A quick Bible study

Today’s Friday Bible study comes from Numbers 22:27-28.

And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

What we learn from this passage is that sometimes even God talks out His ass.



The Pascal’s Wager Insurance Company

[Just to end the week on a light note, here’s a post from the old blog, originally published January 12, 2010.]

I was just thinking: suppose we made financial decisions the way some people would have us make decisions about our souls…


[Phone ringing]


Hi, my name is Morgan, and I’m from the Pascal’s Wager Insurance Company. Do you believe in giant tarantulas 30 feet tall?

Well, no, not really.

What about 50, or even 60 feet tall?

Never really thought about it, actu—

Ever think what one of those things would do if it stepped on your house?

Oh, I don’t

How much would you say your house is worth right now? Just roughly, including all the contents and valuables and other things that would be DESTROYED if they got stepped on by a 60-foot-tall giant tarantula. Don’t forget the car or cars in your garage, too. Would you say about $200,000? $400,000? Half a million dollars? Imagine what it would take to replace your valuable house and possessions if they were stepped on by a giant tarantula. Could you afford to replace it all, instantly?

But there’s no such thing as—

Sir, sir, let’s be honest, nobody knows everything, right?

Well, I—

YOU PERSONALLY do not know everything, right?

Heh, no, not hardly. But I—

In this vast universe of ours, there could be countless worlds we would never see or hear about where giant tarantulas might exist.

Well, if you put it that way, I suppose it might be—

So there MIGHT be giant tarantulas that you don’t know about, right?

I suppose there COULD be some kind of alien—

So giant tarangulas COULD exist. Now sir, all I’m asking you to do is to make a simple risk assessment. Even though you don’t believe there are giant tarantulas, the cost to you if they DO exist could be very high. Hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of dollars. Money you don’t have and can’t afford to lose. That’s why we’re offering, right now, for only $75 a month, our very special Stepped On By Giant Tarantulas homeowner’s policy.

Well, I

That’s only $75 a month. Practically nothing at all. If I’m wrong, and no giant tarantula ever steps on your home, then you won’t even miss it. But if I’m right, and your house DOES get stepped on, you could be facing financial disaster. Financial ruin! And living out of a cardboard box, too! A crushed cardboard box, with spider footprints on it. What do you say, sir? Will you do the prudent thing and accept one of our policies?

Well, it IS practically nothing, and the consequences if I’m wrong… [shudder]. How do I sign up?

[boring business discussion snipped.]

Thank you so much, sir. You’ll never be sorry as long as you remember what the risks are, and how much protection you’re getting for practically nothing. Have a nice day.

Thanks, you too.



[Phone ringing]


Hello again, sir. It’s Morgan from Pascal’s Wager Insurance Company. Do you believe in giant, carnivorous underground worms more than 100 feet long?


Multi-faith groups want religion out of public schools

Calling all Christians! Better hop on a bus and head for Toronto, or school prayer in Canada might end up like school prayer in the US.

With the Ontario election less than a month away, a number of multi-faith groups are calling on the provincial party leaders to take a public stance on religious teachings in secular schools.

(Psst! The rest of you guys, don’t tell them this part…)

Valley Park Middle School … has been permitting an afternoon Islamic prayer service in its cafeteria for its students for the past year.

An imam directs the voluntary 40-minute service every Friday, which was started after administrators realized that many students missed class because they had to leave the school to attend the service at a mosque.

That’s right, they’re all on their way to promote the spread of Islam. Maybe when they get back, they’ll have just a teensy bit more insight into why secular schools are a good idea?

How God really works

[I have to be out of town today and tomorrow, so I thought I’d cheat and replay some old Evangelical Realism posts. This one, from August 2007, is my all-time greatest hit (according to my stats log, that is).]

A blogger at passionateamerica.com has a bit of Monday Morning “humor” that (perhaps without meaning to) gives us a good hard look at how God really “works”:

A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan . One of the courses had a professor who was a vowed atheist and a member of the ACLU.

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, “God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I’ll give you exactly 15 minutes.” The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop.

Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, “Here I am God. I’m still waiting.” It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform.

The professor was out cold. The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, “What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?”

The Marine calmly replied, “God was too busy today protecting America ’s soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid stuff and act like an a$$. So, He sent me.”

[Read more…]

Prayer as a firewall

Voice of the Martyrs Canada reports that government-sponsored hackers in Iran are taking down Christian web sites with DDOS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks.

Mohabat News, which serves Persian Christians in Iran and surrounding countries, has been shut down repeatedly in the past year. In February, cyber-attacks shut down the site for two days.

On August 19, attackers overloaded the server and forced the site down for three days. Managers of Mohabat News were eventually able to transfer the website onto a more secure server operating outside the country. Other such sites, however, are not able to operate from an outside server, raising fears that they will continue to be vulnerable to attacks.

Their high-tech solution?

Please join us in praying!

  • Pray that the attacks on Mohabat News and other such sites will cease.

Yes, that ought to do it. Which is why Mohabat News moved their server elsewhere, instead of just praying about it.


This is going to take some getting used to

Back at my old blog, I’ve always had a policy of “first time moderation,” meaning if you’ve never commented before, I have to approve you first before your comments get posted. It’s a great way to cut down on spam, but I’m beginning to wonder how well it’s going to work here. My apologies to everyone who had to wait in line.

It’s great to have so many people commenting, though—thanks everyone! If the first time moderation rule gets to be too much of a bother (read: if there’s more new comments than my laziness will conveniently allow me to process) I may bite the bullet and turn off the filter. I really do hate spam, though, so it’s likely to be a brief hiatus until the spammers notice we’re here.

I do, however, have a few favorite pieces of spam that I will always treasure. Here’s the subject line from one of them, word-for-word as it was delivered to me:

Having erection problems, Jenny?

Offered as partial atonement for having made you guys wait. Cheers.