Demons at work

and Satan's Ploys

Let me just say that Satan is truly playing havoc in my life right now.

But, he does that continually so it isn't such a big surprise. Years ago, God warned me one morning at 5:39 AM this is what would happen. He was preparing me for Satan to try to find a chink in the Whole Armor of God. At that time, God prevailed, for He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. Amen.

First thing he loves to do is sit on my shoulder and whisper out right lies into my ear. I know they are lies, but there's just enough plausibility to it ... and that is enough to get the mind working in top gear going through the

Wounded Pride, Poor Me, Woe Is Me, How Dare He Do That Cycle...

When there isn't a shred of truth in any of it but of course there is a problem in a different angle... so long as Satan has me in that washer cycle going round and round, I'm not praying about the true problem and Satan wins.

Well, he's not going to win this one. Because of God.

Let me say that another way. Satan can't win because God is in control.

If I do not allow Satan the power to spin a web, then he cannot immobilize me because God has all authority, and though Satan was given the title of Prince of the Air and of this world, he still submits to the authority of God..

 God and I, me and God. That is personalized. Together make a perfect combo and that is the most healthy relationship possible. I must remember that God is the force, not me. Without Him, I am nothing.

It still doesn't stop the pain right away. It doesn't help the heart ache. But, that too will pass. As I was telling my dear friend just a while ago. The day of Joy will be the day that Jesus holds out His hand to me saying, "Shall we dance?" Boy OH Boy! That will be the joyous day. Come, Lord Jesus, Come... I am weary of this world. Marantha.

Secret Service: Their bullying is getting out of hand

When the Secret Service bullies two Airmen who are on the same detail as them, it is outrageous. Read the police report here. It is a travesty to bully. Yet, grown men who are trained to protect our president and vice president and others, the travesty looms too large to wrap the brain around. I've studied bullying. I written articles about it: Bullying is a growing concern, Bullying is torture at school, Bullying is the silent epidemic, and Sack tapping another form of bullying.

This is beyond simple bullying, although there is nothing simple about bullying. These children in grown up bodies are a menace, and with a total lack of judgment are a peril to the highest office of our nation. Drunken behavior is unacceptable.

I, for one, am calling for a clean sweep of this organization. Forget retraining, fire them and hire respectable men and women full of self-control and brains larger than peas.

This isn't the least. When vacationing president and veep go to Nantucket, home owners are very chary of renting their nice houses to the Secret Service because they vandalize the homes conjuring visions of Animal House--how mature is that?

These men should ponder:

Psalm 5:6  You shall destroy those who speak lies; Jehovah will despise the bloody and deceitful man.

Psa 28:5  Because they do not pay attention to the works of Jehovah and to the work of His hands, He shall destroy them and never build them up.

Ecc 5:6  Do not allow your mouth to cause your flesh to sin; do not say before the angel that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?

Mat 21:41  They said to Him, Bad men! He will miserably destroy them and will rent out his vineyard to other vinedressers who will give him the fruits in their seasons.

Just a slight change... is it lying?

What do you consider lying? Are little white lies okay when you are "protecting" a friend's feelings? Doing an assignment for school I pondered this question when it comes to unethical photojournalism. I found numerous, horrendous photos from the "Napalm girl" to the "Starving Sudanese child" and the drowned five year old boy. I don't link to those because I think even those photos won Pulitzer prizes... maybe not the dead boy's photo, I think it was up for a Pulitzer.

Public domain photo from Library of Congress
Public domain photo from Library of Congress
Close ups and wide angles can tell two hugely different stories, yet, be the same subject matter. These photos were taken by the same photographer, Dorothea Lange; and taken in 1936. The then Resettlement Administration had the job of resettling farmers off 100,000,000 acres of worn out, dust bowl land into settlements. There were a series of photographers by several photographers used by the Resettlement Administration to show the necessity to help these poor people. California didn’t want the thousands of poor farmers being removed to the state. So photos were used to soften the hearts of the state government. The first photo was used but retouched. The second photo was buried in archives and unused by the Administration.

The first photo is the close up and depicts a poor mother, surrounded by her children but also depicts, with the application of a little money the family could survive easily. Her expression is one of contemplation rather than despair.

The second photo is the wide angle showing what desperate straits the family is living in; and that it will take much more than a few dollars to help this family survive. The squalor seems insurmountable. The family is flanked by a tattered lean-to, meager belongings in a broken trunks, and an empty plate on another trunk, surrounded by empty fields.

Both photos are ethical, and taken in an ethical manner. However, the use of the first retouched photo to tell a deceptive story is unethical. In the retouched photo, the woman has a brighter face, and there are highlights in the children’s hair. This photo represents hope. The second photo tells the whole truth and represents despair which did not tell the story the Resettlement Administration wanted to tell so it was buried in archives.

The ethical dilemma is using a retouched photograph to sell a story to persuade a group of people into a certain action. Kant would say, this goes against his categorical imperative, in universalizability, and using the family as a means to an end. He would also say that this may be a little lie, it is still a lie. Exhibiting truth is what gives credibility, and that is all that journalists have. The public hates to be lied to. Big lie, little lie, important or trivial, offering anything but the truth is lying.

Calling all Christian bloggers...

Hi All...

I am conducting a project for one of my Master's classes and need some input from you Christian bloggers. There is so little study going on in this respect and I think communication scholars would benefit from your answers. I will use this information for a paper that I hope will be published, however I need your answers now for my class paper.

Please take about 10 minutes to answer these questions and if you don't want to answer publicly, please email answers to me at glburgess at gmail dot com. Thank you so very, very much!

Blog Address:

Who are the "stakeholders" with regard to your blog? Who will be affected by what you post?

When making decisions about your blog, do any of the following values or duties cross your mind? If so, which? Can you rank them?

Minimizing Harm to Others
Free Expression
Factual Truth

Are there any values/duties you feel should be weighed in a discussion of Blogging?

Are there certain duties ALL bloggers should fulfill... all the time... in order to be "good" bloggers?

Are there certain things bloggers should NEVER do?

On a societal level, what role do blogs play?

Why did you decide to start a weblog? What did you want your blog to accomplish? Have you achieved that purpose yet?

Thank you for furthering God's glory in participating in this survey, because I do give it all to Him!

Engraved in His palm,

Sin and flaws: Is there a difference?

We are not stuck with permanent flaws.

What a relief!

We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. So where is the connection?

I have done some most ugly things which, if I allow myself to dwell upon them, shame me to the core. I know I am not alone in this because anyone can open the Bible up to just about any page and see sinful acts by God’s saints. He knew this would happen from the beginning and that is why from the beginning He had a plan. Sins are events. Sin is forgiven those who realize they have sinned, confess that sin, and ask God for forgiveness because Jesus made that ultimate sacrifice so it would be. Sin only defines those who are not saved and who reject Jesus. However…

Satan’s plan is to steal, kill and destroy, and to smear the consciences as well as the reputations of all God’s children. He will latch on to a sin and from his point of view make that sin our identity. But, as I told my pastor last night, those horrible things I have done are not even an itch between God's shoulder blades. Why do I let Satan toss a memories at me from his Accusation File Folder?

Sometimes I want to just throw myself down and beg God to forgive me for something I did years ago. Why does this guilt hang around my neck like a mill stone? Because I allow it. Sanctification is working with God against the flaws that instigate sin. Not against sin itself. As Paul puts it, he wants to present us to God without wrinkle, blemish or spot dressed in bright, white linen. Wrinkles come from sitting down on the job. Blemishes come from devouring junk food. And spots come from wallowing where we do not belong as God’s children.

I am not stuck with permanent flaws, but Satan would have me believe such. He throws those things at me to make me believe it was a continual thing rather than a single event. He digs around in his Accusation File throwing those at me to keep me from my sweet relationship with the Most Holy God. Paul had the same problem, or at least he spoke of it:

2 Corinthians 1:8 For, brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant as to our affliction having happened to us in Asia, that we were excessively burdened beyond our power, so as for us even to despair of living. 9 But we ourselves have the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust on ourselves, but on God, the One raising the dead.

With power like that, who can defeat us? With power like that, how can we fail? Father, help us to wake up with You on our minds and to always ask You to manage our time and to help us use Your energy in us forever and ever. Amen

Dingo really did snatch a 9-week old baby

National Geographic photo by Jason Edwards
It took four inquests, untold number of tears, several years in prison at hard labor for the mother, and more than two decades for the truth to finally hold sway over this case. In 1980 a wild dog snatched a baby from a family's camp in the wilds of Australia. Both the mother and the father asserted repeatedly that a dingo had taken the baby, but the baby's clothes found in the desert were unmarred which led to the belief the mother had made it look like a dog attack.

Is it reasonable to automatically assume family attacks family?

Gary Chapman said in his book, The Five Languages of Love that we are more courteous to strangers than we are to our most beloved. Well, maybe. I grew up in a Christian home, and we were courteous to each other, but my sister and I could have some of the most violent fights. Oh, not where bruises were exchanged, but hair pulling, snarls, and damage to property did. (I'm so glad that I didn't have those kinds of losses of self-control later in life--until the monster Menopause came visit me.) However, let anyone ever take a poke either verbally or physically at my sister and that brought out the momma bear in me. Family members will trade verbal barbs and perhaps a few arrows, but rarely do bullets, knives or hatchets become physical weapons of choice.

In 2010 statistics released by the FBI Uniform Crime Reports show the victim/offender relationship was by far the highest in the form of acquaintance and friend. The lowest was sister to sister. The highest within the family was the husband murdering his wife. Of all the known to police murders of infants in 2010 (186) it was less than 1% (.0143) of all homicides. That means the likelihood a parent would murder his/her infant son or daughter is far less than it being committed by an acquaintance or friend. Bear in mind that accidents are not included here so we can't run the full equation to a definitive conclusion.

To me, this means that the assumption that a lot of police officers and officers of the court make that husband/wife, or any other familial relationship committing the murder is far less than 1% here in the U.S.

The fact this crime took more than two decades to be solved as an accident is so sad to me. So often people jump to conclusions, and assume things without gathering all the facts. Since the baby's coat was found next to a dingo's den and was mauled considerably which explains why the baby's other clothes were more pristine, why would it take so incredibly long for the truth of a fatal attack by a wild dog to be concluded?

Proverbs 3:7  Don't assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil!

1 Corinthians 4:5  So don't get ahead of the Master and jump to conclusions with your judgments before all the evidence is in. When he comes, he will bring out in the open and place in evidence all kinds of things we never even dreamed of--inner motives and purposes and prayers. Only then will any one of us get to hear the "Well done!" of God.

Proverb 25:8  Don't jump to conclusions--there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.

I am not saying that circumstantial evidence should not be used or considered. After all, what would you conclude if you found cookie crumbs in your children's bed and they had chocolate smeared faces?

Men are happier people.

(from email 2-2-06)

What do you expect from such simple creatures?

Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves.

Chocolate is just another snack. You can be President. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth.

The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.

You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay.

Wrinkles add character.

Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.

People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.

The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.

New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat! You know stuff about tanks.

A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase--no extra case for cosmetics because you actually can use the shampoo the hotel offers. Any color goes with jeans. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.

If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.

Everything on your face stays its original color. The same hairstyle lasts for decades. You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life. Your belly usually hides your big hips.

One wallet and one pair of shoes one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife.

You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25minutes.

No wonder men are happier.

What can I say? Men are perfect and I love them. One in particular is my special favorite and I love Him more than all you other guys put together.

Venus swings in front of the sun

NASA photo
It is incredible to imagine this is Venus, second from the Sun. It's flying by right now and I saw it. It'll be another 105 years before it happens again... but, I'm praying Jesus will come before that.

With all the incredible sights we have seen in the heavenlies, how can anyone not know within their heart of hearts that God is?

I am so amazed at the works of His hands.

Psa 8:3  When I look upon Your heavens, the work of Your fingers: the moon and the stars which You have fixed;
Psa 8:4  what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man, that You visit him?
Psa 8:5  For You have made him lack a little from God; and have crowned him with glory and honor.
Psa 8:6  You made him rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all under his feet:
Psa 8:7  all flocks and oxen, and also the animals of the field,
Psa 8:8  the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, all that pass through the sea.
Psa 8:9  O Jehovah, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
(Literal Translation)