Monday, April 28, 2014

What's the Place of Art in a Christian's Life?

The latest LifeSharer letter from Vital Signs Ministries is on the VSM website.

And it's right here too.

Dear LifeSharers, April 2014

“What is the place of art in the Christian life?” That’s the question the late Presbyterian apologist Francis Schaeffer sought to answer in his 1973 book, Art and the Bible. It was just a little book (less than a hundred pages) but it was really helpful to me. Here’s the basic element of Schaeffer’s answer. “As evangelical Christians, we have tended to relegate art to the very fringe of life… Despite our constant talk about the lordship of Christ, we have narrowed its scope to a very small area of reality.  We have misunderstood the concept of the lordship of Christ over the whole man and the whole of the universe and have not taken to us the riches that the Bible gives us for ourselves…and for our culture.”

Becoming a Christian brings us to God. But it also brings us back to being fully human, to be the persons God intended us to be. And art, beauty, creativity, significance, sharing -- these are all a part of that original (and rejuvenated) humanness. The Lord made us to be makers. He designed us (fearfully and wonderfully) to be designers. Remember, God placed Adam in the midst of creation not only to tame and organize it but also to enrich and beautify it.

However, also inside us is the God-given ability to appreciate the artistic creations of others. It wasn’t good for Adam to be alone. The Triune God placed man into a relationship, one that involved love and teamwork. Thus, we are not to be egocentric about matters of art.  Some persons write poetry. Others play the piano. Some tend to their flower garden while still others paint pictures, dance, work in wood or clay or leather, etc.  But whatever artistry we do as individuals, we are all gifted by God to humbly, unselfishly appreciate the creativity of others.

Now the apostle Paul has an important comment to add about this matter. He writes in Philippians 4:8 that believers are to dwell on those things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent and praiseworthy. This doesn’t only involve Bible study or meditating on the virtues of God. It is all of life. Including art…relationships…your job…your entertainment choices. Living as a restored human, a new creature in Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit and bringing your whole lifestyle under His lordship, will make a world of difference. And make no mistake, it will certainly set you apart from the world. You will be that peculiar people, that royal priesthood, that salt and light that you are supposed to be.

Claire and I have a deep appreciation for the arts. For instance, we have an awful lot of art in our home.  We have several original paintings by Carol Coppi and Leonard Johnson as well as a few from Jacki Newell, all excellent artists who we are honored to have as good friends. We also have some prints of paintings by the same people and from the American realist painter, Edward Hopper. We have paintings I’ve picked up from street artists in Moscow and Warsaw, a Civil War quilt made by Sunny Everett (another friend) which is alternately draped over our couch or the wooden railing leading up to the living room, and decorative items I’ve bought in Calcutta, London, Ougadougou, Krakow, Minsk, and other places. There are, in fact, many beautiful things in our home -- not expensive things but deeply treasured nonetheless. And the art that explodes here at the Christmas season? That’s another story altogether!

But these decorations are not the only art that enriches our lives. There are the old record albums which contain the great music of Western civilization: Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Frankie Valli & the 4 Seasons. Our library, though full of history and theology and other non-fiction genres, also contains hundreds of volumes of “fine art” -- novels, plays, collections of poetry.  We also enjoy the dramatic arts immensely, particularly old movies and programs from radio’s Golden Age.

Now, I’m afraid that when it comes to individual art skills, neither of us score very high. We do not play a musical instrument, sing, paint, dance, knit, scrapbook, whittle, or build anything. Claire does sew, cook and work with flowers and she does all of those things very well. In fact, on those rare occasions when she has time, she’s artistic enough to make very pretty headbands and bracelets. Me? I write a bit. But again, when it comes to appreciating art and beauty made by others, we’re as solid as they come.

Looking back through the long years of Vital Signs Ministries, one can find many artistic evidences as well. Early on there was Barb Malek’s drama, “Voices of Ramah.” There was that Christmas Celebration where the ancient Saint Nicholas showed up to give the evening sermon. There were the annual radio broadcasts of “The Christmas of the Talking Animals.” I suppose, there was even a certain amount of artistry in the “Vital Signs” radio programs themselves.  There are the one-act pro-life plays distributed through print and cyberspace and which are still available on the VSM website. And serving as writer and narrator for Patrice Kabore’s film about Colonel Saye Zerbo, former President of Burkina Faso, makes the arts category too.

There was certainly artistry involved in the campaign against Methodist Hospital which led to the huge national success of The Pastor’s Protest Against Abortion. Music and crafts were a big part of our many years of service to the residents of Mercy Care Center and Immanuel Fontenelle nursing home. We also have been aware of form as well as function in the design of our literature booth, our cyberspace sites, and the new greeting cards we’re using for correspondence -- cards that feature our photographs of our flowers. And I mustn’t forget that Vital Signs has the most colorful, winsome signs and banners of any pro-life activists in the country. We want our signs to be an effective complement to our sidewalk counseling and other public witness. And thanks to Pat Osborne, that’s been the case for over 30 years. Oh yes, one other thing I shouldn’t leave out. There is now the music, photographs, and narration which make up our 23 volumes of “When Swing Was King.” That’s probably our favorite of all.

Yes, Vital Signs is very passionate about truth. And about life and love and joy. But we are passionate about beauty too. All of these, in fact, are inseparable because they are all expressions of the Triune God. And it is only as we reflect them all, consistently and at the same time, will we be demonstrating the lordship of Jesus Christ and have the chance to re-build a culture of life here in the West. Thank you so much for partnering with us in this great challenge.

Ten Eco-Villains the Green Movement Ignores

To mark last week's global commemoration of Earth Day, the wise and witty guys over at Mercator opted to skip the whining against big oil which mark practically all the stories you hear from the old guard media. Instead, they listed 10 major ecological problems that never get mentioned.

I'm going to list the ten eco-villains they name below but you really need to go check out the paragraph or two of supporting information that the Mercator writers provide for each culprit. It makes for eye-opening reading indeed.

It’s Earth Day again, an occasion on which to reflect on our sins against the environment and make resolutions to clean up our act. We are familiar with the usual suspects: overpopulation, oil companies, overpopulation, chocolate, cattle farmers, the coal industry… and did I mention overpopulation?

Well, forget all that. Here’s our top 10 eco-villains, most of them getting away with ecological murder to date.

1. Underpopulation. 

2. Big cities. 

3. Consumerism.

4. Solo living. 

5. Big government. 

6. Coffee. 

7. Weather in the United States. 

8. People who don’t like being cold (and that’s most of us). 

9. Facebook. 

10. Al Gore. 

Bobby Jindal on the Left's Attempts to Re-Define Americans

Over at NRO, Jim Geraghty quotes a "particularly delicious segment" of Governor Bobby Jindal’s remarks to the NRA Leadership Forum last week.

We must not let our opponents redefine what it means to be an American, and what it means to trust in the decision making of individuals. If you want to see their vision for America, just have a conversation with Michael Bloomberg or Eric Holder — if you can stand it, that is.

They think government should pick your soft drink, your snack food, your vices, your home security system, your health insurance, your electricity source, and your children’s school. They think we’re too dumb to order pizza and too dangerous to protect our land.

They take perhaps the most pessimistic view of Americans we have ever seen from national leaders in our history. If you listen to them, you get the feeling they’re surprised we can tie our own shoelaces without government intervention… They probably think that’s why we wear cowboy boots. 

Scam Artists Love Ethanol

Counter-productive. Extremely expensive. Full of criminal fraud.

Those are the real stories of ethanol.

In this article, the editors of the Wall Street Journal concentrate on the third item in the above list.

Ethanol is losing political steam on the left and right, but the fuel retains a powerful patron in the Environmental Protection Agency. On Wednesday the EPA retroactively reduced the 2013 gasoline-blending mandate for cellulosic ethanol to 810,185 gallons from six million. If that sounds like a big cut, 810,185 gallons is precisely every last drop the industry managed to produce. The 2014 mandate is nonetheless pegged at a preposterous 17 million gallons.

An even better measure of the EPA's tie-up with the ethanol lobby is the protracted delay of rules meant to keep criminals out of the alternative fuels markets. Ethanol has always been a scam on taxpayers but the mandate has proved to be an invitation for mass fraud…

In January two Las Vegas men were indicted by federal prosecutors on 57 wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and other counts in a $37 million scheme. They claimed to be importing Canadian biodiesel made from vegetable oil that never existed. Last September the feds broke up an Indiana ring that stole $100 million and that the U.S. attorney called "the largest tax and securities fraud scheme in Indiana history." The list of accused is long…

The quality program was supposed to be in force by the end of last year but has been held up for months as the ethanol makers lobby to kill it. They claim the minimums are too onerous and want the refiners who are forced to buy their products to retain liability for getting ripped off.

In a memo to the White House, the National Biodiesel Board (the companion of the corn ethanol lobby) writes that the quality program will lead to "an overall reduction in mandated volumes" and "impose substantial burdens on not-at-fault producers." In other words, Big Ethanol thinks criminal scammers are a price worth paying so the government-backed industry can continue to profit.

See also The Alarming Counter-Productivity of Ethanol.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Vital Signs Ministries: An Update

If you are a frequent visitor to Vital Signs Blog, you will have noticed that activity has cooled here in the last few weeks. I previewed a few of the reasons for that in a post last month (Changes in Vital Signs Blog?) but I thought I would be a bit more specific this morning about what other Vital Signs activity has been getting our attention.

* The regular schedule of "When Swing Was King" continues. That means presentations at 11 senior living facilities (including nursing homes and dementia care centers) every month. Most of the work in creating our 23 different volumes has been done. (Each of those volumes has 12 original big band songs, a couple hundred photos in a Power Point slide show, and an original narration to accompany the program.) However, I still take a few hours every month to change a song or two...and a lot of the photos. We want to make sure each volume is as sharp and entertaining as it can be.

* Another important element of "When Swing Was King" outreach is the development of friendships with residents and staff. We have begun to emphasize this even more by planning into our schedule plenty of time after the show for visiting.

* We continue our prayer presence in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion mill. We are there at least 4 mornings a month.

* I recently finished a major revision of a pro-life lecture I gave a couple of years ago, "Warnings to the World: The Mad Scientist in Literature." It will appear on our new website and we may have a reading and discussion event at our home. I am also editing selected sermons for use as web articles, possibly to compile them into a single publication. And finally, I'm also writing something that started as a short story which has turned into a much larger project. It's called "The Christmas Room."

* I gave a talk to a Grace University class in March. Upcoming presentations include a memorial service, a talk at Country Bible Church, and a talk at Pius X High School in Lincoln.

* We have been hosting (here at our house) a series of lectures on the Monday nights of April. These taped lectures are from the Rocester L'Abri conference we attended in late February. To prepare for the evening, I go through my notes from the original lecture and then edit them, add illustrations, and print off copies for those attending in order to help make the lecture easier to follow. We had seven people the first night, fourteen the second Monday, and eight last Monday. Next week is our last lecture. We have talked a bit about continuing such a practice (there are an awful lot of tapes out there of Francis Schaeffer and other L'Abri folks), but we haven't decided anything yet.

* Claire has been working (a lot!) on transferring the Vital Signs Ministries website to a brand new template and server.

* Claire spent some time in correspondence and phone conversations with local political candidates.

* Though the number of posts on Vital Signs Blog has decreased, I have actually increased the number of posts over on The Book Den.

* Claire and I decided to step up considerably step up the pace of our personal correspondence. To that end we created our own stationary and three versions of greeting cards and are now writing 15-20 people every month. That is in addition to the regular LifeSharer letter that is written, printed, folded, stamped and mailed to everyone on our our Vital Signs mailing list. The last one was "The Place of Art in the Christian Life" and you can read it on the website.

* I continue to prepare and preach a weekly sermon at Faith Bible Church. And though I'm technically just the PGS ("perennial guest speaker"), I do get involved in the lives of the people there. That takes a bit of our time too.

* We had a letter-writing party in March which resulted in about 70 pro-life, pro-family letters and cards being sent to politicians, business leaders, and others. We have another scheduled for May.

* We are involved in two reading/discussion projects this spring and summer that involve both Vital Signs and Faith Bible Church. The first is the seven short books of The Chronicles of Narnia. The second involves three books: Heaven by Randy Alcorn, The Heart of Prayer by Jarram Barrs, and Teaching to Change Lives by Howard Hendricks.

* Sanity check. Two mornings a week I have coffee and stimulating conversation with Vital Signs colleagues. I find this of great value.

* Other social activities have included visiting with a dear friend who was in from Colorado; meals with friends (including our hosting an Easter dinner for 7); a hospital visit; several coffee meetings with a grieving friend; Claire's attendance at a "double baby shower;" Denny's correspondence with international friends; attendance at a volunteer appreciation dinner at Brookestone Meadows; and attendance at a dinner for Board members of Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Attention, Nebraskans. Here's a Nifty Video Voter Guide.

Hey Nebraskans, I know it might seem early to think about next fall's election when you haven't even planted your spring flowers, but it actually is a very good time to get a line on who you want to support. After all, you want plenty of time to make an intelligent, prayerful decision and then sufficient time to spread the word to friends, family, church colleagues, and so on.

Well, the Nebraska Family Alliance, the new organization that combined the Nebraska Family Council and Family First, have an intriguing resource for you to investigate the folks running for Governor, Senator, and Attorney General. It's a video voter guide which features brief interview clips of the various candidates.

It is a very helpful resource. So, go give it a whirl and pass the link on to others.

Why Christian Men Should Be Taking Notes During the Sermon


Will somebody please make copies of this and pass it around the fellows at my church?

Men, as a whole, we are not good enough to remember everything that is being preached. This is an average of course. Simple reviews through my own eyes, at my own church have proven this point. Judgments? No, it’s simply truth.

What is the main topic in the message on Sunday? Write it down. What are some of the questions the pastor or speaker is asking and answering? Write those down too. What quick one-liners could you pick up for your social media updates in the coming week? You guessed it, write it down.

You might be thinking, “This sounds too hard or too involved.” That’s right men; this is called a challenge, a call, a (insert Braveheart cry here). We must challenge ourselves in our walk with God…

Let’s be honest. No, better yet, lets think about this for a minute. What will all of this extra work give us? What will writing down notes in the sermon actually do for me? Glad you asked. 

Writing down sermon notes at Church will increase your knowledge and understanding like never before. Don’t believe me? Try it. Your mind won’t be able to focus on the big game, your eyes won’t wander to the well dressed woman in front of you. You will be focused. You will be engaged. And you will be putting the information into your heart. You will become a better, no, stronger disciple for Christ…

(Taken from “3 Reasons Why Every Christian Man Should Take Sermon Notes” by Brian Van Slyke at Charisma.)

A Few "Oh, My" Articles You Shouldn't Miss

* “President Obama, disregarding his own red line, dithers on Ukraine” (Editorial Board, Washington Post)

* “Thousands die of thirst and poor care in NHS” (Padraic Flanagan and Laura Donnelly, Telegraph)

* “Obama to free hundreds of drug felons under clemency rules designed to un-do mandatory sentences from 'War on Drugs' era” (David Martosko, Daily Mail)

* “10 million new babies? China’s hope for boom likely to become policy bust” (Cheryl Wetzstein, Washington Times)

* “Less Than Half of GA ObamaCare ‘Enrollees’ Have Paid for Plans” (Wynton Hall, Breitbart)

* “How Media Helps Push Us Off Suicide Cliff” (Wesley J. Smith, National Review)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Income Inequality -- The Professionals Are Ignoring The Breakdown of the Family

Suppose a scientific conference on cancer prevention never addressed smoking, on the grounds that in a free society you can't change private behavior, and anyway, maybe the statistical relationships between smoking and cancer are really caused by some other third variable. Wouldn't some suspect that the scientists who raised these claims were driven by something—ideology, tobacco money—other than science?

Yet in the current discussions about increased inequality, few researchers, fewer reporters, and no one in the executive branch of government directly addresses what seems to be the strongest statistical correlate of inequality in the United States: the rise of single-parent families during the past half century…

As Lucianne Goldberg said in her link to this article, “Some things are so simple.”

But then again, to progressives who are hellbent on destroying those values of Western civilization that made society work (religious freedom, property rights, justice, marriage and the family, a strong work ethic, individual responsibility, limitation of government interference, etc.), even the simplest truths will be ignored.

Read the rest of “Ignoring an Inequality Culprit: Single-Parent Families,” the excellent article by Robert Maranto and Michael Crouch article here in the Wall Street Journal.

The Alarming Counter-Productivity of Ethanol

“Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change.”

Here's the AP story that opens with the line above. But that certainly isn't the whole story about ethanol. Check out these previous posts:

Ken Blackwell (and Vital Signs Blog) Are Singing the Ethanol Blues

Ethanol -- It's Not Accomplishing What You Think

Biofuels vs Food

Let's Stop the Ethanol Scam

Al Gore Flips on Ethanol; Admits He's a Political Phony 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Resurrection Thoughts

Here are a few quotations about the resurrection of Jesus that you might find useful. We handed these out yesterday in church and suggested that people consider using them for reflection and prayers, for use in Easter cards, and to pass around in their social media contacts.

We suggest the same to you.

“I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

Clarence W. Hall wrote, “The resurrection of Jesus changes the face of death for all His people. Death is no longer a prison, but a passage into God’s presence.  Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.”

“According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  (1 Peter 1:3)

Timothy Keller in his book, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, wrote this — “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that He said; if He didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what He said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like His teaching but whether or not He rose from the dead.”

“If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”  (Romans 8:11)

Charles Colson wrote, “I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one of them was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world -- and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”  (Romans 10:9)

Philip Yancey wrote, “In many respects I find an unresurrected Jesus easier to accept. Easter makes Him dangerous. Because of Easter I have to listen to His extravagant claims and can no longer pick and choose from His sayings. Moreover, Easter means He must be loose out there somewhere.”

“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)

“According to the laws of legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history.”  (Harvard Law Professor Dr. Simon Greenleaf.)

John MacArthur wrote, “The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation.”

“Christ the Lord is risen today, Sons of men and angels say. Raise your joys and triumphs high; Sing ye heavens, and earth reply. “ (Charles Wesley from the hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.”)

The Book Den Is Open: April Offerings

Among the April postings over at The Book Den that you might find of interest:

* 42nd Street: A Review

* Vital Signs' Latest Reading (And Listening) Projects 

Tolkien Talks to His Son About Sex, Marriage, and Fidelity

* Reflecting On "An Inspector Calls"

* "If God Is Good" (And He Most Definitely Is!)

* On Alec Guinness, Genius, and Introversion

* Endangered By Huge Ships? There's Help Available. (Humor)

* Tearing Down Christianity...From Within

* The Best Biblical Movie Ever?

Reading for Thoughtful, Counter-Culture Christians

In case you missed these articles, I urge you to check 'em out this time around.

* In an interesting and valuable article, Chelsen Vicari comments on the World Vision’s switcharoo on homosexual marriage, Rachel Held Evans leaving evangelicalism (was she ever there in the first place?), and the dangers of trying to have Christianity without the Bible.

* Mark Tooley’s report to his board of directors of the Institute on Religion and Democracy deals with a whole host of issues relevant to religion, the culture wars, and the responsibilities of the Christian to faithfully occupy until Jesus comes. (By the way, I’m printing off a copy of this article for discussion starter with our Thursday morning group.)

* “Global war on Christianity is violent and real” (John L. Allen Jr., Boston Globe.)

* “How Can You Trust Christianity Is True When There Are So Many Unanswered Questions?” (J. Warner Wallace, BreakPoint)

* “Moralism is Not the Gospel (But Many Christians Think it Is)” (Albert Mohler)

Doggone It, They're Not Dying Fast Enough: Belgium Doctors Want More Euthanasia

Involuntary euthanasia is acceptable medical treatment, according to a recent official statement by the Belgian Society of Intensive Care Medicine. Although voluntary euthanasia is legal is Belgium under some circumstances, involuntary euthanasia is basically illegal. But the Society wants to be able to euthanase patients who do not appear to have long to live.

The Society spells out its policy very carefully. It is not about grey areas like withdrawing burdensome or futile treatment or balancing pain relief against shortening a patient’s life. It clearly states that “shortening the dying process by administering sedatives beyond what is needed for patient comfort can be not only acceptable but in many cases desirable”.

“Shortening the dying process” is a euphemism for administering a lethal injection...

Here's more from Michael Cook at Mercator.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Burning Preborn Babies for Heat Is Okay with Parliament

About that outrageous discovery from last week that British hospitals were burning fetal remains for energy use. Were you expecting a storm of protest? A big splash in the press? Quick and decisive action by Parliament?

Then you're doomed to disappointment.

For not only did the American press ignore the story altogether, even in Britain where it did make the headlines, the scandal has failed to draw even a shrug from lawmakers.

Indeed, a motion condemning the incineration of fetal remains by NHS hospitals, a motion that has no real force of law but it is only intended as a moral exhortation, has been signed by just 14 members of Parliament.

14. Out of 650.

Words fail me.

Releasing the Dogs on All Nonconformists

Imagine going to work one day only to be, in effect, fired -- not because of anything you did or didn’t do at your job, but because of something you did in your personal life.  Something religious.  Or maybe, something political…

That’s exactly what happened to Brendan Eich, a highly-respected tech guru in Silicon Valley and co-founder of Mozilla Corporation, after he was appointed CEO in late March.  In less than a week, he was forced out of this position for no reason other than that he had a made a $1000 contribution to the Prop 8 initiative in 2008.  His own money.  On his own time.  In his private capacity.  Mozilla had nothing to do with it…

Welcome to the brave new world of thought police, coercion, injustice, and the rigorous persecution of persons of conscience.

Ah, America. The land of the free and the home of the brave. The city shining on the hill.

It was nice knowing you.

Here's more of Sally Zelikovsky’s excellent article for American Thinker, "Brendan Eich and the New American Totalitarian State."

Will You Sound the Alarm?

In this 30-minute presentation before an audience at Liberty University, best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg talks with wisdom and passion about Daniel, the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the holocaust of abortion, the desperate necessity of Christian faithfulness, his newest book (The Auschwitz Escape), and more.

It's a really good lecture and I'm grateful to Student Venture Director Gary Warrick for alerting me to it.

Try to find some time this weekend to give it a listen. You’ll find it informative and bracing…in the best sense.

Vote Fraud: The Biggest Problem That Doesn't Exist

The Democrats (and the American media) continue to insist that there is no serious problem with vote fraud.

So, what are they saying about this?

“North Carolina’s Board of Elections found that tens of thousands of registered voters from the state have personal information matching that of registered voters in other states, and appear to have voted in states other than North Carolina in 2012. In some cases, votes were cast under names of individuals who had passed away before Election Day.”

The Democrats (and the American media) continue to insist that there is no serious problem with vote fraud.


Here’s more of the story from Andrew Johnson at National Review.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Greatest Champion of Women

I believe that Jesus Christ has done more to elevate the state of women that any other human being who ever lived. 

The modern feminists have their icons, people from the history of the women’s movement that they claim have raised the status of their gender.  Yet nowhere in the pantheon of women’s champions and martyrs do they list Jesus Christ – but they should! 

In all of history, no one has done more that Jesus to champion the cause of women.

(D. James Kennedy, Risen Indeed, 2005)

Mountain Lions, Yes. Human Babies, No.

Ernie Chambers, the most aggressively pro-abortion senator in Nebraska’s history, had this to say on the Unicameral floor about mountain lions, “Those animals can't speak for themselves....We are to be their voices and protectors.”

No commentary needed.

ObamaCare's 7 Million: America's Wildest April Fool's Joke Ever

I've got a few article links below which will greatly help shine the light on those April Fool's shenanigans enacted in the Rose Garden yesterday by our petulant President, his buffoonish sidekick, and a fawning media entourage.

But first, let's read a bit of Bryan Preston's take from over at PJ Media.

...A simple bit of math shows that even if there are 7 million legitimate sign-ups, there are between 5 and 6 million who lost their healthcare because of Obamacare. What’s the net number? How many of these have even paid their premiums? And how many of them are now facing steeper deductibles?

Premiums are not going down. Access has not been expanded. Provider networks are shrinking, reducing choice. These are all consequences of Obamacare. The president mentioned none of it.

The Obama administration is also neglecting to admit that their law is killing jobs. It is strangling hiring. It is killing the work ethic that built this country. The CBO estimates that we will lose the equivalent of more than 2 million jobs’ worth of work hours. Small businesses say that Obamacare is keeping them from expanding their businesses, and keeping them from hiring and growing their workforces. They also say that Obamacare is forcing them to cut hours, which translates into lost wages, for millions of workers. Obama mentioned none of that.

But most importantly, the Obama administration is not admitting that it used naked, brute force to coerce Americans into signing up for Obamacare. Failing to sign up can get the IRS, with its auditors and armed agents, unleashed on you. When faced with that prospect, sure, it’s not all that hard to persuade people to do what you want. It’s a lesson that feudal chiefs, tyrants, pirates and bandits learned a long time ago.

The 7 million that President Obama touted today is a false number, he knows that it is a false number, and he knows that it is based on the threat of force...

See also:

* “The ACA: Still Falling Short: A realistic assessment of Obamacare shows it is not delivering what was promised.” (James C. Capretta, NRO)

* “Obama's Rose Garden phony numbers 'tell.’” (Thomas Lifson, American Thinker)

* “Obama boasts 7.1 MILLION have signed up to Obamacare  but study shows just 858,000 newly insured Americans have paid up!” (David Martosko, Daily Mail)

Urgent Action Needed on Nebraska "Sexual Orientation" Bill

LB485 is being pushed through very quickly and is on today's agenda agenda in the Nebraska Capitol. Here is a quick summary of what you can do. And believe me, now is the time to act. Don't put it off.

Would you take a few minutes to do 3 things?

1.  Forward this email to your family, friends, colleagues, Bible Study groups, business owners, pastors, and your church community.  Senators need to hear from hundreds of concerned Nebraskans within the next 48 hours.

2.  Contact Speaker Adams:  402.471.2756  and/or
Politely leave Speaker Adams a message and ask him to not support LB485.

3. Contact Senators: visit for contact information or give them a call @ 402.770.7713.  They would be glad to let you know who your senator is and discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Politely tell your Senator to oppose LB485. Choose two or three of the talking points below:

* In America, people should be free to live and work according to their beliefs. It’s one of the principles on which this country is founded.

* The government should not require Nebraskans to abandon their faith just to earn a living.

* LB485 would change our state non-discrimination statutes to extend special protections to sexual orientation and gender identity and provides a very weak religious exemption.

* LB485 demands that Nebraskans comply and risk losing their job to honor their deeply held religious beliefs.

* LB485 would allow unelected bureaucrats to decide what faith is, who the faithful are, and where and how faith may be lived out.

* We all agree arbitrary discrimination is wrong. All people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. The real question in LB485 is whether we should enact a law that, while attempting to protect homosexuals against discrimination, fosters widespread discrimination against people of faith and subjects business owners to needless litigation.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

On Being A Passenger

Alas, I have a bum knee.

It could be something moving around inside that’s torn loose; it could be arthritis or some other degeneration; it could be badly wrenched and only needs time and muscle relaxants to allow me pain-free movement and stability again. We don’t know. But the way insurance companies are nowadays, they require attempts at medication before paying for treatment. (And even something as simple and diagnostic as an x-ray is considered treatment. Yipes.) So, it may be another month before I get to find out what’s exactly wrong.

But we will deal with it. I’m getting used to moving slower and more gingerly. I’m learning to deal with pain by prayer and ice packs. And I’m even learning how to enjoy being a passenger in my trusty ’95 Oldsmobile. No kidding. I’ve always wondered why Claire knew more than I did about what’s going on in our city — where the stores are, when certain buildings have gone up or torn down, and so on. Now I know. Being a passenger allows you to look around and notice things. You can also think about something other than the traffic.  In fact, I realize now that there are a lot of advantages of being a passenger.

Nevertheless, I am praying I don’t have to be one for too much longer!

Claire, of course, has been very sweet about the whole thing. Very patient and helpful. She drove me to the doctor’s office yesterday morning. She drove me to a speaking engagement I had scheduled at Grace University yesterday afternoon. And then, to make sure I safely made my 6:00 Panera’s meeting with Dick Wilson, she got up early and drove me there too! (The three of us had a delightful time together)

We are fortunate too that this next week is one of those with no “When Swing Was King” presentations on the schedule. For even though Claire could take on the taxi duties, hauling all the stuff we need into the various facilities really would be a task. So, both of us ask that you lift up a prayer that this knee will come back soon enough for us to carry on with our regular duties. Thanks so much.

Ronald Reagan's Simple Testimony

I was sitting in a room, and across from me, about ten feet away, was seated the then governor of California and soon-to-be president of the United States, Ronald Reagan.  I had the opportunity to ask him some questions.  I said, “Governor, I would like to ask you a very important spiritual question.  If something were to happen to you and you were to die and stand before almighty God, and He said to you, ‘Why should I let you into my heaven?’ what would you say?”

His response was surprising.  He doubled over, put his head down between his knees and stayed there some time.  Then, after about thirty seconds, he slowly straightened in his chair, looked me in the eye, and in a very sober tone said, “I don’t deserve to go to heaven.  The only thing I could say would be, ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him  should not perish, but have everlasting life.’”

(From  D. James Kennedy's Risen Indeed: Evidence for the Resurrection, Coral Ridge Ministries, 2005)

The Persecution of Christians Is Increasing

* “UN: Unprecedented Christian Persecution in Iran” (Ryan Mauro, Reuters via Juicy Ecumenism)

* “Lao Christian families who refused to convert to Buddhism flee village” (Asia News)

* “Watchdog Asks Why Obama Failed to Talk Religious Freedom With Saudi King” (Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post)

* “Nigeria Christians Mourn Deaths in Massive Killings” (Faith McDonnell, Juicy Ecumenism)

* “Asia Bibi Appeal Delayed Again” (Voice of the Martyrs)

* “Myanmar’s Religious Minorities Facing Test of Faith” (Dennis Crowley, Juicy Ecumenism)

* “China: Human Rights Lawyers detained under cult charges” (Christian Solidarity

* “Religious and Political Leaders Warn of ‘Dying Middle East Religious Diversity’” (Dennis Crowley, Juicy Ecumenism)

Are you getting the idea? Those who love Christ are under fire more than at any time in history. We must be in more fervent, more frequent prayer for our brothers and sisters in the Faith. We must also intercede in their behalf as we have the chance -- as in writing letters and petitions and telling the story of their plight. And we must be stirred by their example to live righteously, courageously and vibrantly for our Lord.

Important Reading For Culture Warriors (And Anyone Who Wants To Be In The Know)

* “Bob Kerrey Calls Obama a Delusional Liar; Media Mum” (P.J. Gladnick, Newsbusters)

* “Startling Rift on Supreme Court Springs From Error by Kagan On Text of Obamacare Law” (Betsy McCaughey, New York Sun)

* “Report: Obama administration released 68,000 convicted criminal aliens last year” (Caroline May, Daily Caller)

* “Cleveland Clinic CEO: Three-Quarters Of Americans Who Signed Up For Obamacare Now Have Higher Premiums” (CBS TV, Cleveland)

* “6 Big Unanswered Questions About Obamacare” (Peter Suderman,

* “Chick-fil-A stole KFC's chicken crown with a fraction of the stores” (Venessa Wong, Business Week via Yahoo Finance)

* “Obamacare Real Enrollment: Just 1.7% of Uninsured Covered” (Wynton Hall, Breitbart)

* “Obama Told Military Leaders: Accept Gays In Military Or Step Down, Admiral Says” (Ellie Hall, BuzzFeed)