Buddhist monks are doing a Mandala–sand painting–at the St. Louis Art Museum. This is where they take colored sand and make pretty designs out of it. They will work on it all weekend and then sweep it up on Sunday.
Now that hardly seems right to spend all that time and then sweep it up. That’s one of their main points. “It symbolizes the impermanence of all existence. Also, it tells us lessons of nonattachment” says their spokesman.
After sweeping it up they will give some of the sand to the observers and dump the rest in a body of water. Dispersing the blessed sand gives people a remembrance of the occasion and it also is intended to spread the blessing. “Then, it becomes a global healing.”
Please. Come on. Give me a break. The art is very neat and the patience and self-control to refrain from sneezing is nothing to scoff at, but global healing? Perhaps they’ve set their sights a bit too high for their endeavors. I kind of think that Jesus returning and killing all the heathens is a better way to get global healing, but that’s just me. Oh, and the Bible too.
Reinventing the Bike
Learning how to ride a bike is always a challenge. Some designers have invented a new bike for teaching kids to ride bikes. The bike is a tricycle, but the faster you pedal it the two back wheels fold into one wheel like a bike, as you slow down, the wheels go back out like a tricycle.
Pretty neat concept and looks funky too. However, I’m just guessing that this only delays the process of learning how to ride a bike. Because actually, they’re not learning to ride a bike they’re learning to ride a tricycle that turns into a bike.
I learned to ride a bike by using a bike that was 15 times too big for me on a gravel driveway and it took me about 12 falls on that driveway to get the hang of it. The more you get cute the longer it’s going to take. I say, put em on a 10-speed on cement and the teaching will take care of itself.
One more example of safety taking away learning and responsibility. It is a cool concept though.
Popemobile on eBay
A car formerly owned by the new pope Ratzinger is up for sale on the German eBay site. The price was up to $1.3 million after one day of bidding. Bidding ends May 5. The car’s credentials have been checked and it was indeed owned by Mr. Ratzinger.
The car is a 1999 Volkswagen Golf and “drives like heaven.” Happy bidding.
Prophecy of the End
Prepare to be disturbed, deeply, deeply disturbed.
St. Malachy lived in the 14th Century and is remembered as having the ability to predict the future. Among his prophecies is a list of the remaining 112 popes that will appear before the End. And by End I mean THE End.
Pope 111, the next to last pope ever, is described as “The Glory of the Olive.” And guess who has eerie correlations to Olives? You guessed it, the new Pope Benedict.
Here are some of the eerie correlations with Olives–
1) The name Benedict — an allusion to the Order of Saint Benedict, a branch of which is known as the Olivetans.
2) Benedict XVI will be a peacemaker in the Church or in the world, and thus carry the olive branch
3) There is a picture of Benedict holding olive branches in March during Palm Sunday celebrations.
Romans 13 in Action
Romans 13 tells us that government is in place by God to wield the sword to stop evildoers. The city council of Houston is following this advice to a tee.
The city council just voted to ban sleeping on tables, eating, using restrooms for bathing and “offensive bodily hygiene that constitutes a nuisance to others” in its public libraries. In other words, you better smell good before going to the library.
Now that’s some good legislation right there. Of course, now there is a hubbub about this decision being unfair to homeless people. Now, if I were homeless, which is always a viable option, I would be a wee bit offended by those who are offended for my sakes. I’ve stood next to plenty of home people in libraries who didn’t smell so good. Seems to me Jesus was homeless, wouldn’t you want Jesus to be able to come to your library?
Churches and Money
Two women are suing their church. They were told that if they donated all their possessions they would get land and see Christ face to face. Neither of those results happened so they are suing for fraud.
The church stated that the promise was not a business transaction and certainly they aren’t at fault, God is the one who has to fulfill the promise, not them.
The church was started by a guy who was booted from the Church of the Latter Day Saints. They also teach polygamy and that when the world ends, only it’s church members will survive.
Sounds like good doctrinal teaching going on there. They no doubt still have people going to their church giving money weekly.
Blast From the Past
Tammy Faye is back in the news. Tammy divorced Jim Bakker back in 1992 when their PTL “ministry” blew up. Tammy is now battling cancer and this has led to the loss of her trademark eyelashes. But that’s OK for Tammy because “I realized I wasn’t just eyelashes. A person is more than just what you look like on the outside.” She said as she also admitted that she now glued on false ones.
Hmm. You’re more than eyelashes but not so much more that you don’t need to glue fake ones on. Ah, I see your point. To top it all off, Tammy said these remarks at beauty pageant where she appeared as a celebrity judge. The pageant was a fund raiser for cancer and judged men dressing up as the most beautiful woman. It just gets better and better. You’ve come a long way baby.
Who’s In Your Church?
A man arrested for 10 brutal murders, known as the “BTK Serial Killer (BTK–Bind, Torture, Kill),” has written a letter to his church thanking them for their support and prayers. The pastor of this church has visited him several times a week since his arrest in February.
All of that seems fine to me, that’s the kind of people who need a church, no doubt. Here’s the kicker–the guy began his killings in 1974, right about the same time he became a member of his church. Not only was he a member of his church during this time, he was an usher and president of the church council.
Ah yes. Let’s be careful out there. It also begs the question–how much of your church involvement is merely a conscience relieving activity?
Packer Bashing Ahead
An Oshkosh woman has been arrested for stealing more than $3,000 from a labor union. The judge handed down the following sentences, a two year probation with a 90-day jail term or donate her Packers three game season ticket package to the Make A Wish Foundation.
Now this is a no brainer–fortunately as we’re dealing with a Packer fan. Obviously she does the jail time. Packer fans don’t have anything to do but break the law for six months of the year. She serves her 90-days and it’s football season. It’s perfect for her really.
Then she gets to go to three games to watch Bret Favre throw 15 interceptions, leading her to more crime giving her even more to do next off-season. It’s perfect really. And who better to get drunk, a rabid Packer fan or kids dying from cancer? I’ll stop now, I could go on. . .
If this were in Chicago, a judge would give the option of doing jail time or having to go to a Bear’s game. And that’s a tough choice right there. I’m an equal opportunity criticizer.
A UK web site, Ship of Fools, used Sunday, April 24 as a day to send out undercover worshippers to 80 churches in London. These mystery worshippers will report back to Ship of Fools to let people who normally don’t go to church know what goes on in churches.
Sounds kind of interesting. They are still waiting for all the reports to come in but you can read a few of them already.
The Problem With Safety
Economist Joseph Schumpeter made the observation that cars travel faster because they have brakes. In other words, since cars are equipped with something that allows them to slow down, they can go faster. If you didn’t have brakes you’d be hesitant to go much above 15 mph.
Anytime a safety is in place we can be more careless. People with insurance take more risks than those without it. It’s been proven that bikers who wear helmets get in more wrecks. Feeling safe makes you take bigger risks.
What if God answered all your prayers the way you wanted Him to? He’d be the ultimate safety. You’d have a party and let God clean it up. I, for one, am glad God doesn’t answer all prayers the way we want Him too!
Jeff Weddle’s Reading
Jeff Weddle just finished reading Bob Dole’s new book One Soldier’s Story. Jeff Weddle thought it was OK but this one soldier really doesn’t have all that exciting of a story to tell. Jeff Weddle thinks that Bob Dole’s tone was a little off in the book.
Jeff Weddle thinks Bob Dole is a nice guy and maybe Bob Dole just had trouble talking about himself and came across spoiled and kind of wimpy. But Jeff Weddle still liked the book and still likes Bob Dole.
You What Now?
This is what happens when dispensationalists have too much time on their hands.
Just What We Need
In John 17 Jesus is praying out loud to His disciples before leaving for the garden where He will be betrayed. In closing His prayer Jesus says, “And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
The Love the Father has for Jesus is what Jesus wants His followers to have. Now that sounds great, it sounds happy and comfy, but look at what the Father’s love led Jesus to do! The Father’s love lovingly created a plan that led to the Son being mercilessly killed. Oh great, that’s all we need is the Father’s love for us!
Perhaps we get the wrong notion of love. The Father loved the Son by having the Son come and die for us. The Son loved the Father and did it. That love is now in us. The love of the Father is not given just so YOU can enjoy it. The love of the Father is only truly enjoyed and used when you use it for the benefit of someone else.
A Bit Tead Off
A church in New Mexico is seeking exemption from national drug laws to allow them to continue to use their hallucinogenic tea in their church services. The church, O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal (Loose translation from a high school C student in Spanish means “the central spirit benefiting the union of Veggietales”), says the tea is central to their worship, which is a blend of Christian thought with beliefs adopted form the Amazon basin.
I’ll watch this one closely and consider my own brew of tea for use in my worship services. I’ll also keep a closer eye on our ladies’ teas.
Reader’s Digest has an issue out with the top 100 things based on categories in the US. One of the categories they ranked was preaching, which is startling in itself. It’s not everyday that a magazine would even think of ranking preachers.
The top ranked preacher is Max Lucado, who, I must admit, I didn’t know he preached regularly. You learn something new everyday. So, anyway, way to go Max.
No Man Can Serve Two Masters
A Florida pastor has pleaded guilty to fraud charges after making 48 loans totaling $9 million. The pastor was involved in 30 Florida corporations and funneled money through them to his pocket. He forged signatures of other pastors and church leaders to get loans from those churches.
As part of his trickery police sited that he, “involved a “large number” of people, “all of whom appeared successful but earnest, coupled with sophisticated PowerPoint presentations.” Ah yes, never listen to anyone who uses PowerPoint, it’s a sure sign of bad things to come, if you can stay awake that is.
Once again, churches are shown to be easy targets for falling for stunts. Wise as doves, innocent as foxes.
Utah or Bust
Utah is projected to be one of the five fastest growing states in the net 25 years. The main reason for Utah’s growth is the increasing amount of people joining the Mormon Church as well as Mormon’s desire for lots and lots of kids.
One of the best ways to ensure your false religion will grow is to encourage plural wives, or at least say how having lots of kids adds people to heaven. If you can work sex into the religion somewhere you’ll do just fine. Ask the Shakers who told their members to avoid all sex, there aren’t many of them anymore.
It is easy to make a religion work and boost numbers. The question is: what will you compromise to do it?
Another Reason to be Glad You’re a Christian
A man was shot by an angry mob in Pakistan for blaspheming the Koran. He was chased by 500 men and then he ran up a tree and refused to come down, so they shot him dead.
“Blasphemy, including desecrating the Koran, is a capital offence in deeply Islamic Pakistan and carries the death sentence.” Human rights groups have attempted to get these laws removed from Pakistan as they are frequently used to rid the earth of people you just disagree with.
But, George W. told us Islam was a religion of peace so this is probably all just fake.
Druid No More
Back in November, I think it was, I reported on an Episcopal Priest who renounced his religion to become a Druid. He did so and became a Druid two days ago. But then he changed his mind shortly after and said he didn’t want to be a Druid due to “events that have transpired in the last 24 hours.”
He didn’t say what those events were but it sure makes you wonder. No matter what the events were I’m sure the real thing is better than what most people are thinking.
Sounds to me like this man had a mid-life crisis and his faith went along for the ride. It’s important to remember that your faith should be what grounds you, it doesn’t whimsically follow your lead. Being rooted in Christ would keep a person from Druid tendencies I’m thinking, it has for me anyway!
In memory of the late Pope John Paul, I will do the first ever photo on Anti-Itch Meditation of him enjoying some breakdancers.
Dampness Taken out of Lake, not Spirits
A Salvation Army Camp for underprivileged kids were shocked upon returning to their campground to see that their lake had been almost completely emptied by vandals!
The lake is equipped with a pipeline for draining the lake in case the dam needs repairs done on it. Apparently, some vandals found the pipeline and drained 250,000 gallons of water in 10 hours, causing major damage to a nearby road and camp property.
The way to deal with this is not to sulk but to turn it into something neat. You have all kinds of land now to do something cool with. Go mudding with bikes or cars. Play foxhole baseball. Mud volleyball. Make it something unique and the kids will think it’s great. What Satan purposes for evil, be determined to purpose it for good.
Come On, Baby Don’t You Wanna Go
The Virgin Mary does.
A Kennedy Expressway underpass has a salt runoff stain which looks like the Virgin Mary. Do you see it? Hundreds of people are coming to the site to pray and leave flowers. “We believe it’s a miracle,” said Elbia Tello, 42, of Chicago. “We have faith, and we can see her face.” Miracles sure have gotten different from Jesus’ day.
The funny part of this is the highway department’s response to the site. “We’re treating this just like we treat any type of roadside memorial,” said IDOT spokesman Mike Claffey. “We have no plans to clean this site.”
Now there’s a shocker! The city of Chicago isn’t going to clean something? I mean, if they did, it would be the only highway underpass with a clean spot.
Anyway, it does seem as if faith and miracles are paying off less and less these days. Faith used to move mountains, now it sees faces in salt stains on Chicago expressways. What is your faith doing?
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It May Be. It Could Be. It Is!
Yesterday was such a fine day in the Northwoods. We got up to 79 degrees. The wife wanted to have a nice cookout meal. She called it “a celebration of spring.” I called it “supper.” But regardless, it was very fine.
I made some burgers on the grill and here’s where things got interesting. The burgers turned out juicy on the inside and black on the outside, just how I like them. But I was noticing as the burgers were beginning to turn black that the smoke had turned white.
Now, I’m no expert, but–I think I’m the new pope!
Not That I Needed Anymore Proof But. . .
Scientists came out with a conclusion based on their particle collider studies showing that the early universe existed in liquid form and not a gas form as previously believed.
In doing whatever it is they do with particle colliders, they created a substance that would show what the early universe was made of. A scientist said “The matter that we’ve formed behaves like a very nearly perfect liquid.” Perfect eh?
If you want more information and big science talk, check out the article. The article does not mention the quirky fact that the Bible says the early universe was in liquid form (Genesis 1:2). Perhaps I should write them a letter and explain that to them. Aint it all just amazing?
If You’re Happy and You Know It
Another new study tells us that happy people are healthier. Happy people have lower levels of a chemical which leads to heart problems, plasma fibrinogen. The study asked some people 33 times during the day whether they were happy or not. Those who said they were had less of this stuff and even in moments of stress, this chemical was found at lower levels.
Tested people were more happy at leisure activities than they were at work. Uh-oh, I guess if you want to avoid heart problems you better quit work. Hey, what’s more important a paycheck or your life? Right. So anyway, go forth and be happy and avoid being sick.
I feel happy, I feel happy. I think I’ll go for a walk now.
Speaking of Books
I put more books up on eBay last night. Major Bible Themes by Lewis Sperry Chafer, an excellent book, commentary on Acts by Stokes from the 1890’s, a commentary on Hebrews by Meyer from 1893. Good stuff.
I sell no obnoxious t-shirts however.
I Am Not Ashamed
Paul said he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ and encouraged all believers not to be ashamed either. Well now, in our new tone in America where belligerence reins, maybe Paul meant “I am downright obnoxious about the gospel of Christ.”
New religious t-shirts carry the following messages: “Satan Sucks,” “My God can kick your god’s butt,” and “To Hell with the Devil.” There is also one with a skull quipping “Never Say Die.”
So that’s nice. That seems more the tone that Jesus would use. The article also said that Christian retail is up to $4.2 billion for 2002. 57% of that is for books and Bibles and only 2% is for apparel, which shocked me as most Christian bookstores are made up of 2% books. Cool.
The Jesus I Never Knew is one of the best books I’ve read on Christ. I have read it every year for the last five years or so. I would encourage others to read it too.
A few weeks back I sent Mr. Yancey an e-mail telling him how much I appreciated his books and how encouraging I found this book on Jesus to be.
Today I got an e-mail from Mr. Yancey, Phil, as I call him. So I thought that was cool. There are many jerks in the Christian writing and speaking world, I’ve met several. It’s nice to hit a guy who is nice in life too. Just wanted to pass along a good vibe.