Musings of a Recovering Lutheran: January 2012
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 6:8 (KJV)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Today's verse

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

Psalm 118:1 (KJV)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today's verse

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD. There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous. Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge. Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

Psalm 14 (KJV)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Today's verse

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Hebrews 11:32-40 (KJV)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Today's verse

The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.

Proverbs 10:3 (KJV)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Today's verse

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

1 Timothy 1:15-16 (KJV)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Update on Asia Bibi

Controversy is erupting in the Asia Bibi case. Unfortunately, it is not likely to help her in her attempts to win her freedom.

Apparently the controversy is over who actually represents Asia Bibi legally. The Masihi Foundation claims that they represent her, but her husband disputes that.

Key passage:

The Masihi Foundation, which describes itself as a humanitarian organization and claims to be Bibi's legal counsel, published what it said was an interview with Bibi from her Pakistani prison, where it claimed to have found her mistreated, in poor health and near mental illness.

But The Express Tribune in Pakistan, an affiliate of the International Herald Tribune, reported that Shahid Khan, home secretary of the Punjab region where Bibi is imprisoned, gave no permission for such a visit, and officials at the jail where Bibi is being held denied the visit ever happened. Furthermore, Bibi's husband Ashiq told The Express Tribune that he saw Asia over Christmas and didn't notice any health problems.

"I asked Asia and she says no one met her," he said. "The Masihi Foundation is trying to earn money out of my wife's name."

The husband also told The Express Tribune that Masihi Foundation is no longer Bibi's legal representation.

"We do not think it is advisable to pursue Aasia's case right now under the current government," he said. "We are in touch with some top lawyers in the country."

The Masihi Foundation countered by claiming it still represents Bibi and accusing her husband, who signed a contract with a publisher for a book on Asia, of looking to enrich himself.

"Ashiq is only interested in money-making, which he has been involved in ever since international support started coming in for Aasia," Haroon Barkat, the head of MF, told The Express Tribune.

I have no idea who is the guilty party in this case, although my sympathy tends to be with the husband and the family. But I hope and pray that God intervenes to stop this. Shouldn't this be about freeing a wrongfully imprisoned mother of five children?

Here is the Express Tribune story.

UPDATE: Link to the original story in the Baptist Press has been fixed.

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

A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.

Proverbs 13:5 (KJV)

Friday, January 13, 2012

God vs. the witches: coming to a gridiron near you?

A coven of Salem witches plan to try to use supernatural forces to help Tom Brady in New England's game against Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos this weekend. This is supposed to take place today, Friday the 13th. Some events are beyond parody...

At any rate, this is an excellent opportunity to remind everyone of the famous Super Bowl ad from a few years ago that caused so many heads to explode:

Update on Asia Bibi

A lawyer who is defending Asia Bibi is now facing death threats.

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

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2 (KJV)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Today's verse

And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Genesis 50:15-20 (KJV)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Today's verse

Another parable put [Jesus] forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

Matthew 13:31-32 (KJV)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Today's verse

Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.

Proverbs 20:22 (KJV)

Monday, January 09, 2012

Today's verse

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16 (KJV)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Today's verse

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Romans 8:13-14 (KJV)

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Update on Asia Bibi

Asia Bibi's husband says she is "well". He also says that she is in no danger in prison.

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

And again [Jesus] 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, January 06, 2012

Reading list

Introductory Combinatorics (5th edition), by Richard A. Brualdi.

Today's verse

The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Psalm 11:5 (KJV)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Movie night

Dream Wife (1953).

Today's verse

Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Matthew 5:33-37 (KJV)

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Today's verse

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

Mark 1:16-18 (KJV)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Journalism and sausage

There is an old saying that goes something like this: if you love sausage, don't ever watch it being made. As time went by, writing and passing laws was added to the things you might want to avoid watching while it is being created. Now Ed Driscoll reminds us that modern journalism is also something that cannot withstand much scrutiny.

Even before I was old enough to vote I have been skeptical of the modern media - especially television news. In my case it was a single news story - the failure of the nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island - that started my questioning of what I see, read and hear.

Those who were old enough to remember the events at TMI will never forget them. It was the subject of blanket coverage for weeks. I was in high school and took little notice of the outside world, yet this story was big enough to capture my attention. The eastern half of the United States was in imminent danger of a massive radiation leak, a calamity that could kill thousands and turn large sections of the country into a radioactive desert - or so the media narrative went.

One alarming thing that I noticed about the coverage of TMI by ABC, NBC, and CBS (the only sources of news available to me at the time) was the fact that it was amazingly uniform. There was little if any dissent from the prevailing anti-nuclear narrative. Groupthink seemed to be operating in full force.

It was shortly after TMI that I stared my undergraduate studies in electrical engineering. The more I investigated, the more that I realized that the journalists had gotten the TMI story wrong. Nor was this a case of missing a few facts or going a bit overboard for the sake of ratings. Subsequent stories about nuclear energy show the same pattern of fraud and deceit, a pattern that seems designed to panic people into blindly accepting the dominant media narrative.

The irony is that if you were to question these journalists, they would hotly deny that they are biased or did anything wrong. They deeply and sincerely believe that whatever it takes to advance their political agenda is both morally right and morally mandatory. Power always corrupts, and the technological power of modern journalism has created in too many journalists a "gatekeeper" mentality, in which they choose stories and facts in order to manipulate the dangerously ignorant unwashed heathen (the public).

After the massive failure of journalism regarding Three Mile Island (and nuclear energy in general) I began to question other dominant media narratives about the Cold War, racism, welfare, and other issues. Sometimes I found honest, accurate journalism. But far more often I uncovered lying, manipulation, and (occasionally) outright fabrication. Where were the "layers of fact checkers" that we have been told makes modern journalism trustworthy?

When Jesus warned us about false prophets (Matthew 24:11) He was speaking about false Messiahs and teachers. But the princes of this world are consistent, and lying to gain power is their trademark. Beware those who promise secular salvation if we just elect this person, or enact this law, or eliminate this racial group or religion, or outlaw "hate speech". What they usually deliver more closely resembles Hell than Heaven.

Today's verse

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 16:11 (KJV)

Monday, January 02, 2012

Update on Asia Bibi

Asia Bibi is praying for her jailers. She also reports she is satisfied with the security arrangements to protect her.

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

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 3:36 (KJV)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Today's verse

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Luke 2:36-40 (KJV)