Month: December 2008

The Alliance

Tozer Devotional The money quote:

When all is said, it may easily be that the great difference between professing Christians (the important difference in this day) is not between modernists and evangelicals but between those who have reduced Christianity to an intellectual formula and those who believe that the true essence of our faith lies in the supernatural workings of the Spirit in a region of the soul not accessible to mere reason.

Tozer Devotional :: The Alliance

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Posted by Gary in Faith

A monumentally bad idea.

Congressman proposing bill to end BCS system.

This is a Republican congressman from Texas. As if Congress didn’t have it’s nose in enough of what isn’t their business.

Most of you know I dislike the whole idea of rankings in College football. It’s like liberalism in that there are no standards and the circular logic gets them into trouble every year. There is no question there needs to be a playoff, some way to settle it on the field, however getting Congress involved is a terrible idea.

“This year, we again have two teams with one loss each playing for the ‘championship,’ while two undefeated teams and four additional teams with only one loss will play in bowl games, but none can become ‘champion,”‘ he said.

True statement, horrible system, but we don’t need Congress to “fix it”.

Congressman proposing bill to end BCS system – NCAA Football – Bowls – 2008 –

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Posted by Gary in Just for fun

12-team college football fantasy playoff

The 64 team playoff would add 6 weeks to the season, bad idea, never happen. this is a bit better.

Your votes fuel’s 12-team college football fantasy playoff – NCAA Football – Bowls – 2008 –

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The Nebraska Cornhuskers Deserve to be Ranked

Good arguments from the Bleacher Report

Of course I’m biased but I do think if Nebraska beats Virginia Tech, or Texas Tech were ranked for sure. Missouri and Oklahoma? Total meltdowns what can I say.

Nebraska is 8-4, so let’s look at the losses first. All rankings are from the latest BCS poll.

Sept. 27, No. 19 Virginia Tech (9-4, ACC champions), 35-30

Oct. 4, No. 21 Missouri (9-4, Big 12 North champions), 52-17

Oct. 11, No. 7 Texas Tech (11-1), 37-31 OT

Nov. 1, No. 1 Oklahoma (12-1, Big 12 champions), 62-28

All teams are ranked in the top-25. All but Texas Tech played for their conference championships. All but Virginia Tech have former or current Heisman trophy candidates leading the offense. Oklahoma is headed to the national championship. Nebraska played Texas Tech tighter than No. 3 Texas did.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers Deserve to be Ranked | Bleacher Report

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Love: The Secret of Success

Kenneth Copeland has recently talked more and more about love. His insight today is strong. I have posted the entire thought but what made me pause was a comment near the end “Compassion doesn’t strike at the surface of things. It goes to the root of the problem. That’s why it always succeeds.” compassion doesn’t always look like compassion.

“Love never fails.”
(1 Corinthians 13:8)

Fear of failure. It’s haunted all of us at some time in our lives. Popular psychology tells us to adjust to it. But the Word of God tells us that there is a failure-proof way to live without it. It is the way of LOVE.

If you want to know real success, you must learn to be moved and motivated by love. That’s how Jesus was when He was on the earth.

Even when John the Baptist was senselessly, brutally murdered and Jesus went away to be alone, He didn’t deviate from the way of love. For Matthew 14:6-14 says that even then in that emotionally taxing time when the people followed Him and would give Him no solitude, He was moved with compassion and healed their sick.

I used to wonder how Jesus could just turn away from that terrible crime and not retaliate. What I didn’t realize was that He did retaliate. He overcame the works of Satan with compassion. He defeated hatred with love. He attacked Satan in the spirit realm by destroying his works of sickness and disease.

Compassion doesn’t strike at the surface of things. It goes to the root of the problem. That’s why it always succeeds.

“But wait!” you may say. “I can’t operate like that. I’m not Jesus.”

Yes you can, because the Word of God says that His love has been shed abroad in your heart! (Rom. 5:5). And 1 John 2:5 says His love is perfected in you as you keep His Word.

Commit to living the life of love today. Watch God turn failure into success at home, at work…in any situation. LOVE NEVER FAILS!

Scripture Study:  Matthew 14:1-14

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The Impartial Power of God

The cross must always be at the center of our faith without it we are lost.

We trample the blood of the Son of God underfoot if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins.

The only reason for the forgiveness of our sins by God, and the infinite depth of His promise to forget them, is the death of Jesus Christ.

My Utmost For His Highest – The Impartial Power of God

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The Law of Opposition

And this one; Oswald Chambers also comments:

Life without war is impossible in the natural or the supernatural realm. It is a fact that there is a continuing struggle in the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual areas of life.

Though he is not talking about nations at war the principle remains the same.

My Utmost For His Highest – The Law of Opposition

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Interesting timing

A.W. Tozer’s devotional today is titled “The Unchanging Need of the Human Heart”

It starts like this:

We of the twentieth century have exactly the same basic needs as the people of the first century. We feel the weight of sin and mortality just as they did. We long for peace and life eternal exactly as they did. We are tortured by fears, stunned by losses, grieved by betrayals, hurt by enmities, made heartsick by failures, scared by threatening death, chased by the devil and frightened cold by the thought of coming judgment.

And ends like this:

And nothing basic has changed. We today need Jesus, and we need Him for the same reasons they needed Him 2,000 years ago.

Click through and read the middle it’s good.
Tozer Devotional :: The Alliance

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Conservatism Defined

I’m finally back.

After the election I decided to fast from political everything for an undetermined amount of time. I was going to get straight back into blogging about worship, bicycling, faith, and occasionally politics. Then the funeral and then I got sick and then Thanksgiving.  It’s like anything else when you’re in the flow the momentum carries you but when you stop it’s hard to get started again. So here we go.

Conservatism defined,

I have given this much thought over the last several days. I didn’t do any research, read any definitions or consult any political geniuses. I wanted to define conservatism in my own mind and let the conversation begin.  This is by no means exhaustive it is rather the opening argument.

Conservatism is rooted in absolutes and principles that never change. Conservatism applies to everyone and doesn’t need to be tailored for each subclass or re-defined each generation. I believe you are either a conservative or you are not. I don’t understand how someone can say they are a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. Conservatism is a set of principles and core values that inform and shape what you believe, core values to guide you in both fiscal and social matters.

Here is what I think conservatives believe:

Conservatives first believe in God.

Belief in God can be expressed in many different ways, denominations, or religions; however it must come to the conclusion that man is not basically good, redemption is available to everyone, and there will be a final judgment.  (Notice I did not say Evangelical Christian)

Conservatives believe in the sanctity of human life.

This is not a single issue. It is a core issue that informs every other point. Quality of life comes after the defense of life and human life trumps all other.

Conservatives believe in Liberty and freedom.

Individual liberty and freedom is what made this country exceptional. Not collectivism, not diversity, and definitely not government, though our form of government matters.

Conservatives believe in Individual responsibility.

Victimhood is part of what’s gone wrong with this country. When we take responsibility we take ownership and only then can we improve our situation.  When you are given freedom you must take responsibility or your freedom will be taken from you. Government should enable individuals to pursue their own self interests but not at the expense of someone else’s. That’s why I am not a libertarian. I believe the state has a role to play. A role spelled out very clearly in the Bible and in the constitution. Limited government and individual responsibility must go hand in hand.

Conservatives believe in the rule of law.

Laws should be applied fairly without regard to race, gender, etc, etc. Laws should not be passed solely to make retribution, like affirmative action, and should not punish thought, like hate crimes.  The state has an obligation to condone what is good and punish what is evil. God alone is the judger of hearts and motives.

Conservatives believe in strong national defense.

The constitution charges the federal government with defending our borders and our sovereignty. Immigration is what built this country; however allowing people to come illegally with no intention of assimilating or contributing to the culture and the economy will destroy it. Defending this country means war is inevitable unless we want to surrender to the latest evil that raises its head either within these borders or without.

Conservatives believe in stewardship.

Everything we have is a gift and we must steward it well. Environmentalism has become the home of the radical left who worship the creation not the creator. Stewardship is the answer not radical environmentalism.

I didn’t intend for these to be in any order but I think they’re ordered pretty well .  The top two are definitely the top two.

Conservatism is hard. It allows you to own your successes and your failures. It allows natural consequences when you make bad decisions. It allows the largest number of people access to upward mobility. It gives tough love not coddling or enabling. It allows for personal pride and dignity. It requires integrity, conviction, and perseverance.

The idea of fairness is a lie and holds us back. The playing field is not level and cannot be made level. The government cannot remove obstacles but should create an environment where obstacles can be overcome.

I’m sure there is more but no less. Before you unload on me I understand these are ideals and the devil is in the details. As you know I love vigorous debate but have very little patience for those who are full of passion and fire but without principled arguments or core values. If you believe socialism is better fine. Make a principled argument and may the best ideas win. I believe I hold a Biblical Christian world view. If you think I’m wrong make a principled scriptural argument. If you show me where I’m in error I will repent and be grateful to you.

Let the conversation begin.

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Posted by Gary in Civics, Politics