Monday, July 31, 2006

Religion Kills

Religion kills. Just take a look at the current crisis in the Mid-East and you will have all the proof you need that religion kills. Hezbollah did not kill and capture Israeli soldiers and fire unguided rockets at Israeli towns just because they're bored. They are doing it because Israel itself is occupied land; occupied by the disgusting, filthy Jews rather than it's rightful inhabitants: those who follow Allah. So the Muslims get themselves into a needlessly stupid war, trying to kill those who are the usurpers of Muslim land, and only end up getting mostly themselves killed instead.

And now, to make this tragic comedy complete, we have the "world community" condemning Israel for killing Muslims in their war against Hezbollah, but not a peep of a complaint about Hezbollah's militant actions against Israel which are the cause of this whole conflict to begin with.

I guess, according to the opinion of the world community, it's OK to kill Jews, but the Jews are not allowed to retaliate, especially if it should cause their tormentors pain and suffering. This only proves one thing: the world has gone insane. Those of you who are ignorant of world history may not realize that the Allies (Britain, US, France) killed more "innocent people" in the few years of World War II than Israel has in all of it's wars these past 60 years. (Shoot, the Allies killed more "innocent" people in one WW2 bombing raid than Israel has killed in 60 years of war: check the figures on the bombing of Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Tokyo, or Dresden)

But back to the main point, and that which makes this whole farce even more tragic than it already is: Hezbollah is not wanting to kill Jews for political or economic reasons. It's not because Israel is oppressing the people of Lebanon, nor is it due to some bizarre, abstract ideological imperative (like Communism for instance…) Hezbollah is killing Jews because they are not Muslims. And the world community is increasingly taking Hezbollah's side in this conflict.

Meanwhile Israel is killing Muslims because they are sick and tired of being killed by them. Only a minority of the Jews in Israel are truly practicing, religious Jews…most are left-leaning, secular materialists, who no more want to pray to God than to a statue of Adolph Hitler. (Though there are signs that the Jews in Israel are increasingly taking their ancient faith more seriously.) If there is a religious or economic motive for Israel's attacks on Hezbollah, no one I know has offered one, and Israel certainly isn't claiming any. As a matter of fact, the Israeli offensive against Hezbollah is at tremendous economic cost, let alone the cost of "world opinion" whatever that's worth now-a-days.

So what does the left-leaning leaders of the free world do? They condemn Israel for defending itself, and give the ultra-ultra-right wing extremists Hezbollah as much aid and comfort as they can get away with: yet more proof that the world has gone totally insane. Yes, the bloodthirsty, militant, pathological murderers of the blatantly religious organization called Hezbollah are on the side of righteousness, because Israel is beating their butt. All you have to do to be a darling of the left is claim unfair treatment, and the Ralph Naders of the world will trip over each other rallying to your cries of oppression, whether or not those cries are justified doesn't really matter.

But listen to what this young, apostate Muslim says about Islam:
I will be blunt. Islam does not value life. It does not value love. It does not value progression or enlightenment. The only thing Islam values is the worship of a god. And not just any god, but a brutal war god who commands his children to kill one another. You often hear lukewarm and moderate Muslims saying that fundamentalists, Wahhabists and Islamists do not represent true Islam. They are lying. It is they who are not following true Islam.

As afraid of Islam as the West is, the truth is Islam is much more afraid of the West and the changing 21st century world. It is out of fear that the radical cleric orders a fatwa against apostates and critics of the faith. It was out of fear that millions of imbeciles protested and spewed hatred at the Danish people, a non-Muslim people who were simply exercising their right to free speech in their own country. It was fear that made a pathetic young thug butcher Theo Van Gogh for exercising his free speech rights in his own non-Muslim country. Any critique or truth seeking sojourn into what makes Islam tick is ferociously set upon by the Muslim world's mobs, because they are deathly afraid and insecure about the religion that they value more than the lives of their children.

[You can read the full comment here: Leaving Islam. Thanks to Atlas Shrugs for the link.]

It bears repeating. If you don't remember anything else you read from this blog, remember this one statement from this former Muslim:
The only thing Islam values is the worship of a god. And not just any god, but a brutal war god who commands his children to kill one another. You often hear lukewarm and moderate Muslims saying that fundamentalists, Wahhabists and Islamists do not represent true Islam. They are lying. It is they who are not following true Islam.
The leaders of the "free" world are running to line-up behind the worst example of this type of Islam: Hezbollah. If the darling of world opinion is a murderous, fascist, treacherous bunch of terrorists, then this world does not have long to last.

One last quote from another person who has woken up to the reality of true Islam:
I took a class on Islam in college many years ago and was impressed with what I heard. The few Muslims I knew were examples of people who really took their faith seriously. It was only when I dug deeper and got to know them as more than classmates that the rigidity of Islam became clear to me. The Muslims I spoke with (even converts) hated Jews. They had no problem with executing people who convert from Islam. They dreamed of the day when the Ummah will be in power everywhere and all of us will live under the laws of the Quran. They held dogs to be filthy animals unworthy of comfort or life(dogs!!) and believed that if you fart or sneeze during salat you had to start over again.

I have met many Christians, atheists and some Zoroastrians from Muslim-dominated countries and they all say the same thing - Islam is a religion that only knows oppression. To convert from Islam can mean death. To disparage the **Holy** Prophet can mean death or beatings from neighbors. Non-Muslim women are required to wear hijab. It is illegal to discuss Christianity or any other religion in a way that posits it as superior to Islam.

The stories in [the book] Leaving Islam ring true to me and I have no reason to think that they are made up. The only people who say so are Muslims who would probably hang us all for being infidels if they had the power to do it. We ignore the danger of Islam at our peril, and Europe is already further along than we are on the road to the dark ages of another Islamic ascendancy if they do not wake up and smell the jihad.

<>< TM

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Kudos to the Democrats

Interesting article on the FOX news site about Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite Muslim who was caught dissing Israel in a NY Times piece:Iraqi Leader Tries to Reassure Congress About Hezbollah.

It seems that a few Democrats boycotted his speech to a joint session of Congress because of his anti-Israeli stance, including Boxer and Chucky Schumer. Hats off to those guys, though I'm cynical enought to believe their protest had more to do with politics than princilpes.

While I'm trying hard to be positive about the advances made in Iraq towards greater autonomy and a more stable government, I'm EXTREMELY apprehensive about this little Iraqi monster we've created, it might turn out to be a bigger pain in our backsides than Saddam's Iraq.

However, it's not really all that surprising that al-Maliki would dis Isreal, as he's a Muslim, and hating the Jews go right in hand with reading the Koran and praying five times a day. (Of course they hate Christians, Hindus, and everyone else who's not a Muslim, but the Jews are on top of the list.) Top it off that he's a SHIITE Muslim, the same branch as Hezbollah, and there you go.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave...

<>< TM

Medieval Psalmbook Dug Out of Irish Bog

A very interesting item from the Fox News site: Medieval Psalmbook Dug Out of Irish Bog What I find interesting about this find is the page that the Psalm book was found open to:
The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations' attempts to wipe out the name of Israel.
How very interesting! Here is modern day Israel in a bloody fight with Hezbollah, a terrorist organization that simply wants to kill as many Jews as possible and wipe Israel off the face of the earth; and now we find an ancient pslam book dug out of an Irish bog being "randomly" open to a Pslam that describes that very same situation back when David was king of Israel! But David, unlike the limp-wristed, spineless left-wing politicians of modern day Israel (and those of the rest of the Western World), wanted nothing less than total victory over his foes, and asked God to bring it about. No "cease fire" or "peace accords" for King David, nothing less that total victory would do. Amazingly, one of the verses of Plsam 83 mentions 'Tyre' as one of the agressors, which still exists in modern day Lebanon. Most of the other peoples mentioned in this Psalm have, in fact, gone the way of the I guess God answered David's prayer after all.

Here is the complete text of Psalm 83:

Psalm 83

O God, Do Not Keep Silence

A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.

O God, do not keep silence;
do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
For behold, your enemies make an uproar;
those who hate you have raised their heads.
They lay crafty plans against your people;
they consult together against your treasured ones.
They say, "Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
let the name of Israel be remembered no more!"
For they conspire with one accord;
against you they make a covenant--
the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites,
Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Asshur also has joined them;
they are the strong arm of the children of Lot.


Do to them as you did to Midian,
as to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
who were destroyed at En-dor,
who became dung for the ground.
Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
who said, "Let us take possession for ourselves
of the pastures of God."

O my God, make them like whirling dust,
like chaff before the wind.
As fire consumes the forest,
as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,
so may you pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your hurricane!
Fill their faces with shame,
that they may seek your name, O LORD.
Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever;
let them perish in disgrace,
that they may know that you alone,
whose name is the LORD,
are the Most High over all the earth.

Psalm 83 ESV


That's what I love about the Psalms: the pslamists weren't afraid to ask God for exactly what they wanted. They didn't care about world opinion, they didn't care about apeasement, they just opened their hearts in honest complaint to God, and asked him to take care of their situations.

Of course Israel often found itself on the wrong side of God throughout history, and eventually the nation of Israel was destroyed, along with the Temple in Jerusalem, back in 70 AD.

Yet in what is truly one of the most amazing miralces since Moses parted the Red Sea, in 1948, Israel, as a nation, literally came back from the dead. But it's enemies are none too happy about the resurection, and have been trying to put Israel back in the grave ever since, to increasing levels of humility and destruction--for the foes.

For those of you who think this current battle is all about politics, think again. This is no political struggle happening in the south of Lebanon, but a spiritual struggle as old as history itself.

May God grant Israel the request of Pslam 83: total victory over it's enemies. And may all other governments on earth go find something else to focus their attention on, like global warming for instance...

<>< TM

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More Good News from Iraq

With so many negative voices out there, like this Nobel Prize winning idiot (since when did they start giving out Nobel Prizes for over-heated murderous rhetoric?); I thought it would be good to recognize some of the good things happening in Iraq. Yes, I know that there couldn't possibly be anything good happening there, but maybe, just maybe, something positive can be found...

For a list of good things happening in Iraq, check out this column by Bill Crawford: More good news from Iraq.

<>< TM

Monday, July 24, 2006

The problem with Christianity

That which turns people off to Christianity more so than anything else is the cold, hard, legalistic form of religion which is more concerned with purity than with intention.

What is the difference between a real, life-giving, loving Christianity and a dark, cold legalistic Christianity? What makes some Christians beams of radiant light, and others sources self-righteousness and condemnation?

Basically what sets these two camps of Christianity apart is love vs. fear. One group is motivated out of love and joy, the other out of fear and suffering.

Those Christians who are radiant lights of warmth, love and goodness get that way from being intimate with the source of warmth, love and goodness: Jesus. They have a real, personal, and intense relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. That relationship is as real and as powerful to them as any earthly relationship between two people could ever hope to be; and they know and feel the intense love that Jesus has for all men.

But those Christians who are proud, self-righteous, and always looking for the devil under every rock and bush know little of the love of Jesus, and know a lot about fear. But this isn't just a "fear of the LORD," which is really reverence for God, rather this is a fear of being found out: fear of people realizing that you are a phony, a fraud, a hypocrite. They have interpreted the Bible as being a code for purity: purity of thought, purity of action, and purity of doctrine. Rather than seeing the incredible love of God displayed throughout the pages of the Bible for fallen man, all they see are rules and regulations as how to act, behave, think and believe. And LORD help those who's thoughts, actions, words and deeds aren't absolutely pure! For they shall quickly slide down the slippery slope to heresy, witchcraft and the fires of hell.

But those who know the story of Jesus primarily as a love story, aren't concerned about being found out about as phonies, frauds or hypocrites, because they already know they are, and don’t try to hide it! They accept their imperfections and problems, and realize that they are not a hindrance to the love of Jesus, but rather serve as beacons of grace. They know and understand that it's not in spite of their mistakes and shortcomings that Jesus loves them, it is because of their mistakes and shortcomings that Jesus loves them! The Bible is not a set of purity codes and doctrinal formulas, but rather a love story, the story of God's love for fallen man.

When you view the Bible as a collection of codes and regulations, then it becomes a blunt weapon to hit people with, rather than a love story that you invite them to take part in. Instead of showing others that God loves them because of their sins, you show them how God hates them because of their sins. This is the type of religion that turns so many people from God, and has them going to bars, taverns, drug dealers, prostitutes, and pornography to relieve their pain.

Now, to be fair, there certainly are codes of conduct and rules and regulations in the Bible, let's make no mistake about it. But the Bible also makes it clear that God will give you the grace and the ability to live a pure, righteous life; all you have to do is ask. These codes are not there for you to beat people over the head with, or find reasons and rationalizations to look down on others who are unable or unwilling to see things the way you do.

Those Christians who are radiant beams of light are constantly looking for what God is doing on earth, and trying to find the ways and means to join in with his redemptive activity. They don't look for excuses and rationalizations for inaction, but even when faced with the impossible, look to God to provide all they need to join in with his purposes.

But those Christians who are ruled by fear rather than love find every possible reason to keep from joining in with God's redemptive work, or only participate half-heartedly. They think God's most important work is one of purity, not love. Their focus is on being sinless, not loving. But of course they set a standard for themselves that is impossible for men to live up to, because even the best of us make mistakes, do the wrong thing, and bring shame upon ourselves as well as God. It is impossible not to sin! But the important thing is not avoiding sin, but rather joining in with the purposes of God! Do that, and you don't have to worry much about sinning.

There is not one single Christian who does what is always right and does not sin. The only difference is that there are those Christians who are constantly worried about being found out about their mistakes, and those Christians who realize that the love and mercy of Jesus covers all sins, no matter what.

The only sin that Jesus can't take care of are those who refuse to rely on His grace and mercy to cover their sinfulness, and try to hide it or fight it on their own.

If you find yourself more worried about sin than you are about grace, then I invite you to stop what you're doing, and admit to yourself that you are just as much a rotten sinner as is anyone else. Rather than worrying about not sinning any more, instead rely on the love and grace of Jesus to take care of all your faults and sins, no matter what they are.

<>< TM

Saturday, July 22, 2006

A Christian Response to Muslim Aggression against Israel

Sign seen at recent pro-Hezbollah rally in USA
For more pictures, see El Marco's photos.

As I write this, Israeli troops are getting ready for ground war in South Lebanon, to root out the forces of Hezbollah; a Jew hating, Muslim supplied and funded private militia. Israel is launching this attack after Hezbollah militants went on a cross-border raid into Israel, killing eight soldiers and capturing two. Hezbollah has also being firing a variety of unguided missiles into Northern Israel, causing widespread damage and various civilian causalities. The reason for these actions by Hezbollah are to support another Jew-hating, Muslim backed & funded terrorist organization: Hamas; who went on it's own cross-border raid to kill and kidnap Israeli soldiers.

As a Christian, I am completely fed-up with Islam. There has never been a group of people on this earth, since the fall of Nazi Germany who have done so much to kill, steal and destroy. (see Atlas Shrugs' blog for some interesting Nazi/Arab connections) And I'm not just talking about Hamas and Hezbollah; Islam as a whole must be made to be held responsible for it's actions, Sunni's and Shiite's alike. They are nothing but a menace to all civilized peoples (let alone themselves!), and have nothing but hate, murder and evil in their hearts. I have nothing but the strongest condemnation for Muslims and their entire hell spawned "religious" system, which is nothing more than a means to foster intolerance, hate and violence against non-Muslims. It is no more a religion than Nazism can said to be a religion.

As Christians, we must condemn, and condemn strongly any group that uses violence and terror to further it's agenda, whether they be Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Communists, Republicans, Democrats or even fellow Christians. Violence and hate are two things no Christian can tolerate whether it be within themselves or without, and those who use violence as the primary means of furthering their cause must be held accountable.

Muslim Baby Picture -- notice that the LOADED clip has been removed from the pistol!

It is obvious, from anyone who has even casually followed the news in their lifetime, that Islamic forces are on a rampage of murder, mayhem and violence that has not been seen in many centuries. The most recent attacks against Israel, as stupid as they seem, are doing us a great service by demonstrating with utmost clarity the insane level of hated that Muslims have for the Jews in particular, and the West in general. Whether they hate Jews because they are an agent of Western culture, or whether they hate Jews because they are Jews makes little difference, the hate is plain for all to see. No longer can Muslims hide behind the charade of Israeli aggression, as it is very clear that Hamas and Hezbollah are the aggressors in this instance. (And, as a matter of fact, Muslims have been the aggressors in every single instance of Arab/Israeli war.)

But we shouldn't fall for the charade that Hamas and Hezbollah--along with every other hate-filled Muslim terrorist organization--is simply a bunch of extremists acting beyond the bounds of Islam. Islam, when taken seriously, produces the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah just as surely as Christianity taken seriously produces Mother Teresas' and Heidi Bakers'. Hamas and Hezbollah enjoy widespread popular support throughout the entire Muslim world, even from Muslims here in the United States. The Islamic system is a system of hate and violence, a system that seeks to suppress and destroy all that is not Muslim. There is no love, no mercy, no compassion towards non-Muslims in Islam, there are only Muslims, and those who are yet to be converted or destroyed.

Recent demonstrations here in the United States proves the point:

DETROIT -- In recent days, thousands of Arab-Americans have rallied here in response to the Middle East conflict. At one mosque, 200 people applauded a speaker who called Israelis "barbaric" and "not human" and accused Israel of having secret chemical weapons that destroy the internal soft tissues of Arabs. In nearby Dearborn, adults and children jammed the streets to cheer for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. (from the July 22 Wall Street Journal)
These are not the words and actions of a group of people who are lovers of life and truth. Their truth is that the Jews must die, that anything that Israel does to defend itself is automatically wrong, because they are Jews.

I'm absolutely sick and tired of the Muslims harping and complaining that Israel is killing "civilians" every time they retaliate for attacks against their own people. There is not one word of condemnation against Hezbollah for launching unguided rockets in to Israeli population centers, but they cry and complain and kick and scream should one Israeli bomb hit a house where terrorists rockets and weapons are stored, much like this reaction from a Lebanese man living in Detroit:

Osama Siblani, publisher of Detroit's Arab-American News, says that "our Jewish cousins" in Detroit should try to understand why Detroit Arab-Americans cheer for Hezbollah and rail against Israeli bombings that have killed Lebanese civilians. Because of the Holocaust, he says, Jews know what it's like to have their homes destroyed and their children killed. "Arabs are expressing their frustration, not their hatred," he says. "We are angry and wounded. The Jewish community should be the first ones to rally with us." (from the July 22 Wall Street Journal)
Yes, Jews understand the Holocaust: it was caused by people who decided they were "barbaric" and "not human" --now, the same attitudes which are par for the course in the Muslim world.

So as a Christian, I strongly condemn the actions of Hamas and Hezebollah, and I strongly condemn anyone who takes their side. They are instruments of hate and violence, and anyone who sides with them are lovers of violence. The defensive measures taken by Israel are completely justified, and even deserved. May they destroy Hezbollah utterly and completely, as Hezbollah has sought Israel's destruction.

At one time I was willing to give Islam the benefit of a doubt, and believe that there was some spark of goodness within that system. But it's becoming increasingly clear that Islam is the greatest force of evil on this planet, and to tolerate it's existence is to tolerate evil incarnate.

Islam is rallying behind the sword that is the symbol of their religion, as it is enshrined on the national flag of Saudi Arabia:

As it is written in the Good News: "all who draw the sword will die by the sword" (Matthew 26:52 NIV)

My prayer is that Muslims will rise up and renounce the violence and hatred that runs rampant throughout their world, and will renounce Islam entirely, as a religion of war and hate. If they don't renounce these things, then not even God will be able to help them. Their condemnation and destruction will be justified, and the violence, hate and lies which has been pouring out the of their mouths will rest upon themselves instead, just like it did with Nazi Germany.

We as Christians need not take up arms against Islam, nor even do anything the least bit violent or hateful. Our warfare must by on our knees, and be done in prayer closets and prayer meetings. We must pray for the salvation of the Muslims, and for the salvation of the Jews. But we must also pray for justice to be done, and the unjust sometimes need to be punished.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Operation Mag-Neato

Operation Mag-Neato

Iowahawk is urging all red-blooded American's to help out with Operation Mag-Neato. The purpose: to send your old, your tired, your forgotten refrigerator magnets to Dr. Darren Lee so he can spif up his Humvee.

The above picture shows the current progress of Operation Mag-Neato, but more magnets are still needed! So do your duty as an American, and send your extra refrigerator magnets to Iraq TODAY!:
Dr. Darren Lee
FOB Brassfield Mora
APO AE 09349
Who knows? Perhaps it will be your refrigerator magnet that turns the tide of war, and brings justice, peace, and the American Way to those poor, tired men and women of Iraq. At the very least, it might put a smile on the face of a weary soldier.

Of course this effort is not limited to just Americans--any world citizen who wishes to donate their refrigerator magnets are welcome to do so.

For more info, check out this link: Humpday Dumpday

For Doc Lee's blog, click here: Blatheration.
Check out his blog for his latest mailing address, as it changes frequently.

<>< TM

Peace Through Victory...The Israeli Choice

An outstanding commentary by "Major Mike" at the "My Sandman" blog: Peace Through Victory...The Israeli Choice Major Mike's point is simple: it's a waste of time to pursue appeasment polices against the terrorists in the Middle-East, and time that they were engage militarily, until they are utterly defeated.

The only problem I have is that Israel alone isn't strong enough to do this, and it would be far better if the Western Powers were to join in the cleaning up of this festering mess.

It's time for decisive victory.

<>< TM

The Virtual Church

It's about time. I have just learned that there is a Christian Church dedicated solely to ministering to those on the Internet! It's name is, and can be found on the web at that very address. is no hokey little web site run by some recently web enabled Southern Baptist who wants to spread the Gospel; rather it's a very slick, very modern site with streaming video, podcasts, and it's home page is done in a blog type format.

And just like your "bricks & mortar" style church, it even has LIVE weekend services, on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings.

But that's not also sponsors mission trips! But as you might imagine, the "trips" do not require a passport and plane tickets, rather they go out to the meeting grounds of the Internet and attempt to witness to people they already have relationships with. Tomorrow they are planning a big missions trip over at

This very interesting, extremely progressive church is part of the Evangelical Covenant denomination, which I blogged about here. I've never known any denomination so willing to try out new approaches and technologies to reach the lost. Here is one organizataion that we can rightly applaud.

As for me, I think I will continue checking out, and see what they have to offer. Maybe I'll even form a LifeGroup....

<>< TM

Arithmetic of Pain

From today's Wall Street Journal opinion section, an amazing essay by Alan Dershowitz justifying the killing of civilians! Boy, you know people are sick of terrorism when it becomes OK to kill civilians along with the bad guys. And you know the situation is really bad when left-wingers like Dershowitz are defending Israel's actions! Here is his commentary reprinted in full, for those of you who don't subscribe to the Journal:

Arithmetic of Pain
July 19, 2006; Page A12

There is no democracy in the world that should tolerate missiles being fired at its cities without taking every reasonable step to stop the attacks. The big question raised by Israel's military actions in Lebanon is what is 'reasonable.' The answer, according to the laws of war, is that it is reasonable to attack military targets, so long as every effort is made to reduce civilian casualties. If the objectives cannot be achieved without some civilian casualties, these must be 'proportional' to the civilian casualties that would be prevented by the military action.

This is all well and good for democratic nations that deliberately locate their military bases away from civilian population centers. Israel has its air force, nuclear facilities and large army bases in locations as remote as anything can be in that country. It is possible for an enemy to attack Israeli military targets without inflicting 'collateral damage' on its civilian population. Hezbollah and Hamas, by contrast, deliberately operate military wings out of densely populated areas. They launch antipersonnel missiles with ball-bearing shrapnel, designed by Syria and Iran to maximize civilian casualties, and then hide from retaliation by living among civilians. If Israel decides not to go after them for fear of harming civilians, the terrorists win by continuing to have free rein in attacking civilians with rockets. If Israel does attack, and causes civilian casualties, the terrorists win a propaganda victory: The international community pounces on Israel for its 'disproportionate' response. This chorus of condemnation actually encourages the terrorists to operate from civilian areas.

While Israel does everything reasonable to minimize civilian casualties -- not always with success -- Hezbollah and Hamas want to maximize civilian casualties on both sides. Islamic terrorists, a diplomat commented years ago, "have mastered the harsh arithmetic of pain. . . . Palestinian casualties play in their favor and Israeli casualties play in their favor." These are groups that send children to die as suicide bombers, sometimes without the child knowing that he is being sacrificed. Two years ago, an 11-year-old was paid to take a parcel through Israeli security. Unbeknownst to him, it contained a bomb that was to be detonated remotely. (Fortunately the plot was foiled.)

This misuse of civilians as shields and swords requires a reassessment of the laws of war. The distinction between combatants and civilians -- easy when combatants were uniformed members of armies that fought on battlefields distant from civilian centers -- is more difficult in the present context. Now, there is a continuum of "civilianality": Near the most civilian end of this continuum are the pure innocents -- babies, hostages and others completely uninvolved; at the more combatant end are civilians who willingly harbor terrorists, provide material resources and serve as human shields; in the middle are those who support the terrorists politically, or spiritually.

The laws of war and the rules of morality must adapt to these realities. An analogy to domestic criminal law is instructive: A bank robber who takes a teller hostage and fires at police from behind his human shield is guilty of murder if they, in an effort to stop the robber from shooting, accidentally kill the hostage. The same should be true of terrorists who use civilians as shields from behind whom they fire their rockets. The terrorists must be held legally and morally responsible for the deaths of the civilians, even if the direct physical cause was an Israeli rocket aimed at those targeting Israeli citizens.

Israel must be allowed to finish the fight that Hamas and Hezbollah started, even if that means civilian casualties in Gaza and Lebanon. A democracy is entitled to prefer the lives of its own innocents over the lives of the civilians of an aggressor, especially if the latter group contains many who are complicit in terrorism. Israel will -- and should -- take every precaution to minimize civilian casualties on the other side. On July 16, Hasan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, announced there will be new "surprises," and the Aska Martyrs Brigade said that it had developed chemical and biological weapons that could be added to its rockets. Should Israel not be allowed to pre-empt their use?

Israel left Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005. These are not "occupied" territories. Yet they serve as launching pads for attacks on Israeli civilians. Occupation does not cause terrorism, then, but terrorism seems to cause occupation. If Israel is not to reoccupy to prevent terrorism, the Lebanese government and the Palestinian Authority must ensure that these regions cease to be terrorist safe havens.

Mr. Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard.

<>< TM

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A denomination done right

What does the Covenant Church believe?

On one level, the answer is quite simple. When new members join a Covenant church, they are asked two questions about belief: “Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior and promise to follow him as Lord?” and “Do you accept the Holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, as the word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct?” They are then asked if they intend to live as faithful followers of Christ and members of the church and denomination.

That’s all. That is enough.

In the emergent church movement, and in amongst those in bleeding-edge of Christianity in general, denominations are viewed as a problem, in that they act like a bunch of tiny little tin horn dictatorships that spend more time denouncing each other than they do spend time building the kingdom of God. In many ways, that is a valid criticism in general.

However, there are new signs of life in the old denominations, especially (and most surprisingly) the Catholic Church. It seems as if the Catholics are turning over some new pages, and are leaving behind most of the angry rhetoric and guilt-trips that categorized Catholicism for most of the 20th century.

However, there's good news on the Protestant side of the equation as well. Recently, I've just become familiar with a neat little denomination started by Swedish immigrants to America back in the late 19th century. It's known as the Evangelical Covenant Church. (Try out the very nice beta version of their site here.)

What sets this denomination apart from many of the others? They have a very strong Biblical orthodoxy, but do NOT subscribe to a particular systematic theology, like Calvinism for instance. This allows the Covenant the ability to make friends with a wide variety of churches and movements, and to try out different methods of church that other denominations might find too progressive. They are very concerned about being a relevant witness of the Gospel here in the 21st century, and are intentionally testing out different methods of bringing the Kingdom to those who don't know it.

Below is listed a sample of the some of the local Illinois churches that make up the Evangelical Covenant. I think you will find, as I did, the variety and diversity truly stunning.

Edgebrook Covenant Church
Just a nice, simply, boring little church on Chicago's north side. Actually, some of the items on their web page sound rather refreshing, especially a pastor that quotes James Taylor.

Iglesia del Pacto Evangelico
Also in Chicago's north side is a neat little Latino church ministering amongst the HUGE number of Mexican immigrants that can be found throughout Illinois. You'll need to be conversant in Spanish to navigate this site -- and make sure you have your speakers turned on!

Jesus People USA
Yes, this is a web page for the Jesus People; that wild & crazy Jesus movement of the late 60's and early 70's. In the 80's, this formerly independent, non-denominational movement decided to join-up with the Evangelical Covenant Church! The Jesus People were the prototype of the emergents, and now they've gone and joined a denomination! Is it because they've lost there vision, or because there is some benefit to belonging in a denomination (as long as it's the right one) that the emergent movement isn't quite aware of? Check out their web page and see for yourself if they have either compromised their faith, or have grown in wisdom.

Naperville Covenant Church
Just west of Chicago, in the HUGE, affluent suburb of Naperville, there is a rather cheeky little Covenant congregation who's biggest desire is to impact their little slice of the world. Make sure to read Pastor Kent's writings on the home page.

Immanuel Evangelical Covenant Church
People from 14 different ethic backgrounds worship in this neat little church in Chicago, and the pastor is a woman!

New Community
Yes, the Covenant even finds room for the expression of things that one would normally fine in regards to the emergent church. Check out their vision statement on the "about us" page. Click on "messages" to here a Sunday sermon podcast!

The House
I've saved the best for last! Located on Chicago's West Side is one of the most progressive of all the Covenant churches. Make sure you have you speakers turned on and TURNED UP before you click on the link. I'm serious…

<>< TM

Friday, July 14, 2006

Here's a war protest that's hard to stomach

The looney Hollywood left-wingers are perhaps some of the most shallow, opportunitistic, and hypocrtical people walking on the face of this earth--and those are their good points. Mark Steyn just has field day with a psuedo-fast orchestrated by these Hollywood weirdos in their "support" of the Cindy Sheehan hunger strike.

If you have never read a column by Mark Steyn, here's your golden opportunity: Here's a war protest that's hard to stomach

Read it, and laugh!

<>< TM

What Are They Thinking?

I cannot sit idly by while war brews (once again) in the Mid-East. There is something to be said, even SHOUTED about the current sorry state of affairs in the Islamic world. Look for me to post something about this in the next few days. For now, I refer you to a quote from an excellent opinion piece by Clifford D. May which appears in National Review Online: (all emphasis is mine)
Olmert has been trying to inflict pain on Hamas (while providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians), promising that if Shalit is released and missile attacks cease, Israeli troops will walk away. Were Hamas to comply, a new peace process could begin.

But that is the last thing Hamas wants. Its leaders have stated their goal candidly and repeatedly: They mean to wipe Israel off the map. Living peacefully next door to a Jewish neighbor is not on their agenda.

For some reason, however, many Europeans and Americans can't bring themselves to accept that Hamas is articulating not a negotiating posture but a religious conviction. By now, most people understand that Islamists consider it impermissible for a Muslim ever to convert to another religion conversion brings a death sentence in Saudi Arabia and other countries where extreme variants of Islam hold sway. What most people may not realize is that Islamists also believe it is impermissible for land to convert: Territory once conquered by Muslims, they insist, must never revert to the rule of infidels. That includes not just Israel but large parts of Europe. Also Kashmir, they demand, must be Muslim-ruled; that almost certainly was the motive behind this week's railway bombings in India."
Read more: What Are They Thinking?

<>< TM

Ill-behaving members lead to clergy burnout

A VERY INTERESTING article about clergy burnout: Ill-behaving members lead to clergy burnout

Christians behaving badly??? Who woulda thunk?

<>< TM

Reflections on the Study of Clergy Burnout

An interesting problem that I'm only now just exploring is that of clergy burnout. As far as problems go, this is not a huge one, but it's still a problem. Here's a very interesting, scientific study of pastoral wellness from the Alban Institute: "Reflections on the Study of Clergy Burnout". Expect to see a few more articles like this linked to in the days ahead.

The reason this problem fascinates me is many fold, but mainly because I've had so many horrible, vicious struggles with mental well-being in my own life, most of it in regards to deppression. (And I'm not even a pastor!) I easily relate to those who are feeling overwhlemed by life, as I've felt overwhelmed by life most of my own life.

Also, I'm wondering if the traditional pastoral model might be showing some signs of weakness here in the 21st century. Our world is becoming far more complex and challenging as each day passes, and many of us (including myself) are being left in the dust by the rapid pace of technological and economic changes.

My take is that the world, as a whole, is becoming an increasingly hostile place to live, and I'm NOT talking about terrorism and global warming! Rather, the hostility I'm refering to is the increasing tendency of goverments and churches to disregard the well-being of those who are on the lower-end of the economic spectrum. Yes, the rich truly are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer, and that rift is increasing at a break-neck pace each and every year.

People like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are being trumpeted and celebrated in the media (especially the Wall Street Journal) for their TREMENDOUS giving of money to fight AIDS, illiteracy, and some of the other structural problems of the world.

Now I do believe that AIDS, etc., are evil and it would be better world without them; but let's be real: AIDS, illeteracy, and so on are the symptoms of a much worse problem; a much worse sickness of the human soul. You can make a person physically well, give them an education, and even clean food and water, but if the sickness in their soul remains, then all you've done is to put a band-aid on a terrible, wasting tumor. As an old saying goes, you can give someone who steals railroad spikes an education, but all you've done is teach him how to steal entire railroads.

That's where the good news of the Gospel comes into play. It is the Gospel, and ONLY the Gospel, that has the power to heal us in the inward places. It alone has the power to heal the hurts and wounds of our soul.

And what exactly is "the Gospel?" Why, it's none other than the person of Jesus Christ, and what he has done for us.

<>< TM

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Something's cool in Denmark...

Jill Austin of Master Potter Ministries

Just received this excellent e-mail from Jill Austin of Master Potter Ministries. It concerns how the Holy Spirit gives offense--I bold-faced certain parts of her e-mail that I find especically relevant. THIS IS A MUST READ!
When I was in Denmark, I heard about this Nigerian healing evangelist. It was ten o'clock at night, and we were guests at the dinner table and some people were telling me about this Nigerian who was moving in signs and wonders.

Only 1% of Denmark residents are born again Christians, but they told me that he was pulling crowds of two thousand people. They said he is a phenomenon. Everybody rushes to see him and there are radical healings and salvations.

"Well Jill," they said, "Did you realize that he is here in town tonight?" I said, "You're kidding!" They told me he prays until three or four in the morning, and I told them I wanted to go! Linda Valen, who was with me on the road, came along too!

This couple drove us downtown and we eagerly entered the church. There must have been fifteen hundred people in the meeting that late at night! Signs, wonders and healings were happening, and the room was alive with excitement and curiosity!

I couldn't believe all the New Age people who were there. I couldn't believe the witches and the warlocks, the prostitutes, businessmen and women that were obviously not saved, but they were there!

As I looked at this group of unsaved pagan folks, my heart cheered! I said, "Oh, how did they get these people here? This is a church. Why would people come to church? Why would the lost come to church? What do we have for them? If we don't have the power of God, why do they come?"

As I talked to the pastor, he told me to look at it this way. The people who have been hurt in the charismatic and Pentecostal churches often end up going to seeker-friendly churches. They have their music for a certain amount of time, then a forty-five minute sermon, and they go home. There's no mess. It's nice, neat, sterile and barren.

You see, there's no fire on the altar. There are no sounds of birthing and travail. And, oh my goodness, we wouldn't want a demoniac, someone who needed radical deliverance, to manifest because, after all, we might offend people.

So we ration out and decide that we are going to pastor Holy Spirit. He is only God, you know! What happens is that we wind up with names on churches that Holy Spirit doesn't even go to! It is a form of religion, but it doesn't have the radical presence of God.

Most of these guys are Spirit-filled and were very hot and radical in other decades, but they have learned, through a lot of pain, to build a church with programs and models. They have applied different methods because after all, they don't want people to continue to go out the back door.

When I talked to this pastor, I asked him how he got all of these unsaved people there. He said, "Jill, the unchurched, the heathen, are just hurting people. They are broken, demonized and they need to get saved. Their bodies are hurting so we just advertise in all the New Age papers. We just said if you need to get physically healed, just come."

We have the lost coming because they haven't been taught by the church to hate Holy Spirit yet. They haven't been taught to be offended because someone happens to tremble, or someone happens to go through deliverance, or someone happens to shake and get radically and physically healed.

They haven't been churched that way so they just come and ask if the God of the Bible is real? Is Jesus really who He says He is in the Bible? If so, I want Him! He told me they had over eight hundred people sign up for the Alpha Class just that night!They were unsaved people who didn't know God at all!!

That very night they were saved and signed up for discipleship classes. You see we, as the church, have decided that the unsaved will be offended but the reality is --- we are so religious that we are the ones who have gotten offended!

<>< TM

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Lesson in Discernment

A major pet-peeve of mine are the fundamentalist "heresy hunters," who's sole purpose in life is to explain why everything not exactly according to Five-Point Calvinism is absolute heresy that will lead a person into the depths of hell. Well it seems as if I'm not alone in finding this an irritant, as this excellent post in ochuk's blog demonstrates: A Lesson in Discernment

Specials thanks to the Internet Monk for providing a link to this post in his likewise exellcent article A Little Less Squirrelly Discernment.

<>< TM

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Good stuff from the blog-o-sphere

Good stuff from other blogs:

Holy Spirit Power for All Catholics
A wonderful article by the Catholic Analysis blog on the power and reality of the Charismatic movement in the Catholic Church.

While Europe Slept
At, a review of a book on the dangers that Islam poses in Europe. This article is a must read!

As Canterbury Turns: The center cannot hold
From the GetReligion blog: the Nigerians want the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to excommunicate the ENTIRE Episcopal Church of America from the Anglican Communion. Way to go Nigeria!

American Idolatry: Men
Over at the Internet Monk's place, there has been a wonderful series of essays about idolatry amongst American Christians. In the article above, IM talks about the problem of idolizing our leadership.

U.N. May Threaten Kim Jong-Il with Time Out
From Scrappleface: the UN decides to get tough with North Korea's Kim Jong-Il.

<>< TM

Monday, July 10, 2006

Another reason why it's a BAD IDEA to use your real identity online...

This is an excerpt from an interesting article published in July 7th's Wall Street Journal:
Covering Your Tracks
In an Online World
Takes a Few Tricks

Mr. Pratt Cleaned Up His Act
To Impress an Employer;
Killing a MySpace Profile

July 7, 2006; Page A1

Not long ago, searching the Web for the name Craig Pratt turned up a photo on Mr. Pratt's personal Web page showing a pair of jeans-clad high-heeled legs in the air with Mr. Pratt standing between them. There were pictures of Mr. Pratt's various drunken exploits. There were messages from friends about his dating habits.

A few months ago, Mr. Pratt, who is 22 years old, suddenly felt the need to kill that online self. He had just landed a job interview at a San Francisco public-relations firm. "I started freaking out," he says, worried that his potential employer might discover his rowdy online identity at, the Web site owned by News Corp. where he had posted the page that kept turning up in search results.

So he created a brand new online self, composing a new profile that left out embarrassing photos. He also pays much closer attention to the comments posted by his friends and pulls down the questionable ones as soon as he finds them. He changed his favorite book from Honcho, the hardcore magazine for gay men -- a joke, he says -- to "the complete works of Charles Dickens."

But inventing a new self was much easier than killing the old one. He says he emailed MySpace, begging the site to take down his old page. Nothing happened. He sent at least eight more urgent messages to the site, including a note to MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson. Finally, he received a cryptic email telling him to write his user name -- "craigisanidiot" -- and password with a marker on a piece of paper, to take a photo of himself holding it up, and to email it to MySpace along with a note saying, "I wish to be removed from MySpace."
I do hope Mr. Pratt got that job! I wonder which would give Mr. Pratt more exposure: his page on MySpace or a frontpage article in the Wall Street Journal? Somehow I don't think PR firms bother with the Journal, but you can bet your booty that they know all about MySpace...and most likey make good use of it...depending on your definition of "good" of course...

<>< TM

Gilded Cage vs Launch Pad

With the successful launch of the space shuttle Discovery into orbit this past July 4th, I am reminded of the importance of the humble, mundane launch pad, the place where every mission into space begins.

In the wonderful, diverse world of Christianity, there are really only two kinds of local churches, and I don't mean Protestant and Catholic. There are churches that are launch pads, and there are churches that are gilded cages.

The "gilded cage" type of church has a nice pastor, a wonderful building, and lots of plans and programs to keep the people busy. There's good teaching, wonderful sermons, and nice music. All the gilded cage church asks of you is your continued attendance, and your continued financial support--the "professionals" in ministry take care of the rest. And not only do they take care of the rest, there's a subtle yet prevalent undertone that lets you know--without even having to ask--that you are to stay on your side of the laity/clerical boundary, and don't even think about crossing over. In my experience it seems that most churches are like this, whether they be Catholic, Protestant, or whatever. Back in the day, the Protestants use to really take the Catholics to task for the invisible barrier erected between the laity and the clergy, but most of today's Protestants churches are no better in this regard, and are sometimes even worse.

The end result of a gilded cage type church is a lot of people who come back Sunday after Sunday to hear yet another teaching that tickles their ears, without it really changing their lives. As long as they keep coming back, and even invite friends and neighbors to hear the wonderful teaching, then the mission is accomplished.

In the "launch pad" model of church, the leadership realizes that the congregation is there for purposes beyond just hearing yet another Sunday sermon. In the launching pad model, the leadership realizes that the people in the congregation have as much right and responsibility to minister as they do, and perhaps they might even be better at it! In this type of church, the leadership does what they can to find out what sort of "vision" or ministry God has given to each and every individual member, and they work to help that person develop that ministry or "vision" to it's fullest potential. There's also an active and intentional effort to encourage the people in the congregation to minister to each other, in whatever way God so leads. So instead of the leadership providing all the ministry, the leadership teaches the people how to do ministry!

The end result of a launch pad style of church is a people who are continually challenged and encouraged to go further with the giftings God has given them, with plenty of opportunities to use them. Some might call this "body" ministry, where as the whole church, which is referred to as "the body of Christ", engages in ministerial functions, each according to his ability and means.

For most of church history, the "gilded cage" style of church has been the norm, with occasional "launch pads" coming in out of existence at various times. Often, the launch pads succumb to the institutional mindset, and then start acting and behaving like the very type of church they were initially dissatisfied with.

Now don't think I've posted this article just to put-down the gilded cage type of church. There is a place for this kind of church, and it will most likely be the most dominant style of church until the end of time. The benefits of this type of church are many, but most important is the tiny burden it imposes on those who make up the congregation. Going to church is only a bit more difficult than turning on the TV, and often, sadly, even less entertaining and enjoyable. Yet if you are caught up in the business and pressure that pervades life in America like a dense fog, then a low-commitment, low expectation church fits the bill very nicely. Who needs a church that expects things out of you when you are busy enough raising children, working a job, and doing everything you can to survive and prosper for yet another day in this miserable little life of ours. As things only get busier and more hectic, the gilded cage type of church becomes more and more attractive--as long as you don't mind the emptiness you feel after another Sunday morning service.

The "launch pad" style of church will always be in the minority, if you can even find one at all. A church that actually expects and encourages its people to live a life according to Kingdom of God principles is a hard sell. Its one thing to talk about Christianity, and hear lectures about it, but its another thing to live according to its radical principles. Living a truly selfless, God centered life is not easy, otherwise everyone would already be doing it! People like Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and St. Francis of Assisi would be the rule rather than exceptions.

Yet there is something the great saints have found, that many of us secretly long for: a life of meaning and purpose; a life that goes beyond earning our bread for another day of existence. Rather than sitting back in a pew and listening to yet another wonderful sermon about Jesus, they are out there, in the real world, being Jesus to those who are lost and hurting.

But, as you can imagine, such a wonderful life does not come without a cost; without sacrifice. What will it cost us to follow Jesus in such a radical way? Only everything we have--everything.

But the rewards are out of this world!

<>< TM

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 230th America!

Well, we made it. Just a short 230 years ago, the United States of America was just a distant dream of some disgruntled rebels fighting against the king of England. Now here we are, litterally sitting atop the world, and though there are problems yet to be solved, there is no nation on this earth that is better place to live. While there are a many, many countries I love beyond the shores of America, no country has done so much to help so many in so short a time. There is not even a close second.

Even considering the dark pages from our past: slavery, racism, and injustice; and those dark things that are more recent creations: abortion, homosexual "unions", and an organized, "intellectual" effort to stiffel and misconstrue the message of Christ, still America has far more going for it than it does against it. The worst enemy Americans face on this planet is not terrorists from Asia, nor global warming, rather it is passivity in the face of evil, and its "tolerance" of debauchery.

On this day marking the 230th year of the existance of the United States of America, I wish to call reader's attention to something that happend during it's 87th year.

Of all the events in the history of American that stand as turning points, there is one that stands out beyond all the rest: the American Civil War. And amongst all the events and battles of the Civil War, again one stands out above and beyond all the other as a turning point: The Battle of Gettysburg, which took place between July 1st and July 4th 1863. On July 5th 1863, General Lee and his leutinants of the southern confederate states, packed up their belongings and left the field of battle, beaten, humbled, and bloody. From that point on, it was a long, slow battle until the final day of southern capitulation at Appomattox Court House.

And on the other side of the country, in the state of Mississippi, another battle months long in intensity, though not as famous as Gettysburg, also came to a conclusion: the Siege of Vicksburg. It was on July 4th, 1863 that a little known Union general, U. S. Grant, received the surrender of Confederate General John Pemberton. Vicksburg was the key to the southern control of the Mississippi river, the "super highway" of 19th century America. Grant and the leaders of the Union understood that the war could not be one until the Mississippi river was under complete Union control, and on July 4th, while Lee was getting ready to leave the Pennsylvania battlefield of Gettysburg, Grant was occupying the city of Vicksburg.

The Siege of Vicksburg was so brutal and so long a battle, that the citizens of Vicksburg REFUSED to celebrate Independence Day (the 4th of July) for over 80 years! Finally they succumbed during 1944, during the last days of World War II, and the citizens of Vicksburg have been celebrating the 4th of July ever since.

The amazing coincedence of two major Civil War battles being won on the same day, July 4th, the day of America's delcaration of independence, cannot be overlooked. It was as if to say that the process and the goals of the American Revolution were still in effect, that the Revolution had not gone far enough.

Not only was there still need of revolution, but that the Union was on the right side of this struggle, and the Confederates on the wrong side. It was as if God were giving the Union a big "thumbs up" to encourage and strengthen it for the long war that still lay ahead.

This amazing coincedence certainly did not escape the notice of the American President of that time, Abraham Lincoln. In November of 1863, he was invited to Gettysburg to help dedicate a cementary built to contain the many dead Union soldiers who fell on the field of battle. It was at this dedication that the most important and powerful words in American history were spoken, words so powerful that they have been enshrined in stone, memorized by thousands, and revered to this very day. Of course these words are what we call the Gettysburg Address:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Happy Birthday America.

<>< TM

Sunday, July 02, 2006

When Heaven Invades Earth

One of the most challenging books I've ever read is a small, short (190 pages) book by AoG Pastor Bill Johnson entitled When Heaven Invades Earth. Here is a wonderful quote from a passage I just read today:

I travel to many cities that are spiritually very dark. When you enter such cities you can feel the oppression. Considering what I represent to that city, it would be wrong for me to focus on the darkness. I don't ever want to be impressed with the devil's work. I come as a house of God. As such I contain a gate to heaven, with a ladder providing angelic activities according to the need of the moment. Simply put, I am an open heaven! This does not apply to a select few. On the contrary, this revelation is about the house of God and the principles of the house apply to all believers. But few realize or implement this potential blessing. With an open heaven I become a vehicle in the hand of God to release the resources of heaven into the calamities of mankind. Angels are commissioned to carry out the will of God. "Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word." He is more eager to invade this world than we are able to receive the

<>< TM

Molestation: A tale of two cultures

An interesting article as to how Greek women handle men who are behaving badly: Molestation: A tale of two cultures
"One Greek woman told of walking to school with a friend when they were 12 years old, and encountering a man who exposed himself. Their reaction? 'We grabbed some rocks and started aiming at his head. How we didn't kill him I don't know. We started to scream out loud.' Another said: 'I have given smacks. I have given a punch to a sailor. I have given kicks.' "
<>< TM