Luzerne Co. Courthouse Christmas Crisis!
December 21, 2009, 16:04
Filed under: culture | Tags: , , , ,

There has been a battle of late for the display of the Nativity scene and the Menorah at our courthouse.  A student at Kings College,  the college with a big statue of Christ on the top, called the ACLU to report the display as a violation of the separation of church and state.  The county decided that to avoid a lawsuit they would take the display down.

I can understand the county not wanting to be sued.  So far 23 public officials in Luzerne county have been indicted by an FBI investigation.  Just last week commissioner  Skrep [ our version of Shrek in size ] resigned, after  being caught taking a $5000 bribe.  i do wonder where the ACLU was when the corrupt judges here in the county were denying the rights of children in court, to get money to buy yachts and condos in Florida.

The outcry was immense!

Here is the story , at the same source for the pictures, http://www.citizensvoice.com/news/courthouse-pulls-nativity-menorah-displays-to-avoid-lawsuit-1.495916

Well , the display is going up, a law firm will defend pro-bono, and secular seasonal stuff will be added.  This seems odd to me, as there would be no snowmen, candycanes, Christmas tress, etc.  without the birth of Christ to celebrate.  Let us not even put into the mix that without the freedom that comes from living in a society based on Judeo- Christian values these people could not protest.  You will not find the ACLU, the Arab Civil Liberties Union, dissenters are not allowed in non-Judeo Christian cultures.

The plot thickened when getting on the radio to defend the ACLU’s position was one of Dayspring’s own, the Hippie.  Hippie has a problem with statues in general.  As a veteran of the Arab -Israeli conflict, a born again Christian, and a member of the ACLU, he expressed his view clearly and articulately. he loves jesus, i know this is true, but feels separation of church and state is important not just to civil rights, but to the survival of Christianity.  he spent time in Europe and in the Arab countries. He has seen that where Christianity was enforced by the state, it died.

Where did I go wrong!  How can a conservative Baptist preacher have such a radical in the flock!  I got emails and phone calls, some with suggestions that can not be repeated.  Can someone like this worship with us?  Has  he not been affected by the Word?  Did I fail him?  Or is it actually possible for us to have opposing views on things that are not essential to the faith?

What say you?

Light at the end of the Tunnel
Tunnel through the rail road fill at 7 tubs.

Tunnel through the rail road fill at 7 tubs.

I have been going through some tunnel times.  I seem to be much better at getting a second interview than I am at getting a job.  I am sick of being broke, church giving is down, it rains a lot, my aches have aches, and I am generally miserable.  Worst of all i spent a lot of time this week with Johnny.  Johnny was my assistant Fire Chief for about 5 years back when i was Chief.  he saved my rear  in a figurative way a couple times, and I think God used him to save my life once.

The reason spending time with Johnny put the icing on my depression cake is that he has become a practicing alcoholic.  johnny is 7 years younger than I, but now he looks 10 years older.  his hands shake, his face is lined deeply, his legs can hardly hold him up.  His dad died of alcohol in 73, his pretty younger sister dies about six years ago, same thing.  I love this man, and just know he is on the way out.  I have tried praying, preaching, and invites to AA.  Without a Damascus  road experience he will go the way of his family.  I don’t see John often, but every once in a while, in the dead of night he will stop by, drunk as a skunk and smelling worse, to reminisce and wake me up.  It only happens two or three times a year.

I was with Johnny because he called me Wednesday,  his mom had passed away.   He needed his Chief.  I was with him as much as I could be.  We went to the funeral Mass at The Holy Redeemer.  His mom was a  strong Catholic, but it didn’t take for John.  They have a new priest, and I enjoyed[90%] of his homily. Their beautiful building with its vaulted ceilings is a lot different from, Dayspring’s drop ceiling plainness.  I hear they are going to sell it, and as much as I would love to preach there, i just don’t see that happening. Very Christ centered.  I stayed with him for the burial and the little dinner after. We sent over a ham and some buns, it is about all I can do.  I can’t reassure him, or promise reunion, he is not a believer.  he told me that this existence is Hell.  His theology is really wrong, but he is strong in his disbelief.

Anyway,  the Godlessness of the situation brought me to a dark spot.  I have to watch my self.  I have been really depressed in the past, and if I let my Gospel armor loosen, and if I do not take care of me and walk closer to God i can get so down i can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I took a hike with son in law Mark,  [Eutychus to us] , and took some pictures and walked the blues away.  It lifted me, may you enjoy.  These are from the Seven tubs Recreational area in my home County of Lucerne.




The tree tops of north East Pa. The colors are coming in.

The tree tops of north East Pa. The colors are coming in.

Looking out to the Blue Ridge Mountains , across the Susquehanna valley

Looking out to the Blue Ridge Mountains , across the Susquehanna valley

One of the Seven tubs

One of the Seven tubs

Markus Eutychus, excellent hiking partner!

Markus Eutychus, excellent hiking partner!


So how can you stay depressed with such natural glory around?  How can i be down when God has taken me through the tunnels of cancer, and pain, and paralysis?   Do I think God retired?  Am I silly or simple enough to think that He who started a good work in me will nor complete it?  Being around people who have shut out God really runs me down, being around God and His works is my prescription.  Hope you like the photos!

Biblical Illiteracy, Rampant and Wrong
June 26, 2009, 06:15
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:


There is a reason our church has Bible in the name.  We  study the bible, we learn from the bible, the bible is our, well,.. bible!  It has always amazed me how ignorant, and I mean that in the nicest way,  people who call themselves Christians are of the bible.  I do not mean those who claim a different doctrine, I mean those who have no clue.  They are Legion.

Here is a clip going around the net that has been plagiarized so much I can not find the original, but I have read things in the Barna surveys that are similar,   I  hate to believe this, but I do.

The Bible remains the most popular book of all time, and almost all U.S. homes (93 percent) have at least one. Yet only half of U.S. adults can name a single Gospel, and most don’t know that the first book of the Bible is Genesis. A 2000 survey showed that even 60 percent of those chapter-and-verse-quoting Evangelicals thought Jesus was born in Jerusalem rather than Bethlehem. Similarly, a 2004 survey of high school students found that 17 percent thought “the road to Damascus” was where Jesus was crucified and 22 percent thought Moses was either one of Jesus’ 12 apostles or an Egyptian pharaoh or an angel. Half of high school seniors also thought Sodom and Gomorrah were married.

Do you think this may be true?  I have seen ‘Jay Walking’ on TV, so I guess anything is possible.  When my youngest was in elementary school there were children who did not know who Jesus was, so the survey  kind of fits into what I have seen.  I have a guy who showed up at church two times, the only two times he has ever been in a church in his life.

This level of ignorance  has an awful penalty for our society.  There is no way our culture can have a biblical word view if it does not view the bible.  The most painful part of the situation is it is our fault.  Me, you the reader, we are responsible.  I would rather argue about Calvinism, or Infant Baptism, or Lutherans like theoldAdam, or did Driscol say a dirty word, or is McArthur right about total cessation, or should Warren have used Isa in his prayer as a name of Jesus. you can get 100 comments on Internet monk if you claim[quite rightly] that “church” as we know it is in trouble.  I would rather argue what in the end is opinion with people who read the bible, than go out and read and share the bible with people who have no clue.

I love Christian blogs.  they keep me sharp, give me a sense of community, introduce me to people iwould not get to meet otherwise and help me shape my own thoughts by bouncing them off of others. If you are reading this you enjoy it also,  I enjoy reading comments and posts by  and  IKE, and JEOFURRY, AND REV. ANDY and GRACESHAKER, THE OLD ADAM, JOE, SHAWN, JOHN, JOY, my friend ROB who called from Texas when I hit a rough spot,  and the rest of the frequent fliers and occasional visitors.  On a good day there are about 100 of us who pass through  here.  We do not all agree on everything, but we all, praise God, have much more than a passing knowledge of Scripture, and I believe a passing knowledge of Christ that we each seek to grow and extend.

I would much rather speak to Christians, even ones I am in disagreement with than go out into the world and attempt to spread the Gospel.  I share a common language, world view, jargon, and fellowship with Christians.  Out in the world people think we are crazy, they do not understand a faith based in the Unseen that has more of a reality to us than sun up this morning.  Our faith draws us together as we share the experience of a common reality.

No matter who gets the blame the reality is that the Bible  plays no part in the life of most Americans today.  What I consider to be the very word of God, writings inspired by the Holy Spirit, is a bunch of old literature to most.  The best selling book of all time has little effect on the lives of  most of my fellow citizens.  Even many church goers,  nominal Christians, many who would argue, and may be correct for all I know, that they are Heaven Bound Children of the Most High God,  have no working knowledge of Scripture.  They do not read, study, or understand Holy Writ, would not turn to it for solace or wisdom.

Many churches do not stress the reading of the Bible, and all too many sermons are not scripture based.   The old joke about the preacher who had a great sermon ready, if he could just get some scripture to go with it,  is a reality in many churches.  It is entirely possible for someone to be a regular attendant of an organized church and still not be familiar with the organization of, or stories in the Bible.

So those of us who love the Bible and love Godand love our neighbor need to share the whole of the word with our society.  We need to spread our love of scripture with the world.  Our mission should be to get them to give it a try, see what wisdom, what love, what provision has been laid up in a storehouse of verse!

Psa 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!