Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shouldn't we make a little noise?

This is from an email I received. I like how he ended it - he said this was his attempt to make a little noise. My Pastor proposed the question last night, "If we were put in a time machine and went back to the days of Hitler, before he took control and took the lives of so many... What would we do? Would we sit back and allow it to happen or would we shout and tell everyone that this man was a mass murderer? Sure, many would look at us like we were CRAZY! However, wouldn't it be our responsibility to tell them anyway and then let them make that choice to believe?" Think about it. I am not saying Obama is a mass murderer, or a serial killer, or even a bad guy. Personally, I think he may be a nice guy. He certainly is a good "politician". However, is he the best choice for America? Are we trading morals for a guy in a suit and a bunch of promises? Neither of our choices are all that great, it is a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils....

"I know this is rather impersonal, and I know we're not supposed to talk about politics, but I'm pretty passionate about this subject. With the upcoming election, we have so much at stake...the very soul of our country, I believe.

Barack Obama has many plans he would like to institute...and all of them cost money.
0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples). McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax.
28% on profit from ALL home sales. (How does this affect you? If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.)
15% (no change)
39.6% - (How will this affect you? If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama becomes president.
(no changes)
Single making 30K - tax $4,500Single making 50K - tax $12,500Single making 75K - tax $18,750Married making 60K- tax $9,000Married making 75K - tax $18,750Married making 125K - tax $31,250
OBAMA (reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)
Single making 30K - tax $8,400Single making 50K - tax $14,000Single making 75K - tax $23,250Married making 60K - tax $16,800Married making 75K - tax $21,000Married making 125K - tax $38,750Under Obama, your taxes could almost double!
- 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)
Restore the inheritance tax
Before Bush repealed this law, many families lost businesses, farms, ranches, and homes that had been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Have any inheritance coming your way? Better plan on paying a huge part to taxes.
New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet. New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already) New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity) New taxes on retirement accounts.

You can verify the above at the following web sites:

Don't you think that if we all just were able to keep a higher percentage of what we earn, we might be able to pay for the things we need...and even help those around us? More taxes are not the answer.
Mainers also have a love for hunting and the great outdoors. Half the meat I ate growing up came from the woods out back. Barack adamently supports laws that would slowly (or perhaps rapidly)take away your right to bear arms. Willing to give that up?
And regardless of how you feel about abortion , Barack took the issue one step further. Three times he voted to not give care to babies born alive after abortions. These are living children who are left to die in dirty utility rooms, and he voted against giving them basic comfort care in their last hours. Regardless of what you call it, this is just cruel. If vets were treating puppies like this, the media would be all over it.
If you aren't registered to vote, please do so. We can't allow this man to have control.
A friend of mine from India recently told me that we must not be silent when doing so would cause great harm. This is my attempt at making a little noise."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Halloween - a holiday?

Okay, Halloween is NOT my favorite holiday. I mean - isn't it supposed to be a HOLY-day and Halloween is far from being holy. However, it is difficult to tell my children that they are not allowed to collect candy and dress up with their friends. So, we try to do it in a christian manner, bringing the light of Jesus into a rather dark holiday. We figure - if this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be GLAD in it. Who says satan gets his own day anyway?
I have been reading lately about Halloween and what the practices of Halloween are supposed to signify. It is tough to be a christian and deal with this holiday. It is tough to have strong convictions of what we are allowed to do; by the Bibles standards, what brings the Lord joy and blessings, and try to do it all while trying to deal with your kids and your kids friends.
Apparently the act of carving pumpkins is rather crude. It is to signify the offering of your first born and I guess there is something in there about burning flesh too. In the days of the druids, evil spirits would go door to door to collect treats (I guess the remains of your burning first born) and if they got a treat they would pass over your house onto the next. So, kids began dressing up as "spirits" to trick people into giving them treats instead of getting tricks. YUM. Makes you want to run out and carve something doesn't it?
I struggled with this for a few years as we continued to carve pumpkins every year because everyone else did it. A few years back as we were carving and praying and pulling out the guts of these poor pumpkins, I realized - isn't this what the Lord does with us when we ask Him to move in? Doesn't He get into our hearts and do a good spring cleaning? He pulls out all that bitterness and sin and yuck and muck and gets our hearts all clean and fresh and then He moves in. Romans 8:11 tells us that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave dwells within US!
So, if we remove all this junk from the pumpkin and put a light in the pumpkin and the pumpkin is now smiling - isn't it a picture of what happens in our hearts and lives when Jesus enters in?
This year as the girls were carving their pumpkins, Ashley decided that instead of a face she wanted to carve a heart into her pumpkin. When asked why, she stated that if she put a candle in there she wanted her pumpkin's heart to light up like the light of Jesus.

We don't ever get anyone coming door to door looking for candy as we live in the country and our houses are too far apart to walk door to door. We always let the girls dress up though and we go to the local churches and collect candy from them. Of course they call it a Harvest Fest as a Halloween alternative.
I remember that as a kid before we were christians, Halloween was my dad's favorite holiday because his birthday was the next day. We decked out the house in everything haunted and frightening and "celebrated" big. After my Mom became a christian, we would hide out in the back room and turn off all the lights and pretend we were not home. As christians - should we hide out on this day? Should we pretend we aren't home? What would Jesus do? I really believe somewhere there has to be a happy medium. A balance between not giving the day to Satan but being bold in our convictions. Answer the door, christians. Be home. Be available. Be a blessing. Yes, we will have ghosts and goblins and other forms of evil knocking at our door, but we have to remember that hidden within these costumes are the dear ones that Jesus loves so much. Shouldn't we be available to them to love them and show them the love of Jesus? Maybe instead of candy we can pass out "Jesus loves You" pencils.
I am proud of Ashley that she has a heart for Jesus and so does her pumpkin. She sat and carved with love on her heart and in her mind. She wasn't practicing the ways of the druids, she was practicing the ways of our Lord and Savior. She was using that pumpkin to be a witness to the light that shines within her own heart!
Halloween certainly isn't a holiday, but October 31st is a HOLY-day. God created the day the same as any other day. Sometimes October 31st even lands - GASP - on a SUNDAY! Do you think the Lord would turn off the lights and pretend that He wasn't home or do you think He would light up His house for the world to see and proclaim that day as HIS day! You decide.
As for me and my house - we will serve the Lord on this day and every other!