Showing posts from August, 2005

Devotional Thoughts: We are family

Was reading Matthew 12:46-50 this morning. Here it is: While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.” But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”There truly is a family in the faith.

When I went to my first job after graduate school, I moved across the USA to the East Coast. The first few weekends were pretty quiet because I didn't know anybody. But eventually, I found a church to be a part of and they became my new family.

If you ask anyone who is familiar with youth work or participate in it yourself, you will know of stories of young people who come from difficul…

Hurricane Relief: How to Help

Fox News has a page up with contact information of Red Cross, FEMA and various local government agencies. has a list of NGOs that will be helping in the area hit hard by the storms.

Americares is sending in a team with supplies.

Be sure to click over to Instapundit as he plans to have many links up by Thursday.

UPDATE: KRLA-870AM in Los Angeles are asking listeners to support, Feed the Children. KRLA-870AM is the LA radio home to Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager.

UPDATE: The various Disney owned television and radio in Los Angeles are promoting the drive-by-drop-off donation fundraisers for the Red Cross at Dodger's Stadium and Arrowhead Pond.

What ever works!

Call a relief agency and donate, click to one with a web page and type in your contribution or swing by the drop off described and kick in whatever you can.

Devotional Thoughts: I want to see a sign!

In Matthew 12:38, the religious leaders of the day came to Jesus and said, "We want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove that you are God."

Jesus takes them to task in verses 39 to 45.

Check it out in your Bible, he didn't mince words with them. You can also check it out in an on-line Bible.

Why did Jesus unload on them?

The incident prior to this is about Jesus casting out demons. Some poor guy who was blind and couldn't speak got better because Jesus healed him. And what did the religious leaders of the day say upon hearing this happy report?

They said, "No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan."

Can you believe it? See Matthew 12:24!

Go back to the story before that when the religious leaders tried to trap him regarding the Sabbath. Jesus heals a guy with an injured hand and the religious leaders decided to call a meeting to kill Jesus (see Matthew 12:14).

Hmmm ... maybe Jesus had some reason to be upset with them.

They ha…

Dodgers win three in a row!

I can't remember when the Dodgers won three straight?

But tonight, they notched their third win by out slugging the Cubbies 9-6.

Meanwhile down in San Diego, the Dbacks are taking to the Pods, leading 6-1 in the bottom of the sixth.

Ah-oh, Oswalt

Having gone to Dodger games the last few years, if there is a bad first inning, it had always been the Dodgers at the receiving end. But tonight it was the Dodgers administering a beating in the first inning. Oswalt got hit hard and then later couldn't find the strike zone. Seven batters came up before he got an out.

Meanwhile, down south, the Pods got beat by the Roxs.

Therefore, the Dodgers are down 5 1/2. They go against the Rocket tomorrow.

At the movies: Exorcism of Emily Rose

Just got back from a pre-release screening of The Exorcism of Emily Rose. It is late now but I have to get some thoughts out of my system or I'll not be able to sleep tonight!

In brief, I'm recommending the film because it is a great discussion starter, has solid performances and is a well-paced if somewhat predictable story.

The trailer makes the movie out to be in the horror film genre. However, with a PG-13 rating, you know they won't go too far.

The premise of the film is that Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson) is placed on trial for the negligent homicide of Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter). Rose was receiving medical treatment for epilepsy but wasn't responding. With the agreement of the family, Rose and the Catholic church, Father Moore attempts an exorcism to relieve Rose's condition. Erin Bruenner (Laura Linney) is assigned to defend him.

The film is mostly a court-room drama with flashbacks to the terrifying deteriorating condition of Emily Rose. In those scen…

Devotional Thoughts: Are Demons Real?

Was looking at Matthew 12:22, "Then a demon-possessed man, who was both blind and unable to talk, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see."

Skeptics of the spiritual world view would discount demon-possessions as purely psychological phenomena.

This debate might be ignited in the popular culture with the upcoming release of the film, The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

The film is based on the real-life case of Anneliese Michel in Germany in the 1970s when a college-aged woman began to exhibit bizarre behavior and died while an exorcism was attempted by a Catholic priest. That priest and her parents were then put on trial for her death.

The film will follow the trail of the priest and the tale is told in flashbacks during court testimony.

In the "faith/science" tab of the movie web page, there are audio clips from the film where explanations of epilepsy, seizures and hallucinations are offered regarding Emily Rose.

Being trained in molecular…

Weaver does it all!

Went to my tenth Dodger game of the season.

The Dodgers win 8-3 over the hapless Rockies. Weaver worked 8 innings and went 3-4 with 3 RBI. Robles got 4 RBI. And it was just great to see the Dodgers swipe a couple of bases (Werth stole 2) after seeing others robbing them blind.

Clearly, tonight's game ball goes to Weaver who at the start of the season was at best the number three starter behind Penny and Lowe. As it stands, Weaver is the tireless horse grinding out the most innings on the team, garnering the most wins and getting the most strikeouts. He is a free-agent at the end of the year and if he finishes strong will be in a position to ask for more dough.

Thus, tonight was a great night for the Dodgers on the field and the fans in the stands.

Unfortunately, the Padres beat Clemens 2-0! Thus, the Dodgers remain 5 games back still on the edge of in the hunt.

Alas, the news off the field is not good.

Perez is back on the DL and so Tracy is going to have to decide whether to pu…

Devotional Thoughts: the Patience of Jesus

Was looking at Matthew 12:15-21 this morning.

When Jesus came to the Earth, why didn't he just crack the whip and take charge?

In some instances, he did. The way he went after hypocrites who claim to know God but really didn't. He also took on the moneychangers at the Temple.

But many other times there was a "divine shyness" (Philip Yancey introduced me to this idea in his book "Disappointment with God") to Jesus.

In verse 15, it says Jesus knew what they were planning (referring back to verse 14 where it says opponents wanted to kill Him) and it says, he simply left the area.

Jesus, the one who could call down an army of angels to smite them, just left.

Take a look at verses 19-21, I'm boldfacing the words that strike me this morning:He will not fight or shout
he will not raise his voice in public
he will not crush those who are weak or quench the smallest hope
until he brings full justice with his final victory.
And his name will be the hope of all the worl…

Devotional Thoughts: The Sabbath in the 21st Century

One measure of "religiousity" is the classic poll question: Do you believe in God?

In the USA, around 90% + do. That number is much lower in Europe. I've never seen stats on other continents.

But of course, we all know, it is one thing to SAY one believes in God and another thing to have that actually change the way we live.

I pray most every day. Sometimes it feels rote but other times, I do sense I'm in communion with God. It isn't something I could "scientifically" prove and skeptics will always say that and say that it is some psychological/emotional phenomena that can be attained by non-religious means.

I also try to read the Bible - Hebrew (Old Testament) and Christian (New Testament) Scriptures - on a daily basis. I confess I don't always read every day but I try.

Was recently meditating on Matthew 12:1-14.

Jesus was challenged by the Pharisees for "breaking the Sabbath."

We usually think of the Sabbath as taking a break from work.

Box 3 - [JGR/Appointee Clearances – 02/25/1984-04/17/1984]

This box of documents can be found here.

These documents are from John Roberts' service in the White House Counsel's Office. From what I've heard, pretty much any matter that enters the White House that requires legal analysis goes to that office. In this box, the documents relate to the various nominations and appointments made by the President.

Summary of documents
The documents in this box fall into these broad categories:
Withdrawal sheets - these are document requests that were denied on the basis of exemption number six, "Release would constitute a clearly unwarrented invasion of personal privacy."
Clearances memo - JGR was cc'd in these perfunctory memos indicating that reviews of nominees and appointments were completed.
Press releases - JGR received copies of press releases regarding the nominations and appointments.
Memos written by JGR - In this box, there were five memos written by JGR, see pages 6-7, 8, 9, 32-33 and 38.
Other documents - JGR…

John Roberts Documents Analysis Project

Hugh Hewitt is attempting to harness the power of the blogosphere by calling for bloggers to adopt a box of documents and post summaries and analysis.

To see what boxes are left go here and sign up if you are interested in helping out!

I've adopted the following item: Box 3-JGR/Appointee Clearances 10/01/1983-11/30/1983.

I've downloaded the pdf from this web page. I hope to have a summary with analysis by Monday. The pdf is 40 pages.

UPDATE: Looks like I'll be checking out Box 3-JGR/Appointee Clearances 02/25/1984-04/17/1984 instead.

Glacier NP Trip, Part III, a Kalispell postscript

Monday August 8 - We left the park and arrived at the Motel 6 in Kalispell and took it easy for the afternoon. We drove around Kalispelll and Whitefish to see what was around in the two neighboring towns.

Eventually, we returned to the part of town near the Motel 6 where about 2 blocks away was the Bulldog Pub. Dinner there was prime rib and BBQ pork.

Tuesday August 9 - My buddy's flight was in the morning so I went to the airport and dropped him off. Since my flight wasn't until the afternoon, I explored Kalispell for a few hours.

I had a huckleberry shake at Norm's News.

This photo below is of the mirror on the back bar which reflects the mural on the opposite wall.

While at Norm's News, I read in the menu that the building shared by Norm's News and the Western Outdoor shop was once the Opera House. I asked about it and the young woman behind the counter who made my shake and the lady waiting for a burger at the counter told me that indeed it was a rather f…

Glacier National Park Visit, Part II

Wednesday August 3 - After arriving at the Glacier Park International Airport, we got a rental car and drove to the park. In retrospect, we should have swung into town to find a market to get some fruits and other food items. As it was, we had the items in our baggage which included instant oatmeal from Trader Joes and some dinner items also from Trader Joe (see here) and a couple of freezed-dried food packets. In the end, we only ate one of these items as they were less than appetizing. I suppose if we were really hungry we would have eaten the other one too but we weren't *that* hungry! 8-)

We arrived in the westside of the park at Lake McDonald and dropped off our stuff at the Apgar Village Lodge. We an early dinner at Eddie's right next door. We had rainbow trout and salads. We were introduced to the ever-present huckleberry. In this case, huckleberry vinagrette salad dressing.

We talked to the ranger and she recommended we do the Avalanche Lake trail which was 2 m…

Dodger baseball live radioblogging

2:57 pm The Dodgers have been no-hit for 7 innings. Their one base runner was a walk. The Met pitcher Pedro Martinez is that close to a perfect game and now is 6 outs away from his first no-hitter and the first no-hitter in Met history.

The Dodgers are down 1-0 so bunting to break the no-hitter would not be a violations of "the rules" because the Dodgers want to try to get a baserunner who would be the tying run.

Ricky Ledee is at bat for the Dodgers in the bottom of the 8th.

3:01 pm K, 1 out.

Antonio Perez at bat.

3:02 pm Perez gets a triple!!!!!!!!!!!! The crowd goes wild!!!!!! No hitter is gone.

3:04 pm Jayson Werth homers!!!!!!!!! Dodgers lead 2-1!!! The crowd really goes wild! Shutout is gone and Dodgers lead.

3:05 pm Navarro grounds out. 6-3, 2 outs.

Penny grounds out. 6-3, 3 outs.

3:10 pm top of the ninth.

Piazza, K, 1 out.

Anderson, double.

Anderson steals third and passed ball.

3-1 to Diaz.

Fouled off 3-2.

3:15 pm 4-2 fielder's choice, 2 outs! Check swing dribbler.…

Camp Food Blogging

You might wonder, what did we eat while camping?

Well, the report is up over at LA.foodblogging!

We also nibbled on oatmeal bought at Trader Joes and dried fruit ... bought at Trader Joes. We were a walking endorsement of TJ products!

A Visit to Glacier National Park, Part I

Just got back from Glacier National Park.

Amazing place!

The itinerary in brief:

Flew on Delta from LAX to Salt Lake City, Utah and changed planes to fly into Glacier National Park International Airport just north of Kalispell, Montana.

Day 1 - arrived in the westside of the park at Lake McDonald, had dinner at Eddie's right next to our motel stay at Apgar Lodge, hiked 4 miles round-trip (500 feet gain) on the Avalanche Lake trail and got back in time for ice cream!

Day 2 - drove Going-to-the Sun road that traverses the park. Set up tents at St. Mary's Lake campground on the eastside of the park. Hiked part of the way up to Siyah Pass from Sunrift Gorge which if we completed it would have been 5.6 miles one-way with a 3440 feet gain. As it was, we went out about 3 1/2 hours and decided to turn back. We took a break by visiting Barring Falls which was a mere 0.6 round-trip with a 250 foot drop.

Day 3 - drove to Many Glacier Hotel trailhead to hike 6.1 miles (1400 foot gai…

Rambler Ambles off on Holiday

Going here!

In 1997, I drove across the USA from East to West. One stop was in Yellowstone NP. I saw Glacier NP on the map but knew it was too far away for our itinerary at that time.

I hoped that someday I'd get to go there!

And that day is almost here! Woo hoo!

Image source:

Os Guiness: "The Third Mission to the West"

The other week I had the chance to hear Dr. Os Guinness speak.

I haven't read any of his books. However, I have heard that he is one of the notible voices for evangelical Christianity.

He talks pretty fast, intelligently and passionately. My note taking could barely keep up and on many occasions didn't. What follows is my attempt to make heads and tails out my quickly scribbled notes.

The first part of his talk went by the title, "The Third Mission to the West."

Guinness began some opening remarks about where we are today with Christianity in the West.

He mentioned some Christians view themselves as a remnant and disengage from the culture at large.

Some see this new century as the Third Mission to the West. The First was the conversion to Christianity by the Roman Empire. The Second was the conversion of the barbarian empires that had defeated the Roman Empire. The Third will be the effort reach the West once again with Christianity in the Twenty-First century. …