Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pondered Them in Her Heart

Probably you  have heard the Christmas story lots of times.  The virgin riding on the donkey to Bethlehem with her fiancee.  The shepherds receiving news from angels while they watched their flocks at night.  The wise men traveling from afar.  All of these make up the Christmas story, and you can find all of these in a manger scene, such as the one on my family's coffee table.

Mary and Joseph stand next to the manger, praying over their newborn son.  The angel looks on, seemingly keeping guard over the Christ child.  On the edges, in the shadows, the shepherds come forward, somewhat timidly to welcome their king.  And the wise men arrive from the east.

In the gospels, we get two stories of Jesus' birth.  Both are vivid in detail and tell the story well. But, in these stories, you rarely see the first person, how each person felt during that event.

Mary is the one we know the most about.  We know her hesitation when the Lord told her she would bear the son of God.  In Luke 2, we are even offered a glimpse into heart.   It says, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."  Mary just gathered all the amazing things to herself and thought about them for a long time.   How much more is there to her that we don't see?

When I went to a women's event at my church, the speaker pointed out that Mary is often portrayed as looking better than she probably did.  I mean, this girl has just given birth!  Always she is holding the baby tenderly, or praying, or looking like a saint.  Mary's life was completely changed by a visit from an angel and, more importantly, a baby.  She was getting ready to marry this wonderful man, and suddenly, he won't marry her anymore.  She endured ridicule and shame.   How did she take it all?  Did she shrink within herself and feel sorry for herself?  I don't think so.  I believe that she chose to trust God and lean on him.


Now what about Joseph?  From the beginning, he wasn't as well informed as Mary was.  It wasn't until later that he was told about God's plan for Mary's child.  Think of the doubt and loss of trust he must have had.  This girl he was engaged to had gone and betrayed him.  He must have felt deeply hurt and ill-treated.  Then he received the message from the angel in his dream.  And he believed the angel.  Would you?



The animals.  I know that animals don't have souls, but did they have some sense of whose presence they were in?  Did the donkey know he held the King of Kings?  Did the barnyard animals know what special baby was in their stable?


Here we have the shepherds.  The lowliest of the low.  Even in our manger scene, one is missing a hand, another is missing his staff, and the third keeps falling over.  These were the nobodies.  The ones kings turned away and who innkeepers closed doors to.  Sheep keeping was a pretty boring job.  They would watch the sheep eat and sleep........ and eat and sleep........... and eat and sleep some more.  Occasionally, a wolf might attack the flock, but on the most part NOTHING HAPPENED!  One day became another with the same monotonous pattern.  These guys were probably tired, cranky, and bored when the angels appeared to them.  Think what a shock it must have been!  These shepherds have probably never seen a king, and her they are receiving messages from the King of Kings.  Did they feel skeptical?  Maybe unworthy?


Finally, the wise men.  These were the guys that had it all.  They weren't just kings, but they were WISE kings.   They were the ones you would go to with a question or problem.  A star in the sky revealed what course they should take.  Did they ever have doubts that their journey was going in the right direction? Did they feel humbled in the presence of the baby King?


We may never have all the answers about how these people thought or felt.  But what we do know is this: all of them blessed Jesus by being at his birth.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Prepare your Heart


If a king told you he was coming to your house, what would you do?  You would probably clean your house, make sure he had the softest and most comfortable bed, and cook delicious food.

Here's a different scenario. What if a king told you he was coming, but didn't say when?  What if he said, "I will come to you sometime, but you won't know when I am coming.  I could show up any day, it could be tomorrow, or it might not be in your lifetime."

As humans, it is hard for us not to know all the facts.  I, personally, feel like I need to know what is going to happen and when.  If a king really did tell you that he would come sometime, what would you do?  Would you prepare anyway, and be ready all the time for his arrival?  Would you keep the food warm and make the bed every day? Or, would you decide it was too much work  and hope you'll have time to prepare when you see him coming?


What if this king was the King of kings?


The truth is, the King of kings IS coming one day.  As in the story, we don't know when he will arrive.  But it is not our homes he will come to.  It is our hearts.  Unfortunately, most people take the latter path when it comes to preparing our hearts.  We assume that we will have time to get ready for eternity when we see Him coming.

This is a wrong presumption.  Time and time again I have read about and heard of people who rejected Christ in their lifetime, and when given another chance on their deathbed, decided it was too late.

We can't live for ourselves and then try to be ready at the last minute.  It doesn't work that way.

Choose to prepare your heart now.  Listen to his guidance, let him lead your life now, and to eternity.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....NOT!!!!!


So what if we've had a lot of snow lately.  So what if my house is completely decorated right now and I have Christmas music playing. I haven't caught the Christmas spirit.

Yeah, I know it's early in the season, but normally by this time I 'd be loving every aspect of the season.  I would delight in the Christmas music, food, decorations, anything!

I think I know the reason for this.  This Christmas season, God has placed on my heart all the people who celebrate this holiday without knowing him.  People who either have turned Christ out of Christmas or who walk into a store and have no idea what a manger scene is for.  

This is not surprising.  Today, everything is conspiring to make us forget the way Christ fits into everything in our lives.  People say 'Happy Holidays' in order to avoid the term Christmas simply because it has the word "Christ" in it.  

Ultimately, Christ's name has immense power.  When people say Jesus was only a good man, I think, "Then, why is he still the center of such controversy 2,000 years later?"  Why are the names of the Greek gods not shied away from or ignored?  We know that they had no power.  

A few days ago, I watched "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."  Although it was a cute movie,  my heart ached watching it, for the movie's main purpose is to explain the start of Christmas and Santa Claus.  My dad said he watched this movie as a kid.  That made me think.  How many generations of children were deceived into believing that Christmas was started by a guy in a red suit?  How many children believe that Christmas is about reindeer and presents?  If you took 100 kids and asked them what Christmas is about, what would they say?

This is even a problem in the church.  We get so caught up in the rush of the season, the shopping, decorating, etc, that we forget the purpose behind all that we do.  I think Christian children are just as likely to say Christmas is about Santa as children who have never been to church.  

Do you see what this has come to?  We worship Santa as a "god" of Christmas, while the One behind it all is shoved into a corner.  Today, our children are taught not to cry or pout, but to what purpose?  To get a toy at Christmas.  Meanwhile, Satan laughs and rejoices at his victory.  For, even though Christmas teaches morals, it is without Christ.   That is exactly what Satan wants.  Have you noticed what name you get when you rearrange the letters of "Santa"?  Pretty scary.  

The original Santa was a man named Saint Nicholas who gave gifts because Jesus gave.  Nicholas would be appalled to see how he is exalted today while Jesus is lowered.  

Our world has morphed Christmas, but what can we do?  

When you hear the word "Missionary" what do you think of?  A christian serving in a distant country perhaps?  This is the wrong perception.  God has given us a mission field right around us.  My uncle told me lately that only 4% of the people in my county go to church.  Only 4%. Aside from this, not all people in churches are born-again believers.  So think, do the people in your neighborhood know Christ? 
If you answered "no" or "I don't know," congratulations!  You have your own mission field right around you!  

I cried while writing this post.  Doesn't it shock you how we have treated our Lord and Savior?  The one who should be gloried above the earth is forgotten and ignored.  The things we celebrate that originated with Him are twisted so that that is not their purpose anymore.  

If nothing else, remember this.  Don't let Satan trick you anymore.  Christmas is all about Jesus Christ, our Savior from God, and NOTHING can change that.  Let him saturate you with his love and guidance this season and for the rest of your life.  Through him, it will really begin to feel like Christmas.  

Technological Twelve Days of Christmas


Ever heard The Twelve Days of Christmas?  Bet you haven't heard this version.  My sister came up with the idea, and all my siblings helped finish it.  I'm sure it will be a hit someday.



On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Seven 3D TVs
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Eight white keyboards
Seven 3D TVs
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Nine modern ipods
Eight white keyboards
Seven 3D TVs
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Ten Christmas downloads
Nine modern ipods
Eight white keyboards
Seven 3D TVs
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Eleven snazzy printers
Ten Christmas downloads
Nine modern ipods
Eight white keyboards
Seven 3D TVs
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Twelve techno-junkies
Eleven snazzy printers
Ten Christmas downloads
Nine modern ipods
Eight white keyboards
Seven 3D TVs
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!








Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Once upon a time.....

.... in a land not far from here, there lived a little princess named Disobea .  She lived in a great castle with her Father, the King.  She was loved by her Father, who fulfilled her every desire.  She never had a want or need.  One thing her Father had cautioned her not to do.  


"Daughter," He had said to her, "never venture in to the valley.  It is a place where my children must never go."


The princess Disobea loved her father and her life in the castle, but she was a curious princess.  One day, she was walking through her gardens when her eye fell to the valley in the east, the very valley her Father had told her about.  


Now Disobea never meant to go against her Father, but she convinced herself that it "wouldn't hurt to go down for just a minute."  Swiftly and quietly, she made her way out of the garden and down toward the valley.  


No sooner had she stepped foot in the valley when a great number of people jumped from the bushes and captured her , tying her hands behind her back.  Glancing around, she saw the people's faces looked hard and cruel.  Shivering, but still trying to keep the dignity of a princess, Disobea lifted her head and said to the crowd, 


"Who are you?  What do you want with me?"


One man spoke up.  "We are the people of Badden.  And, as for you, you are to be our slave."


"Slave!?" cried the princess, indignant.  "Why, what have I ever done to you?"


"The child doesn't know a thing!" one woman said. "Girl, anyone who comes down here joins us.  If we train you well, maybe you'll get to be a part of our society some day."


In the beginning, Disobea was appalled by the ways of Badden and its people. They thought, spoke and did evil things.  Anyone who would be considered low in the castle, such as thieves or murders, would be considered acceptable in Badden.  And anything good or noble to her Father, such as love or kindness, would be considered a sissy deed in Badden.  Although Badden shocked Disobea at first, eventually she got used to it.  Bad became good and good became bad.  She began to see things the same as the other people and do the things they did.  


Still, in the back of her hard heart, there was a tiny piece of what she used to be.  A tiny piece that was still a princess.  Discontented and sad at the life she now led, Disobea cried and called out to her Father.  Her Father, nearby in the woods heard her cries and rushed to her.  


"I am here, my daughter," he said.


" Oh, Father, it is horrible here.  I am sorry for disobeying you.  I am sorry for who I am.  Can't you take me back with you?"


"Not yet, my daughter.  But there will come a day when I come for you.  This could not be without Sacrif.  Do you remember him?"


"Yes, he was your son.  Not my brother, not like me.  He was your second-in-command.  He was just like you in every way."


"Right.  Did you know that he came down into the valley, not from curiosity, for there is none in him.  He came knowing what it was like, in order to make the way for others.  When he came, he would not become like the people of Badden.  He  was perfect in every way.  The people of Badden could not accept that.  They killed him for something he never did.  But that was not the end.  He came up from the grave and will rule with me forever.  Were it not for his sacrifice, you could never come to me or talk to me, for I can have none of Badden around me.  But since he gave himself, you are pardoned."


"Wow, Father.  He did that for me?"


"Yes."


"Father, this is wonderful, but what do I do now?  I don't want to live like the people of Badden until you come for me."


"There are a few things you can do.  First, speak to me.  Though you may not see me, I am there and I will answer."


"How will you answer?"


"Not always through words, but sometimes through people or signs I will give you.  Also through these."


"These?"


"Yes, here they are.  They are letters I have written to you.  They tell of my love for you and give advice for the problems you will face."


"Thank you, my Father."


"You are welcome, daughter.  I love you and I will continue to forever."


"I love you in my heart of hearts."


"One last piece of instruction: tell others in Badden about me.  I will come for you one day, but I can only come for those who call out to me as you did.  Tell them about me, your Father and theirs, for they are all truly my children."


"I will, Father.  But are you going away?"


"Yes.  I must leave now, but I will come again.  And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."


Now you may recognize this story.  It is a true story told a little differently.  In this tale, Disobea ( or disobedient)  represents you and me, children of God who have stepped down from his castle of goodness.  Sacrif (or sacrificial) represents Jesus, who gave his life for you and me.  The people of Badden are the people of this world who are children of the King, but don't know it yet.  Just like the princess, it is our job to tell those people about their Father, the King.

In His name,
See ya!

Matthew 28: 30
I am with you always, even to the end of the age.




Thursday, November 18, 2010

Family



Dad is the one                                                                                                              
Who goes to work each day                                                 
And yet he still comes home
Ready to play
When you’re stuck on your math
Dad’s the one to ask
And he will help you
With a very hard task
Mom is the one 
Who scrubs and cleans
She will also mend 
A hole in your jeans
When you’re scared 
In the middle of the night
Mom will come
And hug you tight
Sisters are the ones 
Who play with dolls


And they tell of princesses 
In marble halls
Doing hair and
Making pie
Sisters are there 
If you need a good cry
Brothers are the ones
Who climb up trees
And get scrapes on 
Their arms and knees
But if ever anyone 
Starts to tease
Brothers will be there
As quick as you please
Though we are different
It is true
We are family
And I love you!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

His Plan



Stop.  Think about this statement.  God knows everything that has happened to you.  Let's add another statement to that one.  God knows everything that is happening to you.  Here's our last statement.  God knows everything that WILL happen to you.  He is working all these things out for His plan, and, guess what, His plan is PERFECT!  It has no flaws! True, we may try to thwart it by trying our own way, but it NEVER works!  When you think you are messing up His plan, he knows what you are doing, and he knew at the beginning of the world that you would do it!  Think about it.  Isn't it amazing that the God of the universe knew, from the beginning of time, who you are and you will be.

But do we trust His omnipotence? Sometimes, no.  Lately, there have been times when I think something didn't happen the way it should have.  Often, it just didn't go the way I wanted it to.  I would say, "God, I think ______ situation would have been better if it would have happened THIS way. "   Although I never said or thought those words, that was my attitude.  Basically, I was claiming to know better than God.  He has been showing me lately that His way really is the best way.  He knows what He is doing.  He has a purpose for all that happens, whether we see it or not.  God has planned everything out in advance.  He knew that man would fall.  He knew that George Washington would be our first president.  He knew your name.  And he has known all these things since the beginning of time.

In Romans 8:28 it says,
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.

This is something that we need to keep in mind.   Whatever happens to us, good or bad, has purpose in God's plan.

A while a go, I saw a video of Steven Curtis Chapman singing a new song, Meant to Be.  It was written to go with the new Vegetales movie, "It's a Meaningful Life." I think it really carries a good message about God's purpose for you.  You can see it here.

If you don't get anything else from this, take away this fact.  God knows EVERYTHING that happens to you, and he has a purpose for it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

You Will be SAFE in His Arms!




To the one who's dreams are falling all apart
And all you're left with is a tired and broken heart
I can tell by your eyes you think your on your own
but you're not all alone

Have you heard of the One who can calm the raging seas
Give sight to the blind, pull the lame up to their feet
With a love so strong he'll never let you go
oh you're not alone

Chorus:
You will be safe in His arms
You will be safe in His arms
'Cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made
He will be with You always
When everything is falling apart
You will be safe in His arms


Did you know that the voice that brings the dead to life
Is the very same voice that calls you to rise
So hear Him now He's calling you home
You will never be alone

Bridge:
These are the hands that built the mountains
the hands that calm the seas
These are the arms that hold the heavens
they are holding you and me


These are hands that healed the leper
Pulled the lame up to their feet
These are the arms that were nailed to a cross
to break our chains and set us free





During the time my parents traveled to Ethiopia to get my brother and sister, this was our "key song."  It reminded us that even though we were thousands of miles apart, we would still be safe in His arms. Recently, I heard this song for the first time in months.  It reminded me of the comfort it gave all during that time.  This song applies to all of us.  I know many who are going through much harder things than having parents across the world for ten days.  Maybe it's losing someone you love, or having to step up with courage and do something you never thought you could do.  Whatever it is, you are safe in his arms!  There are no exceptions! Even if you think you've fallen too far, or your heart has strayed too far from His way, he is still holding you.  But you will only realize it when you come to him.  God's hand holds everyone in this world.  But many do not even know it.  People around the world live in fear that could be conquered if they only knew that they have a loving Father in heaven, who will hold them safe in his arms.  Now don't take this to mean that nothing bad will ever happen.  God has called us to a hard path.  It says in John 16:33, "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.  In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world!"  God tells us not that everything will be perfect, but that when troubles come, we can be secure in him, and know that we are safe in his arms.  For his will is perfect, and when we realize that, we can sit back and have faith, in the safety of his arms.  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Work of God



Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"  

Jesus answered them, "The work of God is this, to believe in the one he has sent."

John 6:28-29




Friday, October 15, 2010

How Great is Our God!!





Aurora Borealis Alaska



"How Great Is Our God"

The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Have Enough




I remember when we first brought Sunshine and Little Buddy home to America.  Although they did not speak much English, one of the first phrases we taught them was "I have enough." Coming from a country where they never had enough, they learned that it is possible to have enough food, clothes, toys, etc.

I believe this is something we all struggle with.  In America, we are infatuated with "getting more." There is always a bigger TV or that new pair of shoes or a tasty kind of candy.  And what about activities?  Why is it that we cannot simply be content? It says in Philipians 4:11b-13,

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Do you think you have learned the secret of being content?  If you were stripped of everything but your relationship with God, would he be enough?

For me, I don't struggle with wanting things,  per say, but I wish for talents or looks or friendships I don't have.  God has been revealing to me lately that HE is all I need.  I need to trust him with everything in my life, and when I do, I will truly have enough.  I believe trust and contentment go hand in hand.  If we know that everything will turn out alright, it is easier to be content.  Why is it then that although God gives us that very promise, we do not truly trust Him.   When you think about it, discontent is trying to make ourselves better without the help of God.  Often, when someone purchases a new item or wants a different talent, they want to make themselves better.  We think that some new shoes can make you look cooler.  We think that if we had a better voice, we could obtain that coveted solo in the choir.  Or if we looked prettier, we could be a part of that popular group.

All these assumptions demonstrate a lack of trust in God, and implication that he didn't make us good enough.   What we need to remember is that God doesn't make mistakes!  He made you PERFECT!
You are just right in his eyes!

'Beautiful' by Mercy Me says this in its chorus,

You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You were made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are his
You're beautiful

This really is true.  Today, your Savior is asking you to come to Him and trust him.  Only then will you be able to say, "I have enough."

In His name,
See ya!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Just something......

You know me
When no one else does

You cover me
with your love

You fill my heart
with peace from above

I can't get enough.



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

YOUR LOVE


 by Brandon Heath
I felt it first when I was younger
A strange connection to the lie
I tried to satisfy the hunger
I never got it right
I never got it right
So I climbed a mountain and l built an altar
Looked out as far as I could see
And everyday I’m getting older
I’m running outta dreams
I’m running outta dreams
But Your love
Your love
The only the thing that matters is Your love
Your love is all I have to give
Your love is enough to light up the darkness
It’s Your love
Your love
all I ever needed is Your love
You know the effort I have given
And you know exactly what it cost
And though my innocence was taken
Not everything is lost
Not everything is lost
But Your love
Your love
The only the thing that matters is Your love
Your love is all I have to give
Your love is enough to light up the darkness
It’s Your love
Your love
all I ever needed is Your love
You’re the hope in the morning
You’re the light when the night is falling
You’re the song when my heart is singing
it’s Your love
You’re the eyes to the blind man
You’re the feet to the lame men walking
You’re the sound of the people singing
It’s Your love
But Your love
Your love
The only the thing that matters is Your love
Your love is all I have to give
Your love is enough to light up the darkness
It’s Your love
Your love
all I ever needed is Your love
But Your love
(Your love is all that I needed)
The only the thing that matters is Your love
Your love is all I have to give
Your love is enough to light up the darkness
(Your love is all that I needed)
It’s Your love
Your love
It’s all I ever needed


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another Speech

Suppose tomorrow Congress passed a law that everyone must buy little red wagons.  You think that I do not want to buy a little red wagon.  I don’t like wagons.  I don’t like red.  the government can’t make me buy something!  Absurd as this seems, this is exactly what is happening with the new health care law.  This has been debated over and over again since before the bill became law.    Many people are questioning whether the government has the constitutional power to force us to use health insurance.  What is truth and what is false? In this speech I will show you:
What is actually in the health care reform law
 How it affects you
 If it is really constitutional
To truly analyze the health care document, we must first know what it says.   In short, the health care will provide a new sort of government funded health insurance.  All doctors and nurses will be made from the government’s purse, at no cost to you.  Additionally, anyone, even people who are currently sick, can obtain health insurance.  If you have your own plan, you can keep it.  Everyone will share the cost of the nation’s medical bills.  This may seem like the greatest plan in the world.  Who wouldn’t want to save on medical costs?  As wonderful as it may seem, there are a multitude of problems with this plan.   The first problem is that “free” health care isn’t free, for we must pay for it with our taxes.  Although our doctor costs may go down, our taxes will rocket sky-high, for we will be paying for not just our own, but for many other people’s medical bills.  Beyond the financial problems, this is socialism, the very thing Americans want to avoid.  
All this information is important, but how does it affect you?  Initially, you will be FORCED to have health insurance.  Some may say, why is that a bad thing?  But suppose you are a person who takes good care of your body, exercises, and doesn’t participate in dangerous activities.  You rarely get hurt or sick and don’t feel the need to bother with insurance.  When you need a doctor, you can pay for it yourself.  Under the new government mandate, you would have no choice but to use the government health insurance or find some of your own.  Secondly, you may have to wait for long periods of time at the doctor’s office.  Canada now has a health care system similar to the one we are planning to implement, and patients there have been known to wait for months to get medical treatment.  Three other things you may encounter are: little patient flexibility, less doctors, and government restrictions on food.  Surely this is not what we want for our country, for once socialism starts, it will only get worse.  
Finally, is this health care mandate constitutional?  The section over which there is concern, is the fact that the new plan requires U.S. citizens to purchase health insurance.  Never in United States history has there been a time when the government has mandated a purchase. This case has gone to the Supreme court, as Florida and Virginia have both filed lawsuits.  Recently, studies have shown that Americans agree with these lawsuits and are dissatisfied with the new health plan.  Also, there is another problem.  As I stated already, the new law guarantees That even people with pre-existing conditions can obtain health insurance.  The problem with this is that some people would only purchase health insurance when they are hurt or sick.  Think of it this way.  You are driving along the road and get in a horrendous accident.  You don’t have car insurance, so you go buy some and say, “I want you to pay for my repairs.”  The car insurance company will tell you, No, no, no.  We won’t pay for something that happened already. That’s not the way insurance works.” Yet, this is what is happening with this new health care.  The solution to this says the law ‘that everyone will have to buy insurance already, so this won’t be a problem; however, the fine for not having health insurance is MUCH lower than the cost of insurance itself.  Consequentially, many people will simply accept the fine and only purchase health insurance when they need it.   Then the health insurance companies, having not enough money to cover their patients will raise their prices, making health care more unaffordable.  The law will be make more problems rather than solving any.    With elections on the horizon, this mandate has become a huge issue that many representatives and senators have spoken on.  Current Democratic position holders have done their best to build support for this new law, although the controversy only seems to grow.  Is this new mandate constitutional? Only time will  tell.  
Through this speech, I hope I have opened your eyes to what is going on in our government by explaining what is truly in the health care law.  Now that you know how it will affect you, you can make up your mind to stand for or against it.  As to it being constitutional, that will be for the Supreme Court to decide.  Ultimately, though, you have the power to take a stand for what you believe is right.  So I want to encourage you to find out what is happening in the world around you, for you can only make a difference when you know the facts.    

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A New Member of the Family- Brownie!





Our newest addition- Brownie

Today my sister came home from a sleepover at a friend's house and brought with her a little caterpillar, which she gave to Little Buddy. He was enthralled and spent every moment possible watching "brownie."  Everything is a delight from "He's eating the leaf!" to "He's climbing up the stick!"  Little Buddy had misunderstood the part about Brownie turning into a butterfly.  When he woke up from his nap, he asked, "Is he a butterfly yet?"

In His name,
See ya!

Through him all things were made, without him, nothing was made that has been made.  John 1:3

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Take Him at His Word

Today I was studying a portion of John for Bible Quizzing practice tonight, and this part really spoke to me.

John 4:46-53

Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine.  And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernum.  When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

"Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe."

The royal official said, "Sir, come down before my child dies."

Jesus replied, "You may go.  Your son will live."  The man took Jesus at his word and departed.  While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.

When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, "The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour." Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live." So he and all his household believed.


The phrase that really hit me was that the official took Jesus at his word.  Would I have been able to do that if I were him, and that child, mine?  I don't know that I would.  I mean, this is a person who has no reason whatsoever to trust Jesus.  He had heard about him for sure, yet he had no personal background to base his trust on.  But with simple, child-like faith, he took Jesus at his word.  How many times do we, who have the Bible and a personal relationship with God, not trust him.  I read the Bible, and read of his promises, I know them, I memorize them, and yet do I trust him?  Most times I think I do, but the truth is, I really don't.  I know that he loves me and thinks I'm beautiful, and yet I am sometimes jealous of girls who I think are prettier.  I know that he will meet my needs, but I can't trust him to provide the funds for a mission trip.  My faith is truly small.

God, in my life today, I ask you to help me take you at your word.  Help me to trust you with my life, my resources, my talents, everything.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Greek Roots

Okay, you may laugh at me for this, but I'm going to show you a bit of my schoolwork.  This last week in writing, we were studying Greek roots.  They are as follows:

anthrop = man               phil = love                    bibleo = book                   miso = hate    phon = sound         graph/gram = writing                           scop/skept = see/examine  

Roots that go specifically at the beginning of a word:

a = not/no         eu = good           caco = bad        tele = far                          teleo/telio = result        macro = near     micro = small           mega = large

Roots that go specifically at the end of a word:

mania = madness for              phobia = fear


I know this is a lot of grammar to give you at once, but the fun thing about these is you can make up tons of new words!  Try to guess what these mean:

gramophobia

meganthrope

acacogram

micromisophobia

euphilobibleo

Have fun and make up some of your own! (I think the phobia's are the most fun =)

In His name,
See ya!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Child Hunger

This is a speech I gave at my speech and debate club. It is a topic very close to my heart. 





How many of you had lunch today?  How many of you had breakfast?  You are part of only one third of the world that is well-fed, the second third being under fed and the last third being malnourished. One out of every twelve people worldwide doesn’t have enough food.  Many of these people are children.  We in America often do not appreciate what we have.   We close our eyes to what is happening worldwide.  A time has come for that to change.    
Sometimes, we tend to think that hunger is only in other countries, such as Africa or Asia.  This is wrong.  The truth is that a multitude of children suffer from malnutrition in America.  It is happening right around us, and we don’t even notice.  The Journalism Center for Families and Children states, “In 2008, 16.6 million children lived in homes that couldn’t afford to provide enough food for their families.  The Great Recession has only made things worse.” end quote.  Consequently, one out of every eight children under the age of twelve in the U.S goes to bed hungry every night.    Is it right that the world’s wealthiest nation has millions of unfed children?
Besides the U.S., many other countries have underfed or malnourished citizens.  Half of all children under five in South Asia and one third of those in West Africa are malnourished.    In a new report from the International Food Policy Research Institute, it says that the number of hungry children in Africa will increase by 3.3 million by 2025 if nothing changes.  Asia and the Pacific region is where half the world’s population, and two thirds of the world’s hungry people call home.  Additionally,  65% of the word’s hungry live in only seven countries:  India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Ethiopia.  These people have no food, no shelter, and for most, no relationship with God.  What does this equal? No Hope.
Why is hunger such a problem?  Why do people have no food if the world produces enough?  The simple answer is poverty.  People just don’t have the money to either purchase or grow the food they need.   Nearly one in four people live on less than one dollar a day.  Twice as many people struggle to survive on only two.  Poverty causes hunger, and hunger causes poverty.  For, when people are underfed, they are more susceptible to sickness and exhaustion.   It is a dreadful cycle that can continue for generations, if nothing is done to stop it.  
If nothing changes.  These problems will never stop if nothing changes.  Perhaps someday we would be in that position if nothing changes.   You may ask, what can I do?  It is the little things, giving, donating, and sponsoring, that make the difference.  For a lot of little gifts make one gigantic blessing.  So today, pause, thank God for the life he has given you, and remember those who may not be able to say that tomorrow.  
Matthew 25:35-40
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'