Wordle Analysis

>> Thursday, November 12, 2009

This is a fun thing to do compliments of www.wordle.net.  I must say my blog must be quite boring judging by the words picture. :-)   Of course, the three words from my signature figured prominently into the analysis.

Wordle: Wordle

 



God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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John Piper and the Prosperity Gospel

>> Thursday, November 5, 2009

As a follow up to the last post, I thought I should share this.

 









 



God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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John Piper: Why I Abominate the Prosperity Gospel

I just ran across this very challenging (short) message from Pastor John and felt led to pass it on.  His condemnations are pointed, and I believe spot on.   But, I think that beyond the obvious heresies common to the prosperity gospel, Pastor John's question about whether converts of/to the prosperity gospel will fulfill the Great Commission is particularly thought provoking.  If we are known by our fruits and the prosperity gospel teaches that growing closer to God will make things better for us in terms of riches, wealth and comfort, thereby making prosperity and comfort a type of fruit, then what would a prosperity gospel advocate say regarding it's (the prosperity gospel's) lack of fruit or motivation in fulfilling the Great Commission?

 









 



Any discussion of false teachers would be incomplete without establishing another truth that Paul Washer, in his usual no holes barred style, states this way: "Let me tell you something about false teachers, you think so many times that people fall prey to false teachers, and that, in a sense, can be true, at times. But, I think the dominant theme in Scripture is just the opposite. False teachers are God’s judgment on people who don’t want God…but, in the name of religion, plan on getting everything their carnal heart desires. That's why a Joel Osteen is raised up; those people who sit under him are not victims of him, he is the judgement of God upon them...because they want exactly what he wants, and it's not God!"

II Timothy 4: 1-8:
1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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Hold that thought, God

>> Monday, October 26, 2009

Here is a wonderful reminder and challenge that I told a dear friend I would post.

 







 

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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AP: healthcare would pay for abortions?

>> Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hey all!  Important information from the AP.


Health care issues: Paying for abortions

By The Associated Press (AP) – Oct 9, 2009

A look at key issues in the health care debate:

THE ISSUE: Would new health care legislation allow abortions to be funded with tax money?

THE POLITICS: Abortion opponents say proposed government-sponsored health insurance plans would change federal policy by paying for abortions in many cases. For years, a restriction in the law that governs Medicaid — health insurance for the poor — has barred federal funding of abortions except in cases of rape, incest and danger to the mother's life. The proposed legislation would permit government-sponsored health plans, open to non-Medicaid patients, to cover abortions. In seeking a political compromise, a House version would require publicly sponsored plans to pay for abortions with private funds from customers' premiums, not tax dollars. Critics call the requirement meaningless. They say public and private sources of insurance funding would essentially go into, and come out of, one big pot.

WHAT IT MEANS: Women with private insurance plans that cover abortion might be able to switch to a less-expensive public plan without losing that coverage. Anti-abortion activists would feel they've lost an important battle, as taxpayer funds mingle with some insurance plans that, one way or another, pay for abortions.

_ Charles Babington

This is an important admission/report from a major news source, so this is definitely something we need to take note of. 

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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New AUL ad on abortion in health-care

>> Friday, October 16, 2009

Hello all!

Check out this new ad from AUL and be sure to pass it on to those who may not be aware of the information contained in the ad.

 







 

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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Obamacare Forces You to Fund Abortions

>> Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hello all!

When I checked my email this morning, I found this latest Heritage Foundation "Morning Bell" update and thought it warranted passing on. I know I've already made some of the the same basic points made in the article on this blog, but this "Morning Bell" does a very good job of summing up the key issues, so it's worth your time to read through it.  

 

This Morning Bell is the third in a five-part week-long series on how Obamacare will affect you.

“Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions,” Or so President Barack Obama promised to the American people in his health care address before a Joint Session of Congress on September 9th. But then why did the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops send a letter to Congress on October 8th writing: “No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion. … No current bill meets this test”?

Who is telling the truth? The President or the Bishops? Last Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked this question during his daily press briefing and answered: “Well, I don’t want to get me in trouble at church, but I would mention there’s a law that precludes the use of federal funds for abortion that isn’t going to be changed in these health care bills.” Unsatisfied, the CNS News' Fred Lucas again pressed on Friday: "The Catholic bishops have repeatedly said that the Hyde amendment would not apply to the health care bill and yesterday in the letter that they sent to Congress they said that if language expressly prohibiting abortion funding is not added to the health care bill, they will vigorously — “vigorously oppose” — that’s a quote — the bill. My question on that, does the President support the bishops on this?"

Gibbs replied: "My answer isn’t different than it was on Wednesday. There may be a legal interpretation that has been lost here, but there’s a fairly clear federal law prohibiting the federal use of money for abortion. I think it is — again, it’s exceedingly clear in the law."

How to put this politely … it is safe to say that Gibbs’ above statement is less than true. The next time anyone tries to convince you otherwise, that the White House is telling the truth ask them where in the Federal Code it says this.

The truth is…it doesn’t. But what about the Hyde amendment mentioned by the White House reporter? Is the Hyde amendment not the law of the land? No, it is not even a statute. First passed in 1976 by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) as a rider to the Health and Human Services appropriations bill,the Hyde amendment my be passed again every year as part of hte HHS appropriations bill and even then it only applies to current HHS programs. The Hyde amendment would do nothing to stop Obamacare from funding abortions and all the versions of Obamacare passed by Congressional committees so far do exactly that.

Conservatives introduced amendments in all five committee markups (three in the House and two in the Senate) that would have specifically prohibited federal funds from being used to cover abortion. None of them passed. Worse, the “compromise” the White House has adopted is an amendment sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) who has a 100% pro-abortion voting record according to the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). Not only does the Capps amendment allow for federal money to subsidize abortions in private plans and mandate federal funding for abortions in the public option (this according to FactCheck.org), it also requires that at least one insurance plan cover abortion in every geographical region in the country.

In 2007, then candidate Barack Obama promised Planned Parenthood: “We’re gonna set up a public plan that all persons and all women can access if they don’t have health insurance. It will be a plan that will provide all essential services including reproductive services. … We will also subsidize those who choose to stay in the private insurance market, except, the insurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care including reproductive care.” A Rasmussen poll released last month showed that only 13% of Americans want the health-care reform bill to use tax dollars to fund abortions, clearly demonstrating thateven most pro-choicebelievers do not favor taxpayer funded abortions. A Pew Research Center poll two weeks ago showed that support for legalized abortion has dropped to its lowest level in years to 47%, down from 54% last year. Obama can either please NARAL and Planned Parenthood or he can honor the beliefs of the overwhelming majority of Americans. He can’t do both."

 

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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The Fire (Full) by Nate Pfeil

>> Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hey all!

 

Here is an EXTREMELY powerful message that I was recently made aware of thanks to Hillary.  This is the first time I have heard teaching from Nate Pfeil, but I can guarentee that I will look for him again in the future.  I'll let the message speak for itself, but I would encourage you to do two things.

 

1) Watch the full message (it's only 12:06 long), meditate on it and pray, and then examine your own life in light of what you have just heard.

2) Keep in mind that this is a short message.  You can't explore the full scope of theological truth in a message of this length and still be substantive, so try to show grace in recognizing that there are things he isn't able to explore in this message.  That doesn't mean he wouldn't say them if you sat under his teaching most frequently.  :-)  

 





  

 

Alternate link:  The Fire: Nate Pfeil

 

As I listen to this message, a passage that keeps coming to mind is Acts 20:24-26, which says...


"24"But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

 25"And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face.

 26"Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men."

 

Have you or do you you really love all mankind enough to preach the true Gospel with boldness?  Even when it means sacrificing your wants and desires, and men mock, ridicule, and persocute you?  Are you innocent of the blood of all men?

If you have any thoughts to share, assents or concerns to voice, please leave a comment and share them with me. :-)

 

God bless and veritis supra omnis!
 

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Charmaine Yoest explains the threat of gov. funded abortion

>> Friday, September 25, 2009

Hey all!

Some of you may be a little confused or wondering as to how exactly the government health-care proposals on the table would effect abortion, specifically, whether government funds could be used to fund abortions under the guise or category of "health-care".   

Charmaine Yoest, President of Americans United for Life (AUL), from the beginning of the health-care debate has been on top of the issue and in the front line of the health-care fight, bringing much clarity to the issue and fighting to keep government health-care dollars from funding abortion.   In the imbedded video she explains how the current health-care proposals would indeed inevitably lead to abortion funding through...the courts?   Yes...and I believe she is absolutely correct.   Be sure to watch the video... 







Additionally, I've linked below an article written by Yoest in The Washington Times.   For those who don't have time to read the entire article I have pasted the key portion of article directly below, so be sure to read that if you can.  Remember this is an important issue!

The truth is that the health care packages under consideration do include abortion funding. Without a specific statutory amendment that includes an explicit ban on federal funding and coverage, we face health care reform that includes abortion.

Lost in the debate over whether or not abortion is "in there" - whether or not you can flip to a certain page and point to a particular clause related to abortion funding - is an understanding among political elites that this is a watershed battle over definition. It's existential, if you will, and comes down to a very straightforward question: Is abortion health care, or is it not?

An inadvertent answer from the abortion advocates' side emerged during the debate over H.R. 3200 in the House Education and Labor Committee on July 22 after Rep. Mark Souder, Indiana Republican, offered an amendment to exclude abortion funding from health care reform. Rep. Lynn Woolsey, California Democrat, clearly miffed, responded:

"[Abortion] is a legal medical practice and by even having to talk about it ... we're not talking about having your tonsils out. ..."

No, indeed we are not. As a matter of public policy, we still have the ability to differentiate between an abortion and a tonsillectomy. But this is precisely the debate we confront.

Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby define abortion as health care, as being morally equivalent to a tonsillectomy, and health care reform is their vehicle for imposing that view definitively with the full force of the federal government.

For the record, the Souder amendment to bar federal funding of abortion failed, as have all similar attempts to provide a clear and unequivocal abortion exclusion.

This is literally a defining moment for the pro-life movement. On Planned Parenthood's Web site, the very first category under Health on the navigation bar is Abortion.

You can read the entire article here.  It provides some background that isn't included in the video.  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/21/is-abortion-health-care-or-is-it-not/

In closing, this is an incredibly important issue were are dealing with here and it's vital that we get the word out about the dangers facing us.   More importantly, it's important that we spread the word about the danger facing the unborn.  I hope some of the information in here was helpful.   If it was, be sure to pass it on through email, facebook, blogs, twitter, myspace, etc., and/or use it as a base for additional research. :-)

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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Joshua Harris: Removing Obstacles (to the Gospel)

>> Friday, September 11, 2009

Hello all!

I was blessed this morning to come across this video clip and thought it was definitely worth passing on. 







God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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Dollar for a Drink 2009 Promotional Video

>> Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hello all!

"Dollar for a Drink" is a ministry that I highly recommend for your support!   So that you can get to know a little about them, here is their newly released 2009 Promotional Video.







"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."

-James 1:27

 

Please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry and meet the basic needs of the Sudanese people!   Regardless of whether you monitarily support Dollar for a Drink, please pray without ceasing that the Sudanese people would find the water that is infinitely more needful and desirable than physical water - living water.



17When the poor and needy seek water,
    and there is none,
    and their tongue is parched with thirst,
    I the Lord will answer them,
    I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
18I will open rivers on the bare heights,
*
    and fountains in the midst of the valleys;
    I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
    and the dry land springs of water.
19I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
   the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive;
   I will set in the desert the cypress,
   the plane and the pine together,
20so that all may see and know,
   all may consider and understand,
   that the hand of the Lord has done this,
   the Holy One of Israel has created it.


-Isaiah 41:17-20



13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

-John 4:13-15

 

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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Get off facebook, BE A MAN - Paul Washer

>> Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hey all!

I thought this was worth passing on.







God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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FtFoC #31

>> Sunday, August 30, 2009

31: "The Bible not only fits the evidence of scientific investigation, it provides an answer for why the world was created. Evolution does neither." -faithfacts.org

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FtFoC #30

30: "The theory of evolution itself has continually changed over time. This is in contrast to biblical creationism, which has not changed over time." faithfacts.org

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"Tears of the Saints"

>> Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hello all!  

Here is a video I wanted to share with y’all.  It’s really powerful!  It definitely leaves one thinking…what can/should I be doing that I am not doing?   Most people have a mindset of “Oh, I’m just one person and I can’t do that much, so why even try.”   But, we forget that God has used individuals to affect massive change many times before, so what makes us so sure He won’t use us?  And, even if you don’t become a tremendously successful missionary or head of a large and influential mission’s organization, is it okay to ignore or nominally obey our clear call to reach the nations by one means or another? 

God is pleased by a person faithfully supporting missionaries with prayer and money, among other things, if that is His calling for that person.  But, so few of us test the extent of God’s calling for our lives in any area, much less in the area of missions, so we never fully realize our potential to be used of God to perform great works if that be His will.   We should never be content to get by with what is culturally acceptable regarding missions.  We should seek fully and sincerely God’s will for our lives. 

A few verses to meditate on: John 15:16, Matthew 4:19, 6:24 28:19, Luke 10:2,, Acts 1:8 Romans 10:15, Philippians 2:13,  James 1:27.

Here is the link. http://xeoncross.tumblr.com/post/173976518/tears-of-the-saints?ref=nf

I wanted to embed the video but wordpress didn’t seem to like the host website. 

Be sure to watch the video!

 

God Bless and Veritas Supra Omnis!

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FtFoC #29

29: "In all its bearing upon scriptural truth, the evolution theory is in direct opposition to it. If God’s Word be true, evolution is a lie. I will not mince the matter: this is not the time for soft speaking." -Charles Spurgeon

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FtFoC #28

>> Friday, August 28, 2009

28: “The Bible clearly teaches that God created in 6 literal, 24-hour days o few thousand years ago. The Hebrew word for day in Genesis is ‘yom’. In the vast majority of its uses in the Old Testament it means a literal day and where it doesn’t the context make this clear.” -Dr. Terry Mortenson

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AFA: National 'Truth for Youth' Week - Order your free Bible online now!

>> Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hello all!

I recieved this email today from the American Family Association (AFA), an organization I appreciate very much, and thought the news contained in it is worth passing on, so that's what I am doing. :-) 













August 27, 2009

Dear Friend,

American Family Association / American Family Radio is partnering with Revival Fires International, the ministry of Evangelist Tim Todd, this week (Aug. 24-28) to place a Truth for Youth Bible into the hands of teenagers who will distribute them to lost students in our public schools. Teenagers are urged to participate in this vital campaign by going to: http://thetruthforyouth.com/tfy_bibles_2009.asp or calling toll free 1-800-733-4737 (8:00am - 6:00pm CST) and ordering a FREE BIBLE for a teenager to distribute at school. Tim Todd has underwritten the costs of making this Bible available free of charge.

During this designated week, in a very effective and unique evangelism outreach, "The Truth For Youth" will be given to all teenagers who commit to give the Bibles to their unsaved friends in school. Limit: One Bible per teenager in each home. Additional copies may be purchased for a special discounted price of only $3.00 each by going to: http://www.thetruthforyouth.com/truth_bible.html#HELPTHECAUSE.

"The Truth For Youth" consists of the entire New Testament in the God's Word version, along with 100 pages of powerful full color comics that are packed with "absolute truths" regarding issues young people are faced with, such as: Evolution, Sexual Purity, Homosexuality, Abortion, Pornography, Drugs, Drunkenness, Peer Pressure, School Violence, Secular Rock Music, Sorcery and Witchcraft. God's wonderful plan of salvation is incorporated into each of the stories.

Request A Free Bible Today
Teenagers, or parents of teenagers, are urged to participate in this vital campaign by going to: http://thetruthforyouth.com/tfy_bibles_2009.asp or calling the toll free 1-800-733-4737 (8:00am - 6:00pm CST) and ordering a FREE BIBLE to distribute at school.

In the past seven years, a partnership with American Family Association in these evangelistic efforts has resulted in more than 350,000 Bibles being given away in school and more than 2500 young people sending decision coupons, emails or letters confirming they have surrendered their hearts to Christ. A total of more than 1.25 million Truth for Youth Bibles have been distributed since the conception of the Truth for Youth Bible for teens.

Sincerely,

Tim Wildmon
President
American Family Association

 
 

God bless and veritas supra omnis!





 

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FtFoC #27

27: “Genesis 2:13 says that the heavens and earth were finished. Thus, Christians who say God used evolution to bring everything, including man, into being have a real problem. If evolution is not occurring today (that is, if God is not “creating” through evolution today) there is no basis to extrapolate into the past to say that evolution has ever occurred.” -Ken Ham

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FtFoC #26

>> Wednesday, August 26, 2009

26: “Everything in nature is governed by laws. Nothing can function outside these laws. Such governing laws that work in perfect unison cannot be explained in an atheist’s worldview because there is no source for such logic and order. Yet, even the atheist must admit that such laws of nature exist.” -Ken Ham

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FtFoC #25

>> Tuesday, August 25, 2009

25: “Natural selection and mutations are means of change; however, both of these processes fall short in explaining design because neither can produce new genetic information.” -Ken Ham

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FtFoC #24

24: “It is impossible to devise a scientific experiment to describe the creation process, or even to ascertain whether such a process can take place. The creator does not create at the whim of a scientist.” -Lee Strobel

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Ben Stein "Expelled" by NY Times

Hey all!

I am a big fan of Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”, so when I saw the following article on the www.evolutionnews.org it naturally caught my interest.  I thought it was worth sharing, so that is what I am doing. :-)  

Here ye be!

New York Times Expelled Ben Stein

By the way...if you haven't seen "Expelled" then I would highly recommend that you do so.  Even if you don't agree with what is said in it, it's good food for thought and challenging.

 

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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FtFoC #23

>> Sunday, August 23, 2009

23: “The meticulous work of many historians should not be ignored. Their dates of only thousands of years are good support for the biblical date of about 6000 years, but not for billions of years.” – Ken Ham

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Mohler on "The Hidden Reality of Abortion"

>> Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hello all!

While browsing through some of my favorite blogs this morning, I came across an interesting and thought provoking article on Al Mohler’s blog (you can find his blog linked on my blog-roll).   I won’t spend time summing up the article in my own words, but for those pressed for time I will grab a few of the essential parts and post them here along with a link to the whole article.   If you can though, I would recommend that you read the whole article.   It is very good…which is typical of Dr. Mohler. :-)  

I posted this becaue I think it is an overlooked but important aspect of the abortion issue/debate.  People need to realize that, when you operate outside of God's design, the unintended consequences of doing so are powerful, if not initially obvious.  We seem to have lost our understanding of that these days, much to our detriment.

“America's long war over abortion has classically been defined as a struggle between competing rights -- depicted as the right of a woman to have an abortion versus the right of an unborn child to the protection of life.”

“From the very beginning, this has been an unsatisfactory approach to the abortion controversy. Those who contend for the sanctity of human life at every stage of development are, by virtue of moral necessity, also concerned with the health, welfare, and well-being of women. The reduction of the abortion question to a matter of "rights" is itself a symptom of our moral confusion.”

“One of the most insidious aspects of the abortion controversy has been the success of the feminist movement in presenting abortion on demand as a matter central to the liberation of women.”

“As far back as the 1970s, at least some feminists saw through this logic. Catherine MacKinnon, a radical feminist legal scholar, argued that legal abortion would merely facilitate the "heterosexual availability" of women. In other words, abortion would be a benefit to men, who would be liberated to take sexual advantage of women, knowing that the availability of legal abortion would effectively remove their risk of the entanglements that would come with pregnancy and parenthood.”

“Writing in the August/September 2009 issue of First Things, Richard Stith argues that the legalization of abortion "was supposed to grant enormous freedom to women, but it has had the perverse result of freeing men and trapping women."

Those excerpts give you the gist of the article.  You can find the rest here...

 

God bless and Veritas Supra Omnis!

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FtFoC #22

22: “History promotes a young earth belief. The Anglo Saxons’ history shows that there was 5,200 years from creation to Christ. The Nennins history shows that there were 5,228 years from creation to Christ. The Irish’s history shows 4000 years from creation to Christ. The Mayan’s history shows 3113 years from creation to Christ.” -Info from “The New Answers Book 2” by Ken Ham

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FtFoC #21

21: “The earth, based on biblical genealogies, is about 6000 years old. According the text in Genesis 2 and 11, from Adam to Abraham was approximately 2000 years. Most scholars, Christian or not, would agree that Abraham lived about 2000 B.C. (about 4000 years ago). Therefore, 2000 + 4000 = 6000 years.” -Info from “The New Answers Book 2” by Ken Ham

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FtFoC #20

>> Thursday, August 20, 2009

20: “No half-man, half-ape fossils have been found. The fossils fall into three categories: hoaxes, ape fossils, or man fossils.” -Jonathan Park

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FtFoC #19

19: "Palaeoanthropologists seem to make up for a lack of fossils with an excess of fury, and this must now be the only science in which it is still possible to become famous just by having an opinion. As one cynic says, in human palaeontology [the study of fossils] the consensus depends on who shouts loudest." -J.S. Jones

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FtFoC #18

>> Tuesday, August 18, 2009

18: “There are scores of fake fossils out there, and they have cast a dark shadow over the whole field. When you go to these fossil shows, it’s difficult to tell which ones are fakes and which ones are not.” - Lee Strobel

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FtFoC #17

>> Monday, August 17, 2009

17: "Further, Darwinian explanations for such things are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive— except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed—except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery." -Philip Skell

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FtFoC #16

>> Sunday, August 16, 2009

This one might be my favorite so far. :-)

16: "I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was up." -C.S. Lewis

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FtFoC #15

>> Saturday, August 15, 2009

15: “If radiometric dating doesn’t work on rocks the ages of which we know, how can we trust it to work on rocks of unknown age?” -Dan Lietha

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More Mortgage Trouble?

>> Friday, August 14, 2009



Hello all! 

I haven’t been posting much in the way of politics and/or economics recently, as you may have noticed,  but an article from money.cnn.com caught my attention and I thought it would be good to share.  In the article, Karen Weaver, global head of Deutsch Bank’s securitization research division (responsible for analyzing credit default swaps, collateralized mortgage obligations, “and other exotic Wall Street products”) argues that “48% of U.S. mortgage owners will end up owing more than their home is worth by 2011”. Excerpt:

 

"The figure may have left many Americans wondering how this could be possible. But consider that 27% of U.S. homeowners with a mortgage are already "underwater." And according to Deutsche Bank, home prices may fall another 14% before hitting a bottom.


How many Americans are underwater?


Currently we estimate that 14 million homeowners have negative equity. However, based on our home price forecast, as prices continue to fall we think that number could reach 25 million, or 48% of all mortgagors.


Where does this leave us?


The obvious takeaway of falling home prices and being underwater is what it does for defaults. But there's a bigger implication, which is that when we look at the economy over the past decade or two, it's been very much a consumer economy.


What has been driving the consumer hasn't been gains in incomes. What has been driving them is easy credit and rising home values. And the fact that their home price was rising and they could borrow against that through home equity lines or loans or refinancing, it augurs for a very different economy going forward if people don't have that option….So by creating products that lowered the payment, or lowered the amount of down-payment, it enabled more people to buy a home. It also perpetuated the bubble.”



 

The point of the article is…the after effects of the housing bubble – created largely (more than any other single factor at best) by artificially and unsustainably cheap credit – aren’t going away anytime soon.  Even if the Weaver’s estimates are too high, we should still be concerned.  I don’t personally think the economy will be stabilized until the bulk of these “toxic” loans are gone, and defaulting will probably end up being a major instrument through which the toxic mortgages are ended.  

Ironically, even if our governments attempts to stimulate and stabilize the economy work reasonably well,  Weaver thinks many who are underwater on their mortgages will default anyway just as a matter of common sense – unless of course there is an unprecedented economic boom resulting in a significant income increase for those underwater on their homes or the government bails them out (my words, not hers).  Excerpt:   

 
“At what point of being underwater do homeowners start falling into foreclosure rapidly?

Once you get to the point where negative equity is significant -- for example, 25% or more -- there have been studies that suggest you get more strategic defaults.

People say, "I bought my house for $500,000, it's worth $250,000, there are 10 available for sale in my neighborhood. It makes no economic sense to spend the rest of my life trying to pay off a $500,000 debt when there's no reasonable likelihood to expect this house to go back up to $500,000."

This might sound extreme, but we have borrowers who bought a $500,000 home in California at the peak of the market on $50,000 of income. So for them to devote their gross income for the next 10 years solely to paying off [their] mortgage doesn't make any sense.”

 

If you have time to read the whole article then I would recommend that you do.  It's not very long, and its case is made mostly on the basis of common sense.  

At the end of the day, I think many mortgage holders will tire of the stress that comes from being underwater on their homes, and with the excess of cheap homes available thanks to the recent burst housing bubble, it makes sense that lots of people will sooner or later default on their underwater mortgages and opt for cheaper, more economically sound, affordable, and stable housing.  When and if they do, it's probably either going to prolong the recession we are already in or send us into another mini-depression...at best perhaps. 

Of course, this is somewhat speculative, so ultimately we shall see what we shall see. :-)  Just don’t be surprised if housing and mortgages continue to be a major drag on the economy.

 

God bless and veritas supra!

 

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FtFoC #14

14: “Radiometric dating methods have given erroneous dates such as a date of millions of years for lava flows that occurred in the past few hundred years.” -Terry Mortenson

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FtFoC #13

>> Thursday, August 13, 2009

13: “Amounts of 14C and 12C in the atmosphere haven’t been constant throughout history (ex: Noah’s flood would have lowered the total amount of available carbon by burying lots of animals and plants). Therefore, something that lives (and died) when the proportion of 14C was less than normal would appear to have dies more years ago than it
actually did.” -Dan Lietha

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FtFoC #12

>> Wednesday, August 12, 2009

12: “When all the problems in radiometric dating are taken into account, a scientist can interpret the result of the carbon dating within a biblical timeframe, but these results still cannot PROVE the age of once living things.” -Dan Lietha

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It's no longer rebellious

>> Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hey all!  Just ran across this quote that I thought was worth sharing.

"Everyone is sinning, so it is no longer rebellious to sin." (Mark Driscoll)

 

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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FtFoC #11

11: Red blood cells have been found in the fossilized bone of a T-rex. Hemoglobin (a primary substance in red blood cells) is very fragile, and could not last for 65 million years. Therefore, dinosaurs must be younger than 65 million years. –Jonathan Park

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FtFoC #10

>> Monday, August 10, 2009

10: “The idea of millions of years ago was come up with only 200 years ago” -Dr. Terry Mortenson

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FtFoC #9

9: “If the flood is responsible for most of the rock layers and fossils, then those rocks and fossils cannot represent the history of the earth over millions of years, as evolutionists claim.” -Dr. Terry Mortenson

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FtFoC #8

>> Saturday, August 8, 2009

8: “Noah’s flood would produce exactly the kind of geological record that we see today worldwide: thousands of feet of sediments clearly deposited by water and later hardened into rock and containing billions of fossils.” -Dr. Terry Mortenson

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FtFoC #7

>> Friday, August 7, 2009

7: “If you start with biblical assumptions about a supernatural creation, about a global flood at the time of Noah, and you look at those same facts you will actually see things that the evolutionist misses and that will guide you in your interpretation and you will see that the fossils and rock actually confirm what the bible says about earth history.” -Dr. Terry Mortenson

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Georgia, On the Rebound

>> Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hello all!

I doubt many of you will be interested in the following link, but I thought I'd share it anyway because A) it's very significant in international affairs, and B) I think it's interesting. :-)   If you will recall, Georgia, a country struggling to implement a westernized values system emphasizing personal and economic freedom, was shamelessly invaded by Russia last year in a blatant power grab involving an oil pipeline running through Georgia, a pipeline that threatened a Russian monopoly on the oil supply to Europe.  This article gives you an update on what's going on in Georgia as they try to recover and continue their forward progress.   I hope you find it enlightening and encouraging, if not interesting.  I believe it's important to support the efforts of Georgia.  They are not a large country, but they are struggling to bring about social and political change that is desperately needed in that region of the world.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/05/AR2009080503091.html?wprss=rss_opinions

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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Oakland "Bubble Zone" Ordinance Upheld

Hey all!

I ran across this story today and thought it was worth passing along.

In 2008, the city of Oakland, California, passed a “Bubble Ordinance” that prohibits pro-life protestors from outside abortion clinics from standing within 8 feet of women seeking abortions.   This ruling was challenged as unconstitutional, specifically as a violation of free speech rights.   The following (slightly edited) story from lifesitenews.com updates the story and fills in some details.

Oakland Abortion 'Bubble Zone' Ordinance Upheld by Federal Judge

By Patrick B. Craine

SAN FRANCISCO, California, August 4, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A federal judge ruled yesterday that the City of Oakland's 2008 'bubble' ordinance, which prohibits pro-life protesters outside abortion facilities from standing within 8 feet of women seeking abortions, is constitutional.

The law was enacted in response to the efforts of Baptist Rev. Walter Hoye, 52, who has protested for several years outside the Oakland abortion mill, Family Planning Specialists Medical Group. Hoye would approach women to offer alternatives to abortion. He was fined and jailed for 18 days this March and April for breaching the law.

In a federal lawsuit, Hoye argued that the law violated his free-speech rights and the Constitution's equal protection clause.

U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer, however, found that the law's content was neutral and that it had been appropriately applied by the police who arrested Hoye.  He said the law protects access to healthcare, while also allowing protesters to express their opinion.

While Hoye "appears to take a relatively mild-mannered approach to demonstrating," the judge said, not all protesters would necessarily follow his example.

"I am horribly disappointed," commented Hoye, who has vowed to continue his pro-life witness.

One of his lawyers, Michael Millen of the Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF), has announced their intention to appeal the ruling.  "My reaction is, 'We'll see you in the Ninth Circuit,' " Millen said, referring to the federal appellate court.  "It is now illegal to stand still on the sidewalk and extend your arm to hand out a piece of literature," he said.  "I don't think the Ninth Circuit is going to buy it."

"Mark this day down," he commented in a press release today.  "On this day, a federal court judge ruled that it is constitutional to put someone in jail for a year for holding out a hand with a leaflet."

Meanwhile, the district attorney has announced that he will be seeking to permanently ban Hoye from coming within 100 feet of the abortion facility. Hoye is currently appealing a three-year probation that requires him to stay 100 feet away.

"The District Attorney is now arguing the standard pro-abort line," said Catherine Short of LLDF. "They are arguing that Rev. Hoye should be banned from ever going to the clinic because his mere presence could upset some women. They have abandoned any pretense of 'seeking justice,' which is the prosecutor's duty. This is now blatantly ideological."

It should be noted that Paster Walter Hoye is a pro-life (obviously) African American Pastor who has been protesting abortion for many years and is described as mild mannered and non-confrontational.  It is his misfortune to have been gutsy too, I guess, thus his targeting.

Keep tuned into this story as I am sure there will be more to follow!

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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FtFoC #6

6: “It is not true to say that there is different evidence for creation and evolution. Everyone has the same evidence – it is just interpreted in different ways. -Roger Patterson

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FtFoC #5

>> Wednesday, August 5, 2009

5: “Many people have difficulty in accepting a Creator God because if this Creator God did create all things, then all things, including man, would have to obey the rules He places on them. Believing that
man arose by chance alleviates this responsibility and man can rule his own life.” -Ken Ham

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Face the Facts of Creation

>> Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hello everybody!

Well, it’s obviously been a long time since I’ve posted anything due to circumstances and general business, but I’m doubling back down on several things I have neglected of late, including blogging, so you should be seeing more of me for now. :-)  Hopefully my mind won’t be completely emptied of ideas now that I have actually determined to post more. :-)   For today, I’m just posting to let you know that I am here, and to post my first installment of “Face the Facts of Creation”.

For some background on FtFoC (taken from FtFoC Facebook page), “The purpose of face the facts of creationism is to educate people about the facts of creation. We believe that the Bible’s account of creation is the truth and that science, while it cannot definitely prove any account of creation, actually fits into this account.”  I like the facts they have accumulated a lot and hope that you find them edifying and/or thought-provoking.

The plan is to post one fact for everyday of August, so I’m posting today’s fact and the three days facts that I missed.

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

1: “Genesis is the foundation of the rest of the Bible, therefore if a person were to believe in creation as described in Genesis they would be more apt to believe the rest of the Bible.” -Ken Ham

2: “Facts exist in the present, and our interpretations are an attempt to connect the past to the present. The evolutionists must assume everything about the past, while biblical creationists have the Bible as a “time machine” that can provide valuable insights into the past” -Roger Patterson

3: “Faith is believing in something that cannot be seen or fully explained. Faith in God is logical and defensible. Evidence all over the world points to an all-powerful God. Faith in God is not a blind faith that goes against real science. Believing that information can arise from disorder by chance is blind faith since it contradicts real science.” -Ken Ham

4: “Design is not something that happens by chance. Design shows intelligence, and intelligence requires a source. That source as explained in the Bible is God.” -Ken Ham

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Taxes: Basic Biblical Principles

>> Monday, May 4, 2009

Hello all!

In response to a reminder (or friendly prodding) from a long time friend, I would like to share a few thoughts on taxes. I would like to base them only on what the Bible says concerning the issue and will not discuss other practical or philosophical arguments that also merit consideration. This post will not be a comprehensive study by any means, merely a highlight of fundamental biblical principles that I believe have been largely forgotten. I do not necessarily believe the Bible speaks frequently or with can’t-miss-it clarity to the issue of taxes. But, I do believe the Bible speaks to the issue with more than adequate clarity, thus eliminating any excuse on our part not train our minds to think in a biblical orientation on the issue.

First, a disclaimer. I am not touching on the “render unto Caesar” principle in this post because I think it is the most universally known and understood of all biblical principles relating to taxation, so in the interest of time I am not devoting space to it in this post.

Here goes!

-Men have a right to all the fruits (i.e. end result) of their labor, and to use them in the manner they choose

II Timothy 2:6 states: “The hard working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops.”

I Timothy 5:18 says, “For the Scripture says ‘YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING’, and, ‘the laborer is worthy of his wages’.”

Deuteronomy 25:4 says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.”

These passages, as well as others, teach clearly that men have a right (and a responsibility) to receive and manage ALL of their wages. I believe an income tax violates this principle by unnecessarily taking a percentage of a person’s wages away from him. I also believe capital gains taxes violate this principle for the same basic reason, only in the case of capital gains taxes they are taxing the wages of a person before he or she receives it instead of after. Withholding (keeping a certain amount of a person’s total salary from being included in the check received by the employee in order to pay for certain benefits) also violates this principle, I believe.

-The state has no right to tax the private possessions of a man


If you believe that a person has a right to own what he has earned, I believe it is then logical to agree that imposing an unnecessary tax on that person's private property is also wrong. Therefore, I believe it is logical and biblical to conclude that Property Taxes are wrong.

Ecclesiastes 5:19. It says, “Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.” So, it is plain that riches and wealth are a gift from God, and it is a God given right of man to use and rejoice in the fruit of his labor.

Before I move on I think it is important to make a short disclaimer here. In our system of government we are not taxed without representation. Laws concerning taxes are instituted by elected representatives of the citizens, so in theory we tax ourselves through our elected officials. Thus, taxes can be justly and lawfully levied on behalf of the people with the consent of the people; so make no mistake, I am not opposed to taxes. I am only opposed to certain kinds of taxation. Others I am very much supportive of.

-Men have a right to pass ALL their possessions on to their children as an inheritance


I’ll cheat here thanks to time constraints. The following quoted section is from a David Barton article found on www.wallbuilders.com titled “The Bible and Taxes” (04/27/2006).

The Bible speaks to the issue of inheritance numerous times. Proverbs 13:22 states “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (something that is not likely with the current Estate Tax which can take up to 55% of an estate, leaving 45% to the children; when the children pass it on to the grandchildren, up to 55% of the remaining 45% can be taken. Leaving only 27% of the original that would be passed on to the “children’s children”). Ezekiel 46:18 states that “the prince shall not take any of the people’s inheritance by evicting them from their property; he shall provide an inheritance for his sons from his own property, so that none of My people may be scattered from his property.” Other scriptures that deal with inheritance are Proverbs 19:14, I Chronicles 28:8, and Ezra 9:12.”

I agree with Barton. If people have the right to the fruits of their labor then they must also have the right to pass that on to the person or persons of their choosing, especially their family.

In summary: as previously mentioned, the above is by no means an exhaustive study of what the scriptures say in regards to the issue of taxation; but, I believe we have seen enough to conclude that all riches are from God both as reward and blessing. God has endowed man to have the free use of them, to rejoice in them and to pass them on to their children and their children’s children. Therefore, it is a violation of God given rights to unlawfully take from the wages of man or to take of his property without his consent. Principally, I believe Income Taxes, Property Taxes, Inheritance Taxes, Capital Gains Taxes, and Withholding are biblically dubious at best, and clearly contrary to God’s will at worst. I personally hold the latter view.

As usual, I welcome comments. This issue is not one I am experienced in handling, and I am still learning a lot - at least I hope I am. I am definitely open to corrections and challenges and am willing to change my position if I can be persuaded that my position is in need of change.

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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Why I did not attend a TEA Party

>> Friday, April 17, 2009

Hello all!

As I have mentioned in several different venues, including my last blog post, I chose not to attend any of the many TEA Parties held on April 15th despite the fact that I was sympathetic to their cause, at least the basic premise. In this post I would like to lay out my reasons for not participating.

My primary motivation for this post, beyond explaining my reasons, is to offer some thoughts on grassroots activity, protestation, and related issues for future efforts. I believe strong grassroots organization and activity can and should powerfully impact our future, so it is of vital importance that all - non-professional grassroots activists, professional activists, political strategists, and politicians alike - give the matter much careful consideration.

My reasons for not participating are as follow.

First: Taxes are an effect, not a cause.

Some form of taxation is necessary to uphold and stabilize good government. Taxes, even high taxes, are not wrong in-and-of-themselves if they are being used for the right things and are obtained lawfully by the consent of the people. The problem today is not necessarily the rate at which we are taxed, it is the cause(s) that necessitate high taxes; things like an unnecessarily large and inefficient bureaucratic government, wasteful spending, political corruption, damaging social engineering programs of a highly questionable constitutional nature and massive unconstitutional bailouts of non-government enterprises all contribute to the tax problem.

Second: in connection with the previous point, grassroots energy is a precious commodity.

TEA Party protests tend (emphasis on “tend”) to not focus on root causes or education, I believe, nor does their mobilization of grassroots energy lend itself to productivity or sustainability. Our focus should be on the root causes, first identifying them, educating ourselves' on the issues, educating others and mobilizing a focused, productive and sustainable opposition.

Grassroots energy is often difficult to find and sustain, and easily tends to be unproductive. Because the vast majority of grassroots activists have a limited amount of time, energy, and resources available, they should be deployed as effectively and strategically as possible and controlled to a great degree (i.e. focused and directed, not micro-managed) with a long term focus. Fundamental or root causes should always be their focus, not effects or mere lightening rod issues.

Third: It is easy to skew perception of protests such as the TEA Parties.

Perception is important because it largely influences people’s willingness or ability to fairly evaluate our message. If our perception is good people will be receptive to our message and respond positively. If our perception is bad people will respond negatively to our message. CNN, a liberal network hostile to the TEA Party message, understood this. They knew that if they could negatively portray the TEA Party movement, even if that portrayal was false, they could destroy or minimize its positive reception. So, unsurprisingly, they portrayed the TEA Parties as negatively as they could. Unfortunately, it wasn’t particularly difficult to do so - there were more than enough seemingly angry and/or upset people who came across as merely being hot heads to provide fodder for negative coverage - and by presenting these seeming hot heads them as accurately representing the overall spirit of the TEA Parties as a whole it was easy for CNN (and others) to negatively influence perception of the movement.

Perception is something that is often beyond our control - no matter how good a job we do of presenting ourselves and our cause in the best possible light - so we can’t allow anticipated perception to dictate everything we do. Still, we should factor it in, and when an activity lends itself to an unnecessarily high degree of negative exposure and negative public perception we should be very wary of attaching ourselves to that cause or activity, particularly if our time, energy, and resources are limited and can be better used elsewhere. Ultimately, our personal involvement should always be very calculated, long term in focus, and controlled on the emotional level.

Fourth (and last): I am uncomfortable with the symbolic aspect of the TEA Parties.

Taxes have always been a lightening rod issue, prone to arouse the less admirable instincts of man.

The stereotype of angry protesters waving incendiary anti-tax and/or anti-government signs is not a stereotype without reason. Historically, taxes have proven to be a lightening rod for expression of dissatisfaction (usually justifiably) with government. Taxes are so universally disliked that it is very natural for them to be the object of expresses ones frustration, particularly when one faces a daunting array of complicated issues that need to be addressed. So I am leery of tax oriented protestations. They are strewn with pitfalls stemming from the fallen nature of man. The historical symbolism at play in the TEA Party protests only serves to exacerbate an already precarious balance and heighten my wariness.

Anger should never be a primary (perhaps even significant) catalyst in our political and social activism. Anger should never be uncontrolled or semi-uncontrolled. It distorts our reasoning and rightfully mars the nobleness of our cause, casting reasonable doubt on our causes rightness and worth. It is a self inflicted impugning of our character.

It is unwise and potentially debilitating to automatically refuse participation in any activity that could include people involved for the wrong reasons. We can’t dictate or control the motives of those we work with in all of our political and social activity. Sometimes we just have to accept the fact that perfection will not be achieved (understatement) and make the best of things. Still, I believe it is wise as a general rule to avoid participating in the events and campaigns most likely to be fueled by wrong motives.

I by no means believe that all people involved with the TEA Party movement were involved for the wrong reasons. Remember, I am speaking not only of TEA Parties but also of activism generally. I believe the majority of those involved with the TEA Parties were involved for the right reasons and conducted themselves in a manner befitting the rightness of their cause. But, I also believe enough people were involved for the wrong reasons to dramatically damage the integrity of the TEA Parties in the eyes of the general public, especially with an incredibly biased MSM leaping on every available opportunity to negatively portray them.

At the end of the day, I think the net effect of the TEA Parties could be negligibly good, but more likely to be damaging to the TEA Party cause in the long term. Positively, they mobilized and energized a very significant number of people, some of whom may continue to stay involved in the future or increase their current participation. They demonstrated that there is a strong grassroots opposition to the policies our new government is seeking to implement and (in some cases) has already implemented, and they presented an opportunity to spread a constructive conservative message. Negatively, they diverted precious grassroots energy away from more fundamental issues, promoted among the grassroots a focus on effect instead of cause, were easily mischaracterized by the MSM, and fed a spirit of anger and frustration that is ultimately more damaging than it is helpful. Only time will tell what good the TEA Parties have done or will do.

If I had to take the over/under (over being positive, under being negative) on the effect of the TEA Parties I would take the under, which is why I didn’t participate. Still, I understand and recognize that there were good reasons to participate and respect the decision of those who did participate.

I know that was a long post, but I believe it accurately, though perhaps clumsily, presents my reasons for not participating in the TEA Parties. Keep in mind that many of the above thoughts and points were not aimed specifically at the TEA Party movement but were more broadly oriented thoughts on grassroots activism and political protestation in general.

As usual, I welcome any added thoughts, agreements, disagreements, corrections, etc. I am acutely aware of my own shortcomings in knowledge and philosophic development and coherency, so I am sure that virtually anyone reading this post has something beneficial to add.

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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The FairTax: an introduction

>> Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hello all!

April 15th is here! Yippee! I love tax time, the New Years or Christmas of taxes. Even though I don't pay many taxes at the moment I would, in a fashion somewhat resembling traditional Christmas euphoria, like to wish you all a happy new tax year!

Okay, so I am being silly and sarcastic. I don't really love taxes and I don't really love April 15th. However, I am not ideologically opposed to taxes. I believe they (taxes) are necessary in many situations to uphold and support good government. That is one reason I chose not to participate in todays Tea Party's being held across the nation. I feel the thinking behind them was reasonable in it's complaint (it is true that we have been taxed beyond what is reasonable) but I think they missed the mark in addressing the real underlying root causes. I may try and post a summary of my reasoning behind those remarks in the future; but in the meantime, because I believe taxes are not inherently wrong, and because I believe an excessive tax burden is only a symptom of a larger underlying problem or problems, I would like to offer up an alternative to our current tax system that both lowers our current tax rate and installs a much sounder, sustainable, and equitable means of taxation.


As the title suggests, the system I would like to advocate is known as the “FairTax.”


The thinking and rational behind the FairTax is by no means new. It has been around for a long time, but the FairTax is unique in that it has been recently developed to fit our current situation while remaining true to the old principles upon which it is built.


I thought of writing my own summaries of the FairTax, but I think it would be much better for those reading if they read the explanation of those who have studied it and much more and have a better understanding of economics and the tax system as a whole. So, in presenting the FairTax, I'll just copy and paste some things, and link to others.


With all that out of the way, allow me to begin.


The best source for information about the FairTax from an advocates perspective is www.fairtax.org, a research organization. I will use it as my primary reference (all my outside references in this post are taken from www.fairtax.org), though there is information on the FairTax elsewhere, neutral, critical, and positive.


In a nut shell, the FairTax is:



"The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.

The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 296) is nonpartisan legislation. It abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax  administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.

The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system."

What does the FairTax accomplish in practical terms?  Lots of things!   But, some of the more significant are:

  • Enables workers to keep their entire paychecks

  • Enables retirees to keep their entire pensions

  • Refunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessities

  • Allows American products to compete fairly

  • Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy

  • Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding

  • Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation

  • Abolishes the IRS


In future posts I will use collected information to make the case that the following  details are true of the FairTax:

1. The FairTax is revenue neutral at $0.23 out of every retails dollar spent

2. The FairTax lowers the lifetime tax burden for most Americans

3. The FairTax benefits retirees who depend mostly on Social Security

4. The FairTax preserves the overall progressivity of the federal tax burden

5. The FairTax dramatically improves the U. S. economy

6. The FairTax improves the international competitiveness of American producers

7. The FairTax promotes home ownership better than the current system

8. The FairTax simplifies tax compliance, thereby reducing tax evasion

In closing, allow me clarify something. I don't believe the FairTax is a perfect system, only that it is the best currently on the table (I seriously doubt anybody can come up with a “perfect” system of taxation). One of the reasons I am posting about the FairTax is that I welcome the feedback of others whether it be in agreement, disagreement, or something in between. I am happy to debate the merits of the system, but because I don't believe the system is perfect I would be more than willing to concede a point if factually proven incorrect or undesirable. :-)

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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Caffeine Reduces Pain During Excercise

>> Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hey all!

I thought y'all might find this interesting bit of news from Newsmax.

Stopping to smell the coffee, and to enjoy a cup of it, before your morning workout might do more than just get your juices flowing. It might keep you going for reasons you haven’t even considered.

As a former competitive cyclist, University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Robert Motl routinely met his teammates at a coffee shop to fuel up on caffeine before long-distance training rides.

“The notion was that caffeine was helping us train harder . . . to push ourselves a little harder," he said.

The cyclists didn’t know why it helped, they just knew it was effective.

“I think intuitively a lot of people are taking caffeine before a workout and they don’t realize the actual benefit they’re experiencing. That is, they’re experiencing less pain during the workout,” Motl said.

It is becoming increasingly common for athletes to consume a variety of substances that include caffeine before competing, motivated by “the notion that it will help you metabolize fat more readily.”

“That research isn’t actually very compelling,” Motl said. “What’s going on in my mind is . . . people are doing it for that reason, but they actually take that substance that has caffeine and they can push themselves harder. It doesn’t hurt as much.”

The professor has been investigating the relationship between caffeine and physical activity since taking a slight detour during his doctoral-student days, when his work focused on exploring possible links between caffeine intake, spinal reflexes, and physical activity.

Seven years later, with several studies considering the relationship between physical activity and caffeine behind him, Motl has a much better understanding of why that cuppa joe he used to consume before distance training and competing enhanced his cycling ability.

Early in his research, he became aware that “caffeine works on the adenosine neuromodulatory system in the brain and spinal cord, and this system is heavily involved in nociception and pain processing.” Since Motl knew caffeine blocks adenosine from working, he speculated that it could reduce pain.

A number of his studies support that conclusion, including investigations considering such variables as exercise intensity, dose of caffeine, anxiety sensitivity and gender.

Motl’s latest published study on the effects of caffeine on pain during exercise appears in the April edition of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

“This study looks at the effects of caffeine on muscle pain during high-intensity exercise as a function of habitual caffeine use,” he said. “No one has examined that before. What we saw is something we didn’t expect: caffeine-na├»ve individuals and habitual users have the same amount of reduction in pain during exercise after caffeine (consumption).”

The research could prove encouraging for a range of people, including the average person who wants to become more physically active to realize the health benefits.

 

I thought y'all might find that interesting. :-)

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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Mona Lisa Project: Parts 3 and 4

>> Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hello all!


Life has been more then a little busy so blogging has been pushed to the back, which is pretty much the norm it would seem. :-)  I wanted to take a little time though, to post part 3 and 4 of the Mona Lisa Project (by Live Action Films).


As you may recall, I posted the first two of five installments (videos) of the Mona Lisa project in an earlier post.   The two I am posting now are parts 3 and 4, with the fifth to come soon.


Parts 3 and 4 follow much the same line as 1 and 2 in the manner that the investigation is conducted and events unfold, so it might seem pointless to watch them; but I believe it is important nonetheless to inform ourselves as much as is reasonably possible.  I don’t think people realize the deep dishonesty and lack of ethics that is so habitual of organizations like Planned Parenthood.   These videos are invaluable in understanding these things.


As with parts 1 and 2, I have purposely imbedded the videos in the blog (as opposed to simply linking them) for your convenience and warn you that some of the “related videos” on youtube are quite perverse, so I would recommend that you don’t view them on youtube.   Also be warned that these videos may not be for younger viewers.


 


Part 3: Tucson, Arizona Planned Parenthood







Part 4: Phoenix, Arizona Planned Parenthood








God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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Abortion Quotes and 4D

>> Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hey all!

I am taking the liberty of grabbing more of Nicole's work and posting it here (referrencing the previous post).   It is a compilation of quotes that shed light on the humanity of a fetus through the use of 4D technology, an important point for pro-life advocates to establish.  

I hope you find them informative. :-)

 

"By midpregnancy the fetus has begun to explore its own body and environment using its hands. It often holds on to the umbilical cord, and when a thumb approaches its mouth, it will turn and begin to make sucking motions with its lips... The fetus is also using its sense of hearing for orientation. Its most familiar sounds are surely the noises of the mother's digestive system and the swishing from her major blood vessels, but gradually the fetus also begins to perceive the sounds of the mother's world, such as music and the father's voice. The eyes of the fetus are sensitive to light, even though the eyelids are still shut tight..."

-Lennart Nilsson and Lars Hamberger, A Child is Born, 4th edition. New York: Bantum Dell, 2003. p. 141



"Does a fetus see anything? It is known that the eye can sense light as early as the third month of pregnancy. Sometimes when an endoscope is inserted into the amniotic sac, a fetus tries to protect its eyes from the light on the instrument, either by turning away or by using its hands and fingers."

-Lennart Nilsson and Lars Hamberger, A Child is Born, 4th edition. New York: Bantum Dell, 2003. p. 146



"During her odyssey in the womb [a fetus] will smile, recognize her mother's voice and maybe even dream."

-In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005



"One of the many things revealed by the 4D scans is the fact that babies have rapid eye movement sleep. This is a period of sleep when the eyes slicker around behind the eyelids. Later in life, this is an indication of dreaming. This gentle flicker of an eye could be a sign that the fetus, still with a month to go before being born is already dreaming."

-In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005



"Twins, and other multiples, are known for a particular characteristic in utero. Scientists have even witnessed them playing games together... Scientists think their prenatal behavior [carries] over into early childhood."

-In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005



"In the top drawer of my desk, I keep [a picture of my son]. This picture was taken on September 7, 1993, 24 weeks before he was born. The sonogram image is murky, but it reveals clear enough a small head tilted back slightly, and an arm raised up and bent, with the hand pointing back toward the face and the thumb extended out toward the mouth. There is no doubt in my mind that this picture, too, shows [my son] at a very early stage in his physical development. And there is no question that the position I defend in this book entails that it would have been morally permissible to end his life at this point."
-David Noonin, "A Defense of Abortion"



"Never, never will we desist till we . . . extinguish every trace of this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, looking back to the history of these enlightened times will scarce believe that it has been suffered to exist so long a disgrace and dishonor to this country."

-William Wilberforce



"When my wife and I visited the Yad Vashim Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, we were most deeply touched by the children's memorial. It has 1500 candles, with mirrors designed to reflect each candle a thousand times, representing the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust. We stood in the darkness hearing the names of individual children read one by one.
I was struck by the number, because at the time it was the same number killed by abortion in America each of the previous few years. The fact that most of these children haven't been given names doesn't diminish their worth. I have stood at memorials for the unborn where parents have given names to their children and written them in expressions of love and grief. If we could only hear the names of each of these children whispered to us in the dark, perhaps we would wake up."


-Randy Alcorn, ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments. p. 301 

 

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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Learn about and fight FOCA

>> Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hello all!

Most of those reading this post have probably heard of FOCA, otherwise known as the Freedom of Choice Act, but some of you might not have and for those of you who know of it is possible you don't know much about it.   For those who support life it is important to A) know the details of FOCA, and B) take such action against it as you can.   With that in mind, I have permission to share a post written by Nicole, an aquaintence from a forum we are both members of.   She did all the work collecting links and writing the post, then graciously granted me permission to use her work.  

Many thanks to Nicole for her passion and hard work!

Here is the info:

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
-Romans 12:21

"Nothing is inevitable. We can't give up, we must never quit.

America is worth fighting for."
-John McCain


Hey everyone!

I'm working on a campaign to fight the Freedom of Choice Act and I'd like to ask you all to join me. Obama is not going to hesitate to enact what he believes is "right" for this country. Thus I believe we cannot hesitate to stand for what we know is right.

If we wait until the Freedom of Choice Act is reintroduced to oppose it, I believe it will be too late. Many people know it is coming. And I believe they are already making up their minds. It will be very hard to convince those who are pro-choice if we wait until then to present the truth of the danger this bill will pose to what they really want for this country. In fact, it will be nearly impossible. But if we start now, I believe it is easily possible to turn even them against it.

Many who are pro-life still do not know the full truth of what this bill could accomplish. I didn't until I spent several days compiling the facts. It is important that everyone who is pro-life knows the facts about this bill. For only when we know, can we begin to fully fight. And once the facts of this bill are known, I can hardly imagine how someone could not fight it.

I created this flier (link below) to spread the word about FOCA. It's a great way to get all the facts quickly and to pass them on effectively and efficiently. This is something we can include with letters that explain our position, hand to friends, leave on cars and at bus stops, and most importantly encourage people to also make copies of and distribute.

What follows is an incomplete list of resources for further research, ideas for action, and contact information I believe would be helpful. I will be adding to this post in the future as I gather more information. I welcome your input -- please let me know if there is any suggestions, ideas, resources, and contact info you can contribute.

Join me, will you?

The flier:

[UPDATED]
http://www.cryaction.com/foca_flier.pdf

[NEW!]
http://www.cryaction.com/foca_flier_bw.pdf

Articles and resources on FOCA:

http://www.aul.org/foca

http://www.frc.org/papers/focus-on-foca

http://www.frc.org/insight/focusing-on-foca-freedom-of-choice-act-would-harm-women-and-remove-protections

http://www.lifenews.com/nat4359.html

http://www.fightfoca.com/

http://www.fightfoca.com/open-letter/

Also informative on the subject:

http://www.aul.org/Pro-Life_President

Find out whether your congressperson is a co-sponsor:

http://www.aul.org/FOCA_Sponsors

Address directories:

http://www.frc.org/contact-elected-officials

http://forum.hucksarmy.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=76

Ideas:

1.) Please be sure to sign the petition -- and encourage everyone you know to do the same:
http://www.fightfoca.com/ This petition will be sent to key Members of Congress upon the re-introduction of the Freedom of Choice Act in the 111th Congress, and to President-Elect Obama.

2.) Send letters (let me know if you'd like some sample letters) to doctors, hospitals, newspapers, newspeople, congressmen, senators, pastors, and friends. Include the flier.

3.) Have a letter writing party at your home or church -- get together with your friends, student group, book club, Bible study group, or members of your church to collaborate on the project and get more people involved.

4.) Invite people to join The Rebelution forums or let me know if you'd like to start a new branch of this initiative at another forum (I'd like to be able to post a link to what you're doing and keep track of the progress made).

5.) Start a petition in your state to send to your congressman/senator -- take clipboards to hospitals, churches, religious conferences in your town, etc.

6.) Copy and distribute the flier -- hand them out, ask to leave a stack of them at hospitals, crisis pregnancy centers, churches, insert them in church bulletins, post them on bulletin boards, leave them on benches, on cars in parking lots, at bus stops, newspaper and real estate guide stands on corners, sitting areas in malls or elsewhere, at people's doors... leave them, post them, get them anyplace you can think of! Throw them off rooftops and into the street! Just hand them to five friends -- or five people each week. Awareness is key.

God bless you all!

Nicole T., for CRY ACTION

 

As Nicole said, it's important that we don't allow this to sneak up on us.   Once you reach the point of decision you are basically stuck with what you've got.   Then the time for changing hearts and minds, as well as mobilizing those already of likeminds, will be past. 

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

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Montana Personhood Amendment Passes State Senate

>> Friday, February 27, 2009


Hello Everybody!  


It feels good to be posting after a long and unavoidable absence from the blogosphere and internet.   Until yesterday, the grand total of my internet time was roughly 10 minutes over the course of 10 or 11 days (I was gone to Massachusetts for a friends wedding with some of my family) which needless to say kind of eliminated blogging.   I now have a ton of important stuff to catch up on, putting blogging on the backburner, but I wanted to quickly pass along some exciting and important information I recieved in an email on Thursday.  So, without further ado, here is the information. 




“Montana Personhood Amendment Passes State Senate, 26-24 Vote


Helena, Montana - 02/26/2009 - Montana's Senate passed constitutional Personhood Amendment, SB 406, in a 26-24 vote. The amendment, introduced by Senator Dan McGee, passed on its third reading on the Senate floor this morning. This is the first Personhood Amendment in U.S. history to pass a State Senate.


"Senator Dan McGee, writing the language of SB 406 himself, has shown what it truly means to be pro-life," stated Keith Mason, of Personhood USA. "Senator McGee's successful efforts on behalf of all human beings at all stages of human life are a giant step forward in historic efforts to ensure the rights and protection of every individual."


SB 406, which defines person for the purposes of application of inalienable rights, states, "All persons are born free and have certain inalienable rights...person means a human being at all stages of human development of life, including the state of fertilization or conception, regardless of age, health, level of functioning, or condition of dependency."


"Praise God!  The honor of being the first State Senate in U.S. history to recognize the personhood of pre-born children goes to Montana," commented Cal Zastrow of Personhood USA. "Thanks to the leadership of Sen. Dan McGee, The Montana Personhood Amendment now moves forward to the State House of Representatives."


SB 406 must continue on to pass the Montana House of Representatives with a majority vote of 74. Once it passes, it is to immediately become a part of the state's constitution. The race is on between Montana and North Dakota for the first Personhood legislation in our nation's history, as Montana's Personhood Amendment continues on to its House of Representatives, and North Dakota's Personhood legislation continues on to its Senate.


Personhood USA is a grassroots Christian organization founded to establish personhood efforts across America to create protection for every child by love and by law. Personhood USA is committed to assisting and supporting Personhood Legislation and Constitutional Amendments and building local pro-life organizations through raising awareness of the personhood of the pre-born.


For Interviews please call Personhood USA @ 202-595-3500 or


Senator Dan McGee 406-628-6534


For More Information please visit www.personhoodusa.com




Personhood USA PO Box 486 Arvada Co 80001”


 


This is incredibly important news!   Personhood Amendments have been and still are being pushed in many states across the nation and this is one of the most significant victories to date.  Please pray fervently that Montana House of Represenatives would pass SB 406 at the first opportunity!


God bless and veritas supra omnis!



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