Sunday, February 9, 2014

Treasure of Bible Reading

The Treasures of Bible Reading
by Pastor Adam Godshall

A) God's word is wonderful.

Psalm 119:18  Wondrous Things from Your Law...

more to come...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Favorite Quote: Ronald Reagan

The most terrifying words in the English language are: 
I'm from the government and I'm here to help. 

Ronald Reagan

Favorite Quote: Ronald Reagan

Man is not free unless government is limited.  Ronald Reagan

Favorite Quote: Ronald Reagan

If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, 
then we will be a nation gone under.  Ronald Reagan

Funny Quips by Kids

"The ghost (coast) is clear!!!" by my 7 year old daughter, Samantha.

Funny Quips by Kids

"Boo Daddy Vroom Vroom!"  (Blue Daddy's Car) by my 2 1/2 year old little boy.  His first sentence! :)

Part One: Thoughts on Psalm 9 and My Testimony of God's Grace

Reflections on Psalm 9

"I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High." Psalm 9:1-2

Lord, I praise you with my voice.  I praise you with my whole being!  Isn't it amazing that on those really CRAZY busy days that sometimes, or many times, we think, Oh, I am so swamped today, I don't have time to read my Bible, or pray, or spend time with the Lord.  That is EXACTLY why we should spend time in the Word.

When I try to operate under my own strength, my own willpower, and discipline the kids or be kind to my husband, my 'fuse' is much shorter, and I find myself not as calm or slow to anger.  God, you really do give me your peace....and I certainly have to be reminded of that from time to time.

Lord, help me to be bold today to share your excellent greatness with others.  For many years, I believed myself to be 'saved.' Meaning, when I die I would go to Heaven.  I was eight when I said a "sinner's prayer," which means I said a prayer stating that I knew I was a sinner (I had done wrong things against God), and I wanted to ask Jesus Christ for forgiveness and to have him be Lord of my life.  I'm sure that I meant it at that time, but not a lot was preached on the repentance side of the equation.  I mean by the ripe old age of  eight, (ha, ha) yes, I had done wrong things, but I surely didn't understand the full meaning of giving my heart to the Lord, and being broken over my sin.  My heart wasn't yet aching at the sin in the world, like God's heart was aching.

Have you ever heard of the saying, "Walks like a duck, smells like a duck, must be a duck"?   Surely, that phrase fit me for about 20 years...

"Walks like a Christian, smells like a Christian, must be a Christian."

I went to church faithfully, I didn't curse, I didn't hang out with the bad crowd, I didn't smoke, or it looked like I was a Christ follower.  However, my heart was far from him.  Looking back now, I see that I was really playing the game of being a Christian, but I knew something was wrong.  What was the state of my heart?  Did I dabble in sin and excuse it away?  Did I read popular romance novels and rationalize it that they were okay, mostly?  Did I go to watch a popular movie at the theaters that was rated R, but "it was really good movie, except for this one part!"  Did I allow friends to bring over movies that I would never even dream of renting and then allow them to watch them at my place?!

Yes sir, I looked like a Christ follower, but really, my heart was ugly with sin. Filthy and covered with the slime of this world.  I was in such a habit of doing the right thing for the right thing's sake.  Finally, after 20 years, marriage and two children later,  I joined a Bible study group that was studying, Henry Blackaby's study, called "Experiencing God."  When I first heard that our church was offering this, I didn't need to pray about joining; I joined on the spot.  I instinctively knew that I was not where I needed to be spiritually and I was dry, parched and in search of living water.  I had no idea the journey that this would take me on.  To my surprise, my husband joined the group also.

This study encouraged accountability partners, reading in the Bible daily, praying daily, and then weekly group discussions, study and prayer.  It was at this point, that God started getting into me...not just me getting into the Word. 

More to come....

Your Pardner,

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Favorite Quote and My Musings

My Musings on Integrity
by Holly Schmitz

"A man of integrity expects to be believed, and when he's not, he'll let time prove him right." Unknown

This quote is one of my all time favorites!  Why?  Because, in life, there have been times, when I knew something was wrong at my workplace, I said something about it...and later was let go.

In college,  I was asked, "If you were in a job situation, and you knew that something wrong was happening, or you were asked to do something unethical in order to keep your job, would you tell the truth or look the other way to keep your job?"  I often thought, I hope I would make the right decision. 

What I've found, however, you never know when a decision is going to cost you your job.  Usually, you find out way on the other side of making that decision.  I have found out that if I operate under the principle of always doing right, all the time, (of course, I'm not perfect), then you really have little to worry about.  If I stood up and spoke up because I believed that children and other teachers were being abused, then I did what I knew to be true.  Too often, people are afraid of stating the truth because they might lose their job or have some other minor consequence.  In fact, two other men teachers at that school were too afraid of this potential result and told me that they didn't say anything and put the lives and well being of the children in our school in danger.  To me, that's not acceptable.  Why not? 

 Proverbs 31
"8 Open your mouth for the speechless,
In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy."

Ultimately, I want to do what is right because of the work that Jesus Christ has done in me.  He has stirred a passion in me to help children and to not stand idly by watching children being harmed by others, or destroyed by negative media, internet, violent video games, broken family, or a teacher or principal that is acting in a wicked way.   Jesus is our definition of truth.  John was speaking to his disciples when he spoke this following verse.

John 14:6
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” 

If I am a true Christian, I should do what is right because I want to honor God, Jesus Christ, and in order to become more like Christ...we want to represent truth in every area.  We should not 'do right' just for 'doing right's' sake.  This would be a definition of pragmatism.  

Join me today in standing for truth.  And study the scripture, especially 1st John, and John 14 and John 15.  So you know what truth is, and why you should stand for it.

Your Pardner,

P.S.  Oh, and that principal that was acting wickedly toward the children?  Do you know that one year later, I later heard that he was found to have been accessing pornography on the school computer.  They put a window in his office door..and later he was fired.  Remember that quote from the beginning of the article?

"A man of integrity expects to be believed, and when he's not, he'll let time prove him right."


Favorite Quotes

"Always do right, this will gratify some people and astonish the rest." 
Mark Twain

Monday, January 13, 2014

Favorite Quote: Leadership

"Today is a great day for a new beginning!"  Jann Newton, Businesswoman and Community Builder

Leadership Article: Mentors

Check the Fruit!  The Value of Mentors
by Holly Schmitz

What is the value of a mentor?  In fact, you might even be asking, what is a mentor?  According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary online,


"someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person.

-a trusted counselor or guide."  

     In days gone by, the value of mentors were well known.  Someone who taught you the ways of life, perhaps a parent or teacher.  What about the wisdom of a grandparent?  And even more so, the wisdom of a Godly grandparent.  According to Bill Newton, Businessman and Community Builder, "We have lost the value of mentors in our society today."  Am I seriously pursuing a mentor in my life?! Are you pursuing a mentor?  Perhaps you have a mentor in your personal trainer for the "Health" category.  But really, to grow in each area of our life, we truly need a mentor in our spiritual, mental, physical, finance, and relationships as well.  
     One individual may cover several areas, or perhaps just one area.  If you know of someone that has the 'fruit on the tree' in the health, but is about to foreclose on his house, it appears that he has the right thinking in health category but not in finances.  Check the fruit!
      Have you ever trusted someone's advice on finances, and didn't even think to check their "fruit?"  My husband and I have and didn't even realize it until years later.  One particular friend of ours was giving us detailed financial advice.  And then, a few years later, he went bankrupt!  Oops, wrong mentor!!  All I can say, is I'm glad we didn't follow all of his advice in the area of finances.  We did however, follow a few of his ideas on credit card usage and that was a bad decision on our part.  Check the fruit!
     A lot of times we don't even know the right questions to ask.  This is why there is a value in mentors and counselors.  According to the Scripture, 

Proverbs 11:14
"Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety."

     We also don't want to get in the habit of taking only our own advice.  After all, the saying goes, "Doing the same thing over and over and thinking you're going to get different results, is the definition of insanity."  If you sit down with your spouse, and say, "What should we do about our son?  His attitude isn't right, and I think he may be lying to us.  How do we connect with him and instruct him better?"  If this is the 10th time this month  that you have had this conversation, it might be a good idea to get some outside counsel for direction.  Have you read your Bible?  Have you read the Proverbs? Have you read the Proverbs with your son?  Are you asking questions and listening?   Have you spoken with your pastor or a trusted pastor, who has the 'fruit on the tree?'  Now if your potential 'parenting' mentor has kids that are out of control and little terrors most of the time, you probably shouldn't want to have him or her as your mentor in that area. Check the fruit!
     According to Bill Newton, "mentors can help you with three areas:

 1) Mentors reduce the noise in the amount of information that is coming at you.
 2) They help to narrow the scope on what you need to change.
 3) They love and care for us and want to guide us to our dreams."

    Why don't people have mentors or even know to ask why they should want one?  It is largely because most people have to much pride to find a mentor."  We must humble ourselves; I must humble myself, to realize that I don't have it all figured out, and I am not perfect, and I can definitely grow in every area of my life. 
    Apparently, this term, "mentor" is a popular term, because according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online, "Mentor is currently in the top 1% of lookups and is the 360th most popular word on"  It seems like there is a lot of surface interest in this term, but are we truly seeking out a mentor to help me in a particular area?  Most people want to talk a good game, but are they really following through and being intentional with excellence and seeking out mentors?

     As we begin a new year, this is a perfect time to sit down with a sheet of paper, write down the following areas and brainstorm, think, pray about why you should want to become better:

faith, finances, mental, relationships, health, fun, legacy, etc.

     Friends, please choose the higher, less traveled and more meaningful road this year as you carefully choose a mentor to help you get a little further down the path you have chosen.

Your Pardner,  

"Mentor," def. Accessed 13 January, 2014.

Favorite Quotes: Leadership

"People that think they know a lot, tend to know very little."  Bill Newton

Friday, January 10, 2014

Funny Quips by Kids

"Yeah...but my leg itches, because of my huge sock!  It goes up past my knee!" Says Elena.

Funny Quips by Kids

"A 'yat' (yak)...You know, like the ones in 'Choose Your Own Adventure!' "  says my 8 year old.

Thoughts of the Day...from your Pardner and Pal, Holly

Howdy Pardners.

Good morning to ya'all.  How is the weather in your neck of the woods?  Here, it feels like a heat wave, as it is now 34 degrees F. at 7.05am.  Compared to -10 degrees on the thermometer on Monday morning...we are practically sweating.  Okay, not really...but it was a nice thought.

The thought for today is 'mediocrity' vs. 'excellence.'   What is mediocrity?  Most people already know, but I will define it here.


"noun \ˌmē-dē-ˈä-krə-tē\
: the quality of something that is not very good : the quality or state of being mediocre
: a person who does not have the special ability to do something well."

Mediocrity. The state of being average...I've heard it said that it's, "The top of the bottom, and the bottom of the top." Not very exciting, huh?  It's so EASY to be average isn't it?  Just do a little, 'just enough to get by...'  
But when we just "squeak by" in our relationships or on our job or our business, it's not very satisfying, is it?  We know we can do more, try harder, have a more significant life if we try.  Why don't we? Well, I think the main reason, is that we are comfortable where we are.

Have you ever heard of the "comfort zone?"  For most of us, it is comfortable to be in the same spot we've always been in...or at least it could be known as our "familiar zone."  We are familiar with debt on a house, debt on the cars, perhaps bad relationships where we don't talk to our loved ones, or conversations are lean.  What we need to do is take the hard road, or be intentional with different areas of our lives.

Don't like your bad or mediocre marriage?  Then determine to do something in the next 7 days that would make it better.  Surprise your wife with a date at the coffee shop or dessert at a nice place.  It really could cost less than five bucks, but will go far in letting her know that you care about her and give her some quality time.  Perhaps she is an acts of service type gal.  She might really appreciate it if you took out the trash or gave the kids a bath, if applicable. :) These ideas are from a book called, "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman.   It's the small things that make a difference.  And, if you determine what love language your spouse or child speaks, then you really can strengthen your relationship, and add "gas" to the 'love tank,' as Gary Chapman says.  Book review coming soon!

Here is a definition on Excellence.


"noun \ˈek-s(ə-)lən(t)s\
: extremely high quality

1 the quality of being excellent

2 an excellent or valuable quality :  virtue"

So today, what can you be excellent in today?  When you play 'Boggle' with your ten year old son, do you give him your full attention?! Or do you text and talk on the phone at the same time? When your teenaged daughter wants to talk to you, and she goes on and on, do you tend to drift with your thoughts, or do you catch yourself, and reset your mind and eyes to pay attention to her?!  Hey, this is a great reminder to me to to be Excellent in the moment.   

After all, what is life.... 

but a bunch of moments strung together like a necklace of beautiful glowing pearls...glowing moments of our lives.  Don't miss it and...
Choose to be Excellent today! 
Your Pardner, 

Favorite Quotes

"Every day you may make progress. 
Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. 
You know you will never get to the end of the journey. 
But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb." 
by Sir Winston Churchill

Favorite Quotes

"All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: 
freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope."  by Sir Winston Churchill

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Homeschool News

Interesting facts about Homeschooling vs. Public School.

Some Fascinating Facts About Homeschool vs Public School

Verse of the Day: Old Testament

Psalm 101:3 KJV
"I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me."

What does this mean?  Set no wicked thing before me, before mine eyes.  The acronym, 'WWJD?' is appropriate here.  What would Jesus do?  What would Jesus Christ do in this particular situation?!  Would Christ put himself in a compromising situation with someone of the opposite sex?  Would Christ ride in the car to a meeting with someone else's wife?  No!  Likewise, as Christians, we are called to "keep ourselves above reproach."  Don't even put yourself into a situation that might even 'look bad', or 'be wrong.'  Maybe your intent was to help someone else, or to save money or gas by carpooling...but this small amount of $ you might save, is not worth your integrity in this situation by doing what's right.  Even if this is new to you, or you've never even thought of this can start today!  I was not taught this concept growing up, but actually learned of it in my mid 20s of keeping yourself above reproach.  Of course, if there are at least three people in the car, then that is putting yourself above reproach. But of course, if you feel uncomfortable even in a larger setting, then politely bow out of that situation.

And don't do what's right, just for the sake "of what's right!"  Do what's right, for the sake of honoring the Lord...Doing what's right because God calls me and you to "set no wicked thing before mine eyes."  To be above take the high road in all situations.

Just think of what heartache this would prevent if every person, or even every Christian in America, did what was right to honor the Lord.

Think of how many affairs would be avoided, how many marriages saved, how many children not broken and destroyed by the resulting divorces of their unfaithful parents.  There are temptations all around.  We should not be surprised by this. We are living in the world.  The world is largely wicked, because of the fallen, sinful nature of man.  Christ calls us to be 'in this world, but not of the world."  

Go and be the example, fellow Christian.  And if you don't know Christ, cry out to him today!

I will be praying for all the readers of this blog.
Your Pardner, 

The following passage is taken from the BibleGateway site.  This is a great resource to look up scripture in all different versions.  I prefer the New King James or the King James Version.

Jesus Prays for Himself, Ch. 17 of John

"1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should[a] give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me,[b] that they may be one as We are. 

  12 While I was with them in the world,[c] I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept;[d] and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth."

Verse of the Day...New Testament 

 One of our family's favorite verses from Jesus Christ, the Son of God...

 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John Chapter 14:  1-14

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions;[a] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.[b] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The Father Revealed

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

The Answered Prayer

12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask[c] anything in My name, I will do it.

Financial Fitness Principles

Principle #1 from the Book, 'Financial Fitness, 
The Offense, Defense, and Playing Field of Personal Finance
by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady

"It's not what you make but what you keep that determines financial success.  Pay yourself first and save what you pay yourself."

Favorite Quotes

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Leadership Article: Cody Newton Two of Cody's Newton's Leadership Article...

"The most successful reading this have failed the most, looked dumb the most, been embaraced the most, took rejection the most, and been hurt the most, learned from the experiences and kept going.  Not only should you know that failure is not bad, but I recommend you follow or mentor with someone who has failed and failed BIG!   Just make sure they have used that experience to learn from instead of complain from.  A leaders  life will be DREAM-STRUGGLE- VICTORY not DREAM-STRUGGLE-VICTIM.  Here is 6 principles that I have lived by along my journey that I pray helps you.
1st principle:      When you feel  a chance of failure, hit it head on FAST!!  The longer you wait, the harder it is to get past the failure and the stronger the feeling becomes. To a leader cowardice is more shameful than fear.
2nd principle:    Eliminate the need for perfection!!  Since we were in kindergarten we were taught the closer we get to an A the better off we are.  Salvador Dali says ” have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.”   It’s actually not about perfection as much as continually losing long enough to find out how to win and never quitting…..
3rd principle:   When you fail admit it!!  Winston Churchill said “success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”  Learn to share your mistakes instead of shunning your mistakes.  I personally have done and continue to do some of the most ridiculous and dumb things along the path to success.
4th principle:  Don’t be a CRITIC!!!   Starve the habit to dump negatives about others, anywhere,  even to your best buddy .  We can get past our own failures if we do not hold others to the standard of perfection.  In my life, the more I quit holding others to a standard they can’t uphold, I quit holding myself to that same standard.
5th principle:  Be in thankful mode!!  Focus on where you are winning and all the things God has done in your life!  One of Satan’s best tools to stop you from what God has called you to do is to remind you of your past and all the hurts you have done to yourself and others have done to you.
6th principle:   Dream Again!!  The best way to get past failure is to look forward to the dreams in your life that you are chasing!  God bless your run towards your destiny!

Leadership Article: Cody Newton

This is an excerpt off of Cody Newton's Website.  Well done Cody!  Part 1

"6 principles to live by to change your view
I have heard Chris Brady  talk on  ”money view” and Dr. Kelly Randolph, Orrin Woodward, Dr Tom Ascol, Tim Marks and many others talk on your “world view”.  Its has truly helped me too look thru the proper lens about my faith-finances etc. Today Id like to unfold the “failure view.”  The failure view is the lens in which you look at failure. Two people can go thru the same failure and one will look at it as a losing experience and quit, while the other will look at it as a learning experience and grow. Same event,  way different response.
 I was 19 years old battling depression/self-worth and I was recommended by a christian a book titled “Telling yourself the Truth.” I realized for 19  yrs that Id been lieing to myself about failure.  Page 118-119 in Tim Marks book  ”Confidence of a Champion” gives us questions to ask ourselves during those trying times as well.    One of the greatest lies we tell ourselves is that failure is bad and we should hide from it.  I remember a quote Steven Wright said ” If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence you tried”  Now he was just having fun but that is exactly what I wanted to do with my past failures instead of learning from them and moving forward. All successful preachers, businessman , athletes, parents, and spouses have and will continue to fail and fail big.  Failure should be some of the most exciting times because it means you are having movement!!
First Failure:  Wasnt able to speak until he was 4 years old and his teachers said he would not amount too much.  He was a Theoretical Physicist and Nobel Prize Winner…… Albert Einstein
Second Failure: Was abused as a child and demoted from her job as a news anchor because they said ” you’re not fit for TV”……..Oprah Winfrey
Third Failure:  Fired from newspaper for “lacking imagination” and “having no original ideas”…….Walt Disney
Forth Failure: A highschool dropout, whose personal struggles with drugs and poverty took him to the point of suicidal attempts…… Eminem
Fifth Failure:  His fiance died, failed in business, had a nervous breakdown and was defeated in 8 elections.  16th president of the USA….. Abraham Lincoln
Sixth Failure: Lost his father  at age 5 .  In his 30s and his 50s had companies change the deal on him that cost him and his family millions.  Now has a 40 year record for the javelin and is creating one of the most spectacular comeback stories and more importantly, a great dad…… Bill Newton
Seventh Failure: His parents divorced at a young age.  Had reading disorders and dyslexia diagnosed as the teachers recommended he be held back. Always fought a low self-esteem and struggled with alcoholism. Now is a best-selling author of two books, my personal mentor, and cofounder of LIFE LEADERSHIP…… Tim Marks"

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Love Babies, Save Babies!

"Abortion is harmful to our community," according to Samantha, director for Prolife by Purelife.

According to Rachel House crisis pregnancy center statistics,
"Abortion is a big problem. In Kansas City alone more than 9,500 babies are lost to abortion every single year...
"More than 50% of all those abortions happen in the lives of teenage girls and women under 25. And for each young woman – there’s a man who experiences the loss of fatherhood and there’s a child never born...
"In fact, 43% of all pregnancies in African American women are aborted, a sobering statistic that’s slowly shrinking the African American population into eventual extinction..."

Can you believe this???  Almost 10,000 babies a year...the entire population of a medium sized town, are killed, in our local Metropolis.

Doesn't this irritate you? Doesn't this make you mad?!!!  Since when IS IT OKAY to KILL our CHILDREN?  Make a stand.  Don't allow it in your circle.

Stop being complacent today. Choose LIFE!  Encourage young ladies to choose life...if they are pregnant!  And then help them get plugged in to a local church, local job skills and life skills. Babysit! Read the Bible to them...

We, as Christians, don't want to be known for encouraging a lady to have the baby, but then offer no support and love after that precious baby is born!

Love children, love your spouse, care about someone else today.  Break out of your 'electronic bubble' and think about how you can make an eternal impact.

Your Pardner,

Friday, January 3, 2014

Verse of the Day...New Testament

This is Jesus Christ's Great Commission.
MATTHEW 28:18-20 NKJ
18 Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

8 "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Thoughts of the Day...from your Pardner and Pal, Holly

Hey Everyone.

Thought of "keep score."   Have you heard of this before?  I've included a couple of quotes and articles by Orrin Woodward.  He is one of the top leaders in our country in leadership. 

Something that Orrin refers to quite often is, "PDCA....which means, plan, do, check and adjust."  This comes from his engineering background, but really, you and I can apply it to any and every area of our lives to get better.  Even just a little bit, bit by bit.  We must evaluate where we are first, before we can determine the direction we need to go to improve.

What is your Point A (where you are in life this very moment), .....and then we can define our Point B!  Then we must clearly lay out a plan to get to that Point B...

More thinking to come.

Your Pardner,

Funny Quips by Kids

"EG is an abbreviation for egg, mom," says Jordan, my 10 year old, when we are playing boggle.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Obamacare Updates

Surprise Everyone!  Obamacare is not a wonderful blessing that will help everyone have insurance.  In fact, there are 20 or more new taxes that are hidden in the ridiculously long, 2,572 page document.  Can you imagine...more taxes when you go tanning? Really, a 'tanning tax?'   Why would any law in the world be over 2000 pages long... unless someone, or someones, are trying to hide multiple taxes and hurt for us as the Middle Class?  

Your Pardner,


The Hidden Obamacare Taxes That
Will Crush The Middle Class

The following article was taken off the following site.

Get ready to be blindsided by a barrage of new taxes. $1 trillion worth...
They'll be coming courtesy of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
And they won't just be affecting those who make over $250,000. The bulk of these taxes will be passed on directly to the middle class.
That's because while a majority of these "stealth taxes" were designed to be taxes on businesses, they're actually transferred directly to ordinary citizens.
MORE: How much extra will you have to pay? To see how Obamacare taxes will directly affect your paycheck, go here.
They include the investment income surtax, a Medicare payroll tax, even a "tanning tax" on those who utilize indoor tanning services.
"Many of those [hidden] taxes, especially those on hospitals, insurers and medical device manufacturers, will ultimately be passed on through higher health costs," said Michael Tanner an expert on the healthcare law.
In fact, analysts estimate Obamacare will cost the average taxpayer nearly $6,000 in extra taxes as early as next year.

Obamacare Tax Hikes Stoke Outrage

Many of the Obamacare taxes are already in effect, others will hit January 1. But they are already infuriating millions of Americans.
While even Obamacare detractors applaud the requirement that insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions and put a stop to lifetime caps on benefits, they say these laudable benefits don't compensate for the bills high cost - especially in new taxes.
According to most experts, Obamacare will create a total of twenty new taxes or tax hikes on the American people.
In fact, the Obama administration has already given the IRS an extra $500 million to enforce the rules and regulations of Obamacare.
The new taxes don't bode well for millions of middle-class Americans. Incomes for the rich have soared this decade but middle class workers have seen their wages stagnate and even drop since the 2008 Great Recession.
Many fear Obamacare with its high insurance costs and new taxes, could provide the middle class a fatal blow.
The 20 new Obamacare taxes are making Americans eyes pop out in disbelief. 
Of course, the Obamacare plan was primarily designed to decrease the number of uninsured Americans and reduce healthcare costs.
Many experts are saying it will have the exact opposite effect.
That's just one of the reasons why Republicans hope to defund Obamacare before January.
They claim that the taxes and costs needed to pay for Obamacare will crush the middle class and most U.S. taxpayers, as well as trigger job losses in affected industries.
Tax experts say you should try to estimate how much you will have to pay when the law goes into full effect - and take precautions to limit the damage to your bottom line.
What the Experts Say: How to avoid getting your financial neck broken by Obamacare... Watch this video.
One expert, Dr. Betsy McCaughey, a constitutional scholar with a Ph.D. from Columbia University, recently wrote a best-seller showing Americans how they can not only survive Obamacare, but prosper through it.
McCaughey claims to be one of the only people in the country - including members of Congress - who has actually read the entire 2,572 page law.
Her book, titled Beating Obamacare: Your Handbook for Surviving The New Health Care Law, breaks the huge bill down into 168 pages of actionable advice.
The book, written in an easy going, easy to read style, shows some startling facts about Obamacare not seen in the mainstream press.
For example, she points to a little known passage in the bill that shows how you could get slapped with a $2,000 fine for not having health insurance - even if you do actually have it.
She also goes into detail explaining how a third of all U.S. employers could stop offering health insurance to their workers.
In one chapter, she shows how ordinary Americans will get stuck paying for substance abuse coverage - even if they never touched a drink or drug in their life.
According to McCaughey's research, senior citizens will get hit the hardest.
Hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery will be especially hard to get from Medicare in the months ahead thanks to Obamacare, according to McCaughey.
She warns seniors to get those types of procedures done now before Obamacare goes into effect January 1.
Editor's Note: Real facts and figures about the hidden Obamacare taxes and fees and how they will affect everyday Americans and seniors are hard to find. As a courtesy, Money Morning is offering readers a free copy of Betsy McCaughey's new book Beating Obamacare: Your Handbook for Surviving The New Health Care Law. But only a limited number of copies are available. Please go here to reserve yours today.

Favorite Quotes

"My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted."  Steven Wright

Favorite Quotes

"If evolution really works, how come mothers only have 2 hands?"  Milton Berle

Thoughts of the Day...from your Pardner and Pal, Holly

Howdy ya'all and Garage Reflections...

Today is even "brisker," if you will.  A mere 2 degrees when I went out to start the van early this morning.  You know, when it is this cold, even our machines protest!

"Rrrrr, Rrrrrr, Rrrrr...."

I guess I would too, if I was sitting outside, unprotected and unloved....a little white minivan, in the harsh midwestern winter environment.  The snow is blowing in from the North and the West...whipping up around the tires and drifting at the end of the drive.  At least the white of the van matches the white of the sparkling snow! :)

This is the question of the day...why is it, that as Americans, we have a garage full of junk, worth $20 total...and we keep our expensive vehicle, our mode of transportation, our horsepowered auto, outside in the yard.  It is the one question we can never answer...unless we are honest with ourselves.  Perhaps it is more convenient to collect junk and not throw it out...

In fact...I believe this amazing phenomenon actually proves why evolution theory doesn't work.  I mean, when someone says, "Really, things in nature tend to get more and more organized." "Organization just happens all by itself."  All we have to do is look at my living room, which is the main hub of our home...that includes 4 children, 2 parents, and normal living and growing...One can easily see that it does not get cleaner or more organized on its own.  It only takes 20 minutes to go from, "Ready for company" look to "Tornado just hit the living room!" look.  That includes covers, legos, books, dolls, small lego friends girls, halo toys, nerf bullets, cups of water, and notebooks.  And don't forget the marbles and matchbox cars!

"Believing in evolution is believing in the unproved, 
while believing in Christ is believing in the proven."  
Edwin Louis Cole

Your Pardner,

Favorite Quotes

"If you choose the easier road now, LIFE will get harder.
But, if you choose the harder road now, LIFE will get easier."

Claude Hamilton

Homeschool News

Home-school culture shifting away from religious ties

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4 2013 4:00 a.m. MST
Taken off the following website: 

Home-schooling has risen among secular students in recent years. A 2013 National Center for Education Statistics study showed home-schoolers no longer list religion as their top reason for schooling from home.Gerry Broome, Associated Press

Eric Peschel and his family have different reasons for home-schooling.
One of his sons was taken out of public school for religious reasons and bullying. Another is taught at home because the public education system wasn't working for Peschel. His daughter was home-schooled too, but "bonding issues" caused the Peschels to put their daughter back into public school.
“Just seeing the difference between what is being taught in public school versus our school, it’s not even close,” Peschel said. “They’re not even close in the vocabulary they’re teaching, the math they’re teaching. It’s off the charts different.”
Though home-schooling has been a historically popular choice for religious conservatives, it's becoming more common among secular students. A National Center for Education Statistics study showed home-schoolers no longer list religion as their top reason for opting out of public or private schools. More than 91 percent see the environment as a reason to home-school, while 64 percent (about 692,299 students) see religion as an important reason to home-school. In 1999, about 327,000 students were home-schooled for religious reasons.
And home-schooling has been on the rise, too. More than a decade ago in 1999, about 850,000 students were home-schooled, which was nearly half of the 1,770,000 home-schooled students reported for the 2011-2012 school year, according to the NCES.
Between bullying worries and lack of belief in the public education system, many parents choose home-schooling to avoid these problems, experts say.
“I’ve seen some remarkable quality educations given to home-school kids in remarkable ways,” said John Edelson, founder and president of Time4Learning, a home-school curriculum organization. “While I see that in public schools, too, parents are a lot more resourceful to give kids quality educations.”
But as home-schooling becomes more popular, it also faces added scrutiny. In Nebraska, the Department of Education is looking to add new stipulations to track attendance for home-schoolers, which requires parents to fill out more paperwork. Other parents worry about the influence Common Core Standards is already having on their ability to shape curriculum to the needs of their children. For many, taking back control of their child's education is a fight that only continues.
A new market
Edelson of Time4Learning said there are three types of home-schoolers: religious people, free thinkers and “accidental home-schoolers,” who are “pragmatically doing what’s best for their kids.”
Because of this, academies that cater to home-schoolers or companies like Time4Learning have to adapt.
Edelson offers students a non-religious curriculum that is part online and part offline. It begins with an opening discussion, then 30 minutes of computer work and 30 minutes of desk work throughout the day.
It's a way of tapping into a new market of virtual home-schoolers, who are on the rise too, Edelson said. Instead of using the traditional method of hiring a home-school teacher, some parents want to enroll their children in an online education system, which they can also do from home, Edelson said.
Jessica Parnell, principal of Bridgeway Home School Academy, which offers curriculum for home-schooling parents, is also marketing itself in new ways by including mainstream and secular curriculums as a way to bring in families who want to avoid religious teachings.
Global Village School, a home-schooling organization that offers online and text-based curriculum, decided to shift its marketing focus in recent months toward secular students due to demand, said Gretchen Buck, the school's manager. She said part of this increased interest in home-schooling is from parents who think their children aren't getting enough attention in public schools.
“We’re not looking to fit all the square pegs in little round holes,” she said of her company's curriculum.
Peschel said public schools also don't have the materials and resources for optimal learning, like textbooks or writing utensils. Sometimes students can't take home a textbook to further develop their understanding, leaving them with less homework and less time to study.
“You want them to learn the material, but the only time they can learn it is when they’re in the class,” Peschel said.
Parnell agreed.
“They’re just not being helped,” Parnell said. “They’re getting passed along."
Another reason for the rise in new home-schoolers is because parents don’t see the traditional classroom setting as helpful for their children, Buck said.
“It doesn’t fit them, and they don’t do well at a traditional desk,” she said.
Parents, then, are taking it upon themselves to start teaching, Parnell said, as they believe they can teach their children better than public school teachers.
"Parents are saying, ‘I want control back,’ ” Parnell said.
In many cases, home-schooling parents will choose to home-school as a “last resort,” Edelson said, when the traditional educational system isn’t working.
“They get all fired up when they get into it and see the possibilities," Edelson said.