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Thursday, November 20, 2014

President Obama's Speech on Immigration

My fellow Americans, tonight, I'd like to talk with you about immigration.
For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations. It's kept us youthful, dynamic, and entrepreneurial. It has shaped our character as a people with limitless possibilities — people not trapped by our past, but able to remake ourselves as we choose.
But today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it.

Families who enter our country the right way and play by the rules watch others flout the rules. Business owners who offer their workers good wages and benefits see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants by paying them far less. All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America. And undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows, or risk their families being torn apart.
It's been this way for decades. And for decades, we haven't done much about it.
When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system. And I began by doing what I could to secure our borders. Today, we have more agents and technology deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history. And over the past six years, illegal border crossings have been cut by more than half. Although this summer, there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is now actually lower than it's been in nearly two years. Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts.
Meanwhile, I worked with Congress on a comprehensive fix, and last year, 68 Democrats, Republicans, and Independents came together to pass a bipartisan bill in the Senate. It wasn't perfect. It was a compromise, but it reflected common sense. It would have doubled the number of border patrol agents, while giving undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship if they paid a fine, started paying their taxes, and went to the back of the line. And independent experts said that it would help grow our economy and shrink our deficits.
Had the House of Representatives allowed that kind of a bill a simple yes-or-no vote, it would have passed with support from both parties, and today it would be the law. But for a year and a half now, Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Prayers 4 Players Basketball Edition

Many of you know that we have a group of people who have committed to praying for football players. Everyone is assigned a small list, which allows each player to be prayed for each week. 

Recently, some people have asked about basketball players. If you are a part of the original group and would like basketball players added to your list, please email me or message me on twitter. 

Many of you have already done so. If you have not participated before, but want to join, you can email me at christyg1119@gmail.com  OR on twitter @tatershell

This prayer group isn't about the victories on the field or court. It is more for victory in their lives. 

I teach high school and work with student athletes. I see some of the pressures and problem they face daily. It is my prayer and desire that the players might have a circle of protection placed around them. We also pray for each other when things come up.

If you are interested, please contact me!

Monday, November 17, 2014

THE BEST SERMONS ARE LIVED...NOT PREACHED.

           
 
Real life stories that cause one to stop and think...
 
1. Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I'm working on for my Psychology class. When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, "Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile."

2. Today, I asked my mentor - a very successful business man in his 70's- what his top 3 tips are for success. He smiled and said, "Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing."
 
3. Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn't recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, "On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center ."
 
4. Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.
 
5. Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too. A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow.
 
6. Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother's hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, "I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often."
 
7. Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.
 
8. Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, "Why?" She replied, "So you can help me save the planet." I chuckled again and asked, "And why do you want to save the planet?" Because that's where I keep all my stuff," she said.
 
9. Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter's antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.
 
10. Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, "I hope you feel better soon."
 
11. Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, "Thinking of you today. If you need me, I'm a phone call away." It was from a high school friend I hadn't seen in10 years.
 
12. Today, I was traveling in Kenya and met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn't eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely thin and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, "We can share it."
 
*The best sermons are lived, not preached.** **Amen.*

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's Freedom "of" Religion

Further evidence of our Government's eradication of our constitutional rights has reared it's ugly head in Maryland. 
 
Muslim leadership has objected to allowing a "Christmas" break in the school calendar year, and wanted to add a Muslim holiday break as well. In this story by News 96.5 local leaders decided to do away with the name of the holiday break. 
 
It's another in the long line of political moves to not offend anyone. One more step away from our Christian heritage in this country. 

Not calling it a Christmas, or Birth of Christ break is failing to acknowledge all that we hold dear as Americans.
Our gov't has failed once again to protect our heritage, and our constitution by moving toward freedom from religion, not for religion.
Our laws protect you as citizens if you choose not to participate in a Christmas holiday. They are not in place to eliminate the founding principals of our country's constitution.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I Want This Jesus! By Jim Cymbala


(Seeing People as God Sees Them)


It was Easter Sunday and I was so tired at the end of the day that I just went to the edge of the platform, pulled down my tie and sat down and draped my feet over the edge. It was a wonderful service with many people coming forward. The counselors were talking with these people. As I was sitting there, I looked up the middle aisle, and there in about the third row was a man who looked about fifty, disheveled, filthy. He looked up at me rather sheepishly, as if saying, "Could I talk to you?"

We have homeless people coming in all the time, asking for money or whatever. So as I sat there, I said to myself, though I am ashamed of it, "What a way to end a Sunday. I've had such a good time, preaching and ministering, and here's a fellow probably wanting some money for more wine."

He walked up. When he got within about five feet of me, I smelled a horrible smell like I'd never smelled in my life. It was so awful that when he got close, I would inhale by looking away, and then I'd talk to him, and then look away to inhale, because I couldn't inhale facing him.

I asked him, "What's your name?"

"David."

"How long have you been on the street?"

"Six years."

"How old are you?"

"Thirty-two." He looked fifty - hair matted; front teeth missing; wino; eyes slightly glazed.

"Where did you sleep last night, David?"

"Abandoned truck."

I keep in my back pocket a money clip that also holds some credit cards. I fumbled to pick one out thinking; I'll give him some money. I won't even get a volunteer. They are all busy talking with others. Usually we don't give money to people. We take them to get something to eat. I took the money out.

David pushed his finger in front of me. He said, "I don't want your money. I want this Jesus...the One you were talking about, because I'm not going to make it. I'm going to die on the street."

I completely forgot about David, and I started to weep for myself. I was going to give a couple of dollars to someone God had sent to me. See how easy it is?

I could make the excuse I was tired. There is no excuse. I was not seeing him the way God sees him. I was not feeling what God feels. But oh, did that change!

David just stood there. He didn't know what was happening. I pleaded with God, "God, forgive me! Forgive me! Please forgive me. I am so sorry to represent You this way. I'm so sorry. Here I am with my message and my points, and You send somebody and I am not ready for it. Oh, God!"

Something came over me. Suddenly I started to weep deeper, and David began to weep. He fell against my chest as I was sitting there. He fell against my white shirt and tie, and I put my arms around him, and there we wept on each other. The smell of His person became a beautiful aroma. Here is what I thought the Lord made real to me: If you don't love this smell, I can't use you, because this is why I called you where you are. This is what you are about. You are about this smell.

Christ changed David's life. He started memorizing portions of Scripture that were incredible. We got him a place to live. We hired him in the church to do maintenance, and we got his teeth fixed. He was a handsome man when he came out of the hospital. They detoxed him in 6 days. He spent that Thanksgiving at my house. He also spent Christmas at my house. When we were exchanging presents, he pulled out a little thing and he said, "This is for you." It was a little white hanky. It was the only thing he could afford.

A year later David got up and talked about his conversion to Christ. The minute he took the mic and began to speak, I said, "The man is a preacher." This past Easter we ordained David. He is an associate minister of a church over in New Jersey.

And I was so close to saying, "Here, take this; I'm a busy preacher." We can get so full of ourselves.

“Where Angels Walk” by Joan Wester Anderson

There is a story told by a pediatric nurse serving in Danzig in 1945, after Russian troops had overrun many German towns.  Local women were being abused, and nights were filled with terror.  Nurses gathered as many women and children as they could, and found temporary lodging in a small makeshift school.  The nurses often worked at night and, because of the lack of electricity, used candle stubs.  Since theirs was the only lighted building, they too faced the danger of being invaded by the Russians.  Yet the people called this building the “island of peace”, because despite the surroundings, nothing bad ever seemed to happen there. Gradually the stream of those seeking shelter increased.

One day a woman brought her children and begged the nurses to take them.  The children had had a completely secular upbringing and had never heard of prayer.  That evening, as the community held a worship service, instead of folding his hands with the rest, the new boy stared into the distance with wide eyes.  At the end, the community sang a familiar song, asking God to send angels to 'place golden weapons around our beds.'

"When we said Amen, the boy came up to me and drew me out of the building," the nurse reported.  "He kept tapping his breastbone and saying, 'Up to here.  It came up to here on them'."

The nurse asked him what he meant.  Pointing up to the gutter on the roof of the building, he repeated his statement:  "The gutter came up to here on them."  "What are you talking about?" the nurse asked.

The boy told her that while everyone had been singing, he had seen a man ablaze with lights at every corner of the building.  The men were so tall that they towered above the roof, their arms outstretched over everyone in the little structure.

"Now it was clear to me," the nurse noted. "We had not seen them, but they certainly were watching us.  This house could be called 'the island of peace' because angels guarded it all."

…..Copyright 2011

me n’ God love ya!