Wednesday, December 20, 2006

We'll see how this goes

It seems that Multiply can Cross-Publish my blog entries- from all 5 of my blogs! We'll see how well this works. If it does, this will be your "one-stop shopping" place for my commentary and writing on the web.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bakker, Brown: What the hell happened to Christianity? -

Bakker, Brown: What the hell happened to Christianity? -

NEW YORK (CNN) -- What the hell happened? Where did we go wrong? How was Christianity co-opted by a political party? Why are Christians supporting laws that force others to live by their standards? The answers to these questions are integral to the survival of Christianity.

While the current state of Christianity might seem normal and business-as-usual to some, most see through the judgment and hypocrisy that has permeated the church for so long. People witness this and say to themselves, "Why would I want to be a part of that?" They are turned off by Christians and eventually, to Christianity altogether. We can't even count the number of times someone has given us a weird stare or completely brushed us off when they discover we work for a church

Friday, December 08, 2006

A life of it's own

Prayer has a life of its own. If we could define it today, that definition would have moved and changed by tomorrow. Prayer is a living relationship that can never be pinned down and analyzed; prayer is a breath of the soul that has passed before we can seize hold of it; prayer is a reaching out of all that is deepest within us towards all that lies infinitely beyond and around us.
- Margaret Silf


the only prayer
you say
in your life
Thank You,
~Meister Eckhart

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Mallory's Milieu - CARTOONS

Mallory's Milieu - CARTOONS

I've wanted to be a cartoonist since about 5th grade. I drew cartoons for my High School and College newspapers and now for my local small-town newspaper. Here is a collection of some of my favorites.

When you go to this page, bookmark it to your favorites because I add to it almost every week. Tell your friends about it, forward the web address around if you enjoy them. Who knows, maybe you can create a buzz for me or a web-following so that eventually I could sell my work to bigger papers, magazines, or best yet, get syndicated. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching, but how cool would it be to get to actually make a living drawing funny pictures.

Anyway, take a look, either luagh or get angry, but either way, enjoy.

Mallory's Milieu - CARTOONS

Mallory's Milieu - CARTOONS

I've wanted to be a cartoonist since about 5th grade. I drew cartoons for my High School and College newspapers and now for my local small-town newspaper. Here is a collection of some of my favorites.

When you go to this page, bookmark it to your favorites because I add to it almost every week. Tell your friends about it, forward the web address around if you enjoy them. Who knows, maybe you can create a buzz for me or a web-following so that eventually I could sell my work to bigger papers, magazines, or best yet, get syndicated. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching, but how cool would it be to get to actually make a living drawing funny pictures.

Anyway, take a look, either luagh or get angry, but either way, enjoy.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

the Duck and The Devil

Here's one of those few email forwards that is actually worth passing on:

The  Duck & the Devil

There was a little  boy visiting his grandparents on their farm.   He  was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods.  He practiced in the  woods, but he could never hit the target.  Getting a little discouraged, he  headed back for dinner.  As he was  walking  back he saw Grandma's pet duck.

Just out of  impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head, and killed  it.  He was shocked and grieved.

In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to see his sister  watching!  Sally had seen it all, but she said  nothing.

After lunch the next day Grandma  said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes."  But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny  told me he wanted to help in  the  kitchen.Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?So  Johnny  did  the dishes.

Later that day, Grandpa asked if  the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally  to help make supper."   Sally  just smiled and said," Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to  help."  She whispered again, "Remember the duck?"  So  Sally  went  fishing and Johnny stayed to help.

After  several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally.. he finally couldn't  stand it any longer.

He came to Grandma and  confessed that he had killed the duck.  Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug,  and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You  see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I  love you, I forgave you.  I was just wondering how long you would let Sally  make a slave of you."

Whatever is in your past,  whatever you have done... and the devil keeps throwing it up in your face  (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness,  etc.)  ..whatever it is....You need to know  that  God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing.....  He  has  seen  your whole life.  He wants you to know that He loves you and that  you  are  forgiven. He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a  slave  of  you.  The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness,  He  not  only forgives you, but He forgets.....  It is by God's grace and mercy  that we are saved. Always  remember: God  is at the window.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

An Attitude of Gratitude:

An Attitude of Gratitude:

Adapted from Rabbi Irwin Katsof's new bookHow To Get Your Prayers Answered

The saying goes: "There for the grace of God, go I." Indeed that is so true. God is looking out for you every second of the day. Yet, we just assume when things are going well, that this is how it should be.

But we can't take anything for granted, as just a cursory look around should tell us. Therefore, reminding ourselves that eyesight, mobility, consciousness and freedom come from God awakens our appreciation for His love and care, which are as infinite as God is Himself.

Before we start beseeching God with our requests, we should acknowledge all He has done for us already.

This is why the Sages advise that, before we start beseeching God with a long litany of our requests, we should acknowledge all that He has done for us already.

The Siddur, the Jewish prayer book, drawing on a tradition two-thousand years old, lists blessings to be said each morning over life's essentials:

Blessed are You Lord, our God, Ruler of the Universe ... Who gives sight to the blind ... Who releases the imprisoned ... Who straightens the bent ... Who guides the steps of man ... Who gives strength to the weary ... Who provided me with all my needs...

Beginning each day with such a reminder might go a long way toward not taking God for granted.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Malcontents and control freaks in your midsts

Not all clergy are myopic, but sometimes it sure seems that the established Church is about nothing but the "Church Establishment." Know what I mean? There always seem to ba malcontents and control freaks in our midsts who find it more important to sieze political control of the church heirachy or launch some witch-hunt for heretics rather than say, sharing the love and good news about God's  grace and forgiveness. I recently stumbled upon the following Scripture. I hope it encourages you to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and not fear the squeaky wheels and the players and hypocrites.

"I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned; avoid them. For such people do not serve the Lord Christ, but their own appetities, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded."

- Romans 16:17-18


"The gospel is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." ~Garrison Keillor

Say Thanks

If you go to the website above you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and    it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq.  

You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services.  

How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!!!  

his is a great site. Please send a card, it is FREE and it will ony take a few seconds.  

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these?  

Whether you are for or against the war, our guys and gals over there need to know we are behind them.                  

"The gospel is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." ~Garrison Keillor

Fwd: Young soldier needs prayers

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Nov 13, 2006 5:44 PM
Subject: Young soldier needs prayers
To: Ted Mallory

Dear praying friends and family,
        Just read this and wanted to send it on to you for immediate prayers for Chad.  Let's just lift him and his parents up to the Lord and know he is surrounded by God's Holy saint's and angel's.
        Love you all,
PRAYERS NEEDED FOR CHAD FIELD (From his mother)   My son has been shot in Falujah. I wanted to get everyone to pray for my son Chad. Today, Sunday, I got a call from the Army that my son had been shot in the head. I am asking for all your prayers.   He was in a Humvee going through Falujah fighting and a gang of militia fighters fired on the Humvee and hit Chad in the head. The driver got him out of the city and took him to Baghdad. He was in near fatal condition, but now has been upgraded to stable critical.   His dad and I are on standby to fly to Washington then on to Germany as soon as the military calls us to go. The Army is trying to stabilize him enough to fly to Germany and at that time we will leave.   Please pray that my son will not have brain damage and that he will be restored and healed by the blood of Jesus, and the grace of God.   I ask for you to pass this prayer request on so there will be many prayer  warriors praying for him. Thank you so much.
  God Bless,
  Vicky Field
  Granbury, Texas
  Please pray for this young soldier and please pass this request along to
 those who will pray for him,

"The gospel is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." ~Garrison Keillor

Monday, October 30, 2006

Recycling Bibles

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Nadine Friedrichs <>
Date: Oct 30, 2006 6:58 PM
Subject: Recycling bibles
To: Undisclosed-Recipient

Good News We are back in the mission project of Recycling the Gospel only on a smaller scale – just bibles!


Orphan Grain Train has informed us that they need 5000 bibles to ship to India.  Fantastic!!!! Get out the bibles you are not using, check your church for unused bibles, buy a bible or two (or a case) of new bibles as your families special India mission project, ask your organizations if they would purchase new bibles (and have them sent direct to Charter Oak).


NIV seems to be the preferred version if ordering new, but we will accept all versions – King James, Living Bible, God's Word, Beck, Revised, whatever, and all sizes– but must be in good usable condition with cover & pages intact.


We will sort and pack the bibles in St. John's Educational Building basement here in Charter Oak and get them to OGT.  Many of our faithful recyclers have been asking what they can send and our faithful workers miss the fellowship of packing day so this is exciting news! Ever since the last ship container left for Nigeria we have been praying that God would show us what the next project should be – and here it is!!! (The 7 containers sent to Nigeria contained a total of 95 tons of religious materials with a bible count of 24,800)  It is amazing that when one door closes another opens – we just must be watchful that we see the open door.


Remember we can only use bibles – no other religious materials.  Thanks!


Bless you!

Don & Nadine Friedrichs


Bring or send bibles to –

The Friedrichs Family

865 First St.  Box 34

Charter Oak, IA 51439-0034





"The gospel is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." ~Garrison Keillor

Monday, October 16, 2006

"The value of persistent prayer is not that he will hear us...but that we will finally hear him."
- William McGill

Thursday, September 28, 2006

"Prayer that works is prayer that makes a difference, contemplation that turns into action, on behalf of peace and justice in a troubled and unjust world system. Prayer is energy, the energy of love and transformative power. It is given to us to use for the good of all creation. In prayer God gives us the fuel of life, and asks us to live it."

- Margaret Silf,
Ignatian author

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Help me, Lord

"Please help me," I prayed. "Please change me. I know You can do it because I've seen You make drunkards sober and turn thieves into honest men. Please take away these inferiority feelings that are holding me back. Take away this awful shyness and self-consciousness. Let me see myself, not as a scared rabbit, but as someone who can do great things in my life because You are with me, giving me the strength and confidence I need."

~Rev.Norman Vincent Peale,
'Positive Imaging' ©1982

Friday, September 22, 2006

Nobody finds time for prayer. You either take time for it or you don't get it.

- Joan Chittister

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Voltaire's Prayer

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one:
'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.'
And God granted it.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Join us

Prayer Time:

Someone has said that, if Christians really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.

In W.W.II there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace.

There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 pm Eastern Time (8:00 pm Central) (6:00 pm Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and peace. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful assets we have. Together, we can make a difference!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

the fury in the pheasant's wings

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."
- Albert Einstein

Jeremiah 10:11-15

11-15"Tell them this, 'The stick gods
who made nothing, neither sky nor earth,
Will come to nothing
on the earth and under the sky.'"
But it is God whose power made the earth,
whose wisdom gave shape to the world,
who crafted the cosmos.
He thunders, and rain pours down.
He sends the clouds soaring.
He embellishes the storm with lightnings,
launches wind from his warehouse.
Stick-god worshipers looking mighty foolish,
god-makers embarrassed by their handmade gods!
Their gods are frauds—dead sticks,
deadwood gods, tasteless jokes.
When the fires of judgment come, they'll be ashes.

Calling Out Your Name - Rich Mullins

Well the moon moved past Nebraska
And spilled laughter on them cold Dakota Hills
And angels danced on Jacob's stairs
Yeah they danced on Jacob's stairs
There is this silence in the Badlands
And over Kansas the whole universe was stilled
By the whisper of a prayer
The whisper of a prayer

And the single hawk bursts into flight
And in the east the whole horizon is in flames
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

I can feel the earth tremble
Beneath the rumbling of the buffalo hooves
And the fury in the pheasant's wings
And there's fury in a pheasant's wings
It tells me the Lord is in His temple
And there is still a faith that can make the mountains move
And a love that can make the heavens ring
And I've seen love make heaven ring

Where the sacred rivers meet
Beneath the shadow of the Keeper of the plains
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

From the place where morning gathers
You can look sometimes forever 'til you see
What time may never know
What time may never know
How the Lord takes by its corners this old world
And shakes us forward and shakes us free
To run wild with the hope
To run wild with the hope

The hope that this thirst will not last long
That it will soon drown in the song not sung in vain
And I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

And I know this thirst will not last long
That it will soon drown in the song not sung in vain
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And with the prairies I am calling out Your name

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Web Prayer

May the Lord open up
the windows of heaven
and pour you a blessing
that you will not have room
enough to receive it all.

May the Lord bless
you exceedingly and abundantly,
above all you could ever hope for.

May the Lord bless you
that you may walk in a
financial overflow.

May you fall in love with Him
for the rest of your days
in the Name of Jesus.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Praying without ceasing

Praying without ceasing

*Main Scripture*
"Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing fi rm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fi ery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere." (Ephesians 6:13-18, NLT)

*Other Scriptures*
Luke 18:1-7; Romans 8:26-27; Galatians 4:6; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Jude 20

*What Jesus Might Say To You*
Despite the intensity of a spiritual battle or how strong or weak you feel at any given moment, I have given you everything you need to live a godly life and to stand your ground against any attack from your Enemy, Satan.

With every piece of spiritual armor you put on, you clothe yourself with me. I am your helmet of salvation, your breastplate of righteousness, your belt of truth, your shoes of the good news of peace, your sword of the Spirit.

But wearing your spiritual armor still isn't enough. If you run into battle fully equipped but aren't in communication with your command center, you will lose. You need my guidance, my wisdom, my encouragement, and my strength. That's why it's important that you pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Praying at all times means staying in constant communication with me: When you wake up, in between classes, during a test at school, while you're hanging out with your friends, when you go to bed. Prayer is more of an attitude than an activity. Satan loves to ambush my unsuspecting followers. Without prayer he will catch you off guard every time.

As you pray, avoid doing all the talking. I know you have a lot on your heart, but make room for the Holy Spirit to guide you in prayer. Spend time in silence so I can respond to you. But also remember that you're in the middle of a war, not just a fi ght. Other people face the same attacks as you. They need you to pray for them as much as you need them to pray for you.

But there's one more reason why we need to stay connected: I just like to spend time with you!

Your Source for everything,

*Summary Challenge*
Staying connected to Jesus is more of an attitude than an activity.

*Spend Some Time Journaling*

Taken from "Conversations with Jesus" by Youth for Christ, copyright 2006, Youth Specialties/Zondervan. Used by permission. Order the book here:


~ International High IQ Society Puzzles

~ Cool Optical Illusions


Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created especially for Ronald Reagan's inauguration


"Pray often; for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan"
- John Bunyan

"Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life"
- Jonathan Edwards


The easiest way to refold a road map is differently.

*All "surf report" internet links and "potent quotables" are provided for informational purposes, and do not imply endorsement by Youth Specialties.

copyright 2006 :: Youth Specialties

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Body of Christ in Lebanon - SojoMail 07.27.06

"Seven hundred thousand out of a total Lebanese population of 3.5 million, 20 percent of the population, mostly Shiites, are now being cared for and given refuge by mostly Christian schools, churches, and other humanitarian organizations. This is the story of the Good Samaritan at a mega scale! And to think that this is the outcome of a strategy that meant to rouse anti-Hezbollah feelings among the Lebanese population and government. Talk about a failed strategy! Of course, this has happened so many times before that any thoughtful tactician would have learned the lesson by now, but military muscle is always too hedonistic and narcissistic to listen to the voice of reason and history."

- Dr. Martin Accad, academic dean of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary of Lebanon.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Refining and purifying silver

Refining and purifying silver

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"  He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it"

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

 This very moment, someone needs to know that God is watching over them. And, whatever they're going through, they'll be a better person in the end.

There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.

__________ NOD32 1.1675 (20060723) Information __________

This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system.


"The gospel is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." ~Garrison Keillor

Friday, July 07, 2006


Left Behind?
The Facts behind the Fiction
LeAnn Snow Flesher

"There is much to unlearn, and Flesher contributes to that task." - Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

Flesher's explosive book exposes the misuse and abuse of scripture to support the doctrines of "rapture" and "tribulation" in the popular Left Behind series. Although the books are fictional, they promote an understanding of end-time events not shared by most biblical scholars. Flesher's accessible book highlights the importance of understanding history, context, and literary genre, and presents alternative readings of key scriptures, offering guidelines for applying their message today. A must have book for anyone familiar with the Left Behind series. 0-8170-1490-X Paper $14.00.

To order call, 1-800-458-3766 or visit

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

St. Theresa's Prayer:

May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.... May you be content knowing you are a child of God.... Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

Friday, June 30, 2006



Some years ago, on a hot summer day in south Florida , a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

His father, working in the yard, saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could. Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his father. It was too late. Just as he reached his father, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the father grabbed his little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the father, but the father was much too passionate to let go.
A farmer happened to drive by, heard his screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his father's fingernails dug into his flesh in his effort to hang on to the son he loved. The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Dad wouldn't let go."

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly ! and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you.

Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril - and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins - and if you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful. He did not and will not ever let you go.

Please pass this on to those you love. God has blessed you, so that you can be a blessing to others. You just never know where a person is in his/her life and what they are going through. Never judge another person's scars, because you don't know how they got them. Also, it is so important that we are not selfish, to receive the blessings of these messages, without forwarding them to someone else. Right now, someone needs to know that God loves them, and you love them, too - enough to not let them go. Always Tell Your Family And Friends How Much You Love Them!!!

Donna Brown
Executive Director
Wise County Committee on Aging, Inc.
300 N. Trinity
Decatur , TX 76234

Monday, May 22, 2006

The 23rd Psalm

The twenty-third Psalm

This is an eye opener; some probably never thought nor looked at Psalm 23 in this way, even though they say it over and over again.

The Lord is my Shepherd That's Relationship!

I shall not want That's Supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures That's Rest!

He leadeth me beside the still waters That's refreshment!

He restoreth my soul That's Healing!

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness That's Guidance

For His name sake That's Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
That's Testing!

I will fear no evil That's Protection!

For Thou art with me That's Faithfulness!

Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me That's Discipline!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies
Thou anointest my head with oil That's Consecration!

My cup runneth over That's Abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
That's Blessing!

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever That's Eternity

Face it, the Lord is crazy about about you. What is valuable, is not what we have in our lives but WHO we have in our lives. God provides our every need.
Today was a good day, I woke up breathing.
Have a good one.

Friday, May 05, 2006

pray for our troops

"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen."

Sunday, April 30, 2006

A little prayer

In case anyone is interested, Saint Theresa is known as the Saint of the Little Ways. Meaning she believed in doing the little things in life well and with great love.

She is also the patron Saint of flower growers and florists. She is represented by roses.

St. Theresa's Prayer:

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you....
May you be content knowing you are a child of God....
Let His presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing,
and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

In Jesus' Name,

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Dietrich Bonhoeffer | International Dietrich Bonhoeffer Society

Dietrich Bonhoeffer | International Dietrich Bonhoeffer Society

Have you ever heard of this guy? There was an awesome biography on him on PBS the other night. He was a German pastor and theologian who was part of a plot to assasinate Hitler.

Very cool stuff, read some of his writings, he's excellent.

Church History Book & Blog

I am putting together a history of our church for it's anninversary comittee. Since I had all these stories and pictures. AndI thought I'd throw a "blog" together.

Follow this link -

My home church in Phoenix, Christ Church Lutheran had a website-

Our Church in California, Bethlehem Lutheran had an AWESOME website- or

I guess that I'd love to see our church now have a website. But, the committee has concerns that this new blog may make people decide not to buy a copy of the history book... so I may end up deleting it soon. Take a look and let me (or the church office) know if you like it.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Daddy's Chair

Daddy's Chair

A man's daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. "I guess you were expecting me, he said. "No, who are you?" said the father. The minister told him his name and then remarked, "I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up," "Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man. "Would you mind closing the door?" Puzzled, the minister shut the door. "I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter," said the man. "All of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head," " I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old man continued, "until one day four years ago, my best friend said to me, "Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest. "Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It's not spooky because he promised, 'I will be with you always'. "Then just speak to him in the same way you're doing with me right now." "So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I'm careful though, If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send! Me off to the funny farm."
The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the church.

Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon. Did he die in peace?" he asked. Yes, when I left the house about two o'clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?" The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, "I wish we could all go like that."

Send this to four people or more, and do not break this, please. Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive.

I asked God for water,
He gave me an ocean.
I asked God for a flower,
He gave me a garden.
I asked God for a friend,
He gave me all of YOU...

If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Prayers for all week

Wash Day

Lord, help me wash away all my selfishness and vanity, so I may serve you with perfect humility through the week ahead.


Ironing Day

Dear Lord, help me iron out all the wrinkles of prejudice I have collected though the years so that I may see the beauty in others.


Mending Day

Oh God, help me mend my ways so I will not set a bad example for others.


Cleaning Day

Lord Jesus, help me to dust out all the many faults I have been hiding in the secret corners of my heart.


Shopping Day

Oh God, give me the grace to shop wisely so I may purchase eternal
happiness for myself and all others in need of love.


Cooking Day

Help me, my Savior, to brew a big kettle of brotherly love and serve it
with clean, sweet bread of human kindness.


The Lord's Day

Oh God, I have prepared my house for you. Please come into my heart so I may spend the day and the rest of my life in your presence.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Wild Art

Check out WILD ART
that's where you'll find...

1. My paintings, drawings, and prints
2. My photographs & digital images
3. My cartoons
4. Artworks or photos by some of my students
5. Some of my favorite paintings by famous artists and why I like them.

Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Patrick's Day Prayer

I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through a belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today through the strength of Heaven
the rays of the sun,
the radiance of the moon,
the splendor of fire,
the speed of lightening,
the swiftness of the wind,
the depth of the sea,
the stability of the earth
the firmness of rock.

I arise today through the power of God: God's might to comfort me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to lead me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's Heavenly Host to save me from the snares of the devil, from temptations to sin, from all who wish me ill, from near and afar, alone and with others.

May Christ shield me today
against poison and fire,
against drowning and wounding,
so that I may fulfill my mission
and bear fruit in abundance.
Christ behind and before me,
Christ behind and above me,
Christ with me and in me,
Christ around and about me,
Christ on my right and on my left,
Christ when I lie down at night,
Christ when I rise in the morning,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone that speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Monday, March 13, 2006


A sick man turned to his doctor, as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, "Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side." Very quietly, the doctor said, "I don't know." You don't know? You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?"
The doctor was holding the handle of the door; on the other side came a sound of scratching and whining,
and as he opened the door,
a dog sprang into the room
and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said, "Did you notice my dog? He's never been in this room before. He didn't know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing ... I know my Master is there and that is enough."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

pick four

God still sits on the throne.

Each and everyone one of us are going through tough times right now, but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that only He can. Keep the faith.

My instructions were to pick four (4) people that I wanted God to bless, and I picked you. Please pass this to at least four (4) people
you want to be blessed and a copy back to me.

This prayer is powerful, and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards. Let's continue to pray for one another.

The prayer:

Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and those that I care deeply for, who are reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy.

Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace.

Where there is need, I ask you to fulfill their needs. Bless their homes, families, finances, their goings and their comings. In Jesus' precious name.


(If the Lord lays upon your heart to send this to more than four "4" people, you are truly blessed).

Monday, March 06, 2006

From 'Feelings Buried Alive Never Die' By Karol K. Truman

Repeat the phrases with each beginning (example: I choose to be joyful. I feel joyful I am joyful.)


I choose Forgiveness

I feel Forgiveness

I AM Forgiven.

I choose Honor

I feel Honored

I AM Honored

Spirit, please locate the origin of the feelings that keep me from liking and loving myself, Take each and every level, layer, area. and aspect of my Be-ing to this these origins. Analyze and resolve it/them perfectly with Gods truth. Come through all generations of time and eternity healing ever\ incident and its appendages based on the origin. Do it according to God s will until I’m at the present, filled with light and truth. God peace and love: forgiveness of myself for my incorrect perceptions: forgiveness of every person, place. circumstance and event which contributed to these feelings. With total forgiveness and unconditional love I allow every physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual problem and inappropriate behavior based on the negative origin recorded in my DNA. to transform. I choose liking myself. I feel to like myself. I am liking myself. I choose loving myself. I feel love for myself. I am loving myself. I give myself permission to like and love myself. I feel worthy of this love.

It is done. It is healed. It is accomplished now!

Thank you. Spirit, for coming to my aid and helping me attain the fulI measure of my creation. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love You and praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A personal prayer

A personal prayer
(readers can all read & pray and copy/paste and send along or use all of the stuff in bold & italics):

Dear Jesus,

Please strenghen Nick's faith.

Thank you for Kathy, Leesa, Lucia, and Peggy Sue and their help for the soup-supper last night

God bless Megan. Help her and her mom (and her brother) get a long better, don't let them ship her off to boarding school. Help her feel understood, wanted and loved. Protect her from her dad.

God bless Christine and help her get along with her mom.

God bless Stephanie, Andrea, Larissa, Nicki, Nichole, Tanisha, and Sasha- heal them of their wounds. Turn them away from starving themselves or throwing up. Help them to see themselves as you see them, precious and beautiful.

God bless Scott and Kristen as they continue to struggle with their grief for their brother.

God bless Jessica and Chris and Mike and Kenny just because I've been thinking about them all alot lately. God bless Jerry and Amanda, wherever they are.

Reveal Yourself to each of these kids and bring them to Your salvation and into Your Word, prayer and a relationship with You, and into Your family, by some form of fellowship. Fill their lives, their paths, their days and their homes with Your presence, Your Spirit, Your Saints here on Earth to minister and witness to them, and your angels to protect them.

God bless Jamie and Bryon and their baby. Bless & protect that pregnancy.

Thank you for Your great love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. Grant me Your Holy Spirit so that I can bear those same kinds of fruit and bring you glory.

Thank you for Beth and Grace and Ellie and Annamarie.

In Your name I pray,

22 What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.

24 A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Thoughtful Christian

What is

The Thoughtful Christian is a web-based resource center located at It is filled with studies ranging from one to four sessions each for adult groups and individuals. Each session is designed for forty-five minutes to one hour and comes with a three- to four-page Participant Handout and a two- to five-page Leader’s Guide with lesson plans and resources. The studies can be downloaded as Acrobat PDF files, printed out, and photocopied for use in classes or for personal study and devotion. In addition, leaders can e-mail the Participant Handout to students in advance of the next meeting. New studies, including rapid responses to current events, will be added to the site on a regular, ongoing basis.

On Ash Wednesday

I wanted to try to start writing on this blog more regularly, since it is Lent after all. A time for reflection and renewed devotion in gratitude for what the Lord has done for us.

I'd like to write reflections on the book of Ecclesiastes this Lenten season. I may not manage to write everyday, but it should be a good discipline for me, both to get into God's Word, and to write regularly.

But sometimes life can be some banal and mundane, even tedious.
It's hard to maintain that "attitude of gratitude." Sometimes it's hard to be inspired:

4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.

5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises...

7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again...

9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

~from Ecclesiastes, chapter 1

Ah, but what's old will be new again. That's what the Resurrection is about, that's what Spring reminds us of.

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

~2 Corinthians 5:17

Instead of everything being meaningless, like Solomon wrote. EVERYTHING has meaning in Jesus. Because of His love and sacrifice, we see that EVERYTHING is about love and healing relationships. Even the greatest tragedy in history brought people together:

"Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)" by Alan Jackson

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry...

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

The greatest is love
The greatest is love
(1 Cor 13:13)

Ash Wednesday 2006

A prayer for Ash Wednesday

"Day by day, O Lord, three things I pray:
To see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly,
follow thee more clearly,
day by day."

~Richard of Chichester
Chancellor of Oxford University

Bulldog Cheer Coach's Blog: Dare to share

Bulldog Cheer Coach's Blog: Dare to share

A recent post on my Cheerleading site about how coaching is a ministry and how I want to be better about praying for my cheerleaders.

hungry eye: Ash Wednesday 2004

hungry eye: Ash Wednesday 2004
This is my "diet diary."
They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit
Lent is 40 days
I want to rededicate myself to reading the Bible daily
Growing a more active prayer-life,
including praying for my students and cheerleaders and my children & wife
Walking or exercizing more often,
once again,
I switched to decaf.

Lord help me!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Grant that I may not pray alone with the mouth; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart.
- Martin Luther

Friday, February 17, 2006

For such a time as this...

Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She
was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her
first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her
eye and knocked out her contact lens. "Great", she thought. "Here I am on a
rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top
of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry."

She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But
it just wasn't there.
She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm,
and she prayed that she may find her contact lens.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the
lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at
the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range
of mountains. She thought of the bible verse "The eyes of the Lord run to
and fro throughout the whole earth."

She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone
and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they
met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of
them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it?
An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!

The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told
him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he
drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord,
I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's
awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for

I think it would do all of us some good to say, "God, I don't know why You
want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy.
But, if You want me to carry it, I will."

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

Yes, I do love GOD. He is my source of existence and my Savior. He keeps me
functioning each and every day. Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him....I
can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Spend 17 minutes a day on kindness.

Spend 17 minutes a day on kindness.

Medical authority Allan Luks recently published some surprising discoveries about the “healing power of doing good.”

Luks shows that there’s substantial medical evidence that acting kindly produces health benefits remarkably similar to those we enjoy from exercise programs. People who regularly help others develop stronger immune systems, improved cardiovascular circulation, a heightened sense of well-being, and even live longer.

Two hours a week, 17 minutes a day — of kind behavior seem to produce the most significant results.

~ Sourse: ‘Guerrilla Kindness” ©1993 Gavin Whitsett

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Proof or Freedom

"We want God to be strong, so we can be weak. But He wants to be weak so that we can be strong. We want God to prove himself. But he answers, 'Do you want proof or freedom?'"

~Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Yale University Chaplain

Saturday, February 04, 2006

U2 lead singer Bono's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast

If you're wondering what I'm doing here, at a prayer breakfast, well, so am I. I'm certainly not here as a man of the cloth, unless that cloth is leather. It's certainly not because I'm a rock star. Which leaves one possible explanation: I'm here because I've got a messianic complex.

Yes, it's true. And for anyone who knows me, it's hardly a revelation.

Well, I'm the first to admit that there's something unnatural...something unseemly...about rock stars mounting the pulpit and preaching at presidents, and then disappearing to their villas in the south of France. Talk about a fish out of water. It was weird enough when Jesse Helms showed up at a U2 concert...but this is really weird, isn't it?

You know, one of the things I love about this country is its separation of church and state. Although I have to say: in inviting me here, both church and state have been separated from something else completely: their mind.

Mr. President, are you sure about this?

It's very humbling and I will try to keep my homily brief. But be warned - I'm Irish.

I'd like to talk about the laws of man, here in this city where those laws are written. And I'd like to talk about higher laws. It would be great to assume that the one serves the other; that the laws of man serve these higher laws...but of course, they don't always. And I presume that, in a sense, is why you're here.

I presume the reason for this gathering is that all of us here - Muslims, Jews, Christians - all are searching our souls for how to better serve our family, our community, our nation, our God.

I know I am. Searching, I mean. And that, I suppose, is what led me here, too.

Yes, it's odd, having a rock star here - but maybe it's odder for me than for you. You see, I avoided religious people most of my life. Maybe it had something to do with having a father who was Protestant and a mother who was Catholic in a country where the line between the two was, quite literally, a battle line. Where the line between church and state was...well, a little blurry, and hard to see.

I remember how my mother would bring us to chapel on Sundays... and my father used to wait outside. One of the things that I picked up from my father and my mother was the sense that religion often gets in the way of God.

For me, at least, it got in the way. Seeing what religious people, in the name of God, did to my native land...and in this country, seeing God's second-hand car salesmen on the cable TV channels, offering indulgences for fact, all over the world, seeing the self-righteousness roll down like a mighty stream from certain corners of the religious establishment...

I must confess, I changed the channel. I wanted my MTV.

Even though I was a believer.

Perhaps because I was a believer.

I was cynical...not about God, but about God's politics. (There you are, Jim.)

Then, in 1997, a couple of eccentric, septuagenarian British Christians went and ruined my shtick - my reproachfulness. They did it by describing the millennium, the year 2000, as a Jubilee year, as an opportunity to cancel the chronic debts of the world's poorest people. They had the audacity to renew the Lord's call - and were joined by Pope John Paul II, who, from an Irish half-Catholic's point of view, may have had a more direct line to the Almighty.

'Jubilee' - why 'Jubilee'?

What was this year of Jubilee, this year of our Lord's favor?

I'd always read the scriptures, even the obscure stuff. There it was in Leviticus (25:35)...

'If your brother becomes poor,' the scriptures say, 'and cannot maintain shall maintain him.... You shall not lend him your money at interest, not give him your food for profit.'

It is such an important idea, Jubilee, that Jesus begins his ministry with this. Jesus is a young man, he's met with the rabbis, impressed everyone, people are talking. The elders say, he's a clever guy, this Jesus, but he hasn't done much...yet. He hasn't spoken in public before...

When he does, is first words are from Isaiah: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,' he says, 'because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.' And Jesus proclaims the year of the Lord's favour, the year of Jubilee (Luke 4:18).

What he was really talking about was an era of grace - and we're still in it.

So fast-forward 2,000 years. That same thought, grace, was made incarnate - in a movement of all kinds of people. It wasn't a bless-me club... it wasn't a holy huddle. These religious guys were willing to get out in the streets, get their boots dirty, wave the placards, follow their convictions with actions...making it really hard for people like me to keep their distance. It was amazing. I almost started to like these church people.

But then my cynicism got another helping hand.

It was what Colin Powell, a five-star general, called the greatest W.M.D. of them all: a tiny little virus called AIDS. And the religious community, in large part, missed it. The ones that didn't miss it could only see it as divine retribution for bad behaviour. Even on children...even [though the] fastest growing group of HIV infections were married, faithful women.

Aha, there they go again! I thought to myself judgmentalism is back!

But in truth, I was wrong again. The church was slow but the church got busy on this the leprosy of our age.

Love was on the move.

Mercy was on the move.

God was on the move.

Moving people of all kinds to work with others they had never met, never would have cared to meet...conservative church groups hanging out with spokesmen for the gay community, all singing off the same hymn sheet on moms and quarterbacks...hip-hop stars and country stars. This is what happens when God gets on the move: crazy stuff happens!

Popes were seen wearing sunglasses!

Jesse Helms was seen with a ghetto blaster!

Crazy stuff. Evidence of the spirit.

It was breathtaking. Literally. It stopped the world in its tracks.

When churches started demonstrating on debt, governments listened - and acted. When churches starting organising, petitioning, and even - that most unholy of acts today, God forbid, lobbying...on AIDS and global health, governments listened - and acted.

I'm here today in all humility to say: you changed minds; you changed policy; you changed the world.

Look, whatever thoughts you have about God, who He is or if He exists, most will agree that if there is a God, He has a special place for the poor. In fact, the poor are where God lives.

Check Judaism. Check Islam. Check pretty much anyone.

I mean, God may well be with us in our mansions on the hill. I hope so. He may well be with us as in all manner of controversial stuff. Maybe, maybe not. But the one thing we can all agree, all faiths and ideologies, is that God is with the vulnerable and poor.

God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them. "If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom with become like midday and the Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your desire in scorched places."

It's not a coincidence that in the scriptures, poverty is mentioned more than 2,100 times. It's not an accident. That's a lot of air time, 2,100 mentions. (You know, the only time Christ is judgmental is on the subject of the poor.) 'As you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me' (Matthew 25:40). As I say, good news to the poor.

Here's some good news for the president. After 9/11 we were told America would have no time for the world's poor. America would be taken up with its own problems of safety. And it's true these are dangerous times, but America has not drawn the blinds and double-locked the doors.

In fact, you have doubled aid to Africa. You have tripled funding for global health. Mr. President, your emergency plan for AIDS relief and support for the Global Fund - you and Congress - have put 700,000 people onto life-saving anti-retroviral drugs and provided 8 million bed nets to protect children from malaria.

Outstanding human achievements. Counterintuitive. Historic. Be very, very proud.

But here's the bad news. From charity to justice, the good news is yet to come. There is much more to do. There's a gigantic chasm between the scale of the emergency and the scale of the response.

And finally, it's not about charity after all, is it? It's about justice.

Let me repeat that: It's not about charity, it's about justice.

And that's too bad.

Because you're good at charity. Americans, like the Irish, are good at it. We like to give, and we give a lot, even those who can't afford it.

But justice is a higher standard. Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice; it makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties, it doubts our concern, it questions our commitment.

Sixty-five hundred Africans are still dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease, for lack of drugs we can buy at any drug store. This is not about charity, this is about justice and equality.

Because there's no way we can look at what's happening in Africa and, if we're honest, conclude that deep down, we really accept that Africans are equal to us. Anywhere else in the world, we wouldn't accept it. Look at what happened in South East Asia with the tsunami. 150,000 lives lost to that misnomer of all misnomers, "mother nature." In Africa, 150,000 lives are lost every month. A tsunami every month. And it's a completely avoidable catastrophe.

It's annoying but justice and equality are mates. Aren't they? Justice always wants to hang out with equality. And equality is a real pain.

You know, think of those Jewish sheep-herders going to meet the Pharaoh, mud on their shoes, and the Pharaoh says, "Equal?" A preposterous idea: rich and poor are equal? And they say, "Yeah, 'equal,' that's what it says here in this book. We're all made in the image of God."

And eventually the Pharaoh says, "OK, I can accept that. I can accept the Jews - but not the blacks."

"Not the women. Not the gays. Not the Irish. No way, man."

So on we go with our journey of equality.

On we go in the pursuit of justice.

We hear that call in the ONE Campaign, a growing movement of more than 2 million Americans...Left and Right together... united in the belief that where you live should no longer determine whether you live.

We hear that call even more powerfully today, as we mourn the loss of Coretta Scott King - mother of a movement for equality, one that changed the world but is only just getting started. These issues are as alive as they ever were; they just change shape and cross the seas.

Preventing the poorest of the poor from selling their products while we sing the virtues of the free market...that's a justice issue. Holding children to ransom for the debts of their grandparents...that's a justice issue. Withholding life-saving medicines out of deference to the Office of Patents...that's a justice issue.

And while the law is what we say it is, God is not silent on the subject.

That's why I say there's the law of the land¿. And then there is a higher standard. There's the law of the land, and we can hire experts to write them so they benefit us, so the laws say it's OK to protect our agriculture but it's not OK for African farmers to do the same, to earn a living?

As the laws of man are written, that's what they say.

God will not accept that.

Mine won't, at least. Will yours?

[ pause]

I close this morning

This is a dangerous idea I've put on the table: my God vs. your God, their God vs. our God...vs. no God. It is very easy, in these times, to see religion as a force for division rather than unity.

And this is a town - Washington - that knows something of division.

But the reason I am here, and the reason I keep coming back to Washington, is because this is a town that is proving it can come together on behalf of what the scriptures call the least of these.

This is not a Republican idea. It is not a Democratic idea. It is not even, with all due respect, an American idea. Nor it is unique to any one faith.

'Do to others as you would have them do to you' (Luke 6:30). Jesus says that.

'Righteousness is this: that one should...give away wealth out of love for him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for the emancipation of the captives.' The Koran says that (2.177).

Thus sayeth the Lord: 'Bring the homeless poor into the house, when you see the naked, cover him, then your light will break out like the dawn and your recovery will speedily spring fourth, then your Lord will be your rear guard.' The Jewish scripture says that. Isaiah 58 again.

That is a powerful incentive: 'The Lord will watch your back.' Sounds like a good deal to me, right now.

A number of years ago, I met a wise man who changed my life. In countless ways, large and small, I was always seeking the Lord's blessing. I was saying, you know, I have a new song, look after it¿. I have a family, please look after them¿. I have this crazy idea...

And this wise man said: stop.

He said, stop asking God to bless what you're doing.

Get involved in what God is doing - because it's already blessed.

Well, God, as I said, is with the poor. That, I believe, is what God is doing.

And that is what he's calling us to do.

I was amazed when I first got to this country and I learned how much some churchgoers tithe. Up to 10% of the family budget. Well, how does that compare with the federal budget, the budget for the entire American family? How much of that goes to the poorest people in the world? Less than 1%.

Mr. President, Congress, people of faith, people of America:

I want to suggest to you today that you see the flow of effective foreign assistance as tithing.... Which, to be truly meaningful, will mean an additional 1% of the federal budget tithed to the poor.

What is 1%?

1% is not merely a number on a balance sheet.

1% is the girl in Africa who gets to go to school, thanks to you. 1% is the AIDS patient who gets her medicine, thanks to you. 1% is the African entrepreneur who can start a small family business thanks to you. 1% is not redecorating presidential palaces or money flowing down a rat hole. This 1% is digging waterholes to provide clean water.

1% is a new partnership with Africa, not paternalism toward Africa, where increased assistance flows toward improved governance and initiatives with proven track records and away from boondoggles and white elephants of every description.

America gives less than 1% now. We're asking for an extra 1% to change the world. to transform millions of lives - but not just that and I say this to the military men now - to transform the way that they see us.

1% is national security, enlightened economic self-interest, and a better, safer world rolled into one. Sounds to me that in this town of deals and compromises, 1% is the best bargain around.

These goals - clean water for all; school for every child; medicine for the afflicted, an end to extreme and senseless poverty - these are not just any goals; they are the Millennium Development goals, which this country supports. And they are more than that. They are the Beatitudes for a globalised world.

Now, I'm very lucky. I don't have to sit on any budget committees. And I certainly don't have to sit where you do, Mr. President. I don't have to make the tough choices.

But I can tell you this:

To give 1% more is right. It's smart. And it's blessed.

There is a continent - Africa - being consumed by flames.

I truly believe that when the history books are written, our age will be remembered for three things: the war on terror, the digital revolution, and what we did - or did not to - to put the fire out in Africa.

History, like God, is watching what we do.

Thank you. Thank you, America, and God bless you all.