Friday, July 15, 2011

Monthly Current Events Quiz

Americans everywhere are joining their voices to the public outcry because …

A. Casey Anthony is being released without being held criminally responsible for any role in her toddler daughter’s death .

B. The state of New York has legalized same-sex marriage.

C. Washington debt-summit officials are at a stalemate, unable to agree between various options of overspending.

D. Netflix has raised their prices.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jefferson's Retrospective: Adding Just One Last Amendment

It is easy for we Christians to dismiss Tea Party types as crass, one-track activists who just want to keep their pockets better padded via lower taxes.  But this is because we often forget that the question of taxation is a moral one.  It was Jesus Who taught us that where our $$ is, there will our hearts be also.  $$ is at the core of what ails us, and repenting of our fiscal sins will go a long way in curbing the others as well.  Along these lines, here's a truly remarkable quote from Jefferson I came across:

I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government; I mean an additional article taking from the Federal Government the power of borrowing.”

Thomas Jefferson, in his letter to John Taylor, November 26, 1798
Artwork by Mia Nogueira,

Monday, July 11, 2011

3 Basic Questions from the Right [for Democrats AND Republicans]

Every time a new bill is launched from Washington in response to thousands of upturned palms, there are three basic questions we, on the right, find ourselves asking all over again.

1. Is this action moral … is it ethically defensible?
2. Is this action practical … will it even work in the end?
3. Is this action legal? … with the Constitution as our standard [novel as that idea may be], the answer to this question is often “no”. When this is the case, we need to revisit question #1, because many of our DC officials have sworn public oaths before God and their nation to obey and defend this constitution and so consequently have reintroduced the question of immorality.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sons, Sports, and Wisdom

Recently, a friend whose son is a professional athlete in Europe, pulled me aside to encourage me to think carefully about cultivating the athletic abilities of one of my sons.  I respect this man [an ordained minister] and so have been - for the first time in my life - seriously thinking about how best to incorporate sports into their lives.  The following article has been a big help, so I thought I'd share it.

Picking the Right Sport
By Richard & Jane Hawes [abridged]
Phase One: Laying the Foundation

Between the ages of 5 and 11, you just want to lay the foundation for future learning – "teach the nerves how to talk to the muscles" (before age 5, just let them play).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pastoral Counseling Advice: A Short Interview with Randy Booth

A short outline of Pastoral Counseling advice from Randy Booth:

I think we should spend about hour together talking about your past. No matter how bad it was, it’s important for you to face it, put it behind you, and not wallow in it.

There are four possibilities (or combinations of them) that are the reason(s) you are having problems:

1. You don’t know what to do.
2. You don’t know how to do it.
3. You need some help doing it.
4. You don’t want to do it.

As a pastor, I can help you with the first three. I can’t help you if you’re not willing to do what needs to be done. There’s no point in continuing to meet if number four is the case.

Before we start, you need to know that I can’t fix this for you, nor will I try. This is your problem and it will require you to change. Wherever we find sin, you must repent and face the consequences head-on, doing whatever God says needs to be done to repair and rebuild.

If we don’t see any progress after three sessions, we need to discontinue the counseling.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Importance of Prepositions: Reflections on the Casey Anthony Trial

While I have to admit I was stunned with the rest of the world at yesterday’s outcome, the really striking thing to me has been hearing our public discourse about the case. After having been involved in several conversations myself, I’ve been astonished at how automatically we resort to therapeutic language: "if she really did do it, she must be sick … mentally ill. No person in her right mind could ever be capable of doing such a thing." And with this axiom, we soothe ourselves and reassure each other.