inwardly wounded, and jealous for his name.

--From "The Message of Acts" (The Bible Speaks Today series: Leicester: IVP, 1990), p. 279.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Mary Travers has died. She was the main voice and centerpiece of Peter Paul and Mary. She mainstreamed the folk music revival of the ‘60s and the emotion that went with it.

Straight from Greenwich Village coffeehouses, she and the group brought folk music to teenagers all over the nation. Along with Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey, they sang beautiful three-part harmony that sold records while nurturing the civil rights and anti-war movements of the ‘60s.

I vividly remember spending a camping vacation one summer in high school with my girl cousins. While the adults played “42”, we sat around the fire and sang “Lemon Tree”, “If I Had a Hammer”, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”, and others.

No offense to John Denver, but Mary Travers puts all the emotion in “Leaving on a Jet Plane” that makes you feel the pain of the singer and believe she really hates to leave you. I hate that she left us, too.

One of the problems of growing older is that the people you looked up to as a young person die off. I’m 57 and it happens every week.

I learned to play the guitar to folk music. Peter Paul and Mary played large in that, as I learned “If I Had A Hammer” and the others and learned how to play and sing at the same time. That music resonated with me, because it raised the same questions I had about injustice and war and growing up. A little part of that young person stays in your soul as you age, surfacing when a high school marching band plays a ‘60s song, or public television has a nostalgia concert or a bunch of people your age at a party say “remember how we used to sing together” and you break into “Michael Row The Boat Ashore”.

When the people who remind you of that little person hidden away in your older person’s body die, a part of that little person dies, too. It makes you sad.

Mary once said “People say to us, ‘Oh, I grew up with your music,’ and we often say, sotto voce, ‘So did we.’ ”

And so, when you say farewell, a part of me does, to.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Great tornado and thunderstorm photos here.

I need to carry a camera. I do not think I could take pictures as good as Mr. Reed, but it would be fun to have them.

I love storms. It may come from growing up, to the extent I did, in West Texas. You could see 180 degrees of sky in most places. The sky would fill up with clouds, updrafts of hot air driving them in columns higher and higher. At sundown, they would bunch together in thunderstorms, what they now call supercells. Lightning would streak across the sky in colors, white, yellow, green and even red. Lighting would strike the ground in the fields, the lightning rods on houses and the power line poles.

Sometimes the sky would turn green and you knew hail would fall. The air smelled like ozone, sharp and acrid. The electricity in the air made the hair on your arm stand up. Then pow, a lightning strike would light up the night and reveal the massive storm clouds.

Then the pressure would drop, the wind would blow until it roared and you knew it was coming. A tornado would drop, all dark and swirling and dangerous. It was powerful and unstoppable. It went where it would and destroyed all in its path. It was raw and powerful and natural and there was nothing you could do but watch and pray and duck and cover.

I love it.

Friday, September 11, 2009


This time on cash for clunkers.

A vehicle that gets 15 mpg and travels 12,000 miles per year uses 800 gallons a
year of gasoline.

A vehicle that gets 25 mpg and travels 12,000 miles per year uses 480 gallons a

So, the average "Cash for Clunkers" transaction will reduce
gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year.

The program involved approximately 700,000 vehicles.

That's 224 million gallons of gasoline saved per year.

That's 5 million barrels of oil saved per year.

5 million barrels of oil is about 25 percent of one day's consumption in America.

5 million barrels of oil costs about $350 million dollars at $70 per barrel.

We spent $3 billion to save $350 million per year. It will take about 9 years for this investment to break even, excluding the interest we are paying to the Chinese.

It has been the mantra of liberals for years that the earth is overpopulated and we must reduce our birth rate to survive. However, even a cursory examination of the data shows that this is not true. In fact,the reverse is true. The West is in decline and could cease to exist as we know if before this century is over.

Think for a moment of how a culture or a country survives, how it continues to exist. Simply put, parents have children. Those children grow up, enter the work force, carry on the culture and have children who continue the same way. Thus, the culture continues to exist. A war or a plague that wipes out a number of the children will kill that culture.

The philosphy of limited reproduction is that plague. The birth rate in all European countries is less than 2.0. That means, each two adults has less than 2 children. Imagine if every married couple in this generation had one child. The math is simple. The next generation will be half the size. All of the European nations have a birth rate less than 2.0. All of them are declining in their native populations.

In addition, 90% of population growth in Europe is Islamic. In Southern France, there are more mosques than churches. The mathmatical projection shows that France will be an Isalmic nation in 39 years. Germany had calculated their numbers and published them. Their current projection is that Germany will be a predominately Muslim nation by 2050.

There are 52 million Muslims in Europe. That number is expected to double to 104 million in only 20 years. Meanwhile, the native populations of European countries will have shrunk significantly.

The birthrate in America is 1.6. Hispanic immigration raises it to 2.1, barely enough to survive. However, there is an intense effort underway to evangelize America for Islam to speed the process.

Islam truly does not need terrorists and they are wasting valuable assets doing so. They simply need those men to lay down their weapons, immigrate to western countries and have many children.

It is ironic that only the Muslim countries are taking the Lord's command to be fruitful and multiply. Obviously, if you cannot have children, that is not your fault. But the Protestant church has endorsed the cultural norm of small families.

They may well pay the price.
Interesting article on health care from the Atlantic.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Growing up Southern Baptist, I was taught that creeds, confessions and catechisms were bad. That is incorrect, it turns out. Frankly, I am a little mad that these were left out of my upbringing. I spent years wondering about the answers to questions, and later, years studying the Bible to find the answers to questions. Guess what?

I'm not the only one who had those questions.

People have always had those same questions. Great theologians and students of the Bible researched these questions years ago and put the answers in their confessions and creeds. Then, they wrote catechisms to teach their people these. Baptists, in fact, had them, including Spurgeon, who wrote his own.

When our Baptist leaders decry the ignorance of their people, feel free to point this out.

Here is an example of a catechism question and answer.

The Heidleberg Catechism, question 57: What comfort does the resurrection of the body offer you?

Answer. Not only shall my soul after this life immediately be taken up to Christ, my Head,[1] but also this my flesh, raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul and made like Christ's glorious body.[2]

[1] Luke 16:22; 23:43; Phil. 1:21-23. [2] Job 19:25, 26; I Cor. 15:20, 42-46, 54; Phil. 3:21; I John 3:2.

You can see that the old accusation, "creeds take the place of the Bible" is false. Each answer references the scripture so you can look it up and study it.

I only stumbled on these a few years ago, starting with the Westminister. The first question was the question I pondered for years. If I had known the confession and been trained in the catechism, I would have know the answer and practiced it for years.

Joshua Harris likens Gollum's slavery to the One Ring to our slavery to sin.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

In 2009, there are more writings in print by 19th-century Calvinist pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon than by any other English-speaking author living or dead.
I received this email today: I called my stockbroker this morning and asked him what I should be buying. He said "Canned Goods and Ammunition".

There seems to be an air of pessimism out there.
"The Comeback Kid" is a great article on John Calvin and the resurgence of Calvinism by Timothy George in Christianity Today.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


This seems to be the basis of his thinking. Cash For Clunkers meant trading in an old car and being compensated for it. The theory is that new cars will get better gas mileage and better serve our lord and master the environment. (If you follow the progress of the manufacture of new car parts, you might beg to differ.) The old cars will be sent to old car purgatory until they are eventually annialated.

This also seems to be the basis of health care for the elderly. You should trade them in for a new model. I wonder if the government will pay us for this. You bring in your old relative. The government pays you $4,500.00. They take your old person and do away with them. (No animals will be harmed in the destruction of the elderly.)

I think they would get some takers for this.

I just wish we could do it with our old politicians, especially in Congress. I might even waive the $4,500.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


but, seriously, how would YOU like to have an approval rating? "Today, Larry's approval rating fell to 45%. 45% of the people who know Larry do not approve of him or his performance."

It could be a little disheartening, couldn't it? Especially if the numbers kept going down? "Today Larry's approval numbers fell to a new low. Story at 10."

There could be an upside to this, though. Most of us gage the approval of others by ascertaining subtle signs. These can be really difficult.

For example, crossed arms may mean disapproval or rejection. They may also mean someone's arms are tired.

The baby smiling may mean he\she really likes you. It may mean he\she has gas.

You say, why are you frowning. They say, I'm not. You say "I guess your face just does that naturally." Then they frown for real.

You say "when is your baby due?" You wake up in the hospital.

Some signs are not so hard to ascertain.

Such as, you say "hello dear" and your spouse looks the other way. Low approval rating.

The dog doesn't even come to the door to greet you when you come home. Approval rating zero.

Your boss is interviewing applicants and you didn't know there was a job opening. Approval rating sub zero.

I don't worry a lot about approval ratings. I have adjusted to the public's response to my personality.

For example, at church I often get a strained look when someone asks how we can do something better and I tell them what the Bible says about it. I have come to learn that means "here he goes again". The good part is, I don't get asked to serve on task forces or committees any more. And no one says, I really want to know what you think about this.

My wife also has "the look". That occurs when I am talking, say at dinner with guests, and she feels I have gotten off the reservation. Such as when I used the term "brain fart" to the music minister at dinner.

This happens a lot when I am talking with or about her mother. Evey wife has "the look". I think there is training for it. Or maybe they learn it from their mothers. It is designed to make the intestines of husbands freeze solid.

My daughters even have been working on it. Now I can get "the look" from them if they don't like what I say.

The dog just goes back to his bed. He doesn't have "the look", but he is a male of sorts.

But, like the President, I just have to keep on going. I'm thinking of a bus tour.

I can think of several people who'd buy me a ticket.
"When love, or the Spirit of God strikes a man, he is transformed, he no longer insists upon his separate individuality. Our Lord never spoke in terms of individuality, of a man's "elbows" or his isolated position, but in terms of personality - "that they may be one, even as We are one."

If you give up your right to yourself to God, the real true nature of your personality answers to God straight away. Jesus Christ emancipates the personality, and the individuality is transfigured; the transfiguring element is love, personal devotion to Jesus. Love is the outpouring of one personality in fellowship with another personality."

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest. (Dec 12th reading)

Thanks to Jeff Whitfield for passing this along.
The President's approval rating is down to 45%. In other words, a majority of Americans now do not approve of the president.

I guess the bus tour thing isn't working.
Spanish Proverb

“Books are hindrances to persisting stupidity.”

"Find the things that stir your affections for Christ and saturate your life in them. Find the things that rob you of that affection and walk away from them. That’s the Christian life as easy as I can explain it for you." - Matt Chandler

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Congressional Budget Office predicts a $7 trillion deficit by 2019.

The Office of Management and Budget predicts a $9 trillion deficit for that period of time. In addition, it predicts public debt doubling and becoming three-quarters the size of the economy.

This does not make nationalized health care appear affordable, does it? It's like saying "Honey, all of our credit cards are maxed out, we have no savings, our cars both have loans on them and need work, our mortgage is too high. Let's buy a bigger house."

Friday, August 28, 2009


Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved:
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come:
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures:
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this heart and flesh shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease:
I shall possess, within the vail,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine:
But God who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

This is the hymn as originally written by John Newton. You’ll notice stanzas normally left out of the hymnal and that the famous last stanza was added later. Unfortunately, hymnal editors feel free to add and subtract from the originals as people decide that the originals do not fit the times.

I prefer the original.

Monday, August 24, 2009


The purpose of a task force is to make people think things are under control. Obama has been seeking a way to handle all the bad guys at Gitmo. Because George Bush was wrong and therefore all he did was wrong, Gitmo was wrong and Obama needs to find right. Howeve, right turned out to be difficult to ascertain and more difficult to manage.

Gitmo is wrong, so close it. OK, done. What do we do with the bad guys? No one wants them. I thought we should smuggle them into Mexico in RVs, but the president would not go for it because RVs don't get good gas mileage.

Then, after having a few beers with a cop and a professor, he got curious about what all those bad guys might know that would be useful. So he decided to question them. He appointed the task force to decide how to do that.

Of course, the task force decided there needed to be a committee to oversee asking questions. I knew this would happen because I am a Southern Baptist, at least until the powers that be discover this blog.

Southen Baptist pastors often appoint task forces to look at a problem and decide that what the pastor wants to do about it is a good idea. Then, they appoint a committee to do what the pastor wants and to tell the congregation it was there idea.

This is what Obama is doing. Although he clearly is no Baptist. A Baptist would not have had a beer with the cop and professor. He would have had chicken fried steak, baked potatoes and pie.

Anyway, I digress. Oh, and there will be a task force to decide how to move the prisoners from Gitmo, which is bad, to someplace less bad where nobody wants them.

But, first, let's ask them questions. But, we cannot play loud music. That would be bad. Like Metallica, for example (Can you feeeeeeeeel it). When the terrorsits head ban, their turbans fall off. So, that is no good unless you are in France where they outlaw Muslim clothing under the idea that will change the fact the country is becoming Muslim.

Anyway, I digress. So, the guys will come up with techniques to politely question bombers and murders and fanatics.

So, today I am announcing that I have managed to obtain access to highly confidential documents while the President is on vacation. Here are the suggestions of the task force. You read it here first.

First, offer the Freedom Fighter a jelly donut if he will tell us where the next attack will be or who the other Freedom Fighters are. Sprinkles will be added for telling us where Osama Bin Laden is hiding. Tell them we do not want to kill Osama, we only want to have a conference call with him and he is not answering his satellite phone.

If the Freedom Fighter will not accept the donut and talk, sing "Mandy" in your most nasal tone. When he begins to weep and ask him for mercy, ask him the questions and give him a jelly donut.

Third, if he starts to sing along with "Mandy" and do a Barry Manilow impression minus the plastic surgery, tell him if he does not talk, we are going to enroll his grand parents in the new Obama Health Program For The Greater Good of Not Sick People. Although there are no death panels as alleged by the evil Sarah Palin, there will be some counseling involved. The people who do it used to be Gitmo interrogators.

The new interrogators, who will be renamed Receivers of Voluntary Information From Freedom Fighters, may not deprive prisoners of sleep and, in fact, must tuck in all prisoners at night, using hospital corners on the bedding. If the Freedom Fighter requests a bed time story or a lullaby, that request must be granted. CDs of the Obama Childrens Choir and Army will be provided, and the stories will be read to harmonious back ground music by VP Joe Biden.

Waterboarding will not be allowed and in fact will be replace by water skiing.

Finally, the Obama task force will develop a "scientific research program for interrogation" to develop new techniques and determine a set of best practices on interrogation. They expect suggestions like, let them participate in the cash for clunkers program. If they want an abortion, they should be given one at taxpayer expense. Free medical care will be included unless the Freedom Fighter is over 55 years of age, and in that case they will be counseled about the benefits of shuffling off this mortal coil.

In addition, each Freedom Fighter will receive a Federal Bailout of $100,000. A third task force will be implemented to decide what reporting requirments will be in place and what the money can be spent on, but those guidelines are not expected to come out until after the Freedom Fighters receive the money and move on to other projects. However, an honor code will be in place.

Finally, as a show of good faith to the world, the entire Bush administration will be arrested and placed at Gitmo as soon as Obama can talk the Chinese into purchasing a bond issue to finance the program.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. will appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate past interrogation abuses. Since there will be no present or future abuses, that need not be addressed. However, Obama's name may not be mentioned in connection with the investigation or prosecution because he is "going forward" and prosecution would be "looking backward" an he does not think that is in the country's best interest. And the country has enough interest on the debt he has incurred already.

A minority view was presented by the task force, but rejected. That view was that this has taken so long and is so mired in red tape, it would be easier to close Gitmo and send all the detainees on a cruise during hurricane season.

"Obama's health care plan will be written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it and whose members will be exempt from it, signed by a president who not familiar with parts of it, funded by a treasury chief who did not pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that is broke."

What could possibly go wrong?

(find the answer under "United States Postal Service")


This is to notify you that after we met today with The President, Finance Minister, The Senators, House of Representatives and The Central Bank Governor and we came to a conclusion that we have to pay you the sum of $5m and the balance will come later. The payment will be via Diplomatic courier service, therefore send your address and tel. no.

Your immediate respond is urgently needed.
Charles Soludo

Wow! I did not know allthose important sounding people even knew who I am, muchless thinking I deserved $5 million with more to come. Now that is a stimulus package. I could afford to trade my car in on the Cash for Clunkers program! I might could pay my taxes next year!

But, no. I guess someone falls for this, since they keep sending these messages to me.

I sent them your address and telephone number.

Dedicated follower and lover of Charles Manson, Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme, has served her time after her conviction for attempting to assassinate President Gerald Ford. She served 34 years.

She should not expect to see a lot of yellow ribbons tied around the local oak trees.

Fromme apparently tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford in Sacramento, California. Oddly, the gun had no bullet in the chamber, although there were bullets in the clip. That means it would not have fired had she pulled the trigger without racking the slide. She claims she only wanted to get attention and be heard, not to kill him. She succeeded only to a limited extent.

Fromme wanted to call Manson as a witness in her trial. The judge refused because it would give him a pulpit to rant and rave. Fromme refused to participate in the proceedings from then on, except to hit the prosecutor with an apple at one point.
She was convicted in 1975 and given a life sentence.

Fromme attacked a fellow prisoner with a hammer in 1979. She escaped from prison in 1987 and was captured. She received additional time on her sentence for the escape. She became eligible for parole in 1985, but waived her right to a parole hearing. Federal prisoners who are sentenced to life usually get parole after 30 years.

Fromme is now 60. She has been in prison here in Fort Worth at the old Carwell Air Force Base, now a federal prison for women. It is now called the Federal Medical Center at Carswell. She has been in the maximum security unit. That's where they keep the Bad Girls.

I think the interesting thing will be to see if she tries to go see Manson, who is still in prison in California with a swastika tattoed on his forehead. She called him a “once in a lifetime soul”. We can only hope she is right.

Fromme grew up in what appeared to be a nice home. Her father was educated and supported the family well enough for her mother to stay home. They lived in Santa Monica, California. However, in high school she started taking drugs and began to decline. Manson, for his part, had already been to prison. He met Fromme in 1967 on Venice Beach right after his release from Terminal Island. She took up with him immediately and ran off with him.

In 1969, Manson and some of his followers broke into a house and killed every one there, including actress Sharon Tate and the baby she carried. Fromme stayed at the abandoned ranch that was there home while this mass murder was committed. Manson and his crew were arrested. Fromme camped outside the courthouse during the trial. She carved an “x” into her forehead when Manson did the same during the trial. I guess when her mom said "would you jump off a bridge just because everyone else did" she would say yes if Manson was part of the everyone.

She refused to testify in the case and was held in contempt.

She continued to be loyal to Manson, though. He basically sold her and the women in his group to the Aryan Brotherhood in prison for protection. She sent nude photos of herself to the prison and moved in with some of the guys when they got out, to pay off Manson’s debt. Although she was not convicted of it, she evidently had some involvement in a murder committed by these guys, killing a man and his wife at a cabin, leaving behind a baby girl.

Fromme has also practiced a religion that Manson invented. It is a shame she did not embrace real religion and give her life to Christ rather than Manson and the devil he represents. Her master used her and abused her and she came back for more. Christ would have loved her and changed her and made her life useful.

Manson was the ultimate adolescent. Fromme thought he saw everything differntly than everyone else. Basically, he was saying "you're not the boss of me" to everyone. He wanted to be offensive and repulsive and he succeeded, although he deluded himself into thinking he was important and different. Unfortunately, he was able to pursuade a goup of rebellious adolescents, with the assistance of drugs, that he was in fact an original thinker and someone who would do great things, leading them to a new and shiny place they would like. He played his pipe; they danced to his tune.

Most of them went to prison and spent their lives there. Fromme debased herself in everyway possible and somehow believed she was still making a statement. Instead, she became a curious and sad foot note to Manson's tawdry tale.

What a sad waste of a life.

Friday, August 21, 2009


So, it's Friday night. The Little Woman has gone to bed early because she has to get up at 4:30 and care for sick, pregnant ladies. The Oldest went upstairs to read. So, I turned on the laptop and brought up the Internet.

I trolled over to one of my favorite sites.

I scrolled over to the tab for video.

I clicked.

The video came up in crystal clear detail.

I watched a John Piper sermon.

It was great. I mean think about it. When we got cassette tapes, we thought it was wonderful to hear tapes of great preachers. Now, I can not only listen to them but watch them. I even had headphones on so I would not disturb my sleeping beauty.

A decade ago, I might not have even heard of John Piper. I now hear him preach whenever I wish, and the wireless is working. Sure, there is much about the Internet that is lamentable, but God is sovereign over the Internet, too, and he uses it to his glory. And one way he does it is by nourishing Larry's soul at odd hours with a word from his word.

Is God great or what.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Mass Murderer Abdelbeset al Megrahi is home free. The friends and relatives of his victims will likely be forever imprisoned in their grief and, now, their outrage.

Megrahi killed 270 people at one time. He placed a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103 and caused it to explode over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing all the people on board and some on the ground. You might remember the pictures of the remains of the broken up plane lying in a field in Scotland, debris, bodies and body parts strewn over a wide area. People from 21 countries were murdered that day. The most, 169, were from the United States. These included a group of Syracuse University students trying to return to school. It was Britain's deadliest terror attack.

Megrahi was a Libyan intelligence agent. Libya formally accepted responsibility for the bombing. So, it was not only a mass murder, but an act of international terrorism by a hostile government. He was eventually convicted and given a life sentence. He lost one appeal, but had been allowed to mount another. He dismissed the appeal because British law would not allow his release while an appeal was pending.

Megrahi is said to be dying of prostate cancer. He has been in a British prison since 2001, but is being released on compassionate grounds. The stage was set when Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, met with Brittish Lord Mandelson, obviously working out the terms of a deal to secure the release of the murderer. Others point to Tony Blair, former prime minister of Britain, who met Gaddafi two years ago, right before the announcement that British Petroleum had a new oil contract with Libya.

Megrahi served only 8 years for killing 270 people. That’s about 11 days for each murder.
Some, including David Horovitz at the Jerusalem Post, say the real reason is not compassion, but fear of the second appeal that Megrahi had been allowed to pursue.

Horovitz writes: “By setting Megrahi free now, the British authorities are ensuring that any such miscarriage will not be definitively exposed. Critically, the widely held belief that it was Iran, and not Libya, that orchestrated the Lockerbie bombing, and that it was carried out by the Syrian-hosted Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, will not be put to renewed legal test.”

At the time of the bombing, many felt it was Iran’s revenge for the United States shooting down an Iranian Airbus full of passengers during the Iraq war. Their threat to make the sky rain blood seemed to have been kept since most of the victims were Americans.

Horovitz makes a good point when he says “You do not set free the one man convicted for the gravest single act of terrorism ever to hit Great Britain, the terrorist attack that saw more American civilians killed than any other bar 9/11, simply because he is dying. You keep such a man locked up until he draws his final breath.”

Megrahi landed in Libya about an hour ago. The Libyans did not treat the matter as the end to a tragedy and quietly receive the man back to his family. No, they treated it as the return of a hero. The government sent a jet to retrieve him. Thousands of people showed up and cheered his return. They wore t-shirts with his image and waived Libyan flags.

Clearly, Libyans see this man as a terrorist and applaud his mass murder of Americans. In addition, he was escorted from the plane by Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi embraced him at the door of the plane. A red carpet was thrown down for him to walk on.

Certainly, mercy should be extended where appropriate. But justice is also of great value. They must be balanced.

No society, no world, can operate without justice. This is not justice. This is not even mercy. It is a political deal. In this case, mercy would include medical treatment and visits with family. Justice requires that a man at least serve out his life in prison, if not face execution, for mass murder. I cannot think of a case in the U.S. where any mass murderer has ever been released from prison, and I don’t think we’ve had any here than killed 270 people.

To his credit, President Obama both opposed the release and told Libya not to celebrate the event. He was unsuccessful at preventing either.

To the Islamic world, the West has shown itself to be both stupid and weak in their eyes. They send killers. We send them back to their families in Nike hats and white jogging suits. They execute people for having affairs and wearing the wrong clothes. They put tourists in jail for slights against their culture or walking into the wrong part of the desert. They have to be laughing at us today and shaking their heads in wonder.

This is one of the days Lady Justice is glad she has a scarf over her eyes.