Thursday, November 30, 2006

CHRISTIANS MUST ‘LET GO’ SOME BELIEFS FOR SAKE OF PEACE

Of course its so easy, deny that Jesus is the only way to God and all will be well in the world:

To live peacefully with Muslims and Jews, Christians must put aside the notion that their faith requires the creation of a Christian kingdom on Earth, a Lipscomb University theologian told an interfaith gathering at the university.
“We are not going to get very far in our relationship with Jews or Muslims if we do not let go of this idea,” Lipscomb professor Lee Camp said at Tuesday’s conference…
“We need to forsake the Christendom model,” Camp said. “The most basic Christian commitment … is that we say we believe in the Lordship of Jesus. But, if we claim that, how can a Muslim or Jew trust us, if we say Jesus is the Lord of all Lords?”
Read More.

Update:
A reader "The Gourd" has brought this to my attention. It looks like Lee Camp has been quoted out of context. This is his response to the article:

“In my lecture, I too insisted that we must not discard what is most important to us. I am a Christian who holds, without apology, to the Lordship of Jesus. I cannot accept any strategy of “conflict resolution” that asks me to set aside that particular claim. I believe and teach that Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

“This exclusive claim of the authority of Christ thus presents a problem for “conflict management.” I went on to ask these questions: How can the Jew or Muslim trust us Christians if we hold onto the exclusive Lordship of Jesus? Given that I refuse to deny the Lordship of Jesus, what can I or other Christians possibly contribute to peace-making, whether global or local?“Here is my answer: Because I profess that Jesus is Lord of Lords, I have committed myself to loving both neighbor and enemy. Because I profess that Jesus is King of Kings, I have committed myself to serving and honoring all people. Because I profess that Jesus is the ultimate authority to which all other authorities must submit, that authority requires of me to extend gracious, generous hospitality to the stranger, the pilgrim, and those who do not see the world as I see it. Link.

I am glad the article is mistaken, and my apologies to Lee Camp. This appears to be another MSM mess up to denigrate Evangelicals.



Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Iran's Ahmadinejad: America's New Pen Pal

Really interesting:

Citing from the Quran at the close of his letter, he says that if Americans "repent" of their "injustice," they will be blessed with many gifts. "We should all heed the divine Word of the Holy Qur'an," he says.
The context of this particular verse (28:67-28, Sura "Al-Qasas," or The Narration), is very clear. It follows a graphic description of destruction and devastation that will befall those who fail to repent of their injustice.
It also sets out the terms of the tradition Muslim warning to the enemies of Allah. "And never will your Lord destroy the towns until He sends to their mother town a Messenger reciting to them Our Verses." This is is precisely what Ahmadinejad is doing in his letter.
Dump Bush, allow the Muslims to destroy Israel, and adopt Islam — or else you will be destroyed. This is Ahmadinejad's message. Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Just another day in South Africa

To be honest this is worse than normal:

Police gunned down yet another gangster on Tuesday in a second botched robbery in less than 24 hours.On Tuesday police shot dead four armed men and wounded six in a Soweto street battle following a bank robbery.In Tuesday's Johannesburg shootout, one robber dodged the bullets and fled, while his companion died. Read More.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Major Christian Leaders Are Widely Unknown,

This is not necessarily a bad thing. I was surprised at how many did not know who Ted Haggard was, and was I relieved!

A new survey conducted by The Barna Group found that the most positive feelings Americans had toward 16 public figures, including politicians, entertainers and ministers, were awarded to actor Denzel Washington. The least favorable image was associated with singer Britney Spears. The range of opinions was significant: 85% had a favorable view of Mr. Washington and just 2% held a negative view of him. In contrast, 34% had a positive view of Ms. Spears but 54% had a negative opinion of her.
The survey discovered several unexpected patterns in people’s reactions to the 16 public figures assessed. Among those insights is the comparative lack of awareness of some of the nation’s leading Christian ministers and the fact that bestselling authors do not generate high levels of public awareness. Read More.

'All My Children' to Feature Transgender Character

Well, this is grodie. Remind me to not watch soaps:

In a story unusual even for a soap opera and believed to be a television first, ABC's "All My Children" this week will introduce a transgender character who is beginning to make the transition from a man into a woman. Link (can't recommend a read more)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pirates can bloody SA waters, warns UN

Amazing, most people think of piracy as from long ago. Apparently not:

Ruthless sea pirates who plunder hundreds of ships each year off the coast of Africa are moving south, threatening South African waters, experts have warned.The United Nations Security Council and international maritime safety organisations have urged the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to take drastic action against gangs of heavily armed pirates.The calls follow South African Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils' warnings last year that sea piracy was creeping closer and closer to South Africa and that the country needed to "move swiftly" and establish good intelligence networks to stop pirate attacks. Read More.

BBC News is 35% in touch with what we're reading

Great comparison of what the BBC would like it's readers to read, and what they actually read.
Link.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Rumsfeld authorized torture, says former Abu Ghraib commander

Well the truth is finally out, Rumsfeld authorized torture. Standing up and listening to loud music will just kill you.

The former commander of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq claimed outgoing US defence minister Donald Rumsfeld had personally authorized the use of torture against prisoners, an interview published in Spanish daily El Pais revealed Saturday.
'I saw a memorandum signed by Rumsfeld on the use of such interrogation methods,' Janis Karpinski told El Pais.
The techniques allegedly approved by Rumsfeld in the document included disruption of prisoners' sleep and mealtimes, forcing them to listen to loud music or to stand for long periods. Read More.


As I recall this was the commander who was fired for incompetence.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Genetic breakthrough that reveals the differences between humans

Very interesting:

Scientists have discovered a dramatic variation in the genetic make-up of humans that could lead to a fundamental reappraisal of what causes incurable diseases and could provide a greater understanding of mankind...

Another implication of the finding is that we are more different to our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, than previously assumed from earlier studies. Instead of being 99 per cent similar, we are more likely to be about 96 per cent similar. Read More.

How comforting.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

ALMOST 40% OF CHILDREN BORN IN THE U.S. IN 2005 WERE OUT OF WEDLOCK

What does this mean? Not sure exactly, teen pregnancy is down, but all other age groups are up. Marriage is not as important as it used to be, and the stigma attached to unwed mothers is not what it once was. Families are struggling with many issues and I can’t help but think that our de-emphasis of traditional marriage will be very costly for our kids down the road:

Out-of-wedlock births in the United States have climbed to an all-time high, accounting for nearly four in 10 babies born last year, government health officials said Tuesday. Read More.

Gay rights in Israel:

This is not surprising. Orthodox Jews make up a tiny minority in Israel. Israel is very liberal with a high percentage of atheists:

Israel’s Supreme Court has just ruled that the state must recognize gay marriage. That would make Israel, let’s see, um, the one and only state in the Middle East where being gay is not only not illegal, but now gays have greater rights in Israel than they do in America. Say, Queers for Palestine, maybe you should start thinking you’re backing the wrong side in this war.

In a precedent-setting ruling, the High Court of Justice on Tuesday ruled that five gay couples wedded outside of Israel can be registered as married couples.

A sweeping majority of six justices to one ruled that the common-law marriages of five gay couples obtained in Toronto, Canada, can appear as married on the population registry. Read More.

Monday, November 20, 2006

John Gebhardt



























Got a tough, but heartwarming story and a picture of John Gebhardt in Iraq. For those that did not know John, he was our former Med Group Chief, Dave Nordel replaced him. Anyway, his wife talked with mine last evening and sent this picture. Mindy related that this little girl's entire family was executed.They intended to execute her also and shot her in the head but they failed to kill her. She was cared for by John's hospital and healing up, but has been crying and moaning. The nurses said John is the only one she seems to calm down with, so John has spent the last four nights holding her while they both sleep in that chair. The girl is coming along with her healing.

John comes home in early October.

He is a real Star of the war and is representative of what America is trying to do.


Link

Young people in developed countries unhappy, survey says

Not that surprising, many in developed countries are only focused on achieving. Most never achieve what they set out to accomplish thus get discouraged. This can be a vicious trap.

It is important to try and be content with who we are, and in the Lord.

Young people in developing nations are at least twice as likely to feel happy about their lives than their richer counterparts, a survey says.

Indians are the happiest overall and Japanese the most miserable. Read More.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bomb Iran

This article is, amazingly in the LA Times.


WE MUST bomb Iran.

It has been four years since that country's secret nuclear program was brought to light, and the path of diplomacy and sanctions has led nowhere.

First, we agreed to our allies' requests that we offer Tehran a string of concessions, which it spurned. Then, Britain, France and Germany wanted to impose a batch of extremely weak sanctions. For instance, Iranians known to be involved in nuclear activities would have been barred from foreign travel — except for humanitarian or religious reasons — and outside countries would have been required to refrain from aiding some, but not all, Iranian nuclear projects.

But even this was too much for the U.N. Security Council. Russia promptly announced that these sanctions were much too strong. "We cannot support measures … aimed at isolating Iran," declared Foreign Minister Sergei V. Lavrov.

It is now clear that neither Moscow nor Beijing will ever agree to tough sanctions. What's more, even if they were to do so, it would not stop Iran, which is a country on a mission. As President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad put it: "Thanks to the blood of the martyrs, a new Islamic revolution has arisen…. The era of oppression, hegemonic regimes and tyranny and injustice has reached its end…. The wave of the Islamic revolution will soon reach the entire world." There is simply no possibility that Iran's clerical rulers will trade this ecstatic vision for a mess of Western pottage in the form of economic bribes or penalties. Read More.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

How to change your life

Joe Carter has excellent advice on helping a person to be scripturally literate.

Link

Politics and War, Then and Now

Good analysis from Victor David Hanson:

Governance is not the same as easy criticism. Already the Democrats are learning, as is eternally true of our wonderful political system, that loud opposition is not the same as being responsible for governance.

Suddenly the beloved press is looking again into John Murtha’s questionable ethics—and wondering whether we can really leave Iraq so easily. Nancy Pelosi was unable to see Murtha elected as majority leader, and we wonder about her political skills when it is matter of being a leader rather than a megaphone. And we still await something novel from the Democrats about Iraq commensurate with their vehement criticism. Surely they will soon introduce legislation rescinding Guantanamo Bay, the Patriot Act, and wiretaps, since they convinced us that such measures have done nothing to make us safer and couldn’t conceivably have anything to do with the absence of another 9/11 attack. Read More.

Borat And Iranian President A TV Spoof?

It all makes sense now:

It was only a matter of time before the so-called "Iranian President" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be unmasked as the biggest hoax in the history of television, perpetrated by Brooklyn comic Misha Braslavsky, a cable TV buffoon exploiting Western stereotypes of "evil Islamic radicalism."

Looking back, we can only laugh at our unblinking acceptance of Ahmadinejad, an "Islamist hard-liner" dressed like a Turkish used car salesman, who called to wipe Israel off the map or move it to Alaska, demanded a manual recount of Holocaust victims, and banned all Western music. His retractions were even more bizarre: "CNN make lie! I send squeegees to help Israel, not 'Wipe off Israel!' Who translated, I kill him!" Or "I not ban all Western music, I ban only Country-Western music, spawn of Satan! Eminem and Barbra Streisand still welcome!" - a statement that sparked violent protests in Nashville. Read More.

Friday, November 17, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO VALUES - Crisis time in America

This about sums it up:

These are the values:

Atheists are good, Christians are bad

Homosexuals are good, heterosexuals are tolerated, usually.

Druggies are welcome, soldiers are not

Freedom applies to liberal agendas, not to conservative ideas Read More.


Voodoo Practitioner Tries to Jinx Bush

In Indonesia many of the Muslims also practice forms of voodoo or black magic. Muslims throughout the world tend to be syncretistic with different forms of animism. The more fundamental or radical muslims tend to be the one's who are trained in the teachings of the Koran.


A renowned black magic practitioner performed a voodoo ritual Thursday to jinx President George W. Bush and his entourage while he was on a brief visit to Indonesia.

Ki Gendeng Pamungkas slit the throat of a goat, a small snake and stabbed a black crow in the chest, stirred their blood with spice and broccoli before drank the "potion" and smeared some on his face.

"I don't hate Americans, but I don't like Bush," said Pamungkas, who believed the ritual would succeed as, "the devil is with me today."

He said the jinx would sent spirits to posses Secret Service personnel guarding Bush and left them in a trance, leading them into falsely thinking the President was under attack, thus eventually causing chaos in Bogor Presidential Palace, where the American leader was scheduled to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday. Link.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Iranian paper: Great war to wipe out Israel coming

With all of the rhetoric coming out of the Middle East I am afraid this does not surprise me:


Iranian newspapers Kehyan and and Resalat have urged Muslims around the world to prepare for a 'great war' to destroy the State of Israel.

The newspapers published the editorials, translated from Persian by MEMRI , the Middle East translation service, to mark 'Quds' day on October 20, an Iranian 'holiday' calling for the "liberation" of Jerusalem and war against Israel. Read More.

Tags: , ,

Monday, November 13, 2006

CHURCH BACKS CALLS FOR SEVERELY DISABLED BABIES TO BE KILLED AT BIRTH

These issues tend to always start in England or Europe. If the Anglican communion is beginning to discuss the issue of euthanasia, it is only a matter of time that more denominations will re-address the issue.

While many are looking at the issue compassionately, where does the slope stop? This does give me pause for concern.

The Church of England has broken with tradition dogma by calling for doctors to be allowed to let sick newborn babies die.

Christians have long argued that life should preserved at all costs - but a bishop representing the national church has now sparked controversy by arguing that there are occasions when it is compassionate to leave a severely disabled child to die.

And the Bishop of Southwark, Tom Butler, who is the vice chair of the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Council, has also argued that the high financial cost of keeping desperately ill babies alive should be a factor in life or death decisions. Read More.

A Duel, but Not Decisive

An article written by Charles Krauthammer before the election, and still very relevant:

According to the pollsters, pundits and pols -- Democratic and nervous Republican -- a great anti-Republican wave is a-coming. Well, let's assume major Democratic gains: 20 to 25 House seats and four to six Senate seats. The House goes Democratic for the first time in 12 years. The Senate probably stays Republican, but by such an excruciatingly small margin that there is no governing majority.

What to say about such a victory? Substantial, yes. Historic, no. Before proclaiming a landslide, one has to ask Henny Youngman's question: "Compared to what?" (His answer to: "How's your wife?") Since the end of World War II, the average loss for a second-term presidency in its sixth year has been 29 House seats and six Senate seats. If you go back to Franklin Roosevelt's second term, the House loss average jumps to 35. Thus a 25/6 House and Senate loss would be about (and slightly below) the historical average. Read More.

Hat Tip: Ken


Sunday, November 12, 2006

A New Direction: Church Accountability

From the Phoenix Preacher, some exciting things happening at Crossroads. Calvary Chapel has been in a bit of controversy for a few years. It looks like some of the accountability issues are being dealt with.

In light of recent issues it behooves all of us who are in the full-time ministry to make sure that we have good accountability structures in place. Will this stop all problems? No, but like Haggards former pastorate, they dealt with the issue swiftly, and were able to remove him from a leadership role. Unfortunately, that would not happen in many churches i.e., Swaggart.
_____

Following a lead I got last week, I watched a mega church transform before my eyes Sunday morning.

Crossroads Community Church is a "mega-Calvary" in Vancouver,WA just across the river from Portland, OR.

Pastor Bill Ritchie laid out some radical changes in church governance that appear on the surface to address everything that we have spoken about for two years here on the Phoenix Preacher.

Using 1 Cor 12:27 as his text, ( "Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.") Ritchie laid out the following changes designed to create an "organism" instead of an "organization".

Ritchie than laid out a plan to transform his huge church from "marbles that roll in and roll out, to grapes that grow in a cluster, coming together and being squeezed together to make great wine"

While he cautioned that the ideas are not completely fleshed out , Ritchie said the governance part is already in place.

Instead of a traditional board, Crossroads will go to a "Servant Leader Team".

This team will oversee various aspects of the ministry of Crossroads.

The ten man team will include 5 pastors, as well as 5 rotating members of the congregation. Read More.

HT: Ken


Saturday, November 11, 2006

In reply to Slice of Laodecia

Over at Verum Serum they have a post considering the downfall of Ted Haggard. It is very balanced and I recommend it. In the comments Amy pointed out that her comment on Haggard was rejected at a site called Slice of Laodecia. I decided to check out slice again (it's been awhile).

Ingrid hasn't changed much, her brand of christian bitterness is quite off putting. This is a reply Amy wrote for this site in response to SLICE(corrected). Her original posts were rejected. BTW, my reply was also rejected! It seems Ingrid only likes to hear from the choir (with some exceptions).

“I agree with Ingrid that there are many things in Christianity that are dishonoring to God. Sometimes those things need to be brought to people’s attention so that Christians can discuss whether or not they are biblical. I am in strong disagreement with how she is handling this situation. I pray that she will see that God doesn’t need us to drag His wounded soldier through the dirt. Satan has already done that. I also am not interested in dragging Ingrid through the dirt, but rather hope that she will consider that, like other humans, she can sometimes make mistakes in discernment, and that she herself could actually be dishonoring our Holy God in the way she is handling this situation.

Ted’s fall does not lessen the FACT that you and I have done many things that dishonor God, many of which have not been displayed to the whole world, many things to which some of us are still clinging and refusing to acknowledge as the gross sins that they are.

The fact that we are sinful creatures also does not lessen the fact that what Ted has done has brought shame upon the name of God. However his church has already begun the discipline process with him. They are not excusing his sin, and believe strongly that confession, prayer, and God’s power are a significant part of the restoration process. I trust that God will lead them and the men designated to help him step by step, and that the power that Satan has over Ted will be broken. I pray that Ted’s eyes will be totally opened and that he will not seek to cover any of his sins.

I do not believe, from scripture, that there is any reason why I personally need to know the details of Ted’s sins, or hear a full confession from him by way of the media. There are probably things that his church and family need to know more specifically. I trust that God will lead him, his church, and the men helping him into knowing just what needs to be confessed only to God, confessed only to the men helping him, confessed to his family, confessed to his church, confessed to other believers, and disclosed to the world.

What Ted has done does not change the fact that God is Holy. We can not help God be any Holier by attempting to set parameters for exactly when and how someone’s repentance takes place. God knows Ted’s heart and He knows how much He is working in it; He alone knows where Ted is in the process of restoration.

Part of God’s Holiness- His set-apartness- is His patience and His Mercy and His Love, which is so much greater than ours. Let’s try to demonstrate some of this to Ted."

Well said Amy.


Friday, November 10, 2006

REVEILLE



HT: Mark

Tags:

Contagious Christianity

Part of my sermon for Sunday:

Text: Psalms 100:1-5

I believe that God is calling Siuslaw Valley Christian Center to become a contagious congregation. A contagious congregation is a church that strives to live up to its Christ-given potential and calling so that both our members and friends and the larger community may come to know the saving grace and life-changing love of Jesus Christ. I believe God wants us to live up to our Christ-given potential—to become a contagious congregation. We are God called, Christ commanded, and Holy Spirit empowered to become contagious.

As Christian's we have to make a difference!


JON STEWART: DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY KINGMAKER?

This is fascinating and scary. The rise of Jon Stewart has been remarkable, a comedian in charge of faux news. He is also very influential among young people, many who only get their news from his show. Kingmaker? Hard to tell, influential? Definitely.

Jon Stewart is an unlikely player in national politics. He’s not a pundit, he’s a comedian. As unlikely a candidate for Democratic kingmaker as he may be, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

Ratings for The Daily Show’s coverage of the ‘06 elections were second only to The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News. 2.0 million Americans tuned into Comedy Central on Tuesday to follow election results. That’s right, more people were watching a comedian talk about the news than an anchor on CNN.

And just who is it that is tuning into The Daily Show? Young people. Lot’s of them.

In fact, in the 2004 election nearly as many young people cited The Daily Show as a source of news as any other source. And Jon Stewart’s Daily Show audience has only grown since then.

On the college campus where I teach, Jon Stewart’s is the first and last word on all things political. His is the only name that all recognize. It’s more than that: his views are the only views considered socially acceptable. When Jon Stewart believes something, students believe it. He who Jon Stewart hates, students hate. Read More.

RNC ASKS STEELE TO REPLACE MEHLMAN

It looks like the person who wins even though he lost is Michael Steele. His stature is definitely on the rise. We’ll be seeing more of Steele.

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, whose party just lost both chambers of Congress, will leave his position in January, and the post as party chief has been offered to Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele. Read More.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Canaan in Patriarchal Times - Part 1

Interesting:

The book of Genesis says that after Abraham left the land of his ancestors and came to the place God promised to him as an inheritance, “the Canaanites were in the land” (Genesis 12:6 NIV). When Abraham came to Canaan, the Canaanites were a settled people with a highly advanced society. In the Old Testament, the word “Canaan” was used to designate the land west of the Jordan River, and the word “Canaanites” was the general name given to the non-Israelite inhabitants of the land. In addition, the word Canaan appears in several passages in the Bible and is translated in different ways: “traffickers” (Isaiah 23:8 KJV; “traders” NIV); “the merchant city” (Isaiah 23:11 KJV); “merchant” (Hosea 12:7 KJV, NIV), and “merchant people” (Zephaniah 1:11 KJV; “merchants” NIV). The identification of the Canaanites as well as the meaning of the word “Canaan” has been a source of debate among scholars. Read More.


The Confession: Have same-sex-marriage advocates said too much?

It sounds like the cat has been let out of the bag. This is a logical progression of the deconstruction of traditional marriage:

Suppose a large group of same-sex-marriage activists came together and made the following confession to a group of same-sex-marriage skeptics: Read More.


Tongues and Our Mind

This is from the New York Times: HT; Jerry


The passionate, sometimes rhythmic, language-like patter that pours forth from religious people who “speak in tongues” reflects a state of mental possession, many of them say. Now they have some neuroscience to back them up.

Skip to next paragraph

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania took brain images of five women while they spoke in tongues and found that their frontal lobes — the thinking, willful part of the brain through which people control what they do — were relatively quiet, as were the language centers. The regions involved in maintaining self-consciousness were active. The women were not in blind trances, and it was unclear which region was driving the behavior.

The images, appearing in the current issue of the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, pinpoint the most active areas of the brain. The images are the first of their kind taken during this spoken religious practice, which has roots in the Old and New Testaments and in charismatic churches established in the United States around the turn of the 19th century. The women in the study were healthy, active churchgoers.

“The amazing thing was how the images supported people’s interpretation of what was happening,” said Dr. Andrew B. Newberg, leader of the study team, which included Donna Morgan, Nancy Wintering and Mark Waldman. “The way they describe it, and what they believe, is that God is talking through them,” he said.

Dr. Newberg is also a co-author of “Why We Believe What We Believe.”

In the study, the researchers used imaging techniques to track changes in blood flow in each woman’s brain in two conditions, once as she sang a gospel song and again while speaking in tongues. By comparing the patterns created by these two emotional, devotional activities, the researchers could pinpoint blood-flow peaks and valleys unique to speaking in tongues.

Ms. Morgan, a co-author of the study, was also a research subject. She is a born-again Christian who says she considers the ability to speak in tongues a gift. “You’re aware of your surroundings,” she said. “You’re not really out of control. But you have no control over what’s happening. You’re just flowing. You’re in a realm of peace and comfort, and it’s a fantastic feeling.”

Contrary to what may be a common perception, studies suggest that people who speak in tongues rarely suffer from mental problems. A recent study of nearly 1,000 evangelical Christians in England found that those who engaged in the practice were more emotionally stable than those who did not. Researchers have identified at least two forms of the practice, one ecstatic and frenzied, the other subdued and nearly silent.

The new findings contrasted sharply with images taken of other spiritually inspired mental states like meditation, which is often a highly focused mental exercise, activating the frontal lobes.

The scans also showed a dip in the activity of a region called the left caudate. “The findings from the frontal lobes are very clear, and make sense, but the caudate is usually active when you have positive affect, pleasure, positive emotions,” said Dr. James A. Coan, a psychologist at the University of Virginia. “So it’s not so clear what that finding says” about speaking in tongues.

The caudate area is also involved in motor and emotional control, Dr. Newberg said, so it may be that practitioners, while mindful of their circumstances, nonetheless cede some control over their bodies and emotions.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Election

Well, the voters have spoken.

My take is that a lot of people were fed up with GOP incompetence and graft. Tends to be a characteristic of whichever party is in power for too long. This is a wake up call for the GOP, get back to the basics of conservatism, fiscal responsibility, and rooting out corruption within your ranks.

The Dems have won so leave sour gripes elsewhere. This is certainly not the end of the world.

On a positive note, having Pelosi as speaker virtually guarantees a GOP victory in 08'

Monday, November 06, 2006

In Arizona, ‘For Sale’ Is a Sign of the Times

Amazing how fast things can change:

Until recently, this fast-growing area was a paradise on earth for home builders. Fulton Homes’ developments, for example, were so popular last year that it was able to raise prices on its new homes by $1,000 to $10,000 almost every week.

“People were standing in line for lotteries,” recalled Douglas S. Fulton, president of the company, one of the largest private builders in the Phoenix area. And they were “camping overnight begging to be the next number in the next lot in the next house.”

No more.

Today, it is the company’s sales agents that do most of the waiting. Not only are there few new customers to talk to, but many buyers who put down a deposit are not even bothering to come back for the walk-through. Read More.

Obsession Part 1

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Ted Haggard's letter

These are the written statements from the Haggards. HT: Ken.

Ted Haggard Statement


Gayle Haggard Letter



Who Are the Recruits? The Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Military Enlistment, 2003–2005

Our troop quality is still very high, contrary to Kerry's perspective. This analysis is from the Heritage Foundation:

A report published by The Heritage Foundation in November 2005 examined the issue and could not substantiate any degradation in troop quality by comparing military enlistees in 1999 to those in 2003. It is possible that troop quality did not degrade until after the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, when patriotism was high. A common assumption is that the Army experienced difficulty getting qualified enlistees in 2005 and was subse­quently forced to lower its standards. This report revisits the issue by examining the full recruiting classes for all branches of the U.S. military for every year from 2003 to 2005.

The current findings show that the demo­graphic characteristics of volunteers have contin­ued to show signs of higher, not lower, quality. Quality is a difficult concept to apply to soldiers, or to human beings in any context, and it should be understood here in context. Regardless of the standards used to screen applicants, the average quality of the people accepted into any organiza­tion can be assessed only by using measurable cri­teria, which surely fail to account for intangible characteristics. In the military, it is especially questionable to claim that measurable characteris­tics accurately reflect what really matters: cour­age, honor, integrity, loyalty, and leadership. Read More.

Climate chaos? Don't believe it

Very interesting:


Last week, Gordon Brown and his chief economist both said global warming was the worst "market failure" ever. That loaded soundbite suggests that the "climate-change" scare is less about saving the planet than, in Jacques Chirac's chilling phrase, "creating world government". This week and next, I'll reveal how politicians, scientists and bureaucrats contrived a threat of Biblical floods, droughts, plagues, and extinctions worthier of St John the Divine than of science. Read More.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Albert Mohler

Interview with Andrew Sullivan


The Theism Of Jehovah’s Witnesses: Possible or Impossible?

Interesting:

I intend to show that the God of the Watchtower is finite and is in the same metaphysical situation as the rest of his alleged creation and therefore could not be the Creator of all that exists. It is my opinion that the Anointed of the Watchtower have done what it states in Romans 1:22-23:

Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man...Link.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Google 'will be able to keep tabs on us all'

This is a bit frightening actually:

The internet will hold so much digital data in five years that it will be possible to find out what an individual was doing at a specific time and place, an expert said yesterday.

Nigel Gilbert, a professor heading a Royal Academy of Engineering study into surveillance, said people would be able to sit down and type into Google "what was a particular individual doing at 2.30 yesterday and would get an answer".

The answer would come from a range of data, for instance video recordings or databanks which store readings from electronic chips. Such chips embedded in people's clothes could track their movements. He told a privacy conference the internet would be capable of holding huge amounts of data very cheaply and patterns of information could be extracted very quickly. "Everything can be recorded for ever," he said. Read More.

TED HAGGARD RESIGNS FROM THE NAE AMID ALLEGATIONS OF GAY AFFAIR

Very sad, I hope this is not true:

The Rev. Ted Haggard resigned as president of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals on Thursday after being accused of paying a man for sex in monthly trysts over the past three years.

Haggard — an outspoken opponent of the drive for gay marriage — also stepped down as senior pastor at his 14,000-member New Life Church pending an investigation by a church panel, saying he could “not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations.” Read More.

Update:

A sudden about-face in the scandal facing New Life Church’s pastor.

After Pastor Ted Haggard went public Wednesday night denying allegations of a homosexual affair, senior church officials told KKTV 11News Thursday evening, Pastor Ted Haggard has admitted to some of the claims made by a former male escort. The church’s Acting Senior Pastor, Ross Parsley, tells KKTV 11 News that Pastor Haggard has admitted to some of the indiscretions claimed by Mike Jones, but not all of them. Link.

Update 2:

This isn’t looking very good.

Embattled national evangelical leader the Rev. Ted Haggard admitted Friday that he bought methamphetamines and received a massage from a gay prostitute, but denies he ever used the drug or had sex with the man.

“I bought it for myself but never used it,” Haggard told reporters gathered outside his home. “I was tempted but I never used it.” Link.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006