Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What do women want?
Dennis Prager finishes 2-part column on greatest desires of each gender

Posted: December 28, 2010
1:00 am Eastern

Monday, December 27, 2010

By Dennis Prager

In my previous column, I offered an answer to the question: What do men want?

I made the case that what men most want from the woman they love is to be admired.

If my answer is correct, and if we presume that the natures of men and women are complementary (a presumption many men and women understandably doubt given how often men and women do not get along), what women most want must be related to that which men most want.

I believe it is.

What a woman most wants is to be loved by a man she admires.

I am well aware that to say this today is akin to announcing that the sun revolves around the Earth. For half a century, we have been told that what women most want is professional success and equality. And to the extent that a modern "liberated" woman does admit to wanting a man to love, she will say that she wants a "partner" who is her "equal." And girls and women have been told – or, more accurately, have had drummed into them – that equality means that both sexes are essentially the same (except for the physical differences) and therefore want the same things. Equality and sameness have been rendered synonymous. That is why she cannot say – and ideally wouldn't even admit to herself – that she wants a man to admire; that would be "sexist," as it would imply an unequal relationship.

The notion that a woman most wants a man, admirable or not, has been scoffed at. This was encapsulated by the famous feminist slogan "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." Even feminism that did not agree with the fish-bicycle metaphor communicated to young women that an "authentic" woman would not have as her greatest desire to bond with a man.

Today, feminism holds less appeal for young women than it did for the previous generation, but "equality" remains the liberal god of the day. That renders my theory – that a woman wants to be cherished by a man she admires – politically incorrect in the extreme.

It is problematic enough to say that a woman most wants a man. But that pales compared to the claim that she most wants a man whom she admires. That seems to affirm gender inequality. The image it conjures up is of a woman looking up to her man as if he were some sort of lord and she his serf.

Yet, any woman who believes that she is married to an admirable man would laugh at such a dismissal. Admiring one's husband doesn't render a woman a serf. It renders her fortunate.

The truth is that almost nothing – including job success – elevates a woman in her own eyes as much as being loved by a husband whom she admires. That is why when married women get together, they don't talk about their jobs nearly as much as men do. They talk, among other things, about their man if they are proud of him, and complain about him if they are not. Even most feminists are happiest when married to a man they admire.

And what is it that women most admire in a man? From decades of talking to women on the radio and, of course, from simply living life, I have concluded that an admirable man is one who has three qualities: strength, integrity and ambition.

All three are needed. Strength without integrity is machismo. Integrity without strength or without ambition is a milquetoast. And ambition without integrity is a successful crook.

(Column continues below)

Women are drawn to strong men. Though many men, when asked the secret to their long marriage, answer, "I learned to always say, 'Yes, Dear,'" the truth is that most women are not attracted to "Yes, Dear" men who always give in to a woman's whim. They are attracted to a man who exhibits strength in the outer world and at home as husband and father.

But that strength must come with integrity. If it doesn't, he is a strong bad man. And while more than a few women fall for bad men (precisely because of the power of masculine strength to attract women), most women do not want such a man over the long run.

And ambition does not mean that he is necessarily rich, but that he is a hard worker who wants to improve himself; plenty of men who earn relatively little are admired and loved by their wives. That is why a major "turn-off" to most women is a husband who sits and watches television all night (let alone all day).

The beauty of all this is that it all comes together for men, for women and for society.

Women get what they want most: to be married to and loved by a man they admire. Men then attain what they want most: to be admired by the woman they love. And society gets the thing it most needs: admirable men.

Unfortunately, none of this is taught at college.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I Want to Believe This!!! :)

Chocolate better cure for common cold than echinacea

    * From: NewsCore
    * December 22, 2010 12:35AM

PEOPLE who buy echinacea to stave off a common cold are wasting their money and should buy chocolate instead, two separate scientific studies have claimed.

Echinacea, which is believed to minimise the impact of a common cold, was studied by scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

They found the over-the-counter herbal treatment only slightly delayed cold symptoms

In tests of 719 people, aged between 12 and 80, volunteers were randomly given either no pill, a pill they knew contained echinacea, or a pill that could have been echinacea or a placebo.

Those who received echinacea saw the duration of their cold reduced by seven to 10 hours.

"Trends were in the direction of benefit, amounting to an average half-day reduction in the duration of a weeklong cold or an approximate 10 percent reduction in overall severity," said Bruce Barrett, the lead researcher, writing in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

"However, this dose regimen did not make a large impact on the course of the common cold, compared either to blinded placebo or to no pills," he concluded.

In the UK, scientists at a British-based drugs company called SEEK, working with experts at Hull Cough Clinic, said that a naturally-occurring substance in cocoa - theobromine - has been shown to prevent the key features of a persistent cough.

Seek was developing a medication based on theobromine, which is found in significant quantities in cocoa-based products and which it says "has been shown to inhibit the inappropriate firing of the vagus nerve, which is a key feature of persistent cough.”

Professor Alyn Morice from the clinic, said, "Due to the drawbacks of current opioid drugs such as codeine, we are in desperate need of a non-opioid treatment with a drastically improved side effect profile for patients."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Austria: Judge Rules That Yodeling Offends Muslims

Tevet 8, 5771, 15 December 10 05:12
by Elad Benari

(Israelnationalnews.com) It seems as though in Austria, the popular yodel is an insult to Muslims.

An Austrian court has recently fined a citizen for yodeling while mowing his lawn, according to a report in The Kronen Zeitung newspaper.

The citizen, 63-year-old Helmut G., was told by the court that his yodeling offended his next-door Muslim neighbors, who accused him of trying to mock and imitate the call of the Muezzin.

In Muslim tradition, the Muezzin is the chosen person at a mosque who leads the call to prayer at Friday services and the five daily times for prayer from one of the mosque's minarets.

The yodel is a song which is sung with an extended note which rapidly and repeatedly changes in pitch and makes a high-low-high-low sound. Developed in the Central Alps as a method of communication between alpine mountaineers or between alpine villages, the yodel later became part of the region's traditional lore and musical expression. The technique is used in many cultures throughout the world and Austria is one of the countries where it is most popular.

Unfortunately for Helmut G., his neighbors were in the middle of a prayer when he started to yodel. The Kronen Zeitung reported that he was fined 800 Euros after judges ruled that he could have tried to offend his neighbors and ridicule their belief.

Helmut G. clarified that “It was not my intention to imitate or insult them. I simply started to yodel a few tunes because I was in such a good mood.”

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Most Astounding Event in History...

As the time to celebrate Jesus' birth draws near yet again this holiday season, I sat down to tea and Tabletalk magazine (an old Tabletalk mind you, but still Tabletalk none the less) and stumbled across a moving and significant article on the true meaning of what we call CHRISTMAS. Yes, this subject has been hashed and re-hashed over and over again, but what is the TRUE meaning of Christmas? Why do we even celebrate it as Christians? I loved this article by RC Sproul Jr on how the past has made the future glorious! But I will say no more--read for yourself :) I couldn't find it anywhere online at all, so now it's on here for the online world to see! May it be the better for it... Praise God for sending his Son in the form of a baby to a virgin in Bethlehem.


        I must have been 10 years old when the anxiety hit me. I sat amidst the crumpled paper when it dawned on me, "It doesn't get any better than this." As I surveyed my gifts, however, I knew--the descent had already begun. Like a subtle heresy, clothes had slowly begun to creep into the mix. There were plenty of toys, new diversions that I was eager to get to. The joy of anticipation, however, was tempered by the clothes and the dreadful realization that next year there would be more clothes. The year after that still more clothes. Perhaps even--God help me--underwear. The spirit of Christmas future was haunting me.
      I had adopted the creed of Sally Brown, Charlie's younger sister. Surveying her lengthy and demanding wish list to Santa Claus, Charlie Brown, the round-headed sage, chastised his sister for her greed. Her response? "All I want is what's coming to me, all I want is my fair share." Lucy van Pelt complained that she never got what she wanted: real estate. I wanted children's things, and I wanted to stay a child.
      While I suffered from greed, my understanding of Christmas wasn't exclusively materialistic. I understood that we were celebrating an event. I understood that center-stage of the Christmas pageant was not the North Pole but the little town of Bethlehem.
       It was an awe-inspiring thing to see how the world changed each Christmas season. In my small world of home, school, and television, the change was ubiquitous. All this because of what happened in a stable halfway across the world nearly two millenia ago.
      Of course when the original event occurred, the world did not change. Those in the know were very few. All the world was busy tending to the business of keeping Caesar happy through the census. Jesus chose tax time to arrive, and only a few people noticed. The shepherds were tending to their flocks with care when they heard the Good News. The magi sought the child, following a star. It's the ultimate in dramatic irony. All Israel awaited a mighty king to restore their glory and throw off the shackles of Rome. What they got was a baby, long promised but unnoticed. That Christmas they received not a toy soldier but clothes, swaddling clothes enshrouding a tiny little newborn.
      We, the audience of the future, know what happened. We know what became of that baby. This season, Advent, we look backward to that time before Christ so that we can experience looking forward to His birth. In the Advent season we seek to recreate the joy of anticipation.
     The Spirit of Christmas future haunted Ebenezer Scrooge with the ultimate burden. He gave Scrooge a glimpse of what was to come. Down toward the grave the bony hand pointed mutely. That spirit was a false prophet. Because of Christmas past, Christmas future points no bony hand toward a grave but a living hand skyward. The Advent is coming again.
       Christmas future is not about clothes or toys. It is not about secrets and subtle portents in the stars. It is not about a darling sweet baby. The Christmas which is to come will not be hearkened with angels singing in an our-of-the-way pasture. Like the shepherds we will all look heavenward, and we will be sore afraid. When He comes again all the world will know. He is coming again, this time in judgment. The mightiest of warriors, He will bear the sword, and not in vain.
       But we, who are His sheep, who know His voice, look to that great day with great anticipation. We will be as children again, His children. He will remove all our burdens. He will wipe away every tear.
      And we will receive no new clothes. For when He comes, we no longer need to stand clothed in His righteousness. When He comes in glory we too will be glorified, our sanctification complete. Like Adam before us, we will stand before Him, naked and unashamed. We will see Him as He is, and we will be like Him.
        Never again will we look backward with anticipation. We will look forward, moving onward and upward. And each day we will be astounded to realize that it does get better than this, every day perfect, yet every day better than the last, on into eternity.
      On that glorious day, wisdom is given to all. Not just three wise men but all men everywhere, sheep and goats, will bow the knee, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I was a foolish 10-year old, for there is every reason to look forward to Christmas. When we look to Christmas future, our joy outshines the reborn Scrooge. God bless us, one and all.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

When healing meets marketing: The perfect storm

By Jon Rappoport

DECEMBER 5, 2010. About ten years ago, I decided that the medical cartel could become the most dangerous of all power groups on the planet. I have not changed my mind.

My decision is based on looking up the road 40 or 50 years and inferring what the picture will look like then.

It’s clear to me that drug companies, as they carve up markets and create new markets, are eagerly anticipating the day when every human, from cradle to grave—actually from inside the womb—has the status of Patient.

A person is born a patient and dies a patient. And in between, he receives 40 or 50 key diagnoses of physical and mental diseases/disorders and takes prescribed drug and surgery treatments.

More than that, though, he is stamped with the label, Patient, and he learns that everyone is in the same boat. “We’re all patients, this is a medical world, and it’s normal to be disabled in some way.”

People become proud, yes, proud to be victims. They wear their diagnoses as badges of honor. If you can’t see this trend, you’re not looking.

And universal health care insurance guarantees continuous treatment all the way along the line.

Every medical diagnosis becomes an excuse not to perform, not to excel, not to pursue big goals with large ambition.

Nowhere in the search to gain recognition as a victim do circumstances conspire so well as in the medical arena. It’s perfect. There’s no argument. The doctor told you you have X disease. That’s that. It’s not political. It’s not agenda-driven. It’s science. The proof is laid out on a silver platter. You ARE a victim.

In the coming future, every move a person makes, every step he takes will come under the umbrella of the doctor.

And, again, the main supporter of this system will be the patient himself. That’s how beautiful the marketing is.

In case you’ve been living in a cave for the last 30 years, drug companies and their researchers can invent any vague disease label they want to—and then they can invent five or six sub-categories of the label—and they can set out rules on how to diagnose each sliver of the label—and of course the doctors will make these diagnoses and prescribe drugs. It’s marketing and “healing” at the same time.

Parents who don’t have a clue will submit their children to this system—especially if the government pays for it—and the children will grow up trained to think of themselves as patients/victims…and the only contest will be: who has the most drastic diagnoses and treatments? Who can most proudly wear the badge of honor as Patient?

“Last month, they had to remove my head for five minutes while they fixed my brain.”

“Wow. Well, they put me in a body cast for three months and I couldn’t move, except for my left thumb.”

Cradle to grave.

If you go back and read Huxley’s Brave New World again, you’ll notice the factor of “patient pride.” It isn’t just that the society is controlled, the citizens are idealistic about it.

That’s where the victim industry is heading.

Against it, we have, what?

A little thing called individual freedom. Which includes the right to refuse medical treatment, no matter who prescribes it under what regulations.

People imagine that this right is some arcane matter best debated in medical-ethics journals. It’s an obscure curio.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

As I’ve been writing, the ObamaCare plan contains the seeds of a future in which, by law, the citizen will have less freedom to determine his own medical fate. The walls will gradually close in.

The Founders knew what they were talking about when they warned of the incursion of government and the loss of freedom. At every crossroad, since then, the issue of freedom has resurfaced as the unavoidable key factor.

Well, we’re at one of those crossroads again.


Jon is the author of LOGIC AND ANALYSIS, a unique course for home schools and adults. To inquire: qjrconsulting@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yes, laugh and sing while your children are being stolen
Exclusive: Drew Zahn says 'Tangled' is hilarious, beautiful and dangerous

Posted: November 28, 2010
7:51 pm Eastern

Monday, November 29, 2010

By Drew Zahn's column

My wife and I argued as we left the theater: she hoping my review of "Tangled" could somehow gloss over the startlingly anti-parent messages in the movie to praise this otherwise funny and beautiful film; while I stuck to critiquing the movie's worldview, regardless of its theatrical qualities.

To my wife's credit, there is much to praise in "Tangled," Disney's 50th animated feature film.

For starters, the movie is very entertaining. Vivid characters, snappy dialogue, witty one-liners, a dashing dose of swashbuckling and one scene in particular that is fall-out-of-your-chair funny make "Tangled" a delightful romp.

And in trademark Disney fashion, animal characters – in this case, the marvelous horse Maximus and Paschal the chameleon – are memorable, endearing and make me wish I was a kid again so I could have an excuse for buying the action figure in my Happy Meal.

The film's songs are reminiscent of a Broadway musical. The animation is crafted with care and beauty. The scenery is magical, and the romance is heart-felt. Disney's 50th is worth that place in the studio's history.

The film's final scene is even a beautiful example of the true nature of love – giving of yourself, even your life, for another.

Man! What's not to like about "Tangled"?

Alas, a lot … if you but stop and analyze the resounding message this movie plants in children's minds.

(Column continues below)

"Tangled" is a retelling of the story of Rapunzel, the girl with unbelievably long hair, locked in a tower until her "prince" can come and rescue her by climbing that hair to reach her.

In this retelling, however, Princess Rapunzel's hair has the power to heal and even reverse aging. As an infant, the king's daughter was kidnapped by a wicked woman in search of eternal youth, a woman who poses as the girl's "mother" and keeps her locked away until her teenage years.

But when Rapunzel reaches those ever-so-challenging teenage years, she yearns to be free of the tower and see the distant lights of the kingdom (from which she was unknowingly kidnapped). Then, while "Mom" is away for a few days, a rogue thief named Ryder chances upon her hidden tower, and the two embark on a forbidden "road trip" to the kingdom.

"Tangled" then revels in a widely assumed, very worldly and yet completely wicked and untrue philosophy on adolescence.

In regards to the teenage Rapunzel sneaking out of the house and going on an parent-unauthorized road trip with a strange but dashing man several years her senior:

"This is part of growing up," Ryder claims. "A little rebellion, a little adventure, that's good. Healthy even."

But what would Mom think?

Ryder has the answer for that too:

"Crush your mother's soul," he says. "Like a grape."

Yeah. That's "good." Um, "healthy" even.

Eventually, Rapunzel learns to see things Ryder's way.

"You were wrong about the world. You were wrong about me," she growls at her mother. "I will never stop fighting you."

Yeah. That's a "good" message for the movie, right? "Healthy" even?

And, of course, Ryder and Rapunzel are proved justified in the girl's rebellion, the mother is shown wicked and the youngsters' little "road trip" proves to be just what the doctor ordered. And it's all OK for the young minds in the audience to be seeped in this spirit of defiance and parent-degradation, because the mother is really the bad guy.

Happily ever after. Walk out of the theater smiling. And then, somehow, be surprised when your children think you're an overprotective know-nothing, assume they're justified in rebellion and do a little bar-hopping, frat-party "road trip" of their own.

Wait. What happened to the happy ending?

Is "Tangled" just describing adolescent life as it is? Or is it part of a wider culture that is prescribing life as it wants to be to loose teens from their parents in order to teach its own values?

I'm the father of four teenagers, and like many parents, I've found that adolescents do begin at about that age to think critically about authority. They question the old rules, they long for and test their independence. Stretching the wings is a necessary part of growing up.

But nowhere does God prescribe rebellion and defiance as a proper path to adulthood. It is not "good" and it is not "healthy." No, contrary to popular belief and Disney brainwashing, children do not have to suddenly become the spawn of Satan (the first rebel, after all) when they turn 13.

One of the greatest rewards I've found in watching the homeschooling community is that its children are often raised by parents who question the entire worldly paradigm of what kids are like and supposed to be, including what they can be like as teenagers. And while every community has its share of rebellious and difficult teens, I have marveled at watching how some young men and women from families that reject the message of "Tangled" grow up in partnership with their parents to be models of respect and independence tempered by Godly submission. They are the best example I have seen to prove rebellion is simply not a mandate.

In the end, even though my wife tried to argue that Ryder's speech came from the lips of a rogue and that the "mother" was ultimately wicked, she eventually conceded the movie left the impression that Ryder was right, leaving me to write but one conclusion to this review: "Tangled" is a great movie with a mangled message.

Content advisory:

    * "Tangled" contains no profanity or spoken blasphemies.

    * The film has a few kisses and a few veiled comments from Ryder about being handsome or attractive "with the ladies," but otherwise no overt sexual content. The animators, however, seemed enamored with drawing women's busts, as Rapunzel and her mother boast Barbie figures in tight tops.

    * The film contains numerous scenes of chasing, shooting crossbows, falling, crashing, swordfighting and getting knocked unconscious with an iron frying pan (which in real life could kill a person, but in "Tangled" doesn't even leave a bruise). There is also a scene where a character is stabbed, though the actual cut is not seen.

    * In regards to religious or occult content, one character is frequently depicted as the Roman god Cupid. The healing power of Rapunzel's hair is attributed to "a drop of sunlight" falling on the ground and creating a "magical" flower that heals when it's sung to. The flower heals Rapunzel's pregnant mother, transferring the power to the girl in the womb. Rapunzel then uses the "magic" to heal others. The movie is filled with images of the sun in reference to the life-giving flower, but it is not specifically idolized

The reason I posted this article was not because I am necessarily against the movie Tangled in particular, but because the TITLE of this article caught my eye, and I feel this is a warning that many parents need to heed in the area of all media. There is a strange ignoring of subtle substances in movies among Christians. Many parents seem to throw their rules out the window in regards to everyone else but their own children. I have noticed this not only in movie intake, but in political and other media situations as well. We as Christians MUST be consistent! If I, as a mother, tell my daughter she is not to sass me, then go laugh with her over a movie where the female character is nothing but a sass, what message am I sending? 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blunt but GOOD

The following are quotes by the pastor Paul Washer. They are amazing! I was so encouraged when I read them. I hope you are also encouraged. And maybe even challenged :) He certainly doesn't tread on egg shells so as not to offend...

The person who loves you most will tell you the most truth. One of the greatest distinguishing marks of a false prophet is that he will always tell you what you want to hear, he will never rain on your parade, he will get you clapping, he will get you jumping, he will make you dizzy, he will keep you entertained, and he will present a Christianity to you that will make your church look like a Six Flags over Jesus. And keep you so entertained you are never addressed with great issues such as these:
Is God working in my life?
Am I growing in holiness?
Have I truly been born again?
In modern day evangelism, this precious doctrine [of regeneration] has been reduced to nothing more than a human decision to raise one’s hand, walk an aisle, or pray a “sinner’s prayer.” As a result, the majority of Americans believe that they’ve been “born again” (i.e., regenerated) even though their thoughts, words, and deeds are a continual contradiction to the nature and will of God.
Here stands God on the day of creation. He looks at stars and He says all you stars move yourself to this place and start in this order and move in a circle and move exactly as I tell you, until I give you another word. Planets-pick yourself up and whirl, make this formation at my command, until I give you another word. He looks at mountains and says be lifted up and they obey him. He tells valleys be cast down and they obey him. He looks at the sea and says you will come this far, and the sea obeys. Then, he looks at you and says come and you go no! Does that bother anyone?
People tell me judge not lest ye be judged. I always tell them, twist not scripture lest ye be like Satan.
The work is hindered. The glory of God is tarnished and it is because the people of God no longer know how to discern the things of God.
Ever wonder how the people of God could walk into the temple of God, could offer sacrifices to God could praise God, and then turn right around and find the biggest tree on the highest hill and worship any number of idols, and not be able to tell the difference, and not be able to recognize the wrong, in a multiplicity of gods? Well, I want you to know that is the church in America today. And because the greatest sin among the men of God today is the fear of men which is a snare, and the fear losing economic security and reputation in the denomination. As the church runs headlong into judgment today the men of God instead of repenting and crying out and studying God’s word with all their passion are looking for models on how to keep lost people in their congregations and it’s wrong.
(As American Christians) We have forgotten how to blush.
Most of you live your life on flimsy little songs, not upon the word of God.
We honor the old prophets, we honor the Tozer’s and Spurgen’s but we don’t want to pay the price they payed, and they payed the price by being men who walked alone who lived with God and who loved His word.
What’s the will of God for my life? You don’t need to know the will of God in your life, you need to know the God of your life!
How could we have such a low view of the gospel of Jesus Christ that we have to manipulate men psychologically to get them to come down and pray a prayer? …How many times have I heard evangelists say, “It’ll only take five minutes.“? No my dear friend, it will take your life — all of it! “We’re just trying to attract people and then we’ll gradually bring them in further and further.” That is what the cults do, that’s not what Jesus did. Notice that in the gospels every time a great crowd is following Jesus, he turns around and says something so radical to them that most of them walk away. Of course Jesus probably would not get invited to teach evangelism [in most churches today].”
I don’t know why you’re clapping; I’m talking about you.
Well, I was out here on the highway, and I was driving and I had a flat tire and I got out to change the tire, and when I was changing the tire, the lug nut fell off, and I wasn’t paying attention that I was on the middle of the highway, I stood up and there was a 30-ton logging truck going 120 miles an hour about ten yards in front of me, and it ran me over and that’s why I’m late.
Now, there would only be two…I know no one studies logic anymore, but there would only be two logical conclusions. One, I’m a liar or two, I’m a madman. You would say, “Brother Paul, it’s absolutely absurd. It is impossible, Brother Paul, to have an encounter with something as large as a logging truck and not be changed.”
And then my question would be to you — What is larger? A logging truck or God? How is it that so many people today profess to have had an encounter with Jesus Christ, and yet, they are not permanently changed?
You say, “The most important thing on the face of the earth is to know Jesus Christ.” That is not true. The most important thing on the face of the earth is that Jesus Christ knows you! Do you know Jesus? Does Jesus know you?
Jesus is all we need! (man)
Young man, Jesus is all we have. Outside of Christ, you have nothing to do with God. And God has nothing to do with you, except judgment. (Paul)
If you’re a Christian, you’re not a Christian because when Jesus Christ was on that cross – the Romans and Jews beat Him up. If you’re a Christian – your sins are paid for, because when He was on that tree, He bore the sins of His people. And God, His own Father, crushed Him under the full force of His wrath – all the wrath that should have been poured out on you; God crushed His only begotten Son in your place.
…and you say you’re bold, Christian, cause you wear a Christian T-shirt!
Many of the things that you love to do, God hates. Did you know that?
The greatest heresy in the American evangelical and protestant church is that if you pray and “ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart,” He will definitely come in.
A little boy… Andrew Meimann… the Muslim shot him five times through the stomach and left him on a sidewalk simply because he cried out, ‘I am so afraid but I cannot deny Jesus Christ. Please don’t kill me but I will not deny Him!’ And he died in a pool of blood. And you talk about being a radical Christian because you wear a t-shirt… because you go to a conference! I’m talking about holiness! I’m talking about godliness!
The question is not whether you would like to pray this prayer and ask Jesus to come into your heart — after all, you know, the handle to your heart is on the inside and if you do not open it Jesus cannot come in. My friend, Jesus is Lord of your heart and if He wants to come in, He will kick the door down.
Oh, this movie only has a bit of cussing and it only has a bit of nudity…how much sin does it take to grieve the Holy Spirit?
He can’t fill up your cup with himself, if your cup is already full of the world!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Marvelous Grace

"We stutter and we stammer 'till you say us
a symphony of chaos, 'till you play us
Phrases on the pages of unknown, 'till you read unto poetry and prose

And we are kept, and we are captive 'till you free us
Vainly unimagined 'till you dream us
Aimlessly unguided 'till you lead us home.

And by your voice we speak
It is by your strength we're no longer weak
We are no longer weak, and

By your wounds, we are healed
Tell me what kind of love is this?
By your wounds we are healed....

Passed over and passed by until you claim us
Orphaned and abandoned, 'till you name us
Hidden and disclosed 'till you expose our hearts

And by your death we live
It is by your gift that we might give
That we might give, and

By your wounds we are healed
Tell me what kind of love is this?
By your wounds we are healed

And what kind of love
Would take your shame and spill his blood for you?
Saved us by his wounds...
By your wounds, we are healed
Tell me what kind of love is this?
By your wounds we are healed


Healed by Sung by Nicole Nordeman (I am not sure who wrote the song)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hallowed or Harmful?

A Christian Perspective on Halloween
By Katie Cochran Winter 2007

Hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, the Celts, inhabitants of Britain and Ireland, observed a festival on October 31. Unlike modern-day Halloween, theirs was no children's holiday. The Celts and their priests, the Druids, celebrated Samhain, a festival that marked the eve of the Celtic New Year, which began on November 1.
The fall harvest was complete and winter loomed ahead. The Celts believed the power of the sun was fading. For the next several months, darkness would prevail. The Celts also believed that during Samhain the veil separating the living from the dead was at its thinnest. They thought that on the evening of October 31, evil spirits and the souls of the dead passed through the barrier and entered the world of the living. Departed family members could revisit their earthly homes. The thought was frightening – and exciting!
These druids thought that dead souls could torment the living. Crops might be destroyed, babies stolen, farm animals killed. But this was also an opportunity to commune with the spirits -- and divine the future. The Devil, the lord of darkness, was ordinarily feared, but during Samhain, his power could be called on to foretell the future.
The Druids were charged with appeasing the goblins and preventing harm to the people. Huge Samhain bonfires were lit to guide the way of the spirits. Various sacrifices -- including human -- were performed to assure a good year. Several ancient authors comment on the gory religious rites of the Druids.
It is believed that, like many pagan cultures around the world, the Celts left out food for the spirits, hoping that a "treat" would prevent an evil "trick."
Centuries later, the descendants of the Celts continued to observe the Samhain festival by dressing as evil spirits. They roamed from house to house demanding food in exchange for the "spirits" leaving the home unharmed. They carved demon faces in hollowed-out turnips and lit them with candles. That night they also practiced many customs designed to foretell the future. Young people roasted nuts in Samhain fires to see which would crack first -- and tell them who they would marry. The person who retrieved an apple with his mouth from a tub of water assured himself of a lucky year. Obviously some of these customs (like "apple-bobbing") have remained with us, strictly as amusement.
When Christianity began to spread through Europe in the third and fourth centuries, the pagan temples were torn down. But pagan worship never completely disappeared. The festival of Samhain remained a primary pagan celebration.
Belief in spirits may have waned, but many of the old Samhain traditions continued to be practiced -- especially by the children. Primarily in Ireland, children dressed as spirits went from house to house demanding a treat. If they received none, they performed an unwelcomed trick. They were acting the part of evil spirits that had to be appeased, rather than trying to appease real spirits, as their fathers had done.
In the 700s AD the Church decided to combat this festival by replacing it with a celebration of the Lord of life. Instead of honoring evil spirits and the souls of the dead, the church chose to recognize the saints -- or hallowed ones -- who had lived godly lives. The Church seemed to be saying, "All right, if you must have a day to celebrate the dead, then celebrate those who died and are now with the Lord."
So November 1 came to be called All Saints' Day, also called All Hallows' Day. The evening before was called All Hallows' Evening. From this we get the modern name of Halloween. But pagan customs persisted. And with the growth of witchcraft in the Middle Ages, additional symbols became associated with Halloween -- black cats, witches, bats, and skulls.
Irish immigrants in the mid-1800s brought to America the Halloween customs we're familiar with -- costumes, trick-or-treat, and carved Jack-o-lanterns. Interestingly, the Jack-o-lantern is simply an American version of the hollowed-out turnip, mentioned earlier. The pumpkin did not grow in Ireland and Britain. Unfortunately, the madcap Irish also brought "tricks" with them -- which often involved breaking windows and over-turning sheds and outhouses.
Even though the practice of actually performing a trick if no treat is given has faded, the custom of children going "trick-or-treating" has become an established American tradition. Only in recent years have parents hesitated to send their children into the streets because of the increasing danger of accidents, poisoned food, and menacing strangers. Nonetheless, despite the dangers associated with trick-or-treating, Halloween is celebrated more than ever. In fact, the night is the second most popular party night of the year (after December 31) for "baby-boomer" adults. Many adults view Halloween as the one night of the year they can dress up and act foolish.
But while children and adults innocently imitate ancient Celtic customs, darker practices persist. Witches and Satanists still consider Halloween to be one of the strongest times during the year to cast a spell. On Halloween most witchcraft practitioners participate in a ritual called "drawing down the moon." In this the chief witch of the coven (group of witches) becomes, they believe, a channel for the moon goddess. During this ritual the participants, both male and female, are 'sky-clad" -- that is, naked. Stonehenge, the mysterious ancient stone formation in England, is often the site for bizarre gatherings of occultists, some of who believe they are modern-day Druids. Many scholars believe that Stonehenge was a Druid religious site. In horrible addition, some Satanist and voodoo groups offer sacrifices -- usually animals, but, possibly, human babies—in honor of death.
Witches and Satanists are, of course, a small minority. Few people who currently celebrate Halloween ever think about the darkness that underlies most October 31st practices. A beaming child dressed in a black pointed hat and matching gown -- with a wart carefully drawn on her nose and a trick-or-treat bag held tightly in her hand -- is hardly thinking of death or the spirits of departed relatives. Nor should she be. She's thinking of candy and fun. She's glowing because of her delight in her special costume. And she's anticipating the adventure of her house-to-house pilgrimage. Merchants also look forward to October 31. The sale of candy, costumes, decorations, and party goods make Halloween one of the major retail seasons of the year.
Surely, no one can deny children or adults all the Halloween fun simply because of its unsavory history. Can there really be anything wrong with this lighthearted revelry?
Does the Bible have anything to say about celebrating Halloween? In Corinth, meat that had been sacrificed to idols was sold on the market.  People would buy and eat the offered meat to honor whatever pagan god they favored.  Speaking of his freedom to eat food that a pagan had dedicated to an idol, the apostle Paul said, "Everything is permissible" (I Corinthians 10:23). After all, he didn't believe the pagan gods really existed. If we apply Paul's statement to the celebration of Halloween, then one could argue that Christians can dress in ghostly costumes and practice the traditions passed down from the ancient Celts. After all, the supernatural powers they tried to appease don't have power over those who belong to Christ.
The Bible says that Jesus destroyed the power of death when He went to the cross. By Jesus' death and resurrection, anyone who gives his or her life to Jesus doesn't need to fear evil. But Paul didn't stop with a statement of his freedom. He said, "'Everything is permissible -- but not everything is beneficial." It is in this light that Christians need to examine how to observe Halloween.
What may not hurt you may hurt others. Paul said that it wouldn't harm a Christian to eat meat sacrificed to an idol. After all, the pagan gods that the meat had been sacrificed to weren't real gods. In the same light, he probably would say that Christians are not prohibited from dressing in costumes and going trick-or-treating or attending Halloween parties. After all, "We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one" (I Corinthians 8:4).
But Paul went on to say that by doing what the believer was free in the Lord to do, said believer may be distressing another who doesn't realize he has this freedom. "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak" (I Corinthians 8:9). The weak ones would be those who still had problems with the idea of eating the food sacrificed to idols. Little children in particular are the “weak” ones. On TV, in movies, in school, and with their playmates, many children today are exposed to occult influences. We may be opening our children to these influences if we approve of these things in Halloween fun. We adults may be fully aware that we are only spoofing witches and ghosts, but the young many not be so sure.
If we have given our lives to Jesus Christ, then our eternal destiny is safe in the hands of Almighty God. But that's not true of some or most of the people around us. There is a valid reason for individuals to fear a "lord of death" -- even if they don't take him seriously on Halloween. We who have found life in Jesus should be careful that our freedom doesn't hinder others from finding that same eternal life.
Some “permissible” things may hinder Christian growth. The Bible encourages us to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus" (Hebrews 12:1-2). This one night of the year, most eyes are fixed not on Jesus, but on a darker image. The Christian's "race of faith" leads him to eternal life, to a joy that has no shadow. Should we really be focusing on the devil, witches and other dark beings, even for one night?
God says, "When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who...practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium, or spiritist or who consults the dead. (Deuteronomy 18:9-11).
If our children dress as witches and sorcerers, if we hang cardboard ghosts in our windows, if we entertain with tales of ghouls and haunted houses -- what are we doing but imitating that which is evil? We need to make it clear as Christians that witches and evil spirits are not funny and are not harmless, even if the people in witch costumes are only play-acting.
Are There Alternatives? As Christians, we have plenty of reason to celebrate. While the world around us focuses on activities honoring fear and death, we can celebrate the One who brings life. The following ideas might help you celebrate October 31 in ways that are joyful for you and your family:
1. Celebrate All Saints' Day
Some Protestants shy away from honoring saints. Their reluctance generally is based on a fear that the honor will cross the line into worship or prayer to saints. We are to worship and pray to no one but God. However, there is a good biblical basis for looking to those who have faithfully followed God in the past: Hebrews 11 has a roll call of believers who have set examples for us. But in his Letters to the Corinthians, Paul makes it abundantly clear that he and other saints are only servants -- men and women like us who are following God. And it is God and God alone to whom we look in our worship and prayers. But with nearly 2000 years of church history, we can well remember many faithful believers whose lives can encourage us in our walk with the Lord. These can include not only famous figures from the church's history, but also the saints we have known personally -- people in our own family and church who are now with the lord. While the Celts trembled at the thought of their departed kin returning on Samhain, we can celebrate Halloween and All Saints Day by joyfully recalling our own departed saints. In addition, Christians from many Protestant traditions may want to recall that October 31 is also Reformation Day, celebrating Martin Luther's beginning the Reformation by posting his "Ninety-five Theses" on the church door.
2. Have a different kind of party.
You can have a fall harvest party, an All Saint's Day party, or simply a costume party. Have children (and maybe adults too) dress up as biblical characters and/or figures from Christian history. Or find some other positive theme. Some Christians plan a "Fools for Christ" party (see I Corinthians 4:10). This involves costumes and fun, but none of the traditional symbols of death and witchcraft. Whatever you choose, avoid the usual Halloween symbols in decorations and activities. The way to "celebrate the dead" is by honoring God's saints, already in heaven, part of the body of Christ of which the living saints are a part.
3. Hold a Bible study on what God says about the occult and witchcraft, and pray for those under the dominion of Satan. This might be especially good for teenagers, since they are probably coming into frequent contact with influences of this type. In recent years there has been an amazing growth of witchcraft and Satanism in the U.S.  Human kind want desperately to worship something; and we can pray that on Halloween, instead of the focus being on death and destruction, people everywhere will celebrate new life in Christ, and the honoring of victorious saints.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Issues and Events Newsletter

The Five Scariest Things
You Can Do This Halloween

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. (Proverbs 8:13)
By Doug Phillips
Our country is in the grip of a fear crisis. The tension because of this fear is almost palpable. There is fear over elections, fear over the economy, and fear over hundreds of other issues ranging from the environment to terrorism.
The one fear that America is missing is a fear of the Lord. As a people, we no longer fear God. Because we do not fear God, we no longer hate evil (Proverbs 8:13).
Instead of hating evil, Americans toy with it. We toy with holidays like Halloween that were conceived in evil and that promote the “cute-ification” of evil, whether that evil takes the form of witchcraft, sorcery, ghoulishness, or some other form of malevolent imagery paraded before our children. We laugh at the very things that the Lord describes as “abominations,” and we find ourselves obsessively fascinated by, and attracted to, all things dark.
Yet we do not fear the Lord.
Those who “hate evil” are very scary to a secular society that fears man more than God. They are scary because they dare to declare that there are absolute standards by which society must be governed. They are scary because, if they are successful, industries like Hollywood that make billions of dollars by promoting ungodly fear will lose their influence. They are scary because such people will not be swayed by political candidates who use fear as a tool for manipulation.
With this in mind, I offer you the five “scariest” things you can do this Halloween:
  1. The scariest thing you can do this Halloween is to not make light of evil. Halloween was conceived in evil and has remained a celebration that uses children to promote a fascination with darkness and superstitious fear. Simultaneously, it makes light of things that the Bible describes as evil. Stand against such things, and the world will find you very scary indeed. The fear of the Lord makes men turn from evil (Proverbs 16:6).
  2. The scariest thing you can do this Halloween is to not be fearful. The media wants you to be afraid of everything from overpopulation to global warming. The politicians want you to be afraid of the economy and political instability. God wants you to do what is morally right, trust Him completely, and never be gripped by an ungodly spirit of fear. You can place your trust and hope for this nation in the King of Kings. Jesus said: “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him” (Luke 12:4-5). Believe this, and you will be light to the world.
  3. The scariest thing you can do this Halloween is to completely skip Halloween and remember Reformation Day. It was 493 years ago that Martin Luther nailed his world-changing 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg church. These theses included rebukes to ungodly fear and superstition. 501 years ago, sometime near October 31, a baby named John Calvin was conceived who would dedicate his life to eradicating an ungodly fear of superstitious beliefs and proclaiming the gospel of grace. His emphasis on reformation, revival, and the sufficiency of Scripture had such far-reaching implications for nations like the United States that he has been described by Christian and secular scholars alike as the true founding father of America. The Reformers did something that was very scary to the world of their day. They stood against all forms of dark superstitions which grip the minds and souls of men. It was their emphasis on the fear of the Lord and the wisdom of Holy Scripture that was used by God to liberate untold numbers of men and women. But to remember the Reformers instead of Halloween is very scary to the world. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10).
  4. The scariest thing you can do this Halloween is to refuse to watch or allow your children to watch any of the toxic Halloween and horror films emerging from Hollywood. America’s fascination with ungodly fear has made horror the most popular and fastest-growing film genre amoung youth. When parents allow their children to toy with this genre, they promote ungodly fear, and they contribute to the fear-factories in Hollywood that prey upon the youth of our culture. Say “no” to Hollywood horror and you will be dangerously scary to the media elite. “Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence....?” (Jeremiah 5:22).
  5. The scariest thing you can do this Halloween is to get on your knees as a mother and father and pray that the Lord will send you many, children who will fear God, not man — children who will especially shun the glorification of witchcraft, the bondage of ungodly fear, and the “cute-ification” of evil that is promoted through holidays like Halloween. Cultures that toy with evil end up being cultures of death. The Christian response is to be a people of life. That means babies. It means fearing God by honoring His command to “be fruitful and multiply.” It means remembering that the Scripture describes children as a “blessing” and a “reward.” Raise children that fear God more than man, and that will be answer enough to our Halloween- and darkness-obsessed culture; for if you trust God over your womb and commit your children to a holy education, you will be very scary to the modern world. “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord” (Psalm 34:11).
Taken from Doug Philips Web address

Monday, October 25, 2010

REALLY Smart Janitors and Waiters

Why Did 17 Million Students Go to College?

October 20, 2010, 9:53 am

By Richard Vedder

Two sets of information were presented to me in the last 24 hours that have dramatically reinforced my feeling that diminishing returns have set in to investments in higher education, with increasing evidence suggesting that we are in one respect “overinvesting” in the field. First, following up on information provided by former student Douglas Himes at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), my sidekick Chris Matgouranis showed me the table reproduced below (And for more see this).

Over 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees (over 8,000 of them have doctoral or professional degrees), along with over 80,000 bartenders, and over 18,000 parking lot attendants. All told, some 17,000,000 Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that the BLS says require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor’s degree.

I have long been a proponent of Charles Murray’s thesis that an increasing number of people attending college do not have the cognitive abilities or other attributes usually necessary for success at higher levels of learning. As more and more try to attend colleges, either college degrees will be watered down (something already happening I suspect) or drop-out rates will rise.

The relentless claims of the Obama administration and others that having more college graduates is necessary for continued economic leadership is incompatible with this view. Putting issues of student abilities aside, the growing disconnect between labor market realities and the propaganda of higher-education apologists is causing more and more people to graduate and take menial jobs or no job at all. This is even true at the doctoral and professional level—there are 5,057 janitors in the U.S. with Ph.D.’s, other doctorates, or professional degrees.

This week an extraordinarily interesting new study was posted on the Web site of America’s most prestigious economic-research organization, the National Bureau of Economic Research. Three highly regarded economists (one of whom has won the Nobel Prize in Economic Science) have produced “Estimating Marginal Returns to Education,” Working Paper 16474 of the NBER. After very sophisticated and elaborate analysis, the authors conclude “In general, marginal and average returns to college are not the same.” (p. 28)

In other words, even if on average, an investment in higher education yields a good, say 10 percent, rate of return, it does not follow that adding to existing investments will yield that return, partly for reasons outlined above. The authors (Pedro Carneiro, James Heckman, and Edward Vytlacil) make that point explicitly, stating “Some marginal expansions of schooling produce gains that are well below average returns, in general agreement with the analysis of Charles Murray.”  (p.29)

Now it is true that college has a consumption as well as investment function. People often enjoy going to classes, just as they enjoy watching movies or taking trips. They love the socialization dimensions of schooling—particularly in this age of the country-clubization of American universities. They may improve their self-esteem by earning a college degree. Yet, at a time when resources are scarce, when American governments are running $1.3-trillion deficits, when we face huge unfunded liabilities associated with commitments made to our growing elderly population, should we be subsidizing increasingly problematic educational programs for students whose prior academic record would suggest little likelihood of academic, much less vocational, success?

I think the American people understand, albeit dimly, the logic above. Increasingly, state governments are cutting back  higher-education funding, thinking it is an activity that largely confers private benefits. The pleas of university leaders and governmental officials for more and more college attendance appear to be increasingly costly and unproductive forms of special pleading by a sector that abhors transparency and performance measures.

Higher education is on the brink of big change, like it or not.

Christopher Matgouranis helped enormously in preparing this posting.
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