Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Hey, is "omen" just some pagan corruption of "amen?"
Amen translates "be it so." Could omen perhaps translate to "It may be so?"
Just a thought as I ponder the treatment of End Time stuff in the movies (I don't have to tell you the one I just viewed, do I?)
So, yeah, how about an accurate rendering rather than something loosely based on some guy called "The Beast" who is going to be really, really mean , and how can we stop him?
How about a movie where nearly everybody thinks he's actually pretty swell?
How about using CGI to depict hordes of demons boiling out of the Abyss (assuming a literal interpretation of Revelation, of course)?
Or to depict the "bowls of wrath" being poured out in a series of horrific plagues and natural(?) disasters?
And to picture the bulk of humanity not only acknowledging God's hand in this, but cursing His Name?
What if we picture the Church suffering under terrible persecution, but remaining steadfast (there ARE amillennialists among us, after all)? Think France during the Reformation or England under "Bloody Mary," but many times worse.
Of course, this movie would show the disastrous collapse of a worldwide economic system, which appears to be dedicated to something other than the pursuit of the Kingdom of God.
But best of all, how about the return of King Jesus in clouds of glory, putting all his enemies under his feet and redeeming his creation? The climactic scene would have not only the Beast, but the false church AND Satan and his host of demons cast into hell.
Now that WOULD be a departure from Hollywood's take on the Apocalypse.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What's Lust Got to Do With It?

Well, quite a bit, actually. That's especially true, I think for all the first-born among us. So, yeah, some of you might not be reading this, if lust had nothing to do with it.

Gross, huh?

But, hey that's how the world got populated and families get started, cause like the
song says: "A guy's only doin' it for some doll." And vice-versa, ladies.

The down side? Well we seem most susceptible when we're just starting out and least able to handle it well. Like an underage driver in a really fast car, lust can leave you
upside-down in a ditch somewhere with the flames getting dangerously close to the gas tank.

Doesn't mean it can't get out from under you as you get older. You just pray to have enough sense to keep it at home.

The whole point is this: if you're blessed to be able to lust after your sweetie after all these years, you are truly blessed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's Love Got to Do With It?

So one of my Facebook peeps is doing the PDA with the love of his life (so far) there
on the World Wide Web and I'm thinking: "Ah yeah, I remember that. That was so me way back when." But I'm also thinking at the same time (which proves that I CAN think about two things at once, tho maybe not coherently): "Wow, love was easy back then, what happened? Whatever became of that (those) girl(s) I thought I would love forever?"

Being wrong about being in love with someone may be the least fun thing(s) (so I was in love with being in love, ya know?) I ever did, so this might be important stuff to know. The upside (for me, if not for you) is that, at my age, I'm not likely to have this happen anymore. I defininitely AM NOT making any plans in that direction.

To get back to the original question, maybe LIFE gets in the way of love. When you each are living at mom and dad's house, little things like THE RENT, and THE CAR NOTE, and (worst of all!!!) THE JOB don't figure into the equation. Matter of fact, as I recall (which isn't total, by the way) if you don't let your eyes stray, love under these circumstances is child's play.

HMMM. I may have something there.

What I'm saying (in the most roundabout way possible) is that love is an awful lot of WORK. It's a lot of responsibilty. This whole other person is counting on you. Wow!

I don't know, is it really worth it? You'll have to answer that one for yourself, all I'm saying is: It's worth at least some thought. Right?

Friday, September 10, 2010

National "Annoy Your Spouse Day"

Face it; if you're married, you're already engaged in annoying your spouse. A national holiday with a paid day off (I think a Friday would be nice) is the logical
next step.

I can hear some of you objecting (ya bunch of Goody-Two-Shoes): I never annoy my
spouse, we have a wonderful relationship. Right.

Trust me, you ANNOY the pee-waddly-dee out of your spouse. Especially you men. Why, guys, just the fact that you are male irritates the fire out of your wife. Honestly, if someone told little girls about what rotters we men really are, they wouldn't have all this romantic clap-trap rattling around in their little heads about 'Prince Charming' and 'happy-ever-after' and all that other revolting junk. Think they'd marry you then, boy? I seriously doubt it.

As for you ladies. Honestly, we have to annoy you so we can stand to be around you. Not that we think you're being unreasonable in expecting us to indulge your whims. But to believe we should drop whatever extremely important activity we're involved in to cater to you instantly? Come, come. You must be joking.

It really is a wonder, isn't it, that any of us is able to remain married longer than a week or so. You wanna know how we do it? Every married person in America takes a perverse pleasure in annoying his/her spouse! Admit it! You know you do!!!

So let's declare a holiday. Let's openly and honestly indulge in what we should admit to be our national pastime. Just do it. You owe it to your marriage.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Snooty French V. Sensible English

It all started when I was thinking about John Calvin's name. Now I won't chase
all the convoluted twists and turns of a deranged mind to explain how I came to
be thinking of Calvin at all, except to say that I was reading something written by him.

You might remember that Calvin was a Frenchman born 401 years ago with the name
Jean Cauvin. Pretty snooty, huh? I mean you can just hear him forcing the words up
the back of his throat and out his nose the way they do, right?

So what happened was Jean got religion. What I mean to say is: the Protestant Reformation was just getting cranked up real good, and ole Jean became a Protestant.
Of course, he got chased out of France, it being Roman Catholic and all. He ended up in Switzerland.

Here comes the cool part: somehow (and I'm not sure how this came about) his name was changed to John Calvin!! Is that a really great English-sounding name or what?

The point is that once he changed his name, even though he was a shy, retiring,
bookish sort, he pretty much came to RUN Geneva and the Protestant church there and wrote who knows how many books and actually had this whole theology (mistakenly) named after him; all in spite of only living til he was fifty-five or six or so.

Which brings me (somehow) to the conclusion that the English are sensible people.
Of course, I'm talking about the PEOPLE, not their goofy government which is basically socialist. I mean let's be fair here; what would you be able to say good about Americans if you judged us by OUR government? See what I mean?

A great example of English sensibleness is their celebrity worship, which is the art and science of paying an inordinate amount of attention to famous people and their doings and a sad fact of modern life in the so-called Western world.

The English are mad about "The Royals." This includes the queen and her vast brood of kinfolk, though it is mostly the younger ones who cause all the fuss. These are REAL people, not manufactured ones like the movie and tv stars our entertainment biz cranks out over here and seem to fade in and out of the public eye using a literal version of Andy Warhol's "fifteen minute" time frame.

The Royals are a real English family with an extensive history. They've gone mad, engaged in love affairs, had their heads chopped off and other interesting things, all quite publicly and all while keeping a stiff upper lip. Can you imagine Paris Hilton facing the headsman's block?

The thing is: the English train these celebrities for the job. Over here, it's just have one hit record and "you're famous, son." No wonder our celebrities behave poorly in the spotlight, pitching tantrums and paparrazzi and all. It's too much pressure being famous. I couldn't do it. Could you?

So, to sum up: good job. John Calvin. You made the right choice!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Insanity Runs in the Family

Ever been around people who laugh at just about everything? Or everybody? We call those kinds of people "Tolars."
Tolars are guaranteed to be able to find the humor in ANY situation. We make fun of other people. We make fun of each other. Individual Tolars (having nothing better to do, I suppose) will make fun of themselves.
Tolars don't float on the ceiling when we laugh, but we do laugh so hard sometimes that we get light-headed and have to lie down. Some people say we're crazy.
Here's a quick test to tell if you really are insane or not: if you're in a roomful of Tolars and you're the only one laughing at your jokes, you might wanna get that checked out. If, however, you're laughing and the others are groaning and throwing stuff, you are not insane, but merely inane.
Someone once said that Tolars don't suffer fools gladly, but gladly cause fools to suffer.
Of course, you don't have to be named Tolar to be one. Tolar blood runs in the veins of many of you who don't carry the name. We have many honorary members as well,
and here's a quick test if you don't know if you are or not: Tolars GET IT.
No matter how obscure the reference or goshawful the play on words, someone in the room will guffaw and next thing you know, everybody's laughing and running into the next room to tell it to the ones who didn't hear it.
Don't feel bad if you're not one. We love you anyway, and besides, laughter is serious business. Not everybody can take the pressure. Poah souls, it's just more than they can bayuhh.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


"Harumph, gentlemen, harumph! We gotta save our phoney-baloney jobs!"

Harumphing, as this example from Blazing Saddles shows, is for politicians,
corporate heads and such like, but not for bloggers. Not for this one anyhow.
So if I've engaged in harumphing in the past, I apologize and promise to cut it out.

Blogs that are pretentious are boring. Ditto for blogs that are portentious. My purpose
here is to entertain (myself if no one else, more about that later) and amuse. If any
serious thought is provoked, you have only yourself to blame.

Stop Harumphing!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Power and the Glory

Some thoughts from two conversations with two of my brothers in Christ,
one an accomplished musician, the other a non-performer who loves music.

We read of the "worship wars" over which music is most suited for worship. I
shared with these two my own outlook, as one who made a modest living for a while
as a musician. I came to be convicted of my own failure to focus completely on God
as I presented "special music" during worship service. Indeed, it began to seem as though I, not the God I sought to honor, was being made the object of attention
during these performances. With my lips I was giving praise, honor and glory to the
God who created me and redeemed me, but in my heart something else was occurring.

"What do you think,"I asked my fellow musician. I was not surprised to hear that he
too had experienced conviction over the secret thoughts of his heart during his own musical offerings. He had come to the conclusion, as I did, that individual performance during worship was not appropriate for him.

"What do you think," I asked my non-musician friend. Having grown up with bluegrass and southern gospel in the church, he found such music joyful and uplifting and conducive, in his experience, to worship. "I like special music," he told me.

The Reformed congregation where I attend church has adopted the view that every aspect of the worship service should be directed toward God alone (vertical worship) and that any "blessing" received by the worshiper should stem from having worshiped "in spirit and in truth." In other words: no special music.

So what's the big deal? Here's what I think: music is a gift from God to humanity. There is a power in music. It heals, it lifts up, it calms the savage breast. Music can make you want to dance. It can make you want to cry. It has the power to transport the listener to a specific place and time, to evoke strong memories. Have you ever attended a live musical performance? Then you can attest to music's power to move the hearer.

Having stood on a stage before an audience, I can testify to the fact that some of music's power attaches to the performer. I don't even have to be all that talented. I just have to know how to "work the crowd." Believe me, it's an almost godlike feeling to be able to move people with the skill of a performance. What a rush! There's no wonder that old, worn-out rockers return to the road time and again for a taste of the adulation. "We love the music," they say. Right.

Being fallen, we turn God's gift of music to our own ends. The music that lifts the believer's heart up to God can be used to the personal gratification of the performer. Music accompanied the child sacrifices that the Canaanites made to Molech. The Germans nearly conquered the world to the beat of several really snappy marching tunes. Rick Warren requires 72 beats per minute, the rate of the human heart, for worship music in his church.

Music is powerful stuff. I will sing with the saints in heaven. But for now, I'll be content to sing the congregational hymns. I won't attempt to bind anyone's conscience here but my own. Power corrupts, as Lord Acton once said, and I'm corrupt enough not to need any more.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Memory Lapse and Fading Glory

I had an epiphany. It was a powerful experience.

I had accepted a job that I believed would be a great opportunity. A year out of college, still
working part-time and debt mounting around me, I thought, "My prayers are being answered. God is manifesting his glory and provenance in my life.!"

Ten days ago today, He brought me up short in a way that was clear and unmistakable. It was a moment in my Christian walk that shone like the sun bursting suddenly through heavy clouds.

Today, thinking back on it, the glory has faded somewhat and doubts have begun to creep in as to whether God truly spoke to me, or I acted of my own volition in turning down that job.

We are so prone to self-deception. The reason I will continue to believe God spoke explicitly to me through a daily devotion is because this whole experience, the glory of seeing Him acting to divert me from a dangerous path, and the subsequent fading of that into bewilderment and doubt, leads me to a much deeper lesson.

We read of the generation God brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. He brought them through the Red Sea, and miraculously fed them in the desert, causing clear sparkling water gush from rocks, We read of these things and we read how they doubted and grumbled and rebelled and we say, "What was wrong with these people? They witnessed all these marvellous things and yet they sinned the sin of disbelief!" How could this be?

But then I think of this wonderful manifestation of God's loving care in my own life and the hundreds of small, perhaps even unnoticed, ways he demonstrates his love to me. Then I think of how short my memory is, how much I take for granted, how self-centered I can be and I understand.

We are saved by God's grace and that alone, and it is only through that grace, and the power of the Holy Spirit that we can even remember to be grateful. How much more, O LORD, do we need your grace to see your glory revealed and to treasure it in our hearts.

To remember.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Why Can't We Just All Get Along?

Are the spiritual and the intellectual aspects of faith mutually exclusive? Surely they are two
sides of the same coin. We are saved by the power of the Holy Spirit. Right? We are also called upon, as saved sinners, to work out our salvation "with fear and trembling."

To "work a thing out" means to think about it; to meditate on it. We read about the giants of
the Christian faith who preceded us and find that they waged titanic struggles within their hearts. If you gaze into the pure light of the Gospel, how can you not be overwhelmed with the
sense of your own unworthiness?

But the call to holiness is not a call to Pharisaism. By the psalmist's instruction to "serve the Lord
with gladness," we understand that ours is to be a joyful holiness. Jesus said "ye are the light of the world." Light and warmth go together.

These are things of the Spirit, imparted by Him that we might be witnesses. But Scripture also says that the things of God are "spiritually discerned." Discernment. Not judgement. Do you see the difference? We are commanded to exercise the one. God reserves the other to himself.

In observing, pointing out and remarking upon what has been shown (again and again) to be error, I am to be charitable. We are commanded, after all, my fellow Christians, to love one another. We are to be no less firm, however, in speaking against errant teaching; teaching that runs counter to the whole counsel of the Word of God.

"You are in error because you do not know scripture." These words were spoken by our Lord and Saviour. Paul uses the first chapter of his letter to the Galatians to pronounce anathema on
those who would teach that sinful man can be saved by ANY effort of his own. This heresy, propagated in Galatia by the so-called Judaizers, has taken many forms and had many names throughout the Church Age.

I said "heresy." A different gospel. Another type of salvation. Jesus said, "No one can come to the Father but through me." Do we dare to naysay the Master's words? Is this statement so repugnant as to require all sorts of mental gymnastics to put a different spin on it? Why is that, do you suppose? Pay careful attention to not just the answer, but the thought process used to arrive at that answer. Bear these words in mind as you meditate: "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?"