Saturday, September 27, 2008

What can we be sure of?

It seems as if so much is uncertain in this world right now: the economy, the presidential race, the environment. Turn your computer, tune into your radio, watch TV or read the latest headlines and it is difficult to be certain of anything. It is easy to be afraid of the unknown and fear the future.

In times when anxiety starts to get the better of you, go to the scriptures and search out the truth of God's character and His faithfulness. So many times in both the Old Testament and the New Testament the Bible shows us the hope that believers have for the future. One of the most incredibly powerful things the Isralites did as they wandered through the desert was to recount the story of God's faithfulness to them. Each time they were in a place of uncertainty God would come to them and tell them, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt." (Exodus 20) Over and over in the Old Testament God would remind the Israelites that he was the God of their forefathers and that He had always been with them.

In the New Testament Jesus promised that even though He was going to heaven he would leave us the Holy Spirit. "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father wills send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:26-27

As Christians, we have the confidence that all things are in God's hands. That He is is the master, creator and ruler of the universe. We have the confidence that nothing that happens in this world is out of his control or surprises Him. Romans 8 clearly tells us, "If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all...Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

So, as we watch the Dow rise and fall, listen to the latest poll data or wonder what bank will close it's doors next week, as uncertainty seems to swirl around us we can be certain that God is in control and that we are His. Get into the Word...all His promises are there just waiting to comfort your heart and fill you with the Spirit and truth.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Walking along the road

I'm a new contributing writer to our church blog. Here's my first entry.

By now the children have been back in school for a couple of weeks and hopefully the art of schedule is becoming a routine. In this time of adjustment from summer to school year we can find encouragement and instruction from the Old Testament.
Deuteronomy 6: 4-7 says:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Our job as parents is to submerge our children in an environment that teaches, exhibits and explores a relationship with God. According to this scripture, every moment of the day should reflect God's love and His Truth. It's a journey that we do together with our kids. We are not called to know everything or have it all together but we are called communicate with our kids and to explore God's character, His commands, His love and His creation. It's a lesson we can do with our kids...learning together. The best part, is that if we follow these instructions, we will be creating a relationship with our children where we know each other and together we know God. It creates a family environment that is built on trust, understanding and most importantly God's love.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

From my sister-friend in AK

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Living in Alaska, For Better or Worse

1) It's now official: This has been one of the coldest summers on record. Only 2 days hit above 70 degrees.
2) The leaves are now turning color and yesterday morning we awoke to a chilly 40 degrees. Fall has arrived.
3) We usually have snow by Halloween.
4) Rising gas prices have forced airline prices up. Way up. Cost of one ticket to Colorado over Christmas: $1200

1) $2,069 Permanent Fund Dividend (largest ever) + $1,200 energy rebate check = $3,269 in free money from the government. I'll do the rest of the math for you. Family of five: $16,345.00 deposited into our bank account next week. Windfall.
2) National attention over a little known governor from a small town in Alaska (could be considered a pro or con, I guess)
3) Did I mention the free money?

So, what would you do with $16,000??

I think I might want to move to Alaska!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A quick look at what's in front of us

palin vs. obama - a side by side comparison
Published Aug. 31, 2008

Office being sought -

Palen-Vice President

Obama-President of the United States and Leader of the Free World

Full name

Sarah Louise Heath Palin

Barack Hussein Obama II


Sarah Barracuda

Barry Obama; "The One"

Public opinion

Palin - Smoking hot in a "naughty librarian" sort of way

Obama - May be The Messiah





Palin-5: two sons, three daughters

Obama-2: two daughters

Religion/Church attendance

Palin-Evangelical Christian;attends Juneau Christian Center when in Juneau and grew up attending Wasilla Assembly of God

Obama-Attended Trinity United Church of Christ for 20 years, a "black liberation theology" church formerly led by Rev. Jeremiah Wright and governed according to the Black Value System

Current Job

Palin-Governor of Alaska

Obama-Junior Senator from Illinois

Previous Public Jobs

Palin-Mayor of Wasilla, AK (1996-2002); President of Alaska Conference of Mayors; City Council member (1992-1996)

Obama-State Senator (1997-2004); Community Organizer

Executive Experience
Palin-Governor for 2 years; Mayor for 10 years


Foreign Relations experience

Palin-Governor of state that borders two foreign countries (Canada and Russia)

Obama-Chaired Senate subcommittee on Europe but never called it into session;once gave a speech to 200,000 screaming Germans
Military Affairs experience

Palin-Commander in Chief of Alaska National Guard;Son is enlisted Infantryman in U.S. Army


Private Sector Experience

Palin-Sports reporter;Salmon fisherman

Obama-Associate at civil rights law firm

Spouse's name

Palin-Todd Mitchell Palin

Obama-Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama

Spouse's occupation

Palin-Salmon fisherman; Former North Slope production supervisor for BP Oil

Obama-Vice President for Community and External Affairs at University of Chicago Hospitals;former Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago;former Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies;former Assistant to the Mayor of Chicago;former associate at Sidley Austin law firm

Reaction to spouse's political success

Palin-Quit 17-year BP oil job when BP became involved in natural gas pipeline negotiations with wife's administration

Obama-Promoted and given 160% pay raise by UofC hospitals within months of husband's election to U.S. Senate;Employer received $1,000,000.00 federal earmark, requested by husband, after her promotion
Coolest thing about Spouse

Most Courageous Moment in Public Service

Palin-Resigned in protest from position of Ethics Commissioner of Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in order to expose legal violations and conflicts of interest of Alaska Republican leaders, including the former state Attorney General and the State GOP Chairman (who was also an Oil & Gas Commissioner), who was doing work for the party on public time and supplying a lobbyist with a sensitive e-mail.

Obama-Gave an anti-Iraq war speech to a crowd of anti-Iraq war demonstrators in Hyde Park in 2002

In Current Office Because...

Palin-Upset sitting Governor in GOP primary due to public support for her efforts to clean up corrupt government establishment

Obama-Republican opponent, who was leading in the polls, was forced to leave race after unsealing of divorce records exposed a sex scandal


Palin-Change and Clean Government

Obama-Hope and Change; "Bringing Change from Outside Washington"
What they've done to live that theme:

Palin-Replaced entire Board of Agriculture and Conservation because of conflict of interest;Resigned from position of Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in order to expose corruption among members of own party

Obama-Selected 36-year incumbent Senator as running mate

Family Affairs

Palin-May have removed State Public Safety Commissioner as part of effort to protect sister in messy divorce and child custody battle

Obama-Often says, "I am my brother's keeper";Brother lives in a hut in Nairobi on $12 per year

Union affiliation

Palin-Union member, married to Union member

Obama-Endorsed by a union

Iraq and Troop Support

Palin-Formerly (pre-surge) critical of apparent lack of long-term strategy for Iraq;Visited wounded U.S. soldiers in Germany;visited AK National Guard soldiers deployed to Kuwait;Son deploying to Iraq on 9/11/08 as Army infantryman

Obama-Gave an anti-Iraq war speech to a crowd of anti-Iraq war demonstrators;almost visited wounded troops in Germany, but decided to go shopping in Berlin instead
Bipartisan/"maverick" credentials

Palin-Married to a non-Republican;Exposed corruption within own party;Campaigned for Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell against corrupt GOP congressman Don Young;Called out Sen Ted Stevens (R-AK) to "come clean" about financial dealings that are under fed investigation

Obama-Talks about bipartisanship

Legislative Record

Palin-Passed a landmark ethics reform bill;Used veto to cut budgetary spending;Prevented "bridge to nowhere" that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars.

Obama-Voted "present" over 100 times as IL state senator

How they dealt with corrupt individuals in home city/state

Palin-Exposed legal violations and conflicts of interest of Alaska Republican leaders; Campaigned against corrupt GOP Representative;Ran against and defeated corrupt incumbent governor in GOP primary

Obama-Launched political career in home of unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers (and still refers to him as a part of "mainstream Democratic Chicago";Purchased home with help of convicted felon Tony Rezko

Palin-Lifetime member of NRA and avid hunter;video can be found on YouTube of Palin firing an M4 at a military firing range

Obama-Worked to pass legislation in Illinois that would prevent all law-abiding citizens from owning firearms


Palin-Opposed "Bridge to Nowhere" project;Said Alaska should avoid relying on federal money for projects;Campaigned against porker Don Young (R-AK) in 2008 primary

Obama-Secured federal earmarks for wife's employer and for campaign bundlers


Palin-Pro life;gave birth to 5th child knowing that he would have Down's syndrome

Obama-Pro-choice; only IL state sen. to speak against the Born Alive Infant's Protection Act, which required medical care to be given to live infants who survived abortions

Palin-Believes energy independence is a matter of national security;For drilling in ANWR, which is in her state

Obama-Says Americans should "get tune-ups" and "check tire pressure";Says "we can't expect the world to be okay with" our use of heating and air conditioning

Palin-Chair of Alaska Conservation Commission (2003-4);Announced plans to create sub-cabinet group of advisors to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in AK

Obama-Talks about the environment a lot