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« January 2008 | Main | March 2008 »

February 25, 2008

The Point Radio: Faithful or Frazzled

If you slow down the pace of your life, what's the worst that can happen?...

Click play above to listen.

For more great ideas about resisting busyness, check out Valorie Burton's How Did I Get So Busy?: The 28-Day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule, and Reconnect with What Matters Most.

February 22, 2008

Daily roundup

Booksigning rescheduled

For our Washington-area readers, Lori's booksigning, which had to be postponed due to bad weather, has been rescheduled for March 18. Details here.

Give Honor When Honor is Owed

Heroes_pic_2 Paul tells us to do this in Romans 13:7, and our church did just that.

Our pastor has been doing a series on "Heroes" (the image at right is from the church's ad campaign) and asked the congregation to invite people who are involved in fire protection, law enforcement, military, etc., to our services. Two Sundays ago he gave a message about the heroes that worked in these fields in NYC during 9/11. People came up to them, shook their hands and wanted to have a picture taken with them. Pastor Jeff wondered if this was still happening in other places today. He went on to describe how heroes go into dangerous situations while others are trying to escape, exactly what happened on 9/11.

At the end of the service he asked anyone in attendance that worked in these areas to come up front. In the service my wife and I attended, there were about 15 people plus a slide of someone from our church currently serving in Iraq. Each person gave their name and briefly told how they served. We had heroes that served from the Vietnam War to the current Iraq war, someone from the Sheriff’s office and many others. The entire congregation rose and gave them a long standing ovation and our pastor prayed for them. It was a moving moment. I am proud of our church for doing this.

These individuals as well as others that serve in these capacities are owed our honor. They find themselves many times in dangerous situations but keep their focus on their mission. They don’t do it for fame or fortune as many are only known by their friends and family -- or if they die we hear or read about them in the news. They are willing to sacrifice so that you and I are safe in our homes and free in our country. Many of them make the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.

Continue reading "Give Honor When Honor is Owed" »

Aren’t the Europeans supposed to be more sophisticated than the Americans?

Blondeambition I'm starting to wonder about that.

(Image © Millennium Films)

His Mysterious Ways

I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider this story from the February 1998 Reader’s Digest: a couple “took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells…” Picture them before Christ at the great Day of Judgment: “Look, Lord. See my shells.” This is a tragedy. (Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper)

Too many people live life without a passion for God and a wholehearted purpose of obeying His voice. These people waste their lives. God may ask you to lay down dreams. He might ask you to give up what you think you need most. He is committed to tearing down anything that seeks to provide security outside of Himself. Francine Rivers wasted the first four decades of her life at the wrong altar:

I believe we will serve someone in this life. For the first 38 years of my life, it was myself… I used to believe the purpose in life is to find happiness. I don’t believe that anymore. I believe we are all given gifts from the Father, and that our purpose is to offer them to Him. He knows how He wants us to use them. (Epilogue, Redeeming Love)

Let us respond to Christ’s call to lay down our will as Paul did: “Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8).

Continue reading "His Mysterious Ways" »

Whose Bootstraps?

Via Rod Dreher.

The Christian Science Monitor recently ran an interview with Adam Shepard, who after his 2006 graduation from Merrimack College

. . . intentionally left his parents' home to test the vivacity of the American Dream. His goal: to have a furnished apartment, a car, and $2,500 in savings within a year.              

To make his quest even more challenging, he decided not to use any of his previous contacts or mention his education.

Shepard didn't need the full year: "Ten months into the experiment, he decided to quit after learning of an illness in his family. But by then he had moved into an apartment, bought a pickup truck, and had saved close to $5,000."

In the interview, Shepard said that not only did he not need his college education during his "quest," but that he thinks that he was "disadvantaged, because my thinking  . . . was inside of a box." For him, the difference between making and not is "the attitude that I take in." This "attitude" is so powerful that it wouldn't have made a difference if he had had "child-care payments or been required to report to a probation officer."

Maybe. While I believe in and have benefited from the "American Dream," that dream has a dark side: we can convince ourselves that our success is the product of our hard work and perseverance, i.e., our virtues, and that other people's failure is the result of their vices or weaknesses.

Continue reading "Whose Bootstraps?" »

Man Post: Shiver Me Shuriken!

Ninja12 Facebook is good for something after all! The Ninja-Pirate Alliance describes itself as the promoter of peace between ninjas and pirates:

As we all know, violence between ninjas and pirates is at an all time high. It is reminiscent of early 1990's gang violence in Los Angeles. We need to stop the killing, and promote healing. That's where you come in. That's where you can help make a difference.

So whether you're a ninja or a pirate, or just a supporter of a lasting peace between these two warring factions, this group is for you.

Benjamin Murphy, however, disagrees, at NPA's Wall:

I'm sorry but the ninja / pirate alliance needs to end. The hatred ninjas (in the interest of full disclosure i am a ninja) have for pirates is what keeps the spirit of the ninja alive. ... The ninja / pirate rivaly is essential to our mutual exsistance. So pick a side, disband this group, and watch your back (if you're a pirate)

I think B-Murph makes a pretty good point that I'll have to consider. In the meantime, though, I'm definitely joining the Ninja-Pirate Alliance. After all, why choose between sabre and throwing star, when you can enjoy BOTH??

(Image © HowStuffWorks)

Misplaced priorities?

From Reuters, via UN Wire:

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed his predecessor's line on cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad on Wednesday, saying free speech should respect religious sensitivities.

"The Secretary-General strongly believes that freedom of expression should be exercised responsibly and in a way that respects all religious beliefs," his spokeswoman Marie Okabe told reporters.

I'm all for respecting religion, believe me. But considering that people got killed over those cartoons, would it have been too much for the Secretary-General to mention that he wasn't in favor of that sort of thing either?

The Point Radio: Marriage Reboot

What do you do when your marriage is flashing an "error" message?...

Click play above to listen.

You can find out more by reading Brenda Jank's "Rest, Renew, Retreat" in Marriage Partnership.

February 21, 2008

Daily roundup

Welcome a new blogger!

Please join us in welcoming Angelise Anderson, our current BreakPoint intern, to The Point! You can read all about Angelise on our bio page.

Sex Every Day

(Ed. note: Proceed at your own risk!)

A church in Tampa, Florida, surely made men interested in church again and took wives by surprise. The Relevant Church is not only discussing sex, it's also telling everyone to do their homework.

The pastor issued a 30-day sex challenge where married couples are urged to have sex every day for 30 days and single men and women are urged to abstain from it. The pastor said, "We want to help couples both married and single to really refocus their sex lives around what God’s principles are.” The goal is, for both married couples and singles, to "revolutionize their relationships."

I think this is a good attempt to develop strong marriages and pure single men and women. Although the challenge may be tough for some, for others the 30-day homework may be satisfying.

Social Security Resurrects the Dead

In an article today on Foxnews.com, there is a story about a woman being declared dead by Social Security because of an error. For the last eight years she has had to keep proving that she isn't. The IRS believed that she was dead and wouldn't give her the refund owed her. Curiously, though, they did keep accepting the money taken out of her paycheck for the taxes.

So how does one resolve this issue? Social Security has to resurrect you from the dead. No, they don't say "Laura, come out" like Jesus did with Lazarus. They deleted her death record. But alas, Social Security can't do it right. Why? The IRS still claims Laura is dead. I guess they will have to resurrect her again.

Lesson to be learned: When the government says you're dead, you're dead.

Social Security has had a lot of practice in resurrecting people, though. The article states that they have done this for 23,000 people in the last 2 years.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, What Did the Devil Look Like After All?

Road_to_cana Anne Rice, the famed vampire novelist turned Christian, has just released her second in the Jesus chronicles: The Road to Cana. The first in the series generated some controversy when Rice made pre-adolescent Jesus accidentally kill someone, then resurrect him, as well as making clay pigeons come to life.

Now, in Cana, she's portraying Satan, the 40-day-tempter, as a mirror image of Christ, but in kingly attire.

Rice offered her rationale to WORLD Magazine (need subscription to view full article):

The temptation had to be complex, intense, something really challenging from the point of view of the Devil. Maybe that was my guiding principle: What would amount, in Satan's mind, to a real substantive temptation? His being "the double" would be seen by Satan as a powerful and potentially confusing trick.

We know that Satan frequently disguised himself as an angel of light. And we know that one of his main tactics was to tempt Christ with the kingdoms of the world.

But even with all that, is Rice entering dangerous territory or generating healthy, and perhaps right, curiosity in between the lines of Matthew's brief account?

Child Prodigy

And to think this girl grew up in an atheistic home!

’Creative’ math (or, Would you like fries with that?)

My dad passed along an interesting article about Washington-area parents frustrated by their children's math curriculum.

The program de-emphasizes memorization and drills and pushes students to use more creative ways to find answers, such as drawing pictures, playing games and using objects. Prince William officials say "Investigations," which cost the county more than $1 million, teaches students why an answer is correct, prepares them for algebraic concepts on the SAT and increases passing rates on state exams.

Carol Knight, Prince William's math supervisor, said that when children break down numbers into multiples of 10 and 100, their understanding of place value and "number sense" increases.

Confession time: I've been doing math this way in my head for years. And it's not new. Frank Gilbreth used the method, or something very similar, in the early 1900s to teach his children to add quickly in their heads, as later recounted by two of those children in Cheaper by the Dozen. (Note: Any resemblance between the Gilbreth siblings' classic book and the recent film adaptation is purely coincidental.) I read about it there and, not being terribly quick at math -- and that's my submission for the Understatement of the Year Award -- adapted it for my own use, with satisfactory results.

But as we grammar freaks always say, you gotta know the rules before you can break 'em, or even before you can use tricks and shortcuts. I don't think it's possible for most of us to "learn math in a deeper way" until we've spent our share of time in the shallow end, so to speak, of drills and memorization. As for not teaching the times tables (the drawing-and-counting alternative the teachers are doing is explained more clearly in the print version of the paper), that's just insane.

Continue reading "’Creative’ math (or, Would you like fries with that?)" »

Bob Geldof on Bush and Africa

I get so tired of all the negative things people have to say about President Bush, so it was nice to read something positive for a change. Bob Geldof praises Bush for what he's done in Africa, more than any other American president, and he chides the news media for not reporting on it.

I've been following the president's visit to Africa closely since Africa is close to my heart. In fact, I'm headed back to West Africa in a couple of months. (On another note, I'm already wondering how many questions I'll get about Sen. Obama's run for the White House, assuming he's the clear Democratic choice by then. Should be interesting!)

The Point Radio: A Red Light for the Red Light District

Conservative in Amsterdam? It hardly sounds true in a country notoriously liberal....

Click play above to listen.

For more on the situation in the Netherlands, see Geraldine Baum's article "Anything Goes is Going" in the Baltimore Sun.

February 20, 2008

Daily roundup

At the Very Least, the False Prophet

Ipoddead For our dispensationalist friends, the list of possible Antichrists is quite long. In my lifetime alone, Pope Paul VI, Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon, Kurt Waldheim and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (?) have been named as possible candidates for the job.

While I'm not a dispensationalist, I'd like to add a name to the list: Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple.

Yesterday, my 15-month-old iPod Nano died. I didn't use it nearly as much as most iPod owners. I mostly connected it to my receiver using an Onkyo dock and listened to higher-quality downloads from places like Magnatune.

Apparently all that Middle Eastern music and Scandinavian folk cello was too much for Jobs' creation to take.

Continue reading "At the Very Least, the False Prophet" »

What about those who have never heard the Gospel?

Scripture is clear about the judgment of those who have heard the gospel. But what about those who have never heard it before they die? Are they eternally condemned, or does divine mercy grant another destiny to them?

Chuck Colson seems inclined toward the latter, as suggested in chapter 13 of his new book, The Faith:

Over the years, in many Christian communities, devoted teachers and theologians have taught that those who have not heard the message of Jesus Christ will be held accountable for the fullest extent of their knowledge and genuineness with which they seek to know God.

Avery Cardinal Dulles would seem to agree. In "Who Can Be Saved," Cardinal Dulles writes,

Adherents of other religions can be saved if, with the help of grace, they sincerely seek God and strive to do his will. Even atheists can be saved if they worship God under some other name and place their lives at the service of truth and justice. God’s saving grace, channeled through Christ the one Mediator, leaves no one unassisted.

And lastly, Rick Warren weighs in here in this interview with Sean Hannity.

What are your views about those “who have never heard?”

A name that will live in infamy


Castro may now have bowed out, but his dictatorship, and Cuban Communism, are firmly in place. People ask: To whom will the island “transition”? Castro’s brother, Raúl? Ideally, the island would transition to democracy: to the Cuban people themselves. But a say in their own destiny does not seem in the offing anytime soon for the Cuban people.

Fidel Castro, who has sent so many others to premature graves, will die in bed. He will also die in power, in the hands of his men. And his name is one of the most famous in the world. The names of his political prisoners are virtually unknown — although President Bush did his best last year when he gave one such prisoner, Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. May names such as Biscet’s shine in the future, and may Castro’s molder in the dust.

The Editors, "The Beast of Havana," National Review Online

Victorians, they ain’t

BeerYou know that you're in deep, debauched waters when human beings trade embarassment for bemusement, or even amusement, when it comes to dangerous behavior. I guess it takes the sting out of it all, thumbing your nose at all kinds of authority. And then there's the feeling of youthful invincibility. Next up: cliff diving, sans parachute? Be advised of a bit of foul language, but that won't be what really leaves you perplexed. Read all about it here.

All Hail the Mighty Hallmark Holiday

Valentine6 The mighty Hallmark holiday...coming to a calendar near you! America is still reeling from the most recent expression of commercial love: Valentine's Day. But if you missed out, don't worry. Another holiday is sure to be just around the corner.

Do I sound like a modern-day Scrooge of sorts? Perhaps I am. But my dislike for certain holidays, such as Valentine's Day, has little to do with resenting the opportunity to tell my husband, my children, my parents, my dog, just how much I love them. Heck, I can do that any day of the year. Rather, I wrestle with the very notion that society allows itself to be guided by the invisible hand of commerce into declaring that love on a specific day of the year.

Yes, it's great to have a day set aside every year when our significant others shower us with love-gifts. But it's so much more meaningful to me when that bouquet of roses arrives on a bleary Monday morning in January than on the assigned day-of-love. 

Nancy Gibbs at Time Magazine makes no bones about stating her opinion on commercial holidays, Valentine's Day in particular, in her article "A Day to Forget." Delving into the depths of commercial profits, Gibbs illuminates just how massive the holiday really is:

Continue reading "All Hail the Mighty Hallmark Holiday" »

Fake Christians?

According to Charles Barkley, I'm a "fake Christian." How about you?

(Ed. note: At the very end of this video are some images -- links to other videos -- with sexual content. Thanks to one of our readers for alerting us to this.)

Good News for the Modest

Good news for the modest of Montgomery County in the People's Republic of Maryland (as Dave the Swede refers to it): Concerned citizens have succeeded in gathering more than 29,000 signatures (25,000 were needed) in order to place on the November ballot an initiative that would keep public restrooms and showers male only and female only. The Montgomery County Council passed a lame-brained law last November that prohibits discrimination based on "gender identity." The law would allow men who feel like women to use women's restrooms, and women who feel like men to use men's restrooms.

Signature gathering wasn't easy. I spoke today with Theresa Rickman, a leader with Citizens for a Responsible Government. She says their volunteers were constantly harassed and intimidated at signature collection sites. At grocery stores, shopping centers, and malls, opponents of the initiative (including Dana Beyer, a "transgendered" policy adviser to Montgomery County Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenberg--in other words, a county employee) shouted at volunteers to "shut up" and disrupted the collection of signatures. They got volunteers thrown off mall property by complaining to mall managers. Twice, police had to be summoned by store managers to stop transgendered gangs from harassing people attempting to sign the petitions.

Citizens for a Responsible Government released a press release today announcing they are considering filing a civil rights lawsuit because of the extent of the harassment. Such tactics "are commonly used by totalitarian governments. There is no place for this in Montgomery County," attorney John Garza said. "This undemocratic conduct is especially reprehensible when it is coming from a senior-level employee of the Council."

When I stopped at a local Montgomery County Giant a few days ago, a Muslim, a Jew, and a Catholic priest were working together to gather signatures (I know, it sounds like a bad joke). Virtually everyone wants this initiative passed. Including me. God-given modesty should not take a back seat to radical political agendas and efforts to normalize Gender Identity Disorder.

Thought for the day

. . . The fact that Ecclesiastes is in the Bible does two things for me. First, it gives me confidence that the rest of the Bible is true. If Christianity were a construct of the human mind, you wouldn't find this stuff in its portfolio, that's for sure. What propaganda features differing views? Who includes the opposing arguments in their literature, and even makes them look good? And yet the Bible declares life meaningless, it shows bad people having a good time and good people having a miserable time. The hero of the whole book dies a brutal death in the end, for heaven's sake, and then He calls His followers to come and die with Him! Well, whoopee! Where do I sign up? I'm sorry, but to all those who say someone made up Christianity, I have to say, based on what? Certainly nothing in I know of in human nature.

Secondly, it makes me look more deeply into things. Maybe the reason following Christ doesn't magically make this life a party is because there is something more than this life to consider. And maybe Solomon was so old and spent by the time he finally got to it that he couldn't really enjoy what was enjoyable about what he found. And maybe, just maybe, the reason God put his story there was for us to benefit from his life's search, take his word for it, and start living where he left off.

John Fischer, "The Improbable Truth"

The Point Radio: Prime-Time Fasting

It may be Lent, but for millions of Americans, they've already given up what's most important to them....

Click play above to listen.

Want some more ideas on reclaiming your time for Christ?

Continue reading "The Point Radio: Prime-Time Fasting" »

February 19, 2008

Quote for the day

Helmut Thielicke in The Waiting Father as quoted in Charles Drew's A Public Faith:

What tremendous pressures there must have been within [Christ] to drive him to hectic, nervous, explosive activity! He sees . . . as no one else ever sees, with an infinite and awful nearness . . . the agony of the dying man, the prisoner's torment, the anguish of the wounded conscience, injustice, terror, dread, and beastliness. . . .Must he not begin immediately to set the fire burning, to win people, to work out strategic plans . . . to work . . . furiously . . . before the night comes when no man can work? That's what we would imagine the earthly life of the Son of God to be like, if were to think of him in human terms. . . . But how utterly different was the actual life of Jesus! Though the burden of the whole world lay heavy on his shoulders . . . he has time to stop and talk to the individual. . . . By being obedient in his little corner of the highly provincial precincts of Nazareth and Bethelehem he allows himself to be fitted into a great mosaic whose master is God. . . . And that . . . is why peace and not unrest goes out from him. For God's faithfulness already spans the world like a rainbow: he does not need to build it; he needs only to walk beneath it.

Church Attendance and Presidents, part deux

Remember this? Well, now I have some data! I could make many comments here, but allow me simply to amplifiy one point.

I get the frustration with inefficiency in churches (skimmers: the article points out that senior leaders don't attend their local churches because they get frustrated with how they're run). But I have to laugh at myself because God uses what appears to me to be some of the most inefficient methods known to man to get stuff done. Parking Moses in the desert for 40 years, allowing faithful leaders like Daniel to spend their entire lives in captivity, letting David get hunted by his own king, etc. And good ole apostle Paul would sympathize, too, but for different reasons. Look at the moral atrocities found in the early church--sex, lawsuits, divisions, etc.

No, sir, not efficient at all.

Dating Your Doctor

Last week the hype of Valentine's Day had us all discussing the ins and outs of the relationship world. But here's one "relationship" I'm sure you weren't contemplating: the doctor/patient relationship.

Laughing yet? Well, according to this CNN piece you certainly won't be laughing if/when your doctor "breaks up" with you. And apparently this isn't the only parallel the doctor/patient relationship has with the more common romantic variety.

In the Shadow of the Moon

If you’re interested in a first rate documentary about the Apollo program, you’ll want to check out In the Shadow of the Moon (2007). Surviving astronauts describe their close encounters with the moon; like Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11) in this reflection on the first lunar landing:

“Here we were, on the surface, and I knew this is what people were watching. More people were watching us than had ever watched two humans being before in history, and yet we're further away!”

Several astronauts, now in their late 70’s, openly describe how the experience affected them spiritually. The Nicoll-meter gives it four stars!

All The Bad Stuff Going On in The World

...can be found here.

Actually, if this really is all the terrorist activity going on in the world right now, then, all things considered, I'm feeling pretty good. "Al-Qaeda??? Pffft ... they're wimps! Look at the Global Incident Map -- all they can manage right now is a flaming bag left on General Musharraf's front porch. Ooops ... he stomped it out."

Two things about the Global Incident Map amuse me:

First, nearly everything in the United States is a "bomb threat." As I look at the map right now, there are about 25 showing. Well, in fact, the police are probably dealing with about 1,025 bomb threats right now. Ain't nothing but a thang.

Secondly, Russia is currently showing a grand total of zero incidents. Zero. Ahem. Granted, Vladdy P is bad to the bone, but methinks press control may have a wee bit to do with that as well.

Attention aspiring Hollywood types

Hollywoodsignaddress Barbara Nicolosi, co-founder of Act One, sends word that their Summer Screenwriting Program and Summer Entertainment Executive Program are now accepting applications. Click here to learn more about these programs and how to get involved.

No Place to Hide

Bathroom Remember all those movies in which a man and a woman are having an argument at the office--and one of them runs into the restroom to end the argument? If this law, which we lucky Montgomery Countyites have just had imposed on us, spreads across the country, film writers will have to come up with new plot twists.

The Point Radio: Film Vertigo

Some viewers of the movie Cloverfield have been sickened -- literally....

Click play above to listen.

Here are a couple of books you can use to learn more about exercising spiritual discernment in movies:

Continue reading "The Point Radio: Film Vertigo" »

February 18, 2008

This is not rocket science, people

Frustrated by what she perceives as the media's not taking teen pregnancy seriously enough, Laura Sessions Stepp arrives at an earthshaking conclusion.

Unfortunately, a lot of young people think of sex, pregnancy and babies as separate items. Heck, some older people do, too.

No, really??

I don't mean to make fun of Stepp. Honest, I don't. (Even though a quick search of this blog reveals that I seem to have done it before.) I respect and appreciate a lot of the work she's done, particularly her book Unhooked. But how can it possibly be news to someone who's been writing on this subject for so long that people tend to separate sex and babies, when that was the whole point of the contraception revolution?

When you've been teaching people something for decades, it shouldn't be a shock when they learn it.

Defining the Gospel

If you were asked, “What is the Gospel,” how would you answer? Pause on that for a moment.

Here are my thoughts. What are yours?

’Massacre porn’

In a radio interview from last week, Mark Steyn talks about what the media has done to help encourage possible copycat killers. Click here for the transcript.

Christian Writer Frederick Buechner’s Website Dedicated

Buechner Christianity Today has a story about a new website at King College in Bristol, Tenn., dedicated to the work of Frederick Buechner. Buechner, now in his early eighties, has a refreshingly real approach in his writings to life and Christianity. His sermons, available in little collections, are particularly insightful. Check out the site here.

Creative Concern

Rwandan_healing_quilt Artists deal in the world of imagination, of what-ifs. It isn't surprising to me then that so many see in their what-ifs a possibility of a better world. I've recently run across a few creative examples and wanted to share them with you. These people remind us to be creative in the gifts God has given, and put them to a good use.

Marge Malwitz is an artist who works in both collage and fabrics. She has used her art in mission around the world, but most recently in a trip with World Relief to Rwanda. There she used four quilts she had created to help facilitate workshops on reconciliation. The quilts are each stunning and tell in their symbolic way about a path toward letting go of the pain and moving toward freedom.

The next group, I just happened upon while searching the Internet. This group is called Rosa Loves and they have created a non-profit that sells artistic t-shirts. Each t-shirt relates back to a story of a person or family in need. The proceeds from the t-shirts go to helping that person. When the need is met, the t-shirt goes off the market. In a world that loves to use t-shirts to display raunchy messages, what an example of being creatively counter-cultural for a good cause. To read some of the stories or buy a t-shirt, go to www.rosaloves.org. Hopefully people will be able to submit their own designs and causes soon.

I love seeing people use the work of their hands for good. What examples of creative concern have you seen lately?

Thought for the day

The joy which answers to prayer give, cannot be described; and the impetus which they afford to the spiritual life is exceedingly great. The experience of this happiness I desire for all my Christian readers. If you believe indeed in the Lord Jesus for the salvation of your soul, if you walk uprightly and do not regard iniquity in your heart, if you continue to wait patiently, and believingly upon God; then answers will surely be given to your prayers. You may not be called upon to serve the Lord in the way the writer does, and therefore may never have answers to prayer respecting such things as are recorded here; but, in your various circumstances, your family, your business, your profession, your church position, your labour for the Lord, etc., you may have answers as distinct as any here recorded.

George Mueller, Answers to Prayer (Moody Classics edition, compiled by A. E. C. Brooks)

President’s Day Lincoln Links

Lincoln1 In light of President's Day, there was a good article recently in World Magazine by Marvin Olasky about the spiritual journey of Abraham Lincoln. Olasky does a good job showing that Lincoln's journey was far more complex than many of us assume. He says:

In a campaign year when reporters often ask candidates for yes-or-no answers concerning their religious beliefs, there is something to learn from Abraham Lincoln's long and winding road to God. Apart from the spin—proclamations that Lincoln was a Christian from youth, or an atheist even during his last year—the fact pattern is more complex.

Read the full article here.

These musings on Lincoln reminded me of something I'd read in one of John Piper's books about how Lincoln's own difficult marriage, and his perseverance through it, helped him navigate through an equally grim period when he served as husband of the state. The JollyBlogger blogged about it quite a while ago here. Take a look.

The Point Radio: My Genome

Would you pay $1000 to know the future? The better question is, should you?...

Click play above to listen.

For more on this new trend, see Thomas Goetz's article in Wired Magazine, “23 and Me Will Decode Your DNA for $1000.”

February 15, 2008

Re: Hardened to Violence

Well, Gina, you're hardly alone. It's becoming a monthly event. 

But, whatever anyone might think, what we need to remember is that we certainly shouldn't protect ourselves. Nope; that's "extreme." We should just keep taking it. We should continue watching the murder of neighbors and families, and hope that, over time, we see fewer "senseless tragedies" that "no one could have predicted" thanks to the efforts of psychiatry and "awareness of our surroundings."

Whatever one thinks, one absolutely should not call for effectively increasing personal security. Only cowboy hero wannabes talk like that. Not serious people.

When the truth calls for unconventional measures, after all, it's always best to pooh-pooh the truth. Nothing should ever prevent our resolute dedication to convention.

Daily roundup

Hardened to violence

Illinois I'm ashamed to say that my first thought upon hearing about the Northern Illinois University shootings was, "Oh, again?" We may grow hardened to these stories, but to the people living through them, they're all too fresh and new and painfully real. Let's be sure to keep them in our prayers.

Image © AP

Vulgar Award 2/15/08

Fonda Today's awardee is an easy one. Jane Fonda gets it for her visit to the Today Show yesterday, for casually saying a vulgar word as if it was part of her normal vocabulary.

Meredith Vieira came in a close second. If you view the video, she appears to be stargazing and doesn't react to what Jane says at all.

You can read about it here. (Note: mature themes.)

For Us Gray Hairs

My morning reading brought me to a passage that speaks to the desire of every parent and grandparent who loves the Lord to pass on our faith to the generations which follow us:   

Psalm 71:17-18   

O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.