Saturday, March 29, 2003

Midnight Musings-I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch MSU get past Maryland, 60-58. They'll take on Texas for a spot in the Final Four tomorrow. More of that list that never will be missed-they bombed a Fedayeen Saddam HQ in Basra where 200 baddies were meeting. The big news as I head for bed is a Reuters report of a 4-6 day pause before they head to Baghdad (thanks to the Command Post for the link) and a missile hitting Kuwait City's biggest mall; no major injuries. Early spec have the missile being a Chinese Silkworm worm-burner cruise-missile type, but some reports on the news channels had it as a possible stray US cruise missile.

Edifier du Jour-1 Kings 19:9-16
9 Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 10 He said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." 11 So He said, "Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 14 Then he said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." 15 The LORD said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; 16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.
I was pointed to this verse by Peter Nixon who commented on this yesterday
We are currently overwhelmed by information-radio, television, the Internet-and we run the risk that God's voice will be drowned out by all the noise. We need to seek silence so we can hear His "still, small voice" (1 Kgs 19:12) I know for myself that the coming of war has made me edgy and short-tempered, and I have been snapping at both my wife and my children over the past couple of days. I need to recover my equilibrium, and be at peace in my heart before I can be a sign of Christ's peace to others.
I'm not sure I've been as edgy as Mr. Nixon, but it's easy to get away from God, especially if you've come from a conference or a retreat. Once you get back into the world, the glow from a spiritual high quickly fades and you need to be still and listen to God. God doesn't usually hit people over the heads with 2-by-4s or audibly speak in a James Earl Jones basso profundo. You typically have to be still and listed for God's quite voice. That doesn't come easy, and it's something I'm working on.

Friday, March 28, 2003

Evening Musings-Anne Wilson pointed to this piece on Al Jazeera being hacked, both with a denial of service attack and later by having their URL hijacked. They're also looking for a new server
The company also has had to search for a new home for the site after U.S.-based DataPipe said it could no longer host the site from the end of the month. Al Seddiqui said the company had moved its servers to a data center in France.
Figures that they'd turn to the French. Martin Roth has a good essay on Assyrian Christians in Iraq. Go read the other two pieces in his series and add them to the prayer list. So many times in this free agent era, great players play out the string for losers; Emmit signing with Arizona tops the gag-me list. Let's see the British feminazists go into overdrive once the Masters is over; the next two British Open stops have all-male memberships

Afternoon Musings-We were watching NBC's newscast at a friend's house last night when a piece on warblogs showed up. They had brief (maybe a second each) screenviews of Andrew Sullivan and Instapundit and covered in depth the Salam Pax blog and the Agonist (who provided the NBC link). I was able to point to Instapundit and say that that guy links to me. "One degree of seperation" was Mac's comeback. For what it's worth, Gary Hart has a blog. Two decades ago, he was an ahead-of-the-curve "Atari Democrat" and he might be ahead of the curve again. It will be interesting to see what he does with it. It's a down-to-earth, unslick but not shabby MT platform with links to largely honorable (well, he does link to Atrios, but the others are OK) liberal sites. This could be well worth watching-the Syrians appear to be helping get equipment to the Iraqis and Rummy's not happy. Back in Janaury, I had proposed an Operation Baathwater of regime change in Syria and Iraq in one swoo felp.
Now, lets wake up from this pleasant geopolitical fantasy. The chances of trumping up enough charges to make an US invasion of Syria viable are slim. If Syria is stoopid enough to come to Iraq's aid during Gulf War II, then the twofer could be feasible. If Syria chose the time of Gulf War II to try to move on the northern border, trying to retake the Golan Heights or moving in from Lebanon, then the US might choose to aid Israel on a road trip to Damascus. However, the chances of this happening are fairly slim. Bashir Assad isn't a dummy; an invasion of Israel would be folly unless he's throwing a Hail Mary (good Islamic alternative, please) to take out the Jews once and for all. Helping out the Iraqis would be equally foolish; allowing Saddam to stash some Scuds in Syria would lead to a nasty US response. Barring either of those actions, Dr. Bashir is safe for now.
Assad might just be that stoopid, but I don't think he is.

Rabbit Ears-I just canceled my cable TV; we weren't getting $45/month worth of utility out of it. We just haven't watched much cable stuff. As a single person, I'd watch a bit of cable, including the science channels, the History Channel, the C-SPANs, the news channels and a lot of ESPN and Fox Sports Detroit. As a married man, I don't have as much free time in the evenings and being married to a non-sports fan, I don't get anywhere near as much sports in on the weekends. I might miss some of the college football games this fall, but news now comes better on-line. Lileks has this keeper on the war coverage
TV is useful for pictures - I get the feeling sometimes this should be called Operation Stock Footage - and it’s useful for seeing retired military people draw lines on maps. I am heartened by the maps that show where our troops are located - if the pictures are indeed drawn to scale, we have three soldiers on the ground, and each is about 135 miles tall; they have at their disposal four tanks, each of which is the size of Rhode Island. According to the tube tonight, things are heating up; lots of jerky pixelated interviews with the lads in the field. A reporter on the Constellation is making an impassioned speech about the tempo of operations, the point of which was undercut by a potbellied man in a yellow shirt walking leisurely across the hangar behind him. Much bad juju is predicted for today; equally harsh juju supposedly happened last night. The details never seem to filter into the TV reports - for all the embeddedness of the reportorial faction, I’ve yet to see a big smashing battle. The more you watch the more you realize how little you’re seeing.
We've been hearing about the bad juju, but if you follow the coverage, the juju seems to be pointing our way with sneak attacks from the Fedayeen Saddam. The embedded reporters don't tell you anything useful and the ex-generals have a firm mastery of the obvious. Somehow, I feel like we're covering the war with football-like coverage, including ex-coaches as studio analyst and embedded sideline reporters.

Edifier du Jour-Deuteronomy 24:19-22(NASB)
19: "When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20: "When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. 21: "When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. 22: "You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.
This concept of gleaning is a good example of how God gives second chances; even the landless aren't out of the loop in the Mosaic paradigm. In our post-agricultural society, we don't have a good way to do gleaning, especially when most of our poor are city dwellers; I'm not exactly in a position to let the poor widow teach left-over classes. The two things to remember here is that God looks after the poor and that the poor had to work for their keep by picking up the leftovers. It was more dignified than getting a handout. We can't duplicate it today with any ease, but we need to take note of both aspects. Any help we give should be from a heart of generosity, but it should also respect the dignity of the recipient.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Frog Went a-Courting-I heard excepts of French foriegn minister Dominique de Villepin speaking in London on my way to pick up Eileen at work (car was in shop) this evening; the piece had "Fisk Me" written all over it. Here's a Telegraph rendition of the speech
He seemed more concerned with the need to constrain America's doctrine of "pre-emptive" action than removing the danger posed by Saddam. He spoke more about the "destabilising" effect of America's resort to force than the destabilising impact of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of rogue states.
If the US can set up a democratic Iraq, that will be destabilizing. However, a quick look at the mullahs and sheiks in the region shows that destabilization's not a bug but a feature. However, that isn't going to make the status-quoian French happy.
M de Villepin derided American hawks for believing that "democracy can be imposed from the outside" and that "international legal tools become constraints more than safeguards of international security".
To the first, two words. Germany. Japan. If international security means securing the goons in place, then those legal tools become devices of torture.
We do not oppose the use of force. We are only warning against the risk of pre-emptive strikes as a doctrine. In endorsing this doctrine, we risk introducing the principle of constant instability and uncertainty.
Some people prefer the stability of presidents-for-life, like your boss' favorite, Mr. Mugabe.
M de Villepin argued that the use of force should be subordinated to "law, justice and legitimacy" if it was not to provoke a "clash of civilisations".
Note that freedom isn't one of his over-riding goals. For France, the clash of civilizations might come internally as the Muslim population grows
M de Villepin's central message was that a world dominated by a supremely powerful America was dangerously unstable. Instead, there should be "a number of regional poles" that co-operate with each other.
Translation-be reasonable, do it our way.
One of those would be the European Union and M de Villepin was keen to draw the British Government into a common foreign and security policy that would be dominated by France and Britain.
And in that order, too.

Afternoon Musings-I wound up napping a good part of the morning; the week has been a lot more tiring that I thought it would be. While I had the week off, Eileen has been working, so our 10-6 sleep sked has turned into 11-6 with the evening sessions of the conference running towards 9:30 when ministry time and a half-hour drive back to Winter Haven is factored in. There was a lot of good food for thought on forgiveness, the Cross, the nature of the Holy Spirit and our response to Him that I'm still digesting. I'm not quite sure what to make of this piece of news on Windows NT 4.0-there's a bug in the TCP/IP protocols that makes hacking easier; they've fixed it on 2000 and XP but "the company states that fixing NT4.0 is simply too difficult." Is that because NT is too buggy to fix or that you want people to upgrade to 2000? Maybe they'll upgrade to Linux; a big working relationship between HP and Red Hat might mean even more servers will fail to pay Bill Gates his pound of flesh. The Northern Front might be opening up. US paratroopers landed in Kurdish areas and Kurdish militias are moving into non-Kurdish areas. Things seem to be progressing, but I'm still not getting a big picture that I can wrap my mind around. As I understand it, we've got two big moves to the south of Baghdad, one on one side of the Euphrates and one on the other. However, the details seem to be in short supply, most likely for good security reasons. I'd like to get a better picture of what's going on, but so would Saddam.

The Fifth Column-I'm becoming a bit worried that we may have a low-grade intifada on our hands with the various protest groups on the left. New York saw the latest version. One thing that disturbed me is how this anti-war bunch merely seems to be a warmed-over version of the anarchosocialist types who protest at IMF and WTO events; I remember seeing video of a SF protest where the target was Bechtel, the international construction firm that is likely to get business helping rebuild Iraq's infrastructure. Den Beste has an interesting piece on the groups gross and tacky protests; they might not be intended to be persuasive but to be initiation rites to bond people to the group. One of the scary parts is that these groups don't have many good solutions to the problems they seek, which plays into the hands of various Marxist groups. Frequently, Marxist political strategy will be to poke holes in modern society to a point where people become disgusted in the status quo and start to look at communism as a viable alternative. It's not the hard-core Marxist's goals to see positive incremental change in the system; they'd rather see negative incremental change to soften up the populous. People aren't going to want to switch from a functioning market democracy to communism, so they have to create a very dysfunctional system that will make communism look good. I don't think they will succeed in the US, but they will cause a lot of problems. I'm reminded of a old Tom Lehrer song
We are the Folk Song Army. Everyone of us cares. We all hate poverty, war, and injustice, Unlike the rest of you squares.
I forgot this from the pre-song patter Lehrer had on the That Was the Year That Was album-
It takes a certain amount of courage to get up in a coffee-house or a college auditorium and come out in favor of the things that everybody else in the audience is against like peace and justice and brotherhood and so on. The nicest thing about a protest song is that it makes you feel so good.
It's one thing to complain about poverty in the Third World or corporate influence in the economy; it's another to come up with concrete solutions. Also, your argument doesn't get better received the louder you shout it or the more civil disobedience you do to proclaim it. Civil disobedience only works as a political gambit if the population can be shamed into agreeing that your cause is just. Not all the protesters are violent, but there seems to be a progression of violence that could return us to the Weathermen era. The place where such protests could be really worrisome is western Europe, where market socialism is more dysfunctional than American welfare capitalism. There, if the economies continue to be more and more ossified, you could see anarchists on the left (greens and communists) and right (skinheads and other nativists) as well as Islamic youth taking to the streets and creating a ungovernable local that will look more like West Africa than Western Europe in its lack of civility.

Morning Musings-Found an interesting blog via my hit counter, "As I Wait" is a blog done in the form of letters to her future husband. She permalinked my "10 Suggestions for Godly Courting." Pat Moynihan died yesterday; Ben has a good personal eulogy. "Honorable Democrat" borders on an oxymoron, but Moynihan was one of them, a good guy with lousy taste in political parties. This piece on Fedayeen Saddam should give us some pause. Not that it's going to stop us from winning, but such ruthless goon squads will cause a lot of damage as the regime going down.

Edifier du Jour-Romans 8:5-8(NASB)
5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
The closing message of our conference last night was one that brought me to tears. Mr. Carrin talked about the Holy Spirit's work being to normalize our lives; not to make them normal in a worldly way but by what God views as normal. Carrin didn't preach on Romans 8 last night (he worked out of Acts 9 which I wrote up back in November) but verses 6 and 7 speak to that normalcy. The normalcy that God wants in us is a fruitful, peaceful fellowship with Him. By the world's standards, I'm an eccentric, hypersensitive nerd, but I'm becoming normal in God's eyes. A spirit of rejection had set up shop in me for far too long, for I was taking that worldly view to heart. I was reminded last night that I am normal. I'm not sure how many other folks out there are looking for acceptance and normalcy. God loves you as you are and wants to make you more normal, if you'll just let him do His work in you.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Morning Musings-If you want a four-legged horse; get the House to pass a six-legged horse. The Senate will cut the legs down to three and you can add the fourth leg in the conference committee.
In yesterday's vote, 47 Democrats and one independent were joined by three Republicans -- Snowe, Voinovich and Chafee -- in voting to reduce the tax cut to $350 billion. Sen. Zell Miller (Ga.), the only Democrat who unequivocally supports Bush's tax proposal, was absent because of his son's surgery.
Snowe and Chafee I can see, but when did Voinovich become such a hard-core RINO? No, I only voted for him for Governor twice and only rooted for in from a distance in 1998 to win the Senate seat. At least he votes to keep the Senate committees Republican. Primary challenge, anyone? The war's moving along, with the highlight being taking Iraqi TV's main transmitter off the air. The Supremes are tackling campaign law, but only a Right to Life challenge to be allowed to directly contribute to candidates rather than set up a PAC. An NPR piece yesterday noted that McCain-Feingold is still stuck at the district court level and the Supremes are antsy to get at it before they break for the summer. No permalink for this, but check out a cute picture of Gnat in the Hello Kitty garb Lileks was talking about yesterday.

Edifier du Jour-Ephesians 4:29-32(NASB)
29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
R.T. Kendall had a good sermon last night on the Holy Spirit, using the analogy of the dove, the bird that represents the Holy Spirit. It's not much different from the pigeon physiologically, but is much more skittish. It's not hard to get a dove upset. If you want the Holy Spirit to want to stay, you're going to have to watch your tongue and your thoughts. Note that we're sealed by the Holy Spirit, so this isn't a salvation issue but a empowerment issue. To the extent that we allow the Holy Spirit to purify our hearts will He feel like a welcomed resident. I say resident, for guest assumes that the stay is temporary; He's supposed to have a permanent spot.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Midday Musings-We've picked up a fifth column in Basra; the locals are going after the Iraqi military. The government forces look up and say-"Shi-ite!" Things seem to be moving along, but I'm at a loss as to what it means for the moment. This is a war where we have a lot of news and not a lot of information. They've picked up a fifth column in Minnesota; former Senator Gene McCarthy on the war (via Relapsed Catholic)-" "This is a faith-based war...The worst thing is faith-based religion." As opposed to the Unitarians? Want a mental Mulligan, Mr. Clean? This isn't great news for old school folks-they're talking seriously about expanding the NFL playoffs to 14 teams (tripleheaders on Saturday and Sunday?) and even talking about 16 teams. It's verging on the old 16 of 23 NBA playoffs where you "played the season to eliminate Cleveland."

Word, Spirit and Neither-We're in the middle of something called the Word, Spirit and Power conference that our church is putting on; this is an expository tag-team of three "chronologically gifted" gentlemen named Jack Taylor, R.T. Kendall and Charles Carrin, who banter like a AARP-eligible Rat Pack (if you've ever seen clips of the Sinatra gang in Vegas) before launching into some excellent preaching and ministry time. As R.T. Kendall put it on Sunday, evangelicaldom generally breaks down into two camps, the Spirit (Pentecostal/Charismatic) camp who go to church looking for signs and wonders and want to bring back the Acts to life and the Word (Baptists and other non-charismatics) camp who focuses on the written Word of God and goes to church looking for good expository preaching wants to bring back to the days of Luther, Calvin and Jonathan Edwards. If you can tap into both the Word and the Spirit, things happen that you don't get alone; the loose cannon of the Spirit-filled believer gets GPS targeting. If you combine Word and Spirit, you get the Power to see God move in a potent way. Sounds downright Bapticostal. All three of the guys are ex-Baptists who by focusing on the Holy Spirit have come over to the charismatic camp, yet haven't left their reverence for the Word behind. Bible study helps to guardrails on a Spirit-filled life, allowing the believer to better understand what God is looking for and keeping him away from a lot of heresy and sloppy theology that Spirit folks tend to fall into. It was interesting to see the pastors who came to the conference. I got introduced to the "Fullness Movement" that hit the Baptists in the 80s. Most of the pastors were either Baptists or Vineyard folks who were Baptists before discovering the Holy Spirit in His fullness, including Pastor Lykes who started what is now the Lakeland Vineyard after being given the left foot of disfellowship from the Baptists over a decade ago. What if you have neither the Word or the Spirit? You have the modern mainliners. Having neither the Bible nor the Holy Spirit to guide them, they tend to drift along as part of a greater culture. That's why I questioned Martin Roth's assessment that the mainline church had "capitulated to the culture." It's not that the mainline denominations give into the culture, they are part of the culture. They take the Bible on an a-la-carte basis, throwing out the non-PC parts and turn their backs on anything supernatural. If you have the Word or the Spirit, you have protection from the worst parts of culture. If you have both, you have some real power. If you have neither, you're rudderless and without an engine, lost on a cultural sea.

Edifier du Jour-John 9:24-34
24 So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, "Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner." 25 He then answered, "Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see." 26 So they said to him, "What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?" 27 He answered them, "I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?" 28 They reviled him and said, "You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 "We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from." 30 The man answered and said to them, "Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. 31 "We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. 32 "Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 "If this man were not from God, He could do nothing." 34 They answered him, "You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?" So they put him out.
As Jack Taylor pointed out last night, it's very easy and very dangerous to play Monday morning quarterback with God. The Pharasees couldn't handle the idea that God would use spit mudpies to heal on a Sabbath. "God wouldn't do that," for it's not prim and proper and the way we expect things. As smart and analytical people, we're the crowd most likely to pick up a Pharasee spirit and try and fisk what God's doing. However, a life open to the Holy Spirit's moving will have to live with the occasional paradigm adjustment. If we don't keep up with God's program, he might declare us yesterday's man (borrowing from R.T. Kendells morning message yesterday), like he did with Saul, and move on to tomorrow's man, like David in 1 Samuel 16. Give God room to do His thing. As Charles Carrin noted in his introduction to last night's sermon, there isn't a exhaustive list of signs and wonders in the Bible that God's required to choose from, so be careful before judging what God is and isn't up to.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Bahgdad Musings-We're closing in on Baghdad. I'm at a loss for a time where a major city has been attacked since the Korean War. Grozny seems to be the closest that comes to mind, but that was more of a guerilla war in Chetnya. We have a lot of fire power and nifty gizmoes, but the Iraqis have home-field advantage and the no-scruples advantage. I haven't seen a good Den Beste take on this yet, but I since it would be forthcoming. This could be very bloody, for a lot of booby traps and nasty tricks could be pulled. I'm having images of Berlin's door-to-door fighting for a lost cause with the Russians having to pull Hitler's corpse out of the bunker. I hope it doesn't come to that, for that will cost hundereds of American/British and thousands of Iraqi lives to pull off. Still, it needs to be done. I remember coming out of a Financial Management class in the fall of 1990 before Gulf War I and remembering a less-than-Mirandeqsue command of Belker from Hill Street Blues- "Do you want to come peacefully, or would you prefer internal bleeding?" Saddam preferred internal bleeding then, and he still seems to be a glutton for punishment.

Morning Musings-Spring Break has arrived, although I'll be keeping a little busy with a morning session of the conference and posting of grades for my Managerial Econ class this afternoon. Martin Roth has a good essay on anti-Iraq-war protestors, pointing out that they're typically anti-Western-led war protestors and are silent when wars happen without the US' involvement. The last paragraph in Roth's essay was interesting.
Yes, once again, as so often in our history, it seems our church leaders have capitulated to the culture.
I don't think they've "capitulated to the culture" for they are the culture, being part and parcel of the liberal elites. There's a longer rant coming on that topic. Yesterday was bad PR day for the war. We accidentally shot down a British plane, got some of our guys taken as POWs and got nine guys killed in an ambush and Saddam's on the air talking trash. However, there was a good part of the day; we captured a chemical plant 90 miles from Baghdad that might well be a chemical weapons facility. Please note the distance from Baghdad one more time. The noose is tightening. [update 1:35 3/27-It looks like the plant wasn't doing any chemical weapons-a warblog watcher called me out on the point, although I've been more of a Word, Spirit and Power blogger than a warblogger this week] I was too busy to watch, but MSU let loose a can o' whuppin on Florida yesterday; how much do I rub it in Dr. White's face? Butler made the Sweet 16, making them this year's mid-major Cinderella and giving headline writers the excuse to say "Butler did it." I'm not a movie buff, so the Oscars was largely a non-event for me. Good to see Mr. Moore get booed as he let loose with a factually-challenged Bush-whacking.

Edifier du Jour-Revelation 7:13-17(NASB)
13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?" 14 I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 "For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. 16 "They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes."
We're in the middle of a "Word, Spirit and Power" conference at the Lakeland Vineyard, and the Sunday evening session had an interesting meditation on the blood of Jesus by Charles Carrin. How well do we reverence that blood, or, put another way, do we try to see the blood as God sees it? It was a catastrophic yet precious event. It tore God apart, both figuratively and literally, as Jesus was left alone for a time to bear the sins of the world. The body that was broken and the blood that was shed was God's own. However, despite the pain and trauma, it was precious, for Jesus became the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. That blood will turn our sins white in the eyes of God, saves us from Hell and gives us an eternity with God. That blood isn't a was, it's an is, still as fresh and potent as it was two thousand years ago. To borrow from a certain ad, this blood's for you.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Edifier du Jour--Deuteronomy 8:11-14(NASB)
11: "Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; 12: otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, 13: and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, 14: then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
My dreams tonight had a recurring theme; that prayer and devotion to God were ongoing things that we don't graduate from. You don't get X semester hours of righteousness credit and then get allowed to ignore God and do your own thing. We tend to be foul-weather friends of God, on our knees in prayer when things are going bad and off on our own things when things are going good. Keep doing the things that you are supposed to be doing, especially if you think you have spiritually matured, for it is those mundane devotions like prayer, Bible study, helping other people and being in fellowship with other believers that helps keeps you from falling away.

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