Saturday, June 27, 2009

South Carolina's Mark Sanford Becomes the Latest John Edwards

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is the latest hot-blooded legislator to admit sexual indiscretion. What can we say? Another blotted career and another hurt family all in the name of illicit passion. What is with these guys?

Sanford, most recently Chairman of the Republican Governors’ Association, was highly anticipated as a 2012 presidential hopeful for the GOP Party.

During a five-day disappearance the week of Father’s Day, his staff first claimed he had gone on an Appalachian hiking trip to relieve the pressures of Congressional sessions. But, after being questioned about his unavailability, Sanford had to admit he had gone to Argentina to be with an unnamed female lover.

According to a Reuter’s report, Sanford's wife, Jenny admits she and her husband have been in a trial separation. Governor Sanford says the affair started as a friendship with e-mails, but turned into something more.

Sanford isn't the only Republican love casualty this month…Senator John Ensign, another potential Republican 2012 White House contender, announced earlier this month that he, too, had an affair. Ensign resigned from U.S. Senate leadership.

It's getting so that after about only a week's attention, these extramarital affair issues just get glossed over, and we become more and more desensitized to it. We figure, putting our faith in men who can't keep their you-know-what in their pants is just a fact of life. The question remains...are they sorry they did it, or sorry they got caught?

Governor Mark Sanford gained his most recognition just this year by opposing President Obama’s economic stimulus package. He rejected $700 million in federal funds, stating it would not benefit South Carolina's fiscal stability. However, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the federal money must be accepted.

Sanford's replacement as Chairman of the Republican Governors’ Association is Mississippi’s Governor, Haley Barbour. Barbour might be another possible Republican 2012 presidential nominee.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Bible - Truth or Fiction?

Is the Bible filled with Truth or Fiction? There are 2,000 years’ worth of documents and archaeological finds substantiating the people and places in the Bible. Eyewitness historical accounts have never been proven false. But the Bible is considered "too incredible" because of the supernatural events within. Whatever happened to the phrase "TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION"?

Millions of people have the faith to take a psychic’s advice without meeting them or asking for credentials. Others wear crystals for strength or practice mystical things. Yet they will ask a Christian to "prove" that God exists and that Jesus was His Son.

A Bible believer can spout Bible verses as evidence, but if someone doesn't believe the Bible, why will they listen? Skeptics can be given insight through sound logical and statistical findings and information. Josh McDowell, internationally known youth advocate and Christian author, tried to prove the Bible false during his college days. He ended up becoming a believer and stated the following in his book, Evidence That Demands A Verdict:
"Being written on material that perishes, having to be copied and recopied for hundreds of years before the invention of the printing press, did not diminish its style, correctness or existence. The Bible, compared with other ancient writings, has more manuscript evidence than any 10 pieces of classic literature combined."

The Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947 were validated by paleographers as dating back to about 100 B.C. The Dead Sea Scrolls lended truth to previously found scrolls dated 600-900 A.D. And when compared they say virtually the same thing. Also found was an original scroll of the "Song of Deborah" from the Bible's book of Judges, documented to be from the 12th century B.C.

Forty different authors wrote within the 66 canonized books of the Bible. Some of them lived 500 years apart, in at least ten different countries. They couldn't see each other's writings in a bookstore. They had no editors. Yet they all tell the same story, including the gap between the last prophet (Malachi, circa 435 B.C.), and the birth of Christ. After nearly 400 years of silence, the story picks up as if without a day.

King David wrote about crucifixion in Psalm 22. Although crucifixion may have been developed by in Persia as early as 1800 B.C., the best documented evidence didn’t appear until the seventh century B.C. David lived 200 years before that. Where did he get this description?

People say that Jesus lied about who he was. But, what did he have to gain by doing this?
He was rejected by his own people. Even his mother and half-brothers thought he was crazy at first. He was beaten to a pulp beyond recognition. He was spit on and ridiculed, had thorns stuck through his head, nails driven into his body, and was hung between two thieves when all he did was say some things people didn't like.

What’s more, would he be around after his crucifixion to enjoy the fruits of his martyrdom? No.
To me, the most preposterous thing of all is for people to say the Bible is made up. To believe instead in a "big bang" - that everything just "got here" - now that's faith.

This article is excerpted from Sheryl’s book, What Every Christian Should Know about the Jewish People. For more information and how to order, see the first column to the right of this article.
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Monday, June 15, 2009

Road Rage with a Laugh

Do you spend most of the time in your car listening to accident reports on the radio? To ease my mild case of road rage during a traffic jam, I decided to affectionately name these wrongful road warriors:

“The Blindfolded Guy” – He simply pretends not to see your car where he wants his to be. Like a race horse with blinders on, the poor soul has no peripheral sight. Pretty soon, it’s obvious he intends to become Siamese twins with your only means of transportation.

“The Bouncer” – Like a disco groupie’s worst nightmare, he’s going to keep you out no matter what. This is the one who won’t let you on to the highway or into a lane. He’d rather see you crash and burn. After someone else lets you in, he changes lanes because he didn’t even need to be there.

“The Shadow” – The one who follows so closely you can’t see the front of their car. Is this the guy from that fraudulent insurance ring who’s actually trying to cause an accident?

“The Shooter” – He sits at the next corner waiting until you’re only ten feet away, then shoots out in front of you and slows down.

“The Flasher” – This person flashes their headlights to make you drive faster when you’re already doing 20 over the limit just to keep up with traffic. Don’t you know he needs to get where he’s going?

“The Swinger” – The compact car driver who thinks he’s maneuvering a semi. He swerves out into your lane to make his right hand turn.

And we’d better give these marauders their way without any negative reaction, lest we become the latest victim of “road rage.” Next time you’re on the road, find something to laugh about and play nice. Who knows - that accident that has traffic at a stand-still might have involved you if things were moving any faster.
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Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Don't Apologize for America

President Obama has been traveling around to various countries apologizing for America. He apologizes for America oppressing people. He apologizes for America imposing democracy on other countries. He apologizes for America denying people opportunities.

However, in America people from other countries can create successful businesses. Many times, Americans who are not so ambitious end up working for the people from other countries. We often hear new American citizens from less fortunate nations say “I have the American dream. This is a great free country.”

No country's perfect. But should Americans be apologizing for what America is? Should we apologize for the men and women who created America to become a great nation? Should we apologize for our American soldiers who leave their own families and risk their lives so that people in other countries can be free from dictators, madmen and tyrants?

In America, people can move freely from state to state without showing their identification. That is not true in many nations.

Immigrants can come to America, work and become naturalized citizens. They never need to be called “foreigners” again.

America allows women and children to wear what they want, get an education and choose their occupation whether they are male or female.

In America, we go to sleep at night without worrying if our husbands, wives or children will be dragged off in the middle of the night because of our beliefs.

Of course, there are other free countries where all these things also exist. But apologizing for America gives more credibility to Americans who speak like they hate America because they have never traveled outside of our country to see how poor the conditions are in some other world locations. It exacerbates opinions about the past, and while placating other governments, it insults Americans.

Sorry, President Obama. I don't agree with apologizing for America.
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Are You Text Messaging Friends or Wearing Your Bluetooth® While at Work?

Are you text messaging friends, wearing your Bluetooth® or keeping your personal cell phone on while in the workplace? Unless you have permission, you may be cheating your employer out of an honest day's work.

I encountered the most amazing sight the other day. Talk about multi-tasking. A cashier in a clothing store was ringing something up for me while talking on her personal earphone. At first I thought, okay, maybe the employer has the employees wear them. But this was definitely a personal phone call, which she had no qualms about my hearing. It wasn't an emergency call, either. She was gingerly talking to some friend about weekend plans.

Ironically, taped to the customer side of the counter was a boldly typed notice that said:
"Please have your cell phones off while at the cash register."
We see these requests at fast food places and banks, usually pertaining to the customer. I guess that's so the cashier can ask you a question. Well, there wasn't any way I could have asked her one right then, either.

Kids are texting while taking tests, too - perhaps to ask someone on the outside for an answer. But far be it from a teacher to question a child's intentions - that may bruise their ego or bring angry parents to school. "Cheating" is now becoming one of those old fashioned words that falls into the "no wrong or right, no good or bad" category. If you feel it's right at any given moment, do it.

Although text messaging, ear telephones and all these new contraptions can be wonderful time-savers, they take our minds off the other situation we are in at the time. And we're putting our faith in these instruments to keep up our personal relationships instead of face to face encounters with those who deserve our undivided attention.

I even saw a guy text messaging while riding a bicycle on a busy street. Now that's faith.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"You Scare Me" Says Former V.P. of Company to President Obama

"You scare me" are the opening words of each sentence in Lou Pritchett's open letter to President Obama. Pritchett, a former Vice President of Proctor & Gamble, wanted his letter published in the New York Times but that didn't happen. Instead, it began appearing on the Internet.

According to, the website that dispels rumors and confirms truths, Pritchett has acknowledged being the author of the letter. He succinctly writes what many Americans are afraid to think or say about the current administration, and raises many questions. If interested, read the letter at Snopes here. No words can express it better.

In the current American political climate, people who do not agree with President Obama's position on some issues, or his credentials to hold the highest office in the country, are being intimidated into silence. This scare tactic doesn't always come from the administration itself, but from powerful lobbies on its fringes.

The U.S. Constitution's First Amendment still says we have freedom of speech and the right to address the government with our grievances on issues. Some majority leaders in Congress would like to see people prosecuted for what they think and say on the basis that it may "incite violence." Since this hasn't come up in previous administrations, we can only assume that some of Mr. Pritchett's "You Scare Me" letter could possibly come true. To my recollection, the vocal detractors of President Bush were never accused of being hateful inciters of violence.

No American president does everything wrong and none have done everything right. Either way, Americans are allowed (for now) to speak their piece.
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Is There a Universal Absolute Truth?

Is there any one universal absolute truth to live by? Is each person's truth or faith as they see it an absolute truth? Or is there really a universal absolute truth?

I have two American quarters in my right hand and two in my left. I count the two in the right, then the two in the left. They total four. No one in the world would dispute that two plus two makes four. No one in America or any foreigner who knows world money would dispute that four American quarters make one American dollar.

Yet, with today's lack of willingness to proclaim that there is "right and wrong" or "good and bad," many people say there is no such thing as absolute truth. Some believe that our mind makes up our own truths as we go along according to our experiences, or how we feel at a given moment. But don't dare share your absolute truth with anyone else.

Imagine that I take those four quarters to an American supermarket. I do my shopping, and approach the register with $20.00 worth of groceries. I say to the cashier, “I believe these four quarters make $20.00. You must accept them as full payment for my food.” Nobody is going to believe me!

When someone states there is no such thing as an absolute truth, I ask them, “Do you unequivocally believe that there is no absolute truth?” If they answer yes, I say, “Then you must admit there is absolute truth.”

If there's no absolute truth, then why do we die? Why are people poor? Why are there disasters? Most of us would prefer to live. Most would choose to stay at their favorite age, or live in a different era. Most are likely to choose being millionaires.

Books like "The Secret" claim life can be whatever you want. But if I'm driving in my car, and there's a guy in the next lane, and I say the sky is blue but the other guy says it's raining, whose truth is right?

The real truth is, people just don’t want there to be an absolute truth. Because if there is, someone would be wrong. That's now a "politically incorrect" word. We wouldn’t be able to do just as we please without facing consequences for our actions.

We live by many absolute truths. Murder is unlawful - that fact is accepted everywhere. You can get put in jail for murdering someone. But not all absolute truths are this cut and dry. For example, the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the U.S. Constitution, but most people believe it because of what they've been told instead of looking it up. So what is not the truth can be repeated until it becomes the truth.

The freedom to believe that there is no absolute truth has made us lose our convictions, our direction, and our capacity to love people despite our differences. Disagreeing with someone is now automatically called hate. What dribble! In an effort to be tolerant of everyone else’s beliefs, we’re asked to give up our own, and many comply without even realizing it.

The absolute truth I believe becomes truer every day, because its words give hope for the future. And that is “…the Lord is good; his love endures forever, and his faithfulness endures through all generations” (Psalm 100:5). If only we could love each other this way, and still face an absolute truth now and then. Mere tolerance through lip service and trying to appease any group would pale in comparison if we could see what real love looks like. And that's the absolute truth.
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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Teen Trends - Hugging, Sexting and Hooking Up

What’s worse – hugging, “sexting” or “hooking up”? Middle schools across the nation are now banning the trend of hugging between students on school grounds. Hugging seems to be the latest form of greeting between kids from middle school up. We’ve seen it on the streets and in the malls, but educators appear to have come to their limit with seeing physical contact between students.

Some kids may not wish to have their personal space violated by hugs from anyone and everyone. But is it as harmful as being “sexted” on their cell phones or getting “hooked up” to “friends with benefits”?

If you’re a parent and you’ve never heard of “sexting,” “hooking up” or “friends with benefits,” then you need some fresh sight into what your child is dealing with out in society today.

“Sexting” is the new trend of sending revealing and even nude photos to each others’ cell phones through text messaging. It may start as a private thing between two people, which already isn’t so good, but then one party may pass the photos on to other viewers. Pretty soon, the photos of these pre-teens and teens are as popular as if placed on the Internet…and some of them do get transferred there.

“Hooking Up” is the popular term for having casual sexual encounters within a circle of friends, or with newly met "friends," with no strings attached. No boyfriend-girlfriend or dating commitment, no promises, just friends. This is also called “friends with benefits.”

Within the trend of “hooking up” comes the impetuousness of having sex with no protection, loss of self-esteem, feelings of emptiness and heartbreak. One or both of the hooked up partners may like each other enough for a relationship, but they are not supposed to voice that. So later in life, there can be an inability to form intimate lasting relationships.

Yet another trend has to do with “breaking friendship bracelets” – sometimes called sex bracelets. These are bracelets made from the same jelly-resembling substance as the shoes called jellies. The bracelets come in different colors. For example, if a boy can grab and break the girl’s bracelet, the color red may mean she supposedly owes him a lap dance and the color black may mean she owes him sex.

Sometimes the bracelet breaking is a joke and kids don’t intend to go through with it. Other times, these boys are going to hold your daughter to it…if she was wearing the bracelet that must mean she wants it, right?

Kids have always come up with ways to greet each other and get close to other kids. But we need to choose our battles wisely. The hugging trend probably passes less germs than even holding hands. Aside from making sure our kids know that they have the right to tell someone not to hug, I’d rather try to be sure they’re not hooking up, sexting and breaking bracelets.
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Is Christianity to Blame for the Murder of George Tiller?

Is Christianity responsible for the murder of abortion provider George Tiller? Once again, many good-hearted, sincere Christians find themselves begging to be separated from whoever would do such a thing as kill an abortion doctor.

Soon after George Tiller was murdered in his church, a quick search on the web revealed new articles with titles like "The Culture of Life Strikes Again" and "The Sick Side of Pro-Life." And there was talk about holding "pro-life speech" responsible for the murder. This is an appeal to pro-choicers and opponents of the Christian faith: please do not generalize. Here are just a few examples of statements denouncing the murder from pro-life organizations:

Kansas Right to Life Condemns Tiller's Murder;
Nevada Right to Life Condemns Tiller's Murder; and
The Susan B. Anthony List Statement on the Death of George Tiller.

A church that accepted George Tiller as a member or attendee of their church should stand as proof to the world that there is Christian love even for someone whom many Christians would feel committed a grave sin in his clinics. And some Christians are pro-choice or struggle with the pro-choice/pro life dilemma in their personal convictions. So it's just as wrong to make generalizations about all Churches and Church-goers as it is to say "all gays are this" or "all blacks are that."

An abortionist who went to church may have had some inner struggle going on in his heart and mind with what he was doing as a profession. But the someone who would kill him, and kill him in a church, could not possibly be stable-minded in any way. As of this date, there is no news whether the person now in custody was a church member, or a "Christian," or someone who just walked into the church looking for Tiller. Yet many conclusions are being drawn.

One of the Ten Commandments says "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13). Another biblical principle exists: "Vengeance is the Lord's" (Isaiah 61:2, Romans 12:19). No sincere Christian living the Christian life would take judgment of Tiller upon themselves.

I offer prayers to the Tiller family, his congregation, the family of the killer, and for sensitivity within the Christian community no matter how much we dislike the fact that abortion is legal.
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