Twenty Items of Interest (v.24)



1.  John Stark shares the party platform for the Republican Party of Iowa.  I’m pretty happy with the final draft of from the platform committee.  There was a lot of concern before the Iowa Caucus that it could potentially drift to the left in some areas.

2.  Great reminder from J.C. Ryle that God in His goodness allows us to experience pain so that we may grow in Christlikeness.

If we are true Christians, we must not expect everything smooth in our journey to heaven. We must count it no strange thing, if we have to endure sicknesses, losses, bereavements, and disappointments, just like other men. Free pardon and full forgiveness, grace by the way and glory at the end,—all this our Savior has promised to give. But He has never promised that we shall have no afflictions. He loves us too well to promise that. By affliction He teaches us many precious lessons, which without it we should never learn. By affliction He shows us our emptiness and weakness, draws us to the throne of grace, purifies our affections, weans us from the world, makes us long for heaven. In the resurrection morning we shall all say, “it is good for me that I was afflicted.” We shall thank God for every storm.

HT: Shelly Weiss

3.  Remember that we have one Savior, and He doesn’t reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. (at least not physically anyway).

HT: Stephanie

4.  The Onion has some ideas of who may be going through Senator Barack Obama’s VP vetting committee.

  • Sen. John Tester (D-MT): The story about how he lost three fingers to a meat grinder sure to be a hit at state dinners
  • Kathleen Sebelius: White voters expected to respond favorably to her white skin
  • One of Oprah Winfrey’s wellness experts that has military experience
  • Change: Opting for the concept rather than an actual person will really drive the point home
  • David Duke: Could help Obama win over racists, a demographic among which he has polled very poorly
  • John McCain’s first wife Carol

Recently, I had the unique opportunity of meeting with four Iraqi evangelicals at a conference in a country near Iraq. They were young church leaders. Despite the circumstances in their country, they were upbeat and gracious. Having never been to Iraq, nor having personally met an Iraqi, I was eager to hear their perspectives on current events. My conversations with them helped me understand to a greater degree the true complexity of war. (Read more)

6.  Apparently the picture below is offensive to British Muslims.

 

John O’Sullivan writes in the New York Post in his article, “The Sensitivity Trap“.

In his short official life, Rebel had apparently captured the hearts of the local Tayside people. They logged on to the force’s Web site in thousands to follow Rebel’s progress in training to be a police dog. The little canine became Rebel after a visit to St. Ninian’s primary school, where the tiny tots suggested various names for him.

At this point, you may be reminded of Dorothy Parker’s review of the saccharine story “The House at Pooh Corner”: “Tonstant Weader Thwowed Up.” But a local Muslim councillor had a sterner reaction: He pointed out that Muslims considered dogs ritually unclean and asked for a police apology.

Oy Vey!  Can we get anymore ridiculous?  I’m sorry that isn’t very sensitive of me.

HT: David C. Innes

Amy Jo Johnson as Jules Callaghan 7.  A new show on CBS just came out called Flashpoint.  It is not your average police drama.  It shows us the lives of members of a Special Response Unit (SRU) of the Metropolitan Police Department of Toronto, ON.  Pretty interesting I’ve never seen a police drama that takes place in Canada.  I watched the pilot episode, Scorpio, you can watch the pilot here.  Perhaps they’ll keep this show on the air since they have a knack for canceling my favorite ones.  As bad as they are with that, they have nothing on Fox when it comes to canceling shows.  At least they still have some good ones, where it seems all that Fox keeps is crap “reality” TV.  I’m not bitter though.

8.  Joe Carter knocks down different atheist arguments regarding Intelligent Design. 

Down with celestial teapots, flying spaghetti monsters, and other unoriginal and flawed arguments.

9.  Remembering Tony Snow… a speech that he gave at this year’s CPAC in Washington.  I can’t embed this one, but you can catch this great speech, “This Is Our Moment” – Part I and Part 2.

I was also reminded about an article that Tony Snow wrote a year ago on “Cancer’s Unexpected Blessings” for Christianity Today.  I read it back then, but I am thankful that Kevin Stilley mentioned it in a post on Tony Snow.

The moment you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, things change. You discover that Christianity is not something doughy, passive, pious, and soft. Faith may be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But it also draws you into a world shorn of fearful caution. The life of belief teems with thrills, boldness, danger, shocks, reversals, triumphs, and epiphanies. Think of Paul, traipsing though the known world and contemplating trips to what must have seemed the antipodes (Spain), shaking the dust from his sandals, worrying not about the morrow, but only about the moment.

10.  Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason discusses Same Sex Marriage on his radio show.

11.  Brad Pitt designs an Eco Hotel in Dubai.  Ok… It is nice to see what all that oil money can buy.   (HT: Ivy League Conservatives)

12.  Aaron Barker at Veritas Rex is wondering what he is allowed to eat with all of the crazy environmental policies that are taking place worldwide.  First you the the nutty DNC people recruiting 900 volunteers to go through trash, then Spain is in the process of giving human rights to apes, and Switzerland is considering the morality of killing plants.  Craziness.  He shares, and I agree that treating humans as “guests here on earth” is unbiblical

13.  Below is a sweet bumper sticker!  HT: Conservative Belle

14.  Imagine no Global Warming…

Made me laugh out loud.  HT: F3 Coalition

15.  Japan has already been know for their work ethic.  The Washington Post reports that work ethic is killing some.

TOKYO — Death from too much work is so commonplace in Japan that there is a word for it — karoshi.

There is a national karoshi hotline, a karoshi self-help book and a law that funnels money to the widow and children of a salaryman (it’s almost always a man) who works himself into an early karoshi for the good of his company.

16.  For all of my Canadian friends.  You have to love the guys they chose to represent each country.

All of the above statements are likely true.  (Source: Crummy Church Signs)

17.  Ripplegirl shares a great reminder that those who are believers need to guard their eyes and hearts when they watch movies. 

18.  Need a laugh?  When I do all I have to do is go to Stuff Christians Like.  It makes me laugh out loud.  This week Jon ponders the temperature in church sanctuaries, and gives some good advice on how to overcome hot and cold sanctuaries.

19.  Randy Olsen is asking for prayer for Songstress who blogs at News from the Great Beyond.  She just lost her husband on Thursday, so please pray for her.

20.  Jeff Noble reviewed The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter.

Here’s the scene: a pastor is deeply frustrated about the steady degeneration of his society. In addition to this, churches are in sad shape across the country. Members of churches are self-consumed and refuse to be held accountable for their spiritual lives. They actually get offended when a pastor seeks to point out issues, sins or rebellion in their lives.

In addition, churches are splitting left and right. Some entire groups won’t tolerate other groups. The pastor continually warns that such division will only discredit Christianity as a whole in the eyes of society.

To make matters worse, many pastors have abdicated their role as spiritual shepherds and simply seek to preach and teach bland self-help material, passing it off as the Gospel of Christ. They avoid controversial matter, for fear of offending someone. They do not seek to discipline nor disciple their members, nor are they training leaders to carry on the work of the ministry.

You may be thinking that this sounds pretty normal. However, Richard Baxter addressed these concerns and many others in his book The Reformed Pastor during the mid-1600s. I wrote a while back about the importance of learning from “old dead guys,” and I stand by that. If you haven’t read any Christian books published prior to 1900 recently, your Christianity is certainly skewed, and you may even be guilty of what John Piper calls “chronological snobbery.”

Here, here!  Great review.  I too believe that we need to read dead people.  I look forward to reading The Reformed Pastor soon.

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