Saturday, 31 May 2008

Court backs sacking man for casual cannabis use

Finally, a breath of fresh air from our judicial system -- a decision that makes sense.

From Here...
Canada's top court has backed a precedent-setting Alberta Court of Appeal ruling that a contractor acted legally in firing a worker who failed a drug test.

Actually, the Alberta Human Rights commission had shown some sanity in the matter by refusing to cowtow to the complainants whining victim mentality. But then...
In 2006, a Court of Queen's Bench overturned the panel's decision, ruling the effect of KBR's policy was to treat recreational cannabis users as addicts.

This is more what I would have expected for our courts in today's self centered society -- how dare we interfere with anyone's unfettered right to indulge himself in any selfish "pleasure?" How dare any employer not want "recreational cannabis users" as employees. However, the complainant's 'high' was short-lived...
Last December, the Alberta Court of Appeal overturned the lower court's decision, concluding that "extending human rights protections to situations resulting in placing the lives of others at risk flies in the face of logic.

Flying in the face of logic is something in which our courts have been specializing for quite some time. This is a refreshing change. Let's hope we see more.

Take Care

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?

You may have heard of these pictures of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs and young girls.
WARNING: you may find these pictures disturbing or offensive.

From the Huffington Post
The Deseret News and Dallas Morning News, both of which have more on the story, report that one of the girls in the photos was 12.

What I would like to ask the liberals of Niagara, Ottawa, Huron, New Westminster, TEC, et al is this: What's wrong with this? Why?

What I am getting at is that I'm sure they would draw a line somewhere. The question is, where do they draw it and on what basis? If it is wrong, sez who? They can't use God as a moral authority: they've already disqualified themselves from using that argument.

Take Care

It Took Me a Week to Post This

We are beginning a study of the Minor Prophets on Wednesday nights at Edson Baptist. Tonight's was postponed until tomorrow night, but I will post something from Pastor Terry's notes from last week..

From the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology,
The prophetic books record both the largely unheeded prophetic announcement of divine judgment, made to a sinful and self confident people, and the prediction of salvation beyond the judgment, made to a chastened and discouraged people.

And from Pastor Terry's own notes,
It is to sinners that Christ came -- He makes His offer of rest to those who are weary and heavy laden. (Mt 11:28-30). The self-righteous, the self-satisfied have no part in this salvation. This makes the call of the prophets entirely consistent with the call of God in the New Covenant.

I post this basically without comment. I think it speaks for itself. But I can't help but feel it has significance in certain areas of Christianity today.

Take Care

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

The Jesus of Scripture

Lately we have heard references to the "Jesus of Scripture," by those who would have the church bless homosexual relationships. They seem to claim that Jesus would have agreed with them. Unfortunately, THE Jesus of Scripture is not THEIR Jesus of Scripture.

A favourite argument is the phrase taken, I believe, from the Anglican Book of Alternative Services (although I could be wrong in this), "Jesus welcomes sinners and invites them to his table." This, I believe, is based on Luke 15:2,
But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."

This is then extended to mean that Jesus approved of sinners and did not judge them. But these people only consider half the case. This verse in in the context of the repentance of sinners. In verse 7 of the very same chapter Jesus says,
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
In Luke 5:32 Jesus tells his whole purpose in associating with those thought of by society as sinners,
"...I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

These people will quote Jesus as saying to the woman taken in adultery (John chapter 8),
"Neither do I condemn you..."
but neglect the rest of his sentence,
"...go and sin no more."

Would Jesus have done this woman a service; would he have shown himself kind and loving if he had said, "That's OK. Just go on living as you want. It doesn't matter"?

No. That would have been the ultimate disservice.

Take Care

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Those Who Have Never Heard

From Dr Charles Stanley...

Romans 1:18-25
In many countries, the gospel can’t be shared freely. Repressive governments and religions stop Christians from telling others about Jesus. However, God is mightier than oppression. Where human messengers can’t carry the good news, the Lord is revealing Himself to those whose hearts are open.

First, Timothy chapter two says God wants everyone to come to a saving knowledge of Him. Romans chapter 1 shows He is holy and just, but He can’t overlook man’s sinful condition, which renders all guilty and without excuse. He will not admit people into heaven unless they’ve acknowledged their need for a Savior.

But, our Father is also fair and merciful. He makes His presence known to every person so each one may choose to recognize His sovereignty. The Lord does this by revealing Himself to all mankind in two ways: through conscience and creation.

First, He has imbedded His basic moral guidelines in the human conscience. In other words, at some point in life, every sane person has an innate sense that certain actions are right and others are wrong.

Second, the Creator displays His power and divine nature through what He has made. The complexity, variety, order, and beauty of the world all point to an intelligent Designer. We can’t pinpoint every method the Lord uses to reveal Himself. Yet we can be sure nothing will stop Him from reaching out to people who follow conscience and creation to the logical conclusion: the existence of a loving, sovereign God.

This speaks to an issue on which I'm sure I disagree with some of my more Calvinist brothers. The question is whether God can apply the benefits of Christ's completed work on the cross to someone who has never heard of it, yet has come to a knowledge of God, by His grace, and who trusts Him and not any strength or goodness of their own for their salvation. I hold this rather open-handedly, but I am not prepared to say that He can't.

Take Care

Monday, 19 May 2008

Philipp Jakob Spener (1635-1705)

From his work, Pia Desideria (Pious Desires)
To the faithful church leaders and pastors of the whole Evangelical Christian church:

May the Father of light and Giver of all good things grant you, my Fathers and Brethren, beloved and esteemed in Christ Jesus, our chief shepherd,

Enlightened eyes of understanding to discern what is the hope of our calling, what are the riches of God’s glorious inheritance for his saints, and how boundless is God’s strength in us who believe that his mighty power is effectual;

Diligence and zeal to be of good cheer and to strengthen others who may grow faint;

Strength and courage (with the weapons of our calling, which are not fleshly but mighty for God) to destroy the strongholds and frustrate the assaults on, and all the defenses which are raised against, the knowledge of God, to take all reason captive in obedience to Christ, and to be ready to punish all disobedience when the obedience of believers is fulfilled;

Blessing and success to observe with joy that the Word that goes forth from God’s mouth, as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, shall not return to God empty but shall accomplish that which he purposes and prosper in the thing for which he sent it, and to behold how the earth, cultivated through your ministry, produces the first blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear;

Complete pleasure in the knowledge that through your ministry the name of God is hallowed, his kingdom extended, and his will is done, and that the salvation of many souls, the peace of your own consciences, and ultimately your eternal glory are achieved to the honor of his holy name. . . .

Let us, all of us together, now do diligently what we have been appointed to do, namely, to feed the flock which God has bought with his own blood and therefore at a very great price. . . . Let us remember the rigorous reckoning which faces us at the hands of him who will call us to account for the souls which have in any way been neglected. Let us remember that in the last judgment we shall not be asked how learned we were and whether we displayed our learning before the world. . . .

Instead, we shall be asked how faithfully and with how childlike a heart we sought to further the kingdom of God; with how pure and godly a teaching and how worthy an example we tried to edify our hearers amid the scorn of the world, denial of self, taking up the cross, and imitation of our Savior; with what zeal we opposed not only error but also wickedness of life; or with what constancy and cheerfulness we endured the persecution or adversity thrust upon us by the manifestly godless world or by false brethren, and amid such suffering praised God. Let us therefore be diligent in investigating ever more deeply our own shortcomings and those of the rest of the church in order that we may learn to know our sicknesses, and then with a fervent invocation of God for the light of his Spirit let us also search for and ponder over the remedies.

h/t 2 worlds Collide

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Cause For Concern?

An article on Edmonton's new Anglican bishop, Jane Alexander gives me pause.
"Basically, I'm a play-by-the-rules girl," the Rt. Rev. Jane Alexander said, noting that the national church last June rejected a motion touching on same-sex blessings.

To which rules does she refer: the rules of Scripture or the rules of the Anglican Church of Canada.

"At the present time the national church has said we're going to talk about this and we will vote again and look at this (at the General Synod) in 2010. And so that's what we'll do."

You can be sure that the way things are going, without a miraculous intervention by God (and we may certainly pray for that) the rules are indeed going to change in 2010.

Which rules will she abide by then? Decision time will surely come for for the faithful in the Diiocese of Edmonton as it has elsewhere.
Read it all here...

Take Care

Friday, 16 May 2008

This Really Get's My Goat

In the "Faith" column in a local newspaper the town's Lutheran pastor gives this sentence,
God's intention for us is to have life and that it be radiant life built on God's grace...

Notice how awkward is the grammar in that sentence, all for the purpose, in my opinion, of avoiding using masculine language for God. How much more natural would it have been to have said, "...built on His grace..."

I have noticed this is common practice among liberal, "Christians," most notably the last time I read the text for a, "World Day of Prayer" service.

They probably see themselves as bending over backwards to be inclusive. I think it's just silly.

Take Care

Friday, 9 May 2008

A VIP Story

For those of my readers who don't know, I manage a Truck Accessory Store.

Today we installed some accessories on a truck for the Town of Edson Fire Department. When the chief came in to pick up his truck this afternoon, he was driven to the shop by our mayor. It reminded me of this story, which you may have heard.
The Pope was in New York, giving a Mass at Madison Square Gardens, but his hotel was on the other side of town. He was held up and running late and called for his limousine. Fully decked out in his robes and mitre he was seated in the back of the limo as they left for MSG. The limo driver was driving extremely carefully, considering who his passenger was, observing all the traffic laws and taking corners very slowly. The Pope, however, realizing they were not going to make it on time, was getting impatient. Finally he could stand it no longer.

"Here," he said to the driver, "You get in the back and let me drive!" So they made the switch. The Pope put his foot to the floor and drove like a madman, trying to make up time. But a cop noticed the speeding limo, pulled it over and walked up to the driver's window. As the Pope rolled down the window, the cop exclaimed, "Oh my goodness!", walked back to his motorcycle and radioed HQ. "Captain," he said, "I've got a situation here. I've pulled someone very important over for speeding and I'm not quite sure what to do."

"Well, how important is he?" asked tha captain, "Is he as important as the mayor?"
"I would say more important than the mayor," replied the policeman.

"Is he as importtant as the governor?"
"I would say more important than the governor."

"As important as the presicdent?"
"Maybe even more important than that!"

"Well," asked the Captain, "Just who is this guy?"
"I don't know," replied the cop, "But his chauffer is the Pope!"

Take Care

Isle of the Dead (Friday Afternoon Rachmaninoff)

From Wikipedia
Isle of the Dead, Op. 29 is a symphonic poem composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Rachmaninoff was inspired by Arnold Böcklin's painting, Isle of the Dead, which he saw in Paris in 1907. He concluded the composition while staying in Dresden in 1908.[citation needed] It is considered a classic example of Russian late-Romanticism of the beginning of the 20th century.

The music begins by suggesting the sound of the oars of Charon as they meet the waters of the river Styx. Rachmaninoff then uses a recurring figure in 5/8 time to depict what may be the rowing of the oarsman or the movement of the water, and as in several other of his works, quotes the Dies Irae plainchant, an allusion to death. In contrast to the theme of death, the 5/8 time also depicts breathing, creating a holistic reflection on how life and death are intertwined.

I find this piece quite haunting and melodic. (It's not the whole piece, BTW)

Take Care

Thursday, 8 May 2008

More on Child Poverty

Once again, it's the 800 lb gorilla no politically correct politician or do-gooder can admit exists. It's the connection between child poverty, single parenthood and the abandonment of what we once would have known as right morality.

Steven Malanga writes in the City Journal.
Whereas fewer than 10 percent of children living with two parents live below the poverty line, about 37 percent of those living with single mothers do. Kids born out of wedlock are particularly likely to wind up in poverty. In 2007, half of all women who had children out of wedlock were in poverty, ensuring that their children wound up there, too...

...According to 2007 census data, only 28 percent of unwed mothers who gave birth last year were living with a partner. Such arrangements do not augur well for men’s making lifetime commitments to their kids’ support and development...

...We long ago destigmatized this form of parenthood: young men boast about the children they’ve fathered illegitimately, and young women seem unaware that such births are a superhighway to lifetime poverty for them and their kids.

And you can be sure that the problem will only continue to worsen as long as the real cause is not to be named.

Read it all here...

Take Care

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

How Green Are They Really?

Max Schulz writes on California’s illusion of environmentalism an Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's newfound status as an environmental hero in the City Journal.
Schwarzenegger especially celebrated California for its leadership on energy and the environment. Just three months earlier, he had signed the Global Warming Solutions Act, committing California to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels—roughly 25 percent below today’s—by 2020, and all but eliminating them by 2050. The Governator then lambasted the Bush administration for failing to tackle global warming: “It would not act, so California did. California has taken the leadership in moving the entire country beyond debate and denial to action.” Such performances have helped establish Schwarzenegger as a national figure, even a statesman, on the environment.

However, as always, there is another side to the story...
In truth, however, the Golden State’s energy leadership is a mirage. California’s environmental policies have made it heavily dependent on other states for power; generated some of the highest, business-crippling energy costs in the country; and left it vulnerable to periodic electricity shortages. Its economic growth has occurred not because of, but despite, those policies, which would be disastrous if extended to the rest of the country.

Californians are apparently not as selflessly altruistic as they seem. they just allow others to handle the dirty work...
Up to 20 percent of the state’s power comes from coal-burning plants in Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and Montana, and another significant portion comes from large-scale hydropower in Oregon, Washington State, and the Hoover Dam near Las Vegas. “California practices a sort of energy colonialism,” says James Lucier of Capital Alpha Partners, a Washington, D.C.–area investment group. “They rely on western states to supply them with power generation they are unwilling to build for themselves”—and leave those states to deal with the resulting pollution.

The results...
The state has some of the highest energy prices in the country—nearly twice the national average, a 2002 Milken Institute study found—largely because of regulations and government mandates to use expensive renewable sources of power. As a result, heavy manufacturing and other energy-intensive industries have been fleeing the Golden State in droves for lower-cost locales.

Regarding California's ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets...
Consider that California could take every one of its 14 million passenger cars off the road, and still be less than halfway toward its goal,” observed Sacramento Bee columnist Daniel Weintraub. “Shutting down 100 state-of-the-art, natural-gas-fired power plants still wouldn’t get us there. Closing the entire cement industry, although it is a major source of greenhouse gases, wouldn’t finish the job.”

And in closing...
…everyone can’t do what California does. Someone needs to build power plants and oil refineries. Someone needs to manufacture the cars, trucks, airplanes, and other pieces of heavy equipment that enrich Americans’ lives, till our fields, and grow our economy. Someone needs to produce the plastics and chemicals that undergird our prosperity. Those things require energy, and lots of it—growing amounts of it. All the wisdom of Athens and all the power of Sparta won’t change that fact.

Read it all Here...

Maybe when all the politicians and celebrities jumping on this 'green' bandwagon start making real, demonstrable personal sacrifices, instead of 1) encouraging others to make ones they are unwilling to make and, 2) buying carbon credits and thinking it does anything more than assuage their own consciences; maybe then we can be impressed.

Take Care

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Inadvertant Consequences of "Good" Intentions

I was watching the Michael Coren Show on CTS the other day. Michael had a panel of a couple of 'lefties' and a couple of conservatives. The topic of discussion came around to the free trade deal, NAFTA.

One of the panelists whined that because of free trade, the fruit canning industry has suffered enormously in the Niagara Peninsula. "We just lost our last canning plant," I remember hearing him say. Now I know of some that have closed, but I know the biggest was E.D. Smith, in Winona, where I grew up. "Don't tell me that has closed down too!" I thought, in a panic. Well I checked today online and see that it was indeed being taken over by an American firm, Treehouse Foods, but it is still there and operating, as far as I could tell. That has nothing to do with free trade.

However, that is not my point here. I was thinking that if I had been there on the panel, I would have told him just what indeed led to the collapse of the Niagara Peninsula fruit industry. It was the introduction, (under the NDP government of Bob Rae, I believe) of the minimum wage for picking fruit. The results were almost immediate. "Pick Your Own" signs went up all up and down Highway 8 and the QEW. Whereas by paying so much per basket of fruit picked a farmer could standardize his costs, suddenly he had to pay people no matter how productive or non- they were.

Picking fruit was my standard summer employment when I was growing up. Every summer I picked fruit at Bridgeman's farm; 35 cents a basket for cherries, 10 cents for pears or peaches. The introduction of the minimum wage for this type of work didn't protect farm workers, it eliminated their jobs, and they never returned. (I also touched on this in another post here.)

This is not just my theory of what happened. I was there and I saw it.

Unfortunately, these types of social engineering decisions often have consequences unforeseen by the "do-gooders" who enact them. I'm thinking specifically of the current spate of panic legislation seeking to reverse climate change. I am not arguing that there is no such thing as climate change. I am asking, "How much can we actually do about it, and what might be the economic consequences to our decisions?" We have already seen the world price of food skyrocket, in part through the diversion of various foodstuffs for use in biofuels. In the end, I fear that the contribution of human cutbacks to the solution of global warming, if there is a solution, will be somewhat less than miniscule, but many lives will be affected in the attempt.

It occurs to me that this whole thing is an indication of mankind's arrogant thinking that we can fix anything. Well some things are bigger than we are, and in the face of some forces we are powerless.

Not to say we shouldn't to certain prudent things as individuals to help out where we can, but how many Canadians will forego their airplane flights to Disneyland, I wonder.

And, I wonder, has Al Gore moved yet?

Take Care

Take Care

An Inherent Contradiction

From the link in my post two below this one, editor and publisher of the United Church Observer David Wilson says,
“There is an inherent beauty in the theory of natural selection that illuminates the inherent beauty and wonder of creation,”

In fact, there is an inherent contradiction between the theory of natural selection and the inherent beauty and wonder of creation.

I must mention this one small aspect of the matter, and I don't mean to put too fine a theological point on it, but it just came into my mind and stuck there.

It is this. Natural selection necessarily involves the dominance of the weak by the strong. God, on the other hand, in so many instances, takes just the opposite approach. He exalts the weak but humbles the strong. He calls for the protection of the weak, the poor, the defenselesss. Natural selection involves just the opposite: the weak and defenseless are devoured and eliminated by the strong. That is the basis of the whole theory.

It seems to me that in this, as in so many other ways, the concepts of Creation and evolution just cannot mix.

Take Care

Friday, 2 May 2008

Friday Rachmaninoff

This is Rachmaninoff's Symphony No.2 (3 mov pt 2). Soft and melodic, but the interesting thing about it is that Eric Carmen borrowed from this piece as well for his 1975 song, "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again." If you remember that song you will recognise the theme.

You may remember a previous example of Carmen's borrowing from Rachmaninoff Here...

Take Care