Maybe I can share something...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

No Vision - No People

Pause to Ponder, Classics

Where there is no vision, the people perish. (Proverbs 29:18)

When we hear this verse we have this urge to sit down and write out goals or a statement of mission. Many of us have heard this verse used as a text to encourage people and churches to be goal setters. The church has wrapped its arms around today's marketing growth concepts and this verse gives us our biblical base; we think. If goals and mission statements are synonymous with vision this verse works well. But, are they synonymous? Does this verse really say that without God directed goals a people perish? Ponder with me a moment about what this verse is saying to us...

A quick comparison with other versions reveals that this verse can be translated is various ways. The New International Version reads; "Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint." The Revised Standard Version reads: "Where there is no prophecy the people cast off restraint." Here we find that vision is to be understood in relation to prophecy and revelation. A prophet's role was to bring God to the people. The familiar "Thus saith the Lord" rings in our ears when we think of prophets. They were one of the vehicles through which God revealed Himself and His will to His people. Therefore, vision in this verse speaks of a clear definite vision of God.

Where there is no vision of God people cast off restraint and they perish. Where there is no vision of God, there is no fear of God, and where there is no fear of God life becomes cheap. Without a vision of God people have no identity, no boundaries, no direction, no purpose. In such a climate people live selfish, without restraint and this leads to self destruction - the people perish. We need to enter the temple with Isaiah and see God, Holy and seated upon the Throne. We need to see the "kindness and the severity of God" with the Apostle Paul. We need to remember with the writer to the Hebrews that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God." We need to see God in Christ on a cross, dying once and for all, that we can live holy as God originally intended. Yes, what we need first, foremost, and always in our lives, in our churches, is a clear, correct vision of God! Without it we will perish. With it we will live!

Keep Close To Jesus
Pastor Gerry

A Pause To Ponder God's Word
is written and distributed by Gerald Whetstone, Ordained Elder and teacher in the Church of the Nazarene. These devotionals may be transmitted, duplicated, used in part or in entirety without permission for nonprofit purposes only. Responses welcome.

Weird Story of The Day...

Town 'N Country, Florida - Neighbors heard a whistling sound is what they described before noticing that a neighbor's car was severly damaged.

The Ford Mustang had a 100 pound block of ice sitting in the backseat. The back end of the car was caved in. The only explanation from neighbors is the ice fell from the sky. Hillsborough deputies do not believe it was a criminal activity.

The 20-year-old owner of the car is upset and did not want to talk to Tampa Bay's 10 News. His father says he has not seen anything like it before.

Neighbors have pieces of the ice chunk in their refrigerators. The owner of the car is in possession of the major chunk of ice.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Funny T-Shirt

If you feel so led, you may purchase this shirt HERE.

Spanking Your Child, Should It Be Against The Law?

Once again California proves that it is the land of MORONS! According to the following article California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, wants to make it a misdemeanor to spank a child 3 years or younger. I'll let you read the article and decide for yourself, but I can tell you one thing, my little rear end was spanked from one end of the house to the other and look how great I turned out!! As I read this article I thought to myself that surely Lieber has no children and sure enough she doesn't. But she does have a cat! Yeah...thats equivalent to a child? I think not, but I'll let you read the last line and get the laugh for yourself. I think she's totally off base here, but I think it's also her mode of thinking that puts her there. She consistently refers to the disciplining as "beating" not spanking. My parents spanked me, but they NEVER beat me. There is a huge difference between the two. But anyway, I'll not ramble on...she's an idiot and I hope this bill never passes.

By Mike Zapler
MediaNews Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO - The state Legislature is about to weigh in on a question that stirs impassioned debate among moms and dads: Should parents spank their children?

Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, wants to outlaw spanking children up to 3 years old. If she succeeds, California would become the first state in the nation to explicitly ban parents from smacking their kids.

Making a swat on the behind a misdemeanor might seem a bit much for some -- and the chances of the idea becoming law appear slim, at best -- but Lieber begs to differ.

``I think it's pretty hard to argue you need to beat a child 3 years old or younger,'' Lieber said. ``Is it OK to whip a 1-year-old or a 6-month-old or a newborn?''

The bill, which is still being drafted, will be written broadly, she added, prohibiting ``any striking of a child, any corporal punishment, smacking, hitting, punching, any of that.'' Lieber said it would be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail or a fine up to $1,000, although a legal expert advising her on the proposal said first-time offenders would probably only have to attend parenting classes.

The idea is encountering skepticism even before it's been formally introduced. Beyond the debate among child psychologists -- many of whom believe limited spanking can be effective -- the bill is sure to face questions over how practical it is to enforce and opposition from some legislators who generally oppose what they consider ``nanny government.''

``Where do you stop?'' asked Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, who said he personally agrees children under 3 shouldn't be spanked but has no desire to make it the law. ``At what point are we going to say we should pass a bill that every parent has to read a minimum of 30 minutes every night to their child? This is right along those same lines.''

One San Jose mother of three said she believes spanking is a poor way to discipline children, but she also wondered whether a legislative ban makes sense. Should a mom who slaps her misbehaving kid in the supermarket, she asked, be liable for a crime?

``If my 6-year-old doesn't put his clothes in the hamper, I'm not going to whack him. He just won't get his clothes washed,'' said Peggy Hertzberg, 38, who teaches parenting classes at the YWCA. ``I think instead of banning spanking, parents need to learn different ways of disciplining and redirecting their children.''

Lieber conceived the idea while chatting with a family friend and legal expert in children's issues worldwide. The friend, Thomas Nazario, said that while banning spanking might seem like a radical step for the United States, more than 10 European countries already do so. Sweden was the first, in 1979.

Nazario said there's no good rationale for hitting a child under 3, so the state should draw a ``bright line'' in the law making it clear.

``Why do we allow parents to hit a little child and not someone their own size?'' asked Nazario, a professor at the University of San Francisco Law School. ``Everyone in the state is protected from physical violence, so where do you draw the line? To take a child and spank his little butt until he starts crying, some people would define that as physical violence.''

It's unclear how a spanking ban would be enforced. Most slapping, after all, happens in the confines of a home, and most children up to age 3 aren't capable of reporting it.

Doctors, social workers and others who believe a child has been abused are required by law to report it to authorities. Nazario said he and Lieber are still debating whether to treat slapping the same way, or simply to encourage those who witness it to report it. But in either case, said Lieber, the law ``would allow people who view a beating to say, `Excuse me, that's against the law.' ''

Experts in child psychology disagree over whether spanking is a legitimate or effective way for parents to discipline their children. Professor Robert Larzelere, who has studied child discipline for 30 years, said his research shows spanking is fine, as long as it's used sparingly and doesn't escalate to abuse.

``If it's used in a limited way,'' the Oklahoma State University professor said, ``it can be more effective than almost any other type of punishment.'' He added that children 18 months old or younger shouldn't be spanked at all, because they can't understand why it's happening.

As for Lieber's proposal, the professor said: ``I think this proposal is not just a step too far, it's a leap too far. At least from a scientific perspective there really isn't any research to support the idea that this would make things better for children.''

But Lieber is optimistic that lawmakers will find her proposal hard to resist. For the record, she does not have children and says she was not slapped as a child. But she does have a cat named Snoop, which her veterinarian told her never to hit.

``And if you never hit a cat,'' Lieber said, ``you should never hit a kid.''

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Just A Reminder....Salute To The Dixie Echoes On XM enLighten 34

On Saturday morning, December 30th, the Dixie Echoes bus pulled up to XM Radio headquarters in Washington, D.C. The group stopped by for a tour of XM's broadcast facilities and have a chat with Dan Dixon, as they were en route to New Holland, Pennsylvania, for an evening performance. You can hear the results of their visit, along with many selections from their much-acclaimed new release, Sounds Of Sunday. If you have XM satellite radio, please tune in to hear the special. Visit for complete details.

You'll have three opportunities to hear the special...
Beginning at 7 PM ET on Wednesday, January 24th
Again at 7PM ET on Saturday, January 27th
And a third airing on Sunday, January 28th at Midnight ET.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Border Agents Sent To Prison

Angry Republican congressman calls President Bush 'disgrace'

Posted: January 17, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Art Moore
© 2007

Former U.S. Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos embraced his wife, Monica Ramos, two days before he was sentenced to 11 years in prison (Courtesy El Paso Times)

Amid protests and a flurry of last-minute efforts by congressmen, two border patrol agents are scheduled today to begin long prison sentences for shooting and wounding a Mexican drug smuggler who was given immunity to testify against them.

In an interview with WND, an angry Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., called President Bush a "disgrace" for refusing to pardon Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, who were sentenced to 12 years and 11 years, respectively, in October. With hopes for a presidential pardon dwindling, the lawmakers had requested that Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez assist in a motion to keep the agents free on bond during the appeals process. But late yesterday, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone in El Paso, Texas, ruled the men must surrender to federal marshals at 2 p.m. Mountain Time today.

"This is the worst betrayal of American defenders I have ever seen," Rohrabacher said of the president. "It's shameful this was done by someone who is in the Republican Party. He obviously thinks more about his agreements with Mexico than the lives of American people and backing up his defenders."

The California lawmaker, who has helped lead efforts to obtain a pardon, charged the Bush administration has been playing a "cruel game." Initially, he said, officials insisted the agents could not be pardoned because they had not filled out the proper paperwork. But Rohrabacher told WND the White House did not explain to the public that the agents were being required – without justification, he contended – to first admit guilt.

Then, last Friday, presidential press secretary Tony Snow addressed the issue for the first time, arguing that prior to the shooting, the agents did not know if the smuggler, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, was an illegal, and they were unaware he had about 750 pounds of marijuana.

Compean and Ramos say the smuggler had a gun, but no weapon was found.

The agents, Snow said, "had received arms training the day before; that said, if you have an incident like this, you must preserve the evidence and you must report it promptly."

"Instead," Snow continued, "according to court documents, they went around and picked up the shell casings. Furthermore, they asked one of their colleagues also to help pick up shell casings. They disposed of them."

Rohrabacher argues that if the men did anything wrong, they should have simply received an administrative reprimand.

TJ Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing 1,500 agents, said the men will be incarcerated at the El Paso jail this week then be moved to separate low-security federal prisons. He's concerned about their safety.

"Bad cops are accepted by the prison population, but good cops are not," Bonner point out. "They'll be surrounded by people they arrested."

"Why does [President Bush] have to send these men to prison in order that his policy not be disrupted?" Rohrabacher asked San Diego radio host Roger Hedgecock after speaking with WND last night. "He talks about being a Christian, but he has shown no Christian charity."

Asked by WND for a response to Rohrabacher's remarks, White House spokesman Alex Conant deferred to Snows comments on the case.

Rohrabacher told WND he sees a serious residual result of the administration's handling of the agents.

"The word is out that the southern border is undefended," he said. "Border agents won't dare to draw their weapons, and the drug cartel will double their effort to drive a wedge in our border."

Rohrabacher said he has been disturbed by an "arrogant" lack of response from senior Justice Department and White House officials who have "shoved over" their inquiries to lower-level staff.

"I've never seen an administration that does it this way," he said. "In the past, if there is a senior member of Congress calling, it would require a call back directly from the administration official in question."

The Justice Department did not respond to WND's request for comment.

Bush has received a letter about the case from more than 50 Congress members, and yesterday an
online petition by with more than 225,000 signatures calling for a presidential pardon was delivered to the White House.

As WND has reported, a federal jury convicted Compean, 28, and Ramos, 37, in March after a two-week trial on charges of causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and a civil rights violation.

Ramos is an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve and a former nominee for Border Patrol Agent of the Year.

According to the agents, Ramos responded Feb. 17, 2005, to a request for back-up from Compean, who noticed a suspicious van near the levee road along the Rio Grande River near the Texas town of Fabens, about 40 miles east of El Paso. A third agent also joined the pursuit.

Aldrete-Davila stopped the van on a levee, jumped out and started running toward the river. When he reached the other side of the levee, he was met by Compean who had anticipated the smuggler's attempt to get back to Mexico.

"We both yelled out for him to stop, but he wouldn't stop, and he just kept running," Ramos told California's Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

"At some point during the time where I'm crossing the canal, I hear shots being fired," Ramos said. "Later, I see Compean on the ground, but I keep running after the smuggler."

At that point, Ramos said, Aldrete-Davila turned toward him, pointing what looked like a gun.

"I shot," Ramos said. "But I didn't think he was hit, because he kept running into the brush and then disappeared into it. Later, we all watched as he jumped into a van waiting for him. He seemed fine. It didn't look like he had been hit at all."

The U.S. government filed charges against Ramos and Compean after giving full immunity to Aldrete-Davila and paying for his medical treatment at an El Paso hospital.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas issued a statement in September arguing "the defendants were prosecuted because they had fired their weapons at a man who had attempted to surrender by holding his open hands in the air, at which time Agent Compean attempted to hit the man with the butt of Compean's shotgun, causing the man to run in fear of what the agents would do to him next."

The statement said, "Although both agents saw that the man was not armed, the agents fired at least 15 rounds at him while he was running away from them, hitting him once."

Monday, January 15, 2007

An enLighten 34 (XM) Salute To The Dixie Echoes!

On Saturday morning, December 30th, the Dixie Echoes bus pulled up to XM Radio headquarters in Washington, D.C. The group stopped by for a tour of XM's broadcast facilities and have a chat with Dan Dixon, as they were en route to New Holland, Pennsylvania, for an evening performance. You can hear the results of their visit, along with many selections from their much-acclaimed new release, Sounds Of Sunday. If you have XM satellite radio, please tune in to hear the special. Visit for complete details.

You'll have three opportunities to hear the special...
Beginning at 7 PM ET on Wednesday, January 24th
Again at 7PM ET on Saturday, January 27th
And a third airing on Sunday, January 28th at Midnight ET.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

National Guard Overrun At U.S. Border

From the Desk of:
Steve Elliott, President


Yesterday, our National Guard retreated from hostile forces at our border! Unable to engage the enemy because their role is only in an administrative capacity, the greatest fighting force in the history of the world retreated at the U.S. Border when confronted by armed illegals!

Click here to see the video report:

I fully expect to see more of these kinds of "tests" by illegal drug runners, coyotes, and possibly even militia in the coming days, weeks and months. Given the status of U.S. Border Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who are going to prison for attempting to apprehend an illegal drug smuggler, and the fact that our National Guard cannot engage the enemy, these skirmishes will continue and likely escalate...

Unless grassroots Americans say "ENOUGH!"

We need to say "enough" to the gross miscarriage of justice being perpetrated on Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean who must surrender to federal officials and begin their decade long prison terms in just 12 days!

We need to say "enough" to our leadership who refuses to acknowledge the crisis at the border. Our Border Agents and National Guardsman must be empowered to protect us by whatever means necessary!

That is why Grassfire is headed to Washington next week!

It is also why I need you to help me rally an additional 50,000 citizen signatures calling for the pardon of border agents Ramos and Compean!

I intend to march with leadership to the White House with your petitions demanding action, and I am counting on your help.

+ + Action Item--Alert Your Friends

The grassroots voice of America must speak loudly in support of these border agents--men who were doing their jobs to protect our nation from drug traffickers and criminals. Now their lives are in peril.

Please forward this message to 30-40 of your friends right now--today! Urge them to stand with these men by signing our petition demanding the President pardon these agents.

Click here to sign:

Also call the White House: 202/456-1111, and demand the President pardon these two Border Agents and empower the National Guard to protect our nation!

Thanks for taking fast action with me.

Steve Elliott
President Alliance

P.S: Only thirteen days of freedom remain for agents Ramos and Compean. Please lend your voice, your heart and passion for these two men by forwarding this message and demanding the President take immediate action, today!

++For more on this case:

+ + + + Alliance is a non-profit 501(c)4 issues advocacy organization dedicated to equipping our 1.5 million-strong network of grassroots conservatives with the tools that give you a real impact on the key issues of our day. Gifts to are not tax deductible.

+ + Comments? Questions?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Dr. Ray Howard Moore, 1918-2007

Yesterday I learned that the father of one of my college professors passed away. Dr. Ray H. Moore, father of Dr. Phil Moore, who is the chairman of the Southern Nazarene University School of Music. Dr. Phil Moore was my advisor while I was at SNU, and was more of a friend than just a professor. Many times he and his wife Donna opened the doors of their home to the music students and made us feel a part of their family. The passing of Dr. Moore's father unfortunately fell on the anniversary of the death of his daughter, Mandy. Mandy passed away nearly 10 years ago, if my memory serves me correctly. She was in her 20's I believe and I cannot remember exactly what took her life. But I'm sure this has made it just that much more difficult to deal with. My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Moore, Donna, and the entire Moore family at this time. May God Bless them! Below is an article on Dr. Ray Moore from

Bethany, Oklahoma

Monday, January 08, 2007

Renowned Nazarene educator and minister of music Ray Howard Moore passed away January 7. He was 88.

Moore was born on February 17, 1918, in Bronson, Michigan, to Jessie and Mattie Moore. A 1941 college graduate of Olivet Nazarene College, Moore earned his Master of Arts degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1956. He was honored with a doctorate in music from Olivet in 1980.

Moore faithfully served as a minister of music and educator in the Church of the Nazarene for more than 60 years. He served churches in Detroit, Kansas City, and Bethany, Oklahoma. He was also a professor at Olivet Nazarene University, Nazarene Theological Seminary, Southern Nazarene University, and European Nazarene Bible College.

For 20 years Moore was music director of the radio broadcast, “Showers of Blessings” and “La Hora Nazarena,” which were broadcast around the world from Nazarene Headquarters in Kansas City. He also led Ambassador Ministry Teams to Central and South America as well as Europe. He started radio stations in Kankakee, Illinois (WKOC) and Kansas City, and built communication equipment for missionaries around the world. Moore (W5RSL) was an avid ham radio operator, beginning at the age of nine.

Moore’s life of distinguished service was marked by numerous awards and recognitions, including the Heritage Award from Southern Nazarene University, the “O” Award from Olivet Nazarene University, and the Cathedral Choir Heritage Award from Bethany First Church of the Nazarene.

He is preceded in death by his first wife Edith, granddaughter Amanda Moore, stepson Mark Rawlings, and nine brothers and sisters. He is survived by wife Nelda, daughter Kathy (Ron) Johns of Tulsa, son Phil (Donna) Moore of Bethany, son Harlan (Barbi) Moore of Oklahoma City, special nephew Dick (Ann) Moore of Mission Viejo, California, stepson Mike (Micki) Rawlings of Dallas, and stepdaughter-in-law Kelly Rawlings of Wichita. Surviving grandchildren include Lindsay Moore (Ken Marshall), step-grandchildren Ron (Brenda) Johns, Jr., and Michelle, Jessica, Shelby, and Gunnar Rawlings. Surviving siblings are sister Pauline Alexander of Covington, Ohio, and brother Gary (Marge) Moore of Kansas City.

Memorials may be made to the Ray H. Moore Music Scholarship, Olivet Nazarene University, One University Avenue, Bourbonnais, Illinois, 60914-9937.

Family visitation will be Tuesday, January 9, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Mercer-Adams Funeral Home in Bethany. A memorial service will be held at Bethany First Church of the Nazarene on Wednesday, January 10, at 10:00 a.m., with interment on Thursday, January 11, at 11:00 a.m. at Green Lawn Cemetery, Kansas City. --Mercer-Adams Funeral Home,

NCN News submissions

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Dixie Echoes Visit XM's enLighten 34

Like most groups, the Dixie Echoes enjoyed a couple of weeks off for the holidays. Everyone had a wonderful time on the much needed break to rest, relax, and spend some time with their families. But, as they say, all good things come to an end, and all too soon the time had come to hit the road again. Being the over-achievers that we are, we decided to make our first weekend out as taxing as possible!! Our first stop was in Hampton, Virginia with a wonderful concert at Hampton First Friends Church. We have always been treated wonderfully here and we were certainly not let down this time!

The next morning we found ourselves up early and on our way down to the studios of XM Radio in downtown Washington D.C.. We were the guests of XM's all gospel channel,
enLighten 34. During our time there we were greeted with a warm welcome from enLighten's DJ's Marlin Taylor and Dan Dixon. Marlin and Dan gave us a complete tour of XM's studios which is one of the most fascinating facilities on the planet! For the next couple of hours we were interviewed by Dan Dixon for an upcoming "Dixie Echoes Day" on enLighten 34, which will air at a later date. Stay tuned to this blog, or sign up for the Dixie Echoes FREE email list on our website to stay up-to-date on this subject and all that's going on with the Dixie Echoes! You'll also want to stay informed as there just might be something else special in the works between the Dixie Echoes and enLighten! We'll let you know if things work out for this to happen. Special thanks to Dan Dixon and Marlin Taylor for coming in on a Saturday morning as this was the only time we had available to get in for the interviews.

As soon as our time at XM was done, we headed off to New Holland, Pennsylvania and Yoder's Restaurant for a Eve of New Year's Eve concert with our friends the Dixie Melody Boys and Mark Bishop. We had an outstanding time there. The banquet hall was jammed full of great folks who not only brought an appetite for great gospel music, but also for Yoder's wonderful food! I know I made one to many trips to the buffet! Twila Roher and Garden Spot Promotions ALWAYS put together a great show and this one was no exception.

They say there's no rest for the weary and this was certainly true for us. As soon as the concert was over at Yoder's we pointed our bus south, pushed the pedal to the floor and drove 17 1/2 hours, with only 2 stops along the way to make it to Lime Springs United Methodist Church in Samson, Alabama. The folks down at Lime Springs have made the Dixie Echoes honorary members of their church and always go out of their way to make us feel right at home. Our good friends Ronnie and Diane Reid put together a wonderful program and we sang right into the new year! We were tired and weary but the crowd was so energetic that they charged our batteries right up!! Below you'll find a few pictures from our whirlwind weekend, hope you enjoy them!

Dixie Echoes being interviewed for "Dixie Echoes Day" by Dan Dixon for XM Radio's enLighten channel 34. L-R: Scoot Shelnut, Dallas Rogers, Tracy Crouch, Stewart Varnado, and standing in the back enLighten DJ Marlin Taylor.

L-R: XM 34 DJ Marlin Taylor, Scoot Shelnut, Randy Shelnut, Stewart Varnado, Dallas Rogers, Tracy Crouch, and XM 34 DJ Dan Dixon.

Yours truly in front of the XM LiVE Performance studio

Ed O'Neil and myself in New Holland, PA at Yoder's Restaurant.

Special thanks to Liz Hess for the birthday cake she provided for Dallas and myself. Dallas celebrated his 25th birthday on December 9th and I'll mark another year, 29 to be exact, on January 18th! Special note: I would like to thank my good friend Andrew King of the Dixie Melody Boys for taking this picture. But I must deduct greatness points due to the fact that whole purpose of this picture was to include Liz AND the cake, which Andrew expertly cropped out of the photo! Must be the way they take photos in Tenaha, Texas!!