Archive for December, 2010

OMGoodness! If you’re like me, then you have a brain disorder… Sorry to say, but “science” says. lol.

Concerned? Then read the following. Every sentence is a joke to me and it appears the liberals are showing their true colors after all.

Posted on December 29, 2010 at 2:20pm by Jonathon M. Seidl

A group of British researchers believe they have found why people are conservative: it’s a brain disorder of sorts.

Scientists at the University of London say that conservatives have an enlarged “fear” area in their brains, and smaller areas associated with courage and optimism. The London Telegraph reports:

Scientists have found that people with conservative views have brains with larger amygdalas, almond shaped areas in the centre of the brain often associated with anxiety and emotions.

On the otherhand, they have a smaller anterior cingulate, an area at the front of the brain associated with courage and looking on the bright side of life.

The researches say there is a direct correlation between the sizes of those areas and one’s political views.

“We were very surprised to find that there was an area of the brain that we could predict political attitude,” Prof Geraint Rees, who led the research, told the Telegraph.

He added: “It is very surprising because it does suggest there is something about political attitude that is encoded in our brain structure through our experience or that there is something in our brain structure that determines or results in political attitude.”

But there’s just one problem: the research only studied a total of 93 brains — three politicians and 90 students.

The website Gawker gives the study the treatment it‘s due in a paragraph mocking the scientists’ conclusions:

So there you have it. I don‘t think it’s wildly extrapolating or jumping to any conclusions to say that this study definitively proves that conservatism is a brain disorder. I think that’s been proven by this 90-person study. Conservatives are all stupid brain-damaged idiots who are stupid and brain-damaged. And idiots.

It ends with an appropriate one word sentence: “SCIENCE.”

Wesley Smith over at First Things points out a couple more flaws in the study:

Notice “normal” brain structure is always the liberal.

Besides, what is “conservative” in the UK, may be middle of the road in the USA.  Does that mean our conservatives’ brains are even more convoluted?  And again, some people become conservatives after being liberal.  Look at Ronald Reagan and First Things founder, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus.

And while he contends political views are largely shaped by experiences, he wonders what might happen if the study’s conclusions actual gain traction:

But, if its all in our hard wiring, we’d better make political views a suspect category for civil rights and hate crime protection. After all, we shouldn’t punish or discriminate against anyone for being who they are.

UPDATE:

Tommy Christoper over at Mediaite notices the study was commissioned by actor Collin Firth in a “light-hearted” attempt to discredit conservatives, and it has yet to be peer-reviewed.

“I took this on as a fairly frivolous exercise: I just decided to find out what was biologically wrong with people who don’t agree with me and see what scientists had to say about it and they actually came up with something,” Firth admitted.

It’s probably fair to say this is a case of an already-held conclusion (not simply a hypothesis) searching for evidence.

Taken from TheBLAZE.com

SO… According to GallupPoll, 77%  (Conservatives) of Americans have a “disorder,” while 20% (Liberals) are “normal?”

GOT IT. : P


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Wow. Thought you all would be interested in this. Mr. Phillips really hit the nail on the head. Many blessings and happy New Year! 😀

Dear Friends:

Life moves fast. If we don’t take the time to chronicle the providences of God, we forget them. If we don’t take the time to say thank you to those who have invested in our lives, we actually cultivate a spirit of ingratitude in our own hearts. If we don’t stop and make sure that we have a spirit of forgiveness toward others, we grow bitter, we lose the capacity to move victoriously into the future, and our prayers are hindered.

Here is a little practice that I was taught and would like to share with you. Each year, during the last week of December, I would encourage you to do the following things.

I. Outline and Chronicle the
Many Providences of God

Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. (Hab. 33:2)

First, using simple bullet points, outline the key events for every week of every month of the year. Take the time to do the research which will help jog your memory and allow you to make an accurate record. I find that reviewing bills, blogs, journals, newspaper headlines, letters, and even organizing my photographs chronologically are enormously helpful tools. Those individuals who were faithful to journal or keep a diary will have little problem reconstructing key events. Give yourself a good week to reconstruct your own outline of the year. Also, by making this a family project, you will not only build your list with greater speed and precision, but (in the hands of a loving patriarch) the very act of chronicling the providences of God in your life is a blessed tool for family discipleship.

Every family will have a different set of priorities directing what they should record. In addition to recording the key events and providences of the year chronologically, I try to take the time with my family to record some of the following information on separate bullet lists:

  1. Where did I/we travel?
  2. What were the most important sermons I heard this year?
  3. What books/articles did I write?
  4. What significant household projects did we accomplish in 2010?
  5. What were the most important meetings of the year?
  6. What special friendships were made this year?
  7. Which children lost teeth, and how many?
  8. Who grew in physical stature, and how much did they grow?
  9. Who learned to read this year?
  10. What diet and physical exercise regimen did I maintain to honor “my temple”?
  11. What books did I read? Did we read as a family? Did my children read?
  12. What Scriptures did my family memorize?
  13. What loved ones died this year?
  14. What were the great personal/ministry/national tragedies and losses of the year?
  15. What were the great personal/ministry/national blessings of the year?
  16. What were my most significant failures/sins for the year 2010?
  17. What commitments have I made to overcome sin in 2011?
  18. What significant spiritual and practical victories did I experience?
  19. In what tangible ways did I communicate gratitude to those who have blessed me and invested in my life?
  20. What are the top ten themes of 2010 for my family?

II. Say ‘Thank You’ to
Those Who Have Invested in Your Life

[I] cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. (Eph. 1:16)

Whatever happened to the man who first opened to you the words of life from the Scripture? Where is the comrade, coach, or instructor who believed in you and helped you to accomplish a great goal? What about the Bible teacher whose careful handling of the Word opened up new vistas of understanding? Where is the friend who stood with you through thick and thin? Most importantly, what have you communicated to the mother who carried you in her womb, loved and nurtured you, or the father who labored to provide for and shepherd you?

When was the last time you responded to their investment in your life with gratitude, blessings, and even money? Jesus reminds us of those ungrateful recipients of blessing who simply went their way without demonstrating gratitude (Luke 17).

Before the year ends, make a list of two types of people: The first list are the names of people whose life, ministry, or personal investment in you have deeply touched you and changed your life. (In my case, the list includes parents, pastors, and even some teachers from the early years of my Christian walk that I did not meet until much later in my life, but whose books and tapes were crucial to my personal discipleship as a young Christian.) The second list should include those people who played the most significant role in your life in 2010.

Write a brief, meaningful letter to each of them. Be specific in your gratitude. Explain what they did for you and why it was important to you. Show them how they were God’s instrument of blessing in your own life. Pray over each letter, asking God to grant you rich insights on the character qualities of each individual and on the way those qualities changed your own life. Where appropriate, include a check or special token of appreciation that reflects your desire to show them, tangibly, that you recognize that you are in their debt. You cannot imagine the joy this will give to someone from your past who may think you have forgotten them. Give generously and without concern for getting a tax deduction. I strongly recommend sending money to your parents. Keep in mind that you will never be able to return their personal and financial investment in your life, except through your testimony of faithfulness, covenant keeping, and honor to the Lord.

Also, your children need to know the people who have blessed their parents. They need to see that Mom and Dad are grateful and generous. Share your letters with them. In our household, we ask our children to write to some of the people who have blessed Mommy and Daddy, because our children are the indirect recipients of these blessings on their parents.

This will take a day or two to complete. You may have twenty letters to write, but you will never regret saying “thank you.”

One last thought: One reason why Christians are often limited in vision, energy, and blessings is that, contrary to the Lord’s command, we are ungrateful, unforgiving, and bitter. Far too many who profess the name of Christ spend more time obsessing on those who have wronged them than rejoicing in those who have blessed them. Letters and tangible expressions of gratitude are not only pleasing to Christ, but an antidote to heart-sickness.

III. Forgive Those Who Have Wronged You

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:19-21)

In the course of a year, it is possible to build up many offenses and personal grievances at others. Left unaddressed, these grievances fester and grow. They turn the heart black and the body weak. They foster a spirit of vengeance and misguided self-righteousness. The short of it is this: Unforgiveness leads to bitterness. Bitterness curdles the mind and the spirit.

Fresh starts and new years should begin with forgiveness for others. Having a genuine spirit of forgiveness towards those who have wronged us is a mark of biblical Christianity. It is an evidence that we have been redeemed, and that we are praying lawfully: “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).

Successful Christians are men and women who are free from bitterness. They have learned the principle modeled by our Lord Jesus Christ who, while suffering death at the hands of people he had never wronged, was able to say “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:24).

I have a dear preacher friend with a sterling reputation who was once grievously slandered. When asked about the wicked actions of the slanderers, he replied something to this effect:

Oh you don’t understand — I am far, far worse than my detractors realize. They may have gotten a lot of the specific facts wrong, but I am just thankful they don’t know how bad my heart truly is. God have mercy on me a sinner.

This man had victory over bitterness.

My father is another man who always appeared to have victory over bitterness. In fact, from my earliest days to the present, I have watched lesser men “twist the truths [he’s] spoken to make a trap for fools.” [i]

Early in my life when I was still in government schools, I would listen to my own teachers criticize before my class the work my father was doing for the President to dismantle a government agency which was at war with the family. I read untruthful articles and saw derogatory comics on the pages of the Washington Post picturing him as a caveman for his “prehistoric” views. When my father was a leader in the Republican Party in Massachusetts, a gangster repeatedly threatened the life of his family. I remember being a boy and having my father shield me from homosexual picketers and protesters that would follow him and our family around at public locations.

Most painful and difficult for many to forgive is betrayal and dishonor. But that is a mistake. Betrayal and dishonor probably exist in the lives of most men. And why should any Christian be denied in their lives what past generations of Christians — and our Lord and Savior Himself — patiently endured? To our shame, most of us have been on both sides of that coin. From a son’s perspective, however, it is highly instructive to watch a father act honorably in the midst of such conflict. It has been a great blessing in my own life to observe my father nobly respond even in the face of barbs from former allies and friends, once loved and nurtured by him.

Eternally optimistic, Dad would always say: “Never be bitter. Life is too short. Thank God for your blessings. Press on!”

Bitterness comes from being unwilling to forgive. Bitter people are small people. They are unsuccessful people. They are people who cannot move forward. They are people who believe that the personal wrongs against them are so great that they — the offended — are entitled to do to their offenders what they pray the Lord Jesus Christ will never do to them: refuse to forgive.

Here is my recommendation: Think through every grief, minor and major, caused by others to you in the year 2010. Now add to the list any other personal offenses that continue to linger from past years. Write these down as bullets on a sheet of paper.

The first thing you will likely realize is just how many offenses are polluting your thought life and, probably, your spirit. This is a sign of latent bitterness. Bitterness will kill you. It renders you completely ineffective.

Now prayerfully walk through the list — bullet, by bullet. With each offense, remind yourself that the most despicable action taken against you by another utterly (and infinitely) pales in comparison to the least of your offenses against the Lord Jesus Christ.

And yet He has forgiven you.

Before 2011 begins, adopt a spirit of forgiveness towards your insensitive friends as well as your hateful enemies. Forgive your imperfect father for whatever it is you need to forgive him for (and pray to the Lord that your own children someday forgive you for your failures). Quit devoting untold precious hours to commiseration, mental replay of the wrongs done, and thoughts about just how badly you were wronged. Stop blaming everybody but you for your problems. Look to yourself. Once you start chronicling your own sinful attitudes and crimes against God and man, you simply won’t have time to worry about the wrongs done to you. You will stop being bitter, and you will start being thankful.

Wipe the slate clean. “Press on.” Forgive.

Conclusion

As 2010 comes to a close, take time to remember and to say “thank you.” Take time to examine yourself for bitterness. Forgive others. Finally, as you love God with all your heart, soul and might, trust Him, too. Really trust him. Trust God with all your heart, your soul and might. You and I can not solve every problem. What we can do is be kind, forgiving, and patient before the Lord. We can not “fix” everything that is broken. Only God can do that. In His time and His way, the Lord can not only bring peace, but He can give you the very desires of your heart as you seek Him with integrity. He can redeem the years the locusts have eaten, and He delights in blessing his faithful children. “The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22).

It is appropriate that we stop and thank God at the birth of a new year. Remember that God gave man the stars on Day Four in part so that he could order and structure his life based on a clock/calendar system of days, seasons, and years (Genesis 1). He tells us to “remember” acts and to “number” our days. In Scripture, the formal act of remembering providences of God in our life is linked to hope, honor, and generational success (e.g., Psalms 44, 78, etc.). By February 2011, the year 2010 will be a distant memory. Strike now while the iron is hot. The opportunity to remember and to say “thank you” may never come again. And can you afford even one more day in which your prayers are hindered — because you were refusing to forgive? Trust the Lord. He is in charge: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5).

Persevero, 

Doug Phillips
President and Founder of
The Vision Forum, Inc.

[i] From Rudyard Kipling’s “If”

Taken from an email by the President and Founder of Vision Forum Ministries.

A MODEL FOR THE NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS 2011

“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power”
(2 Thessalonians 1:10-12)

Resolution: Fixed purpose or determination of mind; as a resolution to reform our lives; a resolution to undertake an expedition.
Resolve: To inform; to free from doubt or perplexity; as, to resolve the conscience To confirm; to fix in constancy.

Here, in an example from America’s Christian History, ten year-old Johnny Adams demonstrates a resolution to reform his life, to resolve his conscience, and to be fixed in constancy:

Braintree, June the 2d, 1777

“Dear Sir,

I love to receive letters very well, much better than I love to write them. I make but a poor figure at composition; my head is much too fickle. My thoughts are running after birds’-eggs, play, and trifles, till I get vexed with myself. Mamma has a troublesome task to keep me steady, and I own I am ashamed of myself. I have but just entered the third volume of Smollett, though I had designed to have got half through it by this time. I have determined this week to be more diligent, as Mr. Thaxter will be absent at court, and I can not pursue my other studies. I have set myself a stint, and determine to read the third volume half out. If I can but keep my resolution I will write again at the end of the week, and give a better account of myself. I wish, sir, you would give me some instructions with regard to my time, and advise me how to proportion my studies and my play, in writing, and I will keep them by me and endeavor to follow them. I am, dear sir, with a present determination of growing better,

Yours,
John Quincy Adams”
(Hall, Verna M.: The Christian History of the American Revolution: Consider and Ponder.
San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1976, p. 605.)

Taken from an email by: Foundation for American Christian Education

 

I WISH YOU ALL A HEALTHY & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!


WOW. What a well written and effective reminder to us about where this great nation came from.

Christmas, 1776.

Summer had begun with strong declarations of noble ideals, but by winter the cause of liberty seemed to be at low ebb. Having suffered defeat after defeat, many had all but given up hope. It looked like freedom would succumb yet again, as it had throughout history, to the forces of authoritarianism and tyranny.

Then, on Christmas Day, 1776, a small band of colonial forces under the command of Gen. George Washington, having retreated all the way from New York, again crossed the Delaware River and brought battle at Trenton, New Jersey. Washington not only won the battle but regained the initiative and turned the war in the patriots’ favor. One week later, Washington defeated the British at Princeton and forced the enemy to withdraw, preventing its advance on Philadelphia, seat of the Continental Congress.

When it announced itself to the world in 1776, the United States of America was little more than an alliance of 13 small colonies on a barren continent, thousands of miles from their ancestral homeland, surrounded by hostile powers.

Now, well over two centuries after winning independence from the British Empire, America is the freest, wealthiest, most powerful nation on Earth. Along the way it established sovereign nationhood, settled a continent and more and brought unprecedented prosperity to its citizens. It survived a devastating Civil War that threatened its very life, abolished slavery and raised up the emancipated to be citizens equal to their one-time masters. It triumphed in two world wars fought on foreign soil and a decades-long struggle against worldwide communism that, 20 years ago, led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the Soviet Union.

What accounts for this monumental success? The founding of the United States was indeed revolutionary. But not in the sense of replacing one set of rulers with another, or overthrowing the institutions of society. John Adams queried:

What do we mean by the American Revolution? The revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. . . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.

Our revolution was about the ideas upon which a new nation was to be established. Permanent truths “applicable to all men and all times,” as Abraham Lincoln later said, proclaimed that principle rather than will would be the ultimate ground of government.

What is truly revolutionary about America is that, for the first time in history, these universal ideas became the foundation of a system of government and its political culture. Because of these principles, rather than despite them, the American Revolution culminated not in tyranny but a constitutional government that has long endured.

To this day, 233 years after Washington and his men crossed the Delaware, these principles–proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and promulgated by the Constitution–still define us as a nation and inspire us as a people. These principles are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other. They are the highest achievements of our tradition, a beacon to those who strive for freedom but also a warning to tyrants and despots everywhere. Because of these principles, not despite them, America achieved greatness.

The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson later recorded, was “neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, [but] was intended to be an expression of the American mind.”

As Americans, our aim must be a clear expression and forthright defense of the nation’s principles in the public square so that they become, once again, an expression of the American mind. Despite constant scorn by academic elites, political leaders and the popular media, most Americans still believe in the uniqueness of this country and respect the Founders’ noble ideas. They may fail a test of particulars – quick: when did Washington cross the Delaware? – but they overwhelmingly want to know about this nation and its meaning.

We must give voice to all those who have not given up on their country’s experiment in self-government, have not concluded the cause of liberty and limited constitutional government is lost and have not accepted America’s decline as inevitable.

The goal must be to restore the liberating principles of the American Founding as the defining public philosophy of our nation. As it was for most of American history, so it can be again.

The joy of this wonderful season is about new beginnings and the eternal promise of redemption. We Americans have the immeasurable benefit, the providential gift, of having inherited a great country.

We must never forget its confidence, optimism and promise, its endless capacity for renewal, are contained in our dedication to the enduring principles of liberty with which all men are endowed by their Creator.

May you and yours have a merry and blessed Christmas.

Taken from The Heritage Foundation Morning Bell daily newsletter email. December 24, 2010. Or it can be found here.

I just thought I would let you all know about this. I thought it was interesting and probably useful for those of us off at college… I sure know what it’s like. lol.

Teach Parents Tech

Wow.  The ACLJ fights for our rights. Sure was noble for this guy to try to teach a college course on Islam:

Since when did America’s colleges and universities become subject to Islamic authority?Professor Barry Sommer was prepared to teach a winter term class called ”What is Islam?” next month – a full and complete look at Islam … this class was designed to introduce students primarily to the Qur’anand other viewpoints on Islam in a world where terrorism is a constant threat.

Before he could begin teaching, the class was cancelled and Mr. Sommer was fired due to pressure from the terrorism-related group, CAIR – an Islamic organization that the United States has labeled a ”co-conspirator” in a major terrorism case with links to Hamas.

The ACLJ has engaged this serious issue, representing this teacher who has been targeted by a radical terrorism-related group.

Taken from an email by the ACLJ.

And read Jay Sekulow’s Trail Notebook Entry:

Standing Up for Oregon Teacher

It doesn’t make sense.  A teacher at a Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon was scheduled to teach a course on Islam.  Instead of being able to conduct the course, the teacher was fired – given a pink slip for speaking the truth about Islam.

What’s worse.  The terrorism-related group CAIR pressured the school to get rid of the teacher.  That’s right – intimidation from CAIR – an organization that the U.S. government labeled an ‘unindicted co-conspirator’ in a major terrorism case with links to Hamas.

We are now representing the teacher, Barry Sommer, and are in the process of completing a demand letter to the school.  If the school does not rehire our client and reinstate the class, we will take legal action.

This is absurd.  Not only did the school violate the First Amendment free speech rights of our client, it caved in to the bullying tactics employed by CAIR.  This is CAIR’s strategy – intimidate – attack.

We’re not going to let that happen.  We’re standing up for this teacher and his right to teach the course on Islam. It’s important to note that this class was designed to introduce students primarily to the Qur’an and other viewpoints on Islam in a world where terrorism is a constant threat.

The purpose of this course was to provide a basic understanding of Islamic doctrines so that students could make informed decisions based on unbiased and current information.

But that didn’t satisfy CAIR.  They lashed out.  They pressured the school to take the politically-correct route and get rid of the teacher.

This, from a community college where academic freedom, diversity, and acceptance are supposed to be cherished educational values.

The law is clear.  We’re fighting back.  Our demand letter to the school is going out today.  We want you to stand with us and add your name to our Committee standing up for the First Amendment rights of our client and standing up against CAIR.

Add your name here.

Posted: 12/9/2010 12:00:00 AM

The ACLJ is asking for contributions to help fight against this case. Contribute here.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition? What do you enjoy most about this season? Do you have some delicious recipes? What do you plan on doing this year?

Let us know by commenting below!

This is well worth media coverage, but does it get it? Nope.  We sure heard about Arizona’s new immigration law, but I didn’t hear about this news.

Missouri ‘s approach to the problem of illegal immigration appears to be more advanced,
sophisticated, strict and effective than anything to date in Arizona. Do the politicians in San Francisco, or the White House, appreciate what  Missouri has done? When will our President and his dynamic Attorney General take action to require Missouri to start accepting illegal immigrants once again?

There are no Mexican illegal immigrants in  Missouri to demonstrate.The “Show Me” state has once again shown us how it should be done.

There needs to be more publicity and exposure regarding what  Missouri
has done.Let’s pass it around.
In 2007,  Missouri placed on the ballot a proposed constitutional amendment designating English as the official language of  Missouri.  In November, 2008, nearly 90% voting in favor! Thus English became the official language for ALL governmental activity in  Missouri.
No individual has the right to demand government services in a language OTHER than English.
In 2008 a measure was passed that required the Missouri Highway Patrol and other law enforcement officials to verify the immigration status of any person arrested, and inform federal authorities if the person is found to be in Missouri illegally.  Missouri law enforcement offices receive specific training with respect to enforcement of federal immigration laws.
In  Missouri illegal immigrants do NOT have access to taxpayers benefits such as food stamps and health care through Missouri HealthNET.
In 2009 a measure was passed that ensures  Missouri ‘s public institutions of higher education do NOT award financial aid to individuals who are illegally in the United States.
In  Missouri, all post-secondary institutions of higher education annually certify to the Missouri Dept. of Higher Education that they have NOT knowingly awarded financial aid to students who are unlawfully present in the United States.
So while  Arizona has made national news for its new law, it is important to remember  Missouri has been far more proactive in addressing this horrific problem.
Missouri has made it clear that illegal immigrants are NOT welcome in the state and they will certainly NOT receive public benefits at the expense of  Missouri taxpayers.
DON’T JUST DELETE THIS AMERICA… KEEP IT GOING UNTIL WE GET ALL 50 STATES TO COMPLY!!!

Here is the link to confirm:  Be sure to read the readers comments too.
http://www.ozarkssentinel.com/missouri-ahead-of-the-game-in-dealing-with-illegal-immigrants-p1034.htm

Taken from:  “The Ozarks Sentinel”  Editorial – Nita Jane  Ayres,   May 13, 2010 .
If the link does not work, just type in “The Ozarks Sentinel – Nita Jane Ayres” in Google.
We hope that this helps make the point.  We can do something about this egregious breach of our constitution.

Taken from an email today by Gary R. Casselman, Ph.D., the Principal and Coach of Patriot Coaching.

Feel free to share this with others either by email or by social networking sites. And drop a comment while you’re at it! 😀