Friday, March 13, 2009
I have until 3/23/09 to reach a goal: President's Club sales level as an Avon Representative. I've sold Avon since 1986. Some years have been better than others, depending largely on the economy. To make it to President's club, I have to sell a certain amount of products (dollar total) per year, by the end of Avon's fiscal year. There are certain perks to reaching that goal. One of which is a guaranteed 40% commission earnings no matter how low your sales are within a given campaign. Campaigns last two weeks, but a bit shorter around holiday times. I need the security of that guaranteed commission so that I can afford to stay in business! Without it, I can't afford to buy many brochures, so my business may fail.
The second perk that I care deeply about is that children and grandchildren of President's club members can apply for a one-time $2,000 scholarship at the outset of their first year in college. Our youngest son is a senior in high school and has been accepted at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He is very intelligent and a great student. He has been in A.P. (advanced placement) classes since elementary school, and is taking A.P. and honors classes right now. Soon he'll take the A.P. exams in Physics (actually two separate tests dividing Physics into two portions) and Calculus. If he passes them, he will get college credit! Therefore, due to his great scholastic ability and the fact that our family has a low income, I am sure he is a shoe-in for the scholarship.
Folks, as of today's date, I have only $340 left to sell to meet my goal! Would you please consider buying your Easter and Mother's Day gifts from my Avon website?
Friday, March 13, 2009
Oh my. Here we are in mid-March and I never updated about the family visit. It was wonderful! It was also exhausting, especially for my hubby. He drove for 12 hours overnight only stopping for gas and occasional bathroom visits back on Tuesday night 2/17. Then the next day he did it again, driving from SC to PA with our son, daughter-in-law, 2-yr.-old granddaughter, and their Jack Russell Terrier. Of course, on the way back the following week, it was the exhausting round trip all over again. As much as I love their dog, it was hard getting used to having one here again for a week. We've had dogs over the years, but our last one passed away several years ago, and I never did get another one. We wanted to be able to travel freely so we could visit our new granddaughter! "Killer" is not invited back. He did too much lifting of his leg in the house! We never experienced that because we had female dogs. Every other member of the family was wonderful! Unfortunately, but to be expected for mid-February near Philadelphia, it was quite cold. We had snow and sleet and freezing rain during various days they were here. The few nice weather days we had were used by mommy and daddy to go sightseeing. I had to get Avon work done while they were out, so that was my one day to try to recoup something of a normal schedule. The lack of personal time and unusual schedule was worth it. I hope we can go down to them near the end of summer when Abby's birthday comes up again. I'd love to see her at a party again. She'll turn 3 on September 1, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Yahoo! Our eldest son, his dear wife and our granddaughter will be coming from South Carolina to Pensylvania to visit us in mid-February! I expect that I will again lose weight while I get the house in ship-shape. We weren't able to visit them at Christmastime, so I can't wait to see them all!
Monday, November 03, 2008
“Thou shalt meditate in this book of the law… that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shaft make thy way prosperous, and then thou shaft have good success” Joshua 1:8.
This verse describes what is called a “Biblical World View”, a philosophy which believes that behavior, ethics, and learning must be judged against the standards set forth in God's Word and that nothing can ultimately be successful apart from the application of those standards. Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws, the legal benchmark used in America from 1766 to 1920, explained that system of standards:
“These laws laid down by God are the eternal immutable laws of good and evil… This law… dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this… The doctrines thus delivered… are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures… No human laws should be suffered to contradict these.”
Under this legal standard, God's standards were the plumb line for law, government, education, etc. That philosophy of life, sometimes called “Scottish Common Sense Realism,” first introduced on this continent by early colonists and later codified by Blackstone, permeated American culture for over two-and-a-half centuries.
In this half of the twentieth century, much of the church has drifted away from the Biblical World View philosophy and has embraced a belief structure described by law professor Dr. John Eidsmoe as that of “saved humanists.” That is, many embrace Christianity as a standard for religion, but not as a standard for life.
Exit polls following the last Presidential election (if you're reading this after election 2008, the election previous to that is meant) illustrated the dichotomy between belief and application which currently exists within the Christian community: 45 percent of those who labeled themselves as “evangelicals” voted for “economic” issues above “moral” issues. Few can ignore the government's serious economic problems and burgeoning federal deficit; however, to elevate economics above morality is not only Biblically untenable, it is even secularly illogical.
If the economy and a reduction in federal spending is to be the goal, then it first must be recognized that much of the government's skyrocketing spending is on programs resulting from the societal effects of immoral behavior, i.e., welfare support to teen mothers, research and treatment of over two dozen different sexually transmitted diseases, repaying the public losses resulting from both violent and white-collar crime, creation of substance abuse and drug enforcement programs, etc. Many expensive federal programs result from moral-based problems.
In 1994 the U.S. government spent $21 billion on welfare to teen mothers—mothers still attending either junior-high or high-school. Is $21 billion an economic problem? Certainly, but it is spending caused by a moral problem. The government spent billions on AIDS (according to the Center for Disease Control, 87 percent of the 244,939 current AIDS cases were contracted either through sodomy or illegal drug use, both moral problems). Millions were spent on the treatment of two-dozen different STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), a moral problem; $200 billion was lost to white-collar crime and $310 billion on violent crime (the inability to distinguish between right or wrong and to control one's behavior by a societal norm is a moral problem).
In addition to the direct costs, add the secondary and tertiary costs of our moral malaise: include the costs of the additional courts and staff needed to prosecute immoral behavior; include the costs of the additional prisons and staff required to house those violators; include the operating and maintenance costs of additional prisons and the costs of the increased bureaucracy it produces; include the resulting increases in the budgets of the Justice Department, the Health and Human Services Department, the Center for Disease Control, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and numerous other departments and agencies, etc.
The list could continue, but the principle is established: if the moral issues remain unaddressed, the economic costs will remain unbridled. John Adams concluded that to change governments without addressing moral issues is an exercise in futility:
“It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand … if this cannot be inspired into our people in a greater measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty” (June 21, 1776).
When all things are considered, a Biblical World View philosophy is the most logical approach.
Author: Brian Stone of WallBuilders. Provided by Eden Communications.
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Monday, November 03, 2008
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
These are the stirring words at the beginning of our Declaration of Independence. These are the ideas espoused by the makers of our United States of America. These are the reasons they founded our country and its government.
How have we as a nation lost sight of these ideals? No one seems to agree on what is truth. We don't hold them. We adjust them according to the situation; it's called situational ethics. Ethics cannot be changed according to situation. Ethics come from truths: solid, unchanging truths. So, you may say, what is the origin of truth? Truth is solid because its source is solid. Its origin is the unmoveable, unchanging, righteous God of our American ancestors. He is the God in whom Bible-believing Christians depend for their salvation.
They said that all men are equally created and are endowed by their Creator these unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, among others. The Creator gave these rights. It's a truth from God. It was very clear to those who drafted the document. They said these truths were self-evident: plain as the nose on your face. So, logic would dictate that it's plain to see the truths that: all men are created equal, created implies God made us, God gave us rights that are unalienable: can't be taken away. That it is truth that those rights which are the most important, that are paramount, are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Life is the first right listed. What defines life? Doctors say you retain life if you're heart is beating, you have a brain that is working at least enough to control the nervous system, or that you're breathing.
We know that live things eat, breathe and grow. They have to do at least those three things. It's a no-brainer to see that humans and animals eat, breathe and grow. That's the fauna: the animal kingdom, which includes mammals, birds, fish, insects, etc.. The other kingdom is the flora: the plant world. Plants are alive. Do they eat? Yes, but not in the same manner as we. There are precious few plants that digest anything substantial from the animal kingdom. What plants do process are nutrients from the soil or water. Do they breathe? Yes, they do, but not the way we do. They don't have lungs like us. They use a form of respiration involving the output of oxygen and intake of carbon dioxide. Mammals do the opposite. We output carbon dioxide and take in oxygen. We certainly know they grow. They, like us, have a life cycle.
We have established the two major kingdoms of life. Further scientific study reveals that living organisms have a genetic code, encapsulated in the chromosomes. Varying numbers of chromosomes make up the different life forms.
Forty-six chromosomes are allotted to a healthy member of the human race. Once the 23 from the mother and the 23 from the father fuse, a new human being is formed. This tiny human cell holds all the information pertaining to what they will look like, and what qualities both visible and invisible they posess. All that is necessary for that miniscule human to develop into the form whereby we recognize them as human is nutrients and time. They do not become human once we recognize their human form. They do not become human once they are able to survive outside their mother's womb. They are human from the point of the parental chromosomes' fusion, also known as conception.
If then they are human, they are numbered in the term "mankind." When the Declaration of Independence stated that all men are created equal, they weren't just talking about the male gender. Our country went through much struggle to ensure that all mankind is included in the term "men." The women's suffragette movement and the civil war ensured that both sexes and all races are legally included in the human family of homo sapiens. God had already established this truth in the Bible where it is explained that with God, there is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, slave nor free. God had already established gender equality, race equality and social class equality. Our government was founded on Biblical truths.
A government is only as good as those hearts which do the governing. The government does not exist solely on papers forged to record the beliefs of those who started our nation. The government lives in our hearts. As we change, we seek to change our government. However, the framers of the Declaration of Independence and constitution had a set vision of a group of truths, founded on God's truths, as seen in his word, the Bible. We cannot say after it has already been established that something is now not human that was previously considered so.
A human is a human, no matter in what stage of development it is, and no matter whether it is male or female, of any particular race, or whether it has or stands to inherit little or much.
Why then are we not protecting the human right to life for the smallest of our species? When those tiny humans are killed through the process of abortion, that is a human life being taken. How have we let this atrocity continue? Because people with influence decided to change the truth. For a long time, we were told that the tiny human cell, the embryo, was not yet human. "It's just a bunch of cells; it's just a bunch of tissue." But the more medical scientists knew about the earliest stages of life, the more it was proven that at the point of conception, a new and separate living human being is created. That new human carries a different genetic code than either parent carries. The newly formed human is not part of the woman's body; the new human is inside of and dependent upon her body. The new human, the baby, needs the warmth and safety and nourishment that her body provides in order to facilitate its development.
God is very much against the killing of defenseless babies. He has harsh words for anyone who harms them in spirit, let alone in body. Nations that practiced infanticide and abortion were punished, usually by God allowing their enemies to overtake them and rule over them. There is a long history of God using the enemies of His children to punish those He loves for their grievous acts against Him. That doesn't mean that He sides with our enemies, or that He hates us. It simply means He sometimes uses them as instruments of chastisement to get our attention, to encourage us to repent of our wickedness. The whole idea behind His chastisement is to get us to a point of turning our hearts back towards Him, and away from whatever sinful behavior or thoughts were keeping us from a close relationship with Him. Sometimes this is accomplished with only minor chastisement. In other cases, God has to bring individuals, cities and even nations to their knees with devastating chastisement before they will give up their stubborn refusal to honor and worship Him.
The LORD [is] nigh (near) unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite (repentantly sorrowful) spirit. Psalms 34:18
This is the result God desires.
The Bible says that God doesn't change. The same way He was back when the Bible was written is the same way He is now. He hates the same sins. Why does He hate sin? Because He loves His children! He knows how much sin hurts us. Also, He is holy. He is pure. He can't have fellowship with evil. Sin is evil, and therefore against God and those who belong to God.
When we choose a leader for our nation, we are saying that his ideals and values are approved by us. If we say we love God, then we want what He wants; we love what He loves, and like Him, we hate sin. Murder is a sin. It's even in the top 10! God's 6th commandment is "thou shalt not kill." This is an unfortunate translation, because God does allow righteous killing when defending our country from enemies without and within.
The innocent lives of babies within their mothers' wombs are being willfully destroyed through abortion. There aren't many people denying the reality that there is a life created upon conception. We are educated enough even in the secular schools about the development of a human being from conception through birth. No, we are not calling it what it is. It is murder.
There are many moral points on which we must test the candidates. For the sake of time right now, as I write this the Sunday evening before Tuesday's election, I have chosen to focus on life: the first right stated in the Declaration of Independence.
The Bible appears to be clear on the point that we should only put people into position of government who can pass God's litmus tests. Based on the news reports I've seen in the past few months, it appears that most voters are not taking these Bible verses into consideration before casting their votes. Instead, the choice of who most people will vote for seems to be driven more by emotions, race and/or their often uninformed beliefs on who will do a better job of handling the economy.
Of special concern are those who profess to be Christians who will vote for Barack Obama. He has a reputation of being the most liberal (leftist) senator and presidential candidate ever. He supports removing all state restrictions on abortion such as parental consent for minors, conscience exemptions for medical personnel who do not wish to assist in , perform or refer patients for abortion due to their religious beliefs, partial-birth abortion (I hesitate to describe the "medical procedure" since it is downright stomach-turning. If you wish, research it on the internet.), for all 9 moths of pregnancy. He has stated to Planned Parenthood that his first act of legislation as president will be to pass FOCA, the misnomered Freedom of Choice Act. This act would at the federal level and with its relative permanence, lift ALL commonsensical limitations on abortion that each state has chosen to enact by the representation of the people of that state. In effect, passing FOCA would take choice away from the people of this land and make Roe vs. Wade in all its bloody effect the unmitigated law of the land. This is why i say FOCA is a misnomer.
Speaking of commonsensical limitations on abortion, get this: It has come to the attention of the public through Federal testimony, that medical care facilities such as hospitals and abortion clinics are participating in infanticide. In case you're not aware of this crime, it means the purposeful killing of an infant that is fully born, outside its mother, whether the umbilical cord is cut or not.
Nurse Jill Stanek gave federal and state testimony that she was fired for giving comforting support to a dying baby that had been taken to a soiled linen closet to lay alone and die without the most basic care or pain relief. She cradled the infant in her arms for the 45 minutes he took to die. She wrapped him in a blanket, which she defined as a shroud (they did this with all dead bodies), and took him to the morgue. This was a baby that had already been issued a birth certificate, then 45 minutes later, a death certificate.
Four times in the Illinois senate, Obama oposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. This act, which had an amendment in it written by Obama's own committee, would legislate that infants born alive during a botched abortion would receive the same medical care as a wanted baby at the same facility.
Every baby is a wanted baby! No, the mother may not want it; the father may not want it; the grandparents may even not want it, but with thousands upon thousands of loving people waiting desperately to adopt a baby, that baby is wanted by someone.
This is clearly a sinful act of murder. How can anyone, especially a Christian who believes what God's word says, condone a candidate who opposes saving the lives of fully born infants? By the way, the hospitals call this an induced birth abortion. How's that for a schizophrenic label?
I believe that in the end, Christians who decide to turn a blind eye to who Obama really is, and to vote for him will ultimately regret their decision. I am stunned that so many Christians could be so blind, and so unable or unwilling to connect the dots of evidence that is screaming at them that Obama is not on the side of true Christianity. I am left to wonder whether these Christians:
have placed secular concerns and desires over the will of God,
if they have practiced eisegesis instead of exegesis in their Bible interpretation on this matter,
if they are just so deceived by his charisma that they have turned off their biblical radar,
if their bible theology is so far off base that it is actually able to accommodate what should otherwise be an obvious bad choice to them?
No matter what the reason, our nation may be on the verge of putting a man into the office of president who will ultimately be so offensive to God that He (God) may choose to chastise (discipline) our nation for once again turning our backs on him and his word. I am asking all Christians who read this who intend to vote for Barack Obama to please get a grip on reality, open your eyes, and look at the overwhelming evidence that Barack Obama is NOT on our side. The decision you make on November 4, will almost certainly have profound negative impacts on you, your children, and your grandchildren for many years to come.
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