Archive for October, 2009

James Dobson on Halloween

October 31, 2009

Mr. Dobson’s reply to the question: “What about Halloween?”: “Halloween is a rather different story. Whereas it can be argued that Christmas is a Christian holiday with Christian origins that has suffered the effects of growing secularism, Halloween can be traced to distinctly pagan sources. It is reasonable, then, that many believers would find some aspects of its celebration disturbing. I agree with them in that regard. The traditional emphasis upon the occult, witches, devils, death, and evil sends messages to our kids that godly parents can only regard with alarm. There is clearly no place in the Christian community for this ‘darker side’ of Halloween.

“Even here, however, there is a place for some harmless fun. Kids love to dress up and pretend. If the Halloween experience is focused on fantasy rather than the occult, I see no harm in it. Make costumes for your children that represent fun characters, such as Mickey Mouse or an elderly grandmother, and then let them go door-to-door asking for treats. This side of Halloween can be thoroughly enjoyable for the little ones.

“Let me add, again, that I’ve given you my personal opinion. I realize that the topic is controversial among committed Christians, and I’m sensitive to the reasons for their misgivings. My final word to parents on the subject would be ‘Stay true to your own convictions.'”

Source: Focus on the Family, Family.org.

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Two Great Days

October 30, 2009

“There are two great days in a person’s life—the day we are born and the day we discover why.”

Source: William Barclay

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Marrying All Over Again

October 29, 2009

We think we only marry one mate, but the fact is we all marry a number of people because our mates keep changing, and we have to adjust to these changes and learn to love a different person than the one we married. Through the years all mates change, and sometimes it can be hard to adjust, for your mate may not be the person now that you expected them to be for life. You have to fall in love again with a new person. Those who cannot adjust to changes in their mate often get divorced. All couples go through what is called divorce periods where they are in the process of deciding if they love the new and different people they have become. This is where love is again the power that keeps them together. If love is allowed to fade, and there is no effort to rekindle the flame of passion, there is a danger that they will part. Those who make it through these periods do so because they work at rekindling the flame. Those who neglect love and just drift tend to drift apart completely. Divorce is a refusal to remarry the new person your mate has become. Long-range marriage is a commitment to keep on marrying the mate you have no matter how often they change.

Source: The Celebration of Love by Pastor Glenn Pease.

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Audience with the President

October 28, 2009

Following the Civil War, a dejected confederate soldier was sitting outside the grounds of the White House. A young boy approached him and inquired why he was so sad. The solider related how he had repeatedly tried to see President Lincoln to tell him why he was unjustly deprived of certain lands in the South following the war. On each occasion as he attempted to enter the White House, the guards crossed their bayoneted guns in front of the door and turned him away. The boy motioned to the old soldier to follow him. When they approached the entrance, the guards came to attention, stepped back and opened the door for the boy. He proceeded to the library where the President was resting and introduced the soldier to his father. The boy was Tad Lincoln. The soldier had gained an audience with the President through the President’s son. It is through Jesus, God’s only begotten Son (John 3:16) that we have access to God, our heavenly Father (John 14:6).

Source: Abraham Lincoln, as cited by Donald G. Barnhouse, “God’s River: Romans 5:1-11. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1958. p. 39.

Contributed by: John Williams III

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Hearing Problem

October 27, 2009

A middle-aged man was distraught over his wife’s stubborn refusal to admit she had a hearing problem. One day he asked his family doctor for advice how to convince his wife that she has this problem. The doctor promptly told him that when he got home he was to confirm the problem by opening the front door and from there asking his wife what’s for dinner. Then the doctor said, if she doesn’t answer, move closer to the kitchen. Repeat the question again, and if she still doesn’t answer, move right up to her ear and whisper in it, “What’s for dinner, honey?” In this way, the doctor assured him, she’ll have to admit she has the problem.

So the man raced home with joy in his heart and opened the front door. “What’s for dinner, honey?” he asked. When there was no reply, he moved closer to the kitchen and asked again. “What’s for dinner, honey?” No reply. When he looked into the kitchen, sure enough, there she was. So he tiptoed over to her and whispered in her ear, “What’s for dinner, honey?” Immediately she turned and looked straight at him: “For the fourth time, I said we’re having spaghetti!”

Contributed by: Christian Cheong

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Successful Hypocrisy

October 26, 2009

John Piper, in A Hunger for God, comments, “If the reward you aim at in fasting is the admiration of others, that is what you will get, and that will be all you get. In other words, the danger of hypocrisy is that it is so successful. It aims at the praise of men, and it succeeds. But that’s all.”

Contributed by: Jim Luthy

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I Like My Way Better

October 24, 2009

One day a lady criticized D. L. Moody for his methods of evangelism in attempting to win people to the Lord. Moody’s reply was “I agree with you. I don’t like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?” The lady replied, “I don’t do it.” Moody retorted, “Then I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.”

Source: James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 178.

Contributed by: David Yarbrough

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No Easy Road

October 23, 2009

David Livingstone went to darkest Africa as a lone missionary. After some time his missions committee wrote to him saying, “Some people would like to join you. What’s the easiest road to get where you are?” He replied, “If they’re looking for the easiest road, tell them to stay in England. I want people who will come, even if there’s no road at all!” Sometimes the pathway of the Christian life appears to change from a smooth-surfaced road to a stony track or peter out altogether.

Contributed by: Owen Bourgaize

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Always Needing More

October 22, 2009

Barna Research Group: the average American adult believes he needs an additional $8,000 – $11,000 per year to live comfortably. Tracking studies show, however, that even when adults reach or exceed the income levels to which they aspired, they still claim they need another $8,000 – $11,000 to live comfortably.

Contributed by: James McDonald

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The Pleasure Explosion

October 21, 2009

What someone has called the pleasure explosion has overtaken us so that in the United States alone the pleasure business has been growing at an average rate of 6 billion dollars a year since 1965. Thrills and chills are available on demand. Popular amusement parks offer themes and thrills of all sorts, including spectacular shows and breathtaking rides. And, there are the video games which rival TV itself, one of the most pervasive sources of amusement. One estimate is that 5 billion or more is spent in a single year on video games and that during a single year people play them for the equivalent of 75 thousand manned years. Over and above that something like an additional one billion dollars is spent annually on games that can be plugged in and played on television sets and computers in our homes. There can be little doubt that we have become a generation addicted to pleasure, that this is a generation addicted to pleasure more than to the things of God. The United States probably has the greatest percentage of people going to church on a more or less regular basis. The spending habits of the American public make it quite evident that token attendance to religious duties is in no way allowed to interfere with most people’s pleasures. One survey taken some years ago, that is still relatively valid today, showed that in one year Americans spent 16 billion dollars for amusements, 10.5 billion for alcohol, 5 billion for tobacco, 2 billion for travel, 325 million for cat and dog food, 304 million for chewing gum, and 76 million for lipstick. During the same period, the total given for foreign missions by all Protestant churches of the United States was said to be only 145 million dollars—less than half of what Americans spent on chewing gum. If these figures are only reasonably accurate, isn’t it evident to you and me now that people are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God?

Source: James O. Davis

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