Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May 27, 2008

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


While you can still send in those 12Gs at any time, the next edition of KD won't be cyberspaced for almost two weeks.

I'm headin' off to CEDS in NC to teach a homiletics course.

Being a professor is a lot of fun; because even if the students don't like you, they feign affection and affirmation because, uh, professors hand out the grades which last on transcripts, uh, forever.


Doctoral candidates are the best.

Most of 'em actually read the assignments; and even if they don't, they've got a lot to say about 'em.

Seriously, half of 'em know more than I do and half of 'em think they know more than I do.


When I was at DU working on mine, the new dean gathered together a bunch of us who were in the dissertation phase of the program.

He was young - betrayed by his question: "Why did you decide to enter our program?"

After the brownies lied about professional development and stuff like that, a Pentecostal brother from Brooklyn told the truth: "We want to make more money and get bigger churches."


It was the unstated goal of life in the seminary of our franchise; or as a friend repeated: "Somebody's gotta minister to the rich!"

It worked for me.

Then it almost killed me because I couldn't resist the tempting perks of income and intimacies so alien to Christocentric ethics.


Folks who ain't been there have no idea about what the previous section intimates.

Folks who've been there and been delivered know what I'm talking about.

Folks who are still there and rationalizing it all can sing the refrain in the first sentence of the previous section.


I'll get back just about a week before Father's Day; and KDs will resume to salve the saved and salt the unrepentant.

Comparing Father's Day to Mother's Day is like comparing Twiggy to Dolly Parton.

Or something like that.


Speaking of excuses to play golf, I've had some really good rounds lately.

It'll pass.

Kinda like comparing enthusiasms cited in the previous section.


Speaking of golf and Father's Day, my dad comes to mind.

I won't be spending Father's Day with him; and I haven't since ordination (occupational hazard); so I better write now before I forget:

Dear Dad,

I've always liked reading Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest.
Aside from the Bible which mainliners don't carry around because they
must have memorized it, I've probably spent more time with it than
any book except for Tommy Armour's How to Play Your Best Golf
All the Time.

Parenthetically, do you have 12Gs to spare? I've got a lot of
ungrateful subscribers who say they're liking or loathing my stuff
and always being provoked to think regardless who haven't forked
over; and I can't buy that new Taylor Made driver until I pay off
the Caliber which I had to buy when someone wiped out my truck,
which was about paid off, in the parking lot about 16 months ago.

Getting back to OC, I was struck by a line in The Highest Good:
"A friend is one who makes me do my best."

Aside from being one of the reasons for these KDs, I guess
that makes you my best friend because you've always insisted
I never settle for anything less than His best expectations for
me according to His graces to me.

You never bought into that "That'll do" modern mantra of
mediocrity; and you never bought my "But I did my best, Dad!"
rationalizations after less than sterling efforts. I'll never forget
how you'd say, "Just think if you woke up from surgery and the
doctor said, 'Well, I did my best.' You'd be more interested in
him doing it right."

You come from the old school of hard work, traditional
values, clean play, and fidelity to God, wife, children,
and country; and I'm praying, "The apple doesn't fall far
from the tree."

Of course, I hold you responsible for my addiction to golf;
yet it's like you said, "It's good exercise, fun, cheaper than
a shrink, and men don't cheat on their wives while playing

I'll never forget what you said while playing with some
of your buddies: "Tee it up and enjoy it while you can,

And while I know we're gonna share eternity together
through Jesus, I'm trying to enjoy you while I can; and
I'm always looking for an excuse to tee it up with you.

When I walk or hang out with Kopper, a friend's
prayer comes to mind: "Lord, please make me the
kind of person who my dog thinks I am."

I pray, "Lord, please make me the kind of man
who my dad knows I can be."

By the way, I like the hugs.

Blessings and Love!


Speaking of golf, GWB quit playing on 8/19/03; stating this rationalization: "I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf...I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."

Writing for Golf World (5/23/08), Bill Fields asked rhetorically, "But riding a mountain bike is O.K.? Weed-whacking on his ranch is O.K.? What is the difference between watching a movie and playing nine holes?"

And then assessing GWB's tenure, BF concluded, "Golf is not the problem."


I may be wrong, but I think GWB would honor our women and men in uniform and their parents a lot more if he'd stop playing footsies with the Saudis and greedy American oil barons and be honest about Islam and the real reasons why we're camping out in the Middle East.

But, then again, maybe he's playing President like he played golf: taking too many mulligans which is lying about the real score.

He needs a dad like mine: "If you don't count every stroke, you'll never know how much room there is for improvement."

Everybody gets graded...in the end.


Blessings and Love!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

May 24, 2008

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Though we survived LBJ, RN, JC, GWB's daddy, BC, and we'll probably stumble through GWB's tenure, I've heard lots of folks sigh, "Are these three the best that we've got?"

Kinda drives you to your knees.

So there's hope.


CM makes a lot of money on the money she inherited.

So I figure JM is pretty smart if you know what I mean.

On the other hand, he's doing everything he can to blow the election by ticking off as many conservatives as possible.

With HRC and BHO beating each other up and self-destructing after GWB just about handed 11/4 to 'em, JM is pandering to so many of 'em on the left that folks in the middle and on the right don't know which way to turn.


JM has learned a lesson from BHO.

Dump the preacher!

JH got the ax for suggesting AH helped Jews make it to the promised land; which proves some preachers don't use Welch's during the sacrament.

RP got the ax for criticizing Islam as inherently violent; which proves JM is one for two in learning, uh, his lessons.


If JM picks MR to run with him, he learned nothing from the primaries.

Hello, Texas!


I picked up my second bet - I go to a favorite local pizza joint if I win and my friend goes to a favorite local burger joint if victorious - on the BHO/JM race.

BHO ain't gonna win.

The more we learn about him, the more it becomes apparent that GWB's brother could even beat him.

And you've got to wonder, "Why hasn't HRC dropped out yet and why haven't the smarter superduperdelegates committed to BHO yet?"

I see a bad moon arisen...for BHO.


With so many America haters for friends, do you really think people living anywhere but San Francisco and Greenwich Village are going to vote for him?

Comparing primaries to the general election is like comparing the church to the Church if you know what I mean.

Now stop hyper-ventilating and go back to KDI.


HRC is done.

While she's got a big surprise for BHO which is why she hasn't dropped out yet, she's got about as much of a chance of getting the nomination as I have of succeeding our franchise's Stated Clerk; especially since citing the 1968 assassination of RFK as one of the reasons for her to stay in the, uh, race.

What was she thinking?

I hesitate to speculate because it's too dark if you know what I mean.


The DNC better decide if it really wants to get back into the White House 'cause it ain't gonna happen with this tag team.

Hello operator, do you have a number for JE, AG, uh, uh, uh, or JK?



BHO sounds so smart - kinda like mainline preachers - but he's so _____ (you fill in the blank).

June 5, 2007: During a speech at Hampton University, he refers to his pastor disaster as "the guy who puts up with me, counsels me, listens to my wife complain about me."

April 29, 2008: Speaking to reporters about his pastor disaster, he, uh, nuances, "He was never my spiritual mentor. He was my pastor."

I'll buy those last two sentences.

I can't even raise 12Gs.

April 12, 2008: "I'm the only candidate who doesn't take money from...[evil, despicable, perditious]...corporate PACs and lobbyists."

He has raised over $14 big ones from lawyers and lobbyists.

Uh, another nuance.

Speaking in Tallahassee in March 2007, he distinguishes himself (self-_____) as a "constitutional law professor...which means unlike the current President, I actually respect the constitution."

Uh, the University of Chicago said they never conferred the title on him.

I never used the title until I got it.

Uh, another nuance.

The longer this campaign goes on, I'm feeling better about my bets; though I still think I'm gonna lose no matter who wins.


Here's another response to my shepherds don't follow sheep paradigm from a veteran in Pennsylvania: "After reading about the sheep, I was reminded of a comment made to me about leadership when I was a buck sergeant in the infantry. People are like overcooked spaghetti. If you push, they collapse. If you pull, they straighten up. In other words, you can't lead from the rear."

Even I know when not to comment if you know what I mean.


Blessings and Love!

Friday, May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


I'm heading out to play a round - not "around" - in about an hour.

Before teeing off last time, a guy looked at my clubs (Nike, Taylor Made, Titleist, Mizuno, Cleveland, and Ping) and gasped, "_____, you've got a mixed bag!"

I replied, "It's a metaphor for my life, friend."


Aside from Jesus always and family and friends usually, life has a lot of ups, downs, detours, flushings, rushings, and razzle-dazzlings.

Unless you're God's other son, you know what I mean.

That's why I read Psalm 62 a lot.


O.K., O.K., the Yankees are awful this year.

I walk into choir practice and Jerry, David, and Ev blurt out, "Did you see what happened to the Yankees yesterday? Did you read the column by the L-word guy in Chicago about the Yankees being in last place?"

My dad sends an e-mail: "The Yankees are 8 behind already!"

O.K., O.K., but haven't you ever had a bad day, month, year, or century?


Speaking of the Cubs,...


Willie Randolph moved across town to manage the Mets (kinda).

He thinks people are picking on him because he's an African-American.

I may be wrong, but I think people are picking on him because the Mets, uh, stink almost as bad as the Yankees; and that Italian-American in pinstripes better look over this shoulder because George's son is closing in.


If you read these KDs and the other stuff, you know I know I don't know everything.

It's my Lutheran reality.

If someone points out an error from Holy Scripture or plain old common sense which is a humanistic/egotistical reference to wisdom which comes from Him, I'll confess, repent, and recant in print.

That's been my SOP aka KD (John 3:19-21) since being born again again about ten years ago.


Speaking of the last section, a really good friend as well as bright fellah challenged my "Shepherds don't follow sheep" paradigm.

He made some good points: "Actually, they do! Shepherds follow sheep and herd - push them forward. They use their dogs and throwing stones to keep them moving in the right direction."


It's pull or push or whatever it takes to get 'em to go where they don't want to go though He commands it.


A woman wrote a love letter to JK (see KDXXXI).

They were married; but not to each other.

So he invited the woman and her husband to a meeting in his study; but he did not say her/his spouse would be there too.

When they showed up, he read the letter in front of them and a specially called meeting of session.

She never wrote another love letter to him.


I hit some balls at the range yesterday.

One of the guys who works there lost his keys.

He was in a panic.

As I was leaving, I said, "I will ask Jesus to help you find the keys in the next ten minutes."

Five minutes later, he came driving up to me in a cart with another guy who works there with his keys.

I told him to praise Jesus; and invite another guy who works there back to church.

It's a metaphor for faith.


Blessings and Love!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

May 22, 2008

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


A friend said I would be shocked if I browsed www.myspace.com and www.youtube.com.

I did.

I was.


JK was the senior pastor of Cincinnati's College Hill Presbyterian Church when our Lord called him to start the National Coalition Against Pornography.

Deeply distraught over the debasing, devastating, and destroying effects of pornography on many of his church's families, he cried out to God, "Why don't you do something?"

God answered, "Why don't you do something?"


A bravehearted friend who is taking on the mainline's increasing apostasies and, as expected (see Matthew 10), catching a lot of hell, likes to quote Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

She knows there's no such thing as an "innocent" bystander.

You're either for Him or against Him; and anyone in the middle makes Him puke in a Laodicean kinda way.

People who do not look up, stand up, speak up, and act up for Jesus enable evil; or have joined the dark side.


I like moderates; unless, of course, I need someone with more than a modicum of loyalty.

I've never presided at a wedding in which the bride or groom said, "I'm moderately committed to you."

I don't think He's gonna take a bride who says, "I'm moderately committed to you."


Matthew 18:15-20 yields to Romans 16:17-18 if the unrepentant do not yield to Matthew 18:15-20.

Restoration or removal.

There ain't no middle ground in the war.


Shepherds don't follow sheep.

I used to let things fester; rarely confronting irregulars, irascibles, and even the demon oppressed/possessed.

I didn't want to get involved; for I knew I'd get splattered with some of it if I turned on the fan.

Then it hit me!

We're gonna get hit with the, uh, whatever regardless; so we may as well try to do the right thing.

If you can't avoid the heat that's going to flare up anyway, you may as well try doing the, uh, Christian thing; remembering you're gonna live a lot longer with Him than anybody else in the end.

I've learned things/people don't get better/healed by ignoring 'em; or as my favorite street preacher in Rockford says, "You can't fix what you won't face."


JK had to take a sabbatical from his crusading against pornography; because its seductive powers were beginning to attract him.

Just 30 minutes of www.myspace.com and www.youtube.com polluted my spirit.

Clicking on the "Delete Browsing History" wasn't enough.

I needed a bath.


Everybody gets dirty because it's impossible to avoid all of this world's filth.

Bad things taste good; even knowing they lead to emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical indigestions.

So we've got to bathe regularly...in the blood.


Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 20, 2008

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


BHO is the most politically correct candidate to run for President since we've been thinking in those terms; and his voting record makes HRC look like a dittohead.

With the most extreme liberal voting record in the Senate, everybody's gonna vote for him on 11/4 except for Republicans, rednecks, racists, fundamentalists, Pentecostals, Zionists, Mormons, pro-lifers, grunts, cops, veterans, PGA touring pros, Mary Kay employees, people who work for a living, moderates, traditionalists, conservatives, and just about every other demographic in our - according to his math - 57 states.

For all of the right (decode the previous paragraph) and wrong (at least one) reasons, JM's inevitable triumph over BHO is gonna make RR's trouncing of JC look like a nail-biter.


I like him.

He's a mainliner; or he was until his UCC pastor became a disaster.

He has learned the art - taught in most mainline seminaries - of saying nothing eloquently.


BHO wins today in Oregon because those ducks fly even higher than their neighbors to the south.

HRC wins today in Kentucky because they've got an incestuous relationship with Pennsylvania and West Virginia; which reminds me of that scene in Deliverance...

JM wins today in, uh, uh, uh, re-runs of last week's SNL.


Shoot me.

I'm feeling sorry for HRC.

I told you that I don't pick on people who are gettin' picked on.

I pick on people who pick on people, ride too high in the saddle, or collect checks from the faithful while feigning fidelity in the pulpit.

Moretheless, break out the old Dandy Don MNF refrain, "Turn out the lights! The party's over!"


If we can't talk about BC with HRC or BHO's pastor disaster, domestic terrorist buddies, wife's elusive patriotism, or his middle name, why is everybody gettin' so hot and bothered about the tax returns of the other guy's wife?

People with nothing to hide don't mind giving up passwords to their voicemail, e-mail, and...

Who said that?


In a Eugene Peterson kinda way.

See John 3:19-21.


I'm not politically correct.


I just don't have enough time to agree with the last person I've talked to.

Being politically correct is like ending a sentence with a preposition.

Regardless of the punctuation, you're still a question mark.


Blessings and Love!

Monday, May 19, 2008

May 19, 2008

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Let's see now.

BHO will get his party's nomination with no chance of winning on 11/4 (go back as far as KDI for the plethora of reasons); though GWB is doing (?) everything possible to kill JM's chances.

Trying to get to know BHO is getting really tough; and it's so rude - don't like the politically incorrect catch-all - to ask any more questions about his pastor disaster, domestic terrorist buddies, wife's elusive patriotism, and middle name.

Oh, maybe we should roll the dice.

Yeah, that makes sense.

Let's take a gamble on the nation's safety and sanity on an unknown who won't let us see below the surface.


Confession time.

I'm starting to like the three finalists...as children of God who may room next to me when the roll is called up yonder.

The thought of any one of 'em becoming President is about as appealing to me as Boston being in another World Series or moderating ecclesiastical judicatories.


A friend suggested I start a blog.

I don't think so.

Aside from the sobriety generated by my book sales and notice from our congregation's CEO that there's been no sighting of the 12Gs, I don't have the time to set up a website or blog or whatever.

I don't even have time to edit anything anymore.


So I'll continue to send 'em, subscribers will continue to forward 'em, and we'll pray somebody's stung or salved as appropriate; and I'll keep praying for those...


Speaking of websites, www.belvpresbyterian.org is worth checking out.

A new series has just been added: "Early in the Morning" devotionals by Linda Palmer.

Powerful, penetrating, and persuasive!


My favorite editor of my favorite local newspaper asked me for some comments about high school and college graduations.

It's seasonal.

I didn't get to respond in time because I was asked the day after the column was supposed to go to print.

Hey, I can take a hint!

Some quick hits: (1) immersion in the academic has taught me to distrust the academic; (2) read 1 Corinthians 1 and you'll understand the preceding clause; (3) don't separate yourself from God and His people by degrees; (4) be sure to thank everybody who stuck with you throughout the painful process enabling the parchment; (5) if you think you've arrived, you'll have to start over; (6) see Ben Stein's Expelled; and (7) Jesus not professors, pastors, politicians, or any other kind of people and Jesus alone is Lord and Savior.


Though lots of folks even in the church don't see the increasing frequency and intensity of the eschaton's birth pangs - a testimony to Biblical illiteracy at best and resistance at worst in pulpits and pews - it takes a really, really, really dense fellah not to recognize something's up/down/coming/and/around/the/corner.


A predecessor got into lots of trouble for pushing tithing.

How can you get into trouble in the church for advocating what God has revealed in Holy Scripture?



There's a big difference between Church and church.

I'd appreciate some lines from you about the difference; and, as you know, my sources are confidential.


Let's see now.

If the waitress/waiter is bad, she/he gets 5% or less. Good warrants 10-15%, better is worth around 20%, and excellent is 20%+.

I can never figure out how we discount the take for our Lord and Savior.


Seeing is believing.

It's O.K. if you'd like to exegete that out to academic nonsense.

It won't change the truth in the eyes of the Beholder.


Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May 14, 2008

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


I messed up in KDXXVII.

HRC only creamed BHO in one primary yesterday; and if you'd like to know why, go back to KDXXVII (3rd section).

Go back to KDXXVII (2nd section) for why HRC will cream BHO in Kentucky - whenever it's scheduled.


BHO's gonna get the nomination.

And I may lose that bet on who's gonna get elected on 11/4 (see the 5th section of KDXXVII).

HRC is 20 million in debt already; though I think she'll recoup before I get those 12Gs.


I just filled up the Caliber at almost $4 a gallon.

I thought of how President Reagan emasculated the Soviet Union through an arms race which they couldn't afford.

Handing over the honorarium for a memorial service earlier in the day to pay for the gas, I apologized to the clerk for transferred ventings from folks who are running on empty; and that thought in the preceding sentence of what happened then was provoked as she commented on what's happening right now: "This is what happens when ragheads run wild, greedy Americans control the economy, and you've got an incompetent President."


My bet isn't looking good.


I started writing this KD about five hours ago.

I've been detoured by nine telephone calls and seven drop-ins in addition to today's calendar.

But I've learned I'm never interrupted.

Scheduled, unscheduled, appealing, or annoying, they're divine appointments.

My challenge/opportunity is to discern what He's up to through 'em.


One telephone call was from someone whose name was unfamiliar to me.

She asked for the telephone number of someone whose name is familiar to me because I've visited him in the hospital on many occasions but he left the church about four years ago when everyone was hating each other in a Christian kind of way.

The call came after an especially draining memorial service.

I was tired and unguarded.

I didn't have it; so she asked if I could go into the church office and look for it in another staff member's Rolodex.

I said we don't keep the numbers of friends who are former members; and then I said, "I'm sorry ya'll left during those times. ___ and ___ really were getting into it and..."

She interrupted and wanted to argue with me about what they were arguing about four years ago.

I didn't.

After hanging up, I thanked the Lord that she and they left about four years ago; and I prayed for another divine appointment to invite them back.


One drop-in dropped in right after the call.

He said, "I really hope our building program succeeds; and I'm praying you don't leave if it doesn't."

I responded, "Me too; and I'm called to stay regardless."

He smiled.

I smiled.

Thank You, Jesus.


Our family of faith is at a crossroads.

My ministry is at a crossroads.

We will become a safe haven, beacon, and mission post; or slip from museum to mausoleum.

My evangelistic call will increase or I will begin presiding at another memorial service.


People have asked how the motion went to reduce the number of inefficacious ecclesiastical meetings in my particular judicatory.

It went, uh, well.

Actually, it was a first reading of a seconded motion and will be up for vote at the well-attended-by-folks-who-live-to-attend-meetings July meeting; and as the maker of the motion, it means I will have to be there.

Where's that Alanis song about irony?


Even the officers of our judicatory like my motion; though they can't admit it publicly.

One presbyter got mad at me for having fun with it.

She/he doesn't like my Daliesque literary genre.

She/he doesn't get it/me.

Come to think of it, I'm not always on the same page with myself.

Go back to the first sentence of this KD.


TC was a guest at 2nd in Kansas City.

He said to our elders, "People get mad because I'm earthy and slip with the S word every now and then. I wish they cared as much about the poor, starving, slaughtered, and unsaved."

That's why I look through the filter of twisted humor.

I'd cry all day for our world and mainliners if I didn't.


Bess Truman was asked, "Could you use your influence with the President and get him to stop saying manure?"

She replied, "It has taken me 20 years to get him to start saying manure."


Speaking of manure, most ecclesiastical meetings are more full of it than substance.

I think of our church office's change from caffeinated to decaffeinated coffee.

Tastes O.K.

No punch.


Angel Cabrera is 38 and won the U.S. Open at Oakmont last summer.

He's already learned what it took too long for me to learn and which I hope you've learned: "People will think what they want. That stuff doesn't matter to me. Whether they think well of me or not. I'm trying to do things as best I can. I can't change the way people think."

I was in a seminar for corporate executives about 25 years ago; and I've never forgotten what a shrink said: "You are not responsible for what anyone else says and does. You are only responsible for what you say and do and how you respond to what others say and do."

Not bad.

Sounds like Jesus: "No one can serve two masters."


Getting back to HRC's 20 million and my 12Gs, she's, uh, expecting and so am I.

But as I wait, I'm offering an unopened, sealed, collector's edition of Sister Gertrude Morgan's Let's Make a Record to the highest bidder in a kind of KDbay.

Bidding opens today and ends, uh, whenever I want it to end...like 12Gs later.


If you haven't heard of Sister Gertrude Morgan, that means you're probably one of those mainliners who talks about the rainbow diversities of our Lord while worshipping in a Brooks-Brothers-button-downed-Weejun-wearing world of homogeneity.

Or something like that.

Anyway, SGM was a preacher, missionary, artist, musician, and poet who hung out on the streets in New Orleans.

She was a spiritual street-walker.

She died in 1980.

But before she died, she recorded Let's Make a Record: SGM, tambourine, and Holy Spirit.


My favorite is "Take My Hand, Lead Me On."

It's worth, uh, 12Gs.

Bidding starts now.


Go to www.npr.org and search for the 9/30/05 edition of "All Things Considered" (viz., Sister Gertrude Morgan).

Be careful.

If you listen, you'll be the highest bidder.


I had one more interruption.

Uh, divine appointment.

I went down to our Midweek program and one of my favorite teachers asked one of my favorite little boogers, "What is Dr. Kopp supposed to do around here?"

The boy said, "He's supposed to teach us about Jesus!"


I'm thinking about taking him to my next meeting.


Blessings and Love!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

May 10, 2008

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Tuesday is a really big day for HRC and BHO.

Pivotal primaries will be held in Kentucky and West Virginia.

My guess is HRC wins big but not big enough to stop the increasingly inevitable nomination of BHO who has about as much of a chance of succeeding GWB as I have of ever getting appointed/elected to anything other than the Committee to Review Session Minutes; which won't happen either because everybody knows I think that's about as important as cleaning up after Kopper when we're walking along the Rock River.

Go back to KDI.


Kentucky makes Pennsylvania's "T" (central and northern tier), which threw a life preserver to HRC, look like San Francisco's Castro District.


West Virginia's senior Senator was a card-carrying KKK member; and a lot of my black brothers still think he's with 'em which is why they say the only safe place for a non-ridge runner is playing cornerback in Morgantown.


I was right about their constituencies.

HRC's fans are seniors, angry white women, RCs, blue collar workers, and, as BHO would say, other dumb rednecks.

BHO's fans include most African-Americans, college students, city slickers, just about anyone who is not a card-carrying member of AARP, and, as ineffectual intellectuals with no experience either like to say, really smart people with lots of education which has equipped them to do very little while criticizing those who really work for a living.

JM - remember the guy with the short statu...,uh, I mean fuse - has fans too; and he's gonna win.

Go back to KDI.


I've got a bet with a really successful businessman in our church who I really like and who I'm really pressing to fork over for our building project because too many of our folks wait around for others to do what God has called 'em to do and still believe the tithe was discounted to 1.5% by a predecessor who wrote Acts 29.

I'm betting JM wins and he's betting on BHO.

If I win, we're going to a really expensive steak house and I'm adding shrimp!

If he wins, we're hitting the dollar menu at Burger King.

Of course, he's made a lot more money than me over the years; so I'm betting on him.



Speaking of money, we're not going on vacation this year.

It's not the 12Gs; and, no, no one has...

It's not my decision to buy a scooter to get back and forth to church when I get the 12Gs to pay off the Caliber.

Plastic was made for vacation.

It's sports camps; strategically placed throughout the summer to prevent the family from doing anything together.

Kinda like church meetings.


Speaking of church meetings, this Tuesday could be big for our presbytery too.

I'm making a motion or two to can Saturday meetings and cancel summer meetings.

Aside from most ecclesiastical meetings being a colossal waste of time, emotion, energy, and gas - If you ever totaled all of the $ that it costs to hold those inefficacious gatherings, you'd barf; realizing we could do a lot to relieve the world's deprivations if our need to redirect time, emotion, energy, and $ were larger than our need to stand up at meetings to feel important while accomplishing less than GWB's last few years! - William F. Buckley comes to mind as a pre-emptive response to those who are so caught up in the way things never were or maybe were but are no more: "I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said."

I've got three seconders so far; and a lot of sympathizers who are waiting to see who wins before pledging their support.


Pulpiteers and pewsitters do have lots in common.


31 years of ordained ministry and it has come down to these two motions.


Hooray for Oprah!

Unlike her choice for the, uh, White House, she split from JW long ago.

According to one of her longtime friends who requested anonymity because she/he is a coward, "Oprah is a businesswoman, first and foremost. She's always been aware that her audience is very mainstream, and doing anything to offend them just wouldn't be smart. She's been around black churches all her life, so JW's anger-filled message didn't surprise her. But it just wasn't what she was looking for in a church."


I've got it.

Dear Oprah, please join our family of faith. I need 12Gs to pay off my Caliber. And we really need someone who is really generous like you to pay for the expansion which so many of our members will expect others to do for them. I like your show. O.K., not really. But I like you and your show is lots better than The View; and like most mainline clergywomen/men, I can be bought for the right price. You've helped lots of people who've asked before and..."



That word keeps coming up.

What's so smart about electing HRC, BHO, or JM?

What's so smart about holding meetings on Saturdays?

What's so smart about having so many meetings with content deserving just a few?

What's so smart about KDs?

I never said they are or I am.

I just think we need to think a little more before voting or holding meetings.

There's got to be something more important than just going through, uh, motions.


Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May 6, 2008

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


The reports are in and our worship attendance was way down this winter.

Giving was up.

While it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why attendance was down during this year's antithesis to Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning-internet-inventing AG's global warming fearmongering, I still can't escape emotional culpability for what's bad or spiritual deference for what's good.

Don't feel badly if you can't interpret that last sentence.

I don't know what it means either.


I don't know lots of things.

Just when I was warming up to HRC, a friend wrote, "Hillary bet on Eight Belles who finished second, collapsed, and then was euthanized. She also likes to compare herself to Rocky; saying that if Rocky had run half way up the steps of the Philadelphia museum and stopped, he wouldn't have gone on to glory and there would have been no movie. If memory serves me, Rocky lost to a black guy too."


Despite BHO's funky friends, he's still piling up the superdelegates; proving the DNC and PCUSA have at least one thing in common: a thanatos libido.


While the mainline ecclesiastical media haven't published my letter to the PCUSA's Stated Clerk which begs him to dissuade anyone thinking about inviting JW to speak to this year's GA (see KDXXIV), you just watch...


Actually, I'm still scratching my hairless head over today's greatest empire on the face of the earth coming down to these three finalists for President.

Surely, this is a bad dream or SNL script.

But, then again, we survived JC.


Getting back to HRC, I think she's gonna win today's primary in Indiana and come closer than expected in North Carolina.

Two-term NC Governor Mike Easley says she "makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy."

I have no idea what Easley means or how the previous two sentences connect; but it could be another sign of the apocalypse.


The editor of my favorite daily just informed me that our world population will hit 6,666,666,666 on 5/10/08.

That's this Saturday!

www.BetCRIS.com spokesdude Esteban Siles says, "People have long debated what would bring about the destruction of the world. While it may be unlikely that the world will end on May 10, one never can be sure."

So those oddsmakers have "figured" it's 500/1 that the world will end on 5/10/08 and 1/1000 that the world will not end on 5/10/08.


Who collects if the world ends?

Personally, I'm not convinced.

Ain't no mother gonna allow that to happen before 5/11/08 (viz., Mother's Day).

So I'll finish my sermon for Sunday.


Ozzie Guillen, manager of the Chicago White Sox, is all upset because the Cubs are incalculably more popular in Chicago than the White Sox: "Guillen went off...about how the Cubs get so much love despite a century of futility, and the White Sox get knocked despite being recent World Series titleists" (Gene Farris).

But let's hear from limited vocab Ozzie himself: "We won it a couple years ago, and we're horse____...The Cubs haven't won in 120 years, and they're the ____ing best?"

Get over it, Ozzie.

You're like a mainliner moaning about moving to the sidelines of American religious culture.

Comparing the White Sox to the Cubs is like comparing Father's Day to Mother's Day.

We notice one but really pay attention to the other.


It's like attendance.

It's like giving.

It's like Jesus said, "Where your treasure is..."


Blessings and Love!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

May 3, 2008

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


I was ordained on 5/8/77.

I have not spent Mother's Day with my mom since.

And someday, like Marius, I will weep, "There's a grief that can't be spoken...a pain goes on and on..."


Fortunately, my relationships with mom, dad, and sister were restored to His intent about two decades ago.

I'm not saying it was ever really that bad; but it wasn't what He intended until I was regenerated.

Yes, it happened after ordination.

That's a hint to the problem as well as promise for the mainline.


A friend who also happens to be a clergyman went home to preside at his mom's memorial service.

He was encouraged by his parish board; but he didn't take kindly when one of the irregulars reminded, "Be sure to get back on Wednesday night for the sacristy guild meeting."


I can't count the times when I've been told to spend more time with my family; and then reminded about meetings demanding my attendance every night of the week.


Come to think of it, I can't recall spending any holiday with my parents or sister since 5/8/77.


I'm not complaining.

I knew what I was getting into when my pastor, The Rev. Dr. Harold F. Mante, warned, "If you'd like to know what it's like to be pastor, put on a deerskin and go walking through the woods on the first day of hunting season. But, son, if you're called, you may as well do it because you'll regret it if you don't. It's like church members who feel guilty about not tithing. They'll feel guilty until they're obedient. Same with you, Bob. He catches up with all of us sooner or later."

He directed my attention to Matthew 10 and John 10.

He always had good advice for me; and I've also remembered a special warning, "Don't learn how to use the ditto machine."

Think about it.


By the way, he'd often say, "Think about it..."

So I do; and it's a continuing inspiration for these KDs.

KDs aren't always right - I make lots of mistakes - but, at least, they cause me and an occasional subscriber to think about what it means to be His.

Maybe that's why I've softened to HRC, BHO, and JM.

It's probably the, uh, Christian thing to do.


My first mentor also liked to say, "Blessings on you!...Keep the faith!"

"Blessings on you" was his way of saying he was hoping and praying and wanting His best for us even though we don't deserve it.

"Keep the faith" was his way of saying to talk, walk, and look like His even when you're in the sale line at Wal-Mart or think nobody's watching or listening while you're saying something ugly about one of His children.

He was a blessing to me and a guide to keeping the faith.


I like to ask, "Are you psyched?"

Lots of folks ask, "For what?"

That saddens me.

Some folks just don't get it, uh, I mean, Him.

Go back to what Dr. Mante liked to say.


I've got a friend who gets mad at me whenever I pick on clergy.

He's a Methodist.

I do pick on clergy a lot; especially the ones who punctuate prayers with Jesus every now and then except when they don't want to offend non-believers because they believe it's O.K. to insult God in favor of non-believers and forget to mention Him at meetings or when it comes to morality or as folks face eternity.

Yeah, I'm so obnoxious.


I've got a friend who gets mad at me whenever I don't pick on clergy and say things like I said in the 5th section of this KD.

He's a Presbyterian.

I don't pick on clergy when they're hurting; even if they're at etiology's core.

Yeah, I'm a wimp.


A homiletics professor who got it from his homiletics professor said something to our introduction to homiletics class which I repeat for my homiletics classes: "Preaching/pastoring which is faithful to Jesus and Holy Scripture comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable."


Of course, the latter doesn't do much for job security and getting 12Gs.

That's why clergy need to remember who is really employing 'em.

See Revelation 2-3.


Hosea 4.




Now putting down your copy of Jonathan L. Seagull...


Salt spices or stings.

It depends on the need.


Remember that Baptist who sent GGGGGGGGGGGG to me?

Well, I got an anonymous letter with a Starbucks gift card: "Pastor Bob and Under-compensated Author, I was going to sign this since you dislike anonymous correspondence, but I find it more fun! And don't stop sending out those KDs. Enjoy!"


If this is the only way to get those 12Gs, I do "don't like" anonymous benefactors; and I don't want anyone to feel guilty, uh, unnecessarily.

So, uh, go ahead and send it if you've got because I don't want anyone feeling guilty at my expense.


We're about to launch a big expansion which will cost, I guess, under 3 million.

While that's pocket change for you folks in California, Florida, New Jersey, and North Carolina, it's a bigger deal out here.


What's wrong with you subscribers in California, Florida, New Jersey, and North Carolina?

Go back to the preceding section.


I've done building programs before.

The faithful give without much fanfare.

Then there are the folks who come up with lame rationalizations of why they're against it which is just a smokescreen for being too cheap, uh, I mean, uh, whatever, uh, go back to, uh, uh, uh...

I remember the guy who left the church because of some reason invented to cover up the fact that he didn't want to or couldn't afford to participate in the project. Whenever I saw him after that, he could never look me in the eyes.

That's what lying does.

So I told our folks back on Easter Day (go to www.belvpresbyterian.org for the whole deal) that it's O.K. if you can't afford to give to the project because you're barely making ends meet in your primary obligations to your children or something; but just don't come up with some stupid story about being upset about something stupid to cover up being cheap and unfaithful.


Getting back to 5/8/77, I'm as surprised as some of those who hate me more than I deserve and like me almost as much as my mom that I'm still in this gig.

I've tried real hard to love Him by loving like Him.

Except for some sinful detours along the way which weren't as bad as some advertised or as innocuous as some pretended, I've lived and ministered by the blessing of Psalm 91:14-16.

I attribute the good to the prayers, counsel, and benevolence of Him, His, mom, dad, sister, Dr. Mante, and...

I accept full responsibility for the bad.


Anyway, I love you, Mom!!!

I'll be thinking of you on 5/11/08.

I am and will be always thinking of you.



Blessings and Love!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May 1, 2008

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


A Baptist pastor wrote, "O.K., I'm tired of hearing about how no one has stepped up with the 12Gs. Here they are: GGGGGGGGGGGG."


I love to laugh as much as Ed Wynn in Mary Poppins.

I can laugh at myself; and appreciate everyone who keeps writing to say I'm a laughing-stock.

But I'm still not kidding about the 12Gs.


"Just a spoonful of sugar" does help the medicine go down.

I tell preaching students, "Humor loosens 'em up. That's when you can stick in the knife of truth and twist it before they know what hit 'em."

I use humor as a rhetorical preface to deeper concerns, conundrums, conclusions, and anything else beginning with c.

Here are some lines from Reinhold Niebuhr's Discerning the Signs of the Times (1946) about humor as a sugar-coated way of addressing life's sour realities:

Humor is concerned with the immediate
incongruities of life and faith with the ultimate
ones...Laughter is our reaction to immediate
incongruities...Laughter is a sane and
healthful response to the innocent foibles
of men; and even to some which are not
innocent...We also prove by the laughter
that we do not take the annoyance too
seriously...People with a sense of humor
do not take themselves too seriously...All
of us ought to be ready to laugh at ourselves
because all of us are a little funny in our
foibles, conceits, and pretensions...The
ability to laugh at oneself is the prelude
to the sense of contrition. Laughter is a
vestibule to the temple of confession.

I couldn't have said it better.

That's why I didn't try.

No joke.


Speaking of jokes, BHO's pastor disaster is off the charts.

Whenever he speaks, HRC, JM, and racists of all colors just laugh and laugh and laugh and...

Of course, BHO doesn't think he's funny; because JW is doing more damage to his Presidential ambitions than Islam to world peace.


I like BHO.

Parenthetically, I'm kinda warming up to HRC too; especially since her cameos on the Factor.

And that JM, despite hints of short man's disease, is a cute little fellah; and he kinda reminds of that Kerry guy who married into lots of $.

By the way, if you're not praying to like 'em and if you're not praying His best for 'em, you may want to check out those texts about the measure extended by you being the measure that will be extended back at ya by, uh, Him.


Liking and voting don't necessarily go together.

It's like listening and agreeing.


I sent a letter to the highest judicial officer of my ecclesiastical franchise:

Dear Cliff,

As you move to the end of your tenure as
Stated Clerk of the PCUSA, I want to thank
you for always being cordial in our personal
correspondence even when I have asked
tough questions and offered salty

Though some of your friends on the left
and some of mine on the right don't get
it, our fledgling friendship has proven it
is possible as well as commanded to
retain communion through Jesus.

As we wonder about the way to San
Jose (bad joke), I am hoping Jeremiah
Wright will not be asked to speak to our
General Assembly, paradenominationals,
committees, or any other organization
related to our biennial shindig (San Jose,
6/21-28, 2008); and I am praying you will
dissuade anyone thinking about it.

Certainly, I do not need to catalogue my
many concerns; however, I will highlight

I have read JW's sermons, read transcripts
and watched most of his television self-
promotionals, and listened to more
exegesis of his ideologies than seems

Continuing to spend a good deal of time in
our wonderful African-American culture, I
know many of his concerns are emotionally
plausible if not intellectually preposterous
while being imperceptible to our Euro-
American culture.

Be that as it is regardless of the Euro-
American protests, his GD language crosses
the border of blasphemy according to the
witness of Jesus as attested in the New
Testament (e.g., John 3, 1 Timothy 2).

I have urged him through a mutual friend to
confess that sin, repent, and be restored
to the whole family of faith.

While I may be wrong, I believe inviting him,
as a fellow mainliner (UCC), to speak to
our franchise in any official capacity will
cause unnecessary confusion and contention.

It would also be a rather sad way to end
your tenure.

I will be making this letter public; because
I want to be held accountable for my
concern and I want you to be held
accountable for your discretion is this

Blessings and Love!

No joke.


An ecclesiastical bureaucrat in Iowa asked if I knew anything was in the works to have JW speak to our franchise in San Jose; or if I was being just, uh, pre-emptive.

Candidly, I thought I was being pre-emptive; until I heard some PCUSAers are already rallying around him (go to the 5/1/08 edition of www.presbyweb.com).

I wrote the letter to Cliff on 4/30/08.


Actually, I was chastised for even suggesting anybody would invite him to our GA meeting.

So I started singing, "Anybody here seen my old friend...Norman...Angela...Chris...Janie...Janet...John...Douglas...?"

History does have a way of repeating itself it there's been no confession or repentance.


I spoke at the Mayor's Annual Prayer Breakfast this morning (Belvidere, Illinois).

My favorite mayor asked everyone to turn off tape, camera, wristwatch, and other recorders.

Thanks, JW!

Be that as it's gonna be until his 15 minutes expire, the next section is a summary of what I said.


Blessings on you!

God bless America!

And thank you for the privilege to pray with you, "Long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light. Protect us by Thy might, great God, our King!"

Considering the threats to our country and children from the darkening clouds of this modern world's meanness, madness, and misery, I am praising our Lord for His call through our faithful Mayor and friend to come together and cross over our denominational divisions which cause so much pain for Him and forfeit so many promises through unity - "How good and pleasant it is when God's children live together in unity!" (see Psalm 133) - and beg the Lord's continued blessings upon America and call America to renewed blessings upon Him.

There are so many challenges before us; requiring His direct intervention and inspiration of the faithful to work together in concert as profiled in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture.

By the way, I know this is a breakfast meeting and folks have to get to work; so I promised our Mayor that I would not exceed 45 or 50 minutes.

Just kidding.

A favorite limerick sums up our present predicament and precarious habitat:

God's plan had a hopeful beginning;
but man ruined his chances by sinning.
We trust that the story
will end in God's glory.
But, at present, the other side's winning.

I like a good laugh; especially in these days filled with so many tears.

And one of my favorite funnies is about the preacher whose son sat as his daddy ministered to two congregants confessing conflicting worldviews.

As a pro-lifer made her case, the daddy-preacher kept saying, "You're right!"

Then a pro-choicer came in after the pro-lifer left; and as she made her case, the daddy-preacher kept saying, "You're right!"

After both were gone, the boy said to his daddy, "They both can't be right!"

And the daddy-preacher said, "You're right!"


Our Lord promises to keep answering our prayers for America as we return His favors with increasing fidelities: "If my people who are called by My Name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Unless you're the kind of person who thinks an elephant is a mouse with glandular problems or has overdosed on St. John's Wort making Pollyanna look like a cynic, you know our country and children are at risk from very, very, very dark conspiracies being birthed by Satan itself with too many unwitting as well as willing accomplices.

And if you're like me, you find yourself praying more and more and more, "Come, Lord Jesus!"

There are too many days when I really, really, really relate to the lament of John Coffey in The Green Mile not long before his execution for a crime which he did not commit, "I know you been worryin, but you ought to quit on it now. Because I want to go...I'm rightly tired of the pain I hear and feel...I'm tired of people bein ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. I'm tired of all the times I've wanted to help and couldn't...Mostly it's the pain...There's too much. If I could end it, I would. But I can't."

Oh, yes, come, Lord Jesus!

In this meantime, let us pray.

Let us pray with the apostle, "Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God" (see Romans 12).

Yes, let us look up, stand up, speak up, and act up for Jesus who always invites, welcomes, includes, and, when He is Lord of all by acclaim, affection, and allegiance, all are better for Him.

Yes, let us pray, "Long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light. Protect us by Thy might, great God, our King!"

Blessings on you!

God bless America!


Much of what JW says is emotionally plausible even if intellectually preposterous while being imperceptible to Euro-Americans.

But some things are even more black and white than he'd care to admit right now.

He has hurt BHO's chances to become the next resident in the, uh, White House.

He has increased the chances of HRC and JM by fueling racial fears, prejudices, and hatreds.

He is bringing our melting pot to a boil.

And it's going to take more than 12Gs to get him to shut up.

Speaking of 12Gs,...


With our world and church going to hell quicker than poop through a goose, I have concluded the only things that matter anymore are faith, family, and friends.

And there comes a time when blaming poor potty training for bad behavior is as dishonest as blaming France for Iraq and escargot and Britney Spears for girls gone wild.

And blaming BHO for JW or JW for BHO or whatever some folks are trying to do to link the loon with the increasingly distinguished junior Senator is as incredulous as blaming Jesus for some Christians who need more Jesus so Jesus doesn't get blamed for more Christians with some but not very much Jesus.

Or something like that.

No joke.


Blessings and Love!