Saturday, April 29, 2006

Coming Soon To A Street Near You?

Still think it's a fringe ideology? This is only one of the many signs from the recent nationwide demonstrations promoting reconquista or a reconquering of the American Southwest by Mexico. Ostensibly demonstrating for what they call "immigrant rights", protesters exhibit a strong, widespread underlying attitude of Yankee-go-home. Organizers, downplaing the notion of reconquista, urged demonstrators to display American flags. Nativo Lopez, president of the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) in Los Angeles was infuriated when a reporter asked him about it. "I can't believe you're bothering me with such a minuscule, fringe element that has no resonance with this populous," he said.

Other groups such as La Voz de Aztlan, a Whittier, California based news service advocates a separatist state and criticizes Jews and "gringos". The Mexica Movement wants to "reconstruct" the United States as an "indigenous" nation called Anahuac. Professor Charles Truxillo of the University of New Mexico is calling for a sovereign Hispanic nation called Republica del Norte encompassing Northern Mexico, Baja California, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan or MEChA declares in its founding document, El Plan de Aztlan, "the independence of our mestizo nation". They also decry the "brutal gringo invasion" and say that land "rightfully ours will be fought for and defended".

In case you still believe these are fringe groups, consider that MEChA has included among its membership such Hispanic notables as Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamente. Federico Rangel, a University of Colorado graduate student and MEChA officer, says that "Aztlan isn't what people say it is, like the reconquista. It's a spiritual homeland to Chicanos".

Aztlan is the mythical place of origin of the Aztec people. The word is originally from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs and is a combination of [Az]tlatl, meaning "heron", and [tlan]tli, meaning "place of". Since it was the "place of the heron" and would therefore have to be near ocean waters, most experts place the location of Aztlan somewhere in Northwest Mexico. The adoption of Aztlan by Chicanos is a relatively recent development. Interestingly, because of the white plumage of the heron the connotative meaning of Aztlan is "Place of Whiteness".

The foregoing was cobbled together from various news articles and websites, in particular The "fringe" elements have been exposed and have issued a challenge. The only thing left to decide is how fringe they are and if your dog should be in the fight.

Nuda Veritas

Thursday, April 27, 2006

But He...But I...Must I?

9Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:9-21

We all remember the exhortations about faith: faith as small as a mustard seed, cast a mountain into the sea, believe and ask in faith, etc. Here we go. Stand by for nutty idea # 1705-B.
We all should abhor what is evil and cling to what is good. For those who may consider morality as mutable, changing as to needs or situations I’ll spell it out: God decides what is evil or not evil. He is the arbiter and judge. If He calls something bad, don’t call it good. About 15,000 good sermons could be written just by digging into the wisdom found in verses 9-13, but I want to focus on verse14today.
Verse 14 is so contrary to our human nature but so resonating of God’s that we marvel at the difference. It’s a command which we find hard to keep in our hearts. Or practice.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad needs to be lifted up in prayer for Salvation.
He needs salvation just as much as everyone else on the planet, and he is indeed persecuting, so verse 14 tells us we should be blessing him. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. There is nothing gooder than being freed from the false religion of Islam and accepted into the family of God through Jesus Christ.
We recall the old saying about Islamic stubbornness: “Make the mountain come to Mohammed”. Well, Mohammed, or in this case, Mahmoud needs to come to Christ and seek forgiveness for his sins. This happens through hearing the Word, conviction by the Holy Spirit and repentance. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is simply human, just as we are, and is not beyond the reach of the Gospel.
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Wouldn’t you love for
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to accept Christ and take this verse to heart? If Muslims are converted to Christians, no more war. Muslims know how dangerous the Gospel is to Islam, which is why Abdul Rahman was under a threat of death. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
If you’re thinking that it is impossible or at least very unlikely that our prayers for Ahmadinejad’s salvation would be answered, you need only look at the Bible where God makes the most unlikely things happen time after time. And remember that with God, all things are possible.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What have you

Well, we’re hoping to see Winter bid us adios for awhile. Soon we should have green grass, in the next month or so; living on the side of a hill, we don’t see flooding as the snows melt, though we usually will have a stream flowing through our basement when Spring finally gets here. But we’re used to it, and I guess it could be Tuesday considered ‘living close to Nature’. It’s hard to complain about ground water when our well only has to go down 16 feet to give us all the water we could ever need. Our neighbors just down the road have to reach down over 200 feet to draw water. Random
I am now in my second week of “iPod withdrawl”-having sent it off to have the battery replaced; checking this morning, it should be shipped back to me today. I’ve been carrying CDs to work again, including the New Living Translation audio Bible, which makes the night go by much better. Thoughts I would never study from it, but the NLT is fine to listen to while at my computer. It certainly beats the office radio‘s ‘Oldies Station’-mis-named, as it plays songs from my youth, and I’m too young yet to be an “Oldie”.
There is a brand new ‘youngster’ on the internet, only a few days old, but it looks quite promising:
Hot Air, created by Michelle Malkin, Allahpundit and others as a video-blogging conservative resource for fun and frivolity. I jumped at the opportunity to garner one of the commenting slots before registration closes. I’d like to be able to comment at Little Green Footballs, but Charles has so many visitors/commentors that he’s had registration closed for quite awhile. But I’m in at Hot Air, which should be a natural for me. Question: Can you find the name of this post?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Lord, Forgive Us (Part 2)

Lord Forgive Us (Part 2)

For those of you who think I’ve declared an open season on Rand, I hope you’ll look at the title of these posts: Lord Forgive Us. US. Me, too. Rand is a dear brother, who is strong enough to take criticism without blowing up or taking it personally. If I didn’t think that was the case, I wouldn’t have commented at his site, pointing him towards some scriptures which I believe addressed something troubling, and which I’ll write about here.
As someone who also came out of a dead church, (Lutheran) and visited for years in a legalistic denomination (Assemblies of God) Rand and I have some things in common.
There are many AG Christians whom I will see in Heaven, who during this lifetime are carrying extra burdens which I praise God for taking off my back: Eternal insecurity, someone who is sick lacks faith, the Gifts of the Spirit must be in evidence to know that you are right with God, those that believe in Eternal Security are preaching heresy, etc.
Since I was led out of that church, I’ve studied more about the Grace by which we stand-and I’ve become sensitive to even a whiff of legalism showing up in my life-whenever I start getting wrong-headed about Grace, God has to deal with me and my pig-headed pride, which is the antithesis of the humility which is supposed to govern my life.
So, forget about Rand for a moment-these are the issues which we may or may not share-no two journeys are the same-and these are some of my faults which God has illuminated, and which I would love to help my brothers and sisters in Christ avoid:

Knowledge puffing me up.
“1Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. 2If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; 3but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.” 1 Cor 8:1-3
My pride tells me that I know more than my fellow man, that I’m smarter, and that because I have studied the Bible more than some others, I’m a better Christian. Baloney. Knowledge puffs up, and Bible knowledge without humility can get you a big head.
I went through a phase where I was ‘Bible only’-not wanting to learn from anything but Scripture, rejecting others opinions. How egotistical I was! And a hypocrite, as I expected others to learn from me, but rejected what other Bible scholars were led of God to put down on paper. We are to lift each other up and edify the body; I was denying the efforts of other good Christians who indeed had much Bible learned wisdom to impart. I considered their efforts as not as good as mine, weak and puny as mine turned out to be.
I now enjoy learning from other Christians, though I’m careful to stick to sound doctrine.

My denomination puffs me up.
I think that Baptists have the right of it, and I’m grateful to God for leading me to the church I’m in now. But Baptists must be careful not to let the pride in our denomination lead us into denigrating other denominations. I mention the AG above-my heart goes out to them, as I feel that they are burdening themselves with legalism. But they are my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I’ll be honored to worship Christ with them in Heaven.
And, if it so happens, I’ll worship Christ with them right now, if I am visiting in their church. True, Bible believing churches, no matter the denomination, are just as good as Baptists.

My Salvation, if I’m not careful, can puff me up.
Meaning that knowing that my Salvation is secure, that I “am in”, and can in no way lose my salvation, I can sometimes forget that I’m a sinner, saved by Grace, and no better than anyone else. It would be easy to coast: I could reject the Spirit’s leading, close my Bible and never visit church again, and still be guaranteed Salvation. I would be miserable, a dull utensil refusing to be used, but I could do it. God’s Spirit indwelling me doesn’t allow such selfishness. A good gauge of how I’m doing has to do with how I reach out (or don’t) to the unsaved. Here’s where God is dealing with me, and part of what got this whole post started. In the past I have gotten downright ornery towards some of the visitors to both my site and Michaels. Some of you are nodding your heads right now.
I cared more about being smart and a smart alec than I did about whether the Gospel message was being expressed. The old saw about “You may be the only Gospel someone ever reads” is very true; getting angry and/or making fun of others was me operating in the flesh, not the Spirit. And God called me to account for that. If I cared more about being right in an argument than I did about whether the other person was being reached with the Gospel, I was a knuckle-head, actually muddying up the Grace I was supposed to be an example of. “Great witness, Doug! You make me feel like dirt.”
I should be operating on the assumption that people know in their innermost being whether they are sinners or not, right with God or not, and simply tell them that the Love of God, which I would be sharing with them if I weren't busy being a jerk, is available to them, as God loves them as much as He loves me.
Back to Rand for a moment, and the reason my legalism radar went off: I had noticed that Rand was coming down pretty hard on Jake and Aliera about their sins. Rand may be the most humble Christian on the planet, but that wasn’t coming through.
I felt that he was falling into the same trap I had escaped from. Then he mentioned about the bread and wine/unleavened bread grape juice, and I felt that he was being uncommonly hung up on details. When he refused to partake of the Brethren's Lord’s Table, to me, he was acting like a Pharisee.
If I’m visiting with believers who are honoring me by sharing the Lord’s Table, I will eat and drink with them, leaven or no, wine or grape juice.
If all they have are oreo cookies and root beer, but that is what they consecrate to the Lord, I’ll share that. Because the worshippers are honoring God by their memorial.
And that is what it is all about. I didn’t write this to persecute Rand, or anyone else.
God has been dealing with me, and I’m trying to help a brother avoid the pitfalls I’ve fallen into.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Lord, Forgive Us

May the Lord save us from our Foolish selves. If not for the Grace which we so richly do not deserve, none of us could stand, or even show our faces in polite society.
“Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Prov. 22:6
Like it of not, we are all trained as children-we are all, in part, products of our environments; if the environment is good, well and good.
But not many are so blessed in childhood-more of us, if not from broken homes, come from ones that are least bruised and walking around on crutches. Sadly, we children are trained up in ways that we should not go. And when we grow old, we must depart from them, or we pass our infirmities onto our children. The departing part is hard, too hard for many, possibly any of us to do on our own. We have a tendency to over compensate and swing too far to the opposite position. And often we then swing back again, to where we started.
Many of us who came out of false churches now worship God in true churches, and learn from God’s Word how we should live.
But like a dirty pendulum, without realizing it we can swing back and start rebuilding the false faith we came out of-while we may reject the doctrines we have learned are man made, legalism can still sneak in and make us muddy up the Grace we live in. And then we have problems.
Peter, in his life, is an example of this muddied Grace. He had the benefit of learning from Jesus in person; he saw many of the miracles, heard all of the teachings from Jesus’ own lips, and witnessed how Jesus cared for His Creation. If there was anyone who “Got it” and knew better, it was Peter.
“9On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. 10But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; 11and he saw* the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, 12and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. 13A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” 14But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” 15Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” 16This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky.” Acts 10:9-16
Although Peter had been a follower of Christ for years, he was still holding in his heart to the Jewish laws about what he should or should not eat. God was taking him to task about holding onto the Law when he was under Grace. He had been canalized; that is, trained up as a child with the Law, and was having a hard time breaking free from it.
So God gave him a lesson which we can apply to our lives, also: His Grace is sufficient for us, and we are no longer under the Law. Note that the animals were brought down three times. Remember that Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. I think that with Peter, showing or asking him once wasn’t enough; to get down to the nudas veritas, to get past the bluster, it took at least three times. Luckily, we are forgiven more than 70 times 7 times when we mess up. It’s called Grace and Mercy. We’re not done with Peter yet.
“11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?
15“We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” Paul, writing in Galatians 2:11-16
Muddying up the Grace. The pendulum swung back into the Law, and I’m sure that Peter thought that he was totally justified. Scripture doesn’t record Peter’s answer to Paul, but I’m sure that he confessed, sought forgiveness and was restored as a brother. Because Grace is greater than our sin.
“1Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:1-4
“14I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.15For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died.” Romans 14:14-15
To avoid the charge of taking verses out of context, please read the entire chapter and ask God what lessons we can learn.
What I believe God is teaching us here is not about food and drink, but about not allowing our beliefs to tear down the faith of another Christian who may believe differently.
While God knows all, we are all students at different points in our life-long learning about God. He accepts us where we are when we are saved, and through His Spirit, in a long, long process, conforms us to the image of Christ.
I have a friend who came out of Catholicism, rejects it‘s doctrines, is a Bible student who worships in a good Baptist church...and believes differently than I do on a number of subjects, including the meaning of the Sabbath for Christians. He believes that although we are under Grace, we really should do no work on the Sabbath, or enjoy any guilty pleasures, but instead give up TV, sports, etc on the Lord's Day. In effect, follow the Law even though we can not please God in doing so. I don’t argue with him, but accept that we believe differently. Love for my brother makes me do that. I can’t edify and tear down at the same time. Love for another brother brought me to write this post.
I have another brother who, getting caught up in legalism without even realizing it, showed contempt for the faith of other Brethren, refusing their Lord’s table as being unworthy of him.
“4Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Rest and Rejoice in the Home of Peace

I just learned that Zola Levitt has passed away-that he has gone to be with the Lord, which is wonderful. I have and will continue to contribute to his ministry. He had a wonderful task from the Lord-to preach the Gospel, bridge the gap where understanding was lacking between Jews and Christians, and to represent what we, all believers will be in the future: one family,Jew and Christian under one Lord. May God continue to Bless his family and his ministry, which will carry on the Lord's work.
And may we all see Zola again,soon-"Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Talk To The Man Who Owns One

From the official website of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran:
“President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here on Tuesday said the Iranian Army was a harbinger of peace and security and not a threat to any country. Addressing a ceremony marking today's observance of Army Day, he proudly declared that the "Islamic Republic of Iran's Army is today one of the most powerful armies of the world." Praising the army, he said its forces powerfully defend Iran's political borders and national dignity. Underlining the need to maintain combat readiness in the armed forces, he said the army should have at its disposal the most developed equipment and technology. The Iranian Army is in the service of peace, security and tranquility of regional countries and neighboring states, the president declared, adding that it is a friend of oppressed nations and an enemy of plotters of evil. "The power, progress and development of the Iranian nation are dedicated to the service of human welfare and global peace and tranquility. The Islamic Republic of Iran is no threat to any nation," Ahmadinejad further declared.”

Adolph Hitler, 22 June, 1941
“England formerly destroyed Spain through many wars.
For the same reason, it waged its wars against Holland.
With the help of all of Europe, it later fought France.
And around the turn of the century, it began to encircle the German Reich, and it began the World War in 1914.
Germany was defeated in 1918 only because of its inner disunity. The results were terrible. After first hypocritically declaring to be fighting only against the Kaiser and his regime, they began the systematic destruction of the German Reich after the Germany army had laid down its arms. As the prophecy of a French statesman, who had said their twenty million Germans too many, began to be fulfilled through starvation, disease or emigration, the National Socialist movement began building the unity of the German people, thereby preparing the rebirth of the Reich.

This new revival of our people from poverty, misery, and shameful contempt was a sign of a pure internal rebirth. England was not affected, much less threatened, by this. Nonetheless, it immediately renewed its hateful policy of encirclement against Germany. Both at home and abroad, we faced the plot we all know about between Jews and democrats. Bolshevists and reactionaries, all with the same goal: to prevent the establishment of a new people’s state, to plunge the Reich again into impotence and misery.

The hatred of this international world conspiracy was directed not only against us, but also against those peoples who also had been neglected by Fortune, who could earn their daily bread only through the hardest struggle. Italy and Japan above all, alongside Germany were almost forbidden to enjoy their share of the wealth of the world. The alliance between these nations was therefore only an act of self-defense against a threatening, egotistical world coalition of wealth and power.

As early as 1936, according to the testimony of the American General Wood to a committee of the American House of Representatives, Churchill had said that Germany was becoming too strong again, and that it therefore had to be destroyed.
In summer 1939, England thought that the time had come to renew its attempts to destroy Germany by a policy of encirclement. Their method was to begin a campaign of lies. They declared that Germany threatened other peoples. They then provided an English guarantee of support and assistance, next, as in the World War, let them march against Germany.

Thus between May and August 1939, England succeeded in spreading the claim throughout the world that Germany directly threatened Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Bessarabia, and even the Ukraine. Some of these nations allowed themselves to be misled, accepting the promises of support that were offered, and thereby joined the new attempt to encircle Germany.

Under these circumstances, I believed that I was called by my conscience, and by the history of the German people, to assure not only these nations and their governments that these British accusations were untrue, but also to reassure the strongest power in the East through formal declarations that our interests did not conflict.

National Socialists!
You probably all felt that this was a bitter and difficult step for me. The German people have never had hostile feelings toward the peoples of Russia. During the last two decades, however, the Jewish-Bolshevist rulers in Moscow have attempted to set not only Germany, but all of Europe, aflame. Germany has never attempted to spread its National Socialist worldview to Russia. Rather, the Jewish-Bolshevist rulers in Moscow have constantly attempted to subject us and the other European peoples to their rule. They have attempted this not only intellectually, but above all through military means.

The results of their efforts, in every nation, were only chaos, misery, and starvation.

I, on the other hand, have tried for two decades to build a new socialist order in Germany, with a minimum of interference and without harming our productive capacity. This has not only eliminated unemployment, but also the profits of labor have flow increasingly to working people.

The results of our policies are unique in all the world. Our economic and social reorganization has led to the systematic elimination of social and class barriers, with the goal of a true people’s community.

It was, therefore, difficult for me in August 1939 to send my minister to Moscow to attempt to work against Britain’s plans to encircle Germany. I did it only because of my sense of responsibility to the German people, above all in the hope of reaching a lasting understanding and perhaps avoiding the sacrifice that would otherwise be demanded of us.

With the exception of Lithuania, Germany declared that those areas and nations were outside Germany’s political interests. There was a special provision in the case that England succeeded in inciting Poland into war against Germany. But here, too, German claims were moderate, and in no relation to the accomplishments of German arms.”

But even during our march into Poland, in violation of the treaty, the Soviet rulers suddenly claimed Lithuania.
The German Reich never intended to occupy Lithuania, and ever made any such demand on Lithuania. To the contrary, it turned down the request by the Lithuanian government to send German troops there, since that did not correspond to the goals of German policy.

Nonetheless, I accepted this new Russian demand. But that was only the beginning of ever new demands.

The victory on Poland, gained exclusively by German troops, gave me the occasion to extend a new offer of peace to the Western powers. It was rejected by the international and Jewish warmongers.

The reason was that England still hoped to mobilize a European coalition against Germany that would include the Balkans and Soviet Russia.”

That’s enough, Adolph. Mahmoud’s turn:

“President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here Tuesday that Palestine is not only a concern of Middle East countries and Muslims but the main priority of all lovers of mankind and free peoples of the world.”
“Blasting Western states for their hostile political and economic policies toward the elected Palestinian government, he said these purported "champions of democracy and human rights have disgraced themselves and relegated the value of humanitarian and international responsibilities," Ahmadinejad said. Stressing the importance of finding a just solution to the Palestinian issue, he said such a solution will also solve all issues confronting the world. Noting the growing crises caused by bullying powers on matters involving religious sanctities, human rights, cultural and economic ideals, he said respect for these varying ideals, points of view and common interests of vigilant peoples all over the world is the most important factor in securing global peace and tranquility based on justice and spirituality. Sustainable peace and justice, he elaborated, cannot be achieved if "the good life is enjoyed by certain powers while others suffer in poverty, war and degradation." "Islam and the great Prophet Mohammad (SPIT) enjoins a reign of peace and tranquility for all," Ahmadinejad pointed out. He added the world, and even some Western states, condemn the anti-human measures and atrocities of the Zionist regime but that these measures are a means of ensuring the survival of arrogant powers by "causing discord, creating political and identity crises in independent and freedom-loving countries as well as damaging ties among nations." He said that the era of bullying and aggression by imperialists is over and that human beings are now on the way to greater progress and a better life.”

My turn. Hitler claimed that he was protecting countries from the Russians, that England started both World Wars, and that Germany, Italy and Japan were being kept in poverty and treated dishonorably by the rest of the world.
Ahmadinejad , if he can rally other Islamic countries to “The Cause” by defending Palestine, could make for a long Summer. Look at a map of the world-see the territory Hitler started with, what he claimed and temporarily held-and then look at the Middle East/Islamic countries and tell me who’s whistling past the graveyard.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Extinction May Not Be Permanent

April 17, 2006
Poughkeepsie, New York
Sociable Press

The biquine, commonly known as "half-horse" and once thought to be extinct, may be making a comeback. Recently found to have been entered in a dressage event in upstate New York, Double Trouble, pictured here, was at once placed on the list of endangered species. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Sam Watt Squalid, Double Trouble has apparently been making quite a stir in her hometown of Poughkeepsie, New York where the Squalid family runs a bed and breakfast and riding academy.

"I've been riding her in events for almost a year now," said Reely Squalid, seen here astride Double Trouble as her father gives her some last minute advice just prior to her run. "She's terrific on turns and the flat course," continued Miss Squalid, "but she still has some problems with the jumps. She pretty much can't get over anything higher than one fence in a Training Level Prix Caprilli." Training Level is the starting point for show jumping and the highest fence is two feet. Having competed in nine events, Double Trouble has never won, in fact she has yet to finish, but Miss Squalid remains hopeful. "She has more than half a heart," she says.

Although the most recent remains of the thought-to-be-extinct animal were found in the Artic tundra and date to about 25,000 years ago, the biquine was believed to have died out some 10,000 years ago, perhaps due to dramatically changing weather conditions. The generally accepted theory of the animal's disappearance is that the end of the last ice age caused the slower two-legged creatures to drown in massive flooding of their habitat. However, Doctor Gordy Annaught, noted biquine expert, believes the breed became extinct due to the animal's inability to pull a wagon or plow. "People only cared about riding or work horses and the biquine is a better walker," said Dr. Annaught, "so they rode the four-legged ones and probably ate the two-legged ones."

"Shoeing is a lot easier," said Mr. Squalid, "and she eats less than her four-legged stable companions, but I don't think she'll ever make a great jumper or runner. She's a heck of a walker though." Added Reely, "She seems more like a person than a horse. Well, a person with a very big nose."


May God Bless

Friends, I was all set to do another funny piece, but the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv today has knocked the funny out of me.
According to ABC News, the ZAKA religious volunteers are at work. If you haven’t heard of them, what they do is collect the bodies, and pieces of bodies after a suicide attack such as this, so that the ones who have been killed are cared for, their remains are honorably, respectfully handled. That they are volunteers speaks to the love that they have for their fellow Israelis, fellow human beings.
Pray for the families of those who have been murdered.
Pray for the ZAKA volunteers, ask God to Bless them for their service.
Pray for the family of the suicide bomber, that they may be freed from the death cult of Islam; may God use this terrible day to reach their hearts, to seek His Salvation through Jesus Christ.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Reality Free Thursday

No Scripture today, no yammering about the sins of the world. No mention of God beyond the one you are reading at this moment. I’ve decided to take a vacation from reason, a Reality Hiatus, just for a day to see if it’s really as much fun as I’ve heard. Here I GO!

Hhhhmmm. Everything is different.
I finally ‘get’ Al Franken, and consider him my new role model. I’ve already got the look down-middle-aged white guy with glasses, um...not fat-I‘m...stout! Me and Al-just like two peas in an iPod. I think I’ll go make a sign berating the President (not MY President!) for being somewhat ill informed about ...I’m sorry-still new at this...for LYING to ME about why we went to...

Hhhmmmm...What? I don’t know what’s happening! I feel...this is odd! I feel...guilty? But I’m innocent! I’m the victim here! I can’t help that I used to be happy, working hard, at peace with peace with at peace with... myself! That was the yesterday me! HE may have had no conscience showing, so darned happy while there's so much social injustice in the world, But I CAIR! I get IT!
Yeah! Social injustice is Dick Cheney walking around for months without a heart attack! Yeah! Yeah! If I show how caring I am, I don’t have the Middle Class Liberal Well-Intentioned Blues anymore! Yeah!Yeah! Yeah!

Hhhmmmm. I just visited Koz and ordered the new book. As I clicked through from his site instead of just Amazoning, I am a preferred customer (Beaming! Happy!) who scores the special Daily Koz sunglasses-the Rose tint only shows up when you look to the left. Genius!


Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Culture clashes from Dallas to Paris, Copenhagen to Bethlehem; Race competing with rape with murder with corporate malfeasance with terror with sex crimes...for News Update minutes.
When I was a kid, I traveled through the world at a walking pace-things were slowly absorbed, understood; the world I moved through came to me, went past me as a speed which was comfortable. My personal rate of speed picked up as I grew, and was taking in more of the world. Soon I was running comfortably; if the details went by a bit fast, I could still comprehend a fair amount of what was happening.
Nowadays it feels as if the world which I used to comprehend at my walking pace is now lazering past as if we were pinned to the grill of a semi-truck hurtling off the top of the Sears tower. We become exhausted, trying to keep up, to comprehend all that is going on in the world, as it is important-civilizations are experiencing life and death events at a tempo usually reserved for drum solos. We may have radically different maps and globes a few years from now...or tomorrow. In a world that no longer makes sense, is the sensible one an outcast? A pariah?
If the inmates do run the asylum, on a global scale, who would oppose them? The one to whom the world, crazy as it is, still makes sense. Me. You. Us. HIM.

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.

4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

No matter how the world may tip sideways on us, we know that our Creator, our Father in Heaven will bring us through every tribulation and trouble. As I’ve said before:
If I weren't a Christian, this World would scare the Hell out of me!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Unexpected, Uninvited, Unwelcome Guests

Well, we had an unusually exciting couple of days here. Thursday, my wife spotted three kittens only a couple of weeks old playing in the bushes near the garage just across the patio from our house. She went over and picked one up, picked up a second one, and when she picked up the third she noticed that a yellowjacket on her hand. She then noticed that yellowjackets were all over the kittens so she quickly put them down and scurried back across the patio, waving her arms at the now swarming yellowjackets around her. I pulled open the sliding door, she ran inside as I swung my hand at one of them about to come in. I think it hurt my hand more than my hand hurt it. Anyway, one had slipped down her back under her shirt and was stinging her repeatedly, they sting and sting and sting, you know. I gave her a couple of slaps on the back with the flat of my hand and managed to kill the beast. Falling onto the floor dead it turned out to be about an inch long.

My wife was in severe pain from the three stings she had received so I proceeded to squeeze out the poison as best I could, but was only able to treat one of the stings. Luckily, two were glancing blows so to speak and only one was deep. I managed to extract most of the venom and then applied aloe vera lotion to cool each sting and after several hours the pain subsided. The next day the itching started, a good sign, but the aloe vera lotion also provides some relief for that. I should mention that my wife is allergic to bee stings so this was a bit of a scary episode for us, but she's fine now although the stings still itch somewhat. Unfortunately, one of the kittens died, but momma cat rescued the other two.

The bee removal people came Friday, how's that for service? They donned their protective head-to-toe gear, stunned the yellowjackets with some type of gas, dug a two by two foot hole and fished out a large nest of mud, straw, dried leaves and grass. That's when I found out they weren't hornets as I had first believed, but yellowjackets. Same family, slightly smaller, a lot meaner. They estimated that several hundred were in the nest with perhaps fifty to sixty buzzing around, anxious to sting anything that moved. In all, it took two men about thirty minutes and depleted our bank account 280 dollars. Well worth it, I might add.

Saturday, about a dozen or so were still buzzing around the opening, now empty, sounding more puzzled than angry. Interestingly, about a week before they came here, the removal guys had dug up another yellowjacket nest just a few houses down our street. Do you suppose it's an invasion? Surely it cannot be the sounding of the fifth trumpet. If so, the first four eluded my notice and my wife is in trouble...she got stung, I didn't. If you don't understand why, read Revelation 9:1-11.

That was Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. But today is Palm Sunday and this afternoon we went to a Glenn Miller Orchestra concert. A little pain, a little sorrow, a little joy, a little peace. All seems right with the world.


PS: Yes, I know yellowjackets are beneficial in that they consume plant devouring insects, but I'd prefer them as visitors, not permanent guests.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

SCORE! Found Another Lost Gospel! Yay!

No, not the lost/censured/hidden Gospel Of Judas-that’s old news. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
I’m talking about the even more recent, greatly more lost, oh so much more heavily censured, unfairly hidden from the world for centuries...Gospel of ‘ol Doubting Thomas. (Ta Dah!)
Only a few fragments have been deciphered by scholars since a wandering Hockey fan (don’t ask) in the Israeli village of Blintz tripped over his stick and unearthed “The Find Of The Week!”
Here are a few of the startling revelations from the deciphered text:

“I don’t think there’s twelve of us-who’s this Bartholomew guy? I don’t know any Bartholomew.”

“Peter’s the #2 man? Not if we get to vote on it!”

“Feed 5000? I’ll believe it when I see it. Okay I saw it, but I still don’t believe it!”

“Matthew offered to do my taxes for me-I figured, who would know better, right? Guess what? I had to pay in! Thanks, Matt!”

“Judas just read his Gospel to me, and asked what I think of it...Snoresville. And big surprise-he’s the hero!
I told him I’ll probably like the movie better.”

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Oh, the shame...

Nuda Veritas is ashamed.

Due to an oversight during a bout with an intestinal fortitude virus, a temporary lapse in sound judgment and clear thinking, and a highly localized infestation of angry hornets, Nuda Veritas announced on April 1st that the next post would occur on April 16, 2006.

This was in error! REPEAT. This was in error!

The fortuitous and timely departure of the virus along with the the fog has resulted in the next post being moved up one full week to April 9, 2006 where it should have been all along. Please make all necessary changes to your calendars and adjust your schedules accordingly and accept NV's heartfelt apology for the inconvenience.

The URL, as always, is Nuda Veritas

Oh, and the hornets are still there, but they're calmer now.

Nuda Veritas

It Is To Laugh

Great news for the Un-faithful! A scientist has determined that he has an answer for Jesus having apparently walked on the water:
“A Florida State University researcher believes he has a natural explanation for the biblical account of Jesus' miraculous walk on the surface of the Sea of Galilee – ice.
Professor of Oceanography Doron Nof and the co-authors of his study theorize that a rare combination of optimal water and atmospheric conditions resulted in a unique, localized freezing phenomenon called "springs ice," according to, which specializes in news about science, technology, physics and space.

A frozen patch of ice floating on the surface of the lake would be difficult to distinguish from the surrounding unfrozen water, making it appear as if Jesus were walking on water, according to the theory.”

DOR-ON! DOR-ON! He’s the Man!
If HE can’t explain it,

More from the master of science:

"In today's climate, the chance of springs ice forming in northern Israel is effectively zero, or about once in more than 10,000 years," Nof said.

"If you ask me if I believe someone walked on water, no, I don't," he told Reuters. "Maybe somebody walked on the ice, I don't know. I believe that something natural was there that explains it."

"We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account."

A few decades ago there was a book published-not by Doron Nof, but by (quoting wikipedia-I looked it up)
British Biblical scholar Hugh J. Schonfield which maintained, among other lugnuts of wisdom, that:
Jesus was a deeply religious man, skeptical of the Pharisees, who mistakenly thought that he was the awaited Messiah-and planned on being on the cross for only a few hours, to fake his death and then miraculously re-appear-often called the swoon theory. Jesus, according to Schonfeld, worked the scam perfectly up until that spear thrust from the soldier unexpectedly killed him. Ooops.
Not mentioned at wikipedia is the answer Schonfeld came up with for the feeding of the five thousand: Jesus was standing in front of a cave, from which his disciples were slipping the many stockpiled loves and fishes like a stage magician being handed his props from behind a curtain.

Which is more believable? That a man could have trusted Spring lake ice to hold him up all the way to his friends boat? If it had failed him halfway from the shore he would have drowned, or at least looked like a fool, hardly the Master of wind and wave. (Oh, and if the boat weren't locked in the ice, those last few feet of open water would have been quite a jump to make, though not as great as the illogical leap Doron makes supposing the ice in the first place.)

Or that Jesus is the Son of God, and it is no harder for Him to feed 5000 from a few loaves and fishes than it would be for Him to walk anywhere He wished? Peter also walked on that same water, until he let his fear sink him. But Jesus lifted him up, and asked, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Changing the- A Sunday Question

Moving from asking about mockers, as that didn't generate much interest, to this:
Without crystal ball or tea leaves or any witchcraft, tell us the future. Tell us your vision of America in 50 years/the world in 50 years. Be an armchair futurist. Extra credit for everyone if they contrast what the future will be like if:
A: Christ has returned and set up His Kingdom-or
B: He has tarried, and that hasn't happened yet. Those who don't believe in His existence, I guess you would focus more on B. Anyway, share your vision for 2056.
Don't worry about sounding foolish-I've got that market cornered most of the time.