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!


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?

People often use “a thief in the night” to describe the rapture. That bugs me. Here’s why–the thief in the night is not about the rapture!

“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2. Anytime the Bible says something akin to “You know perfectly” you can pretty well rest assured people don’t know what he’s talking about!

The day of the Lord is God’s day of wrath and judgment, it’s going to surprise the world because they are going to think there is peace and good times ahead (5:3). What do thieves do? They take or destroy things that people don’t think belongs to them. Is Christ coming to get us stealing or destroying? No, we’re His; He can take us whenever He wants and we won’t mind it. When God comes to judge the world He’s going to destroy and take things the world thinks belongs to them, in their minds, He’s stealing.

“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” (5:4). The day of the Lord won’t overtake us as a thief because 1) we know perfectly well that it’s coming and 2) we won’t be here anyway because God has delivered us from wrath (5:9)! Let’s be sure to use our biblical knowledge that “we know perfectly,” perfectly!

On this day for giving thanks I would like to thank all of you for visiting my blog. It’s an honor to be able to share with you. It strikes me as odd every once in awhile that people actually look at this, but it’s nice to know my time I spend doing this is used. Thanks. I couldn’t do it without you. Hope you find some benefit in it and if you do, tell someone else about it!

Ecclesiastes 5:19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-this is a gift of God.

One unfortunate result of over-sensitive Christians is that we’ve killed our ability to enjoy life. To take pleasure in what we have almost seems wrong. Yet Scripture makes it clear that our things we’ve been given by God are here for us to enjoy. One of the biggest aspects of thanksgiving is enjoyment. The best way to show thanks is to use what you have!

This Thanksgiving take time to enjoy what you have. Have a good time. Relax. Laugh. Be happy, it’s all a gift from God. Cheer up! Turn the music up loud. Watch BOTH football games. Have an extra helping of cranberries and pie. Go for it!

Just in time for vacation mode, I see this article discussing the possibility of a “lazy gene.” Praise God! It’s not my fault! The conclusion is possible based on a study of fruit flies, which we all know are close relatives of humans. There seems to be a gene which determines whether a fruit fly will be a sitter or a rover.

On the big fruit of life are you a rover or a sitter? You may not have a choice. However, the disturbing part of the article is that they recommend better diet and exercise for the sitters. What’s up with that? I thought genes were specially given to me by Mother Evolution so I fulfill my part that helps the whole? Why do the sitters have to eat and exercise better? Maybe the rovers need to chill.

We’re not going anywhere for Thanksgiving this year, which is nice. Usually every year we’re driving all over the country for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last year we did it and the kids were nuts and also sick each time. So this year we stay home.

Cindy and I began to enter vacation mode last night as we rented a few movies. The highlight of the evening was watching A Beautiful Mind. I had heard about this movie from somewhere, not sure where exactly, but decided to see it knowing very little about it. It was quite good. Had you guessing and I believe it’s based on a true story. One of those movies that makes you think. It was a bit intense in spots so probably no suitable for the younger audience but otherwise a class movie I thought. Good show of what marriage should be. Good show of how powerful the mind can be. Good show of the battle of the old and new life. Interesting in many aspects.

Earlier in the day yesterday I cut an article out of a magazine! It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever done that I think and then I go and see this movie. Also, yesterday I asked Cindy this thought-provoking question which this movie did not help answer–if I’m stupid, how would I know it? What if I’m too stupid to know I’m stupid? This movie has me more paranoid about being stupid then I’ve ever been.

Aint vacation mode great?

There was one more point from Sunday I had intended to make but didn’t because I forgot. It has to do with Matthew 24:24 “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

It is my take that when the Antichrist comes and establishes his government, or at least is setting the stage for its arrival, that Christians (speaking generally) won’t even see it coming. The Antichrist will establish a government that even Christians will like. Somehow, we’re going to find a government form which keeps people happy, including believers.

The danger of Christians joining with the government is that we’ll get taken. The government will convince us it’s good. It’ll enforce things we’ll want enforced, do what we want it to do and say what we want it to say. Even the elect could be fooled by how cool it will seem. The Church has already decided to line up with one party, As the one party continues to compromise its way to Armageddon, we’ll go with it. Soon our government will be something we’ll be aligned with and then God will have to cut it short or we’d all leave Him to enjoy the blessed condition of earth. We have to be careful, that’s all I’m saying.

The NBA is getting lots of press right now, almost to an annoying degree. The common consensus is that the NBA is made up of a bunch of spoiled kids who come from a culture of violence and we should understand that this violence will make its way into the games.

Well that doesn’t seem to work for me for some reason. Hockey seems to have a lot of fights in it, including some that involved fans, including some that involved criminal action. Baseball had a few scraps with fans as well. Soccer has always fostered violence in Europe, primarily because the game is too stinking boring to keep fans attention on the field. But come on, give the guys a break. This was one incident started by one guy who got carried away and had fairly good reason for doing so. They’re all getting punished. Move on.

There is an article on Christianity Today with John Wooden, written before this latest fight, but still giving a good balance to the often poor press these guys get. The amount of poor press on these inner-city youth may be chalked up to stereotypes and racism more than facts, but that’s just my opinion.

There was a big fight at a basketball game last week. I could care less really, basketball has long worn out its welcome with me. But it annoyed me that alot of the players had severe suspensions and I hadn’t heard anything about what happened to the fans.

I was relieved to hear news today that police are following up on the fans. Otherwise, it seems to me the bright thing to do is for me to go to Lambeau Field and pick a fight with the Packers and see how many of them I can get suspended for the rest of the year. If only the players are punished it seems to give fans even more license to interfere. I hope the fans get just as much time of punishment as the players. So, if I’m gone from church for a year or so it might be that I got into it with Mr. Favre.

Chesty Puller was the guy I read a quote from this morning. My Son Dennis Squires asked me whatever happened to ol’ Chesty? I didn’t know. So Dennis looked it up and sent me the following links of Chesty Puller interest:

Chesty Puller Quotes

Chesty Puller Life in Review

This last link says that Puller was not a religious man himself but saw the importance of having religious services available for his men. So, that’s good to know.

1 Corinthians 2:8 is a vital portion of Scripture when it comes to understanding government vs. God. I, of course, forgot to bring it up this morning even though it was right there in my notes. Stupid notes. It says, “which none of the princes of the world knew; for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.”

Government will always end up going the exact opposite way of God’s word. The reason God didn’t make it plain as day that Jesus was the Messiah and that He would be rejected and killed is because if it was that obvious, the rulers of the earth never would have killed Him! Human government will always go against God’s plan.

Same thing is true of Revelation. Revelation doesn’t make the most sense, but it makes enough to give the general idea. If it were plainly known that there would be a one world government and relative peace, governments would thwart that plan. But since it’s a bit vague, requires faith to see it, government ambles along doing exactly what God said they would do–fight against Him. It aint pretty, but it is the truth.

Fast Company Magazine is one of the more interesting and informative magazines I’ve ever come across. In it they have an article about a woman at Harvard Business School who did a study on creativity. After studying the data, she concludes that fear and anxiety stifle creativity. Well that seems to make sense even though most people think time deadlines encourage them to be creative. Really all it does is helps you get something done, it may not be creative at all.

Instead, to foster creativity, moods like joy and love best produce an environment for creativity. Well aint that something? And what are the first two fruits of the Spirit? How come the Church is one of the most unoriginal places on earth then? Makes one wonder.

Believe it or not, today, November 19, is World Toilet Day. I kid you not. Today is the beginning of the World Toilet Summit. Seriously, I couldn’t make this up. Here is the official web site of the World Toilet Organization and the World Toilet Summit.

Some topics to be discussed at the World Toilet Summit are:

Design – The Challenges and Considerations in Establishing the Code of Practice for Toilets.

Catering to the diversity of Culture – toilets for different cultures

Maintenance – Good Toilets Improve Heartland Community Living

A Global Perspective – Relationship between Toilets & Quality of Human Life

World Class Tourism & Toilets

Look for amazing theological insights soon after this years toilet summit concludes!

Facts are very disturbing. I have heard a lot recently about how cool it is that spiritual things are really doing well in America. But then you find out exactly what qualifies as “spiritual” in America and it’s not so cool anymore.

Want some facts about spirituality in America? Check this out.

Jim Carrey, who is capable of being a very funny man, if not also very crude, is in a 60 Minutes interview coming up. In his interview he says that he used to be on Prozac but it didn’t give him any answers. So he has turned to God.

Well that’s interesting. I wonder what God he turned to? Well, unfortunately, now I know as I found a quote from his interview, it reads as follows, and it’s not very funny either:

During the interview at his home, he invited 60 MINUTES cameras to one of his most beautiful and private spots, his “center of the universe,” where he goes to escape the world and where he tells Kroft his feelings about God. “This is where I hang out with Buddha, Krishna…all those guys,” says Carrey about a lean-to adorned with candles and a bed built high on his hillside property in Brentwood, Calif. “I’m a Buddhist, I’m a Muslim, I’m a Christian. I’m whatever you want me to be…it all comes down to the same thing,” he tells Kroft. Carrey says he believes they are all the same God and it is this conviction and spirituality that make him happy.

I guess there was a reason he starred in “Dumb and Dumber.”

I read something this morning that made me think. It seemed like an interesting point until I checked it, then it just seemed stupid. Here’s what it was:

According to this person, who shall remain nameless for my sake, Genesis 41:34 says that Joseph, upon interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams of years of plenty and years of famine, recommended that Pharaoh cut taxes to 20% and this is what resulted in the plenty.

Hmm, interesting, a little Reaganomics in Genesis eh?

However, if you look up the verse it actually is Joseph telling Pharaoh to collect 20% of the people’s produce so that when the famine comes they’ll have stores to keep the folks fed. Not only does this not say what this person wanted it to say, it says the exact opposite. There is no word that taxes were higher before this and, in fact, to make any kind of sense in the story, 20% would be higher than what it previously was.

Ah yes, make sure you check your references. Don’t take people’s word for what the Bible says, just go to the Word itself to find out.

Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was a hit song back in 1984 done by a collection of “artists” (and I use that term loosely) to raise money for starving people around the world. As we all know, Ronald Reagan won his second term in in 1984 and Republican presidents in their second terms quite frequently cause starvation around the world, thus, George W. has caused “artists” to point out starvation once again.

I kid, I kid. But the song is a joke. It asks if people in Africa know it’s Christmas because they won’t get any snow this year. Um, hang on now, lot’s of people don’t have snow at Christmas. Furthermore, Africa is one of the more highly Christianized areas of the world. Ethiopia has always been a Christian stronghold. In fact, many African nations are supporting missions to America!

The stupidity of our pop-culture is astounding. But hey, at least we won’t have to worry about anyone starving anymore, Madonna will see to that.

Ravi Zacharias made his appearance at the Mormon Tabernacle yesterday. Christianity Today has a synopsis of what he said and also a link to buy the cd of his message. They also comment on the other guy who spoke and apologized for Christians being so mean to LDS people. Hope he wasn’t speaking for me.

Also, right below this article, are links to a story about a couple who wanted to sacrifice their children on a church altar. Also a good read.

In this Renaissance book, Manchester could have been much harsher on Christ and Christianity than he was. In fact, I think he did a pretty good job of separating people from God. He is by no means a Christian, that I know of. The conclusion of his book was interesting. Here are the last few lines of his book:

“Worshipers want to believe, and most of the time they persuade themselves that they do. But suppressing doubt is hard. Secular society makes it harder. Hardest of all is the sense of loss, the knowledge that the serenity of Medieval faith, and the certitude of everlasting glory, are forever gone.”

So ends his book making it seem as though his entire book was really about church history. I, for one, am ok with doubt and uncertainty. If I had to choose between the freedom to have doubt and the certainty that I and all other believers were always right because we all believed the same thing, I would choose doubt.

Manchester does a fine job of backing up Scripture with his conclusion even though I think he thinks he demonstrates the absurdity of Christianity. “Medieval faith” is kind of an oxymoron, there was no faith, they just did what they were told. Faith comes by hearing and implies doubt. Faith is better off today than it was then and this is due in large part to this crucial period in world history.

In Manchester’s conclusion in his book on the Renaissance, he quotes the position of the Catholic Church on the idea that the world is round:

“philosophically foolish and absurd and formally heretical, inasmuch as it expressly contradicts the doctrines of Holy Scripture in many places, both according to their literal meaning and according to the common exposition and interpretation of the Holy Fathers and learned theologians.”

Quite a statement. What strikes me as odd is that they are so strict with their biblical interpretation on this point and so loose with it on just about every other major doctrine except transubstantiation and works. It is truly amazing how wrong people can be without even trying! People pick the wrong times to be literal and the wrong times to be figurative. Except me, of course.

Speaking of Martin Luther, we are familiar with his earth-shattering revelation “justification by faith alone” which left the church in shambles when first stated. Here’s something about it you probably didn’t know as stated by Luther himself:

“These words, ‘just’ and ‘justice of God’ were a thunderbolt to my conscience. . . . I soon had the thought that God’s justice ought to be the salvation of every believer. . . . Therefore it is God’s justice which justifies us and saves us. And these words became a sweeter message for me. This knowledge the Holy Spirit gave me on the privy in the tower.”

That’s right, Luther came to his knowledge of justification by faith while sitting on the toilet. Isn’t church history grand?

Tetzel is an interesting character from Church History. His job, as appointed by the Pope, was to travel the land selling indulgences. He would enter a town with much pomp, church bells ringing, a huge cross with the pope’s banner on it and jugglers juggling as huge crowds gathered around.

Tetzel would then begin his oration explaining to the locals how the Pope can forgive your sins, for a nominal fee. He sold passports to heaven, you could buy absolution for sins you intended to commit. According to him you could pay him for the forgiveness of any sin, even if you were to rape the virgin Mary, money would cover it.

Tetzel did good business, exceeding his quotas wherever he went. But then he saw that going into parts of Germany was getting tough, the crowds were getting hostile. He accidentally go to close to the border of Germany one time where some parishioners bought some indulgences and took the certificates home to check with their priest if they were legitimate. Their priest just happened to be Martin Luther. Oops. Tetzel then publicly renounced Luther. That set Luther off and he posted his 95 Thesis and thus began the Protestant Reformation.

Barry Bonds won yet another MYP award, his seventh. I think this web site says it best:

“Giving middle aged men hope everywhere, the 40-year-old All-Star became the oldest player to ever win the award. He also became the oldest player to have a personal trainer indicted for illegal distribution of steroids, but naturally one thing has nothing to do with the other.”

Bonds is a fine player, no telling how much of that ability has to do with illegal steroids, but some of it no doubt. Bonds is probably just as known for his bad attitude and general jerkness. Nice guys do indeed finish last, which says a lot about me by the way.

World Lit Only By Fire is the book I’m reading on the Renaissance Period. This morning I read a passage which reminded me of a sermon I heard recently. In talking of Copernicus and his startling discovery that the earth was moving, Martin Luther is quoted as saying:

“People give ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon. . . . . This fool wishes to reverse the entire scheme of astrology; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, not the earth.”

The passage we looked at yesterday, Joshua 10, was a big problem with what Copernicus taught. However, one must understand the language of the time and realize that the writer of Joshua merely was describing what happened according to their view, he’s not making a scientific statement.

It is also interesting to see that Luther says that Joshua “commanded” the sun to stand still, giving more credence to the point that God only listened one time to a person commanding Him. However, Luther shows his level of ignorance here so not sure having him agree with me is all the great!

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