Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Dead Democrats Vote More Often Than Dead Republicans in NYC

Yes, that is correct. You can read all about it here! Of course, the article lists an excuse why dead voters are 4 times more likely to be Democrat than Republican, but see if you think their argument holds water.

If you're dead, click here to register to vote in this election!

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Sunday Without Volunteers

At the Vine Fellowship, we know we could not fulfill our purpose as a church if it was not for our volunteers. This past Sunday, October 29th, we celebrated our second annual Volunteer Appreciation Sunday. As a small token of our appreciation, we had a special dinner for our volunteers on Sunday night where the staff and Advisory Team served. It was very difficult for the volunteers to just sit and be served (some rebelled and tried to work!). Gary Chapman would have been proud of us, though. I think we were able to communicate our deep appreciation for our volunteers by speaking their love language...acts of service.

It seemed impossible to list everything our volunteers do to help the church fulfill the vision, so rather than try and do that, we took a slightly different approach. We came up with a humorous video that asked the question, "What would a Sunday morning at Vine Fellowship look like if we had no volunteers?"Click here to watch, A Sunday Without Volunteers.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Fried Coke

"Gonzales ran two stands at the State Fair of Texas and sold up to 35,000 fried Cokes over 24 days for $4.50 each -- and won a prize for coming up with "most creative" new fair food."
Click on the picture for the whole story.

Friday, October 27, 2006

More On Michael J Fox and Stem Cell Research

Just a few links for you:
  • The Weekly Standard - Spin City:Michael J Fox isn't telling the whole truth about stem cell research in those ads
  • One couple trying to buy a constitutional amendment by supporting Missouri Proposition 2 with a $25 million "donation"
  • Comparison chart of the benefits of embryonic stem cell research {kills the embryo} to that of adult stem cell research {no embryo sacrifice necessary}. Tell me again why embryonic stem cell research is so important to Democrats?

Your Toilet on Auto-Pilot

Here's the link to the "automatic toilet" story at Endgadget. The basic idea is walk up to the toilet, it figures out your "intentions" and lifts the appropriate seat(s). Some interesting comments from readers at the end of the article such as: "what if it misreads my 'intentions' at night when it's dark and I can't see?" and "when will the glow in the dark version be available?"

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Guess He Doesn't Take the "History" Questions When Playing Trivial Pursuit

Mexico's president-elect Felipe Calderon is not happy about the Secure Fence Act of 2006 calling it a "huge error" on America's part. The act, signed by President Bush today calls for a 700 mile fence to be built along the US/Mexican border in an effort to slow the flood of illegal immigrants and potential terrorists along our southern border. It seems the president-elect is not much of a history buff as he made a comparison between this new fence and the Berlin Wall. I thought the Berlin Wall was built to stop emigration {leaving}, not immigration {entering}. President-elect Calderon isn't building the fence, is he?

Minutemen Project Brings High-Tech Security to Arizona Border

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

There Is a Reason It Is Pushed

You may have seen the ad...you can find it on Youtube. I'm still trying to figure out Proposition 2 in Missouri that all of the hub-bub is about. Claire McCaskill says that the bill is about allowing stem cell research and that her opponent, Jim Talent, wants to make this illegal. Others say the this is ridiculous because stem cell research is currently going on in Missouri and is not illegal now. Leave it politicians to muddy the waters.

But you've gotta admit...it is a cheap shot to bring out the victim of a disease and have them say "so and so does not want my disease cured...they want to stop the only that that will find my cure." The issue behind all of this is embryonic {requires the life of an embryo} stem cell research. While researching this issue, I came upon this article that talks about how adult stem cell research offers overwhelmingly more hope in the treatment of disease.

So why is embryonic stem cell research being pushed so much more? Is this just a front for abortion? I guess that sounds like a conspiracy theory...or maybe just politics. But read the article again. Continuing to push the embryonic stem cell research over adult stem cells does not make sense. There must be a reason it is being pushed.

- Rob

We're Going to the Zoo

This past Friday, Amanda's class (actually, the whole second grade) went to the zoo for a field trip. Parents were needed as chaperons, so Brooke and I volunteered. Brooke volunteered because she really gets into the super mom thing at school. I volunteered because I was "supposed to". Well, what I mean is, I want Amanda to know she is important to me, and she wanted me to go. Plus, I know there are a lot of kids at the school who do not have a positive male role model, so I knew I "should" go. In case you haven't figured it out, I'm not all that into kids (except my own!).

I came back Friday afternoon knowing why I was "supposed" to go...knowing why the Lord wanted me to go on this field trip. Brooke and I were assigned five boys and three girls while at the zoo (pictures below). On the way there, one little boy broke my heart telling me how many times he had moved and how he now lived with his grandparents. He was afraid of moving again because he said he would then be put up for adoption. His mother's past boyfriends had abused him and his siblings, so they no longer lived with her. If it didn't work out with his grandparents, he would be put up for adoption. Like I said, I am not into kids, but all I kept thinking was "no kid deserves this". We hit it off and he seemed comfortable talking to me. He kept holding my hand as we walked through the zoo.

Another boy told Brooke he lived with his mom and grandmother because his Dad was in jail. He obviously needed a positive role model in his life, too. By the time we got home, I was ready to get off the school bus packed with noisy kids and my stomach was a bit queasy from the long, bumpy bus ride, but my heart was touched. Sure am glad I did what I was "supposed to" do. I felt like I got to be a little bit of Jesus in a couple kids' lives.

Amanda and two friends

Our "gang" for the day

The gang with a Komodo Dragon

Mrs. Hurt and the Posse

Friday, October 20, 2006

No Thanks, We're Stupid

I'm a conservative Republican. If you are a fellow conservative, I don't know how I feel about this guy being our next presidential candidate, but I personally don't like it much. I've been thinking how I would vote if he were "our" candidate. I didn't much like the idea, but I was throwing it around nonetheless...should I not vote or vote for a 3rd party candidate just to make a statement to the Republican party "this is not who I want us to be"? But then I thought, "if a lot of us do this, a Democrat will end up in the White House and that (obviously) is not a good thing."

I choose to vote Republican because, as a party, they come closest to supporting issues that I believe in such as being pro-life, the privatization of Social Security, (I used to think) immigration, pro-marriage (meaning between a man and a woman...how did this even become a question?), tax cuts and a strong military.

If you believe what the media says (if you do, I'll tell you my story about meeting the tooth fairy), a number of conservatives are having this same thought regarding the November elections. I ran across an interesting editorial in the Washing Times regarding this issue. It's entitled, "No Thanks, We're Stupid". It helped me clear up my thinking. Here's just a portion of what the article said, but if you're a conservative wrestling with this issue, you ought to read the whole thing.

Here are some tell-tale signs of the sort of person who would vote (or not vote) to cause the election of a party which would act to defeat every value and interest he holds dear (merely because the party that will at least try to advance most of those issues has not done as well as he might have hoped):

1) When offered by a car dealer 25 percent off on a car, he insists on paying the full factory recommended retail sticker price -- because {he will not accept} 25 percent when he deserves 30 percent off.

2) When the prettiest cheerleader asks the nerd to take her to the prom, he turns her down -- just because he can.

3) When stopped for doing 70 in a 65 zone, he tells the trooper that's not possible because he had the cruise control set on 90 -- he just resents being falsely charged.

4) When diagnosed with a serious illness, he promptly cancels his medical insurance -- in order to save the cost of premium payments to help pay for the upcoming hospital stay.

A conservative would have to be just that stupid to stay home on Nov. 7.

(read the rest of the article)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

You Are My Prince of Peace

"Yet it was our weakness he carried; it was our sorrow that weighed him down. And we though his troubles were a punishment from God for his won sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace*. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the guild and sins of us all."
- Isaiah 53:4-6, NLT

* Peace (from Strong's Concordance)
completeness, soundness, welfare, peace

1. completeness (in number)
2. safety, soundness (in body)
3. welfare, health, prosperity
4. peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentment
5. peace, friendship
1) of human relationships
2) with God especially in covenant relationship
6. peace (from war)
7. peace (as adjective)

You are my Prince of Peace and I will live my life for you
- Words from the song "You Are Holy" by Michael W. Smith

Last Friday, Brooke and I were out running errands and our car would not start. We borrowed a friend's car to get a jump, but the car started before I hooked up the jumper cables. I had the battery checked and was told it was holding a charge, although it could still be time to replace it. I found out the battery had to be purchased from the dealership and they may have to install it because removing the battery might reset the computer on the car. Cost: $110. This was the same day I was paying the bills. Looking at my checking account, I saw that I did not have enough money to buy a new battery this week. But whoever said the devil isn't predictable? As I sat there trying to figure out how to get a new battery so that my wife did not get stranded somewhere, I suddenly noticed that my tithe check plus what I had left over for the week would cover the battery. Right then and there, I prayed, "Lord, I am going to be faithful with the tithe and I am asking you to take care of my car and battery." Sunday night when the car would not start at Life Group for Brooke, I thought for a moment that God may not have heard what I prayed.

On Monday, a mechanic friend from church offered to check my battery and alternator. Both checked out fine. We then went online and researched the problem and found out that many people with 2003 Saturn Ions have had these same intermittent failure-to-start problems. In each case reported, replacing the ignition switch was Saturn's answer. My friend offered to install a new ignition switch for me, so it seemed the $42 for the part was all I would be out. My friend spent 3 and a half hours trying to install the part. Actually, he had it installed much sooner than that but spent the rest of the time trying to figure out why the engine security light came on 100% of the time now and the car would never start. He did all he could and I finally got him to go home. He figured either the new part was bad or there was some sort of procedure that needed to be followed when installing an ignition switch so that the car's computer would accept it.

I would like to say I was walking by faith and knew God would take care of it all, but that simply was not the case. My stomach was in knots. Now I was going to have to have my car towed into the dealership and I had no money at all to have it worked on. Worry, worry, worry. Go to bed worrying. Wake up worrying.

Tuesday morning, the one verse to this song, "You are my Prince of Peace and I will live my life for you" just kept going through my head. Finally I prayed, "Lord, is this song for me today? I can't seem to get it out of my head. I am doing my best to live my life for you, so I am going to trust you to be my Prince of Peace." I certainly would not say I was the picture-perfect man of faith from that time on, but I did begin to trust that the Lord was going to take care of the situation for us.

I called the Saturn dealership and told them what happened. They told me the computer had to be reset and asked if I could bring the car in. I told them it would have to be towed, so the lady on the phone talked to a tech there in the shop. She came back and told me the computer could be reset manually and the instructions to do so could be found online, but it was a very complicated process and most people just give up. I was walking in faith too much to give up (or to more honest, I knew I could not afford to give up!), so I asked the tech to call me back and give me the instructions on how to reset the computer. Ten minutes later he called, gave me the instructions and it worked. Our car problems were fixed for $42.00

And then to top it all off, Isaiah 53 was part of my devotional reading for today and I ran across verse 5. When I saw the word "peace", I did a quick word study. Sometimes I a slow learner, but I think I got my lesson for this week!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Never play peekaboo with a child on a long plane trip. There's no end to the game. Finally I grabbed him by the bib and said, "Look, it's always gonna be me!"
- Rita Rudner

Monday, October 16, 2006

From All Appearances

I will spare you the picture (no, I didn't take one), but from all appearances we were correct in assuming that Grumpy O'Mally is a boy turtle and Grace O'Mally is a girl turtle. Furthermore, it appears that Grumpy is trying to make sure the family name continues!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What A Ride - Jim Leroy

I posted the video of Sean Tuker doing his thing in the Pitts Special a few days ago. I had seen video of Jim Leroy (and saw him in person at the Alliance Air Show a few weeks ago), but I just found this particular video tonight. Sorry if areobatic videos bore you, but I just sit and watch these guys over and over again. Incredible!

This Week In Pictures

OK, so here's a quick week-in-review (just the highlights). First of all, the picture of the guy to the left with the BIG forehead. Great day! I knew I was losing hair, but that is not how my forehead looks when I look in the mirror. Oh well. The is me and I am holding just a few of the chips I won in Saturday night's poker game with the guys. Just to clarify: 1) I did win ALL of the chips, 2) I was down to just $300 in chips, barely enough to cover little blind, and I came back to win ALL the chips, 3) yes, I had a number of lucky hands and 4) no, we do not play for money...just chips. I guess all I can say about my game-playing that night is that the greatness of my playing is only overshadowed by my humility in winning ALL the chips. (Sorry guys, but we all know it will be a long time before I win again, so I've got to enjoy it).

On Saturday, we were out running family errands and stopped by Academy Sports and Outdoors to look for some bike stuff. As we drove up, we noticed they were having their grand opening kick-off party thingy, so we enjoyed some good BBQ chicken and hot dogs as well as free t-shirts and hats. Here Amanda and I are showing off our free stuff.

Sully loves his blankey...so much so that he chews it up and eats it! All week long we have been looking for another blankey that will last him more than a few weeks. He loves to chew on the blanket and play tug-of-war, so while we are looking for a suitable replacement, we picked up this toy for him to pull on. Of course Boo did not want to be left out, so she had to try it out as well. Notice Boo is a bit more laid back than Sully...she cannot even stand up to pull.

Rain on Friday kept me from getting to go geocaching by myself, and it kept us from getting to go out as a family on Saturday. But, during the week, I did get to take a couple friends geocaching. I already posted about caching with Jason, and then on Thursday this week, Amanda I took Clay out to learn how to use his new GPS. Here is he finding his first cache, one that I hid, BINY In My Life - David Wilson.

Boeing's Laser Gunship Program Testing Begins

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has begun flight testing for the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program and has generated "first light" of ATL's high-energy chemical laser in ground tests, achieving two key milestones in the laser gunship development effort.

The idea is a plane-mounted laser that can take out ground targets, having the ability to adjust the power based on the size of the target and the desired destruction. Read all about it here.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

What A Ride - Sean Tucker

OK, my breakfast would be in my lap within the first 15 seconds, but man, what a ride that would be!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Chili Cook-Off...Texas Style!

Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chili taster named Frank, who was visiting from Springfield , IL .

Frank: "Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table, asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy; and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge 3."

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:


Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.

Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.

Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy cow, what the heck is this stuff? You could
remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy.


Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.

Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.

Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm
supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.


Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick.

Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of peppers.

Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels
like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting drunk from all of the beer.


Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.

Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or
other mild foods, not much of a chili.

Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to
taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. This 300 lb. woman is starting to look HOT ... just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?


Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding
considerable kick. Very impressive.

Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit
the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.

Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I
can no longer focus my eyes. I farted, and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Forget them.


Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of
spices and peppers.

Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic.

Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I had an accident when I farted, and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone.


Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.

Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried about Judge # 3. He appears to be a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.

Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I
wouldn t feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing it's too painful. Forget it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.


Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold
but spicy enough to declare its existence.

Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor feller, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?

Judge # 3 - No Report

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pump It Up, Arlington

Short video clip of Amanda and Brooke on a slide at Pump It Up Arlington while at a friend's birthday party on Sunday.

A Good Thing?

This Fox news story, Shouting Out of Fashion at Army Boot Camps, says that drill sergeants are yelling less and fewer recruits are dropping out of boot camp. Here's a little more from the article:

The changes started about a year ago, as defense officials looked for ways to make drillmasters more effective, said Lt. Col. Mike Jones, head of Army National Guard recruiting.

He said the old way was to "talk loud, talk often, get their attention" — shock treatment to teach discipline and mold the newly recruited civilian into a soldier.

But trainers found today's generation responded better to instructors who took "a more counseling" type role, Jones said, using strong tactics when needed but keeping them the exception instead of the rule.

I'm thinking life on the battle field is going to be a whole lot tougher than boot camp. So are we going to ask front-line commanders to yell less often as well? Maybe if we do that our enemies will treat our captured soldiers nicer, too since they wouldn't be used to being yelled at. What do you think?

Making Nice to Our Enemies

The Grumpy Report

No, I'm not grumpy today...this (picture to left) is Grumpy O'Mally the turtle and he is sponsoring today's update. (that just means I took this picture while feeding the turtles and playing with my cell phone camera and wanted to use this picture for something).

This weekend was a long one for the kiddos of Arlington Independent School District. Amanda did not have school Friday or today. On Saturday morning got to go to a carnival put on by a local Catholic church while I was at our church's Men's Retreat. On Sunday, she went to a friend's birthday party, and today she and I went bike riding. Here's a few other long-weekend photos from the phone cam (only has 640x480 resolution):

Bike riding at River Legacy park today

Also at River Legacy

Amanda saw this as we were biking down the trail and wanted to stop to get her picture taken.

Of course we had to grab a couple caches since we were riding through a cache-infested park!

This afternoon I went geocaching with Jason. If you look real hard and ignore the shadows that messed up the picture for my flash-less phone camera, you can see the micro cache container right by his ear on the right (Jason's left). It is hanging by a string from the stick he is holding.

And last, but not least: the Idiotic Statement of the Day Award goes to Senator Hillary Clinton who said:
Some of the reason we are facing this danger {Korean nuclear weapons} is because of the failed policies of the Bush administration, and I regret deeply their failure to deal with the threat posted by North Korea, and I hope that the administration will now adopt a much more effective response than what they have up until now.
You have got to check out this article available at www.RushLimbaugh.com which shows how politically-motivated and TOTALLY UNTRUE this statement is. Also notice how she offers no solution of her own but instead suggests the Bush administration needs to develop a "more effective" policy.

Friday, October 06, 2006

We Must Draw Close

My pastor is preaching a series he has entitled "Presence Driven" and has preached a number of messages on the importance of drawing close to Christ in our personal relationship with Him. On one of our bulletin covers he said:

Getting close to God and friendship with God is a choice, not an accident. You must intentionally seek it. That means answering these questions:
  1. Do I value getting close to God more than anything else?
  2. Is getting close to God worth giving up other things for?
  3. Is getting close to God worth developing the habits and skills required?
  4. Is getting close to God worth praying, Lord, more than anything else, I want to know you?"
I ran across this quote today. Although the person who said it had not heard Pastor David's series and was not thinking along these lines, I thought it could apply nonetheless.

Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.
- H. L. Hunt

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Why Is Saddam Even On Trial?

Check out this story:

Clark says Saddam death penalty will unleash 'catastrophic' violence

My question is this: why even take Saddam to trial if paying the price for his crimes was not an option?

- Rob

Seeing People, Not Just Issues

I just visited the Humanist News blog again. Newsgator Online, my RSS program, told me about the post earlier today, so I've been waiting all day to get to it. I usually get fired up and enjoy the discussion/debate on whatever anti-God topic they are posting. (Side note: I am constantly amazed at the amount of energy these people spend attacking a God they do not believe exists). But tonight I felt saddened. One of the staff writers, a college-age or just-out-of-college-age young lady wrote about a Washington meeting she attended cosponsored by the National Education Association (NEA), and the National Education Association's Health Information Network (NEA HIN), the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS). (Those of you out there who are particularly perceptive can already tell this is going nowhere good!). The report from this meeting was titled How Medical Inaccuracies, Fear, and Shame in Federally Funded Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs Put Our Youth at Risk (link here). Had I simply read this, I guess I could have been fired up and upset, but instead I read the staff writer's blog post and was saddened.

This young lady started out attacking abstinence-only programs which is to be expected from a group who despises terms like "right" and "wrong". But then she went on to say:

Now, obviously, most non-fundamentalist public health professionals wouldn’t even dream of promoting abstinence-only sex ed, but it was the egregiousness of the curricula that truly amazed me. For example, the Why kNOw? program (link here), describing the true meaning of love, directly paraphrases 1 Corinthians 13:4: "Real Love: is patient; is kind; does not envy; does not boast; is not proud; is not rude; is not self-seeking; is not easily angered; keeps no record of wrongs; does not delight in evil; rejoices with the truth; always protects; always trusts; always hopes; always lasts; [and] never fails."

This is where I went from being fired up to being saddened. As you can see from my comment if you read the post, I asked this young lady, "...do you think it would be bad to be loved this way?" I cannot imagine hating God so much that you would reject this kind of love simply because it is the definition given in the Bible.

And then she went on to attack the Judeo-Christian wedding ceremony. I'll let you read about that in the post if you wish. This was followed by links about the abstinence-only programs she was attacking, but rather than link to the actual program sites, she only linked to Humanist reviews of these sites. And then she went on to attack some illustration games she READ ABOUT these programs using.

I'm sure this young lady would be boiling mad if I were to express any kind of sympathy for whatever has happened in her life to harden her like this. But being a father of a little girl, I couldn't help but be saddened for a girl who seems to have grown up never having had a father tell her she is worth waiting for, that sexaual urges do not have to be handled like an animal, that someone (God if not her own father, too) loved her in a 1 Corinthians 13 way, that her future husband should love her that way and the things symbolized in a "Judeo-Christian wedding ceremony" only add to her worth as a woman.

I guess, tonight, I felt like I saw a hurting soul instead of just an issue like I usually do. If I could have met with this young lady in person, I would have gotten off of my soap box, pulled out a chair from the table for her, bought her a cup of coffee, sat down and asked about her life. Hmmmm...that's a little more like what Jesus would have done, isn't it?

- Rob

It's Still Called ILLEGAL Immigration

Recently large demonstrations have taken place across the country protesting the fact that Congress is finally addressing the issue of illegal immigration. Certain people are angry that the US might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak into this country and, once here, to stay indefinitely.
Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests.

Let's say I break into your house. Let's say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave. But I say, "I've made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors; I've done all the things you don't like to do. I'm hard-working and honest (except for when I broke into your house).

According to the protesters, not only must you let me stay, you must add me to your family's insurance plan, educate my kids, and provide other benefits to me and to my family (my husband will do your yard work) because he too is hard-working and honest, (except for that breaking in part).

If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my right to be there.
It's only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I'm just trying to better myself. I'm hard-working and honest, um, except for well, you know.

And what a deal it is for me!! I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of selfishness, prejudice and being an anti-housebreaker. Oh yeah, and I want you to learn my language so you can communicate with me.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

You're Kidding...Right?

The Fox News article starts out:

"Mexico sent a diplomatic note to the U.S. government on Monday saying a plan to build hundreds of miles of fencing on their common border would damage relations."

And then it ends with these statements of fact:

"An estimated 11 million Mexican citizens are in the United States, about half of them illegally.

Last year, Mexican migrants sent home more than $20 billion in remittances, the country's second leading source of foreign income after oil. In the first eight months of 2006, remittances rose by nearly 20 percent over the same period last year, according to figures released by the Mexican Central Bank on Monday."

And we're the ones who are supposed to worry about not being "good neighbors"?

Monday, October 02, 2006

In God We Still Trust

I received an e-mail with a link to this great patriotic song by Diamond Rio set to a video. The e-mail was an Internet hoax, but the song is still great. You can view the video below and read the truth about the radio release of this song.

Yet another reminder that is ALAWAYS a good idea to check out a story before passing it along to your friends. This one was simple to find. I went to www.snopes.com and typed in "In God We Still Trust".

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Be Careful

If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. 1 Corinthians 10:12, NLT

This Scripture popped into my head when I read this story about Florida Representative Mark Foley who was part of the Republican leadership and chairman of the House caucus on missing and exploited children. He may now face criminal prosecution for soliciting underage children for sex under some of the very laws he helped enact.

This should be a true reality check. No matter who we are and how much we want to do and stand up for what is right, outside of Christ, we are still very vulnerable. We must daily depend on His strength.

But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. (1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT)

I Must Be Close to Dehydration

After being at the air show yesterday where we could not carry in water and then stuck in traffic for over an hour before we could get someplace to get a drink made more thirsty than I ever remember being in my life. I thought I tanked up and recovered last night, but I may have drained my body dry again tonight...after crying for an hour straight!

Let me put your mind at ease. We have NOT had a family tragedy. But I will give you a few hints as to why I cried for an hour straight:
OK, I like the show because it always touches my heart (read: always makes me cry), but I don't like it because it always "touches my heart". Whenever possible, I watch America's Funniest Videos, and Amanda likes to watch that with me. Of course, right after AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition comes on. Amanda also likes to watch this show. She wanted to watch it tonight, so I figured I'd slip away and do a little reading while Brooke is at Life Group and Amanda is watching TV. For some silly reason, I thought I could watch the intro and then go read. Well, duh! That was indeed silly. I watched enough to hear the story:

Maryann Gilliam and her six children of Armada Township, MI, lost their father in a tragic, unexpected death on Christmas Eve.

David Gilliam simultaneously worked several jobs to support his family in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a firefighter and EMT. He was one state test away from getting his instructor coordinator license when he suddenly died. As a result of her husband's autopsy, Maryann learned that the basement of her family's home was contaminated with dangerous levels of toxic spores. Her doctor advised the mother and her six children to vacate the house for health reasons. The community has rallied around the Gilliams; since David's death, the family have lived with several family members, neighbors and friends. Currently they are living with Maryann's sister.

So within the first 3 minutes of the show I was hooked and I was crying! For the next 57 minutes I watched this family get a new home, watched big construction worker guys cry like me and saw a family taken care of like their husband/dad would have wanted. So I hugged Amanda and we cried when she went to bed after the show.

It's good to have reminders of what is really important in life...even if it makes you cry. Thank you Jesus for my family.