Thursday, November 30, 2006

Finally!

After doing a lot of looking, I've finally found a third-party blogging client that supports "Blogger Beta". It's a Firefox extension called "Performancing" and it looks and works wonderfully! My only complaint (or, actually, feature request) is that they allow you to open it in the sidebar. Right now, you can open it in a new tab, new window, or you can split your current window with another webpage. One of the things I liked about "Deepest Sender" was the fact that I can open it in the sidebar and still have most of my current window/tab to view. It's a little more difficult with the split screen. I've added it to their feature requests thread. I doubt I put it in in time to make the next release, however.



But, anyway, enough babbling. It's cool to finally find something that works.

Is This really going to work?

If this works, I will be so excited!





powered by performancing firefox

In a blogging (and ranting) mood....

OK, so a co-worker and I were going to the bank and Wal-Mart today at lunch, and I'm stopped behind a car.  On the bumper was a bumper sticker (insert rant against bumper stickers here) that said:

If you don't trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child?

Now, the choice being alluded to here is obviously the one of abortion.

So my question is, regardless of which side of the abortion debate you're on, can you not see the irony that, if you've found yourself in a situation where abortion must be an option, THEN YOU'VE OBVIOUSLY SHOWN YOU HAVE A PENCHANT FOR MAKING BAD CHOICES TO BEGIN WITH?  IF YOU DON'T WANT BABIES, 1) DON'T HAVE SEX AND 2) IF YOU'RE MARRIED AND DON'T WANT CHILDREN, THERE ARE VERY PERMANENT WAYS TO PREVENT THAT FROM OCCURRING!  GO FREAKIN' GET SOMETHING TIED!

OK, huge, bold capital letters are now off.  However, the second irony of this car?  There was a "Jesus fish" on the back as well.

While I refuse to call this person stupid or an idiot or any other defaming name that we have a tendency to throw around so casually at one another, I do have to say that complete lack of logic of this person perplexes me.  But, then again, if logic were a strong point to the pro-abortion crowd, they wouldn't allow the nearly unlimited ability to kill babies while protecting the lives of serial murderers, rapists, and child molesters and furry woodland creatures.

I do like furry woodland creatures....but, ask me to take up the cause for unborn babies verses the spotted owl (yes, I know, NOT a furry woodland creature), the unborn babies take infinite precedence.  When America stops killing its babies with wreckless abandon, then we can talk about owls, dolphins, and chipmunks....

'How much do pro-Israel Christians REALLY love us?'

Interesting perspective on the "Left Behind" series from a Jewish POV....

'How much do pro-Israel Christians REALLY love us?'
http://www.jnewswire.com/a
rticle/1445

I just want to say that I love Israel and am incredibly supportive of them.  I truly believe that they are God's chosen people, and, as the apostle Paul said, "I ask, then, has God rejected his own people, the nation of Israel? Of course not! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham and a member of the tribe of Benjamin." (Romans 11:1, NLT).  God has not given up on them.  BUT, the fact of the matter is, Jesus Christ IS the Messiah, and Israel has rejected Him as such....Paul laments in Romans 9:1-3 that he would give up his own salvation in Christ if it meant that the nation of Israel would believe in Him and come to salvation.

Paul mentioned that the "the longing of [his] heart and [his] prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved." (Romans 10:1, NLT).  He was an Israelite himself, and loved his Jewish brothers and sisters.  How much did Paul love Israel?  Enough that he proclaimed (and sincerely, I might add!) that he would give up his own salvation if it meant Israel would repent and believe.  He didn't water down the truth, he didn't stop preaching the Gospel of Christ.  He pressed on, telling everyone he knew.

How much do true, Bible believing, evangelical, pro-Israel Christians love you, Israel?

Enough to tell you that Jesus is the Messiah you've sought for centuries, the One that the prophets and patriarchs spoke about.  He is the ONLY One that can bring salvation to you.

I guess there's not much more to say on the subject....

Friday, November 10, 2006

[twbowes-devotions] Devotion: Little Concessions / Big Consequences

Little Concessions / Big Consequences

Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us." -- Genesis 26:10; English Standard Bible

George O'Leary told a lie. He had been newly hired as the coach of Notre Dame University's football team. The university officials performed a background check. They discovered that Coach O'Leary lied about his experience and credentials. Notre Dame discovered that O'Leary did not have the master's degree he claimed to have and they discovered Mr. O'Leary had not even played college football, though he said he'd played for three years at New Hampshire. Coach O'Leary said*, "Many years ago, as a young married father, I sought to pursue my dream as a football coach. In seeking employment I prepared a resume that contained inaccuracies regarding my completion of course work for a master's degree and also my level of participation in football at my alma mater. These misstatement[s] were never stricken from my resume or biographical sketch in later years."

All this went down FIVE DAYS after he'd been hired. Ironically, O'Leary had coached at another high profile school and in the professional ranks for several years under the same lie. It finally caught up with him. His lie cost him his job, it embarrassed him and it embarrassed the reputation of the University of Notre Dame. Commenting further, Coach O'Leary said*, "Due to a selfish and thoughtless act many years ago, I have personally embarrassed Notre Dame, its alumni and fans."

Of course, this being America, he got another coaching job like nothing had ever happened. It's not as high profile as Notre Dame, but a job coaching football.

Abimelech** was obviously a wise man and a moral one as well. He was outraged and bewildered that Isaac would lie about his relationship with Rebekah. If you will allow me a paraphrase: "Isaac, what in the world did you think you were doing? Don't you realize that your attempt at deception could have caused your wife to be unfaithful with one of our people?"

Little lies; little concessions. Rarely do we foresee how far they could go. The best thing is not to tell little lies or make little concessions.

I don't know if we can foresee what MIGHT become of little concessions. Do you think, when Coach O'Leary first sought a job in the coaching ranks, that he ever thought he would be offered the most prestigious coaching job in the entire country? I doubt it. I think he just wanted to get his foot in the door. Little did he know that he would one day work as defensive coordinator of the 1990 National Championship Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Do you think that he foresaw that as the catalyst for many other opportunities? I doubt it, but that's what happened. He probably thought about his lies often, but had gotten too far in to get out.

That's what happens.

I would imagine the same thing happened to Isaac. He probably didn't think he would be in Gerar that long. He only went there because of a famine where he lived (Genesis 26:1). While he was there Isaac got a word from the Lord to stay there (Genesis 26:3). Men asked Isaac about Rebekah; he said, "She's my sister" (Genesis 26:7).

Here is where Isaac failed and where most of us fail as well; he stopped trusting God and started looking around instead of up. God had plainly told Isaac that He would bless him (Genesis 26:3-4). Instead of holding God to His promise, Isaac feared men and made a concession, told a lie. It was just a little thing. Thank God nothing came of it, but MUCH could have gone wrong.

What is the point to all of this today? Let us endeavor to walk carefully, fearing our God in all things, scorning the opinion of men where it might cause us to gain the reproach of God. Tell no lies. Make no concessions that may cause us to sin.

Little lies, little concession MAY lead to big consequences. People may or may not ever realize our wrong. God always knows. Trust Him, even if being righteous in the moment COSTS us something.

Think about it.





*Quotes taken from Sports Illustrated's web site: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/college/news/2001/12/14/oleary_notredame/

**Abimelech -- a common name of the Philistine kings (Easton's Bible Dictionary)


Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2
http://twbowes.blogspot.com/


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--
Brian Johnson
"And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight." (2 Samuel 6:22)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

There's this exciting headline....


Israel haters celebrate Democrat gains


So, I wonder who will hang up the "Open Season on the Jews" sign.....

Oh, Iran feels more encouraged to continue with their nuclear plans....

I can imagine the knives sharpening and the saliva dripping off the teeth of all the enemies of the US and Israel over there in the mid-East....

But that's OK, because soon-to-be speaker Pelosi has assured us that once the US leaves Iraq, so will the terrorists....

From her 60 Minutes interview:

"Do you not think that the war in Iraq now, today, is the war on terror?" Stahl asks.

"No. The war on terror is the war in Afghanistan," Pelosi says.

"But you don't think that the terrorists have moved into Iraq now?" Stahl continues.

"They have," Pelosi agrees. "The jihadists in Iraq. But that doesn't mean we stay there. They'll stay there as long as we're there."

Two mornings after.... (was: The morning after....)

This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but alas, not so much....

So, now, two nights ago, on the way home, I listened to 680AM in order to hear what was happening in the election counts.  It was mostly local races, so I didn't gain much info on the national forcast.

Once I got home, I switched on Fox News.  At the time I turned it on, the Dems needed 3 seats in the Senate to gain control of that house, 11 seats in the House of Reps to get that one.

I took a break from it, ended up falling asleep, and then waking up at about 11:30.  I went into the living room to turn off the tv.  I got there just in time to see the "Balance of Power" meter going from "Democrats need one seat in the House of Reps" to a big banner saying, "Democrats have gained control of the House of Representatives".  They still needed 3 seats in the Senate.

So this morning, it looks like they only need 2 seats in the Senate, with Montana and Virginia too close to call.  I *believe* the Dem candidate in both states have a small lead, and know that there will be a recount in Virginia at least.

UPDATE:  The senate race in VA has been called, and the Dems gained that seat, giving them the majority needed for the Senate as well.

A ban on same-sex marriage in Arizona was shot down, as was the ban on abortion in North Dakota.  

And Wednesday morning, Hamas has called Muslims to declare war on America .

I enjoyed Rush Limbaugh's comments on the whole election:

Even though the Republican Party let us down, to me they represent a far better future for my beliefs and therefore the country's than the Democrat Party and liberalism does.

That's how I feel....I am first and foremost a Bible-believing, conservative, evangelical, and heck, let's throw Calvinist in there as well, Christian.  I have my party affiliation because I believe involvement in government is important, and the party I've alligned myself with is by no means perfect, and I don't agree with everything they do (especially as they've moved from their conservative roots....), they're as corrupt and hypocritical as their opponents....

But, we have a system.   And I have to work in it the best I can.  Realizing that, in light of eternity, it doesn't matter.  God is still on His throne, and nothing's going to change that, no matter who's controlling the two Houses.

That being said....

Here's hoping for a better 2008....




--
Brian Johnson
"And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight." (2 Samuel 6:22)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The morning after....

Last night, on the way home, I listened to 680AM in order to hear what was happening in the election counts.  It was mostly local races, so I didn't gain much info on the national forcast.

Once I got home, I switched on Fox News.  At the time I turned it on, the Dems needed 3 seats in the Senate to gain control of that house, 11 seats in the House of Reps to get that one.

I took a break from it, ended up falling asleep, and then waking up at about 11:30.  I went into the living room to turn off the tv.  I got there just in time to see the "Balance of Power" meter going from "Democrats need one seat in the House of Reps" to a big banner saying, "Democrats have gained control of the House of Representatives".  They still needed 3 seats in the Senate.

So this morning, it looks like they only need 2 seats in the Senate, with Montana and Virginia too close to call.  I *believe* the Dem candidate in both states have a small lead, and know that there will be a recount in Virginia at least.

A ban on same-sex marriage in Arizona was shot down, as was the ban on abortion in North Dakota. 

Oh, and as of this morning, Hamas has called Muslims to declare war on America .

Here's hoping for a better 2008....

--
Brian Johnson
"And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight." (2 Samuel 6:22)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day Special....

(Or that which, in the end, still gives me Hope.....)

1
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (Romans 13:1, NLT)

Today is Election Day....if you're in America, then the last few months have been a bombardment of ads, accusations, pleas, and basically anything to get Joe-Average-Voter out to vote for the "right" candidate.

Right now there's a lot up in the air, uncertainty in both parties about what's going to happen. The Democrats are sure they'll control either the House and/or the Senate when it's all said and done, while the Republicans hope their efforts to reenergize their party was enough to keep the control they have, or at the very least, minimize the hits their party has taken.

I'm not politically savvy enough to even begin to try to make a prediction. I try to stay pretty informed on the issues, but to keep up with everything going on around the country is more than I have time for.

But, I did get out and cast my vote this morning. The last time I voted, in 2004, I voted at my county courthouse. So, that's where I went this morning. Except that's not my normal polling place, that was only it for the Early Voting I did in '04. D'oh!

I was reminded that I needed to go to my normal polling place, 15 min back in the direction of my house. Then, I was in a pickle -- go ahead back to vote, or go to work, and then travel 30 minutes to vote at lunch (going after work wouldn't happen because I spend Tues nights in town). I ultimately decided to vote then instead of lunch, because if I waited, I'm sure there would've been a reason not to at lunch. Then I would've missed my chance.

So, I voted. Quick and painless. The people were friendly. No electronic voting for my neck of the woods (thank goodness, from what I've heard). Got my little paper ballot, fed it into the machine, left. Took maybe 10 min total.

So it was a good experience.

However, whether my guys win or lose, I'm reassured by the apostle Paul. He reminded the Romans that, no matter who's in charge, we're to submit to them because they're ALL established by God. He establishes the people in charge.

Even the ones I don't like. Which gives me hope, because it just reminds me that yeah, they're in control, but God put them there. And He's above all of them.

So, no matter who wins today, no matter what the headlines read, no matter who's making the talk show circuit tomorrow....

It doesn't matter. God's the one who holds all the power and authority.

It'd be wonderful to know that our elected leaders recognized that as well and would submit to that power and authority and let Him guide them.

Pray for our leaders. Pray for our country. Pray for those who will one day be leaders.

Monday, November 06, 2006

What happens in a post-Christian society....

"UK experts call for debate on euthanasia for seriously disabled newborns"


http://www.news-medical.net/?id=20876

When Pastor and I went to the Youth Leader conference a few weeks ago, they talked about the fact that only 4% of teenagers in America are Bible-believing teenagers, and how we have 5 years to turn the trend around. Otherwise, evangelical Christianity will die out in the US.

The speaker talked about how there won't be a spiritual void for long ("nature abhors a vacuum"). England is past its "Christian" hayday. Now there are mosques all over the place and Islam is taking over. It's a place where tolerance and relative morality are preached.

Now they're calling for a debate on killing newborns that are disabled.

Is this the fate of America? Millions of babies have already been slaughtered in the name of "choice" because of Roe vs. Wade. Will America move to a point where it's not good enough to justify those killings, but justifying the killing of newborns who are born with handicaps or disabilities?

/me shakes head
8"You shall also say to this people, 'Thus says the LORD, "Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.

9"He who dwells in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence; but he who goes out and falls away to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live, and he will have his own life as booty. (Jeremiah 21:8-9, NLT)


I shared this one with my Youth last night during Youth group. It's obviously from Jeremiah, one of God's prophets, telling Israel about the coming destruction for their rebellion.

God has Jeremiah tell them that they have a choice -- either life, or death. He then goes on to tell what brings about each of them. He starts out with the way to death. Ironically, He tells Jeremiah that it's the ones who stay and fight who will experience death. But, those who "fall away to the Chaldeans" will continue to live.

This is why the Bible is so amazing to me! Because, looking at both the Old and New Testaments, you see God's consistency! What He tells Jeremiah in the Old Testament is the same thing He tells us today....in order to live, we must surrender.

It's counter-intuitive. Think about being an Israelite. The Babylonians are coming, invading Jerusalem. The natural instinct is to stay and fight. If you've got a bunch of ugly, foreign invaders coming to you, you don't think, "hmmm, let me drop my weapons, becoming unarmed, and I'll surrender to them." To do that would seem like certain death. To fight, on the other hand, would seem to mean at least something of a chance. Sure, you may end up dying, but you could end up being victorious as well.

But that's not what God told His people. In order to live, they had to surrender to Babylon. To stay and fight would mean certain death.

That's how it is today. God gives us a choice of life and death. To gain life, we must surrender to God and His will. Like the Israelites being led to captivity, it may not be pleasant, and it may be an inconvenience. But God has a plan, and He knows what's best. If we trust in Him and surrender to Him, He will take care of us! It will bring us greater life than anything else we may have for ourselves.

He also gives us the choice to fight. We can try to fight God, trying to do things our way. We can say, "no thanks, God, I'm comfortable here, I'm not budging." We can choose to be proud and not surrender to God. But in the end, that's what leads to death. As Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death."

What will we choose today?