Sunday, March 29, 2009

March 29, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



My younger boys wanted to see their grandparents, aunt, and cousins during spring break.

My wife and I shared the sentiment.

With apologies to my favorite local Italian restaurant which I won't mention until they advertise in the right column, I wanted real pizza; and I haven't found a decent slice west of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania for nearly four decades.

It's like that preceding link to the song about aging children.

No matter what the caption says or how much I liked the movie or that it's an acceptable imitation, it ain't Joni Mitchell.

Nobody can sing Joni's songs like, uh, Joni.

My younger boys are smart enough to know nobody can grandparent 'em like, uh, their grandparents.

The same goes for pizza; and other stuff.

I didn't get a lot of rest in those two days in Pittsburgh followed by two days in Wilkes-Barre with over 24 hours of driving along Route 80/90 as bookends; though I learned a lot about where I'm headed from where I've been.



A 57 year old neighboring pastor who I've known for about ten years died of a heart attack while I was away.

I found out that my boys' aunt who is about eight years younger than her brother (moi) almost died from those two recent surgeries.

I'm presiding at a memorial service on Tuesday for a 52 year old.

Yeah, my wife and I shared our boys' sentiment.



We got home on Saturday morning.

After going to the hospital to visit some friends in and related to our family of faith, I went to the church to check the snail mail.

After throwing out all of the "resident" and "pastor" addressed mail without a smidgen of guilt, I dove into the personally addressed ones.

One really caught my attention.

The envelope had my title and name in correct form; though the salutation was more generic yet still warm:

Dear Friend,

We deeply understand how much your family and friends value you.
If you are a DEPEND Underwear user, thank you for allowing us
to help you be confident, active, and say yes to the important

We have exciting news for you!

You have told us all about your lives, your needs and your desires
for discretion and mobility. We're excited to announce our newest
products...These new styles go beyond the pink and blue on our
packaging to deliver the fit, discretion and customized protection...

Hey! Hey! Hey!

I know I'm getting older; but I have never requested information about adult diapers!

Yeah, I'm reminded by daily hospital visits and trips back East that my time is...

Yeah, I know the time left ain't nearly as long as the time spent; but I just passed the written test for my motorcycle license, I've signed up for an Illinois State Police Motorcycle Safety Course in June, and I'm pickin' up a bike in Woodstock before the parousia.




USA Today's Al Neuharth is wrong about Joe Torre; but he's right on about life (3/27/09): "When times are tough, different people react differently in business or personal matters. Some hunker down, cancel everything and give up. Some cut back carefully. Some perk up and work even harder."



Spring break is over.

I know where I've been and know where I'm going.

I'm on line.

No imitations.



Blessings and Love!

Click on and free your soul!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 19, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Spring Break Edition!


My doctor put me on some pretty heavy cholesterol medicine; and said I've got to change my diet.

I asked if church potlucks are a problem.

He asked with a smirk, "Ya think?"


It was a bad week for my gene pool.

My mom went in for her second catheterization in the last six months and my sister just got home after serious surgery.

My sister got mad when I said, "Well, life begins at 50 and then it's patch, patch, patch."

She's over 50.

Counting time in the womb which I always do because God does, I'm a little over 11 months from 58.

My mom got mad when I told her about the medicine: "Your diet is worse than mine and they're gonna open you up pretty soon if don't stop eating all of that ___."


Early Mother's Day Special!


I need a break.

I think I'll go back to Woodstock, Illinois and buy a bike.

I'd rather flame and shine (chromelike) than burn or rust out.

That's a Neil Young metaphor that Kathie and Chuck don't get.



Speaking of breaks, KD's goin' on one and won't be back, uh, on line for about two weeks or less; so this is a good time to send folks a note like this: "Hey! Wineskin-constricted traditional religionist so caught up in ecclesiastical and secular idolatries that you're sinking deeper and deeper into, uh, uh, uh, stuff and splattering it on anyone in pathological transference distance! Lighten up! Go to and join the, uh, uh, uh, whatever before, uh, uh, uh..."

Become a Christian 1%er!!!

What the heaven is that all about?

You tell me!


O.K. back to abnormality which is a good thing; considering how categorically boring as well as nauseating "normal" has become.

Abbie. Abbie Normal.

I tell my homiletical students, "The goal of preaching is not to bore people; but rather to salt 'em to salvation and light up dreary lives to the joy and psychedness of knowing Jesus!"


I think I've figured out why my theological alma mater never invites me to teach on their turf.


Getting back to breaks, KD ain't the only one(s) shuttin' down for spring.

Hello, Florida!

Here come the girls and boys about to go wild!

But it's not a good year for Mexico.

Thanks to GWB and PBHO and NP who says border-hoppers are America's real patriots - Hey! Hey! Hey! Anybody out there think the succession of power in our country isn't real but just a bad trip and we'll wake up before Elmer Fudd, I mean BF,, really take over and destroy us for good! - you could move a herd of elephants across any of our borders with detection until they show up at the local general hospital's emergency room for primary care and fill out all of the applications necessary for a plethora of freebies available to anyone but tax-paying citizens.


People are trying to leave Mexico and come into America!!!

So it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone but the House's Speaker that Mexico isn't exactly the best place to, uh, break for spring.

Thomas Jaenichen, owner of SWAT Travel in Costa Mesa, California which is the largest travel firm on the left coast specializing in student spring break deals, has canceled lots of planned trips to Mexico because of its crime crisis: "Many of our existing customers and their families are concerned as a result of the recent Mexico travel warnings issued by various government agencies."

Could it be the drug traffic violence that claimed 6,290 lives last year (double the total for 2007) or the more than 1,000 murders in the first 8 weeks of 2009?

Not to worry!

Mexican officials say the violence is between drug cartels in areas not frequented by tourists.

Uh, anybody ever check out where all those, uh, tourists like to hang out?

U.S. State Department travel alert: "The greatest increase in violence has occurred near the U.S. border. However, U.S. citizens traveling throughout Mexico should exercise caution in unfamiliar areas and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Mexican and foreign bystanders have been injured or killed in violent attacks in cities across the country, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence in public places. In recent years, dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped across Mexico."

Rosarito (Mexico) Mayor Hugo Torres: "It's a good time to come down and take a better look!"

Yeah, right.

I think I'll just go to Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre for now.

As my dad said the last time I asked him to go to Israel with me, "I've already fought in two wars."



Before breaking, a quick toldjah!

Many months ago, readers scoffed at KD's political prognostication that Steelers owner Dan Rooney was gonna get paid off for his early PBHO support - name and $ - with an ambassadorship to Ireland (scroll way down).


Toldjah we've got sources all over the place.


Before breaking, what's up with Meghan McCain?

I know her daddy is really an accommodatingly gutless Democrat who likes photo-ops almost as much as the guy who crushed him back in November, but this is getting ridiculous.

She sounds like that Spears chick on steroids.

Google her.

I hope you've got one of those airline puke bags close.


Before breaking, mail time!

From my clerk of session (a big shot in Presbyterian churches); quoting the late Paul Harvey: "We've drifted away from being fishers of men to being keepers of the aquarium."


From Chapel Hill: "Maybe the team with the best graduation rate should be given a better seed in the NCAA basketball brackets. North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Louisville, and Connecticut share #1 seeds; but their graduation rates have much less in common: UNC (86%), Pitt (69%), Louisville (42%) and UConn (33%)."

Hmm. Sounds like somebody's predictin' a consolation prize!

From Tampa Bay: "You like to use stuff as a synonym for ___. I am reminded of the most useful word that I picked up in Africa. In the Chichewa tribal language of Malawi, they have the word katundu. Literally, it means the, uh, stuff that people carry around with them. Use it without explanation! It may cause some cramping in the more constipated of your readers."

Another word comes to mind. Metamucil.



I'm going back to Woodstock.


Blessings and Love!

See you in two weeks! In the meantime,go to

Monday, March 16, 2009

March 16, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



Lillian Sawyer went home to Jesus on 3/8/09; and I presided at her memorial service on 3/14/09.

She smiled a lot.

What's deep in the well comes up in the bucket (cf. Proverbs 15:13).

While I will miss her in time, her smile will stay with me until we meet again.

She reminded me of how Mother Teresa often said, "Let us always meet each other with a smile; for a smile is the beginning of love...Where Jesus is, there is joy, peace, and love...Everyone should see goodness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile."

Lillian got it/Him.


Too many don't.

Somewhere over the rainbow...


Chronic crankiness more than smiles punctuates our culture.

A friend wrote yesterday, "I need a lunch!...I spent an hour being reamed out by a parishioner who is pissed about several things. None of it is about me; but when you are the manager...So I mentioned to my wife, 'It is hard to imagine I could ever be constipated given the number of anuses I have now.'"

He reminded me of the shrink who said to one of my doctoral classes, "Problem people are usually constipated. That's why they dump on you."


Do you remember Marathon Man?

It was a movie in 1976 about Babe Levy, a Columbia University graduate student and avid runner played by Dustin Hoffman, who encounters Nazi war criminal Szell played by Laurence Olivier who has watched over a fortune of diamonds that were taken from Jewish concentration camp victims and has come to New York to collect.

While you've got to watch the movie for the maze of details, Szell uses the tools of his dentist's trade to torture Levy for information about the whereabouts of the diamonds that the student doesn't possess; repeating constantly, "Is it safe?"

Anyway, since seeing that movie so long ago, I've often asked when entering a room with long faces and cranky countenances, "Is it safe?"

Usually, nobody gets it; but it makes me smile nonetheless.


Speaking of cranky people, the Muslims are at it again.

Three of 'em just beat up Pakistan-born Christian pastor Noble Samuel in London because they don't like his, uh, witness: "They were very aggressive in saying they did not agree with me. I said those are your views and these are my views...They said, 'If you don't shut up, we'll break your legs.'"

Irenic Islam.

An oxymoron.


Of course, Christians can be pretty cranky too.

There's a difference.

Christians don't get crankiness from their Founder.



An elder came in to see me about eight years ago before a session meeting.

A session meeting, for the unchurched or friends in other franchises, is a group of elders or, uh, church leaders who get together a lot more than they need to get together to talk about things that rarely get done in an effort to honor the, uh, Founder (theoretically).

Anyway, she asked, "What's on the agenda for tonight?"

I said, "Well, ___ and ___ are still going at it about our music director and I just can't seem to get them to stop."

She said, "Oh, good! I just love a good fight!"

I asked, "Where did you get that from what Jesus said?"

She, uh, smiled.

It wasn't like Lillian's smile.

I guess smiles can be generated by different sources.



Getting back to Mother Teresa, her theology wasn't as tight as some prefer.

While I know this will get me into trouble with folks who like to fight over the number of angels on a pinhead, I feel more, uh, safe with people like Mother Teresa and Lillian who don't talk too much theology but love a lot like Jesus.

My ministry's goal is so simplistic these days.

I'm just trying to encourage people to love Jesus by loving like Jesus.

I'm leaving the other, uh, stuff (synonym) to folks who have time/energy/emotion for that kinda, uh, stuff.

I figure people who love Jesus and try to love like Jesus make this world and His Church a lot better than folks who keep arguing about, uh, the kind of, uh, stuff noted in the second sentence's metaphor of this section.

Let me put it another way.

You can be right about everything but wrong about loving Jesus by loving like Jesus and you're, uh, smiling for all of the wrong reasons.

You can be wrong about everything but right about loving Jesus by loving like Jesus and you're, uh, smiling for a lot of the right reasons.

Or something like that.



Mail time!

My favorite newswoman in the South on Oxford Professor Gardner (scroll down to 3/13/09's KD): "Someone should tell Sir Richard that the Nazis made lampshades out of human skin."

Friend, I've learned trying to be rational with the irrational is illogical. How can you talk about the sanctity of all human life with folks who are more concerned with saving whales than unborn babies? By the way, if you'd like some simple faith on the subject, google Mother Teresa's views on abortion. I'll never forget an egghead class in college. A spaghetti-headed liberal with two feet planted firmly in the air whose facial expressions often made me wonder if she were having a vision of God or wet herself - Is there another kind? - said, "It's so much more humane to abort babies if they would be subject to abuse or improper care or parents who will not assume responsibility for them or..." A guy interrupted, "Excuse me, please. I have lived in foster homes all of my life. I don't know who my parents are. I've been molested and abused and so much more. But this is the first time that I've heard anyone suggest it would have been better if I'd never been born. Excuse me, please; but I think you're full of ___!" He used a synonym for stuff. I know some folks don't like that kinda language; but some people are really full of ___. Yeah, I'm trying to get rid of all of the unwholesome talk; and, pardon the interruption of judgmentalism, I'm getting better. Now I just, uh, usually think it. I've learned to take the advice of an older elder: "Don't get into tinkling contests with skunks!" In other words, Sir Richard ain't listening.

Aurora, Illinois: "The uncommitted are oblivious to the obvious. This is Kingdom talk; and those who don't get that are genuinely uncommitted to the greater good of the King and His Kingdom. Some people are so committed to their own sense of religious comfort: 'As long as I feel good about it, it must be God's will. If I don't feel good about it, it must not be God's will.' Imagine if marriages, corporate contracts, citizenships, and friendships followed the 'feel good' rule. Oops. They do. And look at the state of affairs in our church and world because of it! Kingdom living by Kingdom values is not easy; but Jesus did tell us about briars growing along with the grain. The last time I checked, it was up to the Harvester to do the separation. Not the wheat!"


A volunteer for Jesus in Tennessee: "I can't say enough about having an opportunity to regularly hear someone speak to the lack of Jesus in the PCUSA and staying. I have met quite a few people who have been silenced but still cling to Him and the PCUSA. While we are still stinging from being blacklisted, we have stayed and believe God is still in charge...It pains me deeply that money drives the leadership of the church into thinking they are in charge...Those who could have helped keep running away...I am encouraged daily by your words."

I pray every day to bring His comfort to the afflicted and affliction to the comfortable. Your note encourages me to keep keepin' on; and I pray every day for His best for you and your husband. Unfortunately, the PCUSA - like all mainline denominations and increasing numbers of sideliners - is driven by $. Make no mistake about it! If it weren't for the $ - properties and assets - the franchise would have folded long ago. God knows it ain't Christology and Biblical Theology keepin' the PCUSA together! I think some of our friends who keep running away threw away their copies of Bonhoeffer's Cost of Discipleship. But, then again, monasticism does have its appeals!

A lawyer in Kansas City: "It's easy to understand why PBHO is picking a fight with RL. He needs a good distraction!"

Fights are excellent distractions! That way you don't have to deal with important things like, uh, the truth. It's like my favorite street preacher in Rockford, Illinois likes to say, "You can't fix what you won't face!"


I don't like to fight.

I'd rather worship, golf, or ride...

But every now and then...

When I was famous, an elder said after a session meeting, "It's really important for you not to speak to an issue before everybody else has had a chance to state their opinions because you try to be so Biblically logical that there's no room to debate after you speak."

Not too long ago, I was challenged for being "relentless" once I engage in a debate.


Maybe I haven't changed that much over the years.

If you don't want to know what I think, don't ask; and if you're looking for a fight, I'd prefer you look elsewhere because...

Truth is I'm with Luther: "Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."

I've messed up.

I'm messing up.

I will mess up.

What a shock.


That's why we call Jesus our Savior and Lord.


I'm fortunate enough to have a mom, wife, sister, children, some elders, members, and friends who sometimes seem to live to remind me of my failures and fallibilities.

I'm really thankful to have Jesus who loves me moretheless.

Oh, how He loves you and me...



As the preceding tune suggests, Kathie and Chuck haven't convinced me that they're right about NY.

Uh, I haven't convinced them that they're wrong.

But we're not gonna fight about it.

We're leaving that to folks who live to make others miserable.

We're just gonna try to love the hell out of people.


Blessings and Love!

Kathie has added some neat stuff to Click it or miss it!

Friday, March 13, 2009

March 13, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


I remember a native American saying many years ago, "Justice in America means just us."

That has stayed with me; kinda like these lines from Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions: "1492. The teachers told the children that this was when their continent was discovered by human beings. Actually, millions of human beings were already living full and imaginative lives on the continent in 1492. That was simply the year in which sea pirates began to cheat and rob and kill them."

Lies are very convenient if the truth doesn't get what you want.



If you re-label an unborn baby as a fetus or something else unequally yet technically inhuman, it's a lot easier to get rid of her/him.

Professor Sir Richard Gardner, an Oxford University stem cell expert, said fetal tissues may offer a more realistic solution to the lack of organs than other technologies being developed: "Kidneys and livers from aborted fetuses could be given to the desperately ill and ease the organ donor shortage."

Didn't see that coming.

Well, if we can have trout farms...



KD included some quotes from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button back on 2/18/09; but I've been thinking more and more about the exchange included in the clip above when Benjamin (B) and Daisy (D) "met in the middle" at about the same age:

B: "I've been thinking of how nothing lasts and
what a shame that is..."

D: "Some things last."

Except for the truth in Psalm 62, I'm not sure anymore.

We throw away everything that's used, inconvenient, or otherwise, uh, unwanted.



Six voluntary chaplains just resigned from the Virginia State Police because of a new policy requiring generic prayers.

Rex Carter, one of 'em, said they had no choice because they were told they could not pray in the name of Jesus; saying many people in society do not want to be confronted with the truth of the gospel: "We don't want to hear that there was a man who died for my sins."

Recently, the Virginia State Senate killed a bill that would have prohibited Virginia State Police officials from restricting prayers by volunteer chaplains.

As a mainline clergyman, I don't see the problem; noting most of our meetings seem to run quite poorly without mentioning Jesus.

"Do you love me? Do you need me? Will you love me forever?..."


From Indiana: "Sadly, Fred Winters' murder didn't send out many shock waves. Here in Southern Indiana, two hours away, 'Christians' are still stabbing, jabbing, and taking 'pot shots' (verbal weapons) at their 'beloved' pastors. Not a hiccup of pause for reflection could be detected. The beat goes on."


From Maryland: "Of course, it's not just pastors and churches. The ding-dong in Alabama who went on a shooting spree tells us that this is a growing issue in our society: go nuts, get mad, have a bad hair day, whatever. It's an excuse to go shoot people. Christians make easy targets; especially on Sunday mornings...Finally, and this'll get the gun nuts all fired up, it is too easy for a ding-dong to get her/his hands on a gun. As a graduate of Virginia Tech, I'm well aware of what one crazy on a rampage can do. Reports coming form the Texas/Mexico border estimate that 90% of the weapons being used by the drug lords are coming from American gun shops and gun shows.


From Florida: "While I tremble before my God, there really and truly is not a person on earth I fear - and as you know, I have walked down some dark and dangerous streets in my life. Having said that, there are things that frighten me. One of them is regrets. You are 57, I think. Do you want to be 67; regretting that you never got that chrome pony? Beg. Take out a loan. I don't really care; but I care about you and the essential character of a man. Moderation is for monks. Drive for the green!


My favorite newswoman in the South: "I'm confused by the letters at the end of the last KD. Are you criticizing people who leave or stay in the PCUSA?"

Uh, yes. I find both sides to be increasingly disingenuous, deceptive, and the like. I would say both sides have become chronic liars; but my friend says I should use some euphemisms because calling them liars offends them.


Before becoming our Secretary of State, HRC: "I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, you're not patriotic. We should stand up and say, 'We are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.'"

Things change depending upon who's picking up the tab.

Go back to the third sentence of this edition's first section.



Blessings and Love!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 11, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Larry Trent (Director of the Illinois State Police): "The first bullet hit the very top of the Bible and exploded the top of the Bible into what many in the congregation thought was confetti. In fact, some thought it was some type of skit or some type of program at the time."

Report: "The gunman continued shooting at the pastor before his gun jammed. Pastor Winters was shot three times. One bullet went through the pastor's heart and he died in the church."

Jesus: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem! The city who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, yet you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"



Jeffrey Hawkins (Executive Director of the Christian Security Network): "This most recent violent incident against a Christian church in a small town in downstate Illinois is another reminder that these incidents are not going to stop and can occur anywhere, at any time."

Report: "Prosecutors say the 27 year old man facing murder charges in the shooting of a southern Illinois pastor walked into the church with enough ammunition to kill 30 people. He walked up the center aisle of First Baptist Church in Maryville during the 8:15 a.m. service and shot the Rev. Fred Winters through the heart."

Jesus: "You will be hated by everyone because of My name."



Marisol Bello (reporter for USA Today): "Terry Sedlacek was never the same after a tick bite...Experts are divided over whether Lyme disease can cause mental illness...Sedlacek's lawyer, Ron Slemer, said the gunman's mental and physical condition have been deteriorating...The shooting created a buzz on the Internet among Lyme disease sufferers and called attention to the need for research to understand how the illness ravages the central nervous system."

Report: "The police are still looking for a motive for the shooting...The suspect had marked the day of the attack as a 'day of death' or 'death day' in a personal planning book...He left an index card marked 'Last Day Will' at his home."

Jesus: "You must watch! I have told you everything in advance."


Harry pointed a finger in my face when I was 25, just ordained, and just installed as pastor of Parkesburg, Pennsylvania's First Presbyterian Church: "I don't care what your Book of Order says or what session says or what you say..."

He was mad at the session (parochial name for a church board) for saying he couldn't do something without its approval and transferred his anger to me.

"They" always shoot the messengers.



Ohio Pastor: "The brazen murder of the pastor in Illinois does not surprise many pastors. Most pastors are used to being stabbed in the back and heart repeatedly by congregants who still believe in altar sacrifices and who have yet to understand the love of Jesus. Most pastors understand the suffering servant imagery of Isaiah from personal experience. Surprisingly, yet thankfully, many pastors still embody the love of Jesus as expressed in John 10:17-18, 13:15-16, and 15:12-13."


Florida Pastor: "I don't know why anyone would be surprised by this tragic killing. Please, let's be honest. Fomenting scorn, hatred and fear of Christians is the only permitted and sanctioned bigotry in the USA. I am never surprised when someone exorcises their personal demons by excoriating, attacking, and even killing believers. Of course, thus it has always been...By the way, in your last KD, you talked about the woman who called to tell you to take down campaign signs from your own yard. I would have hung up on her as soon as she said it was none of your business who she was...The gall of some people..."


Choir Director in New Jersey: "My heart sank when I heard a pastor in Illinois was shot. Thank God it wasn't my pastor. The kids tried to reassure me: 'Leslie would have called you.' I think you should buy that chrome pony now just in case..."


Franklin Graham (Billy's son who wrote The Name which every believer should read): "At a time when the world is experiencing so much suffering, an event like this underscores our need to place our trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."


Too bad too many churches don't get it.

If it weren't so true, I'd really find Ray's musical metaphor really funny:


In a related story representative of the increasing dysfunctions in mainline denominations, several letters crossed my desk in the last 72 hours; and there's no need to name names because the, uh, blanks can be filled in by multiple suspects.


You can/will fill in the blanks.

First letter:

Who is ___?

Second letter:

He is a moderate which means he acquiesces to the apostates.
That's not necessarily a criticism. That's a documented reality
of moderates in our franchise who are, uh, "moderately"
committed to...

Third letter:

I assume ___'s leadership prefers to "walk away" because
ordinations, properties, and assets have now been placed
at enormous risk. ___ will be spending most of his time
in civil and ecclesiastical litigation now with little time
left over for pastoral ministry.

Fourth letter:

While you're trying to absolve your pastor's role in the
church's desire to be dismissed from the PCUSA to
the EPC, anyone related to our polity and ethos knows
he's at the core of instigation. Pastors set the tone
for parochial/ecumenical relationships. Everybody
knows that. If they don't, they have no business
pretending to "shepherd" in the first place. Shepherds
don't follow sheep. If they do, they're not shepherds!

Fifth letter:

It's a slam dunk for ___ and everyone's happily on
the same page; and presbytery's evangelicals will
rally around 'em because ___ has been so
forthcoming with 'em and presbytery's jingoists,
moderates, and apostates are eager to just hand
over the keys, assets, and properties; and then
build a campfire for all of us to gather around
and sing, "Blest be the tie that binds..."

Sixth letter:

I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear ___
is now totally with the folks for dismissal. I'll
bet that was an incredible conversion for
somebody with over a half century's worth
of dedication to remaining faithfully and
mentoring folks to the same. He probably
makes you think there's hope for me; though
I've said and written ad nauseum that I'm
remaining faithfully and I've witnessed and
written about my call to that for 30+ years.

Seventh letter:

Not to mention Jesus, but can you imagine,
or reimagine if you prefer, how he must feel
about all of this? Oh, yeah! Jesus just lived
and died and rose and reigns to break up the
body. Praise Him for His example of running
away from the beast to a safe monastic
experience! Praise Him for teaching us to
leave the sheep when the wolf's at the door!
He must be so proud of the glee and back-
slapping self-righteousness and all-around
good fun of division. One of His favorite
things must be how evangelicals have
learned to imitate jingoists, moderates,
and apostates in their sneaking around,
secret meetings, secret ballots, and
all of those other dark strategies so
illustrative of, uh, John 3:19-21. Yep!
evangelicals are just like 'em in making
His body into just one ole big ecclesiastical
game of Monopoly.

Everybody likes to shoot at His heart.


An old man who stopped dreaming long ago urged, "Do it now. I know later comes sooner."



Blessings and Love!

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other cool stuff!

Monday, March 9, 2009

March 9, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


An Illinois pastor was shot and killed during worship yesterday.

I'm not surprised.

Question: "What are you having for dinner?"

Answer: "The pastor."

I think it was the old devil who said to the young devil in C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, "We do our best work at the steps of the chancel."


Here's a new one.

A call (C) came into the church on Saturday morning when no one else was around but moi (M):

M: "Good Morning! First Church. How can I help you?"

C: "Is this Dr. Kopp?"

M: "Yes, last time I checked. May I ask who's calling?"

C: "No, you may not because it's none of your business."

M: "Is this a solicitation? We don't take solicitations over
the telephone; but if you send your materials to us,
I'll be sure to make sure the right folks review your
materials and, if necessary, get back to you..."

C: "Will you please shut up and listen to me?"

M: "Excuse me?"

C: "You are Dr. Kopp and Pastor of First Presbyterian

M: "Bingo! And you can take that with fifty cents and
get a cup of coffee at Burger King!"

C: "Listen, you smart___! You have no right to put up
political signs in your front yard!"

M: "Geez! Are you like having a bad day or something?
That's why you called me? I knew they were gonna
come after me sooner or later; but I don't live in a
parsonage. It's not church property. It's my house
which is about 3 miles from the church."

C: "You should know better that that! Pastors are
not supposed to get involved in politics. Didn't
you learn anything about the separation of church
and state when you were studying to be a pastor?"

M: "Wait a second, friend. I know you think pastors
are supposed to believe nothing in an articulate way
or agree with the last person we've talked to; but
haven't you read the Bible? How about the role of
clergy in the American Revolution? God's people
have always..."

She hung up.

Ignorant people do not like to be confused with facts.



Speaking of facts or intentions, PBHO said, "This is no longer a Christian nation."

Yeah, I know we've quoted that before; but it seems he's right on that one.

A new survey by Trinity College reveals the percentage of Christians in America has declined and more folks are saying they have no religion at all.

For example, 30% of married couples did not have a "religious" wedding service and 27% of the respondents said they did not want a "religious" funeral.

Give credit where credit is due!

PBHO is right even if it looks so wrong.

Didn't the French tourist warn, "America is great because America is good; and when America ceases to be good, it will cease to be great!"?

2 Chronicles 7:14.


David Wilkerson, who is pastor of the rapidly growing Times Square Church in NYC and author of The Cross and the Switchblade as well as founder of Teen Challenge, predicts "an earth-shattering calamity" centered in the Big Apple sometime soon.

He sees the catastrophe as spreading across America as a judgment from God.

He says, "What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God's wrath."

Urging folks to stockpile food and other necessities, he warns, "God is judging the raging sins of America and the nations. He is destroying the secular foundations."

He concludes, "I do not know when these things will come to pass, but I know it's not far off. I have unburdened my soul to you. Do with the message as you choose."

That's it.

I haven't charged anything for nearly a year; but if it's that close...

I wonder if he takes Visa for copies of that sermon.



In a related story, a friend from San Diego who says I'm fixated on PBHO just provided the latest from Barna Research: "Evangelicals are a small proportion of the national population - just 7% of all adults...2/3 of all evangelicals...were aligned with the Republican Party [in the past two Presidential elections]...21% were Democrats and just...10% were registered independent...That puts evangelicals at odds with the national voter profile."

I'm shocked.


Continuing: "88% voted for John McCain...compared to just 11% for PBHO...Surveys conducted by Barna throughout the campaign season showed that evangelicals were not enthusiastic about either candidate..."


C'mon, where's the beef?

Ready or not, here it comes: "Non-Christians provided PBHO with a lopsided 62% to 36% margin of preference over JM."

Now go back to the first sentence of this KD's third section and ask, "Was he reporting or rejoicing?"


Jeremiah Wright is back in the news.

Speaking to AP last Thursday, he smiled at the mention of PBHO; then said, "He's like any other President. He's a politician and he's got to do what politicians do...Barack's name ain't Jesus..."


We had hoped he was the one to...

Don't worry.

Venezuelan nutball President Hugo Chavez spoke on Friday and called PBHO to join the, uh, crusade: "Come with us, align yourself, come with us on the road to socialism. This is the only path. Imagine a socialist revolution in the United States...Nothing is impossible. Who would have thought in the 1980s that the Soviet Union would disappear?"

Now what do Wright, Chavez, and PBHO have in common?

Nothing to see here! Nothing to see here!


I finally saw Slumdog Millionaire:


Aside from the main theme of pursing dreams and acknowledging destiny/providence/quadruple-predestination, I think all parents should force their spoiled American children to see it for reasons that will be apparent within ten minutes.

Yeah, I liked it a lot; though the dance scene at the end kinda reminded me of the finale of Fame:

Jamal, the slumdog millionaire, made Matthew 10:16 come alive for me: "When somebody asks me a question, I tell them the answer."'


Pause and ponder on that Jamal quote.

The exchanges between the police inspector and Jamal are priceless; and brought the struggle of evangelicals in mainline denominations to mind when the cop finally congratulated as he cautioned the overcomer that he was getting into trouble for telling the truth: "What can a slumdog possibly know?...The answers!"


Reviewing the first two sections of this KD before reading on, I'm always, uh, fascinated, like in a bad case of food poisoning, by folks who think they are entitled to tell anyone else how they should live their lives; except, of course, for Jesus who doesn't count because He's God and gets to do that.

Anyway, now that KD is catchin' on, I've been told to talk less about what I want to talk about and more about what "they" want to talk about.


Get your own website!

Well, being the sensitive guy that I am, I sought counsel from the founder/editor of one of the planet's most successful paradenominational/ecumenical websites.

He wrote back to me: "I welcome feedback, ideas, and advice, and I get it...but I have no problem not following all suggestions...I trust our readers can think for themselves...If a reader suggests drastic changes, the answer is a polite no. If you want to please everybody, you don't please anybody...Nobody but you can write your KDs. Whatever people tell you, don't become a hypocrite - the Greek is for somebody who is not playing himself, as you well know. Only accept advice that helps you to be more like the Lord Jesus Christ; which could make you even more obnoxious!"


I just hope to ride before being shot.


Blessings and Love!

find out
Kathie thinks
music links!

Friday, March 6, 2009

March 6, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



I met with a banker who told me about a banker who hasn't been stimulated lately.

They are close friends who worked together for years in the same bank and retired recently from that bank at the same time.

The banker who met with me told me about the banker who worked with him: "He had 25,000 shares of stock in our bank for retirement that was worth $800,000."

Then he lamented, "Each share is now worth less than a dollar. You do the math."

I did.

I guess this isn't a good time to offer shares of stock in a chrome pony.



CNBC's Jim Cramer of Mad Money said back on 10/6/08, "Whatever money you may need for the next five years, please take it out of the stock market right now...I don't care where stocks have been. I care where they're going, and I don't want people to get hurt in this market."

While endorsing PBHO during the campaign to succeed GWB, Cramer hasn't been stimulated by the new administration's economic initiatives: "They're nuts! They know nothing!"

His confession on 3/5/09: "Now some...would say I am on another enemies list - that of the White House."


Sounds familiar.

Didn't President Nixon and his...?



The ragheads in Iran have also drawn another unflattering comparison: "PBHO is like GWB!"

Iran's current #1 nutball Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: "Even the new American President, who came to office with the slogan of bringing change in the policies of the Bush administration, avows unconditional commitment to Israel's security...a cancerous tumor."

He says cancer.

I say cure.

Here's hoping those certifiably cuckoo birds got something right for a, uh, change.


Speaking of enemies, PBHO and Rush Limbaugh continue to go at it.

Believing PBHO's policies will move America to state socialism, RL has said consistently, "I hope he fails."

Parenthetically, the stock market has dropped 3,000 points since the race-baiting benediction on 1/20/09.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel on 3/1/09: "Rush Limbaugh is the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party."


PBHO does not say things like that.

RL is not on PBHO's enemies list.

It's like politics in Illinois.

Everybody in Illinois is crooked except PBHO.

PBHO has no enemies.

He is the paradigm of bipartisanship for Christ's, I mean America's, I mean, uh, uh, uh,...somebody's or something's sake...


Anyway, Jonathan Martin of on 3/4/09: "Democrats believe they have struck political gold by depicting Rush Limbaugh as the new face of the Republican Party."

Putting it all into perspective for those who are keeping a list and checking it twice, MSNBC's Chris Matthews - the guy who wants to be the next Senator from Pennsylvania when the senile one quits - said while Hardballing it on 3/4/09: "Pomposity on parade!...Rush Limbaugh today challenged PBHO to come and debate him...Not since Snoopy challenged the Red Baron...have we witnessed an episode of such preposterous pomposity...never elected to responsibilities on this planet except talking..."

No responsibilities except talking?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: "Behavior is a mirror in which everyone shows his image."

An old elder counseled me many years ago, "Never get into a tinkling contest with a skunk."

Who's the skunk?


Who's the wolf in...?


Editor Mortimer B. Zuckerman of U.S. News and World Report (3/09): "American consumers are hoarding cash, cutting spending to replenish the...collective wealth they have lost through declines in their stock holdings and their housing. Individually understandable, collectively disastrous...The result is that we have gone from a financial crisis to a full blown panic where nobody trusts anybody." (3/5/09): "The Federal Reserve Board of Governors...refused yesterday to disclose the names of the borrowers and the loans, alleging that it would cast 'a stigma' on recipients of more than $1.9 trillion of emergency credit from U.S. taxpayers...Bloomburg News...[requested details and lists as]...central to understanding and assessing the government's response to the most cataclysmic financial crisis in America since the Great Depression...The Freedom of Information Act obliges federal agencies to make government documents available to the press and public."


Have we moved from trust to idolatry yet?



I'm still selling shares.

It's worth more than the snake oil being sold by...


Blessings and Love!

there's always new stuff!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


KDers from VP JB's Scranton (Not!) to PBHO's birthplace (Where?) couldn't identify why 3/2 is a national holiday.

Some guy teaching in someplace called Marengo, Illinois got it: "It's Dr. Seuss' birthday! You and Dr. Seuss. Figures. Now I believe in predestination. I wonder what Freud would do with that."



I bought a bunch of stuff for myself because nobody else did: Roma Flat Black Beanie Half Helmet, Outbacker Folding Took Kit, J&P Cycles Touring/Full-Dress Cover, and T-shirt ("It's All About the Ride! Old Guys Rule!").


Uh, something's missin' in the barn.


An old pastor said to me about 25 years ago when I was really famous and had just about reached the top of the ecclesiastical ladder of success: "You've got everything you need except pastoral warmth."

He was right.

I reached every academic and professional goal before 30 as planned.

Dr. Macleod had me on the top ten list of, uh, lots of stuff.

I could preach about agape and write about prayer as well as anyone; and my bibliography proved it.

But it wasn't until I committed adultery, just about forfeited my call, almost lost my family, and incarnated a latent thanatos libido that I discovered the only path to personal salvation and that elusive pastoral warmth was entering into His heart on my emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual knees.

The fruit of His Holy Spirit only grow - check out Galatians 5:22 - through intimacy with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

It's axiomatic: holier = happier.

Or something like that.

I was born anothen as a person/partner/parent/pastor/presbyter a little over 10 years ago; and while I've got a long way to go, I'm a lot better than I was.



People keep saying something's missin' in the mainline denominations.

They've got the most educated clergy in the world and some of the prettiest buildings and real estate.

They've got lots more money than even the Mormons and Muslims.


I think it's like motorcycle accessories.

They're not very useful without, uh, a motorcycle.


Speaking of looking in all of the wrong places for existential/eternal salvation, CNN's Jack Cafferty said he is "developing a crush on America's first lady...Michelle Obama is more compelling than her husband. He's good, but she's utterly fascinating...Mrs. Obama has blown away the stale air in a White House musty from eight years of the Bushes. It's like the sun came out and a fresh spring breeze began wafting through the open windows."

Barf me with a spoon!

"When it comes to the first lady," said Jack who lusts for Michelle as much as he loathes Sarah Palin, "I'm smitten."



I think she's O.K.

If I hadn't given up adultery, I'd date her.

But I'm not into royal families.

Everyone that's tried that since Saul has regretted it.

Relationships - including citizenships - don't seem to work well without an essential ingredient that's not so worldly.


Staying with the royal family, did you hear about PBHO's secret letter to Russia with love?

Of course, you didn't!

Nobody questions the disconnect between PBHO's patriotic rhetoric and socialist agenda/administration.

After all, he is...

Anyway, he sent a secret letter to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev - the front guy for Puken - that offered to scrap our proposed/real/who/knows/anymore missile defense shield in exchange for their help in blocking Iran from acquiring nukes.


Do I hear Jeremiah Wright ringing in his ears?

O.K., he did say, "This is no longer a Christian nation."

I think he meant/intends it.



Bill Gates won't let his kids buy Apple stuff.

His wife wants an iPhone.

Here's betting his bark isn't as big as their bite.

It takes one to know one.

I looked in my garage on 3/2 and there was nothing to accessorize.



Somebody wrote to complain about me mentioning Jesus too much.


I get that enough from mainline clergy.

Somebody wrote to complain about @#$%s to divide KD snips/snipes/whatevers.

Those @#$%s don't symbolize profanity; though I'm getting really @#$% off at people who keep tellin' me to come up with different partitions.

C'mon, I told you that I'd use different symbols if you send 20K!

For example, to honor what's goin' on in our world and worldly mainliners and D.C., I was thinking about replacing @#$% with 666.


Moretheless, a nice letter from, uh, someone/somewhere: "You're on a roll, baby! Your birthday KD was one of your best to date: acidic and poignant to be almost in league of my personal favorite ___...[Can you guess his comparison?]...I too was formed in the womb with a gift for sarcasm, finding it a marvelous manner of conveying ideas. Those who understand it enjoy and react to it; while those who are offended miss the whole bloody concept and are lost...A belated but sincerest Happy Birthday wish with a reminder that when He wants you to have your chrome pony, you'll get it. Dare I suggest a little faith. Thanks once more for your being with us and for all your efforts on His behalf."

I don't care what Kathie and Chuck say.

I need to listen to a Neil Young song:


Blessings and Love!

Kathie's latest!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Because of today's national holiday, I'm only working 12 hours: really early check-in counseling mini-breakfast, staff directives that will be totally ignored, presiding at a memorial service for a dear family that will provide the privilege to talk about Jesus to some of the folks who enter a church about as much as some of the folks who show up for our congregational dinners or when the youth choir sings, two counseling sessions, intervention with folks who are hating each other in the interests of youth sports, watching a basketball game that will test my patience, and then eating like a non-kosher pig; but I am ordering a Roma Flat Black Beanie Half Helmet, Outbacker Folding Tool Kit, and J&P Cycles Touring/Full-Dress Cover for the mule that still ain't in my barn.



Staying with the national holiday because it only comes once a year, I've had so many apocalyptic moments in my life with Bobby, Richie, and Jeff getting caught egging the Virgin Mary at Central Catholic High School on the eve of the big game after the pep rally, Donna in the alley behind Granteed's Gas Station, Ruthie under Wilkes-Barre's Market Street Bridge, after the Mountain concert under the Market Street Bridge, when one of my seminary professors hit on me (guy), learning the marvels of single malt while studying in Rome, when one of my professors hit on me in Heidelberg (gal), finding out nobody cares if I know German, French, Latin, Hebrew, and Greek, climbing to the top of the ecclesiastical ladder of success to discover it was leaning against the wrong building, realizing you can be a pastor in a mainline denomination without believing in Jesus or acknowledging the authority of Holy Scripture, and, well, uh, lots of strange stuff that He's used to lead me back to Him.


I loved Grandma Thelma.

She was a chain smoker who died of emphysema.

Hard to see that coming.


She took me to Broadway to see My Fair Lady when I was a little kid.

She got really mad at me after the show because I forgot to take her on my tour of Times Square.

It was a metaphor for our relationship.


My parents were afraid she would burn down the house because she liked to smoke in bed.

She lived with us.

I decided to help.

I hid her cigarettes in a flower vase.

She did not appreciate the flower vase being filled with water.

She screamed, "You will never amount to anything in your life!"

I was in 8th grade.

Come to think of it, I've tried to live down to her expectations throughout my life; and I can still see her face and where she stood as she turned after the rant and stormed back up to her room to, uh, have a cigarette.


My favorite contemporary devotional writer, uh, wrote on 2/23/09: "The words we speak are a powerful force, setting things into motion that can build us up or tear us down. One word spoken in anger can destroy a life or break a heart. One unkind word spoken can inject a soul with bitterness and rejection. One harsh word can kill the seed of the greatest dream. We can nurture our dreams and build bridges into our destiny by the power of our words. What's inside of us will come out through the words we speak. Angry people say angry things. Critical people criticize. Sad people speak sadness. Hopeless people say despairing words. Pessimistic folks prophesy doom and gloom. Wise men speak wisdom. Children of light speak words of life, hope, purpose, and destiny" (


That's why I get into trouble with adults who crush the dreams of children while abusing them with adult politics.

I just can't keep my mouth shut.

Jeremiah 1 comes to mind.


Bishop Richard Williamson has denied 6 million Jews were butchered in the Holocaust.

Pope Benedict XVI says the bishop better recant if he wants to remain a bishop in the RRC.

The illiterate/ignorant or intentionally deceptive by political/confessional compromise bishop has been stationed in Argentina for a long time.

Hard to see that coming.


Staying on religious stuff, public rallies for PBHO are opening with invocations.

That's a departure from the practice of previous Presidents.


All prayers are commissioned and vetted by the White House.

Hard to see that coming.


Wait one minute!

Stop the presses!

If all prayers are commissioned and vetted by the White House, that means that race-baiting-totally-divisive-insulting-to-Jesus-who-lived-and-died-to-bring-everybody-together-through-Him-with-no-respect-to-color-class-and-culture closing inaugural prayer was...

Help us, Jesus!

Hard to see that coming.



Back to...


Blessings and Love!