Hurricane KATRINA...what a mess!

Here's a link to the Washington Post story from this morning:

This will turn out to be one of the most costly and destructive of any natural disaster in recent memory. The people of southern Louisiana, and southern Mississippi have a long road of retrieval, renewal, and repair.

Let's do everything we can to help them. That includes prayer.

This one "takes the cake..."

Of all the idiotic things our Federal Government attempts to do, this one certainly takes the cake for supreme stupidity. Read on:

The Air Force's new guidelines for religious tolerance will discourage public prayer at official functions and urge commanders to be "sensitive" about personal expressions of religious faith, according to a draft obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

The draft directs chaplains to "respect the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs."

The guidelines, which would apply to the entire Air Force, were drawn up after allegations that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive.

An Air Force task force concluded that some students and staff at the school have the perception that the academy favors evangelical Christians and is intolerant of those who do not share their faith.

The draft was provided to the Associated Press by Mikey Weinstein, an academy graduate and persistent critic of the school's handling of religion. Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Stevens confirmed the accuracy of the draft and said it was expected to be officially released later Monday.

The draft does not ban public prayer outright and says short, nonsectarian prayers may be included in special ceremonies or events, but only to lend a sense of solemnity and not to promote specific beliefs.

Nor does it bar personal discussions of religion, including discussions between commanders and subordinates. It cautions Air Force members "to be sensitive to the potential that personal expressions may appear to be official expressions."

The draft states that members of the Air Force "will not officially endorse or establish religion, either one specific religion, or the idea of religion over non-religion."

It also says that "abuse or disrespect" of Air Force members based on their religious beliefs, or lack of such beliefs, is unacceptable.

Funny, but in my ten years of military service--Air Force, at that---not once did I see anyone "disrespected" or "abused" because of their religious beliefs, or lack thereof.

The absolute insanity of our government officials astounds me sometimes.

As well it should.

Happy Birthday to my former friend....

My former friend, Chris (in Minneapolis) is celebrating his 35th Birthday today! I wish I were there to celebrate it with him, and to let him know just how special he is to so many people.

But alas, that won't be the case.

Sadly enough...because Chris no longer considers me to be his friend, or even his brother in Christ.

Innuendoes, gossip, suspicions, and alot of loose-lipped people made sure this friendship wouldn't last. Like I said earlier...sadly enough.

I really didn't think that we followers of Christ could or (worse yet) would behave as we have in our relationships with one another...

But we do, we did, and we have.

Maybe someday, we will realize just how much we are grieving the heart of God in how we are treating and responding to one another.

Happy Birthday Chris Martino!

For Heaven's sake, PAT...SHUT UP!

Every time M.G. "Pat" Robertson opens his mouth about governmental policy in this nation, he seems to INSERT BOTH OF HIS FEET.

In the meantime, he embarrasses the rest of the followers of Christ in this country. And this isn't the first time. Read on:

CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuela's vice president accused religious broadcaster Pat Robertson on Tuesday of making "terrorist statements" by suggesting that American agents assassinate President Hugo Chavez.

Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said Venezuela was studying its legal options, adding that how Washington responds to Robertson's comments would put its anti-terrorism policy to the test.

"The ball is in the U.S. court, after this criminal statement by a citizen of that country," Rangel told reporters. "It's huge hypocrisy to maintain this discourse against terrorism and at the same time, in the heart of that country, there are entirely terrorist statements like those."

The State Department distanced itself from Robertson's comments.

"We do not share his view, and his comments are inappropriate," spokesman Sean McCormack said.

There was no immediate comment from Chavez, who was winding up an official visit to Cuba on Tuesday. Scores of journalists awaited Chavez at the airport, where he was to board a plane for a trip to Jamaica to discuss a Venezuela initiative to supply petroleum to Caribbean countries under favorable financial terms.

On Monday, Robertson said on the Christian Broadcast Network's "The 700 Club": "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability."

"We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

Chavez has emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of President Bush , accusing the United States of conspiring to topple his government and possibly backing plots to assassinate him. U.S. officials have called the accusations ridiculous.

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

Rangel called Robertson "a man who seems to have quite a bit of influence in that country," adding sarcastically that his words were "very Christian."

The comments "reveal that religious fundamentalism is one of the great problems facing humanity in these times," Rangel said.

Robertson's remarks appear likely to further stoke tensions between Washington and Caracas. Chavez has repeatedly claimed that American officials are plotting to oust or kill him — charges U.S. officials have denied.

The United States is the top buyer of Venezuelan crude, but Chavez has made it clear he wants to decrease the country's dependence on the U.S. market by finding other buyers.

Chavez has survived a brief 2002 coup, a devastating two-month strike that ended in early 2003 and recall referendum in 2004. The former army paratroop commander, a close ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, is up for re-election next year, and polls suggest he is the favorite.

Would someone please tell Pat to put a "lid on it."


My precious friend Gail!

Gail Lemmert has been a friend of mine now for many years. What a gracious, godly lady! And what a wonderful lady to call "mom"--among the many "moms" that I'm blest to have.

For many years she was the Director of Counseling and Testing at Lee University ( in Cleveland, TN. Now she is the Pastor of Spiritual Formation at the Westmore Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee. Her Senior Pastor is an old colleague of mine from college days, Bishop Kelvin Page.

This indeed is a small world.

From the mouth of children

A friend sent these to me:
A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.

The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.

The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.

Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.

The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah".

The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"

The little girl replied, "Then you ask him ".

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work.

As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.

The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."

The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."

Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds.

After explaining the commandment to "honor" thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?"

Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, "Thou shall not kill."

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head.

She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, "Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?"

Her mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white."

The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, "Momma, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?"

The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture."

Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say, 'There's Jennifer, she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael, He's a doctor.'

A small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the teacher, she's dead."

A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, "Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face."

"Yes," the class said."

Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn't run into my feet?"

A little fellow shouted,"Cause your feet ain't empty."

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch.

At the head of the table was a large pile of apples.

The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray:"Take only ONE. God is watching."

Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.

A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."


Laughter is, indeed, the best medicine.