Jonathan Edwards Quotes

A few sayings from that great American theologian, philosopher of British American Puritanism, and stimulator of the religious revivial "Great Awakening", who lived from 1703 to 1758.

“Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life.”

“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.”

“The way to Heaven is ascending; we must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.”

“I assert that nothing ever comes to pass without a cause.”

“The best, most beautiful, and most perfect way that we have of expressing a sweet concord of mind to each other is by music.”

“Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.”

Commander in Chief: No Experience Needed

According to this article:
Though the next president will probably command soldiers in two separate wars, few of those hoping to win the job can say they've ever seen combat or even taken abuse from a drill sergeant.

Of the 18 announced Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, only Republicans John McCain and Duncan Hunter have served on the front lines. Three others served in noncombat roles and another two served in the reserves.

WWW: Swedish Prison Porn

In the first edition of Weird World Wednesday (WWW), I submit to you this excerpt from Sweden:
The Supreme Administrative Court in Stockholm last week ruled that the Swedish Prison and Probation Service had no right to deny a rape convict access to his porn magazines.

Prison officials had argued that reading porn would interfere with the man's rehabilitation program. They also said the magazines posed a security problem for staff and other inmates because they could increase the risk of the man relapsing into criminal behavior.

But the court, whose ruling cannot be appealed, said the prison service failed to prove that the magazines could "jeopardize the security of the institution."
Just another sad example of how humanism influences society and legal institutions.

Vince Lombardi Quote

Kudos to NoVA Dad (Matt) who got this one:

"The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price.
-Vince Lombardi-"


An excerpt from interesting article titled Clark Kent:
While we often are very willing to exhibit ‘vulnerability’ in our personal relationships we consider it off-limits in our professional lives. Some equate vulnerability to weakness and are threatened by it. Yet we have all been inspired by people who openly acknowledge how they’ve worked through professional—and personal—issues that were emotionally challenging.

Being vulnerable really means finding the courage to be sincere, open and honest. It also means being receptive to the input from others. A balance of truthfulness and sensitivity creates a safe environment in which everyone can learn and grow.
I thought it interesting that I read this after I posted about intimate communion. I wonder, is vulnerability all about letting people in on your secret identity?

Vail Village

Vacationing in Vail has been really relaxing. No driving around - everything you need is in the village. The elevation is 8,250 feet and the weather here is almost as beautiful as the scenery.

Guess you caught me on vacation with my laptop.

The Benefits of Aging

There are a few things that age can bring to us. One of them is a sense of who we are and a deep sense of contentment with that person we have become. According to this quiz I am 81% Real. It says about me:
There's hardly a person on this earth more real than you are. You have no problem showing people who you are, flaws and all. For you, there couldn't be any other way. Because it's way too stressful to live an inauthentic life. You're very comfortable with yourself. And because of this, you're able to live an exciting, interesting, and challenging life.
My wife certified my quiz answers so I feel some level of confidence about my answers. I think that my score would have been much different ten years ago. I have grown up a lot these past ten years and really like the person that I have become - most of the time :)

Centrists Focus on Solutions

High-profile centrists urge solutions, compromise
By Martha T. Moore, USA TODAY

Some excerpts from this article:
On a day when he urged Congress to get beyond party politics, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg matched his rhetoric with action, announcing he has left the Republican Party and registered as an independent.
Bloomberg and another centrist political star, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, urged politicians to focus on pragmatic solutions, not partisanship, at "Ceasefire! Bridging the Divide," a conference sponsored by the University of Southern California.

On issues including Social Security, health care, education and immigration, "the federal government isn't out front — it's cowering in the back of the room," Bloomberg said.
Schwarzenegger said he learned to value compromise "the hard way" in 2005 when he tried to push through initiatives to, among other things, increase his power over the budget, and lost badly. "I did it the wrong way," he said. "Dividing people just doesn't work."
That last statement speaks volumes to me. But I am a Centrist who thinks that life is in the middle.

Conflicting Army Recommendations

According to this USA Today article U.S. commanders in Iraq are rejecting a recommendation by Army mental health experts that troops receive a one-month break for every three months in a combat zone, despite unprecedented levels of continuous fighting and worsening risks of mental stress.

This article says that the Army is considering whether it will have to extend the combat tours of troops in Iraq if President Bush opts to maintain the recent buildup of forces through spring 2008.

With the prospects of many more years in Iraq I suggest that our policies should honor our troops by truly caring for their mental health.

Soldier's Guide to Iraq

From this article:

Arabs, by American standards, are reluctant to accept responsibility... if responsibility is accepted and something goes wrong, the Arab is dishonored.

An Arab sees friendships with anyone outside the family as meaning, "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

Scared into the Kingdom?

Signs like this one really get me to thinking about the messages that we religious people send out. Does anyone think that we can be scared into the kingdom? If so, for how long? Can fear keep you there?

Freedom Writers | ★★★★★★★★★★

This movie is the true story of Long Beach California teacher Erin Gruwell and her integrated high school English class. I sadly have to admit that I really didn't want to watch this movie - thought that it might be a downer. Ann and I watched the video on Saturday. I can only say that this movie is pure inspiration. It shows how one person of substance can make a difference.

I was particularly impressed in a heart-wrenching way as the story began to unfold and I began to see the heartbreak of inner city teens. My callous heart began to cry for them and cheer for them all at once. I love the way that Erin Gruwell helped these teens get beyond themselves and see their plight in the light of historical sufferers like Ann Frank. I highly recommend seeing this one with your kids when they are mature enough to handle the dramatic intensity. On a scale of 10 I give this movie ★★★★★★★★★★

Iraqi Vote

This morning on the Today Show political analyst Dick Morris predicted that Hillary Clinton would get the Democratic presidential nomination and ultimately win it all. Got me to wondering if the republicans can win if they don't change their positions on the Iraq War. I guess, in a sense, the real Iraqi vote will take place in voting booths across America this November.

The Impossible Dream

When I was 18 years old I attended Man of La Mancha, my first Broadway Show ... one of the benefits of growing up in New York. Ever since then I have always been moved by The Impossible Dream. Here are the words:

The Impossible Dream

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

Forty years after that night on Broadway, the words and music still move me and choke me up. Just call me Don Quixote.

America's Strongest Union

The following story is an example of why corporate executives and board of directors make up the the strongest (albeit invisible) labor union in America. These people trade perks with each other and, generally speaking, hold corporate America hostage to their hearts of greed. These elite princes and princesses of industry usually make 100s of times as much as those people they 'lead'. It is a sad commentary on Amercian capitalism and one of the reasons that America is losing jobs to overseas outsourcing ventures. Anyone have a name for this union? How about Greed Incorporated?

Occidental CEO got more than $400 million in 2006

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s chairman and chief executive took in more than $400 million in compensation last year, the company said in a filing, one of the biggest single-year payouts in U.S. corporate history. Read more here.

... and if you need a smile check out Motley Fool's CEO Bill of Rights.

Going on Vacation Next Week

You Are 49% Burned Out

You're fairly burned out, and it shows. You probably have been feeling a little rundown and irritable lately. If you can, drop a few of your minor responsibilities and focus on what's really important. You have too much on your plate, and it's catching up with you.

Are You Burned Out?

Pro-life Romney?

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is speaking today at the National Right to Life Conference here in Kansas City. According to Sam Brownback, another presidential candidate, Romney has waffled on the abortion issue as late as January of this year:
On January 29, 2007 during a visit to South Carolina, Romney stated: “Over the last multiple years, as you know, I have been effectively pro-choice."
Wouldn't it be great if I could have written my post title with an exclamation point (Pro-life Romney!) instead of a question mark - either way ... pro-life or pro-choice ... I just don't like the question mark!!

Remembering Ruth Bell Graham

Ruth Graham, Billy's wife, passed away yesterday. An excerpt from this article gives us a peek into her life:

When the novelist Jan Karon visited the Grahams in their home, she came away with this memory of Ruth:

"Here was this tiny, fragile, yet powerful woman coming toward me in her hallway in black tights, ballet slippers, and the most beautiful white blouse I think I have ever seen. I was swept off my feet by this woman. She had this enormous energy that preceded her down the hallway…And she was so naughty. She just teased [Billy] mercilessly…I thought they were the cutest, sexiest couple I had ever seen."

We don't see many examples of couples who made it through that many decades of marriage with all the lamps still blazing. Leave it to Ruth Bell Graham to show us, brilliantly, how it is done.

Please join with me in praying for Billy and the rest of their family.

"A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers."
-Ruth Bell Graham-

Fred Dalton Thompson

6/15 Update: In response to Dr James Dobson's assertation that Fred Thompson is not a Christian, blogger Mark Elrod has issued
The “I Saw Fred Thompson at a Church of Christ” Challenge.
This lame video gets me to wondering what Fred really believes. According to this article Fred has never:
    • run a corporation or a city,
    • been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize,
    • seen combat,
    • been married to a former president,
    • paid for a $400 haircut or
    • cheated on his wife.
I looked around wondering where Fred is on the issues. According to this site Fred seems to be your quintesential pro-war conservative republican. Which leads me to ask:

Isn't John McCain already running for president?

Other than the above 'never list', can somebody enunciate the difference between candidates Thompson and McCain?

A Person of Substance

Jason and I have been having a conversation over at his Antioch Road blogsite about what constitutes a person of substance. I googled around a bit and found a few articles that speak about being a person of substance. This article talks about Rosa Parks being a person of substance. This article says:
Substance is hard, gritty stuff, gained only by much life. You don't come by it easily--a man or woman of substance must labor hard and long to gain the substance of selfhood, and never truly finishes. Substance is internal--the core of knowledge beneath a statement, the belief system that determines an action, the real person behind an external personality.
This article asks these questions:
How substantial is your presence? To what extent do you feel yourself to be here? Do your words ever carry weight? Do you think for yourself, or do you blithely accept others’ views as truth? Are you responsible? Are you kind?
What quailities would you include when you think of a person of substance? Do you have anyone in mind?

Abraham Lincoln Quote

Hat tip to Missy who got this one:

"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."
- Abraham Lincoln -

Feel free to submit an answer even if you don't know ... could be fun seeing the guesses. I'll announce the winner in a few days.

A Whale of a Whale

According to this story a 50-ton bowhead whale caught off the Alaskan coast last month had a weapon fragment embedded in its neck that showed it survived a similar hunt — more than a century ago. The whale's age is estimated to be between 115 and 130 years old.

Oceans 13

A few excerpts from Christianity Today's movie review:
Ocean's Thirteen is—to use a highly technical term—cool. The suits are sleek, the dialogue snappy, the tone wry, the jazz hip. Even Las Vegas—bastion of neon kitsch that it is—looks opulently graceful. The Ocean movies (2001's Ocean's Eleven and 2004's Ocean's Twelve) have never been hard to look at, but director Steven Soderbergh's third run at the heist formula seems to be a case of practice making perfect. Every color-saturated frame of Ocean's Thirteen entertains as intended. The waters in this ocean aren't deep, but they sure do sparkle on the surface.

Ocean's Thirteen follows the same basic formula as the first two films, unfolding a series of convoluted schemes, cons, hi-tech hi-jinks, double-identities and plot twists as the boys outsmart rivals and increasingly-sophisticated security systems. There are few genuine surprises; the audience, having been through this twice already, knows that not everyone is who they appear to be and that Danny and his comrades are up to any challenge. Still, it's fun to watch the gang solve a new set of problems, and if this film is inferior to the others in providing the unexpected, it is superior in clarity. (Most of the time, I actually understood what was going on.)

Ocean's Thirteen also has a moral edge (or at least the sensation of one) over its predecessors. The men are motivated not by greed but by a desire for justice (okay, vengeance, but Bank is such a baddie it feels just). They are less interested in personal spoils than in spoiling Bank's ill-gotten gains.

If there's a weakness with Ocean's Thirteen, it's that the hip-ness that makes it strong also keeps it very even and relaxed. It's amusing more than hilarious, intriguing more than suspenseful, stylish more than exciting. It doesn't so much climax as conclude. But it celebrates collaboration, ingenuity and loyalty in some immensely satisfying ways. And that's pretty cool.
I will probably see it ... sooner or later :)

Churchbucks: Are Cupholders Needed in Pews?

About 10 years ago I began to notice a new trend in churches - coffee brewed in the lobby and people bringing coffee into the auditorium ... I have done this on occasion but no longer do it. Coffee in church sets a different environment. I am not sure that I like it ... but I am not sure that I don't.

The religious side of me wants to judge people who do it - I mean I don't do it anymore ... although I have recently drank coffee in Sunday School. My merciful side (just call me Easy Bob) says why not ... what is wrong with it? Personally I find it hard to focus on the Lord when I am worrying about spilling my coffee. Maybe churches just need cup holders :)

Munich | ★★★

Ann and I viewed this movie last night and my expectations were pretty high. Munich is based on George Jonas' book titled Vengeance and came to me with very high ratings - it was nominated for an Oscar.

Sadly, I found the movie to be a violent one glorifying revenge and using gratuitous sexual imagery. I also thought that the movie went way too long and painted a strange picture of Israel's quest for vengeance.

The one redeeming scene in the movie was when one of the assasins came to his senses and realized that this mission was not what being a Jew was all about. Unfortunately he blew himself up and we were left just feeling sorry for him.

On a scale of 10 I give this movie ★★★


This post from Matt got me thinking about Bono. I have to admit that I am fairly ignorant of the man, his music and his causes - although I am probably most familiar with his causes. He seems to have almost a cult following, especially in bloggerville. So, I thought I'd ask a few questions of you all to get a better idea of why you all admire him so much. Do you think that:
  1. he is someone who leads a life of sacrifice?
  2. people feel admiration for him based on something other than his notoriety and his advocacy for causes he believes in?
  3. he is someone that inspires those that know him best?
  4. he really has influence with world leaders?
  5. he would be a good friend?
  6. people like him just because he is cool?
  7. it is not nice to ask questions about Bono?
I am looking forward to hearing from you all - those who are Pro-Bono and those that are not :)

Elevator and Parking Garage Rules

Hat tip to Therese for this article on The Ten Commandments of Elevator Manners. Here are a few commandments worth mentioning:
Thou shalt not pass gas.

Thou shalt not press button for wrong floor without acting appropriately ashamed as elevator stops and doors open then shut without anyone leaving.

Thou shall hold the door for others running to catch the carriage. A plague on those who watch idly by as they slide shut in someone’s face.

However, thou shalt not hold the door indefinitely and delay travel for other passengers.

Thou shall wait for empty carriage if thou is sick.

Thou shalt not carry on personal conversations, be they person-to-person or via cellular phone. Thine elevator is not thine phone booth.
I love rules like these because they give us a peek into the inane and humorous side of "living by the rules". These rules reminded me of my parking garage rules:
For years I had thought of myself, in a Christian sense, as a ‘Charismatic’ – both in theology and in practice. I considered myself to be this ‘free’ person. I distained legalism and specifically the word ‘religious’ because I identified myself as a ‘Spirit-filled’ person … someone who was led by the Holy Spirit certainly could not be legalistic.

It was like yesterday, I was entering the parking garage at work … I became aware of the fact that I had ‘parking garage rules’ … I had a logic scheme by which I chose a parking spot … I was crushed by the idea that ‘possibly’ … ‘maybe’ … I wasn’t led by the Spirit in this part of my life … in hindsight it is pretty amusing but it was just the beginning of my awakening.
Pretty funny how God can get our attention. It is always good to remember that the Law kills but the Spirit gives life!

Pray for the Smith Family

USA Today and other national news outlets have been carrying the story of the abduction and slaying of Kelsey Smith. In this picture Kelsey's dad Greg is reading a statement as his wife Missy (Kelsey's mom) listens.

This one hit home for us as we used to attend church with Greg, Missy and their family. I have been sad about this all week. Please pray for this beautiful Christian family ... I am praying that God will bring beauty out of the ashes of this tragedy.

Pirates 3

Scott posted this review of Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End. Here are a few of his thoughts in no particular order:
This is a long move. Though it didn't feel long to me, it could have certainly gone under the knife just a bit.

I could have spent the whole movie watching Chow Yun-Fat as a pirate, kung-fu or no kung-fu.

There were some incredibly over the top moments that I've heard a little complaint about (parachute, monkey canon, much fighting in the rigging) and I honestly don't get that. The first movie had zombies WALKING UNDER WATER. I think the over the top stuff worked well all things considered.

And if I have to tell you to stay until after the credits roll then you didn't pay attention to the first two movies.
We curently have Pirates 2 on the DVR - if we like it we might give this one a shot based on Scott's review.


6/8 Update from this article: A decade after the first Prius went on sale, Toyota's global sales of hybrid vehicles have hit a landmark 1 million, underlining the Japanese automaker's lead in "green" technology that has changed the face of the auto industry.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s cumulative sales of gas-and-electric-powered vehicles totaled 1.047 million as of the end of May. Of those, nearly 345,000 hybrids were sold in Japan, while 702,000 were sold abroad, the company said in a statement Thursday.

Matt hates hybrids.

Anyone have any real experience with one?

Heather comments at Matt's place and says:
I HAVE a hybrid. It's a beautiful 2003 Honda Civic, and I've been averaging 50 mpg around town in the summer, 45 in the winter. I LOVE my car. It's quiet, efficient, and I can easily get 600 miles on 12 gallons.

True, hybrids still use fuel, but not as much, and isn't that what our goal is? reducing our dependence in this intermediate stage while we find a better solution?
I just don't have the cash to spend now so that I can save later.

Knocked Up

If you are pondering attendance at this movie this weekend you might want to check out Julie's review. She ends the review by saying "I took multiple showers to cleanse myself after this one."

Thomas Jefferson Quote

High fives to Pauly who solved the mystery quote!

Without looking it up, does anyone know who said:

"I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

Feel free to submit an answer even if you don't know ... could be fun seeing the guesses. I'll announce the winner in a few days.

Big Wave Surfing

An interesting way to turn your passion into family income.


Dan Kimball posted these pictures. I liked them and thought I'd post them just to get us thinking about essentials vs non-essentials.

I started calling this post beliefs but realized it is more about essentials. Whether the topic is dogma or politics we all seem to focus a bit too much on the non-essentials. Really, I sometimes think that church for me has become more about the non-essentials of the faith like worship and preaching styles. Similarly I think that my voting preferences have been ones where a candidate's positions seem to be the focus instead of the candidate themself. I'd like to change that - at least in one area :)

Winston Churchill Quote

Without looking it up, does anyone know who said:

We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give.

Winston Churchill

Feel free to submit an answer even if you don't know ... could be fun seeing the guesses. I'll announce the winner in a few days.

CNN Faith Forum

Excerpts from the transcript of the CNN Faith Forum where Soledad O'Brien (and Jim wallis) interviewed Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama:
O'BRIEN: But I'm going to ask you a delicate question. Infidelity in your marriage was very public. And I have to imagine it was incredibly difficult to deal with. And I would like to know how your faith helped you get through it.

CLINTON: Well, I'm not sure I would have gotten through it without my faith.

And, you know, I take my faith very seriously and very personally. And I come from a tradition that is perhaps a little too suspicious of people who wear their faith on their sleeves, so, that a lot of the ... a lot of the talk about and advertising about faith doesn't come naturally to me. It is something that -- you know, I keep thinking of the Pharisees and all of Sunday school lessons and readings that I had as a child.

But I think your -- your faith guides you every day. Certainly, mine does. But, at those moments in time when you're tested, it -- it is absolutely essential that you be grounded in your faith.

For some people, being tested leads them to faith. For some people, being tested in cruel and tragic ways leads them away from faith. For me, because I have been tested in ways that are both publicly known and those that are not so well known or not known at all, my faith and the support of my extended faith family, people whom I knew who were literally praying for me in prayer chains, who were prayer warriors for me, and people whom I didn't know, who I would meet or get a letter from, sustained me through a very difficult time.

But I -- I am very grateful that I had a grounding in faith that gave me the courage and the strength to do what I thought was right, regardless of what the world thought. And that's all one can expect or hope for.

O'BRIEN: If you think something is morally wrong, though, you morally disagree with it, as president of the United States, don't you have a duty to go with your moral belief?

EDWARDS: No, I think that, first of all, my faith, my belief in Christ plays an enormous role in the way I view the world. But I think I also understand the distinction between my job as president of the United States, my responsibility to be respectful of and to embrace all faith beliefs in this country because we have many faith beliefs in America. And for that matter we have many faith beliefs in the world. And I think one of the problems that we've gotten into is some identification of the president of the United States with a particular faith belief as opposed to showing great respect for all faith beliefs.

O'BRIEN: Do you think this is a Christian nation?

EDWARDS: No, I think this is a nation -- I mean I'm a Christian; there are lots of Christians in United States of America. I mean, I have a deep and abiding love for my Lord, Jesus Christ, but that doesn't mean that those who come from the Jewish faith, those who come from the Muslim faith, those who come from -- those who don't believe in the existence of God at all, that they don't -- that they're not entitled to have their beliefs respected. They're absolutely entitled to have their beliefs respected. It is one of the basis for which our democracy was founded.

WALLIS: If you were the president, what kind of moral and political imagination would you bring to finding some real solutions?

OBAMA: A couple of things that we have to do is to fix our politics, and we have to get beyond what Dr. King called the "either/or mentality" and embrace "the both/and mentality." And our politics have exacerbated this notion of either/or.

So we say either people are entirely responsible for their own lot -- and this tends to be expressed within Republican circles, but not entirely -- pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, act responsibly, act morally, a great emphasis on private morality, or, conversely, that individuals are responsible, society is acting on them, and they are not free agents.

And my attitude -- and I think the attitude of every religious leader and scholar that I value and listen to -- is that we have these individual responsibilities and these societal responsibilities. And those things aren't mutually exclusive.

Missional Communion?

My religious radar usually activates when I read the word missional or emergent. I liked what Singaporean theologian Simon Chan said in this CT interview. Here is an excerpt:
I think that missional theology is a very positive development. But some missional theology has not gone far enough. It hasn't asked, What is the mission of the Trinity? And the answer to that question is communion. Ultimately, all things are to be brought back into communion with the triune God. Communion is the ultimate end, not mission.

If we see communion as central to the life of the church, we are going to have an important place for mission. And this is reflected in the ancient fourfold structure of worship: gathering, proclaiming the Word, celebrating the Eucharist, and going out into the world. The last, of course, is mission. But mission takes its place within a larger structure. It is this sense of communion that the evangelical world especially needs. Communion is not just introspection or fellowship among ourselves. It involves, ultimately, seeing God and seeing the heart of God as well, which is his love for the world.
I like thinking about faith in these terms. I guess it can be said that true communion with God will always lead to missional living ... if we could just define what those things mean :)

Interpersonal Intelligence?

Blame NovaDad for this one:

Your Dominant Intelligence is Interpersonal Intelligence
You shine in your ability to realate to and understand others. Good at seeing others' points of view, you get how people think and feel. You have an uncanny ability to sense true feelings, intentions, and motivations. A natural born leader, you are great at teaching and mediating conflict. You would make a good counselor, salesperson, politician, or business person.

Candidate Criteria

How will you vote in November 2008? Have you thought about what issues are really important to you? Here are a few of mine in random alphabetical order:
  • Abortion: you knew I'd start with this one. I prefer that the candidate be openly pro-life but I will not let this issue be a deal-breaker ... I will not be a single issue voter ... I will not be manipulated [M]
  • Decency: needs to be a decent human being that treats others (i.e. ex-wives) with civility and integrity ... also would like someone who can control their tongue in public [H]
  • Energy: want a proponent of E85 (motor fuel blends of 85 percent ethanol and just 15 percent gasoline) [M]
  • Environment: more of a conservationist than an environmentalist [L]
  • Faith: someone who believes in God and/or lives by biblical convictions [H]
  • Gays: civil unions okay but no gay marriage [L]
  • Guns: hunting rifles okay but please - no AK47s [L]
  • Immigration: earned amnesty for those here and strong borders to prevent more illegals [M]
  • Moderation: don't want a radical thinking wacko ... want someone who can compromise and find the middle ground. [H]
  • Outsourcing: someone who cares about all of our jobs going overseas and has some ideas about bolstering our economy and keeping jobs here. [M]
  • Poverty: someone who has a heart for poverty issues like universal health care attracts me. [M]
  • Terrorism: strong person who knows how to deal with this issue using diplomacy instead of force. [H]
You might have noticed a H, M or L bracketed at the end of each issue. These are my rankings of the categories - Low, Medium or High. They don't always reflect the importance of the issue but sometimes just how important it is on a presidential level ... these could be different for a candidate for the legislature.

I am sure that I will think of more later but for now this will do. Maybe you can help me by adding, changing or deleting a few :)

Whitey the Westie

My friend Pam is one of my favorite new bloggers. Her latest post about dogs reminded me of Whitey, our 17 year old family dog that passed away four weeks ago today. I loved what Pam said about her dogs and animals in general.

We rescued Whitey from a kennel when he was about one and a half years old. He was supposed to be my son's dog ... and in a very real sense he was ... but he soon became the family pet ... was even friends with our cat (he lived to be 20 years old). My daughter won several 4H ribbons with Whitey in obedience training ... that surprised me because she was so afraid of Whitey when he arrived in our home.

Whitey's passing was so very sad for Ann and me. He was a sweet soul that loved people and loved to be close to us. I still miss him - looked in his room this morning and thought it odd that he wasn't there. Pam's post got me wondering if I'll see him again. Hope so!

Lynne: You Inspire Me

Lynne has shared a beautiful poem addressed to an abuser. Here is the way the poem ends:
You stand accused, but how can I accuse you?
You are my brother still – how small a price
I paid for you, compared to my redemption –
My freedom cost the bitter death of Christ!
A beautiful poem revealing a beautiful heart. Lynne gets a "You Inspire Me" award.

Vacations with Laptops

This article says one in five people toted laptop computers on their most recent vacations. Danny Sims must have his laptop with him because he is posting blog pictures on his vacation.

I have to admit that in recent years my laptop has become one of the bags that I pack when we travel. Most hotels along the way have wifi (or wired) connections and I find it helpful to have MapQuest, Picassa and other programs (okay - Blogger) available when I am on the road. Anybody else drag their laptop with them on vacation?

Nessie Footage - YouTube Update

According to this story:
This shadowy something is what someone says is a photo of the Loch Ness monster in Scotland. An amateur scientist claims he has captured what Loch Ness Monster watchers say is among the finest footage ever taken of the elusive mythical creature reputed to swim beneath the waters of Scotland's most mysterious lake.
I've wondered about Nessie when I was younger but hadn't given her much thought for years. Can't wait until this one gets out on YouTube!!

Modest Swimmer

Kelli has a great post on beachwear. One of the comments on the post pointed to the Wholesome Wear site which displayed the swimsuits pictured here. As I guy that really respects virtuous women I hate to criticize this one but it seems a bit over-the-top on the modesty scale. What do you all think?

Pirate Dog

I guess the cover could have been a Spider Dog or Ogre Dog. Isn't is interesting how we all latch on to the iconic images of the big new summer movies? I wonder what new movie characters will be showing up in happy meals this summer?