Monday, December 15, 2008

Music in the Church

We left one church (we hadn't joined, but had been attending faithfully for one year) partly due to the music. One couple left our current church this past year over music. So, I thought I would talk about music in the church.

I think the words are the most important part of a song. If the words are not Scriptural, then the song should not be sung - end of story. But there are also songs that aren't unscriptural but are also not church worthy in my opinion. Songs that don't really have a message at all don't make sense to me! They are fine for a concert, but I don't think they should be part of a service.

I also think the instruments accompanying the song should be mellow enough to hear the words. I don't feel strongly that any one instrument shouldn't be allowed, but I feel that certain locations make instruments like the full drum sets unacceptable (small churches, etc).

The Bible does say we should bring a new song unto God, but I don't think we have to sing a new song every week. There is something to be said for singing a song again once you know it. Personally, I think it is easier to worship when I know the words and the melody so I don't have to worry about how to sing the song. But, I also don't want to sing the same songs every single week.

How do you feel about music in a church service?

Friday, December 12, 2008


Is this the time of year Jesus was probably born? No. Does that mean we shouldn't celebrate His birth now? No. I believe (I could definitely be wrong) that is was during the time of Constantine that Christmas as we know it began. It was done to match a pagan holiday with the new Christian state religion. But, since we don't know for sure exactly when Christ was born (the Bible doesn't give a date specifically), why not celebrate it now?

Holiday comes from Holy Day. So, I don't have a huge problem with people saying Happy Holidays. But, I really don't like Seasons Greetings. The U.S. holiday is Christmas. So, why not call it that (especially after Hanukkah)?

Okay, back to the grind. Next week is the end of the term (so grading is CRAZY) and Sunday is my daughter's first birthday. Tomorrow is our church's holiday (Thanksgiving/Christmas) dinner, so I had to make some food for that today as well. It is definitely a busy time of the year!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Crowd Control

The family of the man killed by stampede into Wal-Mart filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart and the shopping center. Could Wal-Mart have prevented the incident? Possibly. Are they responsible for this death legally? I don't think so.

Wal-Mart could find a way to have the doors open mechanically. I have been thinking of ways to do this, but I don't know if the "technology" is available for stores. I don't know of a store, etc that unlocks its door mechanically. So, I don't think it should be required.

Who is responsible for the death? The people that trampled him! Is a good buy that important that you will kill someone for it? I guess there are people out there they do, but I won't. Actually, I haven't gone shopping for anything except groceries since Thanksgiving. I will go out today, but I don't know how much I will buy. I am thinking of doing a lot of my buying online and having it shipped to my parents (where we will be spending Christmas) so I don't have to pack them!

What are your reactions to the stampede?

Sunday, November 30, 2008


To day is the last day of November, and I have successfully posted on both of my blogs each day as part of NaBloPoMo.

I know the last week or so I have been struggling to write good posts. Sixty posts in a month is a lot! I don't know if I will do it again though. I think I prefer "quality" to quantity in my posts.

Did you do NaBloPoMo? What did you think of it? Would you do it (again)?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Z is for...


Are you zealous for God?

Are you zealous for payer?

Are you zealous about the Bible?

Why or why not?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Y is for...


Okay, I don't know why the book chose this for y... I can't really see how this has anything to do with God... I guess because the book is for late elementary through middle school, a "teacher" could talk about youth groups...

I don't like churches that have everything segregated by age. I much prefer churches where the services are completely multi-generational. Churches that do one contemporary service and one traditional service tend to be the most segregated. Two services in general aren't great either because the younger crowd is less likely to get up for the early service.

Evening services can end up being segregated too if there are different"activities." I don't have a problem with segregating ocassionally (like once a week), but I find that mixed services are the most enlightening because you can learn from others. The older can disciple the younger, etc.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

X is for...

Cross doesn't start with x, but it does look like one (sort of - I think it looks more like a t personally).

I don't like it when people write x-mas because they are taking Christ out of the holiday where we celebrate His birth (although His birth was not a miracle - His conception was).

What do you think?

(Sorry this was a little short. Thanksgiving was a very busy day around here!)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

W is for...


Isaiah 9:6 (KJV):
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

V is for...


We have victory in Jesus Christ. What do you have victory over? Death. We may die a physical death, but we will not suffer the spiritual death. We will get to spend eternity in heaven instead of in the pit of fire in hell. We also have victory over Satan. Through the power of God, we can overcome his temptations. It isn't easy, and some times we won't be victorious, but we do have that power through God.

Monday, November 24, 2008

U is for...


God is understanding. That doesn't mean He accepts our excuses, but He does understand what we are going through. Jesus lived life on earth as completely man. He was tempted just as we are tempted. As a result, He has been through what we face here. The only difference is that He was able to resist the temptations that we fall into. I think this is because He knew the Scriptures and was able to use them to protect Him from Satan. We are not a rotted in the Word, so you are more easily tempted...

What do you think?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

T is for...


Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the light. IN a world where many do not believe in absolute truth, those of us who are Believers do. Jesus is that truth. The Bible is true. If it wasn't, our faith would be meaningless. Personally, I hold to a literal translation of the Bible. Unless it is clear to the average person that the passage is symbolic, then I believe it should be taken literally. Other believers say that parts can not to be taken literally. But, I feel that if you only take some parts literally, how do you know what should be literal? It would be easy to say the whole Bible was just a fictional story in that case.

What do you think?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

S is for...


Salvation is a free gift from God. All we have to do is accept this gift How do you accept the gift? Admit you are a sinner, Believe on Jesus Christ, and Confess that He is the Lord of your life. It is that easy! Some religions say you have to work for your salvation, but that is not the case with Christianity. Salvation is completely by faith. Now, once you have faith, you should do works, but they are not required for salvation. Works are how we show our faith to the world.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Q is for...


* I know I got off on the alphabet. I blame it on Blogger. I had drafts set up in my other blog, and it wasn't sorting them correctly. I thought the next draft was R, when it should have been Q.

How did God speak to Elijah (1 Kings 19:11-12)?
Was He in the wind? No.
Was He in the earthquake? No.
Was He in the fire? No.

He was in the still small voice. We have to be quiet in order to hear from God. Most of the time He isn't going to yell at us or make things perfectly clear. Instead, we have to be still and wait for His answer. During these quiet times, try praying or studying your Bible. The Bible is the Word of God, and some times He speaks through that. Other times He will lay the answer on your heart while you pray. Very few people will claim to have heard the audible voice of God. But many have heard His answer in the still, small voice.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

R is for...


We serve a righteous God. He can only do right. When Jesus was here on earth, He never sinned.

Are we righteous? No. We sin - each and everyone of us. Some will say they are good, but do they live up to God's standards? No. That is the thing we have to remember - we are not living up to man's standards. We are living up to God's. Since we will never live a sinless life, we do not meet His standard of righteousness. Therefore, we do not deserve to go to heaven. It is only by the gift of God that we get that opportunity.

Romans 3:10
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

P is for...


Do I believe we will ever see world peace? Not in my life time! I think the first time there will be world peace is during the Tribulation. (And since I believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, I will not be on earth during this time). The first few years (3.5 ish) will be peaceful because of the peace treaty. Then there will be wars and worse things until Christ returns for the Battle of Armageddon. Then there will be peace for 1000 years (the Millennium). This will be followed by one final war.

So, should we pray for peace? Yes. I think that God does listen to our prayers. I think that if there is enough pray then the wars won't be so terrible - fewer deaths, fewer injuries, shorter. But there will still be wars. Why? Because we humans are greedy! We want land. We want power. As a result, men will fight to win the spoils of war. As we approach the last days, the wars will increase because of the rising evil in the world.

There is a lot more I could say about the Tribulation, wars, etc. But I know that even true Christians differ on these issues. I want everyone to remember the most important thing - belief! Things like the Rapture and creation are important to how you interpret the Bible, but saved men stand on all sides of the fence on these issues. Debate is fine, but arguing over these issues is not. This is especially the case with non-believers. The most important thing is to show them who Christ was and lead them to salvation. It is not if they believe in creation or evolution... or how they feel about gay marriage... or about abortion...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Economy - Taking a Break from the Alphabet

This my second post on the economy. The first was about why I thought the economy was failing. With the automobile industry issues, I thought I would talk more about the economy.

I think part of the problem with the auto industry is the union. They are ahving to pay so much to people who aren't working that they can't break even. The only way they are going to get out of this problem is to declare bankruptcy. But, as the guy on our local talk radio station said yesterday, being bankrupt may mean fewer people will buy the cars for fear that the warranties will be worthless and parts won't be available in the future. But, I think they have to go bankrupt because people now aren't sure about buying from them.

Am I against unions? In a way, yes. I am under union contracts at my job althoughI am not a member of the union. I get paid the same as everyone else. It makes me less motivated to go above and beyond what I am required to do. Why should I spend a lot of time and energy if I am gong to have little to nothing to show for it? If we didn't have a union, then maybe our salaries could be based off of performance. But, then again in education, performance is very hard to measure. So, it might not work that way either...

So, how do you propose that we fix the economy? Do we just let it run its course and self-correct itself? Do we have the government put money into a lot of businesses? What should we do?

Monday, November 17, 2008

O is for...


We are to be obedient to God. But, just like kids with earthly parents, we don't seem to be able to do it all the time. We fail to spend the time with Him in prayer and studying of His Word like He has told us to. We fail to keep all of His commandments*. We fail Him in so many ways. Yet, He still loves us like an earthly father loves his children even when they disappoint him. God's love is something we can never loss - even if we are disobedient. He may call us home to heaven, but He will never stop loving us!

*We are no longer under the Law of the Old Testament, but Christ did repeat all but one of the Ten Commandments - all but the Sabbath Law. Therefore, we are to keep these.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

N is for...

News - according to the Alphabet book I have. It is referring to the Good News...

But I am not into talking about that today. So, here are a few N names in the Bible that I can think of:

Noah (Genesis 6-9)
Nathan (2 Samuel 12 and other locations)
Nahum (book of Nahum)
Nathaniel (John 1)
Nimrod (Genesis 10)
Nicodemus (John 3, 7, and 19)
Naomi (Ruth)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

M is for...


Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. What do we deserve? Hell! But, if we believe in Christ and accept the free gift of salvation, we do not have to spend eternity in hell. Instead, we will get to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus. There will be no suffering, no tears in heaven. But in hell there will be continual torment for the unsaved.

Why do we deserve hell? Because we do not live up to God's standards. We lie, we cheat, we steal. We covet, we lust after things of this world, and we take the Lord's name in vain. None of us can say we have never sinned. Yes, some of us are "better" than others. But, none of us are good without the blood of Christ covering us.

Are you saved? Have you accepted the free gift? If not, you should really think about it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

L is for...


There is so much I could right about love.
  • Love is a verb, not a noun. You cna't fall into love nor can you fall out of love.
  • The different kinds of love:
    Agape (pure love)
    Eros (passionate love)
    Philia (brotherly love)
    Storge (natural affectionate love)
  • God is Love
  • The love chapter - 1 Corinthians 13
Unfortunately, I don't have too much time to work on this tonight. So, feel free to take one of these and explain what it means to you!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

K is for...


I think Kindness and Love go together - which is good because tomorrow is L...
We are to be kind to everyone. This includes those that hurt us, those that hate us, and those that don't believe as we believe. As a result, it isn't easy all of the time. If you insulate yourself into a world were you are only around those you love and believe the same (or at least close) things you do, it isn't so bad. But, then we are forgetting that we are to be the light of the world and aren't able to witness to the world around us! So, we have to be in the world (but not of the world).

What does kindness involve?
1. Being friendly with strangers by saying hi and talking with them (if they initiate it or you are stuck in the same place for a while, etc).
2. Helping someone if you see they have a need - great or small.
3. ...

Okay, I got stuck at two. Do you have any other ideas as to how to be kind - especially to someone you don't know (or know well)?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

J is for...


Wea re to be joyful in all times. Why? Because we have received the greatest gift possible - salvation through Christ. There are going to be struggles in our lives, but we are still to have the joy of salvation. If we remember that through the hard times we grow and get stronger, it is easier to keep that joy. But, if we forget about our salvation, then the struggles are even worse.

Being a parent is this way. There are definitely hard times. But, the happy times outweigh the bad. There are times I have to deal with the crying, but they are normally followed by times of loving. If we didn't go through the hard times, she wouldn't have teeth (teething is no fun!), she wouldn't learn to stand or walk, and she wouldn't learn that some things can hurt her. Is it easy - No! Is it necessary? Yes!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I is for...


Do you always do what is right? If we are honest, we would say no. But, how often do you do choose the wrong just because it is wrong? I would say with the exception of procrastination, I don't normally choose the wrong to choose the wrong. I do it more out of not thinking that intentionally sinning. But, it is sin none the less.

So, I would say that there are parts of my life where integrity shows. In other parts of my life I let procrastination take a foothold and lose my integrity.

Monday, November 10, 2008

H is for...


God is holy. He is the only one who is worthy of our worship. He is the one that is perfect in everything. He is the only one who isn't going to make bad choices. Therefore, we are to continually strive to be holy as God is holy. This isn't easy. But, it should be our daily goal. We will never actually be holy here on earth. We will fail daily. But, along the path, we should become more holy, more like God. We may have some setbacks, but our overall course should be towards perfect.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

G is for...


Have you ever noticed that God and Good are similar words. What about Evil and Devil? I don't think it is coincidence. God is an example of all that is good. The devil is an example of all that is evil.

Psalm 25:8 (KJV) says:
Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

He shows us the good path, although it is narrow. Jesus is our example. He was able to live a life here on earth without sinning, something no one else has been able to do or will ever be able to do! So, if you want to know what is good, seek to know what God's will is!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

F is for...


1 John 1:9 (KJV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

God is faithful. He keeps His promises and is with us through everything. Since He already knows what is going to happen, nothing surprises Him. There is nothing we could do to lose His love or our salvation. He is faithful!

We are to be faithful as well. We are to daily read His word, daily spend time with Him in prayer, regularly fellowship with other believers in corporate worship. If we are faithful in these things, we will be close to God. Although we will still face challenges along the way, we will deal with the trials better because of our strong relationship with the One who created everything and is in charge of everything! Now if only I could do this without stumbling so often...

Friday, November 7, 2008

E is for...

Or Eternal.

What does eternal mean? Does it mean going on forever (like a ray)? Or does it mean existing forever int he past and forever in the future (like a line)? Well, God is eternal because He has exited from eternity past and will exist into eternity future. We are everlasting, existing into eternity future. But, we have not existed from eternity past. The Saved will spend eternity in Heaved and the Unsaved in Hell. We will all exist for eternity though.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

D is for...


The book actually has deeds for D, but I like devotion better. There are many things I am devoted. Here they are in order.
  1. God
    He is the most important thing in my life. Without God, I would not be here. Without God, I would be lost. Without God, I would be nothing. Therefore I am devoted to loving Him and spending the time I need in His Word and with Him in prayer. There are times I avoid Him, but He is always there when I realize I need to return to Him.
  2. AJU5 - my daughter
    I am devoted to care and love her with all that I am. She depends on me for almost everything these days. One day, she will have to share this role with a sibling and her dad, but until she is big enough to care for herself, she is the second most important thing in my life.
  3. AJU1 - my husband
    He used to hold the number 2 position until our little one came along. There are times when I get mad at him or upset with him, but I am devoted to staying with him through the hard times. Love is an action, not a noun. We have to work at our relationship, but in the end it is always worth it!
  4. Myself
    Sometimes I get elevated above all of the others, but this is where I belong - or at least tied with my husband. I am devoted to care for my own needs - physical, spiritual, and emotional. Sometimes I fall to the end of the list, but those times don't last...
  5. The rest of our family
    Our family is over 10 hours away from us by car. So, we don't get to spend too much time with them. But, I am committed (devoted) to love them and support them. I do need to get better at keeping up with them though, as I often don't take the time to call them...
  6. Our friends
    Sometimes I am more devoted tot hem than my family, especially those I see at least once a week. They have become our family here in many ways. Like my family, I am devoted to love them and support them.
  7. Work
    I am devoted to teaching my students as best as I possibly can. I am devoted to contribute as much as I can to work. But, God, family, and friends come first most of the time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Okay, I voted for McCain. But, I knew what the results were most likely going to be. The problem I am having is figuring out why people think the Obama is going to bring so many good changes to the US.

Health Care/Insurance?
Well, right now we have shortage of medical professionals. It is hard to get into a doctor's office a lot of the time. If everyone has insurance, this is only going to get worse... Also, if the government is helping to pay for the insurance, then there is going to be less profits for the insurance companies and medical professionals. People are going to be even less likely to go into these fields, only making the problems worse. We only need to look at the Medicare/Medicade issues right now for how this is going to turn out... Or to Britain and Canada...
That isn't to say I don't think people should have to go without health care - especially kids. I think something needs to be done within the medical field to make things better. But, I don't think that Obama's plans will help most people...

The main reason we are in a recession is because people think they DESERVE to have all of the luxury items. As a nation, we are spending more than we are making. We are buying things we dont' need and spending money on things we can do without. As a result, people have gotten into such large amounts of debt that the interest we are paying is killing the economy... People can't pay for things now and therefore the banks are loosing lots of money. It is their own fault though. They are the ones that gave the loans... and they need to pay as a result (instead of bailing them out). Redistributing the wealth is just going to make things worse - people are going to think they are entitled to more than they really are. They have shown (scientifically) that we don't take care of our gifts as much as we take care of the things we have worked for...

Where is the hope in Obama? Is it that he isn't Bush? Let me know - I am really confused here...


Now, the following kind of worry me:
  1. Freedom of Speech and Religion
    Is the US going to follow some other countries and make it illegal to say things like homosexuality is a sin? The abortion is murder? I hope not...
  2. Freedom to Bare Arms
    Are will no longer going to allowed to have guns? I hope not...
  3. The Right to Educate Our Children as We See Fit
    Is it going to become illegal to home school? How about private schools?
I don't know if these things will actually pass, but there have definitely been those in politics that have said they want some of this passed. It scares me...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

C is for...


This is one of the traits of a Christian that is often missing. Non-Christians often view the church is not having compassion. They say we don't care for those around us so that is why government needs to care for them. In many ways they are right (which is sad). We have forgotten to look outside the walls of our churches for a long time. We have become too comfortable on our pews to care about those who don't even have a comfortable place to sit most days. Some churches aren't even good at caring for their members when they are struggling.

If the church had more compassion, then I think there would be less need for things like welfare. But, in order for the church to do a good job, money is often needed. Unfortunately, most Americans are willing to give the money! They have no problem (well, okay, they complain but they do it) paying more taxes to take care of the poor, but they aren't willing to donate the money to take care of the poor before the government has to step in.

I know there is more to compassion than this. But, I can't think too well today. I have a lot of grading to do and the house is a mess... Feel free to help me with this topic in the comments sections!

Monday, November 3, 2008

B is for...


Believe is the B in the ABC's of Christianity:
A - Admit to God that you are a sinner and repent and turn away from your sin.
B - Believe that Jesus is the Son of God and gave His life for you and me.
C - Confess your faith in Jesus as your Savior and Lord forevermore.

Works are not what save us - it is believe (and hence faith). Many religions put the ownership of salvation on the individual to work for it. There are certain things you must do to be saved is what they tell you. In Christianity, it is 100% by faith - not any work that we do. All you have to do ie believe. The book of Romans gives a good outline for salvation - often referred to as the Roman Road to Salvation (google it if you haven't heard of it before).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A is for...


Our God is the almighty God. El Shaddai.

The name El Shaddai is used 48 times in the Old Testament to refer to God. Most of those are in the book of Job. It is interesting that it is used in Job because of the story that it told there. At the request of Satan, God allows everything to be taken away from Job except his wife and his health. Still, Job will not curse God. He knows that God is in control and is able to give and take away. He is the the God Almighty.

We try to be mighty and powerful, but we tend to fall short. We think we can take car of things on our own, but we often fail. When we put our trust in El Shaddai, it turns out things are easier. He is all-powerful. He is able to do everything. I am glad I have put my faith and hope in the One who is able to do all things!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


It is National Blog Posting Month. I have decided to give it a try on this blog. Here is my plan:
  1. Post about the election results once they are official (which may be Wednesday or November 30 - who knows!).
  2. I have an alphabet book with different words concerning the Christian faith. THere will be a post for each letter- most likely in alphabetical order.
  3. Post about the commercialization of holidays.
  4. Possible post about airline travel - to be determined after our travels.
  5. One to two other random posts (unless I can extend the first, third and fourth to more than one post).

Hopefully I can do it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I am pro-life. But, I am not for a 100% ban on abortion. I think when it comes to a decision on the woman's life or the babies life, the woman (and those she chooses to include) should be able to decide. Now, I know it becomes a gray area as to what is the line to which a pregnancy is hazardous to a woman's life. I am not a doctor, so I can't make that decision completely. But, I think it would be fine to put a rule that two doctors from different practices would have to be consulted. If both agree (or any two agree) that the woman's life was in danger, then an abortion would be allowed. The two doctors wouldn't have to be in the same field. I am not abreast about all of the fields of medicine, but generalists, ob/gyn's, surgeons, etc. should be all on the possible lists of doctors.

What about rape or incest? Well, hopefully the victim would be going to the hospital after the crime to get the rape test, etc. If the victim reports the crime, then there are options before abortion such as the morning after pill. The woman then wouldn't have to carry a baby conceived by force. Why do I not like abortion in these cases? There are women who say that the abortion felt like a second rape. That is was just as much of a violation as the rape itself. I think the best option would be to prevent the pregnancy from actually happening then to put the women into a position to choose.

I believe that life begins at implantation. I believe that that life is special and should be saved if possible. Read the comments on this post about all of the women who consider the children they lost - including early miscarriages, abortions, and stillbirths. Each of these women realize that what they were carrying was a human. As soon as you feel the baby moving, it is obvious that it is a human. Early ultrasound (I had one at about 7 weeks) shows a human - not a bunch of cells.

Now, I know some people think we should have the option to choose. IT is a woman's body, so she should get to choose what happens to it. Well, suicide has often been considered against the law (although normally not enforced). So, what is the difference? If it is illegal (still in some states of the US) to kill yourself, why is it then not illegal to kill something inside of you?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Book Review - Crown of Thorns

I finally finished Crown of Thorns by Sigmund Brouwer. It is the second book in a series that I have read. The book is not clear that it is the second in the series. That is why I have now read books two and three before reading book one. Luckily, the books are fairly independent.

This book is sometimes labeled as Christian fiction. But, the amount of Christianity in the book is very minimal. The main character (Nick Barrett) is a Christian. There are a few times he shares his faith with someone or someone asks him if he is following his faith. But, that is about it. It is a mystery fiction more than anything. It is definitely more a story of a cult and the lasting affects of slavery in Charleston, SC than about Christianity. If you are up for a good mystery with lots of pieces to the puzzle, I recommend reading this book.

Now to see if the library has book one...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Smoking, etc.

First, off I think smoking is a discussing and bad habit. I prefer to be as far away from the smell of smoke as possible. So, now onto the real part of this post...

I have been thinking about the bans on smoking at different places. I am not sure I always agree with them. Public places - yes. But private establishments? I am not so sure. Our town does not allow smoking in restaurants. My dad has commented on these rules before. He thinks it should be the owner's choice. I am starting to agree with him. If the owner chooses to have a smoking establishment, I think he should be allowed to. But, he must make it clear to everyone that it is a smoking establishment. If people want to go there to eat or to work, then fine. I won't, but I do know people who would. What about the workers? First off, no one is making anyone work anywhere. But, if it is the only job available... Maybe the owner could be required to pay the workers extra in the form a savings/insurance plan just for the risks of second hand smoke. Also, for some reason unknown to me, many restaurant workers smoke! I regularly see workers outside (in the back) of a restaurant smoking. I wonder if these people would like to work at a place that allows smoking by the patrons?

I work for a community college. There are rules about how far away from the building you have to be in order to smoke, but they aren't heavily enforced. Why not? Well, it is supposedly the employees as a whole who are to enforce it. I know I am not willing to stand there and talk to someone while they smoke that they shouldn't be smoking there. I just want to hold my brethe, walk by, and get away from the smoke ASAP. Personally, I wish the campuses were a smoke-free zone. At the least, I wish smoking was only allowed in a few smoking zones on campus. It would be a lot clearer to everyone where they would have to go to smoke, etc. I also think all hospitals should be smoke-free at least for the employees. If a patient is a smoker, then maybe there should be a special place for them to smoke if they are on a weaning program (there are people who can't quit cold-turkey...).

What do you think?

Sunday, October 12, 2008


God i stretching my husband and I. We have both taken on new rolls in the church this week. He is filling in for the adult class, and I am going to start a kids program on Wednesday nights. We go to a really small church - with about 50 people there for Sunday morning service. There are only about 10 adults and 10 kids that show up for Sunday School. Sunday and Wednesday evening services can be anywhere from 5 to 30 people adults and kids). The wife of the man who was teaching the adult class had heart bypass surgery this week, so he will be out for a while. My husband is the youngest one that attends the class (well, other than the babies), but he is the only male member. Other than myself, there are two female members that attend, but neither of them would be willing or able to do it. So, that left my husband. There is a couple that is going to start attending that are members, but they have their hands full right now as it is with 5 children (almost 7 to 1 month old). Other than them, the attendees are our parents' age or older...

On Wednesday nights, there have been two extra kids attending besides the 5 in the one family and our daughter. These two kids don't get to go to church often, so we (pastor and I) thought it would be good to do some sort of lesson. And, since my daughter doesn't like to sit still for the service as it is, I volunteered. We are going to be using a Veggie Tales program for preschool ages. Hopefully it won't be too boring for the 6 year olds...

Please pray for us as we allow God to stretch us and make us grow in these areas!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Economy and Personal Finances

Now, I don't like the fact that our economy is hurting and the stock market is tumbling, but I see one positive out of this: People may take a closer look at their personal finances!

As individuals (and as a nation), we rely on credit too much. It has become so easy to get a credit card and then max it out. It was too easy to get a "good" mortgage a few years ago. The same goes for store credit, etc. Now, as a nation, we are suffering. So much of the income earned is going towards interest. As the interest keeps stacking up, it is becoming less and less possible to ever pay it off. So, people have less money to really use each and every day. The price of gas isn't what is killing the family income - it is debt!

So, what do you do? First, make it hard to use your credit cards unless you have been faithful in the last 6 months to them off every month. Second, before you buy something, determine how much it will really cost. In some of my classes, I have my students calculate amortization schedules so they can see how much of each payment is going towards principal (the item's actual value) and towards interest. This can be a huge eye opener. What you think cost $1000 may end up costing you $1200 or more after interest (that is with 12.5% interest for 3 years)!

What else can you do? If you currently have debt, pay it off as soon as possible! Paying $20 extra a month on a house can save you thousands of dollars in the long run! Maying one extra payment a year (i.e. paying half of the mortgage every two weeks) will take 10+ years off of the mortgage!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


When did not so nice four letter words become commonly used in our language? It used to be when people would give anyone saying such a word a bad look or giving them a piece of their mind. Now, most people don't think about it one bit. Others (like me) sometimes will give them a little bit of a look, but that is it - nothing more. I definitely don't want to raise my daughter around such words. I want her to grow up to understand that there are a lot better ways to express yourself than to say those words.

No, there are some words that technically aren't bad that are used in the place of bad words. Things like fudge and crap are becoming more and more common as well. Are they are better than the other words? I don't think they really are. Now, these words aren't as likely to be picked up on by a little kid and repeated (at least used in the same way). So, in that way they are better. But, it still comes back to the fact that saying such things are taking the "easy" road. Instead of really explaining how you feel and what is going on, resorting to a single word seems to be easier. But, it doesn't work as well. And, it is offensive.

Now, I do slip up regularly and say things like screw and fudge when I shouldn't, but it is an ongoing process of growth. I believe one day God is going to judge us for each word we say. I want there to be as few idle words there as possible.

What do you feel about such words?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Weight loss...

One of my "friends" from college was on the Today Show today becoming the newest member of the Joy Fit Club. I haven't really talked to her since the year after we graduated, and I only found out about this through Facebook. But, it is very inspiring.

Here is the link to the clip from the show:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Do Unto the Least of These...

The most common mp3s I listen to are my Andy Griffith CDs. One of the tracks is Andy telling "The Christmas Guest" story. THe story reminds that that of this verse:

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

A few verses later is this:

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Matthew 25:45

I have realized that I haven't reached out to these much. I am not rude to them, but I do not seek them out or make effort to get to know anyone that is very different from me in terms of socioeconomic status. I see the beggers on the street corners, but those that run the missions in town have recommended that we don't give them money. I have often thought about keeping some sort of non-perishable food in my car, but I haven't done so. With a little one now, I am more cautious as ever. So, know I need to pray and determine what course of action I should take. If you have any ideas how to serve "the least of these" while not putting yourself in any danger, please let me know!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

License to Sin?

Many believe that Christianity teaches that you have a license to sin once you have become a Christian. But, the Bible is very clear that this is not the case.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Romans 6:1-2 (KJV)

These two verses are ones I feel make it clear that we are not given a license to sin. Instead, we are to abstain from sin. This does not mean we will live a perfect, sinless life. We will fall and sin daily, but the sin should not the purposeful. We are not to do something just because we know God will forgive us when we ask it of Him.

What about where the Bible says we are to be sinless?
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 1 John 3:6

In English, it seems that if we sin we are not Christian. But, the problem is the English language and the lack of verb tenses. The sin mentioned in the above verse is that of continual sin - a life of sin. We are to not live a life of sin. We are to daily refrain from sin. If the verse above were saying one sin took away your salvation, then there is a great contradiction in 1 John:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10

These verses make it clear that we will not be perfect. To think that we are is actually a sin.


Today I finished reading The Face of God by Bill Meyers. This book is very thought provoking. THe main characters are: a Christian trapped in a world of legalism and works, a young man raised in the church who doesn't know what to believe, a Jew by genetics but an atheist by faith, a "mainstream" Muslim, and a fanatical Muslim extremist. A key thought in the story is "thou hast left thy first love" (Revelations 2:4b). I think is the a huge problem in Christianity today. We are caught up in serving God without spending the time to fellowship with God. We are doing so much for Him and the world that we forget about Him. We lean on our own strength and understanding, and not His. I highly recommend this book to anyone who sees hypocrisy in the Church or is confused about the difference between Islam and Christianity.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Dislike of Elections...

FIrst, let me say I have no issues with voting. Yes, the lines can be long, but I am willing to wait to exercise my right. I have no problems with the actual voting process.

But what I hate is the length of the election. They seem to start earlier and earlier campaigning for office these days. After about a month or so, they have made their ideas known. The rest of the election is mostly spent tearing apart the opponent(s). Not much new is ever said these days. Instead, it is just a mud fight between candidates. Regardless of the race, both candidates are making half truths about what the other has done.

"He voted against this, but I voted for it."
"No, he isn't for this because he voted against this bill."
"He doesn't understand us"
"He is so much like this person"

It is getting very old. I listen to a local talk radio station a lot. At 3 they have on a local host who is pretty middle of the road. I used to love listening to the conversations about the presidential and congressional races. But, after about 3 months of listening half the time it got old. The same basic things are being said. I still listen sometimes. He is good about playing the ads and sound bites that are just crazy (from both sides). But the comments from the listeners are always the same things over and over again.

I am pretty sure that 90% (or more) of Americans already know who they are going to vote for. What is said between now and the election probably isn't going to change anyone's mind. The undecideds are probably undecided because they haven't thought too much about it yet. So, all that is happening is only causing the two sides of the country to fight against each other more. Instead of uniting the country, elections tend to divide us more than anything.

So, here is what I wish would happen:
Public campaigning for an election can only occur 3 months prior to the election. That means if there is a primary, there would be 6 months total of campaigning.
All primaries would be on the same day. The primary system for the presidency is way to long!

Benefits: I bet it would be cheaper! Also, there would be less time to drag your opponent through the mud but still enough time to get important things on the table. Finally, the nation could spend more time working on things together instead of being divided!

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Blog

This is my second blog. My first blog is about my daughter. I want to keep that one about her, our family, and the basics of life. I don't want to get into controversial things there because I know some of the readers of that blog have VERY different views to me. I don't want them to stop reading that blog because of something I say. But, there have been many times I have thought of posts in my head that I wanted to post somewhere. So, I created this blog for those. Politics, religion, and other controversial topics will be the norm here. You may also find posts about my life not directly related to AJU5.

Because I know a lot of the posts will be controversial, I expect readers are going to have different views. Feel free to comment as long as you aren't rude. Also, please refrain from using cuss words, as I want to keep this blog family-friendly. If I feel any comment is rude or uses language I don't approve of, I will delete it. Hopefully I won't have to delete any comments though.

Welcome to the blog!