Wednesday, December 26, 2007

DON THE BAPTIST'S AMAZING 2008 PROPHECIES

Okay, forget the "prophecies" thing. I'm a smart-alec, not a prophet.

I "prophesy" that the media will spend the next ten months pushing an increasing amount of stories to the effect that life-long, rank-and-file Republicans are considering breaking with their party so they can hoist Hillary upon a golden Roman shield and proclaim her Empress of all the Americans.

I "prophesy" that the same media will continue to prop up John McCain--sort of like the dead guy from "Weekend at Bernie's"--so they can pose with him and proclaim his immanent comeback.

I "prophesy" that "non-radicalized" "Muslim youth" will riot in some European country, scaring the Bejezzus out of people too wussy to kick their little non-radicalized asses and put them in jail.

I "prophesy" that some "atheist" sitting somewhere in front of his computer will have an actual life crisis non-related to the safe, antiseptic, comfortably controllable cyber-world and turn to God for salvation.

I "prophesy" that people on the right and left of the political spectrum will proclaim the looming doom of the world--in high-def, 3d, Technicolor with Dolby sound--while the rest of us just live our lives, as usual.

I "prophesy" that the media will spend the next nine months telling us how horrible BIG BUSINESS is, how they rape the average person and how the world would be better off with a socialist economy--followed by three months of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth about how terrible it will be if the next Christmas season doesn't generate more sales and profits than ever before.

I "prophesy" that no matter who wins the presidential election next Fall, the world will NOT end on the second Tuesday in November 2008. I am confident in this prophecy because Jesus said "No man knows the day or the hour when the Son of Man will return."

Post Noel and Merry New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2007

JESUS IS THE GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO FOR THE FESTIVAS

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Friday, December 21, 2007

WEEKENDS ARE FOR FUN 20

Gary Ralph, if you're out there, this one's for you...

Thirty years ago I spent the Christmas season working in Wal Mart's original warehouse in Bentonville Arkansas. Back then Wal Mart had, oh, say 126 stores in eight states. I thought they were huge. Now we boast three Wal Mart Super Centers and a boring old regular Wal Mart right here in California's Antelope Valley.

My friend Gary Ralph and I worked loading trucks full of merchandise. As the workers of ages past have done, we sang to alleviate our sufferings (yes, suffering; those trucks got HOT in the summer and COLD in the winter) As Christmas neared, we began making up Christmas Carols suitable for Wal Mart employees. I thought I'd provide a partial list for your amusement:

FORKLIFT BELLS
HERE COMES SAM WALTON
O LITTLE TOWN OF BENTONVILLE
THE TWELVE DAYS OF WAL MART
And my personal favorite...
DECK THE BOSS AND YOU'LL GET FIRED

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

THE LAST CHRISTIANS IN BETHLEHEM

The National Geographic Channel is running a program called "The Last Christians in Bethlehem." It relates the alarming drop-off of Christian pilgrimages and tourism to Bethlehem since 2002. Many Palestinian Christians, whose families have lived in Bethlehem for centuries have had to close their shops and move away. Others have had their property confiscated by Muslims; the ensuing legal actions are bogged down in Islamic courts.

The NGC tried to portray the various elements that contribute to the decline. They cited the ongoing feud between the Jews and Islamic Palestinians. Recently, the Jews have decided that they must build a wall between themselves and the Hamas-controlled West bank. NGC gets a "B" for execution of their project and an "F" for explaining the actual reason for this problem.

The de-Christianization of Bethlehem is a direct consequence of Islamic depredation. If Hamas and the Palestinians who overwhelmingly voted them into office would stop trying to destroy Israel there would be ZERO problem.

NGC pointed to the WALL which makes it difficult to pass from Jerusalem to Bethlehem as the reason for the abrupt drop in tourism. They also noted an Islamist takeover of the church of the Nativity in 2002. For weeks, armed Islamists and Israelis faced each other at said church. The standoff ended without bloodshed but a precedent was set. Worshipers can now expect armed thugs to take over their church anytime it is convenient for them to cower there after antagonizing the Israeli army. Not a great vacation selling point.

This sad state of affairs is nothing new. In fact, if National Geographic Channel would like to paint an accurate picture I suggest they make this a series. here is the line up: The last Christians of Alexandria. The last Christians of Syria, Cappadocia, Armenia, Constantinople, Tunesia, Morrocco, and Kosovo to name but a few. Those are all cities and countries that used to be Christian until they were subjugated by the warriors of Islam.

Fine, theres been a lot of give-and-take over the centuries, but it is Islam that continues to demand that everybody else bow down to their will. NGC better not blink, they might be doing a special called the Last Christians in the Western Hemisphere. I know a couple people who have made that their life's goal.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I RESEMBLE THAT REMARK

A "friend" sent me this comic; as she says, it hits a little too close to home.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

WEEKENDS ARE FOR FUN 19

Pastoral Perquisites

1. The Pastor is always right.

2. In the inconceivable circumstance that someone else might possibly be right, rule #1 becomes immediately operative.

3. The Pastor does not sleep in the office; he meditates.

4. The Pastor is never late; he is ministering.

5. The Pastor is never angry; merely vexed in his spirit.

6. The Pastor never leaves work; his presence is required elsewhere.

7. The Pastor never wastes time reading extraneous materials in his office; he studies.

8. The Pastor never deviates from procedure; he uses creative management.

9. Whoever may enter the Pastor’s office with an idea of his own must leave the office with his Pastor’s ideas.

10. The Pastor is ALWAYS the Pastor, even in his swim trunks.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS THE BIAS

This morning on Good Morning America news reader Chris Coumo announced that presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is "in trouble." The contender was asked another lame question attempting to divide the country over non-existent "religious issues." The question concerned Mormonism, a faith that apparently inspires more terror among social liberals than it does Christian conservatives.

Huckabee said he didn't know much about the Mormon faith. He offered, "don't they believe Jesus and the devil are brothers?"Coumo said this has caused problems for Huckabee's candidacy.

I'd like to know why and how?

As it happens, I was raised a Latter Day Saint. I remember being taught this very doctrine as a child. Unless the Prophet, Council of Elders and the Seventy have weighed in with a new teaching on the subject, this is LDS doctrine. So what? Mormons teach that you and I are brothers and sisters as well. In fact they believe we are brothers and sisters of Jesus and the devil in exactly the same way. According to Mormon doctrine we all had a preexistence in heaven before assuming a physical life here on earth.

Accept it or deny it, as far as I know that is what Mormons believe. I repeat, so what? What in the world does this have to do with the price of a presidential election in New York?

Everything. It is an attempt to divide religious conservatives and set us against each other so that we make life easier for social liberals come next fall.

let me help you out, here. Catholics and Protestants disagree over Mary the mother of Jesus, among other things. I seem to recall Christians and Jews have a few areas of disagreement as well. We CAN actually hold differences in faith and practice and still get along as American citizens. Anyway, I thought you social liberals were all for separating politics and religion.

Nice try, though. Don't look now, but your bias is showing.

Mario, we're not voting for the Pope, dude. Keep your holy war to yourself.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

THE MAN THAT CORRUPTED THE NAME "HADLEYBURG"

Its funny, when I originally named this site I chose to bounce off a Mark Twain story. I chose "Observations from Hadleyville" because I resonated with Twain's view on corrupted mankind. But I actually got the title WRONG. Twain wrote "The Man That Corrupted HadleyBURG."

Oops. Not a terrific job of fact-checking, there.

Funny thing is, I'm not the only one. Google offers an analysis site to see statistics related to my Blog. I can see countries and cities from where people access the site. In the US I can see states as well. Don't worry, I can't see your name, address or even computer address. For instance, I have a fan in Sterling, Virginia, who's logged into the site 38 times in the past 30 days. I also know this person originally jumped to this site through Quartz Hill School of Theology, but that's all I know.

On the other hand, Google doesn't always get it right, either. I have a friend in southeast Arizona who's log-on city is listed as Tucson; pretty sure that's not right. My mother is in Mexico, and her log-on city is Tijuana; I KNOW that's wrong.

One other statistic I like to check is keyword searches. If someone was directed to my site by following a keyword, Google lets me know what that keyword or phrase was. It pays to use theological words, like Keregma, or controversial words, like Nixon.

Here's the point: I've seen more than ten keyword searches for Mark Twain's "The Man That Corrupted HadleyVILLE." Twain was big on choosing the correct word, not its second cousin. I think he missed the boat with HadleyBURG.

Go Figure.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

WEEKENDS ARE FOR FUN 18


















At last, the mystery is solved!

SLOW POST!

I'm working on a new book lately so i've been slow to post. I've enjoyed keeping this blog up to date so I'm sorry I've been dragging this week. When the fit--make that muse--is upon me I can think of nothing but the current project. I don't want to post about it though. This is going to be a GOOOOOD book and I don't want to give it away just yet.

A tidbit, though. Yes, I must leave you with something. I recently found Pandora Radio. You pick an artist or song and it begins compiling and playing songs in that style or category. You can give thumbs up or down to individual songs and even open new genres. Pretty cool. I've been listening for hours as I write tonight. Check it out.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

DIZZY






Today, as I drove around town on errands, I listened to the group Sixpence None The Richer. Some people don't like the vocalist, but I find almost all of their songs deeply moving. Today I wept as I heard the following words. I don’t know if the words will move you apart from the music and cadence. Perhaps what I heard was merely the anguish of my own soul. If that’s the case, then I expect even a sterile reading of the words might speak to you as well.

DIZZY

I’M LIKE THOMAS DOUBTING
FINGERS ROUTING THE SCARS
IN YOUR WRISTS AND SIDE
TOUCHING FLESH WILL MAKE MY MIND BELIEVE

BUT I WANT TO BE LIKE DAVID
THROWING HIS CLOTHES TO THE WIND
TO DANCE A JIG IN MY SKIN
AND BE REMADE BY YOUR CLEANSING AGAIN

CHORUS:
I GIVE YOU MYSELF, IT’S ALL THAT I HAVE
BROKEN AND FRAIL, I’M CLAY IN YOUR HANDS
AND I’M SPINNING UNCONCEALED
DIZZY ON THIS WHEEL FOR YOU, MY LOVE

I’M LIKE PETER CRYING
CROWING BURNING MY EARS
STILL YOU COME NEAR
YOU TAKE MY HAND AND PLACE IN MY PALM
AN ETERNAL CHANCE

CHORUS
I GIVE YOU MYSELF, IT’S ALL THAT I HAVE
BROKEN AND FRAIL, I’M CLAY IN YOUR HANDS
AND I’M SPINNING UNCONCEALED
DIZZY ON THIS WHEEL FOR YOU, MY LOVE

PREDICTIVE SOFTWARE

I received another of those interminable internet advertisements. This one from Amazon. On the verge of clicking the delete button, I recognized a book cover. Humm, I already own that book. So I read the notice.

“Amazon.com has new recommendations for you based on items you purchased or told us you own.”

The listed works were: The Cat Dancers & Spider Mountain by PT Deutermann. Serenity—the Movie. Deception by Randy Alcorn. No Legal Grounds & Try Dying by James Scott Bell. Down Range by Dick Couch. 40 Days, Encountering Jesus Between the Resurrection and the Ascension by Alton Gansky. The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden. The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan.

Of these books, I already own the Highlighted ones. There were twelve other recommendations in a MORE category that I don’t own, though My wife owns one. Seems Predictive Software might have something going for it.

One thing their predictive software did not take into account; how they categorize types. There was a single, truly glaring contradiction. The Atheistic Philip Pullman “Dark Materials” trilogy is NOT something I’m looking for. That is, unless I’m preparing lessons for my course on Christian Apologetics.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

QHCC ON THE WEB

Check out the updates to our church's web page. We've added video interviews of members with their comments about the church. When you get to the page, click on the CHURCH tab. That will take you to the WELCOME page. In the first three paragraphs there are two highlighted "here's."
Click on the first and you get videos, click the second and get our new brochure.