Monday, June 30, 2008

Preventing stains

James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

James mentions two topics that come up frequently in his epistle- a call to a compassionate ministry toward the needy and our need to keep unstained from the world. Regarding the last phrase, an illustration came to mind just 2 hours before I was preaching this verse Sunday. I'll try it out again here.

The phrase "keep oneself unstained from the world" contains the word "world" which James uses 5 times, this is the first. In all five cases, world carries a negative connotation. Basically world means the world's fallen system which is fundamentally opposed to God's Kingdom. James bids us to keep unstained from the world as part of practicing worthy religion. So what does this mean, to keep unstained from the world? Obviously we live in the world. It's not possible to totally isolate ourselves from the world, though it has been tried. The text seems to imply contact with the world at some level, but we are to keep from getting close enough or friendly enough to be stained.

Think of it this way- It's practically a necessity to eat pasta with marinara sauce. Who on earth would not agree? A person should never be so neglectful of his or her needs as to be deprived of heaven's food, but what if all we have to wear is a white shirt? How can we eat our pasta and sauce without messing up our shirt? Should we just not eat pasta? No, I say! That would be a travesty! We have to eat our pasta and succulent, garden fresh marinara sauce. But we have a white shirt on! I suggest eating the pasta ever so slowly and carefully. Perhaps placing a napkin over our shirt. Eat Penne or Rigatoni pasta with your sauce instead of spaghetti (which inevitably causes the most sauce stains due to the way a strand is slurped up). Take precautions, proceed slowly, be careful, pay attention to the possibility of getting stained by the sauce. Depriving oneself of pasta and marinara is not reasonably possible and, but you must be careful, lest your shirt become stained.

In like manner, we live in the world. We have a mission that involves impacting and transforming the world. When James speaks of keeping unstained from the world, think of how carefully we eat pasta covered with marinara while wearing a white shirt. We are not called to extract ourselves from the world, but rather influence it. How can we do this without becoming stained? We have to take precautions, proceed slowly, be careful, pay attention to the possibility of becoming stained by the fallen world. We can't afford to be reckless in our relationship with the world, that will only lead to sure stains and possibly much worse. Be aware of how easy it is to be stained, employ safeguards, and proceed with great care.

Wizards boys

Cool picture of the boys and me.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Whiteman Airforce Base and the B-2

Last week the Currey family and my family were given a guided tour at Whiteman Airforce base where 14-16 of the 20 existing B-2 "Stealth Bombers" are kept. The tour was personally guided by a man whose family has been attending Redeemer while stationed at Whiteman. He is one of the few airman who pilot these $1.4 billion dollar bombers. While these jets have been in service since the early 90's, some of their technology is still classified. We had to go through several security checks in order to see the plane. Part of the tour included getting to fly the B-2 in the special computer simulator that is used to train pilots. Nathan and I made a good pilot tandem, until he crashed us on one of our landings. I would tell you all that I saw on the tour...but then I'd have to kill you. Here's some pictures.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More tough news for the PCUSA

I just read this about the PCUSA (the denomination we-the PCA-broke away from in 1973) on the Aquila Report:

PCUSA Membership Drops by 57,572 in 2007

The Presbyterian Church (USA) lost 57,572 members in 2007, the worst decline in decades, according to the official statistics released by Stated Clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick on June 21, 2008.

That leaves the denomination with 2,209,546 members, 2 million fewer than the number of Presbyterians who were members of the predecessor denominations in 1965 that merged in 1983 to form the PCUSA.

Kirkpatrick's office projects even higher losses in 2008 and 2009.

The 2007 loss is the equivalent of nearly 300 congregations with memberships of 200 - about the average size for a PCUSA congregation.

The consistent decline in the membership of the PCUSA is not a surprise to those of us who think biblical fidelity is ultimately what God blesses. The whole scale compromise of the PCUSA in several key biblical/doctrinal/moral areas will likely lead to the eventual dissolving of the denomination. To show how far gone the PCUSA is, consider this statement by their newly elected moderator, Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chows-"homosexuality is not sinful by nature and should not be an excluding factor for ordination or marriage."

Last night, at the PCUSA General Assembly, by a vote of 41-11, the Committee on Church Orders and Ministry recommended to the 218th General Assembly that it send an amendment to the presbyteries to delete G-6.0106b — which requires “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness” for church officers — from the PCUSA’s Book of Order. So now each presbytery will get to vote on whether to continue requiring sexual purity of it's church officers.

May God grant repentance to the PCUSA or continued, rapid decline in to non-existence.

Finally, something interesting about women's basketball

The only thing more boring than a NBA game is a WNBA game. I can't believe people actually show up to watch WNBA games. Still, a woman dunking is pretty cool, even if she is 6 '4 (anyone that tall should be able to dunk). Here's Candace Parker dunking a few days ago. Apparently she is only the second woman do to so in an actual "professional" game. Previously, in her college career with Tennessee, she dunked twice in one game and once in a NCAA tourney game.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Redeemer Redneck Lawnmower Race

Below is the #19 car I was privileged to drive for the recent Redeemer Redneck Lawnmower race. The race was part of a fundraiser for our summer mission trip to Juarez, Mexico. You will note one of my sponsors on the left rear fender- Freddy T's.

Please note another of my sponsors- Budweiser. Do you see the horn I taped on to my deck?

The most prestigious sponsor was RPC United, seen here. Unfortunately this logo was irreparably damaged by the muffler heat. It almost burst in to flames about lap #5.

Here's a picture of the competition. Interestingly, I am the only one driving a ZTR (zero turn radius) mower.
Below is clear evidence that elder Bob Reymond was violating all sorts of rules coming dangerously close to taking out my left rear fender. Also notice his sweet mullet. My mullet is known as a "Kentucky Waterfalls". Unfortunately, due to widespread cheating and a general conspiracy, I came in dead last. Still, a good time was had by all and a bunch of money was raised to send our team to Juarez in July.

Transmission repairs are expensive

James 1:25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

James speaks of the Word of God in two different ways in this verse- "the perfect law" and the "law of liberty".

The Word of God is the "perfect law" because it is both without error and perfectly suited to reveal God's glory and direct our lives and conduct. It's description of our Savior is sufficient for our salvation as the Holy Spirit enlivens us to understand. David speaks of Scripture's perfection also-

Psalm 19: 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;

The Word of God is also called the "law of liberty" which confuses some. Contrary to common misconception, obedience to the Word of God brings freedom, not bondage. I have heard many people claim Christianity has too many rules, too many "do's" and "don't's". Others will say biblical Christianity takes away freedom or robs us of fun and excitement. Such perspectives evidence a total lack of understanding regarding the value of the Word of God for us. God is our creator and knows exactly what we need for our lives to be lived to the fullest. His Word gives the Christian exactly the guidance needed for optimum joy. Ignoring His Word will actually lead us to bondage and misery, not freedom.

Think of it this way- You buy a new car. Unlike your previous car it apparently has two different shifters. You recognize one, but the other has unusual labels on it like "4N, 4H and 4L". Doesn't it make sense to read owner's manual before starting the car and driving off? But that would be too restrictive. You want to be free to drive the car exactly how you want, after all, it's yours. Assuming the extra shifter should be adjusted, you slam it in to "4L" and drive off. You see all the other cars speeding along, but for some reason yours seems sluggish and the engine is racing pretty hard. You press harder on the gas to keep up with traffic and crank up the radio to drown out the whining engine. Soon enough your "check engine" light flashes on, you smell something burning, then you feel grinding. You just wrecked your transmission driving in four-wheel drive low at 65 MPH for a half an hour. How free are you now? You did it your way and it felt good for just a little while, since no one was placing some kind of restraint on you. But after things went awry, you found yourself with a huge repair and no way to get to the mechanic's shop. How free are you now? If you would have read the manual and followed the directions you'd be experiencing the full capabilities of your new car. The manual is not restrictive, it's protective and liberating. This is also true concerning God's Word and our obedience to it. J.A. Motyer said it well-

True freedom is the opportunity and the ability to give expression to who we truly are. We are truly free when we live the life appropriate to those who are created in the image of God. The Law of God safeguards that liberty for us. The Law of God is the law of liberty because it safeguards, expresses and enables the life of true freedom into which Christ has brought us. This is the blessing of which James speaks, the blessing of a full life, a true humanity. Obedience is the key factor in our enjoyment of it.

James says "the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing."

Blessing, not bondage, comes from obedience to God's Word.

Friday, June 20, 2008

RPC United win their first championship

Tiger Woods winning the U.S. Open on one leg, the Celtics returning to glory crushing the Lakers in the NBA finals, the ongoing Euro 2008 Cup being played in Austria? WHO CARES! I am pleased to inform my faithful readership of the greatest sports moment in these past days- RPC United, Redeemer's Thursday night soccer team that plays at All American Indoor Sports, won it's first championship (in our third session) defeating a much younger and collectively skinnier Broham United team 5-2 tonight. The late time for this post is indeed correct. We were partying at a local eating establishment until just moments ago...when all of us realized our kids would be waking us up at daylight.

In all seriousness, we have enjoyed the fellowship playing with one another in a competitive league. We're mostly WAY past our prime yet competitive soccer players, so this league has given us a chance to get the juices flowing and on this occasion get a taste of da' glory once again. We got sweet t-shirts for winning.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Avoid a Feud

James 1:19… let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger

Unless you are in that final part of the game show “Family Feud” where you only have 30 seconds to answer a series of questions, taking your time to respond verbally is never a wrong reaction, in fact, it’s usually a very wise thing. I wish I was better at it. I pray that God would give me grace to practice this more.

The Proverbs are also laden with counsel and direction about being “slow to speak”:

- When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. (Prov. 10:19)
- The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. (Prov. 15:28)
- Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. (Prov. 17:27-28)
- Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Prov. 29:20)

The chief benefit of being slow to speak is allowing time to mull and weigh your response biblically. A quick, emotional "comeback" often exacerbates the situation or heightens an interchange that didn't need to be heightened. A slow response tends to be softer, and such an answer turns away wrath (but a harsh word stirs up anger, Proverbs 15:1).

I'll tell you what has made being "slow to speak" more difficult for the more impulsive among us- technology. Cell phones, Email, and Blackberries allow for immediate responses to the vast majority of situations. The potential for firing off a nasty email response is great. The damage is often pretty severe in such "electronic" situations, after all, it's in writing. Further, with email there is no way to interpret tone of voice, etc. A device meant to advance communication can in fact greatly promote miscommunication if used unwisely. I think an interchange between Abraham Lincoln gives some wise advice to be applied to our emailing practices-

Abraham Lincoln's secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, was angered by an army officer who accused him of favoritism. Stanton complained to Lincoln, who suggested that Stanton write the officer a sharp letter. Stanton did, and showed the strongly worded missive to the president. "What are you going to do with it?" Lincoln inquired. Surprised, Stanton replied, "Send it." Lincoln shook his head. "You don't want to send that letter," he said. "Put it in the stove. That's what I do when I have written a letter while I am angry. It's a good letter and you had a good time writing it and feel better. Now burn it, and write another."

So, in many cases, press delete instead of send. In any case, James gives us some very helpful counsel about being slow to speak. We're really not in the final round of Family Feud.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Inexplicably interesting words V

Here's another installment of "inexplicably interesting words."

I am not claiming this post to be very significant or even worth reading, so feel free to stop reading and "click on" somewhere else. You'll never get back the 15-25 seconds it takes you to read and think about this.There are several English words that I find intriguing . I always enjoy seeing how, when, and why they are used. Here are a few of those:

Egregious- extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant. Conspicuously bad or offensive. conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible; "a crying shame"; "an egregious lie"; "flagrant violation of human rights"; "a glaring error"; "gross ineptitude"; "gross injustice"; "rank treachery".

Jettison- To cast overboard or off: a ship jettisoning wastes; a pilot jettisoning aircraft fuel. The act of discarding or casting overboard. To let go or get rid of as being useless or defective.

Zany- ludicrously or whimsically comical; clownish. Comical because of incongruity or strangeness; bizarre.

Bifurcate- to cause to divide into two branches or parts; Forked or divided into two parts or branches, as the Y-shaped styles of certain flowers.

y'all- Variant of you-all. sometimes spelled as "Ya'll", "Yawl", or "Yaw", and archaically spelled "You-all", is a fused grammaticalization of the phrase "you all". It is used primarily as a plural second-person pronoun, and less often as a singular second-person pronoun. Commonly believed to have originated in the Southern United States, it is primarily associated with Southern American English. Special note: a person using this rather crude form of speech should not immediately be judged as unintelligent, even though it sounds like they are.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monergism all over the place

John Calvin (left) was a monergist. Jacobus Arminius (right) was a synergist.

I admit that we reformed people use all sorts of terms that initially confuse newcomers. Instead of avoiding the terms all together, I would prefer to define them. One of the most helpful theological terms I know is monergism. I think Wikipedia describes monergism well:

Monergism is the name for the belief held by some in Christian theology that the Holy Spirit alone can act to bring about the conversion of people.

In its simplest form monergism states that the salvation of an individual is all from God, as opposed to synergism, which, in its simplest form, insists that God performs most of the action(s) leading to the salvation of an individual but that salvation is not complete until the individual performs some action(s). According to monergism, a sinner is given pardon for sin by the death of Jesus, acceptance with God by the imputed righteousness of Jesus, and faith in Jesus by the Holy Spirit. It is the third of these points that most distinguishes monergism from synergism. To remain consistent to monergism, justification must be entirely of God.

Very bluntly, most modern evangelicals are synergists. They believe God performs most of the actions leading to salvation, but in the end, they "pull the trigger" by choosing to receive Christ. I would submit that such a view is a form of salvation by works and not salvation by grace at all.

I am continually amazed by how pervasive monergism is in Scripture:

John 6:63-65 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Titus 3:5 5 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...

John 1:13 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Romans 8:29-30 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Sumarizing a few more:

- For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him (Phil 1:29).
- He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created (Jm 1:18).
- "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last" (Jn 15:16)
- One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message (Acts 16:14).
- "No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him (Mat 11:27).
- "For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him" (Jn 17:2)

Seriously, monergism is the teaching of Scripture regarding our salvation. All praise to God!
Tony Felich (left) is a monergist. Joel Osteen (right) is better looking, more smiley, and a synergist.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Modern air travel

On my flight home from Dallas today I was surprised American Airlines doesn't even give you a bag of peanuts any more. This video sums up modern air travel-

Thursday, June 12, 2008

You have to love Presbyterian meetings...

I love the above picture of the Westminster Assembly. Try to count the soul patches on these brothers. Parliamentarian procedure at it's finest...
I grew up Roman Catholic, a hierarchical form of church government if there ever was one. I went to a baptistic college that had students from all forms of congregational church governments where votes were taken for most decisions. I am now a committed Presbyterian which functions by congregations identifying elders to represent them and decide most matters on their behalf either in Session, Presbytery, or General Assembly.

Local Session meetings, geographical Presbytery meetings and our national General Assembly (the ginormous denominational meeting I am blogging from) follow Roberts Rules. For this reason, we Presbyterians are often accused of being too concerned with doing things "properly and in order" in a very parliamentarian way and therefore taking forever to get things done. The following joke describes the nature of our process-

Q: How do parliamentarians change a light bulb?

A: "The motion as to changing the light bulb shall properly be brought under new business. When the main motion has been made and seconded,amendments as to the acquisition of a ladder and/or the disposal of the old light bulb may then be brought. When the motion has been perfected, the moderator shall read the text of the motion. If there is insufficient light by which the moderator may read, then the motion shall fail and no action shall be taken."

We had a humorous example of how things "work" in such Roberts ruled settings when the moderator asked for a vote to see if the Assembly wanted to extend debate for 5 minutes. When the vote was taken, it was too close to call by a hand count, so the floor clerks had to manually count by section. It then took 15 minutes to determine if we should extend debate for 5 minutes.

Presbyterianism has rightly been called the worst form of church government EXCEPT for all the other forms!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Report from PCA General Assembly

I'm blogging while in the middle of the Presbyterian Church in America's General Assembly (a.k.a GA). We are in the stage of the meetings where various ministries give their reports to the Assembly. It's kind of a passive process of sitting and listening, for quite some time, to many different people who are leading these various ministries. While our church doesn't have immediate involvement with all the ministries reporting, it is certainly exciting to be part of a denomination a that labors diligently to bring the gospel to the various parts of our country, world, and culture.

The PCA is a reformed denomination that is connected to the broader evangelical world in a way other reformed denominations are not. Such a "broadness" brings blessings and challenges. One of the challenges for me, someone committed to a more historical, liturgical form of worship, is the PCA's widespread worship practices. There is no uniform code or guideline for worship style in our denomination. If you are a member of a PCA church in one place traveling to another place in search of a PCA church to attend for worship, chances are high it will look quite different than the church you normally attend. Is this a weakness? I tend to think so, but I'm not very wise about too many things, I admit that. I also tend to be pretty conservative in my views on worship matters, but I don't think everyone has to care what I think, my charge is the local congregation that called me, not the whole denomination or the wider evangelical world as it relates to overseeing worship.

All this to say, last night's opening worship service was ordered very well and I was blessed by the thoughtfulness that clearly went in to it's planning. I liked it so much because it looked remarkably like the order of worship we practice at Redeemer. In many previous opening GA worship services it seemed like they were a bit disjointed, lacked flow, and had too many worship leaders involved. Last night included just two worship leaders who led us enthusiastically through the liturgy and in to the Lord's Supper after a very faithful and effective sermon by the retiring moderator. Verbosity is often an issue in such opening services. Usually there are 5 or 6 ministers assigned to lead the service who take too long with the part of worship they are leading. In my view, a well-crafted liturgy doesn't require a lot of extra comments from the worship leader. Short, succinct, thoughtful transitions are enough. That's basically how the worship service was last night. The liturgy was allowed to do it's job, so to speak. The same is true for the Lord's Supper. It is a major liturgical pet peeve of mine when ministers talk endlessly before communion. Very little needs to be said. A brief invitation, a warning about not taking of the Lord's Supper in an unworthy matter, the words of institution from Scripture, and prayer is all that is needed before the elements are distributed- not a mini sermon. The Sacrament doesn't need our help. Again, last night the minister administering communion did so wonderfully.

Well, Dr. Chapell is now giving his report on my Alma mater, Covenant Seminary- I better shut down and listen...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Tomato Rapture?

So I'm in line at Subway in downtown Dallas to get a half sub before my meeting starts in 15 minutes, and what do I not see available for my sandwich? TOMATOES! I was horrified. Why on earth would Subway have no tomatoes to put on my sub? I wondered if it was a Texas thing. The kind non-English speaking worker couldn't tell me what the deal was, so I gathered my anemic sub and staggered out of the establishment feeling very anxious and afraid. What could have happened to the tomatoes? I wondered if there was a rapture of tomatoes? Perhaps, the Great Tribulation was upon us and God was rapturing his most prized fruit? Scenarios filled my worried mind, I just couldn't figure out what was going on.

Then, just an hour ago, I was checking out the salad bar at the hotel I am staying at, thinking healthy before Creecy and Nathan arrive, and what do I not see again? TOMATOES! What's up? I really was wondering if these Texas people are so backwards they have not yet discovered the most glorious of all God's fruits. Worse yet, do these people simply have horrible taste and somehow legislate that restaurants can't have tomatoes? I mean, I think I'm in a state where there are still laws on the book that permit shooting people if they even look at your property funny. Certainly outlawing tomatoes is in the realm of possibility here?

Very dejected and apprehensively, I took the elevator up to my room and got online to check the news. Finally, an answer-

(Associated Press) ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — McDonald's said it has stopped serving sliced tomatoes in its restaurants over concerns about Salmonella food poisoning linked to uncooked tomatoes.

Spokeswoman Danya Proud said the world's largest hamburger chain has stopped serving sliced tomatoes on all of its sandwiches in the United States as a precaution until the source of the salmonella is known.

A statement from Proud said McDonald's will continue to serve grape tomatoes in its salads because no problems have been linked to that variety.

Salmonella food poisoning first linked to uncooked tomatoes has spread to 16 states, federal health officials say.

Investigations by the Texas and New Mexico Departments of Health and the U.S. Indian Health Service have tied 56 cases in Texas and 55 in New Mexico to raw, uncooked, tomatoes.

"We're seeing a steady increase," Deborah Busemeyer, New Mexico Department of Health communications director, said Saturday.

An additional 50 people have been sickened by the same Salmonella "Saintpaul" infection in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Phew! I'm very sorry for the folks who were poisoned, but man am I glad to find out all the tomatoes in Texas haven't been raptured. I was sore afraid that I had been left behind. Hopefully this colossal crisis can be resolved very soon.

Heading to the Big "D"

I'm traveling out of the country today- I should be in Texas by 10:30 AM.

I'll be in Dallas for a week of denominational meetings, the PCA's General Assembly. I'll be with Pastor Nathan, Elder Scott Creecy and his wife Carmen. Scott is a native Texan, so I'll be leaning on him to see some Dallas sights. I was here for General Assembly 8 or 9 years ago, I can't remember. I do remember thinking the downtown district of Dallas was pretty nice. This time Scott promises to take us to some great eateries, however I am on a mission to lose 12 more pounds before attempting a mountain climb in Colorado early next month, so I'll have to take it easy on the Texas cuisine (I'm not in to fried rattle snakes anyways). I guess I'll sit with Scott and watch him eat whatever it is he suggests. I can try to imagine the pleasure he is experiencing while I eat a salad.

I do plan on visiting Deeley Plaza again. I found the Texas School Book Depository museum tour thoroughly fascinating. I've always been a minor league Kennedy assassination buff, so visiting the scene of the crime is a must while here. There's no way a loan gunman pulled off the assassination, no way.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Rooting for Cousin Boomer!

It has been an exciting week of sporting events for the Felich boys (all of us). Wednesday was a great Wizards match, tonight we went to see the Kansas City T-Bones play the Fargo Red Hawks.

The T-Bones and the Red Hawks are part of the independent baseball Northern League. Most of the players have been or still are major league prospects. Normally I would be rooting for the hometown T-Bones, however this night we were there to support Shari's cousin Boomer Berry who plays left field for the Red Hawks.

Boomer had a good game all around. He went 2-6, with an RBI. He just missed a homer fouling a ball 20 feet right of the poll. He chased down a few balls in the outfield and made some great throws. After the game Boomer gave each of the boys a signed ball and took a neat picture with them.

Crazy Train

Holy cow! Check this crazy train out.

Thanks Roger!

Normal life ahead?

This is a picture of Jodie Percival and her son Finley. Ironically, she tried to have him aborted when she thought he might be born with a life threatening disability. Now she seems happy he survived her attempt to kill him, presumably because he turned out normal after all? Pretty sick and selfish. The story is below with my commentary in red.

Baby Miraculously Survives Abortion, Expected to Live 'Normal' Life
Thursday, June 05, 2008

A mother who decided to abort her son because he may have inherited a life-threatening kidney condition is overjoyed that he survived the procedure. (Did you catch that- "may have inherited"!) Jodie Percival of Nottinghamshire, England, said she and her fiancee made the decision to abort baby Finley when she was eight weeks pregnant. Percival's first son Thane died of multicystic dysplastic kidneys — which causes cysts to grow on the kidneys of an unborn baby — and her second child Lewis was born with serious kidney damage and currently has just one kidney, the Daily Mail reported. (so, she couldn't stand to have another son like the one she had? I hope Lewis never finds out about her attempt to abort his brother).

"I was on the (birth control pill) when I became pregnant," Percival, 25, said. "Deciding to terminate at eight weeks was just utterly horrible but I couldn't cope with the anguish of losing another baby." (WOW! It's absolutely all about her. Never mind the child. She couldn't cope with losing him? So she tried to kill him? Seriously warped!) A short time after the abortion, Percival felt a fluttering in her stomach. She went to the doctor for a scan and discovered she was 19 weeks pregnant. "I couldn't believe it,' Percival said. "This was the baby I thought I'd terminated. (killed) At first I was angry that this was happening to us (lady, what about the kid you tried to kill? What about him? "happening to us"?), that the procedure had failed. I wrote to the hospital, I couldn't believe that they had let me down like this. "They wrote back and apologized and said it was very rare," (is this not sick?) she added. Dr. Manny Alvarez, managing health editor for, said Percival's situation is actually quite common. "Women that have early terminations in weeks six, seven and eight, many times the pregnancy is so small that doctors miss removing the baby," Alvarez said. "The danger is that the failed attempt can damage the baby. (Good grief! A failed attempt could damage the baby..yet a successful attempt slaughters it! Do these people ever listen to what they are saying and describing?) That is why these patients who get early terminations need follow-ups." Another scan a week later confirmed the baby also had kidney problems, but doctors told the couple the baby was likely to survive, so they decided he deserved another chance at life. (herein lies the problem, they have assumed the role of God. How gracious of them to give him another chance at life. I can't wait till they can hold their little Finley in their lap and say, "well son, we did try to slaughter you, but you were such fighter, when we realized we failed in our first attempt, we thought we'd go ahead and let you live the second time.) In November, Finley was born three weeks premature. He had minor kidney damage but is expected to lead a normal life.

Normal life? I wonder how it will feel when thinks about his mother's decision to try and kill him?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Great Wizards Outing with the Brothers Felich

Here are some picture of the Wizards game last night. The boys always wear one of their jerseys to the games. AJ is sporting his circa 1990 Argentinian Lopez Racing Jersey. Very cool.

The Wizards played in a qualifying match for the U.S. Open Cup. They played at a local high school stadium as they share their temporary stadium with a local minor league baseball team. The stadium was nice, but I can't stand the sports turf. Soccer should be played on real grass.

Such qualifying games have no bearing on the regular season standings but placing well in the tournament means bonus money for the players. There is a definite motive to win. The challenge with such tournament play during the regular season is not playing your regular starters too much, yet field a team that can win the game. Tonight's game went in to overtime and was decided in a penalty kick shoot out. Some of the Wizards key players were on the field all 120 minutes. They turn around and play this Saturday in a league game already. Saturday is going to come quickly for veteran players who need the time to rest and heal up. Their two most valuable veterans, Jimmy Conrad and Claudio Lopez, ran their tails off tonight. I hope they'll be 100% this weekend.

As for the game, the Wizards looked pretty disheveled and disorganized for most of the game against an undermanned Colorado team. They have significant midfield issues to sort out. Then, for the last 15 minutes they played like World Cup Champions and tied up the game to send it in to overtime. Unfortunately veteran Davy Arnaud lost his cool and got kicked out of the game leaving the Wizards shorthanded for the last minutes of the game and all of the overtime. The team pulled together and played strong in OT. The game ended in a tie and went to penalty kicks. While PK's are a bad way to decide a contest, they are exciting. The Wizards scored on all five of their kicks, the Rapids on four. The Wizards won the game and advance to the U.S. Cup Open proper.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Unfortunately, I told you so. Obama it is for the Democrats. McCain has been the choice of the Republicans for some time now.

I have never been less enthused about a presidential election.

At this point I will have to vote for McCain. My reasoning for doing so is twofold: first, he is not Barack Obama and second, there is a higher likelihood he will appoint constitutionalist judges. An added bonus is McCain's age, he'll probably only serve one term. I hope he doesn't pick Romney as his running mate.

This stinks.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Do not try this at home...or anywhere

Words cannot describe how incredibly stupid I think these guys are. The rifle shoots a .308 round and the hand gun is a 44 Mag. Unreal.