Saturday, February 10, 2007

Misappropriation of Funds

I attend church with a sweet older lady who loves animals.  She cares about them.  The other day she was telling me a story of the rescue of a lost cat she found, how she had taken the cat to a vet and spent $600 on getting the cat well.
I smiled, listened carefully, and made no visible judgment.
I know many people like this who have big hearts who take care of animals like they were people.  You know them too.  Kidney transplants for the cat, $4000 cancer treatments for an 11 year old Irish Setter.
People go nuts for animals.  Go to Pet Smart.  A dog there will cost you OVER a thousand dollars.  For a dog.  If you question someone's attachment to the animal they will say something like, "OH, she's my baby".   No she's a DOG.
I don't like to see animals suffer.  That's why if a dog or cat is in great discomfort I will not let them suffer.  You do the math.  We spend billions of dollars on pets, pet care, pet vets, pet medicines and pet fro fro.  That's misappropriation of funds. 
I know all about the Biblical Story of Mary and how Judas criticized her for pouring the Nard out on Jesus feet.  How she should have used that money for the poor.  That story is correct.  We are pouring ourselves out in worship.  But this is about Dogs and Cats.  Reserve your worship for Jesus not for furry, fuzzy, barking and meowing things who don't love or hate.  They are animals.  We have somehow misdirected our devotion to much lesser gods.
Back to lady I go to church with, the money she spends on taking care of and fixing up lost and wounded pets is significant.  She has the money so she isn't taking money out of her lifestyle to do this.  I only have one question, wouldn't that money be better used for something other than a cat that might live for 3 or 4 more years?  We are talking eternal souls here.  Couldn't that money be better focused on eternal things?  I would love to take her checkbook and see what her giving towards the purposes of God are versus the giving toward the purposes of animal welfare.
I think when she gets to heaven and is given the opportunity to review her life, the money she spent and the efforts she put toward taking care of little kitties and doggies will go right on top of the wood, hay and stubble bonfire. 
I mean get real people.  They're animals.  I like animals too.  Especially with steak sauce on them.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Cheap Jesus has NO Value

The Persecuted Church worldwide is flourishing. It grows in spite of or perhaps because of the opposition from establishment religious leaders, governments and people who hate Christians.

What makes this so interesting are several stories coming out of various places in the world:

Muslims are converting to Christianity by the thousands in France, even though they face death threats and exclusion from their families. "It is estimated that every year in the world some six million Muslims convert to Christianity."

Revival Happening in Baghdad Says Missions Group. Iraqi Christians say the war has made their nation better. "The majority of the country are doing well, safe," Doyle said, noting that in many areas new schools, hospitals and churches are being built. "If [the war] had not happened ... they would not have 35 new churches in Baghdad. They're calling it a revival."

Christianity and other religious expressions are surging in formerly atheistic Communist China. China is the fastest growing Christian nation in the world. More people come to Jesus in China per day than any other country in the world.

Christian Conversions on Rise in Morocco

Even though Morocco is more liberal than other Muslim countries, conversion to Christianity is highly dangerous. Despite this fact Muslims convert to Jesus every day. 10 years ago it was unheard of.

Revival of Christianity in Europe

"Increasingly we're witnessing a spiritual turning in recent years." Evangelical Christians are seeing long-prayed-for growth in churches throughout Europe.
Great Hope, Indeed, for Europe Says Chuck Colson. Colson sees signs of great revival in cold dead non Christian Europe.

The Elephant Stampede that brought People to Christ and Birthed New Ministries
"Now all our believers understand that God works all things together for good. Praise God for using our believers to start these prayer fellowships."

First Christian Television Series by Tunisians
, For Tunisians (a Muslim Country), Makes History. "Never before were Tunisian believers prepared to so publicly confess their faith. I believe that for the Church of Tunisia, this is a new dawn."

Muslims are coming to Jesus enmasse. The bankruptcy of Muslim teaching is being eclipsed by the Love of Christ. Many former Muslims convert after having had an encounter with the risen Christ in a dream. He reveals himself to them and they grasp what that means.

Even Europe is turning. Oh the persecution is great there. See an earlier post about how the German Government persecutes the church. In France overt persecution of the church where it is labeled a dangerous cult keeps the timid away. But, just tell people they Can't worship and see what happens. People are hungry for something real.

What is more exciting are the number of missionaries being sent from China, the Philippines, Nigeria, South Korea and Brazil to the rest of the world. From one church alone in South Korea a Hundred Thousand Missionaries are being prepared to go on the mission field. As the move of God roars across the globe I pray it will take place here in the USA. I am ready to work along side my missionary brethren when they come to the USA to get this lost country saved. I hope the Church in America will be good ground when the revival finally hits here as it is in the rest of the world. I'm not certain we are ready. It may mean that Church as we thought we knew it will be replaced by a more alive, vital and organic expression. It will offend many who will be threatened by this new wave. They will die off, sequester themselves and become part of a distant past. The new wine will wash over the Church and only those willing to abandon the wineskins they thought they treasured will survive.

It seems like persecution is the key to revival. Maybe we have it too easy here in the USA. The idea that we can choose to go or not to go to Church next Sunday might in fact be a hindrance to the spread of the Gospel. Meanwhile 800 Churches per week close in American. Our Churches have forgotten Jesus instructions. He said, "Go first to Jerusalem (local area), then Judea (region), Samaria (Neighboring Ethnic Groups) and then to the ends of the earth. Like the cow who sees the grass on the other side of the fence greener we spent a lot of time and money trying to go to the ends of the earth and lost our Jerusalem and Judea. Time to focus Church. Your Jerusalem is the most fertile mission field you could ever find. They need Jesus badly. Some of your Jerusalem is in your own Church. Unsaved Church attendees. People who believe they are Christians and are as lost as some poor soul in Muslim Sudan.

What if it were illegal, Forbidden, Life Threatening to go to church next Sunday. What if it really cost you potentially in life and limb to worship Jesus? What if Grace and Jesus wasn't treated so Cheap? What would happen then? Maybe good things.

The real question is, IF it will take persecution and trouble to turn America to Jesus and away from it's pagan present how long will God protect her?

I don't know what to pray for anymore; For God to withhold His hand and allow America to remain lost in her sin or to ask God to do whatever it takes to redeem us (US) from the pit. That spells trouble, big trouble. Pain, Suffering, and Repentance. It's bitter but I think I know. Send forth the Laborers. Bring us back.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Reflecting on Anna Nicole Smith

I would be lying if I said I knew much about her. Her death is offering far more information than I wanted to know. Oh sure, like all media watchers I heard about the death of her son, I heard about her court battles over the estate of her very old husband.

I really can't say I cared very much about that. It was soap opera in real time. She wasn't my kind of attractive in a woman. Maybe to some. Didn't do much for me. I guess I'm not much of a man in that regard.

I did reflect upon hearing of her death that it was a waste. A waste of whatever potential in God she might have ever possessed. She is/was exactly the same age as my son Tim who celebrated his 40th yesterday. I thought about what was lost.

Jesus asked a question,"What does it profit a man (Woman) to gain the whole world (and it's attention, money and adulation) and lose your eternal soul." I don't know her spiritual condition. This isn't about that.

It's just such a waste of human and divine potential. I become more and more aware of each passing day in my life. If I waste a day I repent. I must. I will make the most of every opportunity to do good, to confront evil, to expose apathy, to push others along toward their God given potential, to make the wrong things right, to make the crooked things straight. In other words to be an agent of the justice of God.

I have had people ask me, "Who put you in charge of that function, where do you get off." Isaiah 40 seems to be a good place to start.

We are all in charge of "that". We are all tasked with making and doing whatever is wrong right. Jesus says to people at the Judgement, I was hungry, in jail, alone, homeless, oppressed, lost and discouraged and you did nothing.

So, what if 5000 you try to bring right into their lives reject you, call you names, make fun of you, disdain you, reject you. If one, just one doesn't and comes in it's worth it all.

With all the potential Anna Nicole Smith had, what if just ONE MORE person had reached out to her ONE MORE TIME........

What if??

Potential in Jesus redeemed.

Love Makes You Stupid

I guess like everyone I have a take on the Lovesick Astronaut story. Everyone does.

Mental Health, that's the ticket. NOPE. Stupid Love. Punch Drunk Love.

Even if you didn't, I did and so did most of the rest of the world. Did something really dumb in the name of love.

I won't rehearse everything I ever did. It would be too painful.

LaShawn Barber wrote about this, and she asked people to give her stories of dumb things they have done in the name of Love. It's scary and real. Eric Zorn has a good take on this today in the Chicago Tribune. The fact is, when it come to love we are stupid.

I had the joy of going downtown yesterday to a dress rehearsal of "Cosi Fan Tutti" by Mozart. The meaning of CFT is every woman is like that.

It's not a pretty story. Supposed to be a farce. It's about the fickleness of women betraying their supposed war-lost fiancees for other men. All this within 24 hours of the fiancees shipping off to war. Read the last paragraph of the synopsis linked above. It will show you why I had discomfort with it all.

I guess in the light of the situation with the Astronaut Nowak. it didn't seem that funny to me.

Love hurts. Love makes you blind. Love makes you stupid. Writing an opera about it even if the singing was good and the music beautiful still is a bit painful.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Anger yet without Sin

Ephesians 4:26-27 (New Living Translation)

26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

I have a confession to make. I sin.

Anger is one of those sins. I can get testy. Today I am repenting publicly of two.

First, I forgive the Bears. I didn't burn my tee shirt. I still love Lovie. Rex Grossman will make a great quarterback (someday). Everything I said was wrong and said in anger. The devil make me do it. That's what the verse says doesn't it?

I'm joking of course. No, Flesh. I still have to carry this carcass around wherever I go. It rises up. So does yours. Then, the Spirit gets me back under control and I'm OK again.

The second, less joking, I was pretty hard and bitter towards Molly Ivins when she died. I should have been a bit more careful. Today I deleted both posts. I have archived the whole thing but frankly it was bad form to go off on her so hard.

So, if you really want to know what I said I can email it to you. I suggest you don't.

My ministry credentials come from a conference of the IPHC called Ephesians 4 Network.

Much of that whole thing has to do with the ascension gifts of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher. There is a couple verses in Ephesians 4 that I need to consider. They are above. I am capable of anger. I am capable of generating anger. I am not afraid to speak my mind and really not afraid if I am operating under the gift of God that is in me.

That doesn't win many popularity contests. I didn't enter any. But, for the most part my anger is directed at the works of the Devil. If you read my blog you see what I mean. Lying. Scheming, Fear. Revelations 21:8 stuff.

Leonard Ravenhill was capable of being Angry. He was a friend and mentor of Keith Green and a prophet to David Wilkerson. In the Last Days publications he was quoted often. One of the missives he provided was on being angry and sinning not. It is still good reading even though it's over 20 years old. Brother Ravenhill is long gone. He could be very angry and still not sin. I guess it came from a time he asked the Lord to show him his sin and it so mortified him he never actually recovered.

I wish I had his mantle. Maybe I will yet.

The PC Society = Vanilla

One of the worst philosophies that ever invaded our mentality was propounded by Thumper’s mom. Thumper, Bambi’s friend. Walt Disney.

She told fuzzy little Thumper, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. (Isn't that cute)

Since the 40’s when that bit of “Wisdom” was dispensed by the furry one we have drifted into a malaise of allowing all kinds of distortions in our culture and said nothing because we want to obey Thumper’s mom. People work HARD to be nice. Non Confronting. Cutting slack as our culture Lurches toward Sodom.

I am a slippery slope watcher. I look for the logical extensions of compromise. It’s usually pretty darn ugly.

Thumper’s Mom’s Philosophy has caused us to not say anything at all because we fear we might offend someone. I don’t think we should intentionally offend people, but remaining silent in Nazi Germany killed an awful lot of Jews. Dietrich Bonhoffer didn’t remain silent and they hung him, naked.

Go along to get along has become the philosophy of the day. The Joe Biden dustup over calling Barak Obama a clean Negro has caused all kinds of kerfuffle. While as a right-winger I would love to pile on Joe Biden (who deserves it) the fact is he said something that is true and descriptive. Barak Obama is clean; he has little dirty laundry to be hung out, that’s a benefit to him.

The fact that so many people went nuts over this is goofy.

The Bible describes a day when men will call “Good evil and evil good”. I always like to invert a verse in its vector and see what can be implied and understood by the language.

It also means that when those men (Who implied are evil and one could extrapolate politically correct) call “good evil and evil good”; Good men have a responsibility to call “Evil Bad and Bad Evil”. I was taken to task by Bill Barnwell for my view on the Homosexual Agenda. I questioned his view regarding the 1950’s, better or not than today. My question for Pastor Barnwell is, Is there a time when evil needs to be named? Paul said, “Let not that evil be named among you”.

This happens in the world as well. Man Caused Global Warming, It’s priests and evangelists will quarter no opposition whatsoever. Recently a man was fired from the weather channel for questioning the whole idea that Man could be the cause of global warming. A college professor from Winnipeg, Tim Ball, who is on a personal campaign against the whole concept of Human Caused Global warming is pilloried and demeaned because of his questioning. Even to disputing his credentials. Never mind that the University he was Professor at had done the examination of his credentials and found them in order. But the hate squads of the Human Caused Global Warming have done all they can to put him away. They are ruthless. They have done the same with other HCGW skeptics like Linzen of MIT and others who dare question.

You want to keep you head? Keep quiet about this whole Human Caused Global Warming thing. Go along and you’ll get along. Never mind that the emperor has no clothes, don’t say anything. It’s just like North Korea, Just Like Communist China, Just Like Saddam’s Iraq. This thing has become a dictatorship. A dictatorship driven by a desire for power. Power equals money, money equals power. Jacque Chiac said a could days ago he wants to TAX countries who don't go along. Next he will want to put people in jail who are doubters.

If you think I’m overreacting? Today it was announced that the governor of Washington wants to replace the state’s chief climatologist who has held the office since 1991. Why? Not because he killed someone, not because he raped someone, not because he embezzled money, not because he didn’t show up for work.

He is about to be sacked because he didn’t toe the party line regarding human caused global warming. He dared question it. That is a death sentence.

Like Stalin’s day, questioning leads to virtual execution.

When I call these Global Warming Caused by Humans believers gullible and when I call the power behind these claims Nazi’s, I don’t think I am overstating the case.

When I was younger I lived by the credo, question everything. I still do. That is unacceptable for some people. It makes them uncomfortable. I make them squirm.

Well, it’s time to take back our lives. QUESTION EVERYTHING. Going along to get along ultimately leads to slavery. That’s where we are headed if we don’t question.

Time to call Bad Evil and Evil Bad.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Happy Birthday Week

This seven-day period has birthdays of note for me.

On the second if I have my dates right was the date of birth 91 years ago of Ruth Redlin who came and held 3 siblings together under one roof after the death of their parents. My brother, sister and me. I am grateful and want to wish her a happy birthday.

Today, the 6th of Feb is Ronald Wilson Reagan’s birthday. That’s probably not a red letter day for some but it’s one for me. He saved America in many ways. We need another Reagan.

Tomorrow, February 7th about 9AM in the morning Peggy and I rushed off to the hospital 40 years ago. When after a few days we returned it was in the possession for too brief a time of a baby boy, Tim. He has been a wonderful son. Now as he transitions into what is defined by many to be middle age I couldn’t be more proud of anyone than I am of him.

  • Served a full term in the Air Force
  • Graduated from North Dakota State University
  • Works as a contractor to this day
  • Married to Raquella and has 3 great kids, Brian, Shalisa and Jaxon.
  • Is a better theologian than his father and a peer as a teacher

I don’t know how he could possibly be 40 years old. I mean, I was 40 only a couple years ago, wasn’t it? No, it was nearly 22 years ago. Yikes.

I guess it’s normal to be proud of your kids. I am of mine. They certainly didn’t inherit much of what they accomplished. I haven’t helped them much. I have tried to let them sink or swim on their own. Some sinking has taken place from time to time. Swimming has then proceeded.

So, I’m happy to say to Timothy Alan Redlin, Happy Happy Birthday Son.

May you know all the joy of the Lord in your life till we both meet on the other side.

Life is good, live it.

Germany, 7 Years Ahead – Attack on THE Church

Back in the 70’s I worked with a man who I respected. Hartley Ellingson. Hartley had worked all over the world in the farm machinery business. He used to say to me, when it comes to cultural practices watch Germany, whatever they are doing we will be doing in 7 years.

I have to say that after we lived in Germany for several years and moved back to the USA I discovered that in fact many of the things we thought were clever ideas (and some bad ideas) there, have now come to pass here. Most after 7 years. I won’t list them all but cookware and coffee are two good ones. More on that some other time.

When we lived there we went to church in Germany. We attached ourselves to one in Frankfurt while we lived near there and another in Heilbronn while we were in Lauffen. They were part of a movement that was called Freikirche Christliche Pfingstgeminde. A charismatic group. A fellowship of churches across the country.

I loved the churches there. They were multicultural, free, open, passionate and on fire. They had the Spirit of God in them. They made many American Christians look like pantywaists spiritually. When they went on a mission trip it wasn't for a week or two, it was for months, they quit their jobs, they went for long long periods of time. They sometimes sold all they had to do this. These were doctors, lawyers and college professors. Sold out for Jesus. I hang my head in shame at my own relative lukewarmness.

I loved the worship services. I try hard to put myself in a place like this as often as I can. If it doesn’t have the fire of God and the Passion I could dry up.

But, Worship is Dangerous. I stole that. I like the topic. True worship is dangerous in Germany. The government has become more and more offended by the true church in Germany. They fear the idea of a church that is sold out to the Lord and of families who for those reasons try to teach their children at home. They have taken steps to move against these things with the law and power of the state. This is a warning to churches in America. If we don’t heed it we will suffer. 7 years from now. Or we will remain lukewarm and powerless. They won’t bother us then. I want a church the devil and his minions hates. It gives me confidence I’m on the right side. If a church isn’t being cussed out on a regular basis it’s inert. You can only hope you offend the devil and those deceived of the devil on every hand. I do my best. I know I offend many. I consider it a Hebrews 11 thing. Not sawn asunder "YET".

The German government just arrested and hospitalized in a mental institution a young girl who was being home schooled. My daughter in law was home schooled. Her brothers were home schooled. I would challenge anyone to take the education and values my Daughter in law and her brothers posses and measure them against any public educational standard and define what happened to them as less than excellent and far superior.

But not in Germany. They came right into the home and kidnapped her. This is the power of the educational establishment in Germany. We are 7 years away from this in the USA if Hartley is right. The educational establishment here and there hates home schooling. If it has the force of law they would take this right out of the hands of parents. That's why as Christians we must constantly do battle with the encroachment of the educational establishment as personified by the Public School System and it's power over our kids. I thank God for good teachers like Matt Gain who teach the truth. I'm afraid they hate him too.

The state churches in Germany hate the free churches that actually are getting things done. They would rather see the churches they lead empty and dead than see a real move of God. Therefore the Government sponsored establishment churches, Lutheran and Catholic attack the churches alive with the Gospel of Jesus.

There is a church in Germany I am familiar with. It's in the city of Koln. It is a lot like the church in Germany we were part of. They are part of the same fellowship (read that denomination for those of you who think this way). The German government has labeled them a cult. They think the passionate worship they practice is evil and should be stopped. They are doing all they can to stop them.

Sounds familiar. The church/state powers 500 years ago said the same thing about Martin Luther. A cult. Has to be stopped.

It’s dangerous to be a worshipper of Jesus in Spirit and in Truth. I purpose to put myself every week at least a couple times in a place that looks very much like the Church in Koln. It's dangerous I know. People hate and persecute you. The passion of the Lord in your life torments them. I just wish more people would live dangerously. His presence in your life is his reward.

The devil even if he has to take on the mantle of the government or the established church will do all he can to stop the true Church. He will put fear in the hearts of would be worshippers to remain stagnant and timid. Recognize who your real opposition is and move out in boldness. The devil doesn’t know who he tangled with this time. I know these Spirit driven Christians in Germany. They don’t back down. They have the power of the Living God in them. But, the devil’s always making that mistake. He never knows until it’s too late who he tangled with.

"None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory". 1 Corinthians 2:8; "Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:15); “...For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

Watch this video and you will get a glimpse of future persecution for the real church in America. You should hope and pray you and your church is among those the government persecutes or you might be in the wrong place.

Be bold, be strong for the Lord thy God is with Thee.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Eco-Chondira ---- Hypochondria for Global Warming Alarmists

For those that are unfamiliar, one of the finest writers on the political landscape today is Mark Steyn. His piece Sunday concerning the absurdity of global warming hysteria is a fine example.

First, Steyn mocked statements by the media about how solid the science surrounding this illusion is (emphasis mine throughout):

Indeed. If the science is so solid, maybe they could drag it out to the Arctic for the poor polar bears to live on now that the ice is melting faster than a coed's heart at an Al Gore lecture.

Great idea, Mark. I'd happily pay to see that. He wonderfully continued:

The silliest argument is the anecdotal one: "You only have to look outside your window to see that climate change is happening." Outside my window in northern New England last week, it was minus 20 Fahrenheit. Very cold. Must be the old climate change kicking in, right? After all, December was very mild. Which was itself a sign of climate change. A few years ago, the little old lady who served as my town's historian for many decades combed over the farmers' diaries from two centuries ago that various neighbors had donated to her: From the daily records of 15 Januarys, she concluded that three were what we'd now regard as classic New Hampshire winters, ideal for lumbering or winter sports; eight had January thaws, and four had no snow at all. This was in the pre-industrial 18th century.

Steyn then pointed out how the current warming trend is really not global:

And, even when we're in a pattern of "global warming" or "global cooling," the phenomenon is not universally observed -- i.e., it's not "global," or even very local. In the Antarctic, the small Palmer peninsula has got a little warmer but the main continent is colder. Up north, the western Arctic's a little warmer but the eastern Arctic's colder. So, if you're an eastern polar bear, you're in clover -- metaphorically, I hasten to add. If you're a western polar bear, you'll be in clover literally in a year or two, according to Al Gore.

Next up was a little history lesson all too often ignored by the currently hysterical who refuse to look at weather patterns before the 20th century:

And, if you really don't like the global weather, wait half-a-millennium. A thousand years ago, the Arctic was warmer than it is now. Circa 982, Erik the Red and a bunch of other Vikings landed in Greenland and thought, "Wow! This land really is green! Who knew?" So they started farming it, and were living it up for a couple of centuries. Then the Little Ice Age showed up, and they all died. A terrible warning to us all about "unsustainable development": If a few hundred Vikings doing a little light hunter-gathering can totally unbalance the environment, imagine the havoc John Edwards' new house must be wreaking.

But the best line was here:

The question is whether what's happening now is just the natural give and take of the planet, as Erik the Red and my town's early settlers understood it. Or whether it's something so unprecedented that we need to divert vast resources to a transnational elite bureaucracy so that they can do their best to cripple the global economy and deny much of the developing world access to the healthier and longer lives that capitalism brings. To the eco-chondriacs that's a no-brainer.

Actually, Mark, for somewhat obvious reasons, everything that emanates from these eco-chondriacs is a no-brainer

by Noel Sheppard

The Superbowl That Wasn't

I'm burning this sweatshirt.  It says Bears on it. 


Rex has to go away.


It was an awful game.


The best part of the game was Prince at halftime.


I was dazzled.  He's a great musician. I would go to one of his concerts.  I'm well over 60 years old and when he played All Along the Watchtower I said, "I'd go".


What a great talent he really is. 


I wish he could play football.  I wish the Bears would have shown up.  Who were those imposters?