Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fifteen pieces of flair are the minimum required to work here.


My Conservative Reformed Mafia buddies peer pressured me into it, but now I am on Facebook.

If you're unaware, it's a pretty cool bit. I particularly like being able to assemble "my flair." Count 'em ... MORE than 37 pieces of flair as I express myself.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sir, you ask how to fight an idea. Well I'll tell you how ... with another idea.


While on vacation, I finally got around to listening to some audio that had been on my "To Hear" list. Mark Driscoll's talk on The Supremacy of Christ and the Church in a Postmodern World was on that list.

(Via the following link you can watch, listen, and/or download the message.)

Referencing the obligation to contend for the truth from Jude 3, Driscoll gave 9 things/truths for which we must contend:
  1. The veracity (my word) of Scripture as the meta-narrative
  2. The sovereignty of God amid the threat of Open Theism
  3. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ
  4. The reality of a sin nature amid the threat of Pelagianism
  5. Penal substitutionary atonement
  6. The exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the only way
  7. Gender differences as defined by the Bible, resulting in different roles for men & women in the home and church
  8. The doctrine of hell, being literal, conscious, and eternal
  9. The Kingdom (and the King) over (and more important than) culture

Any others we might add, particularly those threated by the Emergent/postmodern condition?

Driscoll is a bit of a controversial figure, but I suggest his talk would be worth a listen.

Though one might disagree with his decisions about which particular aspects of culture should be rejected, received, or redeemed, I think he's right in that we need to be focus on the incarnation (by following Christ's example, i.e., being "incarnational") in addition to focusing on Christ's exaltation.

Driscoll's contention was that the Emergent tend to focus on Christ's humanity to the exclusion of His deity, while the Reformed are susceptible to the reverse.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

The great Brian Regan on David Letterman talking about reading on March 18, 2008. (HT Tony Reinke)


Read Brent Thomas' sermon "It's All about Jesus" speaking of the Bible, of course.

Read about the pastor who wrecked his motorcycle ... during the service while attempting to illustrate something about unity.

Read the USA Today article about efforts to reach men in/for church: At nation's churches, guys are few in the pews, by Cathy Lynn Grossman.

Read 11 things about Prince you might not know.

Read about the judge denying the island of Lesbos' suit to deny homosexual women the use of the term "lesbian." I kid you not.

Read the collection of posts by Ray Fowler on the biblical perspective on "living together" prior to marriage.

Read about the men sentenced for setting their drunken buddy's crotch on fire. C'mon! Friends don't let friends drive drunk or light each other on fire.

Read John MacArthur on Pragmatism: Trend or Trap?

Read about the man who played chicken on the freeway with the cars in his underwear ... and lost.

Scope out some video clips and other information regarding the upcoming Desiring God national conference.

Read about the woman who ran a sword through her foot during a Wiccan "good luck" ceremony. I'm guessing it didn't work?

Read 20 Things You Should Ask Yourself Every Sunday, for the introspective/reflective types, self-included.

Read about the 8 medical terms your doctor uses to insult you.

Read Mark Driscoll's "Spurgeon is the man" posts.
Part 1 - Introduction
Part 2 - Spurgeon was a Bible Guy
Part 3 - Spurgeon Prayed, Laughed, Cared, and Evangelized
Part 4 - Spurgeon Wrote Books That the Haters Hated

Check out this collection of peculiar and/or poorly chosen real estate photos.

Read J. Ligon Duncan's answer to "What is Covenant Theology?" (HT Jay the Bennett)

Read about Peru wanting to jail a woman who rode naked on a horse, using the national flag as a saddle.

Read Al Mohler's thoughts on the glamorization of teen pregnancy.

Read about the man who blew up his apartment while attempting to spray for bug.

Check out Matthew Bradley's new blog: Shepherd's Crook: Committed to the Cure of Souls. Matt is the guy who introduced me to Pearl Jam, but that's probably not his only claim to fame.

Check out John Frame on issues related to seminary.

Read about the teacher who lasted 20 hours on a carnival ride to win $1,000.

Check out 6 biblical "moving metaphors" from David Reimer.

Read about the Miami guy who was impersonating a bus driver, driving the routes, etc., but never stole any of the fare money. (HT Mental Floss)

Learn 10 things you didn't know about Elvis Presley.

Read about 5 Famous Christmas Songs Written by Jewish Songwriters.

Read 7 conversation topics to avoid if you don't want to risk being a bore.

Read John Piper's thoughts on whether or not God lies.

Read about the 16 year old French girl whose bank robbery days are over for a while, after 7 hold ups.

Check out Kevin Cawley's collection of best sermons on Ephesians. (HT Justin Taylor)

Read Johnny Mac's thoughts on Jesus being Fully Man and Fully God.

Read about the German police officers mistaken for strippers when trying to break up a raucous party.

Read about how to win a FREE copy of the Reformation Study Bible by subscribing to Conservative Reformed Mafia's outstanding blog.

Read about McCain & Obama making a joint appearance at Rick Warren's place (i.e., Saddleback Church) on August 16th at some leadership & compassion whammy. (HT Justin Taylor)

Read about the man who shot his lawnmower for not starting. What's so strange about that?

Read some musings on the explosion of "God wants you to have great sex" emphases among churches and Christian publishers.

Read Thabiti Anyabwile's thoughts on the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

Read about the 11 year old boy who pit a pit bull to fend off its attack.

Read Joshua Harris' thoughts on college students and church (commitment, or lack thereof).

Read as one homeschooler argues that Homeschooling Is NOT the Gospel. (HT Tim Challies)

Read about the Indian monkey god idol sent to Obama for good "luck" in November.

Check out John Piper's sermon series on baptism & church membership, a topic revisited at Bethlehem Baptist in Minneapolis.

Read about the Chicago suburb that outlawed "sagging" pants.

Read about church groups in St. Louis seeking divine assistance regarding gas prices.

Comment of the Week:
"Most HOA's are run by 15 annal retentive people that no one wants to deal with. All you have to do is find 20 reasonable people to out vote them. Just think of your typical small Baptist church. :)" (Timothy)
Listen to yesterday's sermon at Providence Church on Hebrews 10:26-27, "Forsaking the Community, Forsaking the Christ" by George "Horhay" Deines.
"[The television is] an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home."
-David Frost

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Friday, July 25, 2008

I hate Illinois Nazis.

I live in the suburbs, which has its benefits, but such suburbanite living comes at a cost ... The H.O.A.

Those 3 dreaded letters stand for Home Owners Association, but the organization goes by other names (e.g., The Gestapo, Yard Nazis, and The Man).

We bought our current house as a foreclosure, so it should come as no surprise the yard wasn't well maintained. Within a week of living here we got a letter in the mail, a "Dear Occupant" letter, the gist of which was, "The HOA is fining you 100 bones for weeds in your flowerbeds."

I sent them an email saying, "Y'all gonna make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here."

They were like, "Oh, that's a standard letter we send to that address. We'll hold off and let you get your scene under control."

Later we got a similar letter because Herr Göring spotted some sloogey boards in our privacy fence. Fix it ... or else.

We've probably got 6 of these notices in the 2 years we've been living up in this piece. The most recent one was really whacked.

Our neighbor put in a beautiful privacy fence (seen in the background of this picture). It makes my rickety grayed thing look bad, really bad. He did his whole fence and wanted us to kick a buck or two to help cover the cost of that which separates our yards.

Heinrich Himmler let us know that the staining of the fence was unapproved and the infraction needed to be fixed.

Well, the neighbor is presently in England and his mother-in-law inhabits the place. I'm like, "What, they want her to take down the fence? Replace it? Make it look like mine?"

I'm sure they ultimately want fences like this one for each of our houses.

C'mon. It's not like we have a recliner or a washer on the front porch or a stack of tires or an expired auto in the yard.

Stuff like this motivates me to find a piece of land where I can have a chain-link fence and shoot guns in my backyard and pretend I'm living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

So it's sorta social, demented and sad, but social. Right?

Previously, I addressed the incompatibility of Freemasonry and Christianity.

I was stoked to hear of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church's similar 1942 conclusion in their general assembly report: "Christ or the Lodge?" (HT Brother Hank)

“III. CONCLUSION

The committee finds that the evidence presented concerning the religion of Masonry permits but one conclusion. Although a number of the objections commonly brought against Masonry seem to the committee not to be weighty, yet it is driven to the conclusion that
Masonry is a religious institution and as such is definitely anti-Christian.

Far be it from the committee to assert that there are no Christians among the members of the Masonic fraternity. Just as a great many who trust for eternal life solely in the merits of Christ continue as members of churches that have denied the faith, so undoubtedly many sincere Christians, uninformed, or even misinformed, concerning the true character of Freemasonry, hold membership in it without compunction of conscience. But that in no way alters the fact that
membership in the Masonic fraternity is inconsistent with Christianity.
(emphasis mine)

I guess I'm down with OPC. Yeah, you know me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

If you're looking for a Clydesdale, I'm probably not your man.

Some great advice to live by:
  • Don't look for something in the Law which can only be found in the Gospel.
  • Don't look in yourself for what can only be found in Christ.
  • Don't look in your fellow creatures for which is only found in the Creator.
  • Don't look on earth for what is only to be found in Heaven.
-William Jay, of Bath England

(HT Bob Helmick, Providence Church elder)

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

Here's something you don't see everyday, a switch-pitcher. (HT Oilcan) See what happens when he meets a switch-hitter.


Check out Lance Ward's 6 criteria for song selection in worship.

Read Time Magazine's 10 Things You Might Like about $4 gasoline. (HT Tim Challies)

Read about the 11 year old boy who shoots his radar gun at speeders.

Read about the woman's house demolished because pranksters moved the demolition sign one house over . (HT Ray Fowler)

Read Tim Challies' review of What Is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti Anyabwile.

Check out Ray Fowler's video clip of Josh Hamilton's 28 homers in the 1st round of the derby in addition to some great thoughts on that young man's outlook on his past, present, and future.

Check out these dolls that are just a little too life-like for my liking.

Read ESPN's Peter Gammons' thoughts on Josh Hamilton as an inspiration in so many ways.

Read as Anthony Carter talks about the growing trend of young men having vasectomies to enjoy sexuality without any concerns regarding procreation.

Read the report that 2/3 of Egyptian men sexually harass women, the majority of which also blame the activity on the women themselves.

Read Sean Crowe's call for more hatred, a "lost art."

Read about the 4 things in your house dirtier than your toilet.

Read an interview with Timothy George regarding Reformed Theology, the terminology and practical implications.

Read about the girl's dad who tried to rob the pizza joint where she was working. (HT Lance)

Read Why Join a Church? by Don Whitney.

Read about the Greatest Question Ever Asked by the Devil.

Check out 10 Tools Every Man Should Have.

Read about the NFL hiring experts to look for gang signs players might be flashing.

Read as Tyler Kenney of Desiring God's blog argues that having the Bible is better than having been there.

Read about the church teen giveaway (a gun) that had to be canceled ... er, postponed. (HT Lance)

Read about South Korea's new high-tech product: Cloned dogs.

Read Tom Ascol's advice on how to fire your pastor.

Read about the snake handling pastor arrested for possession of poisonous snakes, which is illegal in Kentucky, along with the handling. (HT Ray Fowler)

Read about a non-unique case of child marriage, rape & divorce in Yemen. (HT Jade)

Read about hundreds of manhole covers and grates being stolen in Flint, Michigan.

Read about Mark Driscoll's interaction/interview with J.I. Packer, particularly their discussion of homosexuality in Christianity.

Read 9 things you (probably) didn't know about Benjamin Franklin.

Comment of the Week:
"Haters can say what they will about Aikman and Irvin, but I always appreciated that their careers ended on the field by going down in battle. That is a fitting end for a champion." (Oilcan)
Listen to yesterday's sermon at Providence Church on Matthew 6:33, "A Radical Call, a Radical Obedience" by Ragan Ewing.
"Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon."
-Susan Ertz

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights will make a left.

Reepicheep has raised the issue of the American Family Association's boycott of McDonald's because of it's efforts to advance the homosexual agenda, wondering how others might respond.

(See also the Baptist Press article, "McDonald's joins the gay agenda.")

I know some will say, "Hey, every corporation is sloogey, so don't worry about it.

I know some will say, "That's not a very loving approach for Christians to have."

I know some will say, "Christians have an obligation to ensure that not one penny of God's money goes to support shenanigans of any kind."

Well, I don't eat at McDonald's because I don't like it. I guess I'll join the boycott by passive inactivity.

But, I think it's a valid concern to wonder how much effort is required on our part to ensure our money (i.e., God's, of which we are stewards) isn't going to causes we're against, whatever they might be.

But, I guess once you know, it's a different story. Ignorance is no longer an excuse and knowing is half the battle.

For example, if I knew for sure the local burger joint was owned by a pedophile who split all his proceeds between the Al Qaeda, the Texas Longhorns football, Scientology, and the North American Man Boy Love Association, then I would not dine there.

I use that example, not because it's true, at least I hope not, but because that might seem a no brainer, from my perspective. That might appear to be clearly over the line.

But that raises the question, "Where is your line?"

What would you have to know about a business before you intentionally shunned it?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!

All this talk about Brett Favre and his potential un-retirement brings to mind my favorite Favre game of all time, the 1995 NFC Championship game ... in Dallas.

Enjoy these highlights as you see some guys I wish could come out of retirement.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

One of the most painful interviews I've ever seen. This interviewer exhibits all that's bad in the genre. (HT Justin Taylor)


Check out (pdf) a sneak peek at the Introduction to the Psalms from the ESV Study Bible.

Read about the new credit card machine that couples can rent for their wedding whereby guest can swipe their cards to contribute to matrimonial happiness.

Check out the Evangelical Outpost's most overrated/underrated movies by category.

Check out a response with other offerings for most overrated/underrated movies by category.

Read about the employee who thought she would be fired, so she fired a preemptive strike.

Read about founding member Heather Payne leaving Point of Grace to focus on being a mom.

Read about the man suing a Tennessee church because he was "Slain in the Spirit" and subsequently injured.

Check out the controversy over the New Yorker's new "terrorist" Obama cover. (HT Jade)

Read about Faith-Based Berenstain Bears Books to be published by Zonderkidz. (HT Ray Fowler)

Read about the man who earned a Guinness record by sitting in 39,250 seats in 48 hours at the Rose Bowl.

Read Ed Stetzer's thoughts on change in church. (e.g., how, when, why, etc.)

Get a free download of Jonathan Edwards' Religious Affections thanks to Tim Challies. Enter challies08 as the coupon code to get it free. You can also read it along with Challies and his blog readers.

Read about the desecrated Hitler wax figure being restored and returned to the Berlin Madame Tussauds.

Read as John MacArthur addresses the question, "If God is sovereign, is he responsible for evil?"

Read Rev's concerns with the movie "Facing the Giants" and the message it may send and the theology it may have bought into.

Read about the man who called the cops when his crack deal went bad.

Read Tom Ascol's thoughts on Racism, the Gospel, and Presidential Politics.

Read about one more industry trying to gain customers via gasoline giveaways, the brothel.

Read John Piper's perspective on why God doesn't always explain pain.

Read about the Colorado man who was borrowing books and DVDs from the library and then selling them.

Read John MacArthur on why we need local churches.

Read about those in Taiwan having to be taught how to use the potty.

Read Eric Redmond's attempt to answer the question, "How can any Christian African American vote for Obama?"

Watch a video clip of Ronald Reagan's use of humor.

Read some Ronald Reagan quotes.

Scope out one pastor's unique approach to getting a pastoral position, auctioning his family on eBay. (HT Tim Challies)

Read as Heather Koerner wonders if the "women & children first" men on the Titanic were heroes or sexist. (HT Tim Challies)

Read about the Russian woman who killed her drunk husband with a folding couch.

Read Brent Thomas' thoughts on one of the greatest challenges church plants, resentment from established churches wanting to protect their turf (i.e., turf wars). He's right, you know.

Read about a new mathematics PhD student at Oxford, he's from Hong Kong and 17.

Read 5 reasons one family is moving toward adoption.

Read Ed Stetzer's thoughts on age analysis of the SBC annual meetings.

Read as Mark Dever shares one of their secrets to great community, limiting small groups to members.

Read about felt needs and the miracles of Jesus, wondering if Jesus really met felt needs to draw a crowd.

Read about some of the myths of red and blue states.

Read John Piper's sermon on the importance of church membership.

Read about the tragedy in Gotham: No Yankees in the first & last Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium. (HT Jade)

Read John Piper's collection of contrasting thoughts on hell from Clark Pinnock & Dorothy Sayers.

Read about a tiny bee causing a helicopter crash.

Read Steve Camp's concerns over the phrase "Scream of the Damned," which has been popularized by Mahaney & Piper, to refer to Christ's words on the cross.

Read about how to work less and still impress.

Read about Jesse Jackson having to apologize for a comment he made about Barack Obama: "I want to cut his [testicles] off."

Comments of the Week:
"Anyway, the link to '30 Articles That Will Simplify Your Life'....um, I think 30 sentences would have been better. I mean, if you are looking for simplicity in your life - it's usually because you are already overbooked and exhausted - so, who has time to read 30 ARTICLES?" (Kelly)

Listen to yesterday's sermon at Providence Church on Psalm 115:1, "Non Nobis Domine: Reflected Glory."
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
- Winston Churchill

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

As the French say, that certain "I don't know what."

Among others, John Calvin would be celebrating his birthday today. Had his life not been prematurely cut off thanks to Adam's fall, he would be 499 today.

Next year, brother, the big 5-0-0!

(Read about upcoming celebrations.)

Perhaps my favorite Calvin quote:
"Man is never sufficiently touched and affected by the awareness of his lowly state until he has compared himself with God's majesty."
- John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, I.1.3

Happy Birthday to Jean Cauvin, my favorite French guy (he just had that je ne sais quoi) and the inspiration for one half of a great cartoon.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Well, I'll tell you something, this is no longer a vacation. It's a quest! It's a quest for fun!

It's Vacation Bible School this week at Providence Church. We're doing the Answers in Genesis' new curriculum and so far it's been pretty good, meaty and yet fun.

In particular, I've liked their 7 Cs of History Bible overview, attached to a memory verse.

Creation - Genesis 1:31
Corruption - Romans 5:12
Catastrophe - Genesis 7:23
Confusion - Genesis 11:9
Christ - John 3:16 (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:45-49)
Cross - Romans 6:23
Consummation - Revelation 21:4

UPDATE: Check out some photos from VBS.

Cf. So, what are the 7 Cs anyway?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.

I ... uh ... have this friend ... who watched this past season of the Bachelorette.

He just has to say that he never saw the past 2 episodes coming.

It was shocking that Graham was cut and didn't make the final 3, but you could see how that was his own fault. The final rose, or at least a trip to the finals, was his to lose.

But Jeremy not making the final 2? Wow, I couldn't believe he was beat out by Jesse. Yeah, Jesse the rad snowboarder. Jeremy was my guy from the beginning, so I ... uh my friend was already getting concerned.

But Jesse beating Jason for the final rose and engagement? Who would have seen that coming? I couldn't believe he made it into the top 12 and figured he was just around for comic relief.

Either it's me ... uh ... either my friend just doesn't understand women or Deana was much less predictable than expected.

Well, congratulations, Jesse & Deana. Knucks ... explode it with a view toward May 9, 2009.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

View this summary of the results of The Onion's survey of children regarding health care.


Check out this article on the genius of Tony LaRussa leading a spare team with its best talent on the DL to the 2nd best record in the NL. (HT Jade)

Read God Is Not Dead Yet: How Philosophers Argue for His existence, by William Lane Craig of Christianity Today.

Read Brother Hank's account of the SBC church he visited as it celebrated independence on Sunday.

Read 50 Habits of "Naturally Thin" People.

Read about John McCain's meeting with Franklin & Billy Graham.

Browse Police Department auctions online, including seized or unclaimed items from nationwide police departments.

Read about the controversy caused when Rene Marie secretly changed the words of the Star Spangled Banner to the "Black National Anthem" at the mayor's State of the City address & celebration. (HT Chia)

Read about one disgruntled tourist who tore the head off the Hitler wax figure at Berlin's new branch of Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Included are the stipulations already in place to remember, but not honor the Fascist dictator.

Read 12 ways to become an environmentalist and increase home energy savings without changing your lazy lifestyle.

Read Tim Challies' suggestions for New Testament commentaries.

Check out an online First Aid Guide from the Mayo Clinic.

Read Brent Thomas' thoughts on church discipline: If you don't practice it, you don't believe it.

Read about the students given detention for not participating in class exercises demonstrating Muslim prayers to Allah. (HT Awe)

Read about the man busted by videotaping alternatively his dad and vice versa with a stolen stun gun.

Read the top 10 nutritional facts for coffee, including potential benefits & risks.

Check out Brother Hank's post entitled, Reproductive Self-Determination and the Bondage of the Pill: Preaching like Calvinists and Procreating like Arminians.

Read about the man who fakes heart attacks to avoid paying restaurant bills and cab fares.

Read and/or hear of Stephen Colbert's professed faith.

Browse this collection of 30 articles that will help simplify your life.

View the world's strangest vehicles (Parts 1, 2 and 3).

Read about US supremacy as Joey Chestnut beat Takeru Kobayashi to reclaim the hot dog eating championship, though it took extra innings.

Read about how DJs can increase and encourage consumption of drinks.

Read 9 facts you might not know about the Statue of Liberty.

Read about how to help toddlers take medicine.

Read about the problems inherent in "window shopping" (i.e., ogling) and what to do about it.

Read 16 ways to save $100.

Read Johnny Mac on Christians & Civil Disobedience.

Read about the diminished wages of those who "sound black," whether white or black, from Stephen Levitt.

View the top baby names for every year since 1880.

Read about the miniature dachshund that gnawed off diabetic owner's big toe, while she was sleeping.


Comments of the Week:
  • "Once again I think you bring up some good points Gunny on doctrinal switches, but even if I believe in Infant Baptism, can't I just get me kid sprinkled somewhere else :o)" (Lionel Woods)
  • "Seriously though, leaving a church can be done without burning bridges and scorching the earth, or without sneaking off in the dark. I have been amazed and deeply disappointed in the manner in which I have seen some otherwise respected believers leave my church family, literally without even a good bye after knowing these folks for years." (Oilcan)
Listen to yesterday's sermon at Providence Church on Philippians 3:12-16, "Pressing on to Perfection."
"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."
- Rick Cook

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Friday, July 04, 2008

C'mon! We're all going to die; die standing up!

With the flags waving and fireworks bursting in air, here are my favorite patriotic movies. Some of these really resonated with my growth and development of living overseas during the cold war.

These are movies that make me proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
  1. Red Dawn
  2. Rocky IV
  3. Patton
  4. Sergeant York
  5. Rambo: First Blood Part II
  6. (Escape to) Victory
  7. Platoon
  8. The Right Stuff
  9. We Were Soldiers
  10. Glory
  11. Miracle
  12. Men of Honor
  13. Top Gun
  14. An Officer and a Gentleman
  15. Patriot Games
  16. Stripes
  17. Firefox
  18. Missing in Action
  19. Red Heat
  20. Spies Like Us
Miss any?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Our choices are what make us who we are. We always have the choice to do what's right.

It's easy to forget that there are still soldiers whose lives are at risk in Iraq. Some good bull to remind us via one man's sacrificial valor. (HT LTC. Michael J. Hartman (ret.))

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for jumping on a grenade thrown by an insurgent in Ramadi, giving his life to save 2 fellow SEALs in Iraq on St. Michael's day, September 29, 2006.

Per President Bush, he was the "4th Medal of Honor recipient in the 'War on Terror.'" He is the 2nd Navy Seal lost in Iraq and was the son of a Marine and a social worker. In addition to his parents, he is survived by his older brother, a police officer and former Marine; his sister, a nurse; and his younger brother, a college football player.
"Mr. and Mrs. Monsoor: America owes you a debt that can never be repaid. This nation will always cherish the memory of your son. We will not let his life go in vain. And this nation will always honor the sacrifice he made. May God comfort you. May God bless America."
-President Bush, at award ceremony (April 08, 2008)

During Mike Monsoor's funeral in San Diego, as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, SEALs were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of two's, with the coffin moving up the center. As Mike's coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.

The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. A fitting send-off for a warrior hero, dead at age 25.

(PO2 Monsoor was also awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the CAR.)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

there is such a thing as manners, a way of treating people. These fish have manners.

QUICK TIPS: IF YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT LEAVING A CHURCH ...

Before You Decide to Leave
  1. Pray.
  2. Let your current pastor know about your thinking before you move to another church or make your decision to relocate to another city. Ask for his counsel.
  3. Weigh your motives. Is your desire to leave because of sinful, personal conflict or disappointment? If it's because of doctrinal reasons, are these doctrinal issues significant?
  4. Do everything within your power to reconcile any broken relationships.
  5. Be sure to consider all the "evidences of grace" you've seen in the church's life--places where God's work is evident. If you cannot see any evidences of God's grace, you might want to examine your own heart once more (Matt. 7:3-5).
  6. Be humble. Recognize you don't have all the facts and assess people and circumstances charitably (give them the benefit of the doubt).

If You Go
  1. Don't divide the body.
  2. Take the utmost care not to sow discontent even among your closest friends. Remember, you don't want anything to hinder their growth in grace in this church. Deny any desire to gossip (sometimes referred to as "venting" or "saying how you feel").
  3. Pray for and bless the congregation and its leadership. Look for ways of doing this practically.
  4. If there has been hurt, then forgive--even as you have been forgiven.
-Mark Dever, What Is a Healthy Church? (p. 57)

I think I might add the necessity of an "exit interview" in the event of departure to share how the church might improve in the areas you found lacking.

Prior to leaving, I think it's helpful for all involved to express concerns along the way, as opposed to sharing a laundry list of things that have been bugging you for months or years. It may be possible the leadership doesn't know and they can't fix it if they don't know it's broken. Also, after sharing those concerns, offer to be of help in fixing them, being part of the solution.


Any other thoughts?

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