...thoughts expressed here are not necessarily final.

November 16, 2004 Enter the Subway Zone

Its a place of sight and sound where we must be approaching the speed of light because for all the world this six inch sub looks to measure about 5 and a quarter inches as the space-time continuum warps. Or maybe Subway is just making their serving "shortbread" these days? I'll have to do some research on this tuna sandwich and let you know after lunch.

It's 38 days till Christmas

Didja know Christmas has its very own website- check out


Or you can get an analog version here-

A new study shows that Protestant clergy in America name divorce as the top threat to families in their communities, followed by a wide range of problems from materialism to marital infidelity to negative influences in the media. Ellison Research conducted the study using a representative sample of 695 pastors from across the nation. The researchers asked pastors to identify the three strongest threats to families in their own communities. In their responses, reported in the November/December 2004 issue of Facts &Trends magazine, 43 percent of the pastors surveyed named divorce as the number-one threat. Meanwhile, 38 percent named negative influences from the media, and 36 percent cited materialism. After the top three threats cited, absentee fathers (24 percent) and families that lack a stay-at-home parent (22 percent) were among the top threats to the family most frequently named by pastors. Other serious threats to the family that were mentioned included co-habitation before marriage (18 percent), pornography (17 percent), and morality not being taught in schools (14 percent). Ron Sellers, president of Ellison Research, says the new study revealed that the level of threat each of these issues represented differed from region to region and from one demographic to the next. Facts & Trends retains Ellison Research to supply current data on issues and challenges facing Christian pastors and the contemporary Church.

More Demographics

Anthony Healy, the head of a business that specializes in church demographic studies says some interesting trends are changing the way churches do ministry. Visions-Decisions says many churches and groups are missing some of the demographic trends taking place within the U.S. population. Tne demographic trend that is creating a niche in America is the aging of the population. Another change is that more young adults today are taking more time for education and career options and putting off getting married and starting a family. Such demographic trends have an effect on what people look for in a church, and so a church needs to know the trends in order to respond to people's needs. Where perhaps most people once chose a church based on location, people now go to a certain church not because it is close, but because it has programs suited to their needs. He says churches today are becoming more regionalized and increasingly made up of members with similar lifestyles.

Spotted recently in my email:

Graving O. Cuds

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Assist Your Wife with her suffering

Bufflehead P. Mcdermott

RE: Kiriushka! Stop this tomfoolery!

Sometimes I get so Americentric in my thoughts that I need good jolt- so here goes- news of God's work halfway around the world:

"Invitation of Jesus into the nation of Vanuatu and the city of Port Vila by the newly elected Prime Minister of Vanuatu, the Hon Serge Vohor, August 2004:

"I Serge Vohor the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, on behalf of my people confess that we have sinned against the Almighty God, the Holy Spirit and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. I repent of my own sin and the sins of my community today and the sins of our forefathers of the past generations. Lord Jesus, I and my people do not want to miss the day of your visitation. We beg you this day not to pass us by. We are sinners. We ask you for forgiveness. We invite you into our community today. Come and change us, come and renew our lives, come and transform our families, come and visit our tribes, come and heal our land. Jesus is Lord of Vanuatu. Holy Spirit Come!""

LINK: http://www.oneheart.com.au/art.asp?id=390

Whoa- if this is true- I wanna go to Figi. Better yet, I want to commit to pray this for my country (and myself) daily.

November 18, 2004 Subject: Thoughts on Galatians 2:20- The Deliverance of the Cross

From: Foster, Anthony Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2004 8:35 AM To: Foster, Anthony

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. --Galatians 2:20

Lord deliver us from our "selves"- that is deliver us from the evil that self generates. The sin of the believer is a fetid sore, a cancer that impugns the name which we bear. It is a blasphemous insinuation that challenges or calls into question the integrity of the truth claims of Christ.

When we wallow in the mire of self confidence, self sufficiency, or self love we are caught in a snare that the church itself, all too many times, has laid for us in the guise of western mythology, bootstrap theology or in the perverted pursuit a good "self-image". We are even taught from pulpits that one cannot love others if one does not first love oneself!

The sin of self aggrandizement makes much of self and our circumstances and little of our God.

Conversely, the sin of self-pity accomplishes the same end result. These are sins that dwell deeply in our souls and can hide there and fool even the saints if that were possible. Indeed it is only possible if we choose to not think aright and have a valid evaluation of our ability to rationalize.

There is a light that shines and the truth it reveals shall set us free- thesearing light of the cross which will scorch the flesh and purify the heart. It is the light of the glory of the Lord in the face of Christ Jesus that sears and rends our wickedness before its glow- if we will abide in his presence. Curiously, we find extreme examples of these sins tolerated in Christian leadership and are wont to confront them lest we lay hands on the annointed of the Lord. Ego, self promotion, and thinking oneself to be needed by God as the source of sage knowlege have kept many a man of God from growing in the graces of the humility it takes to be a shepherd. When we make much of self, or others, for that matter, we tend to make much less of God than He rightfully is due.

When we promote ourselves in the guise of promoting Christ we not only fool ouselves by practicing self deception, we may also align ourselves with a peculiar idea of success that will be self fulfilling- thus are many castrated in their effective championing of the gospel. Sin becomes a new temple veil in our hearts, one that we ourselves have been the fine artisan of. But these artisans are not receiving their giftedness from The Most High. Indeed we are all the while weaving that which will hide the face of our God from the inner recesses of our hearts- covering the eyes of our heart with blinders. No amount of good instruction will allow us to will this veil away for it is of precious dark materials we have labored long in creating. We could as soon drive out cancer from our bodies by sitting in a seminar. Who shall deliver us then?

Thanks be to God- he has a righteous rod of destruction in his pierced hand. He will take us back to the cross and there see ourselves crucified until we die daily and see the resurrextion power of Christ lay hold of that new veil we ave erected to replace the old one that was rent forever. We were once for all delivered and are even now being delivered. That is what a deliverer does. The truth shall set us free!

November 19, 2004 Microsoft vs. Planet Earth

Microsoft Corp. warned Asian governments on Thursday they could face patent lawsuits for using the Linux operating system instead of its Windows software.

Good news, Ma Smith is coming to our house tomorrow, then we will take her to Louisville to visit her son at his new house during Thanksgiving and back with us for Christmas shopping so I get Earnie back. Just in time too. It was foreordained before the foundations of the world that I should not be a left to my own devices.

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From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/