Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WCWS

Delanie Gourley and Kelly Barnhill

I'm a little heartbroken this week. Those who know me know how much I love the Florida Gators; I cheer for the Orange and Blue in every sport. People naturally assume I went to school there, but I didn't (Except in my dreams. And on the PlayStation, where I created myself as a free safety and point guard). I've loved the Gators from my earliest memories, attending football games in The Swamp and watching basketball and volleyball in the O Dome. I even followed the chess team through their rebuilding seasons.

That's why I'm a little heartbroken today. The top ranked softball team went back to the Women's College World Series last week, seeking their 3rd National Championship in four years, but they came up short, including a 17-inning marathon game that cost me a night's sleep. It isn't just that they lost, but that they deserved to win. The Gators were ranked #1 all year, and boasted the top pitching staff in the NCAA. Senior lefty Delanie Gourley, already a two-time champ, was the country's 3rd best pitcher with an earned run average of just .8. That seems high compared to Sophomore Kelly Barnhill, the national Player of the Year, who recently had her ERA down to .1 (that's not a typo). Fortunately this loss was bookended by national championships in women’s tennis and men’s track and field.

Florida led the country with the lowest ERA, the most shutouts, the most run-rule wins, and the best fielding defense. They were clearly the best. But sometimes being the best isn't good enough.

I believe many people here in the Bible Belt tend to evaluate their lives by comparing themselves to other people, and feeling confident that they are good enough, end up missing salvation. They make the mistake of believing that since they are good people, even the best people, they don't need God. This warped perspective renders the Cross unnecessary, making us savable apart from Jesus. If our good works could save us, why would Jesus have gone to Calvary? Why would God be pleased to see Jesus die?

God was pleased because Jesus' death made our forgiveness possible—forgiveness we all need because we are dying in our sins. Even the best of us.


Don't misunderstand me: we should strive to be our best, but not in order to be saved, but because we have been saved. Stop comparing yourself to other people; stop trying to be good enough on your own, and trust in the only One who is good enough. Call on Jesus, trust in what He has done, and not what you can do. He truly is the best.

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us...
Titus 3:5

Monday, June 12, 2017

Brainwashing our Kids



Brainwashing our Kids


Are your children being brainwashed? I hope you understand that there are faceless entities working hard to influence your children towards their worldview, while undermining the worldview that you or your church are trying to model.

While schools have been part of American culture from our earliest days, compulsory education is a fairly new concept. It was during the Progressive Era that Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson pushed hard to take children out of the home where they worked alongside their parents (receiving both book knowledge and job knowledge), and putting them into government run schools. While the idea seems natural to those of us who grew up going to school, the "progressive" idea was really quite sneaky. Wilson, a noted racist, tipped his hand when he said, "Our problem is not merely to help the students to adjust themselves to world life...[but] to make them as unlike their fathers as we can."

Wilson was a Protestant (admittedly not the member we pride ourselves on), and he feared that the immigrant children, who were largely Catholic, would be bad for the country. Along with Roosevelt, Wilson understood that a forced public school would be the perfect place to take children away from their parents and brainwash them according to their Protestant, Manifest Destiny ways. The more students were at school instead of with "their fathers," the more their world views could be shaped by the government.

(This is not an anti-public school post. I'm thankful for the teachers, administrators, and others who work hard to give kids a good education.)

We live in a different era, but there are still entities that wish to influence your kids to be unlike their fathers and mothers. It could be that professor that prides himself on outwitting his unprepared freshman, or the TV station that strategically selects their programming and advertising to influence your children, or the shows that slip in, "billions of years ago" into every episode. We cannot be so naive as to think these influences don't matter. They do.


That's why as parents (or grandparents or other relatives) we must realize that it is our job to decide who or what influences our children. It is our responsibility first and foremost, not the school's or church's, to raise them right. No one loves them more than you, and God gave them to you, so please make the most of every opportunity to guard their young minds.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Dewey Defeats Truman


Possibly the most famous newspaper blunder of all time, the Chicago Daily Tribune incorrectly announced the results of the 1948 Presidential election in their bold headline.

Truman, who ascended to the presidency following the death of FDR, was a popular leader for his part in bringing World War II to a close, but he faced a furious challenge in New York Governor Thomas Dewey. Dewey spent the campaign hammering Truman as a big, wasteful spender, and as Election Day dawned, the candidates were in a dead heat. Long before today's exit polling data and around the clock coverage, Americans would go to bed and find out the results in the morning. In an effort to get their paper out quickly, the Tribune had to go to press on a hunch, and in the morning they had a very public humiliation when the President mockingly displayed their headline (this may have been the original case of "fake news").

The media was humiliated again last November when, after almost a solid year of the major outlets predicting a Hillary Clinton landslide, Donald Trump won the Electoral College, nabbing a half dozen states projected to go for the Democrat.

These cases, and many more like them, demonstrate that the experts can get it wrong, and even be way off base (see: meteorologists). The average person is inclined to believe these experts because they are, well, experts. We assume that they are well trained, using the best resources, and wanting nothing more than to get it right. That same level of trust leads us to believe some other experts.

We believe the History Channel when they say, "For 50,000 years humans have been evolving..." We buy into the professor who states unequivocally, "The Bible is full of errors." We binge on advice from the television gurus who advise us, "If it feels good, do it." And then we balk at the pastor who tells us God is Creator, Lord, and Judge.

Sure, the pastor means well, but he doesn't know what the experts know. We need to remember that many of the so-called experts operate from what they want to be true, not what they know to be true. Entire volumes could be written on false headlines, deceptive articles, fraudulent science, and outright lies perpetuated by experts, and not one credible paragraph can be written disproving the Bible. Don't reject God's Word just because of the experts. Do your own research, and you will find God's Word hold up.


For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.
Psalm 119:89


Monday, May 29, 2017

Going Bald


It's official. I'm going bald.

And the worst part is I had no idea. I've known about the receding hairline for several years; the left side is in a race with the right side to reach my neck first. It's the classic horseshoe pattern. But last week I came face to face with the back of my head, and was confronted with the spiraling bald spot at the crown. My wife had been dropping subtle hints ("Hey, I have a coupon for Rogaine, FYI."), but I wasn't getting the message. Sometimes she was more deliberate ("Didn't your Papa lose his hair young? What are your thoughts on toupees?"), but I still wasn't getting her drift. It wasn't until she told me to hold a mirror and see for myself that I saw the ugly truth.

It helps to have a different perspective, even if you don't like what you see. With our eyes focused outward, we can miss what is taking place on the inside. That's why we all need people who, in love, can point out something that is wrong. I'm not talking about the physical appearance, but those little habits that begin to creep up in our lives. That pinch of pride, that jar of jealousy, that bucket of bitterness--they can grow without us realizing it. We might not like it at the time, but we need accountability from our brothers and sisters in Christ who love us enough to pull us aside, hand us a mirror, and tell us to take a look.

Maybe you have been angry at someone for pointing out some flaw; get over it! They're only trying to help you. Deal with what they pointed out to you, and you will both be better for it. Maybe you see something in a friend's life that you know you need to address, but you are worried that they will respond in anger. You've dropped hints, but they aren't getting the message. Grab a mirror (the Bible) and force them to look at the problem.


My first response to my wife after seeing my bald spot was to ask, "Why didn't you tell me?" But I knew she had. I just didn't want to see the truth and thought that as long as I couldn't see it, it wasn't real. But everyone else could see what I refused to acknowledge. Don't let your sin be that way. Everyone else can see it, so just deal with it now instead of turning a blind eye. It's time to face the bald truth.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cavemen




"It's so easy a caveman can do it."

A popular insurance company boasts that saving money by switching to them is easy enough for a caveman to do it. While their commercials are humorous, they build on the popular notion that "prehistoric" people, or cavemen, once roamed the earth as the evolutionary precursor to our modern day humans. We've all seen the images--based on nothing more than the evolutionist's desire for them to have existed--of scraggly, hunched over subhumans draped in leopard print loin cloths, dragging clubs behind them. These unevolved imbeciles only grunt out broken English, "Me make fire."

Evolutionists need these cavemen to have existed to bridge the gap between primate and people. No sane person could ever believe that an ape turned into a man wearing a jacket and tie, and possessing complete mastery of a spoken language. These cavemen are just like all the other missing links or transitional forms between species; there is no evidence to suggest they ever existed. In fact, the evidence points towards the opposite.

As far back as we can trace human existence, mankind has been nothing less than smart, resourceful, and creative. Consider the pyramids, which date back at least 4,000 years. These magnificent structures are so precisely made that a sheet of notebook paper cannot be wedged in between the blocks. The blocks must have been hand crafted, with each layer needing a different sized block, with no margin for error. Evidently some ancient scaffolding was used to erect the pyramids that are still a marvel of architecture, measuring hundreds of feet in height.

Think about Stonehenge in England. A project begun around 3000 BC, each stone is an estimated 25 tons, standing 18 feet high, and some stacked on top of each other. This would be an incredible undertaking today; how was it done 5,000 years ago? No one knows.

As far back as we know mankind has had a written language, whether through alphabets or hieroglyphics, which only points towards intelligence.

Obviously people used to live in caves, but not because they were prehistoric idiots; caves make natural, durable shelters that remain cool in the heat. Just knowing people once lived in caves doesn't prove man evolved, because people still live in caves today, including 30 million in China alone. Does that mean they haven't evolved?

God created man in His image, intelligent from the days of Adam. We didn't evolve into who we are today, we have been this way since Day 1. We'll, actually Day 6.

 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Genesis 1:26