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

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Advent - November 30 2008

Advent Readings – Year B, from The online Revised Common Lectionary

Year B, 2008 (November to November), then every third year (A, B, C). Next is 2011

First Sunday [ November 30, 2008 ]

Isaiah 64:1-9

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Mark 13:24-37


Advent

“(from the Latin Advenio, meaning ‘to come to’, ‘the coming of the Saviour’)” (1)

A holy season of the Christian church, also known as the season of Christmas.

A season of celebration of the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ, and of expectant and hopeful waiting for His return!

Adventus is the Latin word for ‘coming’, and is the exact Latin equivalent for the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming.” (1)

“The theme of readings and teachings during advent is often to prepare for the Second Coming while commemorating the First Coming of Christ at Christmas. With the view of directing the thoughts of [the faithful] to the first coming of Jesus Christ as Saviour, and to his second coming as Judge, special lessons are prescribed for each of the four Sundays in Advent.” (1)


Works Cited:

(1) Advent. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent)

Revised Common Lectionary. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revised_Common_Lectionary)

The online Revised Common Lectionary. The online Revised Common Lectionary is a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, a division of the Jean and Alexander Heard Library. (http://divinity.lib.vanderbilt.edu/lectionary/)





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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Weekly ReCap – 11-26-2008 – Thank God!

Thank God for life!

Some action items for this thanksgiving:

Pray:
Pray that America would become a land that chooses life; a land that recognizes the unique dignity and value of every human life from conception to natural death!

Thank God:
Thank God for your life; that your parents chose life for you.

Sign the Fight FOCA Petition:
Barack Obama is now the incoming President. And he made a promise to Planned Parenthood last year they expect him to keep. “The first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing I’d do.”

FOCA will do away with state laws on parental involvement, on partial birth abortion, and on all other protections. FOCA will compel taxpayer funding of abortions. FOCA will force faith-based hospitals and health care facilities to perform abortions.


Click here: Sign the Fight FOCA Petition today!

Consider Registering for Illinois Choose Life License Plates:
Funds to both encourage the adoption option and provide support for birth mothers who are considering adoption can be raised through the sale of Choose Life specialty license plates.

Click here: Learn more and Support the Illinois Choose Life license plates!

Give Thanks:
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34 [7-36])

Heavenly Father, thank you for this life I have been given, and thank you for eternal life available through Jesus Christ!

Every day I am guilty of complaining; forgive me and give me a heart of peace, hope, and gratitude. Help me live daily for my eternal destiny. Father God, show me how to love and serve others.

Thank you for my wife, son, and daughter; thank you for my brothers, sisters, and parents; thank you for my brothers and sisters in Christ; thank you for my job, and my health and ability to work and provide; thank you for the sacrifice of those that have granted us freedom and liberty in America; forgive those that have turned liberty and freedom into license and licentiousness, and thank you for turning and transforming my heart away from the junk and pride that kept me from you.

Above all else, Father God, thank you for Jesus Christ. We need the moral law to guide us between right and wrong, but we can not meet it's requirements. It is only by your grace and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that we can be saved through our faith in him.

Thank you, Father God, for your Son, Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit! In Jesus Christ's name I pray - Amen

  • Thanksgiving Day Bible Readings
    Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. . .
    Read more. . .

  • Captivated by God!
    When we see and hear the heartbeat of a child still in the womb, how can we not be captivated by it? When we consider Love, how can we not be captivated by it? Be captivated as you look unto Him this thanksgiving! Listen to this beautiful song by Shawn McDonald. Turn it up and let your heart cry with love for our God!
    Listen now!

  • Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 35
    “God's eternal love or good-will toward his creatures, is the fountain whence all his mercies flow to us; and that love of God is great love, and that mercy is rich mercy. . ."
    Read more. . .
Reading:

- “Illinois ‘Choose Life’ License Plate Initiative
By Arlene Sawicki, Illinois Family Institute, 11/13/2008
“The concept of Choose Life license plates originated in Florida, where over $5.5 million dollars have already been raised to support adoption. Women are being assisted with the expenses of a full term pregnancy, such as medical bills, temporary housing, transportation, utility bills, food, maternity clothing and related expenses of infant care until their child is placed for adoption.”

- “Illinois Choose Life [License Plate Initiative] August 2008 Update
“On the campaign trail Obama has been saying ‘that he favors adoption as a means to reduce abortion.’ How strange then, to learn that in March of 2004, Obama denied both a hearing on our bill, and a simple up or down vote by the legislators. He assigned the bill to a sub-committee, burying our effort. Obama also stated ‘that he was not in favor of a plate benefiting adoption,’ while trying to make adoption aid somehow into an argument about abortion. One can only wonder what he would have done if he was not in favor of adoption.”

- “U.N. Agency Pressures Nicaragua to Change Pro-Life Law
World Congress of Families Newsletter, November 2008, Vol. 2 No. 11.
“Nicaraguan First Lady Rosario Murillo denounces the international push for abortion as cultural imperialism by soulless societies where people ‘prefer to raise pets instead of children. . .’”

- “Int’l Furor over Forced Abortion Case in China
By Ethan Cole, The Christian Post, 11/17/2008
“The international community is outraged and warns China it is watching closely the case of a Muslim Uyghur woman who is being forced against her will to have an abortion. . .

‘The Chinese government is notorious for this barbaric practice, but to forcibly abort a woman while the world watches in full knowledge of what is going on would make a mockery of its claim that the central government disapproves of the practice,’ Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.), the House Ranking member on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, said in a statement. . .”

- “Rep. Maloney: Obama to resume funding of U.N. program implicated in forced abortions
Catholic News Agency, 11/14/2008
“Supporters of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are confident that President-elect Barack Obama will reverse the Bush administration’s 2002 decision to stop the $40 million it received in U.S. funding. The policy was instated because of UNFPA’s support for China’s one-child policy, which includes coercive abortion practices. . .

In July of 2008, Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte announced that for the sixth year in a row, the government had determined that ‘UNFPA provides support for and participates in the management of the Chinese government’s program of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization.’”

- “Obama picks abortion supporter Daschle to head HHS
Catholic News Agency, 11/19/2008
“Tom Daschle has accepted the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services from president-elect Barack Obama. Daschle's record of supporting anti-life initiatives is extensive enough that his bishop previously asked him to stop calling himself a Catholic.”


Grateful for:

- Mary's choice to obey God, carry and give birth to a child conceived by the Holy Spirit. “I am the Lord's slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:26-38)

“There are three moves in the 'leap of faith': letting go of the trapeze — whatever your trapeze is, waiting, and then being caught. God comes to you and says, 'Let go. Will you let go?'

God came to Abraham and said, 'Let go of everything familiar. Let go of your family, your home, and your culture, and go where I tell you to go. Will you do that? Will you let go?' Jesus came to a rich young ruler one day. He loved him, and he said, 'Will you let go of your trapeze?' The rich ruler's trapeze was called 'money.' 'Will you give away all your possessions or sell them and give the money to the poor and come follow me?' Jesus spoke to a woman caught in an adulterous affair. He said, 'Go and sin no more.' Will you let go of that relationship that you know dishonors God?

What are you to let go of? Anything that will keep you from God.”
(“Faith & Doubt” by John Ortberg, quoted in Zondervan Daily Inspiration)





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Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 35

Week 35

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” (Ephesians 2:3)

None of us, like the Israelites, can live up to the moral law; we can't “be good enough.” And since we are outlaws, we are objects of wrath. So what hope is there then?

Knights and Ladies, it's by grace we are saved through faith, “and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:9-10)

“God's eternal love or good-will toward his creatures, is the fountain whence all his mercies flow to us; and that love of God is great love, and that mercy is rich mercy. . . The grace that saves is the free, undeserved goodness and favour of God; and he saves, not by the works of the law, but through faith in Christ Jesus.”
(Mathew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible)

Monday --- Ephesians 3
Tuesday --- Ephesians 4
Wednesday --- Ephesians 5
Thursday --- Ephesians 6
Friday --- Philippians 1

“It seems the entire world is searching for happiness, love, and fulfillment. Yet so many of us search for these things everywhere except where they truly can be found — in God alone. Even as believers in Him, we as Christians often have a warped view of God, seeing Him as somewhat stingy, carefully doling out His blessings — a little here and a little there. Yet the apostle Paul wrote, 'He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?' (Romans 8:32).

In essence, Paul is asking us this question, 'Isn't it absurd to think that if God gave us the very life of His Son, that there is anything He would willingly withhold from us? After all, He has already given us the very best!'”
(“Look Unto Me: The Devotions of Charles Spurgeon” by Jim Reimann, quoted in Zondervan Daily Inspirations)

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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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Captivated by you God!

I am captivated by you God!

When we look at the creation, the complexity of the least complex organisms that we know, and the beauty of it, how can we not be catptivated by it?

When we see and hear the heartbeat of a child still in the womb, how can we not be captivated by it?

When we consider Love, how can we not be captivated by it?

How can we not be captivated by the Creator, our God?

Be captivated as you look unto Him this thanksgiving! Let your heart cry with love for our God!

The wind and the clouds and the blue in the sky
The sun and the moon and the stars so high
The sand on the shore and the waves in the sea
The air in my lungs and the way You made me

The blood in my veins and my heart You invade
The plants how they grow and the trees and their shade
The way that I feel and love in my soul
I thank you my God for letting me, letting me know

I am, I'm captivated by You
In all that You do
I am, I'm captivated


Listen to this beautiful song by Shawn McDonald from his album Roots



Here is the link in case the embeded player is unavailable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C15yLFAraaQ





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Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekly ReCap – 11-21-2008 – Parental Right & Duty

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
{ Deuteronomy 6:5-7 }

“‘Christians have to recognize that our primary mission field is not overseas,’ says George Barna, founder of The Barna Group, who will be among the speakers at next year’s first annual D6 Conference. ‘It’s domestic. In fact, it’s inside of our homes. It’s our children.’”
(“New Conference to Draw Top Leaders in Family Ministry” by Eric Young, The Christian Post, 11/19/2008)

Larry Jacobs, Global Coordinator of the World Congress of Families, in a press release concerning the “PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION OF NATIONAL FAMILY DAY” said, “‘Other studies show that children who have strong bonds with their parents are also far less likely to engage in adolescent sex or criminal activity. They do better in school, are involved in more extracurricular activities and are more likely to stay in school and graduate – and to form stable families themselves’. . . ‘There’s no substitute for the family,’ Jacobs concluded. ‘It doesn’t take a village to raise a healthy child. That’s the mission of the natural family.’
(“Early Childhood Development – In the Family!”)
Reading:

- “Vatican says objection to Education for Citizenship not only ‘opportune’ but ‘necessary’
Vatican, CNA, 11/7/2008 emphasis mine
“The Polish cardinal recalled that during the Communist regime, he joined with others in conscientiously objecting to communist ideology by, ‘organizing courses in the Catholic faith,’ which at the time were illegal.

According to Cardinal Grocholewski, ‘All dictatorial regimes seek to steer schools into making citizens docile’ to their slogans, which in the end convert them into ‘slaves.’

‘I personally have experienced this reality in my own country of origin, in Poland, where the Communist regime dictated what should be taught and which kind of behavior should be called good,’ he said. . .

The cardinal said the same kind of political current is moving through the halls of power today in an attempt to impose ‘a relativistic concept on ethical-moral behavior,’ in order to stifle opposition to their decisions.”

- “Soulless Teaching
By Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute, 11/18/2008
“If those who hold traditional beliefs on the nature and morality of homosexual conduct do not take action now, this is what we will see in our pre-schools in the not too distant, calamitous future. . .” Editors Note: Caution! The following plunges into serious weirdness, unfortunately, this is coming as mainstream even as close as Chicago!

- “Vote on State-Subsidized Homosexual High School Looms [in Chicago!]
By Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute, 11/13/2008
“. . . the Chicago Board of Education will vote on the proposed Social Justice High School-Pride Campus that Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan has endorsed.”

- “Social Worker: ‘All Homeschoolers Get Psychological Evaluations’
HSLDA, 11/6/2008
“. . . To make matters worse, the social worker had one of the police officers move toward Dr. Smith, and she told the officer to handcuff him so she could remove his children from the home. . . The social worker found nothing—but said still she wanted the family to ‘undergo a formal psycho-social assessment.’ Needless to say, the Smiths declined the assessments, and relied on HSLDA to take care of the rest.”

God protect our children! Heavenly Father, let the children come to you and protect their minds from wicked and twisted relativistic morality. Protect them, God, from those whose thoughts have become futile and whose hearts have been darkened. Protect them from those you have given over to a depraved mind. Wash them with the blood of your Son, Jesus Christ. Awaken parents to the threat, and awaken them to the duty you have commanded them to as parents to “Impress [God’s commands] on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” In Jesus Christ’s name I pray – Amen.
{ Deuteronomy 6:5-7 } { Romans 1:18-32 }

Grateful for:

- I am grateful that, at this time, we still have the parental right, freedom, and duty to teach our children as we feel appropriate, and I pray they do not attempt to subvert that God given duty and right!





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Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 34

Week 34

Knights and Ladies,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Galatians1:3-5)

Amen!

Monday --- Galatians 4
Tuesday --- Galatians 5
Wednesday --- Galatians 6
Thursday --- Ephesians 1
Friday --- Ephesians 2

“In so many ways, the strength that Christ has portrayed and that God promises is counter-intuitive, a contradiction to the world's idea of strength. It is the power to control our appetites rather than to let them control us. It is the ability to endure rather than to run away. It is the quick instinct to take refuge in God rather than to trust in our own abilities or resources. It is the humility to ask God daily for what we need rather than to work ourselves into a frenzy trying to construct the perfect safety net. It is the ability to keep gazing at God even when trouble and fear assails us. It is the patience to wait rather than to run on ahead. It is the faith to keep praying no matter what. It is the decision to put others first and ourselves last. It is the grace to believe that nothing is impossible because we belong to God. It is the strength to be more than we are because God is more than we imagine. It is the power to run and not grow weary, to walk and not be faint, to ground ourselves in God's might and his power to help and to save.”
(“The Tender Words of God: A Daily Guide” by Ann Spangler, quote from Zondervan Daily Inspiration)

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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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Academic Freedom?

Academic Freedom? Don't you dare search for the truth if it contradicts the religion of Darwin!

A message from the Discovery Institute:

In Expelled, Ben Stein points out that America is supposed to believe in free speech and academic freedom, yet on the issues of evolution and intelligent design right now, there is precious little freedom of discussion. He discovered many examples of intolerant academics in the documentary, but most notably Expelled showcases:

- Iowa State University’s Board of Regents denied tenure to gifted astronomer Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez. His crime? Co-authoring the book The Privileged Planet, which presents scientific evidence showing the universe came into existence due to intelligent causes rather than mere chance and necessity.

- At the Smithsonian Institution, evolutionary biologist Dr. Richard Sternberg was harassed and then demoted after he dared to publish in a science journal another scholar’s article highlighting the biological evidence for intelligent design.

- At George Mason University, Dr. Caroline Crocker dared to discuss intelligent design in one of her honors level biology lectures. Her contract was not renewed and subsequently she has been unable to secure another teaching position.

This discrimination is why it is so important, now more than ever, to stand up in support of
academic freedom . You are now an integral part of making our work possible. By forwarding this [blog link] to your friends and family and inviting them to sign the academic freedom petition you become an advocate for freedom of speech.

Thank you for your support of this important issue. For more information see:






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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Bible Readings

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done. . . (1 Chronicles 16:7-36)

Thanksgiving Day Readings – Year A, from The online Revised Common Lectionary

Deuteronomy 8:7-18

Psalm 65

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Luke 17:11-19

free download: The Christian Heritage of Thanksgiving
Works cited:

Revised Common Lectionary. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revised_Common_Lectionary )

The online Revised Common Lectionary. The online Revised Common Lectionary is a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, a division of the Jean and Alexander Heard Library. ( http://divinity.lib.vanderbilt.edu/lectionary/ )

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weekly ReCap – 11-14-2008 – The Right and Duty of Self Defense

Praise God that we still live in the land of the free and the home of the brave!

I watched a BBC news story about the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo the other night. There were hundreds if not thousands of families living in tents in the middle of nowhere, displaced from their homes because of the fighting.

A group of men were being interviewed. They were afraid for their families and children because the fighting was getting closer and they had nowhere else to run to. You could hear the gunfire in the background during the interview.

My first thought was, “Why wait for ‘official’ security forces to come to your rescue, put all the women and children into the center of the camp and form a defensive wall with all the able bodied men. . .”

“I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, ‘Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.’”
- Nehemiah 4:13-14

Praise God for America’s second amendment right to keep and bear arms, and pray that our new government remembers that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed!

. . . the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
- The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America
{ Learn More Here and Here } { Be Prepared for Disaster and Economic Crisis }
  • Veterans Day 2008
    The wise teacher tells us that there is a time for war. There is a need for the warrior spirit to be alive and kindled. When we are to hold true to our faith and ideals and defend our homes and families from those that would destroy them. . .
    Read more. . .

  • Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 33
    Desire, long for, and be zealous for God’s word and the life transformation found only in The Word made flesh, Jesus Christ!
    Read more. . .
Reading:

- “Inside a U.S. hostage rescue mission: Exclusive: Spec ops conducts night raid in Afghanistan mountains
Sean D. Naylor, ArmyTimes, 11/08/2008
“The American businessman lay shackled in a mud hut 8,000 feet up a remote mountain in Afghanistan, armed captors posted inside and outside to prevent any escape attempt. . .

On an airstrip many miles away, however, several twin sets of Chinook helicopter rotor blades were starting to turn as about 60 of America’s most elite troops prepared to prove him wrong. Members of a task force that Military Times agreed not to name, the commandos had been hunting for the businessman since soon after he went missing. Now they were ready to act.

This is the story of one of the most daring and successful U.S. hostage-rescue missions in years.”

- “Thousands Flee Congo Fighting
By the Associated Press, Christian Post, 11/6/2008
“KIWANJA, Congo – Sporadic gunfire and explosions echoed Wednesday around this town in eastern Congo, as rebels fought pro-government militiamen for a second day, forcing thousands of people to flee.”

- “U.S. Treasury Department to Host Shariah Compliant Financing Forum!!!
By Brigitte Gabriel, ACT! For America
“. . . in association with the Islamic Finance Project of the Harvard Law School, the U.S. Treasury will be hosting a forum entitled ‘Islamic Finance 101.’

You read this correctly. As the humorist Dave Barry writes in many of his columns, ‘I am not making this up.’

Indeed, despite the fact that we in ACT! for America and others have been warning about the infiltration of shariah (Islamic law) into our society for some time, to witness how quickly it is happening causes me to tremble inside.

Our own U.S. Treasury is hosting a forum aimed at educating ‘staff from U.S. banking regulatory agencies, Congress, Department of Treasury, and other parts of the Executive Branch.’”

- “Shariah-Compliant Finance: ‘Jihad with money’
ACT! For America
“While America struggles with the sub-prime and credit market crisis, Shariah Islamic Finance, also known as Shariah-Compliant Finance, is quickly infiltrating our financial markets – and bringing Islamic shariah law with it. As one leading Islamic authority on Shariah-Compliant Finance has stated, it is ‘jihad with money.’ In a new ACT! for America video, Joy Brighton, ACT! for America’s financial expert on Shariah- Compliant Finance, warns America of this chilling threat.”

- “'Why Believe in a god?’ Ad Campaign Launches on D.C. Buses
AP, FoxNews.com, 11/12/2008
“‘Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake’”

Editors note: Be good for goodness’ sake? Without God there is no “good” or “evil.” It’s all subjective. In fact, you would be reduced to believing, as Hitler did, that the best “good” would be to advance and evolve the human race, and your own personal genes, at any cost, including over 6 million murders! I guess you would have to pray to, ah, goodness’ sake that you’re not considered one of the “inferior” races! You can learn more about godless ethics in the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008) DVD: Big science has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom ... What they forgot is that every generation has its Rebel! That rebel, Ben Stein (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) travels the world on his quest, and learns an awe-inspiring truth … that educators and scientists are being ridiculed, denied tenure and even fired – for the crime of merely believing that there might be evidence of design in nature, and that perhaps life is not just the result of accidental, random chance. To which Ben Says: Enough! And then gets busy. NOBODY messes with Ben.
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008) DVD

Grateful for:

- The Warrior Ethos of the American Citizen, and the men and women of America’s armed forces.
{ Army } { Marines } { Navy } { Air Force }
And I pray there is never an attempt to use them against the citizens of the United States!

- God’s Truth, Justice, Mercy, and Grace!






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Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 33

Week 33

“See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.” (2 Corinthians 7:11)

Knights and Ladies, true repentance should flow from godly sorrow or godly grieving as the HCSB translates it, and that godly grieving should lead to desire, indignation, longing, zeal, and justice. Desire, long for, and be zealous for God’s word and the life transformation found only in The Word made flesh, Jesus Christ!

Monday --- 2 Corinthians 12
Tuesday --- 2 Corinthians 13
Wednesday --- Galatians 1
Thursday --- Galatians 2
Friday --- Galatians 3

“. . . they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. . . Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 8:4, 9:6-7)
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“The Hebrew Scriptures make it clear that God is the source of all strength. His power is so great that no power in heaven or on earth can compete with it. Moreover, his love impels him to use his power on behalf of his people, to save those who hope in him. Ultimately, Jesus is presented as the strongest of all men, the One who through his death and resurrection has overpowered Satan, ultimately freeing us from the devastating consequences of sin.

Remember that God's Word is powerful, living and active, able to accomplish far more than we can even ask or imagine. Let it transform your understanding of how God wants to reveal his strength in you and for you.”
(“The Tender Words of God: A Daily Guide” by Ann Spangler, quote from Zondervan Daily Inspiration)

“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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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day 2008

Remember our heroes! - Thank you!

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

The wise teacher tells us that there is a time for war. There is a need for the warrior spirit to be alive and kindled. When we are to hold true to our faith and ideals and defend our homes and families from those that would destroy them. . .

"I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, 'Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.'"
- Nehemiah 4:13-14

Thank you Veterans for fighting for your countrymen, your sons and daughters, your wives and homes!

“. . . They were brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains.” (1 Chronicles 12:8)

The Battle Hymn of the Republic
Text, Julia Ward Howe • Music, William Steffe, Arr. Wilhousky

Verse 5
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
“The American Flag & Patriotic Songs”. The Providence Forum.


Holman Christian Standard Air Force Bible*Holman Christian Standard Marine Bible*Holman Christian Standard Navy Bible*Holman Christian Standard Army Bible
Specialty Devotional Bibles!
Firemen, Police, Soldier, Sailor Bibles and more!








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Friday, November 07, 2008

Weekly ReCap – 11-07-2008 – Persecution

“Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Hebrews 13:3)

“Many brothers and sisters in Christ in more than sixty nations do not have the full freedom to confess Jesus as Lord and Saviour in our world. Just to give you two examples: when you read this some two thousand Christians are in prison in Eritrea and thousands have lost their homes in India as a result of anti-Christian attacks. More than 100 million Christians face disinformation, discrimination and persecution only because they want to follow Jesus Christ. And they are your brothers and sisters! They easily feel alone—in the jungle, in a hiding place or in a prison.”
- Johan Candelin, Global Co-ordinator, IDOP (International Day of Prayer)

Reading:

- “Texas: School District Tells Mother She ‘Has No Say’ in Her Son’s Education
“The superintendent’s secretary told the new homeschool mom that the superintendent would be the one to decide how her son was educated and that he would not ‘approve’ homeschooling until he had met with the mother and seen the curriculum. Furthermore, the secretary stated that the mother ‘has no say’ in her child’s education and that she was expected to continue sending him to public school unless she had the superintendent’s approval to teach him at home. . .

Senior Counsel Chris Klicka and his legal assistant explained that not only does the mother have the right to decide how her son is educated, but the Texas superintendent no longer has authority over the teenager because he no longer resides in the state! They explained that furthermore, even if her son had remained in Texas, the law does not require her to obtain approval to homeschool there.”

- “Obama and the universal moral law
By Fred Hutchison, Renew America
“Does Barack Obama believe in the universal moral law? Hard to tell. Obama insists he is a Christian and admits that evil exists, but answers questions about morality and evil in an equivocal way. As a very astute politician, he knows that who is not at least a nominal Christian and anyone who does not believe in good or evil, or in right and wrong, is not likely to be elected president.

On the other hand, if Obama were to say that he agrees that there is a universal moral law, he would fall out of favor with some the secular-progressive leaders of his party and with the mainstream media. Such a statement would offend his hard-left financial sponsors who have developed a brilliant internet fundraising apparatus. He would also fall into disfavor with the leftist foundations and liberal billionaires who support him.

Obama has never said no to those in power — at least not to liberals or leftists or corrupt politicians or those in a position to help him politically. If he is a moral relativist, his conscience might not bother him for accepting the support of morally questionable people. On the other hand, if he believes in a universal moral law, he is doomed to live with a bad conscience. His amazingly consistent coolness and composure suggests to me the former rather than the latter.”

Christmas gift Ideas:

Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader: Read the definitive leadership biography of Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska and John McCain’s choice for vice president. This book explores the leadership principles that made Sarah Palin successful, drawing from her career in politics, her life as a hockey mom, and her strongly held Christian faith.

“Everyone has a place in their character where values reside. Those values are formed from experiences that begin in childhood. As a person matures, those values coalesce around a central belief that sits at the heart of one's character. Whether religious or secular in nature, that central belief is the lens through which all other values are focused and by which all other values are colored. From those values, convictions arise — beliefs that form principles by which a person organizes one's life. Those convictions are the great organizing principles of effective political leaders.” “At the end of the day, a leader's effect on the country will be a reflection of his or her basic values. History tells us of many who led by way of wrong values such as pride, hatred, greed, or a lust for power — all with devastating consequences for their country. It is impossible to overstate the importance of knowing what a leader really values.”

“As the twenty-first century unfolds, leaders who lead effectively will possess a clear sense of True North. While not necessarily Christian, they will have an acknowledged sense of purpose that is completely integrated with their life and their approach to leadership. A worldview that encompasses every aspect of their life. A clearly defined sense of right and wrong. And a driving imperative of personal responsibility. In a century in which meaning is more often derived from relationship rather than from acceptance of unquestioned absolutes, perhaps no other leadership quality will be more important.”
(“Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader” by Joe Hilley, quotes from Zondervan Daily Inspiration)

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008) DVD: Big science has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom ... What they forgot is that every generation has its Rebel! That rebel, Ben Stein (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) travels the world on his quest, and learns an awe-inspiring truth … that educators and scientists are being ridiculed, denied tenure and even fired – for the crime of merely believing that there might be evidence of design in nature, and that perhaps life is not just the result of accidental, random chance. To which Ben Says: Enough! And then gets busy. NOBODY messes with Ben.
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008) DVD


Grateful for:

- Good food, good wine, and good friends.






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Bible Challenge 2008 - Week 32

Week 32

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Knights and Ladies, let the Light of Christ shine through you!

“God could have sent angels to make known the glorious doctrine of the gospel, or could have sent the most admired sons of men to teach the nations, but he chose humbler, weaker vessels, that his power might be more glorified in upholding them, and in the blessed change wrought by their ministry.”
(Mathew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible)

God has chosen us, with our sins and weaknesses, to shine His light through. So, “those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again,” Jesus Christ our King! (2 Corinthians 5:15)

Monday --- 2 Corinthians 7
Tuesday --- 2 Corinthians 8
Wednesday --- 2 Corinthians 9
Thursday --- 2 Corinthians 10
Friday --- 2 Corinthians 11

“Light and darkness are distinct opposites and each displays its own unique properties. John 1:5 says, ‘The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.’ The NIV text note, however, gives this alternate translation of the Greek: ‘The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome.’

Darkness cannot overcome light. Consider this simple example: you open the door of your unlit closet while standing in your well-lit bedroom. What happens? Does the darkness spill over into the bedroom? Of course not. The light overcomes the darkness and you can now see into the once dark closet. Yet the light in the bedroom has not been diminished. Spiritual light has this same unique quality of physical light — it will always overcome darkness.”
(“Look Unto Me: The Devotions of Charles Spurgeon” by Jim Reimann, from Zondervan Daily Inspirations)

“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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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Thanksgiving is about Thanking God!

A message from Gateways to Better Education:

It is a sad fact that too many teachers do not teach about the religious nature of Thanksgiving--even though their state's academic standards allow them (even expect them) to do so!

You can change that. Equipped with
Gateways' Thanksgiving Restoration Cards you can help teachers move from fear to freedom on this issue. The Thanksgiving Restoration Card looks like a greeting card, but it is packed with helpful information written in a "non-preachy", light-hearted style teachers at your school will appreciate.

The eight-page booklet begins with a story entitled "
Talking Turkey about Thanksgiving." In the short story, a teacher visits a store looking for Thanksgiving decorations of Pilgrims and Native Americans. At the store, she encounters a talking turkey who explains that if he is going to end up giving his life for the holiday, he wants students to understand what it is really all about--thanking God.

The teacher raises objections based on common misunderstandings about the separation of church and state, but the smart bird addresses each one!

The booklet includes Presidential proclamations (from both political parties) calling on the nation to thank God for our blessings.

It includes Supreme Court comments on accommodating religion, and it offers seven lesson plan ideas for teaching about Thanksgiving.

CLICK HERE to read more about how to order online today!

You can give the cards to your school's teachers along with copies of your state's academic standards showing what they are expected to teach students about Thanksgiving.

Order today with plenty of time for teachers to improve their lesson plans for Thanksgiving.

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





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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Sunday November 9th 2008

Please take some time on Sunday the 9th to pray for our brothers and sister in areas of the world hostile to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Learn more at IDOP.org

Chains and Fearless Faith! A Small Group Ministry Devotional

The Apostle Paul said, “Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.” (Philippians 1:14)

If you’re like me it’s easy to get comfortable and even lazy in your faith without hard work. Something that helps encourage me to be courageous and fearless in living out my faith is to remember that we are extremely blessed and unique in our freedoms in America. We have brothers and sisters in Christ around the world living in chains and fear of death for their faith in Jesus Christ.

What we are doing right now, meeting in a home as a small group to worship God, is illegal in many nations:

In Eritrea: “Compass reported that on August 19, police arrested 10 members of the Full Gospel Church in the Kahawata suburb of Asmara, who had gathered in a home for worship. Compass added, ‘The four women and six men accused of worshipping together were put into detention at Police Station No.2 in Asmara.’” (VOM)

In China: “SHANXI PROVINCE - On July 14, Chinese authorities interrupted Bible reading and prayer in the home of Sister Kong Lingrong. While Sister Kong and several children from 10 to 15 years of age were reading the Bible and praying, the authorities stopped the ‘illegal meeting’ and said that children were not allowed to believe in Jesus. As a result of the incident, Sister Kong is being harassed by authorities and the electricity and water to her home has been turned off.” (VOM)

Our Response

At the very least we must “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Hebrews 13:3)

But I would contend, as Paul did in Philippians 1, that we should live out our faith courageously and fearlessly! Commit ourselves to meeting for worship, discipleship, and service. Live as bold witnesses to Jesus Christ in our communities and at our places of work. Thank God for our freedoms and liberties that we have in America, and take our responsibilities and duties as Eternal citizens as well as American citizens seriously.

Praise God! Be Courageous and Bold in your Faith! Pray for our brothers and sisters!

God bless,
Mick

Works Cited:

VOM. “VOM-USA News and Prayer Update (August 28, 2007)” Voice of the Martyrs. http://www.persecution.com/


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