Saturday, December 30, 2006

Pastor D. James Kennedy suffers heart attack

Dr. Kennedy, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL, suffered a heart attack. He was transported from his home to a local hospital Thursday night, where he was in serious condition, although he was becoming more alert and responsive on Friday.

Kennedy came to Coral Ridge in 1959 and had only 45 members. Today, the church has 10,000 members, and televises to 40,000 cities across the US and in 200 countries.

Rev. O'Neal Dozier, pastor of Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach, FL, says Pastor Kennedy has an uncompromising view of the Bible and social activism among Christians which makes him a great role model.

"I pray we don't lose Dr. Kennedy," Dozier said. "He is the one everyone looks to on leading the fight. No one has put it on the line like Dr. Kennedy has."
Linked at Church and State
Conservative Cat
Stuck on Stupid

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Ford's Gift to us all

President Gerald Ford became vice president by the resignation of Spiro Agnew, President Nixon's vice president. And, he became president of the US by the resignation of President Nixon. This means he wasn't elected by the people of the US to either job; yet, he was loved by most, and considered a good president.

But, I could add nothing to what has been written over at Is It Just Me? - Ford's Gift To Us All.

Linked at Is It Just Me?
Conservative Cat

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Blogging on Christmas

I hope each of you had a wonderful, blessed Christmas. I know we really have. We spent the afternoon with our children and their families at my Mother's. My brothers and I cooked all the food and took it in, since our Mother is almost 90. We knew she didn't need the burden of doing anything.

Everyone had a wonderful time together. My family then came to our house for our family Christmas gift giving. Everyone left loaded down, and happy. And, I'm sitting here, sort of happy I never got around to putting up my tree this year. My husband pulled an old fiber optic tree made for the middle of a table out of storage, and sat it on our living room coffee table. The kids got a big kick out of that. My daughter could not believe she came to my house and I didn't have up a tree! But, I haven't felt my best this week, with sinus problems, and now I have laryngitis. I sure do hope this clears up, because I don't want to ring in the new year with this!

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Christmas is on it's way


Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

birth of JesusBible Story of Jesus' Birth

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

The night before the Eve of Christmas

Christmas has been on our minds for weeks, perhaps months. And, here we are on the threshold of that wonderful day. And, what does it find us all doing?

I have to admit I love Christmas. But, this year, I don’t even have my Christmas tree up, and it’s only a little over 24 hours until Christmas morning. The gifts for the family are bought, but they are all still in the shopping bags, just waiting to be wrapped. I just have not felt like getting to the task of wrapping all those gifts. And, there are a million and one other things I need to do – clean house, cook, and I do not feel like doing any of that.

Have you ever looked forward to a time, and, then, as it approaches, what you had planned doesn’t seem all that important anymore? Christmas should be the happiest time in our lives; yet, we spend days, weeks, even months sometime in order to see what we can buy for others that will make them happy. And, now that those gifts are bought, we realize this is not what really makes us happy. Oh, we love to see the looks on the children’s faces when they open their gifts. And, it makes us happy to be able to surprise them. But, even those there is an element of happiness in gift-giving at Christmas, it is not the ultimate happiness that man has waiting for him.

Can you imagine yourself with a wife about to give birth, and be without a place to stay? Can you imagine the stress put on Joseph when he found out about Mary’s situation – what he must have thought and gone through during that time?

Christmas is the time of year we set aside to celebrate that eventful day thousands of years ago, in a stable in Bethlehem, without the conveniences we now have – no running water, no soft bed, or niceties for the newborn baby boy. There, alone, Mary and Joseph welcomed the little baby boy into the world. But, the world did not know this baby would soon become the Saviour for this world. I wonder, had they known, would they made room in the Inn for Joseph and Mary? Or, would the world have turned their backs on this family, just as lots of the world have today turned their backs on that soon-coming King?

As Christmas approaches, take time to celebrate the reason for this season – the birth of Jesus. Mary and Joseph were fortunate to be chosen to be the earthly parents for the child who would soon become their Saviour, as well. What a privilege for that couple to know that God had personally chosen to send His only Begotten Son to earth through Mary. Oh, I am sure it presented many problems for not only Joseph, but for Mary, as well.

  • Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
  • Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
  • Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Linked at Random Yak
Conservative Cat

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Nifong drops rape charges; others stand

Seems Nifong finally decided he didn't have enough evidence to prosecute the three lacrosse players with rape.

"The victim in this case indicated that, while she initially believed that she had been vaginally penetrated by a male sex organ ... she cannot at this time testify with certainty" that it occurred, Nifong wrote. Since such penetration is one of the elements the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in a prosecution of a charge of first-degree forcible rape, "the State is unable to meet its burden of proof with respect to this offense," he continued.
When is the legal community going to realize they have a joke for a District Attorney in Durham? No, absolutely NO DNA linked either of the three boys charged with the rape of this accuser. In fact, it didn't even link her boyfriend! He has known this all along, but proceeded to charge these boys and ruin their lives forever. It doesn't matter that he has now 'decided' to drop this charge; it will always remain in the minds of people and most will always either wonder if they are indeed guilty or simply believe they are. And, on top of that, he's keeping the charges of kidnapping and other sexual offenses. And, Nifong has to know this accuser is lying, and these boys are innocent.

This is a travesty that never should have taken place. I believe, as others do, that Nifong saw a way of furthering his career and getting re-elected, which he did. He kept the truth away from everyone until he was re-elected. And, now that it's almost time for the trial to take place months later, he 'decides' to drop the rape charges. Why not drop them all? Why not confess you know these boys are innocent? Why not charge the accuser for lying?

Better still, why is Nifong not being charged for misconduct in the prosecution of these boys? The accuser has constantly changed her story. She had sex with 3 different men, but NOT these 3 men from Duke University. DNA proved that. And, as with this charge, the state will be unable to prove any of the other charges. Yet, this man proceeds to prosecute. Can you say "waste of taxpapers money"?

Linked at Conservative Cat

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Friday, December 22, 2006

The Train-of-Thought Writing Method

Book Review
The Train of Thought Writing Method
Author: Kathi Macias
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Bloomington, Indiana

Ánd that’s how you create three-dimensional characters who will make your train’s observation car the highlight of your journey, and also diminish your chances of hearing your readers whine, “Are we there yet?” pg 69
I love trains! The one train ride I remember most was a trip from Atlanta, Georgia, back to my hometown, on Christmas night, of all nights, during a heavy rain.

And, so this book with the subject of trains for a writing method really intrigued me. The author takes you from ‘laying the track’ for the book, to the ‘cow catcher’. She explains this as the way a writer hooks the reader for the rest of the story. If the story doesn’t have a good start, then the reader will not want to go any farther.

From the ‘cow catcher’, to the locomotive, through the boxcars, she leads you into the ‘couplers’. We know that, with a real train, the couplers join the cars to one another. Without them, the train would not be complete. So, in writing, the ‘couplers’ are the parts of the story that join different parts together, and they keep the reader interested in what is going to happen next.

Next, comes the observation car. If you’ve ever been to Look Out Mountain, you know they have an observation center where you can look through a telescope and see other states. You ‘observe’ what is going on around you. When you are reading, you want to be caught up in the story. You want to feel like you are there, that you can just know what is going to happen next.

But, the caboose is what is most important. Nobody wants to read a great story only to get to the end, and be let down. A good story can be ruined by ending abruptly, not giving a satisfactory ending. One should always leave the reader with a sense of satisfaction. All stories must end, whether it is with a ‘living happily ever after’ ending or riding off into the sunset, as many westerns that I saw ended.

This is a great book for all prospective writers. Following the idea of the ‘train-of-thought’ writing method is a great way to keep your story on the right track.

The author, Kathi Macias, is a mother/grandmother from Homeland, CA. She is a former newspaper columnist and string reporter. She has authored or co-authored fifteen books.

My name is Barbara Sanders, a wife/mother/grandmother from Alabama. I review books for Active Christian Media. And, I give this book five stars. In fact, I will be reading it again, since I would love to write a book some day!

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Men and Wedding rings (or not!)

Seems Betsy Hart, writing over at Political Mavens, is upset that all married men do not wear a ring. Seems she's been in social scenes where men have talked with her, and she noticed they weren't wearing a ring. And, she says that 90% of the time they are married.

Betsy said she was tired of hearing about men who lost their ring finger in the shop or got their finger caught in the fence while playing soccer. Well, I'm here to tell Betsy those things do happen. My deceased brother-in-law worked for a big company where he had to jump into railroad cars to check product. One night, when he jumped, he got his ring caught, and, had it not been for another man who came to his rescue, he would have lost his finger. So, his wife had him take his ring off.

My own husband wore his ring without fail, in fact, never taking it off but once in 41 years. We had been married 4 years, and he had it on, working under the hood of our car, and burned his finger through the ring. It stayed off until his finger healed. But, about a year ago, he jumped down into the bed of his big dump truck, and almost lost a finger because he caught his ring. I had him take it off, and it occupies a place on my key ring. He had it in his pocket, but I was afraid he would lose it.

I'm not one to look at a man who doesn't have on a ring and assume he is single. My Daddy never wore a ring. I think a man should act married, if he is indeed married. And, if he does mention his wife, who is missing at the time, and then proceeds to act unmarried, then he suffers the consequences of his actions! I see nothing wrong with a single woman talking to a married man, but the married man should never cross the line!

Linked at Conservative Cat
Don Surber
Pirates Cove

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hope dims as body of one mountain climber found

The body of one of the three missing Mount Hood climbers was found today in a cave near where the signal was sent from a cell phone. The identify of the man has not been released, but possibly is that of Kelly James, the man who made a phone call from a cave. His fellow climbers had left him in search for help.

There has been no communication from any of the three climbers since the phone call made on December 10th. And, the climber was found without a sleeping bag, suggesting he had gotten lost and had dug himself in to survive.

Linked at Is It Just Me?
Conservative Cat
Don Surber
Stuck on Stupid

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Persecution and Murdering of Christians

Persecution of Christians is nothing new. Jesus' Apostles underwent much persecution and death. John was put into boiling oil at Jersualem. He was not harmed, but was exiled to the Island of Patmose, and later died.Peter was speared to death. Paul was hung upside down, at his request. And, others died for the cause. Today, there is still persecution going on among Christians.

Many of the first Christians, who are called Apostles and Disciples were persecuted and brutally murdered. Lord Jesus' name sake they gladly suffered it until their death. For us Christians, we don't mind to suffer persecution and death on His behalf. If we suffer, we will not be ashamed; but glorify God. Suffering persecution is a gift. And we are sure that we will be having an eternal happiness with our Lord in heaven.

In India, Pastor Paul Ciniraj Mohamed said he was threatened on the telephone by a man who claimed to be a leader of an Islamic militant group. He said the man was screaming at him, telling him to count down the days until the death of him and his family.
Dr. Shameema Badru, one of the strong believer in Jesus from Islam seriously injured. Gunmen entered the home of Dr. Shameema and shot her at pointblank range. She got four bullets, which damaged vital organs like the kidney, liver and caused other major internal injuries. She is now fighting for her life in the hospital. Dr. Shameema is a mother of four, lost her husband Abdul Majeed Dar, who was the President of the dar Foundation was shot on November 28, 2003 at Srinagar by unidentified militants.
Read more at Salem Voice Ministries.

Linked at Conservative Cat

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #18

Thirteen Blogs I read

  1. Life is a Buffet - Polly Boyette. She is the author of a great book "Life is a Buffet - So Save Room for Dessert"
  2. Neil's Notes - Pastor Neil from Florida
  3. Thinking Christian - Tom Gilson
  4. Sprucegoose - Bruce Harpel
  5. Cerulean Sanctum - Dan Edelen
  6. Active Christian Media - Stacy Harp - You can become a reviewer of books at ACM.
  7. Jolly Blogger - David Wayne
  9. LaShawn Barber's Corner
  10. Pursuing Holiness
  11. Is It Just Me?
  12. In The Outer
  13. A Chelsea Morning Barb has some great recipes among her blogging articles. You will enjoy this blog!
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Thursday Thirteen Participants
1. Mikala
2. Chupieandjsmama
3. Norma
4. rashenbo
5. Susan Helene Gottfried
6. Amy
7. erica
8. Mitch
9. delightfulduchess
10. Michelle at Scribbit
11. Debby
12. DKRaymer
13. Judy
14. nadnuts aka wideimagination
15. amy
16. kristarella

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The peace of Christmas

To some, Christmas is just a holiday where you give and receive gifts - the more, the merrier. But, Christmas time can bring peace amid all the hard times, a peace that you cannot receive from a gift.

I've been paying close attention to Christmas cards we have received this year. Out of the 7 we have received so far, 4 of them mention Jesus and a contain a Bible verse. One has Seasons Greetings on the front; another one a snow man; another one a child in the snow. None of those mention anything about Jesus. I made sure the ones I bought this year are all about the reason for the season - Jesus. How can I, a Christian, expect non-Christians to consider these cards, if I don't buy and send them myself?

I searched the Internet for other articles on the peace of Christmas. Here are a few of them I came up with:

And, from the bloggers:
There are so many more great articles out on the Internet and on individual blogs. You only have to do a search in google or any other search engine to find them.

May each of you find peace this Christmas.

Linked at Conservative Cat
The Random Yak

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Birthday concert to honor Princess Di

A concert has been announced that will mark the 10th anniversary of Princess Di's death. Her sons, William and Harry, are organizing the event.It will be held on July 1, which would have been her 46th birthday. The concert will be held at Wembley Stadium.

The following acts have been confirmed:

  • Elton John
  • Duran Duran
  • Bryan Ferry
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Joss Stone
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • English National Ballet
Proceeds from the concert will go to a number of charities that were supported by the princess during her life, and to two of the princes' own charities, Centrepoint and Sentebale.
Tickets for the event will go on sale Wednesday. Those that will be in attendance include the senior royals, including the stepmother of William and Harry.

Linked at Conservative Cat
Don Surber
Pirate's Cove

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Dickens' Christmas day letter for sale at US Auction house

Thomas Powell once wrote a bogus biography of Charles Dickens and it appeared in the New York Herald. But, William Jerden, a British Journalist made the mistake of reprinting the biography in the Literary Journal. This didn't set too well with Dickens, so he fired off a letter to Jerden.

"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year," Dickens wrote. "As you reprint the extraordinary lies of the New York Herald, perhaps you may like to know something more of their authority.

"I therefore send you for your own perusal (for I must not anticipate the defence to the ingenious Mr Powell's American actions for libel) a few small passages in the life of the distinguished 'literary gentleman from England', who is in question."
Thomas Powell was a known forger and embezzler who escaped from prison in England by pleading insanity. He fled to New York and began trading on those literary figures he knew from England.

The Christmas letter is now up for auction at R&R Auctions in Amherst, New Hampshire, and bidding ends on Wednesday.

Linked at Conservative Cat
Wake up America
Mark My Words
Third World County

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Happy holidays or merry Christmas

When I was a child, I never would have thought I'd see the day when it was offensive to anyone to wish them "Merry Christmas". And, I linked "Happy holidays" with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years combined. But, it never took away from Merry Christmas. Christmas was always a time of sharing with family and friends, Christmas plays at church, and giving of gifts on Christmas morning. We were always taught it was a holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus.

Back then, you enjoyed Thanksgiving, and then came Christmas, followed by the New Years celebration. Children looked forward to having the time off from school at Christmas, and then returning to school after the first of the new year. Nowadays, the advertisements for Christmas starts long before Thanksgiving, along with the decorations in the stores. I overheard a woman in a store yesterday, when a woman was looking for a Christmas item she couldn't find, say to her that "people start buying those in July." Stores put appealing merchandise out early to get the early shoppers - but for the money. Holiday shoppers try to get a quick start on their buying for Christmas. But, why in July? Isn't that rushing things a little bit?

By the time the Christmas season finally arrives, you are worn out! I really haven't gotten in the mood for Christmas yet, and it is the 9th day of December. In fact, I haven't bought a Christmas gift. And, I probably won't buy too many. We will probably give money in a card, and let the grandkids and our kids buy whatever they desire. That way, we don't have to rush out and buy just to get a gift that they may or may not like or need. And, it's one less gift that has to be returned after Christmas.

But, I digress. Around here, we say Merry Christmas. We haven't come in contact with anyone who seems offended to hear you say that. If I hear someone say "Happy holidays", I'll answer with "you have a Merry Christmas." After all, the reason for the season is Christ, and when you take him out of Christmas you are left with mas. And, on another note, I just found the meaning of MAS in the Financial Dictionary - The Language of Money. It stands for Monetary Authority of Singapore How ironic that the 'holiday' is linked with money in the last 3 letters of the name. We tend to think that we have to buy, buy, and buy some more in order to have a happy Christmas.

We've made the day more of a secular holiday through political correctness by omitting the salutation of "Merry Christmas" in exchange for "Happy holidays", as though anything of monetary value can make us happy. Oh, it can, but only for a time. It's like the Stretch toys that were popular when my son was young, during the 70's. He had to have the Stretch Armstrong, which was very popular. But, there was a Stretch Monster, very green, and ugly. Patrick Crispen, of TOURBUS, mentioned in this week's newsletter, that he had asked for the toy, but his parents bought him a
children's citizens band radio base station. He had a friend who got the Stretch Monster, but didn't want it. So, they swapped. He went on to say it kept his attention for one day. He said it was the worse decision of his life. Money cannot buy us happiness. But, when you have Christ in your life (thus, the reason for Christmas), you can be poor and still be happy and at peace.

Linked at Random Yak
Conservative Cat
Assorted Babble

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1,000 Christmas trees shipped to soldiers in Iraq

Soldiers in Iraq may not be able to be home for this Christmas, but trees are being shipped to them in order for them to have a 'little of home' on Christmas day.

For the second year, DHL and the March Authority kicked off its Trees for the Troops program Friday at the shipping facility at March Air Reserve Base. A shipment of 250 Christmas trees was loaded onto a cargo plane bound for Baghdad -- along with 750 more trees that will be picked up in New York City. In three days, the trees will be distributed to troops stationed throughout Iraq.
Rosalie and Manuel Arganda have one son, David, in Iraq and another one to be deployed next month. But, they are used to being away from them at Christmas. So, this year, they are also sending boxes with coffee, pens, papers, and his favorite Tootsie roll pop candy. And, his cousins added cookies and DVD's.

David's mother said that, before he left, he told them not to worry, because if he didn't come back, he would see them in heaven. Rosalie wears a pin with both her sons pictures. She says she trusts God that all will be alright.

On Friday, a governor's representative, local elected officials, March Air Reserve officers and DHL executives thanked the troops serving in the Middle East and said this holiday shipment would help the military remember their home while serving in dangerous conditions

Linked at Conservative Cat
Church and State
Stuck on Stupid

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christian Ministry saves teen from forced Islam conversion

A young teenager, Azra Bibi, from Pakistan was a Christian about to be forced to convert to Islam by her employee and then married off to a Muslim. Her Mother had been tortured and brutally murdered on the same job, where both had worked in order to feed the family.

Pakistan is a Muslim country. And, Azra and her Mother were often persecuted simply for being Christians. Now, Azra is being assisted by a local pastor and donations from US Christians, and soon will have her own place to stay, and the debts she was going to have to pay of her Mother's are now paid.

"The brick kiln owner had plans to force Azra to convert to Islam with the intention of marrying her off. But God had other plans," the VOM report said. "With the help of a courageous local pastor and support from Christians in the U.S., Azra was miraculously rescued with her debts paid."

VOM said plans now are under way to provide training and a place to live "for this courageous young Christian girl who stood firm in her faith through such difficult trials."

Linked at Conservative Cat

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Getting in the mood for Christmas

giftsI love the Christmas season! It is just a time of great jubilation, both in being with family and gift giving, but also in knowing it is the time we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Christ Jesus.

I love to drive through the streets, taking in all the scenery around Christmas time. So many go all out in decorating their homes. And, I love the Christmas shopping, in all the bustle of the crowds, and watching the children beg Mom and Dad for a certain toy. But, decorating gets me in the mood quicker than anything.

Today, I was at our church with the pastor’s wife and another woman, decorating for Christmas. We put up a beautiful tree in the foyer, and lots of bows and greenery up on the doors and throughout the church. But, the one thing that was most gorgeous was the manger arrangement my pastor’s wife put on the table in front of the podium in the sanctuary. We originally sat the manger up in the foyer, but this year, she decided to do it differently. When she finished, it looked as though it was supposed to be there. It gave a meaning to our decorating for Christmas. It was not just from a human desire that we decorate, but to make the house of God beautiful at this time of year. I believe we should do for God above and beyond what we do for ourselves.

When you finish decorating the house or church at Christmas, and turn on those lights, it just seems to get you more in the mood for Christmas. And, today we also listened to Christmas music put out by a local quartet. They are a Christian band, which made it much more meaningful – a group of young people in their mid-thirties or younger. And, the music tone just set the mood for us to decorate, even though we did grow tired after lots of standing!

Linked at Conservative Cat
Random Yak-Christmas Alliance 2006

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Well, it is almost time for Christmas again. Seems it comes earlier every year. Or, is it, that the time just passes off more quickly as our years roll by?

You can tell when seasons change, especially the Christmas season. The stores begin to put out their most gorgeous decorations, light up the Christmas trees, and start advertising Christmas sales. Oh, it's not in December, either! I've seen the advertisements out as early as July, and the lights and decorations are always out before Thanksgiving now. One holiday is never over before another one is on the way - in the buying world.

Speaking of Christmas, it has almost become extinct in some places. Many stores are on the politically correct roll, and have removed Christmas from their advertising. In fact, many use 'Happy Holidays', instead. Politically correctness is also the means of losing sells during this season. People have begun to boycotting stores that take Christmas and Christ out of the season. So, we've seen several big stores get the message and incorporate Christmas back into the holiday. Sells mean more to them than Christmas, so they are willing to appease those of us who believe that Christ is the reason for the season, and put Him back in. The love of the almighty dollar has changed many people over time.

The true Christmas card is also hard to find. It's all about the 'holidays', not Christ. It's all in the presents one is buying, not in the love of God, and reaching out and touching those most unfortunate souls that don't know Him as Savior. Most stores are playing Christmas carols; just not those associated with God. In other words, the season is here; Christ is being left behind. As Marvin Read says in his column, “It's less about prophet and more about profit.”

But, just so we don't forget, Christ is the reason for the Christian season. Christ was born over 2000 years ago, sent to earth by the Father, as His only begotten Son. Through His virgin birth, we were given the chance to regain our rightful citizenship in the Kingdom of God. We are born into this sinful world that holds everything for us. But, without that 'passport' called salvation, we will never make it to that Kingdom, and never experience the true love of God. We will also never enter into the eternal rest all of those who are reborn will obtain.

Linked at Conservative Cat
Don Surber
Pursuing Holiness
The Random Yak - Christmas Alliance 2006

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Pastor reaches out to the 'unchurched'

In today's world, you might think that most people have either grown up going to church, are going to church, or have been to church sometime in their lives. But, there are a number of people who have never gone to church, simply because they weren't taught as a small child. Then, there are others who just decided it was no longer necessary to go to church any longer, or perhaps were hurt in a church. So, there is truly a reason to want to go after those who simply do not attend a church for different reasons.

Marcus Johnson, a 30 year old single minister from Greensboro, NC, is one of those ministers who feels a need to go after those unchurched people. So, he has started a church called 'Hungry Church'. The name may sound a little different for a church, but it is right for those that have a hunger that hasn't been filled.

Johnson wants Hungry to be engaging and approachable, like the time he used the popular 1970s sitcom "Good Times" as the basis for a monthlong Bible study.

As he sees it, Hungry won't compete with other churches. "Our competition," he said, "is every other place people could be, such as the movies, the driving range ... or the football game."

Johnson said over the years he would see places that would make a good church, but not him. He was happy where he was. But, he kept getting those visions of people hungry for God, worshipping God. And, one day, he realized the vision was for him. He shared his plans with three people who agreed to be elders of the new church - three who were desperately needed in starting a new church. They are making decisions together in things that have to do with running a church, such as choosing a podium (too expensive?), or how do you collect the offerings? And, he is not afraid of failing.

"If something doesn't go the way you thought it was going to go, it's realistic to mourn ... dust yourself off and get back up, get counsel," he said. "God may be saying do it again, or he may give you the missing piece and say, 'This is how you should have done it.'

"Failure is one of the destinations on the way to success."

Linked at Conservative Cat
Pursuing Holiness
Third World County

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Children crossing US border by themselves

Parents from Mexico, who are already in America, are afraid to go back for their children left behind because of the higher security in place. So, they hire coyotes to bring their children up to the border and try to get them across without detection. These families pay any where from $3,000 to $5,000 for each child.

These children face 2,000 miles of rough ground, scorpions, and sexual abuse, at times, when they are taken to the border by these coyotes. They are given fake or sometimes stolen documents. And, when they are caught by the Border patrol, they are returned to where they came from. Often, these children have no idea of how long the trip will be, or even where there families are in the United States.

"They gave me the crossing card of a girl who looked like me, but I got very nervous," said Lupita Valencia, 14, from central Colima state, who had been sent for by her parents who live in Seattle.

"The inspectors realized I wasn't the card holder and sent me back" she added.

This seems to be a desperate means for the families to reunite. And, it should never have happened. If we had a more secure border, then perhaps most of the deaths that happen every year would never have to happen. President Bush has ordered 6,000 National Guard to the borders, and this has really tightened up security.

The coyotes have been known to just leave the children to fend for themselves when they sense they will be caught. More than 400 children have died over the past year. Most of those were from heat exhaustion or drowning. Desert temperatures in Arizona will rise to 120 degrees in the summer and freezing in the winter. It is believed that this situation is here to stay with all the build up of security at the border crossings.

Linked at Conservative Cat
Don Surber
Is It Just Me?

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Sickness hits world's largest cruise ship

Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas cruise ship has been hit with the stomach virus. 338 passengers and 46 of the crew came down sick.

Freedom of the Seas made its debut in May. It is the largest cruise ship at about 160,000 tonnes and has among its amenities a wave pool for surfers and an ice rink.

The company said all were treated with over-the-counter medication and responded well. But,just last month, Carnival Corp had over 700 passengers to fall sick on their cruise ship, Liberty, on their way from Italy to Florida.

Linked at Conservative Cat

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