Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I read this article in Christianity Today and was simultaneously saddened, sickened, and surprised. I have long cast a wary eye toward any religion or teaching that claims 'God wants you to be rich" because I just don't see evidence of that in scripture. I know that the proponents of this movement have constructed a series of "Proof Texts" to support their position, but I just can't bring myself to believe that all of the suffering references in scripture are overridden by a prosperity gospel. Not everyone is going to be healthy and wealthy, and this movement leaves those people spiritually devastated because the implied assumption is that there is something spiritually wrong with them. Otherwise, God would show them favor. And I imagine deathbed counseling for someone in this situation is extremely difficult.
I'm still early in my theological education, but I have been around the block a couple of times. I cast a wary eye at any theology that uses a couple verses of scripture to make a far-reaching claim. It was for that reason that the Jabez Prayer movement made me a little nervous. It seems to take an isolated prayer and make it universal in its application, which is very dangerous.
I post this merely to make you aware of some trends in the rapidly-growing Christian church. Pray hard for sound biblical teaching, or we will devastate Africa again, as we did during the colonial era.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Deb took a great number of flower photos on this trip, which you can enjoy here. There are some birds, a few bugs and a wonderful spot that reminds me of the verse from the hymn "he hideth my soul, in the cleft of the rock, and covers me there with his hand." Alan told us that he and his wife had taken refuge in that cleft during a storm. I'm glad we didn't face that. There are also some great photos from the top of the Crags, which is at approximately 10,700 ft in elevation.
We head home on Friday afternoon, so this may be the last post for a few days. God has used this trip to bring us closer together, and inspire my soul. I find that the scenery reminds me of the power, creativity, and absolute majesty of God. And I take great comfort in that. I also had some time to spend with Alan, who is my ministry mentor, and a trusted confidante to talk about how my ministry preparation is going and some of the associated issues that go along with that. I truly value his counsel. And we all were able to spend time with the Rister's, who were our closest friends in Monroe until they moved last year. My daughters have been anxiously waiting for this trip so they could spend time with their friends. You never have enough time for something like that, but we have greatly enjoyed our time together out here. Leaving will be a sad moment for all of us.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
In the afternoon we went to Waldo Canyon and hiked part, but not all, of that trail. It was different type of trail that offered some nice side views of Pikes Peak and the canyon. All totalled, we hiked about 8 miles that day, and by the end of the day, I was feeling it. We attended a Colorado Springs Sky Sox baseball game, and I could barely stay awake. And I love baseball. But it was a grand day, and better than any day in the flatlands where we live. I am grateful that we could come here and enjoy the magnificent scenery that is in this country.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
God makes people like that. Those who can bloom wherever God plants them are like the hardy little plants. They beautify some of the ugliest places, and make the world a little prettier place. That is the kind of Christian I aspire to be. One that makes the world around me a little better, no matter where God plants me. I hold fast to my pastor's favorite scripture, Psalm 16:6, that my boundary lines are drawn in pleasant places.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
I can't say enough how much I appreciate the beauty of what God has created out here. It isn't idyllic, but it certainly shows the creative power of God. I know it is good for my soul. We are going walking this evening near the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. I look forward to that.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
These are just a few of the photos. Yes, there really is a Lost Springs, Wyoming. I'm not sure how an election would work there, but you never know.
God has blessed us with an amazingly beautiful country. There are places that just take your breath away, and inspire awe at the grandeur of what He has created. If you get the chance, take a trip and admire what the Lord has blessed us with. It is good for the soul. At least my soul is blessed.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Word spread among the populace that UK troops had introduced strange man-eating, bear-like beasts into the area to sow panic.
But several of the creatures, caught and killed by local farmers, have been identified by experts as honey badgers.
The rumours spread because the animals had appeared near the British base at Basra airport.
UK military spokesman Major Mike Shearer said: "We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area.
| || It is the size of a dog but his head is like a monkey |
Housewife Suad Hassan
"We have been told these are indigenous nocturnal carnivores that don't attack humans unless cornered."
The director of Basra's veterinary hospital, Mushtaq Abdul-Mahdi, has inspected several of the animals' corpses.
He told the AFP news agency: "These appeared before the fall of the regime in 1986. They are known locally as Al-Girta.
"Talk that this animal was brought by the British forces is incorrect and unscientific."
| || |
THE HONEY BADGER
Also known as a ratel, it is a large, sharp-clawed mammal
At around 100cm (39in) long it is slightly bigger than its British woodland cousin
Capable of taking on a cobra, the animal weighs up to 14kg (30lb)
Its Latin name is melivora capensis, and it is indigenous to Africa and the Middle East
Dr Ghazi Yaqub Azzam, deputy dean of Basra's veterinary college, speculated that the badgers were being driven towards the city because of flooding in marshland north of Basra.
But the assurances did little to convince some members of the public.
One housewife, Suad Hassan, 30, claimed she had been attacked by one of the badgers as she slept.
"My husband hurried to shoot it but it was as swift as a deer," she said. "It is the size of a dog but his head is like a monkey," she told AFP.
Published: 2007/07/12 13:00:42 GMT
© BBC MMVII
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
This is a pretty big deal for her and her family. Prayers are also appreciated.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Jesus never promised that our problems would go away. In fact, he warned us to expect more because of our faith. But he did promise to give us a more abundant life in John 10:10. No matter how hard we try, we cannot run away from our problems. Jacob tried it. Elijah laid down and asked to die. But we can turn to the One who will always be there for us to help us do what is the best for us and in God's plan.
The comic is cute, but the issue is very real. Pray hard for those who seem in danger of being overwhelmed. All running does is make you tired and put you farther away from where you need to be.
Her joy reminded me that what I saw was but a pale imitation of the joy we will have when we see Christ. We will adore and be in awe of the One who redeemed us. That is heaven to me. And I had a little piece of it this weekend.
Here is the video to "Extreme Days" by TobyMac, a song she just rocked out to.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
But also think of another Independence Day. That is the day Christ rose from the dead and forever broke the power of sin and death for the believers. There was no long protracted war, but the simple submission of the Word of God to death on a cross. And his sacrifice and shed blood are what give us eternal LIFE, LIBERTY in Christ, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS as we share in the joy of the Lord through His Son. Take a moment today to celebrate that independence as you cook out, hang with family and watch the fireworks. On Resurrection Day, there were no fireworks, but the Light of the World was blinding, especially to the powers of darkness.
The clip below shows the Disney/MGM Studios July 4th fireworks show. Enjoy.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Click on the image to enlarge it for easier reading.
You know, this is funny. But it also points out what happens when we take our eyes off of Scripture as our spiritual starting point. Once we move away from the Word of God as revealed by Christ and witnessed by the Holy Spirit, then all bets are off. We can say, do, or teach anything we want.
Sadly many have fallen into this trap. I recently had to do a brief presentation on Schleiermacher's theology for my church history class. I think Schleiermacher's intentions were admirable, but as the "father of modern, liberal theology" what others did with the Pandora's box that he opened has made a mess. That is unless you are a theological publisher, in which case you have made money on all the critiques of Schleiermacher.
I think I have seen someone like the Church Of Danae on TV here. I'll go watch again to make sure. Sadly, others may be watching and believing.