Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Neuter the Geldings

A couple years ago, I heard a fellow at Iron Sharpens Iron talk about how we "neuter the geldings, then tell them to go forth and multiply."  It was a great quote and a good message, but I can't recall who the guy was.  As I searched for the quote on Google, this popped up:  Though I can't agree with all of it, a lot of it is dead on.  In the name of equality, we've been killing off real men. Oh, we've still got lots of adult males; but where are the real men?  We've sacrificed them on the altar of equality.  The melding of gender identity is killing us.
Before going any further, let me firmly say that I have no problem with successful women, I've worked for a few over over the years.  Two of them did well; one was pretty bad.  The ratio is about the same for the men I've worked for, so there's nothing to be drawn.  The good women bosses I've had were women first--real women!  They were wives, mothers, etc-- and bosses second.   They had nothing to prove, and were  good at what they did.  The one who had something to prove was so intent on making a point that she never was much of a boss.  (I have to qualify this--I currently work for one of the good ones.)
But I digress--back to the topic of men.  Our culture has ever so so steadily reduced the value of manhood.  All too often the strong ones are usually shown in a bad light, they're evil in some way or incredibly stupid.  There always has to be a woman to keep them in line.
 The other all too common image of a man today is one who is perfectly dressed, perfect in form, has no callouses, nothing rough or tough about him.  He's without strength, without character. He might not be a total wimp; but he's rapidly on the road to it.  He also seems to need a woman to keep him in line, or at least straighten him out when he messes up.  In either case, a man is never capable of properly  raising a child without a woman's help.  
Happily for me, I've had some good role models.  Men who knew what it was like to sweat--not just at a gym; men who could think for themselves, knew what was right and kept their word--even when it was costly to them...the real stand-up guys we could learn something from. Some of them even reared kids successfully without a woman around.  There are still such men around, but they're getting scarce.  Young men would do well to search out such men.
Our culture is suffering for lack of real men--and real women--those truly understand what manhood and womanhood are all about.  Don't be misled by what the media tosses at us as men and women.  The images are skewed at best, outright lies at worst.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Grammar Nazi

The Grammar Nazi in me came to a quick "ach tung" or however it's spelled, when I saw the ad pop up for a "Track Meat."  It disappeared as quickly as it showed up so I had to hunt it down.
Much to my surprise I found something that really intrigued me:   It's a run in which the competitors are both the hunted and the hunters.  I can't agree with the entire premise, but at least it's a race with real stakes--or is that steaks?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Government efficiency...sometimes

As much as I gripe about the way government reaches into our lives, and wallets, I must admit that they sometimes get things right.
I just used a government website to register for not one but two things I had to have in order to conduct our small business and do it entirely legally.  In spite of my dread, I found it rather workable and was completed with the process in about 40 minutes.  Not bad altogether.
The only problem is, once you're in the system, they've got an excessive amount of control over you.  That's not good thing.  There is just no way to conduct business and attempt to comply with the myriad of laws without getting aboard their system.
I guess efficiency leads to infiltrating our there's a surprise.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

More sermon notes

I dropped a bit of bait into my message this morning, wondering how many, if any, would take it and run with it.  It was a reference to an obscure and rather difficult Old Testament verse.  I gave the reference, suggested that the folks make a note of it and look it up at their leisure.  
Much to my pleasant surprise one of the men took up the challenge and sent me a very thoughtful and pointed email about it.  That, of course was the response I wanted--hunger to check out the whole counsel of God's Word.  I was only too happy to address the question for him in a manner that was, I hope, satisfactory to him and accurate to the Word.  
Now to think of the next bait.  

Something actually relating to ammo--sort of...

A good friend of mine has a multifaceted business that, among other things, offers training to security guards.   As a firearms instructor, I've helped him out with many of the programs dealing with armed security.  It's amazing how many people, after having been told what to bring, pay the money for the course and still show up without the right equipment.  As he started to plan out the summer program, he asked me to write a short article for his website dealing with equipment for the beginning armed guard.  I figured I'd post it here, too.

So, you're going to be an armed security guard, huh? Are you ready...I mean really ready?

The first thing you need is a handgun. If you're going already working for an agency and they have a policy, that might determine your choice of what to get, but if not you have to make that choice yourself. Will it be a pistol or revolver? What brand? What caliber? The next question is “Will it fit my hand?” More than one student has had issues with handgun fit and a bad fit might cause an inability to complete the class. Next comes holster, belt and ammo carrier choice. Once again, this choice may be taken away from you or limited by an employer and you'll have to work around that.

For the purpose of this essay, we'll figure that you're going to be using a 9MM auto pistol, you're right handed and will be attired in a formal uniform of some type, using a duty belt. All the equipment choices will be up to you.

To build a solid foundation for the duty belt your pants and trouser belt must fit properly. That means they must be snug. If they're too tight you'll never be comfortable and that will be a problem; if too loose, nothing will be right and your pants will be getting dragged down, pulling out your shirt all day long—trust me, I know. I'd suggest a trouser belt that is at least 1½ inches wide. The choice is yours as to leather or synthetic, but buy a belt that's meant for duty, not a department store variety that has no substance to it.

Your duty belt should also be a quality product. They're available from many sources and range from inexpensive to high-cost. It must have a degree of rigidity and be able to support all the equipment you'll be carrying. Get four good keepers—actually, buy a bunch because you'll lose a few over a short time.

Next comes the holster. Single most important feature is that you must not be able to get your finger inside the trigger guard while the pistol is in the holster. Closely related to that is the magazine release. You need to be able to hit the magazine release while the pistol is in the holster. That's necessary for safe unloading. Holsters are available in all levels of security. There should be at least one thing other than friction holding the pistol in. It might be a security level 1, 2 or 3 holster; but whatever you chose, you must be able to master the manipulation of the safety measures. Depending on the direction of the break of the holster, you may need to have it slightly forward or slightly rearward of your hip.

Following that comes the magazine carrier. In a uniform, you should carry 2 spare magazines. Be sure that they fit your pistol. Some of the one size fits all are pretty good; others, not so good so try them. I'd suggest getting a design that can be worn either vertically or horizontally so you can try both ways and see which works better for you. The carrier can be worn either gun side or opposite, but in a way so that you can quickly access your spare magazines.

When you put the duty belt on, it should be snug to the trouser belt which, as already noted, should be snug around your waist. One keeper should be directly in front of the holster, one directly behind it. One should be on the the opposite side forward of the hip and one to the rear of the hip. These can be moved around depending on what other equipment you will be carrying on the belt.

If you are forced by policy or economics to go with a revolver—which is not really a problem, the trigger finger issue still applies to the holster. For ammo carriers, I recommend two or three speed loaders of a type that you can easily master. Along with them would be appropriate carriers for them which will be all worn in a vertical manner, generally on the same side as the revolver, though it's a matter of preference and training; both work.
Those are the basics, there's much more to learn; but if you're coming to an armed security guard training course, come prepared. It will allow us as instructors to make you successful more quickly and more safely than if you come with improper in inadequate equipment.

Sermon notes

Last week I began filling the pulpit of a church that is now without a pastor.  I'll have the opportunity to preach there several times over the next few months.
In the first message, I worked from 2 Tim. 2, beginning with Paul's charge to Timothy in v.2: "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others," and moving on to the well known verse v. 15:  "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."
The message title was the Solae, the Self and the Savior.
The Solae (Latin for alone) are the five items of the faith that are crucial to the Reformation.  Scripture alone, faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone and glory to God alone.  On these 5 points all the reformers agreed, with faith (sola fide) being considered the central point of the Reformation.
As for Self, it's a matter of personal faith; no one else can have that faith for us.
Looking at the Savior is a reminder that we must look at God as who he is, with the attributes that Scripture tells us.  We cannot make up a God to fit our ideas, desires and perceived needs.
I framed this in the context of their church going into the process of finding a new pastor.  They need first of all to be sure that then next man--yes, I believe it needs to be a man--should have his personal doctrine in order. Certainly there will be points about which they can disagree; but his faith must be within the realm of orthodoxy and firmly held.  They must examine him, check his personal doctrine and look over the statement of faith from whatever school he attended.  It is the responsibility of the leadership of that church to assure that the doctrine Paul entrusted to Timothy--though largely lost for about a thousand years and recovered in the Reformation--be taught in their church.

This morning I preached this morning from Romans 1: 16-end.  It's a long passage and certainly cannot be dealt with completely in one message--probably can't have justice done to it in much less than 6 months, actually--but I gave a teaser for the congregation hoping it would stimulate a few to deeper study and give the better schooled a different view on things they probably had seen before.
The message title was Wrath, Reason and Respectable Sin.  Random thought pulled from the lesson:
God is entitled to His Divine wrath.  He's give us ample opportunities to learn from the events of the past, yet we continue to do that which displeases Him.
We engage in both debasing sins and respectable sins.  We seem to have a hierarchy on that; but for God, all have sinned and fall short of His glory.
Churches have failed to deal with the tough issues of the day.  Paul dealt with the tough issues of first century Rome in that letter, so the Church of today should not shy away from dealing with the same things--nothing has really changed.
The book of Romans is multi-cultural! It was written to a mixed bag of converted Jews, Romans, Greeks and anyone else who had come to the truth of Christ.
These last two points make us better understand that the Bible is a timeless document.  As The Teacher from the book of Ecclesiastes says: "There is nothing new under the Sun."  This, of course is contrary to the like of Piers Morgan who thinks that the Bible needs to be updated.
Another piece of the text speaks of redemption; and that was also included in the message; but adding it to the titled wrecked the flow of the words :-)
Beginning in this lesson, and moving on from here, I am also including an overview of the five points of Calvinism--TULIP.  This week I included the Total depravity of man.


As I looked over my facebook wall this morning--even making a quick, humorous (I hope) post--I was reminded of one of the reasons I've been staying away from it.  It's mostly drivel (synonyms: nonsense, slobber, slaver, piffle), in short, it's worthless.  After looking through it, there is some that's fun to read, some that's newsy, and some downright wonderful; but all too much of it is drivel.  I'll not waste my time on it anymore and likely will be hiding many of the sources, keeping them off my wall.
Php 4:8 tells us: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such things."  Yeah...I'll not waste my time on the drivel.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thoughts after coffee

I had coffee with a pastor friend this morning.  We try to get together a couple times a month, though it doesn't happen often.  I mentioned my premise concerning many of the ills of "the church" are the churches own fault.  Churches are empty!  I couldn't get my friend to argue with a single point I made.  Many churches have closed their doors or merged with other congregations and even now struggle.  I suspect that there are many issues and here are some of them:
Diluted doctrine   Many churches don't hold fast to the truths of Scripture.  Over the years the concepts of sin, Hell, righteousness, Biblical authority--all the historic teachings which were handed down from Christ to the apostles--have been lost and replaced by "nice" things.  People want to be affirmed, built up, told that they're OK; they don't want to be told that they're sinners and that sin will be addressed!  A steady diet of that preaching and (lack of) teaching makes folks lose interest and walk away.
Preachers who don't believe their own message  I've read studies in which pastors have (anonymously, of course) admitted to not believing what they preach, but continue on in fear of losing their jobs--I'll not glorify them and say ministries--if their congregations discovered the truth.  Focus on the wrong things Among churches that still do teach the truth, there is often a trend toward teaching how a Christian should behave, not concentrating on what he should believe. Right believing is the key to right behaving; the reverse is not the case. Some such churches indeed preach and teach the Gospel; but their attitude toward any who behave differently drive folks away.
Lack of godly male leadership   Here's a landmine waiting for me to step on; but I'll just point to reality.  Examine the growing, dynamic churches in the nation--and around the world.  They're lead by men.  The women have a strong role, the men need them there and of that there is no doubt; however look at the proof in the churches. 
Lack of reality   All too many Christians just are not real.  They might talk the talk; but they don't walk the walk.  That's not attractive!  There's a struggling world out there and its members are looking for reality!  They are looking for real men, real women, real families....  They are not looking for platitudes and lip service.  They're looking for Christians and churches to step up to the plate and be honest, about who and what they are, what they believe and show how they deal with life.  That will also solve the perceived problem of the church not being relevant in today's culture. 

From the Sage of the South

The following is taken from the facebook writings of one of my favorite sages, my brother in law, Rev. Dr. Cary Worthington:

Guess who's cheering Obama's Gun Grab?

It should come as no surprise that the Communist Party USA is on board with President Obama’s plan to attack Americans’ right to keep and bear arms as a means to “end gun violence.” A cardinal feature of communist regimes, like all dictatorships, is the prohibition of private ownership of arms, creating a monopoly of force in the hands of the State.

In a January 18 article, People’s World, an official publication of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), declared that “the ability to live free from the fear or threat of gun violence is a fundamental democratic right — one that far supercedes any so-called personal gun rights allegedly contained in the Second Amendment.”

The article, entitled, “Fight to end gun violence is key to defending democracy,” written by People’s World labor and politics reporter Rick Nagin, claims that “the right-wing extremists opposing all efforts to curb gun violence are the same forces that rallied behind Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, hoping to undermine every other democratic right as well as the living standards of workers and ordinary Americans.”

“It is for that reason,” declares Nagin, “as well as the need to protect public safety, that the same coalition of labor and its allies that worked so hard and effectively to re-elect President Barack Obama must now go all-out to back his common sense proposals for gun law reform.”

The Communist Party’s “journalist” continued:

As Obama has charged, the extremists recklessly "gin up fear" that the government is coming to take away hunting rifles and personal weapons owned for legitimate self-defense. Led by the hate-mongering leadership of the National Rifle Association, they use a totally fraudulent and only very recent interpretation of the Second Amendment which they falsely claim as necessary for protecting every other freedom contained in the Bill of Rights.

However, gun rights advocates don’t need to “gin up fear” that President Obama’s “common sense” proposals will lead to even more onerous infringements than the current calls to ban or restrict so-called “assault weapons”; the gun control zealots have been quite emphatic about intending to severely restrict (and many have called for a total ban on) all privately owned firearms. A December 21 article for the Daily Kos is one of the candid admissions against interest by the Left that the real end goal is a total monopoly of gun ownership by the government. Entitled, “How to Ban Guns: A step by step, long term process,” the regular Daily Kos writer “Sporks” says:

The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence.

The writer then outlines the piecemeal plan by which the federal government can begin with registration and end up with confiscation. The Daily Kos article also cites the need to delegitimize hunting as well. “We should also segway [sic] into an anti-hunting campaign, like those in the UK,” it says. “By making hunting expensive and unpopular, we can make the transition to a gun free society much less of a headache for us.”

Nagin surely must know that it is not merely groundless paranoia exploited by “extremists” inspiring fear that President Obama’s multi-part gun control plan is but the opening wedge in a new drive for ever-expanding federal restrictions and infringements of the Second Amendment. And Nagin surely is aware that his comrades ruling China, Cuba, North Korea, Russia, and other communist countries have never stopped at partial restrictions on private ownership of weapons.

As The New American reported recently, Communist China's ruling mandarins, sounding very much like our own media commentators, have blasted the United States for our “rampant gun ownership.” A Chinese government report last year detailing alleged human rights violations in the United States declares:

The United States prioritizes the right to keep and bear arms over the protection of citizens' lives and personal security and exercises lax firearm possession control, causing rampant gun ownership.

More recently, on December 14, 2012, the Beijing regime’s Xinhua news agency editorialized:

Twenty-eight innocent people, including 20 primary students, have been slaughtered in a mass shooting at an elementary school in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Their blood and tears demand no delay for the U.S. gun control.

“Action speaks louder than words,” concluded the Xinhua editorial. “If Obama wants to take practical measures to control guns, he has to make preparation for a protracted war and considerable political cost.”

Communist China, of course, is no paragon of virtue when it comes to liberty, safety, and human rights. Its total ban on private ownership of guns under Mao Tse-tung (Zedong) guaranteed that the Communist Party would have unchallenged power. And, as Professor R. J. Rummel has pointed out in his several published studies on democide (mass murder by governments): Power kills and absolute power kills absolutely. In the case of Communist China, the mass murder by the communist government under Mao was somewhere in the neighborhood of 38 million souls!

And China remains a rigidly controlled police state to this day, notwithstanding the limited market reforms that the Party has allowed for pragmatic purposes to obtain the capital and technology it needs to modernize. Only Party officials and the police and military (who must be members of, and be vetted by, the Communist Party) are allowed to possess weapons.

Mao’s comrades in Russia, Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin, likewise disarmed the civilian population before initiating mass murder. As did Adolf Hitler and every other “successful” mass-murdering tyrant throughout history. Vladimir Gladkov, a radio propagandist on Vladimir Putin’s "Voice of Russia" program, expressed disappointment on December 20 that the Sandy Hook mass shooting probably would not generate the support President Obama needs to implement his desired gun controls. “Unfortunately, there are grounds for very serious doubt that even after this terrible massacre, a ban on selling weapons will be introduced in the US,” said Gladkov.

Again, considering that rigid, absolute, centralized power is the essence of all totalitarian regimes, those regimes must, therefore, automatically strike down all checks and balances that would limit their central authority. It is not surprising that spokesmen for these totalitarian governments would endorse policies that give the government a monopoly on deadly force.

The American Founding Fathers, on the other hand, recognized that the armed private citizen is the ultimate check and balance against the centralized monopoly of force which invariably turns tyrannical and deadly. Nagin and People’s World, not surprisingly, side with communist tyrants and deride American commitment to our natural rights enshrined in our Constitution.

“The Second Amendment is obsolete and now has been twisted to threaten the basic safety and security of all Americans,” says Nagin. Nagin, according to the profile provided on Keywiki by Trevor Loudon, has been a member of the CPUSA for several decades and a writer for the People’s World and other communist publications since 1970. He is a member of the Newspaper Guild and the Communications Workers of America as well as a political coordinator for the AFL-CIO in Ohio. In 2012 he was the Democratic Leader in Cleveland Ward 14 and served on the County Democratic Party Executive Committee.

We recognize the totalitarian ideology and objectives of Nagin and other communist propagandists when they advocate disarming of civilians and a total monopoly of force in government. Many of the other people advocating the same gun control policies may not have those totalitarian objectives in mind — but by their support of these policies they would lead us down the same deadly path nonetheless. -- Wm. F. Jasper-- Strive for FREEDOM!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Stolen from a newsletter I got this morning:


Complaining is toxic. It contaminates both the complainer and everyone within earshot. Sometimes we think we're helping by complaining. We maintain, 'If somebody doesn't say something, nothing's ever going to change!' - as though positive change can come from negative words. We imagine we've contributed something worthwhile by our complaint. But complaining is what we do to avoid facing, dealing with and solving the problem. It's what we do instead of contributing to constructive change, and it makes us part of the problem instead of the solution. The more you complain the more problem-focused you become, and the more problem-focused you become the more you complain. Ultimately, your complaining affects you more than anyone else. The Psalmist said, '...I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed...' (Psalm 77:3 NKJV).
If no one else pays attention to your words, you do. Before you say them you think them: '...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks' (Matthew 12:34 NKJV).
And when you say them, you hear them and believe them just as you would the words of a trusted authority. Every time you repeat them you reinforce their power over you until eventually you make yourself the victim of your own complaints! Your spirit (attitude) will be overwhelmed, not by the problems and difficulties people bring to you, but as the self-inflicted product of your own complaints. So, 'Do all things without complaining... that you may become blameless and harmless... without fault in... a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world' (Philippians 2:14-15 NKJV).
… seen in The Word for Today

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


So, help him, God

Driving to work today, I got thinking over the tradition of our polititians being sworn in.  Generally, it's done with one hand raised, the other on a Bible, and the oath ends with "so help me God."
My prayerful thought for today is this: If that's what they ask for--those who often have little concept of God, His power and other attributes--then let's join them.  Let's pray that God does indeed help them rightly administer the duties of their respective offices. 
The Bible tells us to pray for those in authority; so, help them God, please!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

John Knox

Last week I read Tempest Over Scotland by Norman E. Nygaard.  It recounts the years of John Knox's preaching after his arrest and time rowing a French galley back and forth in the Med.   He was a powerful preacher, and a major force in the direction that the Nation of Scotland was going at the time.  It's widely believed that Mary, Queen of Scots said she feared his prayers more than all the armies of Europe.
That's interesting, one very astute and well-connected monarch feared the prayers of one preacher, just one man.  I suspect that she understood that his prayers were earnest, directed to the one true and mighty God.  
The times of John Knox and Mary Queen of Scots was a turbulent one, with a war of ideologies that would ultimately decide the direction of the nation.  His prayers prevailed. 
We are now engaged in a war of ideologies here in the US.  Pray!  Let our prayers be feared by those of the other mindset.   

Monday, January 21, 2013

Well, I'm back.

I have not made a post here in quite some time--over three years, actually.  Somewhere along the line, all the good things I had planned to write about got sidetracked or maybe posted in quick facebook posts and all the hopes I had for this went away.
Now, frustrated by the seemingly endless amount of time I've poured into facebook, I've stopped doing anything but catching my messages and have determined to put some writing of substance here.  I've become overwhelmed by the number of things I've felt obligated to put effort into; attempting to compose thoughtful responses to the posts of others, trying to put some order into the chaos of politics in recent weeks.  I may have been successful, I may not have been; but it's been a tremendous amount of effort with possibly no lasting result.
I've also been convicted--not criminally, but spiritually--on an issue that relates to this.  As I've been preparing a series of sermons, one that deals with idolatry has been jabbing at me.  Yes, the preacher has been preaching at himself.  Anything we place--I place--between self and God is an idol.  I was devoting so much mental and emotional energy in the gun control issue that I was letting my personal spiritual life slip.  Yeah, that's right, I was falling into my own form of idolatry.  Bailing our of my daily facebook activities, even for the few days I've been off, has help me much on that.  I need to continue with better disciple.
I also had desire to post far more thoughtful things.  I love the quick quips and snappy comebacks that some facebook treads allow--but they can occupy far too much time.  There is little real thought to it.
So, here we go again.  From this point out, more time will be spent here, more thought, more spiritual content as the battle is not one of politics; but of Godly values versus whim of mankind.  That will be largely the direction this blog will take.
I will also probably copy out and post some of the devotionals I have posted on our church's website (, and  likely copy and share the wise words of my brother in law, the Rev. Dr. Cary Worthington, when he posts on facebook.  
This is a work in progress, so please be patient with me as I get back into it.  Hopefully, I'll have the discipline to keep it going.