Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, August 01, 2005

Monday Morning Musings

random Thoughts to Start the Week.

=>I need to give a recognition shout-out to one of my volunteers, Michael Fraser. In spite of suffering painfully this year from a variety of medical problems, he has been faithfully serving as a volunteer at Grace To You (where I work) with much cheerfulness and without a hint of complaining.

A week or so ago, Mike was preparing to go on a boat trip. He had backed up his truck so as to hook up the boat and trailer. Right at the moment he was maneuvering the trailer to fit onto the hitch, the support holding it up collapsed and it fell on his foot. Mike told me, "I looked at what had happened and thought to myself, 'my foot is in there.'" He managed to yank it loose, but to his horror, he saw that he had crushed his big toe, nearly severing it and he had severed his second toe, next to the big one. I loved his description of what he saw, "It was like when you squeeze a hot dog and all the insides squish out one end."

Woah, dude...

He looked for help, but no one was around. So, he gathered up his severed toe, drove himself to the hospital, and hobbled into the ER, leaving a trail of smeared blood all across the parking lot into the entrance. Thankfully, the severed toe was sown back on his foot, and it looks good; it is the big toe that may be a problem because it was badly damaged when it was crushed.

I tell that story, because having your foot crushed and a toe severed would incapacitate the most stout hearted of all men. Mike, however, came limping into GTY as usual this past Thursday to volunteer. He spoke of his adventure with light hearted glee, not once wishing to solicit our pity. I must say I appreciate such an attitude within a personal trial.

He emailed me a couple of pictures of the repaired toes. They're pretty gruesome. The thought of seeing them makes me crinkle my own toes. I told Mike that Phil Johnson would probably love to see them. If Mike hasn't done it already, and If Phil gives me a blogspot plug this week, I will forward him my copies. How's that for sycophancy?

=>Speaking of Phil, he has posted a response to Rick Warren biographer, Richard Albanes, and his criticisms of John MacArthur and some other notable Christian men. Albanes claims JM is part of a growing list of Warren critics who are misinformed about Warren's beliefs, and falsely accuse him of all sorts of terrible heresies. Now, I will admit there have been a number of cranks and goofballs who have accused Warren of everything but being the anti-christ himself. I read over one book slapped together by a fundamentalist, KJV only kook, who was saying Rick Warren was secretly weaving atheistic psychology with Christian theology to produce some monstrous hybrid in order to ensnare men's souls. Yes, those quack critics do exist, but the men Albanes names, particularly JM and Christian apologist, Greg Koukl, have never done this. I know, because I am acquainted with both their ministries, and intimately so with John's.

I knew Warren and his PDL stuff was going to be a force to reckon with in Christendom three or more years ago. I just made that guess because if you are a Christian writer with a book remaining in the number 1 spot on the NYT bestseller list, then there is something dubious about what you are saying. I don't want to find booger bears where none truly exists; Warren has enough to criticize than to claim he is a clandestine Jesuit priest leading protestants back to Rome. However, I believe JM, Greg and many others, have honestly evaluated his material and their criticism are warranted (pardon the pun). Albanes soils his reputation as a researcher to level such baseless charges.

=>The Air America scandal is providing me much needed entertainment. Read Michelle Malkin's summary here.

=>The lovely Mrs. Butler and I enjoyed a fun time at the Hollywood Bowl this past Friday evening. The Bowl is one of the few neat things about living in LA. The area where the Bowl is situated is surrounded by nice wooded areas to hold picnics (in the middle of Hollywood mind you) and part of the whole "Bowl experience" is to arrive 2 1/2 hours before the show starts, find a spot and have a picnic. That is exactly what my wife and I did. She tends to love those thing more than me, but it was a good time, nonetheless.

Every time we go to the bowl with our little picnic basket, I am always reminded of my lower station in life. All the other picnickers sitting around us are of the upper crust, liberal rich crowd. I know, because they have their assortment of 75 dollar bottles of Napa Valley wines sitting next to them on their tables. Believe me, I am no teetotaler, but it is amusing to compare those folks with us and our diet Barq's root beer.

=>Then lastly, my neighbor went out to his garage this past Saturday morning around 8:45 AM to find to his surprise, a man attempting to steal his car. Upon confronting the man, he just hung around and wouldn't leave. He even helped himself to more of the ice cream he had been eating out of their freezer. Of course, that only increased the level of concern with my neighbor and he hollers for his wife to dial 9-1-1. Thankfully, the Sheriff responded quickly and of all things, when the sheriff pulls up to the condo complex, the thief walks over to his car, leans into his window, and starts talking to him as if he is the one who called. My neighbor was following the would be thief, motions to the deputy that "he is the guy" and the sheriff cuffs the guy and arrests him. Come to find out he violated his parole, so he is going away for a while thankfully.

Now, everyone is on edge in our complex. I am startled by every noise I hear, particularly at night. I think I must have investigated 10 false alarms both Saturday and Sunday nights. Being a staunch Calvinist, I am learning lessons on the sovereignty of God. I am reminded of Psalm 3:5,6, I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.


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