Saturday, May 28, 2005

I'm not a golfer, but.......

It's been a nice day, the start of a long weekend. A friend of mine invited me to be part of his foursome for a company golf outing. I shot terribly except for one really nice putt, one really nice drive that ended up on the green 3 feet off the pin. And, serious duffing otherwise. But I enjoyed myself.

I used to golf. When I was in college I golfed every single day the course was open. I even golfed the morning I got married. The day after I got married I didn't golf. In fact I only golfed a dozen times that first year and it drifted from there. Now I 'm down to 3 or 4. If I were better I might take a shot. My friends gave me a really nice set of clubs for a wedding present I used today. 39 years old. Older than most of the fellows I golfed with today.

What made it a little challenging is that I am suffering, (really suffering) from a prolonged bout of gout. This is my 4th episode. My big toe is swollen 2X the size of the other. I limp and it throbs. I don't eat beef in excess. I am just a tad over my weight limit. Well ok, about a third. And I misbehave some. So, perhaps this is the Lord telling me to slow down, lose weight and behave. Yes Lord Yes.

Then coming Home I gardened until Dark. That's what spring is all about.

I'm traveling starting Tuesday for 10 days on business. I don't think I'll be able to blog on the road. I'm NOT taking my laptop. I'll use someone else's or something.

Go to Church!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Even if she's a Liberal - This is worth reading

I read this on Huffington Post. Next time you are feeling any modicum for understanding the Religion of Islam as practiced by Bin Laden and his kin the Saudis, remember this quiz. That's what the battle is all about.

This dead horse needs one more beating

I can't promise I will NEVER bring this up again. But for now, this will be my last word on the subject (until next time).

I am not a PhD
I am a Christian who believes the Bible from Genesis to Maps
I can think for myself and that frustrates other Christians as well as pagan friends of mine

I don't believe Darwin figured it out. I also don't believe the earth is 5783 years old. The Bible doesn't support that idea. But, the Bible certainly doesn't support Darwin.

I think unbridled acceptance of the religion of evolution as promulgated by Darwin and his disciples and theologians in our colleges has grave danger to the capacity to think clearly about who we are and what it all means.

I am not alone. Look at this article from today's tribune. It really demonstrates the quandary when brilliant people with lots of letters behind their name tenured from world famous secular educational institutions cast serious doubt on the whole theology of Darwin and evolution.

Like a commercial says, "I'm not asking you to change, I'm asking you to think about it and then you decide"

It's the thinking part that's so hard for most folks.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

A Tribute to Marvel Rudebusch Lee on her 80th Birthday

I don’t know her as Aunt Marvel. She is my aunt. Wife of my mother’s brother Mancel. But I always just knew her as Marvel. Because, well, that’s what she is. Now she has finished 8 decades and is in her ninth. I don’t know all the details of her life as her children do, I do know it has a lot to do with Scandinavia.

A few brain cell snapshots:

I remember a Thanksgiving in Ortley SD (or Waubay) with her folks, the Rudebusches. Warm, Cozy, oil stove, love, peace, joy. It’s only a fragment but the sense of it is still tangible. She came from good people.

I loved going out to “Jim’s”. My cousin who I loved and still do. He is/was the oldest. The sand hills were magic. Perhaps not to those who farmed that tediously dry land. But to my cousins and me it was an adventure without peer. You could strike water with a shovel. The blowouts provided a thrill to an 8-year-old equivalent to any amusement park ride. Marvel and Mancel’s farm in the Crescent Sand hills South of Oakes ND was fun.

I remember her on Ranch 7. Chaos of kids, Sunday meals, equipment, silos, pigeons, and the duck slough. One time, ONCE, lutefisk dinner. In the “Old” house. Came in the house while the lutefisk was in full glory. The German half of my stomach craved the better tastes and smells of sauerkraut, blutwurst, and Limburger. I don’t remember how much I ate. I do remember it was less than my mom wanted me to. I really more enjoyed it more when we had pot roast, Government Cattle Mancel called it. It tasted a great deal like venison. Of course that would be impossible since they were out of season and…… OH.

There was so much to do outside in the FRESH air. We kids headed out no matter the temperature. We weren’t run out. We always were welcomed back in when it got too cold. Marvel kept peace in the cacophony without yelling. It’s her nature.

Her resiliency at the loss of Dick (her second son) is an example of dealing with loss in a way that honors the departed by keeping on with life. Having been with so many who mourn for the rest of their life at the loss of a child without ever recovering I admire Marvel for her example.

Marvel did a lot of things right with her children. I see those cousins of mine, her children, and I am astounded at the solid contributing significant people they have become. I take nothing away from their father. His blood runs in my veins. But she can stand proud of her offspring: PhD’s, Elders in Church, Managers of Business, Teachers, Mothers and wives; Competent self-supporting contributing members of the world’s population. Isn’t that all anyone could ask?

When her “Man” died a few years ago people watched. What next for Marvel? Now they Marvel. She lives independent, Red Hat and all, friends, church, contributing. I’ll bet there isn’t a day goes by she doesn’t miss him a little. I would hope that in my case. But she has made these years of value living them as we all hope we can at the time when we meet those calendar turnovers 80 times.

So lead on Marvel. YOU ARE ONE!

Brain Damage - I always knew it

I sent out a parody link of some very funny stuff to several friends I like. It's just a little over the top. Just a little bit touchy. But really well done humor. CLEAN! Don't look for any dirty jokes here.

I got feedback. The spectrum ran from, That's terrible to That's hilarious.

I have been accused of having a warped sense of humor. I have never understood how others can't GET THE JOKE when it stands right there in front of them.

Then I discovered this article from the Tribune of yesterday. It says that people that don't get the joke are brain damaged.

Since that could be you dear reader, I won't point you to the link that propagated all this controversy. It won't amuse you.

I won't tell you that Julie, who I link to at the right hand of this blog (I'm not going to make this easy) actually made a comment in her blog on a Lark about this. She's quite a Chick on Tract.

So if you should decide to wade thru the roadblocks and seek out this parody and still don't get it, please phone our complaint line 1-800-IT'S-A-JOKE.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Vision from Sunday Last

Barry Kolb is the pastor of the Church we attend on Sundays. He's a good man. He works in Angola Prison often. Once one of the toughest meanest prisons in the nation. Now nearly half the residents are Christians.

He just got back from Prison and shared a question an inmate pastor had asked him. Doc, are you secure in your salvation? Yep, said Doc. You're right because if you think about it for the devil to have to swim thru the Blood, break the seal of the Holy Ghost, and then pry open the hand of God to snatch you out that would be one saved devil.

I see things in pictures. Immediately I saw this strong vision of the security of the believer:

The Blood is flowing in torrents spiritually washing away our sin, such that to approach us, the Devil has to fight like he was at the foot of Niagara falls without a ladder. If he fights his way up the cliff (with the Blood flowing down) when he reaches the top he finds a walled castle fortress.. It is the very hand of God holding believers in his protection. No entrance, No secret passage. No anything. Even if thru persistence he should find able to worm his way in, he will find us engulfed by tongues of living fire, the fire of the Holy Ghost, burning as a seal upon our heart. This is an impenetrable fire for him. It's like the wall of fire that God placed around Zion in Zechariah 2:5.. We are Zion. He can never get there unless he was saved himself and that can never happen.

Lots of people have the false impression that at the tongues of fire at Pentecost were little flames on the tops of the 120's heads. No, the word says that tongues of living fire settled on each one of them. They were enveloped. Surrounded. Captivated. Protected. I have been in enough wild grass fires in Dakota to know what a tongue of fire looks like. It's fierce. That's the kind of fire we are surrounded with.

Some people believe that in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were not Naked until they sinned but were clothed by the same tongues of fire, the Glory of God. Not a burning fire, an enabling protecting fire.

And, in heaven, when we get to the other side, you won't be wearing clothes. You'll be clothed in the Glory of God, It will look like fire. It will be raceless, genderless, you'll know as you are known but you will be clothed in glory. We will appear as wearing white robes but they will be tongues of fire.

Once we are saved and filled with the fire of the Holy Ghost we have tongues of fire around us in this life. In fact, once we are saved it's very very hard to go to hell. It is possible, but you have to step out of the fire, you have to break the seal, you have to open the door and then you have to traverse the flood of the blood of Jesus. All the while the hounds of heaven will be chasing you down, putting up barriers, injecting difficulty, and hundreds of other things in your way to stop you. God will even take you out before he'll let you go too far. It's a fearful thing to walk in rebellion.

I haven't known many, maybe none, who were truly saved, born again, filled with the Holy Spirit who ever were able to claw their way to hell.

I have known of a few misled souls who destroyed their own lives but in the end were redeemed from the pit. I know it's controversial but I don't think David Koresh went to hell. I think Jim Jones did. But God Knows. I don't.

It's an important question, even if we don't feel like we are a Christian sometimes you will never be and you have never been more saved than you are right now, rignt now, right NOW!. The completeness of the security of the believer is a wonderful thing. I'm far from a "once saved always saved" Christian, but I am a believer that our security in salvation is a fact we can live in with confidence. I helps us get passed that issue and on to doing the "stuff".

So let's not get saved again next Sunday, that's settled, let's get on with what he has called each of us to do. It's different for you than me. I can't judge your call, You can't judge mine. I'm flawed and stupid and I sin sometimes. But I'm still in the fire, in His hand and under His blood, A very secure place.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


I wanted to record the 3 hours of Fox and Friends to see the interview with Trevor Romaine. After I "Bounded" out of bed at the crack of 7:?? I coffeed up and then sat down to fast forward thru the show.


Checking the set up I note that I am well prepared to record tonight's Fox news programs from 5-8PM.


The old joke about old folks not being able to program their VCR is not as funny as it used to be. I can only hope that his web folks will put up a streaming video on his website.
It's amazing I can still tie my shoes.

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Cultural Divide and the Whore Church

These Letters to the editor in Today's Chicago Tribune demonstrate how deep and wide is the cultural divide. They were all in response to a commentary addressed in This Blog. There is no crossing this divide with pure reason. It requires conversion. People will have to have their hearts changed to make this trip.

I have long wondered how the Whore Church in Revelations will come about. I see it clearly now. It's a secular religion with all the trappings of high church.

Religious beliefs
Rich Lapka
Published May 23, 2005
Chicago -- The commentary piece "Political pulpit; The Bible as weapon in the culture war," by John Shelby Spong (Perspective, May 15), was astounding to me.

I was amazed that a religious person, the retired Episcopal bishop of Newark, N.J., no less, could question the Bible as the "Word of God," would speak out against the use of the Bible and religion as a weapon by the religious right and argue eloquently for the separation of church and state.

As a "non-believer," this government tries to make me feel like a second-tier citizen.

Spong wrote, "These are nothing less than the steps people take on the road to transforming a democracy into a theocracy, which is to walk in the direction of the cruelest form of government that human beings have devised."

To hear those words of Spong gives me hope of a more tolerant religious community, and that our democracy and our patriotism will not be judged by our religious beliefs.

Spiritual ideas
Wanda Connell
Published May 23, 2005
Chicago -- The religious right speaks a lot of quackery concerning its interpretation of the Bible and values.

Thank heaven the Tribune is finally publishing voices unheard before concerning religious thought. John Shelby Spong, the retired Episcopal bishop, and his commentary gave me hope that there are still spiritual and intelligent people in Christianity instead of the warmongers and ideas that would destroy democracy. Thanks so much.

Required reading
Jim Walker
Published May 23, 2005
DeKalb -- The essay by John Shelby Spong should be required reading for all avowed Christians.

Thank you for printing it.

Erwin Lutzer a respected Leader I respect in our community of faith (not Pentecostal or radical but a solid Man of God) wrote this fine article in Sunday's Tribune.

Imposing left morality
By Erwin W. Lutzer
Senior pastor at the Moody Church, in Lincoln Park
Published May 22, 2005

In his article "Political pulpit--The Bible as weapon in the culture war," John Shelby Spong is critical of those Christians who are trying to influence government according to their convictions (Perspective, May 15).

Spong writes, "When leaders seek to intimidate the presumably independent courts, the first step toward totalitarian government has been taken," and then he reiterates the charge that conservative Christians "seek to impose their religious agenda on the whole body politic."

What Spong fails to point out is that the liberal left also seeks to impose its agenda on the rest of us. The three examples he gives--same-sex marriage, abortion and the Terri Schiavo case--all point to a conflict of opinions, and no matter which side one takes, somebody is imposing his morality on someone else.

If same-sex marriage became law, the definition of marriage would be changed for all of us.

It would affect adoption laws and certainly the entire school system. Already, a father here in Chicago asked me recently how he should handle a situation in which his 6-year-old daughter is expected to watch a film that defines a family as any combination of adults: two men, two women, etc. So who is seeking to impose his morality on whom?

Ominously, on Jan. 11, both the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate amended the Illinois Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation as a protected class. Two weeks later, Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed it into law.

This law makes no exemption for churches and other religious institutions. Sen. Carol Ronen, the sponsor of the bill, is on record saying that the new law applied to churches: "If that is their goal, to discriminate against gay people, this law won't allow them to do that. But I don't believe that's what the Catholic Church wants or stands for."

If same-sex marriages were legalized, we have every reason to believe that churches that fail to comply will have their tax-exempt status revoked. We can hear it already: "You have no right to deny us our constitutional rights to be married."

When that happens, we will witness a chilling intolerance for those who write or speak against such unions. No laws are neutral.

The mother who chooses abortion imposes her own morality on her preborn infant, whose life is wantonly snuffed out. And in the case of Schiavo, the will of her husband was imposed upon her (evidence to the contrary is at least questionable), and she was starved to death.

In other words, in all moral judgments, and in every law, someone's morality prevails.

In recent years, many judges have expanded the 1st Amendment phrase "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" as a reason to eliminate all expressions of religion in the so-called public square.

Forgotten is the second part of the sentence, which bars Congress from "prohibiting the free exercise thereof." It is indeed difficult to see how a prayer before a football game is an example of Congress establishing a religion, or why a principal would think that a student who brings his Bible to school is guilty of establishing religion.

Nevertheless, through the courts, we see an ever-increasing desire to stamp out religion from public life and to impose a secular agenda on "the whole body politic."

When we hear that a teacher is forbidden to read the Declaration of Independence in a classroom because it contains the word God, we can be assured that such a notion was foreign to the framers of the Constitution. Already many years ago, George Will perceptively wrote, "And it is by now a scandal beyond irony that thanks to the energetic litigation of `civil liberties' fanatics, pornographers enjoy expansive 1st Amendment protection while 1st graders in a nativity play are said to violate 1st Amendment values."

When I visited the People's Republic of China in 1984, our tour guide justified the government's policy on religion by arguing for a separation of church and state. She said that religion was free to operate in all of those areas that were not controlled by the state. When we probed more deeply, she said that religion was a private matter and that the people of China were free to be as religious as they wanted to be "within their own minds."

Today the Senate is deadlocked over the question of which judges should be approved; this of course is not a small matter. Conservative Christians wonder whether the approved judges will further limit religious expression, or whether they will take the Constitution seriously when it says that the free expression of religion should not be prohibited.

Freedom of religion necessitates freedom of speech beyond the narrow boundaries that some of our courts dictate.

Conservative Christians do not advocate a totalitarian government; if anything, they fear a totalitarian government from the left: When children, beginning in the 1st grade, are indoctrinated in a morality that is contrary to both natural law and their parents' convictions, is not this a step toward totalitarianism?

And when a whole class of people, such as preborn infants, is denied protection, and thus can be killed for convenience--is not this a precursor to totalitarianism?

After all, if one class of people can be denied a basic right to live, who is next, the elderly, the infirm? And if religion is deemed to be private, who is to say that the day might come when it is completely restricted to houses of worship, eventually to our homes, or even limited to our own minds?

Harvey Cox was right when he said that secularism is most deceptive when it pretends to be neutral.

He writes, "Secularism, on the other hand, is the name of an ideology, a new closed worldview which functions very much like a new religion. ... It must be especially checked where it pretends not to be a worldview but nonetheless seeks to impose its ideology through the organs of the state."

It is so easy to repeat the mantra that conservative Christians want to "impose their morality on others" without realizing that the liberals have been doing so for years, by judges whose opinions affect us all.

Conservative Christians do not pretend to be neutral.

We are opposed to abortion on demand; in keeping with the desire of most parents, we are opposed to pornography in our libraries, and we are opposed to same-sex marriage. We are also opposed to an arbitrary religious censorship in the schools, and we favor tolerance of religion rather than the abolition of religion in the public square.

We must thoughtfully debate these issues and at the same time seek for common ground that will help us respectfully live together despite our deeply held differences.

Decisions made today will have far-reaching consequences tomorrow.

Which brings me to this. This battle those of us who are called to it is not about religion, politics or freedom. It's about life and death. I responded to a column by Jane Ahlin.

If you have the courage to face the truth this should stir you.


I don't want you to do more than think about it and ask yourself the hard questions. Is this really where you want to go?