Saturday, May 12, 2007

Preparation as a Waste of Time

Since I have a number of Pastors who read this blog,  I have a question.  Is there any evidence that Pastors, Elders, Deacons, Bishops and any other ministers in the early church were charged with preparing a sermon?
Or is that a holdover from church tradition?  I have recently reread the new testament and see no example that anyone ever prepared a sermon.  Thought about it as Paul was at Mars Hill.  But written down, studied out?  I don't see it.  The letters of Paul were read.  But not sermonized.  Scripture was read, devotion to the teachings of the disciples.  But Sermons?  Nope.
What brings this up is I have several Pastor friends who spend hours and hours and hours preparing their sermons for Sunday.  One friend told me this week he spent 12 hours putting together a video presentation and another 9 getting his sermon ready.  In Gene calculation that's 21 hours.  In my opinion that was a waste of time.  He hasn't had time to visit visitors but has time to mess with that.  Bad investment of his time.
We as ministers are to be prepared, we are to be studied, we are to be ready, we are to be grounded, we are to be able to discern needs and speak into them.  None of that is sermon prep.    If you can't be poked with a stick at 3AM and be ready to give a sound teaching on a Biblical principle you are not prepared or grounded well enough to be in the ministry. 
I think much of what is happening in rehearsed and carefully scripted sermons is a waste of time for the hearer and the preparer.
I have another pastor friend of 40+ years of pulpit experience.  He is a Bible scholar.  He preaches 3 times every Sunday.  I happen to know that his prep for the evening sermons is seldom done before 3PM in the afternoon of the same day.  He just asks the Lord, "What do you want me to say tonight".  He gets something and says it.  His sermons are powerful, fresh and anointed.  He's my favorite preacher.
Maybe I'm just on a bent.  Someone straighten me out.  WHERE IN THE WORD OF GOD IS THE IDEA THAT MINISTERS ARE TO PREPARE A SERMON.
Or is our idea of a church service basically theotainment which means, let me do my dog and pony show sermon I prepared and you can tell me how good I did.  I know because I have been there.
I'm going to give what the Lord tells me to say tomorrow.  I have notes.  But I'm not going to try to rehearse it.   I prepare, not words but concepts.  I'm careful to keep it spontaneous.  Study allows for that.  But I don't think I have EVER EVER prepared more than 3 or 4 hours for any sermon or teaching I have ever given.  I have never been unprepared.  I'm not for tomorrow either.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Could we Just Get ONE Conservative Candidate Please - Just ONE?

I am already sick of the republicrats running for President.

I won't catalog the whole thing but there is Romney, who is a flip flop "er" like Kerry.

Gulliani who believes that Abortion is a good thing. He's dead meat.

Ginrich and Fred Thompson who aren't in the race and the clock is ticking down and off on that one.

McCain who couldn't win a hot dog eating contest and who loves to kiss up to the opposition. No one has a clue what stands for or who he is.

And a herd of "also rans".

Oh, there's guys I could get behind, Huckabee, Tancredo, Brownback. They're toast already. Now they just run to be vice president.

I don't know Ron Paul but he seems to be a decent conservative except on the War. That's a non starter for conservatives. The war is important.


This should be a slam dunk. You have a bunch of nutcase liberals who have taken the democrat party way left of where Howard Dean last saw it. They should just change the party's name to Move On, make George Soros the anti american, the head of the party which he is defacto now and let slide into oblivion.

Instead the republicrats are trying to get themselves invited to all the good parties being held in DC.

Hey, YOU GUYS. What about representing us out here. Forget all the free caviar the Dems spoon up; Left to their own devices the left will destroy themselves. You keep them on life support.

Thank God George W Bush found his veto pen. I wish he would use it to stop a few other foolish bills.

If you will start a conservative political party I'll join. Otherwise I will have to be like Mark Twain said, "I'm not part of any organized political party, I'm a republican (He said Democrat)". Today it's the same difference.

Self to Self

Sometimes I just need a chance to blow off steam. I did this morning. I wish my fuse was longer. It's not. I am results oriented. If you aren't getting desired results I'm not a nice person.

So, if I were talking to ME I would use these words of wisdom:

"It is just the little touches after the average man would quit that make the master's fame."
- Orison Swett Marden

"Here is a simple but powerful rule . . . always give people more than they expect."
- Nelson Boswell

"Great discoveries and achievements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds."
- Alexander Graham Bell

"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself."
- Henry Ward Beecher


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Debate Reaction

On ABC last night they had an excerpt of the atheist - believer debate that I mentioned in a post below.  I watched the excerpted session.
Afterwards they had reactions from the audience.  The reactions were predictable.  The atheists in the audience said the atheists won, the believers said the believers won. 
I have a reaction.  Even though I could watch the whole hour and a half debate on, I have slow speed internet and it would take forever to watch it. So I won't.  I have a friend who has downloaded it and burned a DVD. 
What I watched resulted in these impressions:
Without faith it is impossible to believe in God.  One must first believe that he is and that is the rewarded of those who seek him.  His reward is him. 
The atheists represented in this conversation were mean spirited, condescending and unhappy people.  People with a chip on their shoulder.
They showed a clip of several people denying the existence of the Holy Spirit as an act of atheistic defiance.  They are convinced that they will go to hell if there is a hell which they don't believe in.  They think that somehow they have implemented the intentional commitment of the  unforgivable sin.  Even in trying to intentionally commit the unforgivable they failed.  God's goodness and mercy will woo them till the day they step from time into eternity.  Some will turn before they take their last breath.  God's mercy endures forever.
My emotion when it was all over was sadness and pity for those lost unhappy empty people.  There is no Joy without Hope.  They have none.  Oh, they put on a good show but they are miserable people inside.  That misery manifests itself in anger, bitterness, meanness, cynicism, pedantry, inferiority, condescension and lovelessness.  What a horrible way to live.
I thought Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort were pretty good.  I think it's hard to prove God's existence if people have chosen to disbelieve.  The arguments they used are those from Romans chapter 1.  Creation cries out evidence of a creator. 
I don't know many real atheists.  I know some who think they are.  But in truth they are people seeking truth.  A man I know who was raised in the Church and who I respect claims to be an atheist.  But, sometimes  when I exchange views with him I hear an emptiness in him that rattles around.
There was a famous French Atheist who in his 40s said he no longer could deny the hole in his soul.  Late in life he came to Jesus.
Peggy asked me a key question, "Have you ever known anyone who was a sold out Christian (Not just taken to or raised in the church in a lutheran sort of way) who later became an atheist?"  I had to say no, I could not think of one. 
Most people who become atheists are disillusioned with religion and church.  They are not rejecting God, they are rejecting his marketing group. That's why I became a Christian.  I became disillusioned with Church and Religion.  Then after I was well grounded I was able to re-enter church with a belief that I might have a positive influence for change on the culture of the Church that causes people to be driven away.  I haven't succeeded yet.
I'll keep trying.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

High Gasoline Price Mania

I'm only going to say this once.

Gas prices are high and going lower. YEP.

How do I know?

  • Oil Prices are down over 12% and weakening
  • The refinery crunch caused by the retrofit to low sulfur diesel that took several refineries off line for a week is over.
  • Those refineries are cranking 24/7 and at full capacity to get in on this high gas price bubble.
  • That Gasoline production is now coming into the market and will start to affect gasoline retails in 2 weeks.
  • Those who are predicting 4 or 5 dollar gas are just wrong. They always are.
  • The solution to high prices is high prices.
  • We went thru this in 2005. Exactly like this. Prices will head back under $3 to the 2 and a half or so level.
  • The value of the dollar measured against stable currencies (which the dollar is not) means crude oil is actually about $50. In real dollars of 2005 Gasoline is $2.80 right now.

I know all this is complicated but as a trader I thought you should know what the truth is before you find yourself cranky about high gas prices. If you want to be cranky think about the plummeting value of the dollar. Yes we sell more on the global market but we are also finding ourselves being equalized in earning with much of the world. We are exporting our buying power.

One other thing to be happy about. Chinese melamine in out grains imported from there. I am hopeful this will refocus our dependence on global grains. When I think about the US importing wheat from China my eyes bug out and blood shoots out of my ears.

So, relax,
KINDA. All is well in gas price land but not so good in the rest.

We are trading two $25,000 cats for a $50,000 dog and thinking we made a good deal.

We didn't.

Carl Orff after the Fire

I am setting here getting ready to prepare a spreadsheet to reconcile an account while I am listening to Carmina Burana by Carl Orff.  The whole thing.  It is one of those pieces that gets better every time I hear it.  How come we don't get music composed like that anymore.  Old man saying   "........they just don't write music like they used to." (said with a crackly cranky old man's voice)
For the Nitpicker among you.  I am fully aware he wrote this during Hitler's time in Germany.  So did lots of people. 
It's just fun to listen to.  A music expert I know (son Kevin) informed me that after he wrote Carmina Burana, Orff told people to destroy everything he had written up till then.  This was so superior. 
I know an artist who destroyed her paintings in a bonfire and I asked about it.   She explained they were hers and if she wanted to destroy them she had that right.  Maybe she had a Carl Orff moment.
I have boxes and boxes of sermon notes, sermon tapes and teachings I have given over the last 30 years.  Why I keep them I have no idea.  I have thought about going back and preaching some of them again.  But why.  What I would preach today would be so much better.  Now they are not only taping me but putting me on DVD for distribution.  That would be great but who is that fat man on the screen?  He needs to lose some weight. 
I have tapes of sermons I gave 10 years ago.  I listened to one the other day.  Good preaching but I would do it better now. You just can't recycle the word of God for the moment's revelation.
So, maybe Orff and Julie had it right.  Maybe burning those old sermons is the right thing to do.  I have this fantasy that I'll take them and compile them into a book.
We all live like Walter Mitty sometimes.

It'll never happen.

Suckered in like a Perch on a Hook ----- RE: ARLINGTON CEMETARY POST BELOW

I've been had.  I take all the blame.  I should have checked this out.  Thanks to all who corrected me.  See comments.  I feel like that perch on the end of a hook when he's being hoisted by his own petard after taking what looked like some pretty juicy bait.  (What is a petard anyway?)
But, I'll ponder my navel and think of some way to blame liberals.  ;-))
When I make a major mistake I will fess up.  I Just did. 


I Got this from a friend of mine today.  I have seen it before but I think it's worth reprinting in case you haven't:



Today I went to visit the new World WarII Memorial in Washington, DC I got an unexpected history lesson Because I'm a baby boomer, I was one of the youngest in the crowd. Most were the age of my parents, Veterans of "the greatest war," with their families. It was a beautiful day, and people were smiling and happy to be there. Hundreds of us milled around the memorial, reading the inspiring words of Eisenhower and Truman that are engraved there.

On the Pacific side of the memorial, a group of us gathered to read the words President Roosevelt used to announce the attack on Pearl Harbor:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941-- a date which will live in infamy--the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked.

One elderly woman read the words aloud:

"With confidence in our armed forces, with the abounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph."

But as she read, she was suddenly turned angry. "Wait a minute," she said, "they left out the end of the quote.. They left out the most important part. Roosevelt ended the message with
"so help us God."

Her husband said, "You are probably right. We're not supposed to say things like that now."

"I know I'm right," she insisted. "I remember the speech." The two looked dismayed, shook their heads sadly and walked away.

Listening to their conversation, I thought to myself,Well, it has been over 50 years she's probably forgotten."

But she had not forgotten. She was right.

Look at the book "Flags of Our Fathers" by James Bradley. It's all about the battle at Iwo Jima. Right there on page 58, Roosevelt 's speech to the nation ends in "
so help us God."

The people who edited out that part of the speech when they engraved it on the memorial could have fooled me. I was born after the war.! But they couldn't fool the people who were there. Roosevelt 's words are engraved on their hearts.


People need to know before everyone forgets.
People today are trying to change the history of America by leaving God out of it, but the truth is, God has been a part of this nation, since the beginning. He still wants to be...and He always will be!

No Man Will BUY or SELL UNLESS------

I have wondered how long this would take.You have seen the commercial where in a coffee shop everyone is paying with a debit card. Things are moving right along.No problems.

Then some idiot shows up and tries to pay his bill with (brace Yourself) CASH.

Everything stops. The cash guy is looked at like he's some vermin. What do you think that commercial is selling. Beast Money.

The Bible Says in Revelation that no man will be able to buy or sell unless he bears the mark of the Beast. We are close to that now.

We are only a few years away from a truly cashless society. We are only a few years from one global currency controlled by one entity. Maybe VISA.

Think I'm kidding?

Take a look at this article where the author says:

Global financial instability has sparked a surge in "monetary nationalism" -- the idea that countries must make and control their own currencies. But globalization and monetary nationalism are a dangerous combination, a cause of financial crises and geopolitical tension. The world needs to abandon unwanted currencies, replacing them with dollars, euros, and multinational currencies as yet unborn.

What do you think that multinational currency will be? HMMMM?

So, now, will you submit to the beast or not?

Or will you not buy or sell and live in the community of believers who are once again going to have to hold all things in common. That will be the answer to the beast's system. If you aren't in a community of believers I would advise you get in one or starve and freeze in the cold. The end is near.


I got a nice note from a blog friend this morning suggesting that I might want to turn off the anonymous comments on this blog.  I have received that suggestion from other blog friends.  Julie long ago thought I should have.  I didn't and probably won't.  She moderates her comments and doesn't allow anonymous comments or anything out of sorts to pass.  She has some people who have been downright mean in comments to her.  I haven't had that much bile vented against me.  And, I'm really thick skinned (thick headed some might say).

I haven't because if the truth be known nearly NONE of the anonymous comments are anonymous to me.  I won't name them all but the capacity to know who is writing is easy as discerned by the style and content.  One is from a friend who is a fellow horticulturalist, one is our son, one is a retired pastor, one is a current pastor, one is a chum from school, one is another blogger who I know and one is a co-worker from my past.  I know who they are.  I'm not offended.  Oh sure, now and then a robo comment shows up.  I delete those. Occasionally a total whacko comes unglued if I link to his blog and he's offended because of it.  Those are usually lefties or anti-God types.  I had an atheist who said he would  have to purge and cleanse his blog because I linked to it.  Even I wouldn't say anything that dumb.

I welcome the argument.  I don't often engage it.  But, I don't discourage it.  And, I have a few anonymous commenters who actually will take up the banner for me or the position I take. 

My little peanut blog is here simply for me to vent, preach, complain, contemplate, philosophize and tell my life's stories.  It's also a way for me to keep in touch with family who read it, friends from Church, and distant cousins (Hi Wally).  When people are bored they sometimes think, let's see what that "Nice Gene" is up to (Wally's dad calls me that).  I'm happy to do so. I'm happy some actually think it's worth reading.  I am happy that many people who comment use a blogger account to stand for what they say.  But those who don't are welcome too.

So, if you are a commenter and say, "I choose to remain anonymous" I'm quite OK with that.  Say your piece, but I appreciate the fact that you remain civil.  Mostly you do.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wednesday, May 9th at 1pm and 10:35pm Atheist Christian Showdown

A friend of mine sent me this. 

I post it so you might consider tuning into this telecast.


Christian Worldview Network Reporter Attends Big Debate on Existence of God


The Atheist -vs- Christian Debate Provided Clear Evidence God Exists


A debate occurred recently on the existence of God, on the evening of Saturday, May 5th, 2007, at the Calvary Baptist Church in New York City. The event is to be broadcast in it's entirety on ABC News Now, May 9th at 2pm, EDT, and again on Nightline at 11:35pm.

The debate was moderated by Martin Bashir, the "Nightline" anchor.


For the Christian perspective we heard from Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron of the Way of the Master. For the Atheists we heard from Brian Sapient and his co-hort "Kelly." Each argued their perspective viewpoints on the question of the existence of God and answered questions put to them from the ABC News Now website, and audience respondents.


The ill-conceived notions of the debating Atheists made for a confusing and downright silly set of arguments. The platform for the debate had seemed simple enough but it proved to be too much for Brian Sapient and the young woman, who asked to be referred to as simply "Kelly", due to her stated fear of "reprisals." Brian and "Kelly" were so weak in their claims; they often resorted to making outrageously false statements. "Kelly" made the laughable comments like claiming all micro-Biologists unanimously agreed evolution is a provable fact, while Brian comically professed there are hundreds of transitional life-forms at the Museum of Natural History there in New York City!

I was at the debate as a reporter getting responses from the opponents and the crowd for the Worldview Weekend website My aim was to hear what the goals of the debaters were and to know whether the attendees believed their intended outcome had been accomplished. As many expected, Brian Sapient haughtily claimed victory while Kelly claimed offense, her best "argument" for the evening being an obviously staged "ward-robe malfunction", performed only feet in front of her Christian mother. Her stunt aroused the Atheists in the crowd to hoot like drunks in a bar; causing many to violate the Seventh Commandment right there in a Church. If Kelly and Brian's intention was to be irreverent and to cause others to stumble in sin, they succeeded only with the Lost, their own people. The Christians had respectfully looked away giving her time to recover herself honorably. The lack of respect Kelly showed for the place she was in and fo r those she and Brian were s upposed to be debating didn't really surprise the executive member of the church, but had, instead, saddened him to see these Atheists could not have shown more civility and professional respect. But such was the tone from the Atheist side during the whole debate: derision, sarcasm and irreverence for a subject 90% of Americans hold dear: They were their own worst enemies.


But, thankfully, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron ignored the pandering of the "Squad" members with judicious alacrity, even applauding their opponent's ridiculous points. Ray explained very clearly the three points of the Christian argument for the proofs of God in his opening statement, repeating them often as the "intellectuals" seemed not to be able to understand. Ray and Kirk explained the evidence of Creation decrying a Creator; the evidence of Conscience professing a Rule Giver; and the scientific facts of the Bible proving out over the centuries to be wholly accurate, all demonstrating the genius of the claims Christianity makes. Kirk even pointed out some of the smartest men ever to walk the earth similarly acknowledged the same evidences: Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, and Copernicus, among others. Although Einstein was not a Christian he openly acknowledged the evidence of a Designer in the design. Most notable to this author is how Stephen Hawking has also acknowledged the same proofs as being hard to ignore.

Yet the atheist arguments proved so ludicrous as to be laughable. The idea that, "we are all transitional life-forms" was so illogical the ABC moderator, Martin Bashir, had to stop and call them on it, amid jeers and laughing form the largely Atheist crowd, ridiculing them for even attempting such nonsense.


All the debaters, except Kelly, felt further debates of similar formats would be helpful and worthwhile; Kelly's comments proved as juvenile as her actions.


Frankly, though I agreed with Tiffany Gelpi of that the debaters did not change each other's minds, I was happy to note one of the Atheists I had previously interviewed that night, later asking me poignant questions, all alluding to his considering the claims of Christianity seriously in his tone and apparent appreciation for the claims Ray and Kirk had made for the proofs of God's existence and our resulting moral turpitude.


The point of this debate was not to prove the Christian God is the Only God, though Ray and Kirk did this very well in my opinion, but rather that the proofs of God existing are so obvious as to engender foolishness to deny the evidence .


I believe, as many who saw the debate in person did, the representatives for Christianity did exactly what they had set out to do, providing real evidence for logical consideration on the existence of God. After all, believing God exists is the precursor to the saving process, the Conscience spurring the sinner on to a reasoned Fear of God, to an understanding of His righteous Judgment, to a humbled repentant saving faith in Jesus, as their Savior, LORD and God.


I left the Atheist, who had sought my opinions out, now an admitted Agnostic, with the same comments Ray and Kirk left the viewers of this debate considering...


IF the claims of Christianity are true, that there is a God, a Designer plainly seen in the design of His creation; IF your Conscience decries a Law Giver you are accountable to; IF the Scientific, Prophetic and Moral claims in the Bible do indeed not only show that God IS but who that God is, and what He expects you to do, THEN...



Like the man at the feet of Jesus, Ray and Kirk's arguments leave the sinner asking, "What must I DO to be saved?


If you seek God with all of your heart you will find Him...

                                                        (Deuteronomy 4:29)

Patrick Burwell 

Time Keeps on Ticking Ticking Ticking into the Future

This week there has been some note made that Francis George has been the Cardinal of the local diocese for 10 years.  That means it's over 10 years since Cardinal Bernadin died. 
That was last Thursday wasn't it?  Sometimes these little milestones crop up and I am shocked into the reality that time has slipped away.  Ain't it funny how.........
I'm not a Catholic but I am a Christian so when men of faith change I take note.  I went to a service commemerating Cardinal Bernadin at that time.  I threw the memorial card from that service on my dresser top.  I think it's still there.  I mean it was just last week wasn't it?   10 years when I was 30 was a third of my life.  10 years now is a sixth.  And it all streaks by so quickly. 
I don't know what to make of it all.  I know this happens.  It just wasn't supposed to happen to me.  Not now. 
It's all a blur sometimes.
Slow down.

Monday, May 07, 2007

I'm Swearing off Freedom Fries

I have always liked the French.  Well maybe not always.  If you dig deep enough you might read a discouraging word or two about our amphibious Friends (frogs) in Champagne land.
This new guy, a staunch conservative, won the French election in liberal France. This may be a good omen. 
If we Republicans ran an actual conservative we might have a chance at winning an election.  Running a moderate trying to win the left is a lost cause.  Let's have someone solid fiscally and socially conservative with no wavering or fear and call him or her President.  I am ready for a real conservative.
I have said before, that other than the war on terror, I would not be a Bush supporter.  He's too liberal.  But, he's got that war thing right and so that's good enough for me.
I could say something predictable at this point like, Viva Le France. 
Instead I'll just hum La Marseillaise
Aux armes, citoyens !
Formez vos bataillons !
Marchons ! Marchons !
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons !
Everybody Sing-----------
France is Back---------Welcome Home!

Right Where I Ought to BE

Most of my life I have worked for myself, built business's, hired people, succeeded, failed, succeeded, failed and's been a wild and wonderful ride.

I know I am not normal. I have only taken a paycheck 3 times in my life. They were dark times. Knowing my financial future depended on the goodness of others and that I had little capacity to influence them was torment. I called it "Being on the Umbilical Cord".

I'm not resentful. I appreciated the chance to regroup. But ultimately I must move on, must become the one pushing and not being pushed. EGO? Yep. I don't think you CAN make it in life without the belief that you are right even to the exclusion of others opinions or restraints.

The AARP magazine (which I have to borrow - Not) had a quiz in the last issue. The question it tried to answer is, Are You Really Cut Out to be in Business for Yourself? I took it. You can too. The Link is below.

I had to answer "That's ME" to all but number 8. I think they got that one wrong. I'll call and let them know.

Here's the test. It's a PDF file so wait and load it.

It reaffirmed the fact that I am doing what I should be doing and that sometimes because of who I am and how I'm hardwired I don't always play well with others. But, if you want something to get will need someone like me.

Committees were designed to be a foreshadowing of Hell. They succeed. If you put me on one, my mission and purpose will be to destroy it. You were warned.

Without Comment:, An Email from an Iraq War Veteran

My name is Paul Couturier from North Attleboro, MA. I’m a proud Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom (served there with the Massachusetts Army National Guard in 2003-2004, OIF1), and I AM ANGRY!

I’m angry at anti-military Sen. Ted Kennedy for voting AGAINST the now-famous $87 billion, while hypocritically insisting he supports the troops AT THE SAME TIME! I’m angry that he wants to pull the troops out BEFORE the mission is completed! His hypocrisy makes me sick! I have no doubt that his brother President John Kennedy, a Navy hero of WWII, is turning over in his grave in anger over his younger brother’s traitorous hate speech against those currently fighting the war on terrorism!

I’m angry at anti-military Sen. John Kerry for insulting me and my brother and sister OIF vets by insinuating that we are uneducated because we “got stuck in Iraq”! I’m angry at him for also voting against the now-famous $87 billion AFTER he voted for it! I’m angry at him for insulting every Soldier who has been LEGITIMATELY awarded the Purple Heart. He wrote himself up for three Purple Hearts for a few scratches when he was in Vietnam; WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

I’m angry at my anti-military Congressman, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts 3rd District. I had the opportunity to meet him face-to-face, one-on-one, about a month after I had returned home from Iraq in 2004. He too voted AGAINST the now-famous $87 billion, yet he had the balls to tell me TO MY FACE that he supports the troops! (Fortunately my body armor didn’t depend on that vote!) DID I MISS SOMETHING HERE?

I’m angry at the anti-military media for not reporting the whole story about what is REALLY happening in Iraq! I’m angry that they’re not reporting stories of Iraqi children getting much-needed immunizations by Army medics; of Army engineers repairing roads and other infrastructure; of Soldiers tossing out bottles of water and packaged food items from their passing Humvee’s to hungry children on the side of the road (so much for the UN’s “oil” for “food” program”); of Soldiers going into schools and orphanages to distribute various school supplies, toys, and sports equipment donated by good folks back home. Instead they choose to report the assassinations of American Soldiers to boost their ratings and sell more newspapers. They suck at objective and fair journalism, but are real good at math when it comes to the Soldier body count! (They probably don’t know what the terrorist body count is because I don’t think they can count that high!) I’m convinced that CNN has camera crews sitting out in the middle of the desert just waiting for the next IED to go off, while just down the road they could be filming Iraqi children getting their immunizations from Army medics. Not to mention the fact that there are so many acts of heroism being performed by the troops that aren’t being reported either! At least in southern Iraq, where I was stationed, the people there have welcomed us with open arms!

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I learned this from a young Pastor Friend of Mine. I give Aaron Helland Credit. His comment was that while we think God Judges us on what we get done or what our abilities are, our giftings or anointings or what we hope to do; in fact God is most interested in our Character, then our relationships and finally in our abilities. Aaron drew this picture. I think there is a lot to chew in what he said. I thought I would share it with you. If you click on the image it gets bigger.
After 62 years I am still a work in progress. Aren't we all?


Peggy and I have been spending our Sunday Mornings helping a new Church. I preach next week. I am going to speak on the Gift of Life for Mothers day. I have little else than the title. But more will come.

One thing that is interesting is we are meeting at a YMCA. Nice place. We are going to get our own building soon. This church plant is over a year old but taking off.

The YMCA is the Young Man's Christian Association. Somehow the "Christian" part has drifted. There is a great deal of Multi-Cultural mumbo jumbo treating all other faiths and religions with respect and equality. I'll hang in there with the respect but I refuse to accept of believe that other religions are equal.

I am convinced that Jesus is True God and True Man. That He is Creator of all things. By him was all things were made and anything that is was made by Him. I use the Bible as the core document for evidence. If you don't believe the Bible I can't help you.

My problem is at the YMCA Jesus is offered as ONE religion. That Buddhism, Atheism, Hinduism, Islam, and whatever other religious melting pots component should be considered equal.

If that were true we would have to consider Satanism with child sacrifice as equal, that worship of the volcano god Pele with virgins tossed in as sacrifice as equal, that Aztec sun god worship with the cutting out of live human hearts is equal.

I don't buy it. I'm a Christian and I have every right and responsibility to trumpet the supreme claims of Christ. I'm a Christian and have no intention of giving a nod to some other pagan or non Christian belief system in the hope of being accepting or tolerant.

I consider any belief system that does not recognize Jesus as Lord of all creation not only inferior but a tool of the devil himself to deceive. He uses Judaism as a blindness but at least they aren't deceived. They believe in the Messiah. They just don't yet know his name is JESUS.

Any faith, belief, doctrine that denies Jesus as God himself is a pathway to hell. I know that's not popular but it's the truth.

The YMCA should change its name to the YM_A. Leave the Christian stuff out. It gives Jesus a bad name.

I'm not saying that at it's founding and even in some organizations there aren't still a remnant. I am saying that we must be careful of taking the Lord's name in vain. This might be that. Lose the C!

Global Warming and Saddam Hussein

This interesting article from a senior expert in the Climate Change field. You can expect that this will be contested. He can speak because he's a real expert unlike most of the celebrities and amatures who claim that Humans cause Climate Change. There is more evidence for WMD's in Iraq that were held by Saddam Hussein than there is for the idea that Humans cause climate change. We are stupid people for believing that somehow we should destroy our standard of living and chase our tails with peanut technologies to solve a non existent cause of an unrelated problem. We are buying indulgences and sacrificing virgins to fix the unfixable. Read the whole article.

Reid A. Bryson holds the 30th PhD in Meteorology granted in the history of American education. Emeritus Professor and founding chairman of the University of Wisconsin Department of Meteorology—now the Department of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences—in the 1970s he became the first director of what’s now the UW’s Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies. He’s a member of the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honor—created, the U.N. says, to recognize “outstanding achievements in the protection and improvement of the environment.” He has authored five books and more than 230 other publications and was identified by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world.

Bryson is a believer in climate change, in that he’s as quick as anyone to acknowledge that Earth’s climate has done nothing but change throughout the planet’s existence. In fact, he took that knowledge a big step further, earlier than probably anyone else. Almost 40 years ago, Bryson stood before the American Association for the Advancement of Science and presented a paper saying human activity could alter climate.

In the 1960s, Bryson’s idea was widely considered a radical proposition. But nowadays things have turned almost in the opposite direction: Hardly a day passes without some authority figure claiming that whatever the climate happens to be doing, human activity must be part of the explanation. And once again, Bryson is challenging the conventional wisdom.

“Climate’s always been changing and it’s been changing rapidly at various times, and so something was making it change in the past,” he told us in an interview this past winter. “Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing, okay?”

“All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd,” Bryson continues. “Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.”

Little Ice Age? That’s what chased the Vikings out of Greenland after they’d farmed there for a few hundred years during the Mediaeval Warm Period, an earlier run of a few centuries when the planet was very likely warmer than it is now, without any help from industrial activity in making it that way. What’s called “proxy evidence”—assorted clues extrapolated from marine sediment cores, pollen specimens, and tree-ring data—helps reconstruct the climate in those times before instrumental temperature records existed.

We ask about that evidence, but Bryson says it’s second-tier stuff. “Don’t talk about proxies,” he says. “We have written evidence, eyeball evidence. When Eric the Red went to Greenland, how did he get there? It’s all written down.”

Bryson describes the navigational instructions provided for Norse mariners making their way from Europe to their settlements in Greenland. The place was named for a reason: The Norse farmed there from the 10th century to the 13th, a somewhat longer period than the United States has existed. But around 1200 the mariners’ instructions changed in a big way. Ice became a major navigational reference. Today, old Viking farmsteads are covered by glaciers.

Bryson mentions the retreat of Alpine glaciers, common grist for current headlines. “What do they find when the ice sheets retreat, in the Alps?”

We recall the two-year-old report saying a mature forest and agricultural water-management structures had been discovered emerging from the ice, seeing sunlight for the first time in thousands of years. Bryson interrupts excitedly.

“A silver mine! The guys had stacked up their tools because they were going to be back the next spring to mine more silver, only the snow never went,” he says. “There used to be less ice than now. It’s just getting back to normal.”

What Leads, What Follows?

What is normal? Maybe continuous change is the only thing that qualifies. There’s been warming over the past 150 years and even though it’s less than one degree, Celsius, something had to cause it. The usual suspect is the “greenhouse effect,” various atmospheric gases trapping solar energy, preventing it being reflected back into space.

We ask Bryson what could be making the key difference:

Q: Could you rank the things that have the most significant impact and where would you put carbon dioxide on the list?

A: Well let me give you one fact first. In the first 30 feet of the atmosphere, on the average, outward radiation from the Earth, which is what CO2 is supposed to affect, how much [of the reflected energy] is absorbed by water vapor? In the first 30 feet, 80 percent, okay?

Q: Eighty percent of the heat radiated back from the surface is absorbed in the first 30 feet by water vapor…

A: And how much is absorbed by carbon dioxide? Eight hundredths of one percent. One one-thousandth as important as water vapor. You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.

This begs questions about the widely publicized mathematical models researchers run through supercomputers to generate climate scenarios 50 or 100 years in the future. Bryson says the data fed into the computers overemphasizes carbon dioxide and accounts poorly for the effects of clouds—water vapor. Asked to evaluate the models’ long-range predictive ability, he answers with another question: “Do you believe a five-day forecast?”

Bryson says he looks in the opposite direction, at past climate conditions, for clues to future climate behavior. Trying that approach in the weeks following our interview, Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News soon found six separate papers about Antarctic ice core studies, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1999 and 2006. The ice core data allowed researchers to examine multiple climate changes reaching back over the past 650,000 years. All six studies found atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations tracking closely with temperatures, but with CO2 lagging behind changes in temperature, rather than leading them. The time lag between temperatures moving up—or down—and carbon dioxide following ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand years.