Monday, December 25

If you can't guess I got a new camera so I have been trying it out.

Click to enlarge

check out the colors on this one.

Click to enlarge

can you guess what the subject is?

Click to enlarge

The Reason

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a son is given...."

Tuesday, December 12

Atheism killed 50 million in the last 75 years

From the Communist Chinese Revolution 30 million killed.

From the Communist Russian under Stalin 20 million

And this isn't even counting the number of people killed in the wars that these guys helped instigate. Should make every last person sick to think of the destruction that comes when people throw off the legitimate check of belief in a God who will hold them responsible for their actions. Atheism: the worst killer of the age no doubt.

Transplant Tourism

And you thought that it was bad enough to have sex tourism. Now this.

A Belgian Senator from the Flemish Liberal Party recently carried out his own investigation into organ transplants in China and found that hospitals are urging patients to come before February when organ supplies will decrease.

Senator Patrik Vankrunkelsven says he called two hospitals in Beijing in mid-November and presented himself as a patient in need of a kidney transplant. He says he was invited to come for the operation and was told that the waiting time would be only a few weeks.

"Now is a good time to come," the hospital staff said, according to Vankrunkelsven, advising him to come before the Chinese New Year in February. "At the time of Chinese New Year we like our prisons to be emptied. After the New Year we startup again, but then of course the waiting time will be a bit longer."

Cool the Earth blow a nuke!

See, we have the answer now to global warming if there is such a thing. Blow a nuke!

As dire as the predictions seem, they fall short of nuclear winter. That theory says that smoke and dust from an atomic war between the superpowers would blot out the sun, plunge the Earth into the deep freeze and cause mass starvation, wiping out 90 percent of the Earth's population, or billions of people.

Ultimate illusion

The New York Times comes out today with a story on homosexual Evangelicals. This must approach the ultimate slap in the face for the Christian faith. Most ironically, they quote absolutely no Scripture when that is the ultimate reason why evangelicals reject homosexuality. They also try and mix up the term liberal in the middle:

Gay evangelicals seldom find churches that fit. Congregations and denominations that are open to gay people are often too liberal theologically for evangelicals. Yet those congregations whose preaching is familiar do not welcome gay members, those evangelicals said.


The very essence of why a church has the label of liberal is because it has forsaken clear biblical teachings--I don't care which one. Contrary to this article as well, I know of no evangelical church in my area that would not welcome homosexuals, preaching the full gospel in all its clarity as to what is sin and the need for everyone of us to turn from it and seek repentance in Christ alone.

Monday, December 4

30 is News Worthy

On Friday, more than 30 people representing fishermen, native Alaskans and conservationists wrote Bush urging him not to lift the ban.


It's a ban on drilling in the Bristol Bay in Alaska. Since when was 30 writing the President news?

Thursday, November 30

Why Just Drop the Abortion Issue?

Wisconsin State Journal tells the state it is time to drop any bills limiting abortion because (a) it is a decisive issue, and (b) some pro-life people lost.

Silly.

Reason?

(a) Shall we drop the issue of homosexual marriages too? It's decisive too. Do you think that Madison.com would holler "yippee" if everyone just stepped back and accepted marriage as between one man and one women? Hey, everyone voted for it too!

(b)Many pro-life people won in the state including Van Holland statewide. There is little reason to believe that people voted the way they did because of the life issue. Look at Vinehout in western Wisconsin. She has said that she is pro-life even tho. she is a Dem. and won.


I just think that the Wisconsin State Journal is scared of the success this state has had in advancing toward protecting life. Let them. And let it continue.

H/T Jessica McBride

Thursday, November 23

A Thankful Heart: Easy when empty, hard when full.

Is it ironic that what we are thankful for often is what we have been deprived of? The sick person is thankful for his health. The man out of work is thankful for the provision of food. The lonely man is thankful for friends. The man in North Korea is thankful for his one page of a bible.

So what am I thankful for this year?

Family mostly. Although I am celebrating with my roommate and his wonderfully gracious family there is a part of the heart that just cannot be replaced by the warm touch of home.

God is honored however by our thanks even in times of loss. In everything give thanks we are told. That means that we should be thankful even for those things that have not gone well. The Pilgrims were probably the best suited to give thanks for their food because they--at first--didn't have food.

Are you having a hard time being thankful? Are you like me and having a hard time really being thankful for our basic necessity of food? We had oatmeal for breakfast. Not my favorite. Could I be thankful not only for what I don't have but also for the things that I do? Like the Proverb, when I am full I have a tendency to complain about food and other things I'm thankful for but to deny the Lord.

I'm thankful for what I don't have. That is right, and may I say easy. Lord, give me a heart to be thankful for what I have in abundance as well which is much harder.

Monday, November 13

Final stats: My partner and I--fourth. 2nd place speaker.

Click to enlarge

I DO love Moot Court.

Click to enlarge

Diving into 6 feet of water???? Shows you what can happen to the brain

Click to enlarge

Final thank you to Robert for being such a great partner.

Click to enlarge

At the beach....

Click to enlarge

Here are some pics from my recent Moot Court trip. What a blast! My partner Robert Hogan is next to me. Kirsten and Caleb are the other team.

Click to enlarge

Monday, November 6

VOTE!

Today America is your day to decide which way the country will go. Higher taxes, or more control over the way you spend YOUR money. Family, or more children left without a Mom and a Dad or no life at all. Defense of our country or peace at cost (even final destruction). It is your choice.

You know what is right, and tomorrow is your day to do it....and encourage your friends to do the same.

VOTE

Personal note: Here is the race I have been helping out with: http://www.kennedyvmachine.com/

I hope to have a few pics of the amazing team I have been working with door knocking and phoning.

Tuesday, October 31

Local Endorsements

Here is the list of people that I endorse in the coming elections:

Governor: Mark Green

Why? I heard him speak. He is a solid pro-life man, with moral values driven by a heart. He is also a man who will pull the state out of the financial ruin our state has found itself in by cutting government expansion in favor of lower taxes. On the education front I believe as well that he will follow in the steps of Tommy and work to think outside of the WEAC box.

AGJ.B. Van Hollen

When he says that he will put criminals behind bars I believe him because he has the record that shows it. Admirable as well the way in which J.B. kept to the issues in the A.G. race and not about say...story about drunks going in ditches. Commendable. Worth a vote.

Senate: Robert Lorge

Why? That is a better question this time. There is little chance he can win and he runs a poor campaign, but you can still vote for him with a clear conscience since he is right on life and family.

Congress: Paul R. Nelson

Why? In your heart you know he's right. Unfortunately that was the slogan of Barry Goldwater in his failed bid for the presidency in 1964. There seems to be some sort of fallout on the campaign side of things but this man still stands for what is right. You can feel confident giving him your vote.

Assembly: John Murtha

Why? He is endorsed by Wisconsin Right to Life, so he at least answered the survey the right way. Life and family are not why he is running however. Taxes is his big issue (yes, he wants them lower). I know him as a community man with a large base of support and recognition. Some of my family have talked with him and from their impression he may not be the best moral support he is still worth supporting.

Sheriff: Dennis Smith

(oops! someone stole his website name!!! dennissmithforsheriff.com is all about endorsing his opponent Brad Leach. Still it persuades me TO vote for him if Kathy Ertz (whom I have no respect for) all of a sudden supports Brad Leach.

And whatever you do, VOTE!

What happens when marriage goes down the tubes

As you think about the marriage amendment on the ballot you might want to take a look at what happened in the Netherlands. Read Going Dutch?

Key quote:

A careful look at the decade-long campaign for same-sex marriage in the Netherlands shows that one of its principal themes was the effort to dislodge the conviction that parenthood and marriage are intrinsically linked. Even as proponents of gay marriage argued vigorously--and ultimately successfully--that marriage should be just one of many relationship options, fewer Dutch parents were choosing marriage over cohabitation. No longer a marked exception on the European scene, the Dutch are now traveling down the Scandinavian path.


Sunday, October 29

Coming Home for Elections

I'll be back in at least MN for the elections. Kenndy must win and will with just a bit of extra help that I will be lending him *wink*. If only it could be true.

Was talking with someone this eve. who said that the Cardinals baseball team were predicted by the pundits to loose on every step up to the World Series. They won. Big time.

I just hope that it is the same pundits talking about the elections.

Whatever the case, get out and vote. There are great men and women up and down the ballot, and marriage to protect and save as well. Foley is sick and you can vote against him if you have him on the ballot, but don't let that cut you off from voting for excellent men and women not connected at all to him.

Saturday, October 28

Media Bias against Marriage

No surprise, but it demands attention. While the space given to the destroy marriage side is about 60% the real sentiments of the authors comes out in what they portray about each side. When it is about those who support marriage it is all about politics.

There have been no major opinion polls since mid-August, when a survey showed Appling's "Yes" side with 48 percent support, compared to 40 percent against the amendment. Tate says the gap is narrowing as undecided voters tilt against the measure; Appling believes the final result will be in line with Michigan and Ohio, where similar measures prevailed with roughly 60 percent support in 2004.


When it is about the marriage destroyers it is all the warm home feelings that so easily sway people even in the absense of fact.

Among the hopeful are Debbie Knepke and Candice Hackbarth, devoted partners for nine years, raising a 3-year-old daughter and 7-month-old son in pleasant Milwaukee neighborhood. They have joined some 8,000 other volunteers in a bid to defeat a proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions


and

Debbie Knepke finds it hard to be dispassionate. Because the children she helps raise, Sienna and Nolan, were borne by Hackbarth, Knepke has no legal standing as a parent and fears passage of the amendment would dim her chances of ever gaining such recognition.

Thursday, September 28

08 GOP Convention in MN

cool.

Republicans will hold their 2008 presidential convention in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, choosing a location in the politically pivotal Midwest.

Party and state officials announced the selection Wednesday. The convention is slated for Sept. 1-4, 2008.

"This is fantastic news," Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty said. "We're very, very pleased."

Tuesday, September 26

Throwing in my Hat!

My first run for office! I'm running for PHC senate.

So for all of you wonderful people blog readers who were hoping you could vote for me. Not yet. As always the race is expected to be
extremely close. And there is somewhere somehow some sort of terrible corruption that must be rooted out. Your timely donation will help print the essential posters to put the campaign over. Oh yeah, and if you would like to make some phone calls....

Congressional Race Reporting 101

I was doing a bit of research on the John Gard race and found this quote:

Moreover, a new poll released Thursday showed only 25 percent of Americans approve of the way Congress is doing its job.

The New York Times/CBS News poll also found that Americans hold Republicans in unfavorable regard by a 52 to 41 percent margin. The poll had a margin of error of 3 percent.


Who cares what the national polls are doing! If national polls were 99% of Americans were dissatisfied with Democrats Madison would still vote Fred Risser in. They should have found a poll in the race. All others are just about moot.

Tuesday, September 19

Slouching toward Repentance

I should have been warned when I came on campus from distance learning. I wasnt. Locked in your little learning cave with no one to look over your shoulder and determine your posture I found that certain ways to situate your bent form upon your chair produced better results. Facing the extracted diatribe of some student who could not be forced to put down their virtual mike pulled the feet, pushed the head, and dropped the shoulders down toward comforta slouch.
Ive had to suffer a rude awakening by coming on campus. Things just dont squish down as nicely. There was of course the ramrodstraight proper posture that was required during temperamental exams to keep the sweat dripping in the right place. There was the proctor in the room to consider as well. But on campus no reprieve is to be found.
Back in the slouching glory days I found the purchase of the right sort of chair facilitates arrangements. Situated with high levels of support upon back no matter how far down the head sinks is essential. The seat must be long. Various other accomplices must also be situated near by. Desks must be at the convenient level to serve the dual role of foot and computer rest. Enough room must be provided on the sides to allow the feet to slide past your dear electronic pet and embrace with the knees. Sitting sideways in my chair a nearby bed also helped me assume a different posture.
Family members will notice. Younger brothers find greet glee in pointing out unglamorous habits. Companys presencepresents an especially tempting time. Your embarrassed for only a moment though. You can always excuse yourself to write that Logic paper in the comfort of your own consciences etiquette.
There are advantages. Many folding camp chairs have perfected low-profile comfort seating. I camp an expert due to distance learning training. My dad found these same chairs extremely uncomfortable until I gave several lectures on the proper way to sit in camp chairs. I still camp happier than he does.
No more camp. Its campus. Falling into my dorm room chair the four square spindles that support my back give me only one seating arrangement. Straight. I attempt to slouch in chapel only to find that the legs that support over a six foot frame almost touch the lectern. My toes are stared at from above. They beat a hasty retreat under the chair and my back complains but straightens. Becoming just about a corpse craving my comfort I sneak toward the library to find relief. In seeing the evidence of a round head of foam my hopes rise only to sink with the chair that only cushes in the center. Impossible! A chair must have foam at the end of the seat to lodge a perfect slouch.
Only dorm lounges have given slight consolation as I try and repent of my past and conform to a straight life. Im like the boy who was standing up in church. When his mom told him to sit down he obeyed but told her I may be sitting up on the outside but Im still standing on the inside. Im slouching toward repentance, but dont be fooled: Im still slouching on the inside.

Thursday, August 24

Campaign Deform for Guv

First we stop the candidates from spending and then we wonder why the money just goes another place taking the responsibility off of the campaign and leaving the voter out to dry.

What problem have we solved with all our election spending limits?

Tuesday, August 15

College Here we Come!

Tomorrow I head out to Patrick Henry College to start campus life. It's exciting to think of the experience I will have there and hard to leave behind friends and family here in this wonderful and wild Wisconsin land.

As far as blogging is concerned, look for the blog to turn more personal in the next while as I look for the role "Wisconsin" will play on this page. Perhaps I will consider this an opportunity to switch to this blog.

Days Door Ditty

Three days out of the week this residence is protected by a shot gun. You decide which three.

Monday, August 7

Days Door Ditties

A collection of random front door messages....

Please ring the door bell and run...
The dog need exercise!


If you ever want to visit again, please bring a paper bag with five pounds of fresh tuna.

-The Cat


Those are smudges on my windows. They're Angle finger prints.

Ripe for Impeachment

Well perjury was somehow just a personal affair that we all were suppose to keep our little noses out of let alone believe that committing a felony was somehow not acceptable for the position of (Bill) President, times have changed. Technically not lying, technically NOT before Congress (or before a jury for that matter) suddenly become a low hanging fruit for impeachment.

See?

“‘Defrauding the government’ has been defined quite broadly and does not need an underlying criminal offense and alone subjects the offender to prosecution,” Conyers writes in a legal analysis section. “While this statute is similar to obstructing or lying to Congress…it is broader. It covers acts that may not technically be lying or communications that are not formally before Congress.”

Compliments of the Dem. Congressman John Conyers who would head the House Judiciary Committee responsible for impeachment proceedings.

Oh, and I almost forgot. Compliments to liblogers who have now become experts. (See down half-way).


Besides Mandanici and the entire liberal side of the New York Times columnist lineup, other writers cited in “The Constitution in Crisis” include left-wing journalists and bloggers Glenn Greenwald, Robert Dreyfuss, and Larisa Alexandrovna. “The Constitution in Crisis” also cites the occasional unknown writer like Carmen Yarrusso, who, according to a search of the Nexis database, seems to have written mostly letters to the editor — and who in 1998 was described in a brief article in the Boston Globe as being “a humorist from Brookline, N.H.”

Monday, July 24

If I had to loose weight..

Blogging is not what I would do. Even if you try and put hefty weight on the moral support you might get, there are much better ways than blogging to get that.

Then again, I don't consider myself an expert on weight loss..tho I do wish Dave the best.

Sunday, July 9

To Support in Western Wisconsin

I often find myself trying to figure out who to give my time to in political races. Below is my evaluation of who to most heavily help out and support in the elections. It is based off of two primary criteria. 1. The positions they take on the important issues like life and marriage, and the force with which they take them. 2. If it's close. A predictable blowout win or loss brings down the score. The score is 1 to 10 with 10 being the place to concentrate the effort.

Mark Green for Governor: 9

I have heard him. He is very pro-life and pro-family. No doubts there. Also polls have him running neck and neck with Doyle right now. He was the funds and the organization to pull it off. The Green Team is a winning choice.

Paul R. Nelson for Congress: 7

Anyone knows that it is VERY hard to beat an incumbent Congressman. Only a small percentage do, so his chances pull him down but his energy and solid stands pulls him right up.

Kitty Rhodes: 4

Normally votes well. With her district more and more Republican tho, she shouldn't have a trouble.

Ron Brown: 10 :)


We need every volunteer we can get. Take this as a no comment. However, I will say that the race is close and he is a great candidate.

Dave Zien: 9

This one will be hard fought. And Dave Zien has a record worth defending, not to mention a personality that would be missed by those who like spice at the capitol.

Nick Reid for Congress: 7


Will try to be adding to this list as the season progresses.

Saturday, July 8

Higher taxes for Tax Relief

Not kidding in N.J.:: "The budget reflects a compromise reached Thursday between Corzine and legislative leaders that will increase the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent and set aside half the proceeds for property tax relief."

Too funny to be true. It is.

Monday, June 19

Every Last Puddle

The Supreme Court did a classic wash with Kennedy now finding himself being in the center of the wishy without his pal O'Connor to swish-wish with in the muddy middle.

It was about the environment and the Clean Water Act today as they tried to decide if the federal government has jurisdiction (let's remind everyone again) UNDER the Constitution to stick their finger into someone's wetland that he wanted to develop.

Scalia got on track with Roberts, Alito, and Thomas to pull things back to the document they were suppose to represent instead of crafting convenient feelings into opinions.

Scalia had said the Corps of Engineers misinterpreted the term "waters of the United States."

"In applying the definition to 'ephemeral streams,' 'wet meadows,' storm sewers and culverts, ... man-made drainage ditches, and dry arroyos in the middle of the desert, the Corps has stretched the term 'waters of the United States' beyond parody," he wrote.


I do believe that gov't in general does have a responsibility to regulate the purity of water, but without a Constitutional amendment that power resides with the states and not the federal gov't.

Monday, June 12

Goal...

The US should have lost by more than 3-0 to Czech. They looked like kids in their playing. They better brighten up soon or they're toast.

I'm behind Ecuadorwhen it comes to soccer...I mean futbol.

Friday, June 9

Healthcare solution ghosts

Have you ever noticed that when liberals make loud bold press releases about solving health care problems, they sputter a bunch but don't give hardly any real solutions.

Take this example:

We the people, can change things and get health care security for everyone. But true health care security for everyone will only come when the people finally say, enough is enough.


Or what about this one:
The plan, according to the bill that so far has only Democratic sponsors, must cover 98 percent of state resi- dents and cut overall health care costs by 15 percent. The legislation does not contain any proposals or specifics — at this point it just calls for a plan to be created and passed during the two-year session.


Yes...and the solution is...keep guessing.....keep guessing... perhaps Hillary Care? Want to guess just for a starter how much that would cost in new taxes? Over 4 billion. That is over $7,500 for each man woman and child in the state of Wisconsin. Say hello to over $30,000 in NEW taxes for the average Wisconsin family.

I say enough is enough before we even start and make sure we don't follow that path. I continue to hold to my community faith based health care system.

Goooooooal! Ecaudor Beats Poland 2-0!

UpdateGreat snapshoot of the best of the game over at Yahoo.

I couldn't watch the game and haven't found were I can find replays of the event, but was I ever tickled to see Ecaudor win. I'm sure my birth country is just going crazy right now. 'Tis a shame to miss out on it.

See live blogging of the game here.

Many are saying Ecaudor will advance.

More here.

Ecuador registered the first upset victory of the 2006 World Cup on Friday.

Forwards Carlos Tenorio and Agustin Delgado both scored to lead Ecuador to a surprise 2-0 win over Poland in a Group A game from Gelsenkirchen, Germany.


Go La Tri!

Tuesday, June 6

More Hate Speech

Seems Kennedy again pokes up his head to call those of us who disagree with him "bigots."

At least Bush sounded presidential.

Acknowledging that emotions often run hot in this debate, Bush urged calm.

"As this debate goes forward, we must remember that every American deserves to be treated with tolerance, respect and dignity," he said. "All of us have a duty to conduct this discussion with civility and decency toward one another, and all people deserve to have their voices heard."

Beholden to Big Money

...the biggest money there seems to be these days: the state.

It dawned upon me as I was driving down the road why liberal politicians like gov't funding of campaigns. It's apart of their addiction to big government. It is always said and largely true that you are in some way beholden to those who foot your campaign. Now if that were the government you would soon find politicians beholden to the gov't bureaucracy rather than their constituents. I would rather keep politicians chubby to their constituents and cut off the chubby ties to the gov't machine.

The people or just the conservative ones?

I find the portrayal of the marriage debate in the Senate right now to be enlightening.

Instead of reporting the way in which measures to support traditional marriage around the US have met with resounding public support, and polls continue to show that most voters support marriage between one man and one woman, the MSM has taken Democratic talking points and just called it a conservative vote energizer.

"We the People" has been transformed into "Them the conservatives". Popular preference has been transformed into political division when it just ain't so.

Shows again their bias.


E.g.:

WASHINGTON, June 5 — President Bush's push for the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that is being debated in the Senate this week comes as many Republicans and religious conservatives are beginning a campaign to help lawmakers who support it during this year's elections — and to punish those who do not.

Though people on both sides of the debate say they do not expect the amendment to come anywhere near winning approval this week, both sides say they expect it, and an anticipated version in the House, to be used as a conservative litmus test in elections this fall.

Wednesday, May 24

My brother's dog had pups this Spring. It's hard not to say cute when you see this pair. He's selling them too so shoot me an email if you are interested. Firestone on the left Goodyear on the right. They come from two great tempered dogs.

Click to enlarge

Around the Web: Skype is free

Phone from your computer to any regular phone for free. You gotta love Skype.

Between a Women, the government and her Doctor.

The range of the contradiction is so powerfully potent that it is hard to imagine.

On one side, Planned ParentBarrenhood screeches about keeping government out of medical decision. You know, Don't let extreme politicians make your health care decisions.

At the same time they can't get enough of the government pie. And since when did gov't money come with no strings attached? And what about the liberal babies of universal health care, the FDA, and run-away medical malpractice lawsuits? There can hardly be any more heavy-handed way for politicians to mess with doctors decisions.

Pure contradictions.

Conservatives, on the other hand, simply recognize that there are two individuals when a mother is with child and therefore simply believe that government interference is merited when delusional doctors plot to take the child's life. Otherwise they want politicians to keep their dirty hands and money out of practicing medicine.

Wisconsin women should not have to answer to politicians about their personal, private health care decisions.


I agree. That's why I don't want universal heath care...and why I don't want some women's doc killin' some small person--they should be apart of that decision too.

Monday, May 22

From KohlvTommy

From weau:

Let the speculation about former Governor Tommy Thompson's future continue.

Thompson refused to say today whether he would challenge US Senator Herb Kohl in November during his appearance at the state GOP convention. Political insiders consider that possibility unlikely, but Thompson has refused to rule it out.


So the blog continues...at least for now.

(w)Ron(g) Kind of Donations

Here is a cool little google map that shows where money is coming into the 3rd District Congressional race between Kind and Nelson. Revealing.

Tuesday, May 16

Fix Menomonie's Drinking Problem: Add a Brewery?

Menomonie (my hometown) appears to be spreading gasoline on the fire on one end while wondering why the firemen on the other end are having troubles stamping out the perennial problems created by drunkenness.

They want a new bar/brewery in a downtown area that already has eleven bars while at the same time scratching their head over drinking problems. Let's get things straight. First get the drunkenness problem fixed, and then we can evaluate the merits of the new business.

It is well know that Menomonie has some of the worst problems with drinking in a drunk state. A new billboard on the way into town even attempt to warn high school students about the dangers of drinking. In 2001 Stout also published some of the statistics on the drinking problem on campus.

Alcohol consumption

Average number drinks consumed per week UW-Stout 12.51drinks National 05.94 drinks
Five or more, 3 or more times in last two weeks 42.4% of students National 21.5% of students


Percent experiencing the following due to "your" AOD use, during the last year.

Trouble with police, campus authorities UW-Stout17.9% National13.6%
Damaged property, pulled fire alarm UW-Stout12.3 National 07.5
Got into an argument or fight UW-Stout46.0 National 29.7
Driven a car while under the influence UW-Stout53.5 National34.4


What about the drinking problems in our high school? This report has this conclusion:

The 2002 Menomonie High School student AOD use survey indicates that community youth engage in high levels of AOD abuse. Survey results suggest that almost half the students 44.7 % (482 of 1,079) have consumed alcohol over the last year and that their mean consumption rate for an average week is 5.88 drinks. Additionally, it’s estimated that the mean peak BAC (“when you party”) for all four high school grades is at or above the Wisconsin drunk driving limit of 0.10 % BAC.

While it’s difficult to make direct comparisons with other high schools, due to a lack of survey continuity, it is possible to compare MHS student drinking and drug use to a national average of 93,679 college students who were administered the CORE Survey over the last several years. The average number of drinks consumed by this large body of college students is 5.2 drinks per week, which is less than the MHS level.


And our first solution to the problem is to add another bar. Perfect. I don't doubt the market but I do doubt the cities sanity.

Monday, May 15

Immigration for Families

The Washington Times is reporting on the new immigration bill that goes before the Senate.

I have to say that I like much of it. It doubles the number of immigrants that can come into the country. Many conservatives have a trouble with how many unskilled workers it lets in, but the bill also has a heavy focus on family which I consider to be more important than skills.

Interestingly, Robert Rector from the Heritage Foundation finds that, "recent [illegal] immigrants have high levels of out-of-wedlock childbearing, which increases welfare costs and poverty." Yeah, you know why? We want them to be guest workers with their families stranded back in their home country.

And this bill tackles part of that problem: "Mr. Rector estimates that the Senate bill would grant citizenship to between 9 million and 10 million illegal aliens. If allowed to become citizens, those immigrants would be permitted to bring their entire extended family, including any elderly parents."

H/T Powerline

Saturday, May 13

New Blogs on the Block

Some of my friends have started up blogs while I was gone. They are worth a check.


Wide White
has quick witted commentary on political and cultural events. Got a Reagan quote sequence going.

Example: Reagan quote #5:

“Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards. If you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.”

And I still can't believe that his license plate is real.

Aletheia Liberty is a self-admittedly trying to break a habit of rambling. But seeing that rambling is a distinctive inalienable right of bloggers it would be sad if she gave it up completely. Personal, contemplative, and edifying.

Example: Love Particles

...God created love. Love is like God. God is love.

One can never love too much. The time for love to end will never come. Love was our beginning, and it continues, and continues, and continues and never ends. That is indeed the nature and essence of love.

The greatest form of love was demonstrated on the cross. Jesus, the Son of God, loved so much that He gave all He had. He loved that we might love. In His love He brought light to our darkness, warmth to our cold, stony hearts, strength to our weakness, beauty to our ragged souls, hope for the future, fulfillment to our emptiness. When all else let go, His love remained and held us.


Paths of Mercy is hot off the template. But you just gotta love her new baby alpaca.

For the 29th Assembly

Wide White is reporting that Isaac Weix is the candidate for the 29th Assembly district (my district). This is an incredibly important race in the state since it will be an open seat in a swing area.

I have heard Weix only once at a "Remember 9-11" event where he spoke about his time in Iraq. He has a record to be proud of from his time in Iraq that is for sure. I expect I will be able to enthusiastically support this man when I find out his whole story, but I want to always take care who I support. For now it is wait and talk.

From Wide White:


He is also a staff sergeant with the Marine Reserves. After leaving the Marines, he was called back to go to Iraq. He served in the Triangle of Death south of Baghdad.

....

The story that I really thought was neat was the one about how they went on a number of their missions. They had a route they'd patrol every night in the area in which they were stationed. They were often out for the purpose of detaining insurgents.

Someone was bright enough to recognize that every soldier who died was killed by IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) while in a Humvee. They decided to try walking.


Read some more about his time in Iraq.

New Blogs on the Block

Some of my friends have started up blogs while I was gone. They are worth a check.


Wide White
has quick witted commentary on political and cultural events. Got a Reagan quote sequence going.

Example: Reagan quote #5:

“Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards. If you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.”

And I still can't believe that his license plate is real.

Aletheia Liberty is a self-admittedly trying to break a habit of rambling. But seeing that rambling is a distinctive inalienable right of bloggers it would be sad if she gave it up completely. Personal, contemplative, and edifying.

Example: Love Particles

...God created love. Love is like God. God is love.

One can never love too much. The time for love to end will never come. Love was our beginning, and it continues, and continues, and continues and never ends. That is indeed the nature and essence of love.

The greatest form of love was demonstrated on the cross. Jesus, the Son of God, loved so much that He gave all He had. He loved that we might love. In His love He brought light to our darkness, warmth to our cold, stony hearts, strength to our weakness, beauty to our ragged souls, hope for the future, fulfillment to our emptiness. When all else let go, His love remained and held us.


Paths of Mercy is hot of the template. But you just gotta love her new baby alpaca.

Friday, May 12

KohlvTommy

Ok, I reserved kohlvtommy.blogspot.com back over a year ago when I knew that this would be one hot match up if it ever happened. Now it seems like a possibility. I will officially be blogging over there as this develops. Stop by.

Update: The links are fixed.

Cat Adoption

Got kitty? We do. Mention Wild Wisconsin promotion and get your own kitty for free! (For that matter don't mention WW and you'll get him free as well.)

Perhaps more of an incentive: save your kitty from becoming lunch! (see below).

Yum, kitty on a stick. Just kidding, just kidding...I'm not that cruel. It's not a cat at all but a guinea pig. Oops, perhaps that's not much better than a cat for some of ya. But honestly it taste great and you know what they say..."When in Rome do what the Romans do" and in Ecuador guinea pigs are tasty food.

Click to enlarge

Immigration: Guest Worker Disaster

I can't stand a guest worker program. It destroys the family. All sides of it. It destroys a country. All sides of it.

For those not familiar with the system here is how the White House describes it:

Promoting Compassion: The program should grant currently working undocumented aliens a temporary worker status to prevent exploitation. Participants would be issued a temporary worker card that will allow them to travel back and forth between their home and the U.S. without fear of being denied re-entry into America.
Providing Incentives for Return to Home Country: The program will require the return of temporary workers to their home country after their period of work has concluded. The legal status granted by this program would last three years, be renewable, and would have an end. During the temporary work period, it should allow movement across the U.S. borders so the worker can maintain roots in their home country.


This may sound nice to the uninformed American: Import work when we need it and ship it home when we're done. But the reality of the fact is that it creates a parent deprived family back in the home country of the immigrant, and a morally destructive situation for the immigrant.

I can't say how many children I encountered who lacked a father and or mother and how it messed up their lives. I also heard the most heart breaking stories about deserting husbands and the strain it puts on a marriage. It's a fact as well that immigrants that come without their families are more likely to get into immoral and criminal activity here in the US if they come by themselves and not with their families.

Finally, their is the economic problem of all the money going out of the country with the immigrant instead of being spent here, as well as divided country loyalties. Some of those immigrants had some dandy houses made with American cash.

Support immigration, but support permanent family immigration not divided families and divided loyalties.

Immigration: A two step plan

I see two things that I think most people can agree on with the immigration problem.

1. Secure our Southern boarder

Living post-9/11 I don't think we have much of a choice.

2. Open up and facilitate present immigration

Getting into this country legally is a complete nightmare and almost impossible. This shouldn't be the case and must be changed. This includes the people who are here illegally as well. Yes they committed a crime and should be given the usual punishment for their misdemeanor--a fine. But after that letting them follow the same procedures as others wanting entry to this country seems reasonable.

Immigration: A bit of History

Trying to get back into some more traditional blogging...

I think it is important as we take up the immigration debate to do a bit of history learning. "Yeah," we might all say, "I know my classic American mix of ancestors came from Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Austria, just to name a few. But they came legally." And just what did legal mean back then? As many are bringing out it meant being a healthy individual showing up on American shores.

And did they come in hordes? Yup about 22 million between 1892 and 1924 just thru Ellis Island.

And did everyone like it? Nope.

Security issues? Sure.

But I think most of us have to agree that looking back now we can see it as a good thing.

Friday, May 5

Ultimo chao. Final good-bye.

Click to enlarge

Octovo A. y la rica comida. Seventh grade and some of the great food.

Click to enlarge

Todo sexto A...con algunos con cachos. Fifth grade with a few with bunny ears.

Click to enlarge

Sexto A. Con los tres imitadores en la drama.

Click to enlarge

Patas de pollo! Que caldo! :)

Click to enlarge

quinto A. Yeeeha!

Click to enlarge

Hora civica. Todos listo para cantar "I am a C"

Click to enlarge

Thursday, May 4

American Encouters Number 8

Dear Family and Friends,

I'm back safely home yesterday. However hard the parting might have been on the other end there is something special about being able to be home. God is good. As many of you know there was a small slip of paper that blocked my entry into the country on Tues. After securing the paper and changing my flight, I made an uneventful journey back home. The malfunction and emergency landing of a similar plane flying the same route from Huston to Minneapolis (see story here http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/14483977.htm )  provides a good reminder that safety is nothing that can ever be taken for granted.

I would like to take this final letter to thank you all for your prayers and support of my trip down to Ecuador. It was an incredible time. I never expected all the open doors and unique opportunities that I was able to experience. The memories and friends will last a life time, but my prayer is that in some way the effect of this trip will last for eternity. In fact I know it will, because I was eternally blessed, and many of you were apart of that blessing.

Once again, thanks.


God's Servant,

Lucas Pillman


Monday, April 10

Ecuador Encounters 7

Dear Family and Friends,

 

This will probably be the last of my periodic updates that I send out before I land on home shores. My departure date is just under a month away and I can already feel the bittersweet savor of the moment. So now   back to the question that always burns front and center in everyone of these notes: what have I been up to….no more it is what the Lord has been up to in my effort to be available to follow His leading.

 

Probably a highlight of my whole trip down here so far happened this last weekend. I helped out again with a youth retreat for the 7 th graders at the high school. Like many youth they live lives in which they are asked to endure pressures and hardships unsuited to their age. Take Mauro for example, one of the young boys I had the joy to have in my cabin with four other boys. His father is gone to the US. He might hope to talk to him on the phone but has little chance of seeing him in person for perhaps years. Guy-girl relationships are also begun to be expected. Some might think it is just childish games yet the sorrow and rejection that often arrives on the wake of the almost inevitable "breakup" can set lives rocking. Aptly enough the theme of the retreat was self-acceptance. God is the one that created you and formed you perfectly. Will you accept that? During a small group session with just my group of five boys I was able to share how from the Garden of Eden, sin has destroyed the perfect creation in the image of God and only salvation through God's son will be able to restore it again. The attentiveness of the kids was really amazing.

 

Of course we had fun too. I helped out some singing, games, skits, and a few practical jokes to make it a true camp experience. It was truly a fulfilling time.

 

There  is a week and a half break from school here for Easter. When there is school I continue to help out teaching songs and bible verses mainly in the grade school but once and a while in the high school as well. I have also begun some Spanish classes two days a week to help me advance in my learning of the language. Next week a trip to the jungle is under consideration as well for a few days, but we will see what happens.

 

As always I appreciate many of you who have taken the time to make me apart of your lives through your communications. May God continue to richly bless you.

 

 

 

God's Servant,

 

Lucas Pillman

Wednesday, March 22

Ecuador Encounters 6

Dear Family and Friends,

 

I have heard from my many repeated regarding this topic so I will include it at the top instead of forcing you to read through a full page of writing to finally allow you to let out your breath:

 

Praise the Lord, I now have my U.S. passport!

 

A few other paper related wrinkles related to my passage back home and I should be all set to greet many of you once again in person. It's sad and happy all at once. I genuinely have developed a deep friendship with many of the people here which will make the parting hard. I continued to hope at times that I would even have some sort of paper wrinkle that would keep me from heading home to the obvious consternation of some.

 

My life proceeds along many of the same paths that I have familiarized you with in the past: helping out at the school with frequent trips on weekends to help out with youth retreats etc.  

 

But what I realize more and more with my time down here is that God more often works in lives through personal contacts and not only through broad-based sowing. This last week I went with the family I am staying with (Ulloas) and another family to Cajas, a national park near the city of Cuenca. We didn't catch any fish but that was less important then the positive experience I had with the family. They have many troubles but are really open to help. The Ulloas are taking them on as their own special project and I am only too glad to help out if and when I can.

 

I am also going to be visiting a museum here with a friend I met at one of the Internet cafes. It is more of an excuse to do something with him than anything else, although they say that the museums here are really great. He comes from a Seven-day Adventist background and knows the bible well but has fully swallowed the secular concepts of God and the Bible. He studied in the Madison WI, so knows a good amount of English so we converse in both languages as we talk.

 

Spanish also continues to progress. Yesterday some kids here at the high school marveled that I was actually from the US since I didn't have much an accent. That was nice to hear but I still know personally that I have much to learn as I continue to sometimes make cookies with harena (sand) and not harina (flour).

 

There. You get a glimpse again of what I am doing.

 

 

God's Servant,

 

Lucas Pillman

Thursday, March 2

Ecuador Encounters 5 Picture Update

Attached you will find some pictures of playing Carnival as well as some pictures of the kids I helped teach. Enjoy!
 
-Lucas Pillman

Wednesday, March 1

Ecuador Encounters 5

Dear Friends and Family,

 

The great the bad and the horrible. That would about describe the celebration of Carnival that concludes in a dramatic climax today down here in Ecuador and throughout many other SA countries. For many it is a time to let it all hang out: to let loose with immorality, revelry, and drunkenness. That is the horrible.

 

Throwing water and anything else that is handy on anyone in reach is also apart of Carnival. It often matters little who you are or where you go: you're liable to get hit. A trip to the market and I got two balloons from out of nowhere (I was almost disappointed I didn't get more). Driving down the road you have to watch it in every town you pass. If there is a window open it is a perfect invitation for a wetting. Involved in a conversation with someone in the backseat I failed to notice a group of water-throwers quick enough to get my window up. SPLASH! I learned my lesson: if you are feeling a bit hot just leave your window down! J That's the bad part of Carnival.

 

The great part is what the church has done with the celebration. Every year the church uses the vacation to have a spiritual time of refreshment at a local camp here. I was asked to help out someone else from the church who was working with the kids. Following the theme of being lights in the world (Eph. 5:8-10) I helped out with making real lamps from clay, teaching two songs on light as well as a bible verse. Being able to challenge kids to be a light in their house and school? Now that truly is great.

 

Of course we had our own time set aside for a bit of water-throwing, river-dunking at the camp as well. Of course the kids and adolescents (Yeah, me too) were all gung-ho for the deal, but what is even more hilarious is how some of the parents get into it. "Come on Andres, soak her well" I heard one of the parents say. Out of water? "Come on kids lets head to the river!" If you didn't want to get wet (or cornstarch in your hair) you'd better stick to your dorm room, or make it VERY clear you weren't playing. Even the Pastor wasn't safe.

 

But the greatest part was testimonies of many there who could testify to the work the Lord has done and continues to do during these times of Carnival. I missed many of the seminars due to my work with the children, but singing around the campfire late Sunday nite stands out as a highlight for me of the experience. In an intermixing of songs and testimony much of which was recounting what the Lord has done over the years thru this time, the "great" of Carnival was there in it all.

 

God's Servant,

 

Lucas Pillman

 

P.S. As always let me know if you would not like to receive these emails. Furthermore, there are several people who are receiving this for the first time. To read all my previous updates, please visit my website at http://wildwisconsin.blogspot.com

Friday, February 17

Ecuador Encounters

Greetings Friends and Family:

 

Two important days and events have passed since I last pulled out my keyboard to tap you a few lines.

 

First there was the visit to Nabon. What is it like to visit a town for the fist time in seventeen or so years? A town that you lived in when you were about four years-old? I suppose if I were the sentimental/emotional type this letter would have ended right about here due to a malfunctioning keyboard from all the tears just recounting the events. Thankfully for you I'm not.

 

Because of my age in leaving the town, I drove in hardly really knowing a soul. I had a list of names however and with this as my guide I started out, traveling from house to house, asking directions to the next person on the list from the people I had already found. Most of the same neighbors live in the exact same place. The neighbor girls and boys that I climbed trees with and swished for tadpoles in the streams are now grown up and starting families of there own. Especially touching however was one of the girls who was a bit older. She had gotten married while my parents were living in this town of Nabon and my parents had given her a Bible when she had gotten married that she had read along with her husband faithfully for years and years. In her words, they had also tried to "live by what it said" including faithfully attending an evangelical church in the town in which she lives.

 

As for the town of Nabon, they continue to suffer from the lack of a consistent evangelical church. They have, from best I could ascertain, a Seven-day Adventist connected pastor that comes down and provides a service, but only infrequently. There is a small group of people in the town that express a faith and desire to live according to God's word but in many ways are starving for lack of instruction and nurturing. There is also a potent resistance to any efforts to evangelize this area. For example, this last year when a church here from Cuenca visited Nabon in an effort to hand out clothes and share Christ, one of the pastors was physically hit on the cheek. (Promptly following the biblical command he offered the other one as well but his attacker was no where to be found.)

 

Please be in prayer about the town of Nabon. I have many sincere pleas for me to visit again, and plan on doing so even as I desire that God use this language limping vessel to serve Him in this town that I count as one of my homes.

 

Second thing since the last tap job: Valentines Day. What an opportunity to share the ultimate love with the kids I come in contact with every day at the school I am helping out with! Unfortunately I thought of it just a tad late (5 o'clock the night before), but banking on my well developed college study habits, I persevered until an hour which I will not disclose and finished over two hundred Valentine cards for the kids at the school. Finishing off a few more over the next two days, I handed out about three hundred cards with the verse from 1 John 4:10 about the ultimate example of love that we have in God sending his Son for us. It was heartening to see the children respond to this simple gesture of Christ's love for them. For many of them, parental love is sometimes distant. A full third of the children that attend the school have parents that have left home to work in other countries. Their need for a love that is greater than what there parents can give (or can't give) is truly great. It is my prayer that God's simple message of love will outlast the candy stuck to the back of the card and have an impact on their lives.

 

Many times I wonder if the biggest impact I have however, is a little comic relief. The other day I confused the words for "skirt" and "dress" which sound at least somewhat a like. Graciously I was not talking about a skirt/bag some lady was wearing, or complimenting a lady directly about it however, some people continue to tease me about all the pretty "bags" ladies are wearing. Yes, learning a new language is humorous and keeps a person humble, but at least me mistakes haven't been as bad as the story where the missionary who was trying to buy some flour mistakenly asked for "urine" instead. Now that was a bad day. J

 

Hope you all have been having better days than that. If you have questions like others have had, or are just so kind as to fill me in on your life, please, drop me a note.

 

A few pictures attached as well.

 

'Till next time,

 

Lucas Pillman

 

Special Notes:

 

Ruth, yes, all those cards were handwritten. Aren't you proud of my extra personal touch? Chendo!

 

Sarah, attached you will find a picture of the llama I did a stare down with and won: he couldn't get up the nerve to spit.   However, I was somewhat unsure of my abilities in the art so only practiced it to around the three foot mark.

 

Neiderhausers, thanks for what you did to help find a Spanish book. I appreciate the effort.  

Wednesday, February 8

Ecuador Encounters: 5

Greetings Friends and Family:

 

A little bit more of the background down here of the work and church.

 

The church that I am attending down here has about 52 members and probably twice that number who attend on a given Sunday. Explosive would not be the way that I would describe from what I can tell the growth of the church but steady and consistent would more describe it. What is even more encouraging is the strength of the leaders of the church. The three pastors who attend the church have had a tremendous ministry to many people who are not even apart of the church. What is so encouraging to me is to see the depths and the independence of the church here. It is those people who are from Ecuador, people who know the language and the culture who are able and are faithfully carrying on the work. 

 

I was checking on figures today and up to 95% of the people here in Ecuador would call themselves Catholic. However the situation is much more complicated than a single label like Catholic. First of all there is a substantial amount of Paganism mixed in with the Catholicism. Second, what I have been observing in the younger generation, with whom I have been having more contact with, is a heavy dose of modern secularism as well.  

Most of the people may call themselves Catholics but that is just because their parents were and it is as natural to go to Mass as it is to buy their bread. It forms the basis of their traditions and beliefs but most are not what we would consider strong practicing Catholics. Many of the people I have contact with at this point are also more in the University setting. Hence, for them the issues are a mixture of Catholicism and the postmodern culture that we find in our own nation. The type of ministry here would compare much closer to any American outreach than your quaint story of living with the Indian tribes in the jungles. It is young people wondering what their lives are about. Young people reaching out to attempt to become doctors and businessmen as their ultimate standard of success, when they need Christ to satisfy the hole they find in their lives.

 

How is that done? Sometimes it is simple ways. It seems to be a popular question here if I have a girlfriend or not. When I've been asked that by the high school students it has given me a chance to share that, no, I don't have a recreational girlfriend at this point in my life because I'm not at the point in my life to pursue marriage. I may have (and do have) many friends who are both guys and gals, but my best friend is Jesus Christ. In teaching at the school it has also been enjoyable to be able to use hymns and bible verses as the tools to teach the kids/youth English.

 

In closing, a few praises. First my US passport has arrived at my house. Now only to get it down to Ecuador. Second, I checked out with the military here in Ecuador today and… Well let's just say for the sake of a great story I would have loved to have said that upon them finding out my age, I was given a three-thousand dollar fine, and immediately shipped out to endure boot camp in the sweltering heat of the jungle. All this followed by a one years service in the army parachuting out of airplanes probably under enemy fire in a war the cause of which continued to baffle me because my whole military experience was conducted in a language I hardly knew. Good thing there is more to life than good stories, right? In reality they told me I would have to pay a small fine and they would issue me a paper that would simply get let me out of the country.   

 

God's Blessings to you as you serve Him as well with all your heart soul and mind.

 

-Lucas Pillman

Monday, January 30

Lucas Pillman's Ecuador Encounters 2

Dear Friends and Family,

 

Greetings from down South! WAY down South. Indeed it is so far down South that the accent has turned into a different language altogether. Chendo! (translated: just kidding). Much has transpired since I connected with you last. Let me start begin with this last Sunday.

 

I would like to tell you a bit about the Duran family that I met this the first Sunday. They live in a small what we would consider a suburb of Cuenca really close to the place where I was born.  It's in a small valley leading out of the main city with lush green eucalyptus trees outlining the edges. I was invited out to their house this last Sunday for a noon meal and evening. When I say family I mean it in a broad extended sense with the Grandmother, grown children and grandchildren, etc. Of course I had the food that before had only been found in my Ecuadorian memories: guinea pig, crab, empenathas, (a deep fried sweet bread with cheese in the center), etc., but that was only the atmosphere and not the important part of the time.

 

Next to this families house is a small (very small) church that has been there for many years. In fact if I have my facts straight, it was this same building that I probably went to when I was just a few months old. What is incredible to see is that through all these years the family has stayed strong in the Lord, many of them continuing to worship in that same church even though they only have a pastor come by about once a month. I don't mean to paint of picture of perfection in this family, but to see the Lord continue to work in their lives and how faithful the Lord has been was incredible. In a small circle we slowly sang: "Great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see, all I have needed thy hand has provided. Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me!" And as we finished the song and ended with a paryer I thought, "how true, Grande Senior es tu Fidelidad!"

 

This last week I also visited an outlying area called Cannar, where many of the people are of Inca decent called Quechuas. I was invited along to help celebrate the opening of a new school. What is exciting to see in their midst is the faith and leadership there is amongst them. They still wear many of the same clothes, and speak the same language but the joy that the Lord gives them is really contagious. They are so generous as well: over two hundred guinea pigs for the celebration along with enough food to serve twice as many people who were there.

 

By this time you are probably wondering what else I am doing other than getting fat on guinea pig. :) Let me fill you in. In the school here there are some wonderful opportunities to work and minister with the children in the school. Both the grade school and the high school have English classes which is ONE area that I can be of limited assistance.   I've been juggling around with the teachers and have found times when I can visit their classrooms introduce myself and teach them a few songs in English. I'm really searching right now for songs that not only will the children find enjoyable at each different age level but which also have a Christian message as well.

 

Furthermore, I also have a Bible class that I will be helping out with several times a week, helping out a man named German tell stories to the children. Please pray that these times with the children challenged by my lack of the language but enhanced by a novelty that comes when anyone is from a far away place, would be times of Spiritual awakening in their lives. You can also thank the Lord for the many believers down here, like German, the Ulloas (the family I'm staying with), and others who are not only shinning lights in this city but also an encouragement to people like me who cross their path.

 

I have included below some small pictures a few of the events that have passed before the camera lens of my life. I'm trying to keep the pictures small so that it is not a problem, but do let me know if it is.   The first is the bus I rode in. Second, a picture of the plane. Third, a picture of the family I visited on Sunday. Fourth, a good thing to eat (guinea pig). Five, a picture of one of the ladies from Cannar.

 

'Till next time…

 

God's Servant,

 

Lucas Pillman

  

 

NOTE: As always, if you want to stop receiving these Encounters, please send me any random reason. All reasons accepted. Ditto for anyone you know who would like to receive these updates as well.

Saturday, January 21

Lucas Pillman's Ecuador Encounters

Friends and Family:
 
I've come to the conclusion that God doesn't believe in Murphy's Law. There were many things that could have gone wrong on my trip down here and didn't. Even if I would have thought that something had gone less than perfect, I am still confident that God will work all things for good. But PTL, even from my short sighted perspective I could find no reason to think anything went wrong even for this novice traveler. My biggest source of concern (entering the country as an Ecuadorian without my American passport) was over in just a few minutes. A stamp, a sign, and I was on my way without a single question.
 
It was amazing to see the people God plopped into the seat next to me as well. People from all different roads of travel but in a very casual I was able to share the purpose of my trip and challenge them about their own purpose in life. One was a business lady in her early thirties who was interested in helping out the poor in many different parts of the earth but who saw no place for any work in the soul, and thought that just bettering the outward lives of people would create purpose for her life as well. And so since she brought it up we talked about it.
 
I must be hosted right now by one of the most gracious families in the country of Ecuador. He is the director of the school here and has two young children. Yes, Loida and Christian are just excellent little helpers when it comes to learning the language. Just imagine all I learn as I am shown the bird nest in the tree next door, the new little pet fish they caught in the river and play tic tac toe.
 
It appears that I will be helping out in the English department of the school in the next few days. I was talking with one of the teachers and she mentioned that she really has a heart for two of young teachers her who do not know the Lord. You can be in prayer that the contact that I have with them and others will be profitable.
 
I hope to get some pictures next time.
 
God's Servant
 
Lucas Pillman
 
If you would like me to take you off of this list please let me know.

Wednesday, January 18

Lucas Pillman's Ecuador Encouters

Dear Friends,

I have not even left the front door behind me yet and I already feel like I have been stretched in my faith and had a thorough taste of the paper work/bureaucracy dance. Let me explain. As most of you know, I will be traveling down to Ecuador for about three and a half months to learn Spanish for college credit and to minister in a church in the city of Cuenca. My plan was to travel down as an Ecuadorian citizen with an Ecuadorian passport and then return as an American with my American passport. Simple? Far from. First my American passport has taken over three weeks longer than they promised to get to me. Hence, I will be traveling down to Ecuador without out it at this time and have someone else bring it down to me at a future time. However, I have also been learning that Ecuador still has a mandatory military draft and that I will either have to start to practice my army salute in Spanish or I will have to work on getting exempted from the military once I am down there. For many reasons that shouldn't be much of a problem, but it still creates some additional paper work do complete well I am down there. This morning was spent trying to figure out exactly what would happen and what I would need when I get down to Ecuador and even if I should postpone my trip until I could get my American passport.

So where has the Lord been in all of this? First, I am extremely  thankful for many different people who have been there to give counsel and offer to help me out in this less than envious situation. Second, it also has been impressed upon me that try as hard as I can to make sure all my ducks are in a row, there comes a point when I just have to rely on Him to get me through. As many have reminded me, perhaps this will unexpectedly open up doors for me to share in some unexpected places. If nothing else, I have been humbled by the way many people have already stepped up to help and continue to offer to do so.

I appreciate your prayers.

God's Servant,
Lucas Pillman


Note: This is a periodic email update about my time down in Ecuador. If you would like to be taken off the list, please just reply with any sort of random reason why you wouldn't like to be included. All random reasons accepted. Similarly, if you want to be included on this list and for some reason are not, any random reason will also get you on the list as well.

State of the State: Free Bread and Milk!

At the closing end of his spectacle speech Doyle figured that since he had already bestowed his fatherly care upon the incapable citizens of the state and given them free cradle to grave education and was working on health care he might as well throw in the bread the milk for good measure. After all he reasoned "every child deserves a great meal!" It would "go against the long held values of Wisconsin to see hard working middle class families have to file bankruptcy just to put the most basic needs of bread and milk on the table" Doyle concluded.

"Click"

What was that I heard? A "click" of a campaign donation from his socialist base for this impressive offering?


....Oops, my appologies socialist readers, this post was suppose to be a joke, but the way he's moving if he gets voted in again we might just hear that in the state of the state next year. Ya know, free milk for all would be good for the farmers as well.

State of the State: Embryo Stem Cells and Cherry Capital Dust Pills

I'm going to ask the state for a grant. It's a new research. The idea: carefully scrape dirt off of the furniture from inside the Guv's mansion (there should be plenty seeing all the scandals), add cherry flavoring to make it palatable, and test the pills to see if they could cure, oh I don't know...some emotionally charged disease like children's diabetes. You know it MAY just work. To boot I'm not killing anyone to do it. I know it has not been successful yet, but neither has embryonic stem cell research. So far its just grant grabbing scientists who paint world cures with killed children.

Check. Another browny point up for Doyle from the left who don't think there is any life until they can touch and feel you.

State of the State: Universal College Tuition

Here's your first college student to oppose it. When I first heard it I thought this would be for, you know, the top of the class. Those with a 4.00 GPA. Seems tho you only need to get a "B" to siphon public dollars for your own higher ed.

Could I have the governors ear? You can make it thru college by working. A little creativity and hard work is all you need. Indeed most students would do better working a bit part-time instead of haunting the bars full-time like most seem to do in our town. The more you realize personally the cost of education the more you will take advantage of it and be thankful for it. I know only too well.

Chalk up another browny point for Doyle from the left.

State of the State: And you pay for it with...

tree leaves?

I propose that we give every Wisconsin citizen a crip dollar bill. I know you are already going to vote for me, just so long as you don't ask were I will get that bill from. Well, Doyle rattles off his list of new initatives like a conductor calling out cars without a hint of were that money is coming from. You get just one guess. Where will the money come for stem-cell research? College for all "B" students? Yup, it will come from you.

State of the State: Wal-Mart

Force Wal-mart to pay for medical insurance?

Let me just use my own personal experience. Like I've said before, I've worked at jobs that pay only minimum wage or close to. I know what it is like. I also realize how difficult it is for companies to hire people with all the regulations, requirements, and gov't hoops to hop through. For example, this last few weeks I was looking to work for about three weeks before I left on my trip. It was like trying to get a two-year-old to eat spinach. Who would ever want to hire someone with all the red tape they have to go through for just a few weeks. Now there were needs, and I did find some work from a friend, but I almost felt sorry for the gymnastics that had to be performed just to let me work for a few weeks. Why can't I negotiate my own wage? Why can't I decide if I want health care coverage form the state or Wal-Mart?

If Doyle wanted browny points from his base he probably got it for his Wal-Mart tax. But to think that he believes me uncabable of negotiating my own labor services at the expense of shrinking the job market is just sick. More than just sick, cumulitively all the job regulations probably cost me a short term work experience these last few weeks.