Friday, December 15, 2006

Couldn't Pass This Up...

During my daily cruise through I ran across this in the Middle East section...

That's a Hamas-afiliated militant reading from his pocket-copy of...yes...the Qu'ran.

While those calling the shots in Washington and Baghdad inevitably see this as a war over power, oil, pride, and a myriad of other marginal bickerings; to those willing to give their life for what they believe, this is about anything but politics. Unfortunately for all those who have been tragically decieved, our God IS great! While there is no need to fret over the current situation in the Middle East, let's do pray for those that God will use to bring some to repent in this season!

"For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience recieved a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?" (Hebrews 2:1-3).

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dualism Revisited

Everyone knows the Chinese are evil, nasty, people. At least that's the general consensus, whether we're willing to admit it or not. While I too fall victim to blindly criticizing most policy I hear on the news or in class about China, an interesting controversy broke out today with my professor regarding the nature of sex and gender roles in the world's largest nation. While the "progressives" here in the United States continue to fight daily for even more liberal definitions of gender and sexuality, it's interesting to see how the great "evil" in the East feels about the same issues. I took the following from an article by sociologist Harriet Evans discussed in my class on Society and Politics of China. It explains how the dynamic Chinese culture views these topics today.

"Views about the sexual component of marriage as set out in dominant discourses of gender and sexuality since 1949 have consistently been premised on two core principles. Whether offered in official publications, journals, or advice booklets to newlyweds, explanations of the sexual response and responsibilities of the married couple have first of all assumed that legally recognized monogamous marriage is the only legitimate framework for sexual relations. Advice about what are considered appropriate sexual attributes, needs, and responses in women (or men) is framed by the assumption that a [person’s] relationship is with their [spouse], their exclusive and lifelong sexual partner. Legitimate sexual conduct continues to be defined with reference to the legally recognized heterosexual relationship” (Evans, 342).

And we think the Chinese are backwards? Interesting.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I Ran Across This Today...

"A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat and was for distribution of all wealth. She felt deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, which she expressed openly. One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the addition of more government welfare programs. Based on the lectures that she had participated in and the occasional chat with a professor she felt that for years her father had obviously harbored an evil, even selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He stopped her and asked her point blank, how she was doing in school. She answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain. That she studied all the time and never had time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because of spending all her time studying. Her father listened and then asked, "How is your good friend Mary doing?" She replied, & Mary is barely getting by; She continued, "She barely has a 2.0 GPA, "adding, and all she takes are easy classes and she never studies; "But Mary is so very popular on campus, college for her is a blast, she goes to all the parties all the time and very often doesn't even show up for classes because she is too hung over." Her father then asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's Office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your 4.0 GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0." He continued, “That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA." The daughter visibly shocked by her father's suggestion angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair! I worked really hard for mine, I did without and Mary has done little or nothing, she played while I worked real hard!" The father slowly smiled, winked and said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

See y'all at the polls... IF you're gonna vote against Hillary :-).

Thursday, September 21, 2006

As Fun as Going to the Dentist

Random thought of the morning: Why is it that analysts and writers seem to all of the sudden forget about those teams that lose one game? Answer: because in recent history the national championship has been decided between two undefeated teams; last year Auburn (13-0) was left out as well. Well, as much as we all love to cuddle with the flawless organizational masterpiece we call the BCS I have a feeling it might actually be as bad as it has ever been this year. With only two or three teams looking at even possibly running the table this year, at the end of the regular season I'm seeing a bigger mess than any of us could have expected. Think about it, here's my preliminary list of teams that could all have one loss at the end of the season (in no particular order)... USC, UCLA, Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M, Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, Florida State, and any combination of two between LSU, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. This would leave the only undefeated team being Big East champ West Virginia as we decide ONE of the previous mentioned to play them for the 2006 National Championship. Boy is this gonna be a fun one!? See y'all in Tempe.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

So Dark the Con of Man

Quote of the Week: "Evolution is a fact of life, and the rest of the world needs to learn to deal with it." - Ted Daeschler

Isn't this tired? Don't "scientists" have anything else to do but keep trying to prove a ridiculous theory that Darwin himself said wasn't valid!? (I'm still looking for that quote) The fact is, for one to believe Creation he must believe that God is in sovereign control of the universe, thus submitting himself to God's will and authority for God's glory. While we know from scripture that sinful man will continually refuse to do so, he's required to fabricate some kind of alternative belief system that inevitably lacks factual credibility. What do we learn from this? God reigns, so let's pray that He would make our hearts more open to His correction of our flawed minds, so that His Word would be proclaimed even more, despite our natural inclination towards "cosmic rebellion" (Sproul). Sola fide.

Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!" He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. (Psalm 2:1-4)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Quote of the Day: "I believe we're an America that should come together; Republican, Democrat, and John McCain." - President Bush

Friday, April 21, 2006

An Evening With Shane and Shane

Yes, they are my fav, and the concert was free y'all! Thanks to the Shanes and the Master's College for puting it on, praise God! Listen to Shane and Shane here!

For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. (John 1:16-18)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

News from the Pit

In his 1983 autobiography, Over My Shoulder: Reflections on a Science Fiction Era, the sci-fi writer Lloyd Eshbach describes meeting Hubbard in the late 1940s. "I'd like to start a religion," Eshbach recalls Hubbard saying. "That's where the money is."

Despite what some may think, I do read quite a bit. Not necessarily novels or poetry, but there isn't more that I enjoy doing than reading various articles and tidbits relating to things that matter to me, such as religion, politics, theology (kinda the same as religion huh?) and anything relating to people and different cultures all over the world. Given the nature of our clock-driven culture here in the States, and the unwillingness of most of us (including myself) to blindly take someone's word on an article that might take 15-20 minutes to read, I hesitated to write this post in the first place. Saying that, I feel compelled to ask, invite, beg, plead, grovel, or any combination of these for any and all of you to read an article in the most recent edition of Rolling Stone© magazine. The article is an extremely detailed yet VERY interesting and accurate look at the world of L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology©. The article, written by one of Rolling Stone's lead editors takes an inside look at the world's fastest growing cult and is saturated in first hand information from both former and current members. This expose takes a deep look at not only the effects of this religion on individuals, but the latent sytem of lies and brainwashing that has snagged folks such as Tom Cruise, Jon Travolta, and dozens of other celebrities, along with an estimated 10 million people worldwide. Again, for those of you who have no interest whatsoever in this subject, this article could change you. For those of you who, like me, find it fascinating that one man's science fiction has created a 10 million member church, this is what we've been waiting for! Thanks for coming to my blog, you can find the article here...

P.S. Yes I know it's long, but it goes fast and reading the whole thing will give you the "big picture."

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Ironic? I'll say!

I found this today...

"News : Paris Hilton Eyed for Mother Teresa Role
Tuesday Apr 04, 2006 7:45am EST By Stephen M. Silverman

Film director T. Rajeevnath, who is based in Thiruvananthapuram, India, says Hilton is on his short list to play Mother Teresa in a biopic he's planning about the Nobel Peace Prize winner, who worked among Calcutta's poor with the Missionaries of Charity.

"(Hilton's) features resemble Mother Teresa's," Rajeevnath – whose films include Janani (Mother), an award-winner in India about nuns caring for an abandoned infant – told Agence France-Presse yesterday.

"A meeting with Paris Hilton is scheduled for the end of April," he said.

Rajeevnath said he stumbled upon the casting idea when he saw a computer-generated image showing what he considers a close facial resemblance between the 25-year-old hotel heiress and the Albanian-born nun, who died in 1997. Pope John Paul beatified Mother Teresa in 2003.

The director told the Indo-Asian News Service he was first impressed by Hilton when he read an article in which she said she'd refused to pose nude for Playboy.

Still, Hilton's casting is not a slam dunk. "Although there are several actresses willing to play the role of Mother Teresa, the most widely respected and loved person, the history of the actress who is finally chosen for the role would have to be analyzed thoroughly before she is chosen," Rajeevnath said.

Indian press reports say the movie will be in English, and shooting in West Bengal and several other countries is scheduled to begin in early 2007, with proceeds benefiting the Missionaries of Charity."

Of all people to choose to play a nun; not to mention the most widely recognized nun in the world! How incredibly ironic.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Let's Get It Started!

I'll post more when it gets a little more interesting, but if I here that anyone is not tuned into CBS tonight... haha, in the words of Mr. March Madness himself, "this is gonna be awesome baby! I like to call it the three S's, Soopa Sensalating Sensational!" Thanks Dickie V, it's gonna be a good one!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Why Don't We Get Our Priorities Straight?

Apparently the big news on ESPN this morning has been Vince Young's low score on the first IQ test he was given at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. According to some reports, after a second assessment Young score significantly higher. As much as my two cents is worth, since when did we assess NFL players on IQ tests? And that's not even considering the reality that everyone can have a bad test at times. I'll say this, Vince Young has spent 3 years now at the University of Texas, ranked by the Princeton Review as one of the top 10 schools in America, and by one London company as the number six university in the world. Point being: Vince isn't a dummy. Considering the combine is supposed to judge a player's potential to succeed on the football field, and not in a nuclear physics lab, I agree with one ESPN analyst in saying, "at the end of the day, the only score most NFL teams will care about is 41-38." Hook 'Em Horns!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

When Faith is Not Enough

Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated, "The faith that stands on authority is not faith." Since I finished my Comparative Religions class last semester, and I begin preparing for the coming semester of ministry at Grace Church and Lord providing on campus at COC, there seems to me to be a growing trend that has creeped even into the subconscious of mainstream Christianity. I call it a trend because it is something that I have only come to understand in the past year or so, yet I'm quite confident it has existed since the Protestant Reformation or longer. For simplicity sake, I like to call this false doctrine, "Peripheral Christianity." In Paul's letter to the Romans he begins by encouraging them, "I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world" (Romans 1:8). Paul also goes on to write, "For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you-that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith" (Romans 1:11-12). Also in the second chapter of Ephesians we see that it is by God's grace through faith that we become children of God because of Christ's payment for our sin. It is indisputable that faith is not only critical, but undoubtedly required in the heart of a true believer. While this reality poses no threat to what we understand to be Biblical Christianity, for this truth is nothing new, I do believe there to be a misunderstanding in the minds of many professing Christians in the world today regarding the nature of this faith and the role it plays in life and salvation. During a heated debate between a large portion of the students in my Philosophy/Comparative Religions class last semester, one student emphatically proclaimed to me that I had "absolutely no authority to consider one person's faith over another," as she said, "faith is faith, it's all the same, right?" Though this statement may seem instantly outrageous to most of the people who are reading this now, I'm afraid this theology lingers both consciously and even more subconsciously in the hearts of MOST of the world. While at first glance this doctrine could appear as trademark postmodernism, it's actually worse than that. To most folks this pluralistic theology is not grounded in secular academia, but in the Bible. When one proclaims, "I have faith in Jesus," what is the focus of that statement? In elementary school we learned about subjects, verbs, and direct and indirect objects. When making this statement, ask yourself, "What exactly is the subject that I'm referring to?" Are we merely stating that we have faith? Or is it the focus of that faith that is important? When referring to salvation through faith in Jesus, it is not merely the faith itself we speak about but it is that which we have faith in that defines it. In the original statement, if we take away "faith," Jesus is still the same, yet if we remove Jesus we're merely left with an open-ended question. What exactly is your faith in? By answering this question we'll be able to understand more clearly what it is we believe, and on what foundation is planted the rest of our theology. The popular view today is to merely have faith, setting the focus in the peripheral subject of faith itself rather than the target of it. While Emerson's faith was obviously grounded in himself, as Christians our faith MUST be grounded in the gospel of Christ, found in the authoritative and inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Again, while this concept of directed faith might seem basic and even silly to most of us who read this, let's remember that many of the people we speak to every day might not be as theologically sound or spiritually mature as we THINK we are. Keeping that in mind, let's all "come boldly before the throne of grace" and aim ourselves constantly at the cross, as we know the cross was first aimed at us.

"Saving faith is an immediate relation to Christ, accepting, receiving, resting upon Him alone, for justification, sanctification, and eternal life by virtue of God's grace." - C.H. Spurgeon

P.S. If anyone is wondering why I didn't post about Resolved 06, there are two reasons. 1) I've been speechless since it started 2) Rick pretty much nailed it in last week's 'Mix' (see sidebar). Thanks always!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Simply Ridiculous

Kobe Bryant making history. Tonight against the Toronto Raptors Kobe Bryant put up 81, yes that's right, 81 points... BY HIMSELF. All I have to say is I'm glad it wasn't against the Rockets!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006