Saturday, 19 August 2017

A LETTER FROM GOD

Good morning,

As you got up I watched and hoped you would talk to me. Just a few words, such as thanking me for something good in your life yesterday or last week would do.

But I noticed you were busy selecting the right clothes for work. I waited again to hear from you. When you ran around the house collecting papers, I knew there would be a few minutes to stop and say hello, but you never slowed down.

I wanted to tell you that I could help you accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible if you would just spend some of each day with me. At one point, you waited fifteen minutes in a chair with nothing to do. I waited to hear from you.

Then I saw you spring to your feet; I thought you wanted to talk to me, but you ran to the phone and called a friend. I watched as off to work you went and waited patiently all day long to hear from you. With all your activities you were too busy to talk with me.

I noticed at lunch you looked around; maybe you just felt embarrassed to talk to me. You glanced three tables over and noticed some of your friends talking to me before they ate, but you wouldn't.

There was still more time left, and I hoped that we would talk. You went home and had many things to do. After they were done, you turned on the TV; just about anything goes there and you spend many hours watching. I waited as you continued watching TV and ate your meal but again you wouldn't talk to me.

At bedtime you were totally tired. After you said good night to your family you plopped into bed and fell asleep. I had so much wanted to be part of your day. We could have had so much fun and accomplished so much together.

I love you so much that I wait every day for a thought, prayer or thanks. Well, maybe tomorrow! I'll be waiting.

Your Friend,

God

Scars for Life


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Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

His mother in the house was looking out the window saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him.

From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs.
That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go.

A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator. Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his mother's fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn't let go." You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, or anything quite so dramatic. But the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go.

In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you. The Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way.

But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril - and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins - and if you have the scars of His love on your arms be very, very grateful. He did not and will not - let you go.

- Unknown

Friday, 11 December 2015

The Cultural Battle for Human Dignity | Evangelicals for Life


EFL Button

Clear your schedules January 21–22, 2016, because Focus on the Family and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.

The event will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Evangelicals from across the country will gather to hear from leading speakers, such as David Platt, Russell Moore, Jim Daly, Kelly Rosati, and others—to be equipped and encouraged to become a voice for life! The event will also be simulcast for FREE so individuals, churches, and organizations from coast-to-coast and around the world can take part.

Speakers will encourage evangelicals to engage the culture on issues of abortion and end-of-life decisions, and the event will affirm the evangelical belief in the sanctity of life, that every life matters to God and is created in His image.

For more information, visit http://evangelicals.life/.


Readers of this blog will receive 15% off their registration by using the code FocusLife.





Russell Moore will be speaking at Evangelicals for Life. He is President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is a theologian, ethicist, frequent cultural commentator, and author of several books. In the guest post below, he speaks to the importance of hosting the conference in the midst of the cultural battle for human dignity.


Why We’re Hosting the Evangelicals For Life Conference

By Russell Moore

As many Christians sat at their computer and watched a casual dinner conversation over the price of dismembered children, a lot of us probably thought: “But what can I do about this?” This is a question I hear often from pro-life evangelicals. Many Christians are utterly convinced in their heart of the personhood and dignity of the unborn, yet don’t know how to faithfully effectively advocate for life.

It’s important to understand that the cultural battle for human dignity doesn’t begin on Capitol Hill or on CNN. It begins in your family, in your local church, and in your neighborhood. In fact, many of the people we know most vulnerable to the abortionist’s rhetoric are not actually pro-choice, they’re just scared, scared to scandalize a church with their secret. The false gospel of the abortion clinic, which says, “We can make all your trouble go away for you,” is overwhelmingly seductive.

What these people need more than a lesson in embryonic development is to have the Gospel preached to their conscience. This means much more than simply offering “The Romans Road” or prompting a sinner’s prayer; it means speaking directly with the message of Jesus’ complete sovereignty of the universe, his righteous indignation on the murder of the unborn, and most importantly, his complete absorption of God’s wrath on the cross, and his invitation to mercy and fellowship and the imputed righteousness of the Son of God.

The Gospel disarms the appeal of the abortion clinic because it offers truth with love, judgment with mercy, and righteousness with grace. The consciences around us don’t believe what they’re telling themselves. They’re scared and confused. Shine a light on their conscience, and then present the Gospel of reconciliation.

Moreover, the pro-life movement has set an example worthy of our imitation when it comes to practical, holistic mercy ministry. For over 40 years since Roe v. Wade, those committed to defending unborn life have done much more than preach and teach; they have welcomed the scared, the vulnerable, and the wounded and loved them. This has looked like the establishment of crisis pregnancy centers all around cities. It has looked like adoption advocacy and building a culture of adoption in local churches. It’s true that our pro-life witness has a long way to go, but we do not, thankfully, conform to the caricature that says we believe life “begins at conception and ends at birth.”

FOTF-EFL 

Questions like these are why I am excited to be a part of the Evangelicals For Life Conference in January. This conference exists to help evangelicals articulate a truly Christian doctrine on the dignity of all human life. Being pro-life, after all, means much more than being against abortion on demand; it means believing in the dignity of the elderly and infirm, and advocating for compassion and inclusion of the poor, the orphan, and the widow. No doctrine of human dignity that fails to speak to these cases is fully “pro-life.”

Sometimes Christians are encouraged to leave issues like this behind. Sometimes the fight for human dignity is portrayed as “culture war” baggage. For those of us that watched an executive from Planned Parenthood talk about the most valuable anatomy of dead children, we know this to be false. The stakes for human life and human dignity could not be higher, and the plight of those ignored by the world does not go unnoticed by our heavenly Father.

We have a Gospel word to speak to the abortionist and the unborn, to the orphan and those not considering adoption. Will you join me in Washington, on January 21-22, as we seek to speak this word?

This article was adapted from the original article posted on Russell Moore's website.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Jesus, Jihad and Peace



Dr. Michael Youssef is, as he writes in the preface, a man who “have had much firsthand experience with Islamic practices and thought processes.” He was born in the Middle East (Egypt), spent his early years in the culture of the Middle East, and has since visited that part of the world frequently. As the founding pastor of The Church of The Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia and the founder and President of Leading The Way, a worldwide ministry, Dr. Michael Youssef is committed to the onerous task of changing the world, and leading the way for people living in spiritual darkness to discover the light of Christ.

With his background and vast knowledge, he is an authority on the Middle East issues confronting the world, especially on matters pertaining to Christianity. As such, his latest book Jesus, Jihad and Peace: What Does Bible Prophecy Say About World Events Today? is both compelling and authoritative. It is a wake-up call which should be read not only by Christians but everyone who is concerned with the Middle East problem.

The book is insightful, and the author treads cautiously as he explains the major points of differences among three major religions of the world – Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Dr Youssef digs deep as he explains why the Middle East is in such turmoil today in the light of the Scripture. There is much in the book for all serious readers and contains the following chapters:
-Author’s Preface
-Introduction: A Wake-Up Call
-The Goal of World Domination
-Ignored Warnings
-The Prophet and the Koran
-Are Allah and Jehovah the Same God?
-What Does Islam Teach About the End Times?
-Two Different Prescriptions for Life
-What Is Jihad?
-The Global Caliphate
-All Roads Lead to Israel
-The Spreading Wildfire
-A Spiritual Battle
-God’s Peace Treaty
-Notes

If you are concerned about the present as much as its implications for the future, this book is a must-read for all. I received an advanced reader’s copy from Worthy Publishing in exchange for honest review.
 

Book Details:
ISBN 9781617953682
Trade Paper
List Price: $15.99
Trim Size: 5.375”x 8”
256 pages
Publication Date: February 17, 2015
Amazon Buy Link
Publisher Link

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

GOOD MUSIC BRIGHTER CHILDREN

Good Music Brighter Children Good Music Brighter Children  

Good Music Brighter Children is written for parents, educators or anyone who wants to build a bigger, better brain using music. Scientific studies indicate that children introduced to classical music at a young age read earlier and perform better on achievement tests. Adults can also revive tired brain cells using music. This book gives you a step-by-step program that any parent or individual can follow. You’ll discover how introducing your children to good music can accelerate language development, improve math and science skills, enhance physical coordination, strengthen memory and reading retention, and benefit children with learning disabilities. Discover how to choose an instrument and music teacher for your child; how to get your kids to practice and how character traits such as confidence, responsibility, creativity and teamwork are taught when learning a musical instrument. Learn how to introduce your child to the music community and how to appreciate all kinds of music. Last, if you want to advocate for music in your schools, this book gives the ammunition and data to do so. Also includes a 35-page Resource Section on the best music, books, and DVDs for kids.


Sharlene Author Sharlene Habermeyer:

Sharlene Habermeyer, MA has spent over twenty-five years researching the effects of music in the brain development of children. She is passionate about how people of all ages learn and how music is a catalyst for learning. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Art from Utah State University and a Masters degree in Education from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California.   In 1999, she started the Palos Verdes Regional Orchestra (now the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra). It currently boasts over one-hundred members.   Sharlene’s initial inspiration for Good Music Brighter Children came from the extensive work she did with her severely learning disabled son, and finding that music was his strongest catalyst for learning she began passionately researching the effects music had on the developing and mature brain. A college instructor, a popular speaker, and a consultant, she is the mother of five boys and lives with her husband in Torrance, California. She has spoken at parent conferences around the United States including the Parents as Teachers Conference (PAT) and the Crucial Years Conference in Missouri. In August 2014, she will be speaking at BYU Education Week.


Praise for the Book
Largest Independent Book Reviewer in the U.S.: Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media, LLC “With a scientist’s eye and an artist’s voice, Habermeyer examines everything from the benefits of music for the developing brain to music’s ability to improve cultural awareness. This is an encyclopedic, invaluable resource for anyone who believes in music education. A magnum opus, fact-filled and inspiring on the benefits of music.” -Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media, LLC    

National Music Organization: Music and the Brain “A great resource for both parents and teachers. Anyone interested in music or the overall well-being of children will not be able to put this book down.” -Lisha Papert Lercari, Director, Music and the Brain    

University Professor: Dr. James Catterall Sharlene Habermeyer outlines why music is important to learning, and provides parents with excellent suggestions for launching and sustaining a musical influence in the lives of their children.” -James S. Catterall, professor of education and co-director of Imagination Project at UCLA  

Mother/Lawyer/Ballet Teacher: Shauna Bird Dunn “Carefully researched and highly readable, Good Music, Brighter Children is written for musicians and non musicians alike. It is filled with wisdom, insight and helpful tips to bring music into the home for all ages and stages of childhood.” -Shauna Bird Dunn, JD, MPA Utah Young Mother of the Year, 2010

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A Nation Under Judgment by Richard Capriola

capriola-front-cover-jpg


A Nation Under Judgment  
by Richard Capriola

About the Book:

A Nation Under Judgment defines wisdom as "the ability to see things from God's point of view." It reviews our nations social polices, including hunger, poverty, the environment, marriage, homelessness as well as others, from a Scriptural point of view. It empowers readers to consider if our nation is moving away from being One Nation Under God.


Rick Photo Jpeg Richard Capriola spent many years as a hospital chaplain. He completed four years of Clinical Pastoral Education in preparation for becoming a chaplain. In addition to his pastoral care experience, he has served as a ministry outreach leader for a Midwestern church and has been a mental health counselor at both a regional crisis center and psychiatric hospital.

Follow Richard Capriola  

Friday, 4 July 2014

REVIEW: MR. MERCEDES by STEPHEN KING


18775152Horror master Stephen King returns - and his tense, on-the-edge new thriller, Mr. Mercedes, pits an ex-cop against a sociopath scheming to murder thousands. He comes up with an unlikely hero with an unlikely allies while painting a chilling portrait of a killer in a story that is tautly written, and a plot that swerves around without any sense of predictability. Comparatively, his latest turns out to be a quick read with around 400 pages only, and that too without any sight-and-sound of the supernatural beings that usually populated his earlier novels.

While Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King is void of the supernatural elements with which most readers have identified him, horror is still an integral part of the story as it is immediately played out in the opening sequences of the novel. In an unnamed mid-western city in April 2009, a man driving a stolen gray Mercedes SL500 plowed into a field of predawn crowd of job-seekers lured by the promise of "1000 jobs guaranteed" waiting to enter a job fair at the City Center, leaving behind a pile of dead bodies besides injuring more than a dozen. Two motor patrol cops found the Mercedes an hour after the killings. Soon it was traced to an aging wealthy widow Olivia Trelawney, who several months later committed suicide. But the person who stole the car and massacred the people could not be traced, and the case remained unsolved. It came to be known as the City Center Massacre and the perpetrator was nicknamed the Mercedes Killer/Mr.Mercedes.

After retiring from the force, Detective Kermit "Bill" Hodges is still haunted by several cases which he couldn't solve, especially the case of the Mercedes Killer. But as fate would have it, he receives a lengthy mocking letter of nearly two-thousand words from a man claiming to be the Mercedes Killer, who wrote: When I "put the pedal to the metal" and drove poor Mrs. Olivia Trelawney's Mercedes at that crowd of people, I had the biggest "h-----n" of my life! And was my heart beating 200 a minute? It was enough to propel Hodges to give another shot at finding the killer and bring him to justice.

Tucked away in a small corner of the city is a house where a twenty-something Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother, Deborah. On the surface he's like any normal guy, working at the local electronics shop and also driving the neighborhood ice-cream truck. But beneath the skin, he's an entirely different person. Buoyed by his earlier success, he's now planning something bigger, preparing to unleash a devastation that would not only kill and maim human beings but the psyche and spirit of the city itself. Hodges followed up the letter to a social networking site Under Debbie's Blue Umbrella with the help of a net savvy black teenager, Jerome Robinson. And he must act quickly and learn to stay a step ahead of the killer if he is to find and stop him in time.

Mr. Mercedes may not be one of King's best books, but that shouldn't take away anything as it is still very much an enjoyable one with edge-of-the-seat suspense, drama, intrigue and action. The storyline is well-conceived and the plot twists make it a real thrill ride. The characters are well-developed and most readers will remember them for a long time, especially Janelle Patterson, Olivia Trelawney's sister, who wants Mr. Mercedes punished for causing her sister's suicide and Janelle's mentally ill niece, Holly. Stephen King outshines himself every time he created a new monster. He paints a chilling and disturbing picture of Brady Hartsfield and his mother, probing his mind and why he did what he did. Mr. Mercedes is a hardhearted detective story which lovers of suspense thriller will greatly enjoy.

#Received a review copy of the book from Hachette India.