Saturday, August 30, 2008

On Sarah Palin


A potential vice president with the ideology of Dick Cheney and fewer qualifications than Dan Quayle should send arctic shivers up our spines.

-- John Podesta, President, Center for American Progress

HT: Washington Post

"Barack Obama selected one of the most qualified people available for the job of vice-president; John McCain picked one of the least qualified. Who really puts country ahead of politics?"

-- a reader response to Talking Points Memo

A Must Read...

...from nakedpastor.

Surrogate Mother


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Will you get an Obama Tax Cut?

Barack Obama promises to cut taxes for 95% of Americans, but 53% of Americans actually think Obama will raise their taxes. This site uses data from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center to determine whether or not you will receive an Obama Tax Cut.

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A Quote That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
  - Christopher Hampton

Amen and Amen

Add this site to your favorites and RSS feeds: From Thomas' blog at Everyday Liturgy

A Prayer for Today

O God, as rain melts back into the earth and sky,
leaving not a trace on a hot summer day,
so let my cares and worries be.

O God, as the bear who does not want or consume all winter,
but sits content, dreaming, waiting
for the first hints of Resurrection,
so I plead you calm my soul in contentment.

For I have life abundantly, through Father, Son and Spirit.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

President's Age at Inauguration

roosevelt kennedy

Teddy Roosevelt - 42                        John Kennedy - 43

clinton obama

Bill Clinton - 46                             Barack Obama - 47

Free Markets Are Great When They're Really Free and Not Manipulated


Monday, August 25, 2008

What Does MS Look Like?

I did something I've never done before. Since 2004, time in the MRI has been a regular thing. The technicians have done their thing and then sent the result over to the neurologists for evaluation. At my appointment for imaging this past Friday, I asked if they would burn a copy of the image disk for me to have. They obliged me with no question.

I've suspected for the past couple of weeks that the disease is currently active so I was anxious to have a look at the pictures myself. This is what I've found with my untrained eye. Below, you see a white splotch that looks like it doesn't belong.


In the image below, you can see a thicker crescent shape toward the bottom left side. This is a view of the white shadow above seen from the top.


There are other images that I will have questions about at my appointment but I thought I'd take time to share just these two.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What we have learned this summer...

From today's New York Times, Frank Rich writes:

ts-rich-190 What we have learned this summer is this: McCain’s trigger-happy temperament and reactionary policies offer worse than no change. He is an unstable bridge back not just to Bush policies but to an increasingly distant 20th-century America that is still fighting Red China in Vietnam and the Soviet Union in the cold war. As the country tries to navigate the fast-moving changes of the 21st century, McCain would put America on hold.

Thanks, Momo!


Monday, August 18, 2008


UPDATE: The song I posted was "Healer" by Mike Guglielmucci. It was taken down from YouTube by Hillsong for copyright infringement. Sorry.

My sister's brain tumor. My mother's Meniere's Disease. A new friend's shattered leg. My MS. All life altering assaults on the body that can threaten life altering assaults on the mind and the spirit of all in our circle of love and living.

Mike Guglielmucci, a youth pastor and musician in Australia, recorded this song with Hillsong. The first video is Mike sharing the story behind the song and the second video is a service in which he lead a large gathering in singing it.

I hope that you find it as refreshing, encouraging and comforting as I have found it to be.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

True Dat!

Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
  - Samuel Johnson

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Slate Magazine - The Chick-fil-A Church

An estimated 2,000 to 2,500 U.S. congregations now operate multiple campuses, and many of them, like Buckhead Church, are so-called video venues. The Leadership Network, a Christian nonprofit that follows these multisite churches, says there will be 30,000 of them within a few years.

read more | digg story

If Karl Rove Handled Ads for Obama

HT: Daily Dish

Friday, August 15, 2008

GOP Loyalty Not a Given For Young Evangelicals

"I grew up believing an evangelical couldn't be a Democrat," said Merritt, 25. "The two were mutually exclusive."

But in the past year, as the presidential campaign has focused on the country's problems, Merritt has begun to question the party of his father. There was his recent revelation that "God is green," a mission trip to orphanages in Brazil that caused him to worry about global poverty, an encounter with a growing strain of politically liberal evangelicalism that has taken off online, and a nagging sense that Bush's unpopularity has been an embarrassment to the evangelicals who overwhelmingly voted for him.

"When you look at the political party that has traditionally championed poverty, social justice and care for the least of these, it's not been the Republican Party," said Merritt, who now considers himself an "independent conservative" and is unsure whom he will vote for in November. "We are to honor the least of these above even ourselves. It's very difficult to reconcile totally."

read more digg story

Another Excellent Question

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Interesting Questions

Did Karl Rove Chat to Saakashvili about South Ossetia Too?There's been a lot of justified chatter about the role of Randy Scheunemann, who appears to be advising the Republic of Georgia at the same time as he provides campaign advice to John McCain. "Sen. John McCain's top foreign policy adviser prepped his boss for an April 17 phone call with the president of Georgia and then helped the ....."

read more | digg story

An Excellent Question

Since an Accurate Verbal Description is Too Elusive...

I decided to try to locate a sound file or video clip that came closest to showing others what MS feels like in my legs and forearms these days. A quick search of Youtube using the terms "shortwave" and "static" provided the perfect example. I caution you not to try to endure the full three plus minutes. Just get a taste and then thank God you can turn it off.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Those who notice my Facebook status changes lately may have seen some evidence that Blogitch's 'necrotizing nemesis' has been making a nuisance of itself lately. I've spoken with my neuro's nurse and we've decided to move my September appointment up a couple of weeks so 'da man' can evaluate.

It's so hard to know with much certainty if feeling like 'Flopsy, Dropsy, and Cottontail' all rolled into one is a passing thing or part of the inevitable ratcheting up of the disease process. Gratefully, other than just having to experience bizarre messages from my legs and forearms, I'm functioning fine and have no indication that that's going to change.
Sent via BlackBerry from SunCom Wireless

Flight Rage Incident Reveals the Dark Side of Osteen's 'Prosperity Gospel'

The wife of get-rich-now pastor Joel Osteen faces a civil trial that embodies the sense of entitlement of those who preach the gospel of prosperity.

read more | digg story

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Fall of Hillary Clinton's Campaign

For all that has been written and said about Hillary Clinton’s epic collapse in the Democratic primaries, one issue still nags. Everybody knows what happened. But we still don’t have a clear picture of how it happened, or why. How did things look on the inside, as they unraveled?

read more | digg story

What If Worship Was Like and NBA Game

HT:BluefishTV via

Friday, August 08, 2008

Requiem aeternam


Mega-preacher's wife sued over loss of faith

She's the wife of a renowned evangelical pastor and one of the leaders of a Houston megachurch, but Victoria Osteen is being accused of behavior that wasn't very Christian.Victoria Osteen is co-pastor at Lakewood Church, where her husband, Joel Osteen, preaches and where about 42,000 people flock each week. Joel Osteen's weekly television address is broadcast nationally and internationally.Brown alleges Victoria Osteen threw her against a bathroom door and elbowed her in the left breast during an outburst over a stain on her first-class seat. The Federal Aviation Administration fined Victoria Osteen $3,000 for interfering with a crew member. Victoria Osteen "clearly was angry on this flight," McKamie said.Brown wants an apology and punitive damages amounting to 10 percent of Victoria Osteen's net worth as part of her suit.

read more | digg story

Thursday, August 07, 2008

What is Successful Worship?

Pastor Tim interviews Bob Kauflin (2/9) from Mars Hill Church on Vimeo.

HT: Bob Kauflin @ WorshipMatters

This Guy Never Knew Boys in High School or College

Cockroaches and socialites are the only things that can stay up all night and eat anything.
Herb Caen

Unpaid bills are causing more utility shut-offs

Rising prices and a sagging economy are boosting the number of customers who can't pay their energy fees. Agencies offering financial aid report long waiting lists.Utility shut-offs for customers behind on their energy bills are increasing around the country, reaching 50% or more in some hard-hit areas, as the effects of rising prices and a sagging economy are beginning to drag down more vulnerable consumers. Agencies that provide financial assistance for energy costs report long waiting lists and significant jumps in first-time applicants.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


There will always be a part, and always a very large part of every community, that have no care but for themselves, and whose care for themselves reaches little further than impatience of immediate pain, and eagerness for the nearest good.
Samuel Johnson, Taxation No Tyranny
English author, critic, & lexicographer (1709 - 1784)

Monday, August 04, 2008

The GOP has Forgotten About It's Own Crowd-Pleaser #2

See #1 here

Robert Reich's Blog: The Heart of the Economic Mess (Updated)

Robert Reich's Blog: The Heart of the Economic Mess

Excerpt with emphasis added:

The heart of the matter isn't the collapse in housing prices or even the frenetic rise in oil and food prices. These are contributing to the mess, but they are not creating it directly. The basic reality is this: For most Americans, earnings have not kept up with the cost of living. This is not a new phenomenon, but it has finally caught up with the pocketbooks of average people. If you look at the earnings of nongovernment workers, especially the hourly workers who comprise 80 percent of the work force, you'll find they are barely higher than they were in the mid-1970s, adjusted for inflation. The income of a man in his 30s is now 12 percent below that of a man his age three decades ago. Per-person productivity has grown considerably since then, but most Americans have not reaped the benefits of those productivity gains. They've gone largely to the top.

Inequality on this scale is bad for many reasons, but it is also bad for the economy. The wealthy devote a smaller percentage of their earnings to buying things than the rest of us because, after all, they're rich. They already have most of what they want. Instead of buying, the very wealthy are more likely to invest their earnings wherever around the world they can get the highest return.

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Luke 12:16-21
Then He told them a parable: "A rich man's land was very productive. He thought to himself, 'What should I do, since I don't have anywhere to store my crops? I will do this,' he said. 'I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods there. Then I'll say to myself, "You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself."

"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared—whose will they be?'

"That's how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."

While being "rich toward God" includes giving toward the work of the Kingdom through the church, it is more than that.

Jeremiah 22:13-17 speaks directly to the issue:

Woe for the one who builds his palacethrough unrighteousness, his upper rooms through injustice,who makes his fellow man serve without payand will not give him his wages, who says: I will build myself a massive palace,with spacious upper rooms. He will cut windows in it, and it will be paneled with cedar and painted with vermilion.

Are you a king because you excel in cedar? Your own father, did he not eat and drink? He administered justice and righteousness, then it went well with him.

He took up the case of the poor and needy, then it went well. Is this not what it means to know Me? [This is] the LORD's declaration.

But you have eyes and heart for nothing except your own unjust gain, shedding innocent blood and committing extortion and oppression.

Life and Times of a Preacher Mom: Ten reasons why men should not be ordained as ministers or priests:

Life and Times of a Preacher Mom: Ten reasons why men should not be ordained as ministers or priests:

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My First Out Loud Chuckle of the Morning

I love Zits! Jerry Scott & Jim Borgman are masters in observing the parent/teen relationship. I recommend it as regular reading to ministers who work with or regularly encounter youth in their work.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Elegy for the 'Unclaimed'


No mourners, but ‘a proper burial’

It's been a while since I've checked the count but I know I'm not far from having participated in leading 400 funerals since coming to my present position of ministry. These folks died of all sorts of things...cancer, heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, vehicle accidents, suicide, old age, etc.

Whether they were young or old or somewhere in between, whether they died suddenly or slowly, whether they died alone or with others standing by, whether they were well loved or barely tolerated, they all had funeral services with at least a few in attendance.

Not so for those in this article from The State newspaper.

I've often joked with my wife that when I die, she should have my body put in a lawn size "Hefty" bag and toss me in a ditch somewhere. I really don't care at all about what happens to my earthly remains. If they 'claim' my body, ok. Whatever is finally decided about what is to become of my shell, it is a great comfort to know there will be people who care...not for that shell, but for the memory of a life well lived.

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Department of "Justice"