America has a gossip problem.

I’m sure we do on an individual level as well, but I’m not talking about that.  I’m talking about gossip on the national level.  And it’s completely out of control.

You probably don’t recognize it as gossip because it isn’t whispered in a private corner at a party or in an empty break room at your office.  We’re bombarded with this gossip everyday, right out in the open without any shame at all, but we call it “news”.

Heads up, America….
When strangers’ marriages fall apart, it’s not “news”.  Even if they’re celebrities.  And if you’re watching something, or reading something, and that something wants to tell you about stuff that’s really none of your business….It’s high time you started ignoring that something.

But at least celebrity divorces are fairly verifiable.  Either Brad and Angelina are married or they’re not.

But our country has taken the giant leap, on a national level, away from “this thing that’s none of my business happened, let’s talk about it” to “this thing that’s none of my business MIGHT have happened, let’s talk about it”.

Folks, it’s time that we stopped gossiping about what might have happened.

Every day on the “news” we’re hearing about allegation of sexual abuse from decades ago.  There’s no proof, nothing but the word of one stranger against another.  And people’s lives are being ruined because we’re listening to it.

Ask yourself this question….  Am I listening because I have a vested in the subject….or do I have itching ears, spending all of my time waiting to hear some new thing?

 

You Can’t Say That Hate Is Un-American

Over the past few days I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how “hate” and “racism” are un-American or that you can’t support “that cause” and still be an American.

And that is simply not true.  Let me tell you why.  Read More

What are stay-at-home wives worth?

What is a stay-at-home wife worth in American currency?

(And why that dollar amount is bogus.)

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Why Womens’ Empowerment Is Always A Failure

The United Nations chose an honorary ambassador for worldwide womens’ empowerment.  Who did they choose?  What one woman embodies all the qualities that young women should strive for?   Read More

Stop Calling Cops “The Peacekeepers”

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Why calling cops “The Peacekeepers” is a disservice to the Bible and a great burden to them.

 

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Kaepernick’s Cosmetologist

The media coverage of Colin Kaepernick’s interview, even by the “right wing” media outlets, has been absolutely abysmal.  The real story isn’t about standing for the national anthem or police brutality.

The real story is America’s completely distorted view of “freedom”.

People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher. You have people that practice law and are lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. Someone that’s holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us.
–Colin Kaepernick

You’re right, Colin.  I do think it’s insane that a cop receives six months of training, a lawyer goes to school for eight years and a cosmetologist learns their craft somewhere in between the two.  But I don’t think it’s insane for the same reason you do.

Do you want to talk about freedom Colin?  A conversation about freedom doesn’t begin talks about “police brutality”.  (Which constitute 1% of the murders of black people in America.  Black people are responsible for 97%…., but that’s not the point here.)

What about you, America….Do you want to talk about freedom?  Because a conversation about freedom doesn’t begin with Colin’s right to sit or stand during the national anthem.

In fact, Colin may be the only one who really sees what’s wrong with “freedom” in our country.  He’s just too stupid to know that he’s got it all figured out.

imagesIn my home state of Texas you have to attend 1,500 hours of training to become a licensed cosmetologist……And that’s where our conversation about “freedom” needs to begin.

In fact, until June 8, 2015 you had to have a license in Texas to braid hair.  Let that sink in for a minute.  In the Land Of The Free, the home of the Alamo and the Come-And-Take-It cannon, we actually regulate who you can pay to braid your hair.

The sad part is that nobody even noticed.

With all the chest thumping about freedom and ‘Murica, it never bothered anyone that our country is so ridden with nonsensical laws that people spend 8 years in school to be able to practice law.  In a land of “freedom”?

The notion that you’d need to be licensed to cut someone’s hair should be offensive, on a personal level, to everyone in this country.

We’ve gone so far down the rabbit hole of government intrusion into our lives that we don’t even bat an eye at “licensed hair braiding”.

It’s time for freedom loving Americans, the people who really want this country to make a turn for the better, to start conversations about freedom. It’s time to start educating the people we meet about what real freedom looks like.  And we can start with the absurd notion of cosmetology licenses.

 

Why isn’t Satan killing more Christians?

I don’t mean worldwide, because certainly there are Christians suffering across the world.  But I’m talking about right here in America?  Why aren’t we getting murdered for our faith?  I’ve wondered this quite a bit, not understanding why we have it so easy.   Read More

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

In the steroid documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster there’s an interesting conversation that occurs between the filmmaker and his mother.  The exchange looks something like this…

Mother (trying to convince her son that using drugs is wrong)–The Bible tells us how to live.
Son–Yeah, but the Bible doesn’t tell us everything we need to know.
Mother–Sure it does.
Son–The Bible doesn’t tell me how to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.   Read More

A son just like you

I vividly remember my parents telling me….my mother in a threatening, exasperated tone and my father in a humorous, I can’t wait to watch it happen tone….that one day, “You’ll have a son just like you.”   Read More

What Pandora Really Meant….

On July 7th, twelve police officers were shot in Dallas, Texas in an act of domestic terrorism.  Five of them were killed.

On July 8th, Pandora (a music streaming service) published this on their Facebook page….
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Glimpses

052I mourn my children growing up.   Read More

Paul’s 3 Prayers

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Paul told the church in Corinth that he had prayed three times for God to remove his thorn in the flesh.

 

I think we sometimes approach prayer with an attitude that volume is of great importance.  We’re certainly to be prayerful people (1Thess. 5) and are assured that our prayers are heard and can accomplish great things (James 5).

So I’m not proposing that we pray less or that “three” is the “right” number of prayers to pray for what we desire.

But I do believe that in Paul’s three prayers we can see the power of prayer and can have great confidence in the fact that God is hearing our prayers and considering them as we pray them.  We don’t have to pray for weeks or hundreds of times before we’re heard.  God is listening, and answering, right now.

 

It was good

Seven times in the first chapter of Genesis we read that God was pleased with his creation. 

As I type this I am incredibly frustrated and discouraged with God’s creation….the heat, the gnats and mosquitoes, the heat, the allergens, the people, the heat (mostly the heat).

But I am also incredibly embarrassed at how superficial I am. 

God created this world and saw that it was good. I (and maybe you, but definitely  me) need to start looking at this world through the lens of it being God’s creation, rather than our playground. 

Genesis 1:31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.


We ALL Operate On Faith

Follow this example with me for just a minute…

Mr. Banker opens a new bank in town and advertises that his bank is the safest one around.
Mr. Hammer owns a construction company and decides to deposit the profit from his latest job in Mr. Banker’s bank.  Mr. Hammer deposits $1,000,000 in Mr. Banker’s bank.

Mr. Hammer has 1 Million imaginary dollars in his bank account.
Mr. Banker has 1 Million actual dollars in his bank.

Mrs. Pie needs money to open a new bakery in town and convinces Mr. Banker to loan her $1,000,000 to complete the project.

Mr. Hammer has 1 Million imaginary dollars in his bank account.
Mrs. Pie has 1 Million imaginary dollars in her bank account.
Mr. Banker has 1 Million actual dollars in his bank.

Mrs. Pie hires Mr. Hammer to build her new bakery and pays him $1,000,000–Which he promptly deposits into his account.

Mr. Hammer supposedly has $2,000,000 in his account, but Mr. Banker still only has $1,000,000 in his bank.

Unfortunately, the construction of the bakery went over budget (how awful!).  Mrs. Pie gets another loan and pays Mr. Hammer to finish the project.  Mr. Hammer deposits his last $1,000,000 into the bank.

Mr. Hammer believes that he has $3,000,000 in his account, but Mr. Banker still only has $1,000,000 in his bank.

And that’s how our economy works.  Goods are purchased, money is borrowed, bills are paid….with money that doesn’t exist.

Mrs. Pie has faith that her shop will be a success and she’ll be able to pay off her loan.
Mr. Banker has faith that if Mrs. Pie’s bakery is a success, she will actually pay her bill every month.
Mr. Hammer has faith that Mr. Hammer isn’t squandering that original $1,000,000 he deposited.

Everyone lives their life based on faith in something.  Things that are completely intangible.  Mr. Hammer has faith in something that he not only can’t see, but something that he KNOWS doesn’t exist (his $3,000,000).

Once you accept that your life is governed by things that you can’t touch, but believe in anyway, then you just have to decide WHICH intangible thing you’ll put your faith in.

 

Every time you walk in the rain.

Every time you walk in the rain, this is what happens.

This Earth that we live on is covered in water.  Imagine a cube that’s one mile tall, wide and deep, then imagine that cube filled with water.

Now imagine 300,000,000 of those cubes–That’s how much water covers the Earth.

Every day 280 of those one-mile-cubes evaporate into the atmosphere.

Heat from the Sun helps this evaporation take place.  The Sun is an enormous fireball roughly 93,000 miles from Earth.  To put “enormous” in perspective, you could fit nearly 1,000,000 Earths inside the Sun.  The Earth is the only planet that exists at the perfect distance from the sun to be warmed, but not consumed, by its heat.

After those 280 one-mile-cubes of water are warmed by that fireball 93,000 miles away, they become water vapor and create clouds.  There are around 3,100 of those one-mile-cubes of water existing in our atmosphere at any time as water vapor.

As vapor, the water isn’t heavy enough to fall back to Earth.  But as the cloud droplets attach to dust particles and collide with each other they become larger and larger.  When millions of droplets finally form together, they create a single rain drop.

And then you walk in the rain.

And as you walk in the rain those tiny raindrops land on your arms and face.  Each and every raindrop was formed when millions of cloud droplets collided with each other miles above the Earth, after being sucked up into the atmosphere because water was heated to just the right temperature by a fireball 1,000,000 times larger than Earth and 93,000 miles away from us.  And every day that happens to 280 one-mile-cubes of water.

When the rain strikes your skin you can feel it because our bodies contain over 235,000 feet of nerves.  Those nerves perceive the water drop, the water drop that is formed from the collision of millions of cloud droplets miles above Earth, because a fireball 1,000,000 times larger than Earth heated 280 cubic miles of water and caused it to evaporate and form clouds–Those nerves perceive the water drop hitting your face and send a message to your brain at over 160 miles per hour, telling you that you’re getting wet.

imagesAnd all of that happens for every single water drop, every time anyone on Earth walks in the rain, every single day.

 

And when you think of it in those terms, it’s actually quite comforting to know that there’s a Creator out there who designed all of that and put it together, then decided to create you and put you here to enjoy it.

And if He did all of that just for a single rain drop, think of what He’ll do for you.

 

What we say…..”Oh my God”

Somewhere along the way the phrase “Oh my God” has become second nature for those who don’t care much about God and taboo for those that do.  And that ain’t right.   Read More

In the name of “Empire”

Around 83AD the Romans invaded Scotland and a Scottish Chief noted, “They give slaughter, plunder and robbery the lying name of empire. They create deserts and call it peace.”

Sound familiar?

We’ll murder unborn children, tax your business into bankruptcy, and force you to purchase our insurance. We’ll call that equality

We’ll destroy your families and our nation’s work ethic and call it progress. 

The only thing that’s different is that we’re being destroyed from within. 

The little boy who cried “offended”…..

There was once a little boy who no one payed much attention to.  The little boy wanted so badly to be noticed that instead of just doing his job he cried out to everyone who could hear, “I’m offended!!!”   Read More

Hillary’s “Positive Gangs”

Last month Hillary said that a gang can be like a family and that what we need are “positive gangs”, presumably to influence young people to be good people.

Of course, the obvious alternative of just encouraging families to raise their children so that they wouldn’t need gangs is out of the question for the Left.

When you go to vote this year remember that you’re not just voting for or against a person, you’re voting for or against the worldview of the candidates.  And Hillary’s worldview is one that completely ignores the sanctity of life and family.

You don’t have to vote for someone, you can just vote against the other guy.

 

“Go and sin no more”

I’ve seen this verse quoted over and over again lately in reference to the transgender phenomenon that’s being thrown in our face.  The premise of those misinterpreting the quote by Jesus is that when confronted by sin Jesus simply befriended people and gave them good advice.

If you want a more thorough explanation of what really happened when Jesus was confronted with the adulterous woman, click here.

But even without a solid understanding of the Mosaical Law that Jesus was keeping at the time, the very quote itself should be enough to give the mis-quoters pause…..Jesus told the woman to “go and sin no more”.

There are a couple of things we should all take away from that quote….

  1. Jesus judged the woman.  Jesus listened to the witnesses, weighed the evidence and determined that the woman had been engaged in sin.  And if we want to follow in the example of Jesus, we’ll be willing to judge the sinful actions of the world too.
  2. Jesus told the woman what to do.  He didn’t just see sin and ignore it, He told her “sin no more”.  It wasn’t just good advice from one friend to another, it was a command from the creator to the creation.  And if we want to follow in the example of Jesus, we’ll be willing to not only determine what sin is–But we’ll be willing to tell the world to stop sinning.

Now I don’t think that we need to go charging through the world, bashing everyone we meet over the head with judgment and condemnation.  After all, we’re all sinners (Romans 3:23) and we’ve been saved by the grace of God, rather than our own righteousness (Romans 3:24).  We need to preach the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) with gracious speech (Colossians 4:6), considering how we can best reach each person with the gospel.

But all of that can be done while still making judgment calls about the latest agenda being crammed down our throats.  And we can better refute the fringe by understanding what happened with Jesus and the adulterous woman in John 8.

 

Admiral Sir Clowdisley Shovell

On October 22, 1707 Admiral Sir Clowdisley Shovell was in charge of five English warships off the coast of France.  The dreary, gray skies made navigation difficult and Shovell wasn’t quite sure just how close to the coast they were.

A young, unnamed sailor, fearing what he believed was an eminent crash due to Shovell’s poor navigation, came forward and admitted that he had also been keeping track of the fleet’s whereabouts….and he thought Shovel was steering them toward disaster.

Shovel promptly hanged the poor sailor for mutiny.   Read More

A look at the radical environmentalist agenda (and the dead).

According to Hindu religious beliefs the dead must be burned in order for their soul to get “complete freedom”.  In India most traditional cremations take three days and consume a considerable amount of wood (presumably causing unneeded air pollution and certainly using a considerable amount of wood from the countryside).

So Indian environmentalists are trying to overturn centuries of tradition and religious beliefs in the name of cleaner air.  “India is trying to become a highly developed nation without doing as much environmental damage as countries like the U.S. and China did when they were making this leap. To succeed, India will have to make huge changes in its energy policy, as well as small-scale changes in the way people go about their daily lives — and their deaths.”

“Centuries-old religious practices don’t just transform overnight.”–That’s right.  In the name of plentiful forests the Hindu of India are expected to transform their religious practices.  Because, trees.

Don’t doubt for a second how radical the radical environmental agenda really is.  They’ll even mess up your life after you die.

Link to article

364 More Days Until Mother’s Day

It’s 364 days until Mother’s Day.  For some mothers that probably means that it’ll be 364 days until it seems like you’re noticed again.  To hold you over, think about this…..   Read More

When Trump Calms Down

I’m curious what America will do when Trump calms down, and it will happen. In fact, it already has. Yesterday morning Trump said Ted Cruz was unhinged, last night Trump said Cruz has a bright future. 

What happens when Trump has to explain what he’ll replace Obamacare with?

What happens when Trump lets us know how the federal government will intrude into our neighborhoods to “improve” them?

Everybody loves that Trump “says what they’re thinking”. 

What happens when he starts saying what HE’S thinking?

Dear Christians, the bathroom issue is complicated.

Dear Christians, whether you want to admit it or not…the transgender bathroom issue is complicated.   Read More

Find Your Tribe

Seth Godin talks a lot about our tribe.  Rather than speak of people in terms of  “friends” or “family” or “neighbors” he refers to those closest to us as our tribe.

Family can be obnoxious, exhausting or even abusive.  Friend is an over-used and watered down term.  Neighbors would sometimes be better, if they weren’t.  Because of genetics or geography those people usually retain those titles far longer than they should.

But our tribe is who we pick.  The people in our tribe have earned our respect and we want theirs.  We’ve chosen them and they’ve chosen us.  Not because of who we are, but in spite of who we are.  

You’ll protect your tribe, share with your tribe, fight and love and laugh and cry with your tribe.  The hard part is remembering that you have to let your tribe do the same for you.

They’re worth it, and so are you.

 

Maybe You ARE A Special Snowflake

Maybe you are a special snowflake.  But what if that special snowflake-ness comes with responsibility, not privilege? Read More

Bernie VS Trump….Who made these quotes?

Let’s talk about the two most polarizing figures in the current political race.  You’d think that there would be worlds of differences between the positions of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.  But is that really true?  Are their views really that much different?

Don’t let me tell you, just read what they have to say for yourself. Read More

Attention Parents: There are no “strong-willed” children.

That’s right, there are no strong-willed children.  They simply don’t exist.   Read More

I want to be known as a failure.

I want to be known as a failure.   Read More

Christianity Is A Very Exclusive Club

Christianity is a very exclusive club, which is something that not a lot of people like to admit.  The Bible tells us that few people will find the narrow path, and if you look at the sheer numbers of people worldwide who reject Christianity you’ll see how painfully true that is.

But it seems that exclusive clubs aren’t very popular anymore.  “Exclusive Club” brings to mind visions of racism, sexism, and old rich white men smoking cigars and plotting to take over the world.

So in an effort to be inclusive, synergistic, accepting and whatever other buzzwords you’d like to include we’ve tried to strip away the exclusivity of Christianity.  We’ve traveled well beyond “attend the church of your choice” into the land of “worship the god of your choice”.  And we consider anyone who’s a really good person to be a Christian.

That’s not what Christianity is.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but to wear the name “Christian” you have to serve “Christ”…..it’s in the name.  And not many people are willing to do that, hence how exclusive the club is.

Rather than telling the world that our club doesn’t exclude anyone, we should be telling them that our club welcomes everyone.  There’s a difference, and the difference lies in the conditions of membership.

There’s good news and bad news about becoming a Christian.  The bad news is that it will cost you everything you have.  All of it.  The good news is that whatever you have, however little it may be, is enough.

God only wants your heart.  When He has that, He’ll have everything else.  He’ll have all of you.

You see, Christianity isn’t exclusive because it keeps people out–It’s exclusive because so few are willing to pay the price of admission.  Matthew 22:36-38  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.”

 

The problem with results oriented parenting…

I had an acquaintance ask me recently, “How old were your kids when they started listening to you?”  He went on to explain that his four year old sometimes disobeys him, so he’s not sure that he’s even going to bother with trying to discipline her anymore.

And that demonstrates the problem with results oriented parenting.   Read More

The Cross….Confidence & Hope

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This weekend people all over the world will be reminded of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.  I don’t think I’m equipped to add anything to the magnitude of those events, but will share one small observation about how they’re important in different ways.

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Why I Am A Single Issue Voter

There are countless things that matter to me in a candidate.  I’d prefer to find one that agrees with me on everything, but until that happens I’ll be forced to make concessions here and there.  So I’ve had to decide what’s most important to me, and I have.

In America, approximately 20% of pregnancies end in abortion.  For every four babies that you see, there was another murdered.   Read More

Facing our problems philosophically

Law and order.  I wish there was a way of saying law and order that didn’t make our critics say, “Oh you’re talking about the racial question now”.  I would like to know how to say law and order by other means, but still mean law and order.  One of the problems that we face and that Nixon has got to face is this….What do we do about the growth of really mutinous members of the American community, these people have got to be faced not only politically but philosophically.
–William F. Buckley, 1968   Read More

The All-Time Quarterback

Do you remember playing backyard football as a kid?  There were never quite enough people to make up two full teams, so somebody was designated as the “All-Time Quarterback”.  He’d throw for both teams, hustle the entire game and never really got a break.

Once you become a dad of fishing age children, that’s what you become….The All-Time Quarterback.   Read More

The 3 Kinds Of Imperfect People

There are three kinds of imperfect people in this world.  They are all the same, in that they aren’t perfect, but they’re all different as well.

The first is the man who uses his imperfection as an excuse.  This man is lazy, or apathetic, or both.  You’ll hear “I’m not perfect” used to excuse mistakes that would have been the simplest to correct or avoid.  This man knows that perfection isn’t expected, only competence.  But he uses perfection as the straw man to avoid accountability.  “Nobody’s perfect” is the motto of those who don’t care if they make mistakes, but who are too cowardly to say so.

The second is the man who wears his imperfection as a badge of honor.  As he wallows in his mire he proclaims “I’m not perfect” as a rallying cry to get others to follow him or come wallow with him.  Oddly enough, “nobody’s perfect” is the excuse that those not in the mire give to the wallower.  Rather than scorn him for his behavior, or work to pull him out of the mud, there are those who would white-wash this man with a flippant catch phrase and keep observing him.

The last imperfect man is the man who knows he’s imperfect and seeks a cure.  He knows he’s failed, over and over.  But rather than excusing his mistakes, or wallowing in them, he acknowledges his imperfection, struggles against it and pleads for help from whatever source it can be found.  “I’m not perfect” is a cry for help to this man.

The three imperfect men are all the same in their mistakes, crime or sin.  But they’re all different in how they see their imperfection and react to it.

And I’m tired of having the first or second man compared to the third.  The third isn’t perfect, but he deserves better than to be thrown down into the mud he’s trying to avoid.  He offers sorrow rather than excuses and that needs to be acknowledged.

Lastly, we need to stop accepting for an excuse or boast what should be a cry of despair.  “I’m not perfect” has to be considered in the context of how it’s spoken, not how we want to hear it.

 

If a rainbow adorned White House turned your stomach…

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If the rainbow adorned White House turned your stomach, like it did mine, consider this….   Read More

What America Wants

I don’t think America has any idea what it wants in a politician.

The Left wants everybody to be equal and have lots of free stuff.  The problem is that their dream is impossible.  So no, they really don’t know what they want in any realistic scenario.

The Right wanted a true conservative.  They wanted someone like Reagan, whatever that meant, and voters stayed home every election because the (R) candidate was too moderate for them.  Then when presented with the opportunity to vote for a conservative, they complained that he was too conservative and “unelectable” (the circular logic of not electing someone because they can’t be elected is apparently lost on them), so they voted for the reality TV guy.

The only thing that America knows for sure is that they want to be entertained.

On both sides of the American political discussion we have candidates telling people exactly what they want to hear, with no regard for the Constitution or reality.

The Left is being entertained with fairy tales of free college education and a living wage for entry level employment.  The Right is being entertained with angry rants of how Mexico will build us a “free” fence and how no more Muslims will get into our country.

Anyone with the common sense God gave a fence post knows that none of that is actually feasible, but they listen anyway.  Why?  I think it’s because what America wants, more than anything else, is to be entertained.

We’ve reached the point that what stimulates your mind is less important than what tickles your fancy.  And that’s a dangerous place to be.

 

Isn’t “Homosexual” an insulting title?

This post is not suitable to be read with a child looking over your shoulder.  I’m not writing crudely just for the sake of crudeness, but crudeness is sometimes a byproduct when speaking of the most intimate details of our lives.   Read More

The things we surround ourselves with.

I suppose that I take great pride in the things that I surround myself with.  I enjoy the tug of a fish on a line, the smell of fall in the air, the comfort of my favorite chair, the sound of my favorite rickety fan when I nap.

But the more I surround myself with people, and that’s not always a comfortable thing for me to do, I see the value in surrounding myself with good people.

It’s more difficult to surround yourself with good people because good people, unlike good things, have the option of just walking away from you when you act like a jerk.

So I’ve come to believe that the value of the people around you is a much better gauge of your worth than the value of the things around you.

 

Trading Heartbeats

Somebody mentioned to me recently that you should always be proud of your work, because you’re trading heartbeats to produce it.   Read More

Authority VS Credibility

I realized recently that all too often we fail to realize the difference between authority and credibility.  Authority is given and its assumed.  Authority can come from a promotion, an election, by birthright or by chance.

But credibility is earned.

So why does that difference matter?  

It matters because too often parents think that because they have authority over their children’s lives, they also hold credibility in their children’s eyes.  But that’s often not the case.  You can make your kids do all sorts of things for no other reason than because you’re their parent.  But without credibility your kids won’t take you, or your rules and advice, seriously when you’re not looking or when they’re grown.

It should matter in organizations like police departments, where authority is assumed, but is nearly useless without credibility.

Or in churches, where people sometimes try to represent God’s authority without building credibility as people worth listening to.

Hypocrites can have authority, but they’ll never have credibility.

Authority figures say, “Do as I say”.  People with credibility say, “Do as I do.”

You can only have authority when someone else gives it to you.  But no one can take your credibility from you, you’ll have it as long as you’re willing to work for it.

People are pushed by authority, but they’re led by credibility.

If you want to make a difference in the lives of your family, your church, or where you work….Build credibility.

 

Stanford University–“Mass shooters prefer gun free zones”

Stanford University recently published statistics from a study of mass shootings in America and their results just aren’t that surprising.   Read More

A Presidential Worldview on Christianity

You won’t every find a candidate that shares all of your opinions on everything, the best you can hope for is someone who shares a similar worldview as you.  And it’s easy to see a candidate’s worldview, if you just listen to what they’re saying.   Read More

The Power Of The Resurrection

The power seen in the resurrection of Christ is an inspiration to Christians, and always has been.  It’s in the resurrection of Christ that we find hope of our own resurrection after death.

1Corinthians 15:19,20  For if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we should be pitied more than anyone.  But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.   Read More

The Toddler Coalition Against Parent Date Nights

The date night is an elusive creature for parents.  Imagine searching on the moon for a dolphin-unicorn hybrid.  That’s what it’s like, looking for a dolphicornalien.  Until you’ve gone through the process of planning a date night as a new parent you really can’t imagine just how complicated it can be.   Read More

How the story of Christ is different than any other…

Samuel Clemens made a great name for himself writing about the Mississippi River as Mark Twain.  But he said later in his life that after learning the river as a riverboat captain, it lost all of its mystery.  He didn’t see the water swirling mysteriously, he saw the evidence of dangerous hidden boulders beneath its surface.   Read More

Parenting Has Consequences

Dear Bad Parents,
Heads up…When you make terrible decisions about how to parent your children you’re not just ruining them, you’re ruining things for everyone else too.

When you teach your children that they don’t have to work before they play, when they’re raised with no concept of sowing and reaping, they grow up to be adults who don’t want to work in order to play and never grasp the concept of sowing and reaping.

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And do you know what happens then?  They vote for people like Bernie Sanders.  That’s what happens.

 

It’s embarrassing that someone so out of touch with reality is seen as a viable candidate to lead the free world.  People are actually willing to vote for him.

Now I’m sure that most people assume this letter is addressed to the bad parents with unruly children in the grocery store.  And it is.  But it’s also addressed to all of the older folks who were bad parents back in their day.  Don’t tell me about how “back in your day” things were a lot better.  Because we have an entire generation of 30-somethings that are totally out of touch with reality.  Somebody raised all of these idiots, and I know who it was.  It was the bad parents of yesteryear.

So think long and hard about how you’re going to discipline your children, Mr. & Mrs. BadParents.  Because after you’ve washed your hands of them and sent them off into the world, we’re the people who have to put up with their nonsense.  So do us all a favor and teach them even the most basic moral guidelines, instill in them a good work ethic, and make sure they understand that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

They, and the rest of the world, will be better off if you do.

Sincerely,
I’mAGiver

Why they’re mad at the Doritos commercial….

The Left  are all in a tiff about the Doritos commercial yesterday….And do you know why?  They’re mad because it depicted the truth, and the Left just can’t handle the truth.

The commercial depicted a mother that was happy and excited to see her unborn child.

And an unborn child with a consciousness that responded to stimulus from the world.

And an unborn child that was only moments away from being a born child.

That Doritos commercial depicted the truth, with humor, but the truth nonetheless.  And the truth is what the Left will always and forever try to suppress.

 

Should we “let our kids decide”?

I’m not talking about letting them decide what to wear or what kind of cake they want for their birthday.  I’m talking about real decisions.  Should we let them decide?   Read More

Here I Raise My Ebenezer

Throughout the Old Testament we see a pattern of God’s followers setting up visual reminders of God and what He had done for them.  When did we stop doing this, and should we start doing it again?   Read More

Mission Statements

I always make it a point to read a company’s mission statement when I happen to see one.  Mostly to see just how far they’ll go to make themselves sound important.  And they always act like they came up with these ideas….

“We will strive to work synergistically with local stakeholders to build trust and cohesion in our community.”
OK, so you’re going to be nice to people and expect them to be nice to you.  

“Our goal is to anticipate our customers’ needs and exceed their expectations at every opportunity.”
Translation–We’re going to treat others the way we’d like to be treated.

Rather than all of this can’t we make things so much simpler, and more realistic?

Why can’t a company just say, “We’re going to do our job.  We’re going to do it as best we can, as quickly as we can, and we’ll do our best to make it right when we screw up.”  Wouldn’t that be a statement that employees could really get behind?  Couldn’t they really believe in that, and actually remember it?  Couldn’t they see that mission statement in action from the company’s management?

And why couldn’t we extend that simple thought to our families?
“We’re going to work to be the best husband / wife / mother / father / child / brother / sister that we can be.  Sometimes we’ll screw that up, but we’ll be patient with each other as we keep trying to screw up less.”

Life is a lot less complicated than we try to make it.

 

 

Why we don’t pay our kids for doing chores….

We don’t pay our kids for doing chores.

That’s not to say that we don’t understand the idea of positive reinforcement.  When they were younger we had a “star chart” and gave them stars for good behavior and let them cash in stars for a trip for ice cream or such.

But as they’ve grown we’ve changed our outlook, and their’s, toward chores and rewards.  And here’s why.   Read More

The Danger Of “Click To Share”

I think that Christians today are facing a challenge never faced before.

We’re commanded in the Bible to be reliable people (Matthew 5:37) and we talked about that a few days ago.  But before people find us reliable, they have to trust what we say.

200 years ago in order for people to not trust what you said, you had to deliberately lie to them.  But that’s not the case anymore.  We’re not just in the information age, we’re in the information overload age.  Any position you want to take, any statistic you want to claim, can be not only announced but can be supported with a real-live link to the internet.

But today we don’t even have to go looking for misinformation, it comes flooding in to us on a daily basis.  And that’s the danger of click-to-share.  Without any effort or ill intentions on our part we can send lies out to the world, completely unaware of what we’re doing.

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We need to remember that what we say matters.  And when we pass along “news” articles that are full of lies, we’re putting our name on them too.

 

It’s not hard to check out links on Facebook to see if they’re accurate.  And if we’re not willing to see if they’re true or not, are they worth sharing?

 

Does God Want Us To Be Dependable?

Does God want us to be dependable?

Does it even matter if we’re dependable people?   Read More

Dear Mr. President, Don’t Blame Me

Dear Mr. President,

Don’t blame me.  Yesterday at a town hall forum in Louisiana you said that the greatest regret of your Presidency was that politics has become more contentious since you took office.

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Then you went on to blame American voters for that…..We don’t demand enough from our elected officials, that we’re not involved enough, and that we aren’t willing to work together.

 

Well Mr. President, all of those things are actually true.  But they’re not the reason for how contentious politics has become during your tenure.

 We’ve tried to demand more from our elected officials.  But then the Secretary of State let Americans die in Benghazi, Libya, lied to us about why they died, and then wondered aloud why we even cared.  At the highest levels of government YOUR administration has failed us and YOU never held them accountable.

We’ve tried to get more involved in politics.  But when our political views differ from your views, we’ve become the targets of the Internal Revenue Service.  Lois Lerner exercised her 5th Amendment right against self incrimination TWICE last year while being investigated for the scandal.  We’d love to become more involved in politics, but under your administration we’ve been persecuted by the federal government when we try.

So what about working together?  Honestly, we haven’t tried to work together on some issues.  And on those issues you really didn’t want us to work together, you just wanted us to do things your way.  But I’m not interested in doing things your way.  I realize that’s very polarizing, just as you accused me of being.

Honestly, Mr. President….The government-sponsored murder of unborn children is a polarizing issue.  Lighting up the White House as a rainbow to celebrate homosexual “marriage” was a polarizing thing to do.  Calling Bruce Jenner “courageous” was an incredibly polarizing thing to say.

There are some things that I will not negotiate on, because they’re non-negotiable issues to me.  That doesn’t make me “polarizing”, that makes me “steadfast” about a polarizing issue.

So, Mr. President, don’t blame us.  We’ve tried doing all that you suggested, but have been beaten up, ridiculed and abused by your administration at every turn.  Now we’re just hopeful for the change that’s on the horizon.

Sincerely,
ImAGiver

Click here for a transcript of the speech.

 

 

Learning to vote-From the Bible

This has nothing to do with voting (R) or (D).

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Should we “go to church” without emotion?

Should we “go to church” without emotion, when we’re feeling apathetic toward worshipping Him?

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The gun violence story the media isn’t reporting…

There’s a gun violence story that the media isn’t reporting on, but I’ll tell you about it.   Read More

Imperfect Solutions

We need solutions.

Anyone can identify a problem.  I can look at a sick person and say, “Hey, you look awful.  I bet you’re sick.”  Any politician can say, “Our tax code is broken.”, or “We need immigration reform.”  What we need are people who are willing to come up with solutions.

Of course, all I’ve really done is identified the problem…..that we need to do more than identify problems.

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New Year’s Resolutions

Start your New Year’s Resolution today.  Right now.

If we’re not serious about it on December 30th, we won’t be serious about it on January 1st.  If it’s not important on December 30th, it won’t be important on January 1st.  We’ll pretend that we’re serious about it, we’ll pretend that it’s important.  But we’ll really only be serious about pretending to make a change for the better.  Pretending to make a change will be the only thing that is important to us.

Find something you really want to fix about yourself and then start.  Right now.  We’re worth it.

 

What Hypocrisy Is….And Isn’t

There are few character traits more despised in our society than hypocrisy.  And that Christians are accused of being hypocritical more than any other segment of society.  As a Christian, I think that’s our own fault. Read More

The birth of Christ

This time of year, when it seems the entire world is contemplating the birth of Christ, I think it’s good to be reminded of WHY He was born.   Read More

Why aren’t women rioting in the streets?

Why aren’t women foot-stomping mad?  Why aren’t they writing angry letters to the editor or shouting from the rooftops or rioting in the streets?  They’ve got plenty to be mad about….From Bruce Jenner being announced as the “woman” of the year and government sponsored abortions destroying families to the continued devaluation of their contribution to society.

“Why aren’t they rioting in the streets?”, I wondered.

And then I realized why.  They aren’t rioting in the streets because they’re too busy.

While the media is glorifying men with breasts and looking down from their proverbial high horse at women who aren’t consumed with a career….Women are keeping their families together.

There are millions of women who should be fighting mad, but they aren’t because they just don’t have the time.  They’re too busy fixing lunches, wrapping presents, (getting the stains out of an entire load of laundry after I left TWO pens in the pocket of my pants–Sorry ’bout that babe), and making their houses into homes.

So be mad for them.  I’m not sure that any husband (or any five husbands) could accomplish what a woman does in one day.  They need someone to stick up for them, and if you can’t do the cooking-You can do the fighting for them.  They need it.  And they deserve it.

 

Teaching Teachers

Random thought after attending some training this week.

  • UnknownIf we won’t let people teach Kindergarten without a four-year degree and a teaching certificate and hands on training in the classroom….
  • If we have to fill out forms for the government to document that we’ve correctly taught our children to drive….
  • If teachers of all sorts are required to attend in-service or continuing education in order to maintain their teaching certifications….

If all of that is true and normal and perfectly understandable….

  • Why aren’t we doing more to prepare ourselves to preach the gospel?
  • If we really want to reach the world with the good news of Christ, shouldn’t we take time to understand our audience?
  • And shouldn’t we be raising our kids to know how to talk about God?

Anyone who has ever sat through a boring class or lecture knows that it’s not enough for the teacher to just KNOW the material….If they want to make a difference, they have to know how to DELIVER the material.

 

What God Didn’t Set Us Free From

imagesA reoccurring theme throughout the New Testament is the freedom that Christ has blessed us with.  He’s blessed us with freedom from shame, unhappiness and discontent, and most importantly the freedom from the consequences of our sin.

But there is one thing that God hasn’t set us free from.   Read More

Our Kids’ First Look At God….Discipline

I’ve mentioned before that our children’s very first look at God and His personality should be in us and how we treat them.  A few days ago we talked about patience, and how God’s example of patience with us should show us how to be patient with our kids.  But how does patience harmonize with discipline?   Read More

Our Kids’ First Look At God…Patience

Where are our kids first exposed to God?  In church?  Sunday School?  Bedtime Stories?  I don’t think so.  I think that our kids’ first look at God….Is (or at least-should be) in us, their parents. Read More

So what does an effective gun control plan look like?

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Everyone is clamoring again for gun control to end all of this senseless violence.  So let’s see what kind of plan we’d actually need to accomplish that goal.

 

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The monster we’ve created

I believe that we’ve created a monster.  It’s not in our power-hungry government, not in our damaging tax code, not in our broken public school system.  I believe we’ve created a monster in our churches. Read More

Batman & Police Brutality…..What?

The latest Batman comic is taking on social issues like never before, depicting Batman rescuing a black teenager from white cops about to gun him down.

Let that sink in for just a minute.  Yes, it was hard for me to believe too.  When I first read about it I just sat in slack-jawed astonishment……They’re still making Batman comic books?!?!?!?

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Go Shopping On Black Friday

I’ve worked a lot, probably most, of the family holidays since my kids were born.  Coming from someone who has worked so many holidays, I can speak from experience when I say that you shouldn’t feel guilty for shopping on Black Friday.

Some of those holidays I was required to work, but some of them I volunteered for.  For some folks working holidays is a time to make some much needed Christmas or bill-paying money.  It might not be the most ideal time to be at work, but it’s a good time to make money-at a time of the year when money is usually in short supply.

Nobody is working at Wal-Mart for the fun of it.  They’re working there to make money, and Black Friday is a chance to make a little more.  If they didn’t need the money, or want the money, they wouldn’t work a job that required them to work holidays.

Don’t cancel your Black Friday shopping and don’t feel guilty about it either.  You’re not forcing anyone to be at work, you’re supporting the people who are willing to work for what they want.

 

Would a Christian government let the refugees in?

Would a Christian government let the refugees in?   Read More

Raising kids is difficult, but NOT complicated.

This became painfully obvious a few days ago, watching a dad try to “parent” his two year old.   Read More

Click and Share…..Unless you’re a terrible person?

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Does anyone else think that the “Click If You Agree” stuff has gotten out of hand?

 

 

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Monday Funday–The Rearview Mirror Flip

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Think back on your childhood….  Was there anything, ever, more absolutely-bone chillingly terrifying than when your father finally had enough of your back seat antics and flipped the rearview mirror at you?   Read More

Suicide–Why it’s so dangerous to our salvation.

This is the last post is a series that started here.  If you’re interested, it would really be best to start at the beginning and work your way through the series to help understand what I’m proposing now.

As I said in this post, I don’t think that every case of suicide necessarily results in eternal damnation for the sole reason that a person can’t ask for forgiveness of it.  But that’s not to say that suicide isn’t dangerous to our salvation….And here’s why. Read More

Suicide–Does it always send you to Hell?

We started discussing this in the last post and I’d like to talk about it some more.  The most common spiritual objection to suicide that I’ve heard is that suicide will ALWAYS inevitably result in an eternity in Hell because it’s a sin for which you can’t ask forgiveness.

Let me state two things perfectly clearly, then ask a third.

  1. I don’t know how each case of suicide will be judged, that is up to God.
  2. Based on my understanding of the scriptures I don’t think that each case of suicide necessarily results in eternal damnation.
  3. Perhaps most importantly, I ask that if you read this post and disagree with me, you’d talk with me about it.  I believe this common objection to suicide is a manifestation of a deeper misunderstanding among many Christians about our relationship with God and our salvation.  Please hear me out, consider what I say, then be willing to honestly discuss the issue if you disagree.

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Suicide–Why we need better spiritual answers to suicide.

psI firmly believe that in most cases suicide is a problem with a spiritual answer.  When people need purpose and fulfillment and joy in their lives, they’ll only be satisfied when they look for those things in Christ.

But I’m afraid that often the spiritual answers we have to the problem of suicide do nothing to direct people back to the fulfillment found in Christ.

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A Christian’s Response To Suicide-Why worldly answers aren’t enough.

UnknownI’d like to spend the week talking about suicide.  Specifically, what a Christian’s response should be when confronted with questions about suicide-whether from their own hearts or from someone else who is struggling with them.

 

I’d like to organize the posts along these lines (I’ll add links to this list as new posts are added)….

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What We Say

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As the trans-continental railroad stretched east from California, a flood of Chinese workers made the trip to America looking for work on the railroad and in the booming California economy.

 

Of the books that have survived from that time are Chinese-English translation books.  And the phrases they translate are very telling, as it were. Read More

Why I’ve come to cringe at the “5 Steps Of Salvation”

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I realized this week, while listening to a sermon posted to Facebook, how much I’ve come to cringe when I hear the “5 Steps Of Salvation”.

 

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Dogs are easier to love than people.

I like dogs.  I’m not a crazy dog person like some people are though, and I’ve never really understood how some people go to the extreme of “they’re like kids to me” until I read this…. Read More

What if you had to carry your free speech in your pocket?

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What if your free speech, all of those ideas and opinions that our founding fathers guaranteed you the right to proudly proclaim, what if that free speech had to be carried in your pocket rather than your heart?

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Why do your kids argue?

Why do your kids argue and fight?  And does it matter?  On a recent road trip this hit me, and I wish it would have a long, long time ago.   Read More

Telling the STORY of Jesus

I’m afraid that we (me included) sometimes try too hard to break the Bible down into a series of facts and timetables. 

We probably do this because facts and talking points are handier to win arguments. And too often, winning arguments and being right is what religion is about for a lot of people. 

But it was pointed out to me recently, and it’s true, that among all the facts and charts and timetables we can lose the STORY of Jesus. 

But it’s in that story that we not only see the facts, but we see the personality of God. And through the stories we can truly see the love that God has for us. 

For example, how popular would Superman be if he were intruced as a strong guy who could run and jump?  Nobody would care. 

But when Superman is introduced as the Man of Steel who is faster than a speeding bullet and can leap tall buildings in a single bound….THEN we pay attention. 

And among the facts that Jesus became a man and died and gave us some things to do after He left is a story

And it’s that story that we should be preaching. Jesus became flesh. He lost friends and wept. His friends slept while He grieved. He worried about his mother as He hung dying on a cross. 

And He did all of that because His creation had a debt that it couldn’t pay. Because God is righteous, He couldn’t pardon that debt. So rather than than dispense justice, He paid that debt with his own blood in a horrendous death. Rather than see us die as we deserved, He died for us. And He died for us while we were still in rebellion against Him. 

Then after He died Jesus promised that if we would live a life that put all of our faith in Him, a life that put our dependence in Him….He would bring us to Heaven to live with Him forever. 

That’s the story of Christ. And among all of the argument-winning facts, we can’t ever stop telling that story. 

Vacations VS Adventures

Colonel Jeff Cooper once observed that no one should ever want to go on a vacation.  His reasoning was that “vacationing” just implied that you were going to vacate one place to occupy another.

Instead, he reasoned that we should leave home with the purpose of “adventuring”.

The difference is subtle, but words are powerful.  

I believe that we’ll be taking more adventures than vacations in the near future.

 

The real problem with the left isn’t any policy

UnknownYesterday in a conversation about gun control Hillary Clinton said, “We need to make every politician who sides with [the NRA] to look in the eyes of parents whose kids have been murdered.”

And that’s a perfect example of what’s REALLY wrong with the left.   Read More

“Gun Control” Is An Insult To Our Intelligence

“Gun Control” isn’t working and to say that it is, is just a slap in the face of intelligent people.  Read More

Naaman The Leper & Gay Marriage Licenses

Background on these two (seemingly) unrelated stories….

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“It’s For The Kids”….Now Give Me Your Money

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Apparently my local school district has taken a play from the liberal anti-gun playbook and is using the worn out “it’s for the kids” line, which is never actually true.

 

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Cuz the haters gonna hate-hate-hate-hate-hate

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Have you ever felt like no matter what you did, there were going to be a long line of people waiting to find something wrong with you?  Of course you have, that’s why Taylor’s song was so popular…People identified with it.

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Hosanna

Hosanna is quite the interesting word, in that between its roots and more modern use it can mean two very different things.  Or at least they seem different.  Originally, hosanna was a word used to plead for rescue or salvation.  But in the time of Jesus, and today, hosanna is typically used as a shout of praise to God.

Those two meanings seem very different on the surface, but when you consider that the person you cry out to for rescue, the person who saves you when you’re lost, is someone worthy of your praise…then you can see how the two meanings can make sense.

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But what I find most reassuring is the idea that today we don’t have to cry out to God to save us, or send someone to rescue us.  Because He already has.

Everything that needs to be done to save man from his sins has already been accomplished on the cross.  The work is over.  Now we just need to avail ourselves of that work that’s already been completed.

We’re no longer shouting praise to God because we believe that He can save us.  We’re shouting praise to God because He’s already saved us.

Our debt has been paid, our rescuer has already come, salvation is available and waiting.  And if that’s not a reason to shout praises to God, I don’t know what is.

 

I try to keep good company.

I try to keep good company.  So I just don’t see how I can visit the White House on our next vacation. Read More

The Einstellung Effect….And Why It Matters

The premise behind the Einstellung Effect is that people will be more likely to use a solution to a problem that they’ve already used in the past than a better solution that they’ve never been exposed to.   Read More

Things We Don’t Know

Just for conversation, here’s a list of things that we (mankind) DO NOT know….  Read More

A question for serious Bible students…

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I’ve got an idea for a Bible study, I’m just not sure that there’s a market for it.  What do you think? Read More

Is Every Bad Idea A Sin?

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Does it seem to you that there’s a huge problem with Christians today labeling every bad idea as a sin?  Because it does to me.

 

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The audacity of the Vanderbilt Women’s Center

Next week the Vanderbilt Women’s Center will be hosting a lecture series on “Healthy Masculinites”….AKA “A study in absurdity and arrogance”.
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