Monday, May 28, 2007

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Pretty Nice Memorial Day Video

Somebody who shares my last name (he lives in Brownsville, TX and is the father of my 3 grandsons) produces short Christian videos. He recently produced a video for Memorial Day titled Freedom is Not Free. It's pretty good. You can preview it on by clicking here.

I'm proud of him; the video moved me to gratitude for those who paid a heavy price for our national freedom. However, I am more thankful to the One who made the ultimate sacrifice, not on Iwo Jima, but on the cross.


Friday, May 25, 2007

An Uplifting Look at the Problem of Gangs

Last night Rose and I watched a movie on DVD. Some of the language was crude, but probably appropriate to the genre of the movie. Freedom Writers was set in the Los Angeles, California area in 1994, just two years after the Rodney King/Reginald Denny incidents ignited racial tensions. Based on a true story, the movie recounts the true story of Erin Gruwell, an inexperienced teacher that tried (at first unsuccessfully) to connect with an English class composed of several racial groups, antagonistic toward each other, and toward Ms. Gruwell herself.

Gruwell faced incredible odds. She was denied needed resources for her students, shunned by other teachers. Once she began to understand the context in which her students lived, she found ways to connect with them. Little by little, she earned their trust. The freedom writers began to write journals of their life experiences. Room 203 became a refuge from the insanity of gang-related violence, where all were accepted, regardless of their ethnicity. I don't recommend movies lightly. A person who wants to avoid all expletives should probably avoid this one. However, if one can overlook the language, the story that is told is uplifting indeed.

Rarely have I ever watched a movie on DVD, and then proceeded to watch almost all the special features on the disk. Last night, however, we did. It was a story of hope, in a world where hope has died. There was no mention of Christ, or even of God (had there been, it likely would not have been true to the real story). As a human-interest story, however, I did not regret the time I had devoted to watching.

The movie was based upon the book The Freedom Writers Diary (1999).

Have a nice Memorial Day weekend!


Saturday, May 19, 2007

My Baby Graduates from College

She set a record. She got a 4-year college degree in 4 years. Her father didn't do that. Her mother didn't do that. Her older sister didn't do that. Her older brother didn't do that. But Kimberly Ann Fish did! Congratulations! You go, girl!

The degree is called a Bachelor of Biblical Literature, and consists of 129 semester hours of credit. The major is Bible, though she had quite a few courses in missions along the way.

Next step of her journey? God knows. She will stay in Joplin for a while, and ultimately, would like to serve God on a mission field somewhere.

God bless you richly, Kim!



Friday, May 18, 2007

"Without Amnesty, but Without Animosity"

Yesterday, a bi-partisan group from the U.S. Senate, working with the White House (how often do you see that?), forged a deal for a bill on normalizing the twelve million or so illegal immigrants in our country. The Senate proposal differs substantially from a House bill. You can see the main points of difference in the two proposals, according to the Washington Post by clicking here.

We live in a time of sound bites, rather than substance. President Bush gave a pretty good one, which I have used as the title of this post: without amnesty, but without animosity. You can watch the President's comments by clicking here.

It is difficult to believe that for once I am on the same side of an issue as Ted Kennedy! The bill, which faces opposition in the House, particularly among conservatives, would beef up border security, and allow those who were on U.S. soil before January 1 of this year, the option to acquire a Z-Visa, requiring them to pay a $5,000 fine over an 8-year time frame. Heads of household would be required to return to their home country, to get a consular visa stamp, but would be guaranteed permission to return to the U.S.

I know many people who would be favored by this legislation. Most of them are hard-working people just trying to get ahead. True, they broke the law to get here, but this allows them the possibility of normalizing their situation. No longer would they need to live in constant fear of what could happen if they have a tail light burnt out.

Go ahead, call me a Hispanic Lover!

Next post, a tribute to my 22-year old, soon-to-be-a-college-graduate daughter.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tornadoes and Political Posturing

I went to preach at Rose Hill, Kansas on Sunday. I was on the road towards Rose Hill by 6 AM. Saturday had been a busy day, and I went to bed early. I hadn't really watched much news on Saturday (either earlier in the day or in the evening). Wanting to catch up on the road, I listened to the audio of some of the national news broadcasts, and was saddened to hear of the devastating tornado that destroyed Greensburg, Kansas. I had stopped in Greensburg a couple times. Greensburg had a tourist attraction--the largest hand-dug well in the world. My retired colleague, Wilbur Fields, had told me about it.

The devastation in Greensburg is terrible. The death count is up to 12 now, I believe. May God give grace to the people of Greensburg, and to their families!

I was shocked last night to hear that the Governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius, has politicized this event, getting in her barb at the President. Were it not for our presence in Iraq, the Kansas National Guard units would have everything under control. Ms. Sebelius, the tragedy in your state was huge. Shame on you for using this tragedy for political posturing!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Eamus Catuli!

The Cubbies are once again above .500! They have put together a pretty good campaign, moving from dead last in the NL Central to second place, behind the over-achieving Milwaukee Brewers.

They have:
  • won 8 out of their last 9 games.
  • won their first 5 games to start the month of May since 1937!
  • finally won a 1-run ball game.
They are starting to hit the ball well:
  • Derrek Lee is leading the Major Leagues with a batting average of .414.
  • Alfonso Soriano is starting to heat up, now batting .303.
  • Ryan Theriot (I love to call him "The Riot") is batting .313.
Rich Hill is 4-1 with an ERA of 1.73 and Ryan Dempster is perfect 7 of 7 in save opportunities, with an ERA of 2.12. Some others in the bullpen have had moments of mediocrity.

Let's keep it up, Cubbies! Eamus Catuli!

Beckwith Returns to Roman Catholic Church and Resigns from ETS

I haven't gone to many ETS (Evangelical Theological Society) meetings. The last one I attended was in 1999 in the Boston area. Generally I would run into my friends from College Press Publishing at such events. Generally, the College Press rep (in those days) was John Hunter, who now is working as Reference Librarian at OCC's Seth Wilson Library. John introduced me to a couple of evangelical guys who had written books published by College Press, namely Gary Habermas and Francis Beckwith.

Beckwith, until May 5, was the president of the Evangelical Theological Society. He resigned on May 5 because he has returned to full communion within the Roman Catholic Church. He gives his own account of this spiritual journey on a blog for which he wrote, called Right Reason. There are many comments under that post, from those who applaud his decision, and those who do not. He remains as a tenured professor at Baylor University in Waco, TX.