Friday, May 30, 2008

A Little Late For Memorial Day

The PBS special on Harry S. Truman, our 33rd president, brings home the fact that so much evil has been averted in our world through America's influence. I was thinking about World War II and the Korean War and how much evil Truman confronted in his years in office. It was he who dropped the atomic bomb.

Ben, Hammerswing75, did a cool post of quotes about America's military, and its value to the entire world.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Political Science For Dummies

This comes from my sister in Germany


DEMOCRATIC

You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.
You feel guilty for being successful.
Barbara Streisand sings for you.

REPUBLICAN

You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.
So?

SOCIALIST

You have two cows.
The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

COMMUNIST

You have two cows.
The government seizes both and provides you with milk.
You wait in line for hours to get it.
It is expensive and sour.

CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE

You have two cows.
You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE

You have two cows.
Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pours the milk down the drain.

AMERICAN CORPORATION

You have two cows.
You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one.
You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses.
Your stock goes up.

FRENCH CORPORATION

You have two cows.
You go on strike because you want three cows.
You go to lunch and drink wine.
Life is good.

JAPANESE CORPORATION

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk
They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

GERMAN CORPORATION

You have two cows.
You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

ITALIAN CORPORATION

You have two cows but you don't know where they are.
While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman.
You break for lunch.
Life is good.

RUSSIAN CORPORATION

You have two cows.
You have some vodka.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You have some more vodka.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

TALIBAN CORPORATION

You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two.
You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts.
You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find alternatives to milk production but us e the money to buy weapons.

IRAQI CORPORATION

You have two cows.
They go into hiding.
They send radio tapes of their mooing.

POLISH CORPORATION

You have two bulls.
Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

BELGIAN CORPORATION

You have one cow.
The cow is schizophrenic.
Sometimes the cow thinks he's French, other times he's Flemish.
The Flemish cow won't share with the French cow.
The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow's milk.
The cow asks permission to be cut in half.
The cow dies happy.

FLORIDA CORPORATION

You have a black cow and a brown cow.
Everyone votes for the best looking one.
Some of the people who actually like the brown one best accidentally vote for the black one.
Some people vote for both.
Some people vote for neither.
Some people can't figure out how to vote at all.
Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which one you think is the best-looking cow.

CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

You have millions of cows.
They make real California cheese.
Only five speak English.
Most are illegals.
Arnold likes the ones with the big udders.

How Great Is Our God - Chris Tomlin

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Taking The Sin Out Of Sex

A sermon on sex by pastor Greg Boyd of Woodland Hills Church in Maplewood, Minnesota (suburb of St. Paul.) This is excellent and I was surprised to learn that it's from July of 1995. It's timeless.

A Prayer For Global Warming

Dear God, please send us global warming that would at last warm our area. We have had nothing but the chills for longer than half a year now. We have heard of global warming, as there is this guy named Al who made a movie about it, but we don't know what it is. It sounds wonderful and we would like to have it.

Thank you Lord. As always, not our will, but yours be done. Amen.

(I know, you thought it was going to be a prayer against global warming.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Grace-Free Church!


My parents belong to a small denomination called Association of Free-Lutheran congregations. Now, they aren't all that free. They still insist on wearing formal attire in the church service, a suit for the pastor, and it's sort of assumed that you don't wear jeans unless you're really young. I'm not supposed to be wearing jeans. Achhhhhhhh! That's the sound of being strangled.

They still sing hymns out of a hymnal, along with some contemporary songs, but it's pretty shut down, or buttoned up.

The name of their church? Grace Free Lutheran Church. Since it's in the Free-Lutheran denomination, they have to put the 'free' in there, so the grace is followed by the free, producing "grace-free." Can you imagine that? A church that is unabashedly calling themselves a grace-free church, like saying something is fat-free, or sugar-free. They have another church in their denomination called Faith Free Lutheran Church.

I tell you - ignorance gone to seed. It's frustrating. A church that holds back on allowing the power of the Holy Spirit. Nice people, but they are afraid of the workings of the Holy Spirit, and then they have such a silly name.

Our Two Biggest Sins

I couldn't find the biblical passage, but it says that the Israelites were criticized for not serving God with joyfulness of heart - that was their downfall.

America's biggest downfall is breaking the first two commandments: not loving God with all our hearts, and having other gods before God.

It's just so easy when you get a hold of the fact that God is everything you need, and you just seek Him as the source of your supply. But so many do not passionately pursue God, and let other things take His place.

A huge problem I have found is that when I have hungered and thirsted passionately for God, it was so hard to get enough of God to satisfy me, because I went to places where there were other people hungry for God, but then I would have to go back home, where people were still lukewarm and ambivalent towards God, and it was hard to inspire them to join in the fervor and passion that I had.

And, back home, I couldn't continue to feed and satisfy the hunger and thirst that I had. So, I ended up just sort of putting my hunger and thirst on hold, so to speak. I know it's still there but I don't follow it or let it rule me, yet I wonder if I should listen to it more.

Man, people. I think this will be our American legacy, if we lose our precious country - that we didn't love God with all our hearts!

1 And God spoke all these words, saying:
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. - Exodus 20: 1-6

But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dan Nainan - Thou Shalt Laugh 2


I so enjoyed this guy. Just bought this DVD recently. It's a collaboration of Christian comedians just doing jokes, as you'll see when watching this video. It's not about the faith, it's just about "stuff." Over at Stuff Christians Like, there is talk about being offended at the idea of having a label of being a Christian comedian, instead of just being a funny and clean comedian, but I think it's important to "come out" about your faith and make it known, and also it's helpful to know that because of faith in Christ, certain things will be avoided in the material. That means your soul will not be getting dumped on with junk that you desire to avoid.

Last night I watched part of Saturday Nite Live. Ashton Kutcher was a guest and he was doing a sketch in which he was singing with these guys and talking about how he was actually a woman and had a vagina. Not funny and not enjoyable. Then he did a sketch where he was dressed up as a chocolate bar and he stabbed a man, and it was called "death by chocolate," but it wasn't funny, and it was unpleasant watching the stabbing.

I once heard that you are funnier as a comedian when you are forced to stay within certain boundaries, value boundaries. And it's true. "Thou Shalt Laugh", Brian Regan who I heard is a Christian, and Tim Walker are loads funnier than anything I've seen on Saturday Nite Live where they are "free" to do offensive material.

That's why it seems important to me to be able to say that an album is a collection of Christians doing material such as "Thou Shalt Laugh," because it means that people are operating within boundaries that are agreed upon, and thus we don't have to have our souls dumped on, and also, what we are going to see and hear is also going to be funnier.

Brian Regan - Air Travel Experience


I found out about Regan on the blog Stuff Christians Like, on his post Christian Comedians.

Brian Regan - UPS

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tim Hawkins - My Favorite Bible Verse

Tim Hawkins on Products

Scott Bonnell and Most High Ministries

Scott is a blogger who came on my blog a while back. He is a Web friend who has been a total blessing. He lives in Tallahassee Florida and is involved in Most High Ministries, a ministry to Haiti. He reported a short while ago that Haitians were eating dirt because they were deprived of food due to poverty and political issues that kept food from the people. Thanks to his ministry, schools are being established for some of the children and food is getting to some of the people.

Tim Hawkins - Hedge of Protection


Tim Hawkins is one funny Christian comedian. This is one of my favorites. Watch him show how the devil walks!

A special thanks to guitarman for introducing me to Hawkins!

Friday, May 16, 2008

China's Death Toll Unfathomable

Saying that the death toll from the recent earthquake could reach 50,000 is beyond comprehension. Do we have anything in America that comes close to paralleling that? How would we respond? Saying that over 100,000 are injured is also unfathomable. Nature can be cruel.

I don't think you can attribute this to global warming, but it does seem to be a firm reminder that we're in the last days.

Tribute To My Dad

This was written a while ago when we almost lost my dad. It mentions a "bottomless void." It's been a long time since I've felt a bottomless void which suggests that there has been progress!


I saw in your triumphant expression one of the first days we were in my new little house. It said, “We did it. We made it. YOU made it.” I saw and felt something of that again, when you bought me a whole car - lots more than you’d ever spent, trusting me to take care of it after so many woes and losses in the car area. I felt again the soothing comfort of knowing that my father cares for me. And there it is in those times, those crossroads.

But I shy away from expressing how much you mean to me, for fear of the times when all that goodness fades away in those many everyday firing lines when you lose your temper again and become abusive. I have learned to realize that you don’t understand or know what causes this, and I have forgiven you.

I only now think again of how the love is there, like it says in the New Testament, “seen only in a glass darkly, but then, face to face.” I wish that we could see love so much more completely NOW, instead of beyond here. But I know that some cannot reach as far as the God of grace has given me the grace to reach, to know the unfathomable love of OUR father. I know that you may not be able to reach that far, dear father, in this life. Yet I am so happy that these moments occur when it is possible for me to actually perceive what it feels like to be a girl loved by her father.

And so I am thankful to my heavenly father, whom I hope you will understand has undertaken in your place in many ways, to fill the incredible bottomless void that was my lot in life to bear, and to teach me what a father’s love is. What I find so amazing is that He has led me to see that my earthly father actually shares some of His eternal qualities.

So I AM blessed, after all, who once was cursed, so I thought, to think now of the many times you have given unselfishly to me as only a father can.

I will always remember the visit to Hutchinson when I had “lost my mind” and you came to the police station where they had brought me, and I felt safe when you got there. Then you put me up in a local hotel because I insisted that I stay away from the big city for that night because it was “too evil” to go back to. You took care of my car which broke down.

And then you drove out in the morning to meet me again and have breakfast with me and it was like being in heaven. My dark fantasy turned into a bright child’s fantasy.

And I remember as a teenager, the shoes with the fringe like moccasins that we couldn’t really afford, but that’s one of the things that fathers do is buy things they can’t afford for their kids. I remember the endless budgeting and buying large quantities for the family and that you even did most of the grocery shopping. I remember always finding a way for us to do things that richer people did. Somehow we got to do them in spite of our humble means.

I remember strong hands on the wheel of the car as you navigated so securely on every family trip, so we could see America. WE SAW AMERICA. That’s why we learned to love it. I remember that when a black architect came to show the plans for the new church how I realized that you didn’t think of “them” as inferior at all.

I remember chocolate and ice cream were such an important part of your life. Mine too!

I remember bible camp was a place we got to feel what God was like, and you were helping to make that place come alive for everyone there.

I remember that I couldn’t do anything to erase the pain or change anything in your life that wasn’t right. But I think I learned to love men the way they really are, instead of how we girls wish they could be.

I will always remember and hold dear seeing the gentle, vulnerable spirit inside a man who had to go to war when it was the second time the entire world was at war! Fortunately you didn’t have to fight, because you are a sensitive man.

I saw that gentle spirit when your cat, Tish, died and you cried.

I saw that gentle spirit when you picked movies out of my collection that you most wanted to see, and they were “chick” flicks starring women who are not lusty floozies but sweet, innocent women that I admire. You picked this sweet movie that I would have missed, made in the 80’s that is a tribute to the great character studies that have been done in the 80’s about authentic love between a man and a woman.

I don’t think I can ever convey love to you, because I don’t know if you’ll ever sufficiently forgive yourself. Nevertheless, I DO know that I will see you where all things will be revealed and come to light, and your pain will be gone, never to return.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bruce Almighty - 2003


When I led middle school Sunday School, we used movies to illustrate biblical lessons. This movie would have been a good one. I never "got" it until I watched it again, because I can be really slow. I initially was offended by the fact that he was living with his girlfriend and she was just waiting for him to propose to her, not realizing this was part of the very intelligent plot.

Bruce is selfish. The fact that he is living with his girlfriend and doesn't propose is really a part of his selfishness. When he changes and learns at the end of the film, he does make Grace his wife.

There are so many great biblical lessons. I already mentioned one. God picks a man who complains about his life, which is actually pretty good, to show him that it is actually good and make him grateful. God gives him unlimited power, makes him God over a limited area of the world for a season, and lets him wreak havoc. When he realizes that all he does is cause destruction, and when he realizes that he can't win the love of the woman he loves, he finally yields to the will of God.

God says that even with all His unlimited power, He can't interfere with man's free will, and He can't make man love Him. Interesting contrast made is that Bruce was able to incite passion in his girlfriend Grace but he wasn't able to force her to love him.

God says to Bruce that things he did while endowed with God's power were just magic, while there are things that people do that are real miracles. The single mother who works two jobs just to keep things together, and the teen who resists drugs to get an education, those are miracles. He says that we should be the miracle. The only problem with this is goes back to man being God again. It's about man doing the miracles. The emphasis needs to be on God the miracle worker and our faith in Him. People see the miracles described taking place in their lives because of putting their faith in God.

Jesus turning water to wine could be called magic too, but in fact it is an important thing Jesus did to build our faith in a loving God. Bruce could have used his limitless power for limitless good if he was a righteous as Jesus. But he wasn't and that's why God wouldn't endow him with all that power.

It's after this talk with God that Bruce chooses to let go of his God-power and live within the limits of a man. Even while he still has God's power, he chooses to start living within the limits of a man, and then he breaks down and asks God to take away his powers.

Carrey is great as usual in this film, with plenty of great camera angles on his face that crack me up.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Everlasting God by Chris Tomlin


This is a the big worship hit in churches right now. It's running through my head.

Tears For My Father

I'm reading Acts 2:9 "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia," as part of the morning devotions, to my father, who can't read anymore in his disability. "Capp-a-do-cia!" he says impatiently, correcting me on my pronunciation.

I think, "wow, he knows the bible so well that even while his memory is so bad he can't remember what day it is, he remembers that. Yet, in all this, he never grasped the love of God."

I look at him from the basement stairs that look up to his kitchen chair where he has his breakfast and watch him stare into space, wondering what he is thinking. He seems to be in despair. I walk by the toast he left when his breakfast is done, and think about the despair that is written all over that toast.

Why God? Why didn't he ever get it? It doesn't seem like he ever will. It doesn't seem like anyone can show him the truth of God's love. He heads for the grave with that despair.

May he find God's love, at last, on the other side.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Someone who believes in being free

I stumbled across a new blogger who has over 13,000 profile views on his site and has 3 blogs. He writes thoughtful, insightful posts and wrote one on Finding Purpose that says that our purpose is to be free. Now, I thought that was appropriate for my blog!

McCain Vows To Replace Secret Service With His Own Bare Fists


McCain Vows To Replace Secret Service With His Own Bare Fists

Friday, May 9, 2008

Goodbye Chocolate?



How do you retrain yourself on your eating habits? My doctor scared me that my blood sugar level recently shows that I am at risk for diabetes. I am going to the Healing Center for prayer for prevention of this disease and for strength to begin to change my eating habits.

We don't have diabetes in our family. My aunt developed it later in life because of overweight and didn't inherit it. She warded it off with diet and not insulin.

I had a bad metabolism change after my change of life. It seems that about 30 pounds just want to stay on me in spite of exercise and moderate eating habits where I don't overindulge. It seems that I am not metabolizing sugar and fat like I used to. Could this be causing a problem?

My doctor said that it's not real serious. The normal range for a blood sugar level is up to 100 and my level was 104. I'm taking a psychotropic drug that causes the sugar level to go up and it could be the drug. I need full healing of manic-depression so I don't need the drug.

But regardless, sugar is a poison. Our consumption of sugar is a problem in our culture and leads to disease. It wouldn't hurt to cut it out.

How do you say goodbye to chocolate? How do you begin to rid yourself of sweets and lower your carbs? It's so extreme. I love to eat pancake breakfasts with bacon. I love original Dove chocolate bars. I think I use food as a way to cope with life and maybe it's a crutch.

Will Our Pets Get Raptured?

Probably no one else thinks about this, but what is supposed to happen to my beloved animal when I go to heaven? I don't want him to be here during the tribulation while I am gone. I also don't want my other animals that are no longer with me that live with other people to stay here during the tribulation. I don't know about you, but I pray for them, that they be taken up with me and go to heaven too.

See, I know God knows who He wants to take home with him as far as people are concerned. It is going to be hard enough up until the rapture, living on earth, and all those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. If you haven't called on the name of the Lord by then, you are not very easy to save, so God will not be taking you home when He takes up His own. That doesn't mean you won't be saved, it just means that it will take going through the tribulation to save you.

Anyway, this was supposed to be about the animals. Animals don't deserve to go through the tribulation. I just pray for them that they might be spared.

Dare We Pray About Gas Prices?

A friend sent me a story about a guy who believes it is possible to challenge the price of gas with prayer. I thought about this the other day when I went to my old church - a funky, small, charismatic church headed by two women who believe very strongly in the power of prayer. The were holding a Saturday morning women's breakfast, and they began with an all-church prayer session. One of the prayers on their agenda was bringing down the price of gas. One of the two women pastors is so funny, because she really prays in a matter of fact way, with a child-like faith, totally believing in what she is asking for.

As she prayed I thought, "can we believe for this, or are we going to have to suffer the high price of gas, and watch it keep soaring, and hang on until the rapture?"

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Traveling Around America

Beware: This can make you restless and unhappy with your life.

I deleted the post written before on this. It was making me restless and unhappy. I cannot deny that it was a happy time, traveling around my beloved country, camping out in beautiful places, enjoying the mountains, swimming in the rivers, whitewater rafting, bathing in hot springs - enjoying nature, communing with God.

It was a time of looking for people who were hungry for God - and in Montana I hit pay dirt. I found an alive church in Missoula, and in Miles City there was a great church whose pastor met me one Sunday morning in a grocery store coffee shop and invited me to church. I met a great couple in Bozeman who had been involved with a group that was connected to the Toronto church. They invited me to stay in their home, and then to stay at their cabins in Yellowstone in exchange for some work on their property.

I also happened to find a decent Vineyard church in Denver.

The only problem is that I ended up losing my mental health as I continued on this path. I didn't stick with practicing the presence of God, pursuing God in quiet time as well as seeking peaceful places. I also ran out of money. Thus, I am living the conservative life, back in my hometown, being forced to work a regular job again. It was wonderful being able to be out in nature, camping out for two months in Montana's mountains.

It was a pretty simple life, not having much technology while traveling, just meeting people everywhere, traveling with my two cats, setting up a tent night after night.

But it takes money. It is a lifestyle that requires having a lot of financial ability, and if it were possible to do it again I guess I would.

For now I am sort of trapped because my parents need me, but I guess that's a good thing. It's good to be needed.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Muslims at Michigan State University

From: Lighthouse Patriot Journal blog.
Hooray for Michigan State University (The Spartans) and Professor Wichman!!!
Well, what do we have here. Looks like a small case of some people being able to dish it out, but not take it. Let’s start at the top.

The story begins at Michigan State University with a mechanical engineering professor named Indrek Wichman.

Wichman sent an e-mail to the Muslim Student’s Association. The e-mail was in response to the students’ protest of the Danish cartoons that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist. The group had complained the cartoons were “hate speech.”

Enter Professor Wichman. In his e-mail, he said the following:


Dear Moslem Association:

As a professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MSU I intend to protest your protest. I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders, murders of Catholic priests (the latest in Turkey!), burnings of Christian churches, the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims, the rapes of Scandinavian girls and women (called “whores” in your culture), the murder of film directors in Holland, and the rioting and looting in Paris France.

This is what offends me, a soft-spoken person and academic, and many, many, many of my colleagues. I counsel you dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceeded with your infantile “protests.” If you do not like the values of the West — see the 1st Amendment — you are free to leave.

I hope for God’s sake that most of you choose that option.

Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans.

Cordially,
I. S. Wichman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering



Well! As you can imagine, the Muslim group at the university didn’t like this too well. They’re demanding Wichman be reprimanded and mandatory diversity training for faculty and a seminar on hate and discrimination for freshman.

How nice. But now the Michigan chapter of CAIR has jumped into the fray. CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, apparently doesn’t believe that the good professor had the right to express his opinion.

For its part, the university is standing its ground. They say the e-mail was private, and they don’t intend to publicly condemn his remarks. That will probably change. Wichman says he never intended the e-mail to be made public, and wouldn’t have used the same strong language if he’d known it was going to get out.

How’s the left going to handle this one? If you’re in favor of the freedom of speech, as in the case of Ward Churchill, will the same protections be demanded for Indrek Wichman? I doubt it.

Hey folks, send this to everybody and ask them to do the same and tell them to keep passing it around till the whole country gets it.
We are in a war.

Snopes reporting this story.