Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Livin' in Tents: poem

A tent which blew over in a storm.

Visiting with my friend John Domingo at the hospital the other day I mentioned that we live in Tents which are temporary (2 Cor. 5:1-5). Our conversation inspired me to write this poem:


Livin' in Tents
By Ed Skidmore (2 Cor. 5:1-5)

We’re livin’ in tents.
Tent’s gonna’ tear,
An’ it’s hardly fair to be living in there,

When a tent starts to wear.


We’re livin’ in tents.

Tent tends to leak,

An’ ya just wanna’ freak when it rains,

An’ you’re wet for a week.


Oh, we’re livin’ in tents.

Sometimes it’ll fold,

When the wind starts to blow and get cold,

It’ll fall, so I’m told.

Well, we’re livin’ in tents.

Tent’s gonna’ fray,

When it does, well, it just seems time

Ta’ throw it away.


We may be livin’ in tents,

But some day we’ll see,
A heavenly city,

Built just for you and me.


And in that city,
Built four-square,

A permanent mansion is waiting,

For us to get there.

No more livin’ in tents.
We “groan” for that day,
Till it comes, we wait patiently,

An’ walk in “the Way”.


We’re livin’ in tents.
But not for long …….

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We have the mind of Christ


We have the mind of Christ:

Devotion for Men’s Breakfast: Dec. 5th , 2009

Some of you may be aware that I have just succumbed to a sickness shared by several of you here today. I just purchased my first Apple I-phone. I supposedly did it for the purpose of gaining internet access, texting, and e-mails … along with using it as an actual phone. But if the truth were known, it was so I could download all those marvelous “apps”. With the applications I’ve added to my phone I now have the whole world at my fingertips. Along with the apps that came bundled with the phone, like messages, calendar, photos, camera, Youtube videos, stock reports, maps, weather, voice memos, notes, clock, calculator, e-mail, I-pod, Safari, internet access, I-tunes, and the App store.

Just think of all the possibilities that have opened up to me! I can waste time in any of a dozen ways now. And at the staff meetings at church, I too can have my head down and my nose in the calendar app … as I text entries into my phone with my thumbs … and look like I’m not paying attention to what’s going on in the meeting. Oh, how productive I’ll be able to be now, yes sir!

But I said all that about phone apps to get you to thinking with me about our topic today. One of the apps I downloaded is my wife’s Google Calendar. When I’m making an appointment, I can look at my wife’s Google Calendar and see if we have anything else scheduled on that day or not. In a way, it’s like having the mind of my wife right there with me …

Think with me for a moment … what it would be like if my I-phone had an app. called “The mind of Christ If I could just punch a button and instantly, on the screen would appear instant wisdom from the Master himself. If I had an app that would allow me to ask questions of Jesus and then get his instantaneous answer, perhaps as a text message or an e-mail, or even… dare I suggest it… a voice mail?! Wouldn't that be something else? To have the mind of Christ just the touch of a finger away! Could that be possible?

Well, yes, actually it could --- but not from your I-phone apps.

This amazing feature of our connection with Christ came bundled with our salvation. It is part of what God did when He planted within you the Holy Spirit (“Christ in you, the hope of glory”). Along with his presence came something amazing all for your benefit, and closer than an app on a phone. This feature of your relationship with Christ is safely tucked inside your head. You, friends, have within yourselves, “the mind of Christ.” Just so you’ll not think I dreamed this up, the scripture text which attests to this is found in 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NIV) "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

If you take a look at the whole second chapter of First Corinthians, Paul is doing a compare and contrast between the wisdom of the world and spiritual wisdom from God. He talks about the kind of wisdom that God imparts through the Holy Spirit to our spirits. This is a kind of wisdom that doesn’t make sense to people who don’t have the Holy Spirit living inside them. In fact, they think it is all foolishness to them. But the wisdom God imparts only makes sense to Holy Spirit indwelt people. Now guys, wouldn’t that include us? We have access to a wisdom that is superior to an I-phone app. And just as instantly available. It is better, because God has already approved of anything coming from the mind of Christ. And we have that mind within us.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that everything we think in our brains comes from the mind of Christ. In fact, much of what originates in our minds is quite different than what might proceed from the mind of Christ. Still, the mind of Christ is available if we choose to access it. And how would we do that? I believe it is a matter of focus. If we focus on ourselves, our own resources, our own talents, our own knowledge, our own will, our overactive egos, our interests and hobbies, our commitments, our accomplishments, our schedules --- in short, if we have a “self-centric focus” then nothing from the mind of Christ will come through. The mind of Christ only comes through when we get our minds away from self (flesh)let our spirits connect with the Holy Spirit who resides inside us. A “Christ-centric focus” will allow the mind of Christ to come forth. Romans 8 gives us a clue as to how this all works:


Romans 8:5-11 (NIV)
5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

I used to look at that passage and see it as something to attempt to attain by self effort. I thought I had to rev up all my will power and somehow MAKE this happen by my efforts. What I didn’t realize is that God is talking about a different emphasis than I had in mind. Now I see that God is talking about the natural process of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. There’s a world of difference between what kind of life we can live without Christ and what kind of life we can have with Christ. If we don’t have the Spirit within us, we can only focus on the sinful desires of the flesh. That is our only option --- and it is an option that offers only one outcome: death. But when we have the Spirit within us, we have an entirely new option available within us. When God saves us, he “downloads” an entirely NEW and amazing “app” that we never had before. Of course, we can choose to IGNORE the mind of Christ within us. But the new “app” is right there.

So, for a Christian, it doesn’t take some Herculean effort to focus on the Spirit. Having the mind of Christ is part of our NEW nature. Focusing on Him comes naturally.Now, this doesn’t imply instant maturity on our parts. It is still our little pea brains inside our heads. And we can certainly focus those brains on things besides Christ. Jesus is not going to FORCE us to connect with His supernatural understanding and wisdom.

In Philippians 2:5-11 Paul urges us to “have the mind in you that was in Christ Jesus” and then he goes on to describe the mind of Christ in detail. Indeed, there is a sense in which we are to develop the mind of Christ. That is part of our Christian process of maturing. But in another equally real sense, we already have all of Christ there is to have right there living inside us. We don’t have to “make ourselves into something we AREN’T. We need to let Christ “shape us into something we already ARE.

Let us consider what a treasure God has given us! We have within us the mind of Christ in all its fullness. The question is --- Will we learn how to connect with this new,completely freeGod-given app? ,,,

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Good" flesh?

Luke 18:11 "The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself..."

Speaking with a fellow minister recently I heard him use the term "good flesh" when talking about how Christians will often do seemingly good things which many will commend, but which originate in the flesh and are done for the purpose of self commendation. I remember from my readings in various books by Watchman Nee, the principle of the soul (mind, will, and emotions) being either a conduit for the flesh or a conduit for the spirit.
Because we are Spirit begotten, our spirits have been enlivened and connected to the Holy Spirit by God. Therefore, our souls are now capable of interacting in submission to our Spirit directed spirits. They can also continue as conduits of the flesh if that is how we choose to behave, but we no longer need to function that way if we will only allow our spirit to dominate rather than the flesh.
Looking at Romans 8:5-6 which says, "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." (KJV uses the actual phrase "mind on the flesh") When I saw that text I would often see it as a goal to achieve, but now I see it more as the condition of the person who has learned to "abide in Christ" daily, and who now has a spirit that has taken control of what used to be controlled by the flesh. Now the flesh is in submission to the soul rather than in control of it, and the spirit, led by the Holy Spirit, is in the driver's seat. Therefore, "the mind on the Spirit, is life and peace."
Most of us are well aware of the sins committed by our fleshly desires if our flesh dominates our souls, but we may not be so aware of another problem we face from fleshly activity. The flesh is also able to do religious things, and even seemingly commendable things. The flesh is capable of praying, fasting, and giving alms. This is what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 7 which is part of the Sermon on the Mount. The religious leaders of Jesus' day were fond of doing their religious duties out in public to be seen by the crowds. They would ring a bell or blow a trumpet to announce their alms giving as they gave alms in public. They would walk, or rather, stagger in the markets on market day to show off their rigorous fasting behaviors so that others could admire them for their dedication. They would pray in public so that others could see them doing it and be impressed by them. In all three of these actions Jesus advised secrecy so that God could reward them openly. The point is that what they did was done for self aggrandizement and was motivated by the flesh.
What we already know about "bad flesh" needs to be joined by what the Bible obviously also teaches about "good flesh". Either way flesh is flesh. And all flesh amounts to nothing. In John 6:63 Jesus said to the crowds during his "bread of life" sermon, "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life..." Perhaps we can learn to feast on what the Spirit provides through our spirit and to assign the flesh where it belongs, to the place of submission. You see, the flesh, whether good or bad, accounts for nothing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

AMAC is the alternative to AARP

AMAC attends a rally opposed to Government Run Health Care

I've been looking for something in the "not AARP" category to get involved with that could represent me as a "seasoned citizen" and also represent me as a Christian and a political conservative. I have found that organization. It is called the Association of Mature American Citizens. Their web site is at this location: http://www.amac.us/ Or their address is 5 Orville Drive, Suite 400, Bohimia, NY, 11716. Phone number there is 1-888-262-2006, and their e-mail is info@amac.us
Membership for both husband and wife is only $12.50 per year, and it includes a magazine and various discounts on insurance etc. just like AARP. This organization has tens of thousands in it at this point while AARP has 26 million less the 60,000 who just got out when they found out AARP supports the Obama health plan. If you are interested in a more conservative, pro life, pro family, group to join this is it. I joined, and you can too. Ed

Friday, November 13, 2009

Look who's guarding us now!

A fox leaping to capture its prey

I received an e-mail today with a chilling announcement about Janet Napolitano's appointment of two "devout" (this was their wording, not mine) Muslims to the Department of Homeland Security. The two appointees are:
Arif Alikhan as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development, and Kareem Shora as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC). The words "devout Muslim" certainly fit both of these guys as they are both members of pro Muslim, anti Israeli groups. Alikhan is affiliated with MPAC, the "Muslim Public Affairs Council". Kareem Shora is a national executive director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. I won't mention what these two groups have been up to, because I don't want this article to get too wordy, but you can look them up for yourself on the web and see if you think these guys have earned the good housekeeping seal of your approval. I just want to ask what the leaders of our nation have been smoking lately to appoint these two "devout Muslims" to our homeland security department. If this were the Second World War it would be like appointing two high ranking Nazi Generals to our own Joint Chief's of staff. Have our nation's leaders really become so utterly stupid? I might understand these appointments if these two men were "ex-devout" Muslims, but noooo! They are actively practicing Muslims who wouldn't surprise me one bit if they started shouting "Allah-u akbar!" and began shooting up whoever was around them. I am appalled, but not all that surprised. After all, what happened at Fort Hood last week reveals how brain damaged our security forces already are. Am I the only one who sees the fact that we were spared this kind of thing after 9/11 during the Bush years because he understood we were at war with Radical Islam in a way that Clinton didn't. It appears that Obama is no less clueless than Clinton was. Though I hate to say it, I believe it will be easy to predict that there will be more of what happened at Ft. Hood to follow in the weeks to come, and we can lay it at the feet of the kinds of fools who would appoint radical Muslims to guard our homeland. Oh, we're in for a great next three years with them in the Department of Homeland Security! Guard your chickens, the foxes have arrived!

Friday, October 30, 2009




I have posted a new video on Youtube of the grandkids playing in the leaves in Lincoln, Illinois this fall. The link is as follows:



I also posted 3 videos on Susan's Facebook page.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Spiritual Realignment

Auto front end re-alignment

Romans chapters 5-8 are rich in meaning for the born-again follower of Christ. In this section of text we uncover the meaning behind being new creations in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). We remember Paul's words concerning baptism in Romans 6 reminding us that as many as have been baptized into Christ have been baptized into his death. In fact, we participate in Christ's death in such a way that just as Christ resurrected from the dead, we also enter into a new life connected to Christ. So, in what ways are we new and different than we were before our connection to Christ? Here is a brief list of spiritual realignments that take place, and cause us to be different creatures than we were before our spiritual rebirth:
  • born into a new family: Romans 5 compares Adam with Christ letting us know that the sin of one man brought judgment and condemnation on all men, but the obedience of the one man (the second Adam) brought grace and righteousness to all men. The point is that all humanity shares Adam as its progenitor. "Son's of Adam" is the default position of every human born on this planet. Praise God, those who choose to die to that sad condition and are regenerated into Christ, become sons of God, and members of His heavenly family. Our baptism is a declaration of that realignment where we shed Adam's race through death and are born into God's family by being raised into a newness of life.
  • born into a new servant-hood: Romans 6 declares another realignment involving a death and resurrection. Once again, by nature, we were all slaves to sin. It is natural for a son of Adam to also be enslaved to sin. This was part of the consequence of the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil brought experiential knowledge of disobedience, leading to a universal slavery of everyone born on the planet. Sadly, we are all in the same sinking boat, but gladly, we can choose to die with Christ to our sin condition and be reborn as servants (slaves) to Christ. Romans 6:16 reminds us that who ever we offer ourselves to obey will become our master, and we will be his slave. Whether it be to sin with the result of death, or to obedience which results in righteousness. It is a major realignment to leave sin behind and to become Christ's servant.
  • born into a new wedlock: Romans 7 paints a picture of the law being like an unsatisfied and legalistic marriage partner who cannot die, and who is impossible to please. All who are born into Adam's race are likewise married to the law which can only condemn but cannot justify anyone. Though the law cannot die, we can die to the law and be resurrected with the ability to choose a new marriage partner. We are then free to join ourselves along with everyone else born of God into the bride of Christ which is the church. This major realignment not only frees us from the bondage of the law, but binds us together with other Christians as we await the arrival of our heavenly bride groom to rule on earth. He is within us now in the form of the Holy Spirit, but we will be with him when he returns to rule and reign.
  • born with a new mind: Romans 8 paints the fourth picture of spiritual realignment by letting us know that the mind on the flesh means certain death (the default for all born of Adam's race), but the mind on Christ means life and peace (Romans 8:5-8). When we were slaves to sin (our former condition) our minds continually dwelt on the things of the flesh, but when we came to know Christ we were set free from that kind of bondage when God enlivened our spirits and connected them to His Holy Spirit. Though we may occasionally drift back into fleshly thinking, we are no longer bound in slavery to that kind of thinking. Christ has set us free from all bondage and given us the ability to abide in Him and to set our minds on Him.
Notice, here, the defaults and the realignments that come with our spiritual birthing: The defaults include: Adam's race, slavery to sin, marriage to the law, and fleshly thinking. This is a hopeless and depressing condition for all who are spiritually dead and separated from God. But notice the realignments which take place when we die to self in order to be resurrected into the new creation which brings new life, grace, and peace (with God, others, and self). The realignment is a chosen change coming from your faith in God's ability, and it is all of God's doing. He takes our pitiful state, puts it to death, and resurrects us as His children, His servants, His bride, and with His mind. No Christian simply becomes an adherent to a different religion. He becomes a completely new and different person in every way. Talk about a paradigm shift! Nothing is the same as it was when were simply another offspring of Adam's race. Now we are a completely new and different creature with a new heritage and a different destiny. Praise God for our complete spiritual realignment.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My newest video on Youtube


I have a new video on Youtube. It is a video of me singing My Grandfather's Clock while sitting next to my newest acquisition. which is a Barwick Grandfather's clock given to us by good friends who are getting ready to sell their house. They said it wasn't working, but evidently it must have been healed by the ride home to our place, because when we brought it inside it was ticking, and when we set it it has been keeping time ever since. The Youtube link is as follows http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCrakJUPwO8

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Walking into adventure


Our church just finished a four week series on friendship evangelism entitled "Just walk across the room" from a book by the same title written by Bill Hybels. Not only did we preach four sermons on various aspects of this topic, but many of our Pueblos (home Bible study groups) viewed related dvd's and discussed questions in the accompanying work-books. We've been through many series before, but I believe that this one seemed to strike a chord with many of our people. I know it was meaningful to me.

The encouragement was for us to get out of our own circle of comfort and to venture forth into the zone of the unknown while relying on nudges from the Holy Spirit to direct our steps into adventures God might set up for us. We were also spurred on to develop friendships with people who are not currently close to God, and to take the trouble to listen to their stories rather than just unloading our verbiage on them. Once again, we were admonished to determine what the Holy Spirit might want us to do next rather than just shooting gospel bullets from our hips. We learned how not to tell our own story in a way that might scare people off, but how to briefly share how we have been changed by our connection to Christ. We were also urged to develop friendships for the long haul rather than just looking for conversion scalps for our belts.

What I took away from all this was the fact that Jesus was often called a "friend of sinners" (Matt. 11:19, Luke 7:34-36) which was a derogatory slam coming from the religious leaders of his day, but I believe that was a title he gladly bore. He was a tremendous example of radical inclusiveness and the impact it can have on others. I believe that his example should inspire Christ followers to walk out of their cloistered circles of safety and comfort, and into an adventuresome world of sinners and seekers where we can finally flesh out Christ's call to be salt and light. Perhaps the best insult that could be leveled against us would be for some to call us "friends of sinners" as well. Now, that would be an abuse I would gladly endure for Christ any time! Just a thought!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

North Korea on my mind

Mike Kim with John Stewart on the Daily Show


I have North Korea on my mind. Why, you may ask, would I think about that country among all possibilities? Well, it all started when my brother-in-law, Bob told us he would be traveling there for a few days with a group from his church. Then, coincidentally, Susan saw an interview on the Daily Show between John Stewart and Mike Kim. Here is the link to that interview: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-june-30-2009/mike-kim


Susan googled Mike Kim and found a web site about him and his ministry http://www.crossingbordersnk.org/


Then, she ordered a copy of his book on Amazon.com. The book is entitled, "Escaping North Korea," by Mike Kim, Bowman and Littlefield Pub. 2008.


After she finished reading it, I started and just finished it today. What did I learn from the book?





North Koreans are the world's most repressed people. The government of Kim Jong Il forbids common citizens from owning cell phones, computers, books or magazines or cd's or dvd's from other countries, Bibles,...actually the list goes on and on. The word for God has been expunged from the North Korean language. Christianity is forbidden on penalty of death. Furthermore, common North Koreans are not allowed to travel outside the country. The country also does not provide citizens with basics such as electricity or medical services. There is very little in the way of public transportation. The unemployment rate is 85%, and those who work rarely get paid, but if they do receive a paycheck it averages the equivalency of about $1.25 per month. Most North Koreans eat only two meals a day of corn gruel which are starvation rations. Because of this North Koreans are stunted in growth and very sickly. When they manage to sneak across the border into China they are often ill and near the point of death. It was also sad to discover that China has a policy of repatriating North Koreans it discovers within its borders back to North Korea where they are immediately imprisoned, tortured, and sometimes killed. Though I could write pages on the hardships the North Koreans must endure, what is even more astounding is to discover what Mike Kim wrote about Christianity in North Korea.





There are estimated to be around 100,000 Christians living in North Korea in spite of the governments fanaticism over eradicating it completely. Many of these secret Christians became believers when they snuck across the border into China and learned about God from the house churches operating near the border. In spite of China's policies against North Korean refugees, Christians in China will often hide these pitiable folks and take care of them. If North Koreans go back across the border to their homes, government officials will interrogate them, and the first questions they ask are these: "Did you meet any foreigners?" "Did you meet any Christians?" If they answer "Yes" to either of these questions, they are immediately placed in captivity.





Though there is much more I could share from the book, I would simply urge you to read the book for yourself. It will break your heart, no doubt, but it will also enable you pray more effectively for the unfortunate slaves of this repressive Communist regime. Though there are many places in the world where Christians are mistreated and even martyred, this place is by far the worst of them all. We must pray for our brothers and sisters there in North Korea.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Church Web Site & Podcasts

The Castle Hills Christian Church has a new web site up with the following address: www.chccsa.com The old web address still works and will direct you to the new site. The old address is www.castlehillschristianchurch.com I'm mentioning this not only for connecting to the new site, but also to let you know about connecting with pod casts of sermons at our church. The new web site will connect you to Apple I-Tunes so that you can download a subscription to the latest podcast. Unfortunately, if you don't already have I-Tunes loaded on your hard drive of your computer, it will require you to download I-Tunes. There is another way. You can use this link to find our pod casts on a sight called Pod bean. Here is the link: http://chccsa.podbean.com This will take you directly to the site which we upload our pod casts to and listen to them right there. So take your pick. Either go to our web page and link to I-tunes, or go directly to podbean.com and listen to our pod casts of sermons there. I hope this makes sense. Ed

Friday, August 28, 2009

Health Care Reform Bill Specific Details for Townhall Meeting

Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez

I'll be heading down to the town hall meeting sponsored by Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez this evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Bldg. at Palo Alto College. Just in case I am able to say anything there, I wanted to be able to have specific data along with actual page numbers of the Health care Reform bill provisions. When I Googled for information I hit the jackpot at this site. Use the link to see for yourself the article by Mike Adams, NaturalNews Editor:



There are 49 bullet points to review concerning the bill in the article above, and I must admit that much of this I had never heard before. Is any of this new to you as well?


  • Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self ensure!
  • Page 29: Gives an admission that your health care will be rationed.
  • Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process)
  • Page 59: The Federal Government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer!
  • Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (examples: SEIU, UAW, ACORN)
  • Page 84: All private health care plans must participate in the Health care Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans)
  • Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan.
  • Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter.
  • Page 127: The government will set wages for doctors and health care professionals
  • Page 145: Employers MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives
  • Page 126: Employers MUST pay health care bills for part-time employees and their families.
  • Page 149-150: Employers who don't offer the public option pay from 2 to 8% tax on payroll depending on size of payroll.
  • Page 167: Any individual who doesn't have acceptable health care (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.
  • Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Health care Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records.
  • Page 239: The bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor will be the most affected.
  • Page 241: Doctors, no matter what specialty you have, you'll all be paid the same.
  • Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. (except with government approval)
  • Page 341: Government has the authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMO's, etc.
  • Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals.
  • Page 425: New bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens (euthanasia?)
  • Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable power of attorney, etc. Mandatory! (also end-of-life resources approved list)
  • Page 427-430: Government mandated program to order end-of-life treatment; dictating how your life ends.
  • Page 469, 472: Payments to Community-based Home Medical Services- more payoffs for ACORN
  • Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy - intrusion into your marriage.
  • Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating, and rationing these services.

OK, who's spooked now? I was talking to my barber/beautician while getting my hair cut today, and mentioned two or three of these specifics to her. The lady in the next chair became so panicked by what she overheard, she jumped up and ran to her husband in the waiting room for comfort. The point is that it all panics me as well, and ought to panic everybody.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Church: weak or glorious?


Recently, I was involved in a meeting as an officer in a church planting association with a fledgling congregation experiencing some problems. After the meeting, as I drove home, I thought about the precarious position the baby congregation was in. They had a short history as a congregation, a small nucleus of members struggling to pay bills and keep their heads above water financially, and a seeming weakness in being able to deal with troubles among themselves. We officers had done what we could to help the tiny flock weather their current storm, but the congregation seemed so weak and helpless to all outward appearances.


Having seen so many congregational troubles through the years of my ministry, it is tempting to wonder how any congregation can survive the tempests it is forced to endure during it's time in this seemingly hostile world system each congregation must operate within. Thinking back to Jesus' letters to the seven churches of Asia (Rev. 2-3) we notice the kinds of troubles Jesus pointed out to these second-generation congregations. Among them were such maladies as, losing their first love (2:4), suffering opposition, poverty, and persecution (2:9-10), false teaching and sexual immoralities (2:14-15), compromise (2:20-25), spiritual deadness (3:1-3), persecution by Satanic forces and weakness (3:8-11), luke-warmness, and indifference (3:15-19). That's quite a list: If so many things can go wrong with a church congregation, is there any hope for the local church?


The good news is that even with her imperfections here on earth, the church was God's idea from the beginning. She has been the object of special provision by our loving Savior who died for the church and imparted himself to her so that she will eventually be seen without spot or wrinkle as the glorious bride of the Lamb (Eph 5:25-27) Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to infuse the church with life and truth and leadership (Eph. 4:3-6). This means that the church is unlike any other organization on earth. The church has someone special in her midst giving her a dynamic unlike that of other fraternal and philanthropic organizations. So while the church may appear weak and precarious among other worldly entities, she is under God's special watch care and guidance, and will receive His special provision to the praise of His Glory when she is revealed in full spender as the radiant bride of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9) Therefore, though the church may look weak in worldly terms, I know that God in his wisdom, has provided for her everything she needs, and that the church is under God's protection and guidance. What looks weak and fragile to me is actually infused with Spirit imparted life, Jesus imparted Love, and Abba imparted provision. She is much better off than I could ever imagine.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Prayer medly




And yet again, I have uploaded a guitar solo to You-Tube. This time it is a prayer medly including these songs: Take time to be holy, Whisper a prayer, Did you think to pray? Again, I played them on my new Taylor 616 guitar. Take a look. Ed

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

See results of my new video camera on You-Tube

Well, I just got a new video camera and tried it out today. It is a Flip Camera with 8 gigs of on- board memory. I got out my guitar and played a classical piece by Francisco Tarrega called Estudio in E minor. Then I uploaded it to You-tube. You can click on this link to see it on You-tube. Check it out. Ed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll3mnom9hvk

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I turned myself in!

The Whitehouse


Well, I did it. I turned myself in. I learned from Fox News about the White House Blog that drew fire for suggesting that its supporters send in e-mails to flag@whitehouse.gov turning in e-mails, rumors, or even casual conversations with "fishy information" about HR 3200, the Health Care Reform bill. Well, I'm as full of fishy information as anyone so I turned myself in and sent this e-mail to the above address:



Dear flag (whoever you are),
I hereby turn myself in for holding "fishy notions" about HR 3200, the supposed "health care reform" bill. I have the fishy notion that you want to control as much of every one's life from cradle to grave as possible. Don't worry, I didn't get that notion from reading the 1,100 page bill. Heaven knows I would never take a step that other reps in Congress would not bother to take. But I hear some say that the bill contains provisions to provide govt. funding for abortions. We'll never know till the bill passes (largely unread) and such actions are taken to crank up increased "family planning" procedures. I also hear that there may be population control measures implied in the bill (also unknowable unless one reads the bill and interprets the legalese within it.) And speaking of wackiness, someone said the bill contains language to encourage the elderly to just go ahead and drop dead and do us all a favor, some kind of "end of life" counseling every five years. But we'll never know because no one will actually read the thing (certainly not me or anyone else in Congress for that matter.) Some also declare, in a fishy, wacky way, that major funding for this bill will come from discovering savings in the Medicare program meaning that we will begin rationing health care services to the elderly in this country. Oh well, it's gotta come from somewhere, and after all, we will be counseling them to take advantage of some "end of life" options anyway. Kudos for working hard to take over another 1/6th of the American economy. Well, there you have it, I have more "fishy" ideas, but I won't take time to bore you with them here. At any rate, like the good, compliant citizen I am, I hereby turn myself in to you. So, flag ol' boy, what do you plan to do about it? I know you're already watching me, after all, I've been to a "tea" party or two. I'm one of those "right wing wackos" who just might infiltrate into a town hall meeting and stir up something irrational and, well, fishy! Oh yes, I've carried a sign or two at protest meetings, a real nut job, eh? And yes, I plan to keep it up as long as the first amendment stays in place to protect my right to be as fishy as I choose to be. Sincerely, Citizen Ed

She read the entire health care bill, Listen and Learn!

Fred Thompson

Right now so much is being said about the health care bill and naturally we wonder what is and isn't factual truth and what might be hype and fiction. Well, how about this! Below is a link to an 8 minute audio track of a call in conversation between former New York Lt. Governor Betsy McCaughey and Fred Thompson on the Fred Thompson show. The link will take you to Fred Thompson's site and (after a brief pause) will start the interview. This lady has read the entire bill and knows what she is talking about. Listen to what she says about HR 3200, the Health Care Reform Bill being considered in Congress.


Betsy McCaughey former New York, Lt. Gov. Interview with Fred Thompson July 16, 2009Patient Advocate and Founder of the Committee to Reduce Infectious Deaths Betsy McCaughey calls in the show.
http://tw8.us/if

Monday, July 27, 2009

I won again for the third time!

My caption: "Is this the 12-step group for recovering non-conformists?"

I picked up the latest edition of the Leadership Magazine, turned to page 92, and found out that, for the third time, I am a winner in the caption contest. The cartoon and caption I submitted are above. Other captions submitted included:
  • After 13 years of doing leadership training classes, Pastor Ray found he was completely beside himself. (Scott Mueller)
  • Ed decided not to report the copier problem (Neil Young)
  • "John Maxwell was right:'You teach what you know, but you reproduce what you are.'" (Ray Jones)
  • "Welcome to your first Anonymous Anonymous Meeting." (Dolly Bilstad)
  • "Is this the seminar on identity theft?" (Deborah Griffin)
  • Bob finally found a church where he wouldn't have to compromise. (Doug Spinney)
  • Stunned, Brother Ed realized he had forgotten to check an important box on the eHarmony compatibility form. (John Beukema)

The artist who drew the cartoon is Tim Walburg

Enjoy! Ed

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Twofold Meaning of the Lamb

Image of the Lamb of God

After 37 years in ministry, it is a serendipity for me when I read something that is a new insight for me. I had such an insight when reading a book by Dan Stone and David Gregory called "The rest of the Gospel (When the partial Gospel has worn you out)" (2000, One Press, Corvallis, Oregon) The fifth chapter unfolds the picture of the Passover in Exodus 12 explaining that the purpose of the lamb's blood was to save the life of the first-born in each family when the blood was sprinkled over the doorposts of each Hebrew house. The authors went on to explain that the blood of the lamb was only part of the story. The meat of the lamb was also provided for the family to eat to provide nourishment in preparation for the beginning of the journey from slavery in Egypt out of bondage into freedom and the inheritance of a new homeland in Canaan. We have a tendency to think about the blood of the lamb, but forget to think about the meat of the lamb as God's provision.





Likewise, Jesus blood is provided to us for the forgiveness of sin, but his body is also provided to us for nourishment. Jesus is, for us, the bread of life. We are to remember that during our time of communion. It is common to think of the shed blood of Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. But we only see half the picture if we fail to think of Jesus as the lamb who was slain and eaten in preparation of the journey out of slavery. This is the theme of Jesus sermon in John 6 which he preached to the crowds the day after he fed over 5,000 with five loaves and two fishes. The crowds liked it when Jesus miraculously provided food to the masses, but they were unimpressed when Jesus called himself the "bread of life." Jesus told the crowds, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (John 6:51 NIV) At this point many in the crowds left him and many of his disciples also left him. They didn't want to hear this even though it was a major theme of his message concerning himself.





For the believer, Jesus is the Lamb of God, and his provision as the Lamb is twofold. The blood of the lamb is for salvation from the prospect of death, and his flesh is provided as our nourishment and sustenance in life. The experience of Jesus on the cross, and our connection to Jesus at the cross, is twofold as well. We thank God for the blood of Christ which cleanses us from sin, but we also need to see our connection to Jesus as the bread of life, who becomes the very life source of all who died with Jesus when he died on the cross. Romans 6 explains that connection to Christ at the cross where we died along with him and were raised up to a newness of life with him. Jesus is now our life itself. Our connection to him is permanent, and it is from him that we draw our nourishment. The message Jesus gave that was rejected by the masses in John 6, is the source for our lives in connection to Him. Jesus is the bread of life. our connection to Him is the very basis for our life as children of God. We need to see both the blood and the body of Christ when we look at the cross. See the forgiveness and the nourishment coming from our connection with Christ at the cross.

Monday, July 20, 2009

How to locate your Congressional Reps.

US Capitol Building:

Pam Hall sent me an e-mail with information about how to easily get in touch with your Senators and Congressional Representative. With us needing to get in touch with these people on so many things being considered by Congress these days. This is really important. Therefore, the information is listed balow:



How to locate and email your senators and representative:

Go to http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/
Type in your zip code and hit "Submit It"

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thinking about Leisure Time

"Rest" by Ola Jacobsen

Having just returned from some leisure time in Illinois followed up by three days in Port Aransas, my thoughts turn naturally to the subject of rest and relaxation. Through the years I have often heard certain people brag about never taking a day off and never going on a vacation. It seems that a minority of preachers and missionaries I have known fall into this R and R avoidance category. It seems to me that they didn't just avoid time off; their non-stop work endeavors were worn as a badge of honor. Spouting such cliches as, "I'd rather wear out than rust out," these folks use the "hard work" angle to prove their superiority over the lazy masses around them. Maybe it's just me, but I can't help but detect that these people don't seem to be doing themselves any favors by always staying "on the clock" so to speak. I remember one clergy couple in particular who's argumentative behavior with each other and most people around them, practically screamed out, "I need a good nap!"



Naturally, a topic like this lends itself to the proverbial question, "What would Jesus do?" Fortunately, we can do better than that by looking at Mark 6 to observe one of Jesus' busiest days of ministry. We can look at what Jesus did do and encouraged his disciples to do with him. Jesus had just sent his men out two by two into area villages to preach and brought them back together for a de-briefing session. The text then records (Mark 6:31), "Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'" Thinking about the King James verbiage of this text I remember a preacher's admonition to "come ye apart" or else you will come apart (literally). Jesus is also the one who said, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) While Jesus was certainly a hard working man himself, I can't imagine him boasting about "wearing out rather than rusting out." The most amazing thing about Jesus' leisure time was that he seemed to spend most of it in prayer in a place where he was able to be alone. It seems that for Jesus, communion with Abba Father was blissful relaxation of the best kind. He was not only favorable to relaxation, his rest was spent in union with the Father. If only we could learn to "clock out" the way Jesus did as he talked to God in a quiet and lonely place. Consider Jesus admonition, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Think about that for a while.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Breath Prayer information


In a sermon on prayer a week ago I mentioned "breath prayers" which was something used at the Jesus Way Conference in San Antonio in preparation for the morning session. We were encouraged to contemplate two phrases from Psalm 36:8. As we exhaled we would say (or think) "We feast on the abundance of your house..." and when inhaling, "...You give us drink from the river of your delights." I enjoyed that mental and spiritual preparation for the morning session. My wife had also been hearing about breath prayers lately, some as short as just saying, "Lord have mercy." I also had a 4 page article on breath prayers written by Dr. William Gualtiere and had placed about 8 copies of that article in the foyer. Here is the link in case you are interested in reading the article for yourself. http://www.christiansoulcare.com/spiritualdiscipline/spiritualdisciplinebreathprayers.htm

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What shall we choose to save?


These are strange times. Paradigms are being shifted at a pace beyond imagination. In the old days people worked feverishly to save the souls of sinners, but now we work up a sweat to save whales and baby seals. Meanwhile we discard pre-born baby humans like yesterday's paper.


Gone are the days of saving green stamps. Today we are recycling trash in order to save land fills. Meanwhile we discard everything electronic because it is cheaper to replace than to repair.


We no longer save pop bottles to return for deposit (except in a few states), but we do recycle glass bottles with no monetary return for our efforts. Meanwhile, certain company's will pay cash for used phones, but our drawers are running over with phone discards anyway.


These days, to save our planet, we are feeding cows special additives to cut down on flatulence and burps (I kid you not), and though we are still drinking carbonated beverages, we are now pumping carbon dioxide gas (our newest designated pollutant du jour) into sealed cavities under ground so that we can hope to attain agreed upon green house gas levels before a certain pre- determined date. Never mind that without carbon dioxide plants could not live and our planet would become completely dead in short order.


Currently, we are becoming increasingly known for what we choose to save and what we choose to discard. Personally, I think our modern day, politically correct, notions are so far off base as to be laughable. If it weren't for the feverish effort and energy we somberly expend on saving things (often the wrong things) we could sit back, take a second look, and have a good chuckle at the idiocy they will no doubt look back and see a hundred years from now, when looking at our current weird and wacky days. Meanwhile, to save our planet, I urge you to buy a family size bottle of Beano so you can prevent yourself from releasing gaseous pollutants into our air, and by the way, stop breathing as well; after all, that is carbon dioxide you are exhaling. Just a thought.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A lifetime of Pres. Obama?

Photo of Joint Session of U.S. Congress
I received an e-mail today about House Joint Resolution 5. I must admit I had heard nothing about it before today, and nothing has been on the news about it. As you can see below, this was introduced on January 6th, '09 by Rep.Jose Serrano D.N.Y. I wondered if this was a hoax so I looked it up on Snopes.com and there was nothing there about it one way or another. Am I the only one who thinks this is about as bizarre as it could get? I feel sorry for the folks in Iran who had their election stolen from them and have to endure another term from a despot like Ahmadinejad. Now it looks like we are setting things up in this country so that our current leader can become a leader for life!

I can't help but assume that shady dealings by groups like Acorn is what gave the Dems the extra 8 million votes they needed to put Obama into office. And now we can assume that a continuation of those shenanigans will keep him in office, and the repeal of the 22nd Amendment will keep him there indefinitely. Below, is the actual wording from http://www.govtrack.us/. Read it and groan with me.



Text of H. J. Res. 5: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second amendment limiting the number of terms the President of the United States can serve.
Introduced in House of Representatives on January 6th, 2009


This version: Introduced in House. This is the original text of the bill as it was written by its sponsor and submitted to the House for consideration. This is the latest version of the bill available on this website.

HJ 5 IH

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. J. RES. 5

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 6, 2009

Mr. SERRANO introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:

‘Article--

‘The twenty-second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.’.



You can look this up on this site: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hj111-5

Here is another site: http://www.washingtonwatch.com/bills/show/111_HJ_5.html

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Audio files available on 3 web sites

I was updating my written and audio sermon contributions to www.sermoncentral.com where my contributions are available under the contributor name K. Edward Skidmore. I had been uploading audio files to go with recent sermon text files, and I hit a button that said "free podcasts". Well, that took me to a site called sermon.net with the following link http://sermon.net/castlehillscc, and lo and behold, there were copies of my audio files. I didn't realize that uploading mp3 files to Sermon Central also uploaded them to the other site as well. This means that along with our own church web site www.castlehillschristianchurch.com where mp3 files are available of all recent sermons by all four ministers at CHCC, there are two other sites where my audio messages can also be found. You might want to see for yourself. Just a thought.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A timely Obituary


The Death of Common Sense



Three yards of black fabric enshroud my computer terminal. I am mourning the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense.
His obituary reads as follows:
Common Sense, aka C.S., lived a long life, but died from heart failure at the brink of the millennium. No one really knows how old he was, his birth records were long ago entangled in miles and miles of bureaucratic red tape. Known affectionately to close friends as Horse Sense and Sound Thinking, he selflessly devoted himself to a life of service in homes, schools, hospitals and offices, helping folks get jobs done without a lot of fanfare, whooping and hollering. Rules and regulations and petty, frivolous lawsuits held no power over C.S.
A most reliable sage, he was credited with cultivating the ability to know when to come in out of the rain, the discovery that the early bird gets the worm and how to take the bitter with the sweet. C.S. also developed sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adult is in charge, not the kid) and prudent dietary plans (offset eggs and bacon with a little fiber and orange juice).
A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, the Technological Revolution and the Smoking Crusades, C.S. survived sundry cultural and educational trends including disco, the men's movement, body piercing, whole language and new math.
C.S.'s health began declining in the late 1960s when he became infected with the If-It-Feels-Good, Do-It virus. In the following decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal and state rules and regulations and an oppressive tax code. C.S. was sapped of strength and the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, criminals received better treatment than victims and judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional baseball and golf. His deterioration accelerated as schools implemented zero-tolerance policies. Reports of 6-year-old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing classmates, a teen suspended for taking a swig of Scope mouthwash after lunch, girls suspended for possessing Midol and an honor student expelled for having a table knife in her school lunch were more than his heart could endure.
As the end neared, doctors say C.S. drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding regulations on low-flow toilets and mandatory air bags. Finally, upon hearing about a government plan to ban inhalers from 14 million asthmatics due to a trace of a pollutant that may be harmful to the environment, C.S. breathed his last. Services will be at Whispering Pines Cemetery. C.S. was preceded in death by his wife, Discretion; one daughter, Responsibility; and one son, Reason. He is survived by two step-brothers, Half-Wit and Dim-Wit.
Memorial Contributions may be sent to the Institute for Rational Thought.
Farewell, Common Sense. May you rest in peace.


Note from Lori Borgman: This piece was first published March 15, 1998 in the Indianapolis Star. It has been "modified" and "edited" by others and circulated on the Internet, even sent to me several times. Imagine my surprise to see it attributed to some guy named Anonymous. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I take having my work circulated on the web as a compliment.


No timelier words could be written than the article above by Lori Borgman. Sadly, common sense has been laid in a mass grave along with logic, objective truth, unadulterated history, godliness, traditional faith, manners, politeness, respect, honesty, patriotism, and a host of other fine human qualities that give people the ability to live together harmoniously. Sadly, many these days don't have a clue as to what is missing or why it might matter. For my part, I mourn the loss and miss the people who were known for living according to these noble restraints. May they rest in peace. Just a thought. (Ed)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Staying Connected....for Them

My adorable grandkids:

I'll be having a 59th birthday in August which would probably put me in the last third to last fourth of my lifespan depending on variables, some of which I have little or no control over. So far, my life has been something I can look back on with joy and thanksgiving. Some of that joy came from decisions I made and paths I chose to take. Much of it came from people I have met and other meaningful connections in my life. A good portion of it came from living in a country that allows freedoms unprecedented in the rest of the world's nations. I have been a citizen of a nation that has allowed freedom to chart my own course, to live where I wish, to travel without restrictions, to save and invest in what I choose, to think what ever may come to my mind, to speak my mind freely, to write without fear of reprisal, to learn what I want, to teach what I want, to believe what I want. So far, I have been allowed, by a largely hands-off government, to live in peace and make my own life.

It would be easy to shrug my shoulders at this point and assume that the ride is nearly over for me anyway so what does it matter what the future may hold? I can hunker down and just take passively what ever may come my way from this point on. But the problem is that I have children and grand children in my world now. Their ride is still in the early stages. They have a long way to go before things will be over for them. What ever this world throws at them will impact them for many years to come. For that very reason I cannot allow myself to develop complacency about the way things are trending. I want the same kind of nation I have enjoyed for nearly 60 years to be the same land of freedom and opportunity my kids and grand kids could enjoy. Therefore, I cannot just hold my tongue while this nation slides into the slough of socialism, government over-reaching, antipathy toward religion, onerous taxation, an avalanche of freedom-choking regulations, class and racial warfare, political correctness, environmental bullying and shaming, and the notion that a few elites know best what should be done for the rest of us unwashed.

Therefore, though it may pain me to stay connected to the daily "goings on" in my world; though politics these days seems to leave a bad taste in my mouth; though it would be more enjoyable to move to a small country home and tend to the needs of a few animals and ignore the world around me; I will stay plugged in... for them. I will speak up... for them. I will carry protest signs, go to "TEA parties", write blogs, send e-mails, vote, urge others to vote, cry, pray, sing, and do anything else my body can still do for the time I have left... for them!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Lubbock to Lincoln"

video

I told a friend about our trips to Lubbock and Lincoln, IL. for the birthings of our first two grand kids (Morgan and David) born only 9 days apart. When I mentioned that we drove from Lubbock to Lincoln, he said, "That sounds like a Country Western song." I took the hint and wrote a country-western song about driving from Lubbock to Lincoln. Here it is as a Youtube Video