Thoughts on the Meaning of Life… Todd Helmkamp

Archive for August, 2007

That’s Final

Posted by Vogeler on August 22, 2007

I will never, repeat NEVER accept any spiritual authority from a person who is living in open sin and blatant disobedience to God’s Word.  If that makes me a “rebel” then so be it.

Winking at sin is why the church is in the state it is today. Not to be legalistic, but there is such a thing as Right. There is such a thing as Wrong. People make mistakes, true. I make them all the time. But when a spiritual leader continues in sin, WILLFULLY, PUBLICLY and UNREPENTINGLY, they have nothing to say to me. God will judge.

That’s final.

P.S. Anyone who supports a leader such as I have described, whether explicitly or implicitly, is every bit as guilty as the offender.


Posted in Announcements | 10 Comments »

A Timely Article

Posted by Vogeler on August 20, 2007

Click here to read an excellent assessment of our consumer-driven lifestyle by Dan Edelen of Cerulean Sanctum.

Posted in Announcements, Questions for Debate | Leave a Comment »

James 1:27

Posted by Vogeler on August 18, 2007

Today we had a big sale at work (I do tech support and manage our online inventory for a large General Motors dealership).  As a type of “incentive” we had free hot dogs.  At about ten in the morning a little old lady came in asking for them.  When told that we were starting them at 11 am, the disappointment in her eyes was obvious.

Now, I don’t know this lady’s situation.  She could be one of those with $200,000 buried in mayonnaise jars in her yard.  But it got me thinking about how difficult life can be for an elderly woman who is alone, with no family to fall back on.  Sure, the government helps some, but that only goes so far.  I’ve even heard of some who resort to eating cat food because its cheaper (could be an Urban Legend, but still).

Why do we depend on the government to take care of those who are forgotten by the rest of society?  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?  Isn’t that what Christ wants from us?

Let me challenge you:  this weekend, go to a nursing home and visit with someone who’s lonely.  Volunteer at a soup kitchen.  Take the love of Christ to those who really need it, and don’t waste it on pampered, spoiled church-goers who just want their “spiritual fix”.

Matthew 25: 31-40.

Posted in Ramblings | 1 Comment »

God is God.

Posted by Vogeler on August 16, 2007

There is currently an alarming trend in the world (of course, its been around for quite some time).

People wanting to mix all gods into One.

It doesn’t work.

There is only one God.  His Name is Yahweh.  Jesus Christ is His fully human, fully divine Son as the Second Person of the Trinity.  Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity.


I enjoy studying other religions.  I believe there is a lot of truth in them (but not TRUTH).  It is possible to study other religions, discuss things with adherents of other religions, and engage in a mature, reasoned dialogue about faith.  In fact, I have several friends who are not Christians, and we enjoy discussing our different religions.

But it is not possible for anyone who styles him- or herself a Christian (follower of Jesus Christ) to elevate any being other than the God of the Bible to godhood.  Anything else is heresy.  Anything else is just fooling yourself.

End of story.

Posted in Questions for Debate, Ramblings | Leave a Comment »

My legs hurt.

Posted by Vogeler on August 16, 2007

Last night, I ran for the first time in quite a while (years, maybe).


See, I checked out for tips for beginners, and they had several articles recommending a run/walk combo.  Run for 1 minute, walk for two minutes, wash, rinse, repeat.

Keep it up for thirty minutes.

When I was done, I was tired, not exhausted.  I felt great.  I was covered in sweat, so I know I got a good workout (not to mention my legs are on fire today!!).  The dog went with me, and she was about dead afterward.  Poor fat, out-of-shape Lucy.  🙂

If you are out of shape, or just want to start running, I highly recommend giving this a try.  A couple of things to remember:

  1. Check with your doctor first
  2. walk for 20 minutes for four days, then 30 minutes for the next four days before running
  3. give yourself time to rest on off days!
  4.  check out the whole article:,7120,ssss6-380-381–678-5-1X2X4X5X6-6,00.html
  5. Don’t sue me if you were dumb and injured yourself.


Posted in Announcements, Fun Stuff | Leave a Comment »

Learning a New Language

Posted by Vogeler on August 10, 2007

Since I’ve been a father, I’ve discovered something wonderful about those little humans we call children:  they don’t talk so well at first.  In order to understand what my son is trying to communicate to me, I have to be patient, and pay attention.  Anyone know of another Father that is patient and  that pays attention to us?  🙂

Anywho, (just for fun) I thought I would compile a short list (I absolutely adore lists for some reason) of some of my son’s words and the English translation.  Here we go:

Nighteen kween:  Lightning McQueen, the racecar character from the movie “Cars”

Goggy:  doggy

Oosie:  Lucy, the aforementioned “goggy”

Da-ee:  Daddy

Ma-ma K:  My mother, Mary Kay (who sometimes goes by just “Kay”)

Pie-er Man:  Spider Man

Pie Pan:  Peter Pan (this is one of my favorites!  ha ha!)

‘Tar:  guitar

That’s just a short list.  Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did  (if you thought this was stupid and pointless, you obviously don’t have children, and are probably not a very nice person).

Posted in Fun Stuff | 2 Comments »

Good Stuff

Posted by Vogeler on August 8, 2007

A very pertinent and interesting article about Jesus as the most intelligent man Who ever lived.  Click here.

Disclaimer:  Of course I believe that Jesus was both fully God and fully man.  Don’t be silly.

Posted in Questions for Debate | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Vogeler on August 3, 2007

My friend Nathan is a great guy.  He’s a computer whiz, I’ve never heard him say anything mean about anyone.  He’s a blast to be around, but never gets his laughs at someone else’s expense.  He’s running for the Waterloo, IN Town Council.  He’s cool.

However, I greatly pity Nathan, and for one reason:  he’s my sounding board.

Every time I’m confused, upset, etc, Nathan is the one I talk to about it.  I must sound like a Negative Nellie.  But he’s never said a word of complaint about it.  Like I said, he’s a great friend.

I was thinking about Nathan this morning, because he and I are getting together for coffee next week.  I wanted to make sure that I didn’t just dump all of my issues on him.  Suddenly it hit me:  While there’s nothing wrong with confiding in a friend, the Lord of the Universe is just waiting for me to spill out my heart to him.  Its not fair of me to constantly whine to Nathan, although he would listen regardless.  Instead, I should take these things to my King and my God.

Kind of a revelation to me, you know?

Posted in Ramblings | 1 Comment »

The Lesson

Posted by Vogeler on August 3, 2007

The boy (my two-year old, Luke) woke up at 4 am this morning.  We finally got him back to sleep around 6 am.  Somewhere in there, I managed to turn the volume on the alarm clock WAY up.  So when it went off at 6:20, Bethany and I about flew through the ceiling.  Then, I somehow managed to turn it all the way down, instead of just a bit, so I woke up late for work.  Sigh.

Why is it the only time you get stuck behind a slow driver is the day you’re late for work?  I came over a hill and saw a Crown Victoria in front of me.  I immediately thought “Uh-oh”.  Uh-oh was right.  This lady was driving 35 in a 50 mile-an-hour speed zone.  Double sigh.

Just when I was getting really annoyed with her, we came around a curve by a little church and cemetary.  She turned on her blinker light she was going to the church, and I thought (kind of nastily), “She must be meeting the girls for bridge or parcheesi or something.”  But then, she drove right past the church to slowly pull into the little cemetery.

Instantly a wave of shame and compassion came over me.  For all I know, this little old lady just lost her husband of 60 years and was going to visit his grave.  Or maybe that of a close friend, or one of her children.

The moral of the story:  we never really know another person’s story until we take the time to ask.  So take time out or your busy day today, and really engage in another person’s life.  After all, that’s what Jesus did.

Posted in Ramblings | Leave a Comment »

Be Careful What You Read

Posted by Vogeler on August 2, 2007

Here is an excerpt from a forwarded chain-email I received recently. My responses to each item are in red. Its worth a read, if nothing else to expose some common fallacies in Christiandom.

1. The Garden of Eden was in Iraq. False- we don’t know. Although the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in modern day Iraq share the names with the rivers in Eden, the original rivers were destroyed by the Flood (which wasn’t just a flood, but also terrible earthquakes and stuff. Genesis Chapters 6 and 7). The two modern, post-Flood rivers are most likely just re-named.

2. Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq, was the cradle of civilization! True, after the Flood anyway. But its not the only one.

3. Noah built the ark in Iraq. False. There is no Biblical evidence that Noah and his family lived in that region. Read Genesis Chapter 6. It doesn’t tell us where they lived. Tradition holds that Adam and Eve lived fairly close to the Garden of Eden after they were thrown out, but it is not very likely that the Garden was in Iraq (see above). The fact that the rivers in Mesopotamia are named the Tigris and Euphrates is no different from the fact that there’s a town called Mexico in Indiana. People re-use names. We have no idea where it was.

4. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq. This is true. We actually get “Babylon” from “Babel”.

5. Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq ! True

6. Isaac’s wife Rebekah is from Nahor, which is in Iraq ! Not quite true. Nahor is a person, not a place. Many translations are obscure, and use poor English when they say “The city of Nahor”. Nahor is not the name. A better translation would be “The city where Nahor lived”. We don’t know the actual name of the city (although many think it is Haran, where Rebehak’s brother Laban lived (Gen 27)), only the region, Aram Naharaim, usually translated Northwest Mesopotamia. However, this region is in Syria and Turkey, not Iraq.

7. Jacob met Rachel in Iraq. Again, false. They met in Padan-aram, or “The High Plain of Aram”, which is in Aram Naharaim (see above).

8. Jonah preached in Nineveh – which is in Iraq. True

9. Assyria, which is in Iraq, conquered the ten tribes of Israel. True. However, Assyria was only partly in Iraq. It was in Syria and Turkey too.

10. Amos cried out in Iraq. False. Amos was from Tekoa, a small village 6 miles Southwest of Bethlehem. Very much in the ancient kingdom of Israel, not Iraq.

11 Babylon , which is in Iraq , destroyed Jerusalem. True.

12. Daniel was in the lion’s den in Iraq ! Probably not true. The administrative capital was at Persepolis at the time, which was not in Iraq.

13. The three Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq (Jesus had been in Iraq also as the fourth person in the Fiery Furnace!) True, although there is some debate about whether or not it was Jesus in the furnace. The Bible says that the fourth person is one who looks like “a son of the gods.” While Jesus might look like that (this is before He came to earth as a baby) it is more likely it was an angel, as they look pretty spectacular (so I’ve heard).

14. Belshazzar, the King of Babylon saw the “writing on the wall” in Iraq. True.

15. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq. True. Although not all of the captives were taken there. They were spread out over the entire empire.

16. Ezekiel preached in Iraq . True.

17. The wise men were from Iraq . Not necessarily. All we know is that they were from the East. It took them almost two years to reach the place where Jesus was (Herod ordered all baby boys under age 2 killed….). It wouldn’t have taken them 2 years to travel from Iraq to Israel (only a few hundred miles). They were most likely from Armenia (although Armenia isn’t much farther), India, or even Tibet or China.

18. Peter preached in Iraq . Maybe. Its possible that “Babylon” is a code-name for Rome. Tradition states that he and the other apostles did, but we don’t know for sure.

19. The “Empire of Man” described in Revelation is called Babylon , which was a city in Iraq ! True, but its symbolic.

And you have probably seen this one: Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible. But do you know which nation is second? It is Iraq ! However, that is not the name that is used in the Bible.The names used in the Bible are Babylon , Land of Shinar , Chaldea and Mesopotamia … The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers .. False! The city, yes. But the second-most mentioned nation is Egypt.

The name Iraq , means country with deep roots. Not sure about that.
Indeed Iraq is a country with deep roots and is a very significant country in the Bible. No other nation, except Israel , has more history and prophecy associated with it than Iraq.

And also, This is something to think about: Since America is typically represented by an eagle. Saddam should have read up on his Muslim passages …

The following verse is from the Koran, (the Islamic Bible) Koran ( 9:11 ) –

For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle.. The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair still more rejoiced; for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah; And there was peace. False. Qu’ran 9:11 actually says: “[9.11] But if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, they are your brethren in faith; and We make the communications clear for a people who know.”

So, we see that it is important to educate yourself, and not just blindly send on email forwards without checking your facts. That’s how people are led astray.

I welcome comments, additions, and/or corrections!!

Posted in Announcements, Questions for Debate, Ramblings | 9 Comments »