Thursday, April 30, 2009
I remember my sonograms with Sofia, she wouldn't move an inch! The doctor and nurse would move and poke my tummy and nothing! Not this baby! Oh yeah, this baby is a he/she because we are not going to find out the gender until delivery. Of course some say, but you have to get prepared! We did just fine with Sofia and I'm sure we will be fine this second time around.
I spring cleaned Sofia's dresser and closet this week and I'm keeping all the 0-3month clothes that I can find that I did not donate, luckily, they are all white and yellow.
How am I doing? The tea is helping somewhat, actually I am doing a lot better than my first time around. I wake up with my face so oily you can practically fry an egg or two and fried bacon on my nose. I know disgusting. I have also taken out all my maternity clothes, they are not fashionable but darn it they are comfy and that's what matters right now.
People at work are noticing my belly but no one dares to ask whether I'm just getting fat or I'm just pregnant. It is so funny! I love my co-workers, they are cool!
God Bless. - Sandra.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
By Chuck Colson
Summit Ministries Worldview Camps
A few nights ago a colleague of mine called her son, who was away at college in Chicago—and got no answer. She called twice more that evening, and the same thing happened. Very frustrating.
But then her son finally called back. “Sorry Mom,” he said. “My roommates and I were holding our weekly Bible Study for non-believers.”
What Christian parent wouldn’t love to hear that? This young man was not only a strong believer—he was helping non-believers understand how the Bible stood up to non-biblical philosophies.
This kind of worldview understanding doesn’t happen by accident. Young people have to be trained to recognize when they’re being fed false worldviews by filmmakers, the media, and especially college professors.
And if kids don’t receive this Christian worldview training? The statistics tell a chilling story. Thirty to 50 percent of young Christians abandon their faith by the time they graduate from college.
George Barna recently conducted a survey in which young adult Christians were asked questions relating to their fundamental beliefs. The answers the respondents gave revealed if they approached life from a biblical or a non-biblical perspective.
Incredibly, less than one-half of one percent of these young adults answered in a way consistent with a biblical worldview. In fact, according to the survey, less than 20 percent of self-professed born again Christian adults of all ages even had a biblical worldview.
So where can kids go to get worldview training? We can take them to Sunday school, of course. And many parents send their kids to good Christian schools. But while these do a good job of teaching kids the doctrines of the faith, they often neglect worldview training.
That’s why you ought to consider sending your teenager to a Summit Ministries worldview conference this summer. Summit will give high school and college students a two-week crash course in worldview analysis. They’ll learn about the major worldviews battling Christianity for their hearts and minds—worldviews like Secular Humanism, Marxism, Postmodernism, and Islam.
Students will learn how these worldviews have arrived on the college campus and in the culture, and how the Bible differs from these false philosophies. They will also study the big cultural questions—such as God’s design for marriage, abortion, and biotechnology issues—and how to respond from a biblical worldview. The idea is to teach kids to place these battles in the larger context of the war of worldviews rather than thinking about them on an issue-by-issue basis.
With this kind of training, they will be able to walk into any college classroom and know how to defend their faith no matter what the professor throws at them. They will know how to make the case that only the biblical worldview fits the structure of reality and enables them to live in harmony with that reality.
Worldview training camps are also available for younger teens. Camps like these, run by worldview specialists, can help your child learn Christian worldview lessons so well that—like my colleague’s son—he can become a well-armed and confident ambassador of Truth to his professors and fellow students.
And what Christian parent wouldn’t love to see that?
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Since this float water slide was not favorable for Sofia's age, she decided the next best thing was a blue balloon and the orange ball.
Well, Sofia decided that she could do the job better than daddy and went straight to work but felt overwhelmed just a bit.
"daddy, I don't understand all this mess. I think I need a break."
Here's she is picking up leaves from the yard. She's doing her part on keeping our yard clean.
And here's our chihuhua Billy just relaxing with his favorite toy. Thankfully, we have been able to keep all of Sofia's teddy bears and soft toys away from him. This one I found on a store that was selling for a $1.
Here's Sofia cracking up a smile. They come few and between. John says she's got my serious attitude...but I say, I just know how to make her smile.
Here she is showing her teeth. She has three on top and one barely coming on the bottom.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Miss First-Runner Up
Miss California’s name is Carrie Prejean. She was absolutely thrilled to make it to the top five on Sunday’s annual Miss USA contest. But when this outspoken Christian faced contest judge Perez Hilton, an openly gay gossip-blogger, the fairy tale came to an abrupt halt.
Perez asked a very pointed question: “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?”
Prejean responded to the specific question with a specific answer: She thought marriage should be between a man and a woman. Even in stating her response, she apologized if the response offended anyone listening. But she stuck by her convictions.
Prejean said later that she knew her response would cost her the win because, in her words, “I’d spoken from my heart, for my beliefs, and for my God.”
There’s no way of knowing for sure, but as pageant organizer Donald Trump said, “It probably did cost her the crown.”
In an interview with the Today Show, another judge Claudia Jordan said, “A few of the judges were really against her. They were really bothered by her answer.” Jordan went on to add, “In pageants as in politics it is probably best to give a neutral answer if you want to win.”
What a sad commentary on our society that speaking from conviction is an offense. An even sadder reflection on our society is judge Perez Hilton’s response to the entire situation. On his blog, he used an expletive to describe Miss California and said that if she had won, he would have gone up on stage and ripped the tiara off her head. Now that would have been a true triumph of tolerance!
In a calmer moment, Perez told interviewer Matt Lauer, “I would have appreciated it if she had left her politics and her religion out, because Miss USA represents all Americans.” He went on to say, “Miss USA is not a person that is alienating . . . Miss USA is someone who represents me and represents all America, is someone who is inclusive.”
How Perez can’t see the contradiction in what he is saying is beyond me. Apparently, when asked a personal question with political and religious ramifications, it’s taboo to give a personal answer with political and religious ramifications. And apparently, to represent America, you must represent only one part of America.
To Prejean’s credit, she’s taken the loss in stride and says she has no regrets. And she’s excited about the new platform the experience will give her.
“I know that I have a purpose,” she said calmly. “I know now that I can go out and speak to young people about standing up for what they believe in and never compromising for anyone or anything—even if it’s the crown of Miss USA.” Now there’s a first-place role model every little girl can truly look up to.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
China's One-Child Policy
I mean that literally. That’s because what is being stolen aren’t people’s possessions or even their life’s savings: It’s their sons. Yet again, our modern contempt for life claims yet more victims.
A recent New York Times article tells about the theft of young boys in China’s Pearl River Delta. Families desperate for male heirs pay thousands of dollars for young boys.
The children are often stolen at dusk when their parents, tired from work, are distracted. Thieves lure them by offering toys and pieces of fruit. The more brazen ones simply snatch them and throw them into still-moving cars.
Government officials downplay the problem, claiming that there “are fewer than 2,500 [total] cases of human trafficking each year” in China. Advocates for victims of child theft insist that there may be several hundred thousand stolen boys.
It’s easy to understand why government officials downplay the problem: Because it’s the result of China’s “one-child” policy. Rural families, for both cultural and economic reasons, place a premium on male children. Since the law limits families to one child, if they give birth to a girl they have no heir. And then they’ll often resort to theft. It’s an inexcusable but foreseeable result of China’s war against life.
The scope of the problem is clearly seen in the numbers. A study released around the same time as the Times’ story, published in the British Medical Journal, found that China has 32 million more males than females under twenty. In 2005, there were 120 boys born for every 100 girls.
This is what China’s “one-child policy” has caused. The preference for male children has led to the aborting of 16 million females.
The report’s authors warned that this imbalance could lead to an increase in crime by “young men unable to find female partners.”
As we’ve reported on BreakPoint, this is already happening: Chinese officials are increasingly alarmed at brutal crimes committed by unattached young men that are “without specific motives, often without forethought.”
Not enough males in one part of the country, too many “hopeless, volatile” males in other parts: This is the price China is paying for declaring war on human life. We cannot defy the moral order God has written into his creation without, as the scriptures put it, reaping the whirlwind.
I say “we” because even China’s tragic example isn’t enough to cause the West to examine its own contempt for life. Sixteen million dead girls isn’t enough to make us seriously question abortion on demand.
Likewise, we have no problem with anti-natalism, only with the “mean” way the Chinese implement it: not so much because it hurts ordinary Chinese people but because it raises questions we would rather not face. Questions like “What will our contempt for life cost us?”
Not just is he the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback and dating Jessica Simpson, but he is also a very good golfer.
So good, he's won two tournaments in the past few days.
It's how he spent his birthday, Tuesday (as you can see in this video).
But it's also part of the reason he gets so much criticism.
Romo spends a lot of time working on football, too.
If he were at home playing his X-Box and dating some woman we've never heard of, what he does when he's not playing football wouldn't matter so much.
However, Romo had the fortune or misfortune of also being a very good golfer, maybe good enough to make PGA tournaments. And he has the fortune or misfortune of dating starlets.
It's a rough life and he just turned 29.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Domestic Violence within the Church
A woman I’ll call “Marleen” went to her pastor for help. “My husband is abusing me,” she told him. “Last week he knocked me down and kicked me. He broke one of my ribs.”
Marleen’s pastor was sympathetic. He prayed with Marleen—and then he sent her home. “Try to be more submissive,” he advised. “After all, your husband is your spiritual head.”
Two weeks later, Marleen was dead—killed by an abusive husband. Her church could not believe it. Marleen’s husband was a Sunday school teacher and a deacon. How could he have done such a thing?
Tragically, studies reveal that spousal abuse is just as common within the evangelical churches as anywhere else. This means that about 25 percent of Christian homes witness abuse of some kind.
These numbers may shock you—and they certainly shocked me—so you may be wondering if the studies were done by secular researchers hostile to the church. I can assure you, sadly, they were not.
Denise George, a gifted writer and the wife of theologian Timothy George, has published a new book called What Women Wish Pastors Knew. “Spouse abuse shocks us,” George writes. “We just cannot believe that a church deacon or member goes home after worship . . . and beats his wife.” Tragically, however, George notes, some of these men justify their violence “by citing biblical passages.”
Well, obviously they’re misinterpreting Scripture. In Ephesians 5:22, husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church; beating wives black-and-blue hardly constitutes Christian love. First Peter tells husbands to live with their wives considerately. And the Bible makes it clear that the church has no business closing its eyes to violent men. In 1 Timothy 3:3, the church is told that when it comes to choosing leaders, they must find men who are “not violent but gentle,” sober, and temperate.
The amount of domestic abuse in Christian homes is horrifying, and the church ought to be doing something about it—not leaving the problem to secular agencies. But this is one mission field where the church is largely missing in action. And sometimes pastors, albeit with good intentions, do more harm than good.
George sites a survey in which nearly 6,000 pastors were asked how they would counsel women who came to them for help with domestic violence. Twenty-six percent would counsel them the same way Marleen’s pastor did: to continue to “submit” to her husband, no matter what. Twenty-five percent told wives the abuse was their own fault—for failing to submit in the first place. Astonishingly, 50 percent said women should be willing to “tolerate some level of violence” because it is better than divorce.
Advice like this, George warns, often puts women “in grave danger”—and in some cases, can be a death warrant.
Pastors need to acknowledge that domestic abuse in the church is a problem, and learn how to counsel women wisely.
Obviously, Christians must uphold the sanctity of marriage. But we should never ignore the dangers of violent spouses—men who use the Bible to justify abusing, and even killing, their wives.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
John's garden is really growing pretty good. I can't wait for the cantaloupes, I remember one year we had so many we were given them away.
She was impressed...with the mud.
Right behind John is our apple tree. It was bigger than this but we had a powerful storm about 5 years ago right after we moved in to our house and the tree was blown almost to the root. Well, John, The Green Thumb Master, was not going to let it just die away and look it now, it has taken awhile to grow back but we had green apples last year and they were not bad at all!
Samuel (sammy) Maloney.
My family. Correction, minus one. David was working, he's my other gringo soon to be brother in law.
Sofia and Mima at Abuelo's Mexican Restaurant. We are waiting for our table.
My brother Carlos with his precious baby girl, Gadi.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The veteran NFL broadcaster and Hall of Fame coach is retiring.
"It's time," Madden said in a statement. "I'm 73 years old. My 50th wedding anniversary is this fall. I have two great sons and their families and my five grandchildren are at an age now when they know when I'm home and, more importantly, when I'm not."
"I still love every part of it - the travel, the practices, the game film, the games, seeing old friends and meeting new people," he said. "But I know this is the right time."
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
The Testosterone picture of the day!
Hope you were blessed this past Easter like we were. -The Seamans
Friday, April 10, 2009
I had forgotten about it, I felt bad for him. It takes so much guts and humility to stand in a corner of a street begging for work. I pray that someone did help him that was better than me, who recognized Christ in him. I sure didn't and I failed Christ. - sandra
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
You don’t have to look far to find cause for worry today. As jobs disappear, as our retirement plans shrivel, anxiety is knitting brows everywhere. Including, at times, my own.
Part of our worry comes from the fact that most Americans aren’t used to it! We’ve had relatively little to worry about in life. Sure, these are hard times, but this is not the Great Depression. And while the nightly news gives us cause to bemoan the loss of moral absolutes in society, Christians have always found themselves—and will always find themselves—living in the midst of a depraved culture.
But no matter how dark a place or an age in time, God has never allowed the light of the Church to be extinguished. Plagues, persecutions, poverty—Christians have lived victoriously in the midst of it all.
How? They had something we’ve lost: a Christian ethic of hope.
Sadly, people have either trivialized or politicized the word hope. The American Heritage Dictionary defines hope as “the feeling that . . . events will turn out for the best.”
But a Christian hope isn’t a feeling. And it’s not wishful thinking. Hope comes from the certainty of God’s promises. These are promises like Romans 8:28—“God works in all things for the good of those who love him.” Promises like Acts 16:31—“Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” Promises abound for us about future realities. God has promised believers that Christ will come again, will redeem our bodies, will make us holy, will let us share in His glory, and will give us eternal life. This isn’t simple optimism. And it isn’t hope pinned to a fallible human leader. This is a firm hope in the Creator.
When we don’t have a secure hope, we worry excessively about the future. But when our hope is secure, we are free to live in the fruits of hope.
John Piper has identified four fruits of Christian hope. First, Christian hope bears the fruit of true joy. Unlike happiness, joy is not dependent upon circumstances. Second, Christian hope produces sacrificial love. When we aren’t obsessing over self-preservation, we are free to give ourselves to others. Next, Christian hope yields boldness. The hopeful Christian is realistic about the reality of the world’s problems, but it is also certain of God’s ultimate victory.
That’s why Christian hope has produced bold men and women who’ve given their lives to missionary service, or heroes like William Wilberforce who’ve been willing to sacrifice career, property or popularity for Christ.
Finally, Christian hope bears the fruit of endurance. When setbacks come—and they do—Christians who have their eyes fixed firmly on God’s promises can continue in the good fight. They can press on because they know that their actions aren’t in vain. Christ will have the ultimate victory.
Sure, these are tough times. But when we grab hold of the hope we have in Christ, we will be able to live with the joy, the sacrificial love, the boldness, and the endurance we will need to face the challenges before us.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
When I take the tea for my morning sickness, I still feel the strong urge to puke, but the tea doesn't allow me which leaves me to feel miserable. Therefore, the question remains to puke or not to puke!? I say puke! I feel better afterwards and not miserable all afternoon.
I so HATE morning sickness, I SO HATE to eat and feel miserable afterwards only to feel relieve once I puke, I HATE not being able to eat everything I want. I HATE feeling tired. etc, etc, etc. I miss sushi...I miss my advil aspirin for my headaches...I miss having a margarita with my enchiladas once in a while...I miss running...Why can't I just be one of those pregnant ladies that just glows and feels awesome!?
why me? -sandra.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
1. He split our calendar in two: B.C. and A.D.
2. He showed us God is love.
3. He refused a crown to bear a cross.
4. He occupies no grave.
5. His sermon on the Mount set forth the highest standard for how we should live.
6. He modeled forgiveness in a world of stone throwers.
7. He transformed fishermen and tax collectors into world changers.
8. He healed the sick and raised the dead…enough said.
9. He challenged religion devoid of compassion.
10. He willingly accepted a cruel death so that we might have life.
As we enter Holy Week we contemplate Jesus’ death and that first Easter morning. The week started with betrayal, confusion and sorrow only to end in celebration. The scriptures tell us that God “showed his love among us — He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.”