Friday, November 30, 2007

Name that Teddy!

A trial that prosecutors said would be "swift and fair" opened Thursday in Sudan's capital for Gillian Gibbons. She is a British school teacher better known as “Miss Gibbons” to the 7-year-olds in her second-grade class at the Unity School in Khartoum, Sudan. She is righteously accused of inciting religious hatred by allowing her students to name a teddy bear for the prophet Mohammad.

Here is what happened. As a class project, Miss Gibbons introduced her students to a cute, cuddly little teddy bear. And then she said “Now we have to give the bear a name.” All the students raised their hands and suggested names for the bear - eight names in all, including Abdullah and Hassan. To be fair, since there were so many great names to choose from, Miss Gibbons suggested they take a vote. And the winner, by a vote of 20 to 3, was: Muhammad!

Now, said Miss Gibbons, we will all take Muhammad home, one at a time, and we’ll bring him back with an essay about what we did with Muhammad the Bear when he was home with us. And so, one by one, the students took Muhammad the Bear home and wrote essays, and eventually Miss Gibbons bound all the essays into a book with a picture of the bear on the cover and the title “My Name Is Muhammad.”

Alas, the diabolical deed was stealthily uncovered by the ever efficient Sudanese police who immediately arrested Miss Gibbons and charged her with blasphemy and insulting the great prophet. She was locked away and told that her most likely sentence would be 200 lashes with a whip. Meanwhile a huge, unruly crowd collected outside the Khartoum jail bellowing fiercely and relentlessly for the immediate lynching of the western infidel.

In fact, if convicted, 54 year old Gillian Gibbons could be jailed for six months and subjected to 40 lashes. Her students have tried to claim responsibility for the act, which Britain's Foreign Service has called "an innocent misunderstanding."

enjoy, ron

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Old School!

The following are a few verses from Jeremiah 6 that stood out as I read my morning devotions.

To whom shall I speak and give warning
That they may hear?
Behold, their ears are closed
And they cannot listen.
Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them;
They have no delight in it.
(Jeremiah 6:10, NASB)

For from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is greedy for gain,
And from the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.
They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace.
(Jeremiah 6:13-14, NASB)

Thus says the Lord,
Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And you will find rest for your souls.
(Jeremiah 6:16, NASB)

enjoy, ron

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Thou who hast given so much to me,
give me one more thing -
a grateful heart!
George Herbert

Psalm 100
A Psalm for giving thanks!

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
(Philippians 4.4-9.NASB)

He has brought us to this place and has given us this land,
a land flowing with milk and honey.
Now behold, I have brought the first of the produce of the ground which You, O Lord have given me.
And you shall set it down before the Lord your God,
and worship before the Lord your God;
and you and the Levite and the alien who is among you shall rejoice in all the good which the Lord your God has given you and your household.
(Deuteronomy 26:1-11; NASB)
thank you

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jesus Jones!

I was reminded today of the miracle performing Jim Jones who claimed to be an incarnation of Jesus.

James Warren "Jim" Jones was the founder of the Peoples Temple, which became synonymous with group suicide after the November 18, 1978 mass murder-suicide by poison in their isolated agricultural intentional community called Jonestown, located in Guyana. Over nine hundred people died from cyanide poisoning or gunshot wounds in the aftermath of Jones ordering his men to kill visiting Congressman Leo Ryan and numerous members of his entourage.

In 1 Corinthians 12.10 the apostle Paul then refers to the “ability to distinguish between spirits”. The Bible talks of other extraordinary things appearing in an alternative or even counterfeit form. For example, in Exodus we see that some of the miracles that God performed through Moses were imitated by the court magicians of Pharaoh. More explicitly, Jesus himself says, in Matthew 7:21-23 21.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ ‘And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
Clearly, amazing and diabolical things can be done in Jesus’ name by people that do not even know Jesus - which is a sobering thought. And that sort of reality renders the gift of being able to “distinguish between spirits” - i.e., the ability to determine the authenticity of a particular thing - as a valuable gift for Christ to give to His church.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Faustian Bargain!

Elena Oumano writes in her book, Marianne Williamson: Her Life, Her Message, Her Miracles that New age leader Marianne Williamson claims that a number of years ago, after a “nervous breakdown” and in the midst of her study of A Course in Miracles, she met “Jesus.” One night she said she felt the presence of “Jesus” by her bed. “I was not normal and I knew it,” Williamson said. Hence, she started talking to the presence that she assumed was the real Jesus:
So I said to Jesus, ‘Look, if you can give me back my life, if you can restore me somehow, then I will do whatever you want me to do for the rest of my life.’ Like people make a pact with the devil, I made a pact with Jesus.”
Or was it in fact another Faustian bargain? After all, the “Jesus” that Williamson follows is the false New Age “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles, not the real Jesus of the Bible.

Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3.7-8).
A deal with the Devil, pact with the Devil, or Faustian bargain is a cultural motif widespread wherever the Devil is vividly present, most familiar in the legend of Faust and the figure of Mephistopheles, but elemental to a Christian view of the world.

According to traditional Christian belief in witchcraft, the pact is between a person and Satan or any other demon (or demons); the person offers his or her soul in exchange for diabolical favors. Those favors vary by the tale, but tend to include youth, knowledge, wealth, health or power. It was also believed that some persons made this type of pact just as a sign of recognizing the Devil as their master, in exchange for nothing. Regardless, the bargain is a dangerous one, for the price of the Fiend's service is the wagerer's soul. The tale may have a moralizing end, with eternal damnation for the foolhardy venturer. Conversely it may have a comic twist, in which a wily peasant outwits the Devil, characteristically on a technical point.

For example, the story goes that Chuck Norris sold his soul to the devil for his rugged good looks and unparalleled martial arts ability. However, shortly after the transaction was finalized, Chuck roundhouse kicked the devil in the face and took his soul back. The devil, who appreciates irony, couldn't stay mad and admitted he should have seen it coming. They now play poker every second Wednesday of the month.

And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20.10).

enjoy, ron

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saturn Radio!

Are you bored with listening to all the normal stuff on radio? How would you like a very brief reprieve? Click here to listen to something that is literally out of this world. What you hear is an audio file of Saturn's radio emissions.

FYI: The Cassini spacecraft monitors radio emissions from the planet Saturn. The radio waves are closely related to the auroras near the poles of the planet and are similar to Earth's northern and southern lights.

From article: Bizarre Sounds of Saturn's Radio Emissions

enjoy, ron