Monthly Archives: September 2011

Harding Academy and Ark Bapt fight for conference lead at Eagle Field tonight

I have been around a lot of big games but this game tonight may be the biggest in Arkansas Baptist Football History. Even though it is evident from the videos below that Arkansas Baptist has had some great offenses through the years, the eagles have not been able to win a playoff game since 2004 when they also won a conference championship.

Here is what Hootens has to say about the game tonight against Harding:

Harding Academy won its 18th consecutive conference game last week, beating Episcopal 49-7. Junior quarterback Will Francis completed 11 of 13 passes for 221 yards and four touchdowns. Francis has completed 63 percent of his passes this fall for 913 yards and 13 scores. Senior receiver Tucker Lloyd paces the Wildcats with 16 catches for 247 yards and three TDs. Sophomore Trevor Smith and junior Trent Finley have combined for 178 yards rushing and two scores. “They’re very well-rounded,” Arkansas Baptist coach Brad Helm says. “There’s not a weak link when you look at them. Defensively, they’re well-coached and understand what they’re trying to do.”

Arkansas Baptist last beat Harding Academy in 1998, losing the past five seasons by an average of 22 points. The Eagles lead the 2-3A this fall in scoring offense (45 points per game) and defense (nine ppg). Junior QB Jack Easby-Smith has completed 73 of 117 passes (62 percent) for 1,128 yards and 11 TDs. Sophomore running back Jack Hansen has 41 carries for 290 yards (7.1 yards per carry) and five scores. Senior RB Luke Byrum gains 17.7 yards per play. Senior receiver Ryan Perkins (1,671 career receiving yards) paces the Eagles with 32 catches for 478 yards and four TDs. Byrum (19 tackles at linebacker), senior end Drake Newkirk (team-high 25 tackles and three sacks) and junior LB Nathan Rogers (24 stops) lead the defense.

All State Receiver Greg Bowie catches game winning pass
against Bauxite in the final seconds of the game.

Concerning spending cuts Reagan believed, that members of Congress “wouldn’t lie to him when he should have known better.”

Washington Could Learn a Lot from a Drug Addict

Concerning spending cuts Reagan believed, that members of Congress “wouldn’t lie to him when he should have known better.” However, can you believe a drug addict when he tells you he is not ever going to do his habit again? Congress is addicted to spending too much money.  Lee Edwards wrote in his article “Golden Years” about Ronald Reagan:

Sometimes Reagan went along with a pragamatist like chief of staff James Baker, who persuaded the president to accept the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA), which turned out to be the great tax increase of 1982 — $98 billion over the next three years. That was too much for eighty-nine House Republicans (including second-term Congressman Newt Gingrich of Georgia) or for prominent conservative organizations from the American Conservative Union like the Conservative Caucus and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which all opposed the measure.

Baker assured his boss that Congress would approve three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar of tax increase. To Reagan, TEFRA looked like a pretty good “70 percent” deal. But Congress wound up cutting less than twenty-seven cents for every new tax dollar. What had seemed to be an acceptable 70-30 compromise turned out to be a 30-70 surrender. Ed Meese described TEFRA as “the greatest domestic error of the Reagan administration,” although it did leave untouched the individual tax rate reductions approved the previous year. (TEFRA was built on a series of business and excise taxes plus the removal of business tax deductions.)[xxx]

The basic problem was that Reagan believed, as Lyn Nofziger put it, that members of Congress “wouldn’t lie to him when he should have known better.”[xxxi] As a result of TEFRA, Reagan learned to “trust but verify,” whether he was dealing with a Speaker of the House or a president of the Soviet Union.

Friedman Friday” Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 3 of transcript and video)

Friedman Friday” Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 3 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series.

Created Equal [1/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980)

This is his busines3 headquarters in Las Vegas, empty except for the idea that he shares with his partner who will handle the production end of the venture when things really get going.

Lance von Allmen: Well, the idea is that if you have an oil spill in the ocean or in the river, you want to try to get it under control. What I am going to simulate here __ I am going to put some of this oil down __ there is your oil spill of major proportions. This product, what I can do is unfortunately what I can’t show you here is if you put this product down with an application system, you ring the oil spill in such a manner. The application system will make it much finer and it will control this. I don’t know if you can see what is happening to the oil yet, but it is just literally being drawn into this stuff as I spray it across the top. It is starting to draw it in. I have way more than I need. This controls ten times its weight in oil and it will not sink. It has been chemically treated __ it is cellulose __ it has been chemically treated so that it will in fact not do anything with the water __it hates water but it loves oil. I don’t know if you can see we have containment devices and that is what we are going to use this with. You can see that it has just taken a very little amount of this oil absorbing product which we call Oileater, to pick this up. The nice thing about it is that after that oil spill, we have the system to do what I am doing with my hand and that is pick all this up. There is the oil out of the product.

Now, if you want the oil back, that is not a big problem, if I can keep it all under control. The oil will come out and there we go, allowing it, I don’t know if you can see. What I have done is I have quit my regular job, I have mortgaged everything I’ve got, and it is quite a risk to do this, but the product works. You can see it works.

And when it goes I am going to make millions. It’s compatible with a lot of other products and a lot of other systems that are on the market. So, the money factor is the main thing. Its the kind of thing that when you see it you want to take the risk, it’s just that kind of thing. You know you’re going to make a lot of money. People talk to me and they will say, yeah, but you are crazy, you don’t have a job; you don’t know where the next pay check is going to come from; as a matter of fact, I think I have $10.00 in my pocket right now, but I don’t worry about it. I get up in the morning and it is my world. I own it. I can sit back and say I am losing, or I can sit back and say I am winning. I can go out and change the odds in my favor.

Friedman: People who are afraid, make their own choices. These two men do a dangerous, noisy, filthy job. They don’t do it because they like it. They do it because it is well paid. That is their choice.

This young man has given up any thought of a steady, well paid career in order to take a job on a golf course. He wants to become a professional golfer. It is a big gamble but it is one that he has decided to take.

When people are free, they are able to use their own resources most effectively and you will have a great deal of productivity, a great deal of opportunity. The major beneficiaries are always the small man. The man who has power who is at the top of society, he is going to do well whatever kind of society you have. It is the society which gives the small man the opportunity to go his way which is going to benefit him the most. That is why if you ask where in the world do ordinary people have the greatest opportunity for themselves and their children, it is not in Russian, it is not on the other hand in India __ it is in places like the United States, like Hong Kong, like Britain as it was, not so clearly Britain as it is.

For much of this century, the British have tried to use the law to impose equality, with very indifferent results. The failure of the drive for equality is not because the wrong measures were adopted; not because they were badly administered; not because the wrong people administered it. The failure is much more fundamental. It is because that drive goes against the most basic instinct of all human beings.

In the words of Adam Smith, the uniform, constant, and uninterrupted effort of every man to better his condition, to improve his own lot and to make a better world for his children and his children’s children. When the law interferes with that pursuit, everyone will try to find a way around. He will try to evade the law. He will break the law or he will emigrate from the country. All of those things have happened in Great Britain. There is no moral code that justifies laws fixing prices or fixing wages, or preventing a man from earning a living unless he joins a union and submits himself to the disciplines of the union, or forcing you to buy more expensive goods at home when cheaper goods are available from abroad. When the law prohibits things that most people regard as moral and proper, they are going to break the law. Only fear of punishment, not a sense of justice will cause them to obey the law and when people start breaking one set of laws, there’s a strong tendency for the lack of respect for the law to extend to all. Even to those which everyone regards as moral and proper. Laws against violence, theft, and vandalism. Hard as it may be to believe. The growth of crude criminality in Britain owes much to the drive for equality. In addition, that has driven some of the ablest, best trained, most vigorous people out of Britain much to the benefit of the United States and other countries that have given them a greater opportunity to use their talents for their own benefit. And finally, who can doubt the effect which the drive for equality has had on efficiency and productivity. Surely that is one of the main reasons why Britain has fallen so far behind its continental neighbors, the United States, Japan and other countries in the improvement of the economic lot of the ordinary man over the past 30 years.

Everywhere and at all times, economic progress has meant far more to the poor than to the rich. Wherever progress has been achieved, it has relieved the poor from backbreaking toil. It has also enabled them to enjoy the comforts and conveniences that have always been available to the rich.

Republicans need to tackle runaway entitlement spending

Republicans need to tackle runaway entitlement spending

Uploaded by on Feb 15, 2011

Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, speaks at Moving Forward on Entitlements: Practical Steps to Reform, NTUF’s entitlement reform event at CPAC, on Feb. 11, 2011.


I am disappointed in some of the Republicans who do not want to take the bull by the horns on this issue.

GOP Needs an Entitlement Plan

by Michael D. Tanner

Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and coauthor of Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution.

Added to on September 28, 2011

This article appeared on National Review (Online) on September 28, 2011

There was telling moment during the CNN Republican presidential debate: Asked about the possibility of repealing George W. Bush’s Medicare prescription-drug benefit, which is adding some $17 trillion to Medicare’s unfunded liabilities, every one of the candidates pledged varying degrees of fealty to the program. No one came out for significantly cutting this vestige of Bush-style big-government conservatism, let alone repealing it. This put the current crop of Republicans to the left of John McCain, who at least campaigned in favor of means-testing the program in 2008.

The failure to stand up against one of the Bush administration’s most obvious mistakes is not just a case of hypocrisy; it is part of a disturbing trend toward ducking the tough decisions on budget cutting among the Republican aspirants. For all the sound and fury, and the charges and countercharges surrounding entitlement reform, the GOP candidates have been remarkably reluctant to put forward actual proposals.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, for example, has been attacking Texas governor Rick Perry over Social Security from the left, praising the program as “an essential federal program,” that has been a “success” for more than 70 years. But for all his criticism of Perry, Romney has been much vaguer about his own plans for reform. At times he has sounded almost like Obama, suggesting that there are lots of reform ideas — raising the retirement age, means testing, changing the wage-price indexing formula — that are “on the table,” but not actually endorsing any of them. One reform that Romney has taken off the table is allowing younger workers to privately invest a portion of their payroll taxes through personal accounts. In his book, No Apology, Romney endorses so-called “add on” accounts, allowing workers to save in addition to Social Security, but not carving out a portion of their current taxes. “Given the volatility of investment values that we have just experienced, I would prefer that individual accounts were added to Social Security, not diverted from it,” Romney wrote.

The Republican candidates all talk about reducing government spending. But they cannot do that unless they commit to real entitlement reform.

On Medicare, Romney has avoided specifics as well, praising Paul Ryan’s proposed reforms for example as “taking important strides in the right direction,” but not endorsing them.

For his part, Governor Perry has been forthright about the flaws of Social Security but has offered nothing in the way of a proposal for reform. As Romney has pointed out endlessly, Perry suggested in his book that Social Security might be returned to the states. But Perry has since disavowed that idea, claiming that he was only referring to state employees, some 7 million of whom are currently outside the Social Security system. Perry has also praised the privatized system for public employees in Galveston and two other Texas counties, suggesting that he might be open to some type of private investment option. But “suggesting” is as far as he goes.

On Medicare, Perry has been equally murky. At times, he has suggested that we should “transition away from” the current Medicare system, but without saying what we should transition to. His aides point out that Perry has only recently joined the race and hasn’t had time to develop specific proposals. But given his fiery talk on the issues, until he does he will seem more hat than cattle.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann has also largely tried to have it both ways on entitlement reform. She voted for the Ryan plan in Congress but promptly put out a statement distancing herself from it, claiming that her vote came with an asterisk. On Social Security, Bachmann once called the program a “monstrous fraud,” but has now joined Romney in attacking Perry’s “Ponzi scheme” description. She says that a key difference between her and Perry is that she believes Social Security “is an important safety net and that the federal government should keep its promise to seniors.” But with Social Security currently facing more than $20 trillion in unfunded liabilities, the question is how it will keep that promise.

Second-tier candidates, with less to lose, have been more willing to spell out their proposals. Businessman Herman Cain, for example, supports both the Ryan plan and Chilean-style personal accounts for Social Security. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum takes similar positions, as does former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman has endorsed the Ryan plan but has not spelled out his views on Social Security reform. Newt Gingrich, on the other hand, has focused on cutting “fraud, waste, and abuse,” rather than fundamentally altering the structure of those programs. Ever the iconoclast, Rep. Ron Paul opposes both the Ryan plan and personal accounts for Social Security, since he opposes a federal role in either health care or retirement on principle.

The facts are both simple and frightening. The unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare run between $50 trillion and $110 trillion. Those two programs, along with Medicaid, are the primary drivers of our future indebtedness. In fact, by 2050, those three programs alone will consume 18.4 percent of GDP. If one assumes that revenues return to and stay at their traditional 18 percent of GDP, then those three programs alone will consume all federal revenues. There would not be a single dime available for any other program of government, from national defense to welfare.

The Republican candidates all talk about reducing government spending. But they cannot do that unless they commit to real entitlement reform. There’s time, and lots of debates, to hear specifics from them. But so far, the omens are not auspicious

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 2 of transcript and video)

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 2 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series.

Created Equal [2/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980)


Ever since the end of World War II, British domestic policy has been dominated by the search for greater equality. Measure after measure has been adopted, designed to take from the rich and give to the poor. Unfortunately, the results have been very different from those that were intended by the high-minded people who were quite properly offended by the class structure that dominated Britain for centuries. There have been vast redistributions of wealth but it is very hard to say that the end result has been a more equitable distribution. Instead, new classes of privilege have been created to replace or supplement the old. The bureaucracy, secure in their jobs protected against inflation both when they work and after they retire. The trade unions, who profess to represent the most down-trodden workers but who in fact consist of the highest paid laborers in the land. The aristocrats of the labor movement and the new millionaires the people who have been cleverest most ingenious at finding ways around the rules, the regulations, the laws that have emanated from over there, who have found ways to avoid paying tax on the income they have acquired. To get their wealth and their money overseas beyond the hands of the tax collector. A vast reshuffling, yes. A greater equity, hardly.

The Hoonde Menuhin school in the south of England is also a place of privilege. Musically talented children from all over the world compete for a chance to come here to study.

Much of the moral fervor behind the drive for equality comes from the widespread belief that it is not fair that some children should have a great advantage over others simply because they happen to have wealthy parents. Of course it is not fair, but is there any distinction between the inheritance of property and the inheritance of what, at first sight, looks very different. These youngsters have inherited wealth, not in the form of bonds or stocks, but in the form of talent. That 15_year_old is an accomplished cellist. His father is a distinguished violinist. It is no accident that most of the children at this school come from musical families. The inheritance of talent is no different from an ethical point of view from the inheritance of other forms of property, of bonds, of stocks, of houses, or of factories. Yet, many people resent the one but not the other.

Or look at the same issues from the point of view of the parent __ if you want to give your child a special chance, there are different ways you can do it. You can buy them an education __ an education that will give him skills enabling him to earn a higher income. Or, you can buy him a business or you can leave him property, the income from which will enable him to live better. Is there any ethical difference between these three ways of using your property, or again, if the state leaves you any money to spend over and above taxes, should you be permitted to spend it on riotous living but not permitted to leave it to your children? The ethical issues involved are subtle and complex. They are not to be resolved by resort to such simplistic formulas as fair shares for all. Indeed, if you took that seriously, it is the youngsters with less musical skills, not those with more, who should be sent to this school in order to compensate for their inherited disadvantage.

When the evening started, all of these players had about the same number of chips in front of them. But as the play progressed they surely didn’t __ some won and some lost. By the end of the evening, some of them will have a big pile of chips, others will have small ones. There will be big winners; there will be big losers. In the name of equality, should the winnings be redistributed to the losers so that everybody ends up where he started? That would take all the fun out of the game, even the losers wouldn’t like that. They might like it tonight, but would they come back again to play if they knew that whatever happened, they would end up exactly where they had started?

What does Las Vegas have to do with the real world? A great deal more than you might think. It is one very important part of our life in highly concentrated form. Every day, all of us are making decisions that involve gambles. Sometimes, they are big gambles, as when we decide what occupation to pursue or whom to marry. More often, they are small gambles as when we decide whether to cross the street against the traffic. But each time, the question is who shall make the decision __ we or somebody else. We can make the decision only if we bear the consequences. That is the economic system that has transformed our society in the past century and more. That is what gave the Henry Fords, the Thomas Alva Edisons, the Christian Barnards, the incentives to produce the miracles that have benefited us all. It’s what gave other people the incentive to provide them with the finance for their ventures. Of course, there were lots of losers along the way. We don’t remember their names, but remember, they went in with their eyes open; they knew what they were doing; and win or lose, we society benefited from their willingness to take a chance.

Lance von Allmen has an idea, he is taking a chance. Who knows, I suppose it is possible that we might all benefit from it one day, but that isn’t why he is taking a chance. He is doing it just because he wants to get rich.

The movie Courageous is a call to fathers to step up

Alex Kendrick leads the men in resolving to be godly fathers in “Courageous.” / Gannett


The movie Courageous is a call to fathers to step up

COURAGEOUS Movie Trailer

Uploaded by on Mar 9, 2011

Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. When tragedy strikes home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Protecting the streets is second nature. Raising their children in a God-honoring way? That’s courageous.

Here is a review of the movie:



By Hannah Goodwyn Senior Produce – Touted as a powerful motion picture about police officer dads who struggle with their roles as fathers, Courageous hits some marks and misses on other accounts. All in all, this new movie from Sherwood Pictures, the same production company who brought Fireproof and Facing the Giants to theaters nationwide, is better than these previous works. Courageous‘ biblical message is clear and good, but its delivery, from a critical cinematic standpoint, is weakened by some rookie acting and overwhelming dialogue.


Police officers Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, David Thomson, and Shane Fuller are confident and focused on the job as they serve and protect their community. That same drive fades at the end of the day when they face their biggest challenge – fatherhood. Being a “good enough” father doesn’t cut it when tragedy strikes and these four men’s faith are tested. When secrets are revealed and life becomes unbearable, they must draw closer to God and their families to survive.


More engaging than Fireproof, the Kendrick brothers’ Courageous pens and films a story with real heart and lasting purpose. It’s a bit predictable, but it does reaffirm biblical teaching on the importance of fathers in the family and examines the themes of grief, betrayal, forgiveness, and redemption. Unfortunately, these strong messages may not translate to a wide unchurched population as well as the producers would like. Too much dialogue distracts from the story’s action, telling moviegoers instead of allowing the story’s truths speak for themselves.

Filling the lead acting role, director/co-screenwriter Alex Kendrick holds his own, but one can’t help but think an actor with more experience could have pushed this film up the quality scale a notch or two. The acting props have to go to his supporting castmate, newcomer Robert Amaya. In the role of Javier Martinez, Amaya brings emotional depth to the film and an occasional laugh along with it.

Rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content, Courageous is not a kid’s movie. Teens and adults will be fine seeing this new movie. It’s clean of foul language, but does include some violent gang scenes, including a shooting.


Courageous is worth supporting. It’s a Cinderella industry story as these Sherwood Baptist Church guys acheive box office notoriety with each new movie. Courageous does have its weaknesses, but its strong message will speak to hearts this weekend – and that’s the goal.

For more reviews like this one, sign up to receive’s Entertainment email update.

Hannah GoodwynHannah Goodwyn serves as the Entertainment producer for For more articles and information, visit Hannah’s bio page.

You can do something about the future of foster kids in Arkansas

Steve Brawner wrote a moving article about when foster kids turn 18 and a way to help them. That caused me to post this today. My wife Jill is always bringing home this magazine called “Soiree” and I wanted to share this article about the organization “The Call.”

Amy Smith: Fostering an Understanding

Amy Smith: Fostering an Understanding
Image by Jason Masters

Amy Smith: “DCFS is made up of amazing people, from investigators and case workers, to adoption specialists…
The only failure in the system is the lack of enough foster and adoptive homes to serve these children.”

Published: June 1, 2010, 12:00am

There are approximately 7,000 children in Arkansas foster care within a year, but less than 1,000 foster parents available to care for those children. Plus, there are more than 500 children and teens available for adoption through Arkansas foster care. The numbers are staggering and unacceptable.

Even more heartbreaking is the fact that these children are removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or other safety concerns within the home, all situations completely out of their control. That’s where The C.A.L.L comes in.

Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime (The C.A.L.L.) is a multi-denominational Christian organization created to answer the profound and desperate need for more foster, adoptive and respite care homes for foster children living in the state. Mary Carol Pederson, executive director, spearheaded the creation of the organization in 2006, and along with a team of dedicated people, incorporated The C.A.L.L. in 2007.

Through a partnership with Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS), The C.A.L.L.’s mission is to “educate, equip and encourage the Christian community to provide a future and a hope for the children in foster care.” The C.A.L.L. provides prospective foster and adoptive parents the opportunity to complete state-approved training within a church setting and within a more convenient timeframe.

One of the primary means of sharing the organization’s message is through informational meetings, in which a video is typically shown and prospective foster and adoptive parents can begin the paperwork process.

Amy Smith and her husband, Jason, first saw this video about four years ago when The C.A.L.L. visited their church. At the time, the Smith’s three biological sons, Luke, Landon and Clay were four, two and 12 months.

“The day the video played, we had no idea how drastically our lives were about to change,” said Amy. “Once we were informed of the need for foster parents in Pulaski County, there was no turning back.”

Amy—an occupational therapist for Pediatrics Plus, and Jason, an ear, nose and throat otolaryngologist for Arkansas Otolaryngology Center (AOC) in North Little Rock—completed their training to become foster parents in March 2006. “The training is the same for respite, foster and adoptive parents,” said Amy. “Respite care is short-term, just a couple of days, allowing another foster family a break.”

As trained and certified foster parents, the Smiths took in a newborn in August of that year. “Conner was born on August 6th, and we brought him home from the hospital on the 10th. At the time, we were not looking to adopt, only desiring to foster. Conner was not an easy baby, and life was not easy with four boys under four. My husband was always the one who kept us focused on our purpose. We wanted to not only touch a life for someone else, but we wanted our boys to learn this life is about helping others by sacrificing along the way.”

After Conner’s first birthday, his birth parents’ rights were terminated and the Smiths adopted him. “He was our son long before that,” said Amy. “Our boys have never been jealous or felt anything but love toward their little brother. They’re the biggest blessing God has ever given us. All four are ‘all boys’—loud, rambunctious and always hungry.”

Amy is now a board member for The C.A.L.L. Pulaski County and is quick to point out that DCFS does the best job they can, under the circumstances. “It is not the system that is broken, but our society,” she said. “DCFS is made up of amazing people, from investigators and case workers, to adoption specialists. Everyone I’ve met along the way loves these children and wants the best for them. The only failure in the system is the lack of enough foster and adoptive homes to serve these children.”

The C.A.L.L. currently has programs in 18 Arkansas counties, in addition to Pulaski. But, according to Pederson, 68-percent of children who come into foster care have to be placed outside of the county, hindering biological parent visitation and forcing the child to switch schools. To help remedy the situation, The C.A.L.L. needs more foster and adoptive parents, as well as funding. “The goal of DCFS,” said Pederson, “is to obtain 1,000 more foster parents statewide.”

Those who want to help, but are unable to foster or adopt could consider becoming a “founding family.” For $65 a month, founding families help place one child with a caring family.

For more information about fostering or adopting, volunteering or donating to The C.A.L.L., contact Mary Carol Pederson, 425-4735, or visit


Of course, being a Christian is the first step in bringing hope.

Discovering Your Purpose In Life

Like most people, you may have wondered why you are here on Earth. Do you think your existence is an accident or are you here for a reason? Is there some purpose for your life? According to the Bible, you are not a mistake and you were created by God for a reason.

Created For A Reason

The main reason God created you is to make you part of His eternal plan (Romans 8:28-29). God wants us to be in Heaven with Him and to tell people about Him. His plan is for every person to be saved from their sin and Hell and to spend eternity with Him (2 Peter 3:9). Unfortunately, some people choose to live their own way and abandon God’s plan for their life (Proverbs 14:12).

What Are You Living For?

Most people seem to believe that the main purpose of life is enjoyment and personal fulfillment. Are you living for things such as money, fame, success, fun, possessions and power? The wise King Solomon accomplished many great things and had all that anyone could desire, yet described it all as meaningless (Ecclesiastes 1:2). How about you? Are you more consumed with the pleasures of life than what happens to your soul when you die? The Bible says “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?

Life Is Short Compared To Eternity

Hopefully, you would agree that what happens to you eternally is far more important than what happens to you on Earth. Think about the word eternity. That is far beyond trillions and trillions times longer than our earthly life. It is so hard to even comprehend that concept because it never ends. You may have a great life or a terrible life on Earth, but either way it will come to an end someday. Then, you will spend everlasting life in either Heaven or Hell (Matthew 25:46). Please think carefully about where you will go after you die as it can happen any day.

The Problem

Too many people assume they will go to Heaven when they die based on their own concept of God. The reason why everybody can’t spend eternity in Heaven is because sin separates people from God (Isaiah 59:2). You have rebelled against God and committed a sin every time you broke one of God’s commandments by stealing something, telling a lie, hating somebody, disobeying your parents, having a lustful thought, or countless other things. God hates sin and will severely judge each and every one of your sins. Just being a good person or believing in God won’t erase your sin either. The Bible says that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

The Good News

The good news is that no matter how severe your sins are, God made a way for you to be forgiven and be declared innocent on judgment day. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Being a good person or being religious won’t rescue you from your sin. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) The word grace means “undeserved favor”. Your sin separated you from a perfect and sinless God, but Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins and later rose back to life (Matthew 28:5-6) so you can have everlasting life in Heaven. Even though none of us deserve Heaven, God was kind enough to make a way for us.

Receiving Forgiveness

It is not enough to just believe that Jesus died for your sins. You must personally trust in Jesus to save you from the penalty of your sin (Romans 8:1-4). You must also be willing to repent (turn from) your sin (Luke 13:5) and follow Jesus as Lord of your life (Romans 10:9-10). Doing this mends your broken relationship with God and allows you access into Heaven.

Live For God

You were created to know God and to live for Him. That is why you exist. Only then does your life have the meaning and purpose God intended for you. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). To live your life for the glory of God means that you will love, obey, worship, please, and trust Him. This should not be a burden, but a pleasure because of what He means to you.

The Choice Is Yours

You never know how much time you have left on this Earth and nothing is more important than where you spend eternity. Hopefully, you will decide to follow Jesus so your life can be used to glorify God. Please make this choice right away, because after you die it will be too late.

Yes, I would like to know how I can become a follower of Christ
No thanks, I prefer to live life my own way

Milton Friedman Friday: (“Free to Choose” episode 4 – From Cradle to Grave, Part 4 of 7)

 I am currently going through his film series “Free to Choose” which is one the most powerful film series I have ever seen.

PART 4 of 7

The massive growth of central government that started after the depression has continued ever since. If anything, it has even speeded up in recent years. Each year there are more buildings in Washington occupied by more bureaucrats administering more laws. The Great Depression persuaded the public that private enterprise was a fundamentally unstable system. That the depression represented a failure of free market capitalism, that the government had to step in to perform the essential function of stabilizing the economy, of providing security for its citizens. The widespread acceptance of these views, sparked the enormous growth in the power of government that has occurred in the decade since and that is still going on. We now know as many economists knew then that the truth about the depression was very different. The depression was produced or at the very least, made far worse by perverse monetary policies followed by the U.S. authorities.
Far from being a failure of free market capitalism, the depression was a failure of government. Unfortunately, that failure did not end with The Great Depression. Ever since, government has been attempting to fine tune the economy. In practice, just as during the depression, far from promoting stability, the government has itself, been the major single source of instability.
Participants: Robert McKenzie, Moderator; Milton Friedman; Robert Lekachman, Professor of Economics, City University, New York; Nicholas Von Hoffman, Syndicated Columnist; Peter Temin, Professor of Economics, MIT; Peter Jay, British Ambassador to the United States, 1977_1979
MCKENZIE: And now we join the invited guests here at the University of Chicago, as they discuss Friedman’s interpretation of those events and their implications for today.
LEKACHMAN: The 1929 crash, the succeeding calamities, were not the first of their kind. Capitalism has been subject to severe depressions since the beginning of the industrial revolution. This was the first time, however, government tried to intervene seriously. It did it very badly. The lesson I would draw is a very simple one: Government is unavoidable; the expectations of the public are proper; government ought to do better oddly enough the government did do better until very, very recently. Until, I would say, October 1973, even, government did reasonably well in fulfilling the expectations of the public. I’m an unrepentant proponent of government intervention, intelligent government intervention. But I would describe much of the intervention which has followed the great 1929 crash as quite intelligent.
MCKENZIE: Let’s take a further look, though, at this argument that just as during the depression, far from promoting stability, the government has itself been the major single source of instability.
VON HOFFMAN: I_I don’t think there is any stability this side of the graveyard. I mean, I think __ I don’t think it matters what system you’re working under, you are not going to __ you are not going to have a level and hold it under any system with living human beings.
TEMIN: Governments are larger now and therefore more of a source of an influence for good and for bad. And I think like Mr. Von Hoffman that you can’t get perfect stability, given that you’re going to have governments, given that there are legitimate functions of governments, there are also risks in having the government be as active as it is.
MCKENZIE: Peter Jay.
JAY: I think that government is a god that has failed. I think that we have too much of it and need less of it. I think it has failed to prevent both the modern forms of economic instability and the prewar ones. I do not, however, think that government is the original or primary source of that instability, and I do not think that simply getting rid of the government, or greatly reducing it, which I’m in favor of, will, by itself, remove the instability.
LEKACHMAN: I would put it this way: There was __ there was a great economist, with a suitably esoteric doctrine, which could nevertheless be translated as Dr. Friedman did in the film, into simple English, at the same time as there was the widespread hardship of The Great Depression and the natural yearning of human beings not to repeat anything like it. So you have a coincidence of an appropriate theory, with an appropriate public sentiment, and I suppose the symbol in the United States was the passage of 1946 of the Employment Act of that year. Which, it was a weak measure, but it was nevertheless a public declaration of an obligation of government to do something about employment, and economic prosperity, and a good thing, too.
MCKENZIE: Now that’s the __ really the crux of the matter. Do you agree it was a good thing too, that obligation was accepted by government at that stage?
JAY: I think it’s very important here to distinguish two completely different issues. There is the rather narrow issue as to whether Keynes was right or wrong in believing that you could stabilize the economy with regard to really one essential variable _ unemployment _ by a certain technique which he talked about. We may now think that he was wrong, but that’s a quite separate issue from the broad political philosophical issue associated with socialism, associated with social democrats, and many other so-called left wing political thinkers, that the duty of government, so far as it can, is to concern itself not only with defense and law and order and the traditional things, but also with the social welfare and the economic welfare of a society. Now that’s a broad philosophical __
MCKENZIE: Is that a disaster, as Milton seemed to be implying, or was it a good and helpful, useful thing to happen?
JAY: Well, that is one of the great __ perhaps the greatest of all debates in political philosophy, as to whether or not it is right or is not right to believe that a society, collectively, should concern itself with these things and has the right, having concerned itself, through law and through government and in other ways, to move to try to correct these things.
VON HOFFMAN: Well I just __ it seems to me that Americans have believed that for the last century. I mean William McKinley ran on the slogan of a full dinner pail, so that the notion that this is a government responsibility for prosperity dates from the 1930’s I think is erroneous. What I wonder about after having seen that film is this: We have in 1929 __ we have the man who could have saved it dead two years and in 1946 we’ve got the man who might have saved it dying. So what I have to ask is: Are we doomed to find out the right answer only too late? Is it possible that our __
TEMIN: Or should we just look for somebody who’s recently died.
VON HOFFMAN: Exactly. Rummage the morgues. (Laughter)
MCKENZIE: Well, you asked the question __
FRIEDMAN: No, and I think the question is a very different one. And it goes to much of the discussion to this point. Everybody looks for the right man. You say, “Government __
VON HOFFMAN: You brought’em up.
FRIEDMAN: Those men at that time. Quite right. But a system which depends on the right man is a bad system. The Federal Reserve was a bad system because it depended on the right man working it. The idea of demand management, of the kind of thing we’re talking about where Keynes’ death mattered, was a bad system because it depended on a particular man working it. The notion that the problem that Bob Lekachman brought up, that the problem is not the government interferes, but it does it unintelligently, is again a demand for the right man, the man on the white horse who will know what to do. My whole view is very different. It is that it’s the system that’s wrong, and that we’ve got to have a system that the right way to accomplish these objectives is to have a system which doesn’t depend on whether you happen to have the right man pushing the buttons at the right time.
TEMIN: The problem is somebody has to __
FRIEDMAN: Which relies on the __ on establishing a framework within which an invisible hand, within which the activities of people all over are jointly to produce the kind of result. It won’t produce perfect stability; but it’ll produce a far higher degree of stability, a far greater level of freedom, and a far greater level of prosperity than the kind of thing we’ve had with these governmental interventions.
TEMIN: Somebody still has to design the system. You can’t take the people out of it entirely.
FRIEDMAN: Of course.
TEMIN: Unless you’re in the grave as it says.
FRIEDMAN: Of course, but the __ that doesn’t __
TEMIN: But the question is __ I mean it’s said that generals always fight the last war. How do we know that the system won’t fight the last war? We probably won’t have another depression exactly like 1929 to ’33.
MCKENZIE: But, but __
TEMIN: But that doesn’t say we won’t have another depression or another stagflation or another crisis of some other source.
MCKENZIE: But is this process reversible? Because you argued that the public, having been appalled by The Great Depression, in effect demanded of government that they accept responsibility for wellbeing of the economy, for management of the society and so on. Now, that expectation having been raised, can it be reversed?
VON HOFFMAN: Let me answer a question you didn’t ask and say that it seems to me that what we’re getting here is the question of sort of social astrophysics. And that is, do we have an unseen hand, or are we on the war star where we are trying to design a computer that is going to take care of the navigation of this thing. In other words, it seems to me that’s our central question. Is there a mechanism that you can put right in the center of the spaceship that will operate regardless of who is the captain on the quarterdeck at any one moment in time? I don’t think that’s an economic question. I think that’s a question that goes to religion.

Review of New Coldplay song with video clip

I am presently involved in the counting down of the best Coldplay songs of all time, but I am also in a series here reviewing the upcoming songs on Coldplay’s new cd that will be released soon. Here is a review from Rolling Stone:


Debut new song ‘Charlie Brown’

June 6, 2011

Coldplay debuted a handful of new songs at the Rock am Ring festival in Nürburg, Germany yesterday, including this uptempo number called “Charlie Brown.” If there was every going to be a rock band to name a chiming, anthemic rock song after Charles Schultz’s perpetually glum and clumsy comic strip character, it would have to be Coldplay, right? It’s a very earnest song, but there’s a charming, self-aware bit of humor in Chris Martin invoking the iconic Peanuts sad sack.

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