Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Society

So I read the rest of "the Society." I have to admit that I wound up liking it more than I thought I would. I especially like hoe Meyers helps us get to know a little about Scott and Becca's personalities.

Did you know that Meyers has kind of a blog where he answers questions from his readers?

I loved how the kids put on the armor of God. Of course, they don't put on the "whole armor," just a couple of pieces. That's probably so he can write like ten more books.
Anyway, my high school Bible Study group studied the armor as laid out in Ephesians 6:10-19. You can read my entries on the armor at

To my knowledge, I've never personally encountered a possession situation and frankly, would just assume not. There's at least one example in the Bible where Jesus had to clean up after His disciples weren't able to drive one out. Some Christians get paranoid, and think that demons are behind everything bad that ever happens and other Christians doubt that possession can actually happen.

Here is an interesting quote about the devil from MArtin Luther-
"Why should you fear? Why should you be afraid? Do you not know that the prince of this world has been judged? He is no lord, no prince any more. You have a different, a stronger Lord, Christ, who has overcome and bound him. Therefore let the prince and god of this world look sour, bare his teeth, make a great noise, threaten, and act in an unmannerly way; he can do no more than a bad dog on a chain, which may bark, run here and there, and tear at the chain. But because it is tied and you avoid it, it cannot bite you. So the devil acts toward every Christian. Therefore everything depends on this that we do not feel secure but continue in the fear of God and in prayer; then the chained dog cannot harm us. But this chained dog may at least frighten him who would be secure and go ahead without caution, although he may not come close enough to be bitten."

Usually "spiritual warfare" is more subtle and something we're not even aware of- more like Becca praying for her friend Julie to give up her "good luck charm" than the big dramatic, Joan of Arc scene that Scott had to go through. That's better reading, and makes for more exciting movies- but as Scott found out, the best strategy we have is not confrontation, but prayer. Think of it as "covert-ops" if you want to.

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." ~2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Scott didn't yell at those kids or bring down fire from Heaven or get even with them, but he did feel compassion for them. That's how un-worldy and radical Jesus is. Love, not power. An expert on the occult talked to our staff in LA and explained that most people who get involved in the occult are looking for power, whereas Christians surrender their power to God.

If you enjoy reading Christian fiction and like some suspense in it or are interested in angels and demons, I recommend "This Present Darkness" By Frank Peretti. He's one of the premiere Christian fiction writers.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

New Prayer Request

Please pray for June Folk, Malcom and Aaron's mom- and of course for Macolm and Aaron. June was in a car accident this week. I don't have any details but the second-hand information that I have is that she is in critical condition with a lot of bone damage.

Please pray for her speedy recovery and for her family's peace, calm, and faith through this trying time.

Re: Ouija boards and talismen

I forgot to include my personal theory of "sleeping."

You know how when you fall asleep, and have a good night's sleep, you wake up and it's as if no time has passed?
My theory is that it FELT like the thief woke up and was together with Jesus "today" in paradise, but keep in mind that to God, a day is like a thousand years to you and me- (Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8). We experience time one hour at a time in a forward moving line or continuum, but God created time, He transcends time, so if He experiences it, it's not like He's standing on a road, looking forward or back, like we do- He's outside of it, like holding a ball in His hand, He can perceive all of eternity all at once.

That's why, when we die, we don't have to worry about being trapped here as ghosts or stuck in purgatory like sitting in the dentist's waiting room with nothing to do but page through decades old magazines.It will already be forever-
" a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."~1 Corinthians 15:52

Anyway, that's what I come away thinking when I read the Bible.

Ouija boards and talismen

So I started reading the book you loaned me. Good stuff, I got half through it in the first read. The author is spot on about the potential dangers of the occult.

That's probably why God tells us not to mess with it- "Do not practice divination or sorcery" (Leviticus 19:26) Sorcery, as I'm sure with your brains, you get is another word for witchcraft. Many non Bible believers misunderstand it to be some benign, natural pre-Christian (pagan) practice that allows you more control over your destiny and might not even like to use either the term sorcery or the term witchcraft because of their negative connotations. Divination is an old word that can mean fortune telling or predicting, or talking to the dead or communicating with the spirit-world. Bottom line is that as God's children, we're supposed to put our faith and trust in Him implicitly rather than having to feel more in control by seeking insight from other (especially dark) sources.

Do ouija boards work? Just like the author talked about in this book, yes and no. Most people who don't know any better think it's just a game and think it's fun to freak themselves out- like visiting the Vilisca Axe Murder House after dark or watching a scary movie. Some gullible people are convinced that it's away to speak with the dead like psychic John Edwards (not to be confused with the former presidential candidate) pretended to do on his TV show "Crossing Over." Then, more dedicated people fascinated with the occult, like the kids in this novel, think it is a way to get help or advice from some other dimension, a supernatural world of spirits. They think that spirits are like animals or people or something, some helpful and some dangerous- but not really holy or evil, as if aligned with the true God or with Satan. This can be exciting for some, or help others feel more powerful or more in control of their lives. In the 1800's when Parker Brothers started producing ouija boards, spiritism and spiritualists were a big fad.

Unfortunately, you can't domesticate a demon and use them as your own personal
Concierge. And you certainly can't become friends with a demon and expect them to give you helpful advice. People aren't the players with ouija, they're being played with.

How do we know they aren't kind, well-meaning dead people? Most Christians believe that as soon as you die you're either in Heaven or Hell.
Jesus told one of the thieves next to Him on the cross "TODAY you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).

Jesus told a parable in which a rich man in Hell could see into Heaven, but someone he knew on earth was oblivious to anything outside of Heaven (Luke 16:19-31). People in Heaven trust God and don't need to come back to earth to talk to the living, and people in Hell aren't allowed to.

Some Catholics still buy into that purgatory thing, but there is absolutely nothing about it in the Bible. Some people think it was first invented by Dante as a dramatic device for his epic poem, the Divine Comedy. Others suspect it was a convoluted doctrine devised by a medieval pope so that the church could make more money off of frightened and guilty Christians.

All of this must be disappointing to some people who have some romantic notion that we can talk to ghosts or somehow help them find their way home, like in the movies. It does seem confusing that Jesus told his disciples that their friend had merely "fallen asleep" (John 11:11). The Bible tells us that several of Jesus' followers who had died before He was crucified, came back to life at the moment He died and went into Jerusalem to share the Gospel- had to be pretty freaky (Matt 27:52).

The one and only reference in the Bible to anyone being able to talk to someone "from the other side" is when King Saul went to a witch in order to talk to the ghost of the prophet Samuel instead of seeking God (1 Samuel 28:7-25). And guess what, God was already angry with Saul for not listening to Him, and now Saul was in trouble for divination and sorcery. Way to go, no wonder you lost your kingdom to David, thinking with your spear instead of your brains again!

Let me know if you want to talk about any of this or need me to pray about anything for you.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Some perspective from a pastor

Wow, I really appreciated this bit of insight from a white, Republican, former Baptist minister on the inflammatory  sermons of Sen. Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright;

"As easy as it is for those of us who are white to look back and say, "That's a terrible statement," I grew up in a very segregated South, and I think that you have to cut some slack. And I'm going to be probably the only conservative in America who's going to say something like this, but I'm just telling you: We've got to cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told, "You have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie. You have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant. And you can't sit out there with everyone else. There's a separate waiting room in the doctor's office. Here's where you sit on the bus." And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment. And you have to just say, I probably would too. I probably would too. In fact, I may have had ... more of a chip on my shoulder had it been me."

- Mike Huckabee, offering his perspective on the preaching of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. (Source: MSNBC)

It reminded me of a great quote by Langston Hughes, so I attached a graphic with it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Blessings!

Thank God for Jesus' death AND resurrection! For us.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday message of forgiveness

One day a while back, a man, his heart heavy with grief, was walking in the woods. As he thought about his life this day, he knew many things were not right. He thought about those who had lied about him back when he had a job.

His thoughts turned to those who had stolen his things and cheated him. He remembered family that had passed on. His mind turned to the illness he had, that no one could cure. His very soul was filled with anger, resentment, and frustration.

Standing there this day, searching for answers he could not find, knowing all else had failed him, he knelt at the base of an old oak tree to seek the one he knew would always be there. And with tears in his eyes, he prayed:

"Lord- You have done wonderful things for me in this life. You have told me to do many things for you, and I happily obeyed. Today, you have told me to forgive. I am sad, Lord, because I cannot, I don't know how. It is not fair Lord, I didn't deserve these wrongs that were done against me and I shouldn't have to forgive. As perfect as your way is Lord, this one thing I cannot do, for I don't know how to forgive. My anger is so deep Lord, I fear I may not hear you, but I pray you teach me to do the one thing I cannot do: Teach me to forgive."

As he knelt there in the quiet shade of that old oak tree, he felt something fall onto his shoulder. He opened his eyes. Out of the corner of one eye, he saw something red on his shirt. He could not turn to see what it was because where the oak tree had been was a large square piece of wood in the ground. He raised his head and saw two feet held to the wood with a large spike through them.

He raised his head more, and tears came to his eyes as he saw Jesus hanging on a cross. He saw spikes in His hands, a gash in His side, a torn and battered body, deep thorns sunk into His head. Finally he saw the suffering and pain on His precious face. As their eyes met, the man's tears turned to sobbing, and Jesus began to speak.

"Have you ever told a lie?" He asked?

The man answered - "Yes, Lord."

"Have you ever been given too much change and kept it?"

The man answered - "Yes. Lord." And the man sobbed more and more.

"Have you ever taken something from work that wasn't yours?" Jesus asked .

And the man answered, "Yes, Lord."

"Have you ever sworn, using my Father's name in vain?"

The man, crying now, answered - "Yes, Lord."

As Jesus asked many more times, "Have you ever"? The man's crying became uncontrollable, for he could only answer - "Yes, Lord".

Then Jesus turned His head from one side to the other, and the man felt something fall on his other shoulder. He looked and saw that it was the blood of Jesus. When he looked back up, his eyes met those of Jesus, and there was a look of love the man had never seen or known before.

Jesus said, "I didn't deserve this either, but I forgive you."

It may be hard to see how you're going to get through something, but when you look back in life, you realize how true this statement is.

Read the following first line slowly and let it sink in.

If God brings you to it - He will bring you through it.

When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Markets low, oil high?

"...the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failures and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

True, they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit, they have proposed only the lending of more money.

Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored conditions. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers.

They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.

The money changers have fled their high seats in the temple of our civilization (see Matthew 21:11-13). We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths.

The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money, it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.

The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow-men.

Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be values only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit, and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing.

Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live."


From FDR's first inagural address, 1933- the speech where he declared we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

Do you ever feel like our leaders have been trying to use fear to manipulate us?

  • Fear of terrorists (trying to link AlQuaeda to Iran, even though Iran is Shi'a and hates Muhabeist Suniis like AlQuaeda)
  • Fear of "the other"- blaming our economic and crime problems on immigrants desperate for a better way of life
  • Fear of what is different, a black man with an Arab middle name, or homosexuals or anyone who believes differently that the most visible and vocal television preachers.

But fear is wrong, even in the most difficult times. "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18

Just some things to think about.

Ted's Cartoons

Art, photos, graphic design and more

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Frank Schaeffer: McCain's Church Hates America, Clinton's Friends Do Too -- But Let's Get the Black Guy (Or Not?) - Politics on The Huffington Post

Frank Schaeffer: McCain's Church Hates America, Clinton's Friends Do Too -- But Let's Get the Black Guy (Or Not?) - Politics on The Huffington Post

But fair is fair. So where are the clips of me in Falwell's pulpit (back in the early 1980s before I dropped out of the evangelical movement) preaching to five thousand cheering white fundamentalists while I shouted; "God hates America for the murder of the unborn! We should be destroyed!"

When my late father -- Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer -- and I were the guests of Jerry Falwell at Liberty Baptist College, Falwell said to us quite casually and seriously, while speaking of the "homosexual problem," that: "If I had a dog that did what they do I take it out and shoot it." And when it came to saying God was damning America he and Pat Robertson sided with the 9/11 hijackers by saying the terrorist's actions served America right and were God's punishment. Yet John McCain went to Liberty Baptist College and spoke for Falwell, in order to "mend fences" with the Religious Right. He said he no longer believed that Falwell was "an agent of intolerance." And Rudy Giuliani gladly accepted Robertson's endorsement. So much for the Republican "mainstream..."

Bishop Moore, in his 1997 autobiography, Presences: A Bishop's Life in the City, wrote that the end of the Cold War had left the United States "like a wounded rooster crowing on the top of the dung heap." Blaming "corporate greed and lust" as well as "unbridled nationalism" for manufacturing causes for war, Moore cursed America as often as he served communion.

McCain is an Episcopalian. Where are the clips of the anti-American rantings of Bishop Moore and not a few other Episcopalian pastors and bishops, next to McCain's picture?...

Okay, I'm being sarcastic, this is silly. And that's the point. From the other guy's point of view all religion and politics is extreme.

Preaching is a style of communication with its own cadences that is easy to mock and/or twist-by-sound-bite. The Clinton's smear machine, now tied to the FOX smear-machine, is playing a very dirty game. And the Clinton's know better.

Repenting for war

Dear friend,

Next week will mark five years since the United States invaded
Iraq. We all lament the suffering and violence that continue
after these five heartbreaking years, and we all share in
responsibility for a war that has been waged in our names and
with our tax dollars.

That's why I've added my name to a public statement repenting
for the Iraq war, which Jim Wallis and other Christian leaders
will be releasing next week - with the signatures of thousands
of Christians of all theological and political stripes.

Support for U.S. wars and foreign policy is still the area where
Christians are most "conformed to this world" (Romans 12:2). We
must commit to put our love for Christ ahead of obedience to a
misguided government, and to ask our brothers and sisters to
join us in working for peace.

Will you join me in signing the statement?

Just click here:

This email is Powered by Convio, Inc.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

great quote

"To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us."

- Richard Foster
Celebration of Discipline

invite God to transform you, just talk to Him

Liberating the Founders [Speaking of Faith® from American Public Media]

Liberating the Founders [Speaking of Faith® from American Public Media]

Wow. A dear friend of mine, who knows how deeply important both my faith and my country are to me, shared this podcast from an NPR program about how political groups have hijacked and abused Christianity for the sake of advancing their own agendas. This report does a fantastic job of analyzing the issue.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Pat's

Prayer of Saint Patrick

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, and in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Saturday, March 15, 2008



I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bibles like we treat our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency

This is something to make you go....hmmmm...where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

Makes you stop and think, "Where are my priorities?" And no dropped calls!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Good prayer for the stressed out

I am sorry, thank you for forgiving me.
I am at the end of my strength, thank you for giving me yours.
Help me to get out of fear and back into faith,
so I can get to sleep and stay asleep,
I need it so much.
In Jesus name,

~ My sainted Irish mother

Monday, March 03, 2008

Philippians 3:12-20

Pressing on Toward the Goal
12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

My HS Bible study class has actually already studied this a long time ago. My life has been a little crazy and it's been difficult to sit down and blog on this. You might say that this is a great verse for me to review. Paul is like a great coach or team mate on the sidelines during a race at a spring track meet. He reminds us to follow his example, and use what we've learned from him. He admits that he's not "all that" or anything, but that he just hangs in there and keeps chugging along.

Here's what may just be the most important part- just keep going. Don' t look back, don't look down, keep your eyes on the prize. I think that that means that we shouldn't feel sorry for ourselves. We shouldn't become paralyzed by dwelling on our past mistakes, our sins, or problems, what we think is wrong with us- instead, we should keep our heads up and keep focusing on Jesus, and keep moving forward.

As one of my favorite cartoon characters, Dory, from "Finding Nemo" likes to say:

Hey Mr Grump Gills
You know what you gotta do when life gets you down?
Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming swimming swimming
What do we do we swim, swim, swim
OH HO HO How I love to swim
When you WAAAAAANNTTT to swim you want to swim
Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming swimming swimming
What do we do we swim, swim, swim