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Seeds of Deception
Seeds Of Deception:
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The Question of God:
C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud
Debate God, Love, Sex,
and the Meaning of Life

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Intended for Pleasure:
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The Ragamuffin Gospel



Thursday, March 31, 2005

Moving my blog...

Welcome to all of My Hugh Hewitt Visitors

Hugh, I greatly appreciate the honor you have bestowed upon me by including me in your "The God Squad" list.

The problem is, my blog has moved. You can find the new blog at

, and my pointer web address of will be directed to this new address soon.

Come and visit me at the new site.

Wayne M
posted @ 06:52 AM CST [link]


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Blog of Art...
I am not in the mood for news, I am not in the mood for changing the world via activism. I am in the mood for beauty. This morning I found an outstanding blog of art. It is the site of Carlos Aleman from Fl. You can see his work here... . Check out "one of two sisters". His site lifted my heart.

Thanks Carlos
posted @ 07:16 AM CST [link] [Karma: 11 (+/-)]


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Sri Lanka Tsunami Relief Update
Below is an email commenting on the conditions in Sri Lanka after the most recent 8.7 earthquate.

Hi everyone,
This is Cheri Rezac from group one. I am guessing that all of you know of the 8.7 earthquake that has hit Sumatra Indonesia once again. I wanted to let you know that I have talked to Evan in Sri Lanka. They
are aware of the potential tsunami, and have evacutaed the area. I did not have a good connection with Evan, so I was not able to ask specifics. He did say that he was not able to get through to the hotel
where 8 members of group 2 are staying, but he asked Rohan (a man from our village)to go to the hotel to give them warning. So far, there has been no tsunami anywhere....Lets pray that it stays that way.

For more updates goto...

posted @ 08:37 AM CST [link] [Karma: 13 (+/-)]


Monday, March 28, 2005

He qualifies the called...
A man from Norfolk, VA called a local radio station to share this on Sept 11th, 2003. His Name was Robert Matthews. These are his words:

"A few weeks before Sept. 11th, my wife and I found out we were going to have our first child. She planned a trip out to California to visit her sister.

On our way to the airport, we prayed that God would grant my wife a safe trip and be with her. Shortly after I said 'amen,' we both heard a loud pop and the car shook violently. We had blown out a tire.

I replaced the tire as quickly as I could, but we still missed her flight. Both very upset, we drove home.

I received a call from my father who was retired NYFD. He asked what my wife's flight number was, but I explained that we missed the flight.

My father informed me that her flight was the one that crashed into the southern tower.

I was too shocked to speak.

My father also had more news for me; he was going to help. 'This is not something I can just sit by for; I have to do something.'

I was concerned for his safety, of course, but more because he had never given his life to Christ. After a brief debate, I knew his mind was made up. Before he got off of the phone, he said, 'take good care of my grandchild.'

Those were the last words I ever heard my father say; he died while helping in the rescue effort.

My joy that my prayer of safety for my wife had been answered quickly became anger. I was angry at God, at my father, and at myself.

I had gone for nearly two years blaming God for taking my father away. My son would never know his grandfather, my father had never accepted Christ, and I never got to say goodbye. Then something happened.

About two months ago, I was sitting at home with my wife and my son, when there was a knock on the door. I looked at my wife, but I could tell she wasn't expecting anyone. I opened the door to a couple with a small child.

The man looked at me and asked if my father's name was Jake Matthews. I told him it was. He quickly grabbed my hand and said, 'I never got the chance to meet your father, but it is an honor to meet his son.' He explained to me that his wife had worked in the World Trade Center and had been caught inside after the attack. She was pregnant and had been caught under debris. He then explained that my father had been the one to find his wife and free her.

My eyes welled up with tears as I thought of my father giving his life for people like this.

He then said, 'there is something else you need to know.' His wife then told me that as my father worked to free her, she talked to him and lead him to Christ.

I began sobbing at the news. Now I know that when I get to heaven, my father will be standing beside Jesus to welcome me, and that this family would be able to thank him themselves.

When their baby boy was born, they named him Jacob Matthew in honor of the man who gave his life so mother and baby could live.

This story should help us to realize two things:
First - that though it has been three years since the attacks, we should never let it become a mere tragic memory.

And second - but most important - God is always in control. We may not see the reason behind things, and we may never know this side of heaven, but God is ALWAYS in control.

Please take time to share this amazing story with those you love. You may never know the impact it may have on someone.

God doesn't call the qualified..... He qualifies the called.

Author Unknown
Sumitted by Madeleine
posted @ 08:24 AM CST [link] [Karma: 29 (+/-)]

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The Question of God
Book Review: The Question of God
By: Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr.

There would surely be strong evidence to support the statement that C. S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud were two of the most influential thinkers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The similar threads that run through their lives were quite striking, including great losses at early ages, disconnected relationships with their fathers and their materialistic atheistic worldview. Their lives were quite similar until that fateful day, until Lewis became a Christian.

Dr. Armand M. Nicholi tells a truly fascinating tale of a conversation that never occurred between these two great thinkers and pulls back the covers of these men’s lives so that we can see how their thinking effects their actions and their lives. We get to see in real terms, how a life animated by a Christian worldview lived out authentically changes a person and truly makes the individual a better being. At the same time we see how a totally materialistic worldview can affect a person’s ability to live well, to make friends and to be happy.

As I read the book I had to continually ask myself, is it possible that this story is very biased or is the life and story of C. S. Lewis so much more enchanting and encouraging than the life of the Sigmund Freud? My conclusion to that question is a resounding No. The book is not biased, and in fact, I think Nicholi at times approaches the line of going overboard to make it balanced. At the same time I am much more attracted to the thinking and life of Lewis.

In Freud’s philosophical writings he divides all people into two categories, “believers” and “non-believers”. It is amazing for a psychiatrist to use such language and make this distinction, but at the same time, it is indeed true. What we see throughout the rest of this book is how these dramatically opposed worldviews affect everything of importance in a person’s life.

Lewis knew the beliefs and the atheistic views of Sigmund Freud and he himself held these views as a young man. After he became a believer, he was able to use these arguments to argue strongly for the Christian worldview. Nicholi shows throughout the book how Freud’s view of life causes conflict, pain and struggle and at the same time how Lewis’s worldview brings friendship, comfort during struggle and peace.

Nicholi gives many examples of this contrast in the book. Two great examples are…
• Freud was considered the “father of sexual freedom” while in reality actually live a life that could be considered “sexually repressed”. While Lewis lived a life of sexual joy and freedom, with his wife commenting openly on his “sexual prowess” and Lewis comments how they “feasted on love”.
• Freud seemed to have many acquaintances and friends but he seemed to lose many of his friends in great conflict over the arguments and disagreements that they had. Many of these once close relationships would be broken permanently with great acrimony and pain. On the other hand, we see Lewis, who had been morose, depressed and disinterested in friends before his conversion and became very outwardly focused and a great friend after his conversion. He built great lasting friendships that became a large part of the joy of his life.

This book opened my mind to many new insights. I found myself thinking that Lewis would be a great example of how to live a wonderful life as a Christian. I also found myself adding to my reading list some of the classic literature that Lewis loved so much.

If you’re interested in examining the lives of two great thinkers in an expertly weaved tale, this is a must read book to be added to your reading list.

Product image for ASIN: 074324785X

The Question of God:
C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud
Debate God, Love, Sex,
and the Meaning of Life

posted @ 06:55 AM CST [link] [Karma: 19 (+/-)]


Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter: Resurrection Sunday
No body can tell the story of Jesus' Resurrection better than Dr Luke and the Holy Spirit. So on this Easter Sunday I will simply let you read the story.

The Resurrection
1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

On the Road to Emmaus
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ[b] have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

posted @ 06:13 AM CST [link] [Karma: -8 (+/-)]


Saturday, March 26, 2005

How Deep (dedicated to the victims of the Tsunami Tragedy)
How deep was the wave, a daze of destruction,
Tearing the soul, from it's earthly demise,
With nary a warning, and nary a thought,
Only fear in a moment for innocent eyes.

How deep was the ocean that carried them onward,
An ocean of might, filled with holy remorse,
God's angels were there, in the turbulent waters,
Guiding them home as the storm held it's course.

How deep was the earth, and the sand that would
From where the tide left all it's scattered debris,
As hope lost it's stronghold and life left it's
With families left grieving for those lost at sea.

How deep are the coffins, and some remain empty,
Awaiting remains of those yet to be found,
For earth is a blanket now, sheltering many,
With water remaining on God's holy ground.

How deep are the scars that remain now forever,
The why's and the how's will be asked without end,
How could a good Lord send this wrath down upon them,
Using forces of nature to shatter and rend.

How deep are the hearts that will now come together,
To strengthen and build where destruction has torn,
So deep are the numbers of God's blessed spirits,
On earth as in heaven, they gather to mourn.

How deep are the numbers of angels in heaven,
As deep are the numbers of angels on earth,
Who will now sew the quilt of compassion and caring,
As they sew will their blessings bring forth a

How deep is God's love for when souls are brought
They are comforted, shown they have not died in vain,
For God's call is blessed, in mercy he holds them,
In death there is life, and forsaken the pain.

How deep is the glory when lost is the hope,
For in all of the hopelessness, God's light remains,
The answers to why, will be shown as all cope,
As the hearts of all people wash tragedy's stains.

How deep is the sorrow, in a wave of destruction,
In the quakes of tomorrow, remember to give,
For those who are sacrificed, and those who remain,
There is a greater love waiting in heaven,... to live.

Melanie Trondson

posted @ 08:42 AM CST [link] [Karma: 8 (+/-)]

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Beautiful Love
The question is asked, "Is there anything more beautiful in life than a
boy and a girl clasping clean hands and pure hearts in the path of
marriage? Can there be anything more beautiful than young love?"

And the answer is given. "Yes, there is a more beautiful thing. It is
the spectacle of an old man and an old woman finishing their journey
together on that path. Their hands are gnarled, but still clasped;
their faces are seamed, but still radiant; their hearts are physically
bowed and tired, but still strong with love and devotion for one
another. Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love. Old love."

Submitted by Madeleine
posted @ 08:37 AM CST [link] [Karma: 1 (+/-)]


Friday, March 25, 2005

MinnesotaHelpsSriLanka: Easter weekend review from Group 2
Here is our Group 2 week in review, Happy Easter to all.

The building team continues to give their sweat equity down at the village site. The community center is coming along nicely. The half wall is nearly done and the foundation and staging area are being prepared. Homes are quickly getting rebuilt as the building teams work with the village masons. From a personal note: watching our building volunteers in action is really inspiring - they are some of the most dedicated solid workers I have seen. They came here to build and once they were able to start - they dug in with all their might.

The village loves their new playground equipment and keeps the volleyball courts busy at all hours. The soup kitchen is starting to have some regular feeds. Everyone really enjoys coming together as it shows a sense of village solidarity.

The nursing crew spent some time in refugee camp settings. They also set up some day clinics in villages treating old wounds. They also were gracious to go to the girls orphanage to clean and paint two rooms. The girls were thrilled with the violet blue hue of their bedrooms. Never underestimate the nurses as they also went to the building site and helped with adding rubble to the community center base to prepare for the concrete pour. Plus, the nurses made many hundreds of aid bags to distribute as care to various village areas.

The teachers worked hard organizing all our supplies (we have a ton of them) to prepare for distribution. They were also elated to be able to purchase some mattresses, kerosene stoves, washbasins, milk and other aid items for a refugee camp/school that they are working in. This week was hard in the village as it is the 3-month anniversary of the tsunami and many villagers were upset about some after shocks coming on the weekend. The teachers work to help the
children and the adults become reacclimated with the ocean. The teachers also helped with some muscle work and by cleaning at the community center.

Many of us were able to attend a parliament session to hear how the political process works here in Sri Lanka. We came away with the same frustration as we see in America. Few politicians were present - lots of talking occurred - and no action was taking place. Our Minnesota group did get a mention and that will be recorded in the minutes as part of governmental history. Some in the government want to tax all the billions of aid money the government has been given. This does not sit well with the people who are in need. It appears many politicians really have little first-hand knowledge of the working problems that are occurring in refugee camps.

We were treated to a nice light lunch and then taken to see one of the politicians’ mansions. It added more clarity to the caste division within the country.

One of the villagers gets married this weekend, so some of our volunteers will be attending to see how the cultural marriage ceremony varies from the US. Other group members will be going to a "spirit ceremony" to help commemorate the loss from the tsunami. Several of the volunteers are Catholic and will be attending Sinhalese Easter Services so they can experience how Sri Lankans celebrate Easter.

It has been interesting to hear some of the loud-recorded music coming from the area churches over this holy weekend.

The group coordinator and I went a nice young family's (middle class) home in Negombo where we were treated to a wonderful supper - that was prepared to please our Minnesota taste buds. We met the husband, who is a singer at the hotel/beach where we go on Sundays. He has a beautiful voice and we enjoy his American versions of popular songs by the Beatles, Bee Gees, Moody Blues, etc. He was taken by the nice ways of the Minnesotan crew and thus a new friendship was formed. That is some of the positive we take away from our journey to Sri Lanka.

We have our ups and downs but overall we are glad we have been given this opportunity to come to a country that none of us had known before. We will come away with stories to share as we return to America on April 6th. Time is flying by as we enter our 4th week into this endeavor. We send all our loved ones, families and friends good thoughts.

Pam - Group 2 Communications Coordinator

Be sure to check out all our new web albums now posted on our MSN web group:

Go to the left column and click on the "PICTURES" link. There are many dozens of new photos that show the work that our volunteers are doing over here. A picture speaks a thousand words.

posted @ 11:17 AM CST [link] [Karma: 0 (+/-)]

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Photography of Ray Grieselhuber
I came across the photography of Ray Grieselhuber this morning and I had to share it with you. It certianly fits into the category of...

"...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things." Philippians 4:8

Ray Grieselhuber Photos

posted @ 06:57 AM CST [link] [Karma: -17 (+/-)]

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Is Your Fire Stoked?
Many dazzlingly eloquent words have been written and spoken lately about Christ's "Passion" %u2013 both the Mel Gibson movie and the Real Thing.
Indeed, viewing "The Passion of the Christ" is powerfully rekindling many believers' appreciation for what Jesus endured for their sakes.

Question: Will this roaring fire of gratitude for Christ's suffering and death on the cross also rekindle %u2013 or ignite for the first time %u2013 a fire in the belly of believers for "taking up the cross" themselves?

Read More: The passion of the Christian
posted @ 06:41 AM CST [link] [Karma: 22 (+/-)]


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Memories of Easter – Looking back Looking forward
Here it is, right before Easter and the thought comes to my mind, am I ready for arguably the most important event in the Christian calendar? This season often stirs up memories from my youth that are frankly very enjoyable. Being raised in a somewhat rural partially farming community there was the tradition to get your potatoes planted by Good Friday. What a funny thought, did the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord even affect farming?

Now, can you imagine kids not wanting to go to church? Ok I admit there were even times I skipped going to church when I was a teenager. But skip the services right before Easter? Never! These services right before Easter are so powerful. I still remember the way we observed the forty days of Lent. The Stations of the Cross are emblazoned into my memory. I loved going to the Stations of the Cross because that service helped to focus my mind on what Christ had really done for us. We were participating in the drama that was portrayed in Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ”. This service made the event real to a child’s mind.

Palm Sunday service would begin with Jesus parading into Jerusalem on his donkey. No, there was not a real donkey but I had a great imagination. We the people in the crowd waved the palms exalting Christ, celebrating his triumphal entrance into the city. We would participate in the parade and then continue with the reading of the Passion of Christ from Scripture. It is this event, with us being in the crowd, which drove home the point ever more clearly, that it was I in the crowd that then yelled “Crucify Him” just a few days later. It is this service that helps clarify the point that I am responsible for Christ’s Crucifixion.

Then we were fully into Holy Week. On Holy Thursday, we celebrated the last supper of Christ. During this service we were given a very intimate view of Christ. We see how He loved his disciples, especially John. We see how He continued to serve others with the washing of the feet, even when He knew His hour was close. We see how Jesus was building a church when he instituted communion, “do this in memory of Me”. And we see how He deals with conflict in dealing with Judas knowing that Judas would betray him. It is awe-inspiring to contemplate what Christ was able to accomplish during his final day of freedom.

“Good Friday” is crazy name. To think of the day of the most heinous murder in history as a “Good” day causes your mind to be twisted into ways almost unimaginable. And yet if we think clearly, that day was indeed a “Good” day. It was the event that occurred on that day that opened a way for us to enter into the “Holy of Holies”. As a kid, I loved going to these three hour services. They started at 12:00 noon, going through the torturing and execution of Christ. We experienced the bewilderment of his followers, horror of the event, and the persevering faith that Christ displayed during his hours of momentous struggle. Then, it was like you were there at the cross with his mother and John when Jesus exclaimed “It is finished”. I remember being shaken to my core from the intensity of this event.

Saturday was generally a pretty low-key day. If the weather was warm enough, we would be out raking the lawn preparing for the coming spring. This was a day of remembering the event, but also of enjoying the closeness of family.

Easter Sunday was a day of great joy. Yes, the candy and goodies were nice, but they were just the beginning. You would get to church and the mood was incredibly festive. People we had not seen for a year, were there with us celebrating as a large family would celebrate. The message was clear, “He has risen, He is risen indeed”. The implications are clear; we have a God who has conquered death! We do not need to fear death anymore. We have a reason for great celebration! Prepare your hearts and minds to celebrate Easter this weekend and celebrate with zest!

posted @ 09:31 AM CST [link] [Karma: 29 (+/-)]

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Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner
March 22, 2005


Dear Friend of Catholic Answers:

That was the title of the lead editorial in Saturday's edition of "The San
Diego Union-Tribune." Here is the chief part of the text:

"Whatever happened to the age-old Christian precept, 'Hate the sin and love the

"San Diego Bishop Robert Brom apparently rejects this maxim of charity and
tolerance. His highly rare decision to deny a Catholic burial to a gay businessman
who owned a gay-oriented nightclub sends a message that is the sheer antithesis
of charity and tolerance.

"To the bishop, a Catholic funeral for John McCusker, who died Sunday of
congestive heart failure, would be a 'public scandal' because the business he owned,
Club Montage, was 'inconsistent with Catholic moral teaching.'
posted by @ 08:26 AM CST [MORE...] [Karma: -3 (+/-)]

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What Jeb Bush Auta Do

March 24, 2005, 8:14 a.m.
The Right to Life
Protecting one woman.

By William J. Bennett & Brian T. Kennedy
Terry Schiavo is near death. If actions are to be taken to save her life, they must be taken now.

Let us briefly review the relevant facts: Terri is a human being whose physical condition is in dispute, but perhaps not for long. She is the daughter of loving parents, and she has a brother and sister. She is the wife of a man who once loved her, may still love her, but has taken a new woman and has with her two children. It is his duty under Florida law, and by common sense, to be her guardian.

William J. Bennett & Brian T. Kennedy on Terri Schiavo on National Review Online
posted @ 07:26 AM CST [link] [Karma: -9 (+/-)]

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James Lesson 11: Faith Tested by Resorting to Prayer(5: 13-18)
James: Tests of a Living Faith

Faith Tested by Resorting to Prayer(5: 13-18)

Jerry Pottorff

Section Summary
Prayer is a high and holy privilege. The mature Christian is prayerful in the troubles of life. Instead of complaining about his situation, he talks to God about it; and God hears and God answers. “Taking it to the Lord in prayer” is certainly a mark of spiritual maturity. (Warren Wiersbe)

Four Situations in which God Answers Prayer – Four Questions - Four Imperatives (commands) in the Text:

James 5:13 “Is any one of you in trouble?”

This first question comes straight from the text.

Our lesson guide identifies that the Greek word for trouble means suffering in difficult circumstances. Paul used this word to describe the circumstances he was in when writing II Tim. 2:9 (chained and imprisoned).

As God’s people go through life, they often must endure difficulties that are not the results of sin or the chastening of God. These trials could be job pressures and expectations, financial strains, family situations, perhaps a direct attack from Satan.

What should we not do when we find ourselves in such trying circumstances?
James 5:9 – do not grumble and criticize the saints who are having an easier time of it. No weeping or wailing allowed.
What should we do and how should we do it?
James 1: 5 – We should pray, asking God for the wisdom we need to understand the situation and use it to His glory.
What will prayer do for us?
James 4:6 - Prayer can remove affliction, if that is God’s will. But prayer can also give us the grace we need to endure troubles and use them to accomplish God’s perfect will. “God can transform troubles into triumphs”.
Who are good Biblical examples of this promise?
II Cor. 12:7-10 – Paul. The “thorn in the flesh” that he had to deal with and the grace to sustain it and become a better person because of it.
Luke 22: 39-46 – Christ. He was in anguish but was comforted.
What common end result do these two examples have?
In neither case was the trouble taken away. Rather strength was give to persevere. The end results were that God’s will was done. God’s plan for redemption was set in place and proclaimed.

“Is Anyone Happy?”

James indicates here that everybody does not go through troubles at the same time. This is the flip side of the coin.
What is James imperative?
“Let him sing songs of praise”. God balances our lives and gives us hours of suffering and days of singing.
How do we know that our singing is pleasing to God?
The Bible tells us so. God desires that when we are happy, we express that joy and good cheer through singing.
Job 35:10 – “songs in the night”
Acts 16:25 – “And at Midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God.”
Psalms 92, 96, 105, etc.
What expectations does God have of our Praise?
I Cor 14:15 – intelligent
Eph. 5:19 – Come from the heart; sincere
Eph 5:18 – Motivated by the Holy Spirit
Col 3: 16 – Based on the Word of God
Praying and Singing were important elements in worship in the early church and they should be important to us. Our singing ought to be an expression of our inner spiritual life.

James 5: 14-16 Prayer for the Sick

What is James’ next imperative?

What is James interpretation of the word “sick”? Can we interpret this literally?
James is speaking of illness, weak and feeble. This could imply a kind of spiritual illness or weakness as well. For the early church in 65 AD illness was a major problem and concern. For today, we need to consider that any thing that one does to harm the body is a sin. Such things can lead to sickness and disease. Smoking leads to cancer and lung disease. Promiscuity can lead to venereal disease.

Does James give us an all-inclusive formula for healing?
In this church body alone, we have seen evidence of God miraculous healing. We have seen evidence of God not choosing to heal.

What are the special characteristics of this case that James is describing?
James 15:15b-16 – The person is sick because of sin. Greek text says “if he has been constantly sinning.”
I Corinthians 11:27-30
I Cor. 5 – Paul instructed the church assembly to expel an immoral person.

The sick person is a church member who is sick because God is disciplining him. The church elders are called and make a visit rather than the sick person going to church to confess his sins. The person confesses his sins (vs.16).

The person is healed by the “Prayer of faith” (vs.15)

What is the “prayer of faith” (vs. 15) that heals the sick?
I John 5:14-15 - a confidence we have in Christ – a prayer offered knowing that God’s will is to be done.

How should we pray for the sick?
Rom 8:26 – Paul did not always know.
“If it is Your will, heal Your Child”. (Warren Wiersbe)
What are some practical lessons from this portion of scripture?
Disobedience to God can lead to sickness. (David’s experience)
Sin affects the whole church
There is healing (physical and spiritual) when sin is dealt with.
Prov. 28:13
“Private sin requires private confession; Public sin requires public confession. It is wrong for Christians to hand dirty wash in public for such confessing might do more harm than the original sin”. (Warren Wiersbe)

James 5: 17-18 “Prayer for the Nation?”

Who does James cite as an example of a “righteous man” and one whose prayers released power?
I Kings 17-18

Wicked King Ahab and Jezebel led Israel away from the Lord and into the worship of Baal. God punished the nation by holding back the rain for 3-1/2 years. Then Elijah challenged the priests of Baal on Mount Carmel. All day long the priests called out to their god, but no answer came. Elijah repaired the altar and prepares a sacrifice. He prayed once and fire from heaven consumed the sacrifice. Elijah had proved that Jehovah was the true God.
The nation still needed rain. Elijah went to the top of Mount Carmel and fell down before the Lord in prayer. He prayed and sent his servant seven times to see if there was evidence of rain. On the seventh trip, the servant saw a little cloud. Before long there was a great rain.

“Prayer is not getting man’s will done in heaven. It is getting God’s will done on earth “ (Robert Law).
Instructions for prayer:
Matthew 6:5-8
Luke 22: 39-46 - Christ prayed 3 times in the Garden
II Cor. 12:7-10 - Paul prayed 3 times that his thorn in the flesh might be taken from him.

What is one of the first responsibilities of the local church?
(I Tim. 2:1-3) - to pray for government leaders

“Prayer power is the greatest power in the world today”. Tremendous power is made available through a good mans’ earnest prayer. Elijah prayed for his nation and God answered prayer. We need to pray for our nation today that God will bring conviction and revival and that God’s “showers of blessing” will come to the land”. (Warren Wiersbe)

We are not through with the discussion of prayer. Next Sunday Steve will wrap up this study with one last imperative regarding prayer.

posted @ 06:03 AM CST [link] [Karma: 2 (+/-)]


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Is Terri Schaivo an innocent human being?
Many of the issues that revolve around the Schaivo debate would be resolved if a simple question was answered. Is Terri Schaivo an innocent human being?

On the face of it this question seems so simple. What can the implications be? Well, let’s first answer the question. This very simple question has two parts. Is she innocent and is she a human being?

Obviously Terri has committed no crime. She has not been accused and she has not been convicted. Ok, that is very simple and it is out of the way.

Now, is Terri a human being? Of course again she is a human being. There is nothing that can be done that would take her out of the realm of being a human being. Even if she were in a “persistent vegetative state” she would still be a human being.

So as an innocent human being, she must be afforded all the rights of an innocent human being. She must be afforded the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

So how does starving an innocent woman to death fit into this list of rights? If you know anything about starvation or even fasting you know how painful and awful it can be. Many of you that are arguing for her starvation would never consider doing the same thing to a convicted child rapist and murderer but you are willing to do it to an innocent woman. What could possibly lead to this thinking?

How does “quality of life” fit into this argument? If I am depressed for a few days, my quality of life goes down and certainly my family’s quality of life decreases. Should I kill myself because of that? What does “quality of life” have to do with anything? That concept is totally subjective and the feeling of life quality can change on a whim from day to day. A human life is a human life, it is our duty as care providers to do our best to help improve the life of others, not take their life.

Let’s call this what it really is, removing the feeding tubes from Terri is murder. Just like if we were to stop feeding a baby it would be called murder. Let’s keep our moral compasses directed to the true north here.

Wayne Moran
posted @ 08:28 AM CST [link] [Karma: 14 (+/-)]

                                                *  *  *
By Warren Coe
South Suburban Evangelical Free Church

MARCH 20, 2005
Luke 23:44-49

1. Throughout the Lenten season and in preparation for holy week we've considered the last seven words Jesus spoke before he died. Abe Shanklin Jr. summarized Jesus' dying words
Father Forgive them... He focused outward.
Today you will be with me in heaven. He focused sideward.
Woman behold your son. He focused parent-ward.
My God. He focused upward.
I thirst. He focused inward.
It is Finished. He focused backward & forward.

2. In the 7th & last word, the Lord's focus is heavenward. Father, into thy hands...­ is a blueprint for dying. Jesus dies well and shows us how to die in victory, not defeat.
● As a pastor I've stood with saints in their last hours on earth
● Some faced death with courage. Others suffered paralyzing fear
● You could see it in their faces as the Dr. said; you have little time left with family nearby.

3. How will you face death? Unless the Lord returns soon, everyone will die¡ªwithout exception. Are you ready for it? How are you preparing for earthly departure
● In passage just read, we watch Jesus face death. We watch him die.
● His courage is so commendable that it earned the Centurion's praise; truly this was a righteous man...­
● What was the secret of Jesus' courage as he faced death?

4. Before we answer that question we must see three important details associated with Jesus dying.
1st, Darkness fell. V44 This is a Supernatural event.
2nd The veil in the temple is torn from top to bottom V45. The way to God is open to all.
3rd, Jesus raised his voice. Speaking loudly with a loud voice. He spoke with volume. This surprised eye-witnesses since a crucifixion left victim weak.
Details of the crucifixion show the historicity of Jesus Christ. Our faith is built on a foundation of historical fact.

Now today we discover three secrets to Jesus' fearless confrontation with death; Three secrets every believer must own & utilize if they hope to die well.
1. The first secret of Jesus' courage in the face of death was his focus. Jesus set his eyes on the Father. His point of concentration was his Heavenly Father.
● Look at the word used here. Pater. The root word signifies nourisher or protector.
● Just as earthly dads make sure child is safe & feed, so does our Heavenly. Father
● When Jesus nears death he looks to God as his sustaining, protecting father.

2. I think it's important we recognize how Jesus addressed the Almighty. He called him Father, laying great stress on God's loving, parental character. He is our Father
● When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he taught them to say, Our Father...
● Not Yahweh meaning Existing One, not theos meaning God, not kurios meaning Lord.
● In public and private prayers we need to follow Christ's example and call God, Father

3. Jesus is facing death but his eyes are on father. In spite of pain and the shadow of death Jesus concentrates on Father. He could focus because of lifelong relationship with God the Father.
● Take your Bible & turn to Luke 2:49. Never too early to begin walking with God.
● He lived his life in total dependence on Father. John 5:19.
● So when it comes to dying, he does what he always did, live in communion with his Father.

4. Its like the secret of being a long ball hitter in baseball. To hit long ball you must keep your eye on ball from the moment it leaves the pitcher's hand until it crosses plate.
● 1998 watching Cubs & Cardinals, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire. The next day five homeruns.
● What was the Secret? They kept their eye on ball. That's what made them homerun kings.
● Each of us will stand at the plate. Death will throw the fast ball and we'll knock it out of the park.

Jesus faced death with his eyes set on his Father. Face death with eyes on your Heavenly. Father.
1. Look at V46. If you have a study Bible it's likely you have a small footnote next to V46. It reads Psalms 31:5. Translators identify this as an OT quote.
● Turn to Psalms 31:5. What do we read? The same words Jesus spoke were words spoken by David.
● David's life isn't going well. Enemies are attacking V4. Men try to kill him V13
● David prayers for protection. In V1,2 He asks the Lord for strength and deliverance

2. Over the years and centuries Psalms 31:5 became a simple prayer every Jewish mother taught their children. They taught them to say, into thy hands...­
● It was a prayer said at bedtime, like our Now I lay me down to sleep...
● It was a prayer of trust. It was a prayer of dependence.
● Jewish kids from the time they could speak learned to put their souls in God's hand.

3. What an insight into the heart of Jesus. He is dying and his mind meditates on a child's prayer. He lived out his dictate, unless you become as a child...
● He is dying but with a child-like mind, Jesus is absorbed with Scripture.
● He received the Word as a child receives a gift. He cherished it and loved it.
● The secret of Jesus' success in living and dying was the knowledge and obedience to the Word.

4. Lets get it on table¡ªlife is dangerous. You might be here tomorrow and you might not be. Sickness or accident can come at any moment. This is life!
● Jesus said, In this world you have much tribulation. You can't run. You can't hide.
● And a lot of people live frightened lives. They are slaves to fear. Prison!
● What is the Antidote? Look at Jesus. Get your heads into the Book. Fill mind with God's Word.

Jesus faced death with his eyes on the Father & his mind in the scripture, 3rd,
1. I have good news and bad news. 1st the good news. You all will die!
2nd, you will probably die slowly and not instantaneous. No sudden¡­
● This means your life will ebb away in a hospital room or care facility.
● Family and friends will be by your side. To tend you. To love you. To help make death a bit easier.
● We will probably have time to say tearful goodbye's before the end comes.

2. When my grand-dad was told he had pancreatic cancer and only days to live, my mom flew in from Seattle. They wept in the hospital room. Death meant the end.
● A separation that would last forever. A fearful and unknown forever.
● That's how non-Christians see death. Darkness. Loneliness. Nothing.
● Is that how you see death? Look at how Christ faced death?

3. It's found in the phrase into Thy hands, I commit my spirit... in Luke19:46. Word commit means to entrust or deposit. Jesus deposited his spirit into the hands of God.
● These were the hands that created Adam, created the babe in Bethlehem
● These were hands that upheld the children of Israel for 40 yrs.
● Hands of a shepherd, a king, a father and Almighty God. Jesus entrusted spirit to Him.­

4. Of Jesus' committal, G.C. Morgan writes it was a calm confidence. Jesus knew in God's hands he was in a place of perfect safety. So death was not defeat.
● Death was victory! With absolute trust in his Father, he could stare at death unafraid.
● This is the Christian's victory. 1st Cor 15:55-57; Phil 1:21- 23 Don't be afraid.
● Instead, commit your soul into God's omnipotent, gracious, strong-gripping hands.

1. Jesus faced death by setting his eyes upon his Father and by filling his child-like mind with Scripture and by committing his soul into God's hands.
● And that is how believers will face death; their own or a loved one.
● In total dependence upon the Lord and his word we will gain victory.
● With eyes clear, voices strong, we will defeat that bad boy called death.

2. Christopher Love was a Puritan who was arrested for treason. Government brought false witnesses to speak against Love. By all accounts Love was innocent.
● The court found him guilty & sentenced him to execution by be-heading.
● On the scaffold he was given a change to speak. He once again declared his innocence.
● He gave a lengthy sermon which was heard by man. His wife and children were in crowd.

3. Then at the end Christopher Love said these remarkable words. And now I am to commend my soul to God and to receive my fatal blow. I'm comforted in this,
● Though men kill me, they cannot **** me; and though they thrust me out of the world, yet they cannot shut me out of heaven.
● I am going to my home. I shall be at my Father's house.

● Then Love said, Now, Lord, into thy hands thy servant commits his.­

To Listen to the sermon Click Here
posted @ 06:37 AM CST [link] [Karma: 2 (+/-)]
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