Wednesday, May 27, 2009

America Compared to Rural Africa

We need reminders of how easy we have life in America.

Recently I purchased a pair of sunglasses with an MP3 player built in. This way when I walk, I can listen to recordings that I don't take time to hear at home. The cost was very low and the experience of others with the product has drawn praises.

Then I came across a similar setup invented by a young man in Africa. His Fedora-based power supply is nothing short of amazing. Amazing because ladies there are much more adept at using their heads for carrying loads. Amazing also that he could hook up the entire system and make it work.

How thankful I am that I live where even our music can be enjoyed with a minimum of cost and labor.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Eight Days For a Racial Comment

Recently a man from Battle Ground, Washington was sentenced to eight days in jail because he used the N-word in an email. Racial name-calling is always regrettable, but let’s look at the larger picture.

The holy name of God is used in vain endlessly and without a jail sentence or even a rebuff. We hear it at school, on radio and TV, in the workplace and nearly every place people congregate.

Notice how Israel was warned about using God’s name as a byword:

No using the name of GOD, your God, in curses or silly banter; GOD won't put up with the irreverent use of his name. Deuteronomy 6:11 in the Message version.

This is the same God people in our nation pray to for jobs and good weather. How can a person expect God to hear their prayers when they so disregard his name.

Saying, “I didn’t mean anything by it” totally misses the point. He didn’t say “Don’t use my name in vain unless you aren’t going to mean anything by it.”

Let’s change our words to exalt God’s name and plan to never use it as fillers or strengtheners in our everyday conversation.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Won By a Child’s Love

Abortion protesters showed up when President Obama spoke at Notre Dame. Among them was Norma Covey, the one-time poster child of the abortion movement. Some reports say she was arrested, other reports deny it. Norma was the Roe in Wade vs. Roe.

But in 1995 Norma changed sides. Emily Mackay, then 7 years old, befriended this pro-abortion person, asking questions that were very hard to answer. One was something like, "If you love children, then why do you let them kill babies at the (abortion) clinic?"

Eventually, Norma attended church and accepted Christ as her savior. It was not the solid logic of the Christian position, but rather the little girl who loved Norma and penetrated her heart that brought about the change of direction.

Norma Covey was then baptized by Flip Benham, the leader of “the other side.” Over the years, she has used her life to undo some of the damage caused by her original stance on abortion - something she never experienced for herself.

Clearly, it may be love more than logic that turns a life around.

Friday, May 15, 2009

In His Face

A friend of ours is not noted for his interested in religion. He knows ours and told this story.

Said friend was cruising in his large motorhome with his extended family on board when they were hit hard from behind by a motorist. The story goes that the other driver was drunk and traveling about 100 mph. He hit the motorhome so hard that it knocked the rear wheels off and totaled the machine.

Our friend got the rig off of the pavement and came to a stop with a sign three inches from his windshield. It was the sign for the local Church of Christ. I wonder if that would be forced advertising?

At least, he saw some significance in the sign as he told me the story.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Out of a Curse Came a Blessing

This weekend, I was cursed by the Vundo Trojan. My computer became unmanageable. My virus alarm was going off every 5-10 seconds. Advertising was popping up every few moments. To cure the devilish malady, I hired an online company to clean the machine and they did a wonderful job. Their address is: and Ryan Olson was the tech.

Ryan removed at least 150 files that had come to visit and decided to stay. During my research to get rid of this Devil-inspired disease, I came across OpenDNS. Such a blessing for anyone who takes the few moments to get engaged.

Every time a computer user types a website name in the address bar, the browser goes to the Domain Name Server (DNS) assigned by his hosting company. This is standard the world over. Everybody with a website name is listed and some are MALICIOUS. One somewhere distributes Vundo.

OpenDNS keeps a list of malicious sites and keeps the user from going there. If one of these Satanically-inspired nasties gets on the computer and calls home for its friends to come too (hence the Trojan idea), the nasty can’t reach home and so is rendered useless. Had I been using this service, my hateable trojan could not have done its hellish work.

Further, now I can block all categories of unlovables. The site offers five general levels of protection and each one of these can be customized for the computer-user’s taste. Sites that can be blocked include those adult-related, porn sites and phishing sites. There are dozens of categories. Each user can set up a list to always allow or never allow in addition to the categories. This gives parents a way to control what their children view. It gives the library or school supervision they did not have before.

All of this is free of cost and the change is permanent, but reversible. The OpenDNS site explains how to point your DNS requests to their computers. Visit them at:

Yesterday, the site had over eleven billion hits, so it’s not just my notion.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Caring for the Brain

After a visit to the lab at the clinic, I received a 3-page print out of the chemistry of my body. When an element was out of range, either too high or too low, the entry was printed in bold letters. The marvels of science!

As Christians, we are also concerned about our minds, avoiding the kind of mental junk food that society labels as entertainment. Jesus and His apostles had much to say about feeding the spirit of man.

But the mind relies on the facilities of the brain. Our love for God can only be expressed based on our memory of Him and His great works as seen throughout the universe.

Unlike our computers, our brain loses memory power. It declines with age. In our younger days, there was an over-abundance of memory, but time takes its toll. Now we may enter a room and forget our purpose, mislay our car keys or tell the same story twice to the same person - even within a few minutes.

Is there a solution? Yes, at least a partial one that delays or reverses the memory loss. The food we eat - or don’t eat is important. Minimizing the wrong foods and being sure that we get the right foods helps. Exercise, both physical and mental, contributes to better memory and there are supplements that help slow the brain’s downhill slide.

One friend complained about his increasing difficulty in remembering. I told him about ginkgo biloba, a supplement used almost world-wide to help in memory loss. He thanked me and did nothing about it. Today his memory loss is so pronounced that he cannot be employed and lives in retirement. While some studies say this supplement does not slow the onset of dementia, the studies are not negative about memory enhancement. Ginkgo may have help this man be productive a few more years.

New research is being done in the area of brain enhancement. The book 20/20 Brain Power by Joshua Reynolds spans the gap between technical studies and our layperson vocabularies. It is sold at:

There was something else that I wanted to include in this blog. Maybe it will come to me later.