Thursday, November 27, 2008

Seven Wierd Random Things

Cheryl tagged me for this. I am enjoying seeing this go around...

1. I met my husband at summer camp. While we had a few conversations in the first few days we knew each other, our first real interaction was that we were paired for the staff week "trust walk." He had to lead me through the forest up the hillside while I closed my eyes and followed his directions. When we got up to the end up of the path, and our boss was moving into an astronomy lesson, we didn't stop holding hands for probably another five or ten minutes.

2. Even though I am Lutheran, I'm really not that fond of beer.

3. I won't sleep with a top sheet unless it is flannel. I skip right to the blanket, otherwise.

4. Since the cruise ship charged an outrageous amount for soft drinks (a $60 drink card) when we went to Hawaii last year, I used it as an opportunity to finally get Diet Pepsi out of my daily regimen. I'm getting close to a year!! It tastes awful to me now. Just like a cup full of chemicals -- and I feel A LOT better.

5. I would really love to do the pilgimage of St. James of Compostela (Camino de Santiago de Compostela)...without the paying homage, of course.

6. I just ended up postponing our Thanksgiving feast to tomorrow because my turkey wasn't thawed enough to brine, and because I burned breakfast twice. I figured that wasn't a good sign. That way we get to have friends over who have family obligations today. :)

7. Speaking of that, we play fast and loose with holidays. We move their observances around like crazy (though this is the first year we did that since Thanksgiving). With my husband being busy on many holidays..especially those that are on Sundays, and my aversion to crowds, I'd rather have my Mother's Day dinner on Tuesday...we open some presents on Christmas, but celebrate most of the presents and feast on Epiphany. Same thing with birthdays. While Chris had a friend spend the night and we went bowling, we still haven't had the cake (and if I had thought of that a few days ago, I would've made it a point to do it on his baptismal birthday --interesting idea for a new tradition for procrastinating holiday observers ..hmmm

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Side Bar Change

I changed the link on the sidebar section that says "If You Are LCMS, Read This." Rev. Matt Harrison, who has agreed to run for the office of LCMS president next year, and the current head of LCMS World Relief/Human Care has written a beautiful, optimistic, honest piece called "It's Time" (speaking of, the link takes time as well). He has said so much, and much better than I can. I've only gotten through the first seven pages so far, but my Honey and I have been reading it after the kids have gone to bed.

I appreciate his actually putting some real financial figures in there as well. I knew that our debt situation was worse than I could ever imagine, but I was stunned at his number on the actual Net Worth of the Synod being at around $160,000 (p. 4) That means that a national denomination is SO IN DEBT that even though it owns a radio station worth millions of dollars, its property in St. Louis, and so many other assets around the world, plus investments, etc.-- that it is only worth about the value of a 3 bedroom ranch house on about 1/2 an acre anywhere in the Midwest (and worth about 1/7th of the same property in Southern California, before September).

It is incredibly eloquent and readable. But you REALLY need to read it. The LCMS is looking to rewrite its constitution next year, and Harrison does a wonderful job of addressing the real issues, the real concerns, and the real purposes of Synod. As Lutherans, we really do need to be clear so that we do not have the wool pulled over our eyes. And we also need to have a look at the man who is probably the one man who can unite most of the Synod with his orthodox theology and his heart for missions and mercy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008

He's BACK!!!

I was in shock when my bloglines said there was a post at Luther at the Movies.

And there was much rejoicing!!!!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Why I Am Voting for McCain

Okay...probably the last political post for a while of this kind (barring absolute chaos after the election), but given the previous posts, I wanted to clarify, and hopefully, of course, present an argument that will convince you to do likewise, because I do not consider these issues to be trivial. After the bailout bill, I would LOVE to be able to give my vote to a 3rd party, but honestly there is too much at stake, especially when I live in a "battleground state." So, here are my reasons, and God bless you. Please go out and vote.

1. I cannot in any way vote for a man who thinks that it is okay, even desirable, to kill innocent children. God created them to live lives. When Obama has expressed his logic on his very extreme voting record regarding this - he has expressed a view that he has a responsibility to preserve Roe v. Wade and to not bring up any situation that might challenge it, as if it is sacred. I cannot vote for him because I do not trust his judgement if he cannot see that babies are human beings whether they are wanted or not (after all, he was abandoned by his father just hours after his birth)....and I hope and pray that this man is not the man who will appoint federal judges, even Supreme Court Justices.

I respect people's concern about the war and their hope that Obama would shorten the war and bring our soldiers home. But their is a key difference here. If we are looking at protecting the soldiers, these are men and women who have chosen to be soldiers. They have known that their choice to enter the military may (and sometimes definitely would) lead them into war zones. Before seven years ago, they might have nievely just figured the National Guard is a way to help pay for college and gain work skills, but even then, they knew there was a risk.

Our soldiers are there because they chose to be, God bless them. Even the ones that signed on before 9/11 have fulfilled their terms of service and have re-upped by choice. They are not there to kill civilians. It is regrettable when it has happened. They are there to provide protection to the Iraqi people while their government grows stronger and it is growing stronger. The people are taking on responsibility -- they are joining their military, they are joining the police, they are fighting Al Quaida in their villages, and they are putting their religious differences aside for the benefit of their nation. It is not perfect --this is an area that works and thinks differently than ours. There are 1500 years of solving religious differences using violence. Usually this is only stopped by being so afraid of their leader that they fear action. What is going on there is a new thing.

The ones killing the civilians are the terrorists. We've seen pictures of how life was in Afghanistan before we invaded. Killing wouldn't be any less if Al Quaida's strength were allowed to grow. Women would be in burkas, a vicious form of sharia law would be enforced, the resources of Iraq would be exploited. Right now if we left, we would be leaving Iraq weaker. We knew that the country would be weaker for a period of time before she would grow stronger. This is happening. Putting a time table on when we withdraw only spits in the face of the soldiers who have fought and sacrificed there. It makes the deaths and the sacrifices that these soldiers and their families have made worth absolutely nothing.

The babies deaths are worth absolutely nothing. The soldiers have sacrificed to protect the Iraqi people and to protect us. People die in civil war. This is very different than passing judgement on the life of an unborn child and deciding that it does not deserve the opportunity to ever draw breath, to ever be baptized, to ever hear the Word of God, or to smile, love, learn, or have their own children. In Iraq and Afghanistan, no one has been deprived of those basic things. And under Hussein and the Taliban, they were in fear of being unfairly tortured or killed at a moments notice for no reason at all.

Foreign Relations - Obama has said many things which cause concern for me.

1. He said that he would unilaterally restructure NAFTA. There are things that I don't agree with regarding NAFTA. But to say this on the campaign trail without thinking of the circumstances is something that is really unthinkable. Now, he comes into office and Canada and Mexico are already skeptical of his good will. Canada is already negotiating new trade agreements with Europe because of this.

2. When Obama went to Iraq, he committed a MAJOR gaff. When meeting with the president of Iraq, he suggested that the agreement for withdrawal that was being worked out for our country should be put off until after the election. One major rule of diplomacy among candidates is that you do not interfere with international relations. It is well-known. What Obama did was to discredit our nation before the world by insinuating or specifically saying that there was a risk that an agreement that was made between our countries would not be honored when there was a change in administration. This is not a regime change, this is an administration change. PRESIDENTS HAVE ALWAYS HONORED AGREEMENTS AND TREATIES BETWEEN NATIONS MADE BY THE PREVIOUS PRESIDENT. or our standing in the world would be dubious. The Iraqi president did not consider this very honorable. This might make him less willing to work with us or trust us, should Obama become president.

3. Obama has already announced that he would have military action in Georgia or in other countries invaded by Russia. While he says he would meet without preconditions with one group of leaders, he would meet Russia with military force. So much for peace keeping. And Russia knows this now. They might be willing to call on it, and less likely to talk about it.


1. Raising taxes during an economic crisis is not a good thing. Obama wants to give a credit to the middle class - and his critics are right. We don't make enough to pay taxes and we received a credit this year. We would be eligible for this refund. However, his argument is that we all pay taxes...FICA taxes. Under the Republican Congress, there was a HUGE issue regarding Congress using Social Security funds to finance other issues. This is supposed to be a trust fund - to pay for retirees incomes (who do not make enough as it is) so that others can pay for ours (if it lasts). Obama is suggesting that we use the income taxes (or loans from other countries, including China) to give this credit, on the basis that we all pay an entirely different kind of tax. This is not good for our economy.

He wants to raise capital gains. Despite what the government thinks, the only way that the markets can recover is if people want to invest. If an investor is going to get penalized even more for making money in the market, they will choose not to invest.

McCain's plan makes more sense. It really does. He wants to lower capital gains to encourage investing. He has a more moderate tax cut -- and wants to retain the ones we've received. And as many of us do pay into our insurance plans -- we get a tax credit for doing so, or for finding or own. Honestly, this makes more sense to me.

Obama's tax cut limit started at $250,000.00. We've seen it drop from that to $200,000, to $150,000, mentioned by Bill Richardson, campaigning for Obama. Maybe that isn't accurate, but I am concerned. If you penalize small businesses -- that is what will hurt jobs. I was listening to a radio show and in one hour, twelve people called saying that they could already see this threat hurt jobs. One woman said that her boss put a hold on hiring two people until after the election, because he didn't know if they could afford it. One business said that they would limit their work to make sure they didn't make $250,000, so that as few of their tax dollars could be used to kill babies as possible. A physical therapist called saying that he and his wife were going to open a private practice that would create at least ten jobs, when you look at office staff, PT assistants, etc....and PT services are in shortage. They've changed their mind. They won't take that risk.

Also, I do agree with all that already, the rich are paying a huge amount of taxes. They pay 70% of the taxes in our economy, where in reality, I pay almost nothing. I do not think they should be made to pay more. They should be rewarded for their success and allowed to reinvest that money into their companies, the stock market, and in other ways that will invigorate our economy.

2. Have you heard him express his his views on what kind of judges that he wants to appoint? Ones that have sympathies for the experiences of the poor and minorities, and who want to use their seats for activism. Justice SHOULD BE BLIND to the people who come before him. The decisions should be based on what is right...not whether someone is white or black, rich or poor, male or female. Can you imagine if you went before a judge after your roof fell in, looking for reparations...but the roofers had hired minority workers, so the judge was more sympathetic to their inadequacies and sided for them? Or the guy that robbed you grew up in a foster home, so the judge was so sympathetic that he is found not guilty? These are realities when a judge uses his seat for activism. This is what has happened when homeschooling was made illegal in California, when gay marriage was made legal despite the will of the voters, and so many other decisions that come out of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California. This will be the case in so many other federal courts in our nation, and in our Supreme Court. This is what happened when Earl Warren was the Chief Justice.

I want to address the personal issues that I have a problem with as well...but I will leave it at this. I don't think a man will go to church for 20 years and not know about the politics that his pastor espouses from the pulpit, especially when their are CDs sold in the narthex with these views. If that is the case, he never goes to church. NEVER.

And today there was an interview released from January where Obama said that he would use the cap and carry system and carbon credit idea to destroy the coal industry. Look it up.

I would never consider moving into a neighborhood where Louis Farrakhan lives. (I am sorry, I do not have time to spell check that). But he moved into a neighborhood FULL of people who actively campaign against our country. Despite what evils that may have been done in our country, they have always been done with the (wrong) belief that some people aren't entitled to those rights (now the issue and atrocity commited is whether unborn babies are entitled to these rights). NOT that the rights were wrong. The people that Obama has chosen to work with, live with, and worship with have shown a hatred for the Constitution -- one of the greatest documents ever written...and this is a document that Obama has sworn to uphold, and will again. That is the main difference between being judged by history and the so called Social Justice movement. The average person says "the way Native Americans, African Americans, women, and other minorities have been treated (and maybe are treated) was wrong. But the principles expressed in our Constitution are good. We need to make sure they get those rights too. The Social Justice Movement wants to eliminate the Constitution or ignore it, and replace it with socialist ideals.

I am also concerned with how anyone who has disagreed with Obama has been treated. Police Departments have been ordered to level charges at radio or t.v. stations that air certain commercials. Joe the Plumber was vetted, investigated, attacked, and now has a bounty on his head by a liberal gay talk show host. Reporters of newspapers that have endorsed McCain have been kicked off his plane. He is talking about re-introducing the Fairness Doctrine, where radio stations that air conservative talk shows will be required to present the other side. Problem is, no liberal talk show host has ever been able to successfully maintain ratings. Even NPR would be off the air if they were in a commercial atmosphere.

I have to get my kids to their obligations, and then I will be running nonstop until after tomorrow, so I apologize if I can do much more than check in once in a while, because I know I will be spammed on this....probably visciously. But anyway, these are my reasons. I know you have yours. Go out and vote your conscience. and thanks for reading.