But God Remembered Noah!

Genesis 8:1 – “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.”

This last week was a very difficult one. One that by the end of the week, I was saying “That’s it! I’m over, I’m out, I’m done, I’ finished…I can’t take it anymore. Finito!” I wanted to step aside…and let another run the next leg of the race.

The only problem was…no one else was volunteering to do so. Surely not through will power…but momentum, I kept plugging away.

While not quite as downcast…my mood was not going to win any power of positive thinking award today. But my one saving grace was that I had my Bible Study Fellowship lesson to complete.

This week we are studying about Noah…Genesis 6 – 8. The passage that stood out to me most was Genesis 8:1 “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.”

This week I felt like the waters had overwhelmed me…and I had been forgotten by God. I cried out…but there was only quite…no reply and no relief forthcoming.

But thank goodness for the Word of God…to remind me about who He is. Our God, who is ever faithful and unchanging. In John 1:1…we learn that Jesus was the Word, and was with God the Father in the beginning, and was God. Our triune God…Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

That same God, who remembered Noah, has remembered me.

Think about what a scary and uncertain time this was for Noah and his family. They alone, along with the animals on the ark, remained. For the first time ever it had rained…and the waters of the deep poured forth and the earth was covered with water. All people, but eight whom God had saved, were killed in the flood. The Bible tells us in Genesis 6:8 that Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

God has had mercy upon me, and through his grace saved me. He will not forsake me, nor forget me, nor leave me helpless. Hebrews 13:5 reminds us that God will never leave us, nor forsake us.

Now if go by my feelings…I wouldn’t grasp that, know and trust that God cares for me…even when circumstances seem quite overwhelming.

But when I place my trust in God, and in His Word…I can rest assured that he has not forsaken me. Instead like, Noah, He remembered me. He is at work and soon the waters will be receding.

When God remembered Noah (actually, He had never forgotten him)…he started a work and the waters would soon recede. But it took…150 days before that was evident.

Like Noah…the waters that have swamped me will recede. Whether perceptible at the moment…or veiled…my God is at work. He has a plan and purpose that He is working out.

Do I still have moments of doubt? You bet ya! But one thing I’ve found helpful in those dark and discouraging times…is to give thanks to God. Thank him for that which he has provided. Give thanks for who He is.

Through thanksgiving and praise…I am able to remind myself that God exists and God cares…He is there and has provided. In those times…that’s when it pays to know the Word of God. Before you are in those difficult times…not after.

So I thank you Jesus for remembering me. I thank you that you have sent a wind…and the waters that have swamped me will soon recede.

Stinkiefied Day

Today…I had super extra mega stinkiefied day…to the n’th degree. Now I’m not able to, nor do I want to, go into the gory ugly details of this day. I already lived it…and that was bad enough. It just was dog gone ugly. Uhhhhhh!

It was filled to the brim in dealing with people that leave you muttering to yourself, as you walk away…or hang up the phone…saying one of the following:

“Gee wiz, these folks must have done some heavy duty drugs in the 60’s.”

Or, “They must have dropped some serious acid…cause something ain’t quite working right in their gray matter.”

Or how about, “You can’t be that stupid naturally, it has to be supplemented.”

Giving them the benefit of the doubt with, “I think their mom must have dropped them on their head when they were a baby…that kind of thinking just has to be caused by something.”

The other thing that was apparent after this day…or should I more accurately say this week…is that the indelible imprint of a lawyer’s hands all over it. Mucking things up, as usual.
Now I’ve always had a fondness for lawyer jokes. Lawyers are so universally held in low esteem and poorly regarded…and it’s usually well deserved and even well earned.

So in my efforts to mend from this wretched day…thought I’d throw out a few lawyer jokes…to bring a smile to my lips and perhaps even an ironic chuckle. So here are a few of my favorite lawyer jokes:

What do you say about a 1,000 dead lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?
It’s a good start.

What’s the difference between a dead rattle snake in the middle of the road and a dead lawyer in the middle of the road?
There are skid marks in front of the snake.

What’s the difference between a carp and a lawyer?
One’s a scum sucking, low life bottom dweller and the other is a fish.

Now I invite you to participate…help me feel better. Or even release some your own stress over the ridiculous, nonsense that you encounter every day. Things that are made worse because of lawyers. So…if you have good lawyer joke…now keep it clean…click on the comments link below and share your favorite lawyer joke.

Thank you ever so. You are too kind!

Earth Recedes

One of the things that give daily thanks for is Bible Study Fellowship. I’m thankful to be in this study that helps me to do what I don’t do on my own…and that is to diligently study the Word of God. This year…we are studying the book of Genesis.

I was in this study six or seven years ago…and even though it’s a repeat for me…it’s wonderful. I’m in a different place in my life now and hopefully I can say with accuracy that I have grown in my Bible knowledge…and more importantly, the application of God’s Word in my personal life.

This year…we have a new Teaching Leader in our class, Terri. She is terrific. She’s got an excitement for the Word of God, challenges you and helps you to apply it so you will continue to grow in wisdom and knowledge, and walk in a manner that is pleasing to God. Terri diligently studies and prepares for her lecture each week…and willingly shares the nuggets she’s discovered during her journey.

One of things I’m mindful of this year especially…is how transforming the Word of God is. When I look at people whom I most admire…I see how much God’s Word helped transform their lives. It’s wonderful to see…and makes me hunger and thirst for God’s Word and for Him to do a similar work in my own life.

2005 is going to go down in my personal history as a year of great challenges and great losses. Among which are deaths of people important in my life. Three of them were Christian men strong in their faith. Not only in the day to day battle and how they lived their lives…but demonstrated more dramatically as they faced sickness and death.

When I think of it…I really haven’t lost these precious men…I’ll be catching up with them in heaven. I have absolutely confidence I know where they are…and that I will one day see them again. Not based on my own righteousness…but that given to me through faith in Jesus Christ my Lord. At that time…those things that make human relationships a challenge down here…will no longer be an issue…as we will have been transformed and given a new sinless nature.

My confidence in their salvation and my own…is made stronger when I hear wonderful stories like the one that Terri shared about Evangelist DL Moody’s last words on his death bed:

Thursday, December 21, 1899, after cutting short a Kansas City crusade and returning home in ill health, D. L. Moody told his family, “I’m not discouraged. I want to live as long as I am useful, but when my work is done I want to be up and off.” The next day Moody awakened after a restless night. In careful, measured words he said, “Earth recedes, Heaven opens before me!” His son, Will, concluded his father was dreaming. “No, this is no dream, Will. It is beautiful. It is like a trance. If this is death, it is sweet. There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go.”

When you read those words from DL Moody can you likewise say that, “If this is death, it is sweet.”? Make sure you know with confidence, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” – Colossians 2:5.

Something Fierce

Dear Chuck,
Missing you something fierce today,
Someone stood in the pulpit,
But your shadow remains.

It’s been thirty-five days,
Since you went to your great reward,
Forty-two since we heard the Word God,
Preached boldly from your lips.

How long will it be,
Until I stop counting the days?
How long will it be,
Until I sing praise once again, with my eyes open?

I hunger and thirst,
For expository preaching,
Long for sermons that challenge me,
Hold me accountable, my feet to the fire.

My dear Pastor,
My heart feels pierced.
Tears fill my eyes, and even overflow,
As I behold another, standing in your place.

How long will it be,
Until I no longer hold up the pattern.
Expecting the next man called,
To measure up to your legacy?

I look to the Lord,
Searching the Word of God,
My hurting heart cries out,
Receives comfort from my precious Savior.

Dear Pastor,
Missing you something fierce today,
But grateful to God,
For having loved you so well.

by Susan Bunts 10/23/05

Still feeling the passing of my beloved Pastor, Chuck Obremski something fierce. Keenly aware of his absence…somedays more intensely than others. All the while turning to God…and being comforted in my grief.

Now that’s just sick!

I don’t usually watch too much TV. If it’s on…it’s usually just background noise while I’m working around my home. For example…while blogging or getting ready for work in the morning I have the television on. More often than not…it’s on Fox News. Not just because I love politics and want to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world…but also the pickins are slim on good, quality television programming these days.

When I do get brave and put on a television show…unless it’s one I know from passed experience…that can be trusted, I keep my remote right handy. It’s close at hand, just in case I need to avert my eyes from the latest offensive material Hollywood is trying to pass off as entertainment or drama these days.

Now were talking some pretty sick stuff. Shows that you would swear came from the diaries of the BTK killer or Ted Bundy. Scenes of people doing wretched and awful things to one another in bloody and gory detail…brought to you, up close and personal in your home. And those images…don’t go away when you turn off the TV or change the channel. They are seared in you mind…for you to recall any time.

Case in point is Law & Order Criminal Intent. Last Sunday evening…and rerun again tonight the episode entitled “Unchained” came on. It starts out with a couple of guys standing on a boat or a dock. They are proceeding terrorize a man before they brutally kill him by tying him to an anchor and dropping it into the river. Of course he’s bound and can not free himself…all the while the chain is running out and will soon take him overboard to his death. And he’s not going quietly.

Like I said earlier…I can’t keep the remote close enough. Because I was in the middle of doing other things while the TV is on…I couldn’t get to the remote quick enough to not have the above image assault me.

Even just a few years ago…I really liked Law & Order…and some of the spin offs, Criminal Intent and SVU. I’ve always loved mysteries…so CSI was another program that drew me in, at first. But in what seems like a short period of time…these shows have become nothing more than offensive. In a very real way…it’s the spiritual equivalent of pollution…soul pollution.

I like a good drama or comedy…but what’s coming out now and passing as acceptable entertainment is nothing short of sick. Because the production quality of the programs and the acting is so good…it’s distracts you from the fact that the story is very poorly written, and often chock full of liberal, leftist propaganda. Every once and while the program may be well written…and reflective of a very sick and troubled mind.

Webster’s has a fitting description: a : mentally or emotionally unsound or disordered : MORBID b : MACABRE, SADISTIC . Yep…that is a very apt description of what’s on TV these days.

When I see these programs…what comes to mind is the passage in Romans 1:28-32:

“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

When you read that description…doesn’t it accurately capture what our society is like today? It captures everything from real life and the people we know and interact with, to the television shows and movies we watch…to the books and magazines we read…and it even winds it’s way into music.

So what’s a person to do? One who still likes some TV or movies? Well with cable…they actually have a few channels out there that have some quality programming, as long as you can brave the indecent and offensive commercials. One good development is all the good old TV shows or movies are coming out on DVD now. So at least we have some good alternatives.

Of course…one of my favorite options is radio…talk radio…with the likes of Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Larry Elder and Sean Hannity. So there are a few good choices, for those seeking good entertainment or information.

Now if I was really wise…I’d turn it off all together and dive into the Word of God…and engage in and develop relationships with loved ones and friends. The question is…am I wise? Not always…but there is hope…and the Holy Spirit working away on special project, namely me.

The thing of it is…

Robert Byers from Watchman’s Word posted the following comments responding to my post, “Conflicted”: “It may be true that the President, even with 55 Republicans in the Senate could not get a true conservative through confirmation. But we’ll never know because he didn’t try. And to make matters worse, part of the reason he can’t count on the “wobblies” is that he campaigned for Specter against a conservative in the primary. Now people like Hugh would say that’s a good thing, because Toomey couldn’t win (although again, we don’t know because we didn’t try). But regardless, Bush’s action emboldened the liberal Republicans to go their own way. If there are no consequences for crossing the party and the leadership, why not?”

Robert…first let me state that I concur with you that we may never know if we could have gotten a true conservative through…because President Bush didn’t try. I was so angry it took me almost two weeks before I could compose a pointed but civil, respectful response. Even now…when I hear the various commentators addressing the Harriet Mier’s nomination…I start to get annoyed all over again.

President Bush nominating Miss Miers was wrong on so many levels. I can hardly believe the Bush’s advisers thought it was a good idea and gave their blessing. Their lack of enthusiasm was evident in Vice President Cheney’s tepid nod of approval to Miss Miers.

Frankly I’m puzzled…and I don’t have a full understanding or comprehend the logic behind the President’s choice of Mier’s…even with Hugh’s support of her as he delves into this nominee.

We don’t know if Miss Mier’s will actually make conservative decisions as a judge just because her personal views are that of a religious conservative. That guarantees us nothing.

We had a chance to get a nominee who had a proven track record of judicial decisions and logic that would reveal their judicial philosophy. Based on their history…we could have had a more certain outcome.

No one knows how Miss Mier’s will vote…not President Bush…and not even Miss Miers. We have had prior “conservative” judicial nominees…conservative in their personal views, get on the court and suddenly sprout liberal wings.

And I’m not even sure I want a judge’s personal view to influence their rulings. Now of course when they are of the same bent as me…I feel a little more comfortable with that thought. But not when they come from a very liberal or as they now call it “progressive” viewpoint.

I want judges who will set their personal views aside. Realize that we have a separation of powers…and judges are not legislators. And as such…stick with the powers granted them in the Constitution. Of course I do realize that even that idea…is somewhat based on a personal view and interpretation of the Constitution.

I want a Supreme Court that seeks to limit the Federal government’s intrusion into the lives of its citizens. One that doesn’t see the government as the babysitter state. That up holds parental rights and the rights of individual to exercise their freedom of religion…or even lack thereof. I want a Court that upholds the rights of an individual and their freedom until it threatens to intrude on the rights of another and oversteps their boundaries. I want a court that will rein in the legislative and executive branch…when they start to overstep their bounds.

The Bush administration has engaged in a couple of tactics that have been very unwise and even down right absurd. They are pandering to the religious right trying to assuage their concern of the Mier’s nomination by telling them…she’s a religious conservative too…so it’s okay. First let me state unequivocally I am a religious conservative. But playing that game is wrong. Wrong because if the situation was reversed…and it’s was some liberal administration giving similar assurances to the ACLU…the conservatives would be screaming bloody murder.

Another response that came from the Bush administration was patently ridiculous. That was when Laura Bush accused Miss Mier’s detractors of being sexist. Give me a break…I want the right person for the job. Man, woman…it matters not…what matters is, if it’s the right person for the job. To try and pass off this criticism as sexist is to deflect and not have to give a reasonable response to concerns about the choice of Miss Miers.

The thing of it is…we should have taken the shot to get the right person in…not backed down. Sometimes even when you loose…it’s still the right decision. President Bush greatly miscalculated on this appointment.


Almost two weeks ago…as conservatives waited with baited breath…President Bush announced his nomination of White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. Both conservatives and liberals alike uttered a collective, “uhhhh”.

In conservative circles…it didn’t take long for that “uhhhh” to change to “you’ve got to be kidding me”. With some very strong candidates such as Janice Rogers Brown, Pricilla Owen, Edith Jones and Michael Luttig as contenders I joined the throngs in crying “foul”.

After all, this moment is why I had so passionately wanted President Bush re-elected. It was our chance to get a strong constitutional conservative with a proven track record on the Supreme Court. Not that I wanted a fight with the Dems…but by golly…I was ready to draw the line in the sand and say “no farther”.

Especially after the earlier performance from “gang of 14”, specifically seven of those members, sidestepping a showdown over the filibuster rule. Now we had the chance to go back and do what they lacked the courage to do.

When the Dems stop the advice and consent process with a filibuster…we would then have the chance to go nuclear. Bring an end, once and for all, to this obnoxious, extreme tactic that halts the legislative process rather than presenting a well reason argument. Yeah…I wanted that.

But more than wanting a fight…I wanted a constitutional conservative taking the bench. One whose judicial rulings bear witness to the philosophy that judges don’t make law, but interpret the law. A person who does not let their personal beliefs about sensitive subjects influence their rulings. But instead compares or holds up a case against the laws and the constitution…and makes their decision based against a fixed standard. One that doesn’t read rights into the Constitution that are not specifically addressed therein.

That’s what I wanted. Did we get that with the nomination of Harriet Miers? I don’t know?

President Bush seems to think so. So I’m left struggling and conflicted. President George Bush has a track record of making some great appointments. You can’t ask for better than Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld…and even the more liberal Colin Powell. Just recently…he made an excellent choice with John Roberts.

But in the recent past…President Bush has also had some missteps too. Front and center is his slow response and initial poor handling of Hurricane Katrina. Boarder control…he gets a “D”…and that’s grading on the curve. He’s been solid behind tax cuts…but our government is spending money like an uncontrolled drunken sailor. I also need to mention the administration’s lack of ability to clearly communicate why taking the battle to the terrorists, on their territory in Iraq, is actually a good thing.

So President Bush…you have some what of a mixed report card. Yet you say “trust me”.

I’ve got to tell you…Hugh Hewitt has been a huge irritation following the Mier’s nomination. Even while saying she wasn’t his first, second or even third choice…he was standing behind this nomination. He’s continued to highlight reasons why we can trust the President with this nomination and in fact Harriet Miers is a good choice. Every time I’ve listened to Hugh in the last week an a half…I bristled.

But today…I did hear something that made me pause. He commented that perhaps President Bush is calculating that he doesn’t have the political capital and support even from his own party to push through a more controversial nominee. Case in point…our good old “gang of 14”. Also something to consider is Congressman Tom Delay’s legal entanglements…taking away some key support in the House.

So a controversial, conservative nominee would be an uphill battle…one that President Bush may feel we can not win. In part because of some weak willed and wafflely Senators and Congressmen. I do believe that some of the fight has gone out of our dear President. I wish it hadn’t…but here we are left with Harriet Miers.

President Bush…you’ve asked us to trust you. Like realistic, strong and visionary President Ronald Reagan…I say, “Trust, but verify.”

What does that mean to me? That means…I’ll restrain undue criticism for now…and see how Miss Miers does during the upcoming hearings. I’ll wait and see…I’ll give her a chance.