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Archive for February, 2008

A moving story

Read how Jesus Christ changed Gerry’s life and delivered from the fear of leaving town!  [May be have a kleenex handy.]

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Al Mohler points to a disturbing trend that puts intense pressure on young girls. Again the culture is teaching us that physical beauty is to be a chief criteria for measuring one’s own value. As Christians we must be teaching our young girls the Scriptural truth such as Peter expresses here:

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.” (1 Peter 3:3-6)

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An extra day. . .

Have you ever wished for another hour in the day?  Well, what if God gave you a whole extra day?

Well, it’s February 29!  How are you going to use it?  One man thinks it ought to be a national holdiday (but doesn’t want the gov’t to move it to a Monday. This year it would at least give most a 3-day weekend!)

Oddly, enough I am not doing anything different on this day than I normally do–except catching up in some areas that I am behind in.

How about you, how are using the “extra day?”

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Ed Welch in When People Are Big and God is Small (highly recommended) reminds us of the importance of the Lord’s Supper:
“When you are told to examine yourself before the Lord’s Supper, what do you think about? Most likely you remember a list of recent private sins. If you do, great! For some people it is the only quiet moment in their lives, and it is an excellent time for the confession of sin and repentance. Yet, as good as that is, the passage is saying something more. What Paul is exhorting us to examine is our ‘recognizing the body of the Lord.’ Are we realizing that the church is one? Are we aware that those with whom we share the Supper are the body of Christ? Our family? This is clearly the context of the passage.
“This means that we should remember that it is through Christ’s death that we are reconciled to God and each other. He has made us one, and we set our hearts on pursuing unity in love. The Lord’s Supper is a great time to pray and plan for oneness with our brothers and sisters. It is a time to explore new ways to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving.
“The apostle’s exhortation also means that we should repent of sins that have divided God’s people. have we gossiped against or slandered anyone? Have we avoided people? Have we been sinfully angry with anyone?
Jesus himself gave specific directions for pursuing this unity.
“If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother; then come and offer your gift. (Matt. 5:23-24)
“When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins (Mark. 11:25).
The apostle Paul said the same thing in his letter to the Ephesians.
“We are all members of one body. ‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. (Eph. 4:25-26)
Can you sense the urgency in these directions? Only a church that is united in love can truly display God’s glory to both spiritual powers and the world, and only a church united can stand against Satan’s efforts to divide. The Bible is unequivocal: if you have contributed to a lack of unity, deal with it now. Revivals should start at the Lord’s Supper.”

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This mission blog, recommended to me, gives an interesting look at the life of a missionary pilot and some insight how the political scene in Kenya affects real people.

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The “New Atheism”

One of the lastest movements sweeping the country is “new atheism.”

Greg Koukl writes, “There has been an attack on religion.”

Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great—How Religion Poisons Everything
Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell—Religion as Natural Phenomenon
Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
Sam Harris, The End of Faith—Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason and Letter to a Christian Nation

These guys are really angry.

There’s really nothing new about the “new” atheism, except the attitude. The new twist: Theists are dangerous.

“Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate,” writes Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion. “Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.”

According to Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, religion is so bad it should be eradicated just like slavery was eradicated: “I would be the first to admit that the prospects for eradicating religion in our time do not seem good. Still the same could have been said about efforts to abolish slavery at the end of the eighteenth century.”

These writers have tremendous emotional appeal.

Two aspects of dealing with these new aggressive atheists (both are hard):

1. The argument
2. The interplay, the gamesmanship, the footwork

Regarding number two: I can dispatch a good portion of Christopher Hitchens’s analysis of religion with one statement: Ridicule (or sneering, or swearing) is not an argument. Hitchens regularly employs ad hominems, red herrings, hasty generalizations, ridicule, and fallacies of all sorts.

Dr. Al Mohler and Dr. David Aikman have addressed new atheism well in recent lectures as well.

You will be hearing a lot more about the new atheism in the coming months ahead I am sure.

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83 years of marriage!

Here is a record to aim for in your marriage!

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