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New RSS Feed

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hey everyone, if you are getting my blog on scottkeller.org via an RSS or Atom newsfeed, I've changed to Wordpress, and I have a new feed.

If you would be so kind, would you please subscribe to my new feed by clicking here. Thanks!

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LOV set list - 6/22

Monday, June 23, 2008

This past week at Live Oak, we pulled out a couple of classics, and did a few new ones.

1. God of all glory (Riddle/Varietal)
2. Blessed be the name (Redman)
3. We Need Your Touch (Corum/Estes)
4. Only You (Park)
5. You Never Let Go (Matt & Beth Redman)
Ministry: Forever You (Gavin Thompson/VMUK)

It has been a while since we've done "Blessed be the name". The song has gotten a lot of mileage after sweeping the nations, but the song is timeless in it's message and melody.
This week's Lectionary readings were about our desperation for God, and our trust in him, so these songs folded into pastor Steve's message very nicely. Melisa did a neat arrangement of Andy Park's "Only You" on piano, which turned out to be very nice. The song gives the worshiper a voice to acknowledge God's centrality in our lives.

Good stuff.

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Pics from Louisiana

Sorry this took so long to post, but I haven't been up to speed on my blogging lately. I've finally Flickr'd a few photos that I took during our trip to Lake Charles and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The whole trip was a blast. Lake Charles was incredible. The people there were some of the most incredible, sweet, and generous people I've ever met. They came to worship, that's for sure. They even cooked us up 50 pounds of crawfish to make sure we got some local food. It was great!

More pics from Lake Charles and Baton Rouge

If you are wondering why the heck I took a picture of a bag of candy, those are Peach Rings, which have quickly become the official fuel of Sheri's band. Drew met me at LAX with a fresh new pack, and they kept me going on the four hour drive from Baton Rouge to Houston! Thanks, buddy.

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Lakers, good food with friends, and California

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Lakers got smoked last night. Fortunately for me, I was at a fabulous dinner party with friends from Melisa's office. We had some awesome cuisine and some great conversation. It is so neat that when we go to her office parties, that it is the same as hanging out with real friends who care. Jason and Darren...you and your families rock!

Anyway, back to the Lakers, I didn't even check in on my phone to see what the score was. I knew they were going down. I was shocked, however, that they got beaten by such a massive margin. They just didn't want it as badly as the Celtics.

This year was a transition for me. I kind of became a Lakers fan, which is really weird. Growing up in Chicagoland meant that I was a Bulls fan for so long and hated the Lakers. But it has been almost eight years since I lived in Valpo, and life goes on and good changes come. But it is still weird to live in California.

One thing I vow to never do is give up my love for the Michigan Wolverines. I hope that passion for Michigan football never dies.


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You can't marry two things that are the same

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Today is the first full day of legalized gay-marriage in California, and I have already reach the point of saturation with all of the news about it. The situation is very sad to me. Not only did the state of California circumvent the will of the California electorate, they have now sanctioned the legal union of same-sex-couples as "marriages".

To me, gay couples who think that they can "marry" someone of the same sex is kind of silly. Marriage is the combination of two things that compliment each other. You don't marry chocolate with chocolate, you marry chocolate with peanut butter, or chocolate with cookie dough. I think of marriage like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If all you've got is two jars of peanut-butter, you don't have a PBJ. You've got something else.

To me, all the courts did was redefine what "is is". I think we've gotten so vain as a society, that we are willing to fool ourselves just to feel good in the moment. Any two people can enter into a contract, but to me, only a man and a woman can enter into a marriage, a relationship of complimentary strengths and capabilities.

You would think that we, as a society, would have more respect for God's order. The power the God has put in our hands to create life is a huge responsibility, and marriage is ultimately the framework designed to protect and nurture children. To twist its intention and turn it into a political agenda or some sort of Godless contractual agreement is, to me, extremely haughty and without fear of God.

Of course, I have sometimes acted without fear of God in my life. All of us have sinned. But when you institutionalize something like this, the societal shift will cause repercussions that we can't even imagine yet. To me this is a grave concern.


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Tax the government on excessive oil profits!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

All of this talk of taxing the eeeeevil oil companies for their ill gotten gain made me wonder how much money they are actually making. So I looked up the "Estimated Gasoline Price Breakdown" on the State of California's website, and was shocked!

I found out that the eeeeevil oil companies are actually GROSSING LESS money than the government is profiting!!

Here's the breakdown:


June 2, 2008
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits (Oil Co)
Crude Oil Cost (Pure cost)
Refinery Cost and Profits(Oil Co) $0.51
State Underground
Storage Tank Fee (Government cost)
State and Local Sales Tax(Government) $0.31
State Excise Tax(Government) $0.18
Federal Excise Tax(Government) $0.18
Retail prices(total) $4.24

So if you add up the Oil Company potential profits, the MOST they could profit on a gallon of gas is $0.62 per gallon. Of course, they have to truck the gas to their stations, hire drivers, hire station attendants, own trucks, pay rent, etc. etc., so their profit is likely just a fraction.

The government, on the other hand, makes $0.67 per gallon, and all they have to do is collect the money.

So who is gouging Americans? The Federal, State, and Local government are killing us! About $12.00 of your gas tank is pure tax.

Think about that before you think about hating the eeeeeevil oil companies.

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Higher taxes on oil companies?

With gasoline prices topping $4 a gallon, Senate Democrats want the government to grab some of the billions of dollars in profits being taken in by the major oil companies.

Senators were to vote Tuesday on whether to consider a windfall profits tax against the five largest U.S. oil companies and rescind $17 billion in tax breaks the companies expect to enjoy over the next decade.

"The oil companies need to know that there is a limit on how much profit they can take in this economy," said Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, warning that if energy prices are not reined in "we're going to find ourselves in a deep recession."

The Senator is either foolish or is simply using this opportunity to advance his liberal agenda. His groups of Senators are pushing to "punish" the oil companies for making a mere 7% profit by increasing taxes on them?

Anybody who understands economics knows that a tax on oil companies is, in effect, a tax on consumers. The oil companies ARE going to make money. Corporations EXIST to MAKE MONEY. So if the government is going to impose higher taxes on the oil companies, those same oil companies have no choice but to pass on their higher costs to you and I as we fill up at the gas pump, buy Airline tickets, and buy milk at the grocery store.

Higher taxes on a commodity producers cannot, will not, never will cause the cost of their commodity to fall. Clearly, this is just a ploy by Durbin and the US Government to try to grab billions of dollars on a short term scheme that will, in the end, punish the least fortunate Americans.

What I don't understand is why we are waiting on more minute to slash taxes on oil companies on investments and profits they make on domestic oil sold to American markets. We should encourage American oil companies to pump American oil, mine American shale, and sell it into the American market.

Exxon, Shell, and their ilk are making a lot of money, yes. But they aren't making obscene profits. Seven percent profits are not excessive. They are not to blame. Instead, OPEC, Venezuela and their ilk are to blame with their subdued production. Make no mistake, the Saudis and the other Islamic oil countries are doing whatever they can to take down the West economically.

Americans have to give up their hate of American oil companies. They aren't the criminal here. The American government combined with hostile oil producers like OPEC are to blame in my book.

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