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Showing posts from April, 2007

World: Displace Me in 15 Cities in the USA 4/28/2007

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The Displace Me event seeks to raise awareness of the plight of children in Northern Uganda where a civil war has raged for 21 years.

Here is a background report on the civil war.

Here is an item from PBS Newshour on the latest diplomatic efforts to resolve the civil war.

Displace Me rallies occurred in 15 cities in the United States. I went to the one in the Los Angeles area at the Pomona Fairplex and met up with some people from my church's youth group. Here is the event description on the Fairplex web page:On April 28, Invisible Children will host a nationwide event called “Displace Me” to raise awareness about the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) camps and the effects of the 21-year war in Northern Uganda. Invisible Children is a media-based non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and educating youth around the world, creating lasting social change. The Fairplex is one of 15 locations across the U.S. that will bring together thousands of youth to imagine for 24 h…

Life: A friend is off to Afghanistan ...

... and has started a blog to share the experience. Don't know how often he will get to post but will be checking back now and then to see what is happening and will excerpt over on this blog.

Devotional Thoughts: My life is like bland oatmeal

Taking a look at Job 6:1-7 this morning.

Then Job answered and said:

Oh that my vexation were weighed,
and all my calamity laid in the balances!
For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea;
therefore my words have been rash.
For the arrows of the Almighty are in me;
my spirit drinks their poison;
the terrors of God are arrayed against me.
Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass,
or the ox low over his fodder?
Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt,
or is there any taste in the juice of the mallow?
My appetite refuses to touch them;
they are as food that is loathsome to me.

Could you be this honest with God?

What is Job saying here?

It is poetic and draws much from the life and times of his world.

How would we say it today?

I'm totally freaking out as all my troubles have piled up so high.
My troubles would be heavier than all the sand on a southern California beach.
I feel as if God is trying to kill me!
A dog who spends a day at Chateau Marmutt will …

Non-Profit of the Month: April 2007 - Walk Now and Race for Hope

Actually, two non-profits in this month's post.

Have a friend who works with a school district. One of the conditions she sees in some (too many) students is autism.

Walk Now is being held in various cities on various dates to raise funds. Check out the page to see if there is one in your city that you might participate in or support someone who is.

Here is the cause in the words of my friend:I am participating in WALK NOW to help find a cure for autism. Autism is the second most common developmental disorder in the United States affecting one in every 150 children born today. Despite some promising discoveries, the cause of autism is unknown and a cure does not exist. Research is crucial. Every 20 minutes another child is diagnosed with autism. Not only must we find ways to improve the quality of life for children and adults with autism, but we also must find a cure, and soon.

WALK NOW is our chance to make a difference in the fight against autism by raising money for autism resea…

Sports: What are realistic expectations for Coach Howland and UCLA?

Howland took over a program that had ran off the road. The first year was miserable but that was understood. In year two, the Bruins probably got one of the last at-large spots in the NCAA and lost in round one. Fans were happy and hopeful. The third year brought Bruin fans an unexpected surprise, not only a Final Four but an appearance in the National Championship game. Alas, Florida was too much. This past season was Howland's fourth year at the helm and the Bruins got to the Final Four where once again the Florida Gators blocked the road.

So what next?

UCLA fans are hoping for a National Championship sometime within the next few years. Winning the title is the goal of all the big program coaches.

When you think of coaching in the modern era (Wooden is an era unto himself!), the biggest name without doubt is Krzyzewski. He has been Duke coach for twenty-seven years! He has lead the Blue Devils to 10 Final Fours and 3 National Titles.

Thus, what are realistic expectations fo…

Culture: 24 - 11 to midnight

We find out what the Chinese want in exchange for Audrey: a bit of hardware circuitry on the suitcase nukes.

Implausibility alert: although one never wants high tech military weapons to fall into the hands of other people, it would be poor engineering to put anything in a device which would compromise all your other high tech gadgets.

President Palmer is starting to look ill. We could see this cab coming down the street with its doors open. By the end of the episode he is on the way to the hospital and the VEEP is once again in charge.

Chloe gets the info Jack needs to get the circuit but Morris finds out and gets Chloe to confess to Buchanan and as such warns Doyle to stop Jack which they do.

Jack asks the President for permission to make the exchange for Audrey and promises to destroy the circuit with C4 explosive if necessary. Palmer realizes that would mean that Jack would be killed and gives the green light.

Meanwhile back in DC, the President has a stroke on national television…

Culture: 24 - 10:00 to 11:00 PM

The missile is on its way to un-named Middle Eastern country. The gambit plays off as they admit that one of their generals is behind Fayed's nuclear terrorism so Palmer calls off the missile. We then find out it didn't carry a nuke.

With the info about the general, CTU fakes an escape plot for Fayed and use the general's name to try to get Fayed to lead them to the remaining two suitcase nukes.

The final act of the nuke recovery has Jack single-handedly killing off all of Fayed's aides and then in a hand-to-hand fight sending Fayed to the afterlife.

We have some hours left .... soooooooo .... Audrey Raines (Kim Raver) appears!

The Chinese faked her death and have held her prisoner awaiting an opportunity to use her to get something from the USA.

Implausibility alert: though it makes for great drama for Jack to follow the bad guys all on his own, I would guess in real life, it would only take 10 seconds for him to inform *somebody* *anybody* that he was following Fay…

News: Horrible day in Blacksburg, Virginia

When I was writing in my blog this morning, I hadn't turned on the radio. At that time, I would have heard a little bit of news of a shooting incident in a dorm at Virigina Tech.

As I drove to work, I did hear just a short news item on it. It was a crime story and unfortunately, all too common, but nothing more than that for news editors deciding what to put on the air.

As the workday unfolded, the news came out that a second shooting had occurred and it was something of terrible proportions.

As of this afternoon, reports are that 32 were murdered and 29 hospitalized. The gunman was reported to have committed suicide. Law enforcement officials are investigating but for the moment it appears the two shootings are related but that could change as more facts are ascertained.

What is there to say after the horror of such a violent act?

How can one express the outrage and sadness at the total senselessness of what happened this morning?

Lord, don't know how to pray right now. Am ju…

Life: What to say when bad things happen to good people? Part I

With my recent reading and writing about Job, I've been pondering that age old question.

The "academic" part of the formulation is actually quite straightforward:
If God is
(1) all good
(2) all powerful
(3) all knowing
yet (4) evil and suffering exists
then therefore God is not (1), (2) or (3) or some combination thereof.

As a lay person, I know that the traditional response has been the invoking of Free Will.

Christian theism could not survive (and who would want that kind of god anyway?) the repeal of point #1.

I haven't read Rabbi Kushner's famous book on the subject. However, from what I'm told, he concedes point #2.

Recently, there has been a movement called Open Theism within Christianity that gives ground on point #3.

I don't know to what extent I'm willing to wade into this theological swamp.

But I want to go back to the original question, regardless of one's theological framework, what do you say to someone who is in Job's shoes?

Nick over at

Music: How much money would Joshua Bell make playing in a Metro Station?

A really fascinating article in the WaPo about what happened on January 12 when world renown violist Joshua Bell played music in the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station in Washington DC during the morning rush hour commute.

He played several of the most difficult and beautiful works for solo violin on his $3.5 million dollar 1713 Stradivari violin.

To read what happened, go here. There are also 4 video clips highlighting the story.

HT: Deceptively Simple.

Blogs writing about this article.

BTW: Joshua Bell made $32.17 in 43 minutes.

Here is the online chat with the writer of the story.

Culture: Jackie Robinson #42 for the Dodgers

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Image source:
http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/modern/jb_modern_robinson_1_e.html

60 years ago, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball.

Over at Dodgers.com is a whole bunch of features about the celebration of that historic moment and about a life well led.

Ceremonies at all games played tomorrow, April 15, will be held in recognition of Robinson. Most notable will be the wearing of uniforms with the number 42 on them by players who wish to honor Robinson in that way. The number had been retired by the MLB with only players who already were using number 42 allowed to continue wearing it. As of today, only Mariano Rivera is in that group. Of the honor he said:As a minority, I feel honored wearing the No. 42 and carrying the legacy that Jackie Robinson left. I wear it with good pride. That's the way it goes. All the guys retired or left, and I'm still carrying the number. I feel blessed for that.The idea of wearing 42 came from Ken Griffey, Jr.It's just my w…

Music: Salonen hands baton to Dudamel

The big news in the LA culture scene is Esa-Pekka Salonen, LA Philharmonic's music director, announcing his plans to retire and devote his time to composing.

At the same press conference, Board of Directors President Deborah Borda and Salonen introduced the new music director, Gustavo Dudamel.

Dudamel, 26 years old, signed a 5-year deal that will start with the 2009-2010 season.

Here are a few excerpts from the press release:Of the appointment Dudamel said, "Almost two years ago, I made my United States debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and from the first moment I stepped onto the stage, I felt a special connection and deep feeling from the players. They are wonderful. I am very honored to be chosen to succeed the great conductor/composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, who has been so warm to me and has given me so much support. Family is very important to me. Now my musical family includes Los Angeles, along with Venezuela and Gothenburg, and these three will be my musical homes a…

Politics: A billion here and a billion there ... your tax dollars at work

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Image source: http://finance.yahoo.com/taxes/article/102817/How-Your-Tax-Dollars-Are-Spent

Saw this item on what happens to our tax dollars. A few highlights:

This year the federal government expects a haul of about $2.7 trillion -- give or take a couple hundred billion or so, depending on the economy, corporate profits and Wall Street and of course, how honest everyone filing a return is.
......
In fact, all government payments to individuals amount to about 58 percent of the budget. That's twice the share of the budget such payments claimed 40 years ago. And the percentage continues to climb -- giving those pushing reform of such entitlement programs a powerful argument.
......
You might think a fifth of the federal government's total spending is a lot to put into defense. But in comparison to some earlier periods in our country's history, it's actually a smaller share. During President Ronald Reagan's defense buildup, the military claimed 26 percent of the budget. …

Devotional Thoughts: A rock in my shoe

Took a little time off from Job but am back to it with Job 5 this morning.

Job had finally spoken in chapter 3 and then Eliphaz replied in chapter 4 and continues here in chapter 5.

Call now; is there anyone who will answer you?
To which of the holy ones will you turn?
Surely vexation kills the fool,
and jealousy slays the simple.
I have seen the fool taking root,
but suddenly I cursed his dwelling.
His children are far from safety;
they are crushed in the gate,
and there is no one to deliver them.
The hungry eat his harvest,
and he takes it even out of thorns,
and the thirsty pant after his wealth.
For affliction does not come from the dust,
nor does trouble sprout from the ground,
but man is born to trouble
as the sparks fly upward.

Eliphaz sounds like a realist! People get what they deserve. He believed that fools get what they deserve. Their kids get endangered, people steal their food and trouble just follows them like stuck toilet paper.

The not so subtle implic…

Life: More about me

At the top of this blog is this brief about me blurb:Culture, travel, sports (Dodger, Bruin and Anteater fan), politics and the life of faith. Random ramblings (but hopefully thoughtful!) on the passing scene by a Christian 40-something single male molecular biologist American of Asian ancestry.So here goes with a bit more elaboration in the odd chance anyone is actually curious!

Culture


I see the occasional movie. My four-star rating system (0 = bad, run away! 1 = only if you are really bored! 2 = okay movie with some good moments 3 = solid film making 4 = a classic!). Some films that would be 4 star in my book: Casablanca, Schindler's List, Star Wars, E.T., Dr. Stranglove, North by Northwest, West Side Story, Amadeus, Sound of Music, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Patton, A Bridge Too Far, Chariots of Fire. I tend to favor action-adventure movies. I'll see the occasional drama or comedy.

I enjoy classical music and have a subscription to the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disne…

Music: Track 44 of Handel's Messiah

Handel's Messiah. Probably one of the most noted works of music of all time.

Just like the song Amazing Grace is instantly recognizable so is track 44 of Handel's Messiah.

Whether it is sung with a large professional choir accompanied by a world class orchestra or by a church congregation joined by an organist and two trumpet players, the majesty and magic of these words cannot fail to move.

Track 44 is the Hallelujah Chorus drawn from Revelation 11:15 and Revelation 19:16Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ: and He shall reign for ever and ever. KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS.Gives me both the chills and a thrill of hope whenever I hear that great chorus!

The Book of Revelation is at some level very hard to understand especially if you try to assign every detail to some specific point in human history or current events.

On the other hand, if one takes a thematic approach and let the d…

Elsewhere: Stuff I've come across

Skyepuppy has this fun little item about what folks in North Dakota do for fun! If we wind up doing something like this in Los Angeles, we know the world as we know it will be coming to an end soon!

American Minister in the UK is feeling his age. I have to say, I had a similar moment with the junior high folks when some of the students were talking about flying squirrels and I said, you know there was a cartoon character named Rocky who was a flying squirrel and there was a moose named Bullwinkle. They had no idea what I was talking about!

Yahoo's Movie Mom, Nell Minow has a blog. Here is her interview with Michael Apted the director of Amazing Grace which recounts the struggle to end slavery in England. I saw the film and highly recommend it. It is a movie story about how a small number of committed people can make a difference in the world. William Wilberforce's dedication was remarkable. Also, an outstanding performance was given by Albert Finney who played John Newto…

World: This blog is banned in China!

Saw this item over at Ridgecrest Blog. He used this web page to test if his blog is banned in China.

Naturally, I ran it too and believe it or not, this little blog is banned!

I do wonder if the block is at the level of the domain name. The censors may just block everyone on blogspot.com?

Sports: Afflalo to try for NBA

No surprise that UCLA's 2-guard will forgo his senior year to enter the NBA draft.

Thanks AA for 3 exciting years and all the best in the road ahead!

Bruinsnation is commenting as well along the same lines.

Music: Handel's Messiah, Easter Changes Everything

Continuing to share some thoughts invoked by reading through the lyrics of Handel's Messiah.

Tracks 40-43

Psalm 2:1,2 (Acts 4:25-26), 3, 4 and 9.
Why do the heathen rage, and why do the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His Anointed, Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yokes from us. He that dwelleth in the heavens shall laugh them to scorn; the Lord shall have them in derision. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

Jesus is constantly under attack in every age?

Today, the attacks are in the form of things like the Da Vinci Code where the life of Jesus is mutated into something completely different than what the Gospel's record and the Early Church proclaimed. There are some who even go so far as to say Jesus never even existed. Around Easter and Christmas, there are usually one-hour TV specials and spec…

Culture: Who am I?

Recently, one of the games we played at our youth group involved putting the name of someone in the pop-culture on the forehead such that the wearer can't see the name. One then asks yes/no questions to gain clues to the identity.

Can you guess who I am?

Am I a man? No.
Am I a real person? Yes.
Am I in the news? Yes.
Am I a political figure? No.
Am I a sports figure? No.
Am I in the movies? Yes.
Am I pretty? Yes.
Am I funny? Yes.
Am I this person? Yes!

Did you guess correctly?

Life: Easter and the death of death

With the my recent reflections on Easter, one of the things I think about is the death of death.

Indeed, people who trust in Jesus still die. But with Jesus Christ's resurrection, that is the not end.

Over the years, I have watched various people I know face death with faith in Jesus. Some died quickly and unexpectedly. Some died slowly.

It may be morbid to think about, but I hope when my time comes I will be able to go through that inevitable part of life with the same faith and grace I have seen.

I'm generally reluctant to post personal items on the blog or to mention other people.

However, on this occasion, post-Easter, I felt like sharing about an email I got from a friend who is keeping friends and family from all over posted.

At times it is difficult to read these emails. But there is encouragement from this believer in Jesus who is living to the fullest while dying. To respect privacy, I'm editing the latest email down so confidentiality is maintained. Obvious,…

Music: Handel's Messiah Aftermath of Easter

Handel's Messiah has three parts. Part I describes the expectations, birth and life of the Messiah. Part II covers the death and resurrection of the Messiah. Part III expresses the victory of the Messiah and its benefits for those who trust in Him. By the way, Handel wrote the music for Messiah but it was Charles Jennens who selected and arranged the Bible passages that form the libretto for the oratorio.

For the past few days of the Easter week, I've been sharing the lyrics to part II of the Messiah and so here goes to track 36-39.

With the Messiah's resurrection, what next?

Psalm 68:18 (Ephesians 4:8)
Thou art gone up on high, Thou hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men; yea, even for Thine enemies, that the Lord God might dwell among them.

This part is an Air for Alto and the voice and words invoke the imagery of an ancient triumphal procession.

When an army wins a battle, they come home to a victory celebration and the conqueror who led them brings hom…

Music: Easter Sunday and Handel's Messiah

Continuing to look at Handel's Messiah.

Will keep posting until I reach the famed Hallelujah chorus (track 44).

On this Easter morning, am walking through tracks 32-35

Psalm 16:10 (Acts 2:27)
[But] thou [didst] not leave [his] soul in hell; neither [didst] thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption.

Resurrection changed everything.

It all started in Bethlehem. Captured in the carol:
O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

From the humble beginning in a feeding trough in a small village to a quiet Sunday morning with an empty tomb, the mission was accomplished. From dark night to bright morning, from fears to hope, from death to life, from slavery to sin to liberation.

The Christian "meta-narrative" of God's relationship to man is about creation and liberation. Before Jesus, it was Creation as re…

Music: Handel's Messiah and the Saturday Between Good Friday and Easter Sunday

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As I look over Handel's Messiah, I think track 31 is the place that sort of describes the Saturday between the the Crucifixion and Resurrection. I was thinking of including it in the Friday mediation because it could fit there too. Track 32 belongs with Sunday and Resurrection

Isaiah 53:8b
he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of [Thy] people was He stricken.

Jesus was taken off the Cross and prepared and placed into the tomb.

One of the most iconic works of art is Mary, the mother of Jesus, holding the dead Jesus.

Michelangelo's Pieta (1499), St. Peter's Basilica
Image source: http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hitchcock/pages/pieta.html

On Saturday, what did it feel like to be Mary?

Would she replay in her mind all she saw on Friday?

What did it feel like to be Peter?

He had promised to die for Jesus and he had denied Jesus and Jesus was dead.

What did it feel like to be any of the followers of Jesus?

Did they meet together and talk about what had just …

Life: The Bright Side of Free Will

So on Friday nights, I'm often with junior high students from my church.

It is an interesting age. Prior to that age, kids tend to be like sponges taking in everything they hear more or less without question. But something happens when kids hit 12-14! They begin to wonder a bit about what they hear. But then again their attention spans aren't real long so if the subject is complex they might follow for a a little bit and then like a gust of wind sweeps in and their minds are elsewhere.

So last night, somehow, we got on the subject of free will. And, just like most adults I've had conversations about this subject, the focus quickly went to the dark side of free will and the persistence of evil. One of our adult leaders tried and eventually got them to think about the other side of free will: love.

It was interesting to see how it took several tries to get the group to go down that road and see the logical consequences of the bright side of free will. For just for a fe…

Music: More Handel's Messiah and Something Entirely Different but Still Sort of Related

Something completely different to start off.

Its funny but it contains truth and so here goes ...



Am getting more acquainted with the famed Handel's Messiah during this Holy Week.

Track numbers 29 is a recitative for tenor. Slow and sad and deliberate we hear Psalm 69:20, [Thy] rebuke hath broken [his] heart; [He is] full of heaviness. [He] looked for some to have pity [on Him], but there was none; neither found [He] any to comfort [Him].

The tenor then continues to track 30 in this air for tenor utilizing Lamentations 1:12, Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto [his] sorrow. . .

What did it feel like to be Jesus?

He knew his mission to restore us. Back in track 26 (Isaiah 53:6),All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and Jesus wants to bring us back.

And what happened?

Most who heard his message and saw his miracles did NOT believe!

Why?

How many people say, I'd believe in God if I saw him?

Yet, when they saw Jesus they saw God and …

Sports: Florida news and other things

ESPN is reporting that 4 of their starting 5 will go NBA. Completely understandable. The window of time an athlete can make lots of money is often pretty narrow as injury can always strike and the move from college to NBA isn't always so easy. They got themselves 2 National Championships and it is time for them to cash in for the themselves and their families.

Donovan is staying on as coach at Florida. From what I heard, his loyalty to Florida was pretty strong and the opportunity at Kentucky wasn't worth it.

Meanwhile, Bruin fans await Afflalo's decision. I have the feeling he is torn by loyalty to the teammates and his realization that he might not get better as a player unless he goes to the NBA. In college, very often he will be the best player on the court and he needs the challenge that the NBA offers him for his long term growth as a basketball player.

Am trying my hand at fantasy baseball at a new web page, Rotohog.com. In addition to the usual stat collecting yo…

Politics: WaPo on Pelosi's Diplomacy

The Washington Post is no friend of the Bush Administration.

However, in today's editorial, they issued a beat down on Speaker of the House Pelosi's recent visit to Syria.HOUSE SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered an excellent demonstration yesterday of why members of Congress should not attempt to supplant the secretary of state when traveling abroad. After a meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, Ms. Pelosi announced that she had delivered a message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that "Israel was ready to engage in peace talks" with Syria. What's more, she added, Mr. Assad was ready to "resume the peace process" as well. Having announced this seeming diplomatic breakthrough, Ms. Pelosi suggested that her Kissingerian shuttle diplomacy was just getting started. "We expressed our interest in using our good offices in promoting peace between Israel and Syria," she said.

Only one problem: The Israeli prime minister …

Music: Handel's Messiah and its Easter Portions

As part of Holy Week, I'm trying various ways to encourage more reflection on my part on the great events this time commemorates.

Continuing the look at Handel's Messiah.

I'm listening along with a CD to the work. I found this performance in a music store a few years back and bought it as it was the complete work and at a budget price.

Let's look at track numbers 27-28.

Psalm 22:7-8 (Matthew 27:43)

All they that see [him] laugh [him] to scorn: they shoot out their lips, they shake their heads, saying: He trusted [in God] that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, if he delight in him.

On the Cross, Jesus suffered on our behalf.

Looking on the Cross, the people mocked.

From the Cross, Jesus would speak seven times.

As I listen to the Psalm 22:7-8 sung on the CD, I'm drawn to two of the 7 sayings of Jesus on the Cross.

First of all, Matthew 27:46 - "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" which means, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

This statement from Jes…

Life: Taize

Ever heard of Taize?

It was new to me as this evening in an ongoing effort to explore different expressions of the Christian faith, I found myself attending a Taize service to reflect on Jesus during this Holy Week.

In the order of worship sheet, I found out that Taize is a community of faith in France.

Their mode of worship is to encourage contemplation and slowing down and turning down the noise level of life. To be honest it was quite jarring to my million miles an hour racing mind!

In poking around the web page, I came across these thoughts on the value of silence:Sometimes we are apparently silent, and yet we have great discussions within, struggling with imaginary partners or with ourselves. Calming our souls requires a kind of simplicity: "I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvellous for me." Silence means recognising that my worries can’t do much. Silence means leaving to God what is beyond my reach and capacity. A moment of silence, even very short…

Music: Lyrics to Handel's Messiah

I enjoy classical music but I admit that about the only part of the famed Handel's Messiah I know is the "Hallelujah Chorus."

To see the lyrics of the entire work, go here.

This musical work is most often heard around Christmas. However, there is a section of the work that focuses on the Passion.

Since this is the week when those (me included) who call Jesus the Lord and Savior reflect on the Passion, I thought I should finally take a closer look at the Scriptures Handel choose for the Messiah.

In Part II of the work, Handel musically takes us through the Passion of the Christ. Here follows track numbers 22-26.
John 1:29
Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.

The Christian faith has its roots in the Jewish tradition. The Exodus story is recalled in the Passover when the Jews enslaved in Egypt put lamb's blood over the door as a mark so the angel of death would passover their home in the 10th plague against Egypt.

The Christian faith is centere…

Devotional Thoughts: Job, you have instructed many ...

Checking out Job chapter four this evening.

Previously, unknown to Job, Satan and God discussed Job's faithfulness. Satan believed if Job's health, family and possession are taken away, Job would turn against God. God doesn't think that will happen. Job is left in sack clothes and ashes. Three of his friends show up and they don't say anything for 7 days. Job finally speaks in chapter 3 lamenting his situation.

In chapter four, Eliphaz responded to Job ...

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

If one ventures a word with you, will you be impatient?
Yet who can keep from speaking?
Behold, you have instructed many,
and you have strengthened the weak hands.
Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,
and you have made firm the feeble knees.
But now it has come to you, and you are impatient;
it touches you, and you are dismayed.
Is not your fear of God your confidence,
and the integrity of your ways your hope?

This sounds a lot like, physician heal thysel…

Culture: 24 - 9-10pm and the 25th Amendment

Wow, that was some twist and turn 24 we all know and love!

Okay, in DC intrigue, the Cabinet was knotted 7-7 on declaring the President incapacitated.

According to the Whitehouse.gov there are 15 cabinet members. Thus, the tie vote the writers of 24 dreamed up is possible because in a crisis not all cabinet members might be available for an incapacity vote.

Alas, the writers of 24 made a huge boo-boo ... Karen Hayes, national security advisor, who cast the tying vote is not a cabinet member!

The Veep's chief of staff obviously forgot her Con Law class materials. She didn't need to dream up the false testimony that the Veep had no intention of reinstating Hayes as a cabinet member. The AG should have pointed out Hayes couldn't vote. The Supreme Court would have laughed that the White House Counsel's office didn't catch that boo boo before waking them up at 1 AM (I presume the 24 time clock is Pacific Time) and gone back to sleep!

All in all a huge blunder by the fac…

Culture: 24 - 8-9pm

Okay, tonight, yet another episode... what's next???

So here is a recap from the last hour, last week...

They quickly resolved the question of whether or not Nadia was the mole in CTU. Morris certified the device found at the drone pilot scene was indeed authentic and was the means by which they tapped into CTU's systems thus clearing Nadia who shares a soap opera moment with Milo.

With the drone pilot dead, there are no leads but Chloe comes to the rescue by picking up a phone call from Gradenko to Mark Hauser who is a security consultant to a nuclear power plant. I wonder if this would be a violation of the current laws on tapping cell phones without warrants? I suppose under the circumstances POTUS would issue the necessary orders for CTU to tap anyone they think they have to and have the AG figure it out later.

On the implausibility alert ... you got to be amazed at President Wayne Palmer's powers of recovery or the doctor's medical skill!

BTW, did Tom Lennox say t…