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Abandon All Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here.

By | Posted at 18:27

No Greater Love

By | Posted at 19:40

In sacrificing their lives for the Gospel, these missionaries opened up the door for the eventual entry of the Gospel into the Auca society through Elizabeth Elliot. The Gospel transformed the Aucas dramatically lowering the homicide rate and causing the tribe to get an entirely new focus… on God.

Yet, to do this, these missionaries with their entire life ahead of them, gave their lives. In perhaps a reflection of the dangers he and his team were about to subject themselves to, Jim Elliot stated “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” What a powerful testimony of faith.

I sit here and I wonder, if God called me to travel to some remote part of the world, would I have the immediate willingness of these men? Would I view my own survival as unimportant if it meant the spread of the Word of God? I'd like to say I would, but I wonder — it is easy to say that typing from the comfort of my computer chair, what if I were in that small yellow biplane heading for the territory of a tribe I thought would probably kill me? Could I really do it?

I'm not sure what kind of conclusion is appropriate. These are just the thoughts that strike me tonight. I know I want to be like those five. It makes me somewhat uncomfortable to wonder whether I would be.

Down, but not out...

By | Posted at 18:29

Why I Don't Use "Linux"

By | Posted at 16:22

Is this good or bad?

By | Posted at 17:53

Heat Wave... over?

By | Posted at 19:48

That's not funny!

By | Posted at 19:23

1.) I Love Lucy — How can you not love Lucy? This is the classic comedy, a timeless combination of humor and personality to create plots you can rewatch and still laugh.

2.) I Dream of Jeannie — Jeannie is funny — simple as that. It seems to me that IDOJ is one of the last in the great line of 50's and 60's comedies. Just months before it ended All in the Family came on the air and changed sitcoms forever — but that light hearted innocence was still alive and well before that.

3.) The Beverley Hillbillies — How can you not like them? They are funny and truly do exhibit the kindness one encounters in the Ozarks. If only Granny wasn't so busy making moonshine! I've even seen their car (it is down in Holister, MO), so how can I not mention them?

4.) Leave it to Beaver — This is another timeless classic. It accentuates the “typical” American household and doesn't seem all that dated even though it ended its run the better part of half a century ago.

5.) The Cosby Show — Yeah, I have at least one comedy I like that isn't older than I am. Cosby will surely be one of the enduring classics of the last two decades.

Runners up: All in the Family (I don't like how it changed “the sitcom” forever, but I'll admit it, I like it); Gilligan's Island; The Jeffersons; Sanford & Son; Home Improvement.

The Slow Demise of the UCC

By | Posted at 19:26

First a bit of history. In 1840, the German Evangelical Church was formed in Missouri from Lutheran and Reformed church roots. This hits especially close to my own heritage, with my church forming in 1843 as German United Lutheran-Reformed St. Paul's Church in Central Township. Quite a name! The Lutheran-Reformed merger was somewhat uncomfortable unfortunately, and in our case a splinter church formed — its just a stones throw away even today and is a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (it ended up in a better denomination than we did). But, I'm getting distracted.

The German Evangelical Church eventually became the Evangelical Synod of North America. From there, the Evangelical Synod merged with the Reformed Church in America in 1934. The resulting church was the Evangelical & Reformed Church (E&R). The E&R was a denomination with Reformed leanings and a congregational organizational structure. Things were pretty good.

Unfortunately, things didn't stay that way. In the early fifties, parties met between the E&R and the Congregational Christian Churches about a possible union at Eden Seminary in St. Louis, a seminary of the E&R. By 1957, a deal was agreed to, and the E&R and the more liberal Congregational Christian Churches merged to form the United Church of Christ. Just to be clear, this name does not imply any association with the Churches of Christ. Perhaps they didn't expect it, or even see it, at the time, but the liberalism forming within the Congregational Churches soon spread across the former borders and started to wrest control of the UCC.

By the mid-1970's, the United Church of Christ's Evangelical contingent was shoved out of power to be replaced by what was becoming a liberal majority within the denomination. During the UCC's General Synod in 1977, the Evangelicals voted strongly against the first of many resolutions that would accept, even glorify and encourage, sexual promiscuity in the UCC. The group of delegates voting against the measure was large enough to allow the Evangelicals to unite into an official interest group, but not large enough to stop the approval of the measure.

A Pastor's wife, Barbara Weller, called for return to Biblical principles during the Synod, and a few hundred participants joined her call. In late 1978, the interest group was made permanent and named United Church People for Biblical Witness (UCPBW). The group celebrates its 25 year this year.

Over the next few years the UCPBW would publish numerous documents noting the unbiblical take the UCC had taken on issues of sexuality, but the work culminated in 1983 in Dubuque, Iowa where the official statement of the group was published, the Dubuque Declaration. The Declaration confirmed commitment to the Biblical values held at the formation of the UCC and noted the “erosion” of such values within the church.

In 1984, the group transformed itself in the the Biblical Witness Fellowship, a group that would focus on supporting local churches in addition to attempting to renew the national UCC. Two years later, the BWF launched a Missions Network, which many Bible believing churches within the UCC would divert funds to as the UCC's own missions program abandoned missions work and moved into social and “family planning” services.

It is getting late, so I'll wrap it up for tonight as this seems like a good place to leave off. While the UCC's Human Sexuality: A Preliminary Study, the 1977 report that started the widespread controversy was not only the opening, but also a major, salvo, the real attack was just beginning to emerge. I'll consider that in my next post on the subject.

Sources: I freshened up on my E&R history — especially dates — at this site. Other dates are drawn from the Biblical Witness Fellowship and United Church of Christ web sites.

Thank-you HM!

By | Posted at 20:14

Question Game

By | Posted at 20:27

1) What is your favorite little known restaurant in St. Louis?
That's tough! I guess I'd have to say Faraci Pizzeria on Manchester Rd. They have the absolute best St. Louis style pizza! Their house pizza features pepperoni, sausage, bacon, onion, green pepper, and mushrooms, and all of the flavors just meld together. It's so good that the 40 minute drive home to St. Peters doesn't ruin the taste at all (alternately, you could just eat there).

A close second might be Chuck-a-Burger, a drive in on St. Charles Rock Road near St. John. I just realized I must be hungry for pizza — 'cuz one of their specialties is the Pizza Burger. That's a delicious burger topped with sweet onion and a sweet pizza sauce. Mmmm….

There's lots of more “restaurant” restaurants, such as Madison's, that have tasty menus, but nothing that really shouts St. Louis like a good St. Louis-style pizza (and I'm a thick crust Pizza Hut Pan Pizza kinda guy). :-)

2) What is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
That's got to be squid. I was at a large family dinner at the Olive Garden and didn't hear when the appetizers were ordered. It was only when I was munching on my second or third helping that someone leaned over and said “you know that's squid, don't you?” Uhg. I didn't eat any more after that.

3) Have you ever turned a hobby into a moneymaking opportunity?

There was this one summer I had too much time on my hands and went “hunting” for recyclable cans. After weeks of blood, sweat, and tears; weeks of being covered in dirt from walking around construction sites and smelling from spilling old soda and beer cans on myself by accident, I turned several dozen bags of cans into… $100. Needless to say, I found other persuits to use my time on.

On a happier note, my consulting/web design business emerged out of a hobby. That one actually makes money without ending up smelling like two-day old soda and beer.

4) What can you tell me about yourself that would surprise me?
I always surprise people that I've never been up the Arch. When I went there to go up it, it was shut down for the day and I never made it back.

Years ago, when my dad wanted to get me my first computer I was completely against it. I'm not sure why… I just didn't want one. Go figure.

I love vegetables, for the most part, but I can't stand peas (but I love split pea soup). I'm not crazy about honeydew or cantaloupe either.

I've been all over the state of Missouri, but I've never been to Kansas City or Lake of the Ozarks.

It's been at least three years since I last set foot in a theater. Well, I think I've mentioned that before, so perhaps that's not shocking.

5) So what is the answer to life, the universe and everything?
You know your missing socks? Those have been taken to a secret hiding place by cats. Finding the secret hiding place used by cats the world over will yield infinite happiness, not to mention never having to buy socks again. Just don't go while holding catnip.

On a more serious note, here is my real answer. I'll answer through quotes.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made.”

— John 1:1-3 (WEB)

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

— Genesis 1:1 (WEB)

“There is none righteous, no, not one.”

— Romans 3:10 (KJV)

Uh oh: “For the wages of sin is death,”

— Romans 3:10 (KJV)

But wait: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

— John 3:16 (WEB)

How's that work? “That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

— Romans 10:9 (NIV)

So how'd I do? And who is ready for some questioning?

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