Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bran's in Mongolia: An Unexpected Opportunity

Bran's in Mongolia: An Unexpected Opportunity: A teacher friend asked for male and female volunteers to record some English dialogue for teaching purposes. So my team mate Duke and I ste...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Considering changing

In 2000, I began having the desire to write a book. I had no idea what & at the time I was quite taken with fiction. I got no enjoyment what-so-ever from non-fiction. I read...or didn't actually read...enough non-fiction with all my college classes. What a waste. So boring. Non-fiction lacked any creativity. Did I also mention I was a tree-hugger & had liberal leanings at this time of life? ;)

I had always hated writing, despite actually being not terrible at it. I actually enjoyed & won an award in journalism in high school. The educational system has many different formats of writing composition. They incarcerate you into a form of writing that stifles creativity, is not fun at all, & even less fun to read. It is unnatural & boring. I think that's why I enjoyed journalism's a little more free & moldable. 

In college, I would write short stories in my free time. No teachers telling me I had to write a certain way, no chance of anyone grading my work, I just wrote as if I was talking. It was liberating & so much fun.

Fast forward several years & now I rarely read fiction. In fact the last fiction book I read was probably 5 or so years ago. I read lots of non-fiction now. I have always loved research & that is what I do a lot of. For several years I have been toying with the idea of writing a non-fiction book. I have been feeling the desire more strongly over the last few months. And I think I'm ready to get serious & really start my research.

My original idea was to write a comparative religions book that would be lay person friendly & could easily be used in a small groups, homeschool, or Christian school setting. And I still really want to do that but when I think about how I want to do that, I realize how little most Christians even know about their own religion. Christians are probably more ignorant of their own religion's theology & doctrines than any other religious group. I have many reasons I think this has happened but I don't want to get into them now...maybe the intro to the book. ;) So, I have decided that I should probably start with my first book being a simple overview of basic Christian theology & doctrine. I may add on comparison study of some of the major denominations within Christianity if space allows. And then, once I've learned from all my mistakes, then make my second book a comparative religions book. 

Anthony has suggested I publish them through iBooks. Not a bad idea...especially for a new author who doesn't have any experience. However, there is something about having a physical book to sit on your book shelf. I may publish it through iBooks & take any criticism & fix any issues & then publish it through a publishing house. Anyway, those are things to face along the way & not to worry about now.

I want to do this/these books right. I want to make sure that I have my facts straight. So...I have lots of studying & research to do. To practice at how I want the chapters & topics to go, I am considering creating a new blog just for my writing. What do you think? I like this blog but it was really created at a different point in my life & the title wouldn't really go with my intentions with these posts. So, any thoughts?

If I do create a new one, any suggestions as to what I should call it? 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Infanticide now being advocated.

Very disturbing article but nothing that hasn't been warned of by the Pro-Life community.

Quote from the article being referenced in this blog entry: "...the same reasons which justify abortion should also justify the killing of the potential person when it is at the stage of a newborn." That should make a normal person's blood run cold.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rick Warren vs Islam controversy: Warren speaks out

Thankfully, Rick Warren has finally come out about the controversy earlier this week & has clearly established that he does not believe that the Christian God & Allah are the same god. However, I do agree with Chris Rosebrough that the confusion earlier in the week could have easily been cleared up by him coming out immediately after the report &, even better, taken the time to actually speak with the reporter & clarify any confusion he may have had.

Warren did not take the time to meet with the reporter prior to the article being written despite the reporter requesting it. So, Warren should not be surprised when someone of the secular world does not understand the words or intentions of the Christian world. This should be a lesson that when dealing with non-Christians, it is the responsibility of the Christian to make sure his message is being understood clearly and that he has clearly defined typical Christianese. Also, like Chris points out, it does seem Warren is understating what he refers to as a "Bible study" with Muslims.

Warren still has serious problems with his ecclesiology & his seeker-sensitive "messages." And, rather than promoting Warren, the SBC should be admonishing him & trying to counsel him to preach more Biblically-based rather than his typical self-help, seeker-sensitive "messages." All the same, I am very pleased that Warren has clearly stated his stance.

So, if you have been following the controversy, Chris does a great job in this podcast. The coverage of the Warren controversy is covered in the first 20-25 mins if you don't have time to listen to the entire 2 hr show.

Rick Warren Clarifies His Position Re: Islam

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Brandie's in Mongolia!

Check out my friend's blog about living in Mongolia. She just moved there last Saturday.

I'll miss her tons but I am so excited for her too.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Susan G Komen backslides

Sad to say, Susan G Komen has reconsidered their policy & will not be pulling their support from Planned Parenthood.

So, I'm back to not supporting them.

I must admit, I'm not really that surprised. In fact, when I wrote to thank SGK earlier in the week for their decision, I told them that as long as they continue to not support agencies that perform abortions or embryonic stem cell research, they would have my support. Well, that didn't last long.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pro-Planned Parenthood Comments & My Response

So, I've been seeing many comments on other sites regarding Susan G. Komen pulling support from Planned Parenthood. I wanted to address some of what I have seen here.

One of the most common comments I see coming from the opposition is something like: 
"Now PP won't be able to provide mammograms for those that can't afford it otherwise."
There are many things wrong with this statement. I can speak with a bit of authority on this topic due to the fact that I am the supervisor of an outpatient imaging center that includes breast imaging (screening & diagnostic mammograms and breast ultrasound) 

First off, PP does not perform mammograms, they only refer to imaging clinics & hospitals. 

Secondly, regarding the price. Virtually all insurance plans cover, in full, a screening mammogram each year. In addition, you do not need a doctor's order for a screening mammogram (only study I know of that doesn't legally require a doctor's order)...just an appointment. For those who don't have insurance, almost any place that performs mammograms provides the more than $300 exam for less than $80. The uninsured price at the place I work is about $40. Also, many imaging sites provide "fairs" periodically where they offer free screenings.

Another commenter ignorantly stated: 

"If you "pro-lifers" want to actually embrace a TOTAL pro-life mentality, start organizing free rides for women to clinics where they can have their health checked over by qualified professionals."

My response was, "Many hospitals & non-profit charities offer free rides for women to the clinics/hospitals. All you have to do is ask the clinic/hospital you are considering going to &, if they don't offer sure a service, they can probably recommend or suggest one. Most of these places & charities cannot afford to advertise these services to the general public due to many people, who are perfectly capable of performing these tasks themselves or have family who can assist, taking advantage of them."

Several commenters have said similar things to what this person said:

"Anti-abortion groups want to deny women vital health care that is 97% of what Planned Parenthood does."
If PP was so determined to provide health care to women, then why won't they just stop performing abortions. If only 3% of what they do is abortions & that 3% is what is costing them the most loss of support, then, in all logic, they should give up the 3% for the 97%. From my observation, they must care very little for the health of women due to their reluctance to cease from performing the controversial & horrific act. 

Also, this statement makes a wild jump into a bizarre conclusion, that because Pro-Lifers are against organizations that murder babies, that somehow we want to deny women healthcare. It is nothing like that. In fact, quite the opposite. We want women to receive good, life affirming medical assistance.

A Pro-Life commentator made a good analogy. She said if a wonderful surgeon was found to be molesting children, would you just ignore that fact because he has a history & gift for saving lives? 

I heard a pastor once use another story to describe how a little evil goes a long way. His children wanted to watch a "R" rated movie. They begged him & said, "But, Dad, it's just a few bad words. There is nothing else bad in it." 

So, to demonstrate how just a little goes a long way, he made them a plate full of delicious looking brownies & placed them in front of his children. He told them all about how he made them. How he used the best ingredients, the pure cane sugar, the natural vanilla, the flour, the fresh eggs. And then, he told them of the secret ingredient. He added just a pinch of dog poop. They stared at him in horror & refused to eat the brownies. He replied to them, "But, it's just a little poop. There is nothing else bad in them." The kids got the point. 

It is the same with PP. Maybe only 3% of their productivity is the murder of children but it still spoils the whole organization. Is disgusts me to even type "maybe only 3% of their productivity is the murder of children." When did our society become so numb to & accepting of the killing babies? 


Susan G. Komen has reconsidered their policy & will continue supporting Planned Parenthood.
I urge you to use the email link above to express your disappointment with this change.