Influence

May 24, 2010 at 5:26 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Whether we realize it or not, we are influenced by many things. We see an advertisement for the newest car, the latest way to lose weight, or the fastest way to make money and we have the opportunity to be influenced. The more we see the ad, the more likely we are to be influenced to purchase the product. It happens for cars, houses, grocery items, toys (think about all the ads you see at Christmas), and movies.  We see people happy with the new product or service and we can’t help but think that it may be the same way for us. We see the newest TV shows with the hottest stars and our interest is piqued. We see the latest summer blockbuster with the most amazing special effects and we have to see it. The chart topping hits play on our favorite radio station, we can’t get the song out of our head, and the next thing we know, we’re buying the CD or iTunes download.

The influence of music, movies, advertising, and other media forms has become so pervasive that we hardly even notice it anymore. We have become desensitized to it. We hardly realize that we are not making the choices anymore. Add to this the “herd mentality” where friends and family are acting on this influence and it becomes even stronger. We seem to be in full control of our decisions, and fail to recognize the influence that the environment around us – the things we see, hear, smell, taste and feel – has such a profound influence on what we say and do. Continue Reading Influence…

False Teachers

May 10, 2010 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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With all of the different events taking place in the church and all of the men and women who claim to be preaching the gospel, a question arises. How do you know? How can you be sure that the man (or woman) that you are hearing speak is actually speaking the truth? Some talk about how they’ve heard from God and how God “told them” things. Others proclaim that the growth and size of their ministries is proof that God is “blessing” them. There are many “preachers” today, especially in America, and all of them profess to be Bible-believing, truth-preaching, Christians. But are they?

 In the New Testament, there are a number of passages of scripture that should give us pause before we go proclaiming that “Pastor so and so” is the next “up and coming” pastor. Unfortunately, a number of people in the church seem to go by appearance or charm. Others go by whether or not the one preaching agrees with what they already believe. We go by sound or size of the church or by popularity or by relevancy.

 So, how should Christians be testing their pastors/preachers and other people claiming to do the work of God?  Continue Reading False Teachers…

Newslinks 05/09/10

May 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Ex-Muslim: Obama’s Soft Strategy Hurting Oppressed Christians
President Obama is hurting persecuted Christians worldwide by failing to speak up for them, says a well-known convert who lives under police protection in Europe.

Bombers Target Iraqi Christian Students, Injure Dozens

WARC Condemns Growing Anti-Christian Violence in India

Ariz. Gov. Modifies Immigration Law after Criticism

Christian Archaeologist Casts Further Doubt on Ark ‘Discovery’

James Dobson to Return with Same Bold Approach

Americans Sick and Tired of Motorized Transportation, Transportation Secretary Says
(CNSNews.com)
– “People are sick of being stuck in traffic, stuck in their automobiles, and we want to help communities and neighborhoods that want more walking paths or biking paths — more transit,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told CNSNews.com.

Authorities Cautious About Linking Terror Groups to Failed Times Square Car Bombing
(CNSNews.com)
– As investigations continue into Saturday’s failed car bombing in Times Square, a claim of responsibility linking the incident to the recent killing of two terrorist leaders in Iraq is just one of a range of possible motives radicals could have for the high profile choice of target. Police were trying to track down a man, described as white and in his 40s, caught on video behaving furtively not far from the SUV.

U.S. Fails to Stick Up for Victims of Religious Violence in Nigeria and Elsewhere, Commission Finds
(CNSNews.com)
– The Obama administration is failing to talk about — and stick up for — religious freedom around the world, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. “Presidential references to religious freedom have become rare, often replaced at most with references to freedom of worship,” said USCIRF Chairman Leonard Leo, announcing the release of the 2010 commission report. “The same holds true for many of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speeches.”

Attack Highlights Unrelenting Plight of Iraq’s Christians
(CNSNews.com)
– Iraq’s embattled Christian minority came under attack again on Sunday, when a double bombing near the northern city of Mosul targeted a convoy of buses carrying Christian students, injuring scores of them. The attack occurred near a checkpoint manned by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers as well as troops from the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdish region. More than a dozen Christians in Iraq have died violently since the beginning of 2010, the National Council of Churches in the U.S. said in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week.

FEMA Yet to Be Deployed to Gulf Region as Oil Washes Ashore, Florida Declares Emergency
(CNSNews.com)
– While other agencies flood into Florida and Louisiana, the federal government’s emergency management entity — as of Friday — had not yet taken the lead on the Gulf Coast, where a large and continuing oil spill threatens hundreds of miles of fragile shoreline. Continue Reading Newslinks 05/09/10…

Image

February 15, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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When you take a look at the world today, much of what goes on is based on image. How things look dictate a lot of how we live our lives. What the weather looks like determines what we wear, where we go, and what we do. What a person looks like often causes us to make a  quick, all-inclusive judgment as to the person’s demeanor, their lifestyle, and possibly even their childhood. A large majority of the items that we buy today are bought based on their image. Ad companies try to make everything from clothes to cars to cigarettes more appealing by giving them an image that will draw people in, regardless of whether the product is really as good as they say it is (which is seldom the case). Movies, TV shows, magazines, and music are all given a special image that the producers hope will cause millions of people to part with either time or money for that product. They strive to make each image unique so that it “stands out” from the rest of the products. Continue Reading Image…

This is the year!

January 4, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Well, it’s about that time. The Christmas season is over and the ball has dropped to signify another year has begun. Aside from the annual commercials selling every type of weight loss machine, drink, and diet plan imaginable, there is one more thing that should be happening right about now. This time of year should also bring the beginning of all of the “prophetic words” from the numerous “pastors” and “preachers” that talk about how this is the year for ________ (insert the new, popular word/term for financial prosperity here…). This is the year of blessing, wealth, prosperity, health, overflow, abundance, and/or fullness. This is the year when that peace/love/hope/power/healing/miracle/joy you’ve been waiting for is going to happen! If you will send these men and women your seed/offering/gift in faith and believe that what they are telling you is true, oops sorry, I mean believe in faith, then you will know greater power/glory/honor/fame/money/prestige/happiness/joy/love/peace/prosperity/your best life now. All that for your best “faith seed”! Seems like a pretty good deal doesn’t it?

If it wasn’t so heretical, it would actually be kind of fun. Like biblical Mad Libs… Continue Reading This is the year!…

Newslinks – 09/19/09

September 19, 2009 at 10:43 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Thousands march in D.C. to protest Obama spending
Tens of thousands of protesters fed up with government spending marched to the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, showing their disdain for the president’s health care plan with slogans such as “Obamacare makes me sick” and “I’m not your ATM.”

Michigan man arrested in pro-life murder
All week “the sign guy” had stood outside the local public high school, protesting abortion.

HR 3200 provides taxpayer-funded abortions
The healthcare reform bill puts taxpayers in the position of paying for abortions.

Christian attorneys defend First Amendment at schools
Alliance Defense Fund is expanding its program to declare college and university campuses free-speech zones.

Feature: Happy Grandparents Day!
Grandboomers get another chance at real peace and love. Continue Reading Newslinks – 09/19/09…

Ten Commandments #7

September 22, 2008 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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If you’ve been keeping track and reading along (thank you both of you), then you know what we’ll be talking about this week. This week’s blog focuses on the seventh commandment:

 

Exo 20:14  “You shall not commit adultery.

 

This is dealt with all throughout the bible. It begins in Exodus 20 and can be found in Leviticus 18:20, 20:10, Prov. 6:29, Matthew 5:27-28, 15:19, and James 1:14-15. The penalty for adultery was death of both participants. In case you don’t know, adultery is sex outside of marriage between a married person and someone else’s spouse or a single person.

 

Sadly, this sin is not only rampant in our society it is promoted. TV shows like “Desperate Housewives” and others like them promote this kind of activity as “natural” and ok. As we looked at last week, David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband murdered to try and cover it up. We see this happening more often. We see it put before us on talk shows and chances are we know someone that has been through this. Our politicians and “leaders” commit adultery and they are still put into office. They mock the Lord and set a horrible example of what men and women should act like. We see this happen with swingers and office flings. We see it taking place as men and women seek “more” from others on the Internet. Unfortunately, we also see it in the church. Pastors, elders, deacons, and churchgoers commit adultery and act like there is nothing wrong. Often, they leave their spouse for the other person and break their covenant. Then, many of them try to justify it by using David as an example. They say that even though David committed adultery, he was still a man after God’s own heart. How stupid! Like that somehow condones sin….

 

Why does it happen? Why do people commit adultery? I think that one of the reasons is that people convince themselves that they aren’t happy with their spouse. They focus on the things that are “wrong” in their spouse and completely ignore the covenant that they made with their “significant other”. Because they are dissatisfied, they look for someone that will “fulfill their needs” (I’m rolling my eyes now…). Adultery also takes place because mankind is just lustful. They have no control and allow their lusts to rule them and our society promotes it and feeds that lust. They also have no fear of God or respect for His Word or for other people. They put themselves and their selfish desires above God and others. Adultery also happens because people are being deceived. They delude themselves into thinking that they are doing nothing wrong.

 

The problem is, adultery isn’t just about the act itself. Jesus said that it is deeper than what we think. According to Jesus, if someone even looks with lust at another person, that is the same as committing adultery with them. Sadly, this has become nothing today. Porn is rampant in and out of the church. One statistic I heard said that the highest incidence of porn rental at hotels coincides with the times that Christian conferences are in town. Television, magazines, and advertising emphasize the bodies of men and women wearing as little as possible. These types of things help to sow doubt into the mind of those looking. Women see the ads with models that are wafer-thin and feel that they are ugly. Guys deal with this too. They see these women (many of whom have been digitally altered!) and compare them to their wives and the dissatisfaction increases. There are also things like plastic surgery where most of the operations are used to beautify or draw attention to certain areas.

 

So how do we fight this tragic sin? One of the first things that we need to have is an understanding of the scriptures. We have to understand what it means to make a covenant and be committed to keeping it. If you are married, then you need to understand the marriage covenant to help protect and nourish your marriage. If you aren’t married, you need to understand the marriage covenant and give it A LOT of thought before you make the decision. We can fight against adultery if we reject the influence of the world. We can also help non-Christians understand the truth of marriage by working diligently to live a godly marriage before them. Marriage is one of the first things that was put into place by God. It is vital that Christians live in respect to God’s view of marriage, not only for the marriage itself, but to properly reflect Christ and the church.


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