Adieu 2015

2015

The calendar reads January 1. The first day of a new year. 365 possibilities – of the uncharted, the unknown, await ahead. The cynic in me says what has been will always be, the endless repeat of yesterday, the merry go round of the past.

It is true, our days follow the same routine of sunset & sunrise and the necessary work of my life. But within the familiar framework of creation’s routine and the progression of ordinary time is where the moment of surprise awaits, of the unexpected breaking in of the divine plan, when an eternal perspective is glimpsed.

The chronic worrier in me says the next 365 days include unexpected twists and turns, enough “what ifs” to feed a whole army of anxieties. However, I look back at the 365 days of faithfulness of my heavenly Father and know that he will not change his ways, his nature or his promises that have been my help and support. I know he is sufficient for the 365 days to come.  And his ways are never boring.

As Time Goes by…

Infinity time. Digital generated

“How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none. Eternal years lie in His heart. For Him time does not pass, it remains; and those who are in Christ share with Him all the riches of limitless time and endless years. God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which He must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves. For those out of Christ, time is a devouring beast; before the sons of the new creation time crouches and purrs and licks their hands. The foe of the old human race becomes the friend of the new, and the stars in their courses fight for the man God delights to honor. This we may learn from the divine infinitude.”
― A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

The “god” of Islam is no different than the God of Christianity if…

Cross
-you deny the prophetic and apostolic revelation of the canonical books of the Bible;
-you deny the unique and primary covenant established with Abraham to bless the nations through Isaac;
-you deny the incarnation of Jesus Christ;
-you deny the nature of the Triune God, Father, Son & Holy Spirit;
-you deny the atonement of Jesus Christ, his sacrificial death on the cross as the only God    accepted satisfaction for human sin;
-you deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead;
-you deny the ascension of Jesus Christ and his heavenly reign as Lord of all;
-you deny his coming again;
-you deny the free gift of righteousness by grace through faith;
-you deny the exclusive saving power of the gospel;

The malady of our times, especially among the declining mainline liberal denominations and pseudo-evangelicals is the inability to make simple yet critical distinctions. However, not even presidential scoldings, professorial lectures or pontifical pronouncements can erase the differences between the dead end deception of Islam and the saving truths of historical Christian orthodoxy.

We Get Holiday Letters…

hervey thomas kibble herveys B20070 92

Hello Dear Ones!

Since you enjoy the privilege of knowing our FABULOUS family you were first on the list to receive our “Letting You Know How Good We’ve Got It in Comparison to Your Own Tired Miserable Existence” letter!

Billy Bob & I certainly enjoyed our annual visits to Nepal and Belize – so refreshing & good for one’s karma to be able to stimulate local economies with our presence and tourist dollars! To celebrate our marvelous marriage he got me a Ferrari ($ 1.4 million) & I bought him another Patek Phillipe – hey when you’ve got the petty cash why not? Billy Bob continues to provide the poor, simple folks of Myanmar, Cambodia and Bangladesh an opportunity to compete in the global economy at his expanding manufacturing facilities. He even turned down a contract from D. Trump too – because you know we can’t be wasting our time with frivolities!

Billy Bob Jr. (17 years old) continues to work on Wall Street as a Propriety Trader / Hedge Fund specialist bringing home a salary of 9 zeroes. Wanda Sue (13) has a full scholarship to MIT for Biomedical Engineering / Cognitive Programming and is on speed dial with the C.D.C., N.S.C. & the O.D.N.I. She also continues to lead the Chess Club & Cheer Leading Teams.

As you can see we are doing FANTASTIC! We know most of you leave ordinary lives punctuated by boredom, bounced checks & sleepless nights but we wanted to spread some holiday cheer to help dissipate the gloom. We count you as among the fortunate to know us & we truly appreciate the envy and jealousy our AMAZING lives generate! And if you’re getting this letter it means you did not get invited to our New Year’s Eve Gala Celebration at the Connaught in London but we will send pictures – T.T.F.N!

Remembering…

main_900

Today we recall the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor & the many who died both civilian and military. Over the years I have talked with men who were 17 or 18 at the time of the attack and their first response was to go sign up and volunteer to serve. A different time. A different generation. A different enemy. And certainly a different president who was unashamed to protect his country nor willing to be an apologist for the enemy.

keep-calm-we-can-fix-it

The New York Daily News boldly proclaimed in regards to our current fears of terror and gun killings that “God isn’t fixing this.” It’s unclear as to what the Daily News expects of the deity, considering that most of the time in New York and elsewhere the invocation of divine persons is typically followed by “damn.”

Politicians want us to feel safe. Our society thinks it will be safe if there are more laws & more government surveillance and intrusion. Some even think the Bill of Rights is an obstacle to safety. The current Attorney General seems more concerned about curtailing free speech than prosecuting terrorists. The current regime seems ready to impose its will on any who disagree with its definitions of truth, morality or justice with the full power and sanction of the state. However, our society rejects the source of true law, the divine word, and delights in violating the divine order which brings life. It refuses the divine governance which brings peace – the kingdom of God.

Despite the official reassurances of its spokesman that all is well, that we are safe, these efforts apart from alignment with God’s design are doomed to fail. The stink of panic is in the air. It’s “last call” for this cultural Titanic. It’s been weighed in the balance of divine judgement and found wanting.

I agree – God isn’t fixing this – our way. What God has done through his son Jesus Christ is to “reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Col. 1:20). It is not that God is unable or unwilling to fix things. To the extent that society and even the church continues to reject the gospel the situation will not remain the same but will get worse.  There is only one source of peace. It is not found in any of the current proposals offered to fix things. It is through the child born for us, the son given, who is the Prince of Peace. “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Devolution Dramatized?

takeit down

There are some moments that are symbolically significant.

Under the cover of night, a 6-foot-tall granite monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments was removed from the Oklahoma Capitol grounds after State Supreme Court judges said its placement on government land violated state law.
I understand the dangers from history concerning religious freedom.
I understand most of the convoluted constitutional arguments.
I side with James Madison on freedom of religion and the danger that government poses.
However, I do not believe that the First Amendment requires a “naked public square” as Richard John Neuhaus phrased it.
In contrast to the Oklahoma display, all manner of perverse behavior is portrayed openly in media without hesitation in the name of freedom and tolerance.
A nation that openly abandons the source of moral order and law, results in a vacuum that will be filled by something.

“Baphomet” – Detroit

I hesitate to imagine what it will be.

A Few Ideas to Avoid Dead Ends for “the church that meets in your house.”

churchupsidedown

1) Welcome the stranger – Its very difficult to walk into a church building when you know no one. Its even harder to go to someone’s home when you may know few there. When a person is brave enough to make the stretch out of their comfort zone of American anonymity be sure to greet them and try to make them feel at home. Set down the I-Phone, the Tablet, the last minute tech adjustments. It will determine if they will be back. Hey, even if they are visiting and you know they won’t be back why not help them experience something unique they can take with them?

2) Do something different – I don’t want to sit in someone’s living room and watch what usually happens on Sunday morning in a bigger building. A 45 minute sermon really doesn’t fit. Be interactive. Put 1 Cor. 14:26 into action (“whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification…”). Have people pray for one another. Break bread and eat your meal together.

3) Break the mold (and the moldy) – Meet sometime other than Sunday morning!

“In ideologies there is not Jesus…”

popedolls560

“In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought…”

There was a time when the Pope was considered the anti-christ. There numbers have diminished besides hard-core Chick comic fans, however, suspicion remains. Francis’s speech to the U.S. congress was scrutinized and parsed and found lacking by those on the right wing and by many conservative evangelicals, who don’t seem familiar with Catholic social teaching. Because he is a contrast to his predecessors especially with Cold War era John Paul II, his words seem to be judged primarily if they fit into the bifurcated either-or black-white thinking of the right and left wings of our own national politics. Francis is not running for office (which may explain the lack of “Jesus in my heart” sentiments some expected) and he speaks for and has responsibility for more than the small market share of big-name evangelicalism.
I am not a Roman Catholic so I speak from the outside and as a non-expert, but it seems to me he hit the high points of how current culture, politics and ideology part from historical Christian teaching on the family, marriage and the value of life. He is not from Poland or Germany but Argentina – that’s why he speaks from a different perspective and maybe highlighted some spiritual rabble rousers unique to the U.S. such as Dorothy Day & Thomas Merton. That’s a whole lot more than one usually hears especially from Capitol Hill – or those with lousy comb overs trying to get there.

Defund the Ghouls

Lamborghini-post-03-671x372

Dr. Jen Gunter (OB/GYN ) in her defense of Planned Parenthood’s practice of abortion had this to say regarding the slice and dice procuring of the human child in the womb:

“These are not “baby parts.” Whether a woman has a miscarriage or an abortion, the tissue specimen is called “products of conception.” In utero, i.e. during pregnancy, we use the term “embryo” from fertilization to ten weeks gestation and “fetus” from ten weeks to birth. The term baby is medically incorrect as it doesn’t apply until birth. Calling the tissue “baby parts” is a calculated attempt to anthropomorphize an embryo or fetus. It is a false image—a ten to twelve week fetus looks nothing like a term baby—and is medically incorrect…There is no reason a conversation about products of conception requires more or less reverence than one about a kidney or a biopsy specimen.”

Definitions, definitions, definitions. While this doctor and perhaps many in the abortion industry rely on such a dehumanizing, linguistic ideology, I find the equating of a body appendage or a biopsy specimen with a human being as ridiculous as well as grotesque. These so called “products of conception” are bearers of the image of God no matter what their level of development. This is only “anthropomorphizing” to a nihilist.

Sadly it is part of the dehumanization required to do the obscenely violent act that ends a human life in abortion and then selectively chops it apart for resale.  No matter what twisted medical terminology is used to justify the hideous industry of Planned Parenthood, it (and its promoters like Dr. Gunter) have more in common with the Josef Mengele school of medicine than the “health care” organization it claims to be.

Its time to defund this ghoulish enterprise.