Saturday, October 30, 2004


This election has become a time to try men's souls.

I have been ferverently praying for President Bush's reelection, however, I'm starting to get concerned that God may have other plans in mind. Let me explain.

Yesterday I was listening to our local talk radio show as I drove back from a break in the NC mountains. The topic was "faith and politics" and in addition to the two hosts and a lot of agitated callers, the guests were our US Congressman Walter B. Jones and two local pastors, one from our largest black church and one from a pro-life Methodist church. Lockwood the main host is a long-time friend and fellow Christian conservative who has frequently invited me to guest as the resident Christian apologist (I think I'm might be the only one he knows.)

The issue being discussed at that moment was the proper role of church-state relations and I couldn't resist calling in to add my two-cents worth. I thought I had a brilliant position on the distinct, but complimentary, roles of the God-ordained missions of the church vs. civil government.

Then Pastor Paul the Methodist (we serve together on the board of our local Crisis Pregnancy Center) floored me. He said God isn't an American, nor is he a Republican. What God is concerned with in America is how well His people are following His plan for our nation. Paul explained that God uses civil government to both bless and discipline the nation and His people. Therefore, we need to be willingly to accept the outcome of the election as being directly from the hand of God. Then Paul closed by saying our highest calling is to pray for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

So, my friends, my prayer focus has broadened a bit since yesterday afternoon. I continue to pray and work for the reelection of President Bush. However, I now include a prayer of humble intercession for Senator Kerry. For our God may sovereignly chose the Kerry administration as just what this nation and His children need and deserve right now. That is what travailing in prayer is all about.


I started an interesting book this week The Titans by "the godfather of historical novelist", John Jakes. I was attracted to the book since it begins just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War with the election of the Republican presidential candidate, Abraham Lincoln.

I am haunted by the quotes chosen by Jakes to open the first chapter:
"Physically speaking, we cannot separate. We cannot remove our respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced, and go out of the presence, and beyond the reach of each other, but the different parts of our country cannot do this....
"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passions may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic cords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

March 4, 1861
Abraham Lincoln
speaking to the nation at his first inaugural

"The political hostilities of a generation were now face to face with weapons instead of words."

November 1884
P. G. T. Beauregard, General, C. S. A.
writing on First Manassas for the Century Magazine
I sat up last night catching up on the week's busy political news and was sickened by what I saw on the Charlie Rose Show on PBS. He interviewed the editors and selected journalist for the New Yorker magazine, The Nation, and the New York Times.

I was disgusted as each of these literary "mind-moulders" described their hatred for the Bush Administration and the people who support them. It was some of the worst hate speech I have ever heard and it reinforced my belief that the Bush Administration will be tried as war criminals by the World Court if these people ever regain control of the US government.

I believe America is once again facing all out cultural anarchy by the extreme left regardless of the results of Tuesday's election. The leading intellectuals of the left are in all out rebellion against those of us who have God-centric worldviews. It was clearly articulated last night when Bush's faith-based initiatives were assigned the moral equivolence of the Islamofascism of 9/11.

Their "political hostilities" toward the Right are expressed in their words of intolerance and violence and I fear it is only a matter of time before they abandon words for weapons. I imploy you to do everything you can to get out the vote for President Bush next Tuesday. The future of our Christian way of life is literally on the line. Pray and vote.

Friday, October 29, 2004


mountaincolor Posted by Hello

Just back from a week in the North Carolina mountains enjoying the fall foliage colors. We stayed at the North Lodge, a great bed and breakfast located in the heart of Asheville, the Paris of the South. More on that later.

The foliage was at peak colors, with vibrant reds and yellows of the maples, oaks, and poplars contrasting with the dark greens of the firs and pines. The weather was warm with occasional showers of glistening jewels to crown the brilliant colors.

We spend one entire day touring the residence and the grounds of the Biltmore Estate. The flood damage from the summer hurricanes was still being cleaned up, but it didn't take away from the incredible beauty of the estate. Josie's gardening juices were stirred by the remarkable landscaping and plantings, particularly the massive rose gardens. My former builder passions were rekindled by the amazing structures scattered around the remaining 8,000 acres (Vanderbilt originally owned 125,000 acres, the bulk of which was given to create Piscah National Forest.)

The atmosphere of the city of Asheville is remarkably European, if not exactly as Left Bank, as some would like to pretend. Lots of bohemian artsifartsi tattooed pierced dayglo-haired poseurs vamping around. There was a knot of sign-carrying Kerry koolaid drinkers performing for the tourists (honk if you love peace!) The freaks on the street were only outnumbered by the tourists and the panhandling homeless, several riding in style on their government-issued Hoverrounds.

Twenty-five years ago Josie and I would have been indistinguishable from the motley crew, but the W04 sticker in my pickup jarring exposed us as a right-wing religious fanatics. I made sure our rambling walk through town circled by our truck regularly to check on possible vandalism by some peace-loving anarchist. As we wandered by the ubiquitous organic vegetarian tofu entreed bistros I suddenly had the epiphany that my true inner being was desperately longing for the endless buffet of a Golden Corral restaurant. We eventually shared a delightfully spicy Mexican meal on a terrace in the more subdued atmosphere of the old Biltmore Village.

Another highlight was lunch on the Sunset Terrace of the Grove Park Inn. Built before WWI by an excentric snake-oil tycoon, the Grove Park Inn is a massive stone and timber heirloom nestled on the side of Sunset Mountain in a quiet residential community. The sun broke through the clouds just as we settled into lunch overlooking the surrounding Blue Ridge peaks and valleys. I grabbed my cell phone and called the neighbor back home who had insisted we include that experience. Thanks, Mike, you were right. It was magical.

The most amazing part (to my wife) was that I cranked up my laptop only once, the first night in our suite at the lodge, just to see if I could find a wi-fi network. I did but couldn't log on for some reason and packed my Dell away for the rest of the trip. Back home last night I logged on to discover over 500 emails, none of which were desperately urgent. I was a bit disappointed that I could disappear for 5 days from the blogoshere and no one called the national guard. ;-}

Sunday, October 24, 2004


Whoever dreamed up this nightmare needs to take an early retirement. Read the article here.

PARIS - A Jewish group said Sunday it plans to "modify" its publicity campaign to fight anti-Semitism that showed an image of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary with the slur "Dirty Jew" scrawled across it to mimic graffiti after it drew negative reactions.


The dream of a separate Palestinian state at peace with the Jewish state of Israel is being rethought, by none other than the Palestinians. The Jews, however, are not so enthusiastic. Read the entire article here.
Arabs are increasingly against an Arab and Israeli state and prefer a single country, according to a recent article in the Al Ajeera Arab news service.

“The alternative for Arabs seems to be a unified state with equal rights for everyone, and that itself of course would put an end to the main obstacle to peace—Zionism itself, Arab academic Ghada Karmi told the news service.

The article quotes David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as saying that the “one-state solution is totally unrealistic because it would effectively mean the end of Israel.”

Arafat is also on record saying that ”the womb of the Arab woman is my best weapon.” Some Israelis point to this as proof that he has never been committed to the idea of two states.

Some Palestinian intellectuals and Israelis on the far left actually espouse a one-state solution, arguing it is preferable to separation. With the two peoples merged into a single entity, they contend, many of the vexing problems that now make the conflict seemingly insoluble would melt away. There would be no reason to argue over delineation of borders, or over control of Jerusalem, and it would not even be necessary to remove settlements.

This is not Ali Jerbawi's preferred route to statehood and to solving the conflict. Since Israelis would not agree to a single state, he says. It would mean an ”apartheid-like struggle” in which Palestinians substitute their demand for national self-determination with a demand for one-person-one-vote in a single state. ”This type of struggle will take many years,” he says. ”We want to end Palestinian suffering.”

But in the absence of Israeli agreement to the creation of a viable Palestinian state -- in Gaza and almost all of the West Bank -- he is prepared to go the one- state route. ”If that happens, then we will say to the Israelis, 'We will meet you in 10 to 15 years time with the demand for one-person-one vote in a single state'.”