Wednesday, November 07, 2012

It's a new day and my God's not dead

Today is a difficult day for many and a joyous day for others.  But the sun rose the same as every other day.

Here in Florida, where I'm not even sure if we ever came up with an answer on the presidential race, the weather is glorious and today's sunrise was spectacular. 

I know my friends in the Northeast are not so fortunate.  Our prayers are with you.

No matter the outcome of the election, today I remind my friends, my colleagues and those of you who just stumbled on my faith blog, God is in control and it is a new day.  He is NOT surprised by the outcome.

My God's not dead.  He's surely alive.  ......  I'm lost in Your freedom!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I'm so glad that Joanne Schieble did not get an abortion

If in 1954, you could simply walk up to a Planned Parenthood office and obtain an abortion, the world may not have ever seen a Macintosh or buy an iPhone or an iPad.

That is right, in 1954 Joanne Schieble, an unmarried coed from the University of Wisconsin in Madison got pregnant.  Her parents were not thrilled that the baby's father was a Syrian Muslim.

While she could likely have found a way to abort the baby, she instead chose to move to San Francisco and put the baby up for adoption.  Lucky for him and lucky for us.

The couple who was matched with the baby refused to take him, as they wanted a girl.  So another couple was contacted and they enthusiastically said yes.  One stipulation that the biological mother made was that she wanted the adoptive parents to be college graduates.  She initially refused the second couple, as the wife was a college dropout and the husband hadn't finished college.  They promised to send their son to college, so she signed away her maternal rights.

Well, he went to college alright.  For a whopping semester.  Then he dropped out.

The rest of the story?  His adoptive parents were Paul and Clara Jobs.  And yes, the world was blessed with an initially unwanted baby named Steve.

I for one, as a long time Mac aficionado, cannot image a world that never included Steve Jobs.

I am also an adoptive parent and I can't imagine what we would do today if our son's mother had opted for an abortion.

According to the CDC, abortions in the US peaked around 1990 at roughly 1.4 million. The current number is fairly stable at a little over a million/year.  

I'm wondering what those babies would have invented had they lived?

Choose life.   

Take a stand - The unintended consequence of abortion legislation

We all have choices.  In fact, we are reminded in Deuteronomy 30:19 (NCV) of our free will (aka freedom of choice), which is actually a gift from God.

"Today I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses. I am offering you life or death, blessings or curses. Now, choose life! Then you and your children may live."

One of the most controversial issues of the 2012 Presidential Election is the stand on Abortion and Women's Rights.
I would like to go on record that I am pro-life and I am pro-blessing.    
But I must begin by saying that I personally know more than a dozen women that were sexually abused by fathers, uncles and neighbors, not just once, but repeatedly throughout their young lives.  Others of my friends made bad choices in marriage and found husbands that were just as abusive as those that abused these other women in childhood.   My heart goes out to these friends.  I have watched up close the impact on their lives and what it has taken for each one of them to overcome what has become a part of their life story.  Their courage is amazing and they have healed over time and with lots of prayer and learning about the power of forgiveness, even of their abuser.     
Rape and incest are horribly wrong on so many levels and the pregnancies that stem from them are indeed tragic.  The men that perpetrate this behavior on young women have already chosen death and curses on their own lives and when there is a pregnancy that results, it often ends in physical death (abortion) but more often a tiny piece of the young woman dies.
But this discussion is not about them.
My tale of unintended consequences today is about what happens when we make abortion not only completely accessible, but socially acceptable and an alternative to an unplanned pregnancy, simply for convenience.   A woman's right, if you will.  If she conceives and doesn't want the baby, let her decide what to do with her own body.
This discussion is not about the morality of abortion and when life begins.  I've been pregnant and seen the heartbeat on the ultrasound and I think that issue is fairly well substantiated by science.    
What I want to do here is take that decision down from a mature woman making a decision about an unplanned pregnancy to that of a minor.
  • A young girl today can choose at any age to have sex.  Exercising her free will.
  • If she gets pregnant, she can choose abortion.  Exercising her free will.
But here is where the unintended consequences come in.  She cannot control the heartache that can occur when abortion becomes a part of her life story.  And since her privacy is protected under health care reform, her parents may not even know in order to be able to be of support during the recovery process.  And even if the abortion is "done well", she can't choose the physical implications, which may include not being able to have a child later when she is in a loving marriage.  
Yes, we have the freedom to choose.  Even God is pro-choice, or he would have made us all robots, doing his bidding, day after day.  But he gave us a choice.  If we choose death, we suffer the resulting curses.  If we choose life, we are blessed.  
If you are a parent, particularly one of a teen girl (or boy), think the unintended consequences of a pro-abortion culture through carefully.  
I encourage you to vote for a President that chooses life and morality.
Vote your conscience, but please vote.  


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Freedom of Choice and Unintended Consequences of Unbridled Spending

I am convinced that there is no more important election than the one that is just 7 days away.

While I have seen some bloggers say that blogging on the topics of politics and religion are dangerous, here I choose to fly in the face of both recommendations (iconoclast that I am) and make it clear where I personally stand.

Joshua 24:15 says "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".  

Recorded history begins with Adam and Eve living in paradise.  We call it the Garden of Eden, but it wasn't just physical paradise - beautiful, with unlimited, yummy provision. Their paradise was being in relationship with God.

Here's the interesting thing.  The situation with the apple and Eve choosing to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was not an accident.  God is the author of freedom of choice regulation.  Yes.  Christians call it "free will".  But what he did not give us is freedom of consequences.

My son is 12 years old and he has freedom of choice to stay out and play in the neighborhood after dark when we've asked him to come in as dusk sets in.   Our rules are in place to keep him safe, not to make his life miserable.

When he chooses to stay out late, the consequence is that we are not happy and invariably, one of the things that he loves (iPAD, Wii, TV, computer or all four) are taken away for some period of time, depending on the severity of his offense and of course his attitude along the way.

Losing privilege is the unintended consequence of my son's choice.

There are some major issues at stake in this election and there are unintended consequences that are out of our control if we do not take a stand.

Today I want to talk about Unbridled Government Spending.

No matter how laudable the various programs are that the government wants to support, we simply can't keep spending more than we make as a nation.

You can't do it at home for any length of time and not eventually suffer the consequences of bankruptcy.  You can't do it as a business and stay in business.

Government is no different.  Leverage is leverage and plain and simply, if you borrow, you are ultimately beholden to whomever you borrow from.

The Outstanding Public Debt as of 30 Oct 2012 at 04:17:03 PM GMT is:

The estimated population of the United States is 313,779,933
so each citizen's share of this debt is $51,668.05.

We have bailed out major institutions in our country and we have tried stimulating the economy.

We have borrowed a frightening amount from China and the deficit is growing daily at a rate of $3.88 billion, now in excess of $16 trillion dollars.  The unintended consequences of continuing the policies of the Obama administration could be becoming the United States of China.

This is no different than the bank repossessing your house when you can't pay the mortgage.  It is just on a much grander scale.

While I realize that this is a bit outrageous to think about, just watch this video and think about what you can do to keep this from becoming a reality.


We can't live on promises from someone who made the promises four years ago and took us multiple trillions in the wrong direction.

The unintended consequence of making promises, even promises about good things, and not delivering is out of Obama's control.

Choose this day, whom you will serve.  Vote your conscience and vote for the future of our children.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Not ready to leave, but "ready to go"

In the space of the last two weeks, I've had to say goodbye to two friends/colleagues from the travel industry, Glenn Martin (49) and Mike Pusateri (53). 

Clearly both were way too young to leave this world and while neither was ready to leave their families, their friends, their companies/careers, I am comforted to know that both were "ready to go".

While being ready to leave and ready to go sound the same, I invite you to think about taking a trip and then we'll talk about this thing called life - and what we know as death.

In the travel analogy, when getting ready to go, first you think about what you will need for the trip.  You may have to make a trip to the drug store to get some last minute items, or apply for a visa for international travel (which may entail finding your passport if it has been awhile since you traveled).  
Some of you do this way ahead of time, and others (like me), throw everything in the suitcase at the last minute. 

Once the suitcase is packed, if it is a business trip, you may also need to clear your desk, give some instructions to those that you are leaving behind and get your briefcase ready.   Whether a business trip or a personal one, you may also throw a book or a neck pillow in a bag and perhaps even some snacks. 

You may have packed and gotten everything that you need for the trip, but you are not ready to say goodbye and actually get the trip underway.  Think about how many times you have turned to a friend or a loved one at the airport and said "I'm not ready to leave yet!".   The thing that makes it easier is that you generally know that you are coming back, so there is still time to do, share, be, enjoy, etc.

Getting Ready to Go

In this thing that we call death, getting ready to go is actually a pretty simple thing.  You may think it is akin to packing and there are all kinds of dos and don'ts and prerequisites.  Nope.  That is what the "church" may have told you.  But here is what God's Word says. 

Even if you don't go to church, most are familiar with John 3:16, quoted here from The Message Bible, extending to John 3:18. 

 16-18"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

If you have never acknowledged this truth, just close your eyes right now and thank your Maker for what he did in acquitting you.  You can't earn it.  You can't be good enough for it.  It is a gift and it is free. 

Then get ahold of a Message Bible (way easier to read than many other translations), either at your local Walmart, on Amazon or even on your iPad or iPhone (my favorite is, which allows you to look at other versions as well).  Get to know Him first by reading about Him. 

Start with what he says about you and your life.   Psalm 139 is where that can be found. 

Then, to build on that little mustard seed of faith that is sprouting in you (whether you can see it or not), find some others that are on a faith journey.  You'll be amazed at how many people you know actually have already been on this particular journey.  Church is clearly a place to start, but if they have a long list of do's and don'ts and you don't hear about love and grace when you go, search for another one.

Here is a link to messages from my Pastor, Dan Dunn of Real Life Church in Tampa.  You'll definitely learn about grace here. 

That's it.  He does the rest of the work in you, from the inside out.  Should your time come, you are ready.

Being Ready to Leave

"When you were born, you were crying & everyone else smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one smiling & everyone else crying."

Now being ready to leave in life is quite a different thing. 

Start by living, loving and laughing and most importantly re-prioritizing.  

I will leave you with a story about priorities from James Patterson.

Imagine that life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The five balls are: family, friends, health, integrity, and work. And you are keeping all of them in the air.

But one day you finally come to understand that "work" is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.

The other four---family, friends, health, and integrity---are made of glass. And if you drop them, they will crack, chip, or shatter.

Once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you will be ready to life your life in such a way that while you may not be ready to say goodbye, you will have lived life to the fullest, appreciated those around you and you will have left a legacy to those that you will someday leave behind.

The good news is that if you are "ready to go",  it is so much easier to also be "ready to leave", because you know that you will one day be reunited with those that are left behind.

Are you ready to go?