Tuesday, April 30, 2013

People are Crazy, and Not in a Good Way

  You'll have to  forgive my vagueness on the details, but I am neither a sports fan or a celebrity watcher, but as far as I can tell, this is what  happened; an athlete announced to the  world that he is a sexual deviant; a homosexual. Now what this has to do with his profession I haven't the foggiest idea.  There is a tendency among people  with that  deviancy to get their entire life wrapped up in their deviancy; to find their  very identity in the  'cause'. Honestly, my heterosexuality  almost never comes  up in conversation and I've never thought it  needed to be celebrated or applauded.
  Soon after this announcement, another  athletete  put out a statement  claiming confusion as to why  a man would prefer another man with all the  beautiful women in the world. This statement was pounced upon by the media, although its really not that different from a thousand similar statements Ive  heard heterosexual men  make amongst themselves over the years.
  Thirdly, yet another athlete made a statement that he is a Christian, and  homosexuality is not something to be celebrated, but rather  something to be condemned as the sin that is according to Scripture.  On  this, the  media went absolutely berserk, but in a pathetically predictable way. I had the misfortune of having to watch  an afternoon talk show populated by a panel of very 'progressive' and 'open-minded' women who were weighing in on this despite the fact that  it was none of their business and no one had asked them.  One by one, they spouted their open-minded drivel to the   frantic clapping of their empty-headed audience. Each one  seemed to try to outdo the one before her in how open-minded  she could be, and although they expressed their opinions, it was all the exact same opinion. There was no deviation from the party line. Sodomite  good, Christian bad, straight down the line.
 One of these women, a grammatically challenged  lady who reminds me of Mr. Ed, misquoted a Bible verse to prove her point and then said that the  Christian athlete "he sin every day". That may be true, I'm not familiar with his personal life, but I am willing to bet that when he does, he does not expect to be congratulated, celebrated, patted on the back or made into a hero for it.  Only deviants expect that, and  only fools comply.
  But this is a  free country, mostly, and these  women have the right to their opinion, but isn't it interesting that they all knew, despite their diverse backgrounds, EXACTLY what they were expected to say.  They didn't even have to  think about it.  None of them dare say 'Well the Christian guy may have a point, why are we applauding this? Is it really 'bravery' to air your faults like this?'.  You take a stand like that, you step outside the groupthink parameters, outside of the  3x5 card of accepted opinion ( thank you, Tom Woods) and you become a pariah,an outcast. You become one of Them. You won't get your   hefty contract for your show,  sponsors will drop you,  you won't be invited to  all the cool parties.  Really its just  high school on a much grander scale. You are either one of the cool kids ( and the  cool kids decide  whether or not you are) or you're a  Them.
  Well call me a Them, but I think I'll just stick with the Book. It's done right by me so far.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Fun Way to Learn History

 It is one of my goals in life  is to learn to sing this song. I can, just not as fast or as well as he does it.

Friday, April 26, 2013

To Vax or Not to Vax, That is the Question

 It has recently come to my attention that a local pediatrician has made  public their vaccination  policy, committing  their position  to paper.  I don't claim to  know if the stances taken  by the owners of this establishment are the  beliefs of the  employees. I  pondered long and hard before even making this  information available on the Internet, but here we are. In an effort to shield any  innocent  employees from  the actions of any Internet crazies, I have  on purpose modified some of the identifying information.

  My issues with this  policy are so severe that my family is reconsidering our patronage of this clinic.  I resent the  tone, the misleading statements, and the claims that a parent who doubts the Vaccination Industrial Complex must be doing so  out of selfishness or ignorance. Obviously the clinic is a private business and can do whatever they please, but as a consumer so can I.
  Meanwhile, an individual of my acquaintance who has similar views on vaccination combined with a razor-sharp sense of satire  created his  own response, which is way more  biting and insightful than anything I could come up with. I begged for permission to use it, and here it is in all its cleverness.

Thoughts About A Possum

    I just heard that George Jones passed away.  To say that he was an icon in my life was an understatement. His music was so much a part of the backdrop of my childhood that I don't even know how to explain it but I’m going to go with some meager attempt to put this into words.
  I was raised on a steady diet of music, and adopted a surprising amount of my parent’s musical tastes. I enjoyed Elvis Presley's music as much or more as anything that was put out by my generation. Not being raised in the rural South, my wife doesn’t have this problem, but I assure you that my extended family will be as sad over the passing of George Jones as my mom was when Elvis died. He’s part of our culture, like it or not. But Elvis and George Jones are really good examples of the strange disconnect I’ve seen in music and musicians in the last 18 years.
 You see, when I got saved, my entire life changed, not overnight though.  For quite a while after I got saved, I continued to listen to the music I grew up on. But the songs about drinking and cheating and fighting and fornicating didn’t appeal to the new man as much as they did (and still do) to the old man, so God delivered me from my music. I can honestly say that it has been probably over 12 years since I have, on purpose, listened to secular music.  I had to, for the sake of my own spiritual growth, walk away from music that  part of me had a deep emotional attachment to.
  I do still suffer though, from my exposure to  the world’s music in that I  have a really hard time remembering Bible verses, but I can tell you every word from Bananrama’s ‘Cruel Summer’.  It takes  less than  4 or 5 notes of a  song from my past  over a department store PA  to  plant the song in my head for  the rest of the day.  I can tell you who sang it, when it came out, and sometimes what record company.  I can usually tell you where I was and who I was with the first time I heard it.  These are usually memories I don’t want, or don’t need, but there they are, burned forever into the grooves of my mind.
  What I’ve never been able to  understand in my own mind how somebody could know the same Jesus I do ( as Elvis claimed to) and  experience the same salvation I experienced (which Jones  claimed to) and still get up night after night and  sing about ungodliness. If it grieved me to listen to it, how can it not grieve them to sing it and promote it and do interviews about it and sign autographs over it?
  A few years back my grandmother, who straddled the fence on this issue like most Southerners do until the day she died, told me that Alan Jackson had just put out a gospel album.  She had to tell me this because I was making a  concerted efforts to  be  ignorant of what was going on in the  secular music world. I asked her “Does he still sing ‘Pop a top again, I think I’ll have another round’?”  The fact that a singer  growing up in the  post-biblical South can  sing about Jesus on one side of the record and  drinking on the other is proof of how apostate Christianity  is in the American  South. The fact that such incongruous sentiments can exist in the heart and lives of so many people leave me scratching my head and saying ‘Am I the only one bothered by this?’.
  I’ve got tons of examples in my head. There was a song out once talking about the ‘old dirt road’ and  one of the lines is something like ‘it’s where I drank my first beer, it’s where I first found Jesus’.  That puts it out there that one of those would never prevent the other and those events are both equally noteworthy, when in really one is an enslaving affront to God’s holiness  and the other is the best thing to ever happen to a  man.
  I hope George Jones was saved. He claimed to have been and even gave Jesus the credit for delivering him from his self-destructive behavior, even as he sold records containing songs which glorified self-destructive behavior. One thing is for certain, if he wasn’t before, he’s a Bible believer now.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Question 22

 It is one of my  firm beliefs is that  history is cyclical, and whatever  insanity and oppression  a state  tries to foist upon its citizenry, one can usually find a historical precedent somewhere  where a very similar thing was done to one degree or another.
  In 1925 Douglas Macintosh, a Canadian theologian who had lived in the US since 1916, applied to be a naturalized  citizen of the United States.  The preliminary form for petition of naturalization at the time  contained a series of questions, and based off of his answer to several of  the questions, Mr. Macintosh was denied citizenship. The questions, his answers, and the eventual Supreme Court case that came out of it, are all very interesting to any  serious student of  liberty.
 Question 20 on the form read . "Have you read the following oath of allegiance? (which is then quoted). Are you willing to take this oath in becoming a citizen?". Mr. Macintosh answered 'yes'.  Question 22 on the form read "If necessary, are you willing to take up arms in defense of this country?". Mr Macintosh had served in the Canadian military  as a chaplain during WWI, and was not a pacifist, but his answer to question 22 is so remarkable I  feel it would be remiss not to quote it in its entirety:

"I am willing to do what I judge to be in the best interests of my country, but only in so far as I can believe that this is not going to be against the best interests of humanity in the long run. I do not undertake to support 'my country, right or wrong' in any dispute which may arise, and I am not willing to promise beforehand, and without knowing the cause for which my country may go to war, either that I will or that I will not 'take up arms in defense of this country,' however 'necessary' the war may seem to be to the Government of the day. 'It is only in a sense consistent with these statements that I am willing to promise to 'support and defend' the Government of the United States 'against all enemies, foreign and domestic.' But, just because I am not certain that the language of questions 20 and 22 will bear the construction I should have to put upon it in order to be able to answer them in the affirmative, I have to say that I do not know that I can say 'Yes' in answer to these two questions."

 In a later hearing he sought to clarify his position. He said that he was not a pacifist; that, if allowed to interpret the oath for himself, he would interpret it as not inconsistent with his position and would take it. He then proceeded to say that he would answer question 22 in the affirmative only on the understanding that he would have to believe that the war was morally justified before he would take up arms in it or give it his moral support. He was ready to give to the United States all the allegiance he ever had given or ever could give to any country, but he could not put allegiance to the government of any country before allegiance to the will of God. He did not anticipate engaging in any propaganda against the prosecution of a war which the  government had already declared and which it considered to be justified; but he preferred not to make any absolute promise at the time of the hearing, because of his ignorance of all the circumstances which might affect his judgment with reference to such a war. He did not question that the government under certain conditions could regulate and restrain the conduct of the individual citizen, even to the extent of imprisonment. He recognized the principle of the submission of the individual citizen to the opinion of the majority in a democratic country; but he did not believe in having his own moral problems solved for him by the majority. The position thus taken was the only one he could take consistently with his moral principles and with what he understood to be the moral principles of Christianity. He recognized, in short, the right of the government to restrain the freedom of the individual for the good of the social whole; but was convinced, on the other hand, that the individual citizen should have the right respectfully to withhold from the government military services (involving, as they probably would, the taking of human life), when his best moral judgment would compel him to do so. He was willing to support his country, even to the extent of bearing arms, if asked to do so by the government, in any war which he could regard as morally justified. 
   In  1931, his  appeal was carried to the Supreme Court in United States vs Macintosh and his citizenship denied.  The majority opinion delivered  by Justice Sutherland is  chilling in places (emphasis mine):

"Naturalization is a privilege, to be given, qualified, or withheld as Congress may determine, and which the alien may claim as of right only upon compliance with the terms which Congress imposes."

And several paragraphs later:

"Clearly, it would seem, in order that the court and the government, whose power and duty in that respect these provisions take for granted, may discover whether the applicant is fitted for citizenship-and to that end, by actual inquiry, ascertain, among other things, whether he has intelligence and good character; whether his oath to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same, will be taken without mental reservation or purpose inconsistent therewith; whether his views are compatible with the obligations and duties of American citizenship; whether he will upon his own part observe the laws of the land; whether he is willing to support the government in time of war, as well as in time of peace, and to assist in the defense of the country, not to the extent or in the manner that he may choose, but to such extent and in such manner as he lawfully may be required to do."

 "That it is the duty of citizens by force of arms to defend our government against all enemies whenever necessity arises is a fundamental principle of the Constitution."

"Whatever tends to lessen the willingness of citizens to discharge their duty to bear arms in the country's defense detracts from the strength and safety of the government."

"Fro its very nature the war power, when necessity calls for its exercise, tolerates no qualifications or limitations, unless found in the Constitution or in applicable principles of international law. In the words of John Quincy Adams, 'This power is tremendous; it is strictly constitutional; but it breaks down every barrier so anxiously erected for the protection of liberty, property and of life."

... And yet he may be compelled, by force if need be, against his will and without regard to his personal wishes or his pecuniary interests, or even his religious or political convictions, to take his place in the ranks of the army of his country, and risk the chance of being shot down in its defense.'
The applicant for naturalization here is unwilling to become a citizen with this understanding. He is unwilling to leave the question of his future military service to the wisdom of Congress, where it belongs, and where every native-born or admitted citizen is obliged to leave it.

  The Supreme Court took the position way back in 1931 that  your conscience must be suborned to the health of the  state, and to  find a war unjustified or  running counter to your morality is in itself, an act of disloyalty to the state. They also took the position that  it is your duty as a citizen not to protect yourself or your neighbors, but the  government even as it acknowledged that the  number one enemy of liberty is sustained warfare.
  Justice Hughes offered his dissenting view that, while hardly a libertarian manifesto, has some  bright spots in it:

"When we consider the history of the struggle for religious liberty, the large number of citizens of our country from the very beginning who have been unwilling to sacrifice their religious convictions, and, in particular, those who have been conscientiously opposed to war and who would not yield what they sincerely believed to be their allegiance to the will of God, I find it impossible to conclude that such persons are to be deemed disqualified for public office in this country because of the requirement of the oath which must be taken before they enter upon their duties. "

When one's belief collides with the power of the state, the latter is supreme within its sphere and submission or punishment follows. But, in the forum of conscience, duty to a moral power higher than the state has always been maintained. "

"There is abundant room for enforcing the requisite authority of law as it is enacted and requires obedience, and for maintaining the conception of the supremacy of law as essential to orderly government, without demanding that either citizens or applicants for citizenship shall assume by oath an obligation to regard allegiance to God as subordinate to allegiance to civil power. The attempt to exact such a promise, and thus to bind one's conscience by the taking of oaths or the submission to tests, has been the cause of many deplorable conflicts. "

    Despite such pleas of dissent, the Supreme Court ruled against Macintosh in a  5-4 decision. Not only  did the supposed 'guardians of the Constitution' take a position that flies in the face of all that it means to be free,  later they changed their minds, overturning the decision in 1983.  Conservatives are often blinded by a  nostalgia for a past that never was and  will refer back to some  mythical past in which the government  obeyed the restrictions of the  Constitution as a matter of practice.  This  rose-colored  view of history is dangerous and those who hold that the Supreme Court will thwart evil or destructive legislation need to to take  close look at this case, and cases like it to see that the Supremes record is spotty at best, and nightmarish at times.  The  true guardian of your liberty, and of your conscience, is you, and it has always been that way, even back in the 'good old days'.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Where Are They Now?

( Note:  This is satire, people. Well, mostly)

With the 2012 campaign but a distant memory, we caught up with former Massachusetts governor and GOP nominee Mitt Romney at his family’s residence to find out what he’d been up to since November.
  “Man that was bad. That was a dark time for me, really for everybody.”  Gov.  Romney told us while sitting in a room with the shades drawn. Even in the dim light we could see that he had put on a bit of weight since his defeat at the hands of Barack Obama.  “ I just came home that night and crawled underneath the covers and ….hey,  does it look like my hair is falling out?”
 The candidate has been a virtual recluse since the election, even to his 1.6 million Twitter followers who have heard absolutely nothing from him since election night. A few days later a haggard looking Romney was spotted at a gas station pumping his own gas.  The website from his campaign still bears the image of an optimistic looking candidate and a cheerful blurb  about  having hopes for the future, but to those close to the former GOP nominee, it’s a different situation altogether.
Romney pumping gas
  “It was crazy” said a cashier at the local grocery store speaking on condition of anonymity. “ I mean  he always had somebody do the grocery shopping for him. You know, a service. But the day after the election he comes in here big as life and buys every tube of chocolate chip cookie dough in the entire store, plus a big spoon.  I told him I voted for him, but he wouldn’t look me in the eye.”
  A source close to the family reported he fell into a sobbing fit when his book wound up on the discount rack at his local bookstore. Witnesses report that he began to rant about how he had ‘the perfect hair, a gorgeous tan’, and had taken ‘every position on every issue at least once. What do you people want from me?’
  By contrast Congressman Ron Paul of Texas has been busier than at any time in his life.  He retired from Congress , giving one of the great political speeches of all time, and since retiring has  written  yet another  best selling book, launched a home school curriculum,  opened the doors to the Ron Paul Peace Institute, and given speeches  to  ever-growing crowds all over the globe.  During one particularly energetic rally, the normally soft-spoken Dr. Paul challenged some members of the college-age audience to “Punch me in the stomach. Come on, I can take it!” and unconfirmed reports claim he has taken up the hobby of jumping over cars and through flaming hoops on a motorcycle.  An eyewitness at a state fair told the Associated Press that the regularly scheduled daredevil had fallen ill, but Dr. Paul just happened to be  in the area and   strapped on the colorful costume, revving the motor and calling out to the crowd “Who’s the boss? You the boss!”” before zipping the bike towards the ramp and easily clearing the obstacles.  Paul staffers would neither confirm nor deny the incident, but merely commented that, “Dr. Paul is enjoying the newfound liberty he has as a private citizen. There’s lots of thing he couldn’t do as a Congressman.”
Probably not Ron Paul
 Reports that he  has challenged Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke  to an ‘Indian leg wrestling match’ were flatly denied.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Short Story

( I submitted this story to  David Malki's Machine of Death  Anthology. It did not get accepted. I guess it's probably indicative of my general philospohy of using any avenue I can to get the gospel in front of people)

  He took a break from the preaching to distribute some gospel literature to people as they passed by. Standing slightly behind him leaning against a lamp post, watching with a smirk on his face was a young man in his 20’s. The old preacher was aware the younger man had been standing there for several minutes, and after handing out tracts to those passing by the preacher finally spoke to him, offering him a  gospel tract.
  “Young man, did you get one of these?”
 The young man took it, and disinterestedly stuck it in his pocket. His eyes went from his pocket and back to the preacher.
 “I really am surprised there are still people like you around.”
“People like me?”
“You know religious types.”
“Ah.” The old man continued to   pass out tracts.
 The young man came off the lamp post, warming to his target. “I mean really, in this modern age, with cell phones, and science, and MOD’s, the idea of guys like you still peddling your fairy tale book is, well kinda sad.”
  The old man smiled kindly. “Got it all figured out, do you?”
  “I don’t know what to tell you old man. The game is over.  We know where we came from, and we know how we’re going to exit the scene.  People like you are an anachronism.”
  There was a break in the foot traffic and the old preacher turned back to the young man. “What’s your name?’
  “Good name.  So by ‘where we came from’ you mean..”
 “You know, evolution.”
The preacher nodded with an amused smile. “..and the ‘how we’re going to exit the scene’ part?”
The young man looked at him like he was an idiot. “The Machine of Death, of course.”
“What about everything in the middle?”
The young man shrugged an annoyed shrug. The old man laughed gently.
“And things on the other side of death?”  Daniel was silent. “Sounds like me like you’re missing some pretty important pieces of the puzzle there, Daniel.  Tell you what, you read that tract I gave you and I’ll be praying for you.” The preacher turned and headed down the street. Normally he would have talked longer, but something told him this wasn’t the last time he’d see Daniel.
  A week went by, and the preacher found himself back on that corner, and when he finished his first round, Daniel was there behind him, leaning on the same lamp post.
  “Good to see you again.”
 “Let me ask you a question. Are you one of those people that are opposed to the MOD’s?”
“Opposed, no.  Unconcerned, maybe.”
“So you’ve never been tested?”
“ I assume you have?”
The young man nodded.
T he preacher watched Daniel’s countenance closely. “And the verdict?”
The young man shuffled around nervously, looking at the ground.   There was an uncomfortable silence, but the old man waited. “Car crash.”
 The preacher nodded solemnly. This was tricky business what happened next and he threw up a quick prayer for wisdom. “And, from what I’ve read, even though nobody knows how the Machines work, they’re always right?”
  Daniel nodded.
  “Then  why not move to the Sahara,  to some place with no cars and live forever?”
  “People have tried that. It never works out. Somehow, the machines are always right.”
  The preacher nodded again. This wasn’t the first time he had had a conversation like this. “So you have absolute security in the accuracy of a machine that you don’t even know how it works?  What faith!”
 Daniel changed the subject. “You never told me whether or not you’ve been tested.”
“I have not.”
“Why not?”
The preacher shrugged. “It doesn’t matter to me.  Especially if I can’t do anything about it.” He held up his Bible, pointing at Daniel with the spine. “You may know how you’re going to exit the scene, but that knowledge doesn’t do you any good. I know what’s on the other side of your car crash.”
 Daniel waved the preacher off with a dismissive hand . “Yeah, yeah.  Put my faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ to wash away my sins or I’ll be condemned to the Lake of Fire for all eternity.” He looked vaguely embarrassed at how well he’d recited it. “I read that thing you gave me.”
  “And?” Daniel said nothing. “Look Daniel, you and I know  that you’re going to die,  and  you say you know how you’re going to die, but yet you resist making any preparations for what comes after.”
  Daniel tried again to change the subject. “I think you should get tested.”
  “No thanks.   Daniel, it’s been good talking to you, but I’m going to go back to preaching again.”
  “Wait! You may not be curious, but I’m curious.”
 “Curious about how another man is going to die?  That’s a tad morbid, don’t you think?”
  Daniel didn’t have an easy answer for that.   None of the conversations with the old man had gone as he’d planned. He expected the preacher to be some wild-eyed simpleton, repeating parrot-like phrases from some book of mumbo-jumbo.  He thought it would be like talking to a cave-man. Instead the preacher not only claimed to have some answers, but seemed very content with what the answers might be. His whole attitude, his demeanor, was like he was from some other world. He also looked at Daniel, really looked at him, like he was a person.  Daniel personally found the preacher’s lack of concern about his own demise a tad offsetting. Everybody he knew had been tested as soon as they were of the legal age.  “They have these portable units, you know?  I can get one, and we can test you. And then, well, I’ll let you tell me some more about Jesus.”
  The preacher watched the young man carefully. This was a most unexpected turn of events. He thought for a moment and then offered a compromise. “Ok Daniel. We’ll do this, but on two conditions. One is that I really don’t care anything about reading what comes out of the machine. I’ll let you do that.  The second condition is that you come back out here next week and help me pass out gospel tracts. We’ll discuss Jesus as we work.” The preacher was pretty certain the kid would never go for it, and after holding the preacher’s gaze for a few minutes, Daniel looked down and quietly began walking down the street.
  “Can’t win them all.” The old man said to himself and once again he cupped his hand to his mouth and began preaching to the passing crowd.  He was surprised when he finished to find Daniel standing behind him with a small portable MOD in his hand.
 They just stared at each other for a moment and the preacher finally relented . “A deal is a deal.” He offered up his finger to the machine, which pricked it, drew a small sample of blood and began various mysterious calculations. In less than a minute, a small piece of paper rolled out and fell to the ground. Daniel snatched it up and clutched it in his fingers. He read it and looked quizzically at the old preacher.
  “ I don’t get it.”
 The preacher smiled.  “I expect you to meet me here at 3 pm this time next week to keep your end of the deal.” He turned and began heading down the street. Daniel took the small paper and turned it over as if the back of the paper would explain the front. He looked at the figure walking down the street and repeated to himself the mysterious phrase on the slip of paper.
“NO STING.  I wonder what that means.”

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Greater Tragedy

The truly scary part of the events in Boston, and by extension the events like it over the last  few years, is how it brings out the absolute worst in an unthinking public.
  The news that 2 suspects had been identified and one of them had been killed by police was actually greeted with cheers by co-workers of mine.  One of the coworkers said mockingly to me “Would love to hear your take on their so called ‘civil liberties’ now.”  His position , reiterated to me multiple times over the recent past is that ‘terrorists’ have no civil rights, no right to a trial, just kill them. He has used this mental blind spot towards his own horrific statements  to celebrate the  drone bombing of innocent people in faraway lands. He has actually made the statement “It serves them right for living so close to  the bad guys.”
  So let me make myself very very plain here. A human being accused of a crime has the right to a trial regardless of what crime he is accused.   Notice I did not simply say ‘a citizen’ has that right, and I did that on purpose. My rights, and yours, do not come from a piece of paper, even if they are enumerated by that piece of paper. My rights and yours come from our humanity and a fair society will honor the rights of whoever happens to be under its jurisdiction at the moment, whether they be a ‘citizen’ or not.  To do less is to commit a crime against the accused.
  The state enjoys a monopoly on violence in many areas, and a monopoly on the ability to incarcerate.  I cannot lock my neighbor up in a cage if he transgresses against me, only the state enjoys that privilege.  In theory, to counterbalance that privilege, the burden of proof rests upon the state to make their case before a jury of my peers that a crime was committed and that it was committed by me.  If they cannot make that case, then I go free, even if everybody ‘knows’ I did it.
  When we cast that aside and we seriously contemplate extra-judicial killings for certain offenses, a couple of things happen.  First of all we sacrifice a piece of our humanity by our crimes against the accused. Secondly, that list of crimes where it’s acceptable to just ‘take them out back and shoot them’ always grows larger over time. Trials are expensive, and the system is cumbersome. It’s hard to get a conviction, and it should be, because an out of control police state is far more dangerous than an out of control bomber.


  Well now that the  gummint seems to have found their patsys, it will be interesting to see how this pans out.  It prompted some interesting  discussions here amongst co-workers, in which  NeoCon (my pet name  for him)  puffed his chest out and   publicly  gushed over the  brave  police and such that  risked life and limb to find the perp.  He  mocked me a bit saying that this incident  sort of makes null my opposition to   cameras on every street corner.  I told him I didn’t have all the facts, but my gut was that  the 2nd  guy will never  see the inside of a jail cell. They will kill him first and claim he was resisting arrest.  He laughed a bit and told me that cops are  specially trained not to shoot unarmed people and he  would challenge  me to find  a single incident where a cop shot a suspect  just for resisting arrest.  I’m not entirely certain what planet he’s  from or what planet he currently lives on.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sincerely Wrong

  In the wake of the  bombing in Boston earlier this week,  Susan Estrich, who by all  indicators seems to be a very nice lady,  wrote a syndicated  column that appeared  in our local  paper  entitled 'Just Keep My Children Safe From Terror'. This  no doubt heartfelt column is  such a sterling example of wrong thinking that  I felt it necessary to   address it.  She writes:
"What do we want the government to do? How  much of our liberty and privacy are willing to give up in the hopes that it might  stop terror?.....So this is my answer: I'd give up a lot.  You want cameras on every corner? Fine with me. I don't care who pats me down at the airport. Pat away. Keep the confidences of my clients, but other wise my email is  an open book. Mine my data;listen to my conversations. If it will keep my children safe, I don't care."
  I know,gentle reader ,that there are  a plethora of angles from which one could approach this  wrong thinking. I'll just throw out a couple of the more obvious ones and we'll see where this goes.
  Giving up liberty has never brought security. Ever. Our security is in our liberty. The reason is simple. Your government is more of a threat than any network of terrorists ever will be.  To entrust the government with the power it seeks is worse than giving the fox  the keys to the henhouse; its giving him the  keys, an axe,a pot full of boiling water, and a book  of chicken recipes.  To trade liberty for safety is to trade what you cannot get back for what you will never gain.
  Mrs Estrich says that she would be comfortable living in a  surveillance state, which to her would make her safe.  Never mind that the governments of the world killed  over 200 million people in the last century, a number  terrorists could never hope to match.   Even if she could  give away her liberties in exchange for safety, and even if the  state were capable of  making her safe, by what right does she impose that condition on everybody else? I for one am not  comfortable with  more power given to an entity whose very nature is rooted in brutality.  It will not keep her children safe  nor more than it will keep  my children safe. Instead she will be fitting them with the manacles of their  own enslavement while softly cooing to them that it's all worth it.  Patrick Henry must be turning in his grave by now.
  I  have full faith and confidence that Mrs. Estrich means every word she wrote. That, unfortunately is the truly scary part.

Nothing New Under the Hollywood Sun

  I was watching the Magnificent Seven (one of my favorite movies) and I made the comment to my oldest, who is  almost 11, that this  movie always made me think of the Steve Martin movie ‘The Three Amigos’.  Robert had never seen The Three Amigos, and I tried to explain the plot to him.  Halfway through my explanation he said “oh, so it’s 'Galaxy Quest' set in the Wild West.”  I sat back and marveled at his brilliance.  Here I was, a supposedly educated person who had seen all 3 of the movies discussed who knows how many times, and I had never made the connection that Three Amigos and Galaxy Quest are the exact same movie!
  This is made all the more embarrassing by the fact that I have espoused a theory for years now that there are only about 30 plots in any movie, book or TV show, and these plots are tweaked,   scrambled, and recycled over and over again.  Most if not all of these plots have their precedent in  the Bible. Some  accomplish their ends by being the exact opposite of the Bible precedent. Despite rattling on about this theory at every opportunity (yeah, I’m one of those guys), I had never made any sort of attempt to catalog any of these plots and give specific examples.  I will now attempt to do so, as many as I can think of , and let my readers be the judge of whether or not I know what I’m talking about.
(Note: While composing this, somebody asked what I was doing, and when I told them, they informed me that such a list already exists.  One Google search later, I’m forced to concede a certain amount of ground in this area, but I still think my list will be more entertaining)
1) The best and the brightest of an organization betrays the organization and becomes their sworn enemy.  This shows up in everything from Star Wars  to The Last Starfighter to the fall of Lucifer in the Bible.
2) A fair maiden is threatened by the chief villain, and is rescued by the hero (who everybody thought was dead) at the last possible moment, usually on a white horse.  Think of almost every Western you’ve ever seen. This also shows up in the book of Revelation.
3) Two siblings are polar opposites in temperament, and their destinies collide, ending in a face-off some kind.  Jacob and Esau or Cain and Abel are the Bible examples.
4) A man shows his devotion to his bride by risking life and limb for her.  The story of the crucifixion is the original, almost every romantic comedy you've ever seen fits this  type to a lesser degree.
5) An innocent man  sufffers willfully for the guilty.  Charles Dickens took this plot device  for Tale of Two cities directly from the story of  Christ at Calvary
6) An enemy of an organization becomes its most fervent  convert.  Saul of Tarsus anyone?  Some would argue that this is simply a reversal of  #1, and my counterpoint would be: Leave me alone or write your own list.
7) A murder is commited and hidden, only to be revealed later. Moses did this
8) A female of modest  origins  marries a man of immense importance. This is an easy one.  Cinderalla is the   most obvious example, along with its scriptural parralel of  Christ the redeemer  taking lost sinners to himself to be his bride.
9) A female is rescued from self-inflicted damage by the true love of a prince or king. Snow White eats the poisoned apple, and  'dies', but is ressurected by her Prince.  Genesis  3.
10) A man kills another man (or somehow disposes of him) to hide an affair.  David did this to Uriah the Hiitite centuries before  the first murder mystery was written.
11) The novice becomes the  master , (and only hope) after the master dies or disappears.  Luke Skywalker took on Yoda's mantle just like Elisha took on Elijah's mantle. 

12)The bad guy steals from or defames the  good guy in order to promote himself, than later is exposed and punished.  Here the movie Big Fat Liar coincides with the  story of Haman and Mordecai in the book of Esther.

13) A creation turns on it's master and  has to be destroyed.  There are elements of this in the biblical story of man's fall and God's susequent dealings with  him. This plot  mirrors itself in everything from Frankenestein to Mimic

14)  A chosen one  dies or disappears and re-emerges exercising great power.  The life of Jesus Christ would be the precedent with movies like The Matrix borrowing from it.

15) Somebody gets the blame ( or credit) for something they did not do. Joseph goes to  prison in Genesis while Jimmy Stewart's character in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance gets accolades. Both become powerful political figures.

16) An unlikely champion vanquishes a larger opponent.  David and Golaith is the template for a  score of movies and books in this area, including  almost every 'feel-good' sports movie you've ever seen.

17) A cursed person is restored by the love of another.  Beauty and the Beast reversed the genders, but it's the Bible story of salvation in a nutshell.

18) A group of people ( usually 5)  goes on a quest.  I dont really have any  Biblical example here, but it happens  so often in everything from Scooby Doo and Star Wars to Lord of  the Rings that there must be something to it.

19)  A person violates their conscience and suffers the consequences. Let's see,  there's Pinnocchio for starters.  In some  works of fiction, the  guy that violates his conscience ends up in  a #13 scenario. the Bible example would be every person who ever lived.

20) The most unlikely  person arises as the champion.  The book Ender's Game  may be  my favorite non-biblical example of this plot stolen from the  life of David, Joseph,  and Jesus Christ.

Let's see, that's 20 so far. I now open the floor to contributions, with worthwhile ones being added to the list ( and full credit given) thanks to the miacle of the 'edit button'.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Fallout

 Well now it  begins. Rep Peter King of NY was interviewed and he said the following, none of which should come as any surprise to anybody that has been paying attention for any length of time. In fact, some of us could have  written these lines for him. He was asked if we needed more cameras.

 I think we do because I think privacy involves being in a private location. Being out in the street is not an expectation of privacy. Anyone can look at you, can see you, can watch what you're doing. A camera just makes it more sophisticated, but it's no different from your neighbor looking out the window at you or a police officer looking at you walking down the street.

So, I do think we need more cameras. We have to stay ahead of the terrorists and I do know in New York, the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, which is based on cameras, the outstanding work that results from that. So yes, I do favor more cameras. They're a great law enforcement method and device. And again, it keeps us ahead of the terrorists, who are constantly trying to kill us.

I hope also that members of Congress, both parties, including my own, will realize that the war against terror is not over. And it's foolhardy to be making cuts in Homeland Security, especially to cities, whose police departments need this to train and to be ready to take on terrorism

  Now the most powerful lies are half-truths.  Yes, in public you  have  no expectation of privacy. It is  quite common while performing public ministry for me to be photographed or videotaped by private individuals. I have no legal recourse against that since I don't own the  photons bouncing off my  body.  But there is a difference between  'no expectation of privacy' and  the constant  surveillance,  and archiving of all information , pertinent or not, on  citizens by a police state.  Just because you're in public doesn't mean that the  4th Amendment is suspended.  Privacy does not  only apply to being in a private location. The police cannot (although they will if you let them) just randomly stop people in public and  rifle through their effects.  What Mr. King is  suggesting is not the same as your  neighbor looking out their window. It's more  equivalent to your neighbor following you around with an infrared sensor and a   boom microphone.   If your neighbor was to do this, and then begin compiling a list of  your friends, associates,   places you  frequent, etc, we would call that 'stalking'.   It's no less creepy when Mr. King (ironic name, no?) wants to  do it.
  Then he says  that he thinks  'we' need more cameras. Who is this  'we ' he's talking about?  I  don't need any more. I don't need a dossier on my fellow Americans.  I don't need a huge megacenter to store all of my neighbor's emails and cell phone conversations. So who is this  'we'?  I think Mr. King  means himself, and his fellow power-hungry elitists when he says 'we'. 
  'We' (there he goes again)  have to stay ahead of the terrorists.  What in the world does that mean? It's one of those statements that are a waste of syllables, as it   takes up space but  is  empty of substance, sort of like  'they hate us  because we're free' or ' if we don't do this, the terrorists win'.  If you cannot  stay ahead of a  ragtag group of misanthropes living in  a cave with the billions of dollars we spend fighting the 'war on terror' then a handful of cameras aren't going to help.
  Think about the logistics for  second though. Here we have one of the most  televised  events in America, and nobody saw anything.   Plus we live in an age in which everybody has a cell phone with a camera. Well I don't, but I'm a ragtag misanthrope living in a cave.  Everybody else has a camera though. Nobody saw anything!! There are  probably  several  very plausible reasons for this. I'm going to go with the  simple one. Nobody was looking.  So to effectively stay  ahead of the terrorists, you would have to monitor  everybody all the time, right?  At the end of the day isn't that  what Mr. King is  suggesting?  If you really wanted to stay head, you need video of   the terrorists assembling this  stuff in their homes.  I mean, if you're committing a crime, you have no expectation of privacy, right?
  "The war on terror isn't over."  Of course not. It, by its very nature  and design is open-ended and unwinnable. There will always be another shadowy  bearded guy in a cave somewhere, always a new villain waiting to be stopped by  our  'best and brightest' in law enforcement. There will always be another  country that needs to be invaded..  All of this is done on purpose, and Mr. King  may not know much about the Constitution, but I'm certain he knows that. To those  looking to expand the police state, this event in Boston was  a godsend.  Just as the America people were  getting fed up with being  patted  down by perverts and spied on, here comes another   bombing!
  The terrorists are 'constantly trying to kill us'. Really, Mr. King? Even if everything the government has told us about 9/11 is true, which is  impossible, and would be the first time they ever told us the truth about anything)  2 or 3 attacks spread out over 12 years  is the most ludicrious definition of  'constantly' I think I've ever seen. 
  Although, since my elected representatives have gone to all the trouble to redefine the word for me, maybe I should  start using it that way.  Maybe we all should. For example, I am 'constantly' mobbed by adoring fans.  I am 'constantly' awash in money.  This could work for me. Maybe I owe Mr. King a  'thank you'. But I'm getting  off topic.
  Here's my prediction, and I certainly hope I'm wrong.  It happened on Tax Day in Boston, and so  even if this is a false-flag, and I'm perfectly OK with thinking that,   the liberty movement will be blamed.  They will get their cameras, and their checkpoints, and most people will not care a whit, and not make a peep. Will you?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Teacher or Preacher? A pet peeve of mine

  I attend an independent Baptist church, and  I know a lot of preachers.  Some are good preachers, some are not so good, some are goofy, some are grave. I’m telling you, I know a lot of preachers, and I’ve noticed  over the last few years a rather odd prejudice among some  of the preachers I know. That prejudice is against ‘teaching’.
  Now the problem with addressing this issue is I have to use specific examples so that everybody understands what I’m talking about, and I don’t want to name names.  So I have to be specific, and non-specific all at once. Let me try it this way.
  Surely all of us have seen a movie or TV show that announced at the onset that it was ‘Based on actual events’.  I have also seen where a program or movie claimed it was ‘Inspired by actual events’.  My understanding of the difference between the two is that to be based on actual events means that you   tried to stick the original event, but may have added some things or removed some scenes for narrative effect.  ‘Inspired’ by actual events means I got the idea from something that happened, but felt no need to stick to the facts.  For example, a movie  based on actual events would have  the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor, but focus on some  ridiculous ‘love story’, simply using the historical event as a backdrop. An ‘inspired’ movie would have Martians bombing Cincinnati and maybe a few ninjas thrown in.  I have rarely seen a movie that couldn’t have been made better by the inclusion of ninjas.
  Now back to the preaching.  Some preachers base their material off of the Bible, and some preachers have material that is merely inspired by the Bible.   I really don’t have any issue with either approach except when a person who prefers one approach is critical of a person who leans towards the other approach.   What does this have to do with ‘teaching’?  Keep reading, you’ll see.
  I’ll give you an example.  Let’s say I was going to preach on alcohol. I could take the time to show you what the Bible says about the subject. I could cover all of the relevant passages, giving their context, and not only explain the Bible position on it, but also address the most common complaints against the Bible position.  That can be done with passion, with eloquence, and under the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, as far as I can tell, that’s pretty much the job description of a preacher.  That would require from me some studying, some laboring in word and doctrine. It would also require some spiritual discernment to keep the message free from my own opinion , interpretation or spin and God’s power to make it all bearable for the listener. That would be a message that was ‘based’ on the Bible.
  Or I could quote half a verse and then put on a series of theatrics designed to stir up the crowd that already agrees with me and shout down anyone that disagrees with me. That would be a message ‘inspired ‘ by the Bible.  Keep in mind that my half a verse may be correct, and in the midst of all my showmanship I may actually be taking the Bible position on the subject, but I would be remiss in not presenting to my audience the ‘whole counsel of God’ on the matter. Does everybody do this from time to time? Absolutely.  Do the constraints of time sometime force us to take shortcuts in our explanations? Sure. But do preachers that I know that are friends of mine use theatrics as a substitute for preparation? You can bet your sweet bippy on it.
  Here’s the real irony of it all. The ‘inspired’ crowd will then run to the Bible to prove that the ‘based’ crowd isn’t really preaching, they are teaching. Some will say that a proclivity towards ‘teaching’ ( as they define it) is a sign of apostasy.  And after all EVERYBODY knows that there exists this huge chasm of difference between the two. Or is there?
Well, for starters…
      The word ‘teach’ occurs 107 times in the Bible
      The word ‘teaching  occurs  25 times
      The word ‘taught’ occurs 79 times
      The word ‘preach’ occurs 47 times
      The word ‘preached’ occurs 59 times
      The word ‘preaching’ occurs 27 times
  I encourage you to look into this, because due to the enormity of the topic we would be hard pressed to cover it all without  it being both exhaustive and exhausting, but we will hit the high points to get the discussion started.
   In Exodus 4, God  tells Moses he will teach him what  he must  say to Pharaoh.  Moses is entrusted with teaching the children of Israel the statues of God in Exodus 18 and 24 as well as Leviticus 10 and 14, and Deuteronomy 1 and  5. The children of Israel are commanded to teach future generations in Deut 4, 6, 11, and 24.  God teaches people in Psalm 25, 32, 34, 51, and 132 as well as Isaiah 28 and Jer 32. Jesus Christ teaches in Matthew 4, 9, 11and 21, as well as in Mark 4, 6, 8, and 11. His teaching is also mentioned in Acts 1 .Jesus taught daily according to Matt 26.  The Holy Spirit has a teaching ministry according to Luke 12 and John 14.  Believers are commanded to teach all nations in Matt 28. The apostles taught in Acts 4, 5.  Paul   claimed to be a teacher in 1 Corinthians 4.  He commanded Timothy to teach in 1 Timothy 4 and 6.  One of the qualifications for bishop is an aptness to teach according to 1 Tim 3 and 2 Tim 2.  Women are entrusted with teaching other women in Titus 2 .
  Teaching in and of itself, cannot be bad. The issue appears to be what is taught. Teaching does not appear, in and of itself, to be an indicator of apostasy. In fact, quite the opposite seems to be true in light of Hosea 4:6 .  But for some reason the ‘inspired’ crowd runs to 2 Timothy 4:3 to make their case that  , having defined  a systematic explanation of  the bible position as ‘teaching’,  teaching  is an indicator of  some sort of apostasy.  This may work for  church members who  never look down at their lap to see what the book  they are hearing quoted actually says, but hopefully anyone that has made it this  far in this posting won’t mind if we  just  quote the whole passage, for  contexts’ sake.
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove , rebuke , exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Tim 4:1-4
  Notice a couple of things.  I am to reprove, rebuke, and exhort, but I am supposed to do all 3 with longsuffering and doctrine.  Not theatrics, not clever stories, but rather doctrine. This falls under the heading of ‘preach the word’.  Moving on we see that people some people will not endure sound doctrine, but rather embrace false doctrine. The issue isn’t that people are being taught, the issue is what they are being taught.  As ministers of the gospel we are told to not only be apt to teach, but to instruct those that oppose themselves. To do less and waste precious time  with   showmanship and silly nonsense that  we  picked up from  our favorite preachers ( Gal 5:20) is bad enough, but to take the position that by doing it  wrong we’re actually doing it  right and replacing diligent prayerful study with passion or zeal is almost  a criminal   misuse of our calling.  I think preachers will give an account at the judgment seat of Christ as to how they neglected the command to study and prepare.

"This story shall the good man teach his son.."

Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early , and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying , Mine own hand hath saved me.  Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying , Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. Judges 7:1-3

  I don't know if you have ever thought about this, but for the rest of their lives, 22,000 men had to tell their sons when other people talked about the battle against the Midianites that they went home with  the women and children. Why? Because they were afraid.
 It's OK to be afraid. In fact, only a fool is never afraid.  Fear can make you cautious,  make you walk circumspectly, make you think and rethink what you're about to  do or say, but if it paralyzes you, imprisons you, and drives you from the battle and causes you to disobey the words of God, then fear becomes a sin.   
  Instead the Bible  gives clear commands to the child of God on how to act regardless of your feelings or ability.  We are told in Psalms 31:24 to "be of good courage".  We are told in 2 Tim 1:7 that God has "not given us the spirit of fear."  In 2 Sam 2:12,  we are encouraged to "play the man for our people"; to continue on in the face of  the fear that would paralyze us, and drive us from the field of battle. We are told to confront those things that would cause us to  abandon our  responsibilities and   carry on for the cause of Christ, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of  our  abilities or lack thereof. 
  Three separate times in the book of Joshua, on the cusp on great battles in which his mettle would be tested, God commands Joshua to be "strong, and of a good courage.  I don't think it's a stretch to say that Joshua was probably  quite reasonably afraid.  A lack on his part on his part would  cost men their lives unnecessarily.  He  was  probably afraid of the battle ahead, and specifically  whether or not he had what it takes.  The truth is, he didn't have what it takes, none of us do. 
  In 2 Cor 2 , the Bible says that we are a savour of life unto those  that live, and a savour of  death unto those that perish. it then poses the question "who is sufficient for these things?" My reply is simple; I am not, and neither are you.  The things we accomplish for God  are, by their very nature outside of our abilities and  beyond our strength.  Nobody has the courage to do consistently what God has commanded us to do. But knowing that, and acknowledging that, is the secret to courage. After all, the Bible  tells us in Ps 27:14 to "Wait upon the Lord, and be of good courage" even as  Proverbs 3  admonishes us to "lean not unto  thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path."  Waiting upon the Lord will give us the strength , and the courage to carry on despite our incompetence.
  I will give you an example.  I  have een involved in  publick ministry for a few years now ( almost 18) and it is my joy  to be able to  take  'newbies' outon the street. A few years back, a young man who was a survivor of my Sunday School class went with us up to Savannah to preach during the St. Patricks Day parade.  It was his first time out, and  when it was his turn to preach, he locked up. This is not  an unheard o fevent, in fact, it's  pretty common. So one of us  jumped in and filled in  for him in order to give him a moment to gather himself. Soon it was his turn again, with the same result.  We made the rounds again, and for the  third time , he  found himself paralyzed with fear at  preachign to the  hostiel audience.  It was almost tiem to  break for lunch, so I  told him not to worry about it, that it happens soemtimes and that  I was certain he woudl  get it next time.   I saw resolve flare up in his eyes and he told me "No, I've got to do this." He closed his eyes, reared back and  said , as loud as he could "THE BIBLE SAYS..." and he was off and running.  It was one of the greatest examples of true courage I had ever seen, an example of carrying on  in the face of  great fear.

  One of my favorite pieces of  Mr. Shakespeares writings comes out of Henry V.  After laying  claim to the French throne, Henry  goes to battle. In 1549, at the battle of Argencourt, Henry's  exhausted troops were met with fresh French reinforcements.  According to  Mr. Shakespeare, this is a how Henry imparted  courage to his men:

If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say “These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.”
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

  It  has been my honour  for the last  several years to  labour with some truly brave men.  I am  a pygmy of the faith compared to them. Someday  when we are are old and toothless we will have great stories to tell of how God supplied the courage for us to serve him, and how that only  started when we realized how helpless  and incapable we were without him.