For those of you with children, here is an interesting article from Church History magazine dealing with whether parents should spank their kids or not. In Europe there is increasing levels of legislation to outlaw spanking, which is a gross over-stepping of government in my simple mind. It is done under the guise of protecting abused kids, which no doubt happens because kids who aren’t spanked and disciplined properly become very annoying and thus lead parents to abuse their kids! A proper dose of spanking is not only helpful to a kid but even therapeutic for a parent. And in some families, spanking is a good source of cardiovascular exercise.

Anyway, the idea is this trend will no doubt work its way over here and we’ll have to deal with it. How should the Church respond? This article looks back to St. Benedict and the Benedictine rule for guidance in how parents should discipline their kids. You may find it of interest.

With $500 worth of fireworks in the back seat of their car, two idiots blew up their car after a wayward spark found its way into the fireworks stash.

Guess they should have put a warning label on them there fireworks.

Here’s a nice quote from our pal Hillary Clinton speaking out on her husbands book tour. I quote, “”Many of you are well enough off that … the tax cuts may have helped you,” Sen. Clinton said. “We’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

“We’re going to take things away from you” used to be called stealing. Not sure what we call it today, perhaps “temporary possession separation.” Whatever it is, it aint right. No one has the right to step into someone else’s life and take things from it unless it’s me taking something from my kid. But the government is not our parent nor does it have any idea what “the common good” is.

In our discussion of the End Times, we covered how the ruling force of the time will be a tie with government, religion and the economy. It’ll somehow be a capitalistic-communism type deal where only the right people get stuff and it’ll be taken from the “others.” Interesting to watch it all come aint it?

I was biking down 17 yesterday through scenic downtown Rhinelander. I was moving pretty good coming down the hill by the library with the wind at my back and I hit a green light. There were cars along the side of the road so I moved over into the lane of traffic and was going the same speed as the cars so I just stayed there because there were more cars along the side parked.

While going around the bend by Little Caear’s, I heard some shrill woman yelling something behind me. I didn’t catch all that she was saying, wasn’t even sure she was talking to me, but I heard “sidewalk” and “right of way.” How annoying. I was going the same speed as the car ahead of me and was not causing any delay whatsoever.

It’s so very annoying when people criticize you and there’s nothing you can do about it. It would be nice to sit down with them and reason out the whole scenario and show how everyone was just fine, just relax. Oh well. It’s just annoying, it makes me want to not be so quick to judge when it happens unfairly to me.

Another pastoral problem I had with Adam Bede is that anytime someone wanted to go somewhere, they went on a Sunday and skipped church! What’s up with that?! They went on about how nice the parish pastor was and yet no one ever went to church.

It’s funny how often people find things to do on Sunday to not go to church that they very well could do other times. I know this is a pastor pet peeve but it is legitimate.

How often I have seen people who are struggling decide it’s a better move to skip church than go. Or how easy it is to ignore a spiritual need for a fleshly need. It goes way beyond just church and goes into all number of spiritual areas. We’re up against it out there. Fight to keep your standards and keep the faith.

I belong to a reading club which encourages you to read “classics.” I need lots of encouragement to do so, I don’t really like them much. I usually read about 3 a year. I recently read one entitled Adam Bede by George Eliot.

One of the main characters in this book was a woman who was a Methodist preacher. It was interesting to see a Methodist in action after covering them in our recent survey of Church History. Towards the end of the book the Methodist council decided that women should not preach any longer, which worked out great because she was going to get married at the end anyway! Amazing timing.

The reason they decided not to allow women to preach is that all these crackpot women were out there making fools of themselves so the Methody’s took care of that issue by eliminating all of them. Women preachers are back in the Methodist church today.

I found this article talking about how there is a glass ceiling in denominations that women pastors can’t get above. Hmm, wonder why that would be? I’m sure it has nothing to do with certain Bible verses. The main support of having female pastors is that they have a “strong sense of call.” Which is pretty much the only reason you can get away with doing something unbiblical is to say that God told you it was ok.

I’ve got no problem with women. I do have a problem with not listening to Scripture. I also have a problem with really long books called “classics.”

Yesterday in my message I used the half-empty glass of water to illustrate a point about people’s opinions on things. I have found the glass which gives the definitive answer to the question. Looking for a good Christmas present for your pastor?

Speaking of fear, it is amazing all the things we find to be afraid of. This site contains a list of all the phobias in our world, interesting stuff that people get skeared of.

Melbourne, Australia has a new problem–rats are chewing car cables making cars rather unsafe. Just the kind of news a guy with mice nesting in his car likes to hear. You just never know what might do you in. Perhaps we should all be afraid of mice and just stay home. They might kill us all!

Venus Williams was eliminated from Wimbledon the other day and part of the reason she lost was due to the umpire rewarding a point to her opponent in the tie-breaker that she didn’t win. Neither player realized it at the time and no one questioned the score. She later lost.

I think it is interesting to see how Venus has responded, saying it wasn’t on purpose and one point doesn’t make a match. That is a very respectable way to treat the situation, you can’t do much about it now anyway. The umpire has since been relieved of any further duties following his error.

How often in life we use any and every excuse to get upset at people and blame others for bad things happening to us. It is so refreshing to see someone not jump on a person who made an error and accept responsibility regardless. Very nice and I thought it should be pointed out.

A Canuck’s hockey player was busted by Canadian authorities for punching a Colorado Avalanche player a few months back. He is scheduled to appear in court after his punch seriously injured the other player.

I think that is really stupid when the law steps in to a hockey game. I think most hockey players know that they hit each other. It’s part of the game you take the chance of getting hurt by. Sure it was stupid and there was really no reason for him to do it and I think he should be kicked out of the league as long as the other guy can’t play, but there’s no reason for the law to step in.

But that’s just me. But that’s also Canada and that’s also why I live here. If I play hockey I want the freedom to punch someone thank you! In Christian love, of course.

It’s interesting how people enjoy getting each other in trouble. It’s interesting how we have this notion of justice and fairness. It’s interesting how no other animals have court systems and laws which punish rambunctious members of the tribe. It’s funny how there’s really “no standard of conduct” and we all “just follow our instincts.” It’s funny how stupid people can be to deny the existence of a higher standard of conduct.

A five-year-old boy in Germany has been found who can hold seven-pound weights with arms extended and has muscles twice the size of most kids his age. He has a genetic defect which increases his muscle mass.

Ah yes, reminds me a lot of myself at that age. Doctors are hoping to identify the chemical makeup to help those with muscular dystrophy and members of the Chicago Cubs. Good luck to em.

One problem that arises when looking at End Times stuff is you can lose heart with a distorted view. If the Bible says this earth is going downhill and that’s the way it’s gonna be, what hope is there? What reason do we have to go on? Is there any reason to fight against the world? If our greatest desire is to be with our Lord, wouldn’t it be in the Church’s best interest to give up and go about making the world worse so God will end it sooner?

If you have thought any of these thoughts, you need to come to TNBS tomorrow! There is a perfectly logical answer which also happens to be biblical too, which is nice.

Doing some study on the Church in prophecy which we will be getting into at Thursday Night Bible Study tomorrow. I came across this site which has some interesting stuff by William Newell who is a fine author. Enjoy.

President Bush is about to launch a new mental health initiative which calls for the screening of all citizens. Seeing as how most citizens go through school, the public schools will be the location of the mental health screening beginning with preschoolers.

I don’t know what Bush is thinking, perhaps he needs some mental health screening, but it sure seems like his plan is to make his government my mother. With all due respect, I already got one.

If schools are having so much trouble not having money to buy textbooks, understaffed, etc, how in the world will they be doing mental health screening that actually make sense? Then, if they determine that my kid is mentally disturbed, and what are the odds of that not happening, they can probably force me to put them on drugs. I really don’t have that much of a problem with public schools, I do have a problem with public schools taking over parenting responsibilities.

Of course, the answer to kids who are disruptive is to dope them up, or down as the case may be; whatever happened to discipline, getting them in trouble, etc.? I don’t know, whatever. It’s disappointing and discouraging. And there aint much a guy can do about it except inform others about how dumb we all are and encourage us to find our answers in Christ and not in stupid government or mood altering drugs. That’s my final answer.

As I reported last week, we have mice in our car. I decided to take matters into my own hands and set up mouse traps in our garage. Yesterday a mouse cleaned off the trap without being trapped. The game had begun.

Well, last night, a certain someone won that game and a certain somemouse lost it. What was interesting was that all the peanut butter was off the trap when it got him. You wonder if he licked the rest while stuck or if he was real careful to get it off and went in for that one last lick and then. . .

I think that mouse probably did the second one, based on the condition of his snout after the trap snapped I don’t think he’d be eating much after getting stuck. How often people do something like that where one last dip into a fleshly pleasure, “Oh I can stop anytime I want. I won’t get hurt, I never have before.” And then SNAP.

Satan views this world as his car and we’re just a bunch of pesky mice who have infested it with our little nests. So he puts out fleshly temptation to snare us and nail us. We nibble around the edges of the temptation, then we get stuck and need one more hit of it and then it’s over.

Be careful out there! He’s out to get ya!

Was reading in the Chesterton book, The Everlasting Man, and he was comparing religions. While listening to professors discuss religion they tend to group everything together and point out how there is no unity and everyone has gods all over the place.

Chesterton is trying to argue that religion started with monotheism and over the years has developed into polytheism. Most polytheistic religions have a “father” or beginning god no matter how many gods are in existence now.

It’s an interesting book and he presents things in a new way which you don’t hear. That last statement was pretty obvious I guess. Anyway, going through church history has shown us how religion starts out pretty simple and basic and then gets more confusing and divided as it continues. This is true in Christianity and it is no doubt also true with how man took one God and made 4.6 million gods. A general characteristic of humanity is to make the simple confusing.

The first ever privately owned aircraft has entered space and returned safely. Cool. I once shot an arrow into the air and had it land in the roof of our neighbors shed.

The pilot of the ship said it was real neat and was “almost a religious experience.” Which is interesting. It was no doubt very neat and it’s funny how very neat things make us “feel” a “Religious feeling.” What exactly is that religious feeling? Why are highly emotional moments considered religious? I don’t know, just something to think about.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) otherwise known as the PCUSA, are revving up for their denominational convention in early July. One of the great things of summer is observing the denominational conventions all over the country.

The main issue up for debate is homosexuality. According to the church’s rule book, they say homosexuality is a sin, well that’s gotta go so they’ll discuss that. Furthermore, the church rule book doesn’t say anything is wrong with homosexual marriage so that should be ok too.

Ah yes, see what happens when you put people’s words over God’s words. Human wisdom is silly, just read what they say about this one issue. The PCUSA has had huge troubles over the last few years because they are dropping all these biblical things for what fits in best with society.

For some reason, they are losing members. Hmm, the more you try to fit in with society and don’t stand for anything the less people want to do with you. Funny how that happens.

We took our car in to the shop the other day for an oil change, a look at a leaking tire and a 75,000 mile tune up. While digging around in the car, the mechanics found a mouse nest in our air filter! It was apparently almost 100% blocking the ability for air to flow.

Ahh, perhaps that explains why the car has been jerky lately.

That little mouse nest was no doubt quite comfortable for little mice to live in during the winter. A tight cozy place that gets warmed up by a heated engine occasionally. How nice.

Makes you wonder though, how often does our comfort bog down other people’s efficiency? Are we aware of how we impact others? Love says we should be aware of our impact on others. Perhaps little mice need to learn some love. Maybe that can be your mission field.

The Biblical character Esther evokes many thoughts and maybe even emotions. It’s a humble story of a poor Jewish girl who was raised to a position of power to intercede for her people. It’s a story of redemption and triumph for the good guys.

However, recent news puts a different spin on the character of Esther we’ve all come to know and love. Our pal Madonna, who is busy studying Kabbalah, would now like to be named after the biblical character Esther. That’s right, she wants to be called Esther from now on.

Right. There’s lots of things you could call her, I don’t think “Esther” tops the list.

John Kerry is getting advice from his spiritual advisors on his campaign, being instructed by Catholic types to “shut up” about the communion thing.

I think shutting up is an adequate piece of advice for any politician. I applaud this advice and suggest a promotion for the advisor that suggested it.

I am currently reading The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton. He is looking to give a history of man and compare it to the history of Christ or something like that. I’m only 50 pages in.

His writing is sometimes hard to keep up with. If you lose him for a sentence you’ll lose him for a paragraph and if you lose a paragraph you lose a page. He’s making some good points though on how scientists deduce what the “cave man” was like off pretty sparse evidence.

I’ll be interested to see where he goes with it and what he has to say about Christ in comparison.

Tonight at TNBS we’re discussing the Modern Church including the development of dispensationalism. Dispensationalism is mostly attributed to John Darby and the Plymouth Brethren in the 1820’s and on. This web site contains some interesting articles on dispensations and its history. Some interesting stuff.

Following the trend of Christians following whatever the world does, there is a new series of books coming out of Britain going up against Harry Potter from a Christian view.


Come on now. Just reading the article summing up the book makes me know this aint any closer to Christian than Harry Potter, or at least not any clearer on distinctions.

It would be nice to see some creativity out of Christianity that isn’t just a carbon copy of whatever works in the world.

Lloyd’s of London, a prime insurance provider, has just offered a new insurance policy up to $1.8 to cover the loss of chest hair due to illness or accident. The policy is intended for actor types who need a manly appearance to protect their image. Ah yes, as long as we’re using our chest hair for eternity. . .

The Southern Baptist convention is in full swing and making the news. First off, the Southern Baptist denomination has dropped out of a world organization of Baptists over gay marriage which SBC wants to ban.

Furthermore, they voted down a measure to make Christian parents take their kids out of public schools!

I say this carefully but with conviction–I think it’s about time we pull our head out of the sand here and stop with this damnation of public school stuff. Taking our kids out of public school is going to make the public schools even worse is it not? Or is it just the job of Christians to be Christians and let the rest rot?

I think I hear the black helicopters:

End times things are interesting to see how it will all work. The number on the head is the cool one to figure out. We talked the other day about chips being implanted for identification.

Check this one out, they are now implanting an electronic device to send an electric impulse to the brain to treat depression. It’s the first time an electronic device has been used to treat mental illness.

Think of all the people you know with pace makers. I know of others who have the electric pulses sent to muscles etc. Now you add this on top. Why not have one electronic device which contains your id, credit card and keeps you healthy? It fits into everything! And it all makes perfect sense.

Here is an article from Christianity Today which has a few short snippets on recent news affecting church and state issues. Issues include the recent court decision on the pledge, how much faith do Americans want their president to have, why Bush went to the Vatican for advice etc. Interesting stuff. It’s always amusing to see the Christian spin trying to make everyone look holy except the bad guys, of course.

Boy, last night was fun. We had a fun softball game, even though we lost. But everyone was in a good mood and having a good time. Afterwards we went out to Dairy Queen and had some ice cream. We drove home with the sun setting on a beautiful evening. That’s what summer’s all about. A night like that just makes you want to say “thank you.”

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