Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
WASHINGTON (BP)--In a victory for conservatives, House Democrats have removed more than $200 million that was targeted for "family planning" and contraceptives in the proposed economic stimulus bill, but those same conservatives say the bill still has pork, including $335 million for STD prevention education.
Stephanopoulos asked the question, regarding the multi-billion dollar economic stimulus package, “Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?” This is Pelosi’s response, “Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is defending the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars of the forthcoming stimulus package are to be spent on “family planning.” Her argument is very simple. The economy is bad. Having babies costs money. Would-be parents need to save their money by not having babies. Fewer children being born means less strain on the economy in her thinking.
Do children cost money? Yes, they do. But the Bible says, “Children are a blessing and a gift from the LORD” (Psalm 127:3, CEV). On an occasion when people were holding children back from Jesus because they didn’t think children were important, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14, NIV).
Pelosi’s line of reasoning is troubling. Who else would she consider a financial drain on society? Would the sick, the elderly, the poor, or the handicapped create an additional financial burden on the “troubled economy?” Her view is selfish, shortsighted, and contrary to Scripture. It devalues human life created in the image of God and focuses instead on economic gain in the short-term…selfishness over people.
I think Speaker Pelosi might be more at home in the little village in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang movie that stars Dick Van Dyke. There is a character in the film known as the Child Catcher. Children are forbidden by law in the land of Vulgaria, and it's up to the Child Catcher to enforce this regulation. Under Pelosi, the position of “child catcher” might create new job opportunities for many like-minded people.
Today I say, “Thank you God for children.” They do cost money to raise and educate and care for. It is also true that children grow up to pay taxes, find cures for diseases, serve communities and families, and love and know God. Whatever cost they bring now is an investment in the future of our country.
Pray for our nation’s leaders in this time of transitions. Many of the choices being made just now are troubling and would lead to dangerous and ungodly places.
Monday, January 26, 2009
The Bible says that the way you manage your money influences how much God blesses you spiritually, how much He trusts you with spiritual blessings. He says if you’re not responsible with your pennies and your dollars and you’re not very responsible with the physical and material possessions God gives you then He looks at you and thinks, “Then I can’t trust you with spiritual truths and spiritual blessing and spiritual responsibilities not only here on earth but for forever in eternity.” How you manage your money has eternal implications. It’s a big deal.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire
Opening Inaugural Event Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC January 18, 2009
Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our next president.
O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…
Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.
Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.
Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.
Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.
Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.
And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.
Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.
Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.
Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.
Help us, oh God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race, or religion, or blood, but to our commitment to freedom, and justice for all.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Here's a counter-cultural statement: "Debt is not your friend." Lot’s of people want you to believe debt is your friend. It enables you to buy a house and a car and lots of other stuff. It must be your friend…right? That line of thinking is why you may be a slave to debt. If you are going to defeat the debt monster you have to come to believe that debt is your enemy and you must attack it.
If you are in debt let me make some suggestions:
- Make a commitment…in writing to yourself, your family (if you have one), and to God that you will begin today to climb out of your financial hole.
- Find a plan that works for you and stick to it. We are offering Financial Peace University as a great way. There are other such resources too. You need a plan.
- Spending money can become an addiction…a way to medicate pain. Seek help with your pain.
- Give up your credit cards if you are not paying them off at the end of the month or not aggressively paying them down.
- Identify your addictions and put that money toward debt reduction – Starbucks, Diet Coke…the big money for debt reduction is in the little money.
- Record every penny in a spending log. You can't get a handle on debt until you know where your money is going. See the truth, evaluate it. Develop a strategy. Most money problems come from troubles with the “miscellaneous” budget category.
- Commit to a 30 day extra purchase wait list. Impulse purchases are a huge contributor to debt.
- Do for yourself what you are currently paying someone else to do such as yard, house cleaning, storage building rentals, etc.
- Determine the difference between needs and wants.
- Take full responsibility for your own financial future. Don't blame everyone else.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
John Bunyan wrote, “He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day.” When should you pray? I have found that I should pray every day and early in the day…lest the day get away from me and I get away from God.