The Third Best Thing I've Heard This Week

"We have always appreciated the commitment (athletic director) Mike Alden and his staff have had towards Missouri basketball and I am excited to remain here at Missouri," (Coach Mike) Anderson said in a statement. "We are looking forward to the future of this program and can't wait to continue building on the success of this past season."

This is reported by ESPN within the last hour.

I was just telling my wife at dinner tonight that, while not really important in the overall scheme of things, I was fretting about whether or not Coach Anderson would leave Mizzou. Thankfully, he's staying for the foreseeable future.

And the two better things I've heard this week? The sermon my pastor preached Sunday and that I wrote about here and the relief and joy in my wife's voice when she learned I had picked up supper tonight.

Life is good.

Peas In A Pod

Imagine Iran with missiles that can reach, not only Jerusalem, but European capitals and possibly cities along the Eastern United States. Picture North Korean missiles that can hit targets in Alaska and possibly Hawaii. Now imagine that Iran and North Korea are working together.

Actually, they are working together, as this article makes clear.

"Iranian missile experts are helping North Korea with the imminent launch of an ICBM that can hit Alaska and Hawaii. Imagine a Taepodong-2 with a nuke. This is no time to gut missile defense."

No, this certainly is no time to be gutting defense. We had an administration like this before, remember? It was the economy, stupid? They gutted defense. That was right before 9-11. The succeeding administration had to clean up after those misplaced priorities.

Now again, we're focusing on the economy and gutting defense. This is all right before . . .

Food for the Soul

I want to give a shout out to my pastor, Doug Shivers, at Boulevard Baptist Church. He is in the midst of a most unique journey through the Bible. Now, many pastors preach through the Bible and do so in an expository way; Doug is no pioneer on that score. But the way he's going about it is very interesting.

Doug is preaching through the Bible at the rate of one book per week. I have never heard of this being done before. It's been challenging for him and he freely admits it. You can imagine how daunting it would be to cover Leviticus or the Psalms or Isaiah in one sermon. But Doug is handling it quite ably.

I want to commend this past week's sermon on Hosea to you. As of this writing it has not been posted at Boulevard's website, but I invite you to check back until it is. Be careful to hear especially the last bit of the sermon, the last point, if you will. It is stuffed to bulging with the powerful message of Christ's gospel, the good news that He has taken on the sins of His people and imparted to them His righteousness! What stunningly Good News!

As it has been said a multitude of times, it's an old story that never gets old.


It's Blunt's Fault

I have made an acquaintance through my wife's employment with a man who serves in Missouri's legislature. He and I usually get caught up at the office Christmas party, but I happened to see him the other day while I was picking my bride up for lunch.

Since we were both on our way other places we just had a brief chat, but I learned something interesting.

He told me that Missouri is one of only two states in the union, Texas being the other, which is operating in the black.

I blame Matt Blunt.

Mizzou Basketball

I have not written about Missouri Tiger basketball all season. Perhaps that is why they are doing so well. Or not.

Anyway, they are one of only eight teams left standing in the NCAA national tournament. Hats off to them!

As an aside, I really despise the term 'Elite Eight'. When I first began watching the tournament there was the Sweet 16 and the Final Four. Both of these terms mark the end of a four-day period, ending on Sunday, that sets the field for the next weekend. They are the 5 o'clock whistle that signals a 3-day break for body, mind and heart. However, somewhere along the way, and after CBS got it's exclusive hands on the tournament broadcasts, Elite Eight emerged as the name for the 15 hours or so after the Sweet 16 gets to eight teams and before the games to set the Final Four start. We sleep through most of this stage. It is obviously a contrived name. I blame Jim Nantz.

What I want to know is why they forgot the halfway point between The Field of 64 and the Sweet 16? What about The Thumping 32? Or The Thundering 32? The Titillating 32? The 32 Throwdown!! Remember, you read them here first. And they are contrived. And they are horrible. And awkward.

Where was I? Ah, yes, Mizzou is in the Ethereal Eight and will face Connecticut today. This team scares me, but the truth is, they all do. When you are down to the Electric Eight teams, they are all good. When get to the Eclectic Eight, it's tough! Only the best teams get to the Effervescent Eight!

In all seriousness, though, I think Mizzou can beat anyone left in the tourney. Of course, they could lose anywhere along the way, too. But I don't think the Tigers are a fluke. I don't see them getting much press, and that's OK, but don't go to sleep on this team. They could still have a few games left.

Finally, I was very glad to see that Alabama hired a coach and thereby took a vacancy off the table that may have had some attraction for Mizzou's Mike Anderson. He has done a great job and I think the team will get better as time goes on and it would be a shame to let him get away. I would anticipate a raise forthcoming for Coach Anderson when this season is done.


The Chinese Are Warning Us

At my work, we received some product from China, wrapped in plastic upon which was printed this warning:

Warning – Plastic bags can be dangerous – to avoid danger of fuffocation (sic), keep this bag away from babies and children. Made in China

Fuffocation? It sounds bad. I knew plastic bags were a danger to babies. I didn’t know that they can also apparently cause misspelling in adults.

And I know the typical response is sometimes how difficult the English language is, and I understand that some, but I don't think that's a problem here. Don't you just need an English-speaker who can do a quick edit? Maybe set up a template with correctly spelled words?

English is hard? OK, well what about Chinese? Can you penetrate that? Have you seen the Chinese characters?

I know it makes sense to them but to me it looks like someone made up a language out of stuff that was randomly picked out of the junkyard.


It Occurs to Mark Steyn

Here is a succinct, clever and accurate read on the last week in presidential politics from Mark Steyn -

In turbulent times, it's good to know some things never change. After a week in which President Obama thanked himself for inviting him to the White House, compared AIG executives to suicide bombers, and did the first Presidential retard joke on national TV, I was impressed to find that Slate is bravely keeping up its Bushism of The Day feature.

From NRO.

Reckless, Disasterous Obama

Scott Johnson has written a terrific piece over at Powerline, one website you should be reading daily. He is able to, in relatively short order, make plain the utter mess that is Barack Obama's leadership of this nation. Frankly, I hope we survive his administration. But I digress.

Here's a taste of what Johnson had to say:

I feel utterly powerless to do anything about the fellow in the Oval Office who combines infantile leftism and adolescent grandiosity in roughly equal measures. It seems to me that every day he is responsible for assaults on the freedom and well being of the American people. I can't keep up and I can't stand to pay attention.

His aim seems to be to reduce us to government dependents. His inattention to rehabilitation of the financial system in lieu of vastly expanding the size and scope of the government is a dead giveaway, as is his lack of concern over the vast destruction of wealth his policies are working (and will continue to work).

Perhaps most depressing to me is the manifestation of his adolescent grandiosity in his stewardship of foreign policy and national security. He doesn't understand that the government of Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons it can put to evil purposes. He thinks he can sweet-talk them out of achieving this objective.

All that was for openers. There's more in between, but here's the conclusion:

I am depressed because the president of the United States is a fool who will immiserate us, render us wards of the state and lose us our life and liberty to those who understand what they are about.

As they say, read it all.


Great Is The Lord and Greatly To Be Praised

I teach college Sunday School at my church and I have begun pulling lessons from John Piper's What Jesus Demands from the World. Demand #4 (i.e. Chapter 4) is "Believe In Me." I was going over that in preparation for leading the class tomorrow and read some words that really set me back:

"The desperate situation we are in, Jesus says, is that we are under the wrath of God. This is owing to our sin. God is just, and his anger is rightly kindled against human attitudes and behaviors that belittle his worth and treat him as insignificant. All of us have done this. In fact, we do it every day."

My prayer after reading that was to ask that I would never 'belittle His worth' nor 'treat Him as insignificant'. I trust you are of similar heart and mind.

Have a blessed Lord's Day and be happy in Him.


I Only Thought I Was Creative

This post from What's Best Next was a real eye-opener. Here's the part that stung:

Some people fancy themselves as being “creative,” or ”creative-types,” because they have a lot of ideas. Cool. You have ideas. So does my 3 year old. That doesn’t make you creative. An idea without implementation isn’t creation. It’s imagination.

There you go. I've been well aware of my shortcomings for a long while, you know, the book I haven't written, the painting I haven't done, the cartoons I haven't drawn. Of course all the while I would've said I was a creative person.

But what does 'creative' mean, after all? Generally, being creative means something gets created.



If I was voting in a Republican primary today, I would vote for Newt Gingrich. Last year I voted for Mitt Romney because, for one reason, Gingrich wasn't running.

This article has a bit of a recap of Newt's speech at CPAC a couple of weeks ago and it appears as if he is sending signals that indicate he's running in 2012.

If Obama still can't find enough clean Democrats to fill his Cabinet by then, and if he continues his wealth destroying policies, then he could be beaten by a sock puppet.

Fortunately, Gingrich has more going for him than that. He just might not need it.

March Radio Madness

The basketball tournament frenzy is starting to ramp up and the other day I heard a sports radio talking head go on about some of the automatic qualifiers from the smaller (read weaker) conferences. He was of the opinion that he would rather see a ninth place team from a stronger conference than some winner of a small conference, saying he thought the ninth place team would be better and that the game would be more competitive.

The great thing about America is everybody gets to say their opinion.

Put me down as one sports fan who does not care.

What I do care about is that the national champ is in fact in the tournament. What I do care about is that the best handful of teams in the country who have a realistic chance to win the tournament are in the field.

And they always are. I really am not interested in arguing about the other 55 or 56 teams.

It Occurs To Me . . .

that maybe it has dawned on Obama that the U.S. is more than a neighborhood and needs more than organizing.

We can hope.


Wonder Full

My lovely bride sent me a link today and I just got so much out of it I wanted to share. It was food for my soul and I hope you find it nourishing as well.

Here's a tasty morsel -

I know the kind of man I am. I know the lusts and the pride in my heart, the anger, the sarcasm the ungodliness. I know who I am and I know what I deserve. But. But God. But God in his goodness set me apart and gave me a gift—a wondrous gift greater than any other. He gave me what he had; he gave me what I needed; he gave me his Son; he gave me Himself.

I think you would like the whole thing.