Friday, October 31, 2008

Interesting Letter on Obama

The following is an interesting article a friend forwarded to me on Presidential candidate, Barack Obama published in the"Perspectives" column of . Any thoughts?

God and Barack Obama
By: Dr. Paul Kengor

Let me begin with what I hope is a credibility enhancer: For daring to write a book on the faith of Hillary Clinton, I was questioned by fellow conservatives, especially for calling Mrs. Clinton a "lifelong, committed Christian." In the final chapter of that book, I included a brief section on the faith of Barack Obama, where, taking him at his word—based on a major June 2006 speech on his faith—I felt confident in reporting, "Obama is a Christian."

I'm not disputing that here. Since then, however, I've taken a careful look at Obama's faith, and there are quite a few things that stand out as historically extremely unusual, and in some cases unprecedented for a potential president. They are worth knowing, especially given the secular media's adoration of the man.

Indeed, journalists are so worshipful of Obama that they are unfazed by his two decades of membership in the church of a ranting, blasphemous preacher who mocked everything from Bill Clinton to America itself—and who married Obama, baptized his children, and whom Obama considers a mentor and the inspiration for the title of his best-selling book. That double standard has struck even the likes of atheist Christopher Hitchens. After eight years of wailing and gnashing of teeth over a Christian Republican president, secular liberals have undergone a Saul-like conversion.

On rare occasions, however, the press has offered constructive analysis of Obama's faith. The most revealing look remains a glowing profile in Newsweek a couple of months ago. The Newsweek offering was remarkably one-sided, even venturing into evangelical phraseology, the shared-language-of-believers style characteristic of Religious Right publications. I counted ten examples of phrases like, "He found Christ," "accept Christ," "Obama went to Jesus."

Nonetheless, even in this unusually un-critical article, much can be mined about Obama's faith. Most salient is this inescapable conclusion: More than any presidential nominee this close to the White House, Barack Obama's faith is a patchwork of divergent beliefs, philosophies, and influences, from what Newsweek called a "Christian-turned-secular mother"—her own views a product of "two lapsed Christian" parents and a Bill Moyers book—to a "Muslim-turned-atheist African father" to a stepfather with a "unique brand of Islam."

As for Obama's personal path, Newsweek noted how Obama, in his younger years, enjoyed, on one hand, Augustine, and then Nietzsche and Graham Greene. Obama hopped and groped his way through Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, asceticism, and eventually settled at the political church of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Most interesting is what Newsweek revealed about Obama and his current family: His wife, Michelle, "also didn't go to church regularly as a child." Neither really began regular attendance until they were married. And only then, their choice was Reverend Wright. On that, Newsweek reported approvingly: "The cross under which Obama went to Jesus was at the controversial Trinity United Church of Christ. It was a good fit."

The couple, writes Newsweek, attended "fairly often—two or three times a month." That changed, becoming less frequent, with the birth of their first child. Normally, the arrival of children is the blessed event that drags young couples to church—the Bushes, the Clintons. For the Obamas, however, the hassle of getting the baby out of the house for a packed service was an obstacle. "So," explained Barack, "that would cut back our involvement."

The Obama girls have never attended Sunday school—a definite contrast with most White House children. Even wayward president's kids like Ron Reagan, a proud atheist, was taken to church every Sunday. Obama explains of his daughters' religious education: "I'm a big believer in a faith that is not imposed but taps into what's already there, their curiosity of spirit."

Once Obama ran for the U.S. Senate, he skipped church for months at a time. Now that he publicly parted ways with Reverend Wright, reports Newsweek with a gentle wink, "Obama is a little spiritually rootless again." Newsweek neglected to mention that Obama often appeared in churches in 2007 for strictly political purposes—i.e., to campaign in houses of worship, a practice that launches liberals into fits of screaming rage when done by Republicans.

On the plus side, there are some discernible spiritual practices in Obama's life: family grace at mealtime, daily prayer, Obama "sometimes" reading the Bible in evenings, and inspirational emails zapped to the senator by his "religious outreach team." Yet, even with that nod to something of a religious routine, one senses that Obama is still trying to reconcile, as Newsweek described his early life, "his rational side with his yearning for transcendence."

After demonstrating at length that Obama's belief system is an amalgam, unorthodox, and undisciplined, Newsweek wrapped up with a shot at his detractors: "Some on the right say his particular brand of Christianity is a modern amalgam—unorthodox, undisciplined...."

No, Newsweek, that's what you say.

One can see here another reason the secular left embraces Obama: His entire religious life, including the spiritual development of his family, is relativistic—an ever-probing quest, a realization of no single truth. The left likes this Democrat more than, say, a lifelong Baptist like Bill Clinton, a lifelong Roman Catholic like John Kerry, a lifelong Methodist like Hillary Clinton, a "born-again" southerner like Jimmy Carter. Here's a believer secular liberals can accept: a relativist in the most expansive form.

A President Obama would bring to the office the most unconventional religious portfolio of any president in a long time, arguably the history of the American presidency.

But to get there, the freshman senator hopes to win just enough of those moral-religious "values voters" who twice made the difference for George W. Bush. Can Barack Obama do that?

Can Obama win the 'values voter'?In 2000 and 2004, it was the churchgoing moral-religious "values voters" that made the difference for George W. Bush. Barack Obama hopes to peel off just enough of those voters. What are his chances? From my vantage, Obama faces five primary obstacles:

First, Reverend Jeremiah Wright remains an albatross, even given the media's best efforts to avoid him. The ranting, raving, blaspheming political sermons by an uncorked, unhinged Wright—with the congregation loving every minute—remains a cruise missile at Obama's bid for moderate to conservative churchgoers. Obama was way too close to Wright to politically extricate himself.

Second—brace yourselves, liberals—a sizable number of Americans suspect Obama is lying about Islamic roots. A Newsweek poll in June found that 12 percent of voters are convinced Obama is a Muslim, and one-in-four believe he was raised a Muslim. Such thinking has intensified with Jerome Corsi's bestselling book and with research by Islam observers like Daniel Pipes—who, though he accepts that Obama is today a Christian, says Obama is "lying" when he denies he was never a Muslim. Additional oddities continue to surface, such as a YouTube video in which Moammar Kaddafi is said to describe Obama as a fellow Muslim.

When I recently shared this factor with some liberals, their faces visibly contorted and they began yelling at me. Nonetheless, perceptions matter. This issue might become statistically important in a close election.

Third, conservative Christians are offended by how the secular left has greeted Obama as a messianic figure. The hosannas during Obama's Europe trip were so over-the-top that London Times columnist Gerard Baker ridiculed the senator's visit as akin to Christ's entrance into Jerusalem. The BBC interviewed a worshipful German who described Obama as his "redeemer." Fox found another who exalted his "new messiah." To the question, "Who do you say that I am?" some Europeans made their choice as Obama swept into their presence.

Given the agnostic left's search for salvation in politics, this is not a surprise, especially in post-modern, de-Christianized Europe.

This has only gotten worse. No less than a U.S. congressman, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), said on the House floor on September 10 that, "Barack Obama was a 'community organizer' like Jesus." (He then added, in reference to Governor Sarah Palin, that "Pontius Pilate was a governor.") And now there's YouTube video of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan calling Obama "the Messiah."

This is backfiring on Obama among the values voters he is seeking. To them, this reverence by the secular left is intolerably hypocritical. Liberals went bonkers when a presidential candidate named George W. Bush merely cited Christ as his favorite philosopher. And now they can compare Obama to Christ?

Fourth, "values voters" are skeptical of this appeal to faith by the Democratic nominee. There has been a well-orchestrated, openly admitted campaign, begun just days after the 2004 vote, especially by Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, to get Democrats talking faith as much as possible. Actual Democratic Party working groups and colloquia have been established, employing the Christian left's language of "social justice."

Obama himself picked this up early on. In a June 2006 address to the Call to Renewal convention, Obama appealed to religious voters. He recalled how in his 2004 Senate race, his support of abortion rankled his opponent. Obama protested, arguing there were policy issues that proved his Christianity—issues like supporting daycare subsidies and the estate tax.

Obama can protest all he wants, but values voters consider legislation mandating medical care for abortion survivors more important than legislation mandating estate taxes for the wealthy.

Speaking of which, and fifth, abortion is beyond doubt the overwhelming obstacle for Obama. He is the most extremist pro-choicer ever to get this close to the presidency. His stand-alone votes against bills protecting newborn babies who survive abortions were horrible. He calls abortion a "safety net" and vowed to Planned Parenthood in July 2007 that the "first thing" he would do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would nationalize abortion policy and overturn all the perfectly reasonable state-level restrictions on abortion by bipartisan legislatures throughout America. Then there are Obama's revealing statements on the stump—such as how he would hate to see his daughters get pregnant out-of-wedlock and "punished with a baby."

Secular liberals cannot begin to imagine the opposition to Obama strictly on abortion. I've received an email several times, titled, "10 Reasons Christians Shouldn't Vote for Obama." Among the ten, seven are on abortion.

The unprecedented outcry from the religious community is further evidence. The reaction of the Catholic bishops is extraordinary. I've never witnessed them so exercised and committed to leading the flock, and doing so carefully and eloquently, especially among traditional Catholics who still think their party is run by Harry Truman and Jack Kennedy, and literally don't even know Obama is pro-choice. A poll last week by Investor's Business Daily showed a swing of 20 points for John McCain among Catholics, from an 11-point deficit to a 9-point lead. If McCain wins Catholics, he wins the election.

It all adds up to the reality that Barack Obama will have difficulty picking up values voters. His hope that they are not energized by McCain has dissipated with the Sarah Palin pick and the steady emergence of information on his abortion fanaticism.

A summer Pew poll showed McCain leading Obama among evangelicals by 61 to 25 percent, comparable to the margin enjoyed by Bush over Al Gore in 2000. More recently, the respected scholar Dr. John Green released a study finding that evangelicals favor McCain 57.2 percent to 19.9 percent, very similar to Bush's 60.4 percent to 19.6 percent over John Kerry at the same point in 2004.

It remains to be seen where, exactly, this will finish next Tuesday. As in 2000 and 2004, however, the values voters could make the difference.

Paul Kengor's books include "God and Ronald Reagan" (HarperCollins, 2004), "God and George W. Bush" (HarperCollins, 2004), and "God and Hillary Clinton" (HarperCollins, 2007). He is professor of political science and executive director of the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.

This column is printed with permission. Opinions expressed in 'Perspectives' columns published by are the sole responsibility of the article's author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of the staff or management of, or advertisers who support the American Family News Network,, our parent organization or its other affiliates.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Can't We All Just Get Along?

All people should have a choice to believe as they will, even if we don't always share the same beliefs. That's why I get along with so many different kinds of people and why I love them so much. Diversity is beautiful!

I haven't voted yet (because PA is not an "early voter" state), but there are things that appeal to me about BOTH candidates. Obama is definitely the more personable candidate with a wider appeal to most Americans. In many ways I identify with so many of his stands on different issues.

I think all American citizens deserve health care and that there need to be reforms to educational policies like No Child Left Behind, though I honestly don't know if he's taken a stance on it yet (if you know, let me know, will yah?). I don't think we should have gotten into a war in Iraq, trying to change a culture's way of life with billions of dollars will not work overnight or truly seems like another Vietnam. But then I think about all the good things that have come out of the war...was it worth it? I suppose it depends on who you ask, an American taxpayer or a person who was freed from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein.

Abortion and Gay Rights are two VERY divisive issues. Where to begin?

People that are decidedly gay or hetero, may create or experience serious conflict with one another. When people discuss issues/beliefs that are foundational to their sense of self, basic human rights and well being, things can heat up quickly, especially when one is intimately connected to people of differing lifestyles. That's probably why you're not supposed to discuss religion or politics in front of mixed company.

Some people genuinely believe that the heterosexual lifestyle is the only morally/biblically/ethically acceptable way of life while others believe that living out your life with your natural, even god-given sexual orientation (be it gay or straight) is right and that the opposing mentality is bigoted, antiquated and/or prejudicial. There may even be a few people who thing straight people are the ones that have it entirely wrong, I don't know. :) I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.

My belief is that our sexual lifestyle is a choice, regardless of our preference or inclination. I also believe that the heterosexual lifestyle within the marriage covenant is the only one (other than celibacy) that is pleasing to God (per the Bible). We all sin and do things that displease God. No one is without sin so we should leave God to do the judging, and love each other in the mean time. If we don't hold the same beliefs, we can share our beliefs with one another but God is the only judge we all have to answer to. Discussions on religion and politics are the two fastest ways to start a feud. It is not my intention to persuade, only to express my own beliefs on a couple of very sensitive/hot topic issues.

With regard to abortion...My belief is that babies that are "unwanted" should be allowed to be born and then adopted, even in horrible cases like rape or incest. Life begins at conception. As a woman who wants a child and hasn't been able to conceive, I can say that if my life were ever in jeopardy when I was pregnant, I don't think I would want to terminate the pregnancy just to save my own life. That would be a heart wrenching decision to make, but then when it comes to the topic of abortion, a big part of this issue is "choice"...and not wanting the government to legislate that decision for a woman. It's a multifaceted issue. What is the role of government in this case? What say you?

There is a divide in people's hearts/values between nature and nurture, personal rights and government intervention...What things should be left up to personal choice and which things should the government be allowed to decide/regulate for us for the good of many? Regardless of when we believe life begins or if sexual orientation is genetic or personal choice judged or not judged by a Creator, we can all come together to respect one another if not our opinions. It's when we are willing to hear each other out, and agree to disagree that we can live more harmoniously, even if we're not in perfect agreement. However, our intention to love one another unconditionally and respect each other does not exempt us from God's mandate to live a righteous life or our need to repent of a sinful lifestyle, admitting our need for a saviour and living a life pleasing to God according to the Bible. Allow me to elucidate a smidgen.

I love people for the sake of loving people, not for the choices they make. If I didn't, my love would be conditional and dependent on spoken or unspoken stipulations. I think God loves his children unconditionally, but there is a penalty for sin because God is just. That's why he sent his son Jesus to die for us on the cross and pay the penalty for all. All we have to do is believe in the necessity of Christ's sacrifice on the cross and take him as Lord of our lives, endeavoring to live according to his word, the Bible. If we believe in Christ as savior, we are spared from spending eternity in hell (the penalty we deserve being born sinners) and we'll live eternally with the Lord in a new heaven and a new earth that is described in the Bible. If we choose to make Christ the Lord of our lives and to live righteously according to his Holy word the Bible, we'll see evidence of our efforts, what the Bible calls "fruit."

That's it, I'm off my soap box. There are entire debates that battle about the validity and relevance of scripture, about the justice and or existence of God and about other very powerful issues that speak to the question of our purpose on Earth. That's another conversation and I've already gone on long enough.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Have you ever seen the movie "It's a Wonderful Life"? In this 1946 Frank Capra movie, a character named George Bailey gets a look at how life on Earth would play out if he had died in childhood. With the help of an angel named Clarence, George sees how the lives of the people in his town and the loved ones in his life would be without him. George gets a tour of "Potterville." I'm home touring my version of Potterville.

One thing that is hard for me to accept is change. There's just something that twists inside my gut to know that "time waits for no man" or woman, and that life and death go on.

On our drive "home" to a small town in western NY state to visit my parents, I saw how much time had changed not just the people, but the landscape.

We no longer stopped for gas at the old Mobile station along one of the now defunct at-grade intersections. A "new" thruway in Horseheads allowed us to bypass the town at 65mph.

Our locally owned grocery store, Big "M" (once owned by the Milburn family) was replaced by a non-descript Save-a-lot.

The town bank is closed.

The local pizza place that once had an eat-in dining room now only allows you to step three feet in the door to a counter to pick up your pie.

A drunken twenty-something woman drove her car into a historic barn off of Clover street and walked away with her life, but the barn burned down around the car, melting it into a lump of metal resembling a four door sedan.

The coffee shop changed hands.

The car dealership closed.

And even as the farm land disappears and the developments take their place, the worst losses to feel are the absences created when the people you love die and they just aren't there anymore.

I'm sitting at the computer at my parents house, writing to you, wearing my pajamas, and my grandfather's old sweater and his Rush Henrietta coaching jacket. It still smells like him. If you smell real close. Mom is washing some of our clothes we are packing to take with us on our flight tomorrow.

This weekend we had just planned to come up for a family picnic. It's turned into an extended mission. Tomorrow morning, Mom and I are flying to Milwaukee, via Baltimore, MD to visit with my Aunt Judy who had an aneurysm last Saturday.

We lost my grandfather almost 10 years ago. My friend Nina died in December, and my Mom's best friend died in July and now her sister is very sick. I never really felt loss until people started dying.

We drove by a cemetery on our way home from the picnic today and saw people clustered around a grave site saying their goodbyes to someone they loved. It was raining, and the whole day wept with them.

The older I get the more I understand loss and the more I look forward to heaven. That's when I'll finally be home, and time will be my friend in the embodiment of eternity. It will be my "always" without death or disease or loss. I will only feel love, joy, peace and happiness and other good things.

I was talking to my mom in the car and I told her sometimes it's hard to believe there's anything after this life. I told her I just wished we saw more supernatural things so that I KNEW there was something tangible to believe in. She told me that somebody once said that if we could glimpse heavenly things that people would be throwing themselves in front of cars and jumping off rooftops to get there. I suppose she's right and I'm just a "doubting Thomas."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm Voting Democrat (Psych!)

Posted on my friend's MySpace bulletin (I stole it from Seth):

I'm voting Democrat because English has no place being the official language in America.

I'm voting Democrat because I'd rather pay $4 for a gallon of gas than allow drilling for oil off the coasts of America.

I'm voting Democrat because I think the government will do a better job of spending my money than I could.

I'm voting Democrat because when we pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq, I know the Islamic terrorists will stop trying to kill us because they'll think we're a good and decent country.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe people who can't tell us if it will rain in two or three days, can now tell us the polar ice caps will disappear in ten years if I don't start riding a bicycle, build a windmill or inflate my tires to proper levels.

I'm voting Democrat because it's alright to kill millions of babies as long as we keep violent, convicted murderers on death row alive.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe businesses in America should not be allowed to make profits. Businesses should just break even and give the rest to the government so politicians and bureaucrats can redistribute the money the way they think it should be redistributed.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe guns, and not the people misusing them, are the cause of crimes and killings.

I'm voting Democrat because when someone with a weapon threatens my family or me, I know the government can respond faster through a call to 911 than I can with a gun in my hand.

I'm voting Democrat because oil companies' 5%profit on a gallon of gas are obscene, but government taxes of 18% on the same gallon of gas are just fine.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe three or four elitist liberals should rewrite the Constitution every few months to suit some fringe element that could never get their agenda past voters.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Trusting the Lord

I've received troubling news over the weekend that has my ire up. I have a sick loved one, some serious trouble in a close friend's family, and a relative of a co-worker that was just diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer that has metastasized throughout his body. Couple that with not getting pregnant, home work, marriage stress, and my husband's birthday this week and I'm tempted by a train load of stresses and worries!

I'm into triage mode right now and that's where I'm going to let myself stay. I cannot get emotionally involved in many of these issues or I will absolutely fall apart. I know we live in an imperfect, sinful world, and that death and troubles are an inevitable part of life. I just wish they weren't.

Sometimes it's hard to "Let go and Let God." Often times I try and accomplish things through my own strength. Make that most of the time....

We are not alone. Emmanuel: God is with us. And there is so much to be thankful for in this life he has given to us. We are to live as God intended; in communion with him. At this, I admit failure, as I do not nurture that relationship as I should. I must live intentionally in my relationship with the Lord as I have undertaken to do with my earthly brothers and sisters.

This weekend, I'm headed home to the Rochester area to visit with family. It will be a time of fellowship and I am hoping, of renewal.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Birfday Partay

Next Wednesday, Oct. 22nd is my husband's 32nd birfday (that's myspeak for "birthday" in case you didn't know). We're having a family dinner for him tomorrow night. Jeff's Mom likes to make each of her kids their favorite dinner on their birthday. It's very sweet and she loves to do it.

The only thing I am responsible for cooking for dinner is the birfday cake. Jeff asked for chocolate chip cheesecake and that is what he shall have. Tomorrow between meeting with my research group in the morning and the birthday party at 5:30, I'll make his cheesy birfday cake. I still have to buy the ingredients and pick up Grammy at 5:15 pm.

It's getting pretty bad. What's getting bad? My memory. I need to invest in a PDA or something. For the second time I have stood a friend up at Applebees, different friend, same restaurant. It doesn't matter how often I write things down on my various calendars (academic or household calendar) I cannot remember appointments when things get crazy...and things have been crazy for awhile now.

I don't think there is any hope for me for the next few months. Between my brain fog from the copious amounts of Splenda and NutraSweet I have been consuming, and lack of restful sleep, I am doomed to forget more appointments with more friends, unless I become somewhat of a hermit and avoid people altogether. Then I won't have any friends to forget. Sigh.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Persecuted in India

I wanted to put this story out there because I think it's important to give attention to news stories that don't necessarily make the western news reports. I received an email this morning from the Christian university where I attend graduate classes. The Christian church is being persecuted in India and people are dying. It's a very volatile situation since some Hindus were killed in an anonymous act of violence and Christians are being blamed. Now there is an unchecked killing spree happening while Indian authorities are trying to regain control of the situation. See the email below.

"Chancellor Hall received this extremely troubling news from a missionary couple (names deleted to protect them) and their churches in Orissa, India. The request came from (name omitted) an associate of HCJB Global. Please read and join together in making this a matter of urgent prayer.

'Dear beloved sponsors and friends of Good News India. We have never seen anything like this. We knew that Orissa was the most resistant and hostile State in India as far as the Gospel is concerned. And we brushed off the continuous threats and harassment we faced as we went about His work. But none of our staff imagined that they would see this kind of carnage... And it seems to be totally under the radar of the Western Media.Let me explain.

A militant Hindu priest and 4 of his attendants, who were zealously going around the villages of Orissa and 'reconverting' people back to Hinduism, were gunned down by unknown assailants in Central Orissa last weekend. Immediately the Christians were blamed. The cry rose up...'Kill the Christians!' And the horror began...

In the past 4 days, we have first hand witness to hundreds
of churches being blown up or burned and many, many dozens of Christian tribals have been slaughtered. For no other reason than they bare the name of Christ.Night and day I have been in touch with our Good News India Directors spread across 14 Dream Centers in Orissa... they are right in the middle of all this chaos.

In Tihidi, just after the police came to offer protection, a group of 70 blood-thirsty militants came to kill our staff and destroy the home. They were not allowed to get in, but they did a lot of damage to our Dream Center by throwing rocks and bricks and smashing our gate, etc. They have promised to come back and 'finish the job.' Our kids and staff are locked inside and have stayed that way with doors and windows shut for the past 3 days. It has been a time of desperately calling on the Lord in prayer. More police have come to offer protection.

In Kalahandi, the police and some local sympathizers got to our dream center and gave our staff and kids about 3 minutes notice to vacate. No one had time to even grab a change of clothes or any personal belonging. As they fled, the bloodthirsty mob came to kill everyone in the building. We would have had a mass funeral there, but for His grace.

In Phulbani, the mob came looking for Christian homes and missions. The local Hindu people, our neighbors turned them away by saying that there were no Christians in this area. So they left. We had favor. The same thing happened in Balasore.All our dream centers are under lock down with the kids and staff huddled inside and police outside. The fanatics are circling outside waiting for a chance to kill. Others were not so fortunate.

In a nearby Catholic orphanage, the mob allowed the kids to leave and locked up a Priest and a computer teacher in the house and burned them to death. Many believers have been killed and hacked into pieces and left on the road... even women and children.

At another orphanage run by another organization, when this began, the Director and his wife jumped on their motorbike and simply fled, leaving all the children and staff behind. Every one of our GNI directors that I have spoken to said: 'We stay with our kids... we live together or die together, but we will never abandon what God has called us to do.' More than 5000 Christian families have had their homes burned or destroyed. They have fled into the jungles and are living in great fear waiting for the authorities to bring about peace. But so far, no peace is foreseen.

This will continue for another 10 days... supposedly the 14 day mourning period for the slain Hindu priest. Many more Christians will die and their houses destroyed. Many more churches will be smashed down. The Federal government is trying to restore order and perhaps things will calm down. We ask for your prayers. Only the Hand of God can calm this storm. None of us know the meaning of persecution. But now our kids and staff know what that means.

So many of our kids coming from Hindu backgrounds are confused and totally bewildered at what is happening around them. So many of their guardians have fled into the jungles and are unable to come and get them during these trying times. Through all this, I am more determined than ever to continue with our goal: the transformation of a community by transforming its children. Orissa will be saved... that is our heart's cry. If we can take these thousands of throw-away children and help them to become disciples of Jesus, they will transform an entire region. It is a long-term goal, but it is strategic thinking in terms of the Great Commission. What can you do?

First, please uphold all this in fervent prayer. Second, pass this e-mail on to as many friends as you can. We must get the word out and increase our prayer base for this is spiritual warfare at its most basic meaning. We are literally fighting the devil in order to live for His Kingdom.

The next 10 days are crucial. We pray for peace and calm to pervade across Orissa.Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please pass it on and help us to get as many people to partner with us on this cutting edge effort to fulfill His mandate: Go and make disciples of all nations...Prayer works!'

Here is a website where you can get up-to-date info on the Orissa, India, prayer request that was sent out today. Check out
Gospel for Asia: Orissa Updates. Articles, photos, and video are available. Thank you for your prayers. Blessings.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Taking "Insert Name Here" to the Mattresses

Have you ever had a time in your life when you've had to take someone to the mattresses? I'm not talking about bedding some wench from the Renaissance Fair. I'm talking about making a business decision that has the potential to offend other people; people that it's politically incorrect to offend. But it's not personal, it's in the movie The Godfather. Think Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall.

Take when I finally grew a pair and introduced myself to the rest of my Research Design class as someone who was interested in working with people who wanted to work hard and get this project done. My professor cut in and iterated she thought at the Masters level all students were interested in working hard.

I silently disagreed. I could have played my hand differently. I could have stood around like everyone else did, like a middle school kid at a dance, looking at my feet, afraid to speak up and ask that attractive someone, strike that, anyone to dance. But I didn't.

The long and short of it is, I ended up with two excellent research partners because I had a sound idea to seek out like-minded individuals and I was rewarded for my efforts. Just think, if I hadn't said anything, I could have ended up with some milk-sop research partners on whom I would have had to install lo-jack just to track them down to make an appointment to go over our project plans. (I've heard the groans of others who didn't grow a pair in time to do them any good).

So take it from me. There comes a time in every man or woman's life when they have to say "Screw the party line... I'm going to stand up for myself and let my voice be heard." Because you can do it, and no one has to get hurt. No blood and guts...maybe a few tears, but that's it.

Don't be afraid to take'em to the mattresses. It's not personal. It's business.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Working on My Paper

I'm digging into the trenches of academia and writing the first part of my paper that's due in a couple of weeks. The final product is due at the end of November. Argh. Academic writing....the bane of my existence. Week after week I tell myself, "Just a few more weeks until you are done with this class!"

Now half-way through the course, having had our project approved just today, I'm looking forward to conducting my interviews, and writing the rest of this paper, right after we finish our literature review. Good gravy...we're half-way there. It will feel good to be done.

Fatigue is my enemy. Completion of this project is my goal. Your prayers are appreciated!

I am totally fat and totally tense and totally ready to bust some heads. I'm stayin' off the roads and holing up in my house so that I don't take liberties with my non-existent license to kill.

This is Cornholio signing off.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jewelry Jazz

Well...I didn't take pictures. I forgot the camera upstairs and I had already barricaded the stairs with guest chairs so I didn't try to go through the guests and through the show, up the stairs to locate the camera. We had fun though!

I served these yummy new appetizers from Pillsbury and I had a triple chocolate cake from Landis supermarkets. I hear that their secret ingredient to their cakes is Pillsbury cake mix or flour or something. The cake was really good. I'm glad I only had one piece and that I sent the rest home with my guests. The bad thing is, I bought donut holes for small group tonight and brought those popable devils home to roost...temporarily...until I ate most of them and threw the less favored ones in the trash.

I need to make friends with a gym.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sparkley Times at the Schoon's

This Saturday I'm hosting another party. I like these parties. I'm a sucker for them. Well...for some of them.

Saturday night we'll be trying on Premier Designs jewelry. It should be fantastic! The house will be full of laughter and fun. That's the part I like about these parties, the female companionship and the rip roaring good times we have together. I'll take some pictures to provide you with a vicarious jewelry party experience.

Do you like to wear jewelry? Honestly, I considered it an extra expense for the longest time. Now, I think of it as frosting on the cake. It's nice, but not a necessity (for myself at least). That's one reason to have your own party, so you can earn free or discounted jewelry.

In these times of economic cut backs, we're all doing what we can to balance our budgets, and cut back on spending.

I'm working again (Praise the Lord) but Jeff and I are working for less money and without medical benefits. About one quarter of my monthly income will go to providing our health coverage each month. Dems da breaks right now.

Listen to me people. Do not allow your children to major in anything else besides a degree that will net them a professional career if financial independence from Mom and Dad is your goal. That's all I'm sayin'.

Majors that should be outlawed (if only done on their own): Art, Psychology, Communication, International Studies, Women's Studies, can you think of anymore? Do you agree or disagree?