Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hymn of the Week: Am I a Soldier of the Cross?

After hearing a convicting sermon this evening on service to God, and thinking about a hymn to choose, this one seems quite appropriate.

The first three stanzas especially point out to us that we are not to sit around idly while the battle is being fought; we are soldiers—we must fight! It is both our obligation and our loving service to participate in God's battles again Satan and sin. Why do so many Christians sit on the sidelines? Why do so many of us loaf around spiritually when we should be serving?

I trust the words of this hymn will motivate us all to serve God.

Am I a Soldier of the Cross?

Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His Name?

Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord.
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.

Thy saints in all this glorious war
Shall conquer, though they die;
They see the triumph from afar,
By faith’s discerning eye.

When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all Thy armies shine
In robes of victory through the skies,
The glory shall be Thine.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

High School Credit...for Athletics?

This news article today got me thinking about several facets of education. The essence of the article (which, I might add, was clearly not written by a professional educator) was that in the past, Texas students could get 2 of their required 26 credits to graduate by taking an "athletics class." Now, the Texas legislature has passed a law that allows students to gain 4 of their required credits by taking "athletics classes."

"Athletics classes," if I understand the article correctly, are basically credits awarded for participation in extracurricular athletics during the school day.

One school board member expressed his opinion with this inspiring comment: "If this is what keeps kids in school, then we should support it," he said.

Sorry, dude, but that's not what we are talking about here. This is a change in the graduation requirements—ostensibly, a change in the academic courses required to gain a diploma in the state of Texas. If I were a music, foreign language, or theatre teacher, I would be pretty ticked right about now.

I have no problem with requiring "physical education" or some comparable "class" as a prerequisite to a diploma. I had to take P.E. in high school, and physical education, if well taught, can be instructive both in the short and long term.

What I object to is allowing physical education or athletics classes to supplant academic courses in the graduation requirements. In Texas, it appears that the two additional athletics courses can only take the place of other electives. This is still not a good idea. The values found in music, drama, art, foreign language, and other similar "elective" classes are important. A student playing a sport after school can still take an art class during school. A student taking an "athletics class" during school likely won't be taking art in the late afternoon—they'll be playing their sport!

As a teacher, my gut feeling is that these "athletic classes" are just allowing the coaches to get some extra time in, during the class day, to prep their athletes. This is happening at the expense of academic classes, and of education in general; consequently, the diploma just received a little bit of tarnish.

That is not a good thing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On the Death of Senator Kennedy

Senator Ted Kennedy died this morning after a bout with brain cancer. His death, like anyone's, is sad, and will bring grief to his family and friends.

It is customary upon one's death to focus on the good and positive things that person did during his lifetime. As a conservative, I have profound disagreements with much of the political agenda Kennedy brought to his job, but to the extent I agree with what he did, I will commend him.

Although less customary, it is prudent to focus on what happens after one's lifetime. Senator Kennedy's private life was marked by scandal, drunkenness, and inappropriate relationships with women, but his eternal destiny will not be decided by those activities. Where Ted Kennedy is now spending eternity was decided during his lifetime, by whether he did or did not put his faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation of his soul.

I sincerely hope that Ted Kennedy put his faith Jesus Christ. Have you? Where will you spend eternity?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hymn of the Week: When We All Get to Heaven

Within the last twenty-four hours a relative of mine passed away. Since she was a Christian, I can look forward to seeing her someday in heaven.

This event prompted me to think about hymns that speak about the Christian's eventual destination of heaven. This hymn is a forward-looking view of the blessings that await those who have trusted in Christ Jesus for their salvation, and an encouragement to those of us who "walk the pilgrim pathway."

Will you be in heaven some day? I sincerely hope to rejoice with you there!

When We All Get to Heaven

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
Sing His mercy and His grace.
In the mansions bright and bless├Ęd
He’ll prepare for us a place.

Refrain

When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!

While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when traveling days are over,
Not a shadow, not a sigh.

Refrain

Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.

Refrain

Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold.

Refrain

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Will Michigan Change its Graduation Requirements in Math?

In April of 2006, the all-wise legislature of Michigan passed, and the ever-more-all-wise governor signed, legislation that instituted a statewide set of public high school graduation requirements. These requirements meant that in every school district in Michigan,

Students must complete at least Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II, or an integrated sequence of this course content that consists of 3 credits, and an additional mathematics credit, such as Trigonometry, Statistics, Pre-calculus, Calculus, Applied Math, Accounting, Business Math, or a retake of Algebra II. Each pupil must successfully complete at least 1 mathematics course during his or her final year of high school enrollment. (See page 26 of this document)
This means that if you want a diploma (beginning, in general, with the Class of 2011), you have to earn four credits of math. Three of them must be in Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. I also blogged extensively on this topic last August, saying the following [this is the slightly-abridged version]:

But the Biggest Problems lie here: The inevitable outcome of the MMC policy will be a combination of the following things:
  • The dropout rates will soar. Already, it has been reported that 20-30% of freshmen students failed Algebra I last year—statewide. These students, plus many more who came close to failing, are already discouraged from taking Algebra II (not to mention the other newly-required courses) and will be more likely to choose dropping out than frustration. Dropout rates that were released this week are already dismal enough.
  • The course known as Algebra II will be watered down...a lot. In order for many to pass, teachers and administrators will feel the pressure to make the class easier so that more kids will pass. This pressure will come from nearly every corner...and it will be effective in most places. Note: The "curriculum standards" will not change, just their application in the classroom. The test scores, on the other hand, will change.
  • Social promotion will return with a vengeance. Yes, students will be passed along by teachers who, quite frankly, don't want them (and perhaps their ill-mannered, complaining parents) in their classrooms next year. It's already going on in public schools without the newly added pressure. Some teachers will face administrators administering that pressure.
  • The disgraceful irony of this will be that the teachers/education system will be blamed. Teachers and schools who hold the line on not watering down the math courses and who do not practice social promotion will take heat for no other reason than a larger number of failing students—when they ought to be commended for encouraging quality work. Admittedly, there are teachers who aren't doing the job as well as they should (but is this not true in every vocation?). Yet I think that ignorant legislators, ambivalent parents, and apathetic students will all be getting less of the blame that will inevitably come when this MMC is shown to be unsuccessful.
In sum, I think the MMC is a bad idea. As a math teacher, I want every student to take as many math courses as they can. I want students to enjoy them and be successful—this is my passion. But not every student is capable of being equally successful, and it may be that other coursework is more appropriate for some students or more conducive to their long-term success. The MMC does not allow much liberty in this regard.

This will eventually become another example of a well-intentioned, poorly-thought-out, dictated-from-the-capital government policy that has the unintended consequence of failure. Significant decisions like these belong in the hands of local school leadership.

It turns out I was wrong on just one point: Before the Algebra II course, in particular, could be fully watered down, the legislature is moving to remove this requirement! According to articles in the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News, the following legislation is on the move:
  • The Michigan House has introduced a bill that "would allow students to bypass the tougher math requirement by taking three years of math, with the only mandated courses being algebra I and geometry. The third math credit could be in a course like financial literacy, which teaches students money management skills." (From the Free Press; emphasis mine)
  • The Michigan Senate unanimously passed a bill to grant that "math-related career and technical education courses could fulfill the Algebra II graduation requirement for high school students." (From the Detroit News, emphasis mine)
Interestingly, the Michigan Department of Education opposes the House legislation but supports the Senate legislation. Still trying to figure that out....

Blogprof brought this to my attention earlier in the week; he is strongly opposed to the watering down of the standards. Read his comments here and here. I am also opposed. As a math teacher who works with public school students, I recognize that the standards are unrealistic based upon the reality in the classrooms. They cannot be realistic until all math teaching, from kindergarten on up, is both thorough and rigorous, free of the fluff that infests so much of the curriculum now.

Math educators disagree among themselves what will improve math education most successfully; but all of us believe it can and must be improved. Here are a few of my suggestions:
  • Focus both on drill/practice and concepts. Students who drill and practice all the time have difficulty handling real-life problems; students who know how to solve the problems but can't compute accurately are not going to be successful, either.
  • Keep calculators out of students' hands before high school, except for certain occasional things where their use is helpful. If you think they should never be used, just tell me what the square root of 11 is to six decimal places, and I'll agree with you. I wrote an entire blog post on this topic.
  • Return the setting of curriculum standards to individual school districts. It makes them more accountable for success and failure...as it should be.
  • Institute full school choice for all taxpayers. Are you not satisfied with your kids' progress at Lawton? Move them to Paw Paw. Displeased with Detroit Public Schools? [Who isn't?] You get the idea....
Most importantly, parents need to be involved—both in encouraging their children and making sure they are provided with a quality education, in math and every other subject. The work of the parents in a child's education is much more important than the work of the state.

Great Quote heard on Rush Limbaugh!

I heard this myself on the radio yesterday, and saw a tweet from Katie Favazza @KatieFavazza that pointed me toward it. It has also made the e-mail rounds:

Obama’s health care plan will be written by a committee whose head, John Conyers, says he doesn’t understand it. It’ll be passed by Congress that has not read it, signed by a president who smokes, funded by a Treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes, overseen by a Surgeon General who is obese, and financed by a country that’s nearly broke. What could possibly go wrong?

Obama and Healthcare: Another Hit to the Michigan Economy!

My wife knows a few people who work at the Jasper Clinic in Kalamazoo, "an independent phase 1-2a clincal pharmacology service provider." [Essentially, they do drug tests on human subjects before those drugs reach the market. Fascinating stuff, really.] Conversing with one of them this week, she learned that about eleven people recently lost their jobs. Why? My wife said the explanation went something like this:

New president...drug companies don't know what he wants to do...drug companies are hesitant to put money into research
If I were the person in charge of Jasper Clinic, I would be cautious, too. The healthcare system overhaul the president proposes will almost certainly cause spending on R&D to diminish substantially. Here in the greater Kalamazoo area, unlike much of Michigan, the healthcare industry is a big deal: Pfizer, Stryker (yes, the stalwart supporter of democrat causes...but a lot of good people work there), and a host of smaller pharmacological companies call this their home. If R&D spending in the healthcare industry drops, as it almost certainly will if the President gets his way, the Kalamazoo area will feel the hits.

And if you're keeping track of the "jobs created or saved" that the President promised several months ago, that takes him to -11.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bible, SCIENCE, and Politics: What Should a Christian Think?

Our homeschooling year began this week and I have accepted the fun task of teaching 7th grade life science to my eldest child. This has caused me to think a lot about science and what it means in our lives. Oh, yeah—science affects the political scene, too, sometimes in absurd ways.

Key Bible Points Regarding Science:

  1. God Created Everything. Genesis 1-2 give the details of God creating all things in six literal solar days. This happened several thousand years ago. Evolution, therefore, is a complete lie, as it denies God did anything, or that God even exists.
  2. God gave "Dominion" to man over what He created: Genesis 1:28 tells us, "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." In short, mankind is to control and steward the earth and its resources. Which brings us to...
  3. Stewardship: Mankind is to be wise in his use of the earth and its resources, taking care of them and making best use of them.
  4. Man sinned, and this brought a curse upon the Creation. While the initial creative work of God was good, sin brought decay and death into that creation. Now the universe deals with this. Scientists quantify this phenomenon with such things as the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
  5. Because of man's sin, there was a worldwide flood. Evidence of this Flood can be found in the sedimentary layers, fossils, and various other geological features of the planet.
Additional details and more thorough analysis of these items can be found at the websites of the Institute for Creation Research and Answers in Genesis.

The Christian is obligated to believe the Bible account. The Christian is also obligated to have an impact on his society; what does that imply in the political arena?
  1. The Christian knows that God created everything and that, therefore, we are accountable to God. It is God that provided our rights (see the Declaration of Independence) and established the parameters of right and wrong, of morality and sin. Our government must recognize these facts as it makes and enforces law.
  2. The Christian needs to identify the differences between a "proper stewardship" that uses physical resources wisely and "environmental activism" that does not allow that stewardship to be implemented.
  3. The Christian should not endorse any efforts that promote the teaching of evolution, the mitigation of our God-given rights, or the practice of anything the Bible calls sin.
This is just an overview; much more can and has been written on the topic. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How Not to Behave at a Town Hall, by Barney Frank

Rep. Barney Frank, Critics Face Off at Town Hall Event - Political News - FOXNews.com

Apparently this was not the most genteel of gatherings.

I do not condone boorish behavior at these "town hall meetings" that Congressmen have been holding. It is appropriate to point out lies, mistruths, deceptions, falsehoods, and hyperbole masquerading as fact...and to do so in a clear voice. It is even appropriate to make facial expressions of disgust, dismay, anger, frustration, etc. when such lies are presented to you. I also have no problem showing agreement (nodding of the head, saying "Amen," smiling, etc.) when someone publicly uncovers a lie for what it is.

The whole idea of a town hall meeting, I thought, was to have a civil airing of ideas for consideration by those present. For that reason, those who want to shout in protest should remain outside. Certainly there have been some citizens who have been a bit, um, coarse in their displays of disagreement. Ideally, both the Congressman and the people of the meeting should show respect toward each other.

Enter Barney Frank, who had one of these meetings Tuesday evening in Massachusetts (see linked article). Some reportedly shouted and booed while he spoke, which, if true, is a bit rude. Yet Frank is also said to have remarked the following:

"On what planet do you spend most of your time?" This was in reference to a comment comparing the administration's policies to those of Hitler.
"Do you really think that advances your argument? I mean, I thought you were thoughtful people here to have a conversation." This putdown was a response to some of the "verbal attacks" Frank was taking.
The congressman was showing the following:
  • Contempt towards his constituents. He clearly has a dim view of those who disagree with him, and he speaks to them in a rude and condescending manner.
  • Contempt towards the views of his constituents. I did not see any references in the article to even a single outlandish quote from anyone present. Why hate a point of view that disagrees with yours?
  • An apparent inability to engage in civil discourse. Even if we give Frank all the benefit of the doubt and assume that the crowd was rude and unruly, it is still his responsibility to be civil.
What do you do with a guy like Barney Frank? Vote for someone else in next year's election, and send him back to the private sector.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hymn of the Week: That Beautiful Name

Also goes by the title, I Know of a Name

"Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12

"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow...." Phil. 2:10

"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." John 20:31

I wrote one specific blog entry on the topic of the name of Jesus, and several of these "hymns of the week" have dealt with the very subject of His Name (All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name, Take the Name of Jesus With You, The Sweetest Name, Blessed Be The Name). It is awe-inspiring to consider how important, how comforting, and how powerful the very name of Jesus Christ is.

Every one of us should take time daily to think about what Jesus Christ did for mankind. We should meditate upon His importance in our lives. We should contemplate His power, His love, and His holiness. This particular hymn, written by Jean Perry, focuses on His name as encouraging and comforting. We know One Who can save us and free us from sin! Be encouraged as you read these words today.

That Beautiful Name (I Know of a Name)

I know of a name, a beautiful name,
That angels brought down to earth;
They whispered it low, one night long ago,
To a maiden of lowly birth.

Refrain

That beautiful name, that beautiful name,
From sin has power to free us!
That beautiful name, that wonderful name,
That matchless name is Jesus!

I know of a name, a beautiful name,
That unto a Babe was given.
The stars glittered bright throughout that glad night,
And angels praised God in Heav’n.

Refrain

The One of that name, my Savior became,
My Savior of Calvary.
My sins nailed Him there; my burdens He bare.
He suffered all this for me.

Refrain

I love that blest name, that wonderful name,
Made higher than all in Heaven.
’Twas whispered, I know, in my heart long ago
To Jesus my life I’ve giv’n.

Refrain

Right Online: Saturday Afternoon

Two sessions remained in the afternoon, and both dealt with reaching out to youth. One highly telling statistic is that 67% of the youth vote went to Obama in the recent election. This is troubling. Obama’s use of social media to drum up support was masterful, and it is possible for us Republicans to learn some lessons from this.

A variety of speakers addressed us. We were reminded us that engagement is critical with youth. Young people under 30 are different from previous generations, and not only because they seem to like the social media and the cell phone. The group born between 1981 and 1994 are the largest generation in American history. 52% of this demographic voted in the 2008 elections; this percentage has grown every two years. 70% of young voters have gone to college; on average, they graduate with $20,000 in debt (and therefore, have reason to be concerned with the economy). Only 28% of them self-identify as Republicans, although this group is usually “die-hard.” A majority see the economy as the most important issue right now; Iraq was second with only 12%.

Today’s youth like to travel in groups, whether to the movies, on dates, or to the mall. Mobile technology is the primary means of communication; the average teen reportedly sends 3000 text messages per month. They care what their friends think. They operate by cooperation and strive for life/work balance. This group almost without exception is on social networks, but only 22% of them use Twitter. Most find e-mail antiquated and don’t trust political campaign ads. They value change, and tend to be a bit “ADHD.” They tend to focus on participation more than information.

The premise going forward, then, is that we must be able to meet youth where they are. To that end, websites like campusreform.org (full rollout coming soon), theycc.org, smartgirlpolitics.org, and pinkelephantpundit.com have been developed. We need to find out what they value. We should not hesitate from using emotional appeal with them; they are idealistic, and it tends to work [Note from Ken: Yes, those of you over 35 can see problems with this; but we’re dealing with political persuasion, not core moral issues, etc.].

And finally, a topic came up that I really, really wanted to hear about: How to drive traffic to your blog. Some of the suggestions that were given included:
1. Use twitter. Make connections with lots of other people; send your blog postings via twitter. (Note: In case you haven’t noticed yet, Twitter was a huge topic throughout this conference. Opinions on its efficacy varied, but most contributors found it to be invaluable)
2. Link to other blogs. Links are often reciprocated. Link to specific posts in addition to the overall blog; these are often more track-able.
3. Post comments on other blogs, and make sure your blog can be linked from the comment.
4. Do all of these things often.

My scheduled flight prevented me from going to the final session without running too high a risk of missing my flight out of town. Many, many thanks to RightOnline, a project of the Americans For Prosperity Foundation; and to RightMichigan.com, for having the Bloggers’ Challenge contest last June!

Right Online: Saturday Morning, Part 2

Phil Kerpen, AFPF Policy Director, came to the podium and encouraged us that liberal blogging numbers are down, and ours are up! He also warned us that there is a good chance that the “single payer” option part of the healthcare bill will be removed, but that the rest of the government takeover may very well go through in some sort of compromise. This entire bill needs to be killed! The insurance companies would love to see the bill pass without single payer. We must be informing ourselves and becoming alert to how this is going down in Congress. Cap and Trade seems to be dying a slow death right now. HR 3458, a bill that would deliberately regulate the internet, has been proposed and should be fought.

Rachel Carpo, a blogging mother of five (a fact which registered obvious surprise among everyone present, as she neither looks old enough nor, um, like she’s had five children), spoke briefly.

Matt Lewis, who spoke in a Friday session I attended, gave several suggestions:
1. Adopt a “win mentality.” The Left is now worried about us. They want to mock us and demoralize us; don’t let them!
2. Get the tools. Go to conferences, read, get and learn the tools (cameras, iphones, etc.)
3. Get networked
4. Stay principled. Don’t let others co-opt you…in either party
5. Get the facts. Don’t be sloppy. Someone has to keep the MSM honest!
6. Stay aggressive.

Steven Lonigan reminded us that the difference between liberals and conservatives can be summed up by noting the conservatives believe in the individual, while the liberals want to sacrifice the individual for the collectivist good. He brought one copy each of the healthcare and cap-and-trade bills—nearly 2500 combined pages, with the cap-and-trade bill being the larger—for us to see. He eloquently described the consequences if these bills are passed. Quote to note: “E-mail is the musket of today’s revolution.”

John Peterson, a former Congressman from northwest PA, followed. His visual aids consisted of two posters with graphs regarding energy sources and consumption. He spoke of the cancelling of energy leases by the Dept. of Energy, a development unnoticed by the MSM. Huge new energy taxes are being proposed, some with minimal press coverage. His quote to note: “If we don’t drill, OPEC will.”

Ed Morrissey of hotair.com was next. He pointed out that “Americans for Prosperity” would have been considered a redundancy until recent years in this this country, as America was virtually designed for prosperity. The Declaration of Independence “declared” our God-given, unalienable rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the ability to change our government if it became destructive of our ends. It lifted the individual above the state. The first mention of property rights in the Constitution (Article I, Section 8) dealt with patents and such: No one has the right to confiscate the “work” of others! Healthcare is not a right; if anything, it’s the doctor who has the right to charge a fee for his work.

Ronald Kessler, author of All The President’s Men (#3 on the current bestseller list), mentioned that although the quality of media overall has diminished, the marketplace is working; media such as the Washington Post, with its recent improvements, are seeing their declines mitigated. He also spoke at some length about newsmax.com, which emphasizes stories not typically seen in the MSM.

Steven Moore, another WSJ writer, spoke of the “Three Pillars of Evil in Washington:” (1) The hoax of global warming and its attendant cap-and-trade; (2) The fiscal policy and debt (which he referred to as “financial child abuse,” an apt phrase); and (3) The healthcare issue. Most in Congress have never run a business or dealt with payroll before, so they might not be aware that it’s the small businesses which are paying most of the taxes in our country. His Quote to Note: “The next eight weeks may be the most critical in our country in the past fifty years.”

Finally, the best known speaker of the day came to the podium: Michelle Malkin. She stated that the Left is attempting to redefine such things as political dissent, etc., in an effort to discredit whatever disagrees with its point of view. She, like the rest of us, seems to find it amusing that democrat officeholders are hiding from their constitutents of late (she likened it to “sanctuary”). Some think that the Beltway GOP is behind the Tea Party protests; she pointed out that they could only wish that they were!

Based on something she said about her work career, my guess is that she’s about forty years old. She does not look that old! Indeed, all three women who addressed the crowd are attractive both in their facial appearance/demeanor and in their ideology.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Right Online: Saturday Morning, Part 1

Saturday began with a 3-hour general session and a great array of speakers. Here are the first ones:

The large general session this morning begin with an AFP video, the Pledge of Allegiance, and a word from Tim Phillips, executive director of Americans for Prosperity, which sponsored the Right Online conference (and provided my trip prize).

Our first speaker was Joe the Plumber. He pointed out quickly that we cannot let people take away our American heritage from us. The movement needs to be an “American movement,” not a left-versus-right struggle. After all, there are a lot of union members and other self-identified liberals and democrats who, if they understood the issues, would side with us. Let us not antagonize them. He also reminded us that political correctness is another way of keeping us down.

Joe summarized four things that will turn our country around: (1) Accountability—we have to hold Congress accountable for their actions (Joe pointed out that, like me and many others, he hates being lied to). (2) Responsibility—everyone needs to show responsibility, beginning with Congress. (3) Education—people need to know what’s going on. (4) Constitution—America needs to follow the Constitution and we Americans need to fight to see that it is followed.

Despite his identification as a plumber and the jeans-and-t-shirt appearance, Joe the Plumber is actually a very effective public speaker. I don’t recall this being mentioned in the MSM.

Next up was John Fund of the Wall Street Journal. He made referece to the fact that Net Roots Nation (the liberal counterpart to Right Online) just so happens to be meeting at the Convention Center across town right now, and then the liberals are worried about us. Some of the liberals are afraid that the democrats will lose 20-50 seats in the U.S. House next year (so be it!). The theme of his message dealt with Ronald Reagan, and the premise that those who are elected as moderate democrats cannot govern that way; those who “pay the bills” won’t let that happen. Quote to remember: “You are the new leaders of American government.”

Erick Erickson, managing editor of RedState.com, was up next. Paraphrasing Lincoln, he said, “If Obama succeeds, you won’t be able to make yourself”—a reference to the fact that the self-man made is iconic in America. He suggested we have a coup in this country—a coup of the political party structure. He suggested that people become precinct captains, get involved, and take the parties back.

A video message from Mike Pence followed.

Glenn Meakem, entrepreneur and radio host, spoke. His focus was the issues with Barack Obama’s leadership (i.e., he’s a liar), not knowing where the truth ends and the lies begin.

He was followed by Grover Norquist, from Americans for Tax Reform. Norquist is quite humorous. Conservatives generally want to be left along, with the government staying away from their guns, their educational decisions for their children, and their faith. [A reference was made to the hypothetical children’s book, Heather Has Two Hunters]. We are the “Leave Us Alone” coalition, while the left is basically a “Take It” coalition. The left “is made up of competing parasites,” Norquist said, all wanting a piece of the tax revenues we pay. He compared the stimulus packages as taking water out of one end of a lake, dumping it back into the lake—on the opposite side and in view of the cameras—and then assuming that the lake will then become deeper. He also said that most of the damage being done in D.C. right now is at the hands of Reid and Pelosi, not President Obama.

The tallest speaker of the day, 6’9” Jim Pinkerton, was up next. A contributor for Fox News, he showed appreciation for the online community and spoke about his own media experiences.

Time to run to the book signings….more to come!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Right Online: The Rest of Friday

The final session of the afternoon was by Beverly Hallberg, titled Online Video 101. I chose this one thinking that it would be more of a “How to use YouTube” session (similar to the previous ones about how to use Facebook and Twitter), but it turned out to be more of a “Video Production 101” class. If you are interested in knowing a variety of technical suggestions regarding video production, leave a comment and let me know; I took the notes and will be happy to share…if you are happy to know. To her credit, the session was quite interesting and included a variety of examples of both bad and good video work.

Some points of interest for the non-professional:
· People watch video primarily for entertainment. Don’t make your video look like the reading of a policy paper.
· If you interview someone, be a “friendly interviewer,” even if you don’t agree with their position. She suggested having interviewees sign a release.
· Music has emotional impact; if you can include music in your video (staying clean on copyright issues, of course), that’s a big plus.
· Video for web should be short, generally no more than 90 seconds.
· The viewer should be able to “get the message” the first time he/she views the video.
· Copyright matters. Don’t let your good work be besmirched because you didn’t cross your t’s and dot your i’s.

The action then moved to a “Send Specter a Message Cap-and-Trade Rally” that filled much of the time between the final afternoon session and dinner. After you have been to a rally of freedom-loving, higher-tax-hating, patriotic Americans, you get a real feel for the state of disgust with what Congress is doing these days.

Dinner, by the way, was very good. The meal included a trailer for the upcoming movie, Not Evil Just Wrong; the main feature after the meal was Pat Toomey, conservative GOP candidate for the Senate seat currently held by the (much-despised) Arlen Specter. Pennsylvania Republicans seriously dislike Specter. A few other speakers got up and, in general, thanked the conservative online community for its work.

There was a screening of that movie this evening; it is intended to be the counterpoint to Al Gore’s ludicrous global warming propaganda piece. It is subtitled, The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria. I took a pass on that…had to get to work on blogging!

Right Online: Twitter and Facebook by David All

David All, of the David All Group, spoke a lot about why and how we should be active on Twitter and Facebook. A large chunk of the session was on the nuts and bolts of these (I will not bore you with these; twitter information can be found at http://www.twitter101guide.com/).

Facebook now has over 250 million users; 120 million will log in daily. Twitter is up to 6 million users and is expected to double within another year. It is the new wire service, as demonstrated by the immediacy of news events finding their way onto Twitter: Mumbai, the Iran elections, the plane that went into the Hudson, the Air Force One flyover, etc. Twitter is a communication vehicle.

Don't abuse your followers. Send them substantive information.

There was also discussion of what #tcot (top conservatives on twitter) was all about. Now I know why Saul Anuzis used it all the time.

Coordinated action: It can mean a lot when a group of people all send a twitter message to a single state legislator or other person whom they wish to influence on an issue.

Virtually all reporters are on twitter now; you can communicate with them about stories of the day.

Tweets can be imported directly to facebook, although facebook evidently doesn't like to see the approach of twitter in its rearview mirror. Even "changing your facebook status is activism," since your "friends" will see what you are saying.

Right Online: Blogging 101 by Matt Lewis

Matt Lewis, compiler of "The Week In Blog," spoke to us bloggers (a.k.a., "Online community organizers") next. He said that we have a lot of power to influence.

He began by pointing out that each of us bloggers should "find a niche." We have expertise, so we should capitalize on it. Perhaps we can illuminate a new angle on an issue. We can bring focus to local and state issues, and hopefully use our platform to lobby and influence politicians.

"Blogging gives the MSM permission to cover something." Would the vicious rumor that Sarah Palin's baby was not actually her own have gone anywhere, if some liberal bloggers hadn't taken the fabrication and run with it? More recently, consider what happened at Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee's recent town hall meeting: Had no one gotten video of her taking a phone call during a question, would it have made the MSM? If someone had not pointed out (with e-mail correspondence screenshots to validate it) that one of the persons at her town hall lied about being a pediatric surgeon, would anyone know today?

Bloggers need to practice basic journalism. Journalists, for the most part, have abandoned the practice. Build up credibility; don't go off half-cocked; check your facts.

For impact, pictures are better than words, and videos are better than pictures. He suggested that all of us have the tools (iPhone, flip phone, etc.) to take video should a great moment happen in our presence. Learn how to get screenshots, and use them.

So you got the scoop...Now what? His first suggestion was to get on twitter (this seems to be a theme so far among the speakers, and will be a direct topic of the next session) and accumulate a following. Be active in the blog community. Reciprocate; if they follow you on twitter or they follow your blog, return the favor. Respond to comments on blogs; the left has been making great progress in mocking and demoralizing the Right when they speak up. Gather an e-mail list of media members and other bloggers whom you can contact when you uncover something of interest....ditto with other media.

You are your own PR firm. Make friends. Hook other people up. Use twitter.

Do research. For example, go to fec.gov and find out who gave your Congressman money (Remember those people in the shack who gave Hillary Clinton thousands of dollars?)

Start a blog if you don't have one already. (Matt Lewis suggested Wordpress.) Buy your own name for a domain name and get your own name on twitter, if you still can.

Next great session: Twitter and Facebook, by David All....it's about to start. And I'm still sitting on the front row.

Right Online: Winning in a Web 2.0 World

Our first session was a panel composed of Emily Zinotti, of the Sam Adams Alliance; Adam Bitely, from Americans for Limited Government; and John Hawkins, of rightwingnews.com (and various other sites). Each began with a statement where they made some important points:

Emily: We need to learn the new media tools for political change. The Right has leaped forward in the past year on the internet and new media, partly in response to President Obama and the Left’s progress in the past few years.

Adam: He has identified over 90,000 conservative blogs. There has been a huge uptick in conservative blogging in the past couple years.

John: (It should be pointed out that John was definitely the talker of the three…but he had good things to say) The early adopters generally take the lead. Those who have been on twitter the longest generally have the most followers; those who have blogged the longest get the most hits. He pointed out that the Left tends to be more “collectivist” while the Right tends to be more “individualist;” the Left consequently tends to be more likely to fundraise online. Left-wing politicians tend to be more prone to engage bloggers; Right-wing politicians are more top-down and dismissive, on the whole. Blogging is like an ocean: There are tides, and when your tide is coming in, you need to take advantage. If the tide is going out, you need to hold onto your gains.

Prior to the Q&A time, we were reminded that the goal of Right Online is to get the right wing more involved online. The Q&A session that followed was pretty thorough. Here is a digest of its important points.
· What can you do if you aren’t already engaged online? Emily suggested that the new media is a conversation more than anything else. Meet people online. Comment on blogs. She suggested that each person do one thing new, even if it is uncomfortable. Challenge others to start blogs and to read other blogs. Adam spoke about Twitter and what it can do.
· Emily mentioned that the average age of a Daily Kos reader is 43. It’s not just the youth that the Left has online.
· Emily also said you should “own your expertise.” Produce quality content on what you know. Commit to a medium (be it a blog, facebook, tweeting, etc.) and do something daily.
· Adam suggested turning in Barack Obama to flag@whitehouse.gov, since he is lying abot the healthcare issues of our day. Suggestion was well received.
· Adam also said that it was important to translate online activism to “boots in the field.” Online activism won’t get nearly so much done unless it is accompanied by action: Getting out the vote, gaining contributions, etc. Emily added that mybarackobama.com did a good job linking online to action.
· John pointed out that conservatives tend to speak to logic, and liberals tend to speak to emotion. Conservatives need to use emotion, too [Remember Sarah Palin’s use of the phrase “Death Panel” the other day?]. Adam pointed out that emotion typically wins elections.
· On the question of how to best find a “central location” that works well for your constituency, it was suggested that you get them all in a room and work it out, to see what will work best.

For part of the session, a twitter feed was shown on the video projector of what the participants in the room were tweeting. It was a busy group!

The remaining afternoon sessions will be dealing with blogging, twitter, and the like….Stay tuned!

Right Online Conference: About to Begin!

The opening session of the Right Online Conference begins in about 10 minutes and I have a front row seat to the action (literally...I'm sitting in the front row). This session is a panel session titled "Winning in a Web 2.0 World."

In unrelated news, the locals here are very happy that the Steelers won their first preseason game last night, 20-10.

More posts will be coming throughout the day as I attend the various sessions and seminars!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Right Online Conference

As the winner of the 2nd Annual RightMichigan.com Blogger's Challenge, I have the honor of attending the Right Online conference this Friday and Saturday in Pittsburgh, PA. I plan to be frequently posting from that conference, and here are some of the things I hope to address:

  • Making your blog better, and making it better known to more people.
  • Getting your message across.

In my case, the two topics I blog most about are (in order of frequency) politics and biblical issues. I am passionate about these topics, I have learned much about them, and I want others to see things as I see them.

  • Using facebook (which I already employ) and twitter (which I don't) effectively.
  • What new things I have learned about the issues of the day.

I also intend to cross-reference my posts at RightMichigan.com, since Nick told me I could.

It's going to be a busy blogging weekend...here I come!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Medical Care and Cars: A Brief Comparison

In the free market system, some people drive nicer cars than other people. Some people drive Hummers, Cadillacs, and BMW's; others of us drive used vehicles made during the Clinton administration. In any case, nearly everyone is able to meet their transportation needs.

In the free market system, some people are able to afford more/better medical care than other people. Some people go to the doctor frequently and/or have great insurance coverage; others go less frequently and may have to pay out of pocket. In any case, nearly everyone is able to meet their medical needs.

In the Obama system, all people should drive cars of equal value. They must trade in their "clunkers" [to be destroyed] and obtain new cars—which will supposedly save them money in the long run, due to government rules on fuel economy and such. However, car production capacity is finite, and new cars must be rationed. Not everyone gets a new car.

In the Obama system, everyone [in theory] gets equal access to health care. In order to accomplish this, various taxes are instituted and government controls and rules are put in place. Healthcare becomes a limited asset which must be rationed; not everyone will obtain what they need.

Just hope that your body isn't a "clunker"....you know what the Obama system does with those, don't you?!?

The Obama healthcare system, by the way, promises that all of us will be able to have "Cadillac healthcare." By the time our healthcare system is ravaged, though, we'll all be getting "clunker healthcare."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Michiganders (and certain others) About To Be Denied Proper Representation in Census

According to this wsj.com article, the upcoming 2010 Census will, like the three preceding it, be using a count of all persons physically present in the country to determine apportionment in Congress for the upcoming decade—including persons here illegally. The result of this will be to give disproportionately higher numbers of representatives to those states which have disproportionately higher numbers of illegal aliens.

Who wins and who loses under this scenario?

Winners: California is projected to have nine additional representatives in Congress, compared to the results if a count of only legal, permanent residents was done. Texas would get four additional representatives. Depending on the actual counts, several other states could pick up an additional seat, including Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New York, and New Jersey.

Losers: Several states right now are looking at the possibility of losing a Congressional seat regardless of this issue, but states at risk include Michigan, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Ohio could lose a second seat if illegal immigrants are counted. New York and New Jersey stand to lose a seat under a proper count, but could gain it back if illegal immigrants are counted.

What should we do?

For Michiganders, this is very much a bi-partisan issue. Our entire congressional delegation in D.C. should demand that the census only count legal, permanent residents of the country; legislation should be introduced to make this happen. Furthermore, co-sponsors should sprout up like weeds from such places as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and other states which either stand to lose a seat(s) or which will likely be unaffected regardless of the specific count.

We need to contact our representatives, regardless of their party, and demand action on this front. As Cameron Brown said in a MIRS interview recently, "If people can't have confidence in our election process, in our election system, they will not have confidence in government, period."

We have the greatest governmental system on the planet, and it is in the interests of all citizens to keep it healthy and honest. Eternal vigilance is required.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hymn of the Week: I Gave My Life For Thee

This very first hymn of Frances Havergal was inspired by a painting of Christ with the subtitle, "This have I done for thee; What hast thou done for me?" She wrote the words and her father wrote a tune for them [The tune in hymnals today was later written by Philip P. Bliss].

The theme is very simple: Christ did everything for us; Have we done anything for Him in return? The One Who created us and provided our salvation is worthy of everything we have, are, and can do. Meditate upon this blessed thought today.

I Gave My Life For Thee

I gave My life for thee, My precious blood I shed,
That thou might ransomed be, and raised up from the dead
I gave, I gave My life for thee, what hast thou given for Me?
I gave, I gave My life for thee, what hast thou given for Me?

My Father’s house of light, My glory circled throne
I left for earthly night, for wanderings sad and lone;
I left, I left it all for thee, hast thou left aught for Me?
I left, I left it all for thee, hast thou left aught for Me?

I suffered much for thee, more than thy tongue can tell,
Of bitterest agony, to rescue thee from hell.
I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me?
I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me?

And I have brought to thee, down from My home above,
Salvation full and free, My pardon and My love;
I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, what hast thou brought to Me?
I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, what hast thou brought to Me?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Good News! I've Solved the Illegal Immigrant Problem!

I have developed a two-pronged solution to the illegal immigrant problem.

First, we need to go national on the NYC plan for the homeless: If they are here illegally, we buy them a one-way plane ticket (or bus ticket, if they're already close enough to Mexico) to where they ought to be. I figure if we spend $500 per illegal immigrant and there are 15 million of them, the government spends $7.5 billion. A relative bargain!

[Of course, with the government running the program, the costs will be higher...but even at $1000 per illegal immigrant and even if the government could find 20 million of them, it's still just $20 billion. By California standards alone, that's a good deal.]

Second, I think we as a nation have been ignoring the example of our neighbors to the north in Quebec. Up there, they all stubbornly speak one language and look down upon those who deign to visit and not speak their mother tongue. That—and the cold weather—easily explains why most of us don't want to live there!

These simple steps alone should put a huge dent in the problem. I'll try to make some headway on that world peace problem this weekend.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Time to Apply the Pressure!

Congress is embarking upon its summer recess. When your Congressman or Senator comes to your area, you need to introduce yourself and politely make a few things known to him or her. For your convenience, here are some talking points:

  • Under no circumstances whatsoever is a government takeover of heathcare acceptable. None. No compromises are acceptable, either. Government simply needs to get out of the way.
  • Government spending is ridiculously out-of-control and must be severely curtailed. Pork projects, bailouts, "stimuli," and presidential date nights to far-off locales need to stop (OK, maybe your congressman can't do much about that last one).
  • Taxes must not go up. Welfare, including such forms as the EIC, needs to shrink.
[Commentary on that last point: Given the ludicrous complexity of the U.S. Tax Code, it has become nearly impossible to change it in any way without affecting someone with higher taxes. I really don't have a problem with people who pay no taxes now, due to the EIC or other similar targeted tax credits, paying something more equitable if those tax credits are removed.]

If your Congressman hasn't extricated himself from the discussion by this point, select your favorites from this list below:
  • Illegal immigration, since it is illegal, needs to be stopped. With vigor.
  • Guantanamo is the ideal place for terrorist enemies of our country.
  • The Second Amendment is every bit as much a part of our Constitution as the First Amendment.
  • Abortion is murder, and since murder is illegal, it needs to be stopped. With vigor. The Supreme Court was supremely wrong on that one.
  • Car manufacturing should be in the hands of the private sector.
The point here is to impress upon your Congressman that there are many voters who have strong feelings on these issues, and that these people will vote in the next election. We want them to return to Washington next month with the strong feeling that many voters are watching and taking notes, and that if they support the Obama/socialist agenda, they do so at their own electoral peril.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Top Ten Hymns: The Runners-Up

Here is a collection of absolutely wonderful hymns that I like, but which I could not squeeze into the Top Ten list (alphabetized by title). One stanza of each is included:

Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed? (Words by Isaac Watts [Refrain by Ralph Hudson]; the most common tunes are Martyrdom by Hugh Wilson, which omits the refrain, and Hudson, by Ralph Hudson, which includes it. Also goes by the title At The Cross when the refrain is used)

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?
[originally, For such a worm as I?]

Refrain

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name (Words by Edward Perronet. It is one of the few hymns sung to three widely-recognized tunes: Coronation by Oliver Holden, Diadem by James Ellor, and Miles Lane by William Shrubsole)

All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.

At Calvary (Words by William Newell, Music by Daniel Towner) Here is the final stanza and refrain:

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!

Refrain

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.

Battle Hymn of the Republic (Words by Julia Ward Howe; Music source unknown) Here is the little-used fourth stanza:

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

Jesus Loves Me (Words by Anna B. Warner; Music by William Bradbury) Many people don't think of this as a hymn, though it is; it is, along with Amazing Grace, one of the two most recognized Christian songs in the world. It also contains one of the simplest and most easily understood doctrinal statements on the earth: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.

Refrain

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (Words by Isaac Watts; Music: Hamburg by Lowell Mason) Meditate on this final stanza:

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Care to contribute one to the list? Leave a comment!

Past Entries in this Series:

Top Ten Hymns Countdown #1: Amazing Grace

Top Ten Hymns Countdown #2: Holy, Holy, Holy
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #3: The Old Rugged Cross
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #4: Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #5: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #6: To God Be The Glory
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #7: Onward Christian Soldiers
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #8: How Great Thou Art
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #9: It Is Well With My Soul
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #10: All Creatures of Our God and King

Introduction

Work and Gratitude

Have you ever noticed that when you have worked hard for something, saving your money and making the necessary sacrifices, that you tend to treasure it more?

Case in point: I drive a 1997 Lumina with almost 142,000 miles on it. It was paid for about five years ago. I like my car. It's hardly unique (Chevrolet made a bazillion of them and most are the same color as mine) and it doesn't turn heads—but it's mine. I like it. I change the oil; I don't race it; I don't let my children eat in it. For its age, it's in good shape...because I (and its previous owner) valued it and took care of it.

And although I was not reckless with my parents' cars during my school days—respect and fear banded together to prevent that—I did not "value" or "cherish" them in the same way that I do my own vehicle.

This analogy is certainly applied to education; parents who pay for their children to go to a private school or who make the efforts to homeschool them tend to put a greater value on that education, and to instill such value in the children. Public school education...not quite so much, on average.

Similarly, on those rare times when I see a doctor, I tend to "value" his advice and pump him for more. Why? Because I am usually shelling out my money for it...and I want my money's worth.

So what will happen if we have government-run health care provided to us? Will I be as inclined to care for my body, knowing that my doctor bills are paid for? Or will I go to the doctor all the more often at every sniffle, scratch, ache, and pain...clogging up the inevitable line at his office?

But for the purposes of this post, another question: Will I be as grateful for what I receive? Will I value it? Or will I become ungrateful and arrogant, feeling that it's deserved by me because...I'm me?

To work hard for something, and to grateful when it's received, ought to be hallmarks of any good citizen and any good Christian.

Manners, Beers, and Obama

What do those three things have in common? Observe the picture below:


Obama is evidently thinking about beer (or photographers, or who knows what else). Crowley, the much-maligned-as-a-racist yet diligent police officer, is helping Dr. Gates down the steps. Honoring his elder fellow citizen. It appears the president, um, overlooked this opportunity.

Update: Furthermore, did you wonder where this picture can be found? On the White House's own blog! Could it be that even the president's staff is oblivious to the appearances of the men in the photo??

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Top Ten Hymns Countdown #1: Amazing Grace

Anyone knowledgeable about hymns who looked at the last entry in this series could probably have figured out that Amazing Grace surely had to be #1. It is probably the most popular and best-known hymn in the English language.

That "Amazing Grace" about which John Newton wrote was incredibly apparent in his own life. In his youth he was a sailor who became godless and reprobate. He eventually commanded a slave trading ship. Once he was saved, he experienced that grace of which he wrote and eventually became a minister in England. He served God for many years thereafter.

Newton wrote lyrics to many other hymns (perhaps the best known of which is Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken) but none is remotely close to the popularity and ubiquity of Amazing Grace. Meditate upon these words—all seven stanzas—and if they mean nothing to you, consider and accept God's grace that He offers freely to all of us.

Coming tomorrow: The Runners-Up

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Past Entries in this Series:

Top Ten Hymns Countdown #2: Holy, Holy, Holy
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #3: The Old Rugged Cross
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #4: Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #5: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #6: To God Be The Glory
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #7: Onward Christian Soldiers
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #8: How Great Thou Art
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #9: It Is Well With My Soul
Top Ten Hymns Countdown #10: All Creatures of Our God and King

Introduction