Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Election for $ale

If you have a few million to spare, you can buy an election too.

In the last two elections here in Colorado, a couple billionaires have shown that elections can be bought. I'm sure we are not alone in that but it's not a good thing.

For their latest effort read this article:

As I thought about this, I remembered the final words from the Gettysburg Address:

...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The problem with buying elections is that the people are excluded from the process. It's not the citizens that decide what is best for the country but a few elite.

In another arena, the same thing is happening in the courts. If you shop around you can find a judge that will rule in your favor. Judges allow or deny things that are contrary to the will of the people because it fits with their personal view regardless of what the Constitution says.

For the shortsighted, for those who don't have support from the majority of the people, this may seem like a good way to accomplish their goals but the cost in the future will be astronomical. Our government system will be eroded and the foundation of liberty and freedom will be in danger of collapse.

The sad truth is that the ones buying these elections probably don't care. Like spoiled children, they demand what they want even if it isn't good for them.

I hope someone spanks their butt.

Philip

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Denver Police Chief

Last week I was fascinated by a story in the paper about the Denver Chief of Police Gerry Whitman. For all the details, see this story.

What I have been thinking about is what a scam this is. Here are the basics: Some time back the chief had heart surgery. He took about 100 hours of sick leave during this time and 16 vacation hours; nothing wrong with that. What bugs me now is that he petitioned the Police Pension and Relief Board to have the sick leave hours returned to him. His claim was that his illness was a “line of duty” injury partially created by job-related stress. The board unanimously agreed. It was worth almost $8,000.

Maybe he should have argued that all the years of job mandated donuts caused the problem.

If he really believed that stress contributed to the problem then why continue in the same job? Or maybe that is part of his long term strategy. There has been a pattern among Denver Police commanders to work for years and then at retirement to claim an on the job injury, from many years before, and as a result they get a tax free disability pension. Before the IRS cracked down on this practice in 1992, 70% of Denver police and firefighters retired with disability pensions. During one period six out of seven retiring Denver Police chiefs did so.

So what he has done is not illegal and maybe not unethical but it sure stinks. Here is a job where the foundation is integrity and I don’t think the chief has it. What about the example he sets for his fellow officers? Oh, by the way, the board was made up of five members: the Manager of Safety, a retired officer and three current officers whose boss is Whitman. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house!

The Denver Police have a long history of corruption. Maybe it is stuff at the top like this that allows it to fester.

Around 1960 Denver Police officers operated a major burglary and safecracking ring. When it was all done, 53 officers were implicated and it was suspected that it couldn’t have gone on for so long without the knowledge of many others. A neighbor of ours at that time was one of the officers who didn’t go to jail but was fired. A boy I went to grade school with was the son of one of the officers who went to prison.

In 1990, Denver Police officers were involved in an illegal scam related to bingo games. By law, cops or anyone else who worked at the games couldn’t be paid. Many officers were skimming money from the proceeds and lining their pockets. In 1973 the Denver Chief of Police lost his job over a similar scam.

A few years ago, there was an overtime scam with the Denver Police. According to the Denver Post, on Aug. 15, 2005, Denver police officer Chris Cameron used sick time to take a day off from his scheduled patrol shift. Then he put in nine hours of overtime, getting paid time and a half. It wasn’t the only time. In a two-year period, he did the same thing 33 times. Many other officers had similar schemes.

I know there are a lot of good cops and I know many of them. Are they in the majority? I don’t know. What seems to happen though is that the bad apples rule the roost and many of the lower rung guys are afraid to rock the boat. In reality, your life could be in danger.

It’s too bad that Chief Whitman has set such a bad example for his fellow officers. I hope the good guys will take the lead and show there is higher ground to travel.

Philip

Here is a Rocky Mountain News editorial about the chief.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sacred Homemaking

What if God wants you to be clean and not just your house?

This is my tongue-in-cheek addition to the Sacred series from author Gary Thomas. You may need to be a fan of his books to get it.

Kitchen


Man shall not live on bread alone. We focus on feeding our bodies but many times fail to nourish our soul with the Word of God. Sometimes we want to eat like a teenager and then wonder where the acne comes from.

Another thing we learn in the kitchen is that if we hide sins in the refrigerator of our heart they turn into a moldy mess. Instead, we should throw them out through confession and avoid a worse mess later.

Bathroom

The smell coming from the toilet can remind us that our sin is a stench in God's nose. We can’t cover it with a spray and wiping at it with a cloth will not remove it. All we can do is receive the cleansing power of the cross. Then it will be as 2 Corinthians 2:15 says, “For we are like a sweet-smelling incense offered by Christ to God, which spreads among those who are being saved and those who are being lost.”

In the shower we are reminded of Hebrews 10:22, “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we can enter God’s presence without a hint of shame.

Living Room

Looking at the dust-covered furniture can remind us that we came from dust and we will return to dust. Our body and everything associated with it will pass away.

Bedroom

Sleep is wonderful refreshment to our bodies. Here are some things we learn from Scripture about sleep: as we trust in God our sleep will be sweet (Proverbs 3:24), God doesn’t sleep (Psalms 121:4), it’s vain to work so hard that we miss sleep (Psalms 127:2), if you love sleep you will become poor (Proverbs 6:9-11) and there is no rest for the wicked (Isaiah 57:21). Give sleep it’s proper place – not too much or too little. Receive it as a gift from God.

After sleep, make the bed. Some will say, “Why, it’s just going to get messed up again?” We learn from this is that there are many unpleasant tasks that we have to do every day. Don’t fight them otherwise they will trouble you all day.

Family room

Marriage and family are the only things we have from the garden. It can still be a bit of paradise.

Sweeping

You can't sweep it under the rug. From this, we learn to deal with marital disagreements. We may want to avoid them but like dirt, they remain under the surface and cause other damage.

Barbecue

When the flames are out of control, we remember that the Lake of Fire will burn forever. Give thanks to God for salvation and don’t mess with sin.

Lawn care

Even though the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it still has to be mowed. You might also notice that on closer inspection it has weeds. If you cross the fence you will see that your lawn doesn't look so bad after all. Be satisfied with your spouse and the other things you have.

Roof

Are you living under the authority of God's covering? There is a holy order God has ordained with Him at the top. Under that, we have husbands and wives, parents and children and the authority of spiritual leaders and government. When things are in order, it leads to peace.

I hope this has stimulated your thoughts as it has mine. I would love to hear your additions and comments.

Philip

Friday, January 18, 2008

Roe v. Wade v. Me

What if we didn't have to wait for a new Supreme Court decision? What if a windfall of change from the ground up could change a nation one person at a time? What if millions of people making millions of tiny differences ended up making history? It's no longer a pipe dream. In fact, there are more ways to get involved than ever. Volunteer your time or skills at your local pregnancy resource center, sponsor an ultrasound machine, help educate young men and women, write influencers of public policy and continue to pray. We've already seen a dramatic surge in young women choosing life, so what are you waiting for? The time to get involved is now.
From an ad in World Magazine
BEAVOICE.NET

No one can do everything, but everyone needs to do something. Find out what and put feet to your prayers. It really will make a difference.

Philip

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Roe v. Wade - 35 years

Next Tuesday, January 22, 2008, marks 35 years since all of the abortion laws in the United States were struck down. Many Americans have no concept of abortion being illegal.

I think Roe is one of the most misunderstood of Supreme Court decisions. From my years on the front lines of the prolife movement, I have seen it over and over. For example, many people think abortion is legal only during the first three months.

I came across a quiz that tests your knowledge of Roe v. Wade. I must confess that even with my experience I missed some of the questions. Click on the picture to take it yourself. It’s very interesting and educational.

Philip

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What's in a Kiss?

I'm glad I'm married but if I wasn't and was dating, I would be thankful for thoughts like the ones expressed in this post from Modestly Yours.

What's in a Kiss?

Philip

Praise


Reasons to praise God:

First, God is truly worthy of praise.

Second, praise draws us closer to God.

Third, all who praise God are blessed.

Fourth, praise is contagious.

Fifth, Satan's power is broken when we praise God.

Sixth, praise is a witness to carnal Christians and non-Christians.

Seventh, praise opens our hearts and minds to receive God's message.

Eighth, praise is a form of sacrifice.

Ninth, praise makes for a more joyful life.

Tenth, praise enhances human relationships.

Eleventh, praise is a supernatural expression of faith.

From Promises
A Daily Guide to Supernatural Living
by Bill Bright
Think of praise as applause for God. It is a public recognition of who He is and what He has done. Have you ever felt like you wanted to get on your feet and clap for God?

It's easy to praise God when things are going our way but what about the other times? In Hebrews 13:15 it talks about offering a sacrifice of praise to God. Sometimes it's work and we don't feel like it. We're down and disappointed and it feels good to wallow in self-pity. That's when we need to call to mind who and what God is. Rise to your feet, clap your hands and begin to praise. With eyes off self, things start to look better. Depression starts to lift and the sun appears from behind the clouds.

Puritan Thomas Watson wrote, "When we praise God, we spread his fame and renown. Praising God is one of the highest and purest acts of religion. In prayer we act like men; in praise we act like angels."

A famous hymn from the seventeenth century, written by Thomas Ken is called the Doxology (an English word for praise). Here are the words:

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heav'nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Amen.




It's a simple song yet packed with meaning. All blessings come from God and we should proclaim it.

Philip

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Prude

For those who seem unconvinced, it's worth asking: Have the sexual revolution and do-me feminism allowed America's young girls to really live happier, more wholesome lives? Are their thoughts, conversations, activities, and preoccupations more elevated? Are they healthier in body, mind, and spirit? The answer is obvious.
This came from the end of a recent read. The book is Prude by Carol Platt Liebau. The subtitle, How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America, Too!) sums it up well.

I’m convinced but I didn’t need this book for that. Looking around I can see the effect on girls and the culture. What this book did very well was document the reasons for change and how it came about.

How about this summary of an average girl’s day:

Fourteen-year-old Jennifer awakens well in time for school. As she dresses, pairing a cropped top with a trendy miniskirt, she listens to a popular radio station where the male—female morning team is discussing whether more men "go" for women's breasts, legs, or buttocks. On the school bus, the new rumor is that Amy gave Mike a blow job after the party last Saturday night. In her homeroom, her teacher is annoyed—a used condom has been found in the hall.

After school, Jennifer and her friends head to the mall. They check out the stores, including the provocative window display at Victoria's Secret, and try on clothes—camisoles styled like lingerie, short shorts, tight pants—designed to showcase their figures. They pick up the "hot" new novel Rainbow Party—about a group of fifteen-year-olds who plan to attend a sex party, and the newest Gossip Girl book (the one where high school senior Vanessa juggles sex with two different guys and her friend Blair sleeps with a young English lord).

Back at home, Jennifer is about to start her homework, but decides to check in at MySpace.com and get the latest dish at CosmoGirl.com, where she encounters the question: “Are you a lesbian or bisexual and have a romantic story about you and your girlfriend? Tell us your love story and it could get picked for the magazine!”

As she types on her computer, the stereo's playing a hit song, and Jennifer sings along with a hit from one of her favorite groups, the Pussycat Dolls: "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don't cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me? "

Better get down to work, she decides. That way, she'll finish everything in time to watch Laguna Beach. Although Talan has confessed his love to Taylor, he's hooked up with Kristin (again)—that's the one who outraged her sort-of boyfriend, Stephen, in Season 1 by dancing provocatively on a table during a coed Mexican vacation (even though, at the time, Stephen cheered her on, calling, “You look so good—keep dancing on the bar, slut!”). Jennifer doesn't want to miss tonight's episode—everybody will be talking about it tomorrow at school.
I don’t watch TV and avoid most movies so I only know from a distance “how bad things are.” After reading the examples from the book, I don’t have to wonder where many teens are getting their education of what sex is all about.

The book goes on to show that even current popular novels and magazines for girls are full of group sex, sex with teachers, homosexuality and that almost everything sexual is expected and okay except the dreaded virgin.

How about the statistics about MTV music videos: aside from the violence against women, on average there are thirty-two instances of foul language per hour, ninety-three sexual situations per hour, including eleven “hard core” scenes that show behavior such as intercourse or oral sex.

A common theme in the media mentioned is that everybody is doing everything. It really gives a false message but because it is so pervasive, many teens figure they had better get moving or they will be left behind. They sure wouldn’t want to be the only one not doing it.

Because of all this input there is the expectation to be sexy expressed by clothes and attitude. This can be seen even in the nice girls at church. It seems rare anymore to find a girl who is not showing a little cleavage. Last week I looked up to see a young girl’s thong on display. It couldn’t be missed. Her shirt was up six inches and the thong about three. I wondered if she was oblivious to it or if it was an advertisement. Thankfully, the scene changed a few minutes later.

I think there has been a huge shift in the perception of what morality is. Parents are hesitant to battle over clothes and media so the default is a worldly education. Most churches say little as well. The kids growing up are bombarded with a sexy message that has little to counter it. We see the result all around us. The good girls don’t see what’s wrong with the tight revealing clothes that everyone else is wearing. Many will say they are committed to purity but their clothing says, “Come and get it.”

Back to the book. After showing where the influence is coming from it goes on to show what it is doing. There is a huge toll expressed by sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, abortion and the emotional and economic cost.

Finally, a glimmer of hope is given. There are some groups coming forward to counter the influences that have been unfettered for so long. Some of them are even operating in the public schools. People are starting to realize that what has been going on is very harmful. I hope that the same will happen as did with cigarettes. If enough people are awakened and motivated a positive change will result.

If you are a parent I would encourage you to read this book. You will better understand the culture and those caught in it. It may even be your own kids. If so, you will have tools to help get them back on the right track.

Philip

Prude by Carol Platt Liebau at Amazon


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hard Times

"Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete"
James 1:2-4

Step by step, God prepares us for the future. As we walk with Him through hard times we grow stronger. If we circumvent those lessons then the events that come in the future will devastate us.

Alistair Begg said this: "When all you have is sunshine, all you get is a desert. For most of us, most of the time, it is true that more spiritual progress is made through failure and tears than is made through success and laughter."

Those are good words that we need to remember when we are going through the hard times. To do so is to make an investment in our future, an investment that will never fail.

Philip

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Totally uncool parents

Jane Hambleton has dubbed herself the "meanest mom on the planet." After finding alcohol in her son's car, she decided to sell the car and share her 19-year-old's misdeed with everyone — by placing an ad in the local newspaper.

Click here to read the article.



Let’s hear it for uptight, uncool parents everywhere!

Philip

My Body - My Choice

Being prolife, I have heard that slogan repeatedly. The assumption is that a woman can have an abortion because she can do whatever she wants with her body. There are at least two problems with that argument. One is that there are many things we can't do with our bodies. Prostitution is illegal in most places, there are a lot of drugs you can't legally ingest and I can't swing my fist into your face. That leads to the second. The baby killed by abortion isn't part of the mother's body even though it lives there. The child is a distinct human being.

Anyway, that isn't what is really on my mind. In church last Sunday, a young couple were talking about one of them wanting a tattoo. They did not agree. The dissenting partner said it would be like crayons on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; why mess with perfection. I like that thought.

What really caught my attention was when the one who wanted the tattoo said, "It's my body and I should be able to do what I want." My mind flashed to 1 Corinthians 7:4: "For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does." In context, it is speaking of sex but I think the principle carries to many other areas.

One area I think it applies to is tattoos. I have advised young people considering a tattoo to wait until they are married and then see what their spouse thinks for it is that one who will have to live with it as well. I think the same could be carried over to other permanent body modifications.

I didn't share my thoughts with the couple as I didn't want it to seem that I was siding with one over the other.

Do you think my thoughts are correct? If so, would you have told the couple?

Philip

Monday, January 7, 2008

Watch It!

From my morning reading.

“My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life to keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her beauty in your heart, nor let her capture you with her eyelids. For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, and an adulteress hunts for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; whoever touches her will not go unpunished. Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry; but when he is found, he must repay sevenfold; he must give all the substance of his house. The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it. Wounds and disgrace he will find, and his reproach will not be blotted out.”
Proverbs 6:20-33

No woman in the world is worth committing the sin of adultery. Sadly, this truth is often forgotten or ignored when a man is overcome by lust. As the body screams for sexual gratification, he can hardly contain himself. But what looks so good and seems so pleasurable in the heat of passion can leave one feeling empty and broken-hearted.

Sexual immorality can ruin not only us as men but also our marriages. But we can save ourselves a lot of grief by pausing to think before we act. Here are some key questions you should ask before doing something that might make you feel terrific but that you know is downright sinful:

  • How will I feel in the morning after doing this?
  • Is this God's best for me?
  • If I had to announce on Sunday morning what I had done, would I feel good about this action?
  • When I stand before God, will I be filled with sorrow for having done this?
Father, please help me to run from sexual sin rather than embrace it. Amen.

From God's Man
A Daily Devotional Guide to Christlike Character
Edited by: Don M. Aycock

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Freedom

Men are qualified for freedom in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power on will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there is without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free.

Edmund Burke

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Resolved - To Live Again

Last night I read some things that will color this year. The message was a heart alive, filled and transformed by the Holy Spirit.

It's been a long time since I have felt alive. My contrary feeling has been doubt. There was a time when I believed I was worth something, that I could accomplish something, that I was a good husband and father. I don't believe that anymore at least not very much. The world and various messages from other places have taken their toll.

It doesn't do me much good to believe in myself. I know that the heart is deceitful above all else. What good is it if I look in the mirror and pronounce myself as something? It's just one fool talking to another.

What makes a difference is if someone I value speaks well of me. What a difference it makes to have a wife or child say, "I love you, I believe in you, I will follow you. I know you are flawed but that doesn't matter." If you know they are sincere, it enables incredible stuff. The contrary is a horrible empty existence. I've lived in both places.

I’m realizing there is someone outside of me who believes in me. More than anyone else, He knows I am flawed. Before I had any thoughts of Him, while I was still in my sin, He gave His life for me. He exchanged His perfect life to buy my redemption. He saw potential. He saw a heart of stone that could be replaced with a heart of flesh. As He moved into me, I became something good, not me but Him in me.

That is what I want to experience again this year. I want to live with a heart alive. I want to believe I can be something because He in me is something and that I have some good to offer. Maybe I can make a difference. Maybe someone can be better off because of me.

If you treat a man as he is, he will stay as he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become the bigger and better man.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Philip

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