Monthly Archives: April 2011

So Much to Do and So Little Time

I have slacked off of my intended writing pace here in the last week or so.  Part of that is the fact that my busy April schedule has caught up with me and part of it is due to the fact that while I have a lot of post ideas floating around in my head, I have not had adequate time to develop them to my satisfaction.  We are headed to a conference this weekend so I will be out of pocket more than usual and I doubt that much posting will get done at all.  It is my hope and prayer that I will be able to come back from this weekend recharged and refreshed and ready to tackle more writing as well.  I also plan to change directions back to the spiritual and the personal more.  I get tired of the political after a while and I have reached that point again.

I will have devotionals going out tomorrow and Friday (although that will be one of my sister’s posts)for those that are interested in that kind of thing.  In the meantime, I have a lot to do before we head out in the morning.  AWANA is wrapping up tonight as well and that is always an exciting time.

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Categories: personal | 2 Comments

When the Opportune Moment Is Missed

Well, what is there to say.  There are many expressions that come to mind, but most of them aren’t a good fit or aren’t repeatable in polite company.  Big news today as President Obama finally releases his birth certificate.  The document will now be checked out and gone over, but I have  couple of other questions to put the matter to rest once and for all around these parts anyway.

Just a few days ago, I posted something about the fact that Hawaii officials were saying that no one could get a long form certificate anymore despite people who claimed that they had in fact done just that.  I accused the officials in Hawaii of lying in the media.  It managed to draw spam robot comments defending the officials and Obama and issuing challenges to me to “put my money where my mouth was” or something to that effect.  Now, lo and behold, Obama produces a long form certificate after all the caterwauling that it cannot be done.  In fact there was a story just yesterday at WND about Hawaii officials slamming the door shut on anyone getting a long form certificate like the one Obama released today.  Of course, that story means that my post from a few days ago was correct.  They were lying, because now they said they wouldn’t allow anyone else to get one.  Yet the day after they slam the door, Obama releases his.  It really is ironic now.

At this point, the comedy of errors is just funny to watch.  Assuming that the long-form certificate that the White House released in genuine; it would mean that Obama has to have had it in his possession for some time.  So it would seem that Obama has taken a cue from Captain Jack Sparrow and tried to wait for the “opportune moment” to release it.  In my opinion, he failed.  His decision and the circus that has surrounded it tells me something far more important about him than his birth certificate ever did.  His sense of judgment can’t be trusted.

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Sunday Morning Sermon for 4/24/11

Hope you all had a blessed Resurrection Sunday.  We had a wonderful time in the Lord this past Sunday.  This is a reminder that without the Resurrection, there is no point in even gathering together at all.  That is part of the theme of this week’s sermon.  The text comes from 1 Corinthians 15 as you might have guessed.  I pray that the Lord will richly bless you through His Word.

He is RISEN!

He is risen INDEED!

He Is Risen to Reign

1 Corinthians 15:1-28

Sermon notes 4/24/11

  1. First Importance – v. 1-8

    1. Gospel according to the Scriptures – Luke 24:25-27

    2. Died as an offering for sin – Isaiah 53:4-6, 10-12

    3. Raised according to the Scriptures – Psalm 16:10

      1. The promise of the Resurrection was not a new thing

      2. The reality of the Resurrection means God keeps His promises – 2 Corinthians 1:20-22

    4. Eyewitnesses provide testimony of the truth – v. 5-8

  2. The Importance of the Resurrection – v. 11-19

    1. Without it God would be a liar (Romans 3:4)

    2. Without it there would be no hope

  3. Firstfruits and the Crop to Come

    1. The Fact of the Resurrection – v. 20

    2. Taking over Authority – v. 23-28

    3. God may be all in all

Categories: 1 Corinthians, Disciples, Easter, Gospel, Podcasts, Resurrection, Sermon | Leave a comment

Incompetence, Ignorance or Intentionality

I don’t spend a whole lot more time thinking about politics than I have to anymore these days.  I try to stay informed for my duty as a citizen of the United States and as a voter, but I don’t stay immersed in politics like I used to when I was younger.  That said, I keep seeing stories about President Obama that just make it hard to ignore that they have a serious problem up there in Washington D.C.

The latest round of unbelievable absurdity comes courtesy of the Easter season.  Let me give you two stories and you be the judge.  Is this the result of incompetence, ignorance or is this intentional?

First, the White House neglected to put out an official  Easter message.  Turns out they were able to remember Good Friday Earth Day but seemingly blanked on making any kind of statement about Easter.  Maybe it is better this way considering the mess they made of it last year.

In 2010, Obama was criticized for releasing an all-inclusive Easter greeting. He reached out to Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and people of no faith at all in a statement about a holiday that is uniquely Christian.

This is the man that some people suspect is a “secret Muslim” and not a real Christian despite his statements to the contrary, so surely the ignoring Easter thing is just an attempt to avoid making “religious statements.”

By comparison, the White House has released statements recognizing the observance of major Muslim holidays and released statements in 2010 on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha.

The White House  . . . did release an eight-paragraph statement heralding Earth Day. Likewise, the president’s weekend address mentioned neither Good Friday or Easter.*

But wait, Obama finally went to church as President.  Of course, he wanted to avoid any potentially controversial type of church like that one in Illinois that caused so much trouble for him in the 2008 campaign.

“[Pastor Smith] talked about how his baby grandson’s gurgling is actually “talking” because he is saying ‘I am here … they tried to write me off as 3/5 a person in the Constitution, but I am here right now … and is saying I am not going to let anybody from stopping me from being what God wants me to be.'”

An interesting tidbit to throw into an Easter sermon but surely that is just a quirky thing since his grandson was there for the first time.  Surely, Obama didn’t pick another church with a pastor who has a history of making inflammatory statements from the pulpit.  Did he?

No great research team was needed to uncover what comes next.  The fact that a YouTube search immediately grants the answer only underscores how astronomically inept/lazy/biased the media can be.  This is in fact another pastor who sees racism around every corner, preaches white hatred, and equates talk radio with the Klan, specifically mentioning Rush.

Oh, he did.  I just have to know.  Is this the result of incompetence (i.e. the people who advise Obama and Obama himself don’t investigate these things ahead of time), ignorance (i.e. they are truly clueless that such things could be seen as bad or malicious) or intentional (i.e. this is who he really is and they just hope people don’t realize it)?

What do you think?  With this much evidence piling up, it appears that the charitable “benefit of the doubt” is less and less of an option for even the most staunch defenders of the president.

Categories: America, Christianity, Culture, politics, Questions, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fun Videos for Friday

Since it is fitting for this time of year.  Pondering what it would have been like if Moses had used modern technology during the Exodus.

We did our Seder at the church last night and it was fun to relive the experience of the Exodus as well as the final night of Jesus with His disciples.

Here is another one in the same line of thinking.  The story of Jesus through the eyes of Twitter.

May you be blessed as we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and the redemption from sin.  Our Deliverer has come and He is coming again.

Categories: Christianity, devotional, Discipleship, Feasts, Fun, Gospel, Grace, Hebrew, Humor, Messiah | Leave a comment

Preparing for an Encounter

Tonight we are going to do a Passover Seder dinner at the church with our church family.  I am using a new Haggadah from FFOZ this year and combining an element or two from the older one that we used the last two years.  We have more people planning to come this year and I am looking forward to an exciting night as we relive the last meal our Master shared with His disciples before His crucifixion.

I expect posting to be a little sparse (I didn’t get anything yesterday) as we make final preparations for the meal and fellowship tonight.  Tomorrow I plan to post a couple of videos that are part funny and part thoughtful.  May the blessings of this season be yours in abundance through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Categories: Christianity, church, devotional, Discipleship, family, Feasts, Fun, Gospel, Grace, Hebrew, Messiah, ministry, Yeshua | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Practice Praise When Possible

I originally published this post at SBC Voices, but thought I would share it here today.

When we moved to the Black Hills as Mission Service Corps(MSC) Missionaries back in 2003, I managed to find a job at a local call center in Rapid City as a way to help make ends meet. It was an inbound customer service center affiliated with GE and I started out in the department that took service calls from people who had appliances under service contracts or warranties. I won’t bore you with the details, but those who have spent any time whatsoever in customer service of any kind, know that people generally only call such a place to complain about things.

It is a service line you might argue, of course they are only calling to complain about things. Truth is that there were other numbers that fed to our call center that could be used for product questions and all sorts of other things, but they never get as much traffic as the lines to complain.

The reason I bring this up is to talk about one of the most predictable things that we heard on a daily basis. When talking to a customer, they would ask, “Do you get many complaints about X?” With X of course being whatever unit they were currently calling about for service.

How do you answer that question? The honest answer is that all you ever hear about X is complaints, but that isn’t what the person is really trying to find out. It took me a while but I finally developed an answer that was both honest and still gave them what they really wanted to know. I used to tell people that most of the people we talk to are calling with a problem, but they only represent a small amount of the total units that are out there, and the people who have no problems with their X usually don’t call just to let us know that everything is going great. It is human nature. We are quick to complain and slow to praise for the most part.

Actually, I am pretty sure it runs this way all over the blogosphere and not just at the places I go. When a post is written that is generally agreeable or has a good word of encouragement it often gets a handful of comments and drifts lazily off into the sunset having done its work without any trouble. When another post is written that may have a good word about something but causes a breakdown in communication or understanding the “complaint meter” rises dramatically. Lots of people will chime in to the fray and the post may hang around for days noisily getting worked on and over. There is nothing wrong with that at all. It’s part of the point of what we do here. This is a place to discuss issues and boy can we discuss issues. As long as we keep the discussion on fixing the problem and not insulting the appliance or the engineer who made it, we are going to get somewhere with it eventually.

I said all of this because as an author of posts it might be easy to get discouraged when it seems that your thoughts have gone unnoticed (or maybe I am the only one that does that). Don’t be discouraged.

I also said this as a reminder to all of us. It is a lot easier to get vocal and chime in when we disagree or have a complaint, but it is still just as important to throw out a word of affirmation when we have nothing to complain about as well. I still remember how much fun we had at the call center when someone would call us just to say that they had owned a GE appliance for 50 years and it had never given them a bit of trouble. It didn’t happen often, but it usually made my day.

You might feel silly just saying good post. Maybe you think that sounds hollow or insincere. If a post is edifying but not controversial, pick something that sticks out and thank the writer for writing it. It means more than you know because so few take the time to do such things, and shouldn’t we be different like that?

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Sunday Morning Service for 4/17/11

We had a wonderful time in the Lord this past Sunday.  The weather was pretty decent after another spring storm hit on Friday and we enjoyed the presence of one another in the Lord’s house.  There are no sermon notes for this week as I had a late-finishing sermon.  That happens to me every once in a while.  The primary texts come from John 12 and 1 John 2 and 3.  May God richly bless you through His Word.

Categories: Gospel, John, Podcasts, Sermon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

There Isn’t Enough Money Anymore

As a follow up to my earlier post about school spending.  I wanted to add in an invitation for you to read Walter E. Williams most recent column.  Dr. Williams has a way of getting to the heart of a matter quickly in most cases and he tackles the issue of the out-of-control Federal spending with typical ease.

This year, Congress will spend $3.7 trillion dollars. That turns out to be about $10 billion per day. Can we prey upon the rich to cough up the money? According to IRS statistics, roughly 2 percent of U.S. households have an income of $250,000 and above. By the way, $250,000 per year hardly qualifies one as being rich. It’s not even yacht and Lear jet money. All told, households earning $250,000 and above account for 25 percent, or $1.97 trillion, of the nearly $8 trillion of total household income. If Congress imposed a 100 percent tax, taking all earnings above $250,000 per year, it would yield the princely sum of $1.4 trillion. That would keep the government running for 141 days, but there’s a problem because there are 224 more days left in the year.

I highly recommend reading the entire commentary.  The real issue in the case of our nation is that we are spending too much money.  There isn’t enough money to pay for everything we are trying to buy and we have maxed out the credit cards yet again.  Instead of asking for a raise in our credit limit (i.e. the debt ceiling), it is time to cut up the cards and start paying off the debt.  It will take a long time to be sure, but it is far better than digging a deeper hole for someone else to worry about down the road.

Categories: America, Culture, Freedom, politics, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It Isn’t the Money You Spend

As education scores have gone down in this country you hear more and more people decrying the need to spend more on school to help our youngsters.  The problem isn’t a money problem though.  Anyone who home schools and has heard the per pupil expenditures of a typical school district knows this to be the case.  While I am sure there are gaps in this study (I don’t know that they factored in the cost of feeding your students at home everyday for instance), I still am willing to be that the numbers show the truth about spending and education performance.

Our greatest expenditure in home schooling is usually the curriculum.  We use computer based software for our kids from grade 3 and beyond and other materials for the younger student.  It isn’t cheap at roughly $350 per student per year, but we can also reuse it as the next student comes to that grade if we wish which cuts down the cost over time.  Compare that to a per pupil spending that can be as high as $23,000 or so in a public school.

To put public school spending in perspective, we compare it to estimated total expenditures in local private schools. We find that, in the areas studied, public schools are spending 93 percent more than the estimated median private school.

And if you want to whine about underpaid school teachers go right ahead, but no one pays us to teach our kids.  No one cares as much about teaching them as we do either, so I know we wouldn’t find another teacher wiling to put in the kind of hours we do for the kind of pay we receive.  Our pay is seeing our kids learn and grow and “get it” as they study and learn, and that is enough for us.  You aren’t going to see us walking out of the house on strike or any of that either.  For us it really is all about the kids and their education.  That isn’t just some platitude or empty sentiment.

Education isn’t about the money you spend.  You can keep throwing money at the public schools until we are bankrupt, and it looks some days like we just might do it.  The truth is that more money will never overcome the one thing that a home school has that a public school can never replicate.  The caring, tenacious work of a parent teaching their own child.

Categories: Culture, family, Parenting, personal, School, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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