Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam

For the most part, I dislike FaceBook groups. I will generally decline an invitation to join a group or cause. But have you ever noticed the ones that are titled in such a way that to decline would seem really bad. I mean, who doesn’t want Facebook to get rid of the sexual ads on the side? So if I decline an invitation to join “People Against All the Sexual Image Ads that facebook is now allowing” – that doesn’t mean that I want to keep the ads. If I don’t want to join “People Against Westboro Baptist Church,” it’s not that I agree with them (I don’t) – I just don’t see the point in creating or joining a group that says I don’t agree with them. I mean, it’s not like Phelps is sitting in his office thinking, “Oh dear, those heathen wretches have over 4,000 members in their group!! Maybe I’d better rethink things.” Or the “Please Invite All Your Friends so little Billy ‘Smiles' Evans can get a body transplant” group. Okay, I made that one up – but it sounds plausible, doesn’t it? And honestly, I really don’t care to find out which ‘80’s cartoon character I am.

Now, maybe if there was a group called “Crotchety 30-somethings against Facebook groups”……

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I am a Family Man

I don't care much for Andrew Peterson's voice, but I thought this song/video was very touching. Enjoy. I'm proud to be a Family Man.

HT: BetweenTwoWorlds

Monday, October 27, 2008

Let's play "Spot the Bias"

If there’s one thing this election year has shown, it’s the blatant bias of the media coverage of the candidates. And not just at the national level, but more specifically in The Roanoke Times. Let’s do a little comparison.

First things first, if you weren’t aware of it, Gov. Sarah Palin will be visiting the Roanoke Valley today, speaking at the Salem Football Stadium. More information, including obtaining the necessary tickets, can be found at here. The event was originally scheduled to be at the Salem Civic Center, but because organizers have had such an overwhelming response, the event has been moved to the Salem Football Stadium.

So what’s this about The Roanoke Times being biased? Glad you asked. Before we get to that, let’s go back in time a few weeks to October 17, 2008. Barack Obama was coming to the Roanoke Civic Center to speak to a crowd of over 8,000. In preparation, The Roanoke Times included on its front page a little blurb about the candidate along with a very nice bulleted list of the details of the event – where to go, when to go, admission (free), what to do about parking, where to catch a shuttle bus, etc. All at the top of the page or, as they say in the newspaper industry, “above the fold.” (“Above the fold” is important since coin operated racks have a folded copy in the door and anything below that fold cannot be seen, and thus will not be likely to drive sales).

Fast forward to today. You’re walking down the street and, hearing that Palin is coming, you want some information. Ah, look, there’s a Roanoke Times rack. Surely the newspaper would have some information on it, right? Before plopping your $0.50 in, you glance at the front page. Hmm, there’s nothing there about Palin! Just some article about local high school sports teams dealing with tough travel schedules. Surely, with such a huge event (estimated to draw a crowd larger than the Obama rally!), the Times would want to capitalize on the need for information, right? After all, their stated purpose is to be the leader in local information, right? [deafening silence]

Okay, well, you decide to purchase the paper anyway. Oh look, at the bottom of the page, there actually is a small piece about Palin’s visit. It says to check in the Virginia section (the middle section of the paper). Nothing about what time, where to park or anything on the front page. Turning to the Virginia section, you finally find the necessary information. Well, almost. There’s an article about all the prep work needed for moving the event to the stadium, with an underlying hint that the article is more about pointing out the inconvenience to all the vendors for having it moved than anything else. Oh and the local Democrats have to have their say that “Palin’s visit ‘is too little, too late.’” So where’s the event information?!? Oh wait, there it is. If you go: A shuttle bus to take people to the Salem Stadium for the Sarah Palin rally will begin running at 10 a.m. today at the Plaza of Roanoke-Salem at 4100 Melrose Ave in Northwest Roanoke. Parking also is available at the stadium and at the Salem Civic Center. The gates open at 3:30 p.m. The even begins at 5:30 p.m.

That’s it.

No mention of the fact that tickets are needed and where they can be obtained. No nicely bulleted, easy-to-read list. No blurb about the candidate. Even WSLS has better information.

Hmm, nope, no bias here.

I can’t wait to see the newspaper’s coverage (or lack of) tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More Progress on The Wealth of Nations

Books 2 and 3 of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations are now completely recorded and available for downloading. And remember, all audio downloads at Librivox are absolutely free! I’ll be starting on Book 4 soon and am also hoping to begin John Owen’s Mortification of Sin as a side project. I’m especially looking forward to recording this one as I have truly enjoyed going through the book with Pastor Tim. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Music Monday - Blessed Assurance

While I enjoy many of the newer songs and hymns being written today, there is something about the older hymns that really speak to me about God, who He is, and our relationship to Him. Blessed Assurance is one of those songs.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Funny

Catholics vs. Protestants - the battle rages on!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Obama's Abortion Extremism

If you read only one essay on social or political issues this year, make it this one. Here's an excerpt:

"Sen. Barack Obama's views on life issues ranging from abortion to embryonic stem cell research mark him as not merely a pro-choice politician, but rather as the most extreme pro-abortion candidate to have ever run on a major party ticket.

"What kind of America do we want our beloved nation to be? Barack Obama's America is one in which being human just isn't enough to warrant care and protection. It is an America where the unborn may legitimately be killed without legal restriction, even by the grisly practice of partial-birth abortion. It is an America where a baby who survives abortion is not even entitled to comfort care as she dies on a stainless steel table or in a soiled linen bin. It is a nation in which some members of the human family are regarded as inferior and others superior in fundamental dignity and rights. In Obama's America, public policy would make a mockery of the great constitutional principle of the equal protection of the law. In perhaps the most telling comment made by any candidate in either party in this election year, Senator Obama, when asked by Rick Warren when a baby gets human rights, replied: ''that question is above my pay grade.'' It was a profoundly disingenuous answer: For even at a state senator's pay grade, Obama presumed to answer that question with blind certainty. His unspoken answer then, as now, is chilling: human beings have no rights until infancy - and if they are unwanted survivors of attempted abortions, not even then."

Continue reading here

HT: James

Monday, October 13, 2008

Music Monday - Wonderful Merciful Savior

This is perhaps one of my favorite contemporary praise songs. Beautiful music with lyrics praising the thrice-holy God. Here is Selah singing "Wonderful Merciful Savior."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Oddly enough...

Time for some more personal oddities...

  1. I have to resist the urge to color coordinate my hangers with my clothes. (Red shirt on red hanger, white shirt on white, etc).
  2. I don’t have cable/satellite TV.
  3. I’ve never fired a gun (not counting BB guns).
  4. But I have fired an employee (not fun, let me tell you!)
  5. I’ve been fired at (thanks, bro)
  6. But I’ve never been fired.
  7. I have traveled by plane, helicopter, train, bus, boat, hovercraft, horse and of course, car.
  8. Never put your hand in front of a pressure washer nozzle and turn it on. It hurts. Trust me.
  9. When reading the newspaper, I work my way backwards: comics, front page of Extra section, Business (on the back of Sports), Opinion (on the back pages of Virginia section), front page of Virginia section, then at last the main section, starting from the front.
  10. When I eat, I eat one thing at a time, trying not to mix the food.

Monday, October 6, 2008


While doing some Googling to show Carlos pictures of Jupiter, I stumbled across what has to be the coolest astronomy program I’ve ever seen. Stellarium is a free open source program that allows the user to see the night sky (or even the day sky) from anywhere on Earth. From their website: “With Stellarium, you really see what you can see with your eyes, binoculars or a small telescope.” The program automatically defaults to the current system time, but has a great feature of being able to go backward or forward in time to see the affects of changing night sky. Ever wanted to learn the constellations? With Stellarium, you can turn on the constellation names and lines, as well as some constellation art. You can pan the sky and look for stars, galaxies, nebulae, planets, etc. Then with your new-found knowledge, go outside and spot the stars and planets you just found. But perhaps the best feature by far is that when you find an object of interest, you can then zoom in to that object as if you were looking through a telescope. I did a search for Saturn (who doesn’t like to look at the rings?!), zoomed in and there it was in all its beauty complete with moons. Searching for and finding nebulae was incredible. Be warned that the program takes up an incredible amount of memory. If you’re into astronomy, have kids that would benefit from learning about it or even just want to fiddle around with an incredibly cool program, check out Stellarium. This is a program I could spend hours on.

Music Monday - City of New Orleans

Going for something a little different today. It was a hard choice between Arlo Guthrie's version and this one. But in the end, I chose this one due to the great rail photos in it. Enjoy Willie Nelson and The City of New Orleans, written by Steve Goodman.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Scream of the Damned

I just finished listening to a sermon on the atoning death of Christ that CJ Mahaney gave at the Resolved Conference 2008, and all I can say is “Wow!” Mahaney gives such an impassioned and powerful proclamation as to what Christ’s death accomplished. The following is an extended quote from the sermon, but I would highly, strongly, emphatically, persistently recommend that you download the sermon here for free and listen to it yourself.

When Jesus cried out “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?!” Mahaney says in quoting RC Sproul that this scream was the scream of the damned FOR US!! (Gal.3:13, Is. 53, 2 Cor. 5:21) Here is what he says:

“This scream should not be His scream. He is holy, He is sinless, and yet in this moment, He screams what Dr. Sproul describes as ‘the scream of the damned, the most agonizing protest ever uttered on this planet, it burst forth in the moment of unparalleled pain … and Dr. Sproul adds, ‘for us!’ Oh, don’t just contemplate this scream or overhear this scream -- recognize that this scream was for sinners like you and me … I deserve, because of my sin, to experience eternal punishment for my sin, weeping and gnashing of teeth, the scream as described here, as I encounter the justified wrath of God against my sin. This scream should be MY eternal scream!

“He takes upon Himself my sin, the wrath I deserve for and against my sin. He screams the scream of the damned for me so that – so that I might sing instead!!

He screams, and by God’s grace and because of His sacrifice on the cross for my sins, and because of this scream, I get to sing! … He screams, and we get to sing! He screams the scream of the damned and I get to sing “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive glory and honor and power!” He screams, and because of His scream, I am freed from the divine punishment I deserve eternally for my sin, and instead, because of His scream, I am assured of forgiveness of sin. I am assured that I will never be forsaken by the Father. And I am assured that by God’s grace I will see the face of the Father, and by God’s grace … I will be singing throughout eternity … and if you have turned from your sins and trusted in the Savior, that is the gift provided for you as well! You should have known this scream … But instead he took upon himself the wrath that we deserved. He screamed the scream of the damned for us so that we might sing of His grace throughout all eternity.”

All I can say is “Oh, the depth of the riches and(AL) wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.!” (Ro. 11:33-36)