Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Share Your Opinion on Health Care Reform With Key Players

I am not in favor of the health care overhaul that is being shoved down the throats of the majority of American people (doctors and congress) who oppose it by our President. It appears as the rush is based upon fears from the Executive branch that knowledge of what the bill entails will end with it being overwhelmingly defeated (based on CNN and FOXNews reports). If you care to express your opinion, here is a list of key players involved and how to contact them:

*The White House: (202) 456-1111
*House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.: (202) 225-4965
*House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio: (202) 225-6205
*Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.: (202) 224-3542
*Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.: (202) 224-2541
*Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which canceled its vote this week on health care legislation because there was not enough support : (202) 225-3976
*Rep. Joe Barton, D-Texas, ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee: (202) 225-2002
*Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which passed its health care bill last week: (202) 224-2823
*Sen. Michael Enzi, ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee: (202) 224-3424
*Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which is still working on its version of a health care bill: (202) 224-2651
*Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee: (202) 224-3744
*Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which passed its health care bill last week: (202) 225-4365
*Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee: (202) 225-3561
*Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, which passed its health care bill last week: (202) 225-2095
*Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., ranking member on the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee: (202) 225-4501

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Who We Are In Christ

A friend of mine wrote this yesterday and I wanted to share it as it was written. Knowing who we are in Christ establishes the foundation to be what He wants us to be in and through Him. Here are my friend’s thoughts:

Anytime I read a passage where I'm able to witness Jesus' power over the world I'm reminded of the authority God gave each one of us that we rarely if ever walk in. 1 John 4:4 "Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world". The same God that empowered his son over darkness has given us the authority over the enemy.

Too many times I forget who I am in Christ and I fail to understand what my struggle is against but in the few times where I have walked in my God given authority I have seen my creator move in ways I never thought possible. It is by our choice not God's that we allow Satan to have control over areas of our lives and we must remember that we have the right and authority to take back ground that we have given over to Satan. To walk in the same Grace and Authority that Jesus walked in we must first be reminded of who we are in Christ:

John 1:12 "I am God's Child", John 15:15 "I am Christ's friend", 1Cor. 6:20 "I have been bought with a price, I belong to God", Eph.2:18 "I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit", Col. 1:14 "I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins", Col. 2:10 "I am complete in Christ", Rom. 8:12 "I am free forever from condemnation", Rom 8:28 "I am assured that all things work together for good", Rom. 8:35 "I cannot be separated from God", Phil. 3:20 "I am a citizen of Heaven", 2Tim 1:7 " I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind", Heb. 4:16 " I can find grace and mercy in time of need", 1John 5:18 "I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me", Matt. 5:13,14 " I am the salt and light of the earth", Eph. 2:6 "I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm, Eph. 3:12 "I may approach God with freedom and confidence", Phil. 4:13 " I can do All thing through Christ who strengthens me".

These are basic truths about who God created when he made us in his image and if we can grasp all that he created us to be we can walk, live, teach, love, rebuke, and share in the same authority that Christ did we he stood before Pilate and an angry mob!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Chia Obama... Seriously!

This is the stupidest thing I have ever seen... at least since I saw a cologne dispenser in a nasty Tennessee gas station (seriously, a cologne dispenser in a nasty truck stop gas station?). Anyway, how insulting is this to the president. It is about as ridiculous as his health care plan (among many issues, why on earth cover 12 million+ illegals in the plan)!

If you would like to order this real product go to

Friday, July 10, 2009

Shoulder Surgery: 2 Month Update

When all this happened with my shoulder I was told that it would take at least 6 months to recovery. My initial impression was that those people were nuts, after all it was just shoulder! Now it has been 2 months since my surgery, and I am hoping and praying to be back to normal in 4 more months. My doctor has me going to Physical Therapy 3 times a month (2nd month of 3 times a week), as well as doing at home exercise at well.

To my shock, I am still in need of icing my shoulder daily, with a therapist telling me I need to ice 3-4 times a day. My progress has been excruciatingly slow, to the point to where I can only bench and curl 5 pounds. The most significant improvement has been in my ability to lift my arm over my head. This week my PT also told me I have officially regained full range of motion above my arm!

Concerning pain, it is somewhat of an anomaly. People always ask me if it hurts, and while the pain is not always substantial it is always present. It is sort of like a nagging cough that will not go away. There is never a moment in the day where I am not aware of something being wrong with my shoulder, but rarely is there a time where I need to stop and catch my breath from the pain. In fact, this week someone smacked me in the shoulder and I noticed it did not really hurt. The weirdest thing of the pain is that on a typical day it hurts more in the morning than in the evening, which is opposite to my past experiences with other injuries.

Maybe God wants to teach me long-suffering in this… and it that is the case He is a very good teacher.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Seventh Grader Sues School Over Right to Wear Pro-Life T-Shirt

This is a very interesting story to keep an eye on. Basically a 7th grade girl was manhandled by an administrator and forced to remove a pro-life shirt for wearing offensive clothing. In her defense, the pictures on her shirt were from a textbook. This is being taken to the court system and we will see what develops. Here is the article:

A California mom says her public school administrators violated her daughter's First Amendment rights when they ordered the seventh-grader to take off her pro-life T-shirt.

Anna Amador has gone to court on behalf of her daughter, who she says was ordered by her principal to change her shirt on "National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day." The shirt the girl was wearing displays two graphic pictures of a fetus growing in the womb.

The incident occurred in April 2008 at McSwain Elementary School, a K-8 school in Merced, Calif. Amador alleges in her legal complaint that school Principal Terrie Rohrer, Assistant Principal C.W. Smith and office clerk Martha Hernandez mistreated her daughter and denied the girl her First Amendment rights when they ordered her to leave the cafeteria and change her shirt.

"Before Plaintiff could eat [breakfast] she was ordered by a school staff member to throw her food out and report immediately to Defendant Smith's office, located in the main office of McSwain Elementary School," the complaint reads.

"Upon arriving at the main office, Defendant Hernandez, intentionally and without Plaintiff's consent, grabbed Plaintiff's arm and forcibly escorted her toward Smith's office, at all times maintaining a vice-like grip on Plaintiff's arm. Hernandez only released Plaintiff's arm after physically locating her in front of Smith and Defendant Rohrer...

Smith and Rohrer ordered Plaintiff to remove her pro-life T-shirt and instructed Plaintiff to never wear her pro-life T-shirt at McSwain Elementary School ever again...

"Completely humiliated and held out for ridicule, Plaintiff complied with Defendants' directives and removed her pro-life T-shirt, whereupon, Defendants seized and confiscated it. Defendants did not return Plaintiff's property until the end of the school day."

The school administrators dispute some of the allegations, said Anthony N. DeMaria, attorney for the McSwain Union Elementary School District.

"I think the school district has a very strong defense," DeMaria said. "The complaint does not properly characterize the events that happened. Certainly we dispute some of the events."

He said he was unable to reach the administrators to determine which parts they say are incorrect, because school is out for the summer. Rohrer, the principal, told on Monday that she could not issue a statement without consulting with the school superintendent and their attorney. The other defendants and school district employees did not respond to calls and e-mails from

The school district sought to get the case thrown out due to "failure to state a cognizable claim," but a U.S. Eastern District Court judge ruled last month that all but one of Amador's claims could go forward.

The complaint quotes school district officials saying that they ordered Amador's daughter to remove the shirt because it constituted "inappropriate subject matter" in violation of the school's dress code, which bans clothing with "suggestion of tobacco, drug or alcohol use, sexual promiscuity, profanity, vulgarity, or other inappropriate subject matter."

Amador claims in the legal complaint that other students at the school have been allowed to wear expressive shirts, and she blames the school for “inconsistently applying their Dress Code based upon subjective determinations as to which messages are acceptable and which messages are not.”

One of the girl's lawyers, Mark A. Thiel, said that the images on her shirt of a fetus in the womb were same as those in her science textbooks. He said no student had complained about the shirt, and he said the girl's parents were not called when the incident took place.

"This was a young girl, not even in high school. But they didn't call," he said.

A spokeswoman for the local Planned Parenthood chapter declined to take sides in the case.

"Even offensive speech is protected as long as it doesn’t impinge upon the rights of others," said Deborah Ortiz, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.

"School administrators have a mission to educate, and the student’s right to political speech should be protected in balance with this education mission."

UCLA law professor and First Amendment expert Eugene Volokh said Supreme Court precedent appears to support the girl's case.

"During the Vietnam War, the Supreme Court ruled that wearing black arm bands [at school, to protest the war] was OK,” Volokh said. “If students can wear armbands in protest, why can't they wear a pro-life shirt?"

He said the case would be different if there was evidence that the shirt could have led to disruption or fighting.

"Schools have a lot more authority than the government does in regulating speech,” he said. “If someone is speaking on a street corner and it looks like other people are going to start a fight over it, the government's job is to protect the speaker. That is not the case in schools. We need to make sure students learn. So if speech is highly disruptive, well … in that case we can suppress it.

"But the school's position that they can restrict speech just because they find it inappropriate is not correct."

But the fact that it's a K-8 school with very young children could change things, said Brooklyn Law School professor William Araiza. He pointed to the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Morse v. Frederick, where the court allowed a high school to suspend students in Juneau, Alaska, who waved a banner that read “Bong hits 4 Jesus” from across the street during an Olympic torch relay, because it was seen as promoting illegal drug use.

“[The school] could almost use a “bong hits” kind of rationale about protecting students from inappropriate messages,” Araiza said. “For instance, would you allow a 4th grader to wear a gruesome picture of a bomb scene? You probably wouldn't.”

First Amendment attorney William Becker, who represents Amador, disagreed that the shirt could be seen as containing inappropriate messages.

"The message of the T-shirt is that life is sacred," he said. "One would be very hard pressed to find anything wrong with that particular idea, except that some people do object to the political message.”

Monday, July 6, 2009

Largest Participating Religions In the USA posted this article mainly about the age and decline of the SBC, but the map’s colors spoke to me. The map is a look at the largest participating religions in the US. It shows a clear picture of where SBC presence is mostly felt. While I currently serve in the red, my prayer is for the other colors as we need to reach beyond where we are to where we are not.

Along with map, here is the core of what the article had to say about the decline of the SBC:

Here is what Bob Smietana of the Tennessean stated about the decline of the SBC:

Three major factors derailed the Southern Baptist system.

First, the birth rate among white Americans fell. That was a problem because most Southern Baptists are white and because they found most of their converts among their children. …

Second, Americans moved from rural areas into cities and suburbs. That’s a problem because almost half of Southern Baptist churches are in rural areas. And Baptists have, until recently, started few new urban churches. Hall disagrees with some critics who think the decline in membership and baptisms is a spiritual problem.
“The problem is not a lack of evangelistic fervor,” he said. “It’s location, location, location.”

The third factor? New churches that don’t act like Southern Baptist churches. Those churches have often exchanged their choirs for rock bands, met in nontraditional places, and have preachers who dress casually and give edgy sermons. And many new churches also have dropped Baptist from their names as denominational loyalty fell.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Greece June 09: My Favorite Part of the Trip

My Favorite Part of the Trip is easy, being able to have Christy go with me! It was awesome to watch her light up the faces of the people she came in contact with, especially Helen in the coffee shop. God used her to embrace the people and have them embrace us too. She shone the love of Jesus throughout the trip and I could not be happier that she went.

Now when we pray for the nation, city, and our friends over there she can visualize what we are praying. As our partnership continues, she can refer to her experience with the people. When our kids get older, they can see her example of going even if it challenges every fiber of one's being. She overcame her fear of flying, fear of the unknown, and burden to be with her kids to be obedient to The Calling to go.

Not only that, but we had a great time together. Seeing the history of the Acropolis, studying God's Word on Mar's Hill and in Corinth together and drawing closer to Jesus is priceless. We will not forget Sunio and Aegean Island. She was my best part of this trip, and this trip was incredible!