Written: Around 450 B.C.
Theme: God's Love and Justice
The message of Malachi was directed to a people plagued by corrupt priests and wickedness. The prophet confronted the people of Israel for their hypocrisy, infidelity, divorce, pride, greed and arrogance. The nation was so complacent in their sin that God's Word no longer had any impact on them. Malachi challenged them to turn from merely "going through the motions" to a relationship with God filled with faith, obedience, and worship. God loves us passionately and wants us to return that love to Him by being people of integrity, purity, and justice.
Claiming “an unprecedented attack on religious liberty,” the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) yesterday filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs in two separate cases, Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc, and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. In both cases, the plaintiffs are devout Christians who built their businesses from the ground up. They object on religious grounds to providing certain contraceptives which are mandated by the Department of Health and Human Services headed by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Both cases are scheduled for oral arguments on March 25, 2014 and the Court’s decision is expected sometime before the end of June.
Many times you hear the phrase promoting healthy food choices: “You are what you eat.” Medical professionals and athletes are very aware that certain food can energize your body and others can drain it. For some people, their metabolism allows them to eat a lot without gaining weight. For others, their body metabolism is no help with keeping off extra pounds. In fact, one of the reasons for washing your hands before supper is to keep germs from entering your body while you eat. It was on the tradition of hand washing that the scribes and Pharisees confronted Jesus and He told them:
“If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14
“Gather together and fast for three days, I also and my maidens, and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16
“Blow the trumpets and sound an alarm. Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land unto the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord. Joel 1:14 & 2:11 and 15.
In a recent article, Professor Peter Dreier appropriated Martin Luther King Jr. as champion of the "liberal" side of several raging public debates. Having been inspired from childhood by the justice of King's struggle for racial equality and the effective and eloquent way in which he pursued his "Dream," I find Dreier's conclusions surprising and counter-intuitive. I reject the assumption that this giant of a man can be so neatly categorized.
Brad Huddleston, one of Virginia Christian Alliance advisors is a specialist in dealing with the effects of technologies such as smartphones and the devastation it is having on our children. Brad has returned from missions to South Korea and Australia where he ministered to 6,000 students. He has seen the effect of governments preventing the mention of God is our schools. At the end of the article Brad ask, WHERE TO WE GO FROM HERE?
The answer is we need for him to minister here in Virginia. As a start we are running Brad's article- Smartphones- Not Always So Smart to appear next week.
Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. (Proverbs 22:28 KJV)
As I reflect on our culture, from my childhood until now it is horribly astonishing to witness how our Biblical landmarks and boundaries (of the faith and conviction) have moved so drastically, and continue to move with little alarm further and further away from their original place or standard. I like to listen to the older generation to glean wisdom, and I hear things like how playing card games used to be considered a sin (because of gambling), dancing was bad, Elvis swinging his hips was an abhorrent abomination. Of course innocent card games and dancing can be done in a decent way today.
At some point, one has to wonder why America’s churches are the largest block of irrelevant, impotent, and insignificant institutions in the entire country. And make no mistake about it: when it comes to influencing societal conditions, culture, and the political philosophy of the nation, for all intents and purposes, they ARE irrelevant, impotent, and insignificant.
I think this is one of the best ways to answer when someone asks why GOD lets "bad" things happen to "good" people. Or why GOD doesn't always answer prayer in a way we think He should. Rick Warren was the keynote speaker at the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix.
You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having 'wealth' from the book sales.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13 NIV (Daily Verse)
I went at your bidding, and passed along their thoroughfares of trade. I ascended their mountains and went down their valleys. I visited their manufactories, their commercial markets, and emporiums of trade. I entered their judicial courts and legislative halls. But I sought everywhere in vain for the secret of their success, until I entered the church. It was there, as I listened to the soul-equalizing and soul-elevating principles of the Gospel of Christ, as they fell from Sabbath to Sabbath upon the masses of the people, that I learned why America was great and free, and why France was a slave.
From Heresies, Horrors, & Holocausts -- to Hope
Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible, or by the bayonet. – Rep. Robert C. Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives (1849)
From Meltdown to Revival: Rebuilding the City on a Hill
The Elections: President Obama’s re-election last week reflects the growing secularization of our culture that flowered in the early 1960’s with the Supreme Court’s decision to ban compulsory prayer and Bible reading in our schools.
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