Sunday, June 21, 2009

Do The Right Thing

I have thoroughly enjoyed Mike Huckabee's talk show on Fox News. I just finished reading his book, Do The Right Thing. As you will see from the quotes below he is the "real" thing.

To truly be pro-life means that we should e just as much concerned about the child who is eight years ld and living under a bridge or in the back seat of a car, or the life of an elderly person who is eighty years old, terminally ill, and living in a long-term-care facility. My answer prompted spontaneous applause from his audience. Whether or not they agreed with my position, they at least respected that being pro-life was not limited to being pro-"pre-born." In fact, our passion for human life needs to be as equal and uniform as we perceive the value and worth of each human being to truly be. It is impossible to claim to be pro-life and have one's compassion end at the moment of birth. Truly being pro-life requires that at every stage of a person's life, regardless of the function of that person, there is a respect and protection of that life. pp. 40-41

The most closely watched of these statewide polls is in Ames, a town of about fifty-five thousand right in the middle of the state. It's a nonbinding poll, you don't have to be a republican to vote in it, and only a relative handful of people take part. Besides that, voters have to buy a $35 ticket to a fund-raising dinner for the Iowa Republican Party to get in, and candidates can scoop up as many tickets for their supporters as they want in an effort to influence the outcome. All in all, not the stuff of big time political campaigning. Yet in the eyes of the party leaders, national media, and many of the Republican faithful, the Iowa straw poll is the first test of a candidate's organization and marketability. p.98

Virtually all of the Ivy League colleges and universities (the complete lists includes Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale) were started with a very specific Christian mission.

Of the eight current Ivy League Schools, all except Cornell and Penn (founded by Benjamin Franklin) were founded by ministers, clergymen, or churches and had the express intent of training new ministers. p. 112

Ivy League Schools

Brown University
Founded: 1764
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Motto: In Deo Speramus
Meaning: "In God We Hope"

Columbia University
Founded: 1754
Location: New York, New York
Motto: In Lumine Tuo Videbimus Lumen
Meaning: "In Thy Light We Shall See the Light"

Cornell University
Founded: 1865
Location: Ithaca, New York
Motto: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study"

Dartmouth College
Founded: 1769
Location: Hanover, New Hampshire
Motto: Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Meaning: "A Voice Crying Out in the Wilderness"

Harvard University
Founded: 1636
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Motto: Veritas
Meaning: "Truth"

Princeton University
Founded: 1746
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
Motto: Dei Sub Numine Viget
Meaning: "She Flourishes Under Protection of God"

University of Pennsylvania
Founded: 1751
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Motto: Leges Sine Moribus Vanae
Meaning: "Laws Without Morals Are Useless"

Yale University
Founded: 1701
Location: New Haven, Connecticut
Motto: Lux et Veritas
Meaning: "Light and Truth"
pp. 113-114

On the first day of school in August of 2005, Martha prepared her classroom by taking all the desks out of the room. She told her principal what she was doing and had permission for her most vivid lesson ever. When the students arrived for class that day, they entered an empty room with not a school desk in sight. Naturally they asked, "Ms. Cothren, where are the desks?"

Martha told the first-period class, "You don't get your desk until you can tell me how you earn it."

The students were stunned to think they would have to "earn" a desk and began to venture guesses as to what might earn them one. The ideas ranged from making good grades to behaving in class, but with each guess Martha told them they had not come to the correct answer as to how to earn a desk. The students sat on the floor or stood against the wall for the entire class period. Same for second period. Ditto for third period. By lunch time, the campus at Joe T. Robinson High was buzzing about the teacher who flipped out and wouldn't let the students have desks. Kids called their parents on their cell phones and by the afternoon, all four of the local network affiliate television stations had sent crews to the school to find out what was going on with the teacher who removed the desks from her classroom.

By the last period of the day, no one had yet guessed how to earn a desk. Martha stood at the front of her room and looked out at the confused faces of kids sitting on the floor and standing around the wall.

"OK, no one today has figured out how you can earn your desk, so I will tell you," Martha said, as she then went to the door of her classroom and opened the door and motioned. In walked twenty-seven veterans, all carrying a school desk. They quietly placed the desks neatly in rows, and as they did, Martha told the students something they likely will never forget:

"Kids, you don't have to earn your desks because these guys earned it for you. Every day when you come to class,, you get to sit in these desks for free. You are given books for free, and you don't have to bring money to pay me each day. You have access to a free education, but while it is free to you, it wasn't free to these men or to their friends who didn't come home from wars they fought to give you your freedom. Whenever you sit in that desk, try to remember who earned it for you."

By the time she had finished, there were tears in the eyes of the students and the veterans, and even on the face of one of the TV news photographers who approached Martha afterward and said, "Ma'am, I was in Vietnam, and when I came home, people spit on me and cursed me. I was made to feel shame for what I thought was my proud service to my country. Today is the first day since I've been home that I felt like someone appreciated what I did." pp. 193-194

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Growing Deep In The Christian Life

Chuck Swindoll's book, Growing Deep in the Christian Life, is an exc ellent addition to every Christian's library. I think you will agree as you read the quotes below:

Do you know how long it was that our forefathers stayed on this continent before they established a school of higher learning? A mere sixteen years. They survived those bitter winters. They built their houses. As early as possible they established their government. Some then devoted themselves to establishing an educational center in a little place called Newtown, which was later changed to Cambridge. And they named that school, the first American school of higher learning, after a thirty-one-year-old clergyman who had died prematurely. He had left his library and half his estate to the school. His name was John Harvard.

Every read the cornerstone at Harvard University? When I ministered at Massachusetts, back in the mid 1960's, I remember driving down to that campus. It was during a harsh winter storm that I stood knee deep in sow near the wall that contained the etched cornerstone. I wiped the ice and snow off the bronze and copied these words:

After God had carried us safe to New England and wee had builded our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God's worship, and settled the civil government, one of the next things wee longed for and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust. pp. 24 - 25

Three timeless principles: 1). No one person has all the truth. 2). No single church owns exclusive rights to your mind. 3). No specific interpretation is correct just because a gifted teacher says so. p. 47

Three doctrinal terms you need to remember: revelation, inspiration, and illumination. Revelation occurred when God gave His truth. Inspiration occurred when the writers of Scripture received and recorded His truth. Today, when we understand and apply His truth, that's illumination. That would include discovering new truth for our lives, understanding it, and implementing it. Revelation has ceased. Inspiration has ceased. But illumination is going on right up to this moment! pp. 61 - 62

You can prove anything (yes, anything!) you want to prove from Scripture if you just stop reading soon enough and don't finish the thought, or if you twist a term here and there, "spiritualizing" the meaning. Or if you start in the middle of a paragraph and don't consider the context, you can make it say what you want it to say. And every time you do. . . you abuse! But those who refuse to commit biblical abuse don't go about it that way. p.78

When God gives us a command, it's always for our good---and it's often for our survival. p. 106

Our job isn't to clean up the fish bowl, certainly not initially. It's to fish--just fish. I rather imagine that as time passed the changed woman became intensely uncomfortable with her lifestyle. You can't enjoy walking with a holy God and, at the same time, continue to enjoy living with a person out of wedlock. But before a person can be expected to walk, Chris must come and live within, giving the power that is needed. p.162

It calls to mind the lady who wanted to marry four different men in her lifetime. She said each one would help her with the four things she needed most. First, she wanted to marry a banker. Second, a movie star. Next, a clergyman. And finally, a funeral director. When asked why, she answered, "One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go!" p. 264

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

Never forget that verse! When someone presents to you the idea that God cruelly and gleefully dances about heaven as the last people are dumped against their will into hell, remind them of Peter's words. With patience and grace he offers the gift of eternal life and heaven to all who will accept it. Those who refuse the gift He offers must suffer the consequences, having made their own decision about eternity.

What about those who have never heard? Or, What about those who sincerely follow their own beliefs and their own religion? We must always be careful about stepping into the role of God. Only He knows the destiny of people. People you and I may think are in the family may not be . . . and vice versa. p. 323

"Worship is the missing jewel of the evangelical church". A.W. Tozer - p. 389

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Surviving a Recession

Clearwater Christian College publishes a newsletter called The Chronicle. In the Spring 2009 issue Mr. Robert Carver seven things to consider as we go through this recession. He says:

On a personal note: While surviving a recession seems to be a major media campaign of 2009, we know that the implementation of basic Scriptural principles is the key to successful financial futures. Mr. Carver has given us a breakdown of foundational truths that will sustain us throughout this period of economic instability:

  • Thankfulness: A recognition that everything I have, I owe to Him. James 1:17
  • An Eternal Perspective: We brought nothing into this world, why think we can bring anything out? 1 Tim. 6:7
  • Contentment: In every circumstance, every blessing, be content in Him. Phil. 4:11
  • Good Stewardship: What we do have, be it little or great, is entrusted to us by God. We must take good care of it and invest it wisely. 1 Peter 4:10
  • Continued Support of God's Work: Ministries and missionaries feel the crunch of difficult economic times. We must not slack off in our giving. It is a privilege to give, and thanksgiving for what God has given us in Christ should always motivate us. 2 Cor. 8:9
  • Dependence on Him: Our confidence must not be first and foremost on bank accounts, government programs, or natural or borrowed wisdom, but on God. 1 Cor. 9:8
  • Examine Our Hearts: Ask ourselves the question: What is God teaching me in this situation? Ps. 143:10

So yes, Philippians 4:19 does apply to 21st century America: as God has providentially provided for His children in the past, so shall He provide for us in the present.

My God shall supply all your need . . . Philippians 4:19

For more information on Clearwater Chrsitain College's Chronicle click here!

The Truth Project

What a wonderful article in the May/June Family North Carolina magazine. The article is titled, " Worldview Crisis: The Truth Project Helps Develop a Biblical Worldview." The "Truth Project" was developed by Focus on the Family for the purpose of helping Christians develop a Biblically-informed worldview. I have quoted the first couple of paragraphs to help us understand what a worldview is:

A worldview is the conceptual framework by which one understands the world around him. Another way to explain the concept of "worldview" is a set of lenses through which one sees his or her surroundings. Glasses bend light before it enters the eye and is reflected off the retina, thereby altering with varying degrees of subtlety what one sees. While eyeglasses generally bend light in such a way as to connect impaired vision, the fact remains that they alter what one sees. That is, they serve as a barrier or field through which all visual imput must pass before it reaches the retina and is interpreted by the brain. As long as a person is wearing glasses, the images he sees will always be slightly altered in order to present an image of the world that has been adjusted, however slightly.

Worldviews work in a similar manner. Instead of glass, worldviews are made of presuppositions that determine how one understands the world. These presuppositions are determined by factors like tradition, experience, and possibly even genetic factors. Every bit of information that a person digests is interpreted through these "lenses," so that any conclusions drawn from that information will necessarily be shaped by the person's presuppositions. pp. 25-26

Utimately, The Truth Project is about actively forming a worldview instead of being passively formed by one. p. 27

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To learn more about the truth project click here!

A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity

Bill O'Reilly's A Bold Fresh of Humanity is an interesting read. He contends the things he has encountered through his life experience has shaped his vision and his philosophy. I agree but would call it his worldview. That is why as Christians we need to stay in the Word and be faithful to church. That's why it is important to have friends who think Biblically. I've only included two quotes for you to think about:

When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer "present" or guilty." Theodore Roosevelt p. 7

Along the way, he has many adventures and encounters that have shaped his vision and philosophy. p. 252

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The Long Goodbye

Even though I do not agree with Patti Davis on political issues, I will say she is an excellent writer. And her Dad happens to be my favorite President in my life time. In her book, The Long Goodbye, she tells about the last days of her Dads life here on earth. You will see a child's heart and love for her father. I trust you will enjoy the quotes below:

"Why aren't you crying?" [Reagan favorite horse had died] I asked him through my own tears. He (RR) put his hand on my shoulder and met my eyes. "Because," he said, "I'm thinking about all the wonderful times I had with her [the horse]. We had some great years together." It was one of my first lessons about death - about looking past it, if only for a few moments, at all the life that went before, all the loveliness and the rich memories. Those are what sustain us, is the lesson my father was trying to impart. p. viii

As his daughter, I will remember his strong arms lifting me onto the back of a horse and how he taught me that one of the most important things was to get back on whenever I fell off so fear wouldn't set in. p. xv

It's echoed throughout my life: Get back on after you fall off, so fear won't set in. p. 80

In my father's pocket, he keeps what he calls his lucky coin. One of them says, "Let go and let God." p. 100

He changed America because America liked him. And when we like someone, we do change; we become less rigid, more content. Even the people who disagreed with Ronald Reagan stood for liked the man. They couldn't help it. It was his warmth, his humor. p. 122

We're not always meant to know why, my father used to say; we're meant to trust. p. 195

One day, when we reached the top, wind swirling around us and the sky big and endless above, I stood on my tiptoes, stretched my arm up toward all that blue, and asked him, "If I reach up really high, can I touch God?" He answered, "You don't have to reach up. God is everywhere, all the time, all around us." p. 196

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The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture is a must read. Even though he uses some "bad" words he has much truth in this book. I have included a few below:

When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up on you. That lesson has stuck with me my whole life. When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a bad place to be. You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better. p. 37

The brick walls are there for a reason. They're not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. pp. 51-52

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer. p. 149

Sometimes, all you have to do is ask, and it can lead to all your dreams coming true. p. 179

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the five people you meet in heaven

Mitch Albom reminds me in his book, the five people you meet in heaven, that no one lives for just themselves. We all have a part in other people's lives. Sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. I have listed a few quotes from the book below:

Sometimes when you sacrifice something something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to someone else. p. 94

We move through places every day that would never have been if not for those who came before us. Our work-places, where we spend so much time-we often think they began with our arrival. That's not true. p. 123

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Trial By Ordeal

If you enjoy adventure and a compelling, realistic story then you need to read Craig Parshall's Trial By Ordeal. It was such a fun, enjoyable read. I usually do not share quotes from a novel, but sometimes there is something that I want to be reminded of. So I've shared that below:

Like the way I learned the folks at the Windy City Mission could look at ruined people, in stained clothing and smelling of urine, and still see the image of God there. Marred by sin - but worthy of redemption. p. 319

I want God to constantly remind me about those that may be unlovely are the ones we need to allow Him to love through us!

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The Family

The Family
Braves Game 2012