Dying with Grace

September 29, 2015

Dying 36-year-old father shares final advice
By Jason Wright | FoxNews.com

Published September 29, 2015
Paul Moore, 36, of Farmington, Utah, sits across from me on an oversized couch with his head resting against a pillow. I have no idea where our lengthy interview will lead, or how much it will change me.
“We all have two stories to tell,” he says, stealing a glance at his wife, Joni. “I choose to tell mine in the best way possible — with grace.”
Moore’s face is thin, but his eyes are wise. He has a large lump at the middle and top of his chest that’s visible through his lightweight, pull-over sweatshirt. His arms are wiry and his legs are tired.
I type the word: Paul Moore is dying. But his spirit and faith? They couldn’t be more alive.
In February, at the insistence of a neighbor, Moore and his wife visited the emergency room with questions about what they thought were cysts and pulled muscles in his shoulder and neck.
Tests revealed approximately 40 tumors of various shapes and sizes, including some on his skull.
Since that winter morning, Moore has had radiation, six surgeries, including kidney removal and a complete hip replacement. Today he walks with a cane because doctors say he could break his other hip by simply walking across their living room.
In August, Moore was told he has, perhaps, two months to live. But you wouldn’t know it from his faith and optimism. “We’re going to be alright,” he says with a smile.
He’s right, in large part because of a new foundation meant to outlive all of us. The Paul Moore Foundation was created by four women with a deep desire to help ease the financial burden of Paul’s terminal illness. Their initial efforts will support the Moores, but their goal is to meet needs of other families with a terminally ill parent.
“It’s surprising to us,” Paul says, “that more help isn’t available for families where the breadwinner is terminally ill.”
Not surprisingly, Joni becomes emotional discussing the love that surrounds them. “The goodness of people? It has no boundaries,” she says, wiping tears and looking at Paul. “Our gratitude just rises up and up and up every day. We are truly amazed by what people are doing for us.”
Paul and Joni aren’t alone at home. They have two daughters, Ellie, 5, and Reese, 3. Both are on the autism spectrum and Paul admits to worrying about what they’ll remember about their dad. “I’ve written letters to them and we’re making videos,” he said, wiping tears from both eyes. When he’s done, Joni grabs his hand.
“They won’t forget,” she whispers.
Paul confides that he’s not scared of dying, but he does wonder and worry about his Joni and the girls. “I wonder … where will it happen and when? How do you know? I can’t imagine just not waking up some day and then the kids seeing me taken out.”
Again through tears, Joni promises the girls will be protected from the more challenging moments of the days to come.
“Great things come from trials,” he adds. “I’ve learned the depression doesn’t get me anywhere. I consider myself one of the luckiest guys on Earth. What a blessing to have time to prepare, even to mentally prepare to see what I will see and to be worthy of the other side.”
All of it, he prays, will have a positive impact on his family until they’re reunited. This principle of eternal families is something even his daughters understand. “Ellie knows what’s happening. She shares a lot, maybe even too much,” Paul says, as he and Joni both smile. “She says to people, even in the grocery store, ‘My daddy has cancer.’”
More importantly, Ellie also shares that even though he’ll soon be gone, one day they’ll be with him again in heaven.
When given a chance to share advice with my readers, Paul speaks with urgency. “Please quit wasting time with negative thoughts. Let your perspective change. It’s worked for me. There are so many good people all around you. I’ve had to let those thoughts go and start driving in the slow lane. You can do this, too.”
Paul Moore is right — everyone has two stories. We could have spent our interview discussing sickness, treatments and heartache, or used the time to talk about inspiration. With their remarkable candor, the Moores are taking a chance that Paul’s journey to the other side might inspire someone else.
“Make a choice,” Paul says. “And always tell the most inspirational story you can. I view what I’m experiencing as a privilege and a blessing. That’s the story we want to tell.”
They’re doing that and so much more. Paul Moore has lived a grateful, faithful life, and he’ll die the same way. And while the timing may not be his to determine, he’s living and telling his family’s story on his terms.
And he’s telling it with grace.
May we all do the same.
-Foxnews

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He’s Fake

September 24, 2015

On Thursday, Pope Francis spoke before a Joint Session of Congress, where he explicitly lectured Americans on illegal immigration, redistribution of income, the death penalty, and climate change, but made only veiled references to abortion and same-sex marriage. It is no wonder President Obama was so happy to see the Pope in Washington, D.C.
The Pope began his address by telling legislators that he is a “son of this great continent, from which we have all received so much and toward which we share a common responsibility.” He did not mention what responsibility other countries in our hemisphere carry for their own citizens.
The Pope continued that Congressional authority sprang from the need to pursue the “common good,” adding, “legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you.”
In Constitutional terms, this is plainly untrue. Legislative authority does not spring from care for the people, but from the consent of the people and non-violation of their rights.
Every dictatorship in history has justified its authority on the basis of care for people, but in the American vision, the people are not children to be led by the hand or cared for, but to be protected from encroachment upon their God-given freedoms.
After giving a well-stated, meaningful reflection on Moses’ role in the Bible – both patriarch and conduit for God – the Pope moved on to an appeal to the poor, the elderly, and youth, citing specifically Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.
The Pope characterized Lincoln’s legacy thusly: “Building a future of freedom requires love of the common good and cooperation in a spirit of subsidiarity and solidarity.” Actually, Lincoln’s legacy wasn’t cooperation: it was fighting the evil of slavery through force of arms. Hundreds of thousands of Americans died to fight slavery. Lincoln was the Great Emancipator, not the Great Conciliator.
But in the name of Lincoln, the Pope then soft-pedaled the fight against radical Islam:
Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind.
Well, no. There are some forms of religion that are more prone to extremism and violence than others, and this form of religious multiculturalism is odd coming from the leader of the world’s most powerful proselytizing religious institution. He continued:
A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps. We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place…. Our response must instead be one of hope and healing, of peace and justice.
Obviously, we have to avoid engaging in evil acts. But labeling the distinction between good and evil “simple reductionism” runs directly counter to the dictates of morality. Lincoln would have found this appalling, because Lincoln did not preach moral relativism.
As Lincoln said in his Second Inaugural Address, while justifying the bloodiest war in American history, “In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free – honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just – a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.”
The Pope then jumped into pushing wealth redistributionism:
We are asked to summon the courage and the intelligence to resolve today’s many geopolitical and economic crises. Even in the developed world, the effects of unjust structures and actions are all too apparent. Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples. We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.
Later on, he continued:
If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance. Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, its social life. I do not underestimate the difficulty that this involves, but I encourage you in this effort.
Nonsense. If politics serves individuals, it serves individual freedom. Redefining the “service of the human person” as the “compelling need to live as one” is both a linguistic and moral perversion. Mao would have agreed with the Pope on this one.
This veiled call for socialistic government economic intervention then gave way to a completely incorrect interpretation of American politics: “The challenges facing us today call for a renewal of that spirit of cooperation, which has accomplished so much good throughout the history of the United States.”
No, actually. Cooperation is not the general spirit of American politics, nor has it ever been. American politics has been based around the notion that contentious debates regarding policy generally end in gridlock, preserving freedom by preventing an ever-growing government. But the Pope seems to be reading from President Obama’s hymnal, in which government is simply a word for what we all do together.
Pope Francis made a veiled reference to religious freedom without referring explicitly to either Obamacare or the latest legislative attempts to destroy religious businesses on behalf of homosexual marriage (“It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard”), then moved quickly onto illegal immigration, where he proceeded to relate America’s treatment of immigrants to original American settlers’ treatment of Native Americans:
In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants. Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected. For those peoples and their nations, from the heart of American democracy, I wish to reaffirm my highest esteem and appreciation. Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us. Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.
Dissecting this logic requires a neurosurgeon. Apparently, the Pope believes that America’s original immigrants mistreated the natives, and that the current native-born of America thus ought to welcome illegal immigrants. This, to be sure, makes no sense, but it certainly places the onus on Americans instead of those breaking American law. The Pope continued along these lines:
Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Opposing illegal immigration is not matter of discarding “whatever proves troublesome.” It is a matter of preserving a country with values worth preserving, and doing so by either assimilating new immigrants or limiting immigrants to those who wish to assimilate.
The Pope’s only reference to abortion came next: “The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”
This, you would think, would lead to a full-scale attack on America’s disgusting abortion culture, funded and promulgated by Democrats sitting in front of the Pope. But no. That veiled reference was it. And the Pope used the veiled reference to swivel not to abortion but to the death penalty.
Yes, the death penalty.
The Pope was far more interested in lecturing federal legislators about saving the 35 murderers executed in the United States under state law in 2014 than the million innocent unborn children killed every year in the United States under federal auspices:
This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.
Would he tackle abortion now? Not a chance. The Pope again launched into a broadside against capitalism, praising Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker Movement before adding, “I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty… It goes without saying that part of this great effort is the creation and distribution of wealth.”
But the Pope did not attribute the global rise in living standards to the power of capitalism. Instead, he called for its tremendous limitation on behalf of global warming:
In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to “redirect our steps,” and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States – and this Congress – have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies…
No courageous actions and strategies to fight abortion or same-sex marriage. But the war on the air conditioner proceeds apace.
And, it turns out, the war for pacifism:
When countries which have been at odds resume the path of dialogue – a dialogue which may have been interrupted for the most legitimate of reasons – new opportunities open up for all. This has required, and requires, courage and daring, which is not the same as irresponsibility. A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism.
Given that no other major international deals regarding armed conflict have been signed in the recent past, this must be a coded reference to President Obama’s Iran deal, which the Pope supported.
Finally, at long last, the Pope’s more conservative supporters must have been excited to hear him speak about the family as he transitioned into a discussion of his upcoming appearance at the World Meeting of Families:
It is my wish that throughout my visit the family should be a recurrent theme. How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.
Did this lead to a discussion of traditional marriage? It did not. The Pope instead redirected to a vague statement about “the young,” whom he says are trapped in a “hopeless maze of violence, abuse and despair” rather than starting families. Given that the Justices of the Supreme Court attended the speech, it would have been an opportune moment to say something about Justice Kennedy, a Catholic, writing glorification of homosexual relationships into the Constitution. Alas, the Pope continued not to speak truth to power, instead opting for leftist tropes that will please the media and do little to redirect the nation’s moral conversation.
For years now, Pope Francis’ more conservative defenders have stated that his words have been consistently misinterpreted by the media. There’s truth to that. But there was no way to misinterpret his speech today, delivered in plain English to an adoring left.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.

Dissecting this logic requires a neurosurgeon. Apparently, the Pope believes that America’s original immigrants mistreated the natives, and that the current native-born of America thus ought to welcome illegal immigrants. This, to be sure, makes no sense, but it certainly places the onus on Americans instead of those breaking American law. The Pope continued along these lines:
Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Opposing illegal immigration is not matter of discarding “whatever proves troublesome.” It is a matter of preserving a country with values worth preserving, and doing so by either assimilating new immigrants or limiting immigrants to those who wish to assimilate.
The Pope’s only reference to abortion came next: “The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”
This, you would think, would lead to a full-scale attack on America’s disgusting abortion culture, funded and promulgated by Democrats sitting in front of the Pope. But no. That veiled reference was it. And the Pope used the veiled reference to swivel not to abortion but to the death penalty.
Yes, the death penalty.
The Pope was far more interested in lecturing federal legislators about saving the 35 murderers executed in the United States under state law in 2014 than the million innocent unborn children killed every year in the United States under federal auspices:
This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.
Would he tackle abortion now? Not a chance. The Pope again launched into a broadside against capitalism, praising Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker Movement before adding, “I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty… It goes without saying that part of this great effort is the creation and distribution of wealth.”
But the Pope did not attribute the global rise in living standards to the power of capitalism. Instead, he called for its tremendous limitation on behalf of global warming:
In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to “redirect our steps,” and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States – and this Congress – have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies…
No courageous actions and strategies to fight abortion or same-sex marriage. But the war on the air conditioner proceeds apace.
And, it turns out, the war for pacifism:
When countries which have been at odds resume the path of dialogue – a dialogue which may have been interrupted for the most legitimate of reasons – new opportunities open up for all. This has required, and requires, courage and daring, which is not the same as irresponsibility. A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism.
Given that no other major international deals regarding armed conflict have been signed in the recent past, this must be a coded reference to President Obama’s Iran deal, which the Pope supported.
Finally, at long last, the Pope’s more conservative supporters must have been excited to hear him speak about the family as he transitioned into a discussion of his upcoming appearance at the World Meeting of Families:
It is my wish that throughout my visit the family should be a recurrent theme. How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.
Did this lead to a discussion of traditional marriage? It did not. The Pope instead redirected to a vague statement about “the young,” whom he says are trapped in a “hopeless maze of violence, abuse and despair” rather than starting families. Given that the Justices of the Supreme Court attended the speech, it would have been an opportune moment to say something about Justice Kennedy, a Catholic, writing glorification of homosexual relationships into the Constitution. Alas, the Pope continued not to speak truth to power, instead opting for leftist tropes that will please the media and do little to redirect the nation’s moral conversation.
For years now, Pope Francis’ more conservative defenders have stated that his words have been consistently misinterpreted by the media. There’s truth to that. But there was no way to misinterpret his speech today, delivered in plain English to an adoring left.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.

Agreed

September 16, 2015

Open letter from a Police Chief , this Black Lives Matter group is nothing more than an American born terrorist group brought on by the lie of the hands up don’t shoot during the criminal thug Michael Brown incident. The FBI and other Government Law Enforcement groups need to step up and put a stop to this. The Government and blacks would not tolerate the White Supremacist group to march through the streets and call for the murders of a race of people and a group of public servants.
I agree there is a race problem in this country. It is not brought on by police officer doing their sworn duty, it is brought on by the government, the President and his cronies Al Sharpton, who is a criminal tax evader (but has the support of our so called President), Jesse Jackson, Eric Holder and that ignorant S.O.B. Farrakhan who should be charged with solicitation for murder, lord knows a white man would be arrested for the same actions of idiot Farrakhan.
I am sure there are many hard working Black people who will agree with me. I have been a Police Officer for 35 years. I do not judge anyone by the color of their skin, but by there actions. A criminal is a criminal whether a police officer or any other profession.
I will not state statistics because black lives matter do not care or believe proven statistics. I put allot of the blame for these cop murders on the media and the way they report police related shootings. There is no need to list or even state the race of a person shot by the police. It is more important to wait for the facts and report those. But and a big but that does not make money for these greedy media ass holes.

When a black thug is killed by the police they are all over it as is Mr. Barack Obama. However when a police officer white, black or any race is murdered for doing his job the media is short with it’s reporting or not at all. When a white person is killed by a black officer you hear nothing. Has our so called President spoke publicly about these murders of police officers by blacks, HELL NO he has not.
Step up Mr. President, or step down because we do not need you. Has our Attorney General spoke against these murders, no of course not because she was appointed by Barack Obama. Now let me say this, and this is not a threat but common knowledge.
I have instructed my officers to be vigilant, if threatened take appropriate action. If that means shoot a thug, then do it and answer for it while you are still alive not dead. Law Enforcement is fed up with this murderous society who want to take out those who protect and serve. Imagine if all law enforcement shut down for just 1 day. There would be murders, rapes, robberies, you name it.
America wake up, all of you black, white, Mexican whatever you need the police, we do not need you. End this Black Lives Matter bull shit and start a movement that all lives matter.
As for the New Black Panther movement who wants to kill whites and cops, go for it, we are ready for you. You take one of us and there will be 100 who will step up and end you. This letter is not meant to offend anyone, just the feelings of a man who has spent the last 35 years of his life serving and protecting, for what so a thug can take it or to be treated as a criminal by the very people I swore to protect. Let’s get this around folks so maybe our President and the media will get a wake up call. Be safe all of my Brothers and Sisters in blue, not white, black, yellow or brown BLUE.
Bergman said he spoke with Halstead about the post after it was brought to his attention. He said he reminded him “that as public employees we are often held to higher level of scrutiny and that even if it is a personal social media account and despite not associating himself directly to the Town in his posting, that some will draw the connection.
-police chief, nc 

Leaving the Faith

September 11, 2015

BY MEZ MCCONNELL 
I remember vividly my early days in the church. Everything was new and fresh. There was a large young people’s group and there was a real buzz, about the place. It was exciting being a Christian around people like that. It made church seem like the place to be.

field-691616 copyBut, as time went on, more and more people fell by the wayside. One by one, people I had thought were solid Christians just drifted away from the group, the church and the faith. 20 years on and very few attend a church today. It is a great tragedy. Even the man who gave me a home out of prison and introduced me to Christ won’t talk about the gospel anymore. It is heartbreaking.
This has been our experience in Niddrie too. I tell our new interns every year to take a good look around because some of them, and the people they will meet, will be here next year and some of them will be gone. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again.
How does that happen to people? Why do they come for a while, confess faith in Jesus and then they melt out of the picture?
Their early excitement is gone. Lost, seemingly, forever.
In the letter to the Hebrews we have a group of second-generation believers who were facing pressure to look for alternatives to following Jesus. The author is desperate for these believers. He fears for them and their faith and goes to great lengths to prove the superiority of Jesus Christ, hitting them with theological gold in chapter 1. In chapter 2 he turns to address them in a practical way.
“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” (Hebrews 2:1 ESV)
Pay much closer attention!
People tend to drift from the faith because they allow the wrong kind of voices to influence them. That’s why me must be careful about who and what are we allowing to speak into our lives. Are we paying as careful attention to the Word of God as we do to the other voices in our lives? If I want to listen to a sermon by Alistair Begg I find a quiet place and go and listen to him online. When we want to listen to a friend we take them out for a drink or go around to their place so we won’t be disturbed. Are we making the same sort of provisions in our life for listening to Jesus? Are we paying careful attention to his Word?
It’s so easy to take the gospel of Jesus for granted. It’s so easy to lose our way, even in the middle of a dynamic gospel community. We get careless. And, if we’re not careful, it can start to become boring and even monotonous. We begin to think that it’s for other people. We become complacent. Slack. Lazy. The danger of the truths we proclaim week after week is that they begin to wash over us. It becomes so much second nature that it is easy to switch off our minds.
Some of us should be further on than we are! Some of us need to hear the rebuke the author of Hebrews give his hearers:
“About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food.” (Hebrews 5:11-12)
We must not lose sight of Jesus in our own lives. And in our Christian community, we must not lose sight of pushing each other toward Jesus. If we see a brother or sister stumble, then pick them up and help them march on. If they don’t want to be helped then pray for them and move on. Do not get dragged down yourself by others. Sin is like misery in that it loves company.
“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard” (Hebrews 2:1 ESV)
The command here in Hebrews is strong. It is essential that we listen, not just on Sundays or at Bible study or at a special Christian retreat like the one we’ve just had at 20schemes. We mustn’t take our salvation for granted. We must pay much closer attention to the things we’ve heard.

Keep Watch

September 11, 2015

“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” (Hebrews 2:1 ESV)
We’ve seen in part 1 that it’s so easy to take the gospel of Jesus for granted. The author to the Hebrews wants us to pay careful attention to his Word. Why is he so concerned about this? He tells us at the end of v1. In case we ‘drift away’.
So that we don’t drift away!
expeditionA British explorer was leading an expedition in the North Pole. He and his team were calculating where they were based on the stars and then began a long, hard and brutal march north. It was freezing and it took hours and hours. When it came time to make camp and have a rest they took a reading of their position based on the stars again. They found, to their horror, that instead of being further north they were now even further south than when they had started walking.
The problem was that they had been walking on an ice flow that was moving south as they were walking north. The drift was so slight that they had not even noticed it.
That is the point here. When we take our eyes off Christ then we become open to the ungodly influences of our world. It may be slight and barely felt but, ultimately, it causes us to drift from Christ.
We don’t just wake up one day and think, “I won’t follow Jesus anymore”. It happens over time. We don’t even notice it at first. We have drifted.
No authentic Christian can ever be lost. That is not the issue here. No authentic Christian can lose what Christ has purchased for them. The issue here is not rejecting Jesus outright but just taking our eyes off him ever so slightly.
It is always dangerous when we start neglecting Christ and the demands he makes on our lives. When something else takes centre place in our hearts then the drift has started. Guaranteed. And it almost always boils down to either the opposite sex, money or selfishness.
Every year there are those that start well at NCC. They’re all determined and full of beans but then they drift off, no longer truly following Jesus.What happened?

They got distracted.

They took their eyes of the Lord.
And don’t think it couldn’t happen to you! I qualified for ministry with 40 or so people 16 years ago. Less than 10 of us are in ministry now, and countless have abandoned the faith, battle depression, drugs, mental illness, broken relationships, marriages and even prison.
When we first come to faith it’s like buying a 50in flat screen with a state of the art surround sound system. We get it and invite people round so we can show it off. What a beauty. It does everything. We are well chuffed. It takes pride of place on the living room wall. But 6 months later we go round our pals house and he has an 80in monster with built in Bluetooth, Internet and Blu-ray facilities. Ours doesn’t seem so good any more. We want this new model. It has taken our attention. It’s taken the shine off our bad boy.
That’s what we do to Jesus. We love him and we start off buzzing. He’s like our new TV. We can’t wait to tell people about this new part of our life. But then something else comes in and takes our attention. Maybe we meet a non-Christian girl or boy and we get distracted. We tell ourselves they’ll become Christians but, all too soon, we don’t talk about Jesus much any more. Not like we used to. Our relationship has become more important to us than he has. The shine has worn off.
When we become embarrassed by spiritual conversations.

When we don’t engage in heartfelt worship with God’s people.

When we’re not troubled by what we watch and read.

When we’re dulled by the preaching of the gospel.

When we’re not burdened for the lost.

These should be warning signs for us.
We can think of the Christian faith as a walk upstream against the current – it’s hard going and it becomes difficult in places. We have rocks to climb over. Sometimes we fall over and get wet. But we get back up and keep going.
Some people just think, “I’m tired of this, I need a break”. They lie down for a rest and let the current pull them back. Before long they’re miles away from their starting point wondering how it happened.
The antidote is to pay more careful attention to God’s Word. That must surely mean that we need to return to the gospel time and again. We should proclaim it and preach it to ourselves at every opportunity. We must never become conceited enough to think that we have no need of hearing it anymore or that we know it too well.
We pay attention so that we don’t drift.
We are either moving forward or we are drifting backward. There is no standing still in the Christian faith.

Jesus Only Jesus

September 6, 2015

who has the power to raise the dead

who can save us from our sins

he is our hope our righteousness 

Jesus only Jesus
who can make the blind see

who holds the keys that set us free

he paid it all to bring us peace

Jesus only Jesus
Holy King Almighty Lord

Saints and angels all adore

I join with them and now before

Jesus only Jesus


who can command the highest praise

who has the name above all names

you stand alone I stand amazed

Jesus only Jesus
-Chris Tomlin/Matt Redman

Tebow, a Man of Faith

September 4, 2015

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Tim Tebow threw two touchdown passes against his former team in a strong effort to make his new team’s 53-man roster.
Tebow, whose NFL career stalled after playing for the New York Jets in 2012, is competing with Matt Barkley for the Philadelphia Eagles’ No. 3 quarterback job.
“I’m not going to worry about what I can’t control,” Tebow said after the game. “It’s a blessing being able to come out here and play this game that I love. It was a lot of fun out there tonight. It was a blast.”
Asked whether he’d be anxious Friday, knowing the Eagles’ coaching staff would be evaluating him and deciding his fate, Tebow quoted Philippians 4:6.
“I try not to be anxious at all,” Tebow said. “That’s what the Bible says. ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.’ If he said, `Be anxious for nothing,’ I’m going to try to do that.”
The two touchdown passes were the first of the preseason for Tebow, who also has one rushing touchdown.
Barkley finished the preseason with 27 completions on 52 attempts for 351 yards. He had two passes intercepted.
Tebow completed 21 of 36 passes for 286 yards. He threw two touchdown passes and one interceptions, all in Thursday’s 24-18 loss to the Jets.
“I think I’m getting more and more comfortable with the offense, getting into more of a rhythm,” Tebow said. “Especially on first down — getting the first first down, which is big in this offense.”
To get a fairer evaluation, Eagles coach Chip Kelly had the quarterbacks alternate quarters. Barkley played the first and third quarters, and Tebow played the second and fourth quarters. That allowed Tebow to play under similar conditions rather than relegating him to the second half against lesser competition.
“I thought it was the fairest way to do it,” Kelly said, adding that he wouldn’t assess the quarterbacks’ play until he sees the game video. “I thought it was up-and-down with both guys.”
Tebow looked sharpest running the two-minute offense late in the second quarter.
 

 

No More SB?

September 4, 2015

So let’s get this straight (no pun intended) – The CEO of Starbucks wants everyone to be tolerant of his beliefs but he refuses to be tolerant of others’ beliefs, including the people who have invested their hard-earned money into his company.
Does that make any sense? Of course not because he is a leftist and leftists rarely, if ever, make sense.

Questions to Ask Your Spouse

September 3, 2015

Did God reveal anything to you today?What was the best thing that happened to you today?

Is there anything I can do to love you better?

Is there anything burdening your heart?

How can we pray for our marriage today?