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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Kids...


I am really blessed to have two great boys. Kids change everything. I know they tell you that. You read about it (we read everything before our fist was born - we were "experts"). However, nothing prepared us for the real deal.

"Wonder"... that's a pretty good word to describe it. "Unbelieveable"... there's another. There is something about holding someone else's child and somethig altogether again about holding your own. No science to it; just wonder.

I have a friend who is getting ready to be a dad for the first time. He'll be a great dad. He's fun, he cares, he doesn't take himself too seriously. Most of all he is a carer (is that a word?) and a giver - he very unselfishly gives himself to the people and causes he cares about and he cares very deeply. I'm looking forward to seeing how his son changes him. And I look forward to seeing the kind of man McKay grows up to be.

Kids give you an insight into the heart of God. They teach you more about love and giving and caring. They even teach you about holiness and justice and grace and mercy. I know more - and less - about God than ever before.

And that's the wonder of it all.

======

I may be taking a break for a week, unless I can find a computer to use in Kauai (or not). BTW,

WRP this was not a mercy blog.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Pope...

I grew up "sort of Catholic." By that, I mean that because my "religious" side of my family was Catholic (hey - we're Irish!), I was baptized Catholic and sort of went to mass a few times.

My grandfather was a Catholic. He believed in the Church. Most of all he believed in Jesus. He understood, as Pope John Paul II has stated, that one must have a relationship with Jesus to get to heaven. My grandfather had that saving faith as evidenced in my last conversation with him on this earth.

Which brings me to the Pope. I believe that JP2 has done many great things to further not just Catholicism, but true Christianity. While I am a Protestant, my grandfather's death brought me back into contact with his "brand" of faith. I found the elements of the service mystical in a good way. I understood the reason for the rituals and repetition - even if some of it has become vain.

I am saddened to read of the Pope's condition. I was challenged by his perseverance to the end in discharging his ministry. He seems like a sweet, kind man. I believe that he has done much good. And I pray that his successor stays the course.

Dreamer Scholar Pragmatist...

Just got done reading a blog by a buddy of mine. He's a professor at a local university. Check out the post,"How far is the East from the West?" Great insight about the old saying, "We make our choices and our choices make us."

Keep up the great work, bro!

Easter and Hawaii...

Two good things about today:

  1. It's Easter! Easter is THE foundational holiday of the Chrisitan faith. Christmas is wonderful. Good Friday is incredible. But Resurrection Sunday is where it's at. Check out 1 Corinthians 15 for more info.
  2. We're going to Hawaii!
    Just got word that we're taking off for Kauai next Monday morning. I am stoked! I love Hawaii - especially snorkeling. Golf ought to be nice there, too. Think about us next week as we're relaxing at the Princeville Resort. Tomorrow is "snorkel-shpooing-day."

We had three awesome services today. Everyone dod such a great job. God was so good to us. We're looking forward to John and Patsy Ramsey next week.

Friday, March 25, 2005

A week is too long to wait...

Apologies that it has been a week (actually 8 days) since my last post. I think when I get around the "extra-busy-seasons" I may convert to a once-a-week post.

Today I got to spend some time with one of my closest friends. It was like taking a drink of cool water. I was reminded after I dropped him off at home how important a good friend is, especially for someone in "the ministry."

I have a lot of people that I can hang with, but not too many people I feel I can really trust with who I am. The one thing I know about my friend is that he won't judge me for me. He's a listener and an encourager, alternately sympathizing and kicking me in the butt - which is exactly what I need.

I am thankful for my friend. I hope that you have someone you can be real with.

By the way, check out a cool podcast from my friend, Randy Elrod. He is a mentor to some arecording artist you would know and he allows us to eavesdrop on their conversations once a week. Very cool, Randy. Thanks to you, too, for being a good friend to me.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Preparing for a memorial service...

I am doing a memorial service today for a woman who was a part of our church. She died from cancer. Audrey was a dear woman who had a ready smile and always had a twinkle in her eye. She was the kind of person that brightened the room when she was there; a person whose company you were always glad to keep.

Audrey's death was no surprise. She had been battling cancer for over a year and had been losing ground for the past month. And yet, when the day comes, while you are relieved that your friend is no longer suffering, the hole left as a result of her passing is gaping and seems to dominate the landscape of your being.

Audrey sang in the choir. She sang bass - one of the few women I have known that actually could. She was tall and statuesque and sang with the love of Christ on her face. She radiated the joy of the Lord from every part of her being. She was elegant, full of class, and a true lady.

Audrey will be remembered for many things. The things I will remember the most about Audrey will be her smile, her eyes, and her gentle spirit. Audrey was one of the sweetest, kindest women I have ever known. She didn't just smile with her mouth - she smiled with her whole self. She had a twinkle in her eyes that made you feel like you had just taken a drink of cool, refreshing water. Audrey was like that until the very end. Even the last time Pastor Mike and I visited her in the hospital she had a smile for us and had that sparkle in her eyes.

Audrey loved people. I have had people who knew her tell me about how special Audrey was to them and how she always made them feel good about themselves. Audrey had a gift for making people feel special.

Audrey loved her family. It was so evident as we talked the other day how big a role family played in Audrey's life. She loved each one of you so much. Take comfort to know that you didn't lose Audrey to death. You know right where she is. And she is waiting for the day when you can all be reunited together in heaven.

And Audrey loved her Donnie. I had the privilege of officiating at Audrey and Don's wedding last May 22. Don and Audrey were both a part of the choir and, in a way, it was their gift to me to allow me the honor of marrying them on my birthday. Don, Audrey loved you very much. That was always so evident. And you were a faithful husband to her to the very end.

I am reminded today that our Lord is sympathetic to our sorrow and pain. John 11 tells us of the death of one of Jesus' friends, Lazarus.


A man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. This was the same Mary who massaged the Lord's feet with aromatic oils and then wiped them with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Master, the one you love so very much is sick."

When Jesus finally got there, he found Lazarus already four days dead... many of the Jews were visiting Martha and Mary, sympathizing with them over their brother. Martha heard Jesus was coming and went out to meet him. Mary remained in the house.

Martha said, "Master, if you'd been here, my brother wouldn't have died." Even now, I know that whatever you ask God he will give you."

Jesus said, "Your brother will be raised up."

Martha replied, "I know that he will be raised up in the resurrection at the end of time."

"You don't have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?"

"Yes, Master. All along I have believed that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who comes into the world."

After saying this, she went to her sister Mary and whispered in her ear, "The Teacher is here and is asking for you."

The moment she heard that, she jumped up and ran out to him. Jesus had not yet entered the town but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When her sympathizing Jewish friends saw Mary run off, they followed her, thinking she was on her way to the tomb to weep there. Mary came to where Jesus was waiting and fell at his feet, saying, "Master, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died."

When Jesus saw her sobbing and the Jews with her sobbing, He was deeply moved in his spirit. He said, "Where did you put him?"

"Master, come and see," they said. Now Jesus wept.

The Jews said, "Look how deeply he loved him."

Others among them said, "Well, if he loved him so much, why didn't he do something to keep him from dying? After all, he opened the eyes of a blind man."

Then Jesus, once more deeply moved, arrived at the tomb. It was a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it. Jesus said, "Remove the stone."

The sister of the dead man, Martha, said, "Master, by this time there's a stench. He's been dead four days!"

Jesus looked her in the eye. "Didn't I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

Then, to the others, "Go ahead, take away the stone."

They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, "Father, I'm grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here I've spoken so that they might believe that you sent me."

Then he shouted, "Lazarus, come out!" And he came out, a cadaver, wrapped from head to toe, and with a kerchief over his face.

Jesus told them, "Unwrap him and let him loose."

This scripture gives us great insight and comfort in times of loss.

  • It teaches us that people will always struggle with "if onlys." If only I had done more. If only I had done less. If only I had said more, or left certain things unsaid. If only I had been a better person or prayed harder or followed God better. "If onlys" are natural. However God does not want us to stay there. He wants us to have faith that the One who fashioned the universe and set the stars in place now holds Audrey in the palm of His hand where she waits for us in glory.
  • It teaches us that it is OK to grieve. Jesus wept. He shed the tears of one who has had a friend taken from him by the cruel grip of death. It is natural to mourn our loss. It hurts that Audrey is gone. Nothing is going to change that. But God wants us to know today that sorrow is alright. It is natural. Tears are good. Jesus shed them, too. When we are weak, He is strong.
  • Most of all, it teaches us that there is a blessed hope. Audrey put her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for her salvation and today she is in heaven. She is without sorrow. She is without pain. Her body is healed and whole. We know that, though her physical body is gone, she lives forever with God. And we know that we will be reunited with her one day to walk the streets of gold. Audrey would want us to remember today that her passing has in reality been a sleep in which she has said "goodnight" to this world and "good morning" to glory.

I am grateful to have known Audrey and look forward to meeting her again in heaven.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Horrible warning...

I started playing in a vollyball league last weekend (3/6). It started as a "Yeah, I like volleyball," and turned into a "Hey, we're starting a team to play in this league." I'm game, so I decide to play. I figure it's like a church league or something. Lesson #1: Ask questions before you join. This league is pretty serious. Most of the teams have been togehter for 5-7 years. Not only that, but at 38 (and out of shape) I am the oldest guy on our team and one of the oldest in the league.

The good thing is that the last two weeks of playing and being sore, as well as the last two weeks of preparing for our Easter services at my church, have really encouraged me to start a program to get back into shape. While on Hugh Hewitt's blog, I found a link to a triathlete site. Now, I'm not planning on turning triathlete any time soon, but I did fin this good program for training to run a 5K. It's called Couch to 5K Walk-Run Program and I think it's for me.

So, along with my Sunday foree into the world of city-league volleyball, I am now spending time walking/running with my 11-year old 3 days a week. We also spend 2 days a week workign the heavy bag. I told my son, "You can either be a wonderful example or a horrible warning." I have become a horrible warning to him about the dangers of letting yourself get out of shape.

The upside of the whole deal is that I am hopefully going to get in some of the best shape of my life over the course of he next year, and as an added benefit, I get to spend some great time with my son.

Chad has sked me to post some of my top-ten picks that have influenced me in my life and ministry. Those should be going up soon (maybe before, but probably after Easter). Good idea, Chad! If you haven't gotten a chance to check out Ethos, take a look. Give a shout out to my boy Randy for his great work. Another great site is This Guy Falls Down. Some good stuff from Mark Lee of Third Day. Check out his "21 Song Writing Hacks Introduced."

Remember... you can be a wonderful example or a horrible warning.

Ministry Observations (Part 3)

Here are more of my ministry observations...

HOW I BUILD MY FAMILY

I need to make my family a priority.

  • Who I am at home is who I really am.
  • “He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)” (1 Timothy 3:4-5)

“If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

  • Your wife/spouse will make you or break you in ministry.
  • If you aren’t taking care of things at home, you will be ineffective in your ministry.
  • You need to listen – really listen – to your spouse and nurture their heart and your relationship with them.

I need to keep balanced in my life.

  • “If you are good, you usually want to be the best.” (Hugh Hewitt)
  • “The church” will take whatever you give and will rarely encourage you to do less. I need to learn how to remain committed to excellence and committed to that which is “not ministry” that is equally important and eternal: those God has entrusted directly to me.
There it is. Chad... the books are coming, I promise. Gotta go. I am exhausted. Happy, but echausted (adn I have to run in the morning... yikes!)

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Rhythm

I am pretty sure of one thing: creative people need rhythm. I know I do. One of the hardest things for me to do is to stay in a rhythm. And when I don't, it kills me. Right now is especially hard as I prepare for Easter. It seems like everything is up for grabs - many "urgent" things need my full attention at all times. I confess that I am totally out of any kind of rhyth, right now. I just realized I haven't posted anything for 4 days!

So, this quick post is a call for rhythm - find your rhythm and stick to it. Do not be ruled by the tyranny of the urgent. Instead, stay the course, deal with the fires as they come, and don't sweat the small stuff.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Continued Observations...

Here are some continued ministry observations (started on March 3)...

HOW I BUILD MYSELF

It is critical that I spend time building my spiritual life.

  • Ministry happens out of the overflow of my life. We need to be dipping into a deep cool well, not a stagnant pond when we offer ourselves to people.
  • We need to be honest with ourselves and with God.
  • “The battle is won or lost on the supply lines.” (Victor David Hansen)
  • “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)
  • “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, “No, we will flee on horses.” Therefore you will flee! You said, “We will ride off on swift horses.” Therefore your pursuers will be swift! A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.’ Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” (Isaiah 30:15-18)
  • Stanzas of the Soul (from “Dark Night of the Soul” by San Juan de la Cruz)
    On a dark night,
    Kindled in love with yearnings - oh, happy chance!
    I went forth without being observed,
    My house being now at rest.
    In darkness and secure,
    By the secret ladder, disguised - oh, happy chance!
    In darkness and in concealment,
    My house being now at rest.
    In the happy night,
    In secret, when none saw me,
    Nor I beheld aught,
    Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart.
    This light guided me
    More surely than the light of noonday
    To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me -
    A place where none appeared.
    Oh, night that guided me,
    Oh, night more lovely than the dawn,
    Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover,
    Lover transformed in the Beloved!
    Upon my flowery breast,
    Kept wholly for himself alone,
    There he stayed sleeping, and I caressed him,
    And the fanning of the cedars made a breeze.
    The breeze blew from the turret
    As I parted his locks;
    With his gentle hand he wounded my neck
    And caused all my senses to be suspended.
    I remained, lost in oblivion;
    My face I reclined on the Beloved.
    All ceased and I abandoned myself,
    Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.

I need to I spend time building my professional life.

  • I need to remain a student of what I do. There are always people I can learn from.
  • Find people to mentor you (directly or indirectly).
  • Get a reading rotation.
    i. A book that has to do with your profession/ministry.
    ii. A book from another discipline.
    iii. A super-text (see The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership)
    iv. A book for fun.
  • “Leaders are readers” (John Maxwell)
  • “Patton’s real formal education was not necessarily through class instruction, where his performance was always mediocre at best, but rather through his own disciplined course of reading… In his journal of 1906 he was already making systematic and detailed lists of books to read. And he was planning future acquisitions for his own library that would eventually reach five hundred personally annotated volumes… Immediately after graduating from West Point… Patton began a lifelong habit of reading constantly, often trying to match his current assignments with germane literary and military masterpieces that might put his own concrete experiences of the moment into a more conceptual context of the ages.” (from The Soul of Battle, Victor David Hansen)
  • “Churchill would also become a lifelong omnivorous reader of newspapers and one of the most well-informed men in the world on the events of his times. At Sandhurst, as at Brighton, he was scanning column after column of newsprint every evening.” (from The Last Lion, William Manchester)


I need a friend.

  • “You need at least one good friend – the kind of person that you would take a three-day road-trip with.” (Hugh Hewitt)
  • They need to be someone who is not necessarily your spouse who is a safe place. They need to be the kind of person to whom you can tell anything and you know it will stay there.
  • They need to be the kind of person who knows when you need to be allowed to vent and who knows when you need to be kicked in the tail.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The reality of pain...

Suffering is something we don't think much of as Americans, much less American Christians. I don't think it's because we don't suffer. Instead, I think it's because we have very people in our lives with whom we can share our hurts. We're supposed to buck up. In some Christian circles, suffering is a badge of shame.

I have recently been learning to embrace suffering as a good thing. Not that I'm looking to add suffering to my menu of daily activities, mind you. It's just that pain has a way of creating - or is it reminding us of - a dependency on God.

In my life, the way I have dealt with suffering in the past was to wall the pain off; to cauterize the wound to it would stop bleeding. The up side was that I didn't feel the pain. The down side is I slowly lost the ability to feel a lot of thing. I was denying who I was: a passionate person that God created to share a passionate relationship with Himself and others.

Once again, Fenelon has written some pretty powerful words about surrendering to God's plans.

I am truly sorry about all your troubles, but I know that God is working on your behalf. Remember that God loves you and therefore He does not spare you! He lays on you the cross of Jesus Christ. Whatever revelations you receive or whatever emotional experiences you have are worthless unless they lead you to the very real and constant practice of dying to your self-nature. Unfortunately, you cannot die without suffering, not can you said to be fully dead while part of you still lives.

The death that God brings you will pierce deep within. Soul and spirit will be divided. He sees in you all that you cannot see. He knows exactly where the fatal blows should fall. He heads straight for that which you are most reluctant to give up. Pain is only felt where there is life. And in this situation life is precisely the place where death is needed.

Your Father wastes no time by cutting into that which is already dead. If He wanted to let you remain as you are, He would certainly do so. He seeks to destroy your old nature. He can only accomplish this by cutting into that which is alive. Do not expect Him to attack only those obviously wicked desires that you renounced forever when you gave yourself to Him. Rather, He may test you by taking away the wonderful sense of freedom you feel, or by taking from you all that now brings you spiritual comfort.

Will you resist? No! Allow everything! Volunteer for your own death, for God will only accomplish His work to the extent that you let Him. Do not push away the progress that God wants to make in your life.

Cheerfully give up everything you now rely on to God's good pleasure... What do you fear, you of little faith? Are you afraid that He may not be able to give you His strength when He takes your away? Why does He take it away? Only so that He might be your supply. The lesson may be painful, but He wishes to purify you...

Surrender to his plans. Allow yourself to be led where He wants to take you. Be careful when you seek help from people when God is not wanting you to. Remember that they can only give you what He gives to them to give to you. Why should it bother you that you can no longer drink from the faucet? You are now being led to drink from the ever-flowing spring!

My friend...

I am reminded today that we are members of a community as Christians. God created us to live in community and to share our joys and pains together.

I would like to ask you to pray for a member of my community today. Laural's dad found out that he has a cancerous tumor in his brain. On Thursday, March 3, he had brain surgery to remove his tumor. He will then undergo chemo and radiation. Laural's family has been told that this is the kind of cancer that will return. The chemo and radiation can only hope to prolong it's return.

Would you pray for Laural's dad today? Pray that God would do a miracle in his life and that the cancer would not return and that he would be completely cured? Also, would you pray for Laural and her Mom & Dad and family that you would give them strength and peace through the process?

Friday, March 04, 2005

Thanks...

First, a quick sorry to Karey for yesterday's post. I spelled his name wrong. I hate that! Sorry bro. By the way... you are awesome. I am so glad we are working together!

"...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thes. 5:18).
It is so important in life to develop an "attitude of gratitude." A simple "thank you" goes a long way. So as I head for bed tonight, I want to acknowledge my best friend and wife, Kelly, for how awesome she is. I married above myself. I love you, babe.

I want to thank my two blonde boys for their sweet spirits and obedient hearts. You guys bring dad a bunch of joy.

I want to thank our church and pastor for a great place to work and serve the Lord.

And I want to acknowledge my God and Savior, Jesus Christ, for making it all possible.

The great thing is this can (and will) continue with phone calls and personal notes. Gratitude and thankfulness spreads love and good cheer. Who can you thank today?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The new guy...

Am running REALLY late tonight. Easter rehearsals are a full-time job right now. But before I headed for home, I want ot give a shout out to my new right-hand man, Kerry. He and his wife and beautiful family are great additions to our team here at NewCov.

Talented... great-looking... smart... what a great addition to our team. I'm looking forward to great things for our ministry. We hope to start a worshpi leader blog soon (probably after Easter). Until then, I'll just keep posting along.

Shared some of this at a staff meeting a few weeks ago. Here are a few of my observations about my years in ministry.


HOW I UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF “THE MINISTRY”

The ministry is a calling, not an occupation.

  • Often the ministry is without outward, tangible rewards. Often people are difficult. When it’s all pressing in on you and you feel like cashing it in… that’s the time when you need to go back to the calling that God gave you.
  • “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God…” (Romans 12:1)
  • “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from thieves, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” (2 Corinthians 11:24-27)

The ministry is a life of faith.

  • It is faith to follow God where he leads: where you serve and, as a result, where you live. I believe that you need to be willing to follow God wherever He leads.
  • “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.’” (Genesis 12:1)
  • It is faith in trusting God to provide for your needs, understanding that the wants are not necessarily part of the deal.
  • “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
  • It is faith in trusting God for the “hows” and leaving the “whys” to Him. It is faith to be willing to be content with what God provides and how he provides it.
  • “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
  • “Then he said to them all: 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.'” (Luke 9:23-24)
  • God doesn’t always do it my way or in my timing.
  • “We need to tender our resignation to God for us running our own lives. He is the Creator… I am a creature.” (Ken Edwards)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

One more thing before bed...

OK. The earlier rant is over and I now remember what I was originally going to post.

I got turned on to a great book a few months back. It is called The Seeking Heart, by Fenelon. Francois de Salignac de La Mothe-Fenelon was a Catholic Archbishop in France in the late 1600's/early 1700's. There are a couple of books, of which The Seeking Heart is one, that are a collection of Fenelon's letters to friends in the French court.

Normally, this is not the type of book I would just go out and read. But it was recommended by a trusted source and so I got it. Ken told me to read one letter a day until one grabbed me and then to not stop reading that letter until it let me go.

The book is a winner. Here's an excerpt from a letter called "The Benefit of Trials":
You have some difficult trials to bear but you need them since God has allowed these events to happen. He knows how to select them. You could not have picked for yourself what God brings into your life through the cross. The cross that you would pick would build your self-will instead of breaking it down.

There are times in life when everything in life seems like a trial. Sometimes there is only suffering. Still, the heaviest cross must be carried in peace. Sometimes the cross can be neither carried or dragged. Then you can only fall down beneath it, overwhelmed and exhausted. I pray that God may spare you from as much suffering as possible.

Remember that God is not unaware of your suffering. He allows your suffering. See that He alone knows what is best for you. Live by faith as you embrace your trials. Confidently trust in God, even when you do not see what He is doing. Trust that God, with great compassion, gives you trials in proportion to the help that He wants to bring to you. There is no doubt that the life of faith is the most penetrating of all deaths...

Remain simple and low before God and He will bring you peace, gentleness, longsuffering, and contentment even in your trouble.

On the road again...

Spent the day driving to and from San Jose from Fresno, CA. Had some meetings. Saw some friends. Listened to Rush. I was outraged at the Supreme Court's decision in the Missouri case of Christopher Simmons! Check out Rush's comments, the published court record, and some of Justice Scalia's dissenting comments as posted on National Review.

It's politics as usual in what is fast becoming, at least at the media and legislative level, a post-Christian America. Forget how most of America believes - even if it is not a "saving faith." The vast majority of American's are far more conservative, and yet the media elite and certain members of the state and federal goverment seem to forget who they represent. Or maybe they don't.

Which is why Ted Kennedy can rant on about the credit card companies wanting more money - and how that is wrong - while voting to raise our taxes.

So, Senator, let me get this straight... it's OK for the government - the largest "corporation" in America, to continue to take my money without asking me. I think that's called stealing. In fact, I think there's one of the Ten Commandments that deals with that. And while you might not be able to read them many places if the Supreme Court has their way, Senator, as the Religion and Ethics Newsweekly points out:

The Ten Commandments are currently on display in government buildings all over the United States and in Washington -- on the new Ronald Reagan Building; in the main reading room of the Library of Congress. They're on the U.S. Supreme Court itself.
If you've forgotten some of the basic beliefs that our country was founded on, if you have forgotten what the Declaration of Independence or the Consitution says, before you stick your hand back into my wallet, I would encourage you to leave your office and take a stroll around our nation's capital. Visit the the Library of Congress and read again these fine documents and then remember what you pledged when you took your oath of office.