Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Calm


GREAT PIC FROM THE JACKSON HOLE NEWS AND GUIDE. Will be adding a list of some of my favorite books etc from 2012 during the day to this post. Thomas Stanton caught this sage grouse in just the right setting. Meanwhile,  thanks for coming by. 

Sunday on Monday

LONG DRIVE YESTERDAY FROM THE MOUNTAINS OF EAST TENNESSEE after a wonderful Christmas at Kiawah with family. I love this quote on the Christian storyline at one of Tim Keller's sites.
Look again at the uniqueness of Christianity. Only the Christian worldview locates the problem with the world not in any part of the world or in any particular group of people but in sin itself (our loss of relationship with God). And it locates the solution in God’s grace (our restoration of a relationship with God through the work of Christ). Sin infects us all, and so we cannot simply divide the world into the heroes and the villains. (And if we did , we would certainly have to count ourselves among the latter as well as the former.) Without an understanding of the gospel, we will be either naively utopian or cynically disillusioned. We will be demonizing something that isn’t bad enough to explain the mess we are in; and we will be idolizing something that isn’t powerful enough to get us out of it. This is, in the end, what all other worldviews do. The Christian story line works beautifully to make sense of things and even to help us appreciate the truth embedded in stories that clearly come from another worldview.

The Christian story line, or worldview, is: creation (plan), fall (problem), redemption and restoration (solution): The whole world is good. God made the world and everything in it was good. There are no intrinsically evil parts of the world. Nothing is evil in its origin.

As Tolkien explained about his archvillain in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, in the beginning ‘even Sauron was not so.’ You can find this ‘creational good’ in anything. The whole world is fallen. There is no aspect of the world affected by sin more or less than any other. For example, are emotion and passions untrustworthy and reason infallible? Is the physical bad and the spiritual good? Is the day-to-day world profane but religious observances good? None of these are true; but non-Christian story lines must adopt some variations of these in order to villainize and even demonize some created thing instead of sin. The whole world is going to be redeemed. Jesus is going to redeem spirit and body, reason and emotion, people and nature. There is no part of reality for which there is no hope.”

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Photo Essay: Wild Animals in Their Natural Habitats---Masters of Disguise

CAN YOU SPOT THE SPOTS IN THIS PHOTO? Click here for more animal disappearing acts.

Michelle Malkin On Fiscal Cliff Narrative and Compromise

WITH GOOD POINTS ON HOBBY LOBBY standing up for its principles, noting the double standard of some SCOTUS justices.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

At Petersham Nurseries

PETERSHAM NURSERIES: An ineffably chic garden centre and Michelin-starred restaurant, Petersham Nurseries in Surrey has seen its fair share of famous party guests. But at New Year the owners Gael and Francesco Boglione prefer to keep it intimate, with a no less glamorous celebration for their immediate family.(Picture: CHRIS TERRY @ Telegraph)

The orange trees add the much needed dash of eye-popping sunshine especially on cloudy days.

The menu is full of fresh and vivid tastes, with a spinach lasagne for vegetarians (Gael and her daughters are all veggie) and a roast fillet of beef, accompanied by salsa verde and roast potatoes with fennel, for meat-eaters. She has collaborated on the dishes with Lucy Boyd, the Head Gardener at Petersham Nurseries, who shares Gael's love of food. Italian food is the basis of everything at Petersham. Francesco comes from Turin and is passionate about Italian cuisine, as is Gael, and the whole family is bilingual. Lucy is Italian food aristocracy, too: her mother, the late Rose Gray, was a founder of The River Café and an inspiration to a whole generation of British chefs.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

One Year Later: Madonna And No Child---Coping With Unthinkable Loss


What saves us all is love.

Yes. And because God loved us first when we didn't deserve it, and gave His Son to us, we have the capacity to love others and be loved, even without deserving it either.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas From Kiawah Island

THE LAST WEEK HAS BEEN NON-STOP ACTIVITY. Have been too busy to even take photos so far. My family and I have convened at Kiawah Island, S.C. over the weekend and are having a simply wonderful time. The real treat is the little Gs---Girly G, 2 3/4, and G-Boy, 4. More fun and chaos than I could imagine or describe.

Wishing you a Blessed, Merry Christmas.  Be back as I can.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Bad Influence Again


MEANWHILE, THE BLACK MARKET IN POWERFUL GUNS HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN.  Weapons are disappearing from legitimate markets---including Wal Mart---only to reappear later on black markets and re-sold at 10X original prices.

Whatever legislation President Obama manages to pass will be like putting a band aid on a massive wound.

Think about the issue of abortion, even if you don't want to, which has killed over a billion unborn, unwanted children so far. No one can stop it. Women want 'choice' no matter what the costs. Guns kill far, far, far fewer children. The issue of guns is just as heated. It won't ever go away. Gun enthusiasts want the same choice. Period.

Isn't it interesting how rabid pro-abortions are the very ones who are most outraged by pro-gun enthusiasts? Such hypocrites.

Monday, December 17, 2012

OMG: Southern Conservative Racist White Woman Appoints Black Man---Escaped From the Plantation---To U.S. Senate!


Except great selection and not unexpected.

The appointee's  (Rep.  Tim Scott) response:  “I am thankful for a strong mom that understood that love sometimes comes at the end of a switch,” Scott said.

That's the way I see it too.
Could the mother--and yes, the father--of the mass murderer in CT have solved at least some of their early problems with their 'autistic' child with some strong discipline and boundaries rather than constant  tip-toeing around him in fear?  Perhaps, though I'm sure they did the best they knew how.

What a Photo Op For the President!


WHATEVER YOU THINK OF PRESIDENT OBAMA OR GUN CONTROL OR MENTAL HEALTH PROCEDURES, you can't deny this is an absolutely adorable and most needed photo of the president and some of the surviving kiddos of the Sandy Hook tragedy. MORE

Prohibition doesn't work, never has, never will--- for drugs and alcohol, abortion,  or guns. Nuts will always get them legally or otherwise. The rest of us would be disarmed.  Not going to happen. Perhaps more restrictions CAN be put on gun show sales, especially for semi-automatic assault weapons. Also, please note that anti-depressants and prescription drugs are nearly always implicated in these tragic events.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Third Sunday in Advent: Greater Grace, A Story of God, Redemption and Steve McQueen


IT'S A WONDERFUL, AMAZING CONVERSION STORY---as they all are. Steve McQueen, wildman Steve McQueen, became a born-again Christian before he got sick with cancer and then died. It's a tale of God's abounding grace in the most unlikely of people. Southern Gospel Yankee has the full story and I urge you to read the whole thing:
They said he could act with the back of his head. No dialogue or frills required—his mere presence loomed larger than life in every shot. Put him next to some of the finest actors in the business, and he would undercut every one of them simply by being in the frame. His piercingly distinctive blue eyes were set in a rough-hewn, unconventionally handsome face that rarely betrayed strong emotion. His smallest physical gesture was precisely calculated and gracefully executed. You couldn’t best him, you couldn’t buy him, you couldn’t touch him.
He was the King of Cool. He was Steve McQueen.
He was the definition of a self-made man, working his way up from a horrific childhood of neglect, paternal abuse and a tough life on the streets to the gold-plated life of a Hollywood icon. He once said that he often had nightmares of everything he had gained being suddenly taken away from him. A man of many paradoxes, he was both humble and defiant, stingy and generous, gentle and violent, self-assured and insecure. Perhaps it was director Norman Jewison (Fiddler On the Roof) who summed him up best: “He was a loner, and he was troubled, and he was looking for a father.”
Everyone had a Steve McQueen story. His superior officers in the Marines could have told you how he spent 41 days in the brig for resisting arrest when caught AWOL. The young men at the Boys’ Republic where Steve had spent some of his teenage years could tell you how he regularly came back and visited the school after becoming famous, personally responding to every boy’s letters and financially supporting the school until his death. Magnificent Seven co-star Yul Brynner could tell you how McQueen stole scene after scene by deliberately throwing in extra, distracting bits of business. Bruce Lee could have told you about a hair-raising ride in Steve’s Porsche that had Lee cowering in the foot-well (and threatening to kill Steve when they stopped, causing a fearful McQueen to hit the gas again and refuse to slow down until Lee promised not to hurt him).
He was known to say that he lived for himself and answered to no one. Asked once if he believed in God, the actor brazenly replied, “I believe in me. God will be number one as long as I’m number one.” That philosophy informed much of his life. All the money, cars, alcohol, drugs and women that a man could ever want were at his fingertips, and it was only a matter of time before he became addicted in every way. Professional successes only inflated his ego. Wild experimentation with substance abuse drove him to the edge of mental stability. Though he tried to be a good father to the son and daughter of his first wife, his addictions, serial womanizing, jealousy and violence burned through two marriages....
Read his entire conversion story. You'll be glad you did.

C.S. Lewis Quote

WE ARE HALF-HEARTED creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

~ The Weight of Glory

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ineffable Pain, Sorrow

DEAR GOD, TURN OUR GRIEVING HEARTS TO YOU for comfort, answers and the ability to deal long-term with the terrible violence and moral decay in our society on the deepest levels rather than bandaid political quick-fixes. There are no easy answers. There are no real answers outside of a personal relationship with you.

Below, a mother whose son survived describes the horrors and miracles as they unfolded: A few details on the Lanza family.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

God As Our Dayspring Ends Our Darkness

From Charles Spurgeon Sermon: God's Visits End Our Darkness He shows his tender mercy in that HE VISITS US AS THE DAYSPRING FROM ON HIGH. This means the dawning in the east, the rising of the sun at break of day. He does not come to us in Christ, or by his Spirit, as a tempest, as when he came from Paran, with ten thousand of his holy ones, in all the pomp of his fiery law; but he has visited us as smiling morn, which in gentle glory floods the world with joy. While this gospel visitation is thus apparently less in splendor than that of the law, yet it is not deficient in efficacy or in true glory. God has not visited us as a candle, which might suffice to cheer our darkness but could not change it into day. David rejoiced, saying, "The Lord will light my candle;" but in this we go far beyond him: we need no candle, for the Lord has visited us with the day-dawn. He has come, moreover, not as a blaze which will soon die down, but as a light which will last our day, yea, last for ever. After the long dark and cold night of our misery, the Lord cometh in the fittest and most effectual manner; neither as lightning, nor candle, nor flaming meteor, but as the sun which begins the day. The visitation of the Lord to us is as the dayspring, because it suits our eye. Observe how the eye is suited to the light, and the light to the eye, in the economy of nature; and it is even so in the realm of grace. Day, when it first breaks in the east, has not the blaze of burning noon about it; but it peeps forth as a grey light, which gradually increases to the perfect day. So did the Lord Jesus Christ come: dimly as it were, at first, at Bethlehem, but by-and-by he will appear in all the glory of the Father. So doth the Spirit of God come to us in gradual progress. There is sweet suitableness in the grace of God to the heart, and in the renewed heart to the grace of God. He hath abounded towards us in all wisdom and prudence. The revelation of God to each individual is made in form and manner tenderly agreeable to the condition and capacity of the favored one. I sometimes think the gospel was made exactly to meet my case. Do you not think the same of it yourselves? The morning light suits your eye as exactly as if there were no other creature to behold it; and so in divine tenderness the Lord has made his visits suitable to our sorrow, and even to our weakness. He shows us just so much of himself as to delight us without utterly overwhelming us with the excess of brightness.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Where Many of Our Hearts Were in 2012 @ Facebook

WHILE PRESIDENT AND MRS. OBAMA prepare for a mammoth Christmas vaca in Hawaii, the Michigan governor gets ready to sign today a right-to-work law giving union choice to workers there (as junior Jimbo Hoffa throws a major tantrum) and Tennessee governor Jim Haslam refuses---to his credit---to set up a health exchange in Tennessee for Obamacare, the Facebook phenomena continues and gets down to the nitty gritty of where America's hearts and shrinking minds were in 2012.

And the full list is not particularly pretty, in my opinion: Unsurprisingly, the U.S. election, 50 Shades of Grey, and The Hunger Games were big talking points.
Events (mentions): 1. US Presidential Election 2. Superbowl XLVI 3. Death of Whitney Houston 4. Superstorm Sandy 5. London 2012 Olympics Public Figures (mentions): 1. Barack Obama 2. Mitt Romney 3. One Direction 4. Tim Tebow 5. Eli and Peyton Manning
Movies (mentions): 1. The Hunger Games 2. The Avengers 3. Magic Mike 4. The Vow 5. Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Songs (app listens): 1. We Are Young - feat. Janelle Monáe - Fun 2. Somebody That I Used To Know - Gotye 3. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen 4. What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction 5. Payphone – Maroon 5 TV

Shows (mentions): 1. Duck Dynasty 2. Honey Boo Boo 3. Big Bang Theory 4. Game of Thrones 5. Downton Abbey

Books (app reads): 1. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) - Suzanne Collins 2. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) - Suzanne Collins 3. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) - Suzanne Collins 4. Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1) - E.L. James 5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) - J.K. Rowling

Sports (mentions): 1. NY Giants 2. New England Patriots 3. Tim Tebow 4. London 2012 Olympics 5. OKC (Oklahoma City Thunder) Well, you get the picture. It's our reality, like it or not.

Sorry for the whack editing job here today.  Some Google techy has made dealing with blockquotes almost wants to do things I never intended... too much help.  And simply don't have the time to dither with it this morning.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Second Sunday In Advent: The Life I Now Live

PASTOR MIKE ATKINS AT RIVER CROSSING IN JACKSON, WY SPEAKS FROM GALATIANS 2:20 and going on to maturity in Christ rather than spinning around in dead religious circles.

 It's about the transforming, supernatural power Christ in our lives and not  a call to virtue and 'religious efforting.' To Paul, a dead work is what man does on his own. A living work is what Christ does in us, that which we could never do for ourselves.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Brilliant New Gravity Light For a Dark World


A huge part of this planet exists without access to reliable electricity, which doesn’t just mean no access to computers and other tools, but a lack of even the most basic of necessities such as cheap lighting.

Most of these places still rely on kerosene lamps, which are smelly, polluting and expensive to run.

There are some superb initiatives happening around the world at the moment to solve the problem, and we think this new project could be a real winner if it takes off as hoped. The GravityLight uses a clever belt and pulley system to generate light through the force of gravity. The idea is for the user to pull a bag up to generate enough energy for short periods of light. Because it uses ultra low power LED bulbs, this could mean up to 30 minutes of light for a quick 3 second hoist. It’s much cheaper than solar (which needs batteries to store the sun’s power) and easier to maintain than other more complex devices...

Friday, December 7, 2012

What Our National Debt Looks Like


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Simpson Wows With Gangnam Swagger For A Great Cause



WYOMING STILL HAS A LOT TO BE PROUD OF in Senator Alan Simpson taking on all the fiscal cliff nonsense.

And boy does he engage the culture here which we sorely need.

How about this new How can you not love the magnificent Alan, the rebellious can---how bout the slogan, No Can Do?!---and all the fireworks coming down the pike?


Monday, December 3, 2012

Reality Is...



No one really knows for sure what going over the cliff will mean to the average citizen. The can has been kicked down the road for so long, and it may be kicked down again. But we're getting closer to the day chickens will be coming home to roost. 

MORE @ BUSINESS INSIDER:  GOP's brilliant response to the WH's fiscal cliff proposal.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Sunday Of Advent, Jesus 'Our Dayspring From On High''

THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE, DILIGENT READERS AND STUDENTS CAN BE OVERWHELMED BY THE MANY NAMES---AT LEAST 200---DESCRIBING JESUS: Wonderful Counsellor, Prince of Peace, Bread of Heaven, Word of God, Way, Vine, Shepherd, Son of God, and Alpha and Omega, just to name a very few. Here's a link with Bible references to all or most of them.

One of the lovelier descriptions of Jesus is our dayspring from on high comes in Luke 1: 78  and it is spoken prophetically by Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, shortly before Mary gives birth to Jesus in Luke chapter 2. The AllAboutJesus blog describes this reference this way:
Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death" (Luke 1:78, 79, NKJV). The figure of the Dayspring refers to the rising sun. Ancient peoples thought of the east as a position of honor and importance.

The sunrise is viewed as a symbol of glory and hope. The language of this verse is descriptive of the coming of the Messiah. The title, "Dayspring from on high," is applied to Jesus because He is the hope and the light of the world. Fully convinced that the hour had finally come for the appearing of the long-awaited Messiah, Zacharias, the officiating priest, broke forth in these remarkable words, "The Dayspring from on high has visited us" (Luke 1:78, NKJV).

To the spirit-filled Zacharias, Christ's appearing was like the smiling sunrise of a golden daybreak. He saw in Christ the Dayspring who had come in the fullness of time to dispel the darkness and usher in the kingdom of God. No more appropriate title could be found to portray the One who declared, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12, NIV). Christ's appearance in history was like a majestic sunrise after a night of darkness. The visit to our planet by the "Dayspring from on high" brought redemption, healing, and everlasting life. Ellen G. White speaks of the Dayspring as God's free gift to us. "The condescension of God... is described by Zacharias as a salvation come unto us... whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us... This salvation comes to us not as a reward for our works... but it is a gift unto us."--Signs of the Times, September 5, 1892.
This was described to us at my church this morning and it was something I'd never heard before. As the image was explained, I felt the hope and peace of a rising light (Son, sun) after the dark night of humanity and also the promise to believers that one day the Full Light will come back to our World for all eternity and transform every tear and trauma in the blink of an eye.

At this darkening time of year as days get shorter,  the light gets dimmer, Our Dayspring From on High seems like a wonderful image to cling to this first Sunday of Advent, as we await with anticipation the Birth of Our Lord and Savior---the baby Jesus.


Thanks to an anonymous commenter who provided a link in the comments,  I'm providing it here:
Charles Spurgeon sermon in 1886 on entitled The Tender Mercy of Our God.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

ZoNation On Black Apostasy and Politics @ PJMedia


Friday, November 30, 2012

Rich Beyond Their Wildest Dreams

WHEN I READ AND HEAR ABOUT THIS KIND OF SUDDEN LUCK AND WEALTH, I shudder to think what the long-term ramifications might be.   Most of these 'lucky' people go on a maniac high of binge buying and undisciplined spending that often ends at the bottom of a bottle, in bankruptcy court or worse. Success and luck are often much harder to negotiatiate and endure than failure, especially over the long-haul. Without discipline and self-control with generous doses of generousity, this could become the unluckest event of a winner's life.

I must say however, that Cindy and Mark Hill, the couple who just won 1/2 the Powerball Jackpot, seem like decent, solid people living in middle America outside Kansas City. They say their lives were blessed long before this happened. That's a great recommendation, but even with that, there will be big challenges ahead. I hope they will proceed prayerfully and not get overly-euphoric or impulsive.  There is certainly a lot they can do for the betterment of their families and community.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bill Whittle Knocks It Outta the Park Doing James Bond, Redoing Mitt and Barack



I AM MAJORLY IMPRESSED WITH BILL WHITTLE AND HAVE BEEN FOR YEARS. If he's not the next conservative presidential candidate, he needs to be his life-coach, right-hand man and top campaign guru---if the future candidate is at all serious about winning and believes the conservative narrative.

Bill understands on the deepest level the meaning of true conservatism and authentic leadership, leadership we desperately need but rarely see today in politics, business,  pop culture or family life.

The. Only. Post-election. Analysis. You'll. Ever. Need. Absolutely sensational.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Difficult Film To Watch But Worth It

UNFORTUNATELY, NOT A VERY SANGUINE OUTLOOK BUT ONE WE SHOULD PROBABLY TAKE NOTE OF. However, in a fallen world, isn't every society ultimately lost? And yes, we seem to be inching towards the edge. I don't think this kind of collapse is imminent.....just ultimately inevitable. And to the extent we can, we should all prepare in some way for it. H/T Zero Hedge

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday---Finally----How To Get That Transformed Sense of Self Like the Apostle Paul


THIS IS GOSPEL HUMILITY, blessed self-forgetfulness. Not thinking more of myself as in modern cultures, or less of myself as in traditional cultures. But simply thinking of myself less.


HOW DID PAUL GET THIS BLESSED SELF-FORGETFULNESS? He does tell us---but we have to look carefully. First he says, 'I don't care what you think, but I don't care what I think.' In other words, he does not look to them for the verdict nor, does he look to himself for the verdict. Then he says 'My conscience is clear but that does not make me innocent.' The word translated 'innocent' comes from the word 'justify.'..... Here Paul is saying that even if his conscience is clear, that does not justify him.

What Paul is looking for, what Madonna is looking for, what we all are looking for, is an ultimate verdict that we are important and valuable. We look for that ultimate verdict every day in all the situations of people around us. And that means that every day, we are on trail. Every day, we put ourselves back in the courtroom. But do you notice how Paul says that he does not care what the Corinthians think of him or what any human court thinks? It is odd that he is talking about courts---after all the Corinthians are not a court.

Paul is talking metaphorically, I think. And he is saying that the problem with self-esteem---whether it is high or low---is that every single day, we are back in the courtroom. Every single day we are on trial. That is the way every one's identity works.  In the courtroom, you have the prosecution and the defence.  And everything we do is providing evidence for the prosecution or evidence for the defence.  Some days we feel we are winning the trial and other days we feel we are losing it.

But Paul says that he has found the secret.  The trial is over for him.  He is out of the courtroom.  It is gone.  It is over.  Because the ultimate verdict is in.

Now how could that be?  Paul puts it very simply.  He knows that they cannot justify him.  He knows he cannot justify himself.  And what does he say?  He says that it is the Lord who judges.  It is only His opinion that counts.

Do you realize that it is only in the gospel of Jesus Christ that you get the verdict before the performance?  The atheist might say that they get their self-image from being a good person.  They are a good person and they hope that eventually they will get a good verdict that confirms they are a good person.  Performance leads to the verdict.  For the Buddhist too, performance leads to the verdict.  If you are a Muslim, performance leads to the verdict.  All this means that every day, you are in the courtroom and on trial.  That is the problem.

But Paul is saying that in Christianity, the verdict leads to performance.  It is not the performance that leads to the verdict.  In Christianity, the moment we believe, God says This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.

Or take Romans 8:1 which says Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ.

You see, the verdict is in.  And now I perform on the basis of the verdict. Because He loves me and He accepts me, I do not have to do things just to build up my resume or that make me look good. I can do things for the joy of doing them.  I can help people to help people---not just so I can feel better about myself, not so I can fill up the emptiness.

With every other form of identity---other than with Christ---and every other badge or accolade we might award ourselves, it is always a case of the verdict coming from the performance.  We might find security in labelling ourselves a good person, a free person, a religious person, a moral person.  Whatever it is, it is always the same:  the performance leads to the verdict.....But the verdict never comes.  Madonna said so and she should know.  Madonna has done things that you and I are never going to do----and it is still not enough.  Madonna has heaps of talent, she has tremendous guts.  But even Madonna, despite everything she has done, says that she has still not found the ultimate verdict she is looking for..  Our performance never gets the ultimate verdict.

But in Christianity, the verdict can give you the performance.  Paul is out of the courtroom because Jesus Christ went on trial instead. Jesus went to the courtroom and was on trial.  It was an unjust trial in a kangaroo court---but he did not complain.  Like the lamb before the shearers, He was silent.  He was struck, beaten, put to death.  Why? As our substitute.  He took the condemnation we deserve;  He faced the trial that should be ours so that we do not have to face anymore trials.
So I simply need to ask God to accept me because of what the Lord Jesus has done.  Then, the only person whose opinion counts looks at me and He finds me more valuable than all the jewels in the earth.

How can we worry about being snubbed now?  How can we worry about being ignored now?  How can we care that much about what we look like in the mirror?.......

Maybe you believe in the gospel; maybe you have done so for years.  But, and this is a big 'but'....everyday you find yourself being sucked back into the courtroom.  You do not feel you are living like Paul says.  You are getting sucked back in.  All I can tell you is that we have to re-live the gospel every time we pray.  We have to re-live it every time we go to church or read the Word. We have to re-live the gospel on the spot and ask ourselves what we are doing back in the courtroom.  We should not be there.  Court is adjourned.

Like Paul, we can say,  I don't care what you think.  I only care what the Lord thinks. And He has said, Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, and You are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.

Live out of that.

---Timothy Keller, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Another Reason to Be Thankful This Weekend---Going With the Flow

FRIDAY AFTERNOON AFTER DRIVING BACK TO NASHVILLE FROM THE CUMBERLAND PLATEAU, I did something I almost never do: I drove into the park I normally park and hike in---just to enjoy the scenery and reflect on all my blessings. I had already exercised, so I relished the sunny afternoon in relax mode.

Percy Warner Park is a park laced with one-way, single-lane driving loops, as well as various walking and horse trails. Anyway, I decided to drive one of the loops hoping to find a place to get out, sit down and be quiet for a while. It was my grandson's 4th birthday and I wanted to pray and reflect on all that has happened over the past five years in our lives.

I was driving up a steep, curvy one-way, single lane road when suddenly a lone biker came barrelling down the hill and around a bad curve in front  as fast as gravity allowed.  He was going in the wrong direction and headed---at warp speed--- straight for a head-on collision with my car.

I hit my brakes, watched him in slow motion as he tried to correct, then skidded down the leafy road barely missing my driver's side by inches. I froze watching him in slow motion then followed him in my rear-view mirror knowing there was another bad curve he had to make behind me.

I felt like I was watching a kamikaze self-destruct in slow motion--- totally helpless to do anything but stare.

In my rear-view mirror, I saw him try to correct again to make the dangerous curve.  To no avail.

I felt like I was watching live NFL football as this biker sped completely out-of-control.  The bike flew in one direction, the biker hit the pavement and his wallet and cell phone flew back towards me.  I was now paralyzed by the spectacle unfolding around me.

Did this guy have a death wish?

The biker now lay lifeless in the road behind me.

I pushed my car in park, turned off the engine, put on the emergency brake and slowly got out of my car.  I walked back to the moaning biker.  His face and knuckles were bleeding.

 It was a nasty fall but I sensed not fatal or life-threatening.

I knelt down beside him as he continued to writhe and moan. 

You're going to be okay, I  said.  You're going to be okay.

He continued to moan. And moan.  And moan.

I gave him space, then quietly asked what I could do to help?  Call 911?  Could he move?

A man walked up the road to the scene and commiserated but other than that acted helpless.

I waited with the biker.  Then he slowly started to move and try to turn over.

You're okay, I reiterated.  Think you can get up now?

He indicated he thought he could.

The upshoot of this afternoon excursion was one more thing to be grateful for:  a biker who crashed and burned, but ultimately got up with his injuries and walked back down the steep, dangerous hill.

As he started to move I asked him if he knew he was speeding down the one-way road going the wrong direction.  He said he did not.  I suggested next time he get a map of the park road system and ride with rather than against the flow of traffic.

He said he would but might just take a hike there next time.  I watched him recover his bike, his shattered phone and wallet, and asked him to please be careful as he limped out of sight.

As I went back to my car, I said a prayer for him and thanked God that it wasn't worse than it was.  He was bruised, bloodied and  sore.  But he was clearly okay to ride another  day.

Hopefully going with the flow next time----a great life lesson for us all, especially me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful For Thanksgiving In Tennessee

WISHING YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS A GRATEFUL AND SAFE THANKSGIVING. Will be back as I can and if I can get internet over the next two days.

Inevitable: A Whole New Crop of Conservative Youth In France Declare War On Government Profligacy

SEE FOR YOURSELF. A Declaration of War. It's coming here to America too and my grandchildren will be there no doubt. As we spend them into fiscal slavery and rope them into political correctness, paying Sandra Fluke's birth control, will they have no other choice but to rise up and declare war on multiculturalism, racism and social entitlements that lead to massive debt? Let's hope so. More

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Presiden John Kennedy Has A Message For President Obama and Mr. Krugman On Taxes

MARK PERRY HAS THE FULLER STORY HERE. But the silliness, not to mention to ignorance, of having sky-high taxation both personal and corporate will stiffle job-creation and do little to help the burgeoning deficit. President Kennedy, a Democrat, got it. Paul Krugman languises in Keynesian magical thinking and never-never land. Sadly current and future time, not to mention past history bear this out. But only 100% of the time.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday On Monday

NEVER MADE IT BACK TO THE COMPUTER SUNDAY and still intend to complete Tim Keller's book this week. Nevertheless, I want to post this video that a relative in Texas sent me on the importance of prayer...and much, much more. Wishing you a great and grateful Thanksgiving week.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Living in A Brassier, Braggadocious World



IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T NOTICED, HUMILITY IS GETTING SCARCE AS HENS' TEETH IN OUR PUBLICITY OBSESSED WORLD. Bragging and showing off is now part of most people's job description as are long and laborious motorcades that seem to never end.

Those on the bragging end of the stick expect those of us on the receiving end to be duly impressed and unduly influenced for life by their strips, bars, security clearances, awards, ten minutes of fame and bust measurements no matter how they get there. Peggy Noonan nails this unfortunate trend in egomania in her column today: The I's Have It.
There is the issue—small but indicative of something larger—of how members of the U.S. military present themselves, and the awe they consciously encourage in the public and among the political class. The other day on his Daily Beast blog, Andrew Sullivan posted a letter from a reader noting the way officers are now given and relentlessly wear on their dress uniforms ribbons, markers and awards for pretty much everything they do—what used to be called fruit salad.

Mr. Sullivan posted two pictures we echo here, one of Gen. David Petraeus and one of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. This is the Eisenhower of D-Day, of the long slog through Europe in World War II. He didn't seem to see the need to dress himself up and tell you what he'd done. Maybe he thought you knew. He didn't wear all the honors to which he was entitled, though he could have used them to dazzle the masses if that had been what he was interested in.Top brass sure is brassier than it used to be. And you have to wonder what that's about.

Where did the old culture of modesty go? Ulysses S. Grant wore four stars on his shoulder and nothing else on his uniform. And that was a fellow who'd earned a few medals.

Jump now to the woman who is the main focus in the Petraeus scandal, Paula Broadwell. She was a person of impressive achievement right from the start—high school valedictorian, West Point grad, master's degrees, Army officer. But even that wasn't enough ribbons. In YouTube videos she brags about her security clearance, her inside knowledge—"That's still being vetted"—and the Ph.D. she's working on. She calls herself a biographer, but biographers actually do something arduous—they write biographies. Ms. Broadwell contracted with a professional, reporter Vernon Loeb, to organize, synthesize, think and write.  On Twitter, Ms. Broadwell describes herself as "Author . . . National Security Analyst; Army Vet; Women's Rights Activist; Runner/Skier/Surfer; Wife; Mom!" On her website she noted that in her free time she is an Ironman triathelete "and a model and demonstrator for KRISS, a manufacturer of .45-caliber machine guns." "When Paula is not on the frontlines, online, or writing lines," she and her husband run, ski......
Are we exhausted yet?

While Paula surely has an impressive resume, at some point my eyes begin to glaze over as I start to suspect her sanity, her marriage, her role as a mother. Then my inclination it to think she's a very sad bore with far too much to prove and run for the door.

This trend is not our friend.  Yet we all encourage it by fame and tabloid worship. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mets Knuckleball Pitcher R A Dickey Wins Cy Young Award For NL

CONGRATULATIONS TO NASHVILLIAN R.A. DICKEY for winning this prestigious award.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lady In Red---Cruz Does Sensational Campari Calendar Spread

IT'S LATE AND I'M HEADING TO BED. However, for the record, I've got Chronic Petraeus Fatigue Syndrome (CPFS) and wonder if I can bear to see or hear or read anymore of this absurd and unattractive influence-for-sex debacle. This three, four, five-ring circus of  sleaze-peddling  and shameless pumped up  boobs  has already worn out its welcome with me.  There is nothing endlessly fascinating here but, like getting mixed up with the tar baby,  none of us brer rabbits will be able to get away anytime soon. And if we do,  we'll have to be very clever.

We're getting to see again that  hero worship in any and all areas of our lives has its costs.

We know every sub-culture---business, politics, sports, entertainment, the military----has hierarchies of powerful haves and have nots. The further up the power food chain, the greater the aphrodisiac effect between powerful men and the pushy, available, fawning women they attract.  It's life and how things have operated since the beginning of time. Still in today's transparent, non-stop 24-hour news world,  it's easy to  reach information saturation at WARP speed.

20,000-30,000 pages of emails from one of these clown generals to a big boobed, spendthrift woman in Tampa sounds even more impossibly boring to me than trying to read the 2,000 page Affordable Health Care Act.

Anyway,  as a way of diversion,  I saw this beautiful and sophisticated Campari calendar spread which Penelope Cruz has done in dazzling and sensational red outfits.  You can see more here and perhaps get your mind off our feckless, undisciplined military top-brass for at least a few minutes.

 I've done my part tonight in trying to break our new mass national obsession with the Real Creeps of the CIA and Command Comedy Central.

 Drudge doesn't have enough bandwidth to add any more desperate publicity seeking, over-sexed main characters in tomorrow's headline scroll, does he?  May we all get a good night's sleep for what we might see at the dawns early light..... but may it be more of Penelope and less of Jill and Paula. And for the record again, I find this Jill woman not attractive in the least and yes I know no one of looking at her face.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday: Easy Christianity, Quick Conversion

THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN MOVEMENT MAKES CONVERSION a simple matter of saying the magic words, a mantra that makes Jesus the Mr. Rogers of the conscience. In his popular book, 'The Purpose Driven Life', author Rick Warren represents conversion in these words: 'Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you.' There is a pit of false hope in placing our faith in our words rather than in God's compassion to receive sinners to himself. Warren falsely (and dangerously) assures us of our salvation. He writes: 'If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God!' (page 59) How do I judge my own sincerity? The saving grace of salvation is located in a sacrificing, suffering and obedient Savior. Stakes this high can never rest on my sincerity.

When I read something like this, I do not recognize Jesus, the Holy Bible, my conversion or myself at all. Recently, on vacation in South Carolina, my husband and I went to a 'community church.' My conservative Reformed Presbyterian pastor and husband noted when we got back to the hotel room that we had just witnessed a service that contained baptism without water, preaching without scripture, conversation about disappointment without prayer....the distribution of flowers and trinkets without grace, and a dismissal without a blessing. Everyone was smiling, though, when it came time to walk out the door.

This church's conversion prayer was printed in the bulletin. It read like this: 'Dear God, I'm sorry for my mistakes, Thanks for salvation.' These misrepresentations of the Gospel are dangerous and misleading. Sin is not a mistake. A mistake is taking the wrong exit off the interstate. A sin is treason against a Holy God A mistake is a logical misstep. Sin lurks in our heart and grabs us by the throat to do its bidding.   Remember what God said to Cain about his sin? It's true for us all too;  In the fourth of Genesis, God warns Cain like this:  'Sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.' (Gen. 4:6)  In accepting misrepresentations of the gospel that render sin anything less than this,, you will never learn of the fruit of repentance.

---Rosaria Champagne Butterfield,  The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, an english professors journey into christian faith (pages 35-36 )

(I will finish up Tim Kellers book on true Christian joy next week.)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Woman, Mid-30s Seeks Man Late Fifties In Position of Power For Fling, Possible International Incident

MARRIED WOMAN WITH DOE-GREEN EYES SEEKS POWERFUL MAN for extracurricular engagement and fling outside marriage and country. Like to jog 5-10 miles daily, write fawning dissertations and educate men on a wide variety of subjects. Man must have top security clearance and be willing to share secrets, including highly-sensitive emails. Favorite bedroom fantasy is Sudden Resignation---about bringing down Congressional chief witnesses through perfectly timed scandal and high-profile downfall. Ruining reputations is another. Prefer to embed with four-star general for fun and fame.

Real Victims of the Entitlement State


"THE WORST VICTIMS of injustice [the government's meddling, overregulated, overtaxed entitlement state] are the ambitious poor. By sapping immense amounts of capital from productive individuals, the entitlement state cuts down on the number of businesses that get launched, the number of jobs that get created, the amount of economic progress that takes place, the amount of economic opportunity that is available. Although the wealthy can get by in an entitlement state, at least for a while, those wishing to climb out of poverty often cannot." Very importantly for those eager to get a sense of what animates their thinking, they're not for pure capitalism simply "because it helps the poor or teaches us to be good citizens." They acknowledge the latter to be undeniably true, and write that a "free, prosperous economy is inevitably a benevolent one." That capitalism lifts all boats is a tautology, and one that reveals itself wherever the productive are unshackled by government in favor of economic freedom."

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Clearing Out the Political Cobwebs


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wednesday Updates: Fasten Seat Belts And Away We Go

HOPE YOU FEEL WELL-RESTED THIS MORNING. I certainly do after a good night's sleep and am ready to start stockpiling food, water and ammunition........just kidding (sort of). A couple of links I'd like to direct us to that I think are worth a day-after read.

FIRST, John Tamny says today that Romney lost because of poor, incoherent advice of his main economic advisers:
To put it plainly, Romney turned what should have been a landslide election into a victory for his opponent. He did so because in an election once again about the economy, he had the wrong people whispering in his ear about economic policy. With Romney having lost, it’s time for the GOP to rebuild, and one necessity while doing so should be the banishment of Romney’s economic advisers to hidden corners of academe so that they’re never heard from again. Specifically, to ensure better victory odds in 2016, it would be wise for GOP fixers to send Mankiw back to Harvard, Hubbard back to Columbia, and Hassett back to the world of think tanks as a way of ensuring that their mostly anti-growth ideas don’t pollute the mind of the next Republican presidential candidate.
SECOND, Selwyn Duke has never been so unhappy to be right, cause he predicted all along Obama's re-election. Writing at American Thinker he makes some terrific points in answering where we go from here:

So where do we go from here? First, we must stop rationalizing and look truth in the eye. There are no national ballot-box solutions, and America's winter is nigh. And will we, as all civilizations eventually do, soon go the way of ancient Rome? It's possible. Remember, however, that when Rome fell there were still people living in her lost lands. They still had to forge societies. And some did a better job than others.

And what of the immediate future? Well, I'll write more about that in the coming months. For now I'll leave it at this: what would you do if you were part of an organization whose leadership became ever more tyrannical and intransigent?

We must focus on our states and localities, on uncompromisingly doing the right thing within them. Are you with me? Because all I can say is that if I were a governor, I would certainly make news. What else can you do when caught in the course of human events?

Election Projected As Over: Ohio Called For Obama


IT'S 8:30 TUESDAY NIGHT AND WHEN OHIO IS CALLED, THE ELECTION IS OVER as we all know. It's looking like a very early night. If I were a betting woman and had to call the election right now, I'm sadly calling the presidential election for Obama.  Truthfully, I've never thought Romney would win deep down in my heart though I hoped he would. I hope I'm making a gross, reckless and impulsive error.

There's no way to the White House without taking Ohio.

If Ohio goes more towards Romney, I'll reconsider this early call.

9:30 UPDATE---Karl Rove is giving me hope for Romney's chances in Ohio.  Then there's Florida and North Carolina (YES!)

Peggy Noonan thinks there's a subdued feeling among conservatives but says there's still a way to go in calling Ohio and Florida. I don't.

9:50---Romney's path to victory clearly narrows in the Electoral College with less margin and wiggle room.....Massachusetts elects  a 'multi-cultural, native American' woman to unseat  Sen. Scott Brown.

10:14---Fox News calls Ohio for Obama.  The night is over, our country has re-elected the worst president in U.S history. 

10:28----Karl Rove thinks the call for Obama in Ohio is premature with only 990 votes separating the two candidates.  I say it's time to go to bed and get a good night's sleep!

Please Don't Read This Post If You Just Wanna Be Happy

WISH I DIDN'T MOSTLY AGREE with the post @ ZeroHedge this afternoon. On some levels it really, probably doesn't matter who wins today's election especially if the winner doesn't put in some extreme fiscal measures immediately and with a divided, gridlocked Congress it's highly unlikely.  But if he does, there will be some short-term pain and belt-tightening for all of us. If not, then the president will go merrily along his way, destroying what's left of this country and our prosperity in the ways laid out in the piece.  It's been happening for years, but not at the exponential  speed we are now about to experience.

Again, forgive me for being so pessimistic.  Whoever wins may wish he hadn't a year or two down the road.  There will be social and civil unrest in any and all events.

More later.

Josh Brown Sorta Calls the Election But Isn't Voting

JOSH BROWN @ THE REFORMED BROKER IS STILL WITHOUT POWER ON LI. But he soliders on with what he's got left and rails about the election with this clever post:
I'M NOT VOTING TODAY because I live in a perma-blue state. New York wouldn't vote for Romney if he pulled Neil Diamond out of a fiery car wreck. 
I think I speak on behalf of all Americans when I say that, regardless of who wins, we can only hope for four years just like the last four - rife with financial corruption, naked kleptocracy, legislative ineptitude, natural disasters, class warfare, metastasizing poverty, a hollowing out of the middle class, rising costs of living, lower wages, doping professional athletes, unlistenable popular music, ballooning debt, manipulated bank lending rates and taxpayer-supported asset prices that no one trusts anyway. Let's have another cycle of that and things should turn out fine. 
My kid's school, a polling station, is calling the race for Obama early. I know this because they've already begun distributing needles and morning after pills in my daughter's first grade classroom this morning.  
I can't believe anyone is surprised that Mitt Romney, a cartoon billionaire who thinks "roughing it" is driving the Cadillac instead of the Rolls, is running behind in the popular vote. 
Whether or not we're in a recession is irrelevant, because for most people it already feels like one - the last one never really ended other than for people with large investment portfolios or C-Suite positions at Fortune 500 companies.  
Why would you expect the country to elect a Jedi job-cutter who posed for a photo with hundred dollar bills in his mouth in an environment like this?  
All things being equal (and they're not), I'd prefer to see a Romney victory - at least he understands the basic economic incentives and assurances that drive businesses to hire - but I will completely understand why that's not going to happen. In the meantime, there are a handful of households in blue collar Ohio that will be deciding this one, so I'll simply sit back in my pitch-black home and watch the results unfold on a barely-charged iPhone.
You know, going without power is not hurting Josh's writing and thinking one bit. In fact, it may be getting better. My comment to his post:
Josh, unlike Will Dennis, I'm NOT at all disappointed with this clever, sarcastic post. Good get. I've voted for Romney and think he's the best man for the job and understands job creation, how lowering tax rates creates more employment---thus more tax-paying citizens----and broader tax revenues. I'm not optimistic. Think we're truly on the slippery moral slope where rights without responsibilities are infantalizing women and voters. Until we're free to accept responsibilitty for our mistakes and learn from them, we're a society in regression. There's a world of pain ahead. Going without power has not dulled your wit or your crisp thinking at all.

America Goes To the Polls



1. Obama supports anytime, late-term---third trimester--abortion when a fetus is viable and could live and survive outside the womb. Early abortion is bad enough, but late-term is unconscionable---all the the name of an immature woman's right to choose---really to re-choose after failing to choose before the fact---and then have tax-payers pay for it.  This is truly sickening in my opinion.

We are infantalizing women in our country with rights without responsibilities and the long-term consequences is incredible pain, confusion and moral decay.

2. Obama supports Federal Reserve policies of unlimited money printing which has the effect of devaluing the money in our pockets and raising the price of commodities such as food and gasoline in relationship to the dollar. When the dollar plummets the cost of living goes up.  This is especially devastating to retired people living on fixed incomes.

 Fed chairman Ben Bernanke has promulgated a  sick culture that punishes savers and pushes many older Americans into risky investments like the stock market at a time they shouldn't be there and won't have time to recover their losses. All for the sake of the big banks and corporate welfare.  ZIRP is a bankrupt policy.

3.Obama's signature legislation Obamacare drives up the cost of small businesses hiring new employees thereby crippling the growth of jobs in this country over the next four years.

4. Obamacare ignores Americans who live and work according to their deeply held principles in favor of the federal government's mandate. Ultimatel
y this heavy arm of government will force many doctors and Catholic hospitals out of business thereby creating a shortage of quality healthcare providers.

5. Foreign leaders who are the greatest enemies to American liberty, capitalism and exceptionalism---in Cuba, Columbia, Russia, and Iran---support Obama's re-election. To them, Obama is like a push-over substitute teacher in a grammar school class that allows them to get by with murder---literally.

OK, I said 5 reasons but I want to give several more:

6. The Obama administration's handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack in Libya is an impeachable offense and yet another pathetic example of the disrespect for America.

THE BOTTOM LINE FOR ME:   Obama---long on style without substance---will lead a continued moral, spiritual, economic, military change in the direction of deterioation in our nation if he's re-elected.  He is a feckless excuse for a leader and needs to be voted out of office today. If we elect him again, then we will get what we deserve and more pain and frustration than we ever thought possible over the next few years.

Monday, November 5, 2012

@ Finish Line: Tamny On Why Federal Elections Didn't Used to Matter But Now Do, and Why Mitt Is Best For the Economy


WHEW! IT'S A MOUTHFUL, but wait there's more:  This is also a review of our Constitution's enumerated powers and federalism. This speech was presented recently to the Ad Fundum Women's Group of Minneapolis at the Interlachen Country Club in Edina, MN.  It's long but worth every bit of time to read and review it:
Tuesday's presidential election is ultimately about the U.S. economy. There are numerous issues that matter to the voters at present, but front and center is the limping economy, and the battle between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama over who has the best plan to boost growth. 
But before I get to the economics of the election, I think it's important to note what a shame it is that the upcoming election matters at all. Indeed, it's too often forgotten what's in fact very true, that when the Founders wrote the Constitution for the great libertarian - small l - experiment that was once the United States, they were very clear about the size and scope federal government. The federal government was first authorized by the Framers, then those same Framers proceeded to greatly limit the federal government's powers. As James Madison put it, the powers of the federal government were "few and defined."
To read the Constitution isn't to read a document limiting our rights as individuals, rather it's something meant to greatly limit the role of the federal government in our lives. Despite the obvious intent of the Founders, they were still skeptical that their brilliant document would be understood, so with that in mind they wrote the 9th and 10th amendments. The 9th says: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Basically the 9th says that as humans our rights are natural, in a sense infinite, and that there's no way to list all the rights we have which extend right up to infringing on the rights of others. In short, the 9th made plain that we could and can do what we want so long as our actions don't cost others or bring harm to others. "Live and let live" as they say.  
And then the 10th is something libertarians like to refer to as "Constitution for Dummies." It was inserted so that if there were any doubts among future legislators about the role of the federal government, the 10th amendment would settle those questions: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The 10th amendment exists to clarify things. To put it very simply, the 10th was inserted to let presidents, senators and congressmen know that if the power is not enumerated to the federal government in the Constitution, then it doesn't exist.  
Of course this is why federal elections shouldn't matter to us. Indeed, so limiting is the document as to the powers we grant the federal government that we needn't really care too much whom we elect given the simple truth that the President and Congress have very limited ability to do much of anything. Instead, the President and Congress exist to simply protect us from foreign intruders, and to protect our right to live as we want so long as our choices don't limit the rights of others. At least that's what we thought. Founding father Thomas Jefferson noted long ago that the natural direction is for liberty to yield to power-seeking politicians - I paraphrase - and his utterance proved rather prescient with regard to the U.S. A nation founded by individuals possessing a great deal of skepticism about government - something which was highly unique - and who wrote a founding document that greatly limited the powers of the political class they were skeptical about, ultimately fell asleep and gradually yielded a great deal of liberty.  
And that's why it's a shame that my speech perhaps matters, but more to the point, that the upcoming elections matter. They do because be they Democrats or Republicans, neither Party abides by the strict constitutional limits set by the founders, and the result is that we must care very much about federal elections. 
Read the whole piece and see who Tamny thinks is best for the economy and America in 2012. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Joel Beeke: Why My Conscience Won't Let Me NOT Vote For Romney


 If you have a Biblical worldview---and I'm not talking about an anything-goes 'religious' worldview that says the God of the Bible is only one of many paths to salvation---then I hope you agree.  If you don't then I guess you can vote for the candidate you 'like' best,  no matter what he stands for. ( Have been busy the last few days and hope to write more later.  But life keeps happening.)
Some Evangelicals and Reformed Christians in the United States show a surprising ambivalence about the election on Tuesday. I am not suggesting that many of them will vote for President Obama. But I do know some godly Christian people who may either not vote at all, or vote for a conservative candidate who has no reasonable possibility of winning the election. 
I would hope that all who love the Scriptures would agree that we should not vote for President Obama. There are compelling reasons why a Christian should be distressed with the current administration. The President’s unqualified support of abortion goes beyond anything we saw from previous Democratic leaders like President Clinton. His public endorsement of same-sex marriage is well known.  
His fiscal policy has launched the federal government into reckless spending which runs up our deficit at a rate of more than a trillion dollars per year—that is, more than $3250 of additional debt per year for every one of our 312 million people. At present, our government is in debt more than $51,000 for every person living in our nation. People have documented his socialist agenda for the government to use its coercive power to steal wealth from some in order to redistribute it to others as its officials see fit. 

When one considers what the Bible says about the unborn child (Ps. 139:13–14), homosexuality (Rom. 1:26–27), debt (Prov. 22:7), and stealing (Ex. 20:15), including taking from the rich to favor the poor (Ex. 23:3), those committed to biblical truth cannot but groan over the policies that presently rule our nation.

To vote for President Obama is to vote for the advancement of moral evil, intolerance against biblical teaching, financial bondage, and political tyranny.

As citizens of a democratic republic, we have the grave responsibility to use our vote to end this administration before it does more harm to the people of our land.
Furthermore, I think that we all would also agree that either President Barack Obama or Governor Mitt Romney will win the election. This is not a statement of choice, preference, or political ideology. It is just a statement of fact.

Polls indicate that only a few percent of voters will choose another candidate. Therefore, if you are a biblical Christian, and cannot in good conscience vote for President Obama, then you must choose whether to vote for Mr. Romney, or a candidate who cannot win, or not to vote at all.
Why would any Christian choose not to vote? You have an opportunity to speak up for the unborn children, who cannot speak for themselves. God will hold you accountable one day for how you used this power to vote. Proverbs 24:11–12 says, “If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? And he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? And shall not he render to every man according to his works?”

To avoid the ballot box is to remain silent while a million lives are snuffed out each year. What would you say to the Lord on Judgment Day if He asks you, “Why didn’t you use your vote to stand for the millions of unborn boys and girls of America?” The difference between President Obama and Governor Romney regarding abortion is clear. Romney has far more respect for the right to life and for freedom of conscience than Obama.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Four Easy Ingredients

MY MOST FAVORITE WAY OF PREPARING FOODS is to look at a great photo of a recipe, glance at the main ingredients then find my way (wander) to the finished product. When I look at the photo above that's exactly what I do.

Argula, artichoke hearts, curled fennel with shaved parmesian. Sure there's more----here---but I like to get the drift, making it my own.

Found this again @ WSJ Weekend

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New York Food Trucks To the Rescue

Food trucks are coming in with food, water and cell phone charges. The gourmet food trucks of New York are a source of pride and ridicule. They’ve been criticized by restaurants. They’ve been ranked by Zagat’s. Some developers are creating space for them as a perk for office workers. Now some of the city’s food trucks are serving areas of New York that remain without power, delivery trucks, and even take-out. 
Gorilla Cheese was at downtown Manhattan’s Union Square Thursday afternoon, offering grilled cheese sandwiches and a place to charge phones. Big D’s Grub Truck, parked near New York University, was advertising a three-hour special: It would give 100 percent of its sales of grinders or rice platters to help buy food—“not tacos!!”–for those evacuated from the devastated Queens community of Broad Channel. And Wafels & Dinges was giving away free waffles and snacks at City Hall Park, courtesy of JetBlue (JBLU). 
Word must have reached Hoboken, which is flooded, dark, and cold. The city posted a Facebook (FB) message on Thursday: “Have a food truck? Come to Hoboken and help us feed our community.” The return of the food trucks also caught the attention of Mark Perry, a professor of economics and finance at University of Michigan in Flint, Mich., and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He said by e-mail: “Perhaps we have inadvertently and unintentionally added a new flotilla/fleet/armada of national “emergency response” mobile food providers. It would seem that food trucks are perfectly situated to go to areas in need of food, and can get there often before the Red Cross or FEMA or the National Guard, especially in places where there is no power, etc. And it’s a way for food trucks to maintain their business following disasters, whereas restaurants might be shut down weeks. So it’s win-win-win.”
American enterprisal spirit comes to the rescue again. H/T Mark Perry


Anyone Who Hates Big Nanny Gov Bureaucracy Will Love/Hate This Post-Hurricane Tale

Our Managing Editor, Jessica Liebman, was driving from Manhattan to Brooklyn yesterday evening when she saw something that will make anyone who has ever been frustrated by government bureaucrats tear their hair out. Somewhere in lower Manhattan, where the power has been out for three days, restaurants and stores are closed, perishable food is going bad, and there's little to eat, Jess came upon the following: While in a traffic standstill on a pitch black corner in Chinatown, we saw an NYC food inspector bust down the door of a Chinese restaurant that was serving food to dozens of people even though they had no power and no running water. 
It was pitch black, and all these people were eating from a huge buffet... I knew it was a food inspector because the guy was wearing a jacket that said "Department of Health" in big white letters on the back of it. He had a big flashlight and a headlamp. When he went into the restaurant with his two sources of light, you could see that there were little candles everywhere and people huddled at tables. The restaurant was a tiny hole in the wall spot, with a yellow awning that said they served dumplings for $4. It had a "C" in the last inspection -- the NYC health inspection grade was taped to the door. What happened next? From what I could tell, he was shining his flashlight all around (which is how I saw that there was a buffet of food) and right before we pulled away I saw him inspect a huge pot of soup that was near the door. From the moment he walked in, it was clear that he wasn't letting anyone leave the restaurant after that. A business without power going the extra mile to keep its doors open and help the community in a time of need. Got to put a stop to that immediately!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Greatest Pumpkin Day Is Also Reformation Day

IF YOU'D LIKE A LITTLE DIVERSION from Hurricane Sandy and politics, here's an interesting slide show at the WSJ of the biggest pumpkins you've ever seen. Great Scott!

ALSO, since today is Reformation Day for the church, it's a good time to remember Martin Luther's heroic, with far-reaching and unintended consequences, actions that started the Protestant Reformation and break with the Catholic church. Aaron Armstrong writing on where do we get our freedom? recalls what all the commotion was and still is about. He makes the observation that parts of the early Church in Paul's time were bewitched by false doctrines and a works-based salvation rather than belief in faith in Christ-based salvation.  Thanks to Luther (and the printing press) we now have access to our own personal Bibles among many other things.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Postcard From A Darkened, Underwater Manhattan

MORE PHOTOS @ Zero Hedge

Please pray for the millions in harms way.

Sobering Video Reminder of President Obama's Economic Recovery

LIVE NYC WEBCAMS @ EARTHCAMS.COM THANKS TO JUDY C for sending this sad and all-too-true video. Small businesses, the real growth engine of the economy and economic recovery have been the hardest hit. This is what Mitt Romney understands and why I've already voted for him. In fact, more than anything else, Mitt understands this economic reality and its effect on jobs and future prosperity.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

City of God Is Not the City of Man

AS AUGUSTINE WROTE IN HIS BOOK, The City of God, there are two cities, the city of man and the city of God. The city of man, being the product of his pride and rebellion against God, reflects man’s dreams, earthly hopes, and values. This is an earthly city, a city of this age and Satan’s world system. It is temporal and fundamentally opposed to God and ultimately ruinous to man. There is another city, however, “with firm foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10). This is the city of God with God’s values, plan of salvation, and one that endures forever. At the center of this city is the cross or the person and work of Christ who died for our sin. Here is a city that can change the people of the city of man and add stability to their society because of the new life and values that are a part of the city of God. The citizens of the city of God have new life, are a part of an unseen spiritual world, and have their sights set on eternal values. Concerning Augustine’s city of man, Lutzer writes: Augustine did not mean that the city of man is destitute of all civil righteousness and justice. Yes, pagans have built great civilizations, thanks to the virtues they inherited as those created in the image of God. Indeed, Christians should be actively involved in the city of man, building it, maintaining it, and working alongside of those headed to destruction. But Christians should also have no illusions about building an earthly utopia, for they must pass this life with continual opposition from the citizens of the city of man. They must march through the crumbling empires of the world, spreading the knowledge of the gospel.149 Looking at our past life as a part of the city of man, the apostle (Paul) shows us that the city of man as so evident today in America is built on the cult of self-absorption and the desires of man’s fallen nature. The church always faces the temptation of fighting a legitimate battle in the wrong way. We always are tempted to fight the world with the weapons of the world. We always are tempted to use a sword of steel instead of the sword of the Spirit. And today, that temptation is greater than ever.150
---Hampton Keathley III, There is a great need for prayer in and for our country now ahead of the election and afterwards too. Now matter which candidate wins, we are facing a contracting economy and enormous debt, not to mention moral bankruptcy in many forms. It will not be an easy time in America going forward. Keathley continues his commentary from Paul's letter to Titus:
In chapter 3 of Titus, the apostle shows us how the church is to live in the midst of this city of man. As seen in nearly all the New Testament letters written to the church, Titus was written to help God’s people live in a world and age that is a sea of pagan and humanistic values. But significantly, Paul neither calls on us to use the world’s methods nor seek to Christianize the morals of the society. Again, in his book, Why the Cross Can Do What Politics Can’t, Lutzer has an excellent word here: The second premise of this book is my deep conviction that our so-called culture war is really a spiritual war. In other words, our problems are not fundamentally abortion, trash television, and homosexual values. The roots of our cultural decay is first and foremost spiritual; we must attack the root of this corrupt tree. As always our greatest challenge is theological, not political or cultural.151 As the salt and light Jesus called us to be, we are to seek change from the inside out through faith in the person and work of the Savior and through a personal walk with Him—with His values and priorities and calling. That this is so is clearly evident, or should be, from the way Paul reminds us of our past life, but then points to the theological basis, as in 2:11f, for our spiritual change by the regenerating and justifying work of God (3:4-7). And it is this message that has its hope centered on the eternal that we are to confidently proclaim (vs. 8) rather than any manmade substitutes (vs. 9). Again, let me quote Lutzer: Today, it is tempting to wrap the cross of Christ in the flag, to equate the American dream with God’s dream for this nation. We have attached a myriad of agendas to the cross of Christ, often clouding the one message that the world needs to hear with clarity and power…152 Incredibly, the church has, for the most part, abandoned the very message that is most desperately needed at this critical hour of history.153 My clear purpose is to challenge the church to confront the world with the one message that is able to transform society, one life at a time. Yes, we must fight social evils; we must attempt to use whatever means we have to clean up our contaminated culture. But all of our efforts will be futile unless we go to the source of our defilement.154
Hope you'll read all of Keathley's commentary. It's well worth the time and thought. And continue to pray with me for our country.