Friday, October 31, 2008
If you have the time, you should watch the following video, which gives you the whole history of Luther's Reformation in 3:42. By the way, it's also a rap! Creative, informative, true and startling all at once. Not a bad combo...
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
- Bi-partisan: Anything that is worse than the results a single party could produce on its own.
- Blue-ribbon commission: A group of people whose purpose is to enable politicians to appear to be doing something.
- Campaign: 2 years of constant hectoring by politicians about how theirs opponents' election will mean the end of civilization as we know it.
- Change: Making things worse.
- Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Amnesty for illegal aliens.
- Constitution: A document that politicians ritually pledge to uphold but routinely ignore once in office. Supposedly the ruling law of the land.
- Diplomacy: Appeasing dictators and thugs with promises of American aid.
- Economic Justice: Taxes on the productive members of society. See also "social justice" and "redistributive change."
- Fascist: Political Conservative (see also, "racist," "sexist," et al.)
- Fairness: Taxes
- Gaffe: Any clear statement of my true beliefs and principles.
- Hope: What politicians kill off once in office.
- Improvement: Regression.
- International Community: People who hate the U.S., Americans, and the values on which the country was founded.
- Lobbyist: Representative of a group of voters who support a cause I disagree with, but favored by my opponent. See also "special interest."
- Money: What it takes to change my opinion on an issue.
- Principled: Any actions taken by me.
- Progress: Change for the worse.
- Promise: Lie.
- Racist: Opposed to race-based preferences for anyone.
- Real Americans: Voters who support me.
- Redistributive Change: Communism
- Reform: Spend more money for worse results (see also "Change").
- Single-payer: Government funded through taxation.
- Social Justice: see "Redistributive Change"
- Special Interest: A group of voters that support my opponent.
- Stopping Global Warming: Imposing job-killing taxes on Americans while ignoring the policies of China and India, the world's worst industrial polluters.
- U.N.: An international body convening in New York in which thugs, thieves, and dictators are given the same vote as the representatives of free nations in the name of "international cooperation."
- Unethical: Any action taken by my opponent.
- Unify the country: Eliminate the opposition to my plans.
- Voter Registration Drive: Voter fraud
- Voter Suppression: Limiting the vote to citizens and non-felons.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
But McCain, for good and ill, is not Bush. Perhaps voters will see that, perhaps not. An Obama victory will be transformative for our country in ways a McCain victory will not be, many of which will be good (e.g., a compelling refutation to the idea prevalent on the Left that a person's success or failure in America is largely determined by his or her race), but many of which will fundamentally alter the character of our nation for the worse (e.g., putting in a new class of eternal entitlements that will bankrupt us, our children, and our grandchildren). A McCain victory, by contrast, will position him as the last check and balance on a Congress likely to be overwhelmingly Democratic, and with which he shares many policy goals (global warming cap-and-trade, immigration amnesty, etc.). For me, it's hard not to be depressed by the state of the country either way. Our spending and debt are out-of-control, our military is fighting large-scale conflicts against small-scale enemies, our educational institutions are turning out expensive graduates that know little, and no politicians out there seem to believe in America as it stands and has stood for 200+ years--the beacon of freedom and the source of much that is good in the world.
I'm too old to be idealistic anymore, but too young to be this cynical. Where is the leader who will unite the country behind her ideals? Where is the man who believes more in making America great (morally, economically, and geopolitically) than in assuaging the pressure groups of his party? I know one thing-he isn't running this year. Sigh......
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Contest Offers Engaged Couples Who Abstain a $10,000 Wedding
Thursday, October 23, 2008
An abstinence education program in Georgia is offering couples who abstain from sex before marriage a chance to win a $10,000 wedding.
The nonprofit Marriage Appreciation Training Uplifting Relationship Education is offering the Marriage of a Lifetime contest to couples who live in Rockdale, DeKalb and Newton counties, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. But so far, there have been no entries, despite the looming Oct. 31 deadline.
“There is a romantic end of it, but we are also looking for a couple that is committed and who will work through struggles,” Phillippia Faust, the director of the abstinence education program, told the paper. “And we are looking for a couple that is choosing a lifestyle that is not compromising, and premarital sex is a compromiser.”
In addition to promising not to have sex before marriage, couples must agree to allow the public to attend their wedding as well as undergo premarital counseling, the paper said.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Is it possible that we are going about evangelism in so-called "creative access" countries all wrong? Legend says that many of the early missionaries to Central Africa packed their few possessions in a coffin so that when they were struck down by one or another tropical disease (or hungry native tribe), their mission could have the means for burial ready to hand. They went, in other words, despite their expectation of dying. In a similar way, missionaries in the early centuries of the Church went among the tribesmen of Northern Europe and the Middle East not secretly, but boldly proclaiming the gospel, come what may. Out of these efforts came the vibrancy of today's African Christianity and the Christianization of Europe, respectively. What if we tried a similar approach in the 10/40 Window? What if we were to recruit missionaries and provide them with cultural and linguistic training, knowing that their trip to such places would most likely be one-way? Is it really better to be a "tentmaker" in a closed country, building the faith in secret? Or is that merely the way that we rationalize our fear of martyrdom?
Saturday, October 18, 2008
- Rice, rice, and more rice. Rice at every meal. Rice until well after I was sick of it.
- Rice noodles with squid for breakfast.
- HOT chilis on and in everything I ate.
- Squatty potties. The less said about them or seen of them, the better.
- Crab pizza at an Italian restaurant overlooking the ocean. Suffering for the Kingdom, let me tell you.
- Meeting, talking with, and teaching some incredible men and women who really do experience suffering and possible martyrdom for the sake of the Kingdom.
- Terrible homesickness-missing Karen and the kids something awful.
- Opening doors to the Gospel among people who are among the least reached in the world.
- Seeing God answer prayers, bind Satan, protect us, grant us peace, and meet us in ways I have seldom experienced.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
- Religious Man: These are the kind of people that used to predominate all over the world, and still predominate in the non-Western world (i.e., Central and East Asia, South & Central America, and Africa). They already believe in many of the concepts that are present in Christian theology-God, sin, judgment, an afterlife, spiritual forces of good and evil, and the necessity of escaping judgment for the evil that we do. Biblically speaking, the best example of this type of person is Nicodemus ("A member of the Jewish ruling council"). Successful evangelism with a religious man like this involves building on what he already knows, but correcting his theology so that it reflects biblical truth. Books like The Strange on the Road to Emmaus and Peace Child reveal good methods for doing this. A Religious Man accepts revelation, respects tradition, uses reason, and values experience. All are valid pathways to truth to a religious man and all support his belief in a world that is ultimately spiritual.
- Scientific Man: These are the kind of people that began to rise in Europe beginning in about 1750 and in America about 1850. They dominated Western culture from about 1900 until around 1990. They find most of the Bible and anything supernatural unbelievable. For a scientific man, only what science can prove through empirical study (Can I touch, smell, see, hear, or taste it?) is true and real. The best biblical example of this type of person is Thomas ("Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."). Successful evangelism with a scientific man involves the presentation of evidence about such things as the general reliability of the Scriptures, the trustworthiness of the Gospels, the possibility of miracles, and the existence of God. A Scientific Man worships reason, disregards revelation, distrusts tradition, and evaluates experience by what seems to him to be rational. He believes reason is the valid pathway to truth, because his bedrock, pre-conversion belief is that the world is ultimately material.
- Hey Whatever, Man: These are the people that began rising in Europe in 1900 and in America about 1960. They are disillusioned by the world created by the "modernists" (i.e., Scientific Man), which though it enabled things like flight, cars, and vaccines, also created mustard gas, the atom bomb, and the Holocaust. As a result, they are very open to spiritual realities of whatever type (from palm reading to crystals, Hinduism to Christianity), but distrustful of any "institutional" or formal expressions of religious belief such as the Church. Since the scientific man's "objective truth" was so often used in support of causes that were evil, Hey Whatever, Man no longer believes that there is any such thing as objective truth (i.e., ideas that aren't dependent on the perspective of the person, but are true for everyone, everywhere). Instead, he believes that everything is "up for grabs" and that truth is completely individualized. The best biblical example of this type of person is Pontius Pilate ("What is truth?"). Successful evangelism with Hey Whatever, Man consists of giving him both information about the Christian faith and an experience of Christian truth as it is lived out in relationship with others. Hey Whatever, Man worships experience, distrusts reason, is intrigued by tradition, and is open to revelation. He believes that while the world is "kinda" material (i.e., he doesn't totally reject science), "there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy."
Obviously, most people are mixtures of one of the above, and no one fits these broad generalities perfectly anymore. But a good understanding of what "species" you are dealing with is critical for evangelistic success.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
- God's protection for my family. A lot can happen while I am a full 24 hours by plane away from Karen and the children. Pray that chariots of fire (2 Kings 6:17) will surround our house while I am away.
- God's protection for me. My health is not the best and that fact, combined with weird food, an unsanitary environment, and the possibility of opposition to our visit by some folks, means that I need God's everlasting arms to support me even more than usual.
- "Ear opening" experiences and opportunities. May those with "ears to hear" listen well.