Saturday, August 2, 2008

Freedom in Christ

I found and interesting (but old) article about freedom. I thought I would share a paragraph and let you peruse the rest.

Society changes only as the members of society change, only as men and women are regenerated and, as that faith wanes, freedom Jesus Christ. Apart from regeneration, a society can have some material progress, but no real advantage or freedom for most men as a rule. The areas of freedom have been the areas of Christian faith,

Friday, August 1, 2008

My Anniversary

Today my husband and I are celebrating 11 years of marriage. It is odd to think that I used to not know him. I can't imagine my life without him. He is a great husband and dad. So here's to lots more years!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Family Integrated Church

I decided I was tired of thinking about politics. So I decided to write about something that I stumbled onto years ago, but haven't thought about in depth until recently. This new (to me) idea is family integrated church. This is one thing that worries me about our congregation. Everyone is so separated. Our kids never see us worship. I know one family that goes against the flow keeps there kids for the whole service (as opposed to sending them with the other kids to kid worship). Honestly, I don't think I am to the point of conviction to do that. Our kids love being with the other kids. I do think that the Family Integrated Church might have a point. I found this blog that has a very interesting FAQ section. Here are the ones that interested me the most (I added the bold):

Why no traditional youth ministry?
In our church we say we have the greatest youth ministers in the world – our dads. Our dads do all the planning for recreation. The children never have anyone other than their father to be a major impact player in their life and teaching them God’s Word. We say that we don’t have a youth ministry, but we do have a youth group. It’s just like we have a lot of children in our church, but we don’t have a “children’s ministry.”A lot of youth ministries today look and act a lot like the world, in the way they dress, talk, etc. Statistics are indicating that 85% of students from a typical church will fall away from the faith within three years after finishing school. So if you have an 85% failure rate, then why do you keep doing things the same way? We are not! We do have activities for all ages of kids, but most of our recreation is planned for the whole family. However, all activities are driven by the parents, and the parents are the activities directors.

This really speaks to something that has been on my heart for a long time; parents need to take responsibility for the spiritual development of their kids. It also speaks to the whole pew warmer mentality. I am coming to the conclusion that the more ministers there are the harder it is to get people to volunteer. I think in part this is because "someone is getting paid to do that". It is also in part because what you can volunteer for is largely meaningless in the sense of being able to make decisions or actually change anything. For example, our church has something like 30 or so full-time ministers. The volunteers mostly do the busy work. The ministers make all of the decisions. So if you, as a parent, think it is a waste of time for the toddlers to watch Barney as a time filler, there is not much you can do about it unless you can figure out which of youth/children's ministers is in charge of such things. If you volunteer to teach, everything (activities, crafts, schedule, script for Bible story, etc.) is laid out for you. It is easier that way but also less meaningful somehow.

What about membership?
Membership is being a believer. This is quite the contrary to modern day church structure. We have looked at the process that many modern day churches do membership and it simply does not have a biblical foundation. Thus, we do not follow the secular methods employed by many other churches. We simply want families and people to attend the worship service and be encouraged by the Word of God and take that home with them. You can come for many years or a few months or even weeks. The church is the believer in Jesus Christ, thus we are all members of His wonderful grace. Since we do not vote or have committees there is no need for membership.

While this is more about this particular congregation and not so much about family integration, it does beg a question I have often thought about. What is the deal with "membership"? I think they are right. I understand that in some churches that there is a whole covenant type agreement. Why can't the agreement be just between you and God?

Now back to my original Famiy Integrated Church (FIC) thing. I was surprised to find that there is a directory of FIC congregations here. From there you can find a link to this post by Scott Brown. Here are the opening lines:

I believe that we are involved in the greatest evangelistic opportunity before the church today: the salvation of millions of children under the evangelistic and discipleship ministry of fathers and mothers in the home. This is not the only mission field, to be sure, but it is perhaps the most neglected mission field before the church in our time.

Now this I totally agree on. We (born again evangelicals) are losing about 65-85% of our kids after the first year of college. That is evidence of a major failing. If we are incapable of discipling our own children, how do we expect to disciple new comers?

Further down he makes this statement:
Sadly, our churches are filled with young people who have “walked an aisle,” but who have never really understood the full breadth of the gospel message. For them, the gospel has been trivialized and reduced to simply “accepting Christ.” In contrast to this, the daily diet of a father’s gospel teaching gives a detailed understanding of the gospel. It provides both the context and content that is necessary to become a true follower of Christ.

That is a profound comparison. Again, I feel myself agreeing.

Then I found this confession on the Vision Forum. Here is the opening paragraph. I added the bold.

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we believe that the family is a holy institution, ordained and established by the Sovereign Triune God Who created the heavens and the earth. God’s infallible revelation, the Bible, reveals that the family is an integral part of the unfolding of His eternal purpose for the redemption of sinners. This great and gracious salvation—purposed by the Father, accomplished by the Son, and applied by the Holy Spirit—is in great measure passed on to succeeding generations as parents faithfully disciple the children God gives them. Therefore, the biblical order and unity of the family are crucial to the stability and health of the Church of Jesus Christ. In light of this, we recognize that the family—and especially fathers—are the focus of a fierce and unrelenting attack by the world, the flesh, and the Devil. This has escalated to the point that Christians must rise up in defense of the family in uncompromising biblical warfare.

You can totally see men and fathers being marginalized in this country. How many kids don't even know who their real dad is? How many dads are driven from their kids because of no fault divorce. My kids are so blessed to have a great dad who takes this fathering business seriously.

Well, I guess I better call it a night, but I will keep this rolling around in my head. I would love to hear any comments.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An Opposing View From My Husband

This is an e-mail my husband sent me about the post below.

I believe that this is largely a publicity stunt to try to get some buy-in from the Republicans who have been repeatedly shafted in this years primary. The Republicans already have a WONDERFUL platform. Their platform is not the problem, it's that the crapheads who run on that platform choose not to implement it. Is there any hope that John McCain is going to implement ANY of the current "platform"? I think not.I'd say it's also a tool to get people to sign up for their email fund-raising campaigns. I for one am not interested in having anything further to do with their crappy party.

I still think it is important to get conservative views out in front of Americans. Even if no GOP person looks twice at the submissions, thousands of Americans will read them. That makes it worth it to me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tell the GOP What You Think

The Republican Party is taking ideas for the platform. Get out there and let your conservative voice be heard. You have to sign up for an account. I plan on doing submissions once I get some ideas solidified. I will probably post them once I get a few done.
Here is what I have submitted so far under the "American Values" section.
America is participating in the greatest holocaust the world has ever seen. We are killing about 1 million of our children a year in this country. Republicans must stand for a national Right to Life Amendment. We must stand for stop gap measures like South Dakota’s law requiring abortionist to inform women of the humanity of the embryo as well as the possible emotional risks to the woman. We must give parents the right to aid minor daughters in their reproductive decisions. We must crack down on abortion clinics that do not report statutory rape.

Euthanasia, Stem Cells, ETC.
All of the rights in this country are pointless without the right to life. But the right to life does not when we exit the womb. Frozen embryos should not be destroyed for research. Adult stem cells have show great promise in the cure of many diseases. This kind of research should be encouraged. Euthanasia should not be tolerated. People with disabilities should be respected. Life is a treasured gift from God. I believe that he has given governments the right to take the life of a criminal but even that should be with caution.

Right to Gun Ownership
The disarming of a people is often a first step toward their extreme oppression and death. Gun ownership should be encouraged. Marksman ship should be applauded. Guns should only be confiscated from criminals never from law-abiding citizens. Registration of guns should be disdained.

Same-sex Marriage
Marriage should be defined as one man and one woman for life. The Marriage Amendment should be supported. Traditional marriage and families should be supported at all levels of government. Intact families benefit men, women, and especially children.

Homosexuality (or other gender identifications) should not be given special status via “hate crimes” legislation. These laws are used to attempt to silence Christians from speaking directly from the Bible or from voicing their opinions. "Hate crimes" laws violate the First Amendment by silencing speech and regulating the expression of religion.

Racial Quotas
Racial quotas do nothing but communicate to minorities that they are incapable of succeeding without "help". Life situations are never equal. The great thing about America is that even if you come from a gang infested part of an inner city you can still go on to do anything. People rise to expectations expressed about them. The main thing we can do to help many poor and or minority communities is encourage traditional families. Children need stable committed moms and dads to have the best chance of becoming contributing adults.


I thought I would give a video summary of various candidates with why I can (or more likely cannot) vote for them.

We will start with McCain. You can see videos about his views on embryonic stem cell research and gay marriage on a previous post. But my reasons for not voting for him go deeper than that. John McCain is just like Bill Clinton; he will say whatever he thinks will go over best with the crowd he is in front of. And let's not forget what a gun-grabber he is.

Now on to Obama. . . We have infanticide

and blatant disregard for the 2nd Amendment.

Obama's video resume could continue, but I think I will leave it at that.

Then there is the Libertarian, Bob Barr. His party is pro-abortion, but he is pro-life.

In Bob Barr's case it is not him so much as his party I can't abide.

My choice for President is Chuck Baldwin.

Now is he every thing I would want in a candidate? No. I disagree with him on some things like the war in Iraq. But he is the best candidate left.

Some people ask me, "Don't you feel like you're wasting your vote?" My answer is it is better to waste a vote than bow to pragmatism over principle. The next question is, "What if all of this third party voting gets Barak Obama into office?" I am only responsible for my vote. If God hands us over to an oppressor, it won't be the first time he has lovingly disciplined a nation. A final question is, "What about judges?" I don't trust McCain to pick any better judges. Even Ronald Reagan wasn't a five-star judge picker so I won't hold out hope that McCain is.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

News from Around the USA

Failing Even With a Cheat Sheet
Rochester students can't pass a test even when given the answers in advance. To read the story and Bruce Shortt's lively commentary on this news at OneNewsNow.

Protesting the Protesters Protesting the Prosecution of Felons
Now we move to Iowa with another OneNewsNow story.

Activists who oppose illegal immigration are staging a counter-protest today (July 27) in an Iowa town that was the site of the largest-ever roundup of illegal immigrants at a single location in the United States.

On May 11, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents descended on the eastern Iowa town of Postville and conducted an immigration raid on a plant run by Agriprocessors, Inc. Nearly 400 illegal workers were detained, most of whom came from Guatemala, but also included individuals from Mexico, Israel, and the Ukraine. But the raid created an uproar among church groups, Hispanic activists, and members of Congress who support illegal immigration, and they came to Postville to stage a huge rally to complain about how the raid disrupted the community and tore families apart.

Susan Tully is national field director with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). She points out that the illegal aliens were charged with aggravated identity theft, the unlawful use of a Social Security number, and other crimes. "They're being prosecuted for the felony they committed," Tully contends. "But not one of these members of Congress and not one of these churches is coming out and speaking about this correctly, by pointing out to the people, 'Oh yeah, by the way, they committed felonies' -- and people who commit felonies...break up their families every day of the week when they get prosecuted and sent to jail."

Is There No End to the Tainted Vegetables?
Now on to Texas, where one contaminated jalepeno is giving the other millions a bad rep. The USA Today story brought a firestorm of comments basically saying, "It's one pepper. Get over it." I guess we Texans are willing to take a stand for our jalepenos.

Hate Crimes Law Violates Pennsylvania Constituion

By John Jalsevac
WASHINGTON, July 25, 2008 ( - On Wednesday the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a short per curiam order, in which it agreed with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania that the state legislature violated the Pennsylvania Constitution when it added "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to Pennsylvania's "ethnic intimidation" law.

Eleven Christians of the evangelical group Repent America were arrested due to that same law in 2004 for reading the Bible and singing hymns at Outfest, a homosexual rally. Though the case was eventually dropped, Repent America filed legal action in 2005 against the act, citing its unconstitutional nature.

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania agreed last November that the law was unconstitutional and struck it down. On appeal the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania sided with the Commonwealth Court, saying on Wednesday: "The order of the Commonwealth Court is AFFIRMED for the reasons ably set forth in the opinion of the Honorable James Gardner Colins, which opinion is adopted as that of the Supreme Court."

In the Commonwealth Court opinion Justice Colins observed that the court struck down the law because the provision violated Article III of the state Constitution, which prohibits a bill's alteration during its passage through the legislature, if the bill's original purpose is changed.
The bill started as a measure against agricultural vandalism, and was changed by the state legislature into a hate crimes bill designed to make it illegal for anybody to protest public homosexual activities and celebrations. The law was used to persecute anybody who stood in the way of the homosexual agenda, redefining peaceful protest by Christians as hate crime.

Though it was thrown out on something of a technicality, I am still glad it was thrown out. We must be constantly vigilant against such laws.

I also praise God for the boldness of the Pennsylvania 11. Because of their boldness to preach the truth and fight the law, a dangerous law was overturned.