Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm Against Obama Care

Read a report the other day from a man who has actually read every word on every page of the so called "Health Care Reform Bill." Yes, all 2000 pages. He read it with an interesting point of view, as a Constitutional Lawyer. He is retired after many years as a Supreme Court lawyer. His conclusion concerning this bill is that it is so unconstitutional that it must not be passed. Even if by some unforeseen event it does pass, the Supreme Court must, in this man's opinion, strike it down as unconstitutional, or it must be sent out to the states to be ratified as a constitutional amendment.

I am against this bill because:
It rations health care,
Provides free care to illegals,... See More
Forces health care workers to perform abortions,
Will force insurance companies out of business,
Balance of power will be transferred to the Executive office,
Calls for presidential appointees to have full access to all health care records (violation of 4th amendment), and all other personal information.

He continues, "You can forget about the right to privacy. That will have been legislated into oblivion regardless of what the 3rd and 4th amendments may provide. If you decide hot to have healthcare insurance, or if you have private insurance that is not deemed acceptable to the Health Choices Administrator appointed by Obama, there will be a tax imposed on you." "Since there is nothing in the law that allows you to contest or appeal the imposition of the tax, it is definitely depriving someone of property without the due process of law." All unconstitutional actions.

Read the bill. Read the Constitution and Bill of Rights. If you can still support the bill, then lets talk about it.

In the meantime, I'm going to speak AGAINST this and any other action being whether wrong because it goes against the Constitution of our United States of America, or because it goes against the Word of God. There is Right and there is Wrong. This Bill is WRONG in either case and must be defeated.

If you don't agree, that is your right, guaranteed to you by the same Constitution that I've been referring to. It has fought for and paid for by the blood of our Citizens for over 200 years. I fully support it. But look at the facts first, not what a political party is calling for. Then use the good mind that God has given you to think for your self.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas To All

Luke 2:4-20
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Here we are at the brink of Christmas Eve. For most who are not Christians, it is a time of rest and sharing gifts, parties, and spending money that they may or may not have. But for Christians it is the holiest of times of the year. Today we find ourselves living in a time that has our nation calling for all to be tolerant of others, even to the point that we would keep our thoughts to ourselves. As a Christian, I cannot.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Christ child, the Messiah that had so long been prayed for. The Romans had shown the true cruelty that was in their heart. They had allowed their own morality to be twisted and perverted to the point that the Jews were beginning to be objects to torture and mess with at will. Even the soldiers were allowed to have Jews pack their equipment as they marched from place to place.

However, at long last the announcement comes. The one whom the people of God have been waiting for has finally come. But notice who the royal announcement was given to. It was the lowly shepherds out side the town of Bethlehem. Those shepherds were watching sheep from which would come the same unblemished lambs that would be used as sacrifices in the temple. Yes, the angels came to the shepherds to show that God was reachable by all men, that Jesus came to save us all and not just the rich, the privileged, the aristocracy of life.

The best part, though, is that these shepherds were about to loose their jobs. I've always wondered why the shepherds would walk off and leave these creatures who they had taken responsibility for. Why would they risk loosing these precious lambs to wondering off, being stolen, or even being killed and eaten by the wild animals? They left because they realized that the perfect Lamb of God had arrived. They left the sheep of the field to watch over "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."

My prayer for us all is this, that as we celebrate the birth of the Christ child, Jesus, that we experience it even more. I pray that in the midst of all the paper, the lights, the food, the singing, the gifts, and the trees, that we all experience the coming of the Christ child in our own lives. Jesus came to take our offense of sin as His own, to pay the price for that sin, and offer us eternal life in return. This Christmas I pray that you will join me in making a difference in someone's life. This Christmas look for the opportunity that God is guiding you into, to share His message of Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy that is offered only through His Son, Jesus, the reason for the season.

May the gift of the Christ Child be real in your life. May His message be heard and accepted by more souls because of the overflowing joy in our lives this Christmas, and every day He gives us. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A LIFE OF GOD'S HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and most of all LOVE!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Quit Fussing and Get to Building

Today's sermon suggested that we let the petty things in life become our major focus. When we do, we take our eyes of God and His plan. I'm reminded that I am called to focus on Him alone. If we focus on Him, we'll be ready and available to serve Him when He calls on us. How rewarding could that be? I want to find out. Do you?

1 Corinthians 3, Paul gets on the church pretty hard. When he was there with them he understood that they were new to the Christian life and he fed them spiritual milk. Time has passed and although he thought they should have graduated to more solid food, the indicators were that they were still spiritual babies. What were they doing? They were fussing and quarreling over who the preacher was when they came to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. For what ever reason, some bragged that Paul was preaching, while others bragged that Apollos or Peter. Can you imagine?

Being in a minister's home all my life, I heard a lot of preachers. I always enjoyed my dad's preaching. In fact, for a year heard him preach every Sunday. He resigned to show Billy Graham films all over Florida. During that year I heard Billy Graham present the Gospel many times. I actually felt I needed to have a personal relationship with Jesus while hearing the pastor who followed my dad in that little mission church.

Who was responsible? Actually none of those pastors. Not one of them could save my soul. It was only the work of the Holy Spirit in my life that brought me to the realization that I needed a personal relationship with Jesus. God used those men whom He had called to proclaim His message to urge me, teach me, and encourage me. But it only be accepting what Jesus did for us on the cross that we can receive the hope of life in Heaven for all eternity.

What could happen if God's people would keep the main thing, the main thing?
What would happen if the church would make an intentional effort to not fuss or quarrel about petty things?
Would the church make a greater impact on the world around us?
Would the world around us hear the Gospel more easily?
Could we be more effective, more efficient as we attempt to share Jesus with the world?

I believe that is exactely what Paul was trying to say. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus, put our petty differences aside, and get to work doing what God has called us to.

"Go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them all the things I have taught you."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mile Stones

I'm contemplating today the passage of time and those mile stones that mark that passage. This morning we sat on the front porch of our home which sits just off the center of our sleepy little town. The traffic was much heavier than it has been over the past ten weeks or so. The faces in those cars and trucks were different than we've been seeing lately as well. Then there's that major change in the vehicles that are going by. Yes, we're seeing lots of cars and pick-up trucks. There is the occasional semi or delivery truck that goes by. But today is different, there are those long yellow and black buses going by that mark the beginning of another school year.

With some excitement, some apprehension, maybe a bit of sadness, I watched my boy head down the sidewalk to the curb. With back-pack on and bag of supplies in tow, Christopher was patiently waiting for his bus to stop and the driver to wave him across the street so that he could board. Funny really, how until today when folks would ask if he was excited to go back he would violently shake his head no. Yet today, when the reality is smacking him in the face, he is up early and waiting in front of the TV for 20 minutes or so before it is time to go out for the bus. Yes, the excitement of the new year was there. The earlier, negative reaction was for show. They learn so early.

All this reminds me though that there is another rite of passage that will be coming soon enough. There will be another morning when things are just a bit different than they were the day before. There will be another morning when he will get up and get ready, maybe even early like today. That day will be the day that he leaves the house on a more permanent basis. That will be a truly sad day for Connie and me. That will be the day when he heads out and begins a relationship that will change where our priority is in his relationship rankings. He will not replace us or turn away from us, but his new bride will certainly become the number one relationship in his life.

That's a good thing, I guess. Kind of makes me sad to think of it. But, isn't that day what we as parents are working toward from the time our wonderful children are born? We get them birthed, raise them, teach them, love them, and train them. Then the day comes when we will once again be free to revive the relationship with our spouse and we can't even get through the wedding without shedding tears of loss. And even with all of that going on we begin to think of the day with our children will bring us news of their having children. Our grandchildren will be coming soon and we have an opportunity to once enjoy the laughs, the hugs, the excitement, and even the tears of those little faces. What a joy to be grandparents.

All this to say that I'm sure God feels much the same way at times. He loves us and cares for us. He made sure that we had a path laid out before us. He is there when we fall off the path, ready to lend a hand, to teach the lesson, to give us the love we need. Yet time and again we step off our path. We even take side roads, going out on our own. Yet He is always there. What saddens Him the most is when we replace Him as our number one relationship. The Bible tells us plainly that God is a jealous God. What I find the most interesting is that God not only wants to hold the number one relationship in our lives, but when we allow God to hold the top position, the rest of our relationships become even better. Our marital relationship, the relationships with our children, our co-workers, our friends and other relatives, all will be better when we place the God of the universe as our number one relationship. As Mr. Ripley would say, "Believe it or not." I choose to believe it because I've lived it and know from experience. I pray you do, or will soon.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Marry Young vs. Establish Life and Career

In Sixteen days I will celebrate twenty nine years of being married to the most wonderful woman God could have paired me with. There have been a lot of great times. There have been some not so great times. If I get real honest about it, there have been some times that were down right horrible. One thing I can say for sure, in all these twenty nine years I have learned that without going through the bad, we would not have nearly as much good as we've had.

Three issues cause me to talk about this. First is obvious, our anniversary being right on top of us will always cause me to reflect on the love that Connie and I share. There were days and nights that each of us wondered what we were doing with each other. But we are both so glad that we worked through those times to arrive here today. God has even used those times to help other couples who are having trouble, giving them a living, breathing example that couples can indeed work through the issues of life and make it together on the other side.

Secondly, I heard this past week of another young couple who is calling it quits. I don't know all the details. I also don't think they would want their lives posted on the internet either. But I will say that this is a couple who has not been married even two years yet. One of the spouses has decided that they just cannot agree on how much the grandparents will be involved with any future grandchildren. What a shame? Children are not even in the picture yet and this couple will never know the joy that those same children will bring into their lives. They will never experience the love they feel as they hold those children for the very first time. They will never know the feeling of holding those little hands or the hugs those little arms are so free to give.

Finally, an article came across my computer screen today talking about marriage. I read most of it simply because the title said something about the church needing to teach younger marriage. Interesting article, the author makes the point that our society encourages putting off marriage to "find ourselves." Along with later marriage comes later child birth. He makes the point that God created us, particularly women, with a prime child birthing age in our twenties. As it turns out, the medium age of women getting married for the first time is going up and has reached twenty six year of age. Men aren't getting married until they're twenty nine. And then couples are taking a few years of "getting to know one another" and getting their careers established before starting their families. So they are missing the prime years for having children if they have any at all.

So, there is a lot on my mind tonight. I wonder what God has in store for our churches. I wonder what is in store for our families. I wonder what is in store for our country. If marriage ages continue to go up and children are delayed later and later, it only makes sense that the birth rate is probably going to drop. We don't need to over populate, but we also don't need to reduce the lives being born.

There is so much more to say, but I do not want to ramble. I leave with this question to ponder: Is the church teaching "early marriage" or suggesting that marriage be put off? If we're teaching that it should be put off, are we giving the tools needed to remain chaste until marriage? I'm afraid that we've stuck our heads in the sand for too long. Let's be honest and open with our youth and help them to understand that it is important to marry young and to not delay their families. And for those who don't find their mates until a bit later, lets help them with the tools and opportunities they need so that they can remain faithful to their future mates. Sure, kids are going to make mistakes. Hormones are going to drive them, and us, crazy for a bit. But, let's not loose our young to world and to Satan because we've been afraid to talk with them.

I pray this is understandable and provokes some thought in your mind. Please feel free to ask questions or even to comment. I would greatly appreciate it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rectangular Platter

This piece is a rectangular plate, 8"x9 1/4" x 1 3/4" tall. The wood is maple that I picked up from the church's by-pass property when we took down some trees. The inspiration for this plate is most assuredly oriental, in fact I had a sushi plate in mind. Lots of stuff going on in this piece, worm holes, ambrosia, fiddleback, etc. All works together to give a lot of interest. Finish is several coats of Seal-A-Cell, hand buffed between with 0000 steal wool, finished off with Beall System, and then Renaissance Wax. I just sent it off to a benefit auction for a young lady who has recently lost both legs to a rare disease. I hope it brings a great price for her and the family.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rite of Passage

Today our family went through one of those rites that all families must go through from time to time. Our son has been off at summer camp all week and came home today. I'm sure it is true of all kids coming home from camp, HE STUNK. Nearly had to force him to go take a shower once he was home. He is also very tired. Won't admit it at all. We can see it in his eyes. Now that he's out of the shower he smells much better. Looks better too. Still sleepy though. Best thing we could do for him is get him in bed early tonight. Problem is, momma said something to him about going to see Ice Age 3 tonight. Now it is all he can think about. Guess we'll go to the movie. My guess is that he'll either fall asleep during the movie or on the way home. We only live about 3 miles from the cinema. Won't matter though. I'm pretty sure I'll be carrying him from the car to the bed.

Our Heavenly Father is a lot like that too. He will let us burn the candle at both ends and wear our selves out. He'll even let us have our own way and do what we want. Then, when we've worn ourselves out and are not able to go any further, He picks us up and carries us to a place of refuge, where we are safe and can get rest. He wants us to have life that is full, a life abundant with all the good things He created. That life of abundance is only available when we believe in His Son, Jesus. That belief pays the price we owe for the sin in our life. Jesus had no sin in His life, yet He died so that we could have the life that God wants for us. We simply need to accept that gift.

Tonight I will most likely struggle to get my son into his bed. God never has any trouble carrying us to a place of rest and safety. I'll place my trust in Him. Won't you?