Saturday, December 24, 2005

Jane Austen

"Tell him what a dreadful state I am in, -- that I am frightened out of my wits; and have such tremblings, such flutterings all over me such spasms in my side, and pains in my head, and such beatings at heart, that I can get no rest by night nor by day." - Mrs. Bennet (The Drama Queen), "Pride & Prejudice, Chapter V of Volume III (Chap. 47)"

Friday, December 16, 2005

Iraq Election

"Every purple finger is a bullet in the chest of terrorism." - An Iraqi voter

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sorrow Is Better Than Fear

"But sorrow is better than fear. For fear impoverishes always, while sorrow may enrich. Sorrow is better than fear. Fear is a journey, a terrible journey, but sorrow is at least an arriving. When the storm threatens, a man is afraid for his house. But when the house is destroyed, there is something to do. About a storm he can do nothing, but he can rebuild a house." -Cry The Beloved Country "Alan Paton"

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Next Thing

Why fear the future when the future belongs only to God? | by Andree Seu I bagged rice on a co-op line elbow-to-elbow with a peaceful woman who was the mother of five children and several foster children, and was involved in the pro-life movement. I asked how she did it, and to her credit she didn't brush off the question with feigned modesty, but said, "I do the next thing that needs to be done." I have pondered that statement for years, the distillation of a lady's life of wisdom. Laurie is a Christian, so I know what lay unspoken in her answer: God is sovereign, and God is good. Indeed, it cannot be otherwise if one would simply "do the next thing that needs to be done." First, if God were not in perfect control, Laurie would have to control all things, even every atom in the universe, to assure a desirable outcome. But she knows she cannot in fact control all things, not even the next two minutes, and so she concedes control to Him. Second, she believes that the God who controls all things controls them for her good (Romans 8:28). On these twin pillars does her soul find rest. Laurie's Bible also contains commands, rules to live by. And so, what Laurie has done, evidently, is to divide life into two categories: the things she can and must do something about, and the things she cannot and must not, for they belong to God (Deuteronomy 29:29). Mary the mother of Jesus was hep to that division of labor. She "did the next thing" during an awkward wedding moment. Being lousy at making water into wine, she turned to her Son and said, "They have no wine," then went on her merry way to do whatever it was she was able to do herself—folding tablecloths or stalling thirsty guests. Jesus, not one to turn down people who come to Him for help while acknowledging their own helplessness, performed the harder part. Am I too busy these days? Discouraged over duties left undone? I will preach to myself that there is only one priority—the glory of God—and under that the several duties. When these come flying fast and thick, I will do triage and decide what should come "next." It's God's problem, not mine, to orchestrate the universe and make it all pan out. Am I fearful? Fear is a focus on phantoms of the theoretical future. But the future is God's, not mine; mine is only the present moment. I am fearful because I'm thinking I have to live the rest of my life. But I don't. I only have to live the next five minutes. To me belongs obedience; to Him belongs outcomes. We have so far discussed in general terms. But life does not throw up "general terms"; it throws up brutal concreteness: No one's been fed dinner; Aimee is having a sixth-grade crisis; the roof leaks; unread newspapers pile up like an indictment. I will review what I know of God, and do "the next thing." His job is making it all work. Am I depressed? The concept of doing "the next thing" is just the ticket. Granted, I am far too weak to go on with life—but I can do a load of laundry. And after that I can make the kids breakfast. And after that I can pick up the phone and call a deacon for help on balancing that checkbook. One foot in front of the other: Do "the next thing." Have I totally messed up my life? Fine, make a list. Here are the things I cannot do: I cannot turn back the clock, I cannot cork up sinful words once spoken, I cannot take back squandered opportunities in career or love. But here are things I can do: I can start from today—with today's time, today's skills, today's health, today's grace. I can do this trusting, even at this stage of the game, that God is still sovereign and still good. And faith, come to think of it, is the whole enchilada. The lady at the co-op was a well-placed prophet. And said it more succinctly than this writer could. Copyright © 2005 WORLD Magazine December 3, 2005, Vol. 20, No. 47

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Abortion in the U.S.

The U.S. abortion rate has been dropping since 1990, but abortion remains one of the most common surgical procedures for women. A quarter of all pregnancies end in abortion. A third of all American women will have had an abortion by the age of 45, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights. Who has abortions By age: Under 15: 1% 15-19: 19% 20-24: 33% 25-29: 23% 30-34: 13% 35-39: 8% 40-44: 3% -- Abortions by gestational age (Weeks of gestation at time of abortion) BTRBTRBTRBTRBTRBTR
Less than 9 59.1%
9-10 19.0%
11-12 10.0%
13-15 6.2%
16-20 4.3%
21-plus 1.4%
The normal gestation period is about 40 weeks Sources: LATimes, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Guttmacher Institute,

Saturday, November 26, 2005

ETs, U.F.O.s and "The Bush Administration"

Is this for real or people have nothing left against the Bush administration other than the UFOs? A former Canadian Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister under Pierre Trudeau has joined forces with three Non-governmental organizations to ask the Parliament of Canada to hold public hearings on Exopolitics -- relations with “ETs.” ...Paul Hellyer warned,"The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning. He stated, "The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide."... [Read the rest]

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanks Giving

Can we read this document in public, in present day USA?; especially in public schools? Mmmmm.....
[New York, 3 October 1789]
By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation. Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor--and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness." Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be--That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us. and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions--to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best. Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. (signed) G. Washington

Friday, November 11, 2005

International Religious Freedom Report 2005

Flecktones Returning With 'Hidden Land'

November 04, 2005, 10:50 AM ET Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones will return Jan. 31 with "The Hiddden Land," the quartet's first Columbia studio album since 2003's "Little Worlds." The Flecktones spent 2005 on hiatus while group leader Bela Fleck pursued a variety of other projects. For "Hidden Land," the group gathered at Fleck's home studio in Nashville and quickly began working on ideas. For the song "P'lod," Fleck says, "[Percussionist] Future Man shared the song with us, and said that it had com e from a dream, where [saxophonist] Jeff [Coffin] had taught it to him. He's still pretty convinced that Jeff wrote it, but we can't quite figure out how that's possible." Other tracks include the Flecktones' take on J.S. Bach's "Bach Fugue," "Who's Got Three," "Labyrinth," "Kaleiloscope" and "Chennai." Fleck is in the midst of a trio tour with bassist Stanley Clarke and violinist Jean-Luc Ponty but is planning to regroup with the Flecktones for North American touring next year. (PermaLink) Free Live Recordings: Live @ Brady Theater, Tulsa, OK (3/30/2006 [Thursday])

Thursday, November 10, 2005

St. Agustine

"The sum of all our goods, and our perfect good, is God. We must not fall short of this, nor seek anything beyond it; the first is dangerous, the other impossible." Morals of the Catholic Church, VIII, 13

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Re-Fusing Form and Content

Let me know what you guys think of this...? This article is from Relevant Magazine. The CD link that I've posted is "Into The Cauldron" by Mike Marshall & Chris Thile. Its an amazing album. Re-Fusing Form and Content By: Brett McCracken I was in the audience this past summer in Oxford, England, when Pastor Rick Warren (Purpose-Driven new statesman of evangelicalism) made a comment in a plenary address that has stuck with me: “There is no such thing as ‘Christian’ music,” he pronounced in his seasoned style of rhetorical provocation. “There are only Christian lyrics.” Wow. Let that sink in. The statement, though a popular one for Warren (it appears verbatim in The Purpose Driven Life), was by no means the focal point of his largely feel-good address that day, but for many in attendance who believe in the real, communicative presence of art, Warren’s comments bordered on offensive. The pastor overlooks a rich history of Christian art in which... (cont.)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Eugene H. Peterson Excerpt from “Christ Plays In Ten Thousand Places (read this too... An Interview with Eugene H. Peterson) ...we need a common and comprehensive term for referring to the way we live the spiritual life – not just what we do and say but the way we act, the way we speak. How do we go about living appropriately in this world that has been revealed to us in Jesus Christ? This is a question that needs to be delayed for as long as possible. Most of the Christian life (and spiritual theology is responsible for maintaining vigilance in this regard) involves paying to who God is and what he does; but not only the who and the what but the how, the means God employs to accomplish his ends. If we get too interested too soon in what we do and are, we go off the rails badly. Still, we are part of it and need a term to designate the human side of spirituality, something that names the way we make our way through this complex minefield of a world in which we live out the Christian life. But it needs to be a term that does not make us the center of the subject. ( the words most in use among us tend to put the emphasis on what we initiate and carry out: spiritual discipline, piety, devotional practice, quite time, and on,) It also needs to be a term that doesn’t contribute to the dichotomizing of spirituality into God’s part and the human part. This question – “what is our part in this?” – requires considerable care in the answering. We realize how critical it is to get the right term for this when we look around and become aware of the sheer quantity of silliness, sordidness, meanness, and dullness that piles up under the roofs of enterprises given over to directing and motivation people to serve God, as our “leaders” tell us what to do and say to be distinctively God’s people. Given the frequency with which men and women make hash out of the words and works of God, it might seem best to do nothing, Just get our of the way and let God do it all. There have been teachers who have formulated just such an answer and been serious about it: the less we do for God, the better; it leaves more room for God to do something for us, which is the point of it all anyway. But most of us do not find that adequate counsel. Most of us have a sense that somehow or other we need to get in on what God is doing; we want to be involved, we want to do something. But what, without getting in the way, without gumming up the works? The biblical word of choice for the term we need is “fear-of-the-Lord.” It is the stock biblical phrase for the way of life that is lived responsively and appropriately before who God is, who he is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. None of the available synonyms in the English language – awe, reverence, worshipful respect – seems quite adequate. They miss the punch delivered by “fear-of-Lord.” When Rudof Otto, one of our great scholars in these matters, analyzed this core religious/spiritual attitude and response, he resorted to Latin phrases (numen and mysterirum tremendu), finding that nothing in his German language worked either. The primary way in which we cultivate fear-of-the-Lord is in prayer and worship – personal prayer and corporate worship. We deliberately interrupt our preoccupation with ourselves and attend to God, place ourselves intentionally in sacred space, in sacred time, in the holy presence – and wait. We become silent and still in order to listen and respond to what is Other than us. Once we get the hang of this we find that this can occur any place and any time. But prayer and worship provide the base. “Fear-of-the-Lord” is the best term we have to point to this way of life we cultivate as Christians. The Christian life consists mostly of what God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is and does. But we also are part of it. Not the largest part, but still part. A world has been opened up to us by revelation in which we find ourselves walking on holy ground and living in scared time. The moment we realize this, we feel shy, cautious. We slow down, we look around, ears and eyes alert. Like lost children happening on a clearing in the woods and finding elves and fairies singing and dancing in a circle around a prancing two-foot-high unicorn, we stop in awed silence to accommodate to this wonderful but unguessed-at revelation. But for us it isn’t a unicorn and elves; it is Sinai and Tabor and Golgotha. The moment we find ourselves unexpectedly in the presence of the sacred, our first response is to stop in silence. We do nothing. We say nothing. We fear to trespass inadvertently; we are afraid of saying some-thing inappropriate. Plunged into mystery we become still, we fall silent, all our senses alert. This is the fear-of-the-Lord. Or we don’t. Uneasy with the unknown, again like children, we run around crazily, yelling and screaming, trying to put our stamp of familiarity on it. We attempt to get rid of the mystery by making our presence large and noisy. When children do this in church we call it misbehaving. But misbehavior in these matters does not consist in what we say or do as such; it is that what we say or do is incongruent with the sacred time and place. Until we know what is going on, anything we say or do is apt to be wrong, or at least inappropriate. We all have experiences of finding ourselves in the sacred presence or on holy ground from time to time, however briefly. The most common of such experiences is being in the presence of a newborn child. Most of us are speechless and still. We don’t know what to do or say. We are over taken by the mystery of God-given life. Something deep within us responds to the sacredness of life, of sheer existence; our response becomes worship, adoration, prayer, awe -- fear-of-the-Lord. But there is also something about the scared that makes us uneasy. We don’t like being in the dark, not knowing what to do. And so we attempt to domesticate the mystery, explain it, probe it, name and use it. “Blasphemy” is the term we use for these verbal transgressions of the sacred, these violations of the holy: taking God’s name in vain, dishonoring sacred time and place, reducing God to gossip and chatter. Uncomfortable with the mystery, we try to banish it with clich├ęs. Every culture has stories and taboos to train and discipline its people in protection and honoring the sacred mystery. Human being are not gods; the moment we forget this, we violate the boundaries of our humanity and something is violated in reality itself. The universe suffers damage. So we set out to cultivate the fear-of-the-Lord, “the quintessential rubric, which expresses in a nutshell the basic grammar that holds the covenant community together,” as Bruce Waltke puts it. Despi9te its prominence in the Bible, the term does not find wide use among North American Christians. “Fear” apparently gets us off on the wrong foot. Grammarians help us regain our biblical stride by calling our attention to the fact that fear-of-the-Lord is a “bound pharase” (syntagm). The four words in English (two in Hebrew) are bound together, making a single word. Its function as a single word cannot be understood by taking it apart and then adding up the meaning of the parts. Fear-of-the-Lord is not a combination of fear + of + the + Lord. Fear-of-the-Lord is a word all its own. So we don’t look up “fear” in the dictionary, then “God,” and then proceed to combine the two meanings; “fear,” a feeling of apprehension, plus “God,” a divine being worthy of worship, is not fear-of-the-Lord. Pursuing that analytical route gets us way off the track. But when we let the biblical contexts provide the conditions for understanding the word we find that it means something more like a way of life in which human feelings and behavior are fused with God’s being and revelation. There are upward of 138 occurrences of the term in a wide range of Old Testament books but most prominently in Proverbs, Psalms, Isaiah, Chronicles, and Deuteronomy. God is active in the term; the human is active in the term. “Fear-of-the-Lord” designates a way of living that cannot be dissected into two parts, any more than a bay can be dissected into what comes from sperm and what comes from egg. “Fear-of-the-Lord” is a new word in our vocabularies; it marks the way of life appropriate to our creation and salvation and blessing by God. A common and distressingly frequent way of answering the question, “So now, what do we do?” but one that avoids prayerful involvement with God in the presence of God, is to come up with a Code of Conduct. The Ten Commandments is the usual place to start, supplemented by Proverbs, brought to a focus by Jesus’ summing up (Love God/Lover your neighbor), salted by the Golden Rule, and then capped off by the Beatitudes. That might seem to be the simplest way to go about it, but religious communities that take this route have rarely, if ever, been able to let it go at that. They commonly find that the particular context in which they live requires special handling: rules are added, regulations enforced, and it isn’t long before the Code of Conduct grows into a formidable jungle of Talmudic regulation. The other and opposite way of doing the Code of Conduct thing is to make it as simple as possible; get it down to the bare bones of bumper sticker spirituality: “Follow your bliss…. Smell the roses…. Do no harm….” My favorite is the fragment of a poem sometimes attributed to W.H.Auden: I Love to sin; God loves to forgive; The world is admirably arranged. But the fundamental inadequacy of codes of conduct for giving direction in how to live the spiritual life is that they put us in charge (or, which is just as bad, put someone else in charge of us); God is moved off the field of action to the judge’s stand where he grades our performance. The moment that we take charge, “knowing good and evil,” we are in trouble and almost immediately start getting other people in trouble too. No. However useful codes of conduct are in the overall scheme of things, they are not the place to begin answering the question, “Now, what do we do?” The fact that fear-of-the-Lord cannot be precisely defined is one of its glories – we are dealing with something that we cannot pin down, we inhabit mystery, we can’t be cocksure about anything, we cultivate an attentive and reverent expectation before every person, event, rock, and tree. Presumption recedes, attentiveness increases, expectancy heightens. “Fear-of-the-Lord,” as we notice the way our biblical writers use it,, turns out to be a term that is plain without being reductive, clear without being over-simplified, and accurate without dissolving the mystery inherent in all dealing with God and his world. It also has the considerable advantage of evading the precise definition or “control” that we could use to locate ourselves along a spectrum of piety of goodness that would feed our instincts for coziness with God. So what do we do, given our launch into this life of following Jesus? “Fear the LORD, you his saints” (Ps 34:9 RSV). Fear-of-the-Lord is not studying about God but living in reverence before God. We don’t so much lack knowledge, we lack reverence. Fear-of-the-Lord is not a technique for acquiring spiritual know-how but a willed not-knowing. It is not so much know-how we lack; we lack a simple being-there. Fear-of-the-Lord, nurtured in worship and prayer, silence and quite, love and sacrifice, turns everything we do into a life of “breathing God.”

Friday, November 04, 2005

The power of now

Call forth what's yours with no double-mindedness | by Andree Seu Eckhart Tolle wrote a book called The Power of Now, which you may read with some profit, as we oft do the writings of unbelievers when their insights are in the direction of reality. But outsiders to the kingdom, at their best, still see "men like trees walking," not as they are. What is "the power of now" for the child of God? I have hinted in past weeks of a glorious upset in my life. It concerns, in a nutshell, a clearer apprehension of the truth that God "has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:3). To my joy, I have accidentally (as accidents go in this Personal universe) stumbled upon confirmation of my new fanaticism in Francis Schaeffer, such that you will have to dismiss him to dismiss me. He writes in True Spirituality: "When a man does learn the meaning of the work of Christ in the present life, a new door is open to him. And this new door then seems to be so wonderful that often it gives the Christian, as he begins to act upon the knowledge of faith, the sense of something that is as new as was his conversion. And it has been true for many of us that at a certain point, after we have been Christians for a long time, suddenly through the teaching of the Bible—directly or through someone teaching us [joyful fanatics]—we have seen the meaning of the work of Christ and the blood of Jesus Christ for our present life, and a new door opens for us." Let me be plain: I have come to the conclusion that no one ever lived the Christian life "in general," or by faith in the abstract. No one ever laid hold of the benefits in Christ except by believing Him in this present moment. This is strenuous and conscious and constant believing. The kingdom of God comes and "the violent take it by force" (Matthew 11:12). They sue for grace. They say, like Jacob, "I won't let you go until you bless me." They ransack God's Word for promises. They believe them like a 5-year-old and not like a sophisticate. They prefer the plain meaning to the obscurantist theology of unbelief. They call forth what's theirs in Christ without double-mindedness. Francis Schaeffer puts it well: Strenuous believers say "the reality of the resurrection is not something to push off into a strange dimension. It is meaningful in our normal dimension." They redefine normal: "The fruits are normal; not to have them is not to have the Christian life which should be considered usual." They get specific: They insist that God "increase" their love (1 Thessalonians 3:12). They expect Him to do "far more abundantly than all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20). They refuse to see as hyperbole, "All things are possible for one who believes" (Mark 9:23). They settle for no less than being "filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:19). In short, strenuous believers think this filling must be more than the ho-hum experience they've known so far. They look at the size of their problems and then look at the size of Resurrection power and decide there's no contest. Scripture tells them to desire the best gifts, so they get to working on it right away. They won't water down the promise that "whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do, and greater works" (John 14:12). They believe in spirits, and spirit warfare, and the weaponry for it. I've whined so much about a poor memory, depression, and insomnia that a friend suggested I take a bottle of "white out" and delete Philippians 4:13 since I wasn't using it anyway. Francis Schaeffer agreed with him: "Faith is simply believing God. . . . It is ceasing to call God a liar. . . . There are oceans of grace which wait. Orchard upon orchard waits, vineyard upon vineyard of fruit waits. There is only one reason why they do not flow out through the Christian's life, and that is that the instrumentality of faith is not being used." I am hitching my wagon to the radical practitioners of now, to those who take the adventure that Aslan hands them, scary but exciting, "the impossible situation in which everything is staked solely on the word of Jesus" (The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer). Copyright © 2005 WORLD MagazineOctober 29, 2005, Vol. 20, No. 42 PermaLink

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Girl Who Shot Saddam

The concept of innocent till proven guilty is hard to grasp for many people around the world. Watch the video source

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Jesus Heals a Lame Man

John 5:1-15 (New Living Translation)

Jesus Heals a Lame Man

1Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda,[a] with five covered porches. 3Crowds of sick people--blind, lame, or paralyzed--lay on the porches.[b] 5One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him and knew how long he had been ill, he asked him, "Would you like to get well?"

7"I can't, sir," the sick man said, "for I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me."

8Jesus told him, "Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat, and walk!"

9Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up the mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath day. 10So the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, "You can't work on the Sabbath! It's illegal to carry that sleeping mat!"

11He replied, "The man who healed me said to me, `Pick up your sleeping mat and walk.' "

12"Who said such a thing as that?" they demanded.

13The man didn't know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, "Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you." 15Then the man went to find the Jewish leaders and told them it was Jesus who had healed him.

Read the rest...

Monday, October 17, 2005


Holding Court There's a crackdown over Miers, not a "crackup." BY RUSH LIMBAUGH Monday, October 17, 2005 12:01 a.m. For decades conservatives have considered judicial abuse a direct threat to our Constitution and our form of government. The framers didn't create a judicial oligarchy. They created a representative republic. Our opposition to judicial activism runs deep. We've witnessed too many occasions where Republican presidents have nominated the wrong candidates to the court, and we want more assurances this time--some proof. The left, on the other hand, sees the courts as the only way to advance their big-government agenda. They can't win national elections if they're open about their agenda. So, they seek to impose their policies by judicial fiat. It's time to call them on it. And that's what many of us had hoped and expected when the president made his nomination. Read

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Hand Of God

“O sons of Israel, return to the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that He may return to those of you who escaped and are left from (C)the hand of the kings of Assyria.

7"(D)Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were unfaithful to the LORD God of their fathers, so that (E)He made them a horror, as you see.

8"Now do not (F)stiffen your neck like your fathers, but yield to the LORD and enter His sanctuary which He has consecrated forever, and serve the LORD your God, (G)that His burning anger may turn away from you.

9"For (H)if you return to the LORD, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land (I)For the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him."

0So the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but (J)they laughed them to scorn and mocked them.

11Nevertheless (K)some men of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.

12The (L)hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the LORD. 2 Chronicles 30:6-12

How can we humble our self without the hand of God working in us? How can we return to Him without His hand guiding us?

Monday, October 03, 2005

"O LORD, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I need you the most?" Psalm 10:1 As I was wondering and praying this prayer, crying out to my savior,I stumbled upon this... (read the blog) "As I see it, to know God I must use all that He has given me, “why have eyes that see/ And arms that reach/ Unless you’re meant to know /There’s something more.” One way I try to know the Lord is through study. With the help of the Holy Spirit why can’t I go beyond my limits and reach out for my Father all the more? Another way I see this search to seek out God is through the analogy of a father and his child. As a child is learning to walk the father kneels before his son and calls him to come. So at first, the child may take a step or two before landing safely into his father’s loving arms. But each time this exercise is repeated the father takes steps further back, thus forcing the boy to walk even more. Likewise, with the study of God, at first God is standing right before us. He calls to us to take those first baby steps towards His outstretched arms. Over time God takes some steps back, thus making us work harder to reach Him. At first it is scary. One wonders why he can’t feel the same closeness he once felt before. He is full of doubt. “Maybe God does not really love me?” Or worse, “Maybe God does not exist?!?” But we study a bit more, we search a bit more. And then we find His embrace all over again. This analogy reminds me of C. S. Lewis’ Aslan after his resurrection in THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE. The great lion Aslan teasingly and playfully calls to the girls to follow him. What ends up happening is a rambunctious display of catch. The girls run to the great lion giggling all the way. Once they have their little hands in his thick warm coat, Aslan springs away once more for them to continue to seek him out. Likewise, God is involved in a similar dance with us. I feel that every time I grab hold of Him, He gingerly dances away and calling me to come after Him once more. I am filled with doubt at first but I am even more filled with desire to know Him all the more. So I study all the harder until I am once more within reach. I think this dance is His way of making us use all our faculties in seeking Him out. So why limit our study of God? Why not push ourselves further? Why not run to Him? The more we break our limits, the stronger our faith in Him will grown. The great we will know Him."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

La Nueva Orleans

If you haven't read this read it... Link

This makes me Mad and Sick

Where does acountability for the media come from? - Us the people? This is a story from troubled LATimes... "Rumors supplanted accurate information and media magnified the problem. Rapes, violence and estimates of the dead were wrong...." Cont.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Holy Baby

“but what we must recognize is at the heart of our inner being, Christ lives, and we are complete in Him, holy, and acceptable to God.”

The Holy Baby by Ron Block We’ve heard it hundreds of times - the Bible story of the Redeemer’s birth. The Baby in a manger, Silent Night, the angels and the shepherds, the wise men following the star. As a boy I grew up knowing Jesus came to save me from the consequences due my sins, that He came to shed His blood for me so that I could go to heaven. I didn’t learn until 30 that that was only half the reason. In the Messiah’s birth, God struck a tent of human flesh and entered our human situation. He set aside his omnipotence and took on the feebleness of an infant; He laid down his omniscience and accepted the absorbent, blank consciousness of a baby; He gave up his omnipresence and localized himself in a human body. Why? Adam and Eve had taken the wrong road, the way of self-effort, the path of false independence from God; Eve, rather than believing God, believed the lie of the Serpent that the human itself could be like God, knowing good and evil, and not die; the implication was that she could choose good and gain eternal life apart from God. Instead of eating of the tree of Life, which is Christ, they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and so became infected with “..the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.” (Eph 2:2). This spirit of independence, of self-effort, self-actualization and self-improvement, is at the heart of the world system; performance-based acceptance is the fuel the Matrix runs on. Every world religion is steeped in it, and even much of Christendom is tainted by what Jesus called “the leaven of the Pharisees.” But there’s a major problem with human effort - it doesn’t work. The end result of it is either self-condemnation or self-righteousness, both springing from the same source - false independence from God. The entire history of humanity is one of fallen dreams, dashed hopes, unreachable utopias. We’re not meant to run on our own effort, our own vision, our own ways and means of coping, because really there is no such thing as human independence from God. “He that is not with Me is against Me.” This is an either-or situation. We are either in union with Christ through dying with Him on the Cross, or we are still powered by the mindset of the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.” Self-effort or inner reliance on Christ are the only two options available to us. Jesus said, “Only God is good.” The perfect Man said of His humanity, “I can do nothing of Myself,” and “The Father in Me does the works.” He claimed that the only source of righteousness in the entire universe was God Himself, that at the heart of His humanity was the God who had created humans to be expressions of Himself. God in the flesh He was, and is - yet He set aside everything to become a human being indwelt, directed, and empowered only by the Spirit. “I do as I see My Father doing.” Though He was God, He lived as an ordinary man who had to trust the indwelling Spirit. The holy Baby was born to become what we are meant to be - a vessel, a cup, indwelt by the Wine of Spirit. He “learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” As our representative He came to take our place in life, and having done that He traded places with us in death as if He were the sinner. The angel told Joseph in Mt 1:21 “ shall call His name JESUS; for He shall save his people from their sins.” Jesus came to save us from being a sin people - not merely saving us from the consequences due our sins, but from being the kind of people who commit them. I came to the point in my Christian life where I realized I didn’t want God’s forgiveness anymore if He didn’t change my behavior; the hamster wheel of self-effort, of try-sin-repent-try-sin-repent ad nauseum had done its holy work. I was utterly spun out on self-effort, and came to the place in my consciousness where I began to agree with God, in spite of appearances, that I was ‘dead with Christ’ and ‘raised with Him to walk in newness of life’; it was at that point I began to see real life change. The old “I”, the old union with the prince of the power of the air, had long ago died in Christ, and the new union with Him became operational the moment I put my faith in Him. It took years for me to see that fact, and I’m just now beginning to appropriate it. The Baby of Bethlehem was born so I could become right with God - and not only right with Him, but indwelt, directed, and empowered by Him. That infinite inheritance is available in the here and now - Christ is now our peace, our patience, our holiness, our love, our life. He is our all in all. But in order to access that inheritance, we have to let go of the mindset of self-effort, of self-improvement, of self-actualization. I don’t at all mean our actions shouldn’t be good actions - but what we must recognize is at the heart of our inner being, Christ lives, and we are complete in Him, holy, and acceptable to God. We don't start at the bottom of the mountain of holiness and start the climb; God has put us at the top in Christ. All that remains is to rely on the indwelling Overcomer. That is why Paul could say both, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” and “I press forward to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” “When I am weak, then I am strong,’” and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We are to trust violently in the indwelling Spirit, always reaching to trust more fully. We “cease from our own works” but “labor to enter His rest.” We move over from self-effort to putting our concentration on inner reliance, from trying to be good to living from His indwelling righteousness. He was born in a common stable filled with the dirt, manure, and junk of animality. God is still striking tents in the dirt and grit of human flesh; He is still entering the messy human situation. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, but through Him by grace we become His brothers and sisters; the Spirit of Jesus Christ washes, enters, indwells, directs, and empowers His people. Eze 36:27 says, “...I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” That’s why the holy Baby was born.

Andrew Peterson

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Keep alert and pray

"Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak! -Jesus Christ of Nazareth "Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don't enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don't be naive. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire." -Jesus Christ of Nazareth Matthew 26:41 New Living Translation (NLT) Mark 14:38 The Message (MSG)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Two different views on what justice is.

They're trying to set up the notion that this guy (John Roberts) is too slick. So Turban, [Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)], says, "I said at the outset that I thought one of the real measures as to whether or not you should be on a court goes back to a point Senator Simon had made: 'Would you restrict freedom in America or would you expand it?'" Now, you people on the left -- well, everybody -- I want you to listen to this question; I want you to listen to this answer, because this is the best education on what the role of a judge and the court is that you will ever hear, outside of from me, because here's Durbin saying, "Would you restrict freedom in America or would you expand it? When you are defending gays and lesbians who are being restricted in their rights by the Colorado amendment, you were trying from my point of view to expand freedom. That to me is a positive thing. That's my personal philosophy and point of view. But then, when you say if the state would have walked in the door first to restrict freedoms, I would have taken them as a client, too, I wonder, where are you? Beyond loyalty to the process of law, how do you view this law when it comes to expanding our personal freedom? It is important enough for you to say in some instances, 'I won't use my skills as a lawyer because I don't believe that that's a cause consistent with my values and beliefs.' That's what I'm asking." So he's asking, "Will you punt? Will you punt on your view of the law and stand up for the downtrodden and the minorities in this country who don't have a chance because the way this country is put together? Will you put aside what you think the law says, and give those people a break?" And here's the answer.

ROBERTS: I had someone ask me in this process, I don't remember who it was, but somebody asked me, you know, "Are you going to be on the side of the little guy," and you obviously want to give an immediate answer, but as you reflect on it, if the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy is going to win in court before me. But if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well, then the big guy is going to win because my obligation is to the Constitution. That's the oath. The oath that a judge takes is not that I'll look out for particular interests; I'll be on the side of particular interests. The oath is to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States, and that's what I would do.

This is an excerpt from Rush Transcript: Judge John G. Roberts Jr. hearing, Day Four Friday, September 16, 2005

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and "What more?"

A Call to Repentance
About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were sacrificing at the Temple in Jerusalem. "Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than other people from Galilee?" he asked. "Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will also perish unless you turn from your evil ways and turn to God. And what about the eighteen men who died when the Tower of Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will also perish." Luke 13:1-5

Monday, September 05, 2005

Lifestyle Liturgy

By: Alan Creech Relevant Magazine .... We are asking base questions like "How do we most effectively cultivate the transformation of people into the image of Christ?" We are coming to see discipleship as less of an individual "me and Jesus" deal, and more as something that happens in the context of community—a community of those traveling this common journey together, for a long time. [...]

A New Kind of Hipster

By: Brett McCracken Relevant Magazine ... Throughout history the movements and revivals of the Church have been rooted in theology. Now it seems we’ve become more concerned with image. What does a Christian look like to the outside world? How can we be more palatable to the hedonist seeker? We’ve jazzed up our worship repertoire, modernized our wardrobe and opened our arms to the masses. All good, except for the fact that we’ve thrown theology to the wind. Many hipsters have veered to the liturgical side of things in recent years, avoiding the warehouse-worship style of exploding nondenominational congregations. One would think such a change would require deep thinking about theology and Christian identity, but I fear a majority of newly liturgical hipsters are so because it—dare I say—is the cool new thing, or at least less corny than the alternative. How tradition, liturgy and hymns have become a fad baffles me, but I think the Christian hipster is partly to blame. ... OK, so I concede this: Evangelical culture needed to be rebelled against, and the result is at least a step in the right direction. But our generation must be careful to remember that we were never called to be a cool subset of the larger culture. We are to be a[....]

Even dogs are permitted to eat crumbs that fall beneath their master's table

Jesus then left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter has a demon in her, and it is severely tormenting her."

But Jesus gave her no reply--not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. "Tell her to leave," they said. "She is bothering us with all her begging."

Then he said to the woman, "I was sent only to help the people of Israel--God's lost sheep--not the Gentiles."

But she came and worshiped him and pleaded again, "Lord, help me!"

"It isn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs," he said.

"Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even dogs are permitted to eat crumbs that fall beneath their master's table."

"Woman," Jesus said to her, "your faith is great. Your request is granted." And her daughter was instantly healed. [...]

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Confessions Of A Sinner

Saint Augustine Can any praise be worthy of the Lord's majesty? How magnificent his strength! How inscrutable his wisdom! Man is one of your creatures. Lord, and his instinct is to praise you. He bears about him the mark of death, the sign of his own sin, to remind him that you thwart the proud. But still, since he is a part of your creation, he wishes to praise you. The thought of you stirs him so deeply that he cannot be content unless he praises you, because you made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you. ... Those who look for the Lord will cry out in praise of him, because all who look for him shall find him, and when they find him they will praise him. I shall look for you, Lord, by praying to you and as I pray I shall believe in you, because we have had preachers to tell us about you. It is my faith that calls to you. Lord, the faith which you gave me and made to live in me through the merits of your Son, who became man, and through the ministry of your preacher. .... Read this book

Monday, August 22, 2005

Packed, but still empty

"Contemporary" churches aren't attracting many contemporaries By: Gene Edward Veith

Clint Rainey, a journalism student interning at The Dallas Morning News, is put off by the "seeker-friendly" approach to church that—he contends—does a good job filling up massive church buildings but leaves many feeling spiritually empty.

In his opinion piece for the paper—"The younger crowd has had its fill of big, flashy churches" (July 25, 2005)—Mr. Rainey recalls how the church he grew up in transformed from a small congregation of a few hundred members into a megachurch of nearly 10,000. He says that the contemporary touches are designed to appeal to baby boomers, not to today's young people. "These churches attract middle-age adults like iron filings," he says. "But my generation isn't in such awe."

Mr. Rainey finds the new churches too materialistic and "impersonal in every way." He says that young people today are not impressed with technology, big buildings, and commercialism. ......

Read the whole article

Friday, August 19, 2005

I'll complete what I promised GOD I'd do

Psalm 116

I love GOD because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him.

Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels. Up against it, I didn't know which way to turn; then I called out to GOD for help: "Please, GOD!" I cried out. "Save my life!"

GOD is gracious--it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. GOD takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.

I said to myself, "Relax and rest. GOD has showered you with blessings. Soul, you've been rescued from death; Eye, you've been rescued from tears; And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling."

I'm striding in the presence of GOD, alive in the land of the living! I stayed faithful, though bedeviled, and despite a ton of bad luck, Despite giving up on the human race, saying, "They're all liars and cheats."

What can I give back to GOD for the blessings he's poured out on me? I'll lift high the cup of salvation--a toast to GOD! I'll pray in the name of GOD; I'll complete what I promised GOD I'd do, and I'll do it together with his people. When they arrive at the gates of death, GOD welcomes those who love him.

Oh, GOD, here I am, your servant, your faithful servant: set me free for your service! I'm ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice and pray in the name of GOD. I'll complete what I promised GOD I'd do, and I'll do it in company with his people, In the place of worship, in GOD's house, in Jerusalem, GOD's city.

Hallelujah! al

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Saving Grace

Bob Dylan If You find it in Your heart, can I be forgiven? Guess I owe You some kind of apology. I've escaped death so many times, I know I'm only living By the saving grace that's over me. By this time I'd-a thought I would be sleeping In a pine box for all eternity. My faith keeps me alive, but I still be weeping For the saving grace that's over me. Well, the death of life, then come the resurrection, Wherever I am welcome is where I'll be. I put all my confidence in Him, my sole protection Is the saving grace that's over me. Well, the devil's shining light, it can be most blinding, But to search for love, that ain't no more than vanity. As I look around this world all that I'm finding Is the saving grace that's over me. The wicked know no peace and you just can't fake it, There's only one road and it leads to Calvary. It gets discouraging at times, but I know I'll make it By the saving grace that's over me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Get Naked

“Do you see what this means--all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running--and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed--that exhilarating finish in and with God--he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.”

Hebrew 12: 1 & 2 (The Message)


“Forgiveness, honesty, generosity: hardly a particularly glamorous triple cocktail,… It’s the small steps that count, the ability to know, trust and obey God. These are the jewels worth treasuring, the prizes worth chasing. Forget all that stuff about status and success: With God in charge of the destiny, we only need to worry about the direction. So, how about it? Why don’t we start by stripping off some of this excess baggage? How about we get naked?”

Craig Borlase The Naked Christian

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Attempt At Connection

"Life's more story than it is aphorism; more riddle than slogan." -Don Chaffer

O Jesus, who art thou?

By: Jason Boyett

Relevant Issue #15 July - August 2005

This article deals with the following sub headings:

  • What A Friend We Have In Jesus
  • Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild
  • Republican Jesus
  • Christ Hippified
  • Romanticized Boyfriend Jesus
  • The Wild-Hearted Jesus
  • Jesus Is My Homeboy

Here’s an excerpt from the article

Romanticized boyfriend Jesus

Contemporary worship music has done a lot of good things for the Church over the last 30 years, not the least of which is enlivening the worship experience for a generation that had trouble relating to centuries-old hymns and might as well be that ole Gaither choruses. However, the modern worship movement brought with it an unfortunate by-product: the extreme to which we’ve taken the “Bride of Christ” metaphor. Song of Solomon was one thing. John Donne and Teresa of Avila took it a step further. The classic hymnster Isaac Watts even threw his hat into the ring with “Jesus, Lover of My Soul.”

But us? We’ve driven the Love Truck over the edge. You won’t get far in contemporary worship music without running into achingly intense expressions of desire for the Son of God. Critics have called it the “Jesus Is My Boyfriend” syndrome, in which the Bridegroom has become the object of our romanticism. Oh, how we love Jesus. We long to be with Him. We want to touch Him. We want to see His face.

Sing with me now, and be sure to scrunch your eyes up with emotion: “Jesus, I am so in love with You.”

Good: God so loved the world that He gave His only son, and believers are instructed to love Him back with all their hearts, minds, soul and strengths. Magnifying God through worshipful music is a good place to start.

Bad: But it’s the magnifying God part we often forget about. Because when we sing songs about how much we loooove Jesus, the main focus isn’t on Jesus; it’s about us. About our love for the Son God. Next Sunday, count the number of self congratulatory songs that talk about what we, the worshippers, will do. We will worship, We will lift up our hands. We will shout, stand, sing, clap etc. The majesty, holiness and glory of God? The Savior who rescued us from sin and death? Not so much the focus there.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Quote Of The Day

"If all who lay together without being in the state of Eros were abominable, we all come of tainted stock." - C. S. Lewis "The four Loves"

Friday, April 22, 2005

Where I grew up....

I found this cool website where they have archived and made available valuable ethnographic materials from the Himalayan region.
They have clips from the district where I grew up, Kaski district.
  • Everyday I woke up with these sounds coming from the hill tops. My town is surrounded by huge hills and on top these hills people have built huge monastries. (view)
  • My mom's group people. (view)
  • My mom's parents were farmers and this is how they prepared their fields. I lived with them for three years, first till third grade. (view) (view)
  • My mom now a days goes to Nagaland, North-East part of india, as there are lots of Nepalis. She visits the local christian comunities over there. These clips are from the 70s... all of Nagaland is not necessaraly like this right now but there are still pockets of them left. In high school I had friends from that region and we had dog meat. (view) (view)
  • This is how clothes are made and all those expensive carpets... (view)

Friday, April 15, 2005

The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable

"To sum up, we may quote the verdict of the late Sir Frederic Kenyon, a scholar whose authority to make pronouncements on ancient MSS was second to none: 'The interval then between the data of original composition and the earliest extant evidence become so small to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scripture have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established' " (cont...) - F. F. Bruce writes

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Saved - Bob Dylan and Tim Drummond

I was blinded by the devil,
Born already ruined,
Stone-cold dead
As I stepped out of the womb.
By His grace I have been touched,
By His word I have been healed,
By His hand I've been delivered,
By His spirit I've been sealed.

I've been saved
By the blood of the lamb,
By the blood of the lamb,
And I'm so glad.
Yes, I'm so glad,
I'm so glad,
So glad,
I want to thank You, Lord,
I just want to thank You, Lord,
Thank You, Lord.

By His truth I can be upright,
By His strength I do endure,
By His power I've been lifted,
In His love I am secure.
He bought me with a price,
Freed me from the pit,
Full of emptiness and wrath
And the fire that burns in it.

I've been saved
By the blood of the lamb,
By the blood of the lamb,
And I'm so glad.
Yes, I'm so glad,
I'm so glad,
So glad,
I want to thank You, Lord,
I just want to thank You, Lord,
Thank You, Lord.

Nobody to rescue me,
Nobody would dare,
I was going down for the last time,
But by His mercy I've been spared.
Not by works,
But by faith in Him who called,
For so long I've been hindered,
For so long I've been stalled.

I've been saved
By the blood of the lamb,
By the blood of the lamb,
And I'm so glad.
Yes, I'm so glad, I'm so glad,
So glad, I want to thank You, Lord,
I just want to thank You, Lord,
Thank You, Lord.

Copyright © 1980 Special Rider Music

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Pope and his writings

  • On human life The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus' message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as "good news" to the people of every age and culture. At the dawn of salvation, it is the Birth of a Child which is proclaimed as joyful news: "I bring you good news (cont...)
  • On Politics and Social Justice Two things must be emphasized here: first, the great clarity in perceiving, in all its harshness, the actual condition of the working class — men, women and children; secondly, equal clarity in recognizing the evil of a solution which, by appearing to reverse the positions of the poor and the rich, was in reality detrimental to the very people whom it was meant to help. The remedy would prove worse than the sickness. By defining the nature of the socialism of his day as the suppression of private property, Leo XIII arrived at the crux of the problem. (cont...)

Friday, April 01, 2005

Nepal Links

  • Intresting Blogs on his Nepal Trip (cont...)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Nepali ama (mother)

The number of women dying in childbirth exceeds the number of Nepalis killed in conflict many times over

Sanchita was too young for it all: married off in her teens, pregnancy, losing a child at birth and finally her own death before her 16th birthday.

When her labour pains came, Sanchita’s in-laws refused to take her to the district hospital insisting on adhering to the family tradition of bearing children (cont...)

StarWars Kid... Still in action

Bear with it... its really funny if you've seen the original...