Homeowner face to face with armed bank robber

Homeowner face to face with armed bank robber

Follow up on my post from yesterday about the armed robber breaking into the home in my neighborhood. (This would be very frightening!)


"He took a folding chair that was in the backyard and threw it through a plate glass window door," says Sgt. Kuklok.

Inside, Susan Rader who was home for lunch, came face to face with David Dahlen. Susan didn't want to speak on camera, but wanted to share her story with us. Susan says Dahlen didn't say much. He told her to get out - leave. She did.

We entertained a couple from our church tonight for dinner and fellowship afterwards. Very pleasant time. Now watching NCAA BB.

Bot invasion example

Bot invasion is likely cause of disk problem

Comment: Star Tribune technical editor addresses Botnets with good advice.


Internet hackers can exploit security flaws to turn a PC into a remotely controlled "bot" (short for robot). Such hackers collect groups of bot-infected computers into "botnets," which are used for illegal activities such as transmitting spam or launching attacks on websites. On an average day there are about 64,000 bot-infected PCs on the Internet, network security firm Symantec reported recently, based on data gathered in the second half of 2006. That was up 11 percent from the previous six-month period.

God's Providence in relation to Free Acts

The Bible no less clearly teaches that God exercises a controlling power over the free acts of men, as well as over their external circumstances. This is true of all their acts, good and evil. It is asserted in general terms, that his dominion extends over their whole inward life, and especially over their good acts. Prov. xvi. 1, "The preparations of the heart in man and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord." Prov. xxi. 1, "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will." Ezra vii. 27, "Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the Lord." Ex. iii. 21 "I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians." Ps. cxix. 36, "Incline thy heart unto thy testimonies." Ps. cxiv. 4, "Incline not my heart to any evil thing." A large part of the predictions, promises, and threatenings of the word of God are founded on the assumption of this absolute control over the free acts of his creatures. Without this there can be no government of the world and no certainty as to its issue. The Bible is filled with prayers founded on this same assumption. All Christians believe that the hearts of men are in the hand of God; that He works in them both to will and to do according to his good pleasure.

Hodge v 1 p. 588

  1. Rainy gloomy morning
  2. We are entertaining tonight. Kathee was shopping last night and has a lot of cooking to do
  3. I have a new book: King James Onlyism: A New Sect

Hurricane Cars

The Hurricanes Are Gone, but the Cars May Remain

The Hurricanes Are Gone, but the Cars May Remain
Published: April 1, 2007
Cars damaged in Hurricane Katrina are showing up on the market, and it can be very difficult to spot them.

Comment: Even Carfax is not sufficient in some cases! If the deal is too good to be true ... think again!

Detecting and Avoiding Flood Damaged Cars

Beware Flood Damaged Used Cars For Sale


Electronic Giving Options

Plastic and the pulpit


A change in the way churches collect money is on its way. Dropping money into the collection basket on Sunday may be giving way to automatic deductions from bank accounts or paying by credit card.

Comment: I do not advocate giving by credit card because it costs the receiving organization a fee. But ACH would easily pay for itself in saved labor. We give to our church through online bill pay.

Christianity Today article: Is EFT Right for Me?

A sample product: Electronic Giving Solutions

Bank robbery in Plymouth

This is about a mile from where we live:

Plymouth standoff ends; suspect dead

A masked man who is in his 40s had entered the US Bank in the Four Seasons Mall on Lancaster Lane about 12:40 p.m., police said. He tried to rob the bank and then headed south into the neighborhood on foot as police were responding to a 911 call from the bank, Plymouth Police Chief Mike Goldstein said.

Plymouth bank robber found dead

Police say he apparently tried to get into one home and the person inside called 911. The man then moved on and got into the home at 4260 Quaker Lane.

Updated: Identified: Police identify him as David Dean Dahlen

John Revolta on Global Warming

With five private jets, Travolta still lectures on global warming


Such prolific mileage means that, over the past 12 months, he has accumulated around 800 tonnes of carbon emissions.

According to a recent study by the government-funded Carbon Trust, this means he boasts a carbon "footprint" nearly 100 times that of the average Briton, who is responsible for 10.92 tons of Co2, from his flights alone.

One of the world's leading climate change businesses, the Carbon Neutral Company, has written to Travolta, suggesting ways he could reduce these alarming levels.

Comment: a tip of the hat to my deceased Father-in-Law who called him "John Revolta"!

John's answer to global warming: "It [global warming] is a very valid issue," Travolta declared. "I'm wondering if we need to think about other planets and dome cities."

Time for us all to rocket away to another planet!

More on British Sailors and Marines

I've been sacrificed, claims woman sailor in new letter


Tony Blair however expressed "disgust" at the treatment of the captured British Royal Navy personnel by the Iranians.

Mr Blair said: "I really don't know why the Iranian regime keep doing this. All it does is enhance people's sense of disgust.

"Captured personnel being paraded and manipulated in this way doesn't fool anyone. What the Iranians have to realise is that if they continue in this way, they will face increasing isolation."

Last Saturn Ion

First Saturn plant to stop making the cars

We bought a '96 Saturn SW from this plant and our daughter's Ion was produced here.

I understand that the Opel Astra will be the Ion replacement.

Steve Forbes endorses Rudy

Former Republican Presidential Candidate and current editor of Forbes Magazine Steve Forbes endorses Rudy Giuliani in the WSJ Opinion Journal today!


Rudy Giuliani can unite the Republican Party and restore our traditional claim as the party of fiscal conservatism. He has already proven he can stand up to liberal special interest groups and achieve tax cuts, even with a Democrat-controlled City Council. That's the kind of leadership we need in Washington. That's the kind of leadership that will inspire the next generation of the Reagan Revolution. And that's why America's Mayor should be America's next president.

"Right to Carry" in Minnesota

I posted on this earlier this month but with a Twin Cities focus.

Today's Star Tribune reports that statewide gun-carry law hasn't produced more crime.


Tens of thousands more Minnesotans licensed to carry handguns in public haven't turned the state into the Wild West shootout that gun-control advocates warned of. But they also have not done much to curb violent crime, a benefit that many gun-rights proponents predicted when the state's permitting law was liberalized.


It's obviously a choice as to whether own a handgun or not. But the 2nd Amendment guarantees that choice.


I don't care my President is a Christian!

I don't care if ...

  1. My plumber is a Christian
  2. My banker is a Christian
  3. My auto mechanic is a Christian
  4. ....
  5. And I don't care if my President is a Christian!

James Dobson does!

Why I don't care:

  1. Because some Christians have been duped into voting for one politician or another based upon said politician's profession of faith. I'm not going to dance to that tune!
  2. Because some Christians naively view the President as an Old Testament King. I view the President as a C.E.O. who needs to manage the Executive Branch.
  3. Because I once fell into that trap myself and voted for Jimmy Carter.

Time names James Dobson as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America


  1. Is it important that the President is a Christian? Why or why not?
  2. Am I off base?

I look forward to your comments

God's Providence over the Individual

The providence of God extends not only over nations, but also over individuals. The circumstances of every man's birth, life, and death, are ordered by God. Whether we are born in a heathen or in a Christian land, in the Church or out of it; whether weak or strong; with many, or with few talents; whether we are prosperous or afflicted; whether we live a longer or a shorter time, are not matters determined by chance, or by the unintelligent sequence of events, but by the will of God. 1 Sam. ii. 6, 7, "The Lord killeth and maketh alive: He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich, He bringeth low and lifteth up." Is. xlv. 5, "I am the Lord (the absolute ruler), and there is none else; there is no God besides me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me." Prov. xvi. 9, "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps." Ps. lxxv. 6, 7, "Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge (ruler): he putteth down one, and setteth up another." Ps. xxxi. 15, "My times (the vicissitudes of life) are in thy hands." Acts xvii. 26, God "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed (i.e., the turning points in history) and the bounds of their habitation.

Hodge v 1 p 588

  1. Work:

    1. Our next version upgrade job finally out of Q.A. (only took 3 months!)
    2. General UAT invite goes out on Tuesday with a UAT period for 2 weeks.
    3. I have a presentation to my boss's boss on Monday on my proposed communications strategy

  2. Home:

    1. Tonight's reading: Deuteronomy 23 & 24
    2. Willows budding out
    3. Medicine Lake iced out today

Blair: Britain Won't Negotiate w Iran

Blair: Britain Won't Negotiate With Iran


Prime Minister Blair: "The important thing for us is to get them back safe and sound, but we can't enter into some basis of bargaining," ... "What you have to do when you are engaged with people like the Iranian regime, you have to keep explaining to them, very patiently, what it is necessary to do and at the same time make them fully aware there are further measures that will be taken if they're not prepared to be reasonable." ... "What you can't do is end up negotiating over hostages; end up saying there's some quid pro quo or tit for tat; that's not acceptable,"

Tilt-A-Whirl ... the state ride?

Bill would make Tilt-A-Whirl official amusement ride of state


Eight decades after it was invented in a Faribault kitchen and began its long run at the Minnesota State Fair, the Tilt-A-Whirl soon may share a lofty distinction with blueberry muffins and monarch butterflies: the official state something. In this case, the official state amusement ride.

Wiki: Tilt-A-Whirl

Comment: Interesting and Minnesota. But a waste of legislative effort!

Early polling gives GOP edge in '08

Poll: A Surprising G.O.P. Edge for '08


In our poll, Hillary Clinton loses to John McCain, 42-48%, and to Rudy Giuliani 41-50%. Even though Clinton maintains a 7% edge over Obama among Democratic respondents, Obama fares better in the general election match-ups. It's so close that it's a statistical dead-heat, but Obama still loses: 43-45% to McCain, 44-45% to Giuliani.

Comment: The American people seem to have a penchant against having one party rule in both the Congress and the Executive branch. It seems to many that political excesses often occur when either the Democrats or the Republicans control it all. In my informal discussions with friends and family, Hillary Clinton is regarded negatively and Barack Obama is regarded favorably.

I favor John McCain. His official campaign site is here.

BBC: Propaganda war

Propaganda war over captured Brits

Comments: Full coverage from the BBC


The first British tactic had been to offer Iran an easy way out by giving Iran the GPS reading and suggesting there might have been a mistake.

Iran at first offered a different co-ordinate and then, when it was pointed out that even this was in Iraqi waters, another reading was given, this time on the Iranian side.

Thoughts on my Father's Birthday

My Father, Alvah Peet, was born March 29th, 1918 in Alaska Michigan. He died December 22, 1999.

Things I learned from my Father:

  1. I learned to be faithful to one woman. He and Mom were married 57 years. He was faithful to her.
  2. I learned how to work. Dad worked for A.T.&T. for over 40 years.
  3. I learned how to be a Father. My Dad was tough. I did not always appreciate that growing up. He taught us to respect him.
  4. I learned to have fun. My Dad was fun. We camped together, we boated, we goofed off.
  5. I learned to earn money and provide for my family. My Father faithfully provided for our family. We had everything we needed and then some.
  6. I learned patriotism. My Dad served our country in World War II.
  7. I learned leadership from my Father.

I don't think of my Dad every day. Sometimes Roger or I will say, Dad would have enjoyed that. (I think Dad would have enjoyed playing pool with his boys!). Mom thinks of him every day and his death is harder on her than me. But this week I have been remembering him. I miss him.

John Piper wrote Things I Have Learned (from his Father). I encourage you to read it!


God's Providence over the Nations

The Bible teaches that the providential government of God extends over nations and communities of men. Ps. lxvi. 7, "He ruleth by his power forever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves." Dan. iv. 35, "He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth." Dan. ii. 21, "He changeth the times and the seasons; He removeth kings and setteth up kings." Dan. iv. 25, "The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever He will." Is. x. 5, 6, "O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is my indignation, I will send him against an hypocritical nation." Verse 7, "Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so." Verse 15, "Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself as though it were not wood." The Scriptures are full of this doctrine. God uses the nations with the absolute control that a man uses a rod or a staff. They are in his hands, and He employs them to accomplish his purposes. He breaks them in pieces as a potter's vessel, or He exalts them to greatness, according to his good pleasure.

Hodge v 1 p 587

O Wherefore Do the Nations Rage?

O wherefore do the nations rage,
And kings and rulers strive in vain,
Against the Lord of earth and heav'n
To overthrow Messiah's reign?

Their strength is weakness in the sight
Of Him Who sits enthroned above;
He speaks, and judgments fall on them
Who tempt His wrath and scorn His love.

By God's decree His Son receives
The nations for His heritage;
The conqu'ring Christ supreme shall reign
As King of kings, from age to age.

Britain Steps Up Pressure

Iran to Release Female Sailor; Britain Steps Up Pressure

International / Europe
Iran to Release Female Sailor; Britain Steps Up Pressure
Published: March 28, 2007
Britain today froze all “bilateral business” with Tehran to retaliate for the seizure of 15 British naval personnel six days ago in what the Royal Navy insists were Iraqi waters.

British Ministry of Defence briefing

Faye Turney was shown on Iranian TV today,
hours after Tehran said she would be released before Friday

Dear Mum & Dad,

I am writing to you from Iran where I am being held. I will try to explain to you the best what has happened.

We were out in the boats when we were arrested by Iranian forces as we had apparently gone into Iranian waters.

I wish we hadn't because then I'd be home with you all right now. I am so sorry we did because I know we wouldn't be here now if we hadn't.

I want you all to know that I am well and safe. I am being well looked after. I am fed three meals a day and have a constant supply of fluids. The people are friendly and hospitable, very compassionate and warm.

I have written a letter to the Iranian people to apologize for us entering into their waters.

Please don't worry about me, I am staying strong. Hopefully it won't be long until I am home to get ready for Molly's birthday party with a present from the Iranian people.

Look after everyone for me, especially Adam and Molly. I love you all more than you will ever know.

All my love, Faye

A forced "confession"?

Sailor to parents: Sorry for entering Iranian waters

Iranians parade captured navy woman in a hijab

Iran:UK Sailors

Iranian TV ... interesting

29 degrees 50.36 minutes north, 048 degrees 43.08 minutes east

That would be 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters, and not in Iranian waters!

Britain Steps Up Pressure on Iran, Freezing Business Ties


The Royal Navy took the highly unusual step of making public charts, photographs and previously secret navigational coordinates purportedly proving that the sailors were 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters, and not in Iranian waters, when they were seized.

Comment: It's hard to understand the Iranian leadership! I doubt this episode alone leads to hostilities but it reminds me of the Iran hostage crisis

The imams vs. "John Does"

Hulk Hogan of legal world volunteers to go up against imams


The imams plan to sue "John Does" -- innocent bystanders -- who alerted the authorities about their security concerns.

Since then, volunteer defenders of the John Does have stepped forward, locally and around the country.

Dr. Zudhi Jasser, an Arizona physician who heads the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, offered to raise money to pay the defendants' legal costs. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C. -- whose clients have included Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus -- offered to represent the John Does without charge. Eleven members of Congress, including Minnesota's John Kline, are co-sponsoring legislation that would bar suits against individuals who report "suspicious behavior" to security personnel in good faith.

Comment: Them against us ... that's how I feel.


God's Providence over the Animal World

The Scriptures teach that irrational animals are the objects of God's providential care. He fashions their bodies, He calls them into the world, sustains them in being, and supplies their wants. In his hand is the life of every living thing. (Job xii. 10.) The Psalmist says (civ. 21), "The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God." Verses 27, 28, "These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. That thou givest them, they gather: thou openest thy hand, they are filled with good." Matt. vi. 26, "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them." Acts xvii. 25, "He giveth to all life and breath, and all things." Such representations are not to be explained away as poetical modes of expressing the idea that the laws of nature, as ordained of God, are so arranged as to meet the necessities of the animal creation, without any special intervention of his providence. It is not the fact, merely, that the world, as created by God, is adapted to meet the wants of his creatures, that is asserted in the Scriptures, but that his creatures depend on the constant exercise of his care. He gives or withholds what they need according to his good pleasure. When our Lord put in the lips of his disciples the petition, "Give us this day our daily bread," He recognized the fact that all living creatures depend on the constant intervention of God for the supply of their daily wants.

Hodge v 1 p 587

Tonight's reading Deuteronomy 19 & 20

19:11-13, "But if anyone hates his neighbor, lies in wait for him, rises against him and strikes him mortally, so that he dies, and he flees to one of these cities, then the elders of his city shall send and bring him from there, and deliver him over to the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you."

Geologist: St. Helens an 'open system'

Geologist: St. Helens an 'open system'


VANCOUVER, Wash. - Mount St. Helens may be following the example of Kilauea in Hawaii with magma being replaced from a reservoir beneath the volcano as fast as it emerges as lava at the surface, scientists say.

While the two volcanoes are different in many respects, St. Helens appears to have become an "open system" as its domebuilding eruption that began in the fall of 2004 continues at a pace that has been unchanged for the past year, said Daniel Dzurisin, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory.

Wiki: Mount St. Helens

Wiki: 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens

Comment: The Peet family visited the site in June 1994.

Pope: hell and damnation 'real and eternal'

Medieval illustration of Hell in the Hortus deliciarum manuscript of Herrad of Landsberg (about 1180)

Pope confirms hell and damnation 'real and eternal'

Comment: One does not need the Pope's opinion (but I did find it interesting)

  1. Luke 16:19-28, “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
  2. Revelation 20:14-15, "Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."

How to escape hell

Stinky Water

Minneapolis is attacking water odor


Gayle Bonneville was standing at her bathroom sink a couple of weeks ago in northeast Minneapolis, getting ready to wash her face, when she smelled it again: A "swampy, musky, fishy" scent coming from the faucet.

Why do I keep getting whiffs of that in spring? she wondered.

Not to worry, city officials said: It's an annual effect of snow-melt carrying extra bits of decomposing leaves into the Mississippi River, where the city gets its water.

Comment: I'm glad that Plymouth gets its water from wells!

Understanding Stock Buybacks

Shrink! The Latest Buyback Announcements


Stock buybacks are seen as a bullish sign that management thinks its stock is cheap. Not only can they get a better return by investing in their company, but it's also a way for companies to return capital to shareholders, just like dividends.

A quick take on buybacks: Done right, repurchasing shares increases earnings per share, assuming that profits at least maintain their present level. A company with $1 million in earnings and 1 million shares outstanding will have EPS of $1.00. Buying back 250,000 shares so that only 750,000 shares remain outstanding -- and total profits are still $1 million -- means EPS will increase 33% to $1.33 (1 million divided by 750,000 is 1.33).

Wells Fargo approves buyback of 75 million shares


The buyback accounts for about 2.2 percent of the company's 3.4 billion shares outstanding

Comment: A confusing topic ... the "Motley Fool" article explains clearly!

Packing Heat in DC!

Webb Aide Tried To Take Gun Into Senate Building, Capitol Police Say

Comment (quoting the OpinionJournal): "So members of Congress are allowed to carry guns on Capitol Hill whereas law-abiding citizens are not?"

Is your computer a criminal?

Is your computer a criminal?


Individual bots operate in complete silence, but we all see their handiwork. At this point, almost every spam e-mail is sent from a hijacked computer, according to Uriel Maimon, a researcher at security firm RSA. That means every time you receive a spam, a hijacked computer is at the other end. For evidence of a bot epidemic, researchers point to the recent resurgence of spam, which has doubled in the past 12 months.

Forget Viagra sales: Spammers have largely graduated to manipulating stock markets. Most spam is image spam now, designed to pump up stock prices in thinly traded companies so someone can make a quick profit. In a recent e-mail apparently written by a stock spammer and examined by MSNBC.com, the author brags he can more than double a stock price within two to three weeks.


  1. Have a current operating system (if Windows should be at least Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2))
  2. Have a personal firewall: Windows XP SP2 has a firewall but must be enabled. Zone Alarm is another product (all my company's computers have Zone Alarm!). If you have a router, they can be configured to act a a firewall as well.
  3. Have a current suite of Internet security products (eg. Nortons)
  4. Don't browse the internet using a userid with Admin rights. Only use the Admin rights userid when you need to. Otherwise use a userid with "least user" rights.
  5. Next PC: consider a MAC or a Linux!


Putting a human face on debt

Book review: 'Maxed Out'


When Wesley Wannemacher, an Ohio resident, testified at a congressional hearing earlier this month, his story of debt and hopelessness was a familiar one.

Wannemacher had maxed out his $3,000 Chase bank card to pay for his wedding and fell behind in his payments. Over six years, Wannemacher ended up owing $7,500 in interest fees, late-payment fees and over-the-limit fees on an original debt of $3,200. Even after making payments totaling $6,300, he still owed $4,400 in fees.

Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders

Subprime problems contained?

Fed's Moskow: Subprime problems isolated


Problems in subprime mortgages are not spilling over to the rest of the U.S. housing market, which is in the process of stabilizing, Chicago Federal Reserve President Michael Moskow said Monday.

Speaking to students at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Moskow said that after an outright drop in U.S. housing spending - new construction and renovation - of 12.7 percent in 2006, the Federal Reserve judges that the sector is leveling off

"Our best estimate is that it is in the process of stabilizing and that by the second half of the year, housing will start to pick up again," he said.

Moskow said a critical question was whether problems in subprime mortgages spill over to the broader home lending market, leading to defaults that would dampen consumer spending and, with it, the overall economy.

"I don't see that happening. There's no evidence of that happening so far. I think it's a very low-probability scenario," he said.

Comment: I hope he's right!

God's Providence over Nature

We find that the Bible asserts that the providential agency of God is exercised over all the operations of nature. This is asserted with regard to the ordinary operations of physical laws: the motion of the heavenly bodies, the succession of the seasons, the growth and decay of the productions of the earth; and the falling of the rain, hail, and snow. It is He who guides Arcturus in his course, who makes the sun to rise, and the grass to grow. These events are represented as due to the omnipresent agency of God and are determined, not by chance, nor by necessity, but by his will. Paul says (Acts xiv. 17), that God "left not himself without witness" even among the heathen, "in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." Our Lord says (Matt. v. 45), God "maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." He clothes "the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven." (Matt. vi. 30.) In like manner the more unusual and striking operations of natural laws, earthquakes, tempests, and pestilences, are said to be sent, governed, and determined by Him, so that all the effects which they produce are referred to his purpose. He makes the winds his messengers, and the lightnings are his ministering spirits. Even apparently fortuitous events, such as are determined by causes so rapid or so inappreciable as to elude our notice, the falling of the lot; the flight of an arrow; the number of the hairs of our heads, are all controlled by the omnipresent God. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father." (Matt. x. 29.)

Hodge v 1 p. 586

  1. It is unbelievably nice in Minneapolis today. We reached 81 degrees!
  2. We drove along the W side of Medicine Lake ... still ice on the Lake but it looks awfully porous!
  3. My boss is going to Brazil on Friday and will be gone for 12 days. We met today to discuss business while he is gone.
  4. Rachel's passport (for her Europe trip) arrived today
  5. Tonight's reading Deuteronomy 17 & 18 (see below)

Principles Governing Kings

Deuteronomy 17:14-20

“When you come to the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself. “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.

An overspender's story

A matter of life and debt: An overspender's story


It can take 35 to 50 years to get out of debt by paying the minimum on cards with typical 20 to 30 percent interest rates, Bach said.

Typically, Bach said, it takes twice as long to get out of debt as it did to get into it.

Comment: Our Pastor made a comment about working the other day. I don't remember his exact words, but the net of it was that we need to work to 1:) provide for ourselves and then 2:) work to provide for good works.

I Timothy 6:17-19: "Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."

CEO Profile: Dick Kovacevich

CEO Profile: Wells Fargo's Kovacevich banks on success as a one-stop shop


In an interview at his office here, Kovacevich says the secret to Wells Fargo's success is that the bank does a better job selling multiple product lines to its existing customer base than any other financial institution.

Comment: Kathee and I literally bumped into Dick on the street in Minneapolis about 8 years ago. I'm sure he remembers me! Dick Kovacevich's leadership style filters down through the ranks. We all know what "going for the Great Eight" means and that we are responsible for customer service!

Islamic View of Jesus

Comment: 4th in series. Be sure to read all of them!

Islamic View of Jesus


Will Diners Still Swallow This?

A Hardee’s Monster Thickburger

Will Diners Still Swallow This?

Business / Your Money
Will Diners Still Swallow This?
Published: March 25, 2007
On your plate, a battle between profit and portions.

Comment: From a dieter! Eating out is bad for your waist!

Gmail Theater: Why Use Gmail?

Cute ... I use Gmail and it is great for catching Spam.

Minnesota Muslims and culture clash

Minnesota Muslims and culture clash


Munira Omar applied for a cashier job at Target last week but balked when they called her back for an interview. Sure, she needs the money to help pay for college next year. But the Minneapolis teenager braced for a question about scanning pork products. • "I'm going to say 'no' and stick to my religion and not change who I am for $7 an hour," Omar said.

Pastor McLachlan's message at 4th this morning: Resisting the Drift towards Ungodliness

I Timothy 6:11-16 "But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen"

We are to be motivated by:

  1. Knowing that our God sees us: "in the sight of God"
  2. Knowing that Christ is coming: "until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing"
  3. Knowing that God is sovereign: "He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords"

    1. He is invincible
    2. He is inaccessible (except through Christ)
    3. He is invisible
    4. He is immortal

New Translation Prompts Debate ...

New Translation Prompts Debate on Islamic Verse


New Translation Prompts Debate on Islamic Verse
Published: March 25, 2007
A Muslim woman has re-interpreted a verse of the Koran to say that a rebellious woman should be sent away, rather than beaten, if her behavior does not change.

Comment: Sweet relief! Finally a translation controversy that is not about the KJV!

Shariah in Minnesota?

Shariah in Minnesota? Radical Muslim activists go fishing in troubled waters


The events here suggest a larger strategy: By piggy-backing on our civil rights laws, Islamist activists aim to equate airport security with racial bigotry and to move slowly toward a two-tier legal system. Intimidation is a crucial tool. The "flying imams" lawsuit ups the ante by indicating that passengers who alerted airport authorities will be included as defendants. Activists are also perfecting their skills at manipulating the media. After a "pray-in" at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., one credulous MSNBC anchor likened the flying imams to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

The comparison is misplaced: Omar Shahin, leader of the detained imams, has helped raise money for at least two charities later shut down for supporting terrorism. From 2000 to 2003, he headed the Islamic Center of Tucson, which terrorism expert Rita Katz described in the Washington Post as holding "basically the first cell of al Qaeda in the United States." CAIR has long been controversial for alleged terrorist ties, while the Chicago Tribune has described MAS as the American arm of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, which "preaches that religion and politics cannot be separated and that governments eventually should be Islamic."

Comment: Editorial is by a conservative Star Tribune columnist. Definition: Sharia. The proposed (but later rejected) two tier approach for the cabbies would be the wrong solution!


Why Iran Seized the British Marines

Why Iran Seized the British Marines


As Iran increases the volume of its militancy, the rest of the nations on the gulf have grown more and more nervous. The public speculation about a potential war between the U.S. and Iran has added to that anxiety, as have incidents like the taking of the British marines and an earlier event in March when the Saudi Arabian navy engaged an Iranian submarine. No shots were fired, but the Saudis found the sub near the Saudi city of Jubail, a coastal industrial center that is the site of major Saudi petrochemical and oil installations, as well as the location of the King Abdul Aziz naval base. The Saudis minimized the incident, accepting the Iranian explanation that the sub's closeness to Jubail was a mistake. The Saudis also did not want to further stress relations between Riyadh and Tehran. But an Arab source in the gulf believes that the incident may have been an Iranian political message to the U.S. and the world — a reminder that Iran has assets in the gulf to threaten American and its allies there.

HMS Cornwall

  1. I visited with my Brother in Maple Grove today
  2. Kathee cooked for the boys tonight
  3. Tonight's reading Deut 15 & 16
  4. Worship tomorrow at 4th Baptist


Providence includes not only preservation, but government. The latter includes the ideas of design and control. It supposes an end to be attained, and the disposition and direction of means for its accomplishment. If God governs the universe He has some great end, including an indefinite number of subordinate ends, towards which it is directed, and He must control the sequence of all events, so as to render certain the accomplishment of all his purposes. Of this providential government the Scriptures teach,

  1. That it is universal, including all the creatures of God, and all their actions. The external world, rational and irrational creatures, things great and small, ordinary and extraordinary, are equally and always under the control of God. The doctrine of providence excludes both necessity and chance from the universe, substituting for them the intelligent and universal control of an infinite, omnipresent God.
  2. The Scriptures also teach that this government of God is powerful. It is the universal sway of omnipotence which renders certain the accomplishment of his designs, which embrace in their compass everything that occurs.
  3. That it is wise; which means not only that the ends which God has in view are consistent with his infinite wisdom, and that the means employed are wisely adapted to their respective objects, but also that his control is suited to the nature of the creatures over which it is exercised. He governs the material world according to fixed laws which He himself has established; irrational animals by their instincts, and rational creatures agreeably to their nature.
  4. God's providence is holy. That is, there is nothing in the ends proposed, the means adopted, or the agency employed, inconsistent with his infinite holiness, or which the highest moral excellence does not demand.
This is all that the Scriptures reveal on this most important and difficult subject. And here it were well could the subject be allowed to rest. It is enough for us to know that God does govern all his creatures and all their actions, and that his government while absolutely efficacious is infinitely wise and good, directed to secure the highest ends, and perfectly consistent with his own perfections and with the nature of his creatures. But men have insisted upon answering the questions, How does God govern the world? What is the relation between his agency and the efficiency of second causes? and especially, How can God's absolute control be reconciled with the liberty of rational agents? These are questions which never can be solved. But as philosophers insist upon answering them, it becomes necessary for theologians to consider those answers, and to show their fallacy when they conflict with the established facts of revelation and experience.

Hodge v 1 p 581

A Triumph for Pelosi

'A Triumph for Pelosi'


It will be noted by our enemies in Iraq and will encourage them to inflict more casualties to further sour American support. It will make it harder for Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to disarm Shiite militias, who can point to the vote and say the Americans will soon be leaving. And most disgraceful, it will send a message to U.S. troops that they can fight on--albeit without much chance of success and without Congressional support.

The lengths that Democratic leaders had to go to win their "triumph" betrayed its cynicism. To get her narrow majority of 218 votes, Ms. Pelosi and Appropriations Chairman David Obey had to load it up like a farm bill: $74 million for peanut storage, $25 million for spinach growers, $283 million for dairy farmers--all told, some $20 billion in vote-buying earmarks of the kind Democrats campaigned against last year.

The EU at 50

The founding nations signing the Treaty of Rome in 1957

Europe, Old and New


Preparations for the European Union's big 50th birthday party this weekend in Berlin quickly degenerated into a petty brawl over the wording of the declaration for the occasion. Some countries wanted to push the bloc's stillborn constitution, others the euro, still others Christianity. What a fitting tribute to the EU's achievement.

We're not kidding. Such intramural trench warfare, be it over joint statements or milk quotas, is blessedly far removed from the wars that characterized the five decades before the EU's birth. Whatever its shortcomings, the EU can justly claim credit for helping bring peace and prosperity to the Continent's 490 million citizens.

Wiki: The European Union

Nightclub or church?

Big churches give the young their own way to worship


As guitar-driven rock accelerated and five mammoth video screens flashed with high-speed urban imagery, hundreds of young people swayed in a dark and crowded hall, ready to start the party.

But this was no nightclub. This was church -- a new youth service called the Gathering at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie.

Comment: Is is worship? or entertainment?


JAXA Hinode mission

Hinode sees the dynamic and violent sun as sharply as never before


Hinode, the newest solar observatory on the space scene, has obtained never-before-seen images showing that the sun's magnetic field is much more turbulent and dynamic than previously known.

Hinode, Japanese for 'sunrise', was launched on 23 September 2006 to study the sun's magnetic field and how its explosive energy propagates through the different layers of the solar atmosphere.


Genesis 1:16-19: And God made the two great lights--the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night--and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

(From How Great Thou Art)

The Nature of Preservation

This doctrine, thus clearly taught in the Scriptures, is so consonant to reason and to the religious nature of man, that is not denied among Christians. The only question is as to the nature of the divine efficiency to which the continued existence of all things is to be referred. On this subject there are three general opinions.

First, That of those who assume that everything is to be referred to the original purpose of God. He created all things and determined that they should continue in being according to the laws which He impressed upon them at the beginning. There is no need, it is said, of supposing his continued intervention for their preservation. It is enough that He does not will that they should cease to be. This is the theory adopted by the Remonstrants and generally by the Deists of modern times. According to this view, God is seated on his throne in the heavens, a mere spectator of the world and of its operations, exerting no direct efficiency in sustaining the things which He has made. ... To this view it is to be objected, --

  1. That it is obviously opposed to the representations of the Bible. According to the uniform and pervading teaching of the Scriptures, God is not merely a God afar off. He is not a mere spectator of the universe which He has made, but is everywhere present in his essence, knowledge, and power. To his sustaining hand the continuance of all things is constantly referred; and if He withdraws his presence they cease to be. This is so plainly the doctrine of the Bible that it is admitted so to be by many whose philosophical views constrain them to reject the doctrine for themselves.
  2. It is inconsistent with the absolute dependence of all things on God. It supposes creatures to have within themselves a principle of life, derived originally, indeed, from God, but capable of continued being and power without his aid. The God of the Bible is everywhere declared to be the all-sustaining ground of all that is, so that if not upheld by the word of his power, they would cease to be. The Scriptures expressly distinguish the power by which things were created from that by which they are continued. All things were not only created by Him, says the Apostle, but by Him all things consist. (Col. i. 17.) This language clearly teaches that the almighty power of God is as much concerned in the continued existence, as in the original creation of all things.
  3. This doctrine does violence to the instinctive religious convictions of all men. Even those the least enlightened live and act under the conviction of absolute dependence. They recognize God as everywhere present and everywhere active. If they do not love and trust Him, they at least fear Him and instinctively deprecate his wrath. They cannot, without doing violence to the constitution of their nature, look upon God as a being who is a mere spectator of the creatures who owe their existence to his will.

    Hodge v 1 p 575-ff

  1. Tonight's reading Deuteronomy 13 & 14 (more later)
  2. Work:

    1. Boss back from San Fran and we met today
    2. I build administrative functions for my database project (eg add new users). Formerly I had done this directly in SQL Server (Enterprise Manager)
    3. I put together a communications matrix. Tom and I are going to review this on Monday to flesh it out. We want to present this to his manager.

  3. Subway for dinner
  4. I talked to Mom about her water heater and radiator issues
  5. Now quietly reading the paper and having coffee
  6. 67 degrees this afternoon! We let the cats out on the back porch
  7. I submitted my recommendation to the pulpit committee.

Punishment of Apostates

Deuteronomy 13:1-5, “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.

Hip and Thigh: When Bad Exegesis and Goofy Religious Traditions Mess up Your Life

When Bad Exegesis and Goofy Religious Traditions Mess up Your Life

Worth a read!

Subprime Shakeout in Shaker Heights

Foreclosures Force Suburbs to Fight Blight


Cuyahoga County, including Cleveland and 58 suburbs, has one of the country’s highest foreclosure rates, and officials say the worst is yet to come. In 1995, the county had 2,500 foreclosures; last year there were 15,000. Officials blame the weak economy and housing market and a rash of subprime loans for the high numbers, and the unusual prevalence of vacant houses.

Foreclosures in Cleveland’s inner ring of suburbs, while still low compared with those in Cleveland itself, have climbed sharply, especially in lower-income neighborhoods that border the city. Hundreds of houses are vacant because they are caught in legal limbo, have been abandoned by distant banks or the owners cannot find buyers.

Comment: In my childhood in Cincinnati OH, Shaker Heights was the epitome of the upper class!

Automated underwriting software

Automated underwriting software AKA The Subprime Loan Machine

The Subprime Loan Machine
Published: March 23, 2007
A little-noticed tool of automated underwriting software helped fuel the recent subprime mortgage boom.

Comment: Interesting read and explains how automated risk scoring systems enabled the subprime business to boom. (Perhaps there was an over reliance on these systems!)


Love and Obedience

Deuteronomy 11:1-9

“Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always. Know today that I do not speak with your children, who have not known and who have not seen the chastening of the LORD your God, His greatness and His mighty hand and His outstretched arm— His signs and His acts which He did in the midst of Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to all his land; what He did to the army of Egypt, to their horses and their chariots: how He made the waters of the Red Sea overflow them as they pursued you, and how the LORD has destroyed them to this day; what He did for you in the wilderness until you came to this place; and what He did to Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben: how the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, their households, their tents, and all the substance that was in their possession, in the midst of all Israel— but your eyes have seen every great act of the LORD which He did. “Therefore you shall keep every commandment which I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and possess the land which you cross over to possess, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD swore to give your fathers, to them and their descendants, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’

  1. Our reading tonight Deuteronomy 11 & 12
  2. Rachel had a quiz and a test today (we prayed for her ... she called me at noon to let me know they went well). She has 7 weeks of school left, then 1 week of exams, then graduation (5/12). Then leaves for Europe on 5/15. Starts work at 3M on 6/11
  3. I had coffee with my friend Scott M today
  4. Glad it is Friday tomorrow. Boss returns from San Fran and I'll see him tomorrow.

What's behind the Subpoena Assault

Subpoena Assault: Congress's real goal is crippling the Bush Presidency


But there's little doubt that this or any other President has the right--we'd say the obligation--to protect the confidentiality of internal White House discussions, especially over Presidential appointments. If Congress can solicit any email concerning advice to the President, or haul any White House official before Congress, then executive branch deliberations will soon be an oxymoron.

Comment: Some things are worth fighting for ... and the separation of powers is one of them!

No impact living!

The Year Without Toilet Paper

Home & Garden
The Year Without Toilet Paper
Published: March 22, 2007
To reduce their impact on the environment, two New Yorkers give up what most take for granted.


Welcome to Walden Pond, Fifth Avenue style. Isabella’s parents, Colin Beavan, 43, a writer of historical nonfiction, and Michelle Conlin, 39, a senior writer at Business Week, are four months into a yearlong lifestyle experiment they call No Impact. Its rules are evolving, as Mr. Beavan will tell you, but to date include eating only food (organically) grown within a 250-mile radius of Manhattan; (mostly) no shopping for anything except said food; producing no trash (except compost, see above); using no paper; and, most intriguingly, using no carbon-fueled transportation.


They are more environmentally committed than Al Gore who will not take "the pledge".

Plutonic Warming

Fred Thompson on Global Warming


NASA says the Martian South Pole’s “ice cap” has been shrinking for three summers in a row. Maybe Mars got its fever from earth. If so, I guess Jupiter’s caught the same cold, because it’s warming up too, like Pluto.

This has led some people, not necessarily scientists, to wonder if Mars and Jupiter, non signatories to the Kyoto Treaty, are actually inhabited by alien SUV-driving industrialists who run their air-conditioning at 60 degrees and refuse to recycle.

For the record:

  1. I don't drive an SUV and I think they are wasteful! But I support the right of Americans to buy them.
  2. We recycle
  3. We drive less (frankly to save money not the planet!)
  4. I think the planet is warming
  5. I don't think raising taxes or any supra-national (United Nations or Kyoto Treaty) action will help

More on the subprime mess

For Some Subprime Borrowers, Few Good Choices

For Some Subprime Borrowers, Few Good Choices
Published: March 22, 2007
Lenders and the government are being urged to cushion the blow to troubled borrowers and find ways to enable them to remain in their homes.

Dried Fruit snacks

Last year I was in a bad habit of having dessert every night after dinner: ice cream, cookies, etc. Virtually every night I was having something.

This year I have been having dried fruit. Some comments:

While I had eaten a Fig Newton before ... I had never eaten a fig before 2007. As we were reading the New Testament, Kathee and I had a discussion about dates and figs. I said that I did not know the difference. We shopped for them at Lund's and bought a small carton of each. A fig is not a fruit of beauty but what it lacks in looks it makes up in taste! Read about figs. We buy them in the Lund's produce department. Eight Ways Figs Keep You Healthy

Read about dates

We buy also buy dates in Lund's produce department. Oh the taste! Plus they are chewy (and a little sticky)!

We also buy dried apricots at Lund's. I'm not sure which aisle Kathee gets these in but it is not in produce.

Kathee typically prepares a small plate of dried fruit to accompany our coffee. Tonight I had 1 fig, 2 dates, and 2 apricots. I understand that this is approximately 100 calories. And they are good, healthy, vitamin rich and satisfying calories.


Political Correctness in St Louis Park

St. Louis Park urged to remove 'Huck Finn' from curriculum


When daughter Nia was assigned to read it in her 10th-grade honors class, his memories of a racially volatile childhood came surging back.

Now Gilbert and his wife, Sylvia, are reviving a century-old debate by asking St. Louis Park High to remove the novel from the required-reading list.

While controversy over the novel dates back to the 1880s, debate over use of the N-word by schools, theaters and even black entertainers continues to make news.

For Gilbert, a 52-year-old small business owner, there's not much question: While no word should be banned entirely, he said, he believes it should not be tolerated in informal conversation or popular entertainment. For African-Americans, he said, "There's no word that brings you to a lower level. ... It makes children feel less than equal in the classroom."

He does not seek to ban the book from the school. "I don't care if all of America reads the book," he said, but he doesn't want it to be required classroom reading.

Wiki: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Late news: 'Huckleberry Finn' wins a first round in St. Louis Park

Parents' request to have it removed from high school's required reading list was rebuffed, but they plan an appeal