Monday, March 29, 2010


A city in China has been identified as the major source of cyber crime.

The question is, is this state sponsored terrorism? It would seem counter productive to try and ruin the U.S. economy when China holds a big portion of our debt. Is it private, but the government looks the other way? Is it private, and China has less control of things than they thing?

Maybe I should be worried: my blogger screen came up in some foreign language this morning. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, March 26, 2010

"Thus the only limit to the Christian’s generosity will be a limit which love itself may impose." John Stott


The Vatican's latest response to criticism for the rampant child sexual abuse committed by its priests is hey, it's not unique to the Roman Catholic Church. In other words, we are just like every one else.

The problem, of course, is that the RCC says it is NOT like everyone else. The Pope is supposed to be the vicar of Christ on earth, the very voice of God, and its priests annoited with special grace and blessing.

You can't have it both ways. (Pause here for a "duh" moment.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


The world's smallest man died today. He Pingping was about two and one half feet tall. He was only 21, but died of heart problems.

Pingping seemed to enjoy some of the benefits of his recent fame. He traveled, he appeared on television and he made some money. It was a dressed up version of the circus freak show, sadly, with people paying money to witness his oddity. He was willing to accept the money and attention his oddness brought.

But Pingping's dream was not television. He wanted to get married and have children. He wanted to be normal. That thing that many take for granted and against which many rebel was his dream. He wanted a wife and kids, something not likely attainable for a man with primordial dwarfism.

Most people want to be normal. They want to look like everyone else, have what everyone else has and do what everyone else does. You see it strikingly in teenagers, who become intensely aware of their differences, real or imagined, from the pack. As they try to find themselves, they fear being ostracized from the pack more than anything else. They will wear whatever the pack wears, speak the language of the pack and do what the pack does, good or bad.

Adults are not much better. If the men in their group wear jeans and boots, so will they. The women will wear the same style of clothes. If the pack leader gets pregnant, all the others will follow in short order.

Many want to be super normal, or normal but better. They want to be beautiful, not just pleasant, athletic, not just coordinated, tall, not just average. No one wants to be subnormal.

However, those who originally wanted to be super normal, or extraordinary, often find themselves later wishing to be normal again. The actress gets tired of being followed by photographers. The football player would like to go to the movies without attracting a crowd. They could do that if they were normal.

But, on a deeper level, super normal creates emotional problems. The beautiful woman will always wonder if her man loves her for who she is, not for her prominent cheek bones or wide set eyes. The rich man wonders if his woman loves him or his money.

In our soul, we want to be normal and we want to be loved for it.

This is also what we want from God. We want to be normal human beings and we want God to accept us for who we are.

I received an email newsletter from a youth organization whose leader I met a few years ago (and who wants me to support him financially). The letter raved about a recent event the youth attended. The leader interviewed kids and asked what great thing they learned. A young man was quoted as saying his self esteem had been greatly raised because he learned that God loved him as he is and no matter what he did.

Pause of the buzzer to sound.

Unfortunately, many evangelicals teach this, and many Americans want to believe it. God is very loving and tolerant and cool.

Actually, God says no to that. God says each man and woman misses God's mark. His favorite word for that is sin. For example, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". That means all normal people miss God's mark of perfection.

He also said what you get for sin is death. He said sin separates you from God. He said there will be a judgment for all who miss the mark and they will spend eternity in a place with all the others who also missed the mark and rebel against God's standards and pay the price for it.

In short, normal does not cut it.

Fortunately, God provided help. He sent the super normal man, the God man, his son. His son, Jesus Christ, took a normal body but lived a super normal life without missing God's mark one time. Despite being not just good but perfect, he died to pay the penalty for all our mark misses. When we believe in him, we get the benefit of that. God says the penalty is paid and he can accept us, because we are no longer normal, but saved from normality by the price paid, the death of Jesus.

Friday, March 12, 2010


I got an email with this title from Dillards. My first thought it was from Drudge Report about some serial killer out looking for a prom so he could kill a lot of teen agers.

I decided that can't be right.

Then I thought, maybe Dillards is marketing a line of clothes modeled after famous serial killers. For example, the "Charles Manson" would feature a temporary swastika for the forehead, a long wig and hobo clothes. The "John Gacy" would be a clown suit.

I decided that can't be right.

So, I opened the email and downloaded the pictures. The ad featured a young man that looked a little like someone in the Mad Men cast with a black suit and tie and big black glasses (OK, what we in high school would have called the nerd suit.) Then a girl in some wildly hot pink dress. That, I guess would be typical, because there is some unwritten law that half the girls at prom must wear colors that do not appear anywhere in nature. And no, a Pepto Bismol bottle is not nature.

Then the third girl had a little black pill box hat with a small veil, sort of the 1960 vintage I just lost my husband look.

Sounds like prom will be a lot of fun this year.

Donald Trump told an interviewer that Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize should be taken away. I guess DT does not like people who publicize themselves shamelessly, do anything for money, travel about the world trying to get on tv and want to be famous.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

My friend, Dr. David Heddle, has decided to update his eschatology notes over at "He Lives". David is a great thinker and it should be good.

He gets started with a good look at verse one, which most people jump right over. The key is the word "soon". Check it out.

Many claim it is. Telling kids not to have sex before marriage, encouraging married people to be faithful to each other, all are ridiculed in our society. Well, forget theology for a moment, and consider this.

The Centers for Disease Control ("CDC") tracks diseases in the United States. The CDC has some compelling information about sexually transmitted diseases.

First, consider that 1 in 6 Americans infected with herpes. More than 10 percent of Americans have this disease. In fact, almost 17% of those between the ages of 14 and 49 are infected with genital herpes.

More women than men have herpes for some reason. 21 percent of women have it. 11.5 percent of men have it.

The other bad news is that there is no cure for genital herpes. Although the drug commercials show beautiful people with herpes doing wonderful things, the truth is it causes recurring, painful genital sores. It also increases a person's chances of getting AIDS.

This is just one of a handful of sexually transmitted diseases that are a problem. There are 19 million new sexually transmitted disease infections every year.

So now, how impractical and old fashioned does sexual fidelity sound now? America can have a STD epidemic, or it can go back to a more conservative sexual culture.

President Obama should be interested in this also. STDs cost the health care system about $16 billion annually.