Sunday, July 31, 2005

NEW AGE - All You Ever Needed to Know

If you are even slightly interested in the New Age Movement and its impact on the church, check out Josh Ritchie's blog "Deception in the Church." He has produced a fabulous primer on the subject.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Wired Magazine Reports on 10th Birthday of WWW Phenom

Is it possible that ten years ago, Newsweek headlined an article: "The Internet? BAH!" The author of the story, Cliff Stoll, said of the potential for online merchandising, "boloney." For more on this story, see this month's issue of Wired.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Practical Advantages of Believing in the God of the Bible and His Son Jesus

Over the last several years I have posited the following question to 100’s if not 1000’s of atheists and agnostics: What are the practical advantages of being an atheist or agnostic? This has resulted in very spirited and lengthy discussions. The latest is taking place right now at blogcritics.

Certainly the question above includes the understanding that there must be obvious practical advantages to Christianity. A nonbeliever might say that there are only perceived advantages. One commentor in the current debate listed some of the advantages, such as fellowship, and said he could join the rotary and get the same thing.

In the course of these debates, many atheists and Christians have argued that belief is not about practical considerations, but about faith. For a while this idea made some sense to me. Faith is, after all, believing in that which we cannot see. The Bible even says that we in the current church will need to have more faith than the those in the 1st century church, because we cannot see Christ or talk to those folks who saw Christ.

After a great deal of tossing this ball back and forth, I believe that everyone either makes their decisions with regard to God based on reason and practical considerations, or after coming to faith in God, deciding there isn’t a God, or deciding not to decide, they will continue to evaluate their decision based on reason and things practical.

With that observation in mind, here begins a list of the practical advantages of being a Christian. It will certainly take several posts, and is a work in progress. I look forward to ideas from you.

1. The Hope of Heaven - If you have ever dealt with emotionally disturbed individuals, you will know that one of the most difficult problems to overcome is their hopelessness. Their feelings may be partially based on reality. They may have disabilities, major problems in their past, or lack certain kinds of life skills that make it hard to enjoy or experience life to the fullest. Certainly, even individuals in very difficult circumstances can overcome hopelessness through counseling or self help, but it is sometimes a big mountain to climb.

Others have few or none of the problems that might make hopelessness seem reasonable, but they have personality disorders or mental diseases that cause them to feel this way even when most around them would see great promise in their lives.

For most functioning adults, there is also that sometimes fleeting, sometimes very present question of what happens when we die. If one believes that life merely ends and we “sleep” permanently, this alone would cause many to feel hopeless, not only about the finality in their own lives, but also at the time that their loved ones pass away.

Believing that God’s word is true, and that there is a heaven to look forward to after death, provides a very unique kind of hope. A hope for eternal life. A hope for an end to present difficulties. A hope that loved ones will be seen again. A hope that answers to life’s most interesting questions will be answered. A hope that we will experience an entirely unknown and unknowable dimension with untold beauty and joy and peace. And the hope that we will one day meet Jesus.

These hopes have a very practical benefit to those who have faith that they are true. It greatly reduces anxiety about present problems, helps through the grieving process, and provides great comfort as we face our own death.

To continue to part 2 of this e-book go here

Man Creating Deserts - By Planting Trees

You see, hereis my big problem with the global warming types. Sometimes man's response to a real or imagined threat creates a bigger problem. Usually, this is because the science is incomplete, or the desire to move quickly is too compelling.

So it turns out, according the this articlesometimes when we plant trees in order to preserve water, the trees end up using more than they give back. This dries up reservoirs, streams, and the ground, creating deserts.

Being at an advanced age, it is unlikely that I will be around to see the destruction caused by global warming, should it turn out to be real and as dangerous as some prophesy. And for the same reason, I won't be around to see the potential disaster that man may cause by trying to fix it. But I would hate to be the generation that leaves such a legacy to my kids and grandkids. Moreover, some of the disasters to our economy could happen real soon if the envirowackos have their way.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

A Little Sex Talk

If you are a married adult male, and you would like to improve your sex life, I have a recommendation. Buy yourself a copy of The Married Guy's Guide to Great Sex. This new book by Clifford and Joyce Penner is an easy read for even men who hate to read. It is filled with practical ideas that work. I will not tell you how I know that they work.

The Penners are known as the Master and Johnson of the Christian world. I think almost any Christian can read this without fear of their doctrinal ideas on sex being trampled. Chapters like "Sex is not a spectator sport," or "Have an Adventure With Your Wife," give you a taste of what to expect.

This is a book that can be read by your wife, also. In fact, the Penners suggest that you take turns reading it aloud to one another.

Of very great importance is a couple of chapters and several mentions of pornography and how to deal with it, if pornography is messing with you. Please note that there are several articles elsewhere on this blog that also deal with this important subject. If you are hooked on porn or think you might be headed that way, check out the articles, then get some help.

The book should be available anywhere, but for sure is available here

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

More Dark Chocolate News - You Heard It Here First

Go here for an astounding article describing how Mars Company has isolated flavinoids, the good for you ingredient in chocolate, and is now able to make it in the lab.

This will be huge. It helps with diabetes, high blood pressure, other aspects of heart health, and improves attitudes.

In the meantime, there is still Hershey's Special Dark and Pound Plus over at Trader Joe's.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Science Skeptic Strikes Again

My friend Mike Williams has done it again. His latest postwill make you think for sure. The basic premise is that slight changes in information about current scientific knowledge can change that thinking a lot. This is why I think we err as humans to make laws or major changes in our approach to things based on theories. And the bigger the change, the more we should need to know prior to making the change.

Oh! You think I'm talking about Global Warming? Yep. Way more info needed prior to risking the worlds economy. And way more information needed to be sure we wise humans don't actually skrew up things by trying to fix them.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Its a Living

4 color process
Originally uploaded by Randy Kirk.
This is not an advertisement. Its just a little bit more about me. My partner of 25 years and I make these in our little factory in SO CAL. We also make the famous bicycle tire liner, Mr. Tuffy. So, in case you were wondering how I can support my blogging habit, there you havit.

If you have an interest in seeing the whole line we make, go here.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


This is the place where you turn for the truth about everything. I have been writing since the beginning about the benefits and the low cost of Dark Chocolate. Now, yet another clinical study proves the assertion. You can lower blood pressure and improve the body's use of insulin by eating a bit of dark chocolate every day.

If you would like to read my Dark Chocolate Diet go HERE!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

John Roberts - Great Choice

I don't pretend to have tons of personal knowledge about this pick. However, I've been monitoring info from bunches of people I trust. Looks like Bush decided to try a new idea. He picked the best candidate.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Golden Rule

I was involved in a very long debate over at blogcritics on the subject of the practical advantages of atheism, when one of the commentors said that her touchstone was the golden rule. Of course, I argued that while the golden rule was a great place to start, you need much more than that for right living, and a significant bit more to get to heaven.

But, for me it was one of those wake up calls. So many of life's really good lessons have a way of getting lost in the recesses of our hard drive. We learn a bunch of new lessons about marriage, parenting, helping the poor, doing our job, and the new lessons are fresh, more available for our read-write head to find when we're living our lives.

So, for the last few days, I've been trying to use the Golden Rule first. You probably already know that it is a great shortcut to right behavior. It works really well most of the time. Great reminder for me. Hope it helps.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Promise Keeper Keeps Delivering on its Promises

Thirteen years ago in Boulder, CO, my good friend Brad, my brother Gary, and I joined 63,000 other Christian men in the first big stadium event by Promise Keepers. We were all three breathless by the end of the two days. We were convinced that we were witnessing something that would bless Christian men and their families.

I still remember lessons learned at that first event. I no longer head for the mail or my paper or any other thing when I first walk through the door. Pam gets my first attention. I no longer keep the paper or a book open and at eye level when she interrupts my reading to talk to me. The book gets closed, the paper folded, so that she has my full attention. We try to have a date night once a week, a 3 day vacation 4 times per year (just the two of us), and a longer vacation once a year.

This weekend men gathered at the Pond in Anaheim to sing, rejoice, praise, pray, and learn more about how to witness the love of Christ in our daily activities. And I was reminded of things I was not doing, like sending a card or a note to Pam to let her know how I cherish her.

Brad and I have now attended almost every Promise Keeper event, including the 1,000,000 man prayer effort in Washington DC. We both reflected on the declining attendance and wondered if men who don't go any more think they have learned all they need to know about the issues raised at PK, or whether they've just decided to stop trying to do better. Some of the statistics about our culture and things like Christian divorce rates would suggest that PK is still very much needed.

Thank you Coach McCartney for being obedient to the call of God on your life.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Good News Day

This is not the second in a continuing series about how slanted the reporting is in the LA Times. It might be the second in that series about how slanted the Main Stream Media is with the LA Times as the example that shows up on my driveway every day.

If you really, really dig through the Times today, you will find out that Retail Sales were up in June AGAIN, but that inflation was NOT! Front Page for sure under Clinton. Second page of Business Section today.

Dig some more and you'll learn that Carl Rove and the White House have been totally honest about the Plame affair. They haven't even been parsing the word "is." Rove had nothing to do with exposing Plame. He was asked about her by others, but did nothing to expose her. Even her friends and neighbors knew she was CIA. Front page? So that it would equal the front page treatment of the accusations. NO. Not a chance. Buried in the front page section.

Didja know that most Republicans feel that they didn't do enough during the Civil Rights movement? True. We've been apologizing for decades even though a higher percent of R's voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Bill than did D's. So, if a top ranking member of the administration goes before the NAACP National Convention and apologized for not doing enough, FRONT PAGE FOR SURE. Wrong again.

But it is a good news day. And later today I'll be headed to my 12th Promise Keepers Convention. How much better does it get than that. (P.S. It was the PK Million Man March (actually 1,000,000) where 1,000,000 Christian men apologized for past prejudice.)

I will post some notes on what the speakers had to say later this weekend.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Review of New Apologetics Book Everyone Can Understand

I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist is the title and you can read an excellent review here

No Respect

No Respect
Originally uploaded by Randy Kirk.
Great crime scene. Dead before or after the guy painted the stripe?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Whose Running the Show on Classroom Science

Washington Post reports on Harris Poll

"The nation still supports free choice in the classroom. A majority -- 55 percent -- felt that creationism, evolutionary and intelligent design all had a place in public schools. Just less than a quarter said creationism alone should be taught, while 12 percent favored evolution only and 4 percent intelligent design only."

With Liberals creating the copy, you sometimes have to rethink the numbers a bit. What that paragraph says is that 83% feel that Creationism or Intelligent design should be taught in schools, while 12% thought only evolution should be taught. What is taught today??? Only evolution!!! Whose is letting the wolves into the chicken house? I thought that in America, at least, the majority rules. When will we take our schools back?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Darwin Losing in Battle of Ideas

From the Washington Times

"Most Americans believe it all starts in heaven: 64 percent of us agree that "human beings were created directly by God," according to a Harris poll released yesterday.
The belief was pronounced along partisan divides: 73 percent of Republican respondents and 75 percent of conservatives believe God is the ultimate Creator. The figure stood at 58 percent among Democrats and 48 percent among liberals.
The poll found that while college graduates, adults ages 18 to 54, Democrats, liberals and those living in the Northeast and West support "evolution in larger numbers ... among these groups, majorities believe in creationism."
Among college graduates, for example, the poll found that almost half believe in creationism, while 31 percent supported evolutionary theory."

While those who argue for Darwin's view feel that this is not an issue that can be decided by polling, one would think that given 150 years of indoctrination, the average man on the street would be ready to think for himself. If we believe that most folks across the broad spectrum are reasonable, then the vote is in. At least for now, GOD did it.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Parents and Grandparent of Toddlers - Must See New Blog

Even if it wasn't my daughter's blog, I'd be sending you over to see this new creation. Christian has an MSW and experience as a Social Worker. She is also an excellent writer. Now she is using both those talents to blog about being the Mom of an almost 2 year-old. Check it out here

George Bush Cannot Possibly Win

Had a great conversation with my favorite Democrat foil today. We love to challenge one another on the issues of the day. As we took turns squashing the other guys best points, I opined:

What if by next Summer, Iraq has had elections, the violence has decreased, and our troops are starting to come home? Would you say that was a win for Bush?”

“No.” He replied.

“Then,” I added, “What if the Israelis and Palestinians have completed the roadmap to peace, there is almost no conflict going on in that area, and Lebanon has also stabilized? Would that make you think Bush had it right?”

“No. I would still think that we should have allocated more resources to homeland security instead of Iraq.”

“Ok. What if, in addition to all the above, there are no successful terror strikes on US interests during the remainder of his term, the economy stays strong, and the deficit is cut by more than in half? By a strong economy, I suggested under 5% unemployment, low inflation and interest rates, and ever increasing levels of home ownership. Would that be enough for you to finally say that George Bush had been right in his policies, or at least successful?

“No, he replied again. What if there are continued terrorist attacks against our allies?”

I suggested that it wasn’t necessarily our responsibility to insure the end of terrorism in the homelands of our allies, but what the heck, “Then we’ll throw that in, too. Now would you be willing to say he did a good job?”

“Well, I don’t know. No, I don’t think so.”

Now this friend is not a lefty. In fact, he is center left. And he is African American. So I said, "With only three years to go, what if there were a study at the end of his term that showed parity in black income, college and grad school attendance, and home ownership? Would that do it for you.”

He laughed, “Sure.” But he quickly backed away from even that.

Once again we can see that the current political climate has nothing to do with policy, results, strategy, or philosophy. It all comes down to the Dems being “out” and wanting back “in.”

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

This Bat Might Bite Your Neck

Bat Shields Up
Originally uploaded by Randy Kirk.
I am a fan of Norman Rockwell. He probably wouldn't have done a painting of a broken bat headed towards the stands, but this shot has all the cool elements of a Rockwell. You could use this picture to tell at least 5 or 6 stories. The expressions on the faces are priceless. The color and energy is delightful. I just hope nobody got bit by the bat.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Intelligent, Intelligent Design

This article is for those who just love science, and in paraticular, the debate about Darwin vs Creationism vs Intelligent Design (ID). It was part of one of the longest forum debates ever over at You can read the whole thing for yourself, but plan to spend an hour or two.

Here was the amazing postulate developed by my new friend Graham. Enjoy.

"OK so I did a little scratching around in an attempt on various ID sites to try and find what I would incorporate in an ID class if I was asked to teach one. I don't know at what level such a class would be given - probably college but concepts may be transferable to secondary education levels. Few of these ideas are my own and are borrowed and modified or re-ordered to appease those that demand that the metaphysical be separated from the scientific. I therefore broke it down into two sections.

These ideas are preliminary and not fully developed but may indicate a potential path forward.


What it means to be Human
Identify and examine those aspects of “humanness” that are best attributed (at present) to an intelligent Designer.

Philosophical Implications – What is the driving force behind Intelligent Design – How are the Designer’s effort frustrated?

What is the Anthropic Principle?
The universe appears “fine-tuned” and designed for life. This general idea that the universe seems to be designed for life is called the “Anthropic Principle.” How does ID support the “Anthropic principle”. Do other Origins theories support the Anthropic principle?

Postulate a defensible design strategy that offers insight into the Designer’s intent.

Who or what is the Designer?


Deductive and inductive reasoning - Inferences vs. Deductions:
There are essentially two types of valid reasoning: inductive reasoning (inference) and deductive reasoning (deduction). Inferences are made when a person (or machine) goes beyond available evidence to form a conclusion. Deductions are made when one fact necessarily mandates another fact. Deductions are "stronger" forms of reasoning than inferences, however inferences are used constantly in science. What is the basis for inference?

Scientific method
Apply the scientific method to design theory by drawing on related fields such as forensics, SETI, etc.

Components of designed systems
a. Assembly of parts functionally arranged to achieve a purpose
b. Step changes in complexity with the launch of a new system
c. Design upon a common blueprint (re-use of parts)
d. Efficiency of resource utilization (i.e. no junk DNA)
Predictions of ID
a. High information content, machine-like irreducibly complex structures will be found.
b. Forms will be found in the fossil record that appear suddenly and without any precursors.
c. Genes and functional parts will be re-used in different unrelated organisms.
d. The genetic code will NOT contain discarded genetic baggage code or functionless "junk DNA".

Examine the origin of Cosmological and Biological Complexity with a view to matching contending theories to observed phenomena.

Design theory – can we quantify intelligence – could we come up with a mathematical formula that would tell us within certain confidence limits that an event was “random” or “designed”. Can we quantify "complex-specified information" (CSI)?

Examine and / or create a list of “just-right” conditions that are necessary for life. Explore the interdependence of these conditions with a view to quantifying “irreducible complexity”

A primary goal of science is to understand nature, where "understanding" means "relating one natural phenomenon to another and recognizing the causes and effects of phenomena." Progress in science consists of the development of better explanations for the causes of natural phenomena. Develop a time line of design activity consistent with available data."

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Missing - The Los Angeles Times

It was right where it usually is. Laying flat in the middle of my driveway, wrapped in plastic, in every way it appeared to be my Sunday LA Times. I’ve been considering dropping the subscription because of their slanted writing, but you need to hear the other side.

So, I took my usual journey. News first, then funnies, mags and other fun stuff. Finish off with business and Opinion. Everything seemed perfectly normal until I reached the lead op-ed piece. I checked the masthead of that page, and it still said Los Angeles Times.

You can read it for yourself here, but the main points were:

Economists and others are worried about the Chinese hoarding dollars and now starting to use them to buy American assets. We have seen this concern before with the Japanese 15 years ago. They were wrong to worry then, they are wrong to worry now.

This seemed a bit odd for the Times, but I wasn’t shocked yet. The article went on:

1. If there is a problem the fault is not theirs, its ours. We’re the ones doing the spending on their goods.

2. Free trade is good, even if its unilateral. Every American, especially the poor, benefit from inexpensive goods.

3. Globalization means that we own stock in Chinese companies, and our companies own production facilities in China that make much of the stuff that comes back here.

Therefore all of this is good for America. WOW! The only thing they forgot was the natural order of things that will see increasing wages and decreasing interest in doing “dirty” work as China emerges.

I’m just curious though. What paper did I receive this morning, and where is my Los Angeles Times.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Steady State May Be Back - Many Big Bangs

Skeptic Magazine on line has posted a book review worth noting. James N. Gardner reports on “The Big Bang’s Steady State: The LIfe and Science of Fred Hoyle.” He concludes his review with this:

“But if (Andrei) Linde and his colleagues are correct, the process of continuous creation (lots of big bangs) operates at a scale utterly beyond our capacity to physically envision it — not mere atoms but entire new baby universes are continuously created in an eternal process with striking parallels to (Fred) Hoyle’s discarded steady-state cosmological theory.”

Glad to see that the origins of the universe are clear to all leading scientists. Personally, I think it will soon be proven that there are micro organisms that fill every void in the universe. They are all a part of one intelligent organism who is but one such organism. There are millions of these, and they live, breed, communicate, with one another.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Vacation Time

Summers here. Time to get away from it all. At least for a lot of folks. Most of this generation seems to get the idea that vacations are important. At our company, after you’ve worked 5 years you get 3 weeks. After 10 years you get 4. We want our people to get rested up so they can produce even more and do it better.

However, I’ve noticed there are still some who feel they can’t take that vacation. They can’t get away. Too important. Something might go wrong. Can’t afford the time away.

Well, I don’t want to go to meddlin’. Not me. If you can’t leave your job for a week or two or three, you haven’t done a very good job of training others around you. I’m guilty of that, sometimes. Crisis occur while I’m gone, because I haven’t adequately prepared my staff to handle it. I still go. At least five weeks a year, my entire adult life.

The truth is, if you get completely away for at least 10 days, you will come back with ideas and motivation that will more than make up for your time away. There might be a pile of work on your desk, and a few messes to clean. Those piles and messes will show you where you need to better train next time. So quit making out that your such a big shot and get outta town.