Saturday, June 21, 2008

Obama Calls us out

I think I'm getting the Message.

From Our world as we see it.

I need this truck

This is Navistar's (International Harvester to those of us from North Dakota) bid to replace the aging Humvee. IHC hasn't built a good truck since the Travelall. Looks pretty good to me. I can see Mr Gene rolling across the prairie chasing deer and jackrabbits in one of these. I'll bet it gets great mileage too. HA!


This post which remains for a comment from my Friend Chuck has been removed for ignorance.

I mistakenly identified Hallmark Corp (greeting Card folk) as the culprits in a story.

I was wrong.

Thanks Chuck


Nancy Pelosi says,
“"You can’t drill your way out of this problem”
She’s the speakerette of the house and third in line to be the President of the USA. Her wisdom as a national leader must count.

Then, according to her word: Let’s stop. All drilling. Now. Today.

There’s no point drilling another hole in the ground. Ms Pelosi says so. It won’t solve any problems and that's that.

Full stop. Not another hole. Let's see how that works out.

What a Joy to be a Democrat.


Oh and the Democratic persumtive nominee agrees with her. See former comment.

Tozer for the Weekend

I know that I have several pastors who read this and they sometimes argue with me.
John Armstrong, has written a fabulous piece on A W Tozer. It's in 3 parts.

What should we make of Tozer

Conditions to be saved part one

Conditions to be saved part two

If you are a Christian this will have the net effect of challenging you at a deep level. Read the comments and see the hunger for more of God mixed with lost religiosity. A man writes who is relying on church and sacraments to save him. WOW. Hell celebrates when anything other than Jesus is relied upon.

Then, my friend Steve Scott has asked a profound question that should rattle your cage. Why do I believe what I believe.

Go to Church Sunday and be prepared for battle.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Christians being salt and light in the world but not maybe fulfilling the great commission

Jesus didn't say, "Go ye into all the world and feed all the downtrodden you find there".

I'm happy that Christians step up and do good things.

Let's just make sure that what we do carries out Jesus Commands.

Here's a good example and maybe a bad one too. What think ye?

Are the Midwestern Floods the Judgement of God on America?

I have a "friend" in blogdom who has often said that the USA is under judgement for many things. He would point to the war, I might point to Abortion.

I'm not fully convinced. If it were so there would be judgement all over the earth.

In any case there is a pastor from the Southern Baptists who might agree with my friend. Judgement is here.

I think that when the New Orleans Hurricane came it was Judgement at some level. It certainly has worked out that way. If the floods are judgement it might be in contrast.

I know what the Judgements of God look like. I have seen them in Scripture. This is a bad flood. I'm not convinced it's judgement.

Tech Support for Idiots From VERIZON WIRELESS

I have had a verizon phone for over 10 years.  This year is my last. 
There are several reasons.  Cost.  Verizon is more expensive than other phone plans.  Contracts.  I don't like the way they do them and hope the government clips their contracting wings soon.  Not crazy about government intervention but less crazy about the arrogance they show as a company.
COVERAGE.  Here's my prime complaint.  Verizon mobile phones coverage map is a joke.  More than a joke it's an outright lie.  I can drive any Verizon tech or customer a dozen places within 5 miles of St. Charles IL and challenge them to find a signal.  I used to get good service 7 years ago.  But as Verizon "Improved" service it got worse and worse.  I recall once when I did the network update I went from 5 bars to 3.  I begged Verizon to take me back.  They said they couldn't and that it was impossible.  I should get used to bad service.
So bye bye Verizon.  I'm not the biggest customer you have and you probably don't care but as you have become larger and more dominant you have grown worse and worse.  Verizon has problems.  Verizon is bad for business, their own and others.
THE LAST STRAW:  I called Verizon tech support and spoke to a nice lady. I recognize that tech support in America is only one of two options any more.  One is in India with people for whom the English language is at best optional.  Oh they all have "Anglo" names like Sheryl.  But who's zooming who? 
The other tech support option is a person like I got at Verizon who's English is also optional.  Let's just say the language is Urban American.  Let me axe you mizter Retlin.  I can deal with that.  Like the guy on the Airplane in the movie of the same name I speak it...
So she nicely told me that the reason I have so many dropped calls is because my phone is old and if I were to get a new phone and sign up for two more years of service all my problems would be over.  Wait I said, "this phone works, it's electronic, that means it's either on or off, not partially worn out.  There is no partially worn out in electronics.  Plus this phone is less than 2 years old."
Her support screen at Verizon clearly said that if a person complains about dropped calls, poor reception and a myriad of other problems that the answer is a new 2 year contract and a new phone.
I guess I must have sounded like an idiot when I spoke with her since I am confident that on the menu was an option that said:
"IF the customer sounds like an idiot click here" 
That took her to a screen that treated me like one from then on.  Oh I had a little girl talk to me before and she (being educated in the public school systems and with a real attitude dismissed me).  When I redialed I got urban American help.
So, for that fine lack of customer support, for trying to sell me a new phone rather than try to fix my problem, for overcharging me, for being all around tone deaf in dealing with me I will now say goodbye.  Oh you won't miss me - yet.  But let's hope that real competition will set in and help us shed some of these behemoths without souls.  AT&T is next.  I'm plotting a coup.
They won't miss me, but there are lots of like me's.  Not all of us are sheeplings.  We will not be fooled forever or again.
So Long Verizon, it's been bad to know you. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Late Night Rude People

Last Night we went to a big time outdoor concert.  Allison Krause and Robert Plant.  They are touring all over the place.  It was at Ravinia.  Kind of our local Tanglewood.
In any case I got to hear half the concert.  The other half was occupied by people talking.  Blah Blah Blah.
What could anyone have to say that is so important to treat good concert material like background music.
I'm an active music listener.  When I listen I listen.  Deeply.  Not here.  Too noisy.
I was disgusted.  I won't do that again.  Not that kind of concert.
The only good thing was when the reprised some of the old Zeppelin songs old ex hippies who are now housewives and mechanics got up and danced to the music - without restraint - abandoned.
I'll bet they don't do that in church.  WHY NOT? 
We need more abandoned unrestrained dancing in Church.  They do it to Lead Zeppelin music, why not music to Jesus.
I wondered as I watched this late 40 something twirl like she was back as Woodstock.
If you go to a concert with or around me - let me say this in the most fruit of the spirit way I know how - Shut the Heck UP!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hybrid Tomfoolery

When the Hybrid Automobile was introduced I named it a hula hoop embraced by the easily fooled.

Many people point to the success of the hybrid to prove me wrong. I have kept my powder dry until the pudding's proof is found.

It is.

I am in favor of all electric plug in vehicles and even those with on board gasoline chargers (which makes sense where hybrids don't). I won't explain the difference. You'll just have to think about it.

The trade off in convenience and battery life is offset by basically running your transportation on Nuclear Power (we get our power from the Byron Nuclear station in IL).

I like that Idea. So batteries have to be replaced every 5 years for $2500, wash that against the miles driven and it's a pretty good bargain.

Fuel cells are a lost cause. I'll get to that some other time. Technology can't get over some humps that exist.

The argument against hybrids is it works so so in town, giving illusory savings but on the road is about the same as my Buick. For that you pay big money, suffer huge resale discounts (a 5 year old Honda Civic Hybrid and a 5 year old gasoline Civic have a $4000 gap to the hybrids discount). Used hybrids are not high value.

Add to that after you have driven the dumb thing for 5 years it will need new batteries for about $2500 plus labor ($500). Never mind that you have highway wise achieved the same mileage as the Buick but in town you only enjoyed a 1/3rd improvement. It's all smoke and mirrors.

10 years from now junkyards will be full of these carcasses. Oh, the appeal of a hybrid SUV is great. Kind of. Except that's phony too.

What we really need to spend our energies on is alternative fuels and better batteries for our plug ins.

Now can we get past hybrids, ethanol and wind power and all the other stupid energy jokes and on to making some sense of true alternatives?

I challenge anyone to do the math and demonstrate that Hybrids save any money at all over a 10 year 200,000 mile ownership curve.

They don't.

Speculation Regrets

I came into a great deal of money some years ago. I considered investing in "High Priced" land between 47 and Sycamore on IL 64. But, it seemed too far out of the loop so to speak to be worth much.

Meantime 7 years later a man I knew bought land for $6800 per acre. A wacky price. It was stupid. He just sold it for twenty grand an acre.

A few months ago Wheat broke $15 briefly on the fall delivery months and almost 10 in the July delivery month of 2009. I said on this blog that a sure thing was selling that far out wheat. I didn't.

Now all the absolutely classic overbought conditions are in commodities with oil leading the charge. None of the fundamentals can support this market. Fear and panic have driven prices to the point of pure insanity.

Oil should be $50 in 2002 dollars. It will be. That's all the fundamentals can support. Demand is dropping like a rock. Supply is coming on line faster and faster. Refining is increasing. The trend has to change. The cure for high prices is high prices.

Now would be a good time to stock up. Buy that big SUV for half price, get a nice motor home, maybe buy some cheap airline stock and go short a market basket of commodities.

The millions of acres underwater are peanuts in the grand scheme of things. Much will be replanted. The phony technologies will be eliminated.

OH, good times will not be here again, but they won't be as bad.

One other thing, as a long time commodity market guy, when markets badly overbought collapse it is it sudden and drastic. If it takes 3 years to go to new highs, it takes 3 months to hit new lows.

Look at the chart from the early 80's.

If I had the guts I'd have a million dollars. Know the song.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Church should be for Sinners not Saints

According to this article the sign of a healthy growing church is sexual immorality and outright heresy.

Maybe he's on to something.

I mean, if every one is "Perfect" (which of course they aren't) then what's salvation and repentance for?

Maybe we need more Heretics and Sexually Immoral people in the Church. What think ye??

Why the Charismatic Church is Exploding in Germany

Because the Lutheran Church is Imploding.

Question on Lakeland

I got a question from an old friend Mike who in large part is responsible (guilty) for my living in Chicagoland today.  I don't forget. 
Thanks Mike.
He had a question of my take on the whole situation in Lakeland.  I suspect many of my friends are confused by my take and the take of many of this event and "move of God". 
Since I know that Barry and others wince when I wax eloquently about all this I think it's high time I put it all in perspective at least from my point of view and using all the discernment (which is not the same as  critical spirit) and prophetic insight I can release.
Todd Bentley and the Lakeland revival is a precursor to what God wants to do.  It is a breaker.  It is breaking off, breaking in and breaking thru the religious infrastructure of the land.  God never modifies he always recreates.  When you were born again you were not modified, you became a new creation.  Some people live like they are modified.  That's not God's best. So for God to do what he wants to do he does it by a break out.
This has been true thru history.  God breaks out, the church is rattled, skeptics rail, church police try to arrest the activity, denouncement takes place.  But in the end God breaks out of the box the Church tried to put Him in. 
It started with Luther:


God can do whatever He wants, but will always honor the faith of His people. He is fascinated when He discovers a human being responding and living outside of their present limitations - limitations that are dictated by fear, sin, doubt, etc. He is searching for people like this because when He finds them, it gives Him an opportunity to MOVE; Move against or move for. IMAGINE THAT!

When God wanted to move against the religious system that had controlled the European people in the 16th century, He found a German monk by the name of Martin Luther, who had rebelled against the lies of the church of that time. The church had taught the people that it was only by their penance and good works that they would attain salvation. Martin Luther challenged the authority of the papacy by holding that the Bible is the only infallible source of religious authority, and that baptized Christians under Jesus are a spiritual priesthood.

He argued in his book, The Sermon on Good Works, "that good works do not benefit the soul; only faith can do that." His belief that salvation was a free gift of God, received only by true repentance and faith in Jesus as the Messiah, resulted in his being declared an outlaw of the state and being excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.

God found someone who was prepared to lay down his life for this truth, and due to this passion and faith, Martin Luther created an opportunity for God to free the people from the grip of religious control, making the Bible more accessible to ordinary people. At that time, the ordinary people could not read the Bible, as it was not in their language.

Due to this "opportunity" created by Luther, there was a furtherance of a standard version of the German language, an addition of several principles to the art of translation, and his act influenced the translation of the English King James Bible. Hymns inspired the development of congregational singing within Christianity. His marriage to Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage within Protestantism.

Imagine all of this happening because someone defied the control and limitations of that time, and believed that God would honor his courage and acts of faith and show up! He affected the future. Luther saw himself as returning Christianity to its roots. He believed that he was setting the clock back. In reality, his ideas irreparably changed the world and pushed it kicking and screaming, not into some ideal past, but into the modern future. God was fascinated once again. (from Kim Clement's most recent newsletter)

In other words he broke out of the box.
This has been true in my lifetime 4 times.  I remember Oral Roberts in the 50's.  I was only 8 or 9 but I remember it.  We ridiculed it in the Lutheran Church, a practice I'm not sure I have been forgiven for yet.  I repent of it -often.  We called them Holy Rollers, they had a church on our block.  We made fun of them.  What blindness we exhibited.
After the healing revival quieted down and became part of the traditional, the church believed more in healing like it had not before.  People didn't forget.  God had broken out and changed the face of Christianity.
In the 70s the Jesus People Movement took place.  I came from the end of that.  It changed worship from Hymns to Choruses.  Preaching changed from dry sermonizing to living Christianity practicality.  Even the traditional churches were changed or they emptied out.  IT was railed against by the same demons of religion.  I remember the song, Jesus is Just alright with me, Spirit in the Sky.  I wasn't saved but those silly songs spoke to me.  Even Superstar stirred me. Pop.  Stupid but it was getting the religion out of Christians.  God broke out.  Long haired hippy freaks for Jesus.  The face of Christianity changed once again. 
That quieted down and Christianity became an industry.  Churches grew but not MEGA (yet).  We belonged to a big church.  NOT YET Mega.  Then the crisis in the late 80's we all lived thru.  Scandal in the Church.  Ministries fell.  Ministry got a bad name.  Churches were shaken up.  We all retreated for a while.  God wasn't happy with what it had all become but wasn't satisfied leaving her in that shape.  Rumblings were rumbling.
There was the prophecy of June 9, 1994.  God was about to change everything and reveal his glory.  That was spoken by a prophet no one remembers.  It's only record is by a few heresy hunters who point to it as false prophesy.  That's the link above.  I didn't see it that way.  Whatever prophetic discernment I had at that time was stirred up.  I had met Rodney Howard Browne shortly after he came to the USA.  That was right after the scandals in the Church.  I knew something was up.  I started anticipating what God was doing.  The June 9th prophecy began to weigh on me.  June 9th came and went without any discernable event.  Yet a year later nothing was the same in the church.  The Toronto Outpouring was in full flow and Pensacola Brownsville began.  It caused havoc and offended almost everybody.  Manifestations, music that no one had heard before, messiness, and worse messages from people without seminary degrees.  It rattled the church.  People lined up on both sides.  As John Wimber has said, 'God will offend the mind to reveal the heart.'"
People went by the millions, it was transferable.  Many took back to their churches what was happening.   From that time till now the music and worship in most churches is reflective of what happened in Those two revival outpourings.  God changed everything.  Brand new. 
I was at a wedding last weekend and we sang a song from Brownsville as one of the wedding songs.   Turn on our very traditional WMBI Christian radio station and most of the songs they play even today come from people at that time.  I had a worship leader say to me at that time that all songs coming out of that revival and the spirit of worship that is coming from that will change the face of the church. That these songs will be sung in worship in the Episcopal churches of America in 10 years.  It's 10 years and it's all true.  Oh sure, there are a few hangers on, but they will die off or die out soon.  God changed everything and revealed his glory starting on June 9, 1994. 
Brownsville is gone.  Toronto is occasional.  But the changes those two outpourings had still affects the church.  The rise of the Mega Church embracing some of those elements is an outgrowth of all that.  But that too is not God's best.
NOW, Todd Bentley goes to Ignited Church.  Carl Straders Son Steve is Pastor.  Carl Strader had tried to ride this wave but things had moved on.  Even Rodney Howard Browne had said, "Where's mine Lord"?  It seemed like the whole thing had past him by.  Revival will divide and even destroy a church if it doesn't understand it all.  Most don't understand and are destroyed.  Look at Brownsville for a textbook case.  Look at Strader One. 
If you are in the Church Building business you don't want revival.  It's divisive.  If you are in the Kingdom Building business you hunger for it.  That's where I am. 
Todd goes to Ignited Church for one meeting.  Things break out.  It messes up his whole planned out life.  I didn't know much about Bentley. I had read some things he had written, not books, pronouncements.  I sensed the power of God in them.  I had never seen him live except once or twice on God TV before.  So my interest in him was no more or less than anyone else.  In fact before the Lakeland events the I watched on God TV with dedication was Rodney Howard Browne.  I liked his evangelism traveling school outreach.  Going to Churches to teach people how to be evangelists. 
Then Lakeland broke out.  We began watching almost from the beginning on and off.  I saw all the flaws, tattoos, weirdness, radicalness and everything every heresy hunter sees.  But I saw something else.  I saw people needing a touch from God getting it.  People needing healing receiving.  I saw unity (initially).  I saw religious demons screaming.  If you google Todd Bentley you will get a full load of religious demons screaming.
People all have opinions.  Opinions are like noses, everyone has one.  I read them but I depend more on what I have seen and heard.  That's what Jesus told John the Baptists.  What do you see and hear?  I don't depend on the some says of the world.  Jesus asked his disciples "who do people say that I am? "  They answered, some say you are Elijah returned, some say Jeremiah, some say John the Baptist resurrected, some say a great prophet. 

They had read all the google spam on Jesus.  The some says. 
Then he asked them, Who do YOU say that I am.  And Peter gets it right.  YOU ARE THE CHRIST. 
The crowd, the religious police (Pharisees), the traditions, the reporters, the experts, the heresy hunters of his day were wrong about Jesus.
Todd Bentley isn't Jesus.  In fact, I'll go out on a limb here.  This is going to die out. There's something more coming. Something bigger.  Something even less palatable to religious folks.  God is breaking out again.
I appreciate Todd's willingness to be used.  I suspect he will struggle with what is next.  The past revivalists always struggle with the new.  Every past revival criticizes the new revival. 
Is this of God?  Of course it is.  Does it Glorify Jesus?  Yes.  In spades.  Is one man leading is and is he weird?  Yep.  Like John the Baptist.   
This is the beginning of the Beginning. 
Oh, and one other thing, most of the critics of the Revival haven't actually seen (at length) the revival or been there.  They are operating on Hearsay, (somesay).  What people aren't up on they are down on. 
I suggest to people.  Spend a few hours and discover if in fact this is real.  Otherwise keep quiet about it.  Gamaliel the Elder is right. 
So, tonight once again as I did last night I will engage myself and watch the Glory of God poured out.  It is precious but it is transient.  God is up to something and he is going to mess with us to do it. 
I know where I want to be when it all comes down. This looks very much like a dream of revival God gave me 12 years ago.
It's radical, fresh, weird and wonderful.  Peculiar. 
Isn't that Just Like GOD?
Isn't that what he called us to be?

Monday, June 16, 2008


Returned late last night from Iowa and Nebraska.  A few impressions.
Lots of water. Went thru Ottumwa which is downriver from Des Moines.  They are sandbagged and bracing for the worst.  It's not good.  If the river goes up a couple feet they are all underwater.
Same in Burlington on the Mississippi.  If the water breaks thru there will be no downtown.
And the flooded fields.  Lost of lost corn.  Huge expanses of things not even planted.  Too wet I guess.
Good time to be in the Soybean Seed Business.  You can plant beans till the fourth of July.  This year that may be normal.  Lots of subsoil moisture. HA.
We were at a wedding.  It was nice.  But I went to a ball game.   In Nebraska when they sing "Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks" at the 7th inn stretch, it's Russian peanuts they are talking about.  Sunflower seeds.  My mouth is still sore.
Girls softball is something.  Funny to hear field chatter, "Go Amy, strike her out Christy, Come on Sarah, Swing Tammy".  Seems a little strange.
I did think that the emphasis on softball and baseball is a bit over the top.  I think that those girls would miss their mothers funeral because they have to pitch a game.  Balance people.  Balance.  It's only a game.  Life happens more than between innings. 
The stories of the flooding in Iowa in the paper were marred by the accounts of looting of the Wal-Mart stores, People pushing large screen TV's they had just stolen down the street in a floating container they stole. 
People complaining about the treatment they were getting from George Bush.  Heck he didn't even send Brownie.  All those Iowans who wouldn't evacuate stranded on their rooftops needing rescue. 
Wait, wrong story.  Oh, yea, this is Iowa not Louisiana.  I'm so impressed with them.
It's always interesting to see relatives cleaned up that normally don't wear suits.  They clean up real good.  That's all I'll say about that (Russ).
Gasoline is cheap (relatively) and potent in Iowa and Nebraska.  I paid between 3.77 and 3.85 everywhere. 
I also bought only non ethanol gasoline.  My gas mileage in chicagoland with the phony fuel they sell us is barely ever much above 27 MPG.  On the road yesterday using the more pure gasoline and refining mixes we don't use in IL we got 34 MPG.  The Buick capable of this easily. Which I don't get.  Why are we messing with Hybrids when Gasoline autos easily get 30MPG?  And, using the badly refined mixes got almost 20% worse mileage and we pay more in IL.  I don't get it.  Yes I do, that makes it worse.
Sunday Morning we went to King of King's Lutheran Church in Omaha.  I think it might be either the largest Church in the LCMS Denomination or one of the largest.  I'm not sure. 
It was a precious service.  Music, a prophetic word, preaching, an altar call to which perhaps 80 men responded and knelt a the front.  Moved me greatly.  Passion and freedom.
I have seen the future of the LCMS and it looks like this church.  If the LCMS doesn't take this route it will die.  Those churches that embrace this model will prosper and eventually split the LCMS unless the confessionals die out first. 
I know what side of that equation I'm on. 
By the way one song we sang I had not heard for a long time was a Matt Redman Song.  You Never Let Go.  They have a new worship leader.  An Aussie.  Very sensitive.  They really milked the song for all the emotion it has.  I was impressed and moved.
We sat with Barry and Nancy Kolb who happened to be in town for the world series.  It was good to see them but they haven't been away that long such that they seemed like long lost friends.  Just friends away for a bit.
A year from now it will be different.
It was still good to see them.  Enjoy the Games Barry.