Thought for the Day

November 30, 2009

“If we wouldn’t trust a non-Christian to give us counsel on how to live our lives, why would we regularly listen to their counsel set to music?”

Disgusting

November 24, 2009

Read this Islamic passage and let the comments pour in:

‘And now, people, you acquire certain rights over your wives, and they do you. The right you acquire over them is that they should not let someone you hate sleep in your beds, and not to commit a manifest obscenity [or adultery]. If they do [commit it], then God has given you permission to leave them alone in their beds and give them a beating, though not too hard. If they give over, they get their provision and clothing with kindness; I command you good-will for your wives, for they are your captives(1) that do not own anything of their own. You have taken them by the faithfulness of God, and made their sexual organs lawful for you by the words of God.”[1]’

http://www.wikiislam.com/wiki/Qur’an,_Hadith_and_Scholars:Women

A Facebook Conversation

November 24, 2009

Read the convo below and let me hear your thoughts:

Timothy W. Fanus asks, do you agree or disagree with this quote, and please explain your answer? “All around us we see Christians and the church relaxing their grasp on the gospel, fumbling it, and in danger of letting it drop from their hands altogether.” A follow-up question, if you agree then how would you right it?

One fb user :
I agree with this quote to an extent. A lot of believers and churches are losing grasp on the gospel. But I do believe some believers and churches are taking hold of the gospel and preaching the Word and preaching it loud!

Another fb user:
I agree with it, I think it is just human nature. One become involved in a group/community, get excited about its charge and then become benign to the cause and enjoy the culture. Like weight watchers or something. An interesting read, The unlikely disciple, very interesting.

And another:
Tim, I haven’t spoken to you in years, but always read your updates. Thar being said, the qoute to me, as a person who hasn’t attended an organized church in some time, reads as though it is written by a guy who can tell it “better.” i have no idea where this is qouted from, so my thoughts mat be completely out of left field–but by that I simply mean a person who is taking upon himself to tell me what/how to think/believe. I believe in God, but I like to formulate my own beliefs and thoughts but respect the beliefs and thoughts of everyone. for what it’s worth, it’s one of the main reasons I have difficulty attending mass every Sunday. Just my two cents, happy holidays.

Same as the last user:
Ps, if they’re reading it, who is to say their interpretations are wrong? Isn’t that what makes all unique? Clearly peoples ideologies that are derived from the bible can be off base, ie white supremisists, but radical idelogy aside, unique thought provoking insights are what makes the world turn.

And my response:
Thanks ya’ll for commenting. The quote is from the book, “Living the Cross Centered Life” by CJ Mahaney and he quotes John Stott, a pastor, author, and theologian. I was reading this book and came across it. I thought it could be used as a conversation starter, which it has. To briefly comment, the church is growing. We see and hear about it everywhere. Only God’s Spirit makes the gospel clear, which grows the universal church. The local church also is growing, however, some US churches are misleading people. Now I can’t speak for the RCC, since there are pretty big differences between what I believe and what the RCC teaches. With that said, this is a reason for concern, as those who mishandle the Word causes those who need it desperately to leave the church. I pray that you pray that the Lord lead you to a healthy and growing church which preaches the same gospel that we have come to know. Also, I recommend the book, “What is a Healthy Church?” by Mark Dever. If you would like one I can get one for you and we could work through it together if you would like. Cheers. And let’s continue this convo later and to pray for the spread of the Word and the healthy growth of the church.

What Do See?

November 24, 2009

I ask do you agree or disagree with this quote, and please explain your answer?

“All around us we see Christians and the church relaxing their grasp on the gospel, fumbling it, and in danger of letting it drop from their hands altogether.”

A follow-up question, if you agree then how would you right it?

To Give or Not To Give

November 22, 2009

An interesting article from Fox News begs a question, does the minister have a right to bar someone from taking communion?

Well, in this case the priest did and it wasn’t just someone, it was a Kennedy.

Read all about it below and share your thoughts from it. I would love to discuss it more through the comment section.

Happy reading!

ARTICLECOMMENTS (71)Updated November 22, 2009
Report: Kennedy Barred From Communion for Stance on Abortion
by AP
The Providence Journal reports on its Web site Sunday that Kennedy said in an interview that Bishop Thomas Tobin issued the order during discussions with the Democratic lawmaker, further escalating a simmering ideological dispute between the two men.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin has banned Rep. Patrick Kennedy from receiving Communion, the central sacrament of the church, in Rhode Island because of the congressman’s support for abortion rights, Kennedy said in a newspaper interview published Sunday.

The decision by the outspoken prelate, reported on The Providence Journal’s Web site, significantly escalates a bitter dispute between Tobin, an ultra orthodox bishop, and Kennedy, a son of the nation’s most famous Roman Catholic family.

“The bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion,” Kennedy told the paper in an interview conducted Friday.

Kennedy said the bishop had explained the penalty by telling him “that I am not a good practicing Catholic because of the positions that I’ve taken as a public official,” particularly on abortion.

He declined to say when or how Tobin told him not to take the sacrament. And he declined to say whether he has obeyed the bishop’s injunction.

The paper said the bishop’s spokesman declined to address the question of whether he had told Kennedy not to receive Communion. But the bishop’s office cast doubt on Kennedy’s related assertion about instructions to state priests.

“Bishop Tobin has never addressed matters relative to public officials receiving Holy Communion with pastors of the diocese,” spokesman Michael K. Guilfoyle told the paper in an e-mailed statement.

Church law permits Tobin to ban Kennedy from receiving Communion within the Diocese of Providence, which covers Rhode Island, but he cannot stop Kennedy from receiving Communion elsewhere. It was unclear whether bishops overseeing Washington and Massachusetts, where Kennedy’s family has seaside compound, would issue similar bans.

Kennedy could appeal the decision to officials in the Vatican, but the hierarchy of the Catholic church is unlikely to overturn a bishop, said Michael Sean Winters, a church observer and author of “Left At the Altar: How Democrats Lost The Catholics And How Catholics Can Save The Democrats.”

“It’s really bad theology,” said Winters, who opposes abortion. “You’re turning the altar rail into a battle field, a political battlefield no less, and it does a disservice to the Eucharist.”

The dispute between the two men began in October when Kennedy in an interview on CNSNews.com criticized the nation’s Catholic bishops for threatening to oppose a massive expansion of the nation’s health care system unless it included tighter restrictions on federally funded abortion.

Kennedy voted against an amendment to a Democratic health care plan sought by the bishops. But he voted in favor of a health care plan that included the amendment he opposed.

Tobin, the spiritual leader of the nation’s most heavily Roman Catholic state, demanded an apology from Kennedy after learning of his remarks and requested a meeting.

“While I greatly respect the Catholic Church and its leaders, like many Rhode Islanders, the fact that I disagree with the hierarchy of the church on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic,” Kennedy wrote in a letter to Tobin, agreeing to a sitdown. “I embrace my faith which acknowledges the existence of an imperfect humanity.”

Their meeting fell apart. While Tobin called it a mutual decision, Kennedy accused Tobin of failing to abide by an agreement to stop discussing the congressman’s faith publicly.

Tobin followed up with a biting public letter published in a diocesan newspaper.

“Sorry, you can’t chalk it up to an ‘imperfect humanity.’ Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your Communion with the Church,” Tobin wrote.

In subsequent interviews, Tobin said Kennedy should not receive Communion like other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights. Still, the bishop stopped short of ordering Kennedy not to receive the sacrament.

Indelible Grace

November 18, 2009

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

My Prayer for (our) Marriage

November 17, 2009

How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in home, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice…. Nothing divides them either in flesh or in spirit…. They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another. Side by side they visit God’s church and partake God’s banquet, side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another; they never shun each other’s company; they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts…. Seeing this Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present.

No Snack for You!

November 17, 2009

“About 200 young Italian women who thought they were being invited to a party with gala dinner hosted by Libyan Moammar Gadhafi on Saturday night in Rome ended up receiving a two-hour speech on Islam from Gadhafi instead. ‘We were at least expecting a snack,’ said one disappointed guest. The women were hired by a modeling agency and promised 50 euros to attend the event. Gadhafi invited the women to convert to Islam and gave each a Koran.”

Can you believe it, they weren’t provided a snack?!?!

-taken from Express, a publication of the Washington Post

By Grace Rid Yourself of Pride

1. Ask God to illuminate your heart so you can begin to see the fruits of pride in your life. Ask friends to point out the fruits of pride in your life realizing your
heart is exceedingly deceitful.

2. You must meet the qualifications if you are to go on in God. Humility is the
attitude upon which everything else is built.

3. Ask God to convict you point by point (Psalm 139:23-24) and trust that he will. You don’t want or need general condemnation, only specific, godly conviction.

4. Confess your pride to God point by point and ask for his forgiveness. Just as importantly, ask him to cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

5. Don’t ask God to humble you — the Scriptures say to humble yourself (1 Peter 5:6). Humility isn’t an emotion; it’s a decision of the will to think and act
differently. Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines humble as “low lying.” Ask
yourself how you could be low lying or put others before yourself in various
situations, and then do it.
*Respond to opportunities God gives you to humble yourself or honor others.

6. Confess your sins of pride to those you have effected and to your friends.
They can help to hold you accountable and bring the on-going correction you will need.
*Be open, honest and transparent about your life and sins.

7. Ask God to give you a holy hatred for pride and its fruits in your life. Be
continually on the alert. Don’t allow pride to grow in your heart. Sow to the
Spirit, not to the flesh.

8. Remember your war against pride is life-long. It is not a battle won in a day.
Yet, as you faithfully put to death, pride, and put on, humility, you will
experience greater freedom and more importantly greater conformity to image
and likeness of Christ. In so doing, God will be glorified in your life!

50 fruits of pride

1. I tend to be self sufficient in the way I live my life. I don’t live with a
constant awareness that my every breath is dependent upon the will of God. I tend to think I have enough strength, ability and wisdom to live and manage my life. My practice of the spiritual disciplines in inconsistent and superficial. I don’t like to ask others for help.

2. I am often anxious about my life and the future. I tend not to trust God and
rarely experience his abiding and transcendent peace in my soul. I have a hard time sleeping at night because of fearful thoughts and burdens I carry.

3. I am overly self-conscious. I tend to replay in my mind how I did, what I
said, how I am coming across to others, etc. I am very concerned about what people think of me. I think about these things constantly.

4. I fear man more than God. I am afraid of others and make decisions about what I will say or do based upon this fear. I am afraid to take a stand for
things that are right. I am concerned with how people will react to me or
perceive my actions or words. I don’t often think about God’s opinion in a
matter and rarely think there could be consequences for disobeying him. I
primarily seek the approval of man and not of God.

5. I often feel insecure. I don’t want to try new things or step out into
uncomfortable situations because I’m afraid I’ll fail or look foolish. I am
easily embarrassed.

6. I regularly compare myself to others. I am performance oriented. I feel that
I have greater worth if I do well.

7. I am self-critical. I tend to be a perfectionist. I can’t stand for little things to be wrong because they reflect poorly on me. I have a hard time putting my mistakes behind me.

8. I desire to receive credit and recognition for what I do . I like people to see what I do and let me know that they noticed. I feel hurt or offended when they don’t. I am overly concerned about my reputation and hate being
misunderstood.

9. I want people to be impressed with me. I like to make my accomplishments
known.

10. I tend to be deceptive about myself. I find myself lying to preserve my
reputation. I find myself hiding the truth about myself, especially about sins,
weaknesses, etc. I don’t want people to know who I really am.

11. I am selfishly ambitious. I really want to get ahead. I like having a position or title. I far prefer leading to following.

12. I am overly competitive. I always want to win or come out on top and it
bothers me when I don’t.

13. I like to be the center of attention and will say or do things to draw attention to myself.

14. I like to talk, especially about myself or persons or things I am involved with. I want people to know what I am doing or thinking. I would rather speak than listen. I have a hard time being succinct.

15. I am self-serving. When asked to do something, I find myself asking, “How will doing this help me, or will I be inconvenienced?”

16. I am not very excited about seeing or making others successful. I tend to
feel envious, jealous or critical towards those who are doing well or being
honored.

17. I feel special or superior because of what I have or do. For example:
*my house
*my neighborhood
*my physical giftings
*my spiritual giftings
*my intellect or education
*being a Christian
*my position or job
*my car
*my salary
*my looks

18. I think highly of myself. In relation to others I typically see myself as more
mature and more gifted. In most situations, I have more to offer than others even though I may not say so. I don’t consider myself average or ordinary.

19. I tend to give myself credit for who I am and what I accomplish. I only
occasionally think about or recognize that all that I am or have comes from
God.

20. I tend to be self-righteous. I can think that I really have something to offer
God. I would never say so, but I think God did well to save me. I seldom think
about or recognize my complete depravity and helplessness apart from God. I regularly focus on the sins of others. I don’t credit God for any degree of holiness in my life.

21. I feel deserving. I think I deserve what I have. In fact, I think I ought to
have more considering how well I have lived or in light of all I have done.

22. I often feel ungrateful. I tend to grumble about what I have or my lot in life.

23. I find myself wallowing in self-pity. I am consumed with how I am treated by
God and others. I tend to feel mistreated or misunderstood. I seldom
recognize or sympathize with what’s going on with others around me because I feel that I have it worse than they do.

24. I can be jealous or envious of others abilities, possessions, positions, or accomplishments. I want to be what others are or want to have what others
have. I am envious of what others have thinking that I should have it or
deserve it. I find it hard to rejoice with others when they are blessed by God.

25. I am pretty insensitive to others. I feel that some people just aren’t worth
caring about. I have a hard time showing compassion.

26. I have a know-it-all attitude. I am impressed by my own knowledge. I feel
like there isn’t much I can learn from other people, especially those less
mature than me.

27. I have a hard time listening to ordinary people. I listen better to those I
respect or people I want to leave with a good impression. I don’t honestly
listen when someone else is speaking because I am usually planning what I am going to say next.

28. I like to reveal my own mind. I have an answer for practically every situation. I feel compelled to balance everyone else out.

29. I interrupt people regularly. I don’t let people finish what they are saying.

30. I feel compelled to stop people when they start to share something with me I already know.

31. I find it hard to admit it when I don’t know something. When someone asks
me something I don’t know, I will make up an answer rather than admit I don’t
know.

32. I don’t get much out of teaching. I tend to evaluate a speaker rather than
my own life. I grumble in my heart about hearing something a second time.

33. I listen to teaching with other people in mind. I constantly think of those folks who need to hear the teaching and wish they were here.

34. I’m not very open to input. I don’t pursue correction for my life. I tend to
be unteachable and slow to repent when corrected. I don’t really see
correction as a positive thing. I am offended when people probe the
motivations of my heart or seek to adjust me.

35. I have a hard time admitting that I am wrong. I find myself covering up or
excusing my sins. It is hard for me to confess my sins to others or to ask for
forgiveness.

36. I view correction as an intrusion into my privacy rather than an instrument of
God for my welfare. I can’t identify anyone who would feel welcome to correct me.

37. I resent people who attempt to correct me. I don’t respond with gratefulness and sincere appreciation for their input. Instead I am tempted to accuse them and dwell on their faults. I get bitter and withdraw.

38. When corrected, I become contentious and argumentative. I don’t take people’s observations seriously. I minimize and make excuses or give
explanations.

39. I am easily angered and offended. I don’t like being crossed or disagreed
with. I find myself thinking, “I can’t believe they did that to me.” I often
feel wronged.

40. I have ‘personality conflicts’ with others. I have a hard time getting along
with certain kinds of people. People regularly tell me that they struggle with
me.

41. I am self-willed and stubborn. I have a hard time cooperating with others. I really prefer my own way and often insist on getting it.

42. I am independent and uncommitted. I don’t really see why I need other
people. I can easily separate myself from others. I don’t get much out of the
small group meetings.

43. I am unaccountable. I don’t ask others to hold me responsible to follow
through on my commitments. I don’t really need accountability for my words
and actions. I think I can take care of myself.

44. I am unsubmissive. I don’t like being under the authority of another person. I don’t see submission as a good and necessary provision from God for my life. I have a hard time supporting and serving those over me. I don’t ‘look up’ to people and I like to be in charge. Other people may need leaders but I don’t. It is important that my voice is heard.

45. I lack respect for other people. I don’t think very highly of most people. I
have a hard time encouraging and honoring others unless they really do
something great.

46. I am a slanderer. I find myself either giving or receiving evil reports about others. Often times the things I say or hear are true about other people. I am not concerned about the effect of slander on me because of my maturity level. I think I can handle it. I only share will others the things I really think they need to know. I don’t tell all.

47. I am divisive. I tend to resist or resent authority. I don’t like other people to give me orders or directions.

48. I like to demean or put others down. I often think people need to be adjusted and put in their place. This includes leaders. Other people need to be more humble and have a ‘sober’ assessment of themselves.

49. I tend to be critical of others. I find myself feeling or talking negatively
about people. I subtlety feel better about myself when I see how bad someone else is. I find it far easier to evaluate than to encourage someone else.

50. I really appreciate somebody taking the time to put this paper together. It
will really be a big help to my friends and family. However, I don’t really need
this because I think I’m pretty humble already.

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