Friday, February 29, 2008

To My Wife

I have a great wife and love her very much. She is terrific.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

India Excursions

I brought my GPS to India and recorded some of our trips. Some of the better photos from the trips are posted where they were taken. If you click on the trip, there are some further descriptions of each trip.

Mahalakshmi Temple at EveryTrail

I did this one solo. It was a chance to see a part of India the normal tourist does not. From the main road, I turned down a small alley. It felt like someone turned the clock back 20 years or so. It was somewhat bewildering. As I walked forward, I came to the entrance of a temple, many people going in and out. Then an old lady comes toward me waving a stick at my feet. I wasn't sure what she was doing. I thought about turning around. But then I saw some younger guys and asked them what was going on. Thankfully, they spoke English and mentioned that you had to take off your shoes to enter the temple. The old lady would watch my shoes for a small fee. I agreed and went up the steps, through a metal detector and into the temple.

Spice Plantation at EveryTrail

This was a fun trip with the family. We got to see some elephants and see how fresh Indian spices are grown. We also had a nice lunch afterwards.

Goa Coastline at EveryTrail

Another solo trip. This was a gorgeous hike along the Goan coastline. The hike ended at an old dilapidated fort. However, the fun was not over. I grabbed a taxi back. I don't think it was a legitimate taxi service, but if you have money, most Indians will take it. The fun part was that the taxi was on a motorcycle. I felt like Che Guevara in the Motorcycle Diaries.

Parvarti Temple at EveryTrail

The steps leading up to this temple were enormous. Why you might ask? Because they were built for elephants. The king used to visit this temple that overlooks Pune. Since kings don't hike and cars hadn't been built yet, elephants were the best option.

Train Ride - Pune to Mumbai at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:Share GPS tracks
I was like a little boy on this one. I had my head out of the train for almost the whole trip.

Still more India posts to come.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

I thought I would post two pictures from the lunar eclipse last night. I hope some of you got to see it. I sat out in the cold dark night of the country. (Well cold for Florida, it was probably in the upper 40s.) It was cloudy last night, but there was a window of clouds that opened up. So, I got to see the moon enter the total eclipse before the clouds gobbled it up.

Beginning of the partial eclipse.

Moon near total eclipse.

Chase in 4d (cont)

Here are a few more segments of the 4d ultrasound. Oh and we found out from another ultrasound that he is weighing in at over 5 lbs. A normal baby of his age is usually 3. He is going to be a chunky one.

or Click Here

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The next generation of evangelicals and their politics

I recently saw a news report about the next generation of evangelicals. According to the report they are latching on to a different set of issues than their parents. The older generation being strongly against abortion and homosexuality, while this new generation wants to solve problems such as the environment, pornography, and poverty. So far so good. All of these issues are important and I think the Church has an obligation to address them.

But the next part of the report made me think that the new generation is falling into the same errors that the old generation fell into. The report went on to show a large group of these young evangelicals in Times Square marching for change. Some of these teenagers reported that they wanted Obama to win the political election so change in these areas would occur. When one teen was asked about Obama's stance on abortion, his only reply was that Obama has personal opinions and it is not right for him to judge Obama. I don't want to be overly critical of this young teenager, because he was probably had more passion for Christ than I had at his age. But I do want to question the tactics of this new generation.

It is my understanding that when the Church tries to enact change through the political realm, too much is lost. Can we really say the older generation succeeded when abortion is so prevalent and homosexuality becomes more and more mainstream in our culture. Sadly, if the same errors are perpetuated, lasting and meaningful change in the issues of the younger generation will also be doomed to failure.

Do these teens really want a president that might enact stringent laws against polluting, regulate the Internet, and pass out free health care to all its citizens. But how much will all of this cost? When jobs are lost to pay for environmental fixes, when freedom of speech is lost, and when the tax burden to cover health care for an entire nation costs too much. And not to mention when a fetus continues to be no more than a bunch of cells with no rights. New issues, same old tactics will not work. A new solution is needed.

I say, give me a candidate that is pro-liberty and pro-freedom. That will fight for a smaller government with less taxes. So that I can then use that extra money to give to the local pregnancy center that teaches women about the sanctity of life and help the addict who is addicted to pornography and to work to see transforming change in the poor that are around me and above all to further the growth of the Church. I know from experience, I feel a lot more generous when I give to the Church that is involved in solving these problems, rather than giving my money to a distant federal government that has no desire to see people's spiritual lives change. Yes, let it be the Church that advances the Kingdom of God, that changes people's lives not only physically, but spiritually, rather than the political machine that fails far to often.

I will end with this quote that I think wonderfully represents the proper function and relationship between the Church and State.

The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion. The establishment clause of the First Amendment was simply intended to forbid the creation of an official state church like the Church of England, not to drive religion out of public life.

The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. Throughout our nation’s history, churches have done what no government can ever do, namely teach morality and civility. Moral and civil individuals are largely governed by their own sense of right and wrong, and hence have little need for external government.

This is the real reason the collectivist Left hates religion: Churches as institutions compete with the state for the people’s allegiance, and many devout people put their faith in God before putting their faith in the state. Knowing this, the secularists wage an ongoing war against religion, chipping away bit by bit at our nation’s Christian heritage.

-Taken from "Christmas in Secular America" by Ron Paul

This is the solution that is so desperately needed.

Why Ron Paul is Important

It seems more and more likely that McCain will win the GOP nomination. I'm not happy about that and I think he has little chance of beating the Democratic nominee. I strongly doubt that his stance of 100 more years in Iraq and his quick and fierce temper will not win him the presidency in this country.

I am still holding out hope that Paul might somehow win the nomination. But even if he doesn't I'm thankful for his run. He has taught me a lot about the role of government and the greatness of our Constitution. He started a movement that I hope will remind Americans that the best society is one where the people govern themselves, instead of having a huge federal government do so.

If you would like some more inspiration, here is a quick two minute video.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Baby Chase in 4d

Wow!!! Krisha and I went to get a 4d ultrasound of our baby. It was amazing. I know some people think the 4d images make the baby look like an alien, but in this short video you can see our little baby smile.!!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

India At a Glance: Entry #1

So, we are finally posting about India. Sorry for the wait. With so many reflections of our India trip this past December, we didn't know where where to start.

So, how about we start with the colors. Or better yet, show you.

Kids sleeping

Fabrics at the market

Countryside (rice patty fields)

Another fun part was the animals. Brian was the St. Francis of India with all the animals he surrounded himself with...elephants, camels, and snakes. There will definitely be another post about this.

Questions every Christian should Ponder before Voting