The Thoughts of SES Blog

Wheat – FAAN

Wheat – FAAN.

One of the best explanations of the difference between celiac disease and wheat allergy I have seen.

See more on my dedicated gluten free blog “My Gluten Free Life” at http://susanelizabeth31-myglutenfreelife.blogspot.com.

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Gluten Free

Posted in Thoughts on Diet, Thoughts on Gluten Free, Thoughts on Health by ses31 on March 3, 2010

I’ll add more to this post later or do what another blogger I know does and do a part II, but I’m checking out glutenfreefrenzy.com right now and they have this supercool contest for Mixes from Heartland (available at http://www.mixesfromheartland.com). It’s supercool because, personally, as a newbie to the gluten-free world, I find that my mom and I have to do a lot more baking and other home-cooking and it’s so hard to find mixes that don’t cost an arm and a leg. But my wheat allergy has been a small blessing in disguise: I am actually starting to lose weight on the gluten-free diet!

Linkin Park’s “Numb” and a spiritual application

Lyrics are from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/linkinpark/numb.html

“Numb”

I’m tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless lost under the surface
Don’t know what you’re expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)

[Chorus]
I’ve become so numb I can’t feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I’m becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

Can’t you see that you’re smothering me
Holding too tightly afraid to lose control
Cause everything that you thought I would be
Has fallen apart right in front of you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
And every second I waste is more than I can take

[Chorus]
I’ve become so numb I can’t feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I’m becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

And I know
I may end up failing too
But I know
You were just like me with someone disappointed in you

[Chorus]
I’ve become so numb I can’t feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I’m becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

[Chorus]
I’ve become so numb I can’t feel you there
I’m tired of being what you want me to be
I’ve become so numb I can’t feel you there
I’m tired of being what you want me to be

The spiritual application I found in this is not only how sometimes in friendships, we have older, wiser friends who we look up to, but then something happens, and we start to question that person about everything. But see life is not perfect, people are not perfect. If we were perfect, then Jesus would not have needed to come to the earth to die for us.

But the hope is that things can be resolved and not fall apart.

The other spiritual application, and this is important, sometimes in conflicts we want to run away and hide, not just from the conflict, but from God as well. An important lesson that is getting reiterated for me right now is that God pursues His children.

So, the objective at that point is to accept God’s love and to not become so numb-to Him or to the person who you may have a struggle with. Because if we become numb, we may miss the opportunity for restoration.

Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics

Posted in Thoughts on Ethics by ses31 on February 21, 2010

Before I continue with any further blog posts, I want to add the text of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. As a member of the SPJ, I promise that when I write a post on this blog, that I will strive to write with honesty, whether it is just my opinion or a comment on what is happening elsewhere in the world, or even if it is my own personal thoughts.

This is a copy of the SPJ Code of Ethics from

PREAMBLE
Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society’s principles and standards of practice.

Seek Truth and Report It
Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
Journalists should:
1. Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
2. Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
3. Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
4. Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
5. Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
6. Never distort the content of news photos or video Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
7. Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.
8. Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story.
9. Never plagiarize.
10. Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
11. Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values
on others.
12. Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
13. Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
14. Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
15. Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
16. Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
17. Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.

Minimize Harm
Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.
Journalists should:
1. Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
2. Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief:
3. Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
4. Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
5. Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
6. Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.
7. Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
8. Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.

Act Independently
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know.
Journalists should:
1. Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
2. Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
3. Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
4. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
5. Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
6. Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
7. Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.

Be Accountable
Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.
Journalists should:
1. Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
2. Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
3. Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
4. Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
5. Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

The SPJ Code of Ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of journalists, regardless of place or platform, and is widely used in newsrooms and classrooms as a guide for ethical behavior. The code is intended not as a set of “rules” but as a resource for ethical decision-making. It is not — nor can it be under the First Amendment — legally enforceable.

The present version of the code was adopted by the 1996 SPJ National Convention, after months of study and debate among the Society’s members. Sigma Delta Chi’s first Code of Ethics was borrowed from the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1926. In 1973, Sigma Delta Chi wrote its own code, which was revised in 1984, 1987 and 1996.

What’s on Your iPod?

Posted in Thoughts on Friendship by ses31 on February 20, 2010

I have a collection of over 500 items, ranging from songs, news reports, videos, and sermons on the iPod I have access to.

Of those the first ten songs that pop up (I have it on random shuffle) are:
“A Cradle Prayer” from Christmas by Rebecca St. James
“What Hurts the Most” from Me and My Gang by Rascal Flatts
“Over It” from Radio Disney Jams, Volume 7 by Anneliese Van Der Pol
“Happy Christmas” from Christmas by Rebeccas St. James
“Supermodels” from Jordan’s Sister by Kendall Payne
“Last One Standing” from Radio Disney Jams, Volume 6 by Triple Image
“Don’t Say You Love Me” from Radio Disney Jams, Volume 3 by M2M
“What’s Your Name?” from Radio Disney Jams 8 by Jesse McCartney
“Juliet” from Radio Disney Ultimate Jams by LMNT
“Stayin’ Alive” from Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel by The Chipmunks
Part two of this blog post will have the first verse/chorus of the first ten songs on the iPod on that day.

But I write this to say that the Nick Jonas video post I have speaks a lot about how I feel right now.

I want someone to love me
For who I am
I want someone to need me
Is that so bad?
I want to break all the madness
But it’s all I have
I want someone to love me
For who I am

Nothing makes sense, nothing makes sense anymore
Nothing is right, nothing is right when your gone.
I want someone to love me
For who I am
I want someone to need me
Is that so bad?
I want to break all the madness
But it’s all I have
I want someone to love me
For who I am

Nothing makes sense, nothing makes sense anymore
Nothing is right, nothing is right when you’re gone
I’m losing my breath, I’m losing my right to be wrong
I’m frightened to death, I’m frightened that I won’t be strong

I want someone to love me
For who I am
I want someone to need me
Is that so bad?
I wanna break all the madness
But it’s all I have
I want someone to love me
For who I am

I’m shaking it off, I’m shaking off all of the pain.
Breaking my heart, breaking my heart once again

I want someone to love me
For who I am
I want someone to need me
Is that so bad?
I wanna break all the madness
But it’s all I have
I want someone to love me
For who I am

I want someone to love me
For who I am
I want someone to need me
Is that so bad?
I wanna break all the madness
But it’s all I have
I want someone to love me
For who I am

Yeah, who I am.

Lyrics from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/n/nick_jonas_and_the_administration/who_i_am.html

I’m in the Nick Jonas video! Add yourself (www.hdgreetings.com/Nick)

Posted in Thoughts on Friendship by ses31 on February 20, 2010

So I’m Getting Traffic…By a Few Weird People Who Want to Push Their Advertising…

Posted in Uncategorized by ses31 on February 20, 2010

I don’t mind reading comments to some of my blogs, but what I have a problem with is when they go pushing their own websites that are advertising businesses or causes I cannot support. The one I just had was regarding my post about how I was going to be seeing an immunologist and for those people that know me, this immunologist is like the last step doctor as none of my other doctors have been able to figure anything out yet. But this guy did three things wrong, well four, but the three main things was referring to me as “man,” saying “don’t waist time” – it should be “waste,” and making the assumption I hadn’t already seen an allergist at some point in the midst of everything and that perhaps the only reason I don’t still have an allergist is because they can never find anything wrong even when I have all the signs and symptoms before their eyes! That’s because I have no IgEs, the commonly tested allergy component of the immune system. And by the time the immunologist refigured my original test, my IgAs which mostly deal with allergies, particularly food allergies, they are the parts found in the mucosal linings of our bodies, are very low. My original labs showed deficiency in IgG subclasses 1 and 3 and subclasses 2 and 4 were low in addition to IgM was low. This is pretty serious at any rate. But that’s the hardest part about playing the waiting game.

Today’s Exciting Package

Posted in Thoughts on Health by ses31 on February 18, 2010

I got my package today! I remembered ordering it, but I wasn’t expecting it today. Well, I didn’t know when to expect it, but boy was it a happy and exciting moment. It was like Christmas in the house because both my mother and I got some things in it. Who-haw! See, I joined IDF Common Ground and IDF Friends for patients with immune deficiencies and through the message boards learned that there were some free resources available, including some wellness notebooks and binders. So, I went on the website to order my kits. I ordered like everything they would send me. I order the kit for myself and for my mother, who is basically a caregiver. I am now ordering some posters for awareness for some places I frequent in order to help them out.

But here is what I got: a backpack thing with an IGIV bear, play therapy kit and IGIV starter kit; a wellness binder with folders and three hole punch to organize all my important doctor and insurance papers; a wellness notebook for the year that helps me with appointments, medications, how I feel that day, pain level, etc. and includes an order form for next year’s kit; a brochure about GammaGard Liquid IGIV; Celina’s Story about a patient with a similar story; The ABCs of Kids Like Me and a pack of crayons; My IVIG Book Kit; IGIV’s Medical Records booklet; a poster with the warning signs of Primary Immune Deficiency; and there was even a second wellness binder with folders and three hole punch and wellness notebook for my mother to use as well!

Well, needless to say, that was ONE heavy box with some SUPER SWEET stuff!

But, I’m really excited to start using my wellness kit this week and to start helping others understand my condition better. But I’m also really excited to learn how to live with it and how to fight it and how things are going to be and how they’ll go these next few weeks and months. Strange as that bear looks, there’s something oddly comforting about him and needless to say, the next time I have labs drawn, he’s going to be right there beside me! I may be 31, but I still need a comfort object too apparently. I already do dance and music for my therapy and books for my therapy and my blogs are my therapy, so now I have another thing to look forward to.

By the way, I want to put in a plug. I am wanting to look into the possibility of seeing about an allergy dog for my really bad peanut allergy through Angel Service Dogs, but in order to even consider this, I would need sponsorship, so please consider praying over this if you are reading this. My peanut allergy has gotten to the point where if I’m in the same room as someone else who is eating something that contains peanuts or peanut butter, it will trigger an asthma attack. I am also asthmatic to wheat and mushrooms. Thanks.

A Deep Thought Response to Some Questionable Statements

From Pastor Bob Flayhart’s blog at http://www.bobflayhart.com:

The scariest and most evil principle Machiavelli puts forth in The Prince is that “the whole idea of being good…is rather naive,” and that what is important is not “being good, but appearing good.” Another principle is that you can get away with anything if you are able to “appear religious.” Machiavelli asserts that if you can “appear” religious then people are more likely to trust you and think you are moral and good and it is then easier to deceive them so you can get what you want.

Machiavelli rejects the Christian world view and despises it by saying that Christians will think of heaven and it makes people ineffective in working in the world. He also wrote that Christianity “ties our hands” by limiting what we want to do with all kinds of rules.

There’s the summary…but here’s the scary part…how do Machiavellian principles dwell within my own heart? First, how often am I more concerned about appearances than the actual condition of my soul? How often do I set up my posing self in oder to appear moral or good or righteous before others? How am I often one person in public and another completely different person when no one else is around? How often do I put forth the appearance of “loving God” when my heart is cold? How often do I walk into Church on Sunday mornings as nothing but a poser?

How often am I a complete pragmatist? How often am I thinking about how I can control my life, my circumstances, even people in my life to “get what I want” in the most effective and necessary way and fail to consider the way of the Gospel which is loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and loving my neighbor as myself? Let’s be honest…love is not often very pragmatic…and it’s never easy.

The saddest thing of all, perhaps, is that Machiavelli completely missed the point of the Christian life…we’re not to be so heavenly-minded that we’re no earthly good! The hope and vision of heaven is to be in our sites so that we work toward bringing the Kingdom of God into reality on this planet NOW! Certainly many, many Christ-followers miss this, but the Christian is not only concerned about the eternal destiny of the souls of people. We are concerned primarily about the glory of God…and God is glorified as suffering is alleviated, evil oppression is eradicated, people are educated, widows and orphans are taken care of, and yes, even nature is cared for…in addition to being concerned that all the nations hear the Gospel!

The Christ-follower who truly knows Christ and His word knows that the end NEVER justifies the means, that love must always win over pragmatism and that we are to work with all our strength to bring the reality of the Kingdom of God, in all it’s beauty and goodness, to bear upon this planet in our every sphere of influence, including all our vocations and all our relationships.

My thoughts are this:
“The scariest and most evil principle Machiavelli puts forth in The Prince is that “the whole idea of being good…is rather naive,” and that what is important is not “being good, but appearing good.” Another principle is that you can get away with anything if you are able to “appear religious.” Machiavelli asserts that if you can “appear” religious then people are more likely to trust you and think you are moral and good and it is then easier to deceive them so you can get what you want.”

I would agree with Machiavelli’s assertion though….

“There’s the summary…but here’s the scary part…how do Machiavellian principles dwell within my own heart? First, how often am I more concerned about appearances than the actual condition of my soul? How often do I set up my posing self in oder [sic] to appear moral or good or righteous before others? How am I often one person in public and another completely different person when no one else is around? How often do I put forth the appearance of “loving God” when my heart is cold? How often do I walk into Church on Sunday mornings as nothing but a poser? ”

These may be good questions, but should not then actions be taken to make sure these things are not happening? Strive to be perfect like God, yes, but if in one’s pursuit of perfection, one fails to show love and grace and mercy and forgiveness and compassion to everyone, then it seems the questioning is moot.

“How often am I a complete pragmatist? How often am I thinking about how I can control my life, my circumstances, even people in my life to “get what I want” in the most effective and necessary way and fail to consider the way of the Gospel which is loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and loving my neighbor as myself? Let’s be honest…love is not often very pragmatic…and it’s never easy.”

Okay, so what’s so hard about it? If a person is a Christian, love SHOULD come easy, easier than it often does. But honestly, think about it. If God is a God of love, and a person really is walking with God, then every part of him/herself will begin to be peeled away (like that onion of reference) and it should become THAT much easier to love!

And by the way, love may not be easy, but what about it would be unpractical? Christians are supposed to be like God. God is a God of love. It seems to me that by the very nature of God alone, love would be the most practical thing of all. If everyone would just start being loving toward everyone else they encounter, then oh how sweet and easy so many things would be for everyone around.

“This is why we need to flee to Christ continually…only the power of His death and resurrection and the sin-defeating might of His amazing grace can rid my own heart of Machiavellian leanings. ”

A heart of duplicity? Perish the thought. But people are duplistic in nature. But this I can probably agree whole-heartedly on.

“The saddest thing of all, perhaps, is that Machiavelli completely missed the point of the Christian life…we’re not to be so heavenly-minded that we’re no earthly good! The hope and vision of heaven is to be in our sites so that we work toward bringing the Kingdom of God into reality on this planet NOW! Certainly many, many Christ-followers miss this, but the Christian is not only concerned about the eternal destiny of the souls of people. We are concerned primarily about the glory of God…and God is glorified as suffering is alleviated, evil oppression is eradicated, people are educated, widows and orphans are taken care of, and yes, even nature is cared for…in addition to being concerned that all the nations hear the Gospel! ”

That last part pertaining to God being glorified…seems even the best of the so-called Christian population tend to forget this overall. It’s one thing to be concerned about all these things, but the best way to show that concern? DO SOMETHING! Words alone won’t do in many of these cases, and actions speak a whole louder when it comes to this whole glorifying God thing. But first start in your (generic) own heart, then reach out to family and friends and the neighbor down the street. Then and only then, is one really and truly ready and able to show concern for the world around them.

As to the tidbit about nature being cared for? Why is this an afterthought? If Christians (and everyone else for that matter) are being good stewards like they are called to be, caring for nature should NOT be a second thought. It should be something that comes naturally and seamlessly-like recycling and not letting anything potentially harmful leech out in the environment? Corrupt environment oftentimes yields corrupt people.

“The Christ-follower who truly knows Christ and His word knows that the end NEVER justifies the means, that love must always win over pragmatism and that we are to work with all our strength to bring the reality of the Kingdom of God, in all it’s beauty and goodness, to bear upon this planet in our every sphere of influence, including all our vocations and all our relationships.”

Agree in part. “Love must always win over pragmatism…” Maybe, but maybe not BECAUSE in the Christian life love should ALWAYS be practical.

So, my question: What’s so hard about loving everyone when we are commanded to so? Seems like there is not a good enough reason to do anything but.

_________________________________________________________

By the way, I did have to look up some definitions and synonyms and stuff…http://www.merriam-webster.com/ is what I used although I normally use dictionary.com, but either way….

Of Bobs and Jasons (Or My Life As a New Christian at OMPC-Part I) copied from Facebook Notes

Posted in Thoughts on Church by ses31 on February 16, 2010

I was invited to church by a Bob. After the pastor returned from a mission trip to Ireland, I met him. Turned out his name was also Bob. The tone of the worship service is established by this somewhat “eccentric” but really cool music minister named Jason. After a couple of weeks, Bob number one’s wife took me to the new members’ inquiry class led by, you guessed it, another Jason. So, how do I keep all these awesome people in my life straight? At first, my relationship with Bob number one was hard to explain, but now we are just friends. I use the proper Southern Miss with his wife. Jason, the music minister, is just Jason. The other is Mr. Jason. Bob number one is now Mr. Bob and Bob, the pastor, has now respectfully become Pastor. I had to come up with a system because being a young Christian presents enough challenges without also dealing with “what do I call you?”

*In retrospect, I’m not so sure “eccentric” was quite the word I was looking for?!?

Reflections on Disney’s “A Christmas Carol”-Did the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present Read the Bible? copied from Facebook Notes

Posted in Thoughts on Christianity, Thoughts on Church, Thoughts on God by ses31 on February 13, 2010

I hesitated on seeing YET another version of the same old tale. They’re all the same. Boy, was I wrong! Disney did such a great job on the special effects, and that was just the 2D! But I dare not venture the 3D. I wish I could remember the exact lines, I was too enraptured by the special effects, but I plan to revisit the old classic book version at the end of the semester at any rate, but there were some lines spoken by the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present that speak to the nature of mankind as sinners. I mean, you take the transformation of Scrooge. It correlates with the transformation of the believer. Perhaps the Ghosts in the Dickens’ tale represent in some part that act of questioning, revelation, belief, faith, acceptance, repentance, and transformation which seem to pretty much describe the steps the new believer takes to get to the point of accepting Jesus. Or at least, it does me. Of course, the challenge is finding other believers who can help keep us steady. But it is an interesting thought.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlk63UeRfCs&feature=related

Of Snow and Ice and Everything Nice

Posted in Thoughts on Weather by ses31 on February 11, 2010

So, the weather radio blasted at me a Winter Storm Warning for Friday. I don’t hold much of a candle to these warnings because they don’t always almost to much. It might snow. It might not be that much. But seriously, unless there’s snow on the ground when I wake up, all these school closings are inane.

It used to be when I was going to public schools and private school in Oklahoma growing up that legend had it that the ONLY way school would close for snow is if the principal walked outside THAT morning and if he went to spit on the ground and the spit froze, then school would be closed that day. There was none of this close schools the day before because then the snow that was forecasted might not come.

But if the snow comes, then oh the sweet joy! Playing in the freshly fallen, pure white snow. Of course, in Alabama, if you do catch a snowflake on your tongue, you won’t do it again, because they don’t taste so great!

But we’ll see what comes of it. If it’s another waste, or if it actually happens.

Why Legalized Gambling in Alabama Would Be Wrong

In a time of such deep recession when so many people continue to lose their jobs, yet the cost of living and health insurance continues to rise, the last thing Alabama needs is another thing to provide FALSE hope to gullible and innocent who are living on their last dime.

It would be morally and ethically irresponsible for the people and the legislation of Alabama to allow for gambling of any type to be legalized.

Let’s consider that smoking is legal. Does this mean it is good for a person? No. It causes lung cancer in not only the smoker, but also in those who breathe the air around the smoker. It also causes asthma in those who breathe that same air.

Let’s consider that drinking is legal. Is it good for a person? No. It damages the liver. Drunk drivers kill people.

Cell phones. They are both a way to stay in touch with people who are near and far at all times of the day through talk and text but they can also cause accidents and fatalities.

Gambling has led to addictions which in some states has led to taxpayer dollars being spent to put up billboards and set up hotlines for counseling to help those addicts. That is money that is being diverted away from the education that the gambling dollars was supposedly going to help.

Gambling can become addictive. People end up putting false hope into some machine that is rigged against them, that will cause them to fail, and then they lose everything they have because in the off-chance they happen to win, they want to do it again and again and again. There’s the addiction. Hook, line, and sinker.

Gambling is not good stewardship of our resources. It is wasteful and sinful.

God did not tell us to go waste everything He put us in charge of. He told us to be go be good stewards.

Part of being good stewards is using the money we have wisely for education and for road repairs. Part of being good stewards is helping those less fortunate than ourselves.

Gambling is not the answer. It is the harm.

We have several opportunities presented to help ourselves get out of the mess we are now in. We can allow higher property tax for education. It would only affect a few anyway, but oddly, the only people I see ever protesting these higher property taxes are the very people who can afford it and should be paying it.

And because in the end, the state would have to sponsor hotlines and counseling to help those who end up addicted, that would divert money that is supposedly going for education or roadwork or some other noble cause away from what the gambling was legalized to support.

The better solution would be for the people who live in those fancy houses that cost $500,000 and drive those fancy cars that they make $1000 per month car payments on and that insist on going out to eat every night at some fancy restaurant to get off their high horse, and vote for higher property taxes in Alabama, which would support education.

Because frankly, the only people I ever saw putting up a fight against that the last time was the people who can afford it and should pay it. The only people I hear complaining about raising some kind of tax somewhere should our state manage to cut taxes on groceries like most every other state in the United States is the rich people.

God asked us to take care of the poor and the hungry and those less fortunate than ourselves. Part of that would be to cut the taxes on essentials, like food at the grocery store, because the reason why American society is getting fatter is because the healthy food is unattainable to some 50 percent or more of Americans due to the inane taxes on groceries.

And the only reason why the state of Alabama is in the middle of another tax dollar-wasting debate on whether or not to legalize gambling is because of rich people who are greedy and want to see the poor and the needy fall flat on their faces in shame when they lose to a bunch of rigged machines.

How lowdown and uncaring can these sick people get?

In all honesty, it should be the church that comes along to make sure that no one will be victimized by such immoral, unethical, unhealthy, sinful, wasteful temptations. Every church in Alabama should be making sure their members are armed with the truth and the facts they need to make sure this won’t go through and then some. Every minister should make sure that no one will be able to be persuaded, that those who would be the most susceptible are taken care of, and that everyone is equipped to handle the consequences, whether good or bad.

But honestly, we don’t need gambling to fund education. We don’t need dirty money to teach our children. We don’t need dirty money helping healthcare costs. We don’t need dirty money repairing our roads. We just don’t need dirty money.

Deciding What to Do With Pain

Posted in Thoughts on Church, Thoughts on God by ses31 on February 9, 2010

I want to include something before I state my spiel. This is from Pastor Bob Flayhart’s blog:

http://www.bobflayhart.com/2010/02/gospel-armor-against-temptation.html

Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Gospel Armor Against Temptation
Just before celebrating the Lord’s Supper last month I shared some words that others have asked me to post. The words were these: Those Christ-followers who are covered up with guilt and shame and self-condemnation are most open to giving in to temptation. Conversely, those Christ-followers who are most willing to receive and hope in the wondrous grace of God are most strengthened against temptation.

When we are wrestling with shame and guilt, the pain of the defeat and condemnation is so intense that we’ll look for anything that will numb the pain…the narcotics of choice, then, are often the pleasures of the world that we are deceived into believing will get rid of the pain. But that just creates a downward spiral of more guilt and shame and the pain multiplies. Guilty and condemned Christians will always be desperately looking for relief from their pain…and temptation to seek that relief in sin is very alluring.

However, Christians who are convinced of the hope of forgiveness and live in the grace of God are less trapped by feelings of shame and guilt, experience more joy, and are therefore more strengthened in the battle against sin…we still will be tempted by the so-called “pleasures” of the world, but equipped with the peace of forgiveness and the joy of grace, even when we blow it, we will be quick to repent and experience afresh the wonders of God’s love…thus entering into the Spirit-filled upward cycle of forgiveness and joy and strength.

There is no one who does not sin…daily…it’s what we choose to do with that sin that makes all the difference. If we beat ourselves up and live in self-condemnation…we will be more open to looking for relief from the pain and will be less equipped to fight against temptation. If we acknowledge afresh our need for amazing grace, we’ll experience forgiveness and will be gripped again by the love of the Father…and we’ll be more equipped to say no to sin and yes to righteousness.

This is why the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is so vital to Christian health…there’s no need to beat ourselves up over sin because Christ’s Body was broken for us; and there’s no need to live with guilt and shame because His blood was shed to grant us full and total forgiveness.
Posted by The Bobosphere at 4:32 AM

My heart breaks when I say that sometimes the people who present themselves as “trustworthy” and “respectable,” are not the best at practicing what they preach and showing others the very traits of God, they persistently reemphasize over and over again.

My heart breaks tonight as I contemplate resorting to an old method of coping to get the pain I feel out.

Let’s hope that this guilt and shame isn’t caused by another Christian.

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Misinterpretations and overextensions of the First Amendment

Posted in Thoughts on Idiocy by ses31 on February 5, 2010

There’s a petition going around: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/legalize-gambling-in-alabama-2010.

At last check, it had gone from 126 to 135.

Here’s the text:

“Target: Alabama Voters, Members of the Alabama Legislature
Sponsored by: People Who Love Freedom and Cherish Freedom of Speech
When the current Alabama Governor ran for office the first time, one campaign pledge was “no new taxes.” Within weeks after assuming office, the first thing he did was act to raise them thru a Constitutional amendment vote. His position was “we need more tax revenue and the people of Alabama DESERVE the right to vote on it.” The Governor and his pro-Amendment 1 backers DEMANDED that the people be given their constitutional right to vote (believing full-well that with their well-financed interests, they would win). We agreed then and we agree now that was the right of Alabamians to vote for or against more taxes … People could vote YES or NO. They voted NO.

HOWEVER, the Governor, his friends in the gambling industry in adjacent states, Alabama’s powerful religious lobbies (a contradiction in terms considering their tax-exempt status) are working hard to DENY YOU the same opportunity. They DO NOT WANT YOU TO EVEN HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE ON A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT THAT WILL LEGALIZE BINGO IN A FEW COUNTIES… IF IT PASSED Can you imagine their unmitigated gall? Their blatant hypocrisy? Their self-anointed moral superiority ?

This petition is about 1 thing and 1 thing only: Freedom of Speech. Even if you are AGAINST legalizing bingo and/or forms of gaming, you should be outraged that you are being denied your right to vote NO.

AND: If you love freedom, individual rights, freedom of speech (for which our Founding Fathers and countless other brave Americans have died defending and assuring, since we became a Republic) you should be equally outraged that members of the Alabama Legislature (republicans and democrats alike) are SO AFRAID OF LOSING THEIR POSITIONS IN THE HOUSE OR THE SENATE, THAT THEY WILL NOT EVEN LET PROPOSED LEGISLATION ALLOWING A STATE-WIDE, CONSTITITIONAL REFERENDUM … in other words, YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE FOR OR AGAINST BINGO TO EVEN GET OUT OF THEIR CONVENIENT LITTLE COMMITTEES.

Shame on them … and Shame on the voters who allow them to get away with it by denying all of us the right to speak our minds, freely, in the privacy of the voting booth.

Remember these words from Kris’ song: Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Even if you HATE gambling, you must cherish your freedom and if you are denied the right to vote against it, you are not a citizen, you have allowed yourself to become a slave.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE: SIGN THIS PETITION AND DEMAND THAT THE ALABAMA SENATOR AND THE ALABAMA REPRESENTATIVE WHO “REPRESENTS” YOU SUPPORT, VOTE FOR AND PASS LEGISLATION IN THE 2O10 SESSION THAT BEGINS IN JANUARY, 2010 THAT WILL GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO VOTE FOR YOUR FREEDOM BY VOTING FOR OR AGAINST LEGALIZING BINGO… DO NOT LET THESE “ELECTED OFFICEHOLDERS” STEAL YOUR FREEDOM. SIGN THE PETITION SO YOU CAN VOTE IT UP OR DOWN. THIS IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH. DON’T GIVE IT AWAY AND DON’T LET IT BE STOLEN FROM YOU BECAUSE OF APATHY OR OMISSION.

Proudly signed by the petition’s initiator,
Dr. Russ Fine
Birmingham, Alabama”

Here’s the guy’s biographical information:

“Russ Fine, PhD, MSPH
ICRC Director and Principal Investigator
Acting Rehabilitation Core Director
SCIB Director and Principal Investigator
Professor of Medicine, UAB School of Medicine
Professor of Health Care Organization and Policy, UAB School of Public Health

Dr. Russ Fine, an injury epidemiologist/biostatistician by training, is the founding director and principal investigator of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Injury Control Research Center (UAB ICRC). He supervises and directs the UAB ICRC’s overall operations and has final responsibility for decisions regarding program, management, fiscal, and policy-related matters.

Dr. Fine is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, the University of Missouri Medical Center, and the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. He has experience in many areas of public health and injury control, from investigating commercial and private aviation crash sites for the Federal Aviation Administration to establishing and directing the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Statewide Pediatric Lead Poisoning Program.

Dr. Fine was recruited by UAB’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in late 1974 and he achieved the rank of full tenured professor in 1983. While with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine he served as its director of research and scientific affairs, director of research for the NIDRR-sponsored Medical Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Spinal Cord Dysfunction, co-director of the UAB Spinal Cord Injury Care System, and co-director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.

In 1988, Dr. Fine was appointed professor of medicine in the UAB Department of Medicine’s Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology. Dr. Fine holds secondary appointments in the UAB School of Public Health’s Department of Health Care Organization and Policy and in UAB’s Graduate School. He is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, the World Federation of Neurology, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Society of Sigma Chi. Dr. Fine served as chairman of the late Governor George Wallace’s Task Force on Drunk Driving for the state of Alabama and is cofounder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Alabama, serving as president of that organization in Jefferson County from 1984 to 1986.

He is the author or coauthor of more than 100 contributions to scientific literature and has been awarded numerous funded and peer-reviewed scientific research grants and contracts that have brought nearly $46 million to UAB since 1975. In 1993, the story of his relationship with a despondent quadriplegic contemplating suicide was the subject of The Switch, a widely acclaimed made-for-television movie that was broadcast nationwide on the CBS television network.”

http://www.uab.edu/scib/DrFine.html

One cannot expect a medical doctor to correctly interpret the meaning of the First Amendment as this guy has clearly misinterpreted and overextended the meaning of it.

Here is the wording to The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America as quoted in The Law of Public Communication2007 Update by Kent R. Middleton and William E. Lee. (New York: Pearson).

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

What this means is that Congress shall no make law preventing us from freely worshipping as we choose, speaking as we choose or writing as we choose, the last two, under the provisions of certain provisions that have been passed through time for the purposes of common decency and safety. It means that we have the right to a peaceful demonstration and to let our President, Senators, Congressmen, and other elected official know when we have a grievance or a problem with they are handling things

The First Amendment is NEVER to be used to imply that should a body of legislators deciding we won’t get to voe on something is morally irresponsible and irreprehensible is stealing our right to the freedom of speech. That’s NOT what the FIRST Amendment reads. That’s NOT what it means.

Voting isn’t even covered until a different and later amendment on.

But what else can I expect from someone who only went to medical classes? Journalism vs. medicine.