Thursday, October 29, 2009

On Psalm 49

In many ways I find Psalm 49 to be like a condensed version of the book of Ecclesiastics. It seems to cover much of the emptiness and vanity that is man's lot without God.

Verses 1-4: To him that excelleth. A Psalm committed to the sons of Korah. Hear this, all ye people: give ear, all ye that dwell in the world,as well low as high, both rich and poor. My mouth shall speak of wisdom, and the meditation of mine heart is of knowledge. I will incline mine ear to a parable, and utter my grave matter upon the harp.

Here the psalmist says that everyone needs to listen to this. Everyone in the world. Whether you are counted as important by other men, or are just an average person, you need to hear this! What the psalmist is going to say is wisdom and knowledge, yet of course it is not his own, but God's.

Verses 5-9: Wherefore should I fear in the evil days, when iniquity shall compass me about, as at mine heels? They trust in their goods, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches. Yet a man can by no means redeem his brother: he cannot give his ransom to God, (So precious is the redemption of their souls, and the continuance forever) That he may live still forever, and not see the grave.

What do I have to be afraid of when sin surrounds me? Those who are rich, what good are those riches to them? Their money can't buy the salvation of their brother. And what is the value of riches compared to the value of a man's soul? In the New Testament we find in Matthew 16:26 "For what shall it profit a man though he should win the whole world, if he lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give for recompense of his soul?" All of a man's riches does him absolutely no good in the matter of salvation. In fact, riches may be a detriment. Jesus says in Mark 10:25 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
That should give one pause. If you are rich, and who in America today is not, by the rest of the world’s standards, then this pertains to you. This should concern you enough to dig out your Bible and read on from verse 25, for the answer is clearly given.

Verses 10-14: For he seeth that wise men die, and also that the ignorant and foolish perish, and leave their riches for others. Yet they think, their houses, and their habitations shall continue forever, even from generation to generation, and call their lands by their names. But man shall not continue in honor: he is like the beasts that die. This their way uttereth their foolishness: yet their posterity delight in their talk. Selah. Like sheep they lie in grave: death devoureth them, and the righteous shall have domination over them in the morning: for their beauty shall consume, when they shall go from their house to grave.

Men think that they can erect buildings and accumulate great wealth and their accomplishments and their families will live on after them, but whether a man is wise or a fool, all the same he will die and cannot take his riches with him. His family may brag about how great a man he was, but even that is short lived. No matter how important a man strives to be, just like an animal, he will die.

Verses 15-20: But God shall deliver my soul from the power of the grave: for he will receive me. Selah. Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, and when the glory of his house is increased. For he shall take nothing away when he dieth, neither shall his pomp descend after him. For while he lived, he rejoiced himself: and men will praise thee, when thou makest much of thyself. He shall enter into the generation of his fathers, and they shall not live forever. Man is in honor, and understandeth not: he is like to beasts that perish.

Don't let it bother you when others become rich and famous. They won't take any of their riches or fame with them when they die. A man may be famous, but if he does not understand God's salvation, does not know God, it does him no good. He may just as well be an animal. Proverbs 9:10 says "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and the knowledge of holy things, is understanding." The understanding that the man in this Psalm lacks is the understanding of the holy. If he were to understand the holiness of God, it would cause him to fear, which in turn would be the beginning of wisdom.

You see, once you start to understand the holiness of God, and how it is reflected in his laws and commandments, it should scare you. When you realize that you have not kept God's laws and are under his judgment, it cannot help but cause you to fear, and that is the beginning of wisdom. But the man who is like the beast that perishes, is so because he has never had an understanding of the holiness of God. It is a pretty depressing picture. But praise the Lord we have verse 15 of this Psalm.

Verse 15 says " But God shall deliver my soul from the power of the grave: for he will receive me." A similar verse in the New Testament is found in John 14:3 when Jesus says "And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there may ye be also."

It is only God that can save us. It is only through the death of Jesus Christ in payment for our sins that we can avoid the judgment that we deserve. It is only by faith in that payment, which leads to repentance from our sins, that we can be received by Christ.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Pup Wins One

The following is a just a short anecdote involving an old friend affectionately known as "Pup." To appreciate the humor you need to know that years ago, I liked to harass Pup about hogging all the "biker names." Though his name is Darin, he was such a youngster when he started crewing on our drag bike, that calling him Pup was a natural. Later when he was prospecting for a club he acquired the nickname "Dagwood." Yet another moniker he picked up was "Piglet" though I believe that one would more properly be called an alias. It seems that there may have been one more somewhere in there, but memory fails me. Back then my favorite way to greet him when he came into the shop was "PupDarinDagwoodPiglet....!
As I said, Pup was just a ....well, a pup when I met him. Now-a-days however, he looks much more the part of the stereotypical biker; husky with shaved head and the ever popular facial hair. Add to this the fact that Pup has been riding a real chopper since long before the television shows brought them back into style and ....well, you get the picture. (Trust me, all this set up is required for the story to make sense)

It seems that recently, Pup felt the urge to go to the weekly open house at a local Harley dealership. I think he was mostly there for the combination of free hot dogs, and an opportunity to laugh at all the new bikers in their new leathers on their new bikes.

As he loitered on the show floor, he was approached by a cute little female from the sales department. "What do you get for this V-Star?" Pup answered her inquiry as to whether she could help him. Either not noticing or ignoring that Pup had called the Harley V-Rod a V-Star (Yamaha, I think!) she quoted him a price. He countered by asking "How much for the two tone V-Star?" This proved to above her pay grade, however, so she left him with the assurance that she would send over another salesman who knew more about that model.

Soon Pup was greeted by the promised expert saying "Hi, my name is _____, but the clubbers call me Grumpy." Pup replied in his best deadpan, "My name is Darin, the clubbers call me Darin. How much for the two tone V-Star?"

"Its a V-rod, not a V-Star." insisted Grumpy. "Same difference." Pup dryly replied. At that point Grumpy had the good sense to turn on his heel and walk away, leaving Pup to enjoy his minor victory in the oft imagined skirmishes between genuine old time bikers and their synthetic counterparts.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Freedom of Speech and the Pulpit

This morning, over at The Recliner Commentaries, is a post concerning last week's "Pulpit Freedom Sunday." This annual event sponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund, is an attempt to highlight the freedom of speech/freedom of religion which was trampled by the 1954 Johnson Amendment.

I am proud to say that my pastor, who also happens to author of the Recliner Commentaries blog, chose to take part in this years "civil disobedience." In contrast, I am ashamed to say that only 82 other pastors across the United States cared enough about the right of free speech, which our founding fathers said was a right GIVEN BY GOD, to do likewise!

In case you are wondering, Pastor Ingolfsland delivered a sermon for the occasion which was very even handed. He addressed both sides of several issues, and showed where the Bible comes down on each. One point that I feel especially worth sharing: every time a government run school teaches that homosexual relationships are good and natural and right, they are in effect telling your children that the Bible is wrong. By extension they are teaching your children that you (if you are Christian), are wrong and that you are a bigot!

Only 83 pastors. Wow. That is truly pathetic. My only hope is that the lack of participation was due to lack of awareness rather than apathy. Please ask your pastor if he knew, and if he might participate next year.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Finalizing the Carbs

As the Knuckledragger nears completion, here is a little info on the Linkert carbs it is fitted with:

Alcohol in a Linkert carb? Yes, it has been done before. As it happens, world record setting motorcycle drag racer from the mid '50s, Lloyd Krant, ran Linkerts on his Knuckle drag bike. And thanks to a blog post in which I mentioned Lloyd, his son Guy contacted me, revealing priceless technical details of his father's bike "The Giant Killer." Some of this info includes such tidbits as the fuel mixture Lloyd preferred (30% nitro/70% alcohol) right down to the jets sizes he used.

Keeping in mind that you need to be able to flow roughly twice as much volume for Alcohol as you would running gasoline, a few modifications were in order. When I got the "Whizzer" gas tank, I had a pair of bungs with 3/8" pipe thread welded in, and installed the largest brass petcocks I could find. (BTW - these were donated by Kevin at Bass Metal Craft - thanks again Kevin)

Next up were the needle and seat. I started with a couple of generic aftermarket seats, and machined the round holes that allow fuel from the needle to the bowl into rectangular ports. The picture below shows the stock one on top and the modified one below.

From there I chucked them up in a lathe and turned down the inlet end to take a 3/8" hose instead of the stock screw on fitting. I also chose to lap a pair of old stock steel needles to the new seats rather than take the chance that the aftermarket "Viton" tipped needles would deteriorate from the alcohol.

The floats were up next. I happened to have a pair of used brass floats left over from when Kokesh Motorcycle was manufacturing them. These provide the added advantage that I know they don't leak. If you detect a hint of my distrust of aftermarket parts, let me assure you that it is well founded.

Since alcohol also has a different specific gravity than gasoline, the float level needed to be addressed. The float level for a stock (cork) float is 1/4" for gasoline. Due to its heavier weight, a brass float needs to be set at 5/16" to 3/8" for gas. I chose to do a mock up on the float bowl assembly to be sure that 1) I got the fuel level right, and 2) the needle and seat actually seal. As you can see from the picture below, no expense was spared on the test fixtures. (that was sarcasm, in case you hadn't noticed)

As it turns out, the specific gravity difference and the weight difference of the float very nearly cancel each other out. I wound up with a float level of 9/32" (compared to the stock 1/4"). Increased fuel flow in the carbs are via addition of a fixed jet (like an M74) along with the stock adjustable mains. Below are the finished carbs mounted on the bike.

If these carbs look exotic, it is mostly due to the mods performed on the bodies. These started as run of the mill M35 Linkerts, from which the choke assembly was removed. In its place a steel ring which acts as an air inlet guide was installed. This necessitated the use of Flathead style side fill float bowls. Each carb also received a new, larger M74 veturi from Colony.

How do they work? Hopefully I can tell you soon.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pray for Social Justice?

It seems that with increasing frequency one runs across the term "Social Justice." Most often the term will be used in a political context, though increasingly it is spoken of in relation to "Progressive Christianity" or its newest catch phrase; "Red Letter Christian." All of these terms; Social Justice, Progressive Christianity, and Red Letter Christian are inter-related, and in need of some explanation.

Social Justice, as it is used in the political realm, basically has to do with redistribution of wealth. It is a Robin Hood mentality that would see the rich taxed until they are no longer rich, and the poor subsidized until they are no longer poor. That may not sound so bad to you until you come to the realization that if you are anywhere in the middle class, Robin thinks you are rich. Keep in mind though, that despite all the good PR, Robin is still a Hood.

Progressive Christianity is, for the most part, just the application of this political ideology to the apostate church. The term "progressive" is getting to be a little too well linked to politics lately, so it is falling out of favor with the Progressive Church. The sweepstakes winner for a new name for the same old song appears to be "Red Letter Christian."

The term Red Letter Christian takes its name from the popularity of certain editions of the Bible which have the "words of Christ" in red print. Red Letter Christians would emphasis the words of Jesus over all the rest of scripture, thinking it excuses them from believing what the Old Testament and the Apostles teach about such issues as homosexuality, abortion, etc. Nothing new here; it seems that every form of apostasy begins with a low view of scripture. Of course when push comes to shove, the true "Red Letter Christian" would be forced to ignore and or twist the words of Christ to maintain their political allegiance.

So with all that said, I would like to submit a more accurate definition for the term "Social Justice." Social: of or relating to human society. Justice: the assignment of merited rewards or punishments. Put them together and you have a society getting what it deserves.

A good example of Social Justice would be for modern day America to suffer the same fate as Sodom and Gomorrah. Think the cesspool that is Hollywood. Think the debauchery in San Francisco. Think the corruption that is politics today. Think Mardi Gras. Think the millions murdered by abortion. Yeah, Social Justice would be a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah treatment. So don't pray for Social Justice.... pray for Repentance and Mercy!