Saturday, September 27, 2008

Only In West Virginia!

This week a West Virginia man named Jose Cruz (not to be confused with the former major league baseball player of the same name) was detained in a routine traffic stop for driving without headlights. The police officer smelled the unmistakable odor of alcohol and administered a field sobriety test, which Cruz failed. He was arrested and taken to jail where, while being booked for DUI, he allegedly "passed gas" on the booking officer. This malfeasance resulted in his also being charged for assault on a police officer.

Here is the actual report from a local news outlet:

"Jose A. Cruz, 34, from Clarksburg, West Virginia has been charged with battery on a police officer after he passed gas and fanned it toward a policeman. The man had been pulled over by a police officer on Tuesday because he was driving without headlights.

The policeman reported that Cruz smelled of alcohol. Besides this, he wasn't talking very coherent and failed three sobriety tests. The policeman handcuffed Cruz and took him to a police station for a breathalyzer test. During the time when Patrolman T.E. Parsons got ready the machine, Cruz lifted his
leg and passed gas loudly, according to the patrolman report.

After that, Cruz fanned the gas toward the officer and as the written complaint explained, "the gas was very odorous and created contact of an insulting or provoking nature with Patrolman Parsons."

Besides the charge of offending the patrolman, Cruz was also charged of driving under the influence, driving without headlights and two counts of obstruction. But the 34-year-old man said that he had a troubled
stomach at the time and the police refused him his request to go to the bathroom. He didn't admit of passing the gas toward the officer. "I couldn't hold it no more," he said.

Cruz also added that he wasn't drunk as the police officer said. He was only upset because he had to the test while he was having an
asthma attack. But he didn't want to be taken to the hospital by the policemen. Still, he said the police officers thought the incident was funny and laughed at him."

You just can't make this stuff up! This guy belongs in the same hall of same with the "Duct Tape Bandit".

Oh, by the way, WSAZ Television news reported yesterday that the battery charge against Cruz has been dropped.

I guess boorishness and stupidity is no crime. It's just boorish and stupid…

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Join Us In Prayer

All across America, Southern Baptists (and anyone else) who are concerned about the spiritual condition of our nation are invited to join the "40/40 Prayer Vigil", which begins tomorrow, September 24, 2008. The Prayer vigil is for Spiritual Revival and is co-sponsored by the North American Mission Board and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. It begins tomorrow and runs through November 2nd. The idea is that the last forty hours would have Americans in continuous prayer from 4:00 PM on October 31 through 8:00 AM on Sunday, November 2. During the prayer times the focus would be on personal revival and for the spiritual awakening of the church and our nation.

If you would like to be involved in the 40/40 Prayer Vigil, all of the resources you would need are available on the net. First go to the website of the Southern Baptist Convention, Scroll down the page until you see the 40/40 link. Click on that link and it will take you directly to the Prayer Vigil home page. There you will find the "Prayer Guide" for the daily and hourly prayer guides. Each day will have a theme, and scripture that leads to reflection and a time of personal praise, confession, and responding to the Holy Spirit. All of the downloads are free and available to anyone!

This website provides online registration to register, make daily requests and there is a blog there. You will find a page giving a full description of the 40/40 program.

I am personally going to be taking part in this vigil.

I invite you to join me.

If we ever needed to remember the message of 2 Chronicles 7: 13-14, now is the time!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mega Church Changes and Trends

Most of our readers probably do not attend "Mega Churches", but many have had some connection to one or may have visited one at one time or another. It can be an awesome experience to worship with thousands, but apart from being involved in a church ministry or a small group for Bible study and fellowship, one can easily get lost in the crowd of these huge churches. Past trends for Mega Churches have been to keep builing bigger buildings. However, this article from Focus on the Family's "Pastor's Weekly Briefing", and "" shows some interesting changes to the way many of these churches are "doing church" and how they identify themselves. Here is the article"

"Although attendance continues to increase at America's megachurches, they have not expanded their sanctuaries to accommodate the larger congregations. In fact — according to results from a new study — they have become more innovative in absorbing the growth.

Megachurches are "getting bigger without getting bigger," said Warren Bird, co-author of the new report. The findings are a result of a national study of America's roughly 1,200 megachurches with approximately one third returning a usable response to the survey conducted between February and August of 2008. It is entitled, "Changes in American Megachurches: Tracing Eight Years of Growth and Innovation in the Nation's Largest-Attendance Congregations."
More churches are opting for different strategies when accommodating larger flocks. The average weekend megachurch attendance in 2008 was 4,142 with the average main sanctuary seating at 1,794. As a result, some have turned to "overflow rooms" where attendees would typically watch the service on a video screen in a different area of the church. Many are holding multiple services, with the average megachurch today conducting five weekend services, up from 2005.

Perhaps the newest growth method adopted by megachurches is satellite campuses. During the last five years, over 30 percent of megachurches have adopted the multi-site model compared to only eight percent 6-10 years ago and three percent 11-15 years ago. "There is no doubt that this phenomenon is an increasing reality, judging by the percentage of megachurches that said they began a satellite in each of the past five year time periods," according to the report. On average, churches had two satellite locations and offered four services at these each weekend. The study also found that megachurches with satellite campuses were the most likely group to plant other churches.
Other developing patterns among megachurches included the following:
More megachurches are identifying themselves as "evangelical." In 2000, less than half (48%) chose the label "evangelical," but the number rose in 2008, with 65 percent now taking on the label.

Fewer megachurches are choosing to identify themselves as "charismatic" or "Pentecostal." Only seven percent chose the charismatic label in 2008, compared to 14 percent in 2000, and only four percent labeled themselves Pentecostal, compared to 11 percent in 2000.

The study stated that the majority of megachurch attendees are Republicans, but "they are not the arch-conservatives many people portray them as," illustrating a shift, as well, in political views. Only 33 percent described the majority of their church's attendees as predominantly conservative. Three years ago, 51 percent had that label. Also, 44 percent said their congregants are "somewhat on the conservative side" in 2008, compared to 33 percent in 2005. And 17 percent labeled their congregants as "right in the middle," while 11 percent said the same three years ago. [] "

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

House For Sale

Linda and I have determined that it is time for us to get out of the landlord business. There are just not enough hours in the day.

We are offering the house pictured here for sale at $44,900. This is a two bedroom cottage at 319 - 49th Street Ashland, KY. , carpeted throughout, washer/dryer included, gas logs in the fireplace. Excellent for investment property or for individuals, seniors, couples, or a family with one child. Off street parking in the back of the house off the alley. Nice back yard.

This is kind of a shot in the dark, but who knows?
Someone reading this blog just may be the perfect person (or know the perfect person) for this house!

This house is located next door to our house (good neighbors!) and we have rented this house for $450 per month.

Inquiries can be sent via email to me at or by calling 606-465-6160.

Monday, September 15, 2008

How Crazy Is This?

The French News Agency (Agence France-Presse) reports that effective September 1, 2008 a new law took effect in Switzerland, that specifies how all domestic animals are to be treated. has the story.

It seems that this law does not only apply to Fido and Tabby (which we would normally think of as domestic pets), but the new rights extend to some other animals. In fact, it applies to pets, farm animals, wild animals in zoos and circuses, and animals used in experiments. The new law even bans "catch and release" fishing. It stipulates that hamsters, goats, and sheep should not live alone, and that pigs have the right to a shower. (You can't make this stuff up).

The new law spells out in detail how all domestic animals must be treated. For example, your goldfish is now entitled to death with dignity. Live goldfish may not be flushed down the toilet, but must be first knocked out and then killed before the body can be disposed. I've never known anyone who has flushed a live goldfish, although I am relatively sure that it has probably been done on occasion. But is this a real problem?

Granted, this law was enacted in Switzerland, but are we in America far behind? I'll be the first to ask that the lives and safety of pets should be protected. Only a low life of the first water would harm a defensless animal. However, how far out of kilter are we in this present culture? We have laws to protect whales, spotted owls, snail darters, etc. A man went to jail a couple of years ago in Cabell County, WV, for dragging a stubborn mule down a country road with his pick up truck. He should have. However, when did we get things so turned around that domestic and farm animals have human like rights, and the most innocent among us (the unborn, partially born, and just born humans) are afforded no rights whatsoever?

Each year in America, more than 4,200 of our precious unborn children are slaughtered in what should be the safest place on earth - their mother's womb! Their lives are snufffed out and their beating hearts are stopped in the name of "choice" and "reproductive rights".

How crazy is this?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Glaring Double Standard

I am a political junkie. There. I've said it. Even though I have strong political feelings, and believe that my personal faith and Biblical world view should permeate every aspect of my life, I make a concerted effort to never venture into partisan politics from the pulpit. That's tough duty for a pastor who has to minister to a congregation of Democrats AND Republicans, and whose job is not to preach partisanship, but Grace and Redemption to everyone. Evangelical pastors must walk a fine line, preaching Biblical values for everyday life, while never endorsing partisan political candidates from the pulpit. In the first place, it is unseemly and divisive, automatically bringing an unnecessary polarizing issue to the very audience the pastor is attempting to reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Secondly, there are legal issues involved.

The forum that Rick Warren moderated at Saddleback Church was a delicate balancing act, with identical questions for both Presidential candidates. Although I was a little uncomfortable with the venue, I was not nearly as bothered as I am by seeing Monday morning news coverage of EITHER Presidential candidate in the pulpit of some house of worship on the previous Sunday. That's just wrong. While I do preach that the Christian's role of being Salt and Light in the present culture does extend into the public square as well as the voting booth, I have vowed not to endorse political candidates from the pulpit. I'll share my opinions about them with anyone who wants to talk about them privately, or in a social setting, but not during worship time.

Now, any one who has read my posts in the past knows, I do hold both "social and fiscal" conservative values. This year's Presidential race (which seems to have been going on forever) has really left me "underwhelmed". Senator Obama is obviously a highly intelligent and meteoric figure on the political scene, but he is scary. The obviously liberal (almost socialistic) views of the Democratic candidate are abhorrent to my conservative sensibilities. His economic policies which amount to the redistribution of wealth is dangerous to our capitalistic economy. I am more fearful of his potential choices for the federal bench and for possible vacancies on the Supreme Court. While claiming to be the agent of "change", his political campaign has been more of the same old, same old, and his VP nominee, Joe Biden is a classic Washington insider. That ticket looks like an empty suit and a political hack to me.

Senator McCain, on the other hand, is not a real exciting figure to this conservative either. On the plus side, he is pro life, and his military service to our country and the personal sacrifices he has made make him a genuine American hero. The Senator from Arizona, however, has some worrisome stands on immigration, global warming, and campaign financing (McCain-Feingold). I appreciate the fact that he supported (almost alone at first) the troop surge that seems to have turned the corner toward bringing our troops home from Iraq. He has also been a force against pork barrel spending in Congress, which I deeply appreciate. Unfortunately, McCain also leaves me somewhat cold.

Then he made his announcement of his choice for a running mate.

I was dumbfounded. So was the rest of the nation. We were all ready for Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty, but McCain knocked this one out of the park!

My prior knowledge of Sarah Palin was that I had read in the newspapers a few months ago that the Governor of Alaska had given birth to her fifth child. That's it. However, the more I have learned about this former Mayor of Wasilla and first term Governor has been enough to excite me and give me hope for a future of the Conservative cause. A professing Christian, (Assembly of God) she is firmly pro-life and staunchly conservative in her politics. I couldn't care less that she was a runner up for Miss Alaska, a moose hunter, hockey mom, or a high school basketball star. I am impressed, however, by her accomplishments in office as a reform minded Mayor and Governor, and her fiscal responsibility, Her support for the sanctity of human life, the second amendment, drilling for oil on Alaska's north slope, tax cuts, and pro business policies make her the most impressive candidate on either ticket.

The furor that her nomination created in the opposing camp was more than I would have imagined. Everyone from the typical politicos to a number of national news media figures have been downright sexist and brutal in their personal attacks on Governor Palin. First on the matter of her experience (or inexperience). Whereas Barack Obama's political career consists of a couple of nondescript terms in the Illinois legislature and 140 weeks on the floor of the U.S. Senate, this lady has actual executive experience. Furthermore, as Governor, she has also served as Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard. Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, called her "shrill". Sally Quinn of the Washington Post wrote that Governor Palin has little time to serve as Vice President since she has five children, one of whom is a special needs child.

One expects attacks from James Carville, Paul Begalia, Donna Brazille, and other partisan "talking heads". However, when you find other media network personalities like Keith Obermann and some of the crew on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" unabashedly slurring her and her family - that's just unacceptable. This is where the double standard really begins to show. So many of the left leaning crowd has shown their true colors.

Where are the feminists who have preached for decades about women needing to leave their children in daycare and get involved in the workplace? Now they're saying Governor Palin should stay home and take care of her family. How about those who have ballyhooed the loosening sexual mores among our young people. Now they criticize Governor Palin's unmarried daughter for an unplanned pregnancy. That is an unfortunate situation indeed, but the young lady is going to carry the baby to term and is preparing to marry the father. Furthermore, some of the attackers of Bristol Palin are the very voices who have cried in the past that Chelsea Clinton and other members of political families are off limits. Which is it? Critics claim that Sarah Palin is unprepared for high political office. Yet she does bring reform executive experience to the table while Senator Obama has written two memoirs and no laws during his legislative career. The funny thing is that Democrat, Geraldine Ferraro (the first female VP candidate) has said publicly, "Of course Governor Palin is qualified to do the job!"

One of the most glaring hypocrites of all is none other than the queen of talk, Oprah Winfrey. Oprah, long an advocate of women's rights and their rightful place in the workplace, is backing off in this case. Granted, Oprah is openly in the Obama camp, and that's OK. That is her privilege. Furthermore, it is her perogative to have whomever she wishes as a guest on her popular show. However, today Oprah has announced that she will not invite Governor Palin to be a guest. She claims that she will not have any of the candidates on her show until after the election. What does she fear by allowing Governor Palin to appear? Please take note of the accompanying photo. The double standard is here. I rest my case.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cardboard Testimonies

Some of you may have seen this YouTube video before. If not, please click on the following link and prepare to be touched by the Holy Spirit and rejoice in the Grace of God!