Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Freedom is Never Free-Why We Must Win in Iraq

Abraham Lincoln stated that, "Our defense is in the spirit which prized liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your own doors."

Lincoln is right! Freedom is never free. But many Americans seem to believe that our cherished freedoms and rights fell from the sky or evolved out of the mud. Some think that they come from a government. Others, including myself, believe they are bestowed from a benevolent Creator. The maintenance of these rights has been a steep price, procured for us by the invaluable blood of Americans.

Iraqis have the right to freedom and many are paying the ultimate price right now. Right now its an away game. If we pull out prematurely and lose it, the game will be played on our home turf. This struggle won't be easy. It will require more sacrifice. And, if we lose, we lose a piece of our nation's soul, as Lincoln warned. Freedom is a cherished idea but it can perish as a national concept if we fail at the hard task in front of us. Every generation of Americans has had to decide if freedom is worth the price.

Vietnam took away a piece of our national soul. Let's not do it again.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Imagio Deo and the New Jersey Supreme Court

Imagio Deo. Somewhere in our past dusty public school education, this term was taught. Not in today's public schools. We barely teach English. Imagio deo is Latin for the image of God. Whether your realize it or not, scripture tells us that every human being has got it. You cannot put your hand on it or comb your hair over it, but its there, buried in your soul.

Every human being is branded by God. Its your mark. Its tells creation who built you. And, you were built to be in a relationship with Him. But you are not coerced to be in that relationship but the potential of it is there within you.

This imagio deo concept is pretty important when we talk about marriage. When God put things together in His creation, He created two distinct genders-male and female and stamped them with His imagio deo. David writes in Psalm 139 that, "you created my inmost being; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Sounds like a pretty heavy dose of imagio deo.

A big part of God's plan was to join these two distinct genders together in a lifelong covenant. Its called marriage and within the operative scope of God's imagio deo were distinct roles each gender would play. These roles would be brought together in perfect harmony within the boundaries of marriage. There is no other option or acceptable union in God's creation.

It troubles me then when enlightened courts decide that centuries of human practice are now void in 2006. The New Jersey state supreme court is leaning into the wind of God's creation, and doing so foolishly. Their decision is not enlightened but dark.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Choosing a Great College

Its that time of the year when the pursuit of a college for "junior" begins. Parents begin to add grey hair and their pre-college bound kid starts thinking of where they want to go next year (their thinking may go like this-warm beaches, attractive members of the opposite sex, few classes, etc; contrast this thought process with their parents-rigorous academic pursuits, 8 pm bedtimes, no members of the opposite sex, etc).

Like everything else today, the selection of a good college is no easy chore. There's the huge price tag, potential distance and the never-ending worry of your child's decision-making abilities. And there is the valid concern about the ideology of the school and the ideas your child will encounter. Plus, we have all heard the horror stories of good kids being warped by values and ideas counter to our beliefs.

From our view, the college experience should be a partnership between parents, kids and the college. While we want our kids to explore new ideas and meet new people, today's academia climate demands a thorough review of every school's agenda.

We have come across a good resource for you to use. If you are looking for some input, here's a good tool.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Its the Economy "Stupid!"

Columnist George Will hits the nail on the head with his Washington Post op-ed piece.

"Its the economy stupid," as the old saying goes. But, few in the media are talking about it because it breaks the current election template-that our nation's roaring economy only benefits the rich.

The fact is is that a good economy is a critical family issue. Electing politicians who know how to keep the economic engines going is key. We need folks in public office who embrace public policies which build families, lower taxes and create jobs. Most Americans like having disposable income- money in their pockets!

Homosexual Groups Gather in Big Bucks

No surprises here. Big-time gay activists are busting the bank right now to push their efforts over the top- its a torrent...

Today's Rocky Mountain News reports a huge cash infusion into gay activist groups which are pushing forward Referendum I and the defeat of Amendment 43.

The recipients are Coloradans for Fairness and Equality, a gay activist group, which has been in Colorado for five years. It is the main advocate for Referendum I. A new group, "Don't Mess with Marriage," is another lefty gay rights group specifically targeting the marriage amendment effort.

Both groups go hand in glove with each other and their efforts are underwritten by gay and liberal benefactors such as Tim Gill and Patricia Stryker, who are dumping huge sums of money into these issues.

What's new is not the determination or existence of these anti-marriage groups, but the match up with big buck donors...These donations underscore the determination of homosexual activists to foist their definition of marriage upon Colorado and to secure special rights for gays.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Welcome 300th Million American!

Somewhere in our nation in the last couple of days, the 300th million American was born. This is great news!

Unlike our European counterparts, America is flourishing with new children guaranteeing our nation's future. This future generation promises to be very diverse and much different than their predecessors. High technology, longer livespans and an uncertain world will greet them. Hopefully, like their predecessors, they will see themselves as "Americans" despite their ethnicites, embodying the great American dream. Here's a great link to the national story.

Here at home in Colorado, our state posts a current population of more than 4.8 million- and we are growing fast. Demographers expect Colorado to surpass 5 million residents by 2008 and more than 6 million by 2018. The hub of the growth will continue to be centered in the Front Range but growth is occurring all over the state. Most of our state's growth is in the Hispanic community. The Hispanic birth rate is nearly double than that of non-Hispanic whites and more than double of other ethnic groups. Check out the story here.

Forgiveness Works

Often, in the midst of tragedy, God shows up in ways you least expect. In the wake of the school shooting in the heart of Amish country in Pennsylvania, God is healing a broken community. I am not that surprised by it but this story has a divine message to it...It is hard to forgive someone particularly when they commit a premeditated egregious crime. The Amish families who had been victimized by this heinous crime had every human right to be angry, demand huge punitive reparations and even a few pounds of flesh.

Yet, they took a different course.

They extended an olive branch of forgiveness to the family of Charles Roberts. And it sounds as though their decision to do this was quick. It didn't take months and it wasn't issued through their attorneys. Somewhat stunned, the gunmen's wife poignantly thanked her Amish neighbors, "your love for our family has helped to provide he healing we so desperately need."

The power of forgiveness is God's spigot for human healing. In no way are we diminishing the pain and loss of the victim's families, but in the aftermath of this tragedy, healing is flowing into this community. Check out this remarkable story

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Where's God When Tragedy Hits?

Where is God in the midst of human tragedy?

Gunman kills high school student and then himself in a Colorado mountain high school. Many wonder where God is…

For many Coloradans, this recent high school tragedy felt like a Columbine replay. A gunman enters a Colorado high school and takes hostages. Police storm the school and in the process, a 16 year old student, Emily Keyes loses her life.

In the midst of the storm, many questions are being asked about life. One of those inevitable questions which many are asking -where is God? Which fronts the real question: does God really exist? Some will sarcastically ask this question in an attempt to discount claims that God doesn’t care or love us. Others will ask it out of a broken heart. Some because they don’t understand how God could permit such evil.

No one knows why God allows evil acts. Human tragedy and the evil acts have always been a part of the human saga.

But, when God created humanity he built all of us with the ability to make moral choices-right or wrong. Every human would have freedom of choice. But that freedom of choice would also create the potential for human evil. Obvioulsy, God knew of this potential but the higher choice for Him was to give his creatures the ability to freely choose him- not robots. When these evil events occur because of the volitional choice of someone, we are offended and want choice eliminated. And we ask that inevitable question about God's care for us and his existence. Yet none of us would ever surrender our ability to choose. We can't have it both ways.

If you are facing this question from a friend or you are thinking about it, remember that God loves us. Evil always allows God to do his best work in ways which would have been impossible before. God will redeem all things even evil events.