Monday, November 29, 2010

The Life Book Movement

Bible Smuggling 101
Legally Saturating High Schools with God’s Word

In today’s divisive culture-war society, when news stories about separation of church and state thrive with controversy, one cutting-edge Christian ministry is having remarkable success spreading the Word of God. What makes it remarkable? They are doing it by distributing Bibles in public schools—legally.

Carl Blunt is the president and CEO of The Life Book Movement, a Christian mission centered on Blunt’s own contemporary, youth-oriented edition of a portion of the Bible called The Life Book, a unique presentation of Scripture designed to engage high school students with the truth of God’s Word. The Life Book presents a brief overview of the Old Testament and the Book of John using an interactive format with honest student comments and real-life questions in the margins. Readers are drawn into the only story that can change their lives forever.

Founded by The Gideons International as an innovative strategy to reach high school students with God’s Word, The Life Book Movement works in collaboration with churches throughout the country to provide the books for free to high school students. Blunt’s organization brilliantly threads a separation-of-church-and-state loophole by getting his publication into the hands of Christian high school students and having them pass the books out to classmates at school—a practice that is entirely legal, as long as the books are not distributed by school staff or other adults. Blunt says, “It’s like we’re helping students smuggle God’s Word into a closed country (public high schools) to reach an unreached people group because studies show that only 4% of today’s teenagers are Bible-believing Christians.” The goal is to ensure that every student in every high school in the United States has an opportunity to receive the gift of The Life Book. This approach presents a phenomenal opportunity to impact a generation with the good news of Jesus Christ.

The Life Book Movement is best described to students as a week-long mission trip to their local high school. Local churches work together in targeted areas to ensure The Life Book is offered to every student in each chosen high school. All churches involved receive the books at no cost from The Life Book Movement and provide the books, along with some evangelism training, to the students in their youth groups. The students then spend a week passing them out to their friends and classmates at school. One student who received the book said, “I got one today. I read it in almost every class today. I like it. It’s pretty neat and other people asked to look at it and then asked where to get one.”

Flying under the radar since its inception last fall, The Life Book Movement is rapidly closing in on distribution of more than 300,000 copies in public high schools across 21 states and even the British Virgin Islands. A quiet success, indeed, but extremely ambitious, The Life Book Movement has an ultimate goal of distributing The Life Book to nearly 18 million high school students when all is said and done. And, so far, the outlook is extremely promising.

Become a fan at and follow the movement at

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On The Road Again

Looks like Waggers is going to be accompanying me to San Francisco.  This "gift" was on my pillow when I went to bed last night.

Will post pictures of his adventures when I return home.

UPDATE: Not to be outdone, Kaylie left me this little note...
(I love our Hoops & Yoyo panic button!)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Un-Happy Meals

Can't let this go without chiming in.  Toys in Happy Meals are not the reason why our kids are overweight.  Don't even get me started about parental responsibility.  Grrrr.  Maybe when I go to San Fran this week (see yesterday's post), I can pop over to city hall and give them what for.

San Francisco may order Happy Meals to go -- permanently
By the CNN Wire StaffNovember 9, 2010 7:05 a.m. EST

Ordinance would require most McDonald's Happy Meals to meet new city nutrition criteria
If nutrition standards are met, McDonald's and other chains can offer toys with meals
The measure is part of a "food justice" movement; officials expect a legal challenge

San Francisco, California (CNN) -- Happy Meals could become a thing of the past in San Francisco after a vote by the city's leaders Tuesday.

San Francisco's board of supervisors is expected to formally approve a ban on most of McDonald's Happy Meals in current form during a meeting Tuesday.

The move to turn Happy Meals into healthy meals was proposed because some in the northern California city felt that McDonald's offers toys to entice kids to buy meals that don't meet nutritional criteria.

The board already approved the ban during a preliminary vote last week.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has indicated he would veto the ordinance, but the board has enough votes -- eight out of 11 -- to override the veto, said San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar who initiated the proposal

Under the proposal, McDonald's and other restaurants would have until December 2011 to improve their meals' nutrition with fruits and vegetables -- if the chains want to keep offering Captain America figurines or toys tied with latest films.

The proposed ordinance is part of a "food justice movement" and is designed to address how about 50 of the city's restaurants use giveaway toys to sell fast food whose nutritional content is being challenged by the city.

Officials said they hope their measure, the first of its kind for a large city, would encourage similar standards across the country. The San Francisco proposal was modeled after a similar law for unincorporated Santa Clara County, California,

Mar said the ordinance would be "a tremendous victory" in fighting childhood obesity. His fifth-grade daughter is in the 6-to-11 age group in which rates of obesity have quadrupled the past 30 years -- coinciding with the lifespan of the Happy Meal, he said.

"I do believe that toys and other incentives attached to foods that are high in sugar, fat and calories are a major reason for the alarming rise for childhood obesity in this country," Mar said last week. "This is a very modest ordinance that is an incentive for the industry to take responsibility for healthier choices for children and parents."

McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud has said the company was "extremely disappointed with the decision."

"It's not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for. Public opinion continues to be overwhelmingly against this misguided legislation," Proud said in a statement. "Parents tell us it's their right and responsibility -- not the government's - to make their own decisions and to choose what's right for their children.

"We are extremely proud of our Happy Meals which give our youngest guests wholesome food and toys of the highest quality. Getting a toy with a kid's meal is just one part of a fun, family experience at McDonald's," Proud said.

Under the proposal, the food and beverage would have to contain fewer than 600 calories, and less than 35 percent of total calories would come from fat.

The meal would also have to contain 0.5 cups of fruit and 0.75 cups of vegetables and offer less than 640 mg of sodium and less than 0.5 mg of trans fat. Breakfast would have the option of offering 0.5 cups of fruit or vegetables.

City officials expect a legal challenge from McDonald's once the ordinance is approved.

"They hired fancy lawyers for this and flew them out here to meet with us and basically to strong-arm us into not doing this," Linshao Chin, legislative assistant to Mar, said. She said McDonald's attorneys argued corporate First Amendment rights.

McDonald's declined to respond to Chin's comments.

McDonald's, Burger King and Subway are among the restaurants that offer such toys or other incentives in San Francisco, but McDonald's was described by city officials as taking the lead in opposing the ordinance.

The California Restaurant Association also objected to the ordinance because, said spokesman Daniel Conway, "it's insulting to parents and it's more generating headlines than trimming waist lines."

Monday, November 8, 2010

We Are Family

Guess who I get to see this week???!!?!  Below is a video jeopary clue:
(you don't have to watch the whole thing, but if you want a giggle, watch starting around the 1:15 mark)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The G.O.A.T.

Follow-up:  Guess it is not surprising, but the number one player (at least for this poll) was........Jerry Rice!  (Or, as John Gruden apparently refers to him: The GOAT (greatest of all time)) 

The top ten:
  1. Jerry Rice
  2. Jim Brown
  3. Lawrence Taylor
  4. Joe Montana
  5. Walter Payton
  6. Johnny Unitas
  7. Reggie White
  8. Peyton Manning
  9. Don Hutson
  10. Dick Butkus
I mock the whole concept of these ultimate lists, but gotta admit, it is kind of interesting.  Not a football mensa or a big debater, but intrigued by who isn't on the list - especially when stacked against some of the guys who are on the list.  (Randy Moss, 65?  Really?  Jus' sayin')

Now you have something to ponder as you drift off to sleep tonight....

Who Will Be Number One?

If you've been paying attention and are inclined to care about these things (and actually get the channel via your cable or satellite or whatever provider), you have noticed that the NFL Network has been counting down the Top 100 Greatest NFL Players, "as determined by a blue-ribbon panel of knowledgeable football minds" (complete with clips and background on each player during a series of documentaries).  Or at least the top players until next year, when they do the top players born on a Tuesday, followed by the top players over the past six years but not including 2005, followed by the top water boys, most mockable kickers, top sound bite, top "top ten" list, and on and on forever.  Aside from folks paid to talk about football and cranky people who like to yell at others via the anonymity of the internet, I wonder how many people really care about all these lists.  It seems like they are always doing one, so what makes this the be all and end all?

(According to NFL Network, this list is crucial to the betterment of society because:
"The Top 100 members not only contributed to the lasting legacy of the game, but have also shaped the lives of football fans from a variety of backgrounds, age groups and eras through memories and "remember when" moments. It is these unique and personal recollections that set this series apart as notable individuals from the world of sports and entertainment serve as presenters for each featured player.")

Anyway, I digress.  Tonight the top ten are finally revealed!  I know, you haven't been able to sleep.  It is kind of exciting because somebody will be number one and a bunch of somebodys will be ranting and raving.  Here is a partial list of who won't be number one:
  • Deion Sanders (cuz he's #34.  Ahead of Ray Nitschke, Bart Starr, Ditka, LT, and Joe Namath, just to name a few)
  • Mean Joe Greene (who I was much more familiar with as a guy from a Coke ad than an intimidating ball player.  PS: he's #13)
  • Emmitt Smith (#28)
  • Bruce Smith (#31)
  • Ray Lewis (#18 - Behind Ronnie Lott (11)? Really?)
  • Deacon Jones (#15)
  • Barry Sanders (#17)
  • Brett Favre (#20 - wonder if staying in the game has lowered or raised his stock)
  • Merlin Olsen (#27)
  • Randy Moss (#65?!?!?  Seriously?  Wondering if he'll still be a Titan by the time the play the Colts Dec. 9 and again Jan 2, 2011)
  • Michael Strahan (#99)
Haven't heard a lot of it this year, but if you are into the whole Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning vs current-hot-QB-who-just-won-a-Super-Bowl (or even just won a game) argument, um, Peyton won.  Or at least he got ranked higher than Mr. Brady (who was #21, right behind Brett Favre.  Interesting.).  Peyton must be on the list, because not only are Favre and Brady, but Fran Tarkenton and Terry Bradshaw - and if they are in, Peyton's in.  So he is somewhere 10 or higher, which ranks higher than 21.  And I have a hard time seeing some upstart beat out some of the quality guys lower on the list.  I don't think Peyton should be number one, though - I have a lot more "remember whens" featuring other players not even ranked than I do Peyton ("Hey honey, remember when Peyton went up to the line of scrimmage and then backed up and hollered some stuff at his line and then took the snap?" doesn't get said a lot around our house) - but it will be interesting to see who ends up in the top ten and how they line up.  There's got to be somebody assumed to be in the top ten because they are nowhere else in the top 100 that isn't going to make the cut.  Wow.

(I did not get the express written consent of the NFL to utilize their name and players' names in this blog, but hopefully I have not violated their very strict copyright code)  :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In my defense, I'm a Republican

Today one of our brides was in for lunch at the restaurant where I work.  She introduces herself and I told her I'd be working at her wedding on Sautrday and was looking forward to it.  Then I turn to her companion, an older lady who looked very familiar.  I go to a rather large church and so there are lots of people you see and recognize, but don't know by name.  About once a week, someone comes into the restaurant, looks at me and says, "Don't you go to Traders Point?"  So, making the (very dense) assumption she was probably from church, I turn to the second lady and say, "You look very familiar, do I know you?"

Why, oh why, can't I just keep my mouth shut???

She (very graciously) smiles and says, "I'm Judy O'Bannon" (aka former First Lady of the great state of Indiana).  Well duh, yeah, that would explain why she looked so familiar.  After I turn sixteen shades of red and trip all over myself trying to save what little dignity I might have left, she says, "Do you watch the show?"  Oops!  What show?  Mrs. O'Bannon has a show??  So of course, I had to say no - to my even greater humiliation.  Oy vey.  Fortunately she was very kind and gracious, but I was horrified over the whole ordeal - and relieved I would not be the one serving her.  At the rate I was going, I'd have ended up dumping soup in her lap.

PS - I looked it up and she has a show on PBS entitled Communities Building Community.  Guess what I'll be watching Thursday at 7:30pm?