Sunday, September 30, 2007


Red State Update

'At 'ere's funny atchair, I'ont keer who yar.

Red State Update.

(As seen at Bitch, Ph.D.)



Another political quiz

I'd say this is about right. (As seen at Geoffrey's place, What's Left in the Church.)

Your Political Profile:

Overall: 35% Conservative, 65% Liberal

Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Ethics: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
How Liberal Or Conservative Are You?

Saturday, September 29, 2007


'Logan,' 'American Werewolf' and a hot babe

It must be the time of the year. I just now -- 26 years later -- discovered that one of the reasons I thought the nurse, Jenny Agutter, in "An American Werewolf in London" (1981) was sooo hot, is ...

... because she was the hot all-you-got-to-do-is-punch-a-button-and-order-up-a-babe babe in "Logan's Run" (1976)!

Pardon me while I drool now.



If Stephen King were your pastor

Time for the Hell Night, Nightmare, Scare Your Ass to Death Approach to ... to what? It's not Good News and it's not the Gospel.

Nightmares in Jesus Name.

"Guts Church." Sick, sick.



Texas Longhorns corraled

I normally don't cheer against Texas because I usually cheer for everyone else in the Big 12 except whoever OSU happens to be playin'. After this week's craziness, it's every team for itself, in my book.

Good for the Wildcats! K-State shocks Texas!



Why, yes, I *am* a Colorado fan

Colorado Buffs embarrass No. 3 ou sooners.

And, of course, in Texas, as always ...

More importantly, GO O-STATE! GO POKES!


Bird and YankeeB go howlingly crazy!

LOL! Halloween pix of the granddogs! Apollo is the "lobstah." Fenway is the dinosaur! Bird assures me that Fenway is not sad despite his look.


Friday, September 28, 2007


Will nobody try to help Robert Behlen?

Desperate, pain-addled lawyer jumps from ledge.

This is the kind of thing that raises my liberal, Jesusy hackles. The poor son of a buck obviously needs help, not put in fricking jail!

Robert Behlen robbed a drug store in my own town, at gunpoint, to get oxycodone -- and he gulped a handful of them down ON THE SPOT! Then he ran off with $7,000 worth of the stuff, which probably isn't that much.

Help. Him. Treat. Him.

Don't. Jail. Him.

It's outrageous. Everybody, from the cops that arrested him, to the county deputies who incarcerated him, to the hospital staff who lost control of him yesterday, is at fault.

Cuff him. Put him in the car. Take him to the jail. Put him in the cell. Let him have something sharp. Let him stab himself. Take him to the hospital. Put him in a room. Walk away. Let him go out on the ledge. Let the crowd gather.

Everybody just move him along. Do your own job. Follow the letter of the law. Follow the letter of policy. It's not my problem, not beyond my own paperwork. He's charged with armed robbery, you know.

Then, with him out on the ledge, and only then, does somebody try to protect him from his screwed-up self!

Too late.


Thursday, September 27, 2007


Bill Richardson for president

Item: Gov. Bill Richardson Stands Alone on Ending the War in Iraq at NBC/DNC Debate in New Hampshire

Read all about it.

No other candidate comes close to Richardson's qualifications and experience.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007


The Toad speaks on 'values' voters

I take Toad for granted, and I shouldn't. I've been acquainted with him, blogwise, about as long as I've been blogging. Toad speaks truth rawly.

So sayeth Toad: I will say that if by "family values" you mean teaching your children to fear and hate anyone who is different and disagrees with them, then sure, the Republicans still have the edge on that one.

Toad on the joke of Republican family values.

Oh, what the hey, since I'm in the mood, here's a bunch of spin-to-the-point-of-sin from Focus on Everybody's Family But Their Own.

The amendment "would create a new federal class of crime based on 'actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.' "

With the secular homo-hating right wing and the "Christian" right wing gunning for homosexuals, tell me, someone, why they don't deserve an extra measure of protection.

Why isn't it like an anti-lynching law, which also gave extra protection to a kind of people who were being abused??

Sen. Kennedy has a point:

At a time when our ideals are under attack by terrorists in other lands, it is more important than ever to demonstrate that we practice what we preach, and that we are doing all we can to root out the bigotry and prejudice in our own country that leads to violence here at home. ...

Hate is hate regardless of what nation it originates in. We can send a strong message about the need to eradicate hate crimes throughout the world by passing this hate crimes amendment to the Defense Department Authorization Bill. The hate crimes amendment we are offering today condemns the poisonous message that some human beings deserve to be victimized solely because of their race, religion, or sexual orientation and must not be ignored. This action is long overdue. When the Senate approves this amendment, we will send a message about freedom and equality that will resonate around the world.

Oh, Bill Richardson sounded good in tonight's Dem debate.



Time to upgrade my skill set

To stay marketable in the media, I'm going to have to go back to school. I'm considering the following. Y'all can help me decide which one. (Requires Adobe).

Interactive Media.

Graphic Communications.

Web Design and Development.

So, how 'bout it? This ol' dog can learn some new tricks.

As long as I'm in Oklahoma City, I'll stay in journalism, which could mean paper, broadcast or online -- or, probably, a hybrid of all of 'em.

In the Denver area, I might (heck, probably will) have to go to the Dark Side -- public relations (barf) -- UNLESS I can combine my experience with a technical upgrade.

Which program do you think would best augment a dash of radio, 20 years of writing and editing news and commentary, news management, planning, etc., a journalism bachelor's, a political science bachelor's, and a master's in history?

BTW, note: I've amended my sidebar: "Location: Oklahoma City area, Denver area, Oklahoma, Colorado, United States." Hey, it's a step! :-)


P.S. Drlobojo, I will save you the trouble: "Geronimo! Just do it! Take off! What're you waiting for?" ... Now, as you are an education specialist, I'm particularly interested in your considered opinion.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Dating service?

A female friend of mine, mid-40s, kiddos, wants to know y'allses' thoughts on online dating services. I considered a dating service, many moons ago, pre-Internet, but never did it.

What say y'all?


Monday, September 24, 2007


Will Rogers World Airport

I love our "little" airport -- from the fact that it's named for Will Rogers, who died in a plane crash, to the fact that a caricature of ol' Will hisself standin' on top of the globe with a lasso looped around it is its symbol, to "Amelia Earhart Lane," an airport street named for somebody who infamously disappeared on a plane trip, (Oklahoma City also has a small public airport called Wiley Post Airport, who died with Will Rogers in a plane crash), to the the airport shuttles, which are called "Giddy-Up" (pdf) to the huge art out on the "driveway" into the place that are huge Indian arrows, to the big round hay bales in pastures just off the runways, to the oil pumpjacks here and there, to the "Official Oklahoma Cow Tipping Team" T-shirts you can buy in the stores, to the big pix of famous and prominent Oklahomans all over the terminal walls.

Says "home" to me, and I dig it.


Sunday, September 23, 2007


Spiritual horticulture

What's your spiritual taproot? Where did it all begin? Where do you return in your mind and heart when you need to get back to basics?

Mine: The instant I looked up at Mama ER, as I considered stepping out into the aisle and going forward at the Invitation of the Southern Baptist Church of my upbringing. I was 8.

[Invitation: 1. the summons at the end of a sermon for sinners to accept Jesus Christ as personal savior; often powerfully and emotionally argued; 2. the hymn sung at the end of the sermon during the singing of which sinners are asked to come forward and accept Christ; "Just As I Am" is a classic Southern protestant invitation hymn. For a glossary of other standard rural, mostly Southern terms surrounding church practice, go here to a site of the University of the South, in Sewanee, Tenn.]

I felt called, in my 8-year-old way. I looked up and into Mama ER's eyes, and she looked back, right into my eyes -- and her eyes were full of love but utterly devoid of any direction whatsoever.

I stepped out -- and I've been called, and I've stepped out in response, during good times of faith and bad times of doubt, ever since, some 35 years.

That's my taproot. But my faith, like bermudagrass, has rhizomes that extend horizontally and send out their own roots.

Among my secondary spiritual roots are 1., the exposure to different denominations and Christian faith traditions I encountered as a local Gospel radio announcer right out of high school; 2., the deeper faith that came to me in college in a class on the history and literary aspects of the New Testament; 3., living with and loving a recovering drug addict-alcoholic; 4., learning to appreciate how architecture, and other art made by human hands can be acts of worship and foci of spiritual communion, while attending a big "downtown" United Methodist church in Texas; 5. the United Church of Christ "Bouncer" ad; 6., the images I saw on my TV in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which led me to repent of indifference I'd developed concerning those less fortunate than myself.; 7., joining a United Church of Christ church in July 2006; 8., and, as hard as it is sometimes, the present unpleasantness of having my home, roots and heart in Oklahoma and my wife and uncertain future in Colorado.

Yourself? :-)

Call to Worship today at First Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ, Boulder, Colo.

Leader: Sower of living hearts, sower of tenderness, sower of courage, sower of service, sower of prayer, sower of light.

People: Lord, come, sow within us!

Leader: Sower of gifts, sower of forgiveness, sower of faith, sower of joy, sower of life.

People: Lord, come, sow in the hearts of all people!

Leader: Even as we are hard as stone, dry as desert, thorny as weeds.

All: Make within us fertile soil so that we may grow abundantly in faith and in love.

Scripture reading:

Mark 4: 2-9.

Welcome to New Members (could be local, could be UCC language, don't know, but Amen to it!)

We then affectionately receive you as members of this United Church of Christ. We bid you welcome not as a congregation of the sinless but to a fellowship of those who in their human weaknmess look to God through Christ for strength. We pray that by loving and being loved, through serving and being served, you and we together may be undergirded by a communion in which there is concern for one another; and that through our common witness this church may faithfully serve the realm of God.


Saturday, September 22, 2007


Rocky Mountain National Park

Long, fun day with Dr. ER. :-) Pix by ER, taken with cell phone. (The mind boggles).

Trail Ridge Drive.

Scene of our picnic, at Lake Irene!

Some random mountain.

Mountain sky.


Friday, September 21, 2007


Off to Colorado

Gone to see Dr. ER! Picnic in the mountains! :-)


Thursday, September 20, 2007


This is an 'inside' post

My friend.

God help ALL who are in chronic pain. My poor buddy.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007


ER's bass-ackwards political views

I don't get it. Ask me, and I'll tell you I'm going to vote for Bill Richardson in the Democratic Primary. And, my second choice is Joe Biden.

And if you ask me, I'll tell you that Dennis Kucinich not only doesn't stand a chance but is too far "out there" anyway.

But I just took this test, and listed below are who it says my preferred candidates are, in order. Kucinich first! Richardson last! And I never even heard of Mike Gravel.

Take the test. Whos' your man, or woman? Do the results come in close to what you thought they would?

1. Dennis Kucinich
Democratic Representative (OH-10)

2. Hillary Clinton
Democratic Jr Senator (NY);
former First Lady

3. Chris Dodd
Democratic Sr Senator (CT)

4. John Edwards
2004 Nominee for Vice President;
Former NC Senator

5. Mike Gravel
Former Senator (AK)

6. Barack Obama
Democratic Jr Senator (IL);
previously State Senator

7. Ron Paul
Republican Representative (TX-14);
Libertarian nominee for President in 1988

8. Joe Biden
Democratic Sr Senator (DE)

9. Bill Richardson
Democratic NM Governor












Tuesday, September 18, 2007


YAWP! Life bitch! Then die! YAWP!

YAWP! Leak in roof! Stain in garage ceiling! Hole in ceiling! Ceiling sag! New stain in laundry room! Need fix! Cost money! No got! YAWP!

YAWP! Oklahoma State football Cowboys ride Shetlands! Wear shortpants! Wear sixshooters with white plastic grip! No good! Suck! YAWP!

YAWP! "Saving Grace" TV "season" over already! Not even fall! Good show! Too short! Want more! Long for day of real TV season! YAWP!

YAWP! Circadian rhythm all mess up! Diet! Diet pills! Work stress! Life stress! House stress! Stress stress! Toss! Turn! No good sleep! YAWN! YAWP!

YAWP! Fly Colorado Friday! See Dr. ER! Picnic in mountains! Fly back Monday! Need short break! YAWP!


Monday, September 17, 2007


This blog: 'My barbaric YAWP'

The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab and my loitering.

I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world.


Read some more from "Leaves of Grass."



On a ...

Well, you know. :-)


Sunday, September 16, 2007


Presented as 'Peter's testament'

My longtime blog pal Mark has asked some questions that deserve to be answered in their own post. It started when I said in this post about II Peter: "Whether Peter wrote it or not it's an authentic apostolic view."

Wherein Mark, in a comment said: "What evidence does any ... scholar(s) have that Peter didn't write 2 Peter? Do they have a statement, certified authentic, from Peter himself to the effect that he didn't write it? Why does anyone feel the need to doubt it? What would be the purpose of lying about the author? And most importantly, What would be the point?"

And I said: "Mark, just do some research if you want to know more about textual criticism, biblical studies and hypotheses surrounding the authorship of various Scriptures. The only 'why' question that is germane is 'Why do the research at all?' And the answer is: To use the minds God gave us to get at the truth, and to get away from making an idol out of the Bible."

[I note here that these scholars are Christian scholars, not detractors out to bring ill repute upon the Scriptures. -- ER]

And Drlobo then provided a lengthy but basic -- as are all Wikipedia articles -- account of the scholarly discussions surrounding the authorship of II Peter.

Wherein Mark then said: "First, I wasn't being argumentative. I was just asking. [I apologized for my assumption. --ER] So, OK. You've answered the question about what evidence these scholars have that lead them to believe Peter didn't write it. I'm afraid I am unconvinced. Once more folks (who I suspect are really really wanting some proof to discredit God) are relying on no real evidence, just what one might call educated guessing. It wouldn't fly in an impartial court of law. But you've answered the question that I asked. Now, I ask again, What would be the point of saying Peter wrote it if, in fact he hadn't? What purpose would that serve God, or any of the apostles? Not looking to argue, but the only reason I can think of that someone would claim Peter didn't write the letter that bears his name would be to deny that the inspiration came from God."

And so, first, I respond with the comment in the section called "To the Reader" in The HarperCollins Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version, which is now "my Bible," from Bruce M. Metzger, speaking for the committee of scholars who did the translating, which, I think, can be accepted as being a voice representing the entire work:

"In traditional Judaism and Christianity, the Bible has been more than a historical document to be preserved or a classic of literature to be cherished and admired; it is recognized as the unique record of God's dealing with people over the ages. The Old Testament sets forth the call of a special people to enter into covenant relation of the God of justice and steadfast love and to bring God's law to the nations. The New Testament records the life and work of Jesus Christ, the one in who, 'the Word became flesh,' as well as describes the rise and spread of the early Christian Church. The Bible carries its full message, not to those regard it simply as a noble literary heritage of the past or who wish to use it to enhance political purposes and advance otherwise desirable goals, but to all persons and communities who read it so that they may discern and understand what God is saying to them. ... It is the hope and prayer of the translators that this version of the Bible may continue to hold a large placed in congregational life and to speak to all readers, young and old alike, helping them to understand and believe and respond to its message."

And so, having established, by the publishers' own voice, that there is no intent to discredit the Bible, I turn to the comments of the scholar who, in this compilation of the Scriptures, was responsible for II Peter, Richard J. Bauckham, Ph.D., professor of New Testament studies, St. Mary's College, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland:

"The Second Letter of Peter is presented as Peter's testament, i.e., an account of Peter's teaching as he wished it to be rememebered after his death. (1: 12-15). If Peter himself wrote it, he must have done so shortly before his matyrdom in Rome in 64/65 C.E. Most scholars, however, now believe it was written after Peter's death, with the writer following a literary convention of the time that allowed an author to attribute a 'testament' to a great figure of the past. 2 Peter was probably sent from the church of Rome and therefore attributed to the apostle who had for a time played a role in the leadership of that church. By writing in Peter's name, the author was able to restate and defend Peter's teaching in a situation in which opponents were criticising the apostolic message. He also expressed the normative value of the apolstolic teaching for the period after the death of the apostles."

So, in response to Mark's complaint, "the only reason I can think of that someone would claim Peter didn't write the letter that bears his name would be to deny that the inspiration came from God," I can only say, "Hardly."



'Remember prisoners ... that are evil-treated'

News item:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The CIA has banned the controversial interrogation technique known as "water boarding," which simulates drowning to persuade suspects to talk, ABC News reported on Friday. ...

President George W. Bush signed an executive order in July requiring the CIA interrogators to comply with the Geneva Conventions against torture -- five years after he exempted al Qaeda and Taliban members from the Geneva provisions.

Read all about it.

Scripture reading at church:

Hebrews 13: 1-3.

Today's Prayer of Confession:

Lord of Life, we pause to remember that the life of faith requires empathy, and this is an act of pure imagination. If we do not imagine what it is like, what it is really like to be the other, we cannot love them wisely or well. Teach us to regard the human imagination not with suspicion, but as a source of both creativity and a prerequisite to compassion. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.



Didn't know there was a word for it: Bibliomancy



Friday, September 14, 2007


Jesus saves: Watch Him

Anyone ever enticed, anyone who wrestles with sin and self, or with faith itself, will be blown away by this depiction of The Struggle. I love it. There are no words to argue over. Beautiful.

(Tip o' the cowboy hat to Neil, for posting this today.)


Thursday, September 13, 2007


Who are the false teachers?

So, I was readin' in 2 Peter last night, and I sat and mulled this for awhile.

My assumptions:

Whether Peter wrote it or not it's an authentic apostolic view.

Scholars -- oh, I mean "scholars" (I learned that from Neil!) -- say the epistle was partly in answer to people who had taken Paul's idea of Grace to the extremes, not only living wholly selfish lives but rubbing other believers' noses in it at the regular love-feasts.

Reading this, the devil-may-care homosexual public-bathroom-tryst/bathhouse sex lifestyle comes to mind -- something that I don't think any Christian, straight or not, would think was right.

But so does a ho-doggin' redneck out to get a piece of action, if you know what I mean and I know you do, on a Saturday night at the local dancehall.

So sexual license was at top of the writers' mind. But that wasn't all he was thinking about.

Also, the writer seems to be condemning those who brazenly and purposely preach "another Gospel" -- not those who may simply be wrong on some points.

So, who are the false teachers amongst us?

One type come to mind immediately: "Prosperity Gospel" preachers.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Actual barnyard humor!

This is supposed to be an oldy-but-a-goody, but I'd never seen it before. Whether it's true or not, it's a hoot! Just for bloggy buddy Karen!


A little old lady from Wisconsin had worked in and around her family dairy farms since she was old enough to walk, with hours of hard work and little compensation. When canned Carnation Milk became available in grocery stores, she read an advertisement offering $5,000 for the best slogan.

The producers wanted a rhyme beginning with "Carnation Milk is best of all ..."

She thought "I know all about milk and dairy farms. I can do this!"

She sent in her entry, and about a week later, a black limo drove up in front of her house. A man got out and said, "Carnation LOVED your entry so much, we are here to award you $2,000, even though we will not be able to use it ..."


I promise to wear my overalls

Well, dadgum. Somebody done went and nominated this joint for Best Overall Blog in the third annual Okie Blog Awards.

They're desperate, I reckon. :-)

Actually, recognition by ones peers bein' a highlight of bein' a human bean, it's purdy cool. So, allow me to shamelessly campaign fer myself:

Go here and follow the directions and vote for me! :-)

Thanks to Three Desks Down and One Over for tellin' me about this. TDDAOO got it from The Lost Ogle, which also got nominated.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007



"It's completely impossible to understand why this is happening."

--Katie Couric, "Today Show" six years ago, just after the second plane hit the second tower.

"It's completely impossible to understand why this is happening."

--Me. Now. On Iraq.

To hell with George W. Bush and every sheep who has ever defended him. Including me! But at least I came to my senses. Iraq IS Vietnam. Afghanistan is damn near lost because of it.

This is gonna be a bad day.

Six years ago today.

Six years ago last Saturday.

Six years ago last Sunday.

Six years ago yesterday.


Monday, September 10, 2007


Somebody tell Dr. ER ...

... that she is just gonna HAVE to put me through seminary!

Cant. Help. My. Self. But notice how snark-free it is! Snark only came close once -- from (drum roll, please) ... Pastor Timothy! Surprise. Oh, and Neil, the host himself, but it was directed at Dan, not me.

Seriously. I *can't* get so close to Iliff and not take some classes at least!!


Sunday, September 09, 2007


God: Personal Person, or Impersonal Force?

The truth is somewhere in between, IMHO.

Scripture readings:

Psalm 139: 1-6.

Deuteronomy 30: 15-20.

Prayer of Confession today at church:

Lord of Life, we gather to hear the ancient words of covenant between Israel and God, and to ask ourselves whether we have a covenant of our own. What does it mean in our time to be in "covenant" with something Transcendent? In what ways do we turn away from life, and bow down to other gods? How have we avoided taking responsibility for our choices? Teach us, we pray, about what it means to have free will, but also to practice faith. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.


Saturday, September 08, 2007


What if when the roll is called up yonder, the Lord Jesus starts rattlin' off IP addresses?

(Continued from Knock-down drag-outs in the name of Jesus.)

What if the Lamb's Book of Life* is opened, and the Lord starts calling out IP addresses? What if, in other words, the first thing the Lord looks at is the way we treat one another online?

Who among us would be ashamed? Who would be OK with it? Anonymity is the real devil in this Internet business.

The 'Net is severely lacking in forms of social control, so we all probably do show more of our true character here than in the real world.


*Metaphor to be taken seriously, not literally.


Alien shadows Bush at press conference

I ain't kiddin'. Or is it, as a commenter at Wonkette opined, "the infinitely sorrowful spectral presence of the ghost of the republic"?

Freaky, anyway.



Sioux Sioux Saturday

Kitchen under a modicum of control? Check. Laundry under way? Check. Critters fed, petted and accounted for? Check. Rainy day canceling any plans for yard work? Yes!

Western Channel on the TV to tickle my muse? Yippy ki yi.

Ergo, before the day is done I will have:

Rewritten a paper I did a few years ago to make it suitable to present at a history conference in November. Written a talking version of same. At least attempted to start a Powerpoint on same (Dr. ER usually puts 'em together for me.)

Subject: What Indian newspaper editors in 1876 Indian Territory (prestatehood eastern Oklahoma) thought of the U.S. gubmint's talk about possibly relocating the Sioux down here after Custer and the Seventh Cavalry got whacked at Little Big Horn.

It is exquisitely more complex than one might think.

Tangent: The scary spiders in Texas.

The gospel truth:

"After the deadly Christmas 2004 tsunami hit countries in Asia, I turned on National Public Radio and heard a Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian give their perspectives on the tragedy. The Buddhist explained that he does not really believe in a personal god and see natural disasters as an inevitable part of fate, though he and many other Buddhists were extending aid to the victims. The Muslim had a more pointed diagnosis: perhaps the tsunami had come as a punishment, or at least a warning, to Muslims in the ara who had not been taking their religion seriously.

"The commentator reminded listeners that most of the tsunami victims were either Buddhist or Muslim before he turned the microphone over to the Christian, a representative of an international aid organization. 'I have no good explanation for why such a thing happens, and cannot pretend to guess at God's involvemenmt,' he said. 'We are there on the ground because we follow a man who defined love by telling the story of a Good Samaritan reaching out to a person who was his ethnic and religious opponent. Jesus showed that same love, and we believe that by following Jesus we are doing God's will on earth.'"

-- from Philip Yancey, Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 128-129.


Friday, September 07, 2007


Knock-down drag-outs in the name of Jesus

The other day at Neils' joint, an atheist, after seeing a bunch of us go 'round and 'round, like in the previous post here, said something like, "I'm glad I'm not a Christian!" which probably drove some in that forum to tears.

Pbhth. An avowed atheist will be an avowed atheist until God God's own self knocks him upside the head, or Life does.

Plus, this guy was one of the most "evangelistic" atheists I've encountered in awhile, quoting and referencing recent atheist writings the same way some throw Bible verses around. A fundy atheist, in other words.

But here's my question. Some of us obviously cannot get along on these explosive issues -- yet we, on each side, feel compelled to engage the other. I do, anyway.

Not to convince them that I'm right and they're wrong, but to keep them from tossing me and others out of the Church. We will not go at all, let alone peacefully. We think we were here first, and that history is on our side. Of course, they think they were here first. A real dilemma.

So, on and on we'll go -- until there is a real break, and I believe there will be, whether in my lifetime or not. The Reformation took a few hundred years, and it was terribly violent. This Second Reformation is only in about its 150th year, really.

And I don't say any of this lightly, either. The fundamentalists have some of the very same attributes that the prevailing church -- the Catholic Church -- had back then. Any challenge is seen as Satanic, any deviation from established fundamentalist-conservative evangelical norms is deemed as heresy, and while, thank God, no one has been burned at a stake yet, each side seems to gleefully pillory the other in the virtual-digital world.

So, in light of all this, what the heck does it mean to say they "will know us (Christians) by our love"? What does the "peace that passes all understanding" mean to you?

We are all witnesses, those of us who profess to follow Jesus. We are. It's not a matter of choice. I don't believe in "good" or "bad" witnesses anymore. We just are.

I suppose that some might be more effective than others -- but effective at what? "Soul winning"? The social Gospel? Both are legitimate aims, in my view, and neither is more important than the other -- although the idea that I, myself, am responsible for "winning souls" seems more ridiculous the older I get.

I'm responsible for owning up to my walk with God through Christ. And I do. Here and in the real world. And y'all know I don't hide my warts, not here, and not in the real world either. I think I'm responsible to be there, overtly, when others seek help, whether earthly or spiritual. And I try to be.

To pretend I don't have fudamental differences with fundamentalists would be dishonest. I do. I also think I am among those on the front lines of the Second Reformation, and I feel compelled to continue.

It's not for everybody. It's not supposed to be. I think to pretend otherwise would be a lie, and I'm not going to "play nice" out of fear that someone will look here and be repulsed from the Gospel and the faith of our fathers and mothers.

Because really, if they're looking at me, or at us, then they're not looking quite in the right direction yet. Believing that if one seeks the truth one will find it, and that the truth will set all of us free, my conscience, while tweaked once in awhile, is pretty much clear.

But what say y'all?


Wednesday, September 05, 2007


On the Bible

My friend and bloggy buddy Geoffrey does an excellent job of explaining his view of the Bible and how Christians should approach it, and I agree. I agree.

Amen and amen!



A moment for the late D. James Kennedy

Just a moment. May God bless his family and those who came to a relationship with God through Jesus Christ because of Kennedy's ministry.

A story about his passing.

I participated in Evangelism Explosion, his legacy, in the early 1980s, just out of high school, 25 years ago.

My "E.E." teacher was a rare charismatic Southern Baptist, a woman a little older than I am now, named Joni. I still have a note from her on a little sticky note, stuck to the back cover of what then was my main Bible. Yes, a Scofield. I now reject Scofield's dispensationalism as hooey. I could be wrong.

I never saw the world in the same way as Dr. Kennedy. I think the "Culture Wars" are bull. I did see then, and now, the gist of the Gospel the way he did, although I think, now, that getting hung up on the details detracts from the Mystery of the Cross.

The heart of Evangelism Explosion:

Do you know for sure that when you die you are going to go to be with God in heaven?

If God were to ask you, "Why should I let you into my heaven?" what would you say?

That's a great way to start a discussion and, for some, the beginning of a lifelong journey seeking a relationship with God.

Godspeed, brother.



Whoopi Goldberg has a point

Goldberg said dogfighting "isn't that unusual" in the Deep South "where he (Michael Vick) comes from. ... It's like cockfighting in Puerto Rico. There are certain things that are indicative to certain parts of the country."

Read all about it.

It's like cockfighting in Oklahoma, too.

And anything that "gobsmacks" PETA can't be bad.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Oprichnina and zemshchina, American style

Before he would return from self-exile following the Lithuanian army's victory over Russia in 1564, Tsar Ivan IV demanded the creation of a special zone in Russia: the oprichnina, for loyalists. Understandable. The defeat came at the hand of a traitor prince.

The church consented. Creation of the oprichnina effectively created the zemshchina for traitors. Russia functioned as a state within a state, as Ivan the Terrible led loyalists who he gave free rein over traitor boyars from about 1565 to 1572.

Oprichnina comprised about one-third of Russia, but not always in large swaths. In places, oprichnina and zemshchina varied street by street, building by building, house by house.

In the United States today are two main camps, which underlie almost everything else in public life:

There are those who see things in black-and-white, who appeal to authority they believe is unassailable, whether it be a fundamentalist belief that the Bible is the inherent, infallible, unquestionable "Word of God" -- a useful metaphor but an unholy weapon used to bludgeon opponents if taken literally -- or a strict-constructionist view of the Constitution. Right is right, might is might, and right is might.

And there are those who know that nothing on this mortal coil is as clear as black and white, whose appeal is to reason as well as faith, to honest doubt over false certainty, who are open to the Word of God found in Scripture but impatient with the conflation of that grand, holy notion with paper, glue and ink stitched together by mortal man inspired by his high hopes but informed by his low station vis-a-vis God Almighty, and who know that a Constitution trapped in an 18th-century philosophical lockbox is a toetag for the form of governent of our fathers, rather than the license to live in freedom that they meant it to be.

That's Red and Blue America. It was never really about political party alone. But we know it's not "red state" vs. "blue state" and it never was.

It's red church vs. blue church. Red house vs. blue house. On the highways, it's red car vs. blue car. It's red judge vs. blue judge. Red lawmaker vs. blue lawmaker. Red person vs. blue person.

If anything causes the presidential election to be postponed, President Bush will be in a position to remain in office, that is, to be recalled from constitutional exile.

In a state of emergency could Tsar Bush II insist on special zones for loyalists and traitors? Oprichnina and zemshchina, American style?

Could he lead loyalists against perceived traitors, those duped, it's often thought on the Right, by intellectuals as devious as the Lithuanians who turned Russian Prince Andrei Kurbsky's head in 1564?

The template is there, in 16th-century Russia.


Monday, September 03, 2007


Hittin' the (Chisholm) trail

Woo hoo! Dr. ER and I are headed to the Chisholn Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK! (Jesse Chisholm pictured). I've never been.

Totally fittin' for labor day. The trail cowboy was a common laborer. Read about the Chisholm Trail here and here.

My aim is to manage to come back by way of the Cherokee Trading Post and Truck Stop west of OKC for a buffalo steak supper.


Sunday, September 02, 2007


'When God Made Me'

I just love this song. It's a hymn, IMHO. I think the way the video was captured actually kind of adds to the humility expressed in the lyrics.

The Prayer of Confession today at church:

Lord of Life, we run the world as if our rules and God's rules are the same. We take advantage of our status, wealth and power, assuming that our privileges are sanctified. Teach is again to hear your Word in the words of Jesus, that our world might be turned upside down. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Scripture reading: Luke 14: 1, 7-14.

God first? Or Jesus first?

"When Frank Tupper's wife's cancer returned, the New Testament scholar admitted to a colleague, 'The first time in chemotherapy we had so much hope, but now there is so little hope, now we are suspended.' Almost as speaking to himself, he added, 'I would not believe in God if I did not believe in Jesus.' This startled his colleague, who responded, 'Yet most people would say that if it were not for God they would not believe in Jesus.' Tupper answered, 'Yes, and that is because they have not lived long enough in Mark's Gospel -- the desperation of Gethsamane and the desolation of the Cross.' " -- Frank Tupper, A Scandalous Providence, Mercer University Press, in the Sept. 4 issue of The Christian Century, p. 6.

Which is it for you, and why? As for myself, I think, like Frank Tupper, that I would not believe in God if I did not believe in Jesus. And here, I don't mean intellectual assent to assertions of God's existence. I mean believe as in "trust."

I think my atttitude has to do with the fact that I was a little bitty ER when I first heard the Gospel and responded to it. Kids love Jesus because Jesus loves all the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight -- Jesus loves all the little children of the world.

God is "out there." And thanks to Michelangelo, God seems very cross. I respond to the other kind of Cross.

Jesus is accessible. The Resurrection means he is right here, right now, enabling us to empty ourselves, as he did. Or at least to want to, and to try to. That's the main point of the whole thing, isn't it?


Saturday, September 01, 2007


I've' got spirit, yes I do, I've got spirit -- how 'bout you?

Go Cowboys!

Go Bronchos!


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