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As though you were there too

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”  Heb 13:3

I had the opportunity this past weekend along with my wife to attend a one day conference in South Carolina put on by the great organization Voice of the Martyrs.  It was an incredible time to hear stories from people who have suffered for their faith and service to God while sharing the gospel to those who need to hear it.  One lady, Gracia Burnham was captured along with her husband Martin by a militant group of Muslims for around 7 to 8 months suffering through starvation and exhaustion, and ultimately leading to the death of Martin.  Petr Jasek, while visiting some persecuted Christians in Khartoum, Sudan was arrested and convicted of espionage and spent over a year in prison due to his service. These are just two of the stories told of courage and dedication proclaiming the gospel in hostile areas.

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Categories: Culture

As through a key hole

But, as it is written, ‘No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, is what God has prepared for those who love him’”  1 Cor 2:9

My family and I went to see a movie this afternoon.  As we were waiting for it to begin, we were watching the previews of upcoming films.  Suddenly, in one of the previews, one of the characters said something that I find profound.  “You are looking at life as through a keyhole.”  As I was pondering this, God spoke to me and said that many view the Christian life as through a key hole, seeing and experiencing less than what He has made available to us. Read more…

Categories: Culture

Our Role in Politics

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”  1 Tim 2:1-2

I normally try to stay clear of politics and discussing political matters.  However, in watching what is happening in this campaign, I feel it is important to say a few words regarding the state of politics today.  First of all, I will say that I am a conservative so this blog post may lean toward that perspective.  The main reason is that the conservative position more closely matches my views of how life should be lived.  But this is not an entry on who I am supporting, but on how we, as Christians, should be involved in the political process.  I want to divide this into three parts.  The first being the Democrat side, the second being the Republican side, and the third should be our response.

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Categories: Culture

Love our neighbors

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Mat 22:39b

When we think of the word neighbor, we often think of those who live beside us, across the road from us, or maybe several houses down.  However, was this what was meant by Jesus in the above verse?  I do not think so.  According to Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, it means ‘any other man irrespective of nation or religion with whom we live or whom we chance to meet.’  In other words, every human on this earth is essentially our neighbor.  We are to love everyone we come into contact with.  So I ask the question, do we really love our neighbor?

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Categories: Culture, Theology

Sometimes we are called to weep

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”  Rom 12:15

Years ago, I became aware of a conversation between two Christians regarding the sufferings of many individuals caught in the horrors of human trafficking.  One of them was relating some of the things people suffered at the hands of evil traffickers.  After a short time, the other raised her hands and declared, “I do not want to hear anymore, it is taking away my joy.”  She then walked off and became involved in another conversation more to her liking.  When I heard this, I became angry.  How could someone be so calloused regarding the sufferings of others.  I could understand if she did not want to discuss it at that time, but to show no empathy for these modern day slaves who suffer daily, and never wanting to think about it at all, shows a heartless selfishness that is beyond appalling.

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Categories: Culture

Do we stand out

As many of you know, I am an avid reader.  My focus is on non-fiction, however, every now and then I will relax with a good story, but have not done so in a while.  This past couple of weeks I have been reading a book entitled “Taking Sides : Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Religion“, edited by Daniel K Judd.  Basically, there are a series of Yes and No questions, with two essays regarding each question, one explaining why the answer is Yes, and another explaining why it is No.  In answer to the question “Is War Ever Justified?”  The Editors of First Things in relating the Yes answer quotes an anonymous author of “The Letter to Diognetus” written in the second century to explain to a pagan reader the way it is with these odd people called Christians.  Here is the quote:

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Categories: Culture

Lets Get Serious

A former Muslim who goes by the pseudonym Muhammad Kemel recently told the editor of ‘Why we left Islam’ the following, “Muslims all over the world are working hard to achieve [the] goal of submission of the entire world to Islam.”  This confirms what I have heard from many experts regarding Islam, that their goal is to convert the entire world to Islam, and kill those who will not submit.  This is especially true when Christians are involved.  There is no mercy for those who refuse to renounce Christ in favor of Allah.  We can see this especially in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria otherwise known as ISIS.  I received the following email sent from a friend regarding missionaries in Iraq which gives us first hand knowledge of this issue.

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Categories: Culture

Real Truth

Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.

In the above verse, when Jesus was brought before Pilate at the request of the Jewish leadership, Pilate asked an intriguing question.  What is Truth?  I have been musing on this question lately as I look at American culture, and I believe that we, as a society, do not have a satisfactory answer to this question.  There are individuals who do, but as a whole we are lacking understanding of what real truth is.  People are looking for truth, but without an adequate foundation on which to base it on, it will elude them.  The only adequate foundation for truth is an unchanging, all knowing being who transcends truth, and in fact is truth Himself.  Without this unchanging standard, truth becomes relative and unknowable.  And our culture is slowly but surely removing this standard from American life.  And I am afraid that those who do not have this solid  foundation will only discover a new truth, which in reality is no truth at all. Read more…

Categories: Culture

Doing Good

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”  Php 2:3

A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time to redo my office and study.  It had devolved into such dis-array I never wanted to come down here.  However, now that I, with the help of my family and Brandon, a good friend of our family, have been able to bring order out of chaos, I am back now doing some of things I love, reading, writing, and just enjoying quiet and de-stressing times at my desk.

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Categories: Culture

Love, The Greatest Gift

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:34-35

This coming week, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  We all know what this day is about, giving thanks to God for all the gifts and blessing He has given us.  There is so much for us to be thankful for; our jobs, family, friends, the things we have, etc.  However, I would like to spend a few moments talking about probably the greatest gift we have ever received.

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Categories: Culture