Monday, July 31, 2006

Don't BALK at that!

I love going to Twins games.

I love Dome Dogs.

And, I always get a Malt Cup.

I love sitting in row 3 of the Home Run Porch, right by the left field foul post on Friday nights when you get a Dome Dog with your ticket. (Saturday's Papa John's pizza night is also good, but then I don't get my Dome Dog).

We settled for row 15 of section 215--The Family Section--yesterday.

I love it when the Twins win, but even if they don't, it's worth the price of a ticket to get sucked out of the Metrodome.

Yesterday, Beth, Katie, niece Mindy, and I went. Mindy's friend even loaned Mindy her Twins "outfit". That reminds me that I have got to get me a Twins "outfit"...but not a baseball cap...after 50 you should not wear a baseball cap...just a nice little tasteful, retro T-shirt.

Chris and Ben were a section over and a few rows up...okay, they were in the top row, I think, because the Home Run Porch was sold out! Big game.

And, the Twins rallied in the 8th and came up with 6 runs! It was very exciting and one run, was the result of a balk! I googled and learned that Liriano had slipped on the mound on July 2nd and was charged with a balk, but the only balk I had ever seen (on TV) was committed (I think by Frank, "Sweet Music" Viola) in the 1987 playoffs! Before that, I had never heard of it.

So, what is a balk? Hmmmm, here's a quote from "Fast Facts" on the baseball almanac web page:

The balk rule, baseball's least understood, has been in the rule book since the nineteenth century and Major League umpire Ron Luciano once said of it, "I never called a balk in my life. I didn't understand the rule."

So, here's what I have gleaned about a balk, which, by the way, can only happen with runners on base. If no runners are on base it is called a ball.

There are two legal pitching positions...the windup and the set.

Ptichers can take signs from the catcher while on the rubber and can disengage the rubber after the sign, but can't quickly step on and pitch. They have to come to a full and complete stop after the set position, before they pitch.

It says,"Pitchers are constantly attempting to "beat the rule" in their efforts to hold runners on bases and in cases where the pitcher fails to make a complete "stop" called for in the rules, the umpire should immediately call a "Balk."

I think, maybe that's what happened yesterday.

However, there are other ways to balk and if you want to know all about them, just go here:

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I'm Waffling!

How cool is this! For those of you who travel a lot, this is probably nothing new. But, not having stayed at a "breakfast providing" hotel for a couple years, I was thrilled to find this brilliant, new product...a "do it yourself, Belgian waffle maker."

Yep, I had delicious waffles, that I made myself at the Hampton Inn in Kearney, the Comfort Inn in Estes Park, and the Comfort Inn in Custer. Yum-O!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Somebody, please make me stop!

In early July we bundled through Qwest. It was a nightmare to do, but we ended up with faster Internet and more TV channels for less $$$ so I think it was worth it.

However, I have recently stumbled upon the BYU channel. Yes, the Brigham Young University channel and have found myself lingering and listening. Has anyone else tuned in to BYU?

First of all, they talk about the Lord all the time, but never read from the Bible. They do however read from the 1831 prophecies that Joseph Smith got and are forever talking about Sister "So and So" and Brother "Thus and Such" and Apostle "Something or the Other"

Here's a hint...whenever a group ingores the Bible and refers constantly to and quotes from "Apostles" that most people have never heard might just want to ask a couple of questions.

Here's one to start with, "What in the world are you thinking?"

Now I gotta get back to BYU and the history of the persecution in Nauvoo, IL that led to the great exodus to Salt Lake City.

Somebody, please make me stop!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


kitsch \KICH\, noun:
1. Art characterized by pretentious bad taste.

That definition seems a little harsh to me. I like kitsch. And, we delighted in visiting a lot of "kitschy" places in the good old US of A. Here are photos from a few of them. For example, we went to the mystery vortcx called "The Cosmos" in Keystone, SD. This is a place where something has gone dreadfully wrong with the Earth's gravitational pull and perhaps the space-time continuum, as well.

Here's how it all was discovered.

We were all standing straight when this photo was taken. But, with the Earth's gravitational pull being confused in this location, we all appear to be standing crooked.

Beth floated in her chair.

What could be more kitschy and fun than the WPA project dinosaurs on Dinosaur Hill in Rapid City.

I guess the Wall Drug could be more kitschy than Dinosaur Hill. Here we are at it.

Beth and Katie enjoyed an authentic wagon ride at the Wall Drug.

And, missing from this post is the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. It would seem that Chris was driving as we passed Mitchell. He and Terry were careful not to wake me up as the exit went by...

Milton Quote

Blogger won't let me upload photos again this morning, so even though I have some great ones remaining from the trip west, you will have to settle for a Milton quote (as in John Milton author of Paradise Lost, not Milton Bradley creator of Monopoly and other fine board games)that was referenced in World Magazine yesterday.

Here's the quote:

"Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter."

When World Magazine started their blog a few years back, they used this quote to explain why they allowed the free flow of ideas, even off the wall ones, to be part of their blog.

Since Old English is a little demanding, here's how World referenced this quote in this week's magazine:

Lay out the facts. Truly subscribe to John Milton's faith from the 1640's that truth and falsehood should be allowed to grapple, for truth would not lose "in a free and open encounter."

Here's the Hip-hop take of this quote. Ideas, placed on the table and open for discussion, aren't nearly as dangerous as ideas that are forbidden to be discussed because the forbidden idea might be the truth. Okay, so I'm no John Milton....

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Division: Part Two

Because blogger still will not let me upload more photos of our trip and because of a couple of e-mails Terry has received over the past two weeks in response to his blog by people who have been many years removed from GCM churches, I have begun to ponder. Here are a few more ponderings.

Many of you probably don't know this, but early on in the GCM movement there were many people (starting with an elder) who were excommunicated (from GCM churches AND from the worldwide body of Christ) by
elders. The reasons given were faction and the scripture used was Titus 3:10 which says, "As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him."

I think, by the way, what I am typing in this post would qualify me as divisive and open me up to excommunication.

An interesting aside is that according to Matthew 18, if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. So, even if someone is to be removed from fellowship it is to be done by the CHURCH, not elders. But, I digress...

All of this has gotten me to thinking that error in the early teaching of GCM about authority, submission and leadership has resulted in many believers being everything from confused to horribly mistreated.

And, so, I would like to be bold and refer you to a web site that Terry found in early May. It contains a lot of information that is "analysis" of GCM over the years so you can write it off as "factious, divisive people who are bitter and trying to harm the church" if you want. (FYI, we find the site credible and done by people who have given careful thought to "the movement")

But, you may want to read the statement of error under "resources" that was written by GCM. It is supposed to be available for discussion to all who ask. After all, the statement says, "
If anyone has questions or concerns about this statement, or about any of the issues ad­dressed in it, please contact a pastor at your local Great Commission church or write to Dave Bovenmyer." So, you might want to check out the statement.

The site is

Causes of Division

I can't get blogger to upload the next series of photos, so I will offer the verses that are on my mind today. They are on my mind today because we are coming upon the 1 year anniversary of the week that God showed these verses to me and Terry...independently...while he was at Boy Scout Camp with Tim and I was at the Bloomington pool with the girls. They played a significant part in leading us last August.

Division or "faction", believe it or not, can unknowingly (or knowingly!) be caused by those who speak out against it! When someone says, "You have to be committed for life to 'our movement,' or our church" they are in reality dividing the body. They are causing division.

First of all, using the phrase "our movement" is in reality saying, "I am of Apollos". Read on to see what Paul writes about that. And, secondly it is saying "We have a special calling from God that is different and better than all the other Churches and church associations in the world." It is elitism. It is wrong.

Here's what God says about division:

I Corinthians 1: 10 - 13

10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, I follow Paul, or I follow Apollos, or I follow Cephas, or I follow Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?


I Corinthians 3: 4 - 9

4 For when one says, I follow Paul, and another, I follow Apollos, are you not being merely human? 5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.

Walkin' with KT

We walked with Katie in many other places besides the 16th Street Mall. For example, we walked around Bear Lake with Katie.
We walked down the trail from Bierstadt Lake with Katie.

We walked down the street in Estes Park with Katie and some of her friends.

We walked to the top of the mountain at the Alpine Visitor's Center in Rocky Mountain National Park with Katie.

We walked around the mini golf course in Estes Park with Katie.

And, we walked up to the top of Dinosaur Hill in Rapid City with Katie.

We really like walking with Katie and are glad she still likes walking with us.

Monday, July 24, 2006

What I Did on My Summer Vacation: Part Two

Day Four
Tuesday we had the honor of visiting with Ray and Kirk. Here Ray hands me a $1 billion bill (tract) to replace the $1 million bill tract that the FBI didn't approve of. I told him about my blogging about that and we had a good laugh together. Here's a photo of the good laugh.

Our family tradition is to always have a meal at the Hard Rock Cafe of the city we are visiting. So, Tuesday it was lunch at the HRC in Denver. I had the fajitas. I always order fajitas at the HRC.

Terry was dying to meet Kirk Cameron's mom, so we headed back to the convention floor to say hi and pick up an autographed copy of her new book A Full House of Growing Pains. Here's a photo of Kirk, his mom, and Terry.

Tuesday evening while Chris, Katie, Tim and Beth watched the All Star Game, and Nikki and Mark dined with friends, Terry and I walked the 16th Street Mall and spied on Jars of Clay who were eating at the outdoor restaurant of The Palms restaurant at The Westin in Denver (where we stayed).

Day Four
Wednesday morning we caught Barna's talk on trends in the sure and pick up his new book Revolution. You'll either love it or hate it! Here's Mr. Barna and his power point.

Wednesday evening was our last evening together before Nikki and Mark headed back east and the rest of us journeyed on to the mountains so we celebrated with dinner at Casa Bonita. Where else can you find an all you can eat Mexican dinner surrounded by strolling musicians, dancing monkeys in costume, daring cliff divers, and splendid appointments...that's what it says on the menu and that's what you get. Here is a photo of Terry and me there.

Here is a photo of the gang dining among the splendid appointments.

Mark found the perfect hat in the gift shop there.

And, Chris got high score on the Ms. Pacman game. It only took him a half hour. Here is Chris and his high score.

Day Six

It was onward and upward to Estes park on Thursday for 5 days of hiking in the Rockies! Stay tuned...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

We have just returned from nearly two weeks in the wild, wild west. I have missed you, my dear readers, and would like to share my experiences.

Day One
We left bright and early on Saturday, July 8th and stopped in Omaha for lunch with nephew Shawn, his wife Lili, and their daughter Anita. We dined on yummy sweet rolls and other delicious comestibles at The Farmhouse Cafe before bidding a fond farewell and heading for Kearney, Nebraska where we enjoyed the nightlife that can only be found in central and slightly westernish Nebraska.

Here we are at lunch.

Day Two
After a heartly waffle breakfast at The Hampton Inn (more about that in a future post), we headed west for Denver. Our goal was to make it to the free evening program at the ICRS (International Christian Retail Show). Phillip Yancey spoke, and Leigh Nash, Bebo, and Salvador performed.

Here is Leigh who took over two years off to have a baby. And, is no longer a Sixpence None the Richer.

And here is Bebo who had broken his leg a few weeks ago sliding into home during a game of whiffle ball.
Are you supposed to slide home in whiffle ball?

Sorry, Phillip Yancey, but we didn't take your picture. I did, however, observe you crossing on red at the light the next day!

Day Three
This was the first full day of the convention for the employees of Terry Dugan Design. We started the day bright and early at 8:00 by hearing John Ashcroft speak. He played the piano and led a couple songs at the end of his talk. He is a very good piano player and who can ever forget his hit song "Let the Eagle Soar" as made famous by David Letterman. While the TDD employees were busy with important meetings, the rest of us met with our favorite celebrities. Catching up with our good buddy Shaun Alexander was our first stop.

Then it was off to greet our new friends in the band Sanctus Real. Here is Tim with two of them.
Making memories with Stephen Baldwin was next on the list.

The evening ended with a lovely free outdoor concert at The City Lights Pavillion courtesy of Provident records. This, of course, translates to be MICHAEL W. (Jars and Bebo, two new bands). A great concert, made even greater by the fact that all my babies humored me and went along for the ride. Here are my babies and me before the concert...

So far it's been a great trip, hasn't it! And, we are only three days into it! 9 more to go! Coming soon is Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron's mom and Terry, George Barna, mountains, Estes Park, meeting Evergreeners in Estes Park, Mount Rushmore, and the Wall Drug. So, keep checking back!

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Supremacy of God

"Spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things, for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ."

This is the "motto" of Bethlehem Baptist Church.

I have been there twice...or was it 3 times since the beginning of the year. Every time I have been there, I have noticed that the focus was on God and not on man.

This has been helpful to me because over the course of the last couple years, I have focused way too much on "men" and way too little on God.

I think that one of the reasons Piper is becomming so well known is because he makes much of God and speaks very little of Piper. And, I believe God honors that and rewards that.

Just some thoughts from Hip-hop Co-op. I want to make much of God.

And, am hoping that the rumor of a Bethlehem Church plant at Burnsville High is true!

Separated at Birth...

Does anyone else think that Francis Schaeffer looks like...

George Carlin?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Unity Quote

To remain divided is sinful! Did not our Lord pray, "that they may be one, even as we are one?" (John 17:22) A chorus of ecumenical voices keep harping the unity tune. What they are saying is, "Christians of all doctrinal shades and beliefs must come together in one visible organization, regardless...Unite, unite!"

Such teaching is false, reckless, and dangerous. Truth alone must determine our alignments. Truth comes before unity. Unity without truth is hazardous. Our Lord's prayer in John 17 must be read in its full context..."Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth."

Charles H. Spurgeon

Do you agree with Spurgeon?

What's the Deal?

Has anyone else had trouble with blogspot today?

Here's the deal.

I posted my grits post this morning. And, it showed up twice.

Then, Ben commented on the "first" post. And, it said 1 comment.

I replied to Ben's comment and my comment showed up, but it still says "1 comment".

Then, I commented on the second posting of Grits and my comment is there, even though it says "0 comments".

Then, I commented on Chris's Tony Campolo post on his blog and only half of my comment appeared. So, I reposted the very same comment and all of it appeared.

Am I doing something wrong or is it time to call in Ghostbusters?

Grits, Grits, Hominy Grits!

How should I know "how many grits"?

Quick, where does that line come from?

As you are pondering the answer, I will offer part two of the "Ad Hominem" argument. So, welcome back to Fallacy Academy. I hope you had a great 4th of July holiday "school" break!

Remember, from our previous lesson, that the "ad hominem" argument is the "attack the messenger" argument. It's a good one to use when the "red herring" distraction argument has failed! And, used in combo with the "red herring" it can be very effective.

I thought of a two more examples of the ad hominem that people have used on me and I have fallen for almost every time.

1. "Anonymous" person argument. This would be when someone offers an anonymous view of something. The ad hominem attack would be, "What he says is not to be listened to because he remained anonymous." Now, you may argue that the anonymous person isn't a brave person, but you can't say that his view is wrong necessarily because he is anonymous. You are attacking the messenger in this case...he is anonymous, therefore, he is not to be believed.

2. "Do you know his/her character?" argument. This is another type of "ad hominem" argument. Questioning the point being made because the person making it is of unknown character. Someone will offer information...say me...on this blog...right now. And, a critic will say, you can't believe "Hip-hop Co-op" lady because you don't know her. Do you know what kind of person she is? Is she quick tempered? A gossip?

The astute student at Fallacy Adacemy will see right away that this is an "ad hominem" argument (questioning the character of the person) and also it is a "red herring" (distracting someone from the point at hand to the character of the person making the point).

This reminds me of Balaam's Talking Donkey. Yes, take heart, God can even speak through donkeys! It doesn't matter who is saying something. What matters is whether or not what they are saying it true.

Here's the story:

Numbers 22:22-35
22 But God's anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam's foot against the wall. So he struck her again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times? 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you. 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way? And he said, No. 31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. 32 And the angel of the Lord said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live. 34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back. 35 And the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you. So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.