Friday, December 14, 2007

Worship and Service

I've been getting hit from a couple of directions with teaching hovering around the following two verses:
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)

"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." (John 4:23)
From the White Horse Inn's recent broadcast, "Worship in Spirit and Truth" and from Desiring God Radio's recent broadcasts ("The Son of Man Came to Serve" Part 1 and Part 2 and "The Son of Man Came to Give His Life a Ransom for Many" Part 1). From these, I've been challenged to think of what a worship service is, and the differences between our service and God's service.

Michael Horton on the White Horse Inn argues that "spirit and truth" in John 4:23 refer to the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ Himself as The Truth (see John 14:6). The guys share interesting insight into Cain & Abel's offerings (Genesis 4), and the Israelites and the golden calf (Exodus 32), and Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, offering "strange fire" (Leviticus 10) and Isaiah's vision in Isaiah 6.

Horton comments on Isaiah's vision:
"This is the way worship is supposed to work... We come in thinking we're okay. We have a little glimpse of God's holiness and are completely undone. He stoops to forgive us; confirms that, ratifies that, with bread and wine, and then He sends us out into the world as witnesses and people who are loving and serving our neighbors in our vocations."
Horton on our "worship experience," tainted by the Fall:
"Ever since the very beginning, we want to offer what we have. We don't want to be served by God. We don't want Him to come down to us in judgment and justification. We want to rise up to Him to justify ourselves."
Kim Riddlebarger had this to say about Sunday morning services:
"This is an amazing event that's about to happen. The Creator and Sustainer of all; the Redeemer of my soul is going to come and visit me and my fellow sinners. He's going to speak to us. He's going to serve us this wonderful glorious feast. He's going to be present when we sing to Him."
From the end of John Piper's sermon, "The Son of Man Came to Serve" (originally delivered December 17, 1995):
"Our new daughter, Talitha Ruth, arrived in our home Friday night at 9 1/2 weeks old. She smiled. She cooed. She ate. And she fell asleep in her crib. And slept for seven hours. She did not serve us at all. She is totally dependent on being served by us. If she insists on serving us rather than our serving her, she will die. This is why Jesus said, 'Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven' (Matthew 18:3).

"It's almost Christmas. Open your heart to receive the best Christmas present imaginable: Jesus giving himself to die for you and serve you, all the rest of eternity. Receive this. Turn away from self-help and sin. Become like little children. Trust him. Trust him. Trust him with your life."
From Piper's opening prayer in "The Son of Man Came to Give His Life a Ransom for Many":
"We call this a worship service and I sometimes think we get it all wrong. It is Your service of us now. You are serving us with Your word. You are serving us by Your spirit. You are serving us a banquet of truth and of life-changing insight into your character and your glory. And I pray that You would humble us not to serve You now, but to receive Your service."

I highly encourage you to listen to these - they're tremendous.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Offended?

In reading through the gospel of Luke, I was struck by these words, spoken by Jesus:
"And blessed is the one who is not offended by me." (Luke 7:23, ESV)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

An Illegal Alien Drug Dealer Also Lied?

Big news in the ongoing saga of imprisoned U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. Yesterday, their appeal came before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals:

From the Dallas Morning News:
Judge E. Grady Jolly, one of three judges from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals hearing the case of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, questioned
whether the two agents would have been charged if they had reported the
shooting.

"For some reason, this one got out of hand, it seems to me," he said of
the agents' prosecution.

And from the El Paso's Newspaper Tree:
U.S. officials also admitted that confessed drug dealer Osvaldo
Aldrete-Davila lied under oath.

"He told some lies on the stand," Attorney Mark Stelmach was quoted as
saying. Stelmach is representing U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who prosecuted the
two agents, in front of the Appeals Court.

Wow. First off, to the comment in the Dallas Morning News about "if they had reported the shooting," I've shared before the fact that there were 7 agents and 2 supervisors at the scene of the shooting when the casings were being picked up, and that an oral report is all that was required - no written documentation. But then you get to the fact that the prosecution's star witness, the illegial alien drug dealer, committed purjury. And it's taken more than a year since Ramos and Compean were convicted for the prosecution to disclose that Aldrete-Davila lied under oath?

Glenn Beck spoke with a handful of people about this latest development on his radio show today:

Thursday, November 22, 2007

HuckChuck Facts

This is my favorite political ad ever:

It's nice to see a politician who can have some fun and not take himself too seriously all the time.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Aldrete Davila Arrested

Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, whose testimony sent two U.S. Border Patrol agents (Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean) to prison, was finally arrested and indicted on drug smuggling charges yesterday, just over 2 years after using a "border pass" from the Department of Homeland Security to smuggle drugs across the Mexican border.

The El Paso Times has two stories about the arrest:
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who prosecuted Ramos & Compean, released a statement about the arrest, closing with the following:
Just as Aldrete’s alleged illegal conduct did not excuse the crimes committed by Compean and Ramos, likewise, their crimes will not excuse his. Compean and Ramos had their day in court and received justice in accordance with well established laws. Now, Aldrete will have his day in court and my office will work tirelessly to ensure that justice is done.
Are you kidding me Mr. Sutton? You were responsible for building the case on the testimony of an illegal alien drug smuggler, and giving him immunity, and yet you have the gall to say that Compean's and Ramos's "crimes will not excuse his"? Of course not, you excused his. If not for Aldrete's continued drug smuggling and illegal entry into this country, he would still be a free man today.

This whole case continues to make my blood boil. What the heck is going on? Not to beat a dead horse, but why would the U.S. government take the word of an illegal alien drug smuggler over up to nine U.S. Border Patrol agents? Why would the reports of the September/October 2005 drug loads led by Aldrete not be admissible evidence?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Only NASCAR Post Ever

From the Onion:
FORT WORTH—Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson, who took the points lead in the NEXTEL Cup championship with his win in the Dickies 500 after dicing with Matt Kenseth for several laps, was visibly excited by his victory Sunday while hollering at reporters for over 40 minutes in his post-race Victory Lane press conference. "Yeeeeeeeee," exclaimed Johnson, while repeatedly firing the twin pistols awarded to him for his win into the air, "Haaaaaaaaw!" When told that his victory relegated his teammate Jeff Gordon to second place in championship points, Johnson displayed admirable humility by removing his black ten-gallon cowboy hat and muttering a respectful "Awwww."

Friday, November 09, 2007

"The Greatest Scam In History"

From John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, found in part here and in whole here.
COMMENTS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING

By John Coleman

jcoleman@kusi.com

it is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM.

Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data back in the late 1990's to create an allusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental wacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the "research" to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

Environmental extremist, notable politicians among them then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild "scientific" scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda.

Now their ridicules manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmental conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15 minutes documentary segment.

I do not oppose environmentalism. I do not oppose the political positions of either party.

However, Global Warming, i.e. Climate Change, is not about environmentalism or politics. It is not a religion. It is not something you "believe in." It is science; the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a nonevent, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. I say this knowing you probably won't believe me, a mere TV weatherman, challenging a Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning former Vice President of United States. So be it.

I suspect you might like to say to me, "John, look the research that supports the case for global warming was done by research scientists; people with PH D's in Meteorology. They are employed by major universities and important research institutions. Their work has been reviewed by other scientists with PH D's. They have to know a lot more about it than you do. Come on, John, get with it. The experts say our pollution has created an strong and increasing greenhouse effect and a rapid, out of control global warming is underway that will sky rocket temperatures, destroy agriculture, melt the ice caps, flood the coastlines and end life as we know it. How can you dissent from this crisis? You must be a bit nutty.

Allow me, please, to explain how I think this all came about. Our universities have become somewhat isolated from the rest of us. There is a culture and attitudes and values and pressures on campus that are very different. I know this group well. My father and my older brother were both PHD-University types. I was raised in the university culture. Any person who spends a decade at a university obtaining a PHD in Meteorology and become a research scientist, more likely than not, becomes a part of that single minded culture. They all look askance at the rest of us, certain of their superiority. They respect government and disrespect business, particularly big business. They are environmentalists above all else.

And, there is something else. These scientists know that if they do research and results are in no way alarming, their research will gather dust on the shelf and their research careers will languish. But if they do research that sounds alarms, they will become well known and respected and receive scholarly awards and, very importantly, more research dollars will come flooding their way.

So when these researchers did climate change studies in the late 90's they were eager to produce findings that would be important and be widely noticed and trigger more research funding. It was easy for them to manipulate the data to come up with the results they wanted to make headlines and at the same time drive their environmental agendas. Then their like minded PHD colleagues reviewed their work and hastened to endorse it without question.

There were a few who didn't fit the mold. They did ask questions and raised objections. They did research with contradictory results. The environmental elitists berated them brushed their studies aside.

I have learned since the Ice Age is coming scare in the 1970's to always be a skeptic about research. In the case of global warming, I didn't accept media accounts. Instead I read dozens of the scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct when I assure you there is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril. It is all a scam, the result of bad science.

I am not alone in this assessment. There are hundreds of other meteorologists, many of them PH D's, who are as certain as I am that this global warming frenzy is based on bad science and is not valid.

I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming.

In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious. As the temperature rises, polar ice cap melting, coastal flooding and super storm pattern all fail to occur as predicted everyone will come to realize we have been duped.

The sky is not falling. And, natural cycles and drifts in climate are as much if not more responsible for any climate changes underway.

I strongly believe that the next twenty years are equally as likely to see a cooling trend as they are to see a warming trend.
Here are a couple more good sites related to the scam of global warming:

Monday, November 05, 2007

Cool Music Site

Just found out about a cool music site - Pandora.com. Go there, enter an artist or song, and it will create a radio station for you based on what you entered. Here's how they explain what they do:

When was the last time you fell in love with a new artist or song?

At Pandora, we have a single mission: To play music you'll love - and nothing else.

To understand just how we do this, and why we think we do it really, really well, you need to know about the Music Genome Project©.

Since we started back in 2000, we have been hard at work on the Music Genome Project. It's the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Together our team of fifty musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every song. It takes 20-30 minutes per song to capture all of the little details that give each recording its magical sound - melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics ... and more - close to 400 attributes! We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.

With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart's content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs or artists into Pandora and let the Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings - new and old, well known and completely obscure - to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you.

You can create as many "stations" as you want. And you can even refine them. If it's not quite right you can tell it so and it will get better for you.

The Music Genome Project was founded by musicians and music-lovers. We believe in the value of music and have a profound respect for those who create it. We like all kinds of music, from the most obtuse bebop, to the most tripped-out drum n bass, to the simplest catchy pop tune. Our mission is to help you connect with the music YOU like.

We hope you enjoy the experience!

(HT: Vitamin Z)

UPDATE: I may have just created the best radio station ever - featuring this song:

Yep, that's Eddie Murphy singing "Party All The Time," written and produced by Rick James.

How Lame

This has got to be 3 of the dumbest minutes in the history of broadcast television:


Yeah, green! Let's conserve energy by lighting some candles, while we show on our huge plasma TV that Matt Lauer is lighting up the Arctic Circle in order to tell us how they're sending people all over the planet to report as part of their "Green is Universal" initiative. But I'm sure those lights in the Arctic Circle are powered by solar powered batteries. And I bet those three (Lauer, Al Roker, and Ann Curry) all rode their bikes to their destinations. Could they be any more disingenuous? If you want to be friendly to the environment, that's great. I'm all for conserving natural resources and taking care of the planet. But at least be consistent and sincere about it. This reeks of ratings and $$. I hope NBC bought some carbon credits to reduce their footprint during this initiative. (Yeah, no joke - want to help the environment? Instead of conserving natural resources yourself, just pay someone else to do it!)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Are Blue Hens Racist?

Check out these statements from the Diversity Facilitation Training at the University of Delaware (the Fightin' Blue Hens):
RACISM: Racism is race prejudice plus power. (Definition, by People's Institute. I use "white supremacy" as a synonym for racism.)

...

REVERSE RACISM: A term created and used by white people to deny their white privilege. Those in denial use the term reverse racism to refer to hostile behavior by people of color toward whites, and to affirmative action policies, which allegedly give 'preferential treatment' to people of color over whites. In the U.S., there is no such thing as "reverse racism."

A RACIST: A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality. By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities or acts of discrimination. (This does not deny the existence of such prejudices, hostilities, acts of rage or discrimination.)
About the only thing I agree with there is that "there is no such thing as reverse racism." Ah, to be able to define terms the way we want. I'd like to define a couple of terms:
LOVE: to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest

INTELLIGENT: lacking good judgment; stupid; dull-witted.
And using those definitions, I'd like to state the following: I love when people make intelligent arguments.

Maybe I'll just stick with a dictionary, like the American Heritage Dictionary, to define "racism:"
  1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
  2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.
Based on those definitions, I feel it's safe to say that there are probably white people who are racist, black people who are racist, and Blue Hens that are racist. I think painting an entire "race" as racist is actually a racist thing to do. I would say it's a little like the pot calling the kettle black, but I'm not sure if that's politically correct.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Democratic Agenda

Thought this was pretty funny, posted at Liberty Pundit:

Agenda for 2008 Democratic National Convention

7:00 pm: Opening flag burning

7:15 pm: Pledge of Allegiance to the U.N. in Spanish

7:20 pm: Ted Kennedy proposes a toast

7:25 pm: Nonreligious prayer and worship with Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton

7:45 pm: Ceremonial tree hugging

7:55 pm: Ted Kennedy proposes a toast

8:00 pm: How I Invented the Internet – Al Gore

8:15 pm: Gay Wedding – Barney Frank presiding

8:35 pm: Ted Kennedy proposes a toast

8:40 pm: Our Troops are War Criminals – John Kerry

9:00 pm: Saddam Memorial Rally – Cindy Sheehan and Susan Sarandon

11:00 pm: Ted Kennedy proposes a toast

11:05 pm: Collection of Osama Bin Laden kidney transplant fund – Barbara Streisand

11:15 pm: Free the Freedom Fighters from Guantanamo Bay – Sean Penn

11:30 pm: Oval Office Affairs – William Jefferson Clinton

11:45 pm: Ted Kennedy proposes a toast

11:50 pm: How George Bush Brought Down the World Trade Towers – Howard Dean & Rosie O‘Donnell

12:15 pm: “Truth in Broadcasting Award” – Presented to Dan Rather by Michael Moore

12:25 pm: Ted Kennedy proposes a toast

12:30 pm: Satellite address by Mohmoud Ahmadinejad

12:45 pm: Nomination of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Nancy Pelosi

12:50 pm: Speech and toast by Hugo Chavez to the departure of “the great satan”, George W. Bush

12:55 pm: Hillary proposes a toast to our 89 million new Democratic Mexican voters

1:00 am: Ted Kennedy proposes a toast

1:05 am: Coronation of Hillary Rodham Clinton

1:30 am: Ted Kennedy proposes a toast

1:35 am: Bill Clinton asks Ted Kennedy to drive Hillary home.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Miscellaneous Politics

Some great stuff the past couple of days from Liberty Pundit:

1) A story I would have expected to read at the Onion, but it's actually true, posted at Yahoo News: "Iraqi fisherman nets shark 160 miles from sea:"

A two-meter shark has been caught in a river in southern Iraq more than 200 km (160 miles) from the sea.

The shark was pulled from the mouth of an irrigation canal that joins the Euphrates River.

Locals blamed the U.S. military for the shark’s presence.

Tahseen Ali, a teacher, said there was a “75 percent chance” Americans had put the shark in the water.

“This is very frightening for us. Our children always swim in the river and I believe that there are more sharks. I believe that America is behind this matter,” said fisherman Hatim Karim.

2) A great video about S-CHIP:



3) John Edwards' plan for a socialist America:

John Edwards says if he’s elected president, he’ll institute a New Deal-like suite of programs to fight poverty and stem growing wealth disparity. To do it, he said, he’ll ask many Americans to make sacrifices, like paying higher taxes.

Edwards, a former Democratic senator from North Carolina, says the federal government should underwrite universal pre-kindergarten, create matching savings accounts for low-income people, mandate a minimum wage of $9.50 and provide a million new Section 8 housing vouchers for the poor. He also pledged to start a government-funded public higher education program called “College for Everyone.”

4) A video showing Democrats before the war in Iraq:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

For My Wife

From Steven Curtis Chapman's new CD, "This Moment."

Here are the full lyrics:
You're up all night with a screaming baby
You run all day at the speed of life
And every day you feel a little bit less
Like the beautiful woman you are

So you fall into bed when you run out of hours
And you wonder if anything worth doing got done
Oh, maybe you just don't know
Or maybe you've forgotten

You, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh, you, you may not see it now
But I believe that time will tell
How you, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time

With every "I know you can do it"
Every tear that you kiss away
So many little things that seem to go unnoticed
They're just like the drops of rain over time
They become a river

And you, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh, you, you may not see it now
But I believe that time will tell
How you, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time

You're beautiful
You're beautiful
How you're changing the world
You're changing the world

You, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh, you, you may not see it now
But I believe that time will tell
How you, you are changing the world
Oh, I believe that you
You are changing the world
One little heartbeat
At a time

And you're changing the world

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Words Cannot Do This Justice


(HT: Vitamin Z)

Why Should This Surprise Me?

I wrote yesterday about a Maine middle school (Portland's King Middle School) considering handing out birth control pills to girls as young as 11. Sure enough, the school committee approved the proposal by a 7-2 vote:
Five of the 134 students who visited King's health center during the 2006-07 school year reported having sexual intercourse, said Amanda Rowe, lead nurse in Portland's school health centers.

Committee member Sarah Thompson, also the mother of a King eighth-grader, supported the policy, even though it made her "uncomfortable."

"I know I've done my job as a parent," Thompson said. "(But there) may be a time when she doesn't feel comfortable coming to me... (and) not all these kids have a strong parental advocate at home."
Nothing like teaching our kids to find any way to avoid consequences other than actually abstaining from actions in the first place. So basically this school - and the state of Maine - is saying that it's okay for kids as young as 11 to have sex, as long as they use protection and the girl's on birth control.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Slippery Slope In Action

I hate the phrase "slippery slope" because I think fallen man is far beyond a slippery slope and is on more of an iced-over black diamond mountain. But I digress. The title above is the same used in an email newsletter from Glenn Beck, with the following explanation:
What do you do when five out of 135 middle school students say they are sexually active? Of course, you give them condoms! If you are in Maine at King's Elementary School, you don't stop there. King's free loving administrators are looking to hand out birth control pills to those who want them. Glenn hopes that, for the sake of consistency, the MIDDLE school is also handing out clean syringes, for those students who wish to use heroin. After all, kids will be kids---and we don't want them using dirty needles. Glenn appeared on Good Morning America to talk about the subject with Diane Sawyer---and sexologist Logan Levkoff who argued the school is doing the right thing. She, by the way, has a website that is sponsored by Trojan. ABC neglected to disclose that this guest was in the pocket of 'big condom'. Watch the Video from GMA.
Go watch the video. It's tremendous. I especially enjoyed this quote: "I think providing birth control pills may encourage some kids to have sex if they think that it's safe, but what's the alternative? Unsafe sex? Pregnant 12 year olds?" How about the alternative is parents that teach their kids that sex is for marriage? I also enjoyed the "Sexuality Educator" talking about "sexual health." What in the world does birth control for middle school students have to do with sexual health? Pretty sure last I checked the pill did not prevent against STDs. What's next, free abortions for high school students?

I'm sick of this garbage. Does this trickle-down from our government, or "trickle-up" from parents and families? It's the whole attitude of, "Well, people are going to do it anyway..." Whether it's illegal immigration, sex, underage drinking, drugs, whatever, it seems like we have lowered our expectations to the point that anything goes - we'll encourage dangerous behavior and try to make it safe somehow, because "they're going to do it anyway." How about standing up for convictions, and teaching our children to have some? How about enforcing laws? How about wanting our children to be better than us?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Environment & Public Works

Found some interesting stuff at Senator James Inhofe's EPW Press Blog:

1) Global Warming Hysteria: There is an abundance of new peer-reviewed studies, analyses, and data error discoveries in the last several months that has prompted scientists to declare that fear of catastrophic man-made global warming "bites the dust" and the scientific underpinnings for alarm are "falling apart."

*Antarctic ice has GROWN to record levels,

*The Southern Hemisphere has COOLED

*Global averaged temperatures have not risen since 1998 and

*A survey of 538 peer-reviewed studies reveals that less than half of published scientists endorse man-made global warming theory and only 7% believe that man-made gases are a major cause of global warming.

*But despite all of these developments, the American people are soon going to be asked to pay thousands per family for so called "solutions" to warming.

RELATED LINKS:

New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears

Scientists Counter Computer Model Sea Level Rise Fears

2) Law of the Sea Treaty: Senator Inhofe is also currently working to ensure that the United States does not make the grave mistake of hastily joining the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea by ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). LOST would detrimentally impact the sovereignty of the United States by:

*Creating a governing body known as the International Seabed Authority (ISA) which regulates 70% of the Earth's surface, placing seabed mining, fishing rights and deep-sea oil-exploration under control of a global bureaucracy

*Granting the ISA the power to levy a global tax

*Possibly infringing on the War on Terror by interfering in the President's Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) combating the transfer of WMD's.

*We must have an open, honest, and thorough discussion on this treaty. This is not a treaty to be glossed over and rushed through - the implications are too far reaching and the consequences for our national security would be grave.

RELATED LINKS:

Statement of James M. Inhofe

Hearing: Full Committee "United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea". (Tuesday, March 23, 2004)

EPW Full Committee "United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea". (Tuesday, March 23, 2004)

3). WRDA: There is a critically important national infrastructure bill [the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 or WRDA (H.R. 1495)] that is long overdue and a model of fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately, President George Bush is threatening to veto this bill, saying it contains "excessive spending".

*The WRDA bill is an authorization bill, not an appropriations bill, so it doesn't spend a dime of Federal money.

*The WRDA bill authorizes projects in the areas of navigation, flood damage reduction, hurricane and storm damage reduction and environmental restoration.

*If it fails now, there will be no restraints - no upper limit -- placed on Congressional spending for infrastructure.

*I will personally demand a 60 vote super majority before allowing any project to exceed its authorized level.

*The authorization process is the most significant part of the process that STOPS runaway spending and distinguishes between political earmarks and true needs. -

*As the most conservative member of the United States Senate, as ranked by the American Conservative Union, I have long argued that the two most important functions of the federal government are to provide for the national defense and to develop and improve public infrastructure.

*Again, this bill does not spend any money.

RELATED INFORMATION

Paul Weyrich: Senator Inhofe: Leader in Appropriations Accountability

INHOFE CONTINUES TO MAKE HIS CASE IN SUPPORT OF WRDA, DRAWS MORE PRAISE FROM OKLAHOMA NEWSPAPERS
You should really take some time to find out about this "LOST" treaty, or "United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea." If you're up for some light reading, here's the full text; it's only a 202 page .pdf file. But in all seriousness, this thing has some issues. I'm hesitant to use the word "sovereignty" in regards to nations, because there is really only one Sovereign, but put in the limited perspective of nations, I kind of like how the U.S. is set up, and would like to keep it this way. I don't want the U.N. telling us that we can't stop boats in "our" waters to stop terrorism. And I don't really want the U.N. taxing me. They have no authority over me - they provide no rights or freedoms or protection for which it is right for me to owe them anything. From all I can tell, what they do best is corruption, paranoia propaganda, and America-hating. But that's just me.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Osteen "Mini-Roundup"

Slap In The Face

I just had to post this for the last line. It's from Glenn Beck's email newsletter (which you can receive by signing up on the front page of GlennBeck.com):
Democrats are pushing legislation that will declare Ottoman-era slaughter of Armenians a 'genocide', which will likely anger Turkey and threaten to strain relations enough that critical supply routes to US troops would be cut off. According to the New York Times, 'The issue is nettlesome for both the Bush administration and Democratic lawmakers, exposing the former to charges of seeming apathetic about Ottoman-era atrocities, and the latter to charges of being indifferent to American troops in Iraq.' Hmmm, which side do would you err on? Being apathetic about Ottoman-era atrocities? Or indifferent to US Troops currently involved in war? It would seem at first glance that those in Congress of The United States of America would consider this a 'no brainer'---at second glance it appears that most in congress simply have no brains. Read the transcript. (Insiders listen here).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Amazing Grace

Saw this video at church today. This guy's name is Nick Vujicic.

Find out more about Nick and his ministry at LifeWithoutLimbs.org.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Horton Articles and 60 Minutes

From James Grant:

Michael Horton will be on 60 Minutes tomorrow night, October 14. White Horse Inn has the information here.

I also noticed that Westminster Seminary California has a collection of articles from Horton written after his interview with 60 Minutes. It is titled, “Joel Osteen and the Glory Story: A Case Study.” You can find the collection here, which includes these articles:

(HT: Between Two Worlds)

Romans 12:1

I enjoyed this sermon on Romans 12:1 ("I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." - ESV) from John Piper, broadcast this past week as Desiring God's radio podcast on Monday & Tuesday.

Piper caught my attention at a couple of points, which came across in the podcast, but not in the manuscript. First, in talking about our bodies, I'll start with text from the manuscript:
1. Bodies. "Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship."

The point here is not to present to God your bodies and not your mind or heart or spirit. He is going to say very clearly in verse two: "Be transformed in the renewal of your mind." The point is to stress that your body counts. You belong to God soul and body, or you don't belong to him at all. Your body matters.

...

The offering of our bodies is not the offering of our bodily looks but our bodily behavior. In the Bible the body is not significant because of the way it looks, but because of the way it acts. The body is given to us to make visible the beauty of Christ. And Christ, at the hour of his greatest beauty, was repulsive to look at. Isaiah 53:2-3 describes him: "He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows,and acquainted with grief." The beauty of Christ is the beauty of love, not the beauty of looks. His beauty was the beauty of sacrifice, not skin.

God doesn't demand our bodies because he wants models for Mademoiselle or Planet Muscle. He demands our bodies because he wants models of mercy.

This is where I tried to get down what he said in the podcast, expounding on his manuscript:

We need to embed this biblical truth into the minds & hearts of our little ones, beginning at 2, 3. What kind of a bathing suit do you put your three year old in? You think you're going to change them at 13? Don't count on it.

We need to embed into our children this truth. My body means, before God, my behavior, not my looks. For the sake of anorexia, for the sake of bulimia ... because, in part, of a culture that is so unbelievingly relenting in the lies it tells about bodies. From the littlest girl and the littlest boy, lie after lie after lie is coming to them about what their body means. And I'm afraid many parents play right into it.

If we could just embed in our children the truth. God looks on the inward man and how it works itself out in mercy by the body. He does not look upon the body to see its muscles and curves and hair distribution and complexion. If only we could help them early on.

...

You have a body to give bodily evidence that Jesus is your treasure. ... And that will mainly show by your behavior, and not your looks.

Then, in talking about "holy." Again, I'll start with text from the manuscript:

3. Holy. "Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship."

Probably the best explanation of holy bodies comes from Romans 6:13 where Paul said almost the very same thing he says here, using the very language of "presenting" our bodies to God, only he refers to our bodily "members" and not just our bodies. "Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life [i.e., a living sacrifice], and your members to God as instruments for righteousness."

And more "expounding" on his manuscript from the podcast:

Let these hands be for instruments of righteousness in the world. As they click on the keyboard or push the mouse and click, let every click be righteousness. Swear it! Nail it! "I will not make my index finger on the left key an instrument of unrighteousness." Swear it! Oh, brothers, draw a line in the sand, before you meet Jesus. and make these hands holy.

What does it say in 1 Timothy? "I beseech all men everywhere to lift holy hands in prayer." Are they dirty? What have you done with your hands in the last 24 hours? What keys have you punched? What have you touched? What magaziness have you opened? What channels have you turned to with these hands? You have defiled hands this morning, defiled eyes, defiled mind? I am so thankful for the blood of Jesus, are you not? It is only through Christ that these hands can be acceptable.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Horton on 60 Minutes

From the White Horse Inn:

Dr. Horton to Appear on CBS's 60 Minutes

Currently scheduled for Sunday, Oct 14th, the interview will focus on the teaching and ministry of popular televangelist Joel Osteen, author of Your Best Life Now. 60 Minutes airs on CBS Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings). See our full Press Release and the story on the 60 Minutes website.

Socialism

From Liberty Pundit:

A LESSON IN HISTORY

1) “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above

2) “It’s time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few…and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity.”

A. Lenin
B. Mussolini
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above

3) “(We)…can’t just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people.”

A. Nikita Khrushev
B. Jose f Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above

4) “We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own…in order to create this common ground.”

A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above

5) “I certainly think the free-market has failed.”

A. Karl Marx
B. Lenin
C. Molotov
D. None of the above

6) “I think it’s time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched.”

A. Pinochet
B. Milosevic
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above

Answers:

(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004
(2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007
(3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005

Paranoia = Peace?

I'd have more to say about Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize if Yasser Arafat didn't win it in 1994. As crazy as Al Gore is, at least he doesn't support terrorism & killing people (that I know of).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mailbag

Just had to share this from the Sports Guy's Mailbag:

Q: Here's my plan for my first kid. I have the entire 2004 Red Sox playoffs on DVD, as well as all the Patriots' Super Bowl DVD's. What if, instead of Dora and Barney, I prop my kid up in front of Tom and Papi? Hell, my kid may come into this world just before the NBA playoffs. What a way to start. This cannot fail; this will be revolutionary. All I need from you is a way to convince my wife this is a good idea.
--Bob, Pittsfield, Mass.

SG: Convince you? I'm beating you to it. There's no rhyme or reason to any of the shows aimed for kids under 18 months old. They have only one goal: to juggle as many weird colors, sights and sounds as possible to keep the kids' attention and eventually give them ADD.

For instance, our daughter went through a huge "Teletubbies" phase that ended only when we sent her to a Teletubbies rehab center. What are the Teletubbies, you ask? Multicolored, androgynous, possibly homicidal Muppets with speech impediments and farting problems who pop out of the ground after getting instructions from a smiling baby whose face has been superimposed on the sun, then jump around, wobble into each other and giggle for no reason. Twice per show, they break away from the Teletubbies to show a group of English kids learning from a female teacher named Debbie who has scary Austin Powers-type teeth. Then the show ends with the Tubbies popping back into the ground as the smiling sun baby grins in approval. That's the whole show.

So here's my question: If I'm going to overload my impressionable child with a show that inundates him or her with colors, weird sounds, strange noises and inexplicable movements, wouldn't a baseball or basketball game make just as much sense? Would I rather have my little boy dreaming of hanging out with Tinky Winky and Dispy ... or KG and Big Papi? Bob from Pittsfield, it's you and me. Let's do this.

And I was also reminded of the stiff competition for my least favorite baseball announcer ever:

Q: After two weeks of TBS, I never thought I would long for Tim McCarver's voice. But I am almost there.
--Chris, Longmont, Colo.

SG: I'm, uh, not almost there. I have a ways to go.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Announcers, Part 2

Speaking of bad announcers, Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about Chip Caray, my least favorite baseball announcer of all time. (Although if Joe Buck only announced baseball, it would be a tough call.) Here are some observations that Sandomir made of about some of Caray's statements, all from Game 3 of the Indians-Yankees ALDS series:
He stated that Derek Jeter was playing in his 49th postseason game — “No. 1 of all time.” Truth: it was his 49th division series game, out of 122 postseason games.

He likened the “dynamic duo” of Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera to the Rivera-John Wetteland bullpen pairing in “those great early years of Joe Torre,” when they were dominating the World Series. Truth: Rivera and Wetteland were Yankee teammates for two seasons, and Torre managed them only in 1996.

He said the “Yankees led the world” in home runs this season with 201. He liked saying it so much he said it again. Truth: The Brewers led the majors with 231, followed by the Phillies with 213 and the Reds at 204. The Yankees and Marlins were tied at 201.

He extolled Alex Rodriguez’s “offensive heroics in the first two months of the season” for keeping the Yankees in the race. Truth: A-Rod had a sensational April, but he slumped in May to a .235 batting average with 5 home runs and 11 runs batted in.

He introduced Indians reliever Joe Borowski ... as having played for the Brewers and the Reds. Truth: He never played for Milwaukee, and while he once signed with the Reds, he never made it out of spring training. Caray also noted his hometown, Bayonne, N.J., but pronounced it as if it were part of the Louisiana bayou.

...

He also has an annoying air of certitude. With the bases loaded Sunday, and the Yankees leading, 5-3, thanks to Johnny Damon’s three-run homer, Caray said, “This is a spot where they have to score another run to win the game.” Does he also read palms?

That attitude led him on Sunday, after Rodriguez’s first hit of the series, to say, “And here come the Yankees!” A-Rod went back to the bench on Jorge Posada’s double play.

After Damon’s run-scoring single in the third, he said, “And here they come!”

No, they didn’t: Jeter promptly grounded into a double play.
This guy's horrible, and makes a great case as to why nepotism is not a good thing. His grandfather is the legendary Harry Caray, who I'm too young to remember being any good, but I'll trust those who knew him when he was "in his prime." (If announcers can have primes. I'm also reminded that Joe Buck's dad was a terrific announcer. Obviously good announcing doesn't get passed down the family tree.) His dad Skip has been an announcer on TBS for the Braves for a long time. I'm biased, but I think he's okay - generally doesn't get too excited or take the game too seriously, and is willing to make fun of himself. Chip, however, jumps out of his seat every time someone hits a pop fly, "Swung on and BELTED!" Yeah, Chip, swung on and belted into the glove of the center fielder.

Announcers

I'm waiting for the day when televised sports do not have play-by-play announcers. Maybe an interactive broadcast where the viewer can request explanations of rules or rules interpretations, or injury reports. Anyway, here's a good recent example of how worthless announcers are, courtesy of the "Versus" network (formerly known as the Outdoor Life Network, and home of hunting, fishing, rodeos, and the NHL). The situation: Stanford has the ball, trailing USC by the score of 23-17 with less than a minute to play. Listen carefully.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Find Your Candidate

Don't have any idea who you want to vote for to be our next President? Try this quiz. I like these things, even if they aren't all that accurate - Mike Huckabee answered it on the Glenn Beck show today, and he only agreed with himself 71% of the time according to the results.

Umm...I just went to Glenn's website and found the following video posted. It's apparently from when Glenn worked in Baltimore in the early 90's. For any of you who listen to or watch much of Glenn, the guy on the right is his best friend and current Houston area talk show host, Pat Gray.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Quote Of The Day

"...everything we have in Christ comes from God and returns to God, beginning in his will and ending in his glory." - James Montgomery Boice, in Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary, p. 32

Desiring God Conference

Audio, video, and text of the messages from the 2007 Desiring God National Conference: Stand: A Call for the Endurance of the Saints, are now online.

Joke Of The Day

From Liberty Pundit:
One afternoon John Edwards was riding in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate.

He asked one man, “Why are you eating grass?

“We don’t have any money for food,” the poor man replied. “We have to eat grass.”

“Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I’ll feed you,” Edwards said.

“But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there, under that tree.”

“Bring them along,” John Edwards replied.

Turning to the other poor man he stated, “You come with us, too.”

The second man, in a pitiful voice, then said, “But sir, I also have a wife and SIX children with me!”

“Bring them all, as well,” Edwards answered.

They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine.

Once underway, one of the poor fellows turned to Edwards and said, “Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you.”

Edwards replied, “Glad to do it. You’ll really love my place. The grass is almost a foot high.”

Rush On Rush

Good take from Brian @ Liberty Pundit on the Democrats' ridiculous criticism of Rush Limbaugh after taking some comments of his from a recent show entirely out of context. I am particularly disgusted by Tom Harkin's consistent representation (or lack thereof) of the state of Iowa. You can watch this video of Harkin wondering if Rush is "high on his drugs again." Hey, Senator Harkin, it's so far beyond cliché that I hate to ask, but you know what happens when you "assume," right? Limbaugh (who I find to be one of the most arrogant-sounding radio hosts I've ever tried to listen to) was speaking of "phony soldiers," such as this one, in Rush's own words:
One of them was Jesse MacBeth. Now, he was a "corporal," I say in quotes -- 23 years old.

What made Jesse MacBeth a hero to the anti-war crowd wasn't his Purple Heart. It wasn't his being affiliated with post traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, though. What made Jesse MacBeth, Army Ranger, a hero to the left was his courage in their view off the battlefield.

Without regard to consequences, he told the world the abuses he had witnessed in Iraq: American soldiers killing unarmed civilians, hundreds of men, women, even children. In one gruesome account translated into Arabic and spread widely across the internet, Army Ranger Jesse MacBeth describes the horrors this way:

'We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque.'

Now, recently, Jesse MacBeth, a poster boy for the anti-war left, had his day in court, and you know what? He was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs' claim and his Army discharge record.

He was in the Army. Jesse MacBeth was in the Army, folks, briefly -- 44-days before he washed out of boot camp. Jesse MacBeth isn't an Army Ranger. Never was. He isn't a corporal. Never was. He never won the Purple Heart and he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen."
This is an example of a "phony soldier." Not someone who questions the war or the decisions of his superiors (that's another debate altogether). But someone who lies about his service and gets used by politicians to spread propaganda.

Faith & Football

I enjoyed this story about Jon Kitna, the Detroit Lions' QB:

...

Kitna is a fanatic for Christ, there's no question. He often prays on his way to the line of scrimmage, to calm himself. But it's clear to teammates that he sees God as more than a lucky rabbit's foot, which is why, while the vast majority of Lions prefer to keep their beliefs private, Kitna's public pronouncements don't grate on them. Posers and prima donnas splinter far more locker rooms than religion. And Kitna walks his talk without sanctimony. He doesn't drink or cuss.

The worst anyone can recall him saying on the field is "fudge." He says he has tithed at least 10 percent of his salary his entire adult life. That includes the time he spent as a teacher after a record-setting career at Central Washington. The donations got bigger when the Seahawks signed him as a free agent in 1996, and they continued to grow after stops in Cincinnati (where he was the league's 2003 Comeback Player of the Year) and, now, Detroit. "It's about production on the field and consistency off it," Kitna says. "What guys really have a problem with is inconsistency -- people who say one thing and do another. Hypocrites. Chameleons. My teammates learn pretty quick that this is who I am, every day and in every situation."

And the tests come constantly. Walking into the Lions' locker room a few days before the Vikings game, Kitna was greeted by silence. The Lions have three iPod docks that plug into their speaker system. But when someone began blasting Christian music, a tense standoff ensued. It was noted, loudly, that a majority of people in the room didn't want to listen to God rock. And so the speakers remained mute until Kitna arrived. "Everyone's music should be heard," he said, "or no one's." The Christian rock was resurrected, followed by a heavy dose of hip-hop.

"Learning about each other, understanding each other, compromising for each other -- that's what it's like in a good locker room," says Lions wideout Roy Williams.

"That's some real s... that went down with the music and Jon's response. And that's the stuff we never had around here in years past. Is that religion? I don't know. Jon talks to everybody, I know that. And the last quarterback we had didn't do that."

Last November, during a long flight home after another defeat, Williams asked Kitna if his cussing during games was getting out of hand. Kitna said he wasn't one to judge, then explained in a whisper how he hadn't always been so pious. In 1993, Kitna was drinking himself to oblivion four nights a week, shoplifting, brawling, cussing constantly and sleeping with, he says, "all different kinds of women" behind Jennifer's back.

Eventually she caught him in bed with another woman, which is when he decided to go back to church. He believes God removed those vices from his life with a snap of His mighty fingers. Ten months later, Jon and Jennifer were married. "I didn't feel pressure or like he was judging me," Williams says of his talk with Kitna. "Jon just said, 'If you ever want to go deeper, I'm always here.' I'm young; I have questions about religion and faith. He's a good guy to ask."

...


Monday, October 01, 2007

Quote Of The Day

R.C. Sproul, ending Chapter 3: "Predestination and Free Will" of Chosen By God:
"We conclude that fallen man is still free to choose what he desires, but because his desires are only wicked he lacks the moral ability to come to Christ. As long as he remains in the flesh, unregenerate, he will never choose Christ. He cannot choose Christ precisely because he cannot act against his own will. He has no desire for Christ. He cannot choose what he does not desire. His fall is great. It is so great that only the effectual grace of God working in his heart can bring him to faith." (p. 75)

I Wish This Was From The Onion...

...but it's not. Yahoo! News has a story about a group in Austria trying to get their Supreme Court to legally declare a chimpanzee as a person:

He’s now got a human name — Matthew Hiasl Pan — but he’s having trouble getting his day in court. Animal rights activists campaigning to get Pan, a 26-year-old chimpanzee, legally declared a person vowed Thursday to take their challenge to Austria’s Supreme Court after a lower court threw out their latest appeal.

A provincial judge in the city of Wiener Neustadt dismissed the case earlier this week, ruling that the Vienna-based Association Against Animal Factories had no legal standing to argue on the chimp’s behalf…

Group president Martin Balluch insists that Pan is “a being with interests” and accuses the Austrian judicial system of monkeying around.

“It is astounding how all the courts try to evade the question of personhood of a chimp as much as they can,” Balluch said.

(HT: Liberty Pundit)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sports Guy Links

The Sports Guy checks in with his Links of the Week:

I find the still-developing Mike Gundy story fantastic on a number of levels, including ...

1. Even if Gundy overreacted to a fairly written column that just happened to be a little mean spirited, who wouldn't want to play for a coach who stuck up for his players like that? That may have been the greatest recruiting video of all-time. "MY NAME IS MIKE GUNDY AND I HAVE YOUR BACK! COME TO OKLAHOMA STATE!"

2. As Jesse in San Jose, Calif., pointed out, "Gundy's classic rant (particularly the "COME AFTER ME! I'M A MAN! I'M 40!" portion) reminded me of this also-classic Will Ferrell sketch. I was waiting for Gundy to shout "I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS! PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF ME!"

...

I loved this ongoing story about Matt Geiger battling with his neighbors because he wants to build a helipad on his mansion. When Matt Geiger has a $20 million mansion and a helipad, it's the best argument for capitalism maybe ever.

...

From Cam in Toronto: "WNBA humour rarely disappoints." I liked that he threw the "u" in "humour." Canadians are fun that way.

...

Casey in San Antonio: "The Helmet Project was a good link, but I think this guy's site is MUCH, MUCH better. Post this one as well!"

Transracial Adoption

Here's a good Q&A on transracial adoption with Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman:

4. Some people, for any number of reasons, are uncomfortable with the idea of transracial adoption. Other people, because of their views on race, are outright opposed to the idea of transracial adoption; they believe that adoption across ethnic lines should not be practiced. How might the Bible speak to these concerns?

Well, I think it depends on the nature of the discomfort or opposition. If the discomfort or opposition is grounded in some assumption that “races” are unequal or that “races” should remain segregated in family and social relationships, I think the Bible rebukes and corrects that kind of thinking in several ways. First, it’s clear that there is only one “race” of man, all descended from our original parents Adam and Eve (Gen. 2; Acts 17:26). There is no biblical basis for discomfort or opposition based on racial attitudes. Second, the alienation that sometimes stirs opposition to transracial adoption is really a spiritual problem. It’s a product of the Fall of man into sin. The cure for that problem is saving faith in Jesus Christ, wherein man is first reconciled to God and then reconciled to other men. So, for Christians in particular, those who are adopted into the family of God through faith in Christ, opposition to transracial adoption is tantamount to denying the work of Christ on the cross.

But there may also be discomfort or opposition not based on racial attitudes but some prudential concerns. Some may wonder if they are sufficiently equipped to parent across culture and ethnicity. Others may worry about the tension or conflict they may experience. There we have to remember that we are not called to love only in the convenient places and situations. We’re called to a radical love, one that mirrors the love of God for broken sinners. And the end of such love is unspeakable joy. For the joy set before Him, Jesus Christ endured the inconvenient and uncomfortable agony of the cross to redeem a people who were hostile toward Him. Adoption across ethnic lines may be one of the best pictures of that radical Christ-like love we have available to us today. So, “prudential” concerns that awaken discomfort aren’t finally sufficient reason to refuse or oppose such adoptions.

5. More and more couples are considering adopting transracially. How would you counsel a couple that desires to adopt a child from another race (i.e. ethnicity)? How would you seek to educate them theologically? How should the gospel help shape their view of transracial adoption?

The first thing I would want to do is simply commend and encourage them. I’d want to commend this act of selflessness and love. And I’d want to encourage them to remember that God’s grace is sufficient for their every need. That’s true of parenting in general, and it’s true of the specific case of transracial adoption and parenting. So, first, be encouraged.

Second, I’d want to encourage them to jettison the idea of “race” as it has historically been defined. Drop it like the bad habit it is. Learn to read the Scripture for its accent on our common humanity. Hayes’ Biblical Theology of Race is very valuable in this regard. Think of the children, indeed all people, as essentially “same” rather than “other.”

But third, having acknowledged our common humanity, think and teach your children to think in terms of “the nations.” In other words, there’s a tremendous opportunity in multi-ethnic families to cultivate a deeper concern for missions and getting the gospel to all nations. Try to prevent conversations and cross-cultural education from terminating on man or your family; try to think of those conversations as opportunities for thinking great thoughts about God who wants to be known among all people. The Lord has purposed that His glory will be shown in the bowing of the nations to His name. Our reflection on ethnicity and culture is incomplete if it doesn’t have that goal in mind.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Defense Appropriations

I can't think of a better way to enhance a National Defense Authorization Act than to give amnesty to illegal immigrants. Wait. Let me read that again. What? What in the world does immigration have to do with a defense spending bill? The geniuses are at it again in our nation's capital.

From Liberty Pundit:

I don’t know how many of you have heard of NumbersUSA but they are a group that is leading the fight against Amnesty and trying to stop illegal immigration. Below is a copy of their latest email bulletin. It is important that we all act because something very sinister is happening. There are some measures being voted on in the Senate that would basically take all of the bad things about the amnesty bill that they couldn’t get passed in a “comprehensive” plan and instead they are now trying to sneak them by one by one. What’s worse is they are attaching them to a Defense Spending Bill. Here are the details and the email bulletin from NumbersUSA…

OPEN-BORDERS SENATORS PLAN END-RUN DREAM ACT AMNESTY

Friends, this is not a do-it-if-you-have-time request.

This is the most urgent kind of request for your action Friday – and again Monday.

Please send free faxes to your Members of Congress. You’ll see some faxes on your Action Buffet corkboard immediately. We’ll be sending you links to other new faxes during the day Friday.

In the middle of actions on Defense next week, the open-borders Senators are going to attempt to attach three proposals that would give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens and dramatically increase the importation of additional foreign labor for American jobs.

Many of the Senators who helped us kill the Comprehensive Amnesty in June are indicating they are in favor of these preferences for illegal foreign workers and new foreign workers over American workers.

We must keep them from attaching the Dream Act Amnesty to the Department of Defense authorization bill.

And we also must keep them from taking hundreds of thousands of our high tech jobs from American students and middle-age American workers and giving them to foreign workers.

Our NumbersUSA legislative department outlines these three threats in sections below.

THE QUICK MESSAGE YOU CAN GIVE TO SENATE OFFICE FRIDAY AND MONDAY

1. Call the Senate switchboard at:
202-224-3121

2. Ask for your Senator. (You can find the names of your Senators and all their contact info at: numbersusa.com/myMembers [or contact your Senators through the Senate's website.])

3. Tell the person who answers that you are calling to ask the Senator to vote NO next week on three measures that are being considered for the Defense Authorization bill.

a. Vote NO on Amendment 2237 that would attach the Dream Act Amnesty.

b. Vote NO on any measure to increase H-1B visas and permanent greencards for foreign workers to take jobs from skilled American workers and students.

c. Vote NO on any attempt to increase H-2B visas for seasonal foreign workers to take jobs from America’s most vulnerable workers.

* The DREAM Act (Amendment 2237 to the Defense Authorization bill) is a nightmare. It is a massive amnesty that extends to the millions of illegal aliens who entered the United States before the age of 16.

* There is no upper age limit. Any illegal alien can walk into a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office and declare that he is eligible. For example, a 45 year old can claim that he illegally entered the United States 30 years ago at the age of 15. There is no requirement that the alien prove that he entered the United States at the claimed time by providing particular documents. The DREAM Act’s Section 4(a) merely requires him to “demonstrate” that he is eligible-which in practice could mean simply making a sworn statement to that effect. Thus, it is an invitation for just about every illegal alien to fraudulently claim the amnesty.

* The alien then has six years to adjust his status from a conditional green card holder to a non-conditional one. To do so, he need only complete two years of study at an institution of higher education, including any vocational school. If the alien has already completed two years of study, he can convert to non-conditional status immediately (and use his green card as a platform to sponsor parents and other family members). As an alternative to two years of study, he can enlist in the U.S. military for two years. This provision allows Senator Durbin to claim that the DREAM Act is somehow germane to the defense authorization bill.

* An illegal alien who applies for the DREAM Act amnesty gets to count his years under “conditional” green card status toward the five years needed for citizenship. On top of that, the illegal alien could claim “retroactive benefits” and start the clock running the day that the DREAM Act is enacted. In combination, these two provisions put illegal aliens on a high-speed track to U.S. citizenship-moving from illegal alien to U.S. citizen in as little as five years. Lawfully present aliens, meanwhile, must follow a slower path to citizenship.

* It would be absurdly easy for just about any illegal alien-even one who does not qualify for the amnesty-to evade the law. According to Section 4(f) of the DREAM Act, once an alien files an application-any application, no matter how ridiculous-the federal government is prohibited from deporting him. Moreover, with few exceptions, federal officers are prohibited from either using information from the application to deport the alien or sharing that information with another federal agency, under threat of up to $10,000 fine. Thus, an alien’s admission that he has violated federal immigration law cannot be used against him-even if he never had any chance of qualifying for the DREAM Act amnesty in the first place.

* The DREAM Act also allows illegal aliens to receive in-state tuition rates at public universities, discriminating against U.S. citizens from out of state and law-abiding foreign students.

* The DREAM Act also makes the illegal aliens eligible for federal student loans and federal work-study programs-another benefit that law-abiding foreign students cannot receive-all at taxpayer expense.

* A consistent theme emerges: Illegal aliens are treated much more favorably than aliens who follow the law. There is no penalty for illegal behavior.

Friday, September 14, 2007

"Perfect Day" Part 4

From the show:



From the email:
A Note from Glenn:
If this is the first special report you're reading, please take a minute to review the ones from Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday first so that you have a better understanding of exactly what "The Perfect Day" is.

Today's report is all about preparation, not panic. Our report, from Kenneth Trump, one of the country's foremost school security experts, has many great tips-but there is a lot more you need to know (especially when it comes to terror scenarios) so please be sure to also take a look at his website, which is included at the end of the article.

Also, as I've been telling you all week, we've obtained a video that allegedly shows terrorists in Afghanistan training for a school takeover scenario and barking out commands in English. Although there were at least eight hours of footage captured by our military, we were asked by our source to only release a very short clip for security reasons and we are honoring that request. Click here to see the video.

AWARE AND PREPARED, NOT SCARED!
By Kenneth Trump

Fear is reduced by education, communication, and preparation-not by sticking our heads in the sand.

Before we can talk about specific steps to prepare kids, families, and educators, we first have to prepare ourselves mentally by acknowledging (in a non-alarmist, pragmatic manner) that a terror attack on an American school is not an unrealistic possibility.

We cannot change the climate if we do not change the conversation. Most public officials inside the D.C. Beltway have publicly taken a "downplay, deny, and deflect" position about this threat for fear of creating panic, but how can we prepare for something if no one will talk about it?

Below is some practical advice, directed to three distinct groups: parents, children, and school officials. Following these steps will put your family and your school way ahead of the pack when it comes to preparedness.

Tips for Parents
1. Create a family plan. Simple steps can make a difference: Identify a long distance family member for everyone to call if the family is separated. Identify neighborhood and distant family reunification locations and create a "code word" known only to your family members.

2. Have age and developmentally-appropriate communications with your kids. Be honest and open. Focus on facts and context. Reassure them of measures that adults have taken to keep them safe. Reduce fear of the unknown by teaching kids what to do.

3. Ask your kids where they see weaknesses and how they would improve security at their schools.

4. Talk with school leaders to make sure they have active crisis plans, not just plans sitting on shelves collecting dust. Ask probing questions to make sure they are implementing best practices in school emergency planning, including those listed below.

5. Support school administrators in their safety efforts. Follow security procedures set by schools-the rules apply to everyone. Volunteer for safety and crisis committees. Help put together parent awareness presentations on school security and emergency preparedness. Support principals and boards that do the right thing.


Tips for Children
1. Know your family plan.

2. Know what school officials need you to do in a crisis to keep you safe.

3. Take your school's drills, such as lockdowns and evacuations, and your family's crisis plans seriously.

4. If you have questions, ask them. If you have ideas and suggestions, share them!


Tips for Schools
1. Have an active, updated emergency plan. Most schools have crisis plans and crisis teams on paper, but fewer schools involve first responders in developing the plan contents, updating their plans at least annually, and requiring crisis teams to meet regularly. Make school emergency planning and safety a part of your school's culture.

2. Practice drills such as lockdowns and evacuations. Participate in tabletop exercises with hypothetical scenarios with first responders and other community partners to make sure school crisis plans written on paper may work in a real emergency.

3. Train teachers and support staff on crime prevention, security, and emergency preparedness best practices, and on their school's specific crisis guidelines.

4. Improve physical security measures and crime prevention policies. Have security assessments conducted by specialists knowledgeable in professional security best practices.

5. Conduct thorough background checks for all school employees. Most schools do the minimal criminal history checks of select employees required by their state laws. Fewer do comprehensive background investigations that include criminal history checks along with examinations of work histories and validation of educational credentials.

6. Work closely with public safety officials. Meet at least annually to review and update school plans. Make sure police and fire officials have updated floor plans of the school. Invite police to use school facilities after-hours or on weekends to train for active shooter and other tactical operations.

Our public officials need to know that we, as Americans, recognize how serious the potential threat of terrorism in our schools really is. Take just 10 minutes today or tomorrow to call your Congressman and Senators' offices to let them know that you want federal homeland security policy and funding to better include our nation's schools. Our elected officials need to know that they will be held accountable if something happens while they continue to deny the threat and fail to include our schools on the list of potential terror targets.

Kenneth S. Trump, M.P.A. is President of the National School Safety and Security Services. For additional information and resources, visit www.schoolsecurity.org.

"Perfect Day" Part 3

From the show:


From the email:
A Note from Glenn:
If this is the first special report you're reading, please take a minute to review the ones from earlier in the week (Tuesday, Wednesday) so that you have a better understanding of exactly what "The Perfect Day" is.

Tonight's reports focus on both the practical and emotional impact an attack like this would have on America. Bernard Kerik, former New York City Police Commissioner writes about Al Qaeda's new definition of "spectacular" and focuses on what life in America might look like in the aftermath of something so horrific. Meanwhile, Dr. Zhudi Jasser looks at "The Perfect Day" from the radical's perspective and tells us why a backlash against Muslims and Islam is exactly what they want from us. And why we must not give that to them.

And don't forget, tomorrow's newsletter will feature practical tips for parents and will also include a link to a video clip of terrorists in Afghanistan practicing a school takeover. Their commands, not surprisingly, are in English.

Can We Win?
By Bernard Kerik

In a recent video message, Osama bin Laden, is heard calling for a caravan of martyrs to follow in the footsteps of the 9/11 suicide hijackers-which proves that he still dreams of spectacular attacks against the west and the American people.

Fortunately, many of the lessons we learned from 9/11 have helped prevent similar attacks on U.S. soil so far, but the bad news is that I strongly believe that Bin Laden's definition of "spectacular" has changed; it doesn't have to mean jumbo jets into skyscrapers, a nuclear device at a port of entry or multiple oil refinery explosions anymore. The attacks we've seen in London, Madrid, Glasgow and Denmark, along with the foiled attacks against western targets around the world demonstrate that. They've all focused on easier, softer targets and that's lead many Americans to believe that "spectacular" attacks are no longer what they crave.

But that is wrong...dead wrong.

Imagine this: it's the morning of September 11, 2001. The 19 hijackers split up into four groups just as they did, except this time they don't board four jetliners bound for California. Instead, each group travels to a different part of the country-perhaps small towns in Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado and California. They each enter an elementary school or junior high school and they simultaneously begin a murderous rampage just as Islamic fundamentalists did in Beslan on September 1, 2004 (a massacre that ended with 330 dead, including at least 170 children).

Or, imagine that instead of schools the groups strap themselves with explosives and take over four movie theaters, as they did in Moscow in October, 2002 (a siege that ended with 129 civilians murdered). Or what if it were four tourist locations around the country?

Although far from the enormity of the 9/11 attacks, these attacks would certainly be "spectacular" in their own right. Tourism would come to a stand still, the airline industry would suffer, the stock markets would tank and the economical and emotional damage could be far greater than we suffered in 2001.

Would parents really send their children to school in the days and weeks following an attack (whether or not it even occurred in their town), not knowing where and when the next one might occur? What would happen to employment as at least one parent stays home with the children for weeks or months?

Thanks largely to the Bush administration, we are much better off today than we were on September 10, 2001—but until our political leadership unites, we will never defeat the enemy we face. Unfortunately, as our politicians battle and bicker in Washington, Al Qaeda and radical Islam continues its mission.

It's only a matter of time until victory is achieved. The real question is, by whom?

Bernard Kerik is Chairman of the Kerik Group and was the Police Commissioner of New York City during the 9/11 attacks.


The Ends Islamist Terrorists Seek
By M. Zuhdi Jasser, MD

The entire goal of Al Qaeda-type monsters is to provoke a reaction from mainstream America by pursuing evil against those who stand in the way of imposing theocracy. These fascists have no value for life other than that it's simply a means to their end of a totalitarian theocratic state. It is their ideology. In their warped view of religion they are God.

These are not the actions of psychopaths. Instead, they are the calculated actions of those seeking power and those afraid of freedom. They know that liberty's greatest weakness is its wide exposure to attacks against noncombatants (i.e., you and me) and the way in which protections against those attacks alter the very liberties we all seek to protect.

The biggest threat to the Islamists gaining power is the free world, especially the Muslims who believe in, practice, and advocate universal religious freedom and secular democracies. In fact, a Muslim manifestation of liberty is the greatest antidote to global jihad and political Islam.

What better way for radical Islamists to destroy their most potent enemy (moderate pro-freedom Muslims) than to sow chaos in the belly of America and stimulate a visceral reaction like no other? The Islamists know that their ideas are oppressive and far less appealing to Muslims and non-Muslims alike than things like freedom and liberty. Thus, their strategy is to put moderates on the defensive so that their rational ideas are lost in the din of terror.

An attack on our schools would do just that. The more barbaric and grizzly the attack, and the more they can get Americans to associate it with Muslims and Islam, the more possible it is that they fuel a hateful response from some Americans. That would leave moderate Muslims' quest to defeat political Islam lost in the chaos of a divided America.

We witnessed just such a visceral hate crime here in Phoenix after 9/11 when a Sikh man, Balbir Singh, was murdered for appearing to be Muslim. And that's why this very discussion is so vital; if we know that the primary goal of our enemy is to enrage our citizenry against Muslims and Islam then we can inoculate ourselves against it. Al Qaeda's aim is to enrage and get non-Muslims to do their dirty work of targeting moderate Muslims for them-and we must not give that to them.

If American Muslims declare open war against Al Qaeda, Americans will rush to defend our mosques rather than allow them to be burned. Otherwise, with rage and vengeance, the freedoms so protected by our Constitution will quickly dissipate into a nation gripped by fear and hate of the "other." And that is the ultimate goal of such horrific acts: to create a reaction which ultimately destroys the very fabric of our nation-the trust of one another, under God, under our Constitution. The children they would kill in schools on this "Perfect Day" would be a utilitarian mechanism (ends justifying the means) to achieve the destruction of the "American" way of life.

It is vitally important for Americans to see that, for most Muslims, being Muslim is not about preserving our mosques and our own rights; it is first about preserving the rights and freedoms of all Americans against the jihadists. But the longer Muslims stay silent against jihadism the greater chance the next incident like this Perfect Day scenario will have the impact the militants actually seek.

M. Zuhdi Jasser is the founder and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy based in Phoenix Arizona. He is a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, a physician in private practice, and a community activist.