A public school principal in Athens, GA got busted for reading the New School Prayer, a prayer that has been on the internet for years. After reading this poem before Thanksgiving break, several parents complained and he, of course, apologized. He had to know he was going to upset people by reading it so why does he apologize? If you’re man enough to read it, be man enough to take the consequences!

The poem is pretty benign anyway, here’s what it says:

Now I sit me down in school

Where praying is against the rule

For this great nation under God

Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,

It violates the Bill of Rights.

And anytime my head I bow

Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,

That’s no offense; it’s a freedom scene.

The law is specific, the law is precise.

Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall

Might offend someone with no faith at all.

In silence alone we must meditate,

God’s name is prohibited by the state.

We’re allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,

And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.

They’ve outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.

To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,

And the ‘unwed daddy,’ our Senior King.

It’s “inappropriate” to teach right from wrong,

We’re taught that such “judgments” do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,

Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.

But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,

No word of God must reach this crowd.

It’s scary here I must confess,

When chaos reigns the school’s a mess.

So, Lord, this silent plea I make:

Should I be shot; My soul please take!

Amen

I borrowed a book from my dad about a year ago, which I am just getting around to reading. The book is by Walter Wangerin and is a biography of Paul written as a novel. He has an interesting approach, telling the story of Paul while each chapter is written by a different character like Barnabas, James, Luke, etc.

I’m about 1/4 of the way through it. It’s not bad but his take on Paul is a bit different than mine. It’s like reading a book and then watching the movie and the movie character doesn’t fit at all with the vision you had of the character in your head. His Paul is wimpy, fruity and annoying, not at all what I got from reading Acts.

Another annoying habit is his desire to put in charismatic type things that you never see in Acts. Whenever “in the name of Jesus” is spoken Barnabas gets filled with the spirit and no matter what he can’t control himself from dancing and speaking in tongues. I don’t see that in Acts. He also describes other people dancing and saying “bah-bah-bah” as they are speaking in tongues. Any description of tongues in Acts is a known language, not senseless babbling.

Other than those things it’s an interesting concept and OK reading. He does a good job of showing the emotions and tensions of the period, it helps you relate to the concepts that Paul addresses that we miss the impact of–food offered to idols, circumcision, etc. The fact that it inspired me to write about in on the blog means it’s making some impact on me. Most of what I read never makes it here!

Professed Christian Tony Campolo took to the airwaves to explain why Bush benefited from a supposed “morals” emphasis in the election, here’s what he said:

“What Karl Rove did was make certain issues religious issues and ignored others, and when you say, “These are the religious issues: abortion and homosexuality,” the Republicans win because they’re strong on those issues. On the other hand, the Jesus never mentions homosexuality. Paul does; Jesus doesn’t. But what Jesus does do is say that the one condition for judgment on Judgment Day, as you know, is in the 25th chapter of Matthew. How do we respond to the poor? “I was hungry, did you feed me? Naked, did you clothe me? Sick, did you care for me.” These issues of poverty, 2,000 verses of scripture in the Bible that call upon us to respond to the needs of the poor. The United States, of the 22 industrial nations, is dead last in helping the poor of the world [sic] on a per capita basis. To put it in perspective, for every dollar Americans give to help the poor of the world, the people of Norway give 70 according to UN. That scares me.”

Um, several things. First of all, the issue on Judgment day is not our attitude toward the poor, it’s whether we’ve believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Once again we see the importance of understanding Christ’s mission on earth and the importance of following the revelation of Scripture.

Second, there are even more verses telling us to have faith in our God.

Third, “per capita” are the key words of that there statistic making America look bad in giving. There are more people in Iowa then there are in Norway, which means America leads the way in charitable giving in total. I also believe that people who start businesses and provide jobs are doing a service for the “poor” which no other country comes close to rivaling the US.

Fourth, this guy has always bugged me and I had to take one more opportunity to dump on him!

I was reading this afternoon and came across a frequently misapplied verse. I have seen this verse in many places and none of those places have applied it right.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he (Proverbs 29:18).”

The first section of that verse is often quoted in writing about how to improve your life through the use of goals. In order to succeed in life you have to have goals, dreams or a vision to get you where you want to go. This verse is used to prove that.

Of course, all you have to do is keep it in context and you can see the real meaning. The second half of the verse gives you the context–keeping the law is the opposite of having no vision. Vision here doesn’t mean some dream or plan you come up with, it is referring to divine revelation. When people are not using God’s Word and direction they will get lost; when they stick with His word, happy days are here again.

I have yet to read this verse and have the conclusion be to listen to God’s word to have a happy life. I guess they are not using God’s revelation and their advice will not lead to a happy life. There’s nothing worse than destroying the meaning of God’s Word by ignoring its context. Rightly divide; don’t wrongly chop up.

If you are looking for information on Israel on the Internet you have to wade through lots of junk. Type in “Israel blog” on a search engine and you could be busy for hours. Plus, most blogs have links to other ones which get you off on those rabbit trails.

To this point, after searching through various blogs for about 15 minutes, this one seems to be the best one I’ve found yet. By “best” I mean–written by someone who is informed, kept up to date and has information. There are also links on the right hand side to various other Israel-related sites. Enjoy.

Ever since I got the new snowblower I’ve been waiting for snow and it figures the snow comes on a Saturday night. I see that the National Weather Service is encouraging people to not drive. That just means right now, certainly not for Sunday morning. I hate it how Satan keeps people from church! Daylight Savings Time and weather are his two favorite weapons. Don’t let him win!

(I just did the spell check and it recommended “coneflower” instead of snowblower. Coneflower? What is a coneflower? And why is that in a spell check dictionary?)

Pope John Paul II made a statement on Friday concerning the decline in new priests in the US. There were about 500 priests ordained in the last year which is down quite a bit from the year before. He also made mention of encouraging seminaries to teach holiness and good living. Oh, that ought’a bring in more priests!

American seminaries are going to be investigated by the Catholic Church to see if they are to blame for the lack of enthusiasm and increase in immorality among the Catholic leaders. Education is always the answer or the key to the problem. Seems like it might be something else to me, but what do I know?