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Friday, July 29, 2011

Does God have a body?

Question: The Bible says that God walks (Genesis 3:8; Deuteronomy 23:12-13), stands (Exodus 34:5), has a face (Exodus 33:11, 20), hands (Exodus 33:22-23), has loins and “backparts” (Exodus 33:23; Ezekiel 1:27, 8:2) and there are other passages refer to his eyes, breath, feet, even wings; yet Jesus says that God is spirit (John 4:24) and does not have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). Does God have a body, or not?

Answer: Let’s approach from this direction: God is a living person with intellect, sensibility, emotions, volition (power of will) and attributes. He is also immaterial. These and other texts use anthropomorphic language to describe God, apart from those instances when God appeared in human form as the Angel of the Lord. Jesus is God in observable form. Since He is unlimited and independent of time, space, matter and motion, God is unrestricted in how He chooses to manifest Himself. These anthropomorphisms help us makes sense of his interests, powers and activities.

Here is a bigger question: why should it matter if God has a body or not? The answer is seen first in the fact that we are His handiwork, made in His image; second, in that everything is essentially spiritual (the physical world is only a subset of the spiritual world, if you will); third, God makes sense of our existence; finally, He is our life. Someone once said that the fact of God is necessary to the fact of man; man apart from God would cease to exist. We understand Him through the ways He reveals Himself, and He is not so far removed from us that He cannot be known.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Randoms

If I stretch my left arm out as far as I can from where I am sitting, I can touch my coffee pot. Ahhhhhh . . . coffffeeeeeeee . . .

'Antiques Roadshow' Record: Collection of old cups makes man a millionaire

This is without doubt the coolest backyard science project of all time, ever:

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

Dream with me for a better tomorrow, when chickens can cross roads and not have their motives questioned.

Literary passage of the week: "'Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,' he told me, 'just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had.'" (F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Great Gatsby," Chapter 1).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Socrates Meets a Hero

Do you have any heroes?

Yes, I suppose I have two or three.

If you could choose one, who would it be?

Now, that’s a very good question, but I have one of my own: how does one choose one hero above another?

Do you think it might be helpful to first know what a hero is? What is hero? Is a hero someone admired, looked up to? If so, what makes him so attractive? Is he superhuman, or simply extraordinary?

What would you say makes a hero?

First, wouldn’t we be best served to remember where we get our word, “hero?” I remember Hero of Alexandria . . .

The one who lived about 70 AD?

Yes, he’s the one. And there is Hero “the Younger,” who was a land surveyor who lived some 400 years before him . . .

And these are the progenitors of our name?

No. We should remember in this case Hero, the son of Priam, King of Troy or perhaps Hero, the priestess of Aphrodite. The former would probably be our patriarch as it pertains to a person.

But what does the word mean?

So good of you to ask: the word means “protector,” or “defender.” Now that we have this understanding, we can appreciate the person as a mythological or legendary figure.

Does this mean they do not exist, but are imaginative?

How did you come to that conclusion? Certainly we may think of Heracles or Perseus, who exist only in story; but, what would one do with Samson or David—real people noted for strength, to be sure, but also for other abilities. A hero, then, could be a person of high quality, morality or spirituality. He or she may be remembered for what they have accomplished such a doctor, or one who is courageous. But do you imagine that is the end of it?

What do you mean?

Could there still be another aspect of “hero” that we have not considered, such as the principle figure of a story? The protagonist?

I see what you mean. The hero is not one that we so much look up to, admire as a model figure, but one who is the central character of a story.

And do you imagine this means he must accomplish something great, or that everything must turn out all right in the end?

Perhaps not.

And why not?

Because he is understood to be the individual that makes the story what it is.

And is that the end of it? Could there still be yet another hero?

What do you mean?

You said that the character is understood. Who is it that is doing the understanding, the interpreting of a story?

The reader.

And could this imply then that the reader is the hero of the story?

Of course! I'm beginning to see . . .

What do you make, then, of someone like Thomas Carlyle, who both lectured and wrote on “Heroes and Hero Worship?”

The Victorian? He tried to identify the ideal leader by considering different qualities and types found in other persons.

Such as? Whom did he consider as heros for his hero?

Carlyle considered Odin, Oliver Cromwell, Napoleon, The Bard, Dante, Samuel Johnson, Rousseu, Robert Burns, John Knox, Martin Luther and Mohammed.

And what heroic qualities did he entertain?

The heroic qualities of Divinity, Prophet, Poet, Priest, Man of Letters and Monarchy.

Do you agree with his assessment, that one hero could be found my amassing many into one?

I have not considered it that deeply.

Can you imagine the results, if he were successful?

Perhaps he could build an ideal heroic leader, but that leader would be highly improbable.

And why is that?

Because he would be more a monster and less a real person, considering that his starting point for divinity is myth (and by that I mean, locally imaginative).

So do you have a list of heroes?

Yes . . .”

And out of that list, who is one that rises to the top for you at this moment? . . .

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Puzzle

I would rather work a puzzle than play a game and here’s why: puzzles lead to solutions and games end with a judgment; puzzles cultivate will and games exploit weakness; puzzles foster cooperation and games nurture rivalry; puzzles elevate, encourage, bring completion and satisfaction to participants while in games thrive castigation, discouragement, irresolution and dissatisfaction.

The difference may also be seen by considering what it means to “win.” G. K. Chesterton wrote in his essay, “There is no such thing as backing a winner. There is no such thing as fighting on the winning side. One fights to find out which is the winning side.” (“Part One: The Homelessness of Man” in What’s Wrong with the World.) Trying to understand what this means, I think of a cartoon clipping is posted on the door of one of my colleagues. The panel depicts two soldiers pouring hot oil on the enemy below the castle. One says to the other, “Win or lose, I love doing this.” Many don’t know when to stop, and they simply enjoy the thrill of “doing this” to others.

Interesting to wonder along with Socrates who the brave man is: the one who with assistance fights against fewer and weaker men from a stronger position . . . ?

What got me thinking about this was my exploration into why there exists such disunity among people. Why are we divided? Why does segregation happen? These things happen because of selfishness, simply, and this affects the outcome. In other words, how can two sides work toward a solution if they compete? Solutions are unattainable. Think of what this means when people strive for unity: they divide. Every attempt to come together leads to division and the gap of segregation remains unbridged. “Sure, we can come together, but you must do it my way.” This kind of thinking changes the way people relate to others and the outcome is almost always disastrous.

There is a positive side to division: you can’t eat (much less pick up) a pizza unless it is divided. The divisions are not any less “pizza,” and are still part of the whole. You can’t very well put a dollar bill into the parking meter, but need a small division of money. Contrast this with segregation (and here I am thinking “racial segregation”). How many races are there, and if there is more than one, wouldn’t be consistent drop “human race” from our vocabulary? This kind of division works no more than slicing off a part of my pizza and calling it “bread sticks.”

Segregation is good when necessary. For example, employees of a corporation are just that: employees; but there are some meetings that only administrators or executives need attend and not clerks or janitors. I am happy NOT to sit on the President’s Cabinet, or the Dean’s Cabinet, for that matter; but when it comes to strategic thinking on a matter that crosses my desk, you bet I’ll be there!

Here’s the point: humans are hostile because we are fallen. This excuses nothing and affects everything. My next door neighbors will not talk to me because they have broken into my house—they have damaged the relationship, or support others in doing so. We do the same thing when we lie, for example. We don’t live with the best interest of someone else in mind. Instead, we make it a game so we come out looking good in the end. The best interest of someone else should be our own, a puzzle for us to solve together.

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Fishing on the Susquehanna in July," by Billy Collins

I have never been fishing on the Susquehanna
or on any river for that matter
to be perfectly honest.

Not in July or any month
have I had the pleasure--if it is a pleasure--
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

I am more likely to be found
in a quiet room like this one--
a painting of a woman on the wall,

a bowl of tangerines on the table--
trying to manufacture the sensation
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

There is little doubt
that others have been fishing
on the Susquehanna,

rowing upstream in a wooden boat,
sliding the oars under the water
then raising them to drip in the light.

But the nearest I have ever come to
fishing on the Susquehanna
was one afternoon in a museum in Philadelphia

when I balanced a little egg of time
in front of a painting
in which that river curled around a bend

under a blue cloud-ruffled sky,
dense trees along the banks,
and a fellow with a red bandanna

sitting in a small, green
flat-bottom boat
holding the thin whip of a pole.

That is something I am unlikely
ever to do, I remember
saying to myself and the person next to me.

Then I blinked and moved on
to other American scenes
of haystacks, water whitening over rocks,

even one of a brown hare
who seemed so wired with alertness
I imagined him springing right out of the frame.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wisdom

Question:  The Bible says those who gain wisdom will have knowledge, understanding, even glory (Proverbs 3:35; 4:7; 10:14; 23:23), receiving something better than gold and strength (Proverbs 16:16; Ecclesiastes 9:16-18). Anyone who lacks wisdom is to ask of God (James 1:15); yet, God does not regard the wise (Job 37:24) and will destroy the wisdom of the wise (1 Corinthians 1:19). Please explain this apparent contradiction.

Answer:  Let’s approach this from a different angle by thinking about the qualities necessary for one to be a public leader, a governor, specifically. The ancient Romans valued honesty, simplicity and strength, unlike their Greek predecessors. The Roman family was unified under the rule of the patriarch (who could preside as judge in family trials) and one family was one building block in the structure that was the whole of national government. One might say the Romans were organized, but within themselves. An official, then, must be either elected or appointed to office with all these considerations in mind. Yes, the Roman Empire fell, but it was because Roman morals formed the basis of government—this was their downfall. They lacked wisdom.

One governor betrayed his lack of wisdom with one question, “What is truth?” This may not sound important at first, but consider what this meant in a culture where executive power was held by men who were required to agree on a matter before any action could be taken. J.I. Packer wrote, “Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it.”

There are two kinds of wisdom, and this particular governor stood face-to-face with this realization and could have easily acquired that one thing he was lacking. Sadly, at least to our knowledge, he did not. If he embraced what stood before him in answer to his question, then his wisdom would have been destroyed and he would have become a much different person altogether.

Let us now consider another area: science. One school of thought taught students dealing with disease that hands should be washed in still water; but, guess who said that hands should be washed under running water (see Leviticus 15:13)? Science one day said the earth was flat while God said it was a sphere (Isaiah 40:22). Science one day said that the earth rode on the back of a giant animal (or stacks of animals) while God said it free-floated in space (Job 26:7). Wisdom of the wise fails until it confirms what God has already said.

Any wisdom that stands apart from the wisdom of God will prove to be not-wisdom at all. Acquiring the right wisdom is acquiring treasure.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Randoms

The fourth line of the 18th page in the book nearest me reads, "Thus gently him didst treate." (Edward Taylor, "Upon a Spider Catching a Fly," from The Oxford Book of American Verse. New York: Oxford, 1950).

Excited because they found a new moon, or because they called Pluto a "planet?"
Need Gospel Tracts on a shoestring budget? Visit these sites:

The Library Books are coming home! "The first semi truck load of books returned home on July 19 to the G. Allen Fleece Library at Columbia International University, from their temporary housing in Atlanta. The books were cleaned and restored in Georgia following a May 2009 fire at the library."

Can you name 50 of the most important landmarks of the world?

I leave you with a thought: "Truth fears no questions."

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    CIU Adds Master’s Degrees in Chaplaincy

    To meet the growing need for chaplains in the United States, Columbia International University is now offering master’s degrees in chaplaincy. Beginning in the fall semester, students can begin working toward a Master of Divinity (Chaplaincy) or a Master of Arts in Chaplaincy in CIU Seminary & School of Ministry.

    These degrees will equip students to minister in a variety of settings including military chaplaincy, institutional chaplaincy such as police chaplain or hospital chaplain, and organizational chaplaincy that focuses on the corporate world, sports and those involved in crisis management.

    Dr. John Harvey, the associate dean of CIU Seminary & School of Ministry says the chaplain is playing an increasingly important role in today’s world.  “In an increasingly un-churched society, the chaplain is the person people turn to in a time of crisis,” Harvey said. Harvey also notes that CIU is strategically located for a variety of chaplaincy work.

    “The chaplain school for all branches of the U.S. armed forces is now at Fort Jackson in Columbia,” Harvey said. “Plus, Columbia has four major hospitals, several penal institutions, and is an educational, cultural and business center. There is a wide open door for corporate and sports chaplaincy work.”

    Columbia International University Seminary & School of Ministry is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    No Such Thing as Terminal Christians

    Themes of Ephesians 2 surface again in Romans 5, which should come as no surprise, considering the source. We who needs be reminded often are able to learn once again a deeper truth concerning the principle set forth here, namely, that when we are at our worst, God did his best.

    We often use the phrase, “I did my best,” when we return to the dug-out after striking out;
    Or when scooping up the casserole off the floor between the kitchen and dinner table;
    Or realizing that all the time you spent caulking the bathroom, you used the wrong caulk.

    Not so with God. When He gave His best, that’s all He had and He accomplished all He set out to do in giving His best. There was no defeat on His part. Look at what Paul wrote:

    • We were dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2), without strength (Ro 5);
    • He made us alive in Christ Jesus (Eph 2), who died for the ungodly while we were still sinners (Ro 5);
    • He in his rich mercy loved us (Eph 2), demonstrating that love in Christ’s death (Ro 5);
    • We were children of wrath (Eph 2) and are saved from His wrath by His blood (Ro 5);
    • We are made alive in Christ (Eph 2), reconciled to God (Ro 5);
    • We are saved through faith (Eph 2) by His life (Ro 5).
    God makes sons out of enemies those who by faith in the shed blood of Jesus die to sin and enter in to new life. He brings alive those who are dead in sin—He does not wait until we deal with sin. Ever heard the expression, “turning over a new leaf?” Well, God doesn’t do that—He makes a new leaf.


    The story goes that Socrates was once asked concerning his country of origin, to which he replied, “I am a citizen of the world.” The Christian can only say he or she is the citizen of heaven because he is moved from earth to heaven through faith in the captain of his salvation! We are not caught in between, stranded without citizenship like someone stranded in an airport terminal.

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    “Landscape with the Fall of Icaraus” by William Carols Williams

    According to Brueghel

    when Icarus fell

    it was spring


    a farmer was ploughing

    his field

    the whole pageantry


    of the year was

    awake tingling

    near


    the edge of the sea

    concerned

    with itself


    sweating in the sun

    that melted

    the wings' wax


    unsignificantly

    off the coast

    there was


    a splash quite unnoticed

    this was

    Icarus drowning

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Is Wisdom Good or Not?

    Question: The Bible says that those who gain wisdom will have knowledge, understanding, even glory (Proverbs 3:35; 4:7; 10:14; 23:23), receiving something better than gold and strength (Proverbs 16:16; Ecclesiastes 9:16-18). Anyone who lacks wisdom is to ask of God (James 1:15); but why does it say that God does not regard the wise (Job 37:24) and will destroy the wisdom of the wise (1 Corinthians 1:19)? Please explain this apparent contradiction.

    Answer: "Apparent" is the key word here.

    To begin with, let’s think over simplistically for a moment about the qualities necessary for one to be a public leader, a governor, specifically. The ancient Romans valued honesty, simplicity and strength, unlike their Greek predecessors. The Roman family was unified under the rule of the patriarch (who could preside as judge in family trials) and one family was one building block in the structure that was the whole of national government. One might say the Romans were organized, but within themselves. An official, then, must be either elected or appointed to office with all these considerations in mind. Yes, the Roman Empire fell, but fell due to the morals that formed the basis of government. They lacked wisdom.

    One governor betrayed his lack of wisdom with one question, “What is truth?” This may not sound important at first, but consider what this meant in a culture where executive power was held by men who were required to agree on a matter before any action could be taken. J.I. Packer wrote, “Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it.” There are obviously two kinds of wisdom, and this particular governor stood face-to-face with this realization and could have easily acquired that one thing he was lacking. If he had embraced what stood before him in answer to his question, then his wisdom would have been destroyed and he would have become a much different governor.

    Consider for a moment the wisdom of science: students were taught that in dealing with disease, hands should be washed in still water. God built into the ceremonial laws of the nation of Israel this instruction: when dealing with disease, hands should be washed under running water (Leviticus 15:13). Again, science said the earth was flat while God said it was a sphere (Isaiah 40:22). Wisdom of the wise failed.

    Any wisdom that stands apart from the wisdom of God will prove to be not-wisdom at all.

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Randoms

    TSA Fail: Man successfully flies from NY to CA without ticket or ID.

    Japan's New Goateed Geminoid Robot is Uncomfortably Realistic.

    And if that is not enough: if you want to see what Earth looks like from space, become an astronaut (or, barring that, a space tourist). For the next best view, pay a visit to Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation where a massive, nearly 20-foot spherical OLED orb--the world’s first large scale spherical OLED--offers a satellite’s-eye view of the planet in super high resolution.

    Amazing water sculpture fountain:

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Books I Am Giving Away



    BookMooch.com is a book trade site

    If you see a book you like and do not have a Book Mooch account, I am willing to trade for a book on my wishlist (US only, no international shipping). Just drop me an e-mail or a comment:



    Swap your books at BookMooch.com

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    “And you were . . . but God . . .”: Ephesians 2

    I wish I had the time to go down on the street and interview people for some “live” answers to the question: “How does a person get to heaven?” or “How does a person know he or she is right with God?” I can only begin to imagine the answers:

    • “You don’t. You just have to take your chances.”
    • “I am in control of my own destiny. I don’t need God.”
    • “Heaven is a state of mind” or “Heaven is here on earth” (like, “Hell is here on earth,” right?)
    • “You have to learn what you need to know to get there. Can we visit your home to tell you more about it?”
    • “Go to church, be good. Get job, go to school.”
    • “God will save everybody because He is love and forgives.”
    • “Admit we have broken God’s law and are helpless in sin. We need to receive His grace and mercy and forgiveness by faith because Jesus died on the cross and rose again to pay our penalty for us.”
    I am firmly convinced that every person is mentioned in the Bible and the New Testament book of Ephesians is just one place we can find one description of every person that has lived, is living and will yet live. He wrote, “You were dead in your trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1).

    I was working outside one day when a older neighbor of mine walked by (he does not have a car, so he walks everywhere). We greeted each other and I asked how he was doing (he was not smiling as his usual self). He told me he was upset because he was supposed to go to court. I asked what happened. He told me that he was arrested for trespassing. This was very upsetting to him because (as I’ve already said) he walks everywhere (and everyone knows that)—only this time a short-cut got him in trouble. He was being held responsible and was fearful of the consequences.

    We crossed the line, trespassed God’s commands and that brings consequences: spiritual death. We are un-alive. Not living. If my neighbor breaks into my house, our relationship is ruined and when I turn them over to the law, our relationship is still ruined. That’s what we’ve done with God: we violated his perfect standard and pay the consequences. We live according to the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the mind and deserve God’s wrath (Ephesians 1:3). Paul would later write to the Romans that “the body is dead because of sin” (8:10).

    God is the judge and that means He must pass down justice, so here is what He did: while we were sin-dead, He paid our sin-fine. He took our punishment on Himself in Christ Jesus. He does not us to experience His wrath, so mercifully extended to us His loving grace in Christ that brings us life, the life that seats us together with Him in the heavenlies! (Ephesians 2:1-10) Note: Paul is not saying that every person receives this benefit, like it or not. This is what Universalists would have us believe. Reading carefully, one will see that Paul is writing to people who have already experienced this grace, not to those who have yet to receive it. Simply put, He took us from sin and death and darkness in order to send us back into it to rescue others who still there remain.

    God’s gift of grace found in Christ Jesus is what saves us from death and wrath to come; but, that’s not all. God’s gift also includes the faith we need to acquire this reality. “But,” someone may say,”I don’t know that I have enough faith to believe.” Then you are in the perfect position to receive His gift of faith because this faith is not of ourselves in the same way that God’s gracious gift of salvation is not in ourselves. Grace is a gift of God. Faith is a gift of God. This way we can say “He has done this, ‘in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.’” (Ephesians 2:7)

    This has nothing to do with being good or going to school or learning some secret knowledge. A corpse never gets into trouble because it is dead--and it can’t learn anything. We can't control our own destiny any more than we can control our body functions. We are dead in our sins until God makes us alive in Christ Jesus.

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Sunrise

    “Now Morn her rosy steps in th’Eastern Clime

    Advancing, sow’d the Earth with Orient Pearl,

    When Adam wak’t, so custom’d, for his sleep

    Was Airy light, from pure digestion bred,

    And temperate vapours bland, which th’only sound

    Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora’s fan,

    Lightly dispers’d, and the shrill Matin Song

    Of Birds on every bough . . .”

    (From John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” Book V. 1671 ed.)

    Friday, July 08, 2011

    Is Marriage A Good Thing?

    Question: Why does the Old Testament say that it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18), and that finding a wife is a good thing (Proverbs 18:22); yet, the New Testament says it is good that a man should not touch a woman (1 Corinthians 7:1)? Is marriage a good thing?

    Answer: A wife is such a good find that marriage protects both man and wife. Paul did not say that a man could not touch a woman, thus making marriage bad. The word “touch” used by Paul includes the idea of “fasten to, adhere” and “to set on fire.” What he said was, “Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.” In other words, marriage protects from immorality.

    Look at it this way: if two people are married, even flirting with someone is not permissible because it misdirects emotions and this can lead to lust, which is adultery. The man is to have his own woman and the woman her own man.

    Thursday, July 07, 2011

    Randoms

    John Starke at the Gospel Coalition offers five pointers on "How To Write A Great Book Review (Or At Least How Not To Write A Bad One)." There is not your standard academic style!

    Why do they say that new research is just discovering that planes make rain when we were taught this in Elementary School as early as the 1970's (for me, at least)?

    The state of South Carolina is abuzz after the University of South Carolina Gamecocks won back-to-back national baseball championships.  But one of Columbia International University's biggest baseball fans was not in the state to celebrate - he wasn't even in the country.

    Wednesday, July 06, 2011

    I Am Curious To Know . . .

    Have you read Rob Bell's book "Love Wins?"
    Do you agree with his conclusion? 
    What is your response to Rob Bell, personally? 
    Would you happen to have William Barclay's commentaries on your shelf? 
    Are you still are a C.S. Lewis fan?

    "I am a convinced universalist. I believe that in the end all men will be gathered into the love of God . . ."  (Barclay, William. William Barclay: A Spiritual Autobiography. Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 1977. Note pages 65-67).

    "There are people in other religions who are being led by God's secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it . . . . For example a Buddhist of good will may be led to concentrate more and more on the Buddhist teaching about mercy and to leave in the background (though he might still say he believed) the Buddhist teaching on certain points. Many of the good Pagans long before Christ's birth may have been in this position" (Lewis, C.S. Macmillan: New York, 1984. Note pp. 176-177).

    Tuesday, July 05, 2011

    Diving Boards for Summertime Conversation

    While you are packing your swim trunks and stocking up on sun screen, see if you can name these famous bodies of water. Oh, and you can use these as diving boards (spring boards, get it? It’s a joke) for witnessing situations while waiting in line for smoothies, or the high-dive, or while floating in the lazy river:

    1) Jesus told a blind man to wash in this pool and receive sight.
    2) Naaman “dipped” in this river and was healed of leprosy.
    3) Daniel saw a vision of a ram in this river.
    4) Ezekiel saw visions of God here.
    5) Elijah slew the prophets of Baal near this brook.
    6) Moses led the Israelite through dry land to this sea.
    7) Another name for the Sea of Galilee.
    8) A river that flows out of Eden.
    9) The water here was bitter.
    10) Seraiah was commanded to read a book and cast it into this river.
    11) Jesus taught from a ship in this body of water.

    Monday, July 04, 2011

    God Bless America!

    The Land of Freedom

    One of the great blessings we enjoy in the United States of America is freedom. We all have the freedom to live our own life, choose our own path, and use our abilities for our own gain as well as for the good of others. We have the freedom to choose our leaders and the freedom to worship God without fear of interference from the government.

    Freedom’s Cost

    All of these freedoms are great blessings, but they were not won without a cost. Our forefathers took a stand for these freedoms and defended them, whatever the price. Since then, countless brave men and women have stood up to protect this great country, to secure its freedoms, and to promote the cause of freedom around the world. Many of them have paid the ultimate price, and we honor their sacrifice.

    A Greater Freedom

    There is an even greater freedom which can be possessed and enjoyed by every person on the face of the earth, regardless of their social standing or nationality. This is freedom from sin and its judgment. Mankind has been in bondage to sin long before America was founded. In fact, the power and consequences of sin have governed the world since the first man, Adam, disobeyed God. “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).

    The Greatest Sacrifice

    Because man is in such terrible bondage to sin and Satan (Heb. 2:14,15), God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). On Calvary’s cross He, who knew no sin, was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). Christ died for sinners like you and me, and thereby paid the penalty for sin. Now He freely offers the gift of God—eternal life—to all who will come to Him (Romans 6:23).

    Are You Really Free?

    Have you received this gift of life and liberty from the Saviour? It is received by faith alone in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9). When one confesses to God that he is a sinner, and trusts the Lord Jesus as his personal Saviour, he is then made free indeed! All his sins are washed away in the precious blood of Christ (1 John 1:7). True freedom for everyone is found alone in Jesus Christ who died for us and rose again.

    “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). What a wonderful blessing it is to be free!

    Posted with permission: mwtb

    Saturday, July 02, 2011

    Wedding Day!

    Today our second daughter is getting married.  Here are 30 of the World's Greatest Wedding Cakes for you! Enjoy this video of their engagement party:



    Congratulations Rachel and Kelvyn! May God richly bless you!

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