The Jews had a belief that the spirit of the dead kept vigil by the tomb for three days, watching for a chance to come back into the body; but on the fourth day, when the disintegration of the body has fully set in, the spirit flies away. (1926 Peloubet’s Select Notes on the International Sunday School Lessons, page 66) By waiting until the fourth day to raise Lazarus, Jesus was dismissing the validity of this belief. Obviously there was much more addressed in the miracle, but it is interesting that the Jews had this superstition.
I am sure there are others on this list who have been to mission fields where one must be careful when making comments of praise when in homes. I had been told to be careful with praise when in Ukrainians’ homes. If you make a highly praised comment about a picture or item of clothing you just may leave with that item. It is considered proper hospitality to offer something the guest finds attractive or interesting. And it is taken as an insult if you refuse to take it.
On my second trip to Ukraine I was invited to a non-Christian’s home. This young couple had met me on my first trip. They had even named their first child after me (I still do not understand that one…). They lived in a very small apartment. It had 2 rooms. They had very little earthly possessions. They were so excited that I accepted their invitation and had prepared a wonderful meal. While the wife was serving our soup, I noticed she was using one of those very colorful painted spoons that you normally see in gift shops or as decoration on walls. I made a comment that it was the first time I had seen such a spoon used. She asked me if I thought it was pretty. I acknowledged that I did indeed find such spoons beautiful. When I was preparing to leave their home, the woman brought me the spoon and told me it was now mine. I told her that I never intended to give her the idea that I wanted the spoon (she only had one more). She insisted I take it as thanks for being in their home. While I wanted to argue and refuse the spoon I knew I could not without insulting them. I treasure that spoon as much as anything I have ever obtained overseas.
Our Lord physically visited our world. He lived as a man so that he might die as a man for our sins. What do we give him as thanks? Does the gift of the non-Christian Ukrainian woman make our gifts of thanks appear small and trite?
A New Year
Adam B. Cozort
If two thousand ten is like two thousand nine,
Opportunities will abound for the Lord’s work to shine.
But if the latter year is not like the first,
Will it be better or will it be worse?
The good news, my brethren, is it does not matter,
For our God will be with us for worse or for better.
As we usher a new year in once again,
God will remain with us as He has always been.
However, our God requires action from us.
Will you be counted among those He can trust?
Will you stand with the faithful on the front line of battle,
or will you try to just stand in the back and prattle?
As we start this new year the time is at hand,
To present God’s Word to all that we can.
Will you stand faithful and use all your might,
To stand for what is godly, true, and right?
There is no individual God does not want.
None who cannot help with the task from the front.
In this new year our task should be clear:
To spread the Gospel both far and near.
Will you resolve to put God first in your life,
Whatever the conflict, whatever the strife?
To resolve to fulfill our Lord’s commands,
Even if it makes you unpopular with friends.
The new year approaches, it has reached the front door.
It is time to decide what you will use this year for.
Will you come with me and stand by my side,
To hold up the banner, to fight and not hide?
With God on our side who can stand in our way?
Only ourselves, if we choose not to stay.
Not sure if this has been discussed here. http://www.courier-journal.com/article/2009912220363
This article discusses how many ‘seminaries’ are looking to decrease the number of students on campus and go to long distant/internet education formats. I know Jody Apple works with VBI, there is OABS, East Tennessee School of Preaching is looking to this format, and I am sure there are others. With the probable economic collapse in the next few years, do you see preaching schools (and degreed programs) having trouble surviving and others going to other teaching formats?
“[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”
–Benjamin Rush, On the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic, 1806
“Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence.” –Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833
In much of the above we could apply it to our spiritual citizenship.
Not sure if this is the kind of news folks want to read. ACU is interviewing President candidates for the school. Notice this quote from the article “Is that (Church of Christ affiliation) something that should be preserved or do the candidates think it is time to move away from that connection?” Pamplin said he wants to know. “Specifically, should the church of Christ membership requirement for board members and faculty members be maintained or not?”
I believe the school has been going the wrong way for decades. But this is an outright admission that they are officially thinking of dropping the relationship. Yet they also state they want to be the premier Christian University in the nation. That statement tells a great deal.
Lifenews reports that an abortion center in Michigan says that abortion is a God-given right.
A child was taken away from its family and given to the Mother’s former lesbian lover.
“We are firmly convinced, and we act on that conviction, that with nations as with individuals our interests soundly calculated will ever be found inseparable from our moral duties, and history bears witness to the fact that a just nation is trusted on its word when recourse is had to armaments and wars to bridle others.” –Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address, 1805
George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.
“This government is acknowledged by all, to be one of enumerated powers.”
— Justice John Marshall
(1755-1835) US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Source: McCulloch v. Maryland
“If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation…
to a continuance in union… I have no hesitation in saying,
‘let us separate.’ “
— Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source: letter to W. Crawford, June 20, 1816
“We start with first principles. The Constitution
creates a Federal Government of enumerated powers.”
— William H. Rehnquist
Chief Justice, U. S. Supreme Court
Source: United States v. Lopez
“The regular distribution of power into distinct departments; the introduction of legislative balances and checks; the institution of courts composed of judges holding their offices during good behavior; the representation of the people in the legislature by deputies of their own election… They are means, and powerful means, by which the excellences of republican government may be retained and its imperfections lessened or avoided.”
–Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 9, 1787