ALWAYS REFORMING: A sinner saved by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone adhering to Scripture alone to bring about reform personally, for his family, church, and world to the glory of God alone.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Of my friend, I can only say this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most . . . human.
I came across a list of "10 Movies It's Okay for Guys to Cry at." The list is all wrong, but I thought the concept was interesting.
Here are the movies it's okay for a man to cry while watching and still be considered a man (i.e., his Man Card is not put in jeopardy).
In no particular order ... The Top 20 Movies during which Men May Cry:
1. Old Yeller - This is beyond dispute. If fact, there's something wrong with you if you didn't cry when Old Yeller got shot.
2. Rocky II - When he says, "Yo, Adrian! I did it!" ... Niagra Falls, baby.
3. The Green Mile - Knowing the end of an innocent man.
4. Schindler's List - Many moments, of course.
5. Forrest Gump - When Forrest reads the letter at Jenny's grave ... oh yeah, touching.
6. The Champ - Little Ricky Schroeder crying, saying, "Wake him up, Jackie." Maybe it was because I was a kid, but that left quite an impression.
7. Where the Red Fern Grows - If you've seen it you know, especially if you're a dog lover.
8. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest - Great movie and even greater book, but seeing what Chief does prior to his exit is quite moving.
9. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan - The touching scene between Kirk & Spock centered around sacrifice.
10. Men of honor - When DeNiro orders Cuba Gooding, Jr. to walk in his suit.
11. The Passion of the Christ - Never have I been so moved by a movie, especially one I could never watch again.
12. City of Angels - The end ... I won't spoil it for you, but it's good.
13. Excalibur - Being caught by the Lady of the Lake at the end.
14. The Mission - The ending, naturally.
15. Pay It Forward - The ending, of course.
16. Remember the Titans - When they win for their fallen teammate. One of the best movies of all time in its own right.
17. Family Man - Late at night when he ponders his last moments with his kids.
18. Butterfly Effect (Director's cut, not sloogey version) - How Devon brings about the end of the/his narrative.
19. Somewhere in Time - Richard Collier's departure and denouement.
20. ? ? ?
No offense to Oilcan, but An Officer and a Gentleman didn't make the list, nor did Terms of Endearment. Beyond that, I'm open to suggestions for number 20.
Read about the ruckus in Spain over a political candidate sharing of his first sexual experience coming in a brothel, to the ire of his female opposition, making accusations of encouraging prostitution.
Read about the German thief who apologized and paid restitution after feeling guilty.
Read about the Muslim man convicted of child cruelty for encouraging kids to flail themselves.
Read Denny Burk on Using "God's Will" to Manipulate.
Check out the slide show Presidents Say the Darndest Things. (HT Jenn)
Read about the inventor of the :-) emoticon (smiley).
Read about the priest stabber inspired by the Da Vinci Code.
Read about God's High Call for Women per Grace Community Church (John MacArthur).
Read about the pastor sentenced for stealing the church's Hurricane Katrina relief funds.
Read about the candidate for governor who drowned in a publicity stunt in Bangkok.
ReadHow to Be a Fool, in 4 Easy Steps by Dan Phillips of Pyromaniacs.
Read about the man who stole the beer truck, but abandoned it once he saw it was empty.
Buy your life size Sarah Palin wall sticker from WallMonkeys.
Read about R.C. Sproul's talk on If God is sovereign, how can man be free? at the recent Ligonier conference.
Read about Japan holding an adult diaper fashion show.
Read about Johnny Mac's talk on Why does God allow so much suffering and evil? at the recent Ligonier conference.
Check out the recap of the recent Founders Conference Southwest in Mansfield, which I attended and enjoyed greatly.
Comment of the Week: "More validation that I can and should preach in my Speedo Sunday. Service starts at 10:40." (Lance)Listen to yesterday's sermon at Providence Church on Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 "More than a Watchmaker" "What's money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do." -Bob Dylan
Tough guys don't do math. Tough guys fry chicken for a living.
Contrary to what you might think, we send our children to (heathen) public elementary school.
We've actually dabbled with a Christian private school, but found it a less appealing option for a variety of reasons. So far, we've had very few complaints and have been blessed with great teachers and principals.
Yet, I do have a complaint. What's up with my kids having homework and repeatedly having to cover stuff like how to get out of our house during a fire or how to identify hazards in our home, etc.?
Apparently, per my wife, they also teach bicycle safety and how to brush your teeth.
Teach them academic stuff, for crying out loud. I can teach my kids stop, drop, and roll.
Sometimes it takes a few items to get me thinking, this time about modesty.
I saw this piece about a man fined $25 for walking topless on a public street. This seems odd, though it would be understandable if it was a woman walking topless.
Also, one of my kids asked me why I was not wearing a shirt around the house, to which I responded with, "That how I roll."
I was then asked, "How come girls can't go without a shirt?" To that I responded with, "Well, I guess that's just how our country rolls."
But thinking about modesty I wondered if Christians were more culturally dependent than we care to admit. I had addressed modesty before as being about more than just clothing, but I wonder particularly about clothing at this time.
Prior to the fall ...
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. -Genesis 2:25
After the fall ...
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. -Genesis 3:7
We've been having trouble with these issues ever since. But are we culturally dependent on defining modesty? Should we be?
Did the Bible decree shirts optional for men? Did the Bible define different levels of modesty depending on venue?
Can we be guilty of hypocrisy if we decry "cultural relativism," but then say you can wear something on the beach, but not at the mall?
There's been a slight change in the narrative, an unexpected twist, you might say.
The Cowboys beat the Packers for the first time at Lambeau Field Sunday night.
But I was most impressed with Terrell Owens. He impressed me in ways I never would have expected.
His numbers were pedestrian: 2 catches for 17 yards, no touchdowns, and 1 dropped ball.
1. Despite his lack of involvement and assumed frustration, you never saw Owens yelling or asking, "Why am I here?" or complaining in the least. The camera kept on him on the sidelines with the expectation we'd get some of that, but Owens restrained any personal frustration he might have been feeling.
2. Tony Romo threw an interception in the end zone and the safety had visions of running it back. He did for 61 yards, but it could have been much more. After getting knocked to the ground after the interception, Owens was the one who raced up the field and tackled the thief from behind. The bad guys only got a field goal out of that drive, but it certainly could have been more.
3. Felix Jones had a 60 yard touchdown run and on it Terrell Owens hustled down the field to block for him to make sure he made it into the end zone untouched. Another hustle play whereby he was working hard for the glory of another.
I was surprised we didn't hear Madden or Michaels mention these hustle plays, but they may not like Owens. Nonetheless, those plays contributed to a night where I was the most impressed with Terrell Owens that I've been.
I don't want to overly harsh in criticizing his previous corpus of work or overstate his performance in last night's game, but has Terrell Owens perhaps turned the corner in becoming a team player? If last night is any indication, I'd say he certainly has.
ReadA New Proposal for Racial Healing and Reconciliation, including some good action steps. (HT Lionel Woods)
Read about Florida police using a taser on a nude man walking his dog.
Read Michael McKinley's post at the IX Marks blog about a new church plant in his area asking, "Would you come to church if the music didn't s*ck?" This tops almost everything I've seen in church marketing.
Read the Washington Post story about some surprising findings about the mega church movement versus the small church. (HT Denny Burk)
Read Zach Nielsen's review of the 1st chapter (Is This Verse in Your Bible? by C.J. Mahaney) of Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World.
ReadHow (Not) to Raise a Pharisee by Kurt Gebhards, pastor of children's ministries at Grace Community Church.
Read Jay Nordlinger's National Review piece "Something about Sarah," wondering why feminists hate her. (HT Tim Challies) "I have a friend who is both feminist and left-leaning. I asked her why they hate Palin so much. She said, 'Because she’s had it all: family, career. And she did it without a man like Bill Clinton helping her. She did it on her own.'"
Read Reepicheep's contention that the GOP is mishandling Palin's foreign policy deficiency. Comment of the Week: "You know what they say, 'Ignorance is bliss.' Then again, who are they, and why do they have so much to say? And furthermore, have you ever noticed how so much of what they say sounds like bad theology? And finally, where are they, because I have some questions for them?" (Sean Crowe)Listen to yesterday's sermon at Providence Church on Ecclesiastes 1:12--2:26 "Trivial Pursuits" "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." -Albert Einstein
It's easy. It tastes alright, but it doesn't really provide you any nourishment.
Sometimes it's easier to have bad theology.
Recently, I was in a theological discussion with my oldest daughter, addressing her inquiry into why God doesn't save everybody.
I explained that in God's perfect plan He can do everything He wants to do, so He does (Ps 115:3; Job 42:2). But He has decided to do somethings for some people that He doesn't do for everyone. We didn't have time to get into common vs. special grace or whatnot, and I knew she felt the tension between our perceptions of what it means that God is good and our perceptions of what it means that God is all powerful.
There's a tension there that I think is biblical, but isn't easy for a 9 year old to comprehend.
It's akin to what Tommy Nelson said,
"If God is sovereign, He is powerful enough to eliminate evil. If He is good, He would. Since evil clearly exists, God must not be sovereign or He must not be good."
It must be nice to be among those who think God has done all He can or is doing all He can, but is limited.
Sometimes it's easier to have bad theology.
Like today in the backyard with my youngest playing with our dog, Rocky. She saw a cross and said, "Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins."
I said, "That's right. And then what happened?"
She said, "Then Jesus rose again. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins and Jesus died for Rocky too."
At this point I'm thinking, "How nice it would be to be able to say, 'Of course, honey, Jesus died so Rocky could go to heaven' or say, "If Rocky believes in Jesus then he will be saved.'"
It probably wouldn't have hurt anything for our dog to undergo perpetual evangelism attempts, but I decided instead to explain to her the difference between humans being created in the image of God dogs just being ... well ... uh ... dogs.
I'm not sure she got all that, but I definitely found myself thinking, sometimes it's easier to have bad theology.
If you missed it, you may want to read it for context, but I thought I would respond to a comment made on that post last week, particularly since my view has changed somewhat.
The (9/10/2008) comment:
"I really hope that this entire blog was meant humorously and not to offer spiritual advice of any kind. The idea of "net increase" is especially bizarre. You gave no consideration to the fact that successive generations will also likely bear children, so increasing in number would be cumulative in nature. Even if parents had a only one child, there is an increase. Simple math proves that. 2+1=3
The whole golf analogy is just silly. A birdie is one less than par, not one more! You make it seem as though there are penalties and rewards based on the number of children a couple has."
My response ...
Well, my original post starts with:
"Previously, I posted my suspicion of the modernistic notion of quantification (These Go to Eleven), partially so that when I posted this diatribe it would be taken in a light-hearted manner. So, before the "sub-par" golfers try to throw me under the bus, you may want to read the aforementioned post.
Okay, with that caveat made ... let me have some fun with it."
That being said, I will interact with the above criticisms.
"You gave no consideration to the fact that successive generations will also likely bear children, so increasing in number would be cumulative in nature. Even if parents had a only one child, there is an increase. Simple math proves that. 2+1=3"
Actually, that's not so, per very simple math. Take 8 couples, each producing one child. 16 people just produced 8. Those 8 pair up and produce 4 kids. Those 4 pair up and produce 2 kids. Those 2 pair up and produce 1 child.
So, in "successive generations" of having only 1 child the population decreases dramatically, as is seen in the above example where the population went from 16 to 1 in just 4 generations.
"The whole golf analogy is just silly. A birdie is one less than par, not one more!"
Well, the golf analogy works because a birdie is ONE BETTER than par.
"You make it seem as though there are penalties and rewards based on the number of children a couple has."
It had been quite a while since I read this piece, but reading it again, I think that's either an unfair accusation or misunderstanding of the post.
The children are themselves the reward, according to the post and according to Scripture (e.g., Ps 127:3-5).
Continuing with the trend of seriousness, I would be interested in hearing a biblical argument in favor of being able to have many children, but choosing instead to have 0, 1 or 2. Or really, one might say to limit the number at all.
Since this post, I have actually become more convinced that even the church has bought into the cultural perception of children as things to be avoided or minimized lest they cramp our style.
This is often voiced as, "We can't afford X number of children."
But is that really true?
I'll close with this, if the biblical command is to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”, then the burden of proof lies on those taking measures to prevent that from happening.
I'm not saying the only legitimate reason to have woo-hoo is for procreation, but when people mock a mother who has a 5th child, considering her irresponsibile, the church should at least be ready to enter the conversation with the biblical value on children.
Remember, it's "Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!" (Ps 127:5) and not cursed or punished.
Love it. In a world where everyone's a victim, even the victimizers, it's refreshing to hear a "take responsibility for your actions" sound byte. (HT Anthony Bradley)
Read John Mark Reynolds on How To Sound Smart In Politics: A Ten Step Tutorial To The Academic Bluff. (HT Justin Taylor)
Read about Nicole Kidman being named most overpaid celebrity.
Read about the European pole dancing competition this weekend.
"I think one day it should be an Olympic sport -- but that will take time. You would have to agree which moves on which to judge competitors, at the moment we all have such different routines," she added.
Readone Democrat's lamenting of the ineptitude of the Obama campaign, particularly in trying to dig up dirt to sling mud at Sarah Palin. If nothing else, it's worth a look just to see the picture posted.
Read about this excuse for bad driving: The passenger spilled my beer.
Well, fortunately, I had my fingers crossed the whole time.
One of the recurring themes of this presidential election is the affections of the supporters of Hillary Clinton. I shared a link a few Mondays back where Geraldine Ferraro gave a good overview of the different kinds of Hillary supporters and who might vote for the McCain/Palin ticket, particularly the PUMA group and a video where she explained the probability further.
My own contention is that if I was a Hillary supporter, I would vote for McCain/Palin in 2008.
If Obama wins in 2008, then he clearly runs again as the Democratic nominee in 2012. What that means is that at best Hillary could have a crack at the Democratic Party's nomination in 2016 (i.e., 8 years).
Hillary will be 61 next month. She would be 69 at the time of the 2016 election.
I submit to you that she will be considered too old at that point. The American people like the pretty politicians and we're in an era where youth and potential are highly valued, more so than experience. Obama and Palin should tell you that.
Plus, our country is sexist in many ways, particularly the superficiality whereby men grow older and become more distinguished looking, but women are judged much more harshly regarding age.
If you're a Democrat and just want your party to win, then you vote Obama. But, if you're a die-hard supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton or of a liberal woman president, vote for McCain/Palin.
If Hillary is content to be a senator, that's fine, but if she REALLY wants to be president, I think in the quiet privacy of her voting booth, she'll be pulling the level for John S. McCain. I know she gave a speech in favor of Barack Hussein Obama, but perhaps you didn't notice she had her fingers crossed the whole time.
Talk about marketing. Buy this or the terrorists have already won and dogs will die.
ReadPeggy Noonan's piece describing Sarah Palin as "A Clear and Present Danger to the American Left." (HT Justin Taylor)
"Because she jumbles up so many cultural categories, because she is a feminist not in the Yale Gender Studies sense but the How Do I Reload This Thang way, because she is a woman who in style, history, moxie and femininity is exactly like a normal American feminist and not an Abstract Theory feminist; because she wears makeup and heels and eats mooseburgers and is Alaska Tough, as Time magazine put it; because she is conservative, and pro-2nd Amendment and pro-life; and because conservatives can smell this sort of thing -- who is really one of them and who is not -- and will fight to the death for one of their beleaguered own; because of all of this she is a real and present danger to the American left, and to the Obama candidacy."
Read Brent Thomas' thoughts on the "Jesus doesn't want you to be like Him" trend.
Read about the cremated father reunited with his family ... alive.
ReadAl Mohler's thoughts on Sarah Palin becoming a grandmother sooner than expected: An Unexpected New Motherhood Debate.
Read as Johnny Mac addresses the question, "Is Divine Election Unfair?"
ReadStuff White People Like #118: Appearing to Enjoy Classical Music.
Read the Newsweek bit about Sarah Palin's church background: A Visit to Palin's Church.
Read the results 2/3 of Americans would prefer to be stranded on a deserted island with their pets rather than their mates.
Read as Jay the Bennett address the question, "How are the full benefit of Christ's atonement acquired?" Good slooge here.
Read about the cat that survived a 70 mile trip under its owner's truck.
Read a biblical evaluation of a woman president on Reformed Baptist Fellowship's blog.
Read Stephanie Woodward's explanation of why she agrees with Obama ... and why she won't vote for him.
Read Denny Burk's thoughts on the alleged Southern Baptist "double standard" of allowing women to lead a nation, but not a church.
Read Denny Burk's thoughts on whether or not a complementarian viewpoint allows for women working outside of the home at all.
Read about How Obama Lost the Election by Spengler. "Obama will spend the rest of his life wondering why he rejected the obvious road to victory, that is, choosing Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential nominee."
Read some slooge on Jonathan Edwards and "Predestinarian Evangelism" as part of the weekly Edwards bit done by Jay the Bennett.
Read John Piper's thoughts on whether or not God can weep over what He wills.
ReadTimothy's thoughts on Hebrews 10:22 with regard to Baptism and pray for my repeated attempts to get him to come on over to Baptistic side. The SBC has given the PCA at least 4 blue chippers and I'd certainly like to see a little recompense.
Watch a video clip Gunny posted at Conservative Reformed Mafia of Newt Gingrich defending Sarah Palin's experience with a little edge to him.
Read a great piece about Sarah Palin by Doug Wilson: "John Has Slain His Thousands." He notes, "... she presents an absolutely devastating challenge to the feminist narrative for women" and that she "might be uniquely positioned" to do something about Roe vs. Wade.
Read Reepicheep's assertion that Americans vote based on their wallets.
Ponder the question, "Was Jesus a Social Drinker?"
Read as the Irish Calvinist ponders why the conventions are orchestrated as they are if "preaching is outdated" and people don't go for that kind of communication.
Runner up for Comment of the Week,Fred Thompson: "They're not gonna tax your family. No, they're just gonna tax businesses. So, unless you buy something from a business, like groceries, clothes, or gasoline, or unless you get a paycheck from a business, a big business or a small business, don't worry. It's not gonna affect you."
Comment of the Week: "As I sat watching [Sarah Palin's] speech last night, I was certain that Hilary Clinton was sitting at home, watching this, thinking....when I grow up - I wanna be just like Sarah Palin!" (Kelly)Listen to yesterday's sermon at Providence Church on Philippians 4:14-13 "Content in/through Christ." "Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate." -Author Unknown (HT Steph)
It's officially NFL football season and I thought I'd entertain the oft-debated question of the greatest NFL running backs of all time.
Not just yardage or yards per attempt, though the hard stats are helpful, but who were the greatest all around running backs, as far as durability, value to their teams, running, receiving, blocking, etc.?
ESPN's experts have compiled their top 10 and it's pretty good, except where it deviates from mine, of course. I welcome your thoughts, but trust me, my list is correct.
Jim Brown - Admittedly, I go on reputation and stats alone, but he seems to be the Babe Ruth of running backs and in a league of his own. Remember, he averaged 5.2 yards per carry, which means handing him the ball would probably get you half a first down every time.
Barry Sanders - I hate putting him above my Cowboys, but he was phenomenal with a spare team and he could have easily done much more had he not retired early.
Tony Dorsett - It may be heresy to rate him above Emmitt, but Dorsett was so explosive and a great threat catching passes out of the backfield. He was also a central piece of a very successful Cowboys team.
Emmitt Smith - Not only was he great on the field, he was an inspiration and the gauge of his team. As went Emmitt, so went the Cowboys. Of course, being the All-Time Rushing Leader doesn't hurt any. Perhaps unfairly, Emmitt's accomplishments can get downplayed because he played on such a great time with such a great offensive line, even though he also contributed and made that line look good.
Earl Campbell - He was a man among boys it seems and arguably the least fun to try to tackle. Had he not been a hated Longhorn, he might have ranked higher.
Walter Payton - He was another punished by being on a subpar team, but he still managed to break Jim Brown's rushing record.
Eric Dickerson - Many times I was juked out of my socks just watching him on the couch. He just seemed to have another gear on the field. I think his reputation would be greater had he been privileged to play for one franchise instead of 4.
Marshall Faulk - Mister Everything it seemed there for a while with the Rams, in his prime who wouldn't have prioritized him over just about anyone else playing?
O.J. Simpson - I know he may be a murderer, but prior to all that or his Naked Gun movies, the Juice was loose all over the NFL. He was another who wasn't fortunate to play on a perennial top team, but still put up absurd numbers.
Marcus Allen - Though never a Raider fan, it was hard not to respect his abilities on the field.
Honorable Mention, guys whose careers could have been in their league, but circumstances derailed them: Bo Jackson, Gale Sayers, and Hershael Walker.
Guys to Watch: Adrian Peterson and Ladainian Tomlinson.
What about Sarah Palin? She was impressive Friday morning, but will she have the "deer in the headlights look" tonight after the several rough days she's endured since? Would this gamble pay off?
Expectations on her have been great, and the speech was no exception. I think she met them as well as the "small town" rookie looked anything but tonight.
First, her heart had to have been warmed by the lengthy & enthusiastic ovation she received on her approached to the podium.
A few things were repeats of Friday's sound bytes, but good to hear again, particularly for the newcomers.
She (re)introduced the family, including her son who's enlisted in the Army, deploying to Iraq 9/11 of 2009. Speaking to those with loved ones in the military, she noted that, "As the mother of one of those troops, [McCain] is exactly the kind of man I want as Commander-in-Chief."
Shots of the family were touching, particularly for me Piper's hesitation to stand up and then enthusiastic waving to the crowd and the American viewers. We also saw Trig, her infant son with Down's Syndrome, with daddy waving his little hand for him toward the crowd.
She particularly addressed families of "special needs children," explaining that they would have a "friend and advocate in the White House."
Though not officially introduced, what seemed to be Bristol's male suitor was on hand, holding her hand on the stage. Can you imagine what his life has been like the past week?
Governor Palin introduced her parents, who had both worked at the elementary school. They taught her the simple lesson that "This is American and every woman can walk through every door of opposition." This, of course, got the ladies in the crowd jazzed and it was nice to have the GOP being the party inspiring women to follow their dreams.
She continued to share her feel good story about how she was just a small town hockey mom who signed up for the PTA and got involved to make the school, town, state, and country a better place.
One of her best funnies was when she asked, "What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?" The answer: "Lipstick."
She defended her experience as mayor by explaining what she did in that role, "what the job involves." She said, it was "sort of like a 'community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities." Ouch! Obama felt that one very much.
She portrayed herself as outside of the Washington circles, which means she's not corrupted by their ways. "I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment."
She then explained how that has been very costly to her as the media have relentlessly attacked her the past several days, but she said, "I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion. I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this great country."
She shared of her record of reform in Alaska and spoke of the need for "energy independence," doing a good job of drawing attention to that topic and national security, showing their superiority in both areas.
"Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America and he's worried someone won't read 'em their rights!"
Honing in on the essential difference in philosophy among conservatives & liberals, she reminded us that government is too big and he wants to make it bigger.
"What does he actually seek to accomplish ... after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger and take more of your money and give you more orders from Washington and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world."
In contrast to McCain's slogan, "Country First," Palin lumped Obama in with the category of self-serving politicians: "In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers ... and there are those, like John McCain, who use careers to promote change."
Being unique among politicians, McCain "doesn't run with the Washington herd" so America should "take the maverick out of the senate and put him in the White House."
Recognizing Obama's obvious oratorical gifts, Governor Palin noted that, "For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words, but for a lifetime John McCain has inspired with his deeds."
She closed by noting that the election seemed to be about character, hope, and change, but that the McCain/Palin ticket had the upperhand in each of these.
I was impressed by her presence on such a grand stage, as I was Friday. She certainly didn't come across as intimidated or as a newbie. I was surprised that she went after Obama at all, let alone with such vigor and boldness. It demonstrated toughness on her part, as a competent politicial foe, not just some "stewardess" as Bill Maher called her. She's going to be formidable and I look forward to the VP debate of October 2nd.
I'm concede nothing, but if they don't, I challenge the GOP to come up with someone better for the top of the ticket in 2012 than Sarah Palin. I don't think they can.
I share with you tonight some thoughts from Rudy Giuliani's speech, which was A+ quality in terms of substance and style.
Rudy symbolizes so much to America about strength and patriotism, which he put to good use showing that "McCain is a true American hero" (in contrast to the man who would not wear an American flag lapel pin or put his hand over his heart during the national anthem). The "U-S-A" chants continued to ring out, as though we were playing the Russians in hockey or something. It would be hard not to come away thinking the GOP's ticket is more patriotic or pro-American, and that's not by accident.
Rudy pondered what a "community organizer" is, in contrast to a job he seemed truly impressed by, mayor. Even his jabs tended to have an affable humor attached and his charisma was put to good use.
In describing Obama, he portrayed him as a "gifted" man with an "ivy league education," silently in contrast to a soldier who endured the school of hard knocks as a soldier and P.O.W. in Vietnam.
Questioning decision making, Rudy mentioned Obama's time in the state legislature, noting that, "nearly 130 times he couldn't make a decision. He couldn't figure out whether to vote 'yes' or 'no.' It was too tough. He voted 'present.'" But, Rudy said, "'present' doesn't work in an executive job."
"He's never run a city, he's never run a state, he's never run a business, he's never run a military unit. He's never had to lead people in crisis." Of course, the GOP's #2 has actually done those things, the implication being their #2 is more more qualified to lead than their #1.
"He is the least experienced candidate for president of the United States in at least the last 100 years." Well, that's pretty clear, isn't it?
"Not a personal attack, a statement of fact: Barack Obama has never led anything, nothing, nada ... nada, nothing."
Rudy labeled the opposition as "substance over style," explaining this is no time for "on the job training."
He attacked the oftmentioned "more of the same" mantra of the DNC by explaining that "change" vs. "more of the same" was a false choice and noted that, "Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy."
Ultimately, Rudy gave the impression the McCain is ready to be president and he can be trusted because "the country will be safe in his hands."
Keying in on the national security issue, Rudy mentioned that, "John McCain will keep us on the offensive against terrorism" and that the Democrats are in a "state of denial" about the terrorist threat in the wake of 9/11.
Rudy gave many specifics regarding McCain's accomplishments and Obama's weaknesses, including the latter's propensity to change his mind, including this zinger: "If I'm Joe Biden, I'd wanna get that vice president thing in writing."
In contrasting the VP selections, he noted that Obama "looked back [taking Biden]; John McCain looked forward" [taking Palin].
He praised Sarah Palin as one with more executive experience that Obama & Biden combined, one who took on corruption, even in the Republican party, and he called out the sexism in the media: "How dare they question whether Sarah Palin has enough time to spend with her children and be vice president?! When do they ever ask a man that question?! When?!"
Rudy noted that the Republican party is at its best when its expanding freedom, like "ending slavery." He implied that the GOP was for increasing freedom from government and for empowerment (perhaps even of women) and ended with the exhortation to his fellow Americans: "Let's get John McCain and Sarah Palin elected and let's shake up Washington and most this country forward."
Overall, Rudy did a great job trying to claim the ticket for (positive) change, to move forward. it was a moving speech and I encourage you to watch it here.
My political interest was resurrected Friday morning with the announcement of Sarah Palin as McCain's VP candidate. I watched Obama's speech the night before and was impressed with his oratorical skills.
But, I was even more impressed by just how formidable the GOP ticket is after tonight's speeches, particularly those of Fred Thompson and Joe Lieberman. Even though President Bush's short speech was nicely done, even noting some dissonance between himself and John McCain in a lighthearted way.
I've previously highlightedCongressional Medal of Honor winner Michael Monsoor, but they had a great video tribute tonight worthy of your time.
Fred Thompson reminded me why I blogged for Fred and many were probably wondering afterward why did he so poorly in the primaries.
Fred labored to show McCain and Palin, "a breath of fresh air," as reformers who would drain the water out of that "swamp" (i.e., DC) no matter what the alligators think and keep the country safe.
He did a nice job of explaining what 5.5 years as a P.O.W. really was like. He did so to demonstrate character and commitment to "country first." He said, "Now, being a P.O.W. doesn't qualify anyone to be president, but it does reveal character." That is, "character you can believe in."
He mentioned that "the other side" also has a historic candidate, "historic in that he's the most liberal, most inexperienced nominee to ever run for president."
In contrast, he mentioned that Gov. Palin had ran a municipality and a state. Expect much to be made by the GOP of her experience being executive experience and Obama's 4 years in the senate being not so much, and that half of that he's been out campaigning for the presidency.
In another "tongue in cheek" jab at the other side, Fred mentioned tax increases the Democrats would bring in. But, Fred did recognize their caveat: "They're not gonna tax your family. No, they're just gonna tax businesses. So, unless you buy something from a business, like groceries, clothes, or gasoline, or unless you get a paycheck from a business, a big business or a small business, don't worry. It's not gonna affect you."
Watch Fred Thompson's speech or read his prepared remarks.
There was also a great tribute to Ronald Reagan.
Even more jarring, perhaps, was that the 2000 Democratic nominee for VP was there to support McCain, calling on Democrats and Independents to vote for McCain. Let that sink in just a minute. Joe Lieberman was there "to support John McCain because country matters more than party."
He said, "John McCain is the best choice to bring our country together and lead America forward."
He noted that both sides had such a great deal about changing the climate in Washington and bringing about bi-partisanship, "but only one of them has actually done it."
These comments were in direct opposition to Obama's contention that McCain is just "more of the same" (Bush policies). But, Lieberman said, "If John McCain is just another partisan Republican, then I'm Michael Moore's favorite Democrat."
The crowd liked that and he's right. Even Republicans know McCain to be a renegade at times and it makes some of us conservatives more than a bit nervous. Of course, it gets you a little nervous anyway when there's a Democrat in love with the GOP's candidate.
Lieberman recognized Obama's potential to do good things and eloquence, but noted that, "eloquence is no substitute for a record, not in these tough times."
I was surprised he would not only praise McCain, but criticize Obama. He was quick to praise Sarah Palin as a "reformer" and a "leader we can count on to help John shake up Washington."
Taking the Obama platform right from under them, Lieberman stated, "The real ticket for change this year is the McCain/Palin ticket."
Watch Joe Lieberman's speech or read his prepared remarks.
The American people probably prioritize the whole Democrats & Republicans working together, cats & dogs living together, stuff more than I do. I only think that way when my guys are in the minority. Both campaigns are saying they can do it, but only one has and even had one of the enemy walk across the aisle all the way to Minnesota. That's a very symbolic gesture, even more than Zell Miller back in the day.
I don't know if the happy middle watch these things, but it was a banner night for McCain/Palin, it seems to me. They presented themselves as the ones capable of real change in Washington.
Read Brother Hank's ponderings about the calling to motherhood vs. the calling to be VP. Are they mutually exclusive?
ReadAl Mohler's praise (in May 2008) of Sarah Palin and her family's decision where their 5th child was concerned. (HT Chris Brauns)
Join the Facebook group "I've Got a Crush on Sarah Palin." If you're not already on Facebook, you'll have to sign up prior to.
Read why Adam Groza thinks Palin was a great pick.
Watch a video clip of Geraldine Ferraro on FoxNews Friday where she suggests Sarah Palin has a great chance to win some of Hillary's supporters.
ReadGeraldine Ferraro's article about the 3 types of Hillary Clinton supporters, which gives insight into why she thinks McCain/Palin has a good chance to win over some of Hillary's supporters.
ReadGiuliani's contention that Obama should have picked Hillary.
Read about Sarah Palin's teenage daughter's pregnancy and upcoming marriage. (HT Michelle K)
ViewRealClearPolitics.com's presidential poll numbers as of September 1, a statistical dead heat. (HT Denny Burk)
WatchAlan Colmes tap dance after first allegedly insinuating that Palin was to blame for her baby's Down's Syndrome. He also wrote: "I apologize that my post was not more clear on that point. That is my fault, and I’ll take responsibility for not being more clear on that point."
Read about John Roberts of CNN and his potential speculation of Palin's ability to mother AND VP. Interesting response from Dana Bash: "I guess -- my guess is that, perhaps, the line inside the McCain campaign would be, if it were a man being picked who also had a baby, but -- you know, four months ago with Down's Syndrome, would you ask the same question?"
Read Doug Wilson's thoughts on Palin and the current political situation, including Obama, "the most radical pro-death candidate to ever reach the national stage."
Take Christianity Today's The Church & Politics Quiz.
Read15 noteworthy facts about Mister (Fred) Rogers.
Read Michael Svigel's thoughts on an Evangelical Theology of Cussing: Kakalogology, that is.
Read Douglas Hofstadter's "A Person Paper on Purity in Language, a satirical article that argues well for gender inclusive language by showing the absurdity of our present system using skin color. (This might be the pick of the litter this week.)
Read the case Mark Driscoll makes for The Studying Christian.
Read Johnny Mac's 5 Reasons Gambling Is Wrong. I bet some will disagree with him.
ReadJohnny Mac's thoughts on Christians playing the lottery.
Read one man's thoughts on the PCA & Deaconesses (i.e., female deacons).
Read Grace To You's answer to the question, "Does God answer the prayers of unbelievers?"
Read about the LPGA's new "English Only" requirement. (HT Jim Kang)
Read about a Theological Vision for Families by Andrew Nichols on the IX Marks Site. Part 1 - Why Families Matter to God Part 2 - How Families Minister to the Church and the World Part 3 - Raising Boys vs. Raising Girls
ReadElisabeth Elliot's thoughts on The Essence of Femininity: A Personal Perspective.
Read Rosa Brooks' piece lamenting the end of "Go outside and play." (HT Tim Challies)
ReadDorothy Patterson's thoughts on The High Calling of Wife and Mother in Biblical Perspective.
Read a conversation where celebrities ponder When is a big family too big? (HT Brother Hank)
ReadDouglas Moo's thoughts on 1 Timothy 2:11-15 to answer the question, "What Does It Mean Not to Teach or Have Authority Over Men?"
Read Jay the Bennett's historical investigation to address the issue of assurance of salvation.
Read39 Lessons, 20 Tips and 10 "Don'ts" For Parenting from Matt & Elizabeth Schmucker.
Read a transcript of Donald Miller's prayer at the DNC.
I've heard of funerals in a church building, but this is the first I've read of a wedding in a funeral home.
Read about the AKC's recommendation for the Obamas should they move to the White House ... a poodle.
Read about Shanghai police trying to shame jaywalkers by posting video of their transgression.
Read about the woman who went down the baggage chute when she misunderstood airport instructions.
Read about the cat that survived being walled in for 7 weeks.
Read about the kibosh being put on the priest's plans for the nuns beauty pageant.
Read about the Baptist minister convicted of identity theft, with the victims being his own parishioners.
Read about the lady who gave birth on her front lawn by herself.
Read about the ex-cop sentenced after pulling a woman over to give her his phone number.
Read about the Ohio woman's stolen wallet found after 44 years.
Read about the 3-fold use of the law by Calvin & Spoul on Steve Camp's site.
Read about the hit & run drunk driver found because a car door was left at the scene.
Read about the death of economics as an academic subject.
Read about the gas pump malfunction that sold premium unleaded at 38 cents per gallon.
Read about media bias in reporting Olympics results.
Read about the ex-cook sentenced for inserting hairs into the steak of a disgruntled customer. Note to self: "Never send the food back."
Read about Beijing giving 100,000 condoms to athletes to be used after their competitions. Apparently, there is a great deal of illicit woo-hoo that happens after the games are done.
Find outwhat things are truly worth their weight in gold.
Read about the Harley rider who found a $3,000 lost engagement ring on the road. He wouldn't accept the reward and the potential bride said ...
Read about the study showing "The Plight of Mixed-Race Children" (sic).
ReadPhil Johnson's great "Question for our Arminian Readers."
Comment of the Week: "The rankings smell funny. I'm probably the only one 'clean' on the list. Have the others submitted a urine sample? I say they're all juiced!" (Reepicheep)Listen to yesterday's sermon at Providence Church on Philippians 4:10-13 "Content in/through Christ." "Try to learn something about everything and everything about something." -Thomas H. Huxley