Friday, May 29, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Three of the D family's children were here Friday and Saturday. They fished, swam, played and ended the stay with a concert. If you really want to hear it, I'll post a video.
I was thoroughly pooped by Saturday afternoon, but everyone was well-behaved and we had a nice time. (I apologize for this comment...but speaking of pooped, I had to change that sort of diaper on Friday and I will say I do not miss that at all.)
Thursday, May 21, 2009
OK, I should probably not be so excited about getting a puzzle finished, but this one took me three weeks and two days, thus the reason for three pictures. I got it done tonight, just in time for overnight company tomorrow. I was tempted a few times to put it away, but I wouldn't give up. Now on to something less challenging. ;)
I just love homeschooling, well yesterday I didn't, but that's another story. Last week this little gold finch came to visit while we were in the middle of reading from this stack. He was a wonderful "get-the-camera" diversion.
Math is going so much better today! I am so, so happy and thankful. Remind me to pray everyday about math.
My niece Elizabeth and below is her dd Haelley. H is a bit blurry because she's always busy.
She may be busy, but she sure is cute.
Ayden's the birthday cowboy.
E's son, Brennan is lying on the quilt Amy made for him.
Sweet Hannah is watching the birthday festivities.
My parents with their great-grandchildren.
Bethany's graduation...she's in the middle. We were late getting there, but just in time to hear her recite a poem she wrote.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The geese have come to our pond. This is the first year we've seen babies. They are so cute.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I just had a thought this afternoon about this verse and how it might relate to worry and news reports. I have a tendency to obsess about some things, like the government taking over everything and like my health. (Confession: I think the bottom line is that I treasure my personal safety and comfort.) How does this verse affect how I view these things? I'm not sure I have an answer yet. I think some of the things I think about are true and just, but not lovely or of good report. Maybe the key word is meditate. My meditating is probably more in line with worry. Of course, worry is a sin no matter which way you look at it, so worrying about anything is wrong. In fact, Philippians 4:6, 7 speaks to that. When I listen to a news report I find frightening what do I do? Do I meditate on it with fear? That's usually what I do, but God through His grace turns me back to Him. You know, He's constantly having to do that. One thing I've noticed is that if I don't keep His word ever before me then I get to a near panic state sometimes. I should also add that just because I meditate on His word and have His peace does not mean that my personal safety and comfort will not be compromised. Just thinking about that gets me to fretting again...I better be off to His word.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Organizers of the National Day of Prayer are upset that President Obama is not officially participating in the observation. He will pray privately, as he does every day, the president’s spokesman said. His only public acknowledgement will be to issue a White House proclamation. Well, I’m kind of glad. I’m tired of politicians who take the name of the Lord in vain. Please tell me how someone who supports abortion on demand, homosexuality, and generational theft by government edict should serve as the national spokesman for a day of prayer.
Of course, President Obama is not the first president not to acknowledge an official observance. There were no official observances during the Clinton administration. While President George W. Bush did hold a formal White House event during his tenure as president, the Bush White House also recognized the Islamic observance of Ramadan with a White House dinner.
Maybe God is telling His people something this year. Joshua expected a victory against Ai. Israel won its first encounter with Jericho without a casualty. Why should the battle with Ai be any different? The spies thought Ai was weak enough that only “two or three thousand men need go up” (Joshua 7:3). Thirty-six Israelites were killed, and the rest were pursued and assaulted by the men of Ai with the result that “the hearts of the people melted and became as water” (v. 5). Bible believing Christians have become disheartened
You know what the Israelites were thinking. “Maybe we should not have ventured to participate in this social thing. We were at least safe when we were ghettoized beyond the Jordan.” There was even fear that things would get a lot worse once the “Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land” heard about the defeat (v. 9). Joshua, voicing these concerns to God, did what today's political remorseful are recommending. “Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell on the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until evening, both he and the elders of Israel” (v. 7). In a word, he prayed . . . hard. What did God tell him to do? “So the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them’” (v. 11). In effect, God told Joshua to stop praying and act on the evil that brought them the defeat!
Prayer is not a magical formula, an incantation that brings forth God like a Genie from a bottle. Prayer is an admission of weakness. It is in weakness that God can best use us (2 Cor. 12:10). But true faith and trust are not exercised if we do not act on the belief that God will work for us even in our weakness. Prayer is not the end but the beginning of the work God has called us to do. J. I. Packer says it this way:
The Spirit does what he does. His supernaturalizing of our lives enables Christians, as a matter of fact, to do much for the Lord that they wouldn't be able to do otherwise. That's the whole doctrine of gifts and ministry. It's my part to see what God calls me to do, to ask the Lord to enable me to do it, then to get up off my knees and go confidently into action, watching to see what help I shall be given, and finally to give thanks for what the Spirit did in and through me.
There is sin in the Christian camp. Entire denominations support abortion and homosexuality. Those who claim to be Bible-believing Christians maintain that abortion should be a protected right and homosexuals should have special rights protecting behavior that the Bible calls an “abomination.” The sins of Achan—“the mantle of Shinar” (humanism) and “silver and gold” (mammon)—are the sins of the church. After we fall on our face, let's be careful not to cover our ears. We might just hear God's voice saying to us, “Rise up!"
I'm inviting you to join us for a time of prayer AND action at our national conference in July.
President of American Vision
The following news release went out this morning announcing a call for 40 Days of Prayer for the US Congress. Without a doubt the Roundtable has been among the loudest critics of the decisions of this Congress. Holding Congress accountable for their actions is all our duty and we do not shrink back from honestly evaluating the work of this Congress. However, we are called to remember that The Congress is made up of real human beings with real hearts, minds, and eternal souls. So before we go much farther into this year of inevitable confrontation and controversy we are stopping right here, right now, to begin a time of specific prayerful intercession. We invite you to join in the adventure.
- The American Policy Roundtable
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
Thursday, May 7th, 2009
|Contact: Rob Walgate |
American Policy Roundtable Announces 40 Days of Prayer for Congress
Cleveland, Ohio – The American Policy Roundtable today called upon all Americans to lift the United States Congress in prayer for the next 40 days. The call went out via the national radio broadcast, The Public Square®, produced by the Roundtable and aired on over 140 radio stations and translators coast-to-coast.
“Criticism of Congress is high in every city and town, but the responsibilities before this Congress are even higher” stated David Zanotti, President/CEO of the Roundtable. “In the healthcare debate alone, Congress is now facing decisions that will impact every American. These are decisions that have life and death consequences for every household.”
The Roundtable has produced a daily Congressional prayer list to help people pray through the entire U.S. Congress, both House and Senate, in the forty days between May 7th and June 15th, 2009. The list is found on the Roundtable’s homepage at www.APRoundtable.org. Over one-million visitors log onto this site per year.
Individuals, churches, schools and organizations are all being invited by Internet email blasts to participate in the 40 Days of Prayer for Congress.
The American Policy Roundtable, founded in 1980 is an independent, non-profit public policy organization focused on the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Roundtable produces “The Public Square®” a national radio broadcast discussing a broad spectrum of public policy issues.
Clicking on the logo at the top should take you to their website.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Census GPS-tagging your home's front door
Coordinates being taken for every residence in nation
Posted: May 05, 2009
8:32 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh
According to an online Yahoo program, the Global Position System coordinates for the White House, probably one of the best-known publicly owned buildings in the world, are 38.898590 Latitude and -77.035971 Longitude. And since you know that, it's no big deal for the White House to know the coordinates for your front door, is it?
Some people think it is, and are upset over an army of some 140,000 workers hired in part with a $700 million taxpayer-funded contract to collect GPS readings for every front door in the nation.
The data collection, presented as preparation for the 2010 Census, is pinpointing with computer accuracy the locations and has raised considerable concern from privacy advocates who have questioned why the information is needed. The privacy advocates also are more than a little worried over what could be done with that information.
Enhancing the concerns is the Obama administration's recent decision to put White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in an oversight role over the census, which will be used to determine a reapportionment of congressional seats and could be used to solidify a single political party's control over the nation, its budget, military and future.
(Story continues below)
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke recently told the Washington Post: "The census director reports to me, and, of course, I serve at the pleasure of the president." He added the White House told him "it has no interest in politicizing [the census]."
But at American Daily Review, blogger Douglas Gibbs had more than a few doubts.
"GPS coordinates of your front door will make it easier for the government to monitor you," he said. "The U.S. Census Bureau is simply an excuse – a harmless looking means of obtaining the front door coordinates. The creation of GPS coordinates for front doors has nothing to do with the census, in all honesty, no matter how much the United States government tries to convince you that it does."
He recalled wondering why, just weeks ago, the Obama administration announced its oversight of the census, "literally taking control of the census away from the Commerce Department."
He put that together with Obama's longtime push for national service.
"The Obamites, thirsty to serve their new messianic figure, have lost enough of their objectivity to be willingly recruited into such an insidious program like gaining these coordinates for the U.S. government. … I ask again, what would be the purpose of shooting the GPS coordinates of American doorways?" he wrote.
The answer he provided was alarming.
"Imagine, if you will, that there are a number of people in a neighborhood that could not find the addresses they are tasked with finding. They are not locals, maybe are unable to read a map, or perhaps do not have the time to pull out a map, and they need to find you with specific GPS coordinates. Their devices would lead them to your front door with these coordinates. Imagine a crisis is afoot, and martial law is put into place. U.S. troops need to round up particular folks," he wrote.
"Let's take this a step further. After all, with Barack Obama desiring to decrease the number of folks in the military, and with forces committed worldwide, we may not have sufficient military forces at home to deal with a rising national emergency. If the government decided to rely on foreign troops, perhaps United Nations personnel, most of which may not understand the street signs, much less know the lay of the land, they could use GPS devices to direct them to your front door," he wrote.
According to the Census Bureau's website, the GPS technology "allows us to reduce the amount of time spent by census workers in locating addresses. … Most importantly, by adding a GPS coordinate to each housing unit, the Census Bureau is able to ensure that residents are counted in the right location."
At Canada Free Press, commentator J.B. Williams said, "I can't resist the urge to question the authority and purpose behind such a BIG BROTHER initiative, when the official census itself is not due to be taken until 2010…
"No imagination is required to think up a whole laundry list of evil that could be done with a nationwide GPS grid of coordinate's markers painted on every private home across the country. But I was having trouble thinking up one good reason for it, even one legitimate use that would justify what must be a very expensive undertaking," he said.
"Why does the Obama administration need or want the latitude and longitude coordinates for every home in America? Why the rush to GPS paint every home in the next 90 days? Why must the marker be within 40 feet of every front door? For what possible purpose does the Fed need GPS coordinates for every home, and under what authority do they have the right? Census workers, whom I asked, had the same holy-crap look on their faces that I had by then," he wrote.
Then he cited the cooperative effort that the U.S. Census Bureau has reached with ACORN, the organization of community activists with which Obama worked.
"Obama's interest in an ACORN-controlled 2010 Census, for the purpose of redistricting to the advantage of Democrats before the 2010 mid-term elections, comes as NO shock from a regime known for their heavy handed Rules for Radicals political strategies. But what does this have to do with GPS marking every home in the country?" he questioned.
Ask those who have served military duty, he said. They are very familiar with the most common use of GPS target painting, and the rest might want to read books such as "The Precision Revolution: GPS and the Future of Aerial Warfare."
Online sources noted that Google Maps already probably has listed most homes in the nation.
"But the front door? Sounds like a jackboot convenience to me," said RightSoup.com.
Added Williams, "What I do know is this … Coincidences of this number and magnitude don't happen. … I also know that people had better start asking the right people the right questions and demanding answers fast. Begin with asking the mainstream press why there has been no public notification of the federal governments GPS marking your front door?"
A number of concerned citizens have contacted WND about the program, and repeatedly have cited warnings delivered by the GPS squad members that their failure to allow the readings would result in fines and possibly imprisonment under Title 13, which allows the census to be taken.
But repeatedly they've gotten no answers when asked what a GPS reading has to do with the number of people living at the home – which isn't supposed to be subject to questions until 2010 anyway.
One WND reader raised these questions to a local census office.
"What authority does the U.S. Census Bureau have for sending anyone to my front door in April of 2009 to mark it with GPS coordinates? This is unacceptable. The census is not due until 2010, and the usurpation of the census by the White House is unconstitutional. … This citizen will not answer census questions until the year they are due, and demands that my GPS coordinates be removed from all government records."
The census response?
"Address canvassing should conclude by mid-July. The operation will use new hand-held computers equipped with GPS to increase geographic accuracy. The ability to capture GPS coordinates for most of the nation's housing units will greatly reduce the number of geographic coding errors caused by using paper maps in previous counts. … During the address canvassing operation, census workers may ask to verify a housing structure's address and whether there are additional living quarters on the property. All census workers carry official government badges marked with just their name. You also may ask them for a picture ID from another source to confirm their identity. In addition, some census workers might carry a 'U. S. Census Workers' bag."
Another WND reader, from Washington state, reported he is having his attorney look into the legality of the GPS data collection and hopes to have enough support for a legal challenge.
The reader, whose name was withheld because of his concerns over repercussions, said a government home data collector ignored his no trespassing sign, and he was threatened by the collector for wanting to refuse to provide "census" information.
He said GPS mapping nowhere is authorized for census workers.
Census spokesman Stephen Buckner told WND the activity is, in fact, proper, and even necessary. There are homes being built and torn down constantly, and the census needs such information. Local building records and other government databases such as tax records would not suffice, he said.
"There are 140,000 workers walking every street of America," he told WND, in order to document 145 million addresses with GPS coordinates.
He assured WND that all such personal information is confidential, because employees of contractors doing the work are subject to a $250,000 fine or imprisonment for five years for revealing personal information. He also confirmed that the last case that was prosecuted under the law was nearly 50 years ago.
"We have to verify every single address," he said.
URGENT REPORT: Man Detained for Displaying “Don’t Tread on Me” Bumper Sticker.
The Department of Homeland Security Strikes Again
May 6, 2009: A Special Report by Archie Jones, Adjunct Writer for American Vision
We just received a call from Rosemarie in Ball, Louisiana alerting us that her brother-in-law was stopped by small town Louisiana police and detained by the roadside for half an hour. A background check was conducted to determine whether he was a member of an “extremist” group. Why? Her brother-in-law (name not disclosed for privacy) had purchased and displayed a conservative “Don’t Tread on Me” bumper sticker on his car.
The bumper sticker is based on the famous flag designed by American Revolution era general and statesman Christopher Gadsden. The yellow flag featured a coiled diamondback rattlesnake ready to strike, with the slogan “Don’t Tread on Me!” underneath it. Benjamin Franklin helped make the rattlesnake a symbol of Americans’ reluctance to quarrel but vigilance and resolve in defense of their rights. By 1775 when Gadsden presented his flag to the commander-in-chief of the Navy, the rattlesnake was a symbol of the colonies and of their need to unite in defense of threats to their God-given and inherited rights. The flag and the bumper sticker symbolize American patriotism, the need to defend Americans’ rights, and resistance to tyranny’s threats to American liberty. Those threats included—and include—illegal taxation, profanation of Americans’ rights, and violation of the fundamental principles of American law.
The notorious Department of Homeland Security memo, which was apparently based on the infamous Missouri State Police Report that described supporters of presidential candidates Bob Barr, Ron Paul, and Chuck Baldwin as “militia”-type potential extremists and potential terrorists, is not the first effort of leftist radicals to slander their political opponents as “extremists.” Some observers have noted that similar “reports” emerged during the Clinton administration. But “liberals” and other leftists have been calling defenders of traditional American limited, constitutional government, free enterprise, and individual liberty “extremists” since at least the 1964 election.
The political left’s attempts to establish a false equivalence between genuine left wing extremists and those who oppose the left’s assault on our culture, law, and liberty is more than propaganda to fool the ignorant and manipulate public opinion. Combined with the power of government, it is an attempt to harass, intimidate, and silence all political opposition—and probably an attempt to demonize them as a prelude to governmental oppression and persecution. Keep in mind that the First Amendment states,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Small town police misled by phony left wing “reports” are bad enough. Federal government agencies and their armed agents under the direction of leftist radicals are exponentially worse. They will tread on us. The time has come to let our voices be heard!