Friday, February 29, 2008

Retreat to Advance

I'm off to the Lord of Life men's retreat.  It's modeled after the Cursillo, Tres Dias, Way of Emmaus, Kairos, G-12 Encounter programs.
Well proven.  Successful.  Shouldn't be messed with.  Don't reinvent the wheel.  I'm really passionate about not fiddling with what works.  People that over modify or try to speed up this screw it up.  This works but it takes almost 3 days.
So, we are about to do this.  This time we will do the reunion cards right.  It was bastardized last time and lost it's intended punch.  This time we will do it different.
So, I am out of here soon today and you can expect little from me until Sunday PM late.
We have well over 50 men from our Church coming.  Huge.  This is the second retreat.  This will change things much for the better.  This has always been one of the two Goals I have had for Ministry in the Fox Valley.  The other is developing a place of free expression of the Prophetic and other spiritual giftedness for Charismatics to experience most of whom are so discouraged with Church they don't even go anymore.  There are hundreds.  Read 1 Corinthians 14 for a picture of what it SHOULD look like.  When it works it's magnificent.  All we need to do is try.
Maybe we can still get there.  I'll keep hoping.  See you Sunday Nite.  This is going to be very exciting.

Smart Finlanders - Dumb Americans

I have a Friend. He's smart. Bill.

He's not from Finland, he's from Northern Minnesota. But he is smart.

The Wall Street Journal today has an article that asks the question "Why are Finlander Kids so Smart". They are consistently the smartest kids on the planet. American kids don't even make the top ten. If world kids graded on a curve we Americans are barely c students. Read that Obama voters. The article is really interesting.

Here are my observations:
  • Homogeneity. Diversity is our enemy in American Education.
  • No Pre School or Kindergarten. Kids shouldn't start school till 7 (for girls) and 10 for boys.
  • Libraries are in shopping malls.
  • Movies are not dubbed but have subtitles. Learn to read watching 90210.
  • All teachers to even start teaching must have a Masters Degree.
  • Teaching is a merit position, no unions.
  • No standardized testing. No School Sports. No Proms. Little homework. Informal teaching environment ie: kids fall asleep in class and address each other by first names (teacher included).
  • Teachers build their own teaching plans.
  • Little technology other than computers (the Internet is unfiltered). No power point, Chalkboards not whiteboards.
  • Most tests are essay not multiple choice (means the teacher has to do actual work)

Read the whole article. We could take a lesson in America. But we won't. Liberals couldn't be elected if people were smart. (sorry I can't help myself).

One other thing, when working in Japan I discovered Japanese literature that claimed a common language link of Japanese and Finnish. Laplanders from northern Finland may have migrated across the frozen north to Japan eons ago. They look alike. The language has many similar words. Is it true? I don't know but it's worth thinking about the similarities. Maybe they just have better genes.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Blessings of the Internet

I have good blog friends and people of like mind who I am proud to know.

This good natured interchange is one that demonstrates the power of it all. I'm thankful for every one of these people.

You can read all their comments here. Nancy and Olufunso and I are about to embark on something even they don't have understanding of yet. It's very exciting. God is up to Great Things. Partnering in the Gospel is very exciting.

RBB is a long time commenter and friend in a blog sort of way and a man I respect a great deal although politically we come from very different perspectives. All in all I am blessed to have these good people in my life.

The internet has made for some good relationships that 50 years ago could never have come to pass.

Shouldn't Al Gore Give that Darn Nobel Back

One Night long ago Al Gore ate a Domino’s Pizza with double pepperoni. I’ve done this. I get heartburn and have nightmares. Evidently so did he.

His nightmare was that we would all bake in the heat and that it was our fault. One of those little pepperonis told him to call it “GLOBAL WARMING”. Scary stuff that.

Being a liberal his first volley of blame was vaulted at America. They hate this country and it’s prosperity driven by productive conservative (and a few liberal) people. His second was government controls on the economy (run by liberals of course) and higher taxes.

His nightmare also manifested itself in a book and a power point slide show 187 people have seen to date.

For this the global world doofeses gave him a Nobel Prize. But then they will give it to anyone who is a liberal and kisses global liberal butt.

Now it turns out Gore would have been better to taken a Pepsid AC and spared the world all this torment. At the very least I think we should ask him to be the man and UPS that Nobel statue thingy back to Stockholm or wherever the liberals hang out that gave it to him. He can keep the money. He need it to pay for that big house he’s heating this winter.

I’m freezing my global pitute here in IL. Gore’s an idiot.

That’s just my humble opinion.

We ain't got no Steenking Global Warming

Al Gore if he were dead would be spinning in his grave. I'm giving him a head start.

We are buried in snow globally. The ice caps are back. Greenland quit melting.

So much for the pizza driven fantasies of a Tennessee Senator.

I wrote none of this but the nexus is too great to ignore

a listener who stated that when listening to Barack Obama speak, "it harkens back to when I was younger and I used to watch those deals with Hitler, how he would excite the crowd and they'd come to their feet and scream and yell." Sullivan then played a "side-by-side comparison" of a Hitler speech and an Obama speech. Sullivan mimicked the crowd during both speeches, yelling, "Yay! Yay!" When a later caller complained that Sullivan was "denigrating" Obama with the comparison, Sullivan said he wouldn't play it again

Do effective speakers make effective presidents?

Public speaking skills have long been a chief determinant of whom Americans elect as president. But should they be?

With the presidential primary season clomping toward its close, voters readying themselves for the general election must ask: Do effective communicators necessarily make effective commanders in chief?

Get Ready for More of THIS Foolishness

The wind stopped blowing in Texas, electric crisis ensues since significant wind generated electricity is depended upon. Heck I didn't even think those things worked. Maybe they do, a little.

I have long proclaimed that Ethanol, Hybrid Cars and Wind Energy efforts were foolish bureaucratic bets on failed technologies and should never have been implemented at all.

I still do.

Why in the world do we do such dumb things? I would blame the liberals but Bush did it too. Darn.

I do agree that Oil Subsidies should stop but coupled with that ALL regulation stopping energy development (not regulation for zoning and health issues) but all other regulation should stop as well. Just say to oil companies, Drill everywhere even in Caribou country. To Nuclear plants. Build Lots. To coal, figure it out but do it clean. To Oil Sand and Shale, Clean up your act but build lots of them. To potential refinery's. Find some ground and build, TODAY.

In 5 years we would see relief. In 10 turn around. The short sightedness of all these policies, liberal or conservative is rolling forward and energy doomsday we will have to face someday anyhow.

Get government off the back of energy producers and drill the first well off Rush Limbaugh's estate in Florida and the second off Ted Kennedy's in Martha's Vineyard.

There, that'll get it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why the Kingdom of God is Experiencing Explosive Growth in Australia

Teresa Neumann (February 27, 2008)

Veteran church planter gives 7 reasons why. One has to do with equipping and releasing youth. "In Iraq today, 19-year-old soldiers lead squads of 48 men. They are trusted to fight battles for us. Yet we won't let people that age preach in our pulpits until they are 'proven.' Something is wrong with that."

AustraliaJ. Lee Grady has published an opinion piece in Faith News in which he highlights some of the unique traits of the Australians; traits that Christian church planters have been able to harness to grow the Kingdom of God there.

As one example, Grady uses missionaries Jack and Carol Hanes, currently pastors of Penrith Christian Life Centre near Sydney, who moved to Australia in 1987 knowing that the Christian population in the country at the time was tiny. Says Grady: "They soon learned that if they were to be successful in this very secular society they would have to modify their American style and do things the Aussie way," which he adds, is an out-of-the-box approach to church.

Today, notes Grady, Jack Hanes is the director of missions for the Assemblies of God (AOG) in Australia, planting one new church every four days in the country. Hanes' own church has grown to 2,000 members in 21 years; Hillsong Church (an AOG affiliate) has a membership of 20,000.

Hanes gave seven reasons why churches in Australia are growing:

1. Christians aren't religious
2. They have a wild, daring spirit
3. They are aggressive about church planting.
4. Their worship is fresh and vibrant.
5. They give sacrificially.
6. They focus on youth.
7. They release their women.

To read Hanes' assessment of the growth of God's Kingdom in the Land Down Under in detail, follow the link provided.

Source: J. Lee Grady - Faith News

The Bondage of the Miser

We all know the Christmas Carol. In it there is a line spoken about Ebenezer Scrooge, "He doesn't do any good with it; he doesn't even make HIMSELF comfortable with it".

Then there is the legendary Hetty Green who's miserly ways led her to a weird and creepy life. She was the richest woman of the Gilded Age, and sometimes the richest person. She left it all behind. In the early 1900s, she left 200 million dollars and it was all piddled away by governments and others. All her wealth was of no use at all to anyone when she died. And she didn't enjoy it either.

I know people like Hetty. Money is all that matters. They don't enjoy anything good in life at all. The forgo simple comforts and caring at the expense of common sense.

I mean, you don't need to heat the WHOLE house do you? You sure don't need a phone. You could carry water. Take cold showers. Forego dentists and doctors. Food from dumpsters will just go to waste anyway.

You think I'm kidding. I know people who have hundreds of thousands of dollars and live like they can't afford their next meal.

How far down does this go?

Hetty Green refused to pay the doctor to treat her son's leg wound, so it later had to be amputated. She was married but when her husband hit hard times in his business she provided no help and let him languish in poverty the rest of his days. Hetty hurt no one but herself and those dear to her.

People who live without the basics that make life what it is and allow people to be part of what our modern culture is by the cheap miserly pseudo frugality become outcasts of their own making.

I'm not in favor of being stupid or profligate. I'm not crazy about debt. I am in favor of being sensible in every way. It's just not common sense to live so utterly far below common needs that you don't live at all.

Scrooge, Like Hetty Green is a deadly pattern; If you see yourself in this, here's some truth:

You are going to die. You will take nothing with you. You get no awards in heaven or on earth for leaving it all behind. The life and love and experiences and comforts you leave behind cost only YOU. People will see you for who and what you were. A cheapskate. I had a now deceased relative (of my wife) who died wealthy. Never married. Always was afraid someone would marry for his money. That is the end of a miser. Alone with your money. It won't keep you warm, dry, happy or fulfilled.

One last thing, the best you could do is give away what you are saving. The kingdom can make better use of it than you will. Instead of being foolish in frugality, send it on ahead to heaven. You can.

I'm not a wealthy man except in soul and spirit. That's not for sale or ransom at any price. Consider who your God is. If "He" has a dollar sign attached it's a false God.
The Bible says in 3rd John 2

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

That's pretty hard to do if you are a miserable miser. I hope I spoke to someone this morning. Miserliness is frugality run amok and knowing when you have gone to far takes real self examination. If you know and love someone who fits this miser profile, hand him or her this article and ask them to examine themselves.

It might save their life.

Rats, I knew it, now we are all going to freeze to death

I had hopes. I thought perhaps North Dakota would become a tropical paradise again with palms, cycads and orchids like it once was 100,000 years ago. Nope. Looks like it's gonna be more like Northern Alberta or even re-glaciated again.

Global climate change is happening. I know because I have 2 feet of it in my cold front yard. We snowblew climate change again yesterday. And, we prayed hard last night that it wouldn't snow so our Church Men's Retreat would come off without hindrance.

Turns out we are in deep doo doo. A new ice age is on the way. RATS.

And I was so looking forward to global warming.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ignorance and Liberalism

This story tells why people vote Democratic. Doesn't mean there aren't culturally aware liberals. Just not many. I know some. Mostly I know people who vote democrat who historically can't find their rear with both hands.

Here is an excerpt from the article that shows this syndrome:

Among 1,200 students surveyed:

•43% knew the Civil War was fought between 1850 and 1900.

•52% could identify the theme of 1984.

•51% knew that the controversy surrounding Sen. Joseph McCarthy focused on communism.

In all, students earned a C in history and an F in literature, though the survey suggests students do well on topics schools cover. For instance, 88% knew the bombing of Pearl Harbor led the USA into World War II, and 97% could identify Martin Luther King Jr. as author of the "I Have a Dream" speech.

Fewer (77%) knew Uncle Tom's Cabin helped end slavery a century earlier.

"School has emphasized Martin Luther King, and everybody teaches it, and people are learning it," says Chester Finn of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education think tank. "What a better thing it would be if people also had the Civil War part and the civil rights part, and the Harriet Tubman part and the Uncle Tom's Cabin part."

Not all liberals are ignorant, but most Ignorant people are liberal. I live in Chicagoland. The depth of ignorance is phenomenal. So is the liberal bent.

The OTHER Clinton

The post below must be mollified by the reality of the other Clinton. He says in a speech, "IF YOU ELECT ME". I can give you all kinds of reasons why he would say this or that. Habit, age, dementia. Or did old Freud and his slips visit us again? HMMM.

The video is awful, he doesn't say it till the end, and you have to listen to 2 minutes of Bill Clinton to get there. It's worth it.

Vote for Hillary

Some Realpolitik here. I'm a Republican. I will die a Republican. But, the Republicans have nominated a man who may be dead in 6 months and looks and sounds like it today. I wasn't for him. I'll probably vote for him. BUT, if I were in Ohio or Texas today I would be voting if at all possible in the Democratic Primary. The scariest man in a long time is running. The most dangerous of all, an inexperienced idealist that is so popular he would implement incredibly damaging policies with the worshipful approval of deluded followers.

So if you are a republican in Ohio or Texas, please vote democrat next week if you can and stop this insanity. I have people I care about who will read this and call me mean. You know who you are. I love you, but I love this country more.

I love this country so much I actually agree with Hillary Clinton. Vote for Hillary if you can. In this 40 second clip she nails it. She tells the truth. It's time. Go Hillary.

I saw this on Say Anything.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bull in China Shop often breaks things but always initiates change

I will admit to not being the most perfectly finessed person on the planet. I tend to treat situations with the end in mind and if you get in the way sometimes I will run over the top of others to get there.

I would love to repent of this, but I am a pretty focused person when it comes to getting desired results. I'm not as passive as I should be. I'm not likely to change soon.

In the last few weeks I have driven the Genedozer over a few folks. Left a wake of wounded behind. I don't make many friends that way but we do get desired results.

I'll bet you would like me to detail the stories to you. The blood. The guts. The pain. The casualties. I'm not gonna do that. I take no pleasure in this. I only know that when something is needed to be done, I'm more of a table turner overer than not. WWJD and all. I'm likely to deal with someone who is shining me on like a whitewashed tomb just like Jesus did.

This doesn't make me popular or fun. On the other hand, I have a lot of people who love me for it.

I will apologize to anyone who reads this for my bullish behavior. I apologize, but I also will probably do it again. And again. Life for me is way too short to shortcut the end result by having to accept anything less than excellence in anything.


And, just so you know, I'm hardest on ME.

Worth every Minute of your Next 10 - What if you only had a month to live?

If you do nothing else, you must watch this video. Since this is an excerpt from an Oprah TV show with way too many closeups of Oprah, I'm always suspect. (I'm not an Oprah fan).

This is a redux of the last lecture given by a dying cancer patient who happened to be a College Professor. His attitude is one I want to cultivate. When my brother John was dying many years ago he exhibited an attitude very much like this almost to the last. You will be happy you invested the next 10 minutes of your time. It's not weepy. It's inspiring. Be a Tigger not an Eor.

Tip of the hat to Joy.

Subject: Tax Refund Explained

I thought this was a great explanation of the tax rebate program just passed.

If you don't understand maybe this will help explain it:

50,000 people went to a baseball game, but the game was rained out. A refund was then due.

The team was about to mail refunds when a group of Congressional Democrats stopped them and suggested that they send out the ticket refunds based on the Democrat National Committee's interpretation of fairness.

Originally the refunds were to be paid based on the price each person had paid for the tickets. Unfortunately that meant most of the refund money would be going to the ticket holders that had purchased the most expensive tickets. This, according to the DNC, is considered totally unfair. A decision was then made to pay out the refunds in this manner:

People in the $10 seats will get back $15. After all, they have less money to spend on tickets to begin with. Call it an "Earned Income Ticket Credit." Persons "earn" it by having few skills, poor work habits, and low ambition, thus keeping them at entry-level wages.

People in the $25 seats will get back $25, because it "seems fair."

People in the $50 seats will get back $1, because they already make a lot of money and don't need a refund. After all, if they can afford a $50 ticket, they must not be paying enough taxes.

People in the $75 luxury box seats will each have to pay an additional $25 because it's the "right thing to do".

People walking past the stadium that couldn't afford to buy a ticket for the game each will get a $10 refund, even though they didn't pay anything for the tickets. They need the most help. Sometimes this is known as Affirmative Action.

Now do you understand?