Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm Off to Zambia

I'll be leaving for the airport shortly. Heading up to London, then down to Lusaka, Zambia.

I'll try to provide some updates on my missions blog --

I'll be teaching Apologetics and NT Theology at Trans-Africa Theological College in Kitwe, Zambia.

Please pray for me that God will open a wide door for presentation of the gospel and that the grace of God would prevail.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Improving on the Lord's Prayer

The Ontario Legislature has used the Lord's Prayer since who-knows-when. Ontario's present leader, Dalton McGuinty, who is a professing Roman Catholic, wants to get with the times: "I've asked for a parliamentary committee, with representation from each of the parties and the Speaker's involvement as well, to take a look at how we can move beyond the Lord's Prayer to a broader approach that is more inclusive in nature."

Move beyond the Lord's prayer. Think about that. Move beyond the prayer that the Lord Jesus, Lord of heaven and earth, gave his disciples. Move to a broader approach.

He wants "broader"? How about this:

"Dear God, whomever (or whatever) You may be: bless us as we reject the narrow way announced by your (alleged) Son to pursue the broad and easy way of believing "whatever". Not in Christ's name we pray, Amen.

That should do it.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

The Run-Up To Easter

We've come to expect faith-negating articles and exposes on the run-up to Easter. You can usually count on the CBC to come up with something. Last year it was Tom Harpur's The Pagan Christ. ( I'm still waiting for their expose on Mohammed.)

Wonder what they'll come up with this year?

Meanwhile, to get the holy season rolling, over at the BBC, an article assuring us that the Crucifixion really wasn't that bad:

Re-Branding Lent

You can file this one under, "the world gets crazier by the day".

Dutch Catholics have a terrific idea for bringing peace on earth and promoting good will among men. They want to re-brand Lent as "Christian Ramadan".

I can't quite figure out if it's to appease Muslims or encourage lax Catholics to be more observant, i.e., more like Muslims.

The triumph of Islam is inevitable if Christians are just going to lay down and hand over Western culture to Muslims.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The end of a love affair

My love affair with Canada's National Post is over.

It began the morning it hit the streets -- Conrad Black's newest creation contained an astonishing array of brilliant articles. Mark Steyn. Barbara Kay. Christie Blatchford.

Over the years Steyn went. Blatchford went.

At some point the paper was sold to the Liberal Aspers.

In past years I've noticed a leftward drift in this paper that many people still view as rabidly right-wing.

They came out in favour of same-sex marriage. And yet they are still considered right-wing in Canada!

More recently, they are in the habit of using the amoral term "sex-worker" for prostitute. Like it or not, human sexuality has a moral dimension. It is not helpful to ignore this. And yet they are still considered a right-wing paper!

The nail in the coffin was Saturday's Sex and Love Issue. Every section, including the Financial Post, was saturated with coverage of so-called Love and Sex. But it wasn't about Love. Love is caring for a failing-health spouse in his or her final years. Love is sacrifice. Love is sticking with a partner when things gets sticky. It was about Sex. Loveless Sex. They carried articles on Swinging and Couples having sex with other couples. Another article was aboutPornography.

I skimmed over the headlines, read none of the contents, and said, "goodbye National Post".

The Love is gone.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Global Warming/Cooling: It Could Cost Us Double

The evidence continues to pour in that the planet is on the verge of a cooling cycle. Check this out:

You realize what this means, don't you?

If global cooling is a real threat, this means we have two crises on our hands.

We are going to have to combat global warming and global cooling AT THE SAME TIME!!!

We are going to have to buy Carbon Offsets, and then Carbon Offset Offsets to offset the carbon offsets.

This is going to cost us even more than we thought!!!

We need to put David Suzuki in charge of all of this NOW.

And let's put the unbelieving politicans in JAIL, as the David has suggested.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Return Roadtrip!™ Day Six: Ontari-ari-ario!

Auburn, Indiana - Toronto, Ontario

A nice breakfast at the superb LaQuinta in Auburn Indiana, and then on our way by 8:30 am.

Running low on gas again, so I pulled off the interstate and headed into Olivet, Michigan. A nice little town with no pay-at-the-pump so I had to actually go inside and pay for the gas and talk to the friendly attendant, who was likely the owner. Then across to the local cafe for a take-out coffee. The owner was on duty, reading the paper and listening to Johnny Cash. He said he likes to listen to the oldies on Sunday mornings.

It was a pleasant experience. I'm going to try to get off the Interstate and into a little town at least once each day on future journeys. We miss so much whizzing by on the Interstate.

Arrived in Port Huron for a final Bob Evans biscuits-and-gravy (no, boopchile, no catfish this trip!) and then crossed into Ontario. Homeward bound! I try to get the Garmin to show miles in kilometers so that the Garmin matches the road signage. Finally figured it out, and while I was at it changed from the voice of American Jill to British Guy and then finally decided to stay with American Jack. I'm pretty sure that American Jill was getting annoyed with me anyway. Did I detect a bit of an edge in her voice when she kept repeating, "Recalculating! Recalculating!"?!

I don't really like driving on Ontario's 400 series of highways. The posted speeds are two low, and the drivers do not drive in a flow; they are erratic, in-and-out. I don't like it. There were one or two harrowing moments. One guy made such a sharp lane change I thought he had lost control of his vehicle and was heading for the shoulder and beyond. Nope. He was just speeding and passing on the right and he just kept on going.

Arrived in Toronto at our condo at 5:05 pm. Journey's end! Robbie was very pleased to be "home", as we all are.

During the drive, we've been listening to Lee Strobel's The Case for the Real Jesus. He's got those Bill-Murray-Chicago-style flat vowels. How come Chicago has fat pizzas and flat vowels, has anyone ever pondered that?! I'm paying special attention to everything he says because of my upcoming teaching assignment in Zambia. More on that later.

Approximate distance travelled: 700 km.

Total distance: around 3800 km

Eight states and a province.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Return Roadtrip!™ Day Five: Land of Lincoln and NASCAR

Fenton, Missouri - Auburn, Indiana

Left the Drury Inn and Suites in Fenton, Missouri and hit the road at around 8:30 am. Took the St. Louis bypass and rounded St. Louis into Illinois. Through Illinois into Indiana. I remember that there's a Uno Chicago Grill in Indianapolis. I wonder if the Garmin Nuvi can help out? I select Food/Lodging and key in "Uno Chicago Grill". Bingo! There are two up the road in Indianapolis. I select one, and, presto!, up comes the address and telephone number! I use my Tracfone, call Uno's and put an order in -- say we'll be there in an hour. The Garmin directed us to Uno's and got it almost right, but I had to call to fine-tune exactly where they were located. The pizzas were waiting for us.

This... changes... everything. Imagine being able to find a restaurant from an in-car device, order ahead, select it, and it directs you to the restaurant -- how cool is that?!

Update on Day Three. I mentioned the bad weather and careful driving from New Mexico up to Tulsa, and the overturned fire truck in Amarillo. Turns out the fire truck was part of a 40-car pileup, with one fatality. I had noticed big rigs had exited I-40 and were parked on secondary roads and wondered about that -- turns out I-40 eastbound had been closed. It must have opened just as we drove into town because there was a sign saying it was closed ahead, but it wasn't.

We thank the Lord for protecting us.

We are staying tonight at the LaQuinta in Auburn, Indiana, using a coupon.

Love the coupons!

Approx. distance travelled: 650 km.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Return Roadtrip!™ Day Four: More Throwed Rolls

Tulsa, Oklahoma - Fenton, Missouri

We stayed at the La Quinta in Tulsa. It's in better shape than the Baymont. After breakfast, we loaded the car and headed out of town. We travelled up toll-road I-44 and stopped at a McDonalds that straddles east-bound and west-bound I-44. Then to the Missouri border, Joplin, Springfield, and across Hwy 360 to Ozark Missouri and Lambert's -- Home of the Throwed Rolls. Can't get enough of the throwed rolls, the huge portions, and the continuous offer of "fixin's" from circulating staff at Lambert's.

From Ozark back up to I-44 and on past Lebanon, Rolla, Cuba, and Sullivan to Fenton.

We are staying once again at the Drury Inn and Suites at exit 272. The Drury Inn is really growing on us. We feel it's the best value of all the places we've stayed at. We should try to make it more of a habit.

An easy, sunny day's drive. We're planning on eating at the Bob Evan's right beside the Drury Inn.

Approx. distance travelled: 600 km.

Return Roadtrip!™ Day Three: "You Can't Beat Old"

Tucumcari, New Mexico - Tulsa, Oklahoma

We woke to thick fluffy snow on the car. If the snow had been pancakes, they would have been delicious! We overheard breakfast conversations about car accidents, fatalities, and highway closures. So, when we hit the road, we were alert and careful.

It was a two-hands-and-two-eyes on the road kind of day.

Driving through Amarillo, we saw a full-size fire truck at the side of the road. Wheels up. We figure it may have been heading to some kind of early morning emergency call, and "lost it". East of Oklahoma City, we saw two wrecked cars. It looked as if one had run into the other. Everybody, slow down! (And what's with the cars and trucks that don't have their lights on in bad weather, hello, knock-knock!

Gotta tell you about something that happened on day two. At one point on our drive through New Mexico, I noticed that trucks ahead of us were spitting up stones that were flying up and hitting us. Usually when this happens I look to see what kind of cargo they are carrying. In this case, I couldn't see any kind of "leakage". So we soldiered on. A few miles later, we saw a U-Haul truck travelling on the paved side of the road, and going slowly. As we drove by it, it spray a huge amount of stones, stones that were where they should be, at the side of the road and out of the way of traffic. I shouted out something that I think perhaps was not entirely sanctified. Here this poor soul probably thought that he was doing us all a favour, when in fact he was wrecking our paint jobs.

And, as it turns out, our windshields. I noticed today we now have an unintended souvenir of our return trip -- a chip in our windshield.

There's a moral there about unintentional sin, how it is inevitable as we go about our daily life on earth. Grabbing the parking spot that someone else had their eye on, running over someone's foot with the supermarket cart, that sort of thing. But, I'm on the road and don't have time to develop the sermon. Suffice it to say, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us".

We arrived in Tulsa, windshield chip and all, and hooked-up with our old friends Jeff and Gail Monroe, from Tulsa and ORU (Oral Roberts University) days. When it comes to friends, you can't beat old!

So, here's to friends, old and new, including those I have met over the internet as a result of this blog.

Approximate distance (safely) travelled: 800 km.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"