Saturday, March 08, 2008

This Morning a Freind of Mine going thru a very hard time read this to a group of us

I know this has been around a while, I know that you probably have had this emailed to you. But, It's time to remind ourselves once more.

An Interview With God

I dreamt I had an interview with God. "Come in," God said. "So, you would like to interview Me?"

"If you have the time," I said.

God smiled and said: "My time is eternity and is enough to do everything; what questions do you have in mind to ask me?"

"What surprises you most about mankind?"

God answered:

  • "That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.

  • That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.

  • That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future.

  • That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived…"

God’s hands took mine and we were silent for a while and then I asked…"As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons you want your children to learn?"

God replied with a smile:

  • "To learn that they cannot make anyone love them. What they can do is to let themselves be loved.

  • To learn that what is most valuable is not what they have in their lives, but who they have in their lives.

  • To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. All will be judged individually on their own merits, not as a group on a comparison basis!

  • To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.

  • To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them.

  • To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.

  • To learn that there are persons that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings.

  • To learn that money can buy everything but happiness.

  • To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it totally differently.

  • To learn that a true friend is someone who knows everything about them…and likes them anyway.

  • To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they have to forgive themselves."

I sat there for a while enjoying the moment. I thanked Him for his time and for all that He has done for me and my family, and He replied, "Anytime. I’m here 24 hours a day. All you have to do is ask for me, and I’ll answer."

People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did,
but people will never forget
how you made them feel.

~ Source Unknown ~

A clever little deal - I write like a Man - Barely

I think when you write for a long time you discover a style. I think I write like a man. I write about manly things I think. There are some analysts who claim to be able to tell what gender you are by your writing style. I thought I was safe being a man's man, right?

But when I took this test by cutting and pasting things I had written it turns out I'm "Weak Male" and Could be European.

I have no idea what that means.

I checked several friends of mine who have blogs. Cut and pasted their writing. Very interesting. I'll not embarrass anyone, but let's just say, some of you are out of Character unless you are cross dressing.

Friday, March 07, 2008

I resemble this remark (or video)

I saw this on Julies Blog (again). OK, I admit, I find lots of stuff there and steal it with abandon.

But THIS is really Funny. If you are a preacher, you will enjoy this.

On the other hand, if you are a MEGACHURCH Seeker Sensitive Church Pastor you might not enjoy this as much. Both are funny, the second one bites just a bit. As does reality.

Sometimes Humor has a way of telling us things we need to hear. This just did.

Hands Free Cell Phone Kits for Sale

I have these kits for sale. $19.95

You can comply with the no driving while holding a cell phone laws.

Hat Tip to Joy Lander (Funny Stuff Joy)

Big Topix for Christians

It is sin for a man to pee sitting down?

Or not?

I know some of you think Christianity is boring. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have fascinating discussions. They cause men of God to ponder deep things. One of which is the Pee Position question.

A friend of mine has this post on the fall in the Garden and what that led to.

Then there is this preacher preaching about the biblical way to pee. Standing or sitting. Men, you'll never sit again.

Jet Powered Minivan - I want me one of those

Life by the Sword means DEATH

If you endorse a culture of death as many in Islamic cultures do, there will be a price to pay. Live by the sword and die by it. Even if you are a toddler.

In Saudi Arabia a man who was having an argument with his brother in law came into a supermarket and cut the head off his 15 month old nephew right in front of the baby's mother, his own sister.

This is the culture of Honor Killings, Mothers encouraging their kids to be suicide bombers, Pregnant mothers murdering themselves and their unborn in suicide missions. Pure evil culture and a religion of death.

You can't continue to propagate a religion of death and get away with it. We cannot allow the infiltration of the west by this demonic influence.

Read this tragic and disturbing story here.

Tiny Victory

Neal Boortz is a talk show guy. We don't get him in Chicagoland.

He has a blog. He's a reasonably big shooter. I write for another blog from this one. In it I crosspublished the Pothole story below.

Neal Boortz picked up on it. He linked to it. You can find it 2/3rds of the way down this page. Obscurity thy name is Gene.

I'm impressed, I think. Except he called my calm and measured observation "A RANT". I don't rant do I? DO I??

Thanks Neal (I call him Neal Now) I think......

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Minnesota Liberal Culture of Death

Minnesota plan: Clone embryos and kill them!
State House also would force taxpayers to fund program

Posted: March 05, 2008
9:24 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis

Lawmakers in Minnesota have given their endorsement to a University of Minnesota plan to clone human embryos for "research," force taxpayers to pay for it, and then kill those embryos when the "research" work is finished.

The preliminary approval came on a recent 68-62 vote in which representatives rejected an amendment would be a true ban on cloning, and the "Kahn Cloning Bill, S.F. 100" could be brought up for a further vote at any time, opponents said.

The amendment provided language that would have promoted ethical adult stem cell research with a true ban on cloning human embryos, but that was rejected in favor of S.F. 100, sponsored by Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis.

That plan has been described by supporters as a cloning ban, but it only bans "cloning" that results in a human being, not cloning that results in living human embryos.

"House members … had a chance to do the right thing and protect vulnerable human life, but instead they chose to treat human life as mere raw material for experimentation," said Andrea Rau, a legislative associate with the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. "Citizens are outraged to see their taxes being spent on such unjust treatment of human life."

At the center of the issue are the lives of the unborn embryos.


MCCL said the Kahn plan "provides taxpayer funding for the destruction of human embryos for experiments and also the wanton creation and destruction of human life through cloning at the University of Minnesota."

"The deadly Kahn Cloning Bill … also requires the U of M to kill all cloned human beings or face felony charges. The bill would allow millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to be used to kill living human embryos," the group said.

A Tremendous Website to Recommend

I was tipped off to this guy's website by Julie. It's tremendous.

OK, it's not me. But, I have noodled around his site for over an hour and find that he and I believe nearly and exactly the same things. Down to being a Lutheran Pentecostal. Figure that one out. And he thinks Wal Mart is evil. As do I. I have found nothing that makes any distance in our world views. This scares the heck out of me. What kind of depravity has hit the planet when two people are in such uniform agreement.

I think you could not spend an hour of your time more fruitfully than taking a tour of Dan's website.

Find it here and have fun.

I will then just say....... DITTO!

More from the Agents of Change, Bad Science, Brainwashing, and Bad Reporting

Climate Propaganda Works:

'Global Warming Equals More Snowfall'

Photo of Noel Sheppard.
By Noel Sheppard | March 6, 2008 - 11:11 ET

One of the biggest concerns of media analysts and press watchers is the brainwashing effect bad reporting has on the public.

No finer example of this propagandist power exists than with the liberal bogeyman known as global warming, for the constant climate alarmism being spewed 24 yours a day, seven days a week has tremendously and demonstrably impacted the views of the citizenry.

Of course, that's the goal.

Consider the following e-mail message I received this morning from someone that appears to work for the government of Ontario, Canada (name and e-mail address withheld, emphasis added):

What are you, retarded?

Global warming = MORE snowfall. Not less.
Meaning snowfall records will be broken.

Delicious, isn't it?

What set this man off to send such an e-mail message to a perfect stranger? This article from last Thursday addressing the record snowfall around the country.

Sadly, what this angry reader clearly missed was that the piece was a response to all those hysterical press proclamations last year that global warming would significantly reduce snowfall around the world resulting in huge financial losses to ski resorts and winter vacation homeowners.

Alas, poor reading comprehension on the part of the citizenry -- even those in neighboring countries -- might be our least concern in this situation. What should scare us all much more is the idea that the propaganda attack regarding this issue is so effective that folks will blame every weather-related event -- even record snowfall! -- on global warming.

The fear-mongering is working, ladies and gentlemen.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

—Noel Sheppard is an economist, business owner, and Associate Editor of NewsBusters.

The national pay cut

If you lived overseas for any length of time as I have you would quickly come to grips with the buying power of the currency in which you are paid.

During stable times there have been adjustments equalizing those differences. From time to time a currency of a country where it needs to impoverish it's citizens rather than tax them is allowed to drift. Mexico did that in the early 80s. They imposed an annual inflation that had the net effect of reducing the income of it's people on an equal scale yet without having to collect taxes.

Sometimes when a country gets out of balance with the rest of the world, under the banner of free trade and open borders the default decision is made to reduce the incomes of that country to make them more like the rest of the world.

The USA has had (in the mind of some) disproportionate higher incomes and lifestyle than the rest of the world. So, without trying to, the world and our government has given us all a national pay cut.

You see it in your gas price, your grocery price, your housing costs and a hundred other ways. We have had our wages and salaries cut as surely as if the boss showed up on a Friday and said, we need to compete with the fellow down to street so to do so we are going to cut everyone's wages 30%.

That's what open borders have done. That's what a lot of failed policies have done. We have thrown our lifestyle economics overboard with a weak dollar and the resultant high prices.

What brought this all to mind was the criticism of American Airlines today for flying to Britain with only 5 people on board. Yes it was silly. But more important WHY. I have flown to Britain dozens of times and it was always pretty full.

I'm guessing it's because in Britain in dollars a sandwich at Starbucks is $24. A room at the "Cheap" hotel is 350 per night.

So, lump the wage cut. It ain't coming back, Republican or Democrat. I sure trust Democrats far less than Republicans to solve this, but I don't trust either of them MUCH.

The GOP's Biggest Problem - The Enthusiasm Gap

Charmaine Yoest writes of Huckabee and the GOP in National Review Online. She has put into words what I could not. I'll say once more, If the GOP, Fiscal Conservatives and stuffed shirt old boy conservatives don't understand what Huckabee was all about before November, the only word one can use to describe them will be LOSER. I am a Huckabee Republican. We are either the beginning of the New Republican Party or the end of the Old. Or maybe both. We aren't changing. Can the Republican Party? I will vote for McCain, but the Enthusiasm Gap is Huge.

The problem the GOP faces right now is that they never have understood the political significance of Mike Huckabee’s extraordinary candidacy and electoral buoyancy. From inside the campaign, I saw an almost inexplicable gap between who Huckabee really is and who he is perceived to be . . . and the same is true of the values voters he is leading. Over the last month I’ve been asked repeatedly why he wasn’t getting out of the race - no one ever picked up on the simple, and obvious, answer that the Governor himself repeatedly offered: his supporters didn’t want him to get out.

Mike Huckabee offered a voice for a significant portion of the electorate that feels disenfranchised. Unfortunately for the GOP, the synonym for this group is “their base.”

I do not make this observation to detract from Senator McCain’s victory in any way. His political resurrection during this campaign is one for the history books and any fair observer has to give him credit for the tenacity, determination, and leadership it took to engineer his resurgence. Nevertheless, his slim margins should be worrisome to the McCain camp.

Those of us who live and breathe politics will support him. But we’re not the ones he needs to worry about. It’s the home-schooling mom who brought her children to the Huckabee phone bank, working late into the night — she’s the one he needs to inspire. Prior to the Iowa caucus, my own children worked next to a young girl whose mom flew her up from Texas to the Des Moines HQ, just to work the phones.

It’s being able to inspire that kind of enthusiasm and devotion that takes a candidate from an asterisk to the top tier. And it’s that kind of enthusiasm that McCain is going to need to defeat the aspiring, “first-ever” candidate in an electoral change cycle.

Cynics are responding that Huckabee’s Iowa victory can be discounted because it’s a solidly evangelical red state. Maybe. Still, it might be worth recalling that President Bush won the state in 2004 with the barn-burning margin of . . . 50 percent. Closer even than Ohio.

The Republicans are going to have to find a way to address this Enthusiasm Gap. But to the extent that the GOP establishment recognizes that Huckabee was at the forefront of a political phenomenon occurring under their noses — has a previous campaign ever achieved so much with so little? — they appear to be responding by maligning it rather than attempting to mobilize it.

Repent - The End is Near

In a previous post I answered the question, how old is the earth. In it I mentioned the probable destruction that left the earth formless and void in the past.

I said it likely came as the result of celestial collision (Meteor hitting earth), Volcanic inversion or Cosmic Ray Bombardment.

Yesterday Fox News told of such a story it's following. If a nearby star goes supernova at just the wrong time all life on earth would cease full stop. As it has in the past evidently.

That's Biblical too.

Here's one twist on all this. This star is 8000 light years away. IF it has already happened and we are in the path of destruction it could have happened 8000 years ago and we just discover it TODAY.

I don't know for sure and neither do you. I do know that no man knows the day or the hour and destruction comes suddenly.

So, keep looking up. And live today. Fox says it could be your last. Or not.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A visit to Holy Ground - Birthplace of Ronald Reagan

I was out looking at trees in the businesses yesterday. It took me to Tampico IL. Birthplace of Ronald Wilson Reagan. Holy Ground. I had visited before under the same circumstance. I thought you might enjoy some scenic views.

This is the building in which he was born at home. See the red door next to the bank. Thats the entrance just as it was then. Little door. They lived above the bank. I'm not sure it was a bank then. At the time of Reagan it was a bakery. To the right is the museum which is shown below. It's not tended except by appointment which if you phone the man will come right over. See the white sign on the door. Lots of Reagan memorabilia.

Below is the door to his place. When I was in the apartment, it's pretty sparse, small and humble. Greatness doesn't always come from wealth. If you read the info, the man who has passed away (Lloyd) is the one who showed me around some time back.

Below is a picture I took thru the window looking up the narrow staircase. I could tell you that is Reagans ghost, its not, just a dirty window with the sun on it. This door and staircase is barely 36" wide.
The town of Tampico on it's 150th or some such had Maureen Reagan visit before she died.

It's nice to be able to visit, you can buy a house in Tampico and become the 723rd resident. Maybe I will.

The Real Problem with Obama

When it comes to experience and understanding of the realities of governing and managing, unlike Prego Spaghetti sauce, There's nothing in there. Babe in the woods for President.

Meatless and content free - never good in Spaghetti sauce and worse in governing.

Why we don't have automatic Pothole Repair Machines in Chicago

There are some very clever automated pothole machines on the market. I have seen them operate. They come on top of the hole, a tooth goes in and clears out the hole and high powered air blows the debris and water out, the hole is sprayed with molten tar which drys the hole and hot asphalt is measured into the hole, rolled and vibrated down until it is as smooth as the surrounding pavement.

It's fast, it's efficient, it's effective and it works. The machines aren't terribly expensive comparatively. And we always have potholes.

BUT we don't do it that way. We do it like was done 70 years ago. A crew drives to the pothole chips out the junk, sweeps it out, blows air in it, a little tar and a couple shovels of hot asphalt. Then, a guy with a hand tamper comes along behind and tamps. That's it. Bad and expensive fix.

Why? Unions and political patronage jobs. In Chicago and Cook County pothole repair crew members are paid 28 per hour plus overtime. I know men with PhD's who do this. It's good money. And the work isn't hard.

These PhDs could be inventing better automated pothole repair machines but they don't because they are on the payoff. It's better money to just suck on the political machine teat.

This is what is wrong with unions, political machines and politicians.

It costs money to elect democrats.

When I grow up I want to be like Mike

I was proud of Mike Huckabee last night as the end came. He was gracious and inspiring. I'm not excited about McCain but I'll vote as I said I would.

We deserve better than we got as a candidate. Mike was a good one. I hope he runs again. Even with the end of the end in sight in Texas he gets 38% of the vote and McCain just cracks 50%.

It's my opinion that Mike Huckabee represents more what America is like than any of the other three people left in the race. He represents more of what the readers of Say Anything are like.

Ok, I get the idea that he believes in Jesus and that's a hang up. Sad. We live in a country where having overt faith somehow is a disqualifier for public office. I know his fair tax program and social spending policies are not what you thought they should be. The reality is Mike Huckabee is that right of Center decent moral patriotic voter that makes up the bulk of the population, democrat or republican. They are not like the wild eyed left or the jackboot right. They are people who want to see us do better, all of us.

I will miss him. What's really funny is in my circles of friends nearly all of them are or were Huckabee supporters. But then that's why I am in that circle I guess. We didn't have a conclave. We just naturally gravitated to the ideas he proclaimed.

If the Republican party wants to win in the fall, it will have to talk to the 38% that voted for Mike in Texas and those who voted in various percentages in other states. If this race gave christian social conservatives a louder voice, it was worth it.

We are here and we vote, hear us.

Chicago Politics Controls Democrat Party

No matter the vote count from last night, the fix is in. The corruption of Chicago politics which manifests itself in vote rigging and fixed elections has now invaded the Il named democratic party. The democratic party in function operates just like the crooks in Chicago do things. Power brokers pretend to have elections and the fools in Chicago pretend to vote. Then the votes are discarded and the power brokers do what they want.

Hillary won the popular vote last night in 3 primaries. She does NOT however win the delegate counts that should have produced.
Shades of 2000. Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election. Winning in democrat party politics means nothing.

I guess if you are a democrat it doesn't matter that your vote doesn't count. You just go to the polls and pretend that it does.

Some votes are more equal than others. The superdelegates are the powerbrokers who are going to go in their smoke free rooms and behind a closed door make this decision.

Why bother even having any more primaries? The fix is in.

And, in case you forgot how they all governed at the end of the 20th century, the fix was always in. Get ready for the real democrat party in power. Democracy in inaction.

I think they should just call it what it is, machine politics Chicago Style. At least in Chicago when our politicos cheat, graft and crook we know it's company policy.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

How Old is the Earth

I was asked a question by Bob, "How Old is the Earth". Not me directly, but in a comment field. Good question so I decided to answer it. For those of you (Other than you BOB) who read this blog and have asked the same question from time to time here is a sound Biblical analysis that you can hang your faith hat on:

This question about the age of the earth. Get your Bible out. Buckle your seat belts. It’s gonna be a wild ride.

OK. First it had a beginning. There once was a was when there wasn’t anything. Agreed?

How long ago. Long. Very Long. By light years we can guess very very long. Where in that continuum is the earth? Long ago. Probably Billions. But not billions and billions. Universe probably is billions and billions. Earth is relatively young.

On the other end. There will come a day when the earth will be no more. How? Why? Sun going super nova and then a black hole and absorbing it into the size of a pea? Then that will be absorbed by a greater black hole. And then ultimately, nothing. There is a beginning and an end.

GOD? Yep. He did it. There was nothing and then there suddenly was thing. Lots of thing. An expanding thing. Lightspeed.

There will come a day long long from now when it will all cease to be anything. Collapse. Nothing.

Just God before and after. He must be if we and all creation is.

So, what about Adam Eve Animals Fish Fowl day night and all that Genesis stuff, when did that happen?

We only have record written down of once. But probably several times before. We have bones of several times. (Eras) There were then full stops. Cessations. Atomic winter type events that all life ceased to be. Meteor impacts. Volcanics. Earth Tilting. Cosmic Ray Events.

Then there came a formless void. Genesis 1:1 And the Spirit of the Living God hovered over the void and God Said once more, Let there be Light. And there was light.

Out of the void of destruction and nothing he spoke order, life and light.

Later in some many days there was a time When God Said, “Let us make MAN in our image”.

My guess is that was about 25,000 years ago. No one knows for sure but that appears to be the emergence of the first real sentient beings on the planet. Soul creatures.

There already at that point were animals and birds and fish. Not evolved, spoken into creation.

And we begin history. Scraps at first and then there was Noah. It picks up after that. We have pretty good archaeological records from there on.

So, the earth is old, but not as old as the universe. Man is not old at all.

Before there was anything there was God and after everything ceases there will be God. Alpha and Omega. Beginning and End.

Oh, and his name isn’t Allah. It’s JESUS. He was there at creation.

For those of you who are Bible Scholars, think about this. I have and this does not conflict with any Biblical rendering.

This is what Mike Huckabee believes as well. This isn’t that complicated if you approach it with faith. Science complements the truth of Scripture in this way. Whenever an archaeological or scientific discovery is announced I look for how it reinforces what I already know to be true from the Word of God. I’m never disappointed.

How to start a fire. Cup Your Hand. Men's Retreat

You have tried to start a fire. If everything is nice and dry and no wind is blowing and you have a blowtorch the job is easy. Anyone can do it.

It becomes more challenging is when the wind is blowing, it's wet and rainy, you only have a few matches and it's uncomfortable to do it. It's hard work.

The problem is when it's wet windy and miserable you really NEED the fire. And it's when it's most difficult.

If you are like I am, you will find some dry material and sequester it. I put it in my pocket and protect it. I keep my matches dry too. Then I find a place where I want to build the fire and get into a leeward place where wind and rain doesn't have as much impact. I might even build into the wood pile a small indent to place the dry material in my pocket.

Then at the chosen time I will hollow out a place, carefully place the dry material in there, and only then be prepared to light the fire. I will take out one match (I don't have but a few) and plan carefully where and when to strike. When I do I will cup my hand around the flame and carry it to the dry materials. I will place my whole body if needed in the place to protect the flame. If it works the fire will dry out other materials around it, then more, then it will spread and no matter the wind and rain it will become a blazing fire. It will give comfort and light to all who draw near.

Critics might say, use gasoline. Others might say, that woodpile is too wet. Hopeless. Others might say the wind and rain is too strong, don't bother. But if you just believe that a small fire can become a large one then you will take aside the fire starters and place them in a secret place to be ignited. Then once they are on fire they will ignite others.

That's what happened on the Men's Retreat this weekend. That's why we retreat. Cupping the hand around the flame. 50+ men igniting one another's flame into a blaze. What a privilege to bask in the warmth as we all burned bright.
"May the fire on the altar NEVER go out" Leviticus 6:13.

Pass It On

It only takes a spark to get a fire going.
And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing.
That’s how it is with God’s love,
Once you’ve experience it.
You spread his love to everyone;
You want to pass it on.

What a wondrous time is spring,
When all the tress are budding
The birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming;
That's how it is with God's love,
Once you've experienced it.
You want to sing, it's fresh like spring,
You want to pass it on.

I wish for you my friend, this happiness that I've found;
you can depend on him, it matters not where you're bound.
I'll shout it from the mountaintop;
I want my world to know;
the Lord of love has come to me,
I want to pass it on."

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love another.”

John 13:34-35

And that is how the Men's Retreat went last weekend

Keep the fire burning!

The Lord gave to Moses instructions on how to worship in the tabernacle. One of His many instructions concerned the fire on the altar of burnt offerings. .....

Leviticus 6:12,13 - "The fire on the altar is to be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest will burn wood on the fire. he is to arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat portions from the fellowship offerings on it. Fire must be kept burning on the altar continually; it must not go out."

Lifestyle Application - Paul instructed young Timothy in 2 Timothy 1 to 'stir up the gift that is in you.' - i.e. Keep the flames of the Spirit of God fanned in your life. The fire of passion and pursuit of God is to be continually fueled by the Word of God, fellowship with God's people (iron sharpening iron), worship of God, an altar of prayer, and an active witness to the lost around me everyday.

Is the fire burning continually in the altar of my heart? - fuel must be given and a continually fanning must be given.

Is the fire gone out in my life?

Keith Green wrote a song that describes the waining of the fire in his own life...

"My eyes are dry; my prayers are old; my heart is hard; my faith is cold..... I know how I ought to be - alive in You, and dead to me..... And what can be done for an old heart like mine... soften it up with oil divine... let my heart break, and the tears flow again... and flow down my face for the souls of lost men!"

Prayer -

Father God, May the fire of Person of the Holy Spirit of God burn brightly and continually in my heart. May it never go out... but may it consume me as a living sacrifice this day. May may life be a warm bonfire that will ignite hearts around me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Cupping your hand around the flame - The Men's Retreat

You have tried to start a fire.   If everything is nice and dry and no wind is blowing and you have a blowtorch the job is easy.  Anyone can do it.
It becomes more challenging is when the wind is blowing, it's wet and rainy, you only have a few matches and it's uncomfortable to do it. It's hard work.
The problem is when it's wet windy and miserable you really NEED the fire.  And it's when it's most difficult.
If you are like I am, you will find some dry material and sequester it.  I put it in my pocket and protect it.  I keep my matches dry too.  Then I find a place where I want to build the fire and get into a leeward place where wind and rain doesn't have as much impact.  I might even build into the wood pile a small indent to place the dry material in my pocket.
Then at the chosen time I will hollow out a place, carefully place the dry material in there, and only then be prepared to light the fire.  I will take out one match (I don't have but a few) and plan carefully where and when to strike.  When I do I will cup my hand around the flame and carry it to the dry materials.  I will place my whole body if needed in the place to protect the flame.  If it works the fire will dry out other materials around it, then more, then it will spread and no matter the wind and rain it will become a blazing fire.  It will give comfort and light to all who draw near. 
Critics might say, use gasoline.  Others might say, that woodpile is too wet.  Hopeless.  Others might say the wind and rain is too strong, don't bother.  But if you just believe that a small fire can become a large one then you will take aside the fire starters and place them in a secret place to be ignited.  Then once they are on fire they will ignite others. 
That's what happened on the Men's Retreat this weekend.  That's why we retreat.  Cupping the hand around the flame.  50+ men igniting one another's flame into a blaze.  What a privilege to bask in the warmth as we all burned bright.  "May the fire on the altar NEVER go out" Leviticus 6:13.

Pass It On

It only takes a spark to get a fire going.
And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing.
That's how it is with God's love,
Once you've experience it.
You spread his love to everyone;
You want to pass it on.

What a wondrous time is spring,
When all the tress are budding
The birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming;
That's how it is with God's love,
Once you've experienced it.
You want to sing, it's fresh like spring,
You want to pass it on.

I wish for you my friend, this happiness that I've found;
you can depend on him, it matters not where you're bound.
I'll shout it from the mountaintop;
I want my world to know;
the Lord of love has come to me,
I want to pass it on."

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love another."

John 13:34-35

And that is how the Men's Retreat went last weekend

Monday, March 03, 2008

Equivalence Between Athiests and Thiests in Morality Proven a Myth

Does Atheism (Determinism) Negatively Impact Morality?
by Rich Deem

Morality Among Atheists

The rise of the "New Atheism" has led to the claim by its major proponents that atheism is morally superior to theism and that the world would be better off if the entire population were composed only of atheists. A new study raises doubts about that claim since the atheistic belief in determinism is shown to negatively impact moral behavior.

Rich Deem


Atheists claim that atheism does not negatively impact moral behavior (or even that atheism promotes superior morality). One of the core beliefs of most atheists is determinism - the idea that every prior action affects human actions and choices. This means that human behavior is ultimately controlled by genes that control personality, by brain neurochemistry, and interactions with the environment. In its most ardent form, determinism completely denies the existence of human free will. In a recently published study, scientists manipulated the belief in determinism among college students and measured their moral choices (specifically regarding cheating).1 Contrary to atheists claims of fostering moral superiority, the data suggests that the common atheistic belief in determinism undermines moral behavior.

Determinism and neuroscience

A belief in determinism arises from the scientific evidence showing that the universe is governed by physical laws. For a purely naturalistic worldview, there are no external forces or deities that influence anything that happens within the universe. By extension, all moral behaviors and choices are subservient to chemical reactions of the functioning brain. Beginning in 1983,2 scientists have noted that subject awareness of mental choices seem to follow brain waves instituting those choices. A subsequent study showed that neural stimulation influenced a subjects left-right motor choice, even though the subject reported being in complete control of the choice,3 although other studies have disputed those results.4 Some scientists have interpreted the results of the brain studies to show that the brain makes subconscious choices that we later interpret as free will choices. accordingly, we possess no free will, but only feel that we have choices based upon the way our brains function.

Predetermined moral behavior?

In a recent study, scientists designed two experiments to manipulate beliefs related to free will and measured their influence on morality as manifested in cheating behavior.1 The scientists hypothesized that participants induced to believe that human behavior is under the control of predetermined forces would cheat more than would participants not led to believe that behavior is predetermined.

Passive cheating

In the first experiment, randomly assigned subjects were told to read either an anti-free will passage from Francis Crick's The Astonishing Hypothesis, or a passage from a chapter on consciousness that did not discuss free will. Upon completion, subject's beliefs were examined using the Free Will and Determinism scale.5 As expected, participants subject to the anti-freewill condition reported significantly weaker free-will beliefs than participants in the control condition. Following the test, subjects were given a computer-based mental-arithmetic task in which they were to solve 20 problems. They were told that the computer had a programming glitch that caused the correct answer to appear on the screen while they were attempting to solve each problem, but that they should stop the answer from being displayed by pressing the space bar after the problem appeared. In reality, the computer kept track of the number of times the space bar was pressed as a negative correlation with cheating. As predicted, those who read the anti-free-will essay cheated significantly more than those who read the control essay. For all subjects, there was a strong negative correlation between cheating and belief in the existence of free will. In other words, those who believed more in determinism cheated more.

Active cheating

In the second experiment, subjects were assigned to one of five groups. Subjects were given free will promoting reading, neutral reading or anti-free will reading (determinism) material and paid $1.00 for correct answers in reading comprehension, mathematical, and logic and reasoning problems. Participants were told that the experimenter was investigating people’s enjoyment of tasks when they receive feedback and rewards for performance, and hence that they would receive $1 for each problem they solved correctly. In two groups (baseline and determinism) results were scored by the experimenter. In three other groups (free will, neutral, and determinism) the experimenter checked her cell phone and told the subjects she had to attend a meeting and that they were to score the results themselves. They were to shred their answer sheets and take the money they earned. The results are shown in the table below:

Active Cheating Results
Experimental Group $ Paid S.E.
Experimenter Scored
Baseline 7.4 0.7
Determinism 6.5 0.7
Self scored
Free Will 6.8 0.7
Neutral 7.2 0.7
Determinism 10.6 0.7

Those participants who were given neutral or free will promoting reading material paid themselves the same (or less) than the baseline group, which was paid by the experimenter. However, those who were given the determinism promoting reading material paid themselves $3 more than the baseline group and over $4 more than the experimenter scored determinism group. In addition, as in the first experiment, there was a strong negative correlation between cheating and belief in the existence of free will. These results showed belief in determinism promoted both passive and active cheating.

Conclusion Top of page

Contrary to the claim of adherents of the "New Atheism" that atheism promotes moral behavior, certain atheistic doctrines, specifically determinism, leads to a significant degradation of moral behavior. This is one of the first studies designed to test how worldview beliefs influence moral behavior. So far, the claims of the new atheists are not holding up to scientific scrutiny.

References Top of page

  1. Vohs, K. D., and J. W. Schooler. 2008. The Value of Believing in Free Will: Encouraging a Belief in Determinism Increases Cheating. Psychological Science 19: 49-54.
  2. Libet, B., C. A. Gleason, E. W. Wright, and D. K. Pearl. 1983. Time of conscious intention to act in relation to onset of cerebral activity (readiness-potential): The unconscious initiation of a freely voluntary act. Brain 106: 623-642.
  3. Brasil-Neto JP, Pascual-Leone A, Valls-Sole J, et al. Focal transcranial magnetic stimulation and response bias in a forced-choice task. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1992;55:964–6.
  4. Sohn, Y. H., A. Kaelin-Lang and M. Hallett. 2003 The effect of transcranial magnetic stimulation on movement selection. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry. 74: 985-987.
  5. Paulhus, D.L., and Margesson, A. 1994. Free Will and Determinism (FAD) scale. Unpublished manuscript University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Worshippers of Death

Today's WSJ had a very disturbing story about the Muslim culture of death. Alan Dershowitz wrote it. It's disturbing:

Zahra Maladan is an educated woman who edits a women's magazine in Lebanon. She is also a mother, who undoubtedly loves her son. She has ambitions for him, but they are different from those of most mothers in the West. She wants her son to become a suicide bomber.

Read the whole thing.

Ice Storm in Hell - Limbaugh Supports Hillary

Think I'm Kidding?

OK Mr 136 - I got 18 out of 25

Try this Hotshot

Why I distrust nearly Everything Oprah Endorses Including Obama

If Oprah endorsed Ice Cream I would have a check in my spirit wondering what is up with that. She is dangerous and completely misled by all spirits of evil. Now Chuck Norris comes out with another wacky new agey thingy Oprah has come up with. YIKES. Read it all here.

Oprah Winfrey endorsing 'A New Earth' on

Today, a live ten-week webinar hosted by Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle, author of "A New Earth," will begin on the Internet. Both the book and the online course purport to be able to awaken you and our world to life's grand purpose.

Since Oprah's endorsement of Tolle's book a month ago, 3.5 million copies of his spiritual self-help guide have been sent out to enlighten the minds of people around the globe. And more than 500,000 people in 125 countries have already signed up for the worldwide web seminar.

Other celebrities have also chimed their endorsements of the book, like Guy Ritchie, Russel Simmons, Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, who said, "I think one of the most important questions that people ask in life is who am I and why am I here? This book gets as close to an answer as any book could ever get." "A New Earth" has even been labeled "a spiritual classic" by one of today's leading spiritual thinkers.

But will this religious text and its subsequent Internet church-like gathering really lead you and our world to God's gates of splendor?

A coincidental alignment?

I completely respect everyone's First Amendment rights to choose their religion of choice. But I also recognize the First Amendment rights to speak freely against what I and so many others deem as errant and spiritually unsafe. We can all agree to disagree agreeably, but that doesn't turn an aberrant spiritual opinion into almighty religious truth.

With this live webcast running through the very heart of one of Christendom's most sacred seasons of the year (including Lent, Palm Sunday, Easter and Pentecost), the queen of daytime talk is preaching from a primetime pulpit, from which she is heralding to the world community, "Get ready to be awakened!"

But is it merely a coincidence that Winfrey's and Tolle's spiritual quest aligns with this special religious time of year? It is yet one more evidence of the paradigm shift in our culture from its moral absolute and Judeo-Christian basis to a relativistic worldview in which anything goes and everything is tolerated.

The fact is: Tolle's "A New Earth" is being adopted and transformed into Oprah's new Easter.

Nothing new under the sun

Like most self-help spiritual texts of this type, it is a blend of half truths and half fabrications. One could easily save the purchase price of "A New Earth" and subsequently avoid misleading remarks by reading a Bible, which gives a much more thorough and accurate picture of life's purpose and methods for overcoming its obstacles.

For example, Tolle advocates that the chief obstacle to awakening is our ego, and that fear is the basis of ego. (Is that a revelation to anyone?) The Bible declared more than two millennia ago, "With pride comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom" and "perfect love drives out all fear."

Tolle newly advocates "being in the now," while the Bible admonished long ago, "Be still and know that I am God."

Before Tolle even conceived "A New Earth," the Bible described "a new heaven and a new Earth" and shows us exactly how we can inherit them in the future.

Tolle concludes, "This book is about you. It will change your state of consciousness or it will be meaningless." On the other hand, the Bible emphatically assures its contents are "able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation."

'Religion Light'

Tolle himself doesn't align with any one religion, but blends tenets of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Sufism, Christianity and other faiths. One reviewer from the Minneapolis Star Tribune said of Tolle:

His spiritual outlook has become more complex since [his former book] "The Power of Now," when he dismissed external reality as an illusion and made it sound as if "living in the now" was a panacea for all the world's problems. … In addition, Tolle believes outer realities – including politics, war, poverty and even the climate – will magically be transformed when individuals change their inner consciousness. This may be true, but only to an extent.

The reason Tolle's psychology and spirituality is marketed so easy is that it is an eclectic mix of conventional and unconventional wisdom, and Western and Eastern beliefs, presented in a tolerant, non-threatening, and non-sectarian way. In other words, it's "Religion Light," in which one can be spiritual with "little down and no credit."

Is anyone else growing weary of light, quick fix, pop-a-pill-and-you'll-feel-better schemes in society and self-help? Have you ever found that the most valuable lessons in life have come easy? If we're ever to discover the truth and purpose for life, we must be liberated from our fixations with easy roads – and then model and teach the same to our children and grandchildren.

Even Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to follow me, you must take up your cross and follow me." Tolle, however, only quotes relatively benign sayings of Jesus, while avoiding the more difficult ones. For example, he notes that Jesus taught that the "kingdom of heaven" was already present on Earth and can be experienced right now, but overlooks Jesus' teaching that one must be born again by believing in him as the Son of God and Savior to see that kingdom in the future.

When will we learn? Our pursuit and obtainment of truth is hindered most by our subjective (or à la carte) selections of religion and refusal to consider tougher commandments that call us to higher accountability and our true purpose.

Looking back to move forward

My battle is not with Oprah – she has her guru (Tolle), and I have mine (Jesus). The real war is between those who espouse to be bearers of the truth, like Tolle and Jesus. And the question is: With contradicting truths, will we believe a mere man or one who claimed to be so much more? As C.S. Lewis, the great Oxford scholar and writer of the "Narnia" series who was once an avid atheist, wrote,

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a good moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

That might not be what Oprah, Tolle or others around the world want to hear on their webinar, but he is everything we all need to obtain peace with God and peace with one another.

Again, the question is: Will we turn from what's easy, what's new, what's popular, what's even "Oprah" and take a step back and rediscover the answers that have been there all along? As C.S. Lewis also said, "We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."

OK - Not ALL Liberals are Evil

Martin Sheen who play a President on West Wing (I didn't watch the show) was just honored by Notre Dame for being a humanitarian.

Part of which was his Pro Life Stance.

For that I give him great credit.

About Liberals - I could be wrong about some of them ;>)

What Tomorrow Looks like to Hillary Clinton

I hope she wins - Tomorrow. The alternative is terrifying.

More Obamafun

I know my Friend RB Bob is getting tired of this, but I'm a glutton for fun. This amused me.

The Three not so wise Geezers following their Star in the East

I found this interesting - For Bible Scholars only

I got this from a website I landed on this morning looking for something else. I thought it was good and said a lot about Unity in the Spirit. And out of the spirit. From Emerging Truths

The Tower of Babel

The story of the tower of Babel takes place about 130 years after the flood. It is a brief story but one which raises some interesting questions. Here's the entire story, followed by my analysis.

Genesis 11:1-9 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Babel - "Gate of God"

Before we get into this story, it's worth mentioning something about the origin of the word Babel. Mirriam Webster's dictionary gives the following etymology of the word Babel:
Middle English, from Hebrew BAbhel, from Akkadian bAb-ilu gate of god
Read the full definition...
Akkadian: bab-ilu, from bab "gate" + ilu "god"
Hebrew: bab-el, from bab "gate" + el "god"

Is it called gate of God because here God "came down", as the text says? Or is the tower the "gate of god"? We're left to guess. When we look up Babel in Strong's Concordance, it says "confusion (by mixing)", so there's no help there. Confusion indeed. It seems to me that we are missing quite a bit of back-story on this event, but I'll leave it at that, because I'd like to get on with what happened and speculate on why it was done.

Why did he do it?

Why did the LORD scatter the people? Many seem to think it was some sort of punishment, but I've come to believe that it was primarily to produce diversity in the human race. He used the people as seeds, scattering them across the whole earth. Another reason might be found in the adage: don't keep all your eggs in one basket. But why did he confound their language? I believe this was to prevent the tribes of the earth from mixing back together before their time. With their original language destroyed, each tribe must have developed their own distinct language.

Had the LORD not intervened at Babel, the human race may not have survived, and surely would not have attained the rich diversity we have today. So, far from being some kind of punishment for building the tower, it seems to me this was a strategic move made by someone who knew what he was doing.

Babel in reverse

One has to marvel at what kind of technology could garble the speech recognition of humans. But where this story gets even more interesting is that thousands of years later, in the New Testament, we have an event which is virtually the antithesis of Babel: after having received the Holy Spirit, the apostles speak, and men of diverse languages all hear the words in their own languages:

Acts 2:1-11 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together.

Interestingly, this narrative begins by declaring that they were all in one place and of one accord, just like the story of Babel starts out. Also, as in the story of Babel, the word confounded is used here, but this time they were confounded for the opposite reason: men of diverse languages were all hearing the words in their own language. The vision which the apostles saw of the cloven (split in two) tongues was clearly meant to denote that they were being given the ability to speak in multiple tongues, possibly even at once, somehow.

The reintegration of the tribes

If, back in days of Babel, the plan was to separate the people, today we're seeing the opposite: a great reintegration. We are today approaching a "new world order" which, when fully realized, will bring us back under one government and one language. The book of Revelation foretells of this coming state of affairs, and describes how the whole world will fall under the spell of the "beast" governing them, and then the end will come. It would appear that everything is going according to plan. The seeds were scattered, the tribes have flourished and matured, and now they're coming back together, for one last grand play on the stage we call earth, one last lesson, if you will, before finally moving on, together as one richly diverse family of man, to our next phase of existence: life in the heavens; and we won't need to build a tower to get there.

I don't know this fellow, But I give him credit for seeing in this the unity that can come by submission to a purpose. Then there is either Godly unity or Worldly unity. The anti-christ will try to impose worldly unity. Bringing us together. Some Churches try to do this. The only real unity is unity of Spirit. I have experienced this. I have worshipped in several countries of the world with believers I didn't know other than by the Spirit of God.

One thing I know for sure, the power of the Pentecostal witness is the unity that removes confounding. I was in Brazil and was part of a worship experience. There was no translation. Not understanding Portuguese I was confounded UNTIL the messages in Tongues and prayer in Tongues began. I was in unity and even understood in the Spirit what the Spirit of God was saying to people right then.

I have always understood these two stories as God Confounding to destroy false unity under a false vision and God removing Confounding by the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the manifested speaking in Tongues restoring heaven on earth unity with the gift of His Holy Spirit in us.

This has nothing to do with the risen Christ and his salvation. If you do or don't speak in tongues it doesn't add to or take away from your salvation. On the other hand, speaking in an unknown tongue adds to your experience in Jesus on this side of the veil.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Obama Heals Hundreds

AUSTIN — Ginny McCallum, 43, who has been confined to a wheelchair for much of her adult life, came to hear presidential candidate Barack Obama speak at the University of Texas. Afterward she found herself in a wheelchair access breezeway as Obama and his entourage exited the arena. The candidate spotted her, came over, grabbed her hand and pulled her up. She found herself standing for the first time in eleven years.
"He smiled at me and said, ‘Yes, you can,’" she says. "I was so stunned I didn’t know what to do."
McCallum is among hundreds of people who say they have been healed by the Democratic candidate, in one of the most surprising and little-acknowledged aspects of his campaign. Reporters have shied away from the story, chalking it up to "Obama-mania" and people’s feelings of elation.
"We don’t talk about it a lot, but yeah, it does happen," says one staffer who says he has seen multiple people healed on a rope line. "We don’t know exactly how or why it’s happening, and the Senator won’t talk about it. He usually insists that people keep it quiet and just report it to their pastor or priest."
Greeting supporters after a rousing speech in Houston, Obama stepped into the dense crowd and spontaneously began touching people: a legally blind woman, a man deaf in one ear, a cancer sufferer and a lame man.
"Yes, you can," Obama said as he laid hands on afflicted bodies.
The people’s reactions were so joyous as to be almost frightening. They jumped and shouted and wept. Before they could thank or embrace the candidate he was well down the rope line healing others. Their excitement was lost in the general din of the crowd.
Aides acknowledge that the phenomenon is occurring with greater frequency.
"His power goes beyond simple inspiration," says one aide. "There is something developing here that I’m not sure any of us fully understands."
They say Obama has told them privately that his time has not yet come, so it would be inappropriate to talk about the healings right now. He says he will wait until the convention to speak publicly about the "special calling" he believes he has to lead the country. They do expect him to start alluding to "the providential nature of what is happening on the campaign trail" in an upcoming address, mostly because word is getting around.
People have begun bringing relatives by the score to campaign events in hopes of a healing touch.
"It’s not the speeches that are drawing people anymore, as good as they are," says a senior staff member. "It’s people wanting to get better, and wanting their friends and relatives to get better. It’s the belief that there’s something more here."

This is a reprint of a "news" story posted on Lark News. It's a joke man.