Monday, March 30, 2009

Buyers Remorse

I have to admit that as I am watching the news tonight and seeing the debacle of the American people and their newly chosen President I am wondering if there is "buyers remorse" from some of the evangelical christians who voted for him?

The thing that gets me is that he is determined to increase the spending of federal money on abortion when the economy is obviously in sewer? That tax payer (you and I) funding of abortions has gone from $0 to 500 million dollars overnight. And this to the most rabid activists of abortion as population control.

I just wonder...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Seven Deadly Sins of my Mouth

Most of my problems involve my mouth. I am contemplating the sins of my own mouth- trust me there are more than I'd care to admit. Here is a list of Biblical sins that come out of the pie whole!

Lying and Deceit- Some people think everyone does it and so it is okay. Really? Jesus didn't see the need to inflate the truth, make himself more spiritual than he is, or flat out lie about something. To the extent that I practice deception I am not like Jesus!

Gossip and Slander- this is speaking about others when it is not my business. Whether it is true or not, if it is not your business, then you shouldn't speak of anothers business to another. You are always free to confront another believer about godless behavior (though we seldom do!)

Boasting- This is of course motivated by our pride... need I say more?

Profanity, swearing, cursing- though they are different from each other they pretty much take all that is holy and drag it through the mud. Profanity makes common the holy; swearing is an effort to insure the truthfulness of your words by calling on holy things, and cursing is calling upon a holy god to "damn" things.

Complaining- yeah we don't "do everything without complaining and murmurring" do we?

Contentious words- you know looking for a fight or a controversy. Causing discension or confusion in other believers minds, maybe even causing division amongst brothers.

Destructive words- speaking things that don't build up, edify and make strong.

Eph 4.29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of yoru mouths... and do not grieve the Holy Spirit!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What is Giving?

Luke 21.1And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. 2And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. 3And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; 4for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.”

Seems from the passage above that Jesus respects the kind of giving that is sacrificial and springs from a deep trust inspite of circumstances. The Widow put in more than all of the them because she gave out of her need rather than surplus. The irony is that most of us look at what we have and adjust our giving accordingly. The example that Jesus draws attnetion to is one of a giving out of devotion. How can we really evaluate our giving? Can we determine in our hearts to give to the Lord what is his (Lev 27) and live out of the rest? That is both sacrifical and exemplary.

And evidently, the kind of giving that impresses the Lord.

Deception at Core of Obama Plans

This article is worth a read - even if you don't buy the lies of the current administration. By the way, as I am writing this the President has just confirmed his desire to cancel write offs of charitable contributions and mortgage interest!

By Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON -- Forget the pork. Forget the waste. Forget the 8,570 earmarks in a bill supported by a president who poses as the scourge of earmarks. Forget the "$2 trillion dollars in savings" that "we have already identified," $1.6 trillion of which President Obama's budget director later admits is the "savings" of not continuing the surge in Iraq until 2019 -- 11 years after George Bush ended it, and eight years after even Bush would have had us out of Iraq completely.

Forget all of this. This is run-of-the-mill budget trickery. True, Obama's tricks come festooned with strings of zeros tacked onto the end. But that's a matter of scale, not principle.

All presidents do that. But few undertake the kind of brazen deception at the heart of Obama's radically transformative economic plan, a rhetorical sleight of hand so smoothly offered that few noticed.

The logic of Obama's address to Congress went like this:

"Our economy did not fall into decline overnight," he averred. Indeed, it all began before the housing crisis. What did we do wrong? We are paying for past sins in three principal areas: energy, health care, and education -- importing too much oil and not finding new sources of energy (as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf?), not reforming health care, and tolerating too many bad schools.

The "day of reckoning" has now arrived. And because "it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we'll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament," Obama has come to redeem us with his far-seeing program of universal, heavily nationalized health care; a cap-and-trade tax on energy; and a major federalization of education with universal access to college as the goal.

Amazing. As an explanation of our current economic difficulties, this is total fantasy. As a cure for rapidly growing joblessness, a massive destruction of wealth, a deepening worldwide recession, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people.

At the very center of our economic near-depression is a credit bubble, a housing collapse and a systemic failure of the entire banking system. One can come up with a host of causes: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pushed by Washington (and greed) into improvident loans, corrupted bond-ratings agencies, insufficient regulation of new and exotic debt instruments, the easy money policy of Alan Greenspan's Fed, irresponsible bankers pushing (and then unloading in packaged loan instruments) highly dubious mortgages, greedy house-flippers, deceitful homebuyers.

The list is long. But the list of causes of the collapse of the financial system does not include the absence of universal health care, let alone of computerized medical records. Nor the absence of an industry-killing cap-and-trade carbon levy. Nor the lack of college graduates. Indeed, one could perversely make the case that, if anything, the proliferation of overeducated, Gucci-wearing, smart-a** MBAs inventing ever more sophisticated and opaque mathematical models and debt instruments helped get us into this credit catastrophe in the first place.

And yet with our financial house on fire, Obama makes clear both in his speech and his budget that the essence of his presidency will be the transformation of health care, education and energy. Four months after winning the election, six weeks after his swearing in, Obama has yet to unveil a plan to deal with the banking crisis.

What's going on? "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," said Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before."

Things. Now we know what they are. The markets' recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions -- the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic -- for enacting his "Big Bang" agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society.

Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy -- worthy and weighty as they may be -- are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Vision of the Dolls

I was praying the today and in my time of prayer the Lord showed me a group of plastic dolls. One by one the heads of those dolls kept popping off and fell to the floor. They rolled away, or at least some did, some stayed at the feet of those mannequin-like dolls in the vision. I watched in horror as the heads fell to the ground. Then the Lord showed me that these were leaders in ministries. One after another falling and leaving a headless mannequin behind. My heart was so concerned for the headless bodies, anxious and trembling. When I questioned the Lord he told me that they were not real bodies but fake.
The time of Christian leaders falling is, apparently, not over. Many are about to fall and this will cause a great time of anxiety and shaking in the church. Some leaders will remain around and others will fade away into lives of sin but I didn’t see any rising back to leadership. The gatherings of people around those leaders were plastic and false. They were not in reality the true Body of the Lord but false representations of the genuine body of the Lord. They were without transparency and without earnest prayer; they were without accountability and without a genuine human touch; they smacked of corporate and marketed productions rather than spirit moved fellowships. They were stiff and rigid and could not bend or truly accomplish what God had intended.

The call is to the church to stop reimagining itself but rather re-identify itself with the Savior. The shaking that is coming, the meltdown that is coming should provoke the church toward the ideal of godliness and truth- toward the Lord’s pure body. We must repent of the byproducts of our loosely held faith and embrace with all our hearts the will of the Lord. We should not be shaken as the Lord continues his cleansing work in the body of Christ.

God forgive us for lifeless gatherings; forgive us for shallow commitment to your ways, and forgive our willful determination to do things our ways. Restore the spirit of prayer in the church- take away the violent spirit that is assailing the church- undermining the witness of your saints. Restore a love for the world and replace the love of self that has so consumed the church. Forgive our sin, Restore our hearts, Regather your church around your Word. In Jesus name. Amen.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Federally funded Stem Cell Research

President Obama said that he didn't want to hold science hostage to ideology. The problem with this is that it smacks of political payback (ie., ideological decision making!). I am sure that the President has read a great deal on this topic. I am sure that he studied and will do as well in guiding our use of embryos as has has our economy (scary). In reality it seems irresponsible to offer to pay for this research that is obviously so expensive that private sector corporations have not considered it an economic pay off. Doesn't it seem that the Obama administration is inventing ways to spend money that no one has? Would the US be better served if we waited to spend these non existent funds?

In all the hoopla about the decision. It is easy to hear distortions about stem cell research. They have been around for a while now. I have included an article written in September 2004 to inform you about the Bush decision and the specifics of the scientific hopes for the research. Certainly there is room for reasonable persons to disagree on the policy regarding the stem cell research. But there is no room for debate, as far as I am concerned, that President Obama's economic policy is bankrupting the nation.

When I am trying to survive crisis, I tighten my belt and spend money on the "have-to's" and not the "want-to's". That is what a person does in a slow economy. Clearly, this kind of politically calculated decision is the kind the President was trying to condemn. In doing so, he condemns himself.

The truth about stem cell research
By Mary L. Davenport, M.D.
Scientists know that claims of imminent cures of disease using embryonic stem cells are junk science, whereas progress in adult stem cell research has been nothing short of spectacular. It is unfortunate that the mainstream media have exaggerated the prospects for embryonic stem cell research while ignoring the real results achieved with adult stem cells.

Ron Reagan presented a pathetic spectacle at the Democratic convention when he imagined a scenario in the next decade in which a doctor could 'take a few skin cells from your arm,' place the nucleus in a donor egg, zap it with electrical stimulation, culture the cells, and presto 'you're cured.' . But no reputable researcher believes that embryonic stem cells show any promise in the near future of being clinically useful in humans, and success with animals has been minimal. In fact, recent discoveries that some adult stem cells can be turned into any cell type in the body may make discussion of embryonic stem cell therapies moot.

The fact that adult stem cells have already produced remarkable cures, whereas embryonic stem cells have failed in this regard, should not come as a great surprise to anyone with a background in high school biology. When an embryo is created by the union of the sperm and egg, the cells begin to divide, creating embryonic stem cells from which all future tissues and organs are derived. Within days, the embryonic cells differentiate into three cell layers — ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm. Cells in these layers continue to differentiate into tissues and organs. As the embryo matures into a fetus, child, and adult, some undifferentiated cells of the three types remain in various tissues such as bone marrow, fat, skin and olfactory tissue.

These adult stem cells are multipotent: they have the ability to turn into a variety of types of tissues. Successful stem cell therapies cause the DNA in the adult stem cells to further differentiate into more specific types of cells. There is no point in getting the adult stem cell to turn into a less differentiated type of cell, or using the more primitive embryonic stem cells. This would be going backward, in the opposite direction of providing a clinically useful therapy.

Difficulties abound with proposed embryonic stem cell therapies. The growth of the more primitive embryonic stem cells is more difficult to control and leads to tumor formation. Additionally, the use of embryonic tissue foreign to the patient can potentially lead to problems with immune rejection of tissue, a problem not encountered in using a patient's own adult stem cells. And as Ron Reagan stated, embryonic stem cell therapy is dependent on cloning a 'donor egg,' which is actually a fertilized egg, or early embryo. There would be tremendous logistical difficulty in securing sufficient 'donor eggs' to create useful embryonic stem cell therapies for all the proposed recipients. Most embryos in fertility clinics are slated for use in fertility therapies, and only a tiny percentage are donated for research. In contrast, new sources of adult stem cells are continuously being discovered.

Despite the widespread impression created by some politicians and pundits, the controversial decision by President Bush in August, 2001 did not ban embryonic stem cell research. It merely limited government funding in the US to the 72 embryonic stem cell lines already in existence. Embryos can be destroyed in the process of extracting stem cells. The limitation was put on government sponsoring of research that involved further destruction of embryos. Unregulated embryonic stem cell research continues outside the US, and inside the US with private funding.

Significant scientific problems with embryonic cell research have become more apparent in the past three years, and no useful therapies in humans have emerged. An experiment showed that the use of embryonic cells in mice with Parkinson's led to brain tumors in 20% of the subjects. In another experiment in diabetic mice, embryonic stem cells were successfully converted to insulin—producing cells in the pancreas, but all the subjects died. This contrasts with the full cure of diabetes in mice using transplanted adult stem cells.

Advances in adult stem cell research since Bush's 2001 decision have been nothing short of awesome. At a recent Senate hearing on cutting—edge adult stem cell research, two young women, victims of horrific automobile accidents causing spinal cord paralysis, actually walked into the hearing room. They described their dramatic improvement after spinal cord paralysis. They were treated in Portugal by transplantation of their own stem cells, taken from olfactory tissue that has the ability to form new nerve cells.

In Germany, a cancer victim whose jaw had been removed re—grew bone tissue utilizing adult stem—cells from his own bone marrow, and was able to eat a bratwurst sandwich for the first time in nine years. Patients with Parkinson's disease have reported significant improvement, some even regaining their sense of taste and smell, with injections of GDNF, an adult stem cell related therapy. A recent PBS special recounted other significant human cures with adult stem cells, and a Texas surgeon liposuctioned himself to promote excess fat as a viable source of adult stem cells. Do No Harm, the web site of a coalition of American scientists for ethical research, is replete with dozens more successful examples of cures from adult stem cell research.

Senator Jon Corzine has donated $100,000 to help pass Proposition 71 in California, which would force Californians to borrow $3 billion over 10 years to help biotech companies to conduct mass experiments on embryonic stem cells. This dwarfs the few million dollars that the infamous New Jersey Governor James McGreevy prodded its legislature to throw to biotech companies for embryonic stem cell research and cloning .

However, the private sector has refused to invest in this type of research because it is unlikely to provide useful products any time soon. Jim Kelly, a Colorado stem—cell activist who is a paraplegic, agrees with private venture capitalists and says, 'We have to use our limited resources efficiently. Money spent on embryonic stem cell research and human cloning is money that cannot be spent on (investigating) adult stem cells.'

In addition to practical arguments against embryonic stem cell research, there are serious moral and ethical arguments. The destruction of embryos in research is the destruction of human life, a line that should never be crossed by researchers. A recent poll has shown that Americans strongly prefer funding research that does not destroy human embryos.

Yet another reason has emerged why there is incessant pressure for embryonic stem cell research, despite mounting evidence of its inferiority to adult stem cell research, in testimony before a Senate Committee on July 14, 2004. After discussing the cases of the two paralyzed young women who were now walking after adult stem cell treatment in Portugal, Dr.Jean Peduzzi—Nelson pointed out that an embryonic stem cell product could become patentable and potentially yield enormous profits. But an adult stem cell therapy, in which the patient's own cells were used, could not produce a patentable procedure or product according to current laws.

It would be tragic if political considerations and greed diverted funding away from fruitful lines of research utilizing adult stem cells, which show promise in producing the cures sought by so many desperate patients.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Ask the Pastor- Jehovah's Witnesses

The question came in asking "Do you lose your salvation if you go from Reborn Christian to J. Witness?"

The answer is YES. JW's are a cult because they deny the deity of Christ. Since it is necessary for Jesus to become fully human in order to become an effective sinless intercessor for those who put their faith in his death as a sufficient payment for sin, for one to embrace that error on the fundamental truth of Christianity then there is no salvation (Heb 6.4-6; 10.26) there.

JW's are in error in their view of the trinity. They have falsely prophesied 5 or 6 times the end of the world. They misuse scripture And practice cult like control over their adherents. Their view of salvation is one of works.