Harry Reid! How dare you?

Harry Reid just said that the uproar over contraceptives was from "just a small part of the Republican Party".

Really??? There are numerous Democrats who believe in the sanctity of life. It is not just a Left or Right, Liberal or Conservative issue!

I'm so angry right now about that statement that I'd love to give him a call and give him a huge piece of my Christian, godly, sanctity-of-life-loving mind!

Biblical principles of leadership

Nehemiah’s Ten Steps 
 (Taken from the first 6 chapters of Nehemiah.)

1.    Get all the facts from trusted sources (Nehemiah 1).
2.    Pray about the situation, and ask God’s guidance for direction. (Ibid)
3.    Talk to the person who had the most authority to help with resources etc. (Ibid)
4.    When asked “What do you want of me?” First pray for God to put the words in your mouth (Neh 2:4).
a.    Have a specific goal (Neh. 2:5)
b.    Set a time frame for completion (Neh. 2:6).
c.    Ask for all documented authority to do the task, as well as funding (Neh. 2:7).
d.    Make sure all the resources are gathered (Neh. 2:9)
5.    Examine the situation for yourself (Neh. 2:12-16). Make sure you are not influenced by wagging tongues.
6.    Gather the team and lay out the plan of action (Neh. 2:17-18).
7.    Disregard distractions (Neh. 2:19-20).
8.    Oversee the work, making sure each task is manageable for the person(s) working it; as well as the right person for the right task (Neh. 3).
9.    Guard against distractions; and do not be diverted from the task at hand. Ask God to protect the work being done, and then set forth a strategy to protect the work being done (Neh. 4).
10.    Do not disregard unrest in the ranks. Listen to the problems and resolve them with fair-mindedness and from biblical principles (Neh. 5).
Following these guidelines should help the project run smoothly and finish early. The walls of Jerusalem were built in 52 days: An amazing feat in so short a time.

Walt Wiley of Winning With Encouragement, Inc. stated, “Watching how people treat, relate to and react to people around them is a great way to determine the kind of person they are, especially if they are leaders of people” (The Look of the Leader, 1997, p. 5)

God gives each of us a motivational spiritual gift. We are motivated towards a certain type of ministry (Romans 12). This gift energizes us like the Energizer Bunny. God is providing for His ministry just as He had the Children of Israel ask for all kinds of costly things from the Egyptians who freely and generously gave. The Tabernacle was built from this bounty. The same principle is how our motivations are fueled for God’s work. Consider Moses. He led the People out of Egypt, but God had to just about whip him to do it. Moses was overwhelmed by the task. Only because of God’s guidance and direction could Moses lead. Moses burnout came only when he was trying to be judge of all the people. His father-in-law, Jethro, pointed out that it was too much for him and he should delegate some elders to help (Exodus 18:1-9). A leader cannot do all the jobs all the time. God’s ministry for Moses was energized for a specific ministry purpose, not to judge over every minor squabble, but to be the leader of the nation. When Moses understood that, his burnout went away (Fortune & Fortune, 1990).

Certainly, Jesus showed the disciples the critical success factor of rest when He “said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat” (Mark 6:31). Always anticipate that God will give you the energy to do the tasks He sets for you to do, but remember to get plenty of rest and eat the right foods.

Can Gov't define religion?

I've been following the tug-o-war between the Catholics and Pres. Obama. I'm incensed that the government is being allowed to define what constitutes a religious institution, aren't you? Ladies and Gentlemen, we've almost reached the point where we came in. Do you recognize it?

The Anabaptists moved to Holland to get away from the government telling them how to worship. We've got the same tea brewing here. How far will Christians let the government go before standing up and putting feet to beliefs? I'm appalled that our president is insisting on birth control. I remember him telling Rick Warren, when asked about abortion, that was "above my pay grade". Well, he certainly doesn't believe that now.

The federal government is telling us how to live, what to eat, how to get rid of an unwanted fetus, and all because we are allowing it. Why do we do that?

There are two hands that keep the bridle tight on the president. The Judicial Branch and the Legislative Branch. We can't do much about the judicial side, but we can certainly let our feelings be known to the legislative side. The trouble is, we are letting the news media do our talking and frankly that is just plain lazy.

There is a sign on a fence in Midtown New Orleans that we drove past after my daughter's surgery. It says, "ANYone but Obama." How frightening that it's come to that.

Are you older than dirt?

I just found this while digging for some information for my column this week. What a hoot! So I thought I'd share this again... Remember when?
History Exam

Write the letter of each answer and score at the end.

Then, best of all, put your score in the comment trail!

1. In the 1940's, where were automobile headlight dimmer switches located?

a. On the floor shift knob
b. On the floor board, to the left of the clutch
c. Next to the horn

2. The bottle top of a Royal Crown Cola bottle had holes in it. For what was it used?

a. Capture lightning bugs
b. To sprinkle clothes before ironing
c. Large salt shaker

3. Why was having milk delivered a problem in northern winters?

a. Cows got cold and wouldn't produce milk
b. Ice on highways forced delivery by dog sled
c. Milkmen left deliveries outside of front doors and milk would freeze, expanding and pushing up the cardboard bottle top.

4. What was the popular chewing gum named for a game of chance?

a. Blackjack
b. Gin
c. Craps!

5. What method did women use to look as if they were wearing stockings when none were available due to rationing during W.W.II

a. Suntan
b. Leg painting
c. Wearing slacks

6. What post war car turned automotive design on its ear when you couldn't tell whether it was coming or going?

a. Studebaker
b. Nash Metro
c. Tucker

7. Which was a popular candy when you were a kid?

a. Strips of dried peanut butter
b. Chocolate licorice bars
c. Wax coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside

8. How was Butch wax used?

a. To stiffen a flat-top haircut so it stood up
b. To make floors shiny and prevent scuffing
c. On the wheels of roller skates to prevent rust

9. Before inline skates, how did you keep your roller skates attached to your shoes?

a With clamps, tightened by a skate key
b. Woven straps that crossed the foot
c. Long pieces of twine

10. As a kid, what was considered the best way to reach a decision?

a. Consider all the facts
b. Ask Mom
c. Eeny-meeny-miney-mo

11. What was the most dreaded disease in the 1940's?

a. Smallpox
c. Polio

12.I'll be down to get you in a ________, Honey"

a. SUV
b. Taxi
c. Streetcar

13. What was the name of Caroline Kennedy's pet pony?

a. Old Blue
b. Paint
c. Macaroni

14. What was a Duck-and-Cover Drill?

a. Part of the game of hide and seek
b What you did when your Mom called you in to do chores
c. Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms in an A-bomb drill.

15. What was the name of the Indian Princess on the Howdy Doody show?

a. Princess Summerfallwinterspring
b. Princess Sacajawea
c. Princess Moonshadow

16. What did all the really savvy students do when mimeographed tests were handed out in school?

a. Immediately sniffed the purple ink, as this was believed to get you high
b. Made paper airplanes to see who could sail theirs out the window
c. Wrote another pupil's name on the top, to avoid their failure

17. Why did your Mom shop in stores that gave Green Stamps with purchases?

a. To keep you out of mischief by licking the backs, which tasted like bubble gum
b. They could be put in special books and redeemed for various household items
c. They were given to the kids to be used as stick-on tattoos

18. Praise the Lord, and pass the _________?

a. Meatballs
b. Dames
c. Ammunition

19. What was the name of the singing group that made the song "Cabdriver" a hit?

a. The Ink Spots
b. The Supremes
c. The Esquires

20. Who left his heart in San Francisco?

a. Tony Bennett
b. Xavier Cugat
c. George Gershwin



1. b) On the floor, to the left of the clutch. Hand controls, popular in Europe, took till the late '60's to catch on.

2. b) To sprinkle clothes before ironing. Who had a steam iron?

3. c) Cold weather caused the milk to freeze and expand, popping the bottle top.

4. a) Blackjack Gum.

5. b) Special makeup was applied, followed by drawing a seam down the back of the leg with eyebrow pencil.

6. a) 1946 Studebaker.

7. c) Wax coke bottles containing super-sweet colored water.

8 a) Wax for your flat top (butch) haircut.

9. a) With clamps, tightened by a skate key, which you wore on a shoestring around your neck.

10. c) Eeny-meeny-miney-mo.

11. c) Polio. At the beginning of August, swimming pools were closed, movies and other public gathering places were closed to try to prevent spread of the disease.

12. b) Taxi. Better be ready by half-past eight!

13. c) Macaroni.

14. c) Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms in an A-bomb drill.

15. a) Princess Summerfallwinterspring. She was another puppet.

16. a) Immediately sniffed the purple ink to get a high.

17. b) Put in a special stamp book, they could be traded for household items at the Green Stamp store.

18. c) Ammunition, and we'll all be free.

19. a) The widely famous 50's group: The Inkspots.

20. a) Tony Bennett


17- 20 correct: You are older than dirt, and obviously gifted with mental abilities. Now if you could only find your glasses. Definitely someone who should share your wisdom!

12 -16 correct: Not quite dirt yet, but you're getting there.

0 -11 correct: You are not old enough to share the wisdom of your experiences.

I'm thinking number 19's answer was the Mills Brothers, but hey I was born in '55 so what do I know?

Santorum wins and Romney's woes

Two articles caught my attention this morning. One was from the Washington Post about Santorum's three wins which give him momentum. How can he win these three wins yesterday (Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado), and do so poorly in other opinion polls? Something smells strongly of fish to me. According to the Washington Post, Santorum has won the Straw Polls heading toward a victory toward Super Tuesday, March 8.The major network polls' results are listed here.

An AP story at the Daily Record discounts the wins of Santorum because he's strapped for cash, but Santorum proudly says the money is pouring in to his campaign. Here is a man who is using volunteers to set up his scheduling, who doesn't have a national campaign headquarters, who is actually putting his money where his mouth is. Could we ask for a better president? He preaches smaller government and he's practicing smaller, more economical campaigning. I find that extraordinary!

Romney will not get rid of Obamacare. Gingrich cheated on his wife, so how can we trust him to be faithful to conservatism or even to The People. Santorum is fully committed to Pro-Life, preaches smaller government, has some good ideas like keeping a strong military, want to stem the flow of illegal aliens. It makes me want to ask...

Who is he really?
What's the catch?
When will the media catch up to the desires/wishes of The People?
Where is the skeleton?
Why isn't he polling better results? Especially if he has won three Straw Polls?

This morning Romeny's loses in the three states proves that he couldn't soothe the nerves of the True Conservatives who are staunch Pro-lifers', adamantly against homosexuals marrying each other, and unconvinced about his Obamacare reforms.

We keep praying God will make the cream rise to the top! 

Maintenance or Mission Church?

Photo by Dan
1. In measuring the effectiveness, the maintenance congregation asks, "How many pastoral visits are being made? The mission congregation asks, "How many disciples are being made?"
2. When contemplating some form of change, the maintenance congregation says, "If this proves upsetting to any of our members, we won't do it." The mission congregation says, "If this will help us reach someone on the outside, we will take the risk and do it."
3. When thinking about change, the majority of members in a maintenance congregation ask, "How will this affect me?" The majority of members in the mission congregation ask, "Will this increase our ability to reach those outside?"
4. When thinking of its vision for ministry, the maintenance congregation says, "We have to be faithful to our past." The mission congregation says, "We have to be faithful to our future."
5. The pastor in the maintenance congregation says to the newcomer, "I'd like to introduce you to some of our members." In the mission congregation the members say, "We'd like to introduce you to our pastor."
6. When confronted with a legitimate pastoral concern, the pastor in the maintenance congregation asks, "How can I meet this need?" The pastor in the mission congregation asks, "How can this need be met?"
7. The maintenance congregation seeks to avoid conflict at any cost (but rarely succeeds). The mission congregation understands that conflict is the price of progress, and is willing to pay the price. It understands that it cannot take everyone with it. This causes some grief, but it does not keep it from doing what needs to be done.
8. The leadership style in the maintenance congregation is primarily managerial, where leaders try to keep everything in order and running smoothly. The leadership style in a mission congregation is primarily transformational, casting a vision of what can be, and marching off the map in order to bring the vision into reality.
9. The maintenance congregation is concerned with their congregation, its organizations and structure, its constitutions and committees. The mission congregation is concerned with the culture, with understanding how secular people think and what makes them tick. It tries to determine their needs and their points of accessibility to the Gospel.
10. When thinking about growth, the maintenance congregations asks, "How many Lutherans live within a twenty-minute drive of this church?" The mission congregation asks, "How many unchurched people live within a twenty-minute drive of this church?"
11. The maintenance congregation looks at the community and asks, "How can we get these people to support our congregation?" The mission congregation asks, "How can the Church support these people?"
12. The maintenance congregation thinks about how to save their congregation. The mission congregation thinks about how to reach the world.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 

Reagin Brown sent me this excerpt, which he found at the Crossmarks website about seven years ago. I hunted for it again and didn’t find it. However, it’s from an article by Harold Percy, "Good News People." I love the contrast between "maintenance" and "mission" as well as the emphasis on “effectiveness” being a mutual responsibility between pastor and congregation. The only thing I would add is that “effectiveness” is not just faithfulness of pastor and congregation but the Holy Spirit working through us and our shared ministries! We must be willing vessels of God in order to be effective witnesses.