Newslinks 09/26/10

September 26, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Values Voters Pick Mike Pence Over Huckabee for President
Social conservatives at the Values Voter Summit have crowned a new top contender for president, though the winner of this year’s straw poll only edged out last year’s by two points.

Anti-Poverty Groups Sound Off Ahead of High-Level MDG Summit

Pope Expresses ‘Sorrow and Shame’ Over Child Abuse

ELCA Receives 3 Lesbian Ministers

Few Americans Think Glenn Beck Is Fit to Head Religious Mov’t

Wheaton College Installs New President Continue Reading Newslinks 09/26/10…

Persecution Fridays: Pakistan

September 24, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com 

Pakistan: Church Property Burned

On Sept. 19, Islamic extremists broke into the Philadelphia Pentecostal Church in Sharif Town, Karachi City, Pakistan, and set fire to Bibles, hymnals, a musical instrument and a table, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts.

The church, which is led by Pastors George Rakha and Peter Shahzad, was established six years ago and is actively involved in Muslim evangelism. “At 4 a.m., some fanatics broke the lock of the church door and entered the church,” VOM contacts reported. “They burned three crosses, nine Bibles, five books of worship songs, a table and a musical instrument Tabla [local drum].”

On Sept. 20, the Christian community displayed a banner protesting the burning of their Bibles. Christians believe this incident was a reaction to an American pastor’s widely publicized threat to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11. Christian leaders in the U.S. spoke out against the pastor’s plan to burn the Quran, and he ultimately decided against it. But it seems that no Muslim leaders spoke out against the actual burning of Bibles in Pakistan.

VOM encourages you to pray for believers in Pakistan who courageously live for Christ in the midst of opposition. Pray that believers’ testimonies and love for Christ will draw their Muslim neighbors into fellowship with Christ.

A Scout is…

August 2, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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On February 8th, 1910, William Boyce began an organization that has impacted millions of people over the course of 100 years. Mr. Boyce wanted to instill in young men the values of citizenship and morality, as well as life skills that will help them build solid relationships and families. Mr. Boyce is the founder of the Boy Scouts of America. This past week, thousands of scouts from all over the world converged on Ft. A.P. Hill in Virginia for the Jamboree celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts. The news focused on the fact that the President decided to go tape a session of “The View” rather than preside over the Jamboree as the honorary leader of the scouts. The news of the Jamboree struck a chord though.

I went through the scouting organization from Cub Scouts at eight years old to Eagle scout at eighteen and then on to be a leader for 4 years. The time that I spent in scouts allowed me a lot of things. It provided strong friendships that I still have today. It also gave me something consistent and conrete at a time when I moved around a lot and didn’t have a father figure to help me out. The men in my troop taught me the things that I would need to know as a man. One of these men eventually became my stepdad.

As I continued to think about the scouts, my mind drifted to the different things that we had to memorize. Things like the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout Motto, and Scout Slogan were things that we said at every meeting. These things were the foundation of why we were scouts and they gave us guidelines for our troop as well as our individual lives. I can still recite all of these things after years of not being affiliated with the scouting organization. In honor of my time in the scouts and the 100th anniversary of the organization that gave me so much, I just wanted to offer up some food for thought. Going over the Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan; I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if more people adopted these things in their lives. These different ideals are completely based in Christianity. They shouldn’t be used in place of Christ, but they could definitely be used as a pointer and guide to Christianity. Continue Reading A Scout is……

Two Kingdoms

July 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Growing up, I always loved the stories of knights and dragons and damsels. It was a great thing to imagine being a warrior defending the kingdom from evil; whether that evil was an ogre, a greedy courtesan, or a marauding band of mercenaries. To go out and save a princess was always a promising quest. As I’ve grown up, I’ve realized that there aren’t any dragons (anymore), that ogres don’t exist (at least not the fairy tale ones), and that most “princesses” today are in the “towers” they’re in because they want to be there and really don’t want to be rescued. There is however a wisp of my childhood imaginations that still lingers. I am a citizen of a kingdom and so are you. As a matter of fact, there are only two kingdoms in existence and you are part of one or the other. Continue Reading Two Kingdoms…

How did we get here?

July 12, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Have you ever had a moment to stop and look at your life? Have you ever stopped, examined your life and where you are, and wondered: How did I get here? I’ve done that a few times and it’s always been eye-opening. I never seem to have been where I thought I was. Sometimes I was further along than I thought and other times I wasn’t as far along as I expected. As I looked back on the path that I trod to get where I was, when I began studying where I walked, I could easily see the things that had gotten me off track. Things like disobedience, willful blindness, and sin led me off of the narrow path and out into the weeds. Because of my lack of diligence or awareness I had to work harder to get back on the path. I had to push through painful thorns and cut through the vines of worldliness that were trying to hold me down and choke me out. Through God’s grace alone, I am here. I’m cut up, bruised, and worn out, but I’m here. As I was pondering these things, I couldn’t help but wonder if the body of Christ has ever done this. I can think of one time when I would say this happened, but other than that, I don’t think that something like this has ever taken place. I wonder why? Does the church not see where it is? Do they not care where they are going? Or are they afraid of what they’ll find? Regardless of the reason, I think that the church would benefit from taking a little time to look at where it is in the face of the state of the world. Continue Reading How did we get here?…

Pharisees

June 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Often, when we are hearing about events that took place in the gospels, we are told about the enemies of Jesus. Those people who opposed Him and tried everything they could to show Him to be a charlatan. Of all the groups that did this, the one that Christians are most familiar with are the Pharisees. Because of the often simple light in which this group is painted, many people don’t realize the dangers inherent in what they said and did. To understand this, it is important to understand where the Pharisees came from.
 
The group of Jews known as Pharisees arose during the reign of John Hyrcanus. They came from the Hasidism, which was a militant religious community that was focused on obedience to the Law and worship to God. They began around 168 B.C. (before Christ!…). The name Pharisee means “separated one” and was applied to this group because they separated themselves from the Hellenistic influence brought in through the Greeks. At the time of Jesus, it is believed that there were around 6,000 Pharisees in Israel. The Pharisees saw the entire Old Testament as authoritative, but accepted oral tradition as authoritative as well. They believed in the existence of angels and demons. They believed in life after death and bodily resurrection. They believed that the study of the Law was worship. They strove to live holy by keeping the Law and saw the Law as determining what was clean and unclean. They felt very strongly about obedience to the Law and developed a set of regulations to help save people from breaking the Law. There are 613 laws in the Old Testament and the discussions that they had were as specific as whether or not a person should eat an egg laid on the Sabbath. The Pharisees lived for the Law and sought to use it in all situations. Continue Reading Pharisees…

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…

The reason for the season?

December 21, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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This time of year, you see it all over the place – “Jesus is the reason for the season”. I guess it’s an effort to try and get people to focus on the real meaning of Christmas, but as I was thinking about all of this, I had some questions about it. Is Jesus really the reason for the season in the hearts and minds of most people? Is this just a weak attempt to try and evangelize without having to really do anything? If people know Jesus as He’s portrayed in the Bible, should this be necessary?
 
I understand the statement and I totally agree with it. Jesus is the reason for the Christmas season. Of course, He’s the reason for every other season as well… The problem comes when I see the same people that tell me that Jesus is the reason for the season slide tackling an 80 year old woman and hurdling two shopping carts full of crying newborns (who were dragged out into the freezing cold weather at 4 a.m.) just so that they can join in a death match for the last Patty Wets-her-pants. Ok, so it may be more than a little problem…I guess I have gotten to where I don’t understand some of the things that people do in the name of celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus. We trek out to the malls to find that perfect gift for that special someone at the best price. All the while, we gripe about the traffic and the waiting in line. Meanwhile, we try as hard as we can to latch on to the Christmas carol playing over the mall speakers so that we can drown out the horrible groans our conscience is making as it keeps a running total of how much we’re spending. The only solace is that we’re using our credit cards so fast there is a slight chance that they will actually melt before we spend ourselves out of house and home and into oblivion. When the amount actually does register, it reminds us to pick up that super-sized bottle of Tums so that we stay healthy enough to come up with a plan for paying off all the debt we’re building up. Continue Reading The reason for the season?…

You go and then come back and tell us…

January 21, 2008 at 6:22 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Exo 19:9 The LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.” Then Moses told the words of the people to the LORD.

Exo 20:18 All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance.
Exo 20:19 Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.”
Exo 20:20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.”

In this part of scripture, God is preparing His chosen people for what’s to come. They have just come out of Egypt and have traveled to Mount Sinai. They are being readied to enter the land that God promised Abraham 430 years ago. Moses tells all of Israel to consecrate themselves and then brings them to the mountain to present them before the Lord. No one is allowed on the mountain except Moses and Aaron. The people see all of what is going on and they tremble and stand at a distance. Then they say something that is very telling:

“Moses, you speak and we’ll do whatever you tell us, but if God speaks to us, we’ll die” (paraphrasing). Continue Reading You go and then come back and tell us……

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