Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Praying for what lies ahead....

By now we are all aware of the terrible economic situation we are in, particularly in the U.S. but also around the world. Record weather-related events have shaken our world more than any other time in history. Undoubtedly we need to be prepared to face the harsh time that lies ahead and not only be financially stable, but spiritually mature.

I found the following article and I thought I'd pass it along for anyone who wishes to read it. Even if nothing does happen, the suggestions below will certainly take anyone to a higher level of intimacy with The Lord and add to your financial future.

10 Ways to Survive the Economic 
Tsunami that is coming!!!! 
By Kirk Elliott, Ph.D. 

1. Pray for Wisdom |  James 1:5 says, “ If any of you lacks wisdom, you 
should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it 
will be given to you.”  We need wisdom more than anything to make 
the right decisions in protecting our families, freedoms, and finances 
during these turbulent times. 

2. Give Extravagantly |  Malachi 3:10-11 say “Bring the whole tithe into 
the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” 
says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the 
floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not 
be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your 
crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is 
ripe,” says the LORD Almighty.”  Godʼs Word doesnʼt return void and 
when you give with a joyful heart and learn to give out of your need 
rather than out of your abundance God will supernaturally intervene in 
your life and pour out so many blessings that you will not be able to 
contain it.  And the second half of the promise mentioned here is that 
He WILL make you more productive. 

3. Read and meditate on Godʼs Word | Joshua 1:8-9 say, “Keep this 
Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so 
that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be 
prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong 
and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the 
LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”   Yet another 
promise from God, whoʼs Word does not return void!  This is a 
conditional phrase.  When you meditate on Godʼs Word and are careful 
to do what it says, THEN you will be prosperous and successful.  The 
Bible is our blueprint for a successful life. 

4. Get out of Debt |  Interest rates are at the lowest point in the history of 
our nation.  This means they canʼt go too much lower, they will go up, 
and go up rapidly as the U.S. Dollar continues to deteriorate. If you 
carry any variable debt you will find it increasingly more difficult to 
service your debt payments as those payments rise. 

5. Grow your roots in a local church |  How could this help you 
navigate through this harsh economy?  Well, when your roots grow 
deep you will be able to withstand the storms of life as they arrive.  
Remember, storms ALWAYS happen and sometimes Jesus calmed 
the storm, sometimes he was the peace in the midst of the storm.  
Regardless, the end result was PEACE.  Having a support group of 
like-minded, God fearing, friends and family of the local church will 
make the storms of life easier to navigate. 

6. Be politically active |  Make your voice heard!  We still live in a 
country where our voice can be heard and we can make a difference.  
We need to hold our elected officialʼs feet to the fire and encourage 
them to make wise decisions.  After all, it is their policies of excessive 
taxation, excessive spending, and a continuous elimination of God 
from the policies and principles of our nation that have produced the 
mess that we are in.  Make a difference while you still can! 

7. Become self sufficient |  In reading accounts of other countries 
throughout history that have gone through hyperinflations, the people 
that have survived the best are the ones who were able to produce 
their own food, had supplies of fresh water, had acquired barter type 
items prior to the economic tsunami hitting them.  It is sad that we are 
about at the point where we look at long-term food storage as part of a 
solid investment portfolio, but our goal is to protect, preserve, survive 
and thrive, and these type of items should be sought after. 

8. Diligently study the fundamentals of the markets | Knowing what 
fundamentally causes markets to move is ESSENTIAL to safeguarding 
your assets from erosion due to bad public policy.  For example:  The 
value of bonds will come down when interest rates rise.  Financial 
metals like gold/silver do very well during times of political and geo- 
political turbulence, economic uncertainty, chaos and change.  
Industrial and agricultural commodities tend to do very well during 
times of inflation.  The stock market will ultimately come crashing down 
as revenues continue to decline and taxes go up.   

9. Reallocate your assets |  You need to analyze your current 
investment mix and get out of the downward trending asset classes 
(stock market and allocate into positive trending asset classes like 
gold/silver.  Precious metals in this economy will act as a hedge 
against your paper assets as they are in the midst of a HUGE bull 
market.  Gold has increased over 400% since 2002 and silver has 
increased over 700% during the same time period.  A proper allocation 
of metals and cash in your portfolio will help to insulate you against 
some of the turbulent market activity that will wipe out a lifetime of 
savings in a short period of time. 

10. Contact a financial advisor who understands the times we are 
living in |  1 Chronicles 12:32 says the sons of Issachar understood 
the times and knew what to do.  We need to be modern day sons and 

daughters of Issachar and understand the times we are living in and 
know what to do about it.  Also, make sure your investment advisor is 
the same.  Many well meaning people just donʼt grasp the seriousness 
of the economic downturn we are living in, nor do they grasp the 
magnitude and scope of the implications of not allocating wisely.  Our 
window of opportunity to protect us, our families, and future 
generations will not be open forever.  In fact, it may not be open for 
very long at all.  ACT NOW to preserve and protect everything you 
have worked your entire life to accumulate. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Freedom of Speech?

Why is it that when it comes to Christian Freedom of Speech, the world considers it a "hate crime" or even worse, a sin? For years I have been trying to wrap my mind around this fact, that we as believers do not fully posses this freedom, and it is increasingly becoming less of a freedom in the US.

We are the most tolerant country toward Muslims, homosexuals, atheists, environmentalists, feminists, etc. but when it comes down to Christians expressing their convictions, this society wants to shut us in the closet and silence us once and for all.

Lets look at any muslim country where women are second class citizens who have no rights, they have zero tolerance for gays, as they burn and torture them, they disown and spit on anyone who leaves their religion, and so on, yet they come to America and tell us that we need to be more "tolerant" of their "peace, loving religion." (such is the case with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad)- But it doesn't end there, our own people, especially those who are supposed to protect our rights, do a far better job at violating our first amendment rights than those abroad. 

Let's take for example a recent event that occurred in California. A group of men in an effort to advance the Kingdom of God went to the DMV to read the Bible in public, and what happened is truly a slap on the face to the American principles that our forefathers fought so hard to protect. The fight is not over, as appalling as it might be, it is a reality. 

What is more disturbing about this video is that these people were not breaking the law. They were arrested on baseless charges simply because the world in which we live hates righteousness. The police officer who arrested them had to call someone to ask them to find what crime to charge them with AFTER they had been arrested!! You can watch more about this case here

This is just an example of the kind of crimes that occur against the Body of Christ. I could go on and on listing more examples of how our freedoms are being stripped away. Instead let me just show you a couple of more videos of such violations of our first amendment rights. 

I wish people would understand that it is the single most important freedom that our founding fathers wanted to protect because it is the foundation of our core beliefs in the US, or at least, it used to be, until "A Queer Thing Happened to America," and the gay agenda started to advance their propaganda in our culture, where it is now widely acceptable, unless you want to be called a bigot, intolerant, racist Christian who clings to your guns and religion.

Praise God for groups such as the American Family Association and One Million Moms who keep a watchful eye and want to protect us and our children from the travesties of this world, and who are proactive about ensuring that sponsors do not continue to patronize TV shows or companies who are clearly in opposition to our Christian values. One of those companies is "The Home Depot" - The Home Depot has constantly donated money to advance the Gay agenda in this country and sponsor pride parades, they have even gone as far as prosecuting one of their own employees who refused to remove a button from his apron that said "One Nation Under God" because it contradicts their "diversity" (homosexual) policies. You can read more about it here

Please sign the pledge on the AFA website by clicking here.

"For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them." 2 Peter 2:21

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How Smart is your baby?

We have been very busy around here lately because we  have already begun the homeschooling process, althought it is quite challenging, it is certainly gratifying.

Homeschooling is no easy task at any age, but particularly at the tender age of our two little ones, it takes a lot of discipline and wisdom to be able to instill in their precious little lives the core values that we so truly believe in.

In a continued search for a better way, we stumbled upon the name "Glenn Doman," the founder of the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential and developer of the concept of teaching brained injured children to be "normal."  Further research brought to our attention a very interesting philosophy, not only for brain-injured children but for well children too, he claims that "you can teach your child absolutely anything as long as it is presented in an honest and factual way." This statement was very thought provoking, so we decided to go ahead and read some of Doman's work.

Needless to say, we were sold and began the process of  developing our babies' intellect in three major categories: Teach them to Read (English for now), teach them Math, and how to be Physically Superb. The results have been short of astonishing.

There will be constant updates as to the progress of both, our 20 mo old and oour 3 mo old boys.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Japan's Earthquake - What it could mean

For the last few weeks I've been watching these special bulletins regarding the Janapene Earthquake and what it could potentially mean for the US and the world.

The man behind them is Rick Joyner, and the message is quite eye opening.

What is most particular about this particular bulletin (part 6) is that he posted this video on April 6 and today, April 7 there was another major Japanese Earthquake, which he said was prophesied in 1999 and up to 50 yrs ago. He said there was another major earthquake coming to Japan soon... What do you think? Coincidence? Whatever it is, it is best to be prepared than sorry, and he sure gives you a great sense of hope and enough warning to prepare for what could be the next set of events that may occur in America.

You can also watch the rest of the bulletins here

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why we said NO to routine infant circumcision - Part 2

If you missed part 1, you can view it here
Αν χάσει μέρος 1, μπορείτε να το δείτε εδώ - Παρακαλώ κάντε κλικ στο "Μετάφραση " στο κόκκινο γραμμή εργαλείων παρακάτω και επιλέξτε ελληνικά για να μεταφράσει τη σελίδα

So why are 25% of all newborns (50% of baby boys) still made to suffer this inarguably excruciating, outdated procedure?

1. Conformity
2. Cleanliness
3. Confusion

Let's analyze this three points before we get to what the Bible has to say about routine infant circumcision based on actual verses. Although there will be no graphic images, parental supervision is advised.

1. Conformity: 

The majority of people who opt to circumcise their sons fall into this category. They are willing to put their baby through this procedure just so their baby boy can look like his daddy. 

Conformity, for conformity's sake, is a sin -- according to the Bible. No longer can parents say "I want junior to look like the other boys his age" since over half will be intact by the time he is using public bathrooms and locker rooms. Thankfully, if parents have the courage to break the cycle, this will be the last generation that has to worry about conforming to daddy's needless amputation as well. This is not a reason to put your son through painful, unnecessary surgery, especially in light of the fact that God's Word forbids it. You wouldn't remove his tonsils just because Daddy had his removed as a child, would you? If Daddy had lost a thumb in a hunting accident, would you want your son's hand to look just like Daddy's? We must use the common sense God gave us.

2. Cleanliness:

This one is probably the biggest misconception that drives parents to submit their baby boys to such horrendous procedure. They believe that if there is no foreskin, it is easier to keep it clean. 

WRONG!! It is just another myth left over from the dark ages! If this was true, than evolution would be true as well. Either that, or God made one huge mistake when he designed and created the male anatomy, including the foreskin, and pronounced it "very good." Evolutionists love to say that we have all these "extra parts"-- biological accidents, they call them. Modern circumcision and evolution go hand in hand; you can't have one without the other. Fortunately, even the Darwinian enthusiasts have had to give up their line of reasoning as of late, since in the last 10-12 years science has fully discovered the important uses of the foreskin (just as they have the tonsils and the appendix!). And guess what? One of the functions that God so brilliantly designed the foreskin for is cleanliness!  

When a baby boy comes into the world, the foreskin is sealed shut and protects the extremely vulnerable "glans" from the urine and feces that will fill his diaper. True to God's amazing wisdom, the foreskin begins to loosen and retract naturally right about the time the child is toilet trained!! If that doesn't prove that God designed the human body, what does? Ape descendants, we are not. Once the foreskin loosens and retracts (something no parent or doctor should ever cause to happen prematurely), the male anatomy becomes as easy to wash and keep clean as any other part of the body. In fact, the intact male genitalia is much easier to keep clean than the female genitalia with all its flaps and folds. And, tragically, female circumcision persists in many third world countries. (Americans, being the hypocrites that we are, protest this very loudly!) But Europe and other modern nations do not routinely circumcise males or females, and the fact is, less than 1/10 of 1% of these males undergo circumcision later in life. (A simple outpatient procedure. Something much less painful or dangerous than with infants! Not to mention more ethical, as it's done with the male's consent!)  

Why would any nation subject all their babies to something so traumatic when less than 1% would ever need it? America is the only Western nation to do so. C. Everett Koop, M.D. the famous Christian former Surgeon General has stated, "All of the Western world raises its children uncircumcised and it seems logical that, with the extent of health knowledge in those countries, such a practice must be safe." Intact boys benefit greatly from the protective function of the foreskin as it keeps the delicate skin of the glans moist, dark, and free from irritants and exposure to the elements. This is the same kind of skin found in the mouth, nose, and the inner genitalia of females. Notice these places are all kept dark and well lubricated. This is God's design. Go against that and you run into problems. Most of the problems circumcised males have with their genitals, intact males will never experience. This list includes irritated skin, rashes, chafing, redness, bumps and blisters, as well as sexual problems such as chronic erection failure and chronic premature ejaculation. God designed the foreskin for important sexual purposes, including to prevent such embarrassing predicaments as those mentioned. A basic understanding of human anatomy would go a long way in changing male opinion about circumcision, since one of the foreskin's functions is to contol the correct level of sexual stimulation in the beginning, and to greatly intensify the amount of pleasure in the end. Circumcised men miss out on so much! (Testimonies from men who underwent circumcision in the midst of their sexual relationships prove this point.) But that is precisely what should be expected when we go against God's design.

3. Confusion:

Confusion ("I thought that God must like circumcision since it's in the Old Testament") ("I heard there's a conspiracy against Jews to single them out for persecution by eliminating circumcision of Gentiles") ("I figure if all the men in the Old Testament were circumcised, it must have benefits") ("I thought the New Testament says its just a matter of preference, circumcision and uncircumcision are both valid choices") Myths one and all! All of these statements are false and reflect one of the biggest handicaps that cripples the church today: partial biblical knowledge intermingled with partial biblical ignorance. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing when you only know select verses here and there, without an understanding of the complete context and the overview of complete teaching.

Because this subject is very controversial, particularly when it comes down to the religious aspect of it, I will continue discussing the Biblical and Historical aspects of it during the next (and hopefully final) entry. For now, ponder upon everything that I have relayed to you so far before deciding whether or not to put your baby boy under the knife.

Until next time.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

To Homeschool or not to homeschool?

As our family continues to grow, there are many things that we now have to think about. Every little decision we make could really have a big impact on our children's lives. We've learned from other people's mistakes that it is best to give careful thought and prayer to everything that will affect our family.

During our parenting class at church we have learned of some very disturbing facts about kids that up to that point we were somewhat oblivious to, such as the way kids are treated in school by their peers and the kind of education they are receiving from public schools.

Many parents are desperate for a solution and run to the pastor or church elders for counseling, but what many don't realize is that the problem is not so much their children themselves, but their children friends and all the people who have an influence over them (a.k.a. teachers, counselors, coaches, mentors, tutors etc.)

We entrust our kids to all these strangers who have so much authority over their students, yet fail to inquire as to who these people are.

If you have to find a babysitter for your child, you make sure you have references and background checks before you entrust her with your child for a couple of hours, so why wouldn't you do the same for their teachers who will spend over 36 hrs a week with your kid?
Courtesy of Google images

Personally, I think it is the lack of responsibility on the parents end, or perhaps a sense of complacency. Maybe it is the fact that they have their trust on the wrong entity (the school system) as opposed to the One who deserves it (God, of course).

This is why I am writing this entry. I hope that if you do read it, you do so with humility, as this might be a wake-up call to do what's right by your child(ren). 

Growing up I attended both, public and private schools. In all honesty, public school life was one of the things I detested the most as a student. Private school was always something I looked forward too. When my parents couldn't afford it anymore, I would go back to public school. It wasn't until High School that I truly appreciated how fortunate I was to be in a private school that kept me out of trouble. I have no doubt that if I were in a public high school during my first 3 years, I would have ended up either in jail, in a hospital or as a teenage (incompetent) parent. The county in which I resided at the time held the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the U.S. (and they were proud of it, as a matter of fact, they were proud to hold the record for the youngest expecting mother,  a 10 yr old girl).

When I transfered to public school during my last year in High School, I couldn't believe what a horrendous place it was. I was used to attending "Chapel" every morning before breakfast, however, in public school I couldn't even pray in public. I was used to wearing a (clean, wrinkle-free) uniform, but public school was more like a fashion runway. I was used to studying every two weeks for a biweekly assessment that accounted for a big portion of my grade, and staying up all night studying with a few of my classmates once a month for a major exam. On the other hand, in the public school I was given permission by my teachers to sleep in class during the lecture since I had covered that material during my freshman year. 

I graduated at the top of my class (of 500) with Honors and a 4.2 GPA (Is that even possible???) and was given a grant for college. Had I stayed at my previous school, I would have probably graduated with a 3.1 GPA or lower, as I was merely an average student.

When my wife and I were married we had different opinions as to how we would educate our children, I of course wanted to send them to a private school, but she wanted something completely wacky (or so it seemed) - to homeschool them.

To home what? - Yes, the concept was completely foreign to me... After a number of arguments on this subject, she finally made sense and presented me with some very staggering, compelling and unquestionable facts, which I will present to you here. 

Truth is, the school system is flawed!!

I will try to present the evidence, I believe it will make a case for itself. I tried to focus on the "Academics" aspect of it, however, the other issues are just too important to ignore. So I will begin by setting the foundation as to why I wouldn't send my kids to school and will leave the "educational" benefits of homeschooling for a later post.

Courtesy of Google images
Needless to say, at this point I am totally in favor of homeschooling, so I will not be making a case against it, although I have done a good amount of research on the top arguments against homeschooling, so if you wish for me to address them, it will be on a more personal level. This post is pretty long as it is without adding all the pointless arguments against homeschooling. 

I will also post a link to some articles that cover each topic in more detail for your reading pleasure.

To top the list we have the issue of violence. (see here for more)
We are all aware of all the violent crimes that have occurred in schools in recent years, some worse than others, but to name a few - Gangsters, mass murderers, and bullies, which brings me to my second argument.

Courtesy of Google images

Bullying: 23 per cent of elementary students reported being bullied one to three times in the last month bullying statistics say.
In a recent study, 77% of the students said they had been bullied. And 14% of those who were bullied said they experienced severe (bad) reactions to the abuse.
Well, let me just redirect you here so you can read the countless offenses and repercussions of bullying

Drugs, sex, alcohol, STDs, teenage pregnancy, abortion and rape are self explanatory. 

Courtesy of Google image
Academic performance and quality of education and overcrowding: It's no secret that homeschooled children are more equipped than public school children are, given the fact that parents focus their efforts on an individual rather than a number. In an average class there are at least 25 students per 1 teacher. There is simply not enough time to dedicate to each child individually. NOT one size fits all, so why are all of them expected to meet the same academic standards?
It is true that a teacher has a degree and some parents may not, however, over half of all teachers have failed basic literacy and numeracy tests. On the other hand, parents must relearn all subjects before teaching them to their children.
Children are no longer accountable to do their homework, pass tests or even attend classes, as teacher offer plenty of makeup exams, retakes, and extra credits to make sure everyone passes.

Teacher Unions: I know I will face a lot of criticism from a lot of people about this one, nonetheless, it's important to address it. The typical teachers union contract is loaded with provisions that do not promote education. These provisions drive away good teachers, protect bad teachers, raise costs, and tie principals’ hands.

There is one site that explains it better than I could.. 

Courtesy of Google images

Newer school curricula is starting to focuse more on Saving the planet, going green, being more tolerant toward Homosexuals, lesbians, transgender and bisexual peers, as well as muslims, atheist and agnostics. Also on pilates and yoga instead of P.E. and not so much in American History but rather Hispanic history, Black history, Native American History, and Women's Rights (not to undermine either one, but such subjects did not forge the US from its inception).

Food, OBESITY and Peer Pressure: Research presented at a meeting of the Annual College of Cardiology last year determined that kids who eat lunches served by their schools are almost 60 percent more likely to be overweight or obese when compared to children who bring their lunch from home.(see more)

Obese children often face more bullying than anyone else leading to depression and in many cases suicide. Many other children (especially girls) are pressured by their friends and the media to maintain a certain image, thus experiencing various psychological eating disorders that will hunt them for a very long time.

Religious instruction is forbidden - Scratch that - Christian Values are forbidden, as other beliefs are promoted (i.e. Islam).

I will end with this (and hope to hear your feedback).

The banning of prayer in assemblies affected moral standards:
Before prayer was removed from schools, polls among educators listed the top offences in public schools as:

Chewing gum
Making noise
Running in the halls
Getting out of turn in line
Wearing improper clothing
Not putting paper in wastebaskets

After prayer was removed from schools, polls among educators listed the top offences in public schools as:

Drug abuse
Alcohol abuse
Gang warfare
Venereal disease

(Taken from the book: America: to pray or not to pray? By David Barton, 1988, you can read more about this here...)

And to clear up the misconception of what homeschooled vs homeschooler is - watch this vid..

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