Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Carols: I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In

This may be the last Christmas Carol I post. I hope you've enjoyed this rather small series of Christmas Carol lyrics. Blessings to you and Merry Christmas.

I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In

I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas day in the morning.

And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day?
And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas day in the morning?

Our Savior Christ and His lady,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
Our Savior Christ and His lady,
On Christmas day in the morning.

Pray whither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day?
Pray whither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas day in the morning?

O they sailed into Bethlehem,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day,
O they sailed into Bethlehem,
On Christmas day in the morning.

And all the bells on earth shall ring,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
And all the bells on earth shall ring,
On Christmas day in the morning.

And all the angels in Heav’n shall sing,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
And all the angels in Heav’n shall sing,
On Christmas day in the morning.

And all the souls on Earth shall sing,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
And all the souls on Earth shall sing,
On Christmas day in the morning.

Then let us all rejoice amain,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
Then let us rejoice amain,
On Christmas day in the morning.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Santa and His Snacks

So we have a wonderful time visiting Santa on Saturday and on the way home the boys begin talking about Santa's snacks. According to them, Santa said to be sure Daddy puts out carrots for the reindeer and he prefers chocolate chip cookies, or a brownie, and a glass of milk.

Oh, great. And who do you think gets the carrots? Hmmm?

Yup. The sacrifices we dads make.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Visiting Santa

Originally uploaded by Mark Mansheim.
We visited Santa this past Saturday. The boys were wonderful! We always look forward to this visit and can't wait until next year.

Bush Impeachment?

From the calls for Bush impeachment

If someone with a lick of common sense could tell me where was U.S. Representative John Lewis when Clinton deliberately lied to the people of the United States? No seriously, I want to know. Did Lewis support Clinton's impeachment? If you're going judge apples, let's do it equally. If not, then don't bother bringing up the "impeachment" word.

And don't bother with this, "Well, Bush had people illegally wire-tapped..." garbage. So what? If he had a reason for the safety and security of the people of these United States, then let it be done. But most of you uneducated, misinformed, and doped up fools won't understand since you believe your rights were violated.

Allow me just a moment here. Oh, yeah...

September 11, 2001 my rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were seriously altered by a bunch of Muslim extremists.

Let Bush wire-tap all he wants to. He's only after those who would do us harm.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Joe Lieberman Dems Consider Challenge to Lieberman

Joe Lieberman is a Moderate - through and through. There are many issues that I agree with him on, and many I don't. Mr. Lieberman recently paid a visit to Iraq to witness the progress going on there and wrote a very detailed and positive summary. He DID NOT make criticisms against President Bush nor did he affirm the President's position. What he did do was support the troops serving in Iraq and their efforts to stabilize the country. For this act, I am grateful to Mr. Lieberman.

However with all the good Mr. Lieberman is doing, it now seems the liberal Democrats in Connecticut are very unhappy. Why? Because they claim he's out of touch with "reality", that he's "not toting the party line". Yet the real truth is that the liberals in this country are the ones out of touch with what Americans want. They don't understand why so many Americans want moral values and leaders they can trust. Liberals sway on issues that mean the most to us (not in any particular order): abortion, health care, terrorism, taxes, taxes, and more darn taxes. They can't seem to agree with each other how to best handle these issues. Sadly, many of them side with their conservative counterparts and keep spending, spending, and more darn spending.

The liberals should take a lesson from Mr. Lieberman: a moderate approach is the best one if the Democrats are to have a good contender in the next election. If they keep up their bickering, they'll turn Americans away, once again, from electing the next President of the United States.

Christmas Carols: The First Noel

The First Noel

The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds
in fields as they lay;
In fields as they lay, keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.

And by the light of that same star
Three wise men came from country far;
To seek for a king was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.

This star drew nigh to the northwest,
O'er Bethlehem it took it rest,
And there it did both stop and stay
Right over the place where Jesus lay.

Then entered in those wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee,
and offered there in his presence
Their gold, and myrrh, and frakincense.

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
That hath made heaven and earth of naught,
And with his blood mankind hath bought

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Carols: Silent Night

The origin of the Christmas carol we know as Silent Night was a poem that was written in 1816 by an Austrian priest called Joseph Mohr. On Christmas Eve in 1818 in the small alpine village called Oberndorf it is reputed that the organ at St. Nicholas Church had broken. Joseph Mohr gave the poem of Silent Night (Stille Nacht) to his friend Franz Xavier Gruber and the melody for Silent Night was composed with this in mind. The music to Silent Night was therefore intended for a guitar and the simple score was finished in time for Midnight Mass.

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Atheist Review of The Chronicles of Narnia

I give the credit to my friend, Tim Ellsworth, for writing this story. Before making any comments, please read Polly Toynbee's review as linked from Tim's site.

First, if you have ever debated with a devout atheist, it's like partaking in a fierce tug-o-war. No matter how convincing you are, the atheist refuses to see the 'unseen'. The only magic or mystery they believe in comes from a Harry Potter book.

Personally, I find this very sad. To the atheist, Mother Teresa was a myth or she was the exception to the norm. Sometimes as I observe the behavior of fellow Christians, I happen to agree somewhat with that last statement.

Second, devout atheists are very comfortable in their beliefs. They don't care if their soul goes to Hell for if they don't believe in it, why should it go there upon their judgement. And speaking of judgement, they could care far less for a sovereign and loving God who will condemn you for your disbelief in Him or his Son, Jesus Christ.

Third, acts of kindness or servitude to our fellows is trifle and intermittant. Says the atheist, "If one were truly a Christian, then why don't they act like one?" But the atheist view of a Christian is either a weak peasant or Rambo. There's no in-between.

As Ms. Toynbee seems to be an atheist, and quite a cozy one at that, so it's no wonder her sarcastic banter cuts so deeply into any Christian's take on The Chronicles of Narnia. She's a miserable person who could no more explain Aslan's resurrection (nor want to) as she could why the Chicago Cubs haven't won a World Series. Only Christ's sacrifice for our sins can be explained. The Cubs are a different story altogether.

I say all this for I have debated a few atheists since my conversion in 1999. And I must say, no matter the evidence from the mind or heart, they will stand their ground using some of the aforementioned tactics. It's only when a seed is planted, and God grows it, will the atheist come to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Iran: Danger Ahead

From CNN...Iran leader: Holocaust a 'myth'

Suddenly, my blood has begun to boil.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publicly stated that the Holocaust was a myth and believes Israel should move out of the Middle East.

Mr. Ahmadinejad, I've got some news for you.

You think the brutal execution of over 6 million Jews, men, women, and children, was nothing. You are dead wrong. But of course you don't understand history. And I'm beginning to believe the American hostages are right: You were their captor.

If you even so provoke Israel, they will fight back. And if you declare war on them, they will end it. Israel is sacred ground and it does not belong to you or your fellow extremist followers. Maybe you should study your history and learn what happened when Egypt and other surrounding countries tried to takeover Israel.

Israel won.

Side note: The United States and her allies need to watch Mr. Ahmadinejad very carefully. He speaks with forked tongue.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Carols: Carol of the Bells

I thought I would do something interesting for this wonderful time of Christmas. Posted below are the lyrics to one of my favorite Christmas carols, "Carol of the Bells". Each day I may post different Christmas carol lyrics. Enjoy!

Carol of the Bells

Hark how the bells,
sweet silver bells,
all seem to say,
throw cares away

Christmas is here,
bringing good cheer,
to young and old,
meek and the bold,

Oh how they pound,
raising the sound,
o'er hill and dale,
telling their tale,

Gaily they ring
while people sing
songs of good cheer,
Christmas is here,

Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas,
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas,
On on they send ,
on without end,
their joyful tone to every home
Dong Ding dong ding, dong Bong

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Church on Christmas Day

I've taken some time to mull this topic of whether or not the 'church' should have worship services on Christmas Day. Here's my response:

We should ALL be ashamed of ourselves for our finger-pointing behavior declaring who is right and who is wrong. If a church decides to be open that day, then good for them. If not, no problem. If your church is only offering Christmas Eve services, then by all means go. If they're offering services on both days, then make a choice or attend both days.

But by all means, STOP the finger pointing!

The world is observing your behavior and you're acting like 2-year olds.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pearl Harbor Day

Today in 1941, the Japanese Navy attacked us at Pearl Harbor Naval Station in Hawaii. Please keep the men and women of the United States Armed Forces in your prayers as they continue to fight for freedom.


One of the many special foods, my grandmother used to make, was homemade fudge. It was the type of fudge that melted in your mouth and soothed your soul.

The Trappist monks, of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, are now making fudge for this Christmas celebration.

From the over, fruitcake

This past spring, I had the pleasure of visiting the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. Yes, I hung out with the monks for the day. The monastery is a wonderful place of peace to seek God.

The Abbey Store, located on the monastery grounds, is home to many delights. If you like good coffee, mouth-watering fudge, or fruit preserves, they got it. The Abbey Store also contains a rich assortment of Thomas Merton's books.

If you're looking for something different to give for this Christmas, and support these wonderful men of God, please consider shopping at The Abbey.

Blessings to you!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Third Day - Advocacy

I'm a firm believer that if you support an organization, you better volunteer with it. Too many so-called 'stars' say they support one cause or another, but never get their hands dirty with that particular organization.

Third Day gets their hands dirty.

From the research I've done, TD supports three organizations: (More than likely they support additional groups as well!)

- Habitat for Humanity
- World Vision

If you keep up with TD happenings, then you'll know the band has been to numerous Habitat builds and they have witnessed firsthand the AIDS devastation in Africa. Better yet, they even participated with former President Jimmy Carter and his wife in building a Habitat house. Now that is cool!

Please check out the links above and get involved in an organization that helps people. It doesn't take much to volunteer your time to help build a house, feed the hungry, or promote social justice awareness.

God bless you.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Third Day - Wherever You Are

Third Day: Wherever You Are

As previously posted, I was blessed to attend Third Day’s All Access concert in Atlanta on November 1st. After taking a month to listen to their new CD and letting the music soothe my soul, I’ve decided to write a review of it.

Drum roll please…

Wherever You Are begins with the message of constant and everlasting hope with, Tunnel. This is a great song if your life is full of burdens and worries as mine is right now. No matter what I'm going through, Jesus is my light and will always show me the way toward him.

As mentioned, my life is full of burdens right now. Some days the load is so heavy, I can actually feel the weight on my shoulders. Hearing, Eagles, takes me to a far away place where I be truly free. Sure, I try to give these burdens to Jesus, but the more and more I face them, (and usually it’s everyday) I collapse. Eagles don’t collapse; they soar. One day I will soar.

Through my burdens, I’ve been blessed to meet others who are also going through hardships and pray for them. From the hurricane’s devastation to those who live everyday in poverty, Cry Out To Jesus, is for everyone needing the love and grace of Jesus. I had tears in my eyes when Third Day performed this at the All Access concert. In my humble opinion, this song is the best one on the album.

I got goose bumps the first time I heard, I Can Feel It. Now I know some of you will probably find this humorous or heretical, BUT, I truly believe the Holy Spirit can be felt within and around us. I believe that God is always near even though we don’t recognize him.

The upbeat, Keep On Shinin’, is a good reminder that wherever we are, whatever we are doing, to show God’s love to others, i.e. strangers, church members, family, and friends. Not an easy task with all that’s going on in our own personal worlds. The Apostle Paul encourages us to, “…fight the good fight.”

As with all of Third Day’s songs, you can play them and visualize a personal or biblical story. Communion reminds me of the last supper with Jesus sharing the bread and wine with his apostles, who clearly didn’t understand what was about to take place. We know what took place and celebrate the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

Carry My Cross explicitly tells what Jesus has done for my salvation through love. He took my sins, my burdens, and my shame to the cross.

Track 8, How Do You Know, lifted my head and heart from severe criticism. Moreover, lifted me above those who doubt me and my godly purpose. There’s nothing worse than family members criticizing your abilities and questioning your life in Christ. In a society that frequently measures success by your salary, size of your home, and how many cars you drive, it’s great to hear a song that defends what people, like me, are trying to do in the name of Christ. Sure, every now and then I may lose my step, but I will never lose my way in Him. Lastly, I love what David Carr says about ‘legalism’, “The high horse of legalism and piousness needs to be led to the water and drowned.” Amen.

Mountain of God is a sabbatical from the everyday worries and troubles that we encounter. I believe we become closer to God when we take the time to seek him without noise, distractions, or cell phones. Jesus often took the time to intentionally pray to the Father. Let Him be the example for us.

Generally speaking, Love Heals Your Heart and The Sun is Shining are two songs that fill in the album’s gaps. Both speak of love, hope, and encouragement in a lighthearted way. Love… is a beautiful ballad while The Sun… puts a smile on your face knowing Jesus is always with us and renewing us.

Wherever You Are ends on an inspirational high note with, Rise Up, that beckons you to keep the CD playing over-and-over. As I previously mentioned, Rise Up is a call to rise above the burdens and worries. Earlier I mentioned the physical impact of burdens. Rise Up lifts us up to face life. I can still picture Mac, at the concert, bellowing this verse: (Even with a cold!)

“Rise up my friend and live again.”

Overall, Third Day’s music keeps maturing as the songs tell of faith, hope, and love. In a time of war, famine, disease, and various hardships, Wherever You Are inspires us to keep living through Christ.

Hands down, Wherever You Are is Third Day’s best album to date.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Third Day - The Band

Note: This is the first of two, maybe three, posts on Third Day. Today is the band, tomorrow is a review of Wherever You Are, then on Friday I'll write about their mission opportunities.

Before going any further, please read Tai Anderson's recent experience at the U2 concert here in Atlanta. I've met Tai, Mark, Mac, Brad, and David at two local shows AND hereabouts in the Atlanta area. It's amazing who you run in to at a grocery store. : ) Needless to say to Third Day fans who already know this, but, these guys are wonderful examples of living through Christ.

Tai's post revealed the heart of a devoted fan, famous band member, and devoted follower of Christ. (Can I call Third Day famous?) His actions were justified and his heart was filled with the love for his wife, friends, and Jesus.

If you ever get the chance to watch Tai on stage, he makes playing the Bass guitar look like lots of fun. Every time I saw him play, he was bouncing around the stage with a smile on his face.

One last thing about Tai - he helped convert me from a Microsoft Windows guy to an Apple Mac one. Believe me, less troubles with a Mac than a PC.

Next, I'm going to write quick snippets on Mac, Mark, and Brad. I'll save David for last.

Brad is the most intense guitar player I've ever seen. Watching Brad on stage is AMAZING! He definitely feels the music and it envelops him. Every time he sways with the guitar riffs, you want to sway with him. Catch him smiling when he's, "in the groove".

Can anyone on this planet even come close to replicating Mac's voice? I didn't think so either. Whether he's speaking or singing, his voice resonates a meaningful tone. He's thoughtful and caring. I snapped a picture of him and my son at the All Access concert in Atlanta. Andrew won't part with it for nothing. Thank you, Mac.

Okay, as Brad is intense and brings the music to a high, Mark Lee makes the music come alive with vibrant chords and riffs. He bounces around the stage as well as Tai. Is it fair to say that Mark 'marries' the sounds together? I'll let you be the judge of that. Mark also reads and writes a good deal as seen on Third Day's blog. I check it out a couple times a week. Great stuff!

Last, but certainly not least in my book, is David. I've met him 'in the public square' and I'll say this: He is very humble and willing to speak. As with the other band members, David loves doing things for his family, which marks very high in my book. David, as with Brad, is intense behind the drums. He 'feels' the music wonderfully and balances the guitars with various beats.

If I had to say there was a leader on Third Day, I would definitely say it is Jesus Christ. For only Jesus could give these men the inspirational talent, perseverance, and love to produce fruitful albums, tour, and meet fans such as me and my family.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Beware the Fire Pole

This from the Woman sues for injuries from sliding down fire pole at party

For some reason, my brain just can't comprehend this right now.

Maybe later...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mercer University and the Georgia Baptist Convention

From the AJC...Baptists vote to slash Mercer ties
(you'll need an account)

Mercer University is traditionally Baptist with longstanding ties to the Georgia Baptist Convention. However, these ties, which have become worn through the years, are about to end. According to The Christian Index, the Mercer Triangle Symposium held a "Coming Out Day" for gays and lesbians back on October 11th. Yet, according to R. Kirby Godsey, Mercer President, the Triangle Symposium was meant as a tool for dialogue and not encouraged by the university.

As of Tuesday, November 15th, the conservative force behind the Georgia Baptist Convention voted on a measure to end it's relationship with Mercer, since it cannot control the university's Board of Trustees. Therefore, if the measure is made final next year, the GBC will cease giving $3.6 million annually in scholarship money.

As a theology graduate student at the McAfee School of Theology, Mercer - Atlanta campus, I am troubled by the GBC's sharp-turn measure against the school. Is this really about a gay and lesbian organization meeting on school grounds OR is this about the lack of a conservative movement on behalf of the university? I don't think so. Therefore, at the center of the GBC's vote is the lack of control; control of what takes place at Mercer.

If one were to look at the quality of education at Mercer University, you would begin with President Godsey. In the many years of being president, he has taken this university and made it great. For example, look at enrollment or donations. Both are incredibly high. Mercer is also ranked amongst the top universities in the nation.

Now, would President Godsey jeopardize the university's fine reputation for doing something stupid? No, he wouldn't. His intentions are pure; he wants only the best for Mercer and it's students. Take my word for this: I've met President Godsey and his heart is in the right place. He encourages academic freedom while glorifying Christ. The Mercer faculty encourages the same values.

But alas, there are some things I will never understand. I will never understand a body, like the GBC, ripping it's relationship from Mercer without speaking with President Godsey first, students second. I fully support President Godsey, the faculty, and students of Mercer for their grace and love in Christ. For this measure really hurts Mercer's students the most. Students who rely on GBC's annual giving.

Listed below are the articles to "The Christian Index" and the GBC's measure.

The Christian Index

GBC Measure

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Movie Review

Good Night, and Good Luck

Despite my moderate-Conservative self, I am giving big kudos to George Clooney, director and actor, in this tale of Edward R. Murrow and Joseph McCarthy. Clooney managed to tell a story by staying away from the vile nature of rated R or PG13 films. Let's hope other actors will follow his lead.

Personally speaking, I am a big fan of Murrow. He set the stage for factual journalism. He strongly believed in the truth; not news entertainment which runs rampant today. Murrow never mixed words nor used flowery language.

If you want more information on the life of Edward R. Murrow, go here to Wikipedia.

Good night, and good luck.

Darfur: No Signs of Peace

From CNN...U.S. envoy shouts at Darfur official

Anyone keeping up with the atrocities in Darfur, knows full well the human devastation taking place. Men, women, and children are murdered every day. No place is safe.

As much as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick is trying to uncover the truth behind why negotiatons aren't working, it's not helping. Why? No one wants to cooperate. A corrupt government and bands of thugs aren't going to negotiate. They would rather rape women, shoot each other, and starve children than work towards peace.

Sadly, I don't foresee a solution to this mess. Radical groups want all the power. They won't compromise. And just like the Sunnis and Shiites, words mean nothing. One says they'll work for peace while the other holds a gun to their head. It just doesn't work.

Let's pray God will show himself and end all this needless bloodshed. We need to have hope and faith in Him.

Republican Woes

From the NY Times...House Shelves Alaska Drilling in Budget Fight

This has been a tough couple of weeks on we Republicans. Let's review a series of foolish mistakes made by our wonderful politicians:

1. Tom DeLay is indicted on campaign finance charges. As much as I like DeLay, you should never, ever jeopardize yourself no matter your profession. Integrity, always.
2. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is indicted for leaking CIA information.
3. Both parties are to blame for outrageous government spending. Duh!
4. The American public is tiring of the war in Iraq.
5. President Bush's approval rating is sinking.
6. Harriet Miers. Need I say any more?

Pro-life Democrats, here is your charge: Start campaigning NOW! This is your time. Oh, and stay out of trouble...

P.S. If you're wondering if I'll vote for a pro-life Dem, you can bet your salary I will. The Republicans, as a whole, can't seem to get their act together regarding their morals, spending, and issues of importance. Now, does this mean there aren't any good Republicans left? No, it does not. They at least have a better stance on morals than many of their liberal-Democrat counterparts.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Slow Week

Aside from goofy cheerleaders, idiots burning France, and the research being done on Supreme Court Justice nominee, Alito, this week has been rather, well, boring.

Even Microsoft's news of it's game console, Xbox 360, seems rather weak. Microsoft is predicting sales to be rather skewed, due to the fact that their newest Xbox will be the only contender in this year's Christmas sales. What a shame. I believe in fierce competition and therefore wish Sony would get off their butts and sell Playstation 3. But alas, I'll have to wait.

This strategy, of avoiding direct console sales openings with Microsoft, may be beneficial. Besides, Christmas sales wane the week before Christmas day and might not be the bang Microsoft is looking for. Yet, and I do mean yet, stranger things have happened...

(Cue flashback...)

Remember the authentic cabbage patch dolls? People were stealing them from each other's trunks. And how about the first Power Ranger dolls? I can remember lines of people, in front of toy stores, just to get the "Red Ranger". Tickle-Me-Elmo? Nintendo Gameboy SP's? Microsoft Xbox? Halo? Halo2? Freaky how people act over a toy or game.

My piece of advice: Start shopping now before you lose your senses. You'll thank yourself, and Santa, later.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Elmo Knows Your Name...

In news of the weird, one of the hottest new toys to hit the market is the, "Elmo-Knows-Your-Name" doll. Apparently, the doll can be hooked up to your PC and, through software, programmed to know your child's name.

So, I gave it a try on Sunday at the Super Walmart. I programmed the Elmo to say, "Jesse Jackson", and, lo and behold, Elmo said his name.

"I love you, Jesse Jackson.", Elmo blurted.

Of course the downside, to this goofiness, was explaining to my two boys 'who' Jesse Jackson is. Ah, parenthood.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Third Day: All Access Tour

If you're a big fan of the Christian rock band, Third Day, then this tour is for you. However, there is a catch: You can only win tickets to these small-venue shows. I had the great honor of winning tickets to last night's kickoff tour, here in Atlanta, Georgia, at Earthlink Live.

Sparing a long post for now, my oldest son and I attended the event. It was first come, first get for the seats. My son, who is 8, ran like the wind to get seats on the front row. We were only about 3 or 4 feat away from the band.

Third Day played the first hour (?) for a live radio and Internet simulcast. What this basically means is that the crowd and band are instructed per radio time, i.e. when to cheer and when the band was to play.

The highlight of the concert (for me) came on their second song, "Come Together", when Mac Powell waved to my son. I was beaming while my son was in shock. Of course the concert as a whole was awesome!

After the performance, Third Day was very generous to stay around, sign autographs, and talk to us. I felt bad because I know they wanted to get home to their families. My son and I met and spoke with them.

Mac, David, Tai, Brad, and Mark are the nicest, most humble guys you would ever meet. We've met them twice now (I've even met David a couple of times), and they are always willing to talk and, most importantly, praise God. If I'm sounding mushy, it's because all this is true.

I'll post a more detailed evening event later with pictures.
Be at peace!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Chicago White Sox Win World Series

I was raised a White Sox fan from my younger days.

I remember Chet Lemon and Harold Baines. We all went to see them. They gave us brief moments of excitement. And what about Harry Caray? The seventh inning stretch was a celebration. I remember Ozzie Guillen, Joey Cora, and Tim 'Rock' Raines playing their hearts out. We had high hopes for them as players.

Now all that's changed.

The White Sox are world champions thanks to Guillen, Cora, Raines (sans 'Rock'), and Baines who are the coaches responsible for keeping this team together. Yes, I said "coaches". This is the ultimate way of taking a once lackluster team and making them champions. They created a bond so strong that no adversary could break.

Our hopes have been resurrected not by the players of the past, but of the coaches of the future. Cheers to you, the coaches, players, staff, and loyal fans of the Chicago White Sox. May this memory linger forever.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

We're Skeptics

While having dinner with my best friend from high school, I noticed the amount of skepticism coming from our mouths. We were skeptical on:

* Society
* Politics
* Foreigners
* Education
* Government
* Coffee
* Christianity


Because we’ve allowed ourselves to become this way. Even as Christians, we’ve become skeptical of each other. For instance, put a liberal and conservative Christian in the same room and skepticism will abound. Trust is thrown out the window. It’s even more evident on Internet blogs. Look at the interaction between liberal and conservative Christians. Instead of thoughtful and provocative dialogue, you get angry diatribe.

Have you walked into a different church lately? Sure, many of them have greeting teams or ushers who welcome you. But, we’re skeptical of them. We wonder if these folks are authentic believers or putting on a nice performance. Worse, you join a particular church and find out later they’re not authentic. More skepticism.

At probably no other time in history has it become increasingly difficult to build relationships among Christians. We’ve turned to email and instant messaging to build relationships, rather than heart-to-heart conversations over the phone or in person. We’re too worried about the minutes on our cell phones instead of our relationships. We’ve lost the art of friendships.

I once heard Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church, say that he already has enough friends and doesn’t want any more. Instead, he suggested “small groups” as a way to make friends. Wow! Now there’s an idea. Can I get a refill on my cup of “skepticism” please?

How do we stop being so skeptical of one another? Be merciful and offer grace. Sure, we can’t have a million close friends and we may not necessarily agree with each other, but we can show God’s mercy and grace as He did for us through his Son, Jesus Christ.

Monday, October 24, 2005

What Women Really Want?

From FoxNews...Ubersexuals Leaving Metrosexuals at the Spa

I didn't even know the term, 'metrosexual', was even a word until a co-worker explained it to me. I still don't know if I fully understand the word. I mean, outside being a swimmer and competitive bodybuilder, why would a guy shave his chest in the first place? No hot blooded Irishmen I know shave their chests!

This article takes the viewpoint that women don't want a guy who's full of himself. No, they want a man who takes out the garbage, without complaining, and washes dishes, without being told to. I vacuum and do the laundry (hint: Don't mix reds with the whites. I've never done this, but my father has. It's not pretty.). I've been doing it for years. Now women want this in their man, plus love and stability. Good for them. Hopefully, this time, they'll remain this way.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Typical Political Garbage

From CNN...'Cheeseburger bill' puts bite on lawsuits

If you were to look at the issue of frivolous lawsuits altogether, then Congress and the Senate should do their best to prevent them.


'Cause it seems Americans today don't have common sense anymore. Take for instance this so-called, 'Cheeseburger bill'. Really, if you believe that you can't get fat, while eating large amounts of any fast food with no exercise, then you need to see a psychologist immediately.

Is this bill a necessity? No, but therein lies the point. Many, if not most, Americans have become gluttons to the idol of the fast food joint. Americans blame the fast food joint for their fat, unhealthy bodies instead of themselves. Just look at this quote from Rep. Bob Filner - D. California:

"Congress has allowed the need of big corporations before the need of our children,"

Are we not accountable and responsible for what we put in our mouths? We shouldn't blame ourselves for clogging our own arteries?


And please don't give me this, "But what about the poor who can't afford a better meal?" Last I looked, it is still cheaper to cook a decent meal, for a family of four, than serve them fast food garbage. Take the time to become a smart shopper.

Parents please take my advice: It's never too late to begin teaching your children healthy eating habits. Start now before their health is jeopardized.

P.S. This isn't a Democrat/Republican or liberal/conservative issue. This is an issue of common sense and putting the blame on ourselves, not big corporations or politicians. They don't have to raise our children. We do.

A Few Bones to Pick

Okay, I have a few gripes.

First, I read the interview between Dave Ramsey, author of "Total Money Makeover", and Neil Cavuto regarding how to deal with the increasing cost of gas and utilities. When Ramsey was asked by a caller whether or not to purchase a new heating system to lower his monthly heating bills, Ramsey simply told him to work a second job.

Ramsey went on to tell Cavuto that what we really need to do is pinch our dollars, i.e. lay off the $5 drinks at Starbucks or $20 car washes and put that money in the bank towards those skyrocketing bills.

I couldn't agree more. We're increasingly living in a time of self-indulgence and not preparing for future hard times. What ever happened to saving money for that rainy day? Guess what? Those rainy days are fast approaching.

Side note: I don't advocate working two or three jobs just to pay for bills. Our soceity is already overworked and doesn't spend enough qualitity time with family.

Second gripe, evangelical pastors advocating living a luscious lifestyle rather than being content with what we already have. Lately I've listened to the sermons of many conservative evangelical pastors who are seemingly wanting their flock to, " earn more/get more". I heard one pastor say, "Jesus didn't say we couldn't have more if we earned more..." Needless to say, I was in shock.

Now I'm not talking about living in a state of poverty and giving all your posessions away. What I am saying is that we as Christians need to be more careful with what we own and not over indulge ourselves. I am writing this entry from firsthand experience. If you don't control your spending habits, money, debt, and consumption will haunt you.

When we begin to idolize money and more stuff, we are taking our hearts and minds away from a loving and boundless God.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Meeting Donald Miller

I had the pleasure of meeting Donald Miller, author of "Blue Like Jazz", who is by far different from your typical evangelical writers. He is no more a conservative, theologically and politically speaking, than a liberal. He is honest and provocative about his life experiences as a follower of Christ.

Please read my meeting with Don here...Authentic Thoughts
I really enjoyed the brief time I spent with him. He has a wonderful way of reaching people who hold a negative view of Christians. I recommend his books, "Blue Like Jazz", and "Searching for God Knows What".

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Jack Carter Eyes Senate Race

From the's son, Jack, eyes Senate run

I wasn't a big fan of Jimmy Carter when he was President. I can clearly remember my parents were as mad as hornets at how bad the country was being run. The two things I remember most were the long gas lines and the hostage standoff.

Yet, Carter had a few good highlights, i.e. the peace accord between Israel and Egypt. Carter was excellent in the role of peace maker, especially with foreign relations.

Yet, arguably, Carter did his best work outside the presidency. Habitat for Humanity is an outstanding organization. They have recently teamed up with Major League Baseball to help the victims of Katrina and Rita.

Now Carter's son, Jack, is contemplating the U.S. Senate seat in Nevada. He's not pleased with the Bush administration and wants to do something about it.

I may not support all of Jack's political ideologies, but I agree with his intentions. If you want change, then you need to do something about it instead of complaining.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Miers and Her Detractors

I found these quotes/reactions from regarding Miers' nomination:

"The burden is on the Bush administration and Harriet Miers to prove to the American people that she will respect and protect our fundamental freedoms, including a woman's right to choose. Miers does not appear to have a public record to assure America's pro-choice majority that she is a moderate in the tradition of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was the critical swing vote that protected women's reproductive health and freedom." — Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

"We owe it to the American people to take our time to be sure the nominee will uphold their most basic and fundamental rights. The public demands this from the process, and deserve no less." Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.

"The president has selected a loyal political ally without a judicial record to sit on the highest court in the land." — Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

Now I don't know about you, but I sense there is a lot of misinterpretation here on the meaning of "fundamental rights". Last I looked, abortion was NOT a fundamental right. And Americans are NOT pro-choice in majority.

When are the liberals going to understand that life is precious and given to us as a gift? All they are concerned about are their so-called individual rights. And I do mean "individual". They don't care about the lives of others.

Thus brings forth the argument: Do liberals really care about social justice? If so, they sure don't care about life.

Supreme Court Nominee, Who?

And just who is this woman? She's Harriet Miers, close friend and member of George Bush's inner circle. She is an attorney by education and trade. However, she has no judicial experience. She is opposite that of John Roberts in qualifications. Where he has a judicial track record, she has none. She's the equivalent of an Etch A Sketch.

Here's my take: I truly believe George and Laura Bush chose Harriet Miers for her values and trustworthiness over her qualifications. In a soceity where everyone wants and demands tangible proof of experience, Ms. Miers is in deep trouble. The Senate Judiciary Committee will either go easy on her or she'll get eaten alive; eaten alive by the Republicans.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Review: Switchfoot's, "the beautiful letdown"

Yeah...I know, it's been out for a long while. I hesitated to buy this album because I hadn't the time to research the band and their values. Yes, I will only purchase music from bands that have Christ-like values.

Switchfoot is not your normal CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) band. Their songs speak of living for today, grace, healing, and most importantly, love, all referencing a loving and boundless God.

A deeper look into this band and you'll find the equivalent of Donald Miller's, Blue Like Jazz. (More on BLJ in another post.) They are active in helping people with AIDS and support social justice. To learn more, go to

I highly recommend this album. My two sons are already listening to it and love it. My next CD purchase will be Third Day's new album, Wherever You Are. I'm betting it will be awesome.

William Bennett:Foot-N-Mouth Disease

From FoxNews...Senator Demands Apology for Bennett Remarks

William Bennett needs to think before he speaks. His recent comments regarding blacks and crime rates compared to abortion were atrocious:

The author of "The Book of Virtues," answering a caller's question, took issue with the hypothesis put forth in a recent book that one reason crime is down is that abortion is up.

"But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down," Bennett said.

He went on to call that "an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky."


Now I haven't seen any study correlating crime rates with abortion rates, BUT I don't believe one would have baring on the other. Life is life, period. Couldn't Bennett have said that in response to the caller's question?

I believe Bennett meant well and he believes in the sanctity of life. He just needs to watch his words better.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Blue Like Jazz

I am reading, "Blue Like Jazz", by Donald Miller.

At first, I wasn't too sure about this guy. When I initially went to his website and read his activism links, I had my doubts. Clearly, I had a knee-jerk reaction when I saw such sites as and the ACLU. It was like tasting bitter medicine.

I guess in my many years I have become wiser. I went back (to his website) to really read Miller's take on activism and why he posted those web sites.

GULP...I was wrong. At least I believe I was wrong.

I believe Miller's take on these activist organizations is simply showing them our Christ-like being within them. Most of these organizations can't stand Christians. They thnk we're a bunch of right-wing fascists who want to conquer the earth. Depending on what you are accustomed to, i.e. Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell's outspokeness, I can't say I blame them.

Miller suggests becoming involved with these groups to show them Christ's love and grace. They, just like many others, don't need to be bully-whipped with the Gospel. That's not how Jesus reached people. He reached them through their hearts.

So, as I delve deeper in to this book, I really appreciate Miller's candid narration. I can easily identify with many of the situations he's been through. Plus, there's no "church-speak", which makes it even better.

Any thoughts on this book are deeply appreciated.

A Different Direction

As some of you know me, I am NOT a hardcore Christian Conservative. My writings may say different, however those who truly know me, know that my heart is for the Christ of the Holy Bible, not the Christ of some man-made theology.

My writings will be going away from the political as I am embarking on a new adventure. Beginning in February, I will be digging deeper in Christian theology and, of course, my opinions on "The Church". I am of the belief that many Christians have become 'pew-warming' folks, and not of the serving kind. Notice that I did not say all Christians are this way. Therefore, this blog will begin focusing on ways we can serve as Christians and ways to interact with the culture.

Why the change?
A couple of things.
First, I'm noticing positive, Christ-like service in many churches. An example is Ecclesia Houston whom were reaching out to victims, of Hurricane Katrina, the Wednesday right after the storm hit. Here's their website: Ecclesia Houston (I love their website design!)
Second, from my own personal experience helping the victims, I am spiritually renewed and in want of serving. We should all love and desire to serve.

Please keep all those who need to see the face of Christ in prayer.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hurricane Rita: Part 3

President Bush tells residents of the Gulf Coast of Texas to evacuate.
(CNS News)

Nothin' like a little common sense...

It seems to me that all government officials are working in conjunction with the storm this time around. This is a good thing.

Last report from was that Hurricane Rita was now a category 4. Let's pray it gets much smaller...

Hurricane Katrina Commission

From Foxnews...Lawmakers Scuffle Over Katrina Oversight

House Speaker, Dennis Hastert, wants a "bipartisan" committee to investigate the affairs of Hurricane Katrina. Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, wants an independant committee similar to the 9/11 Commission.

They're both nuts.


Those who are at fault won't take responsibility, aka the local, state, and federal leaders, including Congress. These so-called 'commissions' won't solve a thing. They're a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Now we're on the verge of another disasater: Hurricane Rita.
The dykes in Galveston, Texas are only 17 feet high.
Does this sound familiar?
Maximum sustained winds of Rita have been recorded at 215 mph.
Do you believe 17 foot high dykes will hold against those kinds of winds?
I don't think so.

So while Congress is busy babbling about Katrina, they better be ready for the impending disaster of Rita. Stop the finger pointing and be ready to serve those in need.

Side note:
Don't think I'm going to let Nancy Pelosi off easy here. I'm not. However, I'm even more disgusted by Louisiana's Governor, Kathleen Blanco. She's one-third the guilty party. Worse, she has yet to take responsibility for her lack of actions.

My suggestion, Ms. Blanco? Shut your mouth or offer an apology. The people of Louisiana deserve it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hurricane Rita: Part 2

This just in from FoxNews...Hurricane Rita is now a Category 5 hurricane with winds at 165 mph.

I would say it's time to leave the Gulf Coast of Texas.

Hurricane Rita: Part 1

Hurricane Rita is already a Category 4 storm and growing. It is expected to hit the Texas gulf by Friday. Residents have two full days to get out of town.

Texas Governor Rick Perry is already urging residents, who live on the Gulf coastline, to leave.
(See CNS News)

Now, should the Federal government step in and force people to leave? Should Gov. Perry call for a mandatory evacuation instead of a voluntary evacuation? Should FEMA and the Red Cross be rolling in trucks? Will the French, liberal politicians, and liberal media blame Bush for this potential disaster? Will Cindy Sheehan keep her vigil going during 100 mph winds?

There's more to come...

Monday, September 19, 2005

What?!? $200 Billion?!?

Taking this from Tim Ellsworth's blog, I am astounded to see our government wants to spend $200 BILLION on rebuilding the Gulf Coast.

Now I know this comment may make some of you angry, but, to take $200 billion tax dollars to rebuild the Gulf Coast is foolish. Why? Here are my responses.

1. The Federal Reserve is already suffering from too much "pork" legislation. If you want the money so badly, get rid of the fat first.
2. Don't sock the taxpayers, the hard-working citizens, with this legislation.
3. Don't give me this, "The rich get richer, while the poor get poorer" crap either. Hurricane Katrina did NOT discriminate.
4. But what about all those who lost homes? Fine. Relocate them to higher ground. Building them a home, in an area that will eventually be flooded again, is dumb.

Who can benefit from all this mess? The first group that comes to mind is Habitat for Humanity. They can build sensible homes, provide reasonable financial guidelines, and develop community for many of these folks. All this without causing any more burden on the government's budget.

If we all start contributing to Habitat, whether financially or voluntarily, thousands of people can have a home in a better place.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The ACLU's Contempt of America

From the Baptist Press...The ACLU vs. Our Freedom

A great article from Penna Dexter detailing Alan Sears' book, "The ACLU vs. America". The ACLU is notorious for being persecutors of free speech and Christianity.

If you want the truth behind the ACLU, buy this book.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- The Declaration of Independence

News of the Weird

From Breaks 'Couch Potato' Record

(see for a login)

I don't quite understand the logic behind doing stunts like this, but hey, it's his gig, not mine.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Pledge...

And yet another misguided judge rules that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional.

CNN...Judge declares Pledge unconstitutional

Sad, very sad...

Total Abstinence By Jack Graham

From the Baptist Press...Total Abstinence by Jack Graham

I'm going to write this differently from my fellow bloggers. Dr. Graham's first-person viewpoint is a mix of theology and common sense. From one stand, Dr. Graham wants parents to teach their children to abstain from alcohol, noting that a drink of the 'forbidden' can lead to misery. I don't necessarily agree with this statement.

But I won't get into battling Dr. Graham's beliefs (I'll save that for my fellow bloggers), therefore here's my experience with alcohol. I hope others will learn from my story.

Being raised a Roman Catholic, alcohol was a norm. My parents, grandparents, and all their friends drank alcohol. Now somehow I knew better than to drink the stuff fearing damage to my insulin-dependant diabetes. However, that all changed when I turned 21. I always loved the smell of good, hearty beer. So...I began drinking ales, lagers, and a nice tall stout on occasion.

Unfortunately, I allowed that occasion to become a regular habit. Soon, I began drinking 2-3 beers a night. If I were traveling with my company, I would do the same with my peers. Yes, ashamedly there were a few times I drank too much.

Fast forward to Sunday, December 18th, 1999. This was the day I was baptized almost a month after accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior. Now I'm sitting down to dinner with my family, my wife, oldest son (who was almost 3), and my mother in-law. I pour myself a glass of white wine to celebrate this special day. As I sat down at the table, this little voice says to me, "Daddy, don't drink that."

Not thinking twice, I got up from the table and poured the wine down the sink. I truly believe God spoke through my son. How many 2 or 3 year olds could make such a statement?

Since that day, I haven't had the urge to take a drink of wine or beer. It doesn't mean I've stopped drinking completely, nor do I condemn others who do drink. At special times, I will take a taste of champagne.

Alcohol was becoming a controlling part of my life. Now, God is in control. I cannot serve two masters.

More on Judge Roberts

Sean Hannity's guest yesterday evening (on his radio show), was, Jay Sekulow, of the American Center for Law and Justice. Sekulow's comments regarding how Judge Roberts answered the wayward questions, from the liberal Democrat committee members, was interesting.

Sekulow told Hannity that Roberts' tactful responses showed how intelligent he is compared to the committee members. Roberts runs circles around them in regards to the 'Rule of Law'. Sekulow went on to say that Roberts was doing a great job through the barage and expected the questioning to become more intense as the week progresses.

However, the Dems just don't get it (see article). They want someone to see their side of the issues and vote their way. There's no compromise with them. For instance...

The national association of baby killers, aka NARAL, and their supporters, Feinstein, Schumer, Kennedy, Biden, and even Specter, want Roberts to specifically answer the question:

Will you overturn Roe V. Wade?

Roberts refuses to answer that question but will uphold the precedent. The ranking Dems HATE this answer. But let's not forget their goon, Ruth "Bad Judgement" Ginsburg, who did the exact same thing during her hearing. And who gave her the advice to not answer? None other than Joseph Biden. Where's the fair, unbiased treatment?

According to the Dems, all's fair in love and war. The Republicans better remember this tactic.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Judge Roberts: Roe V. Wade

Personally speaking, if one of the many dolts on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked me my opinion of upholding Roe V. Wade or a woman's right to choose, I would say...

"No. I uphold any persons right to choose as long they choose to protect life."

Then after I gave this jaw dropping response, I would counter with this question:

"Does a life, no matter how small, deserve to live?"

And then I would take great pleasure in seeing the liberals blow their tops.

Monday, September 12, 2005


UPDATE: The Atlanta Falcons beat Philadelphia!

Praise God for football!

Now I like baseball, but I LOVE football. Football displays the phyiscal struggle to win. It's strategy and braun combined. BOOYAH!

Saturday and Sunday were blessings on many fronts:
1. The University of Georgia (my wife's team and mine by marriage) beat South Carolina and their old nemesis, Steve Spurrier.
2. Georgia Tech beat North Carolina.
3. My beloved Badgers of Wisconsin whipped Temple.
4. Did you see the LSU-ASU game? 4th and 10, with a minute left in the game, and LSU wins with a touchdown pass in the end zone! Incredible!
5. Let's not forget Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish clobbered the Michigan Wolverines.
6. The New Orleans Saints won! I'm not a Saints fan, but I'm glad LSU and the Saints won with Katrina behind them.

Isn't it great to be a football fan? You betcha!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

MOVE ON, MoveOn!

From CNS Implies Bush at Fault for Levee Breaks

I first heard about this planned protest from Janet Parshall, of Janet Parshall's America radio show. Now CNS has the actual footage. The video is disturbing.

Blaming Bush, for the New Orleans levee breaks, is like blaming my city councilman for my dirty car. It just ain't gonna happen.

Now I know Bush isn't perfect, but he surely doesn't deserve this garbage.

If there's a point to be made here, it's the lack of disaster planning by the local, state, and federal governments.
1. FEMA's job is to play, "What if...", games and they didn't their job here.
2. Local city officials should've had the affected areas evacuated long before the hurricane hit.
3. Lastly, state officials should've had state resources pouring into the areas right after the hurricane hit. I saw reports from FoxNews that, for a fact, Louisiana did not. In fact, Louisiana officials prevented many resources from helping people. A lesson to be learned.

Again, let's stop the "blame game" and "race card" foolishness and help those in need.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Planned Parenthood's Foolishness

From CNS News...Planned Parenthood Accused of Exploiting Hurricane Relief Effort

During the hurricane coverage I heard Planned Parenthood was spreading their filth in the New Orleans Superdome. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. However, I believe it now.

Here is a time where people need food, water, clothing, shelter, and life SAVING medicine. What they don't need is birth control.

What's next, the ACLU soliciting for donations?

Saddam Hussein's Confession

From CNN: Talabani: Saddam confesses to execution orders

Let's just see how much media attention this receives. No doubt about it, Saddam Hussein was, and still is, a monster. He's a murderer and should be kept in prison forever.

UPDATE Nancy Pelosi: From the Mouths of Liberals

From CNS to sponsor White House protest featuring victims of hurricane Katrina. The protesters will demand to see President Bush and tell him that he didn't do enough to help the victims. Not that they don't have anything better else to do.

I'm sure Ms. Pelosi will also be there wagging her finger...

Nancy Pelosi shoots off her mouth toward Pres. Bush...
CNS News

Here we go again. Nancy Pelosi, who suffers from severe foot-in-mouth disease, has gone without her medication again. Instead of helping the situation by keeping a positive attitude and being a role model for service, she decides to attack Bush:

"Instead of unconscionably blaming others, President Bush must take charge and take responsibility, and must get it right, and that is my concern and the message that I will bring to the President: 'Mr. President, you should have taken charge and you should have taken responsibility.'

President Bush has a right to criticize FEMA and he's doing his best to mobilize aid to the gulf coast. But for Liberals, that's not enough.

So...shall we really look at the facts?

1. The levees in place have been inadequate for some time now (I believe in excess of thirty years). Don't blame the Federal government for not funding improved levees. The funding has been around for a very long time.
2. Last I looked, the local and state government should be the first to act in an emergency situation, not the Federal. The governor of Lousiana should have declared a state of emergency on Monday. No later.

That said, if you were watching the path of the hurricane, then you would know that Katrina was a class 5 as early as Thursday, August 25th, and heading straight for the gulf coast. What does this say?

There was time to prepare; there was time to evacuate.

But...what about the poor who couldn't?

Easy. There were plenty of school buses and public transportation buses available for evacuation. All the governor of Louisiana had to do was order a mandatory evacuation. The same goes for the mayor of New Orleans. He's just as responsible.

This was a bad example of being numb to the situation at hand, i.e. the oncoming hurricane. Or, better yet, it's the, "it won't ever happen to me", ideology.

Now we have the blame game. Dems are accusing Republicans of not doing their job and not doing enough to help the suffering. What a shame. If the Dems were smart, they would take their liberal groups down to the affected gulf areas, put them into service, and show the people of the United States that they care. Not just by shooting off their mouths.

Every time I see CNN or FoxNews, I see the Red Cross, the military (sic), and volunteers helping desperate people. I've even seen news footage of the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board volunteers feeding people. Do you see them complaining?

No. There will be time for criticism later. Now is the time for giving help.

Bob Williams writes a great article on 'the blame game'.
Opinion Journal

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Good and Bad of Hurricane Katrina

Many politicians are already giving their spew regarding the rescue operations in New Orleans. As many of us are already aware, some thousands of people are still stranded. I've heard such remarks as, "Where's the government?" or "Bush isn't doing enough." or "We've been abandoned."

Nothing could be further from the truth.

If you've ever been in a situation where chaos is reigning, then you know darn well the chaos has to stop to allow aid to happen. You can't evacuate a hospital if lawless thugs with guns are looting or snipers are shooting you. You can't simply drive a van load of supplies in the city without being attacked.

Now with all this sadness and foolishness abound, there is hope. I see stories everyday of relief penetrating New Orleans. I see people being relocated, from the Gulf Coast, to cities such as Atlanta, Birmingham, and Houston. The military has brought in medical ships and personnel to help. Strangers are helping strangers. Donations are pouring in. Yes, I know there are logistics problems, but they will be solved. We must have hope.

A piece of advice to those spewing negativity. In the words of John McClane, in the movie, "Die Hard":
"You're a part of the problem, not the solution!"

Let's all be a part of the solution.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Time of Prayer & Service

It's safe to say that hurricane Katrina devastated parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. News photos tell only parts of the destruction to lives and property.

It's times, like these, we as Christians are called into action: prayer and service. My wife and I nearly wept as we watched the news videos of people who lost everything. Everything.

A man lost his wife to the flood waters.

A family lost their home and belongings.

Families are without food and clean water with no where to go.

These people are OUR people. They need our help. Some simple things to do in addition to prayer:
1. Clean out your closets and donate that clothing to your nearest Red Cross, Salvation Army, or Goodwill centers.
2. Donate canned goods and water.
3. Financially support the aforementioned organizations along with church organizations, i.e. the Southern Baptist Convention- Disaster Relief or the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Most of all, please keep all of these families in your prayers as God provides for them in all their needs.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Anti-War Protests in D.C.

From CNS News...Anti-War Protests Target Wounded at Army Hospital

As much as I don't care for the anti-war protests, they do have a right to protest. They only have the right to protest due to a war that was won by people yearning to be free.

This story regarding anti-war protesters, outside Walter Reed Army Medical Center, takes the cake. Soldiers stay here to recover from their war wounds. These soldiers need to be surrounded in love and positive attitudes. Even though many may never walk the same way again, they will always be soldiers. They are honorable and brave.

If the anti-war demonstrators had any decency, they would leave and take their protests elsewhere. Or, do something even better: Volunteer to brighten the day of a soldier who needs compassion.

Rick Warren and the SBC

From The Baptist Press...Rick Warren dispels rumors, says church committed to SBC

Part 1
Even though Pastor Rick Warren supports the SBC, he doesn't agree with everything they do:

Warren, though, doesn't agree with everything Southern Baptists do. He told BP the SBC's 2004 vote to withdraw from the Baptist World Alliance was a "major mistake." He spoke at the BWA's Centenary Congress this summer in Birmingham, England.

I point this little blurb out to remind SBC folks that it's OK to disagree with the SBC and still support them. This is not about theology; it's about relationships and evangelism. The problem with the SBC (and CBF for that matter) is the typical mold they put themselves in: Pressed suit, tie, and shiny shoes. Can you reach the homeless, the hurting, the sinner in this attire and presence?

My guess is no.

Pastor Warren is not afraid to tell the SBC what he thinks and what he does for the sake of Christ. The SBC would do well to listen and take notes.

Part 2
I love what Pastor Warren has to say about church growth, since I am often asked this question when interviewing with churches. He hits the nail on the head:

"The problem with many churches is that they begin with the wrong question. They ask, 'What will make our church grow?' This is a mistake. Instead they should be asking, 'What is keeping our church from growing?' All living things grow. You don’t have to make them grow. If they are healthy, they grow automatically. Since the church is a living organism, it is natural for it to grow. It is unnatural for it not to grow."

Wow! This puts the accountability on who? Yup, the church. Imagine that...

Oftentimes church members get so set in their ways that they don't want to reach out. The church begins to fester and no one understands why. Soon, what was once a living organism, is now dying.

Pastor Warren is right: When we start looking in the mirror, taking responsibility, and reach out to those in need, then the church will begin to grow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Foxnews... Bush: Iraq Pullout Would Hurt Democracy

I feel bad for our fallen soldiers. I feel bad for their families.

We live in a great soceity. We have the privilege of choice.

And yet, I wonder what people think of when they choose to join the military. Is it much like joining the police or fire department with the intention of never seeing action?

And so I wonder about comments such as this one from the article:

"Nothing is going to justify my husband's death," said Melanie House, 27, of Simi Valley, Calif., whose husband, Navy medic John House, was killed in a January helicopter crash.

"Why are we there? What is President Bush trying to get out of this? Why must my son be fatherless?" she told the crowd, referring to her 8-month-old son.

Ms. House, I'm sorry for your pain. But, your husband chose the military. He chose to do something honorable. Why can't you see that? Will you now raise your son to be honorable and defend this great country or raise him to be a hate-filled radical?

It all boils down to choice.

Monday, August 22, 2005

John Piper & Living Christianity

From Room for Atheism: Thoughts on the Supremacy of God
By John Piper
Desiring God

If you ever get the chance to listen to John Piper, please do so. He is a wonderful, passionate speaker. His comments on Christianity in everyday life are very interesting:

The fact that God establishes his kingdom through the supernatural miracle of faith, not firearms, means that Christians in this age will not endorse coercive governments—Christian or secular.

This is why we resist the coercive secularization implied in some laws that repress Christian activity in public places. It is not that we want to establish Christianity as the law of the land. That is intrinsically impossible, because of the spiritual nature of the kingdom. It is rather because repression of free exercise of religion and persuasion is as wrong against Christians as it is against secularists.

We believe this tolerance is rooted in the very nature of the gospel of Christ. In one sense, tolerance is pragmatic: freedom and democracy seem to be the best political order humans have conceived.

Please don't take what is being said here incorrectly. The root word of caution here is, "coersion", or the use of force. Dr. Piper has it right. We enjoy living in a free soceity. We are free to choose and express our beliefs.

In my free speech blogs, I mention the frequent mis-interpretation of the First Amendment. But what I don't say is for our government to force it's people to choose a particular religion. In the Great Falls case, the city council was not forcing citizens to pray in Christ's name. No one held up a gun and said, "Say the name of Jesus or else!"

This is the sticking point with today's liberal judges: They don't understand "coersion". Maybe if they visited Kosovo, China, or any Muslim led country, they would.

Senator Hagel's Remarks

From CNN...Hagel: Iraq war has destabilized Mideast, resembles Vietnam

Not to take away from Senator Hagel's Vietnam experience, but his comments are way off.

1. How is Iraq destabilizing the Middle East? Does any educated person really believe the Middle East power players (Saudi Arabia et al) even care about Iraq? My guess is, "NO".
2. Even if our soldiers are there four more years, as long as they can control the fanatics from blowing everyone up, we should be fine. How long have we been in Korea now? Okinawa?
3. The casualty numbers don't even compare with Vietnam.
4. The Vietnam conflict, with a heavy United States presence, began in 1965. It lasted nine years. We went to Iraq a second time in 2003. It's only been two years!

In a day of fast food, fast banking, and fast internet, have we come to a point where our battles should only last a year? What a joke!

The real issue is Iraq's Constitution. If the Sunnis and Shiites get their way, only men will have freedom. Women and children could be in danger as witnessed in other countries that follow Sharia law. I don't believe they were better under Saddam. Clearly these religious fanatics must give freedom to ALL.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Freedom of Speech in Great Falls

(you will need a login at: Thanks, Tim!

The article focuses on the city council, of Great Fall, SC, saying prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. Darla Wynne, a wiccan, sued the city council due to the promotion of religion. She won and her legal bills must be paid by the council. According to the article:

A three-judge panel (4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals) ruled unanimously that the Town Council had "exploited" an opportunity to advance one religion.

The Great Falls Town Council may engage in nonsectarian prayers as a source of strength to believers and a time of quiet reflection for all, Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote. "This opportunity does not, however, provide the town council, or any legislative body, license to advance its own religious beliefs in preference to all others, as the town council did here. The First Amendment bars such official preference for one religion, and corresponding official discrimination against all others."

This case comes in light as the ACLU begins its attack on the Cobb County, Georgia City Council. However, there is a difference between the city council in Great Falls and Cobb County. Great Falls did not allow other religions to express their prayers as Cobb County does.

Yet, does this really mean Great Falls did wrong?

No, not by the original writers of the Constitution. If one were to really do their history homework properly, they would find that the writers, who were mostly Christian, did not intend for Goverment to push a particular Christian denomination. As Christianity was, and is, the dominant religion of the day, the founding fathers really never worried about groups such as the ACLU.

Liberal groups such as the ACLU bask in their pious deeds. They wholeheartedly believe that what they are doing is best for everyone. It's not.

I just wish our legal system would study their American history.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Conservative Comic Book

From CNS News...

Mike Mackey has created a comic book pitting conservative heroes: Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy, and Col. Oliver North against their liberal foes.

I have to give Mackey credit here for his use of the 2004 Presidential election to create this futuristic thriller. Lastly, I love his quote on the comic's potential sales:

"It was funny but had a powerful message to it," Mackey said. If he's successful in duplicating that experience, "comic shops nationwide will be rushed harder than a Ted Kennedy assault on a Liquor Barn grand opening!"

A Breakthrough in Stem Cell Research

From CNS News...

CNS News reports that American and British researchers have discovered a new stem cell in cord blood called, CBE's:

The cord-blood-derived-embryonic-like stem cells (CBEs) share many of the same characteristics of embryonic cells and one day might be used to treat injuries or diseases.

The researchers already have successfully turned the cells into human liver tissue.

"CBEs are a viable human alternative from embryonic stem cells for stem cell research, without ethical constraint and with potential for clinical applications," study leader Dr Colin McGuckin said in the medical journal Cell Proliferation.

The article further mentions the limitations of embryonic stem cells.
Could this be the hope we've been waiting for?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Choking Game

Another teen dies from this senseless act...
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LAWRENCE, Kan. — A teenager found hanging from a dresser drawer with a coated bicycle chain lock around her neck apparently died while playing the "pass-out game," the girl's parents said.
Kimberly Wilson, a 15-year-old student at Veritas Christian School in Lawrence, died last week.

I don't understand. Someone with common sense tell me what is going on here. These kids are dying...DYING! Why? Peer pressure? 'Cause "it's fun"? Is life all about getting "high"?

Parents, you would do well to teach your kids about death. Yes, I said death. Because apparently they don't understand the value of life.

Move America Forward

Dueling Protests: 'You don't speak for me, Cindy'
CNS News

We're always gonna have protestors no matter what the United States does regarding the war on terrorism. Could President Bush meet with Cindy Sheehan? Yes, but not on her terms. She wants cameras rolling, while holding Michael Moore's hand, with President Bush begging for forgiveness.

Cindy, this just isn't going to happen your way.

Do we need a group like, Move America Forward, to tell the public that Americans should support our troops and the war on terror? Don't Americans have enough common sense to support our troops? Does anyone remember the fallout from Vietnam?

The year was 1974. The United States is pullling out of Vietnam. There's been a huge public outcry against the conflict. What happens next is appalling. Soldiers, slowly arriving in U. S. airports, are booed and shunned by Americans. The public has judged these tireless soldiers as "baby killers". To add insult to injury, the "draft dodgers" are seen as the real heroes for their stance against the conflict.

Why do we need, Move America Forward, and similar groups? Yes, to keep a vigilant support for our troops and the war against radical terrorists. These soldiers need our appreciation and positive affirmation. And when these soldiers do come home, they need all the love and support from us that we can give. As a proud supporter of the United States and our military, I refuse to let what happened in 1974 & '75 happen again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Gaza Strip Pullout

From CNS News...

From the little reading I've done on this issue, it seems to me that Israeli PM Ariel Sharon is making a big mistake. I clearly understand the neeed for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, but there's got to be a better way.

What I fear the most is that the land (the West Bank) will be used as a terrorist breeding ground. There's no way the Palestinians could peacefully operate a democracy. Not with the presence of Hamas and Hezbollah radicals. A Muslim democracy? Only God knows.

Let's pray for the safety of Israel, her people, the Israeli and Palestinian Christians.

Hate and Persecution in Kosovo

From CNS News...

Radical Muslims in Kosovo are burning Christian churches and seminaries while building mosques on top of them. Christians are also the target of snipers.

Christians live in peace and give the people of Kosovo hope. Yet the radical Muslims don't see it that way. They want us (Christians) dead, pure and simple. Even when we want to work things out, they still want us dead. This is evident by the church burnings and cross stompings.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is hate and it must be stopped. If is isn't, radical Muslims will continue their reign of terror.

Peterson and Djurovski both said many of the new mosques funded by Saudi and Iranian funds are currently empty, but reflect plans to indoctrinate residents with the radical Wahhabist form of Islam. The new mosques carry plaques acknowledging funding from Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates, said Grieboski.

"This is a very grave threat," said Peterson. "With final status changing from Serbian Orthodox hegemony into at very best a gray line, the dividing line between the Christian and Islamic world moves closer to the European Union, and we're at great risk of tolerating what should not be tolerated in order to buy some peace in our time."

In the war against an expanding radical Islam, Peterson said, "We have three choices: convert, submit or die. But there's a fourth choice and that's to fight. "What is going on in Kosovo today is the future of Europe tomorrow," he added.

I could go into a long dissertation as to why we should use force against these radical fanatics, but I won't. Instead, please keep the people of Kosovo in your prayers. I don't foresee this situation getting any better.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Church and Men


David Murrow paints a vivid picture of why men don't attend church:

"Few churches model men's values-risk, reward, accomplishment, heroic sacrifice, action and adventure. Men find church boring because their values are not modeled and no one reflects their masculine heart. They have no desire to fall in love with a wonderful man, even one named Jesus."

Murrow also challenges commonly accepted church terminology as "man-repellent." "In addition to stripping masculine pronouns out of hymns and even Scripture, terms like 'saved' are objectionable to men. Men hate to be lost. If you tell a man he is lost, he will instinctively resist you. Although Jesus used the term saved, He called many to follow Him. Hear the difference? Follow gives a man something to do. It suggests activity instead of passivity. But being saved is something that happens to damsels in distress."

Worse yet, Murrow says he has been exhorted to have a love affair with Jesus. "Conservative churches oppose homosexuality, but their imagery sends an entirely different message. The more we describe Christianity in bedroom vocabulary, the more nervous men become."

I happen to agree with Murrow's logic. Spirituality in the church has become, "sugared down". Is the church in trouble of losing it's men? Murrow believes so.

"I'm not calling men back to church," says Murrow. "I'm calling the church back to men.

"It's nor about male dominance: it's about male resurgence. If we don't turn things around, we're going to lose a generation of boys. This is going to be a disaster for society and eventually result in the death of the church," Murrow says.

"There are churches targeted at every conceivable minority - seekers, young couples, older people - yet men are the largest unreached people group. They are the largest minority in Christendom today, yet we do absolutely nothing to make church attractive to them. I'm simply trying to do what the church has always done and reach out to unchurched people."

Men, in the pews, have become more like kittens than lions. They don't seem to have the boldness or courage as years ago. Even as the deacons are male dominated, they too don't seem very active in church or present in the community.

What can the church do to reach men before we lose them?

Friday, August 12, 2005

A Lesson in Forgiveness

From CNN...
Jonesboro School Shooter Set Free

I remember this attack very clearly. What was to be a regular day at school, turned out to be a gruesome attack on unsuspecting middle school students. The aftermath: Five dead and nine wounded. Shocking enough, the attack was conducted by two fellow students with rifles.

The shooter set free is 13 year-old, Mitchell Johnson. His record is wiped clean due to an insufficient Arkansas law, which has been rectified. His ambitions are to become a minister and move away from Jonesboro.

As sad as the original story was, I am even more saddened by the public's reaction to his freedom:

"I'm glad he's not coming back to Jonesboro. Too many people in this area would put a hole in him," resident Greg Slayton said.

Whitney Irving, a student at the middle school when the shootings occurred, said she and others still struggle to cope with what happened seven years ago.

"I want to ask him personally: Have you changed? Do you feel sorry for what you did? Have you suffered like we have?" she said. "Of course, there's no way he's suffered as much as we have."

She added, "In my eyes, he's always going to be a killer. I mean I don't see how you can go from being a killer to being a minister, especially just in seven years."

Sure, I can understand the victims' pain. I can rightfully understand Mitchell's need to move away. However, I don't understand the lack of grace and forgiveness. In this particular case, is revenge right? Didn't the Apostle Paul, as Saul, give permission to a group of Jewish thugs to kill Stephen? See the Book of Acts if you don't recall.

Maybe Mitchell has a lesson that he wishes to teach troubled youths. Not a message of getting psycho-therapy or seeing school counselors, but a message of Christ's love, grace, and redemption.

Let's pray that this is Mitchell's goal.

Voting Rights Act March - Part 4

Why yes folks, this debacle continues...

Harry Belafonte can't seem to watch his words:

In the Jerusalem Post interview, Belafonte stuck by his comparison of the Bush administration to Nazi Germany, calling the analogy "not inappropriate" because of the U.S. policy of "detaining suspects without charges [and] creating an atmosphere of fear."These actions, Belafonte said, are "very much similar to the things that were done when Hitler was on the rise."

Belafonte then went on to explain why he believes Jewish groups would defend President Bush. "I can understand why Jewish leaders would be prone to protect the image of George Bush and his administration," Belafonte told the Post, noting that the president supports Israel "even when there are questions of the humanitarian, the moral and the political [motivation] of things that are done to Palestinians."

Mr. Belafonte, what do you call Palestinians, who strap bombs to their bodies, and detonate them in busy shopping areas that kill men, women, and children? I call them terrorists. I call them cowards. I call them murderers! But I guess you believe they (terrorists) are doing the right thing. I can't recall the last time I heard of an Israeli Jew commit such a heinous act.

Mr. Belafonte, if you want to defend a group, defend the Palestinian and Israeli Christians who are caught in the middle. They pray every day for an end to the terrorism and retaliation. Many Palestinian Christians are in hiding from the terrorist groups (Hamas and Hezbollah), simply because they're Christian. This, my friend, is true fear. This is persecution.

"Let's not be dishonest about all of us. The more we know the truth, the better we'll be [at] improving humanity," he said.

Mr. Belafonte, let's try this...the more we live our lives through Jesus Christ, the better we'll be at improving humanity.

The Great Raid - Movie Review

From Focus On The Family...

Marcus Yoars writes an insightful review of this World War II film. I love historical pieces, so I may have to go see it.

I agree with Yoars' comments on Hollywood's poor choice of films lately, i.e. The Dukes of Hazzard, Wedding Crashers, and Skeleton Key. Why is the box office suffering? Because of the lack of high quality films that have a moral value.

Let's just hope when, "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe", arrives, the producers and directors stayed true with C. S. Lewis' Christian story.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Voting Rights Act March - Part 3

Part 3 to the recent comments made by Harry Belafonte and Dick Gregory...

The Reverend Jessie Lee Peterson and Mychal Massie, both black conservatives, make excellent remarks regarding the VR March. Instead of celebrating freedom, the people who took place in this march did it for liberal political purposes and to be seen.

On a side note, I believe if Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, he probably wouldn't be spending much time here in the United States. Why? There's atrocities in Africa where blacks have NO rights whatsoever. You see, Martin Luther King, Jr. had a genuine heart for all people through his love in Jesus Christ. The Sudanese, the Rwandans, the people of Africa need to see Christ's love in action. And Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of words and action.