Musings of a Recovering Lutheran: July 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)

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)