Friday, September 30, 2005

Carpe Diem, Coram Deo or both?

Steve Camp posts concerning his latest Starbucks (Here is the first post concerning The Church of St. Arbucks)cup.

Life at The Church of St. Arbucks
-today's cup #37 - Carpe Diem, Coram Deo or both?

The Way I See It #37
“Embrace this right now life while its dripping; while flavors are excellently wholesome. Take your bites with bravery and boldness since the learning and the growing are here in these times, these exact right nows. Capture these times. Because it will soon be very different." –Jill Scott (Musician. Her songs can be heard on Starbucks Hear Musictm station, XM Satellite Radio Channel 75). (BTW, Jill Scott is an amazing R&B, Jazz singer. If you have never heard her fluid, effortless, velvet vocal talents before, check out some of her free sound bites at iTunes and enjoy this gifted woman over your favorite “cup of Joe.”)

Cup #37 seems to be drawing from the Eckhart Tolle philosophy (living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment) in his tome “The Power of the Now.” Things such as enlightened relationships, creative use of the mind, impermanence, and the cycle of life are the essentials in this kind of philosophy. IOW - savor everything in its entirety for the present because we will never have these moments again as they are afforded to us "in the now" - right now. Life changes too quickly—so capture the moment to the fullest and drink it to the dregs. Learn to “be”; not just “become.” I get it. (Did you just experience an "aura fluff" like I did?).

What would you say to someone at St. Arbucks if you dialogued with them over “cup #37”?

The Way God Sees It
The biblical world-view is quite different from what is quoted above. Man was created in God’s image to obey, love, enjoy and serve Him--not the self, nor the moment. We were made for His pleasure--not simply our own. It is what Piper calls "Christian Hedonism" (even though Geerhardus Vos was the original coiner of this view). It is finding your greatest satisfaction in the selfish pursuit of knowing and glorifying God. But when sin entered this world through Adam’s disobedience (Romans 5:12-18), man then began to serve the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:18ff); and there is no greater idol than self, consumed with only savoring to the fullest its present occupations. Unguarded pleasure; unbridled passion and unbroken pride - the unholy trinity of postmodern idealism.

In a small way, we can all identify with Ms. Scott's philosophy; for we also seek to “seize the day”—Carpe Diem, don't we? But Scripture is clear, we are not simply to live with the urgency of the moment just to “capture these times.” We live, as God's creatures, in light of eternity. In Him "we move and live and have our being" (Acts 17:28). We desire to do all things to God's glory (Psalm 115:1). We are to live in light of eternity (2 Cor. 5:11-21). Being a member of “The Dead Poets Society” breeds a romantic, unpredictable, untamed, free momentary “reckless abandon” that is curiously inviting--but doesn't quench the thirst, even for "the now."

But what ignites Carpe Diem and gives substance, meaning, purpose (sorry) and clarity “with bravery and boldness; [in the] learning and the growing; to embrace the right now life while its dripping” (good pun) is living each day Coram Dei – “before the face of God." That is where "the now" finds its greatest fulfillment--its only fulfillment. And this, biblically, is only possible through the gospel by knowing Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior and King.

So as Christians, let's not be embalmed with the truth; looking like nothing more than frontal pieces for the book of Lamentations; LET"S LIVE IT! Experience the reality of Carpe Diem in Coram Dei. And do so with joy, living daily in the presence of His glory--being salt and light to a lost world around you. “Whether you eat or drink, whatever you do; do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).

Every day we live on "Mars Hill" in some fashion. Every day we have the opportunity to tell others about the knowable Triune God of the Scriptures through Jesus Christ our Lord. "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."" -Acts 17:30-31

So when ministering at the Church of St. Arbucks, if you get cup #37 today, biblically encourage those to see the necessity of eternity (Coram Dei), in the now (Carpe Diem). Point them to the certainty that there is a Sovereign Judge to whom we must all give an account one day. That there will be a judgment; and how they live "now," to quote Gladiator, “echoes in eternity.” Will it be for God’s glory, or our own momentary fulfillment?

"What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." -James 4:14b-15

As my friend Mark McKee is fond of saying, “Evangelism, one cup at a time.”
Steve Camp

Your Heart Knows

I received a press release today from a publisher who has an author for me to interview. The release said:

Oprah talks frequently about the "inner voice".

While well and good, most people don't know HOW to connect with their inner voice because of outside influences that bombard them everyday...all from others telling us what is important. For example, magazines sending the message that we need to look a certain way or parents telling us we need to have a certain career to be successful.

A new book helps people to uncover their inner voice. "Your Heart Knows the Answer: How to Trust Yourself & Make the Choices That Are Right For You" is the ONLY BOOK that teaches the language of the heart, enabling people to trust themselves, make the right choices and become the best person they know they can be.

It's times like this that the utter difference between the world's perspective and the Christian's perspective can be seen. The immediate contradiction to this author's assertion of the heart's trustworthy nature is this verse from Jeremiah 17:9.

"The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9

My "heart" told me to do some things as a rebellious young adult that nearly destroyed my life, but for God's grace. I was completely attuned to the "inner voice" that told me my way was the best way. My heart was lying to me. As unregenerate people, the only guide we have is our own lying, deceitful and wicked heart. That was the heart that allowed Eve to turn from God's clear instructions in the Garden of Eden and follow her heart. A curse upon the whole human race was the result. Thankfully, Jesus Christ came to end that curse for those who believe. Our lying heart is replaced with a new one and the voice we listen to is that of the Holy Spirit through His Word. I felt pity today for the masses who will listen to this well-meaning author. But our guide should never be our own heart. The voice of our shepherd is the only voice we can trust.

Here's a look at the author's website.
Slice of Laodicea - Your Heart Knows (Italics in original)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Good night everyone

How is that for an image? Pretty neat huh? You have to love that fake southern spelling.

Anyway, take care and be safe if you're still up. It's 10:02 at night and time for bed. Why aren't you guys in bed yet?

Moving on, look for the next installment to the Psalm 37 study on Saturday or Sunday. It is shaping up well I think, I am enjoying it and I hope you find it useful as well. God bless.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Family Seeks Legal Relief So Son Can Read Bible During Recess

(AgapePress) - A federal court has been asked to order a Knoxville, Tennessee, elementary school to stop prohibiting a ten-year-old student from reading his Bible during recess.

Luke Whitson and his parents have filed a motion for preliminary injunction against Knox County School officials, who allegedly threatened to punish the boy for reading his Bible during recess at Karns Elementary School. The district claims the Bible reading jeopardizes student safety and that, because recess is not "free time," they can prohibit Bible reading during that time.

But Whitson's attorney, Nate Kellum with the Alliance Defense Fund, says school officials are wrong to claim reading the Bible on a school playground violates the so-called "separation of church and state."

"What Luke wants to do only involves his speech. It does not involve government speech; there are no school officials that are involved. This was student-initiated; Luke and his friends initiated this. This is student-led; only Luke and his friends wanted to do this," the attorney explains. "So there's absolutely no concerns of a violation of the Establishment Clause -- yet this is what the school is operating under."

Kellum contends that school officials have a "fundamental misunderstanding" of the Constitution, which he points out prohibits the wholesale banning of Bible during recess -- not the reading of it. Young Luke, he says, merely wants the school to recognize his free-speech rights.

"We need relief," Kellum states. "Luke is in the fifth grade at the elementary school, which represents the last year that Luke will have at this school, and he yearns to be able to read the Bible during recess. There are other kids that are reading their 'American Girl Doll' magazines, yet others that are reading their 'Harry Potter' books. Luke wants to get in the corner of the playground and read his Bible."

Whitson and his parents filed a federal lawsuit -- Whitson v. Knox County Board of Education -- against the Knox County School District in June. They are seeking a preliminary injunction so the ten-year-old can read the Bible with classmates on the playground as the case progresses.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Happy Anniversary

It has been just over one year since I started this blog. I hope you have enjoyed reading it, as I have enjoyed writing it. God bless and take care.

Psalm 37: A Comparative Study, Part One

Once the study is completed I will have the entire thing available in PDF format for download at my website.

Psalm 37: A Comparative Study, Part One

I was studying Psalm 37 (KJV) and found it to be deeply powerful and encouraging. Then I wondered if it came across as well, as powerful and moving, in other translations. I thought it would be interesting to do a comparative study between some of the more widely used translations seeing is how the anti-KJV people tend to say that the more “modern” translations are easier to understand and display the intent of the Scriptures in just as relevant a way. So, we’ll take the first five verses to begin with.

Once we have analyzed them we will move on to the next five verses, and will continue on until we have reached the end of the Psalm.

1Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

1 [a] Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
1 Don't worry about the wicked.
Don't envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like springtime flowers, they soon wither.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you your heart's desires.
5 Commit everything you do to the LORD.
Trust him, and he will help you.

The Message
1Don't bother your head with braggarts or wish you could succeed like the wicked.
2In no time they'll shrivel like grass clippings
and wilt like cut flowers in the sun.
3Get insurance with GOD and do a good deed,
settle down and stick to your last.
4Keep company with GOD,
get in on the best.
5Open up before GOD, keep nothing back;
he'll do whatever needs to be done:

If you will take notice, the King James Version says that evildoers will be “cut down,” where as the NIV says they will “wither,” the NLT says they will “fade away,” and The Message says they will “shrivel.” The three more “modern” translations take a much more passive stance of the evildoers’ disappearance. The KJV translation takes a more assertive view. To be cut down implies that there is someone who is doing the cutting.

This is a striking contrast to the other translations that make it seem as if the evildoers will simply fade away. Things fade on their own, you don’t have to do anything to make them other than to simply give them time. This stance makes it seem as if God will simply sit by and let evil burn itself out, rather than Him eventually ridding the world of it and bringing justice to the land. This is in direct conflict with what we know to be true of God’s character. He is patient, giving us plenty of opportunities to turn from our sins, yet he is righteous and brings justice completely.

In verses four and five (of the KJV) we are told to “delight” in the LORD, and to trust Him. We are told to “commit” our ways to Him, that He will give us the desires of our hearts. In these verses the NIV and NLT both stay pretty close to the wording of the KJV, clearly displaying that we are to seek God’s will, to do His work joyfully, and it is in this that our desire shall be for His will to be done. And this He will grant unto us.

Some use these verses to show how God will bless whatever your heart desires, but taken in context we see this is not true. God will not bless our sinful desires, but if we desire for His will to be done then we will see our desires fulfilled.

The Message does not convey this idea. In The Message we are to “keep company” with our Lord, this does not tell us to do His work or submit to His will but gives the impression of just “hanging out” with God is good enough. The Message tells us to “keep nothing back,” this (again) does not convey the necessity of submitting to God’s plan.

Verses of interest:

Psalm 89:14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

Isaiah 56:1 Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.

Isaiah 58:2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

Jer 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

I don't want to be remembered as a nice [girl]

My life will be a failure if at my funeral people only remember how nice I was. I'm guessing that when the disciples gathered after Jesus' death they did not sit and recount all the nice things He did. And when the early church remembered Paul, I doubt they remembered the times he had said nice things and played with their children. Of course there is nothing wrong with being nice. But that is not how I want to be remembered. Nor do I want to be remembered primarily as a good husband or good father. Mike was a nice guy. He was friendly, usually happy and was generally willing to help others. He was a good husband and a good father. But conspicuously absent from memories of Mike was any mention of his love for God. If my life does not display a deep, abiding love for God, a love so integral to my life that all who know me can't help but notice it, I'll consider my life a great failure. I don't want to be remembered as a nice guy. I want to be remembered as a godly guy.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Jesus, Thou art mine forever,
Dearer far than earth to me;
Neither life nor death shall sever
Those sweet ties which bind to Thee.

All were drear to me and lonely
If Thy presence gladdened not;
While I sing to Thee, Thee only,
Mine’s an ever blissful lot.

Thou alone art all my Treasure,
Who hast died that I may live;
Thou conferrest noblest pleasure,
Who dost all my sins forgive.

Brightest gems and fairest flowers
Lose their beauty in Thy frown;
Joy and peace, like balmy showers,
In Thy smile come gently down.

Jesus, Thou art mine forever;
Never suffer me to stray.
Let me in my weakness never
Cast my priceless pearl away.

Lamb of God, I do implore Thee,
Guard, support me, lest I fall.
Let me evermore adore Thee;
Be my everlasting All.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

I don't have it all together, and neither do you. And that's OK.

Why does the world think Christians are stuck on themselves? How did they begin to perceive that we walk around acting “holier than thou”? Why do many unbelievers look at Christians as if we were all a bunch of phoneys?

I believe it is because in many cases we act like that. We walk around guarding our hearts, not wanting to share our problems, not wanting to share our heartbreaks, our failures. We’ll certainly share when we do something good, but how often to we honestly admit when we’ve messed up? And not just that we’ve messed up, how many of us hide our struggles away trying to make it look like we have it all together? That our families have it all together?

I’m guilty of it myself. I don’t want to share a lot of what goes on in my life, even with other believers...perhaps especially with believers. I imagine I’m not the only one. We walk around putting on shows. Why are we so afraid to be real? Why is it that we feel we have to hide our struggles? Why do we think we have to be perfect?

How often do you stop in church and say hello to the same people week after week? And when they smile and ask how you are doing do you stop on those days when you just need someone to give you a word of encouragement (or a hug) and say “You know, today I’m not doing so well. I’m having a hard time with [insert problem]”? If we cannot be honest with our brethren in Christ, how are we ever going to be honest with those who don’t believe?

Do we honestly think that putting up these “I’ve got it under control” fronts is going to help show Christ? It is when we can walk through our struggles, whatever they might be, in faithfulness to Christ and be honest with each other that people can see Christ work in our lives. If we pretend to be perfect what need is there for Christ? But if I stop and admit that some days aren’t perfect, some days my knees are killing me and some days I am really worried about how the bills are going to get paid, but I put my trust in Christ to get me through it, and people see the struggles they’ll see Christ. And besides, as fellow believers we are to support and encourage each other daily. How are we supposed to do that if nobody has any problems?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Jesus in the locker rooms of America

(AgapePress) - Be careful about nodding your head, folks. It may get you run off.

And be careful about affirming biblical truths. It may get you run off, or worse -- gasp! -- you might offend someone and be labeled intolerant and hateful.

Meet Jon Moeller, Washington Nationals team chaplain. Or at least he was, until he had the audacity to answer a player's theological question, which is kind of in his job description. The question was asked by, ironically enough, outfielder Ryan Church: "Are Jews doomed because they don't believe in Jesus?"...

Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, said it would be more appropriate if non-denominational prayers were offered so players of all backgrounds could participate.

What would Ron say to 2 Corinthians 6: 14-18?
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Mr. Moeller was doing his job as team chaplain and as a Christian. Or John 14:5-6, I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me ?

Nevermind the same rules apply for Jews, if you aren't praying to the Lord, you shouldn't participate in such "non-denominational prayers." Are we, as believers in Christ Jesus, really going to join hands and bow our heads with our pagen and neo-pagen "brothers" in prayer? The idea is idiotic to say the least, and it blows my mind that a Jew would be the one to offer up the idea of "non-denominational" prayer.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Infinite Value of Scripture

There is one episode that stands out in my mind, because it featured the most valuable item they have ever shown on The Antiques Roadshow (there was one item they appraised that was more valuable but the owner wished to remain anonymous). The story was wonderful.

An elderly gentleman from Tuscon, Arizona brought in an old blanket he had inherited several years before. He knew it was old and believed it had a little bit of value – perhaps a few hundred or even a couple of thousand dollars. After inheriting this blanket he threw it over the back of a rocking chair in his bedroom and had not often thought about it until presented with opportunity to take it to the Raodshow.

With the blanket hanging on a rack behind them, the expert appraiser told the old man that his heart had stopped when he first saw it. Watching the show I could see the excitement written all over the expert's face and extending throughout his body, for he just could not stand still. He began to explain just what the blanket was. It was a Navajo chief's blanket that had been woven in the 1840's. Surviving in wonderful condition, it was one of the oldest intact Navajo weaves to survive to the twenty-first century, and certainly one of only a tiny handful to exist outside of museum collections. He showed the fine detail of the weaving and even showed where it had been torn and repaired shortly after it was first made. I could see the excitement in his eyes as he looked at something he knew was extremely valuable. He knew that sitting before him was more than a blanket – it was a rare national treasure of incredible value.

The appraiser seemed to have trouble even beginning to tell the audience just how important this blanket was. He left no doubt, though, when he told of its value. Because of its rarity and historical significance, he had no trouble assigning a value of somewhere between $350,000 and $500,000. Yes, this elderly gentleman had come to the show carrying a blanket worth almost a half million dollars. He simply could not believe what he was hearing. Choked up and with tears pouring from his eyes he asked to hear the amount again. I honestly thought he might just pass out then and there.

It is safe to say that the blanket the man had cavalierly carried in with him was cradled carefully in his arms as he walked out. In fact, he walked out of the building with security guards on either side of him, drove straight to a bank, and placed the blanket in a safety deposit box. What had been junk, a mere accent to an old rocking chair, had been immediately transformed to a precious treasure...
Entire post at (emphasis mine)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'"
Abraham Kuyper

Is There Really No New Thing Under The Sun?

A new reformation. Do we need a new way? Is God’s Word insufficient that we need to supplement it, or go off in a “new” direction? Are the old ways of worship obsolete? The old ways of sharing the Gospel dead? Is talk of sin now unnecessary? If you listened to the pastors that frequent Larry King’s show you would think so. The Gospel is good news, so don’t mention sin. And be sure not to say anyone is condemned to the fires of hell if they don’t believe that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.

The book of Jeremiah tells us to seek the old paths, the good ways, and that we will find rest. Christ Himself promised us rest. All we need is found bound under the title of “The Holy Bible.” It is complete, it is of God, so why is it that churches across America seem to be trying to supplement it with other books?

Could it be that they have turned from the old paths, in search of something new, in search of something greater? Why is it that our pastors no long preach on sin and temptation to a generation drowning in the world’s standards? How good is the Good News if you don’t tell what the bad news is?

And yet nobody seems to want to say hell, or sin, or repentance, or redemption. We all want to feel good. We want to rock our worship services and skate our way into the hearts of the “unchurched.” We’ve abandoned the hymns for the head bangings of the latest Christian rock band. We’ve deserted the Bible for the rambling of men who refuse to preach God’s whole word.

We fill our services with quick fixes for the common life, let’s live an adventure! We use the latest best seller in our pulpits. We fill our week with small groups, brunches, shopping, driving, and dreaming of the next new thing that will make our lives complete. We keep ourselves busy trying to fill the void that has come from abandoning the only thing that we actually need, God. We wonder why, in an age where we have so much, we have more technology, we have more money, we have more cars, yet we feel so alone, so empty. Why we wonder? And so we continue on, finding more activities to keep ourselves busy. We give to missions, donate to Good Will, send letters of encouragement to our soldiers over seas, anything to keep us from realizing something is still missing. We think we are creative, we think we have found something new, but we haven’t. In our arrogance we think we can succeed where others have failed. Or actions seem to scream, I can do it! I will find happiness and peace and love by myself, I will look to no one and nothing but myself! I can change the world!

And can we? Have we managed to find a new way of doing things that will work better than what God’s word has told us?

We can do as much good as we want, we can feed the hungry, we can clothe the naked, we can comfort the heart broken, but if we are not in line with God’s will it means nothing. If it meant anything surely we would not need faith in Christ to get to heaven, I would have to say this generation (were it possible) would attain salvation by its works. The atheist would go to heaven, the Buddhist, the theist, everyone who does a good work for someone else would get to go. We are so involved around the world, doing such noble things but that isn’t enough. God wants it all, our works and our faith. He wants to consume our lives; this is nothing new, He has said it from the beginning. We have to submit to Him, we have to turn to those old paths. Only then will these works truly be good in His eyes. Only then will this void we have (perhaps unintentionally) created begin to be filled. Only when we realize that Christ bore our sins and was crucified because of them, only when we realize that preaching of His death (and resurrection) isn’t bad news but is truly the Good News, can we please God. It is only in turning to the passion of when we first were saved and sharing that passion in its fullness with the world can we actually make a difference.

You can feed the hungry all you want, but if you feed their souls...Now that’s something to strive for. Salvation. But that’s nothing new, it’s old. For once, I think it would be alright to long for the yester-years.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 The new thing hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

Jeremiah 6:20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Lil' Kim, a little trip to the Big House

Hundreds of fans and photographers were at the prison, where Ms. Jones thanked well-wishers for their kind words and support.

"Today begins a new saga in my life, which I expect to strengthen me and allow me time for reflection," she said in a statement. "I am blessed to have so many great things in my life: family, friends and God." She said she planned to pray and write music in prison and to "come out a stronger, more confident woman."

"Martha Stewart got the cupcake facility, and Lil' Kim gets the concrete jungle," ... "We're certainly not asking for preferential treatment, but we also don't want her to be treated less favorably. This is an undue hardship on someone who has accepted responsibility for her actions."

An "undue hardship"? Give me a break. Just because someone is famous doesn't mean they deserve to be treated better. They don't want "preferential treatment," but don't want to be treated "less favorably," so what is the standard they think stars should be held to for their jail time?

This woman is supposed to be a role model for America, teens look up to her. Does this mean she should conduct herself in a manner that is fitting for teens to model themselves after? Yes, but since she hasn't done that (and it is my sincere prayer God will use this time to somehow bring her to her knees in repentance and that she would truly come to Him) she can at least take her sentencing and use it to show the fans what can happen when you break the law.

You and I wouldn't ever end up in a place like Martha Stewart, we'd end up in a place like Miss Kim. She could have used this opportunity to warn her fans who are headed down a wrong track about what happens when they continue as they are. But it sure doesn't sound like she's done that.

The outfit for her last night of freedom - a skin-tight, cleavage-baring electric-blue Gucci dress, as well as black Gucci stilettos and a matching purse - were a sharp contrast with the orange jumpsuit she received yesterday.

The picture of womanhood in today's society. Bare it all girls, leave nothing left covered. She isn't the only star to dress like this, and we put these women in front of our daughters as role models and in front of our sons as the depiction of womanhood. No wonder the mall sells clothes that look like something you'd wear to bed with your husband with signs above them that say "50% Off!" and you have to wonder if it is on sale or if they are telling you they have stopped using as much material.

I hope she truly meets God during the next year. She wants to come out a "stronger, more confident woman," I hope she comes out repentant and in submission to Christ. I pray she comes out changed and uses the opportunity to help steer some of her followers away from the cells they may be headed towards. I hope she comes out completely turned inside out and begins living a life worthy of a role model. I wish these stars would stop saying "well, I never asked to be anyone's role model," GET OVER IT, you are. You are famous, you sell millions of [insert a product], you are in front of millions of impressionable people, show them some class.

Source for quotes

Monday, September 12, 2005

Attractive Christianity: The New Gospel

Some people would say you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Some say if you preach a positive message full of hope and love and all the wonderful things God can do for someone that you’ll have more people come to a personal relationship with Christ. These same people argue that Christians, in large, have lost their ability to celebrate life. They say the world sees being a Christian as a drudgery, as a burden.

They say we have bought into Satan’s lie that God is angry at us. They say that wherever Jesus went, life was a party. Therefore we are to be happy, joyful, and show the world that in Christ we are happy and blessed. They say that life was a party with Jesus, and that is why His first miracle was at a party, at a celebration. They ask, “how is it that Christianity became to be known as life without pleasure?”

They tell us that “we should be attractive to the world”, that we should “be attracting people to God.” They tell us that Jesus didn’t come to give us rules to live by. In fact they tell us that He came to set us free from all the “do’s and don’ts” of Judaism. They say that Christ came so that we might have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

Sounds pretty good, right? What possible problem could I have with people wanting to be attractive to the world? What problem could I have with telling people that God loves them, that God wants them to be happy, that God wants to bless their life’s endeavors, that “He thinks they are awesome”?

Yes, Jesus did preach that we would find rest in Him. Yes, He did say that His burden was easy and His yoke was light. But did He only preach a “positive” message? Did He promise to abundantly bless whatever we did? Did He tell us that life was a party? Did He tell us to be attractive to the world?

These same people contrast Jesus’ ministry with John the Baptist’s ministry. They rightfully say that John came preaching, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2) They say Jesus preached positive messages, calling the sick to health, the blind to sight. And did He do this?

Absolutely. Yet, He did not blindly promise good things without sacrifice. He called for change. After John the Baptist was put in prison He preached, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”(Matthew 4:17)

So, I ask you. What is the difference in their messages? Both men call for repentance. John’s message wasn’t “negative,” it wasn’t even a different message. Repent! The Kingdom is at hand! They both were preaching repentance, why? Because it is only after you repent of your sins and submit your life to God’s will for it that you can come into a relationship with Him. Jesus preached repentance, He preached sin, He preached...dare I say it? He preached that those who do not come to Him and submit their lives to Him will go to HELL. That sure doesn’t sound very loving, very friendly (at least to the untrained ear).

Now, I am not saying that Jesus was negative. He preached a very positive message, but it is only “positive” if you view it from an eternal view point. He tells us that whoever follows Him, whoever picks up his cross and follows Him will suffer. They will be persecuted. They will be hated and delivered up for death. That doesn’t sound to positive now does it? Well, here’s the catch. Those who do these things, those who remain faithful to Christ till the end will be given a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8) and enjoy eternity in heaven with their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But do not be fooled. You have to follow Christ and Christ alone. And if you do it is very likely you will suffer on earth.

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matt 10:21-22)

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake (Philippians 1:29)

Second Timothy 4:2-3 tells us to, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” Does it say that we should ignore people’s sin to give the appearance of being tolerant and accepting? No. The passage tells us to preach the word, to reprove and rebuke. How can one do that if you are concerned with seeming like being a Christian is a burden filled with lots of rules to follow? Christ Himself told us that He would “suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed,” (Mark 8:31) and that those who would not carry their crosses and follow Him were not worthy of Him. (Matthew 10:38) This implies that there is a load to bear, there is something that will be laid upon us.

But this does not mean that He is not with us. It does not mean that He will not provide for us. He tells us not to worry, but to continue to seek the kingdom and that our needs will be met, after all God knows what we need before we even do.

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:31-34)

Does this mean that we will be rich? Does it mean we will be well liked amongst the world? Does it mean that we will be blessed beyond our wildest dreams in worldly things? No. As I have already documented those who truly follow Christ will be a reproach on the world, they will be hated.

The world will not want to hear a solid message based upon all of Christ’s teachings, rather they will seek out someone to tell them that they are God’s friend. That being His friend is the basis for all other aspects of a relationship with God, but this is simply not the truth. The basis for a relationship with God is the understanding that we are all sinners and that it is through His mercy that Christ died to pay the do punishment for those sins. It is only in knowing and submitting your life to that truth that you can begin to have any kind of relationship with God. But the world doesn’t want to hear that.

They will look for someone to tell them that God just wants to open the windows of heaven and pour His blessings out on them. They will seek someone out to tell them that they have believed a lie. God isn’t mad at them, or anyone else for that matter. They will seek someone out to tell them “what a wonderful person God is” and that He wants life to be a party for them.

The people that teach only the happy messages of Christ miss the point. Christ did not come to earth to bring peace (not yet anyway), but a sword. He came to set brother against brother. (Matthew 10:34-35) Christ did not come to make this life a party, rather He came to offer us the chance to be reconnected with God through Him. He said that those who love Him would keep His commandments. He came to set us free from our sin not our standard for living. He came to save our souls, not our social lives.

Israel to aid the US

Deputy Consular General at the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta, says "People in Israel feel that America is like our elder brother that usually takes care of us; and we need to say that, in time of need, we really want to reciprocate and see what we can do to help America back."

Palestinians rush into new Gaza

Synagogues in several of the largest settlements in Gaza, which Israel did not demolish, were burned or bulldozed, a move condemned by Israel's foreign minister as "a barbarous act by people who have no respect for holy places."

The cycle of blame and counter-blame is symbolic of what may be the direction of any return to negotiations. Talk is not of bridge-building, but of cutting losses and calculating gains, underscoring the gap in expectations about the land transfer and its role in setting the stage for future peace talks.

The overwhelming majority of Palestinians, according to a poll released Sunday, believe that armed resistance caused the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

According to the poll, carried out by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 62 percent said attacks from Gaza against Israel should end after the withdrawal, while 35 percent said attacks should continue.

"I think Israelis felt that by completing the withdrawal from Gaza, they had created an opportunity for peace for the Palestinians to seize upon," says Dore Gold, Sharon's adviser. "And what they saw was synagogues in flames, and that's something with a very ominous tone for the success of any future negotiations."

In Neve Dekalim, the twin synagogues that were the rallying point for fervent Jewish settlers resisting the evacuation a few weeks ago was crowded Monday with Palestinians scavenging whatever they could carry. A Hebrew poster signing the praises of the messiah was spraypainted with graffiti saying, "Yes to Islam."

Inside the former sanctuary, the floor was littered with shattered glass. Young men in the rafters with makeshift pick-axes sent debris and window panes crashing.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Israel hands over Gaza

Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's cabinet voted unanimously to end the nation's 38-year military rule of the Gaza Strip, paving the way for Israel to hand control of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority at a ceremony later today.
The U.S. has said it expects Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four Jewish settlements on the West Bank to lead to a resumption of peace talks based on a step-by-step plan for establishing a Palestinian state called the ``road map.''

Well, sure peace talks probably will resume, after all the Palestinians have gotten what they want. They'll start talking peace now to gain political aid and friendships, and in an attempt to look less intolerant.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Scientists create human embryo without a father

Parthenogenesis also offers the opportunity to grow cells from a woman who is suffering from a genetic disease, so that a very detailed study can be made of the cellular effects of the disease.

To create the parthenotes, immature human eggs are taken, with consent, from women who have undergone sterilization, and then grown in the laboratory.

Around half can be successfully matured this way and then persuaded to divide with a shock of electricity. But only five in every hundred will grow to the blastocyst stage, and then with only half the usual number of cells.

There are no plans to implant the embryos to create a pregnancy, Dr. De Sousa stressed.

Story (emphasis mine)

When I saw this title it popped out, and just screamed scam. Like all these babies that have been "cloned" yet the parents will not allow them to have tests run which would show they aren't clones. Anyway, the title was a bit misleading. As I read it I did worry that now we'd have lesbians moving to Ireland to try and have babies, but from the article it doesn't sound like the researchers are going to try and grow a baby...yet. I'm sure someone will eventually. If you'll notice, it says the o reach the blastocyst stage only have half the number of cells that are usually present. Why? I think, quite simply, because there is no man. It takes a man and a woman to make a baby. (Unless of course you are Mary and we are living over 2000 years ago)

But God's got His hand in it all. If He can confound the languages of the world to stop us from building a tower to the heavens I think He can handle a few people in a lab.

The cloned baby with two mothers

The Newcastle University team will transfer the pro-nuclei - the components of a human embryo nucleus - made by one man and woman into an unfertilised egg from another woman.
"I would use the analogy of simply replacing the battery in a pocket radio to explain what we are doing. You are not altering the radio at all - just giving it a new power source.

The scientists claim they are doing this to help prevent genetic diseases while "pro-lifers" are concerned that this is just another step in the direction of designer babies. What implications shall come if this succeeds? Will we begin to see lawsuits for parental rights from the extra mother? Will the UK enlarge the definition of marriage in these cases to include one man and two women? Will the extra women be required to release any rights she might feel she has if she donates an egg for the procedure?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Redesign of Kristina

So I gave in and am trying out a program. The website has been completely redone, actually it looks pretty good. Not sure I like using a program, but whatever. The music, photos, and articles are still available.

Life Goes On for Southern Decadence and Mardi Gras

"It's New Orleans, man. We're going to celebrate," Matt Menold, a 23-year musician wearing a sombrero and a guitar slung on his back, told the Associated Press...
"The shocking callousness of New Orleans' gay activists towards the severe suffering of its fellow citizens cannot be adequately articulated in a news report," says James Hartline, a former homosexual, who describes the "Southern Decadence" festival as being "replete with tens of thousands of men and women engaged in public nudity, prostitution, illegal drug use and destructive public S & M sex."

World Net Daily
Probably the last thing a city inundated with water and filled with human misery needs is a parade, much less a Mardi Gras.

But just a week after Hurricane Katrina unleashed its devastation, there already are signs that New Orleans is remaining loyal to its partying ways.

Washington Post
Southern Decadence is billed as the largest gay event in New Orleans. Organizers probably didn't have Katrina in mind when they posted a history of the event on their official website, but it was oddly prophetic.

"Not even the fire from a dragon's breath would keep participants and watchers from assembling in the 1200 block of Royal Street on the first Sunday before Labor Day for a celebration that has gotten bigger and more wonderfully insane each year since its casual creation in 1972," it said...
"Everyone's drinking. We're all happy," said Andy O'Brien, 23, a bare chested carpentar's apprentice who has been getting by on canned goods, borrowed food from shuttered bars and help from friends and neighbors.

Mercury News

Thousands are homeless, hundreds if not thousands are dead, and they are going to party anyway. They're going to have their parades even if they have to step over the bodies in the streets to do so. "Everyone's drinking. We're all happy," says one person. You'd never know there was any devistation going on by the way some people talk. It's all about parties, parades, and getting drunk to some. Meanwhile the rest of the city is trying to put their lives back together.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Kids mimic parents' smoking, drinking behaviors

Why is it we needed a study to tell us something that should be common sense? Kids mimic their parent's behaviors huh? Who would have guessed! In all fairness though, it is good there has been a study done on this, it just proves my long standing point of parents should be held to the highest moral standards. We as parents have no excuse to act like idiots.

BEIJING, Sep. 6 (Xinhuanet)-- Children as young as 2 years old are more likely to be influenced by their parents' smoking and drinking habits, a novel study has shown.

In a study of 2- to 6-year-olds, children pretending to "shop" for groceries for a hungry doll were four times more likely to choose cigarettes if their parents smoked and three times more likely to pick wine or beer if their parents drank at least once a month.
Source. (emphasis mine)

Boy that sure puts a damper on the whole idea of, "Well, my kid is only two and he's not going to notice or even remember if I have a beer after work." Once a month people! Once a month is all it takes to put this concept into your children's young impressionable minds. Imagine how much more likely the kid whose parents had one beer a night every day after work would be to pick up beer in play time shopping! And if you think this won't continue because it's only play, think again.

When you instill something in a child at such a young age, when they grow up in it, it becomes normal to them. It is accepted behavior. And when the child grows up and starts drinking for real, what are you going to say then? You can't surely expect to stand in front of your sons and daughters as they tell their consolers that they have been drinking for years and expect to have any credibility when you say "I don't know where he learned this behavior! We didn't raise him to get drunk or stoned!"

If you don't want to deal with that later don't do it now. Set an example. It isn't just about smoking and drinking. It's everything. Kids learn from their parents, that is a fact. Don't want a liar? Start being honest and encourage them to be honest as well. Don't want a rebellious teen? Set boundaries when they are little (And yes, I realize there is more to it than that, but that's where you start). Don't want a kid that screams and hits when she is angry? Control your temper and don't put violence in front of them.

Researchers observing the children's play found that the ones who watched PG-13 or R-rated movies also were more likely to choose alcohol for Barbie.

Parents should be careful about the movies their children watch, said Craig Anderson, who studies media violence at Iowa State University. "Kids are basically little learning machines. Whatever the content is in front of them, they're going to pick it up," Anderson said.

The Holy Land

Have any of you seen For Richer or Poorer starring Tim Allen? He and his wife live in NY and they are celebrating their anniversary at the begining of the movie with a party, which consists of the women in one corner talking about clothes and plastic surgery and the men in the other smoking cigars and talking about their latest buisness venture.

Well, Tim's character unveils to his buddy an idea for a new theme park called, "The Holy Land." Well, now the vision of that character has been realized! The Holy Land Experience offers an array of experiences for just $29.99 ($19.99 for children)!

And if you stop by The Old Scroll Shop you can purchase everything from books on Bible prophecy to Strong's Exaustive Concordance of the Bible to a Friendly Kritters Inspirational Calendar!

And as if that wasn't enough, they even accept donations!

That being said, I do understand the appeal of this. According to the website they try to put forth an accurate account of what life would have been like during Jesus' life. Now, of course I am sure there are plenty of t-shirts and flashlights being sold to be taken home, and I am just as sure that they have indoor plumbing. But they seem to be trying to put for the the times of Christ in a theatrical way, which may or may not be as accurate as they say it is.

They are supposedly trying to be educational and really show how life would have been back then, which is a good idea. And they have a dress code, which I should hope would be more modest than Disney World or Six Flags, so that's a great idea. I really always got annoyed having to stand behind girls wearing "clothes" that barely covered anything, so if they enforce the dress code that'd be great. Also, they don't allow smoking or drinking on site, so this alone makes it much more appealing than your average theme park.

So, is this good? Bad? Ugly? I'm not sure, something doesn't quite sit right with me about it, but we'll have to see.

The Gospel According to Satan

He reassures us we're all human; we all make mistakes. God simply tolerates and understands all our unhealthy choices. Holiness is too offensive; but happiness is satisfying. Commitment, vows, covenants are so pedestrian; live for what completes you and makes you happy. And that is why sin is called sickness, disobedience is called disease, and adultery is nothing more than addiction. If you trapped by sensuality, you donÂ’t need repentance but sexaholic therapy to understand your inner child longing for appreciation and intimacy.
From The Gospel According to Satan by Steve Camp (emphasis mine)

We see this everywhere. People go to Oprah and Dr. Phil to solve their problems rather than confessing their sin to God and repenting. They join support groups and go to counselors rather than trust that if they are truly repentant God can, and will, give them the strength to deal with the temptations they face.

In our society God is someone who stands far off and cares not about our struggles. In our society God lets, perhaps even causes, evil to happen. If God were truly loving there would be no pain, no murder, no rape; none of the things in the world are actually our own fault. Sin isn't sin. A sinner just has a sickness that, with the right counseling and plenty of positive thinking, can be dealt with. You should never call anyone a sinner, nor tell them what they are doing is wrong, because you might damage their self esteem.

In our society God is impotent. You have to approach life's problems with a 12 step (or perhaps just a 5 step program if you are really ambitious)program and a counselor to see any good get done in the world, because we all know God can't save the lost, heal the sick, raise the dead, or avenge those whose rights have been trampled.

In our society God is rendered to nothing more than what is right for me may not be right for you, but we are both right. Jesus and Buddha are both the way to heaven. Don't believe in any of it? That's fine, because atheism is perfectly fine as well.

The problem with this concept is that it just isn't true. Sin is evil and does in fact exist. We are all sinners, every one of us.

Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8, emphasis mine)


The Bible is explicitly clear, you must know and accept the Bible’s Jesus as your personal savior, He is the only way to heaven, the only way to salvation and a restored relationship with God.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
From my article There is No Right or Wrong with The New Gospel (Bold and italics in original)

But through a true relationship with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we can be set free of the sin, we can be healed. God can take anything traumas that were done to us as children and heal us of them. But you have to let God work in your life. Meditation, walking labrinths, self esteem workshops are not going to fix you. But God can.

Corruption of Our Youth & Disease Plaguing Marriage

The Olsen Twins, America’s sweethearts, in 1995 starred in It Takes Two. “Two identical strangers. Two different worlds. One perfect match,” reads the cover. A story of two identical strangers who switch lives to break up a rotten engagement (much like The Parent Trap) and bring a “bazillionaire” together with a “single, attractive orphanage case worker.” The girls, of course, are adorable in the film. You fall in love with the characters and when they finally get together you want to cheer, or cry if you are the sentimental type.

So, what exactly is the problem? The cover to the movie pictures the groom to be in a tux with the dopiest grin as the two women pull on each of his arms. We see this everywhere, from the cover of People magazine to Jerry Springer right on into our children’s videos. It seems there is no escape, not even our children are safe from the immorality sweeping our culture.

Recently, I overheard someone singing to a baby “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” The brainwashing begins so early; children are often surrounded and submerged in culture before they can even speak. Now, I would love to believe that the people who make movies and television shows for kids honestly have their best interests at heart, but that simply is not the case.

One would think that Disney, a company whose whole line of products is catered toward children, would surely protect our children’s innocence. The Little Mermaid, in addition to being filled with witchcraft and a child’s disobedience shows two women fighting over the same man. Of course, true to being an American movie, the good girl gets the guy and the witch gets her just desserts. The same basic love story line fills Cinderella, except this time the witch is a “fairy god mother” and it is the girl’s stepfamily that is rotten.

The Sponge Bob movie depicts nudity in at least three separate occasions, which is played off as amusing entertainment for the whole family. And this is within the first five minutes of the film starting. As one continues watching we see Bob, after not landing the promotion he hoped for, get drunk on ice cream with his buddy Patrick. They obnoxiously scream “Hey waiter!” as they hound him for just one more round. They pass out from the overload only to wake up the following morning with a sugar-induced hangover in a pool of drool and melted ice cream.

And this is what is being put before millions of children as entertainment. I cannot help but wonder if parents are living with their heads in the sand or if they just don’t care? I am horrified to realize the latter is much more likely.

Of course is it any wonder parents ignore and subject children to such atrocities? Look at what we have for our viewing pleasure. One cannot go to the supermarket without being bombarded with photos of pop stars cleavage, movie star sex scandals, and magazines talking of plastic surgery, drug addiction, divorce, and other immoralities to numerous to mention.

Why do we hunger to know if Brad and Jen will work it out, or if he is, indeed, having Angelina move in? Have you ever wondered why talk shows are so popular? Why is it that local high school classes can take field trips to see the Jerry Springer show being taped? Why is it that America is so interested and seemingly consumed with two women fighting over one man who just sits back with a smile on his face as they go after each other? Why is it entertaining for us to see two women be hurt so deeply and not go to the cause of the problem? Why do they fight each other rather than realize that they both should be upset with the man for putting them in the situation?

Why would they want the man after he’s cheated on them and humiliated them in such a way? Genesis 3:16 tells us, “thy desire shall be to thy husband.” Why do these women fight each other for this man who has cheated on them like he is the best thing since sliced bread? It is because they desire him. Their desire is for their “husband,” and if that relationship doesn’t work out they find another man to fill that need, to fill that desire.

In John 4 Jesus is resting by a well when a Samaritan woman comes to draw water. He asks her for some water to which she replies, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” They continue talking, and Jesus tells her that if she continues to go to the well that she has been that she will continue to thirst. But if she would come to Him He would give her the living water and she would thirst no more.

The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.

The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:

For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. (John 4:15-18)

This woman had five husbands, and the man she was with now was not even her husband, her desire to have that need met had drawn her into her sixth relationship (that we know of), yet Christ tells her that she need not thirst any longer. Why?

Because when we come to Christ He becomes our husband and He is the perfect husband. He is faithful and true; He is honest and trustworthy. He is righteous. When He becomes our husband we desire Him and His will. We strive to please our husband. When we have a worldly husband we care for the things of the world (1 Corinthians 7:34), but when we have a holy husband we strive to be holy. When we seek His will out we will strive for holiness and sanctification. When we submit to our Husband’s will and follow Him we will walk in His righteousness.

When we desire to please our worldly “husbands” we will be lead through the world, we will submit to the world’s standards, we will be subject to the world’s desires.

So, why are those women on the talk shows fighting? Quite simply because they have a need, a desire that they are looking to fill and they view the other woman as the threat to having that desire filled. Only when they stop going to that well and come to Christ will that need be met.

Verses of interest

Gen 3:16-19
1 Corinthians 7:32-34
John 4

The Silence of Grace Methodist

If any of you read this, perhaps you can help me understand why this church's bulletin has a prayer in it immediately followed in the itinerary by "The Silence"? What silence would a church service need to list in it's bulletin? It is a common New Age practice to try and connect with God by clearing one's mind, by silencing your thoughts, and with this church's involvement in labyrinth walking it makes me wonder.

Grace United's Sunday Bulletin

I'm also curious as to what the "Forever Grace Circle" might be. I think I'll have to email the pastors on this one.

FOREVER GRACE CIRCLE � Tuesday, Sept. 13, 1 pm in the Confirmation Room. Read Chapter 3, bring prayer folders.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Come walk the labyrinth with us...

At Grace United Methodist Church in Joliet, IL! I spotted this driving down the road and as I whipped my head around to get another peek my brother asked what I was looking at. I just shook my head and told him that church was advertising labyrinths, to which he replied, "I don't remember ever hearing about labyrinths in the Bible," and I told him, "Russell, that is exactly the point." I then drove home and grabbed my camera.

It amazes me how someone who doesn't follow Christ can see so clearly but people who claim to are so easily deceived. If you are interested, visit their website and email them as to why they are participating in this activity.

Quote of the Day

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.

Lord Alexander Tytler on the fall of the Athenian republic

Saturday, September 03, 2005


Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.


From Olive’s Hill, the multitude upgazing,
Beheld, until the Savior passed from view;
But radiant heralds uttered words of promise,
He Who has gone shall come again to you.


Again, again, the nations shall behold Him!
Again, again, enrobed in majesty;
In clouds of glory every eye shall see Him,
Again, again, the King of Glory see!

Again, but not in weakness or in sorrow;
Again, but not for bitter pain and loss;
The Son of God shall come in glory splendid,
Again, but not to bear shame’s bitter cross.


O Zion, clothe thyself in raiment holy;
Lift up thine eyes to greet thy coming King;
Rejoice, rejoice, no more be robed in sorrow,
Rejoice, O Zion, lift thy voice and sing.

Cyber Hymnal

FDA official resigns over contraception policy

A high-ranking Food and Drug Administration official resigned Wednesday in protest over the agency's refusal to allow over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception.

Full story.

Good riddance. If she's going to leave because the FDA realizes there is no way to keep underage kids from getting hold of the pill then they are better off without her.

"The recent decision announced by the Commissioner about emergency contraception, which continues to limit women's access to a product that would reduce unintended pregnancies and reduce abortions, is contrary to my core commitment to improving and advancing women's health."

Where do I start? First off, this only reduces known abortions. If it had been passed there would be countless more abortions that would have not been noted by the medical field because women could have done it at home without ever having to see a doctor. Heck, they may not have even known conception had taken place. This does not, however, change the fact that a fertilized egg got flushed out of the body. A child has been lost each and every time this happens. Just because it doesn't look like a baby yet doesn't change the fact that there has been conception and that child deserves a chance to survive.

Second, I really don't see the decision to keep this as a prescription as limiting anything other than undocumented abortions. Why exactly is it so bad to have women go to their doctors to get the pill? The only thing this decision is limiting is teens being more careless with their premarital sexual activity.


Due to the spammers stopping by, you now have to be a registered user in order to post.

WARREN: The greatest thing you can do with your life is help start a church

You've heard me say many times that the greatest thing you can do with your life is tell somebody about Jesus ... if you help somebody secure their eternal destiny, that they spend the rest of their life in Heaven not Hell ...your life counts, your life matters because nothing matters more than helping get a person and their eternal destiny settled. They will be forever eternally grateful....And I've always said that that was the greatest thing you can do with your life. I was wrong. There is one thing you can do greater than share Jesus Christ with somebody, and it is help start a church.

�Sermon from 11/2003 when Rick Warren Announced His Global Peace Plan to Saddleback. (emphasis mine)

Just in case you missed that, "There is one thing you can do greater than share Jesus Christ with somebody, and it is help start a church."

Friday, September 02, 2005

CA State Senate Votes to Let Gays Marry

SACRAMENTO — The California Senate voted Thursday to allow homosexuals to marry, becoming the first legislative body in the United States to embrace the idea and setting off a scramble for three votes needed for passage in the Assembly...

The measure passed by the minimum number of necessary votes, 21-15, after a sometimes personal debate in which both sides acknowledged the momentous nature of the vote...

Schwarzenegger's spokeswoman, Margita Thompson, said that although the governor supports domestic partnerships, he does not agree with legislatively allowing gay marriages.


There is No Right or Wrong With The New Gospel (revised and updated)

Are we the creators of our own destiny? Do we have the power to daily transform what the future holds, not only for ourselves, but for the entire world? What about the future the Bible speaks of, what about Armageddon and the one world government and the rise of the Anti-Christ? What of that? Can we really change the path humanity is on and stop what the Bible has clearly laid out for over two thousand years from happening?

Some people would have you think so. Some would have you believe that yes, we can all live in harmony if we all just put our minds to it. And that nobody is evil, not even Hitler himself, and if we would only realize the truth then we would be able to attain the peace we long for. Some people say there is a new gospel and that humanity is entering into a new “golden” age. They tell us that the old gospel is either obsolete or, depending on who you listen to, that it isn’t even from God at all. They come promising peace, love, happiness, and self serving divinity. “...and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many...” (Daniel 8:25)

Yet the Bible has warned us to test the spirits to see if they are of God or not (1 John 4:1). Again and again the Bible warns us that there are false teachers coming to deceive and that we are to be on the look out and not be deceived by their signs and miracles. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4-5)

Neale Donald Walsch in various conversations with “God” discovers that “God” has quite a bit to say that quite clearly contradicts what has previously been taught. Apparently the past two thousand years has been nothing but a misunderstanding, we have, according to “God” missed the point of Jesus’ trip to the cross. We took a good idea and deified it, we took a teacher and made Him God rather than realizing that we are all god. At least, that is what Walsch’s “God” would have us all think. The following quote is just one of the many ideas this “God” puts forth as he tries to educate us all on the power we have within ourselves.

Every aspect of divinity has co-creative control over its destiny. Therefore, you cannot kill a mosquito against its will. At some level, the mosquito has chosen that. All of the change in the universe occurs with the consent of the universe itself, in its various forms. The universe cannot disagree with itself. That is impossible. (FWG, pg. 371)

What do you think of that? It’s an interesting idea I suppose. That ultimately murderers only have the power to murder because their victims want to die? So, what does this “God” say about Hitler and the Holocaust then? Does “God” view the brutal slaughter of millions of His chosen people as an atrocity as the rest of the world does? Apparently not. Did Hitler go to hell? Obviously not, because hell doesn’t exist in this “God’s” world but heaven does and he implies that since hell doesn’t exist there is only one place for Hitler to go.

“God”: Now, your thought that Hitler was a monster is based on the fact that he ordered the killing of millions of people, correct?

Walsch: Obviously, yes.

“God”: Yet what if I told you that what you call “death” is the greatest thing that could happen to anyone - what then? (Conversations With God Book 2, pg. 36)

If you are a being who chooses to cut out a cancer within you in order to preserve your larger life form, then you will demonstrate that.(FWG, pg. 369)

By this reasoning, the Jews that died under Hitler’s thumb must have been aware on some level that their monotheistic views of God were causing them to be a “cancer” to society and that their deaths were what they wanted, because nobody likes cancer, so they submitted themselves to Hitler’s view for the world, because he must have had a greater vision for what the world should be than they did with their “sinful” view of God. Because, surely if they didn’t see themselves this way Hitler would have had no power over them.

On the same note, any innocent child playing that runs into the street after their ball and gets hit by a car must have been suicidal or they wouldn’t have ran into the street and even if they did the car would have had no power over them and wouldn’t have been able to cause them any harm.

What about the 8 months pregnant Lacy Peterson? According to this logic she must not have liked being alive, being pregnant, and must not have liked having her head and hands attached to her body. Because if she had enjoyed any of those things Scott Peterson would not have been able to kill her, remove her son from her womb, and proceed to dispose of the bodies in a way so horrifying that I care not to discuss it much further.

So the first thing you have to understand - as I’ve already explained to you - is that Hitler didn’t hurt anyone. In a sense, he didn’t inflict suffering, he ended it. (Conversations With God Book 2 pg. 56)

Remove the name Hitler and insert Scott Peterson, he didn’t inflict suffering, he ended it according to Walsch’s “God.” If this “God” was actually in control there would be no justice for the victims of the Holocaust, September 11, 2001, or any other great tragedy.

According to A Course in Miracles, which Walsch sites in one of his conversations with “God,” “There is no sin; it has no consequence.” (A Course in Miracles Workbook, pg 183) “The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.” (A Course in Miracles Text, pg 237)

Therefore, according to Walsch, his “God,” and people who push these shared beliefs Scott Peterson didn’t do anything wrong, thus we have no justification for putting him in jail or holding him accountable for his actions. After all, there is no right and there is no wrong. There is no sin. There is no evil. Walsch also asks “God” if we are to express our feelings no matter what, to which he is given this response, “Feelings are neither negative nor destructive. They are simply truths.” (Conversations With God Book 2 pg. 15-16) Keeping this in mind, one can see that hatred is just fine because it is a truth. It is ok to dislike someone because they are black, white, or orange, because that is offensive to you. That is your truth. And if someone wants to hate you because of your sex or religion, well, there is nothing you can do about it because that is their truth. As you can see, truth is subjective. Forget that Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), because we all have our own way to go. My truth is different from your truth, and we are both completely right. Therefore there can be no sin, no right, no wrong, only our perceived truths. Evil is only evil to us, it is all about individual perception with Walsch’s “God.”

“Walsch: But some people are basically evil. Some people are intrinsically bad.
‘God’: Who told you that?
Walsch: It is my own observation.
‘God’:Then you cannot see straight. I have said it to you before: No one does anything evil, given his model of the world.” (Conversations With God, Book 2, pg 171)

Evil is whatever we want it to be, yet there is not really a right or wrong. There is no such thing as sin according to Walsch’s “God.” Morals are relative, and we have no reason to evangelize to others to give them the truth of the Bible, after all, to each his own. Telling someone they are a sinner and without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as their Savior could be deemed narrow minded, judgmental and exclusive. It should be noted that according to Barbara Hubbard’s “God,” there will be a selection process which “will exclude all who are exclusive. The selection process assures that only the loving will evolve to the stage of co-creator.” (Conscious Evolution Pg 303)

By exclusive, I can only be led to believe that they are referencing anyone who doesn’t believe that they themselves are a god. I can only infer that they must be referring to anyone who holds a monotheistic view, whether that be Jews, Muslims, or Christians, it matters not because all of these people are “exclusive” and are a cancer to the evolution of humanity. And no surgeon would knowingly and willingly leave a cancerous cell in a body, cancer must be removed and eradicated if it can’t be “completely healed.” And this is what will happen with those who are exclusive and hold to their separatist ideals, a fiery trial awaits those who do not conform to the idea that we are all Christ.

Both their gods indicate that we are all actually gods, we just don’t realize it but there is an awakening of sorts going on and people are becoming more aware of their inner deity. Hubbard’s “God” says, “the fundamental regression is self-centeredness, or the illusion that you are separate from God. I ‘make war’ on self-centeredness. It shall surely be overcome. The child must become the adult. Human must become Divine.” (Conscious Evolution Pg 233)

The Bible tells us that this will be accepted, that though Jesus said that He “came in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (John 5:43) Even some of those who had previously known the truth will be led astray by false teachers who come offering peace and great signs and “seducing spirits” (Matthew 24:24, 1 Timothy 4:1) but bring only destruction to the soul. They give the appearance of someone who can be trusted. Matthew 7:15 tells us, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

They come offering peace, tolerance, and acceptance yet will do anything they can to conform you to their false ideals, with in fact contradicts what they teach. Everyone is right, nobody is wrong, so long as you believe that you will be accepted. And if you do not conform you will be “removed violently” for the greater good of the body of humanity. In reality they offer false peace and acceptance only to those who believe what they believe, that there is no such thing as sin therefore we are not sinners, right and wrong is non existent, and that, in truth, we are all god.

The Bible tells us that there is indeed sin and that every one of us has sinned. This is a stark contrast to the “feel good” mentality of the “new gospel.”

‘God’: You are perfect, just as you are.
(Conversations With God Book 2, Pg 31)

The only person that can say they have lived a completely faultless life is Jesus Christ. He is the only person who is perfect; Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8, emphasis mine)

I’m a Christ, you’re a Christ, we’re all a Christ according to the “new gospel.” But what about it, was Jesus the Christ or are we all Christ? According to the “new gospel” and it’s “teachers” we are all our own Christ, that Jesus was one, Buddha was one, that all the great teachers were Christ. Simply put that they realized their own divinity, that there is not one Christ but many and they all lead to heaven. But that is in direct opposition with what God’s true word tells us (Matthew 24:4-5).

The Bible is explicitly clear, you must know and accept the Bible’s Jesus as your personal savior, He is the only way to heaven, the only way to salvation and a restored relationship with God.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

In fact, the Bible tells us the identity of those who would deny Jesus as the only Christ,“.. He is the antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22)

Sadly, it seems like there is nothing being said in the churches around America of the impending trials and persecution we as Christians will face. In John 16:1-3 Jesus tells the disciples, “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.”

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. (Philippians 1:29)

We’ve got book clubs, skate clubs, men’s conferences, women’s luncheons, rock for the teens, and self help books for the preaching instead of the tried and true Bible. Yet there is nothing being said of the end times, no one talks about the Antichrist or the False Prophet, or the fact that millions and millions of people are being deceived and led into the fires of hell. There is no mention of the need of repentance, of Christ’s atonement for our sins; there is hardly any mention of the cross in many cases, if at all.

Rick Warren, in his book, Meditations on the Purpose Driven Life, makes no mention of sin and at the end encloses his version of a sinners prayer. This prayer mentions sin exactly zero times, it makes no mention of a need of repentance (of course if you don’t talk about sin it makes it difficult to explain why one would need to repent of anything), but it does mention desires. The phrase “I want” is in the “prayer” seven times! In the prayer you don’t need Jesus to save your soul, you want Him to bless your desires.

And this man is the spiritual leader of millions of people. He has guided thousands of people to their “purpose in life” without ever seeming to need mentioning that people are sinners by nature and without true repentance and belief that Christ died on the cross for our sins. How is it that thousands of churches across America, and indeed the world, can so blindly follow someone who doesn’t want to offend any one with the mention of their sin? How can we be so easily deceived? We follow promises of prosperity and healing and blessing, never looking to see that these teachings often ignore what Jesus told us.

We’re suppose to be on the look out, warning everyone we can and leading them to the only one who can save their souls, Jesus Christ. But, it seems as if that’s not what is going on. We are so consumed with feeling good, and achieving our dreams that we’ve lost the vision Christ gave us for the future. He told us time and time again to test the spirits and not follow every movement that comes saying the name of Christ. Rather we are to take the teachings presented and line them up next to God’s true word and if the teaching doesn’t completely line up we are to put it away from us and follow it not. It seems like the churches are more interested in solving today’s problems and making everyone happy and keeping everyone busy than preparing their members for the future.

They aren’t being strengthened in their faith, and their knowledge of scripture consists only of what they hear from their preacher of choice says. People it seems have lost the ability or the desire to discern and follow the true teachings of Christ.

And to make matters worse these same preachers, intentionally or unintentionally doesn’t matter, are bending to the whims of the unbeliever and catering to their desires and worldly perceptions, trying to seem friendly and non-judgmental and accepting, all to get church membership up rather than giving the truth.

We are sinners, without Jesus Christ we cannot know God or have a relationship with Him, and if we choose Him we are to pick up our crosses, follow Him and deny worldly lusts (Titus 2:12). And it is in following Him that we will in all likelihood have to choose between eternal life with the God who loves our souls or temporary acceptance from those who only will accept us if we conform to what their desire for the future is. And it is my sincere prayer that all would rightfully choose to be willing to loose his life here and follow Christ into eternity.

Watch the world, study His word, prepare yourself so that your faith would stand through the storms that come. The storms are coming, which means every day we are closer to Christ’s long awaited glorious return.

“And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2)

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12, emphasis mine)