Tuesday, January 28, 2014

School Choice Week Event at AEI

Senators Lamar Alexander and Tim Scott are scheduled to unveil proposals to expand school choice today at the American Education Institute.  You can watch the event live here beginning at 10:40. 


Monday, January 27, 2014

Marked for Destruction: The Plight of Syrians Christians

I know very little about the conflict in Syria, but was surprised to see the title of this event at the Heritage Foundation.  Today at 1:00 p.m., "the first delegation of Syrian Church leaders to visit the United States since the start of the civil war will give a talk at The Heritage Foundation about the current crisis facing Christians in Syria." The delegation is in the U.S. to raise awareness of the threats against Christians in Syria. They will discuss actions the global community can take to protect religious minorities in the country.  This is a great opportunity to get informed on what is happening in this part of our world. Register to attend in person or watch it live here.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Clergy Letter Project

An interesting offering today at the Natural History Museum.  There will be a discussion with Dr. Michael Zimmerman,  Executive Director of The Clergy Letter Project and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Biology at The Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) and Dr. Connie Bertka, Co-chair of the Human Origins Program's Broader Social Impacts Committee about building bridges between scientists and religious leaders: the case of The Clergy Letter Project.  The event is at the museum today from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday Book Review - Beleiving God...Again

In addition to reading Believing God by Beth Moore, I recently began the Believing God: Experiencing a Fresh Explosion of Faith Member Book. The two together have been an amazing experience. I enjoyed the hard cover book immensely and learned valuable lessons on faith and faithfulness.  The Member Book, however, really takes the learning to the next level!

There are two primary reasons I like the Member Book. First, there is an intense emphasis on dissecting scripture. Not just the meanings of words, but also there original meanings in the Hebrew language and comparable uses throughout the Bible. This is instructive because it helps put a lot of the scripture in context and highlights interesting similarities. Second, is the time for reflection. The study provides an opportunity to reflect on scriptures, biblical concepts, and evidence of God's work in your life. This morning during a lesson on the faithfulness of Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-10), I had an "aha moment" that brought clarity to a long struggle of mine. I can't say it was the first time I ever heard this information, but it really moved me and gave me a sense of peace.

This is one of my first real Bible studies and I have to say I'm hooked. What a great way to start the day!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Searching an American Slave Ship

The National Museum of American History will host a program that highlights the history and people that lived the experience of the Middle Passage and explore the work the Smithsonian is doing to recover these stories.  Facilitators will provide an interactive experience of early 19th century American maritime culture, including how anti-slavers identified slave carrying ships.  A great opportunity to better understand the grueling journey many slaves had to endure.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday Book Review: Lincoln Unbound

As I experience more and more of life, one concept that I've become enamored with is perseverance. Perseverance is defined as doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Coincidentally, my word for the year, "faith," is defined as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews11:1). My mind sees obvious parallels. I hope I'm not the only one.
All that being said, I love a good story of perseverance and achievement. It serves as inspiration for those of us that are still pursuing our substance with no evidence in sight. Which is why I thoroughly enjoyed Lincoln Unbound: How an Ambitious Young Railsplitter Saved the American Dream-and How We Can Do It Again by Rich Lowry.
President Lincoln came from humble means. He worked hard and ultimately earned political and financial success. He had a number of setbacks though. Difficulty finding work. Lost elections. The book humanized someone that I think it's easy to assume led an easy, mistake free life that was pre-destined for greatness. Quite the opposite, he worked hard to achieve success. Who would of thought that one of the most successful presidents in history had a rocky professional start just like I did? What should I take away from that?
The answer is that the sky's the limit. The American Dream is real and it can be just as alive today as it was in Lincoln's time. Don't let anyone tell you that we have to settle for anything other than our dreams. Lowry lays out a nice call to action on recovering the "Lincoln Ethic." I highly recommend checking it out!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Social Security for the 21st Century

The American Enterprise Institute will host More or Better? Rethinking Social Security for the 21st Century.  Both sides of the aisle are proposing changes to the program so that it will better address future retirement needs.  I'm not at all informed on this debate, but feel it's important to get educated before we go to the polls in 2014 and '16.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 Index of Economic Freedom

The Heritage Foundation will officially release the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom.  This is the 20th anniversary of the joint publication between Heritage and the Wall Street Journal, which tracks the progress of economic freedom around the world.  Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) will provide keynote remarks.  Sure to be interesting!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Legal Issues Cancer Patients Face and How to be an Advocate

If you are a member of the American Bar Association, this is a great offering (the price may be steep for non-ABA members).  The ABA Health Law Section Breast Cancer Advocacy Task Force will kick off a member benefit series on advocating for breast cancer and other cancer patients with this event Legal Issues Cancer Patients Face and How to be an Advocate.  The webinar will include a substantive discussion of the issues cancer patients from a medical and legal perspective.  This is a great service as too many friends and family members are impacted by this disease...

Friday, January 10, 2014

NLRB v. Noel Canning Discussion

On Friday, January 10, 2014, the American Bar Association, Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice will host a webinar entitled NLRB v. Noel Canning: The President, Congress, and the Power to Make Recess Appointments.  The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in NLRB v. Noel Canning on January 13, 2014.  The webinar will discuss the issues before the Court, featuring the authors of two prominent amicus briefs in the case.  See the full program brochure here

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thursday Book Review - Believing God by Beth Moore

I'm so excited to have recently read my first ever book by Beth Moore, a well known Christian author and Bible teacher.  B&H Publishing made a few of her books available for free over the new year and I gobbled them up.  I plan to review many of them in the coming weeks and months for my Thursday book reviews. 

I read Believing God first and felt that it was absolutely perfect for this part of my journey as a Christian.  Priscilla Shirer introduced me to the concept of the Promised Land  in One in a Million: Journey to the Promised Land.  That was a life changer and I've read it probably a dozen times since then.  Each time I read it, I feel like I learn something new about how the Israelites exodus from Egypt relates to my own journey as a Christian. 

Believing God takes me another step as it really digs into what it means to have faith.  For many years, I thought faith was all about believing in God, which all Christians do.  But believing God, is an entirely different matter.  That requires diligently studying the Bible and dedicated time in prayer and reflection so that we can discern God's promise for our lives. 

Moore does an excellent job of laying this all out using a five statement pledge of faith that focuses on who God is, who we are in His eyes, and the power of the Word.  She encourages readers to memorize and internalize the pledge for those moments when we feel like we may be losing faith.  While it may seem awkward at first, I have to admit it has helped me when I feel my faith waning for whatever reason.  Moore also guides us through understanding how God has been there for us in our past and will be there for us in the present and future. 

Growing my faith is my top priority for this year.  I'm grateful for all of the Bible teachers that devoted their time and talents to educating people like me on how to do that.  If you know of any other good books on faith, please let me know!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Leaning into Leadership

The American Bar Association, Section of Taxation will host a webinar and teleconference on eliminating bias in the legal profession today.  The event is co-sponsored by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. The panel will offer "suggestions for workplace education and elimination of bias against women programs..."  Find out more about the event here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case

For all of you constitutional scholars, the Heritage Foundation is hosting a discussion on how legal bloggers at the Volokh Conspiracy "engaged in a spirited, erudite, and accessible discussion of the legal issues involved in the debate over the Affordable Care Act."  Sounds interesting! Watch it live here.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Tour the Freer Gallery of Art

Today you have the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Freer Gallery of Art, one of my favorite Smithonian museums. The Freer Gallery is the first Smithsonian museum devoted to the fine arts. Learn about how Charles Lang Freer, the museum's founder, shaped his collection and developed his vision for the museum. Meet at the Freer information desk at 1:15 p.m. (Jefferson Drive at 12th Street SW).

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thursday Book Review - Hebrews: The Nearness of King Jesus

I am humbled to offer this book review of Lisa Harper's new study Hebrews: The Nearness of King Jesus.  I find it humbling because about two years ago, I dreamed on the phone with a best friend about starting a blog and writing about all kinds of things, even doing book reviews.  To see that dream come to fruition is perfectly fitting with a study on the Book of Hebrews because to me it's all about faith. 

The first half of Lisa's study outlines how Hebrews establishes the superiority of Jesus, particularly over angels and priests.  I found this part enlightening, as I never really questioned Jesus' superiority.  But Lisa reminds us that Hebrews was written thousands of years ago before everyone had access to the Bible.  Therefore, priests were held in very high regard because they were the only ones who had access to the Word.  The supremacy of Jesus over all others was a new way.  This is also an important caution for those of us who have access to the Bible, but may be inclined to invest too much into leaders in the church.  We all know how problematic that becomes when humans fail.

The rest of the study and of Hebrews gives important instructions on living out our faith under the New Covenant with Jesus.  No story speaks to me like the Israelites journey to the Promised Land. (I think it's because I'm relatively young in my Christian walk)  If there is a Bible Study that talks about it, I want to be a part of it.  I want to apply it to my life.  It helps me better understand my journey.  Lisa didn't disappoint as she describes how the New Covenant with Jesus relates to the Old Covenant under Moses and offers tips on applying it to our lives daily. 

Its no coincidence that this study came along when it did.  It was a reminder that I need to live out my faith in the dreams God gave me.  It was a sign that these dreams are heaven sent and real.  It also inspired my resolution for 2014 - to be a stalwart of faith.  I'm taking my faith to new levels in 2014 and I thank Lisa for helping me better understand how to do that!  #NearJesus