April 30, 2008

Book Review

Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper

I finished reading this book this past weekend and to sum up I would say, “Don’t waste your time” with this book.

The premise of the book is to help people (Christians and non-Christians) know what Jesus has to offer them, which is belonging to Him and being able to do what He wants you to do.

Piper starts with his life and journey to Christ and the ministry. The rest of the book focuses on ways not to waste your life.


  • Glorifying God with all aspects of your life
  • Focusing on the cross of Christ
  • Live for Christ and die for Christ
  • Take risks for Christ, like Esther, Daniel and his friends
  • Be glad with God and make others glad too
  • Use your possessions with a “war-time” purpose
  • Be salt of the earth and light of the world
  • Be missionaries

Anything else is a wasted life. We were created to glorify God by enjoying and displaying His excellence in all aspects of life (family, social, job, school, church, death, loss, etc). All Christians are called to proclaim the Good News and to do God’s work on earth.

I have found there are many books that cover the subject of Christian life much better. For example, the Bible! However, some people are looking for practical ways to implement God’s word in their life today. Piper’s book does not do that.

Next Book – The Extraordinary Mother by John MacArthur

April 29, 2008

Coke or Merlo?

The creative guru’s of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board are at it again. This time they are requesting proposals for the creation of wine vending machines! They, of course, use a more respectable term by calling them "kiosks". They would like to install 100 of these kiosks in what they term “satellite wine store locations”.

I guess it makes sense, we have legalized slot machine gambling. (In other related news, the PA Gaming Control board has been hearing of complaints about children at the slot machines. Read the story here for more information) So when the high-class gamblers of Pennsylvania lose their money at the Casino’s they can take their last dollar and jam it into a wine kiosk to drink their sorrows away.

This will also be of great comfort to those wine-o’s that really need a drink and can't get to a state store for their fix.

The temperature of the wine will be between 50 and 60 degrees with a relative humidity of at least 50%, but not greater than 80%.

The RFP does require the company manufacturing the kiosks to prevent minors from being able to purchase the wine. In fact, the kids are not even allowed to look at the wine in the vending machine. There also needs to be a way to determine if the person purchasing the wine is already drunk. Of course, the PLCB also requests that some type of loyalty card be used as well, you know, as a way to reward those loyal drinkers!

Oh, and just in case you did spend your last dollar at the casino, the machine will accept credit cards!

Pennsylvania’s leadership gets better and better each day.

Is it any wonder why this state and nation is in such bad shape?

April 28, 2008

I figured it out!

Why is the price of gas so high? In the past I have said it is because of supply and demand and I believe that is still the case but I indeed do believe the supply is being manipulated to cause a higher price. Here is why.

A few years ago, the people in the United States of America were called fat and lazy. Since then, there has been a move for healthier lives, especially in our children.

So now as you can see it makes sense.

The government artificially inflates the price of gasoline, thinking, people will walk and exercise more thereby becoming healthier. This has obviously backfired. People are fatter and lazier than ever and are using even more gas than ever.

Now the next brilliant idea from the government is to increase the price of food. Thinking that if we can’t get them to exercise more, at least they won’t be eating as much because they won’t be able to afford it.

In case you haven’t figured this out yet, I am obviously kidding. Everyone knows the government takes care of the lazy people and will never let them starve. Don’t believe me, look at our Congressmen, they aren’t starving!

April 25, 2008

Primary 2008 Results

Here is how I voted:

President: Ron Paul
Auditor General: Chet Beiler
District 12 US Rep: William Russell
District 62 State Rep: Dave Reed
Delegate RNC District 12: Steven O’Connor, Eirik Westcoat, Timothy Garso
Alt Delegate RNC District 12: Joseph Horvath, Jeffrey Westcoat

Here are the results (Republican):
President: John McCain
Auditor General: Chet Beiler
District 12 US Rep: Write In (assume) William Russell
District 62 State Rep: Dave Reed
Delegate RNC District 12: Don White, Bill Harris, Steven O’Connor
Alt Delegate RNC District 12: Joseph Horvath, Jeffrey Westcoat, Thomas Uram

Not bad I guess, we’ll see what happens in November.

Just a word to everyone that voted for Hillary or Barak, you voted to raise your taxes!

April 23, 2008

Update to Plants

Here is an update to a story I brought you last year. You can read the original story here

I purchased a few plants last spring and none of them grew. I sent the company a letter asking for a replacement (according to their guarantee) and never heard from them. I figured they just ignored my letter.

Last Saturday, I got a package from the Van Bourgondien company. It contained 4 replacement plants (2 Hydrangea’s and 2 Clematis). I guess they do honor their guarantee.

After thinking about it, it makes sense for them to send their plants in the Spring. However, to improve customer relations it probably would have been a good idea to respond to my request stating they would send my plants next spring.

We will see how these plants grow. They seemed to be a little healthier than the originals, but who knows.

April 22, 2008

I can't explain it! See for yourself.

At a Hilliary Clinton rally yesterday, our Lt. Governor, Catherine Baker Knoll, grabbed the microphone from Dan Onorato's hand, pointed to Dan and Mayor Luke and said "These two men can't stand women."

Again, this is at a Hilliary Clinton rally! That is PA Politics for you.

Watch the video for yourself at WTAE.

Don't forget to VOTE today in PA.

The people of Pennsylvania deserve what they voted for. Hopefully, the rest of America wises up, if not, the country deserves what it gets.

April 21, 2008

Casey for Obama!?!

Just a few weeks ago, the junior senator from Pennsylvania said he would not endorse a candidate until after the people of Pennsylvania have had their say in the election. However, like any politician he changed his mind and publicly supported Obama.

Why? He claims that the time was right and wanted to show his support for the man that can bring change to the U.S. He could also be eyeing a vice-president bid. It kind of makes sense. You take the most liberal democrat in congress and mix it will a moderate democrat and you may have a winning combo with the people.

The problem is the fact that the rest of the U.S. doesn’t really know what Casey is like. He is a simple do nothing, say nothing, know nothing kind of person. He was on the news arguing with Governor Rendell the other day and it wasn’t real clear what his argument even was! Even Rendell was a little lost in the conversation!

For better or worse Dick Chaney has changed the office of vice-president. We can’t have a moron or a slacker in there and we shouldn't have a blood thirsty, gun wielding nut case either!

I have said it before, if Clinton wins the bid for president expect to see Rendell involved in her administration somehow. I am now also declaring that if Obama wins, expect to see Casey as part of the team.

Either way it is a gain for Pennsylvania to get rid of them, but it will be a set back for the rest of the country.

April 14, 2008

Action Requested!

This is an important message for all Pennsylvanians in the 12th District (Cambria, Westmoreland, Allegheny, Greene, Armstrong, Washington, Somerset, Indiana, Fayette County).

Republican William Russell was kicked off the April 22nd ballot by John Murtha’s Democrats. There is still time, he only needs 1,000 write in votes on the primary next week in order to challenge Murtha this fall.

Write in “William Russell” on April 22nd to show these career politicians we mean business.

For more information check out William Russell’s web page.

April 11, 2008


That is the amount of money we spent on gasoline last month. I don't imagine it will get any cheaper.

Do you know why?

#1. Beacuse the U.S. doesn't use and isn't allowed to use the oil reserves it has to their full capacity.
#2. The government pork bellies are filled with a focus on ethanol and other inefficience alternatives.
#3. The people who can use mass tranist don't and won't.
#4. People just don't care enough to do something about it other than complain.

What will happen?

We are already seeing a rise in food and other prices. I strongly suspect we will see a rise in crime and to some extent we have with copper thefts. I also believe we will see more people relying on the government for assistance.

Can we stop this?

Yes, but the key word is WE. The government can't fix the problem by themselves. Businesses can't solve the problems either. The only way is if the people, the government, and business all make the necessary changes to their individual environment to solve the issues facing us today.

April 09, 2008

Time to Work?

Did you see who happened to show up for work yesterday?

Yep, that is right. For the first time in a while John, Hillary, and Barack all decided to show up for the work that taxpayers are paying them for.

Of course, it was just another political move to get themselves elected this fall.

As mentioned before on this blog, it doesn't really matter who is elected, none will do what they are promising to do.

Just my thoughts.

April 08, 2008

Bring our troops home!?!

It won’t happen like they claim no matter who is in the White House in January. Here is why.

The US economy has already tanked. If we were to bring home all of those troops, what would they do here? Many would stay in the military, but many will leave the armed forces and return to civilian life, but doing what?

The enlisted solider could be currently making as little as $2,000 to $2,500 a month depending on grade and years of service. That is $24,000 to $30,000 a year. (The lowest grade with less than 4 months service average salary is $30,810). In a down economy trying to find a job making that kind of money will be very challenging. Then of course we can’t forget the fact that Uncle Sam takes a bunch of money from civilians in the form of taxes too!

What about those reserve forces that are guaranteed a job when they return home? Well, depending on the industry or company they either may be laid-off or they will get their job back and someone else will be let go. Either way, someone looses their job.

Do I want our troops home? Absolutely, we should be securing our homeland first and then worry about the other countries. Unfortunately, I do not believe any of the top candidates for President will bring our troops home like they claim without causing a bigger mess. Remember, once the next President is elected, he or she will begin working toward their reelection.

April 07, 2008

Today's Question: Recession or Not?

The question on the mind of many people is: are we in a recession? If you were to ask most people that question, they would respond with a “Yes!” However, technically a recession is two or more declining quarters of GDP. So technically, no America is not in a recession. At least not yet!

However, this does not help if you have lost your job. In fact, that is the old saying. If your neighbor losses their job then it is a recession. If you lose your job then it is a depression!

While the United States, in general, is technically not in a recession, it may be different for you. My purchasing power has drastically decreased over the past several months. Food and fuel have cost much more. I estimate our food/household bill to be about $300 a month and our gasoline bill to be about $250 a month. Add in taxes and utilities and there isn’t much left at the end of each month. Home heating bills alone will be over $1,000 for the year.

In fact, some of the lower paid workers I have talked to are seriously thinking of quitting their job or at least looking for a job closer to their home. Of course, many of them do drive giant trucks or SUV’s. The cost of fuel and day care expenses no longer make it worthwhile to work.

It is nice to know there are non-profit organizations like the Angel Food Ministries to help all people provide food for their families. This is a program across the United States that provides a weeks worth of meals for a family of four for only $30. For more information or to find a local church partnering with Angel Food Ministries in your area check out their web site.

April 04, 2008

End of Pork!

Yep, that is essentially what Pelosi said a while ago when she was talking about a 1 year freeze on earmarks (pork spending). Last fiscal year there was over $17 million dollars worth of those earmarks in different bills. Hillary and Obama had a few, McCain had none.

Of course, we here in Pennsylvania shouldn’t be surprised that our buddy Murtha topped the list. Democrats have controlled the house and senate for 15 months now and what do we get, more spending and a worsening economy.

This next election we need to get rid of those career politicians like Murtha that do nothing but see how much money they can get at the expense of all taxpayers. We don’t need more of the same, vote for the challenger to stand for change in Washington and your state.

Enough is enough

April 03, 2008

Coincidence? I think not!

Higher gas prices are pretty much the norm these days. But wait let’s call the oil executives into congress and what happens to gas prices that very same day? Down 10 cents! Amazing.

I strongly believe in the market forces of supply and demand (for a normal competitive market). However, it is blatantly obvious even to the most casual of observers that if the price of gas is sky high and the oil companies are making record profits then the normal market forces are not working or they are being manipulated.

In this case, the oil companies have an oligopoly and must be manipulating the price to make record profits. How do I know this? Because their efficiency or productivity or technology have not increased enough to support record profits.

I have no problems with a business making a respectable profit, but it is clear to us, these companies are stealing from the people and it needs to stop. Many of the gas stations have signs up stating that their gas may have up to x% of ethanol in it. Great, but why is your price still the same as everyone else’s? Isn’t the use of ethanol supposed to wean us from foreign oil while reducing cost?

I think there are still some bugs to work out in the system. I am sure Hillary, John or Barack can come up with a solution to save us from this mess! But I won't hold my breath.

April 02, 2008

Campaign Money

Where does all that campaign money go when it isn’t being used for the campaign? From what we have learned Hillary Clinton hasn’t paid all of her bills yet, she still owes a couple hundred thousand for health insurance among others. But what about our good friend John Murtha. He is a money machine and hasn’t really had to campaign heavily for years. Where does his money go?

Apparently, he allows his staffers to buy guns! The Hill is questioning why one of Murtha’s aides spent over $2,000 on a rifle. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not against buying guns, but why buy it with campaign money?

After The Hill questioned the purchase, the aide did reimburse the Murtha for Congress campaign. But, how is this legal or ethical? Here is the twist. The law allows for campaign money to be used for donations to charities. The rifle was purchased at a “Friends of the NRA” auction. It was considered a donation and since the Murtha campaign had no use for a rifle the staffer got to keep it.

So the next time you are thinking of donating some money to an election campaign you might want to reconsider, knowing where your money actually might go.

April 01, 2008

Book Review: The Body Dynamic

I finished reading “The Body Dynamic” by John MacArthur. In short, I was unimpressed with this book. I guess I was expecting something different.

The first four chapters of the book discuss the Church. These chapters are pretty much a simple review of the Church, what it is, how it was formed, who is the head, how you get into it, and things like that.

The last six chapters discuss how the Church works in the world. There is a chapter on acting like a member of the body, building up the body, unity of the body, fellowship, and witness. There was also a large chapter on gifts of the body, which describes the different spiritual gifts people are given for use in the Church.

Essentially, the Church is the body of Christ. Christ is the head of the Church. The Holy Spirit works through the people in the Church to accomplish God’s will. The members and leaders of the Church should use their gifts to build up and unite the Church to witness to the world about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

If you are already familiar with the scriptures dealing with the Church (Ephesians and 1 Corinthians) then you can probably skip this book. If you are not familiar with those scriptures then I would recommend reading those books of the Bible first and then if you still don’t understand get a copy of this book to further your studies of the Church.

Next book: Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper