“I have killed the devil. He is dead. I killed him on February 18 this year,” says Seuntjie “Mortalman” Nhleko, who claims to be an angel. The 22-year-old, who lives in Zwelisha outside Nelspruit, said on Wednesday: “People say I’m crazy, but I hear God’s voice inside me that tells me that I have a special purpose.”
If you’ve ever seen the movie The Jerk with Steve Martin, that there quote above is pretty funny. Well, I, for one, am quite glad the devil is dead. It’s one less thing. I thought I noticed the world got noticeably better right around February 18. I thought it was just Spring coming, but I guess not.
Nhleko said his rebirth as “Mortalman” took place on February 4 last year. “While I was praying, I heard a voice that told me not to be afraid. It told me I would change forever and that all the people in the world were my children, including Jesus,” he said.
Interesting. He must have been one busy guy in his pre-Mortalman life. Well great, I guess I can unload this heavy armor of God and carry on. Praise be!
A European Commission move to ban hazardous metallic waste from electric equipment has met with unexpected resistance, with music-loving MEPs claiming the ban may put an end to church music as they know it. Two directives from 2002, soon to be enforced, restrict hazardous substances and waste from electrical and electronic equipment, and aim to put an end to the growing level of heavy metals in the European landscape.
As a consequence, the making of traditional pipe organs for cathedrals, concert halls, colleges and churches will be banned, because of their high content of lead, protestors now claim. According to the directives, set to be enforced in July, musical instruments run by electricity are not allowed to contain more than 0.1 percent of lead. Traditional church organ pipes normally contain between 17 and 75 percent lead, in order to create the unique, soft sound of the instrument.
Wow, people would actually protest the removal of pipe organs? I never knew. There must not be much to do in the European countryside. But this is proof positive that the environmentalist movement is anti-Christian. Not that we needed any proof but it’s nice to have some.
Illegal aliens is a problem in our country. Republicans have backed a new bill that would make illegal alienship a felony rather than just a civil offense. Well, Hillary Clinton is upset about it and you may be surprised on what grounds she is upset, I know I was.
Surrounded by a multicultural coalition of New York immigration advocates, Clinton blasted the House bill as “mean-spirited” and said it flew in the face of Republicans’ stated support for faith and values. “It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures,” Clinton said, “because this bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself.”
!!!! Exactly what is her “understanding of the Scriptures?” That’s what I’d like to know. To be able to crawl into her brain and find the “biblical understanding” part and rummage around in there a bit. Wouldn’t take long, I’m thinking. She’s concerned about criminalizing Jesus eh. Interesting, seeing as how her and her party have pretty much already done that.
OK. I make it a point not to discuss politics because I’d offend pretty much everyone who would read my blog and unlike James Dobson, I don’t think that’s worth it. But she mentioned Jesus and I’m all about Jesus. OK, I”m done.
Several years ago I started a blog about blindness. The reason why is because I am legally blind. It’s true, I am. I did it for awhile and then I kind of let it fall out of contact. Well, I decided to start it back up again. It’s called Biking Blind. The reason it’s called that is because it’s about blindness and biking. Ahhh, brilliant.
My blindness prevents me from driving cars, as well as my penchant for driving what cars I do drive into trees in our driveway. I have been tracking bike miles since 1990 and have logged over 28,500 miles so far, not that I’m counting. Anyway, I think I’m cool.
The purpose is to encourage other blind folks, share some stories, provide information about blindness and developments with research as well as news of other blind folks. It’s a good time. Feel free to stop by.
Dr. Woodrow Kroll came on my radio this morning and he shared what he thought was the saddest verse in the Bible. “And Adam lived 930 years and then he died” (Genesis 5:5). Adam was created to live for eternity, instead he made it 930 years.
Through God’s plan we know that there is a resurrection. For believers the resurrection is to a good place; for the non-believer the resurrection is to a bad place.
It’s hard to believe that dead people will live again. It’s been one of the stumbling blocks of the Faith since the inception of the teaching of the resurrection. But resurrection makes sense, it’s all around us.
Spring began earlier this week, round about the time I took this picture. Spring comes very slowly in the Northwoods, but boy does it make an impression on us! I feel sorry for those down south who hardly even notice Spring’s arrival.
Spring is God’s way of reminding us that we are destined for eternity. It’s cold and hard now, but there is eternity with God coming.
Transforming Sermons has a post about a post on Please Christians! Don’t Push! about a speech given by Lynn Anderson which is posted here.
I will admit that I have not read the whole transcript of the speech, but the snippets I have read are quite good. He raises great points sbout neo-Constantinianism–turning Christianity into public policy or equating Christianity with the good ol’ US of A.
Plenty of fine points.
President of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, has written a book on Turkmen history mixed in with folksy wisdom. That sounds nice, presidents who are literate are always good to have. Ah, but there’s more to this book than just history.
He told his audience that when he was writing the two volumes of the Rukhnama – his book of Turkmen history and homespun philosophy – that he prayed to God to bless those who read the book three times aloud.
“Anyone who reads the Rukhnama three times will find spiritual wealth, will become more intelligent, will recognise the divine being and will go straight to heaven,” Mr Niyazov said. The Turkmen leader said he had “called on Allah” while working on the two-volume book to ensure that enthusiastic readers would be given quicker access to heaven.
Dude, this guy stole my marketing idea. Guess I should come up with a new one. If you read my book you will be able to read fine print. That’s pretty good. He can have heaven.
A church down south that suffered damage from Hurricane Katrina, has reported a visit from God. A mark on the drywall resembles Jesus hanging on the cross. The image has reportedly done miracles for several people.
Benita Bogan is a prophetess at the church, a designation that notes her spiritual maturity. Bogan said she was looking into getting a pair of glasses so she could see small print clearly. But after praying with the image on the wall, her eyesight is perfect, she said.
That settles it for me. A designated spiritually mature person can read fine print, maybe she can get back to reading the Bible now. Not exactly raising the dead, but you know, anytime you can get a crackpot back reading the Bible it is a miracle.
Another of the church’s ministers, Marlette Holt, said she believes this wall will change minds about spirituality. “It’s like God is trying to show people he’s real,” she said. “I feel he’s trying to open even the simplest minds.”
Indeed. Just a curious point–every single person interviewed in this story is a woman.
I am currently in the process of raising a boy. This has been, perhaps, the most challenging thing of my life to this point. I aint the only one. In talking to other parents, I have heard praises for James Dobson’s book Bringing Up Boys.
My wife got the book from the library last week and read it and felt pretty much defeated by the bleak prospects Dobson gives any boy in our world. So then I read it. I didn’t think it was quite so bad, but I can definitely see why my wifey felt this way.
The book instilled in me a desire to turn my boy into a man and allow him to use his masculine traits the way they were intended. It inspired me to defend his boyhood and help him discover how cool life can be as a boy.
My problem with the book is regarding Mr. Dobson himself. He has such good things to say that I think it is unfortunate that most people won’t listen to him because of his continual focus on political things. I really wish he would back off on some of that so he could impact more people spiritually.
Dobson took a very reasoned and balanced approach to parenting. I didn’t ever get the feeling that he was trying to promote an agenda or convert people to “his way.” Instead, he was commiserating and encouraging as well as warning. If you have a boy you will benefit from this book.
Here’s an article on an Islamic imam who says peace between Islam and Christianity can be achieved through a mutual understanding of Jesus Christ, a person whom both religions “worship.”
‘We see Jesus as pointing to the Prophet Muhammad,’ he says, and then paraphrases John 14:16: ‘When the comforter comes, he’ll stay with you.’ ‘We believe the comforter is Muhammad.’
He believes peace would be achieved if both sides understood that they both liked Jesus. The reason they don’t, you guessed it, is because of education and the ubiquitous media. If we only knew more about each other we would love each other more.
Fundamental flaw in the reasoning, I disagree more with Islam the more I get to know it. Just because they throw a bone to Jesus doesn’t mean anything to me. This is like me achieving peace with packer fans because I said once that Brett Favre was a quarterback. Please. Give it up.
The only way you get peace through Jesus Christ is by believing all that He said and did. I’m willing, are you?
If you have not yet heard of the First United Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you probably don’t get around on the web very much. The whole thing began when Bobby Henderson decided to prove a satirical point against intelligent design.
According to intelligent design boosters, since evolution is only a “theory” and not provable, an alternative — that the universe was created by an intelligent designer should be given equal time in science classes. The “alternative” they presumably had in mind was Christianity.
But, said Henderson to some chums over beers, by the same logic the “intelligent designer” could just as easily be, say, a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was only a short step to what happened next.
You have to give him credit, it is a valid point. However, his attempt to prove a point has now taken off. One of the administrators and original members is a Christian and has been amazed at the amount of hysteria received by Christians.
Naturally, the Web site gets plenty of hate mail from the devout. “You’re an idiot. I’ll pray for you,” one message read. “They send Bobby threatening letters, they curse him, they call him a blankety-blankety-blank-blank,” McKinney says. “And at the end, they say God loves him.”
Again, if we win, why would stuff like this bother us? It is funny and it does make a good point. The more hysterical we are the more it shows the lack of reason on our side. Relax out there. Flying Spaghetti Monsters don’t hurt. And, unfortunately, it takes a Flying Spaghetti Monster to keep us intellectually accountable.
The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, has called for the creation of a world body with representatives from the major religious groups. Rabbi Metzger was addressing the International Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace in Seville, Spain. He called for the formation of a “United Nations of religious groups“.
The Imam of Gaza, Imad al-Faluji, said politicians lied but religious leaders had a different objective – to work towards a higher good. The imams and rabbis at this conference, which opened on Sunday, say the world is in crisis and it is time they acted to restore justice, respect and peace.
Great, another committee. Perhaps we should eliminate all committees and then, no doubt, world peace would be achieved. If you’ll notice, heaven is devoid of all committees. So is my house.
March Madness is under way. It’s great fun to pick your brackets and watch your boys. Unfortunately, many of my boys are losing. There’s a thing that happens every time a team starts to lose it, usually when they had a good sized lead previously–they start whining and blaming the officials.
You can see it happening. They had a 13 point lead at halftime and then half way through the second half they trail by 4. The refs blow the whistle and they get this four-year old look on their face and do things with their hands and sneer things. Then the whole team is up and jumping and throwing their arms.
It has bothered me for some time that Christians, who once had a sizable lead we like to think, blame the troubles of the world on the refs, otherwise known as “the liberals and the media.” Every single problem in our world is chalked up to them. If it weren’t for them one would think we were in heaven.
Seems to me the world was bad long before we had liberals or a media. The reason basketball teams lose is not because of the refs. It’s because they start playing poorly, they pass the ball to the stands, they stop thinking and drop the ball. The reason the Church is losing is not because of the liberals and the media, it’s because we aren’t doing our job.
I was looking through a notebook of mine today and came across this quote I wrote down from Dave Burchett’s book When Bad Christians Happen to Good People. I would recommend every believer read this book. It is funny, easy to read and makes great points. Here is the quote I took the trouble to write down:
“The Barna Research Group reported that 29% of adult Baptists have been through a divorce. Only non-denominational churches had a higher rate at 34%. Of major Christian denominations, the Catholics and Lutherans have the lowest rate of divorce, perhaps because they can drink.”
If he can make divorce rates hilarious, imagine how great the rest of what he says is.
I was reading in the Bible last night. The Bible, for those of you who don’t know, is a book written by God. Unless you read the NIV, then it’s a book written by Zondervan Incorporated. Anyway, I was looking for some stuff on trees and came across some amazing insight.
You know when you read one of those studies that spends 18 years and $4.5 billion to discover that people who breath are still alive? Well, this biblical insight struck me the same way. I knew it should have been there so I wasn’t surprised when I saw it. In fact, if God is as wise as the Bible claims, I would expect Him to say this.
The point is only made by reading the King James Version, which is good because that’s the only inspired version. The insight comes from Psalm 37:35 and I quote from God’s own mouth.
“I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.”
There you go, God said it. Things in Green Bay are equated with evil. Again, something I always knew but now that God says it the case is closed. I encourage all my “friends” who are fans of Green Bay to repent before it is too late. You’re welcome.
Tucked into the sprawling Domino Farms complex are the offices of the Thomas More Law Center. It was created in 1999 by Thomas Monaghan, founder of Dominos Pizza and a philanthropist for conservative Catholic causes.
This is the home of the lawyers who unsuccessfully defended the Board of Education in Dover, Pa., when it was sued for promoting intelligent design in its science classes. The eight lawyers employed by the More center are quickly becoming leaders in the fight to dethrone Darwin in the science classroom and make a place for intelligent design.
I never did care for Domino’s Pizza, I have to be honest. But I’m glad to see that some of their profits are being used for something sort of useful. Not sure about suing Christianity into people, but I’ll let God sort that one out.
Some mountain bikers who are regulars at the popular local Fantasy Island trail have been surprised by a sign there that says: “Future home of Trinity Lutheran Church.” “When I saw that sign, I felt disappointment, and some rage, I admit,” said 39-year-old Nancy Serensky, an avid mountain biker.
Trinity Lutheran leaders say they want local mountain bikers to know they have no intention of disrupting the cyclists. Moreover, the church doesn’t intend to build for at least a year, and probably longer.
“We absolutely want to work with them. I don’t think we would mind them certainly, within reason, accessing via our property. I think some of our folks at the church might be intrigued by the trail,” said Pastor Keith Hardy of Trinity Lutheran. “I have a mountain bike myself,” he said.
Of course, he hasn’t ridden it in 12 years, but he does have one. All the wilderness is being swallowed up by churches. Subduing the earth in action. Ah, the smell of progress.
I’ve had some bad luck with cars lately. It continued this morning as I locked my Bible and sermon notes in the car before leaving for church. Not only that, the car was running when I did this. Sure, I could blame the kids but I’m the moron.
We used a van we are borrowing (since I crashed our car into a tree), and made it to church with 4 minutes to spare. I preached without notes and pretty much blew a pretty good sermon idea. A guy from church came to our house and unlocked the car and turned it off.
When I got home I felt tired and stupid. When I feel this way I like to go to my favorite spot. Across our lake is a hill where someone has placed a wooden chair you can lay down on overlooking the river and lake. Ahh, that’s more like it. No noise but the wind through the pines. Brings you back to peace.
There’s something nice about sitting. Sitting allows you to think. Sitting usually implies that you are done and reflecting. Sitting reminds me of Christ. Hebrews 10:11,12 talks about the OT priests and how they were always standing and doing sacrifices.
But then Christ came. Christ did one sacrifice for all time and now He sits. I love that. No more standing, it is finished and Christ sits down. I like sitting down.
Mel Gibson, who earned citizenship in Heaven in 2004 after his Passion of the Christ film, is working on his next film, Apocalypto. This film is about the ancient Mayans and all dialogue is in Yucatec Maya. Here are a few quotes from Mel “Friend of Jesus” Gibson.
“I need to see the blood!” shouts Mel Gibson. “Your character is going to die soon!” He picks up a bullhorn: “Attention! We are all dying here! We are all dying!”
“After what I experienced with The Passion, I frankly don’t give a flying f___ about much of what those critics think.”
Glad he’s on our side! Praise Jesus.
Israel has recently been hit by the bird flu epidemic and now Jewish leaders are starting to sound like Pat Robertson!
“You were punished by God and now you’ll have to ask for the forgiveness of Gush Katif residents,” Marzel wrote in a letter to southern residents whose communities were affected by bird flu.
“The kibbutz was used to house the expulsion headquarters because of greed, and therefore the bird flu outbreak happened there of all places,” the far right leader wrote in his letter to Ein HaShlosha kibbutz.
Back in the old days you didn’t need anyone to tell you that a recent disaster was God’s judgment, it was rather apparent. God, as I’ve noted before, is out of practice on handing out real good judgments anymore. I wonder what all those other countries with the bird flu are being judged for?
Jerry Springer The Opera is on stage in Britain and is causing a hubbub among church leaders. Some say it’s ok, others point to its blasphemous leanings.
The show has been criticised because it depicts Jesus, Mary and God as guests of Jerry Springer’s talk show with one scene featuring Jesus in a nappy.
One supportive Reverend said, “The so-called blasphemy scenes are all portrayed as a kind of dream in Springer’s mind. I don’t think they are blasphemous because they are in a dream. The writers are saying that Jerry Springer is manipulative. It is not about God. It’s about the lack of dignity in which he treats people’s problems.”
He said that while some extreme Christian activists had been urging all Christians to pray for the financial ruin of the companies behind the show, the majority of mainstream church leaders and Christians in Norwich did not wish to associate themselves with these views or with such tactics.
Well, I think telling people to pray for the financial ruin of others is probably the most Christ-like response I can think of. Not at all blasphemous on their part. Way to go Christian types for giving a stupid show world-wide attention.
Keisha Castle-Hughes has been cast as Mary in “Nativity,” New Line Cinema’s look at the life of the Virgin Mary before the birth of Christ.
The story, to be told with a strong female perspective, will follow Mary and Joseph’s life before the birth of Christ as their love, faith and beliefs are tested. The script incorporates their departure from Nazareth and travel to Bethlehem and includes such biblical figures as King Herod, John the Baptist and the three kings from the Orient, among others.
From a strong female perspective eh. That’s interesting, I was not aware of such a thing as “female perspective.” You may remember Keisha, soon to be the Virgin Mary, from her role as Queen Naboo in Star Wars Episode III. From Queen Naboo to Queen Mother of the Universe, she does get all the good roles.
John Lennon, who was murdered over 25 years ago, is the latest subject of a pay-per-view seance arranged by the producers of a 2003 attempt to contact the dead Princess Diana. That show made money but was slammed by critics as hitting a new low in television tastelessness.
“People say this is disgusting, and I accept that criticism, but we’re making a serious attempt to do something that many, many millions of people around the world think is possible,” said Paul Sharratt, who heads Starcast Productions, which made “The Spirit of Diana.” That show drew over half a million U.S. viewers willing to pay $14.95 to watch it. The Lennon show will air on April 24 on a pay-per-view channel and cost $9.95.
I bet Lennon would show up and say “Hey, how come my show is $5 cheaper than Diana’s?” It’s amazing what people will grab onto in the “spiritual realm.”
The special will culminate as psychics, colleagues and confidantes sit at a seance table for 30 minutes surrounded by infra-red cameras that can capture any “presence” or spirit that enters the room.
Yeah, that’ll work. Look for the “Spirit of Lennon” Bible study guidebook in your local Christian bookstore soon.
I got my taxes done on Tuesday. Pastor’s have this thing called a housing allowance. It is there so pastors can claim a certain amount of income as tax free. It’s supposed to take the place of a parsonage benefit or some such thing. Anyway, you claim a certain amount of money for housing allowance and only get taxed on the remaining amount of money.
That sounds easy enough. I tried for several years to do my own taxes and figure out how to do this stupid housing allowance junk. It never worked out well. I went to our church’s accountant and had them do it. My goodness, it was beautiful. It took about 25 minutes and I got the largest refund I’ve ever gotten.
However, I keep getting a large refund and nothing I do seems to reduce it. The thing that annoys me most is that the government is taking my money from me. I then have to pay $200 for an accountant to figure out how to get my money back. Then, once I get my money back, I get taxed on the return of my money as income!
I hate getting my taxes done because it always makes me mad at my government. Romans 13 is fairly easy for me 12 months of the year. But the time around tax season, Romans 13 is very annoying to me. If I had some tea I would dump it in a harbor, if I had a harbor.
However, here’s the way around it. I’m not upset about paying taxes, I’m upset about getting money back, money they didn’t use, they just took for awhile. Therefore, being upset about refunds is not a violation of Romans 13! What do you think? God gonna buy that one?
Sonny Irons, a guy I told you about several months ago, has been trying to claim that his 4,900 square foot beachside home is a church, has failed. He now owes $33,000 in property taxes. It was a valiant effort and a nice idea but no cigar.
Although the magistrate, Judy Bonevac, said in her ruling that Irons “seems sincerely motivated in his good works,” she concluded the church “exists to a great extent to serve the private benefit of the Irons family” and thus does not meet key legal tests for the tax exemption.
I guess being charitable to yourself is not good enough for the elitists in our liberal court system. Boy, love stinks.
Megaselling pastor Joel Osteen has signed to do his next book with Free Press. Breaking records with his Warner Faith-published Your Best Life Now, which has sold more than 4 million copies to date, Osteen has signed a one book deal with the S&S imprint for what RBL has now learned is $13 million. A fall 2007 pub date has been set.
I’m guessing, even though it is published by Free Press, that the book actually will not be free. I, however, do not disparage guys from making money. If he gets millions of dollars, that’s what he gets. He did his part and he gets paid. At the same time, it’s unfortunate that drivel like this makes more money than excellent books like Harvest Festivals.
I mentioned this book the other day and I just finished reading it yesterday. It was very good. Probably the best theological book I’ve read this year so far anyway. It wasn’t describing the festivals so much as it was tying them in with the New Testament and explaining God’s plan for Israel in the past and future. I highly recommend it. The author deserves millions but will only get it if we buy his book!
Why is it that people refuse to eat a bruised part of an apple but have no difficulty eating apple sauce?
My wife is famous for eating an apple all the way around and leaving one splotch of bruised skin with a fraction of a centimeter of bruising underneath uneaten. There is plenty of good meat under the bruised part, it’s no problem really, it just turned brown a bit.
I’ve tried explaining that apple sauce is just a glorified bruised apple to no avail. If it looks a certain way it must be that way, no matter the facts.
Many people look at the Bible as a difficult book to understand. You can try explaining to them how actually, with some effort, it is quite an easy book. It expounds on the simplicity of Christ. Ah, but to no avail. No amount of facts will undo a healthy phobia.
Why is it that guys who know the most about cars tend to drive the junkiest cars?
There are a few reasons for this. The junkier your car the more you have to work on it. The more you have to work on it, the more you’ll learn about it. The older the car the easier it is to work on it and the learning never stops.
Also, if you know a lot about cars then you don’t worry about driving a junky one. You assume you can fix any problem, so why go new when slightly used will do?
I, who know next to nothing about cars, have always managed to have a nice car in the family. A friend of mine, who is a very talented auto mechanic, is letting us use his van with over 200,000 miles on it. The brakes are jerky, the sliding door is losing it’s insulation, the passenger side door handle works sporadically, and who knows what else.
This may also be the reason that the people with the most problems in life know the most about grace! If you’ve got problems you learn how to fix them (with grace). When you learn how to fix them, you don’t worry about them.
Mary Eberhart, third-grade Sunday School teacher at Community Church of the Brethren in Hutchinson, Kansas, got a bit carried away last Sunday.
“I was just trying to grab the kid’s attention. I’m up against MTV and Sega, you know. I thought we would dress up like Moses and then my son would light one of the church’s bushes on fire so when we came around the corner of the church, there it would be! Just like Moses. Well, except for the church fire.”
The fire spread to nearby bushes and soon began burning the eaves of the church. Firefighters came and put out the blaze before it entered the church.
OK, most of this story is made up! There was a church fire but the investigation is on-going. The headline of the piece set my mind going. Maybe this explains all the church fires though. Worth a shot to use it in court.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the country’s oldest gay rights organization, announced Monday that a religious organization representing 1,400 Protestant congregations that unconditionally welcome gays and lesbians has merged with the task force.
“It’s a very proud and happy day for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement,” said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which is based in New York. “We see this as a critically important step in reclaiming the language of faith and moral values from those on the right that attempt to hijack faith and moral values.”
Reclaim? Doesn’t reclaim mean to take possession of something again? Since when did the gay and lesbian task force ever have possession of faith and moral values? Right-wing whackos have always had those.
The merger means organizations working for acceptance of gays and lesbians in several denominations — including the Presbyterian, Methodist and Lutheran churches — will be part of the task force.
Well, more power to em.