Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Littlefoot


littlefoot
Originally uploaded by Randy Kirk.
What an amazing shot. HT to AP.

Sorry, I Just Don’t Have Time for That

There are a few people in the world for whom that line is probably true. They so overcommit to things that they actually have no time left for one more thing. For the other 99% of us, the only reason we don’t have time for THAT is that we are wasting huge chunks of Time. Waste may be too strong a term. As one wag put it, priorities are what we do, not what we say.

Just for amusement, here is a possible schedule (it probably looks a lot like mine.) Sleep 7 hours per day. In one week that leaves 119 hours. Dress, shower, eat breakfast. 6 hours per week. Commute to office, work, and return home, 55 hours. I now have only 58 hours left. Come home from work, talk to Pam as she finishes preparing dinner, eat, and relax on 4 weeknights, 3 hours. Bible study on Tuesday, 3 hours. Church Sunday morning , 3 hours. Date night or something else on Friday night, 5 hours. Down to 41 hours. Chores like drive kids around, help with housework, do the bills, fix the odd broken thing, 6 hours maximum. 35 hours left. Just for laughs I’ll throw in 7 hours for prayer, reading Bible, devotion, and such. Now I only have 28 hours to throw around ... PER WEEK! 100+ hours per month.

So, I’m left with 4 hours per day to spend as I like. Most of those are on Saturday and Sunday, to be fair. But I suspect that you and I and the other 97 like us have two or three hours on weekdays that we are just frittering away. 1200 hours per year. 12,000 per decade. 60,000 wasted hours in an adult lifetime of 50 years. WOW! How many lives could you have touched in that time.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Balanced Article on Global Warming

If you would like to read a short article that will give you the range of opinions on global warming, and a solution, go here.

Space Ring Could Shade Earth and Stop Global Warming
By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Writer - Live Science
posted: 27 June 2005
02:14 pm ET


A wild idea to combat global warming suggests creating an artificial ring of small particles or spacecrafts around Earth to shade the tropics and moderate climate extremes.

There would be side effects, proponents admit. An effective sunlight-scattering particle ring would illuminate our night sky as much as the full Moon, for example.

And the price tag would knock the socks off even a big-budget agency like NASA: $6 trillion to $200 trillion for the particle approach. Deploying tiny spacecraft would come at a relative bargain: a mere $500 billion tops.

But the idea, detailed today in the online version of the journal Acta Astronautica, illustrates that climate change can be battled with new technologies, according to one scientist not involved in the new work.


By the way. I think that using such a method to cool the earth would be a horrible mistake. For a whole host of reasons. What say you?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Jollyblogger Gives His Booklist - Oh! And Charles Stanley, TOO!

The next two weeks will see massive uploades of recommended Christian reading at my other blog, Christian Book Classics. Today, I posted a list from Jollyblogger that you will want to go see. And a couple of days ago I received a short list from Charles Stanley.

Monday


C00967347
Originally uploaded by Randy Kirk.
Does this picture describe certain moments in your life. I think it mostly reminds me of the average Monday. And I'm an optimist!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Time’s A Wastin’

My adorable wife, Pam, is out of town. I have been using every possible moment since she left to write up a storm, create a backlog of articles, keep Warner happy with progress on my book, and research methods for increasing the reach of this blog. My goal is to have more time for her and the boys, and the grown kids, and the grand kids and the friends, and the church when she gets back. Juggling my time can be a real issue. So much to do - So little time.

But last night, I came home and plopped! Just plain did mostly nothing for hours except watch Money Pit for the 10th time, and a sorta funny movie called Office something or the other. Then I read a little National Review and off to bed. I could have written five or ten posts in that time. Nuts!

In my almost six decades I’ve wasted a bunch of time. Yet, by the grace of God I feel like I’ve accomplished a thing or two. How should one go about measuring these things. I’m way too wise to know that I don’t have the answers to that one. But I do have a couple of ideas and a few questions. 1. Good rest and vacations are not time wasters. They are valuable uses of time. 2. Time in prayer is always worth it and will never return void. 3. Working more than 50 hours per week at your occupation on a regular basis is not wise for the company, for you, or for your family. 4. Television is the biggest, most useless time sucking machine of all.

I will return to this subject on another day. Law and Order is on. : )

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Sensitivity Training

As a rock-solid conservative, those two words make my skin crawl. Sensitivity training brings to mind a forced meeting at a company, government office, or school where some holier-than-thou social worker will teach us how to think about or act towards others. It cries out of political correctness and group think. It suggests that we deny stereotypes that we know have basis in fact. It tells us that certain groups have a different status because they have been mistreated in the past.

I suspect the percentage of folks in the population who think its fun or right to be insensitive to the feelings of others is rather small. Sure, when we get in groups, that percentage rises as we try to fit in or even increase our status within the group by acting out in ways we think the group will applaud. But generally, most people I know desire to be nice most of the time. I would certainly count myself among that group. However, I have had my head handed to me on this subject a couple of times lately. And in one case it lead to a convergence of thoughts on the subject.

One such time was at a web forum called http://blogcritics.org. Stacy Harp over at http://blogforbooks.com had suggested on her blog that this was a fun forum. Now Stacy is a solid Christian, her blog is about media from a Christian perspective, and the visitors to her site are probably overwhelmingly Christian. Therefore I assumed (whoops!) that she was sending me to a Christian forum.

I scooted over to the forum, didn’t read any of the other articles that were posted, and just dropped a bomb on the site. I posted Porn and Its Consequences which you can read here. You can be certain that on this very secular site where some of the most prolific commenters and posters are gay, lesbian, living with their significant others, etc., that this article drew lots of comments (many not printable on this site.) The number and nature of the comments reflected the fact that the article was written in a way that assumed a Christian audience.

Later, one of the more even handed commenters said to me: Did you even check out the audience before you posted? No. I hadn’t. And that raised an important issue. Words spoken in private or to a group that shares your thinking or values may take on entirely different meaning when spoken in front of a group that doesn’t. In the latter case your words may come of as threatening, dehumanizing, or mean spirited.

Then this same commenter gave the discussion an interesting twist. This same sensitivity needs to be applied to proselytizing. Those who hold strong views sometimes feel an urgency to share their views, even sell their views, to others. (That would be me.) However, it can be pretty insensitive to share those views with someone who doesn’t want to hear it. He suggested that he expects to be sold ideas in the forum, but that he doesn’t necessarily expect to get told about Jesus by the guy who comes to paint his house.

Sensitivity. I’ve kind of grown to dislike the word. I think it might have to do with the fact that those who are trying to shove it down our throats are not being very sensitive. So maybe we’ll need a new word to describe something that we undoubtedly should be more attuned to.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Church of the Blogger

Our little church on the corner, Venice Baptist Church, which for years was known by its sign with witty sayings, viewed by the 1000's passing down Walgrove every day, has now become a hotbed of bloggers. My own entry into the blogosphere was at least partially due to the influence of the very popular Michael Williams. If you haven't visited Master of None, you should.

Through blogger connecting he is now engaged to The Daily Spork whose name I can't reveal or I'll have to kill you. So she now goes to Venice. Her site rose to fame as she was integrally involved in the BTK killer's apprehension and arrest. Her fiance is very strange (which usually accompanies brilliance.) So the future Mrs. is naturally a little offbeat herself. Expect that when you visit The Daily Spork and be willing to give her a couple of reads to "get" her.

Our Youth Pastor Josh, mentioned a few days ago in my post on the emergent church can be seen blogging at Deception in the Church. I believe that he would be a candidate for most comments per visitor in the entire blog world. (half of those are mine) :-)

Our pastor has joined the fun, also, but his stuff is still inside baseball. We'll see if we can't get him going on some other topics soon.

So, if you're a blogger looking to hook up with other believing bloggers, c'mon over to Venice Church of the Blogger.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Gitmo Versus the Gulag

I have three questions that no one else seems to be asking about the salacious statements of Senator Dick Durbin (DEMOCRAT) of Illinois. To be complete, Sen. Durbin (D) read a report of an FBI agent who gave an eyewitness account of a prisoner at Gitmo being ill-treated. He was bound, hand to feet, and laying on the ground in a fetal position. The room was alternately very cold and very hot. He was laying in his own excrement. They were playing rap music very loudly.

Senator Durbin (D) suggested that if the description had been read without describing where it was taking place, we would have thought it was in a prison camp of the Nazis/Stalinist/Pol Pot.

Those who have been upset
with Sen. Durbin (D) have primarily argued that it is ridiculous to compare this incident or any similar incident with the treatment of the Nazis, Stalinists, or Pol Pot. Of course they are right, and it is an outrageous hyperbole. However, the comparison fails at several other levels that I’ve not seen mentioned.

1. In those regimes, treatment such as this and much worse was policy, and would not have been of concern to anyone in the ranks. Obviously, to Americans, even this level of handling was seen and reported as too much. Isn’t this an American Distinction that bears noting?

2. There would not have been a free press to report it, or free speech to debate it. Isn’t this part of our uniqueness as Americans that should be reported?

3. In no way does this treatment rise to the level of torture. If someone read it to me, and I didn’t know what is was describing, I would have thought of the “hole” in some jail, a crack house in downtown L.A. (except for the chains), or an S and M parlor. I wouldn’t have thought of Nazis. There I think of gold removed from teeth, scientific experiments on children. I wouldn’t have thought of Pol Pot. There I think of wholesale slaughter. I wouldn’t have thought of Stalin who would have never sent anyone to a place that had heat. Does anyone think that this rises to the level of torture?

4. These men are not innocents. The vast majority of those who were killed by Nazis, Pol Pot, and Stalin were innocent. The men we are holding are guilty of being part of a plan to kill innocents. We aren’t killing them, but treating them quite well. Wouldn’t this be an even more important moral distinction?

Saturday, June 18, 2005

VERY IMPORTANT REVIEW - Bondage Breakers by Neil Anderson

My Sister-in-law, Julie, says that this book is not for everyone, and I agree. You must have a sound underpinning of spiritual understanding to read this book, and the others by Neil Anderson on this subject. However, the concept of Bondage Breakers is perfect for at least half of those who call themselves Christians. That would be those who continue to suffer from depression, anxiety, fears, tension, addictions, relationship problems, anger, or any other emotional, mental, or spiritual problems. It is for those who feel that their spiritual growth has stopped, or that God just doesn’t hear them. It is for those who can’t get over some past hurt, or who are still carrying around a sack of guilt over past actions.

A little segue into my personal background. With an undergraduate degree in psych (emphasis in marriage and the family with 16 unit is human sexual response), and a graduate degree in law, both from UCLA, my intention was to help folks whose marriages were falling apart. However, as I followed the profession of marriage counseling and other forms of modern psychological efforts, it seemed that few were really being helped. It seemed as if an hour a week for one or two or five or ten years didn’t really bring resolution to many.

So I ended up in business. But I read constantly in the field and watched as my friends went to counselors. I ended up with my own personal observation in marriage counseling and some family counseling. I saw some good come out of the work of a Christian counselor who advised my wife and me on some parenting issues. That is about it.

Then I read Bondage Breakers. It made instant sense to me. Not only theologically. Not only logically. But one session of 4 hours and you’re done. How can that be?

Neil Anderson, who had served at Talbot School of Theology as head of the department of psychology, started to see a better way. The Bible tells us quite clearly what the seeds of our problems are? Pride, unforgiveness, family influences, lack of faith, sin, unclean spirits. We are clearly shown that the devil uses our specific weaknesses to bind us. He taunts us with accusations about our past deeds, tempts us with present sinful options, and tells us lies about God’s attitude concerning us.

When the Devil has un in bondage through our sin or through our incorrect thoughts or through our lack of forgiveness, we are hobbled in our efforts to move ahead in our walk. So how do we break free?

Anderson noted that the Devil is not omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent like God. Therefore there is this one great difference. God knows everything about us, even our thoughts, and through the Holy Spirit, He can speak directly to our hearts. The Devil, on the other hand is only a master at reading us from the outside. He can study our acts, record our history, and anticipate our actions based on his clever observations. Then he can speak to us, but only if he has access to us. If we are Christians, he cannot possess us, since our temple is already indwelt by the Holy Spirit. But he can oppress us by speaking to us, and harassing us.

The key then is to get the devil to leave us alone. Anderson points out that Christ has given us authority to tell the Devil to go away. Not power (and this is where it becomes better to have a counselor help with the bondage breaking process), because the Devil has far more power than we do. But we have authority through our inheritance in Christ to demand that he leave.

Neil Anderson has used this method for over twenty years now as have countless thousands of his disciples. Many hundreds of thousands have gone through the process. I have personally worked with a couple of dozen individuals. The results have been astounding in some cases, and excellent in almost every case. And the most amazing part is to watch the growth of these individuals after they complete Bondage Breakers.

The Bondage Breaker and other related books are available everywhere. They are very well written, easy to understand for laymen, and filled with scriptural references and proof texts.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Nana and Aslan


Nana and Aslan
Originally uploaded by Randy Kirk.
We are pleased to show off the first pictures of our new grandson, Aslan. The name comes from the Lion in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Mother and baby are both doing just perfect. You can tell how Nana Pam feels about all this.

Emergent Church Making Big News AND Controversy

Until a few weeks ago I had no idea what an emergent church was. And I really try to stay on top of these things. I e-mailed my brother, a more charismatic type than me. He didn't know about it either. But our church youth pastor, Josh, seemed concerned about this new direction in the church. After 6 hours of reading blogs on the web, I'm beginning to get the gist of it.

Basically, this seems to be a grassroots movement among 20 somethings in the church that are in touch with the new "postmodern" thinking coming out of our high schools and colleges. Old guys like me have heard of post modernism, but I'll bet not 1 person in 50 over 50 can define it.

Very briefly, post moderns are reacting to the modern period. Modernists believed that we could know the truth. Science would get us there, and as we came to know truth, we would solve the problems of the world.

Post moderns now see that science answered some questions and raised more. They see that science solved some problems and created many more. They now contend that we cannot know truth, that every thing is relative, and that one persons opinion of truth is as good as the next.

Emergent Church enthusiasts proclaim that we have to adjust to this new reality if we are to be relevant to the times, just as we had to adjust to modernity. My understanding would be that just as we have changed the look of our sanctuaries, and the sound of our music, we need to speak the language of the times. We don't have to buy modernism, romanticism, or post modernism, but we do have to be able to relate to it.

If you'd like to know more . . WAAAAYY more, go here
and here
To see comments by Josh and comments to those comments go here

There is much more to say, but I will leave it for another day. I also plan to keep researching. Any sources or comments that will lead to my gaining more understanding is welcomed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Ted Dekker Interview with "Hollywood Jesus"

Mike Furches: Where do you come up with your stories?

Ted Dekker
: I’ll tell you what, my writing is definitely what is called cross genera, much like Dean Koontz, or even Stephen King. Those are probably the two closest writers, Dean Koontz comes the closest to me in the ABA world, American Book Sellers Association as opposed to CBA, Christian Book Sellers Association. My voice is the same in all of my stories. My stories are about a great confrontation between good and evil within a number of different genera’s. You’re always going to get a story, but all stories. Like in When Heaven Weeps, you could almost classify it as almost like a romance, it is a love story in one sense but it’s really a thriller. So there all thrillers but that’s kind of where the genera thing ends. My stories come from my passion to discover, and explore this struggle that we all have. That we all find ourselves engaging between good and evil and I write essentially modern day parables where I take the struggles and I put them on the canvas in big, bright, bold, colors. Those colors can be life and in really sensational ways it accentuates the struggle that we have in an ideal way. In those ideals with both the good and I characterize them in terms of ideally. For example in Blessed Child, there is the story of a noble savage, well there is no such a thing. You can’t find a Caleb, he doesn’t exist. But in the context of the story, he comes to life and we can examine good as it really could be. In the same way Jesus taught, he said; “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.” Well he didn’t actually want us to walk around plucking out our eyes. He is talking in ideal terms. He is using hyperbole to make a point and he used parables in the same way. That’s essentially what I am doing, I am characterizing good and evil in a very, a extreme way as I can do it without offending people or to drive away readers. So, my stories are born out of that desire and all of my stories will deal in one way or another with that common theme. What does good and evil really look like? Not the way where Stephen King casts it where there is no redemptive message in the end at all, there’s no redemption. Where good doesn’t conquer evil. I’ll take someone through the valley, and I am going to bring them up to the mountain top and have them look back and be able to say, “Yea, though I walk through that valley of evil, and death, I will fear no evil.” That’s kind of my mission in writing. Here I am rambling again, I’m rambling. So you’ll have to edit. You’ll edit this down, right?

The Hollywood Jesus site didn't edit it down, so we won't either. For the rest of the interview, go to here

Tagged Book Lovers

I have tagged the following in the now famous book lovers tag: Mike Williams at mwilliams.info, Vicky (Nurse) at http://windowstomysoul.blogspot.com, Stacy Oliver at www.ChristianBookPreviews.com, and David Wayne at http://jollyblogger.typepad.com/about.html. Looking forward to inspiration from all of you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Bookish Play Tag

John Gillmartin who writes here has kindly "book" tagged me today. I am always a sucker for these kinds of surveys. I even agree to do the ones on the phone. Yikes.

I'm supposed to tag 4 more, but will put off that task until tomorrow. It will be announced. (Heh, Heh)

Total Number of Books Owned - Ever?

First. I never, ever throw away or purposely give away a book I only have one copy of. Books are research. Very precious. So, while I have sold a few of my college texts, lent a book or two that didn’t come back, and just plain lost a few, I still have virtually every book I’ve purchased as an adult, and some dating to my teens.

Second. It is really rare that I buy a book and not read it. Compulsive, wouldn’t you say.

So, I figure that I have averaged reading one book a week for 40 years. 2100 books in the primary research category. We have owned 100’s of chidren's books. Some are now being passed down.

Would it surprise you to know that my favorite day at school was the day the bookmobile came? Better than recess.

Last book I bought:


Not 100% sure, but probably a Ted Dekker or Randy Alcorn fiction. I think the last book as present was Tim LaHaye thriller.

Last Book I Read:


Just finished The Last Judgment by Craig Parshall. I’ll be reviewing it shortly. It had a great, fun plot, if slightly uneven writing.


Five books that mean a lot to me (not counting the Bible)


Is there any way to compile those who have responded to the challenge and get me the lists from this answer for http://Christianclassics.com. I’ve been begging for help for this site, but only getting a dribble.

For me it is real hard to narrow to five, but I will try.

The Edge of Eternity by Randy Alcorn. I actually put this down after three chapters and forgot about it for weeks (this never happens.) Picked it up and couldn’t put it down again. Bought 10 copies and gave away to every reader I could find. Haven’t read it? You should.

Everything by C.S. Lewis. I really like some of the shorter works, but Mere Christianity and In Defense of Pain are incredible.

Armageddon by Leon Uris. He is better known for Exodus and others which became movies, but this one still speaks to me. I need to read it again.

Love Life for Every Married Couple by Ed Wheat. I keep extra copies to give to couples who are struggling. So does my pastor. It taught me more about love than any other book.

The Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson I have written an extensive review on this which I will post soon. I truly believe that the work of this man is the most underutilized tool in the body of Christ today. I have seen real miracles in peoples lives as a result of this process.

That was fun. Do you want to play? Say so in the comments and maybe I'll tag you.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Dark Chocolate Diet is GOOD for YOU. Really!!

"Can Chocolate Be Part of a Healthy, Balanced Diet?
Chocolate, seen as the enemy for those of us with weight loss goals, can be included in a healthy, balanced diet - here's how...

Research into Chocolate

Research, still ongoing, has pointed out that chocolate contains" . . . for the rest of the story go here

I really think that chocolate should be part of your one-a-day or two-a-day experience. To review other postings on this blog go here and possibly over here.

Great Article on Lust-Porn

Over 50% of Christian married men admit to having a problem with porn. 40% of pastors say the same. The problem begins with lust. For a fine article on lust, visit here. Stacy is a good friend and I think you'll find her thinking useful if you are dealing with issues of this type or if you need to counsel someone who is.

Questions About Porn

1. Is it likely that most women in committed relationships would be unhappy to very unhappy to learn that their partner was using pornography or even viewing porn on a regular basis? Would it depend on the type of porn?

2. Is this a reasonable position for these women to take? Or should they just get over it?

3. If a man is using or viewing porn that he suspects or knows that his wife would disapprove of, should he tell her? If it is affecting his interest in her, and she asks why, should he tell her?

4. Is it likely that many men who use or view porn even one hour per week become disenchanted with their flawed wives or feel frustrated because they know or suspect that their wives will not do the things they see in the porn?

5. Is it reasonable for parents to want their children to not view porn? Is it reasonable for society to take those parents desires into consideration?

6. Should the overall benefits of porn to some be weighed against detriments in deciding how to legislate how it gets into commerce.

7. Many divorce lawyers are pointing to Internet porn for men and chat rooms for women as a major contributor to the cases that are coming through their doors. Would this be a good reason to raise some alarms?

8. With declining populations in the most industrialized nations (Europe, Japan, Russia, do we need to be concerned if porn is diverting young men from having families in these cultures? (Obviously there are other reasons at the root of these declines, including general hedonism and cultural bias against the world population explosion.)

I posted this list of questions at http://blogcritics.org. It resulted in a lot of comments. If you'd like to see the thread it is still in the active forums today. After today, look for it in the archives. Same title.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Fighting Pornography Isn't Easy

If you visit this site, and read the other articles, you won't feel like the blogger is hard left. But here is his comment on porn:

Protection from Pornography Week
First they came for the bukkake websites, and I did not speak out because I was not a bukkake website. George W. Bush says:

Pornography can have debilitating effects on communities, marriages, families, and children. During Protection From Pornography Week, we commit to take steps to confront the dangers of pornography.

It hasn't caught up with the general public just how pornography is tearing us up. The next few years may be a real wake up call.
Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Interview With Your's Truly

Stacy over at Blog for Books has named your faithful scribe as reviewer of the week. It is not because of anything I have done, other than be a book reviewer for her site. Anyway, she also did a live interview with me which you can hear by going here.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Liberal Media Reformers Call for 'Truth' Over 'Balance'

If this article doesn't send a chill down your back, you need to check your vital signs.

(CNSNews.com) - Claiming that conservative bias is a "major crisis in the U.S. media," a panel of liberal journalists and media analysts said news organizations should promote "truth" over "balance."

"The conservatives have got us, as a country, now believing that balance -- giving both sides -- is the same as truth, and there are some things that are just false," said Linda Foley, president of The Newspaper Guild, during a panel discussion on media reform at the "Take Back America" conference in Washington, D.C.

"The discussion that we have to have balanced reports is kind of crazy" when a story is false, she added.

Take global warming, said Josh Silver, another panelist and executive director of the Fair Press media reform organization.

Silver said the United States is the only developed, industrialized country that still debates in the mainstream media whether or not global warming is happening. No need to give the other side on that topic, he was suggesting, since global warming is the truth.


Nice to hear the left finally announce that they do (think they) have a monopoly on the truth. Always keep that mindset in your head and heart when they say that Conservative Christians are absolutists.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Getting Real About Illegal Undocumented Immigrant Aliens

Almost no one I know (I live in West Los Angeles, CA., and run a factory in South East LA) wants to forcibly send home 8,000,000 or 20,000,000 individuals who have come to live in our country by means outside of our laws. This includes .... I have posted the rest of this article on a different site because it is long. I didn't want to detract from other postings on this site. Click here

However, please come back and put your comments on this site. Thanks.