Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fearless Predictions For 2012

Gian Lorenzo Bernini - Dove of the Holy Spirit...                           Image via Wikipedia
1. The Bible will continue to contain all the answers to the world's problems.

2. Prayer will still be the most powerful thing on earth.

3. The Holy Spirit will still be moving over the earth and among God's people.

4. God will still honor His promises to His people.

5. Faithful people will still suffer persecution for righteousness' sake and their faithful witness to Christ.

6. God's people will still sing praises to God.

7. God will still provide room at His cross for drowning men who seek Him.

8. God's people will still receive God's blessings in abundance.

9. Jesus will still love you.

10. We will be one year closer to the coming of the Lord.

"The Word of the Lord endures forever." I Peter 1:25.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011 From Boko Haram

Countries in which Islamist terrorist attacks ...
Countries in which Islamist terrorist attacks have occurred on or after September 11, 2001.Image via Wikipedia
The Nigerian 2011 Christmas Day massacre.
The Boko Haram Islamist sect, which aims to impose sharia law across Africa’s most populous country, claimed responsibility for three church bombings, the second Christmas in a row it has caused carnage at Christian houses of worship.
Meanwhile, over at Macleans they are bravely taking on Christian fundamentalists who have apparently squashed a Muslim TV show in the US. I posted the following comment:

"carping", "pandering", "zealots", "fanaticism"? Comes across as cheap bigotry rather than reasoned argument.
Plus it seems a bit insensitive of Macleans to have this still posted on a day -- Christmas Day no less -- when Muslim extremists have freshly massacred 39 Christians.
Which got me the following response: "Christians have been massacring Muslims on Christmas Day for a long time...also during Ramadan, Eid and the Haj."

Christmas marks the entry of God into fallen creation. It is book-ended by the cross, where the Son of God took evil's best shot and rose victorious over it. So, come on, militant Islam and Christian-haters, give us your best shot -- our victory in Christ is guaranteed. Death is swallowed up in victory. Evil's days are numbered. The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And he shall reign forever and ever.

Those who love Christ affirm the truth of the resurrection; those who hate him, the truth of the cross. God has come and done something and there's nothing you can do about it and even your unbelief and enmity testifies to God's truth.

So merry joy-to-the-world Christmas to all, including those who hate Christ, Christmas, and Christians.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Caledonia Verdict: Justice, Canadian-Style

An attempt at a discrimination graphic.
Image via Wikipedia
Native attacker gets reduced sentence for ‘vicious’ Caledonia assault.

"CAYUGA, Ont. — For beating a non-native builder to within an inch of his life during the fiery native occupation in nearby Caledonia, a young aboriginal man was sentenced to less than two years in jail, plus time served – a punishment that leaves the victim’s family demanding an inquiry into how the courts treat First Nations offenders."
Some Canadians are more equal -- a lot more equal -- than others.

Question: If a native whacks another native does he a) get a reduced sentence because he's a native, or b) get charged extra -- with a hate crime -- because he whacked a native?

In Canada, the soft racism of diminished expectation is alive and well.

My ancestors lived through the Irish potato famines. Does this buy me anything?

Christmas Countdown: Christmas Myths From Paul Copan

Myths, and mythunderstandings, that is.

Here’s a true-false quiz:

1. Mary and Joseph had to travel as quickly as possible to Bethlehem because Mary could have given birth at any moment.

2. The Bethlehem innkeeper was fully booked, and so Mary had to give birth to Jesus in the barn/stall nearby/behind the inn.

3. Initially, this experience must have been frightening and lonely for Mary and Joseph.

4. “The little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.”

5. The angels who appeared to the shepherds had wings.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Breaking: Soccer Goalie Kicks Fan: NDP Demand Foot Registry

Question Period (TV series)
Image via Wikipedia
A Dutch soccer goalie landed some effective kicks at a drunken fan who had charged the field and attacked him.

The NDP, viewing the video during a Question Period time-out, were outraged at the assault of this soccer field Occupier and stormed the Canadian legislature demanding the immediate institution of a Foot Registry.

Estimated cost, based on past cost estimates for similar endeavours, is not expected to exceed two million dollars.

The nation's pundits were abuzz. Will this give the NDP a leg-up on the ruling Conservatives, or will PM Harper put his foot down, telling them they don't have a leg to stand on?

The best video of the event is at the 2:40 minute mark. Put the video on, go grab a coffee, and come back for it.

Original news link here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Urgent Canadian Etiquette Question of the Day

If the FedEx guy tosses your package over the fence into your yard, do you still have to tip him?

Another Urgent Canadian Etiquette Question brought to you by the friendly folks at the Ball Bounces.

How December 25 Became Christmas

A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...                                         Image via Wikipedia
How December 25 Became Christmas -- it's perhaps not what you think.
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Flash: Educator Arrested For Hash (Brown) !!!

English: Hashbrown potato patty This image was...
Image via Wikipedia
The flying McDonald's hash brown is at the 33 second mark.

It's enough to give the title "Educator" a bad name.

Now That Jong's Dead, Who Is The Worst Person On The Planet?

English: Kim Jong-il Русский: Ким Чен Ир 日本語: ...
Image via Wikipedia
North Korea's Kim Jong Il Dies at 69.

Ding Dong, K-Jong Is Dead

What a wretched man -- he brought misery to millions.  Was he the worst man alive? Is there anyone else on the planet who has done more to bring misery, starvation, and death to more people? Mugabe, maybe?

What do you think? Now that Jong's been gonged, who is the worst human being on the planet?

(Leftist votes for George W. Bush who cruelly shovelled hundreds of millions of US dollars towards the AIDS epidemic will not count.)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Psalm 18: "In my distress I called upon the Lord"

St. Alban's English Church, Copenhagen, Denmar...
Image via Wikipedia
 Psalm 18

 1I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

 2The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

 3I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

 4The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.

 5The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

 6In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

 7Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

 8There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

 9He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

 10And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

 11He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

 12At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.

 13The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.

 14Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.

 15Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

 16He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.

 17He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

 18They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.

 19He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

 20The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

 21For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

 22For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.

 23I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.

 24Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.

 25With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;

 26With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

 27For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.

 28For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

 29For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

 30As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

 31For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?

 32It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

 33He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

 34He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

 35Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

 36Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.

 37I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.

 38I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.

 39For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

 40Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

 41They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.

 42Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

 43Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.

 44As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.

 45The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.

 46The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

 47It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.

 48He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

 49Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

 50Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

Now for the Ball Bounces erudite commentary: wow!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Canadian Immigrants Want Their Money Back

Map of Prince Edward Island
Image via Wikipedia
"The program... has floundered in the three Maritime provinces under the weight of political scandals sparked by scathing auditor-general’s reports, RCMP investigations, lawsuits, allegations of bribes and corruption and, in Prince Edward Island, a protest by Chinese immigrants who stormed the provincial legislature demanding their money back."

Money back? We all want our money back.

Welcome to Canada.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Trying To Make A Driving Complaint With The Toronto Police

Logo of The City of Toronto
Image via Wikipedia
Let me be clear. I have the highest respect and admiration for front-line Toronto police and Canadian police in general who daily put their lives on the line to protect us.

OK. Here's my minor brush with "the law".

I'm trying to make a driving complaint to the Toronto police. Trucks and/or cars have been mounting the curb and driving along a sidewalk and grass at Byng/Kenneth Avenue in North York.

I caught a guy in a black pick-up doing it Tuesday.

Today I logged on to the Toronto Police website and accessed the Driving Complaint screen. Got about 20 minutes into this when, near the end of the whole thing, it asked for perp vehicle identification information. It was a full-size black truck. I got the license plate number. You would think that would be enough, right? Wrong. The site demands that I enter the Make. Frustrated, I finally enter GMC as a guess. Then it demands that I enter the Model. Without Make and Model, it will not allow you to enter a complaint.

Apparently it's a new system. Had many complaints registered yet, boys? Did you do any testing on the system before you went live?

I phoned the number associated with the screen to seek website assistance. All the person I got could do was tell me she knew nothing about the website, didn't know who I could talk to about the website, and suggested I go into the police station and report the driving complaint directly.

I told her I had tried by phone and they weren't interested. What I didn't tell her was this: t got passed along the police chain twice. The third person I spoke to told me to call 311 and report it to the City of Toronto. Which I did. The next day I got a call from the city of Toronto saying they'd had a swing by and determined it was not their problem, they were passing it off to the transportation dept.

Meanwhile there's some guy in a black truck out there wilfully destroying city property. And somewhere inside the Toronto Police Dept. there's some guy reporting on the successful implementation of a new online citizen reporting system.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Psalm 17: All I want is to see you as you are

King David, Russian icon from first quarter of...
Image via Wikipedia

Psalm 17

(A prayer by David.)
   The Prayer of an Innocent Person 1I am innocent, LORD!
   Won't you listen as I pray
   and beg for help?
   I am honest!
   Please hear my prayer.

    2Only you can say
   that I am innocent,
   because only your eyes
   can see the truth.

    3You know my heart,
   and even during the night
   you have tested me
   and found me innocent.
   I have made up my mind
   never to tell a lie.

    4I don't do like others.
   I obey your teachings
   and am not cruel.

    5I have followed you,
   without ever stumbling.

    6I pray to you, God,
   because you will help me.
   Listen and answer my prayer!

    7Show your wonderful love.
   Your mighty arm protects those
   who run to you
   for safety
   from their enemies.

    8Protect me as you would
   your very own eyes;
   hide me in the shadow
   of your wings.

    9Don't let my brutal enemies
   attack from all sides
   and kill me.

    10They refuse to show mercy,
   and they keep bragging.

    11They have caught up with me!
   My enemies are everywhere,
   eagerly hoping to smear me
   in the dirt.

    12They are like hungry lions
   hunting for food,
   or like young lions
   hiding in ambush.

    13Do something, LORD!
   Attack and defeat them.
   Take your sword and save me
   from those evil people.

    14Use your powerful arm
   and rescue me
   from the hands of mere humans
   whose world won't last. [a] You provide food
   for those you love.
   Their children have plenty,
   and their grandchildren
   will have more than enough.

    15I am innocent, LORD,
   and I will see your face!
   When I awake, all I want
   is to see you as you are.

Jesus said, "he who has seen me has seen the Father".

Have a good Sunday. Do something different. Ditch work and worry. Play with the kids. Notice nature. Give thanks. Be grateful.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Swiss Chalet's Festive Special... I do the math

The current logo of Swiss Chalet
Image via Wikipedia
Swiss Chalet's festivized quarter chicken white costs about $4.00 more than the unfestive version -- about $18.00 all-in. It comes with soggy dressing and decent cranberries. I always fill out the receipt survey from the previous visit, so I get a $4.00 chicken soup appetizer at no charge. That knocks $4.00 off. You get six chocolates, worth maybe $4.00. Plus, you get a $5.00 Indigo Kids coupon. I use the coupon to get $6.00 worth of kids' toy cars for $1.00. So... $18.00 minus $13.00 is... $5 bucks.

But, the festivized chicken special also comes with a two-for-one coupon on the inside lid of the candy box -- ostensibly worth another $10 or so, but you have to buy two drinks to get it, so lets make it worth $5.00.

I'm eating and drinking for free!

That's great, but doesn't Swiss Chalet realize calling it their Festive Special offends all of us who don't celebrate Festivus? Where's their sensitivity? They dropped Christmas for Festivus??!!

And that's the way the festivized Ball bounces.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Ontario School Replaces Christmas With Multiculturally-Friendly Mush

christmas paint
Image by cassie_bedfordgolf via Flickr
Parents’ anger as Ontario school replaces Christmas concert with non-denominational February fest.

A country that is ashamed of its culture -- a culture upon which its freedoms and laws and institutions historically rest -- deserves to be taken out or over.

Still, in the best tradition of Canadian artistic creativity (except for the no-government-grants bit) I've written a theme song for the great new winterfestivus for the restofus:

Hey, it's that meh time of year
With it's Feb-ru-ary cheer
It may not be May, but it's certainly meh
It's the time between Christmas and Easter you-know-whats
We'd mention the two-of-'em, but we ain't got the guts...

It's a most, it's a most, it's a most meh-time-of-year!!!

Our new motto: "To make sure we're inclusive we exclude everything!"™

Or, maybe,

Canada. Whatever.™

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Oh, This Is Beautiful...

English: Québec Province within Canada. Españo...
Image via Wikipedia

Quebec's $7-a-day daycare program faces corruption probe.

Oh, this is beautiful.

Two of Quebec's distinguishing characteristics in one headline. The vaunted $7/day daycare -- held up as an exemplary model of socialist Quebec and made possible because the rest of Canada shovels, what is it, seven or eight billion dollars a year in eternal subsidies Quebec's way while Quebec is up to its eyeballs in debt.

Plus, of course, world-class corruption.

Why Quebec puffs itself up and thinks it's something special is beyond me.

It's honest, tax-paying working stiffs who first pay their own way and then the way of others that make Canada great -- not the loads and loads of movers and takers.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

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