Happy 233rd Birthday Marines!

10 Nov

Wimbrown VII Crew 1988

Every November 10, Marines around the world celebrate their birthday. So today I want to wish my fellow Marines, Happy Birthday! Semper Fidelis. Below I have reproduced the Commadant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway’s message to Marines worldwide. I was fortunate to server under then Colonel Conway in 1988 in the Persian Gulf.


During the summer of 1982, in the wake of a Presidential Directive, Marines went ashore at Beirut, Lebanon. Fifteen months later, on 23 October 1983, extremists struck the first major blow against American Forces – starting this long war on terrorism. On that Sunday morning, a suicide bomber drove an
explosive-laden truck into the headquarters of Battalion Landing Team 1/8, destroying the building and killing 241 Marines and Corpsmen.

Extremists have attacked our nation, at home and abroad, numerous times since that fateful day in Beirut. Their aim has always been the same – to kill as many innocent Americans as possible. The attacks of 11 September 2001 changed our nation forever, and our President has resolved that this nation will not stand idle while murderous terrorists plot their next strike. Marines will continue to take the fight to the enemy – hitting them
on their own turf, crushing them when they show themselves, and finding them where they hide.

Only a few Americans choose the dangerous, but necessary, work of fighting our nation’s enemies. When our chapter of history is written, it will be a saga of a selfless generation of Marines who were willing to stand up and fight for our nation; to defend those who could not defend themselves; to thrive on the hardship and sacrifice expected of an elite warrior class; to march to the sound of the guns; and to ably shoulder the legacy of those Marines who have gone before.

On our 233rd birthday, first remember those who have served and those “angels” who have fallen – our reputation was built on their sacrifices. Remember our families; they are the unsung heroes whose support and dedication allow us to answer our nation’s call. Finally, to all Marines and Sailors, know that I am proud of you and what you do. Your successes on the battlefield have only added to our illustrious history. General Victor H. “Brute” Krulak said it best when he wrote, “… The United States does not need a Marine Corps … The United States wants a Marine Corps.” Your actions, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and across the globe, are at the core of why America loves her Marines.

Happy Birthday, Marines and Semper Fidelis!

General James T. Conway
Commandant of the Marine Corps

Vote for the Poop Sandwich (Not!)

4 Nov

If you live in Montana, don’t vote for the poop sandwich!

I saw a funny story today about one citizen’s effort to make his feelings about this election known. Regardless of who wins – this is pretty funny.

My favorite line from the story is, “I think Obama’s plan is just one big old poop sandwich and we’re all going to have to take a bite”. Ewwwwwww!

Read the whole story here!

Vote And Get Caffeinated!

3 Nov

coffeeIf my earlier post didn’t get you out from behind that computer screen and into a voting booth – maybe a little bribery will. Starbucks will give you a free cup of coffee on Nov. 4th if you just tell them you voted. You can learn more on their website or on YouTube.

So now you don’t have an excuse!

Vote or Don’t Complain

3 Nov

VoteTomorrow is Election Day so make sure you go out and VOTE! I don’t care who you vote for – just go and VOTE. You’ve heard it before but if you don’t vote – you don’t have a right to complain. So VOTE!

Regardless of who wins this election, on November 5th, I will still be praying for our leadership. Isn’t that what all Christians should do? Pastor Jeff Leake has a great response when he is asked, Are you going to speak on the election? You can read the complete post at his site but here is a summary of his points:

  1. My hope for the future of the USA does not rest in this election.
  2. My primary concern is with the Kingdom of God and not with the United States of America.
  3. I believe that a believer should consider moral values, character, and vision when they make their decision to vote.
  4. My responsibility is to pray for and even bless governmental leaders, even when I disagree with their policies.
  5. I think at times we can over-estimate the election season.
  6. My passion is to represent Jesus well in the world. Partisan attitudes often divide.
  7. I want to protect the unity of the church (not just APC but believers all throughout this nation).
  8. I like to consider what Jesus did regarding politics when he walked the earth.
  9. I really like one of his last statements, “I think it is safe to say that neither Obama nor McCain is the hope of the world. That is Jesus. It is also safe to say that neither candidate will be as much a threat as Nero, Herod, or Mao. If the Kingdom can expand under their leadership, I am confident God can continue to work no matter who is elected in 2008.”

    Elephant in the ChurchAnother Pastor that I read frequently is Mark Batterson. He pastors National Community Church in Washington D.C. His church is unique in that the livelihood of a lot of his congregation is dependent on the election. His church regularly goes through a change with each election cycle. He has a sermon series called the Elephant in the Church where he discusses issues that everyone knows are there but don’t want to talk about in church. This week is the Political Elephant. I urge all of you to listen to or watch his message. It is a great perspective.

    So – I will be voting. I will be voting my conscience. I will be voting based on character, values and vision. When the next president is sworn in, I will commit to pray for his leadership regardless of who wins the election. My hope is in Christ – not the president. Besides, like I have said in other posts, I’ve read the book. I know who wins!

Believe – He Will Be Fun To Watch Grow Up

27 Oct

I was reading Phil Gerbyshak’s, Make It Great! blog today and his most recent post featured a video of 10 year old Dalton Sherman delivering a keynote address to 20,000 school teachers and administrators in Dallas. It is an amazing video. The boy has amazing presence. It will be fun to watch him grow up – to see what he becomes. Watching him now – he is poised to become great and to do great things.

Take 9 minutes out of your day to watch and listen to his message.

If you can’t see the video above, click here to watch the video.

Should We All Just Stop Paying Our Mortgage?

16 Oct

moonWith all of the money the Govt. is throwing around, I want to ask one question that everyone like me is asking – What about those of us who have done all of the right things? Those of us who have been keeping up on our mortgage payments. Those of us who aren’t over-extended. Those of us trying to live within our means only able to fullfil our wishes with the help of loan lending companies like Achieve Finance. If the Govt. is in the mood to bail-out everyone, shouldn’t we all just stop paying our mortgage? Think about it. The Govt. has now taken the step to nationalize the mortgage industry. If I stop paying the mortgage, they won’t foreclose on my house. They can’t afford it. There will be a moratorium on foreclosures anyway! Then, after not paying the mortgage, I would fall into that category of struggling homeowner and the govt would be there to help me out. All of a sudden, as soon as I become irresponsible, the govt will be there to help me out.

What are the consequences? Well, first, I would save my largest debt payment. That’s over $18,000 per year. That’s a nice savings account. Second, with help from my friend at www.freshloan.co.uk – I could negotiate a new loan based on the actual value of my home – which keeps going down. My credit will be marred but I have so much credit available to me right now that I don’t need any more. And – more than likely, the govt. will wipe out any bad credit reports to make it easier for me to borrow again (they need me to keep borrowing). Is it worth it for the amount of money I would be saving?

It’s an entertaining thought. So – politicians – what is your answer? Should I become irresponsible so I can get the govt. candy?

I’m not the only one thinking this way.

Economic Fear and Personal Responsibility

15 Oct

Dave RamseyAs I listen to the news I am struck by the lack of personal responsibility among everyone involved in this financial crisis. From the politicians who advocated the wrong positions years ago that encouraged the bad behavior of the banks and those who borrowed more money than they could repay. If you listen, everyone is blaming everybody else – without taking any blame themselves.

The politicians have a knack to vote in such a way that they can claim they were for something if it turns out good, or against something if it turns out bad. Of course, they are never responsible for any position they hold.

The banks are blaming everyone. The people they lent the money to aren’t paying the money back. The assets that support the loans are being devalued. Never mind that they lent money to people who shouldn’t even have qualified for the loans in the first place. They took the risk – now they don’t want to live with the results.

The people who borrowed more money than they can pay back. How may people borrowed money with adjustable rate mortgages that once adjusted couldn’t afford them anymore. They are blaming the banks for getting them into an adjustable rate mortgage. I even heard a story of Oprah’s Mom saying that the bank shouldn’t have lent her any money. They should have known better!

Where is the personal responsibility? Shouldn’t we all get our own financial houses in order? If you borrow money – it is your responsibility to repay it. If you can’t repay it, you shouldn’t borrow it. If you are going to borrow money over a period of 30 years – you should make sure you will be able to continue to make those payments for 30 years. If things are getting a little tight financially – who says you can’t work two jobs?

If you are a lending institution – why are you lending money to people who can’t pay it back? I have heard stories of banks lending money to people without jobs! Incredible! Lending standards need to be tightened. Does that mean that some people won’t be able to purchase a house? Yes – until they get their own financial houses in order. Depending on their own situation – it may always be more economical to rent than to buy. A good way to determine this is to use one of many rent vs. buy calculators like this one.

If you are a politician – God help you. Please support policies that limits Government intervention into our everyday lives. History is rife with examples of situations getting worse when government gets involved. Does the government really need to own banks? With government printing all of this bailout money – can this be good for the economy? I don’t think so.

Anybody and everybody should stop right now and embrace a dependency on God. I just read a post by Jeff Leake at the LaunchPad where he paraphrased Dave Ramsey. In it, Dave said that we should “shake off the spirit of fear and declare our dependence on God, who is far bigger than this economic crisis.”

Speaking of economic fear – the news keeps harping that home values are going down. Who does that really affect? Anyone trying to sell their house or refinance their house, right? If you are currently in your home, and planning to stay there for a long time – it doesn’t really matter does it? As for me – I’m actually looking forward to protesting my valuation for property tax purposes. If the value of homes are going down, I definitely want to pay lower property taxes! I’ll use the savings to add an extra payment toward debt elimination!