Monday, August 31, 2009

Redneck noise, dude, that's all it is. Make about as much sense as you do.

The question will at times come up regarding Christian music as to what inherently makes it "Christian." Is it the lyrics or the style or both?

I didn't realize, however, that the same is true in other music genres (e.g., country).

From the July 28, 2008 edition of Country Weekly:
"I have a great life, but I want to hear songs about drinking, cheating and dogs dying. That's country music to me."
-Miranda Lambert

P.S. It's amazing what you can find to read waiting your turn in the barber shop.

cf. I'm expressing my inner anguish through the majesty of song.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

There can be only one!

Recently reading the following sparked an enlightening exercise.
"If R.C. [Sproul] only had one book in prison: The Bible. Only one chapter: Isaiah 6. Only one verse: Genesis 15:6. Only one book from the Bible: Hebrews."

Hmm. What about me? This was harder than I thought it would be, but ...

If I was isolated somewhere (e.g., the joint), and was limited, I would want the following:

How about you?

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Monday, August 24, 2009

That's amazing, so much love, and also so much information.

From the other room, I heard my four year old ask her older sister, "Why do people close their eyes when they get a hug?"

Interesting little person question, I thought.

So, I called her in to ensure I transcribed the question correctly. She then offered a potential answer for her own question:
"Maybe 'cause they love each other. Maybe that's why."
Hmm. I'm gonna be on hug watching patrol now to see whether or not its really love.

(See also Brothers don't shake hands; brothers gotta hug.)

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Friday, August 21, 2009

I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that?!

Happy Birthday!

Turning 71 today is Kenny Rogers, the budding amateur philosopher & theologian.
Now every gambler knows that the secret to survivin' is knowin' what to throw away and knowin' what to keep.

'Cause every hand's a winner and every hand's a loser, and the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.

Well, okay, I disagree with that last part, but some interesting slooge there for your thinking pleasure as we carry on as "Islands in the Stream."

Here's Kenny dispensing wisdom on the Muppet Show.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

You got to be the dumbest smart kid I know.

On Facebook Anthony Bradley asked the following question:
If every one's little toddler is so "smart" then what happens when the "smart" kid hits middle school, high school, college, or jail, and so on when they magically become mediocre and/or do really, really stupid things, get a "D" on a math test, get college rejection letters, get an STD, etc? What happens?

Everyone seems to have the smartest kid, way beyond grade level or the aptitude of his/her peers. Some of us may have even been guilty of this borderline child-idolatry.

He got some interesting answers, some of which I'll share below, but I thought my answer noteworthy as well. I immediately thought of the heredity vs. environment argument.

"I'm sure most parents will switch from seeing smarts as hereditary to being a product of environment as their children age and are impacted by the environment."

In other words, they attribute their toddlers' intelligence to their good genetics, but it must be the environment that sucks away their inherited smarts. Surely, it can't be that they are average, like everybody else.

Some other responses Anthony Bradley got:
  1. "Isn't a lot of it how we do schooling in the west?"
  2. "Then they are like the rest of us, normal."
  3. "Then hopefully they will finally embrace the reality that they missed when their child was born. They are a depraved sinner, an enemy of God who needs the saving grace of God through Christ."
  4. "The vaccinations suck the intelligence right out of them, once the government chip is implanted and activated."
  5. "I'm not sure I understand the question. I haven't really known that many smart toddlers, except mine."
  6. "Clearly, this is a side effect of all the hormones we put in our food these days. Kids are actually smarter at the age of 2 than they are at the age of 22; somethings we may never know."
  7. "What happens is that it is all becomes 'somebody else's fault' ... and usually somebody dumb."
How would you respond to Dr. Bradley's question?


See also:

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Monday, August 17, 2009

It's already been good, now that you have served and protected me.

We continue with our series based on The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do, by Mark Atteberry. The following are some notes from the Sunday school lesson at Providence Church.

DUMB MOVE #9: Allowing Wolves to Live Among the Sheep

6 facts drawn from biblical warning passages concerning wolves among the sheep:
  • Fact #1: Spiritual wolves are masters of deception.
  • Fact #2: Spiritual wolves are dangerous.
  • Fact #3: Spiritual wolves are evil.
  • Fact #4: Spiritual wolves always reveal themselves.
  • Fact #5: Good people can morph into wolves.
  • Fact #6: Spiritual wolves love power.

4 Reasons We’re Hesitant to Remove Spiritual Wolves:
  1. We foolishly believe people will change without discipline.
  2. The intermingling of personal relationships
  3. We’re afraid of collateral damage.
  4. We don’t know what to do.

6 Basic Conclusions Drawn from Biblical Passages Addressing Church Discipline:
  • Conclusion #1: No one should get a free pass when it comes to bad behavior.
  • Conclusion #2: Not all bad behavior makes a person deserving of confrontation or removal from church.
  • Conclusion #3: Biblical church discipline is a process, not an act.
  • Conclusion #4: Biblical church discipline should be carried out with patience.
  • Conclusion #5: The removal of a person from the church’s fellowship should be the last resort.
  • Conclusion #6: There should be no guilty feelings on the part of church leaders who exercise church discipline … and no animosity directed toward them by members of the congregation.

Discussion Questions:
  1. “The Bible tells us not to judge, but it also tells us to confront troublemakers in church. How would you resolve what some people say is a conflict between these two commands? At what point does a person’s behavior ‘cross the line’ and become worthy of discipline?
  2. What are the risks involved in church discipline? What are the risks of a lack of discipline?
  3. Dagg said, “When discipline leaves a church, Christ goes with it.” Why might he be right?

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Now Milton, don't be greedy. Let's pass it along and make sure everyone gets a piece.

I've already made an impenetrable case as to why he's the best NBA player of all time, so I'll just stop down here to wish Lansing's favorite son a happy 50th birthday.

3 cheers and a big slice of cake for Earvin "Magic" Johnson, born on August 14, 1959. With 9 brothers and sisters, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some birthdays where he never got a piece of cake.

"Few athletes are truly unique, changing the way their sport is played with their singular skills. Earvin "Magic" Johnson was one of them."
(Read more of his NBA.com biography)

Some interesting trivia about Magic:
  • Johnson's mother, a devout Christian, thought his nickname was blasphemous.
  • Magic was the first overall draft pick in 1979.
  • Magic is the youngest player to ever be named the NBA Finals MVP and was the first rookie to win the award.
  • Magic was the head coach of the Mighty Lakers for the final 16 games of the 93-94 season.
  • Magic holds the NBA record for blocked shots by a point guard (374).

Magic Johnson Quotes:
  • "Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates." (now you know where Kennedy got that line)
  • "When you face a crisis, you know who your true friends are."
  • "Standing on that platform, I said a silent prayer. I thanked God for giving me the strength and the opportunity to come back, to play basketball again, and to be part of that whole magnificent Olympic experience. It's a memory I will always cherish."
  • "My father is my idol, so I always did everything like him. He used to work two jobs and still come home happy every night. He didn't do drugs or drink, and he wouldn't let anyone smoke in his house. Those are rules I adopted, too."
  • "I want to be here for a long time, so I am going to do everything I have to do to be here. And I want to walk my daughter down the aisle and give her away to somebody some day. I want to make sure I am still here to make sure my two young sons become men."
  • "My diet is mostly chicken and fish. I make sure I get a lot of vegetables, a lot of fruit. I am a big fruit man, I am a vegetable man anyway. And I also get a lot of rest. That's the key I may be up early, but I'm in bed early too."

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You oughta have more respect, mister. If you say stuff like that to him again ... I'm gonna lay you out.

The following are some quotes and points made from Sunday's sermon at Providence Church on Matthew 6:9b, part of the Sermon on the Mount series.
"hallowed be your name"(ESV)
Click to listen:


“God has often forgiven sinners, but He never forgives sin; and the sinner is only forgiven on the ground of Another having borne his punishment.”
- Arthur W. Pink, Attributes of God, 46

“All contempt for his glory is duly punished, either on the cross, where the wrath of God is propitiated for those who believe, or in hell, where the wrath of God is poured out on those who don’t.”
- John Piper, Desiring God, 296, n.7

“God’s holiness is manifested at the cross. Wondrously and yet most solemnly does the atonement display God’s infinite holiness and abhorrence of sin. How hateful sin must be to God for Him to punish it to its utmost deserts when it was imputed to His Son!”
- Arthur W. Pink, Attributes of God, 46

HOW IS GOD’S NAME HALLOWED?

A. When sinners repent of their sins and honor the Holy One with their faith and obedience.

B. When God’s people respond rightly to Him.

1. in Worship – Responding to who He REALLY is, ascribing worth to Him (worship = Worthship). We must never forget worship is about God, not us.

2. in Prayer – We must balance “Our Father” with “Hallowed by Thy Name” - We could use a little less “What I’d really like dad is to borrow the car keys. See you later, can I have them please?”

3. in Evangelism – We’re telling everyone how special God is and what He’s graciously done for a rebellious world. It’s not that we’re so enamored with humanity, but we're consumed with extolling His greatness, regardless of whether seeds planted or watered bear fruit in our presence.

4. by Holy living ... and not our lips only.
Jesus in Matt 15:8-9 (quoting Is 29:13) ... “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

Luther’s catechism:
Q: How is God’s name hallowed among us?
A: When both our doctrine and our life are truly Christian

“for God’s name to be hallowed means a burning desire that the whole world may bow before God in adoration, in reverence, in praise, in worship, in honour and in thanksgiving. Is that the thing that is always uppermost in our minds whenever we pray to God?”
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones

*See also "The Holiness of God and His People," which I presented at the 3rd Annual Fellowship of Reformed Churches’ conference: 'The Character of God in Everyday Life,' 11/2007, Fort Worth, TX.
Click to listen:

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Monday, August 10, 2009

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

Apparently, even the Brits "appreciate" the one-upper.


Check out these 15 impressive 3D garage door covers.

Check out these great pictures of Hiroshima 64 years ago (including some before & after shots and some neat panoramic images).

Read about the mayor of Hiroshima calling for total abolition of nuclear weapons in the coming decade.

Read Tony Felich's thoughts on health idolatry.

Learn how Netflix gets the movies to customers so quickly.

Check out these top tech roller coasters.

Read about the benefits of starting Sunday school on time.

Read about elephants being among the few animals to pass the self-awareness test.

Read (Part 1 - Part 2) Chris Brauns' answer to the question, "Can someone be a believer yet not be committed to a local church?"

Read about the parents having a public brawl over which gang their TODDLER should join.

Read this sobering health article, "How to Get Cancer: Move to the United States."

Check out the 14,641 Gatorade bottles used to make a huge Michael Jordan mosaic.

Read about the Marines banning Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace.

Check out this church sign appealing to the Facebook savy with the ultimate Friend Request.

Read about the naked homeowner who gave a burglar a broken jaw with a baseball bat to send him on his merry way.

Read about the interesting experiences of a Korean immigrant named "John Doe."

Scope out this video clip tribute to recently deceased director John Hughes, chronicling his use of music to propel the plot and subsequent music careers.

Read about 10 reasons director John Hughes will be missed.

Read James Galyon's post on George Whitefield and the New Birth (i.e., regeneration).

Check out this CNN video story about the enforcing of Burger King's "No shirt, no shoes, no service" policy ... on a 6 month old baby.

Read, if you dare, about the 10 year old little girl in Yemen who demanded a divorce after being repeatedly raped and beaten by her husband. (HT Jade) Sadly, she's not that rare as a child bride.

Read about the rape of a girl in Arizona shedding light on the problem of rape in Liberia.

Check out this great dog costume, dog being eaten by alligator.

Read about 10 things that can (and will) spoil your vacation.

Read Randy Alcorn's thoughts on taking charge of the TV. (HT Joshua Harris)

Read 6 reasons your house won't sell.

Read about Brazil's water conservation strategy, encouraging urination in the shower.

Read about Cuba's upcoming toilet paper shortage.

Read about how coffee may actually be a healthy drink choice.

Read this great Onion piece on how Lance Armstrong inspires thousands to come in 3rd to cancer.

Read about 10 Little-Known Credit Card Perks.

Check out why food is more than about nutrition.

Read about the best & worst places to drive. Dallas scored a silver medal in an infamous category.

Read about Kindle users suing Amazon for unexpectedly deleting George Orwell's 1984 due to copyright issues.

Read Delia Lloyd's article, "When Health Care Rationing Fails: The British and Bad Teeth."

Read about men who do housework being more desirable marriage partners.

Read about Florida inmates who make and sell their own hot sauce.

Read about an obese Texas inmate who got in trouble for hiding a gun in his fat rolls.

Check out Kids' Greek, a site dedicated to helping children learn New Testament Greek.

Read about how they get stripes in toothpaste.

Find out how much booze it will take to kill you, based on your own personal body weight and drink preferences.

Read an update on the controversy regarding the search for President Obama's birth certificate.

Read about the man who extracted a rattlesnake from his car engine ... with chop sticks. Chris Cote' needs to master this skill.

Read about the 100 rules for would-be astronauts in China.

Read about the beheading of 3 pastors who would not switch their faith to Islam.

Read about the mouse who made a nest of $20 bills inside an ATM.

Read about plans in the works to make a movie of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Check out the greatest NFL players who never won a superbowl.

Read about the benefits of teaching Sunday school.

Check out 15 historic presidential campaign moments, including video clips.

Read about the potency of ridicule as a weapon.

Read about the Globe cover story that Obama's birth certificate is fake, stating he may actually have been born in Canada. G'Day, mate!

Read about the Ohio family that visited 52 zoos in 52 weeks.

Read about public officials (e.g., Nancy Pelosi) living luxuriously at taxpayer expense.

Read about the "Nurse of the Year" who turned out to be only posing as a nurse in a doctor's office.

Read Bryan Riley's (of the American Thinker) list of 10 whoppers told by Obamacare, and the facts to debunk them.

Read about the stance of one pro-life New Orleans congressman: "I'd rather save my soul than vote for the health care bill."

Learn about Adrian Warnock's love for Rick Warren.

Read Al Mohler's thoughts on "polyamory," loving more than one person.

Read John Piper's thoughts on dealing with the death of an unsaved loved one.
"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."
-Blaise Pascal

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

The devil always shaves his head.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Manson "family" murders, including 8 months pregnant Sharon Tate.

It occurred to me that it's likely quite a few may be unfamiliar with Vincent Bugliosi's book Helter Skelter or the movie of the same name. You're probably fortunate, for Steve Railsback's portrayal of Charles Manson still gives me the heebie geebies.

Included, for educational purposes only, is a current picture of Charlie, at age 74. (HT Lance)

He's been denied parole 11 times, but is eligible again in 2012.

Read Friday's story about Susan Atkins (aka Sadie Mae Gluts) having brain cancer and desiring to be released after nearly 40 years of a 7 years to life sentence, which she received after California did away with the death penalty shortly after the family was so sentenced.

Atkins held Sharon Tate while she was stabbed 16 times.
"She asked me to let her baby live," Atkins said. " I told her I didn't have mercy for her."
Reportedly, Atkins, like other "family" members have experienced the mercy of God through the cross of Christ. I hope so and I know that He is mighty to save.

But, should she be paroled? She's reportedly no longer a threat to society and her advocates say she's a drain on the economy of California. (Last year she cost the state$865,000 in medical expenses.)

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, the Manson family member notorious for trying to kill President Ford, is being paroled on August 16th, after 34 years of her life sentence, at age 60.

Will she be the first in a trend? Should any of them be paroled?

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

In 1945, why did the US drop atomic bombs on Japan?

[Hiroshima (August 6th) and Nagasaki (August 9th) on August 6th and 9th, killing approximately 140,000 and 39,000 respectively]

The Battle of Okinawa earlier that summer resulted in the loss of over 85,000 US military lives and over 140,000 Japanese lives. Approximately a quarter of the Japanese civilian population died resisting US invasion.

July 29, 1945 Japan rejected terms of surrender known as the Potsdam Declaration, which included Truman's ultimatum: "Surrender or suffer prompt and utter destruction."

Invasion of Japan to bring about surrender was daunting and would be costly to say the least, expected to last at least until 1947. Approximately 500,000 Purple Heart medals were made in anticipation of invasion of Japan.

However, with the hastened Japanese surrender, the vast majority of those medals were not needed. In fact, as of 2003 there were still some 120,000 of those WWII Purple Hearts on hand, despite the conflicts the 60+ years that followed (including the Korean and Vietnam Wars).

That gives you some idea of the anticipated carnage (on both sides) that was avoided by the dropping of the two atomic bombs. Could it be that such a grotesque weapon actually saves lives ? (cf. the Cold War)

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Well, this is not a boat accident! And it wasn't any propeller; and it wasn't any coral reef; and it wasn't Jack the Ripper! It was a shark.

The family is very much enjoying Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, but I found this rather funny.

WARNING

Diving with great white sharks without the protection of a cage is extremely dangerous.

The scenes you are about to see were conducted by professional shark divers with years of experience.

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!

Okay, who has great white sharks at home whereby they even could try this at home?!

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Monday, August 03, 2009

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

This is an advert from Australia trying to motivate you to get a flu shot. It's a PRETTY EFFECTIVE video clip of slow motion sneezing.


Watch a slide show of these top 10 idiot-proof eco tips.

Scope out these creative pregnant belly photos.

Read John McWhorter's opinion of 3 personal pronoun options if you're not a fan of the singular use of "they," like me.

Read this Rutherford Institute article questioning the wisdom of "zero tolerance" school policies.

Buy a sweet Texas flag shirt.

Check out Mark Driscoll's recommended reading on the topics of Creation, Evolution, and Science.

Read about teams of researchers who blame childrens films for "Perpetuating Heteronormativity."

Read these Words of Wisdom to a Wannabe Pastor's Wife.

Read these 7 surprising facts and myths about microwave ovens.

Read a book review of Chris Brauns' book, Unpacking Forgiveness, by Pyromaniac's Dan Phillips.

Read about why bottled water has an expiration date.

Buy a reasonably priced sleep number bed for your pet. (HT Ashley)

Read a post wondering how Christians should relate to media.

Read this Christianity Today article, The Case for Early Marriage, by Mark Regnerus. (HT Chris Brauns)

Read this 1999 NEA selection of top 100 books for children.

Read about 5 cases of reluctant television fame.

Read this Newsweek piece where Anne Underwood explores the secret to quality sleep.

Check out this social media Venn diagram.

Read some VERY interesting thoughts from Pope/Saint Pius X. For example ...
32 Q. What should a Christian do who has been given a Bible by a Protestant or by an agent of the Protestants?
A. A Christian to whom a Bible has been offered by a Protestant or an agent of the Protestants should reject it with disgust, because it is forbidden by the Church. If it was accepted by inadvertence, it must be burnt as soon as possible or handed in to the Parish Priest.

Read "Reversing the Curse: The Holy Spirit’s Work in Bringing Sinners to Faith in Christ," an excerpt of John Owen's Holy Spirit.

Read Dr. Goodword's language blog.

Read Dr. R. Scott Clark's advice on the writing of essays.

Buy this point of view drinkware from Despair.com.

Read Stuff Christians Like #593, being a Christian culture snob.

Listen to "Three Little Words," a great spoof of Meatloaf's music by Da Vinci's Notebook on grooveshark.com. (HT Ron)

Read Jay the Bennett's thoughts on Sinclair Ferguson's book, The Pundit's Folly: Chronicles of an Empty Life, an exposition of Ecclesiastes.

Read about Obama's regret over comments regarding police action.

Read Dr. Albert Mohler on the false apology syndrome.

Read Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson's thoughts on his fellow African-Americans being racist in seeing Michael Jackson as a hero. (HT Tony Felich)

Read about 10 famous homeschooled people.

Read about Kay Bailey Hutchison's campaign for governor website getting her in trouble for having "rick perry gay" in the source code.

Read about a grandfather and pregnant mother tasered by police at a child's backyard baptism party.
"Read not to contradict and confute, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider."
-Sir Francis Bacon

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