Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Why The Agenda?

Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be "a real big problem for us."

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Why would a generally positive report be a problem?
-What is more important in this "conflict"?
-What appears to be more important for the Democrats? The Republicans?

What Is The Difference?

If 11 young men can instill national pride and a sense of unity by playing soccer, Iraqis are wondering why 275 politicians elected to steer Iraq to a brighter future cannot achieve the same result.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What is the draw that athletes have that esteems them in society's eyes?
-Is it possible to apply that draw to other areas such as a reliable working man/woman?
-What is it about sports that unites people that are divided on political, religous, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds?

One Joint Of Marijuana Increases Schizophrenia By 41 Percent

Here are a few quotes from the article:

"The Government-commissioned report has also found that taking the drug regularly more than doubles the risk of serious mental illness."

"You only need to see one person whose mind has been altered and life irreparably damaged, or talk to their family, to realise that the headlines are not scaremongering but reflect a daily, and preventable, tragedy."

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Is cannabis really dangerous?
-Is it healthier than cigarettes?*
-Do you know anyone who smokes marijuana? If so, do you see signs of mental illness?

*According to the National Institutes of Health, studies show that someone who smokes five joints per week may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Who's Your Favorite Hero?

I ran across this page of real-life superheroes. Which one is your favorite?

1. Superbarrio
2. Terrifica
3. The Eye
4. Citizen Prime
5. Tothian
6. Angle Grinder Man
7. Mr. Silent
8. Chris Guardian
9. Geist
10. Foxfire

You can view a synopsis of them here.

Some questions:
-Would you want one of these guys in your city?
-What do you think about what they are attempting to communicate?
-Do you think they are effective in what they are attempting to do?
-Are superheroes better left to Hollywood?

Toll Road Meets Technology

The usual means of traveling a tow road involves stopping at a tow booth to pay funds or using a speed pass to navigate on through without stopping but still paying the bill in monthly installments.

All that could change if a company called Vehicle Occupancy gets their product into the hands of the government or private toll road owners. Their product, the Dtect system, uses infrared light to detect human flesh and then match up the head count with an algorithm that can detect whether the "face" matches the infrared image. What does this all mean? Toll road operators can now charge per head and get an accurate count, even at night.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What would be the benefit of charging per occupant as opposed to per vehicle or per axle?
-Does this cause you any privacy concerns?
-What do you see as a downfall to this system?
-Would you still use toll roads if the Dtect system was installed in your area?

State Sponsored Sex Camp

"Nashi", meaning "Ours" - is youth movement run by Vladimir Putin's Kremlin that has become a central part of Russian political life.
Nashi's annual camp, 200 miles outside Moscow, is attended by 10,000 uniformed youngsters and involves two weeks of lectures and physical fitness.
Attendance is monitored via compulsory electronic badges and anyone who misses three events is expelled. So are drinkers; alcohol is banned. But sex is encouraged, and condoms are nowhere on sale.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-According to the article, Russia is running these camps in an attempt to boost the low birth rates to make Russia strong. Do you think this is the "best" way to accomplish this goal?
-Would you procreate for the state?
-Mass weddings are conducted at these events, but apparently are not prerequisites for "furthering the nation". What are your thoughts on these mass weddings in light of your view of marriage?
-Will the child really help boost the nation if the child winds up in an orphanage or is adopted by longing American's?
-What are your thoughts on these "events"?

Woman Robbed, Helps Catch Theif, Fired

Cynthia Lopez of Lodi, California was working the cash register at a gas station on the 11th of July when she was faced with a gun-toting robber who demanded all the money in the drawer. She handed over the money, 66 dollars, along with some lottery tickets and as he was leaving she caught the license plate number and took note of the man's appearance which later resulted in the arrest of the man and the getaway car driver. When she returned to work, she was fired for exceeding the $50 dollar drawer limit by $16.00. Her immediate manager who was there that day along with another employee who worked that day was fired as well. Lopez stated that she was told to keep up to $100 in her drawer to make change. Sarah Simpons, of the Tesoro Corporation stated that they have a zero tolerance policy on this and that is what resulted in the firings.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Does policy always apply or is their wiggle room for things like this?
-Should Lopez have been fired for listening to her superior regarding keeping $100.00 instead of the policies stipulated $50.00?
-Does this mean that we should not listen to our superiors, but only follow written policy?
-Do you find the firings fair based on what you know?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Slain In The Spirit

Depending on whether or not you have been exposed to Christianity, you may or may not know that there are different modes of thoughts that are not as biblically concrete as the core doctrines, especially that concerning the death, burial and ressurection of Jesus Christ.

One such belief is that of being "slain in the Spirit". Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia concerning this phenomenon: "Being slain in the Spirit is a term related to the Charismatic movement and Pentecostalism which describes a religious phenomenon in which a person enters a state with loss of all motor control over their body and falls to the floor during an event perceived as a personal encounter with God's glory power, usually associated with occasions of public prayer ministry when the laying on of hands is practised."

Here is a documentary (now public domain) that follows the practices of a community of Pentecostals in Scrabble Creek, West Virginia. It is called Holy Ghost People and includes snake handling, speaking in tongues, the curing of diseases, and singing. It was filmed by Peter Adair.

Note: I am awaiting approval to link to another video that puts being "slain in the Spirit" in a different light. If I obtain that permission, I will post it.

I have obtained permission and here is the link to the other video. It is a large file (good quality) and well put together. Note: if you have slow internet, you will probably not want to take the time to watch this. It is 8 minutes long.

Some questions:
-What are the biblical examples of being slain in the Spirit?
-Do certain passages in the Bible lend themselves to being interpreted in such a way as to give credence to being slain in the Spirit?
-Do you think this issue should be divisive amongst Christians?
-What are your thoughts concerning this practice?
-When did this practice become an "accepted" Christian practice?

First For Fridays

Comment about anything.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Unspeakable: Church Discipline

I first read about this article over on Ray VanNeste's site: Oversight of Souls. I thought it good enough to make mention of it here.

Church discipline has all but dissappeared in today's churches and it would seem we are not all the better for it.

Here are a couple of quotes: "When a man joined the church, he also voluntarily placed himself under the authority of his brothers and sisters, knowing they would keep watch over his life and rebuke or even exclude him if the occasion required. Churches usually held their conferences (or business meetings) once a month, and much of their time was taken up with matters of discipline—reproving this brother, restoring that one, appointing a committee to investigate this matter, or hearing a report about that one. They focused on such behavior as drunkenness, adultery, and fighting—public sins which brought scandal on the name of Christ."

"John L. Dagg once said, “When discipline leaves the church, Christ goes with it.” These are convicting words today, when the Church is being seduced by social correctness and reflexive tolerance. If she would reclaim her place as Christ’s herald on earth, she must first re-embrace her calling to be His spotless Bride."

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What are your views on Church Discipline?
-Does Church Discipline have a place in modern day Churches?
-What are the negative effects of Church Discipline?
-Why was Church Discipline such an integral part of the Church up until the 1900's but no longer is?

Death Sniffing Feline

Oscar the cat has an unusual talent (if you want to call it that). He knows when someone is going to die, at least that is the report given in a medical journal. Oscar is now has been able to "predict" the deaths of 25 people in a row. How does he do it? He will curl up next to them in bed, usually within 2 hours of them dying. According to reports, Oscar is not a friendly cat, but whenever someone is about to die, he gets right up there with them and sits it out.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do you think there is anything to this?
-One thought is that usually they place warm blankets on patients who are dying and this attracts the cat. Do you think this is a more plausible explanation?
-If you were a family of the patient and you got a call stating that the cat has curled, what would your thoughts be given the cat has gotten the last 25 "curls" correct?

Deals, Deals, Deals

I wanted to share with you all a site that I frequent pretty much everytime before I make a purchase (as it almost always saves me money). For instance, I was on my way to Best Buy to purchase an extra hard drive I was almost out the door and then I thought to myself that I should check to see if there are any deals going on there before I go. Sure enough, they had a 25% off coupon for anything in the store, all I had to do was print it off. I saved 40 dollars off my purchase of a 500 gig hard drive just by taking the time to print a coupon. I also just bought a replacement grill and saved $50.00 off of it at Sears by checking the site first.

They are not just about computers and grills though, but you can find tables, chairs, home decor, and many other things there (there is even a sister site pretty much just for women).

So take a look at Dealnews.com and see if you can get what you were going to buy anyways for a cheaper price.

You can check it out here.

Some questions:
-Would you let me know if it saved you any money?
-Would you like to see more posts similar to this one?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Soft Drinks = Metabolic Syndrome

Sodas, soft drinks, pop, whatever you call it, it is supposedly now bad for you; or at least the sugar is according to researchers conducting a study on the issue as evidenced below.

...drinking one or more sodas a day was linked with a 44 percent higher risk of participants developing metabolic syndrome, Vasan's team found, compared with drinking less than a soda a day.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Will this study impact your drinking habits?
-Do you trust studies like this?
-If you believe that soft drink consumption is bad for you, does that stop you from drinking it anyways?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

WireTap Radio

I was over at The Smoking Gun earlier today and saw this link on their site dedicated to recorded wire-tapped conversations with the criminally elite. They market themselves as "Seinfeld meets The Sapranos: A series about nuttin'."

It was pretty interesting given the content. The recordings were not that of a CD, but hey, whose complaining? The featured "episode" this week entails an acupuncture appointment featuring Fritzy Giovanelli.

You can check it out here.

Some questions:
-What are your thoughts on "the mob days"?
-Do you think that organized crime is still alive and well in America?
-Is organized crime conveniently overlooked by some?
-Are there any benefits to society via organized crime?

Public Records Not So Public

Here in the Jackson-Madison County School System in Tennessee, there have been at least two schools that failed to meet the AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). Due to the lawsuit that we are under that prevents our school system from governing itself, the federal government has stepped in and mandated certain regulations concerning bussing and a balanced system (equal number of blacks and whites in each school), thus doing away with neighborhood schools.

The two schools that have failed to meet AYP have not been disclosed to the public even though the administrators know which two schools they are. It would seem only fair to allow the public in on these public records so as to give ample time for the families affected to find alternate arrangements for schooling. This would be allowed as no lawsuit will enforce the above mentioned regulations if the school fails to meet AYP.

Some questions:

-What benefit would the administrators gain from holding on to the public records and keeping them from the public?
-If the schools that have failed to meet AYP are revealed and your child is affected, will you remove your child from that school?
-What actions can you as a parent take against the school system for withholding records?
-When a school system refuses to release public records, what action can the affected community take?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Atheist Takes On Islam

The Beginner's Guide to Islam
You will need to download the DivX webplayer to watch this video (Once you click the link, it will prompt you). It is high quality and you can watch it full screen. It is 48 minutes long and documents an atheist London girl immersing herself in Islamic culture.

What were your thoughts?

Transsexual Persecution

Man's world 1997

Vikki-Marie Gaynor, formerly known as Mike Gaynor, was a truck driver for DHL in good standing... until he chose to wear women's clothing, articles and make-up to work. That is when it all changed for Mike. He said at first his boss was supportive but then as word spread and others saw him wearing women's apparel that acceptance turned into discrimination. Mike said, 'It is not right that I should be forced out of my job simply because I want to live as a woman and wear the clothes I was born to wear.' He is currently seeking a 5 figure sum from his former employer and setting up a business that educates businesses and schools on transsexuality. He is surviving off benefits and "is currently undergoing counselling for his gender reassignment and is hoping to undergo a sex change operation on the Health Service."

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do you support transsexual lifestyles?
-Do you support the alleged persecution Mike has endured?
-What responsibility should DHL (& the off shoot company Exel Europe) have in this matter?
-Do you think it to be right for Mike to go into public schools and promote transsexuality?
-Do you think that the government should pick up the tab on Mike's sex change and therapy that encourages him to that end?

The Most Important Thing In Life

What would you tag as being the most important thing in life? Does that thing only favor one individual or all of mankind? Please give an explanation along with your answer.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Medical Miracle: 75% Of Brain Is Gone But Life Goes On As Normal

A 44 year old man working as a civil servant was having some mild weakness in his left leg and he went in to have it checked out. Upon further review a CT scan was done and they noticed that all he had was a thin layer of brain and giant chambers that encompassed the majority of the space where the brain should be. Below is a quote from the article.

If something happens very slowly over quite some time, maybe over decades, the different parts of the brain take up functions that would normally be done by the part that is pushed to the side.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What does this say about our ability to adapt?
-What does this say about our need for survival?
-How would you react if you went in for a checkup and they told you this news?

Loving Your Wife As Christ Loved The Church IV

4. Be the head.
Do not abdicate your authority. If she comes to you asking for your opinion or leadership, give it. Do not say, "I don't care" or "You decide". You are held responsible for the relationship and will have to give an account to God for how you led in the marriage. Take this very seriously. Your wife should be very comfortable coming to you for guidance and assuming you will make the decisions that need to be made. She should trust that you have gone to God, before the elders, before the church even to make your decision(s) if it warrants such a progression. You should also not neglect to include your wife's thoughts and opinions in your decision. You do have the final say though and if you are doing the other things well, your wife should have no problem submitting to your authority in this. Remember: if you cannot do it in faith, you do it in sin.

Links to the other three posts on this topic: 1, 2, & 3.

First For Fridays

You set the topic on this one.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Monkey Mating Controlled By Natural Contraceptive

That's right, female baboons are on the pill... kind of. For some reason the female olive baboons of Nigeria ingest high amounts of black plums containing natural phyto-progestogens which are similar to the synthetic progestogens found in the pill. Patricia Whitten who is a primatologist from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia seems to think the female baboons utilize this fruit to cut back on mating so that they will not contract diseases as this is the rainy season and the probability of contracting diseases is higher.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What are your thoughts on contraception?
-Could it be possible that during that rainy season, the plums also grow and therefore provide an abundance of fruit for the baboons to eat which in turn pumps the baboon full of phyto-progestogens?
-Why is it if there are natural ways to control birth our society opts for synthetics?

Loving Your Wife As Christ Loved The Church III

3. Do your chores (without being asked)
What is more, do some of her chores. This will play back into meeting her needs. If you take out the trash, mow the yard, do the dishes, make the bed, etc. for your wife's benefit (because we all know this is not something high on men's priority list) this will go a long way in her appreciation of you as her husband. You will also be fulfilling a need that she has- to be appreciated. If she has to remind you to pick up your socks daily and to rinse your plate and place it in the dishwasher instead of leaving it to dry in the sink, you will quickly find that she will build up bitterness towards you. Not that she is trying to or even conscience of it. It will make her think that you do not care enough to do these simple things that make her life and ministry to you simpler. The main point: Do whatever it takes to make her ministry to you and home upkeep easier. In the end, she will cherish you.

Links to the other three posts on this topic: 1, 2, & 4.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A 5 Year Old With A Perfect Swing

Kyle Lograsso knows how to hit the golf ball. Lots of training videos and golf lessons right? Wrong. He spent time watching Tiger Woods on TV and learned to mimic his swing. Neither parents were golfers but one afternoon they had a friend over who plays and he picked up on it and soon they had him in front of a golf instructor who verified that the boy has the perfect swing. There is a twist though, the boy has a rare form of cancer in his eyes. That hasn't stopped him though. He can drive the ball about 100 yards with only one eye still in tact.

You can read more here.

Who Is The True Church?

Albert Mohler comments on a recent document called, Responses To Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects Of The Doctrine On The Church that was released from The Vatican concerning the line drawn in the document between Protestants and Catholics. Here are two paragraphs from his blog:

Evangelicals should appreciate the candor reflected in this document. There is no effort here to confuse the issues. To the contrary, the document is an obvious attempt to set the record straight. The Roman Catholic Church does not deny that Christ is working redemptively through Protestant and evangelical churches, but it does deny that these churches which deny the authority of the papacy are true churches in the most important sense. The true church, in other words, is that church identified through the recognition of the papacy. Those churches that deny or fail to recognize the papacy are "ecclesial Communities," not churches "in the proper sense."
I appreciate the document's clarity on this issue. It all comes down to this -- the claim of the Roman Catholic Church to the primacy of the Bishop of Rome and the Pope as the universal monarch of the church is the defining issue. Roman Catholics and Evangelicals should together recognize the importance of that claim. We should together realize and admit that this is an issue worthy of division. The Roman Catholic Church is willing to go so far as to assert that any church that denies the papacy is no true church. Evangelicals should be equally candid in asserting that any church defined by the claims of the papacy is no true church. This is not a theological game for children, it is the honest recognition of the importance of the question.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-If you are protestant or catholic how does this affect you, or does it?
-In light of Mohler's article, do you see protestants or catholics in a different light?
-If you are a Christian, what is your responsibility concerning the message put forth by the Vatican? By Mohler?

Their Perspective

While reading AlJazeera, I came across this conspiracy theory article written by Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich. It starts with Israel blowing up an American ship that LBJ worked to cover up all the way to the present events happening in Iraq, Iran, and the Middle-East. Soraya starts off with a quote from Adolf Hitler: The broad mass of a nation … will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.

Below is an excerpt of the final two paragraphs of an article.

The offenders, in preparing evil for a nation, first damage its reputation. In line with Adolf Hitler, the neo-cons are delivering bigger lies for a more violent conflict. They are accusing Iran of a nuclear threat in spite of the IAEA inspections to the contrary, further destabilizing Iraq by arming and feeding the frenzy on all sides, and stoking the flames by such incendiary accusations as: Iran is now arming the Taliban too.
Born equal under law, humanity wanes as it gives way to greed and deception. With hearts turned to stone, we decline compassion on our soil and witness life extinguish in our own hospitals. Will there be compassion left in us when more dead and dismembered bodies get buried under the heavy weight of treachery, or are we the monsters who by remaining deaf to the wailing of the mourners create the Hitlers of this world?

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-As members of "The West" how does this line of thinking strike you?
-Why is it that Islamic nations tend to have a different slant on history than The West? Is it not the same historical events we are detailing?
-Do you find the article as being rational?
-How do the Hitler comparisons strike you?

Explosives + Ushers = Police

A 16 year old boy from Phoenix, AZ entered a packed church service with around 700 in attendance carrying in a backpack containing 15 homemade explosives. He also left the packed church service with around 700 in attendance carrying out a backpack containing 15 homemade explosives. Later ushers heard an explosion and found the boy with some friends in the parking lot after detonating one of the explosives. The police were called and conducted a search of the boys home using the bomb squad. The parents commented that they knew their son was interested in bombs and Sgt. Andrew Duncan stated he believed it was just experimentation.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-The police mentioned that static electricity could have set off the devices and a major catastrophe could have occurred. Do you find this believable?
-If the boy did not set off any explosives in the midst of the 700, why did that part of the story make it to the news?
-Do you find anything wrong with the boy carrying firecracker like explosives in a backpack in public?
-What do you think about the parent's comment?

Bulls Come Between Father & Son

A 10 year old boy spending time with his father on holiday will no longer be allowed visitation rights after the mother took the matter before the judicial system. The boy was captured in a photograph being pulled by the arm by his father just a few feet in front of some bulls during the annual world famous running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. The mother said that she wanted to teach the father a lesson: to look after the well-being of his son.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What are your thoughts on the father's judgement?
-What are your thoughts on the mother's actions?
-Do you think that men's tendency to be thrill-seekers and "let the boys be boys" attitude contribute to events like this?
-Do you think that women's tendency to be nurturers and care-givers contribute to actions like this?
-How do you view the father taking his son to and participating in this event?

There Goes The Neighborhood

For thousands of years the Hadzabe tribe has survived by way of hunting and gathering. They have survived agriculture, the introduction of guns, missionaries, and most all encroachment by modern civilization... until now. The remaining 1,500's descendants could be the next school teachers, business leaders and modern men and women of Tanzania due to a favor granted by the Tanzanian government. That is all well save that they did not ask for this and was not included in the deal given to the Royal Family of the United Arab Emirates.

After a member of the Abu Dhabi Royal Family took a helicopter tour near the Serengeti Plain, the royal family member stated that he would like a portion for himself as it looked too crowded. The government agreed and is currently proceeding to take the land from the Hadzabe tribe and give exclusive rights to the Royal Family of the United Arab Emirates.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Based on what you read in the linked article, does this seem fair?
-Should Royalty be given exclusive access to lands inhabited by a people 1,000's of years before the government was ever enacted?
-What do you think would be a proper way to handle this situation?
-Does the financial benefit given to Tanzania outweigh a small group of people's heritage?

Loving Your Wife As Christ Loved The Church II

2. Listen.
Christ tells us to pray at all times about all things. In the same way, women have a need to tell us things. They want us to listen and to hear them. To feel what they feel. To experience their day with them (We would do well to pray in such a manner as that). She will want to come home and tell you a 50 minute summary of her day... you could do with a 2 minute version. Listen. Care. Interact. This will mean more to her than almost anything else you could do (save taking out the trash and washing the dishes). *Important: She does not always want you to fix the issue. Men tend to want to fix things while women don't always want a "fix". They just want someone to listen. Make sure you feel her out and know if she is asking for help or just a listening ear.

Some questions:
-Do you find this to be a tenet of your marriage?
-Do you agree with the point of the advice?
-What would you tell a young man about to enter marriage in regards to advice?

Links to the other three posts on this topic: 1, 3, & 4.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Man Spoke His Mind About Woman's Clevage

A female sales clerk, age 20, got more than she bargained for while riding the the public transportation bus in Germany. The bus driver told her, "Your cleavage is distracting me every time I look into my mirror and I can't concentrate on the traffic. If you don't sit somewhere else, I'm going to have to throw you off the bus." Debra C. Rose, the sales clerk, got up and relocated, embarrassed.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do you think the bus driver appropriately handled this?
-Do you think Debra will wear plunging neckline apparel again on the bus?
-Do women dress more immodestly now than say 20 years ago?
-Should more men speak up about how women dress in public?

The Day Homer Upset The Pagans

***Warning, this link contains a depiction of a male fertility god.***

You can read more here.

Here is a link to a short

Some questions:
-What are your initial thoughts on this?
-If you are religious, does this type of mockery cause you concern?
-If you are not religious, does this type of mockery cause you concern?
-If you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc., what if this happened to something with religious value attached to it?
-If you are not religious, what are your thoughts?

Loving Your Wife As Christ Loved The Church

I was recently asked by a young man who I have been working with this question: "What are some ways and practical things you do to love your wife as Christ loves the Church?"

I responded with 4 things for him to consider. I will post one a day.

1. Consider her needs above your own.
This is a hard one. We all want to be selfish and think our needs are more important or else we wouldn't have them. This is not true. Her needs are just as important as mine, but I don't always see it that way (read selfishness). This is where I must lower "self" and raise up my wife. You will find that meeting your wife's needs above your own will be a key component to happiness. Once you start being selfless, you will reap the benefits of a wife who truly wants to meet your needs in return. It is like a cyclical reward system in which you both benefit. You would do well to implement this no matter how hard it gets or how much you feel you are getting the shaft. I think we all have a tendency to think that we are doing what we should to meet the other's needs and they are not holding up to their end of the deal. I bet though if you were to ask your wife, she would say the same thing but with you being the culprit. Key point: Always consider her needs above those of your own.

I will post another tomorrow.

Some questions:
-Do you find this to be a tenet of your marriage?
-Do you agree with the point of the advice?
-What would you tell a young man about to enter marriage in regards to advice?

Links to the other three posts on this topic: 2, 3, & 4.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Newly Ordained Deacon Charged With Taking Nude Photos & Videos of Underaged Girl

57-year-old Ralph Coffelt was appointed a deacon at 1st Baptist Church in Jasper, TN where he was to serve and meet the needs of those in the church. Today he is in jail with a $100,000 bond for especially aggravated exploitation of a minor. Allegedly, a young girl (possibly his own) told another member of the church about the photos and videos during a church camp the previous week.

You can read more here.

***UPDATE: The young girl is his 17 year old adopted daughter.***

Some questions:
-What punishment should this man incur if the charges against him hold?
-How should 1st. Baptist Church of Jasper respond to this?
-How should the broader Church respond?
-If you are not a Christian, how does this strike you?
-How should Churches safeguard against such things as this?

Protested Prayer Offered Up By Hindu Chaplain

Three protesters, Ante Nedlko Pavkovic, Katherine Lynn Pavkovic and Christan Renee Sugar were led out of the Senate in handcuffs for loudly protesting the prayer being given during the opening invocation of the Senate by Rajan Zed, director of interfaith relations at a Hindu Temple. Upon their exit Ante was said to be heard proclaiming he was a Christian and Patriot and [the prayer] was an abomination to God.

You can read more here.
You can see the video here.

Some questions:
-Do you think this speaks well of Christians?
-How should a Christian speak to this issue?
-Should a Christian protest such a thing as this (the Hindu prayer)?
-Should prayer even be offered in a U.S. Government building for tax-paid services?

Bush = To Hitler says Muslim Congressman

Keith Ellison, Democrat from Minnesota, stated in a speech to a group of athiests that President George W. Bush may be responsible for the September 11 attacks.

Here is the quote: "It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that," Mr Ellison said. "After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted."

He also made a comment that should put islamic extremists up in arms by saying to the gathering of athiests, "You'll always find this Muslim standing up for your right to be atheists all you want."

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What are your thoughts on Mr. Ellison's comments?
-Do you think that this type of rhetoric hurts the Democratic party? Islam?
-Do you think that Bush administration had anything to do with causing 9/11?
-Do you think the Bush administration orchestrated 9/11?


As my wife and I are approaching the end of our debt (4 months) we are looking foward to being without debt. Some say it is wise to keep debt to build up your credit score while others say it is wise to reduce risk and jump the debt ship. I tend to agree with those who say the only good debt is no debt.

You can read more here on why debt is bad.

You can read more here on why debt is good.

Some questions:

-What are your thoughts on debt?
-Do you currently have debt?
-Is debt something that you grew up with?
-Are you currently living outside of your means?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bob Barker Won't Like This

At the end of every The Prices Right show, Bob Barker always reminds the audience to spay and neuter your pet. Well, if Peptech gets their product approved, there will no longer be a need for neutering your dog. Peptech, based out of Australia, has a product that will render the male canine unable to produce sperm and reduce aggressive behaviors by curtailing testosterone production. The product contains deslorelin, sometimes called Suprelorin, which is the active drug. It is an implant and Peptech claims it is completely reversable if you decide you want to breed your dog at a later time.

You can read more here.

Some questions:

-Do you consider this a viable alternative to neutering?
-Do you see any downside to using this product which comes at a price of around $50-$70 dollars for 6 months?
-What are your thoughts about chemically altering a pet, a human, for convenience sake?

Playing In The Clouds: Every Boy's Dream

Kent Couch fulfilled his childhood dream last week when he was able to fly through a cloud... while sitting in a lawn chair suspended by a plethora of helium balloons and weighted down by water jugs. He flew around 193 miles in about 9 hours and he was even able to fly through a cloud he said.

This is not Couch's first flight-by-lawn chair, he attempted another flight which lasted for 6 hours but resulted in an emergency parachute landing.

Couch follows in the footsteps of Lawn Chair pilot Larry Walters and hopes to yet again attempt flight by lawn chair and avoid the FAA fine that Walters incurred.

You can see a picture and read more here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Woman Sues For $ To Raise Un-Aborted Baby

Jennifer Raper is sueing for the cost of raising a child due to the child not being aborted. She stated that she went to Planned Parenthood seeking an abortion as she was currently unable to care for the child. The abortion procedure went as planned but unbeknownst to Jennifer, the abortion performed by Dr. Allison Bryant of Planned Parenthood, was not effective as she was still pregnant. Several months later, Dr. Benjamin Eleonu did a checkup and failed to detect the pregnancy. When admitted to the hospital for pelvic pain a few months later she gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What are your thoughts on abortion?
-If this was you, would you sue for a monetary reward that would provide the funds to raise your child?
-What are your thoughts on Planned Parenthood?
-Do you think that either of these two doctors should be punished for not being diligent in their duties?

Gun Toting, Cherry Shooting, Toilet Wearing Pastor

I am curious as to what your thoughts are on this guy. He appears to have his own interactive, call-driven tv talk show.

Some questions:
-Do you think this man is representative of Christianity?
-Do you think that this man appeals to some that other Christians don't or won't?
-In a time of seeker-sensitive churches and the watering down of the gospel, is this just another manifestation of ill-informed "Christianity"?
-Why the props?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Son Follows In The Steps Of Polygynist Father

Like father like son. William Green, who is 19 years of age and son of Tom Green who is an imprisoned polygynist (polygamist) has been convicted of having sex with a minor: a 13 year old who he met on MySpace. There is not much to this story if it ended there, but his father was convicted of the same crime (having sex with a minor who was 13). The only differences here is that Tom Green was married to the 13 year old and William met his 13 year old partner on MySpace. Tom Green professed to be a Mormon Fundamentalist.

You can read more here.
If you want to read about news from a pro-polygamy slant see here.

Some questions:

-Do you see polygyny as being wrong? If so why and if not why?
-Do you think there are age boundaries that should be put on "love"?
-Do you think that polygyny is on the verge of being re-established as legal? (see polygyny as being wrong link above)
-If you are Mormon, what would you say to this father and son?

Butts Held High At Place of Worship

I was listening to Sirius radio yesterday on my track back to the Kansas City Airport and was listening to Fox News. There was a morning show playing and the topic was concerning a Church in the Time Square area of New York City having a billboard hanging on its building displaying bare butts with smiley faces painted on them. The church did not want the billboard to be displayed, but the argument for the display is, "this is Time Square and the Billboard capital of the world". Pastor Neil Rhodes looks to put up a fight.

Now, as I was listening to the Fox News people give commentary on this, one of the ladies stated something along these lines (I could not find a transcript of the show), "If it brings in more people to church, what is wrong with that?"

You can read about the situation here.

Some questions:
-What is wrong with that?
-If this billboard draws a crowd and brings some in to hear the gospel, is that wrong?
-Does the end justify the means?
-If this was your church, would you have a problem with it?

The Insurgency Takes Its Cues From Hollywood

The insurgency has taken a cue from past psychological warfare tactics used by the US military. In addition to the beheadings, the torture, the kidnapping of civilians, they have now began to produce Hollywood style posters portraying American's in a not-so-nice light. Not only do they intend for this propaganda to play on the emotions of the soldiers, they also intend for it to show the Iraqi's a "new" face to America (or enforce the image the Iraqi's already had of us).

You can see the posters here.

Some questions:

-Do you see these posters as being an effective psycholigical tool?
-It would appear that whoever made these, they would be familiar with American movies: does this imply a double standard or is it just mere speculation?
-If you are (or hypothetically speaking) a soldier, what would effect would these have on you being plastered around a city you were currently serving in?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Out Of State Until Tuesday

I will be out of pocket until Tuesday as I will be doing some filming in Northwest Missouri.

In the meantime here is some food for fodder.

Repeated Hospitalized Tennessean Lands In Jail Again

Will Carbon Trading Work?

Bush Worse Than Hitler Because At Least Hitler Meant Well

The Alleged Clinton Hypocrisy

Britney Spears: I Was Only Acting (I would hate to see her prepare for a roll in which a murder scene is involved)

Feel free to comment on any of the above here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Enjoy the 4th my fellow Americans!
Here is a question for you: Why do we celebrate Independence Day on July 4th?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Does Doctrine Really Matter

Does Doctrine Really Matter is the title of an article put forth by John MacArthur in Pulpit Magazine. He opens up the article with this question:

Is it enough to “believe in Jesus” in some amorphous sense that divorces “faith” from any particular doctrine about Him, or is doctrine—and the content of our faith—really important after all?

MacArthur appears to hold to a position of faith without doctrine is dead, and indeed is no faith at all as noted below.

The attitude that scorns doctrine while elevating feelings or blind trust cannot legitimately be called faith at all, even if it masquerades as Christianity. It is actually an irrational form of unbelief.

And if you had any hope in being sincere in your belief, yet your belief not being firmly planted on doctrine, think again.

The content of our faith is crucial. Sincerity is not sufficient.

As a side note, there is a debate winding down over on Tim Ellsworth's blog (Post 1 & Post 2) as to whether Mormonism is Christianity. MacArthur would have a strong opinion on the subject as evidenced in the statements made here.

You can read more here.

Some questions:

-Is it enough to merely be sincere in what you believe?
-Can you believe in any "Jesus" you want as long as you believe in Jesus and still be covered by His substitutional atonement?
-How does emotions/feelings fit into Christianity?
-Does this challenge you to rethink what you define as Christianity?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Islamic Extremist Defects

In an article published by the Daily Mail in today's paper Hassan Butt, a former member of the Brittish Jihadi Network, sheds some light on the recent terror attacks in the UK as well as explains why terrorist acts are increasing and fanaticism/extremism is increasing in number daily. Here is an excerpt:

I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy. By blaming the Government for our actions, those who pushed this "Blair's bombs" line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology.

You can read more here.

Some questions:

-What would end terrorism?
-Do you think that the West can fight this battle of ending terrorism or do you think that this is a battle for the Muslims themsevles to educate their people on this matter?
-Do you concur with Mr. Butt?
-What do you think it will take for Islamic extremism to be "put back in the box" as Mr. Butt terms it?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Prophet Yahweh & The UFO

A news anchor was sent on an assignment to interview the local wacko who claimed to be a prophet of God and who could call forth UFO's by praying to God. Prophet Yahweh said that he was told to keep silent until now as the voice in his head told him to speak out about it now. Prophet Yahweh also claims to know the true way to salvation and that blacks descended from slaves are actually the true Israel and they will be restored again to Israel to rule over the peoples of the earth. You can read more by clicking his name above.

You can watch the news anchor's reaction and his report here.

Some questions:

-What are your thoughts on this?
-Do you believe there is life elsewhere?
-If you are religous, how does this video affect your beliefs or does it?

2 Failed Abortions With 1 Baby Delights Mother

Here is a quote from Paula Robinson:

I feel so guilty and ashamed that I tried to kill my own baby. But although I've been through a terrible experience it has been a totally humbling one, which I believe has made me a better person.
I used to think of an unwanted pregnancy as just a bundle of cells that you could get rid of without too much hassle. Now, I feel many women, just like me, do not think deeply enough about what they are doing.
It's only now, having gone through the process of having a termination, that I realise why you hear all the time about women who - often years later - regret terribly having an abortion.
I just feel incredibly lucky that after everything I've done, my baby is still alive and I will not have to live with that regret.

You can read more here.

Some questions:

-What is your view on abortion? Completely against it? Completely for it? Is it okay in certain circumstances?
-If you have had an abortion do you regret it now?
-If you are religous, does your religion allow room in certain circumstances for abortion?