Sunday, July 29, 2007

Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?

1Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
Romans 13:1-2, 5-7

This is one of the hard sayings that messes some people up. Not all governments are good, but we are to be in subjection to the government we have while striving towards the government we desire.
Hitler, Hussein and a thousand and one tinpot dictators before them have governed peoples who, by the Grace of God, eventually were freed from their servitude. Chavez, Castro, Kim Jong-il are next on the list to be deposed-but things might get pretty ugly between now and then. We are not excused from obeying the government we live under-we can only pray that God will deliver us from evil governments, specifically those in opposition to God and, by extension, His creation, those made in His image. Humanity. Us.

Tyrants don’t accidentally subjugate peoples, and, wicked as the heart of man is, it doesn’t explain all the evil in the world. Remember that we are involved in a spiritual war:

“12Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. 13“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. 14“Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”

20Then he said, “Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. 21“However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.”
Daniel 10:12-14, 20-21

Fallen angels (the prince of the kingdom of Persia, the prince of Greece) in conflict with Holy angels (Gabriel, Michael) were doing battle in Daniels time. They may not be eternal beings, but there is no reason to think that they have disappeared.

“12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Ephesians 6:12

I think that the princes (principalities) of Daniels time have been wreaking havoc on this Creation since the Fall, and I believe they are still at work today.
If you have been looking at the conflict of Civilizations in purely physical terms, consider the spiritual element. I believe the Bible from Gen to Rev. I believe that this is indeed a spiritual battle as well as a physical one. And I believe that we ‘haven’t seen nothing yet’.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Your love
Love Love
Has a fatal error.

All your barn
Barn Barn
All your barn
Are belong to us.

Would you like
Like like
To send an error report
To Microsoft?

Our love will shut down
In 5..4..3..2.…

Ban..Ban..Banjo, please.

All your barn
Barn Barn
All your barn
Are belong to us.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

What Can I Say?

9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
10 “I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.
Jeremiah 17:5,9-10

“Winning the hearts and minds…”
Hearts and minds. The heart, being deceitful, can get you to believe things which are not true, and to believe them with such passion that the mind doesn’t even stand a chance. For someone to win both hearts and minds, their emotional appeal must also stand after being scrutinized critically.
I received a letter from an attorney who wants to be my state Senator. He appeals only to the heart, suggesting that I should be outraged at the abuses perpetuated by this Bush administration. As it is hard to tell the difference anymore, the attorney is a Democrat.
Among his emotional points:
“I have seen our country entrenched in a war we should not have entered, U.S. Attorneys fired for doing their jobs, veterans unable to get treatment for wounds received in defense of our nation, the erosion of human rights.”
See what I mean? That type of stuff works on the level of emotions, not rational thought. It’s on the same level as “DWB-Driving While Black”, emotional shorthand for racist police harassment.
Politicians (and attorneys, and salesmen, writers, political pundits, bloggers, news readers and editors, ad-some-more-nauseum) can make entire careers out of misrepresenting or fabricating facts. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad trumpets lies and insane rhetoric against Israel and the United States, echoed by Hugo Chavez, and they continue to find willing hearers as they make emotionally charged lies which, if looked at critically, lose all credibility. But they and all other liars who play upon the heartstrings with emotional rhetoric are in big trouble:

“I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.”
There are going to be a lot of people who wish they could change the result of their deeds.
And I include Christians in this also. They may be saved, but they use the Grace God has given them to exploit the emotions of both believers and unbelievers.
As I’ve written before, I was in Pentecostal churches for years, though I am now a Baptist. I have seen emotional appeals which tug at the heart but don’t stand up well under critical scrutiny. Some teachings were simplistic, and ‘Worship’ was an emotional buffet with everyone stuffing themselves on ‘feelings’.
As has been stated many times, emotions are supposed to ‘season’ our lives, making life taste better, be more enjoyable. If a person lives a life led by their emotions, they are a train wreck in progress, constantly in crises. Their heart, deceitful above all things and desperately sick, rules and ruins their lives.
Where the scripture says that the Lord searches the heart and tests the mind, I believe it means that the Spirit of God, working in us, keeps us honest with ourselves and each other. He searches through my heart and finds something I believe on an emotional level:
“Doug, is this an honest emotion? Does your mind tell you that it is critically true?”

“No-I wish it were true, but I know it isn’t.”
“What do you do with this emotional belief, Doug?”
“Sigh. Toss it out.”
Be honest in all your dealings with man, and God will be honored.
If your heart tells you one thing, and your mind another, ask God to show you what is true.
And stick with it, even if the entire world tells you that God is wrong-God is not wrong; my heart and mind agree on that truth.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Like I Said

It doesn't take much to make me laugh. Here's a good headline:

My question: How can they tell?


Monday, July 09, 2007

I’m more Concerned About Global Warring

I have enjoyed the workplace absurdities of Dilbert for years-the ‘corporate cluelessness’ satired by Scott Adams is funny because it is often true. I’ve worked for ‘PHB’s’ in my time, though the company I’m with now is pretty solid.
Workplace absurdities pale beside Social Absurdities, such as the “Live Earth” global concerts of the past weekend. In true Dilbert-speak, I heard the concerts announced as being “FOR Global Warming” instead of “Bringing to the world’s attention the problem OF Global Warming.” Yeah, Rock stars maxing out a decade of ‘carbon offsets’ to preach against wanton energy consumption which they think is destroying our environment. The Live Earth concert albums are available on iTunes…what does the money collected go for? Carbon offsets? Another billion trees used up for “Live Earth-the Coffeetable Book”? Or would we be funding more ‘research’ to validate the bogus findings already trumpeted by former vice President Gore?
Live Earth didn’t achieve much-with 15 billion couples deciding to get married on 07-07-07, not a lot of people had time for the vanity scolding of Al Gore’s Live Earth.

I recycle, I try to conserve energy, I don’t litter. I see that as doing my part to make the world better. Here are a few helpful hints which can help save your personal environment:
1. If you live in a house or apartment or mansion, and you like hot water, help your heating/electric bill by doing this. Determine where your water heater is (mine is directly below the bathroom) and get in the habit of washing your hands in the sink closest to your water heater. My kitchen is further away; if I wash my hands there, it takes longer to get hot water, and, more importantly, the water left in the pipes cools quickly…so I use more energy and waste the heat.

2.This one is common-place bricks or a gallon jug in the toilet tank to offset the amount of water needed to flush the toilet. It can save water-I used to do this in Las Vegas, where water is a premium. I tried to do it here, but my family complained because they had to hold the handle down for an extra two seconds. Oh, the inhumanity. So I put it back to normal.

3. If possible, walk. All my years in Las Vegas I never had a car-I walked to work, to the grocery, wherever I wanted. I can’t do that now, as I’m a country boy, but as Hank Jr. says, “A Country Boy Can Survive”.

And so can all of us-but only by the Grace of God, not Gore. Accept no substitutes.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Crtl Alt Del

I think you know the commercial with the “Easy Button”. Press the red button and each daily task becomes ‘Easy”. I don’t want one of those buttons, but I would love to have a reset button.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to ‘reset’ and start over if we’ve made a mistake, or found out that we had been wrong about an important issue?
What do you do? If you admit that you have been wrong, you will be humiliated. Friends with whom you used to laugh would be laughing at you. It will be confirmed in their minds that you are WRONG.
But you could avoid all of that if you were able to “Reset” back to a baseline of zero and begin again on the right path, keeping your ego from the battering of humiliation.
“Choose your words carefully, in case you have to eat them later.”

When I was a young Christian, I felt as if I were swimming up stream against a raging river. It was as if the entire world were pulling me in one direction, away from God, and it was a struggle each day. But God preserved me, and I’m still here by His Grace.
But I had to “Reset” without a button. I had to admit that I had been wrong about Christ, and wrong about the world. Because the world that I had been a part of all of my life was at enmity with God. And it was very humiliating to admit that I had been wrong. Believe it or not, I used to be kind of a ‘smart Alec’!
“Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.”

If someone never admits to a fault, never humbles themselves, if their pride doesn’t allow them to admit to a single mistake, if their egos are so fragile that they will do anything to avoid being humbled-watch out! Pride goes before a fall, and great indeed is the fall of someone who has put himself high up on a pedestal.
Can you recall the last world leader who admitted to a mistake, and humbled himself? Can you imagine Hill or Bill Clinton, John McCain, Trent Lott or Ted Kennedy admitting that they were wrong about anything?
Now think about some Christian you know-I hope that they are humble, as none of us are anything special apart from what God does in us, in our lives.
Ironically, some have called me ‘arrogant’, as I operate on the assumption that God is in His heaven, and “they” feel that anyone that certain of something without ‘proof’ must be arrogant. It’s been said that I have a closed mind, as it is not open to other possibilities-Buddha, Allah, Pope Joey, whomever.
But once I humbled myself before God, He gave me the ‘proof’ that others in their…arrogance…refuse to accept. And I will never need a reset button for my faith in God. But for everything else…button, button, who’s got the button?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What a Wonderful Word!

“There is no Happiness without Liberty
No Liberty Without Justice”

I found this quote striking-originally it comes from the Federalist Papers (I looked it up-I had no idea where it was from) in a slightly modified form. It showed up in an unlikely movie-“Big Brown Eyes” starring Cary Grant and Joan Bennett, 1936. Grant plays a police detective who walks by this saying after seeing a killer set free on a technicality.

“34Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35“The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:34-36

I thought I was free back in the day, but I was career criminal, without Liberty, unhappy, as I wasn’t free from sin. Sin was at once my jailer, my judge, and my executioner.

We need to remember that if the Son has set us free, we are free indeed. If not for His bearing the brunt of our punishment on the cross to satisfy God’s Justice, we would not have precious Liberty. So truly there is ‘No Liberty Without Justice’. On this July 4th ‘Dependence on God Day’ may He Bless you and keep you Free.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Counsel Of The LORD Stands Forever

“10 The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.
13 The LORD looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men;
14 From His dwelling place He looks out
On all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 He who fashions the hearts of them all,
He who understands all their works.”
Psalm 33:10-15

This may be one of the most urgent promises for us on this planet. In the next little while, while we go about our daily lives, civilizations may rend and tear at each other, littering the ground with entire societies and peoples, casualties of war. We can’t stop it. We can’t keep nuclear bombs from detonating in suitcases, we can’t keep this group from wiping out that group, can’t stop every suicide bomber, or this or that madman from killing his own people. WE can’t do a thing right, or even agree on what IS right.
But God knows. And He is working His plan to perfection, against all the tumult and terror Satan creates in his puny attempts to mimic God.
“ The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.”
It can truly be said that His way IS the Highway.

“1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.”
Psalm 127:1

If the United Nations is the watchman you are trusting in to achieve and maintain Peace in the world, God help you. Man and his civilizations butt at each other in a gigantic rugby scrum, to no good effect. All is futile.

“7 Some boast in chariots and some in horses,
But we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.”
Psalm 20:7

I hope to see you in Heaven. May God Bless you and keep you.