Saturday, March 10, 2007


End Of Monty Python Week Links

Where was this when I was a kid? Have I told you my dream is to be one of the Mythbusters?

Apropos Saturday, but I got to tell you, Cap's shield shoulda been #1.

I always thought it was me.

Now THIS! - is journalism.

P.T. Barnum was right.

If that's all they do, she should consider herself lucky.

Everytime I'm in a jam, I figure that's who it is. They are just not always bovine.

Cool geek stuff.

Weird geek stuff.

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Comic Art

All good things must come to an end, and so I think it is with the continuing series on lame Spidey villains, but we are gonna go out with a big bang. Have you ever wondered what would happen if a Playboy bunny took herself just a little too seriously, read way too much Lewis Carroll and turned to super-crime? Why you would have every adolescent comic buyers dream - The White Rabbit. If she hadn't first appeared in the early '80's, I'd say she was inspired by Anna Nicole Smith - White Rabbit is as nuts and as pointless.

Needless to say, White Rabbit was intended for comic relief, I mean she originally shown as the arch-nemesis, in the Marvel Team-up depicted here, of "Frog-man" who is a loser of a hero if ever there was one.

White Rabbit has only had three story lines to date, but she is a reasonably popular character. Gee, I wonder why? Is it the manical nature of her machines of destruction? The absolutely cosmic scale of her evil plots? The pathos of her back story? The emotional connection between herself and Spider-man? Her incredible powers?

Uh...No, no, no, no, and no. It's a shapely chick in a bunny suit for crying out loud - what more needs to be said? Remember, at least back in 1983 when she first appeared, the

primary audience for comic books was male, under 21 and single - really single, if you know what I mean.

But then, why not? Comic relief and sex appeal in a single package, now that's selling comic books. Lame villain? Oh the lamest, but even the lame ones can be popular. What's that you say? No villain that rides a 10-foot, heavily armored mechanical bunny can be lame? Well then, your comic universe is much farther out there than mine is. I mean in a world inahbited by guys in spider suits and other guys that can stretch like rubber, a hot chick on a mechanical rabbit is just silly.

Oh yeah, one other thing - that MTU #131 up there? Mint condition in my collection. Just thought you'd want to know.

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Friday, March 09, 2007


What We Do To Language

MMI carried a post a while back entitles "Attractional AND Incarnational" Look, I more or less agree wthe the guy's point, and yet I found the post annoying. Consider:
There is a huge debate right now among younger church leaders on whether the calling of the church is to be attractional (“come to us”) or incarnational (“go to them”).
Annoying because why can't we just say "come to us" and "go to them"? Why do we have to invent what frankly sound like invented words to communicate such a simple idea?

One of the things that always gets to me is that Christians are not supposed to be from another world, we are supposed to be better at this world. The goal here is not to set up some sort of alternative existence that appears alien right down to the bizarro vocabulary. Rather, the goal is to set up existence that is as God created it. We are fallen, we are not deported.

Which leads me to the real bottom line of my annoyance. Incarnational ministry is a phrase dear to me from my Young Life days, but it means much more that just "go to them" Is God's incarnation simply about God coming to us? Heavens no! It is about God being with us, dwelling here. Incarnational ministry is not about "going out" - it's about who we are while we are out.

God had been going out since creation before Christ, He Himseff wrestled with Jacob, there were angels and emissaries, prophets and priests galore in the Old Testament. Christ was not about going out, Christ was about being God. The trick to incarnational ministry is not going out, but about allowing ourselves to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, so that when we are out, God is apparent.

When properly done, "incarnational" ministry meets both goals of the church, it works on those of us that are already a part, because we are struggling to be more Christ-like, and it seeks to add to the Kingdom.

Which brings me back to the language issue. Proper incarcational ministry is attractive, because as we become more Christ-like, we should be more attractive. Furthermore, as we are more Christlike, we will not need to invent vocabulary to sound "churchy" we simply will be "churchy" and our words will ring with an entirely different sound.

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It's...(cue music) LINKS!


Apparently I should run for office, or so says this test, on which I got a perfect score. If that's all it takes to qualify....(HT: Dadmanly)

NOT funny. Also NOT funny and yet remarkably stupid.

So, whats the big deal? (If you don't get the joke, here's the reference)

Big oops.

Wouldn't the story be if it HAD NOT been inseminated?

Of the slithery and the slimy - a potent combination.

Most musicians I know stink at science, specially rock musicians. (That just begs for this)

It's not always just about comics. The youth audience is a big problme. I miss the super patriotic Cap, have for a long time. One of the reasons I haven't talked about him much on Saturdays.


God help us all.

Requires no comment.

It's not supposed to end that way!

If it was me, I'd have flushed the report.

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Friday Humor - Killer Cat Edition

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Thursday, March 08, 2007


Two Masters?!?!?! - PLEASE!

Kruse Kronicle links and quotes extensively from a Fort Wayne (Indiana) Journal Gazeete article on part-time pastors. It is written by a Methodist pastor. I find the article near offensive, it is certainly elitist and belies a complete misunderstanding of how the Body of Christ is to function.
But what happens to the those who truly seek to serve God, enter into a ministry, and are forced by circumstances to work secular jobs to sustain themselves and their families?[emphasis added]
Are we to assume from this sentence that vocational ministry is the only way to truly serve God? What utter nonsense is that? Service to God is not based on the presence or lack of compensation.
Because bivocational pastors have two jobs, they often feel the demands of both – often at the same time. The pastor might be scheduled to work at his secular job when someone from the congregation is scheduled for an operation and wishes the pastor to be by her side during that time.
Hey, you don't think that applies to the rest of us with "real" jobs? We run into it every day, we have sick kids and friends and extended family. Some of us are even, you know, DEACONS!, that do the same pastoral calling, often with far higher job demands than a part-time employed pastor. Finally, consider
But what happens to the those who truly seek to serve God, enter into a ministry, and are forced by circumstances to work secular jobs to sustain themselves and their families? Are they serving two masters?
What kind of navel-gazing nonsense is that. Such a pastor is no more serving two masters than any of the rest of us that have a job. If anything, the full-time pastor is the one that has a "two masters" problem. They often find themselves in circumstances where they may have to compromise the ministry for the sake of the collections plate. Most pastors I know have a story or two of "major-giver blackmail," and a lot of them end up succumbing. But even more insidious is the unspoken knowledge that a watered down gospel often increases attendance and hence church income.

This thing is written as if Christianity is some sort of two-tiered society, with the real, genuine Christians taking money from the also-rans in the pew. I'm not sure what ticks me off more, the elitism or the whininess.

And we wonder why the church cannot raise up people that are genuinely transformed. Is it possible its because the leadership thinks genuine transformation is possible only if you go into vocational ministry? Lord, I hope not. I am sure none would say so, and yet we are confronted with this nonsense. The "bivocational" pastor should rejoice that he is living out the life the the rest of us do on a daily basis. Welcome to the trenches people - maybe now you can figure out how to be a genuine Christian in the world instead of how to organize an institution merely to extract my tithe.

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Illuminated Scripture - Artist's Choice

March 2007 marks the beginning of the third year for the feature “Illuminated Scripture” here at Blogotional. When I began I had no idea of the possibilities or the experiments artistically I would undertake. I have learned so much in my quest to illuminate scripture. Now as a way of looking back, for the next four weeks I have picked four Illuminated Scriptures, done in the past and displayed here at Blogotional that I feel stand out in some way.

Mrs. Blogotional

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And Now For Something Completely -- LINKS!

Socialistic medicine - It's high school all over aagin - only the popular girls can have fun.

Ahhh, popular science reporting - it sucks. So you understand, light cannot directly impart mechanical energy to anything. Light particles, photons, are massless. The motion described is a result of the re-release of heat to space. Heat is transmitted through the mechanical motion of massive particles like atoms.

Asimov is cool science fiction, but really! This is a sign of moral confusion, not advancment in robotics. We are no where near sentience in AI.

Oh, let's clone 'em and put 'em back on the throne.




Why you two-faced pig!

Just follow the link - you'll get the joke.

Who needs booze?

India responds to yesterday's movie trailer out of New Zealand.

But of course, America can kick that up a notch.

Admit it! You've been tempted.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Grab What?!?!?

Russ Smith at Eagle and Child writes on Carpe Deim
The difference lies in this -- the romantic notion of Carpe Diem is about consuming all you can -- the Christian notion is about subjecting yourself to Christ and finding yourself filled. Jesus tells the woman at the well "...whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." Then when she makes the request for this water, Jesus confronts her with her own sinfulness (a call to repentence) and then issues the call to worship in spirit and in truth. Worship is many things, but one key thing is the recognition that God is the object of worship. Worship is not about consuming an experience, like we would consume a movie or a theatrical performance -- worship is about coming before the living God in subjection -- and strangely He fills us and heals us and sanctifies us and sends us. When we kneel, he heals.
What an excellent point!

As Russ points out, we are indeed to have life abundantly, and the idea of Carpe Diem sounds very abundant indeed. However, our abundant life comes not from seizing the day, but being seized by Christ.

How little we understand ourselves. We talk so often about sin being a defiance of God's created order. But it is more, it is a defiance of our own nature! Sin is rebellion against God, and since we are made to be in subjication to Him, we defy self to sin.

Carpe Deim is about self-satifaction, which is oxymoronic. we cannot satisfy ourselves, we were created, made, only to be satisfied in service to the Other. Our nature is not control, but to be controlled.

You think you know yourself, but you do not, because you are not made to know yourself - you are made to know Him and He may or may not choose to reveal something of yourself to you.

I agree with Russ here, if we want to seize the day we should allow ourselves to be seized!

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"Doctor My Brain Hurts" Links

Talk about Ohio all you want Buckeye Boy! Just remember where the Buckeye's coach learned his trade.

This is about more than comics dear friends. But this could be just about that.

This is not as cute as it might seem. We spent a week there in a rented house a few years ago and woke up every morning to a yard FULL of the critters.

You might want to think about this when you think about global warming. It's a good lesson on a much simpler scale about how science does, and does not, work.

Some people you have to feel sorry for. Here's his brother.

Did anybody think to, you know, pull the fire alarm, activating the sprinklers?

How come that's not a "hate crime"?

This trailer appears to be for a legitimate theatrical release, if only in New Zealand for the moment. I gotta tell you, this looks like it has the potential to be the greatest cult film of all time, sirpassing perhaps even Snakes On A Plane. It's just flat out funny.

Speaking of movie inspiring scary science.

I wish

Meanwhile, from The Twilight Zone:
A woman pleaded no contest to reckless endangerment in a case where she allegedly brandished rattlesnakes at police who were trying to prevent her from harming herself with a hunting knife.
If it's really that "explosive," how strong must the jaw be?

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Unconditional Love?

MMI links to a sotry abot a Methodist church in Texas reaching out to the LGBT community.
“We are excited about the exhibit, which cuts through the politics and gets to the issues of love, caring and connection that are so basic to all families,” said Paul Scott, executive director of Equality Texas Foundation, which is sponsoring the event.
I am struck by how very thin the line between love and approval - embracing and enabling - really is.

Does God love us "unconditionally"? Yes, but I would argue that he has a very different understanding of that word than we do. His love is unconditonal in the sense that it is unearned, but it is also infinite in that it wants what is really best for us, which means it will demand that we change because we are far from the best. This demand for change is something that we want to label a "conditon" because then we can avoid it, but it is not a condition it is a result.

Firstly it is important to point out that this distinction is true for all sin, that the sin of sexual practice is perhaps more obvious, but no different than the sin of gossip or the thief when it comes to the theological point I make here.

Secondly, I think this point helps to clearly define the lines we need to draw in our churches when it comes to LGBT people and behaviors. Such people are welcome members of our community, as are all sinners, but to allow them into positions of leadership is to step beyond the embrace into the enabling. "But other sinners enter into leadership," comes the counter contention. Indeed, but often their sins are unknown, and if known renounced. That latter clause is terribly important. I don't think an unrepentant sinner should be allowed in leadership regardless of the sin. The guy caught unrepentantly stealing from his clients in his business is no more eligible for leadership than the practicing homosexual. However, both are welcome provided they acknowledge their wrong and struggle to avoid it.

Thirdly, the church will always be tempted to classify the result as condition. If we demand the result of God's unconditional love from our congregants, many will not want the result and they will leave. Thus it is a sore temptation to love unconditionally, but never demand the result. If we do not produce the results of God's love can we truly be said to have passed it on? If the result is not witnessed is it even God's love at all?

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I'm A Lumberjack Links

RETRACTIONS AND APOLOGIES... Amy Ridenour. Yesterday I accused her of not being up to speed on NAE leadership. I was wrong. Somehow a post Amy wrote last year came up on my RSS feed over the weekend which made me think it was current. I was not thorough enough in examining her post for a date. My bad.

Back to our regularly scheduled linkage...

Once again, Al Mohler, overstates and casues pain. He's right, when it comes to pets we are an overindulgent, overspending, silly bunch of people sometimes. However, few that I know seriously think of them as substitute children, even if they are a great comfort to the childless.

And it used to be LA smog...we got over it, they will to (unless of course we halt the progress of their industrialization with silly regulation and trap them in third world poverty forever), the world did not end.

The source of global warming research uncovered. It works because we are cattle.

Most fun I ever had doing environmental lab work? - fish kills. This is how sample prep is done. Much more fun than those tiny little vials on CSI!

Because you always wondered.


Elvis too!

Don't they do that on just about every story they cover?

You can have my samurai sword when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. Could we just ban silly, overly frightened people instead?

I hate myself for the endless punchlines I thought of to go with this story.

You really don't want to know, but I am compelled to give you the opportunity.

I DO NOT want to know how!

Well, that ought to provide plenty of hair for CSI to examine.

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Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, March 05, 2007



The recent proposed ballot resolution in Washington to force married couples to reproduce or face mandatory annulment sent me running off to two sermons by John Piper on "Staying Married Is Not About Staying In Love" - Part One & Part Two.

We have to make good arguements for keeping marriage between one man and one women, or I am afraid all will be lost. This resolution in all it's spiteful, self-indulgent meanness makes a point worth considering. The arguement that mariage is for reproduction and therefore the survival of society cuts both ways. If we can't do better than that, my wife and I need to go ahead and and file for divorce. Joe Carter started to hit on something when he said:
A number of factors could prevent a married couple from having a child within three years (e.g., what if the child is stillborn?) so it would be unfair to penalize them for something that is beyond their control. Instead, a more reasonable criteria should be established that is based on actions that are solely within their power. For example, all couples who wish to marry--both gay and straight--must be willing and able to engage in "marital acts", acts that are reproductive in type. To paraphrase the WA-DOMA, those couples who cannot or will not engage in marital acts that are reproductive in type should equally be barred from marriage.
But that still defines marriage in terms of sex, at least some forms of what is commonly considered sex, and could still serve to punish people for things out of their control. For example those with medical conditions, some of which even in this day and age of Viagra, prevents proper function. Also, I think it really is a bad idea to have government in the bedroom, and as long as government is to sanction marriage, such a definition would do so.

We really need to look for the core of what a marriage is. Which brings me back to Piper. His sermons are really excellent pointing out in Part One that marriage is about demonstrating God's glory. I agree, but that arguement will not work in the public/political arena. In Part Two; however, Piper begins to looks at what I think may be the seed of a good civil arguement. Marriage is an act of submission. Piper notes the parallels to the gospel and that is great, but such cannot, again, carry the day in a religiously pluralistic civil debate.

But the idea of the submissive parallel is one that I think can be used. Our society, in order to function requires, in some instances, the submission of the individual will to the good of the whole. It happens every day. The simple act of waiting in line instead of pushing to the front is an act of submission to the greater good. (Think about it....)

The key, the very key, difference between the commonly held notion of traditional marriage and same-sex marriage is that idea of submission. In a traditional marriage, ideally, the spouses submit to one another, holding the other as more important than themselves. Admittedly, this is rare these days, but I think it remains the theoretical ideal. Same-sex marriage, by it's own admission, is just the opposite - it is an expression of self, not a subjegation of same.

By maintaining marriage as a societal institution built on submission, we reinforce the necessity of submission to the greater good for the functioning of society. If we define marriage in terms of self-expression we decrease the greater civil good. If something as important and vital as marriage becomes a method of pure self-expression, then why not also something like pushing to the front of the line?

Initial thoughts....Comments?

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Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Links and Spam

The absolutely funniest global warming story I have ever read.
Frozen gas deposits on the sea floor off the North Island's east coast are causing "ocean flatulence" that could lead to tsunamis.


Scientist Jens Greinert, who has been exploring the methane deposits from the German research ship Sonne, says escaping gas could cause tsunamis and accelerate global warming – as it has in the past.
[emphsis added]
So, how do we get the planet off the ruffage?

The most criminal global warming story I have ever read. Yes, - It's AlGore buying carbon indulgences from HIMSELF!

Speaking of which, Laer says:
I spent all day yesterday in a seminar on how global warming will impact the development industry. The focus wasn't so much on temperature increases as on increases in the number of lawsuits developers can expect.
Are we seeing a pattern here?

I hate to correct a good blogger in public, but some corrections just need to be made. Everybody knows I am no fan of global warming activism in Christian circles, so I am not defending that here, but Amy Ridenour recently went after Ted Haggard(!?) on global warming. AMY! Haggard's has been out of the NAE for months on the heels of a sex/drug scandal. He's a non-player. The current dust-up is with NAE VP Richard Cizik.

Speaking of Christianity and global is two dots I had never connected. Kind of spooky too. (HT: Greenie Watch)

Is there a moral issue here?

For your consideration, and mine.


OK, something from Japan that is never coming here. Although apparently, weirdness is spreading throughout Asia.

No, there's no mafia.

I could have gone all day without this. The picture showed up on the RSS feed for crying out loud. Then I was stuck with it....

Got to get me one of these!

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Sunday, March 04, 2007


Fish Slapping Links

Dadmanly disects an LATimes Op-Ed. Perhaps "disects" is too kind a word - perhaps "destroys, mutiliates, and otherwise does what the military does to enemies" would be a better description. One again the wisdom of my cancelled LATimes subscription is affirmed as well as the smarts and general good character of our military.

Bad trend:
As marriage with children becomes an exception rather than the norm, social scientists say it is also becoming the self-selected province of the college-educated and the affluent. The working class and the poor, meanwhile, increasingly steer away from marriage, while living together and bearing children out of wedlock.
and yet the same story reports:
Among its many benefits, marriage raises the earnings of men and motivates them to work more hours. It also reduces by two-thirds the likelihood that a family will live in poverty, researchers have learned.
Here's what I'm wondering - Where does the church fit into this picture. Church people are, I am sure, more likely to marry. Has church also become the provence of the wealthy? There's a mission!

I see, we're not stupid, we just can't help ourselves. The problem with science studying religion is that it MUST presume that the religion is entirely naturalistic in order to employ the scientific method. Therefore, science will never be able to understand religion.

It's good to hearing from John again on a regular basis.

I know such would terrify me.

With fava beans and a nice chianti? (I know, very sick joke, but sometimes I can't help myself.)

Spy movie reality.

Are they sure it won't invite an invasion from the mainland?

No it didn't! No lunar eclipse is visible world-wide.

They found it walking through the parking lot.

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Sermons and Lessons

How about a little audio this week?

CJ Mahaney on Cravings and Conflicts.

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