Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Violence in Film

This is a good video on sin/violence in cinema:


My close friend and is destroying her life. Her whole life she has been surrounded by a family and friends that love, and care for her. She continually makes poor life decisions, even when those who care about her (including myself) give her advice, she takes the advice and agrees, but then is soon back to her old ways. Her parents are distraught, her friends are concerned. What are we supposed to do? I would like to just take her and make all her decisions for her, and cut her out of her own decisions. I know that is not possible.

As I was pondering these things, the thought occurred to me that this is how Jesus Christ must feel. He has given us every opportunity in life, He has given us a life guide (the Bible) to making wise decisions, He has surrounded us with love (He gave His life for us), yet their are those who trash their lives, and pay no attention to Him. Jesus Christ heart must break, when He looks down, and sees what mess we are making of things. I am sure He weeps, when He says, "I have given you every opportunity, all you need, to live a full life. Why won't you listen, and obey."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Transforming Theology

In case your interested:

Scott Hamilton, The Great Eight

This is a great figure skating story. It is much more, however, than just a figure skating story. It’s a story of inspiration, of overcoming life obstacles, of maintaining healthy relationships, and of leading a life of happiness.
Each chapter is based on a lessons learned from Scott’s figure skating career, as well as, through his struggle with lifelong physical ailments (including cancer, twice).

His story can be an inspiration to all. Even when things are going bad, or you are in a down time of life, happiness can still be found.

Scott tells how he would never have been the success that he is, if he would have given up after falling down on the ice. He had to repeatedly get up, and fall down, before he could land his infamous jumps.

The key to all our success and happiness is to trust our Almighty Coach, Jesus Christ. Scott had to trust his coach’s judgement, and instruction. He could not have succeeded on his own.

Never lose. There is always something to be discovered in our seeming “losses”. However, if we are able to better ourselves through these “losses” then they are not losses at all, but wins!

To experience happiness in our relationships, it is critical that we maintain clear communication. Keep the ice clear. Just as it is hard to skate on used ice that has tracks from other skater, so it is with our relationships. If we continue to dwell on the past, or suppose the past predicates the future, we will never experience true relational happiness.

Scott talks about how amazing Kristi Yamaguchi’s smile is, and how she always has a smile, even when she falls. This is important to our life happiness, always smile. Decide, to be happy.

There is much more to living a life of happiness. By following the guidelines in this book, one can be far along on the road of obtaining a life of happiness and true success!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Authentic Faith

This is taken from the business blog of Seth Godin, however, it has a very practical implication for our Christian faith.

"If it acts like a duck (all the time), it's a duck. Doesn't matter if the duck thinks it's a dog, it's still a duck as far as the rest of us are concerned.

Authenticity, for me, is doing what you promise, not "being who you are".

That's because 'being' is too amorphous and we are notoriously bad at judging that. Internal vision is always blurry. Doing, on the other hand, is an act that can be seen by all.

As the Internet and a connected culture places a higher premium on authenticity (because if you're inconsistent, you're going to get caught) it's easy to confuse authentic behavior with an existential crisis. Are you really good enough, kind enough, generous enough and brave enough to be authentically a hero or leader?

Mother Theresa was an atheist, filled with self doubt. But she was an authentic saint, because she always acted like one.

You could spend your time wondering if what you say you are is really you. Or you could just act like that all the time. That's good enough, thanks. Save the angst for later."

As Christians, are we being authentic in our faith?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Socio-Economic Catering

Socio-economic catering in the church:

Expectant Surprise

A couple nights ago my brother-in-law (Brad) texted me to say that he had a friend of the family that was diagnosed with cancer a while ago. The man was in chemo and radiation when Brad last saw him. Brad asked the man if he could have one of his friends pray with him. The man agreed and the individual prayed for him! The man just recently went back for a doctor's appointment and they ran tests and the cancer is gone! The doctors in the hospital say they cannot find any signs of cancer!

This is an awesome story of healing. A story of what my Jesus is like, of what he wants to do for us.

I often wonder, why are these stories of miraculous healing are so surprising? As a Christian shouldn't this be expected?

We are very thankful to God for His grace, mercy, power, healing. Perhaps, we need to be more expectant in our faith/prayer.

Prayer Answered

This is a facebook note written by my wife:

I am writing this note to give God praise again and again for all His many blessings in my life! We have all been through so many things in the past six months! We have been hearing of all the terrible tragedies in our loved-ones lives and we have been praying continuously for these families! There also may have been some of your own near tragedies in your own dear life. Whatever situation you find yourself in..... I hope you find this note encouraging that we do still serve an amazing God that does heal and take care of us! Be encouraged that our God still is amazing! And He does prove it over and over again! This is one of my true lived miracles I would like to share with you!As all of you may know about two years ago this past january I was in the hospital for a CT scan, due to horrible migraines. I started getting them in May 2004 right before I graduated! Needless to say by december 2006 they continued to get worse and more frequent! I went from a migraine every couple of months, to about one a month, increasing to about three or four a week! Finally in january 2007 three months after we were married, I passed out at my grandparents house where we were visiting family in Indiana. Aaron took me to the hospital, and they did a CT scan and it was negative. After much pain, and many tests in the hospital we went back to my grandparents house so that I could continue to rest. Once I arrived my brother Brad called, and said he had a friend that wanted to pray with me for my migraines..... for God's healing touch! Honestly, I was hesitant at first, (atleast at this point without much faith of my own ) but I knew I needed to give it a try! We went over to my brother's house where we met the individual and he started to pray with me... ...and sure enough there was a power of healing that took place in my brother's little apartment that afternoon. I can't explain it. The only thing I could relate it to was the feeling I use to get in revivals when people prayed through... or at camp meetings when you knew that someone was really touched! I am telling you that I walked into my brother's apartment, with a filled prescription (migraine medicine) in my purse, and walked out never once needing to use a pill out of that prescription!I am happy and very thankful to God that I just celebrated His healing touch in my own life! I have been without "ANY" migraines for two years as of this past january 2009! Our God we serve CAN and WILL take care of us... all we have to do is believe and be faithful to seek Him and He prevails!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

God's Time

I have been reading through the books of Samuel.

It is interesting that when we read about Samuel, there is a lot that is unsaid. Samuel starts with him as a boy, and talks about some experiences that he had. Then we hear nothing, until Saul is annointed as King of Israel. Then, Samuel appears in Saul's story periodically, and then we read of him anointing David as the next king.

Samuel did great things, he was used of God (to the point of having a Bible book named for him).

In our lives as Christians, we want to be used of God, in a supernatural way. So, to accomplish that we try to do a lot of things in our own power. Often these are good, noble, "Christian", things. However, they are not God things.

No doubt, Samuel served God in an awesome way throughout his life. However, we only read of portions of these things.

So it is with our own lives, we can do many things for God, but God has a specific opportunity/responsibility for us. He will use us in His time, and for His purpose. Not ours.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Christian Porn Church

The people that brought us XXXChurch.com (a ministry to those addicted to porn, and involved in the porn industry), now have a church on the Las Vegas Strip....Strip Church.

This is an awesome ministry, that is serving these people in a way the traditional church never could or would.

Check out their ministry and get involved!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Campfire Lesson

Sitting around the campfire last night, I was reminded of a lesson I was taught in Fire Academy.

Things do not burn. The wood pallets thrown on the fire do not burn. What actually happens is that the wood reaches its ignition point, the molecules freak out and start to break down, in the process the item turns to vapor and it is this vapor that actually burns (this can be plainly seen by looking closesly at the wick of a burning candle, you will see that the flame is actually not touching the wick).

As Christians, have we reached our ignition point, or are we still cold? Our we on fire for Christ in such a way that we are releasing His "vapor"? Is our relationship with Him evident to those around us, because we are emitting the love of Christ, and things of the Kingdom?