Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Countenance of the Lord

This calendar and picture hang in our dining room. As it caught my glance and then further attention last night, I commented to my wife regarding how truly amazing God’s mercy is. After all that Jesus endured for our sake, willingly putting Himself in our place to take our guilt, our sin, our shame, our condemnation, our burdens, our suffering, our death, yet even though we turn aside from Him and mock Him with our lives, sinning and doubting and hurting ourselves and one another, yet He continues to look upon us in mercy and love. He never says, “After all that I did for you . . .!”

Rather, He calls to us through His means of grace in His Church, calling us to receive the repentance that the Holy Spirit works, so that we may hear His gracious words of forgiveness and peace and to eat and drink the blessings of His Holy Communion.

I am reminded of this at the close of every divine service in the Benediction, hearing again the amazing words, “The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and grant you peace.”

The Lord lifts up His countenance upon those who receive this blessing. Instead of looking down in disgust, instead of glaring with wrathful condemnation, instead of turning His countenance away, He lifts up His countenance in compassionate and merciful love and bestows His peace.

† † †

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What does being a Christian mean?

The name of Christian, what does it mean? Do you have a clear definition and understanding of this name? How do people define and understand this name?

Luke records in Acts 11:26 that the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. The term Christian is used again in Acts 26:28 and in 1 Peter 4:16. In Acts 26:28 it is used by an unbeliever, mocking the attempts of St. Paul to explain the faith. In 1 Peter 4:16 it is used with reference to the suffering that the disciples of Christ endure because of this name.

Most people who consider themselves to be Christians today define this name according to what they practice. Most people who consider themselves to be Christian express that being Christian means to believe in Jesus.

In John 8 Jesus defines being His disciples with these words:

As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:30-32)

What words did Jesus say to them that moved these hearers to believe on Jesus?

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. (John 8:28-29)

But when Jesus continued to explain to them that they were not free by their own actions and that their believing in Him alone did not set them free, when He explained that knowing the truth is what would set them free, they recoiled and retorted that they were not slaves.

Jesus explained the matter to them more fully. See John 8:28-59.

Those who say that they believe in Jesus today, like those whom Jesus addresses in this text, imagine that they can be true disciples of Jesus without knowing the fullness of the truth that Jesus here explains. Notice what these people did when Jesus expanded their understanding of what they thought that He said.

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. (John 8:58-59)

How many of those who call themselves Christians today also become angry when confronted with the fullness of what Jesus says? How many today likewise claim that they are not slaves who need to be set free? How many today continue to follow the traditions of their parents and grandparents, remaining in communion with those who attack those who proclaim the truth?

What moved these people to “believe” in Jesus? Interestingly, the text actually says that they believed “into” Jesus. Into what did they enter? What were they trusting and desiring? What did Jesus say that moved them to look to Him as one in whom they desired to believe?

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. (John 8:28-29)

What did they understand from the words, “When ye have lifted up the Son of man”?

Most people today use terms like “sovereignty” and “Lord” and the catch phrase “LordandSaviorJesusChrist.” What it means is the one that they choose to lift up according to what they expect and desire. But when they are challenged to understand what Lord and Savior and Jesus and Christ really mean, especially regarding the fact that they are helpless slaves to their sin and false understanding and pseudo-belief, their displays of “love” and “tolerance” violently turn to displays of anger and rejection.

If you would like to test this, just step into any Lutheran congregation, for example, and explain to those who founded the congregation that their worship and expression of faith is lacking and that their acts of devotion are sinful and that they desperately need God’s forgiveness for their half-hearted faith and love. Tell them with insistence that they need to repent of their devotion to God. Tell them that they need to fall to their knees and receive forgiveness for the sins that they are committing in their worship.

No matter who the congregation is, the Scriptures plainly teach that their worship is sin. The Scriptures plainly teach that all of their righteousnesses are bloody rags. Isaiah 64:6.

And if this is true for those who call themselves Lutheran, what about those who do not even acknowledge the means of grace for what the Scriptures tell us?

Yes, we are slaves of sin, all of us. Even our best actions are corrupt according to our own efforts. All of our righteousnesses, that is, all of our demonstrations of faith and love and devotion, are filth to be cast away. Only by the merits of Christ applied to us in Baptism and in the Holy Supper are we made to be counted as true believers and true disciples of Jesus. This is what the Lord says through His prophets and apostles.

When people truly receive this as the truth, they are set free from all reliance upon themselves and their own reason and strength. Then the testimony that they give is not how Jesus has changed their lives and not upon their sacrifices and actions and devotion and love or even their faith. Rather, their testimony is the mercy of God that is bestowed in and through the pure means of grace. Where this is the testimony of those who gather into the name of Jesus, the name Christian points not to the people, but to the one in whom they trust.

† † †

Monday, April 25, 2011

My apologies for the big bank scam

Since the big bankers, mostly credit card bankers, have violated their contract and promise not to allow my on-line information to be released, I have been receiving dozens of e-mails attempting to sell me various kinds of garbage. The primary volume of garbage involves enlargement of a certain bodily organ.

Moreover, each of these e-mails has had an attached file that my anti-virus program identifies and quarantines as malware.

Some of these e-mails are using my name and e-mail and host provider. I have contacted my host provider about this issue, but have not heard from them yet.

In case anyone has received this garbage with my name and e-mail, please know that I did not send it. (My computer is not infected.)

It angers me that the US government allows these bankers to get away with yet another scam. They claim that their data was hacked from the outside. This is about as likely as catching an STD from a toilet seat. (It does not happen.)

As a reminder to all, unexpected e-mails that have attachments should always be treated as a threat. NEVER click on an attachment that is not expected, as the malware can be set into action by opening the attachment.

If anyone has received any of this garbage with my e-mail address as the sender, please forgive me for my inability to prevent the misuse of my name and e-mail address.

. . .

What Is the Easter Celebration?

What is the Easter celebration to you? What does it really mean?

Below is a video of an advertisement that seems to depict what Easter means for most people today.

How about you and your family? Perhaps you began the day with an Easter Service or even a couple of services. Perhaps you attended an Easter Sunrise service and then a later service as well.

Perhaps not.

Did you get together with family? That seems to be the most common activity for people on Easter Sunday. Did you have an Easter egg and basket hunt? Did you have a big meal? Did you watch a sports activity on the television? Did you catch up on what has been happening in the extended family?

Did you pray together? If so, did you give thanks for the gift of restoration into God’s Holy Communion? Did you give thanks for the new life that is poured out in the cup of the New Testament in Christ’s blood? Do your family members even agree about such things so as to count these as true and as cause for thanksgiving?

Did you discuss together the rich texts from the Holy Scriptures? Did you talk about how death has been swallowed up by death? Did you marvel together throughout the day at what the Lord has accomplished for us all through the suffering, death, and bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead? Did you discuss what the Scriptures teach about Baptism and the Resurrection? Did you spend the day marveling at the limitlessness of the Lord’s goodness and mercy?

The Resurrection of our Lord is the highest feast day of the Church Year. Our Lord’s bodily resurrection from the dead is God’s seal of approval and acceptance of the redemption that Jesus accomplished and of the restoration to Life and Life in its fullness that He came to restore.

The Resurrection of our Lord changed history. It changed everything.

Truly it is cause for endless celebration.

† † †

Saturday, April 23, 2011

And on the Seventh Day

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:2-3)

Is it not amazing to see how God made the second work of creation to be like the first? On the first day everything was in chaos, without order, and God called forth the light to shine and established order to the world. After working all week to establish His order to His creation, having completed His creative work, He rested from all of His work. On the eighth day the new life that He created and established continued under His blessing and care.

Is it not marvelous to see how He did the same in His work of redemption and recreation? He called forth light and order out of the world’s chaos with His entrance on Palm Sunday, the first day of the week. He worked all week cleansing the temple and preaching and proclaiming sound doctrine. He brought the Old Testament to a close and instituted the New Testament in His blood, then faced the mock trial and the slander and the torture and the crucifixion, bringing to completion the work of redemption and recreation. He was buried before the beginning of the Sabbath Day and He rested from all of His work of recreation, rising again on the eighth day to rule over the world with His blessing and care.

† † †

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why Good Friday?

Why did God send Jesus to suffer and die? Why was this necessary?

It was necessary to save God damned sinners from their everlasting damnation.

So then why does God damn sinners?

He damns them so that they may be saved. Apart from God’s damnation, sinners would ignore their state of condemnation. Apart from God’s damnation, all of His children would be lost forever. God manifests His wrath in order that sinners may be shaken from their complacency with their sin, which cuts them off from God, apart from the life that is of God alone.

Why is God so angry about sin? Sin tears His children away from Him. Sin breaks the holy communion that God established between Himself and His children. Sin creates a barrier between sinners and God. Satan, filled with hatred for God, introduced sin to mankind, thereby destroying God’s holy communion with Man. Sin prevents God’s good, gracious, and loving will from being enacted in Man.

Sin cannot be tolerated. It cannot exist in the presence of holiness. It corrupts and destroys all that is good. It must be punished and driven out. But God’s love moved Him to take this upon Himself, taking into Himself our flesh and our nature so that He could suffer the consequences of sin for us. Thus Jesus suffered and died in our place. He took our sin. He is the forgiveness of sin.

† † †

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones can break one’s bones,
and words can crush one’s soul.

The old children’s chant:

Sticks and stones can break my bones,
but words can never hurt me!

is merely wishful thinking. In most cases a person says this as a retort, and then turns away to lick the wounds.

Words do hurt. Words do have power.

Words can be used to tear down or to build up.

This is true especially regarding matters of the spirit. The truth is sometimes said to hurt. But this is only true for those who know only one side of the truth. The full truth includes not only the painful side of our weakness and shortcomings, but also the beautiful grace of God’s love.

Lent and especially Holy Week present both sides in the fullness by which we are brought face to face with our sin and condemnation as well as God's gracious answer and healing.

The Lord Jesus bore both the sticks and stones as well as the crushing words that would come to us apart from His intervention. He bore them in our place so that there would remain no judgment whatsoever against us. The decree of justification for all was finalized with His resurrection from the dead.

Sadly, most people never receive this justification. They continue to seek to find ways of warding off the painful condemnation by means other than the ones that God has ordained. Thus, even though God has declared that in Christ all the world’s sin is redeemed, even though He has declared that all the world has been justified by Christ’s meritorious suffering and death, even though God raised Jesus from the dead to seal this declaration for all everlastingly, many will never receive what God has declared to be theirs. Instead of receiving that which is theirs in Christ, they will seek other sources of relief and justification. Thus, whether through lack of hearing or through refusal to believe this gracious Word of reconciliation, they remain outside of the kingdom of God, outside of the body of Christ, wherein this declaration of righteousness is stored up for all.

Some, who are zealous to protect the truth say that this declaration is not universal. They imagine that justification must be received in order for it to be real. They argue that because some do not receive it that they have not been declared righteous in Christ. Actually, in their rejection of this universal justification they generally omit the “in Christ” aspect of the declaration. They argue using Scriptures and other resources that speak to the matter of justification by faith as proof that God’s justification is not universal.

What this proves is that when one sets forth in haste the fullness of the truth is often ignored. For it is not possible to receive a declaration of righteousness unless it has already been declared. It is not possible to receive forgiveness or remission of sins until the forgiveness has been given.

Faith does not cause God to forgive. God’s forgiveness causes faith to be born in a person so that the person believes God’s forgiveness and no longer turns away from Him.

Every statement of Scripture that speaks of justification through faith is always written in the context of countering the false doctrine of justification by works of the individual. The Scriptures never speak so as to preclude universal objective justification. Those who argue this way always seek “proof texts” that have been divorced of the greater context of the entirety of the Scriptures.

For example in Luke 23:34 it is recorded that from the cross Jesus said: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

Did the Father deny Jesus His request? More directly, was Jesus not God when He declared this? Is this not God making this declaration of forgiveness? Was this not made concerning those who refused even to acknowledge their sin, let alone to repent and believe?

Surely not all whom God declared to be forgiven received His forgiveness. But was not the forgiveness real nonetheless?

God’s forgiveness is not limited to those who believe or at some time will believe. His forgiveness is declared for all the world, for every God damned sinner who ever lived and ever will live. In Christ, God has pronounced His forgiveness to all. The problem is not with the scope of God’s forgiveness. The problem is with the hard hearts of those who will not receive His forgiveness as He has declared it.

This is the reason for the office of the keys. This is why Christ commands His disciples of all ages to carry out the double function of the ministry whereby those who hear the Gospel and are baptized into Christ are absolved and those who reject Christ are bound to their sin. But this pronouncement is nothing more than acknowledgment of what the Lord Jesus declares to Nicodemus in John 3, saying:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)

Notice what the Holy Spirit makes certain that John recorded from this declaration. The condemnation of sinners does not originate with God but with sinners. God’s forgiveness is not time bound except from our perspective. When did God decide to give His Son for the world’s salvation? When did God give His Son for the salvation of sinners? Was He not already given with the creation of Man as male and female so that the Woman’s seed was already present in Genesis 3? When was the Lamb slain? According to Revelation 13:8 the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world!

God’s forgiveness is not lacking in any way whatsoever. He has not limited it by any measure. Peace on earth and goodwill toward mankind was announced with the birth of Jesus. The forgiveness has been pronounced. It has been given. The fact that most people will not receive it does not nullify the gift.

To say otherwise, to promulgate words that deny the universal objective justification that God has declared in Christ are the worst and most powerfully destructive words that can be used, for they can steal away the grace of God from those who would hear and believe what God has declared.

Some insist that the preaching of universal objective justification is preaching universalism. Such blindness comes from fear that the Gospel needs to be defended by the Church and her preachers. But the truth is that the Gospel is that which defends the Church and her preachers. For God’s declaration of forgiveness is in Christ. In Christ the world is declared to be righteous. It is the world’s refusal to be regenerated into the body of Christ that separates them from the forgiveness that God has declared to belong to all in Christ.

The Scriptures forbid the preaching of God’s forgiveness to no one. The Gospel declares that forgiveness in Christ is freely given to all. No one has to do anything whatsoever to receive it. In Ephesians 2 St. Paul plainly teaches that even faith is God's gift and work. And this faith has an object and that object is the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. This sacrifice is universal, redeeming the sin of all the world. The sin debt of the world has been paid. In the resurrection God has declared this payment to be sufficient. God declares all sin to be forgiven in Christ.

Where is Christ given? He is given in the pure administration of the Gospel and Sacraments. So the question is not whether God has forgiven you, but whether you have been carried to where this forgiveness is. Don’t be cut off from Christ by your own unwillingness to believe God’s promise, nor by the hurtful words of others. God’s forgiveness is yours, in Christ. The Holy Spirit is calling you to be baptized into Christ where God’s forgiveness awaits you.

Do you seek forgiveness elsewhere? Do you stand longing to receive God’s grace? If so, for what do you wait? Christ is present to give you what your spirit craves. Hear His call to come and find the relief of your burdens. Be gathered unto Him. Then you will truly understand why this day is called Good Friday.

† † †

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Be not Thou far from me, O Lord

From the conclusion of the sermon for Palm Sunday:

In the Introit we joined with the saints of old saying, “Be not Thou far from me, O Lord; O my Strength, haste Thee to help me.” Truly we have been comforted again with the declaration that the Lord is not far from us as we so often imagine. He comes unto us and works salvation for us and speaks peace to us.

The full sermon is available here.

+ + +

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Anguish of Rejection

Rejection is a powerful experience. It can devastate an individual. Everyone experiences it. It can injure a person so deeply that the person never fully recovers. Some people are changed by the experience for the rest of their lives, being influenced by the experience in all of their future relationships.

Reaction to rejection can produce resentment and anger, even rage and terrifying wrath. This can be internalized and directed against onself by the injured person. It also can be directed outward toward others.

Rejection also results in lost opportunities for both the rejected and for the rejecting party. Sometimes these lost opportunities can never be recovered. Other times, they can.

During this season of Holy Week, rejection is a major theme. While we tend to presume mistakenly that we are being rejected, the reverse is actually true. It is the Lord Jesus who faces rejection.

I often wonder how it was possible for Him to live the life that He came to live. From the day of His birth He knew what was awaiting Him at the conclusion of this week. Every day of His childhood, throughout every day of His young manhood, with each step of His journey throughout His ministry, He knew exactly what awaited Him.

He knew that the very reason for His birth would be rejected by everyone. Even Simon Peter rejected it and had to be chastised as Satanic in his thinking. Even His mother, Mary, did not really understand or accept who Jesus was. She demonstrated this when He was twelve, and at various times throughout His ministry as well.

Jesus knew that He would take the sin of world to save the world and that He would be rejected and even hated by the world, including those who falsely imagined themselves to be truly godly. Yet His reaction was never one of rage or spite or hatred. His anger was only displayed concerning the evil that was done. He never responded to the rejection as we would and do.

The ultimate display of this is when He cries out from the cross that the Father should forgive those who rejected Him and murdered Him. But it is also powerfully displayed during Holy Week as He preaches and says:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:37-39)

Amazingly, He makes this statement after the events of Palm Sunday. The people cried out with the very words of which He speaks. But did they receive Him for what these words really mean? Did they truly receive Him as the One coming in the name of the Lord? No. Even as they cried out, they rejected Him. For He was not at all who they were seeking. They proved this on Friday.

Jesus came to town exactly as the Scriptures foretold. He came lowly and riding on an ass. Lowly means more than of low estate. It means that He came in gentleness and compassion. He came with the purpose of facing rejection from those whom He came to save.

Even knowing their falseness and treachery, knowing fully how they were rejecting Him and that which He came to accomplish, still He came in meekness and filled with compassion. This was His people, His city, His temple. He loved them. He called to them for centuries, through the prophets. He begged them to come to Him to receive the goodness that He came to bring. But they rejected Him. Time and time again they rejected Him for their own ideas concerning the kingdom of God. And now that He came to them in the flesh, still they rejected Him. His response? He lamented over them. He wept concerning them. He cried out with yet another compassionate warning.

Luke’s account seems to indicate that He made nearly this same lament earlier, even before Palm Sunday. Only in the earlier statement, He did not make the henceforth statement that indicates the blessed event of Pentecost and the few who would then believe and those few who would hear and believe throughout the centuries until the Last Day.

Amazingly, He did not demonstrate anger, only compassion. His compassion led Him to the garden that Thursday evening, where He would be betrayed by Judas and arrested by the soldiers of the temple guard. His compassion led Him to take our blame in silence and to suffer our punishment even unto the death of the cross. His compassion moved Him to take the sin of the entire world, knowing that most would reject His grace and die apart from His communion. Nevertheless, from the cross, He cried out with that great merciful cry, “It is finished!”

The redemption is complete. The declaration of righteousness and freedom from sin has sounded forth. No sin-guilt remains for anyone. And yet billions continue to reject this marvelous declaration. The Lord decreed it in Genesis 3. He has been sending His prophets to proclaim it ever since. He sent His Spirit at Pentecost to confirm it. He established His Church wherein the communion created by this declaration is made to belong to all who are baptized and continue in the faith that the Holy Spirit bestows.

Today the Lord Jesus still cries out: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem!” Only today His Jerusalem is not contained within walls nor is it limited to a specific location. With His death, resurrection, and ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the walls were extended to the very ends of the earth. Now Jerusalem is wherever His saints are gathered to His means of grace. Jerusalem is now every city where the Church is gathered by the Holy Spirit.

And yet Jesus still laments over the rejection of who He really is. He still calls out to those who imagine themselves to be Christians, begging them to receive Him for who He really is rather than defining Him according to their own thoughts and their own terms. And His compassion is as great today as it was during Holy Week as He prepared to give Himself into death for the sin of the world. He is no less willing and no less desirous to have all come to Him through the ordained means to receive Him as the One coming in the name of the Lord.

Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday, the night in which the Lord Jesus instituted His Church of the New Testament in His blood. Surely this is a time when we will want to reflect upon His words and to hear His call to be gathered by Him as He says. Surely we will desire to hear again the means by which He says that forgiveness and life are made to be ours. Surely we will want to hear again how He says the Church is gathered to be His Holy Communion of Saints. Surely we will want to hear again how He says that He comes to us and is truly received as the One coming in the name of the Lord.

† † †

Terrorist-like Behavior

In an earlier post, Fluoride Is Good for You, I shared concerns about the various uses of fluoride. A video was included in that post.

One kind person commented, sharing additional information, including this: “Seven drops of fluorosilicic acid is considered highly toxic and potentially lethal. Surprisingly, about 10 gallons per hour are pumped into the water supply of Austin.”

I have not checked thoroughly, but from what I did find this sounds about right. One source, Austin resident says fluoride compound added to local water supply is "toxic waste", says the following:

Duchon said the acid becomes toxic at concentrations of more than 100 milligrams per liter, over 100 times the concentration in Austin’s water. He said he was aware of one episode involving such a toxic error involving a small community’s water well; an Alaska man died.

This is typical of those who promote use of such things as fluoride. They admit the toxicity, but deceivingly minimalize its significance by deliberately telling only part of the truth. What part of the truth is omitted? Do you see it? The cumulative nature of the substance is omitted. People have committed murder by adding small amounts of arsenic to a person’s meals. Such amounts are not lethal in the proportions used. But over a period of time, the amount in the person’s system builds until it does become lethal and the person dies.

Even in the amounts mentioned in this article, this is not a small amount, for it is not a one time or even an occasional dosage. It is continuously present in the most necessary ingredient for life. It is in the drinking water. It is in the water for washing and bathing. So it is absorbed even through the skin. It will be present in the clothing. It will be on the dishes. Even if a person consumes only 6 glasses of water per day, that person would be getting a daily dose at least twice the dosage named in this article.

Now, considering the information given by the commentator, 10 gallons per hour is equal to 1,680 gallons per week of a highly toxic substance being added to a city’s drinking water. If this were discovered to be done by some unauthorized group, Homeland Security would arrest them as terrorists!

Ah, after some more searching, I found at least one source for this figure, here. Here is another article addressing people’s concerns: Austin: City Council Is prescribing medicine?.

So, almost two thousand gallons of this toxic substance are added to a city’s water every week. The people are still drinking it. They have been drinking it for years. Their children, during their most critical years of physical, mental, and emotional development, are drinking this stuff daily. It is building up in their systems.

How many people live in Austin? Are they not as important as the 3000 plus people who were killed in the horrific events of 9-11? We went to war with people half way around the world over those 3000 plus people. Yet many more are being poisoned daily and hardly any action is taken at all, except by a few, who for their efforts are labeled as “overly concerned” or some other demeaning term.

Should the people not have the right to drink water that has not been deliberately poisoned by the government? Should the people have to pay for all of this substance being added to every drop of water that is used throughout the city? If fluoride treatment for the teeth is really the issue, would it not be much more efficient as well as safer to make fluoride rinse available for free at the grocery stores and drug stores for those who cannot afford such things but desire to use them? Surely such items could be added to the foodstamp cards that people already receive.

This stuff does not belong to be used at all. It certainly should not be in the water supply.

People need to become aware of what the government is doing. Moreover, people should be asking, “WHY?”!

Why does it seem that people become more incensed over the possible erection of a mosque at ground zero than they are over the daily poisoning of entire cities?

. . .

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Its Windy, but You’re Still in Kansas!

Kansas is a very windy state, especially now. Growing up in Florida, winds like we have in Kansas would have been counted as the coming of a terrible storm. But in Kansas, its just another windy day.

Yesterday the wind blew over our wooden fence, which I spent the evening erecting again. My mother-in-law’s car was smashed by a handicap sign that blew over onto it. Customers called regarding trees that were broken in half. Returning homeward after examining one of these shattered trees I saw a large billboard type sign that was blown over in a parking lot, smashing the little sports car that had been parked next to it.

But that’s Kansas and so far, we’re still here.

. . .

How hard is life?

A statement that one often overhears, from others, and often even from one’s own heart, mind, and spirit, is “Life is hard!” This statement can be heard in other forms as well.

“Life is hard!”

Is this a true statement? If one thinks that this is true, what is the cause? What makes life hard for a person?

Do you find yourself thinking that life is hard? If so, why?

What is a person’s focus when thinking that life is hard? What thoughts prevail in the heart, mind, and spirit of a person who believes that life is hard?

I continue to be amazed at the response of Adam to the Word of the Lord. In Genesis 3, after the Lord confronts Adam and his wife with their sin, condemns the serpent for its part in the devil’s plan to destroy the life that the Lord established for His children, pronouncing the mighty work that would be accomplished by the Seed of Woman, tells the woman the consequences that sin has brought upon her and then counters this with the promise that her husband shall still rule over her despite her rebellion and that her desire will still be for her husband and his God-appointed place as her head, tells Adam that the ground is cursed for his sake but that he nevertheless shall eat by the sweat of his brow, and then Adam turns to his wife, Woman, and names her Eve, that is, Life.

Before the Lord called them from their hiding, Adam and his wife thought only of the consequences of sin in their lives. They could no longer see Life, because they had died in their sin. Sin had cut them off from the one and only source of Life. And so, for them, Life was no longer possible. Only death was now before them. They felt it in their spirit. They felt it in their mind. They felt it in their body. They were no longer alive. They were no longer full of Life. Their anatomical parts still functioned, but they were no longer alive. Their life had become not only hard, but impossible. They could not make things right again.

But when the Lord came calling for them and brought them out from their hiding, He reversed this. It was not that Adam and his wife came to the Lord, it was not that they sought Him and found their way back to Him, but that He came to them through His Word. He came to them and hearing His voice, the darkness was gone. The Lord had come and filled the emptiness, and the darkness in their soul was gone.

He changed their focus by calling to them. His Word restored them to be able to see His goodness, but not only His goodness. More importantly, they saw His gracious attitude toward them. By calling to them He caused them to understand that the difficulty that they faced was the result of their own choice, not His. They turned from Him. He did not turn from them. The Life that He desired from them was not this life of struggle and doom that they had chosen for themselves. And so, by revealing to them the plan that He had from eternity, the plan that He prepared knowing the doom that they would choose for themselves, the gracious plan of coming to them in the flesh to redeem them and save them and restore them to His righteousness and holiness, by telling this to them He brought Light and Life to them once again.

Now, even though they fully knew that they would face the daily consequences of the sin that they brought to the world, nevertheless, they rejoiced in the Lord’s mercy, grace, and peace.

The reason that we think that life is hard is because we look to the wrong source for life. When we look to our struggles to provide for ourselves and to do good and to be honorable and to be successful, we see only death and failure and darkness and doom. But when the Word of the Lord breaks through to us so that our attention is turned to hear the voice of the Lord again so that we see all that He has done and promised, so that we see His gracious and continual activity in our lives, then Life is restored and our struggles are seen for what they really are, temporary. Then we see that the Lord is good and that His mercy endures forever. Then our sorrows turn to thanksgiving and rejoicing. Then we see that it is true that to those loving God, the called according to His purpose, all things synergize into good (Romans 8:28).

The reason is that God is good. God is not merely sovereign. He is sovereign with a purpose. His purpose is love. His love is merciful and forgiving. His mercy and forgiveness produce restoration and reconciliation. This He works for us through the ordained means of grace. When we look to these instead of looking to ourselves and what we try to do for ourselves, when we hear God’s call to be gathered together to His means of grace, life no longer appears to be hard. For the Life that God gives is Jesus and the works that He has accomplished for us. It is a done deal! When we realize this we understand that we do not have to become victorious for as St. Paul declares, “We are more than conquerors!” This can only be rightly understood when we hear it as it stands written, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

“Through the one having loved us,” is past tense. It is not the way that we are inclined to hear this. It is not future tense. Neither is it conditional. The one having loved us is the cause of our being more than conquerors. He has already loved us, even from eternity. He has already given His Son to defeat the powers of sin, death, and the devil. It does not depend upon what we do. God has already done it for us. Our part is made to be like it was in the very beginning. Our part is simply to receive what God has already done and freely bestows upon us. Our part is simply to be brought by God into His kingdom through Baptism and to partake of the unity and life that Jesus purchased for us, to partake of the body and blood that He gives in the Holy Supper. The Lord has set the table by establishing His Church on earth. He calls us and gathers us through the preaching of the Gospel and Baptism. God does it all. We are His beloved children who receive what our loving Father gives to us.

Can life be any easier than this?

† † †

Friday, April 15, 2011

Weather Forecast Chuckles

Once again the ludicrous manner of the weather forecasters has made me chuckle.

A few moments ago I visited the forecast website to see what was being forecast, to see whether the weather forecast had changed. Several times last night and several more times this morning I checked, to find the same forecast.

Today: Showers, mainly before 1pm. High near 47. Windy, with a northwest wind between 30 and 37 mph, with gusts as high as 47 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

It has been raining ALL morning. As this is hindering me from going out to work, I checked again a few moments ago to find an updated forecast:

Today: Showers, mainly before 1pm. High near 47. Windy, with a northwest wind between 30 and 37 mph, with gusts as high as 47 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Apparently someone must have realized that it has been raining all morning and therefore adjusted the percentage of likelihood for precipitation from 60% to 90%.

Sadly, this is typical. Sad as it is, it still makes me chuckle when I observe it. I suppose it is the apparent attempt to save face by not going all the way to 100% that makes me laugh. It appears that the 90% is posted so as to attempt to maintain the facade that this was actually forecast and not merely a correction due to looking outside to see what is actually happening.

Oh, well. Yet it does frustrate me that these people promote themselves as honest scientists upon whom we can rely. Such farcical pretense is observed in government, in education, and even in the churches. Is it any wonder that people stop caring and believing?

. . .

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stump Grinding

Tree work can be grueling work. Climbing, lifting, dragging limbs, chipping limbs and debris, and grinding stumps, all are hard physical activities. But there is also beauty to much of the work and especially when the job is complete.

Here is a photograph of an Osage stump showing the beauty of the wood and the extensive spreading of the roots. One stump that I recently ground had a root almost as big around as I am that I chased for over six feet.

The following series of pictures shows how deeply the stumps and roots sometimes grow and how much grinding is involved in removing the entire stump and root structure.

And of course, the completed project.

. . .

God’s Grace in Injuries & Healing

In a post from last month, No longer a child , I told about an accident and injury that occurred, as well as the change in mindset concerning such things from childhood to manhood. The wounds really were not pretty, so I refrained from posting a picture at that time.

Since that time, the wounds have healed very nicely. While they still are not pretty, they are less gruesome than when they were open wounds. So, perhaps it will not be terribly uncouth, or at least not inexcusably so, to post a picture for those who would like to see how well they have healed.

From this photo it is easy to see that it could have been a very serious and long term injury. The Lord prevented more serious injury, allowing the lacerations only to extend through the layers of the skin and not into the flesh, tendons and ligaments, and cartilage and bone beneath. As can be seen, the tissue has knitted together again.

God’s gracious activity cannot be properly estimated, unless one stops trying to be an accountant and simply confess that God is gracious and active in all things. If our eyes and hearts are open to perceive the truth, we see Him at work for our good in all things, even in our carelessness, our weakness, our foolishness, our failures and mistakes, and yes, even in our sinfulness. God’s merciful and gracious love and activity are not limited to what we count as good. His goodness and mercy endure forever. They fill the universe and beyond. If we do not see this, it is because we have our eyes and hearts closed and misdirected.

As my wife prepared to receive her evening’s rest, we briefly discussed this matter. We especially spoke of the future being something that we are not to seek to know beyond knowing that it is as God has promised. We discussed how the worldly premise that the future is what matters being a false premise because what matters is life. “What then is the purpose of life?”

The purpose of life is to live. And life is to be lived in communion with God and also with one another in Him. I expressed that when our hearts are focused upon this, nothing else matters for then all is good. She asked, “No matter what?” I said, “No matter what, because when this is the focus, all else is insignificant.”

God truly is good and His mercy endures forever. He calls us into the communion of His Son, through whom we partake of all goodness even forevermore. When we believe this, then our daily bread is abundantly sufficient and completely satisfying and nothing in this world can take that from us.

† † †

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Christian-Spiritual Leaders

Within the last few days I heard a statement from a man who was speaking on American Family Radio. When I cannot tolerate anymore of the pretend conservativism on talk radio and I am frustrated with the secular trash music I often switch to AFR until I have to turn off the radio altogether. I do listen for tidbits of the local, national, and world news. I also listen for the sake of the challenges that urge me to dig deeply into the Scriptures. While most of what I hear is contrary to the faith, nevertheless I do find the challenge to be certain to be a worthwhile challenge.

What I heard on AFR was a comment that proclaimed the exact opposite of what is taught in the Scriptures regarding the form that leadership takes within the Church. I cannot remember the comment so as to give a precise verbatim quotation, but the man said that leaders do not always have all of the answers and in fact, in his experience, the best leaders have more questions.

Does this statement even remotely match what the Scriptures declare?

To St. Timothy St. Paul writes:

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. (1 Timothy 3:1-9)

Again, to St. Titus he writes:

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. (Titus 1:5-11)

Do either of these leave one with the impression that Christian leaders have more questions than answers? What does it mean for a man to be apt to teach? How does one set in order the things that are wanting unless that one knows the answers? Can one silence the gainsayers with more questions than answers? Can a gainsayer be silenced by asking, “Well, what do you think?”

How can a pastor/teacher lead if he does not know the way?

Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:14)

The way that the Lord provides is the way of knowing the truth.

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)

If a leader does not know the way, does not know the truth, does not know the answers that are to be taught, that person should stop imagining himself to be a leader, shut up, sit down, and listen and learn. A teacher who has more questions than answers is not a teacher but a propagator of ignorance, and worse, stupidity and rebellion and false self-reliance.

The Lord has given the answers, and to those who hear Him through the means that He has ordained, the answers are brought forth and proclaimed for the benefit and edification of all who have ears to hear. Moreover, the answers that God has given have the miraculous power to restore life, peace, contentment, love, holiness, and all that is good and worthy. Is this not the kind of leadership that is worthy of following?

† † †

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Oh, that the Lord Would Guide My Ways

Repent! Be turned! Oh how easily one sees the need in others. But the mirror of God’s Law is first for self.

I have written twice in defense of a new friend who has been attacked both by his opponent and by some who support his opponent. But did I speak with the attackers directly?

Visiting the other man’s campaign web site yet again, I read more carefully and learned that his father is a pastor of a church. I thought, “Oh my! How is this possible? Have they not discussed this?”

So I called and asked. Behold, indeed, father and son have discussed these matters. Moreover, the father shared with me things about the campaign that I did not know. One of the things that I count as very significant is that what was published in his son’s name was sometimes not known to his son until after it was mailed.

I regret that I did not think to call earlier. My primary concern is that all parties hear that which is beneficial and in accord with God’s will.

Surely we all are responsible for what we ourselves do. Surely we also are accountable for what we allow to be done in our name.

I very much enjoyed the conversation that I had as a result of calling the pastor and father of the one for whom I was concerned. While perhaps I should have contacted the person himself, I am very relieved by what I have learned. I also repent of my own shortsightedness.

A reactionary response will almost always fall short. I hope that I have not spoken too strongly or inappropriately myself. I do believe that the concerns expressed are necessary, but I do hope that I have not been overly reactionary.

I also hope that both candidates will take to heart the importance of maintaining control over what is done in their names, especially by those whom they have hired to represent them. It seems to me that both candidates have good intentions and that both have had misrepresentation both from within and from without. There are powerful lessons to be learned by all concerned.

My thoughts in this matter turned to a hymn, which I began humming. I love the richness of these hymns and I share the words of this hymn now:

"Oh, that the Lord Would Guide My Ways"

1. Oh, that the Lord would guide my ways
To keep His statutes still!
Oh, that my God would grant me grace
To know and do His will!

2. Order my footsteps by Thy Word
And make my heart sincere;
Let sin have no dominion, Lord,
But keep my conscience clear.

3. Assist my soul, too apt to stray,
A stricter watch to keep;
And should I e'er forget Thy way,
Restore Thy wandering sheep.

4. Make me to walk in Thy commands,--
'Tis a delightful road,--
Nor let my head or heart or hands
Offend against my God.

† † †

My Thoughts

As I struggled with the post below, I was reminded of this text from the Holy Scriptures:

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:7-9)

Who is the wicked man? I am.

I am the one who was tempted throughout my writing and contemplations, tempted to lash out in anger and to attack those who attacked my fellow citizen. I was tempted to do as they did. My thoughts kept being influenced by unrighteous anger. Righteous anger is motivated by love. It is ruled by love. Thus righteous anger does not go beyond expressing the wrong that has been done. It does not seek vengeance but leaves such to God. Righteous anger never seeks harm but only good, even of the one who has done wrong.

Surely the Lord’s thoughts are beyond mine, beyond ours. His thoughts are truly not what any of us will choose according to our own inclinations. Surely His ways are higher. Yet when His Spirit rules the heart, He makes His thoughts to be our thoughts and His ways to be our ways so that His love and righteousness prevail.

† † †

Reputation and Good Name

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. (Proverbs 22:1)

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth. (Ecclesiastes 7:1)

It is a terrible thing for a person to have his good name stolen away by another. Those who fear God, those who trust in the Lord and abide in His goodness, those who value the forgiveness that Christ purchased with His life for all, do not do such things.

For the good of all the Lord God commands:

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (Exodus 20:16)

A little later He expounds further, explaining in more detail the ways in which His people do not walk on account of the love that He has for all and that they have received by His gracious decree:

Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. (Exodus 23:1-3)

The NKJV makes this a little easier to understand:

You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice. You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute. (Exodus 23:1-3)

Yesterday, after concluding a meeting in my home with one of my insurance agents, he handed me a flyer that someone had stuck in my door. It was a campaign advertisement slamming one of the city council candidates. It was libelous and slanderous. It twisted facts to present them in a way to give a false witness against the man whom this group opposed.

How can a man defend himself against such deliberate misrepresentations of the truth?

How deeply did these villainous hatemongers have to dig to find this information?

Josh freely shared it in his campaign. He told it to the Wichita Eagle and it was printed for all to read. Josh also posted it on his campaign web site. Only when Josh shared it, he shared how these things from his past helped him to learn what is right and good so as to be a more responsible citizen. He openly shared information that this other group has presented out of context in order to steal from a man his good name.

Josh’s opponent has also done this in his actual campaign flyers, telling outright lies and also other misrepresentations that were intended to lead people to false and hurtful conclusions regarding Josh.

This latest attack was deliberately done the day before the election so that Josh would have no opportunity to respond. This was done in such a way as to incite anger and fury in those who would read it so that they would react with hatred and malice rather than considering that such campaigning cannot be trusted.

This is very sad. It breaks my heart, but on account of the injury done to a man who is seeking to do good for his neighbors as well as to learn and to grow as a man and husband and father and citizen.

As I ponder the mistakes that people make in their lives, as I see them acknowledge their errors and turn from them to the better way, I can only applaud them and encourage them and give thanks to God for the miracle of repentance and renewal. Moreover, as I ponder the economic perils that we all face, when I learn of a man who was made to be unemployed by the system, who on this account faced foreclosure of his home, who courageously sought remedy through renegotiating his mortgage, who fearlessly sought new employment so as to be able to resume making payments on his home, this I count as a marvelous example of good stewardship rather than reason to run the man down. I consider this to be a wonderful example of responsible leadership, not as an example of a man who cannot handle his own finances. How many people in our country have actually lost their homes due to the collapse of the economy? This man stood up and found a way to keep his home.

Now, regarding what sort of man is fit to represent me on the city council and what sort of man will understand the struggles of his fellow citizens who are being over taxed and ignored regarding useless government spending, I count the man who has faced these challenges personally and has risen above them to be the one whom I can trust.

It truly grieves me that in this campaign Josh is openly, maliciously, and wrongfully attacked. Why can the others not simply run on their own good name? Why do people cause harm to others rather than presenting their own ideas and letting the voters see what is good?

This is very sad business.

As for me, though my voice be minuscule and of very little consequence, I will speak on behalf of my wronged neighbor and do what little I can to help him maintain his good name. I hope that at least a few people will read my comments and consider that what has been said about Josh is unfair and will remember the good things that he represents. This is much bigger than an election. A man’s life is being affected by these things. The life of his family is being affected, too. In the end, all of us are affected by these things, for if this is what is done in an election campaign, what will be done to anyone who raises issues against these vicious people in the future? Whom else will be attacked? What else may be done when one actually holds an office of power? We would all do well to consider these things in every election. If someone uses such tactics to become elected, who will protect us from having such things done to us in the future when we speak out and disagree with what such a person does in the public office? Will such a person be inclined to listen? Will such a person react with civility?

Surely the Lord is right. We should not bear false witness against our neighbor, nor join with those who do such things. No good ever comes from such ways. But good surely does arise from coming to one another’s aid and defending one another and speaking well of one another whenever possible.

Is this not worthy of serious consideration?

† † †

Monday, April 04, 2011


Laetare is the Fourth Sunday in Lent. Below is the Collect of the Day for Laetare:

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of Thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.

As I observe the historic liturgy of the Church, with the depth of riches that we have received through it, I often find myself wondering whether anyone really pays attention to what the Lord gives to us and declares to us through it.

This marvelous prayer holds before us the reason for Laetare, that is, for a Sunday within the season of Lent in which we are called together with the theme: Rejoice!

Lent is a season of the Church Year in which we direct special attention to our need for the repentance or turning that the Lord works for us and within us. It is a season of deep awareness of the proper contrition that we should experience on account of our sinfulness and also for our actual sins both of commission and omission. It is a season in which the Law of God is held before us in ways that cannot easily be ignored, showing us the horrible depths of our lost condition. It is a season in which our need for salvation, for forgiveness, for reconciliation, for justification and sanctification, is made paramount. It is a season for looking to the great mercy of God in Christ displayed and brought to fulfillment in the suffering, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Collect for Laetare very powerfully directs our hearts, minds, and souls to this ever needful awareness. It also produces in us Laetare, the rejoicing that is not deceptive, but founded in and upon the very foundation of the one true faith by which we have true cause for rejoicing. The comfort of God’s grace is truly our one reliable source of relief, relief that produces endless rejoicing in the Lord.

It certainly seems to be worthy of continual reflection throughout this week, praying it again and again so as to built up in the answer that God has promised and most assuredly bestows in Christ.

† † †

Saturday, April 02, 2011


In the post below, Alzheimer’s Disease: Now and Then?, in the comments a gentle challenge is presented, to which I have taken time to prepare at least a partial answer. These take time.

In the challenge one of the issues raised was:

Though they may exist, I have not seen any peer-reviewed studies which demonstrate an explicit link between food additives and AD or Neural diseases in general.

This actually calls attention to one of the major problems in the medical industry. That issue is the prevailing dependence upon trusting the industry and those whom the industry counts as peers. The medical industry today is driven by profit motives. If this is ignored, a person trusts so-called research that is controlled not by a desire to heal, but by a desire to make money.

Sadly, there are true peers who are speaking out, but they are being denounced by the profit motivated peers and by those who are merely trustingly looking to these profit motivated peers.

One of the doctors who has been speaking out freely on this issue is Dr. Russell L. Blaylock. He has written a carefully researched and documented book, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, available at Amazon.

This book has been reviewed by other doctors, but the industry ignores them or worse. Some on-line sources of reviews and other references to this include:

Excitotoxins --- The Taste That Kills by Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD

Excitotoxins – The Taste That Kills an Overview by: Eliza Fulton at

Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills by Dr. Rick Allen at Cascade Wellness Clinic

MSG: Hidden Sources by Dr. Thomas S. Lee at NaturoDoc

Food Additive Excitotoxins and Degenerative Brain Disorders by Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D of Hacienda Publishing, Inc.

Excitotoxins - MSG and Aspartame by Julie K. Diaz

MSG and Autism

Truth in Labeling

For more resources a web search will produce more. However, as Dr. Blaylock explains in the following video, this information is being suppressed in mainstream media and in publications. Dr. Blaylock gives a good overview of the excitotoxin issue in this video. It is worthy of the time to watch it. But if you think that the government and the medical industry and food industry and the many other industries really have people’s best interests at heart and do not want to have your fantasy disrupted and your illusions destroyed, just turn away to finish your processed food. You probably won’t remember it in your old age anyway.

My wife and I have taken this matter seriously both for ourselves and for those whom we love and hold with care. We both are college graduates. Moreover, in my Animal Science/Pre-veterinary Medicine preparations I was exposed to the need to be wary of the government and medical and other industry fraudulent claims. My purpose in sharing this information is that people may become informed and educated so as to be able to avoid as much future health trouble as is possible.

Interestingly, when I speak with people about the glutamates especially, a common response is, “What are they? Are they preservatives?” People have heard a great deal about the harmful effects of preservatives and imagine this to be the big issue in food additives. But even regarding these, few people treat the matter seriously.

The old adage “You are what you eat” holds true throughout the ages. Those who ignore it become what they ignore. I can do nothing for those who choose ignorance for themselves, but I can at least help open the pathway to the truth so that those who prefer knowledge to ignorance can become more aware.

That said, this adage applies even more powerfully to the theological food that people choose to consume. This is my greatest concern, and the primary reason for this blog. However, life is not lived in a vacuum. God created us with bodies, and how we care for those bodies affects our minds and spirits, too.

Anyway, for whatever value that the reader may find in this, this serves as a partial answer to the matter of food additives and health.

. . .

Friday, April 01, 2011

Joshua Blick or the Same Old Game?

Before the primaries a man came by our house and shared with us his reasons for his candidacy for City Council. He was very personable and polite. He shared very common sense views and concerns. He asked permission to place one of his signs in our yard and we gladly assented.

His name is Joshua Blick.

During the campaign we have received flyers in the mail from both Josh and his opponent. Josh’s flyers tell about Josh and his views and concerns. His opponent’s flyers also tell about Josh and his views and concerns. Reading Josh’s opponent’s flyers filled me with concern and angst because according to these flyers Josh was an entirely different candidate than the man with whom I visited for nearly an hour in my living room.

I was quite distressed and on several occasions considered yanking Josh’s sign from my yard. But rather, I called him to ask from him whether I had heard him correctly when I visited with him.

The man with whom I spoke was indeed the same man that I had remembered. His views are what we discussed. The opponent’s propaganda is false propaganda.

Joshua Blick is a level headed man with enough years of experience in the world to know that the necessary changes in the city’s programs takes working with all of Wichita and cannot be solved by coming in like a tornado through the city. Josh has been visiting with people, with residents, with the local small business owners. He plans to continue visiting and listening. He has a view toward development of the entire city through pursuit of support of local business rather than seeking to steal business from other cities. His desire is to consult with local people to learn what they believe is beneficial rather than hiring outside consultants at exorbitant fees. His desire is to operate within the tax revenue rather than continually spending towards deeper indebtedness. He believes that the local businesses who will be prospering from new development should be the ones who fund the development, not taxpayers.

I am very glad that I did not let a premature reaction to false propaganda prejudice me against a worthy candidate. I am very glad that I did not allow the usual dirty politics to influence me as they were designed to do.

We really need to beware of candidates who operate in deceitful manners. If they are willing to lie to us to get elected, and if we vote for such people, how can we expect any other behavior after they are elected?

As for me, I will be voting for the man who came to my door and presented his good and solid ideas and who returned my phone call and gently and respectfully answered all of my questions.

If you would like to know what Joshua says rather than what his opponent claims that Joshua says, visit Josh’s web site at His other contact information is provided at the web site.

As for me and my wife, we plan to support him with our vote, as we believe that his consistency in answering our questions is a far better index of his truthfulness and trustworthiness than propaganda sent to us by his opponent. We agree with the stands that we have heard Joshua declare as his own. Josh has not attacked anyone and says that he plans to continue simply to set forth his own views and beliefs regarding what is right and good for Wichita.

This is the kind of politics that I desire to support with my vote.

Perhaps you will agree.

. . .