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America California Christianity/Religion Church Conferences/Seminars Culture God Goodness of man Integrity Life Pentecostal Photography Religion Social The World

Leaving Racism

“You don’t leave racism at the door (of a church), you leave it at the altar.” Rev. Johnny King NO LIMITS CONFERENCE Sacramento, CA.

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Christianity/Religion Courage Family family celebrations God Goodness of man grandparents Integrity Life Marriage/anniversaries

My Jerry of 62 Years

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credit for photo to Buxton Photography

Vividly I recall the moment. Tulsa was the place where my eyes first swept across  his image.  A chapel service. Apostolic College. Both of us students. A number of days (maybe weeks) later, I looked across a room and had this “knowing.” I would marry him.

And I did. Sixty-two years ago. At Swan Lake he had asked the question, and on June 27th in Marshfield, Mo. a pastor said his words, we told our vows, and we became a couple.

Doubtless God ordained this coupling, for our lives together have been unusually happy, and I like to think we have made positive contributions to God’s work, and to our society in general. I know he has. He has taught in both public and private schools, pastored two churches, founded a still-thriving Christian school in Rialto, CA., then when he was 75 years old, well after he had officially retired, we went to Lake Havasu City, AZ. and there he planted a church. When we left 3 and 1/2 years later the group averaged 40 to 50 people, and our top attendance had been 92. Statistically, this represented a remarkable accomplishment.

Husband. He was–and is– my husband. I was young, so very young, lacking a few days being 18 years old, naive, not worldly-wise at all; I could have been utterly fooled. That June night as I changed into a lovely negligee in the small bathroom of the Circle C motel we had selected at random as we traveled on our three-day honeymoon toward Kentucky where we had our first revival scheduled, I recall a panicky moment. For a sudden understanding had come to me. I really did not know this man with whom I was about to share a bed.  (No one knows. Ever. For scarcely do we know ourselves.) But God had directed both of us. We had listened, and today find ourselves elderly, showing a few physical imperfections, happy, still full of faith in each other, and in God, who throughout all these years as been the center, the core of our home.

We started with little. Everything we owned was in that car of Jerry’s –well, it was sort of his, his and the finance company’s. One suitcase held all my clothes, Jerry’s outfits were meager, and his wallet was far from bulging. My dad had cast a doubtful eye on the car tires, and before the wedding had seen to a new set being mounted. We climbed, stared-down challenges, were faithful, kept our vows, and that wonderful husband God gave me has carved out for us a beautiful home. Our four children are of the highest calibre, all God-fearing, upright peoples of this earth. Our grandchildren are beautiful and smart. They leave notes around when they visit and occasionally they call us. Our little greats show promise, no doubt on their way to being exceptional!

No better husband could ever be than my Jerry. He is kind, thoughtful, giving, handsome, consistent, romantic, grateful, and humble. He is a man of God. How blessed, unusually blessed I am.

And so at this moment, in this way among others, I will say I love you to my charming, unusual man, My Jerry. My lover. My husband. Happy anniversary!

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Christianity/Religion Integrity Life Photography Social

Integrity

I gazed as she spoke the words: Words at once so awful that even at their long memory she surely had wept bitter, scalding tears, and yet so glorious that as the words fell about me it was as though I had been showered with a gentle holy rain.

He spoke with no rancor: Indeed he had moments before told of assuring within himself he held no bitterness nor unforgiveness. Tears sprang though, and his eyes reddened, this mature, handsome, godly man who had been wronged.

In the one case, a parent had lovingly, but frankly, warned a friend of the inappropriateness of a certain relationship with a beloved child.

In the next case, people in authority, aware of desperate flaws in a person, failed to be honest with my friend; a decision that led to grief as heavy and dark as that found in the coldest cave in the deepest earth.

Integrity: Its edges push against ignorance and the averting of an eye. Its margins dangle into difficult places far beyond that of sums and of products and of dividends.

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America Culture Integrity Outrageous Political insight

Shameful Back Room Deals Finagled by Our President

Although I read fairly widely and appreciate the research on any subject that others have done, I rarely use anyone’s full-length article for a post. Today is an exception, for this issue is crucial: No American will escape the consequences if this situation continues to be handled in such an irresponsible and immoral manner.  The misrepresentations by President Obama concerning health care are blatant, seemingly illegal backroom dealings are prevalent,  and this article is so concise and well-pointed that I bring it to you as posted today by the Heritage Foundation.

A SHAM OF A PROCESS FOR A SHAM OF A BILL

Speaking at a town hall meeting on August 21, 2008, in Chester, Virginia, then-candidate Barack Obama promised the American people: “I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies … what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents … And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process.” The participants around Obama’s fictional big table may have changed depending on where he was speaking, but throughout his campaign the essential promise was always there: “negotiations televised on C-SPAN.”

Of course, Obama already broke this promise to the American people months ago. According to PoliFact, the backroom deals Obama cut with drug companies and hospitals last July already violated this pledge. But those were just preliminary negotiations. Surely when it came time for the final health care bill passage in Congress, Obama and his allies would welcome some transparency into the process? No such luck.

Politico is reporting that President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will meet at the White House today (joined by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) via conference call) to set the parameters for reconciling the House and Senate versions of health care legislation. However, instead of proceeding with the usual public and open conference committee process, the White House is going to take a very active role in secret behind-closed-door meetings between the House and Senate. The Sunlight Foundation explains the implications for the American people: “Both House and Senate rules require that all conference committee meetings be open to the public unless a majority of conferees votes in open session to close the meetings. Senate rules require all conference committee reports be publicly available for at least 48 hours prior to a final vote. Without conference, there is no mechanism to provide for openness in the final discussions regarding the health care bill.”

And there is plenty of reason the American people should demand transparency in the final stages of the legislative process. We previously identified Six Key Differences between the House and Senate bills, all of which deserve their own public debate. But one issue in particular is in desperate need of the disinfectant powers of sunlight: Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D-NE) deal exempting Nebraska from the costs of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

Last week, after a group of 13 state attorneys general promised to file suit against Obamacare should the Nelson deal become law, Nelson called South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster to “call off the dogs.” According to McMaster’s office, Nelson said the deal was not his idea, was simply a “marker” placed in the bill, and that the issue would be fixed by extending the same Medicaid exemption to all states. Will the budget-busting Medicaid problem get “fixed” for all states? If so, how? The American people deserve to know.

There is more than one reason the American people have turned solidly against President Obama’s health plan. Americans believe Obama’s plan will increase their health care costs, decrease the quality of their health care, raise their taxes, and increase the deficit. And as former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has admitted, Obamacare is not real health care reform. No wonder President Obama wants as little public input as possible.

Truly, I fear for America. Something is not right.

Edit: One more thing. Today CSPAN–certainly not a bastion of conservatism–has challenged the government to keep its word.

CSPAN has sent a letter to the House and Senate asking that they “open all important negotiations” to electronic media coverage.

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Christianity/Religion Death Devotionals Family Integrity Life Religion

As I Lie Dying

Because of daily word of her tenuous grip on life, and the hearing of warm remarks from around the world concerning our dear Nona Freeman, I have spent a fair amount of time in the last few days considering my own death bed. I have deliberated long, and such reflection has given me a tighter grip on reality. Oh, not the reality of this steel and mortar which surrounds me, nor the dirt on which I stand, nor the constant scroll of  sky which shields my troubled head. No, I muse these long moments on authentic reality–that of the soul, of eternity–incomprehensible eternity–, and of God..of whom I live in awe, and before whom I stand in abysmal unworthiness when I even utter His name, or acknowledge His existence.

So, as I lie dying, I hope those who huddle about my bed will speak of God, and that I loved Him, and that I loved people, and that as pitiful and inconsequential were my efforts, I did expend my life in loving God and in sharing the Word of His Being. As I lie dying, I hope someone mutters that once I thrust a crumb of bread into her waiting hand, that one evening I mouthed a heartening word, that one hot afternoon I placed my hand on a weary shoulder and that one dark day I pressed a coin into an empty pocket. As I lie dying, I hope those who shiver by my bed will be secure when thinking of my destination, and that the Almighty Presence of God fills the room; that Scripture is spoken, and that hymns of the church are sung.

As I lie dying may there be little joy in those few trinkets I will leave behind; rather triumphant rapture at the thought of the Joy that I will soon, then, apprehend.

(Please. This post is not intended to gather positive comments concerning me. Rather I hope it will serve as a touchstone, urging each of us to examine our true reality. And I do want to hear from you in this vein, any thoughts you are willing to share.)

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America Christianity/Religion Christmas Culture Family Goodness of man Holidays Honor Integrity Life

Christmas Spirit Alive and Well in Long Island

In a disheveled world of daily upheaval seeming to feature immorality, lack of honor, crime and a confusing web of uncertainty, it is a relief to know such stories as this one, about which I learned today.

A Long Island deli owner who held a robber at gunpoint, then let him go after giving him $40 and a loaf of bread, says he got an anonymous letter from the crook that included a $50 bill and a thank-you for saving him from a life of crime.

Mohammad Sohail shares part of the unidentified repentant’s letter in which he apologized: “First of all I would like to say I am sorry at the time I had [no] money no food on the table no job and nothing for my family.”

Similar to comments he made on his knees during the incident last May, he said he realized that trying to rob the store with a baseball bat “was wrong but I had [no] choice. I needed to feed my family.”

“That’s the same guy I gave $40 to,” said Sohail, 62, displaying the typewritten letter at his Shirley Express deli yesterday. There was no return address. It was mailed on Long Island the week before

Thanksgiving.l

“I’m really thrilled,” said Sohail. “I’m very happy for that guy, because he is now doing good for the community.

“He has a job and he is a good person. I really feel great. Thank God he’s doing good. He’s got a new baby and he’s not in jail,” said Sohail.

What a cheering wonderful story, one worthy of note during this most beautiful of seasons, for people such as these are truly imbued with the Spirit of Christmas. Around such accounts may be experienced the ring of sanctuary music, the tinkle of hand-rung bells, the red of a Salvation Army Kettle, the appealing misspoken lines in a children’s drama, tiny shepherds dressed in bathrobes, and tough businessmen wiping away tears as they once more hear the carols of antiquity that speak anew of the greatest story on earth.

Source: Kieran Crowley NY Post

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Children Christianity/Religion Family Home Integrity Life love Religion

Tough Love and Jesus

“But what would Jesus do?” the man challenged.

In recent days I spoke with a parent who many times past the first has taken the “tough love” approach with his young adult child. He grieved as we spoke, was quiet and pale. I tried to console him by validating his actions, “You did the right thing, though.” I know this man well, am privy to all the sordid, long-lasting actions; know of his love and kindness and care of his now adult child. He has been more than fair, long-suffering, loving and supportive.

He stared at me. “Did I? I’m not sure.”

Seems that at the last encounter with his child, someone else was there, and that person castigated the father for not continually taking back into his home his adult child. It does not matter what actions have taken place; the blatant disrespect does not count, nor does the lying, drunkenness, disregard for others, disappearance for months on end, laziness, lack of dependability…“None of it matters,” in essence said the man. “This is your child, and no matter what he does, you should always provide a place for him.”

The man concluded his argument by looking straight into the father’s eyes and saying, “What would Jesus do?”

And now the hurting father looked into my eyes and said, “I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing. What would Jesus do?”

What would Jesus do? How would He respond? What steps would He take?

The Bible gives us at least two hints.

One.        He left the safe flock of sheep, went into the night, and brought home the wandering one.

Two.     He plaited a whip and drove from the temple the money changers who were disrespecting God’s house, who were making it a den of thieves.

Since my conversation with the troubled father a day or so ago, I have thought much about this subject, and, trying to be objective and fair have considered: “What would Jesus do?”

I believe He would do as did my friend, for He is a loving, kind Father. But He is not a wimp, and although His teachings include “turning the other cheek,” and “giving away a coat,” it also encompasses driving cheats from the temple, and saying to the rich young ruler. Give away your riches, or you can’t walk with me. And when the young man could not make that dedication, he walked away–sorrowfully, yes–but he walked away. Nowhere in scripture do we find that Jesus ran after the young man, saying, Oh now I’ve changed my mind. If you find my sayings too hard, just ignore what I previously said. Just do what you can. Come on now and walk with me.

It’s a grievous subject, one that causes deep inside weeping as I write. I know we have spoken of this before, but today it weighs heavily on me.

What do you think? What would Jesus do?

Categories
America Integrity Life Outrageous Political insight

Should Senators Read 2,074-Page Bill Before Voting?

I’m simple minded, I suppose. It merely seems logical that our congressmen would read a bill before they vote on it. How is it that such a question could even be raised?

Hefty rascals, huh? The bills I mean. 🙂

Categories
America Culture Integrity Patriotism Political insight

She Didn’t Mean To Say That

President Obama knows what she meant. How he came about such knowledge, we are not told.

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Friday personally sought to deflect criticism of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, who finds herself under intensifying scrutiny for saying in 2001 that a female Hispanic judge would often reach a better decision than a white male judge. “I’m sure she would have restated it,” Obama flatly told NBC News, without indicating how he knew that.

She said in 2001: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” The remark was in the context her saying that “our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.”

Source: Yahoo News

I’ve read that line several times, and to my thought, the only way to alleviate the current criticism of that racist statement would be for Sonia Sotomayor to renounce the opinion…not merely find a way to restate it. For the criticism lies not with the structure of the sentence, nor has clumsiness of word been noted; rather the uproar is over the racial tones of the assertion. For an honest Supreme Court Judge will strive to set aside his biases; disregard his ethnicity, his values, his gender, his preferences, attempting instead to interpret our constitution with all sagacity and with intense care.

But our president knows she did not mean what she said, although the statement was taken directly from a prepared lecture she presented at the law school of the University of California. It was not an “off-the-cuff” remark. Wonder how he knows. Is it possible he doesn’t know?

Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor smiles as President Barack Obama
Photo from AP
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America Integrity Political insight

Shameful, President Obama

Obama’s Top Five Broken Promises

By Phil Kerpen
Director of Policy, Americans for Prosperity

Promise #5: Sunlight Before Signing

What he said:

“Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.” (BarackObama.com campaign Web site)

What he did:

Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter bill, the SCHIP/cigarette tax hike, and the stimulus bill all with far less than a five-day waiting period that he promised–and continues to promise–on his campaign Web site.

Promise #4: Lobbyist Revolving Door

What he said:

“No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration.” (BarackObama.com campaign Web site)

What he did:

Obama appointed Goldman Sachs lobbyists Mark Patterson chief of staff at the Treasury Department, where he directly oversees his former employer, a recipient of $10 billion of taxpayer funds from the TARP. Obama also appointed Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn to be an undersecretary of Defense.

Promise #3: No Tax Hikes on the Poor

What he said first:

“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” (September 12, 2008, Dover, N.H.)

What he did first:

By signing H.R. 2 into law, Obama happily signed onto the idea that smokers should pay for a $35 billion expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP). Cigarette taxes are going up 61 cents a pack starting April 1. Obama signed this bill knowing that the majority of smokers in the United States are working poor, and one in four lives below the federal poverty line.

What he said next:

“If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.” (February 24th, 2009, Address to a Joint Session of Congress)

What he did next:

Ignored the already-hiked cigarette tax at the time of the statement and then this restated promise was broken just two days later, when the Obama’s budget proposal was released. His new budget raises 45 percent of its revenue from energy taxes that will be paid by everyone who fills a gas tank, pays an electric bill, or buys anything that was grown, shipped, or manufactured.

Promise #2: Pork Barrel Earmark Reform

What he said:

“The system is broken. We can no longer accept a process that doles out earmarks based on a member of Congress’ seniority, rather than the merit of the project. We can no longer accept an earmarks process that has become so complicated to navigate that a municipality or non-profit group has to hire high-priced D.C. lobbyists to do it. And we can no longer accept an earmarks process in which many of the projects being funded fail to address the real needs of our country.”

(Statement on Earmarks, March 10, 2008)

What he is expected to do:

The White House has signaled that it intends to sign the $410 billion Omnibus Appropriations bill, which according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, contains 8,570 earmarks totaling $7.7 billion, including dozens of wasteful pork-barrel projects. These earmarks were awarded based on seniority, not on merit, and were mostly the result of high-priced lobbying, precisely the process that Obama promised to end. When the omnibus reaches his desk later this week or next week, we’ll find out if this is one more broken promise.

Promise #1: Big Government

OK, so this one is more of a statement than a promise, but it’s the biggest whopper of all.

What he said:

“Not because I believe in bigger government — I don’t.” (February 24, 2009, Joint Address to Congress)

What he did:

Obama proposed a budget that is breathtaking in scope, a blueprint for the biggest permanent expansion of government in history right on the heels of a sweeping trillion dollar stimulus plan. The budget lays the foundation for a government takeover of the health care and energy sectors and dramatically increasing spending across the board, other than defense weapons programs. Spending as a percentage of the economy under this budget will reach the historic level of 27.7 percent this year. The deficit as a percent of the economy, at 12.3 percent, is set to be the biggest in the entire history of the country outside of the four peak years of World War II. Anyone who offers such a budget can only fairly be described as a believer in bigger government.

Phil Kerpen is director of policy for Americans for Prosperity.