Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Party of Family Values

Thanks to Jim Morin, The Miami Herald

Trusting the Paradox

Religion can go so many places politics can’t, so why are we headed to Capitol Hill? I want religion to be everything politics is not: gracious, fearless (the powerful are so paranoid), beautiful, trustworthy, healing and strong in weakness. Let’s trust the paradox.

from Geez Magazine, Will Braun's article, A Letter to Progressive Christians in the USA

Friday, March 30, 2007

From the "You Gotta Be Kiddin' Me" Department

Charles Krauthammer's opinion in the WaPo today.

This is what I think about his opinion.

If it weren't for neocon hackery like his, we wouldn't have forced the center of the war on terror 2000 miles CLOSER to the United States and we wouldn't have triggered the explosion of a "centuries in waiting" civil war. Afghanistan is a just and necessary war. Iraq has been all about choice...bad choice.

This joker has been proven wrong in his assessments, assertions and predictions over and over and over again. Yet somehow the WaPo editorial page keeps publishing and publishing and publishing his cr... uh... excuse me... his opinions. Is Washington Post now an arm of the Faux News Channel?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Thanks to an MS twitch...

Occasionally while navigating the 'puter links, my hand will jerk slightly from the wrist as I click the mouse button. When this happens, I usually end up somewhere I never meant to go. Most often I grouse with variable hues of verbage out of frustration. Today, however, I fell into a site with some interesting articles like this one...

Pretty Girl Marries Pastor, Reluctantly Leaves Rockin' Double Mocha Megachurch

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What a Great Belly Laugh!

Of Politia: Principium vs. Praetextere

Principium: first things
Praetextere: to pretend, lit., to weave in front, hence, adorn

Principle: a high-level and universally applicable directing guideline.
Pretext: something that is put forward to conceal a true purpose or object; an ostensible reason; excuse

From E. J. Dionne's column today (emphasis mine):

The senator vigorously rejected the president's claim of executive privilege. "I find this extraordinary and troublesome," he said, "and I think it will ultimately be damaging to the president. . . . This is an attempt to stonewall our committee, and the public will be outraged."

Doesn't that sound like one of those tough statements by Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Democratic point man on the U.S. attorney scandal? The speaker was actually the Republican whom Schumer defeated nine years ago, Alfonse D'Amato, discussing Bill Clinton's invocation of executive privilege in the Whitewater investigation. Nice to see Chuck and Al agree on something.

So many principles that Republicans held dear when they were trying to take Clinton down are no longer operative. This certainly applies to a 1998 column now whizzing around the Internet that ran under the headline "Executive Privilege Is a Dodge." It was written by Tony Snow, who is now President Bush's press secretary.

Bottom line - a principle that is not applied in all circumstances is NOT a principle. It's probably a pretext.

I fail to understand how these people can think we can't see through all of this smoke and hear through all of this sound and fury.

Blogitch Award for Creative Scratching

Contestant Category: Equine

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Matthew 18:4-5

Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Delegating His Lies

When I saw this picture on last night, I immediately thought of the old song from Sesame Street...

One of these things is not like the other,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the other
By the time I finish my song?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Genesis, John and Wikipedia

I've gotten stuck on a couple of verses of scripture. They are verses I've read and heard many, many times but, when I read them a couple of weeks ago, it was like I hit a patch of the most gooey gorilla glue ever made. These twenty-five words screamed, "STOP!" about three weeks ago and since then, I've spent many hours trying to unpack their secrets.

In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:4-5

I've got a whole other post in the works on why I think "understood" in vs. 5 is a whack translation that undercuts the potential power of the message. That's for later.

This morning, as I was coming out of that last, half-in, half-out, dream state we sometimes experience just before time to get up, my mind's eye saw a picture of Noah, an altar and a rainbow. It was brief but clear and quite real to me on into the morning hours. In the course of my regular activities, the ideas of the rainbow of Genesis 9 and the light of John 1 began working in tandem in my ruminations.

And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all future generations: I have placed My bow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth." Genesis 9:12-13

In the first covenant recorded in scripture, God chose the revelation of the essence of visible light as the sign of His promise.

Fundamentally, light is a continuous spectrum of wavelengths which means there are an infinite number of colors in the universe. However, God created us with only three types of color receptors in our eyes. These receptors dictate which part of the light spectrum is visible to us. A rainbow is formed when droplets of water in the air act as prisms to refract light at various wavelengths. We can see red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Put them all together, we see white. Take them all away, we see black.

The following statements appears in the Wikipedia article on rainbows: The most spectacular rainbow displays when half of the sky is still dark with draining clouds and the observer is at a spot with clear sky overhead. A rainbow does not actually exist at a particular location in the sky. It is, instead, an optical phenomenon whose apparent position depends on the observer's location and the position of the sun.

I'll let you draw your own devotional conclusions from those.

My First Meme!

Sheep Days tagged me...

1. Go to wikipedia and type in your birthday, month and day only. (July 28)

2. List events that occurred on that day that interest you.
1493 - Great fire in Moscow.
1540 - Thomas Cromwell is executed on order from Henry VIII of England on charges of treason.
1794 - Maximilien Robespierre is guillotined in front of a cheering crowd, for sending thousands of others to a similar fate during the French Revolution.
1914 - World War I begins
1945 - A US Army B-25 bomber accidentally crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building killing 14 injuring 26.

3. List a few birthdays.
1804 - Ludwig Feuerbach, German philosopher
1866 - Beatrix Potter, English author
1901 - Rudy Vallee, American entertainer
1929 - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, First Lady of the United States
1943 - Bill Bradley, American basketball player and politician
1948 - Sally Struthers, American actress
1954 - Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela

4. List a death (I'll list's a tough day for composers!)
1741 - Antonio Vivaldi, Italian composer
1750 - Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer

5. List a holiday or observance. (if any)
Faroe Islands - Ólavsøka Eve

Happy 20th to my son, yesterday

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Note to Volfan

If you see this, you've responded to my invitation and I appreciate it. When last we "tangled", I tried to find a venue other than somebody else's blog comment stream so our debates could follow their own course without hijacking someone else's blog.

Right now I've got to take some meds and hit the sack. Don't let the fact that I'm shrivelling and sickly stand in the way of a full throated dialogue!

I hope to find a response when I check in in the morning.

Matthew 19:19-21

"Don't collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don't break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

From Forbes magazine: It has been a busy year in the fortune-hunting business. Strong equity markets combined with rising real estate values and commodity prices pushed up fortunes from Mumbai to Madrid. Forbes pinned down 946 billionaires, including 178 newcomers and 17 people who climbed back into the ranks after being absent for a year or more. Two-thirds of last year's billionaires are richer. Only 17% are poorer, including 32 who fell below the billion-dollar mark. The billionaires' combined net worth climbed by $900 billion to $3.5 trillion. That equates to $3.6 billion apiece.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy Birthday, Preachermom!

Isaiah 59:14-15

Department of Justice??

Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far off. For truth has stumbled in the public square, and honesty cannot enter. Truth is missing, and whoever turns from evil is plundered. The LORD saw that there was no justice, and He was offended.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Faith and Politics

Hear the candidates in their own words. Look into their eyes --- hear their words --- pray for a discerning spirit. These are the video statements I've been able to discover so far.

If you are unwilling to listen to a candidate from the party other than your own, it is up to you to decide whether you are closed-minded, a coward, or both.

John Edwards on His Beliefs About God (sorry about the ads -- it's a thing)

John Edwards on Religion and Politics (sorry about the ads -- it's a thing)

Barack Obama: Reconciling Faith and Politics (If you have listened to all of this, you have essentially read the chapter on faith in his book, The Audacity of Hope)

John McCain on Faith (very brief)

John McCain on Values (very brief)

Mitt and Ann Romney on Faith and Policy

Friday, March 09, 2007

Down is Up - Up is Down

Perjury, once an impeachable high crime or misdemeanor, is now a pardonable felony.

Infidelity, the filthy laundry on the clothesline of the Clinton White House, was kept under the covers in the Speaker's office --- oh --- but it wasn't hypocritical.

Newt's house

Marriage is a sacred institution to be protected whatever it costs. Which begs the question -- which marriage does it cost the most to protect -- the first, second or third?

Did you know that Barack Obama smokes cigarettes? That obviously disqualifies him to be president! I bet he's wishing he was a liar, a cheat and adulterer...that seems to be okay with his opposition now.

Oh, by the way, did you see this Christian Broadcasting Network article about Hillary Clinton? I Believe in the "Atoning Death of Jesus"

I think this little guy says it best...

MS Awareness Week March 5 - 11

If you have 4 minutes, click this link. (Windows Media)
If you have only 1 minute, click this link. (Windows Media)
If you're in a terrible hurry, you still probably have 15 seconds of time to click this link. (Windows Media)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

If I Only Love Jesus

I praise the wounds
and the blood of the Lamb
that heals the weakness
of my body,
I praise the wounds
and the blood of the Lamb
that heals the weakness
of my soul,
I praise the wounds
and the blood of the Lamb
that heals the weakness
of my spirit!

Praise be to the blood of the Lamb
in His forgiving power.
Praise be to the blood of the Lamb
in His cleansing power.
Praise be to the blood of the Lamb
in His saving power.
Praise be to the blood of the Lamb
in His releasing power.
Praise be to the blood of the Lamb
in His victorious power.
Praise be to the blood of the Lamb
in His renewing power.
Praise be to the blood of the Lamb
in His protecting power.

For whoever believes
in the power of the blood of Jesus,
nothing is impossible.

I praise the blood of the Lamb
that covers all my sins
so that they can no
longer be seen,
I praise the blood of the Lamb
that cleanses me
from all my sins
and makes me
white as snow,
I praise the blood of the Lamb
that has power to free me
from all my bondages
and chains of sin.

I praise the blood of the Lamb
that is stronger
than my own sin-infested blood
and remoulds me
into the image of God,

I praise the blood of the Lamb
that is victorious
over all powers that seek to
oppress me,
over every power of the enemy.
I praise the blood of the Lamb
that protects me from all
the devious attacks of the enemy.
I praise the blood of the Lamb
that prepares for me
the bridal garment.

I praise the blood of the Lamb
that makes all things new.
Hallelujah! Amen.

Dr. Klara Schlink
I discovered these thoughts here.
But first, click here to hear music provided by the Institute of American Music that renews the invitation to be "Washed in the Blood of the Lamb"

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Deuteronomy 33:27a; Psalm 62:1

The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Need a Sermon for Tomorrow?

Check out The Cycle of Life.

You ultra-conserative Baptist boys don't have to tell your congregation it was written by a woman --a Presbyterian woman--a Presbyterian pastor woman. Just make sure you do proper penance as prescribed by the Holy Father, Pope Paige I. A couple of "Hail, Dorothy's" would suffice, I'm sure...probably...along with an indulgence paid to the Patmos Evangelistic Association.

The boots are finally beginning drop...

Sunday, February 18, 2007
Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Army Fixing Patients' Housing: Changes Underway At Walter Reed

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Swift Action Promised at Walter Reed

Thursday, February 22, 2007
At Walter Reed, 'We're Going to Fix It': General Says He Will Oversee Repair of Soldiers' Lodging

Friday, February 23, 2007
Painting Over the Problems at Walter Reed's Building 18

Walter Reed Stories Factual But Unfair, Medical Chief Says
"I want to reset the thinking . . .," (Lt. Gen. Kevin C.) Kiley (chief of the Army Medical Command) said. "While we have some issues here, this is not a horrific, catastrophic failure at Walter Reed."

Thursday, March 1, 2007
Walter Reed Chief Relieved of Command

But wait...
Army Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, who assumed command of Walter Reed in August, will be temporarily replaced by Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley. But the appointment of Kiley, who had earlier been the facility's commander, surprised some Defense Department officials because soldiers, their families and veterans' advocates have complained that he had long been aware of problems at Walter Reed and did nothing to improve its outpatient care.Friday,

March 2, 2007
Not 'a Good-News Story': Why is Gen. Kiley back in charge at Walter Reed?
Good question, yes?

Enter Secretary Gates...
Army Secretary Resigns in Wake of Walter Reed Outpatient-Care Shortfalls
In announcing that Harvey had resigned, Gates expressed disappointment that Army leaders were not taking the situation seriously enough. “I am disappointed that some in the Army have not adequately appreciated the seriousness of the situation pertaining to outpatient care at Walter Reed,” he said in a brief statement at the Pentagon. “Some have shown too much defensiveness and have not shown enough focus on digging into and addressing the problems.” He also said he is concerned that some Army leaders hadn’t communicated well enough that caring for wounded troops is their top priority. “Addressing (troops’ and their families’) concerns about the quality of their outpatient experience is critically important,” Gates said. “Our wounded soldiers and their families have sacrificed much, and they deserve the best we can offer.” In contrast to his criticism of Army leaders, Gates praised the medical staff at Walter Reed for “their professionalism and dedication to providing caring treatment.” “From what I have learned, the problems at Walter Reed appear to be problems of leadership,” he said “The Walter Reed doctors, nurses and other staff are among the best and the most caring in the world. They deserve our continued deepest thanks and strongest support.”

Army Secretary Ousted
Pentagon officials indicated that Harvey was forced to resign because Gates was angry with how the Army handled allegations of poor care detailed in a series of Washington Post reports.

The Army named Maj. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker as the new commander of Walter Reed only a day after picking Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, who had previously commanded the medical center, as the temporary chief. Kiley's selection had angered soldiers and family groups -- and, more important, Gates -- because of their belief that he had been aware of problems at the hospital and done little to address them.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Psalm 61:2-3

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
A strong tower against the foe.