Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Card

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
to all those who read our blog!

Monday, December 17, 2007

What a refreshing campaign ad!

What is the response from the media and other candidates?
  • "Huckabee Invokes Christ in Holiday-Themed Ad Spot." (Breitbart)
  • "I cannot remember a presidential candidate ever invoking Christ in a TV ad before." (ABC)
  • "Huckabee Ad Features Floating 'Cross'" (Drudge Report)
  • "When fascism comes it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross" (Ron Paul)
I am proud to support a candidate that dares to be politically incorrect by wishing the country a Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, and even daring to mention the true reason for the season! Why am I not surprised that the media is trying to spin this as an attempt to "invoke Christ" into the campaign? What if he was? Is American no longer a CHRISTian nation?

edit ... I have also found some more positive news stories on this ad as well. Congratulations to Newsweek's story, "The Greatest Story Ever Told." Here's a summary of the writer's thoughts on the ad:

This might be the smartest ad of the cycle. For all the observers wondering how the candidates would manage the awkward holiday/caucus overlap, Huckabee delivers a master class.

The first step: beating his rivals to the "This Is No Time for Politics" punch; now every on-air attempt they make to topple the frontrunner from his above-the-fray pedestal looks tawdry.

The next step: reminding voters which side of the "War on Christmas" he's on. Most campaigns run tame, PC "holiday" fare. Not Huckabee. A Southern Baptist pastor, he's counting on evangelicals to win in Iowa. What better way to prove he will put religion in the public square as president than by rejecting establishment attempts to banish Christ from Christmas and defiantly putting religion in the public square today? With very few Jews, Muslims or atheists in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina to take offense--and none who were planning to vote for Huckabee--it's all upside in electoral terms.

The final, and most important, step: getting the secular media all riled up. Expect plenty of "Oh, No He Di'n't" coverage on cable news, with a hearty dollop of "What Does It All Mean?" The press loves nothing more than to huff and puff over religion. For Huckabee's cash-strapped campaign, that means priceless free exposure--and millions of opportunities for its neighborly candidate to connect with the vast majority of Americans who agree with his idea of "what really matters."

The pundits may say naughty. Stumper says nice.

Bulletin Board

Esther likes decorating the children's school room. Here is the Christmas bulletin board she put up last week.

Christmas Tree

We went and cut a Christmas Tree a week ago today, but we are just now getting around to posting the pictures.

The girls helping daddy carry the tree. (Josiah fell asleep in the van on the way home, so he missed out on the photo opportunity).

Josiah did get a chance to help mommy put the tinsel on the tree.

Each year, we get an ornament for the children. They are hanging their ornaments for this year on the tree.

I just realized I haven't taken a picture of the finished product ... I'll take one and post it later.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tony Perkins on Huckabee

Over the weekend, Huckabee has been under attack for statements he made over 10 years ago about AIDS, homosexuality, and the need for God in our schools/nation, etc. Don't be surprised to see some clips of sermons he preached 25 years ago surface in the near future in an attempt to discredit him. I have been praying for Gov. Huckabee that he will not give into the temptation to compromise his principles for political expediency, and for wisdom in answering the media.

I received the following via email today from Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council. It's worth reading:

Over the weekend I had flashbacks of the brutal judicial confirmation hearings that took place between 2003 and 2005 where certain nominees like William Pryor, Janice Rogers Brown, Charles Pickering, and others were filibustered by the Democratic minority because of what Sen. Charles Schumer called their "deeply held personal beliefs." Those "beliefs" were the religious convictions that led them in part to hold a position that abortion was wrong. There was a reverse religious litmus test applied. A subtle message was being sent that a person had to choose between an active, life-impacting faith and public service. It was wrong then and it is wrong now as it is being applied to Mike Huckabee. Let me preface what I am about to say by first recalling what I wrote last week (Dec. 3, 2007) explaining why I had not endorsed a presidential candidate and at present have no plans to do so. I remain undecided and what I say below does not imply a change in those plans; however, I feel compelled to rise to the defense of Mike Huckabee.

The media had been toying with and even promoting Mike Huckabee, thinking he would go nowhere; however, after FRC Action's Values Voter Summit he began a steady rise in the polls. In my opinion it was not because he finished a close second in the straw poll to Mitt Romney, but because he came out for the first time at our event, co-hosted by Focus on the Family Action and others and spoke unabashedly and unequivocally conservative on all the core social issues. He began to compete for territory that had been ceded to Gov. Romney. That message has resonated and he has not only climbed to first place in Iowa, but nationally he is second only to Rudy Giuliani in the most current polls. There is apparently fear now among the elites that his rise could be real and not a creation of the media.

Enter the reverse religious test that is being applied. In various settings over the last few days Huckabee has been confronted with articles from nearly a decade ago containing statements on the morality of issues like HIV-AIDS, homosexuality and even the need for spiritual awakening in America. He was basically asked to recant. I am pleased to say that he did not recant.

This morning, for example, the lead story on Drudge was a 1998 article from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporting on a speech that Huckabee gave at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptists calling on the church to wake up following a rash of school shootings. The Drudge headline touted, "Take this nation back for Christ," a subtle but clear warning to secular elites. Columnist Richard Cohen wasn't as subtle last week when he said Huckabee is climbing in the polls because of "his obdurate and narrow-minded religious beliefs."

There is clearly a reverse religious standard being applied to Mike Huckabee, a standard that says there will be no defining religious beliefs. I would hope the other candidates, including the Democrats, would clearly and absolutely denounce this reverse religious test and keep the media from going further down this path. If not, I predict that bible-believing Christians will step over policy differences they have with Mike Huckabee to stand by and support a candidate who is being attacked because he believes, as they do, that their Christian faith should actually impact the way they live. If that happens, the recent meteoric rise of the Huckabee campaign in the polls could look minuscule compared to the tsunami of support that he will get from Christians who are tired of the elites who belittle their beliefs and attempt to rob them of every public reflection of their faith.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Guess Who Is Polling #1 in Michigan ...

Did you guess Mike Huckabee? If so, you are right! The latest Rasmussen Poll numbers show:

Michigan Republican Primary

Mike Huckabee 21%
Mitt Romney 20%
Rudy Giuliani 19%
Fred Thompson 9%
John McCain 8%
Ron Paul 7%
Tom Tancredo 1%
Duncan Hunter 1%

This is exciting news, because Gov. Romney was expected to win Michigan hands down due to the fact that his father used to be governor of the state back in the 60s.

On an unrelated note, I am tired of the negative campaigning that Republicans are doing against fellow Republicans. It's interesting that some of the candidates have been reported as saying that other candidates are not like Reagan. It seems that the very candidates hurling that accusation are themselves not like Reagan! In his 1966 run for Governor of California, Ronald Reagan developed a famed 11th commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." Since the CNN/You Tube debate, there has been an influx of negative ads and attacks, especially by Romney and Thompson. I like Reagan's comment about the proper way to have a negative campaign. He said that ''the right kind of negative campaigning'' is a vote cast against the Democratic ticket. Let's save that for next year's General Election, and stay away from it during the Primary Elections!

Friday, December 7, 2007

December 7, 1941

Kudos To Vandercook Public Schools

Yesterday evening, I attended a concert put on by our local schools. A couple of teens from church had a part in it, so I wanted to hear them perform. I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up the program, and it read "A Christmas Concert." There was a great mix of music, including several that emphasized Christ's birth. In fact, the choir director wrote a song "Jesus Was Born For Me," which was performed. On the final song, all 300+ students from middle-high school were singing and playing "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night" among other sacred and secular songs in a closing medley. Congratulations, VCL for keeping Christ in Christmas!

Pastor's Christmas Retreat

Tuesday, we took our annual December pilgrimage to Jugville, MI to join several other pastors from our denomination, as well as a few others, at The Shack. We were served a delicious meal, treated to a great time of fellowship planned by the Ward's, had ice cream, and talked! A wonderful layman covers the cost, which is greatly appreciated!!

Here are a few pictures from the Shack:

Driving up to The Shack, you are greeted with literal flower beds! I told the kids that those were the beds they were sleeping in for the night. For some reason, they didn't believe me.

Doesn't look like any shack I've seen! You can see the huge Christmas tree on the trailer. Usually they have one inside and decorated. Looks like we were a day too early this year.

Just finishing up the meal. Thankfully no hornets were left in those bee's nests!

This was the view we had from our room window. Actually, I went outside to take the picture, so you wouldn't see the screen. Josiah said he wanted to go swim!

Jeweled Coconut Drops

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1 /4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 ¾ cups flaked coconut, divided
1 cup cherry preserves or raspberry jam

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar. Beat in egg yolk, milk and almond extract. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in 3 cups of coconut. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Shape dough into 2 inch balls; roll in remaining coconut. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Fill each cookie with preserves. Yield: slightly less than 3 dozen

Special thanks to Kara Watters for taking the picture of these cookies, and emailing it to us!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Politco Political Cartoon

This cartoon says it all: Huckabee is the people's choice.