Friday, November 30, 2007

Thank you Bob Geldof

For those who do not know, Sir Bob Geldof was a member of the Boomtown Rats who helped organize a UK supergroup called BandAid. Their principal activity was recording the song "Do they know it's Christmas Time?" The record, released in 1984, is my favorite modern Christmas song for several reasons. It's catchy, not sappy, and I loved the second British Invasion of the late 1970's and 1980's. I know I am dating myself here.

What I also love about it is that it spawned the Live Aid movement, which helped turn the world's attention to the famine in Africa. While much of the famine was a government-engineered attempt to starve rebel groups in Ethiopia, it did mark a turn in the Western world's consciousness toward the starvation and other abuses occurring around the world.

The list of artists in the project includes:

  • Bananarama
  • Bob Geldof
  • Culture Club
  • David Bowie
  • Duran Duran
  • Eurythmics
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • Heaven 17
  • Human League
  • Kool and the Gang
  • Midge Urge
  • Paul McCartney
  • Paul Young
  • Phil Collins
  • Spandau Ballet
  • Status Quo
  • Sting
  • The Style Council
  • U2
  • Wham!
Here is a video clip of the song. Enjoy it, and celebrate the fact that, while not all of these people are followers of Christ, they were willing to put their mouths, and money together, to alleviate suffering. It's a start, and one that I love to listen to.

Enjoy the song. And thank God that we don't face starvation in this country.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Please indulge me here

On Wednesday, December 5, I will be locked up to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. If you would like to post some "bail money" for me to get me out of their jail, I would be honored.

MDA serves people in our community with neuromuscular disease by providing clinics, support groups, assistance with the purchase and repair of wheelchairs, braces and communication devices, and summer camp for kids. MDA also funds research grants to help find treatments and cures for some 43 neuromuscular diseases that affect people of all ages, right here in our community.

To donate, just go to my webpage and follow the instructions. You can donate via credit card online, or you can print the form to mail a check. Either way is fine, and I truly appreciate your help.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

God as a management consultant?

It appears that God is now in the human resources business. According to this story, Richard Roberts resigned as president of Oral Roberts University because "God told him to." I can't argue with that, since I wasn't part of their conversation. This might lead one into Open Theism though, since God had earlier told him to stay and fight the lawsuit accusing him of financial mismanagement. Does God change his mind? According to this story, it seems that way.

Go ahead and take your shots

Yeah yeah, whatever.

Some blogs I read

Here are a few that I find helpful as I walk the path of this life.

One Year Bible Blog



Memorize This

There are others, but these are some of my favorites. Check them out if you have time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A world without Bibles?

That is an intriguing premise to a new book published by a West Michigan pastor. I have not read the book, nor do I know the author, but it does hit me where the Lord has been working on me. The premise is that all the Bibles disappear, and all we have of Christianity is what is in our heads. Which sounds scary.

I know the Lord has been pressing me on memorizing scripture. It is a discipline that I have neglected and need to return to. There may come a day when I can no longer read, and, and all I have of scripture is what is locked away in my slightly addled brain.

If any of you have any scripture memorization tips you would like to share, I'm all ears.

This is an interesting site with some scripture memorization helps.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Yesterday in church I was thinking about love for some reason. It may have something to do with watching the newlyweds in front of me sit so closely to each other. I remember that feeling all too well. When you just want to spend every waking moment together and can't bear the thought of being apart. It is such a beautiful thing to behold.

Last night in our small group we were discussing how love is a choice. It is a choice to continue to love even when the giddy feelings are gone. It's a choice to love when you don't feel like it. Our relationship with God is like that as well.

Right now I don't feel giddy. I haven't felt that way for a while. But I choose to continue to do what my God requires of me as an expression of love. I don't always want to, but it isn't about my feelings. I know that He loves me, even when I don't feel it. He loves me when I want to curl up in a corner for a while. He loves me no matter what I do, because He chooses to. And I can do no less. I do not want to be like the church in Revelation 2:4 which was accused of forsaking its first love.

The next time you don't feel love toward someone, remember, love is a choice, not a feeling. It's been helping me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


This year as you stuff your face and watch the Lions lose, spend a moment to reflect on these two things. Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation and an account of the first Thanksgiving by Edward Winslow:

"Inasmuch as we know that nations, like individuals, are subjected to the punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of Civil War that now desolates our land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people.

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.

We have forgotten the gracious hand that preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all of these blessings were provided by some superior wisdom or virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us.

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended power to confess our national sins and pray for clemency and forgiveness."

Winslow's account:

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, Many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

May your Thanksgiving be blessed by good food, good friends, and the love of your family.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Have some Kleenex handy when you watch this

What an amazing story that will make your eyes tear up. You can see the video here. It is one of those "Rudy" type moments that makes you just shake your head in wonder. God bless that coach for giving this kid a chance to play despite his disability. And God bless the kid for going "en fuego" once they gave him the ball.

There is a funny smell in Tulsa

And it isn't coming from livestock.

Read this and shake your head. Richard Roberts seems to be throwing his financial staff under the bus to explain why his statements don't jive with reality. I just have a feeling that this is going to get much uglier.

A Class Act moves on

University of Michigan Head Football Coach Lloyd Carr announced his retirement today. It comes as no surprise, with all the rumors swirling around here. I wanted to thank him for things he did and did not do.

He won Michigan's first national championship in nearly 50 years.

He never had a whiff of scandal around his team.

He never threw a player or coach under the bus. He was loyal, almost to a fault.

He graduated players and made better men out of them.

He didn't go around asking for raises and holding the university hostage, as some (Saban) did.

It was never about him. It was always about the players and the University of Michigan.

He won 75% of his games. By Michigan fan standards, that is not good enough. Ask Notre Dame if they would take that. Or Nebraska.

Thanks Lloyd. The man who succeeds you will have a program in great shape. And some big shoes to fill. I have 2 kids who sing "Hail to the Victors" in part because of your success. And that makes me smile.

Thanks to the Detroit Free Press for the links and photo.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Willow Creek's Shocking Confession

Here is the article. I'll post more on this later But I wanted to throw it out there for discussion. It seems that Bill Hybels, founder of Willow Creek Community Church, one of the leaders of the "seeker-sensitive" church movement, has released a study of their methods that is not very flattering.

There are a couple things to chew on though:

If you simply want a crowd, the “seeker sensitive” model produces results. If you want solid, sincere, mature followers of Christ, it’s a bust. In a shocking confession, Hybels states:

We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between services, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.

Incredibly, the guru of church growth now tells us that people need to be reading their bibles and taking responsibility for their spiritual growth.

Share your thoughts please. It is an amazing thing to read.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

When Dilbert has too much time on his hands

Things like this happen. First, who knows what a Tesla Coil is? Secondly, they make it play the Super Mario theme. Third, they post it on YouTube.

Odds are they have a lot of time to themselves. Just a hunch.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Somehow I knew this would happen

The Prosperity Gospel folks come out.

Jesus Died So We Could Be Rich! Declares Biblical Expert and Best Selling Author

Have you ever felt like you were being sold out?

I'm getting that vibe from the folks in Washington. First, gas and oil prices are setting records, yet some on Congress do not want us to drill for oil in our own country. ANWR and the continental shelf are off limits, yet they hold enormous amounts of oil that we could use and not be sending money to countries that are avowed enemies ours. But Hugo Chavez is helping Cuba drill off the coast of Florida. And China is now drilling off the Florida coast. But U.S firms are not allowed to do that. Go figure.

Secondly, this whole debacle with the Southern Border has me mystified. Our border is overrun, and the politicians seem to not understand that most Americans are not opposed to immigration, but they are opposed to unchecked illegal immigration.

I truly wonder if our representatives in Washington, regardless of party, have our national interest at heart. Or are they trying to curry favor with a bunch of potential new voters.

FYI - the photo is of clothing ditched by illegals as they cross the border.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More fallout from the Senate investigation of the Prosperity Gospel televangelists

My thanks to the Bible Belt Blogger for staying on top of this. Evidently Benny Hinn is feeling threatened by the Senate Finance Committee requests for information about how his ministry spends its money. This whole investigation seems to be driven by reports of lavish lifestyles being fueled by tax-exempt organization funds. While I do not want any more government intrusion into the church than we already have, I also do not want hucksters jeopardizing the status of churches because of their greed.

It seems that all of the ministries being investigated teach some form of the Prosperity Gospel, which teaches that God financially blesses the faithful. The allegation seems to be that these folks have taken that blessing to a new level of opulence. Personally, I think this borders on heresy, and it can be spiritually destructive to those who are not rich or healthy. It would necessarily lead those people to believe that they do not enjoy God's favor, which is a horrible thing to put on a person on his/her deathbed.

In the encouraging signs department, the Assemblies of God church seems to be distancing itself from this doctrine. May God put an end to this soon.

Thanks to this site for the ribbon fish graphic.

One of the favorite dishes in the church

I know this is an area where the Lord is working on me. For more info, go here. I may quibble with their very broad definition of gossip, but the intent is great. I've always viewed gossip as having an intent to damage another. Recounting events without judgment to me is not gossip, but there is a line close to there. I'd like to hear your definition of gossip.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Something to think about

This article dovetails nicely with my upcoming message. Praise God for bringing things across my path that help me do what he is calling me to do.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Veteran's Day

November 11 is the day we celebrate the end of The Great War, now known as World War I. Take a moment at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to honor those who have served their country in the armed forces. Honor their sacrifice, and mourn those who did not return. Lest we forget.

The video clip below recites the poem "In Flanders Fields" that came to commemorate this ghastly war and the entire generations of men that Germany, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Canada and Australia lost. Watch it, it will move you.

Pray for me

On November 18 I will be bringing the message in our local congregation. My topic is Mark 2:1-12 the story of where the friends lower the crippled man through the roof. I'm still struggling with finding the right video clip to illustrate what I am talking about. Here is a link to a previous post that contains the gist of what I intend to talk about. The linked article in the post is key to the idea, so if you have time, please read it as well.

I appreciate any suggestions you may have. I'm just kind of stumped on this one.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I see a bad moon rising

I see trouble on the way.

It appears that the Congress is going to do what the church cannot/will not do to police the lavish life of the prosperity gospel preachers on TV. Senator Charles Grassley has written letters asking for information from six televangelists. Grassley wrote to Randy and Paula White of Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries of Tampa, Fla.; Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church, Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas; David and Joyce Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Mo.; Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas; Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga., and Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries of College Park, Ga.

At least three of these are members of the board of directors at Oral Roberts University, where another financial scandal is brewing.

It is sad that the government is going to have to intervene on this. The cause of Christ will suffer because of the sin of a few greedy individuals. This really chaps me. And it is hard not to be vindictive and wish the wrath of the IRS on these folks.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Now we know why the ancients were spooked

Comets were often seen as portents of doom and messengers from God. If you get a chance, go out and look to the North in the next few weeks. You should get a decent view of Comet 17P/Holmes, which recently increased in brightness by about a million times.

I don't know if the comet has anything to do with the Lions going 6-2, but pigs are flying and comets are appearing. I'll let you be the judge.

It should be fun to look at in the meantime while we wait for the mothership to arrive. :)

The Detroit Lions are 6-2

This is what I saw out my window yesterday.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Thank you Sir! May I have another?

The paddling scene from Animal House comes to mind. While the movie is not virtuous, that scene seems apropos. It seems that the Governor and Legislature, after passing a capricious and poorly-thought-out tax increase, have bent us over the desk and are administering the paddle to us, the taxpayers.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the state budget will increase by $760 million, not decrease by $400 million as promised. It seems that the "cuts" were from next year's projections, not from real spending. It's akin to the 50% off sale at the furniture store. 50% off of an inflated number still leaves a profit. Cuts from an inflated budget projection still lead to more spending, while picking our pockets for more taxes.

Personally I am getting tired of taking the paddling from the politicians. Isn't there an election coming up?

Friday, November 02, 2007

For all of you blog junkies out there

This little piece of news will allow those of you with a Google account (it is free) to receive email updates when comments are posted on this blog, or any other blog for which you have registered.

That way, if you leave a comment, you will know when someone responds to your comment.

Just trying to be helpful on a Friday.

Want to scare the pants off yourself?

Go to this site. It has a map updated every 400 seconds showing terrorism and suspected terrorism information around the world.

I keep reminding myself that God is Sovereign. It seems to help.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Good Old Days

The next time you get wistful for the way things used to be, take a look at this. Flash back to 1977, when I was 10 years old.

Warning - small children should not be allowed to view this. The years of therapy are not worth it.

Scenes from the 1977 J.C. Penney Catalog.

Edit note: Evidently the photos came from this blog. My apologies for not attributing them to the site.