Musings of a Recovering Lutheran: 2012
O LORD, God of my salvation,
         I have cried out day and night before You.
Let my prayer come before You;
         Incline Your ear to my cry. 

Psalm 88:1-2 (NKJV)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Today's verse

Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:16,18-19 (KJV)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Update on Asia Bibi



Our sister in Christ, Asia Bibi, has just spent her fourth Christmas in prison.

The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

Today's verse

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

Psalm 24:7 (KJV)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Today's verse

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Proverbs 8:13 (KJV)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Reading list

The Fortune of War, by Patrick O'Brian.

Today's verse

For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Psalm 84:10 (KJV)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Today's verse

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Isaiah 6:1-8 (KJV)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Boxing Day!

This holiday (celebrated in many parts of the world) has its origins in Britain of the 1800s, during the time of Queen Victoria. From the above link:
Boxing Day got its name when Queen Victoria was on the throne in the 1800s, when the rich used to box up gifts to give to the poor.

Churches also played a part in the creation of Boxing Day. Through the year they would take money from churchgoers in the form of a collection, and hand it out at Christmas.

Many of them stored the collection money in a box, which they opened on Christmas Day. The money was then handed out to the poor the next day, on Boxing Day.

Now those boxes aren't as popular. However some people leave out extra money for people like binmen or milkmen in the weeks before Christmas, and call it a Christmas box.

There is something to be said for doing something about the poor and needy yourself. In modern Western countries charity has mostly been turned over to the government. From the New Deal to the Great Society Americans nave been content to let government take the lead on halping the less fortunate.

Not surprisingly, the results have been disastrous. In the midst of what the media describes as a "growing" economy, more than 43 million people now receive food stamps - a 14.2% increase over last year. Not surprisingly, the percentage of workers participating in the labor force declined to 63.6% in November - a level not seen since the early 1980s, or almost a third of a century. If the secular media considers this a recovery, I would sure hate to see what they think constitutes a recession! The record deficits that the US has run over the last four years do not seemed to have helped much.

Perhaps the worst aspect of this whole mess is the fact that the so-called War on Poverty has been the creation of a massive (and hideously expensive) bureaucracy to fight this war. By any rational measure we have decisively lost the War on Poverty, yet much of the media and the academic community wants to spend even more money on this quagmire.

It is a sad fact that many Christians helped to start this War on Poverty, and still insist on fighting it even though the human cost of this failure has been enormous. They also believe that lobbying government officials for more taxpayer money for this-or-that pork barrel project is an acceptable substitute for rolling up their sleeves and actually helping the poor.

This Boxing Day, I urge Christians to lay aside the notion that charity can be outsourced to someone else.

Today's verse

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.

Jeremiah 23:5-6 (KJV)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Update on Asia Bibi



Our sister in Christ, Asia Bibi, remains unjustly imprisoned this Christmas day.

The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

Today's verse

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, and thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Matthew 2:1-12 (KJV)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Hot weather...

... and even hotter rhetoric. Richard Parncutt, a Professor at the University of Graz, Austria, is calling for the death penalty for skeptics of global warming.

Let's leave aside the fact that threatening to slaughter your opponents is not a sign of confidence in your argument. Let's also leave aside the fact that Parncutt is a Professor of Systematic Musicology (whatever that is), and can in no way be considered an expert in climate. Professor Parncutt's proposal for witch hunts and kangaroo courts to seek out and destroy "deniers" is scientism in its rawest form.

Scientism is the belief that science alone can explain every phenomenon, and that the scientific method is the only rational method for solving problems. To some, that has been expanded to the belief that science is a god. Not surprisingly, trouble will always follow.

When political goals become the most important, and religion is harnessed to achieve those goals, the result is a religion that bears no real resemblance to what its followers profess to believe. Most Christians look back with shame and embarrassment at many of the political antics of the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. For the same reason science, if it is used to further political goals, can cease to be science. Much of the public debate (if it can be called that) about global warming has a definite intolerant religious fervor to it.

Prior to starting this blog, I used to argue with people on other websites about issues such as evolution and homosexuality. In the process I learned three important things. The first was that the less someone knew about science, the more likely they were to bring up "scientific consensus" as a way to invoke cloture on debates they would rather not have. The second was to never respond to anyone who thinks the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, or the network news programs are reliable sources of scientific and technical information.

And the third? One of the reasons I blog anonymously is because of the "behead the anti-science infidel!" attitude of some of the folks I encountered. Rather than disprove what I said about homosexuality, evolution, or whatever, I found myself accused of all sorts of crimes against humanity. Much of what passes for debate on the Internet - and much of the media, for that matter - is not debate so much as an Inquisition in which those who do not hold the same views as secular progressives are criminals to be prosecuted. Professor Parncutt has a definite Grand Inquisitor attitude about him.

An atheist chaplain?

One wonders ... what sort of liturgy this chaplain teaches:
We don't believe in god

(Except maybe Charles Darwin)

We are all just a big accident

We came from nothing produced by nothing destined to end in nothing

No, we can't prove any of it

Just have faith in unbelief

Amen

Oh, I give up. Some things are beyond parody.

Today's verse

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:1-14 (KJV)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Today's verse

And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Luke 1:39-56 (LKV)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Movie night

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Today's verse

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Micah 5:2 (KJV)

Friday, December 21, 2012

No reason at all...

...except that it's fun!

Today's verse

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7 (KJV)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

On-line courses in Tanzania

Not sure how well this will work (or if it will work at all), but here is the key quote from the article:
In an effort to reach increase student enrollment, the Arusha-based Institute of Accountancy (IAA) is scheduled to introduce e-learning a move that omits the geographical limitations of tradition on campus system but is an also much more appealing financial option for many students in a country where income levels are still some of the world’s lowest.

Update on Asia Bibi



Jennifer Marshall writes about religious freedom in the United States and elsewhere.

Key quote:

In Pakistan, spring 2012 marked the grim anniversary of the assassination of two leaders who had promoted religious freedom. Salman Taseer, Governor of the Punjab Province, was killed January 4, 2011, and Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian member of the Pakistani cabinet, was murdered two months later. Both had spoken on behalf of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman condemned to death under blasphemy laws that, as with Pastor Nadarkhani, make conversion from Islam a crime.

The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

Today's verse

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Matthew 1:18-23 (KJV)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reading list

Chaos: An Introduction to Dynamical Systems, by Kathleen T. Alligood, Tim D. Sauer, James A. Yorke.

Religious leaders warn about growing religious and social unrest in Tanzania

Key quote from the article:
The leaders made this call during a two-day workshop in Dar es Salaam, where they deliberated on issues of maintaining sustainable peace and social cohesion in the country. The workshop was organized by the National Committee for Prevention of Crime of Genocide, War Crimes, Crime against Humanity and all forms of Discrimination.

Although, to be honest, it is not clear what government officials could possibly do. Perhaps avoid making things worse? It is foolish to trust the princes of this world.

Today's verse

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:26-38 (KJV)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The new civility - again

University of Rhode Island professor Erik Loomis calls for the murder of those who want elementary school teachers to be armed.

Whether or not people think arming teachers to protect their students a good idea, there is no excuse for calling for the deaths of those whom they disagree with. In the past this incident would have ended his employment with the University of Rhode Island. Unfortunately, I have a sinking feeling the death threats he made will only enhance his career. Just remember - defenders of the Second Amendment are the violent, dangerous ones. Or so the secular media wants us to believe.

For the record, with proper training I do think it is a good idea to arm teachers to protect their students. It is clear that making schools "gun-free zones" has been a deadly failure.

Today's verse

The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

Psalm 146:9 (KJV)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bible study

Walking with God in the Desert, by Ray Vander Laan.

Put not your trust in the princes of this world..

...for in fact they don't really give a damn about you.

In the wake of recent gun-related violence in this country (most recently, the horror that took place in Newtown, Connecticut), some political leaders and media personalities have called for more laws banning guns. Yet the history of such laws is checkered at best: Britain, which has some of the strictest gun-control laws on the planet, has experienced an 89% rise in gun-related violence over the past decade (h/t: Instapundit). I thought gun-control laws were supposed to prevent this from happening. At least, that what politicians and the media promised.

I don't belong to the NRA. I don't own any sort of gun, and have no plans to do so in the future. Yet the willingness of citizens to surrender their very lives to the care of an all-powerful state astonishes me. From the near bankruptcy of the US Post Office, to the bungled handling of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, to the massive Federal budget deficit (does anyone seriously believe that we will actually pay back one thin dime?), to the botched Fast and Furious operation where the US government sold guns to Mexican drug dealers who used them to kill hundreds of Mexican nationals and a US border agent (so much for gun control), to the corrupt crony capitalism of government deals like Solyndra, to the complete and utter collapse of the War on Poverty and War on Drugs, the failure of government-as-god is apparent for those with eyes to see. Yet - unless I am in error - we appear to be poised to re-invest even more of our lives in the very people who have failed us time and time again. How did it come to this?

As many Americans have turned away from the one true God, they have chased after other false gods as a substitute. Giving government god-like powers is one example. Another is celebrity worship, in which to millions of people the antics of rich socialites like the Kardashians seem more real and important that the sufferings of their neighbors. We know more about President Obama's marriage and family than we do about his plans for dealing with the deficit. Science, sex and drugs are also competing for our loyalties.

Some Christian clergy have publically talked vaguely about a "culture of violence" in the United States. Yet so far very few of them have tackled the prevalent violence in movies, TV and games, the makers of which are big campaign money donors to politicians these clergy seem to prefer. The slaughter of unborn children through abortion does not seem to trouble these clergy, nor does the increasing pressure on the elderly to die and get out of the way of society. These clergy may profess Jesus as Lord with their lips, yet their hearts are firmly secular. They are false prophets who will probably continue to promote the idea that government is the one true god worthy of our allegiance.

Today's verse

For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

Psalm 37:9 (KJV)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Update on Asia Bibi



Asia Bibi's husband pleads with the Spanish government to pressure Pakistan to release his wife.

The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

Today's verse

I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.

Isaiah 43:11 (KJV)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Today's verse

I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.

Psalm 116:17 (KJV)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Update on Asia Bibi



This Thanksgiving please remember Asia Bibi.

The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

Today's verse

Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed.

Psalm 65:1 (KJV)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Reading list

God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is It Anyway?, by John Lennox.

Today's verse

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.

Psalm 86:12 (KJV)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today's verse

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Today's verse

The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

Psalm 16:5 (KJV)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Today's verse

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:14-15 (KJV)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Movie night

Gray Lady Down (1978).

Today's verse

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

Psalm 19:1-2 (KJV)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gig 'em!

Texas A&M knocks off #1 Alabama 29-24.

Bible study: Why series

Written by Jud Wilhite, this series asks five questions:

  • Why am I here?
  • Why should I believe in God?
  • Why should I trust the Bible?
  • Why is the world so messed up?
  • Why is there conflict between science and the Bible?
  • Why Jesus?
  • Reading list

    Infinity and the Mind, by Rudy Rucker.

    Today's verse

    And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

    Mark 2:1-12 (KJV)

    Friday, November 09, 2012

    Update on Asia Bibi



    Christians in the United Kingdom and Ireland will stay silent to call attention to the plight of their brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted. Asia Bibi is one of our sisters being tormented for their faith.

    The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

    For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

    Please pray for Asia Bibi and her families.

    Today' verse

    Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

    Psalm 51:7 (KJV)

    Thursday, November 08, 2012

    Today's verse

    O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.

    Psalm 92:5 (KJV)

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    More online education

    The University of Texas plans to join edX.

    Like it or not, online courses seem to be a growing component of education.

    Today's verse

    Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

    1 Peter 3:8-9 (KJV)

    Tuesday, October 09, 2012

    Today's verse

    Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

    Amos 3:3 (KJV)

    Saturday, September 29, 2012

    Today's verse

    The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

    Psalm 27:1 (KJV)

    Friday, September 28, 2012

    Today's verse

    Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.

    Haggai 1:3-6 (KJV)

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    Today's verse

    The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

    Isaiah 40:3-5 (KJV)

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    Today's verse

    For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

    Hebrews 10:30-31 (KJV)

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    Today's verse

    And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

    1 Chronicles 28:9 (KJV)

    Sunday, September 16, 2012

    Today's verse

    And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.

    Exodus 14:31 (KJV)

    Saturday, September 15, 2012

    Update on Asia Bibi



    Another Christian woman in Pakistan, Saira Khokhar, has been accused of blasphemy by a mob.

    Key quote:

    After Asia Bibi, another Christian woman has been targeted by Muslim fundamentalists because of allegations of blasphemy. Saira Khokhar, who teaches at the City Foundation School in Lahore, is accused of burning a copy of the Qur'an. However, the case is still shrouded in mystery.

    Police took Ms Khokhar into custody and launched an informal investigation. No First Information Report (FIR) has been filed yet, but Christian activists and organisation along with the special adviser to the prime minister on minority affairs, Paul Bhatti, are closely monitoring developments to ensure her safety and rights.

    This is the real war on women - not the phony, make-believe one the bigots in the secular media shriek about.

    The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

    For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

    Please pray for Asia Bibi, Saira Khokhar, and their families.

    Today's verse

    And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

    1 John 4:16 (KJV)

    Friday, September 14, 2012

    Reading list

    Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula: Cures Many Mathematical Ills, by Paul J. Nahin.

    Today's verse

    My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

    Psalm 42:2 (KJV)

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    "Anti-blasphemy" insanity Part III

    Rimsha Masih has been granted bail. But her life is still in grave danger.

    Today's verse

    How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

    Psalm 139:17-18 (KJV)

    Friday, September 07, 2012

    Today's verse

    I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

    Jeremiah 17:10 (KJV)

    Thursday, September 06, 2012

    Today's verse

    Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.

    Lamentations 3:40 (KJV)

    Wednesday, September 05, 2012

    Today's verse

    For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.

    Psalm 86:10 (KJV)

    Tuesday, September 04, 2012

    Monday, September 03, 2012

    Today's verse

    O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.

    Psalm 118:1 (KJV)

    Sunday, September 02, 2012

    The war on science - Regnerus edition

    The University of Texas finds no evidence of scientific misconduct against associate professor of sociology Mark Regnerus. I have written about this subject in the past.

    Key quote:

    "I think it's a just and wise decision, and I'm certainly pleased with it," Regnerus told the American-Statesman in an email. "It was a thorough and fair process, and conducted professionally."

    Regnerus found that the adult children of gay parents reported significantly different, and often worse, life experiences than the children of married, heterosexual biological parents.

    While it is good that Regnerus was cleared of wrongdoing, the damage has been done. The next time a university professor does something that annoys a homosexual activist, will he or she have to worry about having their name and reputation dragged through the mud?

    Also, will there be any legal consequences for Scott Rosensweig, a "freelance writer" who leveled these false charges against Regnerus? Or is he free to re-group and try again? In the article quoted above Rosensweig didn't exactly sound contrite for his attempted smear of Regnerus.

    Today's verse

    My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. But thou, O Lord, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.

    Psalm 102:11-12 (KJV)

    Saturday, September 01, 2012

    Today's verse

    Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

    Proverbs 22:7 (KJV)

    Thursday, August 30, 2012

    Update on Asia Bibi



    At VOM's Persecution Blog, Christians are urged to write a letter to Asia Bibi.

    The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

    For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

    Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

    Today's verse

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

    "Anti-blasphemy" insanity - Part II

    Muslim leaders in Pakistan are demanding the release of Rimsha Masih, an 11-year-old girl with Downs Syndrome held for alleged blaspehmy.

    Today's verse

    Lord, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them. Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O Lord.

    Isaiah 26:16-17 (KJV)

    Monday, August 27, 2012

    Today's verse

    The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

    Psalm 118:14 (KJV)

    Sunday, August 26, 2012

    Today's verse

    For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

    Romans 12:4-5 (KJV)

    Saturday, August 25, 2012

    RIP Neil Armstrong

    The first man to set foot on the Moon has passed away.

    Today's verse

    In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

    John 7:37-38 (KJV)

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

    Curiosity takes a drive

    Some video of Curiosity's first drive from NASA:

    Today's verse

    And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

    Matthew 19:29 (KJV)

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    Reading list

    In the Beginning and Other Essays on Intelligent Design, by Dr. Granville Sewell.

    Today's verse

    He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

    Romans 8:32 (KJV)

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    "Anti-blasphemy" insanity

    Rimsha Masih, a pre-teen girl, is being charged under Pakistan's anti-blasphemy laws.

    Key quote:

    The United States government needs to understand the dynamic of the blasphemy law and get its response right. This threat is spreading: Blasphemy charges are surfacing in Egypt and Tunisia along with the rise of Islamist rule, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation persistently presses for such laws within the United Nations.
    Agreed. It is true that the Washington Post and the New York Times reported on this story. Yet they and the rest of the media still seem obsessed with a mythical "war on women" in the United States. To date the secular media's evidence seems to consist of stories like one about an over-sexed 30-year-old law student's demands that someone else pay for her birth control, or a blabbermouth Senate candidate in Missouri. This is war?

    Go to Pakistan - or any Islamist country - if you want to witness a real war on women.

    Update on Asia Bibi



    It may be easy for the world to forget Asia Bibi. But God has not.

    The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

    For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

    Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

    Today's verse

    I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

    John 8:12 (KJV)

    Sunday, August 19, 2012

    Witness to the faith: Eva Abdullah

    From the Voice of the Martyrs:
    A teenager in Tanzania was sentenced to two years in prison recently after being accused of desecrating the Quran. Eva Abdullah, 17, converted from Islam to Christianity three years ago. Her parents disowned her after her conversion, and a group of radicals in her hometown of Bagamoyo tried to persuade her to renounce her Christian faith. When she refused, they falsely accused her of urinating on a Quran. Many Christian leaders were afraid to defend Eva because of Muslim dominance in the district. On July 26, Eva was sentenced to two years in prison by a judge who was allegedly bribed by the Islamic militants. Although Tanzania is not on VOM’s list of hostile and restricted areas, our contacts report increased hostility toward Christians because of radical Islamic influences. Pray that God will strengthen Eva’s faith no matter the circumstances.

    Today's verse

    Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

    Matthew 26:41 (KJV)

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

    Today's verse

    But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

    Philippians 3:7 (KJV)

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Kenneth Howard Mueller

    Ken Mueller has passed away.

    Rest in peace Ken.

    Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 15:51-57)

    Today's verse

    Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

    Psalm 37:7 (KJV)

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Today's verse

    I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

    Psalm 22:14 (KJV)

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    Today's verse

    For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: but this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.

    Jeremiah 7:22-23 (KJV)

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    Never admit...

    ...you are a virgin. That is what Lolo Jones learned when the NY Times ran a hit piece on her. Tim Groseclose has all of the details.

    Key quote:

    For many fans, the [NY Times article] came as a surprise. The editors at the sports website sbnation.com, for instance, described its harsh tone as “pretty ruthless.” But awareness of a few facts makes the tone less surprising. One is the Times’s political bias. The other is that Jones, over the last several months, has been coming out of the closet with some conservative tendencies. First, she’s a devout Christian and a fan of Tim Tebow. Second, and perhaps most irritating for liberal elites, she’s a 30-year-old virgin. As she recently Tweeted: “Yes, I’m a virgin. #1 reason I’m single bc guys deuce out when I won’t put out. I do so to honor God & future husband.”

    Jones was clearly surprised at the Times’s harsh coverage. As she said on the Today show: “I thought it was crazy . . . the fact that it was from a U.S. media, like, I mean, they should be supporting our Olympic U.S. athletes, and instead they just ripped me to shreds.” Someone should explain to Jones that what she calls “supporting our Olympic U.S. athletes,” the typical Times reporter would consider “jingoism.” Someone might also point out that you can’t be a Christian virgin and expect fair coverage from the Paper of Record.

    Indeed. It is hard to imaging the Times running a similar piece on her if she were (say) a Muslim or a lesbian.

    Thank you, Lolo Jones, for standing up for what you believe in.

    Today's verse

    Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!

    Psalm 113:5-6 (KJV)

    Sunday, August 12, 2012

    Teaching mathematics in Tanzania

    An opinion piece by Beniel Seka concerning the problem of finding quality mathematics teachers in Tanzania.

    Key quote:

    One of the greatest problems facing our schools is lack of teachers, especially science and mathematics ones. The problem is rooted in other problems such as low salaries, unsuitable teaching environment and inability to admit enough suitable students in the teachers' colleges.

    Mathematics is feared by many pupils especially in secondary schools and records the highest failure rate for the Secondary O-level National examinations. This makes it very difficult to select students to train as mathematics teachers.

    Today's verse

    And it came to pass the day after, that [Jesus] went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.

    Luke 7:11-15 (KJV)

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

    Today's verse

    The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

    Matthew 19:3-9 (KJV)

    Friday, August 10, 2012

    Today's verse

    God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

    Psalm 46:1 (KJV)

    Thursday, August 09, 2012

    Border war with Malawi?

    There is an ongoing border dispute between Tanzania and Malawi.

    Key quote:

    All diplomatic channels should be exhausted in a quest to resolve the simmering border conflict with neighbouring Malawi but if need be, the country's armed forces are ready for any eventuality.

    "We know the cost of war because of our experience in Uganda. We want to urge the government, as the Minister for Foreign Affairs said in Parliament, that let's exhaust all diplomatic channels but if need be, we are ready to defend our sovereignty at any cost," said Committee Chairman, Edward Lowassa.

    Mr Lowassa said this after a briefing of the Committee made by senior Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) officers at Bunge offices here that the army is well prepared for any military confrontation, if diplomacy fails.

    A war is exactly what both countries don't need.

    The wider the hate, the better?

    This seems to be the conclusion of at least one writer.

    The recent shooting rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin put the media spotlight on music groups that have hateful lyrics in their songs. The accused shooter, Wade Michael Page, had apparently played guitar for several music groups that have been accused of promoting neo-Nazi ideas.

    The article concerned a certain music group that was apparently wrongly identified as white-supremacist. Key quote:

    But if you really wanted to defend the group [Hatebreed], you had to put your lyrical criticism hat on, which, surprise!, didn't always reveal the most pleasant things about the band with songs like "A Call for Blood," "Kill and Addict" and "Destroy Everything," as the Houston Press's Craig Hlavaty wrote in his defense of the group:
    Hatebreed is in fact not a Jew-hating, racist, Nazi, hate-filled act. Their hatred is more geared towards people in your everyday life, like ex-girlfriends, local politicians and law enforcement, and other meanies. Nowhere in the band's history have they ever called for racial cleansing.
    Obviously, it's preferable to be an equal-opportunity hater than the type of hater that focuses exclusively on religious and ethnic minorities. Still, there's something ironic about excusing a band's reputation by explaining that they hate everybody just the same.
    I am not sure what to make of the last two lines in the above article. It is possible that the author, John Hudson, was being tongue in cheek.

    Nevertheless, the notion that some kinds of blind, unreasoning hate are better than others is pretty warped.

    Reading list

    Gamma, by Julian Havil.

    Today's verse

    The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

    Proverbs 10:20 (KJV)

    Wednesday, August 08, 2012

    Today's verse

    Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

    Psalm 19:14 (KJV)

    Tuesday, August 07, 2012

    Confronting Adam Smith

    The Chick-fil-A worker who was filmed and bullied by Adam Smith would like to meet him face to face.

    Key quote:

    “I appreciate that [Adam Smith] came forward, but I’m definitely interested in speaking with him,” the Tuscon, Ariz., drive-through worker--who would only give her first name, Rachel—told FoxNews.com. “I want to see if he was sincere and let him know why I handled it the way I did and not take legal action, which a lot of people told me I should do.”

    “There’s no reason to drag him through the mud any more than he has been,” the polite 26-year-old added

    Rachel was working the window last Wednesday when Adam Smith videotaped himself going through the drive-thru ordering only free water and espousing his disgust.

    “Chick-fil-A is a hateful company,” Smith told Rachel on the video, which he originally posted on YouTube before removing it. "I don’t know how you sleep at night. This is a horrible corporation with horrible values.”

    Rachel kept her composure throughout the odd exchange and wished Smith a nice day.

    “I was just really concerned about him taping. I knew he was going to post it. That was my main fear,” Rachel said.

    “I’m Christian and God tells us to love thy neighbor,” she added referring to how she kept the exchange polite on her end. “One of my friends saw they video and said, ‘Yep that’s Rachel and that’s the way she is.”

    Thank you, Rachel, for the good example you set for us. I pray that I can always be as forgiving as you.

    More Curiosity

    Here is a video made up of 297 still photos showing the final two and a half minutes nof Curiosity's descent.

    Today's verse

    For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.

    Isaiah 33:22 (KJV)

    Saturday, August 04, 2012

    Staring down the bullies - Part II

    Yesterday's great counter-protest at Chick-fil-A apparently did not go very well. Judge for yourself at one such protest, where protestors berated and mocked a black man who was quietly reading the Bible (h/t: Anne Sorock at Legal Insurrection):

    On Wednesday, there was this ugly incident by a same-sex marriage named Adam Smith who bullied a Chick-fil-A drive-through clerk:

    I am trying to figure out when such blatant hatred, bigotry and intolerance became acceptable to so many. Or why so many in the secular media are either willing to ignore it or excuse it.

    A note of thanks goes to Anne Sorock of Legal Insurrection, who showed great courage in the face of such ugly hate and bigotry.

    Today's verse

    Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

    Jeremiah 33:2-3 (KJV)

    Thursday, August 02, 2012

    Update on Asia Bibi



    Writing in the Pakistan Christian Post, Nasir Amanual calls for the repeal of Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

    The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

    For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

    Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

    Curiosity

    The landing of NASA's Curiosity is planned for Monday, August 6 at 1:31 AM EDT.

    Today's verse

    But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

    James 1:22 (KJV)

    Wednesday, August 01, 2012

    Staring down the bullies

    Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit is a daily must-read for me. While I do not agree with everything he writes, I respect both his opinion and his blogging style.

    Today he was up to his usual high standards concerning the nationwide Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Professor Reynolds is a strong supporter of same-sex marriage, so he is hardly a right-wing Christianist nut who cane be safely ignored by secular progressives. Reynolds pointed out that many who showed their support today for Chick-fil-A did not agree with the company president's stated opposition to same-sex marriage, but were angered by the bullying tactics and ugly threats from political leaders in Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago. I found that very encouraging.

    Unlike some parts of the world, the USA is still a nation that (usually) protects religious freedom and the right to free speech. There are many in the secular media, entertainment industry, and academia who want to impost totalitarianism in the name of fighting "intolerance" (meaning banning any idea or opinion that disagrees with their own), but I believe they are at present a minority, albeit a powerful one. Whether the USA remains a free nation is very much in question, however.

    I did not have the opportunity to participate in today’s “boycott”. I have heard that some supporters of same-sex marriage intend to stage their own demonstrations, presumably to intimidate employees and customers. If so, I plan to patronize Chick-fil-A on that day and enjoy crossing the picket lines. Bullying triumphs only by default. Stand up to the bullies and show them you are not afraid.

    Today's verse

    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

    I Peter 5:8 (KJV)

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012

    Today's verse

    So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

    I Corinthians 15:42-44 (KJV)

    Monday, July 30, 2012

    Curiosity

    That is the name of NASA's latest Mars rover, which is scheduled to land in early August.

    Here is an interesting video showing the different landing places of past Martian probes launched by NASA:

    Love Tanzania Festival

    The Love Tazania Festival is coming soon.

    Today's verse

    Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

    Psalm 82:3 (KJV)

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

    Today's verse

    Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

    Matthew 7:15-16 (KJV)

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

    Today's verse

    I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

    Philippians 3:14

    Friday, July 27, 2012

    Today's verse

    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    Let there be light!

    Tanzania plans for 35% of the country to have electricity by the end of 2012. That is an increase from the present 14%.

    Nice - if it happens.

    Reading list

    Dissent over Descent, by Steve Fuller.

    Today's verse

    And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

    Luke 12:13-15 (KJV)

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Update on Asia Bibi



    Father Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, said the church in Pakistan will be cautious in pressing for Asia Bibi's release.

    The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

    For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

    Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

    Reading list

    Phoenix Rising, by William Johnstone.

    Today's verse

    Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

    Isaiah 40:28 (KJV)

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Reading list

    Imagining numbers, by Barry Mazur.

    Movie night

    A Letter to Three Wives (1949).

    Today's verse

    The Lord therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand.

    I Samuel 24:15 (KJV)

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Three heroes

    Never forget the names of Matt McQuinn, Jonathan Blunk, and Alex Teves.

    And never let it be said that heroes are not real.

    Today's verse

    The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

    Psalm 34:18 (KJV)

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    Pi approximation day?

    Well, that's what Scientific American says today is.

    For those who can never have enough useless information, Pi Approximation Day has its own website.

    Today's verse

    If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    I John 1:8-9 (KJV)

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    Reading list

    Kid Rodelo, by Louis L'Amour.

    Sirleaf praises Tanzania

    Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf calls for other African countries to imitate Tanzania's efforts to eradicate malaria.

    Today's verse

    And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger. Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.

    Ezekiel 43:7-9 (KJV)

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Today's verse

    Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

    Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Today's verse

    For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

    Galatians 5:13 (KJV)

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Decline and fall of the Episcopal Church

    Walter Russell Mead has an interesting essay on the decline of the Episcopal Church (h/t: Instapundit).

    Key quote:

    It used to matter what the Episcopal Church thought of this or that social issue. Other mainline Protestant churches and many social and political leaders followed its theological and political debates. Now, basically, no one outside the dwindling flock in the pews really cares what The Episcopal Church says about anything at all. General Convention can pass a million resolutions, and nothing anywhere will change. No one is even really angry anymore at anything the Episcopal hierarchy does; at most, there is a sigh and a quiet rolling of the eyes. Soon, there will not even be that.

    It’s an extraordinary decline in an institution that a generation ago was still one of the pillars of American life. At this point the disaster appears irretrievable; those running the church are determined to run it into the ground and it is hard to see how that can change.

    This is what happens when a church (liberal or conservative) places political activism above obedience to God and His commandments. While I do not advocate Christians washing their hands of politics entirely, a bit of humility would not be a bad idea. We Christians cannot usher in God's kingdom through petitions, social statements, demonstrations, and marches on behalf of secular political causes. We can only proclaim its coming.

    Today's verse

    Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

    Psalm 27:14 (KJV)

    Sunday, July 15, 2012

    Update on Asia Bibi



    Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress, expressed concern over the length of time for Asia Bibi's appeal.

    Key quote:

    [Dr.] Bhatti said “Pakistani Christian have lost their confidence in judicial system, judiciary and higher courts because it protected and released Muslim who attacked Churches, killed worshipers, burnt alive women and children, gunned down pastors, never punished Muslims who filed false blasphemy cases against Christians, never charged Muslim who enforcedly converted Christian women to Islam and gang raped Christian girls after kidnapping”
    The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

    For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

    Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

    Today's verse

    Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more: and the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.

    Amos 7:7-9 (KJV)

    Saturday, July 14, 2012

    Today's verse

    And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

    Genesis 17:1-7 (KJV)

    Friday, July 13, 2012

    The war on science

    The following article caught my eye this morning: Pakistan and the Higgs boson.

    Key quote:

    Have you heard about Pakistan’s contribution to last week’s discovery of the Higgs Boson? No, thought not. Remarkably, the reason you probably won’t have is because Pakistan doesn’t want you to.

    Dr Abdus Salam, a theoretical physicist, carried out pioneering work in the 1960s to suggest the existence of a hypothetical particle after creating a grand unification theory for weak forces and electromagnetic fields. He won the Nobel Prize in 1979 for his efforts, the only Pakistani to have ever received the honour.

    Yet, his name is largely airbrushed from textbooks in Pakistan and is rarely mentioned in public debate. The problem is that he belongs to the Ahmadi sect, a branch of Islam which is officially regarded as heretical by the Pakistani state and which is constitutionally discriminated against. Ahmadis cannot call themselves Muslim or build mosques, and are frequently the victims of violent attack.

    After Salam died and was buried in the Punjab his headstone recorded his legacy as: ‘the first Muslim Nobel Laureate’. The word ‘Muslim’ has since been forcibly scrubbed out.

    Can't happen in the West, right? We are so much more tolerant and dedicated to the scientific method, yes? No religious or political bigotry to worry about in scientific research and institutes of higher learning, eh? Thank goodness (or Darwin) that can't happen here.

    Think again.

    Mark Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas-Austin, recently published a study about the children of homosexual parents and the problems that they experience. The study has provoked a backlash against the professor, who is now the target of a fact-finding "inquiry".

    Key quote from the Inside Higher-Ed article:

    Regnerus disclosed the Bradley Foundation and Witherspoon Institute’s sponsorship of the study, acknowledging their conservative pedigrees and asserting that “the funding sources played no role at all in the design or conduct of the study, the analyses, the interpretations of the data, or in the preparation of this manuscript.”

    His disclosure squares with the code of ethics of the American Sociological Association, which does not prohibit sociologists from taking research funding from any particular funding source as long as the researcher discloses that relationship.

    However, UT-Austin's standard appears to be stricter. “It is the policy of the University of Texas that research is conducted with integrity and free from any actual or apparent institutional or personal conflict of interest,” says the university’s Compliance and Ethics Guide. Texas researchers, the policy says, “must insure that there is no reasonable expectation that the design, conduct, and reporting of the research will be biased by any significant financial interest of an investigator responsible for the research or other educational activity.”

    The university is currently conducting a pre-investigatory “inquiry” in response to a formal complaint lodged by Rosensweig. (The writer posted a copy of his complaint to his blog on The New Civil Rights Movement, a website dedicated to LGBT activism.) The difference between an inquiry and a full-blown investigation is that “the scope of the inquiry does not include exhaustive interviews or extensive analyses of research records,” according to the university’s Revised Handbook of Operating Procedures.

    Aside from the ominous if vague terminology - just what the heck is a "pre-investigatory inquiry”, anyway? - the clumsy actions by the University of Texas have opened themselves up to the charge that the inquiry is political rather than scientific. The complaint against Regnerus was posted on a left-wing Web site, which appears to be an effort to undermine due process. Even more frightening, these "stricter" standards at UT seemed to have conveniently materialized out of nowhere.

    As Glenn Reynolds, a law professor and supporter of gay/lesbians rights,wrote at his blog Instapundit:

    I don’t know if the study’s any good or not — but I’m positive that if it had found that children of gay couples do better, there would be no such inquiry, regardless of who had funded it. And the point here is mostly to warn other researchers that it’s just better not to look into certain subjects, or to come up with the wrong conclusions if you do.

    In many universities the so-called soft sciences (sociology, economics, psychology, etc.) have been largely ruined by political activism, and nowadays seem to do little more that ratify the prejudices of the majority of professors who make up those departments. But now there is a serious effort underway to break STEM (science, engineering, technology & mathematics) to the saddle of political correctness. Professor William Jacobson recently wrote about proposed efforts to apply Title IX to STEM enrollment. The underlying assumption is that the lower enrollment rates for women in STEM subjects represents discrimination, although proponents fail to explain why lower enrollments of men in (say) education do not also demonstrate anti-male prejudice.

    For those who think this is no big deal, I would ask you the following: would you drive across a bridge or enter a skyscraper designed and built by someone who was enrolled because of Title IX and who graduated at the bottom of her class? Get ready, because you may have to face that situation some day! Mathematics and physics bow to no one, no matter how many lawsuits are threatened.

    All of this is made much worse because of the fact that the secular media - whose scientific and engineering credentials are usually nonexistent - normally act as cheerleaders in the witch hunts against Professor Regnerus and others who reach the "wrong" conclusions. To be seen as even remotely critical of the homosexual lifestyle, global warming, or evolution is to invite personal attacks as a homophobe, a "denier", or a fundamentalist wacko. The self-described watchdogs of the press have become the attack dogs working for a narrow-minded few.

    There is a war on science. The irony is that in true Orwellian fashion it is being waged by the very people who claim to represent scientific reason and progress.

    Today's verse

    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

    Colossians 2:8 (KJV)

    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    Today's verse

    I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

    John 6:51 (KJV)

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    Seasons on Titan

    NASA's Cassini probe has discovered a huge vortex above the southern pole of Titan. Scientists believe this is a sign that the seasons are changing on the largest moon of Saturn.

    Today's verse

    Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.

    I Chronicles 16:11 (KJV)

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Bible study

    Life and Ministry of the Messiah.

    Reading list

    The Mauritius Command, by Patrick O'Brian.

    Today's verse

    For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

    1 Peter 1:24-25 (KJV)

    Monday, July 09, 2012

    Today's verse

    It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.

    Proverbs 25:27 (KJV)

    Sunday, July 08, 2012

    Today's verse

    The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

    Psalm 18:2 (KJV)

    Saturday, July 07, 2012

    Silicon Valley Tanzania?

    IBM has signed a collaboration agreement with Tanzanian Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology.

    Key quote:

    "This agreement supports the goals of the National ICT Commission to use innovative technologies and approaches to transform our infrastructures, build national data centers, increase cyber-security and invest in IT talent development," said Minister for Communication, Science and Technology Makame Mbarawa.

    "Working with IBM will help to ensure that our initiatives are in line with international standards while positioning us to become competitive regionally and internationally," he added.

    Chief Technology Officer Mark Dean announced that IBM and the Government of Tanzania will co-operate to support the country's National ICT agenda developing simplified and more effective social and administrative systems for e-Government, e-Health and e-Education among other areas.

    "IBM is a long-standing partner to the Tanzanian government and we are committed to supporting the country's economic growth and technical advancement," he said.

    The cynic in me says there is less than meets the eye to this story, but time will tell.

    Today's verse

    Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed

    Psalm 6:2 (KJV)

    Friday, July 06, 2012

    Update on Asia Bibi



    Please read the following post from Persecutionblog.com.

    Key quote:

    In June, Ashiq reported that Asia was feeling better. She said another group had brought her some food and clothes, and she was thankful for them and for all her prayer supporters.
    The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

    For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

    Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

    Today's verse

    Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

    Matthew 24:35 (KJV)

    Thursday, July 05, 2012

    Today's verse

    I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

    II Samuel 22:4 (KJV)

    Wednesday, July 04, 2012

    Update on Asia Bibi



    On this Fourth of July, when Americans celebrate their freedom, I hope that my readers will take the time to remember those around the world like Asia Bibi who are imprisoned, tortured, and murdered for their Christian faith.

    The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

    For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

    Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

    Reading list

    Introduction to Computation and Modeling for Differential Equations, by Lennart Edsberg.

    Today's verse

    If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

    John 8:36 (KJV)

    Tuesday, July 03, 2012

    Reading list

    Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church, by Dr. Terry W. Dorsett.

    Today's verse

    Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    Philippians 2:5-11 (KJV)

    Monday, July 02, 2012

    Today's verse

    Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

    Deuteronomy 6:7 (KJV)

    Sunday, July 01, 2012

    Today's verse

    Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation.

    I Chronicles 16:23 (KJV)

    Saturday, June 30, 2012

    Healing through the Gospel

    This story takes place in Tanzania, but the need for prayers applies everywhere in the world.

    Key quote:

    Early this month, a gathering comprising bishops and pastors from Tanzania and beyond, held a mass at Sinza Christian Centre, in Dar es Salaam for their great mission to pray for the nation.The women prayers, irrespective of religious beliefs, have vowed to pray for the nation while their main objective is to inculcate the principles of hard work, equality and integrity.

    The congregation brought together women prayers from the US, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Uganda and was officiated at by the wife of the Vice-President Mrs Asha BiIal. According to Pastor Joyce [Talemwa], several lessons were learnt from the gathering. "First and foremost, we realized that as women, this was a unique opportunity for us to come together and reflect on our God-given strength in unity, peace and love to pray for the country.

    There are several reasons why these women of God decided to pray for the country. They include challenges related to social and political situation, Constitutional Review Process, census, Union matters and investment.Tanzania has been built on the basis of peace and unity. For this, it remains a unique country on earth; we would not like to see this being destroyed for whatever reason, " said Pastor Joyce.

    "As women prayers, we have convened above our religious beliefs to pray for peace and tranquility in this country based on our conviction that it is only God who gives us strength and peace. As women who have the fear of God, realise that it is God only who provides rights, peace to the people and restores leaders."

    Love Tanzania Festival

    Just found this from Mission Network News. The Luis Palau Association will hold the Love Tanzania Festival this August. Organizers of the event will be working to spread the Gospel to Tanzanians who may not have heard it yet.

    Key quote:

    Business and civic leaders will collaborate with the local church and the Palau team to bless Dar es Salaam, Tanzania through a citywide campaign, culminating in a free festival on August 11-12 at Jangwani Grounds.

    Please pray for the people of Tanzania.

    Today's verse

    Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

    Psalm 100 (KJV)

    Friday, June 29, 2012

    Reading list

    The Mauritius Command, by Patrick O'Brian.

    Today's verse

    Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.

    Psalm 59:1 (KJV)

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    Today's verse

    Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

    Isaiah 40:1-5 (KJV)

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    Today's verse

    Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

    Psalm 82:3 (KJV)

    Monday, June 25, 2012

    Arusha to Dar es Salaam by bus

    This brings back memories.

    Reading list

    Killoe, by Louis L'Amour.

    Today's verse

    Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.

    Jeremiah 23:24 (KJV)

    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Today's verse

    Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.

    Leviticus 19:3 (KJV)

    Saturday, June 23, 2012

    Today's verse

    Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

    II Corinthians 6:14 (KJV)

    Friday, June 22, 2012

    Today's verse

    The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

    Psalm 121:7 (KJV)

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Today's verse

    The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.

    Deuteronomy 7:7-11 (KJV)

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    Yet another movie mocking Jesus

    Another attempt to use the silver screen to discredit Christianity. Yawn.

    The movie is based upon the work of Paul Verhoeven, who has brought us such powerful intellectual works as Showgirls, Robocop, and Basic Instinct. Verhoeven is neither a Biblical scholar nor a historian. He is not even an expert in New Testament Greek. But maybe movie audiences can be persuaded to overlook that if they can be convinced the movie is "controversial".

    Here is the most bizarre part of the article:

    “If you look at the man, it’s clear you have a person who was completely innovative in the field of ethics,” Verhoeven told [Mike Fleming] last year. “My own passion for Jesus came when I started to realize that. It’s not about miracles, it’s about a new set of ethics, an openness towards the world, which was anathema in a Roman-dominated world. I believe he was crucified because they felt that politically, he was a dangerous person whose following was getting bigger and bigger. Jesus’ ideals are about the utopia of human behavior, about how we should treat each other, how we should step into the shoes of our enemy.”
    Ignore that fact that Verhoeven has zero evidence to back up his claim that Jesus was crucified because the Romans feared Him. Is it really possible that Verhoeven does not see the complete illogic in his statement? If the reports of the miracles of Jesus are fabrications (as Verhoeven claims), then why should we believe any of His teachings are authentic?

    Today's verse

    Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

    Joshua 24:14 (KJV)