Thursday, October 25, 2007

If we just would grasp how insignificant we really are.

If you spend as much time in airplanes as I have you soon realize how big the world really is and how small we are. And when you fly at 500 MPH for 11 hours and look out the window you see huge expanses of nothingness and then from time to time a large city producing perhaps some effluence of smoke or smog it starts to hit you. Humanity is insignificant in the larger scheme of things.

Sure there are little pockets of something significant now and then here and there.

It helps to get a grasp on how small we are when you look from far above at the huge smoke from a couple thousand square miles of land in the
California fires that you begin to grasp what our full collective effect on pollution or global warming really is. Look at this, do you even SEE the cities?

Or when you see the picture of Hurricane Katrina from the sky just before it moved on New Orleans it hits you, how insignificant we really are.

If you drive a Prius or a Hummer, it's insignificant. If you like to same money, drive a Camry. That long term is your best bet.

Biggest Nickel produces the Wrong Nose

I get to thinking about it. Money is the least effective evaluation of ministry there is.

I have had personal experience in two churches where a wealthy man, in one case a very wealthy man was made an elder and his influence
sourced in economics split the church.

This happens all the time. My friend Bob F who is in finance at the local church tells of a big church in the NW Chicago suburbs controlled by a well meaning man who has a large concrete company. His giving has undue influence. Therefore he has destroyed the spirit of the Church. It is a stagnant dead economically live church.

In one case of my personal experience, this wealthy man came into the church I was attending. His giving sometimes was over half the weekly offering. He was also a strongly opinionated man. He at the insistence of the pastor who I am confident was insistently pressured by the rich man, was made an elder.

This was the beginning of the end of that church. The rich man took advantage of his position and split out people. That resulted in failed marriages and failed ministry.

The other case was a multi millionaire who was an elder in a church where the pastor died. The orderly transition to a new pastor would have been easily made. But, this elder decided otherwise. His giving and influence caused other more fearful people to go along to get along.

Within a year the church staff diminished, the church lost many members, essentially a split and is now a ghost of it's former self.

That's one reason I NEVER want to know what individuals give. I know all the heart and pocketbook teachings. "Show me your checkbook and I'll show your your heart and all that". I've been there and have the tee shirt.

I want as pastor
to believe that everyone is giving their fair share. I only want to appoint elders based on what they bring to the congregation spiritually. If they don't' or aren't bringing it or were spuriously put in place earlier, I would remove them forthwith. When an elder no longer has the spiritual authority to be an elder he should be removed.

No church can stand long bad leadership because of giving or any other reason. Take the hit. Get leadership that leads and cares about leading. Get RID of the rest. They are a drag.

I write this in particular to a pastor friend in a Church in Geneva who reads this blog from time to time and to anyone else who takes this warning seriously. You have a man on your board who splits churches. He will kill the church you pastor if you don't get rid of the cancer now.

The Churches One Foundation is Jesus Christ Our Lord

Hymns in my Head. I get em. They are ghosts of a past. What's weird is I can sing them many times every verse.

The one floating around this morning is The Churches One Foundation
. Even though I embrace the truth of the doctrine that the Church is founded on the Apostles and Prophets, on what are they founded? Jesus. Or they are faulty foundations.

It's the second verse that hit me this morning.
Elect from every nation,
yet one o'er all the earth,
her charter of salvation,
one Lord, one faith, one birth;
one holy Name she blesses,
partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses,
with every grace endued.
I guess because I was in Wheaton getting a bagel Tuesday morning before I picked up the truck to make a delivery. I got a cup of coffee and overheard 5 pastors who were having a coffee klatch in a discussion I tuned into for a few minutes. In Wheaton if you swing a dead cat in a crowd you will hit a pastor. (I know of a pastor who came to Chicago from Africa having never visited America before, who was on his way to a conference in Wheaton and said upon seeing the large buildings of the city, "WOW, if this is Chicago, what must Wheaton be like". )

Wheaton for some Christians is like the biggest deal in the world as a base for so many ministries.

I digress.

The coffee klatch conversation revolved around offerings. Attendance and offerings. They weren't up. The average per was down. The attendance was down. Why weren't people giving.


I have been a Pastor. I purposely never wanted to know what anyone gave. EVER. I really wasn't of the opinion that attendance to my services were much of an indicator either. I came, faithfully preached the word of God and if people came great, if not, I went on.

When we no longer could pay the bills, I closed the church. People voted with their feet.

I don't believe in democratic votes in a church. I think most churches are badly led when led by laodecean methods (of the people by the people). The only vote people have and should have in a church body is the feet attached to their lower torso. IF they don't like or approve of the leadership and after they express themselves are satisfied it is not going to change, they should vote with their feet and go where they are committed and planted. Lots of people are big talkers about being planted in the house of the Lord. They missed the point of the Parable of the Soils and Sower. Some places are weedy, rocky and hard. If you try to get planted there you will die. Go where the soil is deep and rich. Get planted there and thrive. Avoid the weedy rocky hard places. They don't want to produce fruit.

I read the post by my friend Barry Kolb. He talked of Nickels and Noses. It's worth reading and then stripping clean. It's actually a teaching that's been floating around for a while. It sounds good until you rip away the mask. I don't blame him for posting it, it's probably at one level worth considering. The truth is for those in the ministry it's mostly about job security for pastors and perpetuation of a church ministry. Insecurity in their ministry is what causes them to ask,
"What if WE are failing? WE must measure to figure out if we are". The idea that we count progress by income and incomers is much like the idea of salvations per pew foot per year in many evangelical church's annual reports. It's not a question Jesus ever asked nor after Pentecost in the first hundred years of the church.

The church never apparently cared much about these issues at the beginning. Paul writes in instruction and thanksgiving about giving and behaviors of people who came into the fellowships. He never strained at the level most pastors do today, especially the young ones do about nickels and noses.

The fact is, like those young pastors in the bagel shop, they should really be concerned about things that were the outcome of what their concerns should really be. What is the nature of the hearts of our people and what can I do to help break of the fallow ground in them? Not how can we squeeze an extra nickel or extra nose they might bring out of them. The fact is if these young men really were producing the truth of God in fertile soils they would have to keep the door from being knocked down from people hungry for more truth. They would bring their friends and neighbors to hear. They would want to make sure the whole thing was going to continue and would give sacrificially to see to it.

That IS happening in other places even in America. Let's quit trying to manage God. Let's let him do what he will. If you succeed or fail, if you are faithful to your call, that's up to God. I was feeling pretty let down when New Life closed. I had invested a great deal of time in money into making it all work. When it did, my friend Todd asked me, "Gene, did God call you to help plant this church? If it succeeded, whose glory was that? If it failed who's decision was that? So no matter if it fails or succeeds, it's all God right? Then get over it, move on, find out what God wants to do and get on board". I did, do and am. Todd was right. We mostly count nickels and noses when we think it's about us. If we really believed it was about God we would count fruit and hearts sold out.

Nickels and Noses is always the wrong question answered for the wrong conclusion and no matter what answer you get it's the wrong information you need to be a more effective Christian Leader.

Hearts and Fruit is the right one. Bringing the Church to her rest. That's bringing the Church to maturity in Jesus, the ONE true foundation.

Mid toil and tribulation,
and tumult of her war
she waits the consummation
of peace for evermore;
till with the vision glorious
her longing eyes are blessed,
and the great Church victorious
shall be the Church at rest.

Lord let me see a victorious church that's half full and struggling than a lukewarm church full and prosperous. That is a true Church at rest on the one true foundation.

The Ghoulish LEFT


There can be no more Ghoulish person than Ted Rall who made these dark evil comments:
  • [H]ey, soldier, you volunteered. If not for you, there wouldn't be a war in the first place.
  • Even after soldiers get killed, their parents promote the war so their dead kids won't be lonely in heaven.

Few Gold Star mothers tell [Pres. Bush] off. Those who do are polite to the man who murdered their children as surely and as viciously as if he'd shot them himself. Why don't they spit at him?
His real thesis is that because only stupid people join the armed services that the net IQ of the USA is going up because so many of those stupid people are being killed.

There really are no words to describe this base evil man who drew these cartoons, but let me try: Ted Rall is a despicable, unpatriotic, ghoul.

The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord

I believe that the great and terrible day of the Lord is upon us:

  • It Will be GREAT for Believers
  • It will be TERRIBLE for Unbelievers
  • It will be MAYBE for Maybe Believers
I am convinced that you will see how many so called churches and pastors falling apart at the seams when they great and terrible day hits. I think of the church in China. When the pressure is on you don't hear much about 3 ways to live a better life. I like Joel Osteen but his book probably isn't much of a seller to those house pentecostal Christians persecuted in China.

Most of the church in America is what George Barna just released in a study. Most people who self identify as Christian believe most of the stories in the Bible.

Very Very high percentages believe David slew Goliath, Daniel in the lions den and Jesus rose from the dead.

But, Barna says this one thing, "
There is a disconnect between belief and practice."

When the great and terrible day hits home the churches will either empty out or fill up. Then like after 9-11 the churches that have an answer and know God will help the maybe believers become true believers, the ones who don't will cause people to become unbelievers.

The Blood of those people will be on those nominal pastors and leaders hands.

The great and terrible day. I'm looking forward to it. It'll be great.

Who are the Environmentalist Police Going to SUE?

I remember the snail darter fiasco in fiery California. Some project couldn't go on because of a fish. And some frog or mouse held up something else. It's all kinda fuzzy.

And, you certainly
mustn't clear native brush and trees from the hillsides because it provides habitat.

Reaping now that which was sown, the fires have done the job of clearing all native vegetation and all non native stuff including houses and trees in their wake.

This fire cycle has gone on for eons. That's how God clears out the
old growth underbrush. If it happens often enough there is never enough old growth underbrush to accumulate to make a difference. So if a fire starts its small and short lived. Not like this one.

Smoky was wrong. The environmentalists are wrong.

Every fall, every land owner and agency needs to do a controlled burn. Get the brush down.

Of course they don't. They fear being sued by EPA or FDA or
MSA or someone.

Well, except for a few nutcase
arsonists; who they gonna sue this time. I don't thing God is in the habit of receiving summons and if you gave it to one of his representatives on earth that opens a whole nother can of worms.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blaming Bush for the Fires

I'm back from my business trip.

I got back and looked over the blogs. Seems like the libs are true to form blaming the fires in California on the President. Why not.

As I pointed out a couple weeks ago, anything can be blamed on Bush.

We shouldn't blame Bush. Let's blame Cheney. I heard they found him driving around near San Diego with a can of gasoline and a book of matches in his trunk.

Of course that could mean nothing at all....

I'm feeling a little punky so I'm going to bed.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I'm leaving town for a couple days on biz. Be back on Thurs.

But, in the meantime, if you need your blood to start boiling again, a Marine hero's grave was desecrated in Texas.


A Brilliant Move that WORKED

A couple years ago a local pastor went on the air here in Chicagoland with a live call in show titled cleverly enough, "''Ask the Pastor". Lots of people "in the know" never thought it had a chance. Boy were they wrong.

Gregory Dickow is Pastor of Life Changers Church in Hoffman Estates.

MegaChurch - Pentecostal - Prosperity Teaching

For some of my reformed freinds that would put them off right there. Well, I think it's worth a listen before you write him off just because of doctrine. You would imagine that he wouldn't have much depth in teaching the word of God or in counsel. The fact is he's brilliant. He now has enough advertising to support the program for an hour a day on 2 local radio stations.

He gives as good advice live on the air as I can imagine anyone would or could. He is bold and secure. Pastor Dan always wanted to do something like this. Well, pastor Dickow is doing it.

If you want to get in on a treat you can tune in from 5-6 PM CST every weekday on 1160 in Chicago or 88.3 FM in Rockford. Or you can go on line to hear it as it goes down. It's real time real live here.

Climate Change Who Done It

I want to post this because I think this thesis is worth considering. On the other hand, I will tell you right now that some of Ron's conclusions I do NOT agree with at all. I will post a response to them later. The basis of my response regarding responsibility is that we have less than we think physically and more spiritually than is readily seen. This is a two pronged response in responsibility. It is arrogance to think we can affect the global climate by what we do or don't do. We are peanuts, all six billion of us together are peanuts compared to the bulk of life on the earth flora and fauna; compared to the global ecosystemic weather patterns. We are insignificant in cause or cure. While it's good personal stewardship to live a fasted lifestyle, it's folly to believe it matters at all in a physical sense. Of course it matters in a spiritual sense and God is sensitive to all that. But, more later.

Ron McKenzie and his Global Warming Climate Change Responsibility. His words follow:

I have shown that global climate change was prophesied in the book of Revelation. This will lead some readers to conclude that they are not responsible and do not need to worry about the problem. However, the fact that global climate change fits with of God's purposes on earth does not absolve us for from responsibility. The opposite is true. The book of Revelation describes global climate change as a judgment upon human action. Climate change is not part of God's perfect plan; it is his response to irresponsible human behaviour on earth.

God created mankind to be steward over this earth, after saying:

Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth (Gen 1:28).

Humans are responsible for everything that goes wrong on this earth, so we are responsible for global climate change. We have either caused it directly by our behaviour on earth, or God has to allow it as a judgment to turn us back to his ways. Either way we are responsible.

When God brings judgment on human action, he generally does not need to initiate the judgement. Usually the judgment is just the natural outworking of wrong choices and actions. The reality is that when we reject God's way, things go wrong. I suspect that global climate change is the natural consequence of human disobedience to God.

What human disobedience causes God to allow a judgment that does so much harm to the earth? The events described in Revelation are caused by three main sins. Firstly, the church is lukewarm and lacking in zeal (Rev 2,3). This translates into a variety of false religions and idolatry. Secondly, human rebellion manifests itself through enormous growth in political power. The people of the world reject the kingdom of God and choose to build the kingdom of man. The kingdom of man eventually morphs into a world empire.

The third area of disobedience that brings the judgment described in Revelation is a lifestyle that uses the earth that God placed in our care as a tool for human pleasure. God gave us dominion over the earth, so we could work with him to establish and expand his kingdom throughout this earth. Instead of accepting this challenge, we have used the earth for human plans and pleasure.

The events described in the book of Revelation happen during a time when consumerism is rampant and global trade is important to sustain it. Here is a paraphrase of parts of Revelation 18.

The people glorified themselves and lived luxuriously. The merchants of the earth became rich through the abundance of their comfort. They produced consumer goods that you would not dream about: gold and silver, designer jewellery, stylish clothing, delicate and delicious foods, fashionable furniture, trendy electronics, opulent cars, magnificent SUVs, air travel, exclusive holidays. Some merchants even trafficked in human lives.

People are dressed in the latest fashions and adorned with the finest jewellery. They dine in delicate and delectable luxury.
This passage is a good description of life in our part of the world over the past century. This lifestyle was not part of God's plan, but is the outworking of life without him.

Materialism and consumerism are the sins that bring the judgment of global climate change to the earth. In a sense the meteorologists are right in saying that human lifestyles have had a negative effect on the world that God has entrusted to us. Their only mistake is in not tracing this behaviour back to rejection of God.

When people turn away from God, they start to live for the present. Without God, the eternal dimension to life disappears and people focus on what they can get now. This is one reason why the modern world is so obsessed with consuming more and more stuff. Paul made this clear when writing about life after death.

If the dead are not raised,

"Let us eat and drink,

for tomorrow we die (1 Cor 15:32).

Putting it another way, if there is no God, the future is uncertain, so we might as well party now. The modern world understands Paul's message very well. It has got on with eating and drinking and consuming as if there were no tomorrow. To sustain these high levels of consumption, we have used up more than half of the oil in the world in less than a century. Very little thought has been given to leaving an inheritance to our children.

Consumerism is a natural response for those who have no God. The strange thing is that Christians have joined the party with almost as much zeal. In terms of possessions and consumer behaviour, Christians in the west are almost indistinguishable from those who have no faith in God. Maybe this is partly the consequence of the lukewarmness described towards the beginning of the book of Revelation.

I suspect that a "Jesus-is coming-at-any-moment theology" has also sucked Christians into a negative attitude towards this earth. We have become so obsessed with heaven and escape from this world, that we have forgotten that God might have a longer term purpose for this earth. As we have lost the vision for the Kingdom of God, we have also forgotten our responsibility to be stewards of God's earth.

Well, there is one thing we must not do. Looking to governments to solve the eliminate climate change is a mistake. The will have a good go at building a tower of Babel, but will fail in their objectives. A core purpose of the book of Revelation is to condemn the increasing the power of the state. Therefore, trusting government organisations or international organisations to deal with global climate change is just swapping one sin for another.

The biblical response to judgment is repentance. The Christian response to a warning of judgement should be a change of lifestyle. If we have joined in the binge of consumption that has swept the western world, we need to change to a simpler lifestyle. In every aspect of the way we live, we should start acting as good stewards of the earth that God has entrusted to us. That will change many of the decisions we make about what we use and consume.

For example, Christians have debated the issue of what vehicle Jesus would drive. This is the wrong question. We should be asking what will advance the Kingdom of God. “Do I need a motor vehicle to advance the kingdom of God?” “Do I need and SUV to advance the Kingdom of God or to steward the part of the earth for which I am responsible” “Do I need a V8 grunter to advance the Kingdom of God?"

I can’t say how other people need to change their lifestyle. I do know that the Holy Spirit is constantly showing me how I need to change the way I live.

Choosing Friends Well

I have to be more careful about who I let into my life.  I would like to say I am tolerant.  I am.  But some people are parasitic to my attitude and spirituality. 
It would be a lie to say I am so spiritually strong and unaffected or uninfected by people who are difficult or negative all the time that I can take it.  Even if I say that, I am not and insist that I am OK, I still am troubled if I spend too much time with the wrong people.  They suck life out of me.
If you are reading this, it's not about you.  I won't tell you who it is.  But, there are some people who I have had to make a value decision to put out of my life.  Jesus didn't call us to spend time with those who abused us. 
Matthew 10:14
If anyone doesn't welcome you or listen to what you say, leave that house or city, and shake its dust off your feet. 
The same is true of a person who decides to ignore the message that is your life . I can't afford him.  I need to move along, shake some dust off and become what I was created to be.
I can't afford him spiritually or emotionally.  They cost too much.  They take me places I didn't want to go for longer than I wanted to be there.
Don't bring me down was an old Beatles song.  It's true here too.

Would someone explain this to me?

Huffington Post is full of liberal secularist writers.  I understand that. They are somehow appalled at Pat Robertson's explanation of Psychics' who help police.  You can be secular, liberal and even an atheist and get this concept.  UNLESS, you deny the existence of spirit.  Maybe that's where the rub is.
Here is where they positioned him. As a crackpot.  I don't get the uproar.  His teaching is one I have done and I agree with it fully.
Are we so lost as a nation that simple body soul and spirit explanations amaze or annoy people?  How did this happen?   Would someone please explain this to me.

Harbinger of the end -- I HOPE

Not the end of the world, the end of foolishness in farm policy. That's what this writer says we need. I agree with him. We are paying farmers money so they can grow crops they sell at big profit at taxpayer expense.

Farming is and should be a business driven by businesslike decisions. What to grow, where, when and how based on enlightened self interest. Not some bureaucratic "Working the System" welfare cheat stategery that those down on the farm do better then those do even in the city.

I have Friends who live in the innermost inner city who are lovely people. What bugs me is when they pronounce how they have figured out how to "work the system". The system wasn't put in place for them to work. It was put in place to help them so they can get out of the system.

That's what was farm policy was supposed to be. A safety net.

But like the folks from inner city Chicago who have learned to live without ever having to work for the rest of their lives if they choose to, these farmers have learned how to "farm the government" without every having to be responsible to make good decisions for the rest of their lives.

I'm so glad the whistle is being blown on this foolishness. Time for these chickens to come home to roost. Insert your own metaphor here.

Here's the dirty little secret: Allow farming to become what it was supposed to be and you will see the great plains prosper once again. Real farmers farming for real.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Too Clean for our own Good

I have long held that parents keep their kids too clean. That kids don't develop enough antigens. That we try to have things so perfect we are killing ourselves.

This Doctor says
we must start allowing ourselves to eat things that aren't always so perfect.

People even eat dirt. And worse.

Mom used to say, a little dirt won't kill you. I'm of the opinion that not having a little dirt can.

What J I Packer Said

I expected him to be profound.  He was.
He taught from Genesis 32.  Jacob at the brook Jabboth which he named the place, Penuel.
I know the story well.  Have preached it myself.  But he threw me a curve when he said that Jacob in that story would have to be over 60 years old.
The point he made was this, Jacob needed forming, even at his age.  He was touched by the Theophany of  Jesus in the hip and limped probably with a cane the rest of his life.
Perhaps that was the point.  Sometimes we struggle against God and he has to allow us to be touched in the place we need to be.  This is good theology. 
Seems like we usually are touched or allowed to be injured in the very places where we most need to be based on our prejudices and needs.  For instance if you are bad with money, God will allow you to be touched in the hip joint in which you need to be touched.   If we are mostly angry you will be touched in that area.
So ask yourself, where am I being touched to where I might have to walk with a limp, permanently wounded. 
It's the area that you need touching in and will make you most like Jesus.
People are always asking to receive a touch from the Lord.  If they understood better they might be more careful.

What I learned in very very High church today

 I attended All Souls Anglican Church today.  J I Packer was speaking there.
More on that in another post.  A few observations.  The crowd (maybe 120 or so) was made up of two age groups.  People 60 plus and 35 and Younger. Lots of young people.  This was HIGH CHURCH.  As my Friend Barry calls it, Nosebleed High Church.  But they participated with gusto.  It was a 90 minute service.
First question:  Where the heck are the 35-59 year olds?  The classic baby boomers.  Did they fall off the edge of the church?  They aren't there.
Come to think of it, of all the churches I am part of at any level in 3 different cities that's the way it is in all three. 
Rockford, LaFox, Berwyn.  All missing this group of people.  I have no solid evidence to prove what I say.  Only observation.
They may be attending other churches.  They may be, but I don't know for sure.  I don't see them. 
Here's my hypothesis.  That group of people grew up becoming teenagers to adults in the 60's and 70's.  Decades of unrest, change, cultural upheavals and the sexual revolution.  Particularly in the 60's.  They ceased to believe.  Those older already believed.  Those younger are looking for how they should then live.
I wonder if in fact we haven't lost a whole half generation.  We have a demographic hole in the demographic bulge. I wonder if in fact much of the atheism we see in America isn't due to this culture.
I can't prove a thing.  It's only my opinion.
It was classic high church.  Long Long liturgy.  Procession carrying the cross in, holding the Bible high, Candle lighters.  The whole deal.
And Communion.  That was some operation...
I'm not critical.  I got a lot  out of it.  I can go to high church and get a lot.  I think I was the only person who wasn't wearing a robe in the building. 

Global Warming and Israel

Ron McKinzie makes a connection between Israel and Global Warming. Interesting stuff:

The second indication of the timing of the four angels that affect global weather patterns is in Rev 7:3.

Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.

This is a clear promise that God will not allow these things to happen until he has sealed the foreheads of the servants of God. Conversely the sealing of the servants is a sign that dramatic climate change is close, so we need to understand the meaning of this event.

John was told the identity and number of the servants who were sealed.

Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000
…….. (Rev 7:4-8).

John saw 12,000 people from each of the twelve tribes of Israel being sealed by the angel. The number 12,000 should not be taken literally. Twelve is a number symbolising Israel. One thousand is number symbolising completeness. The sealing of the 144,000 points to a time when all the children of Israel return to peace with God through faith in Jesus, as prophesied by Paul.

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved (Rom 11:25,26).

God will pour out his Spirit on the earth and most of the children of Israel will come to salvation. This will bring great blessing to the earth.

A seal marks ownership and protects the contents. Sealing of the children of Israel does not mean that they immediately come to faith in Jesus. It just means that God has put a wall of protection around them, so that they will not come to harm. The sealing means that the Holy Sprit is at work in their lives. It also means that he has begun to draw them to Jesus.

A person can only be sealed if they are alive. This means that the descendents of Israel who will come to faith in Jesus must be living on earth before the time when the four angels of global warming begin to strike the earth.

Israel in Revelation 7 is not just the nation of Israel, as it exists today. The Jews living in modern Israel are mostly descendants of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, who made up the southern Kingdom that emerged after Israel was split between Solomon’s two sons. Jeroboam ruled the northern half of the Kingdom and Rehoboam ruled the southern half of the Kingdom called Judah (1 Kings 12).

The people of the Northern Kingdom were sent into exile by the king of Assyria. They were replaced by people from Assyria and never returned to their home in Israel (1 Kings 17:23,24). The people of the southern kingdom were exiled to Babylon many years later. However, they returned to the promised land in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. The Jews living in Israel today are mostly descendants of the people who returned from exile in Babylon. However, because records have been lost over time, they are not able to trace their genealogies back to those who returned from Babylon.

The consequence of these events is that many descendants of the other tribes of Israel are scattered throughout the earth, not even knowing that they are descendants of Israel. Some of these live in the Middle East, but many are in other parts of the world. When God pours out his Spirit on all of Israel, these people will come to faith in Christ. Many will want to return to Israel when that happens. A remnant may already have come to know him.

Recently something strange has happened all over the world. A few Christians have become really passionate about the nation of Israel. Some are almost obsessive about this issue. I believe that many of these people are actually descendants of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, without knowing it. (Gene is probably one?) They have already been sealed by the holy angel, who is sealing the 144,000. The stirring up or their love for Israel is the consequence and proof of this sealing.

If this interpretation is correct, then the angel holding the seal of God has already gone forward into the earth (Rev 7:3). I am not sure if he has completed marking all of those from the twelve tribes of Israel who will come to faith in Jesus. He could have completed the task, even if most of those who have been sealed do not understand it. This means that the time for releasing the four angels with power to harm the earth might be close, or already have arrived. The global climate change that John warned about may have already begun.

Amuseing Decapitation.

What Pete Stark of California really was saying and why Nancy Pelosi condemned it:

President Bush wants to breed a generation of sickly uninsured children in order to send them to Iraq to stagger round the Sunni Triangle weak and spindly and emaciated and rickets-stricken to get their heads blown off? Is that the gist of it? No matter, Congressman Stark hit all the buzz words — “children,” “illegal war,” “$200 billion,” “lies,” etc — and these days they’re pretty much like modular furniture: you can say ‘em in any order and you’ll still get a cheer from the crowd. Congressman Stark is unlikely ever to be confused with General Stark, who gave New Hampshire its stirring motto, “Live free or die!” In the congressman’s case, the choice appears to be: “Live free on government healthcare or die in Bush’s illegal war!” Nevertheless, in amongst the autopilot hooey the Stark raving madman did use an interesting expression: “the war on children.”

The left's hatred of Bush is so off the charts it's actually no longer funny. Pete Stark is a madman.


Common Sense isn't and Being Profiled

I know there has for years been floating around in forwarded emails the death of common sense. If you haven't seen it you have been asleep.

But a couple stories on Drudge this morning reminded me of an incident repeated often as Peggy and I traveled the world a couple decades ago. This was pre 9-11. It wasn't pre terrorism however. Not in Europe. The Frankfurt Airport had been shot up and bombed a couple times by terrorists of some kind or another. The one I recall the most was some terrorists with automatic weapons opened fire in the terminal and killed several people.

Of course that resulted in a tougher screening. They asked a lot of questions. They were tough. But they profiled. If you looked swarthy and youthful you could expect a great deal of examination to get on a plane. If you looked middle aged, bald and married you were treated different. Peggy and I would walk thru the customs stations with the wave of a hand. We had those blue USA passports and didn't look the part. We were profiled.

Today the TSA which in my opinion was one of the dumber programs which came out of 9-11. That and Homeland Security had proven to be less about the homeland, security or Transportation. It is just stupid.

No common sense. No profiling of the type done long ago is done. So you have this kind of stupidity.

It's time to change things and re-inject common sense.