Friday, April 25, 2008


Last week a longtime friend sent out a group email informing everyone he knew that his wife has breast cancer. My wife and I have known these friends since college, thirty-five years ago. My friend described the situation and asked for prayer.

You've probably done it yourself. Asked for prayer, I mean. If not, I'm sure somebody has asked you to pray for something, some time or other.

That's a pretty simple request. For a couple in their fifties facing cancer is a serious matter. This couple has served the lord most of their lives. They turn to Him now in a time of uncertainty and fear. They ask friends and acquaintances to lift them up in prayer. I did so and continue to do so.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email directed to the original group. Two guys answered my friend's plea with corrections to the WAY my he had asked for prayer and how he should do it right, so God will answer. Sure, it's easy, just rub the lamp, say the magic word and God is required to do your bidding. They didn't use those words, but that's what they are saying.

Can you wrap your head around such colossal arrogance? I and another man answered back that this was not the time for a sermon. We got back corrections of our own. I went to their web site and read an looooooong scrolling list denouncing phariseeism and replacing it with their own rules and regulations for pleasing God. Silly me, here all this time I thought salvation was by grace through faith.

This is worldliness, plain and simple. WHAT? you say, I thought worldliness was evil and corruption.

My friend RP pointed out that the New Testament speaks of the world piling on rules and regulations that people cannot bear. Jesus said the rulers of the world like to lord it over on others. These two clowns are doing both.

I've asked them nicely to REPENT!


With apologies to Gary Larson


Completed 200 miles today. That's a milestone I'm proud of-in a completely spiritual, non-fleshly way of course.

Today the desert, tomorrow Half Dome; Geezerdom marches on!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


No, NOT news flash, FAST Flash.

I've been concentrating on climbing steep hills and mountains for the past two weeks. It's paying off. Today I walked up my old nemesis, Godde Hill. From my front door, up 60th Street to the Aqueduct is 2.5 miles; 5 miles round trip.

A month ago I thought I was going up at three miles an hour but was not. Today I did. I made the 2.5 miles up in 45 minutes and came back down in 39 minutes. Whew. I'm tired, sweaty and BEEEEEE OHHHHHHH! smelly, but that felt good.

Six more miles and I break 200, starting from January 30.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Found this on Nettelhorst's Ramblings
(see below: Sites that interest me)

13th Annual
Index of Leading Environmental Indicators
Report Released for Earth Day 2008

Summary from the Pacific Research Institute:

• The latest UN report on global forest trends shows that Asia has reversed deforestation over the last decade and is now experiencing net forest growth -- even in China.
• Forestland in the U.S. has been expanding at a rate of nearly 1 million acres a year over the last generation
• Air pollution will be eliminated entirely in the U.S. within about 20 years. Levels of air pollution have fallen between 25 and 99 percent (depending on which pollutant examined), with the nation's worst areas showing the most progress. For example, Los Angeles has gone from having nearly 200 high ozone days in the 1970s to less than 25 days a year today. Many areas of the Los Angeles basin are now smog-free year round. The number of Stage 1 smog alerts has gone from several hundred annually in the 1970s to none at all in the 21st century.
• Water pollution is more stubborn and harder to measure, but here too there have been major improvements since the first Earth Day in 1970. The Great Lakes have been cleaned up, with many previously endangered species of birds now thriving. The Cuyahoga River in Cleveland doesn't catch fire any more.
• The amount of toxic chemicals used in American industry has fallen by 61 percent over the last 20 years, even as industrial output has grown.

The Full 100 page report (PDF) is available from The Pacific Research Institute

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Did a great hike today. I drove to the where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses Bouquet Canyon. We hiked the trail going North last year. Today I went South. It was quite a bit steeper than the other side of the road. The Forest Service sign said 3.2 miles to the fire road at the crest. I made that in 1 1/2 hours. Again, quite steep. I watched the ridgeline to the North get smaller as I climbed. Leona Valley is on the other side of that ridge.

As I reached the crest I was able to see the Western Antelope Valley open up beyond the Leona Valley Ridge. I also saw Palmdale to the East. What a surprise, a few more steps and the entire valley to the South opened up. I could see Acton, Agua Dulce, Vasquez Rocks and Santa Clarita all the way to the 14-5 interchange. WHAT A VIEW. I jumped up and down doing the "Rocky Balboa" dance...No I didn't, but I should have.

Coming back down I made the 3.2 miles in 53 minutes. Not sure, but I think thats FASTER than three miles per hour.

I'm gonna do THIS hike again.


I'm getting ready for the writers conference coming up in just two weeks. So I'm not posting much.
Gee, there's so much to comment on, too. Polygamy in Texas, the Pope in DC and hand-to-hand knife fighting at the DNC. -SIGH- Life is just one missed opportunity after another.

Friday, April 11, 2008


May 2-3 in Lancaster, California

Whether you’re an absolute beginner – a seasoned
professional – or somewhere in-between, this may be for you. If you enjoy writing, and you’d like to learn how the publishing business works, you are welcome to attend.

Check out further information and register for the conference at

We have assembled a fantastic faculty for this year’s conference.

Our keynote speaker Tim Riter has published nine books and written articles for the Los Angeles Times, Christianity Today, Discipleship Journal, and Moody Magazine. Tim's theme will be Shaken, Not Stirred. We want to be stirred by God, so that we can write his words and thoughts. We want to stir others up with our writing. Yet God wants something more radical from us: He wants to shake us out of our comfort zone. To take risks, and stretch ourselves.

Alton Gansky will speak on two topics: A Peek at My World: Real Proposals, Real Manuscripts, Real mistakes, Real Successes. And Everything I Wish I Knew Before I Started.

Kathy Ide will lead a workshop based upon her book, Polishing the PUGS: Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling.

Kathi Macias will lead a workshop based upon her book, The Train-of-Thought Writing Method.

Susan Titus Osborn's workshop is entitled Writing Nonfiction Books.

Linda Olson's theme will be What's Your Story?- Discovering what God has done in your life; Inspiration, Guidance & Taking it to the next level;

Steven Hutson will lead a workshop for beginning writers, entitled So, You Wanna Get Published?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


The New Testament came about in the cultural milieu of the First Century. It was a cosmopolitan world catalyzed by Eastern mysticism, cultural Hellenism, and hard-headed Roman engineering. These three cultures are found in the background of the New Testament.

Westerners have been raised with a Roman Greek bias in their thinking. Most of us do not recognize this bias until it is pointed out to us. Culturally, we have been trained to think like Romans and Greeks. We often find the Eastern—in our case, Hebrew—mindset difficult to understand.

Thus, it’s helpful to examine, briefly, the cultural differences between the three. Let’s say you buy a new car. You tell your friends about this new car. Cornelius, the Roman, asks, “how does it work?” Right? The Romans built aqueducts, water wheels and bread-making factories. Did you know the Romans had a coin-operated vending machine for dispensing perfume? They did. They were marvelous engineers and western civilization owes them a lot.

Your Greek friend, Aescalus, he has a different question for you. He wants to know, “what does your car look like?” Greeks are big into art, symmetry, form. That is their cultural bias and their first thought.

But Daveed, your Hebrew friend, he has a completely different question. He’s not interested in the mechanics of how your car works or the aesthetics of what your car looks like. Daveed has a highly practical question, “what is your car good for? What does it do?”

Our Greco-Roman cultural bias can be a hindrance when it comes to interpreting the Bible—both Old and New Testament. If we approach the Bible asking Greek and Roman questions: “What did Jesus look like? Exactly how does Christ’s death on the cross effect redemption?” we are asking the wrong questions. The Bible answers Hebrew questions: “What did Jesus do? Why did Jesus have to die?”

A road map does not tell you at what temperature to fry eggs. Ask the right questions if you want useful answers.


I went for a walk in the desert yesterday. When I got back to my car I found this... April Fool on me; Ha Ha!
I wasn't sideswiped. The car wasn't blocking anything. Somebody came by and decided to give me a good, hefty kick. I hope THEY feel better, anyway.