Today is August 31, which may not mean that much to you, but to a large group of people it’s a date they’ve been waiting for. Various political groups have identified August 31 (a31) as their rallying day to protest the Republican Convention in New York. More power to ’em, the first amendment gives us all the right to be a general nuisance.

However, what I think is particularly amusing is that this day was organized by anarchists! I didn’t know anarchists could organize. Here is their organized web site. They only give general information as they want you to come to their meeting in person to take action, they don’t want “The Man” to find out what they’re up to. Along with anarchists is a whole list of fine Americans exercising their rights. Good luck to ’em!

I wonder what it is in people that makes us want order. Hmm. Even anarchists need order to accomplish something. Boy oh boy, if only I could think of some reason why people desire order. Guess it’s just a random fact.

Philip Yancey has become my favorite Christian thinker. I don’t agree with all his theology but the man thinks and his writing inspires others to think. That’s all you can ask really. I am currently reading his book Soul Survivor. It is kind of an autobiography of Yancey and his upbringing in a racist, fundamentalist Southern church and how it almost made him give up on Christianity. But he recounts several lives which changed his and made him stick in with Christianity. Among his list is Gandhi, who was no Christian but probably better than anyone in history, lived out the principles of Jesus’ life, according to Yancey.

It is a common thought in Christianity that you can only learn Christian principles from Christians. However, very few Christians actually demonstrate Christian principles. It is unfortunate that Christians are not really known for being Christ-like. When Martin Luther King Jr. (another of Yancey’s heroes) and his group were trying to get attention directed at racial intolerance, they were accused of being Communists. The reason for this is that Communists taught the brotherhood of man. Seems like “there is no difference” is a Christian principle, why weren’t they accused of being Christian? Because Christians aren’t known for that.

Yancey does a fine job of analyzing the world through a Christian lens yet without the typical Christian “happy happy joy joy” outlook. He deals with reality and that’s refreshing.

Although our President is a warmonger, peace organizations report that peace is spreading throughout the world. Casualties due to war have been declining over the years to the lowest point since before World War II, with only 20,000 deaths last year.

Although it seems like this is good news, it will be the idea of world peace which will serve to bring us together, will give the anti-christ a platform to work with. Not that war is the answer, I’m just saying. There is also the notion of wars and rumors of wars, but peace is the real danger. A one world government won’t happen with war I’m guessing.

It’s fascinating to watch the whole thing come about.

To see how your pastor and other allergy sufferers are doing today, check out pollen.com and type in your zip code. Yuck. I can’t wait until winter.

During the men’s marathon at the Olympics today a whacko ran out and pushed the leader of the race into the crowd. The whacko was wearing a sign which said something like “Israel, a fulfillment of prophecy.”

Turns out this guy had also run out into a grand prix race. He is in his 50’s, a retired priest believed to have mental issues. He said he needed to stop the race in preparation of the return of Jesus Christ. Since this happened I’ve been searching the Scriptures for any mention of a marathon race being stopped in preparation for Christ’s return. To this point I’ve come up empty. Psalm 19:5 is the closest I get.

I just finished reading Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. Wow, what a book. I’m not even sure where to begin expressing my thoughts on it. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book which affected me so much, I’m not even sure how it’s affected me, I just know it has! I’m sure my thoughts will come out in sermons and these entries in the next few weeks, sor t of like that dumb persecution book!

Krakauer set out to do a history of Mormonism but was soon diverted into researching a murder involving two Mormon Fundamentalist brothers. Krakauer then shows how Mormonism has been marked with violence and what leads these people to such weird conclusions.

In so doing, Krakauer opens up religion in general to the same investigation. Who’s to say when God speaks and when He doesn’t? Are all people who believe in God insane?

A captivating read, like watching a car wreck, that’ll really get you thinking. I would recommend it to all people who find religion interesting or who enjoy being disturbingly depressed.

A Winnipeg man died two years ago in his apartment and was only recently found. His pension check was automatically deposited and his rent and utilities were automatically withdrawn so everything was current and no one bothered to check where he was.

A newspaper in his apartment was from November of 2002 and his calendar was also opened to November of 2002. His family tried to contact him last summer when they were in town for a wedding but he “wasn’t home.”

Another strange example of how lonely some people are out there. Everyone assumes someone else is taking care of others and often no one is. One more call for the church to wake up and meet people.