Showing posts from 2010

Blessed are the Peacemakers (Matt 5:9)

Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9

Conflict is all around us. Turn on the news and we see it locally, nationally, and globally. As we examine our own relationships with our families, our friends, our neighbors, and even our brothers and sisters in Christ, we find occasional, and sometimes constant, conflict. Why so much conflict in the world?

Jesus warned us that life on this side of eternity would not be perfect. He said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

So how are we supposed to deal with conflict? Biblically, of course. But how many of us really know how to do that?

Ken Sande wrote an incredibly popular and practical book called The Peace Maker, a tool used around the world to help individuals, families, churches, ministry and business leaders resolve conflict. Ken “gives practical biblical guidance for conflict resolution that takes you beyond resolving conflicts …

No 1st Amendment Protection for Mosque at Ground Zero?

Islamic leaders have a constitutional right to build the mosque at Ground Zero because of "religious freedom," but they should be sensitive to the complaints of others and not build it. This sentiment is frequently repeated in the news by well-meaning conservatives. The question is, do they really have a constitutional right to build it? Not if it is financed by terrorists or those bent on destroying America--that would be treason. There is no constitutional protection for treason.

Bryan Fischer recently wrote an interesting article for American Family Association worth pondering, arguing against 1st Amendment protection for building the mosque near Ground Zero. Fischer wrote, "Our enemy is authentic Islam and our enemies are devout Muslims who actually believe in their holy scripture and are determined to follow the sacred teachings of their god. They are our enemies for the simple reason that their god commands them to kill us...All this blather about religious libert…

Irony of Same-Sex Marriage Arguments

I should not have been surprised that a California Federal District Court struck down the state marriage amendment (Proposition 8). But I was. Maybe I was a fool. Maybe I was just hopeful that Judge Walker might open his eyes to the truth about the sanctity of marriage and make a right ruling. Regardless, the decision to strike down the marriage amendment stands, for now. It is already on appeal. Most people believe this issue will continue in active controversy until the U.S. Supreme Court finally weighs and decides once and for all if states can define marriage or if there is some new fundamental right to same sex marriage to be implied from our Constitution. What I find particularly ironic is how Judge Walker and others can claim states cannot mandate morals, that is, morality has no basis in forming laws. And yet, that is exactly what gay activists want, to legislative morality. Just a different kind of morality. LGBT activist Chai Feldblum, a recent EEOC appointee by President Ob…

Understanding the Times-High School Senior Worldview Class

Do you know statistics show that a high percentage of students walk away from their Christian faith in college? Christians need to understand that the truth of God’s word applies to all of life. They need to be able to discern truth from error, whether sitting in a university classroom or watching the evening news. We need to protect Christian youth from deception by anti-Christian worldviews. We need to train up Christian leaders who can actively champion the truth of Christianity in a culture of relativism, paganism, hedonism and confusion.

This fall in Orange County, CA, I will begin teaching a two-semester High School worldview and apologetics class, Understanding the Times, a Summit Ministries curriculum endorsed by Dr. James Dobson, the late Dr. James Kennedy, Josh McDowell, Norman Geisler, and Chuck Colson. This curriculum helps students clearly understand the tenets of the Christian worldview and how they compare and contrast with other leading worldviews of toda…

Defamation of Religion Law May Silence Christians

Are you following the news? I mean, the real news. And, are you following world events? It is interesting, as John and I travel the world, I have come to discover that much of the rest of the world is quite knowledgeable and conversant with world events, even those in developing third world nations. At home in America though, I find fewer people taking the time to stay abreast of global events.  At a time such as this, I urge Americans to wake up and pay attention. Global events are impacting law, culture, and religious liberty in America.

Have you heard about the Defamation of Religion resolution? The ACLJ had this to say:

The United Nations (U.N.) is currently considering a ''Defamation of Religions'' resolution being pushed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the largest group of nations within the U.N.The resolution would criminalize the proclamation of the Gospel worldwide - an issue with such international ramifications, we've responded with …

Where is our Focus?

Where is our focus today? When we look around us and observe the culture war taking place, what do we see? When we hear about judges redefining marriage, where is our focus? When we hear about government inculcation of secular values to our children through public, where is our focus? When we see a decline in morals on television, film, and radio, where is our focus? Are we focusing on the circumstances? Or are we focusing on Jesus?

I am not suggesting we bury our heads in the sand and ignore what we see happening around us. We are supposed to be alert (Ephesians 6:18, I Peter 5:8) and as wise as serpents but harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). We should be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16).  What does this mean?

First, we remember that our God is good, all the time. He is sovereign, which means He is in control of everything that happens. That is not to say that God causes everything to happen, because God cannot cause evil. However, God does allow bad things to happen because somehow …

Something to Consider...a Biblical Worldview of Government Healthcare Plans

Let me preface this post with a personal statement, lest I am accused of being partisan or too political. As a follower of Christ, I seek the Scriptures for truth in all areas of life. The Bible is the basis for Christian faith and practice. "Practice" means "how to live my life" as a follower of Jesus. Paul tells us in II Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good works."  I believe God's Word and the Holy Spirit are able to guide us in daily decisions we make, transforming how we think, speak, and act. (Romans 12:1-2) This necessarily must include decisions we make about civic affairs. It is true the Lord instructs us that "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established." (Romans 13:1). It is also true that "We must…

“Zero to Five Plan” – Government as the New Parents?

President Obama hums a familiar tune — we need education reform to better prepare our children to be successful in college and the workplace. But exactly what does he propose? In his education initiative, the Zero to Five Plan, President Obama proposes “early care and education for infants.” To implement this, states will be given grants to start moving towards universal preschools.

Obama’s theory is the earlier children begin formal education, the better chance they have to compete in the global economy. However, a 2005 Stanford University study found, “attendance in preschool centers, even for short periods of time each week, hinders the rate at which young children develop social skills and display the motivation to engage classroom task.” According to a report by the Southwest Policy Institute, "Contrary to common belief, early institutional schooling can harm children emotionally, intellectually and socially, and may later lead to greater peer dependency."

Child psychol…

Marriage Matters to Kids

For a brief moment in time (mid June to early November 2008), California allowed same sex couples to marry.  How did this happen? 

In May 2008, in the Marriage Cases, the California Supreme Court struck down Proposition 22, a statute that had defined marriage as between a man and a woman. This allowed same sex couples to marry. However, in November, the people of the state voted to amend its constitution to restore the traditional definition of marriage by passing Proposition 8. This essentially "constitutionalized" the earlier marriage statute. Many people were left perplexed as to how the state's highest Court could have allowed same sex marriage to begin with. Great legal scholars have debated the issue. So, how in the world are every day people supposed to understand the Court's ruling? In September 2008, I gave an interview to Marriage Matters To Kids in an effort to give a simple explanation to a complex and complicated Court ruling. The interview can be found…

Reflections on Teaching in India

A few years ago I first heard a song by Mercy Me, “Here I am.” As I sang the song, I prayed the chorus which was based on Isaiah 6:8, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here I am. Send me!’ ” As John and I prepared for our trip to India in January 2009, the Lord reminded me how often I had petitioned the Lord with the lyrics, “Here I am. Send me!” I paused to thank Him and praise Him for answering my prayer. I did not yet know how I would be called upon specifically to minister in India. But I was willing to go.

Because of some mix up with email, I did not discover how I was needed to minister until after we arrived in Chennai, India. First, much to my delight, I found out that I was asked to teach a three day seminar, mornings and afternoons, to a group of ladies who had traveled 12 hours by train. I smiled. The Lord knows that prayer is an important area He has been grooming me in recent years. Thankfully, I had brou…

Fresh Manna Daily

Can you imagine, right now, the intoxicating aroma and delicious taste of fresh, baked bread?  Yum! 

Now, can you imagine the sight and smell of yucky, old, moldy bread?  Just the thought takes away your appetite, and can make you feel rather sick.

In Exodus 16, God teaches us that while His children wandered in the desert for 40 years after He delivered them from captivity in Egypt, He sustained them with all the "bread" they needed to eat--fresh each and every morning. It was called manna and tasted like wafers made with honey. But the manna was only good for one day. The day after, it was full of maggots and began to smell.  Except on the Sabbath.  Miraculously, the manna did not decay on the Sabbath.

God sustained His people with manna, which neither they nor their fathers had known, to teach them that man does not live on bread alone but on every Word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.  (Deuteronomy 8:3) Meditate on these living, breathing words because God still s…