Sunday, December 31, 2006

Rope Burn?

When they were preparing to hang Saddam Hussein, I noticed they placed a black cloth around his neck before slipping on the noose. Were they really that concerned about him getting rope burns?

I read somewhere they also use the little alcohol wipe on inmates before executing them by lethal injection.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hang 'Em High

Considering the following "Saddam Timeline:"

  • 12/13/03 - Captured by US forces.
  • 10/19/05 - Trial for crimes against humanity begins
  • 11/05/06 - Sentenced to death
  • 12/26/06 - Appeals court upholds death sentence
  • 12/30/06 - Execution
From time of capture to time of execution was just over three years. Compared to the judicial system in the USA, that's lightning fast! I wonder what the chances are of having the Iraqi officials take over the prison system here and doing a little "house-cleaning?!"

There are 168 inmates awaiting rulings on appeals to their death sentences in the state of Oklahoma. Eight are awaiting retrial or new sentencing hearings. One of those inmates is a sleazebag named Corey Hamilton (pictured right). The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals recently set a Jan. 9 execution date for 37-year-old Tulsa County killer. Hamilton was convicted of the Aug 17, 1992 killings of four individuals, each of whom were shot in the back of the head at point-blank range, during a robbery of the restaurant where they worked. The four men stole $2100 before killing the employees.

Co-defendant, Donnie Eugene Daniels testified against Hamilton, naming him as the sole gunman. Daniels recieved five life sentences for his part in the robbery/murders. Another co-defendant, Hamilton's brother, received four no-parole life sentences and one-life sentence; the fourth defendant in the case is serving four life sentences. Corey Hamilton is in the fifth stage of appeals.

Before I make my point / finish my rant, I'd like you to "meet" Hamilton's victims:

Joseph Gooch was an only child; he was 17 when a bullet to the head cut short his life. Gooch was a junior at Edison High School who liked working on cars, was second-chair trumpet in the band. He had hoped to join the U.S. Air Force and become an aerospace engineer. It was his third day at the restaurant.

Ted Kindley graduated from Rogers High School and was attending Tulsa Junior College. He took a second job to pay for college, but was given a raise at Lee's so he could quit the second job. He was 19 when he died.

Sendy Lara was 27 and a young mother who left behind three children: Amanda, 6; Gilbert Jr., 3; and Miranda, 18 months. She was not scheduled to work that evening- the restaurant called her in.

Stephen Lee Williams' mother, Janice Ramsey wonders what her 24-year-old son would have been like had he not been shot that night.

None of these people were given an "appeal"; instead they were herded into the restaurant's freezer, and shot execution style. No second chance. No nothing! And now I hear that poor little Corey Hamilton is claiming "cruel and unusual punishment" should the execution by lethal injection be carried out. Hamilton's attorneys asked the court to delay the execution, contending Oklahoma's injection procedure creates a severe and unnecessary risk of failure and conscious physical suffering. FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD! He murdered four people in cold blood-- didn't ask them if THEY thought it was cruel or might cause "physical suffering!!!!" (Note: I have never experienced it, but I have to imagine that being shot in the head with a gun at close range would cause PHYSICAL SUFFERING!)

Personally, I don't give a hoot about Hamilton's (or any of the other convicted killers on Oklahoma's death row) Eighth Amendment rights. It's been too long! Hang him. Inject him. Put him in front of a firing squad OR all of the aforementioned. This appeals mess where a murderer sits around for years crying about their "rights" is ridiculous (in Hamilton's case 14 years)!

Where's the number for that Iraqi "hanging squad?"

(Biographical sketches of victims and details of Corey Hamilton's crime take from various articles in the Tulsa World)

Oh, yeah...Happy New Year.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Nip It in the Bud!

I received the first six seasons of the Andy Griffith Show on DVD for Christmas. 189 episodes!!! It doesn't get much better than that. Oh yeah, I got a pair of the Bose Triport headphones, too. Spent the day with the in-laws and out-laws and ate too much. A very enjoyable day with the fam.

"God With Us"

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. --Isaiah 9:6

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's the Same Every Year

Every year around Christmas, we do the same thing. One night, when everyone is home (and that's getting tougher to do each year), we get together a bunch of snacks and watch "A Christmas Story"-- you know, the movie where Ralphie's mom keeps telling him: "you'll shoot your eye out!" We've been doing this since the mid-80's. Our favorite scene is when "Flick" sticks his tongue to the flagpole and all the other kids leave him out in the snow because "the bell rang" (you'd have to see or know the movie to understand the context). I love it.

M E R R Y   C H R I S T M A S!

The Lord Will Give You a Sign...

I read several blogs each day. Some of them for entertainment, some to keep up on what's happening in various "movements." One blog I've recently started reading is The Theologian's Cafe. Each day, he posts a question or two such as: "What is the maximum amount of items someone should check out in the self-check out line labeled fast lane?" or "Should an obese passenger have to pay extra for a plane ticket?" Some of the topics are prompted by current news items or events; others, who knows where he gets the inspiration for the question. of the questions yesterday (12.20.06) was "Do you believe the part of the story that said Jesus was born of a virgin?"

The range of answers was interesting to say the least. Lots of people said "Yes"; lots of people said "No." Some answers revealed a lack of understanding of the question all together. One responder wrote: "Can anyone NOT be born a virgin?" Some answers defied logic: "No. Even though I believe in God and Jesus, I don't believe everything in the Bible."

The answer that really got me was: "Actually, my pastor told me, back then virgin meant young woman, not someone who hadn't had sex..."

A couple of thoughts come to mind here.

  1. If Mary wasn't a virgin (chaste; having never had sexual relations), what's the big deal? Where is the miracle? Isaiah 7:14 says: "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." Where's the "sign" if Mary is simply a "young girl?"
  2. How in the world is that Pastor able to read the Bible and come up with an answer like that?

You can read the whole thread here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Once Saved, Always Saved...Maybe

Cruising Slice of Laodicea this morning, I came across a link to this "advertisement" on Robert Schuller's website for a free ticket to heaven. According to the website, the ticket reads:

Each card says simply this: "Anyone who comes to Me, I will in no way cast them out" (the words of Jesus Christ). Beneath Jesus' beautiful invitation into a relationship with Him, you may accept by signing your name. Once you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, it's guaranteed that, in that day in which there is no sunset and no dawning, He will open His arms and receive you with a loving embrace that can only come from Him.

There is no mention of repentance, changed life, obedience, etc. Just sign the card and you're in. Sounds pretty simple; sounds pretty easy. It sounds a lot like what many people think "once saved, always saved" means. You get "saved" and then you're "in" for life.

I used to attend a church that taught a person could lose their salvation; they were very quick to point out the Baptists that believed "once saved, always saved" and lived like heathens. And yet, I never knew a one of them that had ever experienced losing their salvation. In fact, those I asked couldn't recall anyone that had lost their salvation, and then "found it" again. But they believed it could happen. They defended the doctrine; some even taught it. But no one had ever experienced or seen it.

I even knew some--still know a few--that live(d) liked they'd never been saved. No changed life, no changed heart, no love for Christ, His church, God's Word, God's get the point. They've hung their hat on the fact that they signed a card, were baptized, and/or made a public confession. If that doesn't sound like that same thing they chided the Baptists for, well then, I just don't' know...

I believe the doctrine of "once saved, always saved" aka Perseverance of the Saints or Security of the Believer. I believe that genuinely saved people are secure in their salvation and that God would never revoke their salvation, nor could they. I believe that a genuinely saved person will LOOK and ACT like a person whom God has saved. Their "heart of stone" will become a "heart of flesh" (Eze 36:26) I believe the words of Jesus: "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand." (John 10:27-29)

It's not original with me, but actually, I prefer "IF saved, always saved." Those God genuinely saves, He keeps for all of eternity...whether they are carrying a "ticket to heaven" or not.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Men are Happier

It's been a while since I posted-- just been busy with work and Christmas activities. We had a Christmas party for all the adult classes on our floor of the church a couple of weeks ago. We opted not to go the traditional "dirty santa gift exchange" and instead had everyone bring an item to be auctioned. The proceeds (we raised over $1100) of the auction went to Christmas Missions. I got caught up in a bidding war for some homemade deer jerky. I'm not saying what I ended up paying for it; I'm guessing the final cost was somehwhere around $28+ per pound. It was GOOD! As far as the rest of the party went, in typical Baptist fashion, there was more food than we could eat. No one went home hungry--if they did, it was their own fault.

I got the following list in an email from a friend this morning. I think he's on to something.

Men are happier because:

  • Your last name stays put.
  • The garage is all yours.
  • Chocolate is just another snack.
  • You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
  • You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
  • Car mechanics tell you the truth.
  • You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
  • You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
  • Same work, more pay.
  • Wrinkles add character.
  • People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
  • The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
  • New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
  • Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
  • A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
  • You can open all your own jars.
  • You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
  • If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
  • Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
  • You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
  • The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
  • Your belly usually hides your big hips.
  • You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife.

Checking out my list of blogs, I found several to be noteworthy. Calvinist Gadfly had a post by John G. Reisinger entitled God's Part and Man's Part in Salvation that I thought was a pretty good read. Check it out.

If you're still wondering what you should get Benny Hinn for Christmas, Jim at Old Truth has some ideas.

A couple of recent posts by Scott Hill at Fide-O are pretty good. He's found an interesting approach to tithing--bear in mind, he's not endorsing it. Check out God is Faithful 100% Guaranteed and Tithing Money Back Guarantee here.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I Swear on the Bible?

Mike Adams has some interesting and thought provoking thoughts in this commentary about newly elected Congressman, Keith Ellison. Mr. Ellison is not only the first black elected to congress from Minnesota, but he is also the first ever Muslim member of the U.S. Congress.

I am not a "Muslim supporter" (I don't necessarily hate Muslims either) nor do I really care what color skin Keith Ellison sports...what caught my attention is his decision to use a Koran instead of the Bible during his swearing-in ceremony next month. Hmm-- I hadn't really given that "gesture" much thought until I read some of the respondents to Dr. Adams' coluum. This one in particular:

Didn't Bill Clinton take an oath on a bible? Didn't Teddy Kennedy? Chuckie Schumer? Hilliary?...And the value of taking an oath on the bible is ...what? Just asking.

Associated Press story at

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Let it Snow!

We have been homebound for the past three days due to a storm that dumped over 10 inches of snow in the Tulsa area. For you folks up north, I know that isn't much, but here in the "Bible belt"-- that's a GOB o' snow!!! (gob slang "a whole lot!) It hasn't been bad though--I've spent the time rebuilding our church's website so that is displays correctly in Internet Explorer and FireFox. I also reworked the banners at the top of the pages so that everything is more uniform. I haven't uploaded all of it, so I'll post the link later.

Illinois Senator Barack Obama appeared at Saddleback on Friday "and declared that condoms should be made more widely available to fight AIDS." A CNN story reported that

In a show of political unity, Obama took an AIDS test with a potential White House rival on the Republican side -- Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas. Brownback draws his support from the conservative evangelical community, but Obama has been urging liberals not to allow the Republican Party to claim it is the party of Christians. Warren also was tested.
Question: Why is Rick Warren getting tested for AIDS?! Oh, the rest of the CNN story here. Commentary at Slice of Laodicea here and here.

On a more seasonal note, tonight we put up our Christmas tree. We've had the same artificial tree since Ryon (our oldest) was three or four. We tried the live tree route a couple of times, but just didn't like the mess-- dead needles, etc. All of the ornaments are hand-made by us or friends (except for the red beads and lights, of course). We listened to Christmas music and was just like the Brady Bunch Christmas. If you're looking for a great Christmas CD, check out Jim Brickman's Christmas Romannce available at Target stores or Jim's website.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Day After Thanksgiving

Six imams removed from a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix are calling on Muslims to boycott the airline. If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether...The idea that a Muslim boycott against US Airways would hurt the airline proves that Arabs are utterly tone-deaf. This is roughly the equivalent of Cindy Sheehan taking a vow of silence. How can we hope to deal with people with no sense of irony? The next thing you know, New York City cab drivers will be threatening to bathe." -- Ann Coulter. You gotta read the whole thing. It makes sense to me.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. Not just yesterday, but everyday, I'm thankful for:

  • My salvation. God saved me, not because of anything I've done or every will do. He did it because of His grace.
  • My wife of 26+ years. She has put up with a lot. She deserves a medal.
  • My sons. They drive me crazy. They make me mad sometimes. They can be a real pain in the butt. That's what kids do.
  • My church. They really do preach and teach the Bible. No Rick Warren or Willow Creek stuff.
  • My country. I really am proud to be an American. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

Tom Ascol has posted an audio file of a presentation he and James White did for the Pulpit Crimes Conference. Ascol's blog states: "We each gave a brief overview of material that we had planned to present at the debate on Calvinism that was sabotaged at the last minute by the other side. After this, we interacted with clips of sermons preached by Ergun and Emir Caner." Listen to the audio.

Speaking of the day after Thanksgiving, I like Phil Johnson's idea of Thanksgiving "turkey."

I love great photography; never been good at it. Joe Thorn and Steve McCoy are two guys that see stuff I miss. How do they do that?!.(Photo by Joe Thorn. Joe's blog)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Really Random Thoughts

WARNING: The following random thoughts are not connected in any way.

Listening to some vintage Doobie Brothers. I'm sorry, but music today just doesn't cut it. Give me the Doobies, circa early 1970s with Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons ANY DAY! Best song: Toulouse Street. My opinion.

So I guess Rich Warren thinks he's the US Ambassador to Syria. "Purpose Driven Peace Talks." Read Joe Farrah's comments via the Slice blog.

St. Brianstine had a link to this article by Daniel Wallace re: objections to the doctrine of election. Pretty good article.

It's official: Nancy Pelosi is the first woman Speaker of the House. That's all I'm going to say.

Tim Challies has an interesting post entitled Plagiarism in the Pulpit. I guess some pastors don't feel the need to able to "write" a sermon; just be able to "preach" one.

Yesterday, I filed an application to "ride along" with a Tulsa Police officer (you get to "ride along" during an actual shift). Don't know when I'll hear if I've been approved. They've already said I don't get a gun-- maybe they'll let me run the siren or radio. "One-Adam-Twelve. See the woman at..."

The Sony PS "something" went on sale today or yesterday--who really cares. I wonder how many of those people that camped out and/or stood in line for hours to buy a stupid game gave a tenth of that effort to vote last week...that's what I thought.

Finally: If I were a turkey...I'd hate Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I Thought Everybody Knew

On Tuesday, November 7, the winning daily numbers for the Pennsylvania Lottery were 666. I'm not a big "prophecy buff", but I found it ironic that day in particular was Election Day in America. I'm not trying to make any connection here--I'm not saying that the Pennsylvania Lottery's daily number on Tuesday is a prophetic sign related to the election. I'm just providing this information as background for an interesting conversation that occured at work the next day.

The day after the election, I came across the PA Lottery site. I printed a screenshot of the winning number and showed it to several co-workers (three of whom identify themselves as "Christian"). The last person I showed the the screenshot doesn't claim to be a Christian, but she does identify herself as a "good person." She looked at the printout, then said: "Okay. I guess I don't get it. What's the significance of the number '666'?" Here's the point/question of my post: How does someone live in the United States for 50+ years (not to mention living in what is sometimes referred to as the "buckle of the Bible belt") and NOT KNOW that there is something about the number 666?

There are certain things I assume (maybe naively) most everyone knows, especially in Amerca. I assume most people know:

  • "Red" means STOP; "Green" means GO.
  • Littering is wrong; so is butting in line.
  • You should pull over when an emergency vehicle approaches.
  • Captain Kangaroo really wasn't a Captain. (OK. That's a obvious one one, but you'd be surprised...)
  • The number 666 has something to do with the Bible and the end of the world (simply stated)

Maybe we haven't done as good a job as we thought in getting the "Word" out.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Some Tough Odds

The following story appeared on the ESPN website.

OSCODA, Mich. -- The Oscoda Area High School football team hasn't won a game, or even scored a point, in four games this season. Because of that, the school district has decided to cancel the remaining games.Despite pleas from players and parents, the board recently upheld the school's earlier decision to end the season, saying players risked injury in trying to take on much stronger opponents.

"When you go to a game on Friday night and see a team physically dominated, those are the indisputable facts," coach Kyle Tobin said.

"Seniors, I feel for you. There's nothing I can say other than I'm sorry," board member Neal Sweet said. "But you're not quitters. You went out there and did your best."

Tobin said the team was not physically competitive, had too few players and faced a tough schedule in the North East Michigan Conference, The Bay City Times reported.

Senior quarterback Mike Gondek pleaded with the school board to reconsider the school's Sept. 19 decision to cancel the remaining games.

"All I ever wanted to do was play football," Gondek said. "My teammates never felt so unsafe that we didn't want to be out there."

Tobin, a first-year coach, defended his decision.

"I have 28 years of coaching experience in high school and college, and I know the difference between a team playing bad and a team that's unsafe," he said.

I feel sorry for these kids. The Oscoda football team tried, but just couldn't overcome the odds. When I read this story, I thought about several things, but one thought that kind of stuck in my mind was when Jesus sent the Apostles out. In Matthew 10:16ff, Jesus said:

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves...But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to the courts, and scourge you in their synagogues; and you shall even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the not become anxious about how or what you will speak; for it shall be given you in that hour what you are to speak...And you will be hated by all on account of My name,...But whenever they persecute you in this city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you shall not finish going through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man comes.
That sounds like pretty tough "odds", but the Apostles went out and took the Gospel, first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles. They were treated badly, just like Jesus said they would be. Most of them died because of their message. Football isn't near as important as taking the Good News to a dying world. The Oscoda football coach made a tough decision to end the season early. I'm thankful the Apostles were able to "overcome the odds" and I'm glad they didn't quit before the end of the season.

Rev 3:5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Reformation Day

Unless I shall be convinced by the testimonies of the Scriptures or by clear reason . . .I neither can nor will make any retraction, since it is neither safe nor honourable to act against conscience. God help me. Amen

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ten Effects...of Calvinism

Steve Camp has posted an excellent article by John Piper entitled Ten Effects of Believing in the Five Points of Calvinism. Read it here

Thursday, October 26, 2006

No Underwear Allowed

The following story appeared on the ABC News website:

(AP) Captain Underpants has battled talking toilets and Professor Poopypants, but he was no match for a high school principal who banned students from dressing up as the children's book character.

Long Beach High School Principal Nicholas Restivo took the action Wednesday after three 17-year-old girls wore beige leotards and nude stockings under white briefs and red capes on the school's Superhero Day.

"Yes, I know they weren't naked," Restivo said. "But the appearance was that they were naked."

Chelsea Horowitz, one of the dressed-up girls, had a problem with that logic.

"They're not see-through or anything," said Horowitz, an honor student and softball player. "All the teachers thought it was cute."

But Restivo decreed that no underpants would be visible in his hallways.

Horowitz and fellow seniors Ashley Imhof and Eliana Levin went home to change back into their mortal attire.
I'm not sure why I think that story is funny. On a more serious note: I don't get Oprah!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I Feel Like Crud!

I haven't felt good since last Friday!!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Prisons and Gator Wrestlin'

Typical Saturday morning...HGTV and a cup of coffee, checking email, cruising the web, reading blogs, and the paper. A couple of articles in the Tulsa World caught my attention this morning.

  1. A candidate for Oklahoma public school superintendent has suggested that school textbook covers be made of kevlar. The books could then be used for protection during situations like Columbine or more recently, the school shooting in Pennsylvania.

  2. California Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger has declared a state of emergency in that state's prison system. Beginning next month, California will begin shipping inmates to four other state's prisons (including Oklahoma) because they are currently housing 172,000 inmates in spaces designed for about 100,000! "forcing some inmates to sleep in gymnsiums and auditoriums."

Currently, Oklahoma has around 24,000 inmates in state prisons. Based on my own Google results, it looks like it costs anywhere from $16000 to $23000 per year to house EACH INMATE in the state of Oklahom. That could be as much as $63 per day! The article stated that a private prison company will be paid a projected $22.9 million annually for housing the inmates.

I'm not a rocket scientist, but that sounds a little excessive to me! Why does it cost that much to put people in prison? I know they have to pay for the guards, utilities, food, etc., but good grief, they don't have to have gyms, cable TV, auditoriums, etc. What are they eating in prison? Steak and lobster? It's supposed to be PRISON, not a country club! And while we're at it, let's clean house...according to, there are over 3300 inmates currently on death row--start running them through like cattle! Maybe if prison started being more like PRISON, people wouldn't want to go there and JUST MAYBE, our children wouldn't have to wear their "Introduction to Trigonometry" book for protection!

On a lighter note, Slice of Laodicea recently pointed me to an article on in which a "man facing the jaws of death, literally, and with the alligator firmly affixed to his body, his thoughts went, not to Holy Scripture, but guessed it...the Purpose Driven Life." You can read the article here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Is it just me, or has "cursing" become so widely accepted that no one even notices it anymore? I'm attending a workshop this week on a work related topic. Now, I work in a manufacturing plant and hear cursing/cussing everyday (I don't like it there, either), but it's been very interesting to see that, even in a "lecture style/professional/office" environment, no one thinks twice about letting the expletives fly. I'm not talking just an occasional h*** or d*** here. Attendees, as well as the instructor are dropping the "f-bomb" like it was their home address. God gets mentioned frequently, but not in a prayer or blessing. Gender doesn't seem to matter either--male or female, these folks can cuss with the best of 'em.

I'm not comfortable with that kind of language. I don't use it myself...ever. No one in my home talks that way. There are movies we won't rent or television we don't watch because of the profanity.

I obviously don't fit in with what's "acceptable" these days. Some people seem to really enjoy cussing. Check out this blogger's comments:

I cant (sic) think of anything funnier than a 3 year old cursing. I mean come on, does it really matter if we say Poo Poo or s*** (my edit)? Of course not. Unless of course your (sic) married and your wife tells you it matters...I like to curse. I like to curse because I enjoy how it gets everyone in an uproar. (Editorial Comment: This person should spend less time cussing and more time using the spell/grammar checker. I also was not aware that "poo poo" was supposed to be capitalized.)

Golly gee, Wally! What's this world coming to?!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Just Check "Salvation"

GUTS Church in Tulsa, OK has been putting together a haunted house of sorts for the past 14 years known as The Nightmare. A recent newspaper review stated:

The Nightmare is geared to show kids what a life without Jesus is like, thus persuading them to perhaps join their church...[it is] set up tour-style, with a series of rooms, each depicting a nightmarish scene. [Depicted] rather bloodily are druken driving, drug addiction, rape and murder.

One room also features the crucifixion of Jesus, complete with scourging and a crowd yelling "crucify him!" The tour ends with attendees being led to a tent where GUTS Church volunteers "proseliytize to the students", encouraging them to repeat a "salvation prayer and fill out an information card. (You can check the salvation box.)" The reviewer noted: "GUTS put on a great show this year...The Nightmare makes for a truly entertaining evening."

Hmm...I guess I understand the motive here, but for the life of me, I'm having a hard time finding the Scripture that says, "Jesus came to seek and scare the h*** out of the lost." GUTS may be scaring people, but are they really "scaring" them into salvation just because they repeated a prayer and filled out a card?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jesus is Not That Tall

I'm flipping through the channels last night and I came across the "Christian network"-- and lo' and behold, there's Jesse Duplantis. Brother Jesse was "waxing eloquent" about his trip to heaven--an event that took place several years ago, but God has recently told him to tell "His people" about it. In case you're wondering, and Jesse says it's true:

Jesus was taller than I thought He would be. I would guess Him to be from five feet eleven inches to six feet one inch. I thought at first His hair was white; but when He turned His head, I caught a glance and saw that it was light brown.

Soooo...all this time, that "flannelgraph" picture of Jesus my Sunday School teacher was showing me was a big, fat lie!?

TBN's website states that Jesse Duplantis [is] "one of the most unique and loved ministers of our generation, Jesse Duplantis has been sharing his memorable mix of strong, biblical preaching and hilarious life lessons (emphasis mine) every week on TBN for years."

"Strong biblical preaching"? - Mr. Duplantis didn't quote a single Scripture the whole time I watched (I'll have to admit, it wasn't very long) and "hilarious life lessons"? Yep, that's what I look for in a preacher...Dave Letterman with a New Testament.

Monday, October 09, 2006

No Debate / The Savior is Waiting

It looks like the debate on Calvinism at Lynchburg has been called off. I was really looking forward to hearing it.

The Savior is Waiting
When I was in Youth Group many years ago, we sang a song entitled The Savior is Waiting. The lyrics (in part) went something like:

The Savior is waiting to enter your heart
Why don't you let Him come in?...
Time after time
He has waited before
And now He is waiting again
To see if you are willing
To open the door
Oh, how He wants to come in.

We would sing this tune at the end of our Youth meetings or at church camp during the "invitation" while the minister/preacher pleaded with people to "come forward" to be saved. The process was pretty much always the same. If no one came forward after a couple of verses, the preacher would have everyone bow their head and closes their eyes ("every head bowed, every eye closed") and begin to ask if there was "anyone in the audience that wanted to make a decision for Christ, but just couldn't/didin't have the courage to walk that aisle. If that describes you, just raise your hand right where you are. (Long pause) I see that hand--thank you. I see those hands--yes, yes..."

After asking for people to raise their hands, the preacher would then proceed to tell those who had (raised their hands) that they needed to "come forward, while no one is looking." Someone usually (finally) went forward.

Looking back, it all seems manipulative to me. I don't think Jesus "stands at the door", knocking, hoping, not really sure that someone will eventually answer the door so He can save them.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Happy Post

The past couple of posts have been somewhat negative, so I'll try to make this one more positive.

I talked to an old friend yesterday; we hadn't spoken to each other for at least 10 years. He was a minister in a church we both attended. He and his family moved away and I got busy--you know the routine. We just lost touch with each other. But yesterday, I picked up a church periodical (that I normally don't read) and found an obituary for my friend's father who had died last month. I managed to track my friend down and left a message: call me. I didn't know if he would, but he did.

It was good to talk with him--to catch up on each other's lives. He and his wife have divorced and he has recently remarried. His new wife sounds really nice. He sounds very happy--he's been through some rough stuff. In the middle of the conversation he said:

"Guess what...I got saved a while back, too."

"Really?" I said.

"Yeah, I REALLY got saved. I never was the whole time I was in the ministry. I lied to myself, my family, to God. I was never converted." he replied.

"What happened?" I asked, and he proceeded to tell me how he came to Christ.

Incredible. All that time and I never knew some of the stuff he was telling me. I told him how great it was that he had repented of those things and was now living the life that God intended for him. I hung up the phone, and I thanked God for His grace and His mercy. I thanked Him for saving my friend.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Former Rep. Mark Foley

Former Rep. Mark Foley of Florida has checked himself into an alcohol rehab center. He stated earlier today:

I strongly believe that I am an alcoholic and have accepted the need for immediate treatment for alcoholism and other behavioral problems...

I think he should have checked himself into a "I Like to Send Dirty Text Messages to Children" Rehab Center. And since when did being an alcoholic become an excuse for being a perv!? I'm sure Foley would have eventually turned himself in -- had he not gotten caught.

Of course, I still believe in Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy, too.

EDIT: 10.03.06 According to an AP story today ...disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley said through his lawyer Tuesday that he was abused by a clergyman as a teenager, but accepts full responsibility for sending salacious computer messages to teenage male pages.

  • So why bring it up?!
  • Who else SHOULD take responsibility?!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Simple Solution

It's seem pretty simple to me.

Scenario: A guy walks into a school with a weapon (loaded or not) and gives the impression of intent to do harm.

Solution: Local law inforcement calls in the five closest sharp-shooters and gives them one command: "Take him out!" First clear shot, bullet in the head! No negotiations; no background checks (I really don't care if this guy had a bad childhood or not); no "deadlines." Bullet in the head. The SWAT team and the coroner arrive at the same time and take care of the situation.

We are too stinkin' nice about this kind of crap!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Odds and Ends on Thursday

Calvinism Debate - It's official. Tom Ascol's blog has the details for the upcoming debate, Baptists and Calvinism: An Open Debate. The debate will be held at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA. Participants on the "calvinist side" are Tom Ascol ( Founders Ministries) and James White (Alpha & Omega Ministries). On the "non-calvinist" side, are Emir and Ergun Caner. Ergun's website states that the debate will be carried live on the web. Mark it down-- October 16th.

A quick survey of my office revealed that of the 24 people there:

  • 10 openly claim to be "born-again/Christian."
  • 2 would probably be classified as "agnostic" (I actually heard one of them use the term).
  • 1 will come right out and tell you that he is not a Christian, but "know I should be."
  • 1 made a "public profession" about 18 years ago; he has not been to a worship service in over 16 years.
  • The "Christians" break down like this:
    • 4 Methodists
    • 3 Baptists
    • 1 Catholic
    • 1 Christian Church (Restoration Movement)
    • 1 not a regular attender, but is a "member" of a Christian Church.
    • At least 5 (yes, the "Christians") use profanity on a regular basis.
    • Several particpate in a regularly scheduled "beer and poker night" at the home of one of the non-Christians.
    • There is one smoker in the group.

Pretty diverse group, eh?

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I'm sorry, but I think this is FUNNY! Thanks to Our Sovereign Joy.

The latest news from Hollywood is that the much beloved star Popeye has died from the ecoli virus after eating a bag of spinach he had just purchased at the store. Friends, Wimpy and Bluto had warned him about the outbreak of spinach related ecoli and tried to persuade him to have a burger instead. His beloved wife and his co-star in most of his films, Olive Oyl, was at his side when he passed. Popeye starred in over 75 films in his career and was 117 at his death. Contrary to the rumors that plaqued him throughout his career he said he never liked swimming with bow-legged women and he never lived in a gargabe can. Mr. Popeye quit smoking after his movie career ended and never picked up his famous pipe again. Many celebrities plan to attend his funeral including Porky Pig (123), Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Robin Williams who portrayed the famous sailor in a biographical movie. His most famous words were "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam." Toot toot, Popeye.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Rules Don't Apply

  • A Stop sign simply means: Slow down a little bit; if no one is coming from the other directions or if they are and you think you can beat them "out of the chute" go on through.
  • The sign at the buffet "No sharing plates" means: It's okay to let your child or friend eat off your plate as long as they don't eat the equivalent of a full meal.
  • A Yield sign means: Get the heck outa my way. I'm MERGING! Make room for ME!
  • "Form one line" at the DMV means: If you are not in a hurry, please wait; If you deem yourself more important than others, please cut to the front of the line.
  • Two solid yellow lines on the highway means: You're driving TOO slow and where I am going is way more important than where you are going. Eat my dust.
  • "No dumping" means: No more than 1 couch, an old lamp and three FULL trash bags.
  • "Please take one" means: One at a time. No limit.
  • "No Left Turn" means: unless you need to turn left, then go ahead and turn left. The twenty cars behind you don't realize how late you are for your manicure and facial.
  • "No one under 17 admitted with parent or guardian" means: Yeah, right! I've seen worse than this stuff in the halls of my high school.
  • "Smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and may complicate pregnancy" means: for everyone but me.
  • "No Smoking" means: you're not the boss of me.
  • "EXIT - Please use other door" means: unless this door is closer for YOU.
  • "No Loitering" means: someone doesn't know how to spell litter. I think I'll ride my skateboard around here for a while.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


What is it about "blogging?"

  • It gives people a place to put their thoughts "on paper."
  • It gives people a place to rant about things that upset them.
  • It gives people a place to talk about their family or friends or hobbies.
  • It gives people a place to publicly state their opinion about a particular issue.
  • It's a place to engage other people with similar...and sometimes dissimilar views.

A curious thing to me is how many people read AND comment on blogs with which they strongly disagree. I log on to about 15 blogs on a daily basis. I don't read every word-- sometimes I'll skim the titles and decide I'm not "interested" in that particular day's topic. Some times I'll read an entire post. And, every once in a while, I'll post a comment or ask a question, but I don't ever recall posting a comment in opposition to another person's blog. I figure that, if that person takes the time to post something, they surely must believe it and there's probably not much I can say that will change their mind. It would most likely be a waste of my time.

I read blogs written by atheists, agnostics, members of cults (I won't name any for fear of stirring some one up), politicians, etc. knowing I WON'T agree with them. That doesn't keep me from being interested in what they have to say. Sometimes I'm just trying to understand what the "other side" is thinking. I don't leave comments on the ACLU or American Athesist websites. I imagine they've already made up their minds.

I get some interesting comments here sometimes...some pretty angry about something I've said. To all readers/commentors: thanks for stopping by. To those I've upset: I'm sorry you feel that way. Try not to stay mad too long. Let's just agree that we disagree.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Psalm 95:6

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Getting Older and Little League

My youngest son and I were talking the other day. "Dad, are you fifty, yet?" "No," I said, "I'll be fifty in a couple of years." He thought a minute, then said: "Wow, you've already lived over half of your life!" "Well, if you're trying to cheer me up, you're not doing a very good job," I replied. "In fact, I've heard that the average life span is around 70 years, so I'm definitely beyond half way through my life."

He didn't say anything after that, but I sat there and thought-- if I DO make it to 70 years old, that's only a little over 20 years away. Twenty years isn't that long. I've been married 26 years. I just attended my 30 YEAR class reunion a couple of months ago! Good night, I'm going to be SEVENTY before I know it! I don't even own a walker for crying out loud!

WHAT A MINUTE!...I'm not dead, yet. I still have (God willing) a few years left in me. I might even live past 70; maybe even past 80 or 90. I still have plenty of time to do some things that I've wanted to do or see some things I've wanted to see.
  • I want to see Yellowstone... and I want to go to Alaska again.
  • I want a home office.
  • I want to volunteer at a hospital, visiting and praying with people that are getting ready to have surgery.
  • I want to work on a Habitat for Humanity house.
If I don't get to do any of those things, that will be OK, too. God's been good to me so far. I really can't complain.

I guess, I'm thinking about "death" more today because I received word today that my Little League baseball coach died last night. He was in his seventies and in poor health. I went to see him a couple of months ago. He answered the door with that great big smile I remembered. "Shag, how you doin'?" he said when he answered the door. He always called me "Shag", even after I graduated from high school, became an adult, etc. It was always "Shag." Everyone on the team had a nickname--I never heard him refer to any of us by our names. Anyway, I spent the good part of a Sunday afternoon reminiscing about summers many years ago when the "Cougars" were the team to beat. It was a good afternoon. I knew when I left that it would be the last time I'd see him on this earth. Coach Williams was a Christian; he loved God, his wife, his family, and his church. I'm looking forward to the reunion, maybe when I'm 70...or 80...God willing.

Personal note to "Gasomatic": Thanks for continuing to stop by, even though you don't comment.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Is That To Go or Eat Here?

Since we were the only ones home this afternoon, my son and I wen to KFC to get something for lunch. As we were waiting for our order at the drive-in window, we overheard the order for the car behind us:

  • 3 -- 16-piece buckets of chicken
  • 6 -- side orders of mashed potatoes
  • 4 -- side orders of coleslaw
The total? $96 and some change!!! Biggest "to go" order at KFC I've ever heard! We laughed all the way home.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Bible is Boring

I was talking with an individual the other day who identifies themself as a Christian . In the course of the conversation, she made the comment: "I get bored reading the Bible." The rest of the conversatoin went something like:

Me : "Really?!"

She: "Yeah, just to sit and read the Bible-- that's boring to me."

Me :"How can you say that? What about Hebrews 4:12, 'the Word of God is living and powerful'. What about that?!"

She: "What about it? I didn't say I don't believe it...I just get bored trying to read the Bible. I think my preacher's boring, too. I usually don't listen to the sermon."

Me : "Well, if you don't read the Bible and you don't listen to your preacher, WHAT do you read and WHO do you listen to?" (At this point, you might be wondering why this person EVEN BOTHERS to go to church. Are you ready?...her husband is the Music Minister! She pretty much HAS to attend.)

She: "I like Jesse Duplantis. I went and seen (yes, she said seen) him a couple of months ago. I like him--he's funny. And I like the way he talks."

Me : "What does funny have to do with preaching?! Don't you remember when Ezra brought out the Book and read to the people for EIGHT HOURS and they STOOD and listened as he read and explained the Scriptures to them? They weren't bored. In fact, when he finished, they were weeping- confessing their sin- and worshiping God. Preaching isn't about being funny--it's about hearing from God through His word. It's how people are saved (1 Corinthians 11:21)."

She: "All I'm saying is, if it doesn't hold my attention, I'm not going to listen."
I think I passed out about this time.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Is this a Cult? *UPDATED*

It's been several days since I've posted-- my mind and time has been occupied with a situation that I am at a loss as to how (if even how) I should respond. In a nutshell, the 18-year-old daughter of some friends has decided to "join" a group known as Smith's Friends. I've been able to find a little bit on the internet about the group. On the surface, they sound like a "christian group"--they refer to themselves as The Christian Church (no association with the Restoration Movement churches, some having the same "name"). But some of the teachings I've read about don't ring true with my understanding of Scripture. Here are some links that I've read:

Some of the teachings (according to one website) are that Jesus was not God and He sinned unconsciously when He was on the earth. The site also claims the group teaches that Christ died for His own sins, as well as the sins of man. Current day leader, Sigurd Bratlie's teachings are accepted by Smith's Friends as infallible.

Several things concern me about this situation (NOTE: I'm speaking from information I've been told by the parents and close friends of the family). First, is how quickly the group was able to convince this girl to join them-- telling her, in essence, that the church she belonged to was not a true church and the things she had been taught by the church and her parents were not right. Second, they convinced the girl to move into their home, out of her dorm where she recently began attending college on a full scholarship. This girl is VERY intelligent-- she graduated at the top of her class; the scholarship was to a well known, private university. Yet, somehow...

The most disturbing thing to me is that the person that lulled her into this group is one that should be a trusted individual in our community. It appears that he has been "grooming" this girl for some time by giving her literature, etc. to help indoctrinate her. I spoke with another parent who said their son brought home some of the literature; that boy did not join the group.

The parents are devastated. Please pray for John and Joanie. Also pray that their daughter will have her eyes opened to this deception.

UPDATE 08-21-09 : Updated broken or dead links

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

You're Outa Here!

Sunday School teacher, 81-year-old Mary Lambert, has been "fired for being female" according to an ABC News report. The report states that Mrs. Lambert has been a member of the First Baptist Church in Watertown, N.Y., for 60 years and has taught Sunday School there for more than 50 years. In recent days, the church board sent her a letter, citing 1 Timothy 2:12 as their basis for dismissing her from her teaching duties.

I have a few thoughts here:

  • Why in the world is ABC or any other news agency reporting this? And, how did they find out about a situation that, in my opinion, is stricly a church/congregational matter?
  • The report quotes the Watertown mayor as saying it's "fundamentally wrong" to go after a woman teaching Sunday school and use a passage from the Bible as your rationale. If the church shouldn't use the Bible as their "rationale" (authority), then what should they use?
  • Why do we care about the MAYOR'S opinion? Is he a member of the congregation? Does he have some kind of information about this situation?
  • It's amazing to me how many people who DON'T attend church ANYWHERE have an opinion about this situation and/or what the Bible has to say about women in church.(Google "Sunday School Teacher Fired" or check out for an absolutely eye-opening look into the thoughts of some "internet theologians." WARNING: There is some crude and very stupid language contained in some of the comments. Some people just don't have a very large vocabulary.)

In general--and keep in mind, I don't know all of the details of this particular situation--I would most likely side with the church board on this one. I'm not comfortable with women pastors/evangelists; I have no problem with women teaching children, but based on my understanding of the aforementioned Scripture, I think God has established His plan for teaching within the church and I believe the responsibility of teaching adults in a coed situation falls on the shoulders of men.

Several years ago, I was involved in a very similar situation; a church that I used to attend had a woman teaching a coed adult class and had been for 30+ years. She was/is very intelligent, possesses a vast knowledge of the Bible, and does a tremendous job shepherding her class. In the midst of reaccessing some of the church's policies/positions, a conversation among the leadership (of which I was part) ensued as to how we should handle the removal of this woman from her teaching position. I'm embarrassed to say that, in the end and in spite of our agreement that "that passage means what it says", no one--including myself-- had the guts to "rock the boat"...and boy would it have ROCKED! She's still teaching the class and I wonder from time to time if anyone thinks about that New Testament passage AND thinks: "Yeah, that's what it says, but I'M not getting in the middle of that one!"

I don't think this kind of thing belongs in the secular arena. I hope Mrs. Lambert isn't the one that alerted the press. And one last thing: the report states that "she already has five offers to teach in other communities." I can't imagine a church that would immediately place an individual in a teaching position THAT quickly, without know anything about them, interviewing them, observing them for the type of spiritual fruit that is consistent with a Godly teacher of God's Word. I can't imagine it...but I guess they do exist.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Sweet Mary, mother of God?

Saw this at this morning. I'm speechless.

Workers at a chocolate company have discovered a 2-inch-tall (5-centimeter-tall) column of chocolate drippings that they believe bears a striking resemblance to traditional depictions of the Virgin Mary.

Since the discovery of the drippings under a vat on Monday, employees of Bodega Chocolates have spent much of their time hovering over the tiny figure, praying and placing rose petals and candles around it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sweating in the Spirit

While going through my daily "blog roll", I stopped by Purgatorio's latest post which features some of the finest aircraft currently owned by the likes of Benny Hinn and Jesse Duplantis. The TV "preachin' bidness" must be a pretty good gig! Good grief...Benny and Joyce Meyers are "flying the friendly skies" in $4.5 MILLION jets! That's quite a ride. More here.

After swallowing my tongue over the airplane story, my ADHD kicked in and my eye caught a link to Paula White's website (she owns a jet too, but it's not as nice as Benny's). Paula, whose "ministry" I'm not very familiar with, obviously does pretty well. Describing herself as a "Rich Woman", Paula offers the following tips:

A Rich Woman’s Keys To Being a Successful Investor
1. Education
2. Start Small
3. Stay Close to Home
4. Put Little Money Down
5. Set Yourself Up To Win
6. Choose Your Circle Wisely
7. Remember that Investing Is A Process
8. Always Keep Learning
9. Have Fun!

But the thing that really caught my eye was the ad on the right side of the website for Donna Richardson Joyner's Sweating in the Spirit (I'm not making this up!) workout video. If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'!

My head just exploded...where's the duct tape?!

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Word

Hanging on a wall of my office, I have an Ephesians "title page" from a pre-1650 King James Bible. A title page is a single two-sided page or sheet taken from an ancient Bible which could not be sold as a complete Bible, because it was already missing many pages. Sellers of antique Bibles don't tear Bibles apart just to sell individual pages (at least the one I dealt with doesn't).

I chose Ephesians because it is one of my favorite books in the New Testament, mainly because of its numerous references to God's choosing us for salvation. I find comfort in that particular doctrine of grace in that, before the foundation of the world, God chose to set me (and many others) apart for salvation-- not because of anything we had done or would do. Simply because of His grace. But that's not the point of this post. Back to the title page.


The paper has yellowed over time. The font is similar to "Old English" but is not so ornate as to render it undreadable. One of the interesting things about the page is the way certain words are spelled. For instance, the word "be" is spelled "bee" (like the insect); also, anywhere the letter "s" appears in the middle of a word, it appears as a lower case "f"; words ending in "s", the letter rmains the word "Ephesians" acutally reads "Ephefians." It takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of the "f" vs. "s" spelling/style, the text flows pretty well. Which brings me to the most amazing part of the page.

As I mentioned, the page is from a pre-1650 Bible, making it over 300 years old! That's older than the Declaration of Independance! And yet, if you compare the text to a modern printing...there is virtually NO CHANGE in the wording. God's Word is unchanging. People have tried to destroy it (without success), many dismiss it, others ignore it, some of us neglect it...but the Word of God stands. The same words that were "dictated" to the Apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit almost 2000 years ago, then printed onto a page some 1600+ years later have stood the test of time and the assaults of men and demons. This Word has not and will not fail to accomplish ALL that God has determined it will do.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

NOTE: I realize the page pictured above is from the Book of Galatians. I couldn't get a picture of the actual page I own. Also, if you are interested in purchasing an antique Bible or title page, visit

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Church Silliness

I found this photo on Tom Ascol's blog. It doesn't need a caption.

The Willow Creek Leadership Conference (sorry no link, I just can't make myself do it) is in full swing. Rock star, Bono of U2 fame, is/was one of the guest speakers. "The main thrust of the Scriptures is to meet Christ in working with the poor," the U2 front man told his viewers. REALLY!? So what's all this stuff I'm reading in the Bible about my sin, my need for a Savior, and God sending His Son to earth to pay the price for my sin? Filler?!

In a recent interview, another Leadership Conference speaker- Jim Collins, author of Good to Great- responded to a Christianity Today interview:

CT: How does a good church bgegin moving toward greatness?
Jim Collins: By getting the right people in the key seats...
"Jesus said, '...upon this rock I will build my church.'" (Matthew 16:18) I guess Jesus wasn't reading the right leadership books. Interestingly, Mr. Collins doesn't mention Jesus Christ, the Cross, repentance, or obedience to the Word of God-- yet he is a featured speaker at a "leadership conference" for CHURCH leaders. Read the article.

I see lots of "churches" that say they cater to "the unchurched." So I'm wondering: What happens when the unchurched become CHURCHED?! Are they asked to leave to make room for more "unchurched" people?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Gas Prices

Here in Oklahoma, specifically the Tulsa area, we're paying around $2.95 per gallon for gas. Nationwide, Houston residents can find gas for $2.91, while the folks in Los Angeles are shelling out $3.23 per gallon. A year ago, we were paying around $2.00 a gallon nationwide. I don't like it - not one bit. I work for a manufacturing firm that builds refinery equipment and we are seeing record sales. Currently, we are quoting 40 - 52 weeks for orders. We are booking hours at 2.5 times the normal rate in some cases. This should be a banner year...but I still don't like paying $3.00 for a gallon of gas. And, with BP shutting down their pipeline in the Prudhoe Bay oil field (Alaska), who knows where the price will go.

So how did we get to this point? I don't claim to be an authority on the subject, but I have to believe that the fact that we haven't built a new refinery in this country in over 20 years has a LOT to do with it. We are WAY too dependent on foreign oil imports in this country. According to a Washington Post article: "The United States imports 58 percent of the oil it consumes. Federal officials project that by 2025, the country will have to import 68 percent of its oil to meet demand." What we need to do is build reineries, expand existing ones and look for alternative fuels. One such fuel, synfuel, is not only a cleaner burning fuel, it can be produced from coal for about $1.00 a gallon. The process to accomplish this is known as the
Fischer-Tropsch Process and it provided fuel for 90 per cent of Hitler's planes during WWII, so the technology is already there. Montana's Governor, Brian Schweitzer aka "Montana's Coal Cowboy" pitched the process on CBS's 60 Minutes. Montana has 120 billion tons of state and federal coal reserves under its surface, mostly in Eastern Montana. Schweitzer said 115 billion tons of that coal is recoverable. Schweitzer said using the Fischer-Tropsch method, one ton of coal would produce 1.5 barrels of diesel fuel. A barrel is 42 gallons. That's one alternative. Then there's the "tar sands" or "oil sands" in Canada. I won't go into the details here, but it's definetly worth checking out.

So what are we waiting for?

Friday, August 04, 2006

A Variety of Things on Friday

Number 1
Cal Thomas probably said it best (commenting on Mel Gibson's recent arrest for DUI and the anti-semetic comments made by the actor during the incident):

Maybe I'll sound like an old fogy or some reincarnated Puritan by asking this, but what was a married man with seven children doing in a bar until 2 a.m. with young women hanging all over him? Why do people who get caught doing something wrong - we used to have standards for determining such things - always blame alcohol, or abuse as a child, or temporary insanity, or a mental lapse that is not indicative of "who I really am," or a force beyond them ("the devil made me do it") to absolve themselves of personal moral guilt? Commentators seem to care more about the offense to Jews than Gibson's offense to his wife and children and to the idea of what it means to be married ("forsaking all others"). (Taken from )
I think it's a pretty good question.

Number 2
I am NOT an OU (Oklahoma Sooners) fan- but my hat's off to Head Coach, Bob Stoops. He made the tough decision and he isn't backing down.

Number 3
Parents of small children, especially little girls, need to read Mike Adams latest column. In his usual, no-holds-barred style, Adams makes some interesting observations about his neighbor's children:

On my daily jog though my neighborhood I ran by the house of a man I know fairly well. His garage door was open and music was blaring out of a jam box inside - in fact, the music was so loud it was barely recognizable. But I could tell the song was “These boots are made for walking,” which was popularized by Nancy Sinatra in the 1960s. His two grandchildren were dancing in the driveway to the recent remake of the tune, sung by Jessica Simpson.

As my neighbor’s two grandchildren were standing in the driveway - while gyrating their hips like a couple of prostitutes - I noticed they were both wearing cutoff “Daisy Duke” style short and halter tops. The oldest girl looked like she was wearing mascara. She is 11 years old, by the way. Her younger sister is nine. (Read the entire column here.)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Jesus Had to Go to Samaria

As I've previously mentioned, we're studying the Gospel of John in our Sunday School class. We began looking at chapter four this past Sunday-- "The Woman at the Well." We focused our attention on the phrase, "He had to pass through Samaria", noting that there were other routes available to Jesus and the disciples, but they chose the route through Samaria, ultimately stopping in the village/town of Sycar. Commenting on that phrase, John MacArthur writes:

It was not geographic necessity that compelled Him to [go through Samaria]…the Lord was compelled to pass through Samaria and stop in a certain village, not to save time…but because He had a divine appointment there. He was always conscious of doing the Father's will, which is why He came to earth. (John Commentary, Pg 141)

We spent some time contemplating God's sovereignty, not only in this situation, but in our own lives as well. How much does God "control?" What does it mean when we say that God is sovereign in everthing? Proverbs 16:9 says: "The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps."

For me, knowing that, believing that God is in control of ALL things gives me great comfort...most of the time. Knowing that there isn't a single event in my life that He either controls or allows within His perfect plan for me relieves me from worrying (as if that would change anything). I have to admit though, there are times I still wonder: "God, why did you allow that? or "Why did you bring that particular thing into my life?" And I guess it's good that I ask, because it causes me to contemplate God's goodness and His plan(s) for me that are far better than anything I could dream up.

Knowing that God has providentially placed me in the job, family, neighborhood, church, etc...that He knows is best for me causes me to look at the situation differently. No such thing as "luck", just God's loving providence.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Touching Story

I didn't write this, but I still felt it was worth sharing. You'd have to really know me to understand why.

A man was on holiday in Kenya. While he was walking through the bush, he came across an elephant standing with one leg raised in the air.

The elephant seemed distressed so the man approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot. There was a large thorn deeply embedded in the bottom of the foot.

elephantAs carefully and as gently as he could he removed the thorn and the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man and with a rather stern look on its face, stared at him. For a good ten minutes the man stood frozen -- thinking of nothing else but being trampled.

Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away.

For years after, the man remembered the elephant and the events of that day. One day the man was walking through the zoo with his son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to where they are standing at the rail. It stared at him and the man couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant.After a while it trumpeted loudly; then it continued to stare at him.

The man summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

Suddenly the elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of the man's legs and swung him wildly back and forth against the railing, killing him.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


bankthermometerI've been away for several days. Alex (my 13-year-old) and I were among several thousand IDIOTS that went to Six Flags Over Texas this past Tuesday. Actually, it wasn't that bad. The heat (107 that day) kept the attendance down and we ended up riding everything pretty much whenever we wanted. At one point, we rode Batman six times in a row...actually, I rode with Alex and his two cousins three times; I got off and they rode four more times. Three times is enough for a slightly overweight parent pushing 50 years. Alex rode the Titan rollercoaster somewhere around 6 or 8 times. I lost count.

Still hot today...BUT Saturday is only supposed to get up to 88°!