Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I like guns

I just couldn't pass this one up. Merry Christmas!

Sorry I couldn't find the tag to embed it. Here is the link:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Global Warming is Natural - 100 Reasons

I was happy to see this article in the UK's Daily Express today - "Climate Change is Natural: 100 Reasons Why." The list repeats itself in a few places, and some of the reasons are not as strong as others, but overall it is a good summary of why I am a anthropogenic global warming "denier."

Here are some of my favorites from the article:
2) Man-made carbon dioxide emissions throughout human history constitute less than 0.00022 percent of the total naturally emitted from the mantle of the earth during geological history.

3) Warmer periods of the Earth’s history came around 800 years before rises in CO2 levels.

4) After World War II, there was a huge surge in recorded CO2 emissions but global temperatures fell for four decades after 1940.

5) Throughout the Earth’s history, temperatures have often been warmer than now and CO2 levels have often been higher – more than ten times as high.

6) Significant changes in climate have continually occurred throughout geologic time.

7) The 0.7C increase in the average global temperature over the last hundred years is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term, natural climate trends.

10) A large body of scientific research suggests that the sun is responsible for the greater share of climate change during the past hundred years.

15) Professor Plimer, Professor of Geology and Earth Sciences at the University of Adelaide, stated that the idea of taking a single trace gas in the atmosphere, accusing it and finding it guilty of total responsibility for climate change, is an “absurdity”

28) Despite activist concerns over CO2 levels, rising CO2 levels are our best hope of raising crop yields to feed an ever-growing population
The earth has been warming and cooling for generations. The "warmers" cherry pick their data, ignoring major factors like the effect of sun and clouds. They use the unlikely extremes as scare tactics, and the ratings driven media is only too happy to pass on the horror stories. Socialist politicians have found a good excuse to manipulate the world economy to their ends. Dissent is crushed by the lie that "the science is settled," even though honest climate scientists admit that the earth's climate is so complex that we are only beginning to understand it. Climate change happens. It's natural. It's got some great benefits. Let's put our money and effort toward ending poverty and hunger around the world by bringing the rest of the world into the 21st century, not dragging everyone else back to the Dark Ages.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Gospel Illusions #4 - Invisible Sponge Ball

Do you have to see to believe? Here I use an invisible sponge ball to show that you don't have to see something to believe it's there!

If you enjoyed this illusion, please share it with some friends!

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. Wehadababyitsaboy!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It is no secret that the Atlantic Monthly is no friend to Christians. In the December issue, Hanna Rosin opines in "Did Christianity Cause the Crash?" that prosperity-"gospel" Christians were one of the causes of our current economic crisis. She gives a number of anecdotal stories as evidence, and even points to the coincidence that the prosperity-"gospel" is popular among African-Americans and Latinos, and those groups were hit especially hard by the mortgage crisis.

Never mind the fact that Democrat supported legislation forced banks to give loans to low-income families who otherwise would be a horrible credit risk. Never mind that predatory lenders were allowed to create exotic loan programs (like interest-only for n years) that allowed ignorant and greedy consumers to purchase more house than they could really afford. Never mind that greedy investors tried to take advantage of those loans to try to buy and flip houses they couldn't really afford, and then got caught with their pants down when the over-inflated market started to collapse.

But then again, I suppose some of those people were probably prosperity-gospel types, so Christ really is to blame for our greed, corruption and over-regulation...

On the other hand, I have to agree with Ms. Rosin's assessment that there is something horribly wrong with the prosperity-"gospel." From the outside looking in, she sees wealthy con-man televangelists encouraging people to engage in a self-help style risk taking based on "faith" which is in reality little more than gambling. She correctly points out that quacks like Joel Osteen sound just like New Age thought:
The advice is exactly like the message of The Secret, or any number of American self-help blockbusters that edge toward magical thinking, except that the religious context adds another dimension.
The prosperity-"gospel" is American Christianity's syncretism. Just like Mexican Catholicism has been merged with Aztec and Mayan pagan religious thought, branches of Evangelical Christianity have been mixed (to varying degrees) with the dark side of Capitalism, namely greed and materialism. It incorporates New Age thinking, that we have God's creative power and can create new realities with our words. To put it bluntly, it is heresy. While salvation comes from Christ, for the prosperity preacher, salvation is more about filling your wallet and living in a nice house than about forgiveness of sins, a new life in Christ, and storing up treasures in heaven. Our treasures on earth are subject to moth and rust, shifting markets and government interference. It's all going to burn one day, and only what's stored in heaven will last!

At the end of her article, Ms. Rosin points people to "the kind of hope that President Obama talks about, and that Clinton did before him—steady, uplifting, assured." She has merely replaced one false gospel for another. Obama's hope is for a godless socialism where the wealthy are taxed to death and the money given to the poor so they will continue to vote for the Democrats.

Real hope is found in Jesus Christ, the real Jesus found in the Bible, not the Rolex-wearing Jesus of the prosperity preachers and not the Marxist Jesus of the social-"gospel" types. Following Christ means trusting Him when the world around us is going crazy, loving the poor by giving them a hand-up, standing for truth and righteousness, and waiting for the day when we take the treasures we have stored up in heaven and laying them at His feet in worship, acknowledging that He is the source of all we have and all we will be.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Calling the Ft. Hood Massacre Terrorism

This was a terrorist act. Ralph Peters gets it right in "Fort Hood's 9/11" in the Washington Post. (I highly recommend reading the entire article.) This was the act of a fanatical Muslim who tried to contact Al Quaeda, who questioned his patients because of their commitment to the War on Terror, who made radical statements to his co-workers, who listed himself as a Palestinian on a Muslim dating site, and who was evidently under investigation by the FBI for months.

Everyone is so scared of being sued for not being politically correct that no one did anything. No one just snaps. There are an abundance of warning signs, and for whatever reason, Army and FBI officials failed to act. Just like Cho at Virginia Tech, or the snot nose punks at Columbine, or any other mass shooting. There are warning signs for anyone with the guts to recognize and report them.

Call this for what it is - Domestic Islamic Terrorism.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Army Victim Disarmament Zone

I was shocked and saddened to hear about the brave men and women who lost their lives at the hand of the domestic Islamic terrorist Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan. The AP reported that if it had not been for many brave and selfless heroes, the bloodshed would have been much worse. One paragraph about one of the heroes caught my eye:
The 21-year-old Fort Worth native (Pfc. Marquest Smith) quickly grabbed the civilian worker who'd been helping with his paperwork and forced her under the desk. He lay low for several minutes, waiting for the shooter to run out of ammunition and wishing he, too, had a gun.
Why didn't this brave young man have a gun? He was unarmed because the DoD does not allow anyone without a specific reason to carry a weapon to be armed. All weapons (except personal weapons registered and kept in base housing) must be secured in the post armory. Usually, this means that only Military Police or civilian security forces (like the heroic Kimberly Munley, who shot and stopped the domestic Islamic terrorist) are armed on a base. I served 5 1/2 years in the Air Force, and the only time I was allowed to carry a gun was on the few occasions I was taking weapons training. You could bring a personal weapon on base to shoot at the firing range, but it had to be registered with the SPs, unloaded, locked and stored separately from ammunition, and you had to have a qualified range master on hand if you were using it.

So why did we have so many victims in a building full of highly trained, proficient, experienced warriors, with only a lone gunman with two handguns? They were not allowed to carry the tools to defend themselves. The shooting went on for four minutes after the 911 call was made. What difference would it have made if Pfc. Smith and his courageous compatriots had been carrying sidearms? How many seconds would the terrorist have lasted if they had weapons at the ready? Would the coward Hasan have even tried?

Update, 7 Nov 09:
Several commentators have picked up on this theme, including Gun Rights Examiners Daniel White, Howard Nemerov and Kurt Hoffman. They write with far deeper analysis than mine and arrive at the same conclusions.

Another quote, this time from
"I was confused and just shocked," said Spc. Jerry Richard, 27, who works at the center but was not on duty during the shooting. "Overseas you are ready for it. But here you can't even defend yourself."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gospel Illusions #3: Following Christ

When we follow Christ, we often have to act differently than the world around us. Here is the double-card turnover used to demonstrate Matthew 16:24 and Ephesians 5:1-2 and how we need to follow Christ even when everyone else is going the other way. My daughter was very patient over the course of several takes. Cards can be slippery and hard to handle. She had some trouble with them too... Practice an illusion until you have it cold before trying it - especially with kids! Be ready for anything!

Gospel Illusions #2: Transformation

God radically changes someone when they become a Christian. Here are two classic illusions, Scotch and Soda and Penny to Dime, both used to demonstrate the transformation described in 1 Cor 5:17. This is a nice followup to the Color Changing Discs. Kids want to be involved with the illusions, so close-up illusions work well. Listen to my son at the end of the video: they always want to try it themselves! I teach kids the pinch drop coin vanish when they want to learn a trick.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mr. Senator, Are You Paying Attention?

Senators Udall and Bennett,

What part of "no public option" are you senators having trouble understanding? Have you forgotten the message you received loud and clear during your recess town hall meetings?

The "public option" on the current Senate version of the health care bill that Senator Reid is pushing is the first step to a socialized medicine nightmare in this country. There are many areas where we can compromise on health care legislation, but the public option is completely unacceptable. No. No! NO! NO PUBLIC OPTION!


Jeff Odegard
Colorado Springs, CO

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gospel Illusions: Color Changing Chips

As I explained in a post last year, I have been doing Gospel Illusions for the kids in AWANA every week. I've been thinking about posting a few on YouTube and seeing if there is any interest. Here is my first video, sharing the Gospel with Royal Magic's Color Changing Brass Chips:

Please provide some feedback so I can improve these. I'll post new videos here as they become available.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Liberal vs Conservative - Take 2.

From an email I received at work:

(Don't miss Take 1, below!)


For those that don't know about history .... Here is a condensed version:

Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.

The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel.. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:
1 . Liberals, and
2. Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BBQ at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement..

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly BBQ's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement.

Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. Those became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare.. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer, mostly Bud or Miller. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, engineers, corporate executives, athletes, members of the military, great airline pilots and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans.. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America . They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history:

It should be noted that a Liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above before forwarding it.

A Conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be forwarded immediately to other true believers and to more liberals just to tick them off.

And there you have it. Let your next action reveal your true self.

Liberal vs Conservative - Take 1.

From my old friend Adam McManus, in his daily email alert:

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't` eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
If a liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a person of color is conservative, they see themselves as independently successful.
Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a conservative slips and falls in a store, he gets up, laughs and is embarrassed.
If a liberal slips and falls, he grabs his neck, moans like he's in labor and then sues.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Barack Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize, for ??? Not that the Nobel Prize has been worth anything since Yasir Arafat and Al Gore won it. What was once a prestigious award is now meaningless. It would be like giving me a Silver Star just for coming on active duty during the last month of the first gulf war.

On another note, Michael Blomberg, NYC Mayor opposed to the 2nd Amendment, released an investigative report about the so-called "gun show loophole," where several of his investigators broke the law themselves by purchasing guns after claiming that they could not pass a background check. Blomberg thinks we need a federal law to prevent this. However, it's already against the law to sell (even a private sale) a gun to someone who you believe could not pass a background check. How about enforcing the laws we already have?

At least we got some snow this weekend. The frost on the trees was absolutely beautiful this morning!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Please Vote NO on Cass Sunstein

Senators Udall & Bennett,

As you know, Cass Sunstein has been nominated by President Obama to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. I vehemently oppose his nomination and hope that you will agree with me that he holds radical views that are out of step with common Colorado values.

In a 2007 speech at Harvard University, Professor Sunstein said that he wants to ban hunting, and he intends to do it by regulating it out of existence. He is also strongly supports increased gun control, and downplays the 2nd Amendment. Colorado citizens view the rights to bear arms and to hunt as sacred, and modern wildlife management (including hunting) has given us some of the healthiest wildlife populations in history. We need to enforce current gun regulations and remote those that clearly have no effect on violent crime, not create more.

In a 2007 speech at Harvard, he put animal suffering on the same moral scale as human genocide and slavery. On page 11 of "Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions" (2004), he made the bizarre statement that animals could bring lawsuits against people. This could have devastating effects on farming and ranching in Colorado. Grocery prices are high enough without new, insane government regulations giving Bessie the Milk Cow human rights.

In his 2008 book “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness” he says that he wants to change organ donation from opt-in to opt-out, which would make the very personal, private choice about organ donation almost no choice at all. Colorado values freedom and personal liberty.


Jeff Odegard
Colorado Springs

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Give back the Helmet

We picked up a game for the kids at a garage sale. It's a Christian themed game called "Armor of God." Overall, it's a pretty good game. You go around the board trying to collect the 6 pieces of spiritual armor described in Ephesians 6. There are "battle" cards that either give or take away pieces of armor depending on the situation. For example, "you got in trouble at school, but then confessed to your parents. You get the Breastplate of Righteousness." or, "you didn't read your Bible, give back the Sword of the Spirit." It's a kid's game, on the kids' level, so it doesn't have to be perfect.

However, my daughter drew a card and got stuck trying to read a big word, so I took it to read it for her. It read:
You are embarrassed to
let your friends know
that you go to church
on Sundays.

Give back the
Helmet of Salvation.
I just smiled, gave the card to my wife and said, "let's pick another card." My daughter ended up with the sandals or something like that, and we kept playing. I kept the card when we cleaned up and put the game away.

So what's wrong? Can you really lose your salvation by being afraid to tell your friends you go to church? The card is based on a faulty interpretation of Matthew 10:32-33:
32 "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."
At first glance, some would jump to the conclusion that for Jesus to deny someone before the Father means that they will lose their salvation, but the passage is saying something quite different. The real question is, what does it mean to have Jesus confess or deny us before the Father?

2 Timothy 2:11-13 says:
11 It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Here enduring is contrasted with denying. If we endure, we receive the reward of reigning with Him. If we deny Him, He denies us - denying us the reward of reigning with Him. This is just what Luke 9:26 says: "For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." It's not about losing salvation, it's about being ashamed before the Father on the day of judgment. Look back at 2 Timothy 2:13. If we are faithless, if we blow it, if we are ashamed and afraid to tell people about Him, He remains faithful to us because of His character. He gives us grace when we blow it because He is gracious, loving and forgiving.

My favorite passage about our security in Christ is Ephesians 1:13-14, which says,
"13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory."
We are saved by grace through faith, and the moment we believe we receive the Holy Spirit, who seals us and is the pledge - the down payment - on our salvation. God does not break His promises, and His purpose in this promise is His own glory. You can't give back the Helmet of Salvation any more than you could turn a butterfly back into a caterpillar. At the moment of faith, a fundamental change happens inside you, and "you are a new creature; old things have passed away. Behold! New things have come!" (2 Cor 5:17)

I don't think that card will make it back to the game.

Note: Here is a slightly longer article on the topic of eternal security.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fox News Still Pushing Soft-Core Porn

Today's fair and balanced soft core porn from Fox News:
  • "Olivia Wilde's Potty Mouth" (including "hot" photo spread of Ms. Wilde in various stages of undress.
  • (Former Playboy Model and Hugh Hefner girlfriend) "Holly Madison Tending Bar!"
  • Fox "SexPert" "Wetter is Better"
  • Maxim Monday "Haley's 'Bust-Out' 3-D Role"
Come on Fox! The economy is on the rocks with unemployment and foreclosures are set to skyrocket. Our president is trying to cram a health care plan nobody wants down our throats. Iran and North Korea are pushing for nuclear weapons, and you are trying to make an extra buck pushing porn?

Our society is crumbling around our ears and you're contributing to it. Please, please, clean the trash off your site and focus on the real news.

This just in (well, it was news to me...): The New American, March 20, 2006 reported that Rupert Murdoch has a growing porn empire, including channels on his British Sky network. Come on Mike Huckabee, you're a former Baptist pastor. Come on Glenn Beck, you're a Mormon. Come on Father Jonathan, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, you're good Catholics. Stand up to your boss and tell him Fox news needs to clean up its act!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Open Letter to Fox News

Letter sent to this evening:

I'm really tired of all the sex and sleaze on I'm not a prude (but I am a Christian), but how often do I have to see "Playboy bunny wants bigger breasts" on a serious news site? Half of the articles in Features & Faces consistently use sex to draw readers to your news site, and I'm tired of it. I'm a conservative who will find other sites to read.

Besides, since Mr. Murdoch wants to start charging for his websites, I need to wean myself off your site before he does. I refuse to pay for Internet news. That's what your advertisers are for.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Democrat, Republican or Texan?

I got this in an email at work today, and couldn't pass up posting it!

Are you a Democrat, a Republican or a Texan? The answer can be found by posing the following question:

You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you. You are carrying a Colt 1911 cal. 45 semiautomatic pistol, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?

(Image courtesy of Xavier Thoughts)


Democrat's Answer:
  • Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
  • Does the man look poor or oppressed?
  • Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
  • Could we run away?
  • What does my wife think?
  • What about the kids?
  • Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
  • What does the law say about this situation?
  • Does the Colt have appropriate safety built into it?
  • Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
  • Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me? Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
  • If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
  • Should I call 9-1-1?
  • Why is this street so deserted?
  • We need to raise taxes, have paint and weed day and make this happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
  • This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for few days and try to come to a consensus.
Republican's Answer:
  • BANG!

Texan's Answer:
  • BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!* Click..... (Sounds of reloading)

  • Daughter: 'Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester SilverTips or Hollow Points?'
  • Son: 'Can I shoot the next one!'
* Note: the original email only had 9 bullets in the 1911 before reloading. The 1911 magazine holds 10. Actually a real Texan would load up 10+1. Also, there would be no "click" when the gun was empty because the slide would lock back and the hammer would be unable to drop, thus no "click". A competent handgunner would also be counting rounds expended and rounds remaining, so the second magazine would be on it's way to the gun immediately after the 11th round (10+1) was fired.**

** The previous note confirms that I am a gun geek. :o}

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Things that make me angry...

This from today:
"A businessman was held on suspicion of attempted murder after confronting a gang of youths who allegedly threatened to kill his wife and attacked his stepson outside their home.
Colin Philpott was roused from bed and, still barefoot, challenged the group as his stepson, Alex, was battered in the front garden of the family’s £500,000 property.
In the scuffle which followed, one of the youths, named locally as Josh Hasler, was stabbed a number of times and collapsed in the street. Police were called, leading to the arrest of Mr Philpott and five of the youths, aged 16."
A gang of at least 6 punks break into his house, attack his stepson, threaten to kill him and his wife, and he gets arrested for exercising his natural, God-given right to self-defense? According to the liberal nutjobs who run the country, I suppose he should have just rolled over and let them kill his family. Poor, misguided youths; they probably didn't know any better. They're the real victims here.

I hope the bobbies come to their senses, drop all charges and issue an apology, but that would assume a level of common sense that they just don't possess anymore in jolly old England.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Please Vote No on Heath Care Reform

Senators Bennet and Udall,

I have been watching the progress of the health care debate on Capitol hill and am very concerned, as I was with the Cap and Trade bill, that the proposed bill is a fiscal nightmare waiting to happen. I do not need to provide you with the specific details, but here is a quck list of my concerns:

  1. The CBO has warned of a $1 trillion cost explosion if it is passed. To pay for this, plan is to heavily tax the top tax bracket, which will hurt small businesses and entrepeneurs, further hurting the economy. In fact, it is very probable that taxes will have to eventaully be raised for all Americans (despite the President's pre-election promises) to cover skyrocketing health care bills.
  2. In other countries, nationalizing Health Care has lead to rationing, long waits, lower quality of service, and health care workers leaving the practice. Why is the survival rate for prostate cancer almost 98% in the US, but only 74% in Great Britain? Why are there ridiculously long waits for common surgeries in the UK, Canada and the rest of Europe, but very little wait here in the US? Nationalized Health Care has (like Cap and Trade) been a national disaster in countries that have tried it.
  3. The government has been unable to efficiently and effectively run any other program. I have no reason to believe it will do any better with health care. Nationalized health care will only add a monstrous layer of bureaucracy, control and inefficiency between me and my doctors.
  4. Please look at the list of cons at
Yes, we have a healthcare problem in the US, but it is nothing compared to the problems caused by Nationalized Health Care in other countries. There are better solutions out there that respect individual liberty, privacy, choice and the free market capitalism that has made this country great.

As an additional note, I notice that the Honorable John Thune (R-SD), sponsored Amendment 1618 which was added to the Defense Authorization Bill (S. 1390). It would give individuals with state-issued Concealed Handgun Licences (CHL) reciprocity in all states that allow concealed carry. At this time, CHL reciprocity between states is a constantly changing, confusing mess that puts law-abiding citizens in danger of unknowingly breaking gun laws in various states. Every trip out of state requires researching the current reciprocity and laws of each state I will travel through. Please support Amendment 1618 to SB 1390. Please support the People's Right to Keep and Bear Arms as documented in the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution and upheld in last year's Heller v. Washington D.C. decision.*

I have noticed that support for President Obama is plummeting, especially among independent voters, and that many moderate Democrats are beginning to resist the President's radical agenda in light of the upcoming mid-term elections. I was very interested to hear that Senator Bennet is up for re-election in 2010. I look forward to casting my vote in that election. For the first time ever, I am considering getting personally involved in backing the candidate of my choice.


Jeff A. Odegard
Colorado Springs

* Note to my blog-readers: The rights outlined in the Bill of Rights are "inalienable" and "natural" rights, inherent to men, women, and children because they are given by God.. The Bill of Rights recognizes, documents, and codifies these rights, but does not grant these rights. On the contrary, the Bill of Rights (like the rest of the Constitution) limits the powers of the US Government and protects the rights of the people and the individual States.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Meaningful Independence Day

Hope you had a meaningful Independence Day. May God bless the USA according to His grace and not as we deserve.

I wore a teabag on my hat at the parade and street fair in Monument, CO today. Guess that means I'm officially a "bitter clinger," Taxed Enough Already, gone public.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Please Vote No on Climate Bill

Senators Udall and Bennet,

First, I would like to thank you for your recent vote supporting our right to keep and bear arms, documented in the 2nd Amendment.

Please vote no on the upcoming climate bill. I am a conservationist, outdoorsman, fisherman and hunter. I believe in doing all we can to preserve the environment for future generations. I believe we can accomplish this through responsible land use and common sense legislation. However, this bill is a financial nightmare waiting to happen. I'm concerned about increased taxes which will result in no real impact to the global climate or the environment - only increased taxes and increased government control.


Jeff A. Odegard
Colorado Springs

Sent to both Senators this morning.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Real Hope and Real Change

Today we celebrated the life of one of my wife's Cubbies, a little girl of 5 who died last Saturday of an asthma attack. She was a beautiful, spirited little girl, always eager to help and a strong little leader. She struggled with over 30 food allergies, but was always a bright spot in everyone's day.

During the funeral there was a lot of discussion of how happy she is now in Heaven. (She trusted Christ for salvation recently and then followed Him in Baptism only three weeks ago, on the same night my daughter was baptized.) It got me thinking about the Hope we have in Christ- and not just the hope of Heaven, because there is more!

You see, Heaven is a wonderful place, where God wipes every tear from our eyes and where we are finally free from sin, pain and sickness. We get to worship our Creator alongside the angels, and get to see our loved ones who have gone before us. We find incredible bliss and joy in the presence of the Trinity, and can finally know Jesus even as He knows us (1 Cor 13:12)! In Scripture God gives us these tantalizing glimpses of heaven, but then reveals that there is much, much more!

As wonderful as Heaven is, it is only temporary. Contrary to popular, unbiblical Christian mythology, believers will not spend eternity in Heaven, sitting on a cloud strumming a harp. (And we do not become angels, either!) God created us as both physical and spiritual beings,* and to be disembodied, floating around in Heaven, as wonderful as it is, is not how God created us or intended us to be! It's not natural! My friends, we were made for Resurrection!

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul lays out an argument for the Resurrection of Christ and then begins to give us glimpses of our future. He says (v. 20) that Christ is the "first fruits" of the Resurrection, and that our glorified resurrection bodies will be infinitely different from our current bodies. With the imagery of a grain of wheat falling to the earth, dying, then coming back as a beautiful plant, he describes how our bodies will change to become imperishable, immortal, glorious, powerful and spiritual. When does this happen?** When Christ returns:
Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. Now when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will happen,

“Death has been swallowed up in victory."
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:51-55)
Now that my friends is Real Hope and Real Change! We will spend eternity in an amazing New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21-22)! We will have immortal Resurrection bodies like Christ's. Most importantly, we will see Him face to face and know Him and His love perfectly! That dear little girl is rejoicing with Christ in Heaven right now, but she has so much more to look forward to. And so do we!

* For the budding theologians out there: I hold a dichotomous/bipartite view of anthropology. We are ontologically one person with one nature having both physical and spiritual aspects. For my trichotomous friends, a word study of soul and spirit will show that the two terms are used interchangeably for the non-material aspect of man and are not distinct. (While you're at it, compare those terms with heart, conscience, mind, and will). Hebrews 4:12, 1 Thes. 5:23 and 1 Cor 2:14ff. need to be understood in light of the rest of Scripture. In perspective, however, the dichotomous / trichotomous discussion is an interesting in-house debate, but definitely not anything worth dividing over!

** 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 makes it almost sound like we receive our Resurrection bodies when we get to heaven, but 1) we need to understand it in light of all of Scripture, including the explicit timing provided in 1 Cor 15:52, 1 Thes 4:16; Rev 20:5, etc and 2) that the main idea in this passage is that we are struggling and have to live our lives in a way that pleases God, in light of the hope He gives us of a better future with Him!. Now another interesting topic is "How many Resurrections are there?"

Friday, May 22, 2009

February 22, 2010 - National Park Day

The president signed a law into effect today (attached to the credit card reform bill) that will allow concealed carry in many national parks. However, because of the language of the bill, it will not take effect for 9 months, even though the sponsors intended for it to be immediately binding. The Interior Department and National Park Service, who hate the idea of free citizens bearing arms, intend to follow the letter of the law and wait nine months.

Therefore, my ban on visiting National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges will continue until February 22, 2010, when the 2nd Amendment will finally also be valid on Federal lands. See you in Rocky Mountain National Park when the snow clears next Spring. And not a moment before.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

OWB Holster for Baby Eagle RS

This is my latest venture into the world of holster making. (Click on the pictures for a closer look.) It is an Outside the Waistband (OWB) paddle holster with a thumb break snap and two different cants. I built it to carry either openly on my hip or concealed behind my hip. After using the holster for a couple weeks, I actually like the canted setting best for either position. The vertical position is nice because the gun rides a little higher, but the FBI cant is definitely more comfortable for both carry and draw.

I cut the back first, then cut out the top piece on the barrel side of the holster and sewed it on. Then I wet-formed the leather using a plastic bag around the gun, a wooden form and lots of molding with my fingers. After it was dry I dyed the inside, put the front snap (on the back of the holster) and cut out the grip/trigger side and sewed it. Finally, I died the outside and put the back snap on. I covered the back of the back snap with a piece of suede to keep it from scratching the gun. The strip of leather around the mouth of the holster is there partially to provide a little extra stiffness to hold the holster open (a trick from the IWB holster world), and partially for looks. The gun was really tight, so I had to do the "put it in a plastic bag and ram it into the holster" trick. Next time, I'll add another 1/4" to the width of the back piece.

From the back, my stitches don't look as straight. If you compare to my first IWB holster, though, I think I've made some good improvement. The stitching wheel my Dad gave me last Christmas really helped. This was a fun project, but my wife is happy to have me back with the rest of the family and not constantly down in the basement.

Next will probably be a magazine holster for the other hip...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Up on a Ladder...

Laura and I went to a free dinner last night sponsored by a fire-safety vendor. It was a nice example of someone using FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) in a sales pitch. We didn’t buy anything, but enjoyed a nice free meal and a fairly entertaining speaker. I did some fact checking afterward, and found that he was dead on concerning the most common type of smoke detector installed in homes:

“In the early 1990s Texas A&M University did a full scale scientific investigation into the effectiveness of optical and ionization smoke detectors in different types of fires. The study determined that in a smoldering fire, with its relatively low number of large smoke particles, optical detectors fail 4.06 percent of the time, while ionization detectors have a 55.8 percent failure rate. For flame ignition fires, which have a large number of small, energetic smoke particles, ionization smoke detectors had a 3.99 percent probability of failure while optical smoke detectors have a 19.8 percent failure rate.” (

Your ionization detector only works 44% of the time in smoldering, smoky fires, and the studies I read show that it takes quite a bit of smoke (upwards of 15 minutes) before they actually go off. Bottom line, if you have plain ionization smoke detectors in your home, head to your favorite home improvement store on your way home and pick up some combination optical/thermal detectors or optical/ionization detectors (for about 96% reliability), one for each level of your house. While you’re at it, pick up a combination Carbon Monoxide/Explosive Gas detector for each area where you have Natural Gas or Propane, and Carbon Monoxide detectors where you have a fireplace or wood stove.

Don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish. Do some research of your own and you’ll find yourself on a ladder installing your new smoke detectors…

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Once in a Lifetime

God has blessed me in many ways, but He has given me a special glimpse of His wisdom and grace this week. Work took me away from my family, the farthest I've ever been from home. I miss them very much and call every chance I get. Work is a good distraction, but the evenings are difficult. I'm really looking forward to being home again.

For the last two nights, I've had the opportunity to go down to the beach where I'm staying and see an amazing animal. I missed the main nesting season, but the Green Sea Turtle mothers are still coming on the beach at night to lay their eggs, and some babies are still hatching. Last night I saw two mama turtles and over 20 babies. Tonight I saw more adults and a few babies, and got a chance to watch as one dug a hole in the sand and laid her eggs.

I suppose you have to be patient to be a sea turtle. In the middle of a 2,500 mile journey to her birthplace, the gentle plant eater takes a couple of hours to fight against the undertow, pull herself slowly up the beach above the tide line, then dig a 18" deep hole, lay her eggs, and then return to the sea. (You certainly have to be patient to watch them!) She dug the hole with her back flippers, dipping them one at a time into the hole, cupping the sand like you would in your hand, then dropping it. Before using that flipper again, she would fling the sand away, and then drop her flipper back into the hole. At the end, she was really stretching to get the hole as deep as she could. The eggs went in so fast, all we heard was a small noise, and then she was turning around , covering the hole as she went. This three foot turtle then went slowly and directly back to the sea, where she disappeared in a wave.

Last night I followed a tiny baby (about the size of the palm of my hand) on its journey to the sea. Our footprints in the sand were ravines to this little lesson in persistence. His journey began probably 3 or 4 days ago when he hatched under those 18 inches of sand. Along with his brothers and sisters, he had to dig up out of the sand and then crawl out of the 2 foot deep nest. Getting out of the nest was like crawling on your belly from the bottom of a quarry. Up and down and around, he kept heading for the light of the sea - I probably followed him for 30 minutes (who knows how far he had already come!). A wave came up over the baby, and then he was gone. Only one out of a thousand live to adulthood, but he never gave up.

Thank you, Lord, for the lessons of patience and persistence, and for getting a glimpse of your Glory in your Creation. I will never forget it.

Me with a Mama green turtle.

Two baby turtles on their way to the sea.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Quickly, Go Tell!

Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.

The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you."

And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

Matthew 28:1-8 (NASB)

The greatest truth of Christianity is the literal, bodily Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospel, as defined in 1 Corinthians 15, is that Jesus died on the cross according to the Scriptures, that He was buried and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures. Death and sin have been defeated. We can have new life in Christ and live and reign forever with Him because of the Resurrection. That's Good News worth telling!

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gospel Illusions

As I mentioned in my previous post, one of my favorite places to do illusions is at church for the kids in our AWANA program. Over this last year, I've used a number of tricks to illustrate a number of Biblical principles. I thought that a blog post would be a good way to capture those and possibly encourage someone else to use some of these old standards in their church. These are some of my favorites:

Cups and Balls - The balls penetrating the stacked cups is used to represent Scripture memorization. As we memorize verses, they eventually move from our head into our hearts where they change us (Rom 12:2). Balls jumping from cup to cup show how, once verses are memorized, God can bring them to mind when they're most needed. The final loads show us that God can take the little verses that we memorize and use them to do amazing things.

Scotch and Soda - The copper coin represents our sinful selves before we knew Christ. Jesus, represented by the silver coin is holy. When we trust Him for salvation, He covers us and changes us. The quarter that replaces the copper coin shows that we are now forgiven and declared righteous. That the quarter is smaller than the copper coin (it appears to have shrunk) shows that we should be humble and not be as prideful as we were before we came to Christ. Ephesians 2:8-10.

Chinese Linking Rings - I use the rings linking together to show how my grandmother told me the Gospel, then I tell the kids, and then they are supposed to tell others, making a chain of faith. "The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" 2 Tim 2:2.

Color Changing Brass Chips
- This little gem from Royal Magic is a great buy. After doing the black and white jumping from hand to hand bit, I step right into a Wordless Book presentation. Black represents our sinful nature. White represents God's holiness. Jesus came down as God incarnate and (with the black covering the white, the white turns red) died on the Cross for our sins. When we trust Christ, (with the red covering the black, the black turns green) His blood covers our sins and we receive eternal life. Turning the green over reveals yellow/gold, demonstrating that we will spend eternity in heaven with the King. Turning over the red shows blue, representing the Holy Spirit who, like water, helps to keep us clean from sin. (Rom 6:23).

Double Card Turnover - In this trick, a child takes one half of the deck and then does what you do. You each select a card, look at it, hand it to the other person, and they put it in their half of the deck. The illusionist puts both halves of the deck together, and fans them out on the table. To everyone's surprise, the two cards are face up. I always make sure that my card is the King of Hearts, so I can tell the child that as a Christian they'll often have to against the flow, but as long as they follow the King of Hearts, they will be doing the right thing.

Okito Coin Box - The coins seem to escape a little brass box and pass through the box and my hand into theirs. In the same way, God has provided a way for us to escape and be free from sin, "knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin" Romans 6:6-7.

Coin Matrix - Four cards, four quarters. One card is placed over each coin, and then as the cards are lifted, the coins gather, one at a time, under one card. This is a neat parable about fellowship. Christians want to come together and spend time with each other. Hebrews 10:24-25.

There are others. I've had some flops and busts, too. Last week we had Western Day, and I brought my possibles bag as part of my cowboy getup. I started telling them about how the possibles bag held everything a cowboy needed for shooting, starting a fire, etc. My intention was to ask them what things a Christian should have in his or her possibles bag. In the process of them asking about what I had in my bag, I forgot where I was going and launched right into a poorly chosen trick with a totally unrelated message. I don't know what I was thinking, but just have to trust that the Holy Spirit keeps working even when we become "fools for Christ's sake."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Nice Distraction.

I've been working on an old hobby. Since I was in junior high, I've been intrigued by illusionists. I picked up Mark Wilson's fat little Cyclopedia of Magic* sometime during high school, and have been hooked ever since. I've been doing magic for my family and friends for years, but this year started doing tricks with Biblical applications for my AWANA Sparks. Between bright K-2nd Graders and some very sharp coworkers, I've been challenged to improve my sleight of hand and presentation skills.

My favorite illusions involve coins. I picked up Bobo's Modern Coin Magic a couple years ago and have really enjoyed making coins appear, disappear, multiply and change. I've always got a couple coins in my pocket "just in case." Some of my favorites are Just Pretend, Scotch and Soda and a little Coins Across routine that explains why I have so much trouble teaching my daughter addition and subtraction. The Coin Matrix is also a favorite.

I also really like Cups and Balls. My sister gave me Mysterio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring by Gabe Fajuri for Christmas and it has a great section on Cups and Balls. I picked up the I Love Jesus cups in the photo above at a Christian bookstore and the balls from my local magic shop (Blackthorne Magic at Citadel Mall) .

The best part of magic is using it to illustrate Biblical principles. I explain to people that I just do "tricks" to entertain and to teach. When I do it, I'm making it look like something happened when it didn't. When Jesus walked on water and healed people, He really walked on water and healed people! When I do a trick and it looks like the balls passed through the cups, I was just pretending. The point, I'm making, however, is true. When we put God's Word into our heads, it passes through into our hearts and begins to change us from the inside out.

In a future post I'll list some of the illusions I have used and the Biblical principles I've illustrated with them.

* Instead of Cyclopedia of Magic, now I'd suggest a kid start with Wilson's newer Complete Course in Magic. It's expanded and easier to follow, and has a few more advanced routines.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Galatians Published in Christianity Today...

When I read this post in The Sacred Sandwich, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. The satirical premise is that Paul's Epistle to the Galatians was published in Christianity Today, and these are the letters to the editors the following month.

Why has the church fallen in to such a Christian pragmatism? People think that it must be true because it works - never mind how much they have to abuse Scripture to "support" their pet practices. Whatever happened to the idea that experience must be tested in light of God's Word, and then rejected if it is found to be unbiblical?

Why can't we criticize unbiblical attitudes and behaviors without being called unloving? In Ephesians, Paul tells us to "speak the truth in love." It's like two wings on an airplane - you can't be truly loving without the truth, and to tell the truth without a humble, loving attitude is unChristian. When did the Truth of God's Word become so unfashionable in the Church?

So, do I laugh or do I cry?