June 30, 2005

Something About That Name

You can pray all you want to before the city council meetings in Great Falls, SC. -- just don't mention Jesus.

"This sends a message that this behavior is unacceptable," said Darla Wynne, whose 2001 lawsuit started the legal battle. Wynne practices Wicca, a nature-based religion based on ancient Western European and pre-Christian beliefs.

She said her victory made her feel a sense of accomplishment for the "little guy." Wynne was opposed by some religious leaders and the state's attorney general during her legal fight.

The town's lawyer, Michael Hemlepp, said he will advise Great Falls officials to "obey the law."

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June 29, 2005

Live Free or Die!

{Tip o' the hat to James at the PCCBoard Forums.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."

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June 27, 2005

Blogroll Cruise -- 6/27/2005

This installment, I'm cruising through the SBC Bloggers roll. If you want to keep track of these blogs on your own (which I recommend) head over here and bookmark it.
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June 26, 2005

Critical Christians

Much has been said in the past few days about criticizing our fellow believers. Should we or shouldn't we?

Most of the commentors responding to my Joel Osteen posts have said NO. "Judge not," they say, "lest ye be judged." And that is good advice. We shouldn't be quick to condemn people. And that's why I posted concerning Osteen's apology as soon as I read it on his site. If I was only interested in condemning someone, I'd have never done that, nor would I have recognized the spirit in which the apology was given. Osteen is truely sorry. He doesn't try to blame anyone else for what happened (which his defenders were quick to do). He admits that he wasn't clear, he reaffirmed what he and his church believe, and he promised to do better in the future. I am praying that God will strengthen him, and give him the opportunity to do just that.

But were we wrong to criticize him? Was it wrong to call the problem to his attention? And what about "Judge not?" more...

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Osteen Apologizes

Many of you have called, written or e-mailed regarding my recent appearance on Larry King Live. I appreciate your comments and value your words of correction and encouragement.

It was never my desire or intention to leave any doubt as to what I believe and Whom I serve. I believe with all my heart that it is only through Christ that we have hope in eternal life. I regret and sincerely apologize that I was unclear on the very thing in which I have dedicated my life.

Jesus declared in John 14; I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me. I believe that Jesus Christ alone is the only way to salvation. However, it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to review the transcript of the interview that I realize I had not clearly stated that having a personal relationship with Jesus is the only way to heaven. It’s about the individual’s choice to follow Him.

God has given me a platform to present the Gospel to a very diverse audience. In my desire not to alienate the people that Jesus came to save, I did not clearly communicate the convictions that I hold so precious.

I will use this as a learning experience and believe that God will ultimately use it for my good and His glory. I am comforted by the fact that He sees my heart and knows my intentions. I am so thankful that I have friends, like you, who are willing to share their concerns with me.

Thank you again to those who have written. I hope that you accept my deepest apology and see it in your heart to extend to me grace and forgiveness.

As always, I covet your prayers and I am believing for God’s best in your life,

Joel Osteen

from website. more...

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June 25, 2005

Study of Mark: Mark 8:1-10

In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, "I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away." And his disciples answered him, "How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?" And he asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven." And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
(Mark 8:1-10 ESV)

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Christian Carnival

The next Christian Carnival is going to be held at ChristWeb. If you want to be a part of it (and who doesn't?) email your entry to ChristianCarnival AT Gmail DOT com. You should include:


  • The name of your blog and a link to your main site. (Adding the name with a hyperlink would be a nice courtesy to the host.)
  • The title of your post and the URL of the post. (Again, adding the title with a hyperlink would be helpful.)
  • If you want a trackback, include a trackback link. (Tracking back is optional. Some hosts may oblige you, others may not have the time or ability.)
  • Include a short (one or two sentence) description of the post. Your description may be edited by the host, but is often used just as it is.

Matt Jones has done us all a great service in setting up a Christian Carnival Archives page. Head over there and take a look, and read some of the posts from days gone by.

My first carnival was #12. I plan on being in this one, and being more active in the future (I was in every one for a long time, then I got lazy). If you want people to read your stuff, you need to be a part of this carnival.

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June 23, 2005

We Are Resolved ...

... to do pretty much what we have been doing all along.

Everyone was so up in arms about the Public Schools Resolution (tm) -- including me, yes I admit it. And THIS is what we finally resolved to do (I'm skipping the whereas stuff -- if you want to read all that, go here and read the whole thing yourself): more...

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Flag Burning: Desecration?

I posed this question over at the PCCBoard forums, but I wanted to ask it of all of you, my faithful readers (reader? Anyone?):

Why do we call it flag desecration? What is sacred about the flag? Or should I say the Flag?

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June 22, 2005

WOW -- Good PR!!!

Three SBC bloggers (two of whom are already in the Aggregator -- guess I need to email Marty Duren!) were featured in a story about live blogging at the SBC. Steve DeVane at the North Carolina Baptists' paper The Biblical Recorder interviewed Steve McCoy, Joe Thorn, and Marty briefly at the beginning of his story about blog coverage of the Convention.

Congrats, guys!!

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June 21, 2005

Streaming the SBC

The Southern Baptist Convention is holding it's annual meeting today and tomorrow in Nashville. You can watch the proceedings by clicking here and following the directions to start streaming.

Pastors Conference is actually the best part -- once you are streaming the convention, click on the 'Video Archives' link (right of the screen) and you can see archival footage of the Pastors Conference. It's worth it.

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Joel Osteen

I've been in debates elsewhere about Osteen, and his ministry. There are a lot of people who value his ministry, and look at the success that he's experienced as a blessing from God that we shouldn't question.

Osteen was on Larry King last night -- the transcript is here. He certainly made it clear what he believes.


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June 20, 2005

Idiot Scammers

There is a PayPal scam circulating right now, and I just got an email from the scammers.

Probelm: The idiots didn't realize that my gmail address is NOT the one I use for PayPal. The warning came to the viewfromthepew Gmail address, because that's the one that is on the page near my PayPal button.

One thing I like about Gmail -- the links in the email that I got were disabled, and there was a warning because of the header information in the email. It didn't matter in my case, because I knew that the message was a scam, but it could save someone else who may not know about the scams.

So be alert for a PayPal scam, coming soon to an inbox near you. Maybe they got YOUR email right.

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The REASON For The Public School "Crisis"

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists historically have been strong supporters of public education, and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have been deeply committed to the right of all children to achieve their God-given potential, and

WHEREAS, The American public school system is now facing its most serious crisis in history, due to the complex issues of communicating moral values, financing, family breakdown, discipline, the "back to basics movement," racial desegregation, and church-state problems, and

WHEREAS, Many Baptists occupy administrative and teaching positions in the public school system,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That Southern Baptists be urged to pray regularly for those teachers and administrators who work faithfully in the public school system, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That while recognizing the validity of the ministry of church-related private schools, Southern Baptists be urged to become more involved in shaping and supporting public schools, participating responsibly wherever possible in the local school and in the decision-making bodies which determine the course of public education, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we hereby commit ourselves to help achieve quality education for every child in this nation.

That was a Southern Baptist resoultion in 1971. The emphasis I've added shows where the problem is.

We didn't do it. And now it's a mess, and we want to run away from it.

Parents, educate your kids in the manner you see fit. But Christians, involve yourselves in the schools in your area.

We resolved to do this over 30 years ago. We failed. Let's not fail again.

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My "Exit Strategy"

When I was a kid, some of my friends were Roman Catholic. Every week, they would go to their church for what they called "CCD" classes. These have nothing at all to do with camcorders; this was back in the early 70s. CCD stands for Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes. The purpose was to give them instruction in their faith.

The Catholic church didn't expect the public schools to do it for them: they did it themselves. Public education has almost always been hostile to those of the Catholic faith here in the US. My friends went to school with me -- church run schools weren't heard of much then (at least to my recollection; I was elementary-school age when we lived there, but all the kids I knew went to the public schools).
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June 19, 2005

Mark Study: Mark 7:31-37

Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."
(Mark 7:31-37 ESV)
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June 18, 2005

Sorry to Disappoint ...

This may or may not turn into a regular thing -- I don't get the odd Google hits that Scott at The Crusty Curmudgeon does, but I really found this one odd -- and I'm the #1 result!

Korn I have a gilded wife

I'm guessing they were looking for song lyrics or something. Tip for Googlers -- quotation marks are your friends!!!

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I've been tagged!!

I guess I had to get hit with this one sooner or later: The Literary Meme has arrived!!
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June 17, 2005

New SBC Aggregator Site

It's not even close to being finished, but you can get the basic idea of it here. Let me know what you think, and any suggestions that you have. My HTML is decent, but my CSS needs improvement.

Eventually, each blog in the aggregator will have its own "block." Once I get the design done, it will be pretty simple to add blogs -- just add another div tag or two, and BOOM -- there they are!

{UPDATE}: I will be changing the site URL probably tomorrow. I'm not happy with the banner ads that Bravenet is putting on the page.

{LATEST UPDATE}: The new URL is http://sbcbloggers.witnesstoday.org/ Christian hosting folks that operate as a ministry. I'm still doing some tweaking, but that's where it's going to be for the forseeable future.

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June 16, 2005

New Project and News

I'm working on a new website project. I'm going to improve the look and functionality of the SBC Bloggers aggregator that I set up some time ago.

I found a great tool -- RSS Digest -- that helps newbies like me to insert RSS feeds into a site, pretty much anywhere we want. I'm envisioning a newspaper look for the aggregator. The 5 most recent articles posted by aggregator members will be at the top, and each member blog will have a section that shows the five most recent headlines for each blog. I'm still in the early development stages, but as work progresses, I will update everyone.

I also wanted to remind everyone to check out Blogcritics periodically. I have a post there about Pac Man's 25th birthday, as well as some book reviews. If you just want to look at my stuff, you can go here.

AND -- more of the old archives have been moved over. It's a bit tedious,but I'm getting everything set up here. I'll keep the old site up for a while, just because I still have links to old posts that go back there, and I'm still getting hits there (search engine hits, mainly). Eventually, though, it will go away.

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