Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 21

This day is for Tajikstan.  Please pray.

Aug 31 | Tajikstan

To be Tajik is to be Muslim. Christians face persecution from relatives, neighbors and local authorities. A new law increases restrictions on the import of religious literature. Pray for the translation of Christian materials into Tajik.

“But the word of God continued to increase and spread.” (Acts 12:24)


Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 20

I missed this day.  Work called unfortunately.

Aug 30 | Kuwait & UAE
A majority of Christians are foreign workers. Pray for effectiveness in their witness and for the gospel message sent through radio and satellite television.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.”
(1 Cor 16:13)


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 19

Oman and Brunei

Aug 29 | Oman & Brunei
Pray for indigenous people to hear the gospel message and come to know the love
of Christ.

“Then I saw another angel…and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.” (Rev14:6)


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Book Review: Living With Confidence In A Chaotic World: What on Earth Should We Do Now?

In today's world everyone has been affected in one way or another by stress.  Whether losing a job, or not having enough money to pay bills, or watching in horror as another terrorist attack is portrayed on the television, everyone must choose how they deal with this stress.  In Living With Confidence In A Chaotic World, Dr. David Jeremiah shows his readers the biblical way to handle the stress of living in today's world.

I have to be honest in the fact that this is the first book by Dr. Jeremiah that I have read but it will not be the last.  I found this book to be full of practical, truthful advice on how to deal with the pressures of the world we live in with the main truth presented being grounded and centered in Jesus Christ.  This is a book that is well researched and timely and will present the reader with many opportunities to take notes in the margin.  Be warned, you will want to have a pen and a highlighter or two out as you read this book.

In this book the reader is challenged to stay compassionate, constructive, centered, and confident; living life with the guidance of God’s Word. This is a book that I will read again, and this time, I will have the highlighters and pen out to take notes.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who has issues dealing with stress in today’s world.


Please note that Thomas Nelson Publishing has provided me a complimentary copy of this book for my review; however, the opinions are my own. I have not been required to publish a positive review. 
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Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 18

Nigeria and Sudan...Both of these countries need lots of prayer!

Aug 28 | Nigeria & Sudan
Uphold in prayer those who live in fear of attack following the violence in Jos, Nigeria and for mounting tension in Northern Sudan. Pray for encouragement and discipling of Muslim background believers.

“He guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them...” (Psalm 97:10)


Friday, August 27, 2010

Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 17

Over halfway there!

Aug 27 | Azerbaijan
With recent growth of the church the government has increased pressure on Christians. Pray for favor with the government and for the Azerbaijani Bible to turn many hearts to Christ.

“But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.” (Job 16:5)


Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Brief Vacation

While my oldest daughter went to space camp with her girl scout troop this past weekend, my wife, youngest daughter and I made the trip into a mini vacation.  It was fun, it was relaxing, mostly, and it was brief!  But I wouldn't trade the time I had with them for anything else in the world.  It is very rare that I get to go on vacation with them because of work, so this was a real treat.  Enjoy!

Statue of Sam Houston

Head of Sam Houston


My Daughters and Oldest Daughter's BFF

Sheer Joy!

The Leaders of the Trip

Back up against the wave

Wave 1 Daughter 0

Daughter 1 Wave 0

From the Kemah Boardwalk

Bliss on a Sunday Morning

Ready for Take Off!

My Daughter is in one of those.


Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 16

Stay on those Knees!

Aug 26 | Libya & Algeria
Muslim background believers experience great pressure to return to Islam. Pray for access to the Word of God and for fellowship opportunities for believers.

“…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty….” (Isaiah 55:11)


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 15

Join me in praying for those in Egypt.

Aug 25 | Egypt
Pray for the influence of Christian satellite TV and Arabic websites. Pray for revival among Coptic Christians and boldness in sharing the gospel as well as perseverance for Muslim background believers under pressure to return to Islam.

“…I will write on him the name of my God…”
(Rev 3:12)


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jack Horkheimer (1938 - 2010)

"Greetings, greetings, fellow stargazers" was one of my favorite phrases to hear in the mid to late 80's.  I already had a love of astronomy from the age of 12, but Jack Horkheimer cemented that love with his short episodes on PBS.

His episodes were short, lasting about a minute, but some shows that the local channel showed were the five minute episodes.  It really didn't matter the length of time; you became mesmerized by the cheesy special effects that showed you what you could see with your naked eye.  No telescope was necessary with his tutelage. So after each one I would go outside and try to see what he showed.  Many an eye besides  mine were opened by him.

Jack Horkheimer died this past Friday, August 20, 2010 but he leaves a legacy of his love of astronomy that he passed on to me and countless others.

Thank you Jack.  We'll "keep looking up" because of you.

Jack Horkheimer (1938 - 2010)


Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 14

For Chechnya

Aug 24 | Chechnya
Pray for Christians in Chechnya who persevere in the face of suffering and pray for God to open doors for those seeking to bring the light of God’s Word to Chechnya.

“Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers…are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:9)


Monday, August 23, 2010

Don't Burn the Quran. Pray!

On September 11th of this year, to mark the ninth anniversary of the attack on this country by radical Muslims, the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida are doing some irresponsible and to me, reprehensible.  They are holding a Quran burning. 

My first question is simply "Why?"  Why must they inflame things even more so than they are already?  This act, this selfish, irresponsible act will cause more harm than good.  This will put our Christian Brothers and Sisters into even more harms way than they already are.  This will put American citizens traveling in Muslim countries at risk.  This is an act that borders on the same kind of fanaticism that we are accusing the Muslim extremist with!

The best way to handle this is not with a book burning that can inflame the Islamic world but on your knees in prayer.  To those who would do this thing, publically burn the Quran, I offer the to you:

Tit 3:2-3 NASB  to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.  (3)  For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
2Ti 2:22-26 NASB  Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.  (23)  But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels.  (24)  The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,  (25)  with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,  (26)  and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. (emphasis mine)
 Lead on your knees and do what God has commanded us to do!  Burning the Quran is not what he commanded us to do!


Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 13

Praying for Believers in Qatar.

Aug 23 | Qatar
Most believers in Qatar are immigrants or converted while studying abroad. Pray these
converts would return with the gospel and increase access to Christian fellowship among the few Qatari believers.

“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word.” (Psalm 119:114)


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 12

Today's prayer schedule is for Iraq.  We now have the last combat troops out of Iraq and the government there is not exactly stable, but functioning.  Pray for the Christians there and for those of non-Christian beliefs as well as for the country in general.

Aug 22 | Iraq

Pray that the church will survive and grow despite violent persecution. Pray for internally displaced Christians, especially those assisted by Open Doors with emergency aid, Bibles and essential items.

“He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth…He burns the shields with fire.” (Psalm 46:9)


Friday, August 20, 2010

The New Joseph McCarthy -- I mean Nancy Pelosi

The other day at a news conference in San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi was asked about the Mosque that certain individuals wish to build two blocks from Ground Zero in Manhattan. 

In her answer she said ( and you can actually listen to the audio below the quote):

"There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how ... this opposition to the mosque is being funded," she said. "How is this being ginned up that here we are talking about Treasure Island, something we've been working on for decades, something of great interest to our community, as we go forward to an election about the future of our country and two of the first three questions are about a zoning issue in New York City?"(emphases mine)

Is she serious?  Considering that a good majority of Americans are against the building of this mosque at this location, it would seem that the Department of Justice, or whoever she would unleash would be very busy for the next few years.  I believe that she could start with me.  I am not opposed to a mosque being built as yes, the constitution guarantees the right to build one.  I am opposed to where it is being built as I consider that a slap in the face of America.  So Ms. Speaker of the House, here I am.  You may start with me.

I studied Senator Joseph McCarthy in school and I believed him to be wrong then and I believe that the call Nancy Pelosi is making here is wrong as well.  I dare say un-American as well.  This is the leadership in Washington we have today.  I hope you will join me in praying for that leadership.  The Lord knows we need it!


Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 11

Shamefully to say this is another country I had to look up online.  If you want to know more about this country, click the name of the country below.  Keep Praying!

Aug 21 | Comoros
While there is freedom of religion, conversion from Islam is prohibited. The
underground church is small, but Bible study groups meet in homes.
Pray that they will remain strong and unified in Christ.

“Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.”
(Rev 3:11)

Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 10

Today is for those in Turkmenistan. Keep praying!

Aug 20 | Turkmenistan
Constitutional freedom of religion is controlled and all unregistered religious activity is banned. Give thanks that the church has grown and pray that
Christians would find opportunities to meet together for worship.

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”
(Ps 133:1)


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 9

Pray for Pakistan!  Not only for the Christians there, but for all of the Pakistanis, especially with the flooding occurring there.

Aug 19 | Pakistan
Attacks on Christians have increased. Pray for endurance for Pakistani Christians as they
endure discrimination in
education, housing, and accessing permits to build churches.

“You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; You encourage them, and You listen to their cry.”
(Psalm 10:17)


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 8

Keep on Praying!

Aug 18 | Uzbekistan
Christians’ homes are raided and church leaders are interrogated and harassed. Pray for church leaders as they seek to obtain registration to worship legally.

“For I hear the slander of many… they conspire against me…. But I trust in You, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’”
(Psalm 31:13-14)


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Best Buy Has Permanently Lost My Business

Father Luke Strand of the Holy Family Parish in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, had an interesting idea a couple of years ago.  Take a black Volkswagen Beetle  and put a logo featuring the phrase "God Squad" on it.  Now that logo and the vehicle itself bear a striking similarity to the mobile service vehicles of Best Buy's service team, the Geek Squad but there is no mistaking the difference between the two.

The God Squad Car

The Geek Squad car.

Why did Father Luke do this?  To promote God, and hopefully get people engaged in conversation that would eventually lead to Christ.  A great idea that was not harming anyone, in my opinion.  Said Fellow priest Dan Janasik  in an interview with local news outlet the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
"It's obviously not a Best Buy vehicle. When people see the car in public they usually laugh, and then it leads into lots of great conversations with strangers about faith and God."

So what did Best Buy do?  They had their corporate lawyers send a Cease-and-Desist letter to the priest threatening to sue him for copyright infringement.  Once again, the big corporation beats up and on the little people; in this case a Roman Catholic priest!

Was this really necessary?  Was Father Luke attempting in any way to portray himself as some sort of geek and attempting to take away business from Best Buy?  I personally don't think so.  This is the way Best Buy PR senior manager Paula Baldwin attempted to explain it: 
"This was a really difficult thing for us to do because we appreciate what Father Strand is trying to accomplish with his mission. But at the end of the day, it's bad precedent to let some groups violate our trademark while pursuing others."
So the people at Best Buy appreciated what Father Strand was trying to accomplish.  Get people interested in God and hopefully into a saving relationship with Christ!  But money won out and in the end Best Buy did what it set out to do.  It intimidated a Catholic priest into compliance with their  Cease-and-Desist letter and threats of a lawsuit. 

Best Buy may have won this battle, but they at least have one casualty from it in me.  I will never purchase anything from them again. 

Great job Best Buy.  Maybe now you can go after some high school kid's business of repairing neighborhood computers too!


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Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 7

Praying for Mauritania, though I have to admit I had to look this particular country up as I had never heard of it.

Aug 17 | Mauritania
The situation for Christians has deteriorated as Al-Qaeda terrorists have grown in influence. Pray for the tiny church to grow in this hostile environment and for Christians to remain steadfast in faith.

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon….” (Ps 92:12)


Monday, August 16, 2010

Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 6

Praying for those persecuted in Yemen.

Aug 16 | Yemen
Muslim background believers face the death penalty if they are discovered. Pray that they will stand strong in their faith and their testimony will reach many for Christ.

“I eagerly expect and hope that I…will have sufficient courage so that…Christ will be exalted…whether by life or by death.” (Phil 1:20)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 5

Continuing to pray through Ramadan with my Christian Brothers and Sisters.

Aug 15 | Afghanistan
Pray for strength for secret believers as pressure from the Taliban has increased. Pray for encouragement in the midst of isolation from other believers.

“But Christ is faithful…over God’s house. And we are His house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.” (Hebrews 3:6)


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 4

Here is day four.  Please join with me in praying.
Aug 14 | Maldives
Pray for indigenous believers who live out their faith in secrecy. Pray that God would reveal
Himself in miraculous ways and establish His church on these islands.

“Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel…according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past.” (Romans 16:25)


Friday, August 13, 2010

The Miss Universe Pageant-- The Wrong Image It Now Portrays

When you think of the Miss Universe Pageant, what do you think of?

If you are a male and breathing, you are probably thinking of women in heels and bikinis, or smiling women walking the runway in evening gowns. If you are a female, well, I'm not quite sure just what you might be thinking of. I am still trying to figure that out after almost 10 years of marriage!

And then I wonder what young girls might be thinking. You see I am the dad of two daughters.

Now you are probably wondering, "where is this going anyway?". I am getting to my points, trust me.

I came across an article from Fox News online about how they have added something new to the pageant this year. They have added a nude, well, topless and body painted photo shoot that the contestants can participate in.

Now, that will probably make a lot of men and young boys happy, but to me, I am not one of them.  You see I always thought that pageants like this showcased the whole person, not just their body.  That is why they asked them questions, and they had talent portions, right?  But now it seems that this is just another exploitation of women, and a way for Donald Trump to boost ratings.

More importantly, how does this affect the thinking of young women around the world?  Will this make them think that to get ahead in the world, beauty is all that matters?  Brains and talent are just there, "just in case"? Will they think that the way to win is to show your breast off, pasties or not?   Why is Donald Trump turning this into more of a Playboy spread than what it originally was meant to be, a showcase of the whole woman?

It is my understanding that posing topless was not mandatory, and some of the contestants posed in swimsuits and allowed body paint to be applied.  Some, including the reigning Miss USA did pose topless, although with her back to the camera.  All in all, I have to ask myself why was it necessary in the first place.

I will be curious to see who the top 10 finishers are for this year's pageant.  Did they pose topless?  I will not watch, but I will be looking for the scorecard to be posted in the media to see.


Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 3

Continuing to pray with the Brothers and Sisters around the world and with those from Open Doors USA for the month of Ramadan.

Aug 13 | Somalia
The few secret believers are heavily persecuted. Pray for comfort for the families of those killed for their faith and that God would break the cycle of violence and instability.

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)
Thank you for praying.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

An Amazing 10 Year Old!

I normally do not watch America's Got Talent on NBC, but I think I may make an exception this year.  There is an amazing 10 year old girl with a voice that is so mature some people are thinking this is a hoax, but I don't believe it.  She is amazing! 

Watch and enjoy!


Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA -- Day 2

In keeping with the Praying through Ramadan Calendar here is day 2

Aug 12 | Saudi Arabia
Pray for believers in Saudi Arabia living in isolation from other Christians and for protection against honor killing when relatives discover their conversion to Christianity.
“In my alarm I said, ‘I am cut off from your sight!’ Yet You heard my cry for mercy....” (Psalm 31:22)

Please pray for those in spiritual darkness and for the Brothers and Sisters living in oppression.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pray through Ramadan With Open Doors USA

Today starts Ramadan for millions of Muslims worldwide and runs through September 9.  During this time, most Muslims will fast from dawn until dusk, seeking to rid themselves of their sins through acts of restraint. They believe this is a time of purification accomplished through good deeds and self control.

I mention this to you for a couple of reasons.  One is that I blog at times for and about the persecuted church, and two, Open Doors USA has published a calendar for 2010 to help you pray for the Muslim people of the world during this time especially to encounter Christ during this time.  So for this month, I will be posting everyday from that calendar specifically what it is asking us to pray for.  If you wish to download the calendar, the link is here.

Here is the first day:
Aug 11 | Iran
Growth in number of believers from Muslim background has resulted in church monitoring and closures.
Pray for Christians in Iran to walk without fear and have peace of heart through Jesus.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me...He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners.” (Luke 4:18)

Please join me in praying this month for this specifically.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Battle For the Homeless in Plano, TX -- Updated

The battle is over and the homeless have lost.

I just read a post on the Plano blog for the Dallas Morning News that the Samaritan Inn, the only homeless shelter for Collin County in Texas has sent a letter to the Plano city council formally withdrawing its zoning request for the site the facility would have been built on but will continue to pursue the funding to purchase land elsewhere for a second homeless shelter for families. 

I was not able to make it to the meeting last night, but I have not only read about what was said at the meeting but the city of Plano actually puts video of the council meetings online in their entirety.  I was proud of the turnout last night, as the vast majority of the people in attendance were there to support the proposed shelter.  Only one person, one, spoke against and that was against the location only, not against the proposed shelter itself.

The city council's decision?  Table the proposal for the time being.  Apparently the council felt there were zoning issues to be dealt with.  Were there any zoning issues?  I personally do not know, but I do believe that the council made the wrong decision here.  There was community support, both at the meeting and elsewhere.  There was land available at a fraction of the price for the proposed facility, but the decision made, to me at least, was a political one.  Do the "right" thing that will allow you to be re-elected.

It was a wrong decision.

Yes, the battle to protect the neighborhood from the big bad homeless families was won last night by the businesses and neighborhood associations as well as the Plano city council.  They will no longer have to worry about the homeless six year old, the homeless moms and dads bringing down their real estate values, nor any dips in their profit margins.

And apparently they no longer have to worry about their humanity either.


Sunday, August 08, 2010

Battle For the Homeless in Plano, TX

I live near the city of Plano, TX and I came across a story in the Dallas Morning News online about a homeless shelter being proposed to be built in the eastern part of the city of Plano.  Now, this is not in my neighborhood, but I am not too far from it. 

The area in question is on the edge of a technology park, almost in a lower income neighborhood. There are a number of agencies in this area as well as a public transportation stop that will quickly help the homeless but there is much opposition to this.  There are several businesses who are worried about what having a homeless shelter will do to this area.  Will it drop the property value?  Will it bring an increase of crime?  Will it be a detriment to businesses in the immediate area? 

Already one business, a self-storage place is complaining that two of their clients have said that they would pack their storage and leave to find another place to store their belongings as they are afraid their items in storage would be stolen.  It is a sad fact of humanity that this perception exists.

What price do we place on a human life?  When do we stop worrying about property values and start worrying about people who are in dire straits?  We are talking about human beings who do not have a roof over their heads, who do not have an air-conditioned place to relax in.  We are talking about not just individuals, but whole families who are homeless.  Moms, dads and their children who have to worry about where they are going to sleep and what they will eat.  It seems that all people can care about is "How will this affect the value of my home/business?"

What if it were them?  What if something horrible happened to them and they became homeless?  What would they think then?  I know what I would think.  You see, I've been homeless before.  It's not fun.

The Plano City Council will be meeting tomorrow, Monday, August 9th to decide whether or not to spend 700,000 dollars of federal money to purchase the land to build this shelter on.  I plan on being there to offer my support for this.  I hope that if you live in this area, you'll show up as well to offer your support for those who are not as fortunate and don't have a place to sleep tonight.  Perhaps in the future they will.


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Vacation in New Mexico

I am at work right now, so as I post this I am just a bit jealous as it is my wife and daughters, along with my Mother-in-Law who are on vacation in New Mexico at the moment and then later on will be in Colorado.  I wanted to share a couple of photos and a quick video of them and what they are seeing.  Enjoy!

Sledding down the sand dunes at White Sands National Monument!

Welcome to New Mexico.

The UFO Museum in Roswell, NM...My oldest daughter contemplates the possibilities.

My youngest daughter posing inside the museum.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

My Thoughts on Anne Rice Leaving Christianity

From Anne Rice's Facebook postings dated July 28, 2010:
For those who care, and I understand if you don't: Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being "Christian" or to being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to "belong" to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.

As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I'm out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of ...Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.
When I first read the headlines regarding Ms. Rice and her leaving Christianity, I was shocked, then puzzled until I clicked over to her facebook page and read her postings for myself.

 I realize that Ms. Rice went from being an atheist to a believer, and I hope and pray that her conversion was genuine.  That is not up to me to decide, but for the One who knows our hearts.  However, some of her reasons for leaving Christianity but not leaving Christ are still puzzling to me.

 For instance, "I refuse to be anti-gay" is the first thing she sites as a reason.  Now, I do not claim to be an expert on all things biblical, nor am I a biblical scholar, but I do know that homosexual behavior is neither condoned, nor tolerated by God. Jesus did indeed eat with, drink with and associate with sinners, but he did so to tell them that the Kingdom of God was near, and to repent and follow Him.  There are numerous passages in the Bible that say Homosexual behavior and those that practice homosexuality will not get you into heaven.  Instead they are condemned for that behavior.  So if the Word of God says this, and Jesus is God as He claims He is, then Jesus condemns this as well.  Ms. Rice, It is not anti-gay when you tell them to stop their behavior and repent.  That is instead love.  A love that says I do not want to see you go to hell but go to heaven.

"I refuse to be anti-feminist."  Now here I am not really sure what Ms. Rice means and I have no problem saying I do not know. Since Ms. Rice comes from a Catholic background where women are not allowed as clergy, perhaps that is what she means. I do know that there are many examples of women in the Bible who are in places of authority as well as ordinary places and are used by God in numerous ways. Esther is one, Mary, the mother of Jesus, Lydia from Thyatira, and many, many more. These are powerful women, yet humble and willing to do God's will. That speaks volumes to me.

"I refuse to be anti-secular humanism." This reason and the next also left me puzzled.  I want to be fair and have pulled four definitions from the web for secular-humanism.  Here they are:
After looking at these four definitions, I can only wonder how Ms. Rice can say she is for Jesus Christ and also for secular-humanism?  You can't.  You can only be for one and against the other.  So if she is not anti secular-humanism, she cannot be for Jesus no matter what she says.

"I refuse to be anti-life."  My first reaction to this was "HUH?".  If nothing else being a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ is to be for life.  Ever hear of abortion?  That is anti-life and that is a view that the world says is a woman's right, the right to kill her baby.  Those Christians who protest this, or stand on a corner and pray for the stoppage of this practice, are ridiculed and spat upon.  They are pro-life, not anti-life.  I am still unsure of what she is talking about here, but it is her opinion and she has the right to her opinion.

"I refuse to be anti-Democrat."  Once again, I am not sure why she thinks that being a Christian is being anti-democrat.  Now, I do believe that there are many ideals that democrats have that do not agree with biblical principles.  Same sex marriage, abortion, and others and perhaps that is what Ms. Rice is referring to.  In all seriousness though, it does not matter what the party affiliation is. If the party platform does not match what God tells us from His Word, then, yes, I suppose you could say that a true follower of Christ would be anti-whatever party.

"I refuse to be anti-science." The only reason a Christian would be anti-science would be when people use science to say that God does not exist, or something similar.  Evolution is an example.  Evolution says that ultimately, everything was born of nothing.  Everything was created by chance.  I personally do not believe in evolution, but I am not anti-science.  Indeed science continues to show that God must exist and indeed that creation happened.

There is a part of me that grieves for Ms. Rice, especially when she says that she has felt like an outsider.  I do agree that there are many Christians and many churches that are quarrelsome,  and give Christianity and Christians a very bad name.  Those are the exceptions, not the rule.  I am extending an open invitation to Ms. Rice.  Come to my church for a while.  Listen to the sermons that are offered online as MP3 files.  Please remember that the Church is not a building, nor any one denomination.  The Church is comprised of the believers of Christ, the bride of Christ he will eventually come for. 

Search your heart Ms. Rice.  And pray.  I will be praying for you.