Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Baby In Need

This is a personal request. I have a friend from university who recently had his fourth child (two twins boys, another boy and now this one). He got real sick and actually had to be resuscitated. He is currently in the hospital and still not doing well. He has been diagnosed with viral spinal meningitis. I would ask that you pray for their son as well as his parents, Adam and Wendy McCollum. I will update this once I hear more.

Specifically you can pray that:
-Adam and Wendy would not be anxious about anything but trust in the Lord that He knows their needs and will meet them or exceed them with His sovereign plan as He is a kind and loving God that is powerful enough to act on that love and kindness and ensure that nothing hinders it.
-Their son would indeed come out of this without ill effect and this would cause his parents to glory in their God and be thankful to Him for the skill and knowledge of the doctors and nurses who are working with their child.
-That the doctors would be wise and diligent in doing what is in the child's best interest.
-That this situation would draw all involved closer to the Lord for His glory and our good.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Armed Shepherds

A tiny Texas district will allow teachers and staff members to carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings when classes begin this month, provided the gun-toting employees follow certain requirements.

The small community of Harrold in north Texas is a 30-minute drive from the Wilbarger County Sheriff's Office, leaving students and teachers without protection, said David Thweatt, superintendent of the Harrold Independent School District. The lone campus of the 110-student district sits near a heavily traveled highway, which could make it a target, he argued.
I've been a fan of this for a while, a long while.

And the superintendent nailed it with this:
"When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that's when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can't defend themselves? That's like saying 'sic 'em' to a dog," Thweatt said in a story published Friday on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Web site.
Hmmm... you don't say?
Read more here.

Some questions:
-Would it make you feel uncomfortable knowing that a teacher at the school you attend or your children attend is armed?
-What about licensed people around you at the grocery store or in restaurants?
-Would you post a "No Guns" sign in your front yard?
-If you had a child in this district or if your district were to allow this, what concerns would you have (if any)?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bigfoot Claim A Hoax

I posted on this last week and thought I would share the widely under-publicized admittal of a hoax.

The body turned out to be rubber, and the two men who claimed they found it, Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, have admitted it was a costume, said a posting Tuesday on the Web sites of Searching for Bigfoot Inc. and Squatchdetective.

You can read more here.
You can read my initial post on it here.
The "confession" can be found here.

Some questions:
-Should there be any sort of retribution concerning this hoax?
-Were any lawas broken?
-What do you think their motive was?
-If you are one who believes bigfoot exists, does this change your view?

Lying On Your Resume

Here are the 10 most outrageous lies found on resumes according to

1. Candidate claimed to be a member of the Kennedy family

2. Applicant invented a school that did not exist

3. Job seeker submitted a résumé with someone else's photo inserted into the document

4. Candidate claimed to be a member of Mensa

5. Applicant claimed to have worked for the hiring manager before, but never had

6. Job seeker claimed to be the CEO of a company when he was an hourly employee

7. Candidate listed military experience dating back to before he was born

8. Job seeker included samples of work, which were actually those of the interviewer

9. Applicant claimed to be Hispanic when he was 100 percent Caucasian

10. Candidate claimed to have been a professional baseball player

...there's a line between bending the truth and outright deception. According to the survey, these were the most common falsehoods people admitted to using on a résumé:

• 38 percent of those surveyed indicated they had embellished their job responsibilities

• 18 percent admitted to lying about their skill set

• 12 percent indicated they had been dishonest about their start and end dates of employment

• 10 percent confessed to lying about an academic degree

• 7 percent said they had lied about the companies they had worked for

• 5 percent disclosed that they had been untruthful about their job title

Do these lies work? In most cases, no.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Some questions:
-Why do some think it is okay to lie to get a job?
-Is this seen as sociably acceptable if you don't get caught?
-How do you think the applicant responded when confronted on the lies?
-What does this say concerning character?
-Is this the equivalent to performance enhancing drugs? To compete in the majors you have to take steriods? Everybody is doing it?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Obama & McCain On Abortion & Human Life

Some questions:
-Who do you think has the better answer?
-Why do you think their answer is better?
-By what basis do you judge who is right on this issue? Science? The Bible?
-So when does human life begin?
-Did you find the video biased?
-Did you find this forum at Saddleback influential in your decision-making process concerning the presidential election?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Denny Burk: Thoughts On The Saddleback Presidential Debate

Denny Burk has chosen to blog live on the Saddleback Forum hosted by pastor of Saddleback: Rick Warren, author of all things purpose driven. I would encourage you to take a look at what he has written and watch the debate/forum between Obama and McCain yourself. As Christians we have a responsibility to make informed choices in every area of our lives as we are stewards over them; entrusted by God. The same holds true in elections.

Below you will find the links to the discussion.

Live Blogging Part 1 Here.

Live Blogging Part 2 Here.

Commenting On Rick Warren Here.

Overall Rating Here.

Some questions:
-What did you think of the forum?
-Does this put Rick Warren in a different light for you?
-Who do you think came out with more compelling, true arguments?
-Does this affect who you will vote for?
-Did you find this beneficial? What about the candidates being asked the same question?
-Why do some Christians not think it important to think through issues considered "secular"?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bigfoot: Several Found Alive In Georgia

A policeman and a former corrections officer say that on Friday, they will unveil evidence of what they claim is their biggest capture ever: the body of Bigfoot.
Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, a pair of Bigfoot-hunting hobbyists from north Georgia, say they found the creature's body in a wooded area and spotted several similar creatures that were still alive.

The carcass of the furry half-man, half-ape is 7 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs more than 500 pounds, they say. However, the two are not disclosing the exact location of their discovery in order to protect the remaining creatures

You can read more here.

You can visit the website of those that found it here.

Some questions:
-Do you believe this to be the body of a bigfoot?
-What ramifications would come from finding a living species of bigfoot?
-What would this discovery (if proven true) do to/for the scientific community?
-What would this discovery (if proven true) do to/for the religious community?
-Would finding such a creature affect your faith in God one way or another?
-If this is proven to be a hoax, what should become of the hoaxers?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is Our Worth In What We Do?

I watched the video above and that is the question that came to mind. If this guy's career is over- what he trained and prepared his whole life for, what else does he have? Does he pity himself? Does he pick himself up by the bootstraps and embark on a new life; a new career?

I can't help but think that we place too much emphasis on what we do (and allow ourselves to think that is what defines us) instead of who we are (and who's we are).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hope Where There Is No Hope

The son of a prominent leader in the Hamas terrorist organization has publicly declared his faith in Jesus Christ and warned that Israel can never be at peace with the "wicked and cruel" men who lead Hamas.

Masab Yousef, who now prefers to be known as "Joseph," is the oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a political leader of the Hamas organization in the West Bank and one of the movement's most popular public figures. He gave his life to Christ in 2004, four years after a friend invited him to a Bible study and he began to read the Christian scriptures for himself.

"At this stage I was still a Muslim and I thought that I would remain one. But every day I saw the terrible things done in the name of religion by those who considered themselves 'great believers,’" Yousef told the Haaretz news organization. "I studied Islam more thoroughly and found no answers there. I re-examined the Koran and the principles of the faith and found how it is mistaken and misleading. The Muslims borrowed rituals and traditions from all the surrounding religions."

"The people who supposedly represent the religion admired Mohammed more than God, killed innocent people in the name of Islam, beat their wives and don't have any idea what God is," he told Haaretz. "I have no doubt that they'll go to hell. I have a message for them: There is only one way to Paradise -- the way of Jesus who sacrificed Himself on the cross for all of us."

"Many people will hate me for this interview, but I'm telling them that I love all of them, even those who hate me. I invite all the people, including the terrorists among them, to open their hearts and believe," he told Haaretz. "Now I'm trying to establish an international organization for young people that will teach about Christianity, love and peace in the territories, too. I would like to teach the young people how to love and forgive, because that's the only way the two nations can overcome the mistakes of the past and live in peace."

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What are our responsibilities to this brother?
-Do you believe that God has placed him there for a reason?
-How will you pray for this man?
-Even in reading the entirety of the article, can you see how God is already using him?
-Do you believe his life to be in danger by simply claiming faith in Christ? Why does such a declaration cause such a reaction?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Youth Ministry: A Biblical Approach

Barry Maxwell has taken up the issue of youth ministry in a 3 part series and addresses the issue in a way that is contra pop-"christian" culture (read: Biblical).

I don't know how often you peruse the links on the side to other blogs, but I would encourage you to add this blog to your list that you check regularly, especially if you are in the ministry.

Here is a snippet of part one of his 3 part series:

Some question about youth ministry arises often at our church. Visiting parents ask what we have for their teenagers. Members wonder what we're doing for the "youth." By modern standards we have or do very little. No glitzy youth building for youth "worship." No services designed to package God's truth in sound bites teenagers can understand. No teen-centered atmosphere that defines our church. But, we do have a youth ministry.

There is a rampant adolescentizing force that raises adults/parents to act more like children rather than training children for adulthood.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Does scripture give credence to youth ministry as practiced in America today?
-Does youth ministry seem to be more pragmatic than biblical?
-Is the rise of youth ministry a sign of a failing of another part of the church?
-Do you agree with Barry? If not why?
-Was the 3 part series eye-opening to you?
-Does it go against what you grew up with? How do you rectify your experience with what scripture teaches?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Pertinent Warning To The Church

Tim Challies wrote a book review some time ago and is still recieving emails concerning the "unfair" review he gave from readers who "benefited" from the book in question. He has since wrote a response to those emails and addressed the two main arguments being given for his review being unfair. Even though he is addressing a singular topic, I think his thoughts here have wide-sweeping ramifications for us as believers. Please see the snippets below and then go to the link to read the complete article. Also, I would recommend you add his blog to your list of daily reads as it is a great resource to those who believe.

Pragmatism necessarily causes us to lose our focus on the absolute standard God has given us in His Word to determine right from wrong. When we lose that focus the church is placed on the slippery slope to becoming like the world. When we discard God’s standards we must depend on our own deeply flawed standards. We begin to trust in ourselves and lose our trust in God. We lose our reliance on His Word as the tool for discernment.

Fiction is a powerful medium for communicating truth and the evidence of this is in every positive review of the book; the evidence is in the fact that Jesus Himself often communicated using fiction.

The reader who complained about “stodgy old religion” exhorted me to “try to re-read the Shack with a more open mind.” But from her email and the others like it, I can see that in this case an open mind would require a closed Bible. We cannot set aside Scripture even when we read fiction. There is no such thing as only fiction.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Does pragmatism (do it because it works) have a place in the church?
-Why do you think we readily exchange hard truths for pragmatism?
-Are there ill consequences for this exchange?
-What are your thoughts concerning the last quote from Challies?
-Did Jesus teach truth through fiction?
-Should we be more careful with how we handle truth and take in those things labeled as "only fiction"?
-Overall, do you agree with or find yourself at odds with Challies?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Has Our Democracy Become A Joke?

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Some questions:
-What do you think our founding fathers would say concerning the current state of our union?
-Is nothing kept from mockery?
-Should our electoral system be revamped?
-Do the youth of our nation take seriously the issues concerning our future? If not, what do you think contributed to this?

You Provide The Caption

Image credit can be found here.

Make sure you caption it before visiting the link though.

Stigler's Law Of Eponymy: Oh The Irony

Apart from iconic figures like Darwin and Einstein, most scientists labour in obscurity. One of the few ways in which they can gain lasting recognition is by having a scientific discovery named after them.

However, the system does not always work smoothly. Indeed, naming disputes are so common that there is even a rule of thumb called the Zeroth theorem, which states that eponymous discoveries are, more often than not, wrongly attributed.

Appropriately enough, the theorem is also known as Stigler's law of eponymy even though it was originally formulated by Robert Merton of Columbia University in New York.

You can read of five examples here.

Some questions:
-Should these discoveries be renamed to honor the one who found them?
-Should it really matter?
-Is this an issue of pride or of giving credit where credit is due?
-Do you know of any other examples?

Monday, August 4, 2008

The End of Contraception: The Government Defines Life

A new set of health laws that could be proposed by the government sometime in the next few weeks has women's health activists steaming. If the laws are implemented, they claim, women will have a harder time getting access to contraception.

The legislation, a draft of which was leaked last week to the New York Times, stokes the debate over when human life begins by taking the position that birth control that prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg actually results in abortion.

Late last week, Sen. Hillary Clinton called the planned rules (which could be imposed without congressional approval) "damaging" and a "dire threat to women" and warned that contraceptive coverage would "disappear overnight" if enacted.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Why do you think the legistlation states life begins at fertilization?
-What are your thoughts on birth control? Is it abortion? If not, when does life begin?
-Should this be legislated to the general public?
-What did women do before the invention of "the pill" to ensure they did not get pregnant- chastity?
-Do you agree with the proposed legislation? If so why? If not, why not?
-Do you see further ethical ramifications stemming from this legislation if passed?
-Has contraception been a good thing for us culturally? Spiritually?

Why So Secretive About Discovery On Mars?

It would appear that the US President has been briefed by Phoenix scientists about the discovery of something more "provocative" than the discovery of water existing on the Martian surface. This news comes just as the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) confirmed experimental evidence for the existence of water in the Mars regolith on Thursday.

You can read more here.

So what was the secret? You can find out here.

Some questions:
-What do you think might have been found?
-Should the public be left in the dark concerning such discoveries even if they are still being analyzed?
-Why do you think the president was briefed (and not just one of his advisors)?
-If life was found to have existed on Mars at some point in time, would this impact your faith in a negative way?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Only One Thing

If you could only do one thing today, what would it be? Why would you choose that over everything else you could have done?

Each day Christians are imprisoned and suffer persecution and even death for their faith in God and the work of Jesus the Christ on the cross. Each day they still have freedom they must live it as if it was their last. Sometimes, the blessings of religous freedom without fear of persecution obscure the imminence of judgment and the uncertainty of the timing of death or imprisonment. Sometimes this freedom even causes us to think less on the sufferings of our brothers and sisters because of their faith... so, if you could do only one thing today, what would it be?