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"Brother, Are You Saved?"

If you were to ask most church members the most well-known verse in the Bible, they would immediately respond "John 3:16." A high percentage of them could surely quote it, as well:

For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but should have eternal life.

If you were to then ask them what this verse is about, many would use the word "saved" in their answer: "It's about getting saved!" Saved from what? "Why, from hell, of course!"

Here's a thought: what happens if you use a different helping verb? Could this verse be about "becoming saved" instead? And what does "saved" really mean, anyway? In this week's Reflection on the Lections, let's take a look at the use of the word "saved" in the New Testament, and see if it can inform our study of John 3.

Click to read more ...


"Can You Hear Me Now?"

I recently bought a new iPad, and decided to break down and buy a data plan with it. I went with Verizon, since they would allow the iPad to be used as a wifi hot spot and AT&T wouldn't. (If I recall correctly.)

Anyway, this has led to an interesting experiment -- the opportunity to do real-time comparisons between AT&T coverage on my iPhone and Verizon coverage on my iPad.

Click to read more ...


Historic Day at a Baptist Church

Memorial Day Sunday 2012 was a historic day at our church, Highland Baptist of Louisville.

Why? We ordained someone to the ministry.

"So what?" you say. "Churches do that all the time."

True, they do. This was a little different, though. A local advocacy group (not the church) issued a press release; perhaps the headline will capture why it was historic:

"Highland Baptist Church Ordains Openly Gay Minister"

Yes we did, and gladly. Make the jump to learn more, and to celebrate with us.

Click to read more ...


Old-Time PR People Don't Get It

 I'm amused by the reaction of the Komen PR people to the shitstorm they created. Repeatedly, they accused Planned Parenthood of "coordinating" the attacks, of having an "organization of allies" that "swung into action" when PP called. One angry Komen commenter accused PP of using "thug tactics."

Obviously, they don't get it.

Click to read more ...


SOP in Frankfort

So, once again we see SOP in Frankfort. And I'm not talking about Standard Operating Procedure. No, it's the Same Old Politics on both sides of the aisle -- and this time, there are multiple casualties.

Click to read more ...


Crum versus Pitino: By the Numbers

After some of the talk over the past few weeks, I decided to pull the records for Denny Crum's last ten years and Rick Pitino's first ten, just to see. Not a lot of surprises, but if you like numbers, you might like looking this over.

Click to read more ...


RNC Decides to Finish Destroying Democracy

There are headlines that are so jaw-dropping in their implications that they stop you cold in your tracks. Then, when you try to tell others about them, talking about them doesn't work. You just have to share them, and wait for the other person to stop cold in their tracks as well.

So, here you go:

Republican National Committee Files Brief Seeking To Allow Corporate Funding of Campaigns

Yep -- you read that right. The RNC, those wonderful lovers of our form of government, have asked the Supreme Court to EXPAND the Citizens United decision to allow corporations to donate directly to campaigns. And to give as much as they want. With no limits.

If that hasn't caused you to mutter amazed expletives to yourself, try these numbers:

  • The total cost of the 2008 Presidential campaign for EVERYONE -- both candidates, PACs, 527s, you name it -- was $5.3 billion.
  • Citigroup's gross profit for 2011 was $60 billion.

In other words, ONE COMPANY could underwrite the entire campaign of any presidential candidate it chose -- and not even breathe hard.

I try -- I really try -- to be charitable to Republicans most of the time. But this is one of the most dangerous ideas any so-called political party has ever come up with, and it deserves to be shouted down by people from every side of the aisle.


Good Cap, Bad Cap

Yeah, it's a trick headline. You probably misread it to be "good cop, bad cop." But no, it's about something else: capitalism. And just like there are good cops and bad cops, there is good capitalism and bad capitalism.

No less a person than Rick Perry has figured this out:

Click to read more ...


First Post With Windows Live Writer

So, I’ve just discovered this tool in the Windows Live suite for posting to your blog, and decided to give it a try. Fired it up, pointed it at this blog site, and it grabbed the format and styles and was ready to go in about a minute.

It’s got LOTS of  formatting and media tools right on the toolbar. One of the most important for me is color. I like to use different colors when I format things, as I think it makes things easier to read. Of course, it’s got all the standard formatting things as well.

I also like that I can do a local post, save it to my computer, then post it when I get an internet connection. Hmm, bus-ride writing, anyone?

I already had a tool built into my browser, but it (the tool) was a little flaky. This may be much better for some things. So, we’ll see.


Happy New Year!

It's the first day back at work, and the first day back at writing. A few days ago, my friend Conway Stone asked on Facebook that we list three goals for 2012. Here's what I put:

1. Add 20 poems to my set and submit for publication.
2. Blog at least three times a week.
3. Start the new web site I've been planning for a year.

So, here's a start on #2. Let's see how soon I can post a new poem!

As for #3 -- well, that's a bigger commitment, both in time and in reputation. We'll see.

Happy New Year, everyone!


The End of the Constitution

I want you to read the following exchange among United States Senators, and then ask yourself:

Does this sound like "protecting and defending the Constitution"?

Click to read more ...


A Useful Windows 7 Utility

One of the things I liked in XP was the network activity icons. There was one for each network connection I had enabled, usually wireless and ethernet. I would check them for activity, to see if data was moving or things were just "stuck." But in Windows 7, there were gone, replaced only with the five-bars strength indicator. Bleah.

Click to read more ...


Discovered: the Problem With the Louisville Orchestra

I have found the root cause of the demise of our Louisville Orchestra. It is in the first two sentences of the recent letter from the LO board to the Courier-Journal. Do you see it?

As the board of directors of the Louisville Orchestra, we are the fiscal stewards of the organization. We are the designated trustees of the money that our many donors generously provide ...

In case you didn't immediately see the problem, let me spell it out for you and for the board:

Click to read more ...


Kabuki Dance Ends, But Tragedy Continues

Finally, the kabuki dance is over.

Unfortunately, it was just one act. The play, an ongoing tragedy with many actors and no leads, continues.

Click to read more ...


What Part of "Public" Does UofL Not Understand?

I've been following the hospital merger story from the outside, just like most of you, and I've got just one question:

What part of "public" does UofL not understand?

Click to read more ...