Saturday, February 23, 2008

Why I don't fertilize or chemically treat my lawn and why it looks like it does

I'm never surprised at the hypocrisy of the left

The Chicago Tribune has a study on Obama’s charitable giving.

He makes old veep Al Gore look like a piker (but then, who doesn’t?).

In 2002, the year before Obama launched his campaign for U.S. Senate, the Obamas reported income of $259,394, ranking them in the top 2 percent of U.S. households, according to Census Bureau statistics. That year the Obamas claimed $1,050 in deductions for gifts to charity, or 0.4 percent of their income. The average U.S. household totaled $1,872 in gifts to charity in 2002, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

The national average for charitable giving has long hovered at 2.2 percent of household income, according to the Glenview-based Giving USA Foundation, which tracks trends in philanthropy. Obama tax returns dating to 1997 show he fell well below that benchmark until 2005, the year he arrived in Washington.

$1,050 was three times what Al Gore gave as veep, but still was less than half of one percent of the Obama household income.

Taking his show on the road to the White House has increase his generosity:

Obama’s household income has been inflated the last two years from the proceeds of lucrative book deals he signed shortly before entering the Senate in 2005. He pledged to turn over $200,000 of the book money to charity.

On their just-filed 2006 tax return, Obama and his wife, a hospital administrator, reported taxable income of $983,626 and claimed deductions for $60,307 in charitable donations. In 2005 they earned a combined $1.65 million and gave away about $77,300.

For comparison to the other side of the aisle:

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney released their 2006 returns this month. Bush and the first lady reported gifts to charities and non-profits totaling $78,100 on income of $765,801. Cheney and his wife had income of $1.6 million and gave $104,425 to charity.

Maybe understanding the liberal’s desire to turn so much funding over to the government is a projection of their own inability to willingly part with their own money to help the needy and less fortunate?


Luther on Reluctance of Men to get Married

I believe in God, Republicans and Martin Luther.

As a long time reader of Luther, I missed this that Julie posted. Luther was talking about marriage and about men and women. Julies point was different from the one I'm making here. From his The Estate of Marriage 1552. It reads like today's paper.

Hence, as it is not within my power not to be a man, so it is not my prerogative to be without a woman. Again, as it is not in your power not to be a woman, so it is not your prerogative to be without a man. For it is not a matter of free choice or decision but a natural and necessary thing, that whatever is a man must have a woman and whatever is a woman must have a man.
--Martin Luther, on marriage

That's all good, but the real meat is:
For this reason young men should be on their guard when they read pagan books and hear the common complaints about marriage, lest they inhale poison. For the estate of marriage does not set well with the devil, because it is God's good will and work.

To put this in the terms of a friend of mine yesterday who was talking about marriage and said, "To some marriage is a milestone, to others it's a millstone". I have often been concerned about the idea that marriage is terrible, that it's limiting or that it is not enjoyable. Nothing is further from the truth and only our modern secular culture has created this goofy pagan prejudice against marriage. Sometimes Mr or Mrs good enough instead of Mr or Mrs Perfect is the standard. I am of the opinion that he or she can become "THE ONE".

I'll admit my prejudice toward marriage is because I want every person to enjoy what I do. I do. It's a wonderful fulfilling thing to be lived and loved in a strong committed marriage. I know that's not everyone's experience. Maybe we should look back 500 years to a man who made it work and made observations on all this we can take to the bank today.

Course there's always the Biblical way to find a wife.

Obama, Hitler and Jesus

I've been connecting the dots listed above.

Liberals are for the most part Atheist, Agnostic or non practicing nominally Christian or at least of the denomination "Christian Deluded". They are people without a God. Ann Coulter wrote a book, Godless, the Church of Liberalism. It made liberal's heads explode. But it made a valid point. Most of Liberal thought
is Godless.

A while back I postulated that Liberalism was fascist in nature. That the Nazi movement had much in common with modern liberal thought. Turns out Johnathan Goldberg shares that idea with me in his best selling book, Liberal Fascism. Oh, the left has a great time lambasting this idea. Goldberg was on John Stewart's show and is ridiculed. The left does that the best. When they are found out to be the
Godless misled hypocrites they really are the only thing they can do is use ridicule. But, Goldberg is right. Even before his book, many of us thought that the similarities between Liberalism and Fascism was too coincidental to be ignored.

But what is real Nazi facism without a demigod? No Problem, heroic worship of Obama has reached a level only seen in the last hundred years in Hitler's Germany. Hitler was worshipped. So is Obama. Do you think I'm kidding? Look at this picture. These people have seen the Christ and his name is Obama.

Here are the dots to be connected.
  • Liberals are mostly godless relying on reason, they have empty souls
  • Liberals need to have a system they can rely on so they push socialistic liberal nannystateism
  • Liberals therefore are falling into the trap of being fascist in approaching political policy
  • Liberals need a person to invest their faith and trust in, like Christians do in Jesus
  • In Germany that person was Hitler, today that person is OBAMA.

Obama is the messiah returned for Liberals. I'm keeping my eyes open for reports of Obama walking on water, Obama sating the hunger of 5,000 with five loaves and two fishes—from other Obama profiles. And also, of course, to repent, just in case the hour approacheth nigh.

If you are a liberal, take a hard look at yourself, your devotion to fascist principles in liberalism and your susceptibility to being deceived because of your intentional godlessness in liberalism that has now found a place in the adoration of Obama. You've been had (again). Dylan said,
"You gotta serve someone". Now Liberals do. They are devoted and give him all their money. They worship him.

Holy Obama Full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

I'm gonna get me one of those Obama Rosaries where the beads are little models of Obama's head. I already have my Obama-kah.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Change is Hard, Change is Essential, Change hurts, Change Heals

This election cycle everything has been about change.  Like that's some kind of wonderful thing.  Well, yes and no.
Here's the truth, change is wonderful and terrifying.  Freeing and hurtful.  Painful and healing.  Go to a dentist with a sore mouth.  Change is about to take place.  It hurts, is painful and then heals.  Some months ago I had a root canal that failed.  I lost the crown and broke off the tooth.  It is now a stub in the back of my mouth.  It hurt, it was painful but essential.  I'm hoping at some point to afford a permanent solution. But that (implants) will be painful too.  The old root will have to come out, the new one installed and then there is the pain of the bill. 
It is very undesirable to go thru.  The end result is what I want.  So without my eye on the end I can't bear the pain.
So, as we go thru this season, don't be romanced by calls for change; also don't be enchanted by calls to keep things as they are or try to go back to some past that didn't really exist.
I'm involved in a Church that has seen a lot of change in the last year.  Not all of it was good. Some was painful.
Now the change cycle kicks in again.  We have people there who are trying to recapture some illusory lost past.  I have bad news, it's past because it's now behind us. 
The change of a worship leader leaving, a pastor leaving, money issues, struggles to pull together a new worship team, people trying to push and pull for what was or what could be.  Change, vulnerabilities created by change.
Change can be good.  It certainly is essential.  I am confident in the Pastor of this Church to do what is wise.  He more than anyone understands what is at stake.  He understands the problem. 
Most of all he understands an adage I have lived all my life with and is careful to observe it:
Nothing can ever get better or worse without change.  Not all change is improvement, (only time will tell what is or what is not improvement), but there can be no improvement without change.
So, in essence, change is essential, dangerous and without it nothing can happen that has potential for being better.  It's like getting married.  We all hope that marriage works out. When we walk down the aisle we look at the person at the other end and for a moment we wonder if this is good or bad change.  For the most part it seems to be good change.  But, it's hard.  It's painful.  It requires give and take.  It requires leaving behind what was.  It's often disruptive.  There will be longings for an illusorily used to be. 
Change - Layers of meaning - power in embracing - the only real essence of the dynamic in life.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thinking on Good Things Pays

Last night Peggy and I went to the Shakespeare Theater to see the last of the Bards plays for our Season Ticket.  It was Othello.  If you don't know the play or if you don't think you do it's a powerful and moving examination of deceit.  Iago who pretends to be Othello's friend gets even for a slight in promotion by driving a wedge between Othello and his new bride Desdemona.  Everyone dies.
OK.  Short plot.
Long meaning of the plot is that Iago does all that with words, suggestions intimation and whispered accusation.
Being quite familiar with the Devil and his Schemes he acts just like Satan.  Satan seldom exactly pummels people.  Some would say he can't.  I'm not sure.  I do know that his main tool is accusation and lies.  He accuses the breathern and is the father of lies.
So, when I see this kind of portrayal, I see Satan at work.
If Othello had been a Christian and had paid attention to Philippians 4:8 he would have ignored the devil Iago's lies and saved his wife and his own life. For the rest, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things have honor, whatever things are upright, whatever things are holy, whatever things are beautiful, whatever things are of value, if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, give thought to these things.
This comes to mind because a woman who WAS on my frequently visited blog list was deleted today.  She accused a man I know well and know personally.  Mike Bickle.  I believe the prophetic can be used to blame, accuse and even lie.  When I read what she said I thought, This does not pass the Philippians 4:8 test.  She has completely disqualified herself in the Prophetic if she ever was qualified and has taken the role of Iago.  Spreading division and dissent.
I would take her on but it would only encourage her.  She has listened to lies.  What is worse is she has people who believe in her prophetic gift and follow what she says. 
I won't denounce her because it would only cause curiosity.
Watch out for the whisper of accusation and lies in your life.  The devil still roars about as a roaring lion looking for people to devour.  Sometimes he even uses people who are prophetic.  The abused gift of ministry even if it's Pastor, Evangelist, Teacher, Apostle is an abomination unto God.  I didn't even need to be a prophet to say that.
I see too much abuse of the gift in my own Ministry stream.  I say this a lot.  If you are a prophet or any of the other ministry gifts and you use it to build yourself up while you tear others down......CUT IT OUT! 

Proud to be an American

Watching this video of the shootdown of a failing satellite brought a tear to my eye and was beautiful. God bless our President. I just wish he could run again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why I Fear for Non Charismatic Christians

I heard the interview I have linked here. It's with Bart Ehrman who's an outspoken agnostic that has become the new poster child for atheists. I listened to the whole interview - twice. I'm not convinced that Ehrman is done with God, I'm also not convinced God is done with Ehrman. I read His book (God's) and note that it's pretty tough to get away.

But, the excerpt from the interview that Dawkins so gleefully posts is telling of why I don't trust nominal Christianity as is Practiced by much of evangelical and denominational Christendom.

There is something wrong when a man who goes to Moody, does grad work at Wheaton, and even pastor's a church for a short time, is so badly grounded to drift off into oblivion like this.

I don't mean to sound mean but you don't hear this much when a person has had an encounter in the Holy Spirit with manifestations that are undeniable. That person is so completely and radically changed that there would be great difficulty to depart from the faith.

Oh, that doesn't mean there isn't backsliding, sin, rebellion. That's everywhere. It's just that there isn't the depth of belief that is needed to make it all the way when there has been no baptism of the Holy Spirit. I guess what I'm saying is if Ehrman had actually encountered and experienced God in other than intellectual assent, but had a world shaking encounter with Jesus indwelling him he would still be sold out for God.

I have many denominational and Evangelical friends who are good sincere people. My concern for them all is the requirement they place on faith that there must be a reasonable explanation, that reason in general has application. Sometimes it just means faith must be enough.

I hope as the next great awaking unfolds that the necessity of an impactful experience in the Holy Spirit will be part and parcel of every conversion. Thats how it is in the rest of the world. I'm hopeful. We won't make it without the fullness of the spirit dwelling in us with manifestations and evidence that convinces our soul and spirit of the reality of the living God.

Listening to Ehrman's interview, I was sad that he was left out. His journey is dead end.

Sometimes having a nominal denominational evangelical Christianity is worse than nothing at all.

On the other hand, perhaps Ehrman was never enlightened at all and Hebrews 6:4-6 may not apply.

Starting from Scratch

This story about a man who voluntarily tried to start over with 25 bucks in his pocket and nothing else is not just inspiring, it's one of the reasons I struggle with some ministries that reach out to the poor and homeless.  They are too indiscriminating in my humble opinion.
From the story:

Alone on a dark gritty street, Adam Shepard searched for a homeless shelter. He had a gym bag, $25, and little else. A former college athlete with a bachelor's degree, Mr. Shepard had left a comfortable life with supportive parents in Raleigh, N.C. Now he was an outsider on the wrong side of the tracks in Charles­ton, S.C.

But Shepard's descent into poverty in the summer of 2006 was no accident. Shortly after graduating from Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., he intentionally left his parents' home to test the vivacity of the American Dream. His goal: to have a furnished apartment, a car, and $2,500 in savings within a year.

To make his quest even more challenging, he decided not to use any of his previous contacts or mention his education.

During his first 70 days in Charleston, Shepard lived in a shelter and received food stamps. He also made new friends, finding work as a day laborer, which led to a steady job with a moving company.

Ten months into the experiment, he decided to quit after learning of an illness in his family. But by then he had moved into an apartment, bought a pickup truck, and had saved close to $5,000.

The effort, he says, was inspired after reading "Nickel and Dimed," in which author Barbara Ehrenreich takes on a series of low-paying jobs. Unlike Ms. Ehrenreich, who chronicled the difficulty of advancing beyond the ranks of the working poor, Shepard found he was able to successfully climb out of his self-imposed poverty.

Sometimes people have a hand up to help out.  I'm with that.  But I have spent a lot of time in soup kitchens and homeless shelters.  The recurring theme for me are the people who CHOOSE to be there and the same faces showing up over and over.  We are doing no favor to those people by feeding and sheltering them.  They are scamming the system.

I know I sound heartless but I think we have as Christians become a tribe of enablers.  We should be more wise.

One other thing.  My son, 136, moved to Boston with a little money, no place to live and a high mileage old Pontiac.  That was 8 years ago.  He worked his way up to where he has 5 figures in the bank, his own place and a good paying job.  He started from scratch with little or nothing and is doing very well today.  He was much like this guy.  He blew into town with no place to live, no job, no nothing except the belief he could do this thing.

It is a myth that you can't work your way back. 

If you want to give to or help in a homeless shelter, if that's your calling, do it.  But, sometimes we are robbing God of the chance to redeem someone who is in the pigpen eating peapods because we get in HIS way.

It's probably a good thing I'm not in charge of that.  I'd be much tougher. 

Monday, February 18, 2008

Widows mite revist

All of us learned about the Widows Mite in Sunday School.
Good story - great lesson. 
We talked about it Sunday PM during our training meeting.  It occurred to me that while it's about the giving of all we have it's also about Jesus seeing.
He has his eye on her.  He sees what she did.  Her heart.
I have had this midrashic thought.  Here, the creator of the universe, King of all Kings, Savior of the World, Fullness of Jehovah Jairah is watching this.  Do you think for a minute that poor woman ever missed a thing after that?  That her cruz of Oil ever ran out?  I'm guessing that provision came to her house ever after.  She may not have understood why favor came, but her obedience I suspect touched the heart of Jesus and he said to the angels, you watch over her, you take care of her, let nothing harm her and see to it things come her way. 
She would not have understood until she stood on streets of gold.  When she did understand it would only have caused her to bow in worship even more.
IF our Father sees every hair and every sparrow and he sees the widows mite, how he must care for all of these.
I don't imagine for a second that the Father allowed her to go home penniless, sit in the dark in her room and starve in pain of death alone.  I believe she lived her fullness of days and stepped from time to eternity in Joy.  Jesus saw, he took note, and that counts for everything.

Stunning Beautiful

Julie at Lone Prairie put together this video slideshow of her mission trip to Nicaragua. With Music.

It's beautiful. The photography stunning. I was very impressed, thought you would be too.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

James Goll sees the same thing I did - a prophetic confirmation

James Goll is another prophet of repute in the USA.

At the end of 2007 God told me this was a year of passing the torch. You can see it here.

James Goll describes this as Changing the Guard.

I knew it was right, I knew what I heard. I'm seeing it all around.

Prophet Golls Prophecy:

Having traveled the globe and having seen many different cultures and forms of government, one of the scenes engrained in my mind is one that took place in London, England--seeing the guards standing alert at Buckingham Palace. They are on guard at the gate, watching and protecting those who come in and go out. They do not leave their station until the watch shifts and the next appointed guardian is in place.

Many prophetic voices tell us that 2008 is the "Year of the Gate." But I want to add to this a bit. It is a critical year for both the Church and secular spheres. If 2008 is a year when the government shifts, who will stand guard at the gates of our cities, churches and nations?

It is a critical hour where guardians are replaced. I see a volatile contending for the soul of nations this coming year. Not just the United States--but in places like Russia, Israel, across South East Asia, Australia, Guatemala, and many other nations. In the next 18 months, it might look a lot like that childhood game called "Upset the Fruit Basket!" But what I see even more clearly is a changing of the guard at the door of the Church.

A few prominent church leaders will graduate to their heavenly reward and this will be a sign of the changing of the guard. Other leaders will fall and fade from the scene of prominence due to controversy, sexual sin and pride, resulting in a lack of accountability. But the good news is that new voices, new faces, and the next and new generation leaders will emerge this year. It is the time of the "Changing of the Guard!" With this frame in place for the big picture of where we are headed in 2008 and beyond, let me give you a few specific pieces.

What God Showed Me:


My church in the west is now comprised of those who are old, a few passionate middle and many among the audacious young. The young are hungry for more of Me. They will go where they can find Me. The Torch of My fire must be passed. Leaders must see that the torch is passed with intention and preparation for those who take it.

The torch of my spirit will not rest only on the passionate middle leadership I have raised up in this time. It is too much for them alone. They are too few. My Church in the west has lost a whole generation of people missing from my Body. I will not allow that to happen again. The passing of this Torch is essential for revival and renewal to come. My Glory will be held back if not released by this act of intentional preparation and release.

My people as they passed thru the desert to the promised land, some chose not to enter in, there is a generation I have chosen to enter into this new spiritual promised land. It will be a generation sold out without remorse or restraint. This is not a judgment by age, but a judgment by commitment and passion.

Transfiguration and the Matrix

Today is transfiguration Sunday in the Church Calendar.  Wait, you say, why does a Baptipentecosaltcatholutheran keep track of the church calendar?  Because it's important and we need to think on these things.
Two movies of importance to me in the last several years are the Matrix (one) and the 300.  Both are loaded with prophetic messages that people need to hear.  Both are violent.  Both rated R.  Both really hard to watch sometimes. 
A little like Jesus.  They demonstrate something most people want to turn away from.
In the Matrix Neo is shown true reality.  Once he sees it, he is changed forever.  He knows that everything we see on this side of the veil is temporal, temporary, subject to change, unreal.
When Jesus appears with Elijah and Moses on the mount of Transfiguration the Disciples saw true reality for the first time.  They wanted it.  They wanted to capture it.  They wanted to stay in it.  But they didn't. 
Eventually they did.  They lived in it.  We all will.  We will all step out of the matrix into true reality someday.  When that happens we will be like HIM and with HIM. 
Getting there means a battle we all fight.  Alone and with others.  That's the 300.  Standing for what is right. 
Unless we see our circumstances as they really are we live in a dream world oppressed of the Devil. 
We were meant to be victorious in this life and in the true life to come.
So, don't give up, don't believe the lies, Jesus is Real, this is all temporal. Jesus was here before any of this existed, he will be here when it's gone again.  We can be with HIM eternally.  We'll be somewhere.  With him is far far better.

Obama as Messiah - Stupid is part Two

This is among the most stupid responses to the killings in DeKalb last week I have read in any editorial response to the tragedy.

The essence of this column is that if Barack Obama had been president people would have had hope and they wouldn't shoot each other.

I would say this is true about Jesus.

But guess what, Obama's not Jesus. He can't save. He doesn't bring the word of eternal life despite the messianic status assigned to him by his blind followers. He is the latest savior in a long line of saviors people glom onto who are faithless. People need to put their faith somewhere. So if they don't have true faith they put it anywhere.

If you don't stand for something you fall for anything. People are so easily misled.

This website catalogs the Obama as Messiah stupidity.

Mary Mitchell proves the thesis.

Get Real People.