Archive for March, 2012

If the Dalai Lama won the Mega Millions lottery

Posted by    |    March 30th, 2012 at 6:45 am

Tibet exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama delivers a speech during a conference at the Coliseo Theater, next to translator Gerardo Abboud, in Buenos Aires September 13, 2011 (Credit: Reuters/Martin Acosta)Today’s Mega Millions jackpot has reached a record $540 million.  If the lucky winner chooses the cash option, he or she would receive a lump sum of $389 million before taxes.  The annuity option would pay out more than $20.7 million for 26 years before taxes.  How would that much money change your life?

Not necessarily in ways you might think.  Consider Jack Whitaker, who won $315 million in 2002.  The West Virginia businessman was robbed of $545,000 at a strip club; his granddaughter and daughter were later found dead; and he was sued by an Atlantic City casino for bouncing checks worth $1.5 million to cover gambling losses.

You Up For a Challenge? A BIG Challenge? I Dare You To Do The 30 Hour Fast With Me.

Posted by    |    March 30th, 2012 at 5:40 am

Are you up for a 30 hour fast?

How long could you go without food? Could you last 30 hours without food? There are some of us who can’t go a few hours without hollering, “I’m hungry.” As most of you know, on May 2nd, we’re having our 4th annual “Dump Day” to raise money to feed the hungry people who live and eat at the Tegucigalpa, Honduras dump.

This year I want to do more than just give to feed the hungry… I want to understand (to a very small degree) what it’s like to go hungry. I want to fast 30 hours during the “Dump Day” marathon, BUT I don’t want to do it alone. I want to challenge some of you to do it with me.

This year I’m challenging you to a Dump Day fast. A 30 hour fast that will coincide with Dump Day. It will remind us two things… (more…)

What do the JetBlue pilot, Mega Millions, and Obama care have in common?

Posted by    |    March 28th, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Clayton Osbon is unfortunately the most famous airline pilot in America this morning.  The JetBlue captain disrupted a flight from New York to Las Vegas on Tuesday.  While in the air, he began rambling incoherently about religion, walked to the rear of the aircraft, then sprinted to the forward galley.  The copilot had locked him out of the cockpit; passengers restrained him while he yelled comments about Jesus, September 11, Iran, Iraq and terrorists.  The plane landed in Amarillo, where he is being held for medical evaluation.

JetBlue’s CEO says that Osbon had always been a “consummate professional.” Those who know him never expected him to behave as he did Tuesday.  Does this bizarre event make you wonder about the captain of your next flight?

Meanwhile, the Mega Millions jackpot will be worth a record $500 million tomorrow.  It was worth $363 million Tuesday night; 47 players came close, matching 5 of the 6 winning numbers.  The jackpot has been unclaimed 18 times since the January 24 drawing.  Your odds of winning are one in 176 million; by contrast, you are 450,000 to 3,000,000 times more likely to die in an asteroid collision. (more…)

Atheists Rally for Reason and mock religion

Posted by    |    March 26th, 2012 at 6:45 am

Tim Minchin performing The Pope Song at the 2012 Reason Rally in Washington DC, March 24, 2012 (Credit: G. Gollinger via Flickr)Organizers called it “the largest gathering of the secular movement in world history.” According to USA Today, those attending were “hell-bent on damning religion and mocking beliefs.”  What was this event?  The “Reason Rally,” held in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.  Richard Dawkins called on the crowd to “ridicule and show contempt” for religious people and their doctrines.  “God is a myth,” claimed the president of American Atheists.  “We’re godless–get used to it,” the crowd chanted at one point.

Atheists held their first mass gathering on the National Mall in 2002, with 2,000 present.  They were hoping for 30,000 at Saturday’s event; 20,000 showed up, despite intermittent rain.  Their increasing numbers reflect a growing pattern.  The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey found that 15% of Americans claim no religion, up from 8.1% in 1990.  Part of the appeal of atheists is their claim to be “reasonable,” as the name of their Rally suggests.

Etch a Sketch and other faux pas

Posted by    |    March 25th, 2012 at 5:40 am

A boy receives an Etch A Sketch as a gift from his great grandmother (Credit: Protoflux via Flickr)“Etch A Sketch” has never had it so goodReuters reports this morning that the children’s toy has supplanted Tim Tebow on Yahoo’s Top 5 searches and swept Twitter’s top slot for two days running.  A device marketed to four-to-eight year olds is now a staple in cable newsrooms.  One commentator fumbled with it as he stated, “I wish we could erase the U.S. debt.”

All this because one of Mitt Romney’s political advisers told CNN on Wednesday, “You hit a reset button for the fall campaign.  Everything changes.  It’s almost like an ‘Etch A Sketch.’  You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”  Romney’s opponents have used the comment to claim that he is a political waffler.  He counters that he has always been a political conservative and always will be.

Sean Payton suspended one year in bounty controversy

Posted by    |    March 22nd, 2012 at 6:45 am

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton looks on before his team met the San Francisco Giants in their NFL NFC Divisional playoff football game in San Francisco, Jan. 14, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith)What do Tim Tebow and the New Orleans Saints have in common?  I don’t usually write on sports subjects as often as I have this week, but today’s headlines haven’t given me much choice.  Two days ago I asked where Tim Tebow would play next.  Now we know: New York City.  He has been traded to the Jets and is expected to back up Mark Sanchez.

This is an opportunity for Tebow to play on the world’s biggest stage, but I doubt he sees it that way.  One of the most appealing things about his fame is that he tries so hard not to seek it.  He had been inviting people facing health issues to his football games long before anyone found out about his generosityHis foundation will help build a children’s home in the Philippines, where his parents were longtime missionaries, but he did nothing to promote the fact in our country.

Beat Up, Ran Over & Left For Dead (A Story from the Dump)

Posted by    |    March 22nd, 2012 at 5:40 am

If you were to visit the Tegucigalpa dump in Honduras, one of the first people you might see is Fanni.  She was one of the first people that Marc & Terri Tindall met in the dump. Fanni is now 18 and has a little boy named Marcos. Fanni lives in a very dangerous neighborhood and walks about 2 hours each way to get to the dump, where she works collecting plastic and boxes to sell so she can support her family.

A while back, Fani was beaten up, run over, stabbed and left for dead. Somehow Fanni didn’t die but was in bed and unable to work for many weeks. The money you gave to the dump fund last year was able to help Fani and her family survive while she recovered.

Thank you for your support of the dump ministry.

Just a reminder that every Wednesday I post a story about the dump. Dump Day 2012 and the 30 hour fast, will be Wednesday May 2nd. Continue to watch this blog and Bread for a Hungry World‘s website for more details.

By the way, have you seen this year’s video?

Where will Tim Tebow play next year?

Posted by    |    March 20th, 2012 at 7:00 am

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow holds the trophy after winning the Never Say Never award at the inaugural National Football League Honors at the Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, Indiana February 4, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)Tim Tebow was the most exciting player in the NFL last year.  Tebowmania swept the country as the young quarterback took over a 1-4 team that hadn’t been to the playoffs in six years.  He led them to seven wins in eight starts; they captured their division and defeated the six-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the playoffs.  He was set to start at quarterback for the Denver Broncos and continue his improbable story.

Then came the most prominent free agent in NFL historyPeyton Manning is arguably the best quarterback of his generation–some would say, the best in history.  He has received four MVP awards as the best player in pro football and won the Super Bowl in 2007.  He has accumulated more than 50,000 yards passing, scored nearly 400 touchdowns, and has been named to the Pro Bowl 11 times in 14 seasons.

We Gave Away A House Yesterday. Before and After Pictures.

Posted by    |    March 20th, 2012 at 5:40 am

The Augment group and the community of Childress gave away another house yesterday. It’s our second house. We’ll be starting on our third project this week. Here are a few before/after pictures and of the yesterday’s open house.
The first picture of the house (BEFORE)

Yesterday’s picture (AFTER) (more…)

Rod Blagojevich enters federal prison

Posted by    |    March 16th, 2012 at 6:45 am

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich makes a statement to reporters outside his Chicago home one day before reporting to federal prison in Colorado to serve a 14-year sentence for corruption as his wife Patti wipes away tears, March 14, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/Jeff Haynes)Rod Blagojevich is now Inmate No. 40892-424.  The former Illinois governor joins Jeff Skilling, former CEO and president of Enron, as prisoners of the Englewood Federal Correctional Institution in Colorado.  Blagojevich will work a menial job, possibly cleaning bathrooms or doing landscape work.  His starting salary: 12 cents an hour.

Contrast his story with J. K. Rowling, another celebrity in today’s news.  The Harry Potter author has fallen from the ranks of the world’s billionaires due to her personal benevolence.  While taxes in Great Britain contributed to her reduced fortune, the larger reason for her diminished wealth is that she gave away more than $160 million last year.  The former single mother on welfare has a special passion for other single mothers and created a foundation on their behalf.