Fathers: Build Your House (Your Families) On Rock

Fathers–I want to encourage you to build your house (i.e., your families) on the rock of Jesus Christ.  God can use that obedience in amazing ways.

I went to the Star Spangled Sunday event last night celebrating the 200th anniversary of our Star Spangled Banner.  I took this picture of these two faithful men.  This is Rafael Cruz (Ted Cruz’s father) and Flip Benham (Jason and David Benham’s father).  These two men built their houses on the rock of Jesus Christ and because of their obedience, God has servants that He can use.

Fathers–when you are obedient to the Lord with your family, you never know how God can use that.  But we must be obedient first and train our children in His ways so that they can be fruitful for Him.

Rafael Cruz Flip Benham

Dear Progressives—The Bible Does Not Support or Compel Big Entitlement Programs

For years progressives have told us that the Bible compels Christians to contribute to an enormous government without objection for growing big government entitlement programs.  This fake theology is not only Biblically defective, but it is tremendously damaging to God’s overall design for our culture.

For instance, during the 2008 election, then candidate Barack Obama told Rick Warren that America’s biggest failure as an institution is our failure to follow Matthew 25:40, which states “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”

I have heard this line of reasoning several times as a commissioner.  Do not buy into this argument; it is wrong.  The progressives use this verse  to promote an agenda that includes dependency on the government instead of God and one’s self.

First, the plain language of this verse shows it is not about government performing a task, it is about how individual Christians will be judged.  The verse doesn’t say, “to the extent that you contributed to your government and your government did it to one of these brothers of Mine”.  It says, “to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine . . . .”  This verse calls individual Christians  to act for Jesus; not to simply write a check to the government and let them take care of it.

render_to_caesar pictureJesus was clear that what you give to the government in taxes has nothing to do with what you do in performing your duties as a Christian.  When speaking to the Pharisees in Matthew Chapter 22 (just three chapter earlier) about paying taxes, Jesus said “Then render to Ceasar the things that are Ceasar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”  Taxes are not rendered to God, they are rendered to today’s “Ceasar”.  In Matthew 17:24-27, Jesus showed that even in those times taxes were collected unjustly (“that which is has been already and that which will be has already been” right!).  Like the Roman system described in Matthew 17, the American tax and spend system is wicked; it is not righteous.  Taxes are not God’s way of implementing the “love thy neighbor” commandment!

Second, as I mentioned above, this is a tremendously damaging fake theology because instead of Christians giving and pointing people to God, the government gives and points people to government.  In 2 Corinthians chapter 9, God makes this clear.  Paul is writing to the church at Corinth about a commitment they made to give to the Jerusalem church.  Verses 13 & 14 are right on point here: “Because of the proof given by this ministry [the Corinthians], they [the Jerusalem saints] will glorify God for your [the Corinthians] obedience to your [the Corinthians] confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your [the Corinthians] contribution to them [the Jerusalem saints] and to all, while they [the Jerusalem saints] also, by prayer on your [the Corinthians] behalf, yearn for you [the Corinthians] because of the surpassing grace of God in you [the Corinthians].

This says that the Jerusalem church was pointed to God when the Corinthians gave them a gift in God’s glory.  Upon receiving such gift, the Jerusalem saints pray for the Corinthians, as they are now in fellowship.  God is pretty amazing.  He set this up so that when we “love our neighbor”, it points them to God and we now pray for each other in fellowship.  The progressives don’t want this.  Instead, they want to take God out of this transaction.  They want Christians to give to the government, then the government will give to the people.  Guess what this does?  It points the recipient of the gift–not to God–but to the government.  Anybody wonder why government has become so many Americans’ god?

As Christians, it is time to actually engage (i.e., sacrifice some of your time instead of watching TV) the government and reduce these programs (we learned today that the food stamp program is so poorly run people can buy pot with their food stamp card).  We must take back the responsibility for “loving they neighbor”.  That is the Christian principle.

School Board Wastes $100K; No Apologies

Last work session, we found out that the Cabarrus County Board of Education wasted almost $100,000 of your tax money.  They don’t apologize to you for doing it, they just want more.

Since I have been a commissioner, I have consistently asked for budgets for school construction prior to determining funding amounts because there is tremendous waste.  With some schools costing almost $50 million, we need to know what that kind of money is being spent on.

To create a comprehensive budget to spend up to $50 million takes diligence and hard work.  It does not appear that the Cabarrus BoE or the administration is willing to put in those efforts.  Instead, CCS asks for far more than it needs to build a school (remember when they asked for $33 million to build Mount Pleasant Middle even though they now agree it will cost no more than $22 million) and then build whatever they want knowing that they have plenty of extra money.  This is much easier for them, but MUCH more costly for you.

Last Monday was a perfect example.  I have known since January that the old Odell site is the site for the new elementary school.  Obviously, the new Odell, which is also an elementary school, is right around the corner.  As the school board has stated, having two k-5 schools so close is not the best plan for that corridor.

Instead of getting a plan together and working through that issue prior to spending money, they spent your money to have another k-5 school engineered.

Just a few months later, they decided to make the new school a grade 3-5 elementary school.  Engineering plans for a k-5 school are not the same as those for a grade 3-5 school, so now the school board wants to spend an additional $94,480 to re-engineer the school for grades 3-5.

Whether a grade 3-5 or k-5 is a better option, I do not know.  However, the circumstances leading to that decision existed prior to CCS expending engineering funds and if they had put in a proper amount of due diligence, they would have saved $94,480 of your money.  But it is your money they spend, and they have plenty more of that, so they don’t worry about it and they certainly don’t apologize for it.

As always, here is the full video for you to see for yourselves:

Be Bold for the Lord; for America—Don’t Let Them Intimidate You

America was built on Christian values and hard work; personal responsibility.  Now those things have all become bad words in our PC culture!  If you believe that the values and principles that built America into the great country it is are still good for America, PLEASE READ THIS!

I am writing to you to encourage and exhort you to stand up for the Lord and for America; don’t be intimidated by the progressives.  As a country, we have $18 trillion in debt and have left our Christian values.  If there was ever a time to stand up and fight, it must be now.

The number one reason that Christians and true Americans won’t stand up and fight right now is fear of damaging our reputations; both professionally and personally.   You see, we have become slaves to our reputations, to what other people think of us.  The progressives know this and intimidate us by threatening our reputations.  They call us hateful names like bully, bigot, racist, intolerant, homophobe, maintaining a “war on women”, etc.

But, if you are a Christian and/or a true American, please think about this—Jesus suffered a horrible death through crucifixion for us and we won’t sacrifice a piece of our reputation for him?  Americans—our founding fathers put their lives, their families’ lives, all of their property and everything else on the line for this country, and we can’t stand up for what is right when our safety is not even at risk?

The progressives have sold out their own children and grandchildren to moral decay and crushing debt.  They have stolen from their children and grandchildren liberty and freedom from government and destined them for a life (if you call it that) of dependency on the institution of government.  They believe their imagination is the only limit on what government can accomplish.  Why do we care what these people that have done this to their own children and grandchildren think about us or call us?

One thing I have tried to do as your commissioner is to stand in the face of this intimidation and continue to fight.  While my term is only 18 months, my main goal has been to show you that one can stand and fight the progressive agenda and they can’t hurt you.  This wasn’t about substantive change necessarily, it was about giving you confidence to stand up and fight by standing and fighting myself.

Break The Chains PicIt was tremendously liberating when I joined this fight and stopped caring about my reputation!  I have been called every name in the book, my family has been insulted, the newspaper draws over-the-line cartoons of me, lies have been spread about me, etc.  Guess what—I’m stronger than I was before because I don’t have to worry anymore about my reputation.  I am free from that bondage.

You can be free too.  It is time for you to join this fight.  I don’t mean by sending out emails to your email list and talking amongst your Sunday school classes.  We’ve got to get out into the public and be leaders!  This week, I am going to make a series of posts with the truth.  I’ll get called names and the progressives will hate me, but it is time.  Tune in!

Cabarrus County to Tax Churches, Hospital, and ALL Non-Profits?

On Monday, I voted against an effort by the county commissioners to possibly move to tax our churches, hospital, and all non-profit entities within the county.  Specifically, the county submitted its list of legislative goals to the NCACC, an entity that lobbies the state legislature on behalf of the counties.  One of the proposed goals on that list was to “study the impact to local government finances of exempting nonprofits from the requirement of paying property taxes and review possible payment in lieu of taxes requirement.”

I voted against this “goal” because we all know that when the government starts studying new tax revenue, the target of the study better hold on to its wallet!  It’s no secret that poor spending decisions (like spending $118 million on the jail) have left our county with over $400 million in debt.  Leadership does not want to make difficult decisions, so more revenue is a requirement.

I think the county receives enough tax revenue and needs to make more responsible choices.  From 2008 to today, our tax revenue increased by over 30%.  Some will say that when more taxpayers are paying, the burden on all of us goes down.  This is not the case in Cabarrus County.  Our history shows that more tax payers equals more tax revenue which simply equals more out of control spending.  The progressives use the same argument for tax incentives; i.e., that bringing more tax payers here reduces the burden on all of the taxpayers.  Interesting that since the county started using tax incentives, your tax rate has gone up 25% and our debt has exploded exponentially.  More taxpayers simply means more spending.

Our hospital provides amazing service for our people.  Moreover, it has been an integral part of new programs developed with our EMS services and provided much of the equipment at no cost.  The hospital serves everyone, whether one can pay or not.  Our churches and other non-profits serve and do amazing work for our communities.

I don’t need a government study to know that it is a bad idea to take money from churches, hospitals, and non-profits to give to the government so the government can waste it.

Below is the entire discussion of this issue.  Unlike the Independent Tribune, which has now taken to selectively posting half of a discussion in a very misleading manner, I am posting the entire discussion so you can see for yourselves.

No Truth From The Independent Tribune

In the IT story about school nurses, it states “Oesterreich said the school nurse program is not needed and parents have plenty of resources, such as texting their doctor and WebMD.”

The IT plain and simply made up that I said the school nurse program is not needed. What I said is the nurses have become less integral to healthcare than they used to be and “I am comfortable with them [student nurses] being there for 90% of what they were before.” Supporting a reduction of 13% in hours worked is drastically different than saying a program is not needed.

It doesn’t get any more blatant than this.

Additionally, a major component of this additional spending was to allow the school nurses to be present on site for 9 teacher work days when no children are even present at the schools. Here is video related to this point:

Here is my entire statement relating to how medicine has changed since the 50’s and 60’s:

Stand on Deep Waters with God or Stay on the Sand with Man?

I’ve heard this song a bunch but last night I saw the lyrics.  What an amazing song.  Do you want to stay on the sand where you rely on yourself and you think you are safe, or do you want God to call you out upon the waters where you must rely on Him?  Here are the lyrics:

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail

And there I find You in the mystery

In oceans deep

My faith will stand

 

And I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

 

Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand

Will be my guide

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me

You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

 

So I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

 

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

 

I will call upon Your name

Keep my eyes above the waves

My soul will rest in Your embrace

I am Yours and You are mine

I Stand With Our Farmers and Agriculture Producers

Our county farmers were looking at a tax increase and I made the motion to stop it; of course I support them! The newspaper won’t tell you about that motion and vote though. Instead, the media and big-government types have twisted my vote on the Lomax farm to suggest I do not support our county farmers. What I don’t support is a redistributive scheme by which money is taken from all of our farmers and redistributed to a very select few, under 10 to be exact.

Our farmers work hard in the field every day and pay for their own land, pay for their own water and utilities, and pay for their own equipment. Then, on top of paying for all of that, the government takes more money from them to pay taxes on these things. I made the motion that stopped a tax increase on our farmers. Two rural fire districts (Mount Pleasant and Northeast) were proposing tax increases to reduce their fire insurance ratings. As I stated in my motion, this tax increase would disproportionately impact our farmers. Most farmers live very modest lives and have modest homes, but have significant land and costly equipment. So while they would see a decrease in fire insurance on their modest homes, they would pay a significant tax increase on their home, their farm equipment, their land (although some is enrolled in the agriculture program), and all of their vehicles. On net, our farmers and agriculture producers would end up at a loss.

We stopped a tax increase on our farmers. I think our government works best when it applies justly and evenly to all of our farmers, not just a very select few.

The Political Class Makes Sure The People Can NEVER Win

Right now, the big government politicians of Cabarrus County are trying to “temporarily” stack the Board of Commissioners to keep control over you. The common man and woman can NEVER be allowed to win in this government! Be clear, if the politicians can create and appoint new commissioner positions simply because they don’t like the outcome of a vote, they can do anything they want to you.

Less than two weeks ago, the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners reduced our $209 million budget by just under $4 million—a less than 2% reduction.

The response by big-government to these reductions was swift and overwhelming. Yesterday, Senator Fletcher Hartsell introduced and passed through the Senate a local bill to stack the Cabarrus board of commissioners for 5 months to ensure that the big-government politicians regain control over the people. The bill literally creates two new commissioner seats for 5 months and then appoints two new commissioners to ensure the big-government politicians a 4-3 majority. In December, these new commissioner positions vanish into thin air!  

See, our one act of standing up for the people by slightly reducing the budget shattered a carefully crafted lie that the big government politicians and county management have been telling the people for years, i.e., that cutting even a small amount of the budget would result in devastating cuts to core services.

In fact, these budget reductions will not close one library, not close one park, not close one senior center, not close one Lunch Plus senior lunch program, and we even added 4 positions to our EMS services! In addition, we took the savings and set up a special fund to start repairing/constructing our schools so that we don’t have to borrow so much money. Less debt equals less tax burden on you.

Be clear folks, the political class cannot allow any budget reductions. The political class of our country, state, and county has become wealthy off the people. The politicians of both parties are happy to see government grow as long as they, and the people that fund their campaigns, get their piece of the government growth. Big government spends lots of money—the political class of both parties knows this and they get theirs first.

It is my understanding that the NC House is scheduled to deal with this local bill on Monday. I personally thank Cabarrus County representatives Larry Pittman and Carl Ford for fighting against the politicians. These men stand for you.  As always, here is the full text of what I am writing about.  Amendment to Stack Cabarrus BoC

 Stack BoC snip