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Archive for December, 2006


Uber-Agent Scott Boras is at it, again.  He failed to negotiate with the Red Sox regarding Matsuzaka until there were only 2 days left on the deadline.  And the only reason he seems to be negotiating?  Sox ownership & brass flew to CA to knock on his door.  It is absurd, actually.  Didn’t he spend lots of time hammering out the deal for J.D. Drew?  Didn’t he talk to them about Gagne?  Doesn’t his client list include Varitek?  Why is he being such a bore?

According to Boston.com John Henry said: “We’re on Scott Boras’s doorstep because he hasn’t negotiated with us so far. We’re taking the fight directly to him to try to have a negotiation here.”

Frankly I can’t understand why men like Drew & Varitek (meaning professing Christians) hire a man like Boras.  I must be missing something.  He has a horrible reputation for underhanded tactics.  He lied to the Red Sox during the whole Johnny Damon contract non-negotiation in 2005.  He invents mystery teams to drive up the price.

Here, there is no mystery team.  So… invent a mystery lawsuit to change the rules of the game for posting Japanese restricted free agents.  All the powers that be are telling him he won’t be able to buy the rights from Seibu so he can offer Matsuzaka to the next “highest bidder”.  So, he makes outrageous demands for a player who has never tossed a pitch in MLB, despite the Sox offering the highest amount ever to a Japanese player.  Hubris, it would seem.  I don’t want to say ‘adios’ to Matsuzaka, just Boras.  Unfortunately baseball doesn’t seem to care if he can’t be trusted.  They told the Sox, just don’t believe a single thing he says (it should be in one of those Seth Mnookin links).  Essentially it is like negotiating with a terrorist group, except all he wants is money- and lots of it.

Update: In watching the video of Boras’ press conference (Boston.com links to NESN) he mentions that the posting process works well except for superstars.  It worked for Ichiro and Matsui.  I suppose Boras does not consider them superstars.  I think the Japanese public would disagree.  Lou Pinella would too.  At the time of Ichiro’s entry into MLB, he said Ichiro was one of the 5 best players in the world.  Too bad he doesn’t represent either of those men, it would make for an interesting follow-up.

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In the 9th chapter of Leading with a Limp, Dan Allender addresses exhaustion and disillusionment.  Oddly, these can be used by the hand of God to introduce us to true hope.

Most leaders know exhaustion.  The demands can be endless at times.  I’m not an important man.  But I chair a committee in my Presbytery.  This puts me on the denominational level committee as well.  There are times when those responsibilities are added to my normal responsibilities as a husband, father, pastor, homeowner etc. 

“The leader who doesn’t feel pressed to the wall often is not involved in a work that is advancing sufficiently against the forces of darkness.”  This is because the need, and therefore the work to be dreamed, planned, executed & evaluated to meet the need is gi-normous.  Crisis moments do not wait until you have gotten a few days’ rest.  You can’t reschedule someone’s hospital stay, or worse, to fit into your schedule.  “Yes, I think you’ll be okay to have that heart trouble in ….. 16 days.”  They come interrupting our best laid plans.

(more…)

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This time it is Bruins rookie center Phil Kessel.  This time it may be testicular cancer.  Athletes have bounced back from that.  Case in point, Red Sox 3rd baseman Mike Lowell.  Then, of course, there is Lance Armstrong.

But, I watched a deacon lose a long fight with it.  The key is catching it early, before it spreads.  There is no good time to learn you have cancer, but the earlier the better for treatment.

It comes at a bad time for the team too.  They had begun to put things together.  After a hideous start they are up over .500.  While Phil is not as important to the Bruins right now as Jon Lester was to the Sox this past season, he was just as important to their future.  This will put life in perspective for Phil, as it did for Jon and Mike Lowell.  And I’m hoping his turns out like theirs and he’s able to utilize the common grace gifts God has given.

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Celtic Confusion


The rash of injuries has meant that practice time is not very productive.  But a few things have happened.

1. Gerald Green has been getting more playing time, and he is starting to put it together.  We are seeing glimpses of what Danny envisioned when Gerald was drafted in 2005 more frequently.  I am not sure who ought to be traded to make more time for him (once Wally is healthy again).

2. Al Jefferson had a monster game against the Nets, getting career highs in pts (29) & rebounds (14).  Best of all, he didn’t foul out (playing a career high 38 minutes) and only had 2 TOs.  Is this a fluke, or the beginning of Al finally being healthy enough long enough to sort it all out on the pro level?  It would be great to see him finally make the leap to a full-time player rather than a role player.  I’d be happy with 15 & 10 a night, but he should soon be throwing up 20 & 10 nights.

On the disconcerting side, for me, is the possibility of a trade for AI. 

1. If the price involves either of the 2 players named above, I wouldn’t do it.

2. If the deal involves AI, I wouldn’t do it.  I know some Celtics fans are salivating at the prospect of getting AI.  But we don’t need a ball hog.  AI has to handle the ball (ALOT) to be effective.  We need the ball to move around to get good shots for people.  AI is not know for that.  Oh, he gets assists but largely because he demands double teams and passes out after dribbling into them.  And, AI would not be a good influence on the younger players.  Some people think I have him all wrong, that he’s really a sweetheart.  But legal trouble follows this guy like my daughter follows our dog.  I’m just thinking he’s over-priced trouble that we don’t need.

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The subtitle of R.C. Sproul’s book The Last Days According to Jesus is When Did Jesus Say He Would Return?.  That seems a bit misleading.  But first…

I think this is the first Sproul book I’ve read since I was fired from Ligonier in 1998.  This is also the first time I’ve read a book in less than 24 hours in quite some time.  Some guys (Al Mohler & Gary North) do this regularly.  I don’t.

This book is about defending the authority of Jesus (and therefore legitimacy of Christianity) from attacks that Jesus was wrong with regard to the timing of events mentioned in the Olivet Discourse.  Sproul was talking about this in his Systematic Theology III class back in the early to mid 90’s. 

In this book he lays out the case for partial preterism.  What this means is that most/all of the Olivet Discourse was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.  Most people probably haven’t heard of this idea unless they inhabit  the nerdy world of people like me.  But plenty of people use the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24 in particular) to prove Jesus is coming back soon.  They fall into the hands of higher criticism and atheists like Bertrand Russell.  So, this book is important.

Sproul does what he does well.  He explains what James Stuart Russell, Ken Gentry and others have argued, though in considerably fewer pages and in terms the average guy can understand.  He ablely does this through the first 3 chapters.  His work on the Olivet Discourse is good, as is chapter 5 (What Did John Teach in Revelation?).

Where he lost me, in the sense that I didn’t agree with him, was in applying preterism to Paul’s instruction.  Actually, he didn’t seem to argue for it so much as present the arguements of Russell and DeMar.  Many of the events Paul talked about don’t seem to have happened yet (hence, partial preterism).  It was just a confusing chapter.

Sproul does a good job when it gets to the Resurrection in explaining the differences between full and partial preterists, and the very real problems full preterism has.  Yes, there are people like Max King and Edward Stevens who think the whole shebang has been fulfilled.  And former classmates of mine like Keith Mathison and Jonathan Chori Seriah have taken them on.  Truly, far too many trees have been killed on this topic.  I can’t take King & Stevens seriously.

R.C. surveys the topics of the antichrist and the Millennium at the end of the book.  These chapters were not incredibly informative, and deviate (I think) from the overall goal of the book.

I do recommend this book if you want to gain a better understanding of the relationship of the Olivet Discourse to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.  This is significant for the broader approach to eschatology, and means that most of the guys you see on tv are wrong, wrong, wrong on this one.

Unfortunately, it didn’t help me prepare my sermon on Revelation 12:7-13 like I’d hoped.

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Celtics: A MASH Unit


It is looking very ugly for the Celtics these days.

Theo Ratliff has played in 2 games as a result of a bulging disc in his back.

The Kandi Man has an abdominal tear and has been out for some time.

The last Center standing, can no longer.  Perkins is out 3 weeks in the hope that his plantar facsitis will heal.  I’m telling you…. try acupuncture, it worked for the CavWife.

Wally has a bum ankle and will miss his second game in a row.

Pierce has a bruised right elbow he swears didn’t affect his shooting Monday night, but certainly limited his shooting in the previous game.

Both Delonte and Al Jefferson missed time earlier this season.  West has had back and toe problems, while Al had an emergency appendectomy.  This team is starting to look like the August/September Sox or the Patriots.  It is ridiculous.  But since there division is so utterly horrible, they can still make the playoffs, or be in the lottery for Oden (though we remember what happened the last time we had a ‘sure’ thing in the lottery).

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Lee Camp, a Lipscomb University theologian I have never heard of, revealed why I had not heard of him until this point in time.  At an interfaith conference, he said that to build a better relationship with other faiths, Christianity must ‘let go’ of some of its beliefs.  For instance, he cites the Lordship of Jesus as impeding such dialogue with Jews and Muslims.  Since Christianity is all about Jesus, it would seem strange- indeed apostasy- to abandon our view of Jesus as “the way, the truth and the life without whom no one can come to the Father” as Jesus clearly said about Himself.

Oddly, it is Christianity that must concede.  Though we hold to a high view of Jesus- not just prophet, priest & king, but God the Son who took on flesh forever- we do not threaten and kill those who insult Him.  Muslims around the world routinely threaten those who insult “the Prophet”, meaning Mohommed though he is but a man ( I could say more, but I might be innundated with threats).

The participants in this conference, including a Rabbi and a spokeman for the Islamic Center of Nashville focused on the common ground. 

I have no problem with living peaceably with Jews and Muslims, or atheists, Buddhists etc.  I believe what Paul says in Romans 12 “As much as it depends on you to live at peace with all…”   I don’t have to agree with people to live at peace with them.  Living at peace should not require relinquishing what the Bible says about Jesus.  Jesus and all of the New Testament writers are clear on this- and they lived in a time when the Roman and Jewish establishments were trying to kill them.  We are to be faithful to all Jesus has taught us about Himself, worshipping Him alone, AND live at peace with others.  We are not to kill those, or even hate those, who disagree with us.  And I don’t see Christians protesting that all Muslims (or anyone else) should die.

Yes… in the past not all representatives of Christianity got that memo.  Those were largely in days of incredible illiteracy (not an excuse, just a fact).  Today only nutjobs who claim to be Christians (but really aren’t) claim that Christians, the Church, ought to wage war (not spiritual warfare) against them.  This would differ from the State which should protect its citizens (of all religions and no religion) from evil people who would seek to kill them unjustly (like the Islamofascists).

I guess it is ironic.  They have this conference in the nation that affords the greatest religious freedom instead of where the people who most need to hear it are elsewhere (and would probably have them killed).

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Two things happened today, beyond rumors.

1. Jon Lester will undergo his final chemo treatment this month.  Doctors say his cancer is in remission (note: you never say cancer free, folks).  He has begun throwing a baseball again and should be ready to resume his promising career at Spring Training.  This is some great news for the Lester family and Red Sox Nation.  I was wondering just last week since all the talk about their rotation did not include Lester.  Assuming he regains his strength we are looking at: Schilling, Beckett, Matsuzaka, Papelbon and either Lester or Wakefield.  In the past Wake has done well in long relief.  But coming off this illness, Lester might benefit from doing long relief for a year and move into the rotation when Schilling retires after next year.  Looks good on paper… but in 2006 we learned what injuries can do to a rotation.  BTW: Timlin has a new strengthening program for his shoulder which grew weary, particularly due to the WBC.

2. J.D. Drew has agreed to a 5-year deal with the Red Sox.  They see him in the 5-hole to protect Manny.  They severely lacked this last year.  This means that Papi & Manny (and it looks increasingly likely that he’ll remain a Red Sox) will see better pitches, and Drew does not feel the pressure to carry a team offensively.  He is a very solid defensive player.  Boras compared him to Dewey Evans in a wise PR move to say the least.  All true Sox fans have a fond affection & appreciation for Dwight Evans’ career in right field.  Trot played it well too, but has been oft-injured and his offensive production has plummetted much like Kevin Millar’s had.  I have some mixed thoughts about this.  Lots of other players don’t like Drew.  Grady Little (who drove me insane, while I liked Jimy Williams’ eccentricity) said Drew is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.  His unflappable nature might be interpreted as a lack of passion by some.  In this club house, unflappable might be a good thing.  He won’t be screamin’ at Manny.  And the real clubhouse leaders are Ortiz & Varitek.  They don’t need a guy wanting to take over the club house from the Captain & Papi.

As I was writing this….

3. ESPN is reporting that the Red Sox have also signed Julio Lugo to a 4-year deal (yes, Orlando will not be coming back in a Manny deal w/the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles).  If the Sox sign Gagne, that would be 3 players from Red Sox West II, the Dodgers who reside in the AAA West.  Again, I am not sold on this deal.  Lugo will be a big improvement offensively.  With Lugo and Crisp, the Sox will have some speed on the bases and hopefully lots of runners to drive in for Papi, Manny & Drew.  Defensively…. he is no Gonzalez.  He’ll make a more than average number of errors.  I am a big believer in defense, which makes life lots easier for pitchers.

All in all, a busy day for Theo & company. 

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Yahoo! Strange News reports that a plane was forced to land after passengers smelled burning sulfer.  Turns out a female passenger had a medical condition of some sort that resulted in lots of smelly gas being passed.  To cover up the stench, she lit matches.   The flight was resumed, but she was not on it.

What happens if it is a flatulent iman?

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I am a lonely leader.  I don’t want to be.  A number of factors facilitate that.  It is part and parcel of leadership at times.  Our best laid plans usually backfire, and that usually means someone close to us is unhappy with us.  People want us to be “real”, just not too real.  One blog I saw recently talked about how “inauthentic” Jesus was as a justification for this pastor now hiding himself from his people.

There are a few reasons.  One is that though they know you are a sinner, they don’t want to know that you actually sin.  That is part of the problem.  They don’t want you to need the cross as desperately as they do.  This creates an emotional/spiritual loneliness since we have no one to share our struggles with.

Secondly, many leaders are introverts who want to be left alone to think.  I test in the ‘scandalous’ Myers-Brigg as borderline.  We often need alone time to study and prepare, creating a relational loneliness.  This is exacerbated with people get the idea we don’t want to be disturbed.  So they don’t invite us to hang out like a real person.  After all, we are the ‘holy guy’.

(more…)

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“Every Christian should have his Church enclosed within his heart, and be affected with its maladies, as if they were his own, sympathize with its sorrows, and bewail its sins.”  John Calvin

I would include that we should also rejoice in its triumphs and blessings as if they were our own.

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I was working on a Sunday School curriculum today for January.  In my denomination, this January will be Evangelism Emphasis month.  So my sermons and SS will be about evangelism- the need to, motives to, how to etc.

The second lesson is on how both word & deed are essential to evangelism.  Sadly, I recently heard an otherwise good radio show that treated them as antithetical.  In looking for some good quotes I opened up my copy of Jerram Barrs’ The Heart of Evangelism.  If you haven’t read it, this is a great book that I probably need to read about 5 times in a row so God can get it through my thick skull.  Jerram thoughtfully and gently explores lots of helpful avenues including addressing barriers between the church and the world, contextualizing the gospel, etc.

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Bob Kauflin’s December 1st post is about Evaluating Lyrics.  A question is offered on a lyric from his song, Glory Be to God.  He talks about how poetry helps us see more of what is in the truth, and that song lyrics need to be seen on context.  In this case, the lyric is about the Incarnation, and that Jesus was indeed born.  The Son of God did not exist from all eternity as God & Man (since then He remains forever God & Man).

Another song Bob mentions is Above All:

“An example that I think fails the test is the song “Above All.” The last lines of the chorus say:

Like a rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall and thought of me
Above all.

“Paul Baloche, who wrote this song with Lenny LeBlanc, has received a great deal of criticism for that line. Paul is a very humble guy and a good friend. When I asked him about it a few years ago he said he simply wanted to communicate the wonderful truth that Jesus had me in mind when he died for me. I wasn’t simply a nameless face. It confirms what Paul said in Galatians 2:20:

And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

“However, the phrase “above all” communicates that Jesus thought about me more than his Father’s glory. That’s simply not true. Because I think that’s the most natural understanding, I don’t use the song. But I do understand how people can sing the song and not take it in the “me-centered” way it sounds.”

I wrote an article expressing this some time ago (and caught some flack for it).  Though I believe Jesus died for me, as well as the rest of His sheep, I was not the foremost thing on His mind.  If I was, then I would be more important than His own glory and Jesus would be an idolator (see Piper’s The Pleasures of God to better understand this idea).  So, I have resisted using what is an otherwise good song lest we communicate something clearly contrary to Scripture in our worship (and I didn’t put it on my mixed CD of Michael W. Smith’s Worship recordings). 

Perhaps I ought to drag out some of those old articles for posts….

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Date Night: The Newsboys


CavWife and I were able to get out of the house alone the other night.  The Newsboys were in concert a few miles down the street at Cypress Gardens Adventure Park.  I know I’ve been weary from the burdens of ministry, husbandry, parenting and trying to sell a home.  I needed a stop at an oasis in the desert life has been.

After grabbing some food, we make our way into the concert venue.  We figured we’d just sit in the bleachers rather than carry folding chairs since we probably wouldn’t see much from those chairs anyway.  We were in for a pleasant surprise.  A man asked if we were alone.  He had 2 tickets for the reserved section up front that he won on the radio, but could not use.  We were suddenly nearly “in the front row”.  Like the humble man seated far from the guest of honor, we were suddenly called to draw near.

I’m not much into the Christian Ghetto thing, oh, I mean subculture.  I often think we act like fools, which is far different than being fools for Messiah.  The latter suffer for the message that is foolishness to the flesh.  The former, well…..

BUT, it was great to see a great cross-section of the population (okay, they were mostly anglo).  We saw little kids all the way up to grandparents gathered together to sing along and worship together.  I was anonymous- no one expected anything of me.  I was free to express alot that has been on my heart, particularly as we sang along to songs like Blessed be the Name and It is You

And it was a fun show.  New guitarist Paul Coleman seemed tentative at first, but it was great to see him relax and goof off some as the show went on, particularly on Breakfast in Hell.  At one point the drum kit was raised on a hydraulic lift, and then tilted to he was parallel to the ground, and spinning.

So, even though we didn’t know the new songs, it was great to get out of the house with a bunch of people who love Jesus and connect with Him among the sound and the fury.

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The subtitle to this chapter in Dan Allender’s book is Wrestling with Betrayal without Becoming a Jerk.  More of us leaders need that lesson.  The sting of betrayal can be so great that the poison often leaks out in all the wrong ways & wrong situations.

Leaders are often leaders because they seek to redress a wrong they have witnessed or experienced in the past (note: I didn’t say always).  As a pastor & counselor, I have observed this in both vocations.  Many pastors & counselors are trying to fix their own problems by fixing the problems of others.  This is true in most helping vocations.  Some of those leaders recognize this about themselves.  Others don’t, and this blindness becomes very dangerous.

“Betrayal is a deep psychic wound that hardens the heart against grief and deadens its hunger for intimacy.”  Grief does not serve its purpose in God’s economy- to experience the comfort of God that we might then offer it to others (2 Corinthians 1).  Instead of reaching out, the hardened heart is turned inward.  It lashes out instead.

Allender spends some time addressing the narcissistic leader.  This leader is often followed by those who don’t want to be afraid and don’t want to choose.  This leader has learned how to play politics to win thru gossip, dissesion etc.  They are driven by an emptiness that their functional idols cannot fill.  The narcissist is essentially self-absorbed. 

Now, all of us have self-interest, self-concern etc. etc..  Most of us can also see, and are concerned about the interests of others.  Those touched most by the Gospel also concerns themselves with the interests of Jesus.  Narcissists don’t.  They care only about their needs, their agenda, their success, their feelings, them, them, them.

They fail to see that true success calls us to the very things they avoid- failure, brokenness, humility.  I know I hate failure, brokenness and humility.  Though they are the contours of the place of grace, I sometimes resist going there.  Rage feels so much better than rest… in the short run.  “We all rage against God, but narcissists stop there.”  Ah, there is hope for people like me yet.  I don’t get stuck in rage, but eventually enter rest as I lay aside my agenda and pick up the yoke of Jesus again.

Whereas the jerk leader makes everyone feel like they owe him, the gracious leader has learned gratitude thru humility.  “It is only by and through grace that we are meant to lead.  And the grace of the moment is the manna for today.  There are enough problems today and sufficient grace to meet them now. …. There will be grace for tomorrow, but it won’t come today.”

I guess that is one of our big problems.  We want all that grace now instead of experiencing daily dependence on God.  We can be such jerks, can’t we?

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Review: Casino Royale


The Bond series goes back to basics with Casino Royale.  In many ways Daniel Craig reminds you of Sean Connery.  He’s more rugged than Moore, Dalton (the better left forgotten era in my book) and Brosnan.  You can really tell he worked with a trainer for this movie compared to some other ones he’s been in.  They also have the gadgets a much-needed hiatus.

Plot-wise they returned to the beginning as well.  It begins with Bond earning his double knot status (as Jethro would say).  M (Judi Dench is the only holdover) is not sure he’s going to pan out, and he may take her down in flames with him.  He has some big lessons to learn before he becomes “Bond, James Bond”.

So this movie has a more gritty feel to it.  You see the bruises, scratches etc he accumulates through the movie.  It is set in the present, addressing the world of international terrorism as he battles a number of smaller bad guys.

I re-entered the franchise during the Bronsan years.  At the end of the Moore era it was getting too silly (I watched Moonraker the other day- my how dated it looks).  Brosnan played a good mature, suave but tough Bond.  Craig plays a great young Bond who relies more on his strength (physical and mental) than tricks and gadgets.  There are some great physical stunts in this movie.  The chase and fight in the construction site is amazing (though you wonder how these guys could possibly have any energy left after the first 1/3 of the scene).

The focus is on Bond, the character.  Oh, there is plenty of action.  But you see him responding to how it affects him far more than ever before.  It is far more psychological.  And I thought far more satisfying.  It will probably stand up over time more like the early Connery films.  Hopefully this won’t be like the Lazenby era, which was a one-shot turn (thankfully- that was a lousy movie).  This movie has not been raking in the bucks, but I think that if they stick with this they can build a more authentic, satisfying Bond than anyone since Connery.

The title sequence was also a nice change.  No nude shadows floating around.  It was about Bond.  This movie has decidedly less sex in it than usual.  Oh, there are some georgous women, but they seem more like people than props.  He is not yet a womanizer, though they have set the stage for him to be through traumatic loss.  He’s more concerned with following the trail than chasing skirts here.

There is not much bad language, though a few instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain.  Since the emphasis is on fighting, this is a more violent Bond movie- especially the opening sequence.  As such, it is not for young ones in my book (this from a man who saw Live and Let Die in the theatres under the age of 10- if I remember correctly anyway).

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I was a mess last night.  I’m coming down with a cold so my neck feels like it is strained, I’ve got that tickle floating around the back of my throat, and a nostril will become congested for awhile.  And this happened at 3:30 am.  I knew it was hopeless to try and sleep for awhile, I needed some time for Vicks Vapo-Rub & Cold-eeze to work their magic.  Since I don’t currently have a novel going… it was late night TV.

Seriously, what a stinking wasteland.  I couldn’t get over the fact that the Disney Channel actually has programming at 4 am.  I guess it’s for the kids in Europe who supposedly hate us so much.  I spent lots of time surfing, and trying to avoid the nearly ubiquitous Girls Gone Wild seducomercials (on at least 2 channels).  Here is what I found (in addition to 2/3 of the Big 3 Networks having shows on AIDS):

Jim (I Don’t Know Which Time I was Wrong) Baker is up to more stupidity.  He was hawking crystal crosses for $60.  Not a word about Jesus, just jabbering on about how pretty and special these things are and attempting to distract you from the HUGE growth on his left cheek.  Does this guy not get it?  Apparently not.  He is a sure sign that the Whore of Babylon is alive and well in America- turning Christianity into a money-maker, promising you the American Dream (aka heaven on earth) and leading tons of old ladies astray (hey, isn’t there something in the pastoral epistles about such stuff).

I discovered The Master Prophet, Bishop Jordan.  This charming man was offering a free written prophecy for you if you called in.  It would be your personal word from the Lord to help you through your circumstances (hey, isn’t that what 2 Timothy 3:16 says the Word of God is for?).  Mind you, this was TAPED, and he’s pulling the usual televangelist “I’m getting something about a man named Charlie.  I’m getting something about someone involved in a real estate transaction.”  Another huckster trying to tickle itching ears (and make a small, or large, fortune).  Supposedly he is part of the Prophetic Order of Mar Elijah, whatever that is.   Apparently his eyes burn with these prophecies (must be a suffering servant).   His wife is a prophetess, of course (could it be any other way… these guys all make it a family business to control everything).  And his website hawks his typically titled book- The Laws of Thinking.

The rest were about enhancement….  first was the Ab Enhancement, the AbDoer.  With this simple exercise machine big fat women suddenly become babes.  Again the promise of easy satisfaction.

Then was the “male enhancement” infomercial complete with interviews with giggling couples admitting that “bigger is better” and they have seen a “huge difference” since taking the pill.  Great, a pill that makes your johnson balloon up.  The host & hostess looked like they were from the porn industry and figured this was a better way to make gobs of cash.

Lastly, was the Japanese Mind Enhancer.  Yes, a mind enhancer.  Just watch the videos and your memory will expand exponentially.  Even the least of us can become like Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking.

The common theme in all of this is really pathetic- all gain with no cross.  It is the lie that Satan has been trying to sell us (and most of us buy) for millenia.  Thankfully, my nostril cleared up and I went to bed before I could find the credit card in the dark.

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Christian Music Today as an interview with Switchfoot’s singer/songwriter Jon Foreman.  I thought Nothing is Sound was a great album.  It reckoned with the dark side of humanity and living in the industrialized world.  But there was a hint of hope too.

Jon thought it was their best album thus far.  But they experienced many problems, that he believes strained their relationship with the fans.  They were all technological problems that got in the way of people enjoying the music.

He thinks Oh, Gravity is their new best album (set for release the day after Christmas).  And one reason is they didn’t pursue perfection, but wanted to capture more of the live energy of their concerts.  I think that could be a good thing.

He has some good things to say about dealing with the expectations of others.  Overall, a good interview.

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