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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sunday Sermon Outline and Illustrations

Series: What If His People Prayed
Sermon Title: Be Still and Know That I am God

Let’s start today’s sermon with a little humor.

A mousy little fellow was waiting on a corner when a car stopped and a huge man got out. "Excuse me, please," the big guy said, "but I'm a stwanger in town and I'm lost. Can you diwect me to Wolling Woad?"
The mousey fellow looked at the big guy nervously and said nothing."Are you deaf?" the big man wanted to know. "Can't you speak Engwish?"
Still getting no answer, the big man walked over to a police officer. "Excuse me, please, officer, but can you tell me how to get to Wolling Woad?""Rolling Road? Why sure -- you go down this street and turn right."
"Thank you vewy much," replied the muscleman as he went his way.
The officer watched him leave, and then went over to the little fellow. "What's the matter with you?" he asked. "Couldn't you tell him how to get to Rolling Road?"
"Howy smoke, officer, are you cwazy? The minute I twied to tell that big wascal how to get to Wolling Woad, he'd have town me wimb from wimb."
Quoted by James Dent of Charleston, W.Va., Gazette, Reader's Digest, March, 1980

Psalm 46: 7 - 11

7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.
10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Matthew Henry in his commentary says, “Come and see the effects of desolating judgments, and stand in awe of God. This shows the perfect security of the church, and is an assurance of lasting peace. Let us pray for the speedy approach of these glorious days, and in silent submission let us worship and trust in our almighty Sovereign.”

Three reasons why we should pray and then be silent and spend quiet time in prayer:

1. Do you want God’s answer or your answer?

a. How are you going to know God’s answer if you don’t listen?

William Wilberforce, Christian statesman of Great Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, once said, "I must secure more time for private devotions. I have been living far too public for me. The shortening of private devotions starves the soul. It grows lean and faint."
Following a failure in Parliament, he remarked that his problems may have been due to the fact that he spent less and less time in his private devotions in which he could earnestly seek the will of God. He concluded, "God allowed me to stumble."

2. You might just be amazed at what God has to say when you listen.

a. Maybe we keep talking because we don’t think God will answer.
b. Maybe we keep talking because we won’t like God’s answer.

3. When you listen instead of doing all the talking, there is closeness with God.

a. You show your trust in Him
b. You show your confidence in Him
c. You show your reverence to Him

When Calvin Coolidge was President he saw dozens of people every day. Most had complaints of one kind or another. A visiting Governor once told Coolidge he didn't understand how he could see so many people. "Why, you finish with them by dinner time," the Governor remarked, "while I'm often at my desk till midnight." "Yes," said Coolidge, "But you talk back."

Repeat vs. 10: "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

Friday, July 27, 2007

Prayer for Heroes in GWOT

As a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I believe that prayer is one of the most important parts of my ministry. I also believe that the more people who pray, the better. I would like to use this post to name several people that I know or have been asked to pray for here on a local level, and then allow you folks who read this blog to add to the list in the comment section. As you add, I will edit the post and add their names to this main post and ask that if you believe in prayer to lift the brave patriots up to the Lord.

I know that there are several Christians, at least one Jewish person, and at least on atheist who blog here regularly. Let's band together to pray for the safety of those who are serving, no matter where it is they are currently stationed.

Here is the list:

Mark Kinslow
David Stroud
David Veerkamp
Tanner Archibald
Adam Herbert
Alex MacKilligan, USN
Corey, Basic at Ft. Jackson
Adam, Basic at Ft. Jackson
Daniel Porter

Jordan Porter[2 brothers in the same Ranger unit]
Allen Leggit
Christopher Brock

Thank you, and God Bless America!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Another Liberal Attempt to Portray Christians in a Negative Light?

I guess we will have to see how it turns out, but with the names that appear at the bottom, one would have to share the worries of this analyst.

To put a positive "spin" on this though, every time the left attempts to make Christians look bad, we have the opportunity to stand up and show how Christians really should act and that there really is a vast silent majority (getting better) that wants our country's original Christian values back in place in this great country!

Analyst concerned CNN documentary may equate
'Christian Right' with Islamic terrorists

Jim Brown www.onenewsnow.com
July 26, 2007

A media analyst fears an upcoming CNN special will attempt to create a moral equivalency between all religions. Bob Knight says it appears the network is trying to equate Muslim homicide bombers with evangelical Christians.

Starting August 21, CNN plans to air a three-night, six-hour documentary in prime time called God's Warriors. The special, hosted by chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, will purportedly discuss "the impact of religious fundamentalism as a powerful political force around the world."

CNN says the documentary will feature what it calls "patriot pastors who seek to change American culture through the ballot box," "parents who reject science education in conflict with their religious principles," and Muslim "suicide martyrs who are revered as iconic heroes."

Knight, director of the Media Research Center's. www.cultureandmediainstitute.org/ , Culture and Media Institute, says any series that equates "conscience-based resistance to liberal programs" with Islamic extremists is a blatant attempt to equate Christianity with Islam and to say "a pox on both their houses -- they're all bad."

"It looks very much like what the media had been up to all along, which is to push a secular viewpoint and to tar all religious believers with the same brush," says Knight -- and that includes resorting to "vilifying Christians" using any method they are able, he adds.

"They never seem to get around to explaining that the only reason there's a free press in America is because it was founded by Christians who believed in freedom of conscience," says the CMI director. "They instead paint the picture of all religion threatening fundamental civil liberties."

CNN says its God's Warriors series also includes an interview with former President Jimmy Carter about "the political impact of the Christian Right in the United States." Examples of religious fundamentalists in the CNN documentary include the non-violent Christian youth group "Battle Cry." The CNN special also includes interviews with the late Dr. Jerry Falwell and the founder of the Israeli settlement movement.

A Change Already!

After two people said that the orange print was difficult to read, I've decided to make my own comments appear in larger bold print, and things that I have used from other sources in regular sized black and white.

Thanks for the input Norm and Cassie!

Shout Out to NJ GOP

I wanted to "tease" you all with an upcoming event here on "Do the Right Thing". My good friend and friend of many of the bloggers I know has given me the special privilege of posting her latest "fictional blog story" right here on my blog.

NJ has humored us with numerous stories in the past and she started a new story in the comments section on my old blog. She has tipped her hand a little on how that story will end, but has sworn me to secrecy until she gets it to me to publish on here.

If I get the time, I will copy the beginning of the story here in the next couple of days so that you will be on the edge of your chair waiting for this ending that I guarantee will make you roll on the floor laughing!!!!

My thanks to NJ for choosing my place to exhibit her creative abilities! She is a wonderful Christian lady and I proud to call her my friend!

Pastor Ed

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My New Home and Direction

As I have thought and prayed about the direction that God wants me to take as I restart "Do the Right Thing" here at a new location, I thought I would take a look at my very first post from the other site. Below is that post, and I will put in bold and italics the things that have changed or I plan to change from my original thinking back in February.

Blog Introduction
Monday, February 26, 2007 11:49 PM

As I was thinking about how to open this new blog, several things came to mind. I want to make this first post an introduction of who I am and what purpose I want this blog to serve and not serve.I'm a 44 yr. old Minister at a Wesleyan Church in South Central Indiana. I've been married to my spouse for 25 years, we have 3 children ages 24, 22, and 16 and 1 grand child age 14 months with another one due in May.

I am proud to be an Ambassador for the Presidential Prayer Team, which is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that commits to praying for our President, our National Leaders, and our troops.

Most of my life revolves around my Christian faith and activities with those people and groups listed above.And while I'm sure (OK positive) that my Christian values will come out on a regular basis, this blog isn't about bragging about my loved ones (I love doing that), my church activities (I love where God has placed me and what He has me doing) or recruiting people for the PPT (you can contact me my email if you want info on that).This blog is about the name listed at the top of the page - "Do The Right Thing".

There is a tremendous need in our country today to rally the Silent Majority to raise up and take action, before our country goes too far down the path of destruction. You and I can make a difference in this country - 1 person at a time.God Bless You (told you it would come out)!

OK, let's look at those changes/differences:

  • As I said in yesterday's post it was my 26th anniversary (hard to believe someone would put up with me for that many years).
  • My three children are now 24, 23, and 17.
  • I have 2 grandchildren ages 19 months and 9 weeks old.
  • I may talk more about my family in future posts.
  • I may talk more about the things going on at Hope First Wesleyan Church.
  • I will promote The Presidential Prayer Team on this site.

Now some other things that I want to do and some things I want to stay:

  • The theme will remain on doing the right thing.
  • My personal remarks will be in orange and things that I pull from other stories, etc will be black and white.
  • I will continue to attempt to rally the (not as) Silent Majority to rise up and be heard and take action
  • I will continue with my Sunday Sermon Outlines.
  • I will put a link on the site for prayer requests.
  • I will not allow people to spew hatred, nastiness, or rudeness on my site
  • I want everyone to be their selves, but keep in mind that the majority of people who view this blog are Christians. Please be respectful of that fact.
  • I want to have more guest postings than I have in the past.
  • Before I tried to make one post a day. Now I'm not going to hold myself to that. If I need to post 5 times in one day I will, and if I can't/don't post on a day(s) I won't feel like I am going back on what I need to do. I will just try to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit and keep in mind my own personal schedule.
  • Most of all, I want this blog to bring glory to God, and His Son Jesus Christ!

Some of the things I changed my mind about since first starting was that some of the things I said I wouldn't discuss much on my blog are a very big part of who I am. Thus, I either didn't post some things that should have been posted, or broke my own rules.

The other thing is that by the time it became obvious that I HAD to change sites, so that I could moderate, the tone of my blog (at least in the comments) had become so much negative and fighting with people that I couldn't stand it any longer. I am a positive person, and that's what I want my blog to reflect. There will be times when negatives will need to be brought up, but even then I want to do so in a way to bring Glory to God!

Enough rambling for today. I'm excited about the new home, the new attitude and the new possibilities!

God Loves You & so do I!!!!!

Pastor Ed

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Why I Chose to Move - Live Example

Today is my 26th anniversary so I don't want to take long here because I'm getting ready to take my bride out for the evening.

I wanted my next post to go over what I plan to accomplish on this new and updated site, but I will put that off until tomorrow. However, I wanted to share a real life example of why I insisted on having a site where I could moderate by deleting comments and/or banning IP addresses.

The blogger who has followed (stalked) several of my "Good Guy" friends and myself around the net immediately started with his same rude, nasty, and hateful comments. I deleted the comments and banned his IP.

He will be back as he has access to numerous IP addresses but I will continue to ban (I like the word flush better) him every time he shows up.

He used an new tactic after being banned by creating the email address mtertullian@gmail.com and the user name of Mike Thaying. As everything about this blogger has always proven, the names are just fakes, as Tertullian is a person from early (2nd/3rd century) church history, and Mike Thayer is a "Good Guy" blogger that Raoul can't stand.

Below is his email, unedited in it's entirety.

For you regular bloggers from the "Good Guy" group you've seen this or will not be surprised, but I wanted to show the casual bloggers, what we are up against and why we are committed to spreading the good Word and news as well as exposing the non-truth's that are spread on a daily basis.

God is Good!

Pastor Ed

Your 'exciting' new blog wrote:","On 7/24/07, Mike Thaying

Mike Thaying

In addition to the comments 'I WILL NOT TOLERATE RUDE, NASTY, HATEFUL COMMENTS. Plain and simple - if I don't like your comment - it gets deleted' you ought to have included 'in fact, if any of your comments do not line up EXACTLY with mine 100%' I will delete them and ban you from posting. After all Ed, you are a coward! You cannot take any kind of heat. One wonders what you would have done during the 1st century when my brothers and sisters were being killed for the faith - the real faith that is and not the fake, political one you are part of.

As I've said before, over and over, your religion is as much a joke as you are and the millions of right wing fundies in this country. You have made a joke of the cross and the true meaning of the Way.

And, as I've painfully said quite a few times, every time a soldier dies over there, his/her blood is on YOUR hands for supporting this criminal bastard in the white house. I guess you didn't know that Karl Rove, the real puppetmaster behind bush, is an ATHEIST. He's probably laughing his ass off at all of the clowns like you who mix up patriotism with criminal activities conducted by a government.

As I said before, I have in fact worked in this government. I know, first hand, of things that would make one's skin crawl. But since you and the rest of you blind flock are in denial, I won't waste words.

Even though you won't allow me to post on your blog, BELIEVE me when I say I will monitor everything you and others write and will use it elsewhere against you. And tell your strident girlfriend cassie that I turned over her note to the authorities - the one about 'hanging the senators'. You and your flock are the REAL traitors to this country and not any of us on the Left.
graciously yours,

Monday, July 23, 2007

Going To Start - Still a Work in Progress!

Well, I've been working on this new site long enough waiting to begin posting, and some of you have gently been nudging me along to "get going".

I have copied the posts from my Townhall site: http://dotherightthing.townhall.com/ , and they are grouped by date. As part of the ongoing construction, I will be making a directory of topics, and copying the pictures that didn't get copied.

I have thought long and hard about this new site and my first "REAL POST" here will give you my thoughts on blogging and my new approach.

Please bear with me as I continue with the construction phase, and I would love and suggestions you might have as well.

God Bless America,

and, I love you all!!!!!

Pastor Ed

Blog Post Directory

This will be a directory of all my blog topics in the near (maybe) future.

Pastor Ed

Posts: June 19 to July 20, 2007

Coming Soon
Friday, July 20, 2007 4:58 PM

Coming Soon!!!

Do The RIGHT Thing

at a new location.

Final touches to the new site

will be done soon.

I thought about changing the

name from the current name

to Troll-Free blogging,

but decided to

Do The Right Thing!


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Link to Pictures of SSG Michael Bechart's Funeral Procession
Sunday, July 08, 2007 12:39 AM

Click on the link below to view the 74 pictures my wife took before and during the funeral procession for SSG Michael Bechert.

you're invited to view Ed's photos!

SSG Michael Bec... Funeral
74 photos

Ed says...
Click on this link and if you run slide show it is really cool!

God Bless the memory of this fallen hero!


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What If His People Prayed!
Saturday, July 07, 2007 11:42 PM

I am beginning a new series of messages on Prayer with this song as an inspiration. It is performed by the group Casting Crowns. If you haven't heard it - you need to! Read the words, they are awesome!

What if His People Prayed?

Verse 1
What if the armies of the Lord
Picked up and dusted off their swords
Vowed to set the captive free
And not let Satan have one more
What if the church for heaven's sake
Finally stepped up to the plate
Took a stand upon God's promise
And stormed hell's rusty gates

Chorus 1
What if His people prayed
And those who bear His name
Would only seek His face yeah
And turn from their own ways

Verse 2
And what would happen if we prayed
For those raised up to lead the way
Then maybe kids in school could pray
And unborn children see light of day
What if the life that we pursue
Came from a hunger for the truth
What if the fam'ly turned to Jesus
Stopped asking Oprah what to do

Chorus 2
He said that they would hear
His promise has been made
He's answered loud and clear yeah
If only we would pray

Misc 1
If My people called by My name
If they'll humble themselves and pray
If My people called by My name
If they'll humble themselves and pray


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Where I've Been and Where I'm Going
Saturday, July 07, 2007 10:54 PM

I've not made a new post on here since June 26th. Where have I been?

Well, it's like this: June was a very tough month for me personally. I attended 6 funerals, 2 of which I preached and the other 4 I went to support family, friends, or the pastor doing the funeral.

Some might say, don't you rejoice when people go to Heaven? My response is, "of course I do when I believe the person was ready". That being said, it doesn't mean that there is not mourning to do, and surprise, surprise - preachers mourn for people just like everyone else.

So Pastor Ed, you've taken a couple of weeks off to mourn???? Well, yes and no. I did need to lighten up just a little, but that isn't the only reason for not blogging for 2 weeks.

I am in the process of evaluating my purpose in blogging and seeking God's guidance for where to go from here. I believe that blogging can be a very good tool for ministry. I also believe that arguing with trolls, is not what I am called to do.

Also, with this process of evaluation, I am looking for a new site so that I can moderate comments myself. Call me self-righteous or whatever you like, but I will no longer have a site where people comment with rude, nasty, or hateful remarks. I don't blog to argue, I blog to do God's work, and motivate the Silent Majority to not allow satan to rule things in our great country.

This coming week my wife and I will be working at Teen Camp. The timing is good, as it gives me some more time to continue my evaluation. If you have comments or suggestions, I welcome them (if they are not rude, nasty, or hateful). Let me know, how is it that I can best minister to my online "congregation".

I love you all (Right or not), and say a prayer for us as we are with teenagers who will have the opportunity to change their lives for all eternity.

Pastor Ed

I'm going to post a link to the pictures from the funeral procession for the "Fallen Hero" who was buried here in our town, and I'm going to post something on the new Sermon Series I'm starting tomorrow.


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Fallen Hero Laid to Rest!
Monday, June 25, 2007 1:04 AM

Today SSG Michael A. Bechert was laid to rest! This is a little snipet from the early online reports of the funeral. My wife took some amazing pictures of the day's crowd, and I've never seen anything like it in our small town.

I will post the pictures as soon as I get time to download them (hopefully Monday night)! In the meantime, I want to say how proud I am 1) of the sacrifice made by SSG Bechert, 2) of our small town turning out in mass to recognize this hero, when no one I have talked to knew him or his family. The respect given was just that - true respect for an American hero, 3) of the awesome show of support from the Patriot Guard Riders. I will give more details in a future post, but I got a chance to talk to dozens of these fine men and women (and yes I hugged one for you Margot), and I believe without exception when I thanked them for being here, they said "it's my honor".

I'm anxious to get the pictures out to you, unfortunately my schedule won't let me get it done early on Monday, and it's too late to do tonight. Here's the snipet, and their picture.

Soldier laid to rest in Hope

Sgt.(SSG) Michael A. Bechert, a U.S. soldier fatally wounded in Iraq, was laid to rest Sunday in a quiet, tree-lined spot in Hope Moravian Cemetery.

Bechert was not from Bartholomew County and most recently lived in Germany with his wife, Daniela, and their 20-month-old son, Brandon, but he chose to be buried in Hope next to his mother's grave.

Area residents responded with an outpouring of support and respect as they lined Hope's Main Street between Norman Funeral Home and Hope Moravian Church.

Staff Sgt. Michael Bechert is carried out of Norman
Funeral Home in Hope Sunday prior to the procession
to Hope Moravian Cemetery.

Photo by Joel Philippsen


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Sunday Sermon
Monday, June 25, 2007 12:32 AM

I got the title for this sermon from a line in a funeral message that I attended a few days ago. My dear friend and minister David Burnett, used this line about making it to heaven and I said to myself, "Self, that line would be a great sermon title" and I decided to use it for a communion service today.

Please understand that these outlines are just that, and that I tie things together during the preaching.

God Bless each one of you who reads this, and God is Good! All the Time!!!!

It’s Not What You Know, But Who You Know!

I. The Pharisees Didn’t Know Jesus

Matthew 12:38-40

38 Some of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law came to Jesus. They said, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you." 39 He answered, "Evil and unfaithful people ask for a miraculous sign! But none will be given except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 Jonah was in the stomach of a huge fish for three days and three nights. Something like that will happen to the Son of Man. He will spend three days and three nights in the grave.

II. The People of Nazareth Didn’t Know Jesus

Matthew 13:53-58

53 Jesus finished telling these stories. Then he moved on from there. 54 He came to his hometown of Nazareth. There he began teaching the people in their synagogue. They were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom? Where did he get this power to do miracles?" they asked. 55 "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary? Aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren't all his sisters with us? Then where did this man get all these things?" 57 They were not pleased with him at all. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not honored in his hometown. He doesn't receive any honor in his own home." 58 He did only a few miracles there because they had no faith.

III. Peter Knew Jesus

Matthew 16:13-19

13 Jesus went to the area of Caesarea Philippi. There he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" 14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist. Others say Elijah. Still others say Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." 15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ. You are the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah! No mere man showed this to you. My Father in heaven showed it to you. 18 Here is what I tell you. You are Peter. On this rock I will build my church. The gates of hell will not be strong enough to destroy it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. What you lock on earth will be locked in heaven. What you unlock on earth will be unlocked in heaven."

IV. You Too Can Know Jesus

Matthew 26:26-30
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread. He gave thanks and broke it. He handed it to his disciples and said, "Take this and eat it. This is my body." 27 Then he took the cup. He gave thanks and handed it to them. He said, "All of you drink from it. 28 This is my blood of the new covenant. It is poured out to forgive the sins of many. 29 Here is what I tell you. From now on, I won't drink wine with you again until the day I drink it with you in my Father's kingdom." 30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.


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Welcome Patriot Guard Riders!
Saturday, June 23, 2007 12:07 AM

Looks like there will be more of the "Good Guys" in town on Sunday. I know I sure appreciate the presence of the Patriot Guard Riders, and my thanks to solo for hooking me up with this link.

Patriot Guard Riders Forum

17 Jun 2007 6:40 PM
Updated 19 Jun 07

Final Itinerary: SSgt. Michael A. Bechert New Castle Indiana

Date: Sunday June 24

Staging Time: 1:00 pm

Directions: From I-65 take exit 80 go east on IN 252 approximately 10 miles to IN 9 south 5 miles to Hope. The zip code for Hope is 47246 for mapquest purposes.

Staging will be in front of Moravian Church. We have been given permission to park on either side of Main Street (IN 9). The service will be grave side directly behind the church. Michael's final resting place will be on top of a hill in the Southwest corner of the cemetery. The cemetery has narrow gravel roads and everyone will walk to there positions. The hearse will leave Norman Funeral ( 2 blocks north) at 1:45 and enter the cemetery off Main street onto Seminary Rd. into the cemetery. Chief of police Randy Baily will close Main Street at 1:45. He has given permission for us to park along the street directly in front of the church/cemetery. There probably will be a media presence and with Camp Atterbury near there will also be a military presence also. The community will also be out in force to show there support for this hero. (and that's a fact - Pastor Ed) The family would like to line Main Street at the entrance and the narrow road leading to Michael's final resting place with us and our flags. I was contacted by Camp Atterbury and advised that they had 30 people coming to assist (hold flags) and show their support. The weather for Sunday looks good. Ride Safely!


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A Tribute
Friday, June 22, 2007 10:09 PM

Expecting a huge crowd on Sunday. These articles in the newspaper, and I've been spear-heading the local church drive to put people on the streets.

All 4 of these posts are from The Republic newpaper in Columbus, IN.
www. therepublic.com

Hope will be final home for soldier

IF Lou Broering has his way, family members of Sgt. Michael Bechert will feel as if they’ve come home Sunday afternoon.

He’s hoping that dozens of people, waving small American flags, will line Indiana 9 between the Norman Funeral Home and the entrance to the Hope Moravian Cemetery as the soldier and his family are driven past.

In a way, Sgt. Bechert will be coming home. Home will be a grave in the Hope Moravian cemetery, right next to his mother who died when he was a child.

But, so far as is known, neither Sgt. Bechert nor members of his surviving family ever lived in Hope.

His final resting place was in accordance with his wishes. He wanted to be buried alongside his mother in a large family plot in one of the older sections of the cemetery.

The lack of a personal connection to Bartholomew County is of no concern to Lou Broering, a Hope resident.
It also doesn’t matter that he has no personal connection to Sgt. Bechert or his family.

What does matter is that Sgt. Michael Bechert was a soldier and he died in the service of his country from injuries suffered in Iraq.

When Lou read of Sgt. Bechert’s death and plans for burial in Hope, he thought of a box he had been keeping in storage and an old friend.

“I have 24 dozen small American flags that Jim (Griffin) had purchased for special occasions,” Lou wrote. “It occurred to me that it would be fitting to line the road with people (waving those flags) leading to the entrance of the Hope Moravian Cemetery on Sunday.”

Fitting is an understatement in these circumstances.

It’s a wonderful way to recognize a fallen soldier, show compassion for his family and remember another very special person.

That would be Jim Griffin, a man who served his country in an earlier conflict.

Jim Griffin’s name is fairly recognizable around these parts.

This year‘s SALUTE! concert at the Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans was dedicated in his name.

Jim, a former commander of the local American Legion Post and the county’s veterans affairs service officer, threw himself into supporting the concert and other observances recognizing the contributions of those in uniform.

He came by that spirit in painful fashion.

As a Vietnam veteran who served “in-country,” Jim came home to a nation deeply divided by an unpopular war.

The treatment accorded him and other veterans was troubling. He wasn’t abused or spat upon or reviled by anyone who protested the war.

It’s just that no one acknowledged what he and hundreds of thousands of others had done for them.

It was as if the country wanted to forget there was ever a war in which than 50,000 of their countrymen had died.

That nagged at Jim over the years, but he had more important things to deal with, such as supporting a family and living his life.

SALUTE! support

Unlike many of his Vietnam peers, he became involved in local veterans organizations and when the SALUTE! concert was started, he became one of its biggest supporters.

One of those means of support was to buy (with his own money) hundreds of flags to distribute through the SALUTE! audience for people to wave and show their support for the troops.

The response energized the Columbus man. He wept when he saw the way this community embraced young soldiers in training at Camp Atterbury, especially at the concert.

He died suddenly and unexpectedly last year but he left behind a lot of things to remember him.

At this year’s concert, hundreds of small American flags waved throughout the performance. They had been left over from the huge collection of flags Jim had purchased the year before.

And there is also that box of flags that Lou Broering has been waiting to use.

They’ll be put to use Sunday.

“I think Jim would have been very happy to see it happen,” Lou said.

Harry McCawley is associate editor of The Republic, e-mail harry@therepublic.com.

Harry McCawley

Associated Press
Residents of South Bay look at members of a motorcycle club known as Patriot Guard riders as they follow a funeral procession June 1 for Cpl. Joseph Anzack while it travels to South High School’s football stadium in Torrance, Calif., for a public memorial. Lou Broering hopes for a smiliar turnout Sunday in Hope when Sgt. Michael Bechert is buried.


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Flag-Waving Residents to Line Procession Route
Friday, June 22, 2007 9:12 PM

Hope to honor slain soldier

Staff Reports

The funeral for Staff Sgt. Michael A. Bechert, 24, will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Hope Moravian Cemetery.

Bechert, who was serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army, was injured during a Humvee attack near Baghdad on May 30. He was one day away from his 25th birthday, when he died from severe burns June 14 in a hospital in San Antonio.

Bechert will be buried next to his mother, who died when he was a young boy.

Local residents have been asked to honor Bechert by lining the route on Indiana 9 from Norman Funeral Home to the cemetery entrance.

The funeral party is scheduled to depart from the funeral home at 1:45 p.m. and proceed to the cemetery.

Flag distribution

Participants have been asked to report first to the shelter house in Hope Town Square by 1 p.m. to get a free American flag to wave as the procession passes.

Organizers have invited the public but asked that anyone arriving by car park in the church parking lot.


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Form Letter Sent to Local Soldier's Wife
Friday, June 22, 2007 8:48 PM

This is another local troop that hits especially close to home for our church. This soldier is on our church prayer list, as one of our families is related to him. His 8 yr-old nephew is very close to David, and I've hugged the nephew several times as he shed tears worried about "my uncle in Iraq".

Soldier’s family gets job-termination letter

By Kirk Johannesen


GREENSBURG — David Veerkamp has worked at the Delta Faucet plant here for 15 years, but on Saturday a letter arrived at home stating that his employment would be terminated. For the last year, Veerkamp has been in Iraq with the Indiana National Guard.

Veerkamp’s wife, Misty, read the letter and became upset that the company would terminate him while he is serving the country.

However, the help of the Army National Guard’s Family Readiness Group and Indiana’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve led to a resolution, and David Veerkamp’s keeping his job.

Misty Veerkamp and the couple’s three girls are staying with her in-laws, Jerry and Sue Veerkamp of Greensburg, while David Veerkamp, 34, is away. His wife read the letter after sorting the day’s mail.

The letter, dated June 13 and written by Jim Funcheon, resources manager for Greensburg operations, stated:

“Your employment with Delta Faucet is being terminated for the inability to return to work after 1 year on being on a leave of absence.”

The letter quoted the company handbook for further explanation, and said David Veerkamp’s leave of absence began June 13, 2006.

“At first I cried and then I got angry. I wrote a letter so people would know what happened. I sent it to family and friends,” Misty Veerkamp said.

She contacted the FRG, which in turn contacted the ESGR, which handled the situation.

Veerkamp said Roger Peterman, chairman of the ESGR in Indiana, assured her that her husband wouldn’t lose his job because it’s illegal for employers to terminate employees who are serving on active duty.

She learned Tuesday that his job was secure, and the problem had been resolved.

She said he was immediately made aware of the letter and at first was confused, thinking the National Guard had fired him. When he learned the letter was from Delta Faucet he assured her he couldn’t be fired.

Renee Backmeyer, vice president of human resources for Delta Faucet, issued a statement apologizing “for the misunderstanding of our intent and our policy.”

She said it is Delta’s policy to welcome employees back after serving in the military, and the company wishes for David Veerkamp’s safe return.

“We sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding generated by a poorly written letter. We did not mean to cause any additional anxiety for the family of those serving in the military,” Backmeyer’s statement said.

Misty Veerkamp said she received calls from employees at Delta Faucet in support of her husband.
She’s satisfied with Backmeyer’s statement, but not with Funcheon.

“Maybe a little explanation,” she said. “I’m tired of hearing it was a simple form letter.”


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Local Soldier Injured
Friday, June 22, 2007 8:37 PM

This young man is from the city where I grew up (about 12 miles from Hope) and we spend a large amount of time there. Lots of stories on local troops in today's paper. I will post them all.

North grad hurt in Iraq explosion

Roadside bomb kills 3;

Archibald only soldier in Humvee to survive blast

By Chris Schilling cschilling@therepublic.com

KIRKUK — A roadside bomb rocked a Humvee and killed three U.S. soldiers, but the driver, U.S. Army Pfc. Tanner Archibald, 23, of Columbus, is recovering from his injuries. Archibald suffered smoke inhalation, burns and an 8-inch gash on the right side of his scalp that runs from front to back, according to his family.

Archibald, a 2001 graduate of Columbus North High School, was the lone survivor of the explosion in Kirkuk, Iraq, his family said.

He was driving a Humvee, June 14 when the bomb exploded, said his mother, Debbie Taylor.
“He said it completely turned the vehicle over,” Taylor said.

About a day later, Archibald called his mother from an airplane as he was being flown between hospitals.

Taylor said she was at work when she received the 1 p.m. phone call.

She knew immediately that something was wrong.

Usually, her son starts a conversation with “Hey Mom,” but this time he simply said “Mom” and followed up with, “I haven’t had the best day.”

“He was upset and still in a little shock from what he had seen,” Taylor said.

Archibald is at a hospital in Qatar for three weeks. He is expected to make a full physical recovery, his mother said.

Archibald is assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry regiment, 3rd Brigade Infantry Combat Team, 25th Division out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

His duties include combat, searching for explosives and helping train Iraqi police officers.

He has been serving in Iraq for almost a year and is expected to return home in October for a 30-day leave.

His Columbus relatives also include his father, Ron Archibald; sisters Meghan Archibald and Jennie Moon; stepsister Ashley Taylor; and stepfather Chuck Taylor.



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Bauer on Islamic Activity
Thursday, June 21, 2007 5:42 PM

Bauer backs federal monitoring of

Islamic activity in prisons, mosques

Jim Brown
June 21, 2007
A former Republican presidential candidate who is concerned about pro-terrorist activity is praising the Justice Department for recommending that prisons monitor Islamic religious materials and "worship areas" being used by inmates.

Three inmates at the federal prison in Otisville, New York, recently sued prison officials for removing some Islamic books from the prison's chapel library, claiming their constitutional rights had been violated by the action. U.S. Attorney Brian Feldman says the Bureau of Prisons was responding to the Justice Department's concern that prisons "had been radicalized by inmates who were practicing or espousing various extreme forms of religion, specifically Islam, which exposed security risks to the prisons and beyond the prisons to the public at large."

American Values president Gary Bauer says the apparent crackdown is encouraging. "Inevitably they'll be lawsuits -- and there are already some filed -- but it seems to us that this is the sort of prudent thing that ought to be done at a time when we're facing very violent radicals, extremists that already attacked us once and would like to attack us again," he warns.

Likewise, Bauer says if there are mosques being run with Saudi money and preaching a radical form of Islam, then Americans need to know what is being said in them. It is just as important for the government to keep tabs on the activities of "the extremists who are not behind bars," says Bauer.

"We do have freedom of religion in this country -- but freedom of religion, like all of our other rights, is not a right that dominates everything else," he claims. "That is, in the process of exercising your freedom of religion, you can't be advocating or promoting violence against the United States and our people, or otherwise inciting people to riot, or to destroy or break the law."

Bauer says he and most Christians do not fear someone from the federal government sitting in their church and listening to a typical sermon, so mosques should not be bothered by it either.


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Another Bush Veto
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 9:31 PM

I know that our President has not lived up to most of our conservative standards for a little while now, but I personally am thankful that his stand on pro-life has not wavered. And even if you are upset with GWB, please don't forget to pray for him!


Bush Vetoes Embryonic Stem-Cell

Bill, Promotes Ethical Research

by Wendy Cloyd, assistant editor

President said he wants HHS to pursue alternatives.

President Bush announced his veto today of S.5, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, passed by Congress this month. The legislation would have forced taxpayers to pay for research using stem cells taken from destroyed human embryos.

During the ceremony in the East Room of the White House, he also issued an executive order directing the Department of Health and Human Services to promote research that does not destroy life.

Bush said his duty as president is to ensure that stem-cell research is ethically responsible, such as using adult stem cells.

"This careful approach is producing results," he said. "It has contributed to proven therapeutic treatments in thousands of patients with many different diseases. It's opening the prospect of new discoveries that could transform lives."

He said his executive order will make it more likely that such advances continue and will support his policy of advancing stem-cell research "in a way that is ambitious, ethical and effective."

"Congress has sent me a bill that would overturn this policy," Bush said. "If this legislation became law, it would compel American taxpayers – for the first time in our history – to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos.

"I made it clear to Congress and to the American people that I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line. Last year, Congress passed a similar bill. I kept my promise by vetoing it. And today, I'm keeping my word again: I am vetoing the bill that Congress has sent."

Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, was at the White House ceremony.

"The quote that really caught my attention was, 'I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line,' " Daly related. "He was very forthright about it -- very staunch, no equivocation. I think it really shows, on the core issues, this president really gets the pro-life agenda."

Dr. James C. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family Action, said President Bush has proven once again he’s a man who deeply cherishes the sanctity of all human life.

"His veto today of a bill that would have led to dissection of young innocents in the name of suspect science solidifies his already-strong record as one of our nation’s most pro-life presidents," Dobson said. “More than just saying ‘no’ to using taxpayer funds as an incentive for destructive embryonic stem-cell research, though, Mr. Bush also signed an executive order to further encourage the development of ethical stem-cell therapies."

Thank President Bush for taking a strong stand for life. If you are a CitizenLink Daily Update subscriber, click on the blue "Take Action" button in the e-mail to be automatically logged in to our Action Center. Otherwise, click on this link.

A transcript of the president's remarks is available on the White House Web site. You'll also find links to the executive order on stem-cell reserach and other information.


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Fallen Hero - Obituary
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 5:21 PM

Michael A. Bechert - Germany

SSG/USA-AD Michael A. Bechert, 24, most recently of Hammelburg, Germany, where he served in the U.S. Army, died at 4:05 p.m. Thursday, June 14, 2007, at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, one day before his 25th birthday. He was injured May 30 in an attack just outside Bagdad, Iraq.

Born June 15, 1982, he was the son of Michael L. Bechert and Angela Sue Patterson. His mother died when he was young. He married Daniela Baderschneider, April 24, 2003, in Schweinfurt, Germany. They have one son, Brandon Andrew, 20 months.

He served his country well in the 118th Infantry. He grew up with George Bechert, his grandfather and best friend, who taught him many of his skills in fishing and patriotism.

Surviving with his wife and son are grandparents, George and Doris Bechert; a sister, Teri Bechert of New Castle; his father, Michael L. Bechert of Morocco; a half brother and a half sister.

A celebration of life and full military graveside rites will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday at Hope Moravian Cemetery with Father Clem Davis officiating. There will be no calling prior to the service.

Arrangements were made by Norman Funeral Home at Hope.


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Additional Information on Fallen Hero
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 3:36 PM

Sgt. earned 2 Purple Hearts

By Brian Blair

A soldier to be buried in Hope just earned his second Purple Heart and was one day away from his 25th birthday when he died from severe burns Thursday in a hospital in San Antonio.

Army Staff Sgt. Michael A. Bechert of Schweinfurt, Germany, was awarded the honor for his actions when his vehicle struck an explosive device on May 30 in Baghdad, according to grandmother Doris Bechert.

“I hope he will be remembered as a hero,” she said, breaking into tears as she spoke by phone from her home in Inverness, Fla.

Bechert was serving his second Iraq tour. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, according to the Associated Press.

Doris Bechert said her grandson had his arms amputated at a hospital in Germany because of the burns. In San Antonio, parts of each leg had to be amputated in an attempt to save his life.

She said he knew the risks, especially after earning his first Purple Heart in 2004 in Iraq. She and her husband George, who raised him after his mother died, sorely wished he didn’t have to return to the battlefield there.

“But he was the one saying, ‘Hey, they need me. So I’ve got to go,’” said grandma.

Bechert’s sister, Teri Bechert of northern Indiana, and the soldier’s wife decided he should be buried at Hope Moravian Cemetery, though he never lived in Hope. His mother and an uncle are buried there.

Hope’s Norman Funeral Home is handling arrangements, which are incomplete.

Bechert also is survived by a 20-month-old son.

Posts June 10 to June 19, 2007

Honoring A Godly Woman
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 1:08 PM

Honoring A Godly Woman

by James Robison

Ruth Bell Graham (1920-2007)

The passing of Ruth Bell Graham, wife of my longtime friend Billy Graham, has deeply moved us all. I am blessed to be able to recount personal memories of this wonderful woman from those nearest and dearest.

Perhaps one of the most emotional moments came in a prayer meeting with Dr. Graham. Attendees included Dr. Adrian Rogers of Belleview Baptist Church, Dr. Charles Stanley, Bill Bright and other Christian leaders. Billy asked, "Do you men feel holy? I don't really feel holy." (Can you imagine the most famous, humble preacher of all times saying he didn't feel holy!) He went on to say, "I think my wife is holy. She is perhaps the holiest person I've ever known. I think her parents, missionaries to China, were holy. But I don't feel holy."

I remember both Adrian Rogers and Charles Stanley commenting something along the line of, "Well, if you're not holy, what about the rest of us?" Together we all lowered our heads to the table and prayed, "God help us to be more like Jesus Christ."

On LIFE Today, I have interviewed Billy and Ruth's daughters, Anne Graham Lotz and Ruth Graham, whom we always called "Bunny." Just as Dr. and Mrs. Graham poured into my life as a young minister, I am honored to be able to help Ruth minister to people who face some of life's greatest challenges. When the subject of their famous father came up, both of these wonderful women commented, "We are not only Billy Graham's daughter; we are Ruth Graham's daughter, as well." They emphasized the impact of their mother's consistent Christian life and commitment to her family and ministry.

Anne recounts, on the online memorial for her mother, "I would go down to her room late at night. I would see the light on underneath the door and I'd go in, and she would be on her knees in prayer."

Everyone who knew Ruth Graham was inspired by her devotion as a mother and a wife. Having conducted over 600 citywide crusades myself, I can assure you that it is absolutely impossible to accomplish an effective ministry without the encouragement, support and strength of a steadfast wife. I am convinced that people often listen to what I say because they respect Betty and they are always anxious to hear what she shares. This was true of Ruth Graham. Billy could not have achieved such great accomplishments without her faithful support, not only in prayer, but in the devotion their relationship clearly revealed.

Billy Graham encouraged me from the time I was 19 years old. He suggested founding a non-profit organization and, in many ways, enabled it to happen. He is also the one who heard in prayer that I needed to be on television on a weekly or daily basis, whereas he did not. I was skeptical about talking to a camera, but he was right. As I prayed, I came to understand that he had in fact heard clearly from the Lord. The television ministry and mission outreach that we've enjoyed was in so many ways inspired by Billy Graham. Like his sweet wife, he was truly an "others" person. They care more about others than themselves - a true characteristic of Christ. Ruth was a woman of prayer who sought to hear the Lord, be full of His Word, and demonstration it in daily life.

"We may be Billy Graham's daughters," Ruth and Anne both commented, "but the fact is, we are truly moved, marked and inspired by our mother."

The fruit of her life will continue to blossom for the many years, not only through her children, but through all the people their family have and will continue to influence. To God be the glory for the wonderful example of Christ set by Ruth Bell Graham. In the truest sense of the word, just as Billy said, "Ruth was a holy woman."



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From Walter Williams
Monday, June 18, 2007 10:44 PM


Duping the Public With Clever Words

by Walter E. Williams

Posted: 06/12/2007
Dr. Thomas Sowell, a distinguished economist and longtime friend and colleague, recently wrote a series of columns under the title “A War of Words.” He pointed out that liberals succeed in duping the public because they are so clever with words that they give the appearance of compassion. Liberals talk about the need for “affordable” housing and health care. They tarnish their enemies with terms such as “price-gouging” and “corporate greed.” Uninformed and unthinking Americans fall easy prey to this demagoguery.

Politicians exploit public demands that government ought to do something about this or that problem by taking measures giving them greater control over our lives. For the most part, whatever politicians do, whether it’s rent controls to produce “affordable” housing or price controls to eliminate “price-gouging,” the result is a calamity worse than the original problem. For example, two of the most costly housing markets are the rent-controlled cities of San Francisco and New York. If you’re over 40, you’ll remember the chaos produced by the gasoline price controls of the 1970s. Socialist agendas have considerable appeal, but they produce disaster, and the more Socialist they are, the greater the disaster.

Liberals often denounce free markets as immoral. The reality is exactly the opposite. Free markets, characterized by peaceable, voluntary exchange, with respect for property rights and the rule of law, are more moral than any other system of resource allocation. Let’s examine just one reason for the superior morality of free markets.

Say that I mow your lawn and you pay me $30, which we might think of as certificates of performance. Having mowed your lawn, I visit my grocer and demand that my fellow men serve me by giving me three pounds of steak and a six-pack of beer. In effect, the grocer asks, “Williams, you’re demanding that your fellow man, as ranchers and brewers, serve you. What did you do to serve your fellow man?” I say, “I mowed his lawn.” The grocer says, “Prove it!” That’s when I hand over my certificates of performance -- the $30.

Morality of Allocation

Look at the morality of a resource allocation method that requires that I serve my fellow man in order to have a claim on what he produces and contrast it with government resource allocation. The government can say, “Williams, you don’t have to serve your fellow man. Through our tax code, we’ll take what he produces and give it to you.” Of course, if I were to privately take what my fellow man produced, we’d call it theft. The only difference is when the government does it, that theft is legal but nonetheless theft -- the taking of one person’s rightful property to give to another.

Liberals love to talk about this or that human right, such as a right to health care, food or housing. That’s a perverse usage of the term “right.” A right, such as a right to free speech, imposes no obligation on another, except that of non-interference. The so-called right to health care, food or housing, whether a person can afford it or not, is something entirely different. It does impose an obligation on another. If one person has a right to something he didn’t produce, simultaneously and of necessity it means that some other person does not have right to something he did produce. That’s because, since there’s no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy, in order for government to give one American a dollar, it must, through intimidation, threats and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American. I’d like to hear the moral argument for taking what belongs to one person to give to another person.

There are people in need of help. Charity is one of the nobler human motivations. The act of reaching into one’s own pockets to help a fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else’s pocket is despicable and worthy of condemnation.

Dr. Williams is a nationally syndicated columnist, former chairman of the economics department at George Mason University, and author of More Liberty Means Less Government


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Fallen Hero - Update
Monday, June 18, 2007 12:54 PM

This fallen hero may not be from Hope, but we will treat him as one of our own and line the streets between the funeral home and the cemetary to show our respect for him giving the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Funeral later in week for Sgt

Staff Reports

HOPE — The funeral for a fallen soldier who will be buried in Hope is expected to take place at the end of this week, according to family members.

Staff Sgt. Michael A. Bechert, formerly of Greenwood, will be buried in Hope Moravian Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at Norman Funeral Home in Hope.
Bechert, who was serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army, was injured during a Humvee attack near Baghdad on May 30, according to Norman Funeral Home. He was transferred to Fort Sam Houston Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, where he died on June 14, according to his grandmother, Doris Bechert.

She said he will be buried in one of several family plots at Hope Moravian Cemetery. His mother, who died in her 20s, also is buried at the cemetery.

The Republic on Sunday incorrectly reported information from the funeral home that Bechert was from Hope. Doris Bechert said she knew of no family members in the Hope area.

Most recently, Michael Bechert lived in Germany with his wife, Daniela, and their 20-month-old son.


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Fallen Hero!
Sunday, June 17, 2007 9:30 PM

I certainly hate to post this on Father's Day, but in honor of this fallen patriot who was a father - I ask you to pray for the family. I didn't know this soldier, but I know our close-knit, small town will greive greatly.

Hope Sgt. Iraq victim

Staff Reports

HOPE — A soldier from Hope died Thursday from injuries suffered in Iraq. Staff Sgt. Michael Bechert, who was serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army, was injured during a Humvee attack near Baghdad on May 30, according to Norman Funeral Home.

He was transferred to Fort Sam Houston Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, where he died, according to the funeral home. Further details were unavailable Saturday night.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete at Norman Funeral Home in Hope.

He is survived by his wife, Daniela, and a 20-month-old son.


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Sunday Sermon
Sunday, June 17, 2007 12:01 AM

The scriptures below are not necessarily directed to father's, and each person can get a blessing from living by them. I thought however that they were especially important to use on Father's Day. The points below the scriptures come from John Maxwell.

The Wisdom of a Godly Father

James 3: 13 - 18

13 Are any of you wise and understanding? You should show it by living a good life. Wise people aren't proud when they do good works.

14 But suppose your hearts are jealous and bitter. Suppose you are concerned only about getting ahead. Don't brag about it. Don't say no to the truth. 15 Wisdom like that doesn't come down from heaven. It belongs to the earth. It doesn't come from the Holy Spirit. It comes from the devil.

16 Are you jealous? Are you concerned only about getting ahead? Then your life will be a mess. You will be doing all kinds of evil things.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is pure. That's the most important thing about it. And that's not all. It also loves peace. It thinks about others. It obeys. It is full of mercy and good fruit. It is fair. It doesn't pretend to be what it is not.

18 Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed. If they do, it will produce a crop of right living.

Wisdom from Above

1. Gentle and generous

2. Speaks the truth

3. Pure and organized

4. Results in peace

5. Reasonable

6. The fruit of love and mercy

Wisdom from Below

1. Selfishly ambitious and jealous

2. Speaks lies and deceives

3. Disorderly and demonic

4. Results in disharmony

5. Self-centered

6. The fruit of strife and competition


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My Father's Day Thoughts
Saturday, June 16, 2007 11:17 PM

Father's Day is a very special day to me. I was blessed with a wonderful Christian father, and 2 Christian grandfathers. All three of these men have had a profound affect on my life.

Now, I have 3 wonderful children and 2 beautiful grandchildren. I pray that I have been and will be the same Christian influence on them that my father and grandfathers were to me.

I also know that not everyone was fortunate enough to have had a pleasant situation when it comes to fathers. To me I can hardly understand that, but I see on a daily basis the pain that both adults and children have in their lives because the father of the family has failed in his God-given responsibilities.

Let me say this: if you are a father, and you have failed to live up to your responsibilities in that area, there is still hope. You cannot change the past, but you can most certainly with God's help change today and the future.

Start with this:

Call, write or visit your children.

Break the ice, no matter how thick it is. It may not be easy, but ask God to help you - you will be amazed at how God can work things out.

Start to make time for those you love and need you. Whoever came up with the phrase "quality time" doesn't understand what it means to be a father. Just ask someone who never had their father attend a ball game, band concert, or whatever they were interested in doing. Did that one Saturday a month of quality time, make up for all those missed events. Here let me answer for you - NO!

If you don't know Christ as your Savior, turn your life over to HIM! The best gift you can give your children is a good Christian influence. If you are still married, love their mother with all your heart. If you are divorced, don't put their mother down in front of them, it won't change anything and will only hurt them to hear someone talking bad about their mother.

If you don't have someone in your life to be a father to, then find someone who needs a father-figure in their life. I know plenty in that situation, and no matter where you live, I guarantee there is someone where you live that "NEEDS" your love, friendship and Christian example.

If you are on the receiving end of a bad father/child relationship, call your father on Father's Day. You be the bigger person and be the one to break the ice. Again, make sure you take God along with you on the visit or call - amazing things will happen.

Finally, if you would like to put a tribute to your father on here, please do - I'm sure many people would get a lift from the experiences of others.

God Bless and Happy Father's Day to all the father's who read this!

Pastor Ed


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The Father Factor
Saturday, June 16, 2007 6:04 PM

The Father Factor

June 2007

Top Ten Findings

1. Fathers’ religiosity is linked to higher quality of parent-child relationships. full details
2. Fathers who regularly attend religious services are more likely to be engaged in one-on-one activities with their children. full details

3. Civically active fathers are more likely to participate in youth-related activities. full details

4. Fathers’ engagement in their children’s activities was linked to higher academic performance. full details

5. Among adolescent boys, those who receive more parenting from their fathers are less likely to exhibit anti-social and delinquent behaviors. full details

6. Among adolescent girls, those who have a strong relationship with their fathers are less likely to report experiencing depression. full details
7. Close father-adolescent bonds protect against the negative influence of peer drug use. full details

8. Adolescent girls who have a close relationship with their fathers are more likely to delay sexual activity. full details

9. Adolescent girls whose fathers were present during their childhood are less likely to become pregnant. full details

10. Adolescent males who report a close relationship with their fathers are more likely to anticipate having a stable marriage in the future. full details

Heritage In Focus: June Top Ten
Click on picture for video

The Heritage Foundation's familyfacts.org catalogs social science findings on the family, society and religion gleaned from peer-reviewed journals, books and government surveys. Serving policymakers, journalists, scholars and the general public, familyfacts.org makes social science research easily accessible to the non-specialist.


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Jihadists Having Their Way in France
Friday, June 15, 2007 3:57 PM

See what happens when a country ignores the "jihadists"!

Islamic pressure in Paris forces

evangelical congregation to vacate building

Chad Groening
June 15, 2007

After a long struggle against Islamic intimidation, an evangelical church in the outskirts of Paris has been forced to vacate the 1,000-square-foot facility where it had been meeting.

The Temple de Paris Church has been located in the Paris suburb of Bagnolet. Christine Thabot, the wife of the pastor, says Muslims have been trying to get rid of them since 2005, but local authorities had permitted the church to remain in the facility, paying 8,000 euros a month (~ $9,400 U.S.) in rent.

According to Thabot, the Muslims changed their strategy. "They attacked our owner this time," she explains. "They took up the case and [told him he was] not allowed to have this church open -- and on Friday we [were told] that we had to get out of our premises."

Thabot says Temple de Paris Church has been unable to secure another worship center. "For an evangelical or Protestant church, it is almost next to impossible to buy or to rent any premises," she says. "As soon as they find out you are a church, there is nothing open to us."

Thabot says many churches in the area have been closed and have had similar difficulties in securing new facilities. But she claims Muslims can secure property for building a mosque simply by paying one euro to the authorities.


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Radical Muslims are Amongst Us!
Friday, June 15, 2007 3:29 PM

Little by little they are weaving their way into our society. Are we going to let the "jihadists" take over by sitting back and being politically correct and re-witnessing how the "Silent Majority" got that name to begin with.

I know we are making real progress in certain areas, but this issue is about world domination by people who want to kill you and I. Let me phrase this in another way, "if you believe in Jesus Christ (Christians) and/or the God of the Bible (Jews), radical muslims want our existence wiped off the face of the earth - and they are willing to die to make sure it happens.

Have we forgotten 9/11 and the hundreds of other terrorist attacks around the world that these evil people have done? These are the same people (Hamas) who are now taking over the Palestinian areas and do not recognize Israel's right to exist!

Wake up America (sorry Spree), every day nothing is done by us, we have no idea how much is being done against us.

Whistleblower says imam suit aimed at

intimidating 'John Does'

Chad Groening
June 13, 2007

A whistleblower who was recently vindicated for telling authorities about suspicious activity on a Northwest Airlines flight says she's concerned about the intimidation taking place through a lawsuit filed by six Islamic imams and supported by a well-funded Muslim activist group.

Annie Jacobsen is the author of Terror in the Skies: Why 9/11 Could Happen Again (Spence Publishing). The government recently confirmed that she did indeed witness a terrorist "dry run" on Northwest Airlines Flight 327 on June 29, 2004 -- events detailed in her book, which was published on September 11, 2005.

Recently US Airways asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to dismiss a lawsuit filed in March by six imams who were taken off a November 20, 2006, flight in Minneapolis bound for Phoenix after someone complained they were acting suspiciously. The lawsuit alleges that US Airways engaged in "intentional discrimination."

According to Jacobsen, the imams are being supported by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) -- a prominent pro-Muslim lobby group in Washington, DC.

"The lawyers for CAIR, on behalf of the imams, filed a federal lawsuit in suing US Airways and suing the airport commission in Minneapolis -- and also, they named 'John Doe' as a passenger," the author explains. She contends their objective is to find out who it was on the flight who spoke up, "and they want to sue those individual passengers."

Jacobsen, who in light of the recent government report feels vindicated about speaking out, is convinced the suit is intended to intimidate "John and Jane Does" who might be inclined to blow the whistle on terrorists' plans.

"I was a Jane Doe before there was a Jane Doe-John Doe campaign," she says, "which is what is now happening after the six imams backed by the organization CAIR [are] suing a passenger on that flight with the six imams who spoke up because he saw suspicious activity." The author believes no one should be afraid to speak out when they see suspicious behavior, even under threat of a lawsuit from a group like CAIR.

Jacobsen adds that the pro-Muslim group has deep pockets to go after John Doe. CAIR, she says, recently received "a $500-million cash infusion from one of the Saudi princes -- so they have an enormous pocketbook behind their lawsuit."


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The Simple Things
Thursday, June 14, 2007 9:03 PM

Yesterday was the birthday for one of our three children. To celebrate we went to an amusement park with some friends and we were also to take our 18 month old grand daughter. Reflecting back on yesterday makes me appreciate the times in life where things are simple, fun, relaxing (if you can call it that at an amusement park), etc. etc.

Simple Things Like:

Thinking back to when your children were born.
Remembering taking them to this same place when they were 2 and not almost an adult.
Seeing the smiles on their faces after getting off of a new roller coaster and then hearing "I'm going to ride it again!".
Seeing our grand daughter doing the things that we enjoyed with our children.
Watching her "be brave" when we thought that certain rides might scare her.
Realizing it is more fun to watch those you love have fun than it is to have fun yourself.
Getting a text from a teenager saying "will you hold my hand on the roller coaster and say a prayer for my sister" (her sister was even more scared to ride than the one who sent me the text).
Realizing that I'm getting older and wondering what I'm doing using words like "getting a text".

God's blessings come in so many forms. I think that the simple ones are really the best!


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An Example of Why "The Church" is Better at Handling Social Problems Than The Government
Tuesday, June 12, 2007 11:46 PM

Today I was gone to the District Conference for the denomination I minister in. I heard one of the best stories I have ever heard, and it made me think about what the Bible says about "The Church" and how we are to take care of our own. It also made me realize that if this country moved away from the "entitlement" mentality and The Church reclaimed our rightful role in this matter, then placing God first in these matters would solve so many of the social illnesses that we have in America.

Here is the story:

Our denomination sponsors/runs a home for abused and neglected children, for pregnant teens with no place to go, and several other of these type of "caring" ministries.

A 19-yr-old single pregnant girl came to live at this home because her parents kicked her out and she had no place to go. After being at this place for a while, the girl started to get homesick to see her parents and mamaw and papaw.

She went to visit her family for the weekend, and when she returned to the home on Monday, she was distraught. Her family told her that there was plenty of time to still abort (murder) this baby and that if she did, they would provide her with a car, pay for her education, and several other "benefits".

If she chose not to comply with their wishes she was told that she would be disowned and not to ever bother coming back to the family.

Back at the home, when she told the director what had happened over the weekend, the director told her that if she chose not to follow her parents demands that the home would help her get a car, help her get her education and help her provide for her new baby.

The story ends happy (well if you can call being banished from your family for not murdering an unborn baby, happy). The girl decided to keep her baby and have faith in God and this Christ-centered home.

Put Christ first and great things happen!

I just had to share --- God Bless you all.

Pastor Ed


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Email from Dr. Dobson
Monday, June 11, 2007 7:49 PM

From the Desk of Dr. James C. Dobson

Warning: This e-mail is intended to be read by adults only.
Please keep it out of the hands of children.

Dear Friends,

I'm sure you have heard that on April 18, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the legality of the procedure known as "partial-birth abortion."1 It was a stunning victory after a political struggle that has been going on since 1995. After the announcement, I aired a brief statement about the ruling on the "Focus on the Family®" radio program. A transcript follows:

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down an incredibly important ruling on Wednesday, April 18, upholding the ban on partial-birth abortion, which had been signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003.

We thank God for this victory that affirms the value of human life and puts an end to the Nazi-esque barbarism known as partial-birth abortion. A majority of justices have recognized what most Americans have long known: There is no constitutional right to slay a healthy, nearly-born baby by stabbing it in the back of the head and vacuuming out its brains, all without even anesthetizing the child.

This ruling concludes a long legislative and judicial struggle outlawing this procedure. Legislation to ban it was first introduced in Congress in 1995. It was passed three times and twice vetoed by then-President Clinton. The third passage died in conference committee, facing a third inevitable Clinton veto.

We applaud the Court for joining President Bush and Congress in declaring that a civilized society must not condone such compassionless and hideous acts against human beings. In the year 2000, the Supreme Court struck down a similar Nebraska law, as Sandra Day O'Connor voted with the majority in declaring that law unconstitutional.

President Bush was reelected in 2004 and appointed Justice Samuel Alito to replace Justice O'Connor. The United States Senate, at that time more conservative than today, confirmed Justice Alito. He voted with the majority [in April] to uphold the partial-birth abortion ban.

This ruling reminds us that elections matter. President Bush's appointment of Samuel Alito provided the swing vote to protect this law. If John Kerry were president, partial-birth abortion would still be legal in the land. In fact, he voted against the ban six times as a senator.

However, if Justice Alito were before the United States Senate for confirmation today, it's quite possible that he would not make it to the bench. With this ruling, the Supreme Court has taken the scalpel out of the hands of the abortionist, who would brutally puncture the skulls of babies who are inches and moments away from birth.

Let me end with this deeply felt comment. One man, President Bill Clinton, preserved the legality of partial-birth abortion when it was struck down three times by Democrats and Republicans alike. As a result, this procedure, which is one part abortion and three parts infanticide, continued unchecked for 12 more years. Bill Clinton's legacy will forever be stained by the blood of precious babies who were subjected to unimaginable horror.

By contrast, one man—President George W. Bush, the most pro-life president in United States history—has acted to protect children from the barbarity of partial-birth abortion. I applaud the president for nominating two pro-life justices to the Court and for having the courage and conviction to stand firm for human life.

As encouraging as this victory has been for all of us in the pro-life movement, there is still much work to be done. Ending partial-birth abortion, which would more accurately be named "late-term murder," does not save a single human life. Abortion is still legal throughout nine months of gestation. Justice Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion for the Court and cast the deciding vote, reminded us that it is still legal to kill at will:

"In addition, the Act's [the partial-birth abortion ban] prohibition only applies to the delivery of a living fetus. If the intact D&E procedure is truly necessary in some circumstances, it appears likely an injection that kills the fetus is an alternative under the Act that allows the doctor to perform the procedure."2

It appears that what he is referring to here is the killing of babies by injecting poison into their hearts. I'm not sure which is worse, collapsing the head of a viable baby and extracting his brains, or injecting a lethal dose into the baby's body. How could so many Americans have come to this point of utter brutality and callousness? They came to accept it eventually because of powerful propaganda that paved the way.

In the aftermath of Roe v. Wade on January 20, 1973, radical feminists and other pro-abortion advocates told preposterous lies to get Americans to embrace the decision. They and the liberal media claimed that a "fetus" (never a baby) is simply "a blob of tissue" or "meaningless protoplasm." They insisted that legalized abortion would signal an end to child abuse because "every child would be a wanted child." In fact, it was only the beginning of the horror. Gradually, people became desensitized to the increased brutality of killing human babies.

Now, because of the development of ultrasound technology, those lies are exposed. A new mother can vividly see that she is carrying a precious baby. She can understand for the first time that the "blob of cells" has a heart that beats, and little fingernails on the hands. The child sucks his or her thumb and "swims" and cavorts in the amniotic fluid. Other characteristics of humanness are right there to delight his or her mother. That understanding is slowly turning the tide against legalized abortion.

This is why Focus on the Family is investing millions of dollars to provide ultrasound technology and related assistance for medical pregnancy resource centers. I'm pleased to tell you that this project has saved an estimated 42,000 babies in the past three years—babies who are alive and loved today. The best part is hearing from mothers who say, "I almost killed my child. But you helped me do the right thing. Thank you!"

Cultural attitudes are indeed changing. In August of last year, the Pew Foundation conducted a poll revealing that 73 percent of Americans view abortion as "morally wrong" in nearly all or some circumstances.3 Clearly, ultrasound technology is having a dramatic impact on hearts and minds. According to monthly reports from the pregnancy centers that participate in Focus on the Family's Option Ultrasound™ Program, 88 percent of abortion-minded women who receive loving counseling and are allowed to meet their babies face to face through the wonder of ultrasound declare that their hearts have been changed, that they are going to carry their babies to term.4 This, I believe, is one reason why the majority of Supreme Court Justices, including the liberal Anthony Kennedy, voted to outlaw partial-birth abortion.

Still, support for abortion remains formidable. After the Court's narrow decision, angry politicians rose to defend the procedure, even the killing of full-term babies in the final moments of delivery. Consider these direct quotes:

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.)
"This decision marks a dramatic departure from four decades of Supreme Court rulings that upheld a woman's right to choose and recognized the importance of women's health. Today's decision blatantly defies the Court's recent decision in 2000 striking down a state partial-birth abortion law because of its failure to provide an exception for the health of the mother. As the Supreme Court recognized in Roe v. Wade in 1973, this issue is complex and highly personal; the rights and lives of women must be taken into account. It is precisely this erosion of our constitutional rights that I warned against when I opposed the nominations of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito."5

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)
"I strongly disagree with today's Supreme Court ruling, which dramatically departs from previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women. As Justice Ginsburg emphasized in her dissenting opinion, this ruling signals an alarming willingness on the part of the conservative majority to disregard its prior rulings respecting a woman's medical concerns and the very personal decisions between a doctor and patient. I am extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman's right to choose, and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade, which is established federal law and a matter of equal rights for women."6

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)
"I could not disagree more strongly with today's Supreme Court decision. The ban upheld by the Court is an ill-considered and sweeping prohibition that does not even take account for serious threats to the health of individual women. This hard right turn is a stark reminder of why Democrats cannot afford to lose the 2008 election. Too much is at stake—starting with, as the Court made all too clear today, a woman's right to choose."7

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
"I would only say that this isn't the only decision [that makes] a lot of us wish that Alito weren't there and O'Connor were there."8

Incidentally, Sen. Reid actually voted in favor of banning partial-birth abortion before he "voted" against it. Caught in his tortured double-speak, Reid's office issued the following statement the day after he criticized the decision:

"Senator Reid supported the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban and supports the Supreme Court's decision yesterday. However, Senator Reid continues to disagree with Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito on many issues and that is why he opposed their confirmation."9

Former New York City Mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani appears to share the same affliction of trying to have it both ways. Immediately after the ruling, the former mayor said:

"The Supreme Court reached the correct conclusion in upholding the ban on partial-birth abortion. I agree with it."10

Yet back in 2000, when he was running for the Senate in New York, he said:

"I would vote to preserve that option [of partial-birth abortion] for women."11

Well, you might suggest, that was seven years ago and everyone is entitled to change his or her position as long as it's in the direction of preserving the sanctity of life. Unfortunately, it's become obvious that the tough-talking Mr. Giuliani strongly supports abortion rights. Only a few days ago, he acknowledged in an interview that "ultimately, there has to be a right to choose."12 When a reporter pressed him about how such a position might sink his chances with social conservatives he replied, "I am at peace with that."13 Mr. Giuliani has also steadfastedly supported public funding for all abortions.14

The abortion establishment also expressed its outrage over the Supreme Court decision:

Kate Michelman, former head of NARAL:
"This decision not only threatens women's health and the practice of medicine, and the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship, it threatens the fundamental dignity of women..."15

Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority:
"[The two new justices] did what they were put on the court to do: strike a blow against women's fundamental right to choose abortion."16

How could these people have so little empathy for babies who are being brutalized without anesthetics? I just don't understand it. Many of these politicians and activists, who claim to love children, reveal the most calloused disregard for their welfare.

Last year, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives to acknowledge that preborn babies feel pain, and to protect them from agony as much as possible during the killing process. Not even a dog or a cat would be "put down" legally in such a painful way. As drafted, the bill would provide women seeking an abortion a brochure stating that there was "substantial evidence" that her baby would experience pain during the abortion. The House actually voted in favor of the bill by a vote of 250-162, but a two-thirds majority was required for its approval due to the rules of debate.17 This past January, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) reintroduced the bill in the 110th Congress, but there is little hope that Harry Reid in the Senate or Nancy Pelosi in the House will let it see the light of day.

Now a shocking new development has occurred. Liberal Democrats in the Senate have introduced a bill to override the Supreme Court's decision on partial-birth abortion and to outlaw any measure designed to restrict abortion in any way. On April 19, one day after the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on partial-birth abortion, the usual cadre of pro-death legislators—Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, Chuck Schumer and others—introduced a bill entitled the "Freedom of Choice Act."18 If passed, this bill will bar any state from limiting abortion in any form or fashion, including bans on partial-birth abortion, parental notification or any other type of life-affirming protection.

The audacity and the arrogance of this measure are breathtaking, even for liberals. Consider the irony of the fact that activists and leftist politicians have been running to the courts over the years to advance their agendas; but now that they've been handed a decision contrary to their ideology, they're quick to try and "rein in" the judiciary!

The effort to stop this legislation will drag us into a battle we cannot afford to lose. Someone must fight for voiceless little human beings, and we'll join the fray. Please stay tuned. We'll need your help in the near future.

Even as the tide of public opinion inches toward the sanctity of life, the media has stepped up its campaign to convince us it's not true. Have you noticed that print and television news reports are insisting that conservative voters no longer care about the traditional values that motivated them in the past? Abortion and marriage are getting no traction, we're told. Some are saying that the war in Iraq has replaced social issues, as though people don't have the capacity to care about more than one threat at a time. This is another lie designed to make conservatives forget the babies who are dying and the marriages that are decaying. Some liberal Christians have even begun telling us that global warming is the new concern, and that the old battles are over. Meanwhile, approximately a million abortions per year are still being committed. We will never forget.

If anything, I believe pro-life voters are more committed to traditional values than ever, and their participation will impact the outcome in 2008. Yes, we are deeply concerned about the Islamic threat to this nation, and that will be a factor down the road. But the notion that concern for the welfare of families has gone away is nonsense. Time will tell, but this is how I read the situation today.

For now, let's bask in the victory for life given to us by the Court and continue to pray that God will open the eyes of the American people to what is happening throughout the culture. While we sleep, the Far Left is advancing a radical agenda that will, if successful, weaken or even destroy the moral underpinnings of this great nation.

What is so frustrating here is that America's two political parties reflect entirely different philosophies of governing. When Republicans assume power, some of them tend to say to themselves, "Well, golly gee wiz! Can you believe we're in charge now? Let's see if we can stay in office and not do anything to get ourselves voted out." Then they twiddle their thumbs and hope not to get noticed by the media.

In stark contrast, when the Democrats take charge, they go straight for the jugular. They begin passing radical bills by the hundreds and doing everything within their power to stifle the opposition. The result is a left-wing revolution that turns the culture on its ear. That is what is happening right now. Democrats are working as quickly and quietly as possible to consolidate power and to silence those who would call attention to their agenda.

To illustrate this point, let's consider the very first bill brought for a vote by the Democrats after assuming majority status in the Senate in January. While the bulk of S. 1 was well-intentioned, it included an egregious amendment that could have made it difficult for organizations such as Focus on the Family to tell their constituents what their senators and congressmen are doing. It was outrageous to the core.

As I've often said, Abraham Lincoln said at Gettysburg that ours is a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people." If S. 1 had passed, however, the majority of "the people" would not have heard what their representatives were up to! The bill required any leader of a nonprofit organization to report to the Senate every time he or she talked about (or even with) a political leader. Those who "knowingly and willingly" failed at any point to do so would have been subject to as many as 10 years in prison or up to a $200,000 fine.19

Called the "lobbying reform bill," it was a direct assault on free speech and on the right of the people to know what their elected officials are doing. Greatly alarmed, Focus and many other organizations invested scarce resources and broadcasting hours into helping to mobilize the public against this awful legislation. Thankfully, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and most of his Republican colleagues stopped the grassroots provision cold. Such battles are exhausting to us, however, and we simply can't fight them all. Furthermore, they drain our financial resources and leave us depleted when the next assault is launched. And now, with dangerous legislation coming in waves, the challenge is even greater.

As a case in point, the idea of muzzling the culture watchers is coming back in the House of Representatives. We just learned that Democratic leadership in the House is bringing its own version of the "grassroots gag" provision to add to S. 1, that will impose the same kinds of restrictions on us. Speaker Pelosi and her friends want this legislation badly in order to consolidate their power and muzzle critics. Furthermore, we are told that the bill, HR 2093, will be brought forward too quickly for us to get the word out. By the time this letter reaches you, this "gag order" may be on its way back to the Senate—or even to the president. This is extremely distressing, for us and even for ACLU types. All I can do is tell you what has been done. In the future, I won't even be able to do that without reporting to Congress. What ever happened to free speech?

This is precisely what occurred five years ago as a result of the regrettable McCain-Feingold legislation. It specified that 501(c)(3)-type nonprofit organizations, such as Focus on the Family, can't even mention the names of politicians running for office within three months prior to an election. (Note: union officials were exempt from the restriction.) We, and numerous other conservative organizations, were effectively silenced by Congress. In this case, John McCain and his Republican colleagues were in on the scheme, and the president signed the bill. We, and perhaps he, thought that the Supreme Court would strike it down, but they let it stand in a 5-to-4 decision.20

In response, Focus on the Family's board authorized the creation of a 501(c)(4) organization, called Focus on the Family Action™, which paid for this letter. In order to do so, however, we must try to raise funds that are not tax-deductible. That is very difficult to do.

There are other initiatives being considered in Congress intended to muzzle conservative communicators. One is called "the Fairness Doctrine," aimed at Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and others—including, perhaps, yours truly. According to two members of the House Democratic caucus, Nancy Pelosi has said she will "aggressively pursue" its reinstatement. They are quoted as saying, "Conservative radio is a huge threat," and that "We want to make sure the GOP has no advantage going into 2008." A Democratic source has indicated that Salem Radio Network, which airs Focus on the Family's program, will be a target of the investigation.21 Though this issue is on the back burner at the moment, look for it to come to the fore in the future. What it boils down to is that elected officials want to operate entirely without scrutiny or accountability.

At the same time, it's becoming increasingly difficult for those in positions of authority with a biblical worldview to withstand the withering attacks of the liberal establishment. The nation's highest-ranking military officer, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, gave an interview to the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune last March that ignited a firestorm of controversy. The general said this when asked about the possibility of homosexuals openly serving in the military:

"I believe that military members who sleep with other military members' wives are immoral in their conduct, and that we should not tolerate that. I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral, and that we should not condone immoral acts."22

How could any moral person disagree with that statement? Well, unfortunately, it brought a decidedly negative response.

Initially, Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama refused to answer reporter's questions when asked about the general's remarks. So did former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Under pressure from homosexual advocates, both Clinton and Obama finally broke their silence and said they didn't believe homosexuality to be immoral. Gov. Romney and Mayor Giuliani were far more nuanced, citing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy as cover; but they still refused to say whether or not they agreed or disagreed with General Pace.

Clearly, Gen. Pace had run smack into a tenet of political correctness. Forty years ago, virtually every politician in America would have condemned homosexual behavior, as would a huge majority of the population. But all that has changed. Of the announced presidential candidates, only Sen. Sam Brownback agreed with Gen. Pace. The rest criticized him, or else they remained conspicuously silent.

I would like to ask those who see "nothing wrong" with homosexual promiscuity, if they believe the same attitude applies to heterosexual activity? It is an important question. During spring break again this year, hundreds of thousands of high school and college aged students gathered at resorts in the United States and the Caribbean to binge drink, get high on illegal drugs and engage in indiscriminate sexual activity. Would the politicians who apparently pride themselves in being "non-judgmental" find nothing immoral about drunken parties and orgiastic behavior? Indeed, I would ask, "Is anything categorically immoral for such people today?" We have to conclude that the reply is decidedly, "No!"

Similar attacks on traditional morality are truly coming in waves at this time. Liberals smell blood in the water, and they're in a feeding frenzy. Suffice it to say that you and I are given a choice about how to respond. We must either fight for what we believe, or tuck our tails behind us and watch as this great nation goes the way of other Western countries, especially in Europe.

Back in the U.S., the State of Colorado just authorized adoption for homosexual couples23 and prohibited abstinence-only education.24 There is much work to be done.

Please join Shirley and me in praying for this great nation! We were gratified to hear that more than 40,000 prayer gatherings were held throughout the land on the National Day of Prayer earlier this month. Many participants asked the Lord for His blessing and protection during this troubling time. The Scripture tells us that "the shields of the earth belong unto God" (Psalm 47:9, KJV). What we desperately need is a spiritual awakening that will bring us back to our biblical foundations.

In closing, I ask you to consider providing financial assistance to both Focus on the Family and Focus on the Family Action. The battles we are fighting to nurture and defend the family are expensive, but necessary.

We love you all, and consider you partners in this effort to preserve righteousness in the culture. This is not a time for discouragement. It is a time to act. Join us, and pray for us, won't you?

God's richest blessings to you and yours.

James C. Dobson, Ph.D.
Founder and Chairman

P.S. A final thought. My friend, Frank Pastore, outstanding radio talk show host heard daily on station KKLA in Los Angeles, wrote a powerful article about abortion. An excerpt from that article appears below. I hope you will read it.

Where Are the Protestant Benedicts?

by Frank Pastore

After hearing so many of our politicians try to deftly finesse and coyly nuance themselves into so many murky, equivocal shades of grey, wasn't it great to hear a man of principal and conviction speak last week with clarity on a moral issue of great importance to so many people?

While aboard the papal plane in route to Brazil, Pope Benedict was asked about the Mexican bishops who were threatening to excommunicate the Catholic politicians who voted in favor of legalizing abortion in Mexico City.

Benedict said, "Yes, this excommunication was not an arbitrary one but is allowed by Canon Law which says that the killing of an innocent child is incompatible with receiving communion, which is receiving the body of Christ . . . They (Mexican church leaders) did nothing new, surprising or arbitrary. They simply announced publicly what is contained in the law of the church . . . Which expresses our appreciation for life and that human individuality, human personality is present from the first moment (of life)."

He said those who vote in favor of abortion have, "doubts about the value of life and the beauty of life and even a doubt about the future . . . Selfishness and fear are at the root of (pro-abortion) legislation . . . We in the church have a great struggle to defend life . . . Life is a gift, not a threat.

Pope Benedict, God bless him, drew a line in the sand on abortion.

How refreshing to hear a Christian leader do so.

According to the Pope, Catholic politicians who vote in favor of abortion should not receive communion and they risk excommunication from the Church. According to Church law, anyone who knowingly commits or allows a grave sin, such as abortion, inflicts "automatic excommunication" upon themselves.

I'd love to hear some Protestant Benedicts speak with such clarity.

But, where are the pulpits of men with conviction and principal eager to take politically incorrect stands?

Where are those men with chests who fear God more than men?

Where are those pastors who care more about their faithfulness to the biblical text than they do about filling their pews and their next building program?

Where are the Bible colleges and seminaries who teach such things?

What are the denominations that still care about such things?

Who are the radio and television ministries who regularly address such things?

They are so rare.

Which is why I am so proud of Pope Benedict and the Catholic church, even though I'm not Catholic.


1 Robin Toner, "Court Ruling Catapults Abortion Back Into '08 Race," The New York Times , 19 April 2007, p. A23.
2 See: Gonzales v. Carhart (Nos. 05-380 and 05-1382), No. 05–380, 413 F. 3d 791; 05–1382, 435 F. 3d 1163, reversed.
3 See: people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=283
4 "Focus on the Family Constituent Insight Report," Mar. 31, 2007.
5 See: 2008central.net/?p=514
6 Ibid.
7 Ibid.
8 See: realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/04/partial_prolife_democrats.html
9 Ibid.
10 See: 2008central.net/?p=514
11 "Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, New York City, Discusses His Senate Race Against Hillary Clinton," NBC's Meet the Press , 6 Feb. 2000.
12 See: nytimes.com/2007/05/10/us/politics/10giuliani.html?_r=1&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20
13 Ibid.
14 Dan Jadison, "Spin Cycle," Newsday , 9 Apr. 2007, p. A14.
15 See: cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/18/supremecourt/main2698164.shtml
16 See: nrlc.org/NRLCintheNews/ChiTrib041807.html
17 Carl Hulse, "Anti-Abortion Bill Stalls," The New York Times , 7 Dec. 2006, p. A36.
18 See: thomas.loc.gov
19 See: hslda.org/Legislation/National/2007/S. 1/default.asp
20 Richard Willing and Jim Drinkard, "Political Finance Limits Survive," USA Today , 11 Dec. 2007, p. A1.
21 Spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=11427
22 Thom Shanker, "Top General Explains Remarks on Gays," The New York Times , 14 Mar. 2007, p. A15.
23 Charles Ashby, "Senate OKs Adoptions by Same-Sex Couples," The Pueblo Chieftain , 13 Apr. 2007, p. A1.
24 J.P. Eichmiller, "Sex-Ed Bill on Ritter's Desk," Fort Collins Coloradoan , 30 Apr. 2007, p. A1.


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Radical Islamic Compounds
Monday, June 11, 2007 7:37 PM

Can you imagine "The Gipper" allowing Soviet compounds in America during the Cold War?

Federal authorities urged to shut

down radical Islamic compounds

Chad Groening
June 11, 2007

One of the United States' foremost critics of Islam believes federal officials should take action to shut down several radical Muslim paramilitary compounds that have sprung up around the country.

Several reports have been published about the suspicious activities in the village of Islamberg in upstate New York. It is reportedly one of about a dozen radical Muslim compounds that have sprung up all over the country. National defense analyst Bob Maginnis says its members are apparently involved in paramilitary activities.

"They are constantly firing. They don't allow outsiders in. They adhere strictly to Islamic law. They are mostly populated with former inmates who had become Islamic [while in prison]. And they carry weapons and they're constantly exploding things on the terrain," says Maginnis.

Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, believes Islamberg and the other compounds need to be shut down.

"Those groups come out of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which is a very dangerous group in its own right," he explains. "And I'm glad to see recently that with the publicity given to Islamberg that the law enforcement officials are now investigating it. It needs to be investigated and closed down along with the others like it."

Spencer shares the concerns of citizens who live near the compound who cannot understand why the FBI has not already shut Islamberg down.


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Eagles Request Your Help
Monday, June 11, 2007 12:09 AM

Normally, I do my best to edit out of my posts anything that is asking to donate money to a cause. That is not the case in this post and in fact, it is the reason of this post!

I firmly believe in the cause of "The Gathering of Eagles". That is what I make this post unapologetically! I know several of you get these emails, but I wanted to do my small part to get this word out.

Check out their web site www.gatheringofeagles.org or you can click the link below to get to their donation site.

GOE Wants YOU to Support the Eagles!

Posted: 09 Jun 2007 10:01 AM GMT-06:00

Attention all Eagles,

The Gathering of Eagles Fundraising Committee is asking all Eagles to contribute to The Gathering of Eagles’ Nest. The Eagle’s Nest is a nationwide fundraising event, created by Gathering of Eagles, to raise a minimum of $175,000.00 before the end of September. September marks the deadline of Congress’ decision to extend or cut off funding to our troops. It is imperative that we raise these funds before Congress is capable of cutting off funding to our troops. We are convinced that anything short of total victory spells dire consequences for the country. We will not sit idly by as that happens.

Fellow Eagles, NOW is the time to stand!

“If not now, when?”

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Sunday Post
Sunday, June 10, 2007 11:42 PM

The month of May has definitely thrown me off my personal schedule, which has had an effect on my posting here on my blog. I had been posting my Sunday Sermon Outline as my Sunday Post, and then with May, I got out of routine.

I reflect on May and think "Wow, what a month"!

First week of May - vacation

Second week of May - 2 classes and out of town M - F to attend them.

Third week of May - 2nd grandchild born

Last week of May - Shawn commits suicide

And you know what, routine aside - God was there with my every step! And I want each of you who read this to know that God wants to be there for every step you take. And He will be too, if you only invite Him to do so. You see, He is already there, but it's up to you to recognize that fact and allow Him to lead the way!

This has absolutely nothing to do with my sermon (The Wages of Sin is Death). But I did want to share the "Good News" with you.

God is Good!

All the Time.


All the Time,

God is Good!