Hopeless Romantics?

The competition, TIME, ran a story in its January 24 issue concerning the group of 18-29 year-olds called the twixters. According to the cover of that issue, “twixters” are “young adults who live off their parents, bounce from job to job and hop from mate to mate. They’re not lazy…they just won’t grow up.” In the story, one social scientist made an observation of the twixters in regards to their search for a mate.
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“…today with me you will be in paradise.”

In the comment section of the “Funeral Talk” post, a reader asked about Jesus’ words directed to the evildoer next to Him on a cross. What do they indicate? Arthur Just offers this insight.

“Much has been written about what ‘paradise’ might mean, particularly in light of its OT background. But the key to its significance is the divine presence: ‘with me,’ where Jesus dwells. To be with him is to be in paradise.”
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A Joke

Laugh out loud from Here We Stand:

Jesus is in town one day teaching some of the local folks, when a rabid crowd of religious professionals push their way toward him. They thrust a woman clad only in a bed sheet before him and say “We caught this woman in the act of adultery! Should we stone her?” Jesus looks off into the distance for a moment, then stoops down and begins scratching something in the sand. Eventually he stands up and says, “Let the person here without sin cast the first stone.” All is silent, and then a rock flies in from the edge of the crowd, smacking the woman in the cheek. Jesus looks over the crowd in the direction of the rock-thrower, then cries out, “Come on, mom! Stop that!”


Card Games

A 94-year-old lady recently taught me how to play 2-person “Eucker” (spelling?). So far, the game has kept my interest. I hear that up to 8 people can play.

What is your favorite card game? Any tips concerning “Eucker”?

Funeral Talk

A seminary professor wrote an insightful article a few years back on the proper and necessary discourse that takes place at a Christian funeral. The article was entitled “Five Things You Should NOT Say at Funerals.” Yes, he lists five things, but I will only post one for now. Here it is.
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Arkansas March for Life

I attended the Arkansas March for Life here in Little Rock. Here are some pictures (click on them for larger versions):

Here’s the very pro-life Republican governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, speaking to a reporter prior to the march. Gov. Huckabee has led the march for the past few years; his wife is the taller lady on the right.
During his remarks, he mentioned that Arkansas had passed a partial-birth abortion ban, prior to having it overturned by the “extreme court.” He promised that Arkansas would revisit the ban when “we once more have a supreme court, instead of an extreme court.”

As you can see, the turnout was good as we marched toward the capitol building.

There were only about 10 or 15 protestors, I would estimate. (Perhaps that is the total number of pro-aborts who get out of bed on Sunday in Arkansas.)
I did not take any pictures of their signs, but my personal favorite was “Church and State Don’t Ovulate.” Not sure if that’s supposed to be a command or simply a statement of fact.


Thirty-two Years of Legalized Murder

“A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they are no more” (Matthew 2:18, ESV).
Remember today the millions who have met their end on the knife of convenience as well as the men and women, their parents, who have been victimized by abortion. Work and pray for an end to the culture of death that pervades our nation.

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison!


[If you are able, attend your local March for Life.]

Government and the Name of Jesus

I was about to take a power nap on my lunch break, but this is more interesting!
The main blog page has this about the pray-er for tomorrow’s presidential inauguration. Here is the article to which the post linked.
The comments are predictable, and even understandable. But they are wrong, in my opinion. One comment suggests a common misunderstanding about prayer “in the name of Jesus.” That is, that if you don’t actually say “Jesus,” it’s not “in the name of” Jesus. This is just not true. Even the Lord Himself prayed without closing in His own Name (remember, while He was teaching us to pray!). Praying in the Name of Jesus means to be under His grace and trusting wholly in Him, and not ourselves or any other god. There are various other things to which I could take exception, but the general feeling seems to be that Rev. Caldwell is badly wrong, if not reprobate.
Now, I am all for not being ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even before governments and rulers. It is certainly true that if one is ashamed of Jesus, He will be ashamed of that one at the judgment. But, without knowing Rev. Caldwell’s motives (they may be entirely self-serving and wrong), the question is whether praying at a government-sponsored event without mentioning Jesus or the Gospel is always and everywhere wrong.
Hey you! Yeah, you who are about to rip off an angry tirade accusing me of being in league with the godless United Methodists. Just hold on a second and think through this with me.
I used to feel the same way (that’s not a boast about my “enlightenment”–I hate it when people do that–simply a statement that I’m not entirely unsympathetic to the arguments against my current position), and it concerns my denomination still, over three years later, because of events that took place in Yankee Stadium. (You likely know to which event I refer.)
To avoid misunderstanding, let me state my presuppositions (concerning especially my own (non-)participation in civic events): I would not participate if other denominations or religions were represented. I have no desire to give the impression that I agree with false doctrine or false religion. The following applies only to events to which I would be the only invited clergyman.
(This is going to get a little long, but if you care about this issue, please read on and discuss.)
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Time to Wake Up

A book came out in 1999 as The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod began working on a new hymnal. It consists of essays on various topics important to preparation for a hymnal. Below is an excerpt from an essay devoted to the topic of Holy Absolution and its place in the church.

“Our theological grammar should be correct. We are rightly concerned with sound doctrine. But we are also concerned that ‘orthodoxy’ not degenerate into empty sloganeering, that orthodox teaching not be divorced from its right practice. We correctly teach that we are saved by grace through faith. But if this grace and faith are detached from the preached and sacramental Gospel, we may wake up like Rip van Winkle to discover that we are living and breathing in a totally different world–the world of mere assurances, of promises and decisions, of biblical principles for healthy and wealthy living, happy lives, and moral values.”
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Go See Saw!

Actually, don’t. The acting is not very good. Okay, I’ve just admitted I like horror/suspense movies (and this one was only fifty cents). If you want a good one, rent Se7en instead.
But the most disturbing thing I saw in the theater was not on the screen. The most disturbing thing was that there were mothers (I assume) in the theater with children under ten years old. One couldn’t have been more than six. There was stuff I probably shouldn’t have seen, let alone any kid.
What is it that makes parents think that anything good could come of exposing young children to murder and gore? You want to know what’s wrong with children? Look in the theaters of R-rated movies.
My wife and I saw another movie a couple years ago that contained violence and bad language, and a dad brought his three young children in. At least he came to his senses after a short time, and took them out–probably out of fear of what his wife would say. We like to talk about how much bad stuff children have seen or heard by the time they’re such-and-such an age. Is it any wonder, when their own parents take them to movies like Saw? At least see one with good acting!
We should not be surprised when we hear about kids who murder at younger and younger ages. These types of movies make sick stuff more plausible to their young minds. If they never hear of or see depravity depicted in film, surely they would be less likely to conceive of these evils on their own.
To be clear: I do not blame movies, music, or anything else for what children (or adults, for that matter) do. That kind of thinking shifts responsibility, and there is certainly no lack of such shifting going on! What I am saying is that desensitization to violence, language, and other vice can only hurt young children, not help them.
I have perhaps opened myself to criticism for seeing the movie in the first place, but adults, unlike children, have the ability to separate fact from fiction, and appropriate behavior from inappropriate. Are six-year olds able to understand that what is going on on the screen is not real? Perhaps an educator can fill us in.
It seems easy enough: get a babysitter or don’t go! Apparently some “parents” have trouble with that.