Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama cares deeply for a child--or a fetus--or whatever...

From Jill Stanek. More stuff on Obama's pretty radical views about abortion. This is from 2001, when the Born Alive Infant Protection Act was being debate in the Illinois State Senate:

So basically, Obama trusts that a doctor who was trying to kill a baby would then turn around and give that baby medical care if the baby survived the abortion? Either he is very naive, or he wants to protect abortionists more than he wants to protect babies.

Either way, I don't want him running the country...

Making infanticide safe, legal, and rare...

This video was produced by Students for Life of America. In it, a Planned Parenthood nurse is very clear about one thing: sometimes babies are born alive after abortions. The solution? According to this nurse, “They wouldn’t be able to live on its own. So, eventually, the baby does die.” Eventually.

I can't believe we're about to elect a president who supports letting babies die...

(H/T: Hot Air)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Family makes a difference through foster care and adoption...

This article and "Today" show video tell the story of Daniel and Lori O'Brien. They are 2 ordinary people who decided to open their homes and hearts to 11 foster children. They ended up adopting 7 of them, in addition to their 3 biological children.

They took in all kinds of kids: different races, kids who had been beaten and molested, kids who were deemed "unadoptable." They didn't have a lot of money, or a fancy home, but they did have what every kid needs--lots of love.

For me, there's something to be learned here. I don't know if these folks are Christians, but I do know that if every Christian family was willing to take in a child or two, there soon wouldn't be any kids left who needed homes.

Like I said in last week's podcast, we Christians really do have it in our power to live out the gospel by taking care of the neediest people on earth. Unfortunately, we instead spend countless millions on stuff we don't need, and political campaigns to pass laws that make sure unbelievers "act Christian."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Our trip to the Clipper game...

When I was younger, I went to professional sporting events pretty often. As my amigo Cap can attest, we saw the Lakers and the Kings quite often, and I saw a lot of Dodgers games (and a few Angels games too).

But I haven't gone to many in the last several years, for several reas
ons. There's just a lot of other things to do with my time. And it is REALLY expensive to go to a game, especially when you have to buy tickets for the whole family. (Not to mention the fact that my kids can each eat their own weight in hot dogs, which are also a bit pricey.)

So when I learned that the Clippers were giving away tickets to some of their preseason games, I jumped at the chance. Now, I know it's th
e Clippers, but free tickets are free tickets. Plus, I kinda like the Clippers. So, last Friday, Little MacGyver and I went down to Staples Center to enjoy the NBA action.

He had never been to an NBA game before, so he was a little excited. By "a little" I mean that he talked about it non-stop for several days before the game. And I thought his little head was going to explode with excitement when we got to the arena.

Here he is taking in the inside of the Staples Center for the first time. He's a little overwhelmed by the size of it:

This is the view from our seats:

As you can see, the place is packed with excited fans!

Here's the little man, while his daddy makes him miss part of the game so he can take pictures:

The best part was that after the game, he got to go down to the court and shoot a free throw! It was very exciting for him. He said that he was going to try to make the shot, and help the Clippers win the game. (Unfortunately, the Clippers needed a lot more help than even my amazing boy could give.) Here he is, barely visible as he heaves the ball toward the basket:

The Clippers did lose, but it didn't matter to Little MacGyver, or me. We had a blast, and we'll never forget the experience. There's no better boy to go on adventures with than my terrific son!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

NFTW #019--How Christians use their money; Your false beliefs may be dragging you down!

Christians have an opportunity to end a lot of suffering in the world. But we'll have to change the way we use our money. Will we do it?

Also, do you have false beliefs that get between you and God?

Listen to the podcast here:

Or right-click here to download!

Here is the ABP article I quote from...

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm glad we have an impartial press...

Some people think that the US media has chosen sides in the current presidential campaign. That, of course is insane, because we all know that journalists are completely objective creatures who have no interest in swaying voters.

That's why I was shocked (shocked! I tell you!) to see this picture accompanying an AP story about Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama, complete with halo:

I understand that a lot of people consider Obama a bright, shining light for America. (Although probably not these people.) But I didn't realize that he actually glows...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Alabama voters are also VERY excited about the election...

In 6 Alabama counties, there are more registered voters than people living there.

Most revealing paragraph from the story:
Lucy Kynard, chairwoman of the Perry County Board of Registrars, said she wasn't sure why registration would exceed the Census Bureau's population estimate. She said the county's voter rolls are updated regularly to remove voters who have died or moved their registration elsewhere.
Me neither Lucy. There's no chance that it would be in any candidate's interests to have thousands of fraudulent votes cast for them.

Good thing I believe that our election is on the level. Otherwise, I might come to believe that there was an attempt going on to steal an election with illegitimate votes. But that could never happen in the U.S., right?


Thursday, October 16, 2008

One heartbeat away from the presidency?

Note to Senator Obama--If you are elected president, please don't let Joe Biden handle education policy:

NFTW #018--Campaigning from the pulpit; Having joy during hard times

Some pastors are endorsing presidential candidates from the pulpit. How would Jesus handle this?

How can Peter say that we can “greatly rejoice” during times of suffering and hardship?

Download this episode here.

Listen to it here:

Here's the link to the AP article I mentioned.

1 Peter 1:6-9

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ryle on Christians pleasing God...

"The only righteousness in which we can appear before God is the righteousness of another--even the perfect righteousness of our Substitute and Representative, Jesus Christ the Lord. His work, and not our work, is our only title to heaven...For all this, the Bible distinctly teaches that the holy actions of a sanctified man, although imperfect, are pleasing in the sight of God...

Just as a man is pleased with the efforts of his little child to please him, though it be only by picking a daisy or walking across a room, so is our Father in heaven pleased with the poor performance of His believing children. He looks at the motive, principle, and intention of their actions, and not merely at their quality or quantity."

J.C. Ryle, Holiness (1879)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ryle on the value of large Christian get-togethers...

I cannot withhold a growing suspicion that the great "mass-meetings" of the present day, for the ostensible object of promoting spiritual life, do not tend to promote private home religion, private Bible reading, private prayer, private usefulness and private walking with God.

If they are of any real value, they ought to make people better husbands and wives and sons and daughters and brothers and sisters and masters and mistresses and servants. But I would like to have clear proofs that they do.

I only know it is far easier to be a Christian among singing, praying, sympathizing Christians in a public room, than to be a consistent Christian in a quiet, out-of-the-way, uncongenial home..."

J.C. Ryle, Holiness (1879)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

People in Indianapolis are REALLY excited about the election!

This blog post by a University of Indiana prof talks about the voter registration in Marion county, Indiana (where Indianapolis is located). Seems that a lot of people there are very excited about the upcoming election.

The post is pretty interesting. I recommend that you read it for yourself. But the interesting numbers are these: there are about 650,000 people over the age of 18 in Marion county. Of that 650,000, there are over 677,000 people registered to vote! You did read that right--there are more people registered to vote than there are people living in the county.

Typically, a little over 70% of eligible voters actually register to vote. But in Marion county, they've got about 105% of eligible voters registered!

I'm sure there must be some reasonable explanation. I mean, it's not like one presidential candidate used to work for a group that has been involved in massive amounts of voter fraud.

The new Marion county motto? "Vote early! Vote often!"

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My kids' current musical favorites...

I have always enjoyed all different kinds of music, even if they weren't the popular styles of the day. That's why I love the fact that my kids enjoy listening to music that's different from what most kids are listening to. They get introduced to a lot of unusual music because their father flips channels incessantly on the XM radio in the car. And they have discovered some great music.

I've posted before about my son's love affair with Chris Tomlin's music. Little MacGyver used to listen to Tomlin on my iPod when we were leaving the YMCA. But he's found a new favorite group on my iPod, and it makes my heart proud.

Here's what he's listening to now. And, yes he asks to hear these guys all the time:

Now, my youngest, the girl formerly known as Toddler Houdini, is jumping on the music bandwagon. A couple of weeks ago, I sang a little bit of an old song to her. Then I made the mistake of showing her a video of the song on You Tube. Now, every time she comes into my office, she wants to see and sing this song. She really gets into the "Ba ba ba's" at the end:

As for DisneyGirl, she loves just about everything she hears. Music just makes her happy. Last I checked, this was still one of her favorites:

The music is crazy around our house. Doesn't anyone just watch the Backyardigans anymore?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Behavior modification vs. life transformation, part 2...

Several days ago, I wrote about some of the reasons we see such a large number of kids leave the church once they graduate high school. My basic premise is that kids leave church once they get on their own for one main reason: growing up they were performing the way their parents and church leaders expected, but their hearts were not committed to Christ. In other words, the reality of what was going on in their hearts did not match their outward performance.

Once these kids get out in the "real world" they no longer feel the need to perform the same church duties. But they've learned that the way to be accepted is to perform for others, so they conform their actions to their new friends, classmates, co-workers, whoever. We've probably all seen kids who seemed to be grounded in their faith, but then went crazy once they left the cocoon of home and church. The problem is that their lives aren't really changed at the core of who they are.

That kind of change only comes when a person has an ongoing, personal, grace-based relationship with Jesus. So, the question is: how do we help kids develop that kind of relationship?

First, we need to go back to regular teaching of the gospel. Only the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. I'm afraid we've discounted the supernatural power of God to change us through the simple gospel. No amount of preaching about rule-keeping--whether it's:
  • church attendance,
  • devotional time,
  • tithing,
  • missions trips,
  • student leadership positions,
  • or whatever--
will change lives. Only the gospel (Christ's death for our sins, burial, and resurrection) can do that.

We need our kids to understand their place in God's family. They need to know that God is at work in them, to will and act according to His good purpose. They need to know that they've been given the Holy Spirit as God's promise that He will complete His work in them.

Why do they need to know this? Well, because it's true for one thing. Also, these teachings will help them get their identity from Christ, from what God has done and is doing in them. Otherwise, they'll get their identity from what other people think of them.

Second, we need to realize that large groups (of kids or adults) aren't designed for spiritual growth. It's way too easy for people to hide in groups, or go along with the crowd looking spiritual, without ever really experiencing grace-full growth.

Real edification happens when smaller groups of people commit to each other. For kids that begins when the parents commit to praying for their children and modeling a life dependent on Jesus. In the larger church, each of us must be committed to doing what we can to shepherd the little ones in our midst. Again, not teaching them to keep the rules, but helping them see Christian life as trusting and resting in Christ's work, and learning our true identity from Him.

What's clear to me is that doing this would require major changes in most traditional churches. In many churches, you can go for weeks, months, even years without hearing what the gospel means in the life of the believer. But Christians need to hear the gospel more than they need another "7 keys to having great hair" sermon.

Also, the "bigger is better" mentality doesn't lead to spiritual growth. You may get crowds, but you can't encourage real growth. Smaller groups of people, invested in each other are key to this working.

Last, notice how little I've said about church leaders, the pastor or youth minister. Raising up kids who are filled with God's grace and Spirit is the responsibility first of the parents, then of other adults and kids who are willing to invest time and prayer in the people around them. The pastor/youth leader has a place, but it's not primary.

Any thoughts?

If you got this far, you deserve this. I'm really starting to love this song. Great lyrics...

NFTW #017--What are we spending our money ?; What is God keeping for us?

We need to pray for believers in India.

A new survey causes me to ask: What should we be spending our money on?

Also, What does God keep for us?

Listen here:

Right-click here to download this podcast!

Here is the story on the trouble in India.

This is the story of the survey on what churches are raising money for.