Sunday, December 30, 2007

Culinary Shocker: Cooking Can Preserve, Boost Nutrient Content Of Vegetables

ScienceDaily (2007-12-30) -- In a finding that defies conventional culinary wisdom, researchers in Italy report that cooking vegetables can preserve or even boost their nutritional value in comparison to their raw counterparts, depending on the cooking method used.

Woo hoo! Steam them veggies!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Oof... I ate too much

The holiday eating season is finally drawing to a close. I topped it off with several days of Christmas feasting involving ham and mashed potatoes and pie and ice cream and eggnog and cookies and cakes and candy and all the rest of the goodies people hurled in my direction. I turned nothing down, I ate it all! :-P~

Then my immune system crashed, what with my body being too busy trying to digest all of that food and I came down with a nasty cold the day after Christmas. I'm convinced that is why I got it, my body was weakened by too much sugar, meat and alcohol.

Overdosing on sugar: Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp) of sugar which is the equivalent of about two cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by forty percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. In contrast, the ingestion of complex carbohydrates, or starches, has no effect on the immune system.

Excess alcohol: Excessive alcohol intake can harm the body's immune system in two ways. First, it produces an overall nutritional deficiency, depriving the body of valuable immune- boosting nutrients. Second, alcohol, like sugar, consumed in excess can reduce the ability of white cells to kill germs. High doses of alcohol suppress the ability of the white blood cells to multiply, inhibit the action of killer white cells on cancer cells, and lessen the ability of macrophages to produce tumor necrosis factors. One drink (the equivalent of 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounces of hard liquor) does not appear to bother the immune system, but three or more drinks do. Damage to the immune system increases in proportion to the quantity of alcohol consumed. Amounts of alcohol that are enough to cause intoxication are also enough to suppress immunity.

I gained 5 pounds since Thanksgiving and ended up sick.


Will power? Just say no? Ha!

So, back to low fat vegetarian eating for me, so long holiday "death food"! :-)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

How to spin a story

Uncle Remus

Judy Wallman, a professional genealogical researcher, discovered that Hillary Clinton's great-great uncle, Remus Rodham, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889.

The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows. On the back of the picture is this inscription 'Remus Rodham; horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889.'

Judy e-mailed Hillary Clinton for comments. Hillary's staff of professional image adjusters sent back the following biographical sketch:

'Remus Rodham was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad.

In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.

And THAT is how it's done folks!-

Blowback coming

And now, brought to you by Bush and Friends, Blowback! Starring nuclear armed Pakistan collapsing into anarchy and civil war. Watch and fear as our short sighted and foolish imperial policy of backing the vile murderous dictator of Pakistan with billions of dollars in military aid over the democratically elected government blows up in our faces. Watch in horror as REAL weapons of mass destruction vanish into the underground of terrorists and Islamic fanatics. Watch as our Glorious Leader claims it's all because they hate our freedoms! Watch as FOX claims it has nothing to do with the Empire and we just need to stay the course... until we are all vaporized by the blowback I suppose...

Bhutto Assassinated in Attack on Rally

At Least a Dozen Others Also Killed

An attack on a political rally killed the Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto near the capital, Islamabad, Thursday. Witnesses said Ms. Bhutto was fired upon at close range and further injured by the explosion...

John Moore/Getty Images

A man injured in the attack at the rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Lora & Serenity

Here is a picture of Lora and Serenity at church recently:

Monday, December 24, 2007

Ron Paul on giving back money from a racist

Ron Paul was interviewed on the Fox network about a donation he got from a white supremacist group. He refused to agree to give it back, check out the interview:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Program and Education Options

I just got back from the Christmas program at Messiah. Serenity, Mike and Lora were all in it so I was the only family member in the audience :-) Serenity was wonderful, she gave out her lines clearly and loud enough to hear, no mumbling and stumbling from my granddaughter. If there is one thing Serenity has no problem with it's talking! Getting her to stop is another matter altogether.

I've been toying with the idea of homeschooling for Serenity. I'm in the midst of doing some online research. I have a number of reasons for thinking of this. First is that I am convinced that public schools are really not good for learning anything other than obedience to authority. That is their primary purpose as far as I can tell. The idea of government indoctrination camps for 6 year olds just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I also don't agree with much of what is taught in public schools, from the glories of the American Empire and the flag waving hyper-propaganda the kids are made to participate in to the one sided presentation of science issues like evolution and global warming with the one side always being the left wing socialist view. Everything has a government solution as far as the public schools are concerned and they start teaching it in kindergarten!

When I think back on my own wasted school years I recall learning virtually nothing from school after basic reading and arithmetic. I took a lot of classes that didn't stick, took numerous tests to regurgitate information for a grade but I didn't learn anything. Everything I know now about history and science and other subjects I learned on my own, reading for pleasure and researching them outside of school. I think learning what you want to learn is really the only way to do it, otherwise you are just getting a grade.

I have other reasons for thinking this would be a good idea. One of them is that on my long weekends Serenity and I could travel about, see the area, go to museums, hike and camp and enjoy ourselves, all while she and I are learning exciting and fun things together. That would be so much better than what we have now which is me being pinned here because most of my days off I need to be around to take care of Serenity after school anyway. I may as well do the "teaching" and have some fun along the way. Oh, and staying up late and sleeping in, we would both like that once in a while and homeschooling means never having to set your alarm clock... well at least on those days I'm off anyway :-/

I've checked out a few web sites so far.

California Homeschool Network

An Unschooling Life

Sandra Dodd on Unschooling

The last three are on the more radical side of the homeschooling movement. I, of course, lean toward the more anarchistic styles they advocate as opposed to the more formal homeschooling where you pretty much have school classes in your home.

Your prayers are invited as I ponder this idea. Advice is cool as well. :-)

Related to this issue is the fact that Lora is thinking strongly about attending Art classes. She is looking at the San Francisco Academy of Art. Or, if financial aid isn't forthcoming, a local community college's art program.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Should Islam be banned?

Here is one of those rare instances when I agree with John Warwick Montgomery. In reference to the case in the Sudan, where British volunteer school teacher Gillian Gibbons was imprisoned for allowing the children to name a teddy bear Muhammad, after one of the pupils in the class, Montgomery commented:

"You'll pardon my opinion on this, but I would outlaw the Muslim
religion on the very same basis that I would outlaw the Aztec
religion. The Aztec religion holds to human sacrifice. I would not
allow that religion to prevail, nor would I allow Islam to prevail,
because the moment that they get into any situation of power, the
result is this kind of thing, which is against human rights and
against human civilization. And I don't care that there's some lovely
Muslims around. I'm sure there were some very fine Aztecs as well."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Eating Tips for the Holidays

I just got this from my sister Kari, now this is Holiday Reality:

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an 'eggnog-aholic' or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it! Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think.

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand-alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, pumpkin and mincemeat - have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert -- Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards. (Larry asks, am I the only person on Earth who actually likes fruitcake?)

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips: Start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember: "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO-HOO what a ride!"

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Katharina von Bora Luther

Katharina von Bora (1499-1552) was placed in a convent when still a child and became a nun in 1515. In April 1523 she and eight other nuns were rescued from the convent and brought to Wittenberg. There Martin Luther helped return some to their former homes and placed the rest in good families. Katharina and Martin were married on June 13, 1525. Their marriage was a happy one and blessed with six children. Katharina skillfully managed the Luther household, which always seemed to grow because of his generous hospitality. After Luther's death in 1546, Katharina remained in Wittenberg but lived much of the time in poverty. She died in an accident while traveling with her children to Torgau in order to escape the plague. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Today's readings

In the end, God will bring justice upon the earth, only we who are in Christ will live.

Isaiah 40:18-41:10, Revelation 8:1-13

Revelation 8

The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer
1When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, 4and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. 5Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings,[a] flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
The Seven Trumpets
6Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

7The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

8The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11The name of the star is Wormwood.[b] A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.

12The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.

13Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rick Warren - Heretic

Here is yet more proof that Rick Warren is a heretic and is helping people to go to hell rather than preaching the gospel of salvation through Christ.

From the Christian Post:

Rick Warren Counsels Jews on Recruiting Congregants

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren attended a large Reform Jewish gathering last week to share tips on how to build a community.

Warren - who saw his church expand from seven people meeting in his house to 22,000 people worshipping in an expansive treasure island-like campus – said the key to holding onto visitors is involving them in a small group.

“We believe congregations have to grow large and small at the same time,” Warren said Thursday, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. “We don’t really feel like people are in the congregation until they’re in small groups.”

The “Purpose-Driven” pastor spoke to thousands of Jewish leaders Thursday night at the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial convention in San Diego.

With the holiday season in mind, Warren urged clergy to take advantage of crowded events to publicize other programs so people can get involved in the community through smaller groups.

“There are some principles that apply regardless of our faith, if it’s Jewish or Christian,” he said at the convention.

One of his principles: “Just be nice to people. Smile.”

OK, so now we know, God doesn't care if we are Christians or Muslims or Jews or even atheists I suppose, as long as we are "just nice and smile" we are all right with God. These people are going to HELL without Christ! You cannot say this sort of thing to them in a public forum, it is the very worst kind of heresy, it's a heresy that is sending people to hell thinking they don't really need the cross of Christ! You must tell them that they are sinners deserving of eternal damnation and that there is nothing at all they can do to change that, including making nice and smiling a lot! Then you can tell them that there is Good News! Tell them the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that he came and stood in our place, lived a perfect righteous and holy life for us and then was hung and bled and died on the cross for us, that in Him we have been made children of God the Father and are saved. As Saint Paul said, For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2 You cannot be ashamed of the cross of Christ!

Warren will have to answer to God for the eternal deaths of thousands, maybe millions of people who are being led astray by his lies and deceptions.


Commemoration of Adam and Eve

I didn't realize we did a commemoration of Adam and Eve, cool, today is the day...

Adam and Eve

Adam was the first man, made in the image of God and given dominion over all the earth (Gen 1:26). Eve was the first woman, formed from one of Adam's ribs to be his companion and helper (2:18-24). God placed them in the Garden of Eden to take care of the creation as his representatives. But they forsook God's Word and plunged the world into sin (3:1-7). For this disobedience God drove them from the Garden. Eve had to suffer the pain of childbirth and be subject to Adam; Adam had to toil amid thorns and thistles and return to the dust of the ground. Yet God promised that the woman's Seed would crush the serpent's head (3:8-24). Sin had entered God's perfect creation and changed it until God would restore it again through Christ. Eve is the mother of the human race, while Adam is representative of all humanity and the Fall, as Saint Paul writes, "For in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:22). [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Today's readings

From today's readings this encouraging word comes to me:

Isaiah 34:1-2, 34:8-35:10, Revelation 6:1-17

Isaiah 35:8 And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

How can one such as I survive the journey through this life? I am on the Way (this is what Christianity was called before Antioch, see Acts 24:14.) So, since I have been baptized into Christ, "even if they are fools they shall not go astray" applies to me. At least that is how I read it this rainy early morning.

Monday, December 17, 2007

2 songs of praise from my morning readings today

The first from the book of Revelation:

Revelation 5
The Scroll and the Lamb
1Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?" 3And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5And one of the elders said to me, "Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals." 6And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song, saying,

"Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth."

11Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" 13And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" 14And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Doesn't that just send a shiver up your spine though? :-) That will be The Day!

The second song of praise from my readings today was a version of the Te Deum:

Te Deum
O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee.
All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles,
The wonderful company of Prophets,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When Thou tookest it upon Thyself to deliver man,
Thou didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.
Having overcome the sting of death, Thou opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all
Thou sitest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou willst come to be our Judge.
We, therefore, beg Thee to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy
Precious Blood.
Let them be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.

V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance!
R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.

V. Every day we thank Thee.
R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yes, forever and ever.

V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.

V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee.
R. O Lord, in Thee I have put my trust; let me never be put to shame.

Give all Praise to God on this Monday in the Third Week of Advent.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

One last post on the Golden Compass

Anthony Sacramone has, by far, the best description of Pullman's trilogy I have seen, read it here.

...Look, here’s the thing. The movie may be harmless in itself. Frankly, it could be Mary Poppins on ice. But I wouldn’t pay one red cent to see it or take any child I know to see it. What matters here is context, and the film’s context is the phenomenal success of a trilogy of tales intended to instill in children a red-hot hate for religion in general and in Christianity in particular...

Be sure to read the whole First Things blog article, it's great stuff.

Quote of the day

Government action generally splits the difference between “useless” and “harmful.”
William N. Grigg in a blog post about "The Fence."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Right to Life

“I have never been one who is comfortable talking about my faith in the political arena. In fact, the pandering that typically occurs in the election season I find to be distasteful. But for those who have asked, I freely confess that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior, and that I seek His guidance in all that I do. I know, as you do, that our freedoms come not from man, but from God. My record of public service reflects my reverence for the Natural Rights with which we have been endowed by a loving Creator. The right of an innocent, unborn child to life is at the heart of the American ideal of liberty. My professional and legislative record demonstrates my strong commitment to this pro-life principle.” -- Ron Paul’s ‘Statement of Faith’

Friday, December 14, 2007

Govco vs. PCS

My oh my! Govco does hate it when private folks try to horn in on their extortion racket:

San Francisco Chronicle

Parking scam perpetrators must repay Bay Area victims

Friday, December 14, 2007

(12-13) 08:34 PST SAN RAFAEL -- A private parking company that left official-looking but fake citations on cars parked in free lots in the Bay Area will have to reimburse people who paid the tickets, according to the Marin County district attorney's office.

Under terms of a settlement reached with Parking Control Service Inc. - also known as PCS - the company will refund all parking charges paid by drivers from March 2003 to Dec. 12, if those people submit a valid claim.

The company will also pay $100,000 in civil penalties and $30,000 to Marin and Sonoma counties for the cost of their two-year investigation into PCS' practices.

According to Marin County District Attorney Edward Berberian, PCS monitors free public and private parking lots at shopping centers and other places in Marin, Sonoma, Alameda, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.

From 2003 to this month, employees of the company would leave written notices that looked like government-issued tickets on cars that allegedly violated the posted parking rules or state laws, Berberian said Wednesday.

The notices demanded that the drivers pay a fine and threatened to have their car towed or immobilized if the parking charges were not paid, he said.

"Consumers complained they were deceived into paying these charges believing PCS was a government entity based on the appearance and wording of the parking notices," Berberian said.

In addition to requiring the reimbursements, the settlement prohibits the company from threatening any actions involving vehicles unless state law allows that. The agreement also requires PCS to make "conspicuous disclosures" on future parking notices that it is not a government agency.

To receive a refund, victims must send proof of payment to the Parking Control Service Settlement Refund, P.O. Box 231, South San Francisco, CA 94083.

The last day to submit a claim is May 10. Any complaints may be e-mailed to the Marin County district attorney's office at consumer; people may also call the Sonoma County district attorney at (707) 565-3161.

E-mail Marisa Lagos at

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Obama's Platform

Santa Lucia

Lucia, Martyr

One of the victims of the great persecution under the Roman emperor Diocletian, Lucia met her death at Syracuse on the island of Sicily in the year A.D. 304 because of her Christian faith. Known for her charity, "Santa Lucia" (as she is called in Italy) gave away her dowry and remained a virgin until her execution by the sword. The name Lucia means "light," and because of that, festivals of light commemorating her became popular throughout Europe, especially in the Scandinavian countries. There her feast day corresponds with the time of year when there is the least amount of daylight. In artistic expression she is often portrayed in a white baptismal gown, wearing a wreath of candles on her head. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pick your poison

Here is the best description of the Republican and Democratic candidates for President of the United States of America I've seen so far this season. Check it out!

Candidates from both parties have been braying the same old line we hear during every presidential election: This is the most important election of a generation, or perhaps even a century. So much is at stake that you, the harried voter, need to hang on every word every candidate utters during the televised debates. Do you want the candidate who is "standing up for regular families," or the one "who speaks the truth and who will restore America's moral leadership," or the one who understands that our nation "embodies the belief that tomorrow can be better than today"? Such big issues and tough choices!

Read the full descriptions here.

Linked faults

I've always known that the Hayward fault in the east bay was a huge hazard, now it seems it may actually be larger than previously believed.

From SF

[N]ew seismic research indicates that the Hayward and its neighboring fault, the Calaveras, might be connected underground to make them, in effect, a single and even more dangerous fault.

A research geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park reported on the research during the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on Tuesday. Evidence of creep and microquakes too tiny to be felt on both faults, said Russell Graymer, makes it appear that the Hayward and Calaveras are joined as a single fault less than four miles beneath the surface. (Full story)


Linked faults

I've always known that the Hayward fault in the east bay was a huge hazard, now it seems it may actually be larger than previously believed.

From SF

[N]ew seismic research indicates that the Hayward and its neighboring fault, the Calaveras, might be connected underground to make them, in effect, a single and even more dangerous fault.

A research geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park reported on the research during the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on Tuesday. Evidence of creep and microquakes too tiny to be felt on both faults, said Russell Graymer, makes it appear that the Hayward and Calaveras are joined as a single fault less than four miles beneath the surface. (Full story)


This map shows the faults mentioned, the Calaveras is just to the east of the Hayward fault, which is the one that is indicated by the notation 1868 for the big earthquake of that year on that fault.

Monday, December 10, 2007


There is a fantasy movie in theaters right now, a bit of anti-Christian garbage called "The Golden Compass" and even though I love a good fantasy movie this one will not get a dime from me, I won't be seeing it in a theater and won't be bothering with it when it comes out on DVD either. The Golden Compass is based on a book written by a sworn atheist, Philip Pullman, where witches are good, the church is bad, and in the end, god dies. I did read the whole vile Pullman series, "His Dark Materials" (it was loaned to me so he didn't get a dime from that either) and found it offensive overall.

After the first book I thought he was misguided, by the second book I thought he was a deluded heretic and by the time I finished the third I was convinced his co-author was Satan himself. I'm not joking nor am I exaggerating, this was my actual reaction.

The next fantasy movie I plan to see is the next installment of the Chronicles of Narnia. The Narnia books are Christian, and entertaining as well, we don't need to support creeps like Pullman to get decent fantasy. Lord of the Rings is another example of GOOD fantasy that is not anti-Christian but actually pro-Christian.

Here is the trailer for the next Narnia movie, Prince Caspian. If you haven't read the Narnia books you really should, they are great stuff, easy to read and fast moving too.

Sports in the Bay Area

This is a year when Bay Area teams are so awful I can't bear to watch them, the Raiders and 49ers are both beyond pathetic. The Giants and the A's went nowhere this year either.

The one bright spot for me is that my alma mater Novato High School's football team is undefeated and going to the state championship. :-) Cool, the Hornets are 13-0! When I was in high school we didn't have state bowl games but we had pretty good teams that one the local league.

Anyway, it's a bit of cheery sports news for me...

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ambrose of Milan, Pastor and Hymn Writer

Born in Trier in A.D. 340, Ambrose was one of the four great Latin Doctors of the Church (with Augustine, Jerome and Gregory the Great). He was a prolific author of hymns, the most common of which is Veni, Redemptor gentium ("Savior of the Nations, Come"). His name is also associated with Ambrosian Chant, the style of chanting the ancient liturgy that took hold in the province of Milan. While serving as a civil governor, Ambrose sought to bring peace among Christians in Milan who were divided into quarreling factions. When a new bishop was to be elected in 374, Ambrose addressed the crowd, and someone cried out, "Ambrose, bishop!" The entire gathering gave their support. This acclaim of Ambrose, a 34-year-old catechumen, led to his baptism on 7 December, after which he was consecrated bishop of Milan. A strong defender of the faith, Ambrose convinced the Roman emperor Gratian in 379 to forbid the Arian heresy in the West. At Ambrose's urging, Gratian's successor, Theodosius, also publicly opposed Arianism. Ambrose died on Good Friday, 4 April 397. As a courageous doctor and musician he upheld the truth of God's Word. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Do you "Worship" the Bible?

Do you worship the bible? Have you heard anyone use the phrase "bibliolatry"?

As odd as it sounds, if you are a Christian, you must worship the bible.

Gene Edward Veith puts it this way in a recent blog entry:

"The Bible can never be honored enough. Do I worship a book? Well, I worship the God who is located in the book, so you might say that. The pagan believes that his deity is localized in his graven image. I believe that the true God is localized in His Word, namely, the incarnate Son of God. That same Word is manifest in human language, written down in ink and paper on the pages of the Bible and proclaimed in sound waves that travel through the air. I hold not to an image but to the Word, not to a word that I hear inside my head but to a Word outside myself.

The Word of God is God’s voice, His communication of Himself. The Word cannot be separated from Christ, the Incarnate Word, from the Father, who inspired it, and the Holy Spirit whom it conveys. The Word is sacramental, a physical, aural thing–no less physical than water, bread, and wine–that God employs to reach us and in which He is living and active."

To that I can only say, "Amen and Amen."

And as God's word itself says:

John 1

The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

So if you confess that the Bible is THE WORD of God, and if you confess that Jesus is THE WORD, you cannot help but worship the Bible.

Sort of :-)

Nicholas of Myra, Pastor (aka: Santa Claus)

Nicholas of Myra

Of the many saints commemorated by the Christian Church, Nicholas (d. A.D. 342) is one of the best known. Very little is known historically of him, although there was a church of Saint Nicholas in Constantinople as early as the sixth century. Research has affirmed that there was a bishop by the name of Nicholas in the city of Myra in Lycia (part of Turkey today) in the fourth century. From that coastal location, legends about Nicholas have traveled throughout time and space. He is associated with charitable giving in many countries around the world and is portrayed as the rescuer of sailors, the protector of children and the friend of people in distress or need. In commemoration of "Sinte Klaas" (Dutch for Saint Nicholas, in English "Santa Claus"), December 6 is a day for giving and receiving gifts in many parts of Europe. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Also today:

1273 Saint Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1225-1274) ceased writing following a tremendous mystical experience while conducting Mass. He suspended his work on his Summa Theologica. "I can do no more," he told his servant. "Such things have been revealed to me that all that I have written seems to me as so much straw. Now I await the end of my life."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Why we believe

We believe in Jesus because of the reliability of the many eye witnesses, as Peter explains in 2 Peter 1:16-21, they saw and heard what they wrote about, it was not a myth but history.

2 Peter 1:16For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," 18we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Pray: Blessed Lord, who has caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, grant that we may so carefully hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of Your Holy Word we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which You have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end, Amen (The Lutheran Hymnal 1941)

December 4

John of Damascus

John (ca. 675-749) is known as the great compiler and summarizer of the orthodox faith and the last great Greek theologian. Born in Damascus, John gave up an influential position in the Islamic court to devote himself to the Christian faith. Around 716 he entered a monastery outside of Jerusalem and was ordained a priest. When the Byzantine emperor Leo the Isaurian in 726 issued a decree forbidding images (icons), John forcefully resisted. In his Apostolic Discourses he argued for the legitimacy of the veneration of images, which earned him the condemnation of the Iconoclast Council in 754. John also wrote defenses of the orthodox faith against contemporary heresies. In addition, he was a gifted hymn writer ("Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain") and contributed to the liturgy of the Byzantine churches. His greatest work was the Fount of Wisdom, which was a massive compendium of truth from previous Christian theologians covering practically every conceivable doctrinal topic. John's summary of the orthodox faith left a lasting stamp on both the Eastern and Western churches. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Monday, December 3, 2007

Today's readings

Psalm 18
Isaiah 9:8-10:11
1 Peter 5:1-14

The reading from 1 Peter is an encouragement and a warning against pride.

1 Peter 5:6-9 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Today's Readings

Isaiah 8:9-9:7
1 Peter 4:1-19

A thought for today from the readings:

Isaiah 8:12"Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread."