Noah seems to be the perfect opportunity to show the Bible as much deeper than the childish Sunday-school interpretations that are thrown at us as “biblical.” I’m looking forward to this.

Three Thoughts About the Obamacare Penalty

Good news for you: The Obama Administration has been found to be extending the deadline for compliance to “mid-April” (see Washington Post article). Order your Samaritan Membership Kit today!

I get a lot of questions about Samaritan Ministries, the alternative to insurance that my family has been members since 2004. We are waived of the Obamacare penalty that many will be filing next year, though self-employed people are starting to pay the tax now.

obamacare

Here’s a question that came in today to my wife:

Hi Wendy! My husband and I are looking into Samaritan Ministries. I heard that everyone has to have insurance by March 31 with the new Obamacare laws. If Samaritan Ministries is not considered an insurance then how is it going to work under the law? We really like the idea of SM but are trying to get all of the details down. Hope you don’t mind my asking.

I have three points that I would like to make for this person’s questions, and I encourage you to listen into my advice.

But the Cold Does Bother Me

Christian friends are telling me Frozen is an evil movie. I saw it — I gave an honest effort to discover the devil in the details — but instead discovered a most profound truth embedded in Disney’s story, one that every Christian can (or should) identify with.

November 1st, 2013 @ 20:49:52

Wanted: Virtual Assistant

Last year was an awesome year for the work that I do. I streamlined a number of business processes and set up my professional platform to make things much more doable and profitable. There is one soft spot that I very much want to develop in 2014, and perhaps you can help me.

I've got a lot of great work going on, and you may be a great help to that.

I’ve got a lot of great work going on, and you may be a great help to that.

The soft spot is what is becoming a popular fad for platform builders like me: virtual assistants. My friend Michael Hyatt speaks to this quite a bit and I even bought and read his very helpful book, The Virtual Assistant Solution (available on Amazon for only $2.99). I get it: I need someone who will take care of my most remedial tasks. As the subtitle suggests, I need to come up for air, offload the work I hate, and do what I do best. 

Hyatt offers some great ideas, probably his best being contracting through a VA firm. That may be in my future, but I’m running into a few problems with this solution.

Reminded Why We Do Camp

I’m at a national open tournament in Minnesota this weekend. I was reminded of this article that I published last year of why we do camps. Share this with others whom you feel would benefit from this activity.

Last year my wife, Wendy, attended a tournament early in the year. A new debater took the podium, knees shaking, voice barely audible, and she ended up crying. She was 14 years old and had a terrifying experience.

This is a picture of a scrimmage at camp. The coach guides the students through the arguments to help train the students to think and persuade.

This is a picture of a scrimmage at camp. The coach guides the students through the arguments to help train the students to think and persuade.

3 Christlike Interpretations You Never See in Jesus Movies

My son Isaiah and I went to see Son of God on Sunday. Not a bad movie, but not a particularly good one either. I was hoping to see a few Christlike interpretations that I never see in Jesus flicks.

Son of God
Literary interpretation of Jesus is tricky business. It seems to offend people. Son of God is being criticized for all sorts of interpretations, but I cut them slack. They — just like any pastor, theologian, or layman (including you and me) — attempt to fill in the margins of what is revealed in scripture to better understand the personality of Jesus.

Warning: my interpretation is quite different from the circles of movie producers. Perhaps this is a good thing. I wasn’t impressed by the interpretation of Jesus in Son of God, and I have to admit I am seldom impressed when I see Jesus portrayed on the silver screen. Son of God had a few redeeming qualities, but there were three Christlike characteristics that when I read Scripture — and I’ve read the stories of Jesus countless times — show me a unique perspective to the Easter story. These characteristics involved Jesus’ ability to see his future, deal with his foes, and overcome his fear.

NITC Promo Video

If you qualified to NITOC or NCFCA Nationals, you should seriously consider NITC. Check out how many champions are in this promo video.

My organization, Training Minds Ministry, is teaming up with my leading competitor, Ethos Debate Camp, to give students the absolute best coaching possible. Attendees of NITC will definitely be making the most of their nationals experience. Click on one of the two camp images below for your NITC:

stoa-nitc-300x220 nitc-ncfca-300x220

Or find out more at www.trainingminds.org/nitc.

 

Plan Ahead for Camp

At this time of the year, it’s tough for competitors to focus on camps. Naturally, we’re in the heat of competition. I just returned from a California tournament, and already my kids are gearing up to attend the Rocky Mountain Classic this weekend. Busy, but we’ve got to be attentive to opportunities down the road.

Josiah Tey at camp last summer. He just won the largest tournament of this season.

Josiah Tey at camp last summer. He just won the largest tournament of this season.

I have two camp registrations opening at noon. The camps aren’t till May and July, but they’re significant steps for students who want to finish the year off strong and start the next year even stronger. If you are a competitor speaker and/or debater, be sure to consider:

  1. Nationals Intensive Training Camp (NITC). The Stoa national tournament announced two weeks ago, and I bring the best coaches together for two days of preparatory drills, scrimmages, flow exchange, and encouragement to prepare students for their final tournament of the year. If you earned a qualifying slot to NITOC, register here. (NCFCA NITC registration has been open for a while…see here.)
  2. Colorado Lincoln-Douglas Debate Camp (CCU Denver). Colorado has traditionally been a leader in Lincoln-Douglas values debate, and 2012 champion Matthew Erickson and 2013 top speaker Cheyenne Ossen make a great team to pass on the heritage. The LD camp is specifically tailored for LDers who want to take their debating to the next level, as well as students who are just starting out in this unique debate format.

There are two reasons I’m asking for you to consider signing up for these camps now.

The Camp With Consistent Results

I host camps in the summer to help homeschoolers get ready for a year of competition (see our Texas camp here). That’s at the beginning of the year. The end of the year, however, is where all my students expect results.

We Skyped renowned training in from Europe.

We Skyped renowned training in from Europe.

The picture above is from last summer’s NITC (Nationals Intensive Training Camp). Coach Vance Trefethen — co-author of the most popular team-policy sourcebook in the homeschool circuit — Skyped in all the way from France to coach these girls through a scrimmage round.

Earlier this week, the team on the left finished the largest debate tournament this year, the Concordia Challenge in Irvine, CA. The Murphy sisters (Ryan Kelly and Taryn) took first place out of 106 team-policy debate teams.