Saturday, June 30, 2007

Have They Found Paul?

A sarcophagus has been found in Rome which some believe may contain the bones of the apostle Paul. They will remove a plug and look inside the stone sarcophagus with an endoscopic probe. Click here to read the article . I just thought this was interesting.

Friday, June 29, 2007

To Pull the Plug or Not...?

The field of medical technology has given us blessings and horrors simultaneously. The recent Terri Schiavo case illustrates how volatile medical ethics can be. Well, now there is another case that has a different ending. A man has come out of a coma after several nine months . The interesting thing is that his wife wanted to remove his feeding tubes after 10 days based on a doctor's diagnosis that he was in a "persistent vegetative state" (PVS). His family fought the wife's decision and won. He then came out of the coma a few weeks later.

We must not allow the "culture of death" to corrupt our society. Life is precious!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Homosexual Deception

The battle against the works of darkness never ends. I just ran across this article which tells about a Maryland school board's attempt to indoctrinate children with misinformation concerning homosexuality.

We live in an increasingly dangerous society. It is especially critical that we not only take our children to school, but that we also keep up with the things to which they are exposed. As a matter of fact, a child's primary teachers are his/her parents. Mom, Dad, you have to keep yourself informed in order to counter the evil influences your children do encounter almost daily.

For example, the following excerpts are taken from "The Marketing of Evil" by David Kupelian.

1. In February 1988 some 175 leading activists representing homosexual groups from across the nation held a war conference in Warrenton, VA to map out their movement's future. Shortly thereafter, activists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen put into book form the comprehensive public relations plan they had been advocating with their gay-rights peers for several years.... Together they wrote "After the Ball: How America Will Conquer its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the '90s (23).

2. They admitted that their campaign "depends centrally upon a program of unabashed propaganda, firmly grounded in long-established principles of psychology and advertising" (24).

3. If "environmental factors' are involved -- and everyone knows they are, whether or not they publicly admit it -- why then advise homosexuals to claim they were "born gay"? "To suggest in public that homosexuality might be chosen," Kirk and Madsen explain, "is to open the can of worms labeled 'moral choices and sin' and give the religious intransigents a stick to beat us with. Straights must be taught that it is as natural for some persons to be homosexual as it is for others to be heterosexual: wickedness and seduction have nothing to do with it" (34).

4. They wrote, "It makes no difference that the ads are lies, not to us, because we're using them to ethically good effect, to counter negative stereotypes that are every bit as much lies, and far more wicked ones" (28).

These are only a few short excerpts from one chapter of Kupelians book, but they reveal what we are up against. This and other liberal social issues are driven by lies and misinformation. Now they are trying to teach these lies in some of our schools. I highly recommend "The Marketing of Evil." You can buy this book by clicking on the link below. It is well worth it.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Think Magazine

Like all preachers, I have a backlog of reading material. That is why I have just gotten to the June issue of a publication called "think." This publication, which is put out by Focus Press and edited by Brad Harrub, PhD. and Jim Palmer, is an excellent source for Christian evidences, financial information, and other articles for Christian growth and encouragement. I want to recommend "think" and Focus Press to all Christians. You can view the Focus Press website by clicking on this link.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sexual Purity

In a new study from the CDC, statistics show that only 11 percent of never married adults have remained sexually chaste until their weddings. There are many disturbing results from this study which can be seen in this AP article . It is no secret that we live in a sex crazed society.

I'm afraid that too many Christians have simply given up on purity among our teens. I have heard some parents try to absolve themselves of their responsibility in this matter by saying, "Kids will be kids." I have seen heartbroken, distraught parents in shock when they learn that their teenage daughter is pregnant or cohabitating. Yet, just a few months before, they were defending the practices of inappropriate dancing, "mixed swimming," which involves immodest clothing, and other worldly practices. Bottom line -- one of the main reasons we are having such a problem with teen sex today is the inappropriate attitudes of adults toward sex outside of marriage. Why is there a double standard between teens and adults when it comes to sexual behavior?

If there is a lesson in the statistics for Christians today, it is that we must not shy away from preaching and teaching in the pulpit and in the home against premarital and extramarital sex.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Global Cooling?

That's right. Some scientists are now saying there is a greater threat of global cooling than there is from global warming. You can read more about it here. Look toward the end of the article to see the part about global cooling. This scientist tells us that the science of global climate is still in its infancy.

Are You Really Free?

We are proud to live in the "land of the free and the home of the brave." However, as Christians, we realize this question of freedom goes deeper than mere civil liberty. Are you really free?

Freedom must be properly defined. Of course, there are different types of freedom. Today, many refer to "financial freedom" and "freedom of choice." Yet, most people think of freedom as mere license to do anything they wish. There are some who are so enthralled with sin that they don't even realize that the same sin has enslaved them. When Jesus told the Jews that they would "know the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32), they laughed at Him. They said they had never been in bondage to any man. They obviously forgot they were under Roman rule at that time. Yet, Jesus was talking about freedom from sin. Cf. Romans 6:16-23; 1 Corinthians 7:20-22; 6:12-13, 19-20.

Freedom is obtained only by sacrifice. Can you think of any example of a people who obtained freedom without sacrifice? Rush Limbaugh Jr., the father of the well-known talk show host, often gave a speech entitled "The Americans Who Risked Everything." In this address, he told the stories of many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He summed up the sacrifices they made by saying, "Of those who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact." If you can find a copy of this speech online, it will be well worth your time to read it. Cf. Galatians 5:1; Acts 22:28; Romans 8:2.

Freedom must be desired. The signers of the Declaration of Independence could have lived out their lives in relative peace and prosperity, but instead they desired freedom enough to sacrifice for it. Sometimes people don't know what to do with freedom once they have it. This can be seen in the differences between the American and French revolutions. The American Revolution resulted in a great and powerful nation. The French Revolution resulted in a period of French history call "The Terror." It appears the leaders of that revolution desired freedom, but they also desired their own personal interest even more. Keep in mind that anyone who really desires spiritual freedom can have it, but it will not happen if that person desires other things in life even more.

Unfortunately, freedom can be forfeited. We can throw it away. It has happened many times throughout history. May we never take our freedoms, both physical and spiritual, for granted.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Don't Lose Your Head!

Things are not always as they first seem. An example of this can be found in Mark 6:14-28 where we read about the beheading of John the Baptist. Mark records how John had spoken out against the adulterous relationship between Herod and Herodias, and they had him thrown into prison. Herodias would have had John killed, but Herod regarded him as a just and holy man and so he would not allow it. Then, on Herod's birthday, Salome, the daughter of Herodias, danced for Herod and it pleased him so much that he offered her anything she wanted. Salome asked her mother what she should do. Herodias told her to ask for John's head in a charger. This Herod did reluctantly because he had given his word and did not want to shame himself in front of his guests. Then John was beheaded. Here's a question for you. Who lost their head?

First, Herod lost his head. He lost it because he allowed himself to be controlled by pleasure (Mark 6:21-26). Herod didn't plan to lose his head that day, but it is easy to do in the "heat of the moment" when we are unprepared. Herod shows us we must always be on guard.

Second, Herodias lost her head. She lost her head because of a bad attitude. She was full of animosity and hate. She was defensive and vindictive. These things can destroy your life. Herodias' heart had to be a black as midnight to ask for the murder of a man just because he told the truth.

Third, Salome lost her head. This happened because she let somone else do her thinking for her. When the time comes to give an account for what she did, she cannot transfer personal responsibility for her part in this inhumanity to her mother. Remember, when you let someone else make your decisions, you don't even need your own head. You have already lost it. Someone once said, "There are two ways to go through life -- believe everything and believe nothing." God gave you a head so you can use it.

Herod, Herodias, and Salome all lost their heads. It was caused by pleasure, hate, and not thinking for oneself. As a matter of fact, the only person in this biblical story who kept his head was the one whose head was cut off. John stayed true to God and his values to the end of his life even though it cost him his life. When Satan comes tempting you, will you lose your head or keep it?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Virtual Rome

Here is an interesting site which shows how Rome would have looked around A.D. 320 during the reign of Constantine. Click here to view a gallery or see video of a "digital Rome."

There is also an article about it as well. Just click here. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Myth of Quality Time

Back in the 1990's, we heard a much about spending "quality time" with our children. Of course, this quality time is a good thing, but it is no substitute for "quantity time." Many parents used the myth of "quality time" to justify neglecting their children so they could spend more time at work to make more money or spending time away from their children for recreation or other selfish interests. They would give their children 10 or 15 minutes of undivided attention and delude themselves into thinking that is all the parenting their children needed.

Parents need to spend quantity time with their children as well as quality time. A recent study indicates that children who spend a significant amount of time in daycare are more anti-social than those who spend more time at home with a parent. You can read more about it in this article .

Why is this the case? The answer lies in the fact that parents are role models for their children. Children learn how to relate to other people by observing their parents. In other words, they learn how adults are suppose to act by watching us especially when we don't realize they are watching! They see how we react to the various situations of life. We don't realize they are watching, but they learn at these times. Actually, they may learn more during the non-quality moments of life. Mom, Dad, your children need your time and plenty of it!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Possible Break Through In Stem Cells

Scientists have used ordinary skin cells in mice and caused them to act like embryonic stem cells. If this can be replicated with human skin cells, it will make the destruction of unborn babies unnecessary for embryonic stem cell research. To read more about it, just click here.

If this does work, I wonder if those bent on the destruction of human embryos will actually stop. Will they find another reason to do research on human embryos? Keep in mind, there have never been any promising results from embryonic stem cell research. The use of adult stem cells, on the other hand, have been very beneficial, but it does not require the killing of an embryo (baby). Let us pray that this new procedure works out!

A Country That Prays

Here is audio of Franklin D. Roosevelt's prayer on June 6, 1944 for the D-Day invasion. It also has a slide show with it. Oh, for a country that has a heart for God and prayer inspite of it's diversity. What would happen if a president prayed like this today? This illustrates how far we as a country have turned away from Him!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Islam: A Religion of the Flesh?

I had never heard of this one, but Islam has a practice called "sigheh." You can read about it in this article from The Scotsman. This is a practice that is known as "temporary marriage" which is supported by the Shia but not the Sunni Muslims in Iran. The sigheh marriages can be entered for any length of time between one hour and 99 years according to the article. Those who advocate this practice do so to accommodate the sexual desires of the unmarried. Some say it will solve the problem of prostitution. Extra-marital and premarital sex is a crime in Islam and carries serious punishments. Therefore, supporters think this will put a stop to many of these crimes.

It is interesting to me that a religion that touts purity and severe punishment for impurity can simply legalize fornication. This is simply more evidence that Islam is a religion of the flesh.

The real purity that Jesus, the Son of God taught and commands is from the heart (Matthew 15:19). Real purity is does not try to rationalize imaginary "loop holes." Human beings can control their sexual desires (Phil 4:8, 13). Christianity does not give only lip-service to the practice of purity; real Christians deny unholy lusts and follow Christ (Luke 9:23). The Lord's kingdom is spiritual in nature, and therefore, rules in the souls of men. The contrast between Christianity and Islam is abundantly clear.