Center for Neighborhood Enterprise

I caught a segment on The World and Everything In It recently featuring Robert Woodson. He is a black leader who was around for the Civil Rights movement and remembers Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. personally. He has worked for helping those in poverty improve their position through empowerment rather than subsidy.

The basic premise is to look at the poor neighborhoods. Study what the

What he said made a lot of sense. I looked him up and found links and contributions on a number of other sites.

Poverty Cure

Center for Neighborhood Enterprise

The Bob Woodson Show

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Life is like a Jigsaw Puzzle

Life is like a Jigsaw Puzzle

Life is like a Jigsaw Puzzle

Life is like a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. When you are building a puzzle, first, you find all the border pieces. The ones with the flat sides – the edge pieces. Once you’ve completed the edge pieces or border of your puzzle, the best strategy to follow is to pick out major, easy to identify sections of the puzzle. Pull out all those pieces. Fit them together. Put them in their place within your puzzle. Then select out the next easy to identify section. Separate out those pieces. Put them together as best you can and put them in their relative position within the puzzle framework.

As you move along through this process of identifying specific areas of the puzzle and putting those in order in their relative positions, the overall puzzle begins to take shape. Not all at once… it doesn’t come together immediately. But over time different areas of the puzzle begin to form as you concentrate on them.

And after a while those pieces which at first you did not recognize as being part of one of the earlier sections, you start to notice patterns of where they belong. Pieces that are all one color, for instance, are really hard to identify where they belong. You start to notice shades of color difference that you hadn’t noticed before. Pieces of the sections you had already isolated and built but were missing a few pieces, you find those pieces mixed in with the hard-to-identify pieces because they just didn’t have that easy-to-find characteristic.

And over time the process builds on itself as you get more and more sections in order and put together, until eventually you’re almost picking up pieces and putting them directly in their places one after another.

Growing as a person is like this. When you find and identify the boundaries to build your life within that’s the beginning. This is like finding the foundation for your life. It gives you a starting place. You want to find the firm foundation that is true – that conforms to reality. We find this true foundation in the Bible and in the person of Jesus Christ.

Then you begin working on certain areas of your life and try to put them in order. It might start with your finances, your marriage, your work life, or your spiritual life. As you put the different areas together, your life starts to take shape. Getting additional areas under control and in focus and in order and productive starts to become easier. Unfortunately life is not completely the same as a jigsaw puzzle. For the puzzle there is finally a finishing point, a finite amount of time when you can put the whole thing together and say you’re done. With life however, although there is a definite finishing point for our lives, we never reach a state of being done on this side of eternity. We leave that to our Lord and Savior for the next life.

We can use this principle of focusing on specific areas of our lives, getting them in order as best we can, getting things in place and moving on to another area. This principle can help us move the ball forward in our lives toward reaching our goals.

Marriage Goal-setting Retreat

Goal-setting

Students for Life of America

Students for Life of America LogoKristan Hawkins pro-life activist is very enthusiastic and passionate about ending abortion in America in our lifetime. She works to raise up chapters of Students for Life of America on university campuses across the US. Students for Life works

I felt inspired by Kristan Hawkins passion and energy for pushing forward the movement she is heading up. In addition to a true passion for the pre-born person, she has a real compassion for the surviving mother in an abortion situation, or for the pregnant mother who has nowhere else to turn and is looking for some kind of option besides abortion. In her interview with Dr. James Dobson on FamilyTalk on April 2. 2012 Kristan discussed how Planned Parenthood gives out low dose contraception with the expectation that young women will end up getting pregnant and then offering no real healthcare services for young women… just the opportunity to abort their baby. When she was pregnant herself she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to get a sense of what it’s like for pregnant woman to go to such a place. She was given counsel that it would be best to terminate her pregnancy early. She about various kinds of health care opportunities or well baby services that might be available if she chose to keep her baby. She was told that she would need to go elsewhere for that sort of service.

In her FamilyTalk interview Kristan explained how we are seeing victory after victory for life in states across the nation. The fact is that more pro-life legislation has passed since the 2010 election than during any other period since Roe v. Wade. Elections do matter. When your state primary comes up, and in November, get out and vote for pro-life candidates. We can see the holocaust of the American unborn end in our lifetimes.

Ironically it is easier for her to start these chapters on public college campuses rather than Christian campuses. The issue is one of the Christian colleges not wanting to appear to be condoning or admitting to having pregnant young women and therefore premarital sex issues on their campus. This is a sad testimony to some of the leadership of our colleges. Apparently much of that pressure comes from donors.

The work of Students for Life is quite remarkable. Kristan Hawkins’ passion really puts a bright star on this organization. During her FamilyTalk interview she made the statement, “when abortion is no longer legal in America.” She has a real vision for ending abortion in her lifetime in the States. She says don’t imagine it, envision it.

Cohabitation means Poverty for Women and Children

Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation

Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I really appreciate what Robert Rector had to say in describing the problem of poverty stemming from unwed mothers, fathers, and cohabitation as opposed to marriage. The biggest factor in determining whether a child is raised in poverty or in security is whether or not the parents stay together. An intact family is a reliable determinant of being in a secure home with shelter and food and not on the public dole.

Listen to the WallBuilders Live! broadcast of his speech at the Pro-Family Legislators conference…

“We will take you to our annual ProFamily Legislators Conference, on today’s Wallbuilders Live!. Robert Rector, an authority on poverty and the welfare system, shares the great secret of child poverty. You may be surprised to learn that there are steps that can be taken to drastically reduce child poverty, yet these steps are not being taken. Why? Tune in, today, to learn more. You will hear from Rector as he addresses our legislators, and describes a link between child poverty and the declining state of marriage. This is a three part series, so be sure to catch each part, this week!” [quoted from WallBuilders Live! broadcast archives]

Politics as Easy as Pie

English: "Enemies of the people" hea...

Image via Wikipedia

Politics as Easy as Pie is a talk I’ve listened to from Congressman Bob McEwen. He makes several excellent points. I’ll try to relay some of them here.

The greater the freedom, the greater the wealth; the greater the government, the greater the poverty. Every dollar that you earn increases the choices you can make. When someone takes some of your dollars, you have fewer choices. There are two ways to get money from people, willingly and unwillingly. People part with their money willingly when they see a product or service that is more valuable to them than the money it costs to pay for it. Only two kinds of people can take your money from you unwillingly. One is a crook who points a gun at you and takes what he wants. The other is the government who “points a gun” at you and takes what they want. Countries, states, and cities that have higher tax burden on their citizens have greater poverty. Those that have lower tax burden on their citizens have greater prosperity.

We should limit government to do only what is necessary for it to do. In addition to the reason explained above, government will always be more wasteful in its spending. This is because all government programs involve third-party purchases. Third-party purchases are items bought for other people using other people’s money. If I am buying something for myself with my own money, both price and quality matter. If I am buying something for someone else with my own money, price matters, but quality not so much. If I am buying something for myself with someone else’s money, then quality matters but not price. BUT if I am buying something for someone else with someone else’s money, I do not care about price or quality. This is exactly what government programs involve: third-party purchases. It is one more reason why government should only be involved in those areas in which it is absolutely necessary.

“We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” In our nation life is the first of our unalienable rights. That is not an accident. At the same time we were having our revolution, the French were having one on the other side of the Atlantic. Their three main goals were liberty and equality and fraternity. They started with freedom then equality and then unity or union. We saw the results of this philosophy by the thousands killed by the guillotine. Because of founding of nations on something other than the laws of nature and of nature’s God, we have seen millions die under enforced equality and union. As our nation has lost its moral way we have lost our commitment to the right to life as primary. However, there is some evidence in the large number of pro-life laws passed in the last year that public opinion on this might be turning back around.

If these ideas pique your interest, you might want to hear Congressman McEwen’s talk yourself. Here is a link to his talk brought to you by FamilyTalk. This link takes you to a slightly different version of his talk brought to you by WallBuilders.

Our Godless Constitution?

Constitution of the United States of America (...

Constitution of the United States of America (page 2) (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

Is the Constitution of the United States a godless document? This idea stems from modernism. Modernism is the belief that the way things are now is the way they have always been. Fortunately that is simply fallacious thinking. Here are a few reasons that show the Founders did not write a godless Constitution.

First of all, the Constitution is not our original founding document. It is based on the Declaration of Independence, which clearly acknowledges God. What is the evidence we can use to see that the Declaration of Independence is our original founding document? Besides its historical significance in breaking our ties with the British monarchy, there are 27 grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence as the reasons we were making that break. Each of those grievances are dealt with and resolved by various clauses in the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution explained that there was a problem/solution relationship between the two.

Here is an example:

Declaration:  “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.”

Constitution:  “Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.”

The problem (listed fourth in the Declaration) of King George requiring the colonial legislatures to convene in far away locations is dealt with in Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution. This is just one such example; there are 26 others.

Another reason involves an acknowledgement of God in the text of the Constitution. The attestation clause (VII) reads,

“Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.”

While some might argue that it was simply the convention of the time, the acknowledgement of Jesus Christ (our Lord) in the date, is an example of the intentions of the signers. The numbering of twelve years sets the Declaration as the beginning of the United States; laying the foundation as it were. The Constitution is filling out the form; giving structure to the government of the new nation.

The twelve years mentioned above is another piece of evidence for the Declaration being our founding document. The Declaration of Independence is quite clearly a document that recognizes God’s sovereignty over human governments:

“When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s

God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…” (emphasis mine)

There is more evidence that demonstrates that the Constitution was a document acknowledging God. David Barton explains several more in his teaching: God and the Constitution. Please check it out. Read the Constitution and Declaration of Independence for yourself. There’s an app for that! Become informed on the intended structure of our government.