George Winston's tribute to Bach's
"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"
Monday, December 29, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
It begins and ends with Jesus. This is what God had in mind for Christmas. It’s a season where we are called to put down our burdens and lift a song up to God. It’s a season where love wins, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated with each breath.
Before you think we’re getting all Scrooge on you, let us explain what we mean. We like gifts. Our kids really like gifts. But consider this: America spends an average of $450 billion a year every Christmas. How often have you spent money on Christmas presents for no other reason than obligation? How many times have you received a gift out of that same obligation? Thanks, but no thanks, right? We’re asking people to consider buying ONE LESS GIFT this Christmas. Just one. Sounds insignificant, yet many who have taken this small sacrifice have experienced something nothing less than a miracle: They have been more available to celebrate Christ during the advent season.
God’s gift to us was a relationship built on love. So it’s no wonder why we’re drawn to the idea that Christmas should be a time to love our friends and family in the most memorable ways possible. Time is the real gift Christmas offers us, and no matter how hard we look, it can’t be found at the mall. Time to make a gift that turns into the next family heirloom. Time to write mom a letter. Time to take the kids sledding. Time to bake really good cookies and sing really bad Christmas carols. Time to make love visible through relational giving. Sounds a lot better than getting a sweater two sizes too big, right?
When Jesus loved, He loved in ways never imagined. Though rich, he became poor to love the poor, the forgotten, the overlooked and the sick. By spending less at Christmas we have the opportunity to join Him in giving to those who need help the most. When Advent Conspiracy first began, four churches challenged this simple concept to its congregations. The result raised more than a half million dollars to aid those in need. One less gift. One unbelievable present in the name of Christ.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel
Prayer for Advent - Stir up Your power in us, Lord Jesus, so that by Your grace we may be rescued from all of our sins. Deliver us, O Lord, from the sin of the world around us, and the sin that dwells within us, so that we might be ready for Your coming. For You live and reign together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
C.S. Lewis said that even when he was an atheist, he had a longing deep inside himself that he could not explain, something which he later would call "joy".
That's the feeling I get when I listen to George Winston's music. A deep longing for something more, something I can't explain and don't even fully understand, but something I know I was created for.
It's something that permeates from the soul (that "god-shaped hole") as it fills the heart and expands the mind, pointing me to something far greater than myself.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Really? Intelligent people?!?
Among highlights (or lowlights) of "The Bible's Buried Secrets":
- Abraham, Sarah and their offspring didn't exist.
- There is no evidence of the Exodus.
- Monotheism was a process that took hundreds of years.
- The Israelites were actually Canaanites.
- The Israelites believed that God had a wife.
Although PBS broadcasts some quality programming at times, this program is a perfect example of why I don't pledge money at tele-thon time.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
"Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded," says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, "The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness."
While political activists on the other side of the spectrum have made similar observations, Rossiter boasts professional credentials and a life virtually free of activism and links to the
For more than 35 years he has diagnosed and treated more than 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.
Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:
creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
rejecting the sovereignty of the individual by subordinating him to the will of the government.
"The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind," he says. "When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious."
Friday, November 14, 2008
It has plagued scientists and politicians for decades, but scientists now say global warming is not the problem. They say we are actually heading for the next Ice Age.
British and Canadian experts warn the big freeze could bury the east of Britain in 6,000ft of ice. A taste of the future: Plunging temperatures around Britain will create 2-ft icicles over Sleightholme River in Scotland, while Northern Ireland and England could be covered in 3,000ft-thick ice fields. The expanses could reach 6,000ft from Aberdeen to Kent – towering above Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain.
And what’s more, the experts blame the global change on falling - rather than climbing - levels of greenhouse gases.
Lead author Thomas Crowley from the University of Edinburgh and Canadian colleague William Hyde say that currently vilified greenhouse gases – such as carbon dioxide – could actually be the key to averting the chill. The warning, published in the authoritative journal Nature, is based on records of tiny marine fossils and the earth’s shifting orbit.
The Earth has seen dramatic climate fluctuations – veering between cold and warm extremes - over the past many years, the researchers say. And changes in the Earth’s orbit and slowly falling levels of carbon dioxide are the cause. The team says we are approaching a turning point, in the next 10,000 years which will lead to the new ice sheets smothering much of Europe, Asia and South America. The theory, which is based on computer models, suggests ice sheets will also slash sea levels by up to 300m, so Russia and Alaska will be connected by land. The North Sea will become part of a huge glacier stretching from Holland and Scandinavia to the Russian Far East.
Still, Professor Crowley reminds us that the stark findings do not mean that we should "push the panic button."
An inconvenient truth, indeed.
Monday, November 10, 2008
"The electrifying redemption of America’s revolutionary declaration that all human beings are born equal sets the stage for the renewal of United States leadership in a world that desperately needs to protect its primary endowment: the integrity and livability of the planet."
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
The shard was found by a teenage volunteer during a dig about 12 miles southwest of Jerusalem, on a hilltop above the valley where David is said to have battled Goliath.
Preliminary investigations since the shard was found have deciphered some words including judge, slave and king.
Experts at Hebrew University said dating showed it was written 3,000 years ago - about 1,000 years earlier than the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Senator Kit Bond was there along with Governor Matt Blunt, candidate for Governor Kenny Hulshof, and other candidates and dignitaries. Hank Williams Jr. sang the National Anthem.
It was a beautiful day and an exciting time, now we'll just have to wait and see what happens today at the voting booth. Say a prayer for our nation and GO VOTE!
One of our friends, Mark Russell, is sitting directly under the "O" in this picture.
They probably will get the Victory in Missouri - I'm not so sure about everywhere else.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
"Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures or by plain reason, I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and I will not recant, because going against one’s conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.
- Martin Luther, Diet of Worms, 1521
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Although nearly every facet of life was affected by its changes, the Reformation was at its core a rediscovery of the Gospel - the truth of God’s undeserved love for man through the person and work of Jesus Christ found in the Word of God. This became the driving force of the entire movement - the fact that we are saved by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, found in Scripture alone.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
"It could very well be a reference to Jesus Christ," said Frank Goddio, co-founder of the Oxford Center of Maritime Archaeology. He and his colleagues found the object during an excavation of the underwater ruins of Alexandria's great ancient harbor. The Egyptian site also includes the now submerged island where Cleopatra's palace may have been located.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
"Let yourself be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you, nor forsake you,' so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid" (Hebrews 13:5-6)
The financial pressures on America’s families continue to mount. The current economic challenges, the Wall Street crisis, declining home values, and higher gas prices have placed a great strain on many of us. People are losing their homes, food and energy costs continue to rise, the list goes on.
While these things are all true, what we are experiencing is nothing new. Solomon says in Ecclesiastes that "there is nothing new under the sun."
For example, in the Old Testament the nation of Israel was taken captive and was forced to endure 70 years of hard labor in Babylon before they were finally freed and allowed to return to their homeland. We pray that our current economic downturn won’t last that long!
In the meantime, here is a list of things that can help you to survive and even thrive in our current economy.
+ Pray for our nation and its leaders.
+ Learn to be content with what you have.
+ Read what the Bible has to say about money.
+ Pay your bills faithfully as a positive testimony to your creditors and a good example to your family and neighbors.
+ Downsize if it puts you in a better position.
+ Have a garage sale or yard sale to to pay down debt or increase savings.
+ Capitalize on your most valuable asset - your family.
+ Start a garden, use fresh vegetables and fruits in season.
+ Cancel your cable or satellite. Read books, play games, take walks, invite friends over, spend time with family.
+Remember God's Promises.
“God is our Refuge and Strength, a present help in times of trouble."(Psalm 46)
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Today is a day in which we remember another life and death story.
On 9/11, terror literally filled the air in New York City. Terror arrived on wings. Planes loaded with jet fuel exploded into the Twin Towers. Crews, passengers,and innocent citizens were incinerated.The buildings tumbled. Dust and smoke thick with the smell of death and destruction covered the area immediately and for weeks thereafter.
As the cloud of darkness began to grow, thousands of horrified people ran for their lives. One said “I'll never forget the sight and sound of the dust and smoke coming at us; it looked like the world was coming to an end.” Thick darkness covered the earth. Yet Christ was still the Light of the World.
A Lutheran missionary tells of standing with other Christian chaplains and praying with firefighters. As they prepared to enter the burning cauldron that was the Trade Center Plaza, he recounts, "We made the sign of the cross on their foreheads. We wanted them to remember their baptism. That’s the only promise they could know for sure at that moment — their baptismal promise.” Many never came back. But marked with the cross, they were reminded of God’s sure promise of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.
The dust has settled. The nightmares are receding. But the stories continue to be told. And one strong Story stands above them all.
It is the story of the cross of Christ. His death is our death. His resurrection is our resurrection. His life is our life.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
"A star is born," said Chris Wallace on Fox.
"A star is born," said Anderson Cooper on CNN.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The days are getting shorter. The evenings are becoming cooler. Summer is almost over. Fall will soon be here.
Sometimes I wish you could just grab the sun and hang on to it, and make it stay just a little bit longer.
Like on Thanksgiving Day, when we're playing our annual football game and ping-pong tournament. Or on Christmas Day, not wanting the celebration of Christ's Birth to come to an end. Or when our whole family is together for a reunion in a beautiful place. You just don't want it to end. But it must, and it soon will.
As summer ends, September begins, and the light of day begins to wane, I begin to remember that next year I will turn 40, and I realize the truth of the words "time stops for no man".
So since I can't hang on to the sun and hope to make it stay, I'll continue to hold on to the Son - my only hope and stay.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
By using infrared and colour imaging, scientists believe "scores of scroll fragments that were blackened or erased over the years and which were not visible to the naked eye until now" will be able to be read.
The scrolls, some of which are as old as the third century BC, have shed light on the earliest origins of Judaism and Christianity, and are considered to be one of the greatest archaeological finds of all time.
Monday, August 25, 2008
When it seems like we're stuck between a rock and a hard place, it's encouraging to know that we have a Solid Rock to lean on - the Rock of our Salvation, Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
God gives us His good gifts "all...out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me."
Christ lived and died "in order that I may be His own, and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness."
And because of what Christ did . . .
"He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers." This is most certainly true.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
A team of archaeologists in Israel has unearthed what's believed to be the royal seal of an Old Testament prince who is said to have tossed the prophet Jeremiah down a well.
Team leader Dr. Eilat Mazar of Jerusalem's Hebrew University says the imprint was found well-preserved in clay, bearing the name of Gedaliah, the son of Pashur.
Gedaliah is mentioned by name in Jeremiah 38 as he served Judah's King Zedekiah in the days before Jerusalem was conquered by Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.
I guess the Old Testament's not a bunch of made up old stories after all!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
"Come, everyone who thirsts,
and he who has no money, come and eat!
Listen to me and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in the richest of food.
Come to Me that your soul shall live ... "
This is the Feast of Victory for our God -
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Producer Paula Apsell said: "It's designed for intelligent people who are willing to change their mind. …it will give intelligent people who want to read the Bible in a modern way a chance. If we insist on reading the Bible literally, in 25 years, nobody will read it any longer."
Among highlights (or lowlights) of "The Bible's Buried Secrets":
• The Old Testament was written in the 6th century BC and hundreds of authors contributed.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
"Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!"