Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dead Horses and Laughs


We've had so much serious stuff going on of late, I thought it would be good to have a little moment of levity today. A friend sent me this, and I now share it with you.

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from one generation to the next, says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

However, in modern business, because of the heavy investment factors to be taken into consideration, often other strategies have to be tried with dead horses, including the following:

1. Buying a stronger whip.

2. Changing riders.

3. Threatening the horse with termination.

4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

5. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.

6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

7. Appointing an intervention team to reanimate the dead horse.

8. Creating a training session to increase the riders load share.

9. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.

10. Change the form so that it reads: "This horse is not dead."

11. Hire outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

12. Harness several dead horses together for increased speed.

13. Donate the dead horse to a recognized charity, thereby deducting its
full original cost.

14. Providing additional funding to increase the horse's performance.

15. Do a time management study to see if the lighter riders would improve
productivity.

16. Purchase an after-market product to make dead horses run faster.

17. Declare that a dead horse has lower overhead and therefore performs
better.

18. Form a quality focus group to find profitable uses for dead horses.

19. Rewrite the expected performance requirements for horses.

20. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.


Sola's note: I needed this laugh today, in part because I am at the hospital in my home town to be with my sister who having cancer surgery. I'd appreciate prayers for her and the family, both that all will go well, and that the Lord would work in the hearts of everyone to accomplish His purpose in their lives.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sharia in School?


I am pressed for time today, but I'll post this link to a WND story, which tells the story of a legendary Michigan public high school coach who lost his job. The alleged reason? The Muslim principal is reported to be mad because a Muslim student came to faith in Christ through this Christian coach — at an off-campus event.

In the particular article, I found this line of special interest:

"We are getting a glimpse of what happens when Muslims who refuse to accept American values and principles gain political power in an American community," said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, which is representing Marsazalek. "Failure to renew coach Marszalek's contract had nothing to do with wrestling and everything to do with religion."

That is a very, very serious issue and one that ought to be discussed loudly. For one thing, people who immigrate here take an oath of citizenship. Acceptance of American values and principles is not an option. For people who were born here, Muslim or not, they ought to know better.

Freedom is wonderful here in America, but it is not absolute. Freedom of speech doesn't mean you can yell "Fire" in a crowded theatre. Freedom of religion is not absolute, especially if the rights of other faiths are infringed. That is a constitutional principle, and citizens of the U.S. are to uphold the Constitution.

If Muslim groups are unwilling to do that -- and have as their eventual design to take over and put the country under Sharia -- I would say that it's time to begin deportations with a vengeance.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sundries from Sola's Soapbox


It's been a few days, and the news is racking up. So, I thought I'd better make some post before gangrene sets in.

If you've been watching the health care situation, I find it interesting that House Democrats are exposing their derrieres so gleefully. They're ignoring the concerns of conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats and pushing a vote to the floor, taking the abnormal step of bypassing the committee structure (and thereby the Blue Dogs' opposition). Radical California Democrat Henry Waxman is leading the charge.

In my humble opinion, payback is a mean lady. The Blue Dogs ought to jump ship en masse to the Republicans, and hopefully there would be enough of them to hand control of the House back to the Republicans. I can't think of a better way to slap Waxman and Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the chops. In other words, you want to play highhanded and hardball? Okay. Two can play at that game. And when it's all said and done, they'll learn that they should have been reasonable.

Next, the situation in Honduras. Another troubling situation that ought to be opening eyes here at home. The leftist president was removed from office by the Congress and the military for wanting to run the Honduran Constitution through the shredder, and basically set it up so he can be a Hugo Chavez-like president for life. Of course, the Honduran legislature and many of the people at large objected to such a power grab. But the ousted would-be dictator isn't giving up. He's camping out along the Honduran border, trying to force his way back into the country (and probably inviting a bullet into his head in the process). Then the left will have another martyr along with Che Guevara.

It's even more interesting who our own Administration and the left in Congress is backing. Are they backing the Honduran Constitution, lawmakers and military? Are you kidding? They're backing Zapata, the Chavez/Castro wannabe. And all under the guise of "supporting a democratically elected leader." No matter if said elected leader wants to do away with true elections in time, just as soon as he can amass enough power.

What lesson could there be in that for us?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Presbyterian Sinkhole?


The most recent World Magazine is calling attention to continued theological and membership slippage by the Presbyterian Church (USA) in a clip entitled "Sore Loser."

The article cites a 70,000-person decline in membership, and a loss of 25 congregations who quit for other fellowships. The cause of the bloodletting is, of course, encroaching theological liberalism in the mainline denomination, especially the issue of homosexuality and whether practicing gays should be allowed in the pulpit.

However, one pastor described as a "liberal pastor/blogger," -- John Shuck -- blames it on other "baggage." What kind of baggage, you may ask? According to the article, here's what he says:

"Creeds, boring hymns, bashing gays, superstition, and the general nausea caused by Christian evangelism."

Oh. My. Lands. Or should I say, "aw, shucks?"

If this is the position of the majority of Presbyterian pastors in this particular branch of Presbyterianism, it's no wonder that people are leaving in droves. John Knox would be appalled.

Come to think of it, I have a strong suspicion that the Lord Jesus Christ would be appalled as well. Especially seeing how His command to evangelize is described as causing "general nausea."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

State Sovereignty With Teeth?


So Alaska is joining in the State Sovereignty movement.

By all means, go back and read the post from Dr. Al Mohler today in spite of this "bump," but I couldn't resist this one comment on a growing story.

More and more states are passing these resolutions to "send a message" to the federal government. Here's my question. If you notice the text of the linked WorldNetDaily story, these resolutions all seem to be "non-binding." Why take the trouble of making a point like this if you're not actually going to throw down the gauntlet and bite with some teeth? All the federal government will do is roll their eyes and laugh.

How about passing an actual bill with the force of law? Challenge the feds and the court system and do it with determination.

Otherwise, it's just more knee-deep in the hoopla.

Evangelicalism's Terminal Generation


Southern Baptist theologian and seminary president Dr. Al Mohler is someone for whom I have a great deal of respect. His blog is linked over to the right in my "links" section. However, I wanted to direct attention to a recent post of Dr. Mohler's regarding the state of evangelicalism today. This column is worth reading and pondering. The evangelical movement has been at a crossroads for some time, and I think we're nearing the breaking point where we have to decide whether we're going to maintain biblical fidelity or go the way of the mainlines.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Announcing a New Blog

Over the past year, fellow blogger Dave Sherrill has been working to put together a group blog consisting of contributors who are part of the Evangelical Free Church of America. This is the link to the new blog, which is entitled "Evangelical Free Vantage Point." Dave was kind enough to invite me to participate as I can, but his invitation is open:

Are you part of the Evangelical Free Church movement? Do you blog? Are you interested in participating in this team blog? If you're thinking yes yes yes, then drop me a line at efvp@q.com

Obviously, the viewpoints expressed in this new blog will not necessarily be those of the EFCA as a whole, but "Free Churchers" tend to be like-minded on the essentials, so I am happy to give this new forum a plug.

So, if you're part of the E-Free and have something you'd like to blog about, send Dave an email.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Take a Number . . . Not!


This is a pretty interesting generation in more ways than one. While it has some commendable points, it's also a pretty narcissistic, me-centered generation. Spoiled rotten and then some. Quick to complain and easy to get its undies in a bunch when things don't go according to plan. We hear a lot about "fairness." If you read between the lines, how many statements get fired in God's direction about life's circumstances -- statements that, if you read between the lines, imply that God is not fair.

Imagine being one of the narcissistic crew, and then coming across this Scripture:

Why should any living mortal, or any man, Offer complaint in view of his sins (Lamentations 3:39)?

Ouch. Now THAT's a cold slosh of water in the face, isn't it?

But how true, and what a great reminder to get things back into their proper perspective. How thankful we ought to be that God doesn't give us what we deserve. That's grace. Giving us what we deserve is justice.

And considering eternal justice, and what we have done to merit God's wrath, I think we all would do well to complain less. I'm certainly going to try.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Passing of Walter Cronkite


With the recent announcement about the death of Walter Cronkite, I must confess having mixed emotions.

Like most tail-end baby boomers, I grew up watching Walter Cronkite and the CBS Evening News. Like most Americans, I trusted Cronkite's reporting a great deal. As I entered the broadcast profession in 1978, Cronkite was in the twilight of his career as anchor and managing editor, finally stepping down in 1981. He truly was a broadcast legend, and deserving of respect for his accomplishments.

Having said that, there was another side of Cronkite to which most Americans were ignorant, including me. It wasn't until after I got into media and began reading about liberal bias that I began to see this side of not only him, but the mainstream networks. That began to color my judgment of Walter Cronkite, and the reverence in which I held him. I was especially disappointed at his views toward conservative Christians in politics. Here is a clip from ASSIST News Service's Cronkite obituary and story . . .

Cronkite had strong opinions about some of the best known names of the religious right. In an undated letter for the Interfaith Alliance (www.interfaithalliance.org/join/message-from-walter-cronkite) he wrote that the days of keeping quiet about his personal opinions were over.

Cronkite said, "Now, more than ever, I feel I must speak out. That's because I am deeply disturbed by the dangerous and growing influence of people like Pat Robertson and James Dobson on our nation's political leaders."

However, in a statement Billy Graham called Cronkite "one of the closest friends I had in journalism. He was an icon. I doubt if anybody will replace him in the hearts and minds of Americans. I respected his views on so many subjects."

Graham added, "I will never forget Walter's narration of a documentary film produced about my wife, Ruth. May God bless his family during these days."

In his letter for the Interfaith Alliance Cronkite also said, "I understand that freedom of speech is a founding principle of our nation, and I respect people with the courage to speak their minds. As a concerned person of faith, however, I have watched with increasing alarm as religious right groups manipulate religion to further their intolerant, political agendas. Over the years, they have gained considerable influence at every level of government...on local school boards, in the administration, the courts, and in Congress. They have shrewdly twisted the traditional healing role of religion into an intolerant, political platform."


There is much that can be said about Cronkite's comments, but I'll leave it at this. While I might disagree with Pat Robertson and James Dobson on some points, I am firmly in their camp when it comes to Christian morality, and the right of Christians to speak to the issues of the day, AND the right of Christians to be involved politically. Everything that Walter Cronkite said about "the religious right" can also be said about the "religious left," and the political left. Cronkite bemoaned "intolerance." Believe me, the left has plenty of it to go around. And they have almost unchallenged "influence at every level of government . . . on local school boards, in the administration, the courts and in Congress."

As for the "traditional healing role of religion," Cronkite seemed to have forgotten the prophetic role of the Christian faith. That means calling a nation to account for its sins, and calling a nation to repentance. The kind of faith Cronkite and the left likes is the kind where you can mouth platitudes and have a vague, fuzzy spirituality, but don't dare to say something is "wrong" or "evil."

I feel regret at the loss of another cultural icon and legend. But my regret goes deeper than that. I am reasonably convinced that Cronkite is probably now discovering his errors in a very personal, painful way.

And I take no pleasure in that at all.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More on Romans 13


It's time to take another look at Romans 13 and what it has to say about governing authorities.

For new readers, I've been doing a series of posts off and on about whether a Christian's submission to government is supposed to be absolute, as some argue. I've had my own musings on the subject, and have posted the views of others. Today, we share this commentary by Chuck Baldwin. It's worth pondering in light of our own situation here in the United States, and our government increasingly oblivious to the Constitution — the supreme law of the land.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Walking in the Light


The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it (John 1:5).

I know I've posted this little shot from the Arkansas Ozarks before. Bear with me, though, because I had one of those little moments this morning where the image -- and the implied message -- really struck home to me.

This was such a cool thing to see up close and personal. We were in this cave called the "Indian Rockhouse." In the ceiling of the cave was an area where the roof had cracked or collapsed, and this beam of sunlight shone down. The circular beam enveloped a small tree that had begun growing in the cave, which is remarkable in and of itself. Surrounded by shadow, this little green tree was basking in the warmth of the light.

How like our Savior's love and protection to us. As I look around the world -- and even in our country -- the shadow seems to be growing ever larger. But God is not surprised and He is not deterred. And His people are never for a moment out of his hand, nor out of His light.

The Lord's people know Him, and He knows His people. The sheep hear the shepherd's voice, and another voice they simply will not follow. The Lord's people know, recognize and bask in His light. The unregenerate, God-hating world sees, and is frightened by, the light. They're revolted by the light. They do all they can to try and block out the light or to quench it.

Above all, they do not comprehend the light. Men love darkness rather than light. Yet there is hope for them if they will respond to God's call and turn from the darkness toward the light.

What a lesson for all who will heed it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

National Health Service? Parents, Beware!


Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable.

There are some things you just can't make up. Even if you try.

So Barack Obama and his friends in the Democratic-controlled Congress want socialized medicine here in the United States, despite their denials. Just think, a National Health Service here in the United States just like they have in Great Britain. National health care just like Canada.

Hmmm. In light of the linked article and the NHS's hi-jinks in Britain, I'd advise all parents to beware!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Senate Sotomayor Dog and Pony Show


I purposely haven't paid much attention to the Sonia Sotomayor Dog and Pony Show underway in the U.S. Senate. I began to tire of watching "confirmation hearings" during the Robert Bork lynching in the 1980s. Nothing I have seen since then has convinced me to change my mind or sit through them again.

It goes without saying that Judge Sotomayor will win confirmation with 60 Democratic/liberal votes in the Senate. She would have to be exposed as a serial killer or child pornographer to be voted down, and I'm not sure the current Senate makeup would vote her down even then.

What makes me mad -- aside from the fact that no one pays any mind to the Constitution or to what it says about the proper role of the judiciary -- is that the Senators are gasbags preening and pontificating for the cameras. They really think they're impressing people with their prognostications. The purpose for these hearings is not for the gasbags to wax eloquent. Who needs these ridiculous "opening statements?" We know what you guys (and gals) think. Ad nauseum. We want to know what the nominee to the court thinks. And that brings me to my next point of disgust.

I am tired of scripted questions and scripted answers. I want to know what the appointees' GENUINE judicial philosophy is, and I want to know their view of the Constitution. In detail. I don't need to know how they'll rule on cases. Once I know what their philosophy is, and how they view the Constitution, that will tell me quite a bit.

I really do wish that there would be some statutory requirement that any appointees for any court would be required to observe the letter of the Constitution according to the intent of the authors, and to interpret law by the intent of the ones who wrote the law. It should be grounds for impeachment if they rule according to their political ideology.

But that's just me, and I know it's impossible. The gasbags need to vent their facial orifices to show us how smart they all are. And I have one other observation.

Elections have consequences.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What Price Stupidity?


Sometimes pictures need no captions or comments. One does have to wonder whether it's stupidity, demonic, or a combination of both.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jihadists Discover Scruples?


Well, well, well. So Al Qaeda is upset these days about carnage. Read this Fox News story from Thursday and you'll see what I mean. Of course, it's the carnage being inflicted on them, and not the carnage they inflict on others. Here is the pertinent clip from Al Qaeda's "new book" that caught my eye . . .

"It would be no exaggeration to say that the first line in the raging Crusader campaign waged by America and its allies against the Muslims and their lands is the network of spies, of various and sundry sorts and kinds," says the book, translated by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI

"Their effects are seen: carnage, destruction, arrest, and pursuit, but they themselves remain unseen, just like Satan and his ilk who see us while remaining unseen."


If that isn't an exercise in hypocrisy and cowardice, what is? Does Al Qaeda have spies of various and sundry sorts and kinds? When Al Qaeda's thralls fly planes into office buildings, kidnap and behead people, strap Semtex to themselves and blow themselves up in the middle of crowds, and plant improvised explosive devices along highways and marketplaces, doesn't that cause just a minor amount of carnage?

I think they need to quit whining. You reap what you sow. As long as this group of nutcases continue to murder with glee around the world, nation-states are going to get a bit upset with them and hunt them down one by one.

As an aside, I think the world's leaders need to open their eyes and see at last what they are dealing with in radical jihadists. In these thugs' minds, if they do it in the name of Allah, it's just fine and dandy to kill with abandon. It's just wrong for anyone else to pursue Al Qaeda and its jihadists to justice.

While we're at it, I think a re-evaluation is in order of just who is "Satanic."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Getting Rid of "Undesirables?"


So, the elephant (or donkey) in the room finally sat down and squashed someone.

This rather astonishing story from WorldNetDaily quotes sitting Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as saying she thought that Roe vs. Wade — the landmark 1973 court ruling establishing legal abortion — was partially intended to get rid of undesirables in the population.

Wow. This ought to be front-page headlines in the newspapers and lead stories on broadcast news outlets.

Somehow, I have serious doubts that it will be. Liberals have "memory holes" larger than anything George Orwell could have dreamed up.

Sola's afterthought: Do you have any doubt in your mind that if Justice Antonin Scalia had said something like this, it would be the lead item in every newscast on virtually every broadcast network, and the lead story in almost all mainstream newspapers? The New York Times would rent a blimp.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Moishe Rosen on Evangelism


Among the many newsletters and publications I have enjoyed through the years, the Jews for Jesus newsletter ranks up there at the top. In this month's issue, founder Moishe Rosen takes up the issue of evangelism, and how it's getting short shrift in this seeker-sensitive age. Here's a clip from Moishe's article . . .

Today's churches face a problem: many lack the strength, energy or power to make Jesus Christ an issue to any unbelievers. Some mistakenly think that we need to avoid confrontation, that if we make it our priority to avoid offending our non-Christian neighbors, if we are careful to be likeable in their eyes, they will naturally allow themselves to listen to us, and even allow us to influence their religious thought.

Nothing could be further from the truth. "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Our priority is to make Jesus Christ an issue. No matter how pleasantly we speak, no matter how soft our words, no matter how great our love and our concern—effective evangelism will bring a reaction before it brings a response. If we insist on avoiding that reaction, we avoid making Jesus an issue and the church becomes a club of nice people who enjoy singing together.

I don't think one could know a person a half day without realizing that the person was a Muslim, and that he had a commitment to pray at certain times. I don't think that one could go through a mealtime with a Buddhist and fail to realize that because of her religion, she won't eat certain foods. The strong convictions of most people aren't far below the surface. We don't help ourselves or other people by keeping quiet about our own convictions.


I couldn't agree more. You have lots of evangelistic styles out there these days, but an evangelism that never gets to the point of confrontation with the Gospel is not evangelism at all.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Rick Warren Takes a Chair Shot to the Head

Wow. And I do mean, wow! Check this out, and then comment.

I have a hunch the fur is going to fly now!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Joe Biden Pulls an April Glaspie on Israel?


Joel, what do you mean by an "April Glaspie." for heaven's sake?

Glad you asked.

If you remember during the Gulf War (the first one), the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein blamed American diplomat April Glaspie for misleading him prior to the war. According to Saddam, Ms. Glaspie supposedly gave Iraq the green light from the U.S. to invade Kuwait -- something that our side insisted did not happen.

If you've been following the ongoing situation with Iran and Israel, a very interesting statement was made recently by Vice President Biden when he was being asked whether Israel could strike Iran if need be. Biden appeared to give the nod, saying in essence, "Israel is a sovereign nation, and she can do whatever she feels she has to do to protect her security."

Of course, the White House and State Department folks began backpedaling immediately, and at first I was tempted to slag this off as just another Biden gaffe. Then I began to wonder.

Wouldn't it be interesting if Biden actually WAS signaling to Israel to go ahead and nail Iran's nuclear facilities, only to have the United States deny that we gave the go-ahead, and deny Israel our codes for overflight over Iraq etc.? Or to condemn Israel after the attack? What if we even helped down an Israeli jet (surreptitiously, of course)?

Okay, maybe my imagination is running a bit wild. But I'll be watching events in the Middle East very closely over the next few weeks. Maybe longer.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy Independence Day!


I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Independence Day (July 4th) here in the United States. I will take a few days off blogging, following one of the most sporadic months of posting since I began The Seventh Sola back in 2005. I've been battling one of my famous respiratory bugs for more than three weeks now, and haven't felt like doing much.

I will be back at the keyboard next week, but will leave you with this thought to ponder over the weekend. Go and read the Declaration of Independence. Read it closely.

Next, imagine writing the Declaration out longhand and sending it to the White House in a stamped envelope. Imagine having a bunch of friends join you in signing it before you mail it.

I'll bet you'd be in the sights of Homeland Security and probably in Leavenworth before a week had gone by. Maybe even Gitmo.

Times have changed since the days of our original Patriots, haven't they?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

A Third Term for Obama?

Rush Limbaugh thinks it's in the works.

And in all honesty, it wouldn't surprise me one bit. I used to think Bill Clinton had desires to be a perpetual president given his reluctance to leave, but I think there is genuine danger of it with Barack Obama. Rush's view is really worth contemplating.

And it's worth being on guard. Anything is possible with this bunch.