Thursday, March 31, 2005

Global Warming - Good? Bad?

"Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it will write a report about global warming, including details on emissions from Ford vehicles and factories, in response to complaints from some shareholders that the nation's second biggest automaker isn't doing enough to reduce pollution." This according to Business Week Online.

I don't want this blog to be just another political pundit page. But nothing frosts my patuti like this global warming fraud. Everyone, I think, agrees that there was one degree of global warming in the last 100 years. There have been times in history when the temperature has gone up or down by more than one degree in a century. There have been times in history when the global temperature was much higher than now. I think that is all that everyone agrees on.

The things we don't agree on are, and I would claim have no way to know: Will additional increases create big problems? Will additional increases actually create a better climate? How much, if any, of the increase is caused by man? Can man do anything to stop or reverse the increase regardless of whether it is man caused or God caused? Will the cost of doing extraordinary efforts to make a change be worse than the potential if we do nothing?

Truly we are called by God to be good stewards of His creation. Therefore we should do all we can reasonably do to preserve and conserve resources and protect life.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Best Parenting Book - Help! I’m a Parent by Dr. Bruce Narramore

My undergraduate major was psych with an emphasis in marriage and the family. Since graduation I have kept up with the study of this area by reading every book and article I could find. The last 20 years these books have been largely from Christian authors. It is very difficult for a secular author to provide solid advice to parents since they will base their ideas on the current science. That science has an awful record of changing every few years.

The Bible as a basis for parenting has a much stronger and longer history. Say 7,000 years or so. Even the more recent testament has been unchanged for 2000 years. Of all the books I have seen, Bruce Narramore has done the best job of looking to the scriptures and coming up with one great approach to parenting after another.

Try this paragraph as a for instance:

Loving and mature parents make it easy for children to understand God’s character. But anxious, inconsistent, or domineering parents instill a poor father-image. Children of these parents may see God as distant, unconcerned, punitive, or weak. The exact image depends on the image of the earthly parents.


Any time a child involves us in a power struggle he has won control. Even though we force the right behavior from him, he has manipulated our feelings to the point of anger, fear, or frustration. To a child, this is victory, Whenever a child makes us lose our temper, he has won a victory.

I would love to just go on and on, pointing out the great paragraphs. This book is available in paperback at all the regular places. If you have children from 1-17, buy it today.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Best Marriage Book - Love Life for Every Married Couple by Dr. Ed Wheat

Sometimes, in some categories, it is a close call as to the best. After all, there can be two very different approaches that are both very worthwhile. And, truth be known, there are lots of very good Christian books on Marriage. Dr. Dobson certainly has contributed greatly to this genre.

However, when I hear a friend say that his or her marriage is in trouble, I spend $3.95 for another copy of Love Life and give it as a gift. I suggest that no matter how good your marriage is (or not), you buy this treasure trove of wisdom and read it this weekend. Then buy a few copies to have handy for your friends.

Dr. Wheat has concluded that unconditional love is the wellspring from which we must draw in order to keep our marriages sound and healthy. Think about that. Unconditional love. Not I will only treat you in a loving way when you do things the way I want you to. Rather, I will treat you in a loving way even when you are doing things I don't like at all.

He proposes that we listen to Paul in Ephesians 5 when he tells men to love their wives like Christ loves the church. Paul was talking about sacrificial love. Then Paul goes on to tell wives to revere their husbands, and not only when their actions are worthy of reverence.

And that is only the beginning of what you will see in this great book. You may have heard radio preachers and other writers who now teach these same messages. They are all in the debt of Ed Wheat. Go to the source.

Monday, March 28, 2005

OBSESSED by Ted Dekker

Sometimes writers get better as they write more, sometimes they slip into a stock formula and just fill in the blanks. Robert Ludlum for example. Others try to move outside of their strength only to struggle like John Grisham. But while Dekker sticks with adventure, he avoids any formula, and his writing and dramatic flair keep improving.

This work takes us to the horrors of Nazi Germany and the death camps. I have always had a fascination for this time in history, having grown up in the 50’s in a 98% Jewish community. It was all very fresh at that time, and many of my friends had lost relatives in the camps. It seems timely for Dekker to bring this time to mind again as we see the rise in anti-semitism in Europe and even among the American elites in the Colleges.

However, a warning. This book is not for the squeamish. It deals with devilish rituals that are hard to take. I would definitely not suggest this for anyone under 18 . . . maybe even 25. As always, there are several aspects of this work that will touch every life, and there is never a doubt that a sold-out Christian is at the helm of this ship.

Finally, I wouldn’t start here with Dekker. Start with Blessed Child. Work up to this one. I look forward to The Martyr’s Song due out in September, ‘05.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Easter Break

It is a time to contemplate and meditate over the death of our precious Lord Jesus for our sins. Then on to the celebration of his glorious rising from the dead and our promised future in heaven with Him. Thank you Lord.

So there will be no new posts until Monday. However, be prepared for a veritable flurry of new stuff. I will be reviewing other books by Randy Alcorn. I will begin a series of reviews of the exciting writer of Christian Fiction, Ted Dekker. I might throw in a couple of other reviews as well.

Also look for a list of the best books about everything. I will need some help here, so I look forward to your comments as we go. However, we will start with best books on parenting, marriage, marital sex, small business, prayer, and end times theory.

Of course there will still be my rants and thoughts about this and that. Hopefully, we will start to weave in some guest appearances.

Have a great Easter.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Devestating Effects of Porn

The following letter has been edited as noted by the italics for clarity. This letter was taken off of an internet site. The writer self identifies as a liberal, and seems to be disintersted in morality, at least in the way you and I might see it. The letter has some adult content. I hope you feel, as I do, that it was necessary to leave it in to get the full impact. I pray that after you have read this, you will feel the same sense of urgency that I do regarding this subject. Please tell others to come, read, and COMMENT.

Perhaps what many men don't understand is that the
difficulty posed by porn - and more generally - the
constant barrage of 'perfect' women is not only or
necessarily lowered self-esteem but a sense of
isolation and sadness that a woman feels. When I
studied pornography academically, I thought that porn
as a problem was ludricous (excepting in cases of
hard-core or violent porn). I would be the first to
defend it on grounds of freedom of expression, sexual
liberation, etc. For years, I've thought of myself as
a "feminist that accepts porn".

That viewpoint was brought sharply into question very
recently when I discovered that my boyfriend - who is
a dear kind man who says he loves me - both looks at
and masturbates to (soft-core) porn. I really don't
know how much of it is linked to self-esteem: I do not
have the features of the classic porn star but I am
petite and fit and, as far as I understand, physically
attractive to a lot of men including my boyfriend. I
don't feel less attractive as a result of my discovery
but I do feel diminished in a way that I can barely
articulate to myself. I guess the closest I can come
to describing how I feel is that the act of sex
between him and I has now changed from something only
he and I do to something that - psychologically - he
does with other women. And of course, there is also
the sense that these other women have qualities I
don't have and never will (without surgery I suppose)
- though I don't think it's a lowered self-esteem
thing but more a practical observation - ie. "I will
never look like that, so my boyfriend will always look
at that because he won't get it with me.". Because of
this I feel like our monogamous relationship is no
longer monogamous in spirit though it is in letter.

I guess my question to men (and women) who feel that
porn is inconsequential in relationships: is it too
much to ask to be the only one your partner fantasizes
about, at least in the first few years of a
relationship? Maybe it is, I don't know. Of course I
know there are other beautiful women out there and of
course my boyfriend will notice them, but it just
seems like masturbation or actively pursuing pictures
of these women is so much more than just noticing. The
other thing is - I notice attractive men but I don't
masturbate to the thought of them nor fantasize about
them because I love (loved?) my boyfriend.

It's not that I stop myself from thinking these things
because it's morally wrong but just because - being in
love with him - it hadn't even occurred to me to look
at other men in that way. I feel so hurt and I don't
even really fully know why - the consequence of which
is I feel so distant from him and I find it difficult
to love him. So - to sum up - I would ask that rather
than placing blame or criticizing one sex for having
the wrong standards, etc, that maybe we would think
about how this really affects human relationships and
the love that we let ourselves feel - despite the fear
of being vulnerable to another that we all have. If
there is something out there that reduces the sum
quotient of love and caring in the world, why do we
want it?


Saturday, March 12, 2005

Porn and its consequences

God is very predictable. In establishing a world based on natural consequences, there is this remarkable pattern. When a society chooses to take a new path into sin, the impact is not really seen for a generation. After 25 or 30 years the culture wakes up to the toll that the sin is taking, but now it is very hard to turn people away from what they are in bondage to.

The most recent example of this was the sexual revolution of 1967-1970. Many who have studied this time period have stated that never before in human history has a society changed so radically in such a short period of time. In just three years sex went from being something reserved for marriage for the vast majority of the population to a casual part of relating to someone you just met. Living in sin with an unmarried person of the opposite sex went from being unheard of to being common. Attending an X rated movie in 1965 was for perverts who snuck into art houses. In 1969 it was for Mr. and Mrs. Suburbia.

Thirty years later in the 90’s, the results were in. Teen pregnancies out of wedlock at all time highs. Fatherless households. Kids running wild. Sexual disease destroying lives. President of the US declaring oral copulation to not fit the definition of sex. Kids hooking up with perfect strangers just for sex.

Now comes the latest example. I have studied human sexual behavior my entire life, and the following information shocked me. If it doesn’t shock you, then it may be that for our society it is too late. Twenty years ago pornography began to become pervasive in society. The internet changed everything.

Many young single men are reporting that they no longer desire sex with “flesh-and-blood” women. They can get better sex by themselves with their computer than with a real woman, and they don’t have to take risks or be relational.

Many young single women are reporting that they are being coerced into doing “the things women do on internet porn” to satisfy their boyfriends, dates, ... oh, and husbands.

Young women who are advertising their availability on internet dating sites often include a list of the sexual things they are into or willing to do. . . to get a date.

Married men, some of whom from time immemorial may have used self-satisfaction for those times when their wife was not “meeting their needs” are now replacing their wives with internet sex. Sometimes the husbands are even letting their wives know of their “hobby.”

Married women who may have occasionally found themselves self-satisfying with soap opera’s or dime novels are now visiting chat rooms and dating services to get into steamy conversations with real men. And 25-30% of the visitors to internet porn sites are women.

Marriages are breaking up over the above. I am a witness to this fact. Psychiatrists report increasing numbers of men coming into their offices because of their inability to relate sexually to real women.

Why this post at this time?

1. Western Civilization is not likely to be destroyed by invading hoards. It will probably not die out from some new disease. We probably will not run out of food, fuel, clean air, or water. It is much more likely that we will die from cancer, a cancer of our hearts, souls, and spirits. We need to do all of the following to prevent such an occurrence.
2. Take a look at our own behavior and the behavior of our loved ones. Do any of the above statements apply to you? To your husband, wife, son, daughter, grandchild, sister, brother, friend, brother or sister in Christ? You should take action immediately.

3. If you are doing internet porn, or any porn, you need help NOW! It is a devastating sin, and it is very progressive. E-mail me now! ( Lets talk about it. If you are too embarrassed to use your real name, go get yourself a free e-mail and you can be anonymous.

4. If you have children, just point blank ask them if they are doing the things above. Only 5% of parents ever talk to their kids about sex. Parents give their teens plenty of instructions about how to drive a car, but nothing about how to stay pure. Have the talk today. If you find out that one of your children is hooked on porn, have them e-mail me. ( I will help. Make sure that you are checking up on their internet habits. Check the histories. Put on filters. Only allow the computers to be used in public parts of the house. Outlaw movie cable channels and MTV in your home.

5. If one of your single friends is having these problems, you need to confront them in love. They are going to have serious regrets. In fact, they are probably feeling dirty, and guilty, and miserable now.

6. Pray for our country. Pray that our leaders will address these issues. Pray that maybe Hollywood will become as incensed about all this distractive sexual behavior as they are about saving trees or outlawing guns.

7. Tell anyone who is in bondage to this material that there is forgiveness in Christ, and that they need to ask forgiveness and turn from this sin. Many, many parishioners, church leaders, and pastors are in bondage to internet porn. Make sure that your brother or sister in Christ is truly saved. Are they going to repent?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Don’t Tell Me What to Do

My management style generally follows the Ronald Reagan school. Hire the best and get out of the way. Even with my children, I only give direction when absolutely necessary, and rarely more than once. Not so with my wife.

Even though Pam is a very capable person, and any who read this and know her are going “Amen,” I am always willing to help her to run any part of her life. And if she doesn’t get it the first time, I won’t shrink from my God-given responsibility to help her by another nudge in the right direction.

Today, my copy of the magazine Marriage Partnership arrived in the mail, and according to the author of a short first person article, I’ve been managing my employees and my kids the right way, and well . . . uhhh. . . maybe not doing such a great job with the wife. Julie Ferwerda and her husband figured out that this micromanagement of one another’s life was not that great for communication and intimacy.

So the recommendation is just cringe and shut up when you see your spouse doing it “wrong” (not the way you would do it.) Shockingly, they would probably get through the day without hurting themselves or others, even without your great advice.

Marriage Partnership magazine is a publication of Christianity today. It comes out quarterly and is generally well worth the $17.95 for the first year. I’m not selling it, just providing the info if it might help out. PO Box 37058, Boone IA 50037

Saturday, March 05, 2005

HEAVEN by Randy Alcorn

For over twenty years Randy Alcorn has been writing fiction and non fiction works on a wide range of subjects. It is no secret that I am one of his biggest fans. Almost every book he has written has something to do with heaven, and his ideas about heaven have always been a bit off the wall.

In one of his books he pictures the journey between our life here on earth and entry into heaven as being similar to a birth canal. Picking up from the various near death experience stories that have been in the news the last 20 years or so, he saw the journey taking place along a blue tube. A the other end of the tube, we are birthed into heaven.

After taking those kinds of fun liberties in his earlier works, he has now produced a serious study looking at heaven from every angle imaginable. He has three ways to prove his ideas. One is what scripture says heaven will be like. Two is logical extensions of what scripture says. Three is admittedly more theoretical . . . Why wouldn’t God do it this way.

The major premise of the book is that Heaven is a reborn earth very much like the earth as we know it but glorified, perfected, and without sin or death. However, that leads to a tough question. How are we to both love the world as God repeatedly says He does, and at the same time respond to the apostle John’s (1 John 2:15) statement that we are not to love the world or anything in the world. Alcorn answers with this:

“Consider the predicament of decent German citizens under the Nazi regime. Did they love their homeland, Germany, or did the hate it. Both, simultaneously. They hated the Nazi government, the arrogance, depravity, bigotry, brutality, and persecution. Yet they knew there was a better Germany, even though it was buried beneath the prevailing tide of fascism. They were loyal to that better Germany, and they could still see signs of it in the beautiful countryside, a concerto, the eyes of a kind neighbor, Germans jailed for resistance to the Nazis, and faithful citizens quietly intervening to save Jews. Paradoxically, it was their very love for Germany that fueled their opposition to Nazi Germany. Likewise our love for God’s Earth fuels our opposition to fallen earth.”

For me the first third of Heaven was the best. The middle of the book seemed at times like he felt the need to prove everything in just the right way to complete his thesis. The last third is fast paced as he gives his opinion on issues we all think about like whether we will continue our relationships, whether we will have pets, and if there is sex in heaven. Those are just a few of the practical things he addresses.

You will definitely feel closer to God and to heaven after this read. Buy it at your local Christian Bookstore or on the web.

Friday, March 04, 2005

God the "Father"

Have been in a Bible study where we started at the beginning and we are now to 1 Samuel. (after 2 years) A striking thing happens when you go this slowly through God’s Word. You see things you never saw before. For one, I believe that the theme for the first five books is actually “Do as I command so that things will go well with you.” Like any loving parent, He provides instruction, direction, rules, and consequences so that things will go well with His children.

Small children respond to this kind of parenting by trying (most of the time) to please their parents. They also love and adore their parents for their Godlikeness. Could this be why God wants us to come to him as little children? If we love and adore Him so much that we want to do as He tells us, then things will go well with us. Exactly in the way that it works with little children.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


It is my personal belief that wealth is the most difficult temptation we might face in life. I am personally far from wealthy, but do well enough to see how it can distract you from the important things. I will eventually report on a book by Bill Hybels entitled “Descending into Greatness. It had a very big impact on my life. (e.g. I was driving Jags. Now I drive a Dodge Intrepid.) But wealth can create all kinds of sinful behavior from worrying about keeping it to idolizing the things it buys. Having money can certainly divert our attention from God to things and pleasure.

So, if you agree with the above, why do we work so hard to provide wealth for our kids? Why do we feel so bad about those who are just above or below the poverty level? Why are we so motivated to help our friends find better and better jobs? Why do we, as a nation, seek to bring the rest of the world up to our standard of living?