5.31.2007

Sam Brownback on Creation




Op-Ed Contributor
What I Think About Evolution
By SAM BROWNBACK
Published: May 31, 2007
I believe wholeheartedly that there cannot be any contradiction between faith and reason.

Excerpt:

Ultimately, on the question of the origins of the universe, I am happy to let the facts speak for themselves. There are aspects of evolutionary biology that reveal a great deal about the nature of the world, like the small changes that take place within a species. Yet I believe, as do many biologists and people of faith, that the process of creation — and indeed life today — is sustained by the hand of God in a manner known fully only to him. It does not strike me as anti-science or anti-reason to question the philosophical presuppositions behind theories offered by scientists who, in excluding the possibility of design or purpose, venture far beyond their realm of empirical science.

Comment: Commendable statement

Gays sue Eharmony


eHarmony sued for excluding gays

Excerpt:

The popular online dating service eHarmony was sued on Thursday for refusing to offer its services to gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

A lawsuit alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Linda Carlson, who was denied access to eHarmony because she is gay.

Lawyers bringing the action said they believed it was the first lawsuit of its kind against eHarmony, which has long rankled the gay community with its failure to offer a “men seeking men” or “women seeking women” option.

....


eHarmony was founded in 2000 by evangelical Christian Dr. Neil Clark Warren and had strong early ties with the influential religious conservative group Focus on the Family.

Comment: I'm opposed to same sex marriage so my feelings are strongly supportive of Eharmony. On the other hand ... I just don't get online dating services!

The Simpleton's Guide to Ethanol

The Simpleton's Guide to Fuel Economy

The real PC and Mac guys meet



Jobs and Gates trade jests at rare joint appearance

Excerpt:

"PC guy is great, he's got a big heart," the chief of Apple Inc. said on Wednesday, referring to popular television ads in which a hip young man personifies a Macintosh computer and a Windows PC is played by an awkward middle-aged man.

"The art of those commercials is not to be mean, but it's actually for the guys to like each other," Jobs said.

His generous interpretation might have had something to do with the fact that Jobs was sitting next to Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates in their first joint interview in 14 years.

Gates rolled with the joke, saying of the PC guy: "His mother loves him!"

Comment: I'm a PC guy but wish I were a MAC guy and I love these commercials! See NYTimes article for pic of Jobs & Gates together!

NYTimes: For Jobs and Gates, a Night to Reminisce

Excerpt:

Mr. Gates and Mr. Jobs largely pioneered the personal computer industry beginning in 1975 and 1976 and they spent part of the evening sharing memories of those days.

Today "we ship these computers with one or two gigabytes and nobody remembers 128 kilobytes," Mr. Jobs said.

Apple and Microsoft were business partners at the start of the computer era beginning in 1977 when Mr. Gates supplied a copy of the BASIC programming language for the Apple II computer. Later, Mr. Gates made an early bet on writing software for the Macintosh, two years before the computer was introduced in 1984.

Fish goes boying


Turnabout at the lake: Fish goes boying

Excerpt:

Paris Copeland loves to swim. Well, the 9-year-old did love to swim -- until a big fish mistook his ankle for a meal as the boy splashed in Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis this week.

"My poor son," moaned his mother, Westy Copeland. "He adores swimming. Now he claims he's never going back in."

Paris and his mom, along with dad Jonathan and 16-month-old sister Mireille -- were at Calhoun's main beach on Memorial Day "with 8 billion other people," Westy Copeland said, when Paris felt something strike his ankle.


Comment: Cute story. This kid may never swim at the beach again!

5.30.2007

Too Cheap for Its Own Good?


Is Wal-Mart Too Cheap for Its Own Good?

Comment: A good business marketing article. I'm not the shopper in our family so I am neutral on the issue. I can tell you that I would not buy clothing at Wal-Mart. I'm not sure "why" ... but that's how I feel.

Excerpt:

A confidential report prepared for senior executives at Wal-Mart Stores concludes, in stark terms, that the chain’s traditional strengths — its reputation for discounts, its all-in-one shopping format and its enormous selection — “work against us” as it tries to move upscale.

As a result, the report says, the chain “is not seen as a smart choice” for clothing, home décor, electronics, prescriptions and groceries, categories the retailer has identified as priorities as it tries to turn around its slipping store sales, a decline likely to be emphasized Friday during Wal-Mart’s shareholder meeting.

“The Wal-Mart brand,” the report says, “was not built to inspire people while they shop, hold their hand while they make a high-risk decision or show them how to pull things together.”

Lou Dobbs and leprosy



Truth, Fiction and Lou Dobbs

Lou:

“The invasion of illegal aliens is threatening the health of many Americans,” Mr. Dobbs said on his April 14, 2005, program. From there, he introduced his original report that mentioned leprosy, the flesh-destroying disease — technically known as Hansen’s disease — that has inspired fear for centuries.

According to a woman CNN identified as a medical lawyer named Dr. Madeleine Cosman, leprosy was on the march. As Ms. Romans, the CNN correspondent, relayed: “There were about 900 cases of leprosy for 40 years. There have been 7,000 in the past three years.”

“Incredible,” Mr. Dobbs replied.

Mr. Dobbs and Ms. Romans engaged in a nearly identical conversation a few weeks ago, when he was defending himself the night after the “60 Minutes” segment. “Suddenly, in the past three years, America has more than 7,000 cases of leprosy,” she said, again attributing the number to Ms. Cosman.

Fact:

the official leprosy statistics do show about 7,000 diagnosed cases — but that’s over the last 30 years, not the last three.

The peak year was 1983, when there were 456 cases. After that, reported cases dropped steadily, falling to just 76 in 2000. Last year, there were 137.

“It is not a public health problem — that’s the bottom line,” Mr. Krahenbuhl told me. “You’ve got a country of 300 million people. This is not something for the public to get alarmed about.” Much about the disease remains unknown, but researchers think people get it through prolonged close contact with someone who already has it.

What about the increase over the last six years, to 137 cases from 76? Is that significant?

“No,” Mr. Krahenbuhl said. It could be a statistical fluctuation, or it could be a result of better data collection in recent years. In any event, the 137 reported cases last year were fewer than in any year from 1975 to 1996.

Conclusion: So Mr. Dobbs was flat-out wrong.

Comment: I'm not a Lou Dobbs fan as I do not find him objective!

Hindering the culture of criticism

The Problem of the Critic

Conclusion:

I would like to propose a series of guiding principles that should hinder this growth of a culture of criticism:


  1. Critique as a friend: Treat every enemy as a friend (Luke 6:35).
  2. Critique yourself first: Identify how you manifest the same problem (Luke 6:41-42).
  3. Critique with care: Let the verbiage you use be peaceable, gentle, merciful, and without partiality (James 3:17).
  4. Critique proactively: Avoid the quarrels, and teach patiently with love; keep self-interest and pride as far out of the picture as possible (2 Timothy 2:24-26).


Comment: Good article by Thomas Pryde, Pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fremont, California.

Contactify.com

www.contactify.com

Here's a cool little tool for a website or a blog!

If you put a real email address on a website or blog, spiders will harvest it and spammers will exploit it. You can, with javascript, mask it (see jrpeet.com for an example ... right click on the page ... view page source .. and you cannot see my email address). Thus that email address is hidden from automated systems!

{Comment: For a javascript implementation see Email Riddler)

If you click on Contact Jim Peet on my website, my real address is populated into your email client as "to: ..."

Suppose you want to provide a way for site visitors to contact you but you wish to completely mask your email address! You can easily code this in ColdFusion, but for the non programmer there hitherto has not been and easy way!

Here's where Contactify.com is a helpful widget. To illustrate click this link:

Contact me.

Notice that a form is presented. Complete the form and select send .. and message is sent to me!

So here's a neat little tool that is free, and easy to use. And it thwarts spiders and spammers and other stalkers!



Happenings:

  1. Received 3 "Faith Pulpits" that I am reading tonight. One by my friend Myron Houghton.
  2. Kathee and I read 1 Samuel 9 & 10 tonight - "Saul Chosen to be King". Made me think about God's choosing of our next Pastor and how it is in His hand of providence.
  3. Rachel emailed us this morning from Rome. We think she goes onto Venice tomorrow. She arrives home one week from tonight.
  4. My new company cell phone arrived. I'm reading about it tonight. It has a camera built in (that I want to try out)

Terror dry run confirmed


Report confirms terror dry run

Comment: This is not a sensationalistic article. Click on link (in the article) for full report in PDF format!

Excerpt:

A newly released inspector general report backs eyewitness accounts of suspicious behavior by 13 Middle Eastern men on a Northwest Airlines flight in 2004 and reveals several missteps by government officials, including failure to file an incident report until a month after the matter became public.

Al-Qaeda warns of attacks 'worse than 9/11'

Question: Aren't you surprised that we have not been attacked again? I am!

Another Hollywood Sunday School lesson





paleoevangelical: Christianity [For Sale] Today

Suggestion: Skip the movie and read the real story for yourself. Start at Genesis chapter 1 and read through chapter 10. The Noah narrative is chapters 6-10.

Why care about the flood narrative?

From Jesus Himself: "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matthew 24:37)

New Testament references to Noah!

NAFTA super highway?


Urban myth or secret plan?

Urban myth:


  1. Is the U.S. building a NAFTA super highway?
  2. Urban legend of "North American Union" feeds on fears


Secret plan:

  1. How NAFTA superhighway is built under radar screen
  2. Bush Administration Quietly Plans NAFTA Super Highway

    Excerpt:

    Quietly but systematically, the Bush Administration is advancing the plan to build a huge NAFTA Super Highway, four football-fields-wide, through the heart of the U.S. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican border at Laredo, Tex., to the Canadian border north of Duluth, Minn.
  3. Patrick J. Buchanan: The NAFTA super highway





Signs directing motorists to Interstate 69 line the road along Indiana 35 near Fairmont, Ind. A stretch of I-69 currently reaches to the Canadian border, and efforts are under way to extend its route south to Mexico to ease congestion and promote commerce.



My view: I think it is urban myth! What do you think?

Is It 1938 Again?

The Case for Bombing Iran

Comment: Interesting read from the Opinion Journal. The author of this article, Norman Podhoretz, is also the author of a forthcoming book World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism

Excerpt:

Although many persist in denying it, I continue to believe that what Sept 11, 2001, did was to plunge us headlong into nothing less than another world war. I call this new war World War IV, because I also believe that what is generally known as the Cold War was actually World War III, and that this one bears a closer resemblance to that great conflict than it does to World War II. Like the Cold War, as the military historian Eliot Cohen was the first to recognize, the one we are now in has ideological roots, pitting us against Islamofascism, yet another mutation of the totalitarian disease we defeated first in the shape of Nazism and fascism and then in the shape of communism; it is global in scope; it is being fought with a variety of weapons, not all of them military; and it is likely to go on for decades.


Comment: I've ordered the book, I've read the article. I have conflicting views about his conclusions. His book will be released on 9/11/07. More later.

5.29.2007

Here I Raise My Ebenezer!

Have you sung this worship hymn and came across this phrase - "Here I Raise My Ebenezer!"?

In our reading of 1 Samuel (chapters 7 and 8 tonight) we come across the verse that explains this phrase: I Samuel 7:12, "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”"

Apologetics Press has a good article explaining this phrase:

One of the phrases that is of particular interest comes from the song O, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. The lyrics of this song (which originally was titled Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing) were written by Robert Robinson in 1758. The second verse of the song begins with these words: “Here I raise my Ebenezer.” If you are like many who have sung this song, the word “Ebenezer” immediately brings to your mind visions of old Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens’ Christmas Carol, screaming at Bob Cratchet to conserve coal and get to work. Yet, we all know that is not the idea behind this song. Where, then, does the term Ebenezer originate, and what does it mean?

In 1 Samuel 7, the prophet Samuel and the Israelites found themselves under attack by the Philistines. Fearing for their lives, the Israelites begged Samuel to pray for them in their impending battle against the Philistines. Samuel offered a sacrifice to God and prayed for His protection. God listened to Samuel, causing the Philistines to lose the battle and retreat back to their own territory. After the Israelite victory, the Bible records: “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us’ ” (1 Samuel 7:12).

The word Ebenezer comes from the Hebrew words ’Eben hà-ezer (eh’-ben haw-e’-zer), which simply mean “stone of help” (see Enhanced…, 1995). When Robinson wrote his lyrics, he followed the word Ebenezer with the phrase, “Here by Thy great help I’ve come.” An Ebenezer, then, is simply a monumental stone set up to signify the great help that God granted the one raising the stone. In Robinson’s poem, it figuratively meant that the writer—and all who subsequently sing the song—acknowledge God’s bountiful blessings and help in their lives.

The next time you sing about raising your Ebenezer, you will be able to “sing with the understanding” that you are acknowledging God’s help in your life (1 Corinthians 14:15).



Other good verses from tonight's reading:

1 Samuel 7:3-4, "And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, 'If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your heart to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.' So the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they served the LORD only."

Comment: It is always tragic when God's people are idolatrous - having other gods. This is exactly what you have in this section: The people had "foreign gods" (which of course are no gods at all!) Their hearts were not wholly dedicated to the True God. And because of their incomplete obedience they found themselves oppressed by the Philistines. Samuel's remedy is found above: "If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your heart to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines." Many times God's people in this church age find themselves in similar circumstances. They are in a mess and they wonder why? Sometimes that mess is because of their own sinfulness and because of God's judgment upon His people whom He loves. And the remedy today is the same as the remedy then - "serve God alone"!

And when one serves God alone, there is victory. And when there is victory one can sing "Here I Raise My Ebenezer!" Ebenezer means literally Stone of Help.

Comment: Consider this helpful article - Raising Ebenezer: We are misguided when we modernize hymn texts - which argues for preserving archaic language in Christian hymns because they inform our faith in ways that contemporary language cannot. (See also this blog)

Quote:

One of my mini-crusades recently has been trying to help raise Ebenezer. I seize every opportunity to publicly lament modern revisions of that beloved hymn, "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing," written by Robert Robinson in 1758. The revisions all seem to agree on deleting "Ebenezer" from the hymn's second verse, which begins, "Here I raise mine Ebenezer." Some of the "improvements" offered through the years include: "Hitherto thy love has blest me," "Here by grace your love has brought me," and "Here I raise to thee an altar."



Happenings:

  1. Rachel emailed us from Florence Italy this morning. Onto Rome tomorrow (I think). She arrives home a week from tomorrow.
  2. I had a good day at work. I ordered a new company cell phone that should come in later this week.

Stephen Lind - Westurn Roofing



FINALLY ... all the roofing details are closed. Allstate sent an inspector last Friday who signed off on the roof work. The Allstate check also arrived Friday (I had hoped to have the roof contract paid off by end of day Friday but we did not get the mail until 6:00 p.m. and by that time Westurn Roofing was closed for the day ... and the weekend.)

I know there are many charlatans in the roofing trade (and in many other trades as well), but Steve Lind really worked hard for the Peets and we appreciate his advocacy on our behalf. What started with hail damage and wind damage last August is now behind us. We have a new roof and tonight it is paid for!

Why does this appreciate @ 15% per annum?


Every taxi on the streets of New York City is required to display the city-issued medallion.

N.Y.'s Taxi Medallions Beat Stocks, Sell for $477,666


Excerpt:

In New York, the capital of world finance, the hottest investment isn't stocks, bonds, commodities or even Manhattan apartments. It's taxi medallions, the metal plates affixed to the hoods of the city's 12,779 yellow cabs.

The value of the taxi licenses has soared as much as 40 percent since the city sold 300 of them in October 2004. In that period, stocks gained about 10 percent, futures contracts for commodities such as grains, energy and metals rose 16 percent, and 10-year U.S. Treasury notes fell 2 percent. The median price for Manhattan co-ops or condominiums climbed 23 percent.

...


The city began limiting the number of medallions on the market in 1937, when they sold for $10. By the mid-1940s, there were 11,787. No additional medallions were sold until 1996, almost 60 years later.

Increasing the number of medallions requires state and local legislative approval, which can take years to obtain, Taxi & Limousine Commissioner Matthew Daus says. While he is seeking authorization for 150 more licenses for wheelchair-accessible cabs, Daus says he doesn't know when the next sale will be.

Comment: Imagine this ... what Grandpa could have purchased for $ 10. in 1937, is now worth half a million dollars! Why? Supply and demand!

An interesting overview of the taxi medallion system

See this prior post: The Minneapolis Taxi Cartel

Odin the swimmer

Cool pictures: Read the full article The BIG cat who likes getting wet and wild






Bond of the Sea


USS San Jacinto

Bond of the Sea - The U.S. Navy has always faced unexpected threats

Excerpt:

The threat plainly weighs on Capt. Sharpe's mind. A ship like the San Jacinto would have only seconds to track, identify and destroy an incoming missile; in 1988, a mistake by the USS Vincennes led to the downing of an Iranian commercial jet and the killing of nearly 300 passengers. "How do you wield a gun in a knife fight?" Capt. Sharpe asks. Could he launch missiles while simultaneously defending against attacks from small boats? What about mines or submarines (Iran deploys three Russian-made, ultra-quiet, Kilo-class subs)? The Cole was struck, he admits, because "we never expected the enemy to look like that." So what will the enemy look like next?

That question was every bit as relevant in Mr. Brown's Navy days as it is in Capt. Sharpe's. As game theorist Thomas Schelling once observed, the U.S. was surprised at Pearl Harbor because intelligence services were obsessed "with a few dangers that \[were\] familiar rather than likely." Kamikazes--the suicide bombers of their day--were successful at first for similar reasons. By the time the Navy was able to devise effective countermeasures a heavy price had been paid.

It is in the face of these terrors that generations of American sailors, from Capt. Sharpe on the bridge to Seaman Brown in the engine room, have set sail, brought together by what Joseph Conrad famously called, in "Heart of Darkness," "the bond of the sea." That's a bond for which a landlubbing columnist can only feel grateful as he looks out from the bridge toward the Verrazano Narrows under clear skies.

Comment: My three brother-in-laws (Dave, Dan, and Ed) all served in the old Navy (late 50's / earlier 60's). We need to deeply appreciate the men and women who serve our country in the Navy! It's a dangerous world and these are defending us!

Pains at the Pump

Raise gas prices, commit a felony

Excerpt:

The inconvenient fact is that there's no evidence of price rigging by Big Oil or the tens of thousands of independent service station owners across America. The causes of higher gas prices include $65-a-barrel oil caused by rising global demand and geopolitical tensions, a record high U.S. gasoline consumption of 380 million gallons a day, and refined gasoline shortages caused by Congressional rules and mandates. Far from withholding production to raise prices, U.S. gasoline production of 8.8 million barrels a day is higher than any time in history and refineries are getting more gas per barrel of oil than ever before.


This isn't the first time a spike in gas prices has prompted Congress to allege price fixing. It's not even the second, third or 10th time. Since the OPEC oil embargo some 34 years ago, Congress has requested more than 30 investigations into whether energy companies have conspired to inflate profits. In nearly every instance, the Federal Trade Commission or the Department of Energy has found no evidence of price fixing. Only last year, Congress ordered the FTC to investigate whether Big Oil had manipulated prices after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The agency found "no instances of illegal market manipulation that led to higher prices."


What does "gouging" mean anyway? No one on Capitol Hill can answer that question. The House bill prohibits energy companies from charging a price that is "unconscionably excessive." There's a precise legal term. It further explains that it shall be a crime whenever "the seller is taking unfair advantage of unusual market conditions" or "the circumstances of an emergency to increase prices unreasonably."


...


If Congress wants to locate genuine gas price villains, it should look in the mirror. Domestic refining capacity is stretched in part because environmental laws discourage the building of new refineries. Meanwhile, new mandates for ethanol and other "boutique" gasoline blends make it harder for the industry to meet refining shortfalls. The Lundberg Survey estimates that the ethanol mandate alone adds 10 cents to each gallon, and that 36 refinery snafus this year have cut U.S. gas supplies by about 8%. Refiners are also currently switching to mandated summer gasoline blends--another contributor to the current price spike.

Comment: Good read / Economics 101

5.28.2007

Pawlenty of speculation



The makings of a vice president?

Governor's got D.C.'s attention

Comment: 2 Star Tribune articles on Tim Pawlenty's possibilities for 2008!

Katherine Kersten: Pawlenty's vetoes keep the system running right

Excerpt:

If the Legislature had moved more to the political center, it could likely have overridden some of Pawlenty's vetoes. The number of Republican votes needed to override was very slim - only one vote in the Senate and five in the House.

But legislative leaders chose instead to press their agenda, and Pawlenty's vetoes held. The resulting process wasn't always pretty, but the final forced compromise may reasonably reflect the desires of the majority of Minnesotans.

Comment: Katherine Kersten is the lone Star Tribune conservative columnist!

in a world saturated with selfhood



Comment: In a world saturated with selfhood, a day to honor those who have served and sacrificed for our country!


America's Honor - The stories behind Memorial Day

Excerpt:

Once we knew who and what to honor on Memorial Day: those who had given all their tomorrows, as was said of the men who stormed the beaches of Normandy, for our todays. But in a world saturated with selfhood, where every death is by definition a death in vain, the notion of sacrifice today provokes puzzlement more often than admiration. We support the troops, of course, but we also believe that war, being hell, can easily touch them with an evil no cause for engagement can wash away. And in any case we are more comfortable supporting them as victims than as warriors.

Former football star Pat Tillman and Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham were killed on the same day: April 22, 2004. But as details of his death fitfully emerged from Afghanistan, Tillman has become a metaphor for the current conflict--a victim of fratricide, disillusionment, coverup and possibly conspiracy. By comparison, Dunham, who saved several of his comrades in Iraq by falling on an insurgent's grenade, is the unknown soldier. The New York Times, which featured Abu Ghraib on its front page for 32 consecutive days, put the story of Dunham's Medal of Honor on the third page of section B.


Who's Who in Marine Corps History: Jack Lucus



Excerpt:

Private First Class Jacklyn Harrell Lucas earned the Medal of Honor during the Iwo Jima campaign for unhesitatingly hurling himself over his comrades upon one grenade and for pulling another one under himself, absorbing the whole blasting force of the explosions with his own body.

Private First Class Lucas, the youngest Marine ever to receive the nation's highest military decoration, was presented the award by President Harry S. Truman at the White House on Friday, 5 October 1945.


PFC JACKLYN H. LUCAS: Medal of Honor


Wiki: Jacklyn H. Lucas

5.27.2007

Beautiful Spring Day

We worshiped at 4th today. This morning Pastor Levy preached from Acts 17:1-9: Paul's lessons on Church planting. Without reproducing his outline it was something like this:

We must:


  1. Be Sensitive to the Lord's leading: Acts 16:9,10, "Come over to Macedonia and help us.” Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them."
  2. Be Evangelistic: Acts 17:2-3, "Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead"
  3. Be Confident that some will be saved: Acts 17:4, "And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas"
  4. Be Patient because persecution will result: Acts 17:5-9, "But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason"


He had a point for vs 1 but I don't recollect what it was!

Tonight at 4th, Dan Brown preached from Ephesians 4:11, "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers". Points were: Christ is the head of His Church and Christ will provide His gift of our next Senior Pastor. Dan also presented the pulpit committee process in detail. It was an excellent message and presentation. Dan asked three things of the church:

  1. Be patient (the last time 4th was without a Senior Pastor, the process took a year!)
  2. Privacy is imperative.
  3. Pray for the pulpit committee


Tonight the Church voted Pastor Kilian as Executive Pastor in the interim while we are without a Senior Pastor.




This afternoon, Roger and Kathee loaded up the PU truck with brush and sticks from the blowdown which we disposed of at the yard waste site. The truck was loaded high!

Kathee is making potato salad tonight for tomorrow's Memorial Day dinner.

George Will: Minneapolis taxi cartel

George F. Will: If Minneapolis taxi argument wins the day, watch out

Comment: Did you know that a taxi medallion in NYC costs $ 500,000? Why should government limit supply (in this case taxis)? A good article on Minneapolis government statism.

Excerpt:

Attracted by Minneapolis-St. Paul's vibrant Hispanic community, now 130,000 strong, Paucar moved here, assuming that economic liberty would be more spacious than in New York. Unfortunately, Minnesota has a "progressive," meaning statist, tradition that can impede the progress of people like Paucar.

The regulatory impulse came to the upper Midwest with immigrants from Northern Europe. In the 1940s, under a mayor who soon would take his New Deal liberalism to Washington -- Hubert Humphrey -- the city capped entry into the taxi business.

By the time Paucar got here in 1999, 343 taxis were permitted. He wanted to launch a fleet of 15. That would have required him to find 15 license-holders willing to sell for up to $25,000 apiece.

Why I won't order fish

I won't order fish at a restaurant. (Exception: Salmon which has such a distinctive look and taste that I doubt anything could be its substitute!)

That Grouper on the Menu? Turns Out It Was a Fish Tale

National
That Grouper on the Menu? Turns Out It Was a Fish Tale
By LYNN WADDELL
Published: May 27, 2007
A Florida attorney general’s investigation revealed that many restaurants in and around Tampa Bay were passing off cheaper fish as grouper.

Comment: Compare the Walleye / Zander issue in Minnesota.

The end of Hillary as security hawk

The end of Hillary as security hawk


Excerpt:

This week's vote in Congress to fund the Iraq war without timetables or withdrawal dates is being portrayed as a "defeat" for Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. No doubt it is in the short-term and partisan Beltway frame of reference, but in the larger sense it is a victory for American interests and the Framers of our Constitutional order.

Hamilton and Madison knew what they were doing when they gave the bulk of the war powers to the President, and it's hard to imagine a more telling vindication of their wisdom than this year's Iraq debate. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid claim to oppose the war and want it to end, yet they refused to use their power of the purse to end it. Instead, they tried every legislative gimmick imaginable to hamstring President Bush's war strategy without actually having to take responsibility for cutting off funds.

....


The vote marks the end of Mrs. Clinton's post-9/11 positioning as a national security hawk. Her 2002 speech supporting war in Iraq was among the most forceful in the Senate, and for a while she admirably stuck with that conviction. But as the antiwar furies have built in her party, she has bent with them and now says and does whatever it takes to deny Mr. Obama or John Edwards any running room to her left. Perhaps this will win her the Democratic nomination, but it will complicate her Presidency if she ever does make it to the Oval Office.

....

Whatever his mistakes as a war leader, Mr. Bush at least hasn't betrayed our allies or troops in the field for the sake of reviving his poll numbers. He was also right to defend the war powers of the Presidency against Congressional micromanagement. His obligation now is to do whatever it takes to succeed in Iraq so that the men and women fighting this war will not sacrifice in vain.

An Enemy of Convenience

An Enemy of Convenience - Liberals will miss Jerry Falwell

Excerpt:

During his 2004 presidential race, Howard Dean obsessed about Falwell. Mr. Dean once told activists that they "have the power to take back this country so that the American flag doesn't belong any longer to John Ashcroft and Jerry Falwell." On another occasion, he said: "Don't you think Jerry Falwell reminds you a lot more of the Pharisees than he does of the teachings of Jesus?"

Mr. Dean went on to head the Democratic National Committee, and as late as last month, Falwell's name was frequently appearing on the party's Web site. The most recent entries repeatedly attacked Sen. John McCain for delivering the 2006 commencement address at Falwell's Liberty University. These attacks had little substance: Mr. McCain was merely making amends for a gratuitous insult against Falwell during the 2000 campaign.

Comment: Good read assessing the Moral Majority and the religious right.

5.26.2007

Tolerance: a prayer to no god at all?

A prayer to no god at all?

Quote:

The simple fact is that a prayer that speaks to people of all beliefs in reality only speaks to people with no beliefs.

A prayer offered to every god is a prayer to no god at all.

Dagon falls down


Depiction of the fallen idol Dagon in the Dura Europus Synagoue, Syria. Dated c. 245 CE. From Elsner 1998, p. 216.

Happenings:

  1. Rachel called from Nice, France. The connection was poor, but it was good to hear from her.
  2. Tonight's reading: I Samuel 5 & 6. Key verses: 1-5, "When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. But when they rose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the LORD, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. This is why the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day."
  3. Errands:

    1. Screen repair.
    2. Kathee and I (not sure why it takes 2 people, but it does) programmed the Homelink transmitter on our Impala to open our garage door. When the sun roof console switch was replaced, this was one of the components in the module replaced and so had to be set.
    3. Roger piled up brush and branches in the back yard (from the windstorm earlier this week). Tomorrow we need to load up the PU truck and dispose of at the Plymouth yard waste site
    4. We checked out the Onstar phone - it was upgraded to digital from analog. I think we have it figured out.
    5. We made reservations to go to Branson in September. We've never been - should be fun.

  4. Kathee grilled chicken for dinner. Excellent.


Tomorrow, Worship at 4th. We are watching Over the Hedge tonight.

40 years later

The 1967 graduating class of Oak Hills High School is planning our 40th anniversary to be celebrated October 13th. at Western Hills Country Club in Cincinnati. Several weeks ago I responded to class questionnaire indicating that I am interested in attending.

Today by email, I received a spreadsheet with a list of '67 graduates:


  1. There were 338 graduates (I'm sure I knew each of them by name 40 years ago. Now my memories have faded, I need to look them up in the yearbook)
  2. 13 are deceased:

    1. Two died the Summer after graduation: Dave O'Brien died in a car accident and Jimmy Cederdahl died when a tractor overturned. I remember both of those events fairly clearly.
    2. My best friend from HS, Joel Perry died in just the last 10 years. Patty Murray called me here in Plymouth with the news then.
    3. Bobby Waller is deceased, the date and circumstances unknown to me. In HS he had a nice V-8 Mustang with a 4 speed.
    4. Robert Botts (we called him Robbie) died of AIDS some time ago.
    5. Glenn Bowers is deceased. We were going to join the Navy together but my Father forbade me ("you're going to college, Son!")
    6. And 7 others. We're going to look them up in the yearbook.

  3. One will be unable to attend. He murdered his wife and is locked away (last I heard)


How fast 40 years go! James 4:14, "whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away"

Every day is a great gift from the Father of Lights. I'm privileged to know Him through my Savior. I must live every day to honor and glorify Him.

Derby Line Vermont

line on the floor marking the U.S.-Canada border

A border runs through it: Tiny town worries feds

Excerpt:

DERBY LINE, Vermont (AP) -- Step through the front door of the Haskell Library and you're in the United States.

Walk across the carpeted floor to the circulation desk and you're in Canada. But if you sit down on the couch, you're back in the U.S.

Comment: Blogworthy because when one thinks about border issues, Mexico not Canada comes to mind. I definitely need to visit!

Map


Wiki

Poll shows support for Immigration Bill

Immigration Bill Provisions Gain Wide Support in Poll

National
Immigration Bill Provisions Gain Wide Support in Poll
By JULIA PRESTON and MARJORIE CONNELLY
Published: May 25, 2007
Americans want to allow illegal immigrants to gain legal status and to create a guest worker program, a Times/CBS News poll found.

Comment: I think something should be done and I don't think mass deportation is a plan.

5.25.2007

Seadevils


Seadevils (NYTimes slideshow)

From The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss by Claire Nouvian/David Shale

A Christian Leader

A Christian Leader by Kevin T. Bauder

Excerpt:

Douglas McLachlan was the millionth man, the one who could actually be a shepherd to hundreds and hundreds of people. He loved them, cared for them, sacrificed for them, and prayed for them. Personally. And they felt it, and they loved him back.

Comment: As a member of Fourth Baptist, it is my job to pray for and support Dr. McLachlan's successor. His success will be a function of the prayers and support and "followship" of his leadership. Kathee and I are committed to supporting Pastor McLachlan's replacement!

Commendation of Senator Terri Bonoff





I was very impressed that State Senator Terri Bonoff would return my call after I left a message for her today.

Senator Bonoff and her office do a great job of regularly communicating with her constituency. I appreciate her for that and also for seeking to govern from "the middle". While I am a registered Republican, Senator Bonoff is a fine Senator.

Thank you Senator Bonoff for your hard work for District 43!

Senator Terri Bonoff


Senator Terri Bonoff (MN Senate site)

The World From Our Window: Let's Play the Blame Game

The World From Our Window: Let's Play the Blame Game

Comment: good article.

Notice in Genesis 3:12 how Adam blames others for his own sinful choice:

"Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”"

He blames:


  1. His wife
  2. God Who gave his wife


See my blog entry from yesterday about this news item.

Peggy Noonan on Immigration


Slow Down and Absorb - Open borders? Mass deportations? How about some common sense instead?

Comment: Some common sense from Peggy Noonan. Noonan was a speechwriter for President Reagan and is an author an columnist.

Excerpt:

Here is the truth: America has never deported millions of people, and America will never deport millions of people. It's not what we do. It's not who we are. It's not who we want to be. The American people would never accept evening news pictures of sobbing immigrants being torn from their homes and put on a bus. We wouldn't accept it because we have hearts, and as much as we try to see history in the abstract, we know history comes down to the particular, to the sobbing child in the bus. We don't round up and remove. Nor should we, tomorrow, on one of our whims, grant full legal status and a Cadillac car. We take it a day at a time. We wait and see what's happening. We do the small discrete things a nation can do to make the overall situation better. For instance: "You commit a violent crime? You are so out of here." And, "Here, let me help you learn English."

Wellness Consultant


I found my appointment with a Wellness Consultant (Sara B) valuable (earlier post):


  1. It was at the Ways to Wellness program at Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury.
  2. I did not sign up for the entire program but only did the metabolic testing with a half hour consultant with a nutritionist. What I learned:

    1. My metabolism is slightly below normal but close to normal
    2. My ideal weight for my height and build should be 200 lbs or less
    3. I am doing ok with my diet (I reviewed my diet in detail with the nutritionist). I should eat more vegetables (she suggested that I eat baby carrots as a snack at night)
    4. She suggested starting an exercise program with hand weights

  3. I am resolved to make it to my weight objective of 200 lbs and I felt I needed this boost to help me on my way.

Monster Pig: Hoax or real?


Boy Bags Wild Hog Bigger Than 'Hogzilla'

Excerpt:

An 11-year-old Alabama boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog his father says weighed a staggering 1,051 pounds and measured 9-feet-4 from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail.

www.monsterpig.com <--- comment: site was down when I checked ... probably bandwidth issue with high traffic.

5.24.2007

Blowdown aftermath

After storm, flooding and a cool-down

Excerpt:

Blowdown: In Plymouth, city crews were cleaning up roads and parks, and dealing with the loss of about 1,000 trees in what was determined by National Weather Service officials to have been a downburst of wind Wednesday. An untold number of other trees were toppled on private property. The city has extended the hours of its yard waste site, where residents should take tree and brush waste, keeping gates open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Monday.

The Nature of the Temptation

One of a set of Medici tapestries on the Genesis story of Adam and Eve, from the Academia, Florence. The representation of the garden invites comparison with Milton, as does the portrayal of two key dramatic moments: Eve tempted by the serpent, and Eve offering the fruit to Adam. Su concessione del Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali.

The first address of the tempter to Eve was designed to awaken distrust in the goodness of God, and doubt as to the truth of the prohibition. “Hath God indeed said, ye shall net eat of every tree of the garden?” or, rather, as the words probably mean, “Has God said, ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?” The next address was a direct assault upon her faith. “Ye shall not surely die;” but on the contrary, become as God himself in knowledge. To this temptation she yielded, and Adam joined in the transgression. From this account it appears that doubt, unbelief, and pride were the principles which led to this fatal act of disobedience. Eve doubted God's goodness; she disbelieved his threatening; she aspired after forbidden knowledge.

Hodge v 2 p 128


Happenings:

  1. Our Bunn A10 arrived today. It is very industrial looking. I don't think Kathee has fully embraced the logic and wisdom of buying a commercial coffee maker. I'm convinced it will last us at least 10 years! The question is ... will our marriage survive this coffee maker (joking!)
  2. I am working from home tomorrow and brought my laptop home. For some reason, I cannot get the wireless working on the laptop, but I bought a 50' blue LAN cable so I can relax in my recliner and work. The 50' blue LAN cable is another thing that my wife has not fully embraced the logic and wisdom of!
  3. Roger (son) is up at Brother's (another Roger) for dinner. I think Nathan is having dinner there too.
  4. Work: Our latest workstation upgrade job is back in Engineering.
  5. Co-worker Mike brought in his new black MacBook. He installed a product called Parallels and has Windows XP SP 2 running as a virtual machine on his MacBook. Very cool. But ... when I get a MacBook I will have SUSE Linux (or some other LINUX) running on the virtual machine. Countdown to October! (Will my wife see the logic and wisdom of this?)

Edwards flip flop on "War on Terror"

Edwards Didn't Always Oppose "War On Terror" Phrase

Edwards then: On CNN on October 21, 2004, he said that stopping terrorists before they harm us is "by far the most effective way to win this war on terrorism." A few days earlier he said that Bush's Iraq invasion had turned "the focus away from the war on terror."

Edwards now: Edwards made big news during his foreign policy speech by blasting the phrase "war on terror" and saying that it was a "bumper sticker" slogan that was actually weakening the U.S. internationally.

Which Edwards would be President?

Taking irresponsibility

Hancock's father files suit

Excerpt:

The father of Josh Hancock filed suit Thursday, claiming a restaurant provided drinks to the St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher even though he was intoxicated prior to the crash that killed him.

The suit, filed in St. Louis Circuit Court by Dean Hancock of Tupelo, Miss., does not specify damages. Mike Shannon's Restaurant, owned by the longtime Cardinals broadcaster who starred on three World Series teams in the 1960s, is a defendant in the case along with Shannon's daughter, Patricia Shannon Van Matre, the restaurant manager.

Other defendants include Eddie's Towing, the company whose flatbed tow truck was struck by Hancock's sport utility vehicle in the early hours of April 29; tow truck driver Jacob Edward Hargrove; and Justin Tolar, the driver whose stalled car on Interstate 64 was being assisted by Hargrove.

Comment: The death of any young man is a tragedy, more so in the case of Cardinals' pitcher Josh Hancock who drank himself to twice the legal level of intoxication, then sped down the freeway crashing into a tow truck on the side of the road. In sum: intoxicated, DUI, speeding, no seat belt, and talking on the cell phone. The grieving Father turns the tragedy into a pitiful melodrama of blame! See earlier post.

Email to phone ... w/o Blackberry




Telefip.com



State of the Art
How to Make Your Cellphone Act Like a BlackBerry
By DAVID POGUE
Published: May 24, 2007
Three new services from Google, Yahoo and Teleflip can forward e-mail to ordinary cellphones.

Comment: I am getting a new cell phone and will try this. Teleflip is just one option - read the article for others. Yahoo mail? I've had a Yahoo email account for some time and I cannot get it to stop the Spam!

2007 West Point Graduates



New York Region
Iraq Presents Graduating Class at West Point With New Challenges
By MICHAEL WILSON
Published: May 25, 2007
The war in Iraq has hovered over the West Point class of 2007, perhaps more than any class before.

Iraq Presents Graduating Class at West Point With New Challenges

Excerpts:

The war in Iraq has hovered over the class of 2007, perhaps more than any class before. The 1,000-plus cadets graduating on Saturday were the first to enter West Point after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Most arrived on campus in June of that year.

The events of the last four years have directly shaped the curriculum at West Point, as instructors who for years taught the fine points of battlefield strategy found themselves leading drills with fake bombs made of pop bottles and clocks. “Ain’t no front line anymore,” Colonel Jones said. “It’s all front line.”

....

of the graduating class of 2007, 14 percent agreed to serve eight years of active duty instead of the required five, in exchange for being able to choose their branch of service, a privilege generally held for top students in a class. The largest number of cadets chose infantry, followed by aviation and armor.

Comments: Although I do not know any of them, I am proud of them and commend them for their patriotism and their willingness to serve our country! (The picture is from the 2006 graduating class)

On the resignation of Pastor Douglas McLachlan

On the resignation of Pastor Douglas McLachlan

Excerpt:

I am thankful for Pastor McLachlan’s example to me in fidelity to the Saviour. I have classmates who have already disqualified themselves from gospel ministry by bringing reproach to the name of Christ. Here was a man who was faithful in his personal life to the Gospel and its implications for his life. In an era that saw drastic changes in the venues and possibilities for immorality, here was a man who remained faithful to his God. He not only showed this in his fidelity to his wife, but in his handling of church funds, and even in how he spoke and loved. He was greatly influenced by the writings of Francis Schaeffer, and exemplified the kind of Christian love Schaeffer had called for a generation earlier. The body of Christ has been weakened by the number of pastors who thought they were exempt from the demands they themselves proclaimed, and brought ruin and scorn to the cross of Christ. Doug McLachlan, on the other hand, has shown himself to be a true “blameless” servant of the Lord.


Comment: Excellent article by Ryan Martin!

Bob Bixby tribute

Al Unser Jr. on his battles with alcohol




200 Miles an Hour All the Time

Excerpt:

I had been in and out of drinking, and any time I was drinking, bad things happened, and when I wasn't drinking, good things happened. And so, why? I had had my stretch, after learning about the disease, and still trying to figure out another way around the corner, and it wasn't working, and so I dug deep inside and said, I'm an alcoholic. I cannot pick up one drink.

Comment: Good read! He has been 116 days without an alcoholic drink!

Taxes: The hottest domestic issue of the next two years

Dems Want You to Take a Hike

Excerpt:

The tax cuts have also produced substantial tax revenue increases--14.5% growth in 2005 and 11.7% in 2006. For the first seven months of the current fiscal year, total revenues were up 11.3% over last year, and individual income tax receipts were up by 17.5%. Total tax receipts in April were $70 billion higher than in April 2006.

The Congressional Budget Office and the Congressional Joint Tax Commission estimated that a reduction in the capital gains rate to 15% from 20%, which was passed in 2003, would cost the U.S. Treasury some $5.4 billion over three years. But actual revenues exceeded expectations by $133 billion, so the government profited substantially from our strong economy and the tax rate reduction. In fact, the tax cuts have actually expanded revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product. Over the past 40 years, federal tax receipts have accounted for 18.3% of GDP. That figure was 18.4% in 2006, and the CBO projects it at 18.6% in the current fiscal year.

These revenue increases have also had a positive impact on the federal deficit. Since the 2003 tax cuts the deficit has declined from $413 billion (3.5% of GDP) in fiscal 2004, to $318 billion in 2005, then $248 billion in 2006, and an estimated $150 billion to $200 billion (1.1% to 1.5% of GDP) in the current fiscal year.

Lower tax rates have also produced another important economic change: fewer and shorter recessions. As economist Brian Westbury noted in the Wall Street Journal last month, in "the high-tax, highly regulated years between 1969 and 1982 the economy was in recession 32% of the time. Since then, following Ronald Reagan's tax cuts, and deregulation . . . the U.S. economy has only been in recession 5% of the time."


Comment: I'm for lower taxes but I would also like to see government restraint on spending!

5.23.2007

Plymouth Microburst


Picture of Cheney Carpet Distributors @ 14025 23RD Ave N, Plymouth (by 494 s of Hwy 55)

Storm leaves damage, power outages and several injuries in west metro


Excerpt:

The trouble began around 2:10 when a line of storms intensified over western Hennepin County. The entire event was over by 2:45 p.m., but that was long enough to cause thousands of dollars in damage.

The storm brought heavy rain, hail and in Plymouth a microburst.

Meteorologist Belinda Jensen says a wet microburst is when rain cooled air rushes down out of a thunderstorm and creates a fan of destruction.

The microburst is a very localized column of sinking air producing damaging winds at the surface. Microburst can produce damage as severe as a tornado.

That microburst caused construction trailers at a work site near Highway 55 and Xenium to flip with workers inside. Four people were injured, three were admitted to North Memorial Medical Center.

One of the trailers ended up on top of a car, but the woman inside was not seriously hurt.

Trailer Rolls On Top Of Van From Storm Winds

(WCCO) Plymouth, Minn. Three construction workers were sent to the hospital when high winds sent two work site trailers flying in Plymouth, Minn. Tuesday afternoon. One of the trailers landed on a van parked on Northwest Boulevard near Highway 55.

Fast-moving thunderstorms pound the metro

Excerpt:

Cheryl Rugland said she was working on the computer at Edge Advertising around 2:30 p.m. when she saw pieces of the roof flying past her window. Rugland said about half of the roof was blown away.

The Creation Museum opens


The The Creation Museum by
www.answersingenesis.org opens this weekend!

Adam and Eve in the Land of the Dinosaurs

Museum Review | Creation Museum
Adam and Eve in the Land of the Dinosaurs
By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN
Published: May 24, 2007
At the $27 million Creation Museum evolution gets its continual comeuppance, while biblical revelations are treated as gospel.

Excerpt:

The entrance gates here are topped with metallic Stegosauruses. The grounds include a giant tyrannosaur standing amid the trees, and a stone-lined lobby sports varied sauropods. It could be like any other natural history museum, luring families with the promise of immense fossils and dinosaur adventures.
....
Outside the museum scientists may assert that the universe is billions of years old, that fossils are the remains of animals living hundreds of millions of years ago, and that life’s diversity is the result of evolution by natural selection. But inside the museum the Earth is barely 6,000 years old, dinosaurs were created on the sixth day, and Jesus is the savior who will one day repair the trauma of man’s fall.



Comments:


  1. The wife of my first Sunday School teacher is on staff at Answers in Genesis
  2. I believe in a literal six day creation!
  3. The New York Times does not trash the museum in its review (but is not convinced either)
  4. 10 years of my childhood was just across the river from this in Delhi, OH


Map to

The Serpent


Michelangelo - Genesis

It may be inferred from the narrative, that Adam was present with Eve during the temptation. In Gen. iii. 6, it is said the woman gave of the fruit of the tree to her husband who was “with her.” He was therefore a party to the whole transaction. When it is said that a serpent addressed Eve, we are bound to take the words in their literal sense. The serpent is neither a figurative designation of Satan; nor did Satan assume the form of a serpent. A real serpent was the agent of the temptation, as it is plain from what is said of the natural characteristics of the serpent in the first verse of the chapter, and from the curse pronounced upon the animal itself, and the enmity which was declared should subsist between it and man through all time. But that Satan was the real tempter, and that he used the serpent merely as his organ or instrument, is evident, —

  1. From the nature of the transaction. What is here attributed to the serpent far transcends the power of any irrational creature. The serpent maybe the most subtile of all the beasts of the field, but he has not the high intellectual faculties which the tempter here displays.
  2. In the New Testament it is both directly asserted, and in various forms assumed, that Satan seduced our first parents into sin. In Rev. xii. 9, it is said, “The great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.” And in xx. 2, “He laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan.” In 2 Cor. xi. 3, Paul says, “I fear lest . . . . as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so also your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” But that by the serpent he understood Satan, is plain from v. 14, where he speaks of Satan as the great deceiver; and what is said in Rom. xvi. 20, “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet,” is in obvious allusion to Gen. iii. 15. In John viii. 44, our Lord calls the devil a murderer from the beginning, and the father of lies, because through him sin and death were introduced into the world. Such was also the faith of the Jewish Church. In the Book of Wisdom ii. 24, it is said, that “Through the envy of Satan came death into the world.” In the later Jewish writings this idea is often presented.
As to the serpent's speaking there is no more difficulty than in the utterance of articulate words from Sinai, or the sounding of a voice from heaven at the baptism of our Lord, or in the speaking of Balaam's ass. The words uttered were produced by the power of Satan, and of such effects produced by angelic beings good and evil there are numerous instances in the Bible.



West-metro police report: Vandalism at 4th Baptist

Property damage. Six windows and six doors were broken at Fourth Baptist Church, 900 N. Forestview Lane. The damage was estimated at $10,000.

Comment from Kathee: "If the windows of a Mosque were broken out, the Star Tribune would call it a hate crime!"



Happenings:

  1. Quit a bit of storm damage in our neighborhood ... trees down. All my trees fine! Large tree at the firehouse was snapped off at the base. Neighbor across and 1 lot up had their front tree snapped off at the base (I was commenting to Kathee just 2 days ago about how nicely shaped their tree was!)
  2. Paul, our neighbor across the street who was at his home when the storm hit, told Kathee that the yards were white with hail. Our bushes look beaten down!
  3. Kathee and I finished Ruth (it's only 4 chapters so an EZ read). What a blessed book!
  4. Work: We had upgrade activity to upgrade 10,000 workstations. We had problems and had to stop activity. I am hosting a mtg tomorrow to debrief and resolve.
  5. Allstate: Claim status still unresolved.
  6. Impala: Still at dealership. Wrong part was shipped. Correct part on the way. Not a big deal as we are driving Rachel's car to work.
  7. Rachel emailed from Paris to say she arrived safely
  8. I am shopping for a new work cell phone. Am going to have Son provide some advice tonight.



Key verses from Ruth

1:16,17, Ruth said:

“ Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.

Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.
The LORD do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.”

3:11, And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.

4:13-21 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron; Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon; Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.

Question: Who is this Person? "may his name be famous in Israel!" (4:14)

Answer: Read it here!

What's a blidget?



A blidget is a BLog wIDGET ... BL____IDGET ... blidget. Displays a blog feed in a java applet.

Build one at www.widgetbox.com.

It looks like the picture above. I put mine at www.jrpeet.com.

Conservative voices on immigration bill

Comprehensively Bad: Faux immigration reform

Excerpt:

What the American people have “wanted for a long time” in the five and half years since 9/11 is for the Bush administration to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to “provide for the common defense” by securing the borders and interior of the United States of America — in this solemn duty the administration has failed miserably.


Practical Compromise

Excerpt:

How can we think of reforming something called Section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to solve our problems with absorbing 12 million illegal aliens when we have yet to solidify the southern border? That’s what irks about the long, Rube Goldbergian machinations of the proposed law. We can’t even make the current one work.


Myth Monopoly - Misleading amnesty advocacy

Excerpt:

The ease with which people can move back and forth between the United States and Mexico — as contrasted with those who made a one-way trip across the Atlantic in earlier times — reduces still further the likelihood that these new immigrants will assimilate and become an integral part of the American society as readily as many earlier immigrants did.

Claims that the new immigration bill will have “tough” requirements, including learning English, have little credibility in view of the way existing laws are not being enforced. What does “learning English” mean? I can say arrivederci and buongiorno but does that mean that I speak Italian?

Comment: I agreed the least with the above article!

Deliberating Senators - An immigration-bill honor roll.

Comment: Good Senatorial quotes!

Immigration inconsistencies

Excerpt:

Consider the current arguments about the immigration bill. For oh so long, the supporters of the bill have been making two points: 1) It is impossible for the U.S. government to actually identify and round up all the illegals in the country; and, 2) a fence on the border is bound to be ineffective as well as immoral. Indeed opponents of the fence have idiotically compared it to the Berlin Wall — although one protects a free country from illegal intrusion while the other kept enslaved people from escaping their slavery. Now, suddenly, these same people claim that the same previously nitwit bureaucracy will not only be able to find all 12 million (or 20 million) illegals, but will be able to flawlessly run background checks, and to positively identify each individual as well as monitor all American businesses to make sure no new illegals are being hired and the newly legal are in perfect compliance with their limited status.

New immig law? Enforce old ones first

Excerpt:

But do we really need another major law? The Bush administration still hasn't implemented various measures passed by Congress over the past decade and refuses to take other steps that are within its power. Given this neglect, it's hard to justify yet another bill - much less a piece of legislation that will run hundreds pages in its final form - on top of the existing pile. Let's look at a few of the initiatives already on the books that have languished in bureaucratic or political purgatory rather than getting done:

Comment .. read the entire article for the list!

Severe Storms


Storm warnings in effect for Twin Cities area

Excerpt:

An Xcel spokeswoman said power is out for about 12,000 homes in a line between Plymouth and Maple Grove.

Comments:


  1. I work downtown on the 14th floor of 100 Washington. We were advised to move away from the West windows (and of course the immediate, human nature reaction was to stand at the windows and look out West at the storm). Ultimately we moved to an inbound area and hung out.
  2. I called my neighbor who is one house to the South of us, and she is OK. She did go to her basement to wait out the storm.