"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Moose Calf

Thanks to my sister Sylvia for forwarding this pictorial message to me. As in most everything, I saw a spiritual analog in it. Enjoy.

You don’t see a moose calf every day!

A baby moose was distressed in a creek. A man got him out of the creek, tried to find the mother and send him on his way. But eventually the calf stumbled back into the creek and was rescued again.

After the second rescue, the calf followed its savior home. The man's cabin was too small for any-size moose, so he took the calf to a neighbor, who took these photos.

The next day they took the calf to a woman who looks after wild animals and she put it in a pen with a rescued fawn.

















How about a collective "aawww."

(2)And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them (3)and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (4)Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (5)"Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me," (Matthew 18:2-5 ESV) But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."(Matthew 19:14 ESV)

Please note how the moose calf interacted with those around it; the fawn was fine, the dogs were fine, even the people were fine with it. Taken from the wild as a new-born, its mother had no opportunity to train it to be wary of predators—four, or two legged. It hadn't learned not to trust, but viewed the world with wide-eyed innocence. That child-like nature is what Jesus meant when he said, "turn and become like children," and, "to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

While human beings are born selfish, crying like little babies when our needs aren't met—we are, after all, babies when we are born—if those needs are met and we feel loved, we grow up to become well-adjusted adults, able to love others and accept their love freely. Or, at least we would, if it weren't for our human family legacy, sin.

Part of being born anew in God's Spirit is turning from our native, human nature: our arbitrary, rebellious reaction to authority, our envy when we perceive others have more "stuff" than we do, our drive to get what we want at all cost and the dissatisfaction even when we get it, our impulse to lie when the truth sounds better, our need to subjugate others in this survival-of-the-fittest world. The list of behaviors that prove our depravity could continue endlessly, yet there are people whose jaded conscience prevents their grasping the simple fact of our depravity.

The only way we can begin turning from our rebellious path is to allow God's Son Jesus to be our scapegoat, to take our sin-guilt upon himself and to allow his holy blood to cleanse us of our sin. Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."(John 14:6 ESV) (19)Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, (20)by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, (21)and since we have a great priest over the house of God, (22)let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22 ESV)

If God's gift of eternal life seems too good to be true, you're right—and wrong. The world's only true free lunch is actually not free at all. Jesus paid dearly to buy us back from the prince of this world. We just have to believe, turn from our life of rebellion, and obey, to accept his invitation to eternal life. With a deal like that waiting to be had, what are we waiting for?

Monday, January 25, 2010



change [chainj]verb

1. to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone: (The Newist saught to change everyone's spelling of Inglish werds, ther oppinyuns, ther lyfstylz and the korse of histery.)

2. to remove and replace any person, place or thing of like or approximate functionality. (The Newist supervisor fired his-or-her established, Anglo employees to change the demographic of her-or-his business to a more egalitarian, racial mix.)


3. the process of removing and replacing any person, place or thing with one of a more politically correct category. (The Newist political candidate promised “Change we can believe in.”)

fair [fa(y)r]—adjective

1. the condition or aspect of a person, place or thing that makes her/him/it desirable or equitable. (The pouty, priggish President insisted the rules were not fair.)

fairly [fa(y)r>lee]—adverb

the aspect or characteristic of an action that makes it desirable or equitable. (The Newist politician, once in office, issued an Executive Order that all living things be treated fairly, regardless how high the cost of enforcement became.)

newism [n(y)oow>ism]noun

the practice, philosophy, or religion characterized by the need, desire or compulsion for arbitrary change, that promotes or mandates arbitrary newness, change, alteration or modification of opinion, belief, conviction, possessions or infrastructure. (The Democratic Convention was a showcase of Newism.)

Newist [n(y)oow>ist]—noun

one who adheres to the philosophy or religion of newism.(The conventionally attired person offended every Newist with whom she-or-he attempted to socialize.)

Progressive [proiv]—noun

any person, party, institution, process, statute or law that practices and forces others to practice Newism. (The Progressive Party is composed mostly of Democrats who wish to conceal their uncompromisingly liberal ways.)

progressive [proiv}—adjective

the condition or aspect that characterizes any person, party, institution, process, statute or law as fair, Newist, liberal, or promoting arbitrary change. (The union boss tried to convey a conservative image while enacting his-or-her progressive agenda.)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Bible's Best Friend: Doctor A. Theist

        Of all Biblical apologists, a scholar by the name of A. Theist, BSD, must be recognized as the chief supporter of Biblical validity. Thanks to him, believers have access to exhaustive research into difficult Bible passages and apparent internal contradictions.         One might ask how such information could bolster the Bible’s reputation for accuracy. A brief look at mankind’s history gives us the key.         Anthropologists have discovered that our ancestors were far smarter than we imagine the stereotypical, cave man. While thousands of years has advanced our technologies of electronics, medicine and mobility, few would argue that we have become more wise or astute than before. In fact, that advanced technology has made us depend upon its gimmicks, instead of exercising our native ingenuity to solve problems. So, great-great-great-great-great ... uncle Noah could reason and create at least as well as the best of us. Why would any reasonable person, other than a completely arrogant jerk, assume he has more insight into reality than his progenitors?         Nearly everyone will admit that without accountability to a higher authority, human nature tends to "adjust" observations and information to suit its personal biases and perspectives. We love Order, so we feel compelled to make facts and historical accounts fit our preconceptions.         Biblical skeptics and critics will agree with the above observations, applying them most extravagantly to the Bible's writers. Which is strange, in that the ancient, Biblical writers who were fully able to edit their texts to agree with other accounts—didn't. And what about legendary heroes? Humans consistently embellish our heroes' lore, often elevating them to the level of deities. Yet, the Bible reveals the disturbing character faults and unconscionable actions of its "mighty men."         Though few would deny its stabilizing effect on human culture, the noisy minority still feels compelled to debunk the Bible. How ironic, that Doctor A. Theist, in attempting to do just that, has established one of the few Biblical defenses that doesn't depend upon proof verses from the Bible itself, or upon faith in God.         Thanks Doc.

Friday, January 15, 2010


What follows seems doomed to failure, much like the protection a fox provides to a hen house. But so did the American revolution seem doomed to failure. Yet, our founding fathers got it done through heroic effort and self-sacrifice. The status quo will never fix itself, but those founding fathers left us with the tools for reform, if only we exploit them through concerted effort.

Our corrupt political/legal system is bleeding us dry, like a leach that lives at its host's expense. Will a leach willingly give up its cushy position? No! And just as when we pluck leaches from our bodies, a little blood will be shed ... figuratively or literally ... but our nation will be the healthier for it.

Politicians will never pass the following legislation on their own, so we must raise such a grass-roots stink that they will fear for their careers. Lord knows losing their blood-sucking positions is their greatest fear.


Congressional Reform Act of 2010

1. Term Limits: 12 years only!

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators who serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

2. No Tenure / No Pension:

Legislators collect a salary while in office, and receive no pay when they are out of office. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators who serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security:

All monies in the Congressional retirement fund, as well as all future retirement funds, move to the Social Security system immediately. Congress participates with the American people in a common prosperity. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators who serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans..

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators who serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators who serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators who serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

7. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American people..

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators who serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

8. All contracts with past and present national legislators are void effective 1/1/11. The American people did not make these contracts for the legislators, legislators made them for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators who serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

A related issue is tort reform.

Who profits from law suits? Lawyers!

Who occupies the judicial bench? Lawyers!

Who fills most of our national, legislative seats? Lawyers!

Is it any wonder that our legal system is gridlocked with frivolous litigation, and that our health-care system is crippled by malpractice insurance premiums? Congressional reform, tort reform and health-care reform are identical, and without it, our nation is doomed to follow all the great nations of the past ... down history's toilet.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mission: Impossible?

Mark 2:17 ESV And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."
        A stereotypical image flashes into my mind on reading Mark 2:17. It is of a clergyman who lavishes attention on the "saints" who write big checks to support the church, the stalwart, good ol' guys and gals who get things done. And the others? The also-cames? They're good-to-go with a Sunday handshake and smile.         I can hear someone saying, "Why, that hypocritical preacher! What does the Bible say about not being a respecter of persons? Not showing favoritism?" Well, that someone is right on the money. The Bible does forbid showing favoritism based on wealth, fame, good blood or any other criteria. But that ubiquitous someone missed a rather crucial point.         Where does the Bible say the job of loving folks is the pastor's exclusive responsibility? I'll save you some time; it doesn't! In a small church body, the pastoral team consists of the pastor and his or her spouse. In a large congregation, more people are on staff to assist in shepherding the flock. But in any size congregation, the staff will never be numerous enough to make the rounds of everyone who needs help, or just a little attention.         That's where you, the stalwart ones, the workers, the givers, the decision-makers, come into play. Theoretically, you are the spiritually mature core of the church. In fact, the New Testament directs all its "whosoevers" and "one-anothers" at you.         So, what are you going to do about that, O saint of the church? Will you hear and agree with all the critical comments about stuff not getting done? Or will you step up and "Just Do It?" Yeah, yeah, I hear that grumbling about the ten-percent who do ninety-percent of church chores. Don't seem right, does it.         The fundamental, cruel fact is, "Life Isn't Fair." The workers and the givers(usually the same people) do take the brunt of the work.         "And we still have to spend time on the nobodies? The also-cames?"         The believer's minimum duty is to love as God loves; Mission: Impossible for for the world, but expected of us. So, our mission, if we choose to accept it(if we will obey God, we'd better accept it), is to love everyone in your sphere of influence—sacrificially, consistantly, joyfully. Yeah, I know, "Good luck pulling that off." Don't you believe me? Ask God. It was His idea.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Heb 11:14 For people who speak thus(who declare that they are strangers and exiles on the earth) make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.
        Verse 16 reminds me that the Way of Christ is not a one-way road; while it is the only way to Father God, repentance works both ways. Often, believers reach a point where they forget how awful was their depravity before their rebirth, and old habits seduce them back into the old life. Here is a true test of the believer's profession; if they can happily live as before, they never truly loved the Lord or belonged to Him. All the Lord's followers who are seduced back into the world will be miserable in their sin, and at some point, when they've arrived at the end of themselves—as did the prodigal son—they will return to their heavenly Father in repentance.         So, one might ask what the above verse from Hebrews has to do with judgmentalism. Believers in Christ Jesus are human, even though Jesus took our sin to the cross. Perhaps the easiest sin-category to which we might return is that of attitude, if indeed we ever truly repented of it.         The believers who have the most difficulty turning back to the Lord from their wicked ways are those whose outward lives appear religiously righteous, when in fact their hearts are filled with envy, greed, contentions, hatred and revenge. And they are the ones most blind to their own sin, and the most likely to draw unwary brethren into their attitudinal sin, as becoming judgmental over such unsavory brethren is the most natural—and fleshly—reaction imaginable.         We must guard against any critical attitude, as that sin is the most easily confused with "righteous indignation." Whenever we feel ourselves slipping into that sin, and we all will, at some time, we need to recognize its ugly fangs concealed by its bright, angelic face. 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 says: And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. Remember that this "angel of light" often disguises itself as the attitude of self-justification.         Matthew 7:1-5 says it best: "Judge not, that you be not judged. (2) For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. (3) Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? (4) Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? (5) You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.