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Showing posts from October, 2011

[NO] Respect for Marriage Act

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You've probably heard of the Federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), a bill signed into law in 1996 by President Clinton. It defines marriage for the Federal government as between one man and one woman; and it protects states who do not want same sex marriage in their state from being forced to recognize same sex marriages performed in other states.

Did you know about current efforts to get rid of DOMA? One effort is a bill introduced by the U.S. Congress called the "Respect for Marriage Act." Don't be mislead by the title. The goal of this bill is to force the Federal government to recognize same sex marriage, and eventually, force all the states. Are we surprised? We shouldn't be after the controversial repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT). President Obama signed the repeal of DADT on September 22, 2011, thus ending the long-existing U.S. policy that prohibited homosexuals from being able to serve in the armed forces.

Earlier this year, …

Train yourselves

This morning I was studying Hebrews chapter 5 with my Bible study group. I keep pondering verse 14: "But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." 

Constant use.  If we want to mature as believers, move beyond "milk" into "solid food," we must constantly use biblical teaching, especially teaching about righteousness (v. 13). What is "constant"? Not only is it every day, but it is continually throughout each day.

Train themselves. OK, so we can't use the excuse that we don't have formal Bible school training or a seminary degree. The writer of Hebrews tells us we can train ourselves. We can study the Scriptures ourselves. We don't need a priest to tell us what the Bible says and/or means. The Holy Spirit teaches us through the Word. (John 14:26; John 16:13-15; 1 John 2:27) I've found the more I study the Word, the more I love the Word and want to study it!

Distinguish g…

Sh'ma Yisrael

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"Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is one." Deut. 6:4 
In Judaism, the Sh'ma is an important part of daily prayers, and it includes reciting Deut. 6:4-9.
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your house and on your gates."
The photo above is a charming necklace John gave to me for my birthday while we were in Israel. It was handmade in Jerusalem in the Old City. Its unusual shape is a pomegranate, one of the delicious fruits cultivated in Israel. The ruby red stones are garnets. The engraving is the Sh'ma in Hebrew--Hear, O Israel: the L…

Text Messages From God

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With Love From Berkeley

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Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 1 Cor. 8:1b
Berkeley...What comes to your mind when you think of Berkeley? I used to think of the 1960's Free Speech Movement of course. But now I think of my daughter, who has chosen to live there for the next four years pursuing a Bachelor's Degree at the university.

John and I visited her at college this past weekend. It was Parent's Weekend and it was a blast. Not only did we get to catch up and find out all about college life, we toured the campus, ate delicious food, attended interesting faculty seminars, visited art and science museums, and made a quick trip to San Francisco.

We fell in love with Berkeley.

Yes, it is still a progressive town, but the university is a bit more tame these days. However, it still manages to makes the news occasionally.  Just Google the recent "Diversity Cupcake Sale" and find out about the on-campus Republican protest to affirmative action. The opposition tried to stop them. But hey, isn&…

Amazing Blogs re Israel

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If you want to read some amazing posts and see some stunning photography by some of the students from the Bible college where John was just teaching in Jerusalem, check these out:
From End to End 88 Days in Israel
Also, be sure to check out the blog for the Bible college in Jerusalem:
CCBC Jerusalem Blog

Coast of Spain

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It is nice to have a few short days in Spain to vacation before heading back to the United States. This photo is a lovely view of Calpe, Spain, where we were fortunate enough to spend one night with a lovely Dutch couple. They took us to a lovely restaurant, talked about the Spanish and Holland cultures, and shared many wonderful stories of their travel adventures. It is wonderful to meet new friends!