Monday, April 30, 2007

WORLD Magazine | Weekly News, Christian Views

Media Reporting on Partial-Birth Abortion

Joel Belz gives his analysis of the slanted reporting about the recent Supreme Court decision:

WORLD Magazine Weekly News, Christian Views

"The cover-up—and that is too kind a word for this sort of professional dishonesty—is on at least two fronts: First is the double reference to the supposed rarity of the procedure. Pro-abortion sources themselves (the Alan Guttmacher Institute, in particular) put the figure at 2,200 annually. More neutral experts say it's more like 5,000. Split that difference, and you've got the equivalent of a fully loaded 70-passenger regional jet crashing every single week for a whole year. Still "not a common occurrence," though, in the minds of these steel-hearted reporters."

A regional jet crashing every week. That's a useful comparison to put this "rare" procedure in perspective.

Let us be prayer warriors, men! > How to Avoid Pastoral “Brain Drain”

Avoiding Things that Wear Leaders Out

Leaders are working with people, information, and decisions -- here are some excellent strategies for avoiding the dimensions of these three that will wear you out: > How to Avoid Pastoral “Brain Drain”

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Earth is Not Flat! » Carbon Credit Craziness

Just How Do Those Carbon Credits Work?

I'm sure you've heard about people buying "carbon credits" to offset their own carbon "footprint." Kevin Nelstead has a nice post about this:

The Earth is Not Flat! » Carbon Credit Craziness

I keep thinking about this verse, wondering how it might illuminate our path forward on global climate and stewardship of the earth:

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load." (Galatians 6:2-5)
Fair Tax

I've written in the past about the flat tax proposals. The "Fair Tax" -- a national sales tax that would replace nearly all other taxes, except state taxes -- has some interesting features. I recommend you look at this comparison chart (PDF file).

The primary web site is

Let's be good thinkers about these matters, men, so that we can be good citizens.
What Happens When We Read Textbooks In the Statehouse

Iowa State Senator Brad Zaun did a brave thing -- he actually read from the "comprehensive" and "medically accurate" sex education curriculum that many are recommending for our public school children. Listening made many adults in the room squirm.

There's a weird duality going on. Supposedly the right to privacy is paramount and "constitutional" (not actually true), and yet we delight in airing out anything sexual, which should be one of the most private areas of adult life. We go to great lengths to protect children from sexual predators (and should) but saturate our entertainment choices with perversity and pornography.

A pastor friend told me recently, "Don't give people what they want, because they almost always want the wrong things."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Civilization Watch - April 1, 2007 - Honor - The Ornery American

Honor, and Perspective

This is a must-read. Orson Scott Card writes about honor (individual, and national), and helps us understand the times.

Civilization Watch - April 1, 2007 - Honor - The Ornery American

Usually I can process about 10 things simultaneously. This riveted me.

Note: Orson Scott Card is a terrific science fiction writer, too. Start with "Ender's Game."
Bible Study Tools

I'm regularly asked for my recommendations on Bible study tools and references. These two articles will get you started:
Thompson's Chain Reference Bible
Renn's Expository Dictionary of Bible Words

You can check out some of my other reports here.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Take This Counsel to Heart

"In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing. Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God's servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil's trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands. " (2 Tim 2:20-26, The Message)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Copehagen Consensus

Why wasn't this testimony before Congress reported more widely?

One of my frustrations in reviewing data supporting global warming arguments (both sides of this horribly polarized issue -- we need dialogue, not high-velocity sound bites) is that I'm still looking for hard data (something more than a computer model) that says, "If we reduce these emissions, then the global temperature will change because of that reduction."

Back to Bjorn Lomberg's approach (see link above), what can we do to give people more economic options? Greater wealth means more choices for environmentally friendly approaches.

Adrian Rogers had a way with words! The two volumes of his pithy "Adrianisms" are worth your consideration. Here are some of my favorites:

Has it ever occurred to you that nothing occurs to God?

God grades on the Cross not on the curve.

Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.

I read other books. The Bible reads me.

If you have a Bible that's falling apart you'll have a life that's not.

You can save a lot of time waiting on God.

If you need encouragement, give it. If you need love, give it.Whatever you need, give it away.

Just because it doesn't make sense to you doesn't mean it doesn'tmake sense.

If Satan can't make you bad, he'll make you busy.

On gossips: don't let them use your ears for garbage cans.

It's what you sow that multiplies, not what you keep in the barn.

If you live for this world, you are in the junk business. It's all just premature junk.

There was a time when you were not. There never will be a time when you will not be.

We live in a day where a hero is a sandwich, life is a magazine,power is a candy bar, joy is a detergent, sin is a perfume, a star is an actress who's been married three times, and the real thing is a soft drink.

You can't sweeten the well by painting the pump.

God does not flunk any of His children. He just re-enrolls them.

If you were sinking in quicksand, the devil would pat you on the head.

On salvation by works: I wouldn't trust the best fifteen minutes I ever lived to get me into heaven.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Christians at Bible publishers have their throats cut-News-World-Europe-TimesOnline

Pray for our Brothers and Sisters in Turkey

Christians at Bible publishers have their throats cut-News-World-Europe-TimesOnline

May the Lord continue to grow His kingdom!
7 Big Lies

Joel Belz identifies 7 Big Lies persistently told in our mainstream media today.

Our powers of self-deception should be weakened, not strengthened by repeated use.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

When Men Are Called To Sacrifice

I'm speaking to men as I write this. I want to speak into your chests, men.

The awful shootings at Virginia Tech University have prompted me to think about bravery and courage. Why didn't someone rush this guy and take him out? This guy had pistols, reloaded, and was systematically firing. He wasn't sniping at people from around corners. A number of the victims were shot multiple times.

Here is one account, emphasis mine:

"One of his fellow students, Trey Perkins, was among only two in the class of at least 15 who weren't struck.

Perkins told FOX News he flipped some desks over on their sides to create an obstacle between the gunman and the students who hadn't fallen in the first spray of bullets. He considered jumping out a window, he said, but he didn't want to abandon the wounded.

"So many people were laying in the room and still conscious and I didn't just want to leave them all there," Perkins told FOX. "So we tried to block the door."He guessed that only about six of them made it out alive.

Questions surfaced about why students didn't try to rush the gunman and force him to the ground, but Perkins said there wasn't a way to do it safely.

"He came in with two guns and he immediately opened fire," he said. "I would say within 10 seconds, there were so many people down. He wasn't in any location to try to tackle him. I thought about getting up to try to do it, but he was just shooting. There was no way to get over the desks."

Source: FoxNews story

Two important things before I go on:

1. News reports are still coming out about what happened on that campus. There may have been some heroic acts that I am not aware of. I don't know the full story.

2. Please understand that I have been on the business end of guns before. I've had a pistol held to my head. Another time a man fired shots at me and God spared me. I know first-hand what an awful rush of confusing feelings and the paralysis of fear that can hit you in those moments. I am completely sympathetic to anyone in that situation. I am not condeming anyone's actions here.

Men, I am speaking to you. I challenge you to predecide now how you will handle these kinds of situations. Yes, you must be discerning. But if someone starts shooting at people -- innocent people who carry the image of God and are precious, you can't help them or yourself by being passive.

We're the men. We're built to defend and protect and serve others, even at the cost of our own life. Especially at the cost of our own life. In Christ, it's not our life any more, we're simply stewards of it.

Rush the man, and knock him down, with every bit of strength God gives you. Take bullets if necessary, and keep going if you can. Your safety is not part of the equation you control -- let that be in God's hands. Dying is not the worst thing that can happen to you. If there is another man with you, both of you rush him. You may well save many lives, including the shooter.

Predeciding means you are more likely to do the right thing in the moment.

This is a good thing to talk about -- including our fears -- with our boys.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Playing for An Audience of One

Perry Noble shares a great story about playing football for his mother, dying of cancer -- playing for an audience of one. And then he relates this to pastoring/preaching -- for an audience of One. Read it, believe it.
Top Ten Issues Facing the Church

Interesting you agree with these top ten issues facing the church?

1) Soteriology
2) The Embrace of Open Theism
3) Homosexuality
4) Ecclesiology
5) The Bible - Absolute truth? Inerrant? Infallible?
6) Social Justice, Global Warming, etc.
7) Red Letter Christians
8) Infighting in the Church
9) Jesus Junk
10) Friend or Foe?

See the article for more details on each.

Nice article in New Man about the importance of fathering. "Sons and daughters are born, and fathers are made. Any male can conceive a child, but only a man can father a child." Good stuff.
Encouraging Report on Stem Cell Treatment for Type I Diabetes

Glad to see this encouraging report on individualized stem cell treatment for treating Type I diabetes. A few comments:

1. This is a very small study, and though the results are very good, it's appropriate to expand the study. Also, no double-blind data available.

2. Note that these are adult stem cells, taken from the individuals and then put into their own pancreas. They are not using embryonic stem cells (which would be from other individuals).

3. There is still some wonderful mystery here, because the mode(s) of action are unclear.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No Suffering

Three people have brought up an idea to me since Easter services: many people in my generation and my children's generation (in the US) have never suffered -- and their character is mushy. My grandmother used to tell me my generation were wimps; her generation came through the Depression, WWII, the cold war. For some of us our biggest struggle was making a choice between 42 good options. And we've been inconvenienced at the airport because of terrorist threats.

"7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What 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 9and 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. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." (Paul, writing in Philippians 3, emphasis mine)

Note: I am not saying that individuals have not struggled. This is a sin-corrupted world, and living in community is hard. Lonliness, fear, and anger abound.

Perhaps we should look at the 1780's and 1790's for an illustration. Things were going very well for the new United states in the 1780's. But the 1790's were some of the worst years in our history. There wasn't a major external threat to the country. But the economy collapsed, alcoholism was rampant, crime soared, families came unglued -- if Britain had not had her own problems, they could probably have come back and reclaimed their colonies! And then look at what God did -- the Great Awakening of 1800-1802. This created an amazing transformation of the culture.

I don't believe time is a circle. But historical experience has helical qualities; we see similar patterns recurring, as if we're on that "side" of the helix again.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

He is Risen!
Another Church for Men

News from a Florida church service devoted to men -- I'm assuming that the "no women" rule means they go to some other church with their families routinely. Otherwise I'm concerned that they aren't teaching spiritual leadership of families, but only creating a "no girls allowed" clubhouse.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Quote of the Week

"We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst." -- C.S. Lewis
What Kind of Disciples?

Do you ever feel like you've had a "whack on the side of the head" experience?

That's how I felt during a lunch conversation earlier this week. I was excitedly explaining to a man in our church how we need to view all our programs and activities through the unifying lens of discipleship. His statement caught me:

"Glenn, we're making disciples. The question is, 'What kind of disciples?' "

I immediately thought about Jesus' harsh statements about the kind of disciples the Pharisees and teachers of the law produced (Matt 23:15) -- "twice as much a son of hell as you are."

So our church efforts are perfectly designed to produce the kind (and quantity) of disciples we're producing. Now I'm wrestling prayerfully, asking our Lord to direct us to make the best (right) kind of disciples in abundance.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

See the Universe to Scale

Here's a delightful web site designed to help you understand how big the universe truly is. There is an excellent animation to go from sub-atomic levels to the farthest galaxies.

"The Lord reigns; let the nations tremble." -- Psalm 99:1

I pray this will inspire your spirit with a renewed sense of the awe and majesty of our Lord.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Gmail Offers Paper

Google is offering a new service with their free Gmail -- they will send you paper copies of messages (including attachments!) -- free. They cover the cost by putting ads on the back.

I've been very impressed with Gmail and have used it since 2005. It's slick, fast, clean.

Go here to sign up for a Gmail account if you do not have one.

Update: I think I fell for their April Fools day prank! But you can certainly get a gmail account, and I recommend that.
Part 2 -- How Wives Can Kill Their Marriage

Doug Giles continues here with

3. Keep Him On a Short Leash.
4. Become a Drama Queen.
5. Hate his Friends.
6. Hate his hobby.