February 28, 2010

Blog Header - February 28, 2010

While we were traveling back and forth between Lynchburg and Front Royal looking for a house to move into, quite often we stopped at the overlooks on Rt. 81 in the Afton Mountains. I took this picture during one of those stops. The rays of sunlight shooting over the mountain imply hope and trust to me.

February 27, 2010

Biblical success manual II

About a week ago I posted The Biblical Success Manual from Proverbs 3:3-4. In a nutshell, Proverbs 3:3-4 says that if we demonstrate steadfast love and faithfulness we will find success in the eyes of God and man.

Today I read this verse:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
—Joshua 1:8

This one is a bit tougher than the earlier directive, and Old Testament Israel was not able to follow the law. The gospel of Jesus Christ was not to abolish the law but to fulfill it. So aligning with Christ in belief and action should contribute to success. Perhaps the word success is the next definition I need to consider.



February 26, 2010

Don't you love Classical music?


A reminder to Congress

Yesterday’s bi-partisan meeting about healthcare inspired me to combine a couple photos.


February 25, 2010

He’ll take care of the rest

As God teaches me about demonstrating steadfast love and faithfulness I find myself tempted to try to “earn” my salvation. But that’s not the deal. I need to work to be more like Christ. I need to do those things that God has called me to do—the good deeds for which God saved me. And He’ll take care of the rest.


February 24, 2010

Blogheader - February 24, 2010

This header photo is of my Jewish friend Daniella. I like the iPod earphones cord that lets you know she’s just kicking back on the beach enjoying music. This feels like summer’s coming. Yea!

Deliver me


ecently, it seems that God has been stressing two characteristics on my mind. These personal characteristics show up regularly in my daily bible readings for the past few weeks. As I have mentioned previously, steadfast love and faithfulness are characteristics I am compelled to consider and to work on in my life.

And as is so common when communing with God through his word, he is teaching me these things while providing comfort and encouragement perfectly suited to the things I am encountering in life at this time. God is so good to us. In fact, he demonstrates steadfast love and faithfulness continually.

This was part of today’s bible reading:

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Psalm 40:1,3

When I was a music major at Baptist Bible College in the early 1980s, our choir chose Psalm 40:3 as our choir’s theme verse. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Over the years since then I have considered the fact that this verse does not say that many will hear the new song God has put in my mouth and will put their trust in the Lord. It says that many will see. Although I am a musician and would love the concept of the song being the catalyst to these people’s turning in faith to God, the inspired words of scripture don’t allow me to consider it that way. It seems that this verse is saying that many people will see the fact that God has made this change in my song. The fact that he has made this change is what will turn them to God in fear and trust. It’s not my song, but the fact that God changed my song to a song of “praise to our God.”

The psalm goes on to say:

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!

You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.

Sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.

Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me:

I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.

I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.

Psalm 40:4-10

When God moved us from Lynchburg to Front Royal this past summer I committed publicly to following the 3-Step Program of deliverance found in Psalm 50:15, seen in the callout box to the right. We were in a stressful situation and didn’t see a clear way out of the trouble. Psalm 50:15 says to “call on the Lord in the day of trouble” and the verse promises that he will deliver us when we call on him in the day of trouble. But then the verse goes on with a further responsiblity that we have when he delivers us: “you shall glorify me.”

Psalm 50:15

Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

Psalm 40 is saying a very similar thing. Especially clear in verse 10, this Psalm is also saying that when God delivers us we are to proclaim it publicly, which is very similar to saying, “you shall glorify me.” But this time the psalmist says, I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and faithfulness from the great congregation.

I was worried a few days ago that these posts may be too personal and may bore the visitors to this blog. After all, these are personal things God is teaching me. Maybe they don’t apply to others. Or at least that was my reasoning.

Psalm 40:11

As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!

But were I to hide God’s deliverance within my heart and not proclaim it to the great congregation, I would not be fulfilling my part of the 3-Step Program, and God would not be getting the glory for what he has done, is doing, and will continue to do as he lavishes on all of us his steadfast love and faithfulness.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!


February 23, 2010

Too proud for truth


od has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, as we are told in 1 Corinthians 1:27. This fact sometimes shows us how proud we were before God drew us to himself, conquered our will, and gave us a heart of flesh.

I am currently listening to an audiobook recording of Confessions of St. Augustine. It is an outstanding book and shows how little we have changed in the almost 2,000 years since Augustine was a bishop.

This is Augustine’s recollection of his early view of scripture, prior to his conversion:

I resolved then to bend my mind to the holy Scriptures, that I might see what they were. But behold, I see a thing not understood by the proud, nor laid open to children, lowly in access, in its recesses lofty, and veiled with mysteries; and I was not such as could enter into it, or stoop my neck to follow its steps. For not as I now speak, did I feel when I turned to those Scriptures; but they seemed to me unworthy to be compared to the stateliness of Tully: for my swelling pride shrunk from their lowliness, nor could my sharp wit pierce the interior thereof. Yet were they such as would grow up in a little one. But I disdained to be a little one; and, swollen with pride, took myself to be a great one.

St. Augustine, The Confessions


February 22, 2010

Songs for the Lukewarm Church

  • Blest Be The Tie That Doesn't Cramp My Style
  • Pillow of Ages, Fluffed for Me
  • I Surrender Some
  • I'm Fairly Certain That My Redeemer Lives
  • Sit Up, Sit Up For Jesus
  • Take My Life and Let Me Be
  • What An Acquaintance We Have In Jesus
  • Where He Leads Me, I Will Consider Following
  • He's Quite a Bit To Me
  • Oh, How I Like Jesus
  • Fill My Spoon, Lord
  • It Is My Secret What God Can Do

Way of the Master


February 19, 2010

When We All Get To Heaven


Whose definition?


n Tuesday I wrote about the Biblical Success Manual from Proverbs 3. As a reminder, we are told, “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you.... So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.”

Then on Wednesday I sat at the feet of the Instructor and learned about the meaning of the words steadfast love and faithfulness.

Today God reminded me that those words were not the only ones in the passage from the Proverbs. My bible reading today brought up the word success and reminded me that culture and society have altered our understanding of many words—not just words such as steadfast love and faithfulness.

Psalm 37:16

Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.

As I read Psalm 37 the verse in the callout box to the right jumped out at me. “Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.” The word success somehow sounds to our ears as a synonym to wealthy. But this verse says that the righteous are in a better state than many wealthy wicked people all grouped together. So their riches compounded are still not to be desired above the modest means of the righteous man.

The passage goes on to explain that a bit, including the fact that the wicked man’s day will come. The passage says “the arms of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.” And, “the wicked will perish; the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.”

King David, the author of this psalm, gives some characteristics of the wicked and the righteous that further my understanding of biblical “success” In verse 21, “the wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.” In this context, the wicked borrows and does not repay even though he is numbered among the wealthy. And the righteous, already having been shown to possess “little,” is generous, giving of his possessions to others.

Psalms 37:25-26

I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.

King David apparently wanted to push this point a little. So he overcomes our reservations about this concept by speaking from experience when he says, “I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.” I hear in the psalmist’s words, “Don’t worry. God will take care of you. Just do what is right.”

Again I find that I have a whole lot of work to do. May God grant me the grace to sanctify me and mercy while I undergo that sanctification.


February 17, 2010

Blog Header - February 17, 2010

I took this picture on our way home from church this week. We love the look of this old stone house and it seemed especially beautiful against the snow.

Sitting at the feet of the Instructor

Yesterday’s post, Biblical success manual, included two descriptions of character: steadfast love and faithfulness. Although I have spent much of my life attempting to learn to communicate better and to become a “wordsmith,” I was not really sure that I knew what those two character descriptions meant. So I prayed last night that God would show me the meaning of those terms as he worked in my life to develop those characteristics.

Today, as part of my regularly scheduled bible reading, I read Psalm 36. And look what showed up in verse 5:

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

Why should I ever doubt the One I know is always faithful and always loving?

So I used my Bible software to find the Hebrew words for these terms and to find a definition. My Hebrew lexicon is based on the King James version of the bible and I noticed that the ESV’s steadfast love in Proverbs 3:3 is translated in the King James as mercy. That brought a different nuance.

But a look at the original Hebrew helped me get a better grasp on these terms.

Steadfast love

The Hebrew word chesed (), translated as steadfast love may mean kindness, good deeds, favor, or merciful.


The Hebrew word emunah emunah (), translated faithfulness in my bible may also be translated as moral fidelity. And the word in Proverbs 3:3 (translated as truth in the KJV) is the Hebrew word emeth (). Both of these last two words may be translated as stability or trustworthiness.

Psalms 36:5–8

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

So I’ve been told some of the ways God demonstrates steadfast love and faithfulness. And I have been told that if I demonstrate steadfast love and faithfulness that I will be successful in the eyes of God and men. Now I need to strive to develop kindness and show good deeds toward others. And I need to demonstrate moral fidelity, stability, and trustworthiness. I have a lot of work ahead of me.

And I long to “drink from the river of [His] delights.”


February 16, 2010

Biblical success manual


few years ago we attended a church that had a unique mentor/protégé program. The church leaders encouraged the men of the church to seek out mentors and protégés and to use those relationships to promote accountability. It was a great system and was a motivating factor for many wonderful and lasting Christian friendships.

My mentor was a highly successful business consultant. He contracted with companies that were having difficulties and he had tremendous success moving those companies into financial stability and providing momentum for them to move forward into the future. He explained to me that to turn these companies around he introduced them to biblical principles of employee relationships, management, and motivation. He leveraged the idea that a biblical truth is still true even for a non-Christian. He presented these ideas as good business principles, not as religious guidelines or rules. But when asked, he told people where he got these ideas on business—from the Bible.

Proverbs 3:3-4

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.

I wish I had his unique ability to quickly recognize the proper biblical application to life’s day-to-day situations. But I think I am a little bit less detail-oriented than he is. Fortunately, King Solomon addressed folks like me who can work better with an over-arching description of what needs to be done.

In Proverbs 3:3-4, the wisest man to ever live tells me that two vital components of success are steadfast love and faithfulness. So I am prompted to ask, why? Why would steadfast love and faithfulness help you to be successful in the eyes of God and men? It just doesn’t seem to make sense to me.

But the passage does not end there. Recognizing that we humans have difficulty understanding the things of God, the author goes on to tell us:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” To me, that appears to be the foundation of the entire thing. I don’t understand why steadfast love and faithfulness will give me success in the eyes of men. But God says they will. I need simply to trust him that this is true. And I need to work on that steadfast love and faithfulness. Those are the strengths I need to develop. It is my prayer that God will grant the grace to develop these characteristics in my life.


February 15, 2010

Snow, snow, and more snow

Although we are dug out pretty well around our house, the roads in Washington, D.C., are still quite bad. Many of the 3- and 4-lane roads have been reduced to single lane roads with large mountains of snow to either side. This makes it particularly difficult to get around the city. And today was a federal holiday. I’m dreading tomorrow’s commute when all the federal employees return to work. Yikes!

I find it interesting that we humans get so full of ourselves and think we have so much control. We’re so proud of our technological know-how. But a few feet of snow brings our technology to a grinding halt. Perhaps grinding is not the right word. Spinning with no traction is more like it.

But the piles of white stuff everywhere have given me a newfound interest in snow. I found this great video on Hulu and thought you might like to see it as well. God displays his incredible creativity in so many different ways.


February 14, 2010

Blog Header - February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day! I thought this photo of a rose would be a good one for the header this week. I loved the color of this rose.

Happy Valentines Day

Kim on our honeymoon

It’s Valentine’s Day today. And I have known my valentine for about 40 years. We’ve been married for 23 years. So, for Valentine’s Day, here’s one of the songs I used to sing to my valentine back when we first began dating.

I love you, Kim!

I thought I’d try to tell you how much I love you in a song,
But found out very soon that that would make it last too long.
I started it last evening when the sun was going down
I’d barely just begun it when the sun came back around.

I’d really like to tell you, I’d really like to show how much
I’d really care to share this love with you.
I’d really like to tell you, I’d really like to show you
But I’m afraid I might not ever quite get through.

If every star that’s in the sky could scream, “I love you, girl!”
And if I sent a rose for every flower in the world
It would only start to tell the things I long to say
The stars will fall and the rose will die, but my love won’t go away.

I’d really like to tell you, I’d really like to show how much
I’d really care to share this love with you.
I’d really like to tell you, I’d really like to show you
But I’m afraid I might not ever quite get through.


February 13, 2010

Render unto Caesar?

Perhaps these drug smugglers used their choice of concealment technique based on the fact that Jesus told us to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”

February 12, 2010

A little blues - from a little guitarist


Federal snow removal


any of my friends who live outside of the Washington, D.C., area have asked me why the government shuts down for an entire week just because of a couple of snow storms. “Why,” they ask, “can’t they simply clear the streets of snow and get everyone back to work?”

This is a good question and I understand the confusion that gives rise to this question. But frankly, those who live outside the seat of the Federal government simply don’t understand. The unique political nature of this city means that a careful line has to be drawn when dealing with politically active organizations such as the local snow clearing unions.

This is a bit hard to explain, so perhaps it would be best if I simply show you an illustration. The following illustration shows the unique union negotiations two different snow clearing unions have struck—the Snow Blowers Local and the Plow Trucks Local. The negotiations don’t always work hand-in-hand between the disparate unions, but they allow the union members to continue working hard to clear our highways and keep the Federal money flowing to make sure jobs are saved, created, and properly documented.

Okay, perhaps that wasn’t completely honest. But it’s still a funny picture.

Happy weekend!


February 11, 2010

New Ground Zero photos released

More than eight years after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers, new photos have been released under the Freedom of Information Act. Click on the photo below to see more of them.


Why does God do what he does?

Exodus 32:11-12

But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people.


hen life gets weird and things just don’t seem to fit our concept of justice, we are prone to ask, “Why?” And I don’t think it’s a problem for us to ask that question from time to time—as long as we realize that God is the Sovereign and has the ultimate right to do as he sees fit. God is also righteous, so everything he does is right—even when it doesn’t necessarily seem that way to us.

This morning I read the Exodus 32 story of Moses pleading with the Lord to relent from his anger against the Israelites. Then I read the following quite from one the early American Puritans. I thought these two went together well. Perhaps God is trying to tell me something.

Why God’s providences are often misunderstood

Take a straight stick, and put it into the water; then it will seem crooked. Why? Because we look upon it through two mediums, air and water: there lies the deception visus; thence it is that we cannot discern aright. Thus the proceedings of God, in His justice which in themselves are straight, without the least obliquity, seem unto us crooked: that wicked men should prosper, and good men be afflicted, that the Israelites should make the bricks, and the Egyptians dwell in the houses; that servants should ride on horse–back, and princes go on foot: these are things that make the best Christians stagger in their judgments.

And why? Because they look upon God’s proceedings through a double medium of flesh and spirit, so that all things seem to go cross, though indeed they go right enough. And hence it is that God’s proceedings, in His justice, are not so well discerned, the eyes of man alone being not competent judges thereof.

—Thomas Fuller

Golden Treasury of Puritan Quotations


February 10, 2010

Be anxious for nothing

I have never relished change. Change produces fear of the unknown as well as fear of things that I know are coming and would prefer to avoid. But I know that reacting to change like I do indicates a lack of trust in God, who is in complete control of all situations and who has promised to do what is best for his children.

In The Necessity of Prayer, E.M. Bounds wrote:

If Jesus dwell at the fountain of my life; if the currents of His life have displaced and superseded all self-currents; if implicit obedience to Him be the inspiration and force of every movement of my life, then He can safely commit the praying to my will, and pledge Himself, by an obligation as profound as His own nature, that whatsoever is asked shall be granted. Nothing can be clearer, more distinct, more unlimited both in application and extent, than the exhortation and urgency of Christ, “Have faith in God.”

Faith covers temporal as well as spiritual needs. Faith dispels all undue anxiety and needless care about what shall be eaten, what shall he drunk, what shall be worn. Faith lives in the present, and regards the day as being sufficient unto the evil thereof. It lives day by day, and dispels all fears for the morrow. Faith brings great ease of mind and perfect peace of heart.

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

You know, I was already aware of what E.M. Bounds stated in that quote. I know that God is the Sovereign of the universe and “declares the beginning from the end” and “the king’s heart is a stream in his hands; he turns it wherever he will.” These are not new concepts to me.

So why then is it so easy for me to become anxious? Why do I worry about each new change? Why do I concern myself with things that are completely out of my control?

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

It actually doesn’t seem so hard when you look at, for example, Micah 6:8. All I have to do is to act justly, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God. That should not be so difficult. If that is all I need to do, why do I worry about things over which I have no control?

I guess the obvious answer is—there’s no reason for me to worry. I need to act in a just manner, love kindness, and walk humbly. I need to be thankful to God as I bring my prayers and supplications to him. And I need to focus my attention, not on those crazy winds of change, but remember that “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:3-4).

May God grant me faith.


Blog Header - February 10, 2010

I didn’t actually take this photo. But I love the look of it and wanted to use it as the header photo. The blog title is set in the Harry Potter font.

February 08, 2010

Religious egotism

UPDATE/ADDENDUM   I received a comment from someone I respect greatly and, as a result, feel the need to clarify something about this post.

I don’t mean to paint all Christians with the same brush in this article. The characteristics I’m speaking of in this post are too common among Christians, but by no means are common to all. In fact, I believe these things would characterize less than a majority. But the behaviors are far too common in Christian circles and I am hoping in this post to call each of us to a personal high standard recognizing these characteristics and attempting to personally avoid them.

And may God get the glory in all.


have been bothered by an apparent characteristic of the conservative Evangelical Christian community for quite some time. This unattractive characteristic shows itself as the tendency for Christians to view themselves as better-than others and others as less-than themselves. Christians also seem to think that they have a unique right to disobey the laws of the land—especially within the walls of their church building or Christian day school. I think this lawlessness is grounded in the personal elitism of the Christian mindset.

Christian theology should result in exactly the opposite mindset. The bible clearly teaches that those who are drawn to the Father are so drawn for God’s personal reasons and not because of any goodness on our part. In fact, as the Apostle Paul told the Corinthian believers:

“My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn’t think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families. But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame” (1 Corinthians 1:26–27).

So, if we were chosen for a reason, it was not because of how good we were or how wonderful we were—it was because of how small and insignificant we were.

Genesis 20:11

Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this place.”

But perhaps this elitist condition is not new. As I was reading the bible to my son last night, we came across the passage about Abraham and Abimelech. Abraham asked his wife Sarah to say she was his sister so the people of the land would not kill him to get to his wife, who we are told was a very beautiful woman. Abimelech took Sarah into his house and the Lord appeared to him in a dream to tell him that he was in deep trouble for taking a man’s wife. In the end, the Lord agreed with Abimelech that he had acted with integrity and as long as Sarah was returned to Abraham, God would not curse Abimelech and his household.

Genesis 20:12

Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.

Abimelech asked Abraham why he had claimed Sarah as his sister rather than his wife, potentially endangering Abimelech’s household. Abraham answered, “because I thought, there is no fear of God at all in this place.” Abraham then went on to justify his actions further. I find it interesting that this chosen man of God decided to lie and put his wife in a precarious position because he thought Abimelech’s people were less-than he and his household.

In my experience, Christians excuse lawless behavior by appealing to the fact that the church is tax-exempt. They often leave poor tips at restaurants (along with a tract) and claim that they are being “good stewards of the Lord’s money.” They talk about folks who go to a different church in town as if the mere fact of the different church membership is proof that these people are not saved. This should not be. When we act unethically and then blame our unethical behavior on the fact that others are non-believers, we bring shame to the name of Christ.

The recent news about the U.S. missionaries in Haiti seems to be another example of this characteristic among Christians. Perhaps the U.S. missionaries in Haiti acted in integrity. I hope they did. But the lesson I hope we all take away from the story (and from the story of Abraham and Abimelech) is that we Christians should recognize that we are not better than others. Our faith is not because of us—it is because of Christ and He is to be our only boast.


February 07, 2010

The morning after


t’s all over now. Well, at least for about two or three days. According to the official reading from Dulles Airport, the recent blizzard dumped 32.4 inches of snow on the Central Shenandoah Valley. That’s a lot of snow.

But the snow ended last evening shortly after dark. And this morning we woke to a beautiful winter wonderland and hours of shoveling. But don’t worry—this afternoon I received an alert from my weather source. Another large snow storm is expected to begin Tuesday morning. They are forecasting that it will drop at least 5 inches and possibly more than a foot over the course of that storm. I don’t know what has happened, but apparently the global climate change, formerly known as global warming, has brought arctic temperatures and precipitation to Virginia. Who woulda thunk?

But while we wait for that storm to arrive, this is what we woke up to today:

This was the view from our bedroom window this morning
The house across the street
Great texture
Our front walk
The view directly across the street from our front door
Our house – and lots off snow


To be or not Tebow

The news coverage of the Focus on the Family/Tim Tebow Super Bowl advertisement has been appalling—even from the more conservative FoxNews Network. The pro-abortion people interviewed for the story have been allowed to level inappropriate ad hominem attacks against Focus On the Family. They have called Focus anti-choice (in spite of the fact that the commercial is celebrating one woman’s choice), un-American, and unpatriotic—all because Focus On the Family is celebrating the choice that allowed Tim Tebow to become a great football player and the 2007 Heisman trophy winner.

If the “pro-choice” crowd is allowed to define pro-lifers with these derogatory terms, should the pro-life people be able to define them as pro-murder, anti-family, and selfish liars?

Full-sized cartoon.

So, here’s the ad that is causing all the problem and all the anger from the “pro-choice” crowd. Can anybody tell me what is so controversial and offensive about this ad?


February 06, 2010

2010 blizzard - now finished

The “biggest snowstorm in DC’s history” has now come to an end—at least out here in Front Royal. We just received a weather alert telling us that the Winter Weather Storm Warning has been cancelled. And it’s a good thing, too. I don’t think we could have taken much more.

We have almost 3 feet of snow on the ground and drifts of 10 feet and more. I’ve shoveled our front walk at least 10 times today and have cleared the accumulating snow from the top of our car twice. Tomorrow will be Dig Out Day. I need to make sure I remove the drifts from around the car, where the snow is at least five feet deep all around. I guess I’ll either get muscles or a heart attack.

Here’s a few more photos to show the progress and depth of the snow:

The view from the side of our house



The weather reporters are having fun coming up with silly names for this snow storm. I’ve heard Snowapalooza, Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse, and many other sillinesses.

But it is a doozy! My in-laws lost electricity, and thus heat, but we just heard that there electricity has been restored now. We have about 20 inches of snow and it is still coming down like crazy. The forecast is for the snow to continue to fall very heavy until about 10:00 tonight. They’re saying that this is the biggest Washington, DC, snowfall in history.

Here are some pictures from about 7:00 this morning:


February 05, 2010

And the snow came down

Our house at about 5:30 pm

At 5:30, David noticed that the snow that had been falling lightly all day had increased in intensity. So I grabbed my camera and David and I went outside to take a few pictures of what appeared to be the beginning of the big storm.

Then we ate dinner. While we were eating dinner, we heard the weather forecaster say that this storm is likely to be the biggest snow/blizzard in history for the Washington, DC, area. Multiple newscasters echoed the call for folks to stay off the streets saying that driving would be “life threatening” and “extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all cost.”

Our house at about 5:30 pm

So at about 7:00 we went back outside to take a few more pictures and to shovel the front walk. There was much more snow than before. It took me about 1 minute to shovel the walk but when I finished and turned around, the end of the walk where I had begun was already completely covered again.

The view from our front porch at around 7:00 pm

Then, as I worked on these photos that I took at 5:30 and 7:00, the newscaster said that Dulles Airport (our local weather center) reported 7 inches of snow on the ground with the snow falling at a rate of 3 inches per hour. Yikes!

The streetlamp near our house at about 7:30 pm.
No wonder the snow is piling up so quickly.


Snow my goodness!


ver the years, as I have driven in the Washington, DC, area, I have learned that driving around here can be very dangerous. But with the forecast snow storm (30 inches at least) that has begun and is supposed to continue through late tomorrow, the weather reports have become more and more frightening.

As I began to shut down my computer for the end of the work day, I turned on the news and saw the weather man say, “travel in the Washington, DC, area over the next few days will be life threatening”! Life threatening! My goodness. I mean ... snow my goodness (another phrase from the newscaster).

And, yeah, we live under that bubble.


My all-time favorite band

A Simple Life

Sweet Home Alabama

That Ain’t My America


February 04, 2010

That woman is da bomb!

Truth is stranger than fiction. How true it is—especially in today’s world of moral free-fall, postmodern theology and debate, and religious terrorism.

Here’s the newest way to hide explosives, now all the rage for female suicide bombers: WorldNet Daily Bosom Bombers: Women have explosive breast implants


No Condemnation


shared these thoughts with a young friend yesterday. I know a lot of us struggle with the same thing, so I thought I’d blog about it today. Romans 8:1 says, There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Later in that same chapter, Paul says, What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, pleading for us.

Elsewhere in scripture, Satan is called, “the accuser of the brethren.” Most often, the fiery darts that the enemy sends are thoughts of condemnation. Don’t confuse condemnation, which comes from the enemy, with conviction, which comes from the Holy Spirit. Conviction points us to a specific sin, and forces us to deal with that sin according to biblical principles. Condemnation is that sense of being totally useless to our Lord, a “good for nothing loser.” The enemy uses this tool as a “demotivator,” crippling us in our fulfillment of the “good works He has foreordained for us to do” (Eph. 2:10).

Here are a couple of music videos that will remind you to listen to the voice of the Shepherd; that same voice that told Peter, the one who failed Him miserably, to “feed my sheep.” He tells us to forget what is behind and press on. May you be encouraged today to remember that the voice of condemnation is not the voice of the Shepherd speaking to you!


February 03, 2010

Obama adresses the Democrats


oday, President Barack Obama addressed his fellow Democrats. His address was in the form of a pep-talk, presumably to cheer up the hapless group of autocrats regarding recent stinging defeats at the polls.

Seeing as the president’s recent State of the Union address lasted well more than an hour, I thought I would summarize what I’ve heard from the president so far as he tries to encourage his fellow Democrats to hold the faith—that would be the faith in the stupidity of the American electorate and the faith in the Democrats need to force their agenda on us:


It’s nice to meet with you today. I’d like to remind you that we knew this first year would be a particularly difficult year to govern. We inherited a bunch of bad stuff from the terrible last president, Bush. In fact, President Bush waged expensive wars. President Bush spent a lot of money in economic recovery and bailouts. President Bush spent lots of money in tax reductions. And we have worked hard to overcome where those terrible Bush policies have brought us by continuing all of these policies, except at a much greater level of spending.

You should feel good that you have been able to continue the disastrous Bush policies, but can now describe them as “fiscal responsibility.”

You have also had to fight the mean and nasty Republicans who have been so not-nice in legislative committee and on the floor. You have had to vote to break more filibusters than were voted on during all of the decades between 1200 BC and 1779. That’s 2,979 years worth of obstruction that the mean Republicans have packed into one year.

Bush did really bad stuff. Everything that looks bad in the world right now was caused by Bush. Bush was a failure. Bush was mean. Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush. And furthermore, Bush. And don't forget that Bush.

Thank you for your time and for making this administration the most transparent and most effective administration in the history of civilization, in spite of the fact that we inherited from Bush lots of really bad stuff that led to everything bad that has happened in the entire world this past year. Remember that were it not for us, all of those bad things that Bush caused would be way worse.


The Snowy Day


esterday’s snow storm—the fifth snow storm of the season that resulted in significant accumulation—was as beautiful as the previous ones. But I think I’m ready for spring.

Here’s the view out of our bedroom window that we woke up to this morning.


February 02, 2010

Another snow storm?

This video is quite poor. I took it on my cell phone, and the quality just isn’t that great. But I had to run out and capture a video of the fifth snowstorm of the season. Virginia just does not normally get much snow. But it has been continual this winter. And they’re forecasting another pretty big snow storm this time. I wish you could see the snow better in this video. It was actually really coming down hard and is forecast to continue until tomorrow morning at around 4:00 with six inches of accumulation.


February 01, 2010

Blog Header - February 1, 2010

I stopped in front of the capitol building on my way in to work yesterday morning to take this picture. I love the look of the sky brightening behind the lighted capitol dome as the sun begins to rise.

Happy February from Washington, DC


od blesses us in many ways. But many times we need to look for those blessings and not take them for granted, and working in Washington, DC, is one of those blessings that I am prone to overlook.

Although the traffic and the lifestyle in the Washington, DC, area are both terrible annoyances, the plethora of jobs keeps many people in town even when they might look for a less stressful location to set up shop. But the blessing of living and working in the DC area is the same thing that brings so many tourists here. This city is dripping with history—the history of our nation. And because this is the seat of the federal government, everything here is paid for by taxes. Thus, everything is open to the public. After all, that’s who pays for it.

So I can go to the many Smithsonian museums. I can go to the Library of Congress and check out any book that has ever been published anywhere on the planet in all of history. I can visit the monuments, and the parks, and the scenic drives. And I can do all of it other than the drives without getting in my car. Everything is within walking distance of my office and it is a wealth of history and education.

As I drove past the Capitol building this morning, it hit me how blessed I am to be working here and living so close. So I pulled over and took a couple pictures of the Capitol. I hope you enjoy them. And I hope you get to visit Washington, DC, some day—if you’re not already one of my neighbors.

Here it is—the Capitol Building at about 6:00 am today: