Friday, October 13, 2006

PRAY FOR STUDENTS — Bathe Schools, Students in Prayer, Says Christian Educator
The recent spate of school shootings in the U.S. have parents worried about the safety of their children -- and that's how it should be, according to a Christian educator. AgapePress reports that Finn Laursen, president of Christian Educators Association International, says the recent shootings -- and the Amish school tragedy, in particular -- should be a wake-up call to those parents who are not concerned. "We need to be aware that as over 50 million students are sent off to school every day, there is no such thing as a place or a school classroom that is totally safe," says Laursen. The CEAI leader believes that all schools need a crisis plan of operation in which everyone knows just what action to take. "And even more importantly, we need to be sure that every single school is covered in prayer," he adds. "And we need to be sure that every single child is prayed over."

Friday, August 18, 2006

COAL CREEK HISTORY -- This is one of my favorite Web sites, It includes information on history of my area, including the Fraterville Mining Explosion of 1902, the Cross Mountain Mine Explosion of 1911, and the Coal Creek Rebellion of 1891 and 1892.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Solomon-era Fortifications Revealed in Israel Excavation -- More than 30 years have passed since a major expedition has attempted to reveal the history of Tel Gezer, the ancient city of King Solomon fame located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Baptist Press reports that this summer the biblical site has been re-excavated by a joint expedition of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the Israel Antiquities Authority. The expedition is led by co-directors Steven M. Ortiz of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Sam Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Some secular archaeologists doubt the reality of many people and places named in the Bible, but the current work at the Tel Gezer location may prove useful in verifying various biblical accounts. This year's excavations have revealed more than 40 meters of a massive fortification system associated with the six-chambered gate common in the building projects of King Solomon. Solomon’s extensive building projects are recorded in the biblical account of his activities throughout his kingdom and at his capital city of Jerusalem (1 Kings 9:15-17).
DUDLEYTOWN? -- Los Angeles-based multimedia company Good News Holdings and Wheaton, Illinois-based Tyndale House Publishers have announced their intent to work together on THE ATTICUS PROJECT, a partnership designed to leverage the power of print media with the magic of film. Religion News Service states the project was announced this week by George Barna, Chairman of Good News, and Doug Knox, Senior VP at Tyndale House. One of their first projects together will be a horror series designed for release both in film and book-form called DUDLEYTOWN, based on a true story concerning the legendary evil that has held Dudleytown, Connecticut in its grip for hundreds of years. Dudleytown has been pronounced by some, including film star Dan Aykroyd, to be "the scariest place on earth." This venture is expected to yield seven projects targeting a teen audience. "Our objective is to be the forerunner in a new genre of multimedia we are calling spiritainment," says Barna. "Our research has shown that people -- especially young people -- absorb an amazing degree of their values, beliefs and lifestyle practices from the media content to which they are exposed. Our desire is to raise spiritual questions and draw people closer to God and His truths."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Move To Make Churches More Attractive To Men

Is Jesus more like Mother Teresa or William Wallace? That is the question asked by John Eldredge in Wild at Heart, his popular book for men. Eldredge suggests that the answer depends on what you need from Jesus right now. If you’re a leper, an outcast, a pariah of society whom no-one will touch, then you’d probably want Jesus to be like the saintly nun who ministered in the streets of Calcutta. However, if you’re more concerned with how we tackle the moral challenges of society and advance the values of the kingdom of God, then he suggests we need Jesus to be more like the liberator of Scotland, made famous by Mel Gibson in the movie Braveheart. At the heart of this question is how the Church ministers to men. One organization that has successfully turned the spotlight on men’s issues in the church is Promise Keepers. After 12 years of running large Events for Men, Promise Keepers is sharpening its focus on ministry with men at a local church level. National director of Promise Keepers, Paul Subritzky, says “We are convinced that if men are to be reached in ever-increasing numbers, we have to do all we can to support the churches."
Jews For Jesus to Launch Its Largest Outreach

New York City will be met with the most intensive evangelistic outreach to Jews in July, The Christian Post reports. "This will be one of the largest and most strategic outreaches to Jewish people in the history of the Jews For Jesus ministry," said Susan Perlman, associate executive director for Jews For Jesus. This summer's outreach is "unique" to all preceding ones, Perlman stated. "Jews for Jesus made a commitment... to have an evangelistic outreach that had an intensive evangelistic outreach with a follow-up component in every city in the world that had a Jewish population of 25,000 or more."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Plea from Inside Gaza

Dr. Hanna Massad pastors Gaza Baptist Church - the only evangelical church in the Gaza Strip - while his wife, Suhad, runs the Palestinian Bible Society Bookstore. The church is located in the heart of several terrorist group headquarters as it carries out its Christian Mission to Gaza. Via ASSIST News Service, Pastor Massad sends an urgent message: “Many people in Gaza are without water and electricity. The food supply is limited, and there is no gas... This time we are going through is a very tough time. It is one of the worst times we have had in Gaza. We continue to hear the noise of bombing almost 24 hours a day... This has caused damage in many homes. Even the ceiling inside our church fell down. We are very concerned about our children. It is causing psychological problems, not only for children but for many adults as well. Sometimes, we are not able to meet, and we have to cancel our meetings, especially the children’s ministry. The last few days have been very difficult for me, where I felt the spirit of fear and desperation. But yesterday and today, I felt more of the presence of God in the midst of darkness. I need more and more of His presence and power in order to minister to my people the message of hope and peace. We have only one way. We chose to live for Him and reflect his love to the Palestinian people."

Monday, May 29, 2006

Christian, Jewish Women Promote Biblical Women's Rights -- CNSNews reports that American Christians are teaming up with Israeli parliamentarians to advance the status of women worldwide by stressing Judeo-Christian values. The project is part of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC), which was established in 2004 to promote Jewish-Christian relations. Those relations have strengthened considerably during more than five years of violent Palestinian uprising. Evangelical Christians have proved to be some of Israel's most faithful allies during the last few years, advocating on behalf of Israel and boosting tourism to the country. At a meeting at the Knesset on Tuesday, the KCAC launched an International Women's Council, which will be chaired by American Evangelist Kay Arthur. Arthur said the group's mission is three-fold: to advance the status of women on the basis of Judeo-Christian values; to establish communication and cooperation between women of all backgrounds and ethnicities; and to make Jerusalem the focal point for change and "the spread of biblical values around the world."

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8 NLT

No one would allow garbage at his table, but many allow it served into their minds.
Fulton John Sheen

Watch your diet

What would we expect of someone who feeds only on fast food and unhealthy snacks filled with sugar and fats? A healthy body? Long life? No, we would expect physical health to be largely the product of physical intake. Is it any different in the spirit?

Modern culture is saturated with unhealthy spiritual food—from the lusts of the flesh and the eyes, to the human pride of the self-life, to elaborate and deceptive worldviews and philosophies. Hundreds of television channels, dozens of newspapers and magazines, unlimited cyberspace images, and a number of other media compete for our attention. We let many of them actually win our attention. And much of what we feed on is unhealthy. In our pursuit of wisdom, our minds often hunger for genuine nutrition.

"You are what you eat" applies not only in the physical world, but also in the spiritual. There's no way to take in junk without becoming junky.

God calls us to watch our diets. It pleases Him when we care for His temple, our bodies. But it pleases HIm much more when we care for our minds. Our thought life is where His Spirit most prefers to work, shaping uncluttered hearts and imparting wisdom to uncluttered minds. Even so, we do not make a smooth highway for Him into our souls. Through our entertainment, we let ourselves be bombarded by an incessant PR campaign for the ways of the world. Find a balance. Watch what goes into your mind. Without hindrance, let His thoughts nourish you.

Adapted from The One Year® Walk with God Devotional by Chris Tiegreen, Tyndale House Publishers (2004), entry for April 4.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Friday, May 12, 2006

Bush Calls U.S. a Nation of Prayer Yahoo News
DOES HOLLYWOOD GET RELIGION RIGHT? -- Does Hollywood get religion right when it makes movies? Catholic News Service reports the answers are diverse as cinematic fare. "Some people do their homework and get it right; other people exploit it," said Paulist Father Frank Desiderio. "If you mean the studios, then no they don't," said Barbara Nicolosi, who runs the Act One screenwriting program for Christians. "Studios are not in the habit of hiring people of faith to either write, direct or be in any creative capacity for projects that involve religion." Harry Forbes, director of the U.S. bishops' Office for Film & Broadcasting, said, "In the old days, Hollywood would bend over backward not to offend." While that era may have been inaccurate by portraying "an overly idealized view of religious types," Forbes added, "that is preferable to a disparaging view of religion, as you often get today." Nicolosi commented on several recent releases, including ABC's miniseries The Ten Commandments ("[They] missed "the entire theological heart of the Moses story"), blockbuster movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (" [It] didn't pack the punch it could have" because the screenwriters "didn't get Aslan"), and the forthcoming The Da Vinci Code (she dreads the May 19 release, and is advocating an "othercott," exhorting moviegoers to see the animated feature Over the Hedge that weekend instead).
LONGER LIVES FOR THOSE WHO GO TO CHURCH? -- According to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, regular church attendance is an effective way to increase life expectancy. Specifically, people who attend a religious service on a weekly basis tend to prolong their life 1.8 to 3.1 years. In comparison, regular physical exercise prolongs life 3.0 to 5.1 years, while proven therapeutic regimens add 2.1 to 3.7 years to a person's life. Since the study is a review of existing research, it does not explain the link between faith and health. But Daniel Hall, leader of the study and a resident in general surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, speculates that the social aspect of religion may have something to do with the results. "There is something about being knit into the type of community that religious communities embody that has a way of mediating a positive health effect," Hall said. Therefore, being religiously active may decrease your stress level or increase your ability to cope with stress. "Being in a religious community helps you make meaning out of your life," he added. In addition to health data, Hall also examined the annual cost of these typical life-gaining activities. He found that people spend about $4,000 a year on physical exercise, $10,000 a year on therapy and $7,000 a year per household on contributions to religious institutions. "[Yet] there is no evidence that changing religious attendance causes a change in health outcomes," Hall warned.
-- AgapePress

Thursday, May 11, 2006

DA VINCI CODE POLL -- Despite sensational reports to the contrary, most Americans are not buying the key theological premises of The Da Vinci Code says a poll commissioned by the North American Mission Board (NAMB). Baptist Press reports that NAMB commissioned Zogby International to conduct the poll, which involved a sample of 1,200 adults surveyed by telephone in March. 23% of Americans have read the novel, while 43% said they were familiar with the content. Among those who had read it, more than 60% believed that the Bible is closer to the truth, while only 10% believed Dan Brown's novel is more truthful. Among the entire sample, 72% believed that the Bible was closer to the truth. "The most striking result from the survey is that after either reading or hearing about The Da Vinci Code, 44% of respondents were more likely to seek the truth by studying the Bible, while only 20% were less likely to study the Bible," said Ed Stetzer, missiologist and director of NAMB's Center for Missional Research.
MARY MAGDALENE, THE TRUTH -- The fictions in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code are not the only errors about Mary Magdalene that modern scholars are seeking to correct. Catholic News Service reports that historians are also trying to set straight centuries of erroneous Christian tradition regarding her that evolved over time in the West. While Greek Orthodox tradition always held that Mary Magdalene, the unnamed repentant sinner who cried on Jesus' feet, and Mary of Bethany were three distinct women, a sermon by Pope St. Gregory in 591 identified the three figures as one woman, creating the notion of Mary Magdalene as a repentant sinful woman, possibly a prostitute. Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson, a theologian at Fordham University, said the version of Mary as "the prostitute to whom Jesus forgave much and who loved him... took on a profound Christian ideal of a sinner who repents and therefore is a model for Christians in that way. But what got lost in the process was her actual role as a leader of witnessing to the Resurrection in the early church." Sister Elizabeth said that when one looks at Mary being the one the risen Christ appears to and commissions to announce the good news to the others, it has "many implications for how we tell the story... There is the typical story where Jesus chose the 12 and put Peter in charge, and the women were accessories. When you put Mary Magdalene into the picture, you can't tell the story that way so simply anymore."
PEACE CELLS INSTEAD OF TERROR CELLS -- According to a Catholic News Service story, a group of parishioners at St. Joseph Parish in Lincoln Park, NJ is trying to turn the term "terror cell" inside out by forming a "peace cell" and using prayer to promote peace. Led by four Franciscan Sisters of Peace, about 20 parishioners meet on Sundays to spend 24 minutes praying for an end to violence around the world and close to home. Franciscan Sister Ellen Byrnes said, "We want to counter the terror cells, which people are concerned about. Our focus is to pray for peace and to trust in the power of prayer. In this time of fear and terror, the sisters believe that prayer is an untapped source needed in our world." Father Philip LeBeau, St. Joseph's pastor, called the peace cell "a great idea. To get 20 people out on a Sunday is great. It's short, and people come when they can. They get together and pray for peace the way they want to." Originally, the Sisters had planned to devote themselves by praying in their convent. Instead, they decided to extend an invitation to the parish.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Boom in African Christianity Spills over to America: The Redeemed Christian Church of God was founded in Lagos, Nigeria by men and women who were once the target of missionary work themselves, according to an Associated Press report. Now, Redeemed Church has become one of the most aggressive evangelizers to emerge from the advance of Christianity across Africa. Jacob Olupona, a professor at the University of California-Davis, has found hundreds of examples in cities large and small. "Anyone who writes about Christianity in America in the 21st century," Olupona said, "will have to write about African churches." Over the last century, Christians in Nigeria have swelled from a tiny minority to nearly half the population, and Nigerian pastors have shown an exceptional talent for winning believers abroad. In the U.S., the Redeemed Church has opened more than 200 parishes in just over a decade, and is training pastors of all ethnicities to reach beyond the church's base in the African immigrant community. One of its largest congregations, Victory Temple in Bowie, Md., claims 2,000 members. Fifty miles north of Dallas, the church is building a multimillion-dollar national headquarters and conference complex on more than 600 acres of farm land. The Redeemed Church is Pentecostal and, through evangelism, has become the fastest-growing wing of Christianity worldwide.
Survey Reveals Significant Growth in Born Again Population: In The Barna Group's latest study, in which 1003 lower-48 American adults were interviewed, the proportion of adults who can be classified as "born again Christians" based upon their beliefs was the highest ever measured in the quarter century that Barna has been tracking that measure. The new research found that 45% of all adults meet the criteria that The Barna Group uses to classify people as "born again." That number is up from 31% in 1983. The increase is largely attributable to a 16-point rise among Baby Boomers since the beginning of the 1990s. With 53% of Boomers currently meeting the born again criteria used by The Barna Group, that generation has now surpassed the percentage of born again adults within the preceding pair of generations. Slightly more than one-third of the younger generations - the Baby Busters and Mosaics - fit the criteria. Other demographic comparisons: women are 16% more likely than men to be born again; African-Americans are the ethnic group most likely to be born again (59%); Hispanics the least likely (32%). The South is 57% born again, while the West (33%) and Northeast (37%) have fewer born again Christians.
Study Suggests Weekly Worship May Add 2-3 Years to Life: Could weekly religious attendance extend your life as much as regular exercise? The Washington Post reports that's one way to view new research by University of Pittsburgh physician Daniel Hall, who also happens to be an Episcopal priest. The study compares numbers from life expectancy tables and mortality studies to suggest that weekly worship may add 2-3 years to life, versus 3-5 years for regular exercise and 2.5-3.5 years for cholesterol-lowering drugs. Hall even compares the costs/benefits of tithing, gym membership and cholesterol medications. The study is not without its critics. Tom Denberg of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center said the study does not account for other behaviors - such as religious people being less likely to be smokers - that may explain churchgoers' relative longevity. Denberg went on to label the study "part of a larger, troubling movement in American society to enhance the scientific credibility of [religious] concepts."
Open Doors Urges Participation In North Korea Freedom Week: During North Korea Freedom Week April 22-30, Open Doors USA is partnering with North Korea Freedom Coalition members to focus on atrocities and raise up prayers. For Soon Ok Lee, a Christian survivor of political prison camps and author of "Eyes of the Tailless Animals," North Korea is the world's No. 1 "Evil Empire." Lee still bears physical scars from her prison camp experience where: "According to North Korean law... a criminal's seed must be scorched up to its third generation, [so] they abort the baby. If somehow the baby survives and is born, they strangle the baby by stepping on them in front of its own mother. I also witnessed many human experiments. They said it was pointless to test weapons and chemicals on animals because they were created to target their enemies - other human beings. I also saw many Christians in the camp... they were stepped on until death. If they didn't deny God, they were often times burned to death from boiling hot liquid metal. And these weren't rare sights for me. Because I went through many physical tortures... the right side of my face is still a little distorted, the left half of my mouth is crooked and the whole left half of my teeth were crushed. I live with a lot of physical pain on my body and it's difficult to get through each day. But there are still many people going through tortures and human experiments even at this very moment." Lee says we as Christians need to speak out about these abuses. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) adds: "In North Korea, we hear reports of religious believers being tortured, imprisoned and even executed for their beliefs."

April 2-9 is the Week of Prayer and Action for Darfur, reports Family News in Focus. Gloria White-Hammond is with the Save Darfur Coalition. "The history of genocide reveals that for the most part, genocides were not stopped, they petered-out and it's not been the case that people have stood up and intervened to actually stop that action. We're inviting communities of all faiths to participate and certainly looking for people to come together in whatever venue; in their prayer meetings, their phone prayers, but to pray that God's will would be done in Darfur." As part in the Million Voices for Darfur campaign, Richard Cizik with the National Association of Evangelicals is hoping President Bush will get one-million post cards asking him to make peace in Darfur a priority. You can send a postcard to President Bush through The postcards will be delivered to Washington D.C. during the "Save Darfur Rally to Stop Genocide" on April 30th.

Monday, February 20, 2006

MYPOINTS.COM ... Thought I'd let y'all know about one of my favorite sites. I receive a few emails in the mail each day from Mypoints. Just by clicking them I get points and I redeem those points for gift cards. It's that simple. My favorite gift cards: Wal-Mart, and bookstores. Oh, free dining at my favorite restaurants are good, too. No catch. It's seriously free. Just follow the link.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Interesting interview with Creation Entertainment guy on "fandoms." If you're into scifi/fantasy shows and movies you should enjoy this.