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Giving or Taking?

So Thanksgiving was a good time. Saw the family, ate turkey in a grandly decorated basement, ate more turkey later, ate some pie, refereed a few cousin disputes, ate some more pie, watched Kentucky come this-close to beating Tennessee, drove home in the rain, ate some more leftovers.

I thought you should all see the true nature of one of the children at Thanksgiving dinner. Some of you may have seen this picture on Johanna’s site, but it’s worth reposting here. Notice how two of the subjects in the photo are smiling nicely (ok, they’re cheesing it up) for the camera. The other delinquent, however, isn’t satisfied with the one cookie he already has clutched in his hand. Nope, he needs more.

So while his cousin is distracted by the photographer, he sneaks his other hand over to grab his cousin’s cookie. Nice tactic, but he forgot that his attempted thievery was being recorded for all time. Who are this red-haired child’s parents? They either need to teach him to be a little more careful when he’s snatching cookies, or maybe they should instruct their child on just exactly what the eighth commandment is all about . . .



Christ in the OT

Thought from the life (not “story”) of Joseph:

Before he reveals his identity to his brothers, Joseph tests them to see if their hearts have really changed. He plants the silver cup in Benjamin’s sack of grain; as a result of his supposed thievery, Benjamin faces being left in Egypt as a slave. The question is this: what will the other ten brothers do? Will they abandon him — as they did Joseph — without regard for his life or the life of their father Jacob, who loves Benjamin so much? Or will they defend Benjamin and fight to bring him back to his father?

The answer: they’ll fight for him. In one of the most moving and dramatic scenes in the Old Testament, Benjamin’s brother Judah delivers a speech that still stands as a model of repentence and sacrifice. He ends with these words, spoken to Joseph:


“Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father (Jacob), and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life, as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. For your servant (Judah) became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’ Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers. For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father” (Gen. 44:30-34).

No longer is Judah scheming to sell a brother to slave traders; now, he is making a self-sacrificial plea to be allowed to endure the punishment that belongs to another brother. Rather than deceiving his father Jacob, he now feels compassion for him. Judah and his brothers have become men, worthy of carrying the mantle of leaders of the nation of Israel. Judah’s words and sacrificial actions even call to mind the ultimate sacrifice of another Jew (from the line of Judah) almost 2000 years later.

Apparently, Running For President Makes Your Day Job Optional

Good post today from Joe Carter:

Can a Senator or Congressional Representative do their job as a legislator if they never show up for work? Ask the ten legislators currently running for President. Each has continued to collect their $165,200 salary while missing votes during the current Congress:

  • John McCain has missed 218 votes (53.3%)
  • Joseph Biden has missed 146 votes (35.7%)
  • Christopher Dodd has missed 140 votes (34.2%)
  • Barack Obama has missed 139 votes (34.0%)
  • Sam Brownback has missed 134 votes (32.8%)
  • Duncan Hunter has missed 321 votes (28.8%)
  • Tom Tancredo has missed 311 votes (28.0%)
  • Ron Paul has missed 276 votes (24.8%)
  • Hillary Clinton has missed 76 votes (18.6%)
  • Dennis Kucinich has missed 126 votes (11.3%) 
  • He then picks up on a choice quote where John Kerry’s spokesman is defending Kerry’s missed votes during his previous presidential campaign:

    “In the age of telecommunications, Sen. Kerry is in daily contact with his chief of staff,” Meehan said. “Voting is just one small part of being a U.S. senator.”

    Voting is just a small part of being a Senator? What do they consider the big part to be? Hobnobbing with lobbyists? Raising funds for re-election? It’s not as if Kerry was personally responding to letters from his constituents. He has staffers to those types of duties. In fact, voting is one of the few activities that his staff can’t do for him.

    These legislators are not doing their job — representing the people who elected them. Carter has a solution. Read the whole thing.

    Have Our Brains Fallen Out?

    Why would any elected politician entertain — much less promote — the idea of giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants? What am I missing here?

    What Teachers Make

    You might have heard this on tv or the radio. Makes you think about your good teachers, and how honorable a job it is. Written by the same guy who did the slam poem in a video I posted a few weeks ago — Taylor Mali. He used to be a teacher — obviously. Enjoy (there are a couple of things you’ll have to excuse and couple others I edited out). Carrie Jerrell, you’ll appreciate this on a couple of levels. And for all the teachers out there — thanks.

    What Teachers Make, or
    Objection Overruled, or
    If things don’t work out, you can always go to law school

    By Taylor Mali

    He says the problem with teachers is, “What’s a kid going to learn
    from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”
    He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true what they say about
    Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.

    I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
    and resist the temptation to remind the other dinner guests
    that it’s also true what they say about lawyers.

    Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite company.

    “I mean, you¹re a teacher, Taylor,” he says.
    “Be honest. What do you make?”

    And I wish he hadn’t done that
    (asked me to be honest)
    because, you see, I have a policy
    about honesty and a—kicking:
    if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.

    You want to know what I make?

    I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
    I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
    and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
    How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.

    I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
    in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
    No, you may not ask a question.
    Why won’t I let you get a drink of water?
    Because you’re not thirsty, you’re bored, that’s why.

    I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
    I hope I haven’t called at a bad time,
    I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
    Billy said, “Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you?”
    And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

    I make parents see their children for who they are
    and what they can be.

    You want to know what I make?

    I make kids wonder,
    I make them question.
    I make them criticize.
    I make them apologize and mean it.
    I make them write, write, write.
    And then I make them read.
    I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely
    over and over and over again until they will never misspell
    either one of those words again.
    I make them show all their work in math.
    And hide it on their final drafts in English.
    I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
    then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
    by what you make, you don’t let them.

    Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
    I make a —- difference! What about you?


    Just found this and thought it was good enough to deserve a post of its own rather than including it in the roundup below. From an article on adoption that Justin Taylor wrote for Boundless.org:

    Have you ever stopped to think that Jesus Christ was himself adopted? Now we have to be careful — if we say that he was adopted by his eternal heavenly Father than we’ve expressed a heretical understanding! But at the same time, it’s often easy to forget that Joseph was Jesus’ earthly father — they had no biological connection but the relationship was very significant and real.

    Have to admit I have never thought of that perspective. Seems pretty obvious once he points it out. It’s a great encouragement for those who are adopting or are thinking about it. You can’t have a much clearer picture of the Gospel than adoption provides. Read the whole article — there’s a great quote from J.I. Packer (who has three adopted kids — didn’t know that either).

    Friday Roundup

    Politics: Mike Huckabee is getting a lot of play in the national media. Articles today in the N.Y. Times, L.A. Times and Salon.com about how he’s gaining attention and momentum. Probably comes down to him or Romney when it comes to my vote.

    The War: You probably haven’t heard much about it lately. Well, that’s probably because things are looking up. Casualties have dropped markedly and the Iraqi people are becoming more optimistic. Click here to read more about it. Of course, the networks aren’t saying much and the only articles I’ve seen recently have headlines like “2007 is Deadliest Year in Iraq for U.S.” The Democrats have too much invested in the U.S. losing this war to be happy when something good happens. If we’re winning, what are they going to talk about?

    Harry Potter: I have some thoughts on J.K. Rowling’s “outing” of Dumbledore (one of the main characters in the Harry Potter series) but I’ll save those for another post. For now, just think about why she waited until the series was over to reveal his homosexuality.

    And of course, a few oddities:

    –If you’re a hunter, watch out for dogs with guns.

    –No hugging your friends at school. Stop it.

    –We will not be using this name for our child. Anyone who’s having a girl, though, feel free to use it.



    Cow plunges off cliff onto moving minivan

    SPOKANE, Washington (Reuters) – A cow plunged from a 200-foot cliff onto the hood of a minivan on a highway in central Washington state, according to police.

    The car’s occupants, Charles and Linda Everson, were not hurt in Sunday’s accident, but the cow was euthanized at the scene.

    “If the cow had fallen a split second later, the animal would have landed right in their laps,” said Jeff Middleton, criminal deputy of the Chelan County Sheriff’s Department.

    Middleton estimated the animal weighed 600 lbs, or the average size of a mature cow. It had been missing for two days and wandered five miles from home near the popular Lake Chelan tourist area.

    (Reporting by Megan Cooley)

    The Gospel in Two Sentences: From Hate to Hope

    Meant to read 2 Timothy 3 this morning. Accidentally read Titus 3 instead. (Hey, the books are right next to each other. Either that or I can’t read so well.) Anyway, I was struck by this (v. 3-7):

    For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    This is the Gospel. Live here. Soak it up. Experience it new every day. We used to hate, but we have been justified by grace. Now we hope. What could be better?


    From the Mouths of Babes . . .

    Last Saturday morning was a little rough for Carter, the red-haired wonder. He was having trouble obeying right away (he’s almost 3 years old), he had a bad attitude and all that goes with that, and he had managed to earn himself at least a couple of spankings. We’ve all been there.

    So we get ready to go out for a while, and he starts to climb in the van like he usually does. The only problem was that I had to put the stroller in first and it needed to go exactly where he was. So I told him to stop and back up. He didn’t want to do it. I told him again. And then he just laid down on the floor of the van, half hanging out the door, and started crying. He was just bawling his eyes out, body shaking, face screwed up tight, big sobs.

    I picked up him and asked him what was wrong (you know, other than the fact that he wasn’t obeying). He’s got big fat tears running down his face, he’s discouraged and he’s crying and it’s all just coming out and he says exactly what he’s thinking: “IT’S HARD TO OBEY!”

    Then Mommy came out and asked what was wrong and he said it again. So instead of plunking him back in his seat right away, I carried him out to check the mail before we left. On the way, I told him even Mommy and Daddy have a hard time obeying God and the only way any of us can do it is with God’s help.

    He probably won’t remember it, but he described exactly the problem we all have. And the only way for any of us to solve it is through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    In the meantime, he still has to obey right away. If only there were a parenting class going on . . .