Saturday, December 31, 2005


This was a sign on a local Church billboard that I saw today:

RAPTURE: Separation of Church And State

Friday, December 30, 2005

Guns And Alcohol - A Lethal Mix

Guns and alcohol do not go together. An army soldier, on leave in New York to get his wife and take her back to Texas, found this out the hard way.

Apparently, Pvt. Danny Carpio, of Queens, was drinking. He chose to shoot a gun into the air several times on a public street, in a crowded neighborhood. One of the shots fired hit a young mother who was standing in her apartment window.

"As a soldier trained in the safety and handling of weapons both on and off the battlefield, the defendant should have known better than to aimlessly fire a gun in a crowded residential area," District Attorney Brown said in a written statement.

As a result, there is a husband without his wife, and two small children without their Mother. And, Pvt. Carpio faces one charge of second-degree manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon. Each of these charges carries a maximum 15 year sentence.

Thanks to Cao's Blog
Picnic at Basil's Blog

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

All Good Things Come To An End

Sometimes, we don't want things to end. But, end they must. And, one of those things that has ended is the IFC (Internet For Christians) Newsletter from The newsletter was originally started by Quentin Schultze, of Calvin College. He personally chose Peggie Bohanon, of Peggie's Place, to take over the position of Executive Editor, when he moved on.

Today was the last issue of this newsletter, which is received in the email boxes of many, many thousands, and it's going to be missed. And, this was the last day for Peggie in the job at You can read her farewell over at Gospelcom. She's not leaving the Web, though. She has not only her big website, but also her new blog. So, she's going to be busy, but I know she dearly loved her job, and she's going to miss that. So, go give her a visit and pep her up some.

Linked at Conservative Cat

Carnival of Beauty

The subject for Carnival of Beauty was The Beauty of Excellence. This is a collection of posts contributed by ladies of their best posts for the 2005 year of blogging. The Carnival is now up at Two Talent Living.

You'll find some very good articles, including one from me. If you read nothing else, you have to read '
Stuck in the middle with you'. This is life, and we are all going or about to go through it! It's very enlightening, funny, sad, but true. Life might deal us miseries, but we can always find laughter, if we look hard enough!

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Little Things Matter To God

Sometimes we think that God won't honor a small, insignificant prayer request. I have to disagree with that because of what happened today.

I had meant to go exchange a couple gifts my grandson got for Christmas at my house on Sunday evening - from me, and his aunt. But, I got up sick on Monday and just got feeling well enough to go out today. I had bought him an outfit to match - cream colored. The top was a Niki Hoody, and he's very tall, with long arms, for a 17 year old. I got to the Mall, looked through all the Niki Hoodys, and only found 2 of the larger size, navy blue and red. I was upset, and I called my grandson. He decided on the navy blue, although he wasn't that enthused on having to 'settle' for something he really didn't want.

I decided to go to another store I knew carried the Niki brand, but they didn't have the cream colored one, either. So, back to the store I went. But, on the way across the mall, I began to pray, "Lord, my grandson is very disappointed on not getting the cream shirt. Please let one be there when I get back. And, I just thank you for this." Sounds funny, to some, I'm sure - but God hears - He's intervened for me before! And, today, I had the feeling it was going to happen again. So, I entered the store, and as I got near the men's department, I looked across the store down the aisles to a place near the Niki Hoodys. And, there, hanging out of place with other jackets, was a hoody, a cream one,at that! I said, 'thank you, Lord. That's my XL jacket. And, I strolled over to check, and sure enough, it was the one I needed. I just hollered, "Thank you, Lord." Didn't care whether I drawed attention or not! But, I was careful to tell several people how good God had been to me today.

Not only did the Hoody 'appear', it cost me about $26 less than what I had paid for it the week before Christmas! Now, isn't God good!

Liinked at bRight and Early
Thursday's Specials at Jo's Cafe Trackback Thursday
Thanks to Is It Just Me?

Blogging In the Blogosphere

I was reading Adrian’s blog tonight – ‘Peace and goodwill to all’. He was talking about an argument going on in the Christian blogosphere. And, he was in hopes some of us would blog about how Christians should blog or perhaps make a comment on his post, ‘Peace to all...principles for God bloggers.

I wrote a post called ‘Christians Blogging’ in September, in which I talked about how we Christians should let our light shine on the Internet. I had noticed that some, who called themselves Christian, often acted in ways unseemingly of Christians, and it sort of put a damper on my wanting to read their blogs.

I believe we should blog with the thought that there is an ‘all-seeing eye’ watching every post. When we answer others’ questions, we need to do it with love, even when we disagree with things they may say. We may not agree with the belief of others, but we shouldn’t act as though we ‘know it all’, and place judgement on those we don’t seem to agree with. The Internet is not a church; we don’t know enough about each other to make an assessment as to the character of a person. I know posts can sort of show the ‘fruits’ of a Christian,or the lack thereof, but we still should save the final judgement for God.

Adrian has some good points in his ‘principles for God bloggers’. He makes the point that we all have another life, outside of the blogosphere. And, sometimes that private life may spill over into our posts. Whether we are angry or happy has an affect on our posts.

We should not be beyond saying, ‘I’m sorry’, when we offend another with our words. You can only see what is written on the monitor – not into the face of the one saying those words. And, sometimes, what we say is taken not as we meant it to be taken, and can easily offend. And, should we be the one offended, we need not use hurtful words just to ‘get back’ at the offender. That is very un-Christian like. As the Bible says, ‘love covers a multitude of sins’. We should learn compassion for others, and spread the compassion daily through the blogosphere.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christian Carnival CII is Online

Christian Carnival CII is up over at 'The secret life of Gary'. I haven't gotten through all the entries, but I've read a few great ones. One I enjoyed was 'And all God's people said' - from Jungle Pop. But, you'll fine many more to your liking, I am sure.


Gambling By Teens Climbing

Most people consider poker gambling a diversion for most teenagers. But, gambling of any sort can bring on gambling addiction. And, teenagers do not recognize the warning signs.

"But for that small percentage, which is comparable to the percentage that develops serious drug problems — (gambling addiction) is a life-threatening disorder." She says about one-fourth of people in compulsive-gambling treatment programs attempt suicide.
Studies have shown nearly 4 percent of teens are pathological, or compulsive, gamblers. Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania has tracked teen gambling for years, and, in a report they released, they say 80% of those teens gambling are males.

Here are warning signs that a teen's gambling has become a problem.

  • Spending undue amounts of time gambling.

  • Withdrawing from friends and family.
  • Losing interest in other activities.

  • Having less (or more) money than normal.

  • Becoming secretive

  • Thanks to Cao's Blog for Mid Week Open Trackbacks
    Linked to TMH's Bacon Bits Bacon Break

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    AOL unveils blogging service for teens

    AOL unveiled Red Blogs on Tuesday for teens. The teens and their parents will be able to set the level of privacy, completely private, semi-private, or public. Teenagers between the ages of 13-15 will have their blogs blocked from the public view.

    84% of teenagers do not want to share their blog with just anyone. They also prefer to read about people they know, their favorite musicians, and their favorite TV programs. The five most-frequented teen blogs will be featured each week.

    AOL, with Red Blogs, joins MSN with their MSN Spaces, and now Yahoo is testing Yahoo 360, scheduled to be launched this week.

    Linked to Conservative Cat
    Thanks to Is It Just Me?

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    Tuesday, December 27, 2005

    Hug Your Kids

    This was the message Coach Tony Dungy, of the Indianapolis Colts, gave those in attendance at the funeral for his 18 year old son. He said you never know when that last time could be. He saw his son for the last time, at Thankgiving, when he took him to the airport.

    Coah Dungy's son was found unresponsive last week in his Tampa area apartment by his girlfriend. The authorities think it was an apparent suicide, but will not know for sure until the autopsy reports are in.

    Linked at Conservative Cat
    Thanks to Is It Just Me

    Monday, December 26, 2005

    I Survived!

    It's the day after Christmas, and I lived to tell it. I survived 'no church' yesterday, but we did have a beautiful and meaningful Candlelight Communion Service on Friday night.

    I cooked, along with my daughter and daughter-in-law, enough food to feed and army. We had Christmas dinner at my Mother's. We brought home loads of food, after leaving her some for a couple days. And, we ate again at my house, but the food still lingers! Trying to lose weight is hard, when you have such delicious delectables sitting around. A sweet potato pie survived the day, and my husband said it should have gone home with our grandson, who loves them. We definitely do not need to eat it. But, who is going to let one of those pies go to ruin?

    The Christmas tree is still standing, but underneath is bare. The living room floor is heaped with wrappings and torn boxes. The torn boxes are due to grandsons too eager to unwrap - wanting to get into their packages fast! And, after they finished opening their packages, they wondered where more were, since they thought the two older teenagers were getting more. That wasn't the case; they were just sitting back, waiting on their presents, unlike the younger boys. But, all were happy in the aftermath of the day. Everyone was pleased with the gift giving and nobody got mad - thank the Lord! They finished up, watching a movie one of them received. Oh, I did forget; my oldest grandson did make the mention that it was the first Christmas he and his sister didn't get a movie. But, their Mom said, 'okay, I'll take back the MP3 players and get you both the movie you wanted. Then, I'll have some money to buy something else with.' Of course, that didn't go over too good. So they keep the MP3 players!

    All in all, we had a wonderful day. We saw relatives we only see on special occasions, including a newborn in the family. My Mother saw that God was kept in the celebration, too. So, Christmas Day 2005 has come and gone, we are healthy, happy, and full of praise for the King. I'm sure there are others already counting on the days until Christmas Day 2006 arrives! Let me get a breath, please!

    Linked at Conservative Cat
    Thanks to Point Five for Open Trackbacks - Vacation Edition
    Basil's Blog having All Day Picnic

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    Saturday, December 24, 2005

    Christians Disappearing In Birth Place of Jesus

    Bethelem's economy has been destroyed by five years of Palestinian violence. The city is walled off by a security barrier, which means that the Christmas spirit is quickly disappearing. One woman says that Bethlehem is no longer merry. Tourists have begun to come back, but not enough to boost the trade. And, Christians domoniate the town's tourist trade. The violence that is associated with Bethlehem has scared off many tourists.

    Free access is allowed by Israel from Jerusalem, but anyone who returns must go through large lines in order to be checked and have all luggage checked. They aren't even able to bring back food for their children.

    10% of Bethelem's population has left Bethlehem, and these are all Christians. Muslims now outnumber the Christians, and they make up 35% of the population in the city of 60,000 people.

    Linked to Conservative Cat

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    Friday, December 23, 2005

    Season Of The Heart

    During this season, you see people everywhere, fighting the traffic and the crowds to get just the perfect gift for a loved one. Or perhaps they are trying to decide if they should buy a specific gift or just give a gift certificate. Either way, they are out there in the hustle and bustle of the holidays; some don't feel the least bit in the mood - just doing this out of habit. Then there are others who live for 'gift giving' puts them in the Christmas spirit to be able to shop!

    Most people love the Christmas season and what it stands for, but some can't see beyond the Christmas trees, the beautiful lights and the expectation of gifts. How do you view Christmas?

    What a heart God had when he sent his 'only begotten Son' to this earth 2000 years ago, to live as a man, to know the hurt and pain that you and I do - yet he lived a spotless life, and was crucified so that we could live without sin and one day live with Him eternally. WHAT a 'love' of the people GOD had to send His Word to us in the flesh, how unselfish - and this is the way we should live our life today - unselfish to the point that we want others to have what we have, whether it be a gift, or maybe the spiritual gift of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    The Season of the Heart means to me to be the season in which we truly show our love to others - unselfishly, unequivocally - with fervor!! We should be so 'in love' with our God that it our faces shine with 'his presence'.......our eyes should 'light up' for Him!! People should recognize us as having something they want!! And we should be ready to share Jesus with them when we are approached!!

    1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

    Season of The Heart is from my Christmas devotionals.

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    The Carnival Of Christmas Is Up!

    The first Carnival of Christmas is up over at Adam's Blog. I have a piece in there, too. But, there are some great posts on Christmas - a potpourri of Christmas articles - from the serious, to humor, to charities, and all in between. You'll not be disappointed, so go read!

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    Thursday, December 22, 2005

    How Quickly Life Changes

    Indianapolis Colts' Coach Dungy's 18 year old son son, James, was found dead in his apartment early this morning, in Lutz, Florida. Such a tragedy to happen to a family to lose a child, and one who hasn't yet experienced life. Cause of death is unknown, pending an autopsy, but foul play is not suspected.

    Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, have four other children. Coach Dungy is now back in Tampa with his family.

    The Colts had a 13-0 season until they lost to the San Diego Charges last weekend. They will meet the Seattle Seahawks this Saturday without their head Coach Dungy. Assistant Coach Jim Caldwell will be stepping into Dungy's shoes for the game. This is something for which he was prepared, but never wanted to do.

    Our prayers go out to the family at this time, for peace and comfort. May God give you the strength to make it through these trying times.

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    Legalism Gone Amuck?

    Carol, at ‘She Lives’ can work wonders on the mind! I just got through reading her post, “She Squints”, wondering what was coming with that post. She surprised me! It’s nothing you would think of that had to do with squinting – or did it?

    One of the definitions in the American Heritage Dictionary says, “to look askance (with disapproval, suspicion, or distrust), as in disapproval.

    Legalism has gotten under the skin in years gone by, believe me! I remember when our denomination held to the ‘long hair, no makeup, no jewelry, no pants – for women! I don’t remember anything of that nature being placed on the men. Although it was said to have come out of the Bible, it was really a man-made doctrine, which has since been done away with – although lots of the older generation still adhere to those things. I think all things should be done in moderation; no jezebel here!

    As Carol said, some people can find evil in almost anything! I don’t think the Lord meant for Christians to live without pleasures in life. But, I think He wants us to be Christ-like in everything we do. We can have fun without going out to the bars, drinking ourselves staggering drunk, or telling nasty jokes. There are many more things I could name, but you get the picture. The things we do should be done in a way that the world knows where we stand with God.

    Movies were once thought to all be evil for Christians. We don’t go to shows much, but have in the past. We do watch TV, which some see as ‘evil’. Oh, there is EVIL all over the TV, but we should discern between good and evil – watch the good – turn off the evil. Now, I’m not talking ball games. (smiles) I love them about as good as the men! I often watch with my husband (I like them better than he does). And, I go to the high school football games because our grandson plays.

    Nothing wrong with reading. Just keep the eyes on the good stuff, and off of porn.

    And, since we’re coming upon Christmas in a couple days, how about that? Do you celebrate Christmas or not? Do you celebrate the birth of the KING on the 25th, or do you believe it’s wrong, since we know he wasn’t born on the 25th? Do you think the Lord cares when we celebrate? Do you think it’s wrong to even celebrate His birth? I’ve heard from one guy who thinks it’s definitely wrong, and especially celebrating it near what he calls the Winter Solstice celebration. As for me, I never knew about that celebration until this year! I celebrate the birth of Christ, our living King, on that day. But, then, we are to celebrate (worship) Him every day of the year.

    I don’t know about you. But, when God saved me, He brought me out of bondage. That doesn’t mean I don’t obey His Word, but that I have liberty in Him, and am no longer entangled in bondage of man. Legalism isn’t going to bind my life up in tangles ever again.

    Linked to Overnight News and Open Post at bRight and Early
    Linked to Basil's Blog for Supper 12-22-2005
    Thanks to Conservative Cat

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    Spotlight on Good Teens

    Too often, the spotlight is put on the teens with problems. But, we have the ‘good teens’ who want to make life a little better for others.

    I came across AllThingsToAll’s blog today, and read the entry, “Three Teens Up To No Bad”. Seems that 3 high school students from New Jersey got the idea to help victims in Darfur. They have set up the non-profit organization, “Help Darfur Now,Inc”. This is a vast undertaking for these young people. But, with their compassion, they will do well!

    Then, I came across “Fort McMurray Today”. Young people had gathered in the gym of Father Mercredi high school where Santas Anonymous preparations are underway. They gather food and toys and clothes for needy families – this year, they will help 515 families. And, these young people are now wrapping those gifts to be given out to these families. This gives those youngsters a feeling of self-worth, and they more readily understand what it does to you, when you help others in need. This tradition has gone on for 21 years at this school, and it finds alumni still coming back to help the high school students on this important day.

    The Oregonian had another great piece about teenagers. Ten high school students from Lake Oswego High School will visit Mississippi for 6 days to build a house, which, in turn, will help build their character.

    These teens know they are going to be in for a culture shock. They leave behind a nice lifestyle in Oregon, and go into a very impoverished neighborhood in Mississippi.

    As part of a Political Action Seminar class, the students volunteered to work with Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge, which helps organize groups of students 16 or older in building homes for families living in poverty.
    These students help raise $700 a piece to make the trip. And, then Re/Max Real Estate chipped in the remaining $2,200. The students are looking forward to the trip.

    Closer to home, here in Alabama, the Times Daily ran a story about a youth from Pell City, Alabama. The Duran North seventh grader has been piling up great information for a future resume. He will make his debut in the upcoming NASCAR comedy movie starring Will Ferrell, which is slated to be released in July or August 2006.

    Houston Tumlin says he loves acting, but he also loves his hometown. Who knows what the future has for this young man. His Mom says he's like any other pre-teen with braces, loves sports, and now he's fell right back into his school without missing a beat.

    Life may be back to normal - if it ever could be after a taste of acting - but this has put thoughts in this youngster's head. We probably haven't heard the last of this young man, who already has starred in commericals.

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    Wednesday, December 21, 2005

    Checking The List

    We have a little over 3 days until Christmas Day. Hopefully, we have checked the list, bought those last minute gifts, and ready to cook that big Christmas feast. But, if you have not checked the list lately, maybe now is the time.

    • Is the tree up and trimmed? Hopefully, you did it earlier than I, and easier, as well. I had problems with lights not burning – you are supposed to ‘check them first’. But, we women like to try out things and then check or read instructions.
    • Have you mailed your Christmas cards? If you haven’t, like me, then you are probably too late, unless they live in the same town! I sent out one to my Mother and each of my two children. The rest will have to wait until next year.
    • Have you scanned your list of names you buy gifts for, and made sure you have a gift for each of them? And, if there is someone who ‘might’ come, then perhaps you need to buy a couple of inexpensive gifts to give, just ‘in case’. Very embarrassing to have someone show up and them be the only one without a gift under the tree.
    • Do you have wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, and plenty of it? Also, what about those small bags for the ‘little things’? Each year, I try to buy lots of extras. You never know what you might get into, if you wait until Christmas Eve to wrap gifts like I usually do. I had planned on having them all wrapped early this year, but, I haven’t made it. After all, I just finished my shopping yesterday.
    • Now, to the feast: have you a menu already planned? Do you still have to buy the groceries, or do you have them already? I’m one of those who likes to wait until the last possible moment to buy my meat. And, I’m doing it again this year – nothing new here!
    • Now, to the worse thing on the list – cleaning the house! I think we all need to ask for a maid for Christmas, seriously! The house is my worse nightmare. I have good intentions, and did start on Monday. Good intentions, but they didn't last too long. Today, I did a few more things, along with finishing my tree. I still have the majority of the work to do, and MANY things to do besides that: beautician, buy my Mother’s groceries and mine on Friday. On Saturday, we go to his sister’s house during the day for awhile. And, I have to cook for Sunday. When do I have time to clean besides tomorrow? I can't put it off any longer, or Christmas will be here, and I will not be ready!
    Hopefully, I haven’t gotten you so depressed that you will not check your list. Even check it twice! Then, if you want – compute! That’s what I am doing!

    Linked at Conservative Cat
    Linked at Adam's Blog - Open Trackback

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    Time On Your Hands

    And, nothing to do? Well, why not click on some of the links I've provided and enjoy some good reading for the Christmas holidays! For those of you who have a little of the youngster that believes in Santa in you, this first article is a 'must read' for you!

    Thanks to Cao's Blog - Mid Week OTB
    Linked to Conservative Cat

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    Clergy To Protest At White House

    Friday, a group of clergymen were to gather in front of the White House to ask President Bush to nullify the military policies that stop the clergy from praying 'in Jesus name'.

    One chaplain told the news that he would be out of a job. He has had a glowing fitness report for 14 years; yet he will be without retirement, and his family will be kicked out of government housing. In other words, the last 14 years have meant nothing, and he'll be out on his own, minus the retirement he would have gotten.

    In October, 75 members of Congress, led by Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., wrote to the president urging him to sign an executive order guaranteeing the right of chaplains to pray according to their religious traditions.

    Jones, who is a Catholic, told the Denver Post that, when people know you are a Chrisian, they know your faith, and they know you believe in Jesus as your Savior. He says they shouldn't be made to deny their faith.

    Said the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, a Presbyterian minister and director of the Christian Defense Coalition: "Sadly, we are witnessing a growing hostility toward expressions of faith in the public square. It is important the public be reminded that the First Amendment promises freedom 'of' religion not freedom 'from' religion. We call upon President Bush to issue this executive order allowing each military chaplain to pray according to their respective faith tradition, to ensure that religious freedom and the First Amendment are honored and protected."

    Hopefully, President Bush will come across with this order, which would make it clear that Chaplains have the right to pray the way their religion dictates.

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    Monday, December 19, 2005

    Calling All Chocolate Lovers

    'Chocoholics', as they call themselves, may have something on the rest of us. According to a study by Swiss scientists, just a small piece of dark chocolate could lower your risk of getting heart disease.

    A few squares of chocolate with 74 per cent cocoa was found to have a powerful antioxidant effect, helping to stop arteries from hardening and narrowing.
    Blood flow was significantly increased in smokers after only eating 40 grams of dark chocolate. In a report by Dr. Roberto Cortio, it said that dark chocolate had an anti-oxidant effect that was more powerful than any other source.

    The report admitted that dark chocolate for reducing heart disease was still out for debate. But, research is done to see if something is might be of benefit in the future. And, I'm sure this will make all those chocoholics out there happy!

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    Saturday, December 17, 2005

    There Is Life After Middle Age

    What might bring tears to my eyes, in earlier years, appears to me as sort of funny. I've been there, done that, and, believe me, life gets better!

    I was reading Randy's Resonating post over at The Upward Way Press. He had gotten all teary eyed over Michael Spencer's post about being middle-aged. So, I had to go investigate. After all, women also go through middle-age on the way of those happy years.

    Most of what I found there I could identify with - other than being the father/husband/son. Women go through those stages that make you feel you are too old to identify with the youngsters, but you are too young to be considered old enough to be out with the seniors. Our teenagers once thought that we were from the 'ice age'. But, now with both in their middle to upper 30's, and fastly approaching 40, they see things a little differently. But, still, Mom and Dad are a little old for them, my husband thinks.

    I believe the inner self wants to be young, and we do 'see' ourselves younger than we might appear to others. And, sometimes, our body tells the truth on us. When you pass the stages of having teenagers at home, to having grandchildren, that's when life gets interesting. Your own children may think you are a little too eccentric for them - not wanting to act your age. But, your grandchildren love you just how you are. Maybe getting older is better than being stuck in middle-age.

    When you begin to live beyond middle-age, life takes on a new meaning. You know you are on the downward path of life, and you want to do everything possible. Laughter is definitely good medicine for the soul. You no longer want to feel sorry for yourself; you tend to think those kind of people are only having a pity party. You no longer look in the mirror to see that young face; you know it's not there, but life is worth living regardless of the wrinkles.

    We have gotten to the age where there's nothing wrong with admitting we don't know it all. After all, we learn something new every day.

    We have reached the age where we can do whatever we want, whenever we want. We don't have to answer to anyone, or be around when the children come home.

    Michael mentioned the fact that most of the bloggers are in their middle twenties, and it's just not in him to be that 'right' anymore. He has a point. As we grow older, and mellow, our thinking changes. We are no longer in a hurry. There's no need to try and beat one at their own game - or a need to be right every time. Doesn't matter that we no longer wear the 'in' shoes (for women, that means high heels). Vanity doesn't show up half as much as it did in younger years!

    This month was the anniversary of the death of Thomas Merton. I love that old monk. When he made it to middle age, and the passions of his romance with a student nurse and the grumbling of his earlier years had passed, he settled into what he hoped would be the most productive period of his life. After conflicts with his abbot for many years, a new abbot gave him permission to travel and write as he had always wished.

    On his first trip, he was electrocuted in his room when he tripped over a fan and it fell on him.

    That’s what I’m talking about.

    We’re waiting, Lord, for you to rescue us from middle-age, before we trip over a fan we should have known was there all along.

    As Michael asks God to rescue him from middle-age, before something happens that is unforseen, I thank the Lord for every day since middle-age. I am at the age where I feel blessed to be alive. So many never make it out of middle-age, into their golden years. I don't feel I've 'arrived' there yet, but I'm on my way. And, with the Lord guiding my footsteps, perhaps I'll make it without another broken hip!

    Linked at Conservative Cat
    Thanks to Is It Just Me? - Peace Has It's Price

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    What Message Are We Sending Our Children?

    We spend the formative years of our children teaching them the ways of life. We want them to be strong individuals, to respect others, and do no wrong. We ask them to tell us when others abuse or try to abuse them. We want to know every aspect of their lives, day and night. The information trail deepens, as those same children get into school, High School, in particular, and start the dating process. In other words, we want to know everything there is to know about our children's lives. This seems only fair, since we have raised them, right?

    In today's society, teenagers seem to have more of a mind of their own than they were allowed when I was growing up. Report cards came home, into the hands of the parents, or you were in deep trouble! My Mother knew what I was doing in school, the grades I was getting, because she stayed involved. She didn't wait until her children brought the six weeks report card home; she asked every day to see our papers.

    In Santa Clara, CA, a 15 year old teenager has been accused of killing his Dad so he wouldn't see he was failing subjects. The parents were separated, an evidentally, he must have been living with his Dad. He took a gun from a safe in his Dad's bedroom and stashed it in his room before the killing. After shooting his Dad at close range, he set the house on fire, since he was unable to remove the body and bury it in his back yard.

    There's something wrong with this situation. I know the separation of parents really hits a child hard. But, if the avenues of communication are kept open between the child and each parent, things like this should not be happening in a 15 year old teenagers life. I don't know the situation between the father and son. But, it seems to me, either they weren't communicating, or the child was definitely afraid of his parent, enough so, that he thought his only avenue of recourse was to kill the Dad. This is not sending a good message to parents!

    Communicate with your children. Find out what is going on in their minds, watch their activities, and check out their friends. But, best of all, teach your children that they pay the consequences when they do things that are against the law. The child is no longer considered a child, when he takes another's life. In this case, this young man will more than likely spend the rest of his life within the confines of a prison. Sad ending for a 15 year old, who's only crime, until now, seems to have been making failing grades.

    Linked to Conservative Cat
    Stuck on Stupid Free Link Fest
    Stop The ACLU Weekend Trackback Fest
    Thanks to "Is It Just Me?" - A Dose of Reality

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    Mexico Condemns Immigration Bill

    The last time I checked, this was America. What right does Mexico have to suggest what we do in our own country is wrong? What right do they have in telling us the bills we pass in Congress are wrong? Apparently, it's hurting the progress of the illegal migrant workers' attempts to get to the United States without being caught.

    The House of Representatives voted to enlist the help of military and local law enforcement to stop illegals from entering the country. They also voted to require employers to verify their worker's legal status.

    The problem probably stems from this: the House authorized a fence to be built along the border. But, in doing so, they didn't include a temporary work program for migrants. Mexico authorities doesn't think this will strengthen relations between the two countries.

    President Bush urged Congress almost two years ago to enact a guest worker program that would allow illegal immigrants to stay in the country temporarily to fill jobs unwanted by Americans.

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    Friday, December 16, 2005

    President Bush Asked For Money To Rebuild Levees

    President Bush asked Congress for more money to re-build Levees in New Orleans. They are to be built safer than ever before. They will be as high as 17 feet in some areas, and built to withstand hurricanes as bad as Katrina.

    The $1.5 billion would be used to:

    • armor the levee system with concrete and stone
    • close three interior canals (London, 17th Street and Industrial)
    • build state-of-the-art pumping systems for water to flow out of the canals into Lake Pontchartrain
    It will take about two years to rebuild the levees. FEMA cannot spend money on levees, so discussions are taking place on how to reallocate money from FEMA and where the money is coming from to do the work.

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    Thursday, December 15, 2005

    Christian Carnival 100 Up

    The Christian Carnival 100 is up at If you want some good reading, go check out the Carnival.


    Wednesday, December 14, 2005

    Here Comes Jane!

    Jane is at it again, Jane Fonda, that is. Remember Hanoi Jane from the Vietnam war? Well, she's once again 'coming out' against another war, the Iraqi war. She said America was lied to - I guess she knows better than those of her party who thought otherwise, when they voted to go to war because Saddam Hussein had weapons of massive destruction. Oh, I guess she has had a memory lapse!

    Jane is going to cruise across the US in a vegetable oil-fueled bus in order to protest the war. She's going after relatives of Iraqi war veterans to speak out against the war. But, many say she is doing harm.

    "It's like putting gasoline on a bonfire for so many veterans who will never forget what she did in Vietnam," said American Legion spokeswoman Ramona Joyce. "We don't want to see a Baghdad Jane."
    Nobody wants a re-run of her antics from the Vietnam era, especially our military.Has she gotten to the point in her career or her life, that she has to do this for exposure that she isn't getting otherwise? She has already made herself the name of Hanoi Jane. Is she now going for Baghdad Jane? Michelle Malkin has a good article on that, along with lots of great links to follow.

    Thanks to Cao's Blog for Mid-week trackback

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    The Best Christmas Present Under The Tree

    What was in demand when you were a child? Back in my early days, to get a bicycle was like getting a chunk of gold! I never got one, but my older brother did. I got a hand-me-down from a cousin later. But, I got to ride that big bicycle! My husband remembers the Christmas that he and his older brother got a BB gun together! It was the highlight of his youth!

    When our children came along, it was the years of The Rubix Cube, GI Joes, Barbies', Monopoly, and still the BB guns. Now, when my grandchildren are growing up, it's been Nintendo, Playstation I & II, and now the XBox, or anything new in the electronics line. For the teenagers, it's the age of the cell phone or the car.

    But, Jane Jimenez puts it all in perspective with her column in the Agape Press. We can buy our children anything that our money can afford. But, the best thing is free. That is a stable family life, starting with the parents who are committed to having a happy life and home in which to bring up their children. It means being dedicated to staying together, and the children know they will always have a home and family to come back home to, after they leave. My husband and I have been married 41 1/2 years. I give the Lord the thanks for keeping us together. My parents were married for almost 55 years, when my Dad died. My husband's parents were married for almost 66 years, when his Mom died. They had raised twelve children. You know this was a very taxed family; yet, they stayed together and raised all their children. There's nothing like having an intact family during the holidays; not all children have this.

    Linked to Conservative Cat

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    Tuesday, December 13, 2005

    What Gifts Did You Receive?

    Yes, it's Christmas time again, and gifts are on the list. We have come to expect a few gifts on Christmas morning. Admit it! You'd be upset, if you didn't have at least one gift to open from your spouse.

    But, those are gifts from our earthly kin. The gifts I'm speaking of are those spoken of in scripture - the spiritual gifts. While browsing the Internet, and reading my usual blogs, I came across the post, She Has Gifts, by Carol at She Lives. She had put a link to a Spiritual Gifts Test at She also invited others to share their results of the test. So, here is my results.

    • Faith 23
    • Discernment 17
    • Helps/Serving/Ministering 15
    • Knowledge 13
    • Mercy 11
    • Teaching 11
    • Wisdom 11
    • Evangelism 10
    • Exhortation 10
    • Giving 10
    • Administration/Ruling 9
    • Pastor/Teacher 6
    My score in faith I figured would be high, because I do rely on God for things that might run someone else to the doctor or someone else. But, the gift of encouragement is one I want to build upon. I was told years ago that I did have the gift of encouragement, but it doesn't appear as high as I would have thought. Then, these sort of tests are just a rule of thumb to go by - not a sure thing.

    For example, I took another spiritual gifts test and got different results - from different questions. So, results will always be different. For instance:
    • Faith 17
    • Discernment 21
    • Helps 15
    • Knowledge 17
    • Mercy 7
    • Teaching 5
    • Wisdom 8
    • Evangelism 3
    • Exhortation 13
    • Giving 7
    • Administration 6
    • Pastor 7
    Discernment and faith seem to be right opposite on this particular test. They also have other gifts listed that I haven't included.

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    True Story about "Holiday Trees"

    Today, at our Ladies' Christmas luncheon, a friend told us this story of her friend's husband with the 'holiday tree' ad from Lowes.

    The man went into Lowes, newspaper in hand that had the ad that said 'holiday trees' could be purchased in Lowes. He went around in the store, unable to find the display. He went to find someone to help him. He asked to see the 'holiday trees', and the employee took him to the part of the store where the former 'holiday trees' were, but now called 'Christmas trees'. He said, "Oh, no, I have one of those; I'm looking for your 'holiday trees'. The employee looked puzzled and told him that was the only trees that had right now. So, the man told him he not only wanted a 'holiday tree', but all the 'holiday lights and ornaments' to go with it, just like the ad said. Well, the employee took him over to the display for lights and ornaments, but, they, too, had been changed to say "Christmas ornaments and lights".

    The man wouldn't stop there. He asked to see a manager, to which he complained: "Your ad in the paper says 'Holiday trees' and 'lights' for sale. But, I get in here and all you have is 'Christmas trees and lights'. He went on to say he had never seen a 'holiday tree' and he wanted to see it. But, since they were advertising them, and didn't have them in stock, he was going to sue. (He wasn't really, but was making his point). He told the manager that this is what happens when you try and take Christ out of Christmas; you mess things up. He told them that without CHRIST, there would be no Christmas, for God sent His only begotten Son to earth so that we might be redeemed and have eternal life with him.

    This man was very courageous to me! He not only showed them mistake of not stopping the newspaper ads and only changing it in the stores, but also shared the gospel of Christ with those who were listening.

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    Monday, December 12, 2005

    Story Behind 'Mary, Did You Know?'

    Mark Lowry, author of the song, Mary, Did You Know?, is known for his singing and as a comedian, who spent many years with the Gaither Vocal band. But, he may be known more, years from now, for the song that came from his meditation written for a Christmas program at his church.

    In 1984, he was asked to write a song for the Advent. He came up with questions he might ask Mary about her son, Jesus. The questions he came up with were used before each scene of the musical.

    Six years later, harmonica virtuoso Buddy Greene supplied just the right music and "Mary, Did You Know?" was complete.

    Since then, his song has been recorded by more than 30 artists. The one I love most is Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd's rendition. It's beautiful. It is being played during this Christmas season on radio stations every where. Lowry will indeed be remembered, not only for his singing and comedy style, but for this great song, as well.

    Sunday, December 11, 2005

    Who Started Christmas?

    A woman was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable, and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.

    She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year---overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, get that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, make sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

    Finally the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff.

    When the doors closed she couldn't take it anymore and stated, “Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up, and shot.” From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet, calm voice respond, “Don't worry. We already crucified him.”

    Thanks to Pastor Tim at Cybersalt Digest for this story.

    Linked to Conservative Cat.
    Thanks to Jo's Cafe for the Saturday Specials.
    Linked at - Open Trackbacks


    Friday, December 09, 2005

    Censorship on Christmas

    This 'political correctness' has gone from being silly to absurd! Christmas has been with us for many years.The majority of Americans will celebrate the birth of Christmas on December 25, regardless of how others view the day.

    Stores have been challenged lately for their use of Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Many had re-named their Christmas 'holiday trees'. And, many of these big-name stores have backed down from their original plans, either changing this year, or plans to change back next year.

    One Governor quickly straightened out the person who 'assumed' they would be lighting a holiday tree at the mansion this weekend. Governor Sonny Perdue, of Georgia, quickly got out the message that they would be lighting a 'Christmas tree', not a 'holiday tree'.

    "Due to a politically correct staff brain-freeze, the [governor's] press office erroneously used the word 'holiday tree' to describe the coniferous flora that the governor and first lady will light this Sunday," McLagan wrote. "It is, in fact, a Christmas tree. The staffer responsible can be contacted at P.O. Box 432, Anchorage, Alaska, 99501."

    A Wisconsin elementary school has changed the words to Silent Night to "Cold In The Night", which has secularized the lyrics. One parent has contacted the Liberty Counsel, based in Florida. Mat Staver, president of the group, says the school has decorated the school with Santa, Kwanzaa, menorahs, and even Labafana.

    The attorney says Ridgeway is now a target of Liberty Counsel's "Friend or Foe" campaign. "As a result of this absurdness, Liberty Counsel has issued a demand letter on behalf of a parent whose child attends this elementary school, and who will be participating in this program if the school does not back down." That demand letter, he says, asks for an immediate change in the program -- or Liberty Counsel will file suit.

    Here's an article on labafana:

    In Italy Christmas is celebrated as LaBafana

    ·Instead of Santa Clause, a Witch rides a broom and deliver's presents

    ·Legend has it that the tree wise men came to La Bafana to take her to see the birth of the holy child. La Bafana replied that she was too busy.

    ·Ridden with guilt Labafana delivers presents in search of the holy child.

    A school in Jupiter, Florida, has cut "Little Drummer Boy", "Angels We Have Heard On High", and "How Great Our Joy" from their Indepence Middle School's Christmas concert.

    Jupiter resident Linda Cameron feels anti-Christian bigotry has gotten out of control this Christmas season. "I think it's a very sad state of affairs that we have come to," she says, "for a country that came to fruition with the dreams and hopes of worshipping freely, that now we've come to a point where our founding religion is the only religion [being excluded.] It almost seems as though they're trying to eradicate Christianity altogether."

    All around America, these things are happening. Some schools have banned Christmas music on the buses, banned the exchange of candy canes with religious messages, and some have even went as far as excluding green and red colors at Christmas parties. This is about as absurd as it can get!

    But while the specters of civil liberties challenges and costly litigation loom large in the minds of many public school and government officials, one New Orleans-based pro-family activist believes a backlash is beginning against the liberal atheist and secularist groups that use such intimidation to their advantage. Rev. Grant Storm of Christian Conservatives for Reform says he sees an awakening among believers in response to the anti-Christian tactics of groups like the ACLU.

    I pray people are waking up to what America is becoming, unless we do speak out against this sort of treatment toward Christians and Christian holidays. Others aren't forbidden their time of celebrating their holidays; yet, Christians are being told it's not correct for us to celebrate our Christian holiday, because it might 'offend'. The shoe could be on the other foot! Why can't we live in a world where each is free to worship how they like, and not feel offended. If there were not organizations pushing all this 'political correctness', I doubt that it would bother most people that Christmas stayed Christmas, the Christmas tree stayed a Christmas tree, or we said "Merry Christmas" instead of Happy Holidays. I've wished people "Happy Holidays", but in a different light. When you include Christmas and New Years in the greeting, then it is multiple holidays. But, that doesn't take Christ out of Christmas, or MERRY out of the holiday!

    Linked to Conservative Cat
    Thanks to Cao's Blog
    Supper At Basil's Blog

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    TBN Bumped Hal Lindsey's Program For December

    TBN has bumped Hal Lindsey's popular news show for the month of December. His show examines world events in light of the scripture. Lindsey is at a loss as to why it really was pulled.

    John Casoria, general secretary for TBN, says that the programming for the month of December is given to those that focus on Christmas programming. But, Lindsey says this is the first time he's ever been pre-empted for the entire month of December.

    He says his program has served as a warning about the true nature of Islam. "If you read the Quran, which I've done intensively, you'll find that it is not a religion of peace," he says. "This is why so many Muslims -- once they become really dedicated in reading the Quran and following the Quran closely -- they become radical."He says he convinced there is a desperate need for Christians to learn the true nature of Islam -- and why that religion is such a threat. "It's a threat not only to Christians but especially to Israel," he asserts, "and they're determined to destroy the nation of Israel."

    Casoria says that they don't want to censor Lindsey's show. But, it seems that is what they are really doing, not allowing him to air during the entire Christmas season. The real reason seems to be this: Crouch says he doesn't want to inflame the the Arab people "against TBN". This would surely lose them listeners. I wonder how many Arab people really listen to Lindsey's program, which is meant for the Christian audience.

    Linked at Conservative Cat

    Wednesday, December 07, 2005

    The Twelve Rules of Christmas

    For those who wonder what is allowed and what is not allowed legally, can go to Rutherford Institute, and read or copy The Twelve Rules of Christmas.

    Too many Christians are put off by their employers, businesses, schools, etc, and won't fight to have the same rights as other religions. Christmas is being taken out from under us, and, it will be gone, if we don't learn the true rules and make sure others abide by them, by opening our mouths, when we see where they are mistaken in their beliefs.

    John W. Whitehead has gotten these twelve rules together for those of us who desire the truth.

    Are children really forbidden from learning about one of the most culturally significant events because it is religious? For that matter, are adults forbidden at work or in public places to celebrate the religious aspects of Christmas?

    The truth is simply that no, they are not. In fact, there are constitutionally sound principles that, if followed, will allow the religious significance of Christmas to be celebrated and taught.

    We must remember that those who founded this country and established the freedoms we still cherish were a religious people, and they passed these traditions down to us. Hopefully, we will not be too timid to continue their legacy of freedom.

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    Alabama Legislature Offers 1st-Ever State Curriculum For Study of Bible

    Two Democrat leaders in the House of Representative in Alabama have proposed a course that will allow high schools students to study Bible literacy as an elective in grades 8-12. This will be an academic exercise showing the Bible's influence on Western civilization.

    The textbook has been praised by educators, and also Jewish and Christian leaders for it's depth in accuracy, research, and fairness.

    Majority Leader Guin, the author of the bill, said it's imperative that children be "imparted with the scholastic knowledge of the Bible that is being lost between our generations."

    Guin says that 98% of the English teachers believe Bible literacy gives the students a distinct educational advantage. Only 8% of American students in public schools say their school offers an elective on the Bible.

    Linked at Conservative Cat - Floating Ping Festival
    Thanks to Cao's Blog

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    Christian Carnival 99 Is Up

    Christian Carnival 99 is up already at Attention Span. Rev-Ed has used the theme Famous 99's in History. Great choice! And, there are some great articles there for reading, so go on over.


    Tuesday, December 06, 2005

    Charlie Brown Christmas To Air Tonight on ABC

    The 1960's program will once again be aired tonight. I discovered this by reading Carolyn McCulley's blog, Solo Femininity. Carolyn has some great insights to this movie, some that most of us probably haven't thought about. But, there are some that each of us may identify with, if we came from that era of movie watching.

    You can read more about the Charlie Brown Christmas at Cinema Red.


    Profanity: Language Of The Weak?

    One of my pet peeves is profanity coming from the mouth of a confessed Christian. I don't like profanity at all, but, when it comes from someone who is supposed to be 'made in the image' of the Lord, then, to me, it's doubly troubling.

    I ran across an article at Tim Challies' blog in his sidebar about Profanity, language, and Christians, written by Warren Kelly at View From The Pew. He quoted Ephesians 5:4.

    Ephesians 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

    I believe, once we become a born-again Christian, a follower of Christ, we will clean up our 'act', and profanity will no longer be a stronghold on our lives. The Word says "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh" (Matthew 12:34). If we are 'cleaned up', then profanity shouldn't be spewing from our mouths. It bothers me tremendously to go to what I think is a Christian site, only to find offensive words, words that shouldn't be coming from the mouths of Christians. It's smut talk, in that it blackens the person's image in others' eyes.

    Carla, from the Community Blog, has a great post on 'Our Speech -Revisited', in which she talks about how some Christians try to justify the use of cussing and swearing (ANY WORDS) are okay, "used in the proper text".

    This seems to be all a part of modern Christianity. Freedom, liberty, to say, think, do, and engage in whatever seems okay at the time. What has happened in our local churches, that has opened this door? Why has our standard of holy living been lowered so low, that we don’t sound any different than the average man on the street?

    I believe the Word says that God never changes. We are made in His image, in His likeness. We are to follow after holiness.

    II Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    When we truly are 'cleansed' in our mind and body, I believe we will not have the need or want to use this offensive language in our conversations. It will not come freely from our mouths, although some may think it's okay. But, there always is a question in my mind about anyone, professing Christianity, when their mouth doesn't line up with the Word of God.

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    Monday, December 05, 2005

    It's Okay To Say 'Merry Christmas'

    Threats and intimidation from different groups have made schools feel like they can't do certain things because it's constitutionally wrong. One of those things that schools have started disallowing is the ability to have Christmas programs, Christmas parties, or even to say 'Merry Christmas' in school.

    The ADF Christian attorney, David Cortman, is fighting this battle in a school district in Georgia. They have stopped their teachers from wearing any clothing that might have a religious connotation, or wearing any religious jewelry. They are to call their Christmas party a 'winter' party. Jackson County schools have completely taken Christmas out of the public school system. And, Cortman is trying to change their thinking on the subject. He says law does not support what they are doing.

    The Alliance Defense Fund had sent out memos to 9,000 school districts this year, informing them the constitutionality of religious expression. But, apparently Jackson County, Georgia never got the memo.

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    Sunday, December 04, 2005

    The Lights of Christmas

    My Christmas tree isn't up yet. I just haven't taken the time to take it down from the attic, get out all my decorations and get it put up. I will have to find another place for it this year, since we bought a new entertainment center this past summer. That's one reason I've not been in such a big hurry.

    And,with the Christmas tree trimmings comes the Christmas lights. I happened upon a blog article tonight at Random Responses which talked about where most lights are made: China. But, the post didn't stop there. It talked about how an imprisoned Christian pastor was making our lights. He spent many hours doing this, without tools - only his fingers and teeth to do the job. He was given minimal food for the entire day, which is not enough to keep a dog alive, let alone a man. Read the entire Lights of Christmas story.

    When I buy lights for decorating at Christmas, I usually just pick up what I want and never give it a thought as to how they are made. So many things in life are taken for granted by us, this being one.

    Linked to Oblogatory Anecdotes Weekend Open Trackbacks
    Choose Life Merry Christmas ACLU Open Post
    Stuck on Stupid - 2005 White House Christmas Card

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    Saturday, December 03, 2005

    Federal Judge Bans Jesus From Legislative Prayers

    Once again, 'Jesus' is being denied an entrance into the government, through a Judge's denial of the use of Jesus' name in the prayers of ministers opening each legislative session.

    U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton, appointed by President Clinton, says prayers must be non-sectarian.

    In his 60-page decision U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton cited Supreme Court precedent in ordering Speaker of the House Brian Bosma to keep future ministers from using "Christ's name or title or any other denominational appeal."
    The lawsuit was brought against Bosma by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union -- the Indiana affiliate of the ACLU -- on behalf of four Indiana citizens. One is a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers), another is a retired United Methodist minister and two are Roman Catholic.
    The ICLU did not ask that the prayers be discontinued altogether -- only that the prayers not be sectarian and include Christ's name.

    Curt Smith is encouraging Bosma to appeal the decision to the U.S. Seventh Court of Appeals. He says that the Judge's ruling is what the lawyer's call 'viewpoint discrimination' - in that he is banning prayers only in the name of Jesus. Smith is the president of the conservative Indiana Family Institute. A Democrat, Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer, said he would support Bosma, if he decided to appeal the decision.

    This ruling didn't set too well with Bosma. He says the Judge is instructing him to stop ministers from praying in the name of Jesus. He said it's wrong that a court would ask a minister not to give prayers in the tradition of his faith in our free society. There are ministers from all faiths who pray at the opening of the sessions. Many of these ministers have said they will not pray, if they are not able to use the name of Jesus in their prayers.

    Hamilton says that the prayers proselytize and advanced the Christian faith. But Bosma disagreed. He said he had always enjoyed the diversity in the prayers. But, he said now Hamilton's ruling forbids any invited minister of exercising their free speech and praying as they normally would in their own faith. One thing that is sort of ironic - Hamilton is the son of a United Methodist minister.

    Linked at California Conservative -Open Post: Weekend Edition
    Stop The ACLU - Weekend Party For the Politically Incorrect
    Conservative Cat - Floating Ping Festival

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    Friday, December 02, 2005

    Absent From Blogging This Week

    For someone who loves to blog daily, I've been absent this week for a good cause. I've been to the mountains - Smokey Mountains, that is. I took a trip with 48 more senior or nearly-senior citizens to Pigeon Forge, TN. It's a long drive, but worth the trip. And, although it was cold and very windy there, this week, especially on Thursday, we had a great time of shopping and attending shows.

    Yearly, there is a bus tour going to Pigeon Forge, and Mother and I are usually among those on the bus. This year, the bus was almost full! Most of us are Christians who enjoy great fellowship and fun together. We enjoy the company of those we've met over the yet, as well as those who came first this year. It's like a 'family' that gets together to go on a vacation, with a common bond - Jesus! We laugh and sing. Today, was no exception, as we traveled down the roads back home. Several singers and musicians on the trip - but no guitar or harmonica, so they sang "a cappella" and did a great job harmonizing. We enjoyed lots of hymns and Christmas songs.

    These trips are especially meaningful to me, since my Mother is going on 89 years of age.She enjoys getting out with people. My Daddy has been dead for over 15 years, and these outings mean lots to her. She cannot get around as fast as most of us, but she's willing to try. And, hopefully, she'll keep on going until she's unable to make those trips. I feel it helps her cope with the loneliness of living alone. And, she strictly enjoys the fun and fellowship just like the youngest person on the tour!

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