The Designed Creation

Comets formed from debris left over in the early solar system around 4.6bn years ago. Through studying the make-up of a comet, Rosetta scientists hope to learn how the primordial ingredients of the solar system led to the formation of Earth and the other planets.

Earth may have formed as a dry ball of rock and only later become enriched with water and organic compounds necessary for life. One theory that Rosetta will investigate is whether comets ferried water and carbon-containing molecules to Earth and potentially other planets in the solar system.  …Read Article

Scientists hope the mission will reveal more about the origins of comets and other celestial bodies.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2717624/Rosetta-arrived-Probe-successfully-goes-orbit-comet-series-nail-biting-manoeuvres.html#ixzz39h1rgssk

Psa 94:8  Understand, you senseless among the people; And you fools, when will you be wise?
Psa 94:9  He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see?

The concept of evolution, according to this verse, is nothing but brute-like foolishness. If an automobile presupposes an automaker, and a clock implies a clockmaker, surely the infinitely more intricate and complex eyes and ears of living creatures require an eye-maker and an ear-maker! “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them” (Proverbs 20:12).

The most basic of all scientific laws—the law of cause and effect (no effect greater than its cause)—becomes utmost nonsense if the cosmos is the product of chaos and the universe evolved by chance. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

Every creature, from the single-cell amoebae to the amazing human body, bears the impress of intricate planning and construction. The notion that such complex structures could evolve by random mutations and natural selection is simply a measure of the audacity of human rebellion and the absurdity of humanistic reasoning. Such things never happen in the real world, and there is no real scientific evidence whatever for “vertical” evolution from one kind to a higher kind. The only genuine evidence for evolution is the fact that the leaders of intellectualism believe it, and the only reason they believe it is their frantic desire to escape God. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).

The ear did not “evolve”; it was planted. The eye did not “happen by chance”; it was formed. Every wise man and woman will say with the psalmist, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14). HMM

—from Daily Praise

Philosophy

philosophy definition

A study that attempts to discover the fundamental principles of the sciences, the arts, and the world that the sciences and arts deal with; the word philosophy  is from the Greek for “love of wisdom.” Philosophy has many branches that explore principles of specific areas, such as knowledge ( epistemology), reasoning ( logic), being in general ( metaphysics), beauty ( aesthetics), and human conduct ( ethics).

Different approaches to philosophy are also called philosophies. ( See also epicureanism, existentialism, idealism, materialism, nihilism, pragmatism, stoicism, and utilitarianism.)

Philosophy and Vain Deceit
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

It is bound to be significant that, in the only place where the Scriptures even mention philosophy, we are warned to beware of it! Likewise, the only philosophers mentioned were evolutionary humanists who called the apostle Paul a “babbler . . . because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection” (Acts 17:18).

Act 17:18  Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.

The word “philosophy” literally means “love of wisdom,” and every philosophy—ancient or modern—is essentially a humanistic devotion to man’s wisdom for its own sake.

But such wisdom is false wisdom. It derives in type from “the tree of knowledge,” through the “vain deceit” of Satan, who tries to persuade us that partaking of it would “make one wise” and that “your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 2:17; 3:5-6). It has “indeed a shew of wisdom” (Colossians 2:23), but “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 3:19), and eventually all “the wisdom of this world, . . . [and] of the princes of this world, . . . [will] come to nought” (1 Corinthians 2:6).

Col 2:23  These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

1Co 3:19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “HE CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR OWN CRAFTINESS”;

1Co 2:6  However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

Col 2:3  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Genuine wisdom, on the other hand, is as our text reminds us, “after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:8-10). For in Him “are hid [literally ‘stored up’] all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).

Col 2:8  Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Col 2:9  For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
Col 2:10  and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

The Lord Jesus Christ is “the truth” (John 14:6), and is both “the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24). This true wisdom is freely available to all who desire it. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God . . . and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). Therefore, we need never waste our God-given time on human philosophy. HM

Joh 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Jas 1:5  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

From:  Days of Praise

The ‘Gay Marriage’ Tsunami

by

John Stonestreet | BreakPoint | Thursday, July 24, 2014

Like a tsunami, so-called gay marriage has swept aside just about every obstacle in its path, creating a very different cultural landscape than even seemed possible a few decades ago—or even a few years ago! According to David Von Drehle in Time magazine, the swift embrace of same-sex marriage is nothing short of a “seismic shift” of American culture, one “as rapid and unpredictable as any turn in public opinion.”

And that, folks, might still be an understatement.

In 1996, just 27 percent of Americans supported so-called same-sex “marriage.” It was the same year that President Bill Clinton signed the bi-partisan Defense of Marriage Act, which defined, for the federal government, marriage as only between a man and woman.

In 2013 however, the Supreme Court struck down part of DOMA and public approval for same-sex marriage had jumped to 53 percent, including 73 percent of 18-29 year-olds.  Today, 19 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage, with federal and state courts are constantly striking down state laws banning same-sex marriage it seems every day.

This big change is a big deal. It was the eminent sociologist David Popenoe who said that no civilization ever survived after its family life deteriorated. But if you don’t believe him, listen to G.K. Chesterton, and I quote: “This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.”

What does this mean for America, and for the church? A lot of people are understandably pessimistic. Recently a pastor looked me in the eye and said, “John, it’s all over; we’ve lost.”

And I thought, “Well, wait a minute—is a loss on a political and cultural level the loss of the Kingdom of God? What’s this ‘it’ that’s over, and who are the ‘we’ who have lost?

Look, even if same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land tomorrow, and it just may, we Christians still have to wake up, go to church, run our businesses and ministries, schools and churches. This is not a time to throw up our hands and retreat. Given all of this cultural change, of course, the question has changed, from “What if?” to “What now?” So what we need is some kind of framework in which to move forward.

And that’s why Christian apologist Sean McDowell and I are releasing what we think is a very important new book, called “Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage.” It takes a very careful look at the new cultural landscape and helps all of us to move forward—not in fear, but in faith.

First, we wanted to help Christians understand the issue biblically, but not just using a proof-text from Leviticus or Romans.

Our model is Jesus, who when asked specifically about the Mosaic law on marriage, went back to the very beginning—to Genesis. Jesus thought that God’s created intent was even more important than the law itself. We’ve got to understand this design—especially with the recent spate of so-called “Christian” books attempting to justify same-sex marriage.

But Sean and I also look at the issue culturally. Same-sex marriage isn’t the start of the problem; it’s the fruit of a long-going sexual revolution.

The ground that has shifted is not just moral ground; it’s worldview ground. We’re not just seeing a moral slide toward more and more sexual immorality; we’ve undergone a complete shift in the way we understand the human person.

Our book will help you understand this shift;  but just thinking alone isn’t enough. So in the second half of the book, we describe what we can do, practically and immediately when this issue comes our way. It’s kind of a “how now shall we live” on this issue, and we’ll talk about it more tomorrow on BreakPoint. So please tune in. And come to BreakPoint.org to order your copy of our new book, “Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage.”

BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.

John Stonestreet, the host of The Point, a daily national radio program, provides thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

Publication date: July 24, 2014

 

Does Supporting Same-Sex Marriage Lead Christians to Accepting Adultery?

John Stonestreet | BreakPoint | Friday, August 15, 2014
There are some Christians who, for understandable though mistaken reasons, believe that their fellow Christians should support or at least not oppose same-sex marriage.
Implicit in this position is the belief that supporting same-sex marriage is a position that can be held in isolation—that what you believe about the definition of marriage is unrelated to other issues regarding marriage and human sexuality.
Well, according to sociologist Mark Regnerus, that simply is not the case.
In a recent article at “The Public Discourse” Regnerus asked the question, “What is the sexual and relational morality of Christians who accept the moral legitimacy of same-sex marriages?”
To answer that question, he looked at data from a recent survey of nearly 16,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 60 entitled “relationships in America.” To explore “sexual and relational morality” among respondents, he asked them to respond to statements about viewing pornography, cohabitation, casual sex, divorce, adultery, polyamory, and abortion.
Regnerus compared the responses of five groups: churchgoing Christians who oppose same-sex marriage, churchgoing Christians who support it, the general population, and both gay and lesbian Christians and non-Christians.
What he found was eye-opening. A significant percentage of churchgoing Christians who supported same-sex marriage either agreed or strongly agreed with statements that approved of things like using pornography, cohabitation, casual sex, and abortion rights.
Even in areas such as adultery and polyamory, they were between six and thirteen times more likely to agree or strongly agree with statements that approved of the practices. As Regnerus put it, “Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage look very much like the country as a whole.”
Now to be clear, Regnerus isn’t saying that supporting same-sex marriage leads a person to shift in these other areas of sexual morality. In his words, it’s “More likely [that] the sexual morality of many churchgoing Christians shifted years ago, and the acceptance of same-sex marriage … follows significant change rather than prompts it.”
But it’s also clear that, more likely than not, acceptance of same-sex marriage is part of a comprehensive change of a whole range of beliefs about “sexual and relational morality.”
That’s because our beliefs about “sexual and relational morality” reveal how seriously we take the biblical teaching about the way God designed us and made us to be, which is the source of Christian sexual and relational ethics.
We see this in Jesus’ response when Pharisees asked him about the Jewish law’s position on marriage and divorce. But this Jewish rabbi didn’t simply quote the law of Moses to these teacher of the law. Instead, he pointed them back to Genesis and how God made man and woman and His intent for their one-flesh relationship. Sexuality isn’t merely about morality, as important as that is. It’s about identity. It has to do with the very way that God designed us as male and female, as those who bear the image of God.
So it shouldn’t surprise us that support for same-sex marriage turns out to be a part of a “package deal.” To reject God’s design in one area is to call it into question in others, and leave us looking a lot like our un-believing neighbors in ways definitely not intended by the Lord for His Church.
As Chuck Colson would say, “Worldview matters.”
In our new book Same Sex Marriage, Sean McDowell and I devote much space to how our worldview impacts our conclusions about marriage. I hope you’ll pick up a copy, and read Regnerus’ important article. Come to BreakPoint.org to find both.

The Universe

Genesis 1: 1-14

The History of Creation

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was[a] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

 

THIS CERTAINLY PUTS THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE …….

THIS IS A SURE WAY TO BRING US ALL BACK TO EARTH and stand in awe of Almighty God, JESUS CHRIST!

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ANTARES  IS THE 15TH BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE  SKY.

IT  IS MORE THAN 1000 LIGHT YEARS  AWAY.

NOW,  HOW BIG ARE YOU?

NOW,  TRY TO WRAP YOUR MIND AROUND  THIS…

THIS  IS A HUBBLE TELESCOPE ULTRA DEEP  FIELD

INFRARED  VIEW OF COUNTLESS ‘ENTIRE’ GALAXIES 
BILLIONS  OF LIGHT-YEARS AWAY. 

 

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BELOW  IS A CLOSE-UP OF ONE  OF  THE DARKEST REGIONS OF THE PHOTO ABOVE.   

 

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HUMBLING,  ISN’T IT?  HOW BIG IS OUR GOD?

AND  HOW BIG ARE THE THINGS  THAT  UPSET YOU TODAY? 

KEEP  LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE. 

AND  DON’T SWEAT about THE SMALL STUFF! 

 IT’S  ALL UNDER CONTROL!

Tree of Life

Pro 3:18  She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her. (Proverbs 3:18)

The tree of life in the Garden of Eden was a literal tree, whose marvelous fruit apparently had the medicinal ability to retard the aging process indefinitely, even for men and women under God’s curse (Genesis 3:22-24). This amazing tree will be planted again along the streets and rivers of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:2-3).

The writer of Proverbs used this tree and its health-giving qualities as a symbol of four attributes of a God-centered, spiritual life which can bring blessing to all those touched by it. First of all, true wisdom is like a tree of life, imparting true happiness to all those partaking of it, then guarding it.

Next, Pro 11:30  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30). A life exhibiting genuine righteousness, like one manifesting genuine wisdom, yields wholesome spiritual fruit to those in real contact with it.

The third figure is given in Proverbs 13:12. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”  There is nothing more rejuvenating to the spirit than for a dream suddenly to come true after long-continued hope has almost gone. An abiding, confident, always-continuing life of hope is a tree of life.

Finally, “a wholesome tongue is a tree of life” (Proverbs 15:4). A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit. One can become a veritable tree of life by using his God-given privilege of speech not to complain or criticize; not in vulgarity or foolishness, but to help, encourage, instruct, and comfort.

May God help each of us to be a spiritual tree of life by attaining and demonstrating true wisdom, by living in genuine righteousness, by always maintaining an attitude of confident hope, and by speaking only words of edification that “minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29)
Eph 4:29  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.. HMM

from:  Days of Praise

King Solomon

1 Kings 11:9-13

New King James Version (NKJV)

So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded. 11 Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12 Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”

What are you leaving for those who follow after you?  What is your legacy?  What are the boundaries of the kingdom you rule?  For Solomon, he had ruled over the greatest expansion of the kingdom of Israel.  David his father had left him with a kingdom which was in peace, a kingdom which was ready for a time of prosperity and growth.  The temple was constructed during this time.

Solomon blew it.  He asked for wisdom.  God gave it to him.  But Solomon didn’t use the wisdom God gave him.  He squandered the kingdom over his passions.  His relationships eventually changed his focus away from God and onto other things.  It didn’t matter that these other things were idols, for anything we focus on which is not God ultimately is a false god.

So what did Solomon leave his heir, his children, his kingdom?  He left a remnant of the glory that once was.  He left a kingdom which was splitting at the seams.  He left a nation which was headed into a downward spiral due to idolatry and tolerance for idol worship. What are you leaving for those who will follow you?

Be blessed with godly gifts and a righteous legacy.

Craig Thompson

Worship

“Worship is that to which we give our interest, our enthusiasm and
our devotion.”

—Clarence E. Mac Cartney

 

Living God’s Word

by Brooke McGlothlin

When I was a young Christian I knew I should be reading the Bible. I believed it was “the truth,” and that I should be obeying what it had to say. I embraced that mind frame early on, by the grace of God, but I didn’t know how to activate it, or actually make it make a difference in my life.

I know (because you tell me) that many of you struggle with the same issue:

“I believe God’s word is true, but now what? How do I take it from just being a book of words to truly changing my life?”

First of all, it’s important to note that the Bible is unlike any other book out there. It’s not just a book of good stories about men and women who gave their lives to an important cause. Those books are valuable (I read them to my boys every day in school) and help us aspire to being a better person, but they’re not like the Bible.

The Bible is alive.

The words we read on the pages of our Bibles are living, active, and the very breath of God. The Bible is actually “activated” even if we don’t choose to embrace its benefits in our lives, because the words have the power to change from the inside out, “piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

What does that mean?

God gets you. He knows you. He understands you. And because He calls Himself the Word (John 1:1), we know that in some miraculous way, the words we’re reading aren’t just from God, they are God.

Knowing this, we can go to God’s word with expectation—expecting to hear from Him, expecting the words on the page to transform our hearts. But so many Christians still struggle to feel anything when they read God’s word. It just doesn’t seem true to them because they don’t experience anything when they read it—especially in the hard times of life.

Before we jump into the hows of activating the word of God in your life, I want to say this: what you feel and what is true may be two different things. Just because I sometimes feel abandoned by God, doesn’t mean I am. His word tells me He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5), so when I find myself feeling abandoned, I have to choose to believe I’m not. Most of the time, when I make that choice, my feelings will soon follow the choice of my heart.

How to Activate the Word of God in Your Life

1. Open it

When my oldest son first started playing the fiddle, he wasn’t very good. He was pretty terrible the next day, too, and even a few weeks after his first lesson. He learned to play Twinkle, Twinkly Little Star pretty quickly, but little violins have terrible sound quality, so he still sounded pretty bad.

Now, almost five years later, he’s performed Ode to Joy in front of 500 people with his little brother and is gearing up to compete in a local fiddler’s convention this summer.

Get in the habit of spending daily time in your Bible, even if it’s just to read a Psalm and a Proverb. It may not come easily, but just as my son needed time spent practicing his instrument to improve, we need time in the word of God to begin trusting that it’s true.

2. Know it

As you spend more and more time reading your Bible you’ll see something amazing start to happen! You’ll find yourself thinking about or living in a certain situation when a verse you just read (that applies to what you’re going through) will pop in your head! That’s God! That’s the word being alive and active in you! And it’s amazing.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been comforted by a verse at just the right time. Whether God drops it in my heart, or the heart of a friend, He chooses to use His word to comfort, correct, sustain, and build us right when we need it most.

But if we don’t open it, and don’t know it, that won’t happen.

3. Speak it

When I was younger I battled fear. One of the ways I went to war against this attack of the enemy was to speak God’s word out loud, and even though God has given me a significant measure of healing in this area, I still speak Bible verses out loud when I’m afraid.

My favorites are Psalm 4:8 and Psalm 23:4

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (this one gets spoken when I’m trying to fall asleep), and “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (I use this one when I’m walking into a dark house alone and feel threatened). 

Sometimes, I even just say Jesus’ name out loud, because it’s the name above all names (Philippians 2:9-11) and is mighty to save (Zephaniah 3:17).

Speaking a verse or two out loud—whether you’re afraid, or confused, or hurt—reminds us of what’s true, and has the power to make peace settle in ours hearts.

4. Use it

Ya’ll know about my fascination with sticky notes, right? If you come to my house, you’ll see them all over. Written on them are Bible verses that focus my attention on Jesus, and help me remember what’s true. I have them strategically placed in the house where I need them most. For example, there’s one in the bathroom to remind me that my greatest need is Jesus. Why? Because the bathroom is where I tend to go when I want to lock myself away.

I also have my favorite scriptures printed out and framed around our house. I use them as reminders and as prayers. When I walk by my sons’ room, I pray Psalm 92:4 because it’s hanging in a frame outside their room. These are simple, inexpensive ways to fill our hearts (ours and our family’s) with the word of God. I can’t necessarily afford those beautiful framed scriptures from my local Christian bookstore, but I can afford a $5 frame from Walmart, and a little ink from my printer.

5. Love it

This one may be the most important of all, because loving God’s word starts with loving Him. If we don’t have a deep sense of gratitude and love for God, we won’t love His word.

How do we “fall in love” with God? For me, it’s a simple matter of remembering all He sacrificed for me while I was still stuck in sin (Romans 5:8). I’m so grateful for forgiveness from my sin, so grateful that I’m not who I was, so grateful to have right standing before the Lord, so grateful that I can call on Him, so grateful that He sees me and loves me, so grateful that He protects me and provides for me…so grateful that all I can do is love Him.

Because of that, I want to know Him, know His character and His ways, to the best of my ability. I love His word, the Bible, because it’s how I get to know Him better and learn about His great love for me.

The Bible has amazing power to transform our lives when we open it, know it, speak it, use it, and love it. Why wait?

Ask and it will be given…

Ecclesiastes 9:18

New King James Version (NKJV)

18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war;
But one sinner destroys much good.”

Mat 7:7 

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

The old saying goes, “There’s always one more idiot than you counted on.”  Another way of putting it is, “You can’t plan for everything.”  The Bible is full of exhortations for us to seek wisdom, to be wise, to have an understanding heart, to avoid foolishness, to seek counsel and to watch our steps.  But this verse reminds us that after all of our wisdom has been taken into account, we still live in a sinful world where bad people do bad things to anybody.

That’s important to tuck away into your theology.  We fail at times by thinking that because we are believers, we are somehow immune from troubles, much less outright attacks and “stupid things” that might occur because of some other person’s ignorance.  But those things do happen.  They can happen.  One sinner destroys much good.

What is the answer?  Keep doing good, of course.  We don’t give up simply because the world is full of sinful people.  Jesus didn’t. The early church didn’t.  No, we continue to press forward, knowing that our character is being formed into the image of Christ.  It is ultimately up to God to decide what lasts out of all the works that we do.  If He calls you to be an author, and your works keep getting burned, you should keep writing.  Keep going.  Keep moving forward.  Don’t give up.

Be blessed.

Craig Thompson — Todays Meditation

Jas 1:5  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Who was Elijah?

Elijah’s Prayer
“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” (James 5:17-18)

“Elias” is the New Testament name for Elijah, the great prophet who lived during the darkest days of Israel’s apostasy, when Ahab and Jezebel ruled the land and had turned it over to the worship of the demonic god Baal. “Elijah” means “Jehovah is God,” a most appropriate name for a prophet of the true God in a nation and time given over to paganism.

Elijah suddenly appeared before King Ahab with the ominous prophecy: “As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (1 Kings 17:1). This was not presumptuous. In his commentary, James said Elijah “prayed earnestly” before he spoke, and that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

 This remarkable prophecy was miraculously fulfilled. There was no rain in all the land of Israel for 3.5 years (as also confirmed by Christ in Luke 4:25) until Elijah defeated all the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:17-45).
Yet James reminds us that Elijah was “a man of like passions as we” and that both ends of the miracle—the onset and termination of the nationwide drought—were simply answers to Elijah’s two fervent prayers. James has much to say about how we also can receive wonderful answers to prayer. In addition to praying fervently, we must “ask in faith, nothing wavering” (James 1:6). But faith must be expressed by action (as when Elijah confronted Ahab), for “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). Finally, if we “ask, and receive not,” it may be that we “ask amiss,” wanting the answer only for ourselves (James 4:3). HMM

Prophet Elijah – Boldest of the Prophets

Profile of Elijah, A Man Who Did Not Die

By

Elijah stood up boldly for God in a time when idolatry had swept his land. In fact, his name means “My God is Yah(weh).”

The false god he opposed was Baal, the favorite deity of Jezebel, wife of King Ahab of Israel. To please Jezebel, Ahab had altars erected to Baal, and the queen murdered God’s prophets.

Elijah appeared before King Ahab to announce God’s curse: “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” (1 Kings 17:1, NIV)

Then Elijah fled to the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan River, where ravens brought him bread and meat. When the brook dried up, God sent Elijah to live with a widow in Zarephath. God performed another miracle there, blessing the woman’s oil and flour so it did not run out. Unexpectedly, the widow’s son died. Elijah stretched himself on the boy’s body three times, and God restored the child’s life.

Confident of the power of God, Elijah challenged the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the false god Asherah to a showdown on Mount Carmel. The idolaters sacrificed a bull and cried out to Baal from morning until nightfall, even slashing their skin until blood flowed, but nothing happened. Elijah then rebuilt the altar of the Lord, sacrificing a bull there.

He put the burnt offering on it, along with wood. He had a servant douse the sacrifice and wood with four jars of water, three times, until all was thoroughly soaked. Elijah called on the Lord, and God’s fire fell from heaven, consuming the offering, the wood, the altar, the water, and even the dust around it.

The people fell on their faces, shouting, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” (1 Kings 18:39, NIV) Elijah ordered the people to slay the 850 false prophets.

Elijah prayed, and rain fell on Israel. Jezebel was furious at the loss of her prophets, however, and swore to kill him. Afraid, Elijah ran to the wilderness, sat under a broom tree, and in his despair, asked God to take his life. Instead, the prophet slept, and an angel brought him food. Strengthened, Elijah went 40 days and 40 nights to Mount Horeb, where God appeared to him in a whisper.

God ordered Elijah to anoint his successor, Elisha, whom he found plowing with 12 yoke of oxen. Elisha killed the animals for a sacrifice and followed his master. Elijah went on to prophesy the deaths of Ahab, King Ahaziah, and Jezebel.

Like Enoch, Elijah did not die. God sent chariots and horses of fire and took Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, while Elisha stood watching.

Accomplishments of Prophet Elijah:

Under God’s guidance, Elijah struck a heavy blow against the evil of false gods. He was an instrument for miracles against Israel’s idolaters.

Prophet Elijah’s Strengths:

Elijah had incredible faith in God. He loyally carried out the Lord’s instructions and struck boldly in the face of enormous opposition.

Prophet Elijah’s Weaknesses:

After a stunning victory on Mount Carmel, Elijah fell into depression. The Lord was patient with him, however, letting him rest and regain his strength for future service.

Life Lessons:

Despite the miracles God performed through him, Elijah was only human, like us. God can use you in amazing ways as well, if you surrender yourself to his will.

Hometown:

Tishbe in Gilead.

Referenced in the Bible:

Elijah’s story is found in 1 Kings 17:1 – 2 Kings 2:11. Other references include 2 Chronicles 21:12-15; Malachi 4:5,6; Matthew 11:14, 16:14, 17:3-13, 27:47-49; Luke 1:17, 4:25,26; John 1:19-25; Romans 11:2-4; James 5:17,18. Occupation: Prophet

Key Verses:

1 Kings 18:36-39
At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD-he is God! The LORD-he is God!” (NIV)

2 Kings 2:11
As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. (NIV)

Jack Zavada, a career writer and contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian website for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack’s Bio Page.

Society and Culture

Romans 12:2
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The Perverts will rule Europe

Today’s Meditation

Click to read: Acts 10:28

Grace makes us clean.  We live in a world divided.  Nation rises against nation.  Politicians play on class conflict to their advantage. Ethnicity is seen as a reason for slaughter or genocide.  Religions war with one another.  Even in the church there are plenty of people who despise those who do not believe as they do.  Wholesale, we see people who call others common, dirty or unwanted for any number of reasons.  When will we learn this truth if we learn nothing else?  “God has shown me that -I- should not call any man common or unclean.”

What if we all lived in the light of this grace ourselves?  What if we lived knowing that we are not dirty or common in God’s eyes?  What if we acted out an assurance that we are indeed very special to Him?  What would our lives look like?  How would we respond to His voice?  And how would we treat others?  Can you hear it?  “Why are you being so kind to me?  I’m not part of your church/race/family.”  “Because God has shown me that -I- should not call anyone common or unclean.  You are special to God, and you are special to me.”

This is grace.  We need this grace in our own minds, our hearts, our very beings.  And we MUST show this kind of grace to others, a world of people dying to hear that they are loved.

Be blessed, and know that you are not common or unclean to Him.

Craig Thompson

Your Friends

You Find Out Who Your Friends Are
by Carrie Dedrick, Editor, ChristianHeadlines.com
You find out who your friends are
Somebody’s gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas, get there fast
Never stop to think 
“What’s in it for me?” 
Or “It’s way too far” 
They just show on up
With their big ol’ heart
You find out who your friends are
Does anyone know that Tracy Lawrence song? It’s about those situations that we sometimes find ourselves in when we just need help.
We sometimes get stuck in unforeseen circumstances. Unpredictability is a part of life, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.
This morning was one of those days for me.
My husband and I are the proud mom and dad of two rescued dogs, a pomeranian and a pomeranian-chihuahua, or as we call her, a pomhuahua. Today the dogs were scheduled to have their hair cut at the groomer so they will be more comfortable with warm weather approaching. The groomer would keep them for the rest of the day in the kennel until we could pick them up after work.
No problem, right?
Wrong.
I had barely sat down at my desk when I got a call from the groomer. She said that my dog suddenly got sick and they couldn’t keep her for the rest of the day as planned; I needed to pick her up right away.
Remember those unforeseen circumstances I was talking about?
I did what I had to do. My manager was extremely gracious in the situation, and let me go pick up my sick puppy. He even went as far as to offer that I could take her to the vet if necessary.
But this story isn’t really about the actual circumstance that interrupted my day. It’s about what happened afterward.
First, there was the friend that allowed my dog to stay at his apartment for the day. I called him, and asked if he would take her in (it saved me a long trip home). There was no hesitation at all. Of course he would keep her. You find out who your friends are.
Then I got back to the office, thinking that I would have a lot of catching up to do after a morning “off.” Not so. The other editors had finished almost all of my work for me upon my arrival. They certainly did not have to help me; they all have to pull plenty of weight at the company without the additional load. But they did. You find out who your friends are.
These generous people led me to think of the kind of friend that Jesus was. He was a friend to the lowest of the low, those that would be considered the societal outsiders of today. Jesus visited the house of Zacchaeus the tax collector Luke 19:1-10 and touched a man with leprosy Matthew 8:1-4.
God intended that we have relationships including families, spouses, and friends. We form bonds with one another because as it says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12,
Two are better than one, because they have good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
It is interesting that the scripture says a cord of three strands. I take that to mean we should not only have friends physically on this earth, but a friend in our hearts as well. That friend is Jesus, the third strand, the strand that keeps the cord from unraveling.
In situations when we need a helping hand, you do truly find out who your friends are. So nurture your relationships. Give friends the love and attention they deserve, and they will reciprocate.
Your friendships need nourishment just as the farmer’s crops did in the parable Jesus tells in Matthew 13:3-8. Plant your friendships in the good soil of consideration, thoughtfulness, and generosity. Those friendships will blossom into the best of all, the friends who you can call on in difficult times, the friends who genuinely care about you.
Intersecting Faith and Life: You can probably think of a friend that you have not spoken to in some time. Reach out to that person with a simple call or e-mail to catch up. Let that person know that you care about him or her.
Further Reading