Sunday, December 31, 2006

Safe Harbor

This post may confuse some of you out there, but bear with me. I’ll try to keep it short.
Just a few minutes ago a friend mentioned that she is “Not afraid to die.” and I know exactly what she means. There is no fear of death for a child of God. I do not want to live a single second longer than God has use for me on this earth. I can echo Paul’s famous, “21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.” Philippians 1:21-24
I will never have such a ministry as Paul‘s, and I’m not really comparing our journeys, but we share the same Spirit, and destination.
Consider what this means for a child of God-with no fear of death, what is there to worry about? Nothing.
How would you like to go through life without carrying the burden of worry? I’d be a liar if I said that I had no worries at all-I’m human, and have fears and concerns like anyone else. But they are piffles, small change, hardly enough to break a sweat over. And even the few tiny worries that I do carry around I can lay down at the feet of my Lord.
“6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7.
No matter what happens in this life, I know that I am assured of both God’s Love and His Providence, meaning that nothing can happen to me that He does not cause or allow to happen, both good and bad. The good is to bless me, and the bad is to teach me, so really, it’s all good, all working to Glorify God by conforming me to the image of Christ. Which I do not deserve. Charles Spurgeon, in writing a foreword to one of his books, signed as “His unworthy servant”. I am also His unworthy servant. I have been quite a reclamation project, but His Grace is greater than my faults and weaknesses.
If you wish to go through life stressed out and worrying about every little thing (and the BIG things, like life and death) you can go for it. You might even think that I am a deluded fool to trust in an invisible God Who, according to most of the world, doesn’t even exist. Most of the world is as wrong as kittens on ice skates.
I follow Jesus who said, “28“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different…

Steak and eggs, ham, hamburger, chicken done in interesting ways-I like it all. I enjoy meat and potatoes, but if you fancy up a dish with sauces and crinoline, and it’s good, I’ll eat that, too. I will never be mistaken for a gourmand. Part of that comes from years of working in kitchens-like the magicians assistant, I know all the tricks.
No one would peg me as a musical gourmand, either-I love many different types of music, and some of it is fancy, much of it is plain, but what I enjoy, I enjoy. Flatt & Scruggs and Scriabin. Mozart and Willy.
In the picture accompanying this post the object of Horowitz and Borge’s admiration is an artist I’ve recently found: Gabriela Montero. She is THAT GOOD. I was listening to her rendition of a classic tonight and she was note perfect with Vladimir Horowitz-she wasn’t copying him, but they were both absolute in their interpretations of the piece.
Montero has moved to America after being born in Venezuela. Horowitz found sanctuary here in America in 1917 a few steps ahead of the Russian Communist uprising. He returned to Moscow in 1986 to play a triumphant concert which turned out to be the first sounding of the death knell for the Communist Party, which remained in power for just a few more years.
Victor Borge arrived on these shores in 1940 after his native Denmark fell to the Nazis-luckily he was playing a concert in Sweden at the time, and made his way to America.
Hugo Chavez may not be a Lenin or Hitler, but Gabriela Montero moving to America seems to follow the same pattern. Here there is freedom to be an artist, to make a living, to BE.
I encourage everyone to seek out her music, see if you also enjoy her interpretations of Classical favorites. She is young yet, and becoming established. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Looking For Holy In All The Odd Places

I wonder if the 2006 edition of Barbra Streisand ever looks back on her previous incarnations and thinks, “What the heck she was doing?”
Through the years Barbra has blessed many songs and songwriters with her voice. It is a great voice, and I enjoy her music, although the cliché gag doesn’t hold true: I’m straight as a ruler.
Anyway, tonight I was listening to the 1967 edition of Barbra Streisand-The Christmas Album, and as she sang “Silent Night” it occurred to me that “Sleep in Heavenly Peace” is said to the baby Jesus Who, being the Prince of Peace, Would sleep Heavenly. Others may have made that connection decades ago-I never said I was quick.
On the same album, after “Ave Maria”, Barbra presents a reverential, faithful, “Lord’s Prayer”. I wouldn’t have thought to include it on a Christmas album, but there it is, and I like her rendition.
Again, as usual, Bethlehem is too dangerous for many tourists to visit this Christmas-there’s no room at the foxhole. But the Prince of Peace, when He returns as King, will make all of Israel a peaceful, beautiful garden. Israel itself will be much larger then the few acres they inhabit now-
“14The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; 15for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. 16“I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. 17“Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.” 18Then Abram moved his tent and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.” Genesis 13:14-18

24“My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them. 25“They will live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons and their sons’ sons, forever; and David My servant will be their prince forever. 26“I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. 27“My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. 28“And the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever.” Ezekiel 37:24-28

“He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love.”
Thanks, Isaac Watts, Lowell Mason. You were looking forward to the return of the Lord, just as we are. Let Earth receive her King!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Muslims Are Attacking Our Free Speech

It’s here. Remember when we had the freedom to speak our mind without having our heads lopped off? Here in America we are supposed to enjoy Freedom of Speech. You are allowed to disagree with someone else, even your own government, without fear of being silenced.
My friend Vilmar over at Right Wing Howler has been silenced. His ISP took his website off-line because CAIR-the Council for American Islamic Relations-sent a letter complaining about his anti-Muslim exercise of Free Speech. When it disappeared I wrote to Vilmar, and he told me what happened-he doesn’t know when or if he will get back online. I warned months ago that Fine Dry Wit might disappear someday because of this type of censorship, and now it’s happened to someone I know.
Do you get this? Do you understand that this is a serious attack on Free Speech? One activist group has effectively silenced someone who spoke out against them. A group which defines itself as a propagator of interaction, a go between for relations between cultures. CAIR. Council for American Islamic Relations.
It seems as if the only relationship they are looking to bring about is their foot on our necks.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Another Army

As you flit and flutter through the season of twinkly stars, jingly bells, and happy little faces, remember that there are families and individuals who struggle year round, and Christmas can feel very empty for them. Give generously in this season of giving to those who really need your charity. I like to give to charities at Christmas which have not compromised the message of Jesus and His visit to the world, and one of my favorites is The Salvation Army. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Harmony. What a wonderful word. We enjoy the concept of harmonizing, blending together, being in perfect order with our world. Orange marmalade is a great example of harmony between fruit, sugar and pectin. I’d love some orange marmalade on toast with right now. Do you know what makes it work so well?
Heat. Without heat there’s no proper combining of the ingredients.
It may sound odd to state it this way, but our world’s finest moments of harmony have come when we’ve been feeling heat, have all had to depend on each other.
What I see in America now is the opposite of “United We Stand”. It may be our undoing. We can’t even agree that we are still “One Nation, under God” without some saying, “God who? There is no God, and you’ve just offended me by mentioning one.”
Be offended. I would rather offend you by mentioning Jesus Christ than offend Him by keeping quiet.
“I want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony…”
But the song is “Amazing Grace” and the world is out of tune.
How will God bring the world back into harmony with Him?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Tinfoil Burlesque

Psychodramaturgical. In reference to the latest hate letter from the Iranian President/Puppet, Psychodramaturgical comes to mind. I don’t know if he’s on the pipe, but golly he sounds multi-dimensional. We all exist in space and time, but I think the half pint may be visiting a few rotations “X” and “Y” in his spare dimensions. Consider this an answer to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who probably wouldn’t appreciated being contracted even further to: MADnejad.

MADnejad: You are all wrong. At least Borat makes me laugh. You have called me corrupt, evil, and I take issue with that. You see, you have referred to my government that way, and here in America it is, “We, The People” who govern. Our President was not selected for us by Mullahs. You could look it up: nearly half the people voted against his gaining the office of the President. That doesn’t denote weakness in us, but strength. Even if our political beliefs divide us, we are still all Americans, and we all much prefer to live free from oppression. We do not fear our Government-can your people say the same? No wonder you are sending so much trouble over the border into Iraq. If the freedoms there were to catch on in your Iran, it would no longer be Your Iran.
I note in your letter your one-note Palestinian screed. I can almost hear you speaking in the UN General Assembly about Israel: “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for us that one Nation perish for the people, and that the whole World not fall into Chaos.”
MADnejad, you stink. Those of us who refuse to accept your fantasies as Reality are in mortal danger from you and your ilk, but guess what? Mortal danger doesn’t scare us- it is hard to terrorize those who do not fear. You are a loser because you want the world to be the way you like, instead of liking the World we have. It’s a beautiful place, and you and your Muslim buddies are trashing it with all of your Islam stuff. Without going all Hindi-Vishnu on you, we create and you destroy. But you’re missing the bigger picture. Greater than all of us is God,(not Allah) Who will take all that we do to His Creation very seriously. And if you think an elephant never forgets, wait until you’re standing in judgment before God. You are on the wrong side of history, and your future has an expiration date.
May God continue to Bless His People.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Tinsel Burlesque

Burlesque (n)-From the French/Italian burlesco/burla: A jest, mockery. Any broadly comic or satirical imitation; derisive caricature; parody.
The most despised day of the year is now behind us; during the long torturous month ahead, be cool, be patient/long suffering, persevere and if you can, buy an iPod or other music player. Anything with headphones. The most despised day is of course the one in which Christmas music begins infesting your radio.
John 4:23,24
“23“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The verse mentions nothing about dogs barking “Silent Night”. Or Chipmunks with their Uncle Dave singing “Feliz Navidad”. Or Ozzy Osborne singing “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”.
God is not mocked, and I’m certain that He’s not amused, either. In my church we will sing the Christ-honoring Christmas songs as we worship God together. That is Holy communing of God and His people such as Jesus mentioned in the verse above: “In spirit and in truth.” When I sing to God, in the car, at work (very quietly, as not everyone uses headphones) or at home, it is worship and praise, and it happens most every day of the year. When Buddy Hackett tells the ‘Christmas story’ with a string of expletives, when the Red Hot Chili Peppers do “Oh Holy night” it is an unholy affront. When ten thousand variations on this unholy theme regurge out of our radios for the next 30 days, it is overwhelmingly offensive.
Tinsel. Tinsel is shiny and pretty, but has no light-it only reflects the light which touches it. Christians are called to be the ’Light of the World’ which is only possible as we are lit from within, having the Holy Spirit indwell us. We should be shining brightly in a darkened world. In the analogy of the Christmas decorations, we Christians would be the bulbs strung together, and those who do not have His Spirit would be the tinsel. The tinsel looks pretty in our light, but take us away, and there’s no shine for nothing.
If you sing, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” in the next month, whether in your car accompanying Perry Como, or in a church service, or just by yourself, listen to what you’re singing:
“God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.”
We are born astray-born into sin, and singing songs from the point of view of Christians no more makes you saved than quoting Mel Brooks makes you funny.
Worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Don’t be tinsel.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Even So

Although there have been attacks and threats that have plummeted our country into a time of war and dissension, even so, I am thankful that we have a government in place that continues to bend to the will of the people to find equitable and just and noble solutions, and that we still have those who are called to lead by serving their countrymen with commitment to the sovereignty of our nation under God.

Although there are those who would like nothing better than to see the destruction of this great nation, even so, I am thankful that there are those who still love and appreciate the ideals of liberty and justice that began this country and are willing to protect its existence and the lives of their countrymen with their own.

Although there is still hunger and disease and injustice around the world and in our own country, even so, I am thankful that there are those in this country of bounty and blessing who are compelled by their compassion and concern to give time and money to organizations that try to relieve those miseries.

Although there are neighbors and friends and family who do not acknowledge the existence of God, even so, I am thankful that our country upholds the right of religious freedom so that one day, if any of them comes to the knowledge of the truth, they will be able to worship freely and without fear.

Although everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and deserve nothing less than total destruction, even so, I am thankful that God has made a way of deliverance from what we deserve, by the sacrificial action of His Son on the cross, to mercifully and gracefully provide a way of eternal fellowship with Him.

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of family and friends, both near and far, with whom we can share this day of thankfulness, and who make our lives so much more dear. Our hearts are full of gratitude for Your provision and sovereignty. Please bless us and protect us today.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Muslim or Martian?

Muslim or Martian?

It’s quiz time on FDW! This won’t be a fancy fill in the blank and see how many correct answers are tabulated when you click a button. Have pen and paper handy and keep score for yourselves. Think of it as being interactive with tools from an earlier generation.

Each of the statements or questions below have to do with either Martians or Muslims. Have fun!


()Martian ()Muslim


()Martian ()Muslim


()Martian ()Muslim


()Martian ()Muslim


()Martian ()Muslim


()Martian ()Muslim


()Martian ()Muslim


()Martian ()Muslim

Okay! I’ll have the answers on the comment page. Last one there is an infidel.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tiny Dancer

Elton John suggests banning religion:
"From my point of view, I would ban religion completely. Organized religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate."
Seriously. Okay, so some of his beef is with the bible, I imagine, which condemns homosexuality as sin. And as we all know, homosexuals are being tortured and put to death left and right by Christians around the world. Okay, that sarcasm was a little over the top. How about this? Christians routinely picket businesses that employ homosexuals. No? Maybe Christians regularly vandalize the homes of homosexuals? Christians harass homosexuals in their workplaces? Okay, on occasion, Christians give homosexuals disapproving looks.

I don't believe that the Book of Mormon is true. I think that every word of it is a falsehood. Any suggestion that I should embrace Mormonism as the true religion is met with a polite "no." And yet, for some reason, I don't feel compelled to suggest that we start a petition to ban Mormonism. Why? Because I believe in religious freedom. And quite clearly, Mr. John does not. He's also not very knowledgable if he believes that Christianity turns people into hateful lemmings. I wonder if he knows any. The Christians I know are the most decent, kind and charitable people I associate with. I think Christianity had a great deal to do with the abolition of slavery. It also had much to do with the civil rights movement. Now, it is concentrating much of its efforts into stopping the holocaust of unborn human beings that is happening worldwide. I think that is quite compassionate.

Sir John needs to do some research. And I don't mean from 1200 A.D. He is right about one thing, though. There is an organized religion with a lot of antagonism towards gays. Actually, antagonism is quite the understatement. Sir John might want to turn his attention toward that religion. It is pounding on his doorstep.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Thousand Words


Every Day

The Day For True Veterans

There are many fine tributes to our Veterans out there today, remembering those who have sacrificed and fought to keep our Nation whole and safe. Allan has a fine tribute in the Nudas Veritas folder: click the second picture, hear the song and watch the video.
Another tribute which honors out Veterans is found at:
I was a peace-time veteran, but still was proud to serve. My nephew in law is a Marine in his second enlistment. Yesterday was the ’Birthday” for the US Marines, and I’m sure that he and his buddies celebrated.
And that’s at the heart of it all: We celebrate Life and honor Death, honor those who sacrificed so that we may live free. I Praise God for our Military, all branches, every member. Tomorrow in church they will ask all Veterans to stand, and we are honored to accept those thanks, that appreciation. Veterans Day can last all year long in our hearts.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Campaign Promises

Someone emailed this to me. One of those St. Peter things, which of course, is not scriptural at all, but it made me smile so here it is:

While walking down the street one day, a senator is hit by a truck and killed. His soul arrives in Heaven and is met by St. Peter at the pearly gates. "Welcome to Heaven," says St. Peter. "We seldom see a high official around these parts, so we're not sure what to do with you." "No problem, just let me in," says the senator." Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do, is have you spend one day in Hell and one in Heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."
"There's no need! I want to be in Heaven," says the senator.
"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."
And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator, the doors open, and he rides the elevator down, down, down. When the doors open again, standing in front of all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy and in formal dress. They run to greet him, and they reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They dine on caviar and lobster and are having such a good time that, before the senator realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a big hug and waves while the elevator rises.
The elevator goes up, up, up, and the door reopens in Heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him. So 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by, and St. Peter returns."Well, you've spent a day in Hell and another in Heaven. Now, you must choose where you want to spend eternity."He reflects for a minute and then answers, "Well, I would never would have thought it, I mean Heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better satisfied in Hell."
So Saint Peter escorts him to the elevator, and down, down, down he goes into Hell.
Now, the doors of the elevator open, and he is in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags. And it's hot, hot, hot, and the odor is just horrible. Sweltering hot. Hot and miserable.
The Devil comes over to him and smoothly lays his arm around his shoulder." I don't understand," stammers the senator." The day before I was here, and there was a golf course and club, and we ate lobster and caviar and danced and had a great time. Now all there is, is a wasteland full of garbage, and my friends look miserable."
The Devil looks at the senator, smiles, and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning."

Tee hee! Why does this seem funnier when my guys didn't get elected?


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." Eph. 6.13

...and carry some extra bibles in your pocket.


Don't Cry. It's Just the Onion.

See here.


ps My home internet router is down, so can't post more now. Have a wonderful day, Americans.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Shamed and Haggard

I have compassion for a fallen brother. If I were to lift up a stone to smite him, it would best drop on my own head, as I am also just a sinner, saved by Grace. I have faults and have struggled at times while on the path God has given me to walk. I have this in common with every Christian on the planet, though that doesn’t make it right to be wrong.
“14As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16
What, Me Holy? This seems impossible, given our once-fallen state. But we don’t remain fallen when we are accepted into God’s family. It’s said that when we are in Christ, no matter how dark our sins were, when God looks at us, he sees Jesus.
“1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4
I am not defending Ted Haggard. Up until a few days ago, I had never heard of him. But I am not condemning him either, as I would be a hypocrite. I certainly condemn the sin, as we all should. But how can I condemn him when I am not his judge? He and his works WILL be judged, just as mine will be when I stand before God on my day of Judgment. But if I were not moved to compassion for a fallen brother, when I have been forgiven for so very much by God, I would be like the King’s servant in the parable, who had been forgiven a fortune owed to the King, but who in turn refused to forgive another servant owing him just a pittance. Ted Haggard has sinned. And asked for forgiveness. What would you say or do if you were in his church?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


When it sounds like this:

"As a combat veteran, I want to make it clear to anyone in uniform and to their loved ones: my poorly stated joke at a rally was not about, and never intended to refer to any troop. I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted… and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended.” This is for stating before a college audience: “Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard and do your homework and you make an effort to be smart you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

He…regrets….that…his…words…were…misinterpreted… Doesn’t that imply that I owe him an apology? Or the thousands of military who were offended? Was Kerry the offender or are they?

Here is how to confess and right wrongs (and I borrow this liberally from “The 2959 Plan, A Guide to Communion With God” from S.S.B. Ministries):

1. Confess & Repent (admit it and have sorrow) to God
“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance…a repentance without regret, leading to salvation.” 2 Cor. 7.9, 10

2. Accept God’s forgiveness and rejoice in freedom from the burden
“If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8.36

3. Make it right with those offended: Confess and ask forgiveness.
“If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” Matt 5.23, 24

Wrong approaches to asking for forgiveness:
A. Sharing blame “I sincerely regret that you can't get my joke."
B. Being vague “I sincerely regret [being]... misinterpreted"
C. Placing a doubt “It was a joke, but I apologize to anyone I may have offended.”

Right approach to asking for forgiveness:
Name the offense “I see I have been wrong in implying that the troops are stupid. Will you forgive me?” or how about even "I see that I have been wrong in implying that the President is stupid and uneducated. Will you forgive me, Mr. President?"

4. Make it right/make restitution

5. Set it right within yourself/forgive yourself and seek cleansing
“When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long…” Psalm 32.3

You're looking quite thin, Mr. Kerry.


11-2-06 UPDATE It's not perfect, but here is a pretty good apology. He admits shame for what he has done wrong (although he is a bit vague on what he did in this particular statement), he resigns (makes it right) and he asks for forgiveness. Of course, he was caught red-handed and there was little room for spin.) I don't know what he said to God, but I hope he apologized to Him, too.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Obligatory Halloween Post

“From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!”
Old Scottish prayer

This is a non-holy day for me. Whatever it’s origin, it now is a pagan celebration, pagan in the way of Mardi Gras or NFL tailgate parties. I have no urge to costume up, though in the past I would throw together a costume for work parties, such as we are having tonight. My scariest entry will be the sloppy joes I’m going to make. Boo!
Whether true or not, I heard yesterday that pagans who identify themselves as pagans in Britain can have Halloween off with pay, as this is a religious holy day for them. As most pagans also grumble but accept a paid day off to not celebrate Christmas, this is known as being religiously correct. I guess if a few Anastazi Indians stood up in Britain and demanded the right to practice their religion, including the human sacrifices, the Parliament would bow down and give their blessing, as who wants to be known as a religious bigot? Can’t get re-elected with that on your name.
Didn’t mean to scare you! This is NOT a political screed a week before you know what-I’ve tried to keep my hands clean of that stuff here at FDW.
I try to keep it simple. The Bible says to have nothing to do with the ‘occult’. So, no séances, no Ouija boards, no talking to dead people, no messin around with witches or demons. I’ve had plenty of experiences in my life which could be termed ‘occult’-but I don’t seek them out, and I recognize my place in the spiritual warfare which goes on all around us: on my knees, praying to God.
To those who like to dress up-have fun. If you’re comfortable costuming as a devil or goblin because you don’t think they exist, have at it. We’re steeped in a culture which tells us that those things aren’t real.
I know what is real, and am not a bit frightened when I hear or see a ‘ghost’. Because God tell us not to fear, as He is in charge. So for me life is all Treats, no tricks.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Alfred Kralik!

I am very pleased to announce that Alfred Kralik is being honored by our nation, as are Ted Barker, ‘Truck’ Cross, Bill Pettigrew, Johnny Mason, Guy Johnson, Tom Destry, and Gaylord Esterbrook.
No matter the name, they were all James Maitland Stewart, and the man who was said to be “unusually usual” is being honored with his likeness on a postage stamp. That’s only fair, as he put his stamp, his mark on America. If John Wayne was the American Cowboy and Soldier, Jimmy Stewart was the American Everyone Else. He played reporters so often-The Philadelphia Story, Murder Man, Next Time We Love, The Last Gangster, No Time For Comedy, etc as many screenwriters had once been newspapermen. Jimmy Stewart also wore many uniforms, from Navy Cadet (Navy Blue and Gold) to Union Army officer (Of Human Hearts) Baseball Player (The Stratton Story) to, hilariously, a Boy Scout leader in “It’s a Wonderful World”. If you haven’t seen “It’s a Wonderful World”, Jimmy plays a detective who gets mixed up with a poetess, played by Claudette Colbert, and ‘screwball antics’ ensue.
He’s only a Boy Scout leader in disguise, you see, as the scouts are enlisted in finding Stewart and Colbert, who is mistakenly thought to be a murderer and the plot doesn’t really matter in this type of comedy, it’s just fun.
Jimmy Stewart wasn’t a comedian, but an actor who excelled at both drama and comedy, whatever the script called for. He even sang and danced in “Born To Dance”, played harmonica in “Pot O’ Gold”, the accordion in “Night Passage” and “Dear Brigitte”.
Many regard “Harvey” as his best movie, and it is wonderful. I think one of his best performances-which is a foolish statement, as he was great in everything, it was the movies which went from great “The Philadelphia Story”, “Rear Window”, to downright awful: “The Ice Follies of 1939”, “You Gotta Stay Happy”-one of his best performances was in “Anatomy of a Murder” where he played an attorney defending a soldier who had killed the man who had raped his wife.
Captain James Maitland Stewart, as part of the Second Air Division of the Eighth Air Command, flew in 20 major bombing missions over Germany during WWII. He had been drafted, made the weight requirements for his height by ounces, and went from earning $21,000 per month to $21. He sent his agent, Leyland Hayward, a check for $2.10. That was Jimmy Stewart.
As you can tell, I have long been a fan of his movies, and I am glad that he is being honored with a stamp by our Postal Service. I encourage everyone to check out his movies-a personal favorite is “Pot O’ Gold” with Paulette Goddard. Pure fun. Which of his films do you like?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy Jerusalem Day!

Happy, Happy Jerusalem Day!

I have it on good authority (heard it on the TV while in the kitchen) that the Iranian Urantian size zero despot is calling today “Jerusalem Day” to energize his base (Muslim fanatical jihad deadheads) to destroy all the Jews. He also made an unveiled threat to the rest of the world against helping Israel survive as a nation. A week and a half early for tricks and treats, isn’t it, Shorty?
Here’s how I am celebrating Jerusalem Day:
I made a hash out of some pork steak and potatoes I cooked the other night. Made with Red eye gravy, which, for those of you not in the know, is made with the pork drippings and coffee. Mmm-Mmm. Very spicy hash.

While I was simply making a hash, the Iranian Runt, ol’ Knee High Hitler was becoming, not making, history:

1The burden of the word of the LORD concerning Israel.
Thus declares the LORD who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, 2“Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. 3“It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it. 4“In that day,” declares the LORD, “I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. 5“Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the LORD of hosts, their God.’
6“In that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem. 7“The LORD also will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not be magnified above Judah. 8“In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD before them. 9“And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”
Zechariah 12:1-9

I for one am very glad that I am a Christian, am honored that God has chosen to accept me as His child through Jesus Christ. I don’t fear the future, and the more the heathens rage, the closer we get to the return of the Lord, who will set up His Kingdom in that very troubled place, Jerusalem, and show the world what Peace really looks like.
Happy Jerusalem Day, everyone!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

No, Really!

Here I am. Just this morning I was reading a post at La Shawn Barber’s Corner which asks, “Am I addicted to the Internet?”
I said to my self, “Of course not-I can shut down and stay away anytime I like.” Yeah...
I did so a few months ago, took three days off, where I didn’t go online at all, except to charge my iPod, which opens iTunes automatically. Okay, I only made it 2.5 days, and maybe, if not addicted, I’m a habitual ‘netter who may someday have a problem. I am not online right now. Really. I am working on a family project. My Aunt had sent me a DVD made by a distant cousin, who had taken old family photos and made photo montages set to music. It was great to see new pictures of my Dad as a young boy, see family members whom I’d only heard of, including pictures of my great great grandfather, who was born in 1865 and was sort of a pioneer. On the DVD he was a child in one tintype, and in other pictures a big heavy man, who reportedly had a 72 inch waist. Not a family characteristic that has been passed down-I can’t imagine being that big.
I made two copies of the DVD for my Aunt to give to her girls, and am adding a cd of old family pictures which I have from my Grandfather that she may pass on to Tom, the one who created the DVD.
That’s what I’m doing while I’m not internetting, Really.
The internet may connect people digitally, but sometimes it allows access into your life for those whom you don’t want to connect with. I have a friend who has created a ‘myspace’ place to get word out about her music ministry. Myspace has been noted as a site where sexual predators try to hook up with children or innocent people such as my friend, so I hope that she doesn’t get any undesirable ‘friends’ on her list. There are evil people out there. If someone pesters me online by sending emails I’m not interested in reading, I mark them as spam, and eventually that person’s email’s quit showing up. At least, I hope so.
Maybe we should all take a few days off from the net to remind us of what life was like before we were ‘connected’.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Random Thursday Thoughts

This is sort of a Random Thoughts Thursday, sort of a catch up and note, kind of a catch all. First, it feels good to once more feel good. Posting has been a bit lighter than usual as I’d been fighting a virus for about a month. I finally went in and saw a doctor, and now with a few prescriptions in me, I am returning to what is normal. Normal for me. Don’t expect miracles.

Life in general has been such that I have more reasons daily to rely on God, seek His will and wisdom. It does my heart good to remember that His lovingkindness indeed never cease, and His compassions never fail. That these promises are recorded in a book named Lamentations shows that God, our Creator, knows the weaknesses of our human frame, and is ever ready to show us mercy and grace. And boy, sometimes I need both!

There’s someone posting over at Michael’s who claims to be a post-Christian. Meaning he was a Christian, but has gotten over it, like I’ve gotten over my virus. He’s not the first to show up over there with that claim. God may yet tap him on the shoulder and remind him that He is real. In his arguments against Christianity I wonder if he’s trying to convince us that we are wrong, or convince himself that he is right.

So far we have successfully kept this blog free from the political electioneering going on. I appreciate the restraint; if we do dip our collective toe in that …water…, may we recover quickly and get back to normal. Normal for us. I honestly haven’t had the strength to get political, have been conserving my energy to go to work and take care of the family needs. I care about the election, and of course want my side to do well, but in the end, it’s all in God’s hands, and I know that everything will work out the way He has determined it will.

Random thoughts lead to a random song, one that I heard years ago and love to sing:

“May the Joy of the Lord
Grant you Peace
And may that Peace be
Made known to the world.

As He hold’s you safe
In the palm of His hand
Keeping you safe from the world.

Like a father He will guide you
And like a mother He
Will comfort you.

May the Joy of the Lord
Grant you Peace
And may that Peace be
Made known to the world.”

Friday, October 06, 2006

Our God Reigns

Our God Reigns…
Even when innocents are killed in schoolrooms, as the killers
Kill themselves and stand before God in judgment rather than
In county courtrooms.

Our God Reigns…
Even now, when the countries of the world make ready to seize Armageddon and fling
It at each other.

Our God Reigns…
Over every nation and tongue, even those who reject Him, who are
readying themselves for destruction. They rage like the
killers in the classrooms, harming innocents, keeping people in chains,
Defying God by hurting His children.

No evil ever goes unpunished.

Our God reigns.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

With All of Your Heart

“5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.”
Proverbs 3:5-8

“28One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; 30and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31“The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:28-31

There is not a Christian living who hasn’t gone through ‘dry spells’ when they didn’t feel that God was near, or that He was directing their steps. The phrase, “Leaving us to our own devices.” comes to mind, the idea that God gave us the Bible to show us how to live, the Spirit to live in us, and is now like the absent landlord of the parable who bought a piece of land, set workers to maintain it, and then traveled off to a far country.

It all comes down to faith, friends, in a way that you might not have thought of. Or you could be nodding your head, far ahead of me already: Faith in something seen is not faith. Remember Hebrews 11:1-
“1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

God is indeed working in every moment of our lives; we simply are limited in our vision. In our corrupt physical bodies we cannot appreciate the 99999999999.9999999999999999amount of work which God does every millisecond of Eternity. That is why we are commanded to ‘not lean on our own understanding’.

The dry spells? God knows why they happen. My guess is that they are opportunities to draw closer to Him, seek Him because the dry spells make us miss Him.

If you are trusting God ‘with your whole heart’, loving God ‘with your whole heart’, and leaning on faith, not your own understanding, my friend, don’t worry about the dry spells. Accept that God is in charge, directing your steps, my steps, and all the events taking place on the world’s stage. Just because we cannot understand all that He is doing, that doesn’t mean that He is not doing it. It just means that we must accept on faith that he is in control. What does God tell us all through His word? “Don’t Worry!”
It’s just like the song:
“Because He lives,
I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives,
All fear is gone.
Because I know
He holds the future
And Life is worth the living
Because He lives.”

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Advice to Those Who Would Print Classified Information in Time of War

Harry Anderson, artist. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1943

Loose Lips Sink Ships


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

These Fifty United States

I received this in one of those emails that go on and on, I imagine, and I like it. It's just a list of of mentions of the Almighty from our state constitutions. Enjoy!

Alabama 1901 , Preamble. We the people of the State of Alabama, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution.
Alaska 1956, Preamble. We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land....
Arizona 1911, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution...
Arkansas 1874, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government...
California 1879, Preamble. We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom...
Colorado 1876, Preamble. We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe...
Connecticut 1818, Preamble. The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy.....
Delaware 1897, Preamble. Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences...
Florida 1885, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, establish this Constitution...
Georgia 1777, Preamble . We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution...
Hawaii 1959, Preamble. We, the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine Guidance . Establish this Constitution...
Idaho 1889, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings...
Illinois 1870, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors....
Indiana 1851, Preamble. We, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to choose our form of government....
Iowa 1857, Preamble. We, the People of the State of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings, establish this Constitution...
Kansas 1859, Preamble. We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges, establish this Constitution...
Kentucky 1891, Preamble. We, the people of the Commonwealth, are grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties...
Louisiana 1921, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy....
Maine 1820, Preamble. We, the People of Maine, acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity .... And imploring His aid and direction.....
Maryland 1776, Preamble. We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty...
Massachusetts 1780, Preamble. We...the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe .. In the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring His direction ..
Michigan 1908, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom, establish this Constitution.....
Minnesota 1857, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings:
Mississippi 1890, Preamble. We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work....
Missouri 1845, Preamble. We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness .. Establish this Constitution.
Montana 1889, Preamble. We, the people of Montana, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty establish this Constitution.
Nebraska 1875, Preamble. We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom. Establish this Constitution.
Nevada 1864, Preamble. We the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom establish this Constitution...
New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V. Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.
New Jersey 1844, Preamble. We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors....
New Mexico 1911, Preamble. We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty...
New York 1846, Preamble. We, the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings.....
North Carolina 1868, Preamble. We the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those....
North Dakota 1889, Preamble. We, the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain.....
Ohio 1852, Preamble. We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common ..
Oklahoma 1907, Preamble. Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty.. establish this ...
Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I. Section 2. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences..
Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble. We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance...
Rhode Island 1842, Preamble. We the People of the State of Rhode Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing....
South Carolina, 1778, Preamble. We, the people of the State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution....
South Dakota 1889, Preamble. We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties....
Tennessee 1796, Art. XI.III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience...
Texas 1845, Preamble. We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God....
Utah 1896, Preamble. Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution.
Vermont 1777, Preamble. Whereas all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man.....
Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI. Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason and that it is themutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other....
Washington 1889, Preamble. We the People of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution...
West Virginia 1872, Preamble. Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia, reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God ..
Wisconsin 1848, Preamble. We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility ....
Wyoming 1890, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties, establish this Constitution.

Now, I haven't checked all these, so if you notice an error, please let me know and I will correct it.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Sometimes we have to get back to the basics.

28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36Just as it is written,
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:28-39

I do not worry about tomorrow, even when my tomorrows are filled with troubles.
If we allowed ‘tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword’ to separate us from Christ, we wouldn’t be His followers.

46While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. 47Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.” 48But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! 50“For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
Matthew 12:46-50

And how do we ‘do the will’ of our Heavenly Father? Believe on His Son. It’s that basic.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fine Dry Political Whine

My friend Kevin suggested the title and I’m going with it!

What’s up with the rise in popularity of anti-Judaism among the (I want to say far) left? Read this article by Robert Goldberg, vice president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, and you will be as dumbfounded as I was to read of the anti-Semitic sentiments of the Action Forum members.

"Mel Gibson's [anti-Semitic] erroneous, raging, and drunken words are closer to the true sentiments of most American democrats and other voters than it's governments, politicians, Jewish, and media's sterile support for Israel."
Eighty-seven percent of MoveOn members approved of this post. William Kristol has more to say here .

Want to hear something that is just strange? Scroll down to the heading regarding Bob Dylan and have a listen . Am I wrong or does not something seem amiss? Well, if you don’t think so, maybe you will after hearing what was said on Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour by steel player Kevin Moore, transcribed at YudelLine.

“When I look at the Bible, and they say, this is the book about God's word, I don't think God is that confusing. Why would God write such a confusing book? I think it's written by men, trying their best to interpret the word of God. Everything is the word of God, because we're all the product of God. I think God has showed up in many, many books, God has shown up in songs, God has shown up in a lot of places, so I think that the Bible gets too much credit for being the only word of God.”
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

You know I’d never say that the left is on the side of the Jihadists. But I do think it's fair to say the Jihadists are very fond of the left, as they find many of their statements a la Fahrenheit 911 and various and sundry newsmakers of the left to be helpful in their efforts.

Did anyone else think that it was wrong when Democrat politicos made a veiled threat to pull ABC’s license if they dared to show The Path to 911 without censoring certain portions?
“The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events.”
As Mr. Victor David Hanson from Clear Politics said:
“When ABC cut portions of the most controversial segments before airing the film, there was no outcry from the American Civil Liberties Union that has so often and so loudly lectured us on the dangers not merely of government censorship, but of insidious self-censorship as a result of public pressures. Nor did the New York Times or the law faculty of Harvard University rush to the producers' defense, despite the long-held and self-acclaimed commitments of both to free speech and the First Amendment at nearly all costs...”
I hear you, Mr. Hanson.

Okay, enough whining! Have a lovely day.


Correction 09-15-06 I incorrectly stated that Mr. Robert Goldberg was chair of the UJC. He is, in fact, vice president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. Also Kevin Moore was just a steel player on the radio show, not Mr. Dylan's steel player. Thank you for correcting me, Mr. Yudelson.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dunkin’ Douglas

The water really wasn’t too cold. What with it being September and everything, and a cool evening.
I am now a full member of the church I’d been visiting for a few years, having been baptized last Sunday afternoon along with a couple of other candidates. I didn’t need to join the church, but I felt that God was directing me to do so, and I’m glad that I did.
I had been baptized in another church some 20 years ago, and if I had stopped by and asked the Pastor to look it up, I could have shown a document to my new church and not needed to be baptized again.
Baptism is an outward act of an inner change, showing that we have died to our old nature, been buried with Christ, and, having had our sins washed away by his blood, risen again a new creation in Christ.
So why did I go through the ceremony again, nearly 30 years after becoming a Christian? Submission.
That’s a word that usually sets off ‘cult radar’ as men have often twisted scripture to set up their own little cults, where they tell their followers to submit to their authority. Let me state right here that I’m talking about being submissive to God, and His established pattern for Christians.
We are called to come together in worship, teaching and edifying each other, encouraging each other as we follow the path that God has set us on.
Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus show how a church should be set up, and James warns his readers not to forsake assembling together.
We do better as a group, a body of believers. When I began visiting my church, I didn’t speak up right away in the bible studies, as I had been in other churches, and didn’t want to bump up against different doctrinal beliefs. Instead I learned, and am learning. And in my submitting to the request of the elders of the church that I be baptized, I am respecting their authority, their leadership. They are good men, and ours is a good church family. It is a wonderful thing to be where God wants you to be, and I praise Him for leading me to become a member of the church family.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Dawn of a New Day

I was having my morning coffee, catching the news at CNN’s website, when I noticed something about a plane accident in New York City. I moved on and was visiting my other ‘bookmarks’ but after a few minutes I thought I should go back and read about that airplane. Then I ran to the TV just in time to see the second plane hit.

That was how I discovered that 9-11-2001 would be burned into our consciousness forever, just as December 7th, 1941 had been 60 years earlier.

Consider this an open post to share, if you’d like, what 9-11-2001 was like for you.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

He Didn't Have A Plan To Win The Peace

War begets war begets war and no one is safe. Children are dying and it’s hard to get anyone to stop shooting long enough to care.
The chances for Peace are fleeting like Summer in September, and the fault lies with strict adherence to a game plan that is not working.

There. Have I summed up the main points of those who do not believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and the Savior of the world? It’s hard to believe that He is in control of the world when there is so much chaos and pain, suffering going on. Hard to believe, that is, if you don’t actually believe that He is God.

Consider this. Man is living in a fallen, corrupted world. Sin actually put us in opposition to God, makes us God’s enemies. But Jesus does have a plan to win the Peace, end our war with God, and His game plan took Him to a cross on a hill known as Golgotha.

When you hear of unrest anywhere in the world, ask yourself if it is caused by sin. Keep a copy of the 10 Commandments nearby while watching TV or surfing the news, and put a checkmark next to the Commandments as they are broken.
Palestinians want Israeli land? Coveting.
Iraqi insurgents killing everybody? Shalt not kill.
Iran wanting to nuke Israel for Allah? You shall have no other God before Me.
You get the idea. You’re not seeing random acts of violence. Or calculated acts of terror. You are seeing Sin. Sinners working out their own destruction. And that Sin has an expiration date.
A man’s individual sinning is finished only when he dies. But Sin itself in all of its permutations: Hate, War, Evil, Injustice, etc. will be wiped out when our Lord returns and wipes it out.
It is an article of faith for Christians that God is taking care of us, working out things in this world for our benefit. That doesn’t mean that everything is pleasant, or that we will never have troubles. We have buckets of troubles, even as Christians. But sometimes the troubles we endure are put in our lives to draw us closer to God, build our faith through struggles and tribulations. And I guarantee you that it is hard to see God’s plan for our lives when, for example, a child dies. That hits us where we live. But no matter whether or not we can understand His purposes, our lives belong to Him, and we must trust in His Sovereignty.

37 Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,
Unless the Lord has commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both good and ill go forth?
39 Why should any living mortal, or any man,
Offer complaint in view of his sins?
40 Let us examine and probe our ways,
And let us return to the LORD.
Lamentations 3:37-40

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Half-truths Full Priced

I keep putting off to yesterday the building of my Time Machine. But if I had one gassed up and ready, I would happily steer it to November 8, 2006. For someone such as myself who enjoys political back and forthing, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I don’t really care for election time politics. It’s too nasty, and I don’t like liars of any stripe. Compound lies justified because the other side is lying too are not right. I try to be honest every day of my life, and I’d appreciate the same from our political leaders. Instead politics has become synonymous with lying, and I hate that. We will all stand before God, having to answer for every stray word. Some will have a longer time of it than others.
With that said, I am honestly partisan. I am Republican only because their platform is closely in line with my beliefs. I have more in common with Republicans than Democrats, but I would support Libertarian candidates if they were also in agreement with what I believe. I think Libertarians may be more fiscally responsible than the Repubs have been lately. No political party is perfect, but some are more imperfect than others. Look at the picture. And then think about this:
It is Godly to be kind, merciful, forbearing, to forgive and be forgiven. To thank God for every day of our lives, no matter what each day may bring. Even if you are not a Christian, you recognize that those attributes are commendable. I do not see mercy, forgiveness, and kindness being displayed by any in the Democratic Party over the last 6 years. The seeds of discontent planted in the 2000 election are still bringing up bumper crops of lies and unrest. I am sick of hearing from the Democrats how terrible it is to live in America under the administration of George Bush. Life is good; I am Blessed no matter where I live, because I belong to God. America is doing just great, and would be much farther ahead without all of the carping and sniping from the Democrats.
Remember the old saying, “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness”? Where are the Democrats candles?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

How many Gods can you fit in your pocket?

Just one? Sort of a pocket protector God whom you can call on during calamities, but can ignore all the rest of your life? One just barely big enough to take the blame when things go wrong, but still tiny enough not to encumber you with any guilt or shame about sin? Or receive any credit for your many fine triumphs?

“Jesus On a Greyhound” by Shelby Lynne:
“I told Him I was a sinner, and He said that’s okay,
I didn’t come to change you anyway.”

That’s the Jesus Shelby Lynne was comfortable with.

Since I’m quoting songs, here’s part of one from Zion Mountain Folk:
“You got to get yourself a bigger picture of Jesus. You can’t put Him in a frame and set Him up on your shelf.
You’ve got to understand-He’s a lot more than a famous man, and a whole lot bigger than the picture that you’ve got of yourself.
You‘ve got to understand about the Father,
Before anyone can explain to you His Son.
You‘ve got to really believe
Walk in His ways to really receive
So pick up a bible and turn to the Gospel of John.”
chorus and then:
“You say you’ve heard this story about a million times,
And for each time you’ve heard it if you could just have a dime-
Well, you’d be wealthy, and could retire
See to live for yourself is your only desire.
I don’t have a dime, but you’re going to hear it one more time.”

And you will hear it many more times in your life-that God Loves you, and has made it possible for you to be restored to a right relationship with Him through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, bearing the punishment for your sins so you don’t have to. That’s love. How many times will you tell God, “No!”
before you say “Yes”? I said it dozens of times, and I was a liar all the way through, because deep inside I really did want to say “Yes”, but I wanted it to be “Yes” on my terms; I wanted that God who fits in my pocket. so I wouldn’t have to give up my life, shabby and dirty as it was. You know those stuffed toy “prizes” you see given out at carnivals for winning a game? My life was shabbier and dirtier than those.
The Jesus I met and finally said “Yes” to, on His terms, didn’t promise to leave me in my sins, in my shabby despair of a life. Instead He gave...Gave me a new Life. And in the nearly 30 years since that day on board ship when I asked for forgiveness, I still haven’t thanked Him enough.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Vincent Van Gogh Sitting In A Club, Half-listening To the Music

If you think about it, the caption for the photo should come to you.

Okay, for those of you not intuitively inclined, think of it as
“Dog Days Of Summer”.
This has been a Summer like no other. I know that they all get hot, but this one has had some unexpected heat, like Chinese 5 Star seasoning. Temperature-wise, yeah, it’s been a little warmer.
Socially/politically/world-wise, it’s been a dozen forest fires a day, burning apparently out of control.
Remember that apparently for later.
On the way home from work tonight I listened to ‘Coast To Coast AM with George Noory’. A woman called in, absolutely convinced that George Bush and the mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg conspired to spend 20 million dollars on lawyers to rip off benefits from the First Responders who were at the Twin Towers on 9-11. Both George and his guest declared that she was too far out even for them. Which is the first time I’ve ever heard that from Noory.
I commented recently that reality is not affected by theory. Meaning that actual facts, Truth is rock solid. It’s important to always be honest with ourselves and each other. That allows no room in our lives for seeds of conspiracy, delusions to germinate and grow. We can all think of examples-people whose emotions are all twisted up, who spew anger and hate over what are actually false ideals. This post isn’t about the War going on, but those Muslims with a inordinate level of hatred fixated on their brothers, Jews, is an example of what I’m talking about. The hatred is inbred pretty deeply; the rationalizations for that hatred are pure delusion.
Another example of twisted up people are racists who will believe every lie, hold as gospel every demeaning smear about someone who is different from himself or herself.
We can add religious bigots to this list with a proviso-I, as a Christian, reject all other religions as being false. That doesn’t make me a bigot, or a hypocritter.
I hate that other religions trap people in false beliefs and send them to Hell. But I don’t hate anyone. I love my fellow man enough to want to see as many as possible make it into Heaven. That’s the love that Jesus wants us to share. But that means I also love everyone enough to warn them away from false paths. To some, that makes me a religious bigot. To me, it means that I endure being misunderstood by friends.
Think about this ideal: in a world where everyone is honest with himself and with each other, there would be no war. There would be no murder of innocents. There would be no racial unrest, as everyone would understand that we are all human and equal. Lawyers and Policemen would have little to do, as there would be no crime.
Remember that apparently we held onto?
There is no forest fire apparently out of control. No war or action that is haphazard. No government making war or rattling sabers without God having a purpose for it’s happening. Not even a sparrow falls to the ground but God knows it and has caused it to happen. All is under the control of God; before you curse Him for the state of the world, Bless Him for making you in the first place, and then thank Him for sending Jesus to die in your place, so that you could have the opportunity to be restored to a right relationship with Him.
And that ideal world where there is no war, where everyone is honest with himself and each other? Coming soon, bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ, who loves us so much that He wants the very best for us. And that’s Him, and His Kingdom. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

God’s Sarcastic Servant

Once upon a time, the people of Israel were led into idolatry by one of their worst kings, “Ahab”. Ahab introduced Baal worship, importing the false religion from the Babylonians-(modern day Iraq/Iran).
As Israel knew that God had said, “You shall have no other gods” these were serious times-the prophet Elijah prayed that there would be no rain, and for three years it did not rain, but still Ahab and the people of Israel did not repent and return to the Lord.
Finally, God had had enough of this Baal worship, and he sent Elijah to take care of business.
Enough preamble, now comes the Scripture:

1Kings 18:17-40
“17When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?” 18He said, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and you have followed the Baals. 19“Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20So Ahab sent a message among all the sons of Israel and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word. 22Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23“Now let them give us two oxen; and let them choose one ox for themselves and cut it up, and place it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other ox and lay it on the wood, and I will not put a fire under it. 24“Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” And all the people said, “That is a good idea.”
25So Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one ox for yourselves and prepare it first for you are many, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.” 26Then they took the ox which was given them and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, “O Baal, answer us.” But there was no voice and no one answered. And they leaped about the altar which they made. 27It came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened.” 28So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood
gushed out on them. 29When midday was past, they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention.
30Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD which had been torn down. 31Elijah took twelve stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.” 32So with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he made a trench around the altar, large enough to hold two measures of seed. 33Then he arranged the wood and cut the ox in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four pitchers with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” 34And he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. 35The water flowed around the altar and he also filled the trench with water.
36At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. 37“Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.” 38Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God.” 40Then Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape.” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

If that seems harsh, remember that being a false prophet was a capital offense-this was not a time when God’s mercy could overshadow His judgment.

There it is: “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”

Friday, August 18, 2006

Conversation in God’s Office

Knock knock.
“Come in, Doug.”
“Thank you, Father. I’m having a bit of a problem. An image problem.”
“Tell me about it.”
“Well, it’s the old ‘if you want your religion to be respected, you must respect all other religions.’, or else you’re considered an evil religious bigot.”
“We’ve gone through this before, haven’t we?”
“Often. I can’t pretend and pay lip service to other religions, as that would be false, and You tell me to always speak the truth. So I can’t pretend that other religions are anything but paths to Hell.”
“Which makes some of your friends uncomfortable, and they judge you.”
“Exactly. I don’t want to offend them, but...”
“Doug, it’s simple. If you started going along with the crowd, accepted their religious nonsense as being valid...I’d be offended.”

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wisdom from Above

James 3:13-18
13Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Isaiah 2:12-22
12 For the LORD of hosts will have a day of reckoning
Against everyone who is proud and lofty
And against everyone who is lifted up,
That he may be abased.
13 And it will be against all the cedars of Lebanon that are lofty and lifted up,
Against all the oaks of Bashan,
14 Against all the lofty mountains,
Against all the hills that are lifted up,
15 Against every high tower,
Against every fortified wall,
16 Against all the ships of Tarshish
And against all the beautiful craft.
17 The pride of man will be humbled
And the loftiness of men will be abased;
And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day,
18 But the idols will completely vanish.
19 Men will go into caves of the rocks
And into holes of the ground
Before the terror of the LORD
And the splendor of His majesty,
When He arises to make the earth tremble.
20 In that day men will cast away to the moles and the bats
Their idols of silver and their idols of gold,
Which they made for themselves to worship,
21 In order to go into the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs
Before the terror of the LORD and the splendor of His majesty,
When He arises to make the earth tremble.
22 Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils;
For why should he be esteemed?

Let me state that last line again, and please think about it:
"Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils;
For why should he be esteemed?"

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hey Nimrod! Cush Cush Cush

8Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. 9He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.” 10The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, 12and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.
Genesis 10:8-13

The Akkadian homeland was the area where the Euphrates and Tigris were at their closest, a position corresponding approximately to today's Baghdad.
Akkad had its name from the city Agade, founded by Sargon around 2330 BCE. For about a century, Agade was the richest and most important city in the world. (From the Encyclopaedia of the Orient

My study bible states that Nimrod may be the Hebrew equivalent of Sargon. I don’t know if they were the same person, but they certainly were operating in the same area at the same time. And Nimrod’s kingdom began small and grew larger, which to me suggests a warrior defeating city-states and adding them to his collection, such as Saddam Hussein attempted with Kuwait. And Hitler the Sudetenland. We all know how that turned out.

After the flood, Nimrod is the first one mentioned as a ruler of a kingdom. The tower of Babel civic works project may have been an early observatory used to implement another mess-o-ptomainia: astrology.

“4They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
Even in that day man was looking to leave his mark, his legacy, create something that would keep his name in the papers long after he was gone. He might even put a childhood picture of himself up on the Internet for posterity.
I remember Nimrod. His regime held power for a short while, and then he was gone. Look at Castro’s little Cuban kingdom. He’s had his day, which will soon be over, and it too will die with him. Even if he passes the kingdom on to a blood relative, such as Assad did in Syria or Jong Il in North Korea, those little teapot kingdoms don’t last. A hundred years from now Basher Assad the 9th won’t still be ruling Syria.

“35 I have seen a wicked, violent man
Spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil.
36 Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more;
I sought for him, but he could not be found.”
Psalm 37:35,36.

That is the way of man. If a crown endures, a regime remains for a few hundred years, it is noteworthy to us, but not to God.
God established covenants with Abram approximately -2091. Add approximately 2006 more years, and we have 4097 years that God has set apart the Jews for His purposes.
From Abram to the time of Christ the Jews had an established country/split apart but distinctly Jewish countries. Their kingdom endured for over 2000 years before Christ. America is a little over 230 years old. Nay Sayers and atheists declare that there is no God. The little dears. There’s no evidence besides their sinful hearts to back up their claim, while the entire Universe is evidence of His existence. As is the continued existence of the Jews.
May God continue to Bless Israel, and Curse her enemies.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Letting James Off The Hook

James wrote on an earlier post: “Scripture doesn't really have much to say about a preferred mode of governing, does it, other than to say that we are to obey our governing authorities who are put there by God (does this include Kim Jong?).”
I told him to keep digging in Scripture for the many examples where God does talk about governing. Dig dig dig.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness”

First and always foremost, seek His Kingdom. Our governance as Christians comes from God, who is above every government/kingdom on Earth. Seeking His Kingdom, His righteousness first reminds us of where our loyalty lies.
And this is one of the beauties of the Gospel. A slave is as free as his master, if they are both Christians. A Chinese Christian who is being beaten and tortured for his or her faith can appeal to God, Whose higher authority will ultimately recompense the ones doing the torturing. But that Chinese Christian will be a model citizen in all ways-he will work, pay taxes, respect the rule of the government, except where the Government comes up against what a Christian is called to do, such as spreading the Gospel and living for God

Once upon a time the Jews were chafing under the rule of God. They were not pleased with the governance God provided through the Judges, and were demanding a human King to lead them. I’ve written about it here before, but basically, through Samuel, God told the Israelites ahead of time what would happen if they chose a human king: “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. 12“He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13“He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14“He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. 15“He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. 16“He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. 17“He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. 18“Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

They were no longer “Seeking first the Kingdom of God”. And Saul and some of the other kings to follow him fully embodied that prophecy of what a human king would do.

So what do we do if we live under a Saul or a Kim Jong Il? What does a Chinese Christian do who is living under a Communist government which enslaves it’s own people?

Obey God. Seek His Kingdom first. If your human government is involved in a war, and you are sent to soldier, fight. You may be killing another Christian on the other side who is also fighting, but each must obey the government they live under. Change and improve it through the political process if you can, but that is secondary. Our first allegiance is to the Kingdom of God.

The war on Terror which we are involved in is a great example of what I’m talking about. Iraq was held by a dictator. A Christian living under Hussein’s rule would seek first the Kingdom of God, and follow His rule. But in all matters which did not conflict with God’s Rule, he would be expected to remain a loyal subject of Hussein. He would also be overjoyed to see that dictator removed from power by God, working through the ‘Coalition of the Willing’. Every good gift comes from above. Every government existing today has some form of that human king God spoke about through Samuel. Thrones established in sin are simply man seeking to govern himself rather than seeking the governance of God. But even in that truth, God is Glorified, as the most restrictive inhumane regimes are witness to great revival, to the spreading of the Gospel. They create the turmoil which turns peoples hearts towards God. Where sin did abound, Grace did all the more abound.
Think about your life-if you faced no problems, if everything were fine and happy, what need would you have for God? God uses the circumstance of our daily troubles to prepare hearts for the planting of the Gospel. And once that Gospel is received, and a person accepts the gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ, they can now endure all things, including repressive human governments who reject God.
James, even this post barely scratches the surface of what God has to say about governance. Keep digging.