Monthly Archives: November 2011

Passionately Christian

Yesterday I wrote a little bit of why I am a “Passionate Conservative.”  I could have gone on, but I don’t have hours to write and you don’t have hours to read.  Bottom line is I believe that Conservative Principles when applied in a Representative Republic give individuals the best chance to be the best they can be.  As individuals prosper, the entire society is lifted up.  Indeed the results have been dramatic for the entire planet!

This morning I want to talk a little bit about why I am passionately Christian.  Bottom line is Jesus gave up Heaven so God could have a friendship with me and you!  In other words, God died so that when you die you don’t have to really die!  You can live with Him forever!

The only requirement to qualify for Heaven?  Believe in your heart that Christ died in your place and paid for your sins and on the third day rose from the dead.  Believe that in your heart and confess it with your mouth.  That’s it!  Romans 10:9 & 10.  You then exchange your earthly sin for His absolute righteousness.

Now as simple as that sounds, we all resist.  Well, most of us.  I do know a couple of wonderful people who have been Christians as long as they remember, but for most of us we decided that “having fun” in our youth was more important then being called “Jesus Freaks.”  Of course the fun lead to heartache and sometimes disease.  While we might be “good people” we are all pretty selfish by nature.  Of course God was still drawing us to Him and eventually we responded and accepted His wonderful gift of salvation.  If you haven’t and are alive enough to read this then there is still time.

For me it started in Sunday School at the First Conservative Baptist Church of Canby.  I was maybe 8 or 9 and our Sunday School Teacher was showing me in the Bible that God talked about springs in the bottom of the ocean.  Springs that scientists were just barely discovering thousands of years later.  That was enough for me to accept Jesus into my heart.  I still remember the joy I felt as I prayed and in my minds eye I saw light bursting from my heart!  It was pretty cool.

But.  I eventually stopped going to church and eventually started living more and more for my own desires.  That included increasing drug and alcohol use as a teenager and young adult.  I even shared a drug needle to inject some cocaine into my arm.  I only tried it 2 or 3 times in a one week period when I was about 20 years old, but I ended up paying a high price for the temporary rush the cocaine gave me.

I found out much later that I had Hepatitis C.  The worse kind too.  It was also about that time that God drew me back to him.  I started going to church, got baptized and started reading my Bible.  During worship at church I would cry out to God and also actually cry as He was healing my heart.  The folks around me at church probably thought I was a troubled man, but I didn’t care.  God was working while I was in His presence.

It was during one of those times that I heard God say in my heart about my Hepatitis C, “I’m going to take this from you.”  It was a word I clung to during the difficult one year of combination drug therapy.  I lost a lot of weight and some hair.  Food lost it’s flavor and I had suicidal thoughts.  All side effects of the drugs, but I hung on because I had God’s promise!

Sure enough, after a year of treatments I was Hepatitis C free!  And still am today.  That was 10 years ago.  Since then I have left my TV career and have served in a few ministries.  Mission Odessa, Family Life Radio and Teen Challenge of Arizona along with some churches along the way.  I don’t know if I will stay working in ministries as a job the rest of my life, but I do plan on ministering the rest of my life!  God has shown me a lot in His Word and through experiences with Him that I have to share.  It’s too important.  I don’t always live as I should and God doesn’t just give me what I want, but I know that He is always with me and He always gets me through.

If you want more evidence that God is who He says He is, check out this blog entry from a couple of years ago.  Stars really do sing, just like God said they do thousands of years ago!

If you don’t know Jesus and you are still alive, it’s not too late.  To say that it is awesome to know the God who created the Universe as a personal friend and Father is an understatement!

Passionately Conservative

Why am I so Conservative?  And why is that I trumpet it from the rooftops?  Because conservative policies are the only ones that have a track record of working!  As tax rates were cut and regulations were trimmed at the beginning of the Reagan administration the economy took less then a year to start pulling out of the Jimmy Carter malaise.  By Reagan’s third year as President the concern was that the economy would overheat it was taking off so fast!  Here is a comparison of Obama’s third year economy vs. Reagan’s.   Reaganomics vs. Obamanomics?  It’s no contest.

Similarly, in 1994 when Newt Gingrich launched his “Contract with America” and Republicans were swept into Congress the economy improved again.  President Clinton was forced to move to the middle of the political spectrum, Congress balanced the budget and the country prospered.

What is happening in the economy now is criminal and preventable.  60 Minutes highlighted homelessness and specifically homeless kids on it’s program last night.  You can see some of the highlights here at TheBlaze.com. I used to work at a non-profit that provides food for starving people around the world and even to help food banks in this country to stretch the food supplies they have.  Attending food bank conferences around the country even back in 2003.  I know first hand that there is a need for donations and volunteers at food banks and Gospel Rescue Missions and Salvation Army’s across the country.  The need has risen exponentially as more people need help.  The problem is in this economy less people are able to pitch in.

Coming out of the bursting housing bubble the Obama Administration should have moved quickly to cut Corporate Tax Rates to attract jobs to America and keep the ones that are here here.  Instead the administration pushed for, and Congress passed, even more regulation in the form of Dodd Frank just to name one.  Instead of attracting business to America we are bleeding jobs overseas.  Then there is Obamacare, so-called “stimulus” and now the administration wants “stimulus” two.  Are we really that stupid?  The polls would suggest that we are not.

This country is rich in natural resources, including oil and natural gas.  Yet, this administration is shutting down drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and dragging it’s feet on an already agreed to oil pipeline from Canada.  Canada is our largest source of imported oil.  Yet the Canadians are now ready to deal with China instead of this administration because we are not living up to the agreed timeline on the pipeline.   In addition, the EPA is suing oil refineries in Texas and shutting down coal fired power plants and coal mines across the country.  By emphasizing “Green” energy at the expense of oil, natural gas and even coal, this administration is throwing away billions in “stimulus” money by giving it to solar companies that have gone bankrupt.

The Obama Administration is hamstringing the energy sector that is itching to provide thousands of high paying jobs.  The sectors that support energy would also benefit from increased business.  EVERY sector would benefit.  More jobs means more money in the economy.  It really isn’t that hard to understand and yet the Progressives seem hell bent on undermining the economy and the country.

Back to the homeless kids in the UNITED STATES!  It is immoral that this administration would continue to pursue the failed policies of the past three years.  Stimulus has wasted TRILLIONS and unemployment is not only high, but it’s been high for a record period of time.  The result?  1 in 4 children in this country need assistance.  That is disgraceful.  Parents can’t find work and there is no end in sight as long as the Progressives are running things.  The pain is real.  When people can’t work they lose their dignity.  Suicide rates increase with unemployment.   When unemployment is high the country is weaker and when the United States is weaker the world is a more dangerous place.

Why am I a Conservative?  Because people’s lives depend on jobs and a strong country.  When you see record numbers of homeless kids it breaks your heart.  This is real life and policies and elections really matter.

Want to improve the quality of life in America?  VOTE! and vote Republican at all levels of government.  Smaller government and more jobs is the only way to get this country working again and that is the moral thing to do.

Looking for Change You can Believe In? Occupy Hard Work.

There are 31 Proverbs in the Bible and most months have 30 or 31 days.  I don’t think it’s a mistake that there is a Proverb for every day.  I was reading this morning’s Proverb and these verses reminded me of what is so terribly wrong with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) Movement.

Proverbs 21:25-26

25 The desire of the lazy man kills him,
For his hands refuse to labor.
26 He covets greedily all day long,
But the righteous gives and does not spare.

The class warfare being promoted in this country by Democratic leaders including the President is dangerous and immoral.  I keep hearing that the rich are getting richer.  Someone just posted on Facebook that the top 400 wealthy Americans have more money then the bottom 150 million.  The implication is that our current system just isn’t fair and we must redistribute the rick folks wealth.

In reality it is a straw man argument.  I have never met anyone with any kind of means who didn’t work their butt off.  The rich are rich for the most part because God has given them talent and they work hard!  It’s these very rich folk who create companies that create jobs that allow all of us to find work to feed ourselves and our families.

The OWS reaction to the class warfare being perpetuated by our President and the Democratic Party?  Instead of placing the blame for our bad economy and lack of jobs on policies coming out of Washington they have decided it’s a good idea to go camping in public parks.  Instead of taking their God given gifts and applying themselves (and applying for work) they complain about those who have, and demand that they get their “fair share.”   Problem is that would not be fair because it ain’t their share!

“The desire of a lazy man kills him.”  The OWS camp grounds have been a source of fleas and ticks and drug overdoses, rapes and even a shooting or two.  They spend their time greedily coveting all day long.

On the flip side it is the wealthy that are giving and do not spare.  Who do you think gives to charities across this country?  Where is the appreciation for corporations and individuals of means who GIVE AWAY their money so homeless folks can eat, so battered women have shelters, so drug addicts can be set free, so cures can be found for cancer and birth defects.  The list goes on and on.

I don’t know any poor people who give to non-profits.  They can’t.  They are broke!  It’s the people with money that have the ability to share money.  If the Occupiers would mind their own business, work hard and be thankful they live in a country that gives every individual the best chance to succeed maybe they wouldn’t be such whiny complainers and instead would work hard to become generous contributors.

Something Fishy Going On Again

Neons and Tetras and Plants, Oh Joy
Neons and Tetras and Plants, Oh Joy

I love my fish tank.  It brings a calm and peace to my life as I peer into an alien environment created for creatures with gills and colorful scales.  I have a 55 gallon tank and when it’s fully stocked with guppies and neons and assorted tetras it can be better than HD TV.  In 3D even!

The story of the tank goes back to the days in Roswell and my job at KBIM TV.  The year was 1992.  I already had a 10 gallon tank (which was later the home for my Piranha, but that is another story) where my green snake lived.  (it was so cool)  I also had a little goldfish tank with a little goldfish in it.  I didn’t want a dog or a cat since I lived in an upstairs apartment.

I was minding my own business at work one day talking to our receptionist and she asked me if I wanted to buy her 55 gallon tank.  Stand, underground filters, gravel, the whole works for only $75.  What a steal and a deal!  I jumped at it and we agreed.  Her Dad even helped me carry it up the stairs to my apartment.  He even took the heavy end.  (and it was heavy)

I got it all set up and stocked it with fish and it was amazing.  It had (and still has) the best gravel I’ve seen in a fresh water tank.  My son was only 3 years old at the time and he loved it!  Amber did too, and so did I.  :-)

I had the tank for the remaining couple years I lived in Roswell.  I added a dog when I moved into a house.  Popcorn was our “Pet of the Week” one week that we featured on the air after the weather.   I said on TV that I would take her if no one else did, and I did, but again, that is another another story.

Marbles from FAO Schwartz.  Fish from Pet Smart.
Marbles from FAO Schwartz. Fish from Pet Smart.

Back to the tank.  It traveled well when I moved to Lubbock, Texas and was a source of joy when I bought my first house a couple of years later.  I visited FAO Schwartz in NY, NY and bought some marbles that I added to the tank.  The fish even made the move (and two year stay) to Odessa, Texas after my nearly 10 years in Lubbock.  After Odessa I moved to Tucson and that is when I ran into a problem.  The tank got cracked during transport from Odessa to Tucson.  So, I went without fish for almost a year.  That is until my son came to visit.

Now in high school, one of the first things my son said to me was, “Where is your fish tank?”  I had always had the tank since he could remember and it was noticeably missing.  I missed it too, so I went down to the Wal-Mart and bought a new tank.  I still had all the set-up stuff and it was easy to set it up back up and stock it.  Just like old times!  All was calm and peaceful again in the Shaw household.

Then came my personal Great Depression last year into this one.  Not so much my mood, but my finances.  First one light burned out on the tank, then the other.  Some of the fish were dying (normal attrition) and the remaining were living in the dark except for the natural light coming in from the windows.  I couldn’t afford to replace the lights nor the fish.  This went on for nearly a year until last week.

Still needs a little work, but I'm glad it's back
Still needs a little work, but I'm glad it's back

Finally!  I caught up on my bills and I had some left over cash to replace the lights and stock the tank.  I especially love the guppies.  They are the most colorful and flamboyant of the fish and they breed like crazy.  The little baby guppies serve as live food for the rest of the fish, and the guppies that survive continue to supply even more guppies. It’s wonderful!  In Lubbock I had a pet store owner who used to buy guppies from me.

So there you have it.  Pets and apartment living don’t mix with me very well.  Except for the fish.  They don’t need to be walked and there is no cat box litter smell.  Only peace and love and a glimpse into an alien world full of color and life.  Sigh.

Godzilla Promises Change and Hope

"Any questions?  I didn't think so."
“Any questions? I didn’t think so.”

Little Rock (not AP) – Dubbed the “Intimidation Tour,” Godzilla continued his whirlwind schedule of visiting 10 major cities across the country in as many days.  Godzilla reiterated his plan to “fundamentally change” the country.

His campaign slogan, “Hope.  You Don’t Get Crushed” was well received by a cowardly press that seemed to be in awe of Godzilla’s physical presence.  That and Godzilla destroyed several satellite trucks when Chip Reid asked if Godzilla had a last name.  It appears that intimidation politics is working well for the mutant monster from the deep.

Besides his aggressive domestic policies, Godzilla has a ton of experience in dealing with Japan.  He has a track record of stimulating the economy there by tearing down high tension wires and destroying the countryside while battling political opponents such as Mothra and even King Kong.

Weather, Man!

Mt. Hood, December 1998ish?
Mt. Hood, December 1998ish?

Man do I love weather.  It has been a passion and an obsession since I can remember.  It truly is how God made me.  Of course I have a very strong political and “religious” bent too.  I joke that my favorite subjects to discuss are politics and religion and that’s why God gave me such a passion for weather.  So I can relate to people with without offending them.  :-)

My weather fascination started very early.  My folks tell me that I was always talking about it even as a very young child.  I have early memories of unusual weather events when I was a wee lad in Los Angeles.  Severe Thunderstorms one afternoon and ice in the puddles at school one morning.  I was born in L.A. but we moved to Oregon when I was 8.

Growing up in Oregon was great for a weather freak like me.  Numerous storms coming off the ocean and in the 70s that meant lots of surprises in the actual weather compared to the forecast.  Fluctuating snow levels in the Cascades, east winds into Portland combining with overrunning warm air bringing epic ice storms, but not to our house :-( and I could go on about the different weather phenomenon I got to witness first hand.

I had the TV weather down.  KOIN would have the weather on first so I would watch that.  Then I’d switch over to KGW and catch most of their forecast.  Then it was over to KATU to watch the tail end of their weather.  This was especially important on the rare nights when the snow level had a chance to come down to the Willamette Valley Floor.  I remember many a frustrating evening watching it rain while I would stare at the thermometer stuck at 36 degrees trying to will it to come down.

So obviously I was going to go to school to study Meteorology.  I had it all planned out.  Go to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks and get a BS in Meteorology and minor in Communications.  They had a TV station on campus.  I had a great score on my ACT and was even accepted into their advanced math program.  I was set.  One big problem.  My drug problem.  I still had some growing up to do and I blew my chance to go to school.

KCBQ 1997ish
KCBQ 1997ish

The story doesn’t end there however!  I ended up moving to Roswell, NM a few years later.  At 21 years old I took what I could carry and bought a bus ticket and started re-pursuing my dream to be on Radio and TV.  Math and Science were always my favorite subjects in school so naturally I went into broadcasting.

I got a part time radio gig in the early Summer of 1984.  That turned into a full time radio gig.  First overnights and then evenings and then Music Director.  After two years I jumped over to TV as a Master Control Operator, directing news cut-ins and also voicing, shooting and editing commercials.  From there it was into the News Department at another station as a news photog, then a reporter who shot his own stuff and also backing up the weatherman and then finally the weatherman!

Adrienne & Mike in the Morning
Adrienne & Mike in the Morning

Lots of detail left out in the above story, but God helped make a way for me when I had messed up and didn’t choose the easier way.  After another 8 or 9 years on the morning show in Lubbock, Texas as a weatherman, news anchor and feature reporter my life took another turn.  Through it all I have never ever never stopped loving and studying the weather.

Now here I am in Tucson, Arizona.  I have a web site and morning weather web show dedicated to my weather passion.  I just can’t help but share whether the audience is big or small.  When you have a chance, check out the site.  TucsonWeather.us and tune in to “Coffee and a Forecast” every morning (yes, weekends too) at 5:50 Tucson time for the live recording.  Or you can just catch up with it later when I post it on the site and in the Facebook group Tucson Weather.

Whether it is mud in the Pacific Northwest, Baseball sized hail in Lubbock, or Monsoon storms with amazing lightning in Tucson, I love weather.  I especially love snow and cold!  But that is another blog entry (or two).

Of course I have other passions and other web sites that support those.  There is also a lot of detail left out of the above story.  All fodder for future blog entries.  I better post this and get to work.  “Coffee and a Forecast” airs in less then an hour. :-)

Rejoice!

Last night was the second Tucson Fall Banquet.  The banquet series takes a break today before resuming for three nights in the Phoenix area.  (you can find out more here)

As you probably know, Teen Challenge of Arizona is my employer.  I maintain the web site and do some YouTube videos.  It is a very rewarding job as you can imagine as we see literally hundreds of boys, girls, men and women set free from drug and alcohol addiction every year.  My small role of support allows me to tell some of the amazing stories of how God is saving lives through the ministry of Teen Challenge.

This years banquet theme is Rejoice!  Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I will say, Rejoice!”  The banquets are more then just our major fundraiser for the year.  They are also an opportunity to share the amazing things that God is doing and to Rejoice! in them.

One amazing story I got to tell after Fall Graduation is that of Karami’s and how God not only saved her life and changed her forever, but also changed her Dad and her entire family!  Karami and her family shared from the stage last night.  While I didn’t record that, I can share part of their story with you via this YouTube story I put together at graduation in September:

Reasons to Rejoice! indeed.

Smart Phone

Finally I have entered the second decade of the 21st Century.  I am now the proud owner of a phone that does everything but serve me my coffee in the morning (still looking for that ap).

I have to admit that I am kinda proud that I was able to get 4 years of use out of my Palm Centro, but its very clunky internet interface meant I wasn’t using any of my unlimited data that Sprint so generously charges me for every month.  Unlimited is the only plan that makes sense for me (since my cell is my only phone).  I had to do something.

Along comes Best Buy with a great deal last week.  Spend $60 on “Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 3” and receive a FREE HTC phone (with 2 year agreement, offer void where prohibited).  For Sprint customers (that’s me) that meant the $100 HTC Evo 4G was now $60 with a free case and awesome game thrown in!

I couldn’t be happier.  I now have 27 versions of the Bible in my pocket.  An 8 megapixel camera always at the ready.  I can surf the web and check my Gmail while sitting in a waiting room or whatever.  I have a to do list (now I just gotta do it) and a calendar with me always, and I now understand about Angry Birds.  Addictive that game.  In fact I still haven’t opened Call of Duty, but I have burned precious smart phone battery slingshoting (new word?) birds into feathery explosions of portable game joy.

With the GPS turned on I can now navigate life with a modern tool guaranteed to enhance the quality of my wasted time.  As long as the battery holds up.