Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Story of Hope

Here is an interesting story of hope that was published by the New York Times. Did not find a wide audience due in part to our apathy about our children's education. Not in the rural areas but in the big cities there is a sense of defeatism about the conditions of our schools. This is also a story of how local government can make good changes.
Please read this wonderful story of a hero in the school system of New York City. Please click on the title below.

In Bronx School, Culture Shock, Then Revival

Monday, February 25, 2008

Devil May CAIR

Devil May CAIR
Posted Friday, February 08, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Homeland Security: In a new court filing, federal prosecutors describe the Council on American-Islamic Relations as a supporter of terrorists. So why are Democrats still supporting the organization?

CAIR's boosters on the Hill, where it's headquartered just three blocks from the Capitol, have known for some time that several people in positions of power within the group have been directly connected to terrorism and have either been prosecuted or thrown out of the country. Yet lawmakers have gone right on singing CAIR's praises and doing its bidding. That agenda includes suing John Doe witnesses, censoring critics of Islamism and denying the FBI antiterror tools.

These cheerleaders, who include a handful of Republicans (see box), also know by now that CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror-fundraising case last year. And that FBI wiretaps revealed that CAIR's founder, Omar Ahmad, and executive director, Nihad Awad, last decade attended a secret meeting in Philadelphia with Hamas leaders and other terrorist sympathizers.

In fact, Ahmad himself was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror case, which counts a CAIR founding director among its criminal defendants.

But now, in a separate case involving a senior CAIR official who trained to kill American soldiers in jihad, prosecutors are tying CAIR even closer to terror. In court papers filed in December, federal prosecutors described CAIR as not just an apologist or sympathizer, but a supporter of terrorists.

"From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders," the filing states, "CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists." The government also cited evidence "the conspirators used deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists."

Perhaps some members of Congress had been fooled by CAIR's deception. But now they have no excuse. Now Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who saluted CAIR's "important work," and Sen. Paul Sarbanes, who applauded "CAIR's mission," know better.

The criminal briefing should also disabuse Rep. John Conyers, who's trumpeted CAIR's "long and distinguished history." Rep. John Dingell, who said "my office door is always open" to CAIR, now has an obligation to slam it shut.

No red-blooded American lawmaker wants to do anything that would facilitate the support of terrorists, not even Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who's gushed "CAIR has much to be proud of."

Continued support of CAIR plays right into its hands. Such endorsements are promptly posted on its Web site in an attempt to legitimize itself in the media. It also uses outreach events with the government as a kind of insurance policy against investigation.

But CAIR's tricks are wearing thin. Now it is resorting to thinly veiled threats, warning presidential candidates to avoid any "anti-Muslim rhetoric" or suffer a backlash at the polls. The group already attacked former GOP hopeful Rudy Giuliani for using the phrase "Islamic terrorism." Democrats, typically, have taken the hint. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama won't even describe the enemy as terrorists, let alone Islamic.

To continue to embrace CAIR and cater to its demands is the equivalent of legitimizing the Muslim Brotherhood, a group which gave birth to Hamas and al-Qaida.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Making Abortions Immune to Attack

This is an eletter from The Family Research Council. Christianity is under severe attack on a variety of different levels.

Refer a Friend | February 20, 2008
Spitzer Spits in the Eye of Life

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (D) is pushing a bill in his state's legislature that seeks to declare abortion a fundamental right for all women. The bill would make abortions virtually immune to state regulation, end conscience protections, and most likely force the numerous Christian-run hospitals in the state to close rather than be forced to violate their faith by carrying out abortions or referring women to abortuaries. The bill also would expand the field of people who can perform abortions while eliminating the possibility of passing restrictions that have wide public support, such as parental notification, informed consent laws, and waiting periods. Governor Spitzer rose to power in New York State with tremendous support from NARAL and Planned Parenthood, mainly due to his adamant support of abortion and his unbridled hostility towards pregnancy care centers. Coincidentally the two leading Democratic nominees for President, Senators Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barak Obama (R-Ill.) are cosponsors of a similar bill in the U.S. Senate introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calf.) that, if enacted, would effectively overturn most state laws on abortion. States, like Georgia, that are currently trying to reflect the pro-life majority among their population would be left with little choice but to subsidize abortions with taxpayer dollars if this legislation is passed and signed into national law.

Additional Resources
NY Catholic Church launches Campaign against Pro-Abortion Bill

Some Choice the Liberals Oppose

In December of 2002 President Bush issued an executive order which led to protections for faith-based groups that wish to participate in federal programs without sacrificing what many believe to be the key to the success of faith driven programs - a belief in God. Addressing this issue of "charitable choice" last month in his State of the Union speech President Bush called on Congress to "permanently extend Charitable Choice." Next Tuesday the Senate Health Committee is scheduled to take up reauthorization of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Act (SAMHSA). In 2000, Congress put Charitable Choice language into SAMHSA by means of two laws. Now Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) is seeking to weaken Charitable Choice on the argument that it permits "government-funded job discrimination." Charitable Choice exists in law in numerous programs and simply states that a faith-based organization does not lose its exemption permitting religious staffing merely by accepting government funds to provide social services. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes that exemption and U.S. courts have upheld the exemption. Please call the Senate Health Committee today and tell them to protect programs that work and stop discriminating against religious organizations, which offer among the most effective and compassionate social services available.

Democrats: Edward Kennedy (Mass.); Christopher Dodd (Conn.); Tom Harkin (Iowa); Barbara A. Mikulski (Md.); Jeff Bingaman (N. Mex.); Patty Murray (Wash.); Jack Reed (R.I.); Hillary Rodham Clinton(N.Y.); Barack Obama (Ill.); Bernard Sanders (I) (Vt.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio).

Republicans: Michael B. Enzi (Wyo.); Judd Gregg (N.H.); Lamar Alexander (Tenn.); Richard Burr (N.C.); Johnny Isakson (Ga.); Lisa Murkowski (Alaska); Orrin G. Hatch (Utah); Pat Roberts (Kans.); Wayne Allard (Colo.) and Tom Coburn, M.D. (Okla.)

Take Action Now
Contact Your Senator

Monday, February 18, 2008

Barry Lynn Letter of Intimidation to Pastor's

Barry Lynn of American's for Separation of Church and State has written a very misleading letter to Pastor's concerning their legal "does and don'ts".

To read the letter and also see the "marked" up copy from Liberty Council that removes the misleading statements click Here

To view the .pdf versions click on
Original and/or Liberty Council markup

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Marching in Heels

Samara Cannon



I was standing in formation; hoping to hear the words “fall out” from my First Sergeant. My feet had already stated to hurt. I looked down at my feet that were incased in a pair of black, two inch pumps. It was Dress Blues day in the Corps of Cadets and that meant that females wore the mandatory skirt and horrid heels to go with it. I looked to my First Sergeant again, but the words never came.

I could barely walk in heels, let alone march. Questions began to enter my mind. How could the Army do this to females? They expect us to be tough, but walk in heels? This was insane!

Down the hill we marched, the First Sergeant calling cadence and keeping us in step with the monotonous, “Left, left, left right left.” I looked like a drunken speed walker as I tried to keep up. The hill was steep and my stride was too short. My mind was focused on one thing: don’t fall.

The males snickered behind me. The choppy click, clack, click, clack of my heels on the pavement filled my ears. I kept thinking to myself, “If only the males would wear heels too, then they might shut up.” I could see the sinister smile on my First Sergeant’s face. He was absolutely enthralled at the sight.

Then, the inevitable happened. Someone behind me stepped on my heel. It flew behind me into the core of the formation. Humility and anger flushed my cheeks red. I stood there, helpless, as the lone shoe was kicked around. Everyone laughed as I tried to follow where it was being kicked. Finally, the shoe landed outside the formation and I hurried to retrieve the torturous thing. All eyes were on me as I placed the shoe back on my numb foot and dejectedly fell into the back of the formation.

I continued to march. The sight was ungraceful but humorous from another’s point of view. If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t. Instead, I would simply walk over to my First Sergeant, hand him the dastardly pumps and say, “Here, you try it.”

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Defining Evangelism Down

This is a very thought provoking column written by Paul Edwards who is the host of The Paul Edward Program and a pastor. His program is heard daily on WLQV in Detroit and on godandculture.com. I do not know him nor have I listened to or read any of his other material and therefore do not have an opinion. I do know that this one is really good.
To read the article click Here

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

van der Westhuizen News Update February 13, 2008

Why would Tiger Woods want to get a coach? Why would a missionary like me with 32 years of missions under the belt want coaching? Tiger Woods, after all, is the best of the very best in his field. It is interesting to note that Tiger’s coach is not the better player, but he knows how to draw out gifts, talents and innate abilities out of others. Woods started winning tournaments again once he had hired his new coach.

This was one interesting fact that I found out in one of my courses classes I just completed. The business world has found out that training alone improves productivity by 22%. Training plus coaching increased it by 86%! In a Southern Baptist study of 601 church planters over a four year period they found out that adding coaching to their training doubled their church plants!

I thank the Lord for the opportunity I have to receive valuable training and information with a view of preparation for returning back to South America. Training cannot be left aside and many years of missions cannot be ignored, but ongoing coaching and mentoring of nationals is required for greater efficiency on the mission field. The two courses that I am presently doing at RTS are Biblical Conflict Resolution - Peacemaking (with Dave Edling & Ken Sande) and Mentoring and Coaching Leaders (Terry Walling & Steve Ogne). This has kept me very busy along with my other responsibilities (Chile and IIIM), but they are both absolutely essential areas to master if I trust to be effective. Stephanie has been able to audit the Leadership Mentoring & Coaching class as well which is so important for her development since she is so engaged in the area of leadership mentoring and development as well.

Please pray for Stephanie too. She is beginning to co-teach a course on mentoring women in the PCA church we are involved in here in March. Her nursing schedule requires her to work some Sundays too, which makes getting time off to teach on Sunday mornings during the Sunday school hour more challenging.

Stephanie and I would like to thank those who are standing with us through prayer and financial support. Your participation in our ministry is deeply appreciated.

Together for Jesus

Johan and Stephanie van der Westhuizen

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Hannah Tuggy Update

Well, I'll have to make this short, but I've been meaning to write everyone for sometime now and I just haven't gotten around to it. I'll try to write more soon.

Things have been good with my job at Grace Children's Home, and I am seeing some slow but good progress in my abilities to take on the job. We've had a good bit of changes, with several new kids in the cottages, which means we need to be diligent in teaching them how things are here, and in building relationships with them, without neglecting the ones we already have. Some of them don't even know how to do simple cleaning tasks, while some are often just unwilling to put in the effort. We have a natural rewards and consequences system, and we try to help them learn how what they do will affect their future.

The weather here has been particularly cold and snowy for the past few months. We just had a blizzard with a foot or so of snow.

I'm getting along well with my co-workers, and I am also getting more involved with the community, taking part in a singles Bible study once a week (when I'm not working), and an occational activity like bowling or going to the movies at a town about 15 miles away.

The churches here are very hospitable and the people friendly, but I miss the lively worship time and the close fellowship of my church in Georgia.

Right now, my greatest prayer requests are:
1. Building relationships with the kids- I want them to be able to trust and respect me, and I also want to know them better so that I can better serve them. Please also pray for their salvation.
2. I am really struggling with being homesick for my friends and church in GA/TN. I need to be patient and at peace with the fact that the closeness of friendships takes time to build. I need to know and trust that these people really do care about me, even though I don't always feel like it. And I need more hugs. =)
3. I need to be more intentional with growth again. I'm working on some things, but it's often slow going, and I'm often slipping back into a laziness and avoidence of unpleasant or complicated things, especially during my days off. I need to have my priorities straight and be responsible.

Thanks for your prayers. My love to all of you in Christ.


Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him... ~Phil.3:7-9a

Super Tuesday Election Results

For state by state election results click HERE

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Dr. Dobson and Values Voters

I sincerely believe that joining Dr. Dobson to unite values voters is a worthy undertaking. You can help by signing his petition Here

I know that there won't always be a candidate that will fit all of the requirements and that I will have to make difficult choices. But I also know that when this movement grows to the point where we make a difference at the voting booths, both partys will sit up and pay attention. I believe it will also act to encourage more solid Christians to run for office and also encourage those in office that are afraid to stand up for their Christian values to find the courage to do so.

I am not committed to one party or the other, fact is I find little in either party that I want to brag about. I am in favor of:
a. Sticking to the Constitution
b. Less government(we should take responsiblity for more and quit asking a robber baron for help)
c. Reducing government by getting them out of issues that should be taken care of by the states
d. Be more proactive in the local, state and federal governments
e. No more pork
f. No more lobbying by foreigners
g. Tort reform, no more frivolous lawsuits or astronomically high awards that only serve to enrich lawyers or their firms.
h. Get rid of the wage tax. Overhaul the tax code in a way that would require one one-hundreth of the tax division of the revenue department.
i. Disband the federal workers union, period.

Today you can email everyone in elected office and voice your thoughts and opinions on any subject that shapes our society. There are many groups that watch the government on many subjects and they spend the time researching the issues. They are available on the internet. If you want help, please, let me know. I will be more than happy to help you get started. You can make a difference.

My personal priorities are God, my family, church, my church family, the moral heading of our local, state and federal governing bodies.

Please vote for whoever it is that you believe will best serve this nation.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Key Election Dates for Tennessee and Georgia

These links will take you to a listing of the key election dates and voting locations to Hamilton County Tennessee and any county in Georgia.

Key Voting Dates for Tennessee

Hamilton County Polling Locations/


Georgia Election Dates/

Polling Place Locator/

Family Research Council Critique of Candidates

The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins and Tom Minnery discuss each of the candidates stances on the social issues. They are short and well worth the time to watch.
Focus Action Candidate Commentary/