Monday, December 22, 2008

Crumpton Christmas

I don't really have a lot to blog about. Philip and I were yuckily sick all last week- and I'm talking ALL week. Poor Deron. He heard a lot of "can you go play in your room?" and "what movie do you want to watch now?" last week. BUT, except for a minor sore throat for me, we are back to normal. I had underestimated the power of the cool-mist humidifier. That thing rocks! I had used it for Deron when he was a baby all the time, but not really for us. Let me tell ya- if you're suffering from severe head/sinus congestion, run that baby overnight in your bedroom, and the next morning you'll be almost cured! Breathing through your nose, blowing "productive" amounts out of your nose, it's a miracle invention!

That's about it. Sad. Christmas is this week and we're all feeling "what? are we supposed to be feeling the 'Christmas spirit' yet? is it already here?". I don't know about you guys, but when I was a kid, Christmas break was a LONG break! It was practically summer vacation! (Ok, that's a bit of a hyperbole.) But things actually slowed down. You got up late, watched TV all day, then watched some Christmas movies in the evenings. You went to Christmas concerts and ice skated with friends. Had party after party all preparing you for that. day. This year has been different. I don't feel ready. I feel like it's going to just blow right past me and I'll never know what hit me. Philip and I were thinking sadly that this might be the way you live the Christmas season as an adult. As a kid you always hear of the "hustle and bustle" of it. Sure I had parties and events, but they were all so fun, and hardly stressful. Well, if this is the way adults tend to experience Christmas, I'd like to not partake, thank you. I'll just stay happy-go-lucky and enjoy it all, if I may. I AM always ready for a party though, and to celebrate the birth of the Most Glorious is a pretty awesome reason for one!


Here's some family pictures recently taken by a great friend of ours.









Saturday, December 13, 2008

happy number five!

Today, five whole years ago, I started the most wonderful adventure of my life. I got married to the most wonderful, inspiring, handsome, Godly man in the world!

Thank you, honey, for always being a rock that I can cling to. You are truly the man of my dreams, my heart's desire, and my soul's mate. We've grown so much, and I thank God every day for you.
Here's to many many more spectacular years in your arms...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

wednesday

Deron's been sick since Saturday. Yuck. Not sure exactly what started it all, but he started running a high fever (like up to 104.7!) and finally I took him to the doctor Monday. (Which I hate- I won't get on a rant now for all of you facebookies that have heard it already...) Thought he was doing better yesterday, but then today all the congestion started in like crazy. This "bobby" gets so tired when her kid is sick. As I'm sure all mommies do.

Good news now: The semester's over!!! I took my last final ever Tuesday, and man that's a great feeling. I also passed my comps, took my practice ppr exam today and made an 84. Missed it by 1 point! I need an 85 to be able to take the real test, so I'll have to take the practice again. But I wasn't too disappointed since I didn't study at all for it. I am so ready to be able to have more time to spend with... everyone! Yay for Christmas!


I miss church so bad! I never realize how much I love it until I have to miss it. Tonight was the youth's Christmas party, so I hoping Philip will bring me a plate of yummies. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

thanksgiving

The holiday was good! It was so nice to have several days off. We were about to hit that peak of exhaustion, but it came just in time. This was year #4 of making 0ur famous Alton Brown turkey (if you haven't tried it, you MUST next year). Never before had I had truly juicy turkey. Yummmmy. But you brine it for 6 hours, which means putting it in the brine at 3am, turning it over at 6am, then finally starting to cook it at 9am. It's not so bad once you get used to it I guess. Not so much different than waking to tend to a baby, right? (no, that's not a round-about way to say I'm pregnant.)

We also made my family's traditional souberage, a cheese dish, layered with phyllo and parsley. And a really great pecan pie that uses 5 1/2 CUPS of pecans! This year my mother-in-law shelled them all from her pecan tree in her back yard, so it was even more special! I just love getting up on Thanksgiving and watching the parade as I smell cooking in the kitchen...

We ate and ate at my sister-in-laws and watched as Philip beat us silly on Brain Academy on the Wii. Then we saw Philip's grandparents at the hospital, Philip discovered an extremely long nose hair, then we took a nice walk together, ate some more and then went home to a cozy house. My parents came out the next day and we had such a good visit with them! My mom even came and worked out with me on Saturday! One step closer to the TV.... If any of you come out this way, call me and we'll go to the gym!!

Monday morning was a rude awakening for Philip and I. We realized that there is a mountain of things to get done this week. One of them being my senior comprehensive exams for music and music ed. Music is score study and verbal exam, music ed is verbal as well (so I thought. It then thankfully got changed last minute to written). This is scary, because it's been how many years since theory or form and analysis or orchestration or instrumental perspectives?? At least 5 years. That's a long time. Anyway, there are 2 MORE comprehensive exams I have to take for education before I graduate, so I needed to take the music ed. portion of that one. Fortunately, I discovered that if I pass that with an 85, I will be exempt from the sen. comp music ed. portion. Is this getting confusing? Anyway, good thing I am married to a music GENIOUS, because we studied things I haven't THOUGHT of in many years off the top of his head, and it turned out to be an incredible review. I took the practice test Monday, scored a 78. Took it again this afternoon, made a 91. Yay. Check.

Still have to study for my score study comp, then take the REAL music ed. PPR test, and then the practice PPR (for teacher certification) and then the REAL PPR. *sigh* I guess they're just getting us teachers ready for all the gov't assessment that happens to students regularly. Have I mentioned this stuff costs money, too? Fortunately, the practice tests are free, but just to be certified, I have to pay $85 or something like that to take the real PPR test, and then just to get my certificate and finger prints and background check, I have to pay another $120!! That's all around the time that I am going to be paying for preschool so that I
can basically have a full-time job and not get paid (student teaching). That will be exciting to see how God provides.

Oh well, it's the end of the year. Days counting down. I can smell the icecicles and the fireplaces and the Christmas cookies. I can't wait for those days...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

this might be boring

I just hate going forever without posting. I have a few things I'm excited to share with you guys, but it just isn't happening. In the meantime, here's what's going on with us.

One thing that happened last week was a composition recital that featured 3 of Philip's pieces. One was a string quartet he wrote for a great friend's wedding this summer, a choral piece, and a piano & marimba piece. I may be a little biased, but my man's sure got a talent for writing music! They were amazing. I will post them sometime after we get a professional recording, per his request. You know, artists are sometimes picky about first impressions. (I completely understand.)

As of today, there's only a week left until the blessedness that is Thanksgiving break. Let's all sing the Hallelujah Chorus right now, shall we? It's been a tough semester, but the light is getting much much closer. This December I will have no more classes to take in school (!), then in the Spring I start student teaching, which I'm surprisingly pretty excited about. I keep telling people about the revelation I've had this semester: We resolved in August that we'd keep Thursday nights just for us, a weekly date night (which we've never consistently had). It has been the BEST thing! Even if my love is busy every other night from 8am-10pm and then he has homework and I hardly get to see him except when he crawls into bed, I know that I have Thursday night just for us, no child, no dishes, no finding a babysitter (it's already pre-determined), and I get a meal out! I would highly recommend it, y'all.

For those who are wondering, I am still diligent at the gym. I will not let those flighty exercise whims take control of me! Like I've said before, my goal was to make it routine, and that is where we are now. I actually really enjoy it. And if I get bored with the classes I normally go to, I hit the floor and worship while on the eliptical. I'm sure it's a funny sight. heh. Right now there's a contest going on that for every new person you bring in to try something (they don't have to join), you get your name in a drawing for a 50" plasma screen HDTV. Pretty awesome, huh? Considering ours is like 20" and sticks out from the wall about 2 feet. And, come February, as I'm sure the local stations have been advertising since LAST October like Abilene's, the whole switch to digital TV thing is happening. So we're in real, dire, serious NEED. So I'm recruiting. If you want to try a step class, pump, rpm, yoga, or just sit in the hot tub, let me know. I brought in 3 people Monday night, I'm determined to win this thing. I have until Dec. 22nd.

Deron and I both are getting over "the junk". You know, allergies, sinuses, coughs, runny noses, earaches, etc. Didn't I just get over this like 3 weeks ago? What's worse is that Monday we realized the pilot light in the water heater had blown out, and it needs a part replaced. So, you guessed it, I haven't ventured in to take a freezing cold shower in a couple of days. I thought it would be fixed today, but the part hasn't shown up via UPS yet. Philip is a brave soul though. He actually had things to do, people to see this week. I decided to stay home yesterday. And I guess I'm just too spoiled to take a voluntary cold shower. I'll be headed to my mother-in-laws later this afternoon before church.

Monday, November 3, 2008

sing a new song

(taken from an email I am sent every week from MarriageToday Ministries www.marriagetoday.org)

Music has a shelf life that is pretty short. I have been reminded of this in the past year because I received an iPod for my birthday. Shortly thereafter, I purchased music for it. I listened to it when I worked out, as I sat on airplanes, drove in the car, etc.

After several weeks of listening to the same songs, I found myself tiring of them. So I downloaded more songs and began again to enjoy my iPod. But for the past year or so, I have found that it is a constant chore to find new music that I enjoy.

We are told several times in the Bible to sing to the Lord a new song (Psalm 33:3, 96:1, 98:1, 149:1; Isaiah 42:10). Evidently, music also has a shelf life related to God. He likes new songs as well.

But why? Why does God want us to sing a new song to Him? And why has He created us to tire of songs as quickly as we do?

Part of the answer has to do with the health of relationships. Our songs to Him are relational. When we sing songs to God, we are telling Him what He means to us and how much we admire Him. We are also thanking Him for His goodness and blessings.

Singing the same old song to God reveals that several dangerous elements are creeping into our relationship with Him. First of all, the issue of rote or thoughtless routine is a major danger. Rather than being dynamic and creative as we always are when a relationship is fresh and new, we just do the same old thing and expect it to keep its shine. Nope! It doesn't and it is a dangerous sign in a relationship that the energy is being diverted elsewhere.

The second danger of singing the same song for too long is that it means we aren't experiencing anything new in the Lord. A daily, intimate relationship with God is exciting. There are constant revelations into His heart and new experiences such as answered prayers and divine blessings that keep our songs flowing from a fresh spring rather than a stale cistern.

The third danger of old songs is that of taking God for granted. God's goodness is unsearchable. His glory is beyond comprehension. To sing the same old song means we simply aren't paying attention. We must be distracted and taking Him for granted, otherwise we would be singing a new song to Him based on the constantly unfolding revelations of His love and beauty.

How does all of this relate to marriage? Our marriages need new songs to keep them alive and growing. Just as in our relationship with God, singing the same song to our spouse means things have become rote—we aren't growing and we're taking each other for granted.

We need to find a new song to sing to our spouse. Romance means finding new ways to tell our spouses how much they mean to us, how attractive they are, and how much we value them.

My challenge to you is twofold: First, come up with a new song for your spouse. I'm not really talking about a melody, even though that would be fine. I'm talking about using some special expression that you have never used before to convey your love to them. By the way, notice their response and what happens to your relationship.

The second challenge is to keep changing the song regularly.

Don't let your relationship become stale as you keep saying and doing things that require no thought or effort. Find new ways to express what your spouse means to you. Stay thankful by constantly expressing your appreciation for the small and large things that are meaningful to you.

Understanding the shelf life of music is important. Keep singing new songs to the Lord and your spouse. It will keep the key relationships in your life growing and flowing with fresh love.

Blessings,

Jimmy Evans Signature

Jimmy Evans

Saturday, November 1, 2008

but he's my nerd

philip's choir sang a concert yesterday afternoon and they asked everyone to dress up. here's my honey. he calls himself the "quintessential choir nerd".




yes, that is underwear. what a hottie.

Monday, October 27, 2008

make an informed decision

It seems in the last week I have heard more information regarding the elections than in the past year. And I've watched the debates. I've watched the news. This article was the straw that broke the camels back, so they say. I do not think abortion is the only issue in deciding who to vote for. The thing is, if a candidate opposes the fundamental principles that God has written out for us (like homosexuality and murder), it should make you ponder what other things that candidate believes morally and ethically. It makes me quite nervous thinking of a President that does not hold the highest standards of morality to lead our country, one that was founded on Christian beliefs and the reason our original Constitution is still in effect. Make an informed decision and vote for righteousness.


Obama's Abortion Extremism
by Robert George
October 14, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama's views on life issues ranging from abortion to embryonic stem cell research mark him as not merely a pro-choice politician, but rather as the most extreme pro-abortion candidate to have ever run on a major party ticket.

Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States. He is the most extreme pro-abortion member of the United States Senate. Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress.

Yet there are Catholics and Evangelicals-even self-identified pro-life Catholics and Evangelicals - who aggressively promote Obama's candidacy and even declare him the preferred candidate from the pro-life point of view.

What is going on here?

I have examined the arguments advanced by Obama's self-identified pro-life supporters, and they are spectacularly weak. It is nearly unfathomable to me that those advancing them can honestly believe what they are saying. But before proving my claims about Obama's abortion extremism, let me explain why I have described Obama as "pro-abortion" rather than "pro-choice."

According to the standard argument for the distinction between these labels, nobody is pro-abortion. Everybody would prefer a world without abortions. After all, what woman would deliberately get pregnant just to have an abortion? But given the world as it is, sometimes women find themselves with unplanned pregnancies at times in their lives when having a baby would present significant problems for them. So even if abortion is not medically required, it should be permitted, made as widely available as possible and, when necessary, paid for with taxpayers' money.

The defect in this argument can easily be brought into focus if we shift to the moral question that vexed an earlier generation of Americans: slavery. Many people at the time of the American founding would have preferred a world without slavery but nonetheless opposed abolition. Such people - Thomas Jefferson was one - reasoned that, given the world as it was, with slavery woven into the fabric of society just as it had often been throughout history, the economic consequences of abolition for society as a whole and for owners of plantations and other businesses that relied on slave labor would be dire. Many people who argued in this way were not monsters but honest and sincere, albeit profoundly mistaken. Some (though not Jefferson) showed their personal opposition to slavery by declining to own slaves themselves or freeing slaves whom they had purchased or inherited. They certainly didn't think anyone should be forced to own slaves. Still, they maintained that slavery should remain a legally permitted option and be given constitutional protection.

Would we describe such people, not as pro-slavery, but as "pro-choice"? Of course we would not. It wouldn't matter to us that they were "personally opposed" to slavery, or that they wished that slavery were "unnecessary," or that they wouldn't dream of forcing anyone to own slaves. We would hoot at the faux sophistication of a placard that said "Against slavery? Don't own one." We would observe that the fundamental divide is between people who believe that law and public power should permit slavery, and those who think that owning slaves is an unjust choice that should be prohibited.

Just for the sake of argument, though, let us assume that there could be a morally meaningful distinction between being "pro-abortion" and being "pro-choice." Who would qualify for the latter description? Barack Obama certainly would not. For, unlike his running mate Joe Biden, Obama does not think that abortion is a purely private choice that public authority should refrain from getting involved in. Now, Senator Biden is hardly pro-life. He believes that the killing of the unborn should be legally permitted and relatively unencumbered. But unlike Obama, at least Biden has sometimes opposed using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion, thereby leaving Americans free to choose not to implicate themselves in it. If we stretch things to create a meaningful category called "pro-choice," then Biden might be a plausible candidate for the label; at least on occasions when he respects your choice or mine not to facilitate deliberate feticide.

The same cannot be said for Barack Obama. For starters, he supports legislation that would repeal the Hyde Amendment, (http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2007/12/21/sen-barack-obamas-reproductive-health-questionnaire) which protects pro-life citizens from having to pay for abortions that are not necessary to save the life of the mother and are not the result of rape or incest. The abortion industry laments that this longstanding federal law, according to the pro-abortion group NARAL, "forces about half the women who would otherwise have abortions to carry unintended pregnancies to term and bear children against their wishes instead." In other words, a whole lot of people who are alive today would have been exterminated in utero were it not for the Hyde Amendment. Obama has promised to reverse the situation so that abortions that the industry complains are not happening (because the federal government is not subsidizing them) would happen. That is why people who profit from abortion love Obama even more than they do his running mate.

But this barely scratches the surface of Obama's extremism. He has promised that "the first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act" (known as FOCA).(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf0XIRZSTt8) This proposed legislation would create a federally guaranteed "fundamental right" to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, including, as Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia has noted in a statement condemning the proposed Act, "a right to abort a fully developed child in the final weeks for undefined 'health' reasons." In essence, FOCA would abolish virtually every existing state and federal limitation on abortion, including parental consent and notification laws for minors, state and federal funding restrictions on abortion, and conscience protections for pro-life citizens working in the health-care industry-protections against being forced to participate in the practice of abortion or else lose their jobs. The pro-abortion National Organization for Women has proclaimed with approval that FOCA would "sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies."

It gets worse. Obama, unlike even many "pro-choice" legislators, opposed the ban on partial-birth abortions when he served in the Illinois legislature and condemned the Supreme Court decision (http://www.nrlc.org/news/2007/NRL08/PresidentColumnPage3.html) that upheld legislation banning this heinous practice. He has referred to a baby conceived inadvertently by a young woman as a "punishment" that she should not endure. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbZJYWjkAPo) He has stated that women's equality requires access to abortion on demand. (http://www.barackobama.com/2008/01/22/obama_statement_on_35th_annive.php) Appallingly, he wishes to strip federal funding http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2007/12/21/sen-barack-obamas-reproductive-health-questionnaire) from pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that provide alternatives to abortion for pregnant women in need. There is certainly nothing "pro-choice" about that.

But it gets even worse. Senator Obama, despite the urging of pro-life members of his own party, has not endorsed or offered support for the Pregnant Women Support Act, the signature bill of Democrats for Life, meant to reduce abortions by providing assistance for women facing crisis pregnancies. In fact, Obama has opposed key provisions of the Act, including providing coverage of unborn children in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), and informed consent for women about the effects of abortion and the gestational age of their child. This legislation would not make a single abortion illegal. It simply seeks to make it easier for pregnant women to make the choice not to abort their babies. Here is a concrete test of whether Obama is "pro-choice" rather than pro-abortion. He flunked. Even Senator Edward Kennedy voted to include coverage of unborn children in S-CHIP. But Barack Obama stood resolutely with the most stalwart abortion advocates in opposing it.

It gets worse yet. In an act of breathtaking injustice which the Obama campaign lied about until critics produced documentary proof of what he had done, as an Illinois state senator Obama opposed legislation to protect children who are born alive (http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/obama_and_infanticide.html), either as a result of an abortionist's unsuccessful effort to kill them in the womb, or by the deliberate delivery of the baby prior to viability. This legislation would not have banned any abortions. Indeed, it included a specific provision ensuring that it did not affect abortion laws. (This is one of the points Obama and his campaign lied about until they were caught.) The federal version of the bill passed unanimously in the United States Senate, winning the support of such ardent advocates of legal abortion as John Kerry and Barbara Boxer. But Barack Obama opposed it and worked to defeat it. For him, a child marked for abortion gets no protection-even ordinary medical or comfort care-even if she is born alive and entirely separated from her mother. So Obama has favored protecting what is literally a form of infanticide.

You may be thinking, it can't get worse than that. But it does.

For several years, Americans have been debating the use for biomedical research of embryos produced by in vitro fertilization (originally for reproductive purposes) but now left in a frozen condition in cryopreservation units. President Bush has restricted the use of federal funds for stem-cell research of the type that makes use of these embryos and destroys them in the process. I support the President's restriction, but some legislators with excellent pro-life records, including John McCain, argue that the use of federal money should be permitted where the embryos are going to be discarded or die anyway as the result of the parents' decision. Senator Obama, too, wants to lift the restriction (http://obama.senate.gov/press/070411-obama_renews_su/).

But Obama would not stop there. He has co-sponsored a bill-strongly opposed by McCain-that would authorize the large-scale industrial production of human embryos (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:S.1520) for use in biomedical research in which they would be killed. In fact, the bill Obama co-sponsored would effectively require the killing of human beings in the embryonic stage that were produced by cloning. It would make it a federal crime for a woman to save an embryo by agreeing to have the tiny developing human being implanted in her womb so that he or she could be brought to term. This "clone and kill" bill would, if enacted, bring something to America that has heretofore existed only in China-the equivalent of legally mandated abortion. In an audacious act of deceit, Obama and his co-sponsors misleadingly call this an anti-cloning bill. But it is nothing of the kind. What it bans is not cloning, but allowing the embryonic children produced by cloning to survive.

Can it get still worse? Yes.

Decent people of every persuasion hold out the increasingly realistic hope of resolving the moral issue surrounding embryonic stem-cell research by developing methods to produce the exact equivalent of embryonic stem cells without using (or producing) embryos. But when a bill was introduced in the United States Senate to put a modest amount of federal money into research to develop these methods, Barack Obama was one of the few senators who opposed it. (http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00128) From any rational vantage point, this is unconscionable. Why would someone not wish to find a method of producing the pluripotent cells scientists want that all Americans could enthusiastically endorse? Why create and kill human embryos when there are alternatives that do not require the taking of nascent human lives? It is as if Obama is opposed to stem-cell research unless it involves killing human embryos.

This ultimate manifestation of Obama's extremism brings us back to the puzzle of his pro-life Catholic and Evangelical apologists.

They typically do not deny the facts I have reported. They could not; each one is a matter of public record. But despite Obama's injustices against the most vulnerable human beings, and despite the extraordinary support he receives from the industry that profits from killing the unborn (which should be a good indicator of where he stands), some Obama supporters insist that he is the better candidate from the pro-life point of view.

They say that his economic and social policies would so diminish the demand for abortion that the overall number would actually go down-despite the federal subsidizing of abortion and the elimination of hundreds of pro-life laws. The way to save lots of unborn babies, they say, is to vote for the pro-abortion-oops! "pro-choice"-candidate. They tell us not to worry that Obama opposes the Hyde Amendment, the Mexico City Policy (against funding abortion abroad), parental consent and notification laws, conscience protections, and the funding of alternatives to embryo-destructive research. They ask us to look past his support for Roe v. Wade, the Freedom of Choice Act, partial-birth abortion, and human cloning and embryo-killing. An Obama presidency, they insist, means less killing of the unborn.

This is delusional.

We know that the federal and state pro-life laws and policies that Obama has promised to sweep away (and that John McCain would protect) save thousands of lives every year. Studies conducted by Professor Michael New and other social scientists have removed any doubt. Often enough, the abortion lobby itself confirms the truth of what these scholars have determined. Tom McClusky has observed that Planned Parenthood's own statistics show that in each of the seven states that have FOCA-type legislation on the books, "abortion rates have increased while the national rate has decreased." In Maryland, where a bill similar to the one favored by Obama was enacted in 1991, he notes that "abortion rates have increased by 8 percent while the overall national abortion rate decreased by 9 percent." No one is really surprised. After all, the message clearly conveyed by policies such as those Obama favors is that abortion is a legitimate solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancies - so clearly legitimate that taxpayers should be forced to pay for it.

But for a moment let's suppose, against all the evidence, that Obama's proposals would reduce the number of abortions, even while subsidizing the killing with taxpayer dollars. Even so, many more unborn human beings would likely be killed under Obama than under McCain. A Congress controlled by strong Democratic majorities under Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would enact the bill authorizing the mass industrial production of human embryos by cloning for research in which they are killed. As president, Obama would sign it. The number of tiny humans created and killed under this legislation (assuming that an efficient human cloning technique is soon perfected) could dwarf the number of lives saved as a result of the reduced demand for abortion-even if we take a delusionally optimistic view of what that number would be.

Barack Obama and John McCain differ on many important issues about which reasonable people of goodwill, including pro-life Americans of every faith, disagree: how best to fight international terrorism, how to restore economic growth and prosperity, how to distribute the tax burden and reduce poverty, etc.

But on abortion and the industrial creation of embryos for destructive research, there is a profound difference of moral principle, not just prudence. These questions reveal the character and judgment of each man. Barack Obama is deeply committed to the belief that members of an entire class of human beings have no rights that others must respect. Across the spectrum of pro-life concerns for the unborn, he would deny these small and vulnerable members of the human family the basic protection of the laws. Over the next four to eight years, as many as five or even six U.S. Supreme Court justices could retire. Obama enthusiastically supports Roe v. Wade and would appoint judges who would protect that morally and constitutionally disastrous decision and even expand its scope. Indeed, in an interview in Glamour magazine, he made it clear that he would apply a litmus test for Supreme Court nominations: jurists who do not support Roe will not be considered for appointment by Obama. John McCain, by contrast, opposes Roe and would appoint judges likely to overturn it. This would not make abortion illegal, but it would return the issue to the forums of democratic deliberation, where pro-life Americans could engage in a fair debate to persuade fellow citizens that killing the unborn is no way to address the problems of pregnant women in need.

What kind of America do we want our beloved nation to be? Barack Obama's America is one in which being human just isn't enough to warrant care and protection. It is an America where the unborn may legitimately be killed without legal restriction, even by the grisly practice of partial-birth abortion. It is an America where a baby who survives abortion is not even entitled to comfort care as she dies on a stainless steel table or in a soiled linen bin. It is a nation in which some members of the human family are regarded as inferior and others superior in fundamental dignity and rights. In Obama's America, public policy would make a mockery of the great constitutional principle of the equal protection of the law. In perhaps the most telling comment made by any candidate in either party in this election year, Senator Obama, when asked by Rick Warren when a baby gets human rights, replied: "that question is above my pay grade." It was a profoundly disingenuous answer: For even at a state senator's pay grade, Obama presumed to answer that question with blind certainty. His unspoken answer then, as now, is chilling: human beings have no rights until infancy - and if they are unwanted survivors of attempted abortions, not even then.

In the end, the efforts of Obama's apologists to depict their man as the true pro-life candidate that Catholics and Evangelicals may and even should vote for, doesn't even amount to a nice try. Voting for the most extreme pro-abortion political candidate in American history is not the way to save unborn babies.

Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics and previously served on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He sits on the editorial board of Public Discourse.

Copyright 2008 The Witherspoon Institute. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kingdom Global Ministries :: World Connect

So here is the update from the trip to Detroit, MI. To try to explain the ministry of Kingdom Global, you have to know the names Larry and Devi Titus. The purpose of KGM is to relationally mentor, resource, and release the vision of global leaders. Larry was my pastor's pastor years ago, and that is our connection to him. This conference was called World Connect, and quite literally, nations were truly connected from across the globe. I've never been surrounded by such spiritual "giants", or heard so many languages in my life. And it was inspiring and amazing. As soon as we arrived, we were reminded that this was just one big family reunion, and to treat it as such. When we said our goodbyes on Sunday afternoon, it really did feel like we were saying goodbye to friends that we will have for a lifetime, because they share a deep rooted passion for the Kingdom to advance around the world.

The format was unique. We sat around round tables in no particular order and talked with missionaries and pastors and leaders who many of them are in the darkest places of the world. Philip and I met a man, "Pastor Sanga" was his nickname, from Bangladesh. This was his first time in America. I'm not certain how he came in contact with Pastor Larry, but he was there nonetheless. He spoke very broken English (as did many of them), and told us about what was going on in his area. I'm not sure how he receieved the gospel, but I do know, and saw pictures of him preaching to half-naked men, women, and children, seeing him baptizing them in rivers, and I was stunned at the poverty that he was coming from. He goes to and fro preaching the gospel and seeing family after family, person after person get saved and come to know Jesus. How amazing....
A couple was there from New Guinea. They've been serving the Lord for many many years, and have planted more than 1,000 churches. 1,000. They've seen half of the island of Vanuatu (off the coast of Australia) saved and come to know the God of the Universe.
There was a man we knew from Haiti, Benite Jeune, who is building an orphanage in the area where he lives... a major need for this country. He also has seen many many souls saved and brought into the Kingdom.
We heard story after story of the things God is doing all over the world. Philip and I got to have lunch with our pastor Richard Humphries, Benite, and Akiva Cohen- another "friend" who lives in Isreal. He's a messianic Jew and excited about Jesus and the things He is doing. It was wonderfully interesting to hear his perspective and another man who we met, a former Muslim who still lives in Turkey, talk about how to reach Jews and Muslims for the Kingdom of God. I'll give you a hint: love them and don't push them. It is their identity you're dealing with, and they need to be intrigued by the hope you have in Christ.
There were men and women who we spoke to from several countries in Africa: Kenya, Liberia, Ghana, and others. A man from India whose churches are experiencing terrible persecution. Twin singers who live in Brazil, who were formerly signed by Virgin Records, and now sing for God's glory. And of course, several pastors and leaders from our country who have made a connection with KGM and share a passion for reaching the world. Are you getting inspired? ah... the Body of Christ is beautiful.

Here are some pictures from the event. I have so much to tell, and most of the pictures don't even depict what was really going on during the days, but oh well. Enjoy them still.

I love airplane pictures. Clouds are so wonderful and interesting when you're in them.
On our trek to find changing trees, we found geese!
All of the restaurants served our drinks with tiny little straws! Don't know why. This is Nathan and Jesiree Driskell, some great friends of ours.
Just some architecture from downtown. It's a beautiful city.
On the riverwalk.
Joseph Wambugu. He and Philip made quite a connection, and he gave us a beautiful African print and little wooden zebra to bring home to Deron.
This is obviously blurry. On the stage is our worship team, Detroit's House of Judah (the sponsoring church), and probably several others. It's a wonderful thing when there is no competition in worship. It's all about Him.
A few of the wonderfully talented women from House of Judah's praise team. They rocked it.
One of my favorite parts: the Nigerian Choir. They came in from Orange, NJ to sing for us. It was awesome. I play these recordings over and over. An interesting story to this man... He is originally from Nigeria, and God told him to go to NJ and plant a church. The world is truly changing.
"Igwe"
This group was talented. Not necessarily for their vocals, but their passion for God is inspirational. It was great to experience their music.
video

video
sorry this last one is a little shaky.
I was literally weeping watching the Spirit move across the room.

beautiful dancing.
adlan cruz on the piano (brazil), and very prominant saxophonist who lives in tennessee. philip and adlan made a great friendship. he writes music and also has been classically trained in piano a many years, just like philip. adlan spoke much wisdom into philip and he was quite inspired (to say the least).
not necessarily the poster you want to see in downtown detroit at 11:30pm all alone on the people mover.
the riverwalk in front of our hotel, the marriot renaissance center. across the river is canada.
The Renaissance Center was pretty awesome. Philip shared an elevator with a couple of the Chicago Bears Sunday morning. Apparently they were playing the Tigers later that day. And it had a Starbucks in it. We were all good.

Monday, September 22, 2008

modern day catch



is this the future of father/son bonding?

Friday, September 19, 2008

no pictures today

Yeah, so philip and i joke about bloggers who always start out their posts with, "Geez! It's been ___ since I last posted!" So, I'm not going to start out that way. Truthfully, I've been dang busy with everything that I literally haven't had time to do much of anything, much less write a little blog post with a few pictures of probably Deron doing something breathtakingly adorable or hysterically funny or amazingly... amazing.

What's been going on lately? The loss of a dear friend, listening to teachers gripe about NCLB (is that all they ever do whenever they get together?), learning the anatomy of the vocal tract and realizing what an amazing God created us, seeing that Deron's 3T clothes don't fit anymore, pumping iron and watching muscles grow where I've never seen them before, being frustrated that I'm not really losing weight, coming back to a realization of who I am in God (He's not trying to hurt me, He's trying to kill me! - meaning my flesh), trying to think about Christmas presents early this year, waiting to see who will win on America's Got Talent, enjoying our weekly date nights on Thursdays, wondering what student teaching will be like and where my sweet son will go, enjoying pictures of a friend's new baby, and thinking of our next, and trying to catch a few moments of quiet before the next day begins.

So there you go, quick, simple, to the point. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

updates updates

So school has begun again and life has gone back to hectic and busy. At least my road to finishing school has a bright shining light at the end that I feel oh-so close to now. Every week I tell myself, "1 more down, _ to go..." I keep telling Philip that too, but for some reason, I think he has it a bit harder than I. He is, after all a full-time student, has a full-time job, and has to do all that other stuff that comes with both of those things. Every semester after the first week or so, he always looks at me in near agony at the thought of doing this for another 3 semesters... "you can do it!", I always tell him. So, pray for him (and me). It's a hard time, but we'll get through it. One great thing about this semester is that I have a class that goes until 645 on Thursdays, and he'll be waiting until I get out (he has a class that lets out at 600), and since his mom watched the bug, we have a planned date night every week, just us. I think that will be our saving grace through these next several months.

All of you should be SO proud. I did, in fact join a gym, and let it be known that I have gone every single morning (that there has not been a significant reason) since I joined! Philip asked me what my goals were when I started, and before any weight loss or muscle toning, etc are set in place, my first goal was to just get in a routine of going. They say it takes 6 weeks to form a habit of something, and I'm quickly nearing that mark. Yea! I love it.

Mon-Aerobics (BodyAttack),
Tues- weighttraining (BodyPump),
Wed- cardio (BodyStep),
Thurs- weighttraining (BodyPump),
Fri- cardio (RPM) & then strength afterwards (BodyFlow *a mixture of yoga, tai chi and pilates*)
I was scared of RPM at first (it's a biking class) 'cause I heard it would kick your rear (literally). Everyone kept telling me, "Just get through it. Don't let the pain get to you. The seat won't bother you after about the 3rd time." These aren't really words of encouragement... but I did it, and actually really liked it! It did hurt my booty, and everything around it (those seats just aren't designed for people in general), but the 2nd time, hardly noticed it at all. But it's great, I'm making friends, and I'm excited to be in a routine with it. I'd recommend it to anyone! Find a gym you really like and stick with it!

Have I mentioned that the Spanish worship team (which includes the same people from our regular worship team- that means me, too) has been invited to a conference in Detroit, MI at the beginning of October?! I'm so incredibly excited about this! Larry Titus, founder of Kingdom Global Ministries, and also our apostolic elder for our church holds a conference every year (I think) aimed towards equipping and ministering to missionaries and others around the world. There will be very powerful and anointed men and women of the faith that currently are from and serve literally the ends of the earth there to be spoken into and refreshed. Several other teams will be there to lead worship on different nights, but they all come with different cultural background and leadership. We are SO very honored, and I am SO excited! And Philip gets to come (he helps run sound)! I will definitely be back with many updates and encouragement from the leaders of the gospel that are taking His Kingdom to the far reaches of the world.

Well, there's an update for all of you. Hope you've enjoyed all the recent videos and pictures of our precious little man... he's growing up so fast. Lately, he's really been into Blue's Clues. I mean, really into it. We find clues all day and draw them in his handy dandy notebook, and we "blueskadoowecantoo" over every threshold in the house (and outside), and we sing "here's the mail it never fails, it makes me want to wag my tail, when it comes i want to wail, MAAAAAAAAIL!" over and over (with dancing, of course), yadda yadda yadda... Even as I type, I hear, "Baaalue skadoo, we can too!" as he walks into the kitchen... ha!

Be blessed, everyone.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

ode to the olympics

this was a result of watching gymnastics for days at a time...
i didn't even teach him the landing! he's got it in him!

video

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

the rain

video
ahh, if we could all be this happy all the time...

deron, did you eat the soap?

the other day, i checked on the bug in the tub and saw this.











And this on his face.












And this expression.




turns out it was just toothpaste residue. but it sure made me laugh!

beaver lake '08

sorry it's been so long, peeps. this post will be all about our trip to dallas for a second marriage conference and then on up to beaver lake. here we go!

we begin saturday morning having breakfast with an old friend, sarah!
she'll be getting married in december...

at the marriage conference hosted by marriage today (jimmy and karen evans)
these are our wonderful friends erin and "dr. morgan", clark.
after saturday's session we headed to the lake in northwest arkansas.
deron was ready to swim!

sunset on the lake. obviously, this year it was very full. this tree is usually out of the water.
deron kept seeing the boats go by all day and didn't get why he didn't get to ride on one. so we took him on the canoe. needless to say, it wasn't quite what he was expecting.

church on sunday morningmy sister and brother-in-law. she gets so embarrassed when he does this! i think it's cute.the garden at the church.

this is what i did most of sunday. as we sat here enjoying the fresh air, nature sounds and my book, a deer came out of the woods and grazed on the grass for about 15 minutes. talk about peaceful. i'd never seen a deer for that long! i had no idea what we were about to experience the next morning...bats behind a light on the carport. you may not think it's cool...here's a close-up! awesome!monday morning we started out the day going to a friend of my grandparents who owns about 10 acres on the top of one of the mountains. he's been feeding deer off his porch for about 10 years. we saw 9 deer total, including several fawns and a velvet buck. THAT was cool.a close-up of the deerthen we went out to eureka springs and visited the onyx cave thereafter lunch we visited thorncrown chapel,then, the beaver damafter a nap, hit the lake again.i just thought this was cute. hand puppets on the way home.it was a great trip!