California vs. Iraq… take Iraq, it’s safer!

Victor Hanson has an excellent article at his home page on the comparison between Iraq and California. The point is that if the MSM were to cover California with the same intensity that they do of Iraq, people would be leaving the Golden State in droves. Californians are murdered at a higher rate, incarcerated at a higher rate, and their small tiny border with Mexico is transgressed at a higher rate than the entire country of Iraq. Check out the article here.

Makes me glad that I live at the other end of the country. While we have our problems over here in South Carolina, I’m grateful I live here instead of the Golden State. I’ve never understood the appeal.

BTW, Rush Limbaugh says the following concerning this issue:
“One hundred dead soldiers in Iraq this month; the Drive-By Media’s having a big push on this today. You know how many people in the United States have been murdered this month? One thousand two hundred and twenty-five based on average yearly statistics from the FBI — but we don’t see repeated references ad nauseum about that.”

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They Did It!


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, and others who don’t fit those categories, the St. Louis Cardinals did it. They won the world Series as I predicted they would do (even a broken clock is right twice a day). This Cinderella, Underdog, nobody-thought-they-could-do-it team, did it, they overcame every adversity, they would not die, they would not be denied, they would not lay down, they would not quit… and they became the team of Destiny! (Not to be confused with the team of density, that is sitting out on the golf course).

Congratulations are in order to the St. Louis Cardinals and all my Cardinals friends: Jim W., Lance H., Heath, Dave Mc., Mike Doughtery, James W., Skip, … am I missing anyone??? Your team came through and won the big one, making them only the second team in MLB history to win the World Series ten times. Can you believe it? They have won the World Series 10 times. This is why Cardinal Nation is what it is. It runs far and why, and I admit that had not the Houston Astros come into existence back in the early 1960s, I would probably be a card-carrying member of Cardinals Nation. Instead… I have my membership in Astros County.

OK, back to the prediction. I did predict that they would win the Series, so I got that one right. Now, I’m going to carry on with the other part of my prediction. The Astros will pick up some power hitters in the off season, along with a few more pitchers, and go all the way and win the Series in four games! Mark my words. BTW, lest you think I’m some great prognosticator, the last two times I was right on a prediction was when I predicted that the Oakland Raiders would defeat the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl back in the 1980s, and when the Raiders were in the Super Bowl against someone else… can’t remember though, it’s been a long time.

But not to take any glory away from the Cardinals and their fans, I’m happy for you. But wait til next year!

Echoing Christ

I love the fact that we are voting here in South Carolina for a definition on marriage. Amendment One, if passed, will state clearly that marriage is between one man and one woman. No other interpretations of marriage will be allowed. I love this because it sets it straight what God has already ordained. He is the One who determines what a marriage is, not anyone else, and His word has made it clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. In fact, Jesus even clarified this for us. He is the One that tells us what is moral and right and just.

Therefore, here in South Carolina, we are merely echoing Christ. Christ said it, and we are making it Law as it should be. BTW, you can read more about it by going to: www.realmarriage.info

Happy Birthday Stokely!


I do have time for one more post. Happy Birthday Stokely! He is my youngest brother and he turns… 36? no, wait, that can’t be… that means that if he is 36 then… I’m getting older too! Reality check.

Seems like yesterday, about 35 years ago, you were sitting in the blue chair having your picture taken. Hope you enjoy the photo…

BTW, did you know that the day you were born, I went and knocked on every door in the neighborhood to tell everyone the news? It took me quite a while. But I hit every door on both cul-de-sacs, telling everyone I had a new brother named Stokely! Happy Birthday!

High Speed!


It’s one of those weeks that I’m riding at high speed. Too many meetings to attend, and too many distractions. That being the case, don’t have time to really blog for a couple of days. I’m like the boy on the tricycle, pedaling as fast as I can. Wait, I am the boy on the tricycle, and that is my brother on the back, circa 1965???

2000!

Yes, another milestone. You can see I like milestones. They let you know that you have traveled another mile. This one is that I have had 2,000 hits on this page since starting to count back on June 16th of this year. The interesting thing is that it has only been since September 2, that I had 1,000 hits. That is 1,000 hits in seven weeks. It took eleven weeks to get to 999, and seven weeks to get to 2,000. Not sure what a perctage of increase that is, but you can see, it is an increase.

Now the fun part. I have had hits form Singapore, Macua (where is that???), Turkey, Greece, Bucharest, Argentina, Candada, Japan, North Korea, the U.K. (especially Ireland, but it lists it as U.K. Newbigging Fife. Is that a town in Ireland?), France and Switzerland. There is also someone that hits my page from “Unknown Country.” Not sure where that it, but apparently the tracker can’t determine which country it is. Maybe you would like to guess.

Now, while I have 2,000 hits on this page, this is really nothing compared to Little Miss Chatterbox. Back in June, I got the idea of putting a counter on my page from Dee at LMC. She remarked that she had just surpassed 20,000 hits. That’s a lot of hits. But since that time, the time it took me to get to 2,000 hits, she has gone from 20,000 hits to 32,162 hits. That, my friends, is a popular blog. On top of that, Mike’s America has been hit 49,501 times. Those are two major blogs, IMHO.

Of course, both those sites deal pretty much in politics, which generates a lot more interest. But still, you have to hand it to Mike and Dee, they own a certain corner of the blogosphere pie. Congrats to Dee and Mike for doing so well and keeping us informed politically. BTW, do you two realize that most newspaper editors would drool to have that kind of circulation? (Actually most newspaper editors do drool by nature. They can’t help it if they have to ride the small bus to school.) You might want to market yourselves. Advertisements mean big bucks!

On the other end, there are some blogs on my blog roll that are getting no hits because they don’t write anything. We miss you, and you know who you ARE! Your initials are KC and JW. O wait, I removed JW’s because I needed the space. But if he were to start blogging on a regular basis and let us know what is going on in NOLA, I would put it back. I also miss Heath’s blog. He was more theological in nature, but it was good theology. (Heath, there are ways to keep malcontents off your site… it’s called haloscan.com. That is what I use to block the malcontents on my site. Gives me great joy in doing so.)

OK, enough miles stones for a while. It will be at least seven weeks before I pass 3,000. And I recently passed the 100th post mile marker. It will be quite a while before I get to 200 posts. I’m averaging about five posts a week.

BTW, the 2,000 hit came from Louisville, KY. I imagine that is from Dan T., since that his where he resides. Blessings on Dan and thanks for stopping by.

Law and Gospel

I’m currently reading Michael Horton’s book, A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of Christ-Centered Worship. He writes that God’s Word comes as a two-edged sword with the two edges being Law and Gospel. The Reformers have always seen God’s Word this way. They believed, as I do, that you need both the Law, which convicts the soul and the gospel, which offers salvation for true preaching to be present.

Berkhof writes: “The law comprises everything in Scripture which is a revelation of God’s will in the form of command or prohibition, while the gospel embraces everything, whether it be in the Old Testament or the New, that pertains to the work of reconciliation and that proclaims the seeking and redeeming love of God in Christ Jesus.”

Horton adds: “By means of this two-edged sword, both death and life proceed. through the preaching of the law, the Holy Spirit slays us, leaving us utterly destitute and helpless to save ourselves, and through the preaching of the gospel, he raises us up and seats us with Christ in heavenly places.”

He appeals to 2 Corinthians 3:6 for support: for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. “Both are needed,” Horton adds, “so that we lose confidence in our own resources and throw ourselves wholly on Jesus Christ as ‘our righteousness, holiness and redemption.'”

Therefore both the Law and the Gospel are necessary in preaching. You cannot have true preaching without both and this is much of the problem with modern preaching. The modern pastor either only preaches the gospel, God’s love and grace, at the expense of the Law. Or they only preach the Law showing God’s holiness, at the expense of the Gospel. Yet, both must be proclaimed.

Unfortunately in our society today, it seems to be the former brand of preaching that is taking place. The modern preacher seems to want only to talk about God’s love and how much God loves us. This is not a true picture of the gospel because one can come away with the idea that of course God loves me. I’m so great! God’s love is belittled and abused when the Law is not present because His love is only truly understood when it stands in contrast to the Law, which condemn us. There is no real appreciationg for God’s grace, when we fail to see our true need in Christ. Amazing Grace then becomes nothing more than a moving and emotional song, and not something to be amazed about.

But when we see our depravity, by the use of the Law, we see how far we have fallen from the perfect righteousness required by God. We see that we cannot measure up to His perfection, and we need help. In fact, we need perfection even when we see our imperfection, and the moment that we see our imperfection is the moment we see we are helpless. Perfect does not allow for us to start over at the moment of this discovery. Perfect requires perfection from the moment of our conception until death. All it takes for perfection to be missed is one blemish, one sin, one pecadillo to ruin it. The moment we have sinned, or have a sinful heart with sinful desires, is the moment we have missed out on being perfect. The Law shows us this, and condemns us.

The Gospel shows us Christ. He was perfect and without sin. He is the only One that has lived the perfect life. By believing in Him alone for salvation, then we are imputed with His perfect righteousness. Not because of anything found in us, but because of God’s grace alone. When we see all this in the context of the Law, then we begin to see how amazing grace truly is. We appreciate grace for what it is. God had every right to send all of us to hell, but in His good pleasure, He decided to save some. Not because of anything found in them, but becuse of His love and mercy. He showed them the gospel, moved in them, and they believed in Christ for salvation. God uses His word to bring this about, both the Law and the Gospel. Without both, then we are never truly convicted of our sins, and never truly saved. Without repentance, their can be no salvation. Faith and repentance go hand in hand, they are two sides of the same coin. You must have both. One leads to the other. If the other never arrives, then do we truly have the one?

For the pastor to be faithful, he must preach both Law AND Gospel.

 

Having Fun!

I went in LBB’s bedroom yesterday to get him up from his nap, and he had grabbed this hat trough the rails of the crib. For some reason, and I hope and pray he grows out of it, he loves this hat. So much so that when I made him take it off for lunch, he got mad. He wants to pull it down over his eyes, and then gets mad that he can see. Funny boy. He does know how to have fun. I think he will eventually outgrow this hat because he is growing so fast. In the last month, he has grown a full inch.As for other hats, the usual routine is that he wants to wear whatever hat that I’m wearing. This is happening less and less, because he has discovered that there are three hats in the house that fit his head. The one pictured, a white sailor hat, and a red Winnie the Pooh ball cap. He loves all three of them. Of course, he is cute in all three. He certainly knows how to have fun.

The Spirit in You

I got this photo over at Mike’s America. He is asking the question: why is it that when a lib, like Hillary, displays a cross, the libs don’t get upset?He is tackling the issue from a political standpoint, and I would like to attack it from a theological standpoint. But check out his site.The reason that such a display of religion is not bothersome to the libs is because it is a false display. Libs hate George Bush because he truly is a Christian. For Hillary, it is all show and no substance. Liberal Christians have no true power in them, as true believers do, because they are not indwelt with the Holy Spirit. Therefore when Bush acts in a manner that is consistent with his beliefs, it angers the libs. When Hillary does the same thing, it doesn’t bother them, because they know it is only for show.

Let me back up and explain that when a person, politics aside, comes to know Christ in a true sense and is converted, born again, baptized with Christ, etc, they are indwelt with the Holy Spirit. Two things will then happen to that person. The first, and what I advocate, is that the new believer will long for God’s word and will come under the discipleship of a true church, thereby growing in faith, and becoming more and more Christlike. Sin, for the converted, is heinous, and the true believer will not embrace it, but turn away from it. This is why so much of liberal Christianity is false, they embrace sin and seek to understand it, instead of turning away from it.

If the newly converted does not fall in line with Christ and His church, then the other option is that God will take that believer home. He may leave the believer in that state of rebellion for a while, but either the believer will turn away from his sin, or be severly disciplined by the Father.

But the point is that when someone comes to know Christ, they will be indwelt with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit in them will convict others of their sin and need for repentance. Paul puts it this way: For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma fo life leading to life.

This is a result of the Holy Spirit dwelling in the believer. That is why when a person like Hillary, makes all these religious motions for the camera, the non-believing libs don’t get mad. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is not indwelling in her to convict anyone of their unrighteousness. However, when Bush does the same thing, the unbeliever is enraged because the Spirit is dwelling in Bush, convicting the unbeliever of his sin and wretchedness. This does not mean that Bush is perfect, or any other Christian. What it means is that Bush is being used by the Holy Spirit to convict those unbelievers of their sin. The same is true for any believer, not just Bush.

For instance, when I say that only Christians are going to heaven because of the righteousness of Christ, it enrages the unbeliever and they shout that this is not true. And they would be right if it were just me saying those things. But because of God’s Spirit dwelling in me, the words ring true even for the unbeliever, and he doesn’t like it. He wants nothing to do with anything that will convict him of his wretchedness before God. So he shouts me down. It matters not.

What matters is that the Holy Spirit continues on in His roll of convicting unbelievers and He uses men like Bush and me, and even you if you are truly indwelt with the Holy Spirit. All you have to do is stand for righteousness sake, and the unbelievers will scream bloody murder. It’s not you, but the Spirit in you. Therefore, are you standing for righteousness today? Or are you busy trying to make yourself look like the unbelieving generation that we live among? One leads to life, the other to death. Let us stand for the righteousness that leads to life.

Around the blogosphere

Not much time today to spend blogging, but you might check these sites out. Miss Chatterbox quotes Ronald Reagan with the following:

“I don’t believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.”–Ronald Reagan

I love that quote. It strikes at the heart of liberalism because it shows their futility in trying to “dialogue” with terrorists and despot dictators. To dialogue is to do nothing but sign away our freedoms. Every time it is tried, it ends in failure. We have a nuclear problem with North Korea because of all the “dialoguing” that went on between NK and the Clinton Administration. I love how the libs are trying to pin that one on Bush.

Also, Old Soldier has an excellent piece of moral relativism. Mike, over at Mike’s America, has a wonderful piece on the new Air Force Memorial, along with the speech that George Bush gave at it’s dedication. If you like to fly, check this one out. At least go there and check out the pictures of the memorial. It is an excellent work of art, in my humble opinion, because it immediately reminds you of jets taking off into the sky.

BTW, I owe Mike an apology. I noticed recently that I don’t have his site listed on my blog roll. I know I did at one time, but somehow it got removed. Mike, please forgive me. I will put it on there as soon as I upload this post.

In all, please get out and vote this election. Do not listen to those Republican naysayers and stay home. Get out and vote Republican. We cannot afford to let the Dems and Libs take over the House or the Senate. That is to sit by and do nothing… which will lead to a lot of sitting by and doing nothing as our enemies take action, knowing that we will be paralyzed by endless impeachment trial after impeachment trial. God help us if the libs come into power.

God still rules

Driving to work this morning, I heard on two different radio stations about the threat of Islam, and how Islam is slowly taking over Europe, especially France. Apparently, those Islamofascists in France have figured out that since they are 30 percent of the population, all they have to do is to continue to have lots of babies, and in 30 to 50 years, they will be able to vote their way into power. I feel sorry for the Frenchies.

But all of this can cause fear here in America as well. Islam has set out to go to war with us and will do whatever it takes to bring down our country. I have to admit that this can cause a great deal of fear. What will the world be like when my son is 35, and having children of his own? I’m not sure.

My hope is that the church will turn back to Christ and be faithful to the God that has called us, regardless of the onslaught of Islam. I hope and pray that Islam fails in their endeavors, but even if they are successful, or seem to be, we are called to be faithful to Him who rules all.

The prophet Daniel was faced with the same fear that we face. He was captured by the Babylonians army and carried off by King Nebuchadnezzar’s army, yet remained faithful to our LORD. Here is what Daniel said to King Neb just before translating Neb’s dream:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the season; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him.

The beauty of what Daniel says is that God is sovereingly in control of all things. Yes, we should remain diligent in our calling, but even then if a king rises up, it is only by God’s hand that that king does so. The God of all creation can take down Islam at any moment if He so chooses. I pray He does, through the power of the gospel, and that many in that false religion will come to know Christ and Him alone for salvation. But again, that has to be God’s hand, not ours. We take the human footsteps and trust that God will move in the hearts and minds of an unbelieving generation.

The true King is still ruling from His throne.

Psalm 89:5ff And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints. For who in the heavens can be compared to teh LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the LORD? God is greatly to be feared in the assmbly of the saints, and to be held in reverence by all those around Him.

He goes on to say: You have broken Rahab in pieces, as one who is slain; You have scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm.

The LORD did crush old king Neb in Daniel’s day, but it was a crushing of the most gentle kind. He used that prophecy against the king, to help bring the king realize his own need of God Himself. The king repented and ended up praising the living and true God. May our gracious God do that as well, to all those of Islam. May there be another great awakening in our own land and may we all turn back to the living and true God, through Jesus Christ, and Him alone. Is Islam to be feared? No. Is our God to be feared? Yes, and reverred. He is to be exalted, and may His glory be revealed in these days filled with strife.

By No Means!

In every age, there are those who take the gospel and misuse it for their own purposes. One of the most wretched uses of the gospel are those who believe that since we are under grace, we are fallen and sin anyway, we might as well live it up and sin all the more. I think the sodomite community is the most prevalent in this behavior, at least those who hold to this lifestyle and think that grace covers their sin. But this behavior is not limited to the sodomite community. Unfortunately, those who would say they are living obediently do the same thing. This is why we see so little church discipline in evangelical churches. The standard operating procedure in most churches is to look the other way when their members fall into gross sin. They say: “it’s all covered by grace anyway, therefore, why do anything about it?”

The problem with this view is that Paul addressed this in Romans 6. He wrote: What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning in order that grace may increase? There were those in his day that were already abusing the grace that God had given us. We must understand that we still sin, even as believers. And yes, grace does cover that sin. But this is not to be a license to sin more. The grace that we have received should drive us to be obedient, out of a heart that is thankful and grateful for the reception of God’s grace. The Law is no longer something that we cannot obtain to and accuses us, but a desire for us to fulfill.

Still, there are those who want to take the grace of God and make it a license for sin. One commentator pointed out that the Russian monk Rasputin was one such man. He was a very influential favorite of Emperor Nicholas II and his doctrine seemed to be, “The more a person sins, the more grace he will receive. So sin with gusto.” And of course, he did with gusto.

But Paul writes against such behavior. He answers his question about if we should continue on in sin, so that grace may abound. By no means! We who dies to sin, how can we any longer live in it? Paul answers with the strongest objection he can use. By no means! It is impossible for those who have died to sin, to stay in sin and continue in that lifestyle. The two, the redeemed soul, and the sinful lifestyle, do not mix. If we have truly been born again, then we have died to sin, and the lifestyles that we use to live in before conversion. To remain in that lifestyl is contrary to the gospel and the call that God has placed on our lives.

This is why the homosexual Christian, or the adulterous Christian, or the lying Christian, etc., are such oxymorons. The two don’t go together. Yes, we still struggle with sin, but sin no longer rules us and if we are truly born again, born of His Spirit, then we will wholeheartedly reject the sinful lifestyle. We should and do turn away from it because it is repugnant to us.

There is true deliverance from sin for the Christian. We have been freed from its occupation. While the battles still continue, the war has been won. Therefore those who are truly Christians need to turn and embrace the freedom from sin we have been given, and live the holy life we are called to live. This is part of the reason that Jesus has redeemed us in the first place. He didn’t just die on the cross to save us, but died to set us free from the bondage of sin and the penalty of death. Since this is true, let us live as we should live: freed men and women, living obediently to God’s call on our lives.

God vs. Al Gore

“Nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night, shall not cease.”

I love this verse from Genesis chapter 8 because it reminds us truly who is control of the environment. God is the One behind our seasons. He is the One that controls the rivers, the moon and the stars, the sun, the tides, everything. God is the God of all creation, and He not only holds the stars in His hands, but directs the seasons to fall in line as He has always done. Because He is in control, we always have beautiful falls, brisk winters, splendid springs, and of course, simmering summers in that order. Yes, there may be times when one summer is hotter than before, or one winter brings a lot more snow than before, but this comes about because God has decreed it, not because we have done something wrong to the environment.

Of course, the biblical truth flies in the face of environmentalism. The typical environmentalist would have us believe that the control of all these things is by some random act of nature, and that mankind can destroy it by driving SUVs. They would say, and do, that we only have 10 years left before the world comes crashing in on us, making it impossible to live. Remember that fella from Cheers, Ted Danson? He went about in 1988 saying that we only had 10 years left to live before the entire world was flooded because of global warming.

Now Al Gore is saying the same thing. We only have 10 years left. These men are mere doomsayers from the religion of environmentalism. They are the prophets of the pagan religion that it is. They completely ignore the words of God, and what He has said, saying that somehow, we are smarter than God Himself, and that we now know better.

Of course, what they really want is for us to fall in line with their thinking, buy cars that are more environmentally friendly (none exist… even the hybrid brings about pollution), and then vote for them… because they care.

However, we do have other alternatives. Mainly, listening to God and His word. He does have a few things to say about creation and who is behind it. Should we take care of those things we have been entrusted with? By all means, but lets remember that this planet was put together by an all knowing God, who knew that one day, we would drive SUVs. He has made a planet that can handle it. I would much rather trust Him than Al Gore any day.