Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

To the men and women who died to make us free...THANK YOU!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Pat Robertson is the MAN!

Verse of the Day
I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. (Joshua 14:11 - NASB)

Just about the time you think the claims or comments can't get any more ridiculous, Pat Roberston comes up with another one. In an Associated Press article, Robertson claims to have leg pressed 2000 lbs! The feat, according to the CBN website, supposedly occured in 2003 when the "right-studly reverend" was 73 years old.

The CBN Web site attributes part of Robertson's energy/strength to "his age-defying protein shake." The site offers a recipe for the shake, which contains ingredients such as soy protein isolate, whey protein isolate, flaxseed oil and apple cider vinegar.

Columnist Clay Travis, commenting on the amazing show of strength stated:

There is no way on earth Robertson leg presses 2,000 pounds. That would mean a 76-year-old man broke the all-time Florida State University leg press record by 665 pounds over Dan Kendra. 665 pounds. Further, when he set the record, they had to modify the leg press machine to fit 1,335 pounds of weight. Plus, Kendra's capillaries in his eyes burst. Burst. Where in the world did Robertson even find a machine that could hold 2,000 pounds at one time? And how does he still have vision? (Read the entire commentary)
CBN spokeswoman Angell Vasko said Friday that Robertson was not available for comment because he was "out of pocket" for the long holiday weekend. "Out of pocket" my eye!!! He's probably still home rubbing his legs down with Ben-Gay®!

And we wonder why the world thinks we're a bunch of Bible thumping, snake-handling, leg-pressing idiots?

EDIT: This is an "unretouched" photo taken during one of Pat's workout's.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Christian Music and Bookstores

Verse of the Day
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Col. 3:16 NASB)

Fide-O has a couple of really good posts re: Christian music. This one and this one. I can't remember the last time I went to a "Christian Bookstore"...I think it was during the release of Left Behind: Part XXVIII or something like that. If you bought two or more copies, they threw in a "Prayer of Jabez Steak Knife Set" and a pack of "TestaMINTS" gum. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

Now, don't get me wrong; I enjoy all kinds of music, even some "Gospel/Christian", but a lot of the newer music and artists just don't do it for me. I discovered Christian radio in the early 80's, back in the early Amy Grant, MW Smith, The Imperials (who remembers those guys?), and Petra days. THAT was good music! But nowadays, everything sounds the know, those "breathy", slurred lyrics that just kinda drone and moan about someone that COULD be God or could be someone's wife/girlfriend. It all sounds like the stuff I hear on the "indie" radio station that my son listens to.

It also seems to me that Christian Music, and Christianity in general, has become more commercialized. I can purchase a "Purpose-Driven" (PD) journal, write in it with my PD pen, and cruise the internet using my PD mousepad. Books like Joel Osteen's Your Best Life Now (available in hardback, or cassette or CD audiobook, along with Your Best Life Now Journal) and Rick Warren's PDL take up a majority of the Christian bookstore; the remainder is packed with "Praise and Worship"/Contemporary Christian CD's and cassettes, and Thomas Kincaid Bible covers. What commentaries they have are stuck in the back of the store next to the small shelf containing a half dozen books about the reformation. Thank God for the internet and places like Grace Books International.

And just for the record...I don't buy any books by Warren or Osteen. I've got all the doorstops I need.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Graduation and Emergency Rooms

Verse of the Day
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Eccles. 4:9-10 (NASB)

My oldest son graduated from high school last night. Five hundred sixty-eight (plus or minus) in his graduating class took about an hour and forty-five minutes to walk across the stage. Ryon was seated toward the front of the class, so we sat through a lot of graduates after he received his diploma (cover). Later in the evening, a good number of the grads attended "Grad Bash"-- a lock-in at the high school gym where they ate, acted crazy, had drawings for door prizes, etc. Just a great, safe alternative to staying out all night to celebrate graduation and possibly getting into trouble. Which brings me to the point of this post.

About three hours into the event, Ryon had what appeared to be a seizure. Since I wasn't there, I can only rely on what I was told, but it seems he became faint, made a comment that he "needed to sit down" and ultimately ended up on the floor, unconscious and shaking. The phone call jolted us from a sound sleep and within minutes I was on the way to the high school, not knowing what was going on with my son. When I arrived, I found him surrounded by some of the most caring teachers, and classmates I've ever seen. They had moved Ryon from the gym to one of the coaches offices; one of the parent/sponsors, who just happened to be a nurse (I think that's what I heard), was there also. Ryon's friends were hovering over him, asking "are you okay?", "do you remember anything?" and other medically technical questions. After taking his vitals, the EMT's decided they would transport Ryon to the hospital for observation. At that point, they still weren't sure what they were dealing with.

At the emergency room, they hooked him up to an IV, attached all kinds of electrodes and monitors, drew blood and "other body fluids." Final analysis: a week of sleepless nights, a family gathering, Senior Appreciation (formerly known as "baccalaureate") service, Senior Assembly (he played guitar with a least two groups), Senior Breakfast, Awards Assembly, Graduation, all-night Grad Bash, very little water and too much Mountain Dew, on top of not taking his medication for ADHD...and you've got yourself a shut-down that looks like a seizure.

Ryon is home now, sleeping. Throughout the whole ordeal, people called and checked on him, especially his buddies from school and church. They are really good kids and I thank God that Ryon calls them "friend."

(L to R) Nathan, Brandon, Michael, Matt, Ryon, and Andrew

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Do You Love God?

Verse of the Day
And He said to him, " 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' "This is the great and foremost commandment. Matthew 22:37-38 (NASB)

I got an email today that started out, "I almost deleted this email but I was blessed when I got to the end. Read [this] only if you have time for God." The email continued:

Please follow the directions. Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father." Not ashamed? Pass this on ONLY IF YOU MEAN IT!!...If you love God, and are not ashamed of all the marvelous things He has done for you, send this to ten people and the person who sent it to you.

The email went on to admonish me to make the time to forward the email to all of my friends, because if I don't, some day when I stand before God, he will "look into his book and [say] 'Your name I cannot find. I once was going to write it down...but never found the time.' " And a final warning: "Are you going to forward this, or delete it? Just remember-God is watching you."

Hmmm...just for the record, I deleted the email. Not because I don't love God; I simply don't believe God bases His decision to write my name in His book on whether I forward an email or not. Revelation 3:5 says that "He who overcomes shall 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." (NASB)

So what does it mean to overcome? I think it all begins with God changing my heart "of stone" and giving me a "heart of flesh"; His mercy in regenerating my heart so that I have the ability to believe in Jesus Christ and His saving work accomplished on the cross. It continues in God empowering me to live my life in a way that honors Him. Not by my might or power, but by His strength/His Spirit. The Apostle Paul explained it in Galatians 2:20 " is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God." It is Christ's righteousness, imputed to me, that God sees. When God looks at my life, He sees Christ, not an email I sent to someone. THANK GOD! (literally)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Hate My PC

Verse of the Day
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

It was one of those frustrating days at work. My PC was locking up every time I tried to open a Word or Excel file. Everything else worked fine, but wouldn't you is THE day I need to create a spreadsheet and a document. I'll worry about it tomorrow...or maybe I'll try to fix it myself...depends on how I feel in the morning.

My thirty year high school class reunion is next month. I'm on the planning committee, so I've been busy updating our class website, locating lost classmates, maintaining the database of info, etc. I don't understand some of people that were in our class. The ones that live the furthest away seem to be the most excited to come; the ones that live within a 10 mile radius don't plan on showing up. I enjoy getting together with my old classmates; they were some of the best friends (some still are) I've ever had. We've actully had some classmates ask to be removed from the mailing list--one of them said: "I'm not interested in seeing any of those people!" OK. Fine.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

This and That on a Saturday

Verse of the Day
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14 - NASB)

This is my son, Alex. He got this unicycle for his birthday (that's what he asked for) and in a matter of a week, he had "mastered" riding it. I tried...once. Now he's known as the "little boy on the unicycle" around our block. He rides the thing everywhere.

Today started out a little frustrating-- all of the outlets along one wall of our kitchen quit working all of a sudden. I finally chased the problem to an outlet that had a wire that had been jarred loose. An hour shot, but I didn't have to call an electrician!

Our oldest son, Ryon, is graduating from high school this week. After church tomorrow, we are attending, Senior Appreciation (formerly known as "baccalaureate ", but we had to quit calling it that because someone figured out the name may have religious overtones). Later, we'll be gathering at our house with family to celebrate.

We're studying James 3:5-12 tommorrow in Sunday School. I've been thinking about the things I say, how I say them, etc. The thought also occured to me that there are also words that we use that aren't really "cussing"...but they sure come close. Is it wrong to say "heck", when everyone really knows you mean "hell?"

Friday, May 12, 2006

Friday Stuff

Verse of the Day
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10)

I came across Paul Vigay's website (i don't know him) while bopping from link to link. A page entitled "101 things you don't know (or want to know) about me" contains several interesting statements:

No. 18 - I am a pagan.
No. 19 - I believe in life after death.
No. 34 - I once witnessed a UFO at a range of 6 feet.
No. 57 - I'm allergic to nuts. (I'll resist the temptation to comment)

He's right...I didn't really want to know.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

to choose or not to choose

i've been involved in a discussion at work centered around the subject of "predestination." i am the only person that holds that God, from eternity past, chose some for salvation and passed over others. i've heard all the typical (and some not so typical) responses:

  • "the God I know and love wouldn't do something as cruel and cold as that."
  • "that wouldn't be fair. that means that some people would be born and would have never had the chance for salvation."
  • "predestination in the Bible means that God looked into the future and saw who would believe."
  • and my personal favorite--"if predestination were true, then there wouldn't be any sense in the Bible saying that angels rejoice when one person is saved. why would they rejoice at something they already know is going to happen?" (note: i wasn't aware that angels were omniscient)
  • "i'm not convinced that God actually knows whether anyone will or won't believe. it's ultimately their decision."

a few people offered Scriptural support for their comments. "for God so loved the WORLD." (john 3:16); "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord wil be saved." (romans 10:13); "God is not willing that any should perish." (2 peter 3:9). most however defended their position with "i believe" or "i think"or "my opinion is."

it's interesting to me that, when asked: "are all men sinners and deserving of hell?", most people answer "yes." additionally, when asked: "if God did nothing to save men from hell, would He be just." again, most answer "yes." but start saving just SOME sinners and the discussion takes on a different tone.

it seems to me that whether you believe in God's choosing some (predestination) or His looking into the future to see who will believe, the outcome for many is the same: people are not saved and they go to hell. God is fully aware of this, and He allows it to happen (this is assuming you believe that God knows everything). for the "unchosen," they are born having never been "elected" and utimately they are not saved. on the other side of the debate, some will not choose God of their own "free will" and ultimately they are not saved.

what i sense from the people that i've been talking to is:

  1. if God doesn't choose you, well then, that's mean.
  2. if you don't choose God, well that's just you're fault and God doesn't get blamed.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

no more "dew" for you!

according to an ap story in wednesday's tulsa world, "children will soon have to wait until school's out to pop the top on sugary soft drinks blamed for much of the rise in childhood obesity. nondiet sodas will be yanked from schools, and other drinks will be reduced under a deal announced Wednesday by former President Bill Clinton and the country's largest beverage distributors."

the story was actually kind of boring, but the accompanying photo was priceless! the photo shows arkansas gov mike huckabee, former president bill clinton, and ceo of pepsico's north american division, dawn hudson at the press conference in new york. i think clinton has more than "soft drinks" on his mind...