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God is Kentucky's First Line of Defense

Sunday, November 30, 2008 3 comments

A Kentucky law from 2006 says the state Office of Homeland Security lists its initial duty as "stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth." It details that Homeland Security is ordered to publicize God's protection in reports and post a plaque outside the entrance to the state Emergency Operations Center. The plaque must be an 88-word statement that begins, "The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God."

This was accomplished by a State Representative who is also a Baptist minister. He added this to a floor amendment which was approved overwhelmingly. He said "The time and energy spent crediting God are appropriate."

He also adds "This is recognition that government alone cannot guarantee the perfect safety of the people of Kentucky... Government itself, apart from God, cannot close the security gap. The job is too big for government."

Of course there is opposition. A State Senator says that Homeland Security should worry about public safety threats instead of preaching religious homilies. She also says "It's very sad to me that we do this sort of thing...It takes away from the seriousness of the public discussion over security, and it clearly hurts the credibility of this office if it's supposed to be depending on God, first and foremost."

FULL ARTICLE

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Thanksgiving Fun Facts

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 2 comments

Over the Years

Though many competing claims exist, the most familiar story of the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621. More than 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.

Sarah Josepha Hale, the enormously influential magazine editor and author who waged a tireless campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in the mid-19th century, was also the author of the classic nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

In 2001, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative Thanksgiving stamp. Designed by the artist Margaret Cusack in a style resembling traditional folk-art needlework, it depicted a cornucopia overflowing with fruits and vegetables, under the phrase "We Give Thanks."


On the Roads

Despite record-high gas prices (more than $3.00 per gallon) in 2007, the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated that 38.7 million Americans would travel 50 miles or more from home for the Thanksgiving holiday, a slight increase (1.5 percent) over the previous year.

Of those Americans traveling for Thanksgiving in 2007, approximately 80 percent (31.2 million) were expected to go by motor vehicle, 12.1 percent (4.7 million) by airplane and the rest (2.8 million) by train, bus or other mode of transportation.


On the Table

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America, with a planned production total of 49 million in 2008. Just six states—Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, Missouri and Indiana—will probably produce two-thirds of the estimated 271 million birds that will be raised in the U.S. this year.

The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys—one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the United States in 2007—were eaten at Thanksgiving.

In a survey conducted by the National Turkey Federation, nearly 88 percent of Americans said they eat turkey at Thanksgiving. The average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving is 15 pounds, which means some 690 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the U.S. during Thanksgiving in 2007.

The cranberry is one of only three fruits—the others are the blueberry and the Concord grape—that are entirely native to North American soil, according to the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long. It was baked on October 8, 2005 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, and included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, 2 pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of crust.


Around the Country

Three towns in the U.S. take their name from the traditional Thanksgiving bird, including Turkey, Texas (pop. 465); Turkey Creek, Louisiana (pop. 363); and Turkey, North Carolina (pop. 270).

Originally known as Macy's Christmas Parade—to signify the launch of the Christmas shopping season—the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924. It was launched by Macy's employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. Today, some 3 million people attend the annual parade and another 44 million watch it on television.

Tony Sarg, a children's book illustrator and puppeteer, designed the first giant hot air balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1927. He later created the elaborate mechanically animated window displays that grace the fa├žade of the New York store from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Snoopy has appeared as a giant balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade more times than any other character in history. As the Flying Ace, Snoopy made his sixth appearance in the 2006 parade.

The first time the Detroit Lions played football on Thanksgiving Day was in 1934, when they hosted the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit stadium, in front of 26,000 fans. The NBC radio network broadcast the game on 94 stations across the country--the first national Thanksgiving football broadcast. Since that time, the Lions have played a game every Thanksgiving (except between 1939 and 1944); in 1956, fans watched the game on television for the first time.

By History.com
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HAPPY THANKSGIVING

"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5: 19-20

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eHarmony Launches Gay Website

Monday, November 24, 2008 5 comments

The online matchmaker website has surrendered against a nearly four year lawsuit and is launching a gay website. eHarmony was founded by a evangelical psychologist and initially targeted Christians. It still remains a popular site for Christian singles.

eHarmony announced it reached a settlement with the attorney general of New Jersey, who began looking into the company when a homosexual man filed a complaint in 2005 stating that eHarmony only matched people with the opposite sex.

"According to the settlement, eHarmony will launch a new website, CompatiblePartners.net, aimed solely at the homosexual community. As part of the settlement, eHarmony, Inc. will advertise the website in homosexual media outlets, will allow the first 10,000 users to register free and will pay $50,000 to the attorney general's office and $5,000 to the man who filed the initial complaint. It also will post a statement on the new website saying its matchmaking strategy is based on research involving heterosexual couples and not homosexual couples."


The new site will be separate from the original to prevent any heterosexual person being matched up with someone from the same gender. eHarmony does not feel they broke any discrimination law, but felt the need to settle the case.

Questions:
- Do you think eHarmony made the right decision?
- How does this effect the homosexual agenda in particular gay marriage?

ARTICLE

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The Ice Cream Meltdown

Friday, November 21, 2008 2 comments

The extreme animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has recently made an unusual request to the ice cream company Ben and Jerry's. Peta sent a letter calling for Ben and Jerry's to stop using cow milk in their ice cream and switch to human breast milk. Citing health concerns dairy may cause and of course how it will benefit animals, PETA thinks this is the best way to go.

"The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben & Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk."


LETTER

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Ignorance Is Not Bliss

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 3 comments

The Great Commission is to spread the gospel for everyone to hear. What about the people that don't hear? Scripture tells us that they are without excuse.

because what may be known of God is manifest in them for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:19-20


God's attributes are so clear through creation that there is no defense in rejecting it. Paul even gives an example of Gentiles.

for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thought accusing or else excusing them. Romans 2:14-15


I have heard the argument that God will save those who have not heard. However, if this were the case why would we spread the gospel. Wouldn't it be better to keep it a secret?

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat. Psalm 19:1-6

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UN Leader Demands Israel To Pay $1 Billion

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This news is about two months old, but I somehow missed it. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, plans to ask the Israeli government to pay Lebanon nearly $1 billion for environmental damages caused during the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will demand that Israel pay Lebanon $1 billion in compensation over damages caused during the Jewish state’s 2006 war against Hizbullah.

According to the report the sum, based on World Bank appraisals, is aimed at covering the environmental and material damages caused by the Second Lebanon War to neighboring countries as well.

The fundamental part of the compensation demanded is for the damage caused to the Lebanese coast due to an oil spill following an Israeli bombing of a southern Beirut power plant, which the Lebanese said had caused “an ecological disaster.”

According to the report, Ban plans to submit a report to the United Nations General Assembly at the end of the month, stating that damage Israel caused to the oil reservoir polluted Lebanon’s coast, and that the pollution spread to neighboring countries, especially Syria.

…The oil spill, which was defined the greatest natural disaster in Lebanon’s history, took place after Israel Air Force planes hit a power plant and caused some 110,000 oil barrels to leak into the Mediterranean Sea.

The report said that the UN wants Israel to compensate the countries harmed by the oil spill and restore the environmental situation along the Lebanon coast.


Questions:
- Is this fair?
- Should Israel comply?

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Abraham's Seed

Monday, November 17, 2008 1 comments

Most of us are familiar with this song:

Father Abraham had many sons
Many sons had Father Abraham
I am one of them and so are you
So let's all praise the Lord.


Yet this song is not as simple as it may sound. The Bible speaks of more than one kind of seed of Abraham.

Natural Seed (Physical Descendants):
"But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham My friend." Isaiah 41:8


Christ:
"Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as of many but as of one, 'And to your Seed,' who is Christ." Galatians 3:16


Christians (Spiritual Seed):
"And if you are Christ's then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Galations 3:29


Make no mistake in these verses, the Church does not equal Israel. The connection is based upon justification by faith. Look at Romans 4:3-11. Abraham was justified before he was a Gentile or Jew and before Israel became a nation. Faith alone leads to justification.

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The Next RNC Chair

Sunday, November 16, 2008 4 comments

Stating that the Republican party needs to be rebuilt is an understatement. However, one of the first moves may be selecting a new RNC Chairman. So far two people have formally announced their candidacy. Former Lt. Governor of Maryland, Former candidate for Senator in Maryland and frequenter of Fox News Channel Michael Steele has announced. The second candidate is the State Chair Saul Anuzis of my home state Michigan. Other people rumored, but are not official are Newt Gingrich and Fred Thompson.

I think Michael Steele is a favorite in this race because of the exposure he gets on Fox News Channel. The fact that Steele is African American is beneficial to the Republican party since that is a group that the Democrats have. I don't know if Steele would be enough to gather some to the Republican party or not. I like Michael Steele, but he wasn't successful in his Senate race, so I don't know what he would do to help rebuild the party.

On the other hand is Saul Anuzis. I like Saul, he has done a great job with using technology such as blogging. He is also a very nice and easy to talk to. However, there are two issues that concern me. First is the fact the Republicans lost control of the House in 2006 and now the Democrats will have the largest majority in the state's history starting in 2009. We also lost a crucial Supreme Court Justice. The second issue which I think is more important because there were other factors in the losses. That issue is how he could not handle national committeeman Chuck Yob. I expect that at the national level there will be more divisive opinion that the chairman will have to be able to control.

As for the other to rumors, I will evaluate them when/if they announce. As for now I simply take it as the Republican base holding on to historic leaders for hope.

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"Why Believe In God?" Ads

Friday, November 14, 2008 1 comments

The American Humanist Association has started an ad campaign to try and reach other atheists. They plan to plaster over 200 buses in Washington D.C. with ads bearing its "godless holiday" message. The move by the American humanists comes one month after the British Humanist Association said it will run ads declaring, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life," on London buses in January. They also said they "seek to connect with "non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion."

Ads proclaiming, "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake," will appear on the outside and inside of DC Metro buses starting next Tuesday and will run throughout December. Newspaper versions of the ads ran in The New York Times and The Washington Post this week.


It seems the issue at hand is sin.

"Humanists have always understood that you don't need a god to be good," said AHA executive director Roy Speckhardt. "So that's the point we're making with this advertising campaign. Morality doesn't come from religion. It's a set of values embraced by individuals and society based on empathy, fairness, and experience."


On a brighter note, a recent poll published by NBC that found 86 percent of Americans in favor of keeping "In God We Trust" as the nation's motto and the reference to God in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Questions:

- Will this ad campaign be effeictive or backfire?

- Is all dialog about God good dialog?

- Do you think the NBC poll is accurate?

FULL ARTICLE

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New Look

Thursday, November 13, 2008 4 comments

I guess I have been listening to Obama too much talking about change. Actually I will blame this on Layne since he changed his blog. I know it looks a bit cluttered, but I still think it will be easier to navigate around and I think it looks better overall.

After having a record setting day of visitors (thanks to my sister who emailed a post to a bunch of people) I figured I better make some improvements. There are still going to be some tweaks, but this is what it will be looking like.

Unfortunately, I deleted the poll so if you voted before please do so again.

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Gay Activists Protest Church Service

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 6 comments

I found out about this first at Right Michigan. A church in my local area was subject to a gay protest. While I question some of this church's doctrine, they do believe that homosexuality is a sin.

Some irony is that the preceding Friday I made a post about the Bible becoming hate literature in Canada. While this is not the same thing exactly, you can definitely see the homosexual agenda.

Some of the activity that occurred was the shouting of profanities and blasphemies, attempting to hang banners of like content, tossing fliers, and two women made it to the pulpit and began to kiss. Other props used were a video camera, megaphone, condoms, and glitter by the bucket load.

Churches if not already prepared need to have a plan in place because it looks like it will get worse rather than better.

Right Michigan provided a much more detailed article than the Lansing State Journal, but the LSJ said they would have more detail tomorrow (I will post it when it becomes available). I would like to know what kind of punishment they will receive.

Right Michigan Article

Lansing State Journal Article

UPDATED LSJ ARTICLE

City Pulse Article

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Obama Looking at Change

Monday, November 10, 2008 1 comments

Obama is looking at making changes to Bush's social policy immediately.

Transition advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team.


Obama himself has signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush's controversial limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, a decision that scientists say has restrained research into some of the most promising avenues for defeating a wide array of diseases, such as Parkinson's.


The new president is also expected to lift a so-called global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion, even in countries where the procedure is legal, said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he rescinded the Reagan-era regulation, known as the Mexico City policy, but Bush reimposed it.


FULL ARTICLE

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Gasoline Tax

Sunday, November 9, 2008 1 comments

Everyone is happy that gas prices are dropping. Everyone pays attention to crude oil prices, but nobody considers gasoline taxes. I have attached a chart (click on it to make it larger) that shows the gasoline tax state by state. I live in a state that is on the high end. The demand for oil is now at a five-year low. This will definitely affect government revenue. Were you aware of the amount of your states gasoline tax?

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Bible Could Become Hate Literature In Canada

Friday, November 7, 2008 2 comments

A self-described homosexual member of the House of Commons, Svend Robinson, is expected to reintroduce bill C-415, which would add sexual orientation as a protected category in Canada's genocide and hate crimes legislation. However, this is not new to Canada.

A Saskatchewan man recently was fined $5,000 for buying a newspaper ad that quoted verses from the Bible condemning homosexual behavior.


Two years ago, the Ontario Human Rights Commission penalized printer Scott Brockie $5,000 for refusing to print letterhead for a homosexual advocacy group. Brockie argued that his Christian beliefs compelled him to reject the group's request.


In 1997, the council ruled that the airing of a James Dobson "Focus on the Family" program, called "Homosexuality: Fact and Fiction," violated the requirement that opinion, comment, and editorializing be presented in a way that is "full, fair, and proper."


In an "action alert" distributed last week, Rushfeldt wrote that if C-415 becomes law in Canada, "the following consequences will result, especially once hate crime charges are brought before the courts":

- The Bible, at least certain portions of the Bible, may be declared "hate literature."

- Churches will not be able to mention certain Scriptures.

- Clergy may be subjected to criminal charges if they refuse to marry homosexuals.

- Parents may be subjected to criminal charges if they refuse to allow their children to attend classes that teach about and promote homosexual behavior.

- Expressing disagreement with homosexual behavior or the homosexual agenda, either verbally or in writing, would be considered hate propaganda.

- Educators, including those at private religious schools, will not be able to refuse to teach homosexual curriculum.

- Religious institutions will not be allowed to teach anything non-supportive of homosexual sex.

- Canadian Blood Services will not be allowed to screen risk-behavior donors.

- Governments (including local municipalities) will be prevented from passing (even debating) sex standards laws.

"I think the U.S. is not far behind Canada," said John Paulk, gender and homosexuality specialist for Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs.


FULL ARTICLE

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Some Good Results From the Election

Thursday, November 6, 2008 1 comments

All I have heard since 2006 is that the Republican party needs to become more moderate and not so conservative. That is the farthest thing from the truth. Christian values and conservative economic policy is not hurting the party.

Incase you were unaware, three states passed a ban on same-sex marriage. Those states were Florida, Arizona, and California. Twelve states banned same-sex marriage in 2004 (Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississipi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Utah, and Oregon).

All of these states are significant. Florida is obviously a battleground state. Arizona is significant because the proposal failed a few years ago. California, what can I say about California? This is one of the most liberal states and they just banned same-sex marriage.

Republicans need to regroup, but I pray they do not abandon Christian principles.

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Republican Bloodbath

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 5 comments

Let me start by congratulating Barack Obama on his victory as hard as it is to do, but history has been made in electing the first African American POTUS. With that said, be ready for a rough four years. I do not agree with his policies and it will be easier for him to get things done with a majority in both the Senate and House.

Republicans need to regroup. I noticed many moderate Republicans lost, which may help create a core leadership. Also, with the Democrats in control they can no longer blame Republicans or Bush in particular for everything. The Republicans are down but not out. After these last two elections the American people will realize what they are getting and I foresee Republicans doing well in 2010 and more so in 2012.

From a Christian perspective I have a sense of peace knowing that God is in control. However, I also recognize his judgment and think that we might be experiencing that right now. Yet the Bible tells us to pray for our leaders and that is what I will do. I do not want to carry on the hatred that has been shown towards President George W. Bush.

1 Timothy 2:1-4
"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

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Bible Illuminated: The Book

Monday, November 3, 2008 4 comments

First published in Sweden last year, "Bible Illuminated: The Book" is a glossy fashion magazine-style publication. Parent company Illuminated World has released the Bible in the United States. The New Testament version will be released this month, and the Old Testament possibly in March 2009. In the U.S., the New Testament is being sold on Amazon.com Inc.'s Web site, as well as at bookstores such as Barnes & Noble Inc and Gift and Bible.

While I have been referred to as "too traditional", this is not your normal Bible. It contains pictures of Martin Luther King Jr. and Angelina Jolie. When will people recognize the sovereignty of God and stop trying to market the Bible? Here are some quotes from an article.

A photo of a man on fire opens the Book of Revelation. And laid across a two-page image of gasoline spilling from a pump is the quote that begins: "The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast."


"In general, Bible publishers have always been creative but now they are scrambling to meet a culture where people are moving away from print reading," said Paul Gutjahr, an English associate professor and religious studies adjunct associate professor at Indiana University.

"In a visually literate, advertising-skeptical age - how do you grab people's attention? Mixing the biblical text with Angelina Jolie doesn't surprise me."


Larry Norton, a former publishing executive and president of Illuminated World, said sales of "Bible Illuminated" in Sweden, where an estimated 60,000 Bibles are sold each year, reached 30,000 in its first year. The company is hoping for similar success in the U.S. The book even found a strong secondary market in secular sales.


"We are living in the age of increased secularization and distance from traditional religion," said Robert Hodgson, dean emeritus at the Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship, which is responsible for the translation and quality control for the American Bible Society.

The society licensed the rights to the Good News version of the Bible to Illuminated World.

"It's about new points of entry in a modern world that is not ready to open its doors and windows to the traditional word," Hodgson said.


Bible Illuminated is not affiliated with any religion or church. Why would Gift and Bible sell this?...money? As for me, I will no longer shop at Gift and Bible.

FULL ARTICLE

Bible Illuminated Website

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Abortion Video

Sunday, November 2, 2008 1 comments

A reminder to think of the rights of babies when you cast your vote. The next President will likely nominate 2-4 Supreme Court Justices.

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