Saturday, January 27, 2007


So, Then, He Was Link...And Then I Was Link...

Picture perfect political joke.

Well, should I apply?

Can you say fakir?

Worthless - defined.

HEY! - This is where I went to high school -- good on them.

Places I need to visit - been to two and dangerously close to two others.

My wife would have done the same thing - sort of. She would have scratched it under the chin until it purred. Trust me, she has a way with cats.

The poop on the Airbus.

Explaining why I was around 40 when I got married.

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Comic Art

There are a lot of famous comic book covers out there, but few that have set the course for a whole company like the one at right here. In the intermittent series on speedsters, I thought we'd look at the "Golden Age Flash"

Most the characters that DC succeeded with when the Silver Age started (early 60's) were revamps from the so-called "Golden Age" (WWII), but this cover, for the first time brought together the characters of the same name from both ages. Man, did it cause a stir.

Wasn't long before all the Golden Ager's were showing up throughout the DC line. That lead to the whole "multiple earths thing, which later came crashing down, and has now begun to expand again. All from that one little cover - it has virtually defined the great story arcs that have driven the entire DC line since it's publication.

The Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick, is perhaps the most popular, certainly the most recognizable, of the discontinuously published Golden Agers. One must exclude Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman since they never ceased to be published during the dark days between the ages. I love his classic look, but it had to be revamped in the Silver Age since his face shows. When the Silver Age started you just weren't a superhero unless you had a secret identity, and that mandated a mask.

But the look is classic - literally. Based on depictions of the ancient mythological character of Mercury with the winged helmet, GA Flash is a character born out of the actual classics.

He is still around today, acting as mentor to the current cowled Flash, and sort of riding heard over the entire speedster clan in DC as patriarch. Not to mention his role as teacher of new heros and patriarch of the Justice Society. A stable family man, in a world of emotional super-drama, I really like the character as a call back to by-gone days when super-heroes really were good examples of how to live a life.

I'll leave you with some original art from the creators of the original Flash.

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Friday, January 26, 2007


WE! Are The Gospel

David Wayne, Jollyblogger, started the New Year by quoting Dietrich Bonhoeffer and daring us to be sinners in 2007. He concludes his post this way:
Those words are good news for me! They also show a way forward in the midst of our fractured churches and other Christian fellowships - they remind us that our fellowship is not based on a shared holiness, rather on shared depravity and shared reception of grace.
I spend a lot of time on this blog reminding myself, and hopefully you, of the need to be self-sacrificing, confessional, and Christocentric in our approach to faith. And yet, David reminds me here powerfully, that if we are those things - WE BECOME THE GOSPEL.

What greater evidence is there to the good news of Jesus Christ than the evidence of our depraved, grace-blessed lives?

It is often sport in church to make fun of flubs from up front. I think they happen in every church and everybody gets s good giggle out of them afterwards. Depending on where you go it could be a Powerpoint malfunction, or a color-blind pastor naming the wrong color for a bulletin insert. I have seen churches that react to such giggles with horror and redouble their efforts to "make worship perfect." Then their are those churches that in humility laugh at themselves and in so doing evidence the grace of God.

There is something a little scary about "perfection" in church. It always makes me wonder what is really going on behind the scenes. That kind of image simply does not come without enormous effort - it is a construct, not a reflection of reality.

Reality is not that we are perfect but that we are far from it. Reality is not that we are made perfect, at least not yet, but that God loves us in spite of our imperfections. Reality is not that we do the right thing, but that we are forgiven when we do the wrong thing.

In reality there is fellowship and communion and grace -- The Body of Christ. Everything else is just acting.

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It's Link, You Know...Dude

It begins....

Cartoon, 'Nuff Said

Hard-hitting, and not from a blog!

The sound of CYA.

Animal Cruelty comes, I think when we place our concerns on our animals. On the other hand...

Write your own police joke here.

Interesting odds.

Fine, but how fast can it cook a frozen dinner?

Perfect for enjoying Barry Manilow or Barbara Streisand. (HT: Mark)

I was thinking this would be the perfect burglary tool, but it probabaly took too long. Might have been too soothing too.

And they say it's just fashion. Those young whippersnappers.... This would have been easier.

I'm moving to the Netherlands and getting my ID card! Finally it will no longer be necessary to be unlicensed on my night job.

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Friday Humor - Gone To The Dogs

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Thursday, January 25, 2007


On Being Jerks

Let's face it - as Christians we can be, and often are really big jerks. We fight about everything and often nothing. There has been some interesting looks into this fact recently. The BHT pointed recently to a post from the Oceanside United reformed Church on the question of why so many reformed people are jerks. Frank Lauterback came at the question from a different angle on GospelDrivenLife wondering why we struggle with new things. Both are looking into the essential question of why we are both quick and vituperous to condemn something different than us.

There are two basic strains from all of this. The first is that when we discover something, be it reformed thought, or whatever, we are like kids with a new toy - we think it is the best thing in the world and are just jerks about it. This usually resolves with time.

But if it doesn't, the second strain comes in - it is a defensivness, born generally of desparation, because we lack confidence in what we hold dear. This happens on an intellectual and practical level. Often we hold something dear while not fully comprehending it, thus we fail to understand its inherent truthfulness and therefore lack faith in its robustness. This lack of faith then expresses itself as gracelessness because we have not learned grace which is the first lesson genuine faith usually teaches us.

I often wonder why the apostles never wrote of Christ's nor their strategic plan for spereading the gospel. I think it is because they did not have one. Thier focus was not necessarily on "ministry" - but on their Lord, and working out their relationship with Him. Ministry was not the product, but the by-product thereof.

As I read these posts I cannot help but be convinced that if we adopted the same focus, if we made ministry by-product instead of product, that we might gain the faith, grace, and maturity necessary to stop being jerks. And thus stop impeding the gospel we so dearly seek to spread.

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Illuminated Scripture

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In All Linklihood

Offensive yes, criminal NO Besides, isn't it racist to make a racial epithet criminal. I mean, if we are going to ban offensive words, shouldn't they offend everyone, equally?

Iraq IS NOT Vietnam, and we should not act like it. Sign the pledge, tell the Senate.

Were the hippies are. And now we know the source of global warming hysteria.

Air guitar heaven.

The list I want to make when I grow up.

OK, Talk-Like-A-Pirate day is kind of fun and very silly, but this is getting expensive.

Isn't that why they call it a sloth? Besides, my wife says the same thing about me on many a Sunday afternoon.

Sounds like a job for a fat cat.

Build a house with a device that "squirts semi-liquid construction materials to form walls and domed ceilings." That is basically the same processing as pooping....

Sure is a lot of press to see an animal die.

Old school, stick and rudder - it will kick your tank bound butt. I just think it's beautiful in an ugly sort of way.

Destroying other people's property is indeed criminal, but I might have paid for the priviledge.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Resolutions - Good For Anytime

I am not a big fan of attaching good practice to specific celebrations. For example, I think we should remember the incarnation year-round, not just at Christmas, and likewise the resurrection is far too important to celebrate but annually.

Few calendar based practices; however, strike me more silly that the "New Year's Resolution." Effective change in your life occurs throughout the year and with constancy. So I thought it best to talk about this excellent, and well circulated at the time, post from Out of Ur on the resolutions of Jonathon Edwards. Reprinting the resolutions printed in the post:

I cannot help but note the radical difference in tone between these resolutions and the often silly, and generally self-centered resolutions we hear about these days. Even when he resolves something that almost anyone today would resolve ("temperance in eating and drinking") he strike quite a different sound than we would. He resolves not for himself, but in pledging "temperance," he focuses on God's will, not the self-improvment focus on self that we would expect today.

For whom do we make resolutions? Are not resolutions motivated by self-improvement a sin of sorts? Focused not on God's will but our own? Note he chooses to "fight his 'corruptions'" How many of us would even dream to refer to ourselves in such a manner? And yet, when we view ourselves from God's perspective, what better word could their be?

What is the tone of your life and your resolutions? - Where is the focus? If not sacrificial on Christ, should not that and that alone be your resolution?

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Not Very Linkly

It's nice they can get along on something. I'm mostly glad the Anglican church has some meaning somewhere.

I love stuff like this.

Are they really "pastors" in the Unification church? I alwasy knew they were thieves.

Next time, use smaller toilet.

So this is why the warning is on those Cialis ads.

There is stupid and then there is agressively stupid. Why is it I'd kinda like to part of the latter?

Here's why the airline wouldn't let that kid on the other day.

And now the Uncanny X-Calf in love.

You know, when I was a kid, we had a boxer mix named Butch. He went through the plateglass window at the postman. Maybe it's the name?

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007


The Relational Church

Justin Taylor points to the January 2007 issue of the 9Marks newsletter on Friendship, Fellowship, and Hospitality. I am trying to put my finger on why, while in agreement, I find it troubling. Let me take a stab.

First, to be relational in church is an absolute necessity. Says the editor's introductory note:
Friendship is one of the primary means of grace the Lord uses to keep church members growing in grace and bound to one another?like the sinews between muscles. Friendship helps church members to fight sin, disciple younger Christians, and spur one another on to love and good deeds.
In light of this importance, intentionality about friendship is also a must, but there is a point where intentionality can override genuiness and rob from the relationship its meaning and vitality.

I think you know what I am talking about. We have all met someone like that - the "Hail and well met" kind of guy that remembers your name and acts like he is your best buddy, but when it comes to what really defines a friend, affection, devotion, sacrifice, they just fall short of the mark.

In this, as in all things, what Christ intends is so much more than what we can actually deliver even with our best efforts. It's not enough to act someone's friend, one must allow the Holy Spirit to actually make us into that friend.

The kind of connectivity and accountability that the newsletter refers to will never happen with a less that genuine friendship, and they will never happen with a new friendship. Like marriage, friendship takes committment and effort, but it must be committment and effort born of genuineness and most importantly - selflessness.

You cannot be genuine friends because it is good for the church; you cannot be genuine friends because you need them or want them. Friendship is born of the greatest love.

Hmmm...looks like Bonnie is thinking about some of the same things.

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The Colts Are In The Super Bowl (It's Just Today's Links Post, But I'm Still Celebrating)

Lot of fake fossils coming out fo China recently. When it's all said and done, perhaps decades from now, I think this might end up being one of them. Just a hunch, but it too neatly fits into an evolutionary picture, which would make today's average scientist suspend his/her critical facilities - you know, like religious people. Besides, if this is true, where are the bi-winged mammals? Wouldn't evolution alwasy take the same course?

It'd be smart, but fear, even inresonable fear, is a much stronger political motivator than reality.

Deep thoughts on new tech. BTW, if you lust for new technology - seek help. Desire fine, but lust?

You know when you legalize prostitution, something like this is bound to happen. something for libertarians to think about. Tax dollars mind you, tax dollars.

Really, please, get a life.

The Uncanny X-Pig.

Speaking of mutants. The incredible Prune Queen.

Yes, even superheroes go from time-to-time.

There is so much wrong with this, I don't even know where to start. I will; hoever comment, I'm not sure disinfectant is sufficient.

Gotta write a joke that starts this way.

He tasted awful

Yeah, but the glue is grossed out.

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Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, January 22, 2007


On Innovation

Monday Morning Insight recently linked to Outreach magazines list of "America's Most Innovative Churches." It contains a list that I can only describe as "the usual suspects," and then I wondered if "innovation" is a trait for which the church wants to be known.

Is there room for "innovation" in the gospel itself? Lord, Lord, I hope not. I hope I need go no farther on this question.

Has the mission and ministry of the church changed? Again, I hope not, we were given that mission and ministry by Christ Himself upon His departure.

So, in what context is "innovation" even required? Well, certainly culture has changed and culture is the context for our presentation of the gospel. Therefore, it can be argued that our method of presentation of the age-old message, in fulfillment of that age-old mission requires innovation. But I think that limits the gospel to being just a message.

I've looked, but cannot find studies to verify this contention, so take it for what it's worth, but consider an analogy. I have no reason to doubt the claims of to being the most successful Internet based match-making service - but the question is why? Is it because their sorting/matching system is better than others? I honestly doubt it. Let me explain why.

Marriage is not based on matching characteristics, it is based on hard work and genuine committment, born of love. Pretty much anyone that has survived the honeymoon knows this. In fact, most marriages my wife and I encounter that seem "good" somehow, are marriages of quite different people. We certainly are. Something other than "matching," I don't care how sophisticated, must be at play. My guess, it's the marketing.

eHarmony does not advertise for dating, they advertise for matchmaking. That means the people that are going to come to them are people that will be MOTIVATED previously to marriage, and serious about finding it - people willing to do the hard work and make the committment, not people looking for a fun way to spend the weekend. They are successful because their marketing "pre-selects" their clientele to provide that success.

All that nonsense about their questionaire, etc. is little more than the instrument they use to create that marketing, read "pre-selection." In other words, the real innovation in eHarmony is not the questionaire or computer systems they use, but the marketing.

So, when it comes to "innovation" in the church, one must ask where the real innovation is and if it too somehow pre-selects the clientele. Well, everybody knows the role marketing has played in church innovation in the last decade or so. I argue that all marketing is a matter of pre-selection, the question is simply which market segement is being selected.

So, what kind of clientele are all those innovative churches preselecting? People looking for transformation, or people looking for some sort of "church-lite"? If the former, wonderful, if the later, one must wonder seriously about the value of all that "innovation."

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To The Bat-Links

SORRY Dean. I hate to tell you, it's way too late to act humble now.

This Weather Channel thing is getting out-of-hand. They have a captive audience, no competition - to use it to drive an agenda is despicable. These keeps up, I gotta think competition will present itself. Particularly in light of the science.

Increasingly, global warming proponents are resisting debate. Could it be because they keep losing?

Great question!

Now this is a global envionmental crisis! Obviously an international treaty of some sort is called for. Where to meet? What sounds good in front of "protocol"? Las Vegas?---no...Yellowknife---maybe.... Maybe at the same meet we need an interplanetary treaty too.

One more time - WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!! This time from construction. Or are we?

Has the Govenator jumped the shark? Looooooooooooong time ago, where you been?

Great comedy is also social commentary. I think this fits the bill a little too well.

Particularly when it comes to Iraq, I think the divide between those who want victory and retreat is well illustrated.

Hogwash, apart from Christ, even the apparently alturisitc, are so for selfish reasons.

Not work I want. Even though it is very interesting chemistry.

Most I know like the regular stuff just fine.

Ren Hoek is from South America?

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Sunday, January 21, 2007


Here's Your Links

Up in the sky, it's a bird..., it's a plane..., it's Stoooooooporduck!

May the Colts show the class, panache, hard work, attitude, and winning of my beloved Bulldogs.

And thus he gets some press. Watch This! - HEY! I"M BILLY THE KID'S GRANDSON (Press'll be here any minute...)

Not much today, huh?

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Sermons and Lessons

John Piper on Proverbs 10:11:
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.
Which raises an interesting question. Your blog is as an expression of your mouth - is it a fountain of life?

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