John McCain says we must defeat evil

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Yesterday’s ( Wednesday ) Posts

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One reason I like Supreme Court Justice Thomas
Israel, a culture of life … Hamas, a culture of death
Abduction Case Tests Limits of Amish Ties to Modern World
Bellevue mission group guided by a compass, a hat and a faith in God

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One reason I like Supreme Court Justice Thomas

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Israel, a culture of life … Hamas, a culture of death

Read the story.

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Abduction Case Tests Limits of Amish Ties to Modern World

OSWEGATCHIE, N.Y. — The two sisters were missing, apparently abducted from the roadside vegetable stand in front of their house in this rural town near the Canadian border. The police needed photos of the girls to issue an alert, but the family had none: They were Amish, a community that generally prohibits photographs partly based on the biblical injunction against likenesses.

After initially resisting, and with critical time elapsing, the girls’ father, Mose Miller, finally agreed to a compromise: He allowed a sketch artist to make an illustration of the older sister, who is 12, but not the younger one, who is 7.

“They were so uncomfortable,” Sheriff Kevin M. Wells of St. Lawrence County said, recalling the fraught negotiations last week. “We asked them to make a lot of difficult decisions.”
( Billy’s thoughts – It is sad that this group of people are having to deal with things that are part of a modern sinful world. Lets pray for them and above all we should pray they embrace to true God of the Bible. Read the rest of the above story right here. )

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Bellevue mission group guided by a compass, a hat and a faith in God

Don’t be surprised if vans filled with Omaha-area teenagers show up unannounced in your town someday holding brooms and rakes.

All they’ll ask is for you to put them to work.

The volunteer effort, called Destination Unknown, is run by Calvary Christian Church in Bellevue. The teens pull a compass direction and a distance from a hat, and drive to wherever in the region those lead them.

While mission trips are usually planned down to every single detail, the Calvary effort is all about winging it and having faith that God will direct the volunteers to where they are most needed.

The teen volunteers arrange all their work after they arrive in a community by stopping at places like community centers, city halls and churches to ask who needs help. Sometimes they just ask people walking down the street.

“It’s trusting that God will put us where we are supposed to be and take care of us,” said Victoria Severson, a 17-year-old high school senior from Papillion.
( More )

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Ice Bucket Challenge draws controversy from ALS Association’s research tactics

Read the story.

Today is Marshall Thomas 64th birthday

( Below is a column Cal Thomas wrote about his brother Marshall following his death back in January 2012. )
How does one measure whether a life was a success, or a failure?
Some would measure it by recognition, that is, how many knew the person’s name. For others, the measure of a successful life would be the amount of wealth accumulated, or possessions held. Still others would say a life was successful if the person made a major contribution to society — in medicine, sports, politics, or the arts.
By that standard my brother, Marshall Stephen Thomas, who died January 5, was a failure. If, however, your standard for a successful life is how that life positively touched others, then my brother’s life was a resounding success.
Shortly after he was born in 1950, Marshall was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Some in the medical community referred to the intellectually disabled as “retarded” back then, long before the word became a common schoolyard epithet. His doctors told our parents he would never amount to anything and advised them to place him in an institution. Back then, this was advice too often taken by parents who were so embarrassed about having a disabled child that they often refused to take them out in public.
Our parents wanted none of that. In the ’50s, many institutions were snake pits where inhumanities were often tolerated and people were warehoused until they died, often in deplorable conditions. While they weren’t wealthy, they were committed to seeing that Marshall had the best possible care, no matter how long he lived. Because of their dedication and thanks to the Kennedy family and their commitment to the rights, causes and issues related to the mentally and physically challenged, Marshall had a longer and better quality of life than might have been expected. He outlived his life expectancy by nearly 40 years. He lived his life dancing and singing and listening to music he loved.
( My brother’s valuable life )

God is on your side ( A Bible thought )

Listen to the commentary.

Billy David Dickson All Rights Reserved, 2014
This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Billy or read more commentary on current issues at http://billydteacher.wordpress.com/.

Why I Cannot Accept the Ice-Bucket Challenge

Recently, I’ve received a few “ALS ice-bucket challenges” which I cannot accept. I don’t fault any of my friends for giving me this challenge. Thanks for thinking of me and trying to include me! Really. You guys are awesome, and it was really fun watching you shiver!

Amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more popularly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a horrible neurodegenerative disease affecting everything from speech and swallowing to basic mobility. I personally have friends whose parents have languished and died from this disease, and experts estimate that 30,000 Americans suffer from this disease. It’s as good a place as any to focus medical research efforts.

But I cannot accept the challenge, and I hope you’ll understand why. It’s not because I’m afraid of cold water. (Although that’s true). My concern is where the publicity and money might go. Specifically, I’m concerned with the KIND of research that might be financed by my hypothetical promotional activity. (For those who don’t know what this is, you’re supposed to dump a bucket of ice-water on your head, and video it, and then challenge others to do it. If you don’t do it, you’re supposed to give $100 to the ALS Assocation, and if you do do it, you either don’t have to give any money to the ALSA or you’re supposed to give $10 to the ALSA, depending on the version).
The ALS Association funds a number of different types of research, and among these different types of research is embryonic stem cell research. For those who don’t know what this is, this is when scientists take a female egg and a male sperm and fertilize the egg in a lab, and then after the new life begins to form, they remove the building blocks of life–embryonic stem cells. This is the same process that occurs when people struggle with infertility and then get in-vitro fertilization–the important difference is that instead of implanting the fertilized embryo into a mother so that it can grow into a baby, these embryos are experimented on, and then discarded. They are created for the express purpose of destroying them for medical research. The ALS Association website says this:
Adult stem cell research is important and should be done alongside embryonic stem cell research as both will provide valuable insights. Only through exploration of all types of stem cell research will scientists find the most efficient and effective ways to treat diseases.
The problem with embryonic stem cell research is two-fold: first, it is morally reprehensible to anyone who believes that life begins at conception. Imagine the outrage that would happen if scientists proposed we grew infants and children for the express purpose of performing lethal experiments on them, no matter how scientifically helpful the results would be. Secondly, if there is a breakthrough involving embryonic stem cell research, then the resulting treatment would involve mass harvesting of embryonic stem cells, and therefore mass abortions. In short, embryonic stem cell research involves the destruction of innocent human life. And therefore, I cannot promote donations to this particular organization when it thinks that infanticide is a legitimate way to save other human beings.
( More )

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