Maryland Will Take Funds from Low-Income Families to Pay for Abortion

Posted on April 26, 2017 in Life, Public Policy by

Planned ParenthoodA new law will go into effect on July 1 taking $2 million from low-income families and giving it to Planned Parenthood.

A law requiring Maryland taxpayers to fund Planned Parenthood if the federal government defunds the abortion merchant will go into effect on July 1. The law sat on Gov. Hogan’s desk but did not receive his signature or a veto. This means, without his support, the law will go into effect. Why the self-described pro-life governor did not veto the legislation is unclear.

The law stipulates that if the federal government defunds Planned Parenthood, Maryland will take $2 million from the Medicaid fund for low-income families and give it to the abortion chain. Another $700,000 from the state’s general fund will also be given. Rather than helping low-income families with their healthcare, Maryland has decided to prioritize abortion. And all of it will be paid for with our tax money.

Commenting on news that the law would go into effect, Karen Nelson, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Maryland told The Hill:

“As Marylanders, we must remember that a state solution does not change the fact that politicians in Congress are trying to prohibit millions of people from accessing care at Planned Parenthood. It’s incumbent on all of us to keep up the fight for women. No state should have to step in to fulfill the federal government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has access to care.” Continue reading

Judas Shows Us Why the Doctrine of Election is So Important to Understand

Posted on April 25, 2017 in Theology by

Doctrine of GraceThe issue of election is one that every Christian must wrestle with. Our understanding of this critical doctrine will inform how we share Jesus with others and our view of God.

Judas was a devil.

That reality, captured in the words of Jesus in John 6 is a truth we need to understand. We cannot gloss over the fact that Jesus called a devil to be one of his disciples as it has a lesson concerning salvation we must learn.

Some would say that if we only make our churches cool enough, make them “inclusive,” or “approachable,” that people will come and will find Jesus. But this understanding of the Gospel and the purpose of the church is wrong. The Bible makes it clear that “no one seeks God.” (Rom. 3:11) Even more blunt than that is the truth that Jesus spoke when He told us “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” (John 6:44) In these verses we have clear teaching that no one is seeking God, no one is looking for salvation in Jesus. In fact, no one has the ability to “find Jesus” unless the Father first draws that person. And Judas is a perfect example of this truth.

Judas was a devil. And yet Jesus called him to be a disciple. Some might be tempted to think that Jesus did this because He believed He could convert Judas. We might be tempted to think that if only Judas spent enough time with Jesus and the disciples, he would see the light, have faith, an be saved. And yet, at the end of 3 years of walking with Jesus every day, Judas was a devil. Judas saw every miracle, he heard every word, and He watched the Son of God heal the sick, calm the storm, and raise the dead. And at the end of it all, Judas was a devil that died and went to hell. Continue reading

Have You Begun to Catechize Your Children? Should You?

Posted on April 20, 2017 in Family, Theology by

Have you ever thought about catechizing your kids? What if it is a critical step in spiritual formation and you aren’t even aware of it?

Most Protestant parents have never given catechism a first thought, much less a second-thought. Our Protestant churches, Baptist in particular, don’t consider catechism important and give no effort to teaching parents its importance.

In this short video, however, Tim Keller gives a few reasons why catechism is an important aspect of spiritual formation in children. Rather than relying solely on the church to teach and train kids parents are to be intimately involved in this process. (If the video doesn’t appear automatically, please refresh your browser.)

Catechism, meaning memorization, is not something only Catholics do, although we tend to think of Catholics when we think of catechism. Catechism is the process of spiritual formation designed to impart biblical knowledge and teach children God’s word. And, as Keller points out, “memorization always leads to mediation.” This memorization and meditation is one of the key benefits of catechism. But it’s also critical for spiritual formation in a culture that is saturated with information. Continue reading

Experiencing Sex Before Your First Kiss – We Have a Porn Problem

Posted on April 18, 2017 in Sexuality by

Kids surprised at computer

When I was in high school dating was a big part of life for me. Each weekend was an attempt to make plans with friends and girlfriends to get together and do something. Activities included bowling, pool, movies, and church youth group activities. At the end of the night my biggest hope was that I would get to kiss my girlfriend goodnight.

Things have certainly changed.

A disturbing survey of 600 Australian girls and young women, ages 14-19, has just been released. The survey reveals that more often than not, sexual acts wit boys precede kissing, or anything else. A recent Fight The New Drug article reports:

“In the survey report, entitled Don’t send me that pic, participants reported that online sexual abuse and harassment were becoming a normal part of their everyday interactions. And while the behavior seemed so common, more than 80% said it was unacceptable for boyfriends to request naked images. Sexual bullying and harassment are part of daily life for many girls growing up as a part of this digital generation. Young girls are speaking out more and more about how these practices have links with pornography—because it’s directly affecting them. Pornography is molding and conditioning the sexual behaviors and attitudes of boys, and girls are being left without the resources to deal with these porn-saturated boys.”

The survey and the article go on to report that it is becoming common for many girls to provide sexual favors to boys in exchange for snuggling and kissing. This is creating a generation of girls that experience sexual acts before they even have their first kiss. Continue reading

5 Tax Tips You Don’t Want to Miss Out On

Posted on April 13, 2017 in Money by

Tax TipsNow that the “most wonderful time of the year” is behind us, it’s time for the most dreaded time of the year: tax season. But if you take advantage of these tax breaks you can make this time of a year a lot more jolly.

We can all agree that no one likes paying taxes. As a financial professional I spend time talking about taxes with a lot of people and nearly everyone agrees that they don’t like paying taxes. I did run into one person that said she did not mind paying taxes and, frankly, I had no comment for that. I don’t know where to go when someone says they don’t mind taxes.

For most of us though, taxes are not something we enjoy. But they are necessary. Since we have to pay taxes we should at least know about the different tax breaks we can take advantage of to help reduce our tax burden. Let me share 5 valuable tax breaks with you.

Tax Break #1: The retirement account deduction.

This is one tax break in which everyone can participate. Contributing to a retirement account is an essential part of a good retirement plan. But it’s also a way to reduce taxes each year and see some real savings at tax time. If you have a 401(k) through your employer you can elect to contribute a percentage of your pay, and might even get a matching contribution from your employer. If your employer has no retirement plan, don’t worry, open an IRA for yourself and begin contributing. You get the same benefits as an employer plan but with more flexibility in your investing and withdrawal options. Continue reading

Should a Woman Be Allowed to Kill a Living, Breathing Baby Already Born?

Posted on April 11, 2017 in Life by

Planned Parenthood video signs of lifeShould it be legal to kill a baby born alive after a botched abortion?

That is, surprisingly, a hotly debated question. From the left all the way to the right, people on both sides of the abortion issue are discussing whether a child that has been born alive after a botched abortion should be allowed to live or not. Let’s take a moment to consider the merits of the issue.

For some people, the abortion issue is complicated. There’s the line, some extensions of the line, the grey areas, and the loopholes. Very few people, despite what you might hear from the media, support abortion on demand through an entire pregnancy. Far more people support abortion restrictions as a pregnancy progresses later in the term.

For a larger percentage of the population abortion is filled with what-ifs and lines to be crossed. Someone might claim to be pro-life but support abortion in the case of rape. That’s not a pro-life position. That’s supporting abortion. If abortion is morally wrong, and it is, then it’s always wrong. The circumstances for the conception of a child don’t change the reality that killing a living human being is wrong. Supporting abortion the case of rape then, is also wrong.

As we understand the humanity of the unborn and the torture that abortion inflicts on their very real human bodies, the belief that abortion is an atrocity that has no place in society is growing. Though we have not yet banned abortion, we have done well with limiting abortion on a state and even (somewhat) on a federal level. For example, partial-birth abortion is illegal in most states in the United States as a result of a law enacted in 2003 and upheld by the Supreme Court. Continue reading

Is It Fair to Let Men Compete Against Women in Sports?

Posted on April 6, 2017 in Public Policy, Sexuality by

Australian weightlifterWomen should be angered by the fact that men are being allowed to compete in their sporting events.

The winner of a women’s weightlifting competition in Australia is, in fact, a man. A 39-year-old man named Gavin Hubbard is living as a woman named Laurel. Gavin entered the Australian International Weightlifting Competition and dominated his weight class to win the competition.

First, let’s state the obvious: men competing in women’s sporting events is not fair.

There’s a reason men’s and women’s sports are kept separate. It doesn’t have anything to do with misogyny, sexism, or anything other politically correct trigger word. The reason men and women’s sports are kept separate is because men would always have an unfair advantage over women.

For example, men tend to be taller, have more muscle, produce more testosterone, have thicker bones, have larger hearts, and have better vision and depth perception than women. This all translates to the simple, and observable fact, that men are better athletes than women. (Click here to read a study detailing the differences between men and women.)

This is not a sexist statement; it’s a scientific statement that can be easily observed. If you are still unsure about this statement, answer these few questions: Continue reading

Biblical Election Works Much Like a Political Election

Posted on April 4, 2017 in Theology by

Biblical electionThe word election, as it pertains to salvation carries much controversy and confusion. Many are unsure of how it is used and what it means in the theology of salvation. But this confusion is not necessary.

The word election isn’t used in Scripture in some confusing way. It’s used in exactly the way we understand it today. Americans should be especially familiar with the meaning of the word as we have an election, seemingly, every year. And when someone is elected to public office, do we then say that he was elected by himself, of his own will? Do we say, “He was elected mayor because he really wanted to be mayor, and because he really wanted to be mayor and chose to be mayor we all decided to choose him as well”?

Of course we don’t say that, it’s silly. No one chooses his position first and then is elected by people because he first chose himself. The only way to secure a political office is for the people to choose a person first by an act of their own will. In any election it is not the person seeking election that does the electing, but the people that decide whom they will elect. We understand this concept very well.

Knowing that we understand the concept of election well makes it curious that so many Christians struggle with understanding the biblical concept. The biblical concept is not different than our American political election. The biblical concept of election maintains the plan definition of the word and means simply that God chose us before we chose Him through an act of His own sovereign will. Continue reading

If You Set These 4 Financial Goals You Will End Up Ahead of Others

Posted on March 30, 2017 in Uncategorized by

SaveEvery January 1st many people set new goals for the year. I typically don’t do “New Year’s Resolutions” as I try to push myself as a regular habit. But this year I decided to set one very specific goal for 2017: exercise more. Well, not more per se. I just wanted to start exercising…period.

So far, I am proud to say that I have kept my goal of exercising at least 5 times per week. I just completed a 30-day challenge with my wife. And I continue to make exercise a regular part of my day. That’s important for someone like me. As a financial professional I spend my days looking at economic and investment data, while sitting in front of a computer screen. Not healthy.

Speaking of investment data and goals… (You see what I did there?)

When was the last time you set financial goals for yourself, or for your family?

Financial goals are just as important as personal goals, professional goals, fitness goals, etc. Most people have a goal of retiring one day, but that’s about it. Aside from knowing they want to retire, they don’t have much of an idea of what other goals to set and how to get to where they want to be financially. But, I think I can help.

I recently read an article that suggested 4 financial goals you can (and should set) right now to help you start moving forward financially. I like the goals mentioned here and through they were worth sharing and discussing. You can read the original article here. Continue reading

Do You Understand God’s Part and Man’s Part in Salvation?

Posted on March 28, 2017 in Theology by

graceI recently read an incredibly well written article detailing God’s part and man’s part in salvation. It helps to clear up many of the misconceptions and misunderstandings about the part each plays in God’s saving work.

Many misconceptions about salvation exist today. Misconceptions such as “everyone can be saved” pave the way for massive evangelistic efforts that leave churches wondering, “what went wrong?” Other misconceptions, such as “man has no part in salvation” make it seem as though anyone that is saved is saved against their will. These misconceptions and others are creating confusion as to the nature of salvation and the part that God and man play in the process.

An article by John Reisinger at Monergism does an excellent job of explaining the process of salvation, including God’s part and man’s part in the process. I want to share it with you in the hopes of clearing up misconceptions and laying out the biblical process for salvation. The article starts by stating:

“God and man must both do something before a man can be saved.  Hyper-Calvinism denies the necessity of human action, and Arminianism denies the true nature of the Divine action.  The Bible clearly sets forth both the divine and human as essential in God’s plan of salvation.  This is not to say, as Arminianism does, God’s part is to freely provide salvation for all men, and man’s part is to become willing to accept it.  This is not what we said above, nor is it what the Bible teaches.” Continue reading

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