Sunday’s Newslinks – 02/14/10

February 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

U.S. Baptists arrested in Haitian orphan incident
A group of 10 American Baptists were being held in the Haitian capital Sunday after trying to take 33 children out of Haiti.

A GOP bow to the Tea Party movement?
The Republican National Committee has adopted a rule that will prod GOP leaders to provide financial support to only those candidates who support the party’s platform.

Fortuneteller sues, claims discrimination
A Virginia fortuneteller is suing to overturn a Chesterfield County ordinance, saying it discriminates against her beliefs.

Muslim parents reject deal with Christian daughter
The Muslim parents of an Ohio girl who ran away from home claiming she feared harm for becoming Christian have rejected a deal meant to resolve the conflict.

U.S. Attorney Reviews Call for Probe of SEIU Activities with White House, Congress
(CNSNews.com)
– Federal prosecutors are reviewing a request for an investigation into whether Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), violated the Lobbying Disclosure Act with his frequent visits to the White House and with members of Congress in 2009. Americans for Tax Reform has written to acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia asking for a probe.

SEC Ruling Requires Companies to Tell Shareholders If Climate Laws Are Bad for Business
(CNSNews.com)
– A new SEC ruling by would require corporations to inform their shareholders about the business risks and potential impacts of climate change legislation, environmental regulation, and international climate treaties. The ruling marks the first time the SEC has required companies to make such information available to shareholders, and one fiscal conservative told CNSNews.com the ruling will benefit investors.

Congressional Salaries Should Not Go Up Until Federal Spending Is Under Control, Hatch Says
(CNSNews.com)
– While the Congressional Budget Office reported last week a projected $6 trillion total in new national debt over the next 10 years, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told CNSNews.com that lawmakers’ salaries should not go up until Congress does a “really good job of getting budgetary spending under control.” Continue Reading Sunday’s Newslinks – 02/14/10…

Newslinks – 09/12/09

September 12, 2009 at 9:24 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

ELCA Leader Urges Flock to Continue Conversation

Gospel Music Association Head Steps Down 

Massive Christian Festival Kicks Off Labor Day Weekend 

Web Site Invites Churches to Engage in Online Mission 

7.0 Quake Leaves 28,000 Homeless in Indonesia 

Schools Should Teach Christianity’s Role in U.S. History, Say Evangelicals 

Health Care Bill Would Reduce Abortion, Says Progressive Think Tank 

Indonesia Quake Toll Expected to Pass 100 

Poll: American Giving-Away Trend Continues 

Baptist Pastor Fatally Shot by Police in Drug Sting 

 
Global ‘Ecological Board of Directors’ Envisioned by State Department’s Climate Czar
(CNSNews.com)
– Todd Stern, now the State Department’s special envoy for climate change, once pushed for the creation of an annual “E8” summit to address environmental issues. Stern represents the United States in international environmental negotiations, including the upcoming United Nations Conference on Climate Change taking place in Copenhagen in December.

Chief Treasury Economist Says White House Economic Forecast is ‘Smoother’ Than Can Be Expected in Reality
(CNSNews.com)
– Alan Krueger, assistant secretary for economic policy and chief economist at the Treasury Department, told reporters that the economic projections used by the White House–which foresee a decade of uninterrupted economic growth ahead–are “smoother” than what can be expected in reality. Krueger, speaking to reporters at a Friday briefing, said numerous factors could affect and alter those estimates.

Administration’s Suggestions for Teachers: Read Books about Obama, Post Obama Quotes on Classroom Walls
(CNSNews.com)
– The “corrected” lesson plans from the U.S. Department of Education suggest that schools around the country use President Obama’s speech to students on Tuesday as a “teachable moment.” The “menu of classroom activities” still calls for teachers to read books about Obama and to post quotations from Obama in large print on classroom walls.

Study Shows Sharp Increase in TV Ads Soliciting Plaintiffs for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
(CNSNews.com)
– Democrats demanding health-care reform are not saying much about medical malpractice lawsuits. But a new study indicates that tort reform should be included in any meaningful health care overhaul. The study — conducted for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform – says television advertisements soliciting plaintiffs for medical malpractice lawsuits increased nearly 1,400 percent in four years.

Surgeon General Post Unfilled as Obama Pushes Health Care Reform and Swine Flu Concerns Grow
(CNSNews.com)
– As President Barack Obama welcomes Congress back to Washington with a joint address on his health care reform agenda and federal officials advise the public on preventing the spread of the H1N1 virus, the U.S. Surgeon General post remains unfilled.

Controversy Surrounds Frontrunner in Race to Head Major U.N. Agency
(CNSNews.com)
– A major United Nations agency will choose a new director-general in the coming days, and although promoting freedom of expression is among UNESCO’s key functions, the leading candidate is backed by some of the world’s most repressive governments. Farouk Hosni, who has been Egypt’s culture minister for more than two decades, has made provocative comments about the Israel.

Defiant Over Nuclear Issue, Iran Wins Sanctions-Busting Pledge From Chavez
(CNSNews.com)
– As the first of a series of crucial meetings on nuclear issues began Monday, Iran’s government reiterated its defiance of the international community, saying that as far as it was concerned, the question was settled. “We will never negotiate Iran’s undeniable rights,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told reporters.

 Stanford Researchers Transform Fat Cells into Stem Cells

Sudanese Archbishop Appeals for Int’l Action in Struggle for Peace 

Iraqi Political Groups Use Dwindling Christian Community as ‘Tools’ 

Church Leaders, Climate Experts to Urge World Leaders to Focus on Poor 

‘I Hate Obama’ Pastor Draws Protesters Outside Church 

Yale under fire for removal of Muslim cartoons
Yale University has removed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad from an upcoming book about how they caused outrage across the Muslim world, drawing criticism from prominent alumni and a national group of university professors. VOTE IN A RELATED POLL

Independents dissatisfied with Obama
A political analyst says President Obama’s support is eroding among a group of voters that was pivotal to his election in 2008 — independents.

Perspective: Listening to a liar
If people think that the words Barack Obama says are what matters, they can be led into something much worse than being swindled out of their money.

Perspective: An open letter to liberals
I’ve often thought of writing an open letter to those who assume my views are repugnant because of the conservative label. So guess what?

Studios now see value in family-friendly films
Noted entertainment critic Ted Baehr says Christians are making a difference when it comes to the availability of family-friendly movies.

Obama Pitched Health Care Reform to Students in Meeting Prior to His Speech on Education
(CNSNews.com)
– Although President Barack Obama avoided controversial topics in his nationally broadcast speech to students on Tuesday, he did promote health care reform in a face-to-face discussion with ninth graders at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.

Hoyer: Media ‘Misrepresented’ Town Hall Protests
(CNSNews.com)
– House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) says the national news media, particularly television networks, “misrepresented” the extent of opposition to health care reform voiced at various town hall meeting in August. By focusing on the rowdy few, the television cameras prevented the public from seeing the majority of people who are either open to reform or support health care reform, Hoyer said.

Obama Promises to Give Us ‘A Much More Detailed’ Health Care Plan Wednesday Night
(CNSNews.com)
– In a nationally televised speech Wednesday night, President Barack Obama will explain to the American people “what I think is the best way to move forward” on health care reform. According to his press secretary Robert Gibbs, Obama “will discuss pretty robustly the public option tonight.”

Many of Obama’s Claims about Health-Care Reform Have Been Debunked
(CNSNews.com)
– While President Obama tells a joint session of Congress what he wants and is willing to accept in a health care reform bill Wednesday night, he may also repeat some of the points he has made over the past few months that have been refuted by non-partisan sources. The president, for example, has said health-care reform will be deficit neutral and will not steer tax dollars to abortions. He also says there are 46 million uninsured Americans. But each of these claims has been disputed by non-partisan sources.

U.S. Government Paid 15-Year-Olds to Answer Graphic Questions About Their Sex Lives
(CNSNews.com)
– From March 2002 to March 2003, the federal government paid more than a thousand 15- to 17-year-olds $40 each to answer questions about their sex lives, including intimate questions about specific sexual acts, whether they had ever engaged in homosexual acts, whether they had used contraception, and what sorts of discussions they had had with their parents about sex.

Lieberman: U.S. Needs to Be Prepared for Biological Attack
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, says the U.S. is in no better position today than it was in December 2008, when a government commission warned that Americans were not safe from an attack with biological weapons — and that a terrorist attack involving a WMD was likely to occur somewhere in the world by 2013.

Test-Ban Treaty Advocates See ‘Window of Opportunity’ Opened by Obama
(CNSNews.com)
– Proponents of a global ban on nuclear weapons testing are optimistic that President Obama’s support for ratifying the pact will encourage other holdouts to follow suit, speeding up its entry into force. But the prospect of a U.S. shift is causing unease in India, and there is no sign that either Iran or North Korea is willing to embrace the test-ban agreement.

Dems’ healthcare ‘compromises’ mislead public
A healthcare policy expert says both the “trigger” and non-profit cooperative proposals being pushed by Democrats resemble the “camel’s nose under the tent” of government-run healthcare. POLL: What advice would YOU give Congress? VOTE

Perspective: A self-serving healthcare savior
Tom Daschle evaded IRS rules for years – yet he remains a top White House confidante and policy strategist who’s now leading the drive to save Obamacare.

Federal probe should include Planned Parenthood
Prominent pro-life leader Alveda King has some advice for the Justice Department in a probe of racism.

Taxpayers footing legal bills for former Fannie execs
Many U.S. taxpayers are unaware that they are now paying for the legal bills of three top former executives for government-run mortgage firm Fannie Mae.

Parenting: Damage control for teens of divorce
Divorce piles on emotional problems for a teen a little higher than there would normally be for an already emotional adolescent.

1.2 Million Sign Anti-Health Care Bill Petition to Congress

1,200 African Church Leaders Attend Billion Soul Summit in Uganda 

Church Leaders Abuzz About Virtual Conference 

Businesswoman to Church: Financial Crisis Golden Opportunity for Economic Justice 

Christians in Pakistan Fear Further Firestorms 

Obama heckled by GOP during speech: ‘You lie!’
The nastiness of August reached from the nation’s town halls into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as President Barack Obama tried to move his healthcare plan forward.

‘Anti-American counterculturists’ found among Obama’s czars
Iowa Congressman Steve King says he’s pleased that President Barack Obama’s so-called “green jobs” czar has resigned — but it’s just a start, he adds.

Perspective: Media bite into ‘vetting’ apple
The media basically ignored the growing controversy over Van Jones’ communist background as it built over the past couple of weeks.

Religious song banned from graduation
The Rutherford Institute is taking another school free-speech case to the Supreme Court.

Persistent prayer reaps rewards
A well-known pastor and author says desperation, prayer, and persistence will lead to true revival.

 Obama Won’t Give Federal Insurance Benefits to Illegal Aliens; He’ll Make Them Legal First
(CNSNews.com)
– In his speech to a joint session of Congress last night, President Obama said that his health care reform plan will not insure “illegal immigrants.” It is true that both the House and Senate health care bills as they are now drafted would make illegal aliens ineligible for federally funded health care. But President Obama has stated as recently as last month at a press conference in Mexico that he will seek “comprehensive immigration reform” legislation that will put illegal aliens on a “pathway to citizenship.”

Democrats’ Health Care Bills Do Not Require Citizenship Verification
(CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Joe Wilson’s shout-out Wednesday night came in response to President Obama’s claim that illegal immigrants would not be covered by the Democrats’ health care plan. “You lie!” Wilson (R-S.C.) yelled. Republicans, in a post-speech “fact-check,” suggested that Obama is making a promise the legislation does not keep.

Health Experts Call Obesity A Threat to National Security
(CNSNews.com)
– Health care experts, including two former U.S. surgeons general, said on Wednesday said that obesity has reached epidemic proportions and is a threat to security in the United States and abroad. It also affects the future of health care, said Richard Carmona, who served as surgeon general in the Bush administration.

Republicans: Why Wait? Tackle the Biggest Health Care Problems Right Now
(CNSNews.com)
– In the Republican response to President Barack Obama, Rep. Charles Boustany of Louisiana offered what he called a faster, more affordable way to bring about the health care reform. Boustany said Congress should scrap the Democrat-authored bills currently under consideration – particularly the call for a public option — and start over with a “targeted approach that tackles the biggest problems.” He outlined four areas where “we can agree, right now.”

Obama Adviser Hopes Catholic Bishops Will Find A Way to Support Democrats’ Health Care Reform Legislation, Despite Abortion Concerns
Capitol Hill (CNSNews.com)
– A top adviser to President Barack Obama told CNSNews.com the White House hopes the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will come to understand that the Democrats’ health care reform legislation does not cover abortion. “This should not be turned into a debate about abortion,” David Axelrod said.

White House Won’t Rule Out ‘Reconciliation’ Maneuver to Pass Health Care Reform Bill
Capitol Hill (CNSNews.com)
– President Barack Obama is still hoping for a bipartisan health care reform bill, White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod said, and he will support whatever it takes to get a health care package through Congress.

Congressional Report Questions Legality of GM and Chrysler Bailouts
(CNSNews.com)
– A report issued by the Congressional Oversight Panel tasked with overseeing the implementation of the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) questions whether the Bush and Obama administrations had the legal authority to use TARP funds to bail out General Motors and Chrysler. The report, issued Wednesday, confirmed what CNSNews.com had previously reported: that the law which created TARP–the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act–did not grant the government specific authority to use taxpayers’ funds to rescue the auto industry.

Organizers Predict Thousands of Tea Party Activists Will Attend Saturday’s March on Washington
(CNSNews.com)
– Thousands of angry taxpayers are expected to come to the nation’s capital on Saturday, Sept. 12, to march on the National Mall. These are many of the same Americans who staged “tea parties” this Spring to protest the $700 billion mortgage bailout and passage of the $787 billion economic stimulus bill — and the same people who turned out in droves over the August congressional break at town hall meetings around the country to express their outrage over a proposed trillion dollar health-care “reform.”

Deepening Venezuela-Iran Alliance Stokes Concern
(CNSNews.com)
– The United States watches closely and follows links between Iran and Venezuela “very seriously,” the State Department said in response to fresh claims of a deepening collaboration between the two governments hostile to the U.S. Spokesman Ian Kelly said allegations made by veteran Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau this week – that Iran and Venezuela were “creating a cozy financial, political, and military partnership” — were serious and would be looked into.

U.S. Envoy Warns Iran Is Almost Capable of Building Atomic Bomb
(CNSNews.com)
– With a deadline to cooperate or face tougher sanctions fast approaching, Iran has presented a new “proposal” relating to its nuclear program to a group of leading governments. Iran’s response came on the same day that a U.S. envoy told the United Nations nuclear watchdog that Iran was nearing “breakout” capability – the point at which it could, if it took the decision to do so, build an atomic bomb.

 Obama: Now is Time to Deliver on Health Care 

American Congregations Show Some Signs of Vitality 

ADF Receives $9.2M to Defend Free Speech at Universities 

Ky. Church to Ordain Registered Sex Offender 

Court Rejects Disgraced Baptist Leader’s Bid to Stop Election 

 
Eight Years After Terror Attacks, Threat Remains Real and Evolving
(CNSNews.com)
– Despite counter-terrorism successes and the absence of a major and dramatic attack in the West, the security threat posed by radical Islamists remains real and dynamic, as al-Qaeda mutates into an increasingly unstructured but no less dangerous entity, according to experts monitoring the organization.

Support for Suicide Bombings and Bin Laden Still High Among Some Muslims
(CNSNews.com)
– A new survey gauging Muslim attitudes indicates that backing for suicide bombings against civilians, while generally down from earlier years, remains significant in some Islamic countries – challenging the assertion that Muslims supporting terrorism constitute a “tiny minority.”

Obama’s Speech Prompts Ten Questions from Republicans
(CNSNews.com)
– House Republicans on Thursday issued ten “common-sense” questions arising from President Barack Obama’s Wednesday-night speech plugging health care reform. The questions – and the words that prompted them – appear here verbatim…

Pro-Life Congressmen and Planned Parenthood Agree: Health Care Bill Funds Abortion
(CNSNews.com)
– In his address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, President Barack Obama said the health care plan he is pushing will not provide federal money for abortions. But pro-life congressmen and Planned Parenthood agree that abortion would be covered under the plan under an amendment sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps (D.-Calif.).

Pelosi: We’ll ‘Squeeze’ Medicare to Pay for Health Care Bill
(CNSNews.com)
– House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said today that Congress will pay for half of the $1 trillion health care reform bill that President Obama wants enacted by “squeezing” Medicare and Medicaid to wring out what she called “waste, fraud, abuse, redundancy, obsolescence and whatever it is.”

Conservative Pollster Defends CNN Poll on Audience Perception of Obama’s Speech
(CNSNews.com)
– Conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway Thursday defended the integrity of CNN’s Wednesday night poll of those who watched President Obama’s speech to Congress on health-care reform. On Thursday, some conservatives in Washington were buzzing about the poll’s sample – and questioning whether it might have been partisan or slanted, since only 18 percent of respondents “identified themselves as Republicans.”

Despite Recession and Rising Unemployment, Rate of Uninsured Did Not Increase, Says Census Bureau Data
(CNSNews.com)
– Even though the nation was in a recession and unemployment rates were rising, the percentage of people lacking health insurance in the United States did not increase during 2008, according to data released today by the Census Bureau. There was also a slight movement of people from private insurance into government insurance — including seniors moving into Medicare.

Obama speech ‘a litany of lies’
The Media Research Center is demanding that the media reports President Obama’s “lies, distortions, and exaggerations” delivered in his speech on healthcare reform Wednesday night.

9-11 widow still finding hope, healing
Author Jennifer Sands has a special reason to remember the September 11 terrorist attack in 2001.

Perspective: How Obama cronyism threatens rail security
Why has President Obama neutered the nation’s most highly trained post-Sept. 11 counterterrorism rail security team?

Yale ripped for kowtowing to Islamic extremism
Gary Bauer and John Bolton both agree with recent criticism of Yale University for publishing a book about how cartoons of the prophet Muhammad caused outrage across the Muslim world — without including the actual cartoons themselves.

ObamaCare circumvents confession of abortion funding
Three pro-life leaders are voicing concern over President Obama’s healthcare plan. They believe President Obama may not be telling the truth about taxpayer-funded abortion as it pertains to his healthcare reform plan.

Pro-Life Leaders: Obama Still Misleading Americans on Abortion Funding 

Survey Reveals Prevalence of Clergy Sexual Misconduct 

Pakistani Bishop: Muslim-Christian Tension Unlikely to be Resolved Soon 

Relief Groups Sound Alarm as Kenya Faces Drought, Hunger Crisis 

Orissa Christians are ‘Prisoners’ in India, Says Ministry

Newslinks 09/05/09

September 5, 2009 at 9:37 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

More handouts in store for big banks?
A leading free-market economist says because of the bank bailouts authorized by the Bush and Obama administrations, any big bank that runs into trouble is both so large that it has to be dealt with and has the expectation that it will be bailed out by the federal government. VOTE IN A RELATED POLL

London newspaper claims Lockerbie bomber not so ill
A conservative British scholar says he believes Scottish authorities might have been conned into believing that the recently released Lockerbie bomber was more ill than he actually was.

Teen Gitmo detainee sues U.S. for mistreatment
A senior Army strategist and Pentagon advisor says he is not surprised that a terrorist suspect recently released from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba would try to sue the United States over his treatment there.

Healthcare reform bill a ‘feeder system’ for abortion
A Catholic pro-life leader calls H.R. 3200 the “Planned Parenthood economic stimulus package.”

Feature: Forgotten – Christians in Palestine
A combination of threats and intimidation from Muslim extremists and the fallout from the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict are driving many Palestinian Christians from their ancestral homes. Continue Reading Newslinks 09/05/09…

Newslinks – 08/15/09

August 15, 2009 at 9:13 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Palin calls Obamacare evil
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called President Barack Obama’s health plan “downright evil” Friday in her first online comments since leaving office, saying in a Facebook posting that he would create a “death panel” that would deny care to the neediest Americans.

Christian attorneys defend public prayer
An atheist organization is yet again opposing the practice of opening public meetings with prayer.

New ENDA bill ‘turns private sin into a public right’
Conservative Christian leader Robert Knight says a Senate bill that would ban job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity “turns private sin into a public right.”

Who’s behind the Internet Snitch Brigade?
If the White House is looking for “fishy” information in the healthcare debate, they could start by checking into President Obama’s own healthcare overlord.

Perspective: Seeking more than financial freedom
Why did we Hispanics come to the United States? For one thing, to experience freedom — something that is threatened by current Capitol Hill goings-on. Continue Reading Newslinks – 08/15/09…

Newslinks – 08/01/09

August 1, 2009 at 9:02 am | Posted in Newslinks | 2 Comments
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 Evangelist Greg Laurie Reflects on Son’s Death, One Year Later
One year ago today, a well-known evangelist lost his oldest son. Reflecting on the anniversary of his son’s death, evangelist Greg Laurie testifies that the Lord has been there for him in the midst of a devastating time.

Pro-Life Leaders Mobilize Over 36,000 to Stand Against ‘Abortion Mandate’

 BWA to Celebrate 400th Anniversary of Baptist Movement

 Scholars to Examine Gender Roles, Bible, Culture

 Dallas Episcopal Bishop Rejects Gay Resolutions

 Rick Warren Embarks on Follow-Up to ‘Purpose Driven Life’

 Commentary on July 24 News – Foca by Stealth, Tim Ryan, China, More Good News on D&P, Sask. Marriage Commissioner

Pence Amendment Fails, House Votes to Increase Tax Dollars for Planned Parenthood Continue Reading Newslinks – 08/01/09…

A New You?

January 26, 2009 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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It’s a new year again and that means two things:

 

A large number of people will resolve to lose weight

 

A large number of people will break the 9th commandment by the end of February.

 

This is the time of year when advertisers focus on looks, weight loss, and self esteem. They try to convince people that they need to use their products, weight machines, and other materials to lose weight, feel better, and get ready for the spring/summer season. We are made to feel bad about how we look when we don’t measure up to the ideal presented to us by Hollywood and the media.

 

Looks are a major concern for a growing number of people. Many are being conditioned from a young age to think that they have to look a certain way to be “acceptable”. They have become a major factor in a number of decisions from jobs to material things to presidential elections. Shows like “American Idol” promote this, especially when those who have more talent are passed up for others who may have a “better” look.

 

Obesity is becoming a growing problem (pun intended) in our nation. More and more children and adults are less active and not eating healthy. We are so “busy” that we don’t take the time to do the things that we need to do. Obesity has been linked to a number of health conditions and problems, and even though we know this, we continue to eat our way into an early grave.

 

Self-esteem is the most crippling of all. Our society has been told that it’s all about how you feel. If the lifestyle you live feels good to you, then that’s all that matters. If someone says something or does something and you don’t “feel” that you need to do or say it, then you don’t. As human beings, we love to feel good about ourselves and think that we are doing good. We love to see ourselves as good people who are trying to live our best life and impacting those around us for the better.

 

All of this really amazes me. We will raise our self-esteem by deceiving ourselves and telling ourselves that we’re doing really good. We will look at the junk coming from Hollywood and try to measure up to it in order to feel better. And when we don’t measure up to the standard that they set for us, we feel horrible and strive to change. Why will we do this for Hollywood, which is basically man at his worst, and not for God? I’m talking to Christians too! Why will we let ourselves watch and listen to things that God would be angry at, spend our time and money to get the right shape, and boost our self-esteem by ignoring what’s wrong with us? What about God? Why won’t we do this for Him?

 

God has a standard as well. But when we don’t measure up to it, we don’t feel bad we just blow it off. We don’t feel burdened because our lives have been in direct opposition to God or that it is our sin that nailed Jesus to the cross. We just go on about our daily lives and continue to chase the Hollywood ideal. There is a major problem with this attitude that will affect our lives in ways that we can’t even fathom. See, if we don’t measure up to the Hollywood ideal, then we may not be the most attractive person in the world. But, that is something that many of us could live with if we looked at things from outside the vanity. If we don’t measure up to God’s standard, we are in much deeper and lasting trouble. God is the judge of the universe and if we fail to meet His standard, we will spend eternity in hell. Amazingly, this doesn’t seem to bother many people. They are more concerned about the fact that their butt looks too big (or not big enough), their lips aren’t full enough, or their paycheck isn’t big enough.

 

This is because we have failed as a church to tell people the truth. Today, there are churches and “Christians” (Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Tony Jones) who say that everyone will get to heaven whether or not they believe in Christ and repent of their sins. We have told them the things that they wanted to hear so that they fill our churches and give us money. Meanwhile, we are insulating them to the fires of hell and helping them get there more comfortably. If we told people the truth, they would understand that they don’t measure up to God’s standard and that without payment for their sins, they will go to hell. If we were to do this, we would help people separate the truth from the lie.

 

So, I’ve come up with a proposal for a lasting “new you”. I am not a doctor or physician, so take this advice knowing this. If you want to change your looks, start by abstaining from the appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22). Then, start living out the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance – Gal. 5:22-3). While doing this, be an imitator of God like a little child (Eph. 5:1-13) and walk worthy of your calling (Eph. 4:1-3). Finally, let your light shine before all men instead of hiding it under a basket (Matt. 5:16). If you would like to lose weight, remove the encumbrance of your sin (Heb. 12:1-2), remove the yoke from your midst (Is. 58:6-11), and don’t let sin reign in your mortal body (Romans 6:12-14). Finally, if you want to work on your self-esteem then start with the fact that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and that there is no one who is good (Romans 3:10/Ps. 14:1-3). You may be wondering how this will help your self-esteem. Well, it won’t. If you understand the Bible, you know that you shouldn’t be esteeming yourself. You should be giving all the glory to God. If you ignore that you’re evil, it won’t help you. But, if you understand it and realize that you’re a sinner, it will help you immensely in a few ways. First, if you’ve been trying to work your way to heaven, you will realize that you cannot do it and it will remove a heavy burden from your life. It will also help you to recognize your position in relation to God. It will help you recognize the judgment you deserve based on that position, and it will help you to receive the gift of salvation, a clean conscience, and a new position. All things will become new (2 Cor. 5:17), you will no longer be destined for hell, you will be one of God’s children and He will love you, you will be given great and precious promises, and you can tell others about Christ and help them become new too.

 

If you do this, you will have a lasting new you. You may not be the best looking. You may still have health problems. You will not have any self-esteem, but instead will trust God with your life. You will be able to weather every storm because you will know where your salvation comes from and no matter what you go through, you will be able to hold onto the truth that you will find yourself in heaven because your are a horrible sinner whose been forgiven by a gloriously wonderful God. That is truly a new you…


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