Archive for March, 2004

News in Brief

From The Onion

Scientist Has Nagging Feeling He Left Particle Accelerator On

CHICAGO—University of Chicago particle physicist Matthew Sharp drove halfway home before he was struck with the fear that he’d left the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System running Tuesday night. “I think I powered it down after smashing those 9-GeV electrons into 3.1-GeV positrons, but I don’t specifically remember flipping the switch,” Sharp said. “Not only does a nine million volt electrostatic tandem Van de Graaff injector accelerator cost a lot to run; it’s also a pretty serious fire hazard.” Sharp almost turned his car around, but didn’t, because the past three times he’s gone back to check on the accelerator, he’s found it off.

Ephesians 2

I just felt like it. Verse 7 is one I frequently remember but forget where it is. (I remember the text, not the location).

(1) And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, (2) in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. (3) Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. (4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (6) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly {places} in Christ Jesus, (7) so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (8) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, {it is} the gift of God; (9) not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (11) Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” {which is} performed in the flesh by human hands– (12) {remember} that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (13) But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (14) For He Himself is our peace, who made both {groups into} one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (15) by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, {which is} the Law of commandments {contained} in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, {thus} establishing peace, (16) and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. (17) AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; (18) for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. (19) So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, (20) having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner {stone,} (21) in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, (22) in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

NASB

Computer Problems

My Computer (or rather router) problems seem to be fixed. I just hope that they don’t come back. If you check in from time to time, and the site is down, that is probably why.

Reigning in the Courts

At first glance, I was very happy to see this. I think, for the most part, I still am. I usually take pride in the fact that I’ve actually read the Constitution, and for the most part know what is and what isn’t Constitutional. I wish I had thought of that though. I don’t understand how, in almost 220 years, no one thought to invoke this clause in Article III, Section 2 that says:

… the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.

With all of the judicial activism going on these days, this is probably the best way of fighting runaway courts. A new bill being introduced by both Houses of the Congress addresses both the issue of addressing God in the public square and the increasingly appalling trend in the courts to look to foreign law in making their decisions. The bill states:

The Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official personal capacity), by reason of that element’s or officer’s acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.

And:

In interpreting and applying the Constitution of the United States, a court of the United States may not rely upon any constitution, law, administrative rule, Executive order, directive, policy, judicial decision, or any other action of any foreign state or international organization or agency, other than the constitutional law and English common law.

I am in favor of the bill, but am a little worried that in the future, when the Houses of Congress are more heavily Liberal, the same action can be taken to hinder more Conservative rulings. Liberals love to pass and enforce unconstitutional measures, and if they can find Constitutional ways to make it work, they will. They simply have to pass two bills to get whatever they want. The first is the thing itself and the second is a bill preventing the courts from ruling on the first. Dangerous!

Bad Computer

I’m having trouble with my router. It’s not forwarding traffic to the right computer. This site will be up and down intermittently until I can get it working right again.

Blog’s Down

Well, as I write this it’s down. Obviously if you’re reading this, it’s back up. I can’t get my router to work right. It will route traffic to my other computer for some reason, but not the one that host this website.

Well, I’m done fighting with it for now. Off to bed.

Irrational Debate

Vox Day had a great article today called “How to argue like a liberal.”

1. Make an untrue statement, preferably on the subject of something about which you know nothing.

2. Express astonishment that your source could possibly be inaccurate.

3. Demand what motivation your source would have to lie.

4. Assert that the other party’s inability to articulate this motivation is tantamount to proof that your source is not lying.

5. Question the motivation of the contrary source.

6. Argue that all sources are equal and that therefore the contrary source is irrelevant.

7. Change the subject.

Alternatively …

1. Make an untrue statement.

2. Deny that you said what you said.

3. Deny that the other party understood what you said.

4. Deny that the words you used mean what the other party claims they mean.

5. Redefine your definition and hope the other person forgets the previous one. Repeat as needed.

6. Assert that since definitions are irrelevant and subjective, the other person is mean-spirited, racist, sexist, intolerant and obsessive.

7. Change the subject.

I’m Told It’s Not So Bad

This morning I had one of those moments when I really wanted to call into the local morning talk radio show. I didn’t catch the entire topic, but in the car on the way to work, they were talking about local traffic. The host tried to make the case that since it is extremely rare to sit at the same stoplight through more than two cycles, traffic is good in this town. Well, I agree that it’s nice to not have to sit through several cycles at the same light, but there’s more to it than how long you sit at a single light. Some of my hang-up with local traffic is simply Murphy’s Law, but much of it is poor design. When I say Murphy’s Law, I mean that often times I come to a light to make a left turn and have to sit through the light what seems like extra long to me. Most cities time the lights so that when you get a left arrow, the direction coming at you will get a green arrow too. Here, when you get a green arrow, the guy parked next to you waiting to go straight gets a green light too. Then the turning light turns red and the direction coming toward you gets a green. At the end of the cycle, their turn light turns green. Because I am a consistent victim of Murphy’s Law, I am always the guy waiting until the end of the cycle to get the green arrow, instead of getting it at the beginning. It doesn’t matter which direction I’m going either, this happens when going different directions through the same intersection.

I should have been a traffic engineer. I think I can do a much better job. I say during busy times, the lights should be timed so that when you hit a light that’s green while traveling near the speed limit, you should get subsequent lights green too, especially on the main drag. You should never get stuck at every 2nd light with a red. During light traffic times, like the middle of the night, the sensors in the pavement should change the light almost immediately when you’re at a red with no cross traffic.

end rant.

My Utmost for His Highest

OUR LORD’S SURPRISE VISITS
Be ye therefore ready also. – Luke 12:40

The great need for the Christian worker is to be ready to face Jesus
Christ at any and every turn. This is not easy, no matter what our
experience is. The battle is not against sin or difficulties or
circumstances, but against being so absorbed in work that we are not
ready to face Jesus Christ at every turn. That is the one great need,
not the facing our belief, or our creed, the question whether we are
of any use, but to face Him.

Jesus rarely comes where we expect Him; He appears where we least
expect Him, and always in the most illogical connections. The only
way a worker can keep true to God is by being ready for the Lord’s
surprise visits. It is not service that matters, but intense
spiritual reality, expecting Jesus Christ at every turn. This will
give our life the attitude of child-wonder which He wants it to have.
If we are going to be ready for Jesus Christ, we have to stop being
religious (that is, using religion as a higher kind of culture) and
be spiritually real.

If you are “looking off unto Jesus,” avoiding the call of the
religious age you live in, and setting your heart on what He wants,
on thinking on His line – you will be called unpractical and dreamy;
but when He appears in the burden and the heat of the day, you will
be the only one who is ready. Trust no one, not even the finest saint
who ever walked this earth, ignore him, if he hinders your sight of Jesus Christ.

My Utmost for His Highest

VISION BY PERSONAL PURITY
Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God. -Matthew 5:8

Purity is not innocence, it is much more. Purity is the outcome of sustained spiritual sympathy with God. We have to grow in purity. The life with God may be right and the inner purity remain unsullied, and yet every now and again the bloom on the outside may be sullied. God does not shield us from this possibility, because in this way we realize the necessity of maintaining the vision by personal purity. If the spiritual bloom of our life with God is getting impaired in the tiniest degree, we must leave off everything and get it put right. Remember that vision depends on character – the pure in heart see God.

God makes us pure by His sovereign grace, but we have something to look after, this bodily life by which we come in contact with other people and with other points of view, it is these that are apt to sully. Not only must the inner sanctuary be kept right with God, but the outer courts as well are to be brought into perfect accord with the purity God gives us by His grace. The spiritual understanding is blurred immediately the outer court is sullied. If we are going to retain personal contact with the Lord Jesus Christ, it will mean there are some things we must scorn to do or to think, some legitimate things we must scorn to touch.

A practical way of keeping personal purity unsullied in relation to other people is to say to yourself – That man, that woman, perfect in Christ Jesus! That friend, that relative, perfect in Christ Jesus!