Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 23, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



Good news!

It's official!

The National Bureau of Economic Research declared (9/20/10) the recession that began 12/07 ended 6/09.

I'm so relieved.


Whoever's working at NBER must be smoking crack or working for BBPBHO who could use some slight of hand/mind/emotions/reality to counter what could be the coming doom of this idolatry on 11/2/10 or using the same kinda inane rationalizations to get Boise State in the big one.

Or maybe it's just that I'm from Illinois where you know who was a junior State Senator for less time than Larry Brown ever coached any NBA team and junior US Senator for less time than Boise State's credibility as a championship contender despite slipping past the mighty Hokies who lost to superpower James Madison a week after that.

Illinois ain't nowhere near recovery; even according to NBER.

We're still feeling our pain and can't relate to whomever's prosperity.

Or like I like to say to the shrinking core of sychophants of you know who, "I just hope he doesn't do for the country what he helped accomplish in our state."


Parenthetically, a KDer wrote to tell me that the First Family has been sighted at an Episcopal church in DC.

He asked, "Don't you think it's time for you to retract your speculation in the first section of the last KD?"

You can scroll down (9/19) or just read the punchline that was preceded by a comment about churches not being immune to the rippling effects of our failing national economy: "I don't know if there's a connection, but it's also the first time that I've been a pastor when our country's President has never been spotted with the First Lady going in or coming out of a church on Sunday mornings. I know he says he gets text messages from pastors...on spiritual stuff but...I may be wrong but I'm beginning to think our culture takes the church less and less seriously because a new tone about worshiping in church is being sounded/shown by..."

Anyway, I thought about our First Family hanging out at an Episcopal church.

Then I wrote back, "Well, if it's like most Episcopal churches in my experience, I'm not sure it qualifies for what I had in mind."


Getting back to our failing national economy that doesn't seem as chipper/recovered as those with less-than-credible motives are suggesting, I may be in an especially depressed part of the country but our local county's unemployment rate is still over 20% and a few churches have already closed in our neighborhood because they can't pay their bills.

Maybe my concerns are ghettoized; but checking in with peers in ghettoes like mine around America, they echo the challenges in my neck of the woods.

Attendance is down.

$ is down.

Church staff compensations have been frozen for two years; which is really a decrease when you think about it.

People keeping asking why.

While I may be wrong and have enough subscribers dedicated to pointing that out, I think the depressing/inept tone being sounded from DC is having a rippling effect on the church.

If he can't tell the difference between Allah and Father/Son/Spirit and doesn't think the church is worth his time and text messages are enough to...

I also think - and what I think may be wrong - of friends who work at the highest levels for four Fortune 500 companies.

They have told me that their companies ain't doin' a thing until capitalists guide government again.

So I don't know where NBER is coming from; but if my finger is anywhere near the pulse of what more than less people are thinking/experiencing, a positive rippling requires some "hope" through "change" at the top.



Locally, our expansion program keeps shrinking.

Two families have lost their homes in the last two weeks (foreclosures).

Five more members have lost jobs.

People with $ are keeping it because they don't get what Jesus meant in Matthew 6:19-24.

And like me pointing a finger at you know who, finger-pointing with no regard to the logs in the eye/mirror is becoming epidemic.

In other words, this is a time of...opportunity!


This is a perfect time to say with people who are hungry/thirsty for true hope and change, "I don't have hardly any silver or gold; but what I have I give you: Jesus!"

This is a perfect time to share space with other churches before they vanish for lack of $.

This is a perfect time for people who've "got" it to "share" it for the glory of God.

This is a perfect time to use the gifts of our generous predecessors to ease the pain of this generation with the expectation that we will do the same for future generations if blessed with restored prosperity.

This is a perfect time to start a soup kitchen.

This is a perfect time to open a clothing closet.

This is a perfect time to open the doors of the church to shelter the homeless.

This is a perfect time to differentiate what is needed from wanted.

This is a perfect time to highlight function over frill.

This is a perfect time to enflesh Colossians 3:1-3.

This is a perfect time to stop bantering and moaning about stupid stuff and get on with the real deal of enabling confident living in the assurance of eternal life through Jesus.


I'll never forget the last great President of my alma mater telling a story that applies to times like ours.

A woman approached him and complained, "All I ever hear from the church is give, give, give..."

He answered rhetorically, "Have you ever heard of a better definition of Christianity?"


While you'll want to check over the next ten days or less for new stuff in Kathie's Korner, I'm mounting the mule on Saturday and heading to Pennsylvania to see my mom.

She's got health challenges.

No matter how providence plays out in her life, she's gonna overcome whatever through Jesus.

And as I consider the rippling effects of our nation's failing economy, people who love Jesus will overcome...

The problem is too many churches have been in a spiritual recession/depression for too long.

They think more about who they are and what they have than who He is and how He is the ultimate owner of what has been entrusted to them.

Read Romans 8.


A story comes to mind.

A troubled elder approached his pastor and said, "We've got serious problems. Our members don't invite people to church. Our members don't give enough to pay the bills."

The pastor said, "As you know, my job is spiritual development. You'll have to bring that up with our evangelism and finance committees."

The elder returned not long after that and said, "Things are getting worse. Attendance is down. Giving is down. We might not be able to pay the staff!"

The pastor said, "Why didn't you tell me it was that serious? But as you know, my job is spiritual development. We'll have to bring up these problems at our next board meeting."

Immediately at the start of the board meeting, the elder stood up and said, "Pastor, we have a spiritual problem in our church."


America does not have a failing economy.

America's churches don't have attendance and $ problems.

Our spiritual problem is being exposed.

2 Chronicles 7:14.



Blessings and Love!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

September 19, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Our family of faith like most others of all flavors and franchises is not immune to the rippling effects of our failing national economy.

Recently, I confessed to our session (governing officers), "Geez, I'm an ecclesiastical geezer; but I've never been pastor of a church during this kinda some-say-recession-but-it-feels-more-and-more-like-an-emotional-depression-at-least. I remember the recession of the 80s; but I was pastor of a really wealthy church that didn't notice it. Somebody's gotta minister to the rich! So please be patient with me as I try to be a faithful undershepherd through this. I'm learning as I go."

I added, "I don't know if there's a connection, but it's also the first time that I've been a pastor when our country's President has never been spotted with the First Lady going in or out of a church on Sunday mornings. I know he says he gets text messages from pastors around the country on, uh, spiritual stuff but..."

I may be wrong but I'm beginning to think the culture takes the church less and less and less seriously because a new tone about worshiping in church is being sounded/shown by...



Maybe that's why IHOP (pancakemakers) has sued IHOP (24/7/365 prayers) for daring to use IHOP to, uh, market whatever it is that they do (prayers) that doesn't correspond to what they do (pancakemakers).

Or something like that.

Surely, Americans aren't smart enough to realize IHOP (International House of Pancakes) is different from IHOP (International House of Prayer).



I wrote to IHOP - the pancakemakers - about it.

Actually, I got on their website and sent a note to 'em; suggesting they're acting kinda silly - Anyone who has a Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity breakfast feature on the menu can be silly! - and may end up turning off a lotta Christians who like pancakes with their prayers.

I don't expect an answer.

Again, there's a tone at the top that's relegated Christian kinda concerns to the outhouse of socioeconomic relevance.


The Kansas City Star's Donald Bradley has written a great piece on the polemics.

Go to the 9/14/10 edition via

If it weren't really happening, the quotes from the pancakemakers would be hilarious; not to mention fodder for SNL.

They - the pancakemakers - look as foolish as that imam in the big apple trying to pretend he ain't a jihadist in syncretist's clothing.

Mr. Bradley's inquiries to the litigious are equally befuddling; 'cause they're as split on what they think will be the final score as sportswriters are about the merits of Boise State playing for the big one.

I hope Mr. Bradley stays on the story.

He's an excellent writer; and the discerning get the bigger picture between the lines.


I met IHOP's (prayers) founder and lead pastor or whatever he's now called when I was a young and famous pastor in Kansas City back in the early 80s.

He had just emerged from years of monkish study and spiritual discipline and felt called to plant a ministry in the cult capital of the Midwest.

We were introduced by a mattress salesman who also happened to be one of the best evangelists that I've ever met.

Anyway, when I said I thought planting a church/whatever had to be so much harder than inheriting one, he said, "You're wrong, brother! It's much easier! You just gather people who really love Jesus and exalt His Word and they are eager to pay the bills. It's not like those old wineskins that are so bound to tradition, religion, denominationalism..."

I knew he was a budding ecclesiastical superstar - charismatic in the best sense of the word and more passionate about Jesus and Biblical Christianity than a mainline cleric like me would ever encounter in, uh, mainline franchises.

That was almost 30 years ago.

You can go to for more links and stuff on him (viz., Mike Bickle).


I think about my decision to limit really traditional vestments to really traditional things like memorial services, weddings, and sacraments (scroll down to the 9/14/10 edition).

Aside from looking silly in vestimentum more appropriate for folks still chained to Elizabethan English, I'm just trying to expand my wineskin to encourage others to expand theirs by way of example.

It's a, uh, Biblical thing to do.

The genesis of my evolution - Don't go there! - was looking down at my favorite Bass Weejuns.

I polished 'em every day.

They glistened.

I looked down, took one off, and looked at the sole.

There were holes in the sole.

The metaphor was/remains inescapable.

You can look good.

You can speak good (the word is well for those who think that kinda distinction is still important).

But when you look at the soul, are there holes?

The war of the IHOPs points to the hole in the soul of America.

And if the tone doesn't change at the top pretty soon...



Blessings and Love!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September 16, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Saints superstar Reggie Bush gave back his Heisman on Tuesday (9/14) because the Trophy Trust was gonna take it back sooner than later because he was caught doing professional things when he was supposed to be playing like an amateur at USC.

He took $ for services that he was supposed to provide for free.


Ain't goin' there.

Bush - Don't we blame everything on Bush these days? - pleaded, "In no way should the storm around these allegations reflect in any way on the dignity of this award...nor should it detract from outstanding performances and hard-earned achievements either in the past, present or future."

He said giving it back was "heartbreaking."

Get me a hankie!


Here's a guy who made/makes big bucks for playing a, uh, geez, c'mon, sigh, game that everybody enjoys and, if able, plays for free until...

This guy carries more $ around in his wallet than I still owe on my plastic; and I'm supposed to act like 2001 winner Eric Crouch and declare 9/14 to be "a sad day" in human history.

I don't think so.

Let's talk about heartbreaking.

How about Bush's announcement coming a few days after a real heartbreaking remembrance of 9/11/01?

How about a real heartbreaking nod for all of those young women and men dying over there so we can sit with a six-pack and watch games over here?

How about all of the poor suckers who've lost jobs, homes, families, and so much more during this recession/depression/whatever that is being exacerbated by more than people named Bush?

How about what's happening to America because of the greedy partisanship of Republicans and Democrats?

How about what's happing to American churches because of unconverted clergy, unconvinced laity, and pharisaical reincarnations of all flavors and franchises?

How about...Cubs fans?


A buddy in Pennsylvania who is really quite conservative but pretends to be liberal because it's cooler when he goes back to Princeton, wrote a neat piece for the Danville News that seemed kinda KDish; so here are some excerpts (and for you ideological dolts from the left/right who only like to read what agrees with your weltanschauung because you're so pure and perfect and right about everything, try stepping out of yourself and stretching to, uh, uh, uh...):

There are times, such as these sighing, tedious, and wearisome times,
when all I can muster is a bunch of rambling rumblings. So here we go...

To all those feuding over the building of mosques: We're all rather
missing the point, for what's so sacred about any place or building?
I rather appreciate how God is worshiped in spirit and in truth...

To Sarah Palin: If you say you are a Christian, you must be ready
to pray for, to love, to respect, to die for Al Sharpton as a child of God...

To Al Sharpton: If you say you are a Christian, you must be ready
to pray for, to love, to respect, to die for Sarah Palin as a child of
God. There's the recipe for the world's hope...

To Glenn Beck: Preach it, brother; but I'll believe it best when you
preach it without words (same goes for me)...

To celebrities in general: Please, you're really not that interesting or

To those church members who get miffed about whatever it is about
church they get miffed: Instead of pulpit exchanges, how about we
have entire congregations swap churches for a day? A pastor buddy
once had a member who abhorred his beard. He told her that if it
bothered her that much that he'd shave it off. He did. Next Sunday
she approached him saying, "Now about your mustache..."...

Please remember the Law of Point of View: your point of view says
more about you than about the other person. What you say about
others, reveals everything about you.

No wonder lately I just want to hide and redecorate my house.
There's little I can change out there, but I can change in here...

It is enough just to get your own house in order.




I'm so tired of people blaming other people for what's going on/wrong.

If you don't like what's going on/wrong, then get off your...

But as you're doing whatever you need to do to maybe makes things better, be sure to start with a speck-inspection of the mirror's reflection.

Only broken hearts can mend others.


Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September 14, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



Burning books has never appealed to me; so I'm glad the guy in Florida relented after his 15 minutes.

Though I sense his need for the spotlight after losing the war on abortion and moving into the archives of news reporting, I'm not into ripping pages out of books like Operation Rescue's founder; though it was fun to watch a friend rip out the vita at the end of my latest book at my last installation about five years ago to make his point in consonance with 1 Corinthians 1 despite there being no need to humble me any more than the sales of that book had already accomplished.

On the other hand, I poop-canned over three decades of sermon notes, manuscripts, published essays/columns, litanies, prayers, and other evidences of my life and ministry just before going to the beach last summer; 'cause, well, uh, geez, gasp, gulp, sigh, I needed to expand my wineskin for the fresh inspirations of prayer and study.

I've been making a lot of, uh, amendments (euphemism for changes) to my ministry lately.

After almost four decades, I wore an open-collared shirt while presiding at all three services last Sunday.

I wore brown shoes and khaki pants.

God knows what I'll be wearing next...

It's just that I found myself caught in my old ways of seeing/doing things; and needed to escape from that self-imprisonment.

Besides, if I'm gonna tell folks to expand their wineskins, then, by way of example, I've got to...


It hasn't been easy.

I don't have any canned stuff to rely on in a pinch anymore; but as I've wondered why I've felt the time had come to make more room for Him at my expense, I keep recalling an inspiration/indigestion that happened right in the pulpit so many years back.

While praying the prayer prepared on Friday afternoon for the three services that Sunday, I think I heard Him scorn, "Bob, didn't we go over this on Friday?"

It's like my old buddy Tony said to a very traditionally religious woman who criticized his colloquial way of praying: "Listen, lady, I wasn't talking to you!"

I feel like I've just stepped out of the boat feels pretty good.


Maybe that's why I think most churches need to poop-can those hymnbooks that they use that were published back in the...

If God is still alive and active among people who love Him and say they want to be more intimate with Him - being rhetorical here - isn't it time to recognize He hasn't stopped inspiring new songs?

Uh, doesn't anybody remember the repeated references to "new songs" in Psalms?

Yeah, it'll rock the boat; but, c'mon, boats don't move unless they're rocked.

It's like the little sign under a model ship that I saw in Boothbay Harbor, Maine about 40 years ago: "Ships are safe in the harbor; but that's not what ships are built for!"

I don't like to stretch; but I feel so much better after stretching.


That's getting back to His metaphor about wineskins.



Yeah, I know it's common to long for the way things never were or maybe were but are no more.

I do it.

I remember those nostalgic nano-seconds after ordination in Lackawanna Presbytery so long ago when I thought...

Those were the days, my friend, we thought...

They did.

Backward-looking is so, uh, backward.

I'm so tired of looking at my behind.

I prefer to trust Him for what's ahead: "Behold, I make all things new...even you!"


Blessings and Love!

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 13, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Marked antitheses punctuate personalities.

For example, my greatest strength/liability is transparency; saying what I mean and meaning what I say while, I pray, always being open to correction so I can confess, repent, and be restored.

Positively, Jesus said people who follow Him must balance tough-mindedness and tenderheartedness; being "wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove." If you're just tough or just tender, you're imbalanced.

I've been struggling with that balance.

I want to be a peacemaker; but the Psalmist was/remains right: "I am for peace but they are for war."

I want to be like too many peers who act like religious good humor women/men; agreeing with the last person that they've talked to and ingratiating themselves with everyone about everything regardless of how it relates to Biblical Christianity.

I want to enable health; but often enable...

You know what I mean.


A reader caught that struggle; and sent the following video to me.

You may remember the movie about the bouncer who says, "There's a time to be nice and a time not to be nice."

Go back to the third paragraph of the preceding section.


But, and I hope the Lord is with me on this, if we're going to take a cue from Him, it seems He is always favoring kindness over law/tradition and the like.


This video isn't the answer to all that ails us, but...



Getting back to being proven wrong and confessing/repenting so I can be restored, I said some things about Boise State as an appendix to KD's Annual Pre-Season NFL Power Rankings (scroll down to 9/9/10) that drew ire from experts who know lots more about that than moi.

When that Idaho powerhouse squeaked past highly touted Virginia Tech to open the season, those experts screamed with glee and disdain for anyone who questioned Boise State's credentials to claim the right to play for this year's national championship at the beginning of next year.


Virginia Tech just lost to James Madison.

That's like a Democrat losing to a Republican in Chicago, Illinois or Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Now back to the Alabama, Iowa, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, even Notre Dame and the like who play schedules really worthy of a trip to the big bowl.


Blessings and Love!

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 10, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


The obviously double-minded nut in Gainesville, Florida will/won't celebrate "International Burn a Koran Day" on 9/11/10 at his Dove World Outreach Center.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see what does/doesn't happen on Saturday.

All I know is I'm expecting some wacky skits on NBC in the fall.

Despite the best non-separation-of-church-and-state politically correct and one-sidedly religiously tolerant efforts of the White House, Secretary of State, General, Vatican, Junior League, and mainline denominational hierarchy who aren't really hierarchy by their constitutions but act like it when they make pronouncements on everything opposed to Biblical Christianity to the horror of their constituencies, only 9/9/10's KD (scroll down) momentarily convinced the fundie pastor to call it quits; or as a reader wrote from Pennsylvania: "Because of your KD or the Secretary of Defense calling him or God knocking him on the head, the Florida pastor has decided to can his Koran burning gig for Saturday. Praise the Lord! Now the extreme radical Muslim nut-jobs will have to come up with another reason for being so obnoxious and dangerous!"

Well, fasten your pew belts, 'cause the ___head behind building a mosque next to Ground Zero warned/threatened Islamists will have their feelings hurt and get really, really, really mad - and you know how they like to chop off heads and strap bombs to babies when they're pouting - if they can't have their spiritual fun house where they want it.

But more on that after more reader responses to the 9/9/10 edition.



From California: "I love your column and I love the way you write! And I REALLY like this column. I'm upset when anyone paints another with a broad, black brush; particularly when there's no personal knowledge involved. Thanks for your Kopp Disclosure! I happen to like Sarah."

O.K., that wasn't in response to the 9/9 edition. The reader liked the 9/7 edition. But, geez, being a pastor, husband, dad, football commissioner, P of a MC (Rainmakers), author of the best biker book not yet published, and covenant brother who is supposed to agree with everything that other brothers think or else, I need all of the affirmation/affection that I can get. So, California, let me know when you're in town and I'll cough up the $ that I don't have because no one's sending any to take us out to lunch.

From Florida: "Agree with you! People in the Gainesville area are very nervous and upset. There is a big football game at the 'swamp' on the same day. Perfect environment to create havoc. The immediate neighbors of this 'church' are being asked to leave for the weekend; and if some don't have places to go or have trouble leaving but want to, local churches, temples, and agencies are helping them. Jacksonville is also nervous for our community."

And I thought it's only the Jags that make folks nervous down there. Notice how it's the Jews, Christians, and other Americans who't go there.

From Minnesota: "Koran burning is Biblical. Read Acts 19:19. The imams in Saudi Arabia practice witchcraft. Let's get something straight! The world will not like you if you tell the truth. Muslims will want to kill you. What is wrong with you? Muslims are killing Christians, Jews, and everybody else who aren't Muslims. That's a fact! Wake up! This is not a popularity contest. This is Kingdom business. You did not see Moses keeping the golden calf around. Micah 6:8! Stop being such a wimp and step up for Biblical righteousness!"

Gulp. It's a good thing that I'm a mainliner; 'cause that means I don't have to pay attention to the Bible if it doesn't work for me. It's right there in the most approved mainline edition of the Bible (the really revised standard version): Acts 36:66.

From Washington: "Pastor Jones may be a 'nut' as you say, but this is an interesting case of civics and comparative tolerance...It throws a fascinating spotlight on what we are really dealing with as far as the Islamic movement is concerned. I would call it the Muslim religion, but we both know it's far more than that...It also has tentacles deeply entrenched in the political make-up of many influential nations. It has paramilitary wings...It seeks opportunities for expansion...It is rather covert about its true goals (worldwide domination). Its adherents swarm to free countries, breeding like rats, refusing to assimilate; instead, seeking all manner of accommodation to their belief system and laws. Now it is heavily bruised and insulted because a little tin horn outside of Gainesville decides to stage a ceremony where Korans are destroyed? PLEASE! Do we respect the First Amendment or don't we? These people are a hazard...Given Jesus' (not Allah's) sense of drama and message, I wouldn't be surprised if, at the end times, He personally makes a big show of His own-preeminence over Islam; but waits until that menace has metastasized and poses an immediate threat to everyone."

Whoa. I never thought of that. Well, actually, I did; but you know me.

From Ohio: "While I think this is a stupid thing to do, he has an absolute constitutional right to do so. When some commie pinko idiot anti-American (domestic or foreign) spits on, pisses on, tramples on, and burns our American flag, we are expected to suck it up and tolerate their freedom of expression in the name of the Constitution, tolerance, and diversity. In the same way, we are being called upon to show the world how superior our values are by letting the Ground Zero mosque be built...So where are all the pundits who should be calling for us to support the rights of this nut in Florida?"

Here's the fact, Jack! America and its mainline denominations share a pathology: thanatos libido. I've said it before and I'll say it again with no expectation of anybody paying attention. There is a lethal virus in America and mainline denominations that encourages/enables everyone/everything opposed to the Biblical moorings at the etiology of our prosperity and benevolence to the world. The virus comes from hell. I have been reluctant to say this; because so many are blind to the truth. When a nation has so devolved that its most prominent leaders bend over forward for Islam at the expense of honoring the only true sovereign of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, we better get out 2 Chronicles 7:14 within the context of Genesis 18 and pray Dean Harvey is right!



Staying with nuts, the imam behind building the mosque next to Ground Zero to respect the feelings of Islamists while saying to hell with everybody else's feelings has just said America will be in deep do-do if the mosque is not built next to Ground Zero.

In other words, he predicts Islamists will chop off heads, strap bombs to babies and send them into Wal-Marts, and...

Even Trump's offer to fund relocation has been trumped by the religion's irreconcilable in-your-face...


My guess is we'll fold and let 'em have it where they want it 'cause we're gonna outlaw those "Don't Tread On Me" flags and admit that America's spine for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is yielding to the world's new superpower.

Again, I think the guy in Florida is a nut.

I think the imam building the mosque is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

I also think America and its churches founded on the Hebrew Bible and New Testament have no, uh, uh, uh,...spine.

The imam is not as double-minded as the nut.

He has a goal; and anyone missing it is stoned and singing, "When you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair..."

I don't want the nut to burn the Koran for reasons stated in the last edition (scroll down).

I don't want America to cave in to the imam because it's a slippery slope to...


The tone for all of this is being set in DC.

You know it's true.

O.K., maybe BBPBHO is just reflecting what is happening to America; but, geez, gulp, sigh, whoa, don't we see how he bends forward for Islam at every turn while turning his back on Who and what made America so great?

Are we that blind?


Hope not.

We've had a good run and as Teddy used to say, "We, here in America, hold in our hands the hopes of the world."

Do we really want to turn all of it over to the Islamists and their sympathizers?

God, help us!


Kathie says America may be coming to its senses.

She sent the following video about a forthcoming movie that attempts to disclose/distinguish fiction from facts.

Of course, most folks prefer American Idol.

Hell/heaven, we elected him.



Blessings and Love!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

September 9, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Some nut in Gainesville, Florida is having a book-burning featuring the Koran on 9/11/10.

Alligator, Alligator, eat 'em up, eat 'em up!

That's all we need.

Another excuse for those emotionally fragile Islamists to whip themselves into a bad acid/religion frenzy before strapping bombs onto toddlers as they crawl into Wal-Mart.

Yeah, I know those ___heads burn our flag and chop off the heads of missionaries as well as their daughters who dare to date Jews/Christians/Moonies; but I don't recall Jesus giving permission to behave badly because they do.

Yeah, I think their prophet and their holy book rank right down/up there with Alfred E. Newman and other Maddening psyche-jobs; but isn't it better, as the Christophers say, to light candles than burn books...uh...I mean curse the darkness.

It's time for everybody to chill out and turn their attention to something really the NFL.



KD's Annual Pre-Season NFL Power Rankings

1. Ravens - Led by a real killer at MLB, they bring to mind the formula for football success on any level as explained to me by NCAA/NFL strength coach Buddy Morris: "80% of your players gotta be Boy Scouts and the other 20% gotta be criminals."

2. Colts - Though I think they like 2nd, anybody with the elder brother taking snaps and a healthy Bob Sanders on defense can clutch the big one after the season's clock expires.

3. Saints - Like BBPBHO trying to win again, it won't be a Brees this year. It's hard to repeat when everybody knows what you got.

4. Packers - With their old QB about to do the ultimate Ali and go one round too many, the Favre is off their backs. Besides, the youngest team in the NFL has put a few years of experience in the playbook.

5. Jets - So much $, talent, little to show for it. They remind me of Boise State (see next section).

6. Patriots - If they can't win fairly...

7. Steelers - Big Ben wasn't elected captain by his mates; meaning they know they can win without him. That's good because lots of 8th grade girls hang around Heinz Field.

8. Giants - Wounded animals are deadly; so don't under-estimate a coach who must win or file for unemployment. Besides, Eli's coming!

9. Redskins - McNabb is motivated even if Albert's not.

10. Eagles - Big mistake in dumping McNabb for the untested or untrue.

11. Broncos - The revenge of the righteous!

12. Bears - Sleeper. Just look at the QB's face after an interception.

13. Cowboys - Romo hasn't and won't.

14. Vikings - He should have quit after last season.

15. Chargers - LT is gone and they don't have Rivers of living water.

16. Falcons - Great QB! Mediocre team.

17. Dolphins - If the Big Tuna is stepping aside, you know this ain't the year.

18. Bengals - TO brings BO to any team.

19. 49ers - The coach is a winner. The QB isn't. You know you're in trouble if your best player is the punter.

20. Texans - Really, who cares?

21. Titans - I like the QB; but suing USC? Geez. They must be really hard up. Besides, anybody who'd sit Young this long doesn't deserve to win.

22. Cardinals - Greatest receiver in the league with no one capable of getting the ball to him.

23. Lions - C'mon, they're not the Cubs!

24. Browns - This is the year to find out if the coach is for real.

25. Panthers - Really, isn't NC about basketball?

26. Raiders - The owner is on oxygen.

27. Jaguars - Who?

28. Seahawks - Any chance they had went to Cleveland.

29. Chiefs - Best groundskeeper in the league!

30. Buccaneers - Send Gruden!

31. Bills - This team needs to move to the CFL.

32. Rams - QB of the future, premier RB, and players who couldn't beat the girls field hockey team at Duke.



Everybody likes an underdog; except, of course, Yankees fans.

With hopes to bust apart the BCS nightmare and use playoffs to determine a true national champion on the field instead of polling booths, Boise State has captured the imagination of everyone except members of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, and even Big East.

I was so impressed by their win over Virginia Tech.


Hit me with your best shot.

VT may not even be a top three team in their conference.

Whether it's the WAC or Mountain West, Boise State will not earn respect until they play a schedule with more than one legitimate opponent.

Does anyone really think they could whip Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan in the same year? How about Oklahoma, Iowa, and Nebraska? How about Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, and LSU? How about...?

I want to see playoffs as much as anyone else; except, of course, those who are cashing in on the current travesty.

Exaggerating the quality of Boise State football concomitant to their pansy schedule just to force playoffs is disingenuous and unfair to those teams/players that play true championship schedules.


Getting back to another game being played by Pastor Terry Jones in the Sunshine State (go back to the first section), he probably thinks his antics will spike worship attendance or get him on MSNBC.


But just as some things are illegitimate when it comes to football prognosticating, Jesus never said the ends justify the means.

Jesus was all about truth; and people who love Him share that passion.



Blessings and Love!

Monday, September 6, 2010

September 6, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



When I arrived at First about five years ago, I wrote a letter to former family of faith members who left the church over the years; expressing gratitude to God about those who'd found new church homes and inviting those who hadn't to come back.

A woman who I'd never met before or since who works for some lawyers in Rockford which probably means nothing wrote some of the nastiest things to me about me without the privilege/penance of having ever met me.

I mean it was really, really, really vile stuff.

Sharing the content with staff members and a few elders, I was assured she's notoriously irregular, irascible, and irreconcilable and became even more so after the interim who she adored served his time and left.

Being on the wrong side of idolatry can be...


Sarah Palin comes to mind.

Like BBPBHO who ain't no bridge-builder by any stretch of the re-imagination, she is a polarizing personality; though those who are most virulent in their damnings are usually people who've never had a conversation with her/him/them.

Parenthetically, I'm increasingly disgusted by the ideological litmus tests from the left and right that are just tools of speck-inspecting condemnation that Jesus warned about.

Anyway, I don't know either of 'em on a personal level.

BBPBHO hasn't invited me to the big house for a Bud Light; maybe because I prefer Miller Lite (metaphor).

While I think Sarah's the hottest female candidate even with the Secretary of State lookin' more and more like she's ready to make a Kennedy-move-on-Carter run for the rose garden, I don't really know her in any kinda Biblical or other way.

I have no clue about BBPBHO's principles which appear as impossible to perceive as the Steelers' chances of winning without Big Ben.

I read SP's Going Rogue back in November 2009; and she doesn't come off as divine as the incumbent (scroll down to the 11/18/09 edition).

While I was hoping for a few beauty shots, the pictures weren't nearly as appealing as the narrative; and the quote from Chuck Heath, Sr. at the end captures her caricature: "Sarah's not retreating; she's reloading."

God knows our country could use some of her horse sense: "The enlightened elites want to tell you to sit down and shut up. But the way forward is to stand and fight."

She reminds me of my ecclesiastical franchise's Confessing Church Movement: "Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!"

Of course, that movement went nowhere as the denomination continues to go way left.

So I'm thinking Sarah may be stirring up a lot of passion with about as much of a chance of her being the one to replace the current one-termer as me getting elected Moderator of the PCUSA.

While BBPBHO is looking more and more like the next candidate to receive a peanut farmer's butt-whipping from the Gipper, I just don't see SP as the one to spank him.

On the other hand, I never thought BBPBHO would win.


Staying with who's hot, a friend who's hot for her sent a copy of Michael Joseph Gross' Sarah Palin: The Sound and the Fury that's in the 10/10 edition of Vanity Fair to me.

Gross - Hmm - begins with a paragraph that could have been written about the incumbent: "Erratic behavior and a pattern of lying matter little: 'Such falsehoods never damage Palin's credibility with her admirers, because information and ideology are incidental to this relationship.'"

Kinda reminds me of mainline denominational jingoists.

Spewing more bile than one of those exorcism movies, he vents/virulents, "The Palin machine is supported by organizations that do much of their business under the cover of pseudonyms and shell companies...She keeps tight control of her pronouncements, speaking only in settings of her own choosing, with audiences of her own selection, and with reporters kept at bay...She injects herself into the news almost every day, but on a strictly one-way basis...The press plays along."


Yo! Gross! Are you writing about Sarah or BBPBHO?


O.K., back to the vents/virulents: "Palin owes her power to identity politics, pitched with moralistic topspin...Warm and effusive in public, indifferent or angry in private..."

Forget it!

He's, uh, grossed out by SP; even though so much of what he writes about her could be applied to...

From a review of Gross by, I think, Dr. Gina Loudon: "Remember Vanity Fair? You know - the stale, old magazine that no one buys unless they are on the cover or wishing they were, like Joy Behar? The recent hit piece on Sarah Palin by Michael Joseph Gross reveals that they must be as desperate as the rest of the MSM for sales/ratings, because they have lost all credibility, if they ever had any...Some 90% of the hard accusations are attributed to anonymous sources."

Well, it's like some church folks (see the first and next sections of this edition); upchucking personal smears without any personal relationships with the targets.


A woman on a search committee (scroll down to the last edition for more on this) who really wanted me to be her, uh, exclusive pastor/champion/BF/whatever met with me almost every other day for almost six months after I arrived to share bad things with me about other officers, members, and staff.

She had nothing good to say about anybody except herself.

Not being a rookie, I soon realized that if she talked so pejoratively about everybody else when she was talking to me, it wouldn't be long before she was talking so pejoratively about me when...

Gump: "It happens."

She just wanted to get real close to me by ingratiating herself with me at the expense of others with truth being incidental to her pathology.


Pastors do it too; like when predecessor/successors talk pejoratively about each other to ingratiate themselves with...

Well, I remember talking with a staff member about this particular, uh, commentator; saying, "There is no one - no officer, member, or employee of the church - who has escaped her criticism."

"But she's really not that close to anyone in the church," the staff member observed.

Now go back and read the preceding for persistent totally depraved patterns that cross political/ecclesiastical cultures.


Distinguishing fiction from fact is increasingly difficult in cultures that care more about ideology than veracity.

I'm convinced the connection between 'em and Jesus is coincidental; for He said, "The truth will set you free."

He is the truth.

Those who know Him tell it.



Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September 1, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



I wrote about friends not too long ago (scroll down to 8/24/10).

Part of being a friend is the willingness to take a bullet for and sometimes from a friend: "There is no greater love than laying down your life for a friend...If any among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him back, he should know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his life..."

Friends must be willing to love even when it means being unliked for loving.

If I have to explain that to you, you've probably never had/been a real friend.


Dean Harvey comes to mind.

He was pastor of Rockford, Illinois' Chapelwood Community Church for almost four decades and was the longest serving President of Greater Rockford's Evangelical Ministers Fellowship before retiring to Palm Desert, California just a few years ago.

Anyway, he grew weary of me quoting a really important evangelist's wife, "If God does not bring judgment upon America, he will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."

I would always quote her before saying America's days are numbered because everything's going to hell quicker than poop through a goose.

Finally, Dean reminded me with a gentle yet stern smile, bringing 1 Peter 3:13-17 to mind, "Bob, don't you remember Abraham's intercession in Genesis 18? Always remember that, unlike Sodom and Gomorrah, there is a very significant remnant remaining in America."

The seasoned corrected the sassy.

Dean is a friend.


Dean spoke to our family of faith on 2/28/07: "The Broken Heart of God."

If you go to the next video and endure the first three minutes of cameos featuring other fellahs, you'll hear a recording of his message from another location.

Stop what you are doing, make some time right now, and listen to it/Him-through-him!

As Dean says whenever he delivers this message: "This is the most important thing that I've learned about God in the last 40 years."

Everyone who heard him at First over three years ago has an expanded/deeper appreciation of our Lord's affection for us and how we break His heart by not returning the favor.


The Broken Heart of God - Dean Harvey Video - WittySparks


Dean's Ransom: The High Cost of Sin has just been published by Xulon Press; and I think you can get it via (order through or by writing to Dean via Destiny Ministries (1007 Twilight Trail, Suite 2, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601). You can also try DM's number: 502-227-1177.

A friend of my friend captured his/my sentiments in the foreword: "DH has written a very significant provides a solid Biblical basis for understanding the cost of sin and the way to receive allows us to see into the heart of God..."

Though you've got to ingest the inspirations of the book for His-through-his full grace-filled impact, Dean's summary whets the appetite for more: "...the main cost of sin is to God, in grief and a broken heart over those who sin, because He created us to multiply His love and character throughout the universe. Sin does just the opposite, it violates His character, and spreads selfishness instead of love, and it delays the accomplishment of His purposes..."


One of my former homiletics students called, "Dr. Kopp, this is my second church; and while things are going well, it's the second time that most of the folks on the search committee that brought me here have left because, I guess, I didn't fulfill their expectations."

Trying to be a friend, I said, "Well, _____, search committees betray strange pathologies; and, I confess for myself and other geezer pastors like me, your experience is not that much different from anyone else's in our beruf. Most folks on those committees mean well; or, at least, start out wanting a pastor who will love 'em by loving like Jesus. But, geez, too many folks on those committees are looking for a champion for their agenda or a best friend or even a lover. I even had one chick who kept telling me bad things about everybody in the church because she thought it would make me like her better; but I discovered I liked them better than her. It's kinda Shakespearean. If they can't have you the way they want you, they'll leave if they can't destroy you first. So read Matthew 10 and John 10 and, as Sonny said to Michael in The Godfather, don't take it so personally."

"But," I added in my attempt to be a real friend, "it might not be a bad idea to get a little counseling. You're wounded. And before you keep keepin' on there or think about going somewhere else, turn to somebody whose objective to help you sort it out. I remember a shrink who met with my doctoral study group who insisted, 'Every therapist needs a therapist every now and then.'"

I thought about that because when it comes to hearts breaking...


Anyone who loves Jesus by loving like Jesus will have her/his heart broken sometime somewhere somehow by somebody.

Read what Jesus says about that in Matthew 5.

But with Dean's help, we may find ourselves more washed by His blood than shedding...


Blessings and Love!