January 30, 2009

Perspective...



[HT: True Grit]

January 27, 2009

15 Pro-Life Truths to Speak

by John Piper
[original article]
"You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." - Jesus Christ

1. Existing fetal homicide laws make a man guilty of manslaughter if he kills the baby in a mother's womb (except in the case of abortion).

2. Fetal surgery is performed on babies in the womb to save them while another child the same age is being legally destroyed.

3. Babies can sometimes survive on their own at 23 or 24 weeks, but abortion is legal beyond this limit.

4. Living on its own is not the criterion of human personhood, as we know from the use of respirators and dialysis.

5. Size is irrelevant to human personhood, as we know from the difference between a one-week-old and a six-year-old.

6. Developed reasoning powers are not the criterion of personhood, as we know from the capacities of three-month-old babies.

7. Infants in the womb are human beings scientifically by virtue of their genetic make up.

8. Ultrasound has given a stunning window on the womb that shows the unborn at eight weeks sucking his thumb, recoiling from pricking, responding to sound. All the organs are present, the brain is functioning, the heart is pumping, the liver is making blood cells, the kidneys are cleaning fluids, and there is a fingerprint. Virtually all abortions happen later than this date.

9. Justice dictates that when two legitimate rights conflict, the limitation of rights that does the least harm is the most just. Bearing a child for adoption does less harm than killing him.

10. Justice dictates that when either of two people must be inconvenienced or hurt to alleviate their united predicament, the one who bore the greater responsibility for the predicament should bear more of the inconvenience or hurt to alleviate it.

11. Justice dictates that a person may not coerce harm on another person by threatening voluntary harm on themselves.

12. The outcast and the disadvantaged and exploited are to be cared for in a special way, especially those with no voice of their own.

13. What is happening in the womb is the unique person-nurturing work of God, who alone has the right to give and take life.

14. There are countless clinics that offer life and hope to both mother and child (and father and parents), with care of every kind lovingly provided by people who will meet every need they can.

15.Jesus Christ can forgive all sins, and will give all who trusts him the help they need to do everything that life requires.

January 26, 2009

Humility

During this next quarter I am requiring my 9th/10th Bible class read one book. I have a list of choices for them, but I am willing to allow others. It can't be a story, it has to be a "teaching" book.

So, I decided to join them in this endeavor. The book that I am going to be reading is called Humility and it is by Andrew Murray. I am pretty excited about reading this book because it is a classic, and I love classics.

I opened up the book today and already found a great quote:

The chief mark of counterfeit holiness is its lack of humility.


I will give you some updates as I read this book.

January 25, 2009

RefTagger

Special thanks to a former student for sending me to RefTagger.

With RefTagger I can type in a scripture reference, like John 3:16 for example, and it will automatically add a hyper link and it will even add a hover window of the scripture's text. (Is that what you call it? A "hover window"?)

Check it out.

Losing Again

I joined the "Biggest Loser" competition at our school. I am not sure how many people are competing, but there are a few moms, a dad, and some of the other teachers. Along with the dad, I am the only other male competitor.

I had been dieting before Christmas Break, but I fell dove off that boat during the holiday. It is really hard to diet on Christmas Break!

Well, now I am back on.

Our first weigh-in was Friday, January 16th. I weighed in heavier than I have ever weighed. I was at 201.4 lbs.!! Last week I weighed in at 196.2 lbs. That means in the first week I lost 5.2 lbs.! And I think that I was the biggest loser of the week! I am feeling pretty good about that.

But, can I keep it up for 13 weeks?

The most difficult thing for me is that I just genuinely love food. Eating is one of my most favorite things to do. So, this is really, really hard. Choosing to eat less and to eat the right kinds of things is a real practice of self-discipline.

Well, I will try to keep you posted on my progress.

January 22, 2009

...as discipline

"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?"
Hebrews 12:7

I ran across this verse last night. It was just what I needed.

January 15, 2009

Validation

Everybody could use a little validation. I wish I could remember which blog I saw this on... I would give them credit.

January 14, 2009

Face It

"We are what we repeatedly do."
-Aristotle

That is a hard saying to hear. It is especially difficult if the things you repeatedly do are not good things.

One of the wonderful things about the gospel is that true change can happen. Psalm 19:7 states, "The Law of the Lord is perfect converting(transforming) the soul(the nephesh - the inmost being)". God's word is so complete that it can transform you at your very core.

This is why Paul states in one of his epistles, "... and such were some of you." (I Cor. 6:9-11) That is what we were!

In other words... You can go to an AA meeting and instead of saying, "Hi. My name is ________ and I'm an Alcoholic..." you can say, "Hi! My name is _________ and I'm NOT an Alcoholic... I used to be, but not anymore!"

Praise God for new identities!

With all of that said, I still agree with Aristotle. I just believe that the thought shouldn't end there.

an inward principle of self

Here is an A.W. Tozer quote for you: (As Quoted by Jim Berg in the book, Changed Into His Image)
The struggle of the Christian man to be good while the bent toward self-assertion still lives within him as a kind of unconscious moral reflex is vividly described by the apostle Paul in the seventh chapter of his Roman Epistle; and his testimony is in full accord with the teaching of the Prophets. Eight hundred years before the advent of Christ the prophet Isaiah identified sin as a rebellion against the will of God and the assertion of the right of each man to choose for himself the way he should go. "All we like sheep have gone astray," he said, "we have turned everyone to his own way," and I believe that no more accurate description of sin has ever been given.

The witness of the saints has been in full harmony with prophet and apostle, that an inward principle of self lies at the source of human conduct, turning everything men do into evil. To save us completely Christ must reverse the bent of our nature; He must plant a new principle within us so that our subsequent conduct will spring out of a desire to promote the honor of God and the good of our fellow men.

I know that was a long quote, but it was a good one. I thought about just putting up the one phrase, "...an inward principle of self lies at the source of human conduct, turning everything men do into evil." But I wanted to get the whole thing so you could see it in context.

That phrase struck a chord with me. I don't think we realize how important this is in our modern world. We have begun to "take some time for my self" and we have felt that it was important to "build self-esteem". This promotion of self has even crept into our "christian" counseling.

Just think about this quote. If it is true, then it would not be self-assertion leading us to healing, it could only be a "denial of self" that could bring us to the place that we need to be, and aren't those the exact words of Jesus? Are we not to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him?

January 9, 2009

Illustrations

In chapel this morning, I was telling a kickball story as an illustration.  The story came from way back to the neighborhood kickball days.  So, to help them get a good mental picture of me during those days, I drudged up an old home video.  

At the risk of some mockage, here is that video: (Keep in mind that I was around 13 yrs. old in this video.


January 8, 2009

Providence

The wind blew the basketball hoop over in the middle of the night.  I didn't realize it until the next day.  When I came out in the morning, this is what I saw.


I titled this post "providence" because that is the first word that popped into my mind.  When I showed this picture to one of my students, that is the first word that he said as well.  I have to admit, it is very providential.

I wanted to write a neat, in-depth post... bringing about some interesting perspective on providence, that brought it all back to that picture... that picture that brought me a great epiphany...

But, I am tired and I am just thankful that it didn't break anything.  I guess, in a way, that is what providence should be about anyway.

Christmas Surprises

I want to take some time to put up some of my favorite Christmas pics, but I haven't had the opportunity.  Here, at least, are the videos of the "surprises" on the parents.  They weren't expecting us to be home for Christmas!







January 1, 2009

Diagnosis

I was talking about disorders with some people the other day.  Somebody mentioned that there was a disorder for everything... I have to agree.

I don't think that it is wrong at all to give a name to a set of problems.  It isn't even wrong to use a nice psychological name, and tack the word, "disorder" onto the end of the title.  Isn't that what we are all about anyway?  Aren't we all a little marred from the original order? (...therefore, we are in a state of "dis"order...)  To hear another description of our messed up psychological state, try reading Romans 3:10-18.

Well, I wanted to share the name of a disorder with you, and its description.  The name of this disorder is Paranoid Personality Disorder.  Here is the description:

Paranoid personality disorder is listed in the DSM-IV-TR as 301.00 Paranoid Personality Disorder.
According to the DSM-IV-TR, this disorder is characterized by a pervasive distrust and suspicion of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:
  • Suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her
  • Is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates
  • Is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her
  • Reads benign remarks or events as threatening or demeaning.
  • Persistently bears grudges, i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights
  • Perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack

Many disorders are described (and diagnosed) by the behaviors.  Jesus tells us that all behaviors come from the heart, so I believe that it is important to attempt to tack-on a Biblical description for the disorder that drills down to the root of the problem.  In the case of Paranoid Personality Disorder, I would diagnose Pride, complicated with fear and the desire for control.

What say you?