Friday, November 20, 2015

Learning to “Love Thy Neighbor” in Concord, North Carolina


Brendan Spaar attends North Point Community Church in Alpharetta Georgia
One of the first things you learn in Sunday School as a child are the Ten Commandments. They are the building blocks that most Christians use to guide them through their daily lives. Each commandment is meant to help followers find their way through the struggles of ever day life.  Throughout the Bible are many reminders that treating others with kindness and compassion are the most important duties of a Christian person
In the Bible, Matthew 22 says, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"  Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” "This is the first and great commandment.  "And the second is like it:  'You shall love your neighbor as yourself."On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." It doesn’t sound all that complicated, does it? Well, it seems some people in Concord, North Carolina are finding that part of the Bible particularly hard to live with.

The Shower of Blessings Church in Concord, North Carolina has learned that their neighbors are finding the commandment to “love they neighbor” very hard to do. It started when neighbors found out that for the past 18 months, the church has been giving a safe place to stay for several homeless families. The neighbors are upset because no one told them that the church would be providing shelter for these people.
When many people think of the homeless, they think of the negative vision we’ve seen. It is associated with crime, drug use, poverty, being lazy and unemployed among other things that no one wants to live near. However, in today’s economy, the homeless person could be someone that has simply had a terrible setback in life that has temporarily knocked them down. Brendan Spaar has found that these are the people being helped at My Father’s House in The Shower of Blessings Church.

“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. -- Leviticus 25:35-36

The way the neighbors found out was not by seeing vagrants or an increase in crime. They were alerted by the start of construction to add 4 additional units to the church’s sanctuary to house more families. The city officials in Concord have said that the church is operating within the law but the neighbors are still not happy. Despite there being no complaints or issues reported, one neighbor was quoted as saying,” We just don't want them walking around, this neighborhood has been quiet.”

In case you’re wondering, representatives of the ministry have reassured the community that  the people being helped are not the scary visions we’ve seen on the news in other inner cities. "These are families from our communities that may have experienced job loss,” Ed Hosack, CCM executive director, said. “There may have been medical bills, the break up or loss of a family member." Mr. Hosack went on to say that all of the residents remain engaged in purposeful, intentional activities and "most of them go to work each day." Residents are screened and drug tested and the facility has 24-hour management.
My Father's House offers shelter, safety, and dignity as people get back on their feet. The Bible directs Christians to offer hope and assistance to those in need. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “-- Matthew 25:35-40

Brendan Spaar believes that "Love thy neighbor" is not as hard as it seems. It simply means respecting others and regarding their needs as highly as we regard our own. How can we learn to “love” the guy next door with the barking dog or loud stereo, especially when we don't even like him? Maybe we should understand that our neighbor, whether it's the guy next door, the cashier at WalMart, or the person next to us at church, is  as worthy of compassion as any of us.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

How to mow your lawn without any effort


Brendan Spaar enjoys mowing his Georgia lawn
You know that Spring has arrived when you hear the sound of lawnmowers throughout the neighborhood. Most weekend mornings you’ll see your neighbors pushing their mowers in an effort to keep their yards looking manicured. If you ask them, most would jump at the chance to find a way to get the job done without all the time and sweat effort required.
It seems like the Great American Pastime of cutting the grass was a tradition that many of us remember dreading as we grew old enough to push the mower. Whoever invented the riding mower was surely a hero to long suffering homeowners who didn’t have kids or anyone to “inherit” the weekly chore. Now, technology has come to the rescue once again.
Good news weekend yard warriors!  Instead of coming up with “creative” ways to mow remotely, a trip to the store might be all the effort you need. It looks like there may be a new product coming to a lawn care center near you that will free you from some of the hassles if getting the perfect looking lawn. The FCC has recently given the green light to iRobot Corporation, the makers of the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner, to make and sell a robotic lawnmower.
The robotic mowers have already been in use in Europe in recent years. Most use some sort of underground fence or other system to keep the mower in the proper area. The one approved for iRobot seems to have a different system that uses wireless stakes in the ground to direct it within the boundaries. The beacon design will allow it to operate but not interfere with signals of other devices using the same frequency.
Brendan Spaar enjoys working in his yard so the robotic mower won’t be his next tech purchase. Using the regular mower will allow Brendan to keep his lawn and wallet looking good. However, he might suggest it to his neighbor who keeps mowing over the cord of his electric mower.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

230,000 reasons not to Robocall

Brendan Spaar hopes this sends a message to all telemarketers
How many times have you been just sitting down to eat dinner and the phone rings? Or maybe you’re in the middle of watching your favorite tv show when the call comes in. The last thing you want is to be disturbed by some automated robocall offering you “deals” on something you have no interest in.

It doesn’t seem to matter that there’s a “Do Not Call” list. These annoying calls are generated by someone who must not get the calls at their home. If they did, they might not be so quick to bombard the rest of us with dire warnings about the hidden viruses lurking in our computers or giving us a “final notice” from Cardholder Services about our credit card.
The FTC has long been aware of the abuse of phone solicitation by these automated intruders. They report that there were over 200,000 complaints filed last year alone. The companies that are doing the calling clearly have no fear of any punishment for their actions.

Well, things might be about to change and the robocallers might find their dialing days are coming to an end. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has introduced legislation to strengthen the Federal Communication Commission's ability to crack down on the companies generating the calls.

The bill she has introduced would give the FCC more enforcement authority, allowing harsher penalties on robocallers. It would also allow the agency to crack down on “spoofers,”  robocallers that hide their identity from caller ID systems or  appear to be a call from a legitimate business entity that you might want to talk to. If passed, the bill would  also expand the scope of current spoofing rules to apply to anyone outside the country who targets a U.S. resident. The penalty for robocall violations would increase from $16,000 to $25,000 per call.

Time Warner found out just how expensive robocalling can be. Recently, a federal judge awarded an Irving, Texas woman almost $230,000 for suffering through 153 robocalls. Even though she complained, Time Warner continued to call her with “exciting offers”. The judge must have had his share of annoying calls because he tripled the penalty to $1500.00 for each call.

As you might imagine, Time Warner is scrambling to figure out how to deal with this decision. The woman who filed suit is delighted with the $230,000 award but stopping the calls will be priceless. Brendan Spaar hopes this sends a message to all telemarketers. If you robocall, be prepared to pay for the call.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Could Jason Carter be the next Governor of Georgia?

Brendan Spaar would like to see Jason Carter run for Governor of Georgia in 2014
Is the country ready for another Carter administration?  Some people in Georgia seem to think so.  Jason Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, is set to run for Governor of Georgia in 2014 and he has many supporters in the state.  The current Governor, Republican Nathan Deal, will have a run for his money come election time.  Brendan Spaar would like to remind everyone that Deal made good on his promise to end the tolls on Georgia 400 but only because he was held accountable by the local media.  Even though Republicans are not a popular majority, they still hold high regard in the south.  Only time will tell if Carter has what it takes to win a major election.

Source:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/07/jason-carter-run-governor_n_4231904.html

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Post Office mail carrier takes short cut across lawn

Brendan J. Spaar gets very little mailIn what will probably be explained as an effort to reduce cost and workers compensation, a USPS Postal Service mail carrier has been caught on a security camera driving up to someone's house, cutting across their lawn, stopping in front of their porch and tossing two small packages.  Brendan Spaar remembers when mail carriers walked their routes.  Now they just drive around and throw things out the window.  This article is funny because it links to a YouTube video of other delivery people being lazy and cutting corners.  Sometimes there is no excuse for being lazy.


Source:  http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/why-walk--when-you-can-drive-on-the-lawn--173154966.html

Monday, September 23, 2013

Brendan Spaar investigates if you should tip flight attendants

Brendan Spaar has always wondered if it is appropriate to tip a flight attendant for exceptional serviceLet's face it, flight attendants do a lot for us when we fly. Brendan Spaar has always wondered if it is appropriate to tip a flight attendant for exceptional service. According to Lizzie Post who is Emily Post's great-great-granddaughter and author on modern etiquette advice, it is not appropriate to tip a flight attendant even when they are serving you alcohol. That begs the question, what is the difference between a bartender and a flight attendant? I guess one situation you are standing and the other you are sitting. The best way to reward a flight attendant accoring to the article is to write them a good review and email it to the airline. That way they will be looked favorably upon when it is time to give out raises.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pastor Terry Jones arrested for burning Qur'ans



Brendan J Spaar mugshot alpharetta 2008 gaFile this one under radical religious wack job. Florida pastor Terry Jones who several years ago encouraged people to burn the Qur'an to make a name for himself, is at it again. This time he was arrested and faces felony charges for transporting a trailer full of kerosene soaked Qur'ans according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. Marvin Wayne Sapp Jr was arrested as well for the incident. Pastor Jones had allegedly wanted to set 2,998 Korans on fire at a Polk County park commemorating the 12 year anniversary September 11th terrorist attacks. Each Koran was suppost to represent one of the victims, "every person who was murdered by Islam," according to one of Jones' news releases. Brendan Spaar did the math and apparently this number also includes the 19 hijackers. It's not like Mr. Jones cares.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-terry-jones-arrest-update-20130911,0,2434047.story

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Applebee's calls police on loud children

This appears to be Brendan J Spaar holding a very large lens arrest mugshot photo
This is a story that just warms the heart of Brendan Spaar. Every now and then a restaurant does the right thing and holds parents accountable for their children. An Applebee's in Houston Texas had a problem the other night. You see, Lillian Maliti, the mother of 1 year old Ethan and 3 year old Ryan was allegedly eating there that night. Lillian and her husband, Eli Gau, reportedly began arguing loudly so the restaurant called the police and kicked them out. That prompted Mr. Gau to feel entitled so he called the police, wasting tax payer money and tying up emergency lines with his nonsense. Unfortunately, Applebee's has no backbone and is taking the customer's side, inviting them back for what will probably be a completely free meal. This should be a lesson to Americans. Act obnoxious and loud and when the restaurant kicks you out, demand a free meal. What happened to being civilized? No one likes noisy bratty children and for once, a restaurant took a stand. It's a shame that corporate did not side with the restaurant. Brendan Spaar does not endorse the statements made above.

Source: http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/applebee-s-calls-police-on-family-with-noisy-kids-195330410.html

Friday, September 20, 2013

Report: Police taser deaf boy for fun

Brendan Spaar does not own a cat in Alpharetta 2008Many are asking if there is an increase in the amount of police violence against people with disabilities. Brendan Spaar is engaging his readers in this debate as well. Apparently the latest incident involves a boy who ran away from school to escape abuse. The key part of this story is that the child is deaf. Police found the school aged boy at a construction site and allegedly made no attempt to contact him, instead allegedly tasering him from behind. The outcome of this situation is simple: there will be a lawsuit brought forth by the family, a settlement will be reached, and the police will live to taze another day. Is this the right course of action? Are police above the law? What do you think? Read the link at the source and decide for yourself.




Source: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/09/18/1239682/-Deaf-Boy-Tasered-for-being-Deaf

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mysterious man found living in college basement

Brendan Spaar Photography
This story might freak you out a little bit. Apparently a group of Ohio State University students stumbled across a man named Jeremy that had been living in their basement for some time. Mark Hartman, a 21 year old senior at the college, was really freaked out because 2 of the 10 people staying in the house (yes, 10 people in one house!) were females and there were no locks on the doors. Brendan Spaar thinks this was some sort of hippie compound. The rental company, NorthSteppe Realty did not do a good enough inspection of the house before renting it, the students allege. Now the students are using this case to get free rent for a few months. Jeremy turned out to be an OK guy but they still made him move out. This just goes to show that you should probably check every room in your new house before you move in. You never know who is going to be squatting.

Source: http://gma.yahoo.com/students-mysterious-man-living-basement-213244832--abc-news-topstories.html

Monday, August 26, 2013

UN Inspectors attacked. Government or Rebels to blame?

The blog of Brendan Spaar does not usually deal with stories of mass genocide but this one cannot be ignored. It seems that the government of Syria may be running wild and violating international law. The Syrian government has allowed U.N. inspectors into the country to verify claims that it used chemical weapons on its own people. To make matters worse, the U.N. inspectors were fired upon in Damascus by snipers while they were in route to inspect the sites. Were the attacks carried out by the Syrian government or by rebels wanting all foreigners out of the territory?

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323407104579036173795495190.html

Sunday, August 25, 2013

High School students build largest tower made of LEGOs

The boys and girls at one Delaware High School have a lot to celebrate. The group of teens have successfully built the world's largest tower (according to the Guiness Book of World Records) made entirely of LEGO bricks! Brendan Spaar played with LEGO bricks as a child but never dreamed of building such a tower. The structure, once completed, stood at 112 feet! Before this architectural accomplishment, the former record holder was a 106 foot replica of the Prague tower. Hit up the source to see photos of the completed tower.

Source: http://inhabitat.com/delaware-high-school-students-complete-worlds-tallest-lego-tower/

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dentist wants to clone John Lennon using tooth

This is the craziest story that Brendan Spaar has read all week. As if buying John Lennon's tooth at auction for $30,000 wasn't creepy enough, there is a dentist that is trying to clone the late musician using said tooth! The dentist, Dr. Zuk (rhymes with yuck!), purchased the tooth and then wrote a song and a book about it. Brendan Spaar is a fan of John Lennon and the Beatles. In the age of 3D images of dead performers like TuPac and Elvis, it's no wonder someone wants to reanimate a popular money maker like Lennon. The dentist might be better off using the tooth to find a cure for why British people have such bad teeth to begin with! Source: http://www.inquisitr.com/913489/dentist-trying-to-clone-john-lennon-from-a-tooth/

Friday, August 23, 2013

Georgia Tech offers online Masters Program

Beginning in January of 2014, the Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech) plans to partner with Udacity to offer a master's degree in Computer Science through an online course for a fraction of the cost a student would pay on campus. The rising debt for students because of student loans is currently under a hot debate in this country with President Obama touring the nation to speak about his plans for reducing the cost of college. Brendan Spaar believes that one way to reduce the cost of college is to take advantage of online course offerings like this. The price of the online course at Georgia Tech is around $6,600 ­which is much less than the $45,000 on-campus price. To make things even better, the courses will be online and free for those not seeking a degree! A developer in the IT industry would be crazy not to take advantage of this program. Companies such as Udacity and institutions like Georgia Tech are charged with making college more affordable. Let's hope that more companies and institutions participate in this program. Source: www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/education/masters-degree-is-new-frontier-of-study-online.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kentucky restaurant serves up roadkill!



Brendan Spaar likes the roadkill cafe
The next time you walk into a restaurant, Brendan Spaar advises you to pay close attention to the health inspection sheet that is posted near the entrance.  This sheet tells customers how well the food they are about to eat is prepared among other things.  Customers like Katie Hopkins who dined at the Red Flower Chinese Restaurant in Williamsburg Kentucky had no idea that they may actually be eating roadkill.  One day restaurant workers came in with a giant garbage can.  That's a little odd first of all to wheel a garbage can in through the front entrance in front of your customers and back into the kitchen.  What's even stranger though is that a tail was hanging out of the can!  A health inspector named Paul Lawson was called to the restaurant and he confirmed that the roadkill was indeed in the kitchen.  Now the explanation that the restaurant gives is that they found a deer on the side of the road and were going to butcher it in their kitchen for their own personal use.  I guess they didn't realize that in doing so they would contaminate all of the other food.  This makes me want to go inspect the kitchen of the next restaurant I eat at.  I will also keep my eyes open for large garbage cans with animal parts hanging out of them.