Log in

No account? Create an account

How Far Would You Go?

My trip with the James Fund to Monterrey presented to me a number of harsh realities that reinforce my conviction that America is a very blessed nation. The poorest person here still has more than most of the people I encountered in the slums along the river bank, where anything potentially useful is salvaged, nothing is clean, and everyone breathes in the toxic air from nearby garbage dumps burning off trash. In America, buses pick up children for school if they live some distance from it. The children in the shanty-towns, however, have to climb down the bank of the river into its dry, garbage-filled bed, cross to the other side, ascend the slope, and walk a great distance to get to classes--as long as no rain has come to fill up the river again.

Perceptions about poverty need to change. Stress isn't wondering how to pay the cable bill next month or if staying home for vacation this year will disappoint the family. Real stress is wondering how your child will get out of the slums if he can't get his education when the river floods.

America is one of the few places in the world where people actually choose to live a homeless lifestyle and beg for a living--people who know that they can do nothing and still get by. I've spoken with people while working at the St. Louis Dream Center who openly admit that they use to live that way (and have since come to Christ and saw the bondage and selfishness of that lifestyle). Yet the rest of the world is trying desperately to get out of that kind poverty, trying to get into America, the land of opportunity.

We have opportunities, not only for our success but to pull others out of despair and onto their feet.
How far would you go to seize those opportunities?

Cartels, Armed Troops, and...Orphans?

A week from today, I will be leaving for Monterrey, Mexico to aid in an outreach to the children at the Back 2 Back Ministries mission site. In contrast to the rest of Monterrey (which is occupied with the Mexican military with machine guns mounted on their vehicles to more easily dispatch the drug cartels trying to gain territory) the orphanage just outside town will be rather safe. There has never been any cartel activity in that area, and in the event that that changes, they have their own private security.

Still, I feel a little anxious. This is my first time on a mission trip outside of the country, and the news out of Monterrey doesn't help matters. This will also be my first time on an aeroplane (I've been told that my trip in a helicopter somehow didn't truly count as flying). Guess I'd better not bring toothpaste unless I want a different kind of cavity search (ba-dum-ch!).

Good thing is that my first foray into the mission field is a short one, only 5 days. It should give me a small taste of what it's like and prevent me from losing my nerve to go through with it. I anticipate enjoying the experience to such an extent that I feel I must repeat it for a longer stay. Another good thing is that I didn't have to pay for the trip. My employer paid for it through the James Fund, so all I had to do was get a passport (expense enough, if you ask me, especially given the fact that the post office boofed the picture, which the government naturally blamed on me).

My lack of skill in the Spanish language is really my greatest worry. I took a couple of classes in college, but I admittedly didn't take it very seriously. I did well in the classes, but not because I could understand or speak it well--I simply knew how to study for the quizzes and tests well. As such, relatively little of it stuck with me ("Use it, or lose it," as it is said.). I may know enough to find the restroom or to get myself arrested.

Also, since I lack most other useful skills (Retail must be the breeding ground for politicians because the only necessary skill is to know when to say the right thing.), I'll probably be doing simple things like painting the new dormitories, or cleaning, or hauling things, pretty much what all the useful people won't want to do. But David had to tend livestock and carry cheese before he killed a hulking warrior and saved a nation, so I don't really have a problem doing the menial work.

This Just In: "I Told You So"

Go figure. The politicians lied to us. Your new healthcare legislation will cost more than they told you and actually results in people losing their coverage. Oh, and remember how they weren't going to tax us to death either? Well they're dusting off the mallet in preparation to break another promise.

Read about it.

RWW Returns!

Better than mood-altering drugs…

Random Word of the Week!


reprobate (REP-ruh-bayt)


Function: noun, adjective


Date: 15th century


Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin reprobatus, past participle of reprobare — more at “reprove”



(noun) A: a condemned person B: a morally unprincipled person

(adjective): morally corrupt: depraved


Example: "Fresh peach pie can lift a bullying reprobate into apologetic courtesy; I have watched it happen." – Leif Enger, Peace Like a River



Huh? (When your brain has a slow leak—)


-- That jerk who beat you up for your bus fare this morning.




That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,


And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,


And put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

                                                          -- Ephesians 4:22-24 NASB

Random Word of the Week!

A momentary diversionary tactic…

Random Word of the Week!


effulgence (ih-FULL-junss)


Function: noun


Date: 1667


Etymology: Late Latin effulgentia, from Latin effulgent-, effulgens, present participle of effulgēre “to shine forth”



> radiant splendor: brilliance


Example: The effulgence of the moon in the clear midnight sky provided enough light to help us safely make our way home



Huh? (ADHD = Dump-truck X [Rocket-fuel]^2)


-- Shiny! Yes, more than your aluminum foil headgear.



 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,

in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,                                                               -- Hebrews 1:1-3 NASB

My congressman, Mr. Jerry Costello of the 12th District in Illinois, a Democrat who has claimed to be pro-life throughout his career, voted "Yes" on the healthcare bill. He had originally claimed he never would unless the Stupak Amendment made it in. However, he and Mr. Stupak are apparently both liars and fools because they voted for this outrage anyway. The justification? Obama's promise to make an executive order continuing the prohibition of the use of federal funds for abortions.

There are a number of easily recognizable problems with this course of thought. First, Obama "promised" to make that order. This is the same man who "promised" that Congress would not attempt to use the unconstitutional reconciliation process, who "promised" that the Whitehouse would be open and honest and that the heathcare bill process would be televised on CSPAN (as opposed to the secretive meetings that took place until a few weeks ago when he realized how monumentally unpopular this catastrophe has been), who "promised" that he would not be a puppet of special interests (Andy Stearn thanks you, Mr. President, for disregarding that promise), and who "promised" to get the budget under control. Based on these very important matters, President Obama seems to be either a blatant liar or an imbecile who cannot remember his own words.

The second problem is that congressmen are treating executive orders as law. If Congress agrees that executive orders are law, how are they even necessary? Doesn't the president become a dictator? What's the point of electing officials if the president can just pretend that what Congress does no longer matters? What's to stop a president from setting himself up as president-for-life as we've seen in so many other socialist states? This makes no sense! It's unconstitutional and violently contrary to the concept of representative government upon which our country was founded and still relies.

Thirdly, there are so many loopholes in current legislation, what's to stop the progressives/socialists from finding another loophole in this bill? With nearly 3,000 pages in this monstrosity, I imagine it could be used as a spaghetti strainer after they're done using this sentence here and that paragraph there to justify all manner of assaults on the Constitution and on free America. Who votes on something that large? No one could have possibly read it in its entirety, and those who came close certainly didn't understand it. The only reason someone would vote for something this ridiculous is if something is in it for them.

Mr. Costello needs to learn something while he still has an ounce of brain-matter and conscience left: The progressives/socialists do not care about anyone but themselves. They claim that all opinions are valid, but they don't believe that. They think they know better than anyone else--that the rest of America is stupid. They want things their way, and since the rest of us are stupid we don't matter.

This is not about helping people or saving lives--if it were, they wouldn't have thrown such a fit against the Stupak amendment. This is about power and control and dictating to us how we live our lives. If we're made dependent on them, we can't do anything for ourselves. We become government slaves. Then people die, because every major attempt at socialist government always leads to dictatorship and then to the deaths of thousands. It happened in Germany, in the Soviet Union, in China, and even in Central and South America (thank you, idiots who wear Che Guevara t-shirts, for celebrating racism and murder) .

I will not go down that road. I don't think many people will just go along with this. I think that they'll have to use some of the stimulus funds to expand the prisons because a lot of people won't be willing to pay these healthcare fines and taxes. But hey, I've been meaning to start lifting weights again.

Ministry Opportunities!

My community is up!

World Vision Maxim - Alton, IL

  • Jaron from IL
    Sep 4th, 2009 12:59 pm
    This has nothing to do with journalistic freedom. The publishers disregarded the family's wishes while simultaneously claiming that doing so shows respect to the Lance Cpl. and his family. A good journalist would know you cannot have it both ways.

    ~~~This was my comment on the St. Petersburg Times website concerning the inappropriate publication of a photo showing Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard moments before his death after being struck by a rocket propelled grenade. What makes it inappropriate? His parents told them not to print it. Even Defense Secretary Gates implored the Associated Press (on the family's behalf) to not publish the material. Then the AP prints it anyway and claims that they are doing the marines a service by showing the brutality of war.

    I won't link the photo, which, unfortunately, still has not been removed from many papers' websites.

    However, the Yahoo! article only includes a picture of the Lance Cpl. in uniform.


    To the Bernard family:

        You have our condolences and our prayers.

The Truth about Abortion

Truthfully, this topic makes me angry. Anyone who has no emotional response to this topic is either unconscious or lying. Abortion is murder. It's not weeding the garden; it's not recovering from an illness; it's not waiting for parenthood until being prepared, whether mentally or financially. It is murder.

For some background, my parents conceived me and two other children before they were married. My parents came from Christian families but had rejected what they were taught for "living in the moment." When my mother became pregnant with a child the first time, they panicked. Rather than seeking advice from their families or from their pastor, they went to someone who would tell them something soothing and sugar-coated. They were selfish and cowardly.

The counsel they sought was the pastor (so-called) of their professor in the music program at the local college. This church, although claiming follow Biblical principles, was basically universalist in its views. "Everything is gray; do what feels right; nothing is set in stone. Besides, if you mess up, God will forgive you anyway." Well, they bought into the lie since it sounded easier than dealing with their mistake and taking responsibility for a child. So, they aborted the child who was my eldest sister.

My parents were still living wicked, sinful lifestyles. Their grades, spiritual health, and relationship to each other and to their families were all suffering.Then it happened again. My mother became pregnant. They panicked, and my second elder sister was denied the light of day.

Then came me. My parents were more scared than ever, and they had still not learned from their mistakes. They were preparing to repeat their folly yet again when God intervened. My mother dreamt that the doctors tried to abort her third child, me, when something in the procedure went wrong. In her dream, she could tell that I was suffering. Her own body was damaged in the operation as well. Then an authoritative voice spoke to her, "If you murder this child, you will never bear children again."

To this day, my mother believes that God audibly spoke to her in her dream to save my life. My parents finally sought the help of their parents and their pastor. They were married, and they dropped out of college in order to find employment. After working as a fast-food manager for a while, my father found work in a local factory, rolling metal in the hotmill. I was born into a poor household--our grandparents would find sneaky ways to help us, like cooking a chicken and wrapping it 3 times in foil so we would have some for later, or visiting us when they knew we were having trouble with the car or an appliance so that my grandfather could fix it--but it was worth the "inconvenience" of my being born at such a time.

Though my parents' mistakes caused the deaths of my elder sisters, God never gave up on them. But neither did he give them a free pass. Much hardship to our family for the first few years of my life was the result of that sin. Though my parents never finished college, they have finally been able to buy a home (and the mortgage is paid in full, thank you) and bring my younger brother and youngest sister into the world. They have remained faithfully active in church in the 22 years of my life, serving as volunteers, worship leaders, deacon, and youth pastor. Their testimony and experience has made them effective ministers to young people, and they have led several teams of youth volunteers to do work at homeless shelters and other urban ministries in St. Louis.

In the next year or so, I will finish my Bachelor's degree. I hope to use my knowledge for similar charitable work as I have done with my family and church all of my life. I have provided food and medicine to starving children in other countries. I have aided in the maintenance of a facility that helps single mothers. I did repair work for an urban outreach that helps prostitutes find better employment and offers them residence until they can provide for themselves. I have collected materials for drug rehabilitation centers, domestic abuse shelters, and missionaries overseas. I created a program in the bookstore in which I work to accept donations of various items for local ministries and outreaches. I aided the refugees from Hurricane Katrina who were staying in an unused portion of the local mental health hospital, helping them to find family through the internet, talking and playing board games with them, and cleaning the facility for more residence who were arriving.

All of these wonderful things that I have been able to do would have been subtracted from the world if my parents had decided to kill me.

I strongly believe that God had saved my life, and those of my younger siblings, by that shocking dream my mother experienced. And I don't think it is mere coincidence that I was born on January 22, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

The children need a voice, like my sisters did. They need solid, courageous, redeemed people to reject the "gray area" baloney of the spineless weasels who promote this pervesion of the concept "choice"--resourceful, strong-willed, righteous, and humble people who are willing to say the truth without apology and be real without resorting to the obnoxious behavior of those who claim to be "progressive." I've been just as wicked as the next person, but that does not mean I have a right to quit and let better or more eloquent people handle it for me.

Parents: Grow a spine! Your children are your responsibility. Sex has one biological function, to produce offspring. If your children are fooling around and not married, both Darwin and God would agree that they are doing something unnatural and foolish.

Parents-to-be: Grow a spine, and a brain while you're at it! Your impatience is what got you pregnant in the first place, so making a decision based on convenience is the dumbest thing you could do at this point. Are you willing to murder your child because you aren't willing to grow up and be an adult?

The name of the game is responsibility, folks. We have a responsibility to do what we know do to where we are at the moment. This is one of the most obvious underminings of morality, not to mention the law, in our nations history. We allow the practice of genocide in our nation for the simple fact that children are "inconvenient."

If you are a Christian, an American, or just a decent person with an ounce of logical capacity, you should be making as much noise as possible against the policies of politicians and the apathy of your friends and relatives that allows this to continue. Equip yourself with knowledge on the subject so that you can have logic discussions with people who make "pro-choice" their motto. Most of the time, they know next to nothing! All they have to do is parrott a couple of stump-questions or tricky-sounding phrases to shut up many "overly-emotional pro-life dimwits." Don't be one of those perceived dimwits. Arm yourself with knowledge on the subject, and you can be sure they will not know how to logically respond. They'll resort to the very "overly-emotional" sputtering they assume we use.

For those who stuck around long enough through my rant, here's some starting points for good information:

~ "The Unaborted Socrates" by Peter Kreeft -- A discussion of abortion using the Socratic Method. Basically, arguments in dialogue. Genius!

~ the SLED Acronym as created by Scott Klusendorf -- helps you remember several key arguments in defending your pro-life beliefs