Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dollar Store Finds


It's amazing to me the products you can find in a dollar store. Don't hear me wrong however, I have one next door to my Jackson office and that is my vending machine. Nothing there is over a dollar and you can actually find some pretty good stuff.

Be sure to enlarge the picture if you are unable to see the product names.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Reason To Be Thankful


I saw this while heading to my office in Memphis. (Be sure to click on the image so you can see what the sign says.)

Monday, December 29, 2008

The End Of A Democracy: The Collapse Of The U.S.A.



Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces -- with Alaska reverting to Russian control.

"There's a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur," he says. "One could rejoice in that process," he adds, poker-faced. "But if we're talking reasonably, it's not the best scenario -- for Russia." Though Russia would become more powerful on the global stage, he says, its economy would suffer because it currently depends heavily on the dollar and on trade with the U.S.


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do you think this is more plausible than we would like to admit or is it simply Russian propaganda?
-Does this give you reason to be fearful?
-Should Christians have a reason to not fear such predictions?
-If we were to speculate, what would you see as being a post American world? Better? Worse? The same but with different labels?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Craig's Cogitations: An Oversight On My Part

I have been visiting Craig's site for some time now and he has gone through some face changes on the site, but he keeps his content current and it really causes one to think about the items on which he posts. (Can one sentence really be a whole paragraph?)

I thought I had his blog on my blog list, but just now realized I did not. I don't know how this oversight happened but it did. I would recommend you take a look at his site and interact with the subject matter posted there. Currently he is blogging on Congress giving themselves a raise.

You can visit his site here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Church Discipline A Faux Pas?

A divorced Jacksonville woman said her former church has threatened to "go public with her sins" and tell the congregation about her sexual relationship with her new boyfriend.
Rebecca Hancock said harassment from Grace Community Church in Mandarin over her sex life caused her to leave, but she said that didn't put an end to the problem. She said she received a letter from the church's elders telling her the church plans to make her personal life very public.

She said the issue caused her to leave the church. However, she said the church has not let go of her.
The letter Hancock received from the church states that because she has refused to end her sexual relationship with her boyfriend, "you leave us with no other choice but to carry out the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ" … "In accordance with Matthew 18:17 we intend to 'tell it to the church.'"


Hmm. A church that is attempting to obey scriptural mandates from their Lord is taking heat for it from a person who claims Him as "Lord" but is refusing to obey scriptural mandates concerning sexual sin? And this is in the news why?

You can read more here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

JAMMA Commercial Of Mixed Martial Arts



Here is a commercial I recently finished for the upcoming JAMMA event for the night after Christmas. So, is MMA considered a "sport"?

Top 19 Mugshots Of 2008

The top 19 mugshots of the year (I skipped the first one) as ordered by "The Smoking Gun". I think my favorite is the one with the gleam sparkling off the gold tooth (#12).

You can check them out here.

Some questions:
-What is the purpose of a mugshot if they let you keep your glasses on?
-How does #10 explain that to his mom?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chuck Norris Tribute



HT: Randy

A few questions:
-Can anybody possibly be a better candidate for this?
-Since Chuck Norris cannot be beat, who would be the best possible candidate for second runner up (first loser) position?
-What of Todd Weeks?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Moral Depravity Runs Through & Through


Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges alleging that they and others are engaging in ongoing criminal activity: conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits for Blagojevich by leveraging his sole authority to appoint a United States Senator; threatening to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical of Blagojevich; and to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions – both historically and now in a push before a new state ethics law takes effect January 1, 2009.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Should those in positions of heads of state be subject to criminal charges?
-Should the federal government be able to remove heads of state?
-If these allegations are proven true, what punishment should be handed down?
-How do we as citizens safeguard our liberties from things like this? Practically how do we?
-Did you ever trust your elected officials? Do you now?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Are The Rumors True?

Has this blog's authors gone MIA? Could this be the end of BDW? Will Batman be able to escape the ice block of Mr. Freeze? Will Robin make it to the commissioner in time?

All of these are fair questions and if you were/are a half way interested reader, it is a pertinent one.

Well, I have no intention on shutting down, however I don't think I (j razz) will be posting much for the next several months. The hustle and bustle of work have taken precedence(a very good thing!), plus the Lord has blessed my wife and I with an extremely small child growing in the womb of my wife as I type this. (That last link is how we told our family) Apparently her anatomy is such that it finds the idea of this small child growing within it somewhat repulsive as almost anything she eats comes back up and almost any type of food does not sound appealing to her. Word on the street is that after 3 months, these symptoms usually taper off- she is one week away from the 3 month mark so we will wait and see.

If you feel so inclined to do- please pray that I will be a minister to her throughout this whole time and will not be selfish when it comes to wants and needs. I need to remind myself of my role.

Thanks to all who have read and will continue to check back on occasion. Who knows, maybe some of the other contributors will write more often. To be continued...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jackson Area Mixed Martial Arts



Been busy working on a tv pilot for mixed martial arts. This is a 30 second spot I just finished for it.

So, in case you have wondered why I haven't been around, this is part of the reason as of late.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Busy? Or Just Plain Lazy?

Lazy? Not me. I’m busy. Up early, up late. My schedule is filled from beginning to end. I love what I do and I love getting stuff done. I attack a daily to-do list with the same intensity I play basketball. Me lazy? I don’t think so!

Or at least I didn’t think so. That is, until I read about the difference between busyness and fruitfulness, and realized just how often my busyness was an expression of laziness, not diligence.


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Does this challenge you to rethink how you go through your day?
-Are you a busy sluggard?
-What will you do to ensure change takes place?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Vatican - Muslim Talks Continued.

More on the talks between the Vatican and the Muslim Delegation:

The Vatican seminar was organised in response to a Muslim call for dialogue issued in October 2006, a month after Benedict's controversial speech in Regensburg, Germany.

The call titled "A Common World" was signed by 138 Muslim religious figures and scholars.

The Regensburg lecture sparked days of sometimes violent protests in Muslim countries, prompting the head of the Roman Catholic Church to say that he was "deeply sorry" for any offence and to attribute Muslim anger to an "unfortunate misunderstanding."

The closed-door discussions at the Vatican will focus Tuesday on "God's love" and Wednesday on "loving your neighbour," a theme that touches on two Vatican priorities, human rights and religious freedom.

The Vatican is however cautious over opening a purely theological dialogue, with Tauran telling La Croix: "We'll see ... how far we can go together."

Christians and Muslims differ in their concept of God, and follow "different paths to reach this God," said Tauran, the Roman Catholic Church's pointman for dialogue with Islam.
Read the full story here.

Looks like the Vatican is dropping hints that they will not do as I had feared. They are showing signs that they will not be compromising their faith in the name of peace with their Muslim friends.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting Rights Hindered?



Follow Up Video:


Billy Club. Black Panthers. What say you?

Vatican looks to improve Catholic-Muslim relations

VATICAN CITY (AP) — In a bid to improve strained Catholic-Muslim relations, the Vatican hosted scholars, imans and clerics from both religions Tuesday as it opened a three-day religious conference.

The forum aimed to counter the effects of a speech two years ago by Pope Benedict XVI that angered many in the Islamic world.

The meetings will culminate in a papal audience and is intended to help the two faiths find common ground. The closed-door forum, which gathers 29 scholars and clerics from each religion, started Tuesday and will last through Thursday.

The Vatican said in a statement the first day was dedicated to the "spiritual and theological fundamentals" of the two religions, and the second will focus on "human dignity and mutual respect."
Read the entire article here

Some Questions:
~ Should improving relations between catholics and Muslims be a top priority?
~ Do Catholics and Muslims worship the same God?
~ Is it possible for the two religions to mutually co-exist without stepping on each others toes?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monkey see...

... monkey do:
New research suggests that teens who spend the most time watching sexually charged television shows are twice as likely to become pregnant or impregnate someone else.

The findings, reported in the November issue ofPediatrics, don't prove that sexy programming leads directly to pregnancy.

Still, parents should pay close attention to what their kids watch, said study author Anita Chandra, a researcher with Rand Corp.

"Not a lot of content on TV talks about the potential negative consequences of sex," Chandra said. "Characters engage in sexual talk or activity, give positive attributes to sex, and there's little discussion about the risks and contraceptive use."

As a result, she said, kids might become interested in sex without realizing the potential pitfalls.
Really? Is this really all that new of information?

My wife and I were watching a documentary the other night on TLC about Purity Balls, prom-like events that fathers attend with their pre-/early-teen daughters who vow to a chaste life, including - for some - not kissing until the wedding day. A woman made a comment during an interview to the effect of "these [commitments] are important even more so in today's culture because sex is so much more 'out there'."

Q's for you's:
--Do you think that premarital and/or teenage sex is more prevalent now than during your school days? Your parent's school days?
--Do you plan to do one of these purity balls with your daughter? Why/why not?
--Should purity ball's be held for boys also?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Close To Home: Skinheads Plan To Kill Obama

Two white supremacists allegedly plotted to go on a national killing spree, shooting and decapitating black people and ultimately targeting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, federal authorities said Monday.
In all, the two men whom officials described as neo-Nazi skinheads planned to kill 88 people - 14 by beheading, according to documents unsealed in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Tenn. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.
The spree, which initially targeted an unidentified predominantly African-American school, was to end with the two men driving toward Obama, "shooting at him from the windows," the documents show.
"Both individuals stated they would dress in all-white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt," the court complaint states. "Both individuals further stated they knew they would and were willing to die during this attempt."


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-If you had to guess is the stereotypical black culture what these men really hate or is it the person himself?
-What would bring a person to hate someone so much due to the color of their skin?
-Is it possible to separate color from culture?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bush's Magic Wand



I laughed out loud when I heard this on tv (not that I watch c-span on a regular basis or anything).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Joe Biden Drilled By Reporter



When tough questions are thrown at Biden, Obama's campaign pulls the plug on future interviews.


Are they going to do that if they make it to the White House?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Email Your Friends & Family Post Rapture

Christians who believe they might one day be physically swept up to heaven in the Rapture will be able to send e-mails to loved ones left behind on Earth nearly one week after the apocalyptic event takes place, thanks to a new website.

YouveBeenLeftBehind.com lets subscribers send an e-mail message to up to 62 people exactly six days after they've disappeared from the face of the Earth, Wired Magazine's Threat Level reports.

The website, run by Mark Heard along with four other Christians, dispatches the e-mails when at least three staff members fail to log in for six consecutive days. Its main purpose is to give Christians one final shot at evangelism.


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What are your thoughts on the rapture? Is the "Left Behind" idea of the rapture biblical?
-You going to sign up?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why I'm Voting For Obama



This was made by an acquaintance of mine. The color grading looks great and the natural feel of the camera movement and the microphone dropping in the shot give it a sense of "realness" that I think people can relate to.

What do you think about the reasons given for their vote going to Obama?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Facebook Entry Leads To Death

A husband who hacked his wife to death with a meat cleaver in fury over her Facebook entry was jailed for a minimum of 14 years at the Old Bailey today.
Wayne Forrester, 34, drank alcohol and took cocaine before driving 15 miles to the family home to attack wife Emma as she lay in bed.
The couple had separated four days before the murder in February and Forrester later told police he had been provoked by his wife changing her marital status to "single" on her Facebook entry, the court heard.


Priorities. This guy's priorities were not on working to keep his family together, but on what to find to make himself mad enough to kill his wife... who knew a facebook entry would be the straw that broke the camels back? Oh what a terrible sin pride is indeed.

You can read more here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Email Safeguards For The Careless

Sometimes I send messages I shouldn't send. Like the time I told that girl I had a crush on her over text message. Or the time I sent that late night email to my ex-girlfriend that we should get back together. Gmail can't always prevent you from sending messages you might later regret, but today we're launching a new Labs feature I wrote called Mail Goggles which may help.

When you enable Mail Goggles, it will check that you're really sure you want to send that late night Friday email. And what better way to check than by making you solve a few simple math problems after you click send to verify you're in the right state of mind?


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do you find this as a benefit?
-As a people, we tend to put up safeguards. Do you find these type of things make us more careless (due to the safeguard) or are they really helpful?
-Will you use this new free optional feature?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Message For The Depressed & Downtrodden


John Piper has given some well thought out points on communicating truth to those dealing with anger, depression, skepticism, confusion and a myriad of other difficult issues. Read the snippet below.

If you care about people and risk talking to the depressed, the doubting, the skeptical, the confused, and the angry, you will soon run into a person who says to your counsel: I’ve tried that. Whatever you say, they will minimize it and say it doesn’t work. Do not be surprised at this response. This is what it means to be depressed, doubting, skeptical, confused, angry. It means that whatever they hear sounds useless.

So I want to offer some suggestions for what you say in a conversation that is about to be cut off like that...


You can read the rest here.

Some questions:
-Should believers always seek to point believers and unbelievers alike back to the Gospel? Is it always the answer?
-Does this give you a fresh perspective on ministering to others that are dealing with depression and the like?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Inerrancy: Is It True?


If you don't believe that the scriptures contained in the Bible are inerrant, read a couple of the books from the link below then come back and we'll talk.  

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do you hold scripture as being without error?
-Should inerrancy matter?
-Where are the errors?  Who decides them and on what basis?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

2008 Major League Baseball Playoff Predictions

National League

Cubs vs. Dodgers
Phillies vs. Brewers

American League

Red Sox vs. Angels
Rays vs. White Sox


I am going to say Phillies and Red Sox in the World Series. Red Sox will win in 6 games. Any predictions?

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Front Fell Off Interview

How could anyone be upset that crude oil is covering a portion of the sea after watching an interview like this? Good job oil company. Good job.



HT: Riley
Hoax

Baseball Fight Video

There's apparently more than one way to win a fight.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCain's Costly Calculated Risk

With McCain announcing the suspension of his campaign and his return to Washington to focus on the impending economic crisis, he has taken a calculated risk that may or may not backfire depending on how it appeals to the American public.

Here are my thoughts: By John McCain being the one to announce this move (not Senator Obama) he took the offensive and placed Barack Obama on the defensive. You see, Obama has to respond to McCain's move and here are his options:

1. He can go along with McCain's plan and suspend his campaign as well until a plan passes Congress that is acceptable to the lawmakers and good for the country (hopefully). This makes Obama look like a follower and not a leader as he was not the one to suggest this strategy.

2. He can criticize McCain for bailing on the debate and mock him for not being able to handle both the campaign's responsibilities and his job as a senator of this great country. This is risky for Obama as this shows arrogance on his part and could show his green-ness when it comes to his experience in the Senate. After-all, this is similar to the situation in which President Bush was in when he stayed to read with the children instead of getting out of the classroom and in the loop of what was going on during the September eleventh attacks. He has been criticized ever since by the Democrats for this move (the same move the Obama campaign is advocating now.

Either way, John McCain has put Obama on the defensive and caused him to have to respond to the move Senator McCain is making. There may be another option he or his campaign staff are working on but regardless, he will have to make that move as a response to McCain which puts him in a reactionary role.

It doesn't sit well with me that these men were hired to do a job (the campaign is not one of them) and currently this nation is at a crossroads that could wind up costing tax-payer's billions of dollars and only one is willing to go back to Washington and do what he was hired to do. Did they both agree to the debate? Yes. However, they both were sworn in to fight for the good of this country as Senators and they both have a responsibility to lead in this regard. I say forget the debate as they are about as meaningless as they can be (that is another topic for another time). For one to say that that both should be doable if they have good staff around them and that they would go back if they were needed... well, again, that smells of the move Bush made during the Sept. 11th attacks and has been criticized for. Plus, it appears to show that Obama does not take seriously the economic issue that is gripping the nation and will affect every American in some way.

So while McCain is back in Washington working both sides of the aisles to help produce a plan that will stave off a disaster for tax-payers across our nation, Obama is out campaigning. I don't know about you, but this speaks volumes to me. Your thoughts?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From The Mouths Of Children (And The Imagination Of An Animator)



Thoughts?

There are a bunch more here.

I Fart In Your General Direction & Get Charged For It

So, this guy is driving with no headlights on. He gets pulled over, fails the sobriety test and is taken in for DUI charges...

When police were trying to get fingerprints, police say Cruz moved closer to the officer and passed gas on him. The investigating officer remarked in the criminal complaint that the odor was very strong.

Cruz is now charged with battery on a police officer, as well as DUI and obstruction.


You can read the rest here.

Some questions:
-What in the world! Seriously? Battery?
-What will be chargeable next? Bad breath? Oily hair?
-Has law enforcement gone too far?

Worst Breakfast In America


Bob Evans Stacked and Stuffed Caramel Banana Pecan Hotcakes
1,543 calories
77 g fat (26 g saturated; 9 g trans)
2,259 mg sodium
198 g carbs
109 g sugars
Saturated fat equivalent: 26 strips of bacon
Sugar equivalent: 12 chocolate chip cookies
Sodium equivalent: 12 small bags of potato chips

It’s not a good sign when it takes you nearly five seconds to spit out the name of your breakfast. This bad boy packs in more than 75 percent of your calories for the day, along with more sugar and fat than nine glazed Dunkin’ Donuts, and nearly as much sodium as five Bloody Marys.


You can see other "worst food choices" here.

Some questions:
-Will information like this change your eating habits?
-How long would it take to burn all that off?
-Do you think that eating the above every day will shorten your lifespan? If so, by how much?
-Can people sue for things like this?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Small Mistake, A Huge Error

The Majesty Hymnal has, in its relatively short life, become one of the more common hymnals of fundamental Baptist churches. If you happen to have a copy of this particular volume, stand with me and turn to hymn number 188. There you will read the following words:

Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
Does His successive journeys run.


Notice anything funny about the pronoun?

You can read more here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Palin's Hacker Exposed

State Rep. Mike Kernell confirmed Thursday that his son, a University of Tennessee-Knoxville student, is at the center of heated Internet discussion into the hacking of the personal e-mail of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Kernell, a Memphis Democrat, confirmed that it is his 20-year-old son, David, who is being widely named on Internet blogs and chatrooms in connection with an unfolding story about Palin's hacked e-mail accounts.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do you think the democrats had anything to do with this?
-Will this negatively affect Obama?
-Do you think this is the result of a "like father, like son" mentality?
-Do you find what David Kernell did to be fair game, or should he be punished? What if it was the other way around: A republican's kid hacking Biden's email?
-Do you think there is more to this than meets the eye?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Don't Celebrate This &$%@. I'm Black.


*** Expletives Present***

In a video posted on YouTube, the swingman [Josh Howard] is shown at Allen Iverson's charity flag football game in July. When the national anthem is being sung, various participants are shown mugging for the camera. When the camera gets to Howard, he says: " 'The Star-Spangled Banner' is going on. I don't celebrate this [expletive]. I'm black."

Howard goes on to make a difficult-to-discern comment that includes a reference to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Why do those in sports seem to be "role models" more than hard working fathers & mothers?
-What changed that allowed for sports to be more appreciated and respected than a man that puts in a hard day's work?
-Do you think that being black is a reasonable defense to not participating in the national anthem? How does being black even enter into the equation of not participating in the national anthem?
-Overall, what are your thoughts concerning the video?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tim Is Giving Away Free Copies Of God In The Whirlwind


So you better act now!

Here is the link.

Satanists Sacrifice & Eat Four Teenagers

Image courtesy of http://fatpenguinblog.com

Four teenagers were horrifically slain by Satanists — stabbed 666 times each and then eaten. The gang of Devil worshippers butchered their victims and roasted them on a bonfire before devouring their flesh.

The pals, three girls and a boy aged 16 or 17, were all Goths. They were lured one by one to a cottage and forced to get drunk before being butchered. Hair from them was found in the embers of a fire the gang lit under a tree. Police believe the teenagers were cooked in the flames before their flesh was devoured. Their private parts had also been cut off in the sickening ritual in a rural area of Russia.

After police arrested eight suspected members of the ring, one boasted how they had previously dug up the grave of a newly-dead girl and eaten her heart. Another said he did not expect to be punished, saying: “Satan will help me to avoid responsibility. I made lots of sacrifices to him.” And a third said he had got fed up with God for not making him rich and that “things improved” after he started praying to the Devil.


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do the parent's have any responsibility in this?
-Why do you think these satanists believe Satan will protect them?
-If their world view is such that they believe God is at fault for not making them rich, how beneficial would it have been if they would have sought out why as opposed to turning to Satan for worldly gain?
-I wonder if when they were younger, before teenage years, if they ever thought they would have done such a thing?
-How do you rehabilitate people like this so that they can enter back into society? Or do you rehabilitate?
-Can Jesus save those that sold their soul to the devil? If no, why not?

DON'T Eat Your Vegetables (Or Drink Alcohol Or Be Obese)!

Scientists have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain-with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage. 

Brain scans of more than 1,800 people found that people who downed 14 drinks or more a week had 1.6% more brain shrinkage than teetotallers. Women in their seventies were the most at risk. 

And being overweight or obese is linked to brain loss, Swedish researchers discovered. Scans of around 300 women found that those with brain shrink had an average body mass index of 27 And for every one point increase in their BMI the loss rose by 13 to 16%. 

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Will this study change any of your current habits?
-Do you find studies such as these to be reliable (the whole "eggs are good/ eggs are bad" debate)?
-Do you think a shrinking brain has negative effects on the person?
-Does the brain shrink naturally with age anyways?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Insight For Living: Belonging To A Church

Locally we have a pastor in our area that produces little snippets for the local radio station (a very popular station that is local news and talk all day every day). He has titled it Insight for Living.  Today as I was driving to the office his segment came on and it was talking about how some men from his church recently helped him move and there was no grumbling or complaining, just smiles.  He stated that they were not just doing that because he was the pastor as they helped several others in his church move and they demonstrated the same love and joy in helping.  He went on to make his point and it was this: Anybody can be a member of a church all you have to do is show up on Sunday mornings, but it takes a lot more to be a part of a family.  At his church, it is like a family.  

I want to ask you, can anybody be a member of a church?  Is it just as simple as showing up on Sunday mornings?  This did not set well with me as I heard it as I believe his statement is unbiblical and hurtful to the cause of Christ however unintentional.  He seems to elevate this "family" mentality over and above that which is stated as necessary for Christians in scripture: the Church.  The Church is made up of a body of believers that are commanded to be actively growing in sanctification; that is, Christ-likeness.  Being a member is not equivalent with showing up.  It is much, much more and scripture outlines this in Ephesians and I Corinthians 12 when Paul, led by the Spirit, makes a comparison between a body and the church.  What is more, the entirety of the epistles demonstrates the believers need for the Church (and a healthy Church at that).  

I find that these kinds of statements (usually unintential) tend to groom minds to think in such a way as to be careless with their words.  If what he says concerning the church is true, then I might as well pack up, abandon the church and spend some time with my family, afterall, anyone can be a member of a church but not everyone can have a "family".  

In light of that, we have just began our new book studies for this semester at Church.  I am teaching through a book called What is a Healthy Church Member? (geared for the lay person) It is the flip side of the coin of 9 Marks of a Healthy Church. (geared for the pastor/elder)  I have already found this book to be very instrumental in helping us, as a body of believers, to understand what it means to be a part of a body and to seek after our corporate health as much as our individual health as we have a responsibility to the body and to our Lord to be healthy.  This is a totally different view of what the Church is and what it is about.  Church is so much more than just showing up on Sunday mornings and without the gospel preached, proclaimed and heralded both from the pulpit and each individual member's lives, it is nothing more than a social club or a "family" gathering.  

I have included a link to a comparative summary between the 9 marks of a healthy church and the 10 marks of a healthy church member below as well as links where you can read online versions of the books.  If you have not heard of either of these books, I would urge you to pick them up and read them.  

9 Marks of a Healthy Church is available free online here. (pdf)  
What is a Healthy Church Member is previewable here.
A comparative summary between the two can be found here. (pdf)

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

I was looking around over on the Said at Southern blog and came across this video. After watching that, I had to find more. It is kind of like the old potato chip comercial: you can't "watch" just one. When I tell you that my wife was singing this very song last night, I kid you not.
Here is one portion of the lyric: Once I tried to run, I tried to run and hide, but Jesus came and found me and he touched me deep down inside. He is like a Mountee, he always gets his man and he will zap you any way he can! It is very catchy and just plain fun :)



All joking aside (she really did sing along though when I showed it to her), it is produced (as is the one in the link above) by a cult.

You can visit their site here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Not very often does someone come along and remake a classic and you know that you have something very special on your hands. World, meet child prodigy.

Common Sense Is Not So Common Anymore

A 10-year-old boy here has been suspended from school for having something most students carry in their supply boxes: a pencil sharpener.

So, let me get this straight. A student with no past record and no signs of aggression owns a pencil sharpener. No doubt the pencil sharpener was on the list of "Back to School" items on the approved list for his fourth grade class. He uses it a few times and the "made in China" pencil sharpener breaks exposing the blade. Now he has to make a decision. Do I A. Dissappoint the "go green" crowd and allow this to be yet another piece of non-eco friendly waste that will fill our landfills and destroy the earth. Or B. Do I continue to use it (it still works and allows me to be fiscally responsible)and bank on the fact that my teacher and the administrators are smart enough to recognize that a school approved pencil sharpener is being used for sharpening pencils.

The ever-trusting fourth grader chose to stay friendly with the "go green" crowd, show fiscal responsibility in not having his parents to buy him a new made-in-China pencil sharpener, and to trust in the common sense of those who are entrusted to educate him. Boy was that a wrong decision. Now he has to endure two days of suspension and possibly more disciplinary action for what? His parents buying a piece-of-junk pencil sharpener sold at Wal-Mart and made in China because they can make them cheaper and faster and Wal-Mart can continue to lower prices. You see what is going on here don't you? This is all part of the plan. Wal-Mart and China are in cohorts and due to our lack of common sense and our inability to put political correctness in its proper place, we will all have our children spending the entirety of their school age in suspension where they will be unable to learn and once they enter into the workforce the American economy will collapse and our nation will crumble. That is when China will move in and eradicate us to make way for their citizens to start having 2 children per marriage. After all, they will need the space and everything they need will already be sold at a Wal-Mart near them.

Ridiculous.

Here is the link.

7th Anniversary Of 9-11


I've been hearing that phrase a lot over the past several days. For some reason, the word anniversary just doesn't seem appropriate. What do you think?

Since we are on this topic (as today is the day) do you think 9-11 should ever be an official US holiday? Should we celebrate attacks on the US by closing up shop and taking the kids to the park to play?

Just some questions and thoughts I had.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Church sign consternation


I kissed a girl and I liked it.

Those lyrics have made Katy Perry's pop song a big hit on the radio.

But when a local church put the song lyrics on its marquee -- followed by the words then I went to hell -- some people got angry.

People driving by Havens Corners Church in Blacklick yesterday morning noticed the sign, aimed to warn people about what the church says is the sin of homosexuality.

"It's not something that is really a shock if you're a scriptural person," said the Rev. Dave Allison, pastor of the 100-member church at Havens Corners and Reynoldsburg-New Albany roads. "We meant that as a loving warning to teens. … The Scriptures tell us that you should not do what the song tells you to do. The Scriptures are not ambiguous on this issue."

...

Lynne Bowman, director of Equality Ohio, a gay and transgender advocacy group, said every church has a right to its beliefs. Havens Corners has made it clear to everyone who drives by that it is not a welcoming place that accepts all people, she said.

I personally am not a big fan of church signs that do anything more than inform of lead staff, events, and maybe the upcoming message if it's actually descriptive of the content to be delivered (as opposed to a snappy hook).

Read more here.

Questions:
-If you were new to the area and looking for a church, would you consider this one based on the sign? Why/why not?
-Should the church accept any and all people in it's doors?
-Does the spirit of the sign convey a "loving warning"?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Glorifying God: What Qualifies?



Some questions:
-Does this benefit/edify the body? If yes, how?
-Should this be condoned?
-Could this confuse the child concerning salvation? The congregation?
-Biblically can the Spirit anoint those who do not comprehend and trust in the gospel?
-What was your first thought when you saw this video?
-If you were touched by watching this video, was it spurred by its roots in scriptural truth or in emotion detached from scripture? Or something else?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

El Morro En Viejo San Juan

If you haven't noticed I haven't been posting much in the past couple of weeks, well, you need to read the blog more often :)

I have been in Puerto Rico with my wife and a couple we are friends with from Church. I thought I would share some pictures. I will add more later on (and resume posting regularly), but I have a lot of catching up to do with work at the present moment.

Enjoy the Pictures! They were taken in Old San Juan, mostly at the Spanish fort- El Morro.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stop or I'll Dial!

This boggles my mind:
A survey of 305 students at one campus found that 40 percent of cell phone users said they walked somewhere after dark that they normally wouldn't go. A separate survey found that about three-quarters of students said that carrying a cell phone while walking alone at night made them feel somewhat or a lot safer.

"Students seem to feel less vulnerable when they carry a cell phone, although there's no evidence that they really are," said Jack Nasar, co-author of the study and professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State University.

"If anything, they are probably less safe because they are paying less attention to their surroundings."
Folks, I carry a gun to most anyplace I am legally allowed to. Even when I do, you won't see me darking the doorways of a shady establishment or a dark alley.

Here are some questions:
--Do you feel safer going someplace if you have a cell phone? Why?
--Given that a great response time has help arriving in five minutes, what do you do while waiting?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Baby In Need

This is a personal request. I have a friend from university who recently had his fourth child (two twins boys, another boy and now this one). He got real sick and actually had to be resuscitated. He is currently in the hospital and still not doing well. He has been diagnosed with viral spinal meningitis. I would ask that you pray for their son as well as his parents, Adam and Wendy McCollum. I will update this once I hear more.

Specifically you can pray that:
-Adam and Wendy would not be anxious about anything but trust in the Lord that He knows their needs and will meet them or exceed them with His sovereign plan as He is a kind and loving God that is powerful enough to act on that love and kindness and ensure that nothing hinders it.
-Their son would indeed come out of this without ill effect and this would cause his parents to glory in their God and be thankful to Him for the skill and knowledge of the doctors and nurses who are working with their child.
-That the doctors would be wise and diligent in doing what is in the child's best interest.
-That this situation would draw all involved closer to the Lord for His glory and our good.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Armed Shepherds

A tiny Texas district will allow teachers and staff members to carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings when classes begin this month, provided the gun-toting employees follow certain requirements.

The small community of Harrold in north Texas is a 30-minute drive from the Wilbarger County Sheriff's Office, leaving students and teachers without protection, said David Thweatt, superintendent of the Harrold Independent School District. The lone campus of the 110-student district sits near a heavily traveled highway, which could make it a target, he argued.
I've been a fan of this for a while, a long while.

And the superintendent nailed it with this:
"When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that's when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can't defend themselves? That's like saying 'sic 'em' to a dog," Thweatt said in a story published Friday on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Web site.
Hmmm... you don't say?
Read more here.

Some questions:
-Would it make you feel uncomfortable knowing that a teacher at the school you attend or your children attend is armed?
-What about licensed people around you at the grocery store or in restaurants?
-Would you post a "No Guns" sign in your front yard?
-If you had a child in this district or if your district were to allow this, what concerns would you have (if any)?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bigfoot Claim A Hoax

I posted on this last week and thought I would share the widely under-publicized admittal of a hoax.

The body turned out to be rubber, and the two men who claimed they found it, Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, have admitted it was a costume, said a posting Tuesday on the Web sites of Searching for Bigfoot Inc. and Squatchdetective.

You can read more here.
You can read my initial post on it here.
The "confession" can be found here.

Some questions:
-Should there be any sort of retribution concerning this hoax?
-Were any lawas broken?
-What do you think their motive was?
-If you are one who believes bigfoot exists, does this change your view?

Lying On Your Resume

Here are the 10 most outrageous lies found on resumes according to CareerBuilder.com:

1. Candidate claimed to be a member of the Kennedy family

2. Applicant invented a school that did not exist

3. Job seeker submitted a résumé with someone else's photo inserted into the document

4. Candidate claimed to be a member of Mensa

5. Applicant claimed to have worked for the hiring manager before, but never had

6. Job seeker claimed to be the CEO of a company when he was an hourly employee

7. Candidate listed military experience dating back to before he was born

8. Job seeker included samples of work, which were actually those of the interviewer

9. Applicant claimed to be Hispanic when he was 100 percent Caucasian

10. Candidate claimed to have been a professional baseball player

...there's a line between bending the truth and outright deception. According to the CareerBuilder.com survey, these were the most common falsehoods people admitted to using on a résumé:

• 38 percent of those surveyed indicated they had embellished their job responsibilities

• 18 percent admitted to lying about their skill set

• 12 percent indicated they had been dishonest about their start and end dates of employment

• 10 percent confessed to lying about an academic degree

• 7 percent said they had lied about the companies they had worked for

• 5 percent disclosed that they had been untruthful about their job title

Do these lies work? In most cases, no.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Some questions:
-Why do some think it is okay to lie to get a job?
-Is this seen as sociably acceptable if you don't get caught?
-How do you think the applicant responded when confronted on the lies?
-What does this say concerning character?
-Is this the equivalent to performance enhancing drugs? To compete in the majors you have to take steriods? Everybody is doing it?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Obama & McCain On Abortion & Human Life



Some questions:
-Who do you think has the better answer?
-Why do you think their answer is better?
-By what basis do you judge who is right on this issue? Science? The Bible?
-So when does human life begin?
-Did you find the video biased?
-Did you find this forum at Saddleback influential in your decision-making process concerning the presidential election?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Denny Burk: Thoughts On The Saddleback Presidential Debate

Denny Burk has chosen to blog live on the Saddleback Forum hosted by pastor of Saddleback: Rick Warren, author of all things purpose driven. I would encourage you to take a look at what he has written and watch the debate/forum between Obama and McCain yourself. As Christians we have a responsibility to make informed choices in every area of our lives as we are stewards over them; entrusted by God. The same holds true in elections.

Below you will find the links to the discussion.

Live Blogging Part 1 Here.

Live Blogging Part 2 Here.

Commenting On Rick Warren Here.

Overall Rating Here.

Some questions:
-What did you think of the forum?
-Does this put Rick Warren in a different light for you?
-Who do you think came out with more compelling, true arguments?
-Does this affect who you will vote for?
-Did you find this beneficial? What about the candidates being asked the same question?
-Why do some Christians not think it important to think through issues considered "secular"?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bigfoot: Several Found Alive In Georgia



A policeman and a former corrections officer say that on Friday, they will unveil evidence of what they claim is their biggest capture ever: the body of Bigfoot.
Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, a pair of Bigfoot-hunting hobbyists from north Georgia, say they found the creature's body in a wooded area and spotted several similar creatures that were still alive.

The carcass of the furry half-man, half-ape is 7 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs more than 500 pounds, they say. However, the two are not disclosing the exact location of their discovery in order to protect the remaining creatures
.


You can read more here.

You can visit the website of those that found it here.

Some questions:
-Do you believe this to be the body of a bigfoot?
-What ramifications would come from finding a living species of bigfoot?
-What would this discovery (if proven true) do to/for the scientific community?
-What would this discovery (if proven true) do to/for the religious community?
-Would finding such a creature affect your faith in God one way or another?
-If this is proven to be a hoax, what should become of the hoaxers?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is Our Worth In What We Do?



I watched the video above and that is the question that came to mind. If this guy's career is over- what he trained and prepared his whole life for, what else does he have? Does he pity himself? Does he pick himself up by the bootstraps and embark on a new life; a new career?

I can't help but think that we place too much emphasis on what we do (and allow ourselves to think that is what defines us) instead of who we are (and who's we are).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hope Where There Is No Hope

The son of a prominent leader in the Hamas terrorist organization has publicly declared his faith in Jesus Christ and warned that Israel can never be at peace with the "wicked and cruel" men who lead Hamas.

Masab Yousef, who now prefers to be known as "Joseph," is the oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a political leader of the Hamas organization in the West Bank and one of the movement's most popular public figures. He gave his life to Christ in 2004, four years after a friend invited him to a Bible study and he began to read the Christian scriptures for himself.

"At this stage I was still a Muslim and I thought that I would remain one. But every day I saw the terrible things done in the name of religion by those who considered themselves 'great believers,’" Yousef told the Haaretz news organization. "I studied Islam more thoroughly and found no answers there. I re-examined the Koran and the principles of the faith and found how it is mistaken and misleading. The Muslims borrowed rituals and traditions from all the surrounding religions."


"The people who supposedly represent the religion admired Mohammed more than God, killed innocent people in the name of Islam, beat their wives and don't have any idea what God is," he told Haaretz. "I have no doubt that they'll go to hell. I have a message for them: There is only one way to Paradise -- the way of Jesus who sacrificed Himself on the cross for all of us."

"Many people will hate me for this interview, but I'm telling them that I love all of them, even those who hate me. I invite all the people, including the terrorists among them, to open their hearts and believe," he told Haaretz. "Now I'm trying to establish an international organization for young people that will teach about Christianity, love and peace in the territories, too. I would like to teach the young people how to love and forgive, because that's the only way the two nations can overcome the mistakes of the past and live in peace."


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What are our responsibilities to this brother?
-Do you believe that God has placed him there for a reason?
-How will you pray for this man?
-Even in reading the entirety of the article, can you see how God is already using him?
-Do you believe his life to be in danger by simply claiming faith in Christ? Why does such a declaration cause such a reaction?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Youth Ministry: A Biblical Approach

Barry Maxwell has taken up the issue of youth ministry in a 3 part series and addresses the issue in a way that is contra pop-"christian" culture (read: Biblical).

I don't know how often you peruse the links on the side to other blogs, but I would encourage you to add this blog to your list that you check regularly, especially if you are in the ministry.

Here is a snippet of part one of his 3 part series:

Some question about youth ministry arises often at our church. Visiting parents ask what we have for their teenagers. Members wonder what we're doing for the "youth." By modern standards we have or do very little. No glitzy youth building for youth "worship." No services designed to package God's truth in sound bites teenagers can understand. No teen-centered atmosphere that defines our church. But, we do have a youth ministry.

There is a rampant adolescentizing force that raises adults/parents to act more like children rather than training children for adulthood.


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Does scripture give credence to youth ministry as practiced in America today?
-Does youth ministry seem to be more pragmatic than biblical?
-Is the rise of youth ministry a sign of a failing of another part of the church?
-Do you agree with Barry? If not why?
-Was the 3 part series eye-opening to you?
-Does it go against what you grew up with? How do you rectify your experience with what scripture teaches?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Pertinent Warning To The Church

Tim Challies wrote a book review some time ago and is still recieving emails concerning the "unfair" review he gave from readers who "benefited" from the book in question. He has since wrote a response to those emails and addressed the two main arguments being given for his review being unfair. Even though he is addressing a singular topic, I think his thoughts here have wide-sweeping ramifications for us as believers. Please see the snippets below and then go to the link to read the complete article. Also, I would recommend you add his blog to your list of daily reads as it is a great resource to those who believe.

Pragmatism necessarily causes us to lose our focus on the absolute standard God has given us in His Word to determine right from wrong. When we lose that focus the church is placed on the slippery slope to becoming like the world. When we discard God’s standards we must depend on our own deeply flawed standards. We begin to trust in ourselves and lose our trust in God. We lose our reliance on His Word as the tool for discernment.

Fiction is a powerful medium for communicating truth and the evidence of this is in every positive review of the book; the evidence is in the fact that Jesus Himself often communicated using fiction.

The reader who complained about “stodgy old religion” exhorted me to “try to re-read the Shack with a more open mind.” But from her email and the others like it, I can see that in this case an open mind would require a closed Bible. We cannot set aside Scripture even when we read fiction. There is no such thing as only fiction.


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Does pragmatism (do it because it works) have a place in the church?
-Why do you think we readily exchange hard truths for pragmatism?
-Are there ill consequences for this exchange?
-What are your thoughts concerning the last quote from Challies?
-Did Jesus teach truth through fiction?
-Should we be more careful with how we handle truth and take in those things labeled as "only fiction"?
-Overall, do you agree with or find yourself at odds with Challies?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Has Our Democracy Become A Joke?

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die


Some questions:
-What do you think our founding fathers would say concerning the current state of our union?
-Is nothing kept from mockery?
-Should our electoral system be revamped?
-Do the youth of our nation take seriously the issues concerning our future? If not, what do you think contributed to this?

You Provide The Caption


Image credit can be found here.

Make sure you caption it before visiting the link though.

Stigler's Law Of Eponymy: Oh The Irony

Apart from iconic figures like Darwin and Einstein, most scientists labour in obscurity. One of the few ways in which they can gain lasting recognition is by having a scientific discovery named after them.

However, the system does not always work smoothly. Indeed, naming disputes are so common that there is even a rule of thumb called the Zeroth theorem, which states that eponymous discoveries are, more often than not, wrongly attributed.

Appropriately enough, the theorem is also known as Stigler's law of eponymy even though it was originally formulated by Robert Merton of Columbia University in New York.


You can read of five examples here.

Some questions:
-Should these discoveries be renamed to honor the one who found them?
-Should it really matter?
-Is this an issue of pride or of giving credit where credit is due?
-Do you know of any other examples?

Monday, August 4, 2008

The End of Contraception: The Government Defines Life

A new set of health laws that could be proposed by the government sometime in the next few weeks has women's health activists steaming. If the laws are implemented, they claim, women will have a harder time getting access to contraception.

The legislation, a draft of which was leaked last week to the New York Times, stokes the debate over when human life begins by taking the position that birth control that prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg actually results in abortion.

Late last week, Sen. Hillary Clinton called the planned rules (which could be imposed without congressional approval) "damaging" and a "dire threat to women" and warned that contraceptive coverage would "disappear overnight" if enacted.


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Why do you think the legistlation states life begins at fertilization?
-What are your thoughts on birth control? Is it abortion? If not, when does life begin?
-Should this be legislated to the general public?
-What did women do before the invention of "the pill" to ensure they did not get pregnant- chastity?
-Do you agree with the proposed legislation? If so why? If not, why not?
-Do you see further ethical ramifications stemming from this legislation if passed?
-Has contraception been a good thing for us culturally? Spiritually?

Why So Secretive About Discovery On Mars?

It would appear that the US President has been briefed by Phoenix scientists about the discovery of something more "provocative" than the discovery of water existing on the Martian surface. This news comes just as the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) confirmed experimental evidence for the existence of water in the Mars regolith on Thursday.

You can read more here.

***Update***
So what was the secret? You can find out here.

Some questions:
-What do you think might have been found?
-Should the public be left in the dark concerning such discoveries even if they are still being analyzed?
-Why do you think the president was briefed (and not just one of his advisors)?
-If life was found to have existed on Mars at some point in time, would this impact your faith in a negative way?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Only One Thing

If you could only do one thing today, what would it be? Why would you choose that over everything else you could have done?

Each day Christians are imprisoned and suffer persecution and even death for their faith in God and the work of Jesus the Christ on the cross. Each day they still have freedom they must live it as if it was their last. Sometimes, the blessings of religous freedom without fear of persecution obscure the imminence of judgment and the uncertainty of the timing of death or imprisonment. Sometimes this freedom even causes us to think less on the sufferings of our brothers and sisters because of their faith... so, if you could do only one thing today, what would it be?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Christian To Christian Responsibility: Rebuking In Love

Timm (one of the contributors here) recently posted an article on Christian Reproof on his own blog called The Bench Stone. I found it to be encouraging and balanced in its brief handling of the issue and in its exhortation.

I would recommend you click the link below and read it. Here is a short sampling of what he wrote:

Even though we profess Christian love, we complain to anyone with a sympathetic ear about our brethren who offend us. Anyone, except the offender himself! Sadly, if you are like me, you will recall your own failures in talking about, rather than to, those who've offended you. These conversations violate the scriptural rule of speaking the truth only in a spirit of love. (Ephesians 4:15)

We rarely approach others with the intent of restoring them to the right path...


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do you agree with Timm's conclusion?
-Do you think correction has lost its cultural relevance? Afterall, we are an individualistic society that leans towards pluralism yeah?
-What do you think of his treatment concerning the Luke parable?
-Why is it so important to rebuke in love and not just rebuke?

Man Decapitated By Fellow Passenger On Bus

A man sleeping on a Greyhound bus as it rolled across the Canadian Prairies was killed and decapitated by his seatmate on Wednesday night, other passengers who were on the bus told media on Thursday.

[The attacker] calmly walks up to the front (of the bus) with the head in his hand and the knife and just calmly stares at us and drops the head right in front of us," Caton said.

"There was no rage in him ... It was just like he was a robot or something."


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Why do you think people do things like this?
-Does this cause you to think less of God? If so, why?
-Why do you think evil is permitted?
-Why do you think no one helped the victim?

Tweaking Microsoft Vista

In my ever-ongoing quest to get the leanest operating system so I can utilize all of my resources for video editing, I ran across this article on downloads that allow you to customize Vista and tweak to your hearts content. I thought I would pass it along and hopefully it will be of benefit to those of you who have moved on (however grudgingly) from XP.

Here are a few of the downloads:

Vista Smoker Pro

If you're looking to juice up Vista's performance, give this tool a try. It's designed to help you optimize the way that Vista runs, from memory to hard disk operations to the basic interface.

TweakVista

As its name implies, Stardock's TweakVista lets you alter and fine-tune Vista in countless ways. A blessedly simple and well-designed interface makes tweaking easy. You can see what programs run at startup, how much RAM each currently running program uses, and what Vista security parameters are now in force. One particularly useful feature is the Services module, which enables you to switch various Vista services on or off...

TweakUAC

What's the biggest annoyance that Windows Vista have to deal with? Hands-down, it's User Account Control (UAC), which nags at you to enter a password or click OK every time you make certain changes or perform certain actions.

Amnesty Generator

The Web contains are thousands of widgets and gadgets, but regrettably the vast majority of them won't work in the Sidebar. But Mesa Dynamics' free Amnesty Generator fixes that state of affairs. The program lets you convert almost any online widget or gadget to a Vista-compatible gadget that you can then run on the Sidebar.

Feeds Plus

Fans of the RSS blog reader built into Internet Explorer 7 need this program. It enables you to read all of your feeds from a single location, instead of having to read one feed at a time. This is especially useful for people like me who subscribe to dozens of feeds.

You can find more (and download) here.

Some questions:
-Do you use Vista? If so, what version?
-Why did you switch to Vista?
-Are you considering going to Mac? If so, why?
-Do you think Microsoft is going downhill?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Cure For Alzheimer's?

A new drug halts the devastating progress of Alzheimer’s disease, say British scientists.

It is the first time medication has been developed to target the ‘tangles’ in the brain that destroy nerve cells, leading to deteriorating memory.

The drug helps to disrupt this process, preventing the formation of new tangles and loosening those already created.

Last night the findings were hailed as the biggest breakthrough in the battle against Alzheimer’s since 1907.


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Did you realize Alzeimer's is the sixth leading cause of death?
-Why do you think we are prone to disease?
-Do you think this "breakthrough" will amount to anything? What about this one?
-Do you have any loved ones coping with Alzeimer's? Will you tell their doctor about this medication?

I Follow Teen Pop, I Follow Adult Boomer... Is Worship Divided?

Below is an excerpt of an interview with J. I. Packer from Modern Reformation on The State of Evangelism.

Shane Rosenthal: What do you think about a niche marketing approach that has by virtue of the different worship styles--teen pop, alternative, and adult boomer--created generational segregation?

J. I. Packer: We have separated the ages, very much to the loss of each age. In the New Testament, the Christian church is an all-age community, and in real life the experience of the family to look no further should convince us that the interaction of the ages is enriching. The principle is that generations should be mixed up in the church for the glory of God. That doesn't mean we shouldn't disciple groups of people of the same age or the same sex separately from time to time. That's a good thing to do. But for the most part...

You can read the rest at Between Two Worlds here.
You can read the original, complete interview here. (you must sign up for a free subscription)

Some questions:
-Do you think worship should be all inclusive?
-Does having seperate worship services negatively impact the body?
-Is there a positive (when it comes to the local body of believers) for having seperate worship styles for different tastes?
-What is the purpose of corporate worship?
-Who is worship intended to cater to?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Less Abortions Or No Abortions?

Denny Burk picked up on a discussion on Al Mohler's radio program between Tony Campolo and Russell Moore. Part of the transcript is below.

Moore: What would you say to someone that would argue as I would that getting together with abortion rights supporters and saying let’s reduce the number of abortions is something like a previous generation getting together with white supremacists and saying let’s find a way to reduce the number of lynchings. Don’t you kind of almost provide a smokescreen . . .

Campolo: Wait a minute. That was a very inflammatory way of stating the issue . . .

Moore: Not if unborn children are actually children . . .

Campolo: Would you let me respond? . . .

Even though Campolo is put off by the comparison to white supremacists, Moore’s analogy is entirely appropriate. Just as black Americans are persons created in God’s image whose lives should be protected in law against lynchings, so the unborn are persons whose lives should be protected in law against abortion.


You can read the rest here.
The audio can be heard here.

Some questions:
-Where do you stand on the issue of abortion?
-When does life qualify as human life?
-Do you think Moore's point is valid?
-Should the father have equal say in abortions concerning their unborn child?
-If abortion was outlawed, what would be the negative effects of such a ruling?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Man Walked On The Moon, Aliens Walked On Earth

FORMER NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr Edgar Mitchell - a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission - has stunningly claimed aliens exist.

And he says extra-terrestrials have visited Earth on several occasions - but the alien contact has been repeatedly covered up by governments for six decades.

Dr Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview that sources at the space agency who had had contact with aliens described the beings as 'little people who look strange to us.'

He said supposedly real-life ET's were similar to the traditional image of a small frame, large eyes and head.

Chillingly, he claimed our technology is "not nearly as sophisticated" as theirs and "had they been hostile", he warned "we would be been gone by now".


You can read more here.
You can listen to the audio here.

Some questions:
-Do you believe in intelligent alien life?
-Would such a belief contradict the Bible?
-Do you believe the statements Dr. Mitchell made or do you believe Nasa?
-Do you think our government lies to us? Why?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Destination Psych Ward

I'm not crazy, doctor. There really is a cat in my wall.

A Brooklyn man found himself locked up in a loony bin for four days after he smashed down walls in three apartments trying to rescue a fugitive feline.


Muth couldn't catch Rumi from that hole either, so he broke into a third apartment, and again started smashing walls.

Steiner [the superintendent] had as much success coaxing Muth out as Muth did with Rumi.

So the super called cops - who shipped Muth to a local psych ward.

Rumi remained in the catacombs of the condo - a former church. And the shrinks decided Muth was suffering from bats in his belfry.

The hospital records say he had a "bizarre delusion [he] was trying to save a cat of his friend," The Brooklyn Paper reported.


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do you think a cat was worth it?
-Should this man do what most Americans believe they are entitled to do: sue?
-Do you think we have lost trust in our fellow man (would he have been trusted back in the 1930's)?
-Should the Brooklyn Paper apologize?
-What do you think about Muth's final statement in the link above?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Hug A Fatty" Campaign

Health Secretary Alan Johnson today called for an end to stigmatising the obese.

The Cabinet minister warned that 'vilifying' fat people will not make them lose weight or solve Britain's obesity 'epidemic'.

Instead, Mr Johnson proposed a national campaign tackling unhealthy lifestyles.

His comments come only a week after David Cameron said the overweight had only themselves to blame and they must take personal responsibility for their condition.


You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do you find this offensive?
-If you are overweight, how does this sit with you?
-What do you think about David Cameron's statement in the quote above?
-Do you think the title "Hug a Fatty" "present[s] the message more intelligently"?
-Is obesity an epidemic? Is it evolution? Is it a consequence of our technological, industrial and scientific gains?

Email: What Do You Use?

I have been using gmail since it was first released via invitation only back in 2004. I still keep my Hotmail account just for junk mailings (if I need to sign up for something). However, I am extremely pleased with gmail and its philosphy that you do not have to throw away anything ever nor do you have to file things away- just search for it. This is a great tool. If you need to review an email with a key code in it or download link, just type something in the search box that was in the email and there it is. It also narrows down email addresses as you type them in (or the name associated with them) in the address field. Once you see a list of names appear, just choose the one you want- no more address book or memorizing email addresses. On top of that you have storage galore and google talk built right in. Did I mention that their spam filter is phenomenal? I don't remember the last time I had spam slip through into my inbox.

In addition to email, your google account also opens up to you the ability to utilize google calendar, google docs, and a plethora of other services.

There are also "add ons" that can turn your gmail account into a storage space for files and such. There is even one that utilizes it to run a web based operating system.

So, I say all that to ask this: who is your email client and why?