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

Monday, October 30, 2006

White Ribbon Against Pornography Week

White ribbons symbolize purity of thought.
Wear a White Ribbon Against Pornography for the week of Oct. 29 through Nov. 5.

White Ribbon's purpose is to increase public awareness of the harm done by exposure to pornography.

I think of this as a supply and demand issue. If there is no demand there would be no supply. No addicted run-away girls would be exploited into the pornography business. Remember, all girls and women are Christ’s children. Is that how His children should be treated?


Many parents and children/teens are not aware of the quickness of pornography addiction, the ease of acquiring inappropriate pictures or sexual information, etc.

Inappropriate images can't be erased from the mind and they influence actions.

Children/teens need to abandon the "everybody's seeing these things" mindset and be responsible for what goes into their minds.

Sexual addiction can occur within a week and easily within three months for many people.

Entry into pornography addiction can be inappropriate swimsuit or lingerie images.

"Crash and Tell" and other Internet safety ideas can protect children. Knowledge gives parents and children/teens the wisdom they need in today's world.
Learn more:

WRAP: http://www.wrapfamily.com/wrap.htm

The Defenders: http://www.thedefendersusa.org/

Shared Hope: http://defenders.sharedhope.org/

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Weekend Fun - 10-29-2006

What a great weekend!
Spent Saturday in school, but Saturday night was spent at my parents with all of Luke's cousins in their halloween costumes. What a great time.

Sunday was a day of worship and rest. It's good to cherish the little things and moments with the family, and it's good to renew our strength in the Lord.

"My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken." (Psalm 62:1-2)


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Friday, October 27, 2006

Weekly ReCap - 10-27-2006

Eleven days to election day, so political posturing is in full swing. The stakes are high for us "values voters". Shouldn't we all be values voters? What's the alternative? Hmm, interesting thought.

Any way, it's been a pretty powerful week!
  • Weekend Fun - Tennessee Time
    Took a trip to Tenn. last weekend to visit family.
    Read more. . .

  • Left Wing Liberal Republican for Governor? No, we have a choice!
    Stufflebeam is the ONLY candidate that is pro-life, supports the protection of our children, and promotes traditional marriage.
    Read more. . .

  • Mid-Week Devotional - Romans 5:12-6:23
    Let the Holy Spirit guide you to life transformation.
    Read more. . .

  • Pray for the faithful that refuse Islam
    What would you do if given the choice of death (or worse!) or conversion?
    Read more. . .

  • Who Should Control Your Kids, You or the Government?
    As Bill O’Reilly says, “You see, the Founding Fathers didn't want the government to raise your kids. They wanted you to do it. . . But as I've been telling you, common sense and tradition in America are under assault by powerful, secular progressive forces.” Remember, a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil! Vote right, and sleep tight no matter what the outcome is!
    Read more. . .
The stakes are high! I pray you have a fantastic weekend. No need to worry no matter our situation, "but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:3-5)


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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Who Should Control Your Kids, You or the Government?

A lot of political issues these days concern parental rights, from public schools to abortions. Where do you stand? Where do our Illinois Governor’s candidates stand?

Bill O’Reilly reports on a current issue in California, “In two weeks, Californians will vote on Proposition 85. It's very simple: It would require all parents to be notified if their under-aged daughters have asked a doctor for an abortion. Let me repeat: The proposition doesn't say the parents have to approve, they just have to be notified” (O’Reilly).

Simple enough isn’t it? Wouldn’t you want the parental right to be notified if your 13-17 (or younger) year old daughter were attempting to have an abortion?

Where do our Governor’s Office Candidates Stack UP: (FTN)

Randy Stufflebeam
- Pro-Life 100%- No exceptions
- Parents need to regain [the] right over the education of their children
- Fully supports school choice including public schools, charter schools, private schools, and home school

Blagojevich (Democrat)
- Pro-Abortion, Opposes parental notification for a minor to have an abortion
- Preschool for all program [Get them young, indoctrinate them early!]
- Opposed to parent's rights in education and school choice

Topinka (Republican)
- Pro-Abortion
- Opposed to parent's rights in education and school choice


If you don’t fight for your rights, you will lose them!

Write-in Randy Stufflebeam for Illinois Governor 2006!
http://www.runrandyrun.com/

As Bill O’Reilly says, “You see, the Founding Fathers didn't want the government to raise your kids. They wanted you to do it. . . But as I've been telling you, common sense and tradition in America are under assault by powerful, secular progressive forces.” Remember, a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil! Vote right, and sleep tight no matter what the outcome is!

Write-in Randy Stufflebeam for Illinois Governor 2006!
http://www.runrandyrun.com/

* See the Family Taxpayers Network Side by Side comparison:
http://www.familytaxpayers.net/index.cgi?p=art&id=927



Works Cited:

FTN. “A Side-By-Side Comparison of the Top Four Candidates for Governor of Illinois”. Family Taxpayers Network. http://www.familytaxpayers.net/index.cgi?p=art&id=927

O’Reilly, Bill. “Should You Control Your Children or Should the Government?”. Fox News. Thursday, October 26, 2006: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,225379,00.html


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Pray for the faithful that refuse Islam

European news sources report that “Youths” are attacking police. Just last night they burned a public bus. My favorite headline is “Vandals Set Buses on Fire in Paris Suburb” (Reuters). Since when do vandals hold people with guns to their heads?

What will you do when it’s your bus burning, or you’re the one behind the gun? Bargain with the “Youths”?

In June, the Islamic Court Union started taking power in the Somalia region, and their leader publicly proclaimed that ALL citizens are subject to Shariah law, not just Muslims. “Islamic rituals and dress codes have already been enforced by Muslim militias” (VOM).


Christians Liban Gala, John Warsame and Mudde Ali were shot in front of a cheering crowd. Verses from the Koran were read over their bodies, which were later dragged behind Toyota pickup trucks, dumped and half-eaten by wild dogs. (VOM)

How would you react? Here is another story from a different source. This time it’s about your children:


Reports explain that one Somali Christian refugee, who shall be referred to as A, left Somalia with his family in fear of his life. Since their arrival in Kenya, A’s family has repeatedly been threatened by supporters of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC).

In addition, three of A’s children have been abducted by his Muslim relatives, and allegedly returned to Somalia, where it is thought that they may have been forced to enrol in a ‘rehabilitation’ centre. Two more of his children were abducted, but were rescued when the authorities were pressurised (sic) to act.

A is currently recovering from an assault in July that left him comatose, yet this week on 27 September A and his family were attacked again, tells CSW. (Blake)


Pray for the faithful that are under constant struggle and persecution. Pray that they would have courage and hold fast to the hope of Jesus Christ. Pray that the Western Nations would have the courage and moral conviction to stand up to the evil pressures that are closing in on them.

Sign up for your free VOM Newsletter: http://www.persecution.com/


Works Cited:

Blake, Daniel. “Somali Christian Refugees in Kenya Face Increasing Persecution”. Christian Today. Posted: Friday September 29, 2006, 8:20 (BST): Christian Today

Pham, Peter J. "Update: Islamic Radicals Still on the March in Somalia". Posted October 26,2006: Family Security Matters.

Reuters. “Vandals Set Buses on Fire in Paris Suburb”. Thu Oct 26, 2006 9:01 AM BST: Reuters World News

VOM. “Somalia: Muslim Takeover Intensifies Jihad on Christians”. Voice of the Martyrs. October 2006.



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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mid-Week Devotional - Romans 5:12-6:23

Read: Romans 5:12 – 6:23

Scripture

Romans 6:15

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!” (NIV)

What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not!” (HCSB)

Observation

Paul asks a rhetorical question, since we are saved by God’s grace and not works of the law, should we continue to sin (break the law)? The answer is absolutely not!

By freely choosing God’s gift of grace we have become slaves of righteousness (v. 18). Obeying and living by God’s commands results in sanctification (v. 19).

Application

Honor God’s free gift of grace by obedience. Grow in holiness (sanctification). Let the Holy Spirit guide you to life transformation.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I pray that you would search me and show me where I need improvement. Let your Holy Spirit guide me in holiness. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray - Amen


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Monday, October 23, 2006

Left Wing Liberal Republican for Governor? No, we have a choice!

Attention Values Voters!
How would you define a left wing liberal Republican?

I would define left wing liberal Republican as Illinois’ candidate for Governor.
- Supports taxpayer funding of live human embryonic stem cell research.
- Supports adding “sexual orientation” and “gender related self-identity” to the existing Human Rights Act, thus elevating homosexual, bisexual and transgendered behavior to protected civil rights status.
- Supports allowing pharmacists to dispense “morning after” pill without obtaining a doctor’s prescription.
- Opposes an Illinois constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman and preclude recognition of “civil unions” or domestic partners.
- Supports legislation to provide grants for “comprehensive sex education” which will include instructing students from 9-17 about condom usage and pregnancy prevention.

How does that line up with your values?

WE DO HAVE A CHOICE FOR GOVERNOR—RANDALL STUFFLEBEAM

Stufflebeam is the ONLY candidate that is pro-life, supports the protection of our children, and promotes traditional marriage. Unlike the major party candidates, he is not in the pockets of special interest groups or political allies. He favors the elimination of taxes that have gone way beyond what the Constitution had intended. He wants to eliminate the pork and wasteful, negligent spending from the budget. He demands fiscal accountability and reduction of the bureaucracy.

It's no longer time for a change. It's time for a revolution!

VOTE Nov. 7 and Write-in RANDALL STUFFLEBEAM for governor!

www.runrandyrun.com

Related Posts:

We Have a Choice for Governor: Randy Stufflebeam
http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/10/we-have-choice-for-governor-randy.html

Works Cited:

Illinois Family Institute Voters Guide. http://www.illinoisfamily.org/news/contentview.asp?c=33055


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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Weekend Fun - Tennessee Time

Jessica, Luke, and I piled in my parents van and drove down to Tennessee with them to visit my dad's mom, Grandma.

What a great time! Four generations together laughing and loving. It can't get any better than that.

"Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate."
(Psalm 127:4-5)


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Friday, October 20, 2006

Weekly ReCap - 10-20-2006

Had a good week, except for the minor plumbing disaster we had last night! I really think plumbing is out to get me!
  • We Have a Choice for Governor – Randy Stufflebeam
    On the moral front, whom do you vote for when neither of the major party candidates will support an amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman, yet both support abortion on demand, embryonic stem cell research, and sex education that does not promote abstinence first and foremost.
    Read more. . .

  • Mid-Week Devotional - Romans 4:1 - 5:11
    Read more. . .

  • Join the Battle for North Korea!
    What are you doing to join the battle for the people of North Korea?
    Read more. . .

  • Converge 06 Update
    It has been a while since I've posted an update about the Converge Peoria 2006 event. I'm kind of on the sidelines and am just amazed at God's work in this event.
    Read more. . .


Our family is on the road this weekend. I pray you and yours have a wonderful weekend!

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Converge 06 Update

It has been a while since I've posted an update about the Converge Peoria 2006 event. I'm kind of on the sidelines and am just amazed at God's work in this event. I'm passing along this update from Cole, our Greater Peoria Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes rep.:

Dear FCA Prayer Team,

As many of you know, there is a huge outreach event for our area on the night of October 29th starting at 6:30.

The big event is called Converge 06 and will take place in the Peoria Civic Center Arena. Many ministries including FCA have been partnering to reach the Peoria Area youth with the Good News of Jesus Christ through this event. Over 700 youth and adults have gone through the training that has taken place and plan on inviting their friends.

We need your help in many ways. First, we need prayer for this event that many lives will except Jesus Christ as their Savior through Converge. Also, there are many ways in which a person can fill a need for volunteers. Event counselors are wanted and need to attend a one hour meeting to learn the strategy and how to use the materials. That meeting will be Thursday, October 26th from 7:30-8:30 at the Dream Center in Downtown Peoria. Please checkout www.convergepeoria.com to find all the information you need. You may also be linked to the converge sight through http://www.peoriafca.org.

Thank you!
Your Teammate in Christ,
Cole Espenschied
Greater Peoria Area FCA
4100 N. Brandywine, Suite 210
Peoria, IL 61614
(309) 222-0374

Thanks, Cole!
I encourage everyone in our community to get involved in some way!


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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Join the Battle for North Korea!

"If you believe in God, you go to Heaven when you die. If you don't, you go to North Korea." Pastor Lee, a former prisoner of North Korea

What are you doing to join the battle for the people of North Korea?

From Voice of the Martyrs email, 10/18/2006:

If you've been watching the news, you know President George W. Bush and other world leaders are now working through diplomatic channels to address the North Korean government and its people, led by Communist dictator Kim Jong Il. While we pray for the success of these negotiations and for a just peace agreement, VOM continues to present the only hope for true peace that exists for North Koreans: the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.
Please visit this site and learn more about how you can join the battle in North Korea today! This will remind you of just how blessed by God America really is. I encourage you to watch the video of a public execution in North Korea. Please watch with discretion. Some may be disturbed by what they see, but the truth must be told.
https://etools.ncol.com/a/vomso/bg_vomso_wdbm_280.html


Resources:

Voice of the Martyrs.
http://www.persecution.com/

Persecution Blog.
http://www.persecutionblog.com/


Related Posts:

North Korea
http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/10/north-korea.html


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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mid-Week Devotional - Romans 4:1 - 5:11

Read: Romans 4:1 – 5:11

Scripture

Romans 5:1

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” (NIV)

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (HCSB)


Observation

We are declared righteous by our faith in Jesus. It is through Jesus that we are made right with God and are at peace with Him.


Application

Peace with God opens the door for a relationship with Him. The peace treaty has been signed by God through His Son Jesus, and by us through our faith. Now we can start working on developing a new relationship.


Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for your peace offering of grace carried out by your Son. I pray for and long for a deep and meaningful relationship with you. In Jesus’ name I pray – Amen.


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Monday, October 16, 2006

We Have a Choice for Governor – Randy Stufflebeam

HAD ENOUGH OF EVER-INCREASING TAXES AND CORRUPTION?

Are you happy with the taxes you pay? Do you like how they're being used? From the Chicago Tribune, 6/29/06: “Sen. Rickey Hendon's sister got $25,000 to run a drama program that wound up with only four students. They were going to put on a play--but skipped that idea.”

How about Judy Baar Topinka's plan to increase school funding by $8 billion over 4 years (Tribune 8/21/06), paid for in part by the expansion of casino gambling? Or Gov. Blagojevich spending an additional $45 million for “free” preschool this year, though it was not free for taxpayers (SunTimes 7/26/06)?

Are you satisfied with “politics as usual” and the corruption that goes with it (e.g., Gov. Blagojevich under investigation for illegal hiring practices—Associated Press 6/30/06)?

On the moral front, whom do you vote for when neither of the major party candidates will support an amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman, yet both support abortion on demand, embryonic stem cell research, and sex education that does not promote abstinence first and foremost (Topinka said “no way” to abstinence education, preferring instead Planned Parenthood-type education that includes condom instruction in schools-- 9/2/06 WLS' TomRoeser.com)?

WE DO HAVE A CHOICE FOR GOVERNOR—RANDALL STUFFLEBEAM

Stufflebeam is the ONLY candidate that is pro-life, supports the protection of our children, and promotes traditional marriage. Unlike the major party candidates, he is not in the pockets of special interest groups or political allies. He favors the elimination of taxes that have gone way beyond what the Constitution had intended. He wants to eliminate the pork and wasteful, negligent spending from the budget. He demands fiscal accountability and reduction of the bureaucracy.

It's no longer time for a change. It's time for a revolution!

VOTE Nov. 7 and Write-in RANDALL STUFFLEBEAM for governor!

www.runrandyrun.com


Voting for Randy Stufflebeam is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Step 1: Ask the election judge to see the list of write-in candidates.

If you don’t see the name Stufflebeam on the list, have the election judge contact the County Clerk to verify that Stufflebeam IS A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE. Otherwise, the election judge may not count the vote.

Step 2: Find the write-in block of the ballot. In the space provided write:

R A N D Y S T U F F L E B E A M

Step 3: Make sure to mark an “X” the box next to the name. (Ask about this, some election officials have said the box need to be “filled” in!)

NOTE:If you have any questions or are unsure about any aspect of writing in Stufflebeam on the ballot to make sure it counts, ASK the Election Judge!

NOTE: You are allowed to take this piece of literature (as well as your other notes) with you into the voting booth when you vote!

NOTE: By law, the election judge is supposed to make an honest attempt to ascertain the voter’s intent. Please write neatly!


Related Posts:

Stufflebeam for Governor
http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/09/stufflebeam-for-governor-2006.html

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

Special Update – Randy Stufflebeam
http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/08/special-update-stufflebeam-for.html

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

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

A Plea to stop supporting the two party system!
http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/01/illinois-governor-2006.html



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Friday, October 13, 2006

Weekly ReCap - 10-13-2006

Took on some tough topics this week and had the opportunity to host the Christian Blog Carnival!
  • Weekend Fun - Peace and Celebration
    Read more. . .

  • School Violence
    Trying to tackle some ethical questions, and advice from Family Security Matters concerning our childrens safety.
    Read more. . .

  • The Christian Blog Carnival
    A Carnival of blog posts by Christian bloggers.
    Read more. . .

  • Take a stand for Christmas this year!
    Passing along a message for American Family Association. A non-offensive way to share the reason for the holy day season.
    Read more. . .

  • The Islamic Nation of France?
    Peace is to be sought. The question is how do we make peace in this situation?
    Read more. . .

  • Special Announcement from our FCA Rep!
    Interview Saturday morning [10/14/06] at 9:00 am, WPEO 1020 AM Radio.
    Read more. . .

Another week down. I pray everyone has a peaceful weekend. God bless.


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FCA Announcement - Radio Interview this weekend!

Special announcement from our Fellowship of Christian Athletes rep!
Dear Prayer Team,
A few weeks ago I wrote to you about the movie "Facing the Giants." Kristi and I had a chance to view the movie and really enjoyed it.

Yesterday, I took offensive coach Nick Taylor of Eureka College Football to an interview with WPEO 1020 AM Radio. We talked about the movie, FCA's coaches ministry, and FCA in general. It was pre-recorded and will play on Saturday morning [10/14/06] at 9:00 am if you want to listen. It is a great opportunity to hear a coach’s heart toward FCA and his passion to serve Christ.

Please, pray that the Lord would speak to those listening that might want to learn more or be involved in FCA.

God bless!
Cole Espenschied
Greater Peoria Area FCA
4100 N. Brandywine, Suite 210
Peoria, IL 61614
(309) 222-0374

Saturday morning [10/14/06] at 9:00 am, WPEO 1020 AM Radio.



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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Islamic Nation of France?

Peace is to be sought. The question is how do we make peace in this situation? Is it by glossing over the truth? By rejecting the obvious reality in order that we not offend anyone? I think admitting the truth is the first step to making peace.

The battle continues in France, while mostly unreported in America. As predicted!
An average of 14 officers per day are said to be injured by Muslim radicals, with 2,500 police already wounded in 2006.

Calling the violence an undeclared “Intifada”, the Telegraph.co.uk reports: “…a police union declared that its members were "in a state of civil war" with Muslims in the most depressed "banlieue" estates which are heavily populated by unemployed youths of north African origin. (Zieve)
Gary Bauer confirms:

The streets of France are again ablaze as radical Muslims are waging an undeclared “intifada” against the French police. . . One police union official recently said, “We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists. This is not a question of urban violence any more, it is an intifada, with stones and Molotov cocktails.”
Meanwhile, How far are we from dealing with the terrorist threat here at home once again? Now that North Korea has gone nuclear, and has already said it would sell the technology to anyone willing to pay, how long before a fishing vessel, 100 or so miles off our coast line, will be launching nukes into our mainland?

Dr. Tawfik Hamid, an Egyptian physician, Islamic scholar and former extremist Says Ayman al-Zawahri (al-Qaida's #2 man) announced last month that Americans must chose: Convert to Islam or continue to receive acts of terror. . . We Americans must be wary of 'Good Americans' who accept Islamic propaganda! . . . When Iran gets the material and knowledge to develop nuclear weapons, we won't have to worry about global warming. (Lemmo)

Guess the “Good Americans” PC crowd are really driving us into a dilemma.

"Fundamentalism" is a word that came from the heart of the Christian religion. It means faith that goes by the word of the Bible. Fundamental Christianity, or going with the Bible, does not mean going around and killing people. There is no fundamental Islam. There is only Islam full stop. The question is how the Koran is interpreted.

All of a sudden we see that the greatest interpreters of Islam are politicians in the western world. They know better than all the speakers in the mosques, all those who deliver terrible sermons against anything that is either Christian or Jewish. These western politicians know that there is good Islam and bad Islam. They know even how to differentiate between the two, except that none of them know how to read a word of Arabic. (Sharon)

Peace is to be sought. The question is how do we make peace in this situation? Is it by glossing over the truth? By rejecting the obvious reality in order that we not offend anyone? I think admitting the truth is the first step to making peace.

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (emphasis added, NIV)

Related Posts:

INDONESIA: Muslims Intensify Attacks on Christians
http://www.persecutionblog.com/2006/10/indonesia_musli.html

EGYPT: Kidnappers Forcing Teenage Girl to Convert to Islam
http://www.persecutionblog.com/2006/10/egypt_kidnapper.html

Tortured
http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/09/tortured.html

Because They Hate
http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/09/book-review-because-they-hate.html

Crisis in Sudan
http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/09/crisis-in-sudan.html

Way to Win the War on Terror
http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/08/way-to-win-war-on-terror.html

True Evil Oppressors of our Day
http://mdcyguy.blogspot.com/2006/05/true-evil-oppressors-of-our-day.html



Works Cited:

Bauer, Gary. “End of Day Report 10-6-06”. American Family Values. Email 10/6/2006. http://www.family.org/

Harp, Stacy. “Americans Must Convert to Islam or Receive Acts of Terrorism”. Persecution Blog. Posted 10/9/2006: http://www.persecutionblog.com/2006/10/americans_must_.html

Lemmo, Joseph. “’Good Americans’ ignore Muslim’s words and deeds”. YourHub.com. Posted 10/8/2006: http://denver.yourhub.com/BROOMFIELD/Stories/Sound-Off/Write-a-Column/Story~134935.aspx

Sharon, Moshe. “Agenda of Islam – A War Between Civilizations”. American Congress for Truth. Emailed 10/9/2006. http://www.americancongressfortruth.com

Zieve, Sher. “Muslim Violence Increasing in France”. The Conservative Voice News. Posted October 6, 2006: http://www.theconservativevoice.com/article/19064.html


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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Take a stand for Christmas this year!

Passing along a message for American Family Association. A non-offensive way to share the reason for the holy day season.

At a time when many want to turn the birthday of our Lord into simply another holiday, here is your way to make a silent reminder.

These attractive magnets and buttons feature Mary and the baby Jesus with the phrase Merry Christmas, It’s Worth Saying.

They are a non-offensive way to remind those you come into contact with that there is a Reason for the season. Order enough to give one to your family and friends, even to every member in your church. Display the magnet and wear your button with pride.

http://emailoffers.store.afa.net/a/jgroup/bg_store-afanet_afaso-1004-2-bp_276.html



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Christian Carnival

Welcome to this weeks Christian Carnival!


I am honored to be your host. Let's open with a prayer from Psalm 90:

Heavenly Father -

Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

(v. 2)

I pray, Lord, that our musings here today would honor you and draw each of the writers and readers closer to you -

Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
(v. 12)

In Jesus Christ's name I pray - Amen.

Let's see what kind of conversations we come across at the water cooler!

Reflection, Spiritual Training, Teaching, and Discipline

Phil Steiger from Every Thought Captive offers The first in a series of posts and open discussion on the topic and need of Christian discipleship: Reflections on Discipleship.

Henry gives us a great lesson on Always praying in the Spirit at Participatory Bible Study Blog

Vynette from The Race is Run starts a series on The Hope of Israel.

At Every Thought Captive is a warning that Cults, heresy or Eastern philosophy are not necessarily the church's biggest concerns. Sometimes the greatest threat comes from within, all the more deceptive because it assumes the appearance of righteousness. Read The Pharisee Factor.

Continuing the series on Biblical Inerrancy, Hammertime lays out how those who do not believe the Bible is inerrant consider God's Word in "Alternate Views of Scripture".

Do you know how to count? So what's different about counting now that you're a Christian? This week at Light Along the Journey John thinks about what Paul told the Philippians about counting in the post Christian Counting.

Semicolon offers a discussion on Christianity Today's list of "50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals."

Vaughn at Vons Takes is in discussion on When is it right to be right?

Seeker submits Lessons Learned from Jet Li's FEARLESS at two or three . net.

Everyday Liturgy has a post by Thom reflecting on What Happens When There Is Heartbreak?

Some reflections on singling out newcomers in church at Parableman.

People view God in different ways, but Jan, at The View From Her, explains why it's important to understand what you believe.

Weekend Fisher at Heart, Mind, Soul, and Strength offers some thoughts on the long, dark road we walk in times of trouble in Blessed Are Those Who Mourn.

Chris Alexion, of Welcome to the Fallout", details how Sophocles uses crisis in the play to reveal his characters' true natures in Crisis in "Antigone".

And how about some hymns performed by the Cardinal Wright Oratory Choir for some spiritual exercise by Ales Rarus.


Politics

Some green political issues offered by Donald Bosch from The Evangelical Ecologist.

Will pro-life voters, with the obvious and/or predicted meltdown of Congressional Republicans, still vote Republican? Read Elections and Abortion at Brain Cramps for God.


Family Issues

Great post by David at Lingamish on ways to become a better husband!


Current and Social Issues

At the Jack Yoest Blog you will find Charmaine Debates on the Foley Homosexual Behavior Against the Human Rights Council.

Barbara at Tidbits And Treasures ponders has it become easier for us to 'go to church' on the Internet, rather than getting up and out to a local body of believers to be edified? Are local churches becoming taboo?

David Fisher of Pilgrim Scribblings sends the following post: CONTEMPLATIVE CHRISTIANITY and ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN...Can they co-exist?

At Imago Dei, Amanda has a book review that every Christian should read. Under the Overpass.

Rey from the Bible Archive wants to know how much ethnic diversity is behind your pulpit.

A Lancaster County native explores the lessons of faith that can be gleaned from the Amish schoolhouse shooting in Not Just A Rush Hour Nuisance at Fidler On The Roof.

And Romans 15:4 Project looks at the ethical questions and moral societal convictions during School Violence.

Some background into the Islamic Just War from Mark Olson at Pseudo-Polymath.


Late Additions

When will the world end, who is the Antichrist and who will be the Beast? Chicken Soup for the Apocalypse from Allthings2all.


In Conclusion (Psalm 90)

I am humbled by the quality and sincerity of your posts this week. It's all for the glory of God!

Heavenly Father, I pray you are glorified by our efforts.

May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
(v. 16-17)



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Monday, October 09, 2006

School Violence

Recent school violence, especially at the Amish school where passivity is sought, begs the question of some faithful, is aggression allowed?

To me, it has never been a question. I have always assumed that yes, I would take an aggressor’s life in order to save a neighbor even if it cost me my own.

Matthew 5:39 “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (NIV)

Matthew 5:43-44 “You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (NIV)

Would you take a life to save another?

Are the above passages commands to not act aggressively in any situation, or merely instructions to not act out of anger and hatred?

The greatest command is to love God and love your neighbor. If someone is attempting to rape my neighbor and I do nothing to stop it, have I shown love? Wouldn’t aggression for defense of neighbor or self be an act of love and justice?

KenC of Lefhand Righthand quotes Francis Schaeffer, “Pacifism in this poor world in which we live - this lost world - means that we desert the people who need our greatest help.” . . . “If I desert her to the bully, I have deserted the true meaning of Christian love - responsibility to my neighbor.”

My opinion is that as long as you are not acting out of anger or hatred, but are acting out of love and justice (righteous anger?), then aggression is not only allowed, but expected.

Read about the courage and valor of the Amish girls:
In the face of such an evil and incomprehensible crime as that which recently occurred in Amish country, dignity and courage stepped forward in the person of one 13-year old girl, Marian Fisher, who faced her sister's and her friends' executioner and said, "Shoot me first". Until this moment, we have known this sort of valor only among our military. (Taber)
http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/homeland.php?id=316675

I pray for the fallen and for all of the families and communities that have been impacted by recent school violence. I pray that our nation would turn away from the values sets and relative morality that are so prevalent today and would turn back to honor, valor, righteousness, and courage.

1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (NIV)


Resources:

Do Not Rely On Government to Protect Your Children: Do It Yourself, by Susan Konig, Family Security Matters. Posted October 4, 2006.

Works Cited:

KenC. Lefthand Righthand. Posted Wednesday, October 04, 2006: http://lefthandrighthand.blogspot.com/2006/10/amish-and-intruder.html

Taber, Carol A. “Shoot Me First”. Family Security Matters. Posted October 6. 2006: http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/homeland.php?id=316675

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Weekend Fun - Peace and Celebration

Had a peaceful weekend. Had a lot of time with the family even though I spent three and a half hours on homework saturday and probably another two hours tonight.

Our son is growing so fast! We celebrated the birthday of our friends daughter, Happy Birthday Kindrid, and just celebrated life and all of God's blessings.

"Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp." (Psalm 149:3)

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Weekly ReCap - 10-06-2006

Scary times, but if you look close, you can see the hope laid out before us!

  • Weekend Fun - Family and Community
    What a great weekend!
    Read more. . .

  • Go See "Facing the Giants" Today!
    Special announcement from Cole at the Greater Peoria Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes!
    Read more. . .

  • North Korea
    We should take the threat of a nuclear North Korea very seriously. The people of that nation are not humans with rights, but a natural resource to be exploited by Kim Jong Il.
    Read more. . .

  • Mid-Week Devotional - Romans 3:1-31
    We are not saved by religious legalism, but by faith in Jesus Christ.
    Read more. . .

  • Free Web and Email Hosting Service
    Read more. . .
I pray everyone had a good week, and I pray you have a great weekend.


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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mid-Week Devotional - Romans 3:1-31

Read: Romans 3:1-31

Scripture

Romans 3:20

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” (NIV)

For no flesh will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, for through the law [comes] the knowledge of sin.” (HCSB)

Observation

God’s law makes us aware of our sin. Trying to uphold the law does not save us from the punishment of the law, it enables us to see our brokenness and need for a savoir. We all fall short of the goal (v. 3:23).

Application

We are not saved by religious legalism, but by faith in Jesus Christ (v. 22-26).

We must understand that we can not be saved by following the law or some set of rules and procedures. Salvation is a free gift, an undeserved gift to all people that place their faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is evident by a sincere life change to uphold the law, but we are not saved by our performance, but by God’s grace alone.

Surrender yourself to Christ today.

Prayer

Thank you God for your love and grace. I do not deserve to be saved by my actions. I pray you would keep me humble, Lord. In our Saviors name I pray – Amen.


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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

North Korea

“North Korea said Tuesday [10/3/2006] that it will conduct a nuclear test to bolster its self-defense capability amid what it calls increasing U.S. hostility toward the communist regime.” (Fox News)

The focus of the October 2006 Voice of the Martyrs newsletter is North Korea. One of the stories that made me catch my breath is about a boy named “Pencil” (names changed for security).

He was arrested for giving another family a Bible, which are forbidden. “At the police station, the questions quickly turned into interrogation, then torture. . . They offered to let him walk out the door if he would renounce Jesus. Pencil steadfastly refused. ‘I have invited Jesus into my heart,’ he told them. ‘I cannot deny Him.’” Pencil died in a labor camp before turning 20. But many people, including one of the prison officers that was involved in Pencil’s torture, turned to Christ because of his unfailing faith (Nettleton, 4).

We should take the threat of a nuclear North Korea very seriously. The people of that nation are not humans with rights, but a natural resource to be exploited by Kim Jong Il. It was interesting to learn some of the State Religious teachings of North Korea:

“’Western missionaries eat Korean children. . . North Korea is an earthly paradise. . . other nations of the world are worse off than us. . . Kim Il Sung was a divine being, and his spirit guides the Korean people. . . Kim Jong Il was born on a holy mountain, and his birth was greeted by rainbows and flowers bursting into bloom.’” (Nettleton, 7)


Wow! Learn more about North Korea and support the work of missionaries like Pencil. VOM Bookstore and Crossing Borders

Pray for the persecuted Church in North Korea, but also pray for the persecutors, many of whom know no better.

Why would Bibles be banned? Because “. . . the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-34) And evil dictators would lose control.

Related Posts:
True Evil Oppressors of our day!

Works Cited:

Fox News. “North Korea Announces Test of Nuclear Weapons”. FOXNEWS.COM HOME > WORLD Tuesday, October 03, 2006: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,217237,00.html

Jen. “A Love for Enemies”. Persecution Blog. September 29, 2006: http://www.persecutionblog.com/2006/09/a_love_for_enem.html

Nettleton, Todd. “They All Went Back”. Voice of the Martyrs. Bartlesville, Ok. October 2006.


christian commentary
christian unity
family values
christian values
Romans 15:4 Project mission

North Korea Torture and Christian Persecution
North Korea Nuclear Ambitions
North Korea Human Rights



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Monday, October 02, 2006

Go See "Facing the Giants" Today!

Special Announcement from Cole at Greater Peoria Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes!

FCA Prayer Team, Hope your all doing well.

Weeks ago I found out about a movie that is out in theatres this weekend. At that time it was not scheduled to be shown in this area. I found out last night that this movie is showing in Peoria this weekend.

Why am I so excited about a movie?
The movie is called "Facing The Giants." It is about a high school football coach who decides to start coaching biblically after losing at the start of the season. It was produced by a church down in Georgia and from what I understand, Hollywood is giving it a sink or swim chance this weekend. If you have the time and ability to check this film out, it will only help to let the movie industry know that we want these kind of films to be shown.

I am particularly excited about this movie because it seems to be exactly what we desire for our coaches within FCA's coaches ministry. We want them to learn to be a biblical coach and coach as Jesus would coach. Please pray for this movie to bring glory to God and for our area coaches. There are several coaches out there who are currently coaching this way or desire to coach this way but have giants that they face. We want to help them "stay in the game."

Check out the trailer at www.facingthegiants.com

Your Teammate in Christ,
Cole Espenschied
Greater Peoria Area FCA
4100 N. Brandywine, Suite 210
Peoria, IL 61614
(309) 222-0374


I personally haven't seen the movie yet, but it sounds Great! I hope to see it this week. Go to Plugged In Online for a review and here is the listing for the Rave.


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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Weekend Fun - Family and Community

What a wonderful weekend!

Had a chance to spend some time with my wife's family, and lot's of time with my son. And Sunday afternoon we had our church's picnic. It is so good to see so many friends and family in one place. There were a lot of kids! It's so awesome to see! What a great community.

"Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth." (Malachi 2:15)


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