Saturday, August 17, 2013


Comic Art

So, I thought I'd try to find the ugliest villain ever. Don't know why, just thought I would. Anyway, look at these classic villains.

Why they are almost pretty. Depending how he is rendered Joker can be ugly, but the magic of the Joker is that he is such evil in such a benign package. None of these baddies are ugly to their core. I can think of a lot of nominees for ugliest villain, but with little thought or research the ugliest that comes to my mind is ---

That's right, Doomsday, the thing that killed Superman. I wonder what a good dermatologist could do for him?

Friday, August 16, 2013


Fewer Pros Would Help

Jeremiah Lawson @ Boars Head Tavern reflected on a quote about Ted Haggard and said any number of important things about being a "professional" Christian:
There’s no reason, it increasingly seems to me, that “ministry” has to be some lifelong calling. It can be a strange thing to hear someone who is professionally and famously Christian talk about anything because if they ever one day become unfit for being professionally and famously Christian … what do they have? What can they do that would constitute a “real” job?
I have counselled many a young person about their "calling." Not that most o them use that terminology anymore - nowadays it just seems like they want a church job. But one of the tests that I have to find out if a person really is "called" to full time ministry is their compulsion to do that thing. Will they do that thing is they don't get a church job? Will they take a day ob in order to pay to do the ministry? That's a calling, anything less is a dream.
Maybe there’s a place to restore fallen church leaders to Christian life in some fashion but “restore” doesn’t have to be back into some formal ministry, it can be back into being productive and doing things in a real job.
Amen to that. Grace demands that we help our fallen recuperate, but grace also demands that we withhold from them the temptation to repeat their mistakes. More importantly, grace demands that we withhold from the church the potential for more scandal that these individuals represent.

People too often claim grace on an individual basis much to the cost and chagrin of the many that comprise the congregation, the denomination and the church. Grace is not a concept that applies merely to the individual. But then most of us think only about ourselves. These situations are not surprising when all we think about church is what we can get out of it.

It's funny how this utterly selfish thought pattern creeps around. Our moral reasoning is based on what we would want if we were in their situation, not on what is best for the whole. Apparently it is possible to be selfish even for the other.

God, help us with out selfish moral reasoning.


Friday Humor

Forgive me, but I live in a house full of cats.  Those of us with cats, find this hilarious.  THose without cats don''tget it and therefore need a cat.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


No Need To Teach?!

A startling verse in Jeremiah (31:34):
“And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the LORD.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the LORD. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins."
Will not need to teach! Will not need to teach? I thought it was all about preaching and teaching.
Mark Roberts comments on this passage:
The Jewish people knew that their sin had gotten them into deep trouble. The Lord had promised to bless them richly if only they were faithful to his covenant and kept his law. But they consistently rejected God and his ways.


We also long to be forgiven and to have our lives made right by God. Yet our longing is unlike that of Israel, because we can enjoy God’s forgiveness right now through faith in Christ. What God promised through Jeremiah can be ours today.

Yet, at the same time, we recognize that the full impact of God’s forgiveness is yet to come. The restoration of all things has begun, but is not yet completed. Even in our own lives, the impact of our sin often remains even though God forgives us.

We know our sin. It is evident in our lives. We may choose to ignore it. We may rationalize it as not being sin, but we KNOW our sin. And once we are in touch with our sin, the gospel sort of falls in place like dominoes in a line.
So often we approach evangelism as if people do not know they are sinners - they know it, they just can't face it. Our job is not to teach them they are sinners, but simply to look at what is plainly in front of their face. It is more a matter of counseling than teaching.

I wonder how different things would be if we quit teaching and got busy dealing with people directly and intimately?


Illuminated Scripture

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Not Good, Not Good At All

Out of Ur:
According to a new Gallup poll, most people trust their pharmacist more than their pastor. The survey rated the "honesty and ethical standards" of 22 different vocations. Nurses came out on top with 85 percent giving them "high/very high" marks on honesty and ethics. Pharmacists ranked at 75 percent.

What about clergy? Only 52 percent said they were highly honest. There is a silver lining--this latest number is 2 percent higher than a similar poll from 2009, which marked the lowest level of public trust in clergy in 32 years.

Other professions that ranked higher than pastors for honesty:

Medical Doctors
Police Officers
College Teachers


No seriously, and if that does not make you want to shout, what does?

The answer to my shouted question is, it seems to me simple enough. Our actions do not match our words. This is a reflection of the fact that we both over promise when we preach and under-deliver in what the church is. In other words we are not serious about what we are doing. We do whatever it takes to keep the pews and/or the plates full, but in so doing we set aside our actual mission.

Further those that are making the attempt to do it right let those that do not steal the spotlight. I hate self-promotion. In fact,, would argue that it can be inherently unhumble, but we have to find a way.

We have to find a way for the message of Christianity to match its reality and we have to make sure the world sees that and not all the other stuff. Simple to understand, so hard to do.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


The Work Of The Spirit

Adrian Warnock links to Frank Viola on what the Holy Spirit does. Warnock apologizes on Viola's behalf for this:
In some denominations and movements, the Holy Spirit is overemphasized, leading to a Christless Pentecost — putting the Spirit exclusively on the throne and losing Jesus in the temple. In other denominations and movements, the Spirit is but a footnote, an afterthought, even a stranger.
For the life of me, I cannot understand what an apology is needed - those are pretty true words. Few things have been as abused and ignored as the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is God as we experience Him most directly. He is, in fact too often ignored or turned into talisman.

In fact, if anything is "wrong" with what Viola has to say it is that by discussing the Holy Spirit in terms of action instead of relationship, He is reduced in some fashion. Performer rather than person.
"Person" is, I think, the magic word. That's all the Holy Spirit is, and if we keep that in mind so much else falls in line.


Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, August 12, 2013


Understanding Worship

Ron Edmondson om "10 Signs You May Not Understand Worship":
 The volume or tempo of the music determines whether you think it’s a worship song. A slight change in the order of the service makes you think they’ve harmed “worship”.
You think raising hands or not raising hands determines the depth of a person’s worship.
You believe the “proper” length of a “worship” service is dictated by your lunch schedule.
You think worship has to be in a service or part of a programmed event.
Certain instruments keep you from thinking worship is possible.
You think worship is confined to a certain place or a certain time.
The clothes you wear determines the quality of worship…for you AND others.
You think worship always involves music.
Your attempt to worship has more to do with a personal preference than the subject of worship.

In one sense there is nothing there I have not said here, in one way or another about a thousand times. But seeing it encapsulated like that drives a certain point home to me. We have got to get our terms and meanings and purposes right or we will never reach an accord. Every point he makes means people are defining "worship" in some unique fashion.

I'd give my right arm to have a discussion that began with defining words and then stuck with that definition - just once.

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