Pocket Full of Mumbles

What's done is done, and this puppy's done. Visit me over at Pearls & Lodestones

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I would rather create than destroy, build up rather than tear down, move rather than sit, love rather than hate, live purposefully rather than meander, write rather than stare at an empty page...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Purpose Driven Charlatan... UPDATED!

...Rick Warren.

Christian leaders to Warren: Keep Obama from pulpit
Argue Democrat senator's support for abortion incompatible with Bible

I'd have more to say if I had more time... or present desire. As it is I'm simply too sickened by what I'm seeing lately.

UPDATE:December 1, 4:25pm -- The following excerpt is from a short article by Brannon Howse at Christian Worldview Network...

Can Butts, Obama, Dybul and Rick Warren Save the World?

Rick Warren’s conference is this coming Friday, December 1st, 2006 at his church. To this day, I don’t have a clue what Pastor Warren thinks can be accomplished by gathering together a group of non-believers that are hostile to Christianity to discuss the world’s problems. Promotion of a social gospel will not save one soul.

Here's more

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Something else is brewing right now, and despite the false belief that a watched pot never boils, I'm choosing to remain true to my inner obstinate me. Sooner or later that kettle's gonna whistle... just not today.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

What does it take to be at peace with death? Who can possibly know but the one who stares into that abyss? Who but the one, having seen but a flickering glimpse of a hint of what might lie beyond that veil, decides there is less to gain from fear than from acceptance? For what can fear honestly teach that might have value to the dying?

Some naturally spend their last moments in abject fear, irrational to a point that might drive such a one into madness, were it not that death soon stamps the words ‘paid in full’ upon his dying breath. It is not finality that men fear, but uncertainty.

For the rest of us, for whom death seems eons distant, death is something to strive against, tooth and nail, in the vain hope of adding another day, another minute, another second of life to a finality that comes whether we desire it or not. Every waking moment is either spent in pursuit of death, or an extension, however fleeting. And if death is that final threshold through which we all must one day pass, in its finality, the finality of death is a disease to be cured.

Exercise is the key—strong heart and lungs will stead you a minimum of ten years, some say. Some believe a diet rich in natural food, untainted by modern process and additive will stead you another ten years. Abstain from tobacco or alcohol and you may add twenty years—but who can honestly say? Because while a judge might extend mercy to the convicted by allowing multiple sentences to run concurrent, the same cannot be said of life extension. Each conviction of choice for which a man strives, is in hope of mercy handed down in consecutive sentences; but no, these sentences too run concurrent.

Search for a cure all you wish but everyone draws a final breath, hears a final 'I love you' —assuming one is so lucky. And everyone sees a last tear slip from the eye of a loved one—assuming one is so lucky. There is no cure for death, though it could rightly be called a disease… a disease fused into the heart of every man at birth, like a blending of metals—copper and tin creating brass, just as innocence and rebellion once created the human condition, and death through sin.

Death is a finality none of us can avoid, for none of us are assured the promise—a personal guaranty—of the sound of the last trump ringing in our ears, and the translation of corruption into incorruption. None of us are promised, but all are asked to hope; to keep our wicks trimmed, and to cease kicking against the pricks.

If ever death had a cure, it is hope. Those who see death with the promise of hope written on their hearts will see life again, for the grave cannot hold them. The Lord of death, having conquered death, has put an end to death. Perhaps that is what the dying see, who have surrendered to hope rather than fear—the slaying of finality upon the altar of God—the cross of Jesus... an end to death, and the beginning of life in earnest.


from 'A Book of Sevens'
by ELAshley

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Preps... Wednesday

Turkey Broth: 1/2 Gallon, Organic

For Southern Style Cornbread Dressing--
      3 Turkey legs
      3 quarts of filtered spring water
      black pepper, sea salt, celery salt, and garlic
      --meat from turkey legs to be shredded
      and added to dressing

Cornbread: from organic meal and eggs

Cranberry Sauce: Whole Berry-- made with Stevia

What's next:

After work tonight, I'll have to cut and saute the vegetables for the dressing, and put together and bake the caserole. This way, the only things that have to go into the oven are the Turkey, Corn Pudding, and the second pie... first one's almost gone!

Speaking of which... I had a huge slice of pie last night for dinner, and was worried all evening about my blood sugar. At 11 last night I tested, and was pleased to see my score was 110! For reference, 80-120 is normal range. So! I intend to enjoy pie.

Did I say I intend to enjoy pie? Oh! and pie.


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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving Preps... Tuesday

Pumpkin Pies: (2) from scratch
(Stevia instead of sugar)

1 was put in the freezer for baking Thursday morning, the other was baked for immediate consumption, and boy howdy! Was that one mighty fine pie. The best thing? Stevia has no glycemic value, which means I can enjoy pie without having to worry about my blood-sugar spiking.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
: (20oz) from scratch

Have to avoid the MSG and other less than desireable additives in the Campbells Soup, so I opted to make my own soup for green bean caserole.

Fresh Green Beans: (2 lbs)

Cut and cooked in preparation for the caserole thursday morning.

Tomorrow morning will be a busy one as well...

And yes, EL can cook. He's spent 15 years in kitchens, under chefs and a-holes, and cooks better than most women he knows... Including Mom. Although! There are a few things she does better than me, but that's just because she won't give me her recipes!

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Faith by Hearing ~ Hearing by the Word of God

Just for fun, since the only people who seem to comment these days are critics and scoffers... How's about a bit o' music?

from Tommy, by The Who

[Father: To All]
Did you ever see the faces of children
They get so excited.
Waking up on christmas morning
Hours before the winter sun's ignited.
They believe in dreams and all they mean
Including heavens generosity.
Peeping round the door
to see what parcels are for free
In curiosity.

And Tommy doesn't know what day it is.
Doesn't know who Jesus was or what praying is.
How can he be saved,
From the eternal grave?

Surrounded by his friends he sits so silently,
And unaware of everything.
Playing poxy pinball
picks his nose and smiles and
Pokes his tongue at everything.
I believe in love
but how can men who've never seen
Light be enlightened?
Only if he's cured
will his spirit's future level ever heighten.

And Tommy doesn't know what day it is.
Doesn't know who Jesus was or what praying is.
How can he be saved,
From the eternal grave?

[Father: To Tommy]
Tommy can you HEAR me?
Tommy can you HEAR me?
Tommy can you hearrr me?

[Father: To All]
How can he be saved?

[Tommy: Inwardly]
See me, feel me
Touch me, heal me.
See me, feel me
Touch me, heal me!

[Father: To Tommy]
Tommy can you HEAR me?
Tommy can you HEAR me?
Tommy can you hearrr me?

[Father: To All]
How can he be saved?

It is true that "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God," and it is impossible to come to God any other way but through Jesus. It is further true that unless the Holy Spirit draws you, you are none of his...

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."

Without the hearing or reading of the Word of God how can the Holy Spirit convict us of sin and make us to believe in our hearts that Jesus is our only hope of salvation? As to what dispensation God bestows upon those without sight, hearing, or speech I do not know. Even speech appears to be a necessity, for,

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

But I DO know that,

"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear..."
"For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

Jesus Himself admits that eyes and hears attuned to His word is what converts and heals.

Time is drawing short, people.

Listening to you,
I get the music.
Gazing at you,
I get the heat.
Following you,
I climb the mountains.
I get excitement at your feet.

Right behind you,
I see the millions.
On you,
I see the glory.
From you,
I get opinions.
From you,
I get the story.

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We Have Entered Into an Age of Charlatans

Continuing a recent theme, the blame for a marginalized Christianity cannot be laid solely at the door of Liberalism. Christianity has become watered-down, luke-warm, and ineffective primarily due to the men behind the pulpits across America. Many preachers today aren't preaching sin and salvation, choosing instead to preach a feel-good prosperity, and a "why-can't-we-all-just-get-along" message. The only thing wrong with that is such messages don't convict anyone of sin, nor do they urge personal repentance... And no souls are saved.

Jeremiah has a lot to say about such preachers and the ultimate result of their message...

Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

--Jeremiah 5:25-31


But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

--Jeremiah 7:23-24


When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place. Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

--Jeremiah 14:12-14


Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness. For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right. For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.

I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;

--Jeremiah 23:9-12, 25-26

There are indeed false prophets among us today-- quite a few of them on television --claiming to be what they are not; charlatans who fatten themselves at the expense of a lean and starving multitude. Jesus said such men have their reward. Beware of false prophets. Do not believe simply because the name of Christ rolls so easily off their tongues, for while tithes belong in the local church, if you choose to give above and beyond what God requires, be careful to whom you give it.

Here's more

On this, Rangel and I agree...

...if not for the same reasons.

"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way"

--Rep Charles Rangel
November 19, 2006

But there are questions in my mind. Is Mr. Rangel so naive as to believe the War on Terror would have confined itself to Afghanistan alone? Especially after President Bush clearly said it wouldn't?

"Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated."

--President George W. Bush
September 21, 2001 Address to the Nation

Rangel and other Democrats want to believe the Terrorists were confined to Afghanistan alone. He and other Democrats-- to say nothing of the Media --would have us believe the war would have ended had Bin Laden been captured or killed. But only a fool would say that, and expect others to believe it. Not when the president, in the very same speech, said the following...

"We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the destruction and to the defeat of the global terror network.

"Now, this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

"Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations secret even in success.

"We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place until there is no refuge or no rest.

"And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.

"From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."

A reinstitution of the draft is becoming, with each passing month, increasingly necessary. Rangel's reasoning is steeped in partisan jingoisms, while mine is purely pragmatic.

I've posted the President's entire September 21, 2001 address to the nation here

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Does The Liberal Church Go Too Far?

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel."

--Isaiah 5:20-24

NO amount of reasoning will sink into some heads... or hearts, and with it the understanding that God has declared standards inwhich we are to live if we wish to be accepted by God. God seeks to reason with us-- desires us to see the world as He sees it, but we are too often caught up in ourselves to see and hear what He has to show us... what He wants us to hear. For as much as He desires we see and hear his will He will not force us, for what need has God of slaves? Instead, He has declared that we must either accept His truth of our own free will, or we will be barred from His presence for all eternity... separated from God. It's as simple as that.

The Bible, from beginning to end, is a story about God working to save mankind from his sin-- God Himself utters the first prophesy in Genesis 3:15 --and throughout the thousands of years of history that follow, the story ends with all things made right... the wheat and tares separated at last... the Bride redeemed.

But for as long as God has been working to make all things according to His will and word, Satan has worked to prevent His will in the minds of men, and pervert His word. Satan has crafted many religions to take man's eyes off of God... MANY religions. And to keep as many of God's people from being effective workers in the Great Harvest, he has sown confusion through numerous translations of God's word, even going so far as to create whole new "holy" books out of thin lifeless air-- the Qur'an, the Book of Mormon, the Veda Scriptures-- To say nothing of the numerous translations of the Bible itself. How anyone can say they all share the same truth is beyond reason.

It then stands to reason that some have the faith and some do not. Now, far be it from me to say who is and who is not saved, but I can, with great confidence, say which religions are true and which are false.

As to True Religion. There is only one... Christianity, which in its purest form is as James described it: "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." [James 1:27] Or, in effect, to "love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" [Deuteronomy 6:5], and to love your neighbor as yourself.

Everything else is false. Every other faith, every other religion... anything outside the living word of God is false. Which means everything else is at odds with Christianity. But this should not be particularly surprising-- we are, after all, at war, though many refuse to either see it, or admit it... And both tacks are dangerous courses.

To say we, as Christians, are not at war with the forces of evil, is to say it doesn't matter what one believes so long as one is moving steadily toward God. But that is what Satan wants us to believe, and sadly, many do. So what if in end the god one has seen on the horizon and dilligently strove to reach turns out to be nothing more than ghost-light, and not God at all? Does such a one earn points for being a devoted follower of whatever? Who followed the teachings of Jesus without realizing it? Surely following the teachings of Jesus is enough to earn a walk through the heavenly turnstile, right?

No. And that is the saddest fact of this war we're currently engaged in, for the hearts and minds of untold millions who will die without Jesus and be forever separated from God. It is not enough to believe... "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble..." [James 2:19] Nor is it enough to follow Jesus' teaching, whether one has heard of Jesus or not. What IS enough is accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, and earnestly believing that Jesus is who He claimed to be, and that God raised Him from the dead. Simply put, Ye must be born again... Plus nothing, minus nothing.

Some churches claim to follow Christ and His teachings, but offer membership into the congregation of saints to those who are not saints. These churches preach a gospel of tolerance, and acceptance while steadfastly denying any need for an individual member to separate himself from the unrighteous, or repent of sin, claiming that if God has made a man so, his sin is somehow not sin. And these members are welcomed fully; excluding them from nothing, for not only are sinners welcomed to communion, but their sin as well. This is not to say the doors of the Church are to be barred to the sinner-- were this the case our churches would never see a single soul pass through their doors --but everyone is welcome to the service; everyone is welcome to pray at the altar, everyone is welcome to hold a hymnal and sing with the congregation, everyone is welcome to open the bible provided in the back of every pew... but not everyone is welcome, or free, to partake of the Communion of Christ.

Matthew 7:6 says, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." In other words, the ordinances of the Church are for believers alone. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" Many say this applies only to marriage, but it also applies to friendships and fellowships. The unbeliever is welcome in the pews, and the saints of God are commanded to love them as themselves, but just as believers are often hard on themselves for personal sin, so too must the congregation be uncompromising on the sin of the unbeliever. Uncompromising but not cruel. Uncompromising but genuinely welcoming, with a true concern for that soul's eternal well-being.

As if all this weren't enough, Some churches accept sinners into their folds without requiring repentance... or salvation... teaching their new "converts" by example that this is right and acceptable to God. These churches make no effort to secure the souls of their members, thinking they are doing the will of God by being loving and kind.

Which brings me to Isaiah 5:20-24. What is the reward for such churches? Those who call evil good, and good evil? For all that these people believe they are following God's will, Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23...

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

So where are we today?

A Church that is in disarray. Liberalism has crept into the pews. But Liberalism, for all it has sought to be loving, accepting, and altruistic-- to be all things to all people --it has ended up confused, incoherent, and ineffective... And a poor excuse for sainthood.

[typos will be dealt with later]

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sanitizing American History...

...by removing all official mention of Christianity's influence on the building of this nation, the United States of America.

Ten Commandments stunner: Feds lying at Supreme Court

Tourists who come to the U.S. Supreme Court are being told by their tour guides that the Frieze over the Justice's heads is really a depiction of the first ten amendments of the Bill of Rights, not of the Ten Commandments. Is this purely ignorance on the part of the tour guides or a deliberate conscious decision to sanitize our history. For, according to a 1975 handbook on the Supreme Court, the frieze is a depiction of the Ten Commandments. So, who wants to erase Christianity from the American consciousness? Three Guesses.

If that were the only story, this could be chalked up to, what? A localized event? Certainly not evidence of a larger conspiracy! Well Let's go to Jamestown, Monticello, Mt. Vernon, Ford's Theater, the Pentagon, Capitol Hill, the Holocaust Museum, Korean War Memorial, World War II Memorial Vietnam Memorial, Washington Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and Lincoln Memorial.....

Christianity being wiped from tales of U.S. history

From the article...

During [Pastor Todd DuBord's] visit at Jamestown, he said, the tour guides several times said the first settlers arrived in America "to make money."

"While this is partially true, it was not only totally overstated by its emphasis and repetition, but there was absolutely no hint of the religious purpose given and stated under the Virginia Charter of 1606, which called for the 'propagating of Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God.'"

He said there also was absolutely no mention of the fact the colonists' first act, after having landed at Cape Henry on April 27, 1607, "was to erect a large wooden cross and hold a prayer meeting, conducted by their minister, Reverend Robert Hunt."

"As colonist George Percy noted back then, 'The nine and twentieth day we set up a cross at Chesupioc Bay, and named the place Cape Henry,'"

What does all this mean? It means America is fast becoming a Godless nation, and bowing instead to the idols of self. And where will that lead? Can you not read the road posts?

This last article puts it all into perspective.

Young adults in U.S. abandoning biblical faith

New study shows many 20-to-40-year-olds don't believe in absolute truth

A poll comparing the moral and religious views of young adults in their 20s and 30s with the views of adults over 40 shows that the young adults are abandoning the biblical faith of their elders at an alarming rate, according to the Barna Group.

Sadly, this article isn't much of an eye-opener-- If you haven't seen this on your own you're blind, AND deaf.

The question is: Do you want to live in a country that actively seeks to write God out of its own history? Too late... You're already there!

Here's more

Pope to hold summit on married priests

It may well be that the Pope is a saved man, but the Catholic Church is wrong on several levels, not the least of which is Celibacy for the Priesthood-- the practice of demanding celibacy within the Catholic priesthood is unbiblical. Leaders in the church ARE to be chaste men, but chaste within the confines of biblical marriage. It is this restriction that has most likely contributed to homosexuality within the ranks of the priesthood over the centuries, to say nothing of its current problem with pedophilia.

Priests should marry, or at least be given the option to marry. To become a priest they should in fact, by the biblical standard, be required to marry.

Did God say it?

"It is not good that the man should be alone."
--Genesis 2:18

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I found this at Betsy's Page...

...and it bears repeating.

...If Islam is incompatible with democracy, that's not a problem for Iraq, it's a problem for Belgium, you know, because Iraq until, you know, a few months back had no democracy to lose. They can easily adjust to the way it's always been.

For Belgium or for Denmark or for the Netherlands, they've got real democracies and they are likely to lose and as you see, I think that is really the issue here, that when these contradictions are pointed out, Europeans essentially refuse to acknowledge them. Yet at the same time they're making capitulations to the most naked form of political bullying --and that's when Islam is officially a minority of, you know, 10% or so. In those cities it's a lot higher already. What happens when it's 30%? I mean, this is a question they never, ever ask themselves...

There's more at her place, plus a link to the full interview of Mark Steyn by John Hawkins.

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My Name is Jude

Do you ever feel drawn to a particular passage continually, over and over? A passage that has drawn you for years, as though it held a special message or meaning meant for you to grasp? Not in terms of personal sin, but rather, as a warning for you; to look, recognize, and stand up in like manner. That is what Jude is to me.

I became a Christian almost 30 years ago. And for most of that time I did not take it seriously. Every time I strayed, however great or small the disobedience, I have always felt the conviction of my sins, and the Chastisment for my disobedience has been severe. There is always hope to come again and find favor with God, even if events in your life have shut the door on some blessings that God wanted for you, but that's not to say there aren't more, equally fulfilling blessing to receive. But I'm straying...

I am where I am today because of many, many poor choices; choices that went against the will of God. But do I have a good job? I have a fantastic job! Do I make a decent wage? Not the greatest for the skills I've acquired, but neither am I living in a van down by the river. My sins and the paths they have led me has brought me to the age of 46 single and never married, and yet I'm not unhappy. But I still get a feeling deep down that there is more; a path I am meant to follow... A work I am meant to do. My past will prevent me from reaching quite a few people, but the Lord has workers in the field that can reach them, and for that I am grateful.

I've found lately that tastes I once had for certain things are diminishing, but I can't imagine ever NOT liking Sci-Fi. I have my favorites...

When Worlds Collide
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Babylon 5
Battlestar Galactica....

Perhaps one of my greatest loves is the work of Ray Bradbury. His short story 'Icarus Montgolfier Wright' is a work of pure art! But it's 'The Martian Chronicles' that allows his talent to carry so much weight in my eyes... and yet what has brought me to this post is the last portion of 'Fahrenheit 451', inwhich Bradbury envisions a world where people have simply forgotten that Firemen used to put out fires rather than start them; where the written word has become kindling, and fodder for salamanders. And yet it is the imagery he weaves at the end that so impresses me.

With books banned, what else would a few true believers do but memorize whole books? --That man over there is "War and Peace", over there is the "Book of Job". It was the image of men in a semi-monastic setting, committing their lives to the presevation of the written word, religious or otherwise; words that had no place in the consignation of oblivion.

Well, Jude has a special meaning for me. Especially in that I feel compelled to earnestly contend for the faith. And like Brabury's monastic living-books I am committing to memory the book of Jude, which, for whatever reason, was placed quite appropriately-- seemingly paranthetically --between the Epistles proper, and the Revelation. This day is certainly on par with the day described in Jude. And though they are not my words, I sense that the message they contain is who I am becoming.

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It's a quarter to 2 and all is better, if not whole...

Yesterday was a very rough day. 1 cup of oatmeal with stevia for breakfast, oodles and gobs of suppliments like vitamins, minerals, cinnamon, garlic, royal jelly. Spanish mackeral and green beans for lunch, and a burgeoning headache/migraine(?), and nothing else the rest of the day. For most of yesterday afternoon I felt ready to throw up at a moments notice; Praise God the graphics were light, and I had help from Jonathan.

I had to call BenT at one point to ask how to create a keyhole in a page graphic so that moving video could be inserted into it... he sounded like he had just crawled out of bed. But when it became apparent I would not be able to continue on through the Ten, BenT was not answering the phone. so Jonathan called in the new guy, Nick-- two weeks new. I hope they got on alright.

It was straight to bed at 7... No dinner, nothing... Just too much pain. And here it is, now 2am, quaffing down water, suppliments, praying and reading, and this is the very first passage I stumbled upon...

Psalm 38
(A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.)
O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off. They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me. For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is. Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.

I can't imagine anyone is foolish enough to think I don't recognize my own sin. Like Bunyan's Christian, I am very cognizant of the burden I often choose to carry; a lot of times forgetting that that burden was removed at Calvary. Sometimes in moments of faithlessness I also take that burden up, but the Lord continually reminds me that it is no longer mine to carry. And I praise Him for it.

In regard to the most recent-- and seemingly ongoing --debate here I do not get any word from the Lord that I have been wrong in terms of message, but I get a sense that I've been somewhat insensitive. And for that I apologize. The message, however, remains. God is asking, out of great love and personal sacrifice, that every man and woman caught in the lie that is homosexuality to come out of Sodom, metaphorically speaking. Come out and find favor with God before it is too late. Come find Him while He may yet be found.

He doesn't promise anything so banal as fame and fortune in this life. But what he does offer is beyond calculation in terms of eternity.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Comment Moderation is more trouble than its worth

Especially when you've had the kind of day I've had!

41 keys
12 full pages, 6 of them mugs
Phone ringing OFF. THE. HOOK.

Just once I'd like to see the Anchors do what I've had to do this day.
Every moment was spent building graphics. Six hours! Add 1 and a half hours worth of shows, and a 30 minute dinner break, and there you have it. Eight hours of mayhem!

...Well, seven and a half.

I know you don't care, but thanks for listening nonetheless.

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Way Cool!

How much is it? Can I afford it? What would I do with it?

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"...and the Truth is back in business."

--Susan Ivanova

When has Truth ever been out of business? Does Truth cease to exist simply because men choose not to believe? Might as well ask if a tree falling in the forest makes noise if no one is there to hear it.

Noise is sound. Sound is wave frequency. Wave frequency is vibration. And any tree falling in the forest will cause vibration. Assuming he's near enough, a deaf man can feel the vibration of a tree falling in the forest-- He hears the tree falling, though not with his ears.

The same is true of Truth. The sensory organs that detect Truth may have atrophied and died within us, but Truth does not whisper in one's ear, it shouts in one's heart-- Where it can never be silenced.

Only ignored.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Despite His Glorious Omnipotence...

...there are 3 things God cannot do...

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Questions to Consider... Updated

Is it permissible for single Christians to spend time at clubs, where drinks flow and men and women dance close and suggestively, listening to base worldy music, hoping to score with some free-spirited member of the opposite sex? The simple answer is 'No. Absolutely not.'

What about single, committed Christian couples? Is it okay for them to go to a nightclub and dance and enjoy themselves, perhaps even have a drink or two? The answer is still 'No. Absolutely not,' for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the damage it does to their testimony when others who know this couple's profession of faith, sees them carousing and acting no differently than all the other sinners in the club. There is also the temptation of drink that is notoriously adept at lowering inhibitions, which could cause this couple to lust for one another and sin sexually.

Christians are to be set apart from the rest of the world. They are a people called out from the world to be separate and holy according to God's will.

Is it okay for non-Christians to spend time at clubs, drinking alcohol, dancing suggestively, and lusting after each other; actively seeking a 'hook-up'? Again, simple answer... No.

And yet some would have us believe it is okay for Gays to spend time at gay clubs, doing the very same things-- Living and acting out immorally. As if that weren't enough gays can now-- according to some --be devoted Christians, and live as gay men and women in committed loving relationships.

But what about activism? Can these committed gay couples take part in activism for gay rights? Can they, say, stroll with others of their sexual persuasion in a Gay Pride March? After all, it is the Christian thing to do to stand up for what is right, especially when doing so may bring about a change in society in how we as a whole view the gay lifestyle. When these committed gay "Christians" go to a Gay Pride March do they seek out Christians who may be protesting the march and ask to pray with them? Ask for understanding? Or do they join with the other gay marchers and take part in reviling their brothers and sisters on the sidelines?

How does marching in a Gay Pride event separate the gay Christian from the world? How does going to gay clubs demonstrate separateness? How many gay Christians in this country and around the world were appalled at how the gay and lesbian community were treated when they expressed a desire to march in Jerusalem? I'll gander a guess and say a good many.

How many reading this have seen a Gay Pride march in person? I'll gander another guess and say, not many. But we've all-- assuming anyone reading this has bothered to look, because the media hides the worst of it --seen the pictures. We've all heard the stories? How much of those stories are true? Perhaps not all of them, but pictures do not lie.

When heterosexuals parade on St. Patrick's day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and during community festivals, will you see the level of debauchery you'd see at a gay pride march? Will you see massive protests? Will you see police arresting protesters? Violence? And what about the pictures? If you took a few rolls worth of pictures would any of them be a source of embarassment for you? And if so, just what were you shooting at?

My point is this. Homosexuality is a sin against God, and [a crime against] nature. No one is born homosexual. This is what I believe to be true. It is what the Bible clearly shows in language that clearly spells out what God thinks of homosexuality.

Here's a little slideshow from the Jerusalem Gay Pride event. Relatively tame, but then consider the source... Media!

Is this something Christians should desire for the city of Jerusalem? Division, debauchery, licentiousness, protests and arrests? Men dressing as women, acting out effeminately? Gay clubs swollen to capacity by marchers from around the world? Taking part in even more debauchery? Whatever happened to, 'Pray for the peace of Jerusalem'? What ever happened to Jerusalem being a holy city?

And some wonder why there has been so much of an outcry over gays marching in Jerusalem, the city of God, where the throne of David will once again be raised. The city from which righteousness will flow out and cover the entire earth. What, pray tell, is righteous about gay pride? Especially since Pride itself is inherently evil...

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
--Jude 7

And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
-- 2 Peter 2:6

I found these images at Stop the Parade Coalition who are striving to stop "filthy behaviour and lewdness"-- inherent in all such marches --in their city of Belfast, and to invite all homosexuals to come out of Sodom and into the family of God. For our Father is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

What would Spurgeon have thought of today's Church?

Here's what he had to say of the Church in his own day, more than a hundred years ago...

          At the present day, I am afraid that nine people out of ten do not believe in the God Who is revealed to us in the Bible. I can point you to newspapers, to periodicals, and also to pulpits by the score in which there is a new god set up to be worshipped–not the God of the Old Testament; He is said to be too strict, too severe, too stern for our modern teachers.
          They shudder at the very mention of the God of the Puritans. If Jonathan Edwards were to rise from the dead, they would not listen to him for a minute; they would say that they had quite a new god since his day. But, brethren, I believe in the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob; this is my God–aye, the God Who drowned Pharoah and his host at the Red Sea and moved His people to sing, “Hallelujah!” as He did it; the God Who caused the earth to open and swallow up Korah, Dathan, and Abiram and all their company.
          A terrible God is the God Whom I adore–He is the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, full of mercy, compassion, and grace, tender and gentle, yet just and dreadful in His holiness and terrible out of His holy places. This is the God Whom we worship, and He Who comes to Him will take Him to be his Instructor, and so shall he learn aright all that he needs to know.

--Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)
At the Master’s Feet, July 18

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Not Black Enough for Herr Dean

After the indignities Michael Steele suffered at the hands of Democrats-- being pelted with Oreo's, not the least among them --Dean piles on with yet another indignity.

Saying Maryland Democratic leaders must do more to encourage black candidates so "we do not have another Michael Steele problem," Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean on Thursday criticized the state party's lack of diversity on its recent winning tickets.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting in Washington, Dean expressed concern about Steele, Maryland's black, Republican lieutenant governor, who was defeated in his quest to fill a vacated Senate seat in Tuesday's election.

"I just think we have got to do a better job in Maryland four years from now about diversity on the ticket," Dean said.
--h/t to Ms. Malkin

Dean exemplifies the hypocrisy of the Left. On the one hand Herr Dean says, the Republican National Committee could "get this many people of color in a single room" only by including the hotel staff-- in effect chiding Republicans for not being inclusive, of being segregationists, and yet Dean and the entire Democratic party get a free pass in treating Michael Steele like a black man who just sat down in the front of the bus, or sat at the lunch counter at Woolworths, circa 1954. Dean is a hypocrite and a boor.

Contrasting the Democratic response to a Black man from Maryland running for Senate under the Republican banner, with the Democratic championing of a black man from Tennessee under the Democratic banner, it becomes clearly obvious that the only Blacks that Democrats will allow in the hallowed halls of government are Blacks they can control. Democrats certainly don't promote blacks within their own party...

"Okay, we let you in, now sit over there and until we need you to vote... or rally the natives."

That is the attitude Democrats are projecting. It's called 'racist'... And hypocritical.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Divine Spigot of God's Blessings ~ Off

I don't like posting other peoples words whole-cloth, though I do it on occasion. Today is another such occasion. Some will read what follows and pooh-pooh it all; America is still great... America is a moral nation... America is a Christian nation-- Muslim nations certainly think so. But the truth is America has forgotten God... Kicked Him out of the car several miles back. And we're paying the price for it today. The question is; Will America ever find reason to turn around and pick Him back up?

Perhaps Dan is right; striving to destroy an entire religion simply because not all of its adherents are actively seeking out destruction-- nevermind the fact that they are not actively seeking to stop the violence. But neither is treating the War on Islamic Fascism as a law enforcement problem; especially since the number of those seeking or desiring our destruction numbers in the hundreds of millions-- Will a Democratic congress build enough prisons to house all these criminals?

The answer to our problem is outlined below.

The God vacuum: America and the barbarian hordes

by David Kupelian
November 9, 2006

In the Old Testament of the Bible, God is shown time after time chastising the House of Israel, His chosen but often disobedient people, by allowing barbarians to invade and plunder their cities and put many of them to the sword.

That is what the Western World, including America, is starting to experience today, having likewise turned away from God.

This raging conflict between Islam and the West, this "clash of civilizations" that many are calling World War III, is at root a spiritual war.

It's been said that it takes a religion to fight a religion. More precisely, it takes true faith to defeat a false one. And by true faith I don't mean a set of rules, rituals and doctrine in a book, any book. I mean a genuine personal relationship with the one true God, and a nation of such people who follow the laws of conscience that same God planted in each of their hearts.

What is the answer to the burgeoning threat of Islamic jihad? The simple and terrifying bottom-line answer is that there is no answer unless America finally awakens and gives up its insane rebellion against its own founding faith and values.

We're fond of praising our World War II-era forbearers who won that terrible conflict with another form of demon-possessed, expansionist fascism. But the "Greatest Generation" was different from this generation. It believed in God.

Come again? You say we also believe in God today? No, we don't – not as a nation.

The World War II generation believed in God. They believed that this God was the God of the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. They believed He created us in His image and that human life was therefore sacred, which meant we don't slaughter our offspring in the womb nor kill off our parents when they get old and sick. They believed in biblical morality when it comes to sex, which meant homosexuality, adultery and "shacking up" were sinful and wrong.

And they also believed God had uniquely blessed the United States of America, something Alexis de Tocqueville called "American Exceptionalism" – the conviction that America's enlightened Constitution, industrial and military might, unprecedented standard of living, and most of all its legendary liberty were the direct result of the Almighty's blessing on this special nation. Implicit in that belief was the understanding that, just as with ancient Israel, this divine spigot flowing with undeserved blessings could and would be turned off if we turned away from God.

Thus it was the "Greatest Generation's" national unity, based on its widespread cultural and religious fidelity to those core truths – what we call "Judeo-Christian values" – that gave them the confidence to fight and persevere and win the world war that confronted them, whatever sacrifices that effort required.

Today, America and Europe are being transformed by Islam because there is a spiritual vacuum in these once-Christian lands. Especially in Britain and Europe, where the Islamic invasion is already well advanced, analysts concede it's simply a matter of time before some of these nations have Muslim majorities. Then comes Shariah law and the total transformation of these formerly Christian countries into repressive Islamic states.

Think I'm exaggerating? The Netherlands' justice minister, Piet Hein Donner, recently announced he would let Shariah law take over his European nation – already rapidly filling up with Muslims – if the majority votes for it. Just as in other Arab-Muslim countries currently under this strict Islamic legal system, European nations under Shariah might well see amputations – as prescribed in the Quran – as punishment for certain crimes; women publicly flogged and sometimes hanged or stoned to death for adultery or other so-called "crimes against chastity"; and death sentences for leaving the Muslim religion, or even for preaching Christianity, as occurs in Pakistan under its notorious "blasphemy laws."

All the vain, prideful fantasies of the post-Christian, secular, multiculturalism-worshipping Europeans are crashing down around them. The French are so terrified of the Muslims that comprise 10 percent of their population that Parisian police won't even venture into Muslim communities on the outskirts of the capital city. Having traded the Christian faith of their fathers for the smug, self-righteous ecstasy of the socialist welfare state, they have no spiritual strength left with which to fight back the invading hordes.

What about America? Though the percentage of Muslims in this huge nation is much lower than in Europe, radical Islam already has a powerful foothold in many parts of American society. Beyond the obvious signs – like the rapid proliferation within the U.S. of Saudi-funded mosques, Islamic centers and schools teaching discontent and even hatred for America – consider just one of the many less-than-obvious "growth areas": our prison system.

"Muslim chaplains have established an Islamic radical regime over Muslim convicts in the American prisons," writes Stephen Schwartz in "Islam in the Big House." "Radical Muslim chaplains, trained in a foreign ideology, certified in foreign-financed schools, and acting in coordination to impose an extremist agenda have gained a monopoly over Islamic religious activities in American state, federal and city prisons and jails." He adds, chillingly, "Imagine each prison Islamic community as a little Saudi kingdom behind prison walls, without the amenities. They have effectively induced American authorities to establish a form of 'state Islam' or 'government-certified Islam' in correctional systems."

Will this nightmare ever end? It will only end, like all nightmares end, when we wake up.

We need to wake up and remember who we really are. We need to realize the bottom-line reality that man is a spiritual creature, and that he will have faith, one way or the other. If he doesn't embrace true faith, he will embrace false faith. It's not only automatic – it's God-ordained.

The most poignant scene in the film "United 93" – chronicling the events leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, crash of the ill-fated jetliner into a Pennsylvania field – came toward the end when both passengers and terrorists were depicted as praying. It was just before the courageous group of passengers launched their revolt against the hijackers, and several were seen quietly, fervently reciting the Lord's Prayer, as though they were asking God for the superhuman strength and focus they would need to overpower the terrorists while facing almost-certain death. At the same time, the terrorist pilot, having been warned that a passenger rebellion was imminent, was also praying to his god, begging Allah for help and strength to prevail against great odds. The image of these two mortal enemies, each praying to his god for victory, was electrifying – a perfect distillation of the conflict into which we have been plunged.

We can't – and won't – win this war without God. He knows when and where the next big terror attack is being planned against America. He knows where bin Laden is hiding. Only He can give us the unearthly wisdom and strength required to be longsuffering and merciful when restraint is called for – and to be merciless when outright, heart-stopping, shock-and-awe devastation is called for to defeat the enemy. Most of all, only genuine fidelity to God will give us the gift of true righteousness – an otherworldly quality that terrifies the wicked, inspires the decent and mysteriously delivers victory into the hands of His people.

When God withheld His protection from ancient Israel because of the disobedience and faithlessness of His people, there was only one possible solution: They had to repent of their pride and folly and come back to Him.

Do we somehow expect the Almighty to grant a different remedy to us?

So, returning to my last question: Will a Democratic congress build enough prisons to house all these criminals? Somehow, I doubt it. Not when everyone is clamouring to see Guantanamo Bay shut down. America no longer has the stomach to do what must be done, and she doesn't have sense enough to turn the car around and let God back in.

But... Who knows what kind of wake-up call God has in mind for us-- 9.11 obviously wasn't enough. And now I ask... What will be enough?

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

BenT's Haunted Cemetery ~ One Night Only

[Click to Enlarge]

BenT scared the kidlets so bad this young lady had to collect the goodies. Perhaps BenT likes halloween TOO much...

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To Dan and Others of Like Mind...

"America recognizes that there is a problem with some extremists. We disagree (according to yesterday's voting) with how the powers that be have tried to handle it."

And this is the disconnect, Dan. America needs to recognize that there is much more than a 'problem with some extremists.' This is not the perspective Americans need to take. This IS a war, however much we disagree on Iraq. Radical Islam is at war with us-- they have stated as much. How prudent, therefore, is it to not take the Islamists seriously? How prudent is it to continue with the view that we have a 'problem' with some extremists. What happens if we shape our policy to the idea that this is just a 'problem' rather than a war of ideologies? The shape I see is a policy inadequately 'shaped' to defend America and Western Civilization.

Perhaps the biggest disconnect I see is that Islam is thinking generationally-- in terms of goals, whereas we are only thinking about the present conflict and how to get out of it. In short, we are completely discounting Islam's generational goals. The enemy's strategy is built upon small steps/gains over decades, but America is too focused upon it's own pleasures and conceits to believe this enemy is any different than enemies of the past. To quote Dan Simmons' essay...

"In 2006, you’ll be ripping and tearing at yourselves so fiercely that your nation – the only one on Earth actually fighting against resurgent caliphate Islam in this long struggle over the very future of civilization – will become so preoccupied with criticizing yourselves and trying to gain short-term political advantage, that you’ll all forget that there’s actually a war for your survival going on."

And is this not the case? America 'ripping and tearing' at itself, so preoccupied with criticizing itself and trying to gain 'short-term political advantage'? I've offered a similar analogy myself on several occasions: Dogs fighting over worthless scraps while the cat eats from the bowl.

Did you bother to read the essay? Granted, it's obvious fiction-- and long, but knowing what we know about Islam, can we afford to not see the illustrations within Dan Simmon's essay as something to at least consider? And seriously?

Do we wish to end the threat of Global Jihad, and eventual Dhimmitude, or do we continue to view that last phrase as an impossibility while continuing to allow muslims to make small, incremental gains?

What happens when they hit us again in the U.S.? You have to know that will happen, right? Will the Democratic party continue to believe that the War on Terror is nothing more than a conflict in Afghanistan, and the Hunt for bin Laden?

There's a bigger picture here. Democrats now control the House, and may well control the Senate. How long will they control either if they continue to treat this war as they have, rhetorically, these last 4 years? Democrats don't have a very strong reputation for being hawks on national defense. If the U.S. gets hit again-- and it will --will it happen during the reign of a Hawk-ish Democratically controlled Congress? Or will it happen during the reign of a Democratic congress that refuses to believe we are at war for the very survival of civilization? Will the Democratic party change it's stripes and tell cry-babies like Murtha to sit down and shut up? That's what they told Ned Lamont-- Lieberman is stongly pro-war [on terror]... and guess who won THAT race! Or will weaklings like Murtha be allowed to shape policy that allows Islam to continue to make incremental generational gains that lead to world-wide victory?

Democrats fought the patriot act tooth and nail. Senator Reid crowed into the microphones last year that they [Democrats] had 'killed the Patriot Act'. And yet Democrats now claim they'll institute all of the 9.11 Commission's recommendations? Do you not see the disconnect here? Someone recently stated on this blog that the enemy will claim a victory no matter what we do, but is that an excuse to allow them even the smallest of victories? --Remember, claiming you've won a thing hardly matters if you have no tangible proof of said victory. Are we willing to be as ruthless as the Islamists to defeat them? Because that is what it will take-- all argument about 'Democrat vs Republican' aside, commonsense clearly shows that unless our will to defeat the enemy is greater than the enemy's will to win, we will surely lose.

"You Athenian invertebrates with your love of your own exalted sensibilities and your willingness to enter into a global war for civilizational survival even while you are too timid, too fearful... too decent... to match the ruthlessness of your enemies... At least understand that such decency goes away quickly when you are burying your children and your grandchildren,[o]r watching them suffer in slavery. Ruthlessness deferred against totalitarian aggression only makes the later need for ruthlessness more terrible. Thousands of years of history and war should have taught you that. Did you fools learn nothing from living through the charnel house that was the 20th Century?"

You may ask why I am so enamored of an essay that relates a fictional meeting between a liberal circa 2005 and a time-traveler. I wouldn't personally characterize it as 'enamored', but I recognize that some of you may. But my point in all this is, if you're being honest, and you take everything I've written over the last year into account, this is the theme I've been pushing... Islam is dangerous, and we're not taking it seriously enough, and idiots like John Kerry don't help the other HALF of this nation to trust that Democrats have the stones to do what has to be done to survive what's coming. It will take more than courage to survive what's coming, it will take a will and desire greater than that of Islam's to enslave the world.

And please remember that Islam does not mean 'Peace'... It means 'Submission'.

I'm willing to support a Democratic congress... But I will not support idiocy. And Democrats are going to have to show me they are capable of being Hawks... REAL hawks, against a threat too many in America seem either incapable of seeing, or unwilling to accept. Both views are dangerously suicidal.

So there you have it. Congratulations on your victory at the polls yesterday. Now let's see what you're capable of doing with it. I'm willing to be optimistic, but don't expect me to keep my mouth shut if Democrats begins doing stupid things, and offering idiocy in lieu of policy... None of YOU ever did.

And for the record, I haven't been in complete agreement with how the powers that be have tried to handle this war. But I do agree that we are at war. Which is more than Nancy Pelosi can say. Let's hope she changes her tune. She'll certainly have my prayers... And if she does change her tune, she'll have a measure of my respect and support.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Century War with Islam...

...or "Fiction Disguised as Prophesy"

Giving credit where credit is due, I found the following at Boortz Nuze this morning. An essay written by Dan Simmons. The site is currently in Crash-Mode, probably from all the traffic Boortz sent it. I had trouble loading the page myself, so I'm providing Mr. Simmons link as well as a link to my "Pocket Full of Mumbles Source Library" where I've stored a full copy complete with appropriate attribution of copyright. Per my disclaimer at the bottom of the page, 'ELAshley makes no claim of ownership to any work not his own, only safe storage. Ownership of all works are clearly, and rightfully attributed.'

Having stated that...

Let me first say that what follows, for me, is not anti-Democrat, nor is it Pro-Republican. The fact the Boortz posted a link to this on election day says only that the stakes are high in this election whoever takes power. The fate of our culture and civilization is, I believe, at stake. It doesn't all have to go south with a Democratic takeover of the House, but it could... Just as easily as it could all go south if Republicans retained control. The question is, after all the dust settles will Nancy Pelosi finally admit we are at war... will America stop bickering and accept the fact that we are at war? A war for our way of life-- this so-called "Western Civilization" that America and Europe so enjoy... And take for granted?

Islam is not a Peaceful Religion. However much one wants to make it so, any honest read of the Qur'an and the statements of its followers should tell anyone with ears to hear that this is the case. Nor does Islam know how to live peacefully with its neighbors.

The whole essay, depending on how fast you read, will take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes of your time-- It's worth the read, despite the science-fiction aspect. Just think of the 'Time Traveller' as a metaphor for 'Hindsight is 20/20'.

As to the except below, think of 9.11 and our response to those attacks and allow the Pearl Harbor comparison to pique your interest. If it does, please take the time to read the whole article.

Oh! Almost forgot the excerpt

......... He waved me into silence.
"You were a philosophy major or minor at that podunk little college you went to long ago," said the Time Traveler. "Do you remember what Category Error is?"

It rang a bell. But I was too irritated at hearing my alma mater being called a "podunk little college" to be able to concentrate fully.

"I'll tell you what it is," said the Time Traveler. "In philosophy and formal logic, and it has its equivalents in science and business management, Category Error is the term for having stated or defined a problem so poorly that it becomes impossible to solve that problem, through dialectic or any other means."

I waited. Finally I said firmly, "You can't go to war with a religion. Or, I mean . . . sure, you could . . . the Crusades and all that . . . but it would be wrong."

The Time Traveler sipped his Scotch and looked at me. He said, "Let me give you an analogy . . ."

God, I hated and distrusted analogies. I said nothing.

"Let's imagine," said the Time Traveler, "that on December eighth, Nineteen forty-one, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke before a joint session of Congress and asked them to declare war on aviation."

"That's absurd," I said.

"Is it?" asked the Time Traveler. "The American battleships, cruisers, harbor installations, Army barracks, and airfields at Pearl Harbor and elsewhere in Hawaii were all struck by Japanese aircraft. Imagine if the next day Roosevelt had declared war on aviation . . . threatening to wipe it out wherever we found it. Committing all the resources of the United States of America to defeating aviation, so help us God."

"That's just stupid," I said. If I'd ever been afraid of this Time Traveler, I wasn't now. He was obviously a mental defective." The planes, the Japanese planes," I said, "were just a method of attack . . . a means . . . it wasn't aviation that attacked us at Pearl Harbor, but the Empire of Japan. We declared war on Japan and a few days later its ally, Germany, lived up to its treaty with the Japanese and declared war on us. If we'd declared war on aviation, on goddamned airplanes rather than the empire and ideology that launched them, we'd never have . . ."

I stopped. What had he called it? Category Error. Making the problem unsolvable through your inability – or fear – of defining it correctly.

The Time Traveler was smiling at me from the shadows. It was a small, thin, cold smile – holding no humor in it, I was sure -- but still a smile of sorts. It seemed more sad than gloating as my sudden silence stretched on.

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Moving On.... Pat Robertson

The 700 Club is good for one reason, news from a Christian perspective, on a daily basis. As for Pat Robertson, I've taken him with a grain of salt these last 16 years. But this morning he managed to show his true colors.

I'm almost always suspicious when Media criticizes a "Christian" leader-- let's face it, asking the media to judge right or wrong in regard to Christianity or Christian leaders is like asking Jaundice to diagnose Male Pattern Baldness. For the most part, and I mean MOST, the media are poor judges of character, and even poorer judges of spiritual truth. That being said, while I thought some of Robertson's claims and statements to be more than a bit loopy, it wasn't 'til this morning that he nailed his coffin shut as far as I'm concerned.

So what did he say?

How many of you out there know that we are currently in the Great Tribulation? And how many of you know that the Pre-Trib Rapture is utterly false, a false doctrine if ever there was one? Those weren't his exact words, but that was certainly his statements intended meaning. His comments actually lended themselves to complete lack of belief in the Rapture altogether.

Some will disagree with my assessment, but this officially brands Pat Robertson, out in Left Field-- in my book at least.

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First Things First....

I have a few things on the blooging docket today. First up, Voting.

Had a long morning so I didn't get to the polls at 7 like usual. I had a doctors appointment. Blood pressure was 180/110. The nurse asked me if I had White Coat Syndrome. The blank expression on my face told him all he needed to know, so he explained...

White coat syndrome is a condition that describes a condition in some people who, for some inexplicable reason, get fearful the moment they enter the doctors office; which means their blood pressure skyrockets, among other things. I have no idea if this is my deal, despite the fact that my blood pressure does indeed spike when at the doctors office. That being said, I went back on the blood pressure meds just to play it safe. I'll be taking those once every other day. I'm still working toward a more holistic approach to my overall health.

Because of the doctors office and the hours one has to wait just to get a doctor to spend 10 minutes (if THAT!) with you, I missed out on my usual routine:

8-09:00 am -- News Links, Blog Links, Respond to email
9-11:00 am -- "Brian & the Judge" and writing [not always on the blog]
11-1:00 pm -- "Rush Limbaugh Show" and writing/cooking/ironing

But no, I didn't get any of that in today, so I'm a bit behind in the news.

I did finally manage to get to my polling place where I opted to write in my choice of candidate for Governor... Judge Roy Moore. Bob Riley is going to win, but that hardly matters. The Ten Commandments Judge is who I wanted to win the Primary, and he's who I want for Governor.

As for the rest of the ballot. Straight Republican accept for democrat Judge Lawson Little for 20th Judicial Circuit, Place 1. He was the only guy running, but that hardly matters. He's a no nonsense judge and does a great job.

For County Commission, district 1, I chose Independent Tom Steely over Democrat Curtis Harvey.

This was my first time I have ever written in a candidate. And despite the fact that Bob Riley is a great Republican candidate, and will certainly win, Roy Moore more closely reflects my own politics.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

EL's First Piece of Hate-Mail... Sorta

I received the following in email this afternoon....

"What [sic] don't you stop this right wing brain washing and hating people. Yes islam is a religion of peace. why don't you look at your own back yard, and see how your religious leaders are abusing little boys, and having sex with with [sic] gay man, and doing meth, oh I forgot he got rid of it after he bought it. NOT!!!!!!!!!!"

No specific mention of any particular posting, so I have to assume this is a general rant about how I should shut up simply because a religious leader admits to drugs and gay sex. I'm sure Foley and the Priest are also part and parcel with this persons reasoning.

I should shut up, why? Because Democrats shut up after Bill Clinton was caught in adultery and lying to a federal grand jury? I should shut up because Sen Reid called the president a loser and a liar in front of school children? Because Sen Kerry thinks the military is populated by morons? Because the Democratic base likes to refer to Bush as a Chimp, and the Commander in Thief?

Sorry. I'll shut up when you shut up.

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The Difference Between Democrat and Republican

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Belated Halloween Photos

[Click on pics to enlarge]

Welcome to BenT's huanted cemetery in daylight-- Night-time pics will arrive tomorrow. BenT spent almost a thousand dollars building a faux wrought-iron fence, consisting of somewhere in the neighborhood of 175 iron finials, an equal number of PVC pipe, wood for the horizontal pieces and paint. BenT even went so far as to build frames that fit over the windows to give the impression that the windows themselves have been boarded up. Nice touch, that.

One of the centerpieces of this 'haunt' was this guy, made from molded foam and a skeletal frame of pvc, all attached to a spring loaded mechanism that when released springs upward to scare the kiddies.

And last but not least here's the host of the whole show, Mr. BenT himself, minus eyebrows.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

How the Gospel Came to Korea

Robert J. Thomas, a Welshman, was a colporteur working in China for the Scottish Bible Society. In the course of his work, he learned that the Korean language is based on Chinese and that, as a result, the Korean intellectuals could read Chinese. His main responsibility was toward the millions in China, of course. But the love of Christ for the Koreans constrained him, and he determined to push on to that country.

An American ship called the General Sherman was sailing to Pyongyang, a large city in the north. He boarded it. As the ship drew near to Pyongyang, however, a sharp fight broke out between the officers of the American ship and the Korean coast guard. The ship was burned in the conflict, and all the passengers were killed.

The death of Thomas was unusual, however. As the ship and the passengers were sinking, he struggled to reach the shore and staggered up out of the water his arms filled with books. They were Bibles. He thrust these into the hands of the Koreans who clubbed him to death. It was through such love that the gospel first came to Korea in the year 1886.

Before Pyongyang fell to the communists. But Christianity is not dead in North Korea, it is merely underground. Please pray for our brothers and sisters in NKorea in accordance with Hebrews 13:3 "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body."

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"Mixing Faith in God with Superstition..."

By chance, or by design, while sitting in a pew this morning waiting for service to begin I opened my bible and the page to which it opened was Matthew chapter 4. And the verse that first drew my eye was verse 4.

Jesus, after being baptized by John and receiving the Holy Spirit which descended out of heaven in bodily form, went into the wilderness to fast. After 40 days in the wilds of Judea He was then tempted by the devil, who said in verse 3, 'If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.' And verse 4 reads thusly...

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
--Emphasis mine

Now for some backstory. On several occasions, and again just yesterday, ER has made known his belief that the Bible is not the word of God [correct me if I'm wrong ER]: That title is reserved for Jesus alone who is, according to the Gospel of John, the Logos. Therefore to call the Bible the word of God, which by the inspiration of God was penned by men, and is therefore NOT God; it is therefore fallible and not to be worshipped as God. As to whether or not the Bible is to be worshipped I leave for another day-- ER may well be right on that, I've never really considered it myself, though it does feel a bit like idolatry... someone please correct me if I'm wrong. So before I get into Matthew 4:4, for context here's a portion of ER's comment from yesterday...

"Either all life is sacred or not. But that is a dichotomy that the usually dichotomous conservatives eschew.

"Why? I argue that it's because they do just what they accuse those of us on the liberal side of things of doing:

"Pick and choose -- verses, emphases, interpretations -- based on their preferred outcomes, not based on what the Scripture says or does not say."
--Emphasis mine

ER was confused at my response because he didn't specifically mention the Jesus Seminars, but that is exactly what the Jesus Seminars have done since...? At least 1994 [I'm not going to waste time researching it right now]. This was my response to his comment.

"That is a very bold and revealing statement ER. Talk about dichotomies! If thou shalt not kill means thou shalt not kill how do you justify a woman's right to murder... sorry, "kill" the unborn? While at the same time defending the lives of murderers on death row?

"Sounds a lot like "Pick and choose -- verses, emphases, interpretations -- based on [one's] preferred outcome, not based on what the Scripture say or do not say."

"How many more meetings of The Jesus Seminar will it require to take all the red words out of Jesus' mouth with little footnotes that say something like, 'Bible Scholars now believe that Jesus most likely never spoke these words'...?

"Consider this:

"From Robert W. Funk, Architect and Founder of the Jesus Seminar, in a Keynote Address to the Jesus Seminar Fellows in the spring of 1994...

1. "Jesus did not ask us to believe that his death was a blood sacrifice, that he was going to die for our sins."

2. "Jesus did not ask us to believe that he was the messiah. He certainly never suggested that he was the second person of the trinity. In fact, he rarely referred to himself at all."

3. "Jesus did not call upon people to repent, or fast, or observe the sabbath. He did not threaten with hell or promise heaven."

4. "Jesus did not ask us to believe that he would be raised from the dead."

5. "Jesus did not ask us to believe that he was born of a virgin."

6. "Jesus did not regard scripture as infallible or even inspired."

"And when it came to voting among the many scholars? They use a system of colored beads which represent....

Red: Jesus undoubtedly said this or something very like it.

Pink: Jesus probably or might have said something like this.

Gray: Jesus did not say this, but the ideas are close to His own.

Black: Jesus did not say this; it represents a later tradition.

"Talk about arrogance! Two millenia after the fact to tell the people of 1st Century Christendom what Christ did or did not say? And your attitude on this issue is no different.

"Why should I believe a so called scholar when the word of God tells me to believe not every spirit? That wolves in sheeps clothing will enter the church spreading damnable heresy?..."

I'm back-tracking over old ground because it fills in the backstory of why I felt Matthew 4:4 had special meaning for me this morning. Because ER contends that the Bible cannot be trusted as the 100% recognizable word of God.

Responding in turn ER said this...

"I did see the word arrogance toward the end. Here's arrogance: Thinking that you have all the answers and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

"Oh, oh, here's another thing: Mixing up faith in God with a superstition that says the KJV (or *any* other translation) is "the Word of God" when it's Jesus who is the Logos, i.e., "the Word of God." "
--Again, emphasis mine

What I take from this; what I've taken from previous similar statements is that the Bible-- Whichever the version --is not the word of God. While I agree that some versions most definitely are not the word of God, that likewise is a discussion for another time. The point in all this is, according to ER, the Bible is not the word of God.

Naturally, I take acception to this.

So, Jesus said, and I paraphrase, "man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes out of God's mouth." What word does He refer to? Every word that comes out of God's mouth. Well, if the Scriptures are not the very words of God how then are men to live a whole and complete life of faith in God? How many people actually hear the audible voice of God?

It is clear from Matthew 4:4 that Jesus was referring to the books of the Law and the Prophets, what we today call the Old Testament. If nothing else, Jesus considered the Old Testament to be the word of God. Now, whether it was a living, breathing word of God as many evangelicals today consider it... Well, I believe it's safe to assume that since God changes not-- is the same yesterday, today, and forever --then the Old Testament was still alive and breathing when Jesus referred to it as the word of God, and still is today!

In Matthew 4:5-10 the devil tempts Him twice more, and Jesus rebukes him with scripture each time. Now consider this: If the Old Testament scriptures were not authoritative, as proceeding from the very mouth of God, would the devil have been genuinely rebuked and left Jesus to be administered to by Angels?

If anyone needs a reason to believe the Bible IS the word of God, the very fact that Jesus considered it so should be proof enough. Since Jesus is God manifest in the flesh*, no higher authority exists.

Does anyone have anything to add?

* 1Timothy 3:16

"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."

By the way. I use e-Sword at home: "The sword of the Lord with an electronic edge." It is a Bible program, and one of the best tools I have for studying the scripture. Best thing about it is it's completely free. Free program download, free translations downloads, free commentaries, maps, and reference materials. Free, free, free. I invite you all to check it out.

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Greatest Ideological Divide of Our Time

Between shows yesterday, CBS aired it's "Free Speech" segment during the Katie Couric Show... At least she gave equal time to a Republican.

First up? Howard Dean, first-class ass--

"In five days, Americans have a choice to make between staying the course, or taking America in a new direction.

"That gives some Americans a reason to think about something they haven't done in a while: Vote for a Democrat.

"Democrats offer a new direction that begins with a commitment to honesty and fiscal responsibility. A new direction in Iraq that begins with a responsible, phased redeployment of our brave troops. A defense policy that is tough and smart and makes our nation safer by implementing the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission. A new direction for our economy that ends Republican deficit spending and ensures middle class tax fairness.

"We will make health care more affordable for all Americans, and fix the Medicare prescription drug program.

"There are many things we disagree with Republicans about. Iraq. Budget deficits. The response to Hurricane Katrina.

"But our deepest disagreements are with the Republican's attempts to divide America by putting their own interests ahead of the interests of our country.

"The most important promise we make is this: We will value your beliefs and your families as we restore America to its position of moral leadership throughout the world.

"Together, we will move America in a new direction."

Followed immediately by Jo Ann Davidson, relative unknown--

"My name is Jo Ann Davidson. I'm the Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee. My pride and joy are my grandchildren – it is because of them that this election is so important to me and to all of us.

"I want to know that for my grandchildren, the 6.6 million jobs we've created over the last three years is just the beginning.

"I want to know that the five years since 9/11 without a terrorist attack is just the beginning.

"I want to know they will be safe, secure, and successful.

"So when Democrats vote to eliminate the Patriot Act and stop us from listening in on terrorist conversations, I worry about my grandchildren’s future.

"When Democrats say that no tax increase is off the table, I wonder about my grandchildren's future.

"When Nancy Pelosi, who wants to be Speaker of the House, says less than a year after 9/11 that she doesn’t believe we are at war...when John Kerry, the 2004 Democrat Presidential candidate, says our troops are uneducated... when Harry Reid calls our President a 'loser' and a 'liar,' I know that I don’t want those people deciding my grandchildren's future.

"That is why I know this election matters. And that is why I urge all Americans to vote Republican on November 7."

Howard Dean. Of all people, CBS chooses Howard Dean. Well, as to his statement:

1. A commitment to honesty and fiscal responsibility-- LOLOLOLOL!!! I don't know where to start with this one so, moving on...

2. A new direction in Iraq that begins with a responsible, phased redeployment of our brave troops-- Translation: Tuck tail between legs and run; a policy that is anything but 'responsible'. Note Howard's strategic use of the word 'Brave'... trying to drag the Party out of the coals Kerry's moment of truth landed them in.

3. ...[B]y implementing the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission-- After working to kill the patriot act? And crowing about it in front of the microphone? Exposing and condemning the terrorist foreign surveilance program? By condemning every policy Bush implemented to make this nation safe?

4. A new direction for our economy that ends Republican deficit spending and ensures middle class tax fairness-- a) new direction for our economy: reversing the current trend; up becomes down-great becomes poor. b) that ends Republican deficit spending: and makes it Democratic spending and far more wasteful. c) and ensures middle class tax fairness: by stealing from the rich, stifling investment and job growth, and depressing the overall economy.

5. We will make health care more affordable for all Americans-- moving us toward a system of socialized medicine... A system that works VERY well in Canada and Europe.

6. Fix the Medicare prescription drug program-- by making it far more expensive, adding untold billions to the deficit.

7. Our deepest disagreements are with the Republican's attempts to divide America by putting their own interests ahead of the interests of our country-- And this is where we enter Pot and Kettle territory. Democrats have been working diligently these last 6 years to divide America, putting their own interests above the interests of this nation, and creating an atmosphere of vitriolic hatred [Never in my lifetime has this nation been so divided'. Their biggest conceit is their steadfast belief that they work for the greater good of America. Their greatest conceit and greatest hypocrisy.

In closing, allow me to echo Jo Ann Davidson...

When Nancy Pelosi, who wants to be Speaker of the House, says less than a year after 9/11 that she doesn’t believe we are at war...when John Kerry, the 2004 Democrat Presidential candidate, says our troops are uneducated... when Harry Reid calls our President a 'loser' and a 'liar,' I know that I don’t want those people deciding my grandchildren's future.

That is why I know this election matters. And that is why I urge all Americans to vote Republican on November 7.

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