Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rattlers Rock the Court!

Well, I just returned from Waxahachie, and boy am I tired! But we had the time of our lives at State!
We entered the State-wide tournament full-speed and won our first two games. In the end we came out of the tournament second in the State! Even though we lost the championship game, it was an awesome experience with so many people - even those from other teams - cheering us on!
I am so proud of my teammates for a great season! I have the best friends in the world - and that bond has grown stronger through basketball.
I am so thankful to God for the opportunity to play, for a high-class team and for an outstanding coach! I'm also thankful for the friendships we've made with other teams during the season.
Basketball season is now over and it's time for a break...though I can't necessarily say it's a break I was pining for. Now I'll just look forward to next season!
GO RATTLERS!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Stimulus Bill

You may have heard of the bill that was recently passed in Washington DC. It's called the Stimulus Bill. It must be pretty important...after all, it was one of the first things President Obama did in office. But what is it?
The Stimulus Bill is the liberals' supposed effort to end the recession in America - this "crisis," in the President's own words.
"This is the worst economy since the Great Depression."
Well, actually, no. It isn't. Our nation's economy, just like everything else in life (including the climate!!!), goes up and down. It won't take you long to find some charts online. Just look. It's kind of like a heart beat. It goes up a little, and down a little. Up a little, down a I make myself clear? This recession that we are currently experiencing is no more than a little dip in the cycle of America's economy. But it's being played up to be this terrible thing - the worst economy since the Depression - by our President! It's a lie.
The Stimulus Bill is intended to pull us out of this recession. In truth, if the American economy were left to itself, it would pull itself out of the recession. But the bill has already been passed. President Obama believes that by spending lots of money, the economy will be stimulated and get going again. But when all is said and done, this bill is expected to have spent over $1,000,000,000. One Trillion Dollars. Ok, that's a lot of money...but how much? Here's a little calculation to put in into perspective for you:
If you deposited a million dollars into a pot every day since the birth of Jesus, you would still not have enough to pay for the proposed stimulus package
(2,008 years x 365 days x $1M = $732.9B).
Ouch. Now, is it just me, or does it seem really ridiculous to dive into $1,000,000,000 of debt in order to pull America out of the present recession? America doesn't have all that money. Our only options are to borrow it or print more. By printing more we decrease the value of the dollar. Eventually we will be forced to borrow money from sources we really shouldn't be dealing with - nations that would love to have us at their mercy. This doesn't seem wise to me.
Think of all the problems this debt will create. If a real economic crisis is what the President wants, it looks like he just might get it. And guess who is going to have to pay back all that money? My generation. Now I'm not trying to complain, and I definitely don't want to be the voice of doom. However, Americans need to be aware of what's going on. The Stimulus Bill is more than an effort to get the economy going again. It's just one step in the scheme to enlarge government control. Even Obama says that the Stimulus Bill will take years before it really begins to take affect. By then it will be time for another Presidential election. The economy will just have started to get going again, and it will appear that it was Obama who was responsible for the rebound. Don't you see where this is going?
We have to stay aware of what is happening. America is a constitutional republic - a free country with limited government. The government is limited for a reason. Our forefathers had experienced life under unrestrained government. The Pilgrims even tried Socialism for a while. But they knew it didn't work. That's why we have the freedoms we do today. The Stimulus Bill has already been passed, and so we can't sit around and complain. But we do need to wake up and realize that there are people in Congress who would try to completely remake our nation from the roots up, and that includes increasing the power of government.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Chance to be Heard

You've heard me talk about making our voices heard in America. And with our new President and his liberal friends that are currently in control, I cannot express how important this is! Well, here is a chance to truly make an impact.
Within the first week of his Presidency Obama began to further the Pro-Choice movement. This must be stopped! Abortion is wrong. It's murder. And millions of innocent lives have already been subject to this horrendous method of killing.
Red Envelope Day is a day that every pro-life believer in America should take part in. Please participate in this effort to protest abortion, and spread the word to everyone you know!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lady Rattlers Headed for State!

Mediocrity was definitely out of the question for us Lady Rattlers during the tournament! I am so proud of my team for all the work they have put in this season, and especially for the heart with which they played during the tournament.
Sometimes life throws glitches our way, and they tend to upset our plans (if you haven't noticed!) But you know you're on the right track when you can look those glitches square in the face, put up a good fight, and hold your head high at the end. That's what the Lady Rattlers did this weekend!
Our first game in the tournament was one of the best we'd played all season, but things didn't seem to go our way. Sometimes I wonder why everything always seems so unfair for us (bad calls...) but I think that perhaps it's God's way of helping our team to come out stronger in the end. (Not to mention all the great lessons in sportsmanship we've experienced!) All that to say, we lost by three points. That meant we wouldn't be going to the championship game. Which also meant - we thought - no going to the State tournament. But we were still proud that we had truly left everything on the court, and we were determined to play the next day with all the heart we had.
So the next day we played for third place. It was our last game - we thought - and so it was bitter-sweet. But from the moment we stepped on the court we gave it our all and played an awesome game in which we were victorious! We were really satisfied to have won third place and played such a good game to end the season. Then, our coach surprised us by telling us that we would be going to the State tournament after all! We replied with screams of joy! All season our coach had chosen to tell us that only the top two teams could go to State, when in truth it was the top four, so even if we had lost both games in the tournament, we still would have qualified. But I suppose he wanted to see if we would play our last game just as hard for pure love of basketball, without the motivation of qualifying for another tournament. And we did.
So this weekend the Lady Rattlers will be heading to Waxahachie, TX to compete State-wide!
I am so proud of all my teammates for their amazing dedication this season. We've come out of most games the victors, but have come out of defeats with good attitudes and heads held high. I couldn't ask for a better basketball experience.
Lady Rattlers, let's get ready for State!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Living Mediocre?

I am a part of a homeschool basketball team that has been going for five years. We are the Red River Lady Rattlers, and for the second season in a row we are playing with a conference of other homeschool teams and private school teams. Today was the first day of the end of the year tournament. Along with a three point contest, a free throw contest, and a huge game of knock-out, the opening ceremony also included a great devo. It really made an impression on me...especially since it basically reiterated everything our coach has been saying all year!
The guy (wish I remembered his name) opened by asking how many of us dreamed of living a life of mediocrity. No one raised their hand. The truth is, everyone aspires of being excellent and doing great things. But how many of us actually live up to those dreams? Here's the problem that most of us face: the way to mediocrity is already paved. Not only is it paved, it's tried and true - and safe! That's why so many people end up in Mediocreville, because the way to get there is easy, and the world seems to kind of push us along in that direction.
In this devotion, we were encouraged to play during the tournament with every thing we had. "Leave it on the court," he said. (That's also my coach's favorite sayings. Now it's beginning to sink in.) It doesn't really matter who wins or loses, because in ten years, no one will care who won. But I want to be able to walk off the court at the end of the game no matter what the score is, having left every ounce of my energy, determination, and skill on the court. I want to play the upcoming games with everything I have.
But even more importantly, I want live out my Christian walk with everything I have. I don't want to live a life of mediocrity. That's what too many Christians do today, because the road is easy! Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. (Matthew 7:13)
Take the hard road. Don't settle for a life of mediocrity.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Louder Voice

Today I had the privilege of hearing Congressman Burgess speak, along with many other home schooled teens. He mostly spoke about government health care and the recently passed Stimulus Bill. Afterward the question and answer session led to an even deeper discussion.
My generation is going to be burdened with paying back the debt that the Stimulus Bill is creating. There is much more at stake besides this. Overall, it seems as if the liberal agenda is quickly taking over in America. What can we do to stop it? Many of my fellow teens asked this question.
The answer is to make our voices heard. The left obviously doesn't have a problem with making too much racket. Why can't we make just as much noise? I'll tell you one thing - we definitely can't sit by quietly. We must get involved. Congressman Burgess said - and I have found this true - that if you choose to stay uninvolved you will be surprised at how quickly things head the direction you don't like. We have to be that foot in the door.
I believe that Christians should be the most out-spoken people in America. We have nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing to be afraid of. Who can silence the message of freedom, the message of truth, the message of God? They may try to silence us, but they cannot.
Congressman Burgess emphasized the importance of communication with our government representatives. Letters, petitions, and even phone-calls are all effective.
I plan to stay even more aware in the future by keeping in touch with my local representatives, and I encourage you to do the same.
We have to give Conservatism a voice, America. And it has to be a louder voice than those that would silence us.