Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Postmodernism and finding forgiveness...

This video is one of the most amazing I have ever seen for underlining the flaws of the postmodern worldview. Here is a dying man, who needs TRUTH, not uncertainty and questions.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Barack Obama and the politics of, hope

Mr. Obama, with the usual assist from the MSM, has been marketing himself as a new kind of political candidate, one who will help America transcend the "tired old divisions" of right/left, black/white, conservative/liberal, etc., etc. But if it's true that a man should be known by the company he keeps, what does it say about Mr. Obama that he willingly kicked off his presidential campaign at the home of William Ayers (former leader of the '60's domestic terrorist group The Weather Underground) and sat on the board of the Woods Foundation (another radical group) with Ayers for 8 years when Ayers still wishes he and his group had done more rather than less bombings? Moreover, given the fact that Obama's wife Michelle evidently thinks the only thing America has done in her lifetime that is praiseworthy is considering her husband for the Democratic nomination and given the fact that he sat under the right Rev. Jeremiah Wright (he of the "God **** America," the "United State of KKKA" and America's "chickens coming home to roost" on 9/11 sermons), what sort of man is Barack Obama really? His choice of friends seems to indicate a man who has a deep resentment against the same country he wants to lead, even though he is the product of Ivy League education and one of the fastest political rises in recent memory.

How exactly is such a man going to lead all of us to transcend our differences? I suspect that what he really wants is not to "transcend our differences," but for me and people who think like I do to simply give up our resistance to his very tired, socialistic, anti-liberty policies. Our differences will have been transcended, but only by me giving up my side of the argument. And since when is that a new kind of politics or politician? Defeating my political opponents through rhetorical sleight of hand is not new politics, but the same old politics with a slightly more oleaginous presentation than we have seen in a while.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Man Rules for a Good Marriage

I ran across this recently while I was searching for something else. A lot of "truth" in here from the male perspective...

The Rules
  1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
  2. Saturday /Sunday = Sports and/or Hunting. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.
  3. Shopping is not everybody's idea of a good time.
  4. Crying is blackmail.
  5. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!
  6. We don't remember dates. Mark anniversaries on a calendar. Remind us frequently beforehand.
  7. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question. Men also consider grunts to be answers.
  8. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
  9. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
  10. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. We have no idea what mauve is.
  11. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.
  12. We are not mind readers and we never will be. Our lack of mind reading ability is not proof of how little we care about you.
  13. It is neither in your best interest or ours to take the quiz together. No, it doesn't matter which quiz.

Friday, April 18, 2008


An infestation was recently discovered along the north wall of our church offices. We were in the process of removing the old wallpaper so that the office could be painted, when we found black mold and the tell-tale burrows of termites. A little more peeling back on the wallpaper revealed not only places in the wall where the drywall had been entirely chewed through, but a big wad of actual termites, all of which promptly fell to the floor only to swiftly crawl back to their burrows. The Orkin Man was duly dispatched to deal with the creepy-crawlies and I’m sure that as you are reading this that most, if not all, of them have departed this life. Regular, detailed, inspections will soon be part of office life from now on, so the problem does not recur.

After my initial reaction to the nastiness of discovering the critters burrowing behind our walls died down, their presence got me thinking. Because one of the things about termites is that they can be present for years, silently chewing away. Undetected, they can ruin a building without much noticeable sign of their presence until the day when they have done enough damage that something collapses. Which is a lot like certain kinds of sin, like lust or envy, pride or perhaps gossip. These aren’t necessarily obvious to others nor are they usually immediately destructive. No, like termites, these do their work quietly and silently, for the most part: a little bit of callused soul from unrepentant sin here, a little bit of diminished faithfulness to God and credibility there. Until one day, major destruction comes in the form of a broken relationship, a church split, or simply in the form of a soul that has lost its joy in life and its ability to praise and thank and worship God.

As I’ve studied through the book of 1 Timothy, one of the things I’ve noticed is that Paul greatly emphasizes the strong connection between belief and life. He writes in verse 1:5 about love coming “from a pure heart and a good conscience” and speaks in verse 3:9 of deacons being men who “hold the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.” These good qualities contrast, in Paul’s mind with those who abandon the faith because they follow those “whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” Clearly, Paul is concerned that we not only believe all the right things, but also that we deal aggressively with all of the “little” areas of sin to which we all are prone. The only effective method I have found for doing this is through accountability: regular meetings with a trusted fellow believer who will help me “pull back the wallpaper” and see what’s hiding under there. We all need somebody to whom we can confess our sins so that we “may be healed” (James 5:16). Such “regular inspections” prevent a particular area of sin from becoming a major infestation in our souls.

I only wish a person capable of such things were as easy to find as the Orkin Man...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Welcome to our world

Yesterday was also notable for another reason: the arrival of the latest Horn baby! No, Karen and I are not expecting again, but my brother Steve and his wife Mandy did go to the hospital to deliver their son (almost two weeks early-lucky girl!). At any rate, little Abram Thomas Horn entered the world with a good yell, a full head of hair (unlike his daddy), and delighted parents. For those into stats, Abram was born about 12:15 this morning and was 7lbs, 4 oz, and 20.5" long, blond and blue-eyed but reportedly minus the famed Horn melon (again, my sister-in-law is a lucky girl). Pictures of the little guy will follow as soon as I can finagle some from those fortunate enough to have seen him already. Congratulations, Steve and Mandy!

This good day

I have been spending entirely too much time working lately and not enough time at home. So it was nice yesterday to have a day off that was truly a day off.

I woke up by spending time doing a devotional for girls with my daughter Sara and then took her and Ashley to school. After breakfast, Karen and I took the boys over to play at Pearce while we went for a walk together around the track there. After that we went to Kroger for some groceries and a trip around the store with the boys in one of their famous "Kar Karts." At home we at boneless chicken wings with honey barbecue sauce and fresh strawberries. Karen made a lasagna while I spoke with the truck repair shop and the we took naps. After naps the kids played in the yard while Karen and I dug out one of the edges of one of the flower beds (where the previous owner had dumped her fireplace ashes) and dug out a half-dead bush that Karen hated. Dinner, of course, was the previously mentioned lasagna, with multiple layers of glorious cheese, noodles, sauce and Italian sausage. Then it was off to soccer in my "loaner" truck and to play with the other kids at the school playground while Sara practiced with her team. We capped the evening with a bedtime snack fresh watermelon and strawberries. After the kids finally got off to bed, Karen and collapsed on the couch with a videotape (we're old school, I know) of the latest episode of Bones and hot buttered popcorn.

It was a nearly perfect day. We worked some, we studied the Bible some, we prayed and played some. Today my too infrequently used bush pulling muscles are a little sore, but it's the soreness of a good day well spent. We get too few of those, it seems.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Breaking news!

Readers of a certain age will be...what's the right word...Bemused? Delighted? Frightened? to find out that the now 40-something members of New Kids on the Block are reuniting and planning a tour. With all new music no less!

Apparently, there is now a substantial market for Gen-X boy band hysteria nostalgia concerts. And I thought this was a phenomenon destined to die with Boomer-era rockers like Jerry Garcia and Mick Jagger (who, by the way, is still competing with Steven Tyler as ugliest man to ever front a major rock band). Apparently not...


Since I became an adult (when did that happen?), I have been struck by how rare truly deep, enjoyable friendships really are. It's a rare gift to have another person with whom you can be truly yourself. And maybe it's naive of me to think this, but I think my pastoral role is a pretty inhibiting barrier to people getting close. They aren't quite sure they want their pastor knowing them "warts and all." Meanwhile, I'm not sure whether people I get close to will use their personal knowledge of my life as it really is (rather than how it is often perceived) to burn me, nor am I certain that I can still be someone's respected pastor and their close friend at the same time. Consequently, the temptation is to have many acquaintances, a few buddies to do fun things with, and to share your inner life with only your wife and maybe a fellow pastor friend or two.

Why is it so difficult to live your life with an unguarded soul?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A big day

Yesterday was a big day at the Horn house. We began the day by taking Sara to her first soccer game over at the local fields. Hundreds of children and their parents, all focused on chasing a little white ball across the grass. Shortly after we arrived and Karen and I had some opportunity to look around, I asked her, "Think we'll ever be that competitive?" To which Karen replied, "Oh sure. Sara just needs a little more practice." "Actually, I was referring to the other parents," I said. Hopefully, I will be able to retain a little psychic distance, loving and cheering for my daughter and her team without becoming so emotionally invested that I am charging the refs to challenge calls, yelling at the coach, and criticizing my kid when she fails to be the reincarnation of Pele at seven years old. Something those of you reading this can keep me accountable on...

In other news, Sara and I have been working on-and-off the past couple weeks on riding around on a bike without training wheels. Yesterday was the day it all came together. She still sometimes needs a little help getting going, but mostly she can zing around the neighborhood at will. So now I need to buy a bike flag and a bell and warn all of our elderly neighbors to stay off the streets and sidewalks and out of their front yards-my daughter is on the loose!