Reactions to the AZ and MI Primaries

Yesterday, Arizona and Michigan held their Republican Primaries.  One was hotly contested, the other was not.  Before we analyze the two states, lets note for the record that neither Newt Gingrich nor Ron Paul put any real effort into these two states.  Both states were essentially contests between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum (although all four were on the ballot).  So, given this lack of effort by Newt and Ron Paul,

Let’s take them one at a time, shall we?
Arizona was ultimately a layup for Mittens.  Polls closed at 9 pm Eastern, the state was called at 9:01 pm.  It’s a nice win for Mitt, since Arizona’s delegates are winner-take-all.  So Mitt picked up 29 more delegates toward the nomination.  Not a whole lot more to say.  Mitt did nicely for himself in Arizona. It was the kind of win Mitt needed to regain his air of inevitability.
And then Michigan happened to Mittens.  It couldn’t be called for quite some time. Mitt won a squeaker at the end of the day, but even that win is very hard to call it a win.  Winning by 3% is a pathetic turnout considering that Mitt was born and raised in Michigan and that George Romney, Mitt’s father, was the incredibly popular 3-term governor of Michigan.  The Romney name is as golden in Michigan as the name Kennedy is in Massachusetts, yet Mitt could only ride that to a small victory.  If I was Mittens, I’d be nervous.
Rick Santorum on the other hand ought to be very pleased with his showing.  To come so close to beating Mitt in his home state and to pick up close to half of the 30 delegates at stake is huge.  Furthermore, if the conservative vote was to be consolidated (this time theoretically behind Santorum), the Senator would’ve beaten Mitt.   A very strong showing for Rick Santorum.
Two more primaries, two wins for Mitt.  Arizona was a nice win.  Michigan, however, was disappointing.  If I was Mitt Romney, I’d feel nervous.  If I was Rick Santorum, I’d feel confident.  Even though the Senator lost both contests, again, coming so close to beating Mittens in Michigan is a great victory for him. 

Next week is going to be very telling.  Next Tuesday is Super Tuesday.  Mittens is lost his inevitability.  Rick Santorum is rising as the conservative choice. Next week is the last chance for Newt Gingrich to make a comeback.  If he doesn’t, it’s time to conservatives to coalesce behind Rick Santorum. 
Either way, Mittens is not doing well.  He wanted to have this race wrapped up by now.  Instead, he’s in a dogfight.  This nation is pushing further to the right, conservatism is taking over the GOP, returning it to its.   The Tea Party, no matter how much we’re called fringe, is actually the mainstream of America.  Those of us who have been conservatives for years are joining forces with those who just came to the conservative table and we are taking this country back.  At the end of the day, I believe whomever we nominate is going to beat Barack Obama.  So let’s get the best we can get.  Game on.

happy LEAP DAY!

can you remember from like 4th grade Science class why it's Leap Day today?

well, here's a fun little reminder + probably some stuff you didn't know.

hopefully that wasn't boring for you.
now you will be ready to explain it to anyone who asks today.

The truth is if we give our businesses a good environment, they will do the investing.  Let's get government out of the "investment" game.  Let's elect Somebody Else in 2012.

all out positivity & confidence

i heard a story recently... and honestly i'm not sure what it's intended point was... you know, i'm not sure what "the moral of the story" was, but i just made up my own. applied it in my own way.
i tend to do that a lot.

the story went something like this:

a little boy was playing out in his back yard. he was maybe 9 years old.

he's playing baseball with himself - you know, throwing the ball up in the air to himself and trying to hit it.

as he's doing this he keeps saying “I’m the greatest hitter in the world. I'm the greatest hitter in the world. I'm the greatest hitter in the world.” Over & over.

he tosses the ball up... swings & misses...

Strike 1.

I’m the greatest hitter in the world."

he tosses the ball up again... swings & misses...
Strike 2.

I’m the greatest hitter in the world."

for the third time he tosses the ball up... swings & misses...

Strike 3.

The boy stands there for a second... then throws both arms up in the air and shouts

“I’m the greatest pitcher in the world.”

Someone was actually standing there watching all this happen. That person asked the boy, How do you know you're the greatest pitcher in the world?

the boy answered
“because I just struck out the greatest hitter in the world.” 

i think it's a great story. i really like it.

i think all of us could learn something from this guy.

about reframing situations.

about all out positivity and confidence.

i want to live my life with this kind of confidence & undying positivity... no matter how many times i strike out.

Why Rick Santorum Would Make a Better President than Obama

Recently, Biblical Conservatism has been presenting our Somebody Else in 2012 Campaign.  The goal is, above all else, to defeat Barack Obama in 2012.  So, in the coming days, we're going to discuss why each of the remaining four candidates, even if they may be less than your ideal candidate.  Today we're going to talk about Rick Santorum. Here are some of his platforms:

- Repeal Obamacare.

- Reform our immigration system to make it harder to enter illegally and easier to enter legally.

- Stand up for the rights of every human being, born and unborn, to be alive.

- Repeal ALL major Obama Era new regulations that squash business growth.

- Cut $5 Trillion in spending over 5 years.

- Reduce Federal Non-Defense Spending to 2008 Levels.

- Reform Medicare and Social Security to make it a sustainable program for generations to come.

Is Rick Santorum a perfect candidate?  No.  But he's got a solid conservative record and is one of two candidates that I am 100% certain would govern according to conservative principles if elected.  He believes in freedom and the American family.  And most importantly, Rick Santorum would be a better President than the one we have now.

Socialism and Communism has never failed to fail. 

Barack Obama's Presidency has been no exception.

In 2012, let's elect a President who believes in America as it was founded.  Let's elect someone else.

environment is everything

Because of a class i'm in this semester i've had to immerse myself (quite literally) in the world of Paul. Paul i-don't-know-his-last-name... but the Apostle guy. who wrote all those letters.
yeah... that guy. 

it's been pretty amazing and i've learned a ton. 

one thing that's sticking in my head today is that the environment was very important to Paul. that's not a comment on whether or not he was a tree hugger... i'm just saying the context or environment within which he engaged people with the gospel was a big deal.

i had to read a ridiculous amount of books for the class and here are a few sentences that are still sticking with me from this guy named Schnabel:

 Paul did not expect people to come to him: he went to the places where people lived. 
“For people to hear the gospel, they will have to be sought out in places where they are willing to listen to discourses and are willing to engage in conversations.”
it's really obvious when put like this, but a lot of times we don't consider our environment when talking to people about really important stuff.
today, where are people willing to listen to discourses & willing to engage in conversations? 
Paul figured it the answer and went and did it.
have we? 

Why Ron Paul Would Make a Better President than Obama

Recently, Biblical Conservatism has been presenting our Somebody Else in 2012 Campaign.  The goal is, above all else, to defeat Barack Obama in 2012.  So, in the coming days, we're going to discuss why each of the remaining four candidates, even if they may be less than your ideal candidate.  Today we're going to talk about Ron Paul.  Here are some of his platforms:

- Cut $1 Trillion from the budget in year one.

- Eliminate five cabinet level Executive Branch departments.

- Cut Federal Workforce by 10%.

- Return Spending to 2006 Levels (putting the deficit at less than 10% of today's deficit).

- Lower corporate taxes.

- Repeal the 16th Amendment (Which allows Federal income tax).

- Return the bulk of governmental power to the States where it belongs.

Is Ron Paul a perfect candidate? Absolutely not.  He's actually my fourth choice of four from the remaining field, and to be honest, some of his foreign policy scares me.  But he'd be a far better President than the one we have now.

This ad was not paid for by any political organization. It has been posted by the editor of this blog as part of his personal endorsement of Newt Gingrich and is not subject to equal time requirements.

Third Party Isn't the Answer

"Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?”
- Ronald Reagan

It continues to baffle me that so many conservatives are actually talking about voting Third Party in 2012 to "make a statement."  I honestly want to shake these people.  My response is: well zippity doo da you and your "statement" are going to get this country stuck with four more years of Obama and more "change" that is going to remake this nation into something our founding fathers wouldn't recognize. 

For the record, I'm talking to conservatives here.  You libertarians who might decide to go to Gary Johnson, well, that's your perogative and I guess I can respect it.  Conservatives, however, you're shooting this nation in the foot with that kind of vote.  Honestly, friends, I'm not trying to pick on anyone here, but do you remember what happened the last time people gave "statement votes" to a third party candidate because the Republican nominee was less than conservative.  Do you remember?

The Election was Decision 1992.  Ross Perot was running against the growing deficits (the like of which we'd now give our right arm for today) and other fiscally conservative messages.  At the end of the day, Clinton beat Bush (41) by about 5.5% nationally.  Perot, remember, received 18% of the vote.  Even if Clinton and Bush split Perot's vote, Bush would've won handily. Instead we got Clinton, and a big push for liberalism for two years, until Newt Gingrich and the GOP were elected in a landslide and forced Clinton to move to the right.

Friends, sometimes it's better to elect a George H.W. Bush than to deal with a Clinton.  Only one difference: Obama is far worse than Clinton.  President Clinton did not care about ideology.  If he needed to govern to the right of Warren Harding to be popular he would've done it.  The man was a weather vane.  Obama on the other hand is a rigid ideologue.

If that means voting for Romney, fine.  It's better to halt the Obama-Liberalism advance. I expect taht Romney will be, at worst, George H.W. Bush as President.  (Actually I think he'll be more like Dwight Eisenhower personally.)  Or if you can't have your first choice of the two conservatives, trust me, when you research their plans you'll find that the other guy is a pretty nice consolation prize. (I've endorsed Gingrich, but I would be happy to throw my support behind Santorum.)  If you're a Ron Paul supporter, let me ask you this: Even if it means halting the spending in it's tracks, isn't that better than Obama continuing to add to his spending?

Friends, we must not allow ourselves the personal toy of a third party "statement vote." I believe America as founded is at stake.  Perhaps we won't be able to reverse the flow of the river this election, perhaps we will.  but if we can't reverse the flow, at least let's put up a dam. 

In 2008, President Obama ran a great campaign.  Since 2009, he's run the country poorly. 

It's time for a new President.  In 2012, let's put substance over style, and elect someone else.

shocking stats

(i originally wrote and posted this to renown on February 18, 2010.)

my Pastor is awesome. He's not only my pastor, but he's also my boss... & my mentor. I'm honored to stand behind him and serve with him & I've learned so much from him these past few years.
He is a great man. He loves God + is a brilliant and corageous leader.

But I still pray for him constantly. I pray that God puts His hand on him and makes him an even greater and godlier leader. I pray that God protects him from Satan's attacks. I pray for his wife and kids. I pray that he can stay strong for the whole marathon.

Because I know that great men and women fall all the time. The statistics are dramatically against my pastor (and me, and your pastor) over the long haul. 

These are 2 sets of stats below that are nothing short of SHOCKING.
[My thoughts and comments are in brackets]
-  Pastors who work less than 50 hours a week are 35% more likely to be fired
-  Church peeps expect their pastors to juggle an average of 16 major tasks
-  Pastor has greatest impact in years 5-14, but average only lasts 5 years
-  40% report a serious conflict with a person in their church at least once per month.
[hey church peeps, how bout get off your pastor's back!]
80%of pastors believe that pastoral ministry affects their families negatively
-  75% have had a significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry
-  50% feel unable to meet needs of the job
40% of pastors say they’ve considered leaving their pastorates in last 3 months. [whoa! i wonder what % consider it once a week?]
-  33% confess inappropriate sexual behavior with someone in their church [that is crazy]
-  20% say they view porn at least once per month
-  51% say internet porn is possible temptation [I'm just curious here... what do the other 49% say? That it's NOT a temptation!? That's the half I'd be worried about. those pastors gotta sign up for XXXchurch ASAP!] & 37% say it’s a constant struggle
-  13% have been divorced
-  80% say they have insufficient time with their spouse
-  66% pastors & families feel pressure to model the ideal family to their congregations & communities
-  70% don’t have a close friend! [that sucks]
-  90% feel they’re inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands
45% say they’ve experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed  to take a leave of absence from ministry.

(I read these stats from Mike Erre who got them from H.B. London, Jr. & Neil B. Wiseman, Pastors at Greater Risk: Real Help for Pastors from Pastors Who’ve Been There)
(The stats below are from Mark Driscoll & are at The Resurgence)
-  1,500 pastors leave ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches
50% of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce [that is unbelievable!!! 50/50 chance you'll get divorced if you're a pastor. scary. that's messed up. but i guess it's 50/50 for every person... pastors are no different.]
-  80% & 84% of their spouses feel unqualified & discouraged in their role
-  50% are so discouraged they would quit if they could but have no other way of getting income
-  80% of seminary & Bible college grads who enter ministry will leave within 1st5 years
70% constantly fight depression
-  almost 40% said they’ve had an affair since beginning their ministry
80% of wives wish their spouse would choose another profession
“The majority of pastor’s wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.”
[wow! that hurts & is really scary. God, may that never be true in our lives!]

My heart just hurts after reading those! My heart is breaking.

I think there's only 1 thing to say after all that = PRAY for your Pastor!
Pray that God protects him from these attacks on his life and family! Pray that God renews and rejuvenates him so that he can be at the top of his game. Pray for his wife and kids. Pray that God will help you back him and be the kind of support he needs!

I know i need some peeps praying for me. Because i plan on being in this for the rest of my life. I want to be part of a revolution... But i am desperately dependent on God's grace to keep me and my wife from being any of these statistics!!!

Reactions to the CNN-AZ Debate

Last night, the four remaining Republican candidates met for their first debate in a long time in Arizona.  It’s been so long that you’re not going to remember the notes from the last debate.  As a matter of fact, I’m going to refrain from putting in my notes from the last debate, since it was nearly a month to go. 
However, since we last saw the candidates debate, much has happened, so let’s quickly review that:  After winning South Carolina, Newt Gingrich has essentially tanked.  He needed a really great debate last night.  Meanwhile, Rick Santorum has surged.  Senator Santorum has surged for the precise same reason that Gingrich had previously rocketed up: he’s effectively communicating conservatism.  Real conservatism wins.  Period.  Ron Paul has…well…kept being Ron Paul.  Finally there’s Mitt.  Mittens has stayed where he’s been…an acceptable but not preferable choice.  A lot of conservatives are still screaming that Mitt’s a liberal or a moderate…the later is sort of true, although what a “moderate” is has moved right since the GOP nominated John McCain. 
So let’s play a round of everyone’s favorite debate game, Buy, Hold, Sell or Sell All:
Newt Gingrich Hold (Buy): Newt had the opportunity to do two the best things that he does.  One, he got to slam dunk CNN for continuing to bring up the baloney about birth control.  Two, he got the chance to be the above the fray wise sage in the debate. His best moment was talking about how the same media that is harrumphing about birth control ignored the fact that Obama voted against a law to say that an unborn child who survived abortion procedures, including partial birth abortion procedures.  Once again, it’s another media double standard.  However, I don’t think Newt got the type of screen time he needed to rebound.  I hope I’m wrong.  I think Super Tuesday is going to be Newt's last stand if he doesn't win a few states.  We shall see.
Ron Paul Sold (Sold):  Ron Paul was Ron Paul.  He did make a good point on the contraceptive issue.  He’s right, the problem in and of itself isn’t birth control birth control is a reasonable medical tool) but the way people use it to live a consequence free life.  (I’m paraphrasing.)  It’s a good point.  That’s why I don’t have a problem with true contraception (while saying again and again that abortion isn’t contraception, it’s a simple difference between).  I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I agree with Ron Paul on about 85% of issues.  Tonight Paul highlighted that 85%.
Mitt Romney Buy (Buy):  First and foremost, I want to say that it definitely sounded like Mittens had stacked the room.  It was almost comical how the audience cheered at Romney getting his tail kicked for making terrible points.  It was so out of line and cheering bad points.  Often it was two people cheering at completely inopportune times.  Not only do I think the Romney camp stacked the audience, they absolutely sucked at it.
Now to Mitt.  He got his butt kicked early on.  It was like watching Socrates debating a vacuum cleaner.  (For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, Socrates was, at least in the writings of Plato, one of the finest debaters in the history of ever.) 
Rick Santorum Buy (Buy):  Santorum went back and forth between debating well and debating like a vacuum cleaner.  He spent a lot of time giving Romney the same look that Newt was previously known for (you know that look…the one that says “What are you, stupid?”  Then Senator Santorum found his swing and started hitting the ball hard.  He also absolutely hit it out of the park on his previous statements about birth control and the sexual licentiousness that birth control does make possible, but yet stating that “just because he’s talking about it doesn’t mean he wants a government program to fix it.  That’s not what (conservatives) do that’s what (liberals) do!”
Senator Santorum also took Mittens to the woodshed on his Obamacare attack.  It was beautiful.  Once again, Senator Santorum showed why he’s a very good second choice for me and for conservatives.  I believe he will govern as a conservative, he will take the fight to Obama if he’s our nominee.  Right now Santorum is my second choice…but it’s not by much. 
Debate Winner: Rick Santorum
This race has heated up.  It’s starting to look like a two man race, but that can change on a dime in this campaign.  Either way, we must defeat Obama.  So let’s allow this race to decide the best available candidate, but at the end of the day each of these candidates has one major thing in common: Every one of them will be a better President than the one we have now.

This ad was not paid for by any political organization.  It has been posted by the editor of this blog as part of his personal endorsement of Newt Gingrich and is not subject to equal time requirements.

Mr. Obama, Your Values aren't "American Values"

It's one of President Obama's newest catchphrases: "American Values."  He tends to bring up in the same sentence as phrases like "pay their fair share" as it pertains to the wealthiest Americans.  This of course displays the real problem with Obama talking about American Values.  The President apparently believes that his values ARE American values. He's very, very wrong.

Last week I outlined that, once again conservatives are still the political center in this country. Conservatism is the largest group ideologically in America, followed by moderatism and then way back in third place is liberalism.  Can anyone argue that Obama is anything BUT a liberal?  Only if one is arguing that the President is too far left to qualify as a liberal.

Redistribution of wealth via high taxes and welfare spending is not a conservative value, now is it?  No.  It's a liberal value.

Massive Healthcare laws that require people to purchase a certain product on penalty of law is not a conservative value or a moderate value, now is it?  No.  It's a liberal value. 

Saying that the wealthiest 1% of Americans, who already pay 40% of the income taxes in this nation, aren't paying "their fair share" is not a conservative value or a moderate value.  (It's also not mathematically logical.) It's a liberal value. 

Requiring faith-based institutions and individuals of faith to perform abortions and other proceedures that they consider personally reprehensible is not a conservative value or a moderate value.  It's a liberal value.

This is a small sample, of course, but it's also very descriptive of the logical failing of this catch-phrase by the President.  Mr. Obama, you are not pushing American values, because 75% of Americans are conservative or moderate.  You are pushing LIBERAL values. You are pushing your own values.  And your values are not American values.
The Republican field isn't nominating field ever has been or will be.  But each one of them will repeal Obamacare, keep us safer than Obama, cut taxes and cut spending. 

In 2012, let's elect a new President, one who isn't bent
on taking America the way of Europe.

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Biblical Conservatism Launches Somebody Else in 2012 Campaign

As some of you may have noticed, at the end of last week, this blog has started posting reasons why we must defeat Obama in 2012.  I am referring to this campaign as "Somebody Else in 2012."  The reason for this campaign is, above all else and all candidate preferences, we MUST defeat Barack Obama in 2012. 

He has already done much to try to change our nation into an entitlement society and to make more people dependent on government for life.  He's played class warfare as well as borrowing and spending trillions to bring about economic recovery and it has failed. 

Some of you may be asking: Haven't you endorsed Newt Gingrich?  Yes, I have, and my endorsement stands.  I do believe out of the four candidates remaining that Newt is the best and most conservative choice.  However, the Someone Else 2012 Campaign is focused on the general election.  Specifically, I am pledging, and I am asking you to do the same, to agree to support whomever the 2012 Republican nominee is, even if it isn't your candidate.  We must not allow Obama to be re-elected, because without the check of another election, Obama will be more brazen with his liberalism and will push his socialist agenda harder and farther. 

I'm asking you to get on board.  Help spread the word for our Someone Else 2012 Campaign.  You can be kept abreast of all Someone Else 2012 posts by either following me on Twitter or liking Biblical Conservatism on Facebook to ensure you know of every new post. Help please by retweeting and sharing the links to the Someone Else 2012 posts. 

You can also help by talking to your friends, family, and coworkers and demonstrate why Obama is a failure.
We can do that by reminding them of all Obama's broken promises (since the Drive-By Media isn't going to do it).  Remind them of Obama's own words, like when he promised that if we passed his stimulus unemployment would not go above 8%. It then went above 8%, up to 11%, and hasn't gotten below 8% yet.  (It's back on the rise, by the way, up to 9% again.)

We must defeat Obama in 2012, even if it's with a stop-gap President. So let's pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, even if he isn't perfect, because he's going to be a better choice than Obama.

Obama Says: Pay no attention to the lack of bridge...
let's spend more on alternative energy!

In 2012, we have a choice.  Keep making the same bad decisions, or turn around and find a path that isn't destined for a fall.

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is there a better way?

is there a better way to do this?

how often do you ask that question? how often do i?
probably not often enough.

i think that when we're doing anything that matters and we STOP asking the question "is there a better way?" then we're already done. our time is almost up.

this is a really important question to ask - to ask yourself and others.
because if what you're doing DOES matter, then wouldn't you want to know a better way?

so WHY don't we ask this question?
is it because we already think we have the best way? no better way exists?
i hope not. i hope that's not the reason. because that's pretty arrogant and at that point we are SO far gone that a conversation on this subject is pointless. if we find ourselves thinking that we already have the best way then we can probably just quit at that point.

so, i'm not convinced that's the reason. i push back all the time on having to ask myself and others this Q. i don't like to ask this Question. but why?
WHY do we not like to ask "is there a better way?"

it's hard

it takes more TIME

more effort

it makes it obvious that we're not the expert/ we don't know everything

it's very uncomfortable

it takes a little bit of humility

if we discover there is a better way then we'll have to STOP doing it our current way and make the necessary changes.

and that is hard.

so, it is EASIER to just keep doing it the same way and not even rock the boat.

but again, let's ask ourselves - is this something that MATTERS? is it worth doing? then it's worth doing better right? if it really matters that much.

maybe the best question to ask ourselves in these moments when we want to bail on doing the hard work of figuring out a BETTER WAY is...
what's at stake if we don't find a better way?

for Keira

so she doesn't always just have to hear me sing it to her.

Stevie sounds much better.

Obama Has to Lie to Win, We Must Not Let Him

Over the last few days, we've been turning our attention to President Obama's 2012 Campaign and talking about the falsehoods he is peddling to keep his job. So many to give, no idea where to start. 

It's all Bush's fault...except he's had 3 years of his fixes and none of them work. 

It's all because of the Republicans in Congress blocking him...except for those two full years when Obama had a philibuster proof majority in the Senate and a strong lead in the House on his side and passed everything he wanted.

How about the claim that unemployment has dropped...except it really hasn't, the Department of Labor just up and decided that the workforce was 1.2 million people smaller and therefore the percentage went down while the real number of people unemployed went up.  Further, the "seasonally adjusted" numbers given most places are lower than the real number, given by Gallup, where unemployment remains 9%.

Or maybe we could talk about Obamacare, which remains very unpopular and a majority of Americans want it repealed. Let's not forget how Obamacare was going to cut our costs for insurance...except it hasn't, it's raised our premiums, so the "freebies" aren't free, just shifted to another place, your premiums.

My friends, there is only one way the President can get re-elected: Lie.  He has to lie to Americans.  He has to label his straw man "Republicans," tell us it is real and then defeat it.  He has to use doctored numbers to have unemployment as low as the 8.5% he claims (really 9% without "seasonal adjustments") and with REAL unemployment (including underemployment - people working part time instead of full time) that has ticked back up to 19%.  So he's got to distract and make us look away.

There is a solution, my friends, a very simple one: We must not let him.  We must not let those lies stand. We must talk to our friends, family, and co-workers who buy into these misconceptions.  We must fight the good fight, because the truth is worth fighting for!  (Feel free to start by sending those friends to Biblical Conservatism.)  We must shout it from the rooftops: Obama is a failure!  Somebody Else in 2012!

Obama has had 3 years to turn this economy around, including 2 with a philibuster-proof Senate and huge House majority...
yet it's still Bush's fault?

In 2012, let's elect an accountable President, one who won't double down on bad ideas after they continue to fail.

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what we should learn from African theology

(I originally wrote and posted this to renown on February 10, 2010.)

Earlier this year I finished reading my 1st book written by the late, great missiologist David J. Bosch. He is the guru, but I've never read an entire book he wrote. But I recently finished Believing in the Future: Toward a Missiology of Western Culture and it was great stuff.

He applied much of his expertise in cross cultural mission to our mission here in the West [as it rightly should be applied the same!].

So, I know there are TONS of things we (in the West) should learn from African theology, but this is just one thought from Bosch on what we would do well to take from them

“African theology was to a significant extent missiological through and through.”
and along those lines...
“Third World theologies are missionary theologies, whereas First World theologies are not.” 

This is so true and points to the root of a lot of our problems here in the West. Many only think of being "on mission" in a foreign context, but not here in the West. 
Bosch wrote this back in the year of his death - 1992. Thankfully over these past 17-18 years the shift he wrote about has been happening here. We've still got a long way to go, but we're getting there, imho.
Obama and the Left want to make the issue in 2012 the religious faith of the Republican Candidates...


Yet we are not supposed to ask about Obama's?

In 2012, let's remember who our President is...

and Elect Someone Else.

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Obama Wants You to Ignore His Record

President Obama is now in 100% campaign mode.  He’s trying a little misdirection play.  He’s telling you it’s everyone else’s fault, that he inherited everything, even the policies that he put into place.  Three years in, the President keeps telling us that it’s all Bush’s fault.  (Even though the President as a Senator voted for the same policies under the Bush administration…at least when he wasn’t voting “present.”)  Here’s the reality that President Obama is trying very hard to make you look away from:  He has had plenty of time to genuinely turn this economy around (not a pathetic “recovery” with 8.5% unemployment two years after the recession supposedly ended) and he has failed. 
The President wants you to pretend he didn’t spend over $1 Trillion in various “stimulus” packages and subsidies that have not resulted in jobs.  President Obama promised Americans if we passed his Stimulus package, unemployment wouldn’t go above 8%.  The unemployment proceeded to go above 8% and still has not fallen below it.  The President has then called for more and more spending every chance he’s gotten.  None of it has worked.  The President has spent billions on subsidies for “Green Energy” that absolutely is not ready to even be a medium sized player in the energy market.  (The truth is government cannot force the market to develop new energy solutions.  Once a need is on the horizon, believe me, the Free Market will come up with an answer toot sweet.  We simply don’t have that need yet.) This was also supposed to create jobs.  Nothing like promised. 
Then of course there is the President’s signature piece of legislation: Obamacare.  What was the last time the President actually talked about this accomplishment?  Oh that’s right, he can’t talk about it…a solid majority of Americans still want it repealed nearly three years later.  The law is incredibly unpopular, just like when the President and the Democrats crammed it down our throats.
Here’s some cold, hard facts, friends: President Obama inherited unemployment lower than today, and by the way the unemployment rate is being propped up by some fudged accounting.  According to economist John R. Lott, there are 1.2 million FEWER people in the workforce than when Obama took office, so basically the unemployment numbers have dropped because the Labor Department decided to shrink the workforce, not because more are employed.  As I just noted, nearly 60% of Americans want Obamacare repealed, so he can’t claim it as a success.  He’s borrowed and spent $5 Trillion that we do not have.  He just now proposed a budget that spends most of the projected revenue of the 2014 budget as well, because he hasn’t failed enough yet.  There is absolutely nothing Obama can say to America to say “give me four more years, I’ll give you more of what I’ve given you thus far.”
This is the very record Obama is trying to get us to ignore.  He knows that his record is going to be the end of his Presidency.  So now he’s asking us to pretend that he hasn’t been President three years.  He wants to run the same campaign as he ran in 2008…you know, where he could be a blank slate that people can project their own perfect ideal President onto.  We conservatives, we in the Tea Party, and (I hope) the eventual Republican nominee cannot allow him to perpetuate that lie. 
Friends, President Obama wants you to ignore his record.  We cannot, we will not, let Americans forget the truth.  It’s time for the truth to be shouted from the rooftops:  President Obama’s record is an abysmal failure. 

Contraception is Another Liberal Misdirection

Over the last couple of weeks, the Left has started using their usual tactic of throwing up red herrings, this time about contraception.   This time it’s not “Republicans want old people to die” or “Republicans are going to push Grandma off a cliff” or “Republicans want women to die in back allies,” no, this time, it’s “Republicans want to take away your contraception.”  The reality, of course, is not at all sinister:  Republicans don’t believe we should be forced to pay for other people’s birth control.  Especially because, and I know this is hard for liberals to fathom, but we don’t have the money to pay for it.  (Once again, just because liberals convince themselves that something is really, super-duper important, it doesn’t mean the money grows on trees now.) 
I’ll admit that I let myself get caught up in this latest misdirection by the Left.  Yes, I do believe that these requirements do in fact infringe upon our First Amendment right to Freedom of Religion.  And yes, I further believe that government has no right to force any organization to pay for any service because the government says so.  But all this is a misdirection.  Absolutely nobody is trying to make contraception illegal (as I said yesterday, I do not have a problem with true contraception, and that includes vasectomy and tubal ligation procedures).  Whatsoever.  Saying taxpayers shouldn’t pay for something isn’t the same thing as wanting to make it illegal.
All of this, however is a huge distraction against something far, far bigger: President Obama has been an abject failure in the White House.  He has spent trillions of dollars on stimulus and he’s still yet to manage to get unemployment below the 8% that he promised we wouldn’t see in the first place if we just passed his stimulus.  President Obama cannot run on his record for reelection because his record is horrible.  So now he has to demonize the Republicans.  The President cannot ask the question “Are you better off than you were four years ago” and expect a positive result.  We aren’t.  We are worse off, and Obama’s liberal statist policies are to blame. 

Here’s the truth:  We are not better off than we were four years ago and the President knows that his policies are to blame for it.  So he’s got to try to misdirect.  He’s got to throw a flea flicker into the mix to see if he can get the defense focused on the wrong guy and then throw a Hail Mary pass.  Let’s not let Obama play this game.  He’s the failure, and he can only win by misdirecting.  Let’s not let him. 

THANKS from my Mom

i was able to spend the last couple days with my Mom and i mainly just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH!

thank you all for your support and love for my Mom. she knows about it, feels it, and is so thankful for all of you and your love for her.
Thank you to those of you who are praying for her too.

Yesterday i sat with her all day long. and she kept asking me over and over to read YOU GUYS' comments and support you've written to her. All your comments on my blog, the hundreds and thousands of comments on Facebook and her Caring Bridge site, etc... She LOVED hearing all that you guys were writing to her.

probably 6 or 8 times we got interrupted by nurses or doctors coming in and i would put my computer away. as soon as the nurse was done my Mom immediately asked me to start reading your comments again!
it was really cool. it was amazing how much your love and support energized my Mom and how much it pumped her up to hear from you all. i read to her for a couple hours.

she said to tell you all THANK YOU for this outpouring of support and THANK YOU for praying for her to get better and keep improving.

PLEASE keep this coming. say to her whatever you want to say and i will MAKE SURE she hears it from you. you have no idea how great it is for her to hear from you!

and thank you from me too. thank you for pouring out this love on my Mom, for praying for her...
and thanks for all your support of my Dad too! that is huge.
and i feel crazy loved and supported in this myself. thank you. you guys are awesome.

She is doing a lot better. she was off the vent yesterday for 8 or 9 hours and then off it again for another few hours. that's great.
she's doing physical therapy every day and still can't move her legs really. She has to work hard and keep improving her leg strength so she can start walking SO THAT the oxygen in her lungs can start moving a little better.
she's been laying flat on her back for about 18 or 19 days, so her legs are just so weak.

but i was pumped to spend time with her again. she's doing so much better.
she has a LONG way to go and she needs to get a lot better, but she's come so far.

thanks to God most of all. i don't believe any of this would be possible without His healing in her life all these years.

pretty funny story to share about my Mom tomorrow...

Reactions to Obama’s Non-Compromise on Abortion

One of the more difficult things about writing a daily political blog is trying to discuss all pertinent issues in a timely fashion.  Sometimes, when the President tries to pull the wool over our eyes the day before a Republican Primary, something gets pushed off to the side.  For a day.
Last week, the Catholic Church and many other religious organizations went to the wall with President Obama on one of those lovely hidden rules in the Obamacare law (you know, the ones we had to “pass the bill to find out what’s in it” hidden rules), this time requiring all hospitals and other medical practices to provide abortion, contraception, and sterilization (for the record, this usually means vasectomy or tubal ligation aka tube tying) services or not receive any federal funding. 
In the interest of full disclosure, I’d like to quickly outline my personal views on this subject.  I have no moral objection to contraception.  Contraception means methods of preventing pregnancy through either a barrier that stops the male genetic material from fertilizing the female genetic material. (For the record, I consider vasectomy and tubal ligation as contraception, albeit permanent…they keep one or both sets of genetic material in their respective biological storehouses.)  I have huge moral objections to abortion.  Abortion is the process of destroying a fertilized human embryo.  I believe that life begins at conception, and that all human life is precious because it is created in the image of God. 
To give a crude analogy, let’s consider the male genetic material a lit match and the female genetic material as a bucket of gasoline.  Contraception would be the process of keeping the match away from the gasoline.  Abortion is extinguishing the fire after the match hits the gasoline.  My belief according to my faith is that it is ok to stop the fire from happening (preventing pregnancy), but not to extinguish the fire (aka destroying the human life).
I am not alone.  The Roman Catholic Church, most traditional Protestant denominations and pretty much all Evangelical and Pentecostal denominations are opposed to abortion.  In those groups the beliefs on contraception are not so universal.  Many of those are also opposed to contraception.  I believe that human life begins at conception; not at some point after conception, but also not at some point before conception.  Simply stated, it’s not a human until the genetic material combines. 
The President, however, has decided to take for himself a power that does not belong to him: the power to force individuals of faith to fund procedures their faith says is murder.  Now the Constitution is clear, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.  You know why it says “Congress shall make no law”? Because the President DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO PASS LAWS!  Period.  The President may either sign off on laws or veto them, but he has no right to pass them on his own.  Period.  But we’ll get back to that.  Congress has no right to force any individual to go against their religion.  (The only exception is that one man’s liberty ends at another person’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.)

So the President’s attempt to force individuals and hospitals and organizations to provide abortion, contraception, and sterilization services is absolutely, 100% Unconstitutional.  Period.  But there is more to this problem.  The Obamacare law and the President wanted to force these organizations not only to provide these services but to PAY FOR THEM! He wants to force organizations with moral objections to not only provide these services but pay for them for their employees, free of charge.

So then, last week, the President came out with a “compromise.”  Instead of requiring the organizations to provide these services to their employees free of charge, now, out of the goodness of his heart, he’s telling the Insurance Company that THEY must pay for these services.  Oh, and by the way, do you know who is forced to provide Insurance to their employees due to the Obamacare law?  Employers!  So the same conscientious objecting employers are being forced to provide the Insurance which is forced to provide the objectionable services.  Translation:  Obama is still requiring those groups to pay for services they find morally objectionable!

One last thing:  The President calls these new services that insurance companies are required to cover “free of charge.”  Baloney.  Does the President HONESTLY believe that Insurance companies are going to just provide these services, which by the way are far more expensive than the co-pay that we shell out as consumers, letting that cut into their profit margins?  OF COURSE NOT!  You know how insurance companies will recoup that loss?  I’ll tell you how:  Raise premiums.  But Obamacare will lower costs, right?

Bottom line, this is just another liberal social program being forced on people against their will because Obama and the liberals know better than we do what’s best for us.  So let’s do our nation a favor and elect ourselves a new President.

Therein lies the problem, friends: The President wants to put all America's chips on something that doesn't exist, except for red and black (aka fossil fuels and nuclear) that WORK ALREADY!

Biblical Conservatism Blog is Responsible for the content of this post.  Thanks to Stop the Energy Freeze for the cartoon!

update on my Mom's lungs from last night

i'll start off by saying that my Mom is doing SO much better than the last time i saw her here at Duke hopsital! so thankful for that.

i got to spend the evening with her last night and it was a world of difference from the last time i was here with her.

She is off the ECMO (heart-lung) machine which is a big step. there is actually a little bit of room to stand next to her bed in the ICU room she's in because she's not hooked up to as many machines.

she is still on the Ventilator but sometimes they turn it down to about 25% which is great AND they have been trying to take her off of it for as long as they can at 1 time. i think she made it about 8 hours at once. major major progress.

she has a trache in now instead of the vent going down her throat. she's trying to talk like crazy but can't yet.

she is just like her old self. her personality is in full swing and i was loving it. she was trying to joke with my Dad and i last night. we're getting to be pretty good lip readers.

she mouthed that she loved me last night and she was asking about Keira too.

They obviously still have her doped up pretty good - last night she was telling me and my Dad about Paula Dean coming to visit her in the ICU one day. her son "Bobby"? was with her too. haha... i was trying not to laugh but it was pretty funny. not sure if she'll remember that when we tell her later when she's out of here.

they've moved her a couple times to a chair beside her bed. they basically put her in a sling and pick her up and move her.

one of the biggest things that need to improve right now is her leg strength. she can't really move her legs right now. they have her doing physical therapy a couple times a day because they need her to walk. if she can walk it will build some lung capacity back and make her lungs stronger/more oxygen to her lungs (or something like that - i'm not the detail guy).

the GREAT news is that her new lungs are obviously starting to work a little bit now. if they can keep her off the Vent for 48 hours straight they will send her to the "Step Down" ICU which they say is a REALLY big step.

looking forward to that day

Reactions to the Maine Caucuses

Saturday night, a week worth of caucuses in Maine concluded with Mitt Romney winning.   Maine’s Caucuses, like so many other caucus states, does not directly elect delegates to the Republican Convention this August, but rather elects delegates to municipal conventions who will then elect delegates who will do their best to see if they can locate Waldo.
In all seriousness, chances are that Mittens will get his share of the delegates, as will Ron Paul, who came in second, as well as Rick Santorum who came in third and Newt Gingrich who came in fourth.  Considering only Paul and Romney campaigned, this is about what should have been expected.  Maine was a state that Mitt had to have.  If Mittens can’t win New England, and I mean all of New England, in this primary season, he’s got issues.  Heck, prior to 1820, Mitt would’ve been the former Governor of the people of Maine*.   Yet Governor Romney got less than 40% of the vote.  His weakness is showing.
Caucus states remain Ron Paul’s strong suit.  His type of grassroots organization works wonderfully in caucuses.  Congressman Paul’s continuing to tally up the delegates and, I hope, is going to get his small government economic policy onto the GOP platform, regardless of who is the nominee. 
Newt’s my guy, but these last few primaries have been frustrating to me.  I think the lack of debates is hurting Newt.  He needs that platform.  That’s where Newt plays the best.  I’m glad that there are two debates coming up before the next few primaries.  There’s one a few days before Arizona and Michigan, and another right before Super Tuesday in early March, so Newt’s got the chance to get back on track.
Then there’s Rick Santorum.  Senator Santorum is showing the critics wrong, myself included, again.  He won all three contests last Tuesday.  He came in third in Maine, but that’s because he didn’t really spend time in Maine.  I’m here to tell you why he’s gaining is the same reason Newt gained a little bit ago…he’s effectively communicating conservatism.  If I can’t have my preferred choice for nominee, I’d be very happy to throw my support behind Santorum as a second choice.  To me it’s like finding out that there’s no lasagna left for dinner, and that I’ll have to settle for steak.
There’s a whole lot left to be decided.  These contests are going so many ways that it’s going to be a long time before we have a nominee.  We might even end up with a brokered convention.  (And if we do, so help the GOP if they throw up another establishment candidate.)  At the end of the day, however, what needs to be remembered above all else, is that any one of these four men would be 100x better than the President we have now. 

*Google that so you can find out how clever I am.

WOWed by these benefits (repost)

(i originally wrote and posted this to renown on February 8, 2010.)

This is such an awesome song I read the lyrics to on Friday. I have been thinking about it ever since. I read it again today and still can't get away from it.

It was written by this songwriter guy named David. Maybe you've heard of him? It goes like this:

"Praise the LORD, my soul;
       all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul,
       and forget not all his benefits
who forgives all your sins
       and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
       and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
       so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD works righteousness
       and justice for all the oppressed." -
Psalm 103:1-6

I am seriously WOWed by these benefits from God. Just look at that. I'm blown away and have been for 4 days in a row now. I can't move on from this song. I'm just reveling in awe of who this God is.

And if that weren't enough, the song goes on to say this about our God:
"The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
       slow to anger, abounding in love.
" (Psalm 103:8)
I really don't feel like there's a whole lot i need to say (or can say). Just dwell on this song with me. I'm still just basking in the awesomeness of it.
I wish I had some musical talent and I would write some music for it... Maybe David or Scottie or somebody will do that one day?

Truth:  Obama has had three years, two of which he passed every policy his heart desired, and we still do not have a recovery. 

In 2012, let's elect an accountable President, one who can actually get America back on track.

Biblical Conservatism Blog is responsible for the content of this message, except where otherwise noted.

In 2012, Conservatives are STILL the Center

In December of 2010, I launched this blog with a post entitled Conservatives are the Center.  Earlier this year, In a new Gallup poll,  the point has once again been demonstrated, conservatives are the most populous ideological group in the nation.

Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S.

According to polls throughout 2011, 40% of Americans consider themselves to be conservative, while 35% call themselves moderate at 21% admit to being liberal.  So once again, there are nearly twice as many conservatives as liberals.

Yet we as conservatives continue to try to pander to the so-called moderates.  The reality, of course, is that the vast majority of moderates are either liberals who realize they are the minority and don't want that stigma; conservatives who don't realize that we are the majority and thus claim moderateness; and finally those who simply want to be thought of as intelligent and thoughtful, and have thus adapted a default position of sitting smack dab in the middle of the fence with a leg on each side so as to maintain their desired appearance.

There is, of course, an electoral spin on this mindset.  Liberals, because they genuinely are a minority, have to move toward the center to have a snowball's chance in July of being elected (after all, you can't win an election on your actual beliefs when only 21% of Americans share your values). To win, they need to get close to 90% of the self-identified moderates to vote for them.  That's staggering.

Conservatives, on the other hand, only need to sway just over 30% of the self-identified moderates to win, because we have a clear plurality of the population just with fellow conservatives!  Why?  Because we conservatives ARE the centrist position!  We are the pulse of most Americans!  We just need to get a relatively small piece of those moderates to join us, while the Left has to get the majority.

Need more proof of this?  Let's look at registered Independents. Now, depending on your state, registering as an Independent ranges from a complete waste of party affiliation to a logical and reasonable choice.   In some states, , Independents can vote in their choice of the Democratic or Republican primaries, which is very useful if your party has an incumbent running unopposed in that year's primary election.  It can be used to moderate your opposing party's candidate (or to just cause trouble like some did in Operation Chaos).  In states with closed primaries, however, being a registered Independent keeps you from ever voting in a primary election and having a choice as to whom you can vote for in the general election. 

Independents are not synonymous with moderates but it's a fair comparision, so let's look at the conservative, moderate and liberal numbers within that group:

Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in US

Well would you look at that?  35% of registered Independents consider themselves conservatives!  So if we can get them with conservatism, it looks like conservatives can win elections with comfortable ease.  The truth remains: Conservatives don't need to pander to moderates to get elected...we're already the majority!  We're the center position!  We're the group that embodies what the nation believes! 

So, my message remains the same to conservatives, to Republicans: Be proud to be conservative.  To be a conservative means standing for traditional American values, for rugged individualism, for a "Yes YOU Can (with hard work)!" mentality and not "Yes We Can (with other people's money)!"  Let's just be conservatives, and let the chips fall where they predictably may...on our side.