Saturday, December 18, 2010

I know this is going to get boring, but I find this to be very creative stuff. There is a clue in all this.


Every time I think that the “Press” can’t sink any lower than the rock bottom they’ve already hit, they somehow manage to burrow themselves further

More food for thought

If I have a right to “free” health care (that other Americans pay for without their consent), don’t I have the right to free ice cream as well? Even if I don’t have a right to “free” health care, certainly I have a right to free housing, free water, free food, free toothpaste and toothbrushes, free...

Unless you are a musician you probably don't get this. Every instrument you see is used. Nothing is random. All instruments used are seen at least once. No lip syncing. Overdubbing on multiple tracks a la Mary Ford. OK, worship bands...the bandwagon is leaving. Get on board.

Listen to this band's music, if you know what's good for you! Pomplamoose: Jack Conte: Nataly Dawn: This VideoSong was edited by Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte. You can downloa


Newly elected Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott is making waves with his proposal that all children should receive education vouchers they can use to attend private, public or charter schools. "The parent should figure out where the dollars for that student are spent," Scott told the St. Petersburg Times.

There is a time to keep silence. Carter never figured that out.

“I would say that the country is getting acclimated to a president who might be female, who might obviously, now be black and who might be as well, a gay person,” Mr. Carter said.

Can't offend those Muslims now can we?

Christmas has been banned by the Red Cross from its 430 shops. Staff have been ordered to take down decorations
It's so hard for the Left to Get it.Sarah Palin’s visit to the earthquake-ravaged Haiti showed she is not “afraid to get her hands dirty,” says the Rev. Franklin Graham. The ...

This is beyond belief

PERKINS, Okla. -- A small-town bank in Oklahoma says the Federal Reserve wont let it keep religious signs and symbols on display. Friday, December 17, 2010.

$1.15 billion in funding for a case known as Pigford II.
The money will be doled out in payments of $50,000 for more than 90,000 alleged black farmers.
From the initial class action suit, Pigford vs. Glickman, Shirley
Sherrod and her husband received $13 million. In addition to the $13
million, the USDA gave her a job in their ranks. John Boyd, founder of the National Black Farmers Association, has admitted only 18,000 black farmer actually exist.

Shirley Sherrod incident may have opened door to exposing one of the biggest fraud cases in history

you gotta see this

How social media, web and mobile tell the story of the Nativity. Christmas story told through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Google Maps, GMail, Foursquare, Amazon... Times change, the feeling remains the same.

Pretty Good. Brought a tear at the end.

This video is an artistic take on how the story of the nativity might have read had a social network existed at the time of Jesus's birth. Follow this historical period as it unfolds as a digital narrative. This vignette is great for highlighting the truths and circumstances of our Savior's birth in

Hearing the heads of the Department of Justice and the Department of
Homeland Security talk about how they’re going to fight nonexistent
anthropogenic global warming reminds me of the days when I worked for the federal government and the powers-that-be would make lofty
pronouncements about things that had nothing to d...o with the job I did, and expect me to–in a vital, meaningful and exciting way–connect my day-

While most of America has already figured out that the whole anthropogenic global warming hysteria is nothing but a hoax, the Administration continues to go full-tilt at ever-increasing speed to pay homage to this socialist scam.

Very interesting none the less

This year's winter solstice — an event that will occur next Tuesday — will coincide with a full lunar eclipse in a union that hasn't been seen in 456 years. The celestial eccentricity holds special significance for spiritualities that tap into the energy of the winter solstice, the shortest day of ...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Elves, Debt Fairies and Other Christmas Myths

Elves, Debt Fairies and Other Christmas Myths

amie I grew up with Santa Claus, and I’m guessing you probably did too. I still remember the sad day when I learned from some really mean kids on the playground that there was no jolly man in a red velvet suit putting dolls and Michael Jackson records under the Christmas tree. And there were no elves to manufacture the Atari game system, over which Santa received many, many pleading letters. Oh, the horror. It was the grownups the whole time.

But even when that chapter of Christmas magic finally closed, one Christmas myth persisted in my family and in my own experience well into adulthood: the debt fairies.

The debt fairies are a mythical creation with far more impact than Santa. Their legend goes something like this: Because it’s Christmas, you can charge whatever you want and it’s going to be OK. After all, you’re celebrating Jesus’ birthday.

Heard that one before?

I remember as a teenager my dear sweet grandmother whipping out her Visa time and time again to buy gifts for people we barely knew, gifts I knew even then she could not afford. When I protested, I got the same response: “But it’s Christmas!” As if somehow trying to be financially prudent around the holidays means you care nothing about Jesus.


Life in Christ is about life in freedom. You know that song “Victory in Jesus”? I like that song, but it means something to me because down to my very core I seek full freedom in every aspect of my life, the freedom Jesus died on the cross to give me, and you too.

So why do so many of us grab the financial rope every holiday season and tie ourselves up into a most painful and long-lasting kind of bondage?

Debt is torment. I know. We had more than $100,000 just on credit cards when my husband and I hit the financial wall years ago. Climbing out of that hole was the hardest thing we’ve ever done. And going into debt “because it’s Christmas” doesn’t make those credit card bills any less painful come January. So why do we do it?

Because many of us have what I like to call “The Scarlett Syndrome.”

The Scarlett Syndrome is one of the 7 Counterfeit Convictions I outline in my book, Your Money God’s Way: Overcoming the 7 Money Myths That Keep Christians Broke.

Counterfeit Convictions are beliefs that started out as biblical truths but that we absorb into our hearts incorrectly. And they’re at the heart of why so many Christians are messed up with their money.

Remember Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind? Her response when Rhett Butler asked a tough question was, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” People with the Scarlett syndrome (and yes, men can have it too) are all about having fun today leaving the cares of life for “tomorrow,” but the day of reckoning is usually a long time in coming.

The Christmas season is like one big golden ticket for people with the Scarlett Syndrome to run through the mall, waving credit cards and snatching up shower radios and tacky sweaters with Visa’s money “because it’s Christmas.”

I say enough is enough.

Christmas or not, we should not spend money we don’t have. That doesn’t honor God, and this season is supposed to be all about Him sending His Son to die for the sins of humanity. It’s about His gift, not ours.

Ignoring financial realities in a seasonal fervor of misplaced generosity makes about as much sense as believing the debt fairies are going to magically appear to make the bills go away.

Sorry, Virginia, but there are no elves, and there are no debt fairies.

However, there is freedom. And in the true spirit of the season, I offer these tips to help you navigate the wonderful celebration of the birth of Christ without going into hock in the process.

Don’t confuse gifts with affection

There’s a great movement out there to seriously reduce the amount we spend on nonsense during the Christmas season and redirect our time, money and energy to more worthy pursuits, like digging water wells in impoverished countries (see for more information). But I get it that most Americans aren’t there yet.

In the meantime, though, you can make a conscious decision that it is not necessary to buy something for every person you know. And sure, you say you don’t do that, but I bet you a $20 Starbucks gift card that you’re in line somewhere on Dec. 23 buying gift cards, coffee mugs or some other nonsense for the mail carrier, school secretary and dental hygienist because, well, because you feel like you have to.

You don’t!

Here’s my rule: If someone is close enough to me that I celebrate their birthday in a meaningful way (posting “Happy Birthday!” on their Facebook wall doesn’t count as “meaningful” by the way) then I will also honor them at Christmas with a gift. That narrows the circle significantly to the people you really care about.

Now if you have 10 siblings and 40 nieces and nephews and your family culture demands every person receive a gift for every occasion, the solution there is to simply demand a change in the family culture. You’ll be a hero, I promise.

And if the only time certain relatives hear from you is when you send the annual package of gifts, it’s time to change that tradition and call them on Christmas Eve instead.

And I don’t care for the clichéd advice to make homemade gifts for everyone. That feeds the cultural pressure that your Christmas season is meaningless unless you are ridiculously busy 20 hours a day.

How are you supposed to reflect on the gift of Christ if you’re covered in glitter, hot glue and pieces of felt all the time? I don’t have time for that and chances are you don’t either. So don’t.

Limit your access to media madness

If you’re already prone to overspending during the Christmas season, any amount of television time will push you right over the edge.

The ads for the one-day sales featuring children dancing in their new pajamas (what child has ever been excited about getting pajamas for Christmas?) women twirling around in their new coats and men gasping as they open a box containing a bathrobe (again, really?) are now starting in October. The Macy’s closest to my house had Christmas trees up in September. Ridiculous.

Retailers are fighting hard for your money. Let them fight it out and refuse to engage in a battle that is predesigned for you to lose.

Record the shows you feel you absolutely must watch and fast-forward through the commercials. Redirect your time toward reading, spending time with your family and studying the Bible. Quiet prayer time by the Christmas tree is one of my favorite things about the season. I plan to spend lots more time this December doing exactly that.

Watch your email in-box as well. There are some incredible sales out there this time of year, which is great if there’s something you really want to buy for someone really special. It’s not so great if your shopping is done and your budget is spent. Don’t click on those sale links if you’re done shopping. That’s just a pretty lure to get you to buy something because it’s an incredible deal. There’s no deal that justifies a purchase you don’t need and cannot afford.

Say no

Christians tend to be generous, helpful people, which means they also tend to be doormats. If you can say yes, by all means do so. But don’t get volunteered to bring 48 frosted cupcakes to the fourth grade holiday party if you don’t have the time to make them or the money to buy them. I have a friend who gives an enthusiastic “yes!” in response to any such request then wants to call me and complain that she has too much to do. Sorry, but don’t complain that your feet hurt if you were the one waving around your dance card offering yourself up for a jitterbug.

Do what you can, what you can afford and what you wish to do and that’s it. Don’t add more things to your plate unless you just enjoy being too exhausted and broke to enjoy time with your family.

Stick to your list

Around Thanksgiving, most of us make lists of the people we need to buy gifts for and some ideas of what we would like to buy each person. A few days later we add to it. Then a few days later we add to it again. By December 5, most lists have gone on to the back of the page and beyond. Try laminating your list so you can’t add to it. And stick to it in the store.

Think about what the person truly would want and need, and don’t buy the teddy bear slipper socks because they’re on super-duper clearance sale. No one wants or needs the teddy bear slipper socks.

And for anyone except your spouse and children, buying more than one gift is borderline insane. No one in America needs more stuff.

Choose your music carefully

You may think Christmas music and spending are not related. But consider this: Start playing “Silent Night” in your head or if you’re gifted, sing it out loud. How does it make you feel? That song always brings tears of gratitude to my eyes and puts me in a worshipful spirit, in awe of the blessing we received at the first Christmas.

OK, now sing “Jingle Bell Rock.” I love that song! But it makes me think of wrapping paper, packages, parties and putting on a Santa hat and kissing my husband under some mistletoe. It makes me want to go Christmas shopping! There’s nothing wrong with any of that, but be sure you’re balancing out all the different facets of “the Christmas spirit.” There are some spirits we should dwell in more than others.

Kill the consumption-related emotion

Some of us are especially gifted and being irrationally emotional around Christmas. Have you ever felt jealous because the mom next door bought more for her kids than you bought for yours? What about guilt that you didn’t spend more? Have you regretted decisions you made in the past year—maybe a divorce, a job change that didn’t go well—and attempted to cover up those feelings with more gifts?

Deal with your feelings, but deal with them outside the shopping mall.

I don’t have to tell you that you can’t buy love and that all the iPods in the world won’t make everything OK when it’s not. But it’s still a very human response to try to use a thing to fix a feeling. Find a trusted friend, a pastor or your spouse and talk about why you’re emotional right now. And take some time to explore how those feelings might trigger unnecessary spending.

Keep the focus where it needs to be

Try printing out Luke 2:8-14 and taping it to your bathroom mirror as a reminder that it’s about the sanctity of the humble observance of the anniversary of Jesus’ birth. This is the heart of our faith, the purpose of our worship and the reason why we can connect directly with God and not be separated by our mistakes and our sin.

There’s a lot going on to divert our attention from that simple fact. We celebrate because He came. Everything else is just details.

Don’t add financial worries to your list of distractions. Don’t give yourself too many things to do. Celebrate. Worship. Give. Serve. Live free.

It’s why He came.

Merry Christmas!

Amie Streater is the associate pastor of financial stewardship at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. She and her husband, Scott, have three little boys, one cat, one dog and one crazy life, but they’re truly blessed and ridiculously happy. For more information, visit


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When I moved to IL 25 years ago I was SHOCKED by the level of Corruption. Not so much now. BUT, make no mistake, IL is the most corrupt state in the union and Chicago is the 2nd most corrupt major city (right behind Detroit). We need a revival.

We asked experts on local government to explain the causes of the state’s sleazy political culture. Without so much as a wink or a nod, they gave answers

I miss having Condi on the job. Smart lady.

Leftist “journalist” Katie Couric recently interviewed former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. When Couric started regurgitating the same old tired spin about weapons of mass destruction and how the Bush Administration somehow lied to the world about that (even though most of the world’s intellig...

Have you ever seen pictures of extravagant wealth from places such as Dubai or Abu Dhabi and wondered where in the world they got all that money from?

The Biddies on the View are cruel and without any heart at all. I too am an easy cry. What is up with this? Thank God for Elisabeth.

John Boehner's interview on "60 Minutes" has drawn a lot of attention for the number of times the incoming Speaker of the House cries in it. On Monday's "View," all the co-hosts except Elisabeth Hasselbeck took turns mocking Boehner for his copious tears.

I have always loved this story and have tried to comport my life to it. The worst decisions I ever made were made in the heat of battle. Many who think they are quick on their feet in decisions are in reality not prepared for the wind.

Read I Can Sleep When The Wind Blows - Spiritual Story / Parable by Unknown

This is a good omen

While the state collects millions of dollars from red-light cameras at intersections, a few California cities are starting to question whether the safety benefits are worth the high cost to their own coffers.

There is another way. You don't have to find yourself in their shoes when your life ends... Jesus is the answer. Love and blessings I wish to you, in Christ's name.
The arrest of nutty professor and Huffington Post blogger David Epstein for having sex with his daughter has set off another explosion of moonbat depravity in the sewers flowing beneath the

Has anyone asked the real question? Has TSA stopped even ONE terrorist? NONE of the bombers captured over the last couple years was because of TSA. Isn't this all a show? Stupid? Angering? Why are we doing this?

Local airport and federal security officials are fielding protests from Triangle travelers who say they have been traumatized by officers administering intimate pat-downs at security checkpoints.

Every time I think that the “Press” can’t sink any lower than the rock bottom they’ve already hit, they somehow manage to burrow themselves further

More food for thought

If I have a right to “free” health care (that other Americans pay for without their consent), don’t I have the right to free ice cream as well? Even if I don’t have a right to “free” health care, certainly I have a right to free housing, free water, free food, free toothpaste and toothbrushes, free...

Unless you are a musician you probably don't get this. Every instrument you see is used. Nothing is random. All instruments used are seen at least once. No lip syncing. Overdubbing on multiple tracks a la Mary Ford. OK, worship bands the bandwagon is leaving. Get on board.

Listen to this band's music, if you know what's good for you! Pomplamoose: Jack Conte: Nataly Dawn: This VideoSong was edited by Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte.

You are about to celebrate your LAST CHRISTMAS on earth according to Family Radio. This is why I have become less and less interested in end time insanity. Family Radio's Camping has predicted that this time for sure now, without a doubt the world will come to an end on May 21, 2011. It won't, but it's sad that many are deceived by this foolishness.

No one except God knows the time of the end of the world. How does anyone dare to teach that the Rapture and the Day of Judgment will occur on May 21, 2011? Doesnt the Bible say very plainly that no one can know the day or the hour of Christs return? Indeed the Bible did teach that.

Merry, UM whatever

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This is some of the most creative stuff I have seen in a long time. Take a look and listen

YES, these are the same people that do the Hyundai car commercials. Clever stuff;

They are sneaking in to steal your copper

There are thieves in our government. It's worth reading the whole thing:
The current government is not sweet, is anything but clueless -- it just doesn’t care about the same things you do -- and the amplifier has been recently modified to play at 25, while they tell you soothingly it’s been scaled back to a 6, honest.

The squatters are still in there, furiously trying to pull

the plumbing out of the fiscal walls before they’re evicted.

No, the House, Senate and Presidency aren’t Spinal Tap, or Chance the Gardener, or if you’re from the paranoid end of the AM dial, they’re not Hitler, either. They’re copper thieves.

A good read

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Father's Ring

My Father died when I was 13. He and my mother were killed in a traffic accident. Several people were killed in the accident. Tragic. My aunt and uncle Ruth and Earl raised my brother and sister and me up.

It was a gift. It keeps giving.

Now 51 years later I was given a ring that belonged to my father. It had been in a drawer somewhere. I don't have many things of his anymore. A few pictures and such. But this was meaningful. Ruth gave me another gift other than her time. I'm very touched. I wish there were other things that connected to the past like that.

It was in pretty bad shape. He might have been wearing it when he was killed. It was banged up pretty badly.

In any case I took it to a jeweler and had it straightened out, re-sized and cleaned.

Many years ago a signet ring was the thing to have. This is that.

Here are a couple pictures of it. It might not mean much to anyone else, but it means a lot to me.

Why the World tries to push GOD out

I Heard this yesterday and it really sums up the question, why do people continue to try to disprove the existence of God:

God's plan is not this world's plan and His ways and thoughts are not ours. Humanity's way has no room for a Divine and caring Creator; so, many prefer to ignore God's miraculous reality and substitute humanity's impossibility where nothing brings something out of nothing. God's way says husbands love your wives and children respect your parents, but humanity's way maintains God's way is too restrictive and too restraining. Gladly, gleefully, we substitute a society where each person is his own master with his own set of rules or lack of rules. And as we cheer at our successes and celebrate Christianity's demise, the wise of this world do not note the sadness and sorrow of souls who have no anchor; they ignore the desperation, the depression, the discouragement, and horrifying hopelessness of the faces all around them. Man's ways are not God's and our thoughts are not His.

Because that is so, authors without understanding make their fortunes writing fictional books which undermine God's inspired Holy Word; Schools try to teach students, but they forget any education which neglects the spirituality of their charges is a poor and pitiful thing. We banish God from classroom and courtroom; we expel Him from family and morality: we outlaw Him from business and leisure and then when chaos ensues, when hatred erupts in violence and war, when drug trafficking sweeps through our streets and violence stalks our walled and gated neighborhoods, we do not look to ourselves, we do not blame ourselves; we do not reform ourselves, we say, "God, how can You be so cruel, so uncaring, so... so unchristian?"
Read the whole thing, it's worth the read