Tuesday, December 30, 2008

American Football Is Your Life

I really like American football. My wife can certainly attest to that fact. During the season, she becomes a football widow, where I will watch multiple games and such, especially when it comes to college ball. But yesterday I read a story where one man takes it to the most extreme lever I have ever seen.

If you follow football then I am sure you know of the downfall, or utter collapse of the Dallas Cowboys. Now, I am a big fan of the Cowboys, and for once, I had to turn the TV off in sheer disbelief and utter disgust. But I also know that it's a game, played by professional athletes who are paid a heck of a lot more money than I will ever see and the outcome of the game doesn't effect me at all. I may not like it, but I have a life to lead.

Enter Alan Low, of Richland Hills, Texas.

Mr. Low decided to protest the Cowboys and their season, and wore a sign around his neck saying that the Cowboys did not play their last game with any heart or emotions. During his time of "protest", he was confronted by linebacker Bradie James who was leaving the Cowboy's facility to go home.

Now, I don't know about you, but Mr. James had probably one of the worst days of his professional life the day before, was probably not in the mood to see somebody calling him out on his playing ability, and from the looks of the picture of Mr. Low, someone who probably never played the game in his life, and Mr. James confronted Mr. Low.

Mr. Low's version:
"Mr. Bradie James comes out and first drives by, flips me off," he said. "He comes by five minutes later and starts ripping the signs off my neck."

Mr. James' version:
"I'm getting ready to either hit you with the car, you're in the way," he said. "He was like, 'Why didn't you guys have that fire last night?' Next thing, I ripped that sign off of him."

Now during this Mr. Low's sunglasses were broken, the police were called and in the end, Mr. Low's sunglasses were replaced with a name brand pair by Mr. James and nothing happened with the police being called out.

This is one of those stories that just make you shake your head and wonder "Why?".

For now though, I think that when my wife gets upset about my watching football, I will remind her of other people out there who take football much more seriously than I do.

You can read the entire story and see the video of it here.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Full Armor of God Series - Shoes of Peace

Part three of this series. Enjoy and may it bless you as it has me.


Ephesians 6:15
Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace

The next piece of armor is the shoes of peace . When you receive Christ, you are united with the Prince of Peace. You have peace with God right now (Romans 5:1), but the peace of Christ must also rule in your heart if you are going to live victoriously, and that is possible only when you let the Word of Christ richly dwell in you (Colossians 3:15, 16).

The shoes of peace become protection against the divisive schemes of the devil when you act as a peacemaker among believers (Romans 14:19). Peacemakers bring people together by promoting fellowship and reconciliation. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9). Anyone can divide a fellowship, but it takes the grace of God to unite us in Him.

Too many Christians insist on common doctrine as the basis for fellowship. They reason that if we don't think the same and believe the same, there is no basis for peace. But common doctrine isn't the basis for fellowship; common heritage is. We're all children of God. If you wait to fellowship with someone until you agree perfectly on every point of doctrine, you'll be the loneliest Christian on earth. Instead of insisting on the unity of the mind, preserve the unity of the Spirit by taking the initiative to be the peacemaker in your relationships (Ephesians 4:3).

Some people like to play the devil's advocate in their relationships and churches. I ask, Why? He doesn't need any help! In His high priestly prayer, Jesus prayed, "I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me" (John 17:23). We have the promise that "the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet" (Romans 16:20). Ask God to use you to bring unity to your relationships by making you a peacemaker.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I will not be back to blogging until after Christmas, so I wanted to take this time to wish you and yours a very blessed and merry Christmas.

Take time out to say thank you for all the things that have blessed you this year, be it family and friends, or whatever.

See you after Christmas!

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Full Armor of God Series - The Breastplate of Righteousness

I wanted to continue this series. It has been a while since I have posted about it, so here is the next part from Neil Anderson.


Ephesians 6:14
Having put on the breastplate of righteousness . . .

The second piece of armor God has provided for us is the breastplate of righteousness . When you put on Christ at salvation, you are justified before our holy God. It's not your righteousness but Christ's (1 Corinthians 1:30; Philippians 3:8, 9). So when Satan aims an arrow at you by saying, "You're not good enough to be a Christian," you can respond with Paul, "Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies" (Romans 8:33). Your righteousness in Christ is your protection against Satan's accusations.

Even though we rejoice in our position of righteousness in Christ, we are well aware of our deeds of unrighteousness when we think, say, or do something apart from God. Standing firm in our righteousness requires us to live in continuous agreement with God according to 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Confession is different from saying "I'm sorry" or asking forgiveness. To confess ( homologeo ) means to acknowledge or to agree. You confess your sin when you say what God says about it: "I entertained a lustful thought and that's a sin"; "I treated my spouse unkindly this morning and that was wrong"; "Pride motivated me to seek that board position and pride doesn't belong in my life."

Satan will make confession as difficult for you as he can. He will try to convince you that it's too late for confession, that God has already erased your name out of the book of life. That's another one of his lies. You're in Christ; you're already forgiven. You are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), and He will never leave you. Your confession of sin clears the way for the fruitful expression of righteousness in your daily life. We should be like Paul, who said, "I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men" (Acts 24:16).

A Hot Time In The Kitchen Last Night

Last night was a fun evening. My wife turned on the back burner of our cooktop and left a full bag of sugar not right next to it, but close to it, then came to talk to me. Next thing you know, the smoke detector is going off, the kids are yelling "FIRE!" and I run in to see a four pound bag of sugar on fire, about 5 inches below our wood cabinets.

Needless to say, the bag went into the sink, sugar on the floor, the sugar that was not burning that is, and baking soda went onto the fire.

Now, my wife happened to have had a camera in her pocket and snapped this picture right after the bag had went into the sink, but before the fire went out.

So now we are out of sugar, and salt apparently because I was looking for that to put the fire out, but couldn't find any.

All in all, no real damage to anything, two very good girls who yelled what they were supposed to have yelled, and my wife will now make sure we have salt on hand.
It could have been a lot worse. Thank God it wasn't.

My wife also blogged about this on her blog here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Persecution in Vietnam

I read an article a short time ago about persecution happening in Vietnam even though Christianity is recognized in that country. One of the issues is that churches must be legally recognized by the state.

One of the legally recognized churches is the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (South), which held a very large outdoor Christmas gathering on Dec. 12-13 of this year. Contrast that with the fact that the government of Vietnam destroyed a church that had been built to house a small congregation of Hmong Christians in Cu Hat village which is in the norther province of Dak Lak.

The government accused the congregation of building the church without the proper permits, even though the vast majority of the buildings there are built in this manner. The local authorities accused the Christians of “illegal construction” and ordered the congregation to “voluntarily” tear it down. On Dec. 2, Krong Bong district officials made a formal decision to demolish the church within two weeks if the Christians would not do so themselves.

Government officials arrived early in the morning to raze the building and brought with them police wielding electric cattle prods who beat back hundreds of distraught Christians who rushed to the site to protect the building being torn down. Five people were seriously injured, including a child with a broken arm, and a pregnant woman who had a cattle prod used against her abdomen.

The good news is that Christianity is allowed in this communist nation but only under the watchful eyes of the government. Most churches, especially the smaller congregations do not register for fear of having to report to the authorities of who are members, what they say and so forth. But the people of Vietnam are hearing the Good News. I would ask that you would pray for those who aren't recognized, and are persecuted for that, as in the example above.

You can read more about this story here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Can You Live On $169,300 A Year?

Can you live on $169,300 a year? I know I could. However, it appears that those in Congress can't.

After telling CEO's of various companies that they should only earn one dollar a year, and with over 2 million people newly out of work, Congress has "earned" itself another pay raise.

Granted, the pay raise is just 2.8 percent, but still. With the average congressional pay at $169,300 a year, and the average family income as reported by the Census Bureau at $50,233.00 a year, there seems to be somewhat of a discrepancy here in pay.

I will give credit to at least one incoming representative. Representative. Harry Mitchell, a first-term Democrat from Arizona, sponsored legislation earlier this year that would have prevented the automatic pay adjustments from kicking in for members next year. But the bill, which attracted 34 cosponsors, failed to make it out of committee.

Imagine that. Didn't even make it out of committee to the floor for a vote.

In the beginning days of 1789, Congress was paid only $6 a day, which would be about $75 daily by modern standards. I say we pay them that, and then let's see what happens to our government.

So, can you live on $169,300 a year?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Barack Obama and Rick Warren

I have to admit that I did not see this one coming and I also have to admit that President-Elect Barack Obama's choice of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration was a decision that I support completely. I am saddened though, in that it won't be Billy Graham doing it this time, but I am okay with Rick Warren doing it.

The problem is that the gay community is up in arms over this. They feel betrayed by the person they saw as a savior, and I for one, am saddened by the intolerance and prejudice of the gay community. I applaud President-Elect Obama's choice, and his continued approach to "bring America together".

A couple of quotes I have read so far have stood out to me:
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights organization, said Warren's opposition to gay marriage is a sign of intolerance.

"We feel a deep level of disrespect when one of the architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination," the group said in a letter to Obama, asking him to reconsider.
"By inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table," the letter said.
It is very hard for me to even consider their argument of intolerance a valid one. When the gay community actively attacks elderly Christian individuals, taking the cross and stomping and spitting on it, invading churches and interrupting peaceful services, all in the name of "protest", I know who is intolarant and it is not the Christians. Also, to say that President-Elect Obama has tarnished any view is utterly ridiculous. If anything he has shown a remarkable tolerance for most views that are brought to the table. Exactly what views are the gay community wanting brought to the table? Only their own? Again that is a ridiculous thing to ask for. America is not a gay nation. It was not founded on gay ideals, nor were the founding fathers gay.

It is a shame that those who most ask for tolerance are the ones who are themselves, the most intolerant of all other people who disagree with their viewpoints.

Bully for President-Elect Obama. Even though I did not vote for him, I really applaud this decision.

The Newest Grinch This Christmas -- Sean Thomas

As I was reading through the news from around the country today, I came across this headline:
Activist who fought bell ringers explains motives
Man sought to have Salvation Army collectors moved from post office.
Now, the headline alone was enough for me to immediately think of the word Grinch.

Sean Thomas is this week's Grinch who stole Christmas.

Mr. Thomas, a 65 year old gay man, apparently has a bias against the Salvation Army, mistakenly believing that the Salvation Army is anti-gay. It is a sad situation when a person's intolerance and prejudice hurts many needy and deserving people. How you may ask?

The Salvation Army, for 25 years has had bell ringers located in front of a post office in Orange County. It is one of their best producing sites, averaging over 6,000 dollars a year. Because of one man's prejudice, the Post Office asked the Salvation Army to move from their spot of 25 years; the Salvation Army moved to the entrance of a nearby mall.

Mr. Tomas said about the Salvation Army being at the Post Office:
"How can we have a church set up a collection facility in front of a federal building?" the 65-year-old Brea resident said today; he is chairman of human resources for a Unitarian Universalist Church in Fullerton. "I wanted to know who allowed these people to be here. … I don't think it is appropriate."

"Would it be right for my church to solicit funds in front of the post office?"

Not only was Mr. Tomas angry at the Salvation Army being in front of the post office, he was angry to know that the Salvation Army partners with the city's resource center, which staffs the kettles with volunteers from local churches, community groups, schools and city staff. The resource center doles out the money to charities.
"For the city to be involved in the middle of it bothers the heck out of me," Thomas said.

At least some people locally don't agree. The local Mayor could not believe a single person would do something to harm others who would benefit from the Salvation Army's programs
"First off, I don't believe that it is a church-and-state issue," Schweitzer said. "It's an issue of a charity raising funds for the needy of the community. It saddens me that there is a member of our community that would take action and reduce those funds that we've been counting on for 30 years."
A spokesperson for the Salvation Army disputed the charges that the organization was anti-gay:
Major Lee Lescano, the Salvation Army's Orange County coordinator, disagreed with Thomas as well.

"We are absolutely nondiscriminatory,'' he said. "We serve gays on a regular basis in our treatment centers and other programs with no discrimination. I would not consider us anti-gay in any shape or form."
A part of me wonders if this is just further backlash from a gay individual, lashing out at a Christian organization because of Prop 8 passing, or is Mr. Tomas just a prejudiced, intolerant person who simply doesn't care about others in need, who are helped out by the one organization he has singled out and attacked.

Either way, Sean Thomas is this week's Grinch who has stolen Christmas for his community.

Well, It Certainly Felt and Looked Like Christmas!

We had a bit of weather here in North Texas the day before yesterday and my wife had a really good idea of taking the girls out to an untouched park to play. Here are some of the pictures I took from my cell phone.


We all enjoyed it. You can see more of the pictures taken by going to my wife's blog.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blended Families

Most people would say I have a blended family, and when you look at it on the surface, I do. I say however, I simply have a family. Not blended, but a real family.

I was raised mostly in a single parent home. My father left my mother when she was pregnant with me, and I never met him. My brother's father, who was really the only Father figure I had in life, and my mother divorced when I was 8. My brother was 2. After that it was a single mom taking care of two growing boys, working two jobs and doing the best that she could.

So I know about having a step dad. But in all of my memories, he never referred to me as his stepson. I was always his son, to his friends and to his family.

It hit me today, when I saw an email from someone I know, talking about he she had to go to her stepson's school for something or another, that I will never understand the concept of the "step" or blended family. Even though my family qualifies for that designation.

My oldest daughter is technically my stepdaughter. I am not the one who fathered her, and she does know this. But to everyone I have introduced her to, she is, and always will be, my first born child, my oldest daughter.

She is the one who is the artist, the dreamer, the writer, the poet. She is the one who will break the boy's heart's; and she is the one that will give me a heart attack when she starts dating.

She is my oldest daughter and I love her with all the love I can give her as her daddy can.

I plan on doing a study on Joseph, Jesus' earthly father, as he is perhaps the one all stepdads should look to for guidance. Jesus wasn't his, but he loved him, taught him carpentry, and helped him in all ways, that I can be sure of. I want to be like Joseph, and be the dad that my girls, both of them, deserve to have.

So even though I may technically be part of a blended family, and be a stepdad, I would disagree with you. You see, I have two daughters whom I both love and adore, and wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Full Armor of God Series -- Belt of Truth

To continue this series...


Ephesians 6:14
Having girded your loins with truth

The first piece of armor for the Christian warrior is the belt of truth . Jesus said, "I am . . . the truth" (John 14:6). And because Christ is in you, the truth is in you. However, continuing to choose truth is not always easy. Since Satan's primary weapon is the lie, your belt of truth (which holds the other pieces of body armor in place) is continually being attacked. If he can disable you in the area of truth, you become as easy target for his other attacks.

You stand firm in the truth by relating everything you do to the truth of God's Word. If a thought comes to mind which is not in harmony with God's truth, dismiss it. If an opportunity comes along to say or do something which compromises or conflicts with truth, avoid it. Adopt a simple rule of behavior: If it's the truth, I'm in; if it's not the truth, count me out.

When you learn to live in the truth on a daily basis, you will grow to love the truth because you have nothing to hide. You never have to cover up to God or anyone else; everything you do is in the light. Furthermore, when you live in the truth you dislodge the lies of Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44). Remember that if Satan can deceive you into believing a lie, he can control your life.

Jesus prayed, "I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one" (John 17:15). How? "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy Word is truth" (verse 17). You will only dislodge Satan's lies in the light of God's revelation, and not by human reasoning or research.

The only thing a Christian ever has to admit to is the truth. Walking in the light and speaking the truth in love may seem threatening to some. But in reality truth is a liberating friend and the only path to fellowship with God.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Christianity of Our President

I will not judge a man's walk with God. Never. However, when I read some of what our current President, George Bush, said about his faith, I took a long pause to let what I read sink in.

I consider myself an Evangelical, Conservative Christian. I am not perfect, and I have fallen numerous times and will continue to fall during my life here on this planet. However, there are some tenets of the Christian faith that I believe are not in dispute. One of these is the belief that the Bible is God's inspired Word give to his creation. A belief that EVERY word is literal. Not allegorical, not fiction, but a true, literal telling of the history of creation, God's plan for man, God's grace given through the sacrifice of His only Son, and what will happen in the future as told by the prophecies in the Bible.

So imagine my shock, when I read the following:
Interviewer Cynthia McFadden asked Bush if the Bible was literally true.

"You know. Probably not. ... No, I'm not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it, but I do think that the New Testament for example is ... has got ... You know, the important lesson is 'God sent a son,"' Bush said.

So our president does not believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible.

If the Bible is not true, but is just a story, a fictitious telling of a story that we are supposed to learn from, then I am fool as are millions of others on this planet. People who have DIED, who have been MURDERED to translate this book, to bring it to the masses of people begging to know the truth have died and were murdered in vain. All for a book President Bush says we can learn "a lot" from.

Another of the tenets of my faith is that when I pray to God, I am not praying to allah, nor to krishna, nor to any other god of this world. There is only one God, and that is the God of the Bible. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Now I do not even pretend to understand the Trinity; it is one of the tenets of my faith that I must put my faith in. But President Bush doesn't apparantly pray to same God I do.
The president also said that he prays to the same God as those with different religious beliefs.

"I do believe there is an almighty that is broad and big enough and loving enough that can encompass a lot of people," Bush said.

Then there is the quote I read from President Bush concerning evolution:
Asked about creation and evolution, Bush said: "I think you can have both. I think evolution can -- you're getting me way out of my lane here. I'm just a simple president. But it's, I think that God created the earth, created the world; I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty and I don't think it's incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution."
Mr. President, what proof is there of evolution? The last time I looked at evolution, it was still a theory that had yet to be proven. That is why they call it the THEORY of Evolution. As to the compatibility between Creation and evolution, I believe there is none. Either God created everything in six days and rested on the seventh, or God and the Bible are liars and we evolved from a monkey.

I for one don't believe that I am looking at my long lost uncle when I go to the zoo. God is not a liar, nor is the Bible a liar. As for what President Bush believes, that will be between him and God.

You can find the article here.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Back From the Land of The Sick

Sorry for the long delay in posting. I have been and still am recovering from the flu. I'll be posting some items here in a while.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Give The Gift of Abortion This Christmas

In what has to be the most disgusting thing I have heard of for a Christmas Present, Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana and Illinois are offering gift certificates for their services, including abortions.

Planned Parenthood said the stocking-stuffers — that range in value from $25 to $100 and can be ordered online — are redeemable for health services at clinics throughout the two states and can go to any service offered. "We decided not to put restrictions on the gift certificates, so it’s for whatever people feel they need the services for most," Chrystal Struben-Hall with Planned Parenthood of Indiana said.

In an ironic twist, the Planned Parenthood officials said that the vouchers would allow people to give friends and loved ones "the gift of life". Excuse me, but the last time I looked, an abortion was the death of an unborn child. I do not see the gift of life in this.
"People are making really tough decisions about putting gas in their car and food on their table," Struben-Hall said.
So those with unwanted pregnancies are forced to choose between eating, driving or killing the child in an abortion? There is another way, and it's called adoption.

There are several religious and pro-life groups expressing outraged, saying that at a time when millions are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, Planned Parenthood is offering a gift that could fund an abortion.
They can and will be used to end the lives of children at Christmas," said Cathy Ruse of the Family Research Council. She believes the gift certificates will anger many, even those who are not deeply religious. "A coupon for abortion at Christmastime?" Ruse said. "That’s just inherently offensive, I think, to all Americans.
It is very offensive to me, that much I can say.
You can read the story here.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Atheists Try To Kill God in Kentucky

People push their beliefs on other people. We as Christians are always accused of that, yet I came across a story today that shows how atheist in Kentucky are trying to do the same thing. Since they don't believe in God (which takes a lot more faith than NOT to believe)they don't want God mentioned in any way in Kentucky's Homeland Security office. That to me is pushing their beliefs on me and others who believe in God. I would say that makes them hypocrites, wouldn't you?

Here is the gist of the story, found on Fox News.

A group of atheists filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to remove part of a state anti-terrorism law that requires Kentucky's Office of Homeland Security to acknowledge it can't keep the state safe without God's help.

American Atheists Inc. sued in state court over a 2002 law that stresses God's role in Kentucky's homeland security alongside the military, police agencies and health departments.

Of particular concern is a 2006 clause requiring the Office of Homeland Security to post a plaque that says the safety and security of the state "cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon almighty God" and to stress that fact through training and educational materials.

The plaque, posted at the Kentucky Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort, includes the Bible verse: "Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

What I am surprised by, is that fact that both Democrats and Republicans are up in arms about the lawsuit.

But Democratic state Rep. Tom Riner, a Baptist minister from Louisville, said he considers it vitally important to acknowledge God's role in protecting Kentucky and the nation.

"No government by itself can guarantee perfect security," Riner said. "There will always be this opposition to the acknowledgment of divine providence, but this is a foundational understanding of what America is."

State Rep. David Floyd, R-Bardstown, said the preamble to the Kentucky constitution references a people "grateful to almighty God," so he said he sees no constitutional violation in enlisting God in the state's homeland security efforts.

"God help us if we don't," he said.

It is nice to see people set aside political differences to try and leave references to God in where they belong. Let's keep this one in our prayers...and let's not forget to pray for the atheists as well.

Pro-Choice as Rhetoric

I very much enjoy reading Chuck Colson as I find him a very intelligent and spiritual man who has been through quite a bit. And since I am a Pro-Life person, I had to post this:

Pro-Choice as Rhetoric
Chuck Colson

The smartest thing "abortion rights" advocates ever did was to coin the phrase "pro-choice." That shifted our attention towards the act of choosing and away from what was being chosen-the dismemberment of a human being in utero.

Eventually, however, at some point, "choice" has to go from mere rhetoric to an actual deed. Somebody has to actually perform an abortion if "freedom of choice" is to become a reality, as one medical student learned recently.

The November 23rd issue of the Washington Post Magazine told the story of a medical student named Lesley Wojick. She plans to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology and is unapologetically "pro-choice." She even helped organize a "day-long abortion seminar" at her medical school.

At the seminar, a medical director for Planned Parenthood of Maryland asked the attendees, "How pro-choice are you?" She asked them what their families and neighbors would think of their performing abortions.

Wojick was determined to "walk the talk," to make her "actions to be consistent with [her] words." She thought that if "pro-choice" doctors like her didn't do this, "the right to abortion might be rendered meaningless."

Wojick then attempted to "walk the walk." But not for long. During her obstetrics rotation, she realized that "vacuuming out a uterus and counting the parts of the fetus" wasn't for her. "Somebody else . . . would become an abortion provider. But it wouldn't be her."

It's not surprising. Once you get past the rhetoric of choice, what's left is a bloody and, for most people, disreputable business. As Wojick discovered, even people who insist that it's a right want little to do with the actual practice or the practitioners.

Someone else who understands what abortions really mean is Stojan Adasevic, a Serbian doctor who performed 48,000 abortions in 26 years. Studying medicine in communist Yugoslavia, he was taught that abortion was simply removing a piece of tissue.

Then he began to have nightmares about a field filled with children playing and laughing. When they saw him, they ran away in fear. In the dream, a man in a black and white habit explained to Adasevic that these were the children he had aborted. The man in the habit was St. Thomas Aquinas.

Adasevic insists that he had never heard of Aquinas. In any case, he knew what he had to do. He stopped performing abortions. What he calls his "conversion" came at a cost-the then-communist government "cut his salary in half, fired his daughter from her job, and did not allow his son to enter the university."

Today, Adasevic is a leader of the pro-life movement in Serbia and persuaded authorities to air the pro-life classic, The Silent Scream, on television. Not surprisingly, he has returned to the "Orthodox faith of his childhood."

These stories are reminders that rhetoric can only obscure the truth for so long. Then those on both sides of the abortion debate will have to decide how to "walk the talk."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Full Armor of God Series

I can honestly say that I have served both the darkness and the light. One of the parts of my testimony is that of my being a practicing witch for 15 years, from age 12 to 27. I have seen and witnessed the deception first hand and have served that deception. So I can testify that spiritual warfare is real.

With that in mind I read a devotion from Neil Anderson daily and for the last few days his devotions have been on Ephesians 6:13-17. I will be posting them here over the next few days.

I will start with the introduction.

Ephesians 6:13
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm

A primary element in our protection from Satan and evil is the armor that God has provided for us and instructed us to put on in Ephesians 6:13-17. When we put on the armor of God, we are really putting on Christ (Romans 13:12-14). And when we put on Christ, we take ourselves out of the realm of the flesh, where we are vulnerable to attack, and we place ourselves within the dominion of Christ, where the evil one cannot touch us. Satan has nothing in Christ (John 14:30), and to the extent that we put on Christ, the evil one cannot touch us (1 John 5:18). He can only touch that which is on his own level. That's why we are commanded, "Make no provision for the flesh" (Romans 13:14), meaning "Don't live on Satan's level."

It would appear from the verb tenses in Ephesians 6;14, 15, that three of the pieces of armor--belt, breastplate and shoes--are already on you: "having girded . . ."; "having put on . . ."; having shod. . . ." These pieces of armor represent the elements of your protection made possible when you receive Jesus Christ and in which you are commanded to stand firm. The Greek tense of "having" signifies that the action it refers to was completed before we were commanded to stand firm. That's the logical way a soldier would prepare for action: He would put on his belt, breastplate and shoes before attempting to stand firm. Likewise, we are to put on the full armor of God after having already put on Christ.

When you read through Ephesians 6:10-20, you will notice the emphasis on the active part we must play on behalf of our own spiritual defense: "be strong" (verse 10); "put on" and "stand firm" (verse 11); "take up," "be able," "resist," and "stand firm" (verse 13); "stand firm" (verse 14); "taking up" (verse 16); "take" (verse 17)' "pray at all times" and "be on the alert" (verse 18).

Over the next several days, we will consider each of the six pieces of armor from Ephesians 6:13-17.

Christmas According to Charlie Brown

This is one of the most beloved Christmas Specials of all time, in my opinion. I just wish they made more like this.


Monday, December 01, 2008

Favorite Christmas Music - David Bowie and Bing Crosby Sing Little Drummer Boy

I wanted to share with you one of my all time favorite Christmas duets. I actually remember when David Bowie and Bing Crosby sang this live on TV and I was floored. This duet is one I consider pure magic. I will be sharing other songs later on.


Grinch Alert -- Florida Gulf Coast University

It's time for a Grinch alert and this time it's Florida Gulf Coast University located in Fort Myers, Florida.

I stumbled across this article, telling about how the administration has banned all holiday decorations from common spaces on campus, canceled a popular greeting card design contest, replacing that with an ugly sweater competition, and in Griffin Hall, the university's giving tree for needy preschoolers has been transformed into a "giving garden."

They did this all in the name of political correctness. Why?

Apparently several Florida Gulf Coast University staffers did not like this decision.
The Staff Advisory Council received 44 anonymous comments on the issue; all were against the ban on holiday decorations.

Students were not supportive of the ban either.
Junior Marilyn Lerner, a 20-year-old resort and hospitality management major from California, said she'll miss seeing Christmas trees in the Student Union.

"I think they're pretty," said Lerner, who is Jewish. "It's just a Christmas tree. I don't mind."

Perhaps the most telling quote was from a student, who is Wiccan.
Neither does junior Stephanie Tirado, 20, an education major from New York.

"Christmas is no longer just a religious holiday. It's commercialized now," said Tirado, who is Wiccan. "Why don't they just add a menorah then?"

Unfortunately, Ms. Tirado is right. Christmas, the time for the celebration of Jesus' birth, is more about finding the right present at the right price now. Instead of complaining about how the governing bodies of cities, universities and others are taking Christmas out of the public view, perhaps we should start putting Christ back in Christmas, and start with ourselves at home.