Archive for January, 2005

Still Time

Of the GMail invitations I posted on Friday, only 9 of the 30 have been used.

Just a heads-up for anyone who may want a GMail account. See Friday’s post below if interested.

Will it Last?

The Conservative media is buzzing today about the elections yesterday in Iraq. I’m happy for Iraq that they are now able to select their own leader, rather than being ruled by the guy who has the most guns. I’m skeptical, however that it will last. Turkey, the only “democracy” in the Muslim world, has shown that the only way Islam and “democracy” work together is if the military ensures that Islam will not vote democracy out of existence. Left to itself, Muslims will always vote in a tyrant.

I should note that, in all fairness to Islam, all democracies eventually vote in tyrants. Democracy is not a stable form of government, it is only a transitional form of government. It usually is the intermediary between a free Republic (which the U.S. is supposed to be) and an oligarchy.

I predict that Iraq will quickly find itself in the position of being a dictatorship once again shortly after our troops pull out. The only way I see it remaining “free”, is if our troops never pull out.

I hope I’m wrong.

Do You See Your Calling?

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

Separated unto the Gospel. – Romans 1:1

Our calling is not primarily to be holy men and women, but to be proclaimers of the Gospel of God. The one thing that is all important is that the Gospel of God should be realized as the abiding Reality. Reality is not human goodness, nor holiness, nor heaven, nor hell, but Redemption; and the need to perceive this is the most vital need of the Christian worker to-day. As workers we have to get used to the revelation that Redemption is the only Reality. Personal holiness is an effect, not a cause, and if we place our faith in human goodness, in the effect of Redemption, we shall go under when the test comes.

Paul did not say he separated himself, but-“when it pleased God who separated me . . . .” Paul had not a hypersensitive interest in his own character. As long as our eyes are upon our own personal whiteness we shall never get near the reality of Redemption. Workers break down because their desire is for their own whiteness, and not for God. ‘Don’t ask me to come into contact with the rugged reality of Redemption on behalf of the filth of human life as it is; what I want is anything God can do for me to make me more desirable in my own eyes.’ To talk in that way is a sign that the reality of the Gospel of God has not begun to touch me; there is no reckless abandon to God. God cannot deliver me while my interest is merely in my own character. Paul is unconscious of himself, he is recklessly abandoned, separated by God for one purpose-to proclaim the Gospel of God (cf. Rom. 9:3).

But It Is Hardly Credible That One Could So Persecute Jesus!

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? – Acts 26:14

Am I set on my own way for God? We are never free from this snare until we are brought into the experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. Obstinacy and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set upon our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus. Every time we stand on our rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Jesus. Whenever we stand on our dignity we systematically vex and grieve His Spirit; and when the knowledge comes home that it is Jesus Whom we have been persecuting all the time, it is the most crushing revelation there could be.

Is the word of God tremendously keen to me as I hand it on to you, or does my life give the lie to the things I profess to teach? I may teach sanctification and yet exhibit the spirit of Satan, the spirit that persecutes Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Jesus is conscious of one thing only – a perfect oneness with the Father, and He says, “Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” All I do ought to be founded on a perfect oneness with Him, not on a self-willed determination to be godly. This will mean that I can be easily put upon, easily over-reached, easily ignored; but if I submit to it for His sake, I prevent Jesus Christ being persecuted.

Look Again and Think

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

Take no thought for your life. – Matthew 6:25

A warning which needs to be reiterated is that the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things entering in, will choke all that God puts in. We are never free from the recurring tides of this encroachment. If it does not come on the line of clothes and food, it will come on the line of money or lack of money; of friends or lack of friends; or on the line of difficult circumstances. It is one steady encroachment all the time, and unless we allow the Spirit of God to raise up the standard against it, these things will come in like a flood.

“Take no thought for your life.” ‘Be careful about one thing only,’ says our Lord-‘your relationship to Me.’ Common sense shouts loud and says-‘That is absurd, I must consider how I am going to live, I must consider what I am going to eat and drink.’ Jesus says you must not. Beware of allowing the thought that this statement is made by One Who does not understand our particular circumstances. Jesus Christ knows our circumstances better than we do, and He says we must not think about these things so as to make them the one concern of our life. Whenever there is competition, be sure that you put your relationship to God first.

“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” How much evil has begun to threaten you to-day? What kind of mean little imps have been looking in and saying-‘Now what are you going to do next month-this summer?’ ‘Be anxious for nothing,’ Jesus says. Look again and think. Keep your mind on the ‘much more’ of your Heavenly Father.

Military Humor

My uncle sent me these. Being a pilot-in-training, I found many of them to be especially humorous.

  • Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death ..I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing!
    – Sign over the entrance to the old SR-71 operating base Kadena, Japan.
  • You’ve never been lost until you’ve been lost at Mach 3.
    – Paul F. Crickmore, test pilot
  • The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire
  • Blue water Navy truism: There are more planes in the ocean than submarines in the sky.
    – From an old carrier sailor
  • If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it’s probably a helicopter — and therefore, unsafe
  • When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash.
  • Without ammunition, the USAF is just another expensive flying club.
  • What is the one similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots? If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; If ATC screws up, …the pilot dies.
  • Never trade luck for skill.
  • The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in aviation are:
    • “Why is it doing that?”
    • “Where are we?” and
    • “Aw Shit!”
  • Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers.
  • Progress in airline flying: now a flight attendant can get a pilot pregnant.
  • Airspeed, altitude and brains. Two are always needed to successfully complete the flight.
  • A smooth landing is mostly luck; two in a row is all luck; three in a row is prevarication.
  • I remember when sex was safe and flying was dangerous.
  • Mankind has a perfect record in aviation; we never left one up there!
  • Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in a flight bag for the purpose of storing dead batteries
  • Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it.
  • When a flight is proceeding incredibly well, something was forgotten. Just remember, if you crash because of weather, your funeral will be held on a sunny day.
  • Advice given to RAF pilots during WWII: When a prang (crash) seems inevitable, endeavor to strike the softest, cheapest object in the vicinity as slow and gently as possible.
  • The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; …it can just barely kill you.
    – Attributed to Max Stanley, Northrop test pilot.
  • A pilot who doesn’t have any fear probably isn’t flying his plane to its maximum.
    -Jon McBride, astronaut
  • If you’re faced with a forced landing, fly the thing as far into the crash as possible.
    – Bob Hoover – renowned aerobatic and test pilot
  • If an airplane is still in one piece, don’t cheat on it; ride the bugger down.
    – Ernest K. Gann, author & aviator.
  • Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver than you.
  • There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime.
    – Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, 1970.
  • If something hasn’t broken on your helicopter, it’s about to.
  • Basic Flying Rules: Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there.

Look Again and Consecrate

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

If God so clothe the grass of the field … shall He not much more clothe you? – Matthew 6:30

A simple statement of Jesus is always a puzzle to us if we are not simple. How are we going to be simple with the simplicity of Jesus? By receiving His Spirit, recognizing and relying on Him, obeying Him as He brings the word of God, and life will become amazingly simple. “Consider,” says Jesus, “how much more your Father Who clothes the grass of the field will clothe you, if you keep your relationship right with Him.” Every time we have gone back in spiritual communion it has been because we have impertinently known better than Jesus Christ. We have allowed the cares of the world to come in, and have forgotten the “much more” of our Heavenly Father.

“Behold the fowls of the air” – their main aim is to obey the principle of life that is in them and God looks after them. Jesus says that if you are rightly related to Him and obey His Spirit that is in you, God will look after your ‘feathers.’

“Consider the lilies of the field” – they grow where they are put. Many of us refuse to grow where we are put, consequently we take root nowhere. Jesus says that if we obey the life God has given us, He will look after all the other things. Has Jesus Christ told us a lie? If we are not experiencing the “much more,” it is because we are not obeying the life God has given us, we are taken up with confusing considerations. How much time have we taken up worrying God with questions when we should have been absolutely free to concentrate on His work? Consecration means the continual separating of myself to one particular thing. We cannot consecrate once and for all. Am I continually separating myself to consider God every day of my life?

Jesus and a Bar of Soap

Ron, over at Shanktified!, has this little gem that he posted last week:

Top Ten Reasons I Never Bathe:

  1. I was forced to as a child.
  2. People who bathe are hypocrites – they think they are cleaner than everybody else.
  3. There are so many different kinds of soap, I can’t decide which one is best.
  4. I used to bathe, but I got bored and stopped.
  5. I bathe only on special occasions, like Christmas and Easter.
  6. None of my friends bathe.
  7. I’ll start bathing when I get older and dirtier.
  8. I can’t spare the time.
  9. The bathroom is never warm enough in winter or cool enough in summer.
  10. People who make soap are only after your money.

Shazaam!!

I’ve instituted Google’s new rel=”nofollow” attribute for έχω ζωη. Now if spam gets through my filter and Google spiders me before I can delete it, It won’t improve the spammer’s search rating.

It won’t help stop spam right away, but it will take away the incentive to leave spam on blog comments as other bloggers jump on the bandwagon. Hopefully, as new versions of blog software come out and people upgrade, they’ll all have this attribute installed by default and comment spam will eventually dwindle to a trickle (I am not at all hopeful that it will disappear entirely.)

Thanks to The Flannel Avenger for pointing me in the right direction to get this easily installed.

Leave Room for God

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

But when it pleased God . . . . – Galatians 1:15

As workers for God we have to learn to make room for God- to give God ‘elbow room.’ We calculate and estimate, and say that this and that will happen, and we forget to make room for God to come in as He chooses. Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never looked for Him to come? Do not look for God to come in any particular way, but look for Him. That is the way to make room for Him. Expect Him to come, but do not expect Him only in a certain way. However much we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that at any minute He may break in. We are apt to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way. All of a sudden God meets the life-“When it was the good pleasure of God . . . .”

Keep your life so constant in its contact with God that His surprising power may break out on the right hand and on the left. Always be in a state of expectancy, and see that you leave room for God to come in as He likes.