Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Psychopaths Are Wrong, Not Relative

I present to you part four of the morality series.  For now, this will be my last installment as I have tackled the top three atheist arguments for this position that I receive.  However, I expect more will come and therefore necessitate additional parts to be produced in the future.

In this installment the goal is to demonstrate the logical fallacy of yet another common piece of argumentation FOR moral relativism.  In this scenario it is often presented to me that people such as the Psychopath believe their murderous actions are right & justified.  As such I should conclude that this is proof that many different people believe many different things and objective morality is a false notion.

This is simply a bad argument.  Finding an immoral person just proves that there are immoral people.  It in no way affects the objective truth of whether something is moral or not.  The following video demonstration is meant to flesh this out and illustrate two things:

1) Why this argument is nonsense.
2) Why my position remains well intact.



Feel free to catch up with previous posts by clicking on Part 1, Part 2, and/or Part 3.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Marketing FAIL!

Let me preface this rant accordingly:
  • I own an iPhone.
  • I love my iPhone.
  • It is the best phone that I've used to date.
  • I am not an Apple fanatic or avid critic.
So when I first watched this following commercial on television the other day I did a double take.  Surely I didn't hear what I thought I just heard!  If so, that was not only the LAZIEST tag line ever but it was simply arrogant, beyond belief!

We have had the Marketing genius over the years of things like:

  • Just Do It
  • Snap, Crackle, Pop
  • The Real Thing
  • Plop, plop, fizz
  • Finger lickin' good
  • Do you Yahoo?
  • Once you pop you can't stop
  • It keeps going...and going
These are slogans that took time, effort, and a team of bright marketing minds to come up with.  And the fact that you can probably name each company that corresponds with those tag lines is proof that they did a good job.  But someone actually came up with this:

video

Seriously?  My five year olds can do better!  Imagine if we applied this laziness and arrogance to all products and said things like: "If you don't have Nike.  Well then you don't have Nike."  Apple needs to get off its high horse for letting this get through quality control and it needs to fire the team that came up with idea in the first place.  At the very least I hope they didn't PAY actual MONEY for that!

If you haven't read or commented on this blog, well you haven't read or commented on this blog!

Monday, June 27, 2011

What's The Payoff?

Living in the moment has its advantages.  For instance enjoying every second that your infant baby is so small and helpless.  Taking mental snapshots of every soccer goal and every dance recital.  Letting your wife's birthday celebration play in slow motion.  But living in the moment is also what leads people, namely me, to make some stupid choices...ones that don't have a long term benefit.

Whether it is something small like breaking a diet and exercise routine or something big like indulging in sinful anger (yes I've done both of these very recently), it has very little payoff!  Sure in that moment, the deliciously warm strawberry filling of the perfectly toasted Pop Tart tastes WONDERFUL.  But then its gone and your belly is NOT. 

And sure fuming with proper scowl on face in order to make your entire family feel guilty for being too loud whilst you attempted nap number 4017 that didn't turn out well FEELS right, perhaps even righteously justified.  But then you have that sobering moment where you get to see just how ridiculous you've acted.  It's that realization of shame, remorse, and utter embarrassment.  And unfortunately I have many of these moments behind me.  I can only pray that few remain ahead of me...but I know the odds.

As I reflected on this during my morning commute today I was hit like a ton of bricks by just how BIG a failure I am.  I would have let that drive me to despair and perhaps a really bad day of punishing myself. But the GULF of failure just highlights how MUCH MORE abundant and awesome the Mercy, Love, and Glory of Christ is!  His sacrifice didn't just cover some of my idiotic, fleshy moments.  It covered them all!

A lowly sinner like me.  Whodathunk?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 23

Category: Cool Gadgets

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photo of these eight in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote Closed. Winner: Seat Saver

Snowball Maker

Seat Savers

Sammich Holder

Tappa Two Liter

Interesting Docking Station

Jedi Rain Gear

Transformers Flash Drive

Scooter Stroller

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eleven Years Ago...

It was my second double shift in a row.  The dinner rush was in full swing and I was irritated.  Not just because of my exhausted disposition but I was missing the meeting.  And more importantly I was going to miss all the fun afterwards as well!  My only consolation was that my shift ended at 10PM and I could always join them at whatever midnight movie theater or bowling alley they ended up at.

Back then I was part of a church college group.  We were about 25 members strong and a tight nit social network of friends.  Saturday nights when I wasn't working were spent in a Bible Study that always led to some type of random fun afterwards.  And being young and dumb most times this fun would not end at a decent hour.  Which is probably one of many reasons for the exhaustion on this particular day.  The night before several of us had hung out to the wee hours of the morning leaving me to function on just a few hours of sleep before today's double.

To my surprise and much improved mood, the group was now walking in the door of my restaurant. It seems they decided to bring the fun to me rather than have me left out.  It was either that or the free food they knew I would dispense...but I'd rather not speculate.  The point is...my friends are here and the night is ours.  That is so long as they will hang out until my shift is over!

As they poured through my line, I was handing them their drink cups and asking what kind of pizza they wanted when my eyes met hers. 

"Who was the NEW girl in the group?", I thought to myself. 

"She is beautiful!! I wonder who brought her or how she found out about our group?"

I handed "hot-new-girl" her cup and explained that there was no charge, still captivated and trying not to get caught ogling or drooling.

I was now on a new mission.  I was no longer concerned about getting out of there to catch the midnight flick, I had to get through this dinner rush so I could go sit at her table and talk to her.  With a line packed twenty deep and phone orders pouring in time seemed to be getting away from me. 

Finally!  Almost an hour later things had slowed down enough that my staff could take the helm for a few minutes while I sat and talked with my friends and especially...her!  But as I headed around the counter to complete my mission, she stood up, said her goodbyes, and walked out.

"Noooo!  Where is hot girl going?", I thought to myself. Or maybe I said it out loud.  My exhaustion is playing mind tricks on me.

As I approached the table that was now minus the reason for all my excitement, I slumped into a chair and said a half-hearted "Hello" to everyone trying to hide my disappointment.  Having figured out this was a guest of Kelly's, I asked her who this mystery girl was.

 I must have made it obvious that my inquiry was much more than curiosity because her eyes lit up as she replied, "That is my friend Rachael...and she is looking for a good Christian guy like yourself!" A bit embarrassed that she cut straight to the point and saw right through me I got excited at the news that she was single and began hoping she might come back.  Kelly assured me that she would let it be known that I asked about her and that she would probably visit our group again just to see who it was making all the fuss over her.

That was 11 years and two weeks ago in Lewisville, TX @ Mama's Pizza where I met the woman of my dreams for the first time.  She was 23 years old, about to turn 24!  And it is on THIS...her Birthday that these memories have been flooding through my mind bringing a smile to my face.  I don't care if its cheesy or mushy and gross to everyone else...I love her dearly!  With all of my heart and soul!  God hand picked her just for me and I know it!  That was one of the BEST days of my life!

Happy Birthday Rachael!



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Train Troubles

This was NOT supposed to happen. The plan was for me to start riding the train this week and write a glowing review about my experiences. I had already bought into the concept so fully in my mind that it would have taken very little for me to enjoy it come the day of launch. You see there are LOTS of great reasons to use public transportation. Everything from reducing airborne pollutants to saving money and perhaps even a bit of time.

My reasons lean more to the selfish side than the "save the world" side but this was my list:
  • Allows me to bike commute to station on good weather days (Get much needed exercise).
  • Allows me to work on the train and get more done each day.
  • Save money on gas prices.
  • Delay wear and tear on vehicle saving mechanical costs.
  • Faster commute. I've Often viewed the train zooming past me when on clogged highway.
  • Helping to support jobs and additional revenue for the City and County of Denton
But if you Google "reasons to take public transportation" you will see that I've only scratched the surface of positive impacts one can make by adopting this method of commuting. I was not the guy that DCTA needed to "convince" to ride. In fact, I had hoped to be the guy that applauded and praised their efforts, recommending them to all who would listen.

So DCTA had their big unveil and trial run on Monday. I got on the website to purchase my Regional Pass and there it was. They had finally posted their fares and to my shock and surprise they wanted $120 per month to get me 15 miles down I-35!



Let's do some math shall we?

Round trip is 30 miles
30 X 5 days/week = 150 miles
150 X 4.33 (accounting for 5 week months) = 649.5 miles/mo
649.5 miles divided by 25 mpg is close to 26 gallons
26 gallons X the outrageous gas price of $3.60 = $93.60

So DCTA in their infinite wisdom and marketing genius wants commuters like me to consider ditching their cars NOT so we can save money but so that we can PAY MORE!?? We don't live in New York. We live in the suburban sprawl where each home has a vehicle for every person of driving age under its roof. If you are EVER going to get that demographic to put their keys down and consider riding, the COST is VERY important part of that. I cannot express enough how utterly disappointed and flabbergasted I am at this fare. I can only hope that at some point, perhaps even after reading a blog post like this one, they will realize their significantly HUGE error and reduce the rates. I had assumed by the research I did of other states and large cities that I would stand to pay 1/4 to 1/2 of what I was paying to keep a months worth of gas in my car.

The Marketing Manager's emailed reply to me states the following:

The DCTA Board of Directors attempted to establish fares that are fair and align with other transit system fares in the North Texas Region (not other regions around the country where economics and conditions are different).

So instead of doing National studies on successful mass transit systems in places like New York City, Chicago, or even Atlanta...they are just doing what DART says to do!

Well perhaps I would still save some time in my commute? After all the train does not have to wait on traffic to clear during rush hours. Sadly there is another disappointment at least from what I see on their posted schedules.


I normally leave my house around 7:20AM if I want to be at work by 8:00AM which is a 40 minute commute in traffic. On days without traffic it would be 20 minutes. As you can see from the schedule above, I would need to board the train (which means leaving my house even earlier) by 7:07 in order to be at the Trinity Mills station by 7:45AM. And that still doesn't get me to my office. So if you include the time it takes to get to the station and then the time it takes to get from the Trinity Mills stop to my office, it is well over an hour and some change.

Anybody want to carpool?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What The Hail?


Facebook friends capture hail accumulation and size.
We interrupt the previously scheduled DCTA Rant with a Weather Report..  We will resume your normal programming soon and apologize for this interruption.  Seriously...what is going on?  Call it El Nino, or End Times Weather.  Blame climate change due to carbon emissions or climate change due to pole shifting.  Maybe its HAARP technology or maybe its complete coincidence.  No matter your theory, we can all agree that the weather has been off the charts weird, not just locally but globally as well.

Whether its a Winter that doesn't know when to go away, extremely large tornado outbreaks, hurricanes pounding the coasts, earthquakes, or tsunamis...we have few places to hide.  I used to think Dallas was a very safe option since we are not on any fault lines and too far inland for coastal weather to keep its destructive strength.  But in the last few months I have ushered my family into the downstairs bathroom more than I have in every past season combined.

It seems there is no such thing anymore as a Rain Shower.  You know the kind where your kids put on rain boots and stomp around in puddles, finally getting a chance to use their Spiderman and Princess umbrellas?  The kind that waters your lawn, garden, and trees instead of destroying them?  The photos above are from a few of my Facebook Friends.  The photographer of the second photo from the left claims that the ice was piled so high that she could not open her back door.

At 3AM give or take...the DFW area was rudely awoken by a Squall Line blowing 80 MPH winds horizontally, pelting nickle to ping pong sized hail at our west facing windows.  Oh but my wife and I were jolted into consciousness just before all that as a very close lightning strike set off our security alarm!  But we have been through this before.  So this time we didn't really get too anxious as we gathered up our newborn, headed down stairs, and watched through half blurry eyes as the weathermen (what few were covering it) explained the various dangers that this storm presents.  By that time, all said dangers had past.

And we knew things were fine when the storms finally got quiet enough that we could actually HEAR the weather sirens!  Too bad they didn't shut them off till almost 5AM!!  Who's in charge of those things anyway?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Turning the Corner

At the risk of speaking too soon or jinxing our mojo...I am happy to report my sleep deprivation days might be nearing an end.  I say that whilst still having twin five year olds that interrupt the occasional night sleep with an episode of bad dreams or sick stomachs.  But overall on most normal nights they are down and out during the better portion of the night hours.  With Joshua we hit the reset button and thusly three months ago began the arduous journey down a familiar yet not-so-desirable road.  Waking up every three to four hours every night for three months takes its toll.

To my delight and amazement we put our little one down around 8:30PM and then went to bed ourselves close to 11:00PM.  Expecting to be up by 1:00AM and then again by 4:30AM you can imagine my surprise when I woke up and glanced at my alarm clock which displayed 6:15AM and nary a peep from baby.  Like most parents, before I could relish in elation, I had to check and make sure he was alright.  Upon confirmation a huge smile came across my face as I imagined the possibilities.

Sleep might once again meet with my acquaintance and allow my brain and body to function at normal levels.  Or...this might have been a fluke and we will still have another month before it becomes a reality.  Pray its the former not the latter would you?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 22

Category: At The Beach

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photo of these eight in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote Closed. Winner: Baby Daddy

Sand People

Lost Her Head

What Sign?

Nothing Will Spoil Our Vacation!

Don't Be Hate'n

Sand Turtle

My Baby Daddy

Surf'n Granny

Thursday, June 16, 2011

To Be, Or Not To Be...Childish

Moses Reinterpreted
In one part of Scripture we find Jesus saying the following:

Mathew 18:3
"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

While in another area of Scripture we read:

1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

At first glance one might erroneously conclude that these verses contradict one another.  But I believe the proper message to be gleaned here is:

Be Childlike, not Childish. 

So what is the difference? Here is a snippet from an article by Jeremy Myers that I believe answers the question:

In Luke 18:17, Jesus says that anyone who does not receive the kingdom like a little child shall not enter into it. Childlike faith provides entrance into the kingdom. And yet many Christians confuse having faith like a child with actually behaving like a child. There are many who may or may not have childlike faith, but who behave in childish ways. Jesus wants us to be childlike, not childish.

Childlike faith trusts. Childlike faith knows no bounds. Childlike faith listens to what is said, and believes it. It believes the most amazing things. Childlike faith is simple. It is pure. It is honest. It is beautiful.

Childishness, on the other hand, is not beautiful. What is childishness? Childishness is childlike behavior gone sour. Childishness is a refusal to grow up. Childishness is when a person of any age acts younger than they are. While it is natural for children to act like children, it is expected that they will grow up and stop acting like children. When they do not, they are being childish. Childishness is when people who should know better throw temper tantrums and pout when they don't get their way. Childishness is when people are irresponsible and behave as if the world revolves around them. Childishness is when people make petty demands and selfish complaints.

My childlike side is one that might make a piece of artwork like the one above.  Its a side that helps me play with my kids and to laugh at gaseous noises.  It embraces the idea of Abba Father being my Daddy even though I am a grown man.  Sure I let childishness enter into the equation at times.  But as I continue to mature both physically, mentally, and most especially spiritually...my goal is to put away such things.

Leave a comment about your childlike or childish traits!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Atheist Commercial

With the help of the Geico commercial format, I have come up with an idea to spoof not only them but the atheist world view in general.  I will probably be doing a series of these since they are quite a bit of fun and since there are limitless ways in which to keep this going.  While I am happy to entertain any and all responses to this video, it is my hope that even those of you that are atheist will enjoy it and allow your sense of humor override any notions to get angry or upset.  Much love and respect! I value you dearly...but take issue with your position.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moral Dilemmas - The Nazi Challenge

You are harboring Jews in Nazi Germany and there is a knock at the door.  Upon answering it soldiers demand to know whether or not you are hiding them.  You are faced with choosing between two moral codes that are in apparent conflict. 

(1) Lie and protect the lives of the innocent.
(2) Tell the truth and betray your friends into murderous hands.

Or how about this one?  You are on a life raft with four people that is stocked with provisions that can only sustain three of you.  Yet again you have a moral dilemma and a choice to make.

(1) Throw one person off letting them die but preserving three peoples lives.
(2) Try to make all the provisions sustain four at the risk of ALL persons dieing.

These are the kinds of scenarios offered to Christians in effort to prove that morality is relative.  I contend that these hypothetical situations not only fail to demonstrate relativism...they actually prove my position that morality is absolute.  Click PLAY on the video below to find out why:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Today's Mailbag 4.0

The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-republican nor democrat.

Charley Reese's final column for the Orlando Sentinel...

He has been a journalist for 49 years. He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN.


545 vs. 300,000,000 People     -By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ...

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people and they alone, are responsible.
They and they alone, have the power.

They and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees...

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!


What are your thoughts?  Do you agree or disagree with Charlie and why?  Leave me a comment!


To submit your own Email contribution to Today's Mailbag send entries to capturedimage@hotmail.com.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 21

Category: Math

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photo of these eight in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote Closed. Winner: "Dear Math"

"Dear Math"

Silly Little Number

That Was Easy!

Heated Argument

Statistics Don't Lie

Pirate Ratios

Three Kinds Of People

My Favorite Band

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Featuring: Amy

Editors Note:
In just one of many miraculous moments of my life God led Rachael and I to join a Home Group in 2003.  We had been trying to conceive with negative results for quite some time and were beginning to seek medical alternatives.  Upon joining this group we didn't have any intentions of seeking out support with other couples that had endured a similar pain...we just wanted to connect with Christians from our church and make some new friends.  God did indeed help us make good friends...but He had more in-store for us.  Three couples besides us had also endured infertility issues.  One couple had prayerfully come to realize that they would not have children.  Another already had twins girls through fertility treatment and would later have a son as well.  The third couple also went through fertility treatment and had twin boys.  It was this third couple that included our featured guest for today, Amy!  Everyone in the group could easily be featured in a future article but I thought I would start with her and share her ministry as a SWC.  Essentially I've asked Amy to write a bio that includes two things:

1. How did she get involved with this ministry?
2. Share a personal success story from her involvement in counselling.

Below is her answer to these inquiries:

My name is Amy.  I am a Christ-follower, wife to Jeff, 14 years, and a mother to twin 8-yr-old boys, Kyle and Nathan.  Jim has asked I share with you how I was led to the Side-Walk Counseling Ministry, some learning’s gained while serving, and a true story.  I’ll begin first by defining just what the ministry is (because if you are like I was before I began, chances are you either have not heard of it or might have a different idea as to what it is).

A side-walk counselor is a trained, back-ground checked individual, who serves outside of abortion clinics to share the love of Christ and to offer counseling to women seeking abortion.  Side-walk counselors are part of a Pro-Life Ministry umbrella which offers many different resources to women in unexpected pregnancies.   Responsibilities of the SWC are prayer, sharing the good-news of Jesus, providing informative literature (education on life in the womb at different gestations, abortion alternatives, resources available), and inviting women to visit a pregnancy resource clinic before choosing abortion. This ministry is loving, peaceful, and non-condemning.  It essentially meets women at one of their darkest moments in life, seeking to shed truth, light, and encouragement, in hopes she will reconsider and not make a choice she will regret and cannot take back. 

For informative purposes, following are a few basic statistics on abortions in the U.S (italics, mine):

-          Approx. 1,200,000 (1.2 million) abortions occur per yr;

-          Half of all pregnancies are unplanned/unexpected;

-          Of these unexpected pregnancies, half of them end in abortion;

-          One-third of all women will have had at least one abortion by the age of 45.

~Source:  Guttmacher Institute ~

My personal journey with the ministry of SWC began in 2003, when The Holy Spirit broke my heart for the injustice of the innocent, voiceless unborn being aborted, and for the hurting mothers who knew not what they were doing (and fathers who often lead women into these clinics).  Interestingly, before this time, I was na├»ve to the frequency of abortions and just how prevalent the issue really was.  To be honest, I chose not to think about it because it wasn’t pleasant and it didn’t involve me or anyone I knew of closely (until after-the-fact, anyway, when it was too late).  My interest level significantly heightened upon realization that a relative in the family had hired on with Planned Parenthood to raise funds for that organization.  My husband and I delved into research and were horrified and saddened the more we learned.  On a cold, rainy winter morning, in 2003, I believe none other than The Holy Spirit pressed heavy on my heart to look up abortion clinics in the Dallas Ft-Worth area.  I happened upon one and felt compelled to get in my car and just go; I had absolutely no idea why, but I knew I must, so I did.

When I arrived at the Fairmont Clinic in Turtle Creek (now closed, open at that time), I saw a sad scene and felt the very presence of spiritual warfare between good and evil.  I saw a man standing in the rain with a Bible, praying, handing out literature, and speaking kindly to women going in. I saw an Asian couple with their arms around each other, walking out of the clinic, crying, hurting and looking empty.  I saw clinic workers who looked angry and cold, taking smoke breaks on the patio.  It was simply heart-wrenching – a tragic visual to say the least.  The man with his Bible was truly a beacon of light in this dark place.  I spoke with him and he told me he was a sidewalk counselor (SWC).  He gave me a copy of the literature he was handing out (it had pictures of babies in the womb at different stages of early pregnancy, contact info. for a pregnancy resource center, scripture);  This man suggested I get in contact with the Director for this ministry to learn more;  That is exactly what I did.  In the mean-time, I also came upon these scriptures, which essentially instructed me it was time to move forward even if I didn’t know what I was doing, God would equip me. 

Proverbs 24:  11-12a. (NIV):  Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.  If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it?

Psalm 82:4 (NIV):  Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

True Story @ Routh Abortion Clinic, 2007

On a Sat. morning while in the alley (only entrance into this clinic is via alley-way), I saw two African-American ladies heading into the clinic, but they didn’t look happy about it (most don’t).  For confidentiality, we’ll call the abortion-minded lady, “Tonya.” Tonya was with her sister and rushing to get inside the abortion clinic.  The ladies took the literature I offered but didn’t want to talk.  I invited them to come next door with me, to the White Rose Pregnancy Resource Center for counseling.  I also asked Tonya if she knew Jesus and was a Christian.  She told me that she was, but that she simply could not have this baby because her boy-friend was in jail, and she was already a single mom to a 9 yr old daughter.  She was afraid and felt all alone.  I told her God had a plan for her and for her baby, He was always faithful, and always rewarded obedience.  We discussed Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. She went into the abortion clinic anyway.  My heart broke.

Tonya’s sister came back out, and we prayed together for Tonya; I asked her sister to go in and try to get her out and told her I would pray for her and for her sister.  After two attempts to get her sister out, she came!  God had moved in her heart and she listened.  I took her next door & after her sonogram, we found out she was pregnant with TWINS!  God saved two babies that morning…isn’t that awesome?

Tonya gave birth to twin sons and God blessed me with the gift, in this instance, of staying in touch with her, and I even got to go to Parkland Hospital and hold both while still in the NICU. They were healthy, just born a bit premature as often occurs with multiples. 

Just this past Mother’s Day (2011), I received some text msgs from Tonya as follows, as I type this up, they are still on my phone so I’ll type them as they read (I am changing names only):

Tonya:  “Hi Amy, this is Tonya, my twin sons are Jaxon and Jamison.  Do you remember me?” 

To which of course I was delighted and told her I did!

Tonya:  “Hey lady??? I’m good and the boys are 3 yrs old now. Amy, just wanted to THANK you for saving me from doing something that I would have regretted for the rest of my life.  Amy, every morning I wake up, I thank God for sending u my way!!! Please continue to let your light shine.  Your work was not in vain.”

I replied back and thanked her for making my day and encouraging me!  At this particular time, I was in need of some cheer.  I reminded her that a.m. was nothing about me – it was ALL HIM – our Heavenly Father’s work! God had sent me to that clinic (it was the last place I’d of ever gone otherwise and that’s no lie); I was a broken vessel that only HE could use for something of worth.  I told her that God spoke to her heart that day and she chose to hear His voice and be obedient.  I told her that I was proud of her and I knew God and His angels were surely looking down in delight on her and her sons.  I then told her God surely had big plans for her and her sons.  He had intervened in a huge way….and of course, HE was faithful and has provided for her needs!!!

One last thing, before I wrap here, would you believe that I had been praying the week before Tonya’s text on what God would have me do with this area of ministry?  I had taken a one yr break feeling perhaps serving in that area was no longer what I was called to do.  Little did Tonya know, God spoke through her directly to me.  I have now been back to a clinic since these texts.

If anyone would like to discuss this ministry or has questions, I am delighted to answer to the best of my ability. Further, I want to encourage anyone reading this who has had an abortion, or ever taken part in enabling or encouraging one….Take heart!  There is hope and healing and forgiveness through Christ Jesus! You do not have to live with the guilt any longer!  That is Satan’s lie!  Many churches offer healing/abortion recovery classes which are confidential as do other pro-life ministry organizations.  We serve a merciful Heavenly Father, who sent His beloved son, Jesus, to die for ALL sins.  God bless!!!  Thank you, Jim, for letting me share this journey with you and thank you for your time to read it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Definitions May Vary

I have come to understand that any sleep other than that which you attempt to enjoy at night is subject to a vast array of opinion and classification.

For instance your age and level of responsibility within the home can either cause one who finds you asleep to think,

"Aww...how cute! He must of wore himself out."

OR...

"What a lazy bum! Doesn't he know we have errands to run, a lawn to mow, and kids that need actual supervision?!"

It seems the young and the old are quite within their rights to grab a few Z's when the inclination strikes them.  But if you are between 20 and 60 then your rights are hereby revoked until further notice.  That is unless you are a napper married to a napper.  Alas that is not my situation and if you've read my blog for any length of time you know this isn't the first time I've belly-ached about it.

This go-round I thought it would be fun to splice some footage into a comedy routine by John Branyan that seems to understand my dilimma perfectly.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Minimalism Lifestyles

So lately I have been very intrigued and borderline interested in adopting a minimalist lifestyle.  Already a huge fan of survivor shows where the star(s) in question are dropped into a hostile environment and left to fend for themselves for a week...I've now stumbled onto a new and relatively more hospitable way to embrace self reliance.  But more on that in a bit.

As I have discovered this profound interest deep within my soul I must admit to being a bit surprised about it.  Most of the people that seem interested in these types of lifestyles tend to fall in the tree hugging, hippie camp.  Let's just say I wouldn't fit in very well.  So I've been asking myself what exactly is it about living so simply that attracts me?  The answers are still being figured out but I can say in part its due to being a man.

Men are simple creatures.  We are singularly focused and don't do well with complex issues.  Sure we have our favorite toys, clothing items, TV shows, and a hobby or two.  But most guys I know are just content with a place to lay their heads at night, putting food on the table for their family, and getting that random chance to go have fun now and again.

The only other answer I have thus far comes from my Christian faith.  Jesus lived a simple life.  He even encouraged us to part with the material, selling or giving our abundance to others, and using those resources to minister to the sick, the poor, and the spiritually lost.  How great would it be, for instance, if you owned your home outright, barely had any utility bills, and the majority of your income was just for you to utilize?  For you to bless another person or charity group with? Or imagine 100% of your check this week going to pay for that dream vacation?

I probably won't get to live quite like the persons in the videos below anytime soon.  These two people have joined the growing movement of purchasing or even constructing "tiny homes". Not many wives or families with three children would put up with it just so daddy can play out his fantasies.  But I will at least take this as a challenge to cut out extravagance where I can.  We are the wealthiest group of people on the planet and arguably some of the wealthiest, most blessed that have ever lived.  For me its not about reducing a carbon footprint, or hugging a tree, or joining a group of gypsies.

No...its just about the freedom that comes with keeping life simple.

Your thoughts?



Friday, June 03, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 20

Category: Senior Citizens

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photo of these eight in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote Closed. Winners: "Let's Race" and "Mrs. Congeniality".


I'll Race Ya!
Mrs. Congeniality

Born To Be Wild
What Surgeon Generals Warning?

Senior X-ing

A Riveting Fencing Match

DJ Granny Grams

Wii Baseball Extreme

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Taco Chips

Well Doritos has done it! It took years of experimentation, three mad scientists, and a lab accident involving two broken beakers BUT they've done it. Yes folks they've created a new flavor of tortilla chip. Unless they invent the ice cream flavored chip next I believe they have captured just about every possible flavor combination known to man.

However. It is not enough for my sophisticated pallet to just have a new flavor. It must be enjoyable or else the mad scientists with Bunsen burner burns have wasted years of research and sacrificed their epidermis tissue for nothing!

So as my wife brought home this newly designed but rather attractive bag of crispy corn delights, I poured myself a bowl, perched in my man chair watching my favorite shows for the evening and partook. The verdict? While it doesn't quite fool my taste buds into believing there is an actual taco in my mouth, I must say it's a tasty victory.

On on 5 Dorito Chip scale, I will have to give it...




So go get a bag and try them for yourself.  According to the label this is a limited time promotion!

Got any recommendations of your own?  Let me know what foods or products you think are a must have in the comment section!