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, August 29, 2008

Weekly ReCap – 08-29-2008 – Without God

Without God. . .

"Without God there is no virtue because there is no prompting of the conscience. . . without God there is a coarsening of the society; without God democracy will not and cannot long endure. . . If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under."
– – President Ronald Reagan – August 23, 1984

Cry Out America!
  • A Call to Fast and Pray!
    The 9-11 Cry Out America prayer event is just 2 weeks away! I commit to a regiment of fasting and prayer from this day forward and invite everyone else that is able to do likewise.
    Learn more. . .

  • Petition to Free Pastor Bike
    Together, our voice can make a difference. Please follow the link below to learn more, and please forward this email to your friends.
    Learn more. . .

  • Possible Category 2 or 3 Hurricane Headed for Gulf Coast
    Keep an eye out for future announcements. I would like to have an introductory presentation to the DiRT ministry toward the end of September (possibly Sat. Sept. 20th) and plan an introductory DiRT deployment for October or November.
    Learn more. . .

  • The Truth Project
    The Truth Project live simulcast training
    event takes place on September 27, 2008 at Lincoln Christian College & Seminary Chapel in Lincoln, IL, and will equip you to lead this Christian worldview, DVD-based, small-group curriculum.
    Learn more. . .

  • Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 22
    James, in verse 15, evaluates all he has heard through the teachings of Scripture and quotes from Amos, coming to a judgment that settles the issue. Knights and Ladies, it is a valuable reminder of how important it is to have God’s Word stored in our minds and hearts and to use it to inform our decisions and judgments! Keep up the good work.
    Read on. . .
Reading:

Listening to. . . My Pandora Quick Mix

Grateful for:

- Dreams. I don’t much like the sleeplessness that comes along with some of the crazy dreams I have, but I am grateful for the inspiration that God gives me through them.


{ Bible Knights! }




All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 22

Week 22

“This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.” (Acts 15:2)

Disputes and controversy (as translated in the HCSB) are nothing new. How did they solve it? Testimony of God’s work (v. 3), debate (v. 7), more testimony (v. 8-12), and Scripture (v. 13-18).

James, in verse 15, evaluates all he has heard through the teachings of Scripture and quotes from Amos, coming to a judgment that settles the issue.

Knights and Ladies, it is a valuable reminder of how important it is to have God’s Word stored in our minds and hearts and to use it to inform our decisions and judgments! Keep up the good work.

Monday --- Acts 17
Tuesday --- Acts 18
Wednesday --- Acts 19
Thursday --- Acts 20
Friday --- Acts 21

“Theological illiteracy and unbelief have dramatically increased among evangelical Christians in the past three decades. Churches are in desperate need of a fresh infusion of truth, a vigorous teaching of biblical doctrine. Without it, we and our children will have nothing to offer this truth-deprived world.”
(“The Grace and Truth Paradox: Responding with Christlike Balance” by Randy Alcorn)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)


{ Bible Knights Quest! }




All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Truth Project

GET READY TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

The Truth Project live simulcast training event takes place on September 27, 2008 at Lincoln Christian College & Seminary Chapel in Lincoln, IL, and will equip you to lead this Christian worldview, DVD-based, small-group curriculum. Your host will be Dr. Del Tackett, D.M., creator of The Truth Project, who will teach on:

- Living the Christian worldview in daily life.
- The nature and character of God.
- God's design for all of life: work, science, family, government, art, ethics and more.
- The great questions of life:
-- Who is God?
-- Why am I here?
-- Where does evil come from?

To further help you become an effective leader, each participant will receive the 12-lesson The Truth Project Curriculum DVD (a $79 value), which is only available to leaders and small group participants.

The regular cost is $119 for individuals or $149/couple. Special bulk pricing is also available.
For more information & tickets go to:
http://www.ccn.tv/TruthProject/Tickets.htm
or call 877.235.0753 or contact Donna at 217.648.2915

P.S.

Donna Bishop, the contact person above, will be in Peoria at the county court house for the Sept. 11th Cry Out America prayer event if you would like to learn more in person!


{ Bible Knights! }




All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Possible Category 2 or 3 Hurricane Headed for Gulf Coast

There is a joke about the accuracy of weather predictions, but the unpredictable and violent storms of nature are no joke and should remind us of our dependence upon God.

I love God’s dialogue with Job, “Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? . . . Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'?” (Job 38:4,8-11)

Unfortunately, until the Lord returns and reconciles all of creation to Himself we are going to have to deal with the troubles of this fallen world. But Jesus said “take heart!” because He has overcome the world. (John 16:33)

So, our charge is to keep the faith and share the hope even in the face of hopelessness.

RCC DiRT Update!

Keep an eye out for future announcements. I would like to have an introductory presentation to the DiRT ministry toward the end of September (possibly Sat. Sept. 20th) and plan an introductory DiRT deployment for October or November.

In case you missed it, here is my June DiRT deployment to Wisconsin report, I hope it gets you excited about the DiRT ministry!

Blessings,Mick

{ Bible Knights! }




All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Petition to Free Pastor Bike

From Voice of the Martyrs:

Pastor Bike, as he is affectionately known, is considered to be one of the most outspoken evangelists in China. He is a bold believer willing to cross borders, hand out Christian literature and Bibles, share Christ with those under age 18 and lead thousands to Christ. All these actions are considered "illegal" in communist China.

On August 6, just two days before the Olympics began, Pastor Zhang "Bike" Mingxuan was arrested, along with his wife and a coworker.

In response to these arrests, The Voice of the Martyrs and China Aid Association have launched a petition drive to free these three Christians and to let the Chinese government know that the world is aware that these Christians are being detained.

Together, our voice can make a difference. Please follow the link below to learn more, and please forward this email to your friends.

{ Free Pastor Bike: freepastorbike.com }

{ Bible Knights! }




All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Call to Fast and Pray!

Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.
- Joel 1:14

It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
- George Washington, October 3, 1789

The 9-11 Cry Out America prayer event is just 2 weeks away!

I commit to a regiment of fasting and prayer from this day forward and invite everyone else that is able to do likewise.

I will pray daily specifically for personal repentance and repentance of the Church, that Christ would draw us near and awaken His Spirit within us, and that God's favor would be upon our county and nation.

I will take a fast from coffee from thursday Aug. 28th through thursday Sept. 11th, and I will fast from all food for 24 hour periods on thursday Aug. 28th, Sept. 4th, and Sept. 11th.

Please join me by making a similar commitment!

{ Cry Out America! Peoria County }

Fasting:

The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” (Matthew 9:14-17)

The purpose of fasting as described on gotquestions.org, “should be to take your eyes off the things of this world and instead focus on God. Fasting is a way to demonstrate to God and to yourself that you are serious about your relationship with Him…. Fasting is not intended to punish your flesh, but to focus on God. By taking our eyes off the things of this world, we can focus better on Christ”

"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:16-21)


{ Bible Knights! }




All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Weekly ReCap – 08-22-2008 – Population Control

Population control. It’s a popular practice in Despotic nations such as China, North Korea and others, but not here in the enlightened west, right?

The Egyptians used infanticide to control the Hebrew population during the time of Moses’ birth. As Stephen, the first Christian martyr, describes, “[The new king of Egypt] dealt deceitfully with our race and oppressed our forefathers by making them leave their infants outside so they wouldn't survive.” (Acts 7:19 HCSB)

That was the non-surgical form of abortion at that time. After a child was born, just leaving it to the elements until it died.

You may be inclined to think, “Yeah, but that was several thousand years ago, we are much more advanced now!” Really? You think so? Please read the stories below!

I think the greatest moral failure of America in the last century is that we, the Church included and especially, have accepted the lie that murdering our unborn children is an acceptable practice!

What if you could control a segment of the population by selling them the lie that they should abort (murder) their own babies because it is an acceptable form of ‘birth control’ and a ‘right’?

Good news though! I was dying in my sin, we are all dying in our sin, but our Heavenly Father did not give up on us! He did not leave us to the elements to die. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue us! He did not give up on me, and He won’t give up on you either. Call on Him and He will answer!
  • Chinese police arrest Prayer Band Pastor!
    On Aug. 6, Pastor Bike was arrested while trying to deliver medicine to his ailing wife. His wife and another pastor were also arrested. Get your free prayer band and pray for China!
    Read more. . .

  • Cry Out America! Pray on 9-11
    Christians must get serious about prayer, repentance, and spiritual awakening. 'Our hope for the day is it will be a moment of repentance for the church,' says Wilson. . . Learn more and participate!
    Learn more. . .

  • Back to School Blessings
    With the 2008-2009 school year upon us, it's a good time to start thinking about the opportunities you will have to bless the teachers, administrators, parents and children within your sphere of influence.
    Read more. . .

  • Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 21
    Praise God! He welcomes all of us! Knights and Ladies, keep in God’s Word and keep listening for the Holy Spirit to guide us to walk more closely to our King, Jesus Christ, in all we think and do!
    Read more. . .
Reading:

- “How Babies Were Left to Die: Nurse Recounts Horrors of Infanticide Practice Barack Obama Protected” by John Jalsevac, LifeSiteNews
“At the same time that the National Right to Life Committee has unearthed documents proving that Barack Obama repeatedly voted against a bill that would have protected children born alive after an attempted abortion, Illuminati Pictures has released a video of an interview with a nurse who witnessed the very practice that Obama protected while in the Illinois senate. . . Jill Stanek was a nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois in 1999 when she discovered that babies born alive after failed abortions purposely were being left to die in the ‘soiled utility room,’ which, says Stanek, is a room where biohazard materials and soiled linens are disposed of. . . ‘Barack Obama can play word games, but at the end of the day his opposition was responsible for living babies being left out to die, and that is indefensible,’ concludes Stanek.” Read on. . .

- “Obama Cover-up Revealed On Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Bill” Commentary by NRLC, LifeSiteNews
“New documents just obtained by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) prove that Senator Obama has for the past four years blatantly misrepresented his actions on the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection bill. . . Now, the uncovering of the Senate Committee Action Report sheds new light on Senator Obama's four-year effort to cover up his real record of refusing to protect live-born survivors of abortion.” Read on. . .

- “Echoes of 1860: is ‘Life’ a Question of State’s Rights?” by David Barton and Rick Green, 02/2008, WallBuilders
“In the original governing principles set forth in the Declaration. . . the right to life is one of three specifically identified inalienable rights; . . . The original documents – both the Declaration and the Constitution – make clear that the primary purpose of government, at all times and in all situations, is to protect those few inalienable rights. . . if the philosophy originally set forth in the Declaration of Independence and subsequently secured in the Constitution is rejected – the belief that there is a God, that He gives inalienable rights to man, and that the purpose of government is to protect those rights at all times (even when the states refuse to do so) – then there is no longer a unique American philosophy of government that will distinguish us from the rest of the world. . . The Founding Fathers established federalism to preserve states’ rights, but they also placed the protection of inalienable rights far above the level of states’ rights. Candidates who desire to lead the nation should follow the Framers’ example and conform to the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, protecting life and marriage through the constitutional process those early leaders wisely provided.” Read on. . .

- “Candidate Comparisons: Pro-Life” Dr. Baldwin, Presidential Candidate, Constitution Party
“Pro-life is not a campaign slogan for me. As President, I will immediately work with Congress to pass the Sanctity of Life Act which would strip the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in all cases involving the life of an unborn child. When that happens the unborn child would once again be declared a person under the law and cannot be harmed without due process of law. Appointing Pro-life Supreme Court Justices will no longer give the Republicans a phony rallying cry and the evil deeds of the U.S. Supreme Court on January 22, 1973 will be set aside.” Read on. . .


Grateful for:

- My personal Savior, Jesus Christ. I was dying in my sin, we are all dying in our sin, but our Heavenly Father did not give up on us! He did not leave us to the elements to die. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue us!


{ Bible Knights! }




All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 21

Week 21

“Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.’” (Acts 10:34-35)

Praise God! He welcomes all of us!

“When [those of the circumcision] heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, ‘So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.’” (Acts 11:18)

What I was drawn to in this passage this week is that the Jews were skeptical at first about gentiles (non-Jews) being granted salvation, but they heard Peter’s testimony and weighed it against Christ’s teachings and they “praised God!” They were humble enough in spirit and guided by the Holy Spirit to allow correction.

Knights and Ladies, keep in God’s Word and keep listening for the Holy Spirit to guide us to walk more closely to our King, Jesus Christ, in all we think and do!

Monday --- Acts 12
Tuesday --- Acts 13
Wednesday --- Acts 14
Thursday --- Acts 15
Friday --- Acts 16

“By conveying the Bible to people . . . we certainly do them a most interesting act of kindness. We thereby enable them to learn that man was originally created and placed in a state of happiness, but, becoming disobedient, was subjected to the degradation and evils which he and his posterity have since experienced. The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed – that this Redeemer has made atonement ‘for the sins of the whole world,’ and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy, has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift and grace of God, not of our deserving, nor in our power to deserve. The Bible will also [encourage] them with many explicit and consoling assurances of the Divine mercy to our fallen race, and with repeated invitations to accept the offers of pardon and reconciliation. . . . They, therefore, who enlist in His service, have the highest encouragement to fulfill the duties assigned to their respective stations; for most certain it is, that those of His followers who [participate in] His conquests will also participate in the transcendent glories and blessings of His Triumph.”
(John Jay, an American Founding Father, “Address at the Annual Meeting of the American Bible Society,” May 13, 1824, qtd. at WallBuilders.com)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)


{ Bible Knights Quest! }




All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to School Blessings

From Gateways to Better Education:

Back to School Blessings

With the 2008-2009 school year upon us, it's a good time to start thinking about the opportunities you will have to bless the teachers, administrators, parents and children within your sphere of influence.

Some of you may have a desire to lead an after-school Bible club for kids, or join a prayer group to pray for your children and their schools. Still others may be teacher's helpers or volunteers on the playground.

There are many different ways you can become involved in your children's education. You can help them understand that they don't have to leave God at home, and that, yes, they can pray and read their Bible at school. Whatever your involvement in your children's education,
the Five Steps of F.A.I.T.H. used by Gateways Campus Partners is a great tool to help you this school year.

Yours for Keeping the Faith in Public Schools,
Eric Buehrer
Gateways to Better Education



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All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cry Out America! Pray on 9-11

Event to get Christians praying for America on 9-11
by Allie Martin, OneNewsNow, 8/19/2008

"Billy Wilson, a spokesman with AAA, says Christians must get serious about prayer, repentance, and spiritual awakening. 'Our hope for the day is it will be a moment of repentance for the church,' says Wilson, 'a moment of public humility, and a moment of real unity and prayer, specifically for a new generation of Americans to really discover Christian faith all across the United States.'"

{ Peoria County Cry Out America! } { National Cry Out America! }



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All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Chinese police arrest Prayer Band Pastor!

"Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:19-20)

From a VOM (Voice of the Martyrs) News Release:

Pastor Zhang “Bike” Mingxuan, known for traveling across China on a bicycle to evangelize, was arrested by Chinese police just two days before the Olympics began. Pastor Bike was the inspiration for the recent partnership between The Voice of the Martyrs and China Aid Association to create the Olympic Prayer Band.

Earlier this year, Pastor Bike pleaded with VOM staff to ask Christians to pray for persecuted Christians in China during the Olympics. The pastor voluntarily preaches the gospel openly in China despite being persecuted. He has asked for his identity to be revealed to bring continued attention to the persecution of Christians in Communist China.

Thanks to Pastor Bike’s inspiration and the commitment of concerned Christians across the United States, more than 800,000 prayer bands have been circulated. On Aug. 6, Pastor Bike was arrested while trying to deliver medicine to his ailing wife. His wife and another pastor were also arrested. We have also learned this week that Chinese officials are opening a full investigation of the Olympic Prayer Bands that were distributed to house church members within China. Despite this increased pressure from Chinese authorities, Chinese Christians continue to ask for prayer and to make their plight known.

"'Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.'" (Acts 4:8-10)

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE BAND


180x90_Prayer-Bands-v2


{ Bible Knights! }




All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Weekly ReCap – 08-15-2008 - Prayer

Prayer targets world's 3rd largest mission field: America

'Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure' - D.L. Moody

Cry Out America!
Peoria County Illinois - Sept. 11 2008, Noon to 1pm at the Court House

Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. Joel 1:14

On September 11, 2008 our nation will pause to remember the greatest "wake-up" call in our generation, the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01. As part of Awakening America, a call is being issued for Christians across the nation to mark this significant day in our history with powerful prayer for America and the lost individuals of this country. In every one of the 3141 counties in the United States, during the noon lunch hour on September 11, Christians will unite around their county courthouse to cry out to God with focused prayer for their community, their lost friends and family, and for the spiritual condition of our nation. { Click for Details }
Reading:

- “Exclusive: Incredulous UN Bans Criticism of Islam” by Leslie Sacks, Family Security Matters
The Human Rights Council at the United Nations has now banned any criticism regarding Sharia Law and human rights in the Islamic World. According to President Doru Romulus Costea - and following the efforts of delegates from Egypt, Pakistan and Iran - the Council will no longer tolerate criticism of either Sharia or specific fatwas in the name of human rights. . . Due to this resolution the Council - and thus, perversely, the UN - is endorsing a worldview in which human interpretation and understanding has been placed beyond the pale of critical thinking and investigation as long as it’s part of Sharia Law or the Islamic tradition. Perhaps we should rename the United Nations and call it the “Nations of Islam - United in Unique and Ineffable Perfection.” Sounds appropriate.” Read on. . .

- “Addressing the oxymoron ‘pro-abortion Catholic’" by Marty Cooper, OneNewsNow.com
“‘CINO’ -- or ‘Catholic in name only’ -- is an acronym used to describe a public figure who claims to be a member in good standing of a Catholic church but who supports concepts and actions that directly violate not only scripture but also their own church's codes.” Read on. . .

- “McCain Says He’d Consider Pro-Choice VP” by Associated Press, FoxNews.com
“. . . ‘I feel that — and I’m not trying to equivocate here — that Americans want us to work together,’ McCain added. ‘You know, Tom Ridge is one of the great leaders and he happens to be pro-choice. And I don’t think that that would necessarily would rule Tom Ridge out.’” Read on. . .

- “Sanctity of Life” Constitution Party of Illinois Platform, Plank I.
“We recognize life as a gift of God. The first duty of government is to prevent the shedding of innocent blood. We affirm the legal person-hood of the pre-born, from conception until natural death to include the infirm, and terminally ill without exception.” Read on. . .

Grateful for:

- Grandparents. Loving grandparents that watch the grandkids so that mom and dad can have a date night!


{ Bible Knights! }




All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 20

Week 20

What must we do to be saved?

“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.’
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’” (Acts 2:38-40)

Faith in Jesus Christ, the risen Lord! (Acts 2:22,32,36), repentance of our sins, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

This is one of the simplest messages of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It should be on our hearts and minds at all times to share with others. Keep up the good work!

Monday --- Acts 7
Tuesday --- Acts 8
Wednesday --- Acts 9
Thursday --- Acts 10
Friday --- Acts 11

“Where these marks are present – the preaching of the Word, the administration of the sacraments, the exercise of discipline, and the practice of community – the Church will inevitably transform the culture around it. . . When we are the Church as Christ commands us to be, we change and so does the world.”
(“The Faith: Given Once, For All: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters” by Charles Colson, Harold Fickett)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)


{ Bible Knights! }




All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Weekly ReCap - 08-08-2008 - Light in the Darkness

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . .

Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it. . . The true light, who gives light to everyone. . .

The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
(John 1:1,4-5, 9, 14 HCSB)

I would like to point out two inspirational story excerpts this week that highlight the Light of Jesus Christ in the darkness of the world. Please take a moment to read the excerpts below today.

First is about the growth of the Christian faith in China since the Cultural Revolution that victimized over 100 million and murdered over 1 million, and second is breaking news that a top Hamas leader’s son has seen the Light and converted to Christianity, exposing the darkness of Islam.

Only one post this week.
  • Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 19
    Knights and Ladies, as we continue in God’s Word to transform our minds to His pattern of thinking and not the worlds, I think we need to be mindful of our prayer life as well.
    Read more. . .
Reading:

Inspiration

- “The Faith: Given Once, For All: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters” by Charles Colson, Harold Fickett
“During Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China another Christian community faced a hostile empire. Red Guards, mostly university and high school students, flooded into cities, towns and villages and systematically persecuted anyone they believed in violation of Mao Tse-tung’s Thought. As many as 100 million people were victimized through torture and imprisonment in forced-labor camps; one million were executed. To be caught in possession of a Bible meant torture and imprisonment at the very least. . .

In 1949 when Mao came to power, there were about 4 million Christians in China. Today, there may be as many as 100 million. Henan Province, once considered an ‘atheistic zone,’ was said by the authorities to have caught ‘Christianity fever.’ . . .

I asked a China expert why Christianity took its genuine great leap forward during the darkest days of the Cultural Revolution. He said, ‘Light shines in darkness.’”

- “Top Hamas leader’s son converts to Christianity” by Ethan Cole, Christian Post
“Masab Yousef, son of West Bank Hamas leader Sheik Hassan Yousef, revealed for the first time in an exclusive interview with Haaretz newspaper that he has left Islam and is now a Christian. . . Yousef, who is now 30-years-old, was first exposed to Christianity eight years ago while in Jerusalem, where out of curiosity he accepted an invitation to hear about Christianity. Afterwards, he became ‘enthusiastic’ about what he heard and would secretly read the Bible every day. . .

‘I studied Islam more thoroughly and found no answers there. I re-examined the Koran and the principals of the faith and found how it is mistaken and misleading.’

But with Christianity, Yousef said he could understand God as revealed through Jesus Christ. He said he could talk about God and Jesus for days, but Muslims are not able to say anything about God.

‘I consider Islam a big lie,’ said Yousef. ‘The people who supposedly represent the religion admired Mohammed more than God, killed innocent people in the name of Islam, beat their wives and don’t have any idea what God is.

‘I have no doubt that they’ll go to hell. I have a message for them: There is only one way to paradise – the way of Jesus who sacrificed himself on the cross for all of us. . .’

For his part, Yousef says he hopes to ‘open the eyes’ of Muslims and ‘reveal the truth’ to them about Islam and Christianity with the goal to ‘take them out of the darkness and the prison of Islam’. . .

‘I know that I'm endangering my life and am even liable to lose my father, but I hope that he'll understand this and that God will give him and my family patience and willingness to open their eyes to Jesus and to Christianity,’ Yousef said. ‘Maybe one day I'll be able to return to Palestine and to Ramallah with Jesus, in the Kingdom of God.’”
Read on. . .

Culture

- “Pro-lifers accosted by Chinese authorities a second time” by Jody Brown, OneNewsNow.com
“Associated Press is reporting that authorities in Beijing broke up another pro-life protest on Thursday, the eve of the Olympics. . . ‘We have come here today to be a voice [for those] who have no voice of their own. We are a voice for those who are in prison because of their religious belief. . .’ Swindell is heard -- but not seen -- as she cries: ‘And we're here to speak out for the women that are forced to undergo abortion. We're here to speak out for all those who are persecuted.’” Read on. . .

- “Trans-sexual files complaint against Cleveland, OH” by Jeff Johnson, OneNewsNow.com
“A 53-year-old man has filed a complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission after the City of Cleveland refused to allow him to use the women's locker rooms and restrooms at a local public swimming pool.” Read on. . .

- “Obama Pledges ‘Total Equality’ for Same-Sex Families” by Pete Winn, CNSNews.com
“In recent letters written to homosexual activist groups, the presumed Democratic nominee said he supports homosexual couples adopting babies. Further, he said, he wants to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman – and forbids states from being forced to accept any other definition of marriage under the U.S. Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause. . . ‘He has whole heartedly stepped behind the notion of same-sex marriage, homosexual adoption, ENDA – the employment nondiscrimination act, hate crimes legislation – all of these things that, if they were implanted, would take away religious liberties and freedom of speech and the traditional values upon which our nation was founded,’ Barber said.” Read on. . .


Grateful for:

- Baseball. I am not a baseball fan at all! But, family nights at the ball park eating hot dogs, they are priceless! { Pictures }


{ Bible Knights }




All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 19

Week 19

“They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” (Acts 1:14)

Prayer. Knights and Ladies, as we continue in God’s Word to transform our minds to His pattern of thinking and not the worlds, I think we need to be mindful of our prayer life as well. Try praying before and after your daily reading. Even try praying during your reading as the Spirit moves you or if something in the Word captures your attention.

Let’s prayerfully continue to turn toward God and His Word!

Monday --- Acts 2
Tuesday --- Acts 3
Wednesday --- Acts 4
Thursday --- Acts 5
Friday --- Acts 6

“During Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China another Christian community faced a hostile empire. Red Guards, mostly university and high school students, flooded into cities, towns and villages and systematically persecuted anyone they believed in violation of Mao Tse-tung’s Thought. As many as 100 million people were victimized through torture and imprisonment in forced-labor camps; one million were executed. To be caught in possession of a Bible meant torture and imprisonment at the very least. . .

In 1949 when Mao came to power, there were about 4 million Christians in China. Today, there may be as many as 100 million. Henan Province, once considered an ‘atheistic zone,’ was said by the authorities to have caught ‘Christianity fever.’ . . .

I asked a China expert why Christianity took its genuine great leap forward during the darkest days of the Cultural Revolution. He said, ‘Light shines in darkness.’ . . .

Christians find that the Bible’s authority, its textual integrity, its historical accuracy, and its transformative power attest to its unique status as God’s Word.”
(“The Faith: Given Once, For All: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters” by Charles Colson, Harold Fickett)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

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All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Weekly ReCap – 08-01-2008 – Forced Compassion = Despotism

Forced (and Godless) Compassion = Despotism (tyrannical rule)

A pretty quick look back through history and you see that every human attempt at a socialist utopian society has spiraled into despotism, that is to say tyranny.

Why would we want to try again? “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Says the teacher in Ecclesiastes verse 9. And so it goes.

Forced compassion, and even worse, Godless forced compassion is not compassion at all, but it is socialism. Oh the words sound so good, who could possibly stand in opposition of eradicating poverty, ‘free’ health care, jobs for everyone, etc.? When a politician promises something to one person(s), a tyrant has to take that something from another person(s). And when he promises something to everyone, RUN!

America was, for the better part of 200 years (when it changed is debatable), a Constitutional Republic. It has been changing into a Socialist Republic. And the democrat AND republican political parties and leadership seem intent on continuing the transformation.

It makes my heart weep! The good news is that the perspective of the teacher quoted above, “under the sun,” is a perspective of the hopelessness and meaninglessness of the world apart from God. But we don’t have to live apart from God! We live under The Son, Jesus Christ! And eternal life with God our Father is available through Him! And also, there is a third political alternative, Chuck Baldwin and Darrel Castle of the Constitution Party.
{ Learn more about the The King! }

Godly compassion is altruistic and is the business of the Church not the fallible and corruptible governments of man. Wake Up Church! Cry Out America! Because the silencing of the pulpits has already begun.

Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. (Joel 1:14)

  • Pray for our Nation! In God We Trust!
    Scripture tells us in Psalm 127 verse 1, "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain."
    Read on. . .

  • Mission Field: America!
    Prayer targets world's 3rd largest mission field – America 'Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure' - D.L. Moody If you would like to participate in the organization and development of this event, as a prayer warrior for the event, or to provide equipment or sponsorship funding, please contact me
    Read on. . .

  • Whom Do I Have But You?
    A devotional thought written By Marie Jon '
    Read on. . .

  • Parenting Devotional - Ephesians 6:4
    We parents have a great duty and responsibility, and the authority and power to carry it out. We need to be very cautious that we do not abuse the power for our own misguided motives.
    Read on. . .

  • Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 18
    it sounds pretty important that we understand who Jesus is and the teachings He has left us in His Word. Now, there is a danger to become legalistic here, but I think the solution to that can be found in His Word also! Stay committed Knights and Ladies!
    Read on. . .

Reading:

Inspiration

- “Meet Our Decorated Heroes: God Bless Them! U.S. Army Sgt. Ezequiel R. Mora” Family Security Matters
“Mora’s four Humvee convoy was attacked. An explosively formed penetrator, the most lethal type of roadside bomb, went off just as insurgents fired on the convoy with small arms. . . He directed his vehicle to be turned around to the disabled and burning Humvee. Ignoring the heavy volume of hostile fire, he leapt out to assist the trapped soldiers. . . Because of his courageous actions and steadfast determination, Sergeant Ezequiel Mora helped save the lives of several of his fellow soldiers and as a result, was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor.” Read on. . .


Church

- “Return to Christ, save the country” by Jim Brown, OneNewsNow.com
“Tony Perkins says the only way Christians can change America is by seeking God individually and ‘winning people to the Lord one at a time. . . Literally before us, we're seeing God's institution of marriage being redefined – 5,000 years of human history disregarded. I think that the church needs to be awakened, and that begins with each of us as believers. And as we work alongside of pastors and churches, our hope is that, as a church, that we will repent, that we will take our rightful role in society,’ Perkins explains. ‘But first we must get right with God, and that begins with our personal relationships.’” Read on. . .

{ Join the Cry Out America! Effort today }


Culture

- “Exclusive: The Shadow of Big Brother Enters the Home?” by Gabriel Garnica, Esq., Family Security Matters
“Beware governments bearing gifts - and The Pre-K Act (HR 3289) and the Education Begins at Home Act (HR 2343) are no exceptions. Both measures pretend to be aimed at protecting children from abuse and enriching them with greater education opportunities. Instead, many experts warn that these measures are merely the latest and equally dangerous attempts by the federal government to ‘protect’ children from the influence of their own parents and ‘enrich’ them with the indoctrination and control of that same establishment’s perception, interpretation and spin of reality, be it political, social or otherwise. As parents and American citizens, we should contact our representatives with our concerns. If you think Big Brother is dangerous when he wants to be our brother, imagine how much more dangerous he becomes when he aims to be our parent as well.” Read on. . .

- “State Board of Education Approves New Restrictive Homeschool Regulations” HSLDA
“For the first time in over 15 years, a United States jurisdiction has enacted laws that significantly increase restrictions on homeschooling freedom! . . . Only Board Member William Lockridge voted ‘no.’ When giving his reasons, he exposed the unbridled discretion the Superintendent would now have over homeschoolers. Lockridge likened the new power of the Superintendent over parents as a type of ‘socialism.’Read on. . .

- “Gay ‘Marriage’ and Soft Despotism” by Chuck Colson, Christian Post, July 22, 2008
“In Michigan, a homosexual man is suing two Christian publishers—Zondervan and Tyndale House—for $70 million dollars. Bradley Fowler claims they violated his constitutional rights and caused him ‘emotional distress’ by publishing versions of the Bible that call homosexuality a sin. . . marriage is a pre-political institution, rooted in biology and moral obligations. Sugrue writes, ‘The reality of sex differences between men and women, leading to the potential for offspring, is essential to the pre-political foundation of marriage.’ . . But unlike traditional marriage, ‘same-sex marriage requires a condition of soft despotism to exist,’. . . Sugrue is right: We are already seeing the courts go after institutions and people who refuse to recognize the legitimacy of same-sex ‘marriage’ where it is imposed. State-ordered gay ‘marriage’ is an attack, not only on legitimate marriage, but upon religious freedom and the freedom not to have one’s children indoctrinated into alien ideas about marriage. . . If we do not act, lawsuits against Bible publishers will not any longer be a joke, but a despotic reality.” Read on. . .


Politics

- “Obama As Seen in the Eyes of a Soldier in Afghanistan” CPT. J. P. Family Security Matters, July 24, 2008
“As the Soldiers where lined up to shake his hand he blew them off and didn't say a word as he went into the conference room to meet the General. . . [Obama] again shunned the opportunity to talk to Soldiers to thank them for their service. So really he was just here to make a showing for the American's back home that he is their candidate for President.” Read on. . .

- “Kumbaya falls flat in Berlin” by Star Parker, OneNewsNow.com, July 28, 2008
“The headline on the website of German magazine Der Spiegel about Barack Obama's speech in Berlin: ‘Huge Crowds Left with Mixed Feelings.’ . . Perhaps the realities of Europe delivered an unanticipated surprise to the slick marketing machine driving the Obama presidential campaign. . . He does not seem to grasp that the beauty of freedom is its respect for differences and creation of conditions, legal and political, which allow them to exist, flourish, and provide benefits to all. In fact, politicians with agendas to ‘unify,’ who think they know who and what everyone should be, are invariably those who threaten freedom. . . What is the distinction between the ‘proud citizen of the United States’ and the ‘fellow citizen of the world’? Those in Berlin heard none -- and many went home legitimately confused.” Read on. . .

- “Voight: My concerns for America: Obama sowing socialist seeds in young people” by Jon Voight, The Washington Times Op-Ed, July 28, 2008
“This is a perilous time, and more than ever, the world needs a united and strong America. If, God forbid, we live to see Mr. Obama president, we will live through a socialist era that America has not seen before, and our country will be weakened in every way.” Read on. . .


Grateful for:

- The woman that God gave to be my wife! So committed to her role as a Godly mother.

- Those moments. . . you know, like when Luke says “I wanna play tackle with you daddy!” Thank you, Father God, for those moments!




{ Bible Knights! }




All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 18

Week 18

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15)

Jesus says over and over again, “keep my commands,” and “obey my teachings.”

And John 12:48, “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.”

Man, it sounds pretty important that we understand who Jesus is and the teachings He has left us in His Word. Now, there is a danger to become legalistic here, but I think the solution to that can be found in His Word also!

Stay committed Knights and Ladies!

“Where sincere love to Christ is in the heart, there will be obedience. Love will be a commanding, constraining principle; and where love is, duty follows from a principle of gratitude.” - Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible

Monday --- John 18
Tuesday --- John 19
Wednesday --- John 20
Thursday --- John 21
Friday --- Acts 1

“The central theme of the Old Testament is redemption by grace. But incredibly, the Pharisees entirely missed it. In their rigid emphasis on religious works, they deemphasized the truth of God's grace and forgiveness to sinners, evident throughout the Old Testament. They stressed obedience to law, not conversion to the Lord, as the way to gain eternal life.

They were so busy trying to earn righteousness that they neglected the marvelous truth of Habakkuk 2:4: ‘The righteous will live by his faith.’ They looked to Abraham as their father but overlooked the key lesson of his life: ‘He believed in the Lord; and [the Lord] reckoned it to him as righteousness’ ( Genesis 15:6). They scoured the psalms for laws they could add to their list, but they ignored the most sublime truth of all — that God forgives sins, covers transgressions, and refuses to impute iniquity to sinners who turn to Him ( Psalm 32:1-2).”
(“The Gospel According to Jesus: What Is Authentic Faith?” by John MacArthur)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)


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All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

Parenting Devotional - Ephesians 6:4

Scripture: Ephesians 6:4

4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (NIV)

4 And fathers, don't stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (HCSB)

4 Fathers, don't exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. (The Message)

Definitions:

Exasperate: 1 a: to excite the anger of : enrage b: to cause irritation or annoyance to (m-w)

Provoke: 1 b: to incite to anger 2 b: to stir up purposely (m-w)

Commentaries:

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible
eword.gospelcom.net/comments/ephesians/mh/ephesians6.htm

II. The duty of parents: And you fathers, v. 4. Or, you parents, 1. "Do not provoke your children to wrath. Though God has given you power, you must not abuse that power, remembering that your children are, in a particular manner, pieces of yourselves, and therefore ought to be governed with great tenderness and love. Be not impatient with them, use no unreasonable severities and lay no rigid injunctions upon them. When you caution them, when you counsel them, when you reprove them, do it in such a manner as not to provoke them to wrath. In all such cases deal prudently and wisely with them, endeavouring to convince their judgments and to work upon their reason." 2. "Bring them up well, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, in the discipline of proper and of compassionate correction, and in the knowledge of that duty which God requires of them and by which they may become better acquainted with him. Give them a good education." It is the great duty of parents to be careful in the education of their children: "Not only bring them up, as the brutes do, taking care to provide for them; but bring them up in nurture and admonition, in such a manner as is suitable to their reasonable natures. Nay, not only bring them up as men, in nurture and admonition, but as Christians, in the admonition of the Lord. Let them have a religious education. Instruct them to fear sinning; and inform them of, and excite them to, the whole of their duty towards God."

John Wesley's Notes on the Bible
eword.gospelcom.net/comments/ephesians/wesley/ephesians6.htm

Verse 4. And, ye fathers - Mothers are included; but fathers are named, as being more apt to be stern and severe. Provoke not your children to wrath - Do not needlessly fret or exasperate them. But bring them up - With all tenderness and mildness. In the instruction and discipline of the Lord - Both in Christian knowledge and practice.

Application:

We parents have a great duty and responsibility, and the authority and power to carry it out. We need to be very cautious that we do not abuse the power for our own misguided motives.

I think this passage gets to the "heart" of the parent, what is the motive or intention? Is it for Godly discipline or to intentionally "provoke" anger or wrath?

We need to check out hearts before we discipline. Maybe take a little extra time to pray and ask if the reason for our discipline is Godly and loving.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, you have modeled your love and eternal patience for us. I pray we would seek your example, your council, and your guidence in our role as parents. Anoint us for the task, Father. In Jesus Christ's name I pray - Amen.


Inspired by:

"Shepherding A Child's Heart" by Ted Tripp


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All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.