Friday, 30 November 2007

The Creed of Islam

"I have come that you might have death, and have it more abundantly"

Take Care

Chesterton for the Week

That creed remained in the shape of a miracle; a river still flowing through the sea. And the proof of the miracle was practical once more; it was merely that while all that sea was salt and bitter with the savour of death, of this one stream in the midst of it a man could drink. (The Everlasting Man, Part II Chapter IV)

The original context of the quote was the distinctiveness, even the survival, of Christianity in the midst of a flood of other religions and schools of philosophy.

I believe it applies even today, to the preservation of truth amidst heresy and apostasy. God's truth will refuse to be watered down or polluted. No matter how far some may fall away, or how powerful they may seem to be, or how entrenched in positions of authority, through the middle of the cesspool flows a stream of living water, pure, sweet and undiluted.

The gates of hell will not prevail.

Take Care

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Oh... So It's Alright Then

Ammunition for a future Charter rights case?
Pedophilia may be the result of a person's brain not properly functioning due to faulty connections, according to a report released Wednesday by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Read it here...

Or perhaps a new blessing ceremony to be developed for liberal churches. (Ooohhh that was cruel and tasteless)

Here is an opinion piece on the subject that might just indicate where our liberal, non-accountable society might be heading.

A comment from the same site seems to have it in perspective,
I believe that an urge does not carry its own justification: we are all ultimately responsible for what we do. Sometimes I get the urge to punch slow-walking people in the back of the head in order to, you know, get them to hurry up*, but I haven't yet acted on that urge...

But the opinion piece itself ends up with this,
Now, back to my earlier question: should pedohiles be made responsible for their actions? I thought after writing this post, I would have an answer, but I don't. I can only assume that the sexual urges of pedophiles towards their child-victims are equivalent to those a teleiophile might have. Then what are they to do? How legally responsible should people be for deterministic causes of illegal activity?

There is no slippery slope... there is no slippery slope...

Just keep telling yourselves.

Take Care

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

... And These People Have Guns and Bombs...

This is almost too ridiculous to believe.
A British schoolteacher in Sudan may face blasphemy charges for insulting Islam's Prophet after letting her pupils name a teddy bear Muhammad.

Read it here...

One might have thought that the kids were trying to honour their prophet by naming their teddy bear, an object of their affection, after him. Or maybe they were just giving it the name they did because it is such a popular name in the Islamic world.

Read the comments. Most are moderate but some are downright scary, to think that an adult person in today's world could actually think this way.

Take Care

Monday, 26 November 2007

J. I. Packer: A Theological Perspective

"In England, when Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones called on evangelicals ministering in doctrinally-mixed denominations to leave them, I resisted the idea. I did not expect that in Canada withdrawal from the diocese and province that had welcomed me would become an issue of conscience, but so it is."

Read the rest here...

Take Care

My Wife Says She Is Going To Leave Me

Eva and I were watching the Oilers game when my daughter Jen called. We started talking about my previous blog and how we used to create spoonerisms with song titles when she was a kid ("It's a Hard Lock Knife.") We started giggling like kids, while Eva just shook her head at such juvenile behaviour. She just doesn't get it.

Jen and I both share the same weird sense of humour and it was something that kept us close all through her growing-up years. She reminded me of another favourite.

So now, for your listening and viewing pleasure, may I present the great old Frank Sinatra classic,

"You Nork, You Nork"
Take Care

Saturday, 24 November 2007

"Rhymes With Orphanage" - (Language Warning)

This one is for my daughter Jen.

When she was dancing, there were oftentimes dance productions at various festivals based upon any number of Broadway shows. One of these was to the number, "It's a Hard Knock Life," from, "Annie." We used to joke and call it, "A Hard Lock Knife." Well, OK... its one of those "inside" things perhaps only a father and daughter with the same wierd sense of humour might think funny. In any case, it contains the line,
No one cares for you a smidge
When you're in an orphan(idge)

We always thought that was one of the cleverest examples of rhyming. Well now, in my opinion, that has been topped.

I found this Bob Dylan video the other night and this honky tonk, boogie-woogie number instantly became one of my new favourites.

Thunder on the Mountain

Here's the language warning, but I couldn't help but share it,
Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons of bitches
I'll recruit my army from the orphanages

Now, perhaps I shouldn't, but I can't help but smile at the mind that came up with that one.

Take Care

See That You Are Not Alarmed

End-of-the-world alarmism has been a perpetual feature of human existence for as long as we have recorded history.
Generally, it occurs within a religious framework: Whether it is Apocalypse mania, or a fear that any moment now Ragnarök is going to erupt in earnest, lavish claims of total world destruction have always furnished the necessary motivation for extremist agendas.
The new craze about global warming ought not to surprise us.
Read it all...

Here is an interesting article that ties the current hysteria regarding global warming to any number of other previous claims about the sky falling or the world ending.

Another interesting perspective, a fascinating analogy near the end of the piece regarding population control,
...the modern population control alarmists, like the prophets of Moloch or the Aztec priests of Tlaloc, demand that human children be sacrificed in order to prevent storms, floods and disease.

Take Care
h/t: TitusOneNine

Here We Go Again

As usual I am a few days behind on this. Dr Al Mohler posted,
So many moms want to act like teenagers and dress as provocatively as their offspring. Far too many parents want to act like their teenagers' friends and peers, not like parents. Parents, after all, are expected to act like adults, and this is a society that depreciates adulthood and valorizes adolescence.

Read the rest here...

I noticed this story when it was first posted and have been trying to organize my thoughts on it since. I was positive there was a Scripture that spoke directly to this situation, but as yet it has not come to my mind. I thought of Isaiah 5:20,
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
I thought of the passage beginning with Romans 1:18 and ending with,
...they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
I thought of Jeremiah 5:30,31,
A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own athority, and my people love it this way.

None of these seemed to make the exact connection I was searching for.

But indeed they all apply to what we see today. We live in a society of moral contradictions, moral inconsistencies, moral hypocrisies. I have posted before on the the hand-wringing concern we seem to have for child poverty on the one hand, and the acceptance of the type of serial and temporary sexual relationships that contribute to it on the other.

We decry teen pregnancy, calling for ever greater doses of education, but accept, even endorse the type of behaviour, dancing and apparel that force our young people to a premature focus on sexual things. The markets are driven, or at least directed by adults who are obsessed with all kinds of things sexual, and think there is no danger in applying their own "mature" attitudes on sexuality to kids who are not ready for them.

We rise up in righteous anger when we hear about child sexual abuse or rape, while our twelve-year-old daughters dress like sluts. We introduce the term, "pimp" into the mainstream of our everyday language as a boast. We nod in smug agreement when a Warren Jeffs (not that I would in any way attempt to take his part) is convicted in the case of forcing a 14-year-old girl to marry an older man, while liberal politicians work to reduce the age of consent for sexual activity between adults and children of any sexual persuasion to that very same age.

As Dr Mohler closes his post,
...something significant has shifted on the moral landscape. When parents demand that their "good kids" be allowed to freak dance at school events, the real story shifts from the kids to the parents.

Take Care

Friday, 23 November 2007

Someone's Bible Must be Gathering Dust

In testimony before a Virginia court last week, US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori stated she had directed the Diocese of Virginia to sue the clergy and lay leaders of 11 congregations...
Read the rest here

On the other hand,
If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers!
The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers. (1 Corinthians 6:1-8, NIV)

This is so obvious I actually feel a little silly posting it.

Take Care
h/t: TitusOneNine

Chesterton Quote of the Week

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people." - ILN, 7/16/10

Take Care

Piper on Gratitude

May I humbly invite you, and others you have influenced, into the lowly ranks of the dependent, thankful, happy, children of the living God on this Thanksgiving Day. There is great grace. Great forgiveness. All-supplying mercy. All-satisfying Beauty. Inexhaustible wisdom. It is all in Jesus Christ. And it lasts forever. May we say together, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable Gift.”
Here (a couple of days old) is an open message addressed by John Piper to Christopher Hitchens, a high profile atheist, and Bishop John Shelby Spong, an atheist for all practical purposes.

h/t Between Two Worlds
Take Care

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Dr J. I. Packer From the Network Conference in Burlington

More details Here

Here is an exerpt,
It is not we who are the schismatic, it is those who are unfaithful to the scriptures and the Anglican heritage that have made it necessary for us to walk apart from the ACoC. Those who accuse us of schism should be told that they do not understand what schism is.

Please hold this conference in your prayers. Its participants will face much opposition from many in the mainstream ACoC.

Take Care

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Nicky Gumbel Interviews Mark Russell

Thanks to BabyBlueOnline for this link.

I'm not sure how this will turn out, or whether there's any point in my telling it. Just some personal thoughts.

As you may know, I was involved for a number of years in the Alpha Course at  my home church in Edmonton and in prison at the Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Institution.

I must say that I liked Nicky Gumbel, from his tapes, and as leader of our courses, I had long imagined meeting him. My motives for this desire were entirely improper, I will tell you. In part, I believe, I may have wanted to say, in effect, "Look at me, Mr Gumbel, and what I've been doing for you all these years." In part, I believe I may just have wanted to be in the "presence of greatness." I confess now that my desires in this area may have bordered on (or even have been) idolatry. I have always seemed to have, and still do, to some extent, this fascination with celebrity. In any case, I wanted so badly I could taste it to meet Nicky, or rather, I feel I must confess, wanted him to meet me. It was an intense desire of my heart. I even prayed that God would make it happen.

A number of years ago there was an Alpha conference in Vancouver at which the Holy Trinity Brompton team, including Mr Gumbel, would be teaching. I jumped in my truck and drove non-stop, fourteen hours or so, to attend.

I had become somewhat acquainted by telephone with Sally Start, the administrator of Alpha Canada, and at some point during the conference, was invited by her into the "VIP" room for refreshments. At one point I was standing by myself beside a small table, surveying the scene and feeling thrilled to be just exactly where I was at that moment. I became aware,out of the corner of my eye, of someone rifling through a briefcase beside me on this table. I looked over, and at the same time he looked up at me. It was Nicky Gumbel. We may have nodded at one another. Neither of us spoke. But that was it. It was only a moment, but in that moment every improper, idolatrous or prideful desire I spoke of above was gone. The big deal was just no longer a big deal! The memory of it is still so vivid it could have been yesterday.

Again, at tonight's Bible study, we touched on issues here. James says,
"...but you cannot have what you want. ...You do not have, because you do not ask God." (James 4:2, NIV)
The point was raised that sometimes we may want the wrong things, but we should pray and ask God anyway, because rather than simply granting them, He may just do an 'attitude adjustment' and put our wants into perspective. I think also of what the Psalmist said,
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

If we truly delight ourselves in the Lord, He will change any improper desires that may be in our hearts to right desires, and then He will give them to us.

Time for bed now, but all I can think to say is this:
GOD IS GOOD!
ALL THE TIME!

Take Care

A Step Into.....?

Last night I e-mailed notice of my intention to resign my position as manager of the Raven Truck Accessories Store here in Edson to our President. In a previous post I spoke about my desire to discern and follow God's will for my life. I said, in part,
The other night at Bible study I asked for prayer from the group about decisions I feel I must make about my future. I am approaching retirement age and sometimes my current job weighs heavy on me. But that is not really the point. My real concern, and I do pray that I am being honest with myself and before God in this, is that I want God to lead me to where I can best serve Him. My heart has been telling me that that may be back in Edmonton. But my heart is not enough. I want it to be God telling me. I am convinced that He led me to Edson for His own good reasons several years back, but now I have a growing sense that my purposes for being here, whatever they may have been, may now no longer apply. I have been praying, and asking others to pray, for guidance.

As I dug back into my blog archives to find this post, I found it interesting how points I mentioned above were discussed in our study tonight, totally independently. One of them was, should we as Christians follow our hearts? It is still my intense and heartfelt prayer that it is God, not my heart, who is calling me in a new direction, and after much prayer for guidance and discernment, I believe it is.

Also today I came across this prayer, by Thomas Merton, which seemed to speak to my situation, although I wouldn't be so presumptious or melodramatic as to think my circumstances might compare to what any of Mr Merton's may have been.

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

But I do indeed pray that my desire is above all to please God and to walk in His will. And I do indeed hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I pray that even should my motives fall short, He will not let my mistakes get in the way of my serving Him.

Take Care
h/t TitusOneNine for theprayer.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Poverty, Morality, Society (Again)

I came across a couple of posts related to one of my favourite hobby horses.

They are Here at Magic Statistics and
Here
, thanks to TitusOneNine.

I recommend caution on the second link, as many of the comments are from some of the very people who just can't seem to see the truth of the matter. They just don't get it. Their solution is either more sex-education or abortion. Now I don't object to proper sex-education, but it seems we've had that for quite a long time, and the worse the problem gets, the more education its devotees call for. It seems to me that both are increasing in a direct correlation. They still don't get it.

The problem is one of morality, pure and simple, and the behaviour that follows it. It's a heart problem, because where the heart is, actions will follow. Sexuality is designed to be a wonderful thing, in its proper context. It's the abuse and misuse of this gift that has led to the disastrous consequences we see today.

Take Care

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Is 'Bibliolatry' Really The Issue?

Thanks to Pastor Terry for putting me in touch with this post.
(A critic) says that the problem with evangelicals is that they see the Bible as the sole source of knowledge of God, morality, and a host of related important items, and accordingly, the Bible is taken to be the sole authority for faith and practice. This may be true in some circles, or at least it might seem that way, but most evangelicals that I know believe that the Bible is the final source of authority, not the sole source.
Read it all...

I think this post speaks directly to what is happening in the Anglican Church today. Check out comments 4 & 5 on This post by Rob, who also claims the "evangelical" label.

Take Care

Another One Bites The Dust

The Anglican Diocese of Niagara votes in favour of same-sex blessings. Details here.

Meanwhile, Kendall Harmon of TitusOneNine exmines the real basis of the crisis in Anglicanism Here.

I know I'm behind Scott in all this, but I think he is a faster typer than I am.

Take Care

UPDATE: Bishop Ralph Spence assents to the blessing of same sex unions in the Diocese of Niagara.

Amen. Come Lord Jesus

Untitled, So Far

Pastor Terry Stauffer of Edson Baptist Church poses a number of questions over at New Lumps

I keep wanting to comment, but I don't quite know what to contribute. As anyone who has been reading this blog will know, I am concerned with what has been going on in the Anglican churches of North America lately. I still have one foot and a large part of my heart in the Anglican communion. I am sure that Pastor Terry's concerns with what's happening in the Fellowship do not fall into the same category. But I will say this.

I am thankful that the town where I now live has a church like Edson Baptist and as long as Pastor Terry is there, I am confident it will be a place where the truths of the Christian Faith are upheld and the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached without compromise. No one who comes through its doors will be able to say, when they stand before their Lord one day, "No one told me."

Take Care

I Like This Quote

From Doug Wilson at Blog and Mablog,
People with a low view of the law have a low view of grace.

To take the liberty of paraphrasing, what it says to me is that people who don't have an appreciation of how greatly they have sinned, cannot appreciate the great grace God has extended them through the cross.

And people who don't think they have done anything wrong see no need for a Saviour at all.

Take Care

Friday, 16 November 2007

These Things Were Important Once

I have long been a huge fan of John Lennon. Even now, having been a new creation in Christ for a number of years, I appreciate his genius. I have been thinking about him lately. Why? I don’t really know, except that the anniversary of his death at the hands of Mark David Chapman is approaching. He was shot dead on the evening of December 8, 1980. He had been 40 years of age for two months, and he will now be 40 years of age forever. I, and the rest of the world, have continued on. I was five years younger than he was when he was killed, now I am twenty two years older than he will always be.

Lennon and The Beatles defined a generation, my generation. I remember exactly where I was when I first heard them in the fall of 1963. I remember first hearing, “Sgt Pepper” and I remember how important in all our lives was the release of the White Album when I was in teachers’ college.

I remember the famous bed-in in Montreal. We were younger then. Eva and I had been married just a year, and our hair was longer. We were caught up, as young people of every generation tend to be, in the same things that other young people were. We watched the event unfold over the several days it lasted, wishing we could be there and feeling vicariously a part of it. Here is a video of its most famous moment. (If you look closely, just to the left of the, “Hair/Peace” sign, Tommy Smothers is there too, playing the guitar. At the end of the video you will also see Timothy Leary, with gray hair, pony tail and no shirt, the early proponent of LSD)



These things were important to me once. And as much as one may have changed over the intervening years, certain chapters and events of one’s life become inoperably embedded in one’s consciousness.

But now I have come to know Christ. And as much as these things were a part of my past and remain at least a part of who I am even now, I can do nothing more than quote the Apostle Paul,
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. (Philippians 3:7-9)

And say,

Take Care

Chesterton Quote O' The Week

"My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday." - New York Times Magazine, 2/11/23

Take Care

Thursday, 15 November 2007

A Series of E-mails About Silly Stuff

I received an e-mail from my brother Don the other day. For those who may not know, Tim Horton's is a coffee and donut chain here in Canada famous for the "double-double". It is a lot of sugar with a lot of cream with some coffee added. The name comes from a hockey player who played defence for both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres (at different times, of course). He was killed on a curve on the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) in St Catherines while driving between the two cities in a Mercury Panterra

Don says, under the heading, "Go Figure" (It took me several days to get the pun)
Well, I saw one this week that tops them all. Went to Tim Horton’s in Winnipeg for a coffee. While they were pouring, I was kinda looking at the donut rack and wondering if I should or shouldn’t. Well, my eye caught the cookie area.
I had a gingerbread figure. That’s right, a figure. Not a gingerbread man, not a gingerbread person, not even a gingerbread cookie.

A GINGERBREAD FIGURE!

Can't even do the rhyme any more – run run as fast as you can, you can't catch me I'm the gingerbread figure.
Just when you think you have seen it all.

When I didn't reply :-), he followed up with this,

Still Figuring
So we were talking about my gingerbread figure last night and it came to me. Its O.K. it is still a gingerbread man. If it were a woman, it would be a figurine.
Long live exclusivity!
(Still can't rhyme it)

It then occurred to me that a female figure could also be called a figurette, which rhymes with cigarette,... but they don't allow those in Tim Horton's anymore either.

Take Care

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

An Unfinished Symphony (XIII) )(Final thoughts)

Kadence Jennifer Groff. June 27 - November 15, 1999

A cadence is a rhythmic flow of a sequence of sounds...
Just as a beautiful sequence of notes falls with pleasure upon the ear bringing peace to the soul, joy to the heart and a smile to the lips, so did Kadence come into our lives. But just as a beautiful note flares brilliantly and then fades into silence, she did not linger nearly long enough.

In a classical symphony, as one movement fades into stillness, we wait quietly, expectantly, for the next movement to begin. But here there is no next movement, at least not in this world. The music has ended before it has any right to do so. We sit, dumbly, waiting for more, but there is no more. The performance has ended. The musicians are putting away their instruments even before the applause has begun. We are shocked, silent. We are not ready for this. But that’s all there is. This is, truly, an Unfinished Symphony.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil of fade --kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith -- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
(1 Peter 1: 3-9 NIV)

Peace be with you.

To Whom Do We Submit?

Just back from Bible study at Edson Baptist. We are studying the book of James. Tonight we began with chapter 3, verse 13,
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.(NKJV)

From Pastor Terry's notes,

Note that this verse begins and ends with wisdom. Wisdom is proven by works done in righteousness and with the right attitude (humility).
As believers, there are times to bow and submit and times to stand tall and courageous. We must know when to do both of these.

I was encouraged by this report from BabyBlueOnline: regarding court proceedings against orthodox believers by the diocese of Virginia:
Another great moment was when John Yates was being cross-examined by the Episcopal Church counsel. They were trying to get him to affirm that the ultimate authority in the Episcopal Church was the constitution and canons and John would affirm that, but qualify it by adding "under the Lordship of Jesus Christ." And when he was questioned whether he would obey the constitution and canons he said he would "unless they go against the teachings of Christ." It was extraordinary to hear that affirmation in a court of law, while Lord Fairfax and George Washington and James Madison looked down from their portraits.

May God continue to give His servants the words to speak and the courage to speak them boldly.

Take Care

A Couple of Prayer Requests

Regarding the Anglican communion.

The Anglican Network Conference coming up. Today's prayer,
“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” John 17: 18-19

Also, in the American diocese of Virginia, there is a lawsuit in progress, launched by the diocese, over who owns the church properties of congregations that refuse to go along with the "official" liberal agenda. Pray for God's will to be accomplished there. I am not entirely familiar with all that is happening, but I'm sure God is.

You may follow some details of the proceedings Here

Take Care

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Not of This World

From the Anglican Essentials Blog

Today’s entry from the Network "Building on the solid Rock" Conference prayer guide, “Contending for the Gospel Through Prayer”:
“They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17: 16-17

Jesus makes it very clear that His followers are no longer “of this world”. To allow today’s hedonistic, pantheistic culture to set the moral and even theological standards for the Church makes a travesty of this statement. Let us pray that the sanctifying Word of Truth would direct our leaders in all decisions to be made.

The conference runs November 22-23 at the Crossroads Christian Center in Burlington, ON. Please pray for this conference of faithful Anglicans during these troubled times in the Anglican Church of Canada.

Take Care

Monday, 12 November 2007

Canada's Least Kyoto-Friendly City

Or at least my nomination for it: St Albert, Alberta.

Rant Warning!
This post is regarding a matter that has long been one of my pet peeves. It is partly tongue-in-cheek, but there is a serious basis for what I am about to say.

I visited my former city of residence this weekend. That is nothing new, I do so often, as one of my daughters still lives there. But this weekend I particularly noticed what has long been an issue for me. That is, there are virtually no straight routes from one place in the city to any other. The entire city is designed with curvy streets, stop- and yield signs, and indirect traffic routes through residential neighbourhoods.

It occurred to me long ago as I navigated through St Albert that whoever planned the city was not thinking of conserving greenhouse gasses as part of their planning process. Because every stop and start, every slow down and speed up, results in extra and unneccessary carbon dioxide being spewed into the atmosphere,

And they keep on doing it. In designing one of their newest neighbourhoods, North Ridge, in the northwest corner of the city, they took a perfectly straight road, Hogan Road, and manufactured a curve into it!

Now the curve in itself is not that important, but how much energy was expended in ripping up a perfectly good road and inserting a bend into it? How many pollutants were emitted by the bulldozers and other construction equipment changing that road when they could just as easily have left it as it was and built the new development around it?

I don't know whether whoever designs these things just isn't thinking, or trying to be cute, or trendy, or just has a fetish for curves, but believe me, they are doing our planet no good by designing inefficient traffic routes and forcing vehicles to emit more pollutants through constant stopping and starting.

But speaking of inefficiency and pollutants, St Albert is also the greatest place for seeing great large diesel busses driving all over town with absolutely no one on them. Why don't they use mini-busses. My sense is that they would be embarassed. They consider themselves a big city and cannot use anything less than big city busses.

So much for the rant. We lived in St Albert for twenty years, raised our kids there and for the most part, enjoyed it. But these things bothered me for as long as I lived there. I am just now getting them off my chest.

I hope my wife doesn't see this. She loves St Albert, and she considers me curmudgeon enough already.

Take Care

Sunday, 11 November 2007

An Unfinished Symphony (XII) )(more of a grandfather's thoughts on SIDS

Although the events about which I am posting here occurred a number of years ago, I found that through that time and over the intervening years, my trust in the sovereignty of God has been strengthened, not lessened. The sovereignty of God had been a mere phrase of dogma, a teaching of the church, a concept to which I subscribed. I was about to say I accepted it in some kind of intellectual sense, but it was more than that. It was a part of my faith, but it was an untried part. Yes, there had been times in my life when it came close to home, but nothing like this. Here I have had to consider it, analyse it, wonder about it, wrestle with it. Faith has been tested, and it has been made stronger. This has been the refiner’s fire.

Take Care

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Friday Night @ Baby Blue

Found this over at Baby Blue Online

I was not familiar with Eva Cassidy while she was alive, but I found this haunting, beautiful and riveting.

Enjoy

Chesterton Quote of the Week

"Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God." - Christendom in Dublin, 1933
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Friday, 9 November 2007

Joke of the Day II

Opposition Liberal party leader Stephane Dion is grovelling for attention. I'm almost embarassed for him. He has turned to his cupboard of "guaranteed vote-getting platitudes" and pulled out the, "I will eliminate poverty" file. What makes me shake my head is the fact that I believe his Liberal forebears are in large part responsible for the problem in this country in the first place. Why? My short answer is, high taxes and the breakdown of the family. Both causes, it seems to me, grew in the fertile soil of previous liberal governments, starting especially with Pierre Trudeau.

My longer opinion is expressed Here, although no politician, especially a liberal one (doesn't matter whether small-l or capital) will or can admit it.

Take Care

Thursday, 8 November 2007

My Kingdom is Not of This World

Robertson Backs Rudy

From the Edmonton Journal:
Rudy Giuliani, whose two divorces and stance in favour of abortion rights have alienated many Christian conservatives, Wednesday captured the endorsement of the Rev. Pat Robertson, a prominent televangelist who said the former New York mayor would be the best candidate to counter the "blood lust of Islamic terrorists."

Yet, as Doug Wilson posts:
Pro-choicers, like Giuliani, have collectively killed more Americans every day for over thirty years running than the Islamic rage-boys have killed in the last five years total.

I suppose it depends upon one's perspective, but Pat Robertson seems to be hedging things by miring at least one foot in the kingdom of this world.

In Rudy we trust?

Take Care

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

An Unfinished Symphony (XI) )(more of a grandfather's thoughts on SIDS

Why? Why Kadence, child of Christian parents, grandchild of Christian grandparents? Is it because as Christians we are supposed to find it easier to take? Is our faith supposed to make this easier to bear? Is that it, God? If so, it’s just plain cruel.

I have asked the question over and over again. Why? What was the point?
Oddly enough, this is the question upon which I now, in a sense, dwell the least. It’s not that I know that some day I will have the answer. It is that when that day comes, I will no longer have the question. I will not even have to ask it. When I see her again, the question will be gone forever from my mind before it ever comes to my lips. I imagine that time coming and I think of what was said by the prophet Isaiah,
“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” (Isaiah 65: 24)


Take Care

The Overseer Must be Above Reproach

"He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap. (1 Timothy 3:7, NIV)"

In the news recently:
Acting on tips about preachers who ride in Rolls Royces and have purportedly paid $30,000 for a conference table, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee said Tuesday he's investigating the finances of six well-known TV ministers...

Read the entire story Here

Not only must a Christian in the public eye be blameless, he must be seen to be blameless, lest he drag the name of Jesus Christ through the mud.
Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. (Titus 1:7)

And why does this passage come to mind?
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:3-11)


Take Care

Joke Of The Day

What more can be said.

Take Care

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Laundry Calls???? Please!!!!

I found this post over at felix hominum fascinating, until I got to the "to be continued" part.
The suspense is killing me now.

I have read some of Francis Schaeffer and particularly enjoyed, "The God Who Is There." Even the title makes the perfect statement. Another of his books I enjoyed is, "The Church at the end of the Twentieth Century", which I thought was profoundly prophetic, as it was written some time before the actual end of the century and yet proved amazingly accurate.

I look forward to reading the rest of Mr hominum's post ;-).
Take Care

Tim Challies' Great November Giveaway

Challies.com is giving readers the chance to win some great Bible and Christian Classic CD's. Click on the link below to find out how. Tim suggests to all who enter that they link to his contest on their blogs, if they have one. And I have one, as you know by now because, well, you're here.

If you link to his contest and enter, there is a place for you to enter a referral ID. My referral ID is 30982. I would appreciate if you entered it.

You can read about the contest
Here
and enter it
Here

Thanks and take care

Has Al Gore Bought a Smaller House Yet?

Regarding a story this morning in the Edmonton Journal, Scott at Magic Statistics poses this perspective.

One might well ask what Al Gore has done personally to reduce his carbon footprint, besides buying carbon credits, which is a complete cop out, paying others to do what he is unwilling to do himself. It was revealed several months ago that his house in Tennessee uses several times the energy of the average home in that state.

I wonder if he has moved yet?

Take Care

Sunday, 4 November 2007

An Unfinished Symphony (X) )(more of a grandfather's thoughts on SIDS

It hurts so badly when your own child is hurting, but this is worse. Your own baby is in pain because she, herself, lost her own child. The pain is doubled.

From time to time, black thoughts creep into my head; dark thoughts of blame and fault. These are thoughts that dare not even be thought, let alone written. Kadence is gone; let healing begin. I keep thinking, “It didn’t have to happen.” And yet it did, and it cannot be changed.

People say that only time will heal the pain. Why doesn’t time just jump forward so I could be over the anguish?

How selfish is my grief. Do I mourn for Kadence or for my own pain?
The Bible talks of God comforting us in our troubles so that we in turn can comfort those in trouble themselves. That’s alright for some troubles, but for this? Is that the reason for all this? Surely not! That would be too cruel.

Take Care

Ephesians 5:22?

Just back from helping our daughter move. (She wasn't there, she's on business in Yellowknife.) At some point, in conversation with the movers, I jokingly referred to myself as the henpecked husband.

Eva said indignantly, "John, you're not henpecked!"

I said, "Yes, dear."

Take Care

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Luther: The Movie

We viewed a screening of the movie Luther at church last night. It is a PG-13 movie and the usual warning before the movie cautioned, "Parents strongly cautioned." My first thought was that it might be for blatantly Christian content, but as it turns out there were probably some violence and even, believe it or not, some minor language issues. Here are a few random thoughts.

As much as I enjoyed the movie, I would like to have seen a little more emphasis on the specific doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. Luther apparently came to true faith through his study of Romans, particularly chapter 1, verse 17:
For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." (NIV)
As I recall, there was surprisingly little Scripture quoted. The movie spent some time showing Luther giving sermons to his flock, but I wish there had been more of his explaining the Scriptures that led to his epiphany.

A couple of scenes stand out in my mind. There was one scene where Luther was in a crowd purchasing indulgences, then having to crawl on his knees up the steps of a cathedral, reciting an "Our Father" every step. He was promised by the person collecting the money that when he reached the top, the person he was praying for would be released from purgatory. I don't quite know why, but that scene reminded me of a couple of TV preachers I see on Vision TV. One touts, "miracle spring water" and the other pushes, "green prayer cloths," as the way to have God do your bidding. All you have to do is use these devices according to instructions and God will bend to your will. These "televangelists" are merely selling modern day indulgences.

The other scene I remember, and it very nearly brought tears to my eyes, involved a fellow priest of Luther's who was Dutch. He was about to set out on a dangerous journey to his home country and Luther was trying to dissuade him, because of the perils on the road. "No," the priest said, clutching a newly printed Bible, "I want people in my own country to read the Word of God in their own language." The moment brought a lump to my throat. Such faith and love for God! How marvellous is God's word and how much we sometimes take it for granted, here in comfortable twenty-first century North America.

Take Care