Newslinks 10/31/10

October 31, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 Graham Festival in Japan Concludes with 1,765 Decisions for Christ
A three-day evangelistic festival in Japan headlined by U.S. preacher Franklin Graham concluded Sunday with 400 new commitments to Christ, bringing the weekend total to 1,765.

Male-Female Partnership Powerful for Mission, Says Ministry Couple

 

Africa is the Church of the Future, Says Lausanne Officer

 

Alpha – Reaching 100,000 People for Christ Without the Religion

 

High Court Asked to Review Scope of ‘Ministerial Exception’  

Bible.com Sued for Not Being Profitable Enough

Debt Has Increased $5 Trillion Since Speaker Pelosi Vowed, ‘No New Deficit Spending’
(CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the 60th speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has added more to the national debt than the first 57 House speakers combined. Continue Reading Newslinks 10/31/10…

America’s Answer

April 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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As we watch the federal government grow to an unheard of size, taking liberties and freedoms with it, we keep hearing talk about answers. The president says that his plans are the answers for America’s problems. He tells us as often as possible how great his plans are and how lucky we are to have him as our president. The problem is that the math doesn’t add up when you look at the numbers and just about everything that the president has said to the American people has been a lie. He has broken almost every promise and took steps to make things extremely worse for not only us but future generations of Americans as well. Our grandchildren will have no idea what America used to be like (unless they have an honest history teacher) unless we stop this progression.
 
But, if the president’s plans aren’t the answer than what is? Many talk about cutting taxes and reducing spending. Those will both work economically, but they aren’t the answer to restoring the moral fabric of the country. Personally, I will be surprised if the Republicans do any better than the Democrats when they get the majority again. They seem to be Democrat lite to me… The answer to our country’s problems doesn’t lie in economic plans or government programs. It doesn’t fall on the president, Congress, or big business to fix our situations (they all proven many times over that they are too incompetent to do this anyway). America’s answer lies in One person. God. Continue Reading America’s Answer…

Do they apply?

March 8, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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It seems that in the American church’s rush to appease the lost and the non believers (I was going to say pagans but that would probably offend someone), or their effort to bilk trusting, tested Christians of all the money they have by “sowing their seed”; the church has forgotten one of its greatest tools. Ok, I don’t think that they’ve forgotten it as much as they’ve tossed it aside for church growth plans and light-hearted, shallow events that bring people in based on their greed and have them leaving the same way (if they’re lucky). Now, any pastor can pick whatever they want to say and then go traipsing through the scriptures and cherry-pick whatever verses they want to support their “sermon”. To do this, of course, they have to twist the scriptures until they squeeze every last drop of life out of them; but the ends justifies the means even if the means completely destroys the foundation upon which the “sermon” should be built on.

This attitude bleeds to the flock of the “shepherd” over time until the entire group goes through the Bible picking out “life verses” and “claiming” specific verses as “theirs”. After awhile, the church is full of puffed up men and women who expect everything from God because they can string together a group of verses that have no real connection and then muster up their most faith filled voice to command Him to bring it to pass right now because they deserve it. Mix in the idea that we have to look blessed (whatever that looks like) and act blessed even if we don’t have two nickels to rub together and you’ve got a large portion of America’s churches.

So, what is this missing tool? What is the thing that would stop all of this nonsense? Hermeneutics. Continue Reading Do they apply?…

Looking ahead?

December 28, 2009 at 9:07 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Ok…Christmas is over and things are starting to settle down. It’ll be another week or so before the credit card bills become a priority and you’ve still got a couple of days before the big New Year’s celebration. What do most people do during this time? They begin to look ahead. For the next month or so, you’ll see ad after ad telling you that they have the very thing that you’re looking for to make the new year go your way. Wanna lose weight? There will be a dozen different new weight loss machines on the market before you can say “couch potato”. Want to better your finances? There are programs and companies that want to help you get you money woes under control (including the huge debt you just built up). Want to see your marriage change? There are books, CDs, and counselors waiting for you to pick them up, pop them in, or give them a call so that they can spend the next 30 days getting your relationship in the best shape its ever been. And, once you choose which of the myriad new eye dazzlers will garner your attention, you can spend a little time plotting your course with fervor and determination because you know that this is your year.

I can’t help but wonder if all of this is really necessary? What are the real motives behind much of this New Year’s barrage? Seems like it’s just one more way for someone to try and make money. Do the methods work? I’m sure for some people they do, but is it “sure-fire” for everyone like the ad copy says? I doubt it. I also can’t help but wonder if ahead is the direction that we need to pour all of this effort (even though it’s really only a few days). Looking over scripture, I see something different and I hope that it helps balance all of the new fad hype. Continue Reading Looking ahead?…

Design of the Week – Crossover – Baby on Board No Smoking

October 23, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s design is part of the Crossover series of blogs. The design is called “Baby on Board – No Smoking”. It portrays a simple message to those around a pregnant mother. The blue text encircles the mother’s tummy and politely asks smokers not to smoke around the pregnant mother and baby so that the health of both can be protected. It is also a reminder of how precious life is.

It has become commonplace for our country to allow the murder of unborn children under the guise of choice. Instead of killing them, we should be protecting them because they are precious in God’s eyes. On top of that, they are the future of our country and they have rights as citizens even if they aren’t born yet. The “No Smoking” design may be a simple design, but to me it speaks volumes…

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Teach Your Children Well

September 8, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Today, President Barack Obama gave a speech to a number of school children around the country for “President Barack Obama’s Back to School Event”. And while I didn’t hear the speech itself, I did read the transcript. If his teleprompter showed exactly the same thing as the transcript, then this speech wasn’t as political as it could have been. Somehow I have a hard time believing that he stuck to the script, seeing as he hasn’t done that yet. Adding to the controversy is the supposed lessons that were to go along with the speech. With all of this, I can’t help but be skeptical.

Even so, a quick read of the transcript shows a shallow but somewhat encouraging speech. The problems come when you look deeper and compare what he is saying to reality and to the president’s own agenda. From the beginning, the president plays on emotion (like he always does) to “touch” people. I wonder if the president realizes that the state the nation is in is “no picnic for any of us” and that everything he plans on doing will only make it worse.

His supposed purpose for the speech is to remind the kids of what’s expected of them. That they are to be responsible. He told them that they are responsible for their own future. Amazingly, I actually agree with the president on this point, but later on in the speech he tells the kids that the goverment is doing all it can to help. I find talk about responsibility pretty funny coming from a man who doesn’t seem to know what the word means (along with the words transparency, freedom, and justice). He tells the children they are responsible for their own education and if they fail, then they not only fail themselves, they fail the country. Maybe the president should start with his own responsibilities and actually fulfill those before he tries to tell others what they need to do. It is because the president has failed to be responsible that we are in the situation we’re in. He has already spent more money than all the other presidents combined and he hasn’t even been in office a year yet. Much of the money has been wasted and has failed to produce any positive effect on anything. The president has failed to be responsible to America by allowing the bills he supports (those meant to stave off “catastrophe”) to be rushed through Congress and avoiding any kind of debate on the issues. The bills have been passed in the dark of night by Congressmen (who are supposed to represent you and I) who didn’t read them at all (and at an average of 1000 pages each, who would want to?). How is that responsible? How does the president expect people to be responsible when he continues to push them to depend completely on the government for everything? On top of that, the man has taken vacations that would make Robin Leach jealous (some costing $35,000 a day!) on the taxpayer’s dollar! Tell me again how that is responsible when there are now millions of people without jobs and the economy is suffering?

He tells the children that if they want to have a good job and help the nation, they will have to work hard and train for it. How much training did Mr. Obama have for his job? Does Sal Alinsky’s book really teach the things that the president of a free republic needs to know? I doubt it… He then lists a number of jobs that they need an education for. If they want to be a doctor they will need an education. He fails to tell them that if his healthcare plan gets passed, there will be no need many doctors because the government will be deciding who gets to practice, what they get to practice, and where they get to practice. They will need an education to be a teacher. But, the president fails to tell the kids that teachers are so overworked and underpaid that it’s not funny. He doesn’t tell them that the public (government run) schools are so bad in many places that teachers fear for their lives. The teacher’s union doesn’t make things any better…Another job they’ll need an education for is police officer. What he forgot to tell the kids is that if they actually do their job, they will be labeled racists or worse (I mean, really, how many beer summits can the president have anyway?). Maybe they want to be nurses, architects, lawyers, or be part of the military. Out of the entire list, the only ones that may make money are the lawyers. There is a shortage of nurses, but in many places even those nurses who are working are having their hours cut because of the economy. Architects are feeling the crunch of the economy as well. And for those going into the military, he forgot to mention that he cut the defense budget. This means that the soldiers we have (and the new ones coming in) will have to do without more than they already do and still do the same job (reminds me of Pharoah taking away the straw…). All of this on top of the fact that they are fighting his war in Afghanistan.

He then tells the kids that their classes will help them get the skills they need to “meet our greatest challenges in the future”. They will need math and science to gain problem solving skills needed to find cures for AIDS and cancer. Of course, we need to ask if it is really science or if it is the evolutionary trash that they are talking about? Or maybe it’s the “climate change” pseudo-science? Not only that, he doesn’t tell them that their cures will be rationed to the people that the government determines are most needed and viable (which kind of ignores the whole Hippocratic oath doesn’t it?). They will also need these skills to develop “new energy technologies” (except nuclear power) and protect our environment (from things like global warming – oops! – I mean climate change). They will also need critical thinking skills from things like history and social studies to “fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and free”. What history will they be taught Mr. President? Will it be the revised one that removes much of the truth that liberals have been pushing for decades or will it be the true history of our country that includes the faith of the founders and their dependence on God? Will it be the one that shows how atrocious things get when the government takes control of things or will you leave those parts out because they don’t fit your agenda? Will is show how lazy and complacent people get when they depend on the government for everything or will the oversized, “big brother”, federal government be painted as the hero? Will they have to fight poverty by stealing from one who is successful (which could very well be them!) and giving it to someone who has no desire to do what it takes to acheive anything? He also tells the kids to develop their creativity and ingenuity so that they can start new companies and “boost our economy” but fails to tell them that his administration (and those like him) is destroying small businesses through taxation, legislation, and the erosion of the free market.

He tells the children that we need every single one of them to help solve our most difficult problems, but what about the millions of unborn children who were not fortunate enough to make it to school age because they were unwanted and aborted? Don’t we need them too? Don’t we need the senior citizens to teach up and coming generations what made this country great, how to live within their means, and what honor and integrity are; instead of pushing for “end of life care” and euthanasia to eliminate them (except the ones in Congress of course…)? He talks about the stuggles that many of the kids face but fails to admit government’s role in many of them. Are those situations tragic? Yes! Should they be addressed? Yes! But, it should be with something that works and the government isn’t that something.

He calls on each child to set goals for themselves and meet them. He doesn’t tell them that they’ll be fighting the government every step of the way. Maybe they’ll get involved in extracurricular activities or voluteer in the community (like with ACORN Mr. Obama?). Maybe they’ll stand up for those being bullied and teased because of who they are and what they look like (unless they’re Christians – because we can tolerate everyone but them…). The president says that he believes that every child deserves a safe environment to study and learn in (provided they make it out of the womb alive). I agree with the sentiment but I don’t think that a public school classroom is that place.

He tells the kids that being successful is hard (and it is) but they can do it if they persevere. He tells them that they shouldn’t let their failures define them. Instead they should learn from them. Sadly, his own words and actions don’t line up. He says that failures should teach us but completely ignores his own failures, continuously lies to defend them, or attacks those who point them out for what they are. His stimulus package just had to be passed  but it has failed to keep the unemployment rate below 8% (which was promised), it has failed to produce millions of “shovel ready” jobs to boost our economy(another promise), it wasn’t debated or put up for 5 days so the public could read it (still another promise), and it has failed to responsibly spend the taxpayers money (yet another promise). Not only that, it saddles the children he talked to with about $100,000 in debt before they can ever make a dime (and he’s not done yet). He claims that no one is born good at things, but he sure acts like he is (hence the Messiah title given to him by some of his followers).

He says that the kids should be afraid to ask questions, but I can’t help but wonder if he set up an email where other kids could rat them out if the questions they asked were “fishy”? Why should the kids ask questions if they will only get the same tired “party line” or be reprimanded for actually disagreeing with the administration? He tells them to go to others to ask for help, but who should they go to Mr. Obama? You mention family, teachers, and coaches. Family would be best (if they have that option), but teachers don’t often have the time (or don’t have the right things to say) and coaches can get in severe trouble if they give what is deemed to be Christian advice (you know, that whole separation of church and state thing that’s not even in the Constitution…). He does mention counselors. Does this mean that he’s planning on setting up a new government department (there’s those shovel ready jobs!) so that kids can call an “anonymous” hotline for help?

He then tries to tie in history (which is something that he hasn’t been too good at) to his agenda, telling the kids that out country’s story is one of people who never quit when things got tough. They loved their country “too much to do anything less than their best”. I find it ironic that the people from 250 years ago he’s talking about were fighting against a bigger than life, tyrannical government that wanted to take away their individual liberties and freedoms (kinda like the current administration!) They fought oppressive government who failed to represent them and tried to tell them exactly what they could and couldn’t do. Not only did many of them fight for their freedom, many died for it too. How far have the American people fallen. Today, if the government offers us the same old thing in a shiny new wrapper, we jump all over it and seem to forget that they’ve continually lied to us for decades. Today, we don’t vote for elected officials based on character, honor, and integrity. Instead we vote for them based on party affiliation, charisma, and rhetoric. The people who were there 75 years ago overcame a Depression that was made worse by constant, ill-conceived government intervention by a government that was larger than it had ever been up to that point. It was a raw deal complete with numerous wasteful government programs (basically the ancestor of the current administration). They destroyed crops at a time when people were starving (and still do!). It destroyed the economy and the job market, leading many to commit suicide. The world war we fought was something that our nation didn’t need to be in and something that the president of the time (Woodrow Wilson) promised the country he would keep them out of. We may have changed the way we communicate, but unless we’re telling each other the truth, nothing has really changed.

So, what has the president contributed? He’s contributed to the national debt, mocked our nation, lied to the American people on numerous occasions, surrounded himself with people who promote everything that America has always been against, and enlarged the federal government to a size that defies the Constitution. He hasn’t solved any of the country’s current problems (it’s hard to do that when you’re always on vacation) and has added numerous new problems to the pile. If there is a president in the next 20/50/100 years, I hope that he sees this generation as the one who said they’ve had enough and turned back to God and the Constitution. Mr. Obama says that he’s trying to fix the classrooms but that’s not his job. He tells the kids to get serious, but he fails to do the same. He then adds what has become a cliche in America: “God bless you, and God bless America”. Which God are you talking about Mr. Obama? Is it the god of Islam? Is it one of the gods of Hinduism? Or is it the God of the Bible? If it’s the latter, then he is just deluding himself (or trying to delude us). Barack Obama neither knows or has seen the God of the Bible. If he really had, then the things that he does and says would be much, much different.

If we’re going to see true change in our country, we have to so something other than what we’ve always (recently) done. We have to go back to our moral foundations. We have to start living by the word of the Lord. We have to teach our children to fear God and obey what the Bible says. We have to restore the traditional (Biblical) family to its position of prominence in our nation. Proverbs says, “Train up your child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will never depart from it”. We’ve stopped training our children in the way they should go and we’re paying for it. We’ve have ignored God’s wisdom and it is now catching up to us. The only ones we have to blame are ourselves…

What are the kids saying?

May 4, 2009 at 8:04 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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I spent some time this weekend in the rain with a few youth in my town. We talked about Christianity and spiritual things and some of the questions and comments were interesting. The conversation started a little awkward, but what should I have expected when a 33 year old man walks up to five teens? One of the boys was cynical and asked a few questions that were an indication that he had thought about these things for awhile.He claimed that he wasn’t a Christian, even though he went to church. He admitted to being an agnostic, someone who isn’t sure whether or not God exists.

I started by telling them the truth of the gospel. I have found that whether or not someone claims to be a Christian, it is important to witness to them anyway. I couldn’t let the chance go to make sure they heard it at least once.

After I shared the gospel, I began talking to the agnostic young man. He had some common questions that many seem to ask. He told me about how he would ask “Christian” after “Christian” these same questions and no one could answer them. He said that he felt that many Christians were fake and were just doing it for image reasons. I told him that I agree with him. Sadly, even though we are told (in 1 Peter 3:15) that we are to be ready at all times to give an answer for what we believe, many don’t. Below are the questions that he asked me. I would ask that you read the questions carefully and decide how you would answer them. If you don’t have an answer, then you need to find one. I’ve heard these questions over and over from people and without an answer, we just look foolish.

The first question he asked was: “Who made God?” This is a common question and the confusion around it comes from a misunderstanding that has evolutionary roots. To ask this question means that you are assuming that there has to be a maker for everything. Before you call to have me committed, please listen to me. There is nothing that says that God has to be made, unless you hold to evolutionary views. These views tell you that everything comes from something else and that it all comes about through natural causes. The Bible makes it clear that God has existed eternally. He was already there in the beginning. He is the cause of everything else.

The second question that he asked me is also very common although it’s usually asked the same way the young man asked it. He asked me, “How can God be so loving and great when I look at a little baby with brain cancer or see horrible things happen. How could a good God allow this?” As I said, this is a common question. Many people ask this question in derision to God. This question has its source in a misunderstanding of a few things. First, it is a misunderstanding of who God is and what His character is like. God is holy, perfect, and righteous. This means that everything He does is right, whether or not we like it or understand it. The second thing that this question ignores is the effect of sin on man and the rest of the world. When Adam and Eve sinned against God by eating the fruit that they weren’t supposed to, they broke God’s law (His command not to eat) and sinned. This sin brought death into the world. The origin of death, cancer, and all of the other ills is not God, but man. It was Adam and Eve who brought these things into our world. God allows this as a judgment on sin because it is His decision to do this. Before anyone thinks that this is unfair to innocent people, let me share something with you. There aren’t any innocent people in the world. The Bible says that we are conceived in sin and iniquity and that no one is righteous. We should be praising God for His grace in not wiping us off the planet…

The young man then told me that he went to a church in a nearby town for almost a year. He said that he idolized the pastor of that church. He looked up to him and saw him as an example. Then, not long before they left, the boy found out that the pastor had been sleeping with one of the girls in the youth group… I could see the outrage and disappointment in his eyes and I’m sure that he could see the same emotions in mine. This aggrevates me. First, it makes it so much easier for someone to mock the Lord and His bride.  Second, it makes it so much harder for someone who sees these things to both understand and submit to Christ. They see “Christians” who constantly fail and decide that the God they serve isn’t really powerful enough to do much of anything.

There was one thing that caught me off guard. At the end of the encounter, I ended up giving the young man a gospel tract. It was a million dollar bill tract from Living Waters. He looked at me and asked me why I was doing this and who I was doing this for. I told him the truth. I wasn’t doing it for any church. I told him my concern was that he and his friends would not go to hell. This shocked him. He asked me again if I had come out on my own. I said yes again. I pray that he and his friends heard the message of the gospel and that it still echoes with them today.
This is where a majority of our kids are at today, Christians. These are the types of things that they are thinking about. If you and I don’t have the answers, they will turn their back on the church and we will lose them. Will you let them down? Will you continue to make the church and the character of the Lord a parody of the truth? Or, will you take the time to learn the truth and then share it with everyone you can? It is what our kids need, what our nation needs, and what the world needs…

Our Heritage

September 22, 2007 at 3:28 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Not long ago, there was a meeting of over 2,000 spiritual leaders in Europe to discuss the effect of Christianity on Europe and to remind the European nations of the impact that Christianity has made on that continent. I knew from the stance of many of the nations of Europe they had a dwindling population of devout Christians, but I never realized just how small they were in some countries. In Great Britain, 33 percent of those polled said religion was “very important” in their lives, compared to 27 percent in Italy, 21 percent in Germany, 11 percent in France, and 11 percent in Czech Republic. This is compared to 60 percent of people in America saying that religion is “very important” to them.
Why the decline of Christianity in Europe? Why are so many turning away from the faith? Let’s get a little closer to home and be a little real. Why are so many in America turning away from Christianity? The numbers say that 60% of people believe that religion is very important to them, but is that accurate? And what about the ones who are leaving? Many of America’s professing atheists grew up in fundamental Christian homes.

What happened? Continue Reading Our Heritage…

The biggest cause of atheists is…

August 22, 2007 at 5:14 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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This is something that I’ve been hearing a lot about for awhile, and sadly, I’ve seen it happen as well. The biggest producer of atheists and non-believers in the world is….the Christian church. What? How is that possible? The body of Christ is going out there spreading the gospel and telling people the truth about God, about the sacrificial death of Jesus, and about how the only way to heaven is to accept that death for the atonement of our sins!

That may be something the church is doing, and that is what we are supposed to be doing. But, what about when those people we reached out to start coming to church? What about the young people that come with them? Do we really care about them? Do we love them like Christ loves them and us? Or are we just counting the numbers and praising God that we had 10 more people than last week? Are we answering the questions that they have or just preaching at them and hoping that it hits home? 1 Peter 3:15 says that we should “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks us to give an account of the hope that we have in us”. If we can’t answer people’s questions about what we believe, why should they stay? Continue Reading The biggest cause of atheists is……


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