Saturday, September 02, 2006
Let Them Eat Brie
Guilty As Charged
Memoirs Of A Geisha
Cut And Run
Life --> Art
Buck Buck Buckaw
And my favorite for today: Crash And Burn
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Posted by Athanasius at 10:53:00 AM
Friday, September 01, 2006
I finally got around to transcribing Howard Dean's speech at the big DNC meeting in Chicago a couple weeks ago--at least the part I recorded. I'm not positive how much of it I got. I tried to double check against some video I found at YouTube (Part 1 and Part 2), but the videos play for a while and then cut off. In any event, you can find *much* of his speech transcribed here.
Tags: Howard Dean, DNC, Chicago
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Posted by Renee in Ohio at 8:55:00 PM
Wow, was this a year ago already? From a September 18, 2005 diary by Demetrius
Ever wish you could set sail on the tall ships?Well, we may do our Christmas shopping at the last minute every year, but, by golly, I'm determined not to let *this year's* TLIPD sneak up on me. Besides, it gives us something fun to anticipate in those days of wall to wall September 11 retrospectives. If you like, you can download one of these buttons to use on your own blog
Ever wish you could keel haul every scurvy dog on Capitol Hill?
Ever want to burst into your local Blockbuster and demand the latest releases, a stack of blank tapes and a couple of their finest VCRrrrr's?
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 1:50:00 PM
Thursday, August 31, 2006
I still haven't managed to watch the whole thing, but I keep hearing this speech getting rave reviews, so I'm front-paging a link to the video. Below is just a brief excerpt.
A patriot does not tell people who are intensely concerned about their country to just sit down and be quiet. To refrain from speaking out in the name of politeness, or for the sake of being a good host, or to show slavish, blind obedience and deference to a dishonest, warmongering, human rights-violating president.
That is not patriotism. Rather, that person is a sycophant. That person is a member of a frightening culture of obedience, a culture where falling in line with authority is more important than choosing what is right *even* if it is not easy, safe, or popular.
Update: Here's a link to the complete transcript (thanks, Corinne).
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Posted by Renee in Ohio at 11:58:00 PM
Renee generouosly asked me if I would blog every once in awhile to keep folks updated on what's going on in my neck o' the woods. Haven't had much time for bloggin' as life gets busy when you're trying to do your part to save the world.
With Keith Olberman laying into Runsfeld, Cheney, and Bush last night (was that awesome or what) about creeping fascism in America it is my pleasure to be able to blog the press release below regarding another threat to our democracy. This release is going out across New York State today.
Several representatives of various local groups within the Democracy for New York coalition have been educating and negotiating with Eliot Spitzer and his campaign staff for several months now on the subject of voting machine technology for HAVA compliance in New York State.
Senate Minority Leader David Paterson has been on board with us on the subject of Paper Ballot, Precinct Based, Optical Scan Systems with ballot marking devices (also know as PB/OS) from the beginning.
In April Attorney General Eliot Spitzer spoke at the Second Annual Democracy for New York State Conference. At that time he had not had the opportunity to research the issue fully but expressed confidence that he would agree with our position once he completed his research.
Democracy for New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Andrew White
Spitzer Circulates Statement Calling Paper Ballot Optical Scan Voting "Proven Technology"
Democracy For New York and NYS Gubernatorial Candidate voice concerns about electronic voting
Gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer produced a statement voicing concerns about the reliability and even the potential for election fraud with electronic voting after speaking with local activist groups around New York state. In the statement Spitzer asks the state to implement "a vigorous testing regime" or consider an alternative to electronic machines called 'Paper Ballot with Precinct Based Optical Scan', also known as PBOS.
"Albany's implementation of the Help America Vote Act has been a well-publicized disaster," Spitzer said in the statement, "State government's failure of leadership is especially disconcerting in light of widespread reports of the unreliability and potential for fraud of electronic voting machines."
The statement is a direct result of conversations with activists from Democracy For New York (DFNY). The group is actively engaged in efforts to protect the voting rights of the people of the State of New York. DFNY points out that a Paper Ballot and Optical Scan voting system provides many advantages over electronic "touch screen" technology, or "DREs". Optical Scan systems are popular in a number of other states. Within the past year, the states of New Mexico and Connecticut have decided to use statewide optical scan systems to comply with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). The complete Optical scan system includes ballot marking technology which allows a paper ballot based system to provide accessible, private and independent voting for voters with disabilities. HAVA requires new voting machines for New York by 2007. DFNY, along with other groups, including New Yorkers for Verified Voting and the League of Women Voters of New York, have endorsed Paper Ballot Optical Scan voting technology over touch screen machines.
"Eliot Spitzer has recognized that both public funds and the integrity of the election process are better served by Precinct Based Optical Scanning of Paper Ballots", said Alan Goldston of Democracy for Westchester, a local DFNY group. "Any election officials in New York who ignore his sober advice had better be prepared to explain why they would choose to both waste public money and jeopardize the election process."
Election integrity issues have been a major issue for activists in the group. Andrew C. White of Democracy for the Hudson-Mohawk Region said that his group had long urged Mr. Spitzer to take a hard look at the issue, "Electronic touch screen machines are a fundamentally flawed technology. They are inherently unverifiable and therefore present a threat to democracy." He added that the issue is of utmost importance to the Democracy for New York Coalition and that Eliot Spitzer's recognition of the issue may well clinch a DFNY endorsement for the Spitzer/Paterson ticket.
The full text of Eliot Spitzer's statement follows:
"Albany's implementation of the Help America Vote Act has been a well-publicized disaster. It was a mistake from the start for the State Legislature to pass the buck to our counties rather than craft legislation that would have specified a single technology for adoption statewide. As a result, we're looking at the very real possibility of a patchwork of different voting machines with different levels of accuracy and accessibility throughout the State.
State government's failure of leadership is especially disconcerting in light of widespread reports of the unreliability and potential for fraud of electronic voting machines. The State must address these concerns through a vigorous testing regime or should consider certifying the proven and less expensive Paper Ballot with Precinct Based Optical Scan technology."
Democracy for New York is a coalition of over 40 groups across New York State. The working group involved in the conversations with the Spitzer campaign included: Alan Goldston of Democracy for Westchester, John McBride and Andrew White of Democracy for the Hudson-Mohawk Region, Cynthia Kouril of Democracy for Long Island and David Kogelman of Democracy for New York City.
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Posted by Andrew C. White at 1:10:00 PM
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
There's an update about Tanner at puddle's blog
I did record Howard Dean's appearance on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and may transcribe some of that to share with you a little later. Howard Dean did a good job, but we've heard him say similar things recently.
Tonight, instead, I will be presumptuous enough to speak on behalf this community in presenting Keith Olbermann with a "Howardly" for his closing commentary on tonight's show. If, after listening to the commentary, or reading it in its entirety here, you agree with me, you might consider sending Mr. Olbermann a note to that effect at KOlbermann@msnbc.com
Here is the conclusion of Keith Olbermann's closing commentary (but I do recommend reading the whole thing).
This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.
Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble tribute, I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist Edward R. Murrow.
But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could I come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew everything, and branded those who disagreed: "confused" or "immoral."
Thus, forgive me, for reading Murrow, in full:
"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty," he said, in 1954. "We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law."
"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who fea"ed to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular."
And so good night, and good luck.
Update from floridagal...
Video up of Dean at MSNBC, and probably the KO one as well. I don't see any blogs putting up the Dean video, so glad they got it up so quickly.
He was truly very good tonight. I don't think I have heard him just call the situation "nuts" before. Beautifully done.
Scroll down to the Countdown section.
And Holly J points us to the Washington Note, which has both text and video of Keith Olbermann.
Who you should write to here KOlbermann@msnbc.com and say nice things.
And, lest the post scroll off the page, please don't forget about getting Subway's song played on the Dr. Demento show. Details here.
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Posted by Renee in Ohio at 9:21:00 PM
Oh goody. This just in:
Tonight on Countdown
Tonight, Howard Dean joins Keith to respond to this:
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday the world faces "a new type of fascism" and warned against repeating the pre-World War II mistake of appeasement. Rumsfeld alluded to critics of the Bush administration's war policies in terms associated with the failure to stop Nazism in the 1930s, "a time when a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among the Western democracies."
Anne from Vermont
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Posted by puddle at 1:40:00 PM
Update--I know, I just posted the dang thing a minute ago--but I noticed that Charlie checked in at the bottom of the old thread. Too zarking tired to actually read what he wrote, so I'm just pointing you in that general direction. Share and enjoy...
For anyone who might have missed it, puddle checked in a couple threads down with this from Subway...
Just talked to Subway. They delayed the surgery till Thursday morning.Thinking of keeping Subway in that cheerful mood reminded me of something Demetrius and I talked about a while ago, but just never managed to follow through on. It has to do with Subway's song, GOPer's Lament (Hard to be a Republican). He had a goal for the number of downloads he wanted to reach, but I'm too sleepy to look that up now. I'm actually too sleepy to post this right now, truth be told, but I'm afraid I'd forget by morning. So forgive the typos if there are any. (Nothing could quite top calling the Democracy Bond event in Columbus a "Democracy Bong" event...)
He's really feeling cheerful, and says he can feel the love and caring wrapping him like a blanket. He thanks you all and asks that you keep the light and vibes and prayers coming.
He says he'll have ConSec let us know Thursday when he's out of surgery.
Anyhoo, we had talked in the past about trying to get that song played on the Dr. Demento Show. Maybe if enough of us request it, we could get it played this Sunday morning. Here's the request a song page. And here's the direct link to Subway's song online: http://www.tellercreations.com/pod/goperslament.mp3
I found that link on his blog, which is here, and has links to some of his other songs. http://teocawki.blogspot.com
But if this is to have a chance of succeeding, there needs to be some serious crossposting.
Just make sure you fix my typos, if there are any, first.
Good night, Dean people.
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Posted by Renee in Ohio at 12:59:00 AM
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Crossposted at My Left Wing, Booman Tribune and Daily Kos
I just got an e-mail from the Central Ohio chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State asking for help in spreading the word about this. I hope that the readers of this blog will be able to help with this--print out the flyer, post the details on your own blogs, crosspost it on other blogs, etc. I think that this is an issue of importance to many of us.
Rob Boston will be speaking on "Defending the Separation of Church and State in Difficult Times" on September 17. The details from the e-mail...
Rob Boston, from the national AU office, is coming to Columbus Sunday, Sept. 17, to speak on "Defending the separation of church and state in difficult times." He was scheduled to come last Feburary, but had to cancel at the last minute because of an east coast blizzard.Maybe you don't live in central Ohio, but you know have family or friends who do. I've discovered that people are *not*, by and large, aware that there is a local chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State here in Columbus. Even though the group has been in existence for a year. With someone like Ken Blackwell running for governor, that really concerns me.
Details are in the attached flyer. Please copy it/print it/post it/forward it to anyone and everyone! We would like to have a big turnout to support our local AU!
Sunday, Sept. 17th 3:00 P.M.
North Congregational UCC
2040 W. Henderson Rd.
Columbus, OH 43220
Free and open to the public Refreshments will be served
So I'm hoping that those internet tubes can be of assistance in helping remedy the situation. Thanks in advance.
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Posted by Renee in Ohio at 8:48:00 PM
An important fact has to be remembered as we recall the victims of last year's devastating storms:
Almost half of all children in New Orleans lived in poverty -- before Hurricane Katrina.
The callous and inept federal response to Hurricane Katrina revealed that, when faced with a crisis that experts had actually predicted, the Republican administration was utterly unprepared and unresponsive.
Meanwhile, the shameful foot-dragging since the storm on reconstruction and help to families shows the same lack of interest in solving real problems and saving lives. So far, the administration has gotten around to spending barely half of what Congress authorized.
The Republican administration's failures before and after the storms are linked by a common approach to the solemn responsibilities of government. Simply put: they aren't interested.
This Republican leadership's philosophy means that our government simply will not meet the needs of our people.
Not because it's impossible -- but because they don't believe it should.
And so we are left with each American having to do what he or she can to help.
There is too much to be done for individuals acting alone to fix everything, but until we achieve a change in leadership we all must step up to the plate.
One way to do that is by donating new or used books to the Children's Defense Fund, an organization that's working to make sure that school libraries in Gulf Coast are well-stocked for returning students.
Only 18% of New Orleans children had returned by the end of the last school year, according to the New York Times. More children will return this year, but the conditions they will return to can be terrible.
I want to ask that you participate in a book drive for the children of the Gulf Coast. It's important, and it's a tangible way for you to make a difference:
While we all take time to reflect and do our small part to help, one thing is clear: Democrats offer a new direction.
We believe in a government that takes its obligations to the American people seriously, one that is always improving the services and protections it provides -- a government that becomes more efficient as it meets challenges and takes on new challenges with serious commitment.
And we believe passionately in the responsibility of public service -- doing the hard, unglamorous work that comes with solving real problems that impact people's lives.
With that sense of responsibility missing in our leaders today, we find ourselves in deep trouble.
A fifth grader interviewed by the New York Times recently -- one of the few who have made it back -- told the reporter that his father, who is in the National Guard, has been sent to the Middle East. Meanwhile, back on the home front, their house has been burglarized.
The boy summed up what people on the Gulf Coast -- and people all across the country -- are feeling right now:
"We deserve better."
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
P.S. -- We've set up a resource center to help people learn more a year after Katrina. From the promises made and subsequently broken, to a look back at the failure of leadership on the levees in New Orleans, take a minute to explore just where we are one year later:Alternate link for comments
Posted by Guest Blogger at 2:15:00 PM
Monday, August 28, 2006
Crossposted at Daily Kos and Booman Tribune
Almost two years ago in October 2004 Rheta Grimsley Johnson, a favorite columnist, wrote this about George W. Bush. It was scathing in its simplicity, and it was absolutely brilliant in its ability to define this mean little man.
The article needs to be brushed off every now and then and reread and appreciated all over again.
Thanks, Rheta, for this column way back then. It was not very popular to say such things then....much thanks.
People like Bush. He doesn't use big words. He's one of us.
10/9/2004 10:30:51 AM
I read an article. The article said people like George Bush. They like Bush because he speaks in short sentences. They can relate.
It makes sense. Who wants a wordy president? Bush sounds decisive. He sounds sure. He sounds sm--. Never mind. He is on our level.
The article called Bushspeak "austere." Bush wouldn't say "austere." That's a fancy word. Bush hates fancy words.
She nails his character, or lack of, in almost every paragraph. I could feel her anger combining with mine as I read it.
He also uses body language. His body uses short sentences, too. His body says: "I am tough. Don't mess with Texas. I don't windsurf."
Bush smiles a lot, too. He really smirks. Bush doesn't say "smirks." That's a fancy word.
Bush loves Laura. She is a good little woman. Laura doesn't meddle. Laura is quiet. Bush likes that.
And a little dig about the Weapons of Mass Destruction.
There were no WMDs. So what? Not his fault. Might have been weapons. Could have been. Should have been.
The U.N. is wimpy. France is wimpy. The world is wimpy. Except for us. And Great Britain.
Short, but powerful. Be sure to read it all. Thanks, Rheta.
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Posted by floridagal at 11:53:00 PM
Online Merchants See Green in Pluto News
I think I've found a mnemonic...
More designs here and here, and Son in Ohio weighs in here.
Okay, must be off not, "real" work to do. There's a comment from Denise about Subway at the end of this thread.
Tags: pluto, planet, astronomy, science, mnemonic
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Posted by Renee in Ohio at 1:33:00 PM
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Bill Nye: We're calling it a dwarf planet. I like the term "ice dwarf." ... These are the objects smaller than, let's say, 1,500 kilometers ... made of ice. ... Ice dwarf -- there it is: It's icy, it's small, it's out there.
If you brought Pluto close to the sun, like where Mercury is, it would have a tail like a comet and in a few millennia, it would volatize. It would just disappear into space. ... I mean, is that worthy of a planet -- a planet that just evaporates? For crying out loud.
That we have to change the name, I think, is fantastic. It shows people the process of science. We learn more about other objects in the solar system and we rethink it, so we give it a new label. If we have to learn another dozen dwarf/ice-dwarf/icy object/ultra-Neptunian-object names, it's going to be fine. It's going to be a big party. Its going to be lovely.
He goes on for a bit (there's a video too) and he's unreasonably perky and glib about it.
Oh Bill, Bill, Bill...Son in Ohio is deeply disappointed in you. But then again, he's pulling for 12 planets...
On the other hand, we have this:
Boot Pluto? Astrology's dismay off the charts
Pluto vote 'hijacked' in revolt
On Thursday, experts approved a definition of a planet that demoted Pluto to a lesser category of object.
But the lead scientist on Nasa's robotic mission to Pluto has lambasted the ruling, calling it "embarrassing".
And the chair of the committee set up to oversee agreement on a definition implied that the vote had effectively been "hijacked".
I thought as much. Pluto was robbed!
Oh yeah, and before I finish ragging on Bill Nye, it also sucks that his new show doesn't air in our area, and if you try to find a DVD as a Christmas gift, as I tried to do for said Son, it costs an arm and a leg. Mr. Science guy may just have to go "on notice".
Some new Pluto designs have emerged at Cafe Press, as mentioned in this Business Week article. And, no, I haven't sold nearly as many bumper stickers as the guy who did the "Honk if Pluto is still a Planet" bumper sticker. But then, none of my items benefitted from a direct link from the BBC News article.
Update: Here are some new Pluto bumper stickers by jc
Tags: pluto, planet, astronomy, science, Bill Nye
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Posted by Renee in Ohio at 8:36:00 PM
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.Hell is real. It is a place of torment where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth, where souls are tormented day and night forever and ever. This is a reality that greatly offends the sensibilities of many postmodern peoples, but their offended sensibilities can not change the reality of the existence of Hell. Some will ask how a loving God can send people to eternal torment, and that is a fair question. The answer is tied to God's holiness - God is absolutely holy, and He will not have sinfulness in His presence. The fact of the matter is that people send themselves to Hell with their sinfulness, yet God has made a provision for people to escape the horror of Hell through accepting the atoning work of Jesus Christ on their behalf, by submitting to His Lordship. Much the same way that everyone is not entitled to a presidential pardon for their crimes, everyone is not entitled to salvation from the penalty of their sins. However, God has made it possible for everyone to be pardoned, through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the only way to escape the reality of Hell.
The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, "Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire."
But Abraham replied, "Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us."
He answered, "Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment."
Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them."
"No, father Abraham," he said, "but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent."
He said to him, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead."
It is much like a white dress with an ink stain. It takes a specific solvent to remove the stain of ink from a garment, and without that solvent the dress will remain stained forever. Nobody is going to wear a white dress with an ink stain, they will get it cleaned, and if the dress refuses to be cleaned by the only cleansing agent that can remove the stain of ink then that dress will be eternally separated from its owner, thrown away to be remembered no more. So it is with people with regard to our creator - if we will not be cleansed by the only cleansing agent that can remove the stain of sin then we will be cast into Hell, destined to be remembered no more.
There are, of course, those who would disagree with what the Bible clearly teaches. Carlton Pearson, who was at once a major Pentecostal preacher on the national scene, has rejected the words of Jesus and is now teaching that everyone will get to heaven, no matter the walk, no matter their talk, no matter about the way they live. Carlton Pearson believes that God gave him "new" revelation that everyone is already redeemed, that Hell is a present reality on earth, not an ontological existence in eternity. But Carlton Pearson would have been wise to read his Bible, because we are told to check the spirit by the Spirit, because every sirit is not of God. Carlton Pearson may well have heard a voice, and it may well have told him exactly what he heard, but I can assure you that it was not the voice of God.
Jesus spoke more often about Hell than he spoke about heaven, and He spoke of Hell as an eternal punishment in the hereafter for people's sinfulness in this life. Jesus said, "Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, 'is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell." Jesus said, "It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell." Jesus said, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in Hell." Hell is real, and we need to adhere to the truth of the Word of God - we need to listen to Jesus instead of making stuff up on our own. It's like someone refusing to believe in the HIV virus. Their lack of belief does not change the reality of the virus' existence, and if they don't take the necessary precautions then they will experience HIV personally.
So it is with Hell.
We see in this text that the rich man wanted three things when he suddenly found himself in Hell, three things that we would do well to pursue in this life lest we find ourselves in Hell with a realigned paradigm. First, the rich man wanted his pain to be placated by the redeemed. Isn't it interesting how people don't really care about those who are suffering until they are the one suffering? It's almost funny watching conservative when they hit hard times - that blaming-the-victim thing goes right out the window then. Then you don't hear a peep about lazy people who just need to get a job. Then it's, "Have pity on me!" When people find themselves in that situation in this life it is the responsibility of the Christian to show them love, to comfort them, to help them, to pray for them, even though the suddenly-down-and-out may not have thought about anyone else in this life, ever. However, in death there is only judgment, not compassion. The response from Abraham (circumlocution for the Father) to the rich man was essentioally, "I can't do nothing for you, man."
What's even more interesting in this passage is that Lazarus never says a word. In fact, we are not led to believe that Lazarus was even aware of the conversation that was going on. Those who have been cast into Hell will be remembered no more, they are functionally nonexistent to the redeemed in eternity. It's like the worst punishment that I can remember as a child. It was a hot, summer day in Detroit and I was grounded. There was no central air - they built houses in Detroit with central heat back in the day - so there was no relief from the heat and, in fact, it was hotter inside than outside. All of my friends were outside playing while I was stuck inside doing chores. I could see my friends outside playing, I could hear my friends outside playing, I coud identify each and every one of them by name, but they couldn't see inside of my house through the plate glass window. They couldn't see my suffering, and the truth of the matter is that they didn't even notice that I wasn't out there playing with them. I was remembered no more, and it was entirely my own fault.
This is where the rich man found himself - hot, suffering, on the wrong side of joy, without hope - and it was entirely his own fault. In life he lived his life lavishly and cared nothing about the least of these at his own doorstep. In life he was all about himself, never submitting to God. In life he was concerned about bling-blinging, pushing work and rolling on dubs, but he got an attitude adjustment when he suddenly found himself in Hell. Suddenly, he knew Lazarus' name. Suddenly, he was begging instead of giving orders like he did in life. Suddenly, he was in pain instead of the comfort that he had in life. Things can go mighty well for the unbeliever in this life until "Suddenly" happens. Suddenly, this rich man wanted his pain to be placated by the redeemed. Suddenly, this rich man was concerned about those who were suffering. Suddenly, this rich man began to think like a Christian, but by then it was too late. Don't wait for "Suddenly" to happen before you turn your life over to Jesus, because suddenly you too will find that it is too late. This rich man suddenly found out that Hell was for real.
The second thing that the rich man wanted was his people to prepare for the resurrection. The rich man accepted his fate, saying, "Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house..." When people realize that they are in serious trouble their thoughts often go toward their family. If their family can not comfort them then they want their family to avoid their fate, their mistakes, their errors. The rich man wanted his family to act shrewedly like the dishonest manager, settling accounts so that they'd be positioned for their inevitible move, but once again his request was denied. The response was, "They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them." "Moses and the Prophets" was a euphamism for Scripture, and the rich man was told that his family had all the revelation that they needed in Scripture. We have been give all that we need when it comes to eternal security - it is in God's Word, the Bible. The Bible is our sole source of authority on matters of faith and life and all we have to do is apply the Word to our lives. The rich man's family thought this was absurd - it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven - and the rich man knew it, asking for Lazarus to be sent as a witness, but his family had already rejected the only witness that they would ever need.
It's like someone trying to drive to Hawaii, who refuses to look at a map. They're just going to head west and do the best that they can. They're basically a good driver; that should be good enough to get them to Hawaii, right? Any road that they choose to take should get them to Hawaii, right? Everyone is going to make it to Hawaii anyway, right? In reality you have to take the right vehicle along the right path to make it to your intended destination - you can't drive a car to Hawaii, no matter how good of a driver you might be in the eyes of the law, and you can't make it to heaven without Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, no matter how good of a person that you might be in the eyes of men.
The rich man in Hell wanted his people to prepare for the resurrection. Those of us who are saved will find ourselves in the presence of the Lord when we die, but the unsaved will suddenly find themselves in Hell. When Jesus returns, the dead in Christ - those in the presence of the Lord - will rise first; this is the resurrection for which the rich man wants his family to prepare. In that great getting-up morning those of us who are alive will be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye - the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. Jesus could come at any time, Suddenly can overtake you at any time, so you have to be prepared to see Jesus face-to-face.
The third thing that the rich man wanted was for his peers to prioritize repentance. We have to understand that without repentance there is no salvation. In order to accept Jesus as savior we must first accept Him as Lord. We must acknowledge that we have sinned. We must believe that Jesus died and rose again for our sins. We must confess Jesus as Lord of our lives. It all begins with repentance - turning from our sinful ways and calling them what God calls them: sin. The rich man wanted his peers to repent of their sins; he wanted Lazarus to warn them of their pending doom. Once again, his request was denied: "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." The problem was their stony hearts, their unbelief, not their lack of knowledge. They didn't need a rhema word from the recently deceased, they needed saving faith in the living God. What they needed was sit-in-it faith.
What's sit-in-it faith?
If I see a chair I may believe that it can hold me, but I exercise sit-in-it faith when I actually sit down in the chair, putting my weight and my faith on the chair. Saving faith is that chair-holding-my-weight faith, not the notional assent of, "Yeah, I believe that the chair existed once, two thousand years ago." Saving faith sits in the chair, it is a faith that works since faith without works is truly dead. After all, faith breeds works like love breeds actions. I love you but I never say that to you? I love you but I never do anything for you? I love you but I never touch you? I love you but I never get you anything? I love you but I never spend any time with you? Love without action is dead - nothing but empty words - just like faith without works. We need a faith that works in order to be saved - we need sit-in-it faith.
The rich man's peers, like himself, lacked faith, not knowledge. People who ask for a sign are usually looking for an excuse, not verification. "Prove it" is never a statement of confidence in the object's ability to prove it. Even after it is proven, people rarely believe, they just ask for yet another sign: "Alright, then do it again!" If Jesus would have come down from the cross the scoffers would have said, "That's a nice trick; now let's see you nail yourself back to the cross!" It's like Eddie Murphy in the beginning of Coming To America, when he had the girl stand on one leg and bark like a dog. Once they can get you to submit to their will they will play with you until they tire of you, then they will dismiss you. They have no interest in that which they ask you to prove, they're just waiting for you to fail so that they can say, "See? I told you there was nothing to that!" Those who need proof lack faith in the source of their inquiry. If a wife needs proof that her husband is faithful to her then she lacks faith in her husband. If a boss needs proof of an employee's time spent working then the employer lacks faith in the employee. Those who need proof that Jesus rose from the dead lack faith in Jesus. The disciple Thomas lacked faith in the risen savior, but when confronted by Jesus Himself Thomas repented of his lack of faith and confessed, "My Lord and my God!" You don't want to find yourself in Hell, finally discovering a passion for lost souls. You need to accept Jesus Christ as Lord today, because tomorrow can come Suddenly.
When we understand the reality of Hell it should comfort the Christian that we will spend eternity in the presence of the Lord. However, understanding the reality of the horror of Hell should also drive the Christian to share our faith with the lost, those who are heading to Hell, so that they can avoid that fate. We share our faith in Jesus Christ not in a braggadocios manner, in a "We're right and you're wrong!" better-than-you kind of way, but from a perspective of desiring everyone to avoid the torment of Hell. Ultimately, those who reject Jesus' lordship over their lives will find themselves suddenly in Hell, but those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life will remember them no more. This is why Jesus never mentions the rich man's name - it wasn't an oversight - the rich man's name was not written in the Book of Life; he was remembered no more. When the Day of Judgment comes, will Jesus recognize you as one of His own, or will He say on that day, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers."
The choice is yours - you can know Him as Savior or you can know Him as Judge.
Posted by Athanasius at 9:37:00 AM