Thursday, May 31, 2007

Population Density Maps

Kevin Nelstead points us to some interesting 3D population density maps. Let this inform your thinking about the world, and your prayers.
Going Into Iran

Norman Podhoretz makes a solid argument for using military action against Iran, and soon. He highlights some historical parallels that should sober us from procrastinating. I think he paints a realistic picture of how fighting Islamofascism is different than fighting the Russians in the Cold War -- mutually assured destruction strategies aren't going to be a deterrent.

This is not a light article, nor is the subject light. Podhoretz develops a sustained case and systematically looks at alternatives. He is sober in his estimates of the costs, too.
In Christ Alone

One of my favorite contemporary hymns, set to video.

"No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thinking about Immigration

Even though there is a lot of hyperbole and hype around the illegal immigration issue in the US, it is encouraging to see some reasonable dialogue, too. Peggy Noonan strikes a good chord.

You can expect to see more debate about the 14th amendment definition of natural born citizen, particularly the statement

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside."

in Section 1. How does "and subject to the juridiction thereof" apply to illegal immigrants who intentionally enter the US to deliver a baby on US soil?

Christians will need to be discerning here. Yes, we have compassion on individuals and families, even when they or others created a difficult situation by breaking laws. The government must operate in a different sphere, carrying the sword and ensuring justice.
Quote to Ponder

"Most people consistently choose unhappiness over uncertainty." -- Perry Noble

Monday, May 28, 2007

Venezuela Trip

I wrote up some notes and posted pictures from my recent missions trip to Venezuela. They're on the Teach to Change Lives blog.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Just Back from Venezuela

Sorry I haven't been blogging for a while. I was on a mission/vision trip in Venezuela. Each time I go I'm reminded of a few critical things:
  • Most Americans live in Disneyworld by comparison to most people
  • The Holy Spirit is actively at work all over the world, preparing the hearts of people for the Gospel
  • No one is more wretched and in need of Christ than me
  • The biblical model of presenting the Gospel begins with sin and our need for a savior, not with God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. (See Romans 1-6)
  • My faith needs to grow!

Be bold, be gentle!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Great Reading on Jewish Life in Bible Times

Alfred Edersheim wrote some of the best, most readable works on Jewish life in Bible times. They're available in the public domain (free) through Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

You can pick up a public domain copy of Edersheim's "Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah" here:

Other books I recommend from Edersheim:
Sketches of Jewish Life
The Temple Ministry

Monday, May 14, 2007

What's the Problem with Indulging Boys? They're Just Boys!

My friend Brad pointed me to this fine article on the challenges of finding men to serve in the Army -- and how this is an indicator of challenges for our society.
Insight...Let Us Be Vigilant!

"People do not drift toward holiness…We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated."

-- D. A. Carson, For the Love of God
Daily Prayer

One thing I do and recommend to you is to ask God each day to give you a man to encourage. This prayer will launch you into some terrific adventures -- and wonderful ministry.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Catching up from the Dallas Airport

It's amazing how much reading you can get caught up on when you're in a plane or airport! Here are some excellent articles I recommend:

Jeremy Smith writes about "afternoon googler's" and why this phenomenon makes global warming so "marketable" in today's culture -- with an excellent insight about how it fits our "guilt" patterns. Read both Part 1 and Part 2. There is some other excellent material on the main site, Reformation 21.

I was not aware of the serious problems in the Iranian economy. This could be a huge factor in the next events in that country. How is the providence of God at work here?

Marvin Olasky gives an outstanding framework for understanding the primary differences in major religions.
"Time Plus Chance" or "Intelligent Design"?
"Impersonal Force" or "God who is knowable"?
"Bible" or "Koran"?
"Theologically Conservative" or "Theologically Liberal"?

This one is worth thinking through with our kids.

Fred Thompson gives us a useful history lessons about the early American experience (14 years of war!) with the Barbary pirates.

(I continue to be irked with pundits who clearly believe that nothing from before 5 years ago is helpful to understand, unless it's used to pillory someone you don't like. History is replete with examples to learn from!"

Social Security numbers are pretty easy to be accurate with, compared with global climate predictions and consequences. Which one gets more attention, and which should get some immediate political attention? Ah, but global warming is so much easier to talk about, isn't it.

Frank Pastore gives a nice summary on why athiesm fails -- and the strategies that athiests (he used to be one) use all the time.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Connection Between Free Trade and Military Protection

Orson Scott Card wrote a terrific essay on the role of military protection of free trade routes and interchange.

American military work has uniquely been to protect freedoms -- without a demand for lands or repayments.
Continue Praying

Planned Parenthood report on 2005 abortions:

"That means that every day in 2005, PP killed 725 children -- enough to fill two elementary schools."

Abortion is a men's issue. Men were involved at conception, men perform most abortions, men profit the most from abortion "procedures," and men are left with the fewest scars.

Godly men pray. A godly man treasure the lives of others (even above his own) and save lives.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Patriot Post - Understanding our Constitution: A Modern Language Paraphrase of The Federalist Papers

Modern Version of The Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers may be one of the least-appreciated documents from the founders. I've never seen those who argue for a "living" Constitution cite it.

This modern version is easier to read than the original, but the import remains intact:

The Patriot Post - Understanding our Constitution: A Modern Language Paraphrase of The Federalist Papers

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Chronicle, Patriot Post Vol. 07 No. 18 - Published 2 May 2007

History of the National Day of Prayer

1775 The First Continental Congress called for a National Day of Prayer.
1863 Abraham Lincoln called for such a day.
1952 Congress established NDP as an annual event by a joint resolution, signed into law by President Truman.
1988 The law was amended and signed by President Reagan, to be the first Thursday in May.

Source: The Chronicle, Patriot Post Vol. 07 No. 18 - Published 2 May 2007:

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Quote of the Week

"To be too busy with God’s work to commune with God, to be busy with doing Church work without taking time to talk to God about His work, is the highway to backsliding, and many people have walked therein to the hurt of their immortal souls." -- E. M. Bounds

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer in the US -- make a point to gather together with others and pray!

HT: Random Ramblings Of A Church Gatherer: Too Busy?