Monthly Archives: August 2012

Things I’ll ask in heaven

I read this blog by Kevin Childs (http://kevinchilds.com) a few weeks ago and I had to laugh. This is exactly what I always say to the kids in my class, “When I get to heaven I will ask … ”
Well, not everything he mentions is an immediate concern to me but a lot is on my list too.

I wonder what you would add

Things I’ll Ask in Heaven

How many times have you heard somebody say, “When I get to Heaven, here’s the first thing I’m going to ask God …”? I don’t think there will be any of that. Heaven isn’t about getting our curiosity satisfied. Heaven isn’t about personal mansions, or personal bliss, or even reunions with loved ones. Heaven is about Jesus. The heavenliest thing about Heaven is Jesus. His glory will eternally illuminate the whole place (Rev. 21:23). I personally believe we’ll be SO blown away by the glory of Jesus that NO question will distract us from that magnificence for all of eternity.

Having said that, however, I would like to ask a few. Since I likely won’t even care then, I’ll ask them now:

Was it really necessary to preserve gnats? Mosquitoes? People who drive slowly in the passing lane?
Cats really are evil, aren’t they?
Can you explain the predestination / free will thing?
How old, exactly, IS the creation?
Did a witch really raise the spirit of Samuel?
What kind of nation would be have been if the South had won the War of Northern Aggression?
What tipped the scales at ballgames when Christians on both teams (and fan bases) prayed for a win?
What was the rationale behind rarely if EVER putting ovaries and clock management skillz in the same humans?
Did you even care, at all, about worship “style?”
How about coat ‘n tie vs. casual?
When you defended that woman who was caught in adultery, and you stooped down to write something in the dirt, what did you write?
Could You have put the cholesterol in the yuck food instead of the steaks and burgers?
Were you ever actually “teaching me something” when I was behind slow drivers in the passing lane?
What was up with Ted Haggard?
Did Billy Graham ever cuss?
Which denomination got it right? OK, closest to right? OK, sort of closest?
How many U.S. presidents were actual Christians? Oh, true, I’ll just look around Heaven. Shoulda thought of that. My bad.
You thought TBN was uber-tacky too, didn’t you? Please please please say YES.
What is THAT guy doing up here?
Where was the dividing line between permissible irreverent humor and sacrilege? (Holding my breath … if you can do that in Heaven)
Was the internet a net gain, or loss – spiritually speaking?
What was Your own personal favorite “nature scene?” Seascape or mountains? Niagra Falls or desert sunset?
What exactly happened between the crucifixion and resurrection?
How many times did You personally step in and save me from dying?
What were some miracles in my life that I was too worldly-minded to see at the time?

That’s a start. What did I leave out?

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Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Dutch politics … how do we do it?

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Slowly I’m getting the hang of this place. I’d better be careful, before I know it I’m going to like it here.

In the Netherlands we’re coming close to our election date.  September 12 is the day we will have to vote in a new government. It won’t be easy this time … with the financial crisis in fool bloom no one seems to really know what to do. And when the so-called experts don’t have a clue what are we supposed to think?

As Dutch politics are a bit different from the American way …  here’s a quick lesson :)

Parliament:
In  the Netherlands the directly elected House of Representatives and indirectly elected Senate together constitute the legislative assembly or parliament. The House of Representatives is the more powerful of the two. This is where government coalitions are formed and collapse, and where ministers must come to defend their policies. No minister or government can survive a vote of no confidence in the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives keeps the government under scrutiny. They have the right of amendment, meaning that If a majority of the members of the House want to change the wording of draft legislation, they have the power to do so; they have the right of interpellation, an emergency debate calling a minister to account for some decision; they  have the right to initiate legislation if they feel that the government is failing to do so and they have the right of inquiry by appointing a special parliamentary commission to conduct an in-depth investigation of some particular aspect of government policy.

The upper house or Senate has fewer rights than the House of Representatives. They meet only one day a week to re-examine legislative proposals passed by the House of Representatives and they can only accept or reject a bill in its entirety.

Elections:
The 150 seats in the House of Representatives are allocated on the basis of an ‘electoral quota’: the total number of votes cast divided by the number of seats available (150). The number of votes cast for each party is divided by the electoral quota and the result determines the number of seats initially allocated to that party.

Formation:
In the Netherlands a government always consists of two or more parties, a coalition. The process of forming a new coalition government begins on the day after the general election.
The Queen asks the leaders of the parliamentary parties and a series of advisers whom she can best invite to form a new government, given the outcome of the election. It may be quite clear which combination of parties will have the majority of seats in the newly elected House of Representatives. Two or more parties may have announced their intention to form a coalition in the run-up to the election and have gained a majority on that basis. Generally, however, the formation of a government is an extremely complex business that takes many weeks.
In practice, the party that has won the most votes will take the lead in forming a coalition and will usually provide the “formateur” (usually the future Prime Minister).

The aim is a coalition government that has the support of a majority of members of the House of Representatives and has reached prior agreement on its main policies. The process of forming a coalition is complete once the formateur has gained the agreement of the parties concerned to both a written coalition agreement and a list of candidate ministers. The ministers are then sworn in and the Prime Minister makes a formal policy statement to the House of Representatives.

Categories: Netherlands, Politics | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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