>10 mins ago: Sunny, 67 degrees Now: Thundershower, 59 degrees

I live frugally in a 3-bedroom apartment with roommates – three in the bedrooms and one on the couch (after a spat with mom).

This roommate (CR for Crashing Roomie) helped me realize something in the past few days: I’ve been treating my cats way too nicely and became calloused to CR’s condition. Given a single thin blanket CR was basically shivering through the night for the last week and I did nothing about it.

Instead, I concentrated all my attention on the stray cat I finally managed to coax into the apartment, and making sure the other cat was getting attention and had a napping place for the night instead of the cold floor (my other roommate hasn’t bought a bed quite yet).

This created the situation where the roommate crashing on the couch became increasingly irritable.

CR also claims to be Christian, which further complicated the matter for me. I invited CR to join me in going to church, but due to the distance I got declined. As a result, CR has been watching a televangelist/baptist to “get filled”, which I have strong objections to.

This led to the point where I had to ask, point-blank, “I’m wondering to what extent this guy is acting and to what extent he’s preaching.”

And this is where I noticed CR’s irritation: “I’m not going to argue with you. I know him personally and went to his church.”

I stood around for another 20 minutes to watch him repeat the sermon topic “God will protect us. God will prosper us” (which was basically a repeat of the message last week).

Long story short, I bought CR a blanket and pillow, apologized for not getting it earlier, and asked God for forgiveness. It seems CR is in a better mood now.

In any case, the reasoning to the naming of this post was the inexplicable quickness by which these storm clouds came in, darkened the sky, and spat out a shower that made washing of the filthy city grime on my window quick work. I was reminded of the passage in 2 Peter of Jesus’ second coming:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

2 Peter 3:10

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Tsunami rebuilding is largely a failure

This post will be serving as a complement to a future post I’ll be doing on the failure of foreign aid. That’s right. So if you think your almsgiving has been helping people, think again. It might just have been funnelled to a terrorist agency, who knows.

The point is, don’t give blindly. Look at the financial breakdown of agencies you’re prospectively giving to in order to avoid scams (see Steve Irwin scam). Also, especially for churches – if your church is planning on building a multimillion-dollar new structure to incorporate new bells and whistles, while the main complex has proven to be relatively structurally sound, don’t go building it. If you really want to renew your city and impact the world, start a homeless sponsorship program or support a native missionary!

(BTW for you non-Christian readers, I’m going to argue a thesis that sponsorship of native-missionaries is becoming more effective as a medium for positive social change than traditional means).

The purchasing power of the US dollar in undeveloped countries could mean the difference between your sponsorship of Bill Missionary on a 6-week term from the US vs. support of Rajasekhar, Khagendra, Shen, and 16 others like them full-time and year-round, willing to risk all for Jesus.

Which is the better “investment”?

http://tinyurl.com/hd75d

Associated Press

Originally published September 24, 2006

The tsunami of 2004 triggered the biggest humanitarian response in history, feeding the hungry, heading off epidemics and engendering the hope that out of a calamity that took 216,000 lives, a better Indian Ocean rim would emerge.

But 18 months later recriminations are rife, with aid agencies standing accused of planning poorly, raising unrealistic expectations and simply being incompetent.

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video: Fox News with Bill Clinton (Chris Wallace Interview)

US Conservatives really need to be educated on spin. It’s too bad for liberals, too, that lack of representation in the Senate and House has led to such sycophancy.

In any case, let’s hope the video stays for awhile before Fox takes it down:

Part I:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-649761639290777197&q=clinton+fox

Part II:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6620818158935418334&q=clinton+fox

[update: Google took it down. Probably due to Fox hounds (pun intended). Download the torrent here.]

Also at Crooks and Liars. Firefox users, I suggest DownloadHelper to rip the video.

Comments (on Part II) by the timestamp of this post included:

I love the smell of Fox napalmed in the morning.
posted 10 hours ago by Hillaryious

Clinton whipped Chris Wallace’s a**ssss!!!! Yeee haw!
posted 10 hours ago by Billdiggity

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No Confirmation on an Article Announcing bin Laden’s Death

Some in the conspiracy camp (which includes me. sorry, no reference here, but most likely) have speculated that bin Laden’s death could serve as a ruse to get more votes come election day. My economics professor – in regards to oil prices – would tell you the same thing: people up top are simply manipulating prices to fit in with their political agendas. The main thing I’d like to point out here is that neither case is without its merits. As someone who believes bin Laden is a likely pawn used by the PTB to drum up support for the war(s) abroad, the bin Laden issue, even with Bush’s imminent retirement, is likely to continue indefinitely. Remember, it was being groomed as a much broader “War on Tyranny”, which, in the words of Donald Rumsfeld,

It will be a long, hard slog. Wikiquote: Donald Rumsfeld

Right. A hard slog that Americans like himself won’t have to go through, right? The neocons in the White House are turning the conservatives of this nation into an army of armchair generals. Allow me to close with this thought (if anyone could find a source on this, it would be appreciated): in the game of geopolitics, soldiers are seen only as throwaway pawns to achieve the objectives of the elite.

Published: September 24, 2006

PARIS, Sept. 23 — French officials said Saturday that the government could not confirm intelligence information published in a French newspaper that the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden died in Pakistan last month. Continue reading

Chavez Calls Bush ‘Devil,’ Assails US Policies

There was one thing going through my mind when I read this headline: could Hugo Chavez be the Antichrist? Let’s take a look at 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. While it could be the subject of an hour-long sermon (as other quotes I’ve used), we’re going to use it exclusively for the purpose of using it as a rubric to grade Chavez.

1Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

5Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

So, doing a basic breakdown (being far from thorough, and lacking cross-references), actions will include:

  • opposition and exaltation of himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped (v.4a)
  • thereby sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God (v.4b)

and preceding signs:

  • rebellion must occur first. (v.3, unsure of clarifying characteristics)
  • will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders (one ref: Egyptian wisemen and sorcerers) and in every sort of evil (v.9)

I think it’s safe to say that, so far, Chavez hasn’t met the criteria for points 1 and 2. It could be said, on the other hand, that as a figurehead of the non-alignment movement, he could be seen as a fulfillment of point 3.

Even so, despite Chavez’s relatively good standing, it’s no prediction of future events. As is usually the case, time can change situations and people for the worse when hearts, minds, strengths, and souls are not turned to God.

In the words of the British historian Lord Acton:

Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely

So, what should we do?

Be on guard! Be alert[a]! You do not know when that time will come.

Mark 13:33

Chavez Calls Bush ‘Devil,’ Assails US Policies
via NPR news.

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez took the podium at the United Nations, where he launched his latest verbal salvo against President Bush and U.S. world influence. Making the sign of the cross, Chavez described Bush as “the devil” and decried Washington’s misuse of its far-reaching power.

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jim Open Thread

AND THIS IS WHY YOU MUST “study” to prove yourself unto god and thats
great to know for “WHEN YOU GET TO HEAVEN” meanwhile here on EARTH you must live each day with a great display of common sense, 1 such being:
if a group of “FANATICS” is holding a knife to your throat asking you to chose between what you belive and what he thinks you should believe…..what are you gonna do ?????

Jim I’m not entirely sure of your position. Could you clarify a little bit?

Are you a practicing Christian? If so, what do you consider to be a practicing Christian?

Barry G. open thread

Barry,

In the spirit of my two other posts I’d like to open up a discussion about the problems I see in neoconservatism (which I’m assuming you are).

I take it that you’re:

1. “moral”
2. Pro Israel
3. Pro America (a nationalist)

I believe in neither 2 nor 3 due to the fleeting nature of civilization. Moreover, I firmly believe, as prophesied in the Bible and consistent throughout history, that mankind will meet its eventual end.

In the case #1, if you’re going to dictate Christian ethics to me, give me verse and context. Otherwise you’re just being dogmatic.