Thursday, April 26, 2007
Charles De Gaulle once said that politics is far too serious to be left in the hands of politicians. I agree!
The politicians in Washington are painfully divided over what should be done about the war in Iraq. The Republicans talk about “staying the course,” which our nation can ill afford. The Democrats, on the other hand, propose a “cut and run” policy, and everyone knows that this would leave a vacuum to be filled with the chaos of all-out civil war. But some of us in the religious community propose a third option, which we believe could get America out of Iraq without leaving a total mess behind. Our plan has three parts.
First, we propose that American and British troops be replaced by an international police force composed of those who better understand the Iraqi culture. Leaders in Saudi Arabia proposed such a solution almost three years ago. Americans and Brits are not only devoid of any grasp of the language and the religion of the Iraqi people, but are defined by many Muslims as a Christian army that has invaded a sacred Islamic land. Our army’s presence is perceived by many in the Muslim world as a rebirth of the medieval crusades.
Second, we propose that the United States appropriate $50 billion to rebuild the towns and cities that the invasion of Iraq has left in shambles. This would be a small price to pay, considering the $2 billion we are presently spending every week in order to keep this war going.
Third, we propose that our president go before the United Nations and ask the world to forgive America for what we have done to Iraq, and how we have set back efforts for world peace. He should point out that he is asking forgiveness on behalf of almost all Americans – because we overwhelmingly lent support to the invasion of Iraq some four years ago. He should further point out that our original intentions were good! We Americans were told that we were invading in order to remove the threat of what we thought were Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Repentance of this kind is necessary because we need to re-establish our moral standing in the world, and confessing wrongdoing is a start for doing that. It is not weakness to admit that we did wrong, especially when the whole world knows that we did. Now is the time for us to live out that verse from 2 Chronicles 7:14, which reads:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
If you are willing to support this proposal, go to www.tikkun.org/iraqpeace. You will find an expanded version of this proposal there, along with an opportunity to sign on with us. Do it now, because time is short and the days are filled with evil (Ephesians 5:16).
Tony Campolo is founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE) and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Mildred, the church gossip, and self-appointed monitor of the church's morals, kept sticking her nose into other people's business. Several members did not approve of her extra curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.
She made a mistake, however, when she accused Henry, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town's only bar one afternoon.
She emphatically told Henry in front of several others that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing.
Henry, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away. He didn't explain, defend, or deny.
He said nothing.
Later that evening, Henry quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred's house...walked home.... and left it there all night.
You gotta love Henry.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
yearbook, news, & pr: "thepresscorps.blogspot
I hope this doesn't become a blog about blogging, that might be like the coffee table book about coffee table books on the old Sienfeld show. What it is about is journalism, photography, and graphic design. I am a high school yearbook adviser who writes a column, draws cartoons, and contributes to a small-town newspaper in Iowa. This blog is a place to post things for my students AND to comment on what's going on in the media."
Monday, April 16, 2007
A statement from John and Elizabeth Edwards
We are simply heartbroken by the deaths and injuries suffered at Virginia Tech. We know what an unspeakable, life-changing moment this is for these families and how, in this moment, it is hard to feel anything but overwhelming grief, much less the love and support around you. But the love and support is there. We pray that these families, these students, and the entire Virginia Tech community know that they are being embraced by a nation. There is a Methodist hymn that gave us solace in such a moment as this, and we repeat its final verse here, in hopes it will help these families, as it helped us:
In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing, in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
Our dearest wish is that this day could start again, with the promise of these young people alive. Knowing that cannot be, our prayer is for God's grace and whatever measure of peace can be reached on this terrible day.
Amen to that too.
By Marc GellmanApril 16, 2007 - Almighty God,Updated: 6:05 p.m. CT April 16, 2007
We ask your blessings of comfort descend like the dew of Heaven for the families of those whose children shed their blood into the concrete and spring grass of a place they had come to for learning and not for death.
We pray also for those who are injured that they might be healed speedily and in our time. We pray for those who believe in You and we pray for those who do not believe in You. May they all find their way through this avalanche of grief and woe by their own lights and by the strength of their friends and families. Comfort them all and heal them all from the wounds of this terrible day.
We also pray for those students and their friends and families who, though not wounded physically, have been traumatized by this senseless act of carnage on their campus and in their lives. Help them to overcome their fear. Strengthen them to face the Springtime of their lives with a wounded but still intact hope.
Heal O Lord, we also pray, all the parents and protectors of all the children who are sent off to all the schools in all the mornings of our lives. Help them to let their children go to school with a smile and a kiss and not a tug and a tear. We know that the chances of such a bloodbath engulfing them are remote, but like lightning or a sudden storm, we know that the chances for complete safety are an illusion in our wounded world. We truly and sorrowfully know that some storms cannot be weathered. So it is with the storm of murderous evil on this day. We know that we must let them go, but today we do not want to let them go. Today we only want to hold them close. Help us all to live with the terrifying challenge of freedom and fate.
In Exodus 19:4 we read that You took us out of Egypt on eagle's wings. The symbolism of this is lost to many of us who do not know the way of eagles. Those who watch eagles know that they teach their young to fly by pushing them out of their nests built upon high cliffs and then flying close to them as their chicks fall and flap their untested young wings. When their young fall too far, the eagle parents swoop down, catch their young on their pinion feathers, and flip them upward into the sky to save them from the rocks below and to give them another chance to reach the sky. Eagle parents do catch most of their eagle fledglings. We know this because there are still eagles in the sky. Still, we know that they do not—they cannot—catch them all. Nor can we.
Oh dear God, heal us from our grief at the sight of our fallen eagles. Help us, but mostly help them to find a way to believe Springtime and the blue sky still beckons.
Of course, as defensive as I may have been in my introduction, I sincerely do want to add,In Jesus' precious Name,
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Ephesians 6:16 tells us to take up the shield of faith.
What exactly is faith? Hebrews 11:1 It's NOT the same as just believing, even the demons do that and shudder James 2 :19
Where does it come from? Romans 10:17, so listen, by reading your Bible regularly, attending a church service, listening to Christian music, participating in a Bible study, doing personal devotions, reading a blog like this- do these things and God will feed your faith in Him.
Now, what good is faith. Well let's start by considering what St. Paul and his readers in ancient Ephesus considered shields. Not a dinky little round thing like Captain America's jiffy Frisbee- Roman shields were more like lugging around a door. Most of them were like 4 foot tall by 2 foot wide, made out of wood and covered by leather- that could be soaked in water to help extinguish the flaming arrows of the enemy. Roman soldiers could just kneel down behind it and be pretty well protected. If they lined up together, it made a pretty decent wall. (see the picture above)
- The Bible tells us that we are saved by Grace through Faith Ephesians 2:8-9
- Because we have faith, we are no longer at war with God- I for one would rather be His ally than His enemy- Romans 5:1-2 (by the way, it's faith in Him that can get us through the hard times Romans 5: 3-5)
- Faith makes us solid like a ROCK, like a MOUNTAIN! With faith, we cannot be moved! Psalm 125:1
- The shield of faith works together with the breastplate of righteousness. The righteous shall live by faith Habakkuk 2:4 & Romans 1:17
The point is, we need to come together with other Christians to share our faith with, share our troubles with, pray for each other and with each other, and support each other in our faith and in life's struggles. See Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Thessalonians 3:10 There's power in numbers, so if you aren't in some kind of fellowship yet, ask God to lead you to a church, a Bible study or prayer group or worship community of some kind. Even if it's just a few Christian friends, a mentor or a prayer partner, God will provide you with just what He knows you need. Maybe it's just a friend or two who all challenge each other to read the Bible on their own and talk about what you've learned while you go for a walk or play video games or something as simple as that.
Remember the tortoise and the hair. There's safety in numbers.
If you're looking for something, here's your open invitation- I teach the high school Bible Study at my Church in Charter Oak, St. John's. It's at 8:50 in the kitchen in the basement, if you ever want to come sit in, you're always welcome. 104 Birch Avenue. Charter Oak, IA 51439.
Me ka pule,
Friday, April 13, 2007
Click here to see tons of cartoons- http://tmal.multiply.com/photos/album/2
Not only do I think that the last 5 weeks or so are some of my best political cartoons, but I just added another 5 non-political ones that I did in PhotoShop. There's over 100 cartoons there. It's more than a hobby, it's becoming an obsession. Listen, it's a psychological illness- I NEED for you to look at these cartoons. Fortunately, I don' t need you to laugh or to agree with all of them. I know that this is a lousy spam message, but I can't help myself! If you promise to forward this web address to at least a couple of other people who might like to read cartoons, I think that will bring me psychological well-being so that I'll stop sending spam to you. Seriously. As long as you're there, you can click on one of the other menus on the top of the page, like "home," so that you can see tons of other artwork, paintings, drawings, computer graphics, and photos of Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama. You might even be tempted to bookmark it and visit it every other week to see new cartoons.
Beg, beg, plead
Pirate Prayers at:
Ted's cartoons, artworks, photos, and commentary at:
"The gospel is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." ~Garrison Keillor
"Prayer leads you to see new paths and to hear new melodies in the air. Prayer is the breath of your life which gives you freedom to go and stay where you wish and to find the many signs which point out the way to a new land,. Praying is not simply some necessary compartment in the daily schedule of a Christian or a source of support in time of need, nor is it restricted to Sunday morning or a as a frame to surround mealtimes. Praying is living."
from “With Open Hands”
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Jim Wallis: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Sixty-two years ago today, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged at the Nazi concentration camp in Flossenburg, Germany, for his role in the anti-Hitler resistance. His books – Life Together, Ethics, The Cost of Discipleship, Letters and Papers from Prison, and others – continue to be read and discussed widely. Last year, Harper San Francisco published A Year With Dietrich Bonhoeffer, short meditations drawn from his writings for each day of the year. Wallis wrote the foreword to the book, and later excerpted it as a column in Sojourners magazine, noting, "The more I read Bonhoeffer, the more amazed I became. He seemed to break all the categories."
Grace and peace to you this day!
My friend Carolyn asked me a question about this time period from Passover to Pentecost and so, you can thank her for the coming forth of this message!
Passover, or Pesach, as the festival is called in Hebrew, commemorates the deliverance of the Israelites from more than two hundred years of slavery in Egypt, and their mass exodus as set forth in Exodus Ch. 1-15.
This event marked the birth of the Jews as a free people and so for us, symbolizes a deliverance from various bondages. Its dominant theme is freedom from slavery.
The name Hag ha-Pesach, meaning the "Festival of Passover", is one of the commonly-used names for this festival. "Pesach" is a reference to the Paschal offering brought on the eve of the festival, and commemorates God's promise in Exodus 12:13 "to pass over you, and there shall be no plague upon you to destroy you".
The Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost as we refer to it, also known as Shauvot, is the Biblical harvest festival celebrated 50 days after the Sunday which falls out during Passover. These fifty days are called,
The Counting of the Omer.
Shauvot is the second of three annual pilgrimage festivals in the Hebrew calendar. Many post-biblical people believe it to be the anniversary of the Revelation at Sinai, but there is no reference to this in the Old Testament. (Note the parallel between the Old and New Testaments, in the former, the Ten Commandments were given; in the latter, the gift from God was the descent of Holy Spirit).
Shauvot is the only holiday in the Old Testament (called, the Tanach), not given a fixed calendar date. The people are commanded to celebrate it at the end of a 50-day period know as "The Counting of the Omer", Shauvot being the 50th day.
The commencement of this 50 day period is marked by the bringing of the Omer offering in the Temple:
"And you shall count from the morrow after the Sabbath from the day you bring the Omer (sheaf) of Waving; seven complete Sabbaths shall you count....until the morrow of the seventh Sabbath you will count 50 days....and you shall proclaim on this very day, it shall be a holy convocation for you." (Lev. 23:5-16, 21)
Joshua 5:11 tells us that after the Israelites entered into Canaan, "And they ate of the produce of the land in the morrow after the Pesach (sacrifice), Matzot and parched (barley) on this very day. And the manna ceased on the morrow when they ate of the produce of the land..."
The Israelites were also forbidden of the new crops until the day of the Omer offering, as set forth in Leviticus 23:14: "And bread and parched (barley) and Carmel you will not eat until the very day until you bring the sacrifice of your God; it shall be an eternal statute for your generations in all your habitations."
Joshua 5:11 is repeating that the first Omer offering in Israel was brought on the morrow after the Pesach, after which the Israelites were permitted to eat the produce of the land.
The purpose of the counting is to connect the festival of Pesach with the festival of Shauvot, to remind us that the release from physical bondage and the political freedom represented by Pesach is not complete freedom, unless it culminates in the spiritual lifestyle, disciplines, and observances represented by Shauvot, which celebrates God's revelation to Israel of the Ten Commandments.
In this connection we must look at Deuteronomy 29:13-14: "Neither with you only [do I make this Covenant] but with him that standeth here with us, and also with him that is not here with us this day."
So we learn that during this period, we are to be perservering in the strengthening of our spiritual disciplines. What began as God's mighty liberation out of bondage on Passover, must be followed through by 50 days of attentiveness to His Presence. Remember, in Exodus, the people had to keep their eyes on the pillar of fire and the cloud, and when the cloud moved, so did the people move.
Thus, this 50 day period is a time for great movement in our lives; as we follow God, He will be faithful to lead us to the land of milk and honey.
Remember as well, that 50 is a number of great spiritual significance.
The freedom that begins with Passover does not end there; it must find final fulfillment in the presence of Holy Spirit entering our lives in a new and profound way.
Blessings to you thisday,
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
The comics page lost another great this weekend. B.C. was #2 in world wide circulation behind Peanuts and it's creator Johnny Hart was certainly close in my heart behind Peanuts creator Charles Schultz too. In the beginning, he was criticized for being too mature, edgy, even and slightly political. In the late 50's & early 60's when he came on the scene, his stuff was a revolutionary as Schultz's but in different ways. His jokes were more like what you'd hear in a cocktail lounge than the family sitcom or vaudeville shtick that had came before. On the other hand, in recent years he had come under criticism for being so unabashedly, unapologetically evangelically Christian. I may not have seen 100% eye-to-eye on some of his conservative-Christian positions, but I completely support his right to use his comic strip as a forum for airing them. I have tons of old Fawcett brand paperbacks of B.C. strips and it was still one of my favorites in newspapers. Mort Walker, Dik Brown, and Bill Keene all had their sons take over their features for them. Johnny was one of the last of his generation. He leaves a gaping hole on the funny pages, but our loss is Heaven's gain. The NEW Jerusalem Post will no doubt enjoy his brand of humor for eternity.
‘B.C.’ cartoonist Johnny Hart dies at storyboardALBANY, N.Y. - For millions of comic strip readers, the prehistoric era was a hoot: Cavemen played baseball, ants went to school, birds rode on the back of turtles and snakes made quips.
Creator of long-running caveman comic had stroke at age 76
All of it was thanks to cartoonist Johnny Hart, who died Saturday at age 76 while working at his home in the nearby hamlet of Nineveh. “He had a stroke,” his wife, Bobby, said Sunday. “He died at his storyboard.”
Hart’s “B.C.” strip was launched in 1958 and eventually appeared in more than 1,300 newspapers with an audience of 100 million, according to Creators Syndicate Inc., which distributes it.Read the rest at MSNBC
Is it time for a new Martin Luther?
By John Edwards "486 years ago come April 16th Martin Luther appeared in Worms to be offered the opportunity to recant his statements (“The 95 Theses”) regarding the power of the Pope to sell dispensation (Indulgences) for earthly sins to the living and the families of the dead.
What do you mean 'dispensation'? Early in the sixteenth century the Church discovered a new business opportunity-why limit yourself to offering forgiveness to the marketplace of the living, when you could “grow the brand”, as it were, and offer the same services to the deceased for sins they committed during life?
How can you make money from the dead? Easily, if you convince their living descendants that forgiveness in the “afterlife” (the ability to move from Purgatory to Heaven, for example) depends on a steady stream of payments from the living. And thus the “Indulgences” industry was born.
How far had the Catholic Church strayed from Christian principles? In 1536 William Tyndale was strangled and burned at the stake (taking no chances, apparently) for translating the Bible into English-versions of the Bible not translated by the Church were listed in the Church’s “Index of Banned Books”, and violation of the rule was a capital offense.
He declined. With that act, resistance "
The actions of Martin Luther are the basis for the formation of the Protestant Church (“Lutheran” of course, being derived from his name).
So here we are, 486 years later, and the wheel seems to have turned full circle.
It is not difficult today to find examples of those who would teach hate as enlightenment, or those who would assert the gathering of wealth is serving a higher purpose.
It is easy to find those who call themselves Christian, but who would ignore the missive “...If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (John 3:16-18).
There are even those who suggest that a final battle will cause the death of the Unbelievers, and bring, in a final show of God’s love, the Second Coming-and that we should do all we can to encourage the process.
With all this in mind, I humbly offer a few New Theses for today.
--Hate is not a tool for spreading understanding.
--Revenge is not a means to achieve righteousness.
--Taking away from the poor because you need the money to kill others will not get you into Heaven.
--If your religion is guided by voices from Heaven, be careful of voices from Earth.
--I don’t care who you are, if you think you understand the One and only Truth about anything metaphysical-you don’t.
--As regards a Second Coming: be careful what you wish for-you may get it.
This is a community.
Let’s all be Martin Luther today.
Do you have a thesis of your own?
Add it to the list-think of it as your own Easter egg to the rest of us.
Ted's take: Wow! When will all of the supposed "conservative-Christians" cease to listen to Bill O'Rielly, Rush Limbaugh, or Jerry Fawell and James Dobson and start listening to Jesus Christ? "Love your enemy, blessed are the peacemakers, go and sell everything and give it to the poor."
Being from South Carolina, I just assumed that Edwards was a Southern Baptist, but this blog entry of his has me thinking he knows his Luther. Click here to read the original post on his blog- he includes a outstanding quote from (Martin Luther in 1545).
One of my favorite parts of Barack Obama's book is when he wondered, as a Constitutional Law professor at the University of Chicago, whether or not the Theology professors were as frustrated as he was- that their students didn't bother reading Scripture (or in his case the Constitution) but hat tiny bits memorized out of context that they used to support their preconceived positions. That's the opposite of sound practice, which is exegesis- learning from Scripture what your position ought to be.
Me ka pule,
Monday, April 09, 2007
"Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom."
or as Luther put it "sin boldly."
"Christ must be the light that shines through you, and the people looking at you must see only Jesus. You have a challenge from Jesus to meet: He has shed the light, and you will take His light and lighten every heart you meet."~ Mother Teresa
The Wall of Separation » Blog Archive » A Matter Of Honor: The Truth Comes Out About Former Chaplain Klingenschmitt
The Wall of Separation » Blog Archive » A Matter Of Honor: The Truth Comes Out About Former Chaplain Klingenschmitt
When I attended an event for Barack Obama in Denison, a woman asked a question about how she felt that Christians were being persecuted and that God was being removed from all aspects of public life. She complained about the removal of a monument to the Ten Commandments from a federal judge’s court in Alabama and expressed fear because churches in other countries were accused of hate-speech crimes because of their teachings agains homosexuality.
Obama explained that he was a Christian and invited listeners to visit his church on the South side of Chicago. He explained that he does not believe that Christians are unduly persecuted in the United States, but rather, judging by the attendance at Washington prayer breakfasts among other factors, he felt that the faith was flourishing. He noted that the founders, while believers themselves, believed that the government should not impose any one interpretation of religion on its citizens. He also thought that it was in the best interest of churches not to get “entangled” with the government and thereby risk watering down their message or having to wrestle with red tape.
Obama expressed his support for voluntary prayer groups and Bible study clubs in public schools. However, when it came to a judge, he said that it was important that non-Christians not be made to feel that they were not entitled to the same level of justice that Christians are in the American system.
One of the examples the woman cited was a Navy Chaplain who she claimed was discharged because he prayed in the name of Jesus. Turns out this chaplain is just another example of the religious right taking things out of context in order to make their point, which is not genuinely Christian, but genuinely political and selfish- Here are excerpts from an article at the Americans United for the separation of church and state's website-
Former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt is quickly becoming the Religious Right’s latest phony martyr.
Klingenschmitt claims he was drummed out of the Navy because he wanted to pray in the name of Jesus. In fact, he got tossed out for being insubordinate. Far from being a hero and a role model, Klingenschmitt is exactly what the military does not need: an officer who would not do what was expected of him.
Naval regulations forbid service members from wearing their uniforms to political or partisan events. This directive is clear and has been in place for a long time. Nevertheless, Klingenschmitt insisted on wearing his uniform to a Religious Right-hosted protest and press conference opposing the military’s inclusive policies on religion. He showed up on the street outside the White House in the company of former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, Religious Right activist Rob Schenck and Texas preacher-politician Rick Scarborough.
Klingenschmitt could haveCapt. Norm Holcomb, command chaplain at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, sent an e-mail to the Kentucky House, giving every representative the facts about the Klingenschmitt controversy.
attended the event
in civilian clothes, but
he chose not to...
“I was the dishonored ex-chaplain’s supervisor for the past 2 years,” Holcomb wrote in his message. “I found him to be totally untruthful, unethical and insubordinate. He was and is contemptuous of all authority. He was not court martialed for praying in Jesus’ name. I sent him out in uniform every week to pray at various ceremonies and functions. He always prayed in uniform and in Jesus’ name. He was never told that he could not pray in Jesus’ name. In fact, the issue of prayer had nothing at all to do with his dismissal from the Navy. He disobeyed the lawful order of a senior officer. I am sure that you understand that Navy Regulations forbid any of us, regardless of rank or position, to appear in uniform in support of any political or partisan event.”
Holcomb goes on to say, “He appeared in direct support of a political event, demonstrating contempt for the order of his Commanding Officer and Naval Regulations that we all swear that we will abide by…. The ex-chaplain is a man without honor and you have accepted his story and in doing so you have had ‘the wool pulled over your eyes.’
Holcomb, an ex-marine who served in Vietnam, notes that he is himself is a “born-again evangelical Christian” who has been a naval chaplain for 27 years.
He writes, “We have been relatively quiet regarding our ex-chaplain’s untruthfulness and lack of honor because we are embarrassed that one of our own could display such behavior in the name of our Lord. We wanted to spare all concerned the embarrassment associated with his dishonesty. However, it now seems that it would be wrong for those of us who know the truth to remain silent. I served with him and supervised him (as best as it was possible to supervise a person who refused to submit to lawful authority) and I know about his daily dishonesty and ‘spin’ of the truth.”
What Would Jesus Do? I'm sorry if this makes other Christians frustrated, but I just do not believe that Jesus would lie or misrepresent Himself in order to promote a conservative religious political agenda. As a matter of fact, wasn't it a group of power-hungry people like that who conspired to have Him killed? I know, I know (don't come down on my for being theologically incorrect) I realize that He died for my sins and no one could take His life unless He gave it up freely, but I think you get my point.
Me ka pule,
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Return to the land of the living
Charter Oak-Ute NEWSpaper - Schleswig Leader, Thursday, April 5, 2007 - Page 3
As if his torture wasn’t excruciating enough, which by the way consisted of the most advanced and brutal means available to the military at the time- as if the torture wasn’t bad enough, all of it was essentially because there were people who didn’t want to lose power- not because he had violated any laws.He was an easy mark for both sides.
The people who wanted to establish a theocracy used him as a scape goat with the occupying super power to draw attention away from their own corruption and behind the scenes power-brokering. The soldiers were all too happy to oblige, They were tired and frustrated being stationed so far from their families, and hated and resented by the people who they believed they were helping by bringing civilization and order.
The political envoy acted the way you can expect politicians to behave. He didn’t want to give the religious leaders the blood they craved, but he certainly wasn’t about to stick his neck out for, for what? A member of the lunatic fringe? A leader of yet another splinter sect? A thinker? An activist, pundit, spiritual healer, guru? He tried to evade taking responsibility for whatever torture or execution that the man would be subjected to- but truthfully, this was a win-win for a politico. His soldiers could release some aggression, maybe even improve their morale a little. The men with the religious clout would be placated because they’d feel as if their “imperial oppressors” were giving them some modicum of authority. And who knows, hopefully he could even win over some minds and hearts of the people by making it look like he was responsive to their leaders for once.
As if the torture, incarceration under false pretenses, the kangaroo court held in secret in the middle of the night, with no representation, as if all this wasn’t enough- and oh yeah, the slow, cruel death, as if that wasn’t enough, then there was carrying all of the weight of all of the sins and hatred and selfishness and ugliness and pain of all of the people of all of the world through all of the ages, all at once.
But when it was over, it was over and done. He was the one and only sacrificial lamb, the last one and the ultimate one for all time. He tore the curtain that separated the profane from the divine. The war was over and the reconciliation could begin. The Father and ALL of His children could finally have a healed relationship thanks to His only “begotten” Son.How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
His long time rival and sworn enemy was caught surprised in the midst of his gloating and premature celebrating. He broke through the gates of his compound and marched in to declare victory.The very Earth trembled. Soldiers who had days before made sure His fate was secure were now slack jawed with awe and amazement.
Early Sunday morning, women took the things they needed to ceremonially prepare the body to the vault where they expected it to be. It was open. They were confused when He wasn’t there and were taken aback by two people in clothes that glowed like an electrical charge. The women fell on the ground in fear.These messengers asked them simply,“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you, that He must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ "
Finally, the light bulbs went on in their heads and it dawned on them that He had told them exactly how things were going to happen.Now, He was the first born to new life. Like the first Robin of Spring, or the first daffodil to break through the snow. Because He died for us, defeated death and rose again, He will raise us all who believe in Him and one day where blood stained the ground, instead a carpet of flowers will bloom and beckon in the whole new creation.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Too Much Coffee Man - Opera
This is hilarious- an aria about coffee by Shannon Wheeler- one of the greatest cartoonists ever.
I "pirated" this image of a t-shirt that he sells on his website because I thought it really "fit" this blog's theme. Har har
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Gee whiz, somebody with too much fear and loathing has too much time with Macromedia Flash. Was that Wagner playing in the background? Liked it, but it's already WAY overused.
I don't know man, I appreciate that terrorism is bad and that Islamic fundamentalism is potentially dangerous, but why not nuke Saudia Arabia then? Weren't like 15 of the 9/11 hijackers from there? And didn't most of the funding for the operation come from there? I know that Republicans want to paint Dems as soft on terrorism if they want to treat it as a law-enforcement/investigation thing or a diplomacy and economic development thing instead of as a big bad ass military thing, but sometimes you need to stay calm and be smart instead of being a spaz. Kudos to the Brits on riding out this thing with their sailors for example.
I know you know your Bible and I knoy you know your history probably better than me, so forgive me, I don't mean to patronize, but allow me to throw some quotations at you to give you my perspective on this blatantly propaganda video clip-
"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." ~Hermann Goering
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18
And more importantly...
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." ~ 2 Corintians 10:3-4 (Try Faith, Hope and LOVE, try the armor of God in Ephesiand 6:10 ff !!!)
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?" ~Matthew 5:43-47
How do we get the religious fundaMENTALs in our own country to listen to their Lord and chill out? Who was it that said "we have nothing to fear, but fear itself?" Definitely not a Bushie.
Who writes this stuff. Granted, I'm no fan of Islamic Fundamentalism and Iran's leader seems to put the "mental" in Fundamental, but can it really be explained as easy as this piece of internet propaganda says it is? I'm not quite buying it. It smacks of Red Scare type propoganda to me. What are your thoughts?
---------- Forwarded Message ----------Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 10:29 AMSubject: "Jihad--Some things you should know")This is a heck of a video--if you haven't seen it before.http://www.terrorismawareness.org/know-about-jihad/
Monday, April 02, 2007
Tip #1 if you live in earthquake country? Keep a pair of shoe by the bed. When we woke up to the Northridge Earthquake in January 1994, we were in total darkness once the tremors ceased. As we tried to find our way out of our destroyed apartment we could hear glass crunching under our feet. We totally expected to be bleeding profusely. What saved us from walking directly on all the broken windoes, picture frames and glasses and dishes were the layers of books that had fallen off of the shelves. But ever since that morning- shoes by our bedsides. Believe it.
If you are going to "stand firm" against the devil's schemes, God wants you to make sure that you have His shoes on.
Here are a few passeges to look up if you want to know how to strap on the shoes of peace:
Are you like me? Embarassed by your homely feet? Got yucky toenails? Major tan lines? Hairy nuckles? Well, don't be embarassed anymore, because you've got GOOD NEWS!
"How beautiful are the feet that bring good news" Isaiah 52:7
Feel nervous or anxious about sharing the Good News? That's okay, God will not only give you peace, "He'll BE your peace!" Micah 5:4-5
Just like John the Baptist's dad prayed for him before he was born, God wants to lead you in the paths of peace. Luke 1:68-79
Once, you were God's enemie, but Jesus put an end to that state of war, now there is peace between God and us. Romans 5:1
So, you can be calm, you can be at peace, and that makes you ready. What do I mean, "ready?"
You've got to be ready to explain to people why you have so much hope and peace. Be ready to tell them the Good News that brings such peace. 1 Peter 3:15
You say you wish you had more peace in your life?
Well, here's how. IF you bring EVERYTHING "by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving... to God" in prayer, then- guess what? THEN "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus!" Philippians 4:6-7
I recently had a student asking me what the diferences between denominations are. They attend a non-denominatinal congregation once or twice a month. They asked their pastor what tradition or background he came from and he told her Pentacostal.
Here is some of what I wrote her:
Here is a website that has a chart that compares some to the different doctrines and positions of the different mainstream Christian denominations. http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/charts/denominations_beliefs.htm
Maybe it's a little too complicated (or too boring), but I thought you might be interested since you were asking me about it the other day. "Non-denomination" basically means that your congregation, or pastor can sort of pick and choose what you believe to be the closest to what God would have us believe without having to have the rest imposed on you by some higher-up governing organization.
Because many Pentecostal denominations are descended from Methodism, most Pentecostals believe that the ability to believe in Jesus is a power of the human free will. We Lutherans think that you can't come to believe and confess Jesus with out the help of the Holy Spirit- Ironic since Pentecostals put more emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit, thus their name, which comes from when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to His disciples on Pentecost (50 days after the Passover).
Most Pentecostal denominations are aligned with Evangelicalism in that they emphasize the reliability of the Bible and the need for the transformation of an individual's life with faith in Jesus. Pentecostals also adhere to the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy. That much is the same as Lutherans. If I remember right, the biggest organized Pentecostal denomination is the "American Foursquare Church." Pentecostalism pretty much started in the U.S. in the late 1800's and really got going int he 20th century. But obviously, your church isn't called "non-denominational" for nothing. I assume that they want to put Jesus first and any other theology or doctrine second. When I lived in LA, it did seem like most non-denominational churches were Baptist, Fundamentalist, or "Vineyard" which is actually kind of a modernized form of Quaker. Most Pentecostal churches either called themselves Pentecostal or Foursquare.
I don't know if this helped any or just made things even more confusing. The most important thing is that you know that Jesus loves you and died for you and rose again from the dead. That and that He wants you to grow in your relationship with Him and the best ways to do that are reading the Bible, praying, worshiping Him, and having fellowship with other believers. I think that you can worship Him, learn more about Him, and develop friendships with other believers at just about any Christian church, no matter what denomination. Although, be aware that Mormons and Jahovah's Witnesses aren't actually Christian, even if they seem like it. I would ask God to provide you with Christian fellowship and to guide you to a Church family near home that He thinks is right for you. Meanwhile keep asking questions and getting involved at your church in Omaha.
I teach the high school Bible Study at my Church in Charter Oak, St. John's. It's at 8:50 in the kitchen in the basement, if you ever want to come sit in, you're always welcome.