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Showing posts from July, 2007

The Freemasons are coming!

Ted Olsen at Christianity Today says the campaign of Evangelicals against secret societies in the 1800's was a bust and they declined on their own. [It was actually a presidential campaign issue too.] My response: maybe the campaign did work by keeping potential members from joining. He thinks that perhaps our churches' current social reform campaigns are doomed to irrelevance also. He doesn't name them though. Abortion? Global warming? So it was a vapid article. But the fire was lit under the Freemason pot and they are commenting like mad hornets. It's fun to read how innocent they claim to be. Personally, I've known a marriage sacrificed out of loyalty to Freemasonry over Jesus.

JKR reveals secrets and postscripts on Harry Potter

great interview copied at muggle.net
important stuff like
Katieleigh: Does hermione still continue to do work with spew and is life any better for house elves!
J.K. Rowling: Hermione began her post-Hogwarts career at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures
J.K. Rowling: where she was instrumental in greatly improving life for house-elves and their ilk. She then moved (despite her jibe to Scrimgeour) to the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement
J.K. Rowling: After a few years as a celebrated player for the Holyhead Harpies, Ginny retired to have her family and to become the Senior Quidditch correspondent at the Daily Prophet!

Christian internet radio

Before I tell about a new favorite of mine I need to do my PSA duty for our church's station which can be heard at WCSE.org. Sometimes I only want to hear loud and aggressive music written and performed by believers for God and the family which TheBlast.Fm currently serves quite nicely.

book report - The Shaping of a Christian Family

Elisabeth Elliot, former missionary and prolific author, weaves a wonderful account of her family from her grandparents to her grandchildren. The focus is mainly from her parents' courtship through the raising of 6 children to seeing them marry and raising their own children. It has taken me a long time to read it. My dear wife commended it to me last winter. Although it follows a chronological theme, it doesn't flow like a novel. It reads like a devotional. The nuggets of wisdom lay all over the pages and a quick read will not do the book justice. I can hardly think of an audience that wouldn't benefit from it. In fact, I'm about to thrust it on my 11 year old daughter. It covers dating, courting and adolescence. My only quibble with Ms. Elliot is her assertion of the fallacy of teenage-dom. She and her brothers were sent off to distant Christian boarding schools in their teens, where they behaved very well. My quibble is that she does not speak from experience necess…

chatting with the LDS

Keith has an update on his second meeting with the LDS boys. Gems include...

They agreed with us that the Bible is still applicable, but still insisted that someone needs to get current messages from God so that we will know how to live better lives.

I asked, “OK, then can you give us some examples of one of your prophets giving us current information that we need that isn’t already found in the Bible?” Elder J. was stunned into silence and looked at Elder T. They both looked at each other and really didn’t know what to say. Finally Elder J. brought up the Word of Wisdom and said that Joseph Smith had a new revelation about a health code.

I didn’t want to reveal what I knew about the Word of Wisdom, but that “revelation” was given in 1833. Hmm… 174 years is not exactly what I would call, “current.” I just said, “Joseph Smith? That was a long time ago. I’d like to hear some examples of one of your prophets giving some important information that you have heard personally and needed to know…

barefoot running update

12 miles, barefoot, no blisters.
doing a sprint triathlon next Thursday and a 12 mile race next Saturday

an apologetics bookmark

I don't "bookmark" sites anymore. Usually I will add their feed, unless they are old school. This site is old school but worth returning to at some point, Contend for the Faith. I appreciated the book report on Sailhamer's Genesis Unbound which presents historical creationism.

10 C's #5: Honor your parents, part b

As in all institutions, clever hair splitters had found religious reasons to avoid honoring parents which really irritated Jesus.
Mark 7:9-11
Then he said, "You reject God's laws in order to hold on to your own traditions.
For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: 'Honor your father and mother,' and 'Anyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.'
But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, 'Sorry, I can't help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I could have given to you.'
You let them disregard their needy parents.
As such, you break the law of God in order to protect your own tradition. And this is only one example. There are many, many others."(NLT)
Of course, the weaseling was in regard to money. Jesus was irritated that these religious leaders preferred people, and offered them a salve for their consciences, give their cash to them, as God's representatives, than use that m…

Keith chats with the Mormons

Keith Walker is a missionary to those trapped in cults. He loves it when they come to his door. Here is an excerpt from a great report.

Although we spoke about many other things, there was another important issue that I want to discuss here. Elder J. paraphrased numerous verses in both the Bible and Book of Mormon. One of them was Matthew 7:20- Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. The context is speaking of how to identify false prophets, but rarely does a Mormon know that. Elder J. said that we could determine the truth of things by examining it's fruit. In this case he said that we could examine Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

He then transitioned into telling us to pray about the Book of Mormon to find out if it is true. Prior to this discussion, I never had thought about these two ideas as a contrast. I asked, "If we are to test the truthfulness of a religion or person by examining their fruit, why are we told to pray about the Book of Mormon?" Elder J. s…

10 C's #5: Honor your parents

Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. (NKJV)

As Paul points out, this is the first commandment with a promise (Ephesisans 6:1-3). Paul points to the enhanced refresher version of the 10 C's in Deuteronomy 5:16
Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. (NKJV)
When Moses gives his review in Deuteronomy, he's talking to a mostly new generation, and giving them promises right before their invasion of Israel.
This commandment takes on a new tact from commandments 2 and 3, no idols and no misuse of God's name. Both of those commandments come with threats. This one comes with an incentive, the promise. Why a carrot this time and not the stick? As a parent myself, I know that I have to carry a stick all the time and sometimes wield it, figuratively of co…

more of my Deathly Hallows predictions

Last month I made my wild accusation of Snape being a type of Judas Iscariot. Since I have one more week until all guesses are revealed foolish, and I am a fool, I want to make a couple more tenuous assertions. Ms. Rowling has said in an that obviously Dumbledore is not Christ, which makes these predictions even more tenuous, yet I plow on.

As the Hogwarts Professor makes pains to point out, Rowling is not writing an allegory, but writes with symbols. She has mentioned her intensive study of alchemy as she worked on the books and John Granger has written a couple of books explaining those alchemical symbols.

Some of the symbols I see are Biblical New Testament characters. I'm reading the Half-blood Prince now and am enjoying the pains Rowling takes to show Snape in the act of premeditated betrayal. Me makes an Unbreakable Vow with Malfoy's mother and aunt to protect Draco and finish what Draco will surely fail to do. Snape asserts he knows Voldemort better than Bellatrix Lestran…

Latest Persecution of Indian Christians

from Compass Direct News
Karnataka – Subhas Chalawadi, allegedly a member of the Hindu extremist Bajrang Dal, and 15 others beat Dyamappa Chalawadi and his wife Geetha on July 4 in Baloga village, Khanapur taluk, Belgaum district, Karnataka, according to the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). Evangelist Santosh Basappa and a pastor from Trinity Church in Baloga were visiting the couple when the group led by Subhas Chalawadi barged into their home and dragged Dyamappa Chalawadi out. They kicked him and hit him with wooden sticks on the palms of his hands and soles of his feet. Some of the assailants pulled his wife by the hair and pushed her against the wall, and Basappa told Compass they grabbed her arm, hit her on the shoulders and back and told her, “We will kill you and your husband if you continue your Christian prayers.” Khanapur police refused to register a complaint from the couple, saying “there are no bleeding injuries,” said Dr. Sajan K. George of the GCIC. Dyamappa …

Missionary Lessons from the Marines

Guy Muse has been sharing lessons from the Marines applies to missions...
Curtis Sergeant wrote a helpful paper entitled, "What We Can Learn From The U.S. Marines". It is an instructive study highly applicable to missions strategy and thinking. Each of my next three posts will highlight one of the concepts, followed by how we apply the principle to our own church planting here in Guayaquil.
Parts 1 ,2, and 3

10 C's #4 Sabbath part e one more thing

I'm not sure I've made the point clear enough on what the 4th Commandment means today. I arrived at this on my bike commute when I asked myself, "Is this a breakable commandment today, and, if so, how did I violate it?"
This is a command to rest, cease and desist in order to remember God. I think my attempts at achieving righteousness based on my works violate this command. For example, in my high school and college days I would try to live very righteously a couple days before praying for something in my favor. In effect, I was trying to put God into my debt. Of course I was neglecting that my righteous acts are as filthy rags in God's eyes. As a parent now I can appreciate God's perspective on my children trying to put me into debt to them.
All my righteousness comes from Jesus.
Romans 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
Galatians 3:11
C…

Biking, barefoot marathon and water balloons

On my bike ride home Tuesday some rowdy young men hung out the car as they drove up behind me and I suddenly felt a punch on my road side shoulder. But it wasn't a punch. They threw a water balloon at me but it hadn't burst. If it had I would have been happier as it was a hot ride. Instead they only left me with a sore shoulder. Since I knew I needed to forgive those who sinned against me, I gave them a thumbs up for effort. :-)

I ran a barefoot marathon this week, but it was over the past five days. This is the most I have ever run in a week, shod or not. I'm only suffering a small blood blister on the forefoot. There are only four more weeks until the local 12 mile race. I have five months until the local marathon though. I'm still biking every day to work. In order to beat the heat I go for my run right after my ride in. I hope that counts for something in the upcoming sprint triathlon at the end of the month. I concluded on this morning's run that since I'm …

10 C's #4 - Sabbath part d, conclusion

I'm an American. I have the privilege of living in a culture with Judeo-Christian roots. As part of this culture I enjoy a 5 day workweek, 2 day weekends, a few weeks of vacation yearly, sick days, paid holidays, such as July 4th. Having Sunday off was part of European Christian culture. Moreover, many of these labor innovations came in reaction to the oppression of factory life as people moved from an agrarian life and rhythm to the manufacturing life. Manufacturing is not affected by the seasons like farming is and hence there is always more the machines can do if the humans can keep up. Christians pleaded for the need for rhythm, partly as they understood Sabbath, in the lives of the factory workers, resulting in labor law protections. Christians recognize we are made with a rhythm, one given to us and modeled for us by our Creator. Greed opposes Sabbath. But greed destroys. Unrotated crops destroy fields. Fields that aren't rested don't produce. The same is true for an…

Pre-evangelism

Michael Hamblin pointed me to this neat resource on planting the seeds of the gospel in the post-modern age, Meekness and Truth.

10 C's #4 Sabbath part c

By the time Jesus arrived on the scene Israel's religious leaders had overcompensated for the past generations's sins and got mad over the trivial and more important things that Jesus and his disciples did on the Sabbath.
What things did Jesus do on the Sabbath?
He taught (Mark 6:2)
He healed (John 7:23, 9:14 Matthew 12:12)
What did his disciples do on the Sabbath?
They ate some grain. (Luke 6:6, Mark 2:23-28)
They prayed. (Acts 16:13)
Paul taught (Acts 17:2)

What was Jesus' explanation of the Sabbath?
Mark 2:27, 28
Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath. 2:28 For this reason the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
How did he show they already practiced this?
Matthew 12:10-12
A man was there who had a withered hand. And they asked Jesus, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” so that they could accuse him. 12:11 He said to them, “Would not any one of you, if he had one sheep that fell into a pit on the Sabbath, take hold of it and lift i…

10 C's: #4 Sabbath part b

What's the deal with needing a commandment to rest?
Partly it's a gift. The children of Israel were enslaved for 400 years. They had worked every day. Now they were freed to rest.
"'Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you.
Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your oxen and donkeys and other livestock, and any foreigners living among you. All your male and female servants must rest as you do.
Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out with amazing power and mighty deeds. That is why the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. Deuteronomy 5:12-15 (NLT)
Not only were they to rest but also anyone and anything in their household. They…