Out of the mouth of babes

By American standards, I live in a very modest home: About 1,200 square feet; vinyl siding; metal roof; nothing too terribly fancy on the inside; but I am fortunate enough to have two bathrooms. Bathroom number one is off the “master” bedroom while bathroom number two is on the other side of the house. This layout has basically determined that one bathroom “belongs” to my wife, leaving the other bathroom for myself.

“What does my floor plan have to do with wisdom?” you may be wondering as you consider the title of this post. I can easily explain.

My daughter was only two-years-old at the time when she shared this bit of wisdom that I’m about to share with you…a bit of wisdom that seems to be quickly disappearing from the American culture today.

One morning I walked into the bathroom (the one off the bedroom) while my wife and daughter were in there only to be greeted with, “You’re in the girl’s bathroom, daddy. You’re supposed to use the boy’s bathroom.”

It’s amazing to me how a two-year-old girl was able to show more wisdom and common sense than a two-hundred-year-old nation!

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

#common-sense, #culture-wars, #current-events, #sexual-immorality, #western-culture, #wisdom

What happened to separation of “church” and “state” here?

You can’t mention Jesus’ name in a prayer during school and political events. No way, because there’s separation of church and state!

You can’t post the 10 Commandments on court-house grounds. No way, because there’s separation of church and state!

You can’t celebrate pagan holydays (a.k.a. holidays) in the White House and on Capitol Hill. No way, because there’s separation of church and state! … wait a minute, never mind.

I guess it depends on what “church” you’re talking about when it comes to the separation.

#church-and-state, #current-events, #religion-and-politics

Out Right Wrong

There wasn’t much brotherly love being shown yesterday down in Philadelphia, Mississippi or in several other cities. Thanks to a glitch in the EBT system the true colors of many of the program’s recipients were revealed in a dark way. The financial limits on the cards became non-existent in the digital world and so did the moral compass of the card holders in the real world, all resulting in a scene that store employees in Springhill, Louisiana described as “worse than any black Friday.”

People who knew better (people who knew what their card limits were) ignored the better and whatever conscience they had by loading up their shopping carts full of food and heading right to the cash register; or should I say the EBT register because they weren’t spending their own cash! And when the glitch was finally fixed many of the people simply walked out the door without paying for it.

Now here’s the big question. What difference was there in the actions of the two parties mentioned above? The answer is none! One stole just as much as the other stole. One used stolen money to buy food while the others stole the food without money. It’s six in one hand and half-a-dozen in the other.

What happened was out right wrong. It doesn’t matter whose fault the glitch was – what matters is the way people responded to the glitch.

Let him who was a thief be so no longer, but let him do good work with his hands, so that he may have something to give to him who is in need.” (Ephesians 4:28 – BBE)

For even when we were with you we gave you orders, saying, If any man does no work, let him not have food.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10 – BBE)

#current-events, #morals, #news, #theft

Follow Up On Reaction in Scotland to Apologetics Press Children’s Book

Not too long ago Brotherhood News posted a story about the reaction of a Scottish newspaper’s writer concerning some books by Apologetics Press that were made available to the children of Kirktonholme Primary school.

Since then Kyle Butt of Apologetics Press has released a follow-up story concerning the situation and some of the unfortunate fallout which has followed.

#apologetics-press, #current-events, #news

That’s So Yesterday!

I watched a news story yesterday that said Rupert Murdoch was selling his yacht for a sum total in the neighborhood of 30 million dollars. That’s 30,000,000 big time bucks! It’s actually on the market for 29,700,000 big time bucks, but who’s counting other than Mr. Murdoch and whoever is going to buy it?

As the anchorwoman continued the story she mentioned that the yacht came with jet skis, a boat, contains a formal dining area, a Jacuzzi, and other luxurious amenities that justified the hefty price tag.

Well, besides the fact that I could only affect the last three zeros in the price tag, I would have still been interested if it wasn’t for one thing – the anchorwoman said the yacht was filled with plasma screen TV’s and, as I told my wife, plasma screen TV’s are so yesterday! I mean who wants to pay almost 30 million dollars for such an out-of-date boat!?

To me the story was another example of how futile it is to always try to be up-to-date according to the world’s standards for such a standard never sits still, and whatever is hailed as the fashion, as the investment, as the star or as the technology of tomorrow will one day be described with the word yesterday!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 – NKJV)

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21 – NKJV)

Related Article:

#current-events, #fashion, #materialism, #rupert-murdoch, #standard, #technology, #yacht

In the news…

Here are some stories that may be of interest to some. Just remember that I do not endorse all stories that appear on these websites; I only wanted to bring attention to the linked story in particular due to its content.

So you think the days of people needing “signs” to believe are over? Unfortunately it’s not even close, as you’ll find out in this “tear jerker” of a story.

For years the homosexual movement has been claiming that their efforts revolve around tolerance, and for years I’ve been saying it has everything to do with acceptance. Read this story for another example of how their anger-driven agenda closed down a small business with their demand for acceptance while showing great intolerance towards those who disagree with them.

So you think if your state says that marriage is between one man and woman that settles the issue? Not according to a federal judge in Ohio who says the state of Ohio must recognize the “marriage license” of two homosexuals that was issued in another state. He thinks their “bond” should be “binding” upon the people of Ohio according to this story.

Need to read about some good news? Here’s a story about some people who got a “little tip” that helped to keep them going.

#current-events, #homosexuality, #miracles, #news, #politics

Why Ridgedale church of Christ Is Getting Slammed

In the greatest sermon ever preached, Jesus wrote, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Mat. 5:12-13).  Persecution takes many forms, but if you want to see one form of it simply go to Ridgedale’s Facebook page and look at the dozens of examples of tolerance from broad-minded people as they help that congregation face what the world thinks of them.

An article by Kevin Hardy in today’s Times Free Press online (http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/aug/21/repent-or-leave/), which reflects some basic ignorance of what the Bible teaches about church discipline, unleashed a firestorm of hateful response by readers who are on Facebook and who in turn posted their remarks on the aforementioned page.  My prediction is that things will get worse before they get better for the good people at Ridgedale.  Understanding that we do not have all the facts of the case and would not expect a person in the world to give them to us, what we should do is focus on what is alleged.  A professed lesbian’s family that attended Ridgedale was approached by church leaders after the woman’s mother publicly supported her daughter as she sought same-sex benefits from the city of Collegedale.  As the family’s support of their daughter was public, the church felt compelled by scriptural mandate to ask the family to repent or be subject to church discipline.  The family publicly made their exit and a congregational matter is now being splashed across news outlets.  But, why is this congregation facing such an outcry and disapproval?  The answer will differ from individual to individual, but here are some broad reasons evidenced from people’s responses.

Ridgedale is getting slammed because of the cultural sickness of subjectivity.   One woman writes, “I think the decision makers of this church will one day pay for their sins…” Another woman writes, “I think the Cooper’s will be far better off without a church who punish’s them for not turning their back on their child….” Another puts it, “In my world, my God accepts, doesn’t judge and loves all his children!” Still another says, “Wow! I guess we know different Gods. My God offers unconditional love and tells me not to judge others….” (misspellings and grammatical errors made by the original writers). Others’ subjectivity is more subtly expressed, but here is the common thread.  People think they get to co-opt God and make Him over in their image.

Ridgedale is getting slammed because of society’s warped view of tolerance.  Certainly, so many who commented on that page are not tolerant of anyone who interprets Scripture literally.  They are not tolerant of this congregation’s autonomy. They are not tolerant of the view that homosexuality is a sin.  It is abundantly clear from the comments.  You will read such slurs as “bigot,” “hoping the church burns in hell,” “Scumbag Church,” “group of horrible people,” and more.  This is dripping with irony.

Ridgedale is getting slammed because the average person does not know the Bible.   People speak of God loving unconditionally, Jesus accepting everyone, and that one’s sexuality does not matter.  There is a famine of hearing the words of the Lord in our land (cf. Amos 8:11). Such lack of knowledge will destroy a people (Hosea 4:6).  God’s unconditional love does not mean unconditional acceptance if someone lives in rebellion to His will.  Jesus will not accept everyone.  To the majority, He will say, “Depart from Me” (see Mat. 7:13-14, 21-23).  Apparently, one’s sexuality does matter (see 1 Cor. 6:9-11). But people are grossly uninformed about the only book that reveals the heart and mind of God.

Please pray for Ridgedale.  Encourage them and show them love.  The detractors are popular and validated by a world separated from God.  Let us have the courage to stand by God’s people who are willing to stand up for His will. – Neal Pollard

Neal Pollard preaches for the Bear Valley church of Christ in Denver, Colorado. His blog can be viewed by clicking here.

Related Article:

#bible-ignorance, #church-discipline, #controversy, #criticism, #current-events, #homosexuality, #news, #tolerance

The Trans-forming Way of the Warped

Let them be put to shame because they have done disgusting things. They had no shame, they were not able to become red with shame: so they will come down with those who are falling: when my punishment comes on them, they will be made low, says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 6:15 – BBE)

A nation that knew better had grown to the point of not being capable of knowing shame. Their spiritual sensibilities were warped from the bottom up. Political leaders, community leaders and even the religious leaders who had voices that were heard had become spiritually deaf to their own words. And the only instruction they were willing to listen to were the ways that lead to destruction.

The governmental leaders of California have decided that transgendered students should have the right to choose to use whatever bathroom, locker room, and athletic team that they believe fits the “gender” that they personally identify with. It’s no longer enough to go by what was written on their birth certificate. Which makes me wonder if California is going to do away with that next? After all, who gives the parents and doctors the right to choose what sex the child is just based upon the “plumbing!”

This is the product of walking down the path of warped minds who prey on the minds of the warped. They have no common sense much less spiritual sense. They become repugnant at the sight of righteousness and they feel no remorse for their sin. Their reality has become a pipe dream that empties itself into debauchery, defilement, and dishonor yet the odor and filth of sitting in the pig pen has become satisfying to their heart instead of an avenue that awakens the sensibilities.

Is California ashamed? The “people” have spoken, or least an answer has been given of their behalf. And what I say isn’t hate speech – it is speech that hates it for the choices that they are making because we still have a long, long ways to fall, but it definitely reveals the direction we’ve been heading in as a nation for quite a while.           

#children, #current-events, #news, #school, #shame, #sin, #transgendered

Let’s Help Someone Else Finish Their Race

There’s a wonderful story coming out of Minnesota about a 9-year-old little boy who was running in a 5K race but he began to run out of a little steam toward the end. The boy finished, but the way he finished is what makes the story so great.

As the boy found himself starting to run alone and getting discouraged he spotted someone who he thought might help him – Lance Cpl. Myles Kerr of the United States Marine Corps. The boy asked Mr. Kerr if he would run with him, and Mr. Kerr refused to turn him down and helped the young boy, Boden Fuchs, finish the race even when he wanted to give up.

What a story!

There are so many spiritual applications, the least of them being that we all need someone to run our race of faith with; we all need a little encouragement every now and then, and God’s word can provide the support and encouragement we need if we’re willing to listen to those who know what it’s like to be in our shoes: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [think Hebrews 11 here], let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1). And this thought goes without leaving out the very next verse which says, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

There is no shame in asking for help while we run our race here on earth; there are days when we all run better than others and days when we run worse, and we should know how far a little bit of encouragement can go. The real shame comes from us having the ability to help others but leaving them behind to fail in their race. So let’s be the encourager that God wants us to be and helps others finish their race.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,” (Hebrews 10:23-24)

#bible-applications, #christian-living, #current-events, #encouragement, #news, #spiritual-applications, #spiritual-race, #united-states-marine-corps


Everyday there are children born into this world. Those  births are very significant to the parents who anticipated the day and look  ahead to what that child might become. For some of those births there is more of  A STIR than others. Monday, July 22, 2013, there was a birth in England greatly  anticipated by both the media and by citizenry not only in England, but around  the world. There was wonder as to whether it would be a prince or a princess who  would be in the line of royalty. That wonder was even accompanied by bets being  wagered not only on the gender, but also the date of the birth, the name that  would be chosen, and many other things associated with this coming child.  Monday, the news was announced and greeted with cheers that a prince had been  born. Now THE STIR continues with guesses as to what this child will eventually  be named; a name I understand will have to be approved by the Queen.

Many years before what I would say was the most  significant birth in the history of man, God revealed through His prophet  Isaiah. . .

“(6) For TO US A CHILD IS BORN,  to us A SON IS GIVEN; and THE GOVERNMENT SHALL BE UPON HIS SHOULDER, and HIS NAME shall be called WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, MIGHTY GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, PRINCE  OF PEACE. (7) Of the INCREASE OF HIS GOVERNMENT AND OF PEACE there will be NO  END, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold  it with justice and with righteousness FROM THIS TIME FORTH AND FOREVERMORE. The  zeal of THE LORD OF HOSTS WILL DO THIS.” (Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV)

Of this birth, many lived in great anticipation. (i.e.  Simeon at the temple, Luke 2:25-36) There was A STIR among shepherds as they  were told of the birth (Luke 2:8-20) and among some wise men who traveled from  the east to seek Him out. (Matthew 2:1-12). There was also A STIR within  government circles as Herod became alarmed at the thought of the rising of A KING. (Matthew 2:2-3 & 16) There continues to be A STIR within the hearts of  all who have come to know Jesus and the salvation He came to provide. Today, His  reign continues and we are blessed citizens of His eternal kingdom.

I in no way wish to minimize the beloved addition to the  family of Prince William and Duchess Kate. Perhaps we should keep them in prayer  for the challenges they might face raising a child in the often intrusive eyes  of the world. However, the birth of Jesus — God becoming flesh to live among us  (Matthew 1:23; John 1:1-2 & 14) — remains a significant acknowledgment for  the world today, having implications for the present life and for the eternity  to come. Praise God for the Holy Monarchy under which we are presently blessed  to live. Because of Jesus, eternal hope can remain STIRRED UP in our heart. May  we continue to share the Good News so that the hearts of others may BE STIRRED.


“teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port  Townsend, WA 98368.   www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

Some previous “teEn-MAIL” focuses may be viewed at http://www.teenmailbiblestudy.org

#bible-prophecy, #birth-of-christ, #current-events, #god, #jesus, #royals

Little Swings that the Media Loves to Take at God

Last night, Mariano Rivera, a beloved and retiring pitcher in professional baseball, entered the game to a lot of fanfare to play in his last MLB All-Star game. The rest of the players even came off of the field to allow Mr. Rivera to be the lone player and recipient of a standing ovation. Even the reporters clapped for him during the post-game interview! I’d call that a sign of respect, wouldn’t you?

After the game, Mr. Rivera said, “I would like to thank God for this, my wife, my kids, my family, you guys, the fans, are the best. It’s been a privilege, it almost made me cry. I cannot be more happy than that.” I don’t personally know Mr. Rivera at all, but it seems to me as if he wanted to show some respect in turn to others who had an effect on his life.

As a minimal fan of professional baseball that would’ve been the end of my interest in the story, but then I read a story this morning on the ole’ Huff-n-Puff that quoted Mr. Rivera as saying, “I would like to thank god for this….” Now again, I don’t personally know Mr. Rivera at all, but I think I may be safe in assuming that he was not thanking the god of baseball grass, the god of electric lights or even the god of baseball itself – but rather he was thanking the one God of Heaven and Earth. Even though this scenario was true, the writer of the story decided to insert himself into Mr. Rivera’s words due to his personal beliefs, or his editor’s, to take a little swing at God by using the lowercase g to describe what Mr. Rivera was saying.

It’s too bad that the same respect shown to Mr. Rivera’s performance on the field wasn’t shown to the words he said off of it; but little does that writer realize that he was the one who actually struck out last night, for God was still in the same place after the game that He was in before the game ever began – reigning from Heaven as the One living true God.

I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me.” (Isaiah 45:5)

#baseball, #current-events, #god, #major-league-baseball-all-star-game, #mariano-rivera, #media

Where’s the Peace?

I was a young, young child when it aired but even I know the restaurant commercial that’s had such a lasting effect with the lady asking, “Where’s the beef?”

The emphasis, or point, was about how the talk didn’t match the walk, and now the punch line is used to make the same point on various topics. This morning I’d like to take the word “beef” and replace it with the word “peace” when it comes to the topic of Islam.

There’s a story out there (which isn’t getting a whole lot of press attention due to something about the IRS, Benghazi and something else about the AP and wiretaps, but you can read the story here if you’d like) about two men who may be asking, “Where’s the peace?” One man has been sentenced to receive 300 lashes with a whip and a 6 year prison term, and the other man has been sentenced to 200 lashes and a 2 year prison term. And for what? For helping a woman “convert to Christianity” and escaping the country to find asylum in another nation. With a reaction like that, I “wonder” why she had to seek asylum somewhere??? Hmmm.

I do not completely agree with the doctrinal stance of the two men or with the stated theological experience given by the woman as a part her conversion, but placing that to the side for a moment I can’t help but ask, “Where’s the peace?” I guess it all depends upon one’s definition of peace.

When one leaves “Christianity” it’s tears that get shed by others (Philippians 3:18), not blood!

So where’s the peace? The peace is found in Jesus and in no other.

May peace be with you; my peace I give to you: I give it not as the world gives….” (John 14:27 – BBE)

#christianity, #conversion-to-christianity, #current-events, #islam, #jesus, #peace, #religion

Absolutely by Ken Joines

Here’s an article from “Ken’s Newsletter” that was sent out last March entitled “Absolutely”. It’s worth the read.

Is there such a thing as absolute truth? Some say no, that what is right for you may not be right for me; that if your standards work for you, that’s fine, but don’t try to impose them on me.

Try this: Imagine playing a Super Bowl with no absolute rules determined by the NFL. The Steelers would be starting 13 players instead of 11; they voted on it in Pittsburgh. Unanimous approval. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has reprinted the rulebook and they are going to take five downs on every possession. The Colts will be using this huge trampoline to help halfbacks on short-yardage plays.

Or imagine two big jets trying to merge on the same runway. They would no doubt need to initiate something like a Frequent Survivor programs.

So how in the world can anyone imagine that we can maintain any semblance of stability as a nation when we have abandoned absolutes. If forty years ago someone told me we would be confused about whether abortion is wrong, about whether sex outside of marriage is wrong, about whether we should be giving out condoms at school, I would have dismissed it as unthinkable.

You see, in the past, people violated God’s rules, but there was a general understanding that there was a standard that existed. But today this culture denies that any criterion exists and we can all just live as we please. And the only thing that is absolutely wrong is when I stand up and say something is wrong. We are told we are supposed to tolerate anything except those who will not tolerate everything.

Are there any absolute truths?

This may be the most critical question of our time. If we answer correctly, logically, we can restore stability to this nation. If we answer incorrectly, we sign our death warrant as a culture.

Consider the first and last phrases of the Great Commission: “All authority has been given to me … … I am with you always even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20). Would you please consider just what this means. It means first that there is a source of absolute truth and the source is the person of Jesus Christ. Truth is not just moral code written by some sitting council and vulnerable to change. Truth is embodied in a person who is “the same yesterday, today and forever.” He said I AM the truth. And he walked out of his own grave to prove his right to say it. Continue reading

#america, #articles, #christianity, #current-events, #truth