October 2008


These last few weeks of election campaigning have been mighty interesting. I’ve been thinking a lot about the presidential candidates, even looking into the third party candidates. I remember in the last election, during an Economics class, a classmate and I were engaged in a discussion on how we planned to vote. My classmate was disgusted by many conservatives voting for Bush purely because of the abortion issue. At the time, I tried in vain to claim that wasn’t my primary reason for voting… but it was. Now I’m at peace with being a single issue voter. I believe that killing is murder (crazy, huh?), and that hundred’s of thousands of these murders are being committed every year. In light of that view, I vote for the most pro-life candidate in an election. I know that people are going to call me uninformed or unenlightened, or whatever. I’m ok with that. Now, coming into this presidential election, I’m faced with two candidates, neither of whom is 100% pro-life. What’s a girl to do? Christian author Randy Alcorn recently tackled this question in his Eternal Perspectives blog. I’ve taken the liberty of posting an excerpt from this post below. It’s a bit long, but I think it’s worth reading:

Suppose in the town you live in, there’s a lake where, for the last thirty-five years, children have been taken by parents to be drowned. Say that every day 100 children are brought to this lake.

As a town citizen, you are presented with two candidates for mayor. (You can vote for a third party, but clearly one of these two candidates will be elected.) One candidate publicly states that he believes the right thing is that the children not be brought to that lake. They should be allowed to live, except the one or two conceived by rape. By longstanding town law the 100 daily drownings are all legal, and the mayor can’t change the law. However, this mayoral candidate has publicly stated that the law should be changed, and he hopes to appoint judges who help that happen, so that 98 or 99 of the 100 children would live rather than die.

Now, the deaths of those one or two children conceived by rape should rightly disturb you. And if until now zero children had been killed at the lake, it would be evil to vote for a man willing for one or two to be legally drowned. But for thirty-five years, 100 children have been killed there each day. This man is trying to move the town in the right direction, even though he has stopped just short of a 100% reversal. No additional children will be killed if his position were in place, because those one or two children would have been killed anyway under existing law. But 98 or 99 a day would be rescued from the death they will face if his position isn’t put in place.

The other mayoral candidate believes that not one of those 100 children chosen for drowning by their parents should be rescued. He believes that the doctors holding them under the water should be allowed to do this. He is prochoice about the drowning of children. In the last twenty years there have been some limited prolife measures voted in by townspeople that have made it more difficult to drown children, saving some lives. But this candidate has promised to sign a bill that would remove all those restrictions. He would invalidate the requirement that doctors explain to parents what it means to drown a child. He would invalidate the law that requires grandparents to be notified if their children are going to drown their grandchildren.

In fact, this man has said of his own daughters, “If they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.” He would support their right to hire a doctor to drown their babies, his grandchildren, in the lake. And he promises the town’s legal drowning organization, which makes considerable money by drowning children, that he will only appoint town judges who are in favor of the legalized-child-drowning laws.

Now here is our moral dilemma. Our next mayor will either be the 98%-don’t-drown-the-children candidate OR the 100%-drown-all-children-whose-parents-don’t-want-them candidate.

We could write in someone who has no chance of winning. It would be a protest vote, showing we don’t totally agree with either candidate. However, if others who believe all babies deserve to live do this same thing, the result will be that the 98% prolife candidate can’t win, and the 0% prolife candidate will be our mayor.

If you vote for the candidate in favor of saving 98 babies, it could be argued that you would be voting for the lesser of evils, since killing one or two children is evil. But after all these years of child-killing, you see the opportunity—if the 98% prolife mayor takes office and makes those prolife court appointments, countless future children’s lives could be saved. It’s not certain, but it’s a real possibility. And what is certain is this: if the candidate in favor of legalized child-killing wins the election, due to his agreement to remove any of the town’s existing child-killing restrictions, more children will die who wouldn’t have if the other candidate takes office.

As we’ve pondered this, Nanci and I have decided, for better or worse, that what we’re voting for is not the lesser of evils—like voting for Giuliani would have been—but the greatest possible good available to us under the circumstances. The only electable alternative is the worst possible evil toward a people group—a 100% commitment to the legalized killing of unborn children whose parents don’t want them.

Rather than voting for McCain’s regrettable exceptions, we are voting for his predominantly prolife position, just as we are voting against Obama’s exclusively pro-legal-abortion position.

One of the commenters on my last blog said, “God didn’t call us to win. He called us to do what is right.” Well, to me this has never been about us winning. I don’t even know who us is. To me, it’s certainly not about Republicans winning, or John McCain winning. My concern is whether unborn babies will be protected. Sure, I want to be able to sleep at night because I did the right thing. But I also want millions of babies to sleep (or cry) at night, because my vote actually helped them live. That, I believe, is the right thing for me to do—not to vote for an ideal unelectable candidate, but to do what I can to help children live even if I have to vote for a flawed candidate to do so.

Alcorn explains so well why he is ok with voting for a certain presidential candidate. There is a lot that can be accomplished to abolish abortion through the political arena. However, the only guaranteed way to make an impact on social issues such as this is to spread the gospel! We need moral lawmakers guiding our country’s government, but even more important, we need the news of Jesus to impact people’s hearts and minds. Only then will the unborn be protected. I’m praying that God give me opportunities to share the gospel. Makes me kind of nervous because I know that God always follows through 🙂

Experts say the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. Well, I admit it. I’m an addict. I’m addicted to information. I could spend (and have spent) hours just surfing on the internet, researching topics and subjects of interest. It makes my brain feel satisfied. The down side is the disappearance of large chunks of time. That’s a bad side effect, and one I’ve been trying to conquer since admitting my “problem”. Enter Rescue Time. This is a small app that runs on your computer and gives you once-a-week reports as to what you’ve been spending your computer time doing. It tracks online use as well as what applications are running on your computer. You can also log on to the Rescue Time website to look at more comprehensive statistics. For example, my past month looks like this:

You can see that my top four activities for this past month were video chat (iChat), reading RSS feeds for other blogs (bloglines), shopping or researching about purchases (Amazon), and checking my email (yahoo). These weekly reports have yet to change my computer habits, but I figure it’s at least helping me to see where I’m spending my time.

A couple of articles that I’ve enjoyed lately on preparing for a weakened economy:

  • How to prosper in a declining economy by Crown Financial Ministries. This is a quick article that offers 12 ways to prosper in our current economy. Crown Financial is a great resource for managing our (God’s) resources according to the principles laid out in the Bible.
  • What can I do to prepare? by Glenn Beck. Ranging from learning to garden, to purchasing a gun (yee haw!), this was an interesting article from a well known talk show host. I don’t listen to his show, but got this link from another blog.

Over the last few months I’ve been slowly coming to the realization that I’ve believed a huge lie. What’s the lie? That just being a good Christian and living a good life is enough. It’s a popular thing nowadays for Christian culture (Satan) to tell me that just being a good role model for the unsaved is enough; that by simply coexisting I provide an avenue for God to reach the lost. In living a life without actively sharing the Gospel I’ve lost something important. I’ve lost my eternal perspective; my understanding of the importance of the destination of the thousands of souls I’ll have contact with throughout my lifetime. I want to care about souls. I want to see the people around me as eternal souls, not merely earthly humans.

As I was reading the paper this morning there was an article about a young man (20 years old) from Anchorage who was killed in Iraq, one month before his planned return to the States. What if we had both waited in line at the DMV? What if during those 15 minutes I had engaged him in conversation and shared the Gospel? Then his myspace headline, “I can’t wait to go home!”, could have meant even more. I hope it did.

I love it when people help me be more creative. On Friday mornings at the Maxwell House we like to watch a movie. It’s sort of a “Mommy is tired, the weekend is almost here, lets start it a little early” thing. I was excited when I found this site on a blog I read (insert name of blog here, I’m so terrible about giving credit where it’s due and I’ve forgotten where I go this idea). The site is called Kids Off the Couch, and you sign up for their weekly email newsletter. The newsletter pairs a popular kids movie/story with an adventure that takes us off the couch and into an activity.

For example, this week’s movie is “Sleeping Beauty”, and the activity involves addressing the un-reality of being a princess, and creating a time capsule of real hopes and dreams. This movie is geared more toward girls, but the message could just as easily be tweaked for boys.

There are movies for every age, from the preschooler favorite “Cars” to “Chronicles of Narnia” for older kids. I like this site because I think it’s a good reminder of ways to merge a movie with creative thinking. Be forewarned, the site has some movies listed in their archives that I wouldn’t let my kids watch, but I still think its a great place to go for ideas.

Ouch. I’m starting to wonder if the rumors that food prices have risen is true. I’ve been consistently going $100-$150 over budget each month since I began my once-a-month grocery shopping experement. However, our pantry (read: garage) is more stocked than ever, and I feel good about having such a surplus available during these interesting economic times. I’m having fun finding some different ways to shop. I LOVED my experience with Organic Alaska, and plan on using them a couple times a year to stock up on staples like flour and beans. I’ve also rediscovered my love for Costco.

I’ve decided to keep trying a once-a-month large shopping trip (either Costco or Organic Alaska), and a weekly local trip (at night, by myself, no kids) to get the best coupon deals. I really enjoy couponing, and do a good job of shopping when I’m not rushed by time or children. I’m excited about Target and Walgreens coming in, as this will provide a couple more great couponing stores. Hopefully in a later post I’ll explain which sites I get my coupon matchups from, and how to construct them yourself using the Sunday ads and online coupon databases.

This month is off to a good start. I’m hopeful that I can reign in the extra spending and have fun filling the cart without distractions. If anyone is interested in ordering from Organic Alaska, let me know and I can get you an Azure Catalog and info.

Periodically Amazon will have deals where you buy a certain dollar amount of products and in turn receive a free subscription to a magazine. If you look at the fine print regarding the deal, you can choose to receive cash instead of a subscription. I haven’t tried one of these yet (last one was a Sephora makeup deal which I should have done), but I couldn’t pass up this latest opportunity, an Amazon toy deal. We still have to get a Christmas gift for Jacob, so I thought I’d try this out. Here’s the details:

  • Purchase a minimum of $25 worth of product from the Amazon.com Toy store in a single order. $25 purchase must be from a single seller
  • Check out, and pay for your order.
  • An email will be sent to your account within 8 days to redeem your subscription
  • Print off the form, along with an order confirmation, to the address in the “details” link above, and you’ll be sent a check for the value of the subscription ($15)

Assuming you pick out toys that also qualify for the free shipping on $25 purchase offer, you’ll get $25 of toys for $10. Oh, minus a stamp. I’ll let you know if this offer works as well as it’s supposed to. We ordered a couple of HABA toys for Jakey from Star Bright Kids company. I love these toys, they seem to put a lot of effort into designing toys that stimulate without all the bright lights and sounds (not that those toys are bad, we have plenty of them too!)

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