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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Randoms

"I think it's flooded, but try 'er again!" (ht: Fail Pictures)

10 Sure Signs We've Lost Our Minds.

33 Way You Know You Were A Youth-Group Kid. (Guilty of #1, and did a variation of #9 one New Year's Eve)

"Help, My Nana Got A Tattoo!" Excellent article on the subject from Precept Ministries--read through to the application questions at the end!

Don't have the time? Don't fake it in ministry.

"Do Christian Parents Have A Fundamental Right to Homeschool?" Some governments don't think so.

This is one you've GOT to see:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Photoblog: Product Fail

The cardboard outer shell is recyclable, made of recycled materials (but please responsibly dispose the plastic container that actually holds the product, inside).


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

World Christian Week at Columbia International University

This is World Christian Week on the campus of Columbia International University! This is a time we set aside to hear what God is doing around the world. I like to think of the week as kind of “homecoming” as missionaries, mission agencies and alumni gather with students, faculty and staff to connect and reconnect. 

The Student Center will be jam-packed with booths and even the Cafeteria’s menu gets involved with a little national representation: Gyros and hummus; Rouladen and Spaetzle with potatoes; Baklava; Jamaican Jerk Chicken.

This week we will be hearing from special speakers during Chapel.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 26: John and Bonnie Nystrom will speak, “How God Could Change A People Group Forever.” 
  • Wednesday, Feb. 27 will be “special interest” with various speakers around campus. 
    • Ben Luna will share “The Story of Tom Little”
    • Doreen Corley will talk about “Women’s Work Amongst Iranian Refugees”
    • Dick Corley will discuss “Challenges on Working With the First Convert in an Unreached People Group. 
  • Thursday, Feb. 28: Michael Oh will teach us about “God’s Worthiness”
  • Friday, Feb. 29: Michael Oh will help with “Our Response.” The afternoon will conclude with corporate worship.
Listen to Chapel Messages online!

One of CIU's Core Values is World Evangelization. "We are committed to reaching our generation with the gospel, preparing each student to have an impact as part of the "missions team," whether in a "sending church" or as one sent. The Bible is not just a jumble of stories and random pieces of good advice. The Bible is held together by one central theme. "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE GAVE..." As we come to the Bible with faith the Spirit begins to bring our heart in line with the heart of our King. His Spirit is not just the dispenser of blessings but He works through me to be a blessing. The aim of the Spirit is to empower the people of God for witness in their local and regional centers of influence extending to the very ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Join us in praying that we can live out this value daily."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Meak Bochea (Cambodia)

"Māgha Pūjā,  Makha Bucha, or the  Full Moon of Tabaung  . . .  is an important  Buddhist festival  celebrated in  Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos on the full moon day of the third lunar month (this usually falls in February). The third lunar month is known in the Thai language as Makha (Pali: Māgha); Bucha is also a Thai word (Pali: Pūjā), meaning 'to venerate' or 'to honor'. As such, Makha Bucha Day is for the veneration of Buddha and his teachings on the full moon day of the third lunar month." (source: Wikipedia)

This is a day Buddhists strive not to sin, to do only good and purify the mind.

This worldview is not understood with ease, being a kind of atheism that rejects the belief of a personal God yet is deeply concerned with maintaining purity with a non-personal Universe. Simply put (as much as one is able), the founder of Buddhism observed a world of suffering and evil under the watch-care of a personal God and he could not reconcile the two in his understanding. Instead, as the celebrants of this day will recall, Gautama Buddha held forth the concept that there is no personal God, that life is full of suffering, so cease craving and suffering will stop. Additionally, one must walk a path of righteousness demonstrated by "right" worldview, desire, speech, behavior, lifestyle, effort, mindset and meditation. The purpose of life is to break the cycle with death following a righteous life. There is nothing beyond the death of a righteous person.

Buddhism is right to take suffering seriously but removing our Creator by preference does not repair the world nor does it repair men--suffering still exists. Men are evil and much suffering is instigated by man. Man cannot repair himself nor is he able to repair others.

Consider at God's unchanging Word: “We fix our eyes not on what is seen [suffering], but on what is unseen [eternal life free of suffering]. For what is seen [suffering] is temporary, but what is unseen [future good life with Christ] is eternal” (2 Corinthians. 4:18, NIV).



Friday, February 22, 2013

The Logical Outcome of Wisdom, Properly Acquired

A few observations from Proverbs 2 (NASB)

I. “If” and “then” (Proverbs 2:1-5)
A. If you
1. Recieve/Treasure
2. Hear/Incline heart (listen)
3. Cry/lift voice (pray)
3. Seek/search (read, study)
B. Then
1. You will take God seriously
2. Know what is on His mind
II. “For” and “then” (Proverbs 2:6-9)
A. For the LORD
1. Gives Wisdom/knowledge/understanding
2. Stores up wisdom
3. Shields/ guards/ preserves
B. Then you will discern (by taking Him seriously, knowing what is on His mind)
1. righteousness
2. justice
3. equity
III. Outcome (Proverbs 2:11-22)
A. Be Guarded (11)
B. Delivered from
1. way of evil
2. perverse men
3. disobedient men
4. adultery
C. Upright
1. walk
2. living
3. see the application of justice

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Fasts of Esther

Starting today through February 24 is the Jewish holiday, “The Feast of Purim,” or “The Fast of Esther,” recalling the events that led to and resulted from Esther’s two fasts. “Fasting” is the generally described as the practice of withholding from eating for a period of time. What caused this Esther-person to stop eating, twice; and, why recall the event even today?

Ahasuerus (also known as the Persian King, Xerxes) gave a massive feast to basically show off his wealth, including Vashti, his beautiful queen; but, she refused to participate in the festival (wanting to shame the king) and was banished by irrevocable law. Ahasuerus stormed off to war against the Greeks and when he returned four years later, held a beauty contest to look for a replacement queen. Esther, a relative of Mordecai (a Jew), wins the kings heart while Mordecai saves the kings life after uncovering an assassination plot. Haman (an Agagite) receives a promotion and nurses his hatred against Jews because of Mordecai’s refusal to pay him homage by plotting to kill all Jews. This is where it gets good.

Mordecai begins mourning over the dilemma, informing Esther of the plot. The only way to save her people is to go to the King--but she can’t have audience unless he calls, so she fasts and prays for three days before literally laying her life on the line to go to the King and ask for help. Esther gives a banquet for the king, who hears her concern, but as Haman constructs gallows to hang Mordecai, the King decides to honor Mordecai and Haman get to lead the parade! Esther gives another banquet for the King where she exposes Haman’s plot and he is executed on his own gallows. But don’t celebrate yet.

Mordecai fills the vacant position left by Haman, but the Jews are still in trouble because of the persecution Haman put into motion via irrevocable law. Esther fasts once again and intercedes for her people who are victorious against their oppressors. Mordecai becomes second to the King.

People are saved from destruction because someone put their life on the line and interceded. Esther left her mark on a people and in history, which is really something when you think about it. The world is forever changed because this woman was in tune with God. Perhaps she did not know the details of what God was doing, but she was obedient to participate in what He was doing. The only other option was to go against what God was doing, and be the villain.

We may not win any beauty contests that lead to leading a country, and we may not be as wise as Mordecai or gain positions of royalty, but we can make the right decisions even in the toughest times.
We can pray and be obedient.

What significant contribution are you making in His story?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bohemian Rhapsody (In Blue)

So good it deserves a post all it's own (and "ha, ha" the conductor at 4:10):



[ht: Failblog]

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"The Centrifuge Brain Project"

Looking for something to help re-adjust your key goals and life aspirations? Coming soon to a State Fair near you . . .

Monday, February 18, 2013

Jour De La Familia (Canada)

The third Monday of February is "Family Day" in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, a day set aside to celebrate family and family life. We Americans celebrate birthdays, Mother's Day, Fathers's Day and even Grandparent's Day, but why not the context of the relationship? I love this idea!

What a marvelous idea for communities to focus on the family, especially in the context of the many threats imposed against children by other human beings. Each person has a responsibility to make a family unit: parents (fathers and mothers with their responsibilities) and children (who must learn theirs).

What happens as a family is vital. A wise eye once observed that 1% of a modern child's influence comes through the local church; 7% of his influence from public school; 92% from the family.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

"I'm not Emperor of the United States."

What do YOU think he meant, after considering the statement in context? Straightforward answer appreciated, converse with civility. Foul language not permitted.

Friday, February 15, 2013

"The Missionary Family" Topic for the 2013 SE Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Missiological Society

Some of Christianity’s top missiologists, mission administrators and teachers will gather at Columbia International University (CIU) for the annual Southeast regional meeting of the Evangelical Missiological Society (EMS) March 8-9, 2013.

The EMS exists to advance the cause of world evangelization through study and evaluation of mission concepts and strategies from a biblical perspective with a view to commending sound mission theory and practice to churches, mission agencies, and schools of missionary training around the world.

The theme of this year’s conference is “The Missionary Family: Witness, Concerns, and Care.”  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Jerry Rankin, the director of the Zwemer Center for Muslim studies at CIU. His topic will be “The Family – An Asset to Fulfilling God’s Mission.”  Other CIU professors who will be making presentations at the conference include the dean of the CIU College of Counseling Harvey Payne, counseling professor Leah Herod, and Intercultural Studies professors David CashinChris LittleEd Smither, and Trevor Castor.

The public is invited to attend. For registration information and the conference schedule, visit:
http://www.emsweb.org/southeast-region

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Randoms

The State of the Union is . . . dumber.

CNN News-anchor wants to know: is asteroid caused by global warming?

To juice, or not to juice? That is the question.

Now why didn't we think of this growing up. So cool.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday


Ash Wednesday is the day many show an outward sign of repentance before God by wearing an imposing application of ash on the head or in the hair. This is derived from the biblical practice of mourning over sin “in dust and ashes.” What does it mean to mourn over sin?

Consider the question in light of A.W. Pink’s thoughts on the Apostle Paul’s inspired teaching, "The sorrow of the world works death." (2 Corinthians 7:10):

“Just as surely as happiness is the attendant of  holiness--so misery is the certain result of sin. The sorrow of the world is not occasioned by mourning over sin as sin --but over the retribution which sin brings.

The sorrow of the world does not arise from just views of sin, nor does it proceed from any concern that God has been offended. It does not lead the soul to God in true penitence, nor to turn to Him for consolation.

When the worldling's dream of earthly happiness  has been dispelled by misfortune--he feeds only on the sour bread of self-pity and unblessed woe. The sorrow of the world debilitates the body, disturbs peace, impairs the mind, and breaks the spirit. There is no contrite seeking unto God on the part of the suffering one--but only a fretting and murmuring against Him. ‘Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed  the God of heaven because of their pains and  their sores--but they refused to repent of what they had done.’ Revelation 16:10-11.”

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday gets its name from an obscure term (“shrive”) that means “absolve” or “forgive” and is specifically used in reference to one seeking forgiveness of sin by means of confession and works of repentance. Another way to explain this would be thus: this is the day to tell God one is sorry for sin, receive forgiveness and demonstrate one’s sorrow by doing works of penance before returning back to normal life.

We just need to say “sorry” and God will forgive? How is this possible when God says that’s not how it works?

“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.” (Proverbs 17:15).

If someone merely tells God, “sorry for my sin” then God would be an abomination to Himself by letting the sinner go without punishment (“the wages of sin is death” Romans 3:23). God cannot simply “just forgive.” He cannot be bribed by good works.

Eat as many pancakes as you like. God can’t overlook sin.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Lunar New Year; or, "Chinese New Year"

Betcha didn’t know you were right in the middle of a party, didja? Yep. It started Saturday and will be going for a few more days (at least 15 days).

The party goes by several names, depending on who is observing it; but for simplicity, we will call it “Lunar New Year,” and focus on the “Chinese New Year.” Be encouraged to do some reading on this because the event is ancient and celebrated by many cultures. Regardless, the celebration is also family oriented, including reunion dinners among so many other meals marking opportunities of starting fresh.

No matter “who” celebrates “where,” the Lunar New Year celebrations are intensely spiritual starting from the days of preparation when familiar spirits are honored and the evils ones are chased away.

正如有許多的物理定律管理著物質的宇宙,同樣也
有一些屬靈的定律管理著 和神的關係

Friday, February 08, 2013

Anti-Book Review

One downfall to being a bibliophile and active reader is that I like to read what others are reading because I have developed this strange desire to know what shapes thought. Reading becomes quite enjoyable, yet reading can become overwhelming--especially when I encounter a good quote, such as the twoI am about to share. Footnotes, bibliographies and "for futher reading" sections can be are quite destructive to my personal reading list. I don't even know why I have one as it keeps growing and growing and growing . . .

Regardless, here are a couple of thoughts that are going to drive me to pick up yet another book, hence the name of this post "Anti-Book Review." Perhaps the best name should be "Book Anti-review" because I have not read the book yet. I am not anti-books, just the ones that increase my "to read" list. ;-)

Here's the book I've yet to read: "The Divine Conspiracy" by Dallas Willard.

Here are the two quotes driving me to it:

"Jesus knew how to suspend gravity and eliminate unfruitful trees without saw or axe. He only needed a word. Surely he must be amused at what Nobel prizes are awarded for today. He knew how to transform the tissues of the human body from sickness to health and from death to life. In fact, he knew how to enter physical death, actually to die, and then live on beyond death. Forget cryogenics!"

"He also lived with authority. He didn't teach chemistry; he turned water into wine. He didn't teach weather patters; he calmed a storm. He didn't teach medicine; he healed hurting people and instructed his followers to heal in his name. He didn't teach moral philosophy; he forgace and enabled us to forgive. He didn't teach a course on world hunger; he fed the multitudes and commanded his followers to feed them also. Jesus fired on all pistons."

I gotta see what happens next. Would'nt you?

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Randoms

Just in time: "10 Reasons to Hope (When All Seems Hopeless)."

An interactive geographical map showing access to abortion clinics in America.

How to use a flashlight in a tactical situation.

A few items for my "to do" list.

Two Words: "Oh, no."

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Waitangi Day (New Zealand)

“Waitangi Day is a public holiday held on 6 February every year to commemorate the signing of New Zealand's founding document - the Treaty of Waitangi - in 1840. The national holiday was first declared in 1974, and since then has grown in significance for all New Zealanders through the Māori renaissance that has fostered better understanding of the Treaty’s ramifications. Official celebrations are held at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the Bay of Islands, Northland, but there are also many other events throughout the country.” (from newzealand.com)

I know a New Zealander who like to describe his home as that vast country found off the coast of the small island known as Australia. The official languages are English and Maori though Samoan is also widely spoken among twenty other languages. 53% of the population identify themselves as Christian and 18% of those are evangelical.

As I’ve been reading about this day and the Maori people of New Zealand, one fact does not escape notice. “Maori” simply translated ranges in meaning, to include the concepts of  “ordinary,” “natural,” and “normal.” The sense of the word also carries the implication of, “not divine”; that is, being distinguished from gods or spirits.

Perhaps this is over simplistic, but this is a good place to begin consideration for what it means to be human. One human is not above another though we are distinguished by geography, language and culture. We share the earth. On the other hand, there is one and only one who is fully human and fully divine and it is through His finished work we are united not simply as children of our Creator, but as children to our Father.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Constitution Day (Mexico)

Today Mexico observes "Dia de la Constitucion", marking the end of a long journey that began in 1810 when liberty was won from Spain. The current document called the “Constitution of Mexico” was not drafted or penned in one sitting, but is the result of many revisions that began over 200 years ago. 1824, Mexican sovereignty was established, patterned after the government of the United States. When the French seemed to threaten Mexican Independence in, another draft of the constitution was approved. 1916 was the year the 1857 draft was revised and a Magna Carta was produced this day in 1917.

That’s the hyper-short version. Longer versions include figures like Pancho Villa--and guns.

Many differing voices speak about “constitution,” and two ideas are not that far from each other. Constitution is a document that reflects what makes or defines an entity (in my own words). It’s what “makes us up.” What we are as people or a nation cannot simply “be” but must come at a price. A brief glance at Mexican history shows the road can be long just to produce a single document; but never miss the fact that a price must be paid to be set apart. Such a stance takes energy and conviction, a goal that must be reached at all costs.

Have you considered the kinds of law under which mankind lives? There are basically two different kinds, and only one points to freedom for all peoples.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Get 'Em While They're . . .

. . . are Twinkies ever "fresh?"

Saw this nifty little item for sale at Kilwins in Atlanta. 
Am positive the price has since gone up, if not purchased by now.


Friday, February 01, 2013

Federal Territory Day (Malaysia)

February 1 is Federal Territory Day or Hari Wilayah Persekutuan, a state holiday for federal territory in Malaysia, celebrated each year in Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya. Wikipedia explains the day was introduced in 1974. “The date marks the anniversary of the formation of the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory ceded by the state of Selengor to the federal government of Malaysia.”

The capitol (Kuala Lumpur) is found in Western Malaysia. Operation World reports a population of nearly 28,000,000 people divided into 183 people groups, speaking 145 languages. 62% of the population are Muslim and approximately 12% are Hindu. Since sharing the gospel with Malay people is illegal, materials like this are intended for non-Malay peoples.

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