Friday, February 29, 2008
Barack H*ssein Obama. Oh, wait, sorry. Barack Obama. Never mind that this current President goes by George W. Bush or that his father is known as George H.W. Bush, that apparently is ok. But, Lord help you, it is the ultimate sort of "fear-mongering" to actually state that Barack's middle name is H*ssein.
What is amazing to me and why this still is I do not know, is that many of the people of left-leaning persuasion can be racists, bigots, and sexists without dismay! Take for instance Obama. A year ago a US Senator said he is the first "clean and articulate black guy". The media circled the wagons for him! He must not have meant it! Their is a story in the Washington Post (WaPO) today about a hilarious SNL skit from Saturday complaining that they got a "white guy" to play the part of Barack Obama. Was it racially motivated?
Now you have another twist on the race card. You have a bunch of liberals wondering if Barack is "black enough". You also have Barack asking not to be made fun of for his ears. We also cannot call him a liberal. And finally, according to his wife, we are not allowed to mention "he who must not be named."
I wonder, maybe we shall call it a "thought experiment", if John McCain's middle name was Adolf. Would he get the same treatment that Obama is asking for now? Would the media be circling the wagon after a talk show host uses it in a speech? And for that matter isn't it the media who are pushing the Muslim connection of Obama anyway? Who can forget that video of Ted Kennedy calling Obama Osama.
I understand Michelle Obama's point concerning those who would try to make this a wedge issue. I think she is right. Yet, it's not conservative who made a big deal about it here. It was many different liberals! But now since a conservative did it: It's racism! I know I don't care and frankly have not cared about the fact that he is 1) Black 2) black enough 3) and his middle name is H*ssein. It is and he is all those things! It's not like we aren't speaking the truth! It's the media whose trying to blow this stuff up along with hidden racist liberals! Barack needs to man up! It's who you are! Stop the fear mongering and address it! Instead of giving the Voldemort treatment and treating your middle name like a curse, utilize it and stop acting like a chicken! Your middle name is Hussein, who cares! Somehow I don't think the girls passing out at your speeches is going to stop when they hear "Hussein". I expect more from the savior of all mankind!
Posted by Brother Bell at 11:38 AM
There is a fascinating article in the UK Daily Mail entitled: "Being unmarried makes a woman a high suicide risk."
When I first saw the title of the article I was a little skeptical. I started it hoping that this wasn't some post-valentines day blues or some love sick advice but it turned out to be something completely different. They surveyed "single" woman who do not actually marry anyone but instead cohabitate and then those who are just single compared with married women and their respective suicide rates. They concluded with this:
"It found that those who do not marry were killing themselves at three times the rate of wives."
The rate was something like this: "By 2004, there were 15 suicides in 100,000 single women and five among married women."
In Britain you have an obvious decline in morals concerning sexuality and especially when it comes to marriage. For example according to this article: "Since then, ministers have stripped away tax breaks for marriage, abolishing the Married Couples Allowance and removing all reference to marriage from tax and benefit forms." The Brits don't even apparently acknowledge this stuff anymore! They continued:
"The findings, in a study by the Government's Office for National Statistics, suggest that cohabitation has made a high proportion of young women more vulnerable to depression."
This last comment is perhaps the most honest statement I have ever read concerning this subject! We have heard over and over again that women who are married and stay at home are not really woman. That they are submitting themselves to a lesser existence compared to woman who go out and "make something of their lives". These "devil wears prada" women have no need for men just like fish don't need bicycles. They can survive on their own and maybe occasionally meet up with someone to fulfill "biological needs". Yet, the Brits have landed on, roughly I bet, a hard truth that we (men and women) both need each other and only a strong commitment, dare we say covenant, seems to work. For some reason marriage is a commitment that apparently, according to this study, brings more fulfillment in life. Now to be fair it no where states why these women committed suicide, a very important question I would like to know, however it's a fascinating look into how those who took the study interpreted it. Being single may kill you!
Posted by Brother Bell at 10:25 AM
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I want to kind of state upfront that the subject matter of this video is rather sad, disgusting, and if there are little ones around you may want to skip the video. Disclaimer aside, here it is:
I do not wish to concentrate on the first section of the video concerning the alleged adultery. This couple has admitted to knowing about it before going on the show (along with the stealing) and just playing the part in order to win money.
It is worth noting however that this woman, after all that she had admitted, would still think she is a "good person". Even more telling was her husband shaking his head no and her father (I think) saying that she was! By even the world's standards this woman was pushing it! Yet, her first reaction, a sort of defensive mechanism, shout out: "Of course, yes I am a good person!" The lie detector put that defense to rest.
What's perhaps the most tragic aspect of this video is not only that the woman believed what she believed or that she did do any of these horrible things but that many will watch this and be blown away by the audacity but if they took a moment to put a lie detector to their own lives they'd realize they are so much like her! I think of myself in, lets say the past 3 weeks. I've lusted, lied, according to Jesus (Mt. 5) I've committed adultery, and many other things I'm sure I am not aware of! Yet, like this woman, I'm quick to shout out:"Of course! I'm a good person!" I may not have wires hooked up to tell me other wise but in my heart of hearts I know that I am not; just like she did!
Ravi Zacharias once said that: "Jesus did not come to make bad people good but to make dead people live." This woman echoes the times she lives in. "I'm progressing, I'm learning, etc." This is a evolutionary ethic. It's not a godly one. Time does not make someone "better" it just sharpens the depravity to make it sharper and deadlier. This seems to be the illusion that so many of us and our politicians for that matter, seem to live under. That with time we will get better. Yet, why is that never the case? Why doesn't that reflect reality? Because it is not true! If a person is dead to sin, they don't become a better dead person! Their still dead! We need a radical remedy to our deadness- someone to defeat it. If no one did that (or has done it) then we only get "deader" not "better". The question then is: What's the remedy?
Posted by Brother Bell at 11:37 AM
I started my morning routine pretty much like every other morning. Got my cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee, made a bagel, put on my slippers and plopped myself down in my comfortable chair to read through the news before having some one one one with G-D. One site I frequent (mostly for my Red Sox News, cause we know God likes to hear prayers concerning the Sox) is Boston.com and one headline caught my attention rather quickly:
Energy benefits of fluorescents may outweigh risk
Frankly, I couldn't get away from the light bulb today. I walked into the grocery store and BOOM there it was. These energy savers conveniently placed right in opening aisle. Even though they are risky, causing the death of children, unborn "fetuses",(although how can there be danger to something that isn't a someone?) and poor old fluffy! But, don't worry! Risk aside, at least you save money and save the planet at the same time! Fluffy must be happy!
I then stumbled upon a "to do list" just in case one of these light bulbs breaks. The story starts like this: "Compact fluorescent lamps contain small amounts of toxic mercury that can vaporize when the bulbs break, creating a potential health risk for infants, young children, and pregnant women." But, let's just say the inevitable happens and Fluffy knocks over the lamp! I mean it happens right? Well, just follow these easy steps to clean up the mess:
Keep people and pets away. Open windows, and leave the area for 15 minutes before beginning the cleanup.
Do not use a vacuum cleaner, even on a carpet. This will spread the mercury vapor and dust and potentially contaminate the vacuum.
Wear rubber gloves.
Carefully remove the larger pieces and place them in a secure closed container, preferably a glass jar with a metal screw top lid and seal like a canning jar.
Next, scoop up the smaller pieces and dust using two stiff pieces of paper such as index cards or playing cards.
Pick up fine particles with duct tape, packing tape, or masking tape, and then use a wet wipe or damp paper towel.
Put all waste into the glass container, including all material used in the cleanup. Remove the container from your home and call your local solid waste district or municipality for disposal instructions.
Continue ventilating the room for several hours.
Wash your hands and face.
As a precaution, consider discarding throw rugs or the area of carpet where the breakage occurred, particularly if the rug is in an area frequented by infants, small children or pregnant women. Otherwise, open windows during the next several times you vacuum the carpet to provide good ventilation.
I had to laugh after reading this insanity! I understand wanting to save energy and it makes sense to be more efficient but both of those don't come at the expense of human life! There are all types of dangerous things around the house for sure but many of those items are not going to require HazMat treatment to clean up! And most of them are not in range of kiddies! So when you do get your Nuclear Lightbulbs, just make sure you know what you are doing! Cause you can't trust anyone else to warn you!
Monday, February 25, 2008
"Hello. My Name is Matt".
"I've been single now for about 3 1/2 years and I've not had a relapse since."
I apologize for the pathetic opening to this blog but I have to tell you, that is what I feel like I'm doing whenever I seem to fall into these conversations concerning singleness. It seems like no matter where I go people just can't believe I'm still single! It's more of a shock to them then it is me! I seem to be the only one who is ok with my current marital status. It's only when other people keep harassing me about it that I get annoyed. It's also when I see the following that I get even more perturbed:
This was the list of things which a Pastor was looking for in a youth pastor as it appeared on the AGTS job opportunity board. Now, I don't know the Pastor and he/she is entitled to their opinion. God made them leader and I have no problem with how they lead but this creates quite a frustration for me!
First, as if it is not bad enough to constantly have to answer the stupid single question and feel the stares as if I have three heads cause I'm not with someone, now I am starting to wonder if it's even possible for me to get turned down because of it! I have an answer to this question and I shall return to it but looking at this stupid picture caused the thought.
Second, I would think that we would foster an environment where we promote people being in love! Not force a litmus test! Not make people rush the marriage process or the finding a mate just so they can have a job! I can make myself learn to play the guitar. I can't make myself fall in love with someone~!
Third, Why is it that many people, when they find out you are not married, look at you like you haven't arrived yet! You really are not a grown up! You have to prove yourself as one after they find out your not married when, if you were, they would presuppose some type of "maturity". Granted, there are things that only a married person can know but I don't remember reading that my immaturity is guilty until proven other wise?
I believe I am going to wed someday. In fact I know I am because God has spoken to me in the past about it and even now He leads me on it. That said, I find a lot of times these type of conversations or signs on a bulletin board can have a certain affect on a person that can lead one to make brash decisions or really start to doubt God. When those thoughts come into my mind a certain story pops in to confront them.
Abraham was promised a son even though he and his wife were well passed the "production" stage of their relationship. In many ways it was a laughable idea. Now, I'm not relating this story because of the obvious relationship, sexual, marriage tones but being the good exegete that I am I look for the heart of the story. Which I believe is: does God respect His promises?
It seems like whenever faced with these "Ishmael" moments we can so easily take things into our own hands! I could easily say that this is a sign that I should get married and go out and find someone! Yet, I can't because I know what God has promised me! I could try and make something fit God's plan but I can't cause that's exactly what Abraham tried to do and look what happened! Many times, as I proved at the opening, it's easy to get mad at the Pastor for playing the Evangelical Yenta, however I do believe this could be the hand of God shutting the door towards that specific ministry for me. Which I would say is a sign of the opposite of which I would normally expect yet still clearly a sign even if I don't like it! The promises of God can face many moments like the bulletin board however what ever happens, God's brought me this far and He isn't going to let me down now! I can't negotiate the promise of God to fit my own whim. And most of all I can't force the will of God into my life without missing a possible "better blessing" if I had just remained patient! If I make it a negotiable, then that might make Satan a bidder. Something God isn't to fond of~
Posted by Brother Bell at 11:42 PM
Posted by Brother Bell at 11:37 PM
Saturday, February 23, 2008
In Luke 5 we find another example where people are pushing to get to Jesus. I can only imagine what must have been going through His head as the people pressed up against Him, with only the sea to His back and a sea of people to His front. Did He realize that this must have been what Moses felt like, looking at the Reed Sea in front with the the Egyptians not so far behind. Did He wonder if He would have to part the sea, again, in order to back up the word preached. Did He wonder what that putrid smell was off to the side as those grungy fishermen cleaned out the nets.
In vs. 2 the author notes how Jesus saw the boats and then in verse 3, probably up to His knees in water, He asks Peter to let Him get in the boat to preach. One thing we know is that Jesus obviously did not get seasick and even though He was sitting, He probably had good sea legs.
The common place is not exactly where one would expect God to come. If you were to expect the King of all Kings to visit you, the last thing you would expect is Him to have just come from a wharf, with a strange fish smell? Yet, there stood Jesus, on a lake, with fishermen to the side, boats to His rear and throngs of people on the shore. Somehow I think this really makes us ask if their really is such a thing as a specific "holy" location? Does a place, a secular job by the way, that just has Jesus in it make it holy? Is their really a place that cannot be holy?
After, the preaching, Jesus asked the fishermen to cast out to the sea. Now, these guys had been out there all night! I don't know if you have ever worked all night but the last thing you want is to be bossed around. Especially if it was a hard nights work that resulted in no $ (no catch for a fisherman= no $). (5) I can only imagine the disciples faces as they looked on Jesus, with bloodshot eyes, tired, ready to go home after a tuff day's works, as He stated: "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." (4) Here is a carpenter and a teacher telling us to go back out? We just cleaned these nets and He wants us to go back out there? That means we would have to clean again! Peter, surprise surprise, stated his hesitation: "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!" (5) It would have been a different story if Peter hadn't qualified it: "But at your word I will let down the nets."
Many people like to argue over how much does Jesus speak to us today? Does Jesus tell me who my wife is? Does He tell me to take a job? Does He do this; does He do that? Yet, I find this verse comforting because of its simply state; what is Jesus word? How does it apply to my job? How does it apply to my life? I believe that He speaks words to us today! However, I think His words apply to our lives! Even something so mundane as fishing!
Finally, here, we can't miss the reaction of the fishermen to the catch. Peter states: "But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”" (8) Now, Peter was a fishermen, catching fish was his job. Yet, this catch seemed to really shake him up? Why is that? Peter cries out to Jesus that he is a sinful man, in a boat, with fish all around his ankles! When we encounter the Holy, it doesn't matter where we are at, we react to it! When we see God work in the most common of places, we fall to our knees! When God provides the miraculous, nothing that we have now can hold it! Jesus may have found Nemo, but Peter found Jesus and that is and still remains the bigger catch!
Posted by Brother Bell at 10:03 AM
Friday, February 22, 2008
Bet you Teddy isn't singing Bridge over Troubled Water:
Posted by Brother Bell at 3:04 PM
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I'm not trying to pick on Obama here but I've been doing some reading on him today and it just keeps getting stranger, here's his wife:
"Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."
Posted by Brother Bell at 2:10 PM
When it does happen, I'm not afraid to really admit it. I actually agree with the Hillary Clinton campaign on this one. Although my "ends" may be different, since I don't want her being President, I think it truly is a scary thing that these people go gaga over Barack and they have no understanding WHY! Here's the first tape:
Now, by the title of my blog some may think i'm saying Barack=Antichrist. I'm not. I actually do believe him when he says he's a Christian. However, it's his supporters that I have been very, very suspicious of. This is the 5th video I have seen where a Barack Obama supporter cannot name an accomplishment or a position that would lead someone to vote for him. Obama is seen as an excellent communicator but so many of his people can't name anything? Doesn't that mean you are not an excellent communicator? My comparison to the Antichrist then is a comparison of the people who follow him and the people in the past who bought leadership without substance and a drumbeat of Obama followers who are doing it now. Now I go to his website and he has positions, but these people obviously don't go there. To me it's a pretty scary thing indeed that you have so many people selecting this guy, just cause he's a really nice guy! It just give me hope that I could run for President someday~ I did sleep at a Holiday Inn last night?
Posted by Brother Bell at 12:29 PM
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
"Obama is surging ahead because a lot of people are tired of believing they are powerless to heal an ailing nation."
I was on break at work when I first heard about the NIU shooting and again I had to cycle through the millions of questions that these shootings bring.
Why? How? Come on? Lord, protect those who are fighting for their lives.
These seem to be just some of the questions that are always raised. People have many ideas about why it does happen and are very quick to get in front of a camera to start passing the buck. Wither it's someone saying that video games, rock music, medications, lack of medications, and guns are the cause none of these answers seem to fit the entire bill.
There was an article in the Chicago Sun-Times entitled:
Shooting shows why Obama strikes a chord.Mary Mitchell, the author of the article, starts: "If you're wondering why Sen. Barack Obama's message of hope has resonated with so many voters across the country, consider the shooting rampage at Northern Illinois University." Mitchell is basically stating that the shooter at NIU is a product of his time and the product of our time is a "lack of hope". Sen. Obama's message, as vacuous as it is, is filled with many appeals to "bringing back the hope" and other statements like "hope is on the way." A message that resonates with the majority of Americans.
Therefore, according to my understanding of the article, if Barack Obama was to become President then this "hope" that we all seem to be struggling to find would be fulfilled and therefore people will not go to schools and shoot them up anymore? This is a dramatic claim that has many implications.
First, if Barack Obama is the bringer of hope then why did this kid, who lives in Illinois which is Barack Obama's home state, not wait to see if Barack became President? If Barack is the harbinger of hope, how did the killer miss it? Why didn't he wait?
Second, hope isn't the problem here. Evil is. How can a person, whose own nature tends towards evil, bring hope to a people to solve the problem of evil? The problem isn't hopelessness, per say, it's our hopeless struggle with our sinful nature. Is a Barack Obama Presidency going to solve the evil inside us? Can he? Somehow I don't think he would take that mantle, given his personal relationship with Christ, and I am amazed at how his disciples attempt to lay that mantle on him.
Finally, we are hopeless. No President, no Government, no Person (save one), can solve that problem. No person outside of Jesus Christ offers hope to the hopeless. Putting hope into the hope of Barack Obama or any other Presidential candidate for that matter, past or future is pointless. They won't solve that inner struggle. They can't.
"Hopelessness is behind the violence that erupts on street corners and behind closed doors in middle-class homes where women have killed their children and tried to take their own lives."
She may be right that "hopelessness" is out there but she is wrong about the root and wrong about the remedy. Mrs. Mitchell is right though about this, we are powerless to heal the ailing nation and while Presidents or people may be able to put a band aide on the problem for a time, only one thing brings the cure:
"Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. " Ps. 42:5
Posted by Brother Bell at 9:29 AM
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I felt so uncomfortable as I sat in church that Sunday night out here in Springfield as I listened to my pastor tell us of a brother who had been asked to leave the church. He was in leadership and apparently was involved in some type of sin that would warrant my pastor to inform the body of this brothers falling away. To say I felt uncomfortable in this situation is an understatement. In fact I admit at the beginning I actually felt a little angry. How would this help this person? Wouldn't it just make him go further? Why do it?
You could say on that night that I got a fresh awakening to why God's thoughts are not my thoughts and neither are his ways my ways. (Is. 55:8-9) In many ways, I am a product of my generation. A product of a definition of love that dismisses any form of discipline or disagreement. A form of love that tells me that love is "acceptance" and not truth. A form of love that is synonymous with tolerance but devoid of substance. A form of love that is so disgruntled that it dares to put the word "free" in front of it as if there was no price for it. It is only when I go to Scripture that I get an idea of how corrupted my view of love is and how I need to go to the one who loved me (John 3:16) in order to see how to truly love.
"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Co. 13:6-7
As I sat in my desk that Sunday night I realized that the pastor was showing "love" to this brother because he was following a principle that is ingrained in the nature of any relationship. Truth. The specific passage that the pastor used was from 1 Co. 5. The passage that screams for me to define my love as the Bible does.
In the passage, a man is living with his step mom. Something Paul states that even the pagans do not do! The Corinthians were proud of their "open-mindedness" and "acceptance" but Paul uses some pretty strong words to rebuke them for their complacency. "And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn?" (1 Co. 5:2) The Greek word that Paul uses is epenthensate which carries the rout for "mourning like at a funeral". Their "openness" and "broad-minded" approach was misplaced and hurting not only the church but also themselves, Paul, and most of all God! Paul states in the second half of the verse that this brother should be "removed from among you." Something that bucks up against out culturally given definition of love.
Going back to the Greek for a second the verb used for "removed" is not something that is permanent. It's not like they are casting him out of the church forever. If that were the case and they always shut him out then they truly would be committing an "unloving" act. However, the verb used denotes a specific time, until something else cancels the previous action. A necessary distinction.
Paul continues in verse four of the 1 Corinthians passage stating that he already has judged this brother. This is usually when people cry bloody murder! "Jesus said not to judge! Jesus said not to judge!" (Mt. 7) Yes, it definitely is true! However, we can judge a persons actions! Only God can judge someone's motives! Which is what the passage of Scripture is stating.
In verse 5 we arrive at the first passage that may be difficult to see where "love" fits into Paul's assessment. "You are to deliver this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord." Many times, when you have a very materialistic viewpoint, it is easy to base "truth" and "love" solely on what feels good to the body or subject it to a persons feelings. Paul is stating that this is not the case! If a person truly loves this person he/she will let the sinful nature be taken out of this person, so that this person may be saved on the day of the Lord! We could possibly hinder God's work with our own definitions! A scary thought indeed!
The hardest passage to deal with and the one I admittedly struggle to see how it may mean "loving" someone is vs. 11. "But now I am writing to you that you not associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality, greed, etc..." Paul continues with a list of other things that may bring a halt to "fellowship". A question that arises then from this statement is does the church only "love" someone if these people meet a certain standard or set of rules and if they don't it's out on the curb? Context is important for that question!
Paul quickly states that we are not to treat unbelievers this way because then we couldn't exist or live in this world! Instead, this is for someone who calls themselves "brother/sister" but chooses to live in a lifestyle like Paul listed and is UNREPENTANT. That is the key to all that Paul is saying. We all have instances were we may be greedy, adulterous, etc. and that shouldn't mean that we "shun" everyone. Paul states however when someone continues in their sin and doesn't turn, then it is dangerous as a believer to continue in fellowship with them. First, because you could prevent God's working in their lives to reach a point of repentance. Second, because their sin could possibly be seen as a sign of acceptance to others within the church and outside it as well. Finally, fellowship means that you are "fellow men on the ship together" and by keeping a working relationship with that person you are condoning that persons actions. Something the Bible is specific to avoid!
In closing, it is extremely difficult to see this worked out in real time. I still struggle with it! But my goal in life is not to base my definitions on the culture of the day or to base my decisions on what others may feel but solely on the truth of Scripture. It is not loving someone to keep a relationship that does not revolve around truth! You are only hurting yourself and the person you are in the relationship with! Plus, we can easily play God by deciding to stay a part of that persons life! That person may come at you with accusations and say that you don't love them but years down the road the Bible states they will come to their senses! Lord willing they will see that you cared for their souls! A higher thing then what they may "feel" or define as "love". As Scripture says:
"Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses." Proverbs 27:6
Posted by Brother Bell at 6:37 PM
Saturday, February 16, 2008
The announcer guy is kind of weird but the substance of this episode is powerful.
Posted by Brother Bell at 2:42 PM
Writing this now is extremely difficult. I have tears in my eyes. When you see violence in movies and you just kind of shrug it off because you realize when the scene ends the guy who was just run through with a sword is going to get up.
Many wonder if the Iraq/Afghanistan war is truly worth the time of day. Many now are going after American troops for "waterboarding" and other methods of supposed torture. Many protest and demand that we leave now no matter what the cost. Yet, I don't think they have seen videos like these and I wonder where the outrage from the waterboarding protesters are on this picture which begins to show a 12 year old beheading a man?
In video 1 (You can find it at http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/191234.php) you see a fire being stirred up and then the camera pans over to men in cowardly masks screaming in Arabic while three men are tied up with blindfolds on the ground. You can see another Al qeada man come over pouring some type of flammable liquid on the blindfolded men and then the last thing you hear is Allah Akbar as these three men are thrown into the fire...there isn't a "CUT".
In video 2 (You can find it at http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/191270.php) a 12-year old boy...a 12-year old boy...is talking to the camera with a machete in his hands. The scene pans over to another man lying on the ground with the 12 year old standing over him. You then see the boy bend down with the machete and begin to decapitate the man. Before that happened I stopped it...I knew there wasn't a "CUT"
I think of the story in Daniel and how King Nebuchadnezzar had them thrown into the fiery furnace. Unlike that story though these men who were thrown into the fire did not come out. They burned. It reminded me of that Shane and Shane song...and made me ask myself if I was ready for that? Would I be able to say as the chorus goes "burn us up, burn us up, burn us up oh King." That video begged me to ask myself...
I have no words for the 12 year old Taliban member. In fact I didn't even watch all of it...I couldn't. I want to ask people who want to pull out of Iraq and even Afghanistan NOW no matter what it costs if this is what they really want to leave the people to deal with. Could you really sleep at night knowing this would be GOVERNMENT POLICY if Al qeada/Taliban were allowed to take over if we left now?
Ravi Zacharias was asked about the War in Iraq and how President Bush, who claims to be a Christian, could live with himself after he ordered the deaths of thousands of people in Iraq. How could this be "moral"? Ravi responded brilliantly. He started saying that when you make decisions in a world where killing is already going on that you can't think that intervening is creating the killing. Sometimes interventions must be made to stop the killing. He then went on to state that he met a pastor from Baghdad who shared that he and his family used to share 3 onions every night with some bread but since the Americans came it was the first time in his life he can go to church in the open and have real food on his plate.
Ravi continued by assuring the man questioning that he is asking a legitimate question. However, because of the carnage that was already going on, for the world to sit back and do nothing would have been a crime of the worse kind. Ravi then asked what would have happened if Israel had not years ago taken out the nuclear reactor in Baghdad? What place would we be in today? Ravi continued that there were no simple answers but he asked him the following question. If you walked into a room and saw that your mother and sister were being raped and your only choice was either disable the man or let him continue raping them? Which would you choose? Like that situation President Bush had to read the situation and realize that sooner or later we would be fighting this battle either here or there. Ravi then stated that as he was driving in the United Arab Emirates a Pakistani driver said to him in Hindi that he is glad that President Bush is standing up for their people and this isn't the only person who shares this sentiment.
He closes the answer to the young mans question stating that he is not living in an imaginary world but he realizes that after Saddam comes Udday and Qusay, his sons. Who would have made Saddam make look like a backyard "scrap". The point then is not killing or not killing, the question is what does a person do when there already is killing?
There is a famous quote that "all that is needed for evil to live is for good men to do nothing." I agree. These videos, while horrendously graphic, show you the level of depravity that many of these deceived people will go. We can wave our signs all we want but the question is again...what do we do in a world where killing is already going on? We may think it was a mistake in the first place but why then justify making another in allowing it to worsen? I'm grateful today for the men and woman who won't let that happen and for a President who has the moral compass to make sure that it doesn't.
*Ravi Zacharias Podcast from 2/6/08 "Just Thinking: Utah University q&a part 3 of 4"
Friday, February 15, 2008
"What are we going to do tomorrow night Brain?"
"Same thing we do every night Pinky, TRY AND TAKE OVER THE WORLD!"
What would the world look like...If I ruled the world?
1) Lactose intolerant would not exist
2) Balding would not exist
3) New York Yankees would not exist
4) New York Sports fans would be banned from talking
5) Everyone would speak in tongues, after everyone excepted Christ OF COURSE!
6) When a girl is trying to say something, she would actually mean what she said and there wouldn't be some "hidden meaning" that I was supposed to just understand and she would actually mean what she would say.
7) Disney would still be making animated movies (besides Pixar ones) that weren't terrible.
8) I would actually understand Math
9) I would lower taxes, decrease Government, ban abortion*, make more fuel efficient cars, allow school choice, give private school vouchers, undo McCain-Fiengold, Win the war on terror, ban Al Gore from speaking, build border fences, increase legal immigration, get rid of the death tax, institute the fair tax, ummm some other stuff i'm sure?
10) Have the worlds biggest library and just a day to actually go through the books and read with a fluffy couch, endless Dunkin Donuts coffee.
11) I would have a wife, with 5 kids, and maybe some adopted later on.
12) Private box seats to fenway park, for any game.
13) My family would be taken care of
14) Rush Limbaugh would be my VP
15) Ravi Zacharias would be my personal counselor
16) Everyone form of racism would end and MLK would get a proper memorial
17) Ice Storms wouldn't exist
18) Food would be plenty
19) Islamic extremism would end and the world would have a real presentation of the Gospel of Christ
20) I would wake up and realize most of this ain't happening :)
Posted by Brother Bell at 1:34 AM
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I walked into WalMart today with my 102.4 degree temperature, freezing cold because of the ridiculous weather, then nearly getting killed by ladies car who was going a little to fast on the ice for her own good. However what really capped off my WalMart excursion was the walk up to the medicine aisle. If Hannah Montana isn't enough to give you sensory overload then you have to walk past the rows (and I mean rows) of Valentines Day stuff. It happened without me realizing it. In fact I didn't even really plan on it. Freud would probably say it was some pent up-subconscious emotion coming out. What was it, you say?
Now I could totally plead the fifth on this one and say that I was sick and that Freud doesn't know what he is talking about but you know (so would I) that I'm lying. There is no doubt in my mind that walking past that stuff really does kind of make me frustrated. Especially when you meet new people and they ask you if you are married; all the time. Especially when you meet a nice girl and she's on a completely different ideological spectrum then you are. Especially when all the other things in my life that constitute the drama of me continue to rear there heads, ironically, around this "holiday of love".
I don't talk about this stuff much because in many ways I am fine with being single. It's not like I am purposely trying to stay single but I am enjoying it till the right time. In fact, I seem to be more "ok" with being single then many of the other people who continually try and set me up so I won't be single. You know how it goes, these are the people who harass you about your marital status and then when you confide in them about your own frustrations they drop the "Well, God has someone for you" line. That's when I just sit there wondering what is the point of talking to anyone about this stuff. It just seems everyone else is as lost on it as I am.
Now, I wanted to share a little something that I have done for the past 3 years that takes away a lot of my frustration when bombarded with questions, V-Day decorations, etc. It may seem ridiculous and it probably is but it does help me and I know from conversations that I've heard in the past couple days it may help others. I call it my solution to the equation.
"And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming." Genesis 24:63
This verse just made me laugh so hard the other day. Here is this amazing love story and you have Isaac going out to the field praying/meditating; the perfect start to an evangelical "notebook". If I were him I would be doing the same thing if my father just sent his servant to find my wife! Scary stuff! Anyway, you have this amazing build up in the verse and then Isaac looks up, and BEHOLD....the camels were coming!
I mean this is horrible exegesis but it just made me laugh cause this is what I feel like all the time!This is the first part of "overcoming" the scrooge equation. Many times we expect to look up and see the "perfect" girl and instead of seeing her we see camels. Now i'm not calling women camels here but you see what I'm saying! V-Day always seems to bring about reminders of disappointments and failures in past adventures (or misadventures) in the game of love! We look up to the horizon expecting to see our future wife and BEHOLD; camels! Yet, the story continues and they live happily ever after (sort of). It's a horrible example I know but still it fits! Disappointments may abound but still, there is something around the bend even if it's not in sight yet! Especially when our heavenly Father is in charge; which leads to my second point.
Another aspect of defeating the inner scrooge is examining the Bible and God's role in any and all love stories. It amazes me that we ask God for so many things but we seem to leave Him out of our relationships. Maybe because of the stereotype that Bible schools have but that shouldn't make us cut God out of writing a love story. I believe this with all my heart and I may be wrong but I believe that God is going to write my own. He's going to guide me through it and He will make sure I don't miss it. Do I believe that I'll be in a chapel one day and God's going to go: "My son, behold, your wife." Honestly...no! But I still believe He's going to be there! Why?
"Who can find a virtuous woman?" Pr. 31:10
*seems to be a question on my lips all the time (and ladies I'm speaking romantically here, I know many ladies of virtue!)
"...and a prudent wife is from the LORD." Pr. 19:14
"Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD." Pr. 18:22
These versus continue to remind me that although it may seem "hopeless" or the "bah-hum-bugs" may still slip out, God knows what He's doing. If I stay after Him, He will give the prudent wife. Does that alleviate me of my part, of course not. However, He knows who she is NOW and that gives Him the edge over me! I'll trust Him to guide my steps to wherever she may be!
The final step, at least in my life, of pushing back the inner Scrooge revolves around another Scripture and a practical way to "vent" my V-Day blues.
"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know you concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of you life." (Philippians 4:6-7; The Message)
Prayer, as cliche as it sounds, is a practical way to vent the frustrations. God knows it. He created us. He knows what we want, even before we do! If that "want" is out of place, He'll let us know! He may even let us utilize that want in another way. When I was in High School I started what I now call the "wife box". Basically it's got a collections of letters, stuff, etc. that I plan on giving my future wife. About three years ago, when I was in full V-Day Scrooge mode, I decided to actually just buy a V-Day card for my wife.
Why not? I know someday I may marry. Why not start it now? It would be harder to forget to do it if I did it before I knew her right? Surprisingly this has been an amazing thing that defangs any feelings of Scrooge!
After picking up my throat medicine, I walked right up to that aisle(s) with the V-Day stuff and picked up a card for my wife and checked out. I may not have a specific someone to celebrate V-Day with but God knows I'm not going to boycott love. Someday I will be in it and right now I love my Savior. That seems to be enough for me.~
Posted by Brother Bell at 7:57 PM