Saturday, December 22, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Atheist’s claim their position is based on logic, evidence, rationality and reason. To them any claim to faith (Christian faith in particular) is lacking in these qualities. Yet there are those who are exceptionally brilliant that use these qualities in full measure and still hold a position of faith; G.K. Chesterton, Dinesh D’Souza, Ravi Zacharias, John Lennox and C.S. Lewis to name a few. However, these men are great because of their rarity in the faith not their common place. Most of us are too busy to do what is required to love God mightily with our minds. We are saved ourselves and that is satisfactory for us.
Consequently, a lack of evidence continues to be the main thrust for the atheistic argument. If the evidence was there they would believe God is real. As I think about that, I have to admit there is little evidence to prove God’s existence. I say this with the words of Jesus in mind when he said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” If the faith community is honest with itself this is something we do not excel at given the whole. We look too much like the world to stand out as light shining in the darkness. The first century church grew solely because of how they loved each other. This was the evidence for the existence of God and the truth of the gospel back then, it is the only true evidence for the skeptic today. We so often demand the pastor practice what he preaches while at the same time ignore the fact that we ourselves are not living what we believe in the way we know we should.
Thus, we find Hitchens words to be true when he says, in spite of their claims “people are not as religious as many think.” As a Christian, I find the truth of this comment disheartening. The outsider looks in only to find so little of the life of the church being devoted to living for the glory of God. It may say so in the mission statement of each particular church, but it is not being lived out well enough to make a noticeable, measurable difference in our culture today.
Friends, this should not be so. Living our faith is the evidence for the truth of the gospel that the world needs. Doctrine and creed alone leave the skeptic bereft of divine satisfaction. They may deny the infallibility of the Scriptures, doubt its claims, point out our imperfections and call us irrational, illogical, unthinking and unreasonable, but the one piece of evidence they will never be able to deny is the contagious, abundant, overflowing, uncontainable, irresistible, eternally full, transformed life of a Christ follower.
So shine your light brightly. Live like God has made a difference in your life. Let us together, as the church community of Jesus Christ, give the skeptic the one piece of evidence they cannot deny - a transformed life!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Gibbons, 54, was arrested Sunday after complaints to the Education Ministry that she had insulted Prophet Muhammad, the most revered figure in Islam, by applying his name to a toy animal.
The maximum penalty for the charge, which has attracted world wide attention was 40 lashes, a fine and six months in prison."
The teacher allowed the students to come up with the name. The teacher's only crime was giving the children the freedom to choose a name for that teddy bear themselves. She was in no way expressing and religious hated for Islam.
And to say that the sentence she received was fair is absolutely absurd! There is no way she should have been in jail at all. Thankfully the Sudanese Prime Minister has officially pardoned her and is shipper her back to England ASAP. Still this whole thing is ridiculous.
If it wasn't so scary I would be laughing.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
You know, Randy, my mother forwarded this to me and I just could not help but throw my 2cents in here on this issue.
Let me start by saying that I went to the Internet Monk blog site; VERY GOOD by the way. (I have booked marked it)
In the article he makes the comment, “You see, I’m firmly in the camp of Chesterton on this one. The more the atheist talks, the more Christianity makes sense to me.”
While I like the comment and resonate with it personally, the problem lies in the fact that the average Christian in most American (& Canadian) homes does not have the intellectual where-with-all to refute and stand up to claims made by this “New Atheism” that is becoming part of pop-culture. In fact most cannot give an adequate defense for the infallibility of Scripture let alone for the existence of God Himself. This is a real dilemma for the Christian today. I say this because most believers do not even know who G.K. Chesterton is along with Dinesh D’Souza, Ravi Zacharias, Norman L. Geisler and C.S. Lewis. These men are great because of their rarity in the faith not their common place. These men are great because they did what Jesus asks of all of us when he says to love God with all our minds. This requires too much time, effort and energy. We are just too busy in this day and age to do what is required to love God mightily in this area. We are saved ourselves and that is satisfactory for us.
Thus, many Christians find themselves in a bit of a bind when faced with such a “threat” as the one this movie offers specifically and Atheism offers generally. Because of this lack of intellectual muscle, Christians find they only have two choices:
1. Admit they don’t have any real reason for believing what they do and embrace as truth the argument they cannot defeat.
The only other option for the Christian is to just sit there and take the verbal ridicule from their assailant. While I would suggest this is the most Christ-like of the three, it does get quite wearisome after a while and puts the believer in a mindset of not wanting to engage at all. They would just rather be left alone. A “If you don’t bother me, I won’t bother you; you live your life and I’ll live mine and we’ll both be fine” type of approach. This is a dangerous position to take as a believer. We have lived in our own ‘Christian subculture’ for too long and it is now coming back to bite us in the seat cushion. If we will not engage our world with the gospel of Jesus Christ then the cultural tide of godlessness will continue to roll in as a flood and drown the spiritually weak among us.
So what are we to do with this new movie coming out? Well my personal preference would be to go see it. I always enjoy getting new insight in how the modern world is thinking. However, given the strength of intellectual state of many in the church today, my advice to the masses would be this: if your faith is not strong enough to withstand such a thing STRENGTHEN IT!!
Blessings to all,
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Friday, July 6, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Now I'm sorry, but if your cannot take care of your child for $25 g's a month then you need a lesson in money management. Does anyone know Dave Ramsey's phone number? here's some quick math:
- $25g/ month = $300,000/ yr
- $300,000 x 18 yrs. = $5.4 million
The only reason she wants more cash is because 50 cent is worth millions. I think this woman needs a wake-up call as to the reality of the amount of child support most moms in this country get. I know for a fact there are thousands of mothers who would love to get $25 g's per year let alone every month.
Wake-up sweetheart!!! You are making out just fine! The money is not for you anyway, it is for your son.
Men, the moral of the story is this: Keep Your Pants Up or It Can Cost You $25G/ Month!
Monday, June 18, 2007
This is something that is difficult to answer to be sure. However, I would like to take a stab at it. I want to throw out some thoughts that will challenge you and may in fact invoke an array of emotion. So brace yourself. You are in for an bumpy ride emotionally and intellectually.
The main thing I want to do when answering this emotionally charged question is examine what we all already believe about how we Get to Heaven; namely salvation. We are only saved one way...by believing in Jesus the Messiah. Only those who believe are saved. We all know this. We all believe this.
However, how does this apply to the death of young children and the unborn? May I suggest it applies the same to them as it does to everyone else. Here is my reasoning.
I believe Scripture teaches that:
1. Life begins at conception
2. At conception we posses a fallen, depraved nature that is hostile and rebellious towards God
3. Because of 1 & 2 we are guilty of sin and in need of salvation
4. Those who die without believing in Jesus the Messiah are not saved
Conclusion: Young children, babies and the unborn who do not believe in Jesus go to hell
Can I just tell you that the conclusion I draw from the truth about what Scripture teaches about salvation really bothers me. It is very unsettling for me...as I am sure it is for you. Let me be honest with you as to why this is so troubling for me and see if you do not feel the same way.
1. Children, Babies and the unborn are seen as innocent in our eyes
2. Because of 1. God must feel they same way about them as we do
3. Because of 1 & 2 He would extend the grace required to grant these little ones salvation without believing in Jesus.
Weigh the first four statement against the last three. Which ones carry the most Biblical support? Why is it hard to believe 1-4 when it comes to children? I believe it is because we think it is unjust for God to send little ones to hell when they have not had the chance to believe. While I have wrestled with this thought deeply, I have concluded it is not unjust for a holy and merciful God to send sinners to hell no matter what their age.
Still, this is very unsettling isn't it? There still seems like there is something not right about it.
While the justice of God might call us to concede the fate of children who die young, the mercy of God seems left undemonstrated. This is a good question. Where is the mercy of God in such a situation? May I introduce a radical thought? While it is more biblically implicit than explicit I would like to suggest that somehow there is a way the Gospel is preached to them and choice is granted even though they have died.
God has called us to choose. Biblically, I think he has called everyone to choose. How many times has God called us to 'Choose this day whom we will serve', and , 'I set before you blessing and cursing...Choose life that you might live'...etc. If people have never heard the Gospel how can they choose? So I ask this question: "Does death relieve us of our obligation to choose?" Now if you are in the camp that says 'not choosing is a choice' then I refer you to 1-4 and you have your answer regarding the eternal destiny of children. Otherwise, I have to wonder if God does not somehow give children the opportunity to hear the gospel, make a choice and, based on that choice, determine their eternal state. After thinking about it long and hard, this is the only way I see both the Justice and Mercy of God working together in this situation. This is just a thought mind you. I would never say it is biblically certain. Just a finite mind wrestling with a difficult question.
Think it over and work through the emotion of what you think about this issue. Then send me a comment and lets discuss. I am eager to hear your thoughts.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
A friend of mine has been going through a rough time lately. He does not have a lot of money. He grew up in one the most dysfunctional homes I have seen in a long time. His wife has just left him and took their children to live with her family. They are now separated.
This has caused him to search for help in his life. As a co-worker of his I have tried to be a good witness to him throughout my time there. He has heard me talk with other co-workers about God and has even asked me a few questions himself. My approach is more laid back when I share Christ with people. I do not water down my witness what so ever, but I also never take it to the next step and ask them to believe in Jesus. I guess I am expecting that if God wants to stir their hearts to come to Him then they will say to me, "Hey Matt, How do I have eternal life?" or something like that and therefore, I do not need to run the risk of what might be thought or said of me for making such a bold request of them.
This particular friend was someone with whom I did not go the extra step.
Now he is in the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning (long story), had a slight stroke from the carbon monoxide and has West Nile Virus. In short he almost died right at a time when he began asking (in light of his current circumstances) about how to renew his religious interests. He is doing better but I cannot help but think of his eternal state had God not intervened and spared his life.
What is it that holds me back so much? What am I afraid of? What would happen if I went to the next step and called those who hear me speak the name of Jesus to repentance and belief in Him? Would those fears/ excuses have been a good enough reason for me not asking him to believe if my friend had died? Would they be good enough for you? I hope not!! I hope there is something as unsettling about that thought in you as their is in me.
So, I am writing to challenge us all...if we are followers of Jesus Christ, let us not only speak his name with boldness but also have the courage to call others to his saving grace! Who knows...God may give eternal live to someone you know and love.
And isn't that worth Risking It?
Question: What holds you back and why? Let me know by posting a comment. May everyone who read it pray for you as you boldly and courageously share Jesus Christ in your world.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Because some of you have wanted to leave a comment but did not want to have to create a user name & password I have good news for you...You Don't Have To!!!
Just click on "other" or "anonymous" and you do not need a password or all that other stuff.
So go ahead...Trash my point of view...I can take it.
My feelings will only be hurt if I care about what you think anyway. ;)
Seriously though, I hope this helps.
Be looking for more posts soon since school work is starting to slow down a bit.
More to come soon!
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
All this got me thinking about charity; what it is and what it is not. When someone says to you "Hey, I think this is a good cause" and then asks you to give money to it are they really being charitable? I don't know, maybe it is just me but I do not think this is what Jesus had in mind for us when we exercise charity. A couple of things come to mind about Christ's teachings:
1. Give in secret - our giving should be so secretive that we are not even to tell our right hand what the left one is giving.
2. Don't brag - when we do give we are not to do it in a way that is showing off to impress others. Jesus said that with that kind of giving the praise of man will be our only reward. In other words it has no eternal value in God's economy.
3. Give sacrificially - he praised the widow for giving all that she had (1/2 penny) and criticized the Pharasees for giving out of their wealth (bag of gold). In other words, give your best not your leftovers. When I heard Ellen Degeneres say that she was giving $100,000 and challenged other wealthy friends of hers to match her pledge I remember thinking, "You know, Ellen giving $100grand is like me reaching in my pocket and pulling out a ten spot." Seriously, to her that is not a sacrifice, that is leftovers.
Don't get me wrong. I am glad that all the money they raised is going to help needy people. All I am trying to say is think about it the next time you give for the sake of charity. Do it God's way and make it count for more than this life...invest it in the next.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
"A Mississippi State University sociologist and his colleagues asked the parents and teachers of more than 16,000 kids, most of them first-graders, to rate how much self control they believed the kids had, how often they exhibited poor or unhappy behavior and how well they respected and worked with their peers" the article stated.
It went on to say, "The kids whose parents regularly attended religious services — especially when both parents did so frequently — and talked with their kids about religion were rated by both parents and teachers as having better self-control, social skills and approaches to learning than kids with non-religious parents. But when parents argued frequently about religion, the children were more likely to have problems. 'Religion can hurt if faith is a source of conflict or tension in the family,' [the sociologist] noted."
The reasons for this were believed to be three fold:
1. religious networks are a social support for parents
2. they provide good values and norms
3. they imbue (inspire or influence thoroughly) parenting with sacred meaning and significance
Well what do you know...kids growing up in a home of moral absoluteness, loving families that are supported by a loving community and where God is the head are actually doing better than those without it...who whould have thunk it?
Maybe we can start to wake up and see that God's headship, boundaries and support system are in place to help us live an abundant life. Moral Absolutes (boundaries) are to be passed on to our children as God has first given them to us. They provide a standard that is acceptable to Him and good for mankind. Kids need to know what those things are. Without them there is no higher reason for doing something or not doing something than selfish gain. Now keep in mind that obedience to this moral code does not equal a problem free life. However, given the whole, I would take the problems that come from living according to God's principles (and the support system that is found in doing that) rather than those that come from rebelling against them.
It seems arrogant to me to think that we are smarter than God or could produce life out of things that He says bring death.
What is the problem with the morals God wants us to live by any way? Is there really a better way than the one God has laid out for us?
Seriously, someone help me understand that line of thinking. Post a comment and let me know if you think God does not know what he is talking about and why. I've got to get inside your head.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Well, a couple of months ago his sister started to go into a bit of regression. She stopped enjoying the bedtime routine and began to fight giving her brother hugs and kisses. We would bring her over to her brother for hugs and kisses and she would pitch a huge fit; kicking, screaming and fighting every minute of it. This went on up until a week ago. It began to take its toll on my son. I did not notice it before but I was about to find out. On this particular night something was going to happen that would impact my son, I would dare say, for the rest of his life. God was also going to teach me an awesome lesson on the power of unconditional love.
This particular night my son said to me, "Dad, I don't think Delaney loves me any more because every time I try to give her a kiss and a hug she always kicks me and pushes me away."
I tried to reassure and comfort him by letting him know that Delaney loved him and even though she did not seem to like being hugged and kissed it was important that we continued to demonstrate to her that we loved her no matter what. So I asked him to come and try and give her hugs and kisses. I was sitting on the floor with Delaney on my lap and as Aidan got close she started fighting and whining. I told Aidan to keep coming and held on to his sister while he put his arms around her and kissed her goodnight.
He sat back and just looked at her feeling utterly rejected and unwanted. It was evidenced by the look on his face. He was hurt deeply. This rejection by his sister confirmed his feeling unloved and unwanted by her. Then something amazing happened. Delaney started fighting for me to let go of her arms, so I did. When I did she leaned over to her brother, stretched out both her arms and wrapped them around him. He began to do the same and gave her a quick pat thinking she was going to tear away from him any second. But instead she held on. She continued to do so for several long seconds. Aidan began to pull back thinking she was done but instead she tightened her grip. Then, realizing she was not going to let him go, Aidan began to squeeze his sister in a big, long over due hug.
I sat there stunned as Delaney held on to her brother. I knew this was a moment that was going to impact my son. I watched his face warm up and his countenance change from feeling rejection to feeling that he was loved and accepted. Finally they let go of each other.
"See Aidan" I said, "Delaney does love you."
Those words sank in fast and began to completely overwhelm my son. He just sat there crying for ten minutes saying, "Laney loves me! She really loves me!" Again and again he would say it crying as loud as I have ever heard him.
"I am so happy that Laney loves me Daddy but why am I crying?" he asked.
I scooped him up and carried him off to bed. I told him that sometimes when our heart is full of happiness it spills out in tears. I let him know that his sister hugging him was a good thing to cry and be happy about. So he cried. He cried for a long time...and I just held him.
So many things went through my mind. I knew this was a life shaping moment for him. I wanted to say something that would help shape his life for the good. I wanted to tell him he was crying because at the core of our being we all want to be loved like that. I wanted to tell him that when we love someone from the deep places of our heart and soul we want to know we are loved in return from those same places. But I did not know how to say those things in a way that a five year old could understand them. "God help me!!" I prayed. "How do I say this to my son in a way he will understand it?"
Then I realized...Delaney's hug already did.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Look America. We need to make up our minds. If we are going to allow freedom in expressing our opinions then we need to allow it. We don't have to like it. we don't have to support it or those who do. Otherwise let us come up with a universal standard that is acceptable.
But to say this speech is wrong for you to say but ok for me to say is hypocritical on our part.
Let us remember the words of the apostle James who said: "The tongue is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, ...no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."
Therefore my friends, be mindful of your words. Be intentional about what you say. Use your words to make the listener a better person and not to comfort yourself or make yourself rich; you just may end up making yourself out to be a fool.
Here you will find thoughts, questions and comments posted by yours truly.
I expect feedback and I would like this to be as interactive as possible.
I am wanting to get to know you more than you hearing about me all the time.
This is site is dedicated to those who understand that this earth is not our home and want to seek and discuss how we are to live in the light of Christ while in this temporary place.
Thus, there will be both a spiritual and cultural theme addressed here.
All are welcome to walk this road with me.
I love good company.
Untill He comes or calls,