Sunday, December 30, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Pastor John Piper offers an antidote!
Be faithful in how you live and how you give and God will shower you with material riches!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Have you read Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" lately? As you may recall it is a heartwarming tale of how the penurious old coot is transformed by the Spirit of Christmas. Certainly the story carries a far greater legacy than merely giving us the phrases "Bah, Humbug!" and "God bless us, every one!"
It is more than 150 years since Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol. But that story endures and retains the power to move us because it speaks to the human condition, and offers an alternative to selfishness and materialism. It points us, albeit dimly, to the source of our being. As K Barth put it: “Christmas is where we come from…”
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas ... perhaps ... means a little bit more!” “And what happened then ... in Who-ville they say [is] that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day!” - Dr. Suess
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
In 1937, twenty-nine per cent of American adults told the pollster George Gallup that they were reading a book. In 1955, only seventeen per cent said they were. Pollsters began asking the question with more latitude. In 1978, a survey found that fifty-five per cent of respondents had read a book in the previous six months. The question was even looser in 1998 and 2002, when the General Social Survey found that roughly seventy per cent of Americans had read a novel, a short story, a poem, or a play in the preceding twelve months. And, this August, seventy-three per cent of respondents to another poll said that they had read a book of some kind, not excluding those read for work or school, in the past year. If you didn’t read the fine print, you might think that reading was on the rise.
You wouldn’t think so, however, if you consulted the Census Bureau and the National Endowment for the Arts, who, since 1982, have asked thousands of Americans questions about reading that are not only detailed but consistent. The results, first reported by the N.E.A. in 2004, are dispiriting. In 1982, 56.9 per cent of Americans had read a work of creative literature in the previous twelve months. The proportion fell to fifty-four per cent in 1992, and to 46.7 per cent in 2002. Last month, the N.E.A. released a follow-up report, “To Read or Not to Read,” which showed correlations between the decline of reading and social phenomena as diverse as income disparity, exercise, and voting. In his introduction, the N.E.A. chairman, Dana Gioia, wrote, “Poor reading skills correlate heavily with lack of employment, lower wages, and fewer opportunities for advancement.”
PS. Thousands of years ago the sage wrote “Of making many books there is no end” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). If this was true then, how much more is it true today when we see tens or hundreds of thousands of books being released every year.
PSS. Click here if you need help with your 2008 Bible reading plan.
Friday, December 07, 2007
“Behold, … I will heal … and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth. I will restore … the fortunes … and will rebuild them …. I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me and by which they have transgressed against Me.
“It [you] will be to Me a name of joy, praise and glory before all the nations of the earth which will hear of all the good that I do for them, and they will fear and tremble because of all the good and all the peace that I make for [you].
“… the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, 'Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, For the Lord is good, For His loving-kindness is everlasting”; and of those who bring a thank offering into the house of the Lord. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first,’ says the Lord.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'There will again be in this place which is waste, without man or beast, and in all its cities, a habitation of shepherds who rest their flocks (Je 33:6-9; 11-12).
(All Bible quotes taken from NASB Updated edition)
Thursday, December 06, 2007
To those who would turn from hell
But the critics gave him bad reviews
Even threw him to the bottom to the well
(Yonder Comes Sin, Bob Dylan)
When Jeremiah finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying, “You must die!”
Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and to all the people, saying, “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that you have heard. Now therefore amend your ways and your deeds and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will change His mind about the misfortune which He has pronounced against you.” (Jeremiah 26:8, 12-13)
“The Lord has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, to be the overseer in the house of the Lord over every madman who prophesies, to put him in the stocks and in the iron collar, now then, why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who prophesies to you? “For he has sent to us in Babylon, saying, ‘The exile will be long; build houses and live in them and plant gardens and eat their produce.’” ( Jeremiah 29:26-28)
Then they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchijah the king’s son, which was in the court of the guardhouse; and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. Now in the cistern there was no water but only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud. (Jeremiah 38:6)
Sunday, December 02, 2007