Monday, March 31, 2008

Memorable Sports Moments

Since it’s opening day, I figured we might talk a little sports. For many of us, playing and watching sports has been a major event of our lives. Others sometimes wonder why sports means so much to people. So today you’ll have the chance to share your most memorable sports moments and possibly help the non-sports-inclined among us to better understand what is so captivating about chalk lines, balls, and scoreboards.

Links on Sports Moments
The 50 Moments in Sports History by
Memorable Sports Moments by

Multi-Level Marketing

In the fifties, door-to-door sales became common. One of the key elements to these companies’ success was that they allowed their salespeople to recruit other salespeople and make a commission on their sales. This is how much of the insurance and real estate industries work. But a more recent development has been companies which promote themselves as a unique business model with special products where you can become wealthy by using the products yourself, selling a little to others, and recruiting others to do the same. Most such companies are legal. But is this a good business model, and are such systems ethical? More importantly, is it a good thing that so many Christians participate in them?

Links on MLMs
Multi-Level Marketing by Wikipedia
Pyramid Scheme by Wikipedia
FTC Consumer Alert - MLM Plans by
What's Wrong With Multi-Level Marketing? by
The "Five Red Flags" of MLMs (PDF File) by
The Mirage of Multilevel Marketing by
Buyers and Sellers: Beware MLM Health Products by
Amway Quixtar Organizations by
Do-It-Yourself Evaulations by
Some Shocking Statistics by
Amway/Quixtar FAQ Page
A Primer on Legal vs Illegal MLM Structures
Is MLM Christian? A Letter to a Friend by Phil Scovell
10 Big Lies of Multi-Level Marketing by Robert L. Fitzpatrick
Manipulation in MLM by Norm Rasmussen
Index Site to Many Anti-MLM Web Pages, Some Quite Hostile
Books Critical of MLM Several with Christian Emphasis

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Various Events

Justices to Weigh Search and Consent by
More on Ex-Governor Spitzer by
Sex Offender Ordered by Judge to Post Signs by inspires do-gooders by CSmonitor
Is democracy a natural state of mankind? by CSmonitor
The Evangelical Founding Fathers by
Paterson Admits Cocaine, Marijuana Use by
Protecting Passengers of Drunk Drivers by
Just a Typical Black Person by
Is Jeremiah Wright Mainstream? by Albert Mohler
John McCain’s Foreign Policy Speech by
A Speech Obama Could Have Given by Victor Davis Hanson
Obama Seeks to Quell Flap Over Pastor by
Court of Appeal Grants Re-hearing by
In Re RACHEL Appeal by
Can Sips at Home Prevent Binges? by
Bill to quit No Child Left Behind Act by
Family Who Prayed Rather Than Helping by
Obama Urged on Charitable Giving by
Michigan Man Accused of Helping Saddam by
Police Call Church Music 'Disorderly' by
Montana leads in curbing Meth by
Course Examines Theology in Harry Potter by
Supreme Court rules against Bush by
Clinton Would Have Left Obama's Pastor by AP
Did Obama's pastor preach hate? by CSmonitor
Many Muslims Turn to Home Schooling by
Eliot Spitzer's Fall from Grace by
Wikileaks Is Spared a Shutdown by
Wikileaks Case Like Pentagon Papers Case? by
Story behind Rev. Wrights 9/11 Sermon by Roland Martin

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

WW--Christians Shouldn't Read Comic Books

~They portray women as voluptuous vixens in skimpy clothing.
~They teach people that violence solves everything.
~They falsely show the good guys almost always winning.
~Comics encourage children to escape reality to a more pleasant fantasy world.
~Comics often have witchcraft and wizardry.
~Vigilantism is wrong, but comics virtually depend on it.
~They are an inferior form of mental stimulation compared to books.
~You’ve gotta ask yourself why the Bible wasn’t illustrated, if illustrating books is so valuable.
~Only weirdos read comics, and you don’t want your kids to be weirdos.
~Children should focus on Bible stories and Bible heroes rather than Captain America and Wolverine.
~They’re very expensive these days, and hence a bad use of money.
Links on Comic Books
Why Comic Books Scared Us by Christian Science Monitor

WW--Christians Shouldn't Study Martial Arts

~Might doesn’t make right.
~Martial arts were developed in connection with anti-Biblical Eastern religions.
~Separating the spiritual parts of martial arts from the merely physical is impossible.
~What part of “turn the other cheek” don’t you understand?
~Which style of kung-fu did Jesus use?
~Why don’t you go ahead and feel free to kick exactly as many people as Jesus did.
~Live by the flying sidekick, die by the flying sidekick.
~Vengeance is supposed to belong to the Lord.
~Martial arts at its core is training to efficiently maim or kill people. Is that something Christians should learn?
How, exactly, does breaking someone’s leg demonstrate love for him, your enemy?
This is not what the Bible means when it says to lay hands on people.

Bible References: Gen 14:13-16, 1 Samuel 29:5, Psalm 144:1, Matt 5:38-48, Matt 8:5-13, Matt 26:47-52, Luke 3:14, Luke 9:53-56, Luke 22:36, John 15:14, John 18:10-11, Rom 12:17-13:10, Galatians 5:22, Eph 6:12, Titus 1:15, Heb 11:30-40, James 4:1
Index To Several Articles at (Lots of stuff)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Theological Tuesday

~Bible Stories 10: Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:16-19:38)
~What can churches learn from MLMs?
~Are we paid for or forgiven?
~Is it like adultery to listen to someone other than your pastor preach?
~Would you describe watching television as an act of worship?Does God ever say, “Please?”

Links on Sodom and Gomorrah
Bible References: Gen 13, Gen 14, Deut 29:22-29, Deut 32:28-36, Isaiah 1:7-9, Isaiah 2:8-12, Isaiah 13:19, Jer 23:9-14, Jer 49:17-18, Jer 50:39-40, Lam 4:6, Amos 4:10-12, Zeph 2:8-10, Matt 10:14-15, Matt 11:20-24, Luke 10:10-16, Luke 17:22-37, Rom 9:27-29, 2 Peter 2:4-11, Jude 1:5-8
Sodom and Gomorrah at Wikipedia
Sodom and Gomorrah Archaeology at Atlanta Baptist Univ.
Commentary on Genesis 19 by Jamieson Fausset Brown
Commentary on Genesis 19 by Geneva Study Bible
Sodom and Gomorrah by Catholic Encyclopedia
Sodom and Gomorrah by

Monday, March 24, 2008

Childhood Or Adulthood: Which Shapes Us More?

For the most part, the things that happen to us when we are children are things that are beyond our control, whereas the things that happen to us when we are adults are at least partially within our control. The question is, which ones influence and shape us the most? What are your most powerful memories of: things that happened when you were a child or things that happened when you were an adult?

If you were an alien anthropologist who came to America to study our values, you would surely conclude that physical beauty, especially in women, is one of the most important things to us. For most of our lives, we’ve heard people deny this by saying, “Beauty is only skin deep,” or, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” or, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” In addition, for many of us, there is something repulsive about a teenage girl spending hours on end perusing beauty magazines in order to practice the least important aspect of her being. But is this correct, or do our loud protests actually reveal too much? Is it acceptable to judge a person by beauty? How about to marry a person for beauty? Is a wife morally obligated to remain as beautiful as she can be to her husband? A husband to his wife? Does God care about beauty?

Bible References: Gen 2:9, Gen 6:2, Gen 12:11, Gen 24:15-16, Gen 29:17, Gen 39:6, Deut 21:10-14, 1 Sam 16:12-13, 1 Sam 25:3, 2 Sam 11:2-3, 2 Sam 13:1, 2 Sam 14:25, 1 Kings 1:3-4, Esther 1:11, Esther 2:1-17, Job 42:15, Psalm 50:1-2, Psalm 96:6, Psalm 149:4, Prov 6:25-26, Prov 11:22, Prov 20:29, Prov 31:30, Song 4-6, Is 28:1, Is 44:13, Ezek 16:23-25, Hosea 14:1-6, Matt 5:3-12, Matt 6:28-30, Matt 23:27, Acts 3:2-10, Rom 10:15, 1 Tim 2:9-10, 1 Peter 3:3-4

Links on beauty:
Physical attractiveness by Wikipedia
Spirituality + Beauty = Desirability by Christianity Today
The beauty of a Christian woman by
Short story - Harrison Bergerson by Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

WW--Easter Isn’t For Young Children

~It’s essentially a story about a bloody, brutal, evil murder where someone is tortured to death. If I told you that I wanted to tell your 6-year-old about something like that, you’d not only refuse, but you’d be scandalized that I would even have thought you might say yes.
~As the Passion of the Christ demonstrated, the Crucifixion is certainly an R-rated historical event.
~Children are at least as likely to have nightmares about this as they are to find anything valuable in it.
~Would you let your children watch an execution if it were televised?
~Explain to me what good it does to tell a child over and over again that he’s a sinner who needed Christ to die for him so that he wouldn’t go to hell and burn forever in a lake of fire no matter how much he begged for it to end.
~There is a particular sort of process involved in bringing someone to Christ. This process does not begin with the ending, and yet exposing children to the cross and the resurrection of Christ too early is like skipping ahead to the ending.
~They must be taught the law and the holiness of God and to avoid sin and how impossible that is before they can properly appreciate Easter.
~You wonder why so many kids leave the faith? Perhaps it’s because the way we teach them about Jesus is to give them an easy solution before they even can comprehend the problem they are suffering from.
~How can you contemplate the betrayal, abandonment, and Crucifixion of Jesus while looking at a purple pastel plastic egg with a tootsie roll in it?
~We withhold information about many important things in life from children because they aren’t prepared to understand them properly.
~It’s obviously very difficult to find kid-friendly ways of teaching Easter, so why not just avoid it altogether?

Links on Easter:
The Crucifixion's PG rating by
Children and the crucifixion by
Teaching children about Holy Week by
How to explain the resurrection to children by
Teaching kids about Easter by
Stations of the cross for children by

WW--Knowledge Is Overrated

~Did the Pharisees have knowledge? Yes. Did the Pharisees benefit from their knowledge? No. Did the Pharisees’ knowledge actually interfere with pleasing God? Yes.
~Paul explains that knowledge without love is nothing.
~Knowledge is power, but power corrupts. The more power, the greater the corruption, hence, the more knowledge you have, the more corrupt you become.
~The great sin of modernity is to acquire abundant amounts of knowledge without any notion of serving God with it. Knowledge for knowledge’s sake.
~What you don’t know can’t hurt you.
~Ignorance is bliss.
~Knowledge puffs up.
~If people didn’t know so much, they would be a lot happier with the less they have.
~Lack of knowledge means lack of awareness, means easier contentment.
~Better to know a little and do it than a lot and not do it, which is the plague in our churches.
~James warns us not to become teachers, and the best way to avoid being a teacher is to not know much.
~Do college professors know a lot? How’s that working for them?
~If you don’t know much, then you aren’t held accountable for much.
~Knowledge leads to pride, judgment, dissatisfaction.
~Education is really expensive.
~The more you know, the easier it is to divide from other people, especially because knowledge produces stronger and more confident viewpoints.
~You can know a lot and still not know the whole picture, but your arrogance about the part you know can blind you to the rest.
~Even Paul said he is committed only to knowing Christ and Him crucified, as if to declare as worthless all the other things he knows.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Theological Tuesday

~Bible Stories 9: Jesus raises Lazarus (John 11:1-12:19)
~Should Andrew be more interested in Revelation?
~What can churches learn from MLMs?
~Are we paid for or forgiven?
~Is it like adultery to listen to someone other than your pastor preach?
~Would you describe watching television as an act of worship?

Links on Jesus raising Lazarus:
Lazarus of Bethany by Wikipedia
Lazarus raised from the dead by
A Bible study on Lazarus by
Lazarus raised by

Monday, March 17, 2008

Do You Know Any Poems?

Last week, I had a shocking encounter. We were engaging in some light-hearted office banter about nicknames, and I mentioned that we should call someone Casey at the Bat, because her initials are KC. One person chuckled, and two looked at me in bewilderment. They never heard of the poem, and obviously didn’t grasp the reference. So I thought it would be an interesting thing to see whether people still learn and know poetry in America.

Ethics: How Does Money Make Us Better, And Worse?

As most of us know, the Bible is relentless in warning us about the dangers of money, but it doesn’t come right out and ban money. Why not? Have you ever considered the basic ethical question of how money benefits us (or not) morally? What does money represent? Why do some people get a lot of it and others not so much? Is money evil, useful, problematic? Having a proper ethical view of money is a difficult project with so many misconceptions about what it is and why it matters (or not). So we’ll try to get a more accurate picture of these questions.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Various Current Events

Interviews on the show:
Arizona League to End Regional Trafficking by
National Heroes Tour by

Articles and Events:
Jury rigged scam: true by
Obama: Mount sermon justifies same-sex union by CNS News
Excerpt from Obama's Town Hall meeting by CNS News
Rice says Muslims protect human rights by CNS News
Scandal put Spitzer's career in jeopardy by
Conservatives say good riddance by CNS News
Wiretaps reveal details of "client 9" by Florida Sun-Sentinel
Democrat's corruption crusade take hit by Washington Times
Spitzer's "private matter" Opinion, by NY Times
Foes of sex trade stung by ally's fall by NY Times
The myth of the victimless crime by NY Times
Parallels between Spitzer and Clinton by
CA school chiefs backs homeschooling by
Protection for homeschooling by Christian Science Monitor
Why culture war may never end by Christianity Today
Funeral picketing law struck down by Tampa Bay Online
Arizona city seeks moat to secure border by Reuters
Ferraro leaves Clinton camp by Boston Globe
Hillary apologizes to black voters by Fox News
Mom leaves toddler in car, faces trial by MSNBC
CO school district drops grade system by MyFox Colorado
PG Films: Less bad words, more box office by Houston Chronicle
Woman faces fine for dyeing poodle by
Most Americans believe in sin by Ellison research
Study: 1 in 4 teens has STD by Christian Post
Group has severance plan for worst teachers by USA Today
MN lawmaker proposes fragrance-free schools by Fox News
Boy punished for shirt with gun image by Yahoo News
Do kids copy parents when lying? by NY Magazine
Power and peril of praising your kids by NY Magazine

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

WW--You Should Never Apologize

~Apologizing often makes the other person feel superior and inflates their ego.
~Apologizing makes you look bad and loses face.
~Even if you were wrong this time, there must have been tons of other times when they were wrong and you were right but you didn’t get the credit you deserved.
~If you don’t get credit most of the time for the good you do, why should you get blame for the bad you do occasionally.
~People respect strength, and they need to perceive you as strong to follow your lead.
~When you apologize, people take advantage of you.
~People don’t forgive you anyhow. They say ridiculous things like, “Oh, it’s no big deal,” or, “That’s okay.”
~We’re supposed to imitate Jesus, and He never apologized, right?
~If people get used to the idea that you’re wrong some of the time, they’ll come to expect you to be wrong more often, and they’ll expect you to apologize more, too.
~Most apologies are strategic anyhow, and not genuine. I’m sorry, but… or they contain some sort of a justification or miss the point.
~Apologizing doesn’t change the situation or undo the bad thing that was done, so what’s the point?
~When people know they can apologize for doing wrong, they are actually more willing to do it because they think they can just apologize if they get caught. Forgiveness is easier to get than permission, but if you take away forgiveness, you force people to seek permission.
~It just imposes upon someone else the burden of feeling the need to forgive, which they may not want to do.
~In fact, since forgiving is an even greater thing if the person hasn’t asked for it, apologizing diminishes the moral worth of the best forgiveness.
~Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

WW--Prostitution Should Be Legal

~Our goal should be that prostitution be safe, legal, and rare.
~We could protect the women involved from the usual dangers of crime, disease, and pimps.
~Only legal trades generate tax revenue.
~It’s a reality right now, so obviously efforts to make it illegal haven’t worked.

~As the adage goes, it’s the world’s oldest profession.
~What’s the difference between giving a girl jewelry to stay with you over time and giving her money to be with you once?
~Isn’t marriage itself even an economic proposition based on giving a woman money for her various services as she chooses not to work?
~Given the legality of contraception, adultery, and premarital sex, it’s hard to see how you can craft a philosophically coherent argument against legalizing prostitution.

~Doesn’t the principle of privacy established in Griswold v CT, Roe v Wade, and Lawrence v TX require this?

~How can you have legal pornography (including the making of it) and keep prostitution illegal?
~Would you rather have a lusty teenager go to a professional or date your daughter?
~When it’s illegal, you don’t know whether a guy avoids it for fear or character.
If it were accepted, you’d learn for sure who the decent guys are.
~Look at how much simpler this would make the exotic dancer industry.
~Who is the victim in a consensual sex act?

~You can pay for a massage, a model, a conversationalist, and you can even indulge in the lewdest of acts on the phone for money.
Why not this?
~How else do you get rid of organized crime but by taking away their industries?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Theological Tuesday

~Bible Stories 8: Jesus feeding the multitudes
~Can it ever be too late for someone to come back to God?

Links on Jesus feeding the multitudes:
Bible References:
Exodus 18:13-27, 2 Kings 4:42-44, Psalm 23, Matt 14:13-22, Matt 15:29-39, Mark 6:30-46, Mark 8:1-21, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-15, John 6:26-58
Feeding the multitude by Wikipedia

Monday, March 10, 2008

Skills You Expect Everyone Else To Have

Anyone who has ever worked in a customer service industry has heard this expression, probably during orientation/training and many times thereafter, as a way of reminding them to cater to the desires of the paying clientele. But is it a good principle for businesses to follow? Is it a loving principle for businesses to follow? Is it ethical to treat other people as if they are always right in order to get their money and referrals? Is it lying to act as if the customer is right when he isn’t? Is it demeaning to your employees to ask them to put money ahead of truth? Should bullies be rewarded for their behavior?

Post-show thoughts: My list of skills, not all of which I expect everyone to know, but everything I thought of in prepping the show.

Physical abilities: Somersault, Handstand/Headstand, Burp on command, Roll your tongue, Flip a coin, Juggle, Shoot a rubber band, Click tongue, pop lips, Chew gum, blow bubbles, Snap fingers, Wink, Whistle, Cross eyes, Wiggle ears, Raise one eyebrow, Tie a tie, Cracking knucles, Gleeking,
Music: Keep time, Keep a tune, Read sheet music, Anticipate music
Children: Tie shoes, Cast a fishing line, Read a clock, Fly a kite, Skip, Ride bicycle, Jump rope, Swim, Float in water, Rhyme
Miscellaneous: Do accents, adapt to accents (like whenever a person has lived here for a long time and still sounds like he’s from somewhere else),
Clean, load, and shoot a gun.
Technology: Set and program a VCR, Set up a stereo system
Parenting: Change a diaper, Prepare a bottle, Dress a child, Entertain kids, Hold a baby
Female: Braid hair, Put on makeup
Knowledge: Reading and writing, Print/cursive, Spelling, Typing, Math (Give change, Do math in head, Figure out discounts in stores, Balance checkbook, Calculate interest, Calculate tips), Do logic, Time Zones
Games/Sports: Play catch, Throw a football, Chess, General rules of cards, Poker, Kick a ball, Play racquet sports, Play pool, Play catch with a baseball, Frisbee
Household: Make coffee, Laundry, Cook
Office: Fix the copier when it jams, or even load paper in it.
Hygiene: Brush teeth, Floss, Shave
Social skills: Sarcasm, Humor, Quote movies, Discern moods, Avoid profanity
Driving: Put gas in car, Check fluids, Air up tires, Change oil, Wax car, Drive a stick
Outdoors: Read a compass, Read a map, Start a fire

Ethics: Is The Customer Always Right?

Anyone who has ever worked in a customer service industry has heard this expression, probably during orientation/training and many times thereafter, as a way of reminding them to cater to the desires of the paying clientele. But is it a good principle for businesses to follow? Is it a loving principle for businesses to follow? Is it ethical to treat other people as if they are always right in order to get their money and referrals? Is it lying to act as if the customer is right when he isn’t? Is it demeaning to your employees to ask them to put money ahead of truth? Should bullies be rewarded for their behavior?

Post-show thoughts: Love for another person requires us to take care of his soul first and to be interested in his money much farther down the list of priorities. Correcting a bully or an unreasonable person is a much more loving thing to do than to give in to him. That's how we woudl naturally behave if there were no money at stake. And even though money often serves to induce us to act lovingly toward people, it can also entice us to act unlovingly, as with this principle. Loyalty to employees, loyalty to truth, and loyalty to the idea of doing for people what they need even if that need is to be corrected all work together here. Besides, if one business gives in to a bully, what happens to the next business? We have a plague of entitlement, self-righteous, selfish relativism in this country. It's not entirely caused by this aberrant customer service perspective, but it is aggravated by it

“My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20
“And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” Matt 18:15

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Shoes For Refugee Children In Darfur

We’ve all heard about the atrocities which have taken place in the last five years in Darfur. As a result of these horrors, there are millions of refugees and displaced persons living in camps simply trying to survive, including many children. The conditions are so bad that there is open sewage on top of the ground where the children walk, it is regularly 120 degrees, and they have no shoes. Because of the generosity of a major shoe manufacturer, we have 700,000 pairs of shoes just waiting to be transported to the camps. All that is missing is the $3.00 per pair that it will cost to get them from the U.S. to the feet of the children. We’ve all wanted to be able to do something to help out these people, and today we can. So today, as we talk about Darfur, let’s send these children high-quality, durable, anti-microbial, rubberized sandals so they can walk around safely.

Click here to transport these shoes to children in Darfur
or call 1-877-714 KIDS (5437).

Links on Darfur, Sudan:
Help refugee children by
Darfur conflict by Wikipedia
Sudan research by
Frontline on Darfur by
Save Darfur Home Page by