Tuesday, December 30, 2008

American Football Is Your Life

I really like American football. My wife can certainly attest to that fact. During the season, she becomes a football widow, where I will watch multiple games and such, especially when it comes to college ball. But yesterday I read a story where one man takes it to the most extreme lever I have ever seen.

If you follow football then I am sure you know of the downfall, or utter collapse of the Dallas Cowboys. Now, I am a big fan of the Cowboys, and for once, I had to turn the TV off in sheer disbelief and utter disgust. But I also know that it's a game, played by professional athletes who are paid a heck of a lot more money than I will ever see and the outcome of the game doesn't effect me at all. I may not like it, but I have a life to lead.

Enter Alan Low, of Richland Hills, Texas.

Mr. Low decided to protest the Cowboys and their season, and wore a sign around his neck saying that the Cowboys did not play their last game with any heart or emotions. During his time of "protest", he was confronted by linebacker Bradie James who was leaving the Cowboy's facility to go home.

Now, I don't know about you, but Mr. James had probably one of the worst days of his professional life the day before, was probably not in the mood to see somebody calling him out on his playing ability, and from the looks of the picture of Mr. Low, someone who probably never played the game in his life, and Mr. James confronted Mr. Low.

Mr. Low's version:
"Mr. Bradie James comes out and first drives by, flips me off," he said. "He comes by five minutes later and starts ripping the signs off my neck."

Mr. James' version:
"I'm getting ready to either hit you with the car, you're in the way," he said. "He was like, 'Why didn't you guys have that fire last night?' Next thing, I ripped that sign off of him."

Now during this Mr. Low's sunglasses were broken, the police were called and in the end, Mr. Low's sunglasses were replaced with a name brand pair by Mr. James and nothing happened with the police being called out.

This is one of those stories that just make you shake your head and wonder "Why?".

For now though, I think that when my wife gets upset about my watching football, I will remind her of other people out there who take football much more seriously than I do.

You can read the entire story and see the video of it here.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Full Armor of God Series - Shoes of Peace

Part three of this series. Enjoy and may it bless you as it has me.


Ephesians 6:15
Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace

The next piece of armor is the shoes of peace . When you receive Christ, you are united with the Prince of Peace. You have peace with God right now (Romans 5:1), but the peace of Christ must also rule in your heart if you are going to live victoriously, and that is possible only when you let the Word of Christ richly dwell in you (Colossians 3:15, 16).

The shoes of peace become protection against the divisive schemes of the devil when you act as a peacemaker among believers (Romans 14:19). Peacemakers bring people together by promoting fellowship and reconciliation. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9). Anyone can divide a fellowship, but it takes the grace of God to unite us in Him.

Too many Christians insist on common doctrine as the basis for fellowship. They reason that if we don't think the same and believe the same, there is no basis for peace. But common doctrine isn't the basis for fellowship; common heritage is. We're all children of God. If you wait to fellowship with someone until you agree perfectly on every point of doctrine, you'll be the loneliest Christian on earth. Instead of insisting on the unity of the mind, preserve the unity of the Spirit by taking the initiative to be the peacemaker in your relationships (Ephesians 4:3).

Some people like to play the devil's advocate in their relationships and churches. I ask, Why? He doesn't need any help! In His high priestly prayer, Jesus prayed, "I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me" (John 17:23). We have the promise that "the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet" (Romans 16:20). Ask God to use you to bring unity to your relationships by making you a peacemaker.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I will not be back to blogging until after Christmas, so I wanted to take this time to wish you and yours a very blessed and merry Christmas.

Take time out to say thank you for all the things that have blessed you this year, be it family and friends, or whatever.

See you after Christmas!

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Full Armor of God Series - The Breastplate of Righteousness

I wanted to continue this series. It has been a while since I have posted about it, so here is the next part from Neil Anderson.


Ephesians 6:14
Having put on the breastplate of righteousness . . .

The second piece of armor God has provided for us is the breastplate of righteousness . When you put on Christ at salvation, you are justified before our holy God. It's not your righteousness but Christ's (1 Corinthians 1:30; Philippians 3:8, 9). So when Satan aims an arrow at you by saying, "You're not good enough to be a Christian," you can respond with Paul, "Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies" (Romans 8:33). Your righteousness in Christ is your protection against Satan's accusations.

Even though we rejoice in our position of righteousness in Christ, we are well aware of our deeds of unrighteousness when we think, say, or do something apart from God. Standing firm in our righteousness requires us to live in continuous agreement with God according to 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Confession is different from saying "I'm sorry" or asking forgiveness. To confess ( homologeo ) means to acknowledge or to agree. You confess your sin when you say what God says about it: "I entertained a lustful thought and that's a sin"; "I treated my spouse unkindly this morning and that was wrong"; "Pride motivated me to seek that board position and pride doesn't belong in my life."

Satan will make confession as difficult for you as he can. He will try to convince you that it's too late for confession, that God has already erased your name out of the book of life. That's another one of his lies. You're in Christ; you're already forgiven. You are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), and He will never leave you. Your confession of sin clears the way for the fruitful expression of righteousness in your daily life. We should be like Paul, who said, "I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men" (Acts 24:16).

A Hot Time In The Kitchen Last Night

Last night was a fun evening. My wife turned on the back burner of our cooktop and left a full bag of sugar not right next to it, but close to it, then came to talk to me. Next thing you know, the smoke detector is going off, the kids are yelling "FIRE!" and I run in to see a four pound bag of sugar on fire, about 5 inches below our wood cabinets.

Needless to say, the bag went into the sink, sugar on the floor, the sugar that was not burning that is, and baking soda went onto the fire.

Now, my wife happened to have had a camera in her pocket and snapped this picture right after the bag had went into the sink, but before the fire went out.

So now we are out of sugar, and salt apparently because I was looking for that to put the fire out, but couldn't find any.

All in all, no real damage to anything, two very good girls who yelled what they were supposed to have yelled, and my wife will now make sure we have salt on hand.
It could have been a lot worse. Thank God it wasn't.

My wife also blogged about this on her blog here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Persecution in Vietnam

I read an article a short time ago about persecution happening in Vietnam even though Christianity is recognized in that country. One of the issues is that churches must be legally recognized by the state.

One of the legally recognized churches is the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (South), which held a very large outdoor Christmas gathering on Dec. 12-13 of this year. Contrast that with the fact that the government of Vietnam destroyed a church that had been built to house a small congregation of Hmong Christians in Cu Hat village which is in the norther province of Dak Lak.

The government accused the congregation of building the church without the proper permits, even though the vast majority of the buildings there are built in this manner. The local authorities accused the Christians of “illegal construction” and ordered the congregation to “voluntarily” tear it down. On Dec. 2, Krong Bong district officials made a formal decision to demolish the church within two weeks if the Christians would not do so themselves.

Government officials arrived early in the morning to raze the building and brought with them police wielding electric cattle prods who beat back hundreds of distraught Christians who rushed to the site to protect the building being torn down. Five people were seriously injured, including a child with a broken arm, and a pregnant woman who had a cattle prod used against her abdomen.

The good news is that Christianity is allowed in this communist nation but only under the watchful eyes of the government. Most churches, especially the smaller congregations do not register for fear of having to report to the authorities of who are members, what they say and so forth. But the people of Vietnam are hearing the Good News. I would ask that you would pray for those who aren't recognized, and are persecuted for that, as in the example above.

You can read more about this story here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Can You Live On $169,300 A Year?

Can you live on $169,300 a year? I know I could. However, it appears that those in Congress can't.

After telling CEO's of various companies that they should only earn one dollar a year, and with over 2 million people newly out of work, Congress has "earned" itself another pay raise.

Granted, the pay raise is just 2.8 percent, but still. With the average congressional pay at $169,300 a year, and the average family income as reported by the Census Bureau at $50,233.00 a year, there seems to be somewhat of a discrepancy here in pay.

I will give credit to at least one incoming representative. Representative. Harry Mitchell, a first-term Democrat from Arizona, sponsored legislation earlier this year that would have prevented the automatic pay adjustments from kicking in for members next year. But the bill, which attracted 34 cosponsors, failed to make it out of committee.

Imagine that. Didn't even make it out of committee to the floor for a vote.

In the beginning days of 1789, Congress was paid only $6 a day, which would be about $75 daily by modern standards. I say we pay them that, and then let's see what happens to our government.

So, can you live on $169,300 a year?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Barack Obama and Rick Warren

I have to admit that I did not see this one coming and I also have to admit that President-Elect Barack Obama's choice of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration was a decision that I support completely. I am saddened though, in that it won't be Billy Graham doing it this time, but I am okay with Rick Warren doing it.

The problem is that the gay community is up in arms over this. They feel betrayed by the person they saw as a savior, and I for one, am saddened by the intolerance and prejudice of the gay community. I applaud President-Elect Obama's choice, and his continued approach to "bring America together".

A couple of quotes I have read so far have stood out to me:
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights organization, said Warren's opposition to gay marriage is a sign of intolerance.

"We feel a deep level of disrespect when one of the architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination," the group said in a letter to Obama, asking him to reconsider.
"By inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table," the letter said.
It is very hard for me to even consider their argument of intolerance a valid one. When the gay community actively attacks elderly Christian individuals, taking the cross and stomping and spitting on it, invading churches and interrupting peaceful services, all in the name of "protest", I know who is intolarant and it is not the Christians. Also, to say that President-Elect Obama has tarnished any view is utterly ridiculous. If anything he has shown a remarkable tolerance for most views that are brought to the table. Exactly what views are the gay community wanting brought to the table? Only their own? Again that is a ridiculous thing to ask for. America is not a gay nation. It was not founded on gay ideals, nor were the founding fathers gay.

It is a shame that those who most ask for tolerance are the ones who are themselves, the most intolerant of all other people who disagree with their viewpoints.

Bully for President-Elect Obama. Even though I did not vote for him, I really applaud this decision.

The Newest Grinch This Christmas -- Sean Thomas

As I was reading through the news from around the country today, I came across this headline:
Activist who fought bell ringers explains motives
Man sought to have Salvation Army collectors moved from post office.
Now, the headline alone was enough for me to immediately think of the word Grinch.

Sean Thomas is this week's Grinch who stole Christmas.

Mr. Thomas, a 65 year old gay man, apparently has a bias against the Salvation Army, mistakenly believing that the Salvation Army is anti-gay. It is a sad situation when a person's intolerance and prejudice hurts many needy and deserving people. How you may ask?

The Salvation Army, for 25 years has had bell ringers located in front of a post office in Orange County. It is one of their best producing sites, averaging over 6,000 dollars a year. Because of one man's prejudice, the Post Office asked the Salvation Army to move from their spot of 25 years; the Salvation Army moved to the entrance of a nearby mall.

Mr. Tomas said about the Salvation Army being at the Post Office:
"How can we have a church set up a collection facility in front of a federal building?" the 65-year-old Brea resident said today; he is chairman of human resources for a Unitarian Universalist Church in Fullerton. "I wanted to know who allowed these people to be here. … I don't think it is appropriate."

"Would it be right for my church to solicit funds in front of the post office?"

Not only was Mr. Tomas angry at the Salvation Army being in front of the post office, he was angry to know that the Salvation Army partners with the city's resource center, which staffs the kettles with volunteers from local churches, community groups, schools and city staff. The resource center doles out the money to charities.
"For the city to be involved in the middle of it bothers the heck out of me," Thomas said.

At least some people locally don't agree. The local Mayor could not believe a single person would do something to harm others who would benefit from the Salvation Army's programs
"First off, I don't believe that it is a church-and-state issue," Schweitzer said. "It's an issue of a charity raising funds for the needy of the community. It saddens me that there is a member of our community that would take action and reduce those funds that we've been counting on for 30 years."
A spokesperson for the Salvation Army disputed the charges that the organization was anti-gay:
Major Lee Lescano, the Salvation Army's Orange County coordinator, disagreed with Thomas as well.

"We are absolutely nondiscriminatory,'' he said. "We serve gays on a regular basis in our treatment centers and other programs with no discrimination. I would not consider us anti-gay in any shape or form."
A part of me wonders if this is just further backlash from a gay individual, lashing out at a Christian organization because of Prop 8 passing, or is Mr. Tomas just a prejudiced, intolerant person who simply doesn't care about others in need, who are helped out by the one organization he has singled out and attacked.

Either way, Sean Thomas is this week's Grinch who has stolen Christmas for his community.

Well, It Certainly Felt and Looked Like Christmas!

We had a bit of weather here in North Texas the day before yesterday and my wife had a really good idea of taking the girls out to an untouched park to play. Here are some of the pictures I took from my cell phone.


We all enjoyed it. You can see more of the pictures taken by going to my wife's blog.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blended Families

Most people would say I have a blended family, and when you look at it on the surface, I do. I say however, I simply have a family. Not blended, but a real family.

I was raised mostly in a single parent home. My father left my mother when she was pregnant with me, and I never met him. My brother's father, who was really the only Father figure I had in life, and my mother divorced when I was 8. My brother was 2. After that it was a single mom taking care of two growing boys, working two jobs and doing the best that she could.

So I know about having a step dad. But in all of my memories, he never referred to me as his stepson. I was always his son, to his friends and to his family.

It hit me today, when I saw an email from someone I know, talking about he she had to go to her stepson's school for something or another, that I will never understand the concept of the "step" or blended family. Even though my family qualifies for that designation.

My oldest daughter is technically my stepdaughter. I am not the one who fathered her, and she does know this. But to everyone I have introduced her to, she is, and always will be, my first born child, my oldest daughter.

She is the one who is the artist, the dreamer, the writer, the poet. She is the one who will break the boy's heart's; and she is the one that will give me a heart attack when she starts dating.

She is my oldest daughter and I love her with all the love I can give her as her daddy can.

I plan on doing a study on Joseph, Jesus' earthly father, as he is perhaps the one all stepdads should look to for guidance. Jesus wasn't his, but he loved him, taught him carpentry, and helped him in all ways, that I can be sure of. I want to be like Joseph, and be the dad that my girls, both of them, deserve to have.

So even though I may technically be part of a blended family, and be a stepdad, I would disagree with you. You see, I have two daughters whom I both love and adore, and wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Full Armor of God Series -- Belt of Truth

To continue this series...


Ephesians 6:14
Having girded your loins with truth

The first piece of armor for the Christian warrior is the belt of truth . Jesus said, "I am . . . the truth" (John 14:6). And because Christ is in you, the truth is in you. However, continuing to choose truth is not always easy. Since Satan's primary weapon is the lie, your belt of truth (which holds the other pieces of body armor in place) is continually being attacked. If he can disable you in the area of truth, you become as easy target for his other attacks.

You stand firm in the truth by relating everything you do to the truth of God's Word. If a thought comes to mind which is not in harmony with God's truth, dismiss it. If an opportunity comes along to say or do something which compromises or conflicts with truth, avoid it. Adopt a simple rule of behavior: If it's the truth, I'm in; if it's not the truth, count me out.

When you learn to live in the truth on a daily basis, you will grow to love the truth because you have nothing to hide. You never have to cover up to God or anyone else; everything you do is in the light. Furthermore, when you live in the truth you dislodge the lies of Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44). Remember that if Satan can deceive you into believing a lie, he can control your life.

Jesus prayed, "I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one" (John 17:15). How? "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy Word is truth" (verse 17). You will only dislodge Satan's lies in the light of God's revelation, and not by human reasoning or research.

The only thing a Christian ever has to admit to is the truth. Walking in the light and speaking the truth in love may seem threatening to some. But in reality truth is a liberating friend and the only path to fellowship with God.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Christianity of Our President

I will not judge a man's walk with God. Never. However, when I read some of what our current President, George Bush, said about his faith, I took a long pause to let what I read sink in.

I consider myself an Evangelical, Conservative Christian. I am not perfect, and I have fallen numerous times and will continue to fall during my life here on this planet. However, there are some tenets of the Christian faith that I believe are not in dispute. One of these is the belief that the Bible is God's inspired Word give to his creation. A belief that EVERY word is literal. Not allegorical, not fiction, but a true, literal telling of the history of creation, God's plan for man, God's grace given through the sacrifice of His only Son, and what will happen in the future as told by the prophecies in the Bible.

So imagine my shock, when I read the following:
Interviewer Cynthia McFadden asked Bush if the Bible was literally true.

"You know. Probably not. ... No, I'm not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it, but I do think that the New Testament for example is ... has got ... You know, the important lesson is 'God sent a son,"' Bush said.

So our president does not believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible.

If the Bible is not true, but is just a story, a fictitious telling of a story that we are supposed to learn from, then I am fool as are millions of others on this planet. People who have DIED, who have been MURDERED to translate this book, to bring it to the masses of people begging to know the truth have died and were murdered in vain. All for a book President Bush says we can learn "a lot" from.

Another of the tenets of my faith is that when I pray to God, I am not praying to allah, nor to krishna, nor to any other god of this world. There is only one God, and that is the God of the Bible. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Now I do not even pretend to understand the Trinity; it is one of the tenets of my faith that I must put my faith in. But President Bush doesn't apparantly pray to same God I do.
The president also said that he prays to the same God as those with different religious beliefs.

"I do believe there is an almighty that is broad and big enough and loving enough that can encompass a lot of people," Bush said.

Then there is the quote I read from President Bush concerning evolution:
Asked about creation and evolution, Bush said: "I think you can have both. I think evolution can -- you're getting me way out of my lane here. I'm just a simple president. But it's, I think that God created the earth, created the world; I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty and I don't think it's incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution."
Mr. President, what proof is there of evolution? The last time I looked at evolution, it was still a theory that had yet to be proven. That is why they call it the THEORY of Evolution. As to the compatibility between Creation and evolution, I believe there is none. Either God created everything in six days and rested on the seventh, or God and the Bible are liars and we evolved from a monkey.

I for one don't believe that I am looking at my long lost uncle when I go to the zoo. God is not a liar, nor is the Bible a liar. As for what President Bush believes, that will be between him and God.

You can find the article here.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Back From the Land of The Sick

Sorry for the long delay in posting. I have been and still am recovering from the flu. I'll be posting some items here in a while.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Give The Gift of Abortion This Christmas

In what has to be the most disgusting thing I have heard of for a Christmas Present, Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana and Illinois are offering gift certificates for their services, including abortions.

Planned Parenthood said the stocking-stuffers — that range in value from $25 to $100 and can be ordered online — are redeemable for health services at clinics throughout the two states and can go to any service offered. "We decided not to put restrictions on the gift certificates, so it’s for whatever people feel they need the services for most," Chrystal Struben-Hall with Planned Parenthood of Indiana said.

In an ironic twist, the Planned Parenthood officials said that the vouchers would allow people to give friends and loved ones "the gift of life". Excuse me, but the last time I looked, an abortion was the death of an unborn child. I do not see the gift of life in this.
"People are making really tough decisions about putting gas in their car and food on their table," Struben-Hall said.
So those with unwanted pregnancies are forced to choose between eating, driving or killing the child in an abortion? There is another way, and it's called adoption.

There are several religious and pro-life groups expressing outraged, saying that at a time when millions are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, Planned Parenthood is offering a gift that could fund an abortion.
They can and will be used to end the lives of children at Christmas," said Cathy Ruse of the Family Research Council. She believes the gift certificates will anger many, even those who are not deeply religious. "A coupon for abortion at Christmastime?" Ruse said. "That’s just inherently offensive, I think, to all Americans.
It is very offensive to me, that much I can say.
You can read the story here.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Atheists Try To Kill God in Kentucky

People push their beliefs on other people. We as Christians are always accused of that, yet I came across a story today that shows how atheist in Kentucky are trying to do the same thing. Since they don't believe in God (which takes a lot more faith than NOT to believe)they don't want God mentioned in any way in Kentucky's Homeland Security office. That to me is pushing their beliefs on me and others who believe in God. I would say that makes them hypocrites, wouldn't you?

Here is the gist of the story, found on Fox News.

A group of atheists filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to remove part of a state anti-terrorism law that requires Kentucky's Office of Homeland Security to acknowledge it can't keep the state safe without God's help.

American Atheists Inc. sued in state court over a 2002 law that stresses God's role in Kentucky's homeland security alongside the military, police agencies and health departments.

Of particular concern is a 2006 clause requiring the Office of Homeland Security to post a plaque that says the safety and security of the state "cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon almighty God" and to stress that fact through training and educational materials.

The plaque, posted at the Kentucky Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort, includes the Bible verse: "Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

What I am surprised by, is that fact that both Democrats and Republicans are up in arms about the lawsuit.

But Democratic state Rep. Tom Riner, a Baptist minister from Louisville, said he considers it vitally important to acknowledge God's role in protecting Kentucky and the nation.

"No government by itself can guarantee perfect security," Riner said. "There will always be this opposition to the acknowledgment of divine providence, but this is a foundational understanding of what America is."

State Rep. David Floyd, R-Bardstown, said the preamble to the Kentucky constitution references a people "grateful to almighty God," so he said he sees no constitutional violation in enlisting God in the state's homeland security efforts.

"God help us if we don't," he said.

It is nice to see people set aside political differences to try and leave references to God in where they belong. Let's keep this one in our prayers...and let's not forget to pray for the atheists as well.

Pro-Choice as Rhetoric

I very much enjoy reading Chuck Colson as I find him a very intelligent and spiritual man who has been through quite a bit. And since I am a Pro-Life person, I had to post this:

Pro-Choice as Rhetoric
Chuck Colson

The smartest thing "abortion rights" advocates ever did was to coin the phrase "pro-choice." That shifted our attention towards the act of choosing and away from what was being chosen-the dismemberment of a human being in utero.

Eventually, however, at some point, "choice" has to go from mere rhetoric to an actual deed. Somebody has to actually perform an abortion if "freedom of choice" is to become a reality, as one medical student learned recently.

The November 23rd issue of the Washington Post Magazine told the story of a medical student named Lesley Wojick. She plans to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology and is unapologetically "pro-choice." She even helped organize a "day-long abortion seminar" at her medical school.

At the seminar, a medical director for Planned Parenthood of Maryland asked the attendees, "How pro-choice are you?" She asked them what their families and neighbors would think of their performing abortions.

Wojick was determined to "walk the talk," to make her "actions to be consistent with [her] words." She thought that if "pro-choice" doctors like her didn't do this, "the right to abortion might be rendered meaningless."

Wojick then attempted to "walk the walk." But not for long. During her obstetrics rotation, she realized that "vacuuming out a uterus and counting the parts of the fetus" wasn't for her. "Somebody else . . . would become an abortion provider. But it wouldn't be her."

It's not surprising. Once you get past the rhetoric of choice, what's left is a bloody and, for most people, disreputable business. As Wojick discovered, even people who insist that it's a right want little to do with the actual practice or the practitioners.

Someone else who understands what abortions really mean is Stojan Adasevic, a Serbian doctor who performed 48,000 abortions in 26 years. Studying medicine in communist Yugoslavia, he was taught that abortion was simply removing a piece of tissue.

Then he began to have nightmares about a field filled with children playing and laughing. When they saw him, they ran away in fear. In the dream, a man in a black and white habit explained to Adasevic that these were the children he had aborted. The man in the habit was St. Thomas Aquinas.

Adasevic insists that he had never heard of Aquinas. In any case, he knew what he had to do. He stopped performing abortions. What he calls his "conversion" came at a cost-the then-communist government "cut his salary in half, fired his daughter from her job, and did not allow his son to enter the university."

Today, Adasevic is a leader of the pro-life movement in Serbia and persuaded authorities to air the pro-life classic, The Silent Scream, on television. Not surprisingly, he has returned to the "Orthodox faith of his childhood."

These stories are reminders that rhetoric can only obscure the truth for so long. Then those on both sides of the abortion debate will have to decide how to "walk the talk."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Full Armor of God Series

I can honestly say that I have served both the darkness and the light. One of the parts of my testimony is that of my being a practicing witch for 15 years, from age 12 to 27. I have seen and witnessed the deception first hand and have served that deception. So I can testify that spiritual warfare is real.

With that in mind I read a devotion from Neil Anderson daily and for the last few days his devotions have been on Ephesians 6:13-17. I will be posting them here over the next few days.

I will start with the introduction.

Ephesians 6:13
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm

A primary element in our protection from Satan and evil is the armor that God has provided for us and instructed us to put on in Ephesians 6:13-17. When we put on the armor of God, we are really putting on Christ (Romans 13:12-14). And when we put on Christ, we take ourselves out of the realm of the flesh, where we are vulnerable to attack, and we place ourselves within the dominion of Christ, where the evil one cannot touch us. Satan has nothing in Christ (John 14:30), and to the extent that we put on Christ, the evil one cannot touch us (1 John 5:18). He can only touch that which is on his own level. That's why we are commanded, "Make no provision for the flesh" (Romans 13:14), meaning "Don't live on Satan's level."

It would appear from the verb tenses in Ephesians 6;14, 15, that three of the pieces of armor--belt, breastplate and shoes--are already on you: "having girded . . ."; "having put on . . ."; having shod. . . ." These pieces of armor represent the elements of your protection made possible when you receive Jesus Christ and in which you are commanded to stand firm. The Greek tense of "having" signifies that the action it refers to was completed before we were commanded to stand firm. That's the logical way a soldier would prepare for action: He would put on his belt, breastplate and shoes before attempting to stand firm. Likewise, we are to put on the full armor of God after having already put on Christ.

When you read through Ephesians 6:10-20, you will notice the emphasis on the active part we must play on behalf of our own spiritual defense: "be strong" (verse 10); "put on" and "stand firm" (verse 11); "take up," "be able," "resist," and "stand firm" (verse 13); "stand firm" (verse 14); "taking up" (verse 16); "take" (verse 17)' "pray at all times" and "be on the alert" (verse 18).

Over the next several days, we will consider each of the six pieces of armor from Ephesians 6:13-17.

Christmas According to Charlie Brown

This is one of the most beloved Christmas Specials of all time, in my opinion. I just wish they made more like this.


Monday, December 01, 2008

Favorite Christmas Music - David Bowie and Bing Crosby Sing Little Drummer Boy

I wanted to share with you one of my all time favorite Christmas duets. I actually remember when David Bowie and Bing Crosby sang this live on TV and I was floored. This duet is one I consider pure magic. I will be sharing other songs later on.


Grinch Alert -- Florida Gulf Coast University

It's time for a Grinch alert and this time it's Florida Gulf Coast University located in Fort Myers, Florida.

I stumbled across this article, telling about how the administration has banned all holiday decorations from common spaces on campus, canceled a popular greeting card design contest, replacing that with an ugly sweater competition, and in Griffin Hall, the university's giving tree for needy preschoolers has been transformed into a "giving garden."

They did this all in the name of political correctness. Why?

Apparently several Florida Gulf Coast University staffers did not like this decision.
The Staff Advisory Council received 44 anonymous comments on the issue; all were against the ban on holiday decorations.

Students were not supportive of the ban either.
Junior Marilyn Lerner, a 20-year-old resort and hospitality management major from California, said she'll miss seeing Christmas trees in the Student Union.

"I think they're pretty," said Lerner, who is Jewish. "It's just a Christmas tree. I don't mind."

Perhaps the most telling quote was from a student, who is Wiccan.
Neither does junior Stephanie Tirado, 20, an education major from New York.

"Christmas is no longer just a religious holiday. It's commercialized now," said Tirado, who is Wiccan. "Why don't they just add a menorah then?"

Unfortunately, Ms. Tirado is right. Christmas, the time for the celebration of Jesus' birth, is more about finding the right present at the right price now. Instead of complaining about how the governing bodies of cities, universities and others are taking Christmas out of the public view, perhaps we should start putting Christ back in Christmas, and start with ourselves at home.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Is She A Victim?

There is a news report out of Minnesota, about Lois K. Feldman, 38, and Ross M. Walsh, 26, who were ticketed for indecent conduct after they were reportedly caught engaging in sexual activity in a men's restroom handicapped stall during the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers game with the Iowa Hawkeyes.

I read this story and one that followed in which Ms. Feldman said her life was ruined because of this incident. In fact, she has been fired from her job because of it. According to her husband, and the police report, she had had several glasses of wine before going to the restroom. Once the police was called, she at first gave them a phony name, trying to hide her true identity.

So now she claims to be a victim?

I don't know about you, but I have drank to excess before, and I can guarantee that even during those times, I knew what was going on. Ms. Feldman is claiming that she doesn't remember going into the bathroom, claims that perhaps her drink(s) were drugged, and that she is perhaps a victim of foul play.

I believe what she is, is a victim of her own foolishness. Here are my reasons:

  1. More than a dozen people in the restroom were cheering Feldman and Walsh by the time authorities arrived, a University of Minnesota Police report says.
  2. She gave Police a false name at the beginning.
  3. Ms. Feldman made no allegations to the officers at the scene about it being non-consensual.
  4. The witnesses at the scene said the sex had been going on for a while and no one was saying "No." or "Stop."

Ms. Feldman says in her defense:
"I would never ever do that," Feldman said. "My kids are my life. I go to church every Sunday."

I talked to my wife about this and what she said was a little eye opening. She thinks that the behavior shown here by Ms. Feldman is something that either had been going on for a while, or there are deeper issues here that she should address. Either way, I personally believe she knew what was going on, and is completely embarrassed about being caught and bringing shame to herself and her family.

I believe there is a victim here in this story but the victim is not Mrs. Feldman. The victims are her husband and children.

Shame on you Mrs. Feldman. Accept the responsibility for your actions and go forward in life.

I will say that she and her family will be in my prayers. I hope you will pray for them as well.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It Was A Black Friday After All -- Death in Long Island

This day, the day after Thanksgiving, is one that quite a few people here in America use to shop for gifts and things for Christmas. At least that is what the idea is. Merchants use this day to gauge how holiday sales will be for the season. People will camp out up to two days before to be able to buy cheap electronics, toys, and what have you. It is also a day in which people become something other than human when it comes to bargain shopping.

I haven't been on the computer much for the last couple of days, but when I checked the news stories I was horrified to hear of a Walmart worker dying this morning in Long Island, New York.

The 34-year-old employee, a temporary maintenance worker, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too...I literally had to fight people off my back."

The unidentified victim was rushed to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m., police said.

Not only were the two Walmart workers involved, but a pregnant woman was trampled and had to be taken to the hospital as well.

A 28-year-old pregnant woman was knocked to the floor during the mad rush. She was hospitalized for observation, police said. Early witness accounts that the woman suffered a miscarriage were unfounded, police said.

There is a video showing efforts to resusitate the man. I am including it here in this post.

It is a sad thing indeed when greed, greed for the best bargain around is the one thing we exhibit instead of the giving and caring nature we should be showing. I will be praying for this man's family, for the loss they are facing, and will continue to face. I would ask that everyone do the same.

You can read the entire story here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to tell everyone Happy Thanksgiving today! I will be spending most of my time with my family this day and being thankful to God for them.

Spend time today with your friends and family and if you do read this, let me know what you are thankful for.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Thankful Thankgiving Story

What if you were by yourself at Thanksgiving? Monique White, who lives in Littleton, Colorado found herself in just that position as her two sons are spending the holidays with their father. So what did she do? She decided to post an ad on Craigslist advertising for a couple of people to join her and her friend for Thanksgiving dinner.

She will be having 32 people join her for that dinner.

The best part of this is that at this time last year, she was living in a motel and looking for work, and this year she lives in a townhome and works as a receptionist.

This is such a great story and I am happy to pass it on.

You can read the entire story here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas Grinches

From now until Christmas, I am going to write posts on how certain people try to ruin Christmas for everyone else. I am going to start it with the lawyers of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, from a story I came across here.

The gist of the story is that the city officials of Louisville, Kentucky wanted to use the characters from the beloved Dr. Seuss story "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" as part of its theme for the annual Light Up Louisville holiday celebration. However, a cease-and-desist letter from the law firm DLA Piper, which represents Dr. Seuss Enterprises, said the "Who-ville" name and image, as well as the Grinch, are copyrighted and cannot be used without permission.

The letter demanded the city and the Louisville Convention and Visitors' Bureau halt any use of the characters for the Christmas display and agree not to use the characters in the future without permission. It threatened legal action if the city and tourism bureau did not comply.

Kerri Richardson, a spokeswoman for Abramson, said the city complied with the request and renamed the display "Lou-ville."

Now, I know of some of my neighbors who use some of these same characters in their Christmas displays here in my neighborhood. I wonder how long it will be before the Who-ville lawyers show up at their doors.

I suppose the hearts of those at Dr. Seuss Enterprises are really two sizes two small after all.

First Christmas, Now Thanksgiving?

How pathetic is it that a small minority of people can try and ruin a holiday for children. No I am not talking about Christmas this time but Thanksgiving.

I stumbled across a story from the LA Times today that told of a 40 year tradition between two elementary schools, where students from one kindergarten would dress up as pilgrims, and the other kindergarten students would dress up as Native Americans and they would have a Thanksgiving feast at the school hosting it. I personally believe this is a really nice way of remembering history and teaching the children what happened at that time.

However, in our politically correct world, certain parents, some of whom are of Native American descent, feel this is portraying a cartoonish version of that time.

"It's demeaning," Michelle Raheja, the mother of a kindergartner at Condit Elementary School, wrote to her daughter's teacher. "I'm sure you can appreciate the inappropriateness of asking children to dress up like slaves (and kind slave masters), or Jews (and friendly Nazis), or members of any other racial minority group who has struggled in our nation's history."

Raheja, whose mother is a Seneca, wrote the letter upon hearing of a four-decade district tradition, where kindergartners at Condit and Mountain View elementary schools take annual turns dressing up and visiting the other school for a Thanksgiving feast. This year, the Mountain View children would have dressed as Native Americans and walked to Condit, whose students would have dressed as Pilgrims.

Raheja, an English professor at UC Riverside who specializes in Native American literature, said she met with teachers and administrators in hopes that the district could hold a public forum to discuss alternatives that celebrate thankfulness without "dehumanizing" her daughter's ancestry.

"There is nothing to be served by dressing up as a racist stereotype," she said.

Some parents however, take a different viewpoint about this:
Kathleen Lucas, a Condit parent who is of Choctaw heritage, said her son -- now a first-grader -- still wears the vest and feathered headband he made last year to celebrate the holiday.

"My son was so proud," she said. "In his eyes, he thinks that's what it looks like to be Indian."

Among the costume supporters, there is a vein of suspicion that casts Raheja and others opposed to the costumes as agenda-driven elitists. Of the handful of others who spoke with Raheja against the costumes at the board meeting, one teaches at the University of Redlands, one is an instructor at Riverside Community College, and one is a former Pitzer College professor.

Raheja is "using those children as a political platform for herself and her ideas," Constance Garabedian said as her 5-year-old Mountain View kindergartner happily practiced a song about Native Americans in the background. "I'm not a professor and I'm not a historian, but I can put the dots together."

Some parents still plan on letting their children dress up.
The debate is far from over. Some parents plan to send their children to school in costume Tuesday -- doubting that administrators will force them to take them off. The following day, some plan to keep their children home, costing the district attendance funds to punish them for modifying the event.

"She's not going to tell us what we can and cannot wear," said Dena Murphy, whose 5-year-old son attends Mountain View. "We're tired of [district officials] cowing down to people. It's not right."

As I read later, there was an update to this story. Parents did send their children to the schools dressed up, and yes, there were protests on both sides.

Nearly two dozen protesters were stationed this morning in front of Condit Elementary School in Claremont, the site of a decades-old Thanksgiving tradition that is under fire because kindergartners dress up in handmade pilgrim and Native American costumes.

The protesters were evenly split between parents who supported the costumes and parents who opposed the outfits, and their discussion grew so heated that school officials called police, who separated the protesters on separate sidewalks, said Lt. Dennis Smith of the Claremont Police Department.

Police are also paying extra attention to Claremont schools Supt. David Cash's home, after he called police to report he was receiving hate e-mails and feared for his safety, Smith said. The e-mails did not rise to the level of criminal prosecution.

Cash and Condit principal Tim Northrop did not return phone calls seeking comment, but school employees reported that the commotion in front of the school was heated.

"It's been wild," said one woman who declined to give her name. Meanwhile, the kindergartners -- some of whom showed up wearing their banned costumes -- frolicked on the playground, eating, running and chattering with friends, Smith said. "The kids were oblivious," he added, "as they should be."

It's sad, that our children are the ones showing the way to act, and the way to live. If we were to live our lives as these kids, to see the world from their eyes, not seeing a 40 year tradition as demeaning, but as fun and full of learning and life, perhaps the world would be a much better place.

Black Friday At Amazon.com

Yes, I am doing a shameless plug here. Instead of waiting in line all night, shop from home and do this right! Click on the link and see if there is anything there for you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Don't Live in New Jersey If You Have a Past

How would you feel if the teacher's aide at your child's elementary school had been a porn star? Apparently, that situation is taking place in Vinelind, New Jersey.

Louisa C. Tuck, who in her past worked as a porn star named Crystal Gunns, is working for D'Ippolito Elementary School as a teacher's aide. Apparently, you can't have any kind of past what so ever in New Jersey as parents and administrators are up in arms, wanting Ms. Tuck fired from her job. She hasn't done anything illegal, nor has she broken any rules of that particular school district, but everyone it seems wants her gone.

Board of Education President Frank Giordano, who emphasized he was speaking personally and not on behalf of the board or district officials, said he understands why parents are concerned. He said if he were a parent, he would be concerned, too.

"I don't know all the details, whether it's active or inactive," he said of the Web site. "I don't think it's a healthy situation. Period."

Giordano said he doesn't know Tuck and said she "could be one of the best aides we have," but her involvement in the adult entertainment industry makes him question how good of a role model she can be for students.

"Not speaking on behalf of Chalky or the school board members -- if it were up to me, I would terminate the individual and worry about where the chips are going to fall after," Giordano said. (emphasis mine)

Giordano clarified he was not saying what the district will do, just how he would react.

"At least I could say to parents: 'We terminated the employee. We had no choice. Here's the court order,'" he said.

This has to be the one quote that stuck in my mind. It is the quote that makes me shake my head at the hypocrisy of this man, and this place.

Do I understand a crime was not committed? Absolutely," Giordano continued. "But knowing it? I can't live with that."

Huh. To me that is a pathetic statement and one that tells me just how self-righteous this person is.

Now, am I condoning pornography in anyway? No, not at all. However, Ms. Tuck apparently has not been in this industry for at least 5 years, and has turned her life around. The article, which you can read here, states that she is working with children not only at the school but at the local YMCA and has the support of at least one parent there.

Shawn Rivers of Vineland has two children in the preschool program at the YMCA. She considers herself a close friend of Tuck's and said she "would trust her with my children at any time."

"She has nothing but love and compassion with all kids," Rivers said.

She called Tuck "an excellent role model with good values," adding she is appalled Tuck's background would make news.

"There's never been a problem with her reputation or conduct," Rivers said. "And I just want everyone to know that."

Do you remember what Jesus said to the men who brought the woman caught in adultery? Let me let you read it.
John 8:7-11
7. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself , and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10. When Jesus had lifted up himself , and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11. She said , No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

As I said, I do not condone what she has done in the past, but who am I, or who is ANYONE to say they are better than she is? Who are these people, who would judge Ms. Tuck and tell her that she should not be able to hold a job, since she has done these things in the past, and no longer in the present?

I wonder if these people are sinless, if these people have never done anything in the past that would come back to haunt them.

These people who would condemn Ms. Tuck need to look to the Bible and then look at themselves. They do not need to condemn this lady. They need to help her continue to lift herself up and grow in her new direction.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Suicide: The New Reality TV

Florida Teen Commits Suicide Live on Web Cam

This was the headline on Fox News this morning that caught my eye and as I read it, several things went through my mind, but the one thing that was foremost in my mind was simply "Why?". Why did this young man, 19 years old, with his life ahead of him, do this, and also, why did NO ONE try and talk him out of this?

His name was Abraham K Biggs and he informed the members on a bodybuilding forum that morning that he was going to commit suicide that evening. He invited everyone to watch as he streamed it live via webcam on Justin.tv.

From the news report:
The forum moderators allegedly ignored the post – assuming it was a prank – while other users posted insults and even egged him on.
The teen used the "lifecasting" website Justin.tv – designed to let users share the minutiae of their everyday lives – to stream footage from his bedroom.
Biggs was seen taking several pills before lying on the bed with his back to the camera.
He didn't move, and users claim they realised it was serious a few hours later when they saw he wasn't breathing. Moderators then traced Biggs's location and informed authorities.
The webcam was still streaming live footage of the teen's body as police entered the room. A laser-guided weapon was pointed at the body and an object was thrown at the bed.
Authorities then appeared on the video as they approached the teen's body, checked for a pulse, and covered up the webcam.

As to the persons who egged him on, well, they showed their true cowardice afterwords.
Some forum users allegedly began deleting their posts after the incident and an official thread – including Biggs' full name – was posted by moderators.

I suppose they don't wish to be indicted by a grand jury for contributing to this. It must be a very sad thing indeed when all you do is help someone kill them self and then slink away back into the darkness.

As for the website itself, this was the reaction:
Justin.tv chief executive officer Michael Seibel told online video news website NewTeeVee.com the service relied on users to report inappropriate content.
"As for the broadcaster incident last night, we don’t comment on individual videos, however, our policy prohibits inappropriate content on Justin.tv," he said.
"We rely on the community to flag videos that they feel are objectionable. Once a video is flagged, it is reviewed and quickly removed from the system if it violates our Terms of Use."

Their policy prohibits "inappropriate" content. They rely on the users to report the content that is inappropriate.

Their policy, moderators and users failed this young man. Perhaps we all did.

Suicide help and advice is available from www.sane.org

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's okay to hurt Christians in America. Really!

Did you know that the ONLY group in America that is not covered by Hate Crimes Legislation are Christians?

Seriously, if you hit a person who is black, Jewish, Muslim, or whatever, you can be charged with a hate crime. Hit a Christian during a protest, or run into their church and disrupt it, or yell at Christians to get out of the city because it belongs to a minority group....and nothing happens.

Think I am crazy? I'm not.

I wanted to post this on here today, and if you haven't heard of this, then you're not alone. I hadn't either. A group of Christian Youths in the Castro Section of San Francisco was accosted, molested and assaulted in many ways by a group of homosexuals. The police were called in and to their credit, several of the officers confronted the gay group, and asked at least one of the youths if they wanted to press charges. The Youth said no, saying she forgave them. Could you imagine if that were reversed?

Not only would it have international news coverage, but the entire youth group would have been thrown in jail with the key thrown away.

Watch this and see for yourself, then read on as members of the youth group described what happened to them.

From the YouTube user’s description of the confrontation:

After just singing and worshiping God for a while, Roger decided that we should all hold hands in a circle and continue singing. So we did.

Someone (Actually a person who came up and hugged and kissed some of us who he knew from the past) convinced some people that we were there to protest against the no on 8 campaign.

Then some guy who was dressed up like one of the sisters (The sisters of perpetual indulgence is a group of men who dress up like nuns and call themselves the spiritual authority of the Castro.) took a curtain-type thing (Which I think they use to curse people) and wrapped it around us.

Then a crowd started gathering. We began to sing “Amazing Grace”, and basically sang that song the whole night. (At some points we also sang “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” and “Oh the Blood of Jesus”.) At first, they just shouted at us, using crude, rude, and foul language and calling us names like “haters” and “bigots”. Since it was a long night, I can’t even begin to remember all of the things that were shouted and/or chanted at us. Then, they started throwing hot coffee, soda and alcohol on us and spitting (and maybe even peeing) on us. Then, a group of guys surrounded us with whistles, and blasted them inches away from our ears continually. Then, they started getting violent and started shoving us. At one point a man tried to steal one of our Bibles. Chrisdene noticed, so she walked up to him and said “Hey, that’s not yours, can you please give it back?”. He responded by hitting her on the head with the Bible, shoving her to the ground, and kicking her. I called the cops, and when they got there, they pulled her out of the circle and asked her if she wanted to press charges. She said “No, tell him I forgive him.”

Afterwards, she didn’t rejoin us in the circle, but she made friends with one of the people in the crowd, and really connected heart to heart. Roger got death threats. As the leader of our group, people looked him in the eyes and said “I am going to kill you.”, and they were serious. A cop heard one of them, and confronted him. (This part is kinda graphic, so you should skip the paragraph if you don’t want to be offended.) It wasn’t long before the violence turned to perversion. They were touching and grabbing me, and trying to shove things in my butt, and even trying to take off my pants - basically trying to molest me. I used one hand to hold my pants up, while I used the other arm to hold one of the girls. The guys huddled around all the girls, and protected them.

So there you have it. Is this what America is coming to? I hope not, but I am becoming extremely concerned.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Found on GodTube Today

During a break from work, I found this on GodTube.

What is GodTube you ask?

Basically it is a Christian YouTube. You can view this one and others like it at GodTube.com

I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb

Will Smith in Dallas for Hunger Cause

I just came across this and since we are talking about hunger today...This benefits the North Texas Food Bank.

From The Dallas Morning News:

WFAA-TV's Victory Plaza studio will turn into a celebrity fishbowl on Tuesday morning when Will Smith stops by to visit Good Morning Texas and promote his new film, Seven Pounds. While Channel 8 viewers are by now familiar with on-camera spectacle of post-game crowds milling about the studio during the ABC (and, of course, Belo-owned) affiliate's 10 pm newscast. But this Tuesday morning will offer the rare opportunity for some completely justified screaming-in-public when the man known as Mr. Fourth of July/the $25 million dollar Man and/or the Biggest Movie Star in the World gets his up-close-and-personal groove on in Victory Park. The show begins at 9 am, so figure out what the ideal arrival time is and be part of the throng.

Editor's note: Smith will also host the Dallas premiere of his upcoming movie Seven Pounds at Cinemark 17 at 11819 Webb Chapel Rd in Dallas.

The event will benefit the North Texas Food Bank. Those attending are being asked to donate one a non-perishable food item for their chance to see the film. The red carpet is event is open to public. But the screening is private and limited to theater capacity. Admission to screening is first come first served. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early to event. All donations will go to the NTFB to feed families for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Here's the schedule for the Tuesday red carpet event:

2 pm: Fans can bring their donations to receive a wristband to the screening
5 pm: Watch the red carpet arrivals (open to public)
7 pm: Premiere Screening begins (must have wristband).

Hunger in America

When you think of Children going hungry, where do you picture them living? A country in Africa? Asia? South America?

Would you picture it here in America? I wouldn't have.

As I sit here in my office, having eaten lunch, I came across an article on CNN that made me sit up and take notice.

Some 691,000 children went hungry in America sometime in 2007, while close to one in eight Americans struggled to feed themselves adequately even before this year's sharp economic downturn, the Agriculture Department reported Monday.

This is America. This isn't supposed to happen here, but it does. I have two children, two beautiful girls and I cannot imagine them going to bed hungry because of a lack of food. Nor would I want to. I wonder as I think to the city I live in, the neighborhood I live in, could one of those kids be one I know personally?

Overall, the 36.2 million adults and children who struggled with hunger during the year was up slightly from 35.5 million in 2006. That was 12.2 percent of Americans who didn't have the money or assistance to get enough food to maintain active, healthy lives.

Almost a third of those, 11.9 million adults and children, went hungry at some point. That figure has grown by more than 40 percent since 2000. The government says these people suffered a substantial disruption in their food supply at some point and classifies them as having "very low food security." Until the government rewrote its definitions two years ago, this group was described as having "food insecurity with hunger."

12.2 percent of Americans. and 11.9 million went hungry. How can this happen?

The findings should increase pressure to meet President-elect Barack Obama's campaign pledge to expand food aid and end childhood hunger by 2015, said James Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, an anti-hunger group.

For once I will agree with Obama. And I will support him fully on this initiative. I cannot tell you enough how much this shocked me. And as a father, it hit's home even more.

He predicted the 2008 numbers will show even more hunger because of the sharp economic downturn this year.

"There's every reason to think the increases in the number of hungry people will be very, very large based on the increased demand we're seeing this year at food stamp agencies, emergency kitchens, Women, Infants and Children clinics, really across the entire social service support structure," said James Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, an anti-hunger group.

Among other findings:

• The families with the highest rates of food insecurity were headed by single mothers (30.2 percent), black households (22.2 percent), Hispanic households (20.1 percent), and households with incomes below the official poverty line (37.7 percent).

• States with families reporting the highest prevalence of food insecurity during 2005-2007 were Mississippi (17.4 percent), New Mexico (15 percent), Texas (14.8 percent) and Arkansas (14.4 percent).

• The highest growth in food insecurity over the last 9 years came in Alaska and Iowa, both of which saw a 3.7 percent increase in families who struggled to eat adequately or had substantial food disruptions.

I keep thinking of the food that my family wastes because of spoilage due to not using it in time. I used to think of how the money was being wasted. Now I wonder, who could it have fed.

I will be putting a link to our local food bank here in the area I live in. I would encourage you to do the same.

Persuing Holiness

This one hit me this morning...(Verses at the end of the devotion)

Pursuing Holiness
1 Peter 1:15-21

God's children are called to live holy lives that are marked by a deep reverence for Him. One strong motivation for righteous living is the cross and what it represents.

First, the cross is a reminder of our original position as outsiders, separated from God because of sin. Second, it points to our need for a Savior. Divine justice decrees that the penalty for sin is death (Rom. 6:23); however, the only acceptable payment is the shedding of innocent blood (Deut. 17:1). Since we are all guilty, we cannot pay for our own sins. Third, it was on the cross that Jesus took our place and endured God's wrath so we could be forgiven. Fourth, the crucifixion marks the time when God's justice was satisfied and His mercy was demonstrated. Finally, it points out the way to be reconciled to the Lord and adopted into His family. Only through faith in Jesus Christ can we be saved (John 14:6).

Sadly, many have forgotten about God's requirement of holiness (v. 15). Instead of holding fast to His standards of attitude and behavior, we embrace some worldly values that seem more comfortable or self-satisfying. We pursue secular ideals such as pleasure and material wealth instead of godly ones like servanthood and obedience. These goals are encouraged by our culture, which has little fear of the Lord and regularly ignores His warnings and commandments.

To counteract the culture's influence, keep the meaning of the cross before you. Then you'll be motivated to pursue holiness in honor of the One who gave His life to save you.

1Pe 1:15-21
(15) but according to the Holy One who has called you, you also become holy in all conduct,
(16) because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
(17) And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to the work of each one, pass the time of your earthly residence in fear,
(18) knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers,
(19) but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot;
(20) indeed having been foreknown before the foundation of the world, but revealed in the last times for you,
(21) those believing in God through Him, He who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope might be in God.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What Would You Do?

Christian Persecution is a subject that is mostly swept under the rug in this country. I very rarely hear about it on the major news channels, with the exception of Fox News, which does report on the subject occasionally.

I ask you, "What would you do, if someone were about to harm you because of your beliefs?" In India, specifically in the state of Orissa, Christians are being harmed on what seems to be a daily basis.

Take the following for example:

-In Orissa State, 65 identified people have been killed and 85 are still unaccounted for.
Among those killed were one man buried alive near the village of Rudangla; several
people burnt to death and others cut into pieces.

- 117 churches of all Christian denominations destroyed. Not a single Hindu temple has
been destroyed – despite allegations of retaliation by Christians.

- Approximately 5,000 homes destroyed.

- An unspecified number of Christian businesses destroyed, with the loss of livelihood for
their owners.

- 54,000 people displaced from their homes, forced to take shelter in 14 State-sponsored
Relief Camps in Kandhamal District; together with many hundreds living in non-State
camps, including 2 ‘camps’ in densely overcrowded buildings in Cuttsack town.

- It is estimated that about 20,000 are still living in the jungle or have fled to big cities.
Some may be living with relatives elsewhere.

- In addition to the violence in Kandhamal District, 2 other Districts, Japati and Baragras
District, have also experienced similar atrocities, including killings, looting and burning
of churches and homes. 2 Relief camps have been established for approximately 2,700
people who have had to flee their homes.

The group Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust went to the state of Orissa in India and investigated the attacks on Christians. If you want to read their findings in detail you can get the document here. I downloaded it and read it. One of the things that stood out was this:
In another incident, the mob caught a man called Samuel and asked him if he was a Christian or a Hindu. He replied
‘Please wait for 5 minutes, then I will tell you.’
During that time, he prayed to Christ to forgive them. They saw him praying and cut off his hands while he was at prayer and then killed him. They then threw his mother into a burning house while his daughter managed to run away.

Please remember that this is not the first century that you are hearing about, but this is Modern Day India!

We talk about religious freedom and democracy, but the world hates Christians. If you don't believe me, or if you don't believe the Bible, When Christ said the world will hate us for His sake, then at least look at the reports coming out detailing the attacks. Look to our own country when radical gays attack innocent Christians going to church because the gays lost an election.

So when it comes time that you face persecution, maybe not this severe, or maybe worse, ask yourself,
"What would I do?".

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Are You A Christian?

Because I do not want to put copyrighted material on here, unless permission is given, I wanted to provide the link for you.

Are You A Christian?

There are some people who are unsure. It is my hope and prayer that this article will help you know for sure.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Faith vs. Being Politically Correct -- Prop 8

With all of the stuff going on about the passage of Proposition 8 in the California election, November 4, and people being called bigots and worse for voting their morals, I came across this particular article by Dr. Michael Youssef on Crosswalk.com. I agree with what Dr. Youssef said and could not have said it better. We are called to tell the truth, even when the world does not hear it. The truth is that there are many good people out there who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman only, and that is how they voted. Does that mean that they think that a homosexual person and his or her "partner" can not have the same benefits as a married couple? I can't answer that one for other people but I can answer it for me.

I will always define a marriage in the traditional way, between a man and a woman. Nothing more. Now, do I think that a homosexual couple should have the same benefits as a married couple? No.

I do not apologize for my beliefs and if that offends you, then so be it. I happen to follow Christ, the Son of God who offended the politically correct of His day, until they put him to death. They did not want to hear the truth, and sadly, it seems that there are people who don't want to hear it still.

The people of California spoke, and the gay community, along with their backers can't stand the outcome. So what is that community doing? Attacking elderly ladies,protesting in cities and states not even involved with the California vote, and attacking churches such as the one in Lansing, Michigan, just to show some of their current deeds.

What is really bad is that the gay community is trying to equate this want of theirs to the civil rights movement of the 60's. Well, that is too bad. The civil rights movement was necessary to correct the evils of prejudice against people of color. You see, the people of the civil rights movement, were born with their color. Gays choose that lifestyle. As one person has put it, there is no gay gene that has been discovered by scientist. Not one. It is a choice, a lifestyle. So stop with the "I have the right too..." argument. The only rights being trampled on are the rights of California voters whose vote to say no to this will be tied up in courts for years. Let the votes count. Let the people who have had their say, keep their say.

And now that I have gotten completely off the target of what I wanted to say, allow me to get back on track and give you Dr. Youssef's article.

Political Correctness vs. Faith
Dr. Michael Youssef
Leading The Way

If you take the concept of political correctness at face value, it is a good thing. If being politically correct means that we treat people of different backgrounds with respect and do not stereotype them based on their race or gender, then it is in fact, very biblical.

But this is not the real intention of our modern, politically correct movement.

In truth, this movement is designed to intimidate people into using language that has been pre-approved. Political correctness tends to be completely focused on human sensitivity and self-esteem. When you focus on human sensitivity and self, you eliminate God from your life.

Emphasizing human sensitivity and adjusting our terminology will not produce self-esteem or self-respect. Self-acceptance stems first and foremost from our knowledge of who we are in Jesus Christ. That is why true followers of Christ must not engage in this absurdity and shallowness. We must declare openly and without shame that all those who are in Christ Jesus are brothers and sisters in Him. Everyone who knows Jesus, whether they are men or women, young or old, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American-or from any other background-are equal in His sight. Each will share equally in the inheritance of their heavenly Father's estate. That is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Before the politically correct crowd was ever born, believers loved one another. We didn't love because we were pressured by society to do it. We loved because Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35). We must continue to declare to the world that God does not judge us by outward appearance, but He judges us based on our faith in Him. Faith is our common denominator, not political correctness.

Historical revisionists and liberal Bible scholars are trying to apply modern-day values to the Word of God and to historical facts. They remove all of the pieces they don't like. May we be warned: If we continue on this path, we will end up with a pack of lies and our children will not learn the truth about the Word of God or the history of this nation.

Scripture is clear. In 2 Timothy, Paul warns his young friend to not be ashamed to preach the Gospel, saying: "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths" (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

It is politically incorrect to say that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life-but it is the truth. Only His truth changes lives and unlocks the beauty of our full worth as men and women who are made in His image. Only He can change our hearts so we are able to love our neighbors.

We must remember that the only thing that counts is true faith "expressing itself through love" (Galatians 5:6).

Friday, November 14, 2008

Update On My Youngest Daughter

I wanted to say Thank God and give an update on my youngest daughter's condition. She went to the doctor this morning and had another flu test which came back negative. So YEA! She does not have the flu. She does still have pneumonia, but that is slowly getting under control.

She has totally had a turn around from yesterday. Yesterday her doctor was very close to admitting her to the children's hospital. She had a fever of 103.7, had very shallow breathing, and today, (from hearing from mommy and her pa-paw) she had energy, and played...then had to crash and rest for a while, but I am looking at her even as I type this and she is still full of energy. Now when she coughs, she sounds horrible and is trying to cough up the phlegm, but thank you father for her speedy recovery.

You are asked to help craft an online charter for religious harmony

Here is the article:
A website launched Friday with the backing of technology industry and Hollywood elite urges people worldwide to help craft a framework for harmony between all religions.

The Charter for Compassion project on the Internet at www.charterforcompassion.org springs from a "wish" granted this year to religious scholar Karen Armstrong at a premier Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference in California.

"Tedizens" include Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin along with other Internet icons as well as celebrities such as Forest Whittaker and Cameron Diaz.

Wishes granted at TED envision ways to better the world and come with a promise that Tedizens will lend their clout and capabilities to making them come true.

Armstrong's wish is to combine universal principles of respect and compassion into a charter based on a "golden rule" she believes is at the core of every major religion.

The Golden Rule essentially calls on people to do unto others as they would have done unto them.

"The chief task of our time is to build a global society where people of all persuasions can live together in peace and harmony," Armstrong said.

"If we do not achieve this, it seems unlikely that we will have a viable world to hand on to the next generation."

Charter for Compassion invites people from "all faiths, nationalities, languages and backgrounds" to help draft statements of principles and actions that should be taken.

I went to this website and my spirit was very troubled at this. This is the same feeling I have gotten when I feel that something is not of Christ. Now, I don't believe that even if these people make this charter, and propose it, that it will effect us here in the United States...yet. I am a firm believer in a pre-tribulation view of the end times. There WILL be a one world government, and a one world religion, and perhaps this is the groundwork for that, but for now, I am not worried about it..

Basically I want to get the word out about this particular item and let people know that in my opinion, this is not of Christ. Other than that, I am curious as to how you feel about it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Persecuted Church

You might notice that I have a new banner on the left side of my blog; a banner that supports the persecuted church, in particular the blog written by bloggers for the Voice of the Martyrs.

We take for granted our freedom to worship as Followers of Christ here in America. I am guilty of that as well. After reading a sample chapter about Iranian Christians living in Iran, I am ashamed of how we take our freedom for granted.

Imagine hiding in a cave to be able to worship God, to sing praises to Christ...that is what has to happen in China at times. Imagine being in church only to have the state police charge in and arrest the pastor taking him away to prison, simply for preaching the Word of God. It has happened in many countries.

From time to time I will be blogging about people and places that concern the Persecuted Church. I hope you will read and think on these posts. For right now, I would urge you to click on the title of this post to go to the Persecuted Blog now and read more.

My Night Tonight (November 13, 2008)

So I left work to get home on time to be able to go to my oldest daughter's school recital for Veteran's Day, and my wife calls me to tell me my youngest daughter has suddenly become sick. Now, my youngest daughter, has childhood asthma, and tends to get pneumonia at least 2 times a year. She is still fighting this bout unfortunately and was not able to get her flu shot because of it.

So guess what the doctor thinks she has? Yep. Not only does my youngest STILL have pneumonia, she now has the flu. It is going to be a long few days for my wife and to a lesser extent, me. You see, when the kids are sick it's mommy to the rescue and when it is her, it is me helping her out.

My wife took our youngest to the doctor and then the children's hospital, and I went with my in-laws and my wife's grandfather, (seen in the veteran's day post) to go see my oldest daughter's recital. It was a good one and I will have to post some videos of it on here sometime. I am very proud of her.

I will be updating my youngest daughter's condition here on the blog. I am praying that she will be okay and well enough to go back to school by Tuesday.

Being Flipped Off -- Handled

I was flipped off this morning on my way to work.

He was older than I was I believe, as he looked about 45 or maybe 50. Very little hair, wearing glasses, dressed in shirt and tie, and driving a Mercedes.

My crime? I didn't pull out of the left lane when he flashed his brights at me.


Well, I was doing 75 at the time. The speed limit is 60 and I feel that when there are NO cars around me, and you want by, then pass me up. Especially if I am going 15 miles OVER the speed limit.

So I raised my coffee to him in salute and kept going. About a minute later he passed me up and flipped me off.

Now my first thoughts are your typical thoughts..."Jerk. Stupid no count so and so..." And I really wanted to make him pay. But that is not the way to handle that situation. Even if you want to.

We are commanded to bless our enemies, pray for those who would persecute us. So that is what I did. And it took a lot for me to do it, but I was reminded of this in that way that only HE can remind you of. So I blessed him there in my car as he drove away, and then prayed for him.

I hope your day is a good one, and blessed as well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Praying With Authority

So, how is your prayer life? Mine could be better but that is my own fault for not studying the Word more. I lead a very busy life, with work and all, and I need to set aside time to study more and pray more.

I hope this blesses you as it did me.

(Verses follow the Devotion)
God has given His children the privilege of calling upon Him for all they need, and what's more, He's promised to respond. He has also included the right to petition Him on behalf of others. Scripture tells us that the prayers of a righteous person can accomplish much (James 5:16).

To be righteous in the Father's sight, we must have accepted His offer of salvation. Before redemption, we were unrighteous people under His judgment (Eph. 2:1, 3). Through faith in Christ as our Savior, we are made new and declared holy in His sight. Then, for our petitions to be powerful and effective, they must be in agreement with His will (1 John 5:14-15). Getting to know our Father's character and priorities is the key to making requests aligned with His plan.

Elijah is a good example of someone who prayed with authority. The Lord sent him into battle against evil King Ahab and the 450 prophets of Baal. This was a spiritual conflict to prove who was the real God--Baal or the Lord of Israel. Elijah's weapons were his knowledge of the Father's plan and the authority he had in prayer as a prophet of God. His request, made publicly before his opponents, matched the Lord's will--that Jehovah would make Himself known (1 Kings 18:37). And when God responded to Elijah's prayer, the people declared, "The Lord, He is God!" (v. 39).

Are you a child of God? If so, you can pray with spiritual might by making sure your requests are in agreement with His will.

1Ki 18:18-39
(18) And he answered, I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father's house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of Jehovah, and you have followed the Baals.
(19) And now send and gather to me all Israel to mount Carmel, and four hundred and fifty of the prophets of Baal, and four hundred of the prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table.
(20) And Ahab sent to all the sons of Israel, and gathered the prophets together to mount Carmel.
(21) And Elijah came to all the people and said, How long are you limping over two opinions? If Jehovah is God, follow Him. But if Baal is God, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word.
(22) And Elijah said to the people, I, I alone, remain a prophet of Jehovah. But Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
(23) And let them give us two bulls, and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces and lay it on wood. But place no fire. And I will dress the other bull and lay it on wood, and place no fire.
(24) And you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of Jehovah. And it shall be, the god that answers by fire, He is God. And all the people answered and said, The word is good.
(25) And Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, Choose one bull for yourselves, and prepare first, for you are many. And call on the name of your god, but place no fire.
(26) And they took the bull which was given them, and they dressed, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any who answered. And they leaped on the altar which was made.
(27) And it happened at noon Elijah mocked them and said, Cry with a great voice, for he is a god. Either he is meditating, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey; perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened!
(28) And they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves with knives and spears until the blood gushed out on them, as is their way.
(29) And it happened when midday was past, and when they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor anyone who paid attention.
(30) And Elijah said to all the people, Come near to me. And all the people came near him. And he repaired the broken down altar of Jehovah.
(31) And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the Word of Jehovah came, saying, Israel shall be your name.
(32) And with stones he built an altar in the name of Jehovah. And he made a trench around the altar big enough to contain two measures of seed.
(33) And he arranged the wood, and cut the bull in pieces, and placed it on the wood, and said, Fill four water jars with water and pour on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.
(34) And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.
(35) And the water ran all around the altar. And he filled the trench also with water.
(36) And it happened at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your Word.
(37) Hear me, O Jehovah, hear me, that this people may know that You are Jehovah God, and that You have turned their heart back again.
(38) And the fire of Jehovah fell and burned up the burnt sacrifice and the wood, and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
(39) And when all the people saw, they fell on their faces. And they said, Jehovah, He is the God! Jehovah, He is the God!

Have a Blessed Day!