“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27, ESV)

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Extreme Makeover an Extreme Curse?

You might have heard of lotto winnings becoming more of a curse for a family when it tore relationship apart and created burdens where there were none before. In this same case, the man’s wife left him and his daughter eventually died from drug abuse. Well the Extreme Makeover television show is popular for changing a families home into an amazing castle, but there are some problems with that.

At lunch the other day a co-worker had questioned how it is that these people can afford their property tax and utilities after these extreme modifications. That’s a good question, so I Googled a bit and found some forums describing the problems that winners have experienced. Check out this forum topic, Click Here. One woman had to take up 2 jobs to pay for the increased utilities and property taxes. Another woman is now being sued over an old car accident because now the victim knows they have money. One family had adopted a bunch of orphans to win Extreme Makeover’s attention, only to send all those kids packing after the show. Locally, Bay Area residents talk about how Extreme Makeover promised some things to the city that never came to fruition. In another case, Extreme Makeover turned a rundown house in a rundown neighborhood into a mansion. But it’s still a rundown neighborhood. Who’s going to pay the premium price tag for a house that’s in the wrong location?

When you think about it, the people who are really doing the honest, charitable work are those that do it for no public recognition. Behind the scenes, under the radar of the popular public. And when we help people in need, we don’t do them any good by getting them hooked and burdened by luxury. Extreme Makeover’s strategy is to lavish excessive supplies to one person and neglect the others. The bottom line for the show is that it must gain public approval and ratings for their show and their sponsors (e.g. Sears).

Jenn and I really enjoy giving through Compassion International and World Vision. They do excellent work and distribute the resources wisely to help and effect a community of people rather than just one or two people a week. It’s amazing how a few dollars here and there can make a big difference in the lives of others. And in the case of child sponsorship, you can actually become personally touched by the warm response of a child overseas. I sponsor a child in India who refers to herself as my “loving daughter” and calls me her father. I just recently learned that her real father is a alcoholic. It’s not uncommon for me to read her letters and get choked up. If you currently don’t sponsor a child, I highly recommend it. A small amount of your money can make a world of difference to someone else.

Compassion International for child sponsorship.
World Vision for child sponsorship, emergency relief, and community development.

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Planned Parenthood Controversy

In case you don’t already know, Jenn and I are very much against abortion. It seems pretty clear to us that killing babies at any time is a murderous evil that our government should not allow. The argument of freedom of choice for women is a very weak one seeing that no sane society allows murder to be a free choice. We don’t allow people to kill their children. We are shocked when we hear about a father or mother mass murdering their family. However, somehow it’s completely fine to kill children who are in the womb. Perhaps the fetus doesn’t look cute enough? Doesn’t touch our hearts enough? If it is aborted, it certainly will not have the opportunity. Some people come up with moderately understandable excuses in the case of rape, incest or genetic problems. But the reality is those are just excuses to make it seem okay to abort under any circumstance.

Now, it turns out my tax dollars are also supporting and subsidizing abortions. Technically, some of the money I work for on a daily basis is being directed toward funding abortions through planned parenthood. The thought makes me want to stop paying taxes , move out of this country, or somehow put a stop to this.  R.C. Sproul had rightfully pointed out that this is how Americans make stealing legitimate. My money is being taken from me and used in opposition to me. This is really a place that the government has no reason to be funding. What is our government’s excuse for funding abortions? I can tell you now that it’s not a good one from my perspective.

Read these facts from an American Spectator Article on Planned Parenthood

In 2005 Planned Parenthood got $272 million in our taxes, twice the money it made from its 255,000 surgical abortions. Since 1987, Planned Parenthood has taken in $3.2 billion in taxpayer funds for its deadly agenda. So, since 1973 Planned Parenthood has aborted 3.8 million babies with the help of over 3.9 billion tax dollars.

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Hybrid Center

Union of Concerned Scientists has this cool site that practically covers anything you want to know about hybrid vehicles. Details about state incentives, car reviews, technology explanations, etc. Click Here. It’s an excellent site that apparently won a 2006 Webby Award for being one of the best ratings and reviews site.

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Economics of Global Warming

The Bush administration argues that global warming legislation will hurt the economy. However, a new report shows just the opposite. Lack of legislation will eventually cost the US $50 billion a year to adapt to the climate changes caused by global warming. Worldwide, the cost to industrialized could be $150 billion or 20 percent of the world’s GDP.

Currently in California, Arnold Scharzeneger is proposing billions to be spent on damns because global warming is causing the ice packs in the mountains to melt sooner and faster. This melting water is normally absorbed into underwater basins and reservoirs. However, the faster, sooner melting is causing too much water to go out to sea. Already, California is considering spending billions on new damns. Imagine if billions are needed in California for just damns, it is not far fetch to imagine 50 billion annually countrywide and hundreds of billions annually worldwide. And of course, the U.S. will also be helping the poor countries that cannot adapt on their own. We need to act now to prevent the larger costs in dollars and lives in the future.

To check out the full report, Click Here

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Global Warming vs. Abortion

I usually try to prioritize the hot issues in politics when I’m choosing a candidate. Abortion being the most important since it is directly linked to a huge number of human lives that are destroyed every day. However, with global warming becoming a threat to the entire planet and every human life, the priority might shift to be higher than abortion.

Historically, the Republicans have been pro-life, but they are also pro-corporations. Corporations have resisted legislation that reduce green house emissions The Bush Administration is also responsible for pulling out of the Kyoto protocol and putting the U.S. farther behind in efforts to cut green house gas emissions. So should pro-lifers like me give up their position and leave the Republican party in order to go after a more important, life-saving issue of global warming? Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of a few Republicans that have bucked the Republican trend and signed in one of the largest initiatives in the U.S. to cut green house gasses in California. If the Republican party doesn’t follow Arnold’s lead, and the Democrats promise more regulaion of green house gases, I might seriously consider hoping the party line.

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