MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Kent Hovind is in Trouble

July 31st, 2006 Viewed 1929 times

Kent HovindRegardless of your views on his message, what do you think of the latest problems that Kent Hovind finds himself? Having taken a vow of poverty– giving everything to the ministry– and labeling those that come and work at his Dinosaur Adventure Land as missionaries instead of employees, Dr. Hovind has run himself afoul of the IRS.

He is accused of failing to pay $473,818 in federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes for his workers between March 31, 2001, and January 31, 2004.

This is a weird position for a person to be in, with implications that are far beyond this one scenario.

The Best Learning Environment

July 31st, 2006 Viewed 1601 times

Where would you suppose is the best environment for a child to learn?

To some, it’s the public school– they can afford to have the best equipment, they have accredited teachers, and they push a lot of children through that seem to turn out all right.

Then there’s those that would say it’s the private/religious school– just look at their test scores, the fact that they can walk in neat lines, are well dressed, and get accepted to big name universities.

Beginning in my generation, there’s the option of homeschooling– there’s a variety of curriculum, you can do it via Internet or Satellite, field trips can be lots of fun, and they usually win those crazy geography/spelling bees.

No where on this list do you find “the forest,” and yet that is just where police found this man and his 12-year-old daughter. Mindclearer brings us the relevant snippets. Now granted, not every parent is going to be able to do for their child what this man did, but when the police found this girl she was well spoken beyond her years, clean, healthy, free of any signs of physical or sexual abuse, and had no cavities. When tested, the girl was found to have the equivalent of a 12th grade education, though she would be in the 7th grade.

The original article said they had to move to a trailer, though it doesn’t mention what schooling the girl is in now. One wonders how a person with a higher education level would fit in– perhaps the “experts” would say that she is not socialized enough since she couldn’t talk down to the kids her age’s level. They did say that the state is looking into getting her a college scholarship.

I was thinking along these lines just yesterday– not the go-into-the-woods and build-a-lean-to approach, but the concept of how the next generation’s leaders may be homeschooled children because of their education and that they think outside the box. There are a lot of cookie-cutter children out there, and with the advent of homeschooling, that isn’t something that has to be. Virtuous Blonde thought that if it got to be that way the state would just regulate it to death, but I think– by the rate that it’s growing– it would be hard to do!

There is coming a time where more and more parents are going to be wondering why Johnny and Susie aren’t as smart as their homeschooled next door neighbors, and they are going to really start complaining about the public school system. When that happens, watch out.

Is God Done With Israel?

July 31st, 2006 Viewed 2190 times

An interesting discussion was opened up over at Open Up regarding the place Israel had with God, what place it has now and what place it will have in the future.  This topic warrants more research than I could do for a comment over there (hopefully trackbacks will work!) and I didn’t think I could do the topic justice that way.  Why is this important?  Because what God thinks of Israel is important to how we view the nation and what we should think of it.

I Heart BeirutThe covenant relationship that God entered into with Israel began when Abraham left Ur of the Caldeans for a land he did not know.  Once, there, God tested Abraham, and when he passed it, God blessed Abraham saying that Abraham would have seed that could not be numbered, and that through his seed all of the earth would be blessed.

However, the number was not a guarantee.  If you skip ahead to Deuteronomy, you’ll see that there was the possibility for a curse if they did not follow after God. There was a promise in the following verses that if the children of Israel learned from their mistakes that God would restore them to the land.  So, we can conclude from this that God had a purpose, at this time, for having the children of Israel– but you could also say that the Earth was to be blessed because Jesus Christ came as a Jew– therefore the people had to exist until then, but they could be done after then.

And you would be making a good argument.   Since Israel as a nation chose to reject the God of their father’s and instead chose to crucify His Son, and Paul transitioned from teaching the Jews alone to also ministering to the Greeks, that God had decided to have a new chosen people.  Abraham, as you will recall, does mean “father of many nations” and there are many passages in the New Testament where Jesus says that He could raise sons of Abraham from stones, or that there is no difference between slave, free, woman, man, Greek or Jew in Christ– and you’d be right.  Does this mean that God is no longer going to have a special people– the Jews– as His own?

Katie Stays Home

July 30th, 2006 Viewed 949 times

Katie CouricKatie Couric is supposed to be the new face of CBS News– but she’s said that there’s one place she did not want go: Iraq.  And rightfully so– she’s a full time mom and on a listening tour.  However, she picked a job that is made famous by people who “go there.”

The first rule of being a good speaker is about character (at least in my speech class).  Knowing about something and being able to tell it in an authoritative way goes a long way to making an impact.  For example, when the Disciples (after Jesus death) were in the temple preaching the religious leaders of the day had a hard time refuting them because “they had been with Jesus.”  The same was true of Jesus– He spoke as one having authority, not  as the scribes.

Katie may choose to stay home from Iraq or Lebanon– and that’s her and her employer’s perrogative.  But you heard it here, should she choose not to get involved with one of the biggest stories of the time she may live to regret it (legacy wise) and she shouldn’t be surprised if more people leave CBS News to find their information elsewhere.

Jurors Find Yates Not Guilty in Murders

July 30th, 2006 Viewed 1085 times

Andrea Yates and LawyersAndrea Yates made news first as the woman who killed her children individually in the bath tub, and was convicted of murder– that is until this last jury trial.  This jury found her not-guilty by reason of insanity.  The family thought this was quite a breakthrough, since they have been trying to get the jury to understand that any woman who would drown her children because she thought she was saving them is under some serious problems.  So, now she’ll be committed to a mental institution until she’s deemed not to be a harm and then she could be released.

Although I don’t want to see anyone punished with the death penalty or life in prision, there was a crime committed, and this ruling just goes one step further to removing the concept of absolutes from this nation.  I mean, if Andrea is not guilty, who is?  The thoughts in her head (that we suspect but cannot prove were there)?  Was it her family/friends that did not see that she was struggling and therefore bear the blame?  Was it her husband for having children with her?  Who bears the guilt? God?

These children lost their lives for some reason– someone bears that responsibility.  We’ve been walking down a road in this society toward it being no one’s fault, and no one’s responsibility.  No fault divorce is another one of these things.  We leave out of the picture the absurdity of the thought that no one is responsible.  Perhaps the equitable thing would have been for the jury to say “Andrea’s not at fault, so the parents, friends, and husband will all spend 20 years in jail as would be the normal offense.

I understand that the parents don’t want to see their child behind bars for life, especially after losing the children, but they were living beings– and there should be a penalty for this act before the next person tries to use this defense.

Declaration of War

July 30th, 2006 Viewed 992 times
English: United States President Franklin D. R...

English: United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the declaration of war against Germany, marking US entry into World War II in Europe. Senator Tom Connally stands by holding a watch to fix the exact time of the declaration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What does it take to start a war?

Back in September of 2001, we were attacked by Islamic terrorists on a scale that we never before believed was possible.  Using our own technology and abilities, these terrorists attacked and killed innocents– something that we could not comprehend.  In our society, we are striving more and more to wage “perfect” warfare where only combatants are killed and the innocents are left alone.

However, we are engaged in conflict with a people that do not view the struggle the same way.  They see the people as a whole– as much as has been the case throughout history.  A brief study of Western civ would see that in battle, everyone was a target because you could be fighting against that very “civilian” the next day.  In a battle where it’s you or them, you want it to be you!

I think that the first question I asked can vary depending on who you ask.  To some, it has to start with a declaration of war– either by a President or Congress, or some aggressor.  For others, it’s something declared before it’s waged.

We are, and have been, at war with Fundamental Islamic terrorists for much longer than we have been aware of it.  The foe has been planning for years, has been fighting and raising troops, and to some extent has time on their side.  So, when Ayman al-Zawahri  gets up and says that he views “all the world as a battlefield open before us” he didn’t just come to think of it as such.

There was no formal declaration of war from this foe, because they realized that they could not win against our military might.  There were no tanks and formal troops, because they knew that sneaking in amongst civilians would be the easiest way to gain the world’s condemnation  on anyone that attacked them.  Do not, for a moment, believe these people to be ignorant of who we are and what we do when we are the most prolific in talking about everything from our culture to our defenses to the world.

They declared war on us and our allies long ago.  It would be foolish to leave this fight without winning.

To Separate or To Conform

July 30th, 2006 Viewed 1173 times

One of the big questions that Christians have to face is when to fit in and when to stand out.  Christians are called to separate living.  God realized that the effect others have on us can be tremendous.  We were created to have others that we can have relationships with, but as Adam and Eve proved, those relationships can get us to do things that are contrary to God’s plan.  So God commands that we separate from others that do not share the same gospel, and to be set apart to Him.

This really shows up in a topic we discussed before about what to wear when going to church.  Should we dress down because it doesn’t matter to God what we wear and the world dresses down for such things?  How about what we watch for entertainment?  Do we watch nothing on TV since the advertisements and shows are bad; should we watch something that contains some problems, but is on the whole ok?

Every day we are asked to either separate or conform.  When someone swears, when someone tries to get us to laugh at a bad joke, we are encouraged to do the same.  Even the office gossip or the complaining about the job are things that we are supposed to conform to because everyone is doing it.

We Christians are called primarily to glorify God– and there lies the test.  We are to live lives that call attention to Him.  That means that we are going to have to separate in some of the areas that we have been conforming.  We are to be pointing people to Christ and that means that a lot of our actions need to change.  We can’t call people to things above and continue to live lives that are no different than those around us.

On the same token, if the thing that we are doing draws attention to us instead of him, than we aren’t really being separate for him, but for us.  In this case, it could be better to conform.

Can You Have a Monopoly Without Cash?

July 29th, 2006 Viewed 1327 times

Monopoly Debit CardWhen I first saw this image, I was sure that these would be Monopoly Credit cards.  I mean, isn’t that the way things are going?  I was trying to figure out how you could have Monopoly with credit– since the whole point was not to go bankrupt.

Instead, it is a new concept that Hasboro is looking at– Monopoly Debit cards.  A game with these cards would give up the cash money for the cards with the different colors and the creditor in the middle.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the game pieces matched the card colors.

On the plus side, you wouldn’t have to worry about losing the cash or crinkling it, but I can see these things showing up in stores or having interesting ways of cheating– oops, I typed one too many zeros!

If they were smart, this thing could hook up to the internet for multiple family play– two at my house, two at yours, etc.  You could walk into competitions with your own Monoply card.  Purchase designer cards on ebay– as well as Monopoly credits.  The list goes on and on.

But, before we chuck the cash and start using the cards, let’s go back to exactly when this game was invented, and it’s rules.  You see, today, you don’t have the constraints that Monopoly had on it.  Sure, you could mortgage your properties to get cash from the banks, but when you were out of money you were done.  In real life, we’ve been given fast credit– the ability to spend without having something to back it up other than the promise that we’re good for it.

We as American’s don’t have the property, the cash reserve, or the nest egg that our parents and grandparents playing this game had– we’re banking on a promise.  A promise of Social Security, pensions, and that we’ll always have an income– something we’re not guaranteed to have.

How are you spending your money?  Are you spending it to win or are you spending it paying back interest to some other people?  If you’re in the habit to carrying a balance on a credit card, don’t look back to how much you’ve paid in interest– because it might be enough to buy a new car or house!  Instead, get out of that debt, pay things in cash, and get rid of the worry that comes with credit.

My Dad Demonstrates Kindness

July 29th, 2006 Viewed 1828 times

It was more than a year ago that my wife and I decided that in order to get out of the debt that we had accumulated and to accomadate our growing family we were going to have to sell the two cars (including my beloved 2 door Saturn SC2 with moon roof– the works) that we had and move to one mini-van. Between the insurance and the fact the we had a new one on the way, we needed the change, and we did not want to go any further in debt.I had (and still am) been in the habit of driving home at lunch time to be with my family. It’s something that I’m very blessed to have the ability to do since we live much closer than my father did when I was growing up. It allows me to be with my wife and children at all meals, and lets my wife have some adult communication in the middle of the day (and a hand with diapers, etc.)So, the problem came up about how I would get to work, and if I could continue to come home for lunch. My father offered to step in, and though my house is on the way to the place where we both work, it still takes him longer to get in to wor than it would if he didn’t have to pick me up. Sometimes he’s had to wait as my family is running late. He lets me take his car home at lunch time, and though he jokes about me leaving the radio on a certain station or using up his air conditioning (which is broken this summer!), he is gracious and willing to bend his schedule to mine.My dad shows kindness to me each and every day, and I’d like to use this first Weekend Kindness post to thank him for that.

Have a Weekend Kindness to Share?
Leave a Comment and we’ll paste your link here:
Mary
Shelli
Shari

The purpose of the meme is to get people motivated to be kind to our fellow men and women and to encourage one another in that pursuit. We all If you participate, leave the link to your Weekend Kindness in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Weekend Kindness with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their Acts of Weekend Kindness. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.