Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hooked On Phonics Is NOT A Panacea

This was forwarded by a friend today. It is just too funny to not post here.

My five-year old students are learning to read.

Yesterday one of them pointed at a picture in a Zoo Book and said... "Look at this! It's a frickin' elephant!'

I took a deep breath, and then asked..."What did you call it?"

"It's a frickin' elephant! It says so on the picture!"



And so it does...


A f r i c a n Elephant

Hooked on phonics! Ain't it wonderful?

Now that's funny, I don't care who you are.

An Inconvenient Debt

From Glenn Beck - January 31, 2009

You need to watch this video and then you need to share it with others. This is immoral. It's time to throw out Congress and start over.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Discernment


"Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong.

It is knowing the difference between right and almost right."


-Charles Spurgeon

WARNING: Christian Book Store Ahead!

"...there ought to be a sign posted in every Christian bookstore that reads, “The views expressed in these books do not necessarily express the views of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Voddie Baucham

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No Longer "Above HIS Paygrade"

My Second Letter To HIM


Dear Mr. President,

Back in August, 2008, in front of God and everyone, Rick Warren asked you a question, "At what point does a baby get human rights?"

That really wasn’t a very complex question; most people, regardless of their political or religious beliefs, could readily and simply answer it one way or another.

Do you remember your answer? A lot of us will never forget it. You ducked the question with this non answer, "That's above my pay grade."

Well maybe an answer to that question was above your paygrade as a U.S. senator (after all, most senators aren’t very bright and we really don’t expect much from them) but you sir, are now the president of the United States of America and it is no longer above your paygrade.

And apparently, now you do know the answer to the question. By your recent executive order to reverse the abortion funds ban I guess you have decided that there really are some babies who are not worthy of human rights. Your positions on legally protecting the abilities of some people to cause the violent extermination of their babies simply because of inconvenience or preference are despicable.

Sincerely,



Saturday, January 24, 2009

Is White Hatred The New Racism?

I would not keep bringing this subject up but this new administration seems to have a love affair with their racism and they can’t let it go.

Remember during the campaign how the left kept gloating about how Obama’s election to the presidency will change everything? They referred to him as the “post racial” president. The implication was that, finally, racism will end in America.

One commenter took me to task for attempting to wrongly attribute racial bias to Obama. In my post, Racism Is Alive And Well In America, it is evident that this president, even on inauguration day and amid all his happycrap blather about “coming together,” and “unity,” cannot let racism die.

And then suddenly, to add insult to injury, this new story surfaced. Barack’s economic advisor, former Labor Secretary, Robert Reich made this statement about the proposed economic stimulus plan:
  • "I am concerned, as I'm sure many of you are, that these jobs not simply go to high school people who are already professionals or to white male construction workers. I have nothing against white male construction workers. I'm just saying that there are a lot of other people who have needs as well.
    And therefore, in my remarks, I have suggested to you, and I'm certainly happy to talk about it more, ways in which the money can be -- criteria can be set so that the money does go to others. The long- term unemployed, minorities, women, people who are not necessarily construction workers or high skilled professionals."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Is This What Obama Meant By CHANGE?

I have been using Windows Internet Explorer as my browser since the beginning of my activity on the net. It has never been a problem until the election. We have gotten along just fine together. Now I am having a difficult, philosophical argument with it.

Have you ever tried to argue with a cyber program? It’s like talking to a wall. It will not do what I want to do. Here’s the problem:

I learned, the day of the inauguration, that Obama’s team had made substantive changes to the official White House Web Site. That’s where, before the scent of President Bush’s cologne even left the platform, the Obama team had already posted their plans to undo policies and implement their lefty agenda on America.

So I wanted to keep this site at my disposal (ooh, I like that word) so that I could reference it often; I expect I will be writing to Barry quite frequently. But the only place my browser will keep it is in a place called “favorites.” I don’t like that! I would rather file it someplace more appropriate like “liberal lunacy,” or “stupid stuff,” or “foolish falderol.” But NO, my browser wants me to put it “favorites.”

A friend told me that I should switch to Firefox where I can save it as a “bookmark.” “Bookmark” sounds a little more acceptable than “favorites.” I’m going to take a look at that and maybe I’ll switch over. Hmmm! I wonder if that’s what Obama meant when he kept talking about “change.”

Lyrical Fun

Eddie Eddings is a very talented and prolific cartoonist with a weird sense of humor. He began his blog, Calvinistic Cartoons in November, 2008. And in just a couple months he has managed to attract at least 36 regular followers of which I am one. I started my blog over a year ago and I only have eleven followers. I’m not jealous; I’m just curious about how he did that.

Last week Eddie introduced a lyric contest for his followers. The object was to write lyrics of a theological nature to the tune of the children’s song, “I’m A Little Teapot.”

There were several contributors and a total of 16 entries. Some of them were actually quite clever. I submitted four entries because I thought Eddie was going to award the winner a certificate like he does for his caption contests and I REALLY WANTED A CERTIFICATE.

Well I am happy that one of my entries was the winner but I DIDN’T GIT NO STINKIN’ CERTIFICATE. Oh well, I’ll get over it.

My attempt at writing the winning lyrics was to articulate each of the five points of Calvinism (TULIP) in five verses. Remember, sing this to the tune of “I’m A Little Teapot.”

There really is no good in me.
I am rotten and I’m sure you will agree.
Everything I do is all about me.
That is Total Depravity.

My salvation is all of Grace,
Nothing I can offer will my sins erase.
God has chosen me for His mercy,
Election comes unconditionally.

Christ came to seek and save His own.
His death on Calvary did atone.
For all He called, His blood was shed
And only those, it’s limited.

I was on the run, I wouldn’t be found
But the Spirit tracked me like a thirsty bloodhound.
When He caught me I couldn’t resist
And now my soul is finally at rest.

From my sins I have been freed.
My perseverance is guaranteed.
He has saved me to the uttermost,
And for that I cannot boast.

Well, that was fun. Thank you Eddie Eddings.

The rest of the entries can be seen here. Eddie has just introduced the tune, “Singing In The Rain,” for his next contest.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Will Our New, Anti-War President End This War? Roe v Wade - The American War On The Unborn

The following chart provides a graphic illustration and comparson of the number of war casualties in all American combat and combat-related deaths. Each cross represents 25,000 people killed.


Revolutionary War
(25,324) - +

Civil War
(498,332) - +++++++++++++++++++

World War I
(116,516) - +++++

World War II
(545,108) - +++++++++++++++++++++

Korean War
(54,108) - ++

Viet Nam War
(56,555) - ++

Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq
(4,660) -




America’s War On the Unborn
Thursday, Jan 22, marks the 36th aniversary of the most tragic Supreme Court fiat in America’s history. The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision of seven unelected justices legalized the killing of unborn babies in America. There have been over 50 million casualties in this war on the unborn.


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May God have mercy on us.

Racism Is Alive And Well In America

Smooth move, Barry! What a way to bring us all together.

Apparently, the consequenses of his long-time association with "rev Jeremiah Wrong" taught him NOTHING during his campaign. Either that or he just doesn't care. Else why would he have this white-hating, poor excuse of a pastor offer a closing prayer to inauguration day in front of the whole world?


Additional Comments about this video can be found at Defending Contending .

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My First Letter To President Obama: Disappointment And Broken Promises

Dear Mr. President,

Here we are at the end of DAY ONE.
I have three observations and a question.
  • Our warm sunny days in southern California are over. The clouds began to gather early today and the skies grew darker. The temperatures are cooling. It looks like rain is coming.

  • The price of gas rose 6 cents in six hours at my regular gas station.

  • I checked my bank account today and I still don't have any money. Where is my share of the wealth?


Sincerely Yours,

Jesus Created You Because He Wants To Be Your Best Friend

WOW!!! Isn't this fantastic, guys?


Look at all the little false converts we just produced.



This is the same kind of blather that comes out of Willowcreek. Their children's Sunday School materials instruct children to ask Jesus into their hearts to be their "forever friend."

At Least They Know The Answers To The IMPORTANT Questions

"I see dumb people...they're everywhere.
They walk around like everyone else.
They don't even know they're dumb.
AND THEY VOTE!"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stupid Decisions

Since the purpose of the Electoral College is to overrule the democratic will of the people when necessary to protect us from the consequenses of our stupid mistakes, then why did they not do their jobs?


Just Wondered!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Power Of God's Word

Sally is one of the residents in the “old folks home” (I know, “old folks home” is politically incorrect but I don’t care about being PC and it is a home for old people). She is not a Christian but she has an interesting story and a new-found interest in God. She claims that she died not long ago and was carried off to heaven. The story has all the familiar parts; the white light, the image of “Jesus” standing at the gate as she is approaching, the sense of peace and overwhelming love, and so on. But here is a new twist that I have not heard before. Sally claims that God said to her, “You think you know me but you really don’t.” So He turned her around and sent her back until she learns who He is.

Ever since that alleged event, Sally has been attending our Sunday services, listening to our sermons, and spending lots of time in her room reading her Bible. And when she comes out, she often has some special new insights or revelations about God.

OK, so I am very skeptical about her experience. And I find myself wanting to argue or refute most of the inaccurate or nonsensical ideas that she is forming about God. But I have decided to hold my tongue for a while. I know that arguments will not be productive. I just listen politely, smile, and encourage her to keep reading the Bible.

At this point she is on a quest to “know God.” We will continue to preach the Gospel, answer any questions she may have, and pray that God will reveal Himself to her.

I guess I take a great deal of consolation in God’s promise in Isaiah 55:11, regarding His Word. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”





Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another Obama Quote

I forgot all about this one when I wrote the previous post.

"If my daughters made a mistake, I would hate to see them punished with a baby."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Favorite Quotes From My New President

"I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites."

"I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race."

"There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white."

"It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names."

"I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, Dubois and Mandela."

Barack Obama - from Dreams Of My Father

But do you want to see something REALLY SCARY? Read on.

"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."
Barack Obama - from Audacity Of Hope.

Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan

How Many Gods Will Be Invited To Obama's Inauguration?

How many gods will Obama invite to his inauguration? How many will show up? Or will they all show up?

This says a lot and should end the argument (just in case anyone wants to argue). SBC pastor, Rick Warren, of Saddleback Church and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson (who will give the invocation at the opening of Obama's inauguration week) do not serve the same god. That's not my opinion; We have it straight from Bishop Gene's own mouth:

"...the God that he’s (Rick Warren) praying to is not the God that I know.” Gene Robinson



Read the story by Dan Gilgaff here at U.S.News and World Report (9-12-09)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Catechism Is Not A Four Letter Word

My daughter called early yesterday morning with a strange question; “What do you think about the Westminster Catechism?”

That took me by surprise. Having been raised in (mostly superficial) Baptist churches, I have to admit that the concept of “catechism” was unfamiliar and shrouded in mystery. When I was a boy, a Catholic friend of mine invited me to a catechism class with him (that was over 50 years ago) but I had no idea what catechism is. My mother would not allow me to attend. She was fearful that I might become indoctrinated into the Catholic faith.

Now, back to my daughter’s question, “What about the Westminster catechism?” She is home-schooling her five children and has recently come onto some interesting materials designed to teach the catechism to young children and she wanted to hear my thoughts.

My answer was short, ignorant, and incomplete. I know very little about any of the systematic catechisms and it has been a long time since I have seen them. Nevertheless, my initial response was that the word, “catechism” is not something to be feared. That it is simply a systematic method, using a question and answer format, to teach children doctrinal truths. That’s not a bad thing; in fact it sounds a great deal like a reasonable response to the biblical command:
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

And frankly, any instruction that she gives her children that moves them in the direction of the orthodox theology of the reformers, is far better than the anemic, cartoon theology that is taught by talking vegetables in most Sunday School classes in contemporary evangelical churches today. So, I am excited about the prospect of someone asking my grandchildren, “What are we here for?” and hearing them respond, “To glorify God.”

I told her that I would get back to her soon, with more information. I briefly perused the questions in the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Apart from a few teachings about the sacraments (eg. Infant baptism) the catechism presents an accurate description of man’s sinful condition; it holds Scripture in high esteem; and it is God-honoring.

When it comes to advising my daughter on the subject of catechizing her children, admittedly, I am ill-prepared to speak on the subject. I referred her to this blog post and the comment stream that I found especially helpful. In it the blog author of Shepherd The Flock made this statement on the subject:
"Catechizing sometimes gets a bad rap because of how the Roman Catholic Church has abused it, and probably because people sometimes perceive cold, dead, theology as coming from this particular method of teaching. But let me just tell you, catechizing, when properly done, is anything but dead theology, as it has the potential to bring solid, spiritual substance to many areas of faith and practice which are often casually overlooked. From my personal experience, just in the few weeks we have been at it consistently, catechizing has greatly increased our thoughts of God, our worship, both private and public, our prayer lives, our meditation, our communion, etc. Really, I am beginning to wonder how I ever did without it." Nathan White

Early this morning I was reading a new post by Daisy at Laurel Wreath. Daisy is a woman who is also home-schooling her children. In her post, What I'm Reading... there is this relevant and timely quote:
"The well-being of Christianity worldwide for this twenty-first century directly depends, I am convinced, on the recovery of what has historically been called catechesis - that is, the ministry of systematically teaching people in and coming into our churches the sinew-truths that Christians live by, and the faithful, practical, consistent way for Christians to live by them." ~ J.I. Packer

O.K. so I am taking a good, hard look at the idea of catechizing as a viable teaching method. I know that some critics may argue the real benefit of teaching children by rote but memorization, as a teaching method was employed when I attended school and I still know that 6 X 8 = 48 so it works for me.



Saturday, January 3, 2009

Things I Learned About Life And Leadership From The Rhinoceros


Determination

It’s not good to be too rigid, stubborn, or inflexible, but being HARD-NOSED is not necessarily a bad characteristic especially when it describes a person who is strong in his convictions and uncompromising in the truth. Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. Ezek 3:8

Industriousness

Rhinos use their horns to dig for their food. Life doesn’t just hand us what we want nor are we entitled to enjoy the food of laziness. When God provided daily bread for His people in the wilderness, they had to go out and gather it up. Sure, God does provide for our needs but He expects us to WORK for it. ...this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 2 Thes 3:10

Discernment

Rhinos don’t see very well but they do have acute senses of smell and hearing. Things are not always as clear as they might seem at first so we should take care to be wise and fully informed. Before jumping to conclusions or quickly taking sides in disputes, it is good to take the time to listen to all sides and “nose” around a little. Only a fool decides a matter before he hears it.
The heart of the prudent gets knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. Prov 18:15

Strength

Anyone who has ever had to assume tough responsibilities or make hard decisions knows that there will always be people who won’t agree or who will criticize. Develop some thick skin. We can’t always make everyone happy and those who try will be frustrated and ineffective. Learn to lighten up a little.
for the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. Isa 50:7

Resiliency

Rhinos are often hunted for their horns but did you know that, if broken or cut off, they will grow back? Sooner or later we will all experience some loss, disappointment, pain, or defeat. God expects us to be resilient so get up, get over it and go on. You can’t do yourself or anyone else any good by wallowing around in your misery.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 2 Cor 4:8-9

Courage

It is easy to go along with the crowds. But sometimes we are required to make decisions or take stands that are unpopular. When those times come, the crowds and even our friends may disappear. It takes courage to stand firm for what is right and when we do, we are often left feeling all alone.
Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. I Cor 15:58

Stability

Their short legs and great size make them solid and unmovable. Christians should be firm and unwavering in faith.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

Meekness

Given their great size and strength, rhinos are reputed to be dangerous, but in general they are peaceful and surprisingly timid. In fact they usually prefer flight to fight when threatened. Even territorial disputes are more likely to be settled by posturing and diplomacy than by serious fighting. Strength under control is the definition of meekness and should characterize godly people. The Lord Jesus who had and has all power, demonstrated this Himself; “I am meek and lowly,” He said. Real power is to exercise self control.
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city. Prov 16:3

Readiness

Rhinos’ thick skins provide an armor-like covering. They also use their horns to defend themselves against predators. It’s a dangerous world and the wicked one, like a roaring lion, would “devour” us. God has provided protective armor for us and equipped us for battle.
Put on the whole armor of God. Wrap yourself with truth and cover yourself in righteousness. Cover your feet with the good news of peace and protect yourself with the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation and the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Eph 6:13-17

Teachability

The rhino is one the most easily tamed animals in Africa. Once penned, he soon becomes so gentle that he will eat out of his keeper’s hand. We need to yield ourselves to God, allowing Him to be Lord, so that He can tame and use us.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me. Matthew 11:29
Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. Prov 8:33

Humility

The reign of a dominant male can be short-lived lasting as little as three years before another assumes the lead and the older male resumes a subordinate and submissive life. It is important to remember that it is God who establishes kingdoms, ordains authority and places men in ministry. And He removes men from their positions at His will and for His purposes.
...be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. I Pet 5:5-6

Cooperation

Oxpeckers are birds that hitch rides on the backs of rhinos. While they might seem to be bothersome little nuisances, they actually clean ticks from the hides of the rhinos and they act as early warning systems. Perched high on the rhinos, with their birds-eye views, they raise the alarm call and take flight at the approach of danger. Leaders should remember that every member has value and is necessary in God’s work.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psa 133:1

Friday, January 2, 2009

Modern Evangelism: Decorating the Portals of Hell

Having grown up in church and being exposed to “modern evangelicalism” my whole life, I guess, like many, I have become numbed to the gradual slide from orthodoxy and have grown tolerant of the heretical, feel-good, man-centered gospel that permeates much of modern Christianity.

That became evident to me not long ago in a memorial service for one of our former residents in the home for the elderly.

Tom had been a resident for a few years. Several members of his family are currently serving as pastors and church leaders in various ministries. Over the years they and we have made several unsuccessful attempts to bring him to an understanding of his need for a savior. He was an intelligent, educated man but, to the frustration of his family, Tom had rejected the gospel his whole life.

Then I heard the news that, in his last few days, he “accepted the Lord.” At the memorial service there was much celebrating as everyone comforted themselves with the assurance that their beloved patriarch “slipped peacefully into the loving arms of Jesus” as he expired his final breath and that they would all see him again in that great “reunion in the sky by and by.”

It was during that service that I was suddenly shocked by the accounting of his alleged bedside “profession of faith.” One of the family members described how he appealed to Tom to consider his late wife and others in the family who had gone on before and who would follow him. They were all Christians and were all going to heaven. “Tom,” he said, “this is your last chance. Don’t you want to see your wife again when you die?” Don’t you want to spend eternity with your family in heaven?”

“Yes, I do,” Tom replied.

“Then why don’t you just ask Jesus into your life right now? Would you like to do that?” he asked.

“Yes,” said Tom.

Then he invited Tom to repeat this prayer. “Dear Jesus, I believe in you. Thank you for dying for me. I accept you into my life. Amen.”

That was it. On the basis of that prayer, Tom slipped into eternity with a false hope.

During this Christmas season, in another place, I heard a similar “gospel invitation” described like this;

Salvation is a decision that each one of us must make and it is as simple as saying a simple prayer. Then, in a typical Rick Warrenesque style prayer the pastor led the congregation in a similar version of “the sinners prayer.”

“Dear Lord Jesus, Come into my life; forgive me of my sins. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins. I want to make you Lord of my life.”

At that point, he asked his audience if anyone had prayed that simple prayer for the first time, to let him know so that he could welcome them into the family of God.

I thought about the gospel appeal as described at Tom's memorial service. What was the object? What was the compelling argument for faith? It was just the hope of heaven and the reunion of the family. There was nothing about Jesus or the forgiveness of sin or his need for a savior. As I looked around the room, I noticed that there were several who had never heard the gospel and this memorial service was a lost opportunity.

From time to time, as administrator, I am asked to officiate memorial services. And I am always mindful of the threefold purpose of those events; to honor the memory of the deceased, to comfort those who grieve, and, most importantly, to proclaim our hope in the living Savior. All of that should be done with love and sensitivity but it must be done in TRUTH.


I think it was John MacArthur who said, “everyone wants heaven; they just don’t want God.”



Note: In the interest of accuracy, I am uncertain about the origin of the quote above that I attributed to John MacArthur. Josh at Truth Matters has informed me that he has often heard Paul Washer say, "Everyone wants to go to heaven, they just don't want God to be there when they get there."