Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just a Notice. . .

Just to let you all know that I may not be posting as frequently for up to a week or so. As I posted earlier, I recently built a new computer. Unfortunately, it turns out the motherboard was a source of some instability problems. Intel is sending a replacement but they required I send my current one in first. So, I'm living off my wife's laptop for now.

I miss my big screen!

Anyway, I'll be here and posting but not quite as often.

Thanks for reading!

Richard Abanes: Suing Apprising Ministries for Defamation - Libel? ***UPDATED***

This is a follow up post for my last article. Apprising Ministries is back up! But you might want to read Ken Silva's article regarding the incident here.

Here's an update. A good article by Steve Camp at his blog.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Richard Abanes: "Sue Thy Neighbor"

My friend Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries has been forced to take down his blog. It would appear that Richard Abanes, a professing Christian, thinks it is ok to sue a Christian brother, contrary to what the Scriptures clearly teach.

I spoke with Ken yesterday. This doesn't have him down in the least. He was of good cheer and that is no surprise coming from Ken.

There is an article over at Slice. Here it is and oh, if you post anything at Richard's blog, tell him I sent you. :

"In Ingrid’s absence, I am updating readers on the Richard Abanes/Apprising Ministries situation. As of 5pm Central Standard Time, the Apprising Ministries website that featured hundreds of important articles on current Christian issues was deleted. Richard Abanes, Harvest House author and chief apologist for Rick Warren and his Purpose-Driven global campaigns, accomplished this by filing a complaint with the legal department of IPower, Apprising’s web hosting service. Due to Richard’s claims of slander and libel regarding a 2005 article written by Apprising Ministries head, Ken Silva, the web hosting service,which does not check out any of these claims to see if there is any merit to them, gave Ken 48 hours to conform to Richard’s ideas of what should be on his website. The choice was this: take down your piece or lose your website. Ken correctly did not give in to this kind of threat and the site is now down.

The implications for all bloggers, religious or otherwise, are clear. Anyone who has a complaint about your views can claim that you have engaged in slander and the ISP Terms of Service usually allow for the companies to remove your website if you don’t take the material in question down. The First Amendment means nothing in these cases. Reportedly, a press release is about to go out to national media about this incident because it provides a clear precedent that has grave and clear implications for all who value the right to express their views online, regardless of the subject matter.
Everyone who values the right to read and publish blogs on the Internet has a vested interested in this. There will be more on all of this shortly.
You can read and comment regarding this at
Richard Abanes’ blog."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Global Warming, Blind Faith, and Global Delusion

From "Critical Issues Commentary":

'Some environmentalists with neo-pagan worldviews (e.g., Al Gore) have posited the "truth" of CO2-induced global warming, defined the production of CO2 as "sin" and thereby made all humans guilty of a holocaust-like assault on planet earth. Even if CO2 is doing what this group says it is, there is no way to repent of this "sin" because human beings cannot live without putting more of it into the atmosphere. Essex and McKitrick’s book (both are Canadian college professors) confirms my conclusion that the global warming scare is more religion than science. The book begins and ends with chapters about what the authors call "The Doctrine of Certainty." We shall begin by examining this "Doctrine."'

You can read the rest here. I think this issue is a very important one.

Rick Warren, 'gay' advocate team up to host Obama-McCain

From WorldNetDaily, an excerpt:

"The upcoming joint appearance by Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain at Rick Warren's evangelical Saddleback Church is co-sponsored by a left-leaning group led by a Unitarian-Universalist minister who once headed her denomination's homosexual advocacy office.
Meg Riley is the board president of
Faith in Public Life, whose board members include other theological liberals, including a pro-abortion Muslim leader and a Jewish rabbi, reported OneNewsNow.

The group's stated vision hints at its challenge to the influence of the so-called religious right, saying it "envisions a country in which diverse religious voices for justice and the common good consistently impact public policy; and those who use religion as a tool of division and exclusion do not dominate public discourse."

The
blog Watchers Lamp noted Faith in Public Life offers a list of faith-based groups on its website that promote the homosexual-rights agenda.

Warren told OneNewsNow, a Christian Internet site, he's not troubled by the association with a group at odds with his church's conservative evangelical theology.
"Really we just are ... co-hosting [the event]," Warren said, noting Faith in Public Life came up with the idea.


"Actually, we're in total control of the format, the program, the questions," he said. "It's at our church; and so it's not their event, it's our event."



Let's see: Warren is in control of the format, the program and the questions. Care to guess how many hardball questions will be asked about "gay marriage"? Will Obama's feet be held to the fire about his views on abortion and his voting against the Born Alive Protection Act?

Nah, I don't think so either. But you can read the article here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Purpose Driven Dismemberment on Southwest Radio Ministries

From "Watcher's Lamp"

"Southwest Radio Ministries dedicates 3 programs on the error of Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Church growth movement and the merging of the pulpit, profit and politics in Warren's P.E.A.C.E. plan...

HOW TO KNOW YOUR CHURCH IS GOING PURPOSE DRIVEN Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Noah Hutchings and Douglas Stauffer give signs you can look for in your church to know if it is adopting the Purpose Driven Church program and what you can do."

Listen here. . .

Homosexuals and Evangelism

Here we go again. This morning I received an email regarding Colorado passing a law that, according to the Liberty Council, is a threat to those who pass out Bibles or any material that speaks against homosexuality.

Now, I can't say that this is what it actually does. Here's the text from the email:

"Colorado just passed a law that, in our legal opinion, could ban the distribution of the Bible in that state.

The Law -- SB 200 -- bans the distribution of any written material that discriminates based on "sexual orientation."According to the law, that includes...any communication, paper, poster, folder, manuscript, book, pamphlet, writing, print, letter, notice, or advertisement of any kind, nature, or description which is intended or calculated to discriminate or actually discriminates..."

Liberty Counsel's legal team has concluded that this statute effectively means a judge in Colorado has the power to ban the distribution of the Bible in that state!"

Let me say a couple of things:

First, I'm not going to go over the edge over this. Yes, I did sign their online petition, but spreading God's Word is not a "right" that the government gave or can take away. Sure, they can penalize me for doing so, if our state follows this track (and I suspect it will), but sharing the Gospel isn't even a right that can be given or taken away. It's a duty given us by God.

Secondly, and more to the point of homosexuality and witnessing, it's not necessary to stress the sin of homosexuality at all. The Bible tells us that if we break any part of God's law, we are still guilty before God. The point is this; how do you witness to a heterosexual? How do you witness to anyone else? Well, maybe it's better to simply watch the following video from Way of the Master and see some good discussion with homosexuals:







Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Monstrosity of Abortion

Back in the 1950's, there was a young black man who visited the south. He was out with some friends and bragged about flirting with a white woman. They said "You should never have done that!". Not much after that, he had been beaten (among other things) and lynched.

While making preparations for the funeral, the mother was begged to leave the casket closed because of the ugliness inside. But she said "No. I want it open so the whole world can see what they did to my boy".

Let me warn you, this is a graphic video. But it's time to lift the lid on abortion.

To those who would say they support abortion and that this is not suitable for posting, I'd ask "why?" Because it touches your bubble? Because you can see that an embryo isn't "just a blob of cells"? You say "It's ugly stuff, horrid!". Yes it is. So, maybe it shouldn't be hidden. Or is it wrong to publish the truth?

Barack Obama, who would be our next president, supports this. He also opposed the "Born Alive Protection Act", which would protect the lives of those who survive an abortion attempt. Obama says "kill them anyway!" Wow. And I thought "they are human only after they are born so that's why abortion is ok". I see. The rules change on a whim. Now "It's ok to kill them even after they are born!"

There is so much noise about how many soldiers have died in the war with Iraq. And it is tragic. But over 6,000,000 babies have been slaughtered since the beginning of the Iraq war. 40,000,000 since Roe v. Wade in 1973.

You say "But Roe v. Wade is settled law". Huh? What's that supposed to mean? That laws can't be changed or repealed? You say "It's my body, I have a right to do what I want with it". No, it's not your body, that embryo has its own unique DNA. That isn't you, that is another living human being. You say "it's not a human being"? Then what kind of DNA does it have if not human?

Can you handle the truth?



The Number for This Week
Part 2

Ok, I've got enough of a pattern now that maybe I can open my mouth. It was on July 10th that I first posted "The Number for This Week" and began listing those numbers on the left above my profile. And I didn't say what it was. Sometimes you just want to prove something to yourself before you say anything. And I think I have.

Many of you have probably guessed what's up, especially after my post from a few days ago. Yes, I'm trying to lose some weight. Actually, more than "some". At 6 feet tall, I started out at 285. I'm now down to 275 as of my "official 10am Thursday" weigh-in. No rounding down, no removing keys from my pocket. The same every time.

My target is to get down to 185 to 190. That's what I weighed in 1982 when I left for L.A. to attend what used to be called Logos Bible Institute at John MacArthur's church. I was 28 when I left and in the spring of '83 when I turned 29, something told my metabolism to start slowing down. By the time I left in June, I had blown up to 215, and it's been a fight since.

In 1989 when I started college (age 35) I had gotten up to 250 or so. I managed to get down to 230. But you know what sitting in class and sitting at home studying does. Not enough activity. Then, of course there were my various desk jobs after I graduated.

It was in 2000 that I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (which I believe I had for quite a while but never caught. . .I had what I now believe to be hypoglycemic attacks even as far back as '89!) and I think the weight brought it on. Hopefully this should reverse itself as the weight comes off.

Two weeks ago, I had some major spikes in my blood sugar. And I decided I'd had enough. So, now I'm drinking a gallon of water per day and watching what I eat. Of course, not everyone would want to do what I did; I restricted my intake severely off and on for the first week or so. "Shifting calories" so your metabolism doesn't go into starvation mode. On my low days, I'd try to stay at 600. Now, I'm leveling off at 1200.

Well, anyway, I seem to be off to a decent start. Yes, there is a plateau coming. I can see that already; been there done that. But it's now more of a long term goal than an short term one.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Have One on Me!

I keep hearing about the McDonald's boycott. For those of you who do not know, McDonald's decided to join the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. And they have now decided to state that anyone who supports traditional marriage is "motivated by hate". Wow. Now they know motives! The secret must be in the sauce? No, I think they've just had one to many Happy Meals.

Anyway, for those of you in the boycott and even if you just don't care to plunk down good money for something you can make yourself, I've had this for quite a while. If it isn't the actual recipe, it doesn't matter because it is so close. Besides, you know what you are eating. And if you are like me trying to lose a few pounds, you can substitute low fat / fat free ingredients. That works pretty well too. And it's cheaper, which appeals to me -- I hate to pay someone else to make what I can make myself.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another Terry Schiavo

If you've been reading this blog lately, you know I've been doing some posts about the Christian and politics. And you already know that my position is that we are not here to whine about "our rights".

However, the scriptures do tell us to help those who cannot help themselves. Here is something to do some yelling about. If this doesn't sicken you, something is wrong. Very wrong.

This is just one more example of how our society is more and more willing to declare certain people "Obsolete", in slightly different terms, of course. The "unwanted prehuman" and the "post human" those who have supposedly outlived their "usefulness". In the case of this woman, apparently she is "Obsolete" because she has become dependent on others and therefore "serves no function". Remember the S.L.E.D.? Size, level of dependency, environment and development are elements of the pro-choice argument. And how convenient, it works at both ends of life, doesn't it?

See where evolution gets ya?

There is an email address in the article which will help you contact the governor of Delaware. Please take time to do so.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Crack in the Global Warming Concensus

There has been a downward trend in the global temperature over the past two years or more, and it's related to reduced sunspot activity. But, hey, that's just "an inconvenient truth" to many.

As one degreed in the sciences, I'd think that this should show how "global warming" science isn't good science. But then when the objective is global governance, good science isn't relevant at all.

Take a read at this link for the next "Environmentalism" installment here at the Gadfly.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In the Lord I Take Refuge

From Psalm 16:1:

"Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You."

Here we see our only hope. This is our cry when we see so much foulness in ourselves. We walk day by day and notice nothing, then something in our lives comes about to show us that we are not the practical saints we have come to believe ourselves to be. The weight of our sin seems to crush us, and we see no hope at all.

But then a light breaks through. Here we see the psalmist petitioning our Lord. "Preserve me, O God. . .". The man has come to be aware of his weakness. And being aware of his weakness, realizes that he is utterly without hope. There is only one to turn to, and that is God.

We must take refuge in God. He is our only hope. We can struggle and strive to contain our flesh but it will all come to nothing unless we take refuge in the Lord.

But there must be a basis by which we can take refuge, for no one can just approach our Holy God on his own terms. Under no circumstances can we just come to God's throne in our filth. This can only be done on the basis of the attonement! That, bretheren, makes all the difference! And we can do so boldly because it is the will of the Father. To do less is to trample underfoot the Son of God.

For it "pleased God to crush" His Son, Who stepped down from Heaven to bear the wrath of a Holy God for our sin. It is the Holy Judge Himself Who made the way for us to gain access to the Father. "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. 5:21).

We all need Christ as our Refuge. The Psalmist spoke of refuge from his outward enemies. Yet we also deal with sin as the inner enemy. And when we come to a point where we fear all is lost, that we have failed one to many times, or made such a mess of things, that may be near the point where we quit trusting in self and remember our hope!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

John MacArthur: The Gospel and Politics

John MacArthur has done a great series at Pupit Magazine. I'd encourage you to give it a look.




Just a few observations that I will make. I do so, I think, because Christian Worldview Network has made an issue of John MacArthur's view on Christianity and politics. Apparently CWN thinks that MacArthur is going to embarrass the Body of Christ because of his views. They quote John MacArthur of saying that he isn't worried about Obama winning the election. Apparently, CWN thinks this is a derilection of duty on the part of MacArthur. I disagree.

As regenerate men and women, we are primarily citizens of a heavenly kingdom. As such, our charge is primarily a heavenly one. It is that of living a holy life and spreading the gospel.

Read the epistles. Were the Corinthians an example of godliness? No. No way. And what did Paul rebuke them for? Even more to the point, what didn't he rebuke them for? Certainly, he could have told them to be politically active to stop the corruption of the culture. He never did that. And in the seven letters to the churches, you don't see any rebuke at all about not "cleaning up society". It's about returning to first loves and obedience.

Yet listen to what passes as "Christian" radio. There is no end of programming that is constantly sending up flare after flare about "bill number 12345", and how "We all gotta get to our phones and call our congressmen or we'll lose our right to. . ." do whatever. Isn't that how the world works? That's certainly all they have!

You know what all this reminds me of? My preconversion days in 1998 when I became aware of the country's downward spiral. I remember being so upset about former president Clinton's executive order entitled "Federalism". And, in the earthly sense, it was scary. But my trust wasn't in Christ. At that time, my trust was in "we gotta save the country from the socialists". That is where my trust was. My trust isn't there now. It's in Christ. Do I still get some of those old spooky feelings that I got so long ago? Yes! But I realize that is a feeling of desperation that is my flesh fighting for control. We get scared because we think life should be like a Burger King where we "Have It Our Way".

Listen. It's not about "our rights". The Christian life is about maintaining our first love, living a holy life and spreading the Gospel. To the radio announcers who spend so much time promoting lobbying I would ask "How much time have you spent spreading the Gospel?" I don't mean talking about the Gospel, I mean actually going out of your way to spread the Gospel. If I had my way, I'd have a rule that says something like "For every congressman you call, you must first share the Gospel with five lost people". Of course, I can only apply that to myself. But to someone who would object, I'd have to ask "Why?".

I was reading around on various blogs recently. One commenter said in so many words that "the gospel isn't enough".

I beg to differ. Not only is the Gospel "enough", it's all we have! It is the Gospel that transforms a human heart. You can legislate all you want and produce an outward conformity to a list of rules but you haven't done what God has told us to do -- share a message that changes the human heart. And if you change the heart, the rest follows.

We have substituted outward morality for Godliness. In our efforts to win through political lobbying, we show that we are merely concerned with the outside of the cup. And if you clean the outside of the man, the inside still goes to hell without Christ.

Give them the Gospel. The heart changes. The desires change. The society changes. All according to God's will.

Vote? Sure! But I'm not sure that I will. If you do vote, vote biblically. That will be a tough decision for me. I feel strongly about the issue. But whether I vote or not, that doesn't mean I'll major on minors.

We render to the government what is required but we give to God what is God's. And I've yet to see where God requires us to reform our country from the outside in. Rather it is to be done from the inside out through the Gospel.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Good Things Going On!

Well, it's been crazy around here but I think things are calming down. So much has been going on.

My wife and I seem to have found a decent church. We had been meeting here at home but there was this ongoing inner question of "did we really look around enough". After meeting in our home for a while we found a very small church near here. By obscure I mean we live in a town of 35,000 and never heard of it. It's been there 55 years.

The pastor is older. They sing hymns exclusively. They live their faith. Perfect? No. Of course not. But I see a consistency there that I haven't seen anywhere else. I heard about this place from a former pastor's parents. They mentioned visiting there and said that they'd be there if they didn't have their "below the radar" ministry at their current church, which has lots of polish and little substance.

We've been at this church since late April and were pleasantly surprised to say the least.

As an aside, the week before we found this church we visited an LCMS Lutheran church. I had expected it to be more liturgical but this was nearly Roman Catholic. The worship is by rote, out of a Lutheran Service Book. I had thought that the Missouri Synod churches were more orthodox. I was wrong, at least about this one, based on what we saw and heard. No thanks.

So we started visiting our present church. It's "just" a small "Bible church". No affiliations. After arriving and taking our seats, I looked around and thought "Oh boy, this is gonna be a dead church!". I was going by the appearance of things. I was wrong.

The pastor introduced himself, as did others. Before I forget to mention it, the next week when we returned, the same bunch went out of their way to welcome us again, and even remembered our names without any problem at all. I wish I could remember theirs better.

The turning point was the preaching. No, it isn't polished. But there is substance. I prefer substance over polish. And the pastor admits that he isn't trying to be polished. Yes, there could be more depth. But what he has to say is accurate.

And they aren't there to entertain. The first Sunday we were there, he touched on modern church growth methods. That was encouraging because he mentioned that "church growth" isn't up to human inventiveness but a work of God through the spread of the gospel.

There are other things as well, but I won't detail them. I will merely mention that they make room for one another's weaknesses. The elderly are not shoved out of music ministry merely for becoming frail and forgetful.

Since starting there in late April, I don't think that there has been more than one sermon where he didn't mention evangelism. And you can tell he has a passion for the lost. So many of the people there seem to be that way as well.

This leads to the second positive thing, and that is the beginning of evangelism classes at our church. Today the pastor had once again mentioned that "we don't evangelize enough". I agree. That is just generically true. If we could see how real hell is, we'd understand the urgency. But life leaks in.

Anyway, I approached him after the service and mentioned that the reason why evangelism is so low is maybe because people are nervous about witnessing. He agreed. I then mentioned Way of the Master to him. He welcomed the idea of classes. No surprise really because I had been bringing tracts to church from Living Waters and leaving them. People have been picking them up and giving them out.

So, at this point I'm preparing to see what we can do to start at least one Way of the Master class.

The third positive change is getting my music studio set up. After running linux for nearly five years, I decided to try moving to an iMac to (re)build my studio around. I saved and scratched and eventually had the money to get a nice big iMac. I mean a 24" incher. Well, that was a nightmare. I went through two of these things and they both were a constant problem with hardware failures and kernel panics. Out of six weeks, I had a useable optical drive for one week. After swapping out the drive, bootup took 40 minutes. . .yes, minutes! On the next attempt, they swapped the system board, the HD and the optical drive. Then it wouldn't even boot. Back it went for replacement. The next one was a kernel panic nightmare. I then tried to reinstall OSX. The installer was nice enough to confirm my OS install cd was ok, but after wiping my hard disk determined it couldn't write to the hard disk. Lots of fun.

So, back went the iMac and I built my own system. For the computer gear heads, the iMac was a Core 2 Duo at 2.8 Ghz with 2 gigs of ram and 500 gigs of HD space. The one I built is a Core 2 Quad at 2.5Ghz, 2 gigs of ram and 750 gigs of drive space. And it cost less. Not to mention I can open it up and work on it without voiding my warrantee.

It's nice being back in control. I hate having to rely on service techs. And, I saved enough money from my iMac refund that I didn't have to fork over more for the Garritan midi instruments I need to be able to use. I'm guessing I saved around $500 over all.

The fourth bit of good news is my blood sugar is getting back under control. I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2000 and things have generally been fine, until recently. It got a bit scarey but it seems to be back under control again.

Now all we have to do is get the roof on our home done. But we're working on that one.

So, I'm thankful. Mostly for the new church home. It's exciting to see what God may be doing. We'll see. I forgot to mention that when I spoke with him about people being nervous about witnessing he said he preached about that this past Wednesday evening. Too bad I wasn't there but it's great to see these things work out. Again, we'll see what God does.

And I'll keep you posted.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'll Take Mine In Braille

Priceless. Just priceless.

Cue The Handwringing

Here we go again, focusing on what the devil is doing instead of what we should be doing.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate it when the FRC and other organizations stand up for the unborn and the infirm. But I get so very tired of the "Oh my, what shall we do?" talk when it comes to the oncoming criminalization of Christianity. I get so tired of the use of the word "rights", especially when it is used in reference to things that Christians have been given clear instructions on.

I got this from the Family Research Council this morning:

"FRC held a standing-room-only panel discussion this morning about the California same-sex marriage ruling and its effects on religious liberty. Many religious organizations in California and elsewhere are worried about the possible erosion of their First Amendment rights and religious liberty protections. The panel addressed key issues being asked by religious organizations: Will churches be able to refuse to marry homosexual couples? Will they be able to deny access to their facilities? Will other Christian organizations be able to retain their religious identity and beliefs in light of the court's decision?"

This sounds rather like the psalmist who said "...if the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?" (Psalm 11). Problem is, the psalmist wasn't asking that question but quoting those who would mock us as if to say "what 'cha gonna do now that we've had our way?". And here, the voices of what we would loosely call "christianity" are saying "ooohh. . .if this all goes bad, we're gonna be in trouble!" Wow. What leadership.

This kind of non-faith is why I stopped listening to much of what passes for "Christian radio". The constant "call your congressman and protect your own hide" kind of garbage.

What is going on here? We are worried about getting permission to stand up for what is right? No, I don't think that is it. I think it's more of "I want to know I can live out what I believe without it demanding any real faith, please don't arrest me!"

I remember getting phone calls from the American Center for Law and Justice. I got lots of them. Jay Sekulow wanted me to help "fight for my rights". Excuse me? I don't have "rights". I have responsibilities given to me by God.

I mentioned that to the last person from the ACLJ that called for a donation. She sounded rather stunned when I suggested that perhaps, just perhaps, we should spend less time being like the world (that continually fights for its "rights") and simply do what we have been told to do regardless of the consequences. Yes, stunned. And she ended up indicating that I had a good point. Well, it is a good point. It's a Biblical one.

Daniel was "denied the right to pray". He did anyway. And Paul didn't have the "right" to preach in Rome. He did anyway. And he didn't even appeal to other Christians to "call your political leaders and demand a change".

Let's call this "I demand my rights" stuff what it is; worship of self. You want to say you "believe" but you want it on your own easy terms. Meanwhile, the Lord uses circumstances to show how real your faith is.

Is your faith in the Lord? Does it lead to obedience regardless of the personal cost? Or is it a sham, good only for displaying on Sunday mornings or in another "friendly environment"?

James would say such faith is useless.

Let me give you Psalm 11, without the remarks of the taunters in the first couple of verses:

"1 In the LORD I take refuge. . .
4 The LORD is in his holy temple;
the LORD is on his heavenly throne.


He observes the sons of men;
his eyes examine them.

5 The LORD examines the righteous,
but the wicked [b] and those who love violence
his soul hates.

6 On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulfur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.
7 For the LORD is righteous,
he loves justice;
upright men will see his face."

God knows what is going on. His wrath is delayed by His mercy; but it will come. Justice delayed is not justice denied. Read Psalm 11.

When will we get a clear vision of this and stop all the hand-wringing?


Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Number for This Week

A few minutes ago, I added an item above my blog profile. The title is "The Number for This Week".

You may be saying "What is that?". And guess what? I'm not going to tell you, at least not right now. No, it's nothing mysterious. I haven't crawled off somewhere and gotten involved in numerology. But it is an important number to me. And I'm going to keep track of it as it changes.

I'll let you in on it later.

Isn't suspense fun?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My Next Million Dollars

I like good tracts. A good tract is one that grabs the person's attention and presents a clear message. And the new Million Dollar tract from Living Waters does just that.


It's more convincing, I think, than the previous one. The placing of the text (which is more obvious) takes away a little from the "believeability" of the "bill", but then the message is the point anyway.




The ones I liked best were the ones they published as early as four years ago, when I first became aware of Living Waters. But the text on them was so small and I had people complain that they were hard to read.

Can't help it, I like good graphics. But again, the message has to be readable.

In any case, people enjoy these tracts. I've passed them out to people and had them ask for more to give to their friends. I've left them laying around for people to find and I watch them pick them up, obviously read them and then keep them. And isn't that the point?

There are always those who argue against tracts. They say things like "no one was ever saved by a tract". Well, what they mean to say is "no one was ever saved via the ministry of a tract". It's the message, not the medium itself. I'd have to disagree with that, based partially on testimonies I've heard and just the mere fact that it is the message that saves, as I've already noted. It's not the person, or the lack of one. It's the message.

So, I leave you with a recommendation; Give these tracts a try!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Abort73 Dot Com

Just wanted to publicize the addition of abort73.com to the blogroll here at the 'fly. I found it via Truth In Context.

Warning: If you don't want to hear a good argument against abortion don't go there. Stay ignorant. The medical information is excellent as are the philosophical arguments. This includes the S.L.E.D. (Size, Level of dependency, Environment, Development) points mentioned by Scott Klusendorf in a post elsewhere on this site. And here is another link to a page at the Pro Life Training Institute regarding Scott.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Obsolete Man

It's unusual for me to be able to answer the question "What's your favorite. . ." fill in the blank. Food, color, whatever. There is so much that I enjoy that it is hard for me to find anything as "favorite". Much of it, I think, depends on my moods.

But I think there is one exception.

Perhaps one of my favorite childhood television shows was "The Twilight Zone". It is unusual that I can tell you that my favorite episode is "The Obsolete Man". There is no question about that. No doubt in my mind whatsoever.

I'll try not to spoil it for anyone (mostly the younger readers) who have not seen this episode. It is about a man who lives in a totalitarian state some time in the future. He has been declared "Obsolete" because he is a librarian. Books have been banned, God has been declared non-existant. And truth is whatever the State says it is by "just-so" declaration. (Starting to sound familiar?).

Because he has been found to be "obsolete", he has been sentenced to death. Perhaps in our society, we'd say he's "useless" therefore he is "post human" and must be "euthanized" (but that is for another discussion).

The State finds humor when the man requests the form of death by which his life will end. And the State is more than happy to oblige.

I'll end there. If you know the story, you already know what happens. If you don't, you can see the episode starting with this clip.

Of course, our world is quickly approaching what we see in "The Obsolete Man". It is so obvious that it would be silly to post anything about it if that were simply my point. In the episode, you can see parallels in our world - the outlawing of truth, the banning of the Bible, the cheapened view of human life. Political Correctness in full, dark bloom.

But, at least in our case, the joke is on the State. See, the "Obsolete Man" is not the one the State is condemning. It is the State itself, for the grand assumption is that "all that there is, is what we can see, feel, hear, taste or touch!". And that is a rope of sand.

What the State in the "Twilight Zone" and the world we live in does not want to recognize is that this life is but a mere vapor. And all the decrees and mandates of this world cannot change that.

So, who is not the "Obsolete Man"? The one who is equipped to live with and serve God forever. Man is building his own kingdom. Even the most mighty of men can only build a temporal kingdom. And all temporal kingdoms will come to an end. In fact, 2 Peter 3:10 tells us how the entire earth shall come to an end - when the Lord stops holding all things together:

"10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up." It would be an understatement to say that the Lord will say "Obsolete". The world is everything unrighteous and unholy and in rebellion against anything representing God's Truth. It is utterly condemned.

But God's Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom (Psalm 145:13). Of His kingdom there will be no end. And those who are known by Him will reign with him forever and ever.

May it be so.

Why Barak Obama is No Different Than Anyone Else

Ran into this interview with Barak Obama yesterday. It dates back to 2004. Here's the transcript. And here's the quote that led to this post:

"OBAMA: I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell. I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. That’s just not part of my religious makeup." (emphasis mine)

I wish I had a chance to talk with Obama, although I doubt it would do much good. I pray that it would. . .for his sake.

For all the justifiable noise about Obama, he is (at the core) no different than any other unregenerate man. For at the core, he is an idolater. He worships a god of his own making.

Two times in this one quote, he refers to "my god". How "my God would not consign four-fifths of the world to Hell". Well, he's right. He's right because his god won't consign four-fifths of the world to hell. He can't because he doesn't exist. He is a figment of Obama's imagination, an invention that he came up with so that he can have a form of religion surrounding a god that smiles on what he likes and condemns what he doesn't. His god is no bigger than himself. He is not the Holy God who "cannot look upon iniquity".

He sums up by implying that his god is no bigger than his own religious make up. And that is true.

Like the rest of the worldlings, Obama has no concept of a Holy God. A just God who must judge sin and wickedness. He would offer us a "god" that is no judge, that will not right the wrongs of all the ages. His 'god' would be comparable to a judge who, having seen and heard all the evidence and knowing that the person in front of him is guilty of raping your daughter and killing her, would simply smile and tell the criminal "that's ok, I forgive you".

But as I said in the title of this post, Barak Obama is really no different than anyone else. Anyone else apart from Christ.

The first two commandments:

1. You shall have no other Gods before Me.
2. You shall not make unto yourselves graven images...

The summation of the above is the God of the Scriptures is to be first and that we are to 'bow down' to no one else. Of course, the Hebrews had just finished violating both of these commandments as Moses was receiving the ten commandments from the Lord on Mount Sinai.

Barak Obama's 'god' is really the god of s-e-l-f. His 'god' approves and rejects what ever he approves and rejects. It is the 'god' of all the lost. Non-transcendent. No bigger than the worshipper himself.

But the God of the Bible will judge. And all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Barak Obama is simply another lost sinner on the edge of God's eternal judgement. His apparent problem is he doesn't understand the character of God.

He, like so many others, doesn't understand that he has broken all of the Ten Commandments. Face it, we all have! Can you, reader, say that you have always put God first in everything you do? Have you ever used God's name in vain (used it lightly) even if to call yourself a Christian when you really are not one? (and yes, using God's name in vain includes that!). Have you always taken one day in seven to rest from your work and focus on the Lord? Have you always honored your father and mother? Ever hated anyone (Jesus said that is the same as murder)? Ever stolen anything, no matter how small? Lied? Coveted?

The Bible teaches us that if you break even one of the commandments you are just as guilty as if you had broken all of them. A criminal is a criminal in the eyes of the judge. And you have been found guilty.

What will you do? The gavel has already fallen, will you choose to pay the penalty yourself? How foolish! The wrath of a Holy God has already been poured out on Someone else who bore it for you; Jesus Christ, God's only Son. And there is no other way, for Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the only door to eternal life. Will you refuse it? Will you demand by your lack of repentance that you pay your own penalty? Will you be a fool?

No. Barak Obama isn't really any different than anyone else. He's lost. He is self-deceived. He worships a god of his own making, that values what he values. No more, no less. He worships self. And unless he repents and puts his faith and trust soley in the finished work of Jesus Christ, he too shall fall under God's eternal wrath.

You may say "Well, too bad you can't talk to Obama. He'd probably ignore you". You are probably right. But then you've read this, haven't you. The point isn't "what would Obama do with it?", but rather, what're you going to do with it?"

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Acknowledging the Timely and Obvious

Found the following comment in this thread over at TeamPyro. It fits precisely with what has been going through my mind lately regarding our national election. Seems like the more things "change" the more they remain the same:

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.-George Santayana

It is interesting to note what leaders in the past have advocated change, especially during times of economic downturns, as vulnerable people find ways to maintain a footing in their lifestyle and economic status.

Just look at the history of Germany. Economic Depression, people disillusioned due to WW1, and a young charismatic man promising change.

It is also interesting how many German churches supported that young man.

Another interesting aspect is that one of the major platforms in National Socialism in Germany at that time was environmentalism. A German zoologist named Ernest Haeckel coined the term ecology in 1867. He was also one of the major voices in Germany for Darwin and the theory of evolution. In the environmental movement in Germany, which incidentally wedded naturalism and nationalism, much was blamed on the urban industrial civilization created (in their minds) by the Jewish people."


The lesson? Be careful who you vote for, you may get it.

None of the Above?

People have been asking me the typical election-year question: "Who are you going to vote for?" And I've noticed that it's caused me to think more deeply about my response.

I've always voted. I remember my first time voting back in 1972. I was proud to be involved in the political process. And, for the most part, I've always been proud to do so. And, no surprise, I've always voted conservative, although at times I've either desired to vote independent or actually did.

As an American, it is my duty to vote. It is not something I do lightly or take lightly.

But this year, it's all changed. I'm not sure what I'll do. No, it's not whether I'm for Obama or McCain. Obama's ties to the Communist Party USA pale in comparison to the things God is more concerned with such as the killing of the unborn and even those who survive botched abortions (Obama voted against the Born Alive Protection Act).

And I think that's why I may not be voting this year. It's all about the unborn. Sure, from my understanding, both candidates are globalists and as such would erase our borders. And both have bought into the "global warming" myth. McCain agressively so.

But those things don't bother me so much.

See, I'm not just an "American", I'm a citizen of Heaven. I'm redeemed. And I cannot support those who are pro-abortion and pro-embryonic stem cell research (which calls for the killing of the unborn).

We serve a living King. The peons of this Earth who would call themselves our leaders will one day be judged. And we will all rightfully bow down before the Lord and proclaim that He is indeed Lord. Some prior to entering Heaven but most before being cast into Hell forever.

So I cannot and will not take part in an Earthly political process that calls me to support someone who stands for something that is contrary to God's Holy Word. Nope.

You may say "but Tim, don't you know that for evil to take over our land, all it takes is for good men to do nothing?". And I say "Don't you understand that evil has already taken over this land and that one day God will make it all right?"

This land we call America has given us much. God has blessed us with freedom. In a way, however, that freedom has been a curse. Only in America can we enjoy the false doctrine of "the carnal Christian". You know, where you can name the name of Jesus and live any way you want all the way to Hell. There has been precious little persecution in this country of ours. And maybe it's time to let things slide completely downhill so that those who unrightly claim Christ will be exposed for the phoneys they are.

You say "But if so and so gets elected, he'll take our freedoms away". And I say, I will not beg for my freedom to be paid for on the backs of the unborn through the support of so called embryonic stem cell research. I will not vote for evil that good may come of it.

You say "If you don't vote, you surrender all rights to complain" and I say to you I'm not complaining because the only One Who will make it right is the Lord Jesus Christ when he returns in all His Glory. Therefore I have no Earthly complaints. The only relevant complaints I have I take to God in prayer. No politican can deal with them. None seem to care to.

What will I do in November? I don't know. The landscape may change. But as it is, it looks like "none of the above". But come what may let each and every one of us keep our focus on the heart of God!

What're You Whining About?

Just got this from Voice of the Martyrs. We need to be praying for those who are being persecuted for their faith and praying for those who do the persecuting:

"PAKISTAN
Christians Abducted at Gunpoint by Muslim Extremists - VOM Sources

On June 21, 16 Christians were abducted by Muslim extremists when they gathered to pray in Academy Town, Peshawar, Pakistan. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts in Pakistan, "Salamat Masih and 30 of his family and close friends were gathered to pray and celebrate the birth of his daughter, when 12 Taliban [members] of the Lashka-e-Islam group broke into his house yelling and shouting. They held the believers at gunpoint. The Muslim house-owner, Haji Muhammad Saraj, was also present at the time to collect rent." VOM contacts added, "With machine and automatic guns, they forcibly separated the men from the women and children. Slapping the Christian men, they commanded all 16 men, including Pastor Zulifqar and Haji Muhammad Saraj, to get into the five waiting vehicles." The 16 Christian men were held captive for an hour. "They were beaten and abused, and had all their money and mobile phones stolen from them. During this time, the Taliban attempted to persuade Pastor Zulifqar to convert to Islam, which he unquestionably refused. After sunset the Taliban took them to another place where they were kept in a cave until their release 10 hours later," VOM contacts reported. Pray for believers in Pakistan. Pray God protects them and provides for all their needs. Also pray their courageous testimonies will draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Him.
Psalm 91:1-2


EGYPT
Christian Homes and Businesses Attacked - VOM Sources

On June 19, a mob of local Muslims attacked businesses and homes belonging to Coptic Christians in the village of Al Nazla, Fayoum province. According to VOM contacts, "When a convert from Christianity to Islam left that day on a three-day trip to Cairo, local Muslims concluded that she had gone missing. Rumors circulated that she had been abducted by her Christian family members. A mob of Muslims then went on a rampage in the village, beating and injuring Christians and destroying property." Ask God to strengthen those affected by the mob violence and for them to remain steadfast as they suffer. Pray that the perpetrators of this attack will come to repentance and salvation.
Revelation 2:10


INDONESIA
Church Closed Again - VOM Sources

Recently, Muslims closed a church and blocked Christians from entering and holding services in Jatimula, Bekasi, West Java, Indonesia. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts in Indonesia, "Muslims blocked the alley leading to the church building. Pastor Anna and Huta Julu had to lead worship outside their church building and believers had to sit in the dirty alley to pray outside their church." VOM contacts added, "The sign outside the church building stated, ‘This church building is sealed,’ and it was written on a letterhead belonging to the Tambun Selatan district of Bekasi local government." This is the second time Muslims have closed the church in Bekasi. The church was first closed on September 10, 2005, when a mob of 100 Muslims nailed boards over doors and windows and prohibited believers from entering the building. Praise God for the unwavering faith of believers in Indonesia. Ask God to watch over Pastor Anna and Huta Julu as they continue to lead other believers in Indonesia. Pray for protection for believers as they courageously live for Christ in the midst of hardships.
John 15: 18-21


AZERBAIJAN
Pastor Arrested - Forum 18 News

On June 20, Pastor Hamid Shabanov was arrested after police claimed to find an illegal weapon while searching his home in Aliabad. According to Forum 18 News, "Pastor Shabanov's family and congregation insist that police planted the gun they claimed to discover. Shabanov's brother sees the arrest as a direct attack on the pastor's Baptist church and an attempt to halt Christian activity in the area. Shabanov's home was among those searched when another local pastor arrested on fabricated charges, Pastor Zaur Balaev, was detained in May 2007." Pray that the truth of this situation will be made known and that Pastor Shabanov will be released. Pray that Christians in Azerbaijan will be emboldened to follow in their Savior’s footsteps.
1 Corinthians 4:9-16"

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Paul Washer: A Grab Bag

No, I haven't given you the title of what he's talking about in the video at this link. I figure if I do that, there will be too many people making presuppositions and saying "I don't need to hear that, I'm ok. I know what he's going to say".

So, click on the link and find out what the video is about. Set aside everything else, watch (or listen) and pay close attention.

Destroying the Myth of Global Warming
Brannon Howse

Just got a link to this in my email from Christian Worldview Network. It's a clip of a DVD you can purchase. It's worth your time!

How Many Times Have You "Got Saved"?
Paul Washer

video