My Biblically based opinion on all things. Political, Social, Cultural, Spiritual, etc...
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." The Romans 15:4 Project
Mick Dobra

Friday, September 29, 2006

Weekly ReCap - 09-29-2006

Kind of a slow posting week for me. Busy with school and small group ministry.

So, let's see what's going on. . .
  • Illegal Alien Ordeal
    The debate continues, but we only hear about the humanitarian implications and not the criminal. That's too bad for the family that Officer Johnson left behind.
    Read more. . .

  • New Service for Leadership!
    Notice the link in the Project Links above [ Ministry Leaders: Post Announcements! ] If you have an event or service you would like announced and promoted, follow the link to let me know!
    Read more. . .

  • Mid-Week Devotional - Romans 2:10-11
    The free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is for everyone.
    Read more. . .

I hope everyone enjoyed their week, and I pray for a wonderful weekend for everyone. Look for the face of Christ in the faces of those you meet this weekend! (Matthew 25:34-40)


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    Wednesday, September 27, 2006

    Mid-Week Devotional - Romans 2:10-11

    Read: Romans 2:1-29

    Scripture

    Romans 2:10-11

    but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.” (NIV)

    Observation

    God does not show favoritism. Not by race, national heritage, or otherwise. (Acts 10:34-35)

    All people will be judged by God (everyone) based on their merits of faith (who does good). The free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is for everyone.

    Application

    The only chosen people are the people that have faith in Jesus Christ. They can be any race, color, or nationality. Treat all people with the respect and dignity that God’s children deserve.

    Prayer

    Heavenly Father help me see people as you see them. Help me overcome cultural boundaries and share your gift with all people. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray - Amen


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    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    New Service for Ministry Leaders!

    Announcing a new service for Church, Ministry, Missions, or Lay Leaders!
    If you have an announcement you would like promoted on the Romans 15:4 Project Blog, please follow [ This Link ] to make your request.

    There is a permanent link at the top header of the blog called [ Ministry Leaders: Post your announcement! ]. Use this link whenever you have an event, outreach, fund raiser, what ever, that you would like to promote.

    Announcements will be reviewed within 24 to 48 hours.


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    Monday, September 25, 2006

    Illegal Alien Ordeal

    There is massive bias in the media supporting Illegal Aliens. I think all people should be treated with love and fairness, but I also think all aspects of this issue need to be addressed. The law is there for a purpose.

    From the Media Research Center:

    The "new" CBS with Katie Couric is going to extraordinary lengths to promote the illegal alien agenda. Since Couric's debut, the CBS Evening News has featured two "Free Speech" segments featuring the plight of illegal aliens. The latest took place last week -- and CBS went so far as to actively promote the amnesty agenda on its website.

    You'll see how Couric mocked Congress' border security actions --including the 700 mile border fence -- and then how CBS's web site literally joined forces with the amnesty agenda and promoted an amnesty bill in Congress! This is as blatant an example of media bias as we have seen on this issue.
    http://newsbusters.org/node/7807
    And this from Grassfire.org Alliance explains why the focus needs to be balanced:

    Houston police office [sic] Rodney Johnson was shot four times in the back of the head and murdered by an illegal alien who had already been deported for a crime of indecency against a child. Go here for a full report, including ABC News video: http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=2487004&page=1
    Please follow this link to sign the MRC "Demand the media tell the truth about immigration" petition:
    http://www.mrcaction.org/503/petition.asp?PID=11389384


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    Friday, September 22, 2006

    Weekly ReCap 9-22-2006

    What we talked about this week:


    • Book Review - "Because they hate"
      Read more. . .

    • Life, is it to be taken for granted?
      . . . In an online interview with the UK Independent, Singer was asked "Would you kill a disabled baby?" He responded, "Yes, if that was in the best interests of the baby and of the family as a whole. Many people find this shocking, yet they support a woman's right to have an abortion." (Bauer)
      Read more. . .

    • Action Alert: Public Expression of Religion Act (HR 2679)
      Please take action on this today! Help stop the ACLU!
      Read more. . .

    • Mid-Week Devotional - Romans 1:1-32
      By grace and through faith we are called to be saints.
      Read more. . .

    • Tortured
      Some don't even stop to ask, and the people they torture have done nothing other than confess a living faith in Jesus Christ, not murder or terrorist plots, just faith in Jesus. They are not given rights or trials.
      Read more. . .


    Islamic hate, murdering disabled children, the ACLU muting religious freedom, and tortured for faith in Jesus. Sounds like a pretty bad week! But tucked in there is the Good News that we struggle in this life for our eternal gift! Praise God!

    I pray everyone had a good week, and I pray you have a great weekend. Stay excited and joyful in the eternal hope of our savior, Jesus Christ!


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    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Tortured

    Torture is a hot topic right now. What constitutes torture? Should we use it if it saves more innocent lives? Some don’t even stop to ask, and the people they torture have done nothing other than confess a living faith in Jesus Christ, not murder or terrorist plots, just faith in Jesus. They are not given rights or trials.

    This is not a statement on torture, but an attempt to make people aware of the reality of it outside of our Democratic colored reality. We should not forsake those that are persecuted for their faith, lest we too fall victim ourselves. Is our freedom worth fighting for? Is their freedom worth praying and fighting for?

    From the VOM-USA News & Prayer Update (September 19, 2006)

    (Compass Direct)

    Newly compiled statistics smuggled out of Eritrea indicate that at least 1,918 Eritrean citizens are imprisoned and subjected to torture and forced labor because of their religious beliefs; 95 percent of these known religious prisoners of conscience are Christians. Of the total in prison, 35 are pastors, priests and church elders under arrest in Asmara's Wongel Mermera investigation center. In 14 other cities and towns, an additional 1,758 Christians of both evangelical Protestant and Orthodox confessions are jailed. None of those imprisoned for their religious beliefs, in the government crackdown which began more than four years ago, have been brought before a court of law to be charged or tried.

    Pray these innocent believers will continue to hope in God as they await their release from this terrible suffering. Pray they will have opportunities to share their faith with those who would otherwise never hear of Jesus. Pray international pressure will force the Eritrean government to let God's people go.


    So how about an exhortation for the faithful here in America:



    If you have checked out the curricula from preschool through graduate education in this nation, you'd notice that "tolerance" education permeates virtually every topic of study (that is tolerance of everything excluding Christianity). . .
    This teaching sets the stage for hate crimes against Christians, increased legislation prohibiting evangelization and distribution of Christian literature, and anti-Christian movements geared toward undermining the church and biblical principles. . .

    Christians in the U.S. seem to be more intimidated by a politically correct socialist agenda than believers abroad are fearful of persecution under the flags of Islam, communism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. . .
    Putting our jobs, tolerant reputations, and unblemished records on the line are apparently prices that most of us consider too high to pay for sharing our faith.

    Read the full article. . .


    Live your faith courageously. Pray for the persecuted and do not forget their struggle.

    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
    "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”
    Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
    (Matthew 5:10-12)


    Related Links:

    Crisis in Sudan

    War on terror

    True Evil Oppressors of our day

    Act Today!


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    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    Mid-Week Devotional - Romans 1:1-32

    Read: Romans 1:1-32

    Scripture

    Romans 1:7

    To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” (NIV)

    Observation

    To all! We are all called by God’s grace to be saints, Jew or Gentile (v. 5-6).

    We are all loved by God. It is God’s love that calls us to be saints, and not any merit or worthiness of our own. As John Wesley commented, “Beloved of God - And from his free love, not from any merit of yours, called by his word and his Spirit to believe in him, and now through faith holy as he is holy.”

    By grace and through faith we are called to be saints.

    Application

    Have you accepted Christ? Christ’s love is a free gift to all. All are called to be saints.

    There was, and in some cases still is, a period of time when I was new in my faith where I was rejected by many friends because they thought I was acting better than them. Actually I had humbled myself to the point that I absolutely surrendered my life to Christ. It is not by my efforts, and not my intention to hold myself as better than anyone else, but I was living a new life. A life surrendered to Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit to act and live in a way pleasing to my savior even in a wicked world (v. 18-32).

    This new life is freely available to everyone that comes to Jesus Christ. Invite Jesus to be the Lord of your life today. Live as if serving the King of Kings.

    Prayer

    Heavenly Father, thank you for the free gift of grace. I ask Jesus to be the Lord of my life today and every day that follows that I may serve you as a saint. In Jesus’ name I pray – Amen.


    Works Cited:

    Wesley, John. "Commentary on Romans 1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://bible.crosswalk.com/commentaries/wesleysexplanatorynotes/wes.cgi?book=ro&chapter=001 1765.


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    Monday, September 18, 2006

    Action Alert: Public Expression of Religion Act (HR 2679)

    I have just received word that the House is expecting to vote on the Public Expression of Religion Act (HR 2679) next week!

    Passage of this bill would deliver a crippling blow to the ACLU because they wouldn’t be able to use the threat of monetary awards to intimidate officials into removing Ten Commandments monuments, nativity scenes, crosses, or the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Click here to sign the petition:
    http://www.libertyaction.org/281/petition.asp?PID=11730605

    Sensible of the importance of Christian piety and virtue to the order and happiness of a state, I cannot but earnestly commend to you every measure for their support and encouragement.
    John Hancock (The first signer of the Declaration of Independence), as the first Governor of Massachusetts in 1780.



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    Life, is it to be taken for granted?

    In contrast to my earlier post, celebrating the miracle of life and birth, is this quip from Gary Bauer:

    . . . Professor Peter Singer who is still advocating the murder of disabled infants. The only thing standing in Singer’s way, according to him, is "a rump of hard-core, know-nothing religious fundamentalists" who see life as sacred.

    What do you think about Singer’s ideas to “weed out the undesirables” of society?


    I guess if you buy into the Humanist religion, which says we are all just evolved apes with no value or purpose, then I guess the powerful can eliminate the weak at their will.

    . . . In an online interview with the UK Independent, Singer was asked “Would you kill a disabled baby?” He responded, “Yes, if that was in the best interests of the baby and of the family as a whole. Many people find this shocking, yet they support a woman’s right to have an abortion.” (Bauer)

    I can’t even imagine the horror they will face when they realize the mistake they’ve made.

    This could just be the next progression of the inhumanity of “choice” as I’ve laid out in a previous post, The (In)Humanity of Choice. What the heck, it’s just a choice, right? Shouldn’t medical and social “experts” be allowed to choose who has the right to live or die?

    Uh, let’s dissect that a little. I think “choice” was a PR stunt, the greatest PR stunt perhaps, to fool the self proclaimed intellectuals into supporting abortion. And what does Pro-Abortion have to do with murdering disabled infants? Mr. Singer uses the abortion argument to bolster his own! “Singer said, ‘One point on which I agree with opponents of abortion is that, from the point of view of ethics rather than the law, there is no sharp distinction between the foetus and the newborn baby.’" (Westen)

    If they are truly Pro-Choice advocates then why not advocate for the Choice to not where your seat belt while driving?

    Why not advocate for the Choice to pay our taxes or not?

    Why not advocate for the Choice to drive around town as fast as we desire?

    Why not? Because it isn’t about a freedom of Choice, it’s just about a freedom to Choose what they want to choose. They are not Pro-Choice, they are Pro- whatever the object of the choice is. In this case it’s abortion, murder, euthanasia, etc. . .

    We don’t want to infringe on anyone’s sexual freedom, right? But do people understand that freedom comes with a cost? In the case of America’s democratic freedom, it came at the cost of many lives, and it still does. In the case of sexual freedom it comes at the cost of possible disease, possible pregnancy, and possible mental anguish from out of wed-lock sexual relationships. If you are willing to pay the price and live with the consequences of your Choice, then I guess you’ve earned the freedom to choose. But eliminating a mistake or consequence (I call IT a CHILD) because you are unwilling to live with it is immature and inhumane!

    And what then are the criteria for whether you have the right to live or not? Is it only blue eyed, blond haired individuals? (I’d be ok then!) I mean seriously, the “Hitler” label get’s thrown around a lot these days, but this really is in line with his ideology. Who defines disabled? Deafness, blindness, or whatever the fault of the day is?

    I have a friend at church that’s been disabled since birth. He is a young man now, and my life is richer for knowing him. All of God’s people have value and purpose.

    First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. . . they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.” Therefore, they take life for granted and Choose to do with it what they please.
    (2 Peter 3:3, 5)

    But Jesus will return, and we will all be judged. “Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
    (2 Peter 3:17-18)

    Jesus can forgive you and grant you life to the fullest! Just call on Him. I once thought as the humanists do. If the blood of Jesus can cleanse me, it can cleanse anyone. Thank you Lord Jesus.


    Works Cited:

    Bauer, Gary. “End of Day Report”. Email 9-14-2006. http://amvalues.org/

    Westen, John-Henry. “Princeton Professor Singer: And I repeat, I would kill Disabled Infants”. LifeSite News. Posted 9-12-2006 by wagglebee: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1700324/posts



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    Friday, September 15, 2006

    Book Review - "Because They Hate"

    book review By Stefan Kanfer

    "Muslims in the Arab world have a saying, 'First comes Saturday, then comes Sunday.' Every Muslim in the Middle East knows exactly what this means. This is their way of saying that first they'll get the Jews (who observe Sabbath on Saturday), then they'll get the Christians (whose Sabbath is Sunday)."

    This is not the statement of a paranoid or xenophobe. Gabriel knows whereof she piques. She is a Christian raised in Lebanon, and taught, as a child, that the Jews were the very devil. Then came a war that pitted the Muslims against the Christian Lebanese. She got to experience first hand the brutality of the conqueror, the atrocities and suffocation of anything resembling freedom. Rescue came from Satan-Israel, the nation that opened its doors and its heart to her and her family.

    Since then she has made a close study of the enemy-radical Islam-and of its malign intent. Area by area, country by country, she examines the predator:



    Bookstore Resources:

    Voices Behind the Veil “. . . the real experience of Muslim women at every stage of life: as children, wives, mothers, sisters and religious adherents. This work documents Muslim attitudes toward women, such as ‘genetic inferiority,’ and presents Christ as their Savior.”

    Infidel “. . . circumcised as a child, educated by radical imams, really could have led to a wretched life, but she escaped and transformed herself into an internationally renowned spokeswoman for the rights of Muslim women.”

    The politically incorrect guide to Islam and the crusades “. . . the reader is taken into a courageous investigation of Islam.

    Because they hate "A compelling and captivating personal story with a powerful lesson about threats to freedom in our time."--R. James Woolsey, Director of Central Intelligence, 1993-95

    More on Islam. . .

    Related Links:

    Way to win the war on terror

    Crisis in Sudan

    Works Cited:

    Kanfer, Stefan. http://stefankanfer.org/


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    Weekly ReCap 9-15-2006

    Wow! We have celebrated two births by friends this week. Definately a week to celebrate life and the Giver of Life!

    • Weekend Fun - Fall and Football
      Navy, Bears, and family walks in the park.
      Read more. . .

    • Sept. 11 2006 - Tribute for Patriots Day
      Read more. . .

    • Mid-Week Devotional, 2 Peter 3:5
      Read more. . .

    • New Life - New Family
      Celebration of new life, Psalm 139.
      Read more. . .

    • Randy Stufflebeam for Illinois Governor 2006
      A glowing endorsement from Tom Roeser.
      Read more. . .

    What a wonderful week. I pray everyone has a great weekend.


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    Stufflebeam for Governor 2006

    Thought I would pass along this glowing endorsement for Randy.

    From the blog of Tom Roeser:

    S-t-u-f-f-l-e-b-e-a-m.

    For those of us who have felt they have no recourse for governor in this election but leaving the slot blank, I submit the write-in candidate Randy Stufflebeam, the former Marine from Belleville who represents the Constitutional Party. I have had serious reservations about the Constitutional Party’s national leadership under Howard Phillips who embraces the idea of a theocratic state…but once Randy gained the chairmanship of the party in Illinois he made a firm line of demarcation from the national ground and got rid of some local nuts. His getting rid of them reminds me of how Hubert Humphrey kicked out the radical left cum Communists from the party before he unified it as Democratic-Farmer-Labor. Randy brings with him the brisk attitude of authentic downstate rural unaffectedness which is refreshing. Watching Randy now, I’m convinced that he is satisfactorily doing three very important things:

    First, he has begun to build a sound, mainstream party for conservatives that can stand on its own as the New York Conservative Party did in its early formation. Second, he is building a political home for those who have been fed up with the state leadership of the Republican party which has drifted into nihilism and the relativist chase of the lobbyist dollar-both with donations and contracts-that has been the undoing of the party of Lincoln since Ogilvie. Third, at age 46, he is a bright and infectiously witty and adroit spokesman as witness his superlative appearance on my radio show Sunday. His family is a great asset. Suffice it to say they’re not country-club Republicans. I for one would greatly enjoy seeing his wife Lisa as Illinois’ First Lady and their daughter Crista who accompanied them to the radio studio the state’s First Teen-Ager. Just dreaming.

    Randy’s thumbnail biography: Born in Chicago 46 years ago…grew up in the small town of Canton, Illinois…attended public schools but got his diploma from a Christian school…reared in the Church of the Nazarene…his father a long distance trucker…attended Olivet Nazarene College before joining the Marines in 1980…trained as an anti-tank assault man…later trained by the Marines as a computer expert…He and his wife Lisa (they were childhood sweethearts in Canton) married, lived in California for ten years while he was in the Marines…then moved to Atlanta Georgia where he was assigned as a Marine…worked part-time as a disc jockey there on a country-western station…then moved with his family to Okinawa where he spent four years…retired from the Marines in 2003 after 23 years and moved to Belleville

    More: elected Republican precinct committeeman there…got inspired by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore who wanted to put the Ten Commandments in the state capitol…noted that Moore was backed by the Constitution Party…set up the Illinois franchise of the party…became its chairman…purged theocratic nuts from the party…with his wife has three daughters, once pof whom is married to a deputy sheriff in Florida…one in college studying to be a special education teacher for the handicapped…the youngest, 15, in Belleville high school.

    He’s plain-talking and well-informed. Pro-life…supporter of all amendments but especially the 1st and 2nd…opposes NAFTA/CAFTA…supports the Dick Armey plan to eradicate the federal income tax…opposition to legalized gambling…just the kind to build a future conservative grassroots movement.

    Me? I’m staying a Republican-but feel a third party…or more correctly, a second… is required. The March primary proved to me that a safe harbor is greatly needed. The need is so great for a refuge for us conservatives that I want to be known as an ally in the up-building of the Constitution Party. If from this twig it expands it roots and sprouts leafy boughs, it will serve as a viable third party option in the same way the Conservative Party did for some years in New York. At the least it will keep the Republican party honest by serving as an alternative bargaining chip…at most it will supply a fertile field for training of young conservatives.

    The Blagojevich operation wanted to supply paid operatives to get Randy Stufflebeam on the ballot. The offer was turned down. For now, even if it is a write-in option, it is important for those of us who have simply had it with Thompson-ism cum Ryan-ism. The lachrymose behavior of Mayor Daley and Jim Thompson…shedding tears along with a “Sun-Times” Op Ed writer Monday over their good friend Ryan’s conviction…convinces me that only a Constitution Party as it is presently directed by Randy can give Illinois voters a whiff of fresh air. I will be glad to do what I can to further Randy’s cause and, more importantly, the building of what is to be hoped as a vital third force in Illinois politics. Shortly he will be required to choose a Lieutenant Governor candidate which is required for state parties fielding candidates under state law. Go to his website: www.runrandyrun.

    I have invited both Republican and Democratic nominees for governor to come on my program but nothing has happened. My next step is to get the independent candidates to debate-the Green party’s candidate for governor who will be on the ballot, Rich Whitney, and Randy Stufflebeam of the Constitution Party.

    “Thomas F. Roeser, president of his own corporate relations firm, and Op Ed contributor to the Chicago Tribune, is radio talk show host, writer, lecturer, teacher, and former vice president of The Quaker Oats Company of Chicago, whose newspaper columns have appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times and the Wall Street Journal.”

    http://tomroeser.com/blogs/blogview.asp?blogID=22871

    Related Links:

    Christian Politics, Illinois Governor 2006: http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/08/christian-politics-illinois-governor.html

    We need new leadership! Illinois Governor 2006: http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/05/we-need-new-leadership-illinois.html

    Illinois Governor 2006: http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/03/illinois-governor-2006.html

    Illinois Campaign Reform: http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/03/illinois-campaign-reform-2006.html




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    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    New Life - New Family

    Praise God!
    We are celebrating the birth our friends first child today! What a miracle!

    Since the birth of our son I come to tears for every new birth I hear about.

    We praise you God,
    For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother's womb.

    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

    My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place.
    When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

    your eyes saw my unformed body.
    All the days ordained for me
    were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

    How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!

    Psalm 139:13-17

    I pray your blessing on this new family, Lord.


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    Wednesday, September 13, 2006

    Mid-Week Devotional - 2 Peter 3:1-18

    Read: 2 Peter 3:1-18

    Scripture

    2 Peter 3:5

    But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.” (NIV)

    They willfully ignore this: long ago the heavens and the earth existed out of water and through water by the word of God.” (HCSB)

    Observation

    There are many theological camps regarding last days and end times. I personally think it’s this simple: Since Jesus’ first coming until his return, we are in the ‘last days.’ There will be wars, natural disasters, and scoffers (v. 3).

    Scoffers are those that don’t think Jesus will return, or that willfully or deliberately deny God’s creation (v. 5-6)! This is the evolution vs. creation battle. The evidence is the same, which are you going to believe?

    But God isn’t uninvolved, He is being patient so that more people will have the opportunity to be saved (v. 9). And Jesus will return unannounced and with a bang (v. 10)! So be prepared (v. 14, 17-18).

    Application

    Don’t be discouraged by scoffers. I must confess that there are days when it just seems very discouraging and infuriating to see people so deliberately deny the evidence for their own selfish purposes (v. 3). But there is no reason to be discouraged. Scripture tells us there will be scoffers. We must continue to engage them with love and share the good news with them that we were created by a loving God that has a purpose for each of us! Be on guard and grow in the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Prayer

    Heavenly Father, thank you for your patience for it has saved me! I pray you would keep me strong in your grace and peace as I confront scoffers. I pray I would have a loving heart as I share your love for them. Thank you Lord. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray – Amen.



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    Sunday, September 10, 2006

    Weekend Fun - Fall and Football!

    I love fall! When the temperature cools and the breeze picks up so you can turn the AC off and open the windows. . . and you know what that means: FOOTBALL!

    Navy had a great game Saturday. They beat Massachusetts 21 to 20. A game that close is always awesome to watch! Navy is 2-0 now. It's hard to catch the Navy games on TV, so I found a great internet site that streams the games live and free:
    http://navysports.cstv.com/


    Da Bears play a classic battle with Green Bay in Green Bay today at 3 (CST). Should be a great game.
    Update: The Bears shutout Favre, 26 to 0!


    Besides the wonderful weather and football, our friends gave birth to their second child today. Praise God! Never has God's splendor been more obvious to me than when our son was born.

    Also, and truly more important than football, are the fall walks in the park with my wife and son. We had a relaxing and fun family weekend.

    I pray everyone had a great weekend and that everyone will have a great week. Stay close to God and marvel in His splendor this football season! Go Bears!




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    Friday, September 08, 2006

    Weekly ReCap 9-8-2006

    It's been a good week. The Fall season gets busy very fast. I still think its my favorite season though.




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    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    Patriot Day - Sept. 11th

    Monday, September 11th 2006 is Patriot Day.

    On the 5th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks and in honor of Patriot Day, I thought I would compile posts related to both.



    • First, if you haven't yet, go see the World Trade Center movie!
      Read more. . .

    • Second, I love this poem. Here is the ending, do you know what its from?

      Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
      Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
      Blest with victory and peace, may the Heaven-rescued land
      Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
      Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
      And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
      And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
      O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
      Read more. . .

    • Third, this years Memorial Day tribute.

      We cherish too, the Poppy red
      That grows on fields where valor led,
      It seems to signal to the skies
      That blood of heroes never dies.
      - Moina Michael
      (Merchant)

      Read more. . .

    • Fourth, unfortunately, we need to be reminded to rise above political affiliations.
      Illinois Governor 2006: For those that have entangled themselves to a political party, you have a tough choice.
      Read more. . .

    • Fifth and finally, we are not alone. There are so many others that suffer in ways I can not even imagine, at the hands of Islamic Extremists. Do not forget their plight lest it happen to us!
      Read more. . .

    I pledge allegiance to the flag
    When we recite the Pledge, we are promising to be faithful to the ideals of our country.

    Of the United States of America
    The flag symbolizes our fifty states joined in a common bond to fulfill those ideals.

    And to the Republic for which it stands,
    We elect representatives who govern for a time and are accountable to us for the job they do.

    One Nation under God,
    Our founders understood that the government does not give us our freedom. Our freedom ultimately comes from God, and our government was established to secure that God-given freedom.

    Indivisible,
    We pledge ourselves to stay together as a country, even when we disagree.

    With liberty and justice for all.
    We commit ourselves to such liberties as the freedom to worship, freedom to assemble, and freedom to speak. We also commit ourselves to justice which means being fair and right in our judgment of people.

    Gateways to Better Education Pledge Poster:http://www.gtbe.org/store/index.php/sku/1.html (Buehrer)


    Holman Christian Standard Bible
    Specialty Devotional Bibles!
    Firemen, Police, Soldier, Sailor Bibles and more!



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    Lessons on Parenting in Peoria


    Parenting is hard work. Come take a break and explore what the Bible says about Parent/Child relationships.

    Series Starts Sunday, Sept. 10th
    Services at 8:00am, 9:30am, and 11:00am
    www.richwoods.org



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    Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    Mid-Week Devotional - 2 Peter 2:1-22

    2 Peter 2:1-22

    Scripture

    2 Peter 2:1

    “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” (NIV)

    “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves.” (HCSB)

    Observation

    There will be false teachers among us! (See also: Matthew 24:11, Mark 13:22,23)
    v. 2: They will have many followers, i.e. lead many people away from Christ.
    v. 3: They will try and exploit the faithful.

    We have to remain true, diligent, and faithful through the trials. God will rescue the faithful just as he rescued Noah and Lot.
    v. 5-9: God punished the wicked but saved the righteous.


    v. 20-22: They will get their just punishment from the Lord!

    Application

    We must be aware that there are going to be people that pretend to be teachers of Christ, but are really in it for personal gain and have rejected the true God. They will attempt to alter scripture and reduce the glory of Christ Jesus. So we must be prepared to stand firm! Read your bible daily so you can test what teachers say against scripture. Do not be easily pulled away by messages that are pleasing but not true!

    Prayer

    Heavenly Father, protect me from false teachers. As the scripture says, “teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands.” (Psalm 119:66) Grant me wisdom and discernment that I may rebuke false teachers. Thank you God for your perfect Word and your perfect Son. In His name I pray – Amen.



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    Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    Crisis in Sudan

    I just can’t understand why the U.N. continues to side with evil. In this day and age you would think we would confront genocidal evil swiftly and resolutely! Unfortunately it’s not so. Relative morality has caused us to become weak. We fear making a judgment even against people that slaughter another people because they are different than them.

    By Sher Zieve – Sudan’s new Islamic led government is reported to be stepping up its genocide against the country’s population. Arab Janjaweed militia groups are said to have been dispatched to crush civilians in farming villages, before UN peacekeepers arrive.

    The increased efforts of the government that recently seized power in Sudan is said to be an attempt to “finish off” government opposition groups before the UN can deploy its troops. The Seattle Times reports that rebel leader Abubakar Hamid Nur said: "There is no peace at all. There is a new phase of atrocities happening. What they did in Abuja is not a sustainable peace."Due to the ongoing war in Sudan, over 450,000 people have recently been killed and 2 million are reported to be homeless.

    Here is how you can help today:

    Our staff are reporting that a dominant religious group [Muslims] in Sudan, which is hostile to Christians, is right now planning to offer refugee survivors food and clean water, but at the price of conversion!

    Considering what hundreds of thousands of refugee families are facing as they return from camps to their homes in southern Sudan––burned-out houses, no food or water, and barren land––conversion can, understandably, seem to parents like a small price to pay as they struggle to feed their children.This is why your provision of much-needed aid to share Christ's love is so vital.

    As desperate families freely receive food and other critical aid that you've helped provide, they experience, in a concrete way, the Truth that JESUS Christ has already paid the price. Thank you for all that you have done in Darfur, western Sudan to offer comfort and hope to so many who are enduring tremendous hardships. Thousands of refugees returning home are amazed that your gifts of food are free to all, not just to Christians, and they want to know more about the Source of this compassion. (Zook)
    Please help if you can: http://give2.ccci.org/project/index.php?project=976


    Works Cited:

    Zook, Duane E. CEO, Global Aid Network. Campus Crusade for Christ. http://give2.ccci.org/fundappeal/index.php?fa=548

    Zieve, Sher. “Sudan Government Steps Up Genocide”. TCV News. September 05, 2006 06:58 AM EST http://www.theconservativevoice.com/article/18014.html


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    Sunday, September 03, 2006

    Offering and Communion Meditation

    I shared the Offering and Communion meditation at church today. I used a personal experience in my walk this past week and thought I would share it with you here.


    1 Peter 3:11 “and he must turn away from evil and do good. He must seek peace and pursue it,” (HCSB)

    Offering
    I had a tough week. I had a server die. It was a hardware failure that caused complete loss of everything on the server. I was able to keep internet access, payroll, hr, and accounting systems running within a couple hours, but because the server completely failed, it was going to take a day for the new equipment to arrive, and a day to reconfigure it before email would be back up and running.

    There was a passage of scripture that helped me through this trial, it was 1 Peter 3:11 (a reference to Psalm 34). This isn’t your typical comfort passage, but an action passage. And I caught myself using this passage during this past week.

    My faith already told me that Jesus was going to be there with me to see me through this trial, and that he wouldn’t give me more than I can handle.

    But this is an action passage: Turn, Do, Seek, and Pursue. It is an instruction on how to put your faith into action. So when the 20 or 30th person poked their head in my office and asked “is it fixed yet”, I was able to turn from the anger and frustration, which was telling me to throw something at them, and instead I pursued peace by putting on a smile, and I did something good by politely communicating the situation even though I had already told the same story dozens of times.

    This morning lets put our faith into action during offering. Let’s worship and praise God by proclaiming we trust Him with our tithes and offerings.

    Communion
    We are preparing for communion. And once again I would like to reflect on 1 Peter 3:11.

    These are the actions we should continually take to check our motivations.

    As we prepare for communion, we should reflect on our intentions and motivations. We should be turning from sin and preparing to do good.

    And as we participate in communion, individually and as a fellowship in the priesthood of saints, we are seeking and pursuing or Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    Turning from sin, doing good, seeking and pursuing the peace our Savior offers is our living act of worship. Eat the bread and remember Jesus’ body broken for us, and drink the juice and remember Jesus’ blood spilled for us.

    All for the glory of God!
    Thank you for your promises and your comfort, Lord. In my Lord and Saviors name, Jesus Christ, I pray - Amen.





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    Friday, September 01, 2006

    Converge Peoria Update

    Passing along an update from Jeff Schwarzentraub about the Converge Event:

    Prayer Meeting
    Jeff Schwarzentraub Sep 01, 2006

    Last night we had about 50 people attend our prayer gathering at Dream Center Peoria...It was awesome...Our hope is that next month we will have closer to 200 people in attendance.

    Please plan on being there next month September 28th at 6:30
    ...Your students will walk away with a deeper hunger for God and a greater experience with our Savior.

    God is moving!!!
    A week from Sunday will kick-off our training in Germantown Hills...There is a ground-swell of activity...Continue to pray that God will help us get the word out soon. I am meeting with the Journal Star next week about a possible article in the paper... Pray that God would use it to get the word out to reach our City!

    God bless,
    Jeff

    Remember: all donations made to the Romans 15:4 Project in the month of September will be given to support the Converge event! Peoria Church Unity and Mobilization Outreach Event! I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention this awesome training and outreach event for Peoria’s youth! Don't Miss This One!! Individuals, group leaders, youth leaders, everyone needs to get involved in this event here in Peoria!Read more. . .


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    Weekly ReCap 9-1-2006

    Not too many posts this week. Had an absolutely crazy week at work. But we did have a lot of comments this week. Hope you enjoy, and I pray you have a wonderful weekend.

    • Weekend Fun - A great movie: Joshua
      Read more. . .

    • Christian Politics - Illinois Governor 2006
      Lot of comments on this one! Fortunately, we have a third option here in Illinois. Randy Stufflebeam is the only Pro-Life Pro-Family candidate for Governor this year! He will be a write-in candidate.
      Read more. . .

    • Mid-Week Devotional - 8-30-2006
      2 Peter 1:1-21
      These verses in 2 Peter give as a way to show our love for God and increase in knowledge of Him.
      Read more. . .

    Remember: all donations made in the month of September will be given to support the Converge event!
    Peoria Church Unity and Mobilization Outreach Event!I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention this awesome training and outreach event for Peoria’s youth! Don't Miss This One!! Individuals, group leaders, youth leaders, everyone needs to get involved in this event here in Peoria!
    Read more. . .



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