Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This is satire

Warning: If you are a reader of The New Yorker, a member of the mainstream media or the Obama campaign (roughly the same thing), or are not very bright, the following video clip is satire of a non-political nature. For the rest of you, enjoy, chuckle and let it challenge you.

Share some thoughts if it prompts any. I've loved Donald Miller's books, and wouldn't mind hearing him speak.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Help is still needed

I realize that the media has gone into "All Obama, All the Time" mode as the Democratic nominee goes on his world tour, but there is still a great need for help in Iowa from the flooding last month.

If you are part of a church, your denomination probably has a system for you to contribute through. If not, the American Red Cross and Salvation Army have opportunities.

Here is a clip from the Church of the Nazarene about the human impact of the flooding.

Thoughts in my mailbox today

I subscribe to Soul Care, a free daily email from the Church of the Nazarene Office of Clergy Development. Each day I receive an email with a scripture, Wisdom from Fellow Pilgrims, and a prayer.

Here is what I received today:

Be Encouraged by God’s Word

May all the gifts and benefits that come from God our Father, and the Master, Jesus Christ, be yours.

— 1 Corinthians 1:3, MSG

Wisdom from Fellow Pilgrims

Tomorrow God isn't going to ask
What did you dream?
What did you think?
What did you plan?
What did you preach?
He's going to ask What did you do?

— Michel Quoist

Pray Together with Us

Father God,
Help me discover
ministries in interruptions
patience in frustrations
trust in uncertainties
Your presence in loneliness.

— Neil B. Wiseman

I was challenged by the "What did you do?" section first. What have I done? I think that is always a good introspective question to ask. It's often sobering, but worthwhile.

Patience in frustrations is an area of grace the Lord is working on with me. I'm not a patient man, but God is moving there, despite me.

I just thought you might benefit from seeing those

Monday, July 21, 2008

I need deliverance

Pray for me please. I am in the throes of a terribly abusive relationship, and I do not know how to end it. I've tried, trust me, I have tried, but I can't break free of this. Please pray for me.

Who is my abuser, you ask?

The Detroit Lions.

I can't stop watching them. I'm reading preseason stories even before training camp begins. In my lifetime, the Lions have been a horrendous team. The one year they won their only playoff game since Mr. Ford bought the team in 1963, I was in South Dakota. They have been an unending source of disappointment and heartache, punctuated by moments of competence and hope, only to be dashed on the rocks of reality. Even the great Barry Sanders and coach Bobby Ross quit because they couldn't handle the losing. Yet I continue to give them my attention and affection, and they give me bupkus in return.

Watch the clip below to see a synopsis of their recent futility.

To quote Brokeback Mountain: "I wish I knew how to quit you."

Pray for me please. I'm tempted to get rid of my television, but then I'd just listen on the radio.

Our Theology of Creation Care

The care of the environment has become a front-burner public issue the last few years with all of the Global Warming hoopla, oil prices rising, hurricanes and other events that seem to grasp the attention of the public and those folks in Washington, D.C.

This article has an interesting take on Creation Care from an evangelical viewpoint. I'll try to address it more completely later, but I wanted to throw it out there for you to chew on.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's in my neighborhood as well

If you thought Michael Vick's arrest and conviction brought this issue to a halt, you were sadly mistaken. Just yesterday the Wayne County (Michigan) Sheriff's Department raided a dog fighting ring and netted $27,000 while arresting 53 individuals. I still don't get the appeal of dog fighting, but I know it exists in my neighborhood.

Here is another story from last week in Ypsilanti, which is just a little north and west of where I live.

I know there is a lot of injustice in the world, but this is so unnecessary. To think that we would watch animals destroy each other for our gambling amusement. It's hard to think charitable things about the people who do this. Yet we are called by God to pray for them. Join me in that please.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I feel her pain

Read this story and shake your head. The government and the Red Cross seem a wee bit overprotective here. Like this lady, I had a false positive test for something and after repeated tests by my doctor and 14 years of time passing, I am still permanently barred from donating blood.

It seems that they would have some sort of process that would allow me back into the system when repeated tests indicate that I have never had the disease in question. But that isn't how bureaucracies work I guess.

I hope no one dies because of a shortage of blood donors. Because the error-plagued system we have is sidelining people.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What on earth?

It isn't often that I am speechless, but watching this left my jaw hanging open. I cannot even imagine an entire television show of this. Here is a link to some info about this guy.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

It seems like everyone is trying this now

One of the great goofy news stories of the 1980s has now become an annual feat it seems. A guy just flew from Oregon to Idaho in his home-made aircraft. It looks like fun, but I can't imagine spending $6000 on helium.

To each their own I suppose.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

When is your October 19?

Do you know why October 19 is such a special day? I'll get to that in a moment. We just finished the annual July 4 celebration here in the United States. July 4 is called "Independence Day" because it is the day in 1776 when the rebel colonists declared their independence from England, and thus began the Revolutionary War.

But freedom didn't come that day. It came on October 19, 1781, when the British surrendered to General Washington and the French forces allied with him at Yorktown, Virginia. That was the day that freedom came to the land.

Nearly 2000 years ago Jesus declared your independence from the tyranny of sin and death when he was crucified, died and was resurrected. But with that day you need an October 19 as well. Christ died so that you might have eternal life, but you have to accept that and end the war with God within your soul. That is your October 19. Take a minute in the post-fireworks glow to remember that day when you surrendered to your God and ended the war within your soul. That is the second leg of your spiritual Independence Day. The day that you broke free from bondage to sin and entered a life of Freedom in Christ. Remember it, thank God for it, and then live a life worthy of it. As the video below shows, the price of your freedom was incalculable.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Happy Independence Day

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.