think about it

think about it:

if God has a vision for your life...

if there is a purpose for you being on this earth...

a vision that God has designed for your future and what He designed for you to accomplish...

you had better get on it.

seriously.

you're taking a breath right now for a reason. it's pretty silly to go through a whole day and not engage with that vision.

do you know what God's vision for your life is? the reason He put you here?
is so... what are you waiting for?

if you don't know what it is yet...
what are you waiting for?

if God has a vision for your life what could possibly be more fulfilling than that?
You may think you can, but you will never be able to wring enough meaning and joy out of your own petty accomplishments to really satisfy yourself.

Andy Stanley spells out the realization we all need to come to = "without me, what could be--what should be--won't be."

*There is something specific in the world that is NOT as it should be and YOU, yes you, are here to change that. you had better get on it.

"Your uniqueness and individuality will reach its pinnacle in the context of your pursuit of God's [vision] for your life." - Andy

what are you waiting for?

Romney Running Mate Talk (Part 2)

With Mitt Romney close to officially clinching the Republican nomination, talk of his potential running mate pick has heated up.  The Drive-By Media, as usual, is calling the bad ideas brilliant and the good ideas bad. According to them, if you're wimpy and moderate, you're perfect, if you're solidly conservative and strong enough to call out Obama, you're a bad option for Mitt.

Genuine political wisdom for Republicans is to ignore the Drive-By Media's suggestions and go the opposite way, so that's what I'm about to recommend. So here comes some real, solid recommendations (and non-recommendations) for Romney's #2, categorized as Good Ideas, Bad Ideas, and Wild Cards (essentially good ideas that are unlikely to happen).  Today we'll continue with part two, Bad Ideas:


Bad Ideas

1. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: Yes, I know a few conservatives love Governor Christie (looking at you, Ann Coulter) and I know he's a Republican rock star. And yes, he has the stones to attack Obama, which the Romney camp needs.  But there are a few reasons why Governor Christie is a bad idea for Romney.  For one, he's a fellow Northeastern Republican. He's also a moderate on many issues.  He's pro-choice and pro-gun control, to name two.  He can't help Romney win the South and he doesn't have the genuine conservative credentials to balance our Romney's perceived moderateness.

2. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush:  Yes, I know Governor Bush can deliver Florida.  But his name alone needs to discount him. President Obama wants to run against "Bush" as best he can anyway. It doesn't matter that he means former President George W. Bush and not Jeb. Giving Obama the ability to run against "Bush" is a horrible idea. Furthermore, the Bush name stands for two things in the GOP: the Republican Establishment and moderateness. Both Jeb's brother and father governed as moderates in many ways. Both set back conservatism. We do not need another Bush, friends. Period.

3. Ohio Senator Rob Portman:  Yes, Senator Portman is, unlike the above two names, a solid conservative. He also makes Mr. Rogers look like Mick Jagger. He actually manages to be even more boring than Mitt Romney, which is an accomplishment. (As Al Gore how picking someone even more boring than you worked out for him when he picked a running mate?)

4. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels: Governor Daniels manages to put the issues of Christie and Bush together with the issues of Portman: He's BOTH moderate AND boring! He also doesn't want the job. Not much else to say there.

5. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty:  T-Paw has the same problem Congressman Portman has...he's dryer than toast and about as exciting. Like Portman, he has conservative credentials, but he's not the attack dog Mitt needs to win and he doesn't balance out Governor Romney's perceived roboticness.

---------

Any of these five men would make terrible picks for Governor Romney's running mate.  It would be as if the Romney Campaign asked President Obama who he'd pick for the Romney campaign to make his re-election campaign easier.

Tomorrow, we'll talk about the Wild Cards.  All of these people are good options but are also unlikely.

thankfulness is a rebellion

when is the last time you saw someone being genuinely thankful?

can you even remember?

we live in a culture that is completely run by consumerism and a spirit of entitlement.
and thankfulness is an all out rebellion against both of those.
it's SUBVERSIVE to our culture.

a whole lot of experts spend a WHOLE lot of money every single day to keep you from being thankful!

when you are thankful it's like a slap in the face to our culture.

most people are entitled. they have amazing privileges and blessings but take them for granted... never once stopping to be thankful for them.

thankfulness is like immunization against that.

i heard one author put it this way:
"Gratitude is the spiritual practice that raises its fist in the face of this insanity [consumerism & entitlement]; but that raised fist is actually a raised hand--reaching up in gratitude to God."

maybe we can just get in the habit of being thankful.

for everything.

seriously.

maybe every time you hear a good song, drink a good cup of coffee, have a good conversation with a good old friend or a new one, watch a good game, hear a good comedian, watch a good movie, etc... etc... etc...
you can simply breathe out a simple "Thanks, God."

let the rebellion begin.

Romney Running Mate Talk (Part 1)

With Mitt Romney close to officially clinching the Republican nomination, talk of his potential running mate pick has heated up.  The Drive-By Media, as usual, is calling the bad ideas brilliant and the good ideas bad. According to them, if you're wimpy and moderate, you're perfect, if you're solidly conservative and strong enough to call out Obama, you're a bad option for Mitt.

Genuine political wisdom for Republicans is to ignore the Drive-By Media's suggestions and go the opposite way, so that's what I'm about to recommend. So here comes some real, solid recommendations (and non-recommendations) for Romney's #2, categorized as Good Ideas, Bad Ideas, and Wild Cards (essentially good ideas that are unlikely to happen).  Today we'll start with part one, Good Ideas:


Good Ideas

1. Florida Senator Marco Rubio:  Despite the Drive-By Media's attempts to say otherwise, Rubio would be an absolute home run. He's popular in Florida, so he can help nail down that critical state.  He's a proper and genuine conservative, and one who can effectively communicate the message of conservatism.  People who hear Senator Rubio speak are reminded of President Ronald Reagan. He also can deliver that crucial conservative support (not just votes, but strong support both financially and emotionally).  He can also deliever strength with the Hispanic vote. Finally, since we know the Vice President is usually the heir apparent, he can give conservatives the hope they need to recognize that Romney is a stop-gap, but someone better is on the horizon.

2. Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan:  Ryan is the man who proposed a real change in our spending and put forth a plan really rein in spending and put our nation on a solid fiscal path. He also can bring in an important swing state in Wisconsin, where Ryan is well supported. And like Rubio, he can give conservatives the hope they need to recognize that Romney is a stop-gap, but someone better is on the horizon as the heir apparent when Romney is done.

3. Congressman (and retired Colonel) Allen West:  Colonel West has the strength to go after Obama and the Florida connection to help win that crucial state. He also has the military strength and experience that can help Romney when elected in matters of Defense.  He's also a solid co nservative with no fear of attacking Obama.  Further, like Rubio and Ryan, he can give conservatives the hope they need to recognize that Romney is a stop-gap, but someone better is on the horizon as the heir apparent when Romney is done.  Perhaps most importantly, he can give socially conservative African-Americans the emotional type of support to vote their conscience while not feeling like they have to vote for Obama because of his race. (Sad but true fact).

4. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindall:  Governor Jindall is solidly conservative and well spoken. He's an American success story, like Senator Rubio, the first generation of his family born in America.  He's got a Deep South connection as governor of Louisiana and solid conservative credentials. Further, like Rubio, Ryan, and West he can give conservatives the hope they need to recognize that Romney is a stop-gap, but someone better is on the horizon as the heir apparent when Romney is done. 

---------

Any one of these four would make a great VP pick for Governor Romney. They all are solid conservatives that will help Mitt get the conservative backing he genuinely needs, both financial and emotional, to get conservatives to fight for him at work, at home, and with their friends.

Tomorrow, we'll talk about the Bad Ideas (you know, the people the Drive-By Media calls "Good Ideas"). 

just curious... what were you thinking?

i always wonder what the people who put these signs up are thinking when they do it?

seriously curious. i'd like to ask one of them some time.


lots of things i'd like to say.

but i won't.

maybe when i get old & don't care anymore.

Plenty of Liberals Support SE Cupp Against Hustler, but Where is N.O.W.?

For those of you who missed it, Hustler magazine recently published a faked pornographic picture of conservative columnist S.E. Cupp and is now hiding behind "free speech." Now I must admit I was not there, nor is my DeLorean time machine ready (my big hangup has been perfecting the flux capacitor), but I do not believe our founding fathers intended the 1st Amendment to be used to photoshop a woman into a sexualized situation without her permission. Just a guess.

Hustler's big claim has been "it's satire." Yeah.  That's the definition of satire. Memo to Mel Brooks: Next time you want to make fun of the lack of an English accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, instead of making a witty and intelligent parody film, instead just take a picture of Kevin Costner and photoshop him into a pornographic image. That's apparently the new definition of satire.

When I heard this story, my first reaction was "I'll bet we won't see any liberal publications, feminists, or N.O.W. rebuking this tasteless attack on a conservative woman." I'm pleased to say I was only 1/3 correct.

- Liberal Feminist Gloria Steinem said this: ""As another of the countless women who have been attacked, defamed and endangered by Larry Flynt and Hustler over the years, I am proud to stand with S.E. Cupp and defend her right to free speech and respect."

Gloria Steinem, Women’s Media Center Denounce Hustler Attack On Conservative Commentator

- On her Twitter feed, Sandra Fluke, the woman who was the subject of a major news story a few months ago regarding birth control said:  " depiction of so offensive. Sexualization of female public (figures) attempts to limit them to being sexual figures and (nothing) more."

- Even liberal Salon.com got into the fight to defend S.E. Cupp...although they also got upset about Cupp and other conservatives in the Media making the same guess I did that the Liberal Media wouldn't support Ms. Cupp.

I think I stand with all conservatives in saying "IT'S ABOUT TIME!" It's about time you people got off the bench and defended a conservative woman when she is attacked in a manner that, if even 10% of the equivalent attack was levied against Nancy Pelosi or Michelle Obama, would have been the subject of tremendous outcry. However, this time, the Left primarily got it right. Even The View and Whoppi Goldberg defended S.E. Cupp! 

Of course, conspicuous by it's absence is N.O.W.  Where is the National Organization for Women?  The sound of crickets is drowning them out.  Even on something so blatantly sexist, N.O.W. can't be found. Might as well change their name to N.O.L.W. (National Organization for Liberal Women) because honestly they don't seem to care when a conservative is attacked.  Apparently you don't qualify as a woman if you're conservative, according to N.O.W.  That's the attitude, right?  Because apparently real women wouldn't be opposed to abortion or against Planned Parenthood.  That's sad.

For the record, I agree that S.E. Cupp is a beautiful woman.  She is also intelligent and witty (and yes, a New York Mets fan).  Noticing this and appreciating it isn't a problem. Having a "celebrity crush" on her isn't a problem either.  However, this isn't what Hustler did. Hustler has degraded a woman in a manner they wouldn't dare do to a liberal woman. This is unacceptable. 

I stand with S.E. Cupp and I applaud the media outlets, including some liberal ones who I have disagreed with many times like Salon.com and Gloria Steinem.  Thank you for doing the right thing. As for N.O.W., all I can say is shame on you. Women do not need N.O.W. If they can't cross party lines for this, then they are useless to the cause of genuine feminism. Period.

An Open Letter to Pastor Charles L. Worley

If you haven't seen the video already, Southern Baptist Charles L. Worley called for for death to "queers and homosexuals." It is my prayer that this Open Letter reach Pastor Worley as a loving rebuke from one Christian to another. In that regard, I do hope you will help this letter on it's way to the Pastor that this loving rebuke might come to his eyes, as instructed by 1 Corinthinans 5:12.

Dear Pastor Worley:

I am writing this open letter as a fellow Christian, following what I believe is the requirements set forth for Christians to correct other Christians when they fail to live up to the high standards of Jesus Christ.

I found your statements calling for death to ""queers and homosexuals."  As a Christian, I find this attitude appaling, not because I agree with homosexuality or gay marriage, but because I believe, as the old adage says, "Thus, but for the grace of God, go I," and so do you, my friend.

I know I am a repentant sinner, not a perfect person, and that I was guilty of sin but that I am no more, not because I am righteous but because of the spotless blood of Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord who took the penalty for my sin on the cross at Calvary so that I wouldn't have to pay my own penalty.

Your theology on sin is not wrong, my brother. But here is where you are wrong: You too are a sinner, one washed in the blood of the Lamb, as I am, and declared righteous by Christ through faith.  I would like to remind you of what the Apostle Paul wrote:

 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. - 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NKJV) (Emphasis Added)

Were you a thief before you were saved? Even once? Did you covet before you were saved, even once?  Your speech alone qualifies you as a reviler, my friend. We were all lost sinners before we were saved by the Blood of Jesus, my friend. Or did you forget:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. - Romans 3:23-24 (NKJV) (Emphasis Added)

Do you recall the actions of our Lord Jesus with the woman caught in adultery?

Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.


So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, ent out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” 
- John 8:3-11 (New King James Version)

Pastor, I must say you are missing the entire point of our faith. 


I understand your frustration in the way some Christians have failed.  Certain of the more liberal elements of our faith focus on "Does no one condemn you...neither do I" and they are wrong for ignoring that Jesus did call people to repentance. I share in your frustration at this attitude among Christians, forgetting that important addition "Go and sin no more."

However, you failing to recall the mercy that our Lord showed this woman. Clearly, Jesus hated the sin. He did not say "keep committing adultery, that's just fine I accept you anyway." But, and this is important, if He followed your dictum, Christ himself would have cast that first stone at her.  He did not.

Our God is a God who separates His love of a person from his anger at their actions. Christ saw people and He also saw sins.  Separately. He hated the sins, but He loved the sinners...like you and me, for example. While we may not be guilty of one particular sin, it doesn't mean that the sins that we are tempted with are somehow worse.  (I know of a pastor who has said to me on multiple occasions that he wishes that all sin was as unenticing to him as the sin of homosexuality...I share that sentiment with him.)  I am, however, tempted with other sins. 

Remember, I pray, the gift that you received...and that it is not your own righteousness, for only one who is righteous on his own can rail on PEOPLE with such visciousness.  Until that day, I pray that you will remember that you were a beggar once too...one who was shown where to find bread...and then remember that your goal should be to show more beggars where the bread is, instead of demanding other beggars be killed.


In Christ,

Christopher C. Bastedo - Editor of Biblical Conservatism

awesome article about my Mom in today's Charlotte Observer!

There is a really awesome article about my Mom in today's Charlotte Observer. Talking about her Double Lung Transplant at Duke. Really cool.
You can check out the article HERE.

It talks some too about how people can give toward my Mom's lung transplant fund & the $250,000 she needs. If you're interested in donating you can do that through the National Foundation for Transplants HERE.

definitely a miracle. so thankful for this transplant that has saved my Mom's life.

4.5 years of renown

it just dawned on me in January that i've been writing here on renown for over 4 years. now, almost 4.5 years. i guess that's a relatively long time. it's added up to a lot of writing. a lot of thoughts that i've fleshed out on paper.

i started over 4 years ago wanting to try to write almost every day... even the days i didn't feel like it or didn't have time to really articulate something well - because i was convinced that the process would benefit me most. it's been a very disciplined process, but that discipline over the last 4 years has produced almost 1,000 articles here on renown.

while thinking about these 4 years of writing on renown and ALL that has happened in life during those 4 years... it got me thinking about other 4 year segments of life...

like the 1st 4 years (0-3) and how i don't really remember anything from then.

and then when i was 4-7. lots of fun. carefree. school wasn't even really work back then. you just had fun all day.

8-11 years old, arguably the best years of life :)   those were the days. the "glory years". all the friends i had. all the fun we had. school wasn't really hard. not really a lot of work to do. just fun all the time. playing basketball all day long every day in the neighborhood. sometimes i think that'd be a cool 4 year segment to return to.

and then middle school. i know it's not quite 4 whole years, but almost. it's a pretty weird 4 year segment coming on the heels of the "glory years". but, most of us experience a lot of 1sts and enter a new era of life. we usually fall in love with music. i still look back on my fav bands of that era and smile. something nostalgic about it. i had my 1st kiss (1st "real" kiss anyway) in Middle school. also got dumped for the 1st time. and really in this life segment for the 1st time you start to let your identity rest in what your peers think of you.

high school really is 4 years and it was awesome for me. i loved it most of the time... or at least what i remember of it. it's a great 4 years to look back on.

college of course is 4 years too and seems to really be the time where you become YOU. your adult self anyway. 4 years of college was probably the longest segment of time up to that point. the most happened in those 4 years and it's a pretty drastic change from the beginning of the 4 years to the end.

1st 4 years of "life" - then there's my 1st 4 years of real life. Crystal and i got married right after college and those 1st 4ish years together include a lot of firsts - 1st jobs, 1st places to live, buying our 1st house, 1st consumer debt... etc... these 1st 4 years were awesome. i think this is where you grow up... or at least this is where i grew up. my wife and i call these years "simpler times"

the past 4 years have probably been the most amazing yet. these are also the 4 years of renown and i'm thankful to be able to look back on those 4 years through the lens of this blog and remember all the stuff that was happening in life and going through my head all those years. those 4 years included launching Ridge Church. This Fall will be the anniversary of when Ridge launched and began meeting every Sunday morning. these same 4 years mark the 4 year break i took from seminary. glorious. i also feel like this is the segment of life where i worked hard to discover WHO God made me to be and WHAT He specifically put me on earth to do. hopefully these past 4 years have set us up for the next 40 years... or however many we have left.

the next 4 years - i have really really high goals, expectations, and a vision for what the next 4 segment will be like. hopefully i can look back on this very post 4 years from now and smile...

Every day we are all writing a STORY. our story. and whether we choose to look back on it in 4 year segments or 40 year segments our story will be told.
i just hope i can live a life worth telling stories about.

You CAN Judge a Book by it's Cover...(Sometimes)

Wait...what?  Hear me out, friends...

We've been told for years "You can't judge a book by it's cover."  Unfortunately, this takes away one of mankind's best resources for judging reality...discernment.  Some might even call it "discrimination," and accurately if you're using the proper definition of this word. (When going to cross the street, you do discriminate whether or not it is best to cross at that moment given the amount of cars coming or lack thereof.)  So let's talk about when it is okay to judge a book by it's cover, shall we?

For the record, it is not okay to judge a person by their biological features. The most prominent example is skin tone.  It is wrong to make a judgement call about a person based on race. (Or hair color, or eye color, or any other biological trait.) Where it is perfectly reasonable to judge a person is their own choices. In other words, it's perfectly acceptable to judge a book by it's cover IF the book chose it's own cover!

Many people assume that if they are uncomfortable around a black person who is dressed like a thug, it must be some inherent racial bias in themselves.  They then proceed to feel guilty about it. (I admit I had that issue too at one point.) Then I realized something...when I saw a person who looked like this:

Source: http://menzclub.blogspot.com/2009/01/alfani-three-button-black-pinstripe.html


I felt absolutely no fear or discomfort. Shortly after, I also saw a man who looked like this:

Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/11/white-supremacist-gang-member-sentenced-to-death-.html

My ingrained warning signals fired to at least be aware that there might be a problem. I was concerned, and thought that I at least might need to be afraid.

It turned out it wasn't the race of a person that caused me to be afraid...otherwise I'd be uncomfortable around the man in the top picture and perfectly comfortable around the man in the bottom picture. That wasn't the case.  The man on the top was biologically born with very high quantities of melanin in his skin (for those of you in Palm Beach County, FL, that means he is a black man). The man on the bottom was born with very low quantities of melanin in his skin (for those of you in Palm Beach County, FL, that means he is a white man).

These traits were not choices. It would be wrong to judge them by that "cover."  Yet there are other "covers" that are valid to judge a person by on each man...covers that were choices.

The man in the top picture made a choice: he chose to be clean cut, free of gang symbol tattoos etc, and wear a suit and a tie. He is also wearing a smile...a warm smile at that...which suggests he is a friendly person. In my experience, men who are clean cut with no gang symbol tattoos and a suit and tie are rarely to be feared. Actually, these "covers" are a sign of an upstanding citizen, irregardless of their skin color.

The man in the bottom picture also made a choice: he chose to have a tattoo on his neck bearing the symbol of the Schutzstaffel, aka the NAZI SS. He further chose to cut his hair in a mohawk style* (specifically at the age of I would guess 45 years old) and have a menacing look on his face.  All of these traits, at least in conjunction with the each other, suggests a person who an upstanding citizen like myself should be wary around.

Each of these two men made choices with their appearance. They are communicating something about themselves nonverbally...in the case of the man in the top picture it is a communication of "fine, upstanding citizen" and in the case of the man in the bottom picture it is, for lack of a better term, "criminal." Both men made a choice to do this, whether it was in the clothes they put on in the morning or the tattoos they choose to have put on their body. Granted, I have chosen extreme examples. However, the same rule applies to me when I see these four men:

        


        

The two men on the left do not concern me. (Granted the man in the top left's choice of clothing does tell me this guy might be a hipster, but then again, I've never been concerned about being attacked by a hipster.) The two men on the right do. Their skin tone doesn't bother me in the slightest. It's their choice of covers.

Once again, the issue here is choices of clothing. People do make a choice of how they present themselves. It can have positive or negative consequences. When I was a manager of a restaurant, one aspect of my job was interviewing prospective employees.  The way an interviewee chose to present themselves made a big difference.  If you showed up to your job interview in a baseball cap with pants around your knees and a t-shirt and a huge gold necklace, guess what, you didn't have a snowball's chance in July of being hired. You know why? Because you CHOSE not to present yourself professionally. Your choice presented yourself as someone I do not want to hire. Keep in mind, however, I did not judge someone who wore a collared shirt that was shabby over one that was new differently...I assumed that was the best shirt that individual could afford.

So before you start believing tropes like "you can't judge a book by it's cover" ask yourself this: Is the cover the result of a choice or the result of biology? If the cover is a result of biology and you judge a person by it, then shame on you. However, if your judgement of a "book by it's cover" is based on a choice a person made, then guess what...you have chosen to present yourself that way. That's your choice. And I'm justified in judging someone by that choice.  After all, you put on that cover.


*Specifically, I am concerned when a 45-50 year old man is wearing a mohawk.  When a teenager wears that haircut or someone in a rock band it is not a sign to be wary in my opinion.

"yes He does" (repost)

(This was originally written & posted to renown on June 1, 2010.)

I was driving home from my soccer game last night and near my neighborhood i got behind a car with a bumper sticker on the back that said = "God doesn't believe in atheists."

it looked something like this:
it's supposed to be a "cute" phrase that makes Christians chuckle, but i just said to myself "yes He does."

God absolutely believes in atheists. He made them. HE LOVES THEM. HE DIED FOR THEM. no different than people who aren't atheists. He loves everyone the same. He doesn't have favs.
Maybe we should remember that next time we put a bumper sticker on our car.

*i had an urge to ask the person in the car what their purpose was in having that bumper sticker? Like, when an atheist rolls up behind you are you thinking that it helps them feel loved and like you are their friend?
Honestly, in my opinion, it would probably be best if "Christians" didn't even put bumper stickers on their cars. seriously. Most of them are ridiculous like this one i saw tonight.

Or maybe if we all just remembered the spirit behind the bumper sticker on my caddy:
seems like a much better bumper sticker to me. i'm just sayin'.

Dear Mitt: Don't Try to Be Civil with an Uncivil Opponent

Last week, presumptive GOP Nominee Mitt Romney asked a Super PAC that supports him to not run a political ad that would speak about President Obama's longterm spiritual relationship with controversial Pastor Jeremiah Wright. As someone who has told Governor Romney that he absolutely must continue the level of political attack ads that he ran during the primary campaign, I'm thoroughly displeased with the Governor.

I know what the attitude is from the Romney campaign..."we've got to be civil...that way we'll reach those people who clamor for civility." There's only one problem, which I have covered so many times on Biblical Conservatism:

Saying "I wish the election could just be about ideas and not mudslinging" is one of those great statements that self-described "moderates" who "make up their mind on each issue" use to sound intelligent. They are also the same people who will believe it when the Drive-By Media tells them that Rick Santorum wants to take away women's birth control or that Herman Cain sexually harrassed women even though the individuals who made the claims are either annonymous or have a history of making false sexual harrassment claims. They will be convinced when Obama starts telling fairytales about Bane Capital.

The fact of the matter is President Obama WILL run an attack campaign. There is no question about it. He will lie about his record or outright ignore it and instead make this campaign about Romney personally rather than his own failures. Moreover, President Obama and his campaign will have a hair trigger on the race card. He will play it at will, and frankly there is absolutely nothing Governor Romney can do to avoid it.  The Left will make something up when real evidence doesn't present itself.

So Governor Romney, in the words of Mickey from "Rocky"...GET UP AND FIGHT THIS GUY HARD!  The President will not allow a campaign of ideas because HE WILL LOSE. He has to instead demonize you because he knows that on the issues he is a one-term President for sure. Do not let the President limit your ability to fight back. Ultimately, it will not help you...the same "moderates" will believe whatever the Drive-By Media tells them to believe, which will be the Obama talking points. So darn it all fight back, and you will win the Presidency.

why real books are so hard to read

i just received my grades & comments back for 2 big research papers i wrote last semester. i am really really thankful for busy profs taking the time to write extensive feedback about specifics in my work.

SO, on these 2 big papers specifically the feedback was pretty similar.
the prof basically said the whole thing was awesome. i got a really good grade on both... not perfect but really good.
He wrote tons of specific comments and overall said that it was a "very engaging paper." That's cool, i thought... probably hard to engage a prof when he's reading 50 of these.
i think i actually affected my prof because of other specific comments he wrote.

Then he also wrote the only thing i got points docked for... and i quote:
"The writing style is great for blogging or inspirational writing, but not for graduate papers. Still, the content is excellent."
and again later:
"Good conversational writing, but not suited to seminary essays."

so, my writing style is effective & engaging BUT, not acceptable for grad school.

fair enough.
so, i gotta change the way i write to be more stuffy and hard to read. i need to not let the language naturally flow, but weigh it down in a more academic style.
i get it. that's what you want me to do. it's your school. your system, you make the rules.

but do you see why "real" books (and by "real" i mean books with a point) are so difficult to read?

because those authors probly went to graduate school somewhere & their professors made them change their writing style.

they had to write in a style that regular, average joe people don't readily and easily understand. they had to write in a style that only peeps within academia appreciate.

so, when you pick up a real book to read, the author probly writes fancy... smart... techinical... but not in a way that most humans would prefer to read.

so we either labor through those books...
or
we figure it's not worth it & just don't read it.

not that any of my profs or anyone running grad schools cares or that any of this is going to change.

unless someone wants me to be a president of a graduate school. :)


*but see, i want this stuff i'm working on to finish my master's degree & pouring mammoth amounts of hours into to be usable, profitable, beneficial to me.
to actually count for something.
and i don't mean a grade.

i don't want to have to fake fancy up a paper, just to have to go back later and translate it for myself!
maybe i'll just keep taking the deduction in points for my writing style.

Media Bias Watch: Turns Out George Zimmerman's Story Was True...

Media bias is back on parade, my friends, and this time it's shown in the new evidence that has come out in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case.

For the record, until this point I've basically refused to give me thoughts on this case. I felt there was insufficient evidence and I was simply unwilling to get on board with either side until I knew more. In the meantime, I've watched the Drive-By Media use this case to make up for every slight of the Civil Rights movement.  Whether it was showing pictures of Travon Martin when he was twelve and showing pictures of George Zimmerman's mug shot or continually begging the question of why Zimmerman never went to the doctor the day after the alleged attack from Martin occurred followed by Zimmerman's admitted killing of Martin (allegedly in self defense). 

Now the truth has come out:  Zimmerman DID go to the doctor the day after the incident and furthermore, his injuries along with the autopsy on Trayvon Martin paint a picture that clearly back up his story. 

According to court documents, Zimmerman's injuries included: a fractured nose, a pair of black eyes, two lacerations to the back of his head and a minor back injury. (For those of you from Palm Beach County, that means "Evidence of a severe beating."
Also according to court documents, Martin's injuries included: broken skin on his knuckles and the fatal gunshot wound.

Consider a few things, friends.  One, it takes considerable force to break the skin on the knuckles.  You have to be beating the snot out of somebody to do that. Meanwhile, Martin did not have any signs of being hit by Zimmerman. His only wounds are the presumably self-caused wounds from striking Zimmerman and the gunshot wound. In other words, only Martin was landing blows on Zimmerman, and judging by Zimmerman's medical report they were severe blows.

While we're at it, let's talk about how the Prosecution in this case has established it's own prima facie case (for those of you without degrees in Communications that means proof "at first look," in other words without hearing the other side responding):

 The Prosecution's brief says "Zimmerman “confronted Martin and a struggle ensued." Now, "confronting" does not mean "attacking," friends.  (Remember, this is an attorney writing this brief so trust me, if they meant "attacked" they would've said so.)  When I managed a retail store years ago, I remember I once saw a child of about 10 or 11 years old slowly walking out of my store, trying (poorly) to look casual with his hands in his pockets. I asked him to empty his pockets at which point I found two bottles of chocolate milk the boy was attempting to shoplift. I had just confronted the boy. (For those of you who are wondering, I did let the boy go without calling the police because he was, after all, just a kid.) I did not tackle the child or attack him. I simply stood in front of him and said "what are you doing?" Considering that Zimmerman was a member of local Neighborhood Watch and was on patrol, I'd say that's reasonable, yes?

Now there's the claim that Zimmerman used the racial slur "f***ing coon" on the 9-1-1 call. Actually, when the audio was played, highly enhanced, it sounds like he said that it was "f***ing COLD."  (By the way, friends, that's liberal CNN, before you Fox News haters start on that line.)  Honestly, even if it was proven that Zimmerman held racial anger toward African-Americans, it doesn't mean he's a murderer.

Either way, the evidence for this is pretty slim, especially since he is of multi-ethnic decent: Zimmerman's mother is primarily Peruvian (that's from Peru...aka Latino, for those of you from Palm Beach County, FL) and his father is caucasian. Usually TONS of racism comes from children from multi-racial families (sarcasm).  Oh, and by the way, Zimmerman's great-grandfather on his mother's side was black.  Whoops!

Everything I've just noted has only come out in the Drive-By Media over the last few days.  It's not like the medical report wasn't there to be found. It wasn't like a tiny bit of investigative journalism couldn't have yielded this information, such as the fact that Zimmerman was severely beaten as well as Zimmerman's ethnicity. Then again, I don't suppose I should expect better from the same Drive-By Media that tells us that a man whose mother is Peruvian (Zimmerman) is in fact white but at the same time tells us that Elizabeth Warren (who is supposedly 1/32 Cherokee) is legitimately American Indian.

Those of you who keep telling there's no bias in the media, I'd like to present exhibit one billion for the affirmative. Stupid facts. They always get in the way of liberal talking points.

reflections after a semester back in school

(btw, *i posted about my decision to go back to graduate school HERE.)

well, the original title of this post was "reflections after a WEEK back in school"... if that tells you something about how this semester in school has been...

CRAZY BUSY.
hence no time to write many blogs - which is the reason this post went from being about my reflections after 1 week back in school (when i started writing the post way back in mid-January) to reflections on a whole semester.
it's way more time consuming & that was a surprise. "they" (government or someone?) passed new laws about graduate schools having to require 3 hours of extra work outside of class for every 1 hour in class. that's a bummer & = about 100 extra hours outside of class for each of my 3 classes each semester. that's 300 extra hours (not to mention 90 hours in class) which if spread over about 10 weeks is 40 hours a week... basically like another full time job.
no wonder i didn't blog as much as i wanted or planned to.

but i spent as little time as possible on school work while still gleaning as much as i could + still managed to pull off all As this semester. somehow.


it was a really beneficial semester overall. i took 9 credit hours/ 3 classes & i survived it just fine. (most days). learned a ton. i feel like i'm "better" in many ways than i was before the semester kicked off.

for one thing, i have this powerful love for God and His Word freshly sparked in me. i'm passionate/motivated to know it better & let it change my life and change the world through me.

i feel like (in theory) i must be a better leader than i was back at the start of the semester. i at least "understand" leadership better and have a way stronger foundation + a working knowledge of so much more within the study of leadership.

we'll see how that translates pragmatically.

not trying to be mean, but i do feel a little better about myself. let's just say = obviously, the best and the brightest aren't doing graduate school these days... or at least i hope not.
you probably catch the subtle statement i'm making.
(but don't worry, if any of the majority of my classmates who i'm referring to there read this they won't pick up on it. just sayin.)

maybe the best thing about school is that it FORCES you to do things that are good for you. things that help make you better. and it puts deadlines on those things.
now I HAVEto read that book i've been meaning to read, write that paper, do that thinking, etc…

for example, i just wrote my theology of leadership for a class last semester. something i have always needed to develop... sit down and study, think, write, craft, nail it down so i can operate by it. but who has time to do that?
well, i made time because i had to.

this summer semester i'm taking a class called "Managing the Non-Profit". i have to write a "performa" or business plan for a non-profit i'm starting (for real starting. more on that later). it will force me to do it.
speaking of next semester - it's already starting. i'm actually way behind already on the course work. i go to class 1st thing Monday morning and the Summer semester will drag on into August.

but before that 1st day of a whole new semester i did want to take these few moments and reflect on the semester that just ended.

so just a little more looking back on last semester:
fav class = "The Leader as Communicator"... all about developing organizational culture

most helpful project = writing my theology of leadership. priceless.

best required book i readOrganizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar Schein. the godfather of the technical study of organizational culture and how it develops. most difficult book i've read in a while, but awesome. not a big fan of the writing style of MIT profs. 
most pointless/time wasting/frustraiting thing this semester = (not trying to sound mean or arrogant but) listening to other fellow students give their incredibly dull and not helpful at all presentations.

never wanna do it again = taking 2 week long intensives back to back.
best feeling = turning in the final research paper of the semester with 2 minutes to spare & realizing i have only 6 more classes to go now.
hopefully this coming semester i can reflect a little more than just once at the end!

Obama Edits Himself Into History to Gain Support



Picture Source http://www.foxnews.com/

In a move that reminds this blogger of nothing more than the movie "Forrest Gump," the Obama Administration has now edited the White House Website's biographies of former Presidents, adding in details about President Obama.  Some of them are harmless tidbits which would've been appropriate for any President like:

President Reagan designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day a national holiday; today the Obama Administration honors this tradition, with the First and Second Families participating in service projects on this day.

Fine. No problem. Fun fact of the history of a national holiday and a comment about how the current occupant of the White House continues the tradition. 

Unfortunately, there are other examples that are no where near so appropriate (or accurate) and are a clear attempt to co-opt and rewrite history to make past Presidents who were beloved sound like Obama.

-----
Here's one of the most egregious from Ronald Reagan's page:

In a June 28, 1985 speech Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multi-millionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.
This quote ignores history completely, taking Reagan out of context. The truth is this: When Reagan gave this speech, the top marginal tax rate was 50% and Reagan ultimately cut that rate to 28%. He did, however, eliminate significant numbers of tax loopholes and deductions that made it possible for people in that 50% bracket to pay 0% of their income in taxes, meanwhile middle class taxpayers paid 10% of their income in taxes.

Reagan's solution was to reduce the rate to 28% but to expect people in those brackets to actually PAY that rate. Quite reasonable, actually. Reagan in essence said "We're going to cut rates to 28%, but we're also going to expect you to pay it." That was Reagan's "fair share." Obama's "fair share" is "The 35% you're paying isn't enough, so pay 50%."

-----

Here's another blatantly political inclusion, this time from Harry Truman's page:

In a 1946 letter to the National Urban League, President Truman wrote that the government has "an obligation to see that the civil rights of every citizen are fully and equally protected.” He ended racial segregation in civil service and the armed forces in 1948. Today the Obama Administration continues to strive toward upholding the civil rights of its citizens, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, allowing people of all sexual orientations to serve openly in our armed forces.

Look at that! President Obama is the great anti-discrimination President, right? Never mind the fact that race is absolutely 100% certain a matter of biology and genetics, something that cannot be said with any honesty about sexual orientation.  But hey, whatever it takes to make Obama smell like a rose, right?  I suppose I should be pleased that the White House didn't equate the decision to send in Navy SEALs after Bin Laden to Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb.

-----

This one is from Lyndon Johnson's page:

President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare signed into law in 1965—providing millions of elderly healthcare stability. President Obama’s historic health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, strengthens Medicare, offers eligible seniors a range of preventive services with no cost-sharing, and provides discounts on drugs when in the coverage gap known as the “donut hole.

Wow, so Obamacare is JUST LIKE Medicare! Okay, not really, since there is no such thing as "no cost-sharing" in any service in the World...seniors are just paying for it (along with the rest of us) in taxes, instead of in the form of a co-pay.

-----
This is from Franklin Delano Roosevelt's page:

On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Today the Obama Administration continues to protect seniors and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations.

This one is just a blatant lie. President Obama hasn't done a darn thing to save Social Security for coming generations, save for cut the primary fuding of it with his continuing Payroll Tax holidays and pretending that we can just raise taxes to make this program soluable. Nice try, Mr. President.

-----
As I said above, most of the edits are quite harmless, like the comment above about Martin Luther King Day or this quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower's page:

President Dwight Eisenhower established the President's Council on Youth Fitness on July 16, 1956 (now known as The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports) after learning from a study that American youth were less fit than European youth. Today the Council is still going strong—with Olympians and professional athletes on board—working in conjunction with the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiativeto help promote healthier lifestyles.

(Again, I should be surprised the President didn't equate his orders to go get Osama Bin Laden with teh Normandy Invasion.)

However, there are also the above four which are blatantly political and often rewriting history. I'm surprised there aren't also doctored videos of President Obama telling President Kennedy that he's "gotta pee" or telling stories about Obama somehow being the one who broke the Watergate scandal with a call about a flashlight in a window.  The fact is the President is doing his best to edit himself into history.  I guess that's because he hasn't done anything in terms of policy worth bragging about on it's own? I'll let you decide.

your words are more powerful than you think

a couple weeks ago i was working at a table outside Starbucks. it was a beautiful day and i was "in the zone" writing or ideating about something when the conversation of 2 college girls sitting behind me caught my attention.

it was obvious that they were both college students, probably at UNCC. 1 of them was really upset and the other friend was just trying to "be there" for her.

Because...
1 of her close friends had just committed suicide the day before.

let that sink in.

pretty heavy.

Her friend was obviously in mourning and i was putting my head phones in to try and give them some more privacy... but as i was cranking up some music i heard the friend of the girl who killed herself saying something like...

"She had posted on Facebook a couple days ago - 'my life is a mess. i don't have anything to live for.' i sent her a text and told her it's OK and that we could talk any time..."

the other girl at the table said - "Yeah i noticed her status saying that. then today i saw hundreds of people writing on her Facebook wall about how much they were going to miss her, what a wonderful person she was, how great they thought she was, etc..."

then the girl whose friend had just died got really passionate and said - "See, if all of those people would have just told her how they feel BEFORE, she would have never killed herself! Why did they wait til now?"

YOUR    WORDS   ARE   POWERFUL.

let me say that again...

your
words
are
powerful.

sitting at that table that day brought new and powerful meaning to the quip from Proverbs that = "The tongue has the power of life and death."
or, as another translation puts it = "Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit—you choose."

no wonder Proverbs says that. it's because your words are more powerful than you think!

so use them wisely. use them LIBERALLY. GIVE THEM AWAY!

speak those kind words you want to say.

let those encouraging words fly off your tongue.

when you think something awesome about someone TELL THEM! don't just sit on it.

SAY IT! because who knows...
you may not get another chance.

don't be too busy or too wrapped up in yourself to speak powerful words to someone else!

Obama is losing Independents, Women

The writing is beginning to show up on the wall...even in liberal polls. In a New York Times/CBS Poll released this week, Mitt Romney is now beating the President by a rate of 46% to 43% overall with all registered voters (remember, once you eliminate the 30% or so of registered voters who don't show up to vote, Republicans usually gain 2-3%). 

More troubling for President Obama is this: Romney is defeating Obama 43% to 36% with Independent voters....a 7% margin of victory, comfortably outside the margin of error. Furthermore, Governor Romney is beating President Obama with women 46% to 44% (within the margin of error, but still statistically tied). The President's lead also shrunk to a statistical tie with Adults 18-45 years old; he now leads Governor Romney 46% to 44%.  (This all happens while Mitt Romney isn't yet officially the Republican nominee.)

Compare that to the same poll in April (conducted with the same people, as explained by the poll) where the President was statistically tied with Governor Romney on Independents (Romney lead Obama 42% to 41%) and was winning comfortably with women (Obama lead Romney 49% to 42%).  With adults 18-45, a key demographic for the President as he needs to win the votes of people too young to have figured out the failures of liberalism yet (in April the President lead Governor Romney by a comfortable enough margin, 50% to 42%.)

This is bad news for President Obama, friends, very bad news. If the President loses Independents by a 9% margin, his loss overall will be significant. If the President can't carry women, his loss overall will be significant. If the President can't win adults under 45 years old and do so significantly (by at least 5-10%), he doesn't have a snowball's chance in July of a second term.

When the New York Times is admitting Obama's weakness, that should tell you something. That's precisely what the Times is doing. So let's focus on pushing Governor Romney to the right, friends, because in 2013 it looks like President Romney will be inaugurated. Not a moment too soon, my friends.

crystal quotes of the day #4 (another pregnancy edition)

You can read about my idea for these "Crystal Quotes of the Day" HERE.
enjoy installment #4 below... all quotes from when Crystal was pregnant:

*We just weren't able to fit comfortably on the couch anymore like we used to and Crystal said:
Crystal:   “there’s just a lot more of me to fit”

*We were just chillin out on the beach...
me:          “I’m gonna roll over on my stomach” 
Crystal:    “yeah, I’m gonna lay on my stomach next year.”

*we were taking a walk & i had just casually mentioned someone being my hero...
Crystal:    (indignant!) "WHAT!!?? I’m not your hero!?? I BETTER be your hero after I push a kid out my hoo ha for you!"

Obama's Being Lauded for Doing Nothing on Gay Marriage

Last week, President Obama gave his "decision" on the gay marriage issue.  In short, he said, "I believe we should extend marriage to homosexual couples, however, I do not believe this is a Federal issue and should be handled by the states."  Translation: The President wants to be thought of as progressive on the gay marriage issue, but doesn't have the juevos to support doing anything about it.

I don't intend to talk about feelings on this issue.  To quickly rehash my previous statements:  I believe the word marriage has a specific meaning, that it is a faith based institution and that it is between a man and a woman.  Also you should know that I respect the Constiutions equal protection clause enough to say that the best solution is to either a) create a separate institution with similar rights for gay couples or b) simply remove the word marriage entirely from the legal license and make all legal unions "Civil Unions."

What President Obama knows...what everyone should know really...is that this nation is not in favor of extending the meaning of marriage beyond one man and one woman.   Yes, I realize that polls recently are showing a shift in this debate...but there's just one problem: This never bears out any time the subject of gay marriage goes on a state wide ballot!  Even in California, one of if not the most liberal state in this country, voted to legally define marriage as between a man and a woman in 2008.  The states where some form of gay marriage has been legalized

My best conjecture on this is that people are not willing to say "no I do not believe marriage should be extended to everyone" in a poll, where another person is listening to their response and quite possibly judging that statement...but when they get into that polling booth, just them and their conscience and faith, they vote their conscience and vote no.

So what the President has done, in essence, is say "All you people who agree with gay marriage, I'm with you, but all you people who disagree with gay marriage, I'm not going to go against your wishes with any legislation."  Translation: President Obama hasn't done a darn thing. He's not supporting gay marriage in anything but words. He's not advancing legislation in any way. He's not making any decision. He's wimping out.

So to those of you who are applauding President Obama's decision, please hear me: President Obama did nothing.  He expressed his support and then promised not to back that support with any of his Presidential authority. The President is trying to ride two horses with one rear end, yet again. I hope you will wisely not be swayed by it.

Obama loses ground with Likely Voters over Registered Voters in Polls

Another detail we can glean is the difference between registered voter polls and likely voter polls. Ignoring how clearly doctored two of the included registered voter polls are, the average of registered voter polls is Obama 46%, Romney 44%. But likely voter polls from the Real Clear Politics (RCP) average is Romney 48% to Obama's 46%. That means a net swing for Romney of +4% once we go from registered voters to likely voters!

Then there's that once in a while poll that someone tries to put up that asks all adults, regardless of if they're even eligible to vote.National Journal did that a few weeks back. They found in a poll of adults that 47% preferred Obama to 39% who preferred Romney.  But this was just plain adults! What percentage weren't even registered to vote? Let's compare.

Please note the following polls are 2 plus weeks old. We're just giving a baseline comparison.

That week, the average of polls of registered voters showed the President beating Governor Romney 47.625% to 44.75% (within the typical margin for error). The one poll off likely voters showed Governor Romney beating President Obama 47% to 44%.

So to look at the swing, the margins went from +8% for Obama with all adults to about +3% in favor of the President with registered voters but a +3% victory for Governor Romney over the President with likely voters.

So when you go from adults to to likely voters, you go from a +8% victory for Obama with adults (including people who don't get to vote because they aren't registered) to a +3% victory for Governor Romney with the people who are likely to show the heck up to vote.

This is yet another example of liberal poll doctoring, friends. They are using the groupings that are most favorable to the President followed by using polling samples that are skewed toward Democrats.

Here's the bottom line, as I discussed yesterday. The Drive-By Media wants to dishearten conservatives and Republicans. They want us to believe Obama will be re-elected and we might as well give up. But the reality is Obama is very weak and is highly vunerable for electoral defeat. Don't believe the hype. Or the cooked polls. Obama is expecting defeat in 2012. We should too.

my Mom's lung transplant story on Fox Charlotte

i am pumped about this Mother's Day with my Mom because she has a new pair of lungs and is on the road to recovery!

Fox Charlotte stopped by our Fundraiser this week and interviewed us about my Mom's double lung transplant and below is the story that aired on Wednesday night. check it out for yourself.



That "tent store" you see in the video is near the corner of Providence Road and McKee Road here in Charlotte and is open for 2 more days! if you don't have your Mother's Day gifts yet you should definitely buy them there and ALL the money now goes to my Mom's double lung transplant fund!

You can read more about that HERE - "Give your Mom a Happy Mother's Day by helping my Mom!"

If you already have your Mother's Day gifts but want to help my Mom in some way just contact me or leave a comment on this post HERE.

You can donate directly to my Mom's Double Lung Transplant Fund through the National Foundation for Transplants by clicking HERE

Gender is Immaterial in the Abortion Debate

If I had a nickel for every time somebody told me my Pro-Life stance was invalid because I was a man, I'd be incredibly wealthy. I bet a lot of you are in the same place, yes?  However, it's at best a sidestep argument intending to push one's opponent out of the debate. Ultimately it's an issue of requiring an unreasonable level of connection to an issue to even discuss the topic, not to mention a way of validiation of ignoring reasonable objections to maintain one's own position.

Now this isn't the case for all, and frankly most, of the people who use this argument. Actually, the real perpetrators of this argument are those who began to use this defense of abortion. It's not hard to win an argument when you automatically remove half of your opponents from the field, especially when men of the Pro-Abortion ilk are not told their opinion isn't valid.  It's an issue of allowing the other side to set the premise of the debate, one we must not allow.

This is so critical, because  we must not allow the Pro-Abortion lobby to wipe away the objections of men because of what our objection to abortion is in the first place!  Our objection to abortion is that we believe a human being is a human being, whether born or unborn, and that destroying an innocent human being is always murder. Being (hypothetically) the mother of the child vs. the father has absolutely nothing to do with the situation!

Let's imagine we all woke up this morning and opened our favorite online newspaper (or perhaps hard copy newspaper if you're one of the seventeen people who still read the hard copy paper while also still consuming blogs like this one) and read this headline: "Father Smothers 6-year old son with Pillow."  Would anyone consider it a valid statement to say to a woman, "You know what? You're not a man so you can't possibly understand why a father would snap like that and kill his child!"  Absolutely nobody would accept this argument!  Nor should they. It does not require someone to be male or be a father to believe it's reprehensible for a parent to murder their child. Period.

Yet somehow the Pro-Abortion lobby wants us to suspend our own personal outrage at destroying an innocent human being because we don't have a uterus. It's silly. Our issue is protecting a human life. That's the issue. We can have an honest and open debate about it without having to disregard someone's valid opinion because of their gender. It's a false rejection of a position.

Bottom line, if you're going to debate with somebody, don't disregard positions for such frivolity as gender. Especially when the question at hand genuinely ought to be "is that unborn child human," with the logical conclusion being "if the child is human, abortion is wrong, if the child is not human, abortion is fine."

Unfortunately, debate on this premise is not going to help the pro-abortion lobby's position in the least, because the most logical conclusion is, at least for now, fall on the side of caution. It is better to protect something that isn't human than to accidentally destroy something that is human.

why we should study culture - part 2 (repost)

(i originally wrote and posted this to renown on April 15, 2010.)

Read part 1 with the 1st 5 reasons = HERE. I gave a lot of preface thoughts too. The list is from Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger.

Basically, these posts are all about why we should act like missionaries (because we are) here in the West and study our culture in order to contextualize the gospel in it!

6            ***Because the Majority of Current Church Practices are Cultural Accommodations to a Society That No Longer Exists ***
“Much of what we understand as historical church practices are simply cultural adaptations that occurred at other times and places in church history. The church must ‘de-absolutize’ many of its sacred cows in order to communicate afresh the good news to a new world.”
*Example = the Protestant Reformation was all about a Linear progression of thought, highly reasoned exegesis, and expository preaching. These things illustrated the new culture’s focus on the written word! (print culture)
and we also at times removed the symbolic, mystical, and experiential to make a space for logical and linear ways of thinking and living!
"We MUST be aware of the ways we’ve worshipped written culture at the expense of oral, aural, and visual worlds.” **
[and that's just 1 example]
7            Because the Primary Mode and Style of Communication in Western Culture Have Changed
All faithful missionaries must understanding the language of culture! The Church has been really slow to adopt new communication technologies.
These new technologies aren’t faddish, but are “the very essence of how people today construct their worlds.”
This is maybe the spot where church is most out of step with culture! The Reformation contextualized the gospel for the print era, but we haven’t had another reformation as we moved out of the print era! = to bring the gospel to our image-based era.
We “continue to communicate a verbal, linear, and abstract message to a culture whose primary language consists of sound, visual images, and experience, in addition to words.”
[we simply need to wake up and get with it. start being missionaries and contextualize our message to reach our culture!]

*current styles of preaching are having diminishing impact. Communicators must understand the comprehensive nature of language in order to be heard by culture! 
[I'm just trying to wrap my head around it. but i know it's more holistic. the message and the medium are more intertwined than I have always thought.]
8            Because a New Culture Means that New Organizational Structures are Required
Basically, seeing ourselves as missionaries we must rethink inherited ways of administering church in our times. What of our current structures are dictated by modernity not the Bible? I don't know... we just need to rethink as objectively as we can.
9            Because Boomers Are the Last Generation That is Happy with Modern Churches
It's very interesting to me that the huge wave of Boomer returnees to church had no parallel in Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand! (more fully postmodern cultures)
*the postmodern generation is “disillusioned with institutionalism and sees the church itself as an obstacle to faith.” That’s why postmodern generations simply “ignore the organized church as irrelevant to their spiritual quest.”
wow! that's pretty hard to swallow.

***of course this postmodern shift is NOT a generational thing! That’s way oversimplifying complex issues. Those of you who keep saying that it's just generational need to WAKE UP AND PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND! It's not only here to stay, but becoming more and more our way of life. get used to it.

*Again, Gibbs & Bolger back me up that it’s NOT a generational thing! = “Generational issues are imbedded in the much deeper cultural and philosophical shift from modernity to postmodernity.”
Interesting -> Boomers are the last gen to be satisfied with a modern church service that is linear, word based, and abstract. Postmoderns need rituals, visuals, and touch. [not even sure what this new style will look like?]
10            Because of the Increasing Appeal of Spirituality Derived from Other Religions
“The church is sending spiritually minded people to strive after other religions because it has become secularized.”
Wow. that is a hard core indictment. I need to rethink it. in what ways has the church ceased to be spiritual? Have we done it intentionally?
11            Because Many Christians No Longer Follow the Religion of Their Parents
 “no longer does one adopt the traditions of one’s parents. Individuals make their own religious choices.”
**For the 1sttime (at least in American history) religion is chosen rather than received.
The individual is figuring it out for themselves. And that's the way it should be! I think that is awesome. We have the chance to raise up a generation of crazy passionate Jesus followers! But we gotta study our culture to figure out how to best do that! 

These authors sum it up best = “Ultimately, Christians who want to serve within Western culture must be trained as missionaries.”

OK, reasons #6-11... what do you think? http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=2202669954875111936&postID=6211832805395226036&isPopup=true

Obama is losing, so the Drive-By Media Cooks Some Polls

It's happening, friends. The Drive-By Media is releasing cooked poll after cooked poll to show President Obama as stronger than he really is in head to head polls against Mitt Romney.  We talked about it in late April when the offender was NBC.  This time we have two offenders: Reuters/Ipsos and Tipp Online. Both have Obama beating Romney. Both have skewed poll samples to favor Obama.

Important to note is what these two polls do to the Real Clear Politics average.  (For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, what Real Clear Politics (henceforce referred to as RCP) does is take all polls in a given election and give a straight average, whether the poll is of adults, registered voters, or likely voters.) What these two polls have done is given the President a slim lead in the RCP average of 46.2% to Romney's 46%. (So close it's a statistical tie.) However, this includes our two doctored polls. More on this later.

Before we go into the two polls, let's once again set the baseline in this country for conservatives, moderates, and liberals. As I've said so many times before, this is far more accurate than naming party affiliation, because so many people in the South especially are still registered as Democrats but vote conservative...holdovers from a past where a conservative Democrat was a real thing. However, it is reasonable to presume that conservatives will vote Republican and liberals will vote Democrat, leading the moderates as the group who may or may not vote down their party line or be a swing voter.

So, in 2011, Gallup did, as in past years, conduct a series of polls to establish the ideological demographics of this nation. In January 2012 Gallup published their National Ideology Poll.  At that time, 40% of Americans self-identified as conservative, 35% self-identified as moderate and 21% self-identified as liberal.  So a legitimate assumption would be to presume 40% of Americans to lean Republican and only 21% to lean Democrat. Even if we assume 20% of those moderates are true swing voters (as conventional wisdom proclaims) and split the remaining 15% with the two parties as moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans, that means 47.5% Republican leaners and 28.5% Democrat leaners. (Translation, they need ALL the true swing voters to win.)

The first offending poll is Tipp Online.  Tipp shows the President beating Mitt Romney 46% to 43% amongst registered voters (not likely voters, registered voters).  Even Tipp admits that "Race Tightens, Obama Lead Over Romney Narrows To 3 Points" in their headline.  But there's a problem with their polling sample. They gave Democrats a 7% advantage! You have to look at the very bottom of this poll to find it, but when Tipp asked the individuals polled which way lean politically, 38% self-identified as Democrat, 31% self-identified as Republican, and 27% self-identified as independent. 

That's a 7% advantage simply handed to the Democrats...one that does not exist in reality!  The only way to justify this poll is to claim, erouneously, that 65% of all moderates lean Democrat while only 35% lean Republican.

The second offending poll is Reuters/Ipsos. The poll shows Obama with a mildly comfortable lead of 49% to 42% over Mitt Romney (not likely voters, registered voters). There's just one problem...they went and handed a 9% advantage to Democrats in this poll! Whooops!  Their polling sample was 47% Democrat leaners to 38% Republican leaners! Holy cow! Once again, this does not match up with the real electorate and their political ideologies!

The only way to justify this poll is to eroneously claim that 74% of self-identified moderates lean Democrat. Nice try, but no dice. This does not add up to any reality.

So back to that RCP average that we talked about. Let's take the other polls involved, including two 3-day rolling average polls in Gallup and Rasmussen; as well as two polls of likely voters rather than registered voters in Rasmussen and Democracy Corps (ironically, these guys are a Democrat polling organization yet they're being more honest).

Rasmussen has Romney defeating Obama 49% to 44%, a 5% margin of victory (2% above the margin of error). Gallup has Romney defeating Obama 47% to 44%, a 3% margin of error (exactly the margin of error).  Democracy Corps has a tie of 47% to 47% for both candidates.

These three polls have an average of Romey 47.75% to Obama 45.5%.  This means Romney averaging a +2.25% margin of victory.  Compare this to the RCP average including the cooked Tipp and Reuters polls, which shows Obama beating Romney 46.2% to 46%.  So by publishing cooked polls, these two organizations push the RCP average from Obama losing to Obama winning.

Friends, the Drive-By Media likes to do this to dishearten conservatives, to make us give up on winning the White House. They want to make you believe that Obama will be re-elected so you won't work hard to defeat him. But what polls like this show is that they are very worried. They are trying to convince you (and themseleves) that Obama is a stronger candidate than reality shows. We must not let him. We will defeat Obama in 2012!