Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year Everyone

MS New Year's Resolution by "Multiples Slerosissucks" Poster

MS Patient's New Year's Resolutions

Live by the Spirit

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Actually the purest Christian at the moment of his or her greatest strength is as weak as he or her was before his or her conversion. What has happened is that he has switched from his little human battery to the infinite power of God. He has quite literally exchanged weakness for strength, but the strength is not his; it flows into him from God as long as he abides in Christ. One of the heaviest problems in the Christian life is that of sanctification: how to become as pure as we know we ought to be and must be if we are to enjoy intimate communion with a holy God. The classic expression of this problem and its solution is found in Paul's epistle to the Romans, chapters seven and eight. The cry, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (7:24) receives the triumphant answer, "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (8:2).

No one who has given attention to the facts will deny that it is altogether possible for a man to attain to a high degree of external morality if he sets his heart to it. Marcus Aurelius, the pagan emperor (i.e. Gladiator), for instance, lived a life of such exalted morality as to make most of us Christians ashamed, as did also the lowly slave Epictetus; but holiness was something of which they were totally ignorant. And it is holiness that the Christian heart yearns for above all else, and holiness the human heart can never capture by itself. A.W. Tozer

When we trivialize the Scriptures and Church Tradition, we reduce God’s Commandments of our Christian Life to formulas (legalism) which lead us to be “proud” of our efforts, or we rationalize away the demands (liberalism) which makes us comfortable with our lives, or we fabricate a list of things (agenda) we are going to do for God (moralist) which makes us tired, all three (legalism, liberalism and moralist) replaces God’s grace and need for Jesus Christ. If we allow ourselves to the bondage to a corruption of nature (i.e., legalism, liberalism and moralist), then we are not free.

Legalistic: My own concept of obedience makes me feel very safe that if its part of my life, I will impose on others. If they are not following my formula of legalistic beliefs, they are not being obedient according to my understanding of the Scriptures. This is why I am NOT a legalistic person.

Liberalistic: I rationalize that certain rules, regulations, laws (ceremonial) and/or any other concept of commandments in the Bible do not apply today. If I see it does not apply, then others are not being obedient according to my understanding of the Scriptures. This is why I am a liberalistic person.

Moralistic: I am following my resolutions according to my understanding of the Scriptures that being radical and focusing on agendas to accomplish God’s will even though I understand this is a “self-effort” rather than “grace-power”. I am a liberalistic and not a legalistic, I am defining moralistic according to my spiritual relationship with God. This is between God and me.


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Christian spiritual training is this: "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me". (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). Paul wanted the thorn removed but God wanted to teach Paul that "the sufficiency of His grace" in the worst of human circumstances is that when a person is weak in a temporal sense while the person is strong spiritually by God's Grace in eternal sense. If I keep forgetting the basic meanings of God's grace, I would become a bitter, angry, and cantankerous person just because things are not going "my way". Grace teaches me that I am to continue to rejoice and praise God even in the midst of my trials and suffering in this earthly life! This is related to the Beatitudes of a "happy paradox" to focus on God's power to control my thoughts. So, how I do I endure through my trials? Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses (i.e. illnesses), in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." When I am forgetting God and His grace, I am confused between flesh with my spiritual life. The characteristics of my flesh are independence and self-will which hinders my spiritual growth. God have been pushes me to the limits of my flesh where a choice must be made. The choice is either to say, "I will not surrender," or "I will surrender" which is submitting to Him is breaking the hard shell of my flesh, which allows my spiritual life to emerge. The Holy Spirit narrows it down every time to one thing (see Matthew 5:23-24 ).

What have we learned in this "life" is that we are to have spiritual fruits.
a. Fruit of Patience: Hebrews 10:36, James 1:3
b. Fruit of Joy: Psalm 30:5, Psalm 126:6.
c. Fruit of Knowledge: Psalm 94:12
d. Fruit of Maturity: 1 Peter 5:10

Trials come to test the strength of our faith because they assist us in the knowledge of our own faith. (Genesis 22:1-18, Malachi 3:3-4, 1 Peter 1:6-9). Trials come to us to reveal what we really love. Trials including disability which teaches us that the greatest good of the Christian life is not absence of pain, but Christ-likeness and to do His will. Trials including disabilities teaches us that God is more concerned with the character He is building in us, He comforts us in His arms through His power of Grace on the journey to His destiny for us as Paul explains: Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4) If we don’t take care of ourselves it’s because we don’t think we have time. Yet no one else can take responsibility for our private lives. Health is mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual wholeness. Health is a gift from God, but we are responsible alone to create a proper balance with rest, recreation, nutrition, and exercise.
How do I allow the Holy Spirit to transform my life?

Holy Spirit will convict me to make such amendments as the circumstances demand.

We can always trust the moving and the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives and experiences, but we cannot always trust our human leanings and our fleshly and carnal desires. A.W. Tozer

Life's Compromises

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This is a mystery which only for spiritually alive Christians, who are quickened by the Spirit of God. Jesus did not promise any of us that consistent Christian living would be easy! He did not promise release from daily problems and pressures. Life is hectic and today’s life is not quiet simply because we live in a sinful world. Through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, our faith must be exercised in the realities of everyday life.

Does "life" teach us?
Christians' attitudes find their root in the heart (Jeremiah 17:9-10). In Proverbs 4:23 says, “...Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” God charges each Christian to personally model his attitude: “Do nothing out of ... vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus(Philippians 2: 3-5).

Bad things happen to everybody because we are living in a sinful world. Things will go wrong, they will go wrong all the time and that God has given us the grace to survive. God has given us the grace to sanctify us. God uses suffering to perfect His power which the Bible referred this as "Power is perfected in weakness". God is basically saying "You should not have self-confidence and trust in yourself in the sense you believe you're capable of anything eternal that only I can provide grace and power." Only God can help us overcome situation as long as you trust in His GRACE.
The question here is, when did God has given me the grace to handle the sufferings of life?

And when or how do I accept God’s grace? That's the issue.
Paul’s thorn was not his main focus but rather something far deeper. The thorns are not necessarily evil, but rather the works of sanctification. The right perspective is to understand that in the trouble of life this is part of it trying to discern what God is doing in the trouble of it. James says count it all joy when you fall into various trials cause trials have a perfecting work. Peter says after you've suffered a while the Lord will make you perfect. God uses suffering to reveal our spiritual condition.

This is why Jesus talks about discipleship. Remember the story about the rich ruler? Jesus looked after the rich young ruler as he walked away, but Jesus did not follow him or attempt to coerce him. Jesus wants people make their own moral choices; and Christ knew this and permitted rich ruler to go his own chosen way. Jesus is saying that He cannot do our repenting for us. He died for our sins, now it is up to us to pick up the cross. "Salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you your life." (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Becoming a disciple, following Jesus Christ requires personal cost, giving up your selfish "me" and become like Christ. Jesus might have grieved over His Cost of Discipleship requirements, but He never ran after them to try to win them with rosy promises. Luke 14:27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. God's Grace is that we live in His Spirit AND also walk in His Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in us with all the power and gifts of God, necessary to enable us to walk the noble, spiritual, Son-like life with God. With Grace, we can show mercy and help others (Heb. 4:13-16).

This is an "inward" relationship with the Holy Spirit and His conviction in my heart to repent and follow the cross of Jesus Christ. After I failed, did I repent and ask God to help me to change? Go to my earlier post that explains the strategies that will help develop "success attributes" which is a set of characteristics that help define our attitude and effort put into overcoming our weaknesses.

Instead of “New Year’s Resolutions”, go for “daily grace”.

We all have temptations and will most likely fail with our New Year's Resolution.

It is interesting to be reminded and realized that Christian do not do "resolutions" but rather "repentance" in order to change every New Year. Often resolutions do not last because they are basically "delaying" repenting" for those who wants to change. Christians have the opportunity to repent daily if they fail which means we can focus on our goals daily, one day at a time rather than following our resolution goals. In order for us to take credit for success when we achieve a resolution, we must repent daily. After each time we repent, we are to look at the barriers that were in our way. As Christians, we are to have continuous sanctification process of repenting throughout our Christian lives because we will never be perfect. We need to develop "coping strategies" to deal with problems that will come up. It is not about achieving anything by my own effort but rather believing in what God has accomplished and trusting Him to "work it in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure" and "to complete the work He began in me". I can't have a right faith by anything I do because that is based on self-effort instead of what is given to me by the Holy Spirit who actually gives me strength through Grace. My faith is to trust God who makes me effective according to His will.

Based on Christian Tradition and Scriptures, God’s design for us is to be radically transforms by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) that our hope for this radical transformation is by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). Often sin in a Christian's life ignores the Holy Spirit that he/she is not willing to acknowledge the conviction. That's the trouble with Christians when they tend to focus on superficial desires rather than their hearts to change by the Holy Spirit. Wisdom by definition means quality of being wise; power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action, based on knowledge, experience and understanding (In 1 Peter 1: 13 – 16). We are to present our bodies "as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God". Truth is, the Holy Spirit is able to grasp our inner being only when we submit completely which will allow Him to teach us, lead us mysterious and divine where we ought to go. "Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." — Psalm 86:11.

My daily life always face some obstacles in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. This is where regret comes in. Those obstacles were my life which I need to repent and change. Sin by accident is part of our sinful nature as Galatians 5:17 says: For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. Christ turned from the fallen world of Adam and spoke about another world altogether, a world where Adam's philosophy is invalid and his technique inoperative. Jesus doesn’t want to destroy our wills, but to sanctify them. I have learned to understand the true nature of the Christian life which is unpredictable and expanding called "sanctification". God does not desire to destroy my will, but to sanctify “my will into His will”. During the sanctification process, spiritual training which is forming spiritual fruits that we need to arm them spiritually to wrestle against the world, the devil and the flesh. I am to surrender to the Holy Spirit (God) to produce spiritual fruits. Richard Foster said, “Superficiality is the curse of our age. . . . The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people. “ Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” We live in a wonderful age, but it has a dark side. Many of us today are in a "structural hurry”—a fast pace is “structure” into our lives.

Let’s begin the new year by resolving to call “time out” to peer into our souls and repent. We need to understand God’s unchanging nature that our job is not to change God—but rather to let Him change the core affections of our hearts. We must come humbly and negotiate a full “surrender” to Him. We all feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus the areas of our lives He has asked us to yield to Him which is "My determined purpose is to be my utmost for His highest— my best for His glory." To reach that level of determination is a matter of the will, not of debate or of reasoning.

In my own life, often I am blinded by my own selfishness which effectively blocks out any possible efforts for me to discover a remedy for my current negative conditions so I can change. I am just a man with many faults and shortcomings of my own. There is a close cause-and-effect relationship between benefits and negative consequences around my life. God has always provided a way for me to escape the bad fruits of my past however, often, I chose not to because I was following my flesh's desire more than my spiritual desire. I know that I am still capable of change and I can become something other than what I am today.

How can I change?

What can I do to change?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Salem man taking step to beat MS

Glenn's blog page "Running for Walking"

By DEANNE JOHNSON Journal Staff Writer of Morning Journal in Lisbon, Ohio 44432

SALEM — One step at a time, one mile at a time, one day at a time and one state at a time — Glenn Peison plans to run nearly 500 miles to help those with Multiple Sclerosis.

After watching his father, Glenn Peison Sr. and others deal with MS, which attacks the central nervous system, Peison decided to do something to help.

“It doesn’t attack your life,” Peison said. “It attacks your quality of life.”

The plan he came up with to help was to run from Winston-Salem, N.C., where he attends school to Salem. He’s been running since last spring and hopes to complete his journey over 17 days in September of 2008.

He admits he is not a natural runner. When he first started running six miles would kill him. But even while going to school and completing an internship last summer, Peison has been training long miles.

At one point he even found himself overtraining, leading to a small bone slipping out of place in his foot last August. But then Peison got people from the Wake Forest Sports Medicine department behind him, who tested him physically and checked his running gait. Peison then learned about how his running style was affecting his performance and health.

“I run poorly,” Peison said. “I run on the inside of my foot.”

Wake Forest Sports Medicine created orthodics to help improve his running technique.

Since then he has been injury free and has worked his way up to training marathon distances. He runs 50-60 miles per week and goes through a pair of Asics every 400 miles.

While home in Salem over the holidays, Peison spent one day running from Salem to Lisbon to Salem and then around town, a total of 26 miles.

The 24-year-old Salem graduate and film production and design student at the North Carolina School of the Arts admits the idea may be crazy, but it fits with his zany personality.

“I’ve got a crazy personality,” Peison said. “I kind of get a crazy idea in my head and there is no stopping me.”

He said he has been influenced by other runners, like Dean Karnazes, an ultra-marathoner. Peison said Karnazes once ran 262 miles without stopping to sleep.

Peison has chats and blogs with other runners. He recently read about a man, who was running a 50-mile race and hit a wall at about 39 or 40 miles. After sitting on the side of the road, he realized he was still breathing.

“I’m breathing so I must be alive and if I’m alive I can do this,” Peison repeated what the man wrote on the blog. So then he got up and ran the remaining 11 miles.

Peison takes inspiration of the other runners when he hears it cannot be done. He said growing up in the Salem area he has seen so many people with negativity and a lot of people giving up.

“I don’t do failure,” Peison said.

In September he plans to take that I won’t quit attitude on the road, traveling back roads through towns between Winston-Salem and Salem followed by a van with friends cheering him on and providing food and water.

He hopes people will join him along the way, even if they just run with him through their own hometown.

His mother, Dena Peison, plans to run through Salem with him on the last leg of the journey. His sister, Leia, has also talked about joining him during his run.

He would like to see if his dad can also do a final lap at Reilly Stadium with him in his electric wheelchair.

It would be a huge personal triumph for Peison, who said he has learned so much about himself already just during the training.

But he also hopes the journey raises $20,000 to aid in the research of MS. The money will go to the Mellon Center of Multiple Schlerosis in Cleveland, where quality research is being done in the field of MS led by Dr. Richard Rudick, director of the Mellon Center

Woman with Multiple Sclerosis Arrested

Woman with multiple sclerosis suing police over sobriety test
Times Herald-Record
December 27, 2007
MONTGOMERY — A woman suffering from multiple sclerosis is suing three Town of Montgomery police officers who gave her a sobriety test and arrested her in 2005, according to a case filed in U.S. District Court last week.

Peggy Farganis, 34, claims Officers Dennis Barnett, Kenneth Byrnes and Daniel Thorson violated her civil rights when they arrested her on child endangerment charges and pursued civil action against her, according to the claim.

Farganis was driving her son to the hospital after a fall when officers stopped her and questioned her sobriety. The woman claims her slightly slurred speech and disorientation is caused by her illness. Barnett gave Farganis a field sobriety test, which the claim says she failed because of stress heightening her symptoms.

Farganis was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. She was acquitted on Nov. 15, 2007, after a bench trial.

Former Village of Montgomery Officer-in-Charge Jack Byrnes was on the scene but is not named as a defendant in the suit. Farganis is asking for compensatory and punitive damages, lawyer's fees and other relief.

Montgomery police Chief Arnold "Butch" Amthor declined to comment on pending legislation. Lawyer Helen Ullrich, who represents the plaintiff, was unavailable for comment.

Ohio Governor

During Ohio Governor election, Ted Strickland's candidacy received number of high profile Republicans publicly announced their support for Strickland at a press conference in September 2006. Many registered Republican voters including me voted for Strickland. So far, I am pleased with Strickland's performance and it is very likely I will vote for him in the next election.


I wrote this on my birthday a few weeks ago before I started this blog.

What is "true maturity" when we think of birthdays? Maturity means acting responsibly; it means learning from my mistakes and trying not to make the same ones over again. Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. I regret not being with the people I care about when they need me most.

Next year, I will be turning 50 and for the next 12 months, I will be doing alot of soul searching. Years ago, one of my major mistakes was marrying a "high maintenance" woman who only cares about herself and what she wanted out of life. While I hate divorce, I am thankful and happy that I am divorced freed from such hardship and she was taking me for granted. In the last few years, I have struggled with my own issues that I have come to terms to accept them and move on. I regretted for not being their for my kids.

Quotes about Politicians and Government

"The problem with politics isn't the money; it's the power." -- Harry Browne

"The problem isn't the abuse of power; it's the power to abuse." -- Michael Cloud

"Giving money and power to the government is like giving car keys and whisky to teenage boys." P.J. O'Rourke

"The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that's out always looks the best."
Will Rogers

"A politician is just like a pickpocket; it's almost impossible to get him to reform." Will Rogers

"Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." Ronald Reagan

"A famous French economist by the name of Frederic Bastiat once suggested that when social policies turn out to be harmful to the citizenry, it is because politicians often react to economic problems that they can see, without any regard for the unforeseen consequences of their solutions to those problems." -- Jack Chambless

"Politicians, like bombers, seldom see their victims..." -- Donald Boudreaux, in his article, "Losing Touch".

"This Congress is out of control and in desperate need of adult supervision." -- Rep. Jeff Flake

"Practical politics consists in ignoring facts." -- Henry Brooks Adams

"Most politicians believe in just one thing -- winning elections. They'll say anything to get in office and stay there." -- Harry Browne

Deafness, Multiple Sclerosis and Life

I may have said this in the past and I will repeat for the sake of my own memory. I am legally deaf since birth (Hard of Hearing) and I have Relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis. I find that my disabilities interesting because deafness caused by nerve damage, MS caused by nerve scars. I am not very smart even though I was born deaf and my education is not as great as I wanted. I shoulda worked harder when I was younger. However, professionally, I am an accountant and have been working in the same organization for over 26 years. My main duties are accounting, auditing, creating and enforcing policies and procedures. So, I am doing okay and I am very, very content. Through my disabilities, I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. In the course of a human life, tastes and outlook and temper may change radically. Everyone have their own definition of happiness. There are people who are not happy simply because they are not happy for whatever reasons since there are sources of "happiness" from within. Our heart is the place of conscience. Our heart is the part of our being where we desire, deliberate, and decide. Many people forget and often try to do their own ways circumstances happens that they never stop and think. Their human minds often see doors closing when ignoring another door opening.

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved - loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
Victor Hugo

The most handicapped person in the world is a negative thinker. Unknown

You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be. David Viscott

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you.... as by the attitude you bring to life. John Homer Mills

The Constitution only guarantees the American People the right to pursue happiness; you have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees calamity in every opportunity. Sir Winston Churchill

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal: nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. Thomas Jefferson

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other thing. Abraham Lincoln

Life can only disappoint you if you let it. Mark Hopkins

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try. Beverly Sills

If you do not believe in yourself, do NOT blame others for lacking faith in you. Brendan Frances

Making a success of something has nothing to do with luck. Care, thought, and study go into making something succeed; luck is something you get playing the lottery or roulette. Unknown

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. Colin L. Powell

The Difference between the "impossible" and the "possible" lies in a person's determination. Tommy Larsorda

If you can't change your fate, change your attitude. Amy Tan

Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely. Karen Kaiser Clark

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you. They're supposed to help you discover who you are. Bernice Johnson Reagan

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly. Henri Bergson

Holding resentment is like eating poison and then waiting for the other person to keel over. Unknown

If you want to be strong, know your weakness. Unknown He who conquers his anger has conquered an enemy. Unknown

Learning to live is learning to let go. Sogyal Rimpoche

Always forgive your enemies, nothing annoys them so much. Oscar Wilde

Earlier, I posted my own New Year's Resolution regarding how I am going to live my life in 2008.

Reality Check Quotes

Sometimes we don't need another chance to express how we feel or to ask someone to understand our situation. Sometimes we just need a firm kick in the pants. An unsmiling expectation that if we mean all these wonderful things we talk about and sing about, then lets see something to prove it. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Divisions and separations are most objectionable in religion. They weaken the cause of true Christianity ...But before we blame people for them, we must be careful that we lay the blame where it is deserved. False doctrine and heresy are even worse than schism. If people separate themselves from teaching that is positively false and unscriptural, they ought to be praised rather than reproved. In such cases separation is a virtue and not a sin. J.C. RYLE

We all, therefore, have to face this ultimate and final question: Do we accept the Bible as the Word of God, as the sole Authority in all matters of faith and practice, or do we not? Is the whole of my thinking governed by Scripture, or do I come with my reason and pick and choose out of Scripture and sit in judgment upon it, putting myself and modern knowledge forward as the ultimate Standard and Authority? The issue is crystal-clear: Do I accept Scripture as the revelation from God, or do I trust to speculation, human knowledge, human learning, human understanding, and human reasons? Or, putting it still more simply, do I pin my faith to and subject all my thinking to what I read in the Bible? Or do I defer to modern knowledge, to modern learning, to what people think today, to what we know at this present time (which was not known in the past)? It is inevitable that we occupy one or the other of those two positions. D. Martin Lloyd-Jones

Pride leads to the "I can do it myself" approach. We think we're capable of anything. We don't need God, counselors, prayer partners, or friends. Truth be told, we've got too much pride to ask for help, so we struggle along and alone. David Jeremiah

"Our thoughts not only reveal what we are, they predict what we will become. We will soon be the sum total of our thoughts." A.W. Tozer

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength. Corrie ten Boom

In a Christian community, everything depends upon whether each individual is an indispensable link in a chain. Only when even the smallest link is securely interlocked is the chain unbreakable. A community which allows unemployed members to exist within it will perish because of them. It will be well, therefore, if every member receives a definite task to perform for the community, that he may know in hours of doubt that he, too, is not useless and unusable. Every Christian community must realize that not only do the weak need the strong, but also that the strong cannot exist without the weak. The elimination of the weak is the death of the fellowship. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

What good would outward appearance be, if the soul were in hopeless darkness? To strive to keep our bodies fit and healthy is good, but a fit and healthy soul is even better. Anonymous

We fail to see the place of suffering in the broader scheme of things. We fail to see that suffering is an inevitable dimension of life. Because we have lost perspective, we fail to see that unless one is willing to accept suffering properly, he or she is really refusing to continue in the quest for maturity. To refuse suffering is to refuse personal growth. Henri J. M. Nouwen

In the history of humanity there are no civilizations or cultures which fail to manifest, in one or a thousand ways, this need for an absolute that is called heaven, freedom, a miracle, a lost paradise to be regained, peace, the going beyond History....There is no religion in which everyday life is not considered a prison; there is no philosophy or idealogy that does not think that we live in alienation....Humanity has always had a nostalgia for the freedom that is only beauty, that is only real life, plenitude and light. Philip Yancey

If false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important. C.S. Lewis

When Jesus wore a crown of thorns, do you wish to wear a crown of gold?" Johann Arndt, True Christianity.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Condemn or Love?

"What would Jesus do?"

Matthew 5:26-28 (King James Version)
26Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

In John
8 (King James Version), Jesus dealt with the the scribes and Pharisees of a woman committed adultery. Jesus wrote on the ground.9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

The love of Jesus is so inclusive that love knows no boundaries. We may be disgusted with other people's beliefs or their lifestyles. We are often ready to condemn and turn away from them. But not Jesus, He keeps on loving them. During all of 3 years of His ministry, Jesus helped an "unworthy" person more than worthy. The great spiritual needs around us should drive us back to the gospel records of the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus. The best thing we know about our Lord and Savior is that He loves all sinners. He has always love the outcast and for that we should be glad, for we, too, were once outcasts.

When we argue and disagree, we will know what kind of a Christian others are and what kind of a heart they have. We always argue over things that we love, or that we disagree. If you look back that Jesus rebuked religious leaders who had extreme doctrines that intimindated others who don't follow their rules. Christian faith is not to manipulate and intimidate people with doctrines but rather allow the Holy Spirit to do the work in convicting people's hearts. We are not to persuade people to follow certain extremist views of doctrines (that each of us hold) because only God can take care of that based on each individual as the Holy Spirit convicts their hearts. It is something of a paradox that while thoughts deeply affect a person's will and go far to determine a person's choices, a person's will on the other hand has the power to control the thoughts.

In the concept of God's forgiveness, this also contradicts. God loves us very much and has forgiven our sin (i.e. adultery & divorce) when we confessed it from our heart. He not only forgives our sins but rebuilds our lives from where we are. Love hopes all things (1 Corinth 13). Love refuses to take human failure as final. With Christ in me, my human failures are never final. Love never keeps a record of wrongs. Love forgives and love is unable to think about them anymore. Forget the past and move on. Focus on the future as I focus on Christ at the same time. Romans 4:8 (also Psalms 32:2) "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him". That if a local church forgive those who sinned (divorce), our heavenly Father will forgive us. But if we refuse to forgive others, our Father will not forgive our sins. Jesus is also saying that He cannot do our repenting for us. He died for our sins, now it is up to us to pick up the cross. "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what as lost." Luke 19:10 (Many are called, but few are chosen.) The rest of mankind... still did not repent.

"Faith...comes only when the outward fact penetrates to the inner heart of man and takes possession of him there -- and this is the work of the Spirit." ------ George Hendry, The Holy Spirit in Christian Theology.

Love is an act of endless forgiveness. Jean Vanier

"God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede." ------ Oswald Chambers "Defend the Bible?

If we truly love people, we will desire for them far more than it is within our power to give them, and this will lead us to prayer: Intercession is a way of loving others. Richard J. Foster

When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy. Corrie ten Boom

Christian Faith

Christians debating the differences in Christian beliefs and denominations. Faith in Jesus is not commitment to your church or denomination. It is total faith in Christ and not in a denomination or church, though you may love the church and respect and love your leaders and your denomination. But your commitment is to Christ. As Christian believers (assuming each of us are a believer), the Holy Spirit will lead each of us to the truth. Truth is often prevented if Christianity is known as a legalistic system which cause a delusion of eternal life. Martin Lloyd-Jones, one of my favorite theologians said: "It is perilously close to being sinful for any person to learn doctrine for doctrine's sake."

It is no use to deny that Christ was crucified by persons who would today be called fundamentalists. This prove distressing to us who pride ourselves on our orthodoxy.

All of us are born spiritual ignorant, not stupid. Through Adam, we are born spiritually dead. The nineteenth-century Scottish commentator John Eadie described it as a case of "death walking". Spiritually dead people are like zombies--they don't know they're dead and they're still going through the motions of living. God is a sovereign God and we have to understand that somehow, mysteriously, within the framework of predestination and within the framework of His sovereignty and the framework of election, which I believe in, there is a place for human freewill which is whether they respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Recognizing Jesus voice is like a sheep recognizing the shepherd's voice. Only the Holy Spirit can prick a person's heart to cause a person to hear Christ's voice. Jesus said in John 10:14-15 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

Not a priest nor any other pastor would know if a person's salvation is true. Am I, no matter what kind of belief I have, willing to change my mind and believe the truth, if it can be proved that I am mistaken? Is there anything more valuable to me than to be accepted by God? Or am I unwilling even to consider the possibility of I am wrong? The Bible warns, "They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved." (2 Thessalonians 2:10b NIV)

"A man may be a heretic in the truth; and if he believe things only because his pastor says so, or the assembly so determines, without knowing other reason, though his belief be true, yet the very truth he holds becomes his heresy."
John Milton 1608-1674, British Poet

"I shall never be a heretic; I may err in dispute, but I do not wish to decide anything finally; on the other hand, I am not bound by the opinions of men."
Martin Luther 1483-1546, German Leader of the Protestant Reformation

I see things and I hear of things that Chistian people are doing, and as I watch them operate within the profession of Chrisitanity, I do raise the question of whether they have been truly converted. - A.W. Tozer, I Call it Heresy

"You never know how much you really believe anything until truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you." C.S. Lewis

Prosperity Gospel

Do "Prosperity Preachers" Prey On Hope?

The Truth about Tithing by Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty

In the last 30 years, prosperity teaching have referred to our ability to have wealth from God through our faith. There's alot of talk about "doctrine of Prosperity" coming from various teachers, especially from Word of Faith teachers. Their faith and prosperity teachings states that we can have the nice cars, big homes, and great lifestyle if we have faith in God and plant seeds. Jesus never preached how to be earthly prosperity. The Apostles surely didn't either. My main problem with Word of Faith preachers are using "prosperity" to attract people with itching ears so they will be motivated to do something for themselves rather than sound spiritual docrine. When I do, I am reminded of this verse: For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. — 2 Timothy 4:3. Word of Faith's effort to popularize the Christian faith has been extremely damaging to Christian faith. Such teachers only want your money. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money 2 Peter 2:3 (NLT).

My concept Prosperity Gospel (i.e. Word of Faith) is that they focuses on works in terms of "faith" towards health, wealth and prosperity. I don't view these as the essentials of Christian life and practice. Our motives in our Christian lives should be both holy and genuine. We are to present our bodies "as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God" (see Romans 12:1-2).

I reject Prosperity Gospel (i.e. Word of Faith) doctrines for many reasons. Its a long list. If its a long list, then the doctrines they believe are not essentials for my relationship with God. Nothing wrong with prosperity but the desires and the dreams of prosperity ties to idolatry. When we accumulate our possessions for our own selfish sake--those possessions have become idols. Idols when a Christian have a selfish heart of greed is your master.

How much more should an average Christian have a clear understanding about the doctrine of prosperity? God is asking Christians to surrender their own selfish little kingdom and interests of their excessive lifestyle. People are so used to seeing everyone serving their own interests that no other kind of spiritual conduct is expected.

Get to know two things about a man- How he earns his money and how he spends it- and you have the clue to his character, for you have a search light that shows up the inmost recesses of his soul. You know all you need to know about his standards, his motives, his driving desires, and his real religion. Robert J. McCracken

We can stand affliction better than we can prosperity, for in prosperity we forget God. (D.L. Moody)

Benjamin Franklin “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.

There is nothing wrong with having a desire to prosper as long as our motives are correct. Christians' view of money and material possessions is an effective barometer of our spirituality. As Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21). In Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do." (NLT) In Proverbs 21:2, "People may think they are doing what is right, but the Lord examines the heart." (NLT)

When Jesus wore a crown of thorns, do you wish to wear a crown of gold? Johann Arndt, *True Christianity*.


I believe as Christians, we must remove physical, emotional and spiritual barriers that are often discriminates. Life does not discriminate between believers and unbelievers like plane crashes, accidents, illnesses and deaths. The fact of the matter is the visible providence of God has no respector (discriminate) of persons. Bad events are circumscribed by a loving providence and God promises to use them all for His ultimate good for HIS GLORY. There is a verse in the Bible that God promises that there won’t be anything so bad happen to me that I am not able to bear it. God does everything--He governs everything. Faith is accepting God's Will. There is confusion between the determined Will of God and a Christian's responsibility as a Christian. In Isaiah 55:8-9 God says, "My thoughts are completely different from yours, and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." God is adjusting our history to His purposes. He knows what He's doing. I have to learn to trust His will, His power to do His will, and His timing to do it when the time is right--and not until then. That's the essence of real faith. God carries out His will in His perfect power and timing. People forget the Story of Job (or they refused to believe). From the Book of Job, we see that God is in complete control. Satan had neither the power nor the authority to do anything without the permission of God. It was consistent with God's nature and will for him to have allowed those things to happen to Job. The point of the story of Job is about God's Sovereign. Not really about Job. People always focus on Job more than God's sovereign. Jesus said clearly about a penny's worth of sparrows compare to us. Matthew 10:29: Are not two sparrows sold for a penny ? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. If God can control with those two sparrows, then He will do the same for His children as well. In reality, the blessings are from God, the Holy Spirit-and using that person as an instrument to do God's will and plan.

God's divine intervention BOTH WAYS. All circumstances can turn people to God. Romans 8:28-29 "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 9:18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. Clearly, Scriptures reveals that no trial, no disease or illness, no accident or injury reaches us apart from God's permission. It is clearly that God may not initiate all our trials, including diseases, birth deformities and injuries, but by the time they reach us, they are His will for us for whatever time and purpose that He determines. God takes no pleasure in our suffering. Comfort and the spiritual strength to overcome grief, affliction and loss is found that God weeps with us and that He is absolutely present in our darkest hour of need.

In our relationship with others, we are to seek that builds friendships which make a difference (John 13:34). And in our relations at home, at work, and in the community, we strive to do all that we do for the glory of God and benefit of others (1 Cor. 10:31). In the Christian life, thinking is crucial, emotions are crucial and service is crucial. God is not honored by an unfeeling, joyless, loveless intellectualism, by unthinking, uncritical emotionalism, or by well-intentioned but fruitless claims to love. Jesus touches our lives (inward) and enables us to touch others (outward).

God's purpose in redemption was not to make people’s lives happy, healthy and free of trouble; His purpose was to rescue them from sin then conform them from the inside out to the image of His Son by the power of His Spirit. God has given us the grace to sanctify us. The sources of "thorns" can be weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions and difficulties (which also includes sickness). Through GRACE, "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:4). Through God's Grace is a gift from God and this has nothing to do with the thorns because God change our circumstances by changing us internally, by allowing Him to lift us above our present thorn and He will lead us into His will. James says count it all joy when you fall into various trials cause trials have a perfecting work.

Grace do NOT discriminate. In this life, hardship is inevitable and it is useful because it produces the evidence of our true spiritual condition, humility and intimacy with God and allows God to put Himself on display in His grace. Superiorism (that often use discrimination)in regards to doctrines who have no compassion. Jesus in Matthew 15:1-3. Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition (doctrine)?” Being filled with the Holy Spirit means we are to refrain from using our rights and privileges we are entitled to by God's grace because we desire to do God's will out of love and obedience as if we are after God's own heart. Mark 1:41 "We are to be filled with compassion".

God uses suffering to reveal our spiritual condition. In the midst of the sufferings, what kind of Christian do you see yourself?

Every Christian must decide whether they will us their liberty to decide on their doctrinal beliefs. We are free, but our freedom does not mean we can know for SURE what is right and what is wrong. Spiritual liberty means the freedom to be all that we were designed to be, but this is not a freedom that is without restrictions or responsibilities. Grace is about loving other people that we have the freedom to do so but at the same time, respect how they practice their beliefs.

After thinking, I have decided to join the "Libertarian Reform Caucus"

If and when they fix the "join" section of the website. Until then, I am declared "indepedent".

Statement of Purpose

We, the members of the Libertarian Reform Caucus believe that America needs a real libertarian party, a party that promotes liberty while being conscious of political reality, a party designed to win elections and begin rolling back excess government now. In particular, the party needs:

A platform that proposes a realistic vision for the next few years, as opposed to an idealistic vision of a libertarian future. The public expects a party platform to show what a party's candidates intend to do during the next term of office. If the party wants a long term vision statement, it should be in a separate document labeled as such.

A platform that unites libertarians rather than dividing them. Where libertarians disagree, the platform should be silent. The party should be a tool for all libertarians.

A platform based on the realization that there are other important values in addition to the non-initiation of force. Freedom is extremely valuable, but it is not the only value.

The Enhanced Political 2D

You desire substantially less government control of personal activity and somewhat less government control over economic activity than is presently the case in the U.S. Your views would be best represented by a mix of Libertarian and Democratic representatives—assuming that it was possible to get a significant number of Libertarians elected. The Libertarian Party is still dominated by people far more radical than you though there is an ongoing effort to make the LP more inclusive and less radical. If you have the patience and willingness do deal with infighting, you may want to join this effort. Or, you might find my proposed new party more to your liking.Left-Leaning Freedom Lover

Approximately 14% of the takers of this quiz scored in this area.Quiz2D Statistics

My political compass

Welcome to The Political Compass™

Economic Left/Right: 0.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.15

Looks like I am leaning towards Libertarian.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Moral Thoughts: I can't force against their will to believe what I believe.

People will use Christianity along with the prevailing movement of society with individualistic values of wealth, comfort, as well as doctrinal beliefs which resulted rejecting and intimidating people who get in the way. John Calvin and Martin Luther were persecuted for discovering the truth of "justification by faith."

Luther persecuted the Anabaptists because they felt the need to bring further Biblical reforms into the church. Looking back on that historically, we see that most, if not all, of those punishments were due religion trying to hold onto its doctrine.

Today, heretics often use force to persecute Christians simply because force works and often silences the oppositions. That is why heretics and tyrants use it. Webster defines "heresy" as, "an opinion, doctrine, or practice contrary to the truth or to generally accepted beliefs or standards."

I believe that each of us, as an individual, have a responsibility before God, to determine what is true about God and also what is false. What is true about God impacts every aspect of our lives. What is true about God -- not what each of us believe is true, but what is actually true -- determines what happens to us after we die.

Remember the story about the rich ruler? Jesus looked after the rich young ruler as he walked away, but Jesus did not follow him or attempt to coerce him. Jesus wants people make their own moral choices; and Christ knew this and permitted rich ruler to go his own chosen way. Jesus is saying that He cannot do our repenting for us. He died for our sins, now it is up to us to pick up the cross.

Every Christian must decide whether they will use their liberty to decide on their moral decisions. They are free, but our freedom must prove a source of real temptation of this world. Christians are free from the chains of sin because by grace they are saved by Christ. Spiritual liberty means the freedom to be all that Christians were designed (chosen) to be, but this is not a freedom that is without restrictions or responsibilities.

We have the moral responsibility which no one can shift to another: "For each one should carry his own load" (Galatians 6:5) which is a source of comfort if our hearts are right according to the Scriptures. I like these quotes:
If you allow physical selfishness, mental carelessness, moral insensitivity, or spiritual weakness, everyone in contact with you will suffer. But you ask, "Who is sufficient to be able to live up to such a lofty standard?" "Our sufficiency is from God . . ." and God alone (2 Corinthians 3:5 ). Oswald Chambers
One of the hardest lessons to learn comes from our stubborn refusal to refrain from interfering in other people’s lives. It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, that is, interfering with God’s plan for others. Oswald Chambers

Christianity and Government

For years, Christians have argued that the Founders were devout Christians who meant to create a Christian republic. If you notice, the Constitution makes no direct reference to God. The Philadelphia convention was represented by numerous Christian denominations: Congregationalist, Episcopalian, Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian, Quaker, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Methodist, and Deist. The First Amendment was designed to prohibit the federal establishment of a national Church or the official preference of a particular Christian sect over all others. If you remember history, The Puritans set expamples of democratic principles before America was born. The Puritan devotion to democratic principles had an important effect on American life. The Puritans were interested in establishing a degree of separation of church and state because they had been persecuted by the English government and wanted to ensure their own freedom of religion in Massachusetts Bay. They also disagreed with the Catholic/Anglican idea that the church should be should be universal, encompassing every member of the community. This implied a division between the institutions of society (government) and the institutions of the church.

America was created with the influence of Christian people as well as non-christians. The world who are without Christ also have their own views. More often than not, the secular world view is in conflict with the bible. To Christians, this should NOT be a surprise. To the world who are without Christ, this conflict is not a surprise either. My question is this, regardless whether the Government is godless or not, are we denying that one form of Government is NOT ordained by God even though the Bible said "ALL Governments"?

Civil government should recognize the sovereignty of other God-ordained institutions (Church, Family) because civil government is necessary and divinely ordained by God (Rom. 13:1–7). We are called to render service and obedience as to submit to civil authority (1 Pet. 2:13–17 ; Matt. 22:21). Even though the Government is God-ordained but human (sinners). Government is not the problem. Its PEOPLE who are running the government. I do believe very much in being a responsible Christian citizen. As good testimony to outsiders, Christians can work with non-Christians (& government) in attempting to promote justice and civic peace because it is good for all people, not just Christians (Galatians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:15). There is NOTHING in the Bible that we can get around the Government in our lives except "disobience" against His Ordained Governments.

In conclusion, we must careful not to identify Christianity with any political parties because Jesus Christ have HIS OWN Party which is HIS KINGDOM. Christ stands alone, above and outside of every ideology of any political parties. Jesus does not and will not join any of our parties. I am having a major problem with people today using God for their own interests into man-made political issues. Jesus said "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence" (John 18:36).

Who are the Libertarians?

Many people have the assumptions that Libertarians are anarchists which is false. Often, the general public do not know what “libertarians” are or what they stand for.

In Time Magazine, a "Letter to the Editor" was written in response to an article titled "Libertarians Rising" as follows:

Michael Kinsley began his essay "Libertarians Rising" by offering what he called an oversimplified contrast: Demorats are for Big Government, whereas Republicans are against it. But both parties are for Big Government; they merely differ on how to use it. Democrats would legislate compassion. Republicans would legislate morality. Libertarians would legislate neither. That is the difference in a nutshell.

In summary, to me, Libertarians are a hybrid of ideas from both parties. One of my favorite presidents, Ronald Reagan said in 1975: “Libertarianism is the heart and soul of conservatism.”

The main issue would be that I look at "what morality is being legislated" more than if morality is being legislated. In the past, most politicians have failed "morally" in their lives which have been exposed by the media. If the politicians can't control their own moral, why should the average americans? Abraham Lincoln famously said "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

I am against abortion but I will NOT dictate others about my abortion views. I am against drunk driving therefore, I support laws relating to drunk driving. I am going to sort out Libertarian ideologies and figure out which I am for and not.

Libertarianism is a political philosophy advocating that individuals should be free to do whatever they wish with their person or property, as long as they do not infringe on the same liberty of others or cause harm to others. In other words, in summary, "In perspective is that individual well-being, prosperity, and social harmony are fostered by ‘as much liberty as possible’ and ‘as little government as necessary"

Where does libertarianism come from?
“Modern libertarianism has multiple roots. An important one is the minimal-government republicanism of the U.S.’s founding revolutionaries, especially Thomas Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists. Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and the ‘classical liberals’ of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were another influence. More recently, Ayn Rand’s philosophy of ‘ethical egoism’ and the ‘Austrian School’ of free-market economics have both contributed important ideas. Libertarianism is alone among 20th-century radical movements in owing virtually nothing to Marxism.” — Source: Yet Another Libertarian FAQ, cited 22 September 2006, last modified 10 February 1997

I am going to study more and I just found one site that I can start with.

Libertarian Part(ies)

I have noticed that many Libertarians have been divided between Libertarian Party and many smaller libertarians organizations. There are some who like me who are holding on to the Republican Party for the time being which is often referred to "Libertarian Republicans". One of the main reasons why many Libertarians are divided is the Libertarian Party is extremely ineffective poltically in getting things done. I want to leave the Republican Party but I can't exactly join the Libertarian Party just yet (still thinking about it).

Will do some more researching during 2008. :)

References relating to the Libertarians' views:
Libertarian Quotes
Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions
Links related to Libertarians and Christianity
Mainstream Libertarians
The Advocates for Self-Government, Inc.
What is Libertarian?
Libertarian Party's Official Website
Libertarian Party of Ohio
Libertarian Reform Caucus (unites libertarians rather than dividing)

QuizFarm results: Political Ideology Quiz

Political Ideology Quiz: You scored as a Libertarian
You're a libertarian. That kind of means you're a right wing Anarchist. Go buy a gun, some gin, and wait for the hippies to show up.
Libertarian 77%
Republican 73%
Socialism 63%
Democrat- 60%
Anarchism 60%
Fascist 30%

Monday, December 24, 2007

Diagnosed with MS

Looking back. I was very healthy other than being legally deaf, I never knew the limits that disable people actually go through until I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in April 2002. People with this type of MS experience clearly defined flare-ups (also called relapses, attacks, or exacerbations). I have Relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) which is under control.Living with Multiple Sclerosis, I am prone to live with chronic pain. Most of the time, I am managing my chronic pain and just learn to listen to my body. There are times that my chronic pain can be very uncomfortable. The most common pain I face is spasticity. Spasticity refers to feelings of stiffness and a wide range of involuntary muscle spasms. This is one of my more common symptoms of MS. Spasticity I often experience is often the feeling of tightness of muscles and sometimes painful spasms, usually of the legs and my back. There are times I get flare-ups that causes me to be dizzy and feeling out of it that makes me stay home from work. Other than that, I am feeling pretty good.

Many people with MS are able to have "normal" life but there are times, they can't control what their bodies might do one day and force to rest.

Remembering Christ on His Birthday

Christmas will come and go again this year as it has done through the years. We know what others may think about Christmas, and we can guess what they may say. Its either "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays". Over the years, Christmas Day has been degraded with all the commercialism.

The theology of Christmas easily gets lost under the "happy wrappings". As everyone celebrate Christmas, whether we accept or reject Christ personally.

We all need to personally determine the meaning of Christmas. That Jesus Christ has come and we need to keep in mind of the radical difference between today's world and the world into which when Jesus was born. We need to remember that Jesus came from eternal pre-existence as God, He empties Himself and enters human existence as a poor, helpless new-born baby. Whatever Christmas may be today, that first Christmas was the celebration of a miracle.

We need to recognize that the person of Jesus Christ that makes Christmas. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, God taking on humanity whose name is Immanuel, God with us. Christmas is not the whole story. It is but the beginning because "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." (John 1:14). Christ became man. He did not cease to be God. However, though still possessing them He willingly laid aside the exercise of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:7) from the time of his human birth to His resurrection. Without Christ, nothing else matters.

Heartwarming Story

Someone at work thought about sharing this story with everyone. If you are like me, you might be having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. This story made me remember the true spirit of giving to others. I hope it will do the same for you. By the way, I work for EPA.

It started when Emergency Response Team received a call of 275 gallons of fuel oil released from a private residence in Ohio. The release occurred when a fuel oil tank at the residence of a 94 year old woman,who fell over and released fuel into a creek and also around the foundation of her home. The fire department responded to the release and did an excellent job preventing the fuel oil from entering a nearby pond but she was left with 275 gallons of fuel oil in a creek and infiltrating the basement of her home.

Enter an Emergency Response employee (let's use Jim, which is NOT me)responded to this residence. Unfortunately, Jim explained to the woman that the fuel oil would have to be removed from the creek and from around her foundation. Her home at the time had a strong odor of fuel oil, and could not be occupied. Jim contacted the woman's insurance agency. Initially, the insurance company refused to pay for anything. Jim eventually convinced the insurance company to pay for the removal of fuel oil from the creek and to cover any damage off-site to any other properties other than her residence. The fuel oil in the creek was cleaned up. The contaminated soil was removed on other properties, but the poor woman was left with fuel oil around her home's foundation, and odors inside her home that were unsafe.

The fuel oil and the contaminated soil around her foundation needed to be removed, and her fuel oil tank needed to be replaced. She would also need a new load of fuel oil to heat her home. This poor woman had no money. She could not afford the thousands of dollars it would cause to correct the problems at her home.

Jim came back the next day for a follow up inspection, and to try to help her decide what could be done to save her home or find her a place to live. When he arrived, he was shocked to find a large group of people waiting for him. Apparently, someone from the fire department, who knew what had happened at the house had informed the Pastor to the woman's church. The Pastor had informed the congregation of what had happened. People from the church just showed up at the house ready to do whatever was necessary to help her. Probably like in every parish, there was someone who was a plumber, someone who was an electrician, someone had a back-hoe for digging, some people just came to do whatever they could. The people spent the day working, with Jim coordinating, to help her. They dug soil from around the house's foundation, removed the fuel oil from around her house, replaced her foundation drains, and cleaned the odors out of her house. At the end of the day, the fuel oil from around the house had been removed and the problem had been corrected, but the house still had no heat. The original fuel oil tank for the residence had been damaged when it fell over and could not be repaired. Additionally, the fuel oil had all been lost and the woman did not have the money to replace it. The generosity continued as someone from her parish donated a new fuel oil tank, and then, a neighbor of the old woman, with four children and very little money of her own, paid $400.00 dollars to have fuel delivered to her home. In the end, this woman got her home back. Without the help of her church, maybe she would have lost the home, I don't know? My co-worker thought he would share this story. Maybe this isn't such a big story. Maybe it's only impressive to him because he see so many people in the woman's position who never have any help and have nowhere to turn. It is nice to know that people are still willing to give of themselves to others.

Man buys new pickup with $25,000 in cold, hard cash

Copyright © 2007, The Columbus Dispatch
Monday, December 24, 2007 2:52 AM

Paul Brant, 70, used more than $25,000 in change to help buy a new Dodge Ram half-ton pickup truck Friday -- 13 years after buying another truck with spare change.

"(The old truck) didn't have four-wheel drive, and living in the country, I figured I better get a new one to help get me through the snow," he said.

Brant said he was raised to be thrifty. His father always paid in cash and saved up loose change to take vacations.

Brant has been storing his change for years, and estimated he had about $26,000 in coins for Friday's purchase. In 1994, he bought a Dodge pickup and a Dodge Neon using about $36,000 in quarters.

Brant stored his change in coffee cans, water jugs and piggy banks over the years, and he was escorted by deputy sheriffs as he brought the rolled coins to the dealership.

A Mike Raisor Chrysler Dodge and Jeep employee who sold Brant the truck said the dealership called in an armored car to count and handle the coins.

"No bank wants to take them," Keith Gephart said.

Now.. that's what I called a good way to SAVE money for your NEXT vehicle.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Why Republicans losing members like me?

If there are Republicans for whom influence or power or money have become more important than serving the public and the nation, then let me make it perfectly clear: We don't want you.Ken Mehlman, outgoing chairman of the Republican National Committee, in his farewell address today at the RNC's winter meeting

Related Sites:
I Am Leaving the Republican Party

Will Republicans Destroy Themselves Before They Destroy America?

The Future of the Republicans

Why I Just Left the Illinois Republican Party

Exodus of House Republicans in Ohio

Wave of Party Switchers Hits Republicans

An issue: Deaf in Texas in Barzoria County

Happened in May 2007

Related Links:
Why Deaf People Shouldn’t Live in Certain Parts of Houston,TX….

Why Deaf People Shouldn’t Live in Certain Parts of Houston,TX Part 2

Is it a Crime to be Deaf? Brazoria
County, Texas

Libertarian Party of Ohio (Click on Title to go directly to site)

Ohioans, You can go to the Libertarian Party of Ohio's website to get more information about the party and how you can participate. I am not a member and I will NOT be a member anytime soon.

Think Tanks

A think tank (also called a policy institute) is an organization, institute, corporation, or group that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economy, science or technology issues, industrial or business policies, or military. Think tanks in the United States play an important role in forming both foreign and domestic policy. During the Second World War, think tanks were referred to as "brain boxes" after the slang term for the skull. The phrase "think tank" in wartime American slang referred to rooms in which strategists discussed war planning.

Think tanks have a major impact on public policy, both in Congress and the fifty states. The men and women who staff these independent public policy research organizations are constantly quoted in the news media, and their studies have tremendous influence on policy makers. Think tanks are funded primarily by large businesses and major foundations. They devise and promote policies that shape the lives of everyday Americans.

Think tanks represent a variety of ideological perspectives such as Libertarian's point of views. Cato Institute and another The Buckeye Institute.

You can find all the think tanks links from Libertarian Party of Ohio's Website

Acton Institute - "For the Study of Religion & Liberty"

Advocates for Self Government - "Our specialty is improving the skills and tools of people who believe in the freedom philosophy so that they can reach opinion leaders."

American Liberty Foundation - "an organization committed to persuasion, conversion, and recruitment — an institution focused on mass-marketing and popularization."

Atlas! PAC - "We founded Atlas! PAC to provide Libertarian affiliates at all levels the practical, nuts-and-bolts support necessary to become an effective force in local politics."

Atlas Economic Research Foundation - "brings freedom to the world by helping develop and strengthen a network of market-oriented think tanks that spans the globe."

Bill of Rights Institute - "seeks to educate high school students and teachers about our country’s Founding principles..."

Bluegrass Institute - "We are an independent, non-partisan association of writers, speakers and thinkers who analyze state and local public policy in Kentucky, and suggest alternatives more in concert with the ideas of our founders: Individual liberty, economic freedom, personal responsibility and a respect for others."

The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions - " works to improve the lives of all Ohioans through the pursuit of practical and effective market-oriented approaches to public policy."

Cascade Policy Institute - "Cascade Policy Institute was founded in January 1991 as a nonprofit research and educational organization to focus on Oregon state and local issues. The Institute's mission is to explore and advance public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility, and economic opportunity."

Cato Institute - " The Cato Institute seeks to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace."

Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics - "a nonprofit education, law, and policy center working in the public interest to foster freedom of thought."

The Center for the Advancement of Capitalism - "...dedicated to advancing individual rights and economic freedom throughout America."

Citizens for a Sound Economy - "Americans fighting for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom"

Competitive Enterprise Institute - "The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government...We are nationally recognized as a leading voice on a broad range of regulatory issues ranging from environmental laws to antitrust policy to regulatory risk."

Electronic Freedom Foundation - "created to defend our rights to think, speak, and share our ideas, thoughts, and needs using new technologies..."

The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies - "a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order."

The Foundation for Economic Education - "FEE's mission [is] to study the moral and intellectual foundation of a free society and to share its knowledge with individuals everywhere."

Fraser Institute - "focuses on the role competitive markets play in providing for the economic and social well-being of all Canadians."

Freedoms Foundation - "dedicated to teaching young people the principles upon which our nation was founded."

Frontiers of Freedom Foundation - "The Constitution's enumerated and limited powers, checks and balances, federalism, separation of powers, and guarantee of basic rights are the foundation of America's freedom."

Future of Freedom Foundation - "The mission of The Future of Freedom Foundation is to advance the libertarian philosophy by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government."

The Goldwater Institute - "based on the principles championed by the late Senator Barry Goldwater during his years of public service—limited government, economic freedom and individual responsibility."

Heartland Institute - "Heartland's mission is to help build social movements in support of ideas that empower people."

The Heritage Foundation - " [our] mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense."

Hoover Institution - "seeks to secure and safeguard peace, improve the human condition, and limit government intrusion into the lives of individuals."

Hudson Institute - "We demonstrate commitment to free markets and individual responsibility"

The Independent Institute - "the Institute’s program adheres to the highest standards of independent scholarly inquiry...without regard to any political or social biases."

Institute for Contemporary Studies - "believes that men and women who control their lives through self-governing institutions live more productive lives."

Institute for Humane Studies - "a unique organization that assists undergraduate and graduate students worldwide with an interest in individual liberty."

Institute for Justice - A civil liberties law firm. "Our vision is one of individual initiative and opportunity, not group rights and entitlements."

Institute for Policy Inovation - "focus[es] on approaches to governing that harness the strengths of individual liberty, limited government, and free markets."

Institute of Economic Affairs - The United Kingdom's original free-market think-tank
International Society for Individual Liberty - "an association of individuals and organizations dedicated to building a free and peaceful world, respect for individual rights and liberties, and an open and competitive economic system based on voluntary exchange and free trade."

The Jefferson School - "The intellectual voice of capitalism on the Internet."

Libertarian Nation Foundation - "to advance the day when coercive institutions of government can be replaced by voluntary institutions of civil mutual consent"

The Liberty Fund - "a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals."

The Locke Institute - "seeks to promote a greater understanding of natural rights, its implications for constitutional democracy and for modern society's economic organization."

Ludwig von Mises Institute - "The Ludwig von Mises Institute is the research and educational center of classical liberalism and the Austrian School of economics."

Mackinac Center for Public Policy - "We look forward to the day when the myths and fears of free-market capitalism are dispelled, along with the misplaced faith in a benevolent, omnipotent state."

Manhattan Institute - "a think tank whose mission is to develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility."

Mercatus Center - "The premier university source for market-based ideas"

National Center for Policy Analysis - " [our] goal is to develop and promote private alternatives to government regulation and control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector."

The National Center for Public Policy Research - "a communications and research foundation dedicated to providing free market solutions to today's public policy problems."

The National Security Archive - "collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)."

Pacific Research Institute - "promotes individual freedom and personal responsibility. "

The Progress & Freedom Foundation - "a market-oriented think tank... with a particular focus on communications, computing and telecommunications."

Public Interest Institute - "promotes the importance of a free-enterprise economic system and limited government in society based upon individual freedom and liberty."

Reason Foundation - "Reason Foundation is a national research and educational organization that explores and promotes the twin values of rationality and freedom as a basic underpinning of a good society."

Southeastern Legal Foundation - "advocates limited government, individual economic freedom, and the free enterprise system in the courts of law and public opinion."

Links to various Think Tanks:
OMB Watch
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
Governmental Research Association
Center for Public Integrity
Buckeye Institute
Economic Policy Institute
Ethics and Public Policy Center
Center for Equal Opportunity
Cato Insitute

My Faith and Life

Deep thoughts about my personal experience in positive choices that are right for me rather than living with a private struggle. At times, choosing not to act on those feelings and not embracing can be difficult. I am thankful that I have a wonderful wife , who do not seek to force her viewpoint on me, telling me what I "should" do. I just wanted to be aware of alternatives to living a life that are positive and life-affirming with my own values, morals and beliefs. My wife and I are so compatible with everything in our marriage. We do feel comfortable with our own faiths and do agree in many theological teachings. I DO think that there are many of us who are in similar situation are facing the same situation. I also have my own issues in my Christian faith. Christian faith communities and theological traditions affirming that life is a good gift of God, with a few exceptions that some have judgemental views which can be unChrist-like attitudes or feelings toward an object, person, or action that were contradictory. The love of Jesus is so inclusive that love knows no boundaries. People may be disgusted with of others' beliefs or their lifestyles. Some can often ready to condemn and turn away from them. But not Jesus, He keeps on loving them. During all of 3 years of His ministry, Jesus helped an "unworthy" person more than worthy. The great spiritual needs around us should drive us back to the gospel records of the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus. The best thing we know about our Lord and Savior is that He loves all sinners. He has always love the outcast and for that we should be glad, for I, too, was once an outcast. My main issues are not about religion, or denominations or even Churches. Its about my relationship with God alone. I have seen Christians sinned and we have to be careful how we define sin because the major cause of Christians sinning is the "HEART". I often try explaining this issue with my wife and she feels that God's love is not conditional. I agree with that.

My personal spiritual issue is this: His love is NOT conditional but rather unconditional in terms of understanding what He desires more than I desire. In terms of my understanding of God's Holiness, Christians' standards. If God was in a church meeting today to discuss a moral change within the local church, how would we react? Would God change His holiness in order to accept what WE think what should be? This is one of my one of my many struggles is dealing with my faith in God (NOT religion or Church). What does it mean to become like Jesus Christ? That is the REAL question. There are so many who will proclaim to be a Christian but only few are really Christians. There are millions of professing Christians who "think" they have been justified, who think their sins are forgiven and that they are on their way to heaven, who show no evidence of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy.