Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday Morning Rant 93

The trip to Miami yesterday morning was not hindered by weather that has been so threatening the last few days. I did become a little concerned when I noted that at 10:55 am the temperature was 70º when I went in to enjoy a sermon from Brother Gregg. At about 12:15 pm as we left the building, my car thermometer reported it was 82º. This was no doubt the result of all those fiery demons attempting to exit the church at the same time. He is an exceptional preacher and they made the right move by leaving..

So, there’s this preacher in San Diego.

This man and his wife host a Bible study in their home once a week. About fifteen people show up for the event and have for years. This strikes me as pretty normal fare for a Christian preacher and part of his faithful flock. I have attended home ible studies and I am sure many of you have as well. The intimacy of the home seems to promote good study and a general enrichment as the result of that comfortable environment.

Very recently, a government official called in person to verify if, indeed, the couple was holding bible studies on Tuesday nights. She answered yes and reportedly the official asked:”Do you have a regular weekly meeting in your home? Do you sing? Do you say 'amen'?" then the official reportedly asked. "Do you say, 'Praise the Lord'?"
She agreed that they did and he then dropped the bomb. She was informed “she must stop holding "religious assemblies" until she and her husband obtained a Major Use Permit from the county, a permit that often involves traffic and environmental studies, compliance with parking and sidewalk regulations and costs that top tens of thousands of dollars.”

The pastor’s wife was then told that failure to obtain a permit would result in escalating fines which could result in thousands of dollars of outlay. Fortunately, the matter is now in capable legal hands for their defense but the outrage remains.

Is this still America or did I sleep late and miss something? I have no difficulty understanding a local official from the police department dropping by to discuss parking which may obstruct other traffic. I appreciate also that the sound of loud singing could be disturbing to the neighbors. These “problems” have sane logical solutions which no preacher of any standing would fail to understand.

The balance of the questions, as reported by the wife, seems clearly to be at odds with existing law and certainly common sense. Have we come to this? Is bible study that threatening? Apparently if we are interested in a safe haven for our mid-week worship we need to locate a catacomb.

In the not so distant past, I was part of a devout but tiny Restoration group whose only option was to meet in a private home in Las Vegas. Fortunately the officials in Las Vegas apparently have a far better Constitutional understanding than their fellows in San Diego. They may also be too busy monitoring genuine sin on every corner to harass Christians—or Buddhists, or Jews, or what have you.

“We’re Out of Money!”

Well “duh!” This pronouncement from our chief executive is probably the first accurate pronouncement to come out of his mouth. No spin, no subtle “nuance,” no weasel words; just a frank admission that as a result of his disastrous actions, we are broke!

Oh, he will blame our extended new-found indebtedness on the prior administration and not give a thought to the trillions he has dedicated to worthless causes, ailing auto makers, union alliances, badly managed states, or to a budget bloated with unnecessary capitulations to supporters, finance people, and cronies. Beyond that, he has upcoming proposals for health care, cap and trade, participation in global government and other expenditures. This should be sufficient to deliver the coup de grace to the least notion of our former America if the interest on the current debt is not sufficient.

What ever criticism, no matter how justified, must be tempered with the observation that he is the speediest of all presidents. Who would have dreamed that any person could have delivered this many travesties in so short a time? One barely has a chance to fully appreciate the current one when the next comes along to eclipse the former. Personally, I only wish he would take a few days off so we critics could get some rest.

Speaking of Gregg

He drew upon his experience with NASA and recounted the following anecdote. When the first Moon landing took place, he reported that the concern in the control center mounted as the lander and the men were on the opposite side, out of contact. The Moon itself blocked the radio communication which was so vital to those tasked to track its progress. Imagine if you will the relief and sheer joy when the crackling radio finally had this message: “The Eagle has landed.”

It proved a premature joy when Gregg was reading Obadiah at a later date. The shortest book in the Old Testament in verse 4 states: “Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and make thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.”

Read the whole book; it’s only one page. There are several Obadiahs mentioned in the Bible and the exact timing of the prophecy is somewhat indistinct but I believe, as usual, the scriptural message is clear. See if you agree. It’s located between Amos and Jonah.

And Finally

Life on this idyllic hilltop goes on. Either the gold finches have departed or else they are all in the “maternity room” awaiting their increase. Our population of indigo finches is on the rise and their intense blue coloration really stands out against the fully leafed oaks. The usual suspects are present at the feeder and apparently content to hang around close to the food. Come to think of it, so am I.

I gave away about a cord and a half of seasoned wood to a friend a couple weeks ago and find that my latest efforts in the adjacent woods clearing fallen trees will actually amount to an even greater increase in the total. All of that and I don’t even have a wood burning stove. All the wood on the pile is oak, walnut or sycamore. Our only coniferous trees are a few accidental small cedars and the rest are all deciduous.

I think often as I work around the place how grateful I am to God for engineering the business of allowing me to think we made such a good decision when we bought it.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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