Sunday, September 17, 2006

After our church, Westminster, "did" Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life" program, I responded to that torture by writing Warren a one-star review on What discredited the book for me was Warren's assertion that his Saddleback Church was the chosen venue of worship for a number of CEOs whose God-given purpose in life was to become rich, where they could do their part for the Lord's kingdom by writing checks. Gathering excessive wealth for one's self (while the people at the bottom end of the ladder in their company struggle to make ends meet) is greedy. The writing of checks is not DOING God's work, it's FUNDING God's work.

TIME magazine ran an article this week on what is now called "Prosperity" teaching: that God wants me to be rich, a message touted by preachers a la Joel Osteen, who has his name boldly emblazoned on the front of Lakewood Church. As you can guess, I don't subscribe to this materialistic blasphemy. God doesn't bestow luxury on us just because we want it. It's about what GOD wants, folks. As Jesus said, "The poor will always be with us." If we're all writing checks, who's going to take care of the DOING?

Much to my surprise, TIME quotes Warren opposing the prosperity movement. I still think his book is repetitive, boring, and ineffective, but I give the Reverend credit for choosing the right side on this one.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I signed up at this thing called Reader Views. They send you a few pages of a book each day for a week, so you can try books you wouldn't see otherwise.

Last week they sent me a book titled "Avengers." The first two days of it were intriguing: a cruise ship rescues two half-starved, dehydrated people found standed on an undamaged boat. There is something mysterious about the couple.

Then, on the third day, I realize the full title is "Necroscope: Avengers." The couple turn out to be vampires. The quality of the writing dives from golden to garbage. Gross violence is an understatement. What I learn is that vampires can do anything except sunbathe. They are infinitely strong, infinitely smart, infinitely skilled, infinitely disguise-able, and infinitely invincible (which makes them infinitely un-believable). Therefore, it is a foregone conclusion that when vampire vs. man, vampire wins. What else is there to say in such a book? What kind of person salivates over the endless gory details to follow? I've read a few of these books before. They are very pro-vampire. It's as though the authors aspire to be one!

Vampire novels have about as much redeeming social value as kiddie porn. And yet there are fans of this genre. I know some that fritter their nights away on role-playing games about this stuff. Full-grown adults, no less.

Hey vampire wannabes: that flashing thing in the mirror is your idiot light.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


So "Violent Night" receives a not-so-glowing review from Jason at Atlantic Book Review. He says the conversations between the members of the Temple Shadows Youth Group are far from realistic. So far from reality, in fact, to be overwhelmingly annoying!

Of course, I know most of you who read the book will disagree. Jason's observations don't upset me, but my curiosity burns: what reality is Jason living in? Are my youth unrealistic because they don't have potty-mouths? Is this evidence of a cultural or regional difference? Could this attitude be borne from liberal (blue state) bias?

Read his review while washing your hair, because it's a real head-scratcher. Your scalp will never be cleaner.

To those teenagers who were involved in the editing process for "Violent Night": You are out of date according to Jason at Atlantic Book Review.

We could always send Buster over there to learn him somethin' 'bout Texas teenagers...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

We were on our way to church this morning, innocently, when one of our passengers exclaimed, "Wow! There's a hurricane coming!"

At first I couldn't imagine what this observation could possibly be based upon. I did know that a poorly organized tropical depression might become the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season today, and might be named Alberto. Might. Then I saw what they were looking at. In the newsstand next to the bus stop were several newspapers with a front-page photo of a mature hurricane--a Cat 5 with a perfect eye.

Albert? No, it was a picture of Wilma from the 2005 season.

Why do you suppose they put a picture of Wilma on there instead of Albert? Probably because Albert isn't very impressive. He doesn't even look like a tropical storm in the satellite photos.

We live in the time of Chicken Little, where everything is a crisis, whether the actual facts bear that out or not. If there's a forest fire, it's global warming. If there's a blizzard... you guessed it... Global warming. If there is a major hurricane, even though we are in a natural active period for hurricanes... Global warming.

The emissions from my car cause global warming. The emissions from Al Gore's private jet do not.

I saw the same picture of Wilma on the news last night. (Wilma is history. Honest! I can remember 2005.) I also learned that there is a child predator on every block. Hey, do I exaggerate? Isn't showing a picture of Wilma when one is talking about a piss-ant tropical depression an exaggeration too?

This brings to mind a different time, early in the 20th century, when forecasters refused to call the 1900 storm that swept through Galveston a hurricane; how cavalier officials were about the icebergs prowling the North Atlantic when they declared the Titanic to be unsinkable.

What a difference there is between the time of denial and the time of never-ending crisis.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The other day I visited a public school. I was surprised to see a number of the classrooms being used for karate instruction, despite the fact that it is religion to some people. I suppose the students get P.E. credit for taking it.

I know more than a few young people whose parents spent $$$ on karate. If I ask them why they learn karate, the answer is often "so I don't have to use it." Huh? The second most common answer is "to build self-esteem."

I have observed many teenagers in the current crop (the generation not officially named yet) who have way too much self-esteem to begin with. I'll call them the Spoiled Generation. What they really need is a good a$$ kicking by someone who took boxing. Then they will think twice before using their karate.

Remember that whatever your techique is for defending yourself and your loved ones, Force still equals Mass times Acceleration. Don't kid yourself into believing a P.C. sport offers more than an ego boost. Evil is aggresive, focused, strong. And doesn't have to play by your rules.

Walk into the valley of the shadow of death with Faith and the Word instead.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


So here it's almost midnight on 6-6-06 and I'm still waiting for the world to end. Was that what it's supposed to do? Oh. Right. This is the day the Antichrist is born. Or is it the Beast? What is the difference between the Antichrist and the Beast?

If I were going to pick such a day based on numerology, I guess I'd go with June 6, 1966. The Antichrist, or the Beast, would be 40 years old- a Biblical number- today. Happy Birthday.

My sarcasm is intentional. I don't believe in numerology any more than I believe the so-called "Holy Grail" protected by the Da Vinci Code would threaten the faith of Christians... Because Christianity isn't about that. The best theory I have read is that Israel represents the "fig tree" in prophecy, and that the "fig tree" put forth its leaves in 1967 and further in 1973. The number 40 is prevalent in the Bible: 40 days it rained in Noah's flood, 40 years the Israelites wandered in the desert, etc. Following that logic, if you're a believer in numerology, ignore what Christ said about no one knowing the day or the hour of his coming and leave the porch light on in 2007 or 2013.

The important question is: How old will the Antichrist be when Jesus returns for the Rapture?