Archive for September, 2005

Go Away

I’m a little upset right now. This is the second day in a row that I’ve been getting comment spam from the same spammer. Everything is loan related, so “loan” went into the blacklist.

The problem is that any word with the letters l-o-a-n in them, in that order, will trip the filter and the comment will be tossed into the abyss.

Fortunately for us all, I don’t get many legitimate comments, so this isn’t likely to affect anyone.

Calling Out the RINO

I haven’t been keeping up on Ann Coulter’s columns lately, but I am please to see that she isn’t drinking the Republican Party Kool-Aid.

Why is it that Republicans love George Bush again?

The Commission of the Call

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

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake. – Colossians 1:24

We make calls out of our own spiritual consecration, but when we get right with God He brushes all these aside, and rivets us with a pain that is terrific to one thing we never dreamed of, and for one radiant, flashing moment we see what He is after, and we say- “Here am I, send me.?

This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. God can never make us wine if we object to the fingers He uses to crush us with. If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way! But when He uses someone whom we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, and makes those the crushers, we object. We must never choose the scene of our own martyrdom. If ever we are going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed; you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.

I wonder what kind of finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you, and you have been like a marble and escaped? You are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you, the wine would have been remarkably bitter. To be a sacramental personality means that the elements of the natural life are presenced by God as they are broken providentially in His service. We have to be adjusted to God before we can be broken bread in His hands. Keep right with God and let Him do what He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children.

No More Reason to Criticize

Israel, after decades of terrorist attacks on it’s soil, has been building a security wall around its territories for the past few years. It has been very successful at keeping those who would murder Israelis from entering Israel.

Much of the world has condemned Israel for such a basic move of national security. One country that has expressed it’s opinion is Spain

[T]he construction of the wall was counter-productive to the building of trust between the parties in the Middle East conflict. It would also change the situation on the ground, something that Spain was against, and would have adverse implications under humanitarian law. Nothing could justify terrorism, but the construction of the wall on Palestinian land was illegal and harmful to the peace process.

But now it seems that Spain has turned out to be a pot calling the kettle black. Spain has been increasing the size of security walls around strongholds they hold in Morocco in an attempt to keep African and Arab immigrants from illegally crossing into Spanish territory.

I won’t hold my breath waiting for Spain to apologize to Israel, and begin to support the Israelis in their anti-terrorism efforts.

If You Have A Minute

I just added some code to my .htaccess file on my Apache server in an attempt to fight comment spam, in addition to the measures I’ve already taken so far.

When I tried a similar measure just a few days ago, I cut off all access to the blog entirely. Seemed like overkill, so I backed off that one.

So if you have a minute (hey, you had 20 seconds to read this, didn’t you?) could you leave a comment on this post to make sure this code doesn’t block legitimate comments? You’ll know it screwed up if something really weird happens. If you post something and it just doesn’t show up, your comment went to moderation. I’ll approve anything that isn’t trying to sell viagra or student loan refinancing.

If you get something strange, please email me at blogcomments at echozoe dot com. (clickable link in the right-side menu bar).

Thanks!

EDIT: Seems that it didn’t help the comment spam. I just got a notification of a comment for loan calculations that it didn’t block. Oh well, at least it went to moderation.

The Consciousness of the Call

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

For necessity is laid upon me: yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! – I Corinthians 9:16

We are apt to forget the mystical, supernatural touch of God. If you can tell where you got the call of God and all about it, I question whether you have ever had a call. The call of God does not come like that, it is much more supernatural. The realization of it in a man’s life may come with a sudden thunder-clap or with a gradual dawning, but in whatever way it comes, it comes with the undercurrent of the supernatural, something that cannot be put into words, it is always accompanied with a glow. At any moment there may break the sudden consciousness of this incalculable, supernatural, surprising call that has taken hold of your life-“I have chosen you.? The call of God has nothing to do with salvation and sanctification. It is not because you are sanctified that you are therefore called to preach the gospel; the call to preach the gospel is infinitely different. Paul describes it as a necessity laid upon him.

If you have been obliterating the great supernatural call of God in your life, take a review of your circumstances and see where God has not been first, but your ideas of service, or your temperamental abilities. Paul said-“Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!? He had realized the call of God, and there was no competitor for his strength.

If a man or woman is called of God, it does not matter how untoward circumstances are, every force that has been at work will tell for God’s purpose in the end. If you agree with God’s purpose He will bring not only your conscious life, but all the deeper regions of your life which you cannot get at, into harmony.

The “Go? of Unconditional Identification

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

One thing thou lackest. . . . come, take up the cross, and follow Me. – Mark 10:21

The rich young ruler had the master passion to be perfect. When he saw Jesus Christ, he wanted to be like Him. Our Lord never puts personal holiness to the fore when He calls a disciple; He puts absolute annihilation of my right to myself and identification with Himself-a relationship with Himself in which there is no other relationship. Luke 14:26 has nothing to do with salvation or sanctification, but with unconditional identification with Jesus Christ. Very few of us know the absolute “go? of abandonment to Jesus.

“Then Jesus beholding him loved him.? The look of Jesus will mean a heart broken for ever from allegiance to any other person or thing. Has Jesus ever looked at you? The look of Jesus transforms and transfixes. Where you are ‘soft’ with God is where the Lord has looked at you. If you are hard and vindictive, insistent on your own way, certain that the other person is more likely to be in the wrong than you are, it is an indication that there are whole tracts of your nature that have never been transformed by His gaze.

“One thing thou lackest. . .? The only ‘good thing’ from Jesus Christ’s point of view is union with Himself and nothing in between.

“Sell whatsoever thou hast. . .? I must reduce myself until I am a mere conscious man, I must fundamentally renounce possessions of all kinds, not to save my soul, (only one thing saves a man- absolute reliance upon Jesus Christ) but in order to follow Jesus. “Come, and follow Me.? And the road is the way He went.

The “Go? of Renunciation

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

Lord, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest. – Luke 9:57

Our Lord’s attitude to this man is one of severe discouragement because He knew what was in man. We would have said-‘Fancy losing the opportunity of winning that man!’ ‘Fancy bringing about a north wind that froze him and turned him away discouraged!’ Never apologize for your Lord. The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to hurt or offend. Jesus Christ has no tenderness whatever toward anything that is ultimately going to ruin a man in the service of God. Our Lord’s answers are based not on caprice, but on a knowledge of what is in man. If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you may be sure that there is something He wants to hurt to death.

v. 58. These words knock the heart out of serving Jesus Christ because it is pleasing to me. The rigour of rejection leaves nothing but my Lord, and myself, and a forlorn hope. ‘Let the hundredfold come or go, your lodestar must be your relationship to Me, and I have nowhere to lay My head.’

v. 59. This man did not want to disappoint Jesus, nor to hurt his father. We put sensitive loyalty to relatives in place of loyalty to Jesus Christ and Jesus has to take the last place. In a conflict of loyalty, obey Jesus Christ at all costs.

v. 61. The one who says-‘Yes, Lord, but . . .’ is the one who is fiercely ready, but never goes. This man had one or two reservations. The exacting call of Jesus Christ has no margin of good-byes, because good-bye, as it is often used, is pagan, not Christian. When once the call of God comes, begin to go and never stop going.

McMovie

After work today, I stopped by McDonalds to treat myself to a chocolate shake. As I did, I noticed their new movie rental machine. Pretty cool, $1/movie/night, all new releases.

My wife and I had to run an errand or two, and I mentioned to her that I saw this machine. She thought it was a bit strange (but cool), and wanted to see it. On the way home, we swung into the local McD’s so she could see for herself. As we got in there, we saw that they had a guy in to service the machine. He explained a little how it works, and showed me the inside, since it was already opened.

Before we left, he offered us a little tip. While checking out, it will ask if you have a promo/coupon code. Two codes that will give you free rentals are “happy” and “meal”. What’s cool is that it ties your rental to a credit card that you swipe, so as I understand it, you can get two free rentals for every credit card you use.

This is a somewhat limited thing. He said they have them all over the Twin Cities, and also mentioned St. Louis and Houston. They have 900 machines in McDonald’s restaraunts in total, and are putting in more all the time.

At $1/movie, I can see why Hollywood is crying about decreased theater ticket sales. I’d much rather sit in the privacy and relative quiet of my own home than go to a theater that charges $8 with a tall guy sitting in front of me and a kid kicking my seat behind me, along with cell phones ringing and sticky floors, while being charges $4 for a Coke and $3 for a box of Dots.

The Unblameable Attitude

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

If. . . thou rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee . . . – Mat_5:23

If when you come to the altar, there you remember that your brother has anything against you, not-If you rake up something by a morbid sensitiveness, but-“If thou rememberest,? that is, it is brought to your conscious mind by the Spirit of God: “first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.? Never object to the intense sensitiveness of the Spirit of God in you when He is educating you down to the scruple.

“First be reconciled to thy brother. . .? Our Lord’s direction is simple-“first be reconciled.? Go back the way you came, go the way indicated to you by the conviction given at the altar; have an attitude of mind and a temper of soul to the one who has something against you that makes reconciliation as natural as breathing. Jesus does not mention the other person, He says-you go. There is no question of your rights. The stamp of the saint is that he can waive his own rights and obey the Lord Jesus.

“And then come and offer thy gift.? The process is clearly marked. First, the heroic spirit of self-sacrifice, then the sudden checking by the sensitiveness of the Holy Spirit, and the stoppage at the point of conviction; then the way of obedience to the word of God, constructing an unblameable attitude of mind and temper to the one with whom you have been in the wrong; then the glad, simple, unhindered offering of your gift to God.