Tuesday, January 30, 2007

a horse died and i dont care

in case you missed it, barbaro, last year's kentucky derby winner was euthanized yesterday.

if you missed it, you're power must have gone out, and your paperboy must have called in sick.

i was literally amazed yesterday, when for over the course of several hours there was a continuous "ticker" running at the bottom of the t.v. screen giving the apparently earth shattering news that barbaro was dead.

granted, i live in louisville kentucky, home of the kentucky derby in the land of horse racing. but as i got online, it was on the front page of all of the major news sites. then as i turned on the television is was on *all* of the major networks. today, it was on the cover of national newspapers.

in the span of 12 hours i saw two separate "heart wrenching" stories of how the death of barbaro was profoundly impacting the country. fans in tears. endless flowers, and countless over sized cards expressing condolences.

i have nothing against animals. i would even call myself an animal lover (except for snakes).

my best friend from my childhood was my black lab, "buffy". i found her when i was seven years old, and we were thick as thieves until she died after my sophomore year in college. we had to have her "euthanized" after she was hit by a car. old age and a bad leg had made her too slow to run from the cars that she was usually scared of. there was no way for her to recover, her body had been crushed, so we had her put to sleep. and i cried. i was over 20 years old and i sobbed.
i say this to make clear that i understand loyalty and devotion to animals. i know what it is like to love an animal.

but yet i do not understand how our country can show so much grief and attention to a horse that was by and large unknown to anyone outside of its owners and caregivers a year ago.

here are some excerpts written on the death of this horse :

Barbaro's death is not for the sports pages. It goes on page one and also
Editorial. People who haven't been to a horse race in their lives feel
undone by the loss.
Animals get hurt being what they are.
Horses run on stilts for legs. If horses didn't run on ideal conditions
on a race track, they would try to split the wind on a lumpy field on
the other side of nowhere.
The loss of Barbaro's life is unsettling for two reasons. One, we
got to know the horse. We saw him blast through the starting gate,
then shake off that violent encounter, and start running as best he was
able, again.
We saw him fall. We saw him taken from the track by van. We followed
the surgeries and were gladdened by the rehabilitation. We saw him wobble
from a barn with casts on both right-side legs. We saw the limp. The
appetite. The bright eyes. We saw what was left of the one hoof, it looked like
a peg.
Another reason the loss felt so heavy was because we've had animals.
Few animals are cowards. Some are born sneaky. But not even chickens are chicken.
jay cronley espn.com

So many people felt a stake in Barbaro's recovery. They imagined his
pain, grimaced each time he faltered, took heart as each day passed
and he was still alive, making painfully slow progress.
The 2006 Kentucky Derby winner's fight for survival was their fight,
a symbol of strength, courage and comfort -- and, more than anything else,
a source of inspiration.
He was, after all, winner of the world's most famous race, in a sport
desperate for a superstar...

"Certainly, grief is the price we all pay for love," co-owner
Gretchen Jackson said.

We just reached a point where it was going
to be difficult for him to go on without pain," Roy Jackson said. "It was
the right decision, it was the right thing to do. We said all along if there
was a situation where it would become more difficult for him, then it would
be time."

When Barbaro broke down... [w]ithin 24 hours fans across the country
seemed to be caught up in a "Barbaro watch."
Well-wishers young and old showed up at the New Bolton Center with
cards, flowers, gifts, goodies and even religious medals, and thousands
of e-mails poured into the hospital's Web site.
The biggest gift has been the $1.2 million raised since early June for the
Barbaro Fund, money to be put toward needed equipment such as an
operating room table and a raft and sling for the same pool recovery
Barbaro used after his surgeries.

- associated press

and now... the contrast:

As we soberly mark the 34th anniversary of the judicial atrocity known as Roe v.
Wade, the sheer number of innocent victims of that act of judicial tyranny
overwhelms our everyday experience. Even under the most conservative of
estimates (and we lack certainty because we do not have a national, uniform
mandatory abortion reporting requirement), somewhere between 40 and 50
million unborn children have died under this nation’s regime of
.To put that number in some context, the best estimate
is that the total war dead, of all causes, for all of America’s major and minor
wars since 1775 is 1,329,991 or an amount equal to just one year of Roe’s
infernal tally.
- Nikolas T. Nikas ,president and general counsel of the Bioethics Defense Fund, a public interest law firm that advocates for life-affirming policies regarding abortion, human cloning and embryo research, and end-of-life issues.

i understand loving an animal. i understand people reacting to it. i understand the public display of sadness.

what i do not understand, is with as much outcry against the war in iraq, the rising death toll of our troops, and the demands to get out to save lives...

i do not understand the relative silence where there should be outrage, grief, and action.

the following is not for the weak or faint of heart. i debated whether or not to even link to it. but i do so with hopes that these images will spread and help stop the killing of human beings... babies, whose worth is not determined by success on a race track, but by being an image bearer of god.

i cannot stress enough the sensitive nature of this video. it is graphic. it shows aborted children. the only reason i link to it is for the purpose of showing it to those you know who hear abortion and think "woman's choice" with no thought of the death of a human. i am repulsed by the images. but i am more repulsed that what is shown in these images is legal.

i strongly advise expectant parents not to watch.

a graphic video of the horror and violence of abortion. viewer discretion is advised.

HT: justin taylor

Saturday, January 20, 2007

religion can send you to hell

Hindu devotees offer evening prayers on the banks of the River Ganges in Allahabad, India. (above)

Drawn by the pull of the new moon, millions of devout Hindus, led by naked ascetics, plung into the holy Ganges River in Allahabad, India. (below)
i ran acorss these pictures at foxnews.com.
a life of religious devotion, a religious lifestyle, a religious zeal...
and unless they come to saving faith in jesus christ, the religiosity will gain them nothing but hell.
then i read this article and thought of the millions who call themselves christians in our own country.
many show much less devotion, live contrary to, and lack zeal for their faith than those hindu's do in their false religion.
i cant help but wonder how many people we know who call themselves "christians" are merely "religious".
do they know the difference? can they see the difference in us?
no one is good enough to deserve or earn salvation. it is only by the grace of god anyone is saved.(rom. 3; eph. 2:1-10).
we should be in prayer often not only for the lost in other countries who are so visibly wrong in their beliefs, but also for the many in our own country in our own communities whose faith lie only in going through the motions of activity of religion, using christian jargon, but ultimately have never accepted christ as the lord and savior.
who is more sincere?? the hindu's in these pictures, or the 63% of southern baptist church "members" in the u.s. who do not attend chruch?
i am inclined to believe that the hindu's in their rituals and ceremonies are more sincere,, but at the end of the day, it doesnt matter.sincerely believing in a false religion, and not participating in the one true religion both result in an eternity in a literal hell.
we often get motivated and fired up about missions. we give money, watch presentations, listen to testimonies of mission stories. all of these things are good.
but how often do we burn to see those who have no signs of regeneration other than thier name on a church roll confronted with the gospel?
i am not suggesting that we question everyone we know and demand answers to our every question in order to decide if *we* think the person has done enough to be a christian.
but i am suggesting that we take the bible seriously when it comes to church membership.
the church is made up of believers. believers are called to gather together and participate together as members. when there are names on the rolls of our churches of people who are capable and able of coming and being involved, but do not, there is a problem that needs to be addressed. to ignore it is similar to looking at the above pictures and looking away thinking, "maybe they'll figure it out."
after walking around athens and observing all of the man made idols, paul stilled refered to those people as religious...
So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.
"For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD "...(acts 17:22-23)
then he shared the gospel with them.
james admits that there can be "worthless" religion...
If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless. (james 1:26)
so let us not further the idea, but our words or actions that being religious, even within christian culture, is enough.
being "religious" can send you to hell.
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me - john 14:6
15"Beware of the alse prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
16"You will
know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?
every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
18"A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20"So then, you will know them
by their fruits.
Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'
23"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you;
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; - phil 2:12

may we fear and tremble at the thought of hoping in anything else but the gospel of christ.

Monday, January 15, 2007

lower case cavness

i try and keep this blog from being a personal journal ("not that there's anything wrong with that!") , but i wanted to share that i found out today that christi and i will be having a son.

charles allen cavness ("charlie") is due in 18 weeks.

thanks for all of your prayers, please continue!


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

laugh?? cry?? bang head??

the church report on line has posted its annual "50 most influential christians".

some names are encouraging, a lot aren't.
among those named as people who influence our nation under the label "christian" are:
  • joel olsteen (doesn't preach about or use the word "sin")
  • t.d. jakes (denies the trinity)
  • paul crouch (founder of tbn)
  • creflo dollar ("We believe that God wants us to have a full life, free from poverty, sickness and disease" - from his website)

thankfully, there are people like john piper, chuck coloson, joni erikson tada, al mohler and others who give a reprieve from so much of the "god= health wealth and prosperity" proponents on the list.

thankfully, our hope is christ, not lists or men.

you can read the list here

more books...

i thought of two more books to add to the previous list...

a quest for godliness - j.i. packer (this one is a gold mine)

spiritual disciplines for the christian life - don whitney

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

book learnin'

between getting books for christmas, and buying books for class (i am in my second class of j-terms), i wanted to give a quick list of books that i think would be helpful and beneficial for anyone who reads them. most of these aren't very long, but are well worth the time spent reading through them.

in no particular order:

knowing god - j.i. packer

the cross centered life - c.j. mahaney (small 90 page hardcover)

the dangerous duty of delight - john piper (small 90 page hardcover)

according to plan - grahme goldsworthy

the holiness of god - r.c. sproul

chosen by god - r.c. sproul

putting amazing back into grace - michael s. horton (despite his chapter on baptism.. the rest of the book is great)

after darkness, light: essays in honor of r.c. sproul - r.c. sproul jr. -editor

if you find yourself in the mood to buy a few books, even for leisure reading, consider getting one of these to add to your spiritual development in this new year.

any other suggestions are welcome!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

bursting the bubble...

being in seminary, often times i will go long periods of time without being confronted with the fact the we live in a country with people who are not only not believers, but openly hostile to our faith.
i encourage you to read this article by al mohler at the washington post website. then take the time to read the responses. it is eye opening and heart breaking.

but rather than it driving us to dismiss the real people who typed those remarks, may it drive us to prayer that we may be used to bring the gospel to those around us, and that god would open their hearts to recieve the truth.
and may we think hard on this; that while we are no better , no more intelligent, or at all any more deserving than those who responded so angrily to dr. mohler, god opened *our* hearts, by his grace.
may this reality drive us to our knees and flood our hearts and lives with humility and thanksgiving.

read the article and comments here